Tag Archives: laura oliva

On The Long Game – A Guest Post By Laura Oliva

6 Sep
Here's a photo of her saucy self.

Here’s a photo of her saucy self.

You remember the cover reveal we did here a little while ago? Here’s the author.

I have to admit that my first thought after seeing that her second book was already done was “I hate her.” But on reflection I kind of started to wonder how she does this whole writing thing so dang fast (especially with a toddler at home!).

So after a few days of wondering, I invited her to write a guest post.

Here’s what she has to say about staying creative as a writer:

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“There is no rule on how to write.  Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” -Ernest Hemingway

It’s that time again.

Fall is in the air.  The sun is shining.  The leaves are changing.  And I am sitting down to start another book.

I crack my knuckles, position my coffee cup within reach, and set my hands to the keyboard.  The unique pleasure of creation crackles through me.  I hunch over the table.  And then…

Nothing.

I look around.  The table is filthy.  The floor hasn’t been mopped in ages.  My chair has no lumbar support; I can feel my spine begin to telescope the longer I sit.  Rattled, I take a sip of coffee.  It tastes terrible.  And as if that’s not bad enough, it’s getting cold.  The panic every writer knows all too well starts to build.

What if I can’t do this again?

The Muse is a fickle mistress, as any writer, artist, or musician will tell you.  Jungian analyst and writer Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it Rio Abajo Rio, the River Beneath the River.  It’s an apt metaphor.  One minute we can be swimming along, basking in our creative groove, and the next…

Nothing.  The water disappears underground, and we’re left gasping on a dry riverbank.

So what do you do?  You could sit and wait for your river to surface again.  Lots of writers do.  But when might that happen?  Sometimes, waiting is just not an option.  What if you have goals?  Deadlines?  Diapers to change?  You need every second of writing time you can get.

Every writer I know has their own little bag of tricks: tried-and-true ways to get The Muse back on the chain gang when she’d rather stay home and do her nails.  Many of us utilize the same tools; music, visuals, voodoo, et cetera.  Here, for your reading pleasure, is my personal survival kit:

A Picture Is Worth… Well, You Know.  I’ve always been a very visual person.  When I was younger, oil painting was my creative outlet of choice.  Now I write more than I paint, but I remain compelled by the power of a good picture. 

Most recently, I have become an unabashed Pinterest addict.  The ability to curate pictures that inspire my writing is truly priceless.  On days when I feel my creativity dwindling, you can usually find me on Pinterest, scrolling through old pictures and finding new ones.  This alone is usually enough to snap me out of a slump.

The Right Note.  Music is a daily routine for me.  I have a playlist for each book I write, and I’m constantly on the hunt for songs that capture the tone of my projects.

Ironically, I rarely listen to them while I’m actually writing.  Rather, I play them all the rest of the time: running errands, cooking dinner, or just driving around.  I’m convinced this helps them seep into my subconscious to emerge later, when I do sit down to write.

What Do You Want?  You’ve probably heard this from every teacher, life coach, and college professor you’ve ever met, but you need goals.  This is true of life in general, but it’s especially so in writing.

Embarking on a writing career is a long game.  It’s not easy, and it’s not quick.  If you don’t have something on the horizon to keep your eye on, it gets very difficult to stay motivated enough to continue.  So what do you want?  Be as specific as possible.

Then take a deep breath, and dive in.

 *            *            *

Thanks, Laura!  (lol, Voodoo.)

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Want more?

Laura’s Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/lauraoliva

Her website: www.lauraolivabooks.com

And on Twitter: @writermama

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About a Guest Poster, and My Upcoming Roadtrip

5 Sep

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have a lightning storm coming in fast, so I’m going to have to be quick.

Friday, I have a guest post scheduled for you. My guest blogger is none other than the lovely and amusing Laura Oliva. She has written something not too long and not too short on staying creative in the writing process.

Saturday (and maybe part of Sunday) I will be out of town. There is a big family shindig several hours drive from here and I will be playing chauffeur to some fun relatives, while another of the bunch of us foots the bill.

I know.

Nice.

I love to drive, I wanted to go on a road trip, and someone has offered to pay for me to drive them somewhere I wanted to go anyway. Not something I was going to say no to. Hehe.

Now, since I have some photos in here I like, you get to see them again. 😀

Our apricot tree this spring

Our apricot tree this spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The falls I photographed on my last road trip

The falls I photographed on my last road trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An un-messed with photo of a sunset this summer

An un-messed with photo of a sunset this summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, Fellow Travelers, that’s me for tonight. 🙂

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Video

My Brain Is On Hiatus, But I Have A Question For You

1 Sep

(Holy Cow, I got the spelling of that word correct on the first try!)

So in honor of my having an exhausted brain from reading Sherlock Holmes aloud to my darling husband, going through some how-to blog posts, and my usual Saturday running around, you get this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzVMwo8BC88

All those pairs of wonderful shoulders! *swoon*

[Good thing I married a man with a good set of them, huh?  😉  ]

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I will be using another song from that play tomorrow for Mirth and Music Monday, but this one is a ton of fun as well.

