Loving Your Characters

In the process of my writing over the past few years, I have discovered more and more how much I really, really love developing my characters.  Whether I mention it in my work or not, I create a background story for each of them – examine their childhood, where they came from, what makes them tick.  This is the BEST part of writing for me.  I enjoy this part of the process so much!

I have found that I love it so much, that I often create additional characters, ones that I am not currently needing, and keep them saves in files on my laptop.  These “extras” often have long, intricate back stories loaded with personality flaws, fears, goals, and whatever else they need to make them interesting and to keep me satisfied.  I probably have way more characters than one author will ever need in a lifetime!  Ironically enough, I have yet to use any of these extra characters in any of my current works, most likely because I just keep coming up with new ones (sometimes one or two a week) for the work I am focused on at the moment.

I finally put up Chapter 26 for Canaan’s Promise, and am halfway through 27 at the moment.  Things are about to take a crazy turn soon with Riley  – stay tuned!  I am editing my novel still…this is neverending, but I nevertheless am hoping for a December 2017 release date.  The title has definitely changed, but I am not 100% ready to release that as of yet.  When we get a little closer I will post the cover pic here.  I also have some “just for fun” things I am writing – another Wattpad story which will be up in a month or two (going to try and post all of it at once, or at least half, instead of chapter y chapter), and some fanfiction – my guilty pleasure- which I write in my “down time” to keep me on my toes.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing mommies out there!  ❤

Currently Listening To:

Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness”

Bruce Springsteen “Tougher Than the Rest”

Chris Stapleton “Tennessee Whiskey”

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Just an Update

I was dealing with some family stuff and then I came down with a stomach virus that knocked me out for almost a week.  It never seems to end!  So my writing had been put on hold for a little while until I could get back on my feet.  However, I have almost completed the latest chapter of “Canaan’s Promise” and will be posting it to Wattpad by the end of the week, barring any major catastrophes which always seem to come my way lately.

I don’t like not writing (is that even a correct sentence?).  It makes me cranky!

Thanks for hanging in!  Hope you all have a beautiful week!  Peace!

Currently listening to…  Sonder – “Too Fast”

 

I am jealous…

I have been an envious little bitch these past few days.  There.  I said it.  It’s true!

 

How do people find time to write?  I am really at a loss, especially lately.  Between work and my family and the million other “responsibilities” I have, there has been ZERO time for writing.

And it’s beginning to drag me down.

When I don’t have time to create, I get depressed.  I get moody and anxious.  I get pissed off and bitch, even.  I need that outlet.  I crave it.  And when I don’t have time to do it, well…let’s just say I am not a nice person.

I think I have to take drastic measures.  This weekend, that’s it – I am putting my foot down.  No favors for anyone.  I am not stopping by to bring in your mail, water your flowers or feed your cat.  I can’t show you how to set up your Twitter account or meet your new boyfriend.

I won’t be answering my phone this weekend, so don’t even bother.

I’ll be busy writing.

The Hardest Part About Being a Writer

I have been writing for as long as I can remember.  At age 10 I kept a diary.  In my pre-teen and teenage years, I wrote poems and short stories.  Some of the poems were even published in my high school’s literary journals, but only because it was mandated as part of my English grade.

When I became an adult, I continued with the short stories.  Some of them still remain on disks, hidden away in the back of a desk drawer.  Other unseen works are scribbled out in felt tip pen in various notebooks and binders, stuffed in a box in the back of my closet.  Until I discovered Wattpad last year, I never allowed another soul to read what I had written.  The reason I finally succumbed to sharing my work with the world?

Anonymity.

So now you know.  CC Clark is not my real name.  Sorry for the ruse, folks.  It’s nothing personal.  I don’t mind if someone doesn’t appreciate what I write.  I learned a long time ago, I am not everyone’s cup of tea.  And to be honest, I don’t write for others.  I write to quench the burning need to get these words and sentences and pages and stories out of my head and into print.  I don’t feel normal if I am not creating.  I find myself falling into a rut if I don’t take some time during the week to come up with a character, develop and breathe life into it.

I write for me.  And only me.  And when someone takes the time to drop me a line to say “Hey! I really dig your story!” that’s just icing on the cake.  And a little bit like crack.  LOL.  I can’t get enough of that.  But back to me being all private and under the radar…

The reason for the use of the pen name isn’t because I am afraid someone will call me out by my real name and tell me I’m a shitty writer.  Hell, I can do that myself.  The reason I publish my works anonymously is so the people who know me personally – in particular my closanonymouse friends and relatives – aren’t privy to my works.  It would cripple me if I knew someone close to me read my stories.  A bunch of strangers?  No big deal.  But tell me my mom or my best friend or my co-workers are reading my work and I go into the fetal position.  Being discovered like that is way more intimacy than I can deal with.

