I Have Writing News!

I’m humbled yet proud. Excited yet scared. Chatty yet speechless. This is big. Yes, the biggest of all writing news ever shared on this blog.

An excerpt of my YA short story is going to be published in an anthology called Maryland’s Emerging Writers.

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As you may or may not know, I’ve been querying my novel for a minute or two, so this came as an unbelievably gratifying, validating surprise to me. I submitted on a whim, and now my words will be on paper. It’s…well, it is amazing.

I wanted to share this with you, because, obviously, it’s good news on the (ever-so-quiet) writing front, but it’s also a reminder to take a shot. You never know. 🙂 Put yourself out there, submit your work, and you may be writing a blog post like this one.

If you’d like to purchase this book (or you just want more info–I get it), click the link below. The official release date is August 21st, but you can pre-order it right this second, if that’s how you roll.

Maryland’s Emerging Writers

 

I hope you enjoy my story, “Not Quite a Dunbar Man.” If I manage to find it a home in its entirety, you’ll be the first to know. Thanks to Z Publishing for reaching out to me, accepting my story, and not changing it! Thanks to everyone on Scribophile who critiqued the story or stopped by just for a read. A special thanks to the Pipsters for all the writing support and venting. You ladies rock! I also need to thank the fictional-but-oh-so-real Tim Riggins, who subconsciously inspired my MC’s big brother.

And thank you for reading my blog, following my journey, and patting my proverbial back. You’re awesome.

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Now I’m heading to Twitter to spread the news…


Thanks for spending some time here. If you found this blog because you are also published in the Maryland anthology–or any of the other states–please say hi! And congrats on your new pub credit.
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Writing Wednesday: How to Rekindle the Flame

I want you to know up front that I don’t know the answer. So don’t start reading this with the expectation that all will be revealed by the end. Not happening. Anyway.

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Here’s the deal. I’ve taken a little break from writing. Well…more like a hiatus. I severed all ties. Why? A few reasons. Namely, I had other things going on, like new jobs. I don’t know how I was able to work full time and do anything else. Wow. Point is, I pretty much quit.

And it’s strange because writing used to be this thing that I had to do, you know? I used to write for hours. I’m talking about those intense writing sessions where you’d only move to pee. You didn’t eat. You didn’t sleep. Come to think of it, writing is extremely hazardous to your health. It’s a wonder I’m not dead. But I digress.

Maybe I just don’t have many ideas. Maybe that’s why I spent so long on the same story…because I didn’t have anything else to say.

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A Writing Update on Writing Wednesday

Just wanted to check in on the writing front. Where all is quiet. #literarypun #suchadork

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The last query I sent was March 20th.

The last rejection was March 30th.

The last writing other than a blog post? Um…last year? Yeah, I think.


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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler

If you missed my suggestion about creating playlists, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise. I’ll just wait for you…

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue.

So, I’ve chosen Tyler to start with, because he’s definitely the easiest. Two words: Bob Dylan. And some Pink Floyd too, but Bob Dylan.

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I wanted to also expand my explanation for the reason behind this exercise. Not only does creating a playlist help to round out your character, but it also serves as inspiration for writing any scene that character is in. Listening to what your character would be listening to is highly recommended either before or during your writing time. Or both! Since I have a hard time writing with music on (other than instrumentals), I would actually mostly listen after, in the editing process. While I would read the scenes back, I’d have whatever music on, and it just helps to get in the right space. I don’t know how else to explain it, but you should definitely give it a try.

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“What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

If you’ve spent any time here, you know music is my absolute favorite part of life. While the blog is ultimately dedicated to writing related topics, if and when I’m able to combine writing AND music, you bet I will.

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I’ve made a soundtrack to my novel. If you haven’t done this, what are you waiting for? My novel tends to play like a movie in my head when I read it. So it only made sense the scenes would have accompanying music. You can listen to the soundtrack and check out my other novel related posts in the I’m Only Me tab above.

