Lori Robinett: {Creating} My Path

musings of a wife, mother, writer . . .

Archive for the category “Writing”

New Blog!

Just a reminder – pop over to my new blog at http://lorilrobinett.com and sign up to receive new posts there (this blog is no longer updated). Thanks!

Want to WIN a copy of Denim & Diamonds?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Denim & Diamonds by Lori L. Robinett

Denim & Diamonds

by Lori L. Robinett

Giveaway ends July 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

T. Sue VerSteeg

If you haven’t been to the new blog yet, today would be a great day to pop over – T. Sue VerSteeg, best selling author of My Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding has stopped by!

My own Domain!

As part of taking my writing life more seriously, I’ve decided to invest in my own domain. Please pop over to www.lorilrobinett.com and let me know what you think.

Soon . . . the Cover Reveal: Denim and Diamonds

You may recall that I recently signed a contract with CaryPress for Denim and Diamonds. Just wanted to give you a heads up that I plan to reveal the cover tomorrow. Hope you can join me!

Bucket List: A Contract

Contract!

Contract!

A momentous occasion, at least in my little corner of the Universe, occurred this week. I was offered a contract for a novel that I wrote in 2004 for my very first National Novel Writing Month. I was a winner in 2004. Those 30 days taught me that I really could complete a rough draft and write those magical words: THE END. I wrote the last 31 pages in a mad dash in a single day and when I finished, there were tears streaming down my cheeks. A decade later and I am very nearly that happy again.

Over the years, I shared that draft copy with folks to encourage them to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and I have sent it through my critique group more times than I (or they!) care to admit. I’ve polished and improved and, now, finally, it is going to pay off.

I queried. They asked to see the full manuscript. I sent it off and held my breath. Then, on Wednesday of this week, I received an email saying they’d be sending a contract. I held my breath again. Could it really be happening? I dared not even hope that this book could actually be published. Then I received the most wonderful, exciting thing by email yesterday – a contract. A real, live (sort of) publishing contract. It even says there in the first paragraph, “Lori L. Robinett, hereinafter called the “Author.”

Though I have been writing seriously since 2003, it feels as if things are suddenly happening very quickly. A few of my works were selected for publication in Well Versed 2014 (for which I am honored), which launches in two weeks. I’ve made it through the initial synopsis round for a new series called Lobster Cove by The Wild Rose Press, and my final manuscript is due within the next two weeks. And now, Denim and Diamonds will be released, well, sometime. Date to be announced!

<SIGH>

I can’t even begin to express how excited and blessed I feel right now.

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the vinyl wall decor above is displayed in my living room (I made it myself!). It’s my mantra.

Dream Tomorrow is my daily reminder that my dreams will only come true tomorrow if I plan for them today.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

With the start of a new year, I often spend at least an hour or two planning my goals for the year. Here’s my process – give it a go and see if it works for you:

Big Picture Goal: What do I want to accomplish this year? Think in terms of financial, professional, health or personal goals. Publish a novel. Lose at least ten pounds. Save a thousand dollars. Write each of these at the top of a different piece of paper. Bonus points if you write them in your day planner (and if you are looking for a print it yourself planner page, please check out my Etsy store – the download is only $1).

Stepping Stones: These are the smaller milestones that you need to do in order to reach your Big Picture Goal. For instance, my Big Picture Goal is to publish a novel. Some of the smaller milestones I need to reach in order to make my dream come true are (1) write the draft of the novel, (2) edit/rewrite the novel, (3) polish the novel, (4) line edit the novel for grammar, punctuation and spelling, (5) research agents and/or publishers, and, finally, (6) submit.

Daily To-Dos: These are just what they sound like – the things that you need to put on your to-do list to make it happen. For instance, while I am drafting a novel, I will write “WRITE 250 words” on my to-do list every day until I type those two magical words “THE END.” The important thing here is to be specific. Don’t write “write” without setting a goal for yourself. This is where you need to be tough. Be your own coach. Set a task and make sure you do it.

What are some of your Big Picture Goals for 2014?

NOTE: If you like this blog, please consider stopping by my Etsy shop. You’ll help me out, and you’ll get something for your money. 🙂

Winning National Novel Writing Month (reminiscing . . . )

Image

In honor of NaNoWriMo and all those who are currently returning to the real world, I thought I’d share something I wrote in 2009 after winning. I hope you enjoy it:

I don’t know why I’m surprised that December is nearly half over. It happens faster and faster each year. I used to think it was because I was getting older and quit looking forward to things so much (you know, when I was a kid I couldn’t wait for Christmas but it seemed to take forever to get here . . . the watched pot never boils – like that). But now, I think the world is just spinning faster. I can almost hear the wind whistling past my ears.

