So Your Hero/Heroine Works In A Restaurant…

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!

Last week, we talked about what a registered nurse actually does here in the US. This week, let’s talk about what it’s really like to work as a server in a chain restaurant, and what it’s like to work in a fast food place.

My first job was at McDonald’s, before they served questionably real food, served you the wrong food, or served you food that had been sitting under those warming lights for far too long. Back in the day, we were held to a higher standard, and because most of us who worked there were in high school, it was good training for things like how to follow directions, how to respect each other, and how to take pride in a job well done. It’s different now. The world is different now.

mcds-in-the-70sSo to tell you what it was like back then probably wouldn’t do you any good as a writer today. I’ll simply say it’s not as easy as it looks, and customers today are far more nasty, rude, and demanding than they were in the mid-70s. And they could be pretty ridiculous back then. My best advice for writing a hero or heroine today working in a fast food place is to sit in one for a few hours and watch, listen, and take notes. Or just ask someone who works there.

As for chain restaurants. I worked at Pizza Hut  for two of the four years I attended Kent State University, Denny’s while waiting to start classes for nursing school, and The Brown Derby while I was attending nursing school. TBD was a chain restaurant that served a variety of food, had a bar, and was supposed to be midway between an expensive, fancy restaurant with a dress code, and one similar to a Denny’s.

ph-1980I was a server at all three, so I can’t really speak to the cooking side of that work, but I can tell you it’s not easy work no matter what you do. Restaurants are always busy. They must cater to the needs of multiple groups of people – customers, district managers who make “surprise” visits, suppliers, local health ordinances, and their own employees.

A kind of sub-culture develops within one among the workers, usually excluding management. When the sub-culture does include management, it’s almost always because one of the workers is involved with a manager, and that’s a recipe for disaster in places like that. Bear that in mind for your writing.

Depending on who you work with on any given shift, it can be fun or it can be hell, just like in any job. The nice part about restaurant work is you’re not likely to work with the exact same group of people every single shift. The workers aren’t usually scheduled more than 40 hours a week, so you have a chance of not working with someone during any given week. By the nature of their business, they are open every day (some are still closed on US holidays), and they are open long hours. Today, most fast food places and some chain restaurants are open twenty four hours.

dennysIt’s busy, demanding work. I wasn’t treated much better as a server in any of the three restaurants above than I was treated as an RN, which isn’t saying much for customers in restaurants. And management at these places can be a nightmare. In fact, taking into account all the managers I remember from McD’s, PH, Denny’s, and TBD, I can’t think of more than a few who weren’t either angry at the world, batshit crazy, or both. There was also far more fooling around with employees than most Corporate HR departments would tolerate in this day and age.

At McD’s, because I was in high school, the people I worked with were my friend group, so that was nice. All of my fondest high school memories revolve around that particular McD’s where we all worked, because of my friends.

While I remember most of the people I worked with at Pizza Hut, Denny’s, and TBD, I can’t say I made any lasting friends at those places, nor was the work either rewarding or fun. If I had to return to it now in order to survive, I’d grit my teeth, act like a grown-up, and do it, but I would not enjoy it. The hours are long, the pay is not good, and like nursing, there are no weekend or holiday breaks.

tbdAt a place like McD’s, you’re paid minimum wage because there is no tipping. At the other places, servers make less than minimum wage. They have to declare tips up to minimum wage for tax purposes, and aren’t obligated to declare them beyond that amount. Even if you smile your face off and never mess up an order, you’re not going to get rich off tips. Customers are incredibly rude to servers, even when the service is excellent, and many people feel tipping is optional. I’m guessing those people never had to pay rent or buy groceries with a job at one of those places as their sole income.

Next week, we wrap up this series with what it’s like to work in an office.

Until next week… Happy Writing!

