Thursday, September 12, 2013

Games Writers Play: Tag, You're It

Earlier this week, Cathy C. Hall tagged me in a game called, "Tag, You're It!"

What fun! And how interesting.

The first thing I did was read Cathy's answers to the questions, and I sure did learn a lot about what she's working on and what got her started on her project!

Answering the questions also helped me focus on how I need to manage my time better and focus on my long-term goals rather than short-term ones.

So, here are my answers, and at the end of my answers I've tagged three other bloggers whose answers I would enjoy reading--and I think others would too.

Here goes:

What are you working on right now?

The long answer to that question is: At the beginning of 2013, after being a freelance book reviewer for about five years, I decided to switch gears and focus on my own writing. My checking account balance has dwindled, but my stress level from delivering so many reviews on deadline has also decreased.

One project in the works is the first-ever Coffee and Critique Anthology. I’m collecting and editing short stories and essays for an anthology showcasing works from members of Coffee and Critique, a writers’ group a friend and I started six years ago.
The elephant in my office is my self-imposed challenge to finish a first draft of a novel by the end of the year. I have two ideas in mind and am mulling over which project to tackle first. I dug out a rough outline and a synopsis for a paranormal thriller that’s been lying dormant in a works-in-progress file. I also have the beginnings of a YA paranormal mystery novel that keeps calling my name. Right now I’m leaning toward the paranormal thriller.

How does it differ from other works in the genre?

Probably the setting and characters. The action occurs in Missouri and Germany and has an international cast of characters—both good and evil.

The genesis for the story is: Several years ago I bought an antique rocking chair for an unbelievably low price at an estate sale in a rural area of Missouri. While I was bidding I wondered why local residents weren't outbidding me. Afterwards, the auctioneer told me I had gotten the deal of the day.  The idea that the chair was possessed – and not in a good way -- took off from there. I’ve sketched out some thoughts about where the story should go and have drafted a first chapter, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

Why do you write what you do? 

Now that I’m not writing book reviews, most of my time is spent writing personal essays and short fiction. Writing essays and short stories is a quick fix which satisfies my need to see my thoughts and imagination take shape on paper. Still, I want to stretch myself as a writer and finish a novel while I'm still vertical. 

What is the hardest part about writing?

Time. I never seem to have enough of it. I’m easily distracted and need to focus. What was the question? ;-)

Now it’s my turn to tag three writers. My picks are Sarah (the Practical Historian), Pat (Critter Alley), and Claudia Mundell. If you click on the links you’ll find their awesome blogs.

I hope they’ll agree to participate because I’d love to read their answers to the questions.

So tag, you’re it!



  1. Maybe give National Novel Writing Month a shot this November. That will help you get one of those novel drafts done! :)

  2. Madeline, I was thinking the same thing!

    It's SO hard to let go of a steady income, Donna, even when you know it's time. And please, don't be tempted to go back to reviews and a paycheck--I want to read more about the rocking chair!

    (I'd love to be a beta reader for you!)

  3. Hi Madeline,
    I'm going to give it a shot. I need all the help I can get.

    Hi Cathy,

    I would love to have you as a beta reader! That's a very generous offer, and I would love to read your YA novel.

  4. You may have decreased your paycheck, but the flip side to that appears to be a surge in creativity! The rocking chair story sounds like it will, well, rock. :) So get to work!

  5. Enjoyed your answers and can't wait to read about that rocking chair!

  6. Donna, you definitely need to try NaNo this year. It'll get plenty of words on paper for you...and FAST! Then all you have to do later is uncover the good ones!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your responses and thanks for the "tag". I'll get something posted within a couple of days (after I chew on the questions a bit).

    Critter Alley

  7. Donna--I agree. Do NaNo. Because there is a "need for speed" when it comes to NaNo, your inner critic is more or less mute, because you can't spend twenty minutes on choosing the exactly perfect word...You need to tap out 1,600 words every day, so type now and edit/revise later.

    A cheap chair? That inspiration intrigues me.

  8. Self-imposed guidelines are a good kick in the pants. A critique partner and I gave each other an October 31 deadline for sending each other completed drafts of our novel in progress.

  9. I'm late... was going to tag you (ha), but good to hear what you're working on and I agree, do NaNoWriMo. Would love to hear about that rocking chair!

  10. Hi, Donna! I finally posted my answers and tagged three new people. You can check out the post here: Thanks so much for including me!


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