“M” Moonbeams and Roses by Stephanie Hurt

Since today is the last day of tax season here in the U.S. I’m snowed under, but thanks to my kind friend from across the Pond, Rosie, this has made my day. Thanks Rosie!

Turn the light on…

Inspiration… Such an intricate word. How do you get? How do you keep it? Is it the right inspiration?

1: How do you get it? – Well this can happen in lots of ways. Inspiration can come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes I’ll be just simply watching people going about their normal lives and bam! I’m inspired to write about it. Daydreaming can inspire you. Use past experiences and expand on them, change them around and in some instances make them fly. Listen to music. I get inspired by certain types of music. It’s according to what mood I’m in.

2: How do you keep it? – Ok, so you’re inspired, but can you keep the inspiration going all the way to the words, ‘The End’? Well, make notes, extremely descriptive notes of what inspired you, the feelings, the sights, the sounds. Every time the inspiration starts to flee, pull out the notes and read them. Close your eyes and picture it. If it’s music that inspired you, replay the same song or songs and get lost in it.

3: Is it the right inspiration? – Have you ever been inspired to do something, but then realized it was not what you wanted to do in the first place? It happens all the time. Maybe the inspiration is coming from the wrong source. You may be saying, what? I’m talking about when you’re writing a book and it’s going a certain way and then you get the inspiration to take the book into another realm. Is that what your book needs to do? I was working on one of my published books and had a sudden inspiration to change the middle and ending completely from my original plan. Now sometimes this can work out, but as I neared the ending I realized that I’d totally messed up the whole meaning of the book by going with the new inspiration. Just go with your gut and usually your original inspiration is right. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

  

If it goes to your head, you could lose!

If you’re a writer you know how hard it is to get you ideas on paper or in the computer. Then to get it edited and polished. Then you have to get it published and make a sale. It’s hard work.

The joy of a writer is getting published, but don’t let that joy get to your head. It’s really hard not to sit back and say, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m a published writer’. Then you make your first sale and your mind goes crazy. Well, keep a level head. Don’t push yourself past what you can handle. Take it slow and enjoy the time.

It’s the same way in any kind of leadership, goal achieved or book sale. If you let the power go to your head, then you could easily make a bad decision that could cost you a lot. If you use the power to manipulate others for your own cause, then you can easily lose that power. It’s the same with book sales and goals. Don’t manipulate the power you have.

As you know I own a business and I could easily let it go to my head. I’m proud of my accomplishments, but I also know that it could easily hit rock bottom and go under. I have to keep working hard to keep it alive. I treat it like a start up business daily. 

I also treat my writing business like that. Sales can be up today and crash tomorrow. Never over look down falls. They can happen at the drop of a hat.

Leadership is the same way. If you overstep your authority it can trickle down the line and then your leadership is worthless. Keep a level head and don’t use your authority to get your own agenda up front. Use leadership as an honor and use it for good. Use your leadership whether its in your business, writing, or any other place as a way to teach, not to let it go to your head. 

As always, this is just thoughts running through my head. I’ve seen so many writers let their success go to their heads, then it takes over. I’ve seen it happen to business owners. They let the success of their business make them soft, then they let the business slip through their fingers and then they’re out of business. 

Good writing friends and May God Bless You…

Do you find excitement in what you do?

It’s a simple question. Do you find excitement in what you do? Whether it’s your job, your writing or more importantly your faith. What excites you?

I try to find excitement in everything I do. If I find excitement, I find happiness and it means I’m enjoying myself. Life should be enjoyed as much as possible.

As a Christian I find so much excitement in my faith. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy being a children’s ministry leader so much. I enjoy teaching children about faith and our Savior. I get so excited when they get it and get saved. It’s just awesome and inspiring.

I get very excited being a parent. Every new thing my son does I get smile of pure pleasure. It’s exciting watching him grow up which is happening way too fast… Sometimes I just sit back and smile. I’m so proud of him.

With my job as an accountant I get excited when things go well, when I get that account balanced or when I get a new client.

With my writing it’s a up and down excitement. There’s the new sale, the new book, the new blog friend or just the new idea that takes over your day. 

So get excited today. It makes your day go better when you’re excited about something. If you can’t think of anything to be excited about, then just be excited to be alive.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Decisions…Decisions?

We have decisions to make as writers. What’s funny is if you’re a writer then you made a big decision, you decided to be a writer. You may say, ‘I haven’t published anything’, but if you write down what’s in your mind, then you’re a writer. 

Here are a couple of decisions to make as a writer:

1: Most importantly – Decide to actually begin writing. Whether it be an unpublished journal or a novel that could be the next big one. If you enjoy it, then go for it.

2: You have to decide if you’re going to make your writing public or just keep it in a drawer for your enjoyment only. I’m really glad I decided to get mine out of a drawer and blow off the dust.

3: After you’ve written your masterpiece (well that’s how we all feel after we’ve finished a manuscript. It may be only us that labels it this, but oh well.) do you try to submit to a traditional publisher and wait and wait and wait and wait some more or do you tackle self publishing it and taking a chance on your own.

