Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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A little Monday Motivation…

monday

Good morning all! Yeah, I know, it’s Monday… I’m not ready to start the day yet, but my office won’t run itself, so…

Ok, so, you need some Monday Motivation. Here goes… As a writer, you have a story to tell. It fills your head and makes you crazy. The story wreaks havoc on every other part of your day, but, I have good news. Even if you can’t figure out the whole story just yet, it helps to just go ahead and put it on paper. If you at least let the characters talk for a little while, they’ll leave you alone for a few minutes.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Clicking On and Off…

Writing doesn’t work like a light switch. You can’t just switch it on and off at your whim, can you? I sometimes struggle with writer’s block. It feels as though the writer in me has been turned off, but it wasn’t my choice. Some days this scares me because I love to write, what if it doesn’t flip back on?  So, what controls your switch? Good question huh!

I’ve worked on this question for a while and here’s what I came up with. It’s not an exact science, but it makes sense, for me that is.

Life controls my switch a good bit of the time. I’ve realized that when something is going on in my life, usually something stressful, life turns the switch off. No matter how hard I try, what comes out of my mind through my fingers isn’t satisfying. So, control the stress, keep the switch on. Easier said than done.

Guess what else controls your switch, other story characters. I noticed that when I decide to work on just one story, another story’s character steps in and holds the switch. It’s as though they’re saying, ‘work on my story or the switch goes off, your choice’. The only way to deal with this is to at least give the other story a few lines, then the switch is untouched.

Does this sound crazy? Think about it. How many times has your switch went off and you struggled to get it back on? Did you have something going on or was there another story pushing at you? Now you’re seeing what I’m talking about.

Try to push stress out when it starts in and give the other characters looming in your brain a little love, it might help.

What flips your switch?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. If you get a chance, come by and join my Street Team. I some special prizes inside the Street Team portal that you might enjoy. Go to www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and follow the instructions, it’s easy and fun…


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What if the words stop…

I’ve been asked many times where the words I write come from. Most people come up to me and just simply ask, ‘What if the words stop coming?’ For a writer that would be horrible, a nightmare come true. But the funny thing about a writer’s brain, it runs on overdrive most of the time. Sometimes we might have a hiccup in the process, but the words flow continuously.

Some have asked how I work on so many books at one time. How do I keep focused enough on each one to make the individual stories work? **Smiling broadly** Well it comes from too many stories going through that if I don’t get them on paper as they go through I’m afraid my brain will explode. If an idea comes through for a new story, well it has to be written out. I love to sit with a pad and pencil and just let the words flow through me. It’s exhilerating, but sometimes when you have a deadline working you have to push the others to the side. Of course that story still nags at you constantly.

But then I wonder if one day the words might stop. Of course for me they’ve been coming at me since I was a teenager and that’s been a long time. No, I’m not saying how long, but it’s been a while. If one day I develop some sort of problem where the words stop I don’t know what will happen. It’s been such a big part of me to put a story together in my mind that I think I might stumble some.

Then again I get a lot of my inspiration from music lyrics, people watching and life, so I guess in my mind, I’ll always have a story coming through. But if the music stops, the people disappear and I stop living, then the story would probably stop. Life has added so many stories in my head that I don’t think I’ll ever run out of material. I’ve experienced life through so many eyes and lives that I always have a new spin on a topic that I’ve touched on before.

What if the words stop… Let’s just say I hope they never do. I’ve come to love my characters that flow in and out of my head. They’re a part of who I am and that may sound crazy, but if you’re a writer you know where I’m coming from. After you spend hours with a character and their life, well it’s as if they’re your best friend. A couple of my books touched me so much that I was an emotional wreck during the process, but the words flowed even as the tears and the memories that spurred the story on came crashing through. Some memories never stop flowing through and they conjure up many stories that fill the books I write.

So, have you ever wondered what would happen to you if the words stopped? Scary thought…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Lists & Writing

As a writer I’ve had to get better organized. Not that Accounting didn’t already have me organizing, but in writing it’s different.

Someone asked the other day where I advertise and where I sell my books and where all I blog. Funny thing is sometimes I get so caught up in the whirlwind of it that I have to sit and think. That’s where the lists come in. 

Here are the lists I have to keep in order to keep up:

1: Books (Funny enough after about book 4 I lost count and had a hard time remembering names)

2: ISBN numbers – very important to keep up with when entering other book sites.

