Category Archives: A writer’s life

Writing Through The Pains & Joys of Life

Since my last post on February 14, my life has been a rollercoaster ride.

— Updated my resume with the intent to only send it out in search of freelance/contract work for extra cash. Didn’t even consider leaving my current position.
— Saw a great job opportunity, sent in resume, they wanted me, I only wanted them part-time and they said ok, we’ll keep your resume on file.
— Did some thinking and decided it couldn’t hurt to talk to them. Had two interviews with the President of the firm and he offered me the job.
— Took a week of soul-searching and negotiation and ended up taking the job — more money, bonus potential, plus flex-time so I can be home when my daughter gets home from school. Pretty much everything I wanted.
— Got my first rejection letter from a publisher. That sucked. Bad. Really bad.
— My sister and I made a very difficult decision of putting my 80-year old mom in a nursing home. Best and safest place for her with the medical conditions she is facing, but it broke my heart.
— Will be seeing my ex-boyfriend in three months and it’s going to be very awkward. I still care about him, but he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me, so I’m already feeling anxious.
— Tried to sell my piano, had two interested parties, but nothing happened so I’m back to square one.
— Tried to go on a diet, exercise in the morning, stop eating chocolate — but that only lasted about an hour every time I tried. The only exercise I’ve been doing is opening up the fridge door.

How do you write through the pains and joys of life? Tell me!

MLUV:) Be blessed!
Dominique

Falling in Love with Your Writing

Writing isn’t easy. Neither is love.
I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with my writing. Somedays I love what I do. I’m in the groove. Every thought I have somehow seems to translate into the perfect word. And when I’m done for the evening, I am on cloud nine. Sometimes, I am so excited about what I wrote that I cannot sleep. Swoon!

Other days…not so much. Those are usually the days when the words aren’t flowing from fingertip to screen as easily as I like. I’m struggling to sit down at the keyboard, and when I get there, I just want to be doing something else. Like sleeping.

Paralle-lov-o-gram
Remember that heartbreaking tune “I Can’t Make You Love Me?”, sung so beautifully by Bonnie Raitt? The words were reality check for me the first time I heard them. How many times have you and I tried so hard to make someone love us? Our parents? Our children? Our man? Friends? Be honest. We’ve all experienced this.

When I realized I can’t make someone do anything, least of all return feelings they do not share, a burden was lifted from my shoulders. And I knew that I could love someone and be ok with that person not loving me back. Sure it sucks. Yes, it hurts. But it’s better than that four-letter alternative. 

Love to Write? Love your Writing.
For me, sometimes I struggle to accept my writing as it is. Right now, flaws and all. It’s kind of like falling in love. Those first few months or years are heady, full of joy and excitement. But then you get down into the everyday normality of being in a relationship. That’s where real committment comes in. This is the point where many couples break up. When writers quit writing. When dreamers, stop dreaming and stop pursuing their goals. It’s a dangerous zone to be in.

Get Your “GaGa” On!

  1. Find a way to continually fall in love with our writing — day after day.
  2. Don’t force it. Simply open your eyes and look at what you’ve done so far.
  3. Review your goals. Think about why you are doing this in the first place…
  4. And then say those vows again. Recommit yourself to your writing.

Tell yourself “I love you. I love my writing. I love what I doing right now. At this moment, I’m successful. Because I’m doing what I love. No matter what.”

How do you fall in love with your writing? Tell me!

MLUV:) Be Blessed!

Dominique

The Waiting Game

It’s been just over a week since I got “The Call”. The contract has been signed and I’m officially agented. And…my agent informed me yesterday that he’s already sent out proposals for my novel TEACH ME TONIGHT to two editors. (Yay!!!)

I am beyond excited. Everything is happening so quickly, but I am so grateful to have an agent and so happy that my book is out there on an editor’s desk waiting to be read.

It’s a waiting game now. But that’s OK.