In some ways, it’s sad because my family and friends would be thrilled to know that I am writing.  I know in my heart that they would be extremely supportive of my work, whether they enjoyed it or not.  And if they didn’t approve of what I had written, they would never say so.  Really there is no good reason for me to keep this all a secret.  I have a great support group who would stand by me.  And if I ever get this novel finished and release it on Amazon as planned, I know they would be proud of me, whether I sold 100,000 copies, or just one.

I don’t know if I will ever overcome this fear of sharing that part of my life with those I love.  So anonymous I will remain.

For now, anyway.

 

Where Did The Time Go?

It has been a minute since I last posted here.  Not that I haven’t wanted to.  Please don’t think I forgot about you guys…whoever you may be. : )

It’s the usual excuses from my mouth:  I was sick.  In bed with the flu.  Maybe even bronchitis.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Bronchitis.  Then the holidays happened.  One day I was writing a book, and the next day I was cooking a turkey for my family.  My family of 10.  Make that 20.  Maybe more.

Christmas whipped right past before I could even say “Fa la la la la”, and the next thing I knew, I was ripping down the tree and storing the decorations up in the attic until next year.

And then it dawned on me.

It will be a year since I lost my dad.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding his hand while he slept in his hospital bed, how we talked about getting the family together for pizza once the doc gave him a clean bill of health and they let him go home.  I remember watching his face light up the room as I held up my phone so he could see his little granddaughter on FaceTime.  And now, he’s gone.  And it’s been a year.

A year.  How does time escape that quickly?  How can you tell someone you love them one day, not realizing that it will be the last time you ever get to say those words to them?  Where did the time go?  What I would not give to have even one day to spend with him again.  I’d tell him all over again how much he is loved.  I’d hold his hand, and listen to him tell his favorite funny stories for the millionth time.  I’d bask in the glow as he showed off photos of his grandkids to everyone who entered the room.  I’d be happy again, because he was with me, even just for a few hours.  I’d try to hold onto that time as tightly as I could.  I’d try to remember every single second of it.

I would never let it end.

Running on Empty

I  have hit a brick wall with my writing as of late.  I just can’t find the creative flow needed to take my characters anywhere interesting at the moment.  I am working on two separate projects at the same time, a novel I hope to self-publish, and also a story on Wattpad.  I am editing my book and rearranging a few timelines, so not feeling creative isn’t as much of an issue with this project at the momwritingent as it is with my Wattpad story.  But either way, I feel like I am flat out of gas.

I thought it would be helpful to take time away from my writing and catch up on my reading.  Writers must read!  My Kindle is loaded with some new stuff by a few of my favorite authors, and I have been neglecting myself by not taking the opportunity to read more.  But even reading isn’t doing it for me.  Reading just brings about more reading, which, in the end, means I am not writing.  Hello, Square One.  We meet again.

Part of the problem is that I am distracted.  My job is at its busiest right now, and with the holidays coming up, my head is spinning.  On really crazy days I dream about having a full weekend to just sit in my chair and do nothing else but focus on writing.  However, on the rare occasion that opportunity arises, I spend a few hours staring at a blank screen, then decide it’s lunch time, nap time, or time to clean my closets – whatever helps me not feel so guilty about not writing.

I can’t wait for the day when my current writing projects are completed and my closets are overflowing again.

 

Stop the World – I’m Sick!

I came down withe the flu this weekend.  Make that “THE FLU”.  In CAPS.  As in, “I was really really really really SICK”.  So sick, I put EVERYTHING ELSE on hold for four entire days.  My job.  My family’s needs.  My writing.  EVERYTHING.

You have to understand that this is not like me.  I am the mom who would cook for her kids and their friends with a temperature of 101 simply because they asked.  I am the daughter who would drive to my parents’ house with a sprained ankle just to get their mail while they were on vacation because I promised them I would.  I am the employee who never calls out sick, and shows up with a box of tissues and cold meds in hand, ready to face the day no matter how awful I feel.

In other words, I don’t allow myself time to recuperate or rest from illnesses or injuries.  I just keep plugging.  Yeah, I’m that kind of idiot.

But this weekend I came down with what I thought was a cold, and it only got worse from there.  By Monday I was headed for Urgent Care.  Tuesday I was still in bed.  It was pretty awful.  And you know what I did?

Absolutely nothing.  It was so unlike me.  And it left everyone around me scratching their heads.  But no one complained.  And no one begrudged me the time I needed to get better.  In fact, a few people mentioned how they were happy to see that I had finally taken the time to rest.  And I do feel better today finally, after hacking up a lung for four days straight.  The time I took off from the world around me allowed me to get back on my feet, but even better than that was what I learned from the experience…

They all survived without me for a few days.  Amazing!  My kids didn’t starve.  They figured out how to fend for themselves for a few days.  They even did their own laundry!  The company I work for didn’t close up and file bankruptcy because I was out of touch for 48 hours.  And my writing?  Well, OK…so I’m a little behind on that now.  But it did give me the opportunity to share this blog.  Hello, Bright Side!

So I guess the world didn’t stop turning just because I did for a few days.  Life goes on. Someone hand me my Nyquil.