3: Advertising Sites

4: Social Media Sites

5: Where your book is currently listed

6: Most importantly the user ID’s and Passwords to all the above sites. This can get tricky.

7: Characters for each book. Yep I forget sometimes who went with what book. Sign of my mind growing old 😦

8: Blog sites 

9: Books in process (Very important so that if I mention them on a blog I can identify them later.)

10: A list to keep up with the lists. Yep, I have a 4″ notebook with all this organized in it. Thank goodness my editor and partner in crime keeps this book up to date. My way is sticky notes in a box. 

As for you, this may not help. You may add more lists that you need, but this is just the ones I keep up with. May sound like a lot, but it keeps you from going crazy, well for me crazier.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

 


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How do I finish this when that is in the way?

ImageI have a problem. I’ve got a manuscript that I should have finished a month ago 🙂 That’s only part of the problem, well it’s still going,  the problem is that I have 5 other stories crying out to be finished. Every time I get my head back into the current manuscript my mind goes nuts. Yes, I said it, my mind goes nuts.

To someone that’s not a writer this may sound like a great problem. You may be saying that’s great that you have so many stories waiting in line to be completed. Well, here lies the problem. These stories don’t want to wait in line, they want to break in line. They’re getting down right ornery. They’re taking up my sleep, my extra time and most detrimental my writing time.

Oh well, the life of a writer. I guess that’s just the problem with having an overactive imagination, which if you think about it, that’s the key to being a writer. Sometimes my imagination runs away with me 🙂 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you.


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Losing a character…

I wonder sometimes why I write when I’m tired. I sit and stare at the screen and totally draw a blank. Sometimes I’m sitting in my accounting office and get the urge to write a paragraph or two but have no time. I quickly jot down the idea and go back to work.

Have you ever forgot your main characters name? Did you wonder why? While working on my latest manuscript I noticed something wrong when I started editing. I had to laugh because it was so ridiculous. Or was it? I had a child named Chance, which was to be after the father, but somewhere in the middle I started typing Chase and it stuck. Boy that was a fun edit. I could have did a find all entries for Chase and replace, but I learned a really hard lesson about hitting that replace all button. 😦

I have started putting a legal pad beside me when I write. As I introduce new characters I write down a short bio on that character and keep it beside me. That way I don’t spend half my precious writing time looking back for a characters name, hair color, or age.

My editor laughed while reading one of my manuscripts. She said ‘I thought your main character had blonde hair’. She smiled and made a note to change that entry. I just groaned and watched her grin. She knows me well. 

I have a horror of missing one of these details in my final read through. What if I publish a piece with a critical character flaw? Oh well, I guess that’s why I have an editor to look after me. I definitely need it. 🙂 If you’ve encountered this problem, try the legal pad bio system. So far it’s worked for me. ◊

As always, good writing and May God Bless.


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While looking through the attic…

Saturday afternoon I ventured into my attic which is taking your life in your own hands. I’m, how would you say it, a pack rat. I confess, it’s a thing I inherited. When I was younger I had a book issue. I’d buy books everywhere I went. Needles to say I have a lot of books. Yes actual physical books. You remember those right?

I noticed that the pasteboard boxes that contained my books were looking a little worse for wear. So I had some extra plastic bins so I decided to take on the task of going through my books and putting them neatly in the bins. It was like a journey through my history. I laughed as I went through the different types of romance genres I’ve gone through in my 44 years. I love history, so I went through a rather lengthy historical romance stage. Everything I bought was a historical romance.

There are a couple of books that I hold close to my heart and have been known to reread several times. One of those was a book named “Violet Fire” by Jo Goodman that was published around 1987. It’s an awesome romance. It’s actually the second copy of that book I’ve owned. The first one I let an old family member borrow it. She passed away not long after that and the book never resurfaced. Not sure what happened there. I was lucky to find a copy a couple of years later in a second hand book store. You would have thought I’d found the Ark of the Covenant. I squealed and danced. Needless to say I was happy.

Well, I thought I’d lost it again as I couldn’t find it a couple years ago when I wanted to read it again. I thought I was just destined to not get to read it again. I picked up one of the boxes at the bottom of the stack and guess what, there it was with a couple of other books I thought I’d lost. I let out a whoop and my son came to the bottom of the attic steps. I assured him that I was fine and did a little silent dance. I’ve read every small moment I had. Funny how your hand cramps when trying to hold an actual book. I love it… My Kindle feels a little left out, but it will get some loving real soon.

