Friday, September 28, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope you all had a great week.

My week passed uneventfully.  I did celebrate my birthday this week, and had a very nice party with my family.  I got the present I wanted...  The Naboo Battle set from the Lego Star Wars collection.  

Neither of my boys wanted it, and I think the Battle Droids look so cute, all folded up in the transport, so I told them I wanted it for my birthday.  The second part of my celebration is to go to the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Nature and Science this weekend.  It's going to be fascinating!

Moving on to the photos!  Last weeks winner for funniest photo is...

And the new funny photos are...

This does not look good.

Could read "How I feel when no one likes my query letter..." :)

Pirate dog is scary!

Doesn't the bottom picture look like Puss in Boots from Shrek?

Initially I thought the people in the zebra suit was my favorite, but I think I love the Puss in Boots cat more.  

How was your week?  Don't forget to vote for your favorite!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do You Believe In Luck?

Photo from
Karma. Fate. Kismet. Luck. Blessings.  Coincidence.

What is luck, exactly?

At first glance luck appears to be getting what we want when we want it, through extraordinary means.  The happy coincidence.  The answered prayer.

But what about the "dodge a bullet" kind of luck?  We don't get what we want, but it turns out we were saved from ourselves and our misguided desires.

Some people make their own bad luck, but then I also have known people who appear to just be unlucky.  Weird, unexplainable things occur to them that drive the luck-o-meter needle into the bad luck zone.  And it happens over and over again to perfectly nice people making good choices.

It used to be people blamed the Gods (or God) for bad luck.  The story of Job, the poor man whom God allowed to be tested for steadfastness of faith comes to mind.  Even in Roman and Greek tradition, the Gods would smite those poor mortal souls who angered them or who were found wanting in their devotions.

My life has been pretty blessed.  Unusually so, actually.  (I feel compelled to say "knock on wood" so as to maintain the status quo.  I am not ashamed to admit I'm a little superstitious.)  The only Bad Thing that rocked my world was the death of my sister.  Otherwise, bad things have happened, but we weathered them to see the rainbow after the rain.

I feel so lucky/blessed to be where I am now.  I was able to go to college, I have a well paying job, a husband who is perfect for me, and two lovely and healthy children. My parents live a mile away and watch my children while I'm at work. 

Photo from
It's not so much that I believe in luck as the maker of all things good. Quite honestly, I believe hard work is a lot more indicative of success.  But, it seems that in any endeavor there is at least a smidgen of luck required to have that big payoff.

Lately I've been wondering if there is a quota of luck.  If, eventually, the luck pot runs out.

Maybe luck is all in how we view the world and occurrences around us.  Positive thoughts yield happy people and so life isn't any different for "lucky" people, they just feel better about their life as it unfolds.

What do you think?  Do you believe in luck?  Do you feel lucky?  What do you think luck is?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

Happy Friday!

Thanks so much for all the positive wishes sent my way over the week!  I still haven't heard anything back from the Pitch Madness agent. It could be good or it could be bad.  We'll just have to see what the future brings!  

I did get into the GUTGAA First Round competition and totally struck out. Heavy sigh. That's okay though.  Optimism and persistence, right? I'm slapping a smile on my face and moving on to the next round of queries.

Everybody ready for the pictures?  Let's go! 

Last weeks winner (by one vote) was:

And now for the new photos!

For some reason, I feel like it's talking about querying...

Isn't that amazing? I wonder if they photoshopped the cat.

Darn squirrels spreading rumors.


The cat is cute but what is the mess in the background!
Have a great weekend. I'm hoping to ward off whatever is making my throat hurt.  Do you have any fun plans?  

Which picture did you like the best? While it's not the funniest, I really like the demonic deer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's Your Process?

"One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly.  I tell myself that I'm going to do my five or 10 pages, no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want.  I'll have lost nothing -- writing and rearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off." --Lawrence Block,WD

I've never been a fast writer.  I've always let my inner critic dictate the pace because I'd languish over each sentence, editing as I wrote and then re-editing the next day before starting a new section.  I couldn't understand how anyone could write 1,000 words in a hour.  Most days I'd be lucky to get 250 words done in a hour.

