A: I write until I reach a stopping point, which is usually three to four hours into the process. If I deviate from writing to do research, social media, e-mail, or blog then I stay at the computer longer and try to get in those solid writing hours.
A: I sit on the loveseat in the office and write on my laptop, or I sit on the leather couch in the family room and look out the window, or I sit on the balcony and write with the breeze rifling through my hair, or I sit at the bar height dining room table and prop my feet on the swivel chair rungs. That’s the great thing about a laptop you can write nearly everywhere.
A: After work on weekdays, middle of the afternoon on weekends.
A: Nearly so. If it’s not writing then it’s editing or researching how to put the book together in all the formats I desire to publish.
A: Getting into the habit of writing a little every day. The first few chapters will be your toughest chapters to write. You will probably question your sanity for starting the project in the first place. You’ll doubt yourself and wonder if it is possibly any good. You will wonder who would read it. Why would anybody care? Trust me when I say don’t give up and keep going. Once you get past these bumpy chapters the rest is smooth sailing by comparison. Writing will be easier because after the first few chapters you have a narrative and a world that is being crafted. It’s easy to add to a world, a lot harder to think one up. You can modify the world as you go to adapt to the characters and situations.
A: Starting before you’re ready to start. If you wait to be ready you might never start. If you wait until you know your story and all its nuts and bolts you might never start. Don’t worry if your idea isn’t fully mapped out because you don’t need a perfect outline. Nobody reads that except you. If you wait until all the research is done and you’re a subject matter expert (SME) you might never start. It is better to start and have to redo something than to not start. A blank page is scary, but a page with words on it already is not. You can tackle it a lot easier because the creative pressure is almost fully gone. Starting was the hardest part for me. I had a couple of false starts, but you know what? A false start is still a start. If it doesn’t work figure out why and try again.
A: Depends on where I am at in the writing process. For instance for the book Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest I took a lot of time in the beginning to research Norway – climate, locations, photos, maps, things to do, etc. It’s not as good as being able to experience Norway in person, which I do hope to do one day soon, but it’s a good start. The key to writing is giving yourself permission to not be a subject matter expert (SME.) I started using the research immediately and took whichever elements suited my purposes (i.e. – artistic license.) If I waited to use the research until I was positive I could distribute the information like an SME or a native of Norway, the story would never have been started and it certainly wouldn’t have been finished. Sometimes you have to put the research away and just write.
The third and final draft of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest is finished. Grammar, formatting, and style checks complete.
Word count: 36,120
Total Writing Time: 4 Days, 9 Hours, 37 Minutes
A: I love to eat Thai red curry. I didn’t always love it. In fact when I was first introduced at the tender age of 11 I thought the vegetables were strange. Being naturally suspicious of my mom’s intentions in ordering and sharing healthy food, I ate just the chicken out of it. Nowadays my favorite part is the vegetables! I love to eat red curry so much I learned how to make it. Here’s the recipe:
- Red Curry Paste – as much as you’re comfortable using (it’s spicy)
- Chicken – cut into bite size pieces, pan fry in butter, salt, and flour
- Pineapple – bites of these are amazing as they soak up the curry flavors 🙂
- Zucchini – cut in rounds to desired thickness, thin rounds will melt into the curry, everything else is a bit meatier
- Asparagus – bend and snap them, use the parts next to the head, toss the rest
- Snow peas – because they’re prettier than normal peas
- Green Bell pepper – tasty and traditional, slice long and medium thickness
- Red Bell pepper – tasty and traditional, slice long and medium thickness
- Basil – I put in very little, but that’s my personal preference
- Coconut milk – lots of it, at least three cans, the more you use the creamier it is (and less spicy)
- Bamboo shoots – I try to get the thin strips like the ones restaurants use
Cut, chop, toss in a pot, bring to a boil, stir it up, taste test and add anything to make it perfect.
Make some jasmine rice and pour curry on top. Perfection!
A: So far, it was hearing from my sister who doesn’t really like to read that she loved the first book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy and couldn’t stop thinking about it. That gave me warm fuzzies.