It’s crazy how you find a book that you love and you just have to read it every once in a while. If you ever find this book on Amazon or in a book store I suggest reading it. It’s rather lengthy, but really good. I like Jo Goodman’s writing and this is one of my favorites.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!


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The mind of a writer!

The road we take as a writer is not always beautiful and lyrical. Most of the time it’s frustrating, nail biting, and down right scary. As I sit and watch the light mist fall outside my den window, I ponder what makes a good writer, what makes a bad writer?

The mind of a writer takes on several layers. A writer can swing from one emotion to another rapidly. It’s funny how quickly things change in the mind of a writer. I know personally I have had an idea about how a book would go and suddenly halfway through it takes a different turn. Sometimes I sit back and say “Wow, didn’t see that one coming” then I laugh to myself, why would I say that knowing it came from my own mind. Sometimes I think I have two brains, one the inner writer and two the outer person.

As a writer you usually see a story out of the simplest thing. I picked up a beautiful bright yellow leaf and looked at it. My mind exploding with possibilities. I traced the veins with my brain, suddenly thinking about a story line about the road less taken or maybe even a story line of the winding roads of life. Yep I got all that from a leaf.

Last night I was helping my son feed the dogs and he picked up a bowl outside and grabbed a slug. He immediately said, “Gross!” I immediately thought of a story about a person being a complete slug and how they pulled themselves out. This being thought of as I showed my son what happens to slugs as salt is sprinkled on them. Now that’s scary.

At Christmas time I get nostalgic and that brings on a wave of new writing possibilities in my mind. I can’t seem to stay on the same piece of work, I’m constantly swinging from one to the other. My mind saying you’ve got to do this, not that.

Don’t get me started on how music effects my writing. I have a long writing playlist. I use this while writing. It inspires me. It ranges from classical, country, classic rock, love, and just plain crazy. That might be my next blog post, the playlist of a writer.

Well, I’m through rambling. Aren’t you glad? As always good writing and if it comes through your head, write it down immediately and spread it into a story. You never know. May God bless and keep you.


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Crazy things that happen to Accountants!

Well Paula Acton one of my wonderful blog friends suggested it would be funny to list the top 10 funniest deduction requests. So I decided to tell some of the funny things that have happened over the years.

1: I had a lady put down as a dependent a child named “Fluffy Ball” complete with a birthdate but no Social. I just sat and looked at her like “Are you kidding me?”

2: I had a woman ask me if they could claim her husband’s mistress as a dependent. (He was sitting beside her at the time)

3: I have had so many marriage proposals I have quit counting. (Usually these come after I get them a huge refund or straighten out their messes) I always laugh and tell them to get a grip!

4: I had a guy that handed me his list of deductions for his Lawn Care business. It included his ski boat, new pistol and his new hunting rifle. I politely handed it back to him and told him to start over…

5: I had one guy ask me to move into his office because the phone calls and visits were not helping. He had a mess!

6: I am listed in several of my clients wills as the person to find out where everything is.

7: I had one wife that did not like me because her husband kept telling me he loved me. He got nice returns every year and he didn’t realize I was just doing my job.

8: I have one client that calls me his second wife and she agrees with him. I asked him one day if I was on the insurance policy and he just laughed and winked. (Yikes)

9: One client got angry when he owed tax and stormed out of the office. He returned ten minutes later when his wife brought him back to apologize and pay me a big tip for being an idiot. (Her words not mine, but I was thinking it!)

10: I had a lady ask if I could tell from the tax papers if her husband was having an affair. (No!)

11: For some reason most of my clients think I have a degree in Psychology. I did take it in college, but not my major or minor. They will call and want to get advice. I guess I am just too easy to talk to.

12: The best one was when this lady called and asked if I would handle their tax return. I said no problem, we still had a couple of weeks left in the season. When she arrived she asked me to hold the door for her. I was curious so I held the door as she proceeded to bring in ten large plastic bins full of paperwork. I turned to my assistant and smiled. I charge by the hour to separate tax paperwork over the normal stuff. She then proceeded to tell me they had not filed in 8 years. I had to sit down. The bins had everything from birth certificates, prom pictures and bullets!!!

So how many of you are rushing out now to get that Accounting degree. It is totally hilarious how crazy these people can be. I love it. The marriage proposals bother my husband as some of these men are wealthy, handsome men. I just smile and tell him it keeps him on his toes.

Now you know why I have to lose myself in writing. I have to get it off my brain. Some of it can cause nightmares!!!

SO as always, good writing and God Bless!