Writing Stuff

Plotting it Out – Part One

I was looking over my latest issue of Writer’s Digest and started reading over their “101 Best Websites for Writers” when I stumbled onto the Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers.

Here’s what the blog is about:

Plot Whisperer offers plot tips for writers and bloggers eager to create compelling novels, screenplays, memoirs and blog posts with the reader in mind. All writers struggle with what to put in and what to leave out of their works in progress, how to hold a reader’s attention and earn their loyalty, and how to create depth and meaning in their writing for the greatest good.

To my delight, Martha Alderson has started a video workshop on how to plot a story. WHICH just happens to be my weakest area.

Want to go through these workshops with me?

Sweet. Let’s get started.

My contribution:

I’m currently working on a story called “Xcstasy” (working title). I don’t mind working through this story with you, on my blog, because I’m experimenting right now with this novel and would like to eventually put it into an ebook. If I’m successful, then I’ll do this again and work on a “real” novel.

My main character for Xcstasy is Dani Rae Pickett.

First question: What does your character want?

Beginning goal: Dani wants to find her sister. (Dani’s sister has been missing for three months).

End goal: To get her, and her sister, out alive.

I have some ideas where I want to take this story but they will likely change as I start writing. I don’t really DO outlines – I prefer to just start writing to see where it takes me. Which is fun and exciting because I’m always sort of surprising myself, but it’s bad because I reach a point where I get stuck and it’s like … now what. I’m hoping working through Ms. Alderson’s tips will help me past that hump.

I also found an interesting book that was highly recommended by a writer I follow on Twitter called: “Nail Your Novel – Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence“. I’m planning on downloading that to my Kindle … more tips from that book coming soon.

Feel free to “write” along if you wish. Leave me a comment and let me know how it’s going for you.


Rain, Rain, PLEASE Go Away

Dude crying. I say this with love, but Dude was one of the ugliest criers I've ever seen.
This is pretty much how I feel right now.

We are currently on our FOURTH straight day of rain.

Luckily, it hasn’t been pouring the whole time – it pours, then drizzles, then stops just long enough for the excess to drain off before the next round hits. It could be so much worse, it could have been pouring this entire time. Our sump pump has kicked on a few times, and I’m betting it’s been on quite a few times today (I’m at the office right now) – I dread opening up our crawl space door to see how much water has collected under the house.

Watching radar, you can see it redeveloping and it follows the same path, which is right on top of us. The whole state of Missouri is one big sponge right now.

I hate when we’re in this weather pattern. We’re stuck on a Gulf Stream or something and bad weather just keeps developing and dumping it’s fury on us. It sucks. This is what happened that one year when we had the ice storm. We were stuck on some kind of weather cycle and it iced for days leaving 5 inches of ice behind before the winds shifted and it finally moved off.

I don’t hate rain, but this much rain depresses me. I’m ready to see some sunshine – which, according to our forecast, won’t happen for a few more days. *sigh*

I never realized just HOW much weather affects my mood.

Easter was quiet at our house. We went to my in-laws. My MIL cooked chicken, ham, and roast beef along with potato salad and mashed potatoes and green salad. I brought rolls. Because they don’t trust me with anything else.


One of my sisters-in-law wasn’t there because they found out that her husband’s mother was going to be alone on Easter and they didn’t want her to be alone on the holiday. I thought that was sweet.

Since most of the “kids” are now grown and off living their lives in other states (in some instances, different COUNTRIES), there weren’t that many people there. My in-laws invited someone from their church, who is from Russia, and who is extremely nice. It’s so interesting to talk to him because he tells us how different Russia is from America. They are very strict in his country. They aren’t allowed to play Rock-N-Roll music and they are very suspicious of tourists. He was telling us how he couldn’t get over how everyone was so nice in our country and helped each other out – FOR FREE. He said if tourists were to ask someone from his country directions, they would either get a haphazard answer just to get rid of them, or they would only give them the information they needed for money.

He also said that it was crucial for tourists to have their passports, and other paperwork on them at all times, because their police were notorious for arresting people for not having the proper documentation. However, the tourists could get out of being arrested if they bribed the officer and gave him cash.

Everything is super expensive and they have a huge problem with public drunkenness. In fact, he said it was pretty unusual to see people sober where he came from.

He also said that they view America as their number one enemy and they are thisclose to being taken over by China, if China ever decides to go that route.

It was very humbling to listen to him talk about his country. Again, Americans just have NO IDEA how good we have it over here. We honest to God don’t. I didn’t know how good we had it until talking with our Russian guest. I really wish, and I’m being completely honest here, that the people who preach socialism and want more government in our country could go live in a socialist society for a few months so they would know, first hand, what it’s actually like. Everything sounds great IN THEORY, but when people are actually forced to live like that, it’s suddenly not a very attractive alternative anymore.

Our Russian friend just shook his head when we talked about how there are some people in this country who push socialism. He was just flabbergasted that they would want to live the life he was so desperately trying to get away from.

I would be interested in knowing how many foreigners from socialist countries in America would actually PRAISE their government structures. I’m betting not very many.

Hence the very reason they are here, in America, and not at home. They are here because they want to escape their governments strangle holds.

At any rate, America is so spoiled. We have no idea how fortunate we are. And we shouldn’t be ashamed of that fact. But we should also not take it for granted.

Dude is supposed to get his cap and gown on Wednesday. YIPPEE! I can’t wait to take pictures of him wearing it. I’ve already warned him that he’ll need to just get used to everyone giving him a lot of attention and taking a lot of pictures of him when he graduates. This is a big deal and I’m going to spoil him (even more so than I do now) because HE DESERVES IT. Thirteen long years of school is finally over for him and we’re gonna PAR-TAY, my friends!

I’m addressing graduation announcements as we speak and I went out and bought some party invitations for his reception today that I’ll stick in with the announcements. I also bought him a really cool, personalized, wooden frame that I plan on displaying on the food table at his reception with a picture of him in his cap and gown in it. Kevin and I are still throwing ideas around as to what sort of gift we want to give him, but right now we’re sort of leaning toward putting some money into a checking account for him. He needs a checking account and he needs to start saving some money for the day when he moves out on his own.

Who knows when that day will come.

I LOVE planning parties. They’re so fun! I just pray the weather is nice that day so we can get together on our new patio.

I have the scanner set up in my office and I’ve been busy scanning old pictures. I’ll be posting some of my favorites in the coming days.

For example, this one is fun:


(I posted this one because I knew my parents would get a kick out of it. 🙂 )

This is kind of random, but this is one of my favorite tweets this week:


Okay seriously – enough already.