After I finished the first draft of Finding Meara, I realized all the time I took to edit as I wrote didn't prevent me from having to edit and revise.  When I started the next work in progress, I decided I wanted to try writing quickly.

Courtesy of Free Digital Photos
Putting all the knowledge I've learned about myself and my writing process together with some articles I've read about increasing writing speed, I came up with the following plan.

1.  I plot.  Not just a few scenes in a row, but the whole book.  While writing FM I realized that if I sat down at the computer without an idea of where the characters were going I'd get lost in daydreaming the potentialities and not write.  By knowing what is going to happen before I sit down at the computer, I spend the time getting what I see in my head transformed into words on the page.

2.  I write in short spurts.  By writing as fast as I can for fifteen minutes and then having some time to think between spurts, I can organize my thoughts and be ready to go again after a short break.  This technique by itself has increased my word production monumentally.

3. I am learning to turn off my inner critic.  It's hard. Really hard.  I keep thinking I'm writing crap. That's why I included the Lawrence Block quote above.  If I write crap, and I tear it up or can't use it later, I'm in no worse shape than if I didn't write anything at all.  And the chances are actually pretty good I'll be able to edit at least some of the crap into usable shape later.

Trying out this new method, I have been clipping along, consistently writing 250 - 300 words in a fifteen minute block.  I tend to write more regularly, because I only have to write for fifteen minutes to get a decent amount of words down.  Also, finding fifteen minutes to write is a whole lot easier than finding forty-five minutes to an hour to write.

I know that what I'm trying out wouldn't work for everyone. Each writer has their own personality and cognitive processes that direct their creative process.  So, I'm curious! How do you write?  Are you concerned with speed, or are you content to let the words happen as they may?  Has your writing process changed much over time?  Please share!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

Happy Friday!  I got a cheat week.  My children were sick again, so I got to stay home Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I've been feeding them antibiotics the last two days so hopefully--as you're reading this--I'm at work!

One blessing that came from being home is I got in on Pitch Madness yesterday, and ended up with a request from an agent.  Yay!  Then, the rest of the night I got this blog post done and wrote up a one page synopsis that I was trying to avoid having to write.  For now, I'm going to dwell on the good feeling I have that someone finally wanted to know more about my story.  If you wouldn't mind keeping your fingers crossed for me for a positive eventual outcome, I'd appreciate it!

Also, I'm keeping my fingers crossed I got into the pitch contest at GUTGAA.  So much has been happening with pitching and querying that I haven't had time this week to write on the new WIP.  I"m trying not to feel guilty.  I imagine it goes in waves.  

But! I'm sure you'd like me to shut up  and show you the funny pictures!  The winner from last week's photos is:

And here are the new ones!

I'm having a hard time picking a favorite.  I'll have to go with "It's a series of tubes."  But, man, I really like them all this week! 

Could you pick a favorite?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Facebook Inspiration

Sometime this summer I gave into a little of the negativity that constantly haunts me.  I might have even despaired a little.  Not exactly a black moment in my writing life, but more a dark grey moment.

I recovered with the help of some wonderful friends, but then I noticed a trend.  It appears that over the last month, many of the bloggers and people I follow on Twitter and Facebook have been bummed about their writing journey.

While Facebook can a place of pithy sayings and sound bites, political extremes (right now) and advertising gone wild, there are also some amazingly deep, disturbing or beautiful photos to share.  The two photos I'm sharing below seriously made me stop and think.

I never thought about it before, but Winston Churchill is right.   Whether the dog barking at us is our own inner doubts, or people who don't "get" our writing, or the naysayers who actually want us to fail, the more time we spend trying to respond to them the less time we spend walking down the path of our writer's journey.

And it is a journey.  We will never be happy with where we are at any given moment.  My personal opinion (and you can all tell me I'm stupid in the comments, if you want - just be nice about it!) is that, as writers, we have ample imagination and we are always thinking forward.  What's the next idea, plot point, paragraph, sentence, word.

That wonderfully creative imagination also compels us to never be satisfied with where we are in our writing journey, because we are always looking forward to where we are going next.  And then we get frustrated when it doesn't happen the way we imagined it should have.  I suppose it could just be me who is like this...but I don't think so.

