A NaNoWrMo Day in September

I’m seated with a laptop at an institutional Formica covered table in our local library. Why? I’m trying to get something done! The weather here is beyond gorgeous: warm, sunny, a touch of fall, and coloring leaves as evidence of autumn. Are you getting my drift? Yup. I’d love to walk on the beach or grab a cup of coffee to enjoy outside or be anywhere but here at this moment.

My writing buddy is disciplined and organized. Me? Not so much. Hail Jessica!

Perfectionism is leering at me and has shared some crappy character assessments. Years ago I entered NaNoWrMo and fell in love with producing 1665 words a day fearlessly and without self-criticism. Looking back at those pages, I have actually found redeemable prose. So. What’s the hold up now, missy?

I am trying to “build my platform” with blogging, tweeting and facebooking without finishing more important writing: the Novel! My essential problem is fear. I am close to “getting ‘er done” but fear it won’t be “good enough.” There. I said it!

My new practice is “just write!” Make every day a NaNoWrMo day. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for following!



This world is full of critiquers, category placers, and judgment callers. I am quite active through my blog at Send Sunshine. I cannot tell you how many times I go to the comment section of another blogger, type a lengthy reply and then proceed to delete it.

I would imagine it has to do with the innocent comment I made on the touchy subject of weight. (Keep in mind I have always been a healthy (code word for plump girl.) It was a joke, I assure you, to lighten the mood, but it did not go over well, and I stopped, dropped and rolled like a champion running for cover.

Trying to survive in the land of literary art is a quagmire of love, a tangled devotion, a lifestyle you must dedicate yourself to whole and heartily. You must show up. Be involved in the relationship of crafting everyday words and engage. I give applause to everyone who has stripped naked and stepped out on this pedestal, however written, in front of an endless sea of such assessment.

So what is this babbling word jumble? Well, if you have a moment. Let me tell you…

A blog I frequent recently posted the title “What type of blogger are you?” I read the whole post and all the comments. And I stopped short, each category had different descriptions, etc., but the article was far from complimentary. The negative connotation in each category made my belly roll. As did the reply to a comment, “Let me read your blog, and I will tell you what type of blogger you are.

Screeching brakes are sounding in the background. Really? No thanks. We don’t need this type of insight. Herein lies my pet peeve in almost all of life.

Do we need another person to define who we are? Do they truly think they know us better than ourselves? I truly dislike it when someone tries to tell me how I’m feeling. Stop. I can tell you what mood I am in. Although my fingers work better than my mouth, I do know how to speak quite fluently. Unless requested, I’m good.

If you are writing a novel, it is imperative that you know for a fact what genre you are not only writing but the audience you are relating. And there is so much advice out there – from great sources — to not-so-great. Many of us are not salaried bloggers, and blogging is an expression, a platform and need not be defined by a fellow peer who feels they are an authority. On what, being condescending? #saveitkindly4yourprofessionallife

I used to laugh out loud when one of my children’s friends would holler good-natured, “You don’t know me. You haven’t lived my life.” I still giggle thinking of the dramatic monologue.

I believe this stems from my general outrage that we as individuals can be so cruel in our characterization of each other. My hair is blonde. I am a female. I am not dumb. But this is what society would feed us, to internalize. Who does this help?

#bemore #celebratelife #beyourownindividual #embraceyou #lovethyneighbor&thylife #weRof1race

Hey bloggers, Write On! Use your artistic license to create you.

There is no need to be placed into a slot of classification or categorization. There are no labels to describe the amazing, distinctive, beautifully unique, thriving, energetic and creative people we are.

#sendsunshine #sunshinesent
I guess I am happily a #strangebird

Image courtesy of google free images
Image courtesy of google free images
Write on! ❤ Jessica

Writing and Good Distractions

Most writers have thoughts constantly running through their heads whether pressing keys or using pen and paper. I cut out an article on ways to move from one side of the brain to the other that suits me just fine, thank you! “J is for Jigsaw Puzzles” by Janice Erlbaum. (Forgive me, Janice. I didn’t note the resource.)  She suggested these puzzles as a way to move out of one part of the brain to the other. I loved the description of placing a new piece as “a small hit of dopamine.”

Although I might daydream about burning the whole lot in a bonfire, my husband and I have a puzzle available to taunt or delight us regularly. Being a writer does not mean I have written a certain number of words, most of it resides in my head long before I hit the computer. If not too frustrating, I can make order out of chaos. (I wish I could do that with my closets and author area), but my mind has a needed break.

