Sexy, unedited snippet from ‘Beauty and the Biker’

I have been putting my 750 words first in the day, after breakfast and meditation, but today I just seemed to forget and was working on my Etsy shop (see the ‘Day Job’ tab for more info about that) before I realized that, OOPS! gotta get my words in.

So I hit the word processor.  I am now up to 4525 words with ‘Beauty and the Biker’, 847 of that from today cruising through that halfway mark.

I need to find a work count widget for this blog so I can keep the word counts updated daily without having to make a post solely regarding the word counts.

Before I go here is a raw, unedited total first draft snippet of what I am working on.

“Maggie.”  The voice was a low growl and sounded as if it took real effort to get the syllables out.  “Go change.”

She looked down and felt herself pale.  She jean shorts she had were practically daisy dukes but now thanks to the rain they weren’t just short but plastered to her skin, not hiding anything.  Her thin, yellow t-shirt now looked painted on and the material was leaning towards translucent, her pink lacey bra underneath visible, nipples stiffened by the chill.

As she looked up from under her lashes at Lance, her eyes wild, her mouth opened to say something, anything… but it was too late.  She saw his resolve to stand there like a statue – to be a gentleman – snap.

In two large strides he met her, one hand sliding into her loose bun and yanking out the hair tie, the other simultaneously pushing against the small of her back, bringing her closer to him.

That’s it for today.  I have a huge ‘To Do’ list that I need to get to so have a great day, all!

Writing Updates – Word Count

Most Current Word Counts
Most Current Word Counts

My daily goal at the moment is 750 words.  Yesterday I got 796 and today I got a whopping 1429.  The only bummer was that they weren’t on the same story.

I’m going to try and keep a tab somewhere on this blog of my daily word counts.  Anyone wishing to join in, just leave comments or better yet, go see if Holly Lisle is doing her “Write a Book with Me” game.  I know when she had migraines she took off from that, and she’s got a ton of new lessons up and coming so I am not sure she is, but if you’re a member on her forums (some are free) then you can catch up with some games going on there.  Or you can just run over to Twitter and play some word wars – there are almost always some going on.

The other thing I marked off my ‘To Do’ List today was to gather up my current open stories (with more than 1000 words OR part of a series, a full plot and mainly erotic content) list where I am with them and put them in plain view.

So far I’ve got only a handful that meet that exact criteria, though I also have two that I started writing in notebooks while I was at work, and those two I need to start typing up soon.

All titles are working titles.

Super Short

To Do Lists for Shop & Writing
To Do Lists for Shop & Writing

“New Territory” (Corrine’s Adventures): 501/3500

“Lessons in Sharing” (Corrine’s Adventures): 0/3500

“Full Submission” (Corrine’s Adventures): 0/3500

Short

“Leo & Mariana” 3537/5000

“Beauty and the Biker” 2908/8000

 

Novella

Rook City Fire Fighters: 20,979/30,000

 

My goal is to have set deadlines to have the first drafts finished, sent off to my betas, get my cover artist to work on covers, then get them back to format then publish.  I’ve got more goals than what I have listed on the board, but this is how I am keeping things covered for now.

I am hoping to be able to get another story published by mid to late July.

More later!

 

Erotica Writer INTERVIEW: Scarlet Darkwood

Bio: http://scarletdarkwood.com/about/

 

What lead to your choice to write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was a young girl. I took creative writing in high school, and I loved it. But writing a novel had always intrigued me. I’m impressed by the way some people who just seem to have a knack for telling a story, creating interesting charters, and coming up with plots that make their story sizzle. I didn’t think I had the ability to even attempt such a thing. After putting some time and energy into learning some of the craft of writing, the time came when I suddenly wanted to dive in and give it a whirl. Voi-la, I birthed my first novel. The journey and self-discovery has been amazing.

 

Do your family and friends know you write erotica?  If so are they supportive?

Only my spouse, a cousin, and a few friends. They are supportive, but I have chosen to keep my writing in this category separate from my “real” life. I know my mother would be horrified, as she simply does not care for the subject matter of erotica. I think if my other friends and colleagues knew about it, they would definitely be surprised. To them, I’m just not that kind of girl! Since I’m not a full-time writer, I don’t need employers raising an eyebrow at what I do on my off-time.

 

Do you see writing as a career, either current or future? 

