Thinking about Jobs’ advice today. Making a radical change to your life feels like jumping out of a plane… without a parachute.
I decided to take a day off the internet. Started re-reading C.S. Lewis’ Narnia book, The Silver Chair. Just got to the point where the characters are trapped underground and all the lights went out.
Do you enjoy Christian Romantic Suspense? Want to win a copy of Dangerous Deception?
If you’re looking for something new to read, here’s a giveaway of over 50 books. There are some really great authors participating in this, so check it out!
News update! My debut Love Inspired Suspense book, Dangerous Deception, is coming out November 1st.
Here is the cover!
I am amazed at all the little details the Harlequin Art Department was able to include in this cover. Does it look mysterious? Are you intrigued? I hope so!
This was a post that I wrote last year, but it needs updating. Some links are no longer relevant, and some new links have been added. (My thanks to Amelia and Barbara for sending a link!)
How much can I make writing romance novels?*
- Brenda Hiatt – Show Me the Money
- Jane Friedman – The Lure of Romance Writing (and Earnings) for the literary set
Where can I go to learn more about writing romance?
- Romance Writers of America
- Rose City Romance Writers (Local chapter of the RWA)
- Harlequin Writing Community (Facebook)
- Romance Divas Forum (registration required)
- The Lit Forum (registration required)
- Writing Careers: The Business Behind Becoming an Author
Recommended books on the craft of writing
- Liz Fielding, Liz Fieldings’s Little Book of Writing Romance
- Stephen King, On Writing
- Donald Maass, The Emotional Craft of Fiction
- Dwight V. Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer
- Phyllis Whitney, Guide to Fiction Writing
Podcasts about writing in general
YouTube videos about writing
- Novel Q&A with Ellen Brock
- How to Write Romance Beats with Gwen Hayes
- Mastering the Craft of Writing with Historical Romance Novelist Deanne Gist
*Because that’s invariably the first question I’m asked.
I love libraries. I have to confess, having one of my books in a library makes it feel like a real book in a way that having a book up on Amazon never does. So when I heard about the Multnomah County’s Library Writer’s Project, I was excited.
This program looks for independently published books written by authors in the Portland area, and since The English Lieutenant’s Lady is written about early Oregon history, it seemed like a good fit. The library agreed!
I’ve put up a post on the Craftie Ladies of Romance website talking about my experience with my local police department’s Citizen’s Academy. I was handcuffed! Sat in the back of a police car! Shot a Glock! Y’know, the usual things a writer does.
At my day job, I had to endure attend a week of project management training. The trainer asked for input from everyone for group rules for the session. One man in the back spoke up, “I think it’s important to make it a rule that there be no undue frivolity.”
No one objected–or even commented on this. But later I thought about his comment, and the more I thought the more I disliked it. First off, the adjective. It is a subjective term. My definition of “undue” might be vastly different from yours. As a result, people won’t say anything because they’re afraid of being judged.
In my experience, if someone in a meeting was being silly or making too many jokes, the project lead would laugh along with them, then rein the humor in with something like “That was funny, but let’s get back to the discussion.” Making it a rule at the start that there be no “undue” humor draws the line before anyone’s made a joke. It shuts down all humor as “undue” because different people have different definitions of excess.
I’m not advocating for every meeting to be a laugh fest, but I do feel it is important that people not feel constrained to be Serious At All Times. Not if you’re in a situation where you are called upon to employ lateral thinking. In a word, not if you’re in a situation where you have to be creative.
John Cleese gave a speech on being creative. He said that creativity requires the ability to play. People have two modes: closed and open. You can’t be creative in the closed mode. You have to be open to the new ideas.
Cleese shared five conditions that help you get into the open mode:
- Space: A place to get away from the world around you.
- Time: The ability to be in that space for long enough to open up.
- Time: Taking the time to ponder instead of accepting the first answer that comes to you.
- Confidence: You need to be unafraid to make a mistake. “The essence of playfulness is the freedom to do anything.”
- Humor: This gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.
Don’t be afraid of being silly. Don’t be afraid to laugh. You were a child once. You can get that mindset back, so long as you’re not afraid to play.