Writers Tell All

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Jennifer Chow made me do it. Her chirpy words of “fun challenge” has me participating in my first ever Blog Hop called “Writers Tell All.” 

A writer often works in isolation, for long periods of time, before any finished work is produced. It’s rare to have the opportunity to share thoughts with other bloggers/writers, so when Jennifer ‘tagged’ me I decided I’d share my thoughts.

Because we often work in seclusion we writers need to know if crying, throwing paper, groping for a pen in the middle of the night, talking to ourselves or passing up a party to write is normal. 

Totally.

So let the sharing begin. 

Question 1: What are you working on? 

  1. Revision 8 of a query letter for my second manuscript: Winter Without Flowers, a contemporary adult fiction. 
  2. Revising a synopsis for WWF.
  3. Sending out 10 queries per month for my first manuscript: Strong Women Grow Here, YA fiction about a 17 year old wife and mother in prison.
  4. Getting ready for the AROHO Retreat in Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, New Mexico next month. I’m so jazzed to be included in a group of such accomplished writers. I received a fellowship to attend. 
Question 2: How does your writing process work? 

My isolation space
  1. Six days a week I put my butt in the chair (see photo above) with a mug of coffee.  
  2. When I feel stalled I look at the inspirational messages, photos, or words from friends on my bulletin board behind my laptop. (It’s an organized mess). Or I take the dog for a walk to clear my mind.
  3. I have a writing goal for the morning: type x amount of words, revise x amount of pages, work on a character sketch. 
  4. I’m a pantser who has vowed to do an outline for my next project. This may reduce the amount of revisions. 
  5. When I’m thinking of an emotional scene I’ll write longhand. There is something about the heart/pen connection. 
  6. Twice a month I meet with my critique group, Women Who Write (WoWW), and we go over five pages of our project after potluck. I’ve been with them since I started writing in 2008. 
Question 3: Who are your favorite writers? 
  1. Sandra Cisneros– her poetry and prose has sparked my heart for many years.
  2. Lisa See– her historical fiction is so good that I feel I’m wandering the back streets of post-WWII China or Chinatown in 1940’s Los Angeles.
  3. Barbara Kingsolver– I was hooked when I read The Bean Tree in 1988. Her character, Turtle, has stayed with me ever since.  
  4. Louise Erdrich-She is a master of evocative prose. 
  5. Maya Angelou– I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was required reading in one of my college classes. To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision.”  I still have my book!

Now it’s my turn to tag three writers. 

Please visit their blogs and see what they’re up to and willing to share when Writers Tell All. 

















Categories: Authors, Barbara Kingsolver, Bloggers, Books, Jennifer Chow, Lisa See, Louise Erdrich, Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros, Writers, Writing, Writing Process

13 replies

  1. Another pantser . . . who knew! Seriously, I loved reading this. Interesting, the traits we share and how we work differently. I can certainly relate to the bottom photo! Oh, and I left Barbara Kingsolver off my favorite writer list. I could have gone on forever with that one. This IS fun!

    Congrats re AROHO. I hope you'll share the experience with us. I'd love to hear about it.

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    • Hi Gerry. I just moved and my comment box works so I’m ‘re-commenting’ on your comment. Definitely pantser but grudgingly will become a minimalist outliner. I do hope to share my AROHO retreat ( I hear that we have to go to one specific spot in the whole ranch just to get a signal-but I’ll try).

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  2. Thanks for playing along, Monica. It's always fun finding out where the blog hop leads. Stop by my blog to see where it all began. Anyway, thanks for sharing your writing journey. The query stage is exciting, but the wait is difficult. Enjoy your AROHO retreat!

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Monica! I love all of the authors you mentioned. Good luck on both of your manuscripts, and congrats on the retreat!

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  4. It is fun to see how everyone works. I’m not a pantser- I relate more to Jennifer’s methods. Have a great time at your retreat, and good luck with querying your book. It sounds very interesting – a unique character. Keep us updated! Congrats on making the transfer to WP! Looks great so far.

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  5. Good luck with the query process, and congrats and making the move to WP! Looks great so far. I love Maya Angelou also, and the quote you shared is magnificent!

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  6. It’s so encouraging to hear from fellow (fella?) bloggers especially when going through the query process. Thank you for your feedback on the new site.

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  7. What a great writers desk! Full of ideas and inspiration.

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  8. I love this blog hop because I’m finding so many more of my friends’ blogs that I hadn’t seen before and it’s so great to read everyone’s process. I loved reading what you are working on — good luck with each step.

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