I would love to make a career of writing–anytime–the sooner the better. But I do see how this is so hard to accomplish. The problem I have right now is that I’m not an especially prolific writer, one who can push out book after book. I have to muddle through things and look at everything from all kinds of angles, so it takes me a little more time than it might take other authors. I find this frustrating because I keep hearing how important it is to have several pieces of work under your belt before you can even begin to think of being successful.

 

Do you have a message or theme you want to get across? Is that something that is in all of your work, or just a particular line/series/piece?

I don’t have a particular theme or message captured in my work. For the Pleasure House Tales, there is the theme of the asylum and the twist I give by making it an erotic place–or one side of it anyway. I have always been intrigued by asylums and what went on in them. They were such horrible places, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to create an asylum where the staff care

d about and indulged their admits (or patients, rather).

 

Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

I would like to be an entrepreneur, running my own business, and writing would definitely figure in there. I love being my own boss and taking control of my life. In this scenario, I want to be the dominant one, not the submissive.

 

What books have most influenced your life most?

Oddly enough, I adore the Anne of Green Gables series. Far from being erotic, the tales are sweet and wholesome, and the writing is incredibly beautiful. I’ve enjoyed the Castle of The Hidden Grotto series, which is erotica, by the way. The writing style and the stories win on both sides of the equation. The characters and world the author created are just amazing.

 

What was the best advice you have ever heard, read or been giving regarding writing?

Simply: Just write. One well-know author indicated that it was silly of someone to ask her about writing advice because all a writer had to do was simply write. I find that most people talk more about writing than actually sitting down to do it. What surprises me more is that I feel many “writers” are lazy, in that they don’t want to invest some time in learning the art and craft of writing and learning punctuation and grammar as well. They just seem to dive in with no idea of how to put a story together. When it’s suggested that they invest some time into taking a course in writing, they seem to blow off this important piece of advice. My learning some of this to start with helped me in getting a book out there to the public.

 

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Defying Gravity, by Caroline Myss, which outlines all the spiritual graces and how to invoke them. I love reading books on spirituality because I always need work in finding my highest potential or trying to understand my own divinity. I like understanding how cosmic laws work and how we all are a part of that. On the flip side, I finally purchased a copy of Selena Kitt’s “Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed.” I’d heard that it was controversial enough for Amazon to pull it off their shelves. So I went to Barnes and Noble and purchas

ed a Nook copy. It was an interesting read, but the ending had a very unusual twist. And I love twists.

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Oddly enough, I usually don’t find myself necessarily favoring a particular author. I read a book based on the type of genre I enjoy as well as the subject matter. If that author happens to hook me enough and writes several books, I’ll most likely purchase other works of theirs.

 

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Interesting question! Probably this one: “Does writing erotica make you feel like a sexaholic?” The answer: “Somewhat.” Let’s face it, when I write in this genre, I’m constantly thinking about the sex and how I can present this subject in a more interesting light. I’m trying to discover how I can weave it into an interesting, fun story. I still find it fascinating that someone can take the subject of sex and write about it for many, many pages, weaving it into a story that captures your attention.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? (OR) What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part of writing is, again, being a prolific writer. I seem to have a hard time being creative and coming up with fabulous plots. I have to work hard at it. Some people just seem to do it so easily. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I spend a good part of my time looking at the different angles of a particular scene, and trying to pick which one would work the best.

 

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?

I do experience writer’s block, and I find myself at times struggling just to get simple sentences just the way I want them. Sometimes I just write out the closest thing I can to get to it, and then I come back later after I’ve thought through the situation more. Sometimes I just get quite, go lie down on my bed for a while, and really think about my scene and what I want to accomplish. The most fascina

Pleasure House by Scarlet Darkwood
Pleasure House by Scarlet Darkwood

ting thing I find is that just right before awakening from sleep, I get some of the most clear writing ideas.

 

How do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from life, people, situations, and just riding through a new town or parts of a neighborhood I’ve never ridden through before. Sometimes I get inspiration from finding a piece of wrapped candy on the sidewalk. Many times viewing a beautiful tree or rolling hills can be inspirational. Things just come out of nowhere, then everywhere. I’ll tell you where I don’t get inspiration: from writing prompts. I hate those!

 

How do you keep the love of writing alive?