Have you who do jigsaw puzzles observed that the tiniest of details are revealed with the final pieces? Hmm, much as character flaws and characteristics do.

Thanks for following us.


The Help of Others

Over the past years of working on my novel, Torn Apart, many people have stepped up with contacts for research, WWII buffs, horse owners, and other topics that link to my book. Some of the folks were mere acquaintances and, even strangers, who provided me with names of their friends to contact, one as far away as Missouri. At coffee at our local coffee shop, one person overheard details in the story, and gave me a horse owner lead. A former student of mine all grown up, followed through with author numbers. (He asked this particular author if I might phone him.) How I have appreciated them all.

I am challenged on many fronts with my title, format, and characters, and historical accuracy. I love to hear all comments. I cannot deny how much this novel is cowritten with the generosity of others.

Thank you to agents, editors, fellow writers and encouragers, and those willing to spend time talking to me whatever their criticism or question. I want to delight you all with a solid, well-written novel.

Sooner than later, I hope.

Another great post by Kristen Lamb! And I’ve got a feeling this is my month!  Take it Kristen…                                                    Is Perfectionism Killing Your Writing Career?

We writers have to be really really careful about worshipping perfection, and I think fiction can be far more vulnerable because it is far more subjective. There comes a time when we simply have to SHIP. Just let it go.


Studying Similar Genres

Of the many articles on writing, the one about reading books that have similar settings or genres as your own is a good piece of advice. Look at the similarities in covers. Is there a specific mood conveyed? Do certain colors repeat? What about the titles themselves? What similarities might you observe that could influence a reader of the genre to choose yours?

Perusing the books, whether reading page for page, reviews, or skimming provides information about the writers’ styles, context, language, conflicts, and biases. The caveat is not to be overtly influenced and influenced to modify ones’ own voice.

Reading is a favorite pastime of most writers. But the eternal management issue is my nemesis: utilizing time effectively and efficiently. I have noticed that my own vocabulary floats away if my nose is not regularly in a book. So the result is feeling pulled in numerous directions: family, obligations, time with friends, blogging, tweeting, reading, and writing guilting me for time. I didn’t mention work. That would be a biggie. How do the rest of you manage your time? Any thoughts to share?

Thanks for following.


#Pitmad is Tomorrow! September 10th 8am-8pm EDT

Hey fellow writers! Do you have a polished, unpublished manuscript? Are you looking for an agent or publisher? If you don’t know about the Twitter Pitch Party, #Pitmad here’s a couple of links that provide some great info: Check out Brenda Drake’s site: About #Pitmad – rules and regulations.  Just for fun here’s a Twitter pitch […]


365.24 Days of Living Selfishly

It is true. For the past 12 months, I have dedicated almost every single day to follow my individual pursuits. I have finished another manuscript while redrafting my first. I have lived from great highs to deep lows in encouragements and frustrations. My steadfast team has held my hand, pushed me forward, relished in my accomplishments, and attempted to wipe away my blubbers of disappointment. I have been lifted up and let down. I have won as I have lost and for the first time in – ever, I speak in first person.

My life as a dreamer has earned me less than I have made since I was 13 years old. But I did get paid and that, in itself, was a moment of triumph. Not as a novelist, per se, but in copy editing and that is okay.

So what is it I have learned to pass on to others who dream of this fantasy that does not leave us, penning words of whimsy or knowledge?

If it is your passion, do it, whether it is in the dark or on the back of an envelope. If you have five minutes or five hours, it is all the same. Thoughts overflow and find their way to a page, a habit we cannot quit. Allow this voice to find you and guide you. Do not question ‘the Rules’ or allow well-placed advice to deviate you from your course.

Just Write. That is what makes us a…writer.

More time leads us to more self-pressure, self-doubt, and self-deprecation. And everything hinges on the same word, you.

At my 2nd writer’s conference, the question was asked, “What is it that keeps you from writing?” And 90% of the room raised their hands to answer, “Time.” Last year, this was my answer, too. Today my response is, “ME.” While I have found my individual freedom to speak, I have also found a plethora of excuses or outside intrusions limiting me from my potential.

“You are living your dream.” A statement from one of my very best friends. He is right. When dubiety and disappointment flood my brain, I remind myself, hearing him speak. The strong voice of one who does not write but knows me for the person I am. It matters not if I am a Plotter or a Pantser, an Amateur or Accredited, I am a writer, and I will forever tell stories as I see them told.

As Always, WRITE On! ❤ Jessica