It makes me smile.

Tracy does such an amazing job with that role. And Carol Burnett! Wow! She hasn’t lost a single pinch of her comedic timing. Plus Tommy Smothers. His miming and grinning crack me up just thinking about it. 😀

Oh! If I’m raving about a play I should probably tell you what it is, huh? It’s called Once Upon a Mattress. A very funny and silly retelling of The Princess and the Pea. One of my favorites, really. My parents have a DVD of it, and every once in a while I have to borrow it again.

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So, out of curiosity. (This is off the wall, but) Is there anything in particular one of you would like me to write a post about? Any questions you would like answered, a topic that needs my spin, an idea that you want my perspective on?

Let me know in the comments. Don’t be, er… shy. (hehehe)

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Laura Oliva got her post to me today! I can’t wait until Friday! 😀

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I Have Scheduled My First Guest Blogger!

30 Aug

 

Wonderful, yummy, calming tea.

Wonderful, yummy, calming tea.

I am sitting here sipping hot tea, thinking about the day I had.

It wasn’t anything unusual. Actually, it was a rather typical day.

I woke up a little later than planned due to the fact that we both forgot to set an alarm. After getting up and putting on my robe I went and let our female Labrador out to do her morning business. While she was out, I too handled my morning business; then swapped dogs and poured myself some cereal.

The other dog got let in and I started eating my first breakfast.

I usually have two breakfasts. One to take care of the morning’s urgent low blood sugar, and the second to provide me with the staying power of lots of protein.

This morning however, I was about half way through my bowl when my phone’s calendar made it’s all too happy little sound. Upon checking what it was so perky about I about did a spit-take. I was supposed to be driving an Aunt and my last remaining Grandmother to a meeting…15 minutes from then.

I mentally took review of my situation.

  • Unbrushed hair
  • Morning breath
  • Half way through breakfast #1
  • No idea what I was going to wear

Let’s do this!

So I scarf down my cereal (at a speed which would have shocked all members of my family, as I am renowned for eating at a speed which would rival that of a sloth’s).

Then it’s run into my bedroom, flick on the light (apologizing to my still slumbering husband), and begin rifling through my shirt drawer looking for something which would be comfortable, but kind of nice looking.

I’m dressed, hair is done, teeth are brushed, and I arrive to pick them up just a few minutes late.

We make it there at an OK time, and have to wait anyway.

Of course.

The meeting went well. Everything was taken care of with good humor and the lady went out of her way to be helpful. It was actually pleasant.

Afterward we did lunch at a local A&W (amazingly none of us ordered root beer…is that legal?).

While dropping them off again, we discussed an upcoming family get-together and decide that we will all go together. It’s a several hour drive both ways, so essentially ROAD TRIP!

After getting home I tool around on social media for a while, do a little reading, then decided to ward off a threatening headache by lying down for half an hour. Well, I made it into my bed, and was technically lying down. But instead of going to sleep, started playing around on Twitter. One thing led to another and I invited Laura Oliva to write a guest post about staying creative in the writing process.

I’m not sure how I got there, but I’m glad I did.

She will be my first guest poster, and if all goes reasonably well, I will most likely start inviting more writers to borrow my blogging mic.

I actually have a few other people in mind, and may be hitting you up for posts on your advice to novice authors, tips for people new to social media, or something just plain humorous.

I’m not sure if it will become something that’s on a schedule, or if they just get popped in whenever I feel like it.

Realistically it will most likely be the latter, since calendars and I seem to have a love-hate relationship (as evidenced by this morning).

Anyway, if I don’t give you a holler in the next few weeks, and you think you would like to write something for my hand full of loyal readers, please feel free to get hold of me. I would be open to posting anything interesting, helpful, or funny.

[Just remember that if it’s even a little off color my readers will be warned, so they can make sure their impressionable little ones are down for a nap before reading what you have to say. I’m not really a prude, but my readers are who they are, and I choose to respect that fact.]

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Here’s hoping this new adventure isn’t as catastrophic as if the Hindeburg crash-landed on the Titanic right next to Krakatoa.

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The Cover Reveal For Laura Oliva’s What The Body Needs!

26 Aug

Hi All!

So here is the second post which I warned you about.

This one is all about my drinking, swearing, fun on the outside, tough on the inside friend Laura Oliva.

Here’s how she describes her writing:

I write tender love stories about tough people. You won’t find any candy-coating here. The men are men, the women are badass, the dirt is dirty, the whiskey is strong. Things aren’t always roses and sunshine.

But sometimes life’s more fun that way.

I quoted this from her blog Writing In The Night.

She has finished writing her second novel, and received the cover art for it a couple days ago.

Laura is super excited about it, and couldn’t wait another week to get it out there for all her fans to see.

Here it is!

What The Body Needs By Laura Oliva

What The Body Needs
By Laura Oliva

And the blurb! Don’t forget to read the blurb:

Jak O’Mara is a survivor.

