Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Blog Hop and a Blog Award

Mike Schulenberg must have read my mind last weekend. I was thinking how I haven't participated in a blog hop in forever, and voila! He e-mailed me and told me he had tagged me in the My Writing Process Blog Hop. And then, several weeks ago, my friend, David Walker, had nominated me for the Shauny Award, so I decided to combine the two into one post. This post!

Blog Hop: My Writing Process

The rules, as taken from Mike's post, require one to publish their post on a Monday and tag three people, who are supposed to publish their posts the next Monday. They tag three more people, and the blog hop spreads.

Here are my answers to the blog hop questions regarding my writing process.

1. What am I working on?

As most of you who will read this know, I'm working on the second book of the Adven Realm Adventures. I'm almost half-way through the first draft and I still don't have a title.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Oh, let me count the ways. The Adven Realm Adventures take place in the Darag-Realm (fantasy) and our world, the Adven-Realm which I've been told is unusual. The books are a genre conglomeration of fantasy/adventure/romance (which apparently bothers some people.) There aren't many fantasies around (that I know of) where the heroine is a parent. There are adult themes, but my style of writing apparently is Young Adult-ish. I'll just stop there, as those are the biggest.

3. Why do I write what I write?

Because I'm a mother and work with children and they are important to me. I write fantasy because I love the fantasy world, with magic, and monsters, and beasts, and heroes, and elves, and where anything can happen.

4. How does my writing process work?

Oddly. About the only thing I know for sure is that I really like using the technique for scene construction Jack Bickham outlines in his book Scene and Structure. It saves me a ton of time and effort.

Developing story ideas seems to work best by talking about the story out loud. It's that external processor thing. My husband is great at letting me rattle on and work stuff out. For some reason it doesn't work as well if I'm just talking to myself. I also daydream a lot.

I've been using a mind map this go round, because the plot is more complicated than in Finding Meara. The sub-plots all are tied to the main plot, and there's a lot to keep track of.

Shauny Award for Blogging Excellence

Here is what David had to say about the Shauny Award:

It was created last November by Doctor Rex (Horty, as she likes to be called) in honor of Shaun Gibson, a Scottish blogger who lives with chronic pain syndrome. I know little about either of these people, but I know Raani has been a faithful follower, and I appreciate the award because it’s from her.

The sentiment in which the award was created is just beautiful and the only rules, if you can call them rules, are these:

Show Humanity, Show Love, Be Yourself, Don’t Be Others, Don’t Gossip, and Share This Award with 10 others.

I am very honored that David thought of me.

So, as for the tagging. Most of the people I would tag are not really actively blogging right now. So, I'll just list the people I believe demonstrate the characteristics of the Shauny Award, who are writers, and they can participate in both or either blog hop if they want to. :)

1.DD Falvo - one of the classiest, self-aware, kindest, talented writers I know. She also happens to be one of my critique partners and I am so lucky.

2. Suzi Retzlaff - Suzi is so loyal and always helpful and supportive. And talented! Another talented writer who I'm fortunate to have willing to give me feedback.

3. Stacy Jensen - Best copywriter I know, as well as web designer and book trailer creator in the making! She also happens to be super nice, assertive in the kindest of ways, and strong.

But! I also appreciate Lexa Cain, Tonya J. Loveless, Linda Hatton, Brin Jackson, Claudine Jaboro, Lara Britt, and Tonia Harris, because they all are inspiration to me as writers and as human beings.

Oh my gosh! This is me adding to this post, because I forgot someone. I don't know how I forgot Roland Yeamons to start with, but he definitely needs to be included. He is the epitome of persevering through adversity. I'm so lucky he's become my tweet-friend. He always has a smile in 140 characters.

Have a lovely week, and I'll see you on Friday.


  1. So you tell your ideas to your husband? I should do that, too. Tell them to Sweetie, I mean -- not your husband. Although I'm sure he's a nice guy. I'll just leave him to you.

    I did tell Sweetie one of my stories I was working on and she said "That sounds like a Tom Cruise movie" which was EXACTLY what I was going for, so maybe I ought to tell her more of them, because that was very encouraging.

    I just picked up Finding Meara. I can't believe I hadn't gotten it before. But I'll put it on the list of books I'm going to read this year.

