Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 1 Still Not Started - Can I add one to the list?

Here is my weekly report on my 2016 Reading Challenge. I'd love to say I'm on track and reading up a storm, but this would only be sort of correct. I have been reading, but not the book I said I would be starting with...Honeymoon by James Patterson.

Currently, I'm trying to finish up a book I started in 2015 but don't read every chance I get. I wonder if I could somehow include this on my list of books to read in 2016? How about read a book you didn't finish in the pervious year (2015)? That works, right?

Anyway, I'm planning on finishing up this book and jumping into the reading challenge by this coming week. That's the goal and I'll be sure to update you this time next week on how I did.

Let me know how you're doing with this reading challenge or just share some great books you think I might enjoy reading. If they don't fit into my list of books to read for 2016, I'll see if I can come up with a new category for it on the list.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Special World Of Ink - Guest Gerard de Marigny is back!

Join Marsha Casper Cook  and Virginia Grenier on January 12 at 4 pm EST 3PM CST 2PM MT 1PM PST when they welcome back Gerard de Marigny. Gerard is the author of the best- selling thriller and adventure series about CRIS DE NIRO.  He has been on the rise since he began his writing career and continues to entertain his fans with new exciting work. He will be discussing writing, publishing and how he comes up with great ideas and terrific stories. If you haven't heard him talk about his career listen in for a fabulous show.

Live or on demand - to talk to Gerard  call - 714-242-5259

For more info about the show - and advertising on the show

For more info about Gerard

Listen to the show at BTR's World of Ink Network

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Raw Ideas

James Patterson said, "Once you have your original plot condensed, call a friend and share the pitch. Pause for a moment and see if they ask for more. If they do, you might be onto something."

Raw ideas may come to you all the time. I know I come across new ideas all the time and daily sometimes. However, not all those raw ideas are worth turning into stories and this is why it is important to take those ideas and work them into a plot or as James Patterson suggests, "Use your favorite raw idea and write a plot down in 3 to 5 concise sentences." This sounds a bit easier than it is and so I'm here to share two of my raw ideas written down into a 3 to 5 concise sentence plot. Let me know what you think and if you're brave, I'd love for you to share a raw idea written down into a 3 to 5 concise sentence plot.

Raw Idea #1
Coming of age, paranormal, mystery about a young girl, Kayla, who starts seeing things after the stabbing of her best friend during a house party in the high desert of California. At first, Kayla doesn't believe her best friend is indeed dead and later finds her close circle of friends know more about what happened then they want to let anyone else think. Kayla starts to feel she is losing her mind and her friends only help to push Kayla over the edge until she discovers the truth of how her best friend died and finds herself in danger with no one to trust but a new kid she hardly knows and who happens to be the son of local law enforcement.

Raw Idea #2
A young girl visits her grandmother who is on her deathbed. The grandmother gives the young girl a battered leather journal, which looks used and has some pages sealed or stuck together. Unsure why her grandmother gave her the journal, the young girl finds herself soon ripped from her life and in a Central California beach town. Feeling out of place, alone and depressed as the only person she ever really could talk to has passed away (her grandmother), the young girl starts to discover family secrets that put her life in danger.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

Along with working on my manuscripts and my writing classes, I'm going to take on this reading challenge as reading more than you write is something my all time favorite author Stephen King talks about. So here is the list and I hope some of you join me in this challenge.

I can't say I'll do these in order, but I will post my progress every Wednesday. To start, I'll read a book chosen for me through my writing course with James Patterson. With that said, I'll be reading "Honeymoon" by James Patterson.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Where Do Ideas Really Come From?

There are many different methods to get and collect ideas. Every writer has their way of coming up with ideas, but where do these ideas come from? James Patterson says, "The more you know about, the more likely you are to combine things to make an idea that’s striking."

I found this to be a fascinating thought as many of my ideas come from my life as I have moved more times than my age. I have experienced many things for only being 40 years old. Yep, I just told you how old I am. However, my ideas don't only come from my experiences in life. I also talk to and ask questions of loved ones, family members, friends, etc.

For example, my first published short story was inspired by my dad's childhood. I took three different stories from his youth to write the short story "Flying Upside Down" for the former Fandangle Magazine (see below), which was later republished in Stories for Children Magazine.

Story ideas can come from other sources too like a writing prompt or a simple thought. The point is no one knows where ideas come from as they are all around us in many different forms. What a writer needs to understand and what I think James Patterson means is we need to view the world around us at all times. If we truly want to write then we need to keep the blinder off and expose ourselves to everything happening around us so we can let the great ideas truly find us.

Teresa M. Amabile, a creativity expert, argues that creativity is not a quality of a person. Rather, it is a quality of ideas, behaviors or products. I believe this is true and why it is important for us to walk around with our blinders off and our minds open to experience the wonders.

One of the best writing tips I have heard in a conference talk was directed at those who wanted to write picture books. I don't remember who the speaker was, but I do remember this one thought the speaker threw out to us. "When you sit down to write a picture book, get down on the floor like a small child and view the world from the ground up. Make sure to taste the paper and smell the pencil, too. Why? Becuase this is what a young child would do. Children (babies) experience life through touch, smell and taste. They also see and hear too."

Sometimes as writers (if you are not writing for young children) we forget the importance of our sense and the role they play in our lives and in our creativity. When I sit down to write I always keep what this speaker said in mind no matter what I'm writing  because it helps keep me self-aware. We should experience our lives the same way and be open to try something new, too.

It's also important to record your ideas and experiences. I use journals. Others use a crisp notebook, a Microsoft Word or Google Drive Document, or a 3x5 card file. In the course I'm taking by James Patterson, he uses a simple file folder. He says, "Having a dedicated place for your working ideas is crucial for collating and finding themes or plot lines to begin researching." I couldn't agree more.

Next week I'll share some of my Raw Ideas and I hope you'll share some of yours too.