Monday, September 16, 2013

Why Am I Not Following Ryan Seacrest on Instagram and Other Great Mysteries of Life

So, my phone is one useful smart tool.  I use it to call people, text people, check my e-mail, check Facebook, check Twitter, check Goodreads, check Instagram, pin stuff on Pinterest, oh, and read on my Kindle, Nook, or Kobo platforms.

It's a handy-dandy little device that I couldn't live without at this point.  That was proven this past year when I had to change phones and, AAACCKK, my appointments I'd saved to my calendar didn't transfer.  You see, one way I've learned to battle ADD is to put reminders in my phone and to set alerts with alarm bells so that I don't forget appointments or items on the old To-Do list.

I even schedule my own deadlines for my writing, and trust me, that's an important way for me to keep up with making progress.  And let me tell you, if I didn't have my phone, I wouldn't remember half of what I manage to remember.  Does that make sense?  It is a key to managing my life and paying attention to the details my brain just can't seem to hold on to.

Oh, and I'm under the impression that if you don't have time to keep up with all the celebs on Instagram, you know because you have appointments to keep, the one celebrity you should follow just happens to post pics of himself with all the current A-list peeps--none other than--Ryan Seacrest.  So the question that I'm following RC, how do I set my reminders to alert me when he posts a pic with shirtless Ryan Reynolds.  Ryan squared, anyone?

Happy Reading and Writing!

C. C.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Everyone Needs a To-Do List, Oh, and a Pin-up of the Magic Mike Version of Channing Tatum

When you're ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), you're often very talented at a little-known sport called "Dropping the Ball."  As I said last week, it's not for lack of motivation that I forget to take out the trash on trash day or forget to fold the laundry before it wrinkles, or forget to pick up my sister after her high school band performance at 11:00 at night and only remember when my mom calls me at my cousin's later that night.  Yeah, that last one was bad. Usually, the attention problem starts when I have multiple things going on at once.  My brain can't seem to focus on everything.

But, over the years I've developed a few tricks to at least make multiple tasks manageable when they all come at the same time.  Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize taking the extra time to write out a To-Do List is worth the effort.  It probably wouldn't have helped me with my sister (she forgave me, btw), but it does help with several areas of my life, including writing.

If I take the time to make a list of the major story events I have coming up, I fly through my writing session.  However, if I'm short on time and just sit down and begin writing, I often get stuck and frustrated, or just simply don't get too many words onto the page.

None of my lists are formal.  I don't follow any systems (Save the Cat or Scene and Sequel).  I just write what I know has to happen next in the story for it to get told.  And though Dean Wesley Smith advises never to go back and re-write, I don't really re-write, but I do go back later to tweak and add things and remove stuff to make the scenes better.  Not usually in the same writing session, but I don't always wait until the end either.

If you've read Heart of Mercy, the scene in the back room of the bunker didn't have a television at all the first time I wrote it.  It wasn't until I was over half-way through the manuscript and several scenes past that one that I knew I needed to add that detail to the story.  Of course, I had to tweak other areas along the way to make sure it fit in smoothly, and one of my Beta Readers found a place where I'd "dropped the ball" with the details of that scene.  Yep, that's ADD for you.

So, as painfully tedious as making a To-Do List is, it is SO worth it if I want to accomplish something with all the minute details accounted for.

Oh, and if there were a list of the hottest, hot-bodies ever in a male-stripper movie, Channing Tatum might just be at the top.  What do you think?

Happy Reading and Writing!

C. C. Marks

Post-post addition--Forgot to update current WIP status (shocker, there).  One week later, I've managed to make it to 20,400 words.  Not great progress, but realistic for me with all my other responsibilities.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Justin Timberlake, An Attention Span Longer Than a Gnat's, And Other Things I Can't Have

Attention Deficit Disorder is a very real thing. When I was younger, it was labeled as lazy, unfocused, and not quite all-there.  Trust me, my short attention span is not for a lack of trying to stay focused.  I make lists; I write things on my calendar; I put reminders in my phone.  Things still seem to slip through the holes in my Swiss cheese memory.

Yet, I know I'm not the only one dealing with this and certainly not the only writer.  So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to research techniques and give my two-cents about how an ADD panster like me, and possibly you, can focus enough to get at least one work-in-progress finished. I've got a rather long list of writing to-do's, not the least of which is the third book in The Mercy Series, tentatively titled End of Mercy. It is officially rolling, but a few other projects are taking precedence lately.

Just to get this started though, my current WIP is a paranormal romance, and it is nearly at the half-way mark at 18,784 words.  I'll give updates as to progress made and what techniques help this ADD panster make it to the end of a manuscript.

Happy Reading and Writing!

C. C.