 

She’s survived in her father’s construction company.  She’s survived in the boxing ring.  And she survived the brutal attack that left her permanently scarred.

 

For the last five years, she’s tried to convince everyone -including herself- she’s no victim.  But with the apparent return of her unknown assailant, the life she’s rebuilt crumbles overnight.

 

Ex-cop Marcus Cutter has his own scars, they just don’t show.  Following the violent death of his younger sister, he fled his old life in disgrace.  After almost six years, “rock-bottom” feels a lot like home.

 

As Jak’s new bodyguard, Marcus is forced to return to the city -and the memories- he’s tried to forget.  All he wants is to do his job, but Jak isn’t what he expects.  When he’s with her, he finally feels something besides pain.

 

When the danger escalates, Jak decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.  She’s going to find who’s after her, no matter the cost.  Marcus knows he has to protect the woman who’s made his life mean something again.  But how do you protect someone who’s convinced they have nothing left to lose?

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Laura is all over the internet.

You can find her on Twitter: @writermama

You can also visit her book page on her site here.

Her Facebook is here.

And you can get her first book here. It’s currently available for $1.99 in e-book form only. So far, anyway.  🙂

I think she’s also on pintrest and something else, but my poor old computer is telling me it’s had enough of looking up social sites today so you’re on your own there.

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I enjoyed All That Glitters, and I can’t wait until What The Body Needs is also in my Kindle PC (and on my phone. Cause, really, you never know when that grocery check-out line will last more than two and a half minutes. lol).

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My Blog Vacation Report And An Announcement

25 Aug

It was a very good vacation from blogging. It was kind of freeing to spend a few nights just picking out cool stuff written by other people and telling you why it intrigues me.

But now, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.

First, I want to tell you a bit of what I did to refill my mental bucket of inspiration.

I started reading Northanger Abby, by Jane Austin

I got back to reading Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer

I took some photos of an incoming thunderstorm…in a cemetery

I played round after round (trying for perfect scores) of Grub Guardian

I attended our Encourage Meant meeting and discussed a few possibilities and ideas with my girls

I watched a few episodes of Kekkaishi (an anime my husband and I like)

Lonnie and I went to the Senior Center dance and had a blast

I went shopping with a sister and her two little ones, then we all did lunch

I spent hours talking with my husband about random thoughts and subjects

I went over and spent an hour and a half with my grandma and an aunt (laughing most of the time)

I cheated on my diet and snuck in a few frozen fudge bars

I started working out again

Yeah, it’s been a good week. 😀

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Now for the announcement.

Tomorrow I will have two blog posts. The first will be my regular MMM (Mirth and Music Monday). The second will be the cover reveal and a blurb for Laura Oliva‘s new book What The Body Needs. I figure it’s a big enough deal, since she is a very cool friend of mine and I really liked her first book, that it deserves it’s own post. That and the cover isn’t exactly the most…four year old friendly image. But mostly because she has been a good enough friend that I want to help her in any way I can. 😀

On that note: Here’s a link to her first book All That Glitters on Amazon.

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Here are some of the better photos I snapped on Thursday.

I just couldn't resist stopping to take a few photos as the storm started rolling over the landscape.

I just couldn’t resist stopping to take a few photos as the storm started rolling over the landscape.

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Here's that storm from a slightly different angle. It's a little closer now.

Here’s that storm from a slightly different angle. It’s a little closer now.

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These lovely petunias were growing at the base of the flag pole in the cemetery.

These lovely petunias were growing at the base of the flag pole in the cemetery.

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Happy Sunday, y’all!

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But This Isn’t

7 Mar

Another duo of poems from my shortly to be published book of bathroom poetry.

 

But This Isn’t

Books and magazines

Are stacked all around this chair

But this isn’t a library

Although they do have this chair

Laundry is piled up high

Waiting to be washed

But this isn’t a laundry room

In this room something else is washed

Polish and make-up and hairspray

Clutter the entire counter

But this isn’t a salon

No money passes over this counter

The line is three people deep

All waiting for the bathroom

But this isn’t a store restroom

It is this house’s only bathroom

* * *

Floating in Water

Like lovely music

Fragrant water covers me

Unwinding the day

Floating in water

My body now relaxes

In the gentle heat

Melting my worries

As a bright, warm day in May

Melts the mountain snow

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Please let me know what you think about these two.

To read the other poems I have posted on this blog you can go Here, Here, and Here.

&    &    &

At a friendly prompting by Laura Oliva I took a peek at the formatting instructions on Smashwords.com.  I had been stressing about how  to format my book of poetry (procrastination to the extreme!), and she suggested it as an easy to understand set of instructions that translate well to Amazon.  After getting onto Smashwords I took a look around. And all I can say is Wow!  I thought Amazon was the big kid on the block.  So, now I am going to take a few days to familiarize myself with this new site, and see if I can get up the courage to take the plunge into publishing my own work.

By the way, Laura’s first book has just come out!  It’s a romance novel entitled All That Glitters

Thanks, Laura, and good luck!  🙂