I keep thinking of the next thing I can write. I’m learning to keep notebooks on ideas and jotting down different character types, plot lines, and the like. I actually enjoy the feeling I get from being in the middle of writing a novel. It’s difficult to describe, but I like knowing in the back of my mind that I’m working on a project. I’ll be driving down the road and trying to work through a particular scene or trying to come up with a new chapter.

 

Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?

I’ve discovered that yes, I can put a story together from start to finish. I’ve learned to be more creative and how to work my way through tough spots. I’ve found that I can keep a secret! I mean, I haven’t shared with the world that I have written an erotica novel. I like keeping it as my own dirty little secret. So readers will only know my work through my author name.

 

What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?

I’m very organized, dedicated, and determined. That helps me realize my dream and get my work done. I’m trying to improve my speed, coming up with the ability to put out a story faster and faster. My first book took me a year, so I’d like the companion novel to take at least half the time or less. As far as what I’m working on to improve: concentrate more on writing when I’m at the computer and stay off the Internet.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is to first learn the craft of writing and how to plot, create characters, and simply learn how to put a story together. Take some online courses, read some books–anything. My second piece of advice would be to learn punctuation, especially comma usage. Other than that, put your nose to the grindstone and just write. Don’t just talk about it: DO IT! The other thing I suggest is to not be so attached to your work that you can’t take suggestions from beta readers or editors. I love the challenge of writing most of all, so I don’t get too easily attached to the work. I’m simply trying to fulfill a challenge.

 

Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?

Not formally. If I’m having a hard time putting a timeline together or trying to figure out how I want the story to go, I will get a notebook and start jotting down characters and what I want them to do, as well as include ideas for scenes.

The problem is I don’t have a full complete story in my head at any given time, so I wouldn’t be able to create a full outline anyway.

 

How do you come up with characters that are not only real to you and your readers but continue to intrigue you through the life of their in-book/series time?

As I create the story and the characters, they seem to pop into my head, and from then on, they slowly begin to come alive as I build the story. It’s interesting because I did a blog posting about how totally unique my characters are to me. So much so that I cannot find any images of people who resemble the way the character looks in my mind’s eye. In Pleasure House, Daren is actually my favorite character, but no other reader ever points him out. So perhaps I missed the mark in making him a compelling character to others. That’s what I wonder. And sometimes, the main character may not always be my favorite, and the villain seem to be a favorite of others. Everyone notices Joe, though he didn’t figure much in the novel until near the end. The characters become real to me as I write about them, developing their personalities, their physical features, and their ways of thinking. They each have their own personal style.

 

What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?

Usually I write in the evenings at home or on the weekends in my place of business. Day jobs have a way of interfering with writing, and with the job I have now, I don’t even get the hour lunch break. Too bad, I really miss those.

 

What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? (it will be linked to as a PDF)

I’m working on the companion novel to Pleasure House. The work is: Pleasure House: Tales From The Isolation Chambers. I’ll be addressing characters who reside on the “other side” of The House. In the first novel, the readers are exposed to the erotic side of The House. In the current novel, the good Dr. James has a project he wants to try, so he solicits the help of the characters in the first novel. For the first time, they are exposed to regular people who had the misfortune of ending up in an asylum–and on the other side of The House. They are forced to put their clinical skills to work and try to find ways to introduce their admits into a different world they’ve experienced so far. In this novel, some of the characters, such as Joe, will get more stage time. I’m having fun writing this companion novel.

Links:

Scarlet Darkwood Blog: http://www.scarletdarkwood.com

Works For Sale:  http://scarletdarkwood.com/for-sale/

I want to thank Scarlet for taking the time for this interview!

I hope you enjoyed this interview.  If you are an author and would like to be interviewed please contact me at ndpave@gmail.com or send me a direct message on Twitter (@nymphdupave).  Thanks!

Life, Writing and a HUGE change for me.

Well, life has been a little bit awesome, a little bit crazy and a lot different.

I’ve been losing weight and exercising.  I’m down 22 pounds 🙂 Doing a lot of fantastic stuff and getting fit 😀

Another great change – the huge one – I’ve got a full time job 🙂  And with this job my moving up is based solely on my abilities.  It’s also very taxing.  Um… dang.

So it’s taken a lot of my time.  Between that job and the Etsy shops I have been working solid.  But then I also have had work in the last couple of weeks for other authors, so… yeah.  Stupid busy.