Oh, wait . . . that was just the cold, December wind. Never mind.

It has been 21 days since my last post.

Oh, wait . . . I’m not giving my confession.

Sorry. My NaNo fried brain isn’t functioning quite right just yet. What I wanted to tell you is that (drumroll, please . . . ahem . . . really – make that drumroll sound or drum your fingers on your desk, whatever works best for you) . . . I WON!!! That’s right, you are now looking at (sort of) one of the proud winners of National Novel Writing Month 2009. I finished with a grand total of 50,629 words. (OK, I’m bowing now . . . thank you, thank you . . .).

What was my secret for success?

1) Write every day. My goal was to write 1,667 each day. (Some days I made it, some days I didn’t.)

2) Don’t read.

3) Use every available moment. If you work, eat at your desk and write yourself an email. Carry a notebook with you. If you commute, carry a handheld recorder. You don’t have to dictate your story, but you can talk to yourself – what if this, what if that, how can you screw with your main character’s life . . .

4) Bribery. I want a Nook so bad I can taste it. So, I promised myself that if I win, I’ll buy one. Now, I’m just waiting for the money to appear. (wait! what the? there’s no prize $$ for winning NaNo? Dang!!)

And how do I feel about my winning story, Gateway to Hell? My story is just getting wound up, just started at about 47K words, actually, and part of me really wants to finish it. But first, I need to get through the holidays. I’ve got a house to decorate, Christmas cards to make, dinner rolls to make, gifts to buy. And since I’ve only got 2 weeks ’til the Big Day, I think I’ll take a break from writing and focus on the holiday and family. Probably should, since I kind of neglected the fam last month. So, my plan is to smother them with attention for the next two weeks, and then start a serious rewrite of Denim & Diamonds. Those characters have been talking to me again (and so have my characters from NaNo ’08. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m schizo. Then again, for a writer, is that a bad thing?), which is like slipping into my favorite pair of faded Tommy jeans on a Sunday morning. It feels right. Who knows, maybe with a touch more suspense and a dash more sex . . . it might end up being a whole new book!

So, that’s how I did it and those are my writing plans now that NaNo is over and I must return to the land of mortals . . . what are yours?

Post NaNoWriMo Blues

2013-Participant-Twitter-Header

I haven’t participated in NaNo for the past couple of years, but I miss it. Still keep up with the NaNo site over November, and when it’s over – and after I congratulate all the winners and see how my buddies did, I realize just how amazing the movement that is NaNo is. It’s AMAZING! I’m so proud to have been a part of it in past years.

I can’t help feeling a little sad in December.  I’m proud of the winners, for persevering, and for making writing a priority for 30 days – a mere 1/12th of the year. I know that many of those folks are now feeling depressed. They miss thinking about story,  characters, plot, setting, tempo. They miss the frequent emails from writing buddies.

But now that I’ve transitioned out of NaNo and into writing throughout the year, I feel more like a true writer. I feel pulled in 20 different directions at times, but my writing is consistent. I have one novel polished (and an editor has requested the full – cross your fingers!!), another novel in rewrite, and several novels drafted.  I have made writing a priority throughout the year, and I feel as if I’ve made real progress in my skill set since I’ve done that. NaNo was wonderful for teaching me how to turn off the dreaded Internal Editor and push through that first draft until I reach “The End.”

NaNo Lessons:

  • Turn off the Internal Editor
  • Start the story at the beginning
  • Tell the story
  • Write the ending
  • Every first draft is PERFECT in that it exists

Have you participated in NaNo? If so, what did it teach you? And have you continued to participate?

National Novel Writing Month Withdrawal

This is the 2nd year in a row I haven’t participated in National Novel Writing Month. And it bums me out. I won NaNo eight times – every year I participated, I ended the month with a first draft that I was proud of. Last year, I decided that I had outgrown NaNo and owed it to myself to finish something, and take my writing more seriously. But I still miss NaNo. What do I miss?

  • The challenge of writing 50K words in a single month
  • The feeling of camaraderie that came from the psychic connection with writers all over the world
  • Write-ins fueled by caffeine and word wars
  • The word count bar growing day by day
  • The forums (especially NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul)
  • Earning my purple bar
  • Last, but not least, making writing a priority

<SIGH>

Maybe I need to do my own version of NaNo this month. I think I need a write-in . . .

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