Tag Archives: creativity

Doctor Pychyl On Procrastination | Quote of the Day 9/7/2017


Doctor Pychyl On Procrastination | Quote of the Day 9/7/2017


Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 3

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the revised scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 2 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to keep my eyes open, fighting exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it makes me sound like a jerk, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could be that tired.

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs quieted between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning. We were drifting off to sleep when we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the cinderblock structure, whatever knocked over our shelf of tools and racecar parts was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan window out of the back of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places and dented the trunk. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is an understatement.

We spent the two hours before he had to go to work cleaning the shop. After that, I had to drag my ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 can’t bounce back from lack of sleep as well as it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving, but when the physical therapist took us into a room with a couch, I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked, the heavier my eyelids got. After a minute, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got muffled, but it was suppressed by the sleep that overtook me. I don’t know how long I slept before I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was drowsy.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was at a job site.”

I was awake in an instant, and my heart started pounding with violence at the news. It pounded until I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh, my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the three women in the physical therapy room with me pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned to ashes. My granddaddy’s truck and some poor excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they should pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had an idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this revision! Thanks!]


Work It #14 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 3

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the revised scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 2 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to keep my eyes open, fighting exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it makes me sound like a jerk, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could be that tired.

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs quieted between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning. We were drifting off to sleep when we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the cinderblock structure, whatever knocked over our shelf of tools and racecar parts was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan window out of the back of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places and dented the trunk. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is an understatement.

We spent the two hours before he had to go to work cleaning the shop. After that, I had to drag my ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 can’t bounce back from lack of sleep as well as it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving, but when the physical therapist took us into a room with a couch, I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked, the heavier my eyelids got. After a minute, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got muffled, but it was suppressed by the sleep that overtook me. I don’t know how long I slept before I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was drowsy.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was at a job site.”

I was awake in an instant, and my heart started pounding with violence at the news. It pounded until I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh, my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the three women in the physical therapy room with me pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned to ashes. My granddaddy’s truck and some poor excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they should pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had an idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this revision! Thanks!]


A Little Lost

So…my last living grandparent passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2015, and I feel absolutely lost. It was very difficult for me to see such a strong woman go downhill so quickly. My Granny Clemmons was 92 years old, and she was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known in my life. I’ve been trying so hard to work on my writing, and I’m just too emotionally exhausted to function right now. All my creativity just seems to be gone. It’s like her death turned my soul into a sieve and my creativity seeped out. Everything is tired: mind, heart, body, and soul. It’s like my mind is in a stall pattern due to grief or something.

The odd thing about it is that I was more prepared for this death than I have been for any other in my life, but it still hurts. I’m glad that my Granny isn’t suffering anymore, but there’s a very big hole in my life now. I just feel lost. There’s no other way to say it. It’s like everything that makes me who I am as a writer is out to lunch. I really hope it decides to come back soon because I have several books to finish.


Daily Writing Is Happening!

Even though I haven’t been posting on here every day (like I should), I have been writing for at least five minutes a day. I’m doing a lot of roughing things out with a pen and notebook. Things just seem to be flowing better with ink and paper, as of late. Even with everything that’s going on in my personal life (both fantastic and bad), I’m managing to get things done in my writing life.

I’m working hard to merge Frost back on the track I laid out for it in my original outline. I set my outline aside for a little while and wandered a little farther away from it than I intended. There are things I like about the old outline and things I like about where the creative flow took me. Now I’m just working on making a cohesive marriage of the two, and trying to see how that’s going to change the remaining 31 scenes I had originally planned for the book. I plan on finishing the free version on JukePop by the end of the summer so I can get it edited and release some time this winter.

After I get the next scene written for Frost, I’m going to work on the next chapter of The Alexandria Chronicles, then Murphy’s Law of the Jungle. Frost is still my number one priority, though. Once the edited and expanded version of Frost has been released, I intend to focus primarily on finishing Murphy’s Law of the Jungle. I’d like to have that story wrapped up by the end of next summer. If all goes well with Frost, I am likely to try to publish an edited and expanded edition of Murphy’s Law of the Jungle through JukePop.

What about that awesome space opera I’m working on called The Alexandria Chronicles, you ask? I will continue adding chapters to it when I’m taking breaks from my primary projects!

As for personal things going on in my life, it’s now a mixed bag. My grandmother is going on 93 and her health is deteriorating swiftly. She is the only living grandparent I have left. I know she’s had a lot of good years and is leaving us with an incredible legacy, but it’s still a very painful thing to deal with. On the bright side, however, my fiancé got to meet her and she congratulated us on our impending nuptials. This brings me back to the original reason I started this post: daily posts are not my strong suit, and I can guarantee you that my updates will be scattered and/or infrequent between now and the wedding.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to really and truly settle into the habit of posting on here daily some time in August or September. I feel that, as a writer, I need the responsibility and  accountability that posting on a daily basis brings. In the past, my creativity has been a bit spastic and dictated by my rather fickle muse. I’m glad to state that the muse and I recently had a come to Jesus meeting, and she’s being much more cooperative now that I’m only demanding 5 minutes a day from her, as opposed to me trying to write a novel in 3 days during a manic fit riddled with very little sleep and too much coffee.


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