 

 

Inject some personality #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you to another #SensualSunday post. A conversation I had with a friend got me thinking about my post for this week, and next. It’s an issue some authors run into from time to time, and others seem to never quite get over (if the comments on some books are to be believed). Let’s get down to it…

Giving your Characters some Personality

We all have heard, or know that to ensure you sweep a reader deep into the story you have meticulously woven you need several elements. Details that are realistic and therefore easy for the human mind to comprehend, settings that feel authentic, actions that don’t defy logic/physical capabilities (unless they are alien and don’t have to worry about things like popping out a joint and being rushed to the ER), but most importantly are the characters. Your characters have to be three dimensional, they have to have traits people can relate to if not necessarily like or agree with, and they need to have thoughts, and conversations that propel everything forward.

A key component to any character development is deciding on their personality. Are they a narcissist? Are they an adrenaline junkie? Are they an introvert, or maybe an extrovert? Are they a reader, or a party goer, a thinker, or a doer? Whatever it is you decide they are, be consistent throughout the entire book and/or series. While a character can grow, and personality (test, candidate, person, character)yes change, they shouldn’t be Jekyll and Hyde’ing things just because you feel like it. Unless they are actually Jekyll/Hyde – which is a whole different topic!

For example, if your character is shy in the beginning you can have them being more, if likely mildly hesitantly, outgoing by the end, it’s a natural progression especially if there are outside influences (other characters or situations) that encourage/force said character to take that step. But you cannot have a character who is painfully shy in chapter one suddenly the biggest flirt, and party individual in chapter two. A single chapter is NOT enough time for growth, reflection, girding of loins, and bucking up to take that next step. Unless they are that Jekyll/Hyde character of course. But we’re assuming they are not.

The other problem some folks have is flat characters. Again, your characters need to be as three dimensional as I am, as you are, as your friends, family, and co-workers are. They can not be, for all intents and purposes, a piece of paper. Flat, dull, boring, and easily forgotten. That’s right. Characters that don’t get our ire up, make us smile, or have us laughing or crying are quickly, and often permanently, forgotten.

If you can’t close your eyes after reading several pages of your character and immediately visualize him/her as though they stood before you, you have yourself a two dimensional character. And no one wants that. So give them some personality, find them a trait worth having, or worthy of everyone hating if they are the villain, and bring them to life. We as authors want our readers to never forget a story, and the easiest way is to have memorable characters who stand head and shoulders (figuratively) above the rest.

XO Moira Callahan

man taking a bath

Walk Out With Head High #BookSignings #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

saturday

Good morning all. Kacey here once again. Hope you’ve all had a phenomenal week.  This past week was a recovery from last weekend when I was away at the Ignite Your Soul Book Signing in London, Ontario. I had such a fabulous time, met a lot of new authors and readers and revisited with old ones. The event was awesome and I can’t boast about it enough.

One thing I wanted to cover this week was about book signings. They are incredible, a lot of preparation and a wild ride. For a lot of authors, they enter a book signing determined to sell ALL of their print copies, get rid of all their swag and walk out with a fistful of dollars.

Not to burst anyone’s bubble – and having sold out a couple times myself – that is NOT the attitude to walk into a book signing with. It really isn’t.

Stop scratching your head and frowning at the screen. You heard right.

The main focus of a book signing SHOULD always be … MEETING YOUR READERS (first and foremost, hence the capitals), networking with reviewers and collaborating with like-minded writers like yourself.

Sure it would be amazing to sell all those print copies and head home with that fistful of dollars, but it doesn’t always work out that way for every author, nor is it the goal. There’s nothing – NOTHING – like meeting your fans/readers in person. Especially for the first time. Talking to those people who love your stories as much as you love them is the most amazing feeling; I can’t even gather the right words to express it. Trust me, when you do book signings (the first or fiftieth time), it’s a heartwarming and humbling experience. For those readers to come see you, talk to you, be interested in your stories/you, it can open an author’s eyes to what is truly important.

Some authors have walked out of book signings with a defeated attitude. I’ve witnessed it and my heart goes out to them. But knowing from the beginning what the book signings are all about and what you really want to walk away with, makes the experience 100 times better.

amazing2

 

When you have the chance to do a book signing, understand that it’s a chance to meet readers, not all about the money. Going into a book signing with only money in mind is setting yourself up for failure nine times out of ten.

