Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#IWSG Pros and Cons of Reading as a Writer

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG
Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh's awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!
February 1 Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
In recent years, now that I am writing full-time, my reading habits have continually evolved - 
for better and for worse.
My choice of genres has broadened from mostly mysteries to more diverse areas of interest, including non-fiction history of war. Interest in this particular genre initially blossomed as research to build backstory for my novels' protagonist.
Now I'm hooked.
My current reading list includes Last Hope Island by Lynne Olson (a Goodreads Giveaway win of a book to be published 4.25.17). Expanding my knowledge base would be one of the "for better" sides of the reader-becomes-writer experience.
On the down side, I often find myself editing as I read. It took a while to realize this occurred most when scenes dragged, characters had no character, or the plotline lost focus. These were not conscious considerations before I started focusing on the mechanics of writing my own stories.
While there are times poor writing or lack of editing become too much of a distraction, I will still read to the end of most novels. There is usually a lesson to be learned in how the author unfurls the climax.
My reading goal this year is to read and review 72 books, in a wider range of genres than ever before! (Last year's goal was 71 and I hit 86.) As a writer, do you read more, or less?

Friday, January 27, 2017

HAPPY (CHINESE) NEW YEAR: Resolutions, 2017

Happy New Year, Everyone!
May you enjoy health and happiness and aloha in 2017

My year-end holiday wish list for 2016 ran almost parallel to Steve Martin's Christmas wish list. You can click on the link at the bottom of this post for the video, so I won't go into detail here. Because I am so late getting rolling in 2017, I consider this a Happy Chinese New Year's post!

Today I am ready to commit to my 2017 goals. This year, there will be fewer than previous years as
Looking to the Pacific.
Scene at Waikiki Beach:
maybe from your room with a view!
one goal is to add less pressure to my daily life! After five years as Sisters in Crime/Hawaii president (one-year temporary and four-years elected), I am eager to step back and offer assistance.

Future projects include a second anthology of mystery short stories set in Hawai'i, and participation in the Left Coast Crime 2017 convention, Honolulu Havoc, at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
(See the link below to sign up.)

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, so it seems almost unfair to make it a goal or resolution. My Goodreads Challenge list will lean more toward non-fiction, with focus on fleshing out my genealogical novel. The chapters cover several areas of Europe, homelands of ancestors who immigrated to the United States in the middle 1800s. Research has always been one of my favorite parts of writing. With this novel, I can utilize much of the information collected over the decades via personal contact, internet research, and a few special trips.

It would be easy to add a goal to eat healthier this year.
But one of my goals is to be honest with myself, so scratch that.

Purging (clothes, DVDs and CDs, old correspondence and bills, and books) did make the list, though.

Something I want to do, but don't want to make it a "must" is to more fully enjoy living in Hawai'i. Yeah, I know - - duh!

Steve Martin's Christmas wish list:

Website for Honolulu Havoc, Left Coast Crime Convention 2017: http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2017/index.html



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year #IWSG Measuring Success in 2017

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG will be
January 4 Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?
My answer to this question is backwards: I love the advise to learn the rules so you know which ones you want to break and then do so with professionalism.
Happy New Year, 2017, everyone.
Each year, it is tradition for me to compile a list of goals to take me through the upcoming twelve months. Goals concerning my writing projects lead the way, with reading goals close behind. Some goals appear year after year, not because they failed to make the grade the previous year but because they are so important that they bear repeating. Healthy lifestyle goals top this chart. Whether I reach or exceed a goal, my satisfaction is the same. Only when I totally miss a target, do I feel any measure of disappointment.

For 2017, I've set the bar rather high as I aim at more successfully marketing my published novels. I fear neither success nor failure. My concern is about setting a goal to accomplish something that is a questionable measure of success or failure: the sale of a specific number of books.

How do you measure your success as a writer?