I’m getting to the point, promise. So I decided, why not take this one step further? I have a novel soundtrack, but what about a character soundtrack? Think of it like, What Would Be on your Characters’ iPod?

You may be thinking, who cares? Well, you should, for one. You can learn a lot about a person based on the music they listen to–I truly believe that. And it’s no different for your characters. There are always exceptions, (me, for example) but take a moment and picture this: someone who listens to Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot, and Mudvayne. Now picture someone who listens to Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Ed Sheeran. They’re most likely pretty different, no? I’m not trying to stereotype people, but the audience at a Beyonce concert would look nothing like a Manson one, know what I mean?

Whether you’re just meeting some new characters, wanting to dive deeper into your current characters, or you just miss your old characters and will find any excuse to hang out with them again, you should try this!

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Writer Resources: “Writing Excuses”

I’ve bookmarked more websites than I realized in the 5+ years I’ve owned this laptop. I have quite a collection of writing resources I’ve saved, and I came across one I’d forgotten: Writing Excuses.

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If you don’t know, Writing Excuses is a weekly podcast made up of a panel of authors: Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, among others. The tagline of their show is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Love it.

Each podcast is devoted to a certain writing related topic, and there are twelve seasons worth of material if you feel like diving in. Although short, they give you valuable information. They know what they’re talking about. And they’re fun to listen to, because the authors are so comfortable with one another. That makes all the difference if you’ve ever listened to panel discussions.

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18 Items Every Writer Needs

*Needs is strong word, right? Let’s say…

Items Every Writer Should Highly Consider Purchasing to be More Awesome, Motivated & Inspired

Better?

Each image will take you directly to its Amazon product page using my Amazon Affiliate Link.

Category #1: For Your Walls

You can’t possibly be expected to write in a sad, sterile environment. It’s in your best interests to surround yourself in awesome things. To see a picture of where I write and my awesome things, check out my blog post, Lauren’s Writing Space.

Writing Related Art: You need something to look at instead of that blasted blinking cursor. Consider these alternatives, all of which I stare at daily.

I actually bought this poster for my classroom, but I ended up bringing it home with me.


How true, how true.

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Lauren’s Writing Essentials

 

1) Something with Keys

Maybe I’m just old and my fingers don’t move as they once did. But writing by hand takes forever, and it’s totally unnecessary. I don’t know how people can write longhand. Typing is faster, more efficient,Related image and hitting backspace is a helluva lot easier than crossing out or erasing.

Wait, erasing? You don’t actually write with a pencil, do you? Tell me you’re at least using a mechanical pencil so I can sleep at night.

I used to have a desktop computer for all my writing needs. Now, I strictly use a laptop, because I like the portability. And my desktop died, so.

2) Background Noise

There’s a lovely space somewhere between the clacking of keys (or scrawling pens, if you’re one of those people) and a full-on desk concert. Yes, that’s a thing. Now, in this space, I live and thrive.

I highly recommend Rainy Mood, and I’ve recently discovered Soundrown, thanks to BookTuber Alexa Donne. In addition to rain, Soundrown has sounds of a coffee shop, birds, fire, and more. I love how you can overlap sounds to create your own atmosphere. My personal favorite is a mixture of Rain, Night, Train. Because what could be a more natural writing setting? Uh, nothing.

You can’t go wrong with instrumentals either. I’ve actually talked about this in a previous post, so click here for a list of some of my favorites. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

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Goodbye 2017!

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How to Make 2018 Suck Less than 2017

with a little help from Michael Scott

This list is tailored to me, but some of these might just apply to you as well.

1) WRITE MORE!

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Seriously. I need to write something. I miss that feeling of creating something out of nothing. Since I’ve finished my novel I’m Only Me (it’s about time!), I hope to start a new novel in 2018. While I do have the opening few chapters of one, I’m not sure if it has novel potential. Maybe I’ll write some short stories.

My January writing goal is to edit my YA short story, decide on a title, and find it a forever home.

Writing used to be my outlet, and I’d like to utilize it again.

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