Enjoy the moments, love the readers and be ready to smile for photos. Then take that experience home, those awe-inspiring moments when the readers beg you for the next story to a series or pick your story up for the first time, and write like the wind! Be inspired after a book signing and write your next fan-favorite!

 

Until next week, happy writing!!

Kacey (2)

Where does the story start? Another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

*taps mic*  Testing. 1 – 2 – 3 – testing. Is this thing on? *screech noise*  Oh, why hello there. Welcome back to another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth. Today I’ll be talking a bit about where the story actually starts and ends.

I’ve been on vacation from le day job this week (HOORAY!!!!!) so I’ve been recharging my mental batteries. I’ve been writing, researching, and actually doing some reading. Mostly reading, TBH. I’ve gotten hooked on this particular author’s works. They’re just short stories about Sheikhs and their unsuspecting virginal secretaries, etc.

I KNOW, I KNOW. It’s one of the oldest, most trite tropes out there, but… it’s enduring for a reason, I tell you.😉

But.. after binge reading … umm.. Let’s just call it an obscene amount, shall we? Okay, so after reading an obscene amount of this person’s work, I began to wonder. “So what next? You’ve got this brash, sassy American who is now the equivalent of a princess… I wonder how things will work out?”

This ties back into my series post from last week quite nicely, but also took me down the rabbit hole when I began to wonder where the story actually starts.

6a00e54fa8a2638833017c369c511c970b

I’ll admit, this is something that I struggle with until this very day. My current WIP is in its infancy and I’m already hemming and hawing about where it starts. Do I add a prologue that goes over the actual event that brings the character back into the life of the hero? Do I go over the event that brings the hero back into the heroine’s life? Do I go over their initial meeting? Have I done enough to garner an emotional connection between my readers and the characters in the book?  Will they be invested enough to wait until I can explain the history?

The ending… Should I include an epilogue that shows you how their happy ending shapes up? Does the reader need that? Will the reader be satisfied with my ending? Will they want more? Will they be left wondering, so what’s next?

Those are big questions. They’re the difference between a decent book and a book that they’ll re-read over and over.

I hope that’s some food for thought, anyway. Till next week!

XOXOX,

Michelle Roth

Raven says, buy the book…

 

Welcome once more to Raven’s ramblings and Thursday thoughts.

This week I’m sounding all Domme like…

The other day, I was astonished when a fellow author said people were coming out of the woodwork and asking why they had been refused an ARc ( not by her but by the powers that be), when they knew her.

That is not what Arc’s are all about. books are cheap compared to the work put into them. So you know The author. You want to support them, surely?

Just buy the damned book. (Unless a grateful author has given you one because you deserve it)

buy-the-book

Okay lovely authors, we’re all readers as well, aren’t we?

Looks around sternly. Aren’t we?

Thank you for those nods reluctant or not.

We as authors are also readers. We buy books.

Now, before you all roll your eyes and mutter ‘oh glory (or stronger) she’s on about pirates,’ no I am not.

Though of course I can always moan about those sods.

sexy pirate

(Except him. I just drool over him)

No this is about another way of people (some people not all) expecting a book for free.

An ARC to be precise. That for those not in the know is an Advanced Review Copy. Which some publishes give to their authors to hand out, some send to review

Book review

companies to be reviewed and yet others put on to sites where people can sign up to get a copy to review.

That’s lovely but not everyone who sign up will be accepted for a specific book. After all it is not just a way to get a free book, which you read (or not) and forget about.

These sites are invaluable for authors to get reviews. But they are not as some people think an easy way to get a free book. Just because Issy or Bissy is a third cousin twice removed or went to school with you for a week when you were five, is not a reason why they should be guaranteed a copy. Tell them politely it’s only $2.49 or whatever, less than half the price of a pint or a latte.

Now here at Evernight we get a lot of copies to do with what we want. So Issy or Bissy can have one if you chose to give them one. Choose to…

Why am I writing? For whom?

Your choice, but I often wonder, if someone purports to be your friend, don’t they think it’s worth that $2.49 to support you?

Happy reading,

love Raven xx

Finding your niche with @aprilzyon

Hello and Happy Wednesday! I know that I’m late in getting this post out but between working the “day (night) job” and trying to slip in some writing when I can I’ve completely forgotten all about getting this blog out and for that I’m so sorry dear readers.

So today I’m going to talk a little bit about something that I’ve been talking to a couple of other writers about, finding your niche as a writer.

(Niche: according to Dictionary.com)

                                                                            adjective
pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal:

niche advertising.

Seriously, we all have one its the whole finding it part that’s hard.

So here’s the thing. I’ve been writing professionally for several years and I think I’m just now starting to find that niche for myself. I’ve taken some hard hits over the years but the trick is to keep on keeping on.

Seriously. You have to continue to write what is in your heart and soul.

Feed your muse!

One way to do this is by reading what you love.

Another way is by putting away the smart phones, kindles, phablets, etc and looking up so that you can watch the people around you. There is always a story happening around you, you just have to look for it.

And just taking a breath. Honestly sometimes we just need to cleanse our palates, so to speak, so that we can breath new life into ourselves and our stories.

Now, to the point of the whole story, finding our niche.

I know you are asking me, well April, how do you know if you found your niche?

When your readers reach out to you in email, FB PM’s, etc and tell you how much they love a book and ask you when the next one is coming out – that’s when you know you’ve found your niche. I’ve never had that happen before and it recently happened a few books back and I think that’s where I found where I should be, now I just need to get my cracked out muse on the same page with me.🙂

So my darling readers, until then, listen to your heart and soul because you will know when you find that niche. You will know when you have found that writing space that you were meant to be in, I promise you. You will know, your muse will know and more than that – your readers will know.

Now, I’m going to show you some oldies and goodies from previous Wednesday’s past…


Enjoy the mancandy my darlings, I’m off to finish writing a short Christmas story. Hugs and Kisses darlings.❤ (Ps, I’m likely totally stealing the images from the other ladies as well but they are awesome to share them with you all as well so I figure why not share them a second time?)

 

Why do you write? #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

 

Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here. As the title says I’m musing about this all important question today. Why do you write?

word of why

 

I encourage you all to sit down and ponder this for a while.

Ready?

I can hear you thinking now. What has set the daft woman off this time?

*sniggers*

Well, nothing and nobody in particular. I just like to remind myself sometimes why I got involved in this business in the first place. We all hit those moments when we wonder if all the hard work is worth it, don’t we? And writing is hard work, no matter how much we might enjoy the actual writing bit.

There’s so much more to it after all, and sometimes even the act of writing can be a chore. It’s easy when your muse cooperates and you simply have to take dictation. Your characters are such strong voices in your head that you set aside everything and your fingers fly.

Those are the stories we all love to write.

Then you get the stories that aren’t so easy. It’s a struggle to find the motivation to park your butt in front of that laptop and to find the right words.

At other times the words are there, but you simply cannot be arsed to write…

In any and all of those scenarios, and believe me, I have experienced them all more than once over the last almost five years of being published, I like to remind myself why I write in the first place. For me, at least, it’s a deep-seated compulsion to tell a story. My earliest memories are of my concocting stories in my head. That little voice, as you watch folks that says, “What, if? What’s their story?”

So, when I hear of authors who give up, I always wonder to myself. How? Why?

Even if I never published another story, I would still be writing. At the very least concocting those scenarios in my head, but, you know. When I’m not writing, even if it’s just a few hundred words a day, there is something missing.

Writing is as inherent to me as is breathing.

Yes, sometimes it takes a back seat. Sometimes, when you see the thousands of downloads on a pirate site, you can’t help but wonder.

Why do I bother?

When the book you really love doesn’t do as well sales wise as you’d like it to.

When others soar to the top of those lists time and time again with seemingly very little effort on their part…

That little green-eyed monster rears its head. Sue me, I’m only human, but you know, all those negative thoughts are wasted emotions.

When you feel down about your writing, for whatever reason, and it could simply be that you don’t manage to write as much as you’d like to, due to other commitments, ask yourself that question.

Why am I writing? For whom?

Why do you write?

If you’re like me, and you’re writing for yourself first and foremost because those stories just demand to be written….well, then you get behind that keyboard and you write. Doesn’t matter how much, doesn’t matter how long it takes to complete any particular story, doesn’t matter how many or how few copies that story sells… The only thing that does matter is that you’re writing. Do so to the best of your ability and let all the rest go.

Because, believe me, if you’re  in this business for any other reason, disappointment will be sure to follow you around.

It’s a rare author who gets rich on their writing. Some do, and they make a fortune, but they are very much the exception. Some are fortunate to be able to give up their day job, but for the vast, huge majority, they could never survive on their writing alone.

So, with that in mind, if your  answer to that question is money… well, you’re in the wrong profession, my lovely.

*winks*

Seriously, though, folks.  Write for the right reasons. Write from your heart, and you’ll be just fine.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

 

So Your Hero/Heroine Is A Registered Nurse…

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!

Last week, we covered the life of a claims adjuster in a US-based insurance company. This week, we tackle what a real nurse does in the USA.

As for my background in this profession, I’ve been a registered nurse for 30 years. For 18 years, I worked in some of the busiest trauma hospitals. I’ve worked in Neonatal ICU (Intensive Care Unit), Surgical ICU, Cardiac ICU, Burn ICU, and Medical ICU. I still maintain my nursing license because I worked really, really hard for it, and would be a fool to give that up.

Again, this post will cover basics only. I don’t expect you to be able to pass the nursing boards after reading it, but if you’re used to getting your info on what a nurse does from TV, you may be in for a few surprises.

erMedical dramas almost get it right. Almost. Just like police dramas and courtroom dramas almost get it right. Do yourself a huge favor as an author and ask beyond what you see on TV before you try to write a nurse into one of your main characters.

In the US, there used to be three points of entry into the profession of registered nurse. There are now only two, and the push with most states is to make the BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing – the only entry point. What’s important to consider here is that nurses have a college degree. They study anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, organic chemistry, algebra, and all the core subjects that are part of most BA or BS programs in colleges and universities around the country.

Their education becomes fine-tuned in what is commonly referred to as “clinicals.” This means going out to local hospitals, nursing homes, or other health care facilities for the day and actually taking care of patients, under the supervision of their nursing instructor. It’s as close to real life as a student will get, although taking care of only one or two patients is still not the same thing. But it does give us hands-on experience, which is where you truly learn how to be a nurse.

def-of-a-nuseIn the US, until a nurse passes the Boards, he or she cannot work as an RN. Most hospitals now have transition programs to allow the graduate nurse to get hands-on experience, but he or she still will not have the same responsibilities as an RN who has passed the Boards. Once you pass, you’re tossed into the pit and it’s trial by fire. Not exaggerating here.

Each state has their own Boards, but a nurse can become licensed in another state by paying a fee and/or taking continuing education courses specific to that state’s Nurse Practice Act. They’re all very similar. For example, I currently hold an active nursing license in both Indiana and Ohio. There are education requirements and fees I need to meet every other year with both states to keep my licenses active.

Once you land that first job, and if you’re lucky enough to work in a hospital system with a fabulous mentoring program, you have a chance of not burning out so badly by the end of the first year that you might decide to keep going. And forget those cushy-looking physician office jobs or clinic jobs where it appears all the nurses do is fill out paperwork and stand around flirting with doctors. That’s fantasy. When they are available, they go to experienced nurses, and trust me when I tell you those nurses work just as hard as any of them.

nicuChances are you’re going to be working in a hospital, and you’re going to have the shit shifts – evenings and nights. We’re talking eight, ten, or twelve hour shifts. We’re talking holidays and weekends. We’re talking working until midnight, or working until dawn. Sick people don’t get sent home Friday afternoon for the weekend, and they aren’t turned away at the door of the Emergency Room simply because it’s Christmas Eve.

You will not make Sunday dinner every week. You will be eating leftover turkey, three days after Thanksgiving. Christmas morning at home with your kids is a fantasy. Or if you are home, you’ve just come off a twelve-hour night shift and you’ll be lucky to stay awake.

You will become used to driving home with the radio blaring and the windows open, even in winter, simply to stay awake long enough to pull into your driveway. You will learn to sleep during the day, even if your neighbors are mowing the lawn ten times in a row.

Expect to go home at the end of a shift with dried blood, poop, pee, vomit, and all sorts of unidentified substances on your shoes and scrubs. Expect at least one dirty needle stick in your career, and dozens of clean ones. Expect to give at least one patient the wrong medication by accident, or at least the wrong dose.

ccuYou will watch people die.You will be screamed at by doctors, other nurses, family members, and patients. You will cry in the bathroom during your shift, but only until you get it out because you need to get back on the floor. Expect to learn how to hold in your need to pee for twelve hours, and expect to learn how not to eat more than a handful of peanuts during a shift, just so you don’t pass out in your patient’s bed.

Depending on what area of a hospital you work in, you will care for one or two critically ill (and by that I mean you literally hold their life in your hands) patients, all the way to an entire floor of patients with various medical or surgical conditions. These people are not well enough to be home yet, but are not sick enough to be in an ICU. You may be the only RN on a shift and work with LPNs or nursing assistants, but if you’re the only RN, everything is on your shoulders.

So what exactly do nurses do?

traumaEverything. We take vital signs – blood pressure, pulse, respirations, temperature – for all our patients, anywhere from every few minutes to twice a shift. We give them all their medications. We give them various treatments. We change dressings on wounds. We maintain the patency of their IVs and various other invasive lines. We start new IVs on them.

We watch the numbers on their machines and adjust medications and other treatments, based on those numbers. We give them IV fluids and IV medications. We turn them every couple of hours – lines and all – to make sure their skin doesn’t break down. We clean them up when they poop and pee. We clean up their blood and their vomit when they do that. We sit with them when they’re afraid, psychotic, confused from the medications, or simply need someone to listen to them.

We take them to X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and other places. We chart a lot. A LOT. That’s the documentation piece. Everything. Every. Tiny. Little. Thing. For reasons which I’m sure you can understand, this medical record has to be complete and it has to be detailed. It’s a LEGAL document. It has to be right, and it has to be timely. Because if you’re sitting in court or a deposition one day and have to recall this patient on that particular shift, your charting will be all you have to go on.

ivWe answer phone calls about our patients. We talk to all their doctors. We talk to their family members. When things go south, we must be ready to respond with the appropriate treatment or drug, because we could quite literally save that person’s life. We need to know who to call and when. We need to be ready to give that person accurate and complete information over the phone, even during an emergency, so they can do what they need to do to save the patient’s life. All those doctors you see milling around on TV? Not reality. The NURSE is the one at the patent’s bedside 24/7.

You will go home exhausted at the end of each shift. You will never get out on time. People like to code as you’re ready to give report to the next shift. Expect it to happen. Your legs and feet will hurt. You will buy new shoes every few months. Expensive ones, so you don’t end up with plantar fasciitis, which you might end up with anyway. I had it chronically for about a decade.

Oh… and the pay? I made more as a claims adjuster. Kick that around for a while.

So by now you’re sitting there going why the hell would anyone go into such a profession? Let me tell you why…

elderlyNakisha. A baby with big brown eyes born at 27 weeks (40 weeks is full term) to a mom who had just lost her husband in the crossfire of a drug deal gone bad. She lived 18 months. I dressed her in doll clothes I found, and other nurses in that NICU would come every day I worked to see what new outfit Nakisha was sporting that night. I was one of two people she’d take a bottle from. The other was her mom. Her funeral is the only baby funeral I attended. On the day she died, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. Yeah.

The World War II vet who was in the Battle of Monte Cassino. I came into his room while he was watching a documentary on that battle to find him in tears. I sat in his room for over an hour and listened to him tell me the details of that battle, including how he held his dying buddy’s hand, in vivid detail. No History Channel show can replace an experience like that.

