March 13 2017

Interesting turn of events…Plotting or Pantsing? #writing #amwriting #writerslife

I always love the conversations writers have about whether or not they are plotters or pantsers. I’ve always thought of myself as a plotter with my color coded spreadsheets and I do a fare amount of plotting before writing. But its not detailed. I write backstory for my characters (which sometimes changes as I write). I make sure I have a good handle on characters goals and motivations. I almost always have the climatic scene in my head. Key word is almost.

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I’m 50k words into DEADLY SEDUCTION, which comes out 23 May 2017 (pre-order is only 0.99 but that will change to 3.99 on release day). When I started the book, all I had was this one line: “What if the woman you were sleeping with was sent by the man who had vowed to destroy your life.”

I wrote the first three chapters and was loving where the story was going. I had figured out the Heroine was playing the Hero, so that they could still have a relationship, but I would try to think out past the next five or six chapters, and nothing. I had no idea how the climatic scene was going to go down and that halted my writing. I read what I’d written a few times, adjusting a few scenes. Adding a couple new scenes, but still, I was stuck. So that either meant, I wrote myself into a corner, or I wasn’t spending enough time day dreaming about my story.

In this case, it was both.

That’s when it hit me that if I changed one thing about a secondary character–the proxy for the bad guy–I could head to a very interesting climatic scene. Once I did that, I could easily see the dark moment and how my heroine was going to save herself…and the hero. However, a new twist developed that I hadn’t seen coming with one of the characters. I’m very excited about this twist.

I used to believe that the way to write a book is to plot it out, hence my spreadsheets. But I fill that in as I write. I do have scene ideas, but sometimes those ideas never make it into the book. I think its important to know a lot about your story, but its equally important to be open to new directions.

Now all I have to do is finish!

March 11 2017

ENAWO: the strongest Cyclone to hit Madagascar in 13 years!

On 7 March 2017 ENAWO made landfall at the tune of close to 170 MPH. This cyclone is the equivalent to a level 4 hurricane.

I only knew about the Cyclone because my daughter has been living in Madagascar for the last two years as a Peace Corp Volunteer, not because it was reported on. Very little of what happens in Madagascar is covered in our news programs.

The town where ENAWO hit as been nearly destroyed. 100% of the wooden homes are gone! The hard part will be getting aid and help the regions hit the hardest because 89% of the roads in Madagascar are dirt. I can attest to the roads having driven them last September. The rain will cause a problem with the dirt roads and the flash flood threat could extend south to Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar.

Madagascar happens to be the 10th poorest country in the world, making the rebuilding of the communities hit the hardest all that more difficult. Families in the town of Antalaha (where ENAWO hit) earn approximately 50 Euros a month and with all the wooden houses destroyed, it is going to take time and money to rebuild. But just the price of one bag of rice is 24 Euros and a single blanket is 5 Euros.

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help the people of this town find relief and start to rebuild. Even the smallest of donations will help these people greatly.

Please pass this along to anyone who might be able to help.

This is a picture of my daughter with her neighbor.