Now though, I am going to start working on closing (and/or downsizing) the shops and writing more.  I’ve got a new story I’ve been working on and I’m doing the ‘Write a Book With Me’ challenge with @hollylisle.  Check it out here on the WABWM forum.  Free to join and play along.  I am starting officially tonight, though I’ve been working on and off meeting a goal word count daily.

So I am off to get my words for the night, then shower and read a little.  Maybe even finish making my third nail polish rack 🙂

Writing Has Suffered & Aweber (Newsletter Service) Seems to Hate Me

Suffering

This has been the busiest month (with the day job) I have ever had without any huge advertising promotion, and even with the large promotions, they gave a quick burst – not a sustained one.  That being said I am also hitting 1000 sales (might have this morning, haven’t received payment for the item just yet so it doesn’t count) which triggers a very large giveaway that I have been planning for two months.  It’s not even a giveaway in which I gain anything – it’s all for my previous customers.

With that said I have been “slacking” in the writing department.  I got off schedule and started putting the day job before everything else.  This is not only mentally draining, it’s just plain stupid; I have a work-from-home day job.  I make my own schedule.  One of the pros is that even when you’re busy you can decide what goes where in the puzzle of your daily life.  Sure, to squeeze more in that means I have to wake up earlier or go to bed later; but I can do things in an order that makes sense for me.

I’ve been letting my damn job control me again… at that point I might as well still be working at my old job for 60 to 80 hours a week.  So, I’ll be getting up earlier to get my priority items done – one item of that list is my writing.

Aweber

Thanks to being swamped with the day job, and the subsequent fact that I haven’t been prioritizing properly, it took me until today to find out what the HECK was wrong with my Aweber account.  I know it wasn’t a payment problem – I see the bill paid every month and chastise myself for not using the service to the utmost of it’s abilities, but whatever.

I found the issue that has kept me two weeks behind on my Free Erotic Serial that goes out to my newsletter subscribers.  I’ll be putting those two weeks together for the 25th and two more together for the 1st of June and I’ll also be releasing the next in the ‘Master’ series for free just for the subscribers because of this problem :/

Now I must leave.  Off to work on my to do list today.  Hope you all have a great day!

Erotica Writer INTERVIEW: Cassandra Carr

BIO: Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra’s book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.

Nymph Du Pave: What lead to your choice to write?

Cassandra Carr: Funny enough, getting laid off and deciding to have a baby. I know that’s not a real traditional route to take, but it worked for me.

NDP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? (it will be linked to as a PDF)

CC: I’m currently working on the first book of a five-book series which revolves around IT geek heroes. I love geeks (I married one) and think they’re underrepresented in the romance market. 😉  Here’s a snippet – UNEDITED, as the book has not sold:

A knock sounded at the door and Keith rose to answer it. When the woman Michael assumed was Juliet stepped into the room he made a distinctly undignified gurgling sound. This gorgeous, elegant woman was their director of IT? He thanked the heavens for small favors when it appeared she hadn’t heard him. She glanced around and Michael took a few seconds to assess her.

Her brown, shiny hair hung to just below her ears, and even though her mouth was currently drawn into a thin line, it was obvious she had a beautiful set of lips that Michael could think of about a thousand uses for. Her gaze was cold, but an undeniable source of heat lurked in their depths, as if she was at once furious and also completely disapproving of SOS being there. She was wearing a snug red sweater and a slim black skirt with black high-heeled boots that lovingly wrapped around her calves, and she was currently tapping her foot in a staccato beat. A throat cleared beside him.

“Michael?” PJ prompted.

Shit. No doubt PJ had noticed his reaction to Juliet.

“Um…”

Fucking brilliant, man.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Juliet snapped. She stepped forward and held out her hand. “Juliet Brun, director of IT.”

NDP: Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?

CC: It’s definitely my career now! I’m a full-time writer, or as full-time as you can be with a toddler at home part of the time. I fully intend to make this my life’s work.

NDP: Do you have a message or theme you want to get across? Is that something that is in all of your work, or just a particular line/series/piece?

CC: There are different themes in different pieces. Overall, love conquers all.

NDP: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

CC: On a bestsellers’ list. But seriously, if I can make enough money from my writing to help send my daughter to college I’ll feel like my mission in life is complete.

NDP: What books have most influenced your life most?

CC: The Westing Game, when I was younger. It was a Newberry Award Winner in the late 1970’s (dating myself, eek!) and I read it until it fell apart. I still have a copy of it.

I also enjoy books like Pride and Prejudice.

NDP: What book are you reading now?

CC: Fifty Shades of Grey. I figure since it’s in my genre I should see what all the hype is about. I’m about halfway through it. I have all three of the trilogy but I’m not sure I’ll read them all since I have over 200 books on my to-be-read list.

NDP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? (OR) What is CC: the hardest part of writing for you?

CC: Productivity is by far my biggest challenge. I only have part-time childcare so when I do I really need to put words down on the screen. It’s hard to fly into productivity and stay there all day, though. I also write at night after my daughter has gone to bed, but I’m tired then and sometimes it’s a struggle to get up the energy to sit down and write a few thousand words. I do sprints with other writers on Twitter – that helps a lot!

NDP: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?

CC: Every writer does. Here’s my advice for beating writer’s block: keep writing. Don’t allow yourself to stop; you’ll lose all momentum and compound the problem. You will eventually write yourself out of writer’s block, so even if you have to re-work or delete part of what you did it’s better than nothing.

NDP: How do you find inspiration?

CC: Oh wow. Inspiration is everywhere! I am often inspired by one small kernel which turns into an entire book. In my release, Collision, the whole story was started with the idea of the King of Rodeo and the Ice Queen. The plot and characters grew entirely out of that.

NDP: How do you keep the love of writing alive?

CC: I keep selling books. 😉 Seriously, this is what I love to do, and when it gets hard I just look at my friends and family who are struggling in Corporate America. Do I want to change places with them? Hell no!

NDP: Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?

CC: You mean like life lessons? That you if you want something badly enough and work hard enough for it, combined with doing the proper research into how to do it, you will have a much greater likelihood of succeeding.

NDP: What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?

CC: I’m told my sex scenes are my strong points, along with heroes my readers can fall in love with. My weaknesses? Hmm. Probably secondary plotting. I tend to keep a very tight focus on my hero and heroine. That’s okay in a shorter work, but in the longer works it’s a problem because you need subplots and secondary characters to keep the story moving.

NDP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

CC: Everyone has advice, and I’m no exception. 🙂 If you really want to be a writer, write. Finish that book. Don’t say you’re going to; actually do it. Lots of people WANT to be writers, but not very many really are.

NDP: Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?

CC: HAHAHAHAHA No. I’m a pantser, to the point that sometimes I end a chapter and literally have no idea what I’m going to write next. I oftentimes don’t know how a book is going to end. I’ll be typing along and cock my head. “That looks like a good place to finish.” The End. There, done.

NDP: How do you come up with characters that are not only real to you and your readers but continue to intrigue you through the life of their in-book/series time?

CC: I write characters I’d like to read about. It’s as simple as that.

NDP: What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?

CC: I don’t have a typical day since my childcare is somewhat in flux, but when I write I try to sit down at the computer for at least an hour at a time. I don’t always write during that entire hour, sometimes I check email and the like, but I try not to get up more than once an hour. I write mostly in the corner of my living room (remember that toddler I mentioned?) and at cafes if I need to leave the house. I don’t set writing goals. I think they’d stress me out. I’m pretty prolific so I don’t really need them either.

 

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I want to thank Cassandra for taking the time for this interview!  I hope you enjoyed reading it.

If you are an author and would like to be interviewed please contact me at ndpave@gmail.com or send me a direct message on Twitter (@nymphdupave).  Thanks.

Concern Regarding the Free Serial

I have been working on the free erotica for my newsletter subscribers and I’ve been left with a big concern.

My original intention was to create a cast of 6 main characters and at least 2 secondary (if not 4) and rotate between the main characters every week with a possible interlude now and again with one of the secondaries.  But I’m wondering now if this is not too wide a range of characters for a weekly erotica.  It would be 7 weeks before you get back to the character who started the entire thing.  By then it would be possible to have lost interest or even forgotten what had happened previously.

I’m thinking about cutting this down to particular storylines and creating several solid pieces with just two main characters each.  At the same time the other characters are in the background and things are being set up, like dominoes.  Different things fall into place with each story and that way I’ll give my readers a better sense of fulfillment.

I did want to create this crazy soap opera feel, but I think this isn’t the right format.  Unless I gave my readers a piece of everyone’s puzzle with each installment.  I would think that would be once every two weeks or even once a month.  With 6 main characters (3 separate erotic stories) and 2 to 4 secondaries (lots of possibility here too) that’s a lot of writing to be reading in one sitting.

