Watching TV is Good for Your Writing

You probably think that when writers aren’t writing, we’re eating, sleeping or thinking about  writing, or heck, even reading. But you know, we’re human. When our brains are done with output, we flip on the TV and veg just like everyone else. I bet some of us even binge on TV (because even an athlete has to dig into a bag of Cheetos every now and then).poltergeist-image

We shouldn’t feel guilty for consuming the entire bag if what we’re watching can help us with our writing. There are some really good shows out there now. So good in fact, that I call them “literary TV.” (I should trademark that or something)

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The Ides of March

Ahh … March 15. The Ides of March. For those of us who had to memorize Marc Anthony’s monologue from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this is the day when the Roman leader was brutally murdered by those closest to him.juliuscaesar_510

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen … lend me your ear. I come to bury Caesar, not praise him …”

Yeah, I got that in my head, but don’t ask me where I parked today.

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The Muse Awakens

This morning, around 3:30 a.m., my Muse snuck back into the house. And, with the grace and agility of a drunk elephant she woke me with what I hope is the answer I’ve been searching for and wasting countless hours and words for. The magic fix to Pardon Falls.Drunk Elephant

I’ve not been shy about something not being exactly right with the manuscript. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it … like tasting a recipe and knowing it’s missing something, but not being able to define what.

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An (Almost) Love Letter to Scrivener

Dear Scrivener,

scrivener-512I want to love you. Truly, I do.

Like the cute guy who rescues kittens, knits with grannies and knows just how to tell me my butt looks big while simultaneously boosting my self-esteem … I love the concept of you, but in some ways I fear you might be a unicorn.
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My Obligatory New Year’s Post

January 2. Two days into 2016 and I haven’t managed to spill coffee on it or break anything. That’s a record.2016

Sitting down to write this, I looked back at last year’s New Year’s post … which wasn’t that hard because it seems I’ve largely forgotten about my blog and that was like, five posts back (bonus to being a slacker I guess).

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Point of No Return

In story structure, there’s a point when your characters cross the threshold. The moment when they can’t uninitiate the call to action, they can’t go back to the way life was, blissfully ignoring how their lives have changed. How their viewpoint has changed.no_going_back

It’s hard to tell the call to adventure, “Thanks but no thanks.”

This usually happens around Act 1 and while this is something that focuses on character development, it’s something that happens to authors as well.

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NaNo to Wri Mo?

Ahhh, the last day of October. Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. And, the eve of NaNoWriMoNaNo15

Across the country and abroad, writers are saying goodbye to their friends and loved ones. They are preparing care packets filled with everything a writer needs – coffee, wine, kleenex and M&M’s. They are giving long looks, as if memorizing what their little writer looks like before sending them off to pen a novel in 30 days.

(By the way, I should point out that NaNoWriMo coincides with No Shave November … Don’t think that’s a coincidence)NOSHAVE_display

I’ve long admired the folks who dive into NaNo. It’s the ultimate test of endurance, mental strength and stick-with-it-ness. A writer’s marathon.

And, like a good cheerer-onner that I am, I’ve clapped from the sidelines. But, this is the year, maybe I should jump into the crowd and jog/write alongside my peers.

I won’t lie, my second novel all but stalled my writing career. I felt like a hamster on a wheel with it. It wasn’t a bad story, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with it. So, I put it aside, stepped out of my cage and started down the path of something new. The course was both familiar and new, but one word followed by another and suddenly, I have a story.

The momentum with this story is unbelievable. Two months into it and I’m at 20,000 words. Since I tend to make up my own rules anyway, I’m going to use NaNo to make serious headway on finishing this one. If that’s the case, if I can add 50,000 words to this WIP, then I’d be just a few chapters away.

So, what does that mean and why the heck should anyone care?

That means that I can still do it. That I can still make words that make sentences, sentences that make scenes, and scenes that tell a story. It means that while Vortex may come out of this exercise as one hot mess, it will be a finished hot mess. I can edit that.

It means that I’ll have my groove back, giving me the confidence to go back to Pardon Falls, step out of the hamster wheel and finally get that story ready for public consumption.

Judgement-Free Writing

shutterstock_186812807I’ve recently committed a heinous crime. No one was hurt, nothing’s gone missing (well, aside from a few marbles in my head) and I won’t break into a cold sweat when I pass a police officer on the street.

The crime I committed was against myself. More specifically, it was against my novel. My Muse even.

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Birth of a Phoenix

I had a realization earlier this week. One that made me stop to reflect on where I was, where I am today and the people who helped along the way. Roughly 10 years ago, Phoenix was born.Kimberly Packard Phoenix Cover web large

The idea came from when I worked corporate communications for a former Fortune 500 company. I was in charge of contract announcements, and was getting antsy waiting on the legal department to approve a press release. The corporate attorney quipped, “Be patient, I’m trying to keep you out of jail for confusing a million dollar deal for a billion dollar deal.”

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Flash Fiction: The Trouble with Bubbles

BubblesI should be editing. I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet has doubts that I’m ever going to finish my next novel. Heck, even I’m starting to wonder that. So, to bring back the joy of writing, I thought I’d warm up with a little writing exercise. Found a prompt and took 10 minutes to write this quick little piece. It’s mostly unedited – I mean I did give it a read to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself further. And I’m sure my writing group is shaking their heads at the fact that it’s un-workshopped.

But, dear readers and friends, this is my gift to you. For your patience, for your encouragement and to prove to you (and me) that I can still put a couple of words together.

Enjoy!

Bubbles. Bubbles everywhere.

It would have been a comical life-imitating-art from that iconic 70s family sitcom if it hadn’t been her mother-in-law’s newly renovated utility room with the state-of-the-art, can-do-everything-but-fold washing machine. OK, so she didn’t see the “high-efficiency” sign until she closed the lid. Or, the fact that the soap went into a tiny dispenser until after she had soaked her kids’ fish-smelly, grass-stained clothes with detergent. Continue reading