Month: August 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Answered Prayers – A Short Story

A month or so ago, I wrote a short story that’s turned out to be part of a series of short stories.  This first one introduces readers to Mary Suzanne Cooper. She’s a character that came to me after hearing the Carrie Underwood song, Church Bells.

Mary Sue Cooper is a small-town girl that's desperate to get out of the coal mining town she grew up in. When the handsome young mine owner takes an interest in her, will he be the answer to her prayers, or a devil in disguise?Song like this one tend to inspire my writer’s brain. I can’t listen to music while I write, but I hear the essence of a story and my mind wants to know the rest. I want to know what the characters are doing. I want to know who they are. What brought them to the place they’re located in the song? Often, I do what I did with this one.  I hear the piece, and it turns into a springboard for an entire story. Unlike what usually happens, though, this time I headed the call.

I wrote the first short story, but it didn’t answer all of my questions.  By the time I was done with Mary Sue, another character had come to life in my head.  She’s the inspriation for the next story, which will be out later this year. I think you’ll like her. I do. But then, I’m biased right?

With that introduction into an uniquely average writer’s creative process, I give you Answered Prayers*. I hope you enjoy.  It’s a short read, only about 15 pages. Please feel free to leave your comments below.  I would love to hear your impression of Mary Sue, James, and Arben. Reader feedback is always important to me. I would also ask that if you have time, please review the story on Amazon.  We writers depend on those reviews, so your help is much appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

*Word of warning to readers – This book contains language that some may find offensive. Please be aware there are swear words used in this text.

It’s a Problem of Focus

Accomplishing anything is a matter of focusing on work.

I have to admit, I’m having a terrible time trying to focus right now. I’ve had this whole day to focus on writing projects that matter to me.  And I have several of them going right now. What have I managed to get done? Not a single thing. I’m in complete distraction mode.

It started first thing this morning when I was trying to finish up a few preparations for the Killer Nashville conference that’s coming up. Yes, it’s that time again. Killer Nashville starts on August 18th. Just about 10 days from now. So, I needed to work out the schedule and fill out volunteer forms. I also spent some time on the phone with my sister, who is going with me this year, discussing what sessions we’re attending that are the same and which are different.

By the time I finished all that, I was well past lunchtime, so I thought: Self, do something productive and work on some blog posts. What a great idea! I pulled out the binder where I’ve been collecting blog post ideas, and start researching. One – count it – ONE rabbit hole later, I’m just starting to write the post, and it’s not even about what I’ve been researching all afternoon.  I spent hours in research that’s completely unrelated to any project that I am actively working on. Did I mention that it’s early evening? Yeah. Distracticated.

The good news is that I now have a fantastic idea for another little nonfiction book that I can put together which I hope will help other writers. It won’t take me long to write it, but I already have a huge list of working projects, so I’m putting it on the backburner for the moment. It’s something that I can pick up in a week or two, after Killer Nashville has passed and I’m in full-on, post-conference jazzed-mode. I know from experience the weeks after the conference will be full of productivity.  I always finish the conference excited to get back to work on a project or start a new project. It’s just the focus that I need for the remainder of the year.

Until then, looks like I’ll be working tonight on a few things. But help a girl out, what distracts you when you’re supposed to be writing? And how do you overcome those distractions? Share your comments below. I’d really love to hear your suggestions.

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