So, decision made.  Take one erotic adventure at a time.

This certainly opens up different avenues for me!  Yay!

5 Ways I Inspire Myself to Write Despite the Lack of Time

I’ve been struggling with time management lately.  I’ve got a lot on my plate with the day job.  A small business takes a lot of work.  Since it costs less tokeep a customer then to find new ones, you have to keep adding new products.  The majority of my products are handmade, so this means a decent chunk of my time is spent in the research/development/design/creation stages.  This means I’m using a TON of my creative juices on a daily basis already.

The addition of yet another shop (which I still haven’t opened yet) and large orders (thank goodness, they pay the freaking bills) have been stressing me out a little more than usual and I’ve got finances to catch up on.

On top of that I’ve got the writing and when you’re stressed sometimes if feels like you cannot find a way into the inspiration.  But I am of the mindset that waiting for ‘motivation’ is for people made of weaker stuff!  I create the motivation I need.

  • Music.  I use either music from my husband’s external hard drive, Pandora (the free version) or I create YouTube playlists.  This seems an obvious one, sure.  Yet when I’m talking to friends (in real life or on an instant messaging service) having issues, I’ll ask about what they’re listening to when they’re writing.  Often they either have nothing on or they’ve got the local radio radio station.  Sometimes this isn’t bad – I love, on occasion, to have the windows open and the sounds of my neighborhood accompanying my writer.  But sometimes you really need to focus on the feeling, the scene.  Depending on the type of book/story/screenplay/scene you’re writing, the music will change.   When you’re REALLY having trouble writing, stop and think about what you were listening to when you were in the flow.  Just hearing the same music might just trigger your left brain/right brain responses (creative side takes over, critical mind zones out).
  • Flickr.  Sometimes you’ll need  a visual inspiration for a scene.  A sunset in Florida?  A crowded intersection?  A hipster coffee house?  Maybe you have a character you just can’t get a bead on.  Flickr is an incredible host to millions of photographs that can inspire, uplift and help get those words flowing.
  • Write right through it!  If you’re blocked because you don’t know how to get a character from A to B without writing boring scenes here’s a suggestion: WRITE THROUGH IT!  You can either write the next scene – the one you think is boring – until you reach a reason to have the scene (REMEMBER: It’s easier to cut then it is to add; you won’t KEEP the crappy stuff, but it might help you to get to the good bits) or you can write a summary of what the character does to get to the next part.  Either way, one of the best ways to get through a “block” is to keep writing.
  • Take a 15 minute meditation from your day.  Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit on a pillow with sage burning and a statue of the Buddha in front of you while monks chant in the background.  It also doesn’t mean “EMPTYING” the mind.  It means calming your mind, stilling the waters, breathing slowly and mindfully.  Sometimes we’re so stressed out with everything around us (work, bills, people, hassles, obligations, etc) that its hard for us to actually be productive once we have a moment to ourselves.  Our brains will need to freak out, to unleash the turmoil of what has jumbled up inside before we can put it to good use.  Two ways to calm the mind that I frequently use are: 1. sitting with calming meditation music and let your mind wander through the “junk mail” of your mind or 2. sit with a notebook and just write about the crap – this is particularly helpful if you’ve had a very stressful day.  And, by the way, the more often you do this, the better it is for your mind, blood pressure and stress levels.  And with either meditation: use a timer!  With a  timer you know works (test it first) set for 15 minutes your brain is free to dump it’s chaos without worrying about checking the clock every few minutes.  And by the way: think you don’t have time for this?  Imagine you only have 30 minutes to write, but you’re so stressed and fried that you can’t think.  Isn’t a productive 15 minute writing session after 15 minutes of meditation better than 30 minutes of staring at a blank page and adding to your stress level?
  • Last but in no way least is: Read!  Some people like to read titles in similar genres that they’re writing, not to ‘steal’ or ‘copy’ anything but to get into that mindset.  Others (like me) prefer to read non-fiction, most of the time subjects that have to do with what I’m writing.  For instance, if I am writing about an archeologist, I’ll read about amazing archeological finds, what they learn in school, or interviews with archeologists (I’m a sucker for National Geographic, by the way!).  You never know what – in reading – might spark the inner muse to greatness!

I hope this small list helps someone out there!

Nymph