Friday, January 23, 2015

What I'm Reading

We all know that all good writers love to read.  It would be strange I think if this were not true.  How would you expect others to want to read what you wrote, if you in fact don't read yourself?  I also believe the more you read, the better you will write.

It is often hard to find the time to curl up with a good book in between mothering, working on my own book, and all the other little bits that creep into my days.  But it is one thing I refuse to let fall by the wayside.  Nothing helps me de-stress more than escaping into a good story.

For the first time this year I set a goal for myself: to read 50 books in 2015.  The third week into the year I'm doing pretty well...I have finished three books.  They are:
 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy Seal by Michael J. Mooney

I also have this problem where I don't just start one book and read it all the way through in a single shot.  I have at least four books I'm in the middle of at any give time.  These are the ones I'm working on now:
41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
Decision Points by George W. Bush
Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War by Dakota Meyer

Not exactly quick beach reads, but I'm really enjoying all of them!

So what are you reading right now?  Do you set goals for the year?  What is your favorite book of all time?  I'm always looking for suggestions!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where do you write?

Many years ago, my mom took my sisters and I to see Louisa May Alcott's house.  I was amazed when the tour guide pointed out the exact spot where she wrote Little Women.  I couldn't believe I got to see the place where my favorite book in the world was written. 

I'm not sure if this is true for everyone, but I've never been able to just write anywhere.  I do my best work when I'm set up in the places I'm most comfortable.  For me, that is one of two places.

The more comfortable of the two places I like to write is on my couch. 

I like getting to stretch out on the couch and have full access to the TV for background noise.  In fact, this is the spot where I finished my novel. 

But I'll be honest, I don't get as much writing done when I'm sitting there.  I get too distracted by the TV or start to doze off.  I need a little bit of a straighter chair to stay focus.

So most of my writing is done at the desk in our dining room.  This is the desk I had in my bedroom growing up, and now it is the desk that houses our family computer. 

While I'm working, I'll either set up the I Pad to watch old episodes of Gilmore Girls or listen to Pandora. 

Even though I hand write everything first, it's also nice to be right in front of the computer so I don't have to move to transcribe.  Ideally, I'd love to have my own office space to write, but that's not an option right now.  So until then I'll claim this spot whenever someone else in my house isn't using it.

What about you?  Is there a special place you get your best writing done, or can you write anywhere?

Monday, January 5, 2015

What's in a name?

Deciding on a blog name is often a pretty nerve wracking decision.  It will be how you are defined out on the Internet.  It should encompass everything about you in just a few words.  And at the same time you want to make sure it's unique and no one else already has it.

It took me a while to come up with the title of this blog, Write in the Open.  I tried several other variations first.  But what kept coming back to me was the quote I wrote for myself in my 8th grade year book, "Inside each of us there is a story...only a few have the courage to tell it."

I honestly believe that's true.  I think everyone in the world can write something....a blog, a book, a poem, a song, etc.  But what sets some people apart from others is the courage to put their words out in the world for others to read, judge, scrutinize.  They have the courage to write out in the open, sharing it with others instead of keeping it locked away for only their own eyes.  That decision to put it all out there, is hard.  But like they said, if it was easy then everyone would do it.

This space is to share my journey as I prepare to send my book out into the open.  So come with me, and share your stories with everyone else.  Have the courage to Write in the Open.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

And so we begin...

Welcome!  I'm very excited to have this new space on the Internet to share with you.  I've started this blog as I embark on what will hopefully be my new career path.  I majored in English and education in college.  For three years I taught middle school before staying home to raise my girls.  Now I am hoping to add published author to my resume.

When I was ten and read Little Women for the first of many times, I was inspired to become a writer myself.  I dabbled in it haphazardly for years, always saying that one day I wanted to write a novel.  I'd have ideas, and even begin working on a few of them, before inevitably putting it down for one reason or another. 

But this past August, I decided enough was enough and I was just going to do it.  I sat down with a small idea and began writing.  I'd carry around notebooks and tried to fit in writing as much as possible, late at night into the early morning or when I had a free minute if the girls were playing quietly.  My story quickly took on a life of its own and developed into something I was really proud of.

Then, at 10:00pm on December 30th, I finished.  Just the first draft of course, so I will have many weeks left of editing, but I did it.  I wrote an entire book.  96,000 words and 199 pages typed.  And boy did it feel good. 

I'm excited, though a bit nervous, to be embarking on this new journey.  I'm hoping this space becomes a place to share my successes, failures, and a few tips I pick up along the way.  And I'd love to have you come along with me!

Make sure to also follow me on Facebook and Twitter!