Disciplined in Writing

calendar and daily planner

I’m struggling to get into a set routine and schedule for my writing work and reading, along with my work around the house, errands, and time with my sons and husband.

I keep telling myself I need to set concrete blocks of writing and reading time in the mornings when I’m most alert, active, and creative.

But I get easily distracted by social media, news stories, and every day life events.

In the past three days, I managed to type up two and a half chapters in my work-in-progress, What She Didn’t Know. I did so at the spur of the moment, when I had a minute. Incidentally, my story is up to 75,000+ words and getting closer to the end. I need to continue on this upward moving path!

My ideal schedule would be 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., but that rarely works due to certain activities that happen once or twice a week at my church at 9:15 and 10:00 a.m.

Do I just make those days exceptions?

Something has to work and keep me focused.

Perhaps I should force myself out of bed and start at 6:00 a.m. and finish up around 11:00 a.m. Maybe my dilly-dallying will be overtaken by my desire to write.

Sure, Dorothy. It hasn’t so far. Ugh

It also doesn’t change the two church group activities I like to attend, but I can at least work on my writing three to four times a week.

The thing is, I also write and read in the evenings, usually from around 8:00 or 9:00 pm. to 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.

Looking into this dilemma, I found that one should write during one part of the day and read during another part.

So, I am going to work on a schedule I can stick with by writing in the morning and reading in the evening before I go to sleep. It must become a regular routine and habit for me to accomplish this. Wish me luck!

What’s your writing and reading schedule? Has it worked well for you?

 

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Getting Back Into the Writing Groove After Vacation

Sprague Lake in RMNP July 4 2019

Do you have a hard time getting back into your writing after you’ve been on vacation?  Do you get totally and happily lost in trekking in the peaceful, scenic, and rugged landscape of the Rocky Mountains for two weeks?

Long's Peak, Estes Park from our cabin July 2019

(Long’s Peak seen from our adorable cabin)

hiking trail from storm pass to bear lake day 4 July 2019

(One of the trails we trekked in Rocky Mountain National Park)

Maybe hung out at an absolutely gorgeous lake?

Troy and I at Sprague Lake RMNP July 2019

(Hubby and I)

Okay, maybe you spent your holiday on the beach or zip-lining through the rainforests of Brazil.

In any case, when my family left for our vacation to Colorado (once again. Our last vacation there was June 2017), I’d left my computer at home but brought along a small notebook in case I wanted to jot anything down regarding the experiences I encountered on my trip. And I did. I also wrote a page and a half of a story I’d written notes on a few months ago. The latter was done on the train ride back to Chicago before we picked up our car that had been sitting in the parking garage and headed home.

But still, my mind, body, and spirit absorbed the beautiful surroundings of Colorado Springs where we caught up with dear friends, but most especially, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. We walked four trails while there, and it was exhilarating.

Troy walking ahead on trail day 2 hiking July 2019

(Hubby walking ahead of me on our second hike, just me and him)

canopy of trees day 2 hiking RMNP July 2019

(Canopy of pines and aspens)

Alberta Falls RMNP July 2019

(Mid to lower section of Alberta Falls in RMNP)

small bridge on walking trail RMNP July 2019

(Small bridge on one of the trails on which our boys joined us)

And had visitors right outside our cabin.

doe 30 feet from our cabin Estes Park July 2019

(A doe about 30 feet from our cabin)

buck by Brown cabin Estes Park July 2019

(Buck right near our cabin, as well)

For a little while those first couple of days back home, I worried I’d not want to finish my WIP, but by the third day home, I was finally able to focus and re-immerse myself in my story and others’ stories via my online critique group.

I think what helped get me interested again in my story was submitting the next chapters and reading the ones already in the queue. My characters and the storyline drew me back in. Whew. Thank God!

So, it’s back to the story-creating world for me, while keeping the memories of my favorite place, Colorado, always in my heart, for we want to return to Colorado in three years, after our youngest has finished high school.

When you return from a well-needed and relaxing vacation, how do you get your mind and fingers back into your writing?

 

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Chills and Thrills — Author Christopher Greyson’s Riveting Novel, The Girl Who Lived

book reviews image of stack of books and tea cup

Okay, folks. It’s time for a book review. A SHORT one.

I finished reading Christopher Greyson’s suspense thriller, The Girl Who Lived, last week.

Just an FYI, suspense thrillers aren’t genres I read on a regular basis, but they are in my reading mix, along with women’s fiction, classics, and at times, historical fiction.

From the few suspense thrillers I’ve read recently, Greyson’s novel is a big winner and eclipses the last one I read called Wave of Terror. Only once throughout that novel did I feel a bit of tension/thrill.

So, why was Greyson’s novel a winner? Because…

  • His story drew me in, in the first line, paragraph, and page of his novel.
  • His writing style is solid, good.
  • Whoever edits and proofreads his manuscripts is a stellar human being. I don’t recall seeing any typos or errors of any kind.
  • I could barely put the book down. I forced myself to set the book aside so that I had the majority of the book to read on my vacation. And I did finish it while sitting out on our cabin’s porch in Estes Park, enjoying the absolutely perfect weather.
  • He wrote so well, his suspenseful scenes, quite a few, had me tensing and on the edge of my seat, so to speak, and one scene actually gave me the chills. Now THAT’S what I call a true THRILLER. 🙂
  • He kept me guessing with many twists and turns up until practically the end, on who was involved in Faith’s family and friends’ murders.
  • Lastly, a great bonus. His writing is quite clean with regards to language and sex. The violence is somewhat graphic, but not enough that I’d need to skip over parts. They were just enough to get the point across. Clean, gritty, realistic, and sharp storyline, plot, and good fleshed-out characters.
  • I had a moment of a pinch of disappointment in who was behind the murders, as I had people in mind, but at the same time, all info explaining why that person and how was plausible and believable enough that in the end, I was satisfied.

Here’s the blurb on The Girl Who Lived:

Ten years ago, four people were brutally murdered. One girl lived.

No one believes her story.
The police think she’s crazy.
Her therapist thinks she’s suicidal.
Everyone else thinks she’s a dangerous drunk.
They’re all right–but did she see the killer?

As the anniversary of the murders approaches, Faith Winters is released from the psychiatric hospital and yanked back to the last spot on earth she wants to be–her hometown where the slayings took place. Wracked by the lingering echoes of survivor’s guilt, Faith spirals into a black hole of alcoholism and wanton self-destruction. Finding no solace at the bottom of a bottle, Faith decides to track down her sister’s killer–and then discovers that she’s the one being hunted.

I have found a new author I really, really like and will be reading more of his books in the near future. If you like gripping thrillers, check out Greyson’s The Girl Who Lived.

the girl who lived book cover

 

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