The Creative Hour

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in From Bean Counter to Author | Posted on 21-07-2018

I was recently asked what the Creative Hour was, and if it had to be about writing. So I decided to use this weeks blog to explain it.

About four years ago, at The Surrey International Writers Conference, I was lucky enough to do my blue pencil with Jane Espenson. At Surrey BC, a blue pencil gives the writer an opportunity to sit down with a published author. Every year that I’ve been able to do this, it has been amazing. This particular year as much as any, because Jane Espensen is very successful in one of the genres that I’m interested in writing. She is an amazing lady. Well, anyway I followed her on Twitter and found that she does writing sprints. That is, she challenges others to take one hour and dedicate it to their writing.

I took these challenges several times, then decided to challenge my friends on Facebook to do the same. However one of my friends challenged me and asked if it has to be dedicated only to writing. That didn’t seem at all necessary to me and so I replied, “No it doesn’t”. And that’s how The Creative Hour started.

Now every Wednesday from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, I challenge my followers on Twitter and my friends on Facebook to dedicate this one hour to their creative passion.

So what ever your creative passion, please join me each Wednesday to work on your creative passion. Be it writing, painting, drawing, music or whatever you dedicate your creativity to, you will be amazed with what you can accomplish. I will time us by starting the challenge, and then let you know when the time is complete.

I hope to find many more join me this Wednesday at 7:00 pm.

Keep the coffee flowing.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi

What am I Working on This Week?

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Some spare thoughts from a writer | Posted on 11-07-2018

This week I continue to work on the edit of my book “Not Too Late Forever”. It’s feeling really good, because some of those in my critique group are down to the point of “I like it, but…” Where the “but” comes in is something like, “You like to make up words, so give me a word that one character feels for this emotion or similar word for feelings toward another character. Some of the group have been through multiple edits with me. For others in the group, it’s the first time they’ve heard the story.

The thing that thrills me is that the comments and suggestions, for the most part, are adding an incredible amount of depth to the story and characters without changing the main premise and content.

I’m also finding that the suggestions are thought provoking, but don’t add a lot of extra words to the book.

So back to making up words. That’s one of the more fun parts of my writing. I’ve made up words for time measurements, from the second up to and including the year. I’ve also made up words for cultures and forms of transportation. Another thing that’s happened with my writing is that I’ve gotten to know different cultures and some their traditions. I’m sure that as I go along with this edit, that I’ll get more suggestions on how to add more depth and dimension to the story and characters.

For now, it’s time to get back to learning what the new words are and working with or choosing not to work with the suggestions made.

Keep the coffee flowing.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi

It’s Important to Read

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Something that touches my life | Posted on 05-07-2018

This past week I had more opportunity to read. One time in particular, I had an appointment for prep for a surgical procedure. I got there thirty minutes early and one hour later they got me in for the consultation. I’m not thrilled that it took me saying something before the consultation started, however it gave me the chance to read.

The thing that was good was, that it snapped me back to a better understanding of getting into my character’s head. It feels good to step back and let the reader experience more of what the character is experiencing. That’s one of my goals for this edit of “Not Too Late Forever”.

Besides spending more time on reading, I am also working on a webinar about getting my first book accepted by an agent to help get it published.

Over all, working on this, my first book, has been a huge learning curve and continues.

I want to get as much of the book edited again, before I go to The Surrey International Writers’ Conference in October, in Surrey BC. Therefore back to work on the edit.

Keep the coffee flowing.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi

 

Make Time to Read

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in From Bean Counter to Author | Posted on 21-06-2018

What do I read? That was one of the first questions I was asked when I pitched my first book. That worked out really well, because my new favorite author was represented by this particular agent.

However, this is not the reason I read. Mostly I read to escape. Maybe that’s why I read across genres. Currently, besides Andre Norton (my all time favorite), I read Tess Gerritson, Robert Dugoni, Roxanne Snopek, Susan Clayton-Goldner and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I also use the books of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. This might sound like a strange combination, but it is working very well for me. The fiction books are character driven. The non-fiction are research information and a source of interest.

Another reason to read is that it helps me understand what others are looking for.  I write Soft Science Fiction with elements of Romance. Listening to the characters others create helps me create and understand my own better. It also helps me build my worlds.

So, reading and sharing helps me build the worlds my characters live and travel through, as well as giving me direction to escape my somewhat boring life. I love that there are multiple ways to use my love of reading.

Sometime in the not too distant future, I hope that you will be able to use my writing to escape your world and your problems. When that happens, together, we will benefit from the worlds and lives of the characters who draw us in and let us escape.

I will continue to read and enjoy the books of others as I write my own.

Keep the coffee flowing.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi

Onward and Preparation for the Next Writers’ Conference

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Something that touched my life | Posted on 12-06-2018

This last week the registration for The Surrey International Writers Conference opened on Wednesday, June 6th at noon. By 1:30pm they were 1/2 sold out. I expected to register at 2:30pm, on my lunch break. But 1/2 sold out, can you believe it? I was scared I would be left out and be unable to participate in one of the best writers’ conferences that I’ve ever been too.

Luckily my boss let me take an early part of my lunch. However, even then I had a difficult time getting registered. You’d think that, because I work everyday to help people get their debit and credit cards freed up or at least prevent them from getting blocked, I would have had the sense to call my credit card company to let them know I was processing a transaction in Canada. But no, not me, it took three denials before it sunk into my brain.

Maybe it was not such a bad thing that it took that long to finally get through the registration process. For some reason I was thinking of Friday as the day before the conference. When I was scheduling my blue pencil (a sitdown with a published author) and my pitch (a sit down with an agent), I was scheduling it later in the day. In the final process I put in for my pitch on Friday morning with Nephele Tempest, an agent with The Knight Agency and my blue pencil, Friday afternoon with New York Times best selling author Tess Gerritsen. Doing this, once I’m finished, I can settle in and enjoy the rest of the conference.

I must admit that there is still a lot of stress and angst. However I can participate in the workshops and concentrate on polishing my craft when I don’t have to worry about pitching or sharing.

Well, now that I’ve gotten past the registration, I can now concentrate on the latest edit of my book “Not Too Late Forever”. I hope, and must admit say a prayer or two, that this will be my year. Time alone will tell if that miracle happens. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy the process.

Keep the coffee flowing.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi