Sharing Time by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR #amwriting #Mondayblogs #MondayMessages

Almost five years ago I started my first story. And now seven novels, two novellas, and seven short stories later…I’m still going…strong? Well, I’m still here.

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Thanks. I’m celebrating, too.

 

I’m going to put myself out there and answer a few questions. I invite others to join in and answer so we can get to know each other better. And please, if you want to know something…comment away!

  1. Why do I write? I write because I have these voices in my head. No, not bad voices, although those might work, too. I’ve always been the person who can walk into a room and create stories about people I don’t know. I figured I’d put it to good use and create worlds and characters that readers might want to know better, too. 
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  2. What do I read? I read mostly contemporary romance, but my second love is classics. My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I read it every Christmas. But contemporary wise, I love broken men and strong women.
  3. What’s your favorite movie? Ugh, this question’s hard…and I’m making up the questions! My favorite of all time is probably “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but quickly following on its heels “John Wick 1.” I know, those are about as polar opposite as can be, but I love them for different reasons. YGM–because of how he woos her in the end and that line “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.” Swoon. And John Wick because I’m impressed with the story building of the author/screenwriter. I won’t give anything away, but there’s a dog in the beginning and what happens tore me apart. Keanu Reeves is amazing, and did all his own driving stunts. I love fast cars and his car–69 Mustang…be still my heart.
  4. How many pairs of shoes do you have and what are your favorites? Well, right now all my shoes are packed away because I’m wearing (still) an orthodic boot to help my Achilles tendon heal. Find out tomorrow where we go–so good thoughts. BUT…I am very much a shoe hoarder. I did downsize because we recently moved into a smaller home, but I’d say I have a dozen flip flops, three dozen heels and wedges, a dozen and half pair of boots, two pair of Converse, and another dozen other shoes. And that’s 1/2 at least of what I used to have. But hopefully, someone out there is enjoying my other shoes as I donated them to a second-hand clothing charity.       And as for favorites…my cowboy boots!IMG_2656
  5. What else do you enjoy doing with your time? After writing and reading, I enjoy food. Whether I’m making it or someone else is, I love eating. I love trying new foods and love traveling to eat new foods. My latest food adventure, burrata–it’s a soft, fresh made mozzarella…and dang, so good. I’m sure it’s not low in calories, but who cares. Just ridiculously delicious.

 

So there you have it. A little about me. I’d love to know a little about you. Come on, it’s not scary! Answer one of the questions!

Hugs to all and have a wonderful week!

❤ Jules

MONDAY MESSAGES

 

 

Happily Ever After: Writerly Musings by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR #MondayMessages #AmWriting (or am I?)

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Oh, if it were just that easy to start a story … or finish it with “and they lived happily ever after”. But … it isn’t.

**Sigh**

The last two years I’ve focused on improving my writing by taking classes and reading books, and talking to other authors about plotting, characterization, themes, motifs (which, um, still like wtf?), arcs, first act, second act, black moment, third act, resolution, until my head spun and  my heart sunk.

Could I ever be the writer that XYZ is? Or would I ever say the words as eloquently, excitedly, ferociously (etc., etc.) as ABC?  Would I ever stop using adverbs? 😉

Or am I just as good as I ever will be?

giphy (82)The questions haunted my gut like a bad fruitcake for the last quarter of 2016 while I continued to write and throw away words. And write and discard words. And write and chop words. Finally, the words ground to a halt. Not some cool sliding to the side and gray smoke in the air from the tires rubbing on the pavement stop, but a jerked-against-the-seatbelt, airbags-in-face, whiplashy stop.

 

And then after I’d celebrated 2017 in a grand fashion with all the hopes and resolutions my head could concoct, I was boohooing through a day and my mentor had had enough and she slapped me. No, not physically, but ironically with words. She said “Stop that $hit! Be the writer you are, but be better each time.” Or something very similar to that fact. Whatever it was, the words and sentiment made me think just long enough and deep enough that I realized I don’t want to be like XYZ or ABC…

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I just want to be Jules Dixon.

 

I want to write about people who have problems and solve them with friends and family by their sides.

I want to write stories that find their way into people’s hearts and they remember how they felt reading about these people’s lives.

I want to find inspiration in everyday moments and share them with readers so they sigh and ooh and ah and feel.

I want to release a part of me into words and then let it go. Let. It. Go.

I want to take each day as a new beginning and know that there is no real end to writing.

I want to …. live happily ever after.

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But for that to happen, I have to make it happen.

This above post originally aired on my website in January. I have no come to understand that this post was a turning point for me. I now have a different direction to go with my writing career and I’m more excited about writing and the new projects I’ll take on that aren’t writing, but writing related.

Sometimes happily ever after comes slowly. But when you take a few steps back, you can see it coming and how to make a plan to make it the best happily ever after possible.

Hoping that your 2017 is turning out to be everything you wish for.

Happy Monday!

❤ Jules

MONDAY MESSAGES

All the Good, Bad, and Ugly Excuses NOT to Write by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR #amwriting #authors

All the Good, Bad, and Ugly Excuses NOT to Write by Jules Dixon

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Hey, I get it. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy. Agreed.

You have kids. I have kids. Sure, they’re adults now, but they still come around once in a while and ask for my attention, and I want to give it to them. Cause…I luvvvvs them. ❤

 

You have a job. I have a job. I unclog toilets and sinks for a living as a landlord, as well as write stories to entertain.

You have a spouse/significant other. Ditto. And he likes to talk to me for some weird reason.

You have friends. Yep, have those, too. They don’t always claim me, but I always claim them.

You have a family. Two younger sisters who like to see me once in a while. I think.

You have hobbies and like to give back to your community. Me, too. Cooking, baking, and dancing. Plus, I have a fondness for drinking martinis on Friday afternoons while sitting on a patio enjoying doing nothing. And I participate in the Omaha PRIDE parade and celebration, and other fundraising events during the year to support LGBT advocacy for equality.

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You have animals demanding your attention. Two cats here and yes, they like to be spoiled. Rotten.

You have favorite TV shows/bands/movies to see. I can’t stop watching The Goldbergs, Supernatural, or Friends. Over and over and over.

You have vacations and summer/spring/Christmas breaks. I don’t take vacations very often, but I know the concept and enjoy them when I do. And they’re vital to a healthy life.

And all of this means…You have a life.

Bingo.
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You got it.

I know it.

You. Have. A. Life. 

 

And when it comes to life, we have to make choices between have to do, want to do, and need to do. Priorities can feel like hardships and a drag on your excitement. Scheduling everything is rough to get everything done. And having to justify wanting to write over spending time with your spouse or significant other/friends/kids/family or doing other fun things, well, I know it’s hard to balance all and not have someone feel left out. But it can be done.

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Make your priorities clear. Make a schedule and put it on the fridge/wall/someplace where people in the house see it. Find a time every day that you can notch out just for you to write, even 20 minutes, which can yield 250 words–a page–would mean a 60,000-word novel in 240 days and still leave time in the year for editing and polishing before sending off to a publisher or agent.

I’m not saying to give up all TV time or friends or fun…I’m saying to balance and make sure expectations are set before you enter into an event. If you say to yourself, I can have lunch with my friend, but I will tell her I’ll be leaving at 2 pm to write my 1,000 words for the day.

Or if you want to write as bad as you’d want to watch that next episode of your favorite TV show, then make that the reward.

And FYI, 1,000 words a day x 5 days a week (giving you the weekends off–yep, I said OFF!) would be 260,000 words in a year–that’s over four 60,000-word novels. Four. Yes…

FOUR. That’s a significant number of books written each year. In fact, that’s quite impressive.

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So, set a schedule. Make it a priority. Set expectations. And then do it!

Okay, good luck.

I’m rooting for you!

Hugs, Jules

 

All gifs from Giphy.