Finding Time to Write: Guest Blog by Alisse Lee-Goldenberg

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The lovely Jackson Baer has asked me to write a guest blog for him on how I, as a writer, fight the urge to procrastinate and get to writing.

I am a very busy woman. I am a property manager, am active in the Toronto musical theatre scene as a props manager and occasional actress, and I raise triplets. I like to say that there are twenty-four usable hours in the day, but managing them so I can get everything done is not always easy. When my children were first born I became nocturnal for a while. Raising triplets is anything but easy. My husband helped care for them during the day and I took the night shift. It was easier to just stay up all night with them due to the constant feedings. I quickly learned that at night, no one calls the house, and there is absolutely nothing good on television. So for me, between bottles, diapers, and sterilizing, this was the perfect time to work on my stories. Within the first couple of months, I had my first book The Strings of the Violin edited, and a first draft of the sequel largely complete. It’s very easy to get things done when you have no distractions.

Now that the children are two and a half, things are very different. I wrote my next book Bath Salts a Zombie Novel in a very different way. I did this as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have learned that if I don’t have large chunks of time, I need a deadline looming over my head in order to ensure I get done what I need to get done. (That, and very strong coffee.) Procrastinating is very easy to do. There are far too many distractions around. I have three very good, very loud, very messy ones running around every day between the hours of 8:00 and 7:30. When they’re asleep, there’s the television, Facebook, Candy Crush, and I still need to find time to see my husband, and not neglect our dog Sebastian. For me, I need to work on my time management. So, I try to pretend that every day is NaNoWriMo. I give myself deadlines and strive to meet them. I am very strict with this and work hard towards meeting them. It’s as if I give myself homework assignments: Chapter Five is due by Tuesday. Every few words count towards finishing the next book, the next outline. Even if you just pound out one sentence, that’s still one sentence closer to completing your next story, and that day is not a failure. For the most part, when my kids are awake, I’m a mother, not a writer. When they’re sleeping, that’s my time to shine with my computer, and research books, and my very strong coffee.

So far, this approach is working quite well for me. I have a book due out this October with Pandamoon Publishing. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy novel called Sitnalta. I have a fully outlined sequel for it planned out with the first 7,000 or so words typed. I have the second draft of the sequel to The Strings of the Violin finished and almost ready to be sent to the publisher, and my friend An Tran and I are at work on the sequel to Bath Salts. I have a million ideas always spinning around in my head for the next story. It’s just a matter of having the discipline to write them down. I think that so long as you can force yourself to spend at least a few minutes a day just jotting down ideas, or putting words to paper, everything will get finished eventually. Once this becomes habit, it’s a hard habit to break. This, and I’m counting down the days until preschool. Then I will have my mornings back to really spend some daylight hours on my craft!

You can visit me and read my Ramblings at my website: www.alisseleegoldenberg.com

My books are found here:

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Meet the Author: Jennifer Moorman

Today, I have to pleasure of introducing you to the ever-talented, Jennifer Moorman. She sings, bakes, runs, and best of all- she writes. Sit back, relax, and get out your to-read list because you’re about to have an addition.

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You’re the author of THE BAKER’S MAN and have a new novel coming out. You’re forced to choose one book to sell in stores and one to bury- not to be seen for a hundred years. What’s your choice? 🙂

Oh gosh, what a question! I would sell The Wickenstaffs’ Journey. It’s a joint project I’ve been knocking around with one of my best friends for years. I couldn’t bury it (not without her permission), and when it’s published, I’ll have someone to share the joy with! Since you’re forcing me to bury The Baker’s Man, I’ll plant a beautiful flower over its grave and visit often.

Share your favorite passage from the book in one paragraph or less.

From The Baker’s Man:

The cold wind whipped past them, became caught up in their heat, and created swirling vortexes that collapsed a few tents down the street. Flames shot prematurely from the igniter and lit the wick of the first firework before anyone was prepared. It rocketed into the night sky and exploded, raining blue and green twinkling lights over Anna and Eli. The crowd clapped and hooted, thinking the show had begun. More fireworks followed, echoing explosions that mingled with the collective sighs of the townsfolk, and Anna kept kissing Eli because she couldn’t stop.

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author but can never write again or write forever but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

I would definitely write forever. It’s okay that I’ll never be a best-selling author, but I cannot live without writing any more than I can live without breathing. It’s such a part of me that I’m not sure I could ever stop.

If you could live on a college campus and never leave or in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

I love traveling. I wouldn’t want to give that up. I’ve always wanted to see the world and learn as much as I can about everything, and I’m already planning my next trip. As for small towns, I grew up in one, so I don’t mind that aspect at all. I consider myself a small-town, southern girl with big dreams.

Okay, how about England or Ireland?

Oh, tough choice! I’ve been to England, and I loved it. I loved the city, the countryside, the people, even the fog! But I’ve always been enchanted by Ireland. It’s on my list of places I must see soon. If I must choose, I’ll pick Ireland sight unseen.

My wife & I went to Ireland last November, it’s beautiful!

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

As a music lover, I owned the music of all of above listed bands. I suppose my most-played band albums of the 90s were Counting Crows, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., and Goo Goo Dolls. This obviously doesn’t include solo artist albums that I also played into the ground. 🙂

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (I love The Office and Seinfeld)?

I hate to be the geek who says, “I don’t watch much TV.” But it’s true. I really don’t. I can enjoy most any comedy that’s on TV if it’s playing wherever I am at the time. I’ve seen multiple episodes of The Office and Seinfeld, and I watched many Friends episodes and enjoyed them, but if I see these shows, it’s on reruns.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I’m currently working on two novels. I’m revising The Wickenstaffs’ Journey, which is a young adult fantasy. And I’m in the process of writing another contemporary magical realism novel tentatively called Honeysuckle Hollow, and it takes place in the same town as The Baker’s Man.

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Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

I do love J. K. Rowling, and I am amazed by her storytelling ability and her talent for creating loveable, memorable characters I wish were real people. I would ask her if her dreams ever give her story ideas because mine do.

Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Ocean

Peaches or plums? Plums

Snickers or Butterfinger? Snickers

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happy, most definitely

Beer or wine? Wine

Flying or driving? Flying

Edgar Allan Poe or Walt Whitman? Edgar Allen Poe

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

The fattest notepad in the history of notepads and a pencil; my husband and my sister.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet at their place of royalty

I’d like to talk with Jesus. I’d want to talk to Him about His life, His family, His friends. I’d want to hear all His stories. At first I thought I’d invite Him over to my house, but my house feels too small for someone with His presence. Maybe we could go for a long walk outside and talk.

You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be? 

I’d like to be able to go to Italy for a month and stay in a beautiful house overlooking the Mediterranean for a ridiculously low price.

jackson baer, jackson paul baer, the earth bleeds red, pandamoon publishing, what the hell, literary fiction, suspense, mystery, compelling fiction, new author, joyce carol oates, junot diaz, sherman alexie, novel with a twist, corvallis, books set in oregon, suspense novel, mystery novel, lit fiction, the lights will never fade, what the hell book, psychological thriller

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