The woman who looked exactly like Katherine Hepburn. I took care of her on her last day on Earth. When I walked into her room, I said “Oh my goodness, Kate Hepburn is alive!” She laughed and said everyone has always told her how much she resembles the actress. This woman had led a fascinating life, and I loved listening to her stories that shift. She also told me she was going to die that night. She did.

I have countless stories like this. It’s both the most rewarding and the most frustrating profession I have ever worked. But you know what? I’d return to it in a heartbeat right now if I could.

Next week, we tackle what it’s like to be a server in a chain restaurant, and working in a fast food joint.

Until next week, Happy Writing!

‘Tis a season #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you back to another #SensualSunday. Today’s post is brought to you by the over abundance of ads, meme’s, and general mention of Pumpkin Spice. No, not the sixth member of the Spice Girls (let’s see who’s old enough for THAT reference!), but the “flavor” du jour that marks Fall.

Now, before you all start groaning, no I’m not going to keep mentioning Pumpkin Spice. Today I’m going to talk about seasonal writing/inspiration. I think many authors have had Small decorative bicycle with basket filled with yellow autumn leaves and grapes berries on the wooden floor.this happen. The weather turns, the season changes, and your muse starts thinking about a story to write for the season/holiday, or upcoming one.

For me, once the weather begins to cool, and the days grow shorter my muse usually starts to think about doing a Christmas story. I know, I said it, CHRISTMAS!! Ha! Don’t get your knickers in a twist, it’s okay. Like the stores who are always a season ahead of where we are on the calendar, so too should you be as an author. Especially if you’re interested in doing a seasonal book and having it come out that year. The other side to that coin is that there are authors who don’t write their seasonal book until they are actually coasting through that particular time of year – which is just fine too. Then again a seasonal story can hit out of nowhere, for no reason, and with zero warning – or as I like to call them, hit-n-run stories. No one here is about to judge what gets your muse humming in glee, believe me, all our muses dance to their own piper’s most days. Whatever works best for you is the only way to go.

I will mention that my muse was super proactive this year in starting to consider a Christmas story. It actually began in the middle of July when we had one of our few heat waves of this year. Probably out of sheer self-preservation to try helping me cool down (no A/C where I live *whimper*). As the dutiful author hosting the crazy muse that controls my creativity I Four seasonsdid what was necessary to get her off that crazy idea until later, and wrote down whatever she gave me.

This isn’t the only season that can spark creativity. Pretty much any holiday can get the muse spinning with ideas for what your next story could be. While it may not work, timing wise, in that particular moment to get started on it – you’re in the midst of another project for example – don’t waste the idea by not writing it down. The biggest lie we can tell ourselves is “I don’t need to write it down, I’ll remember it all”. If you’re a creative individual, pretty much a job requirement for being an author, then you have a higher chance of forgetting things. Your mind never truly stills, and new thoughts push things further and further back every second of the day.

Basically what all this boils down to is the moral of today’s post – whatever keeps you moving forward as an author is a great thing. Be it thoughts of crisp fall days, the first blades of spring grass, or fireworks coloring the skies over your town – go with it. There is no idea that shouldn’t be explored. While you may not end up writing it how it originally came to you, or using it how you thought you might, keep the juices (and ideas) flowing to always better yourself and your craft.

XO Moira Callahan

Fashion photo romance of sexy lovers couple. woman with black curly hair in black underwear and man wearing suit

Allow Them to Inspire You #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

saturday

Good morning all. Hope you’ve all had a great week.

This past week has been super super busy with getting ready for the Ignite Your Soul Book Signing Event. I’m currently in London, Ontario, the book signing is this afternoon and having a great time.

I also finished TWO, OMG!, TWO stories earlier this week. I’m super psyched and praying to get them in the hands of publishers by month’s end. Self editing is SO SO IMPORTANT!! That comes first before progressing any further with a finished manuscript! Always remember that!!

So since I’m out of town, business but playing around too with other author friends and readers, I am only leaving you with some inspiration today. Inspiration to get the creative mojo flowing so you can all write your great stories!

 

 

Write authors, write!!

Until next week,

Kacey (2)