    1. My husband is a nice guy, but I agree your Sweetie might be better suited to your stories than my Sweetie. Plus, my Sweetie has been over-stressed with work concerns and so I have to catch him at unexpected times - like driving in the car - so he's not thinking about his work. You might have some trouble doing that. ;D

      That's wonderful you got Finding Meara! Thank you! I do hope you like it, and I feel quite pleased to be put into your TBR list.

  2. What a wonderful sentiment! Thank you so much for including me in this special circle. Those are definitely my aims, even as I am forever missing the mark. So incredibly blessed to have friends like you, Lara, who see where my arrow is shooting for.

    Monday to Monday? So March 31st will be my "due date" for the blog hop. Is that right? I do hope so. We have a Twitterview Saturday on #Mto5 featuring ghostwriter, book doctor, and fantasy novelist, Roz Morris. Melanie Martilla has been playing host. I would love to blog about it next weekend. I'd love it even more if you all showed up to help us welcome Roz and ply her with questions. I'll definitely blog about it and post next Monday.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    1. Yep, March 31st! And thanks for the reminder about Roz Morris. I'm going to do my best to be there! It's nice to have friends like you in my corner, too!

  3. Thank you for the award. :)

    I still don't have a title for my WIP either, the one you read last summer. I've got one, but it hasn't fully grown on me, so I'm still trying to find something else too.

    I think it's silly how people don't like a genre conglomeration. Writers are supposed to be new and original, so what's wrong with stepping out of those boundaries? I just don't get why you can't have a mix. It's the story that is important. But we live in a world where people are always trying to categorize others, you're either this way or that way, or you're for this or you aren't, so I guess writing isn't any different to some.

    1. I know. I don't know when people got so judgmental. When I read a book I just take it all in and then at the end I'm like "Yep, good; Wow, very good; or Really? I wasted time on that?" But I certainly don' t feel the need to criticize a book because it wasn't written the way I thought it should be. :P

      Titles are hard!

  4. I really enjoyed learning about your writing process and hope you had fun with the blog hop. I use mind maps sometimes to track stuff or to give more shape to a bunch of related ideas and they can be pretty useful--fun, too :)

    And I was just thinking that the cover of Finding Meara would probably look awesome on like a gray tie-dye t-shirt :)

    1. I did have fun, Mike! I've never used Mind Maps before, but Scapple is so easy (and I tried Freeplane before and it has a steep learning curve!) I was glad Scapple had a windows version right when I needed it. :)

      That would be cool - the t-shirt, I mean. Maybe, if the book ever takes off and makes it worthwhile, I can make some swag shirts for giveaways.

  5. Glad you appreciated my nomination, Lara. You never know whether something like that will be appreciated or looked upon as a big bother. Interesting that you discuss your WIP with your husband. I never discuss my work with Sharon until after it's finished.

    1. I did, David! I always feel honored when someone thinks to include me in blog hops or awards. I think they're fun.

      I go crazy if I can't run my ideas by someone, just enough to see if I'm headed in a good direction. I think I over-analyze everything too much and can end up frozen. Having someone around to say "Sounds good to me." helps me keep on.

  6. I loved your post, especially the part about talking to your hubby rather than talking to yourself. I've definitely been known to talk to myself -- hubby gets a glazed look if I talk to him about plot, or worse, he comes up with dreadful ideas he thinks are gold. Believe me, they aren't. Thanks for the shout out!

    1. You're welcome. It's funny that you mention your husband's ideas, because my Sweetie will come up with ideas and I'll think "No way" and then find a way to work some semblance of them in somehow. The most current is Pixie Dust. I can't wait until I can talk about it, because it's really pretty... ummm, unique? :D

  7. Oh, Lara, thank you so much for thinking of me. I am so humbled by the kind things you said, and am deeply grateful for our friendship and collaborative critique style we share. Your talent has blessed me with the exact right inspiration when I need it most, and you have a true gift for plotting that I envy and admire. But most of all I treasure you as a true friend who is always willing to lend an ear and the faithful support that gets me through some tough days. xox, my friend. I wish many blessings upon this next "yet un-named" venture. :)

  8. Lara, thanks for sharing your writing process with us and how and why you write. I love reading this about authors. And you picked some great people to pass the award on to!


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