What does it all mean?  Well, for me it means I have to work on being patient.  I have to learn to be content with where I am in the present moment.  And... I have to keep walking along the pathway of my writing journey and trust where it leads me.  My journey is mine, and yours is yours and they are both good and right.  

I hope you all have a fabulous week!  How is your journey going?

Friday, September 07, 2012

Funny Friday Photos and One Cute Video

Happy Friday!  Week one of GUTGAA is almost completed and I have to say I've really had fun getting to know so many new bloggers/writers.  The excitement and positive energy at the beginning of the week was spirit-lifting.  I'm looking forward to the next several weeks, too, but I think I'll let this week define the GUTGAA experience. 

Last weeks photo winner is:

Tonight I got to play with kittens!  Mommy kitty seems to be working to bring us all together.  Because of the good feelings I have toward cats tonight, I'm going with a Ninja Cat theme.  I also decided to include a video today just because I think it's cute.  I don't know, it might be a girl thing, but it's a lip-dub by some Navy men to Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen .  It makes me smile like the Cosplay lip-dub for Raise Your Glass by Pink does, so I thought I'd share.  The video is at the bottom.

And here's the video!  As always, thank you to all our Military, and special thanks to Poptartkrunche for putting together such a fun parody!

Do you have any plans for the weekend?  Do you have Ninja Kittens at your house?

Monday, September 03, 2012

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

I can not explain how excited I am to write this post!  GUTGAA (Gearing Up To Get An Agent) has begun!  Not only are the writing opportunities fantastic with this blogfest, but it's so fun to get to meet up with new people and form new connections.

So, welcome to Motivation for Creation and it's nice to meet you!

If you have not signed up yet, or have no idea what GUTGAA is, go here to read more.  You can sign up anytime this month, but must do so on the "master linky list" here.

Today is the Meet and Greet Blogfest, and so I get to answer some fun, introductory questions about myself. 


Lara Schiffbauer is a writer, licensed clinical social worker, mother of two, wife of one, and a stubborn optimist.  She love Star Wars, Lego people, science, everyday magic and to laugh.  After achieving some publishing success with short stories, she turned her efforts to writing her first novel, which she finished this spring. Her current work in progress is challenging her on many levels, including becoming comfortable writing in third person point-of-view again, after spending a year in First Person World.

Where do you write?

Here's a picture of my humble writing space.  

I'll often write with the curtains open, so I can see outside.  The only downfall is the sun is really bright and I'm exponentially increasing the depth of the wrinkle on my forehead by squinting.  I can't help it, though, because I love looking outside and seeing the prairie, the meadowlarks and the kittens on the front deck.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

One of our many sets of bookshelves.  The shelf I'm looking at holds astronomy, cosmology and quantum mechanics books, plus a gold horse statue that was my great-grandfather's and sister's before it came into my possession.  When my sister was ten-ish she named the statue "Goldie."

Favorite time to write?

It depends on if I go to work or not.  On the days I go to work, early morning is good because I'm not exhausted from the day.  On days I don't go to work, I seem to gravitate to afternoon hours.

Drink of choice while writing?

Diet soda (either Coke or Pepsi is fine) or coffee.  I'm trying to drink more water, too.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

I rarely have complete silence since the television is on the other side of the room.  If I have my choice as to what is coming out of the speakers on the TV, I'll choose the new age music channel.  The only caveat to listening to music while I write is the music can't have words.  One of my favorite bands to listen to while writing is Albannach, a Scottish Tribal drumming band.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

I found my inspiration for Finding Meara at work.  I will often see the ramifications of abuse on children, but never have control to see justice done for these kids.  I wanted to write a story about the need for children to be protected, and have the abusive father get his comeuppance, too.

What's your most valuable writing tip?

The only one I have is to try to write every day, at least for ten minutes.  In ten minutes you can have a page written and if you do that every day, you can have the first draft of a novel in a year.  Write for twenty minutes, and you can have a first draft done in six months.  Plus, if I sit down with the intent to write for ten minutes, I often will keep writing for much longer.

Now I get to go meet everyone else!  Have a great Monday and a great GUTGAA!


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