4: If you decide on traditional publishing, who do you go with. Well, decide what genre your manuscript best fits, then check into publishers that specialize in your genre. Traditional publishers come in all sizes and needs. I’ve been approached by a couple and I was surprised at the diversity of each one. One guy was so funny that I laughed actually at him, he said ‘we want your book on our team’ then he proceeded to tell me how much money he wanted for the honor of them wanting my book, which was a couple of thousand and that included putting it on the same social media sites I already have them on. NOT! Then you have the publishers that only take a portion of your royalties. Here’s where it gets tricky, do you want to give up 50% or more of your royalties? 

5: Do you want to self publish? This is easier than you might think. The self publishing sites available is phenomenal and a statement of how popular this type of publishing is. With this type of publishing you have to be careful when reading the disclaimers, but most of the popular sites are just general and do not your first born up front 🙂

6: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing… As a self publisher you have to do this if you want to be seen. This is where you meet so many wonderful people from all over the world. I’ve enjoyed this part of the whole process so much. 

7: Finally, don’t forget the decisions about the book itself. You have the cover, the description, the trailer video pictures, the music for the trailer, etc. It goes on and on and on.

As I always say, this is just the wandering musings of a writer, but hopefully it gives you some food for thought. Each decision you make needs to be met with lots of prayer and contemplation. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

How’s your writing attitude?

In life we show a lot of different attitudes. Bad or good is up to you. As a writer I’ve noticed a lot about my writing that goes along with my attitude. Here are a couple of things I’ve noticed.

When I’m in a really good mood and my attitude is peppy and upbeat I do a lot of writing. It seems to pump me up and get me going with ideas. When my mood is not so good I notice  that I’m not as into my writing as I need to be. When I’m in a thoughtful mood I can really put words on screen. It’s amazing how our attitude or mood can affect the writing we do.

I had a bad attitude not long ago, which is not usual for me. I usually have a good attitude, but that day I was just not a happy camper. I sat down with my laptop and re wrote the same line three times. Nothing sounded good and I almost gave in to the bad attitude. Then I noticed the list of my works in progress and one of the titles caught my eye. I opened the file and read the couple of paragraphs that had been hastily written a couple of months ago. Something in my attitude slipped. My mind suddenly went to a new plateau. 

The point I’m trying to get at is this. In my little world, sometimes my writing can bring me out of the bad attitude or help to conquer a low attitude. It’s like therapy in a laptop or story.  Usually it takes a new manuscript. Especially if I’ve been at a loss on another manuscript that I’ve been steadily working on. Just going into something new and fresh helps. So next time you are stuck in a bad or low attitude try opening a newer manuscript and refreshing your mind. It could help out and you may even finish the new one.

So as always good writing and May God Bless You…

When the bloom makes way for the leaf

As most of you know, I’m an accountant. This is my busy time of the year with tax season in full swing. My office is beside my house which is great. I have a flower bed nestled among the trees in front of the office. The big draw to the flower bed is a forsythia bush or yellow bell to most. I raised it from a cutting that my grandmother gave me of hers back when we first moved in our new home around 19 years ago. The bush has been in her yard for more years than she could count. 

When I look at this bush I think of her. She’s been in Heaven for over 12 years but every year when the bush blooms I think of her. I think of the precious heirloom in it’s full beauty.

As I watched the bush flowing lightly in the breeze yesterday I marveled at the tiny yellow blooms that were still hanging on among the vibrant green leaves. It made me smile as I thought about how this process is similar to writing.

You may be saying what? Think about it. As writers we start with the bare limbs, then as the bud of a story blooms forth we get the story started. Then comes the full bloom of the work, the beauty. But the final is the nurtured green leaf that is the finished product, which holds on. But a lot of the time the bloom holds on for dear life, not letting us get to the finished product completed until it’s the right time.

As always good writing and May God Bless You…

Good Memory and Writing…

Do you have a good memory? Me, not hardly 🙂 Sometimes I really think I’m losing my memory skills. Our memory is an integral part of writing. Why? Well here are my top 5 reasons memory is important to writers:

1: You have to remember the main characters biography. If you have a woman with blonde hair for the main character and all of a sudden in the middle of the book you write they have dark hair, well you’ve just lost the character all together. I’ve actually read a book before that the main character changed all together. It’s a story breaker!

2: Book Setting – This is important to the story. If you’re story is based in the snowy mountains, then midway through the book it becomes the desert, then you’ve lost the objective completely. 

3: Character backgrounds – When you start a book always keep a notebook beside you as you write. As you develop a character write down their characteristics. Keep up with amount of siblings, hometown, etc.

4: Love background – You may have to ask yourself what I mean. Well it’s quite simply this, if your main couple has a history, then keep it straight. Make sure that  if they’ve been in a relationship before the book starts, then don’t make it sound like first love. Let the past lead you to the present.

5: Don’t forget the main objective of your book. Don’t let it stray far off the mark without a good reason or sub plot.

This is just my opinion and the way I write. It may not work for you, but it helps me to keep things straight.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…