This is a good kind of waiting. It’s the kind of waiting you experience while you’re:

  • Engaged and waiting to walk down the aisle to be married to the man of your dreams.
  • Pregnant and in that final month, fearful of the pain of labor, but knowing at the end of all that screaming will be a baby who will change your life forever
  • Looking for a job. You’ve had several great interviews and you’re confident one is going to call. You’re just not sure which one.
  • About to graduate. From high school, college, med school, grad school. All the long nights studying, no sleep and bad food will all be worth it when they hand you that piece of paper that says you did it.

So how do you wait? Patiently. Expectantly. Hopefully. Faithfully. And you go on to the next project.

Hebrews 6:12 says “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

If you work at your writing and keep your eyes on your goal, you will succeed. Believe it. Do it. But most of all…Love it.

MLUV:) Be Blessed!

Dominique

Creating Characters: Visual Brainstorming (Part 1)

I am busy at work on my second book and in the midst of what I consider one of the most fun things about writing: creating characters.

I love being able to think about someone in my mind and bring them to life on the page. I love daydreaming about their past, present and future.

This time around I am trying a different approach to characterization: visual brainstorming, which is basically using images and objects to generate ideas.

My first task was to purchase a whiteboard to hang in my office. I purchased one through officemax.com. So far, I’ve used it to “draw” (and I use that term loosely) out the goal, motivation and conflict that are driving my character’s actions. 

See below: I call it my GMC Bulls-eye. More on that in future blog post, as I’m still refining this technique.

Dominique's Brain on a Wall

I never thought I’d say this, but I LOVE MY WHITEBOARD! It’s a great place to quickly jot down ideas and thoughts about my characters.  It was worth every penny.

Note: The “I Like Pie” in the corner was Lil’ Angel’s addition. Derek does NOT like pie. He likes hot fudge sundaes. And smart women with long, sexy legs. And …well…you have to wait for the book…because I don’t even know what else he likes yet! 🙂

Next up, I’m going to scour my house for objects that represent the story I’m trying to tell and my characters who are living and breathing every moment of it. I will share those items (or at least pictures of them) with you in an upcoming blog post. 

In the meantime, save paper and go buy a whiteboard. If you don’t use it for characterization — it’s great for grocery and to-do lists!

MLUV:) Be blessed.

Dominique

Time Management for Writers

One of the things I’ve struggled with in the past is time management. As I readied my manuscript for submission to agents, I began to realize how critical it is that I manage my time well if I want to be successful.

Quite frankly, it could make or break my career.

It is my belief that the publishing world today requires that a writer be prolific. We must write and produce quality content daily.

And as I begin to navigate all the channels that a writer could potentially tap into to further their career — I find that it is not only overwhelming — but extremely exciting.

We must produce content for our:

– book(s)
– blog(s)
– responses to blogs we like
– twitter
– facebook
– fan mail responses (for those lucky enough to have fans!!)

And I’m sure I’m leaving out tons more.

So, how do you do all of the above and be successful at it?

B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

Yes, but how?

Since I’m totally new at this, I don’t have the answers. I’m searching Google (over 17 million sites on this topic) and other blogs for tips and tricks just like you.

Feel free to share if you have any. I’ll do the same.

MLUV:) Be blessed.

Dominique

The “Call”

Today is one of the best days of my life….because….(cue: drumroll)….I got “The Call” from an agent –and best of all– it’s the agent I wanted! He LOVED my story — and–he already has publishers in mind to send it too. Yay!!!!

I got the call at 1:03 p.m. today and it’s almost 10 p.m. and I’m still riding the high. Wow…this is a huge step in my dream towards publication. He is extremely picky and I feel honored that he chose me and my story! Plus he really liked the other story ideas I’m working on.

All the long nites into wee mornings, tears, and extra weight were worth it!

Hold on folks….I think this is going to be a WILD ride! One I’m praying never ends!

MLUV:) Be blessed.

Dominique

A new beginning

I started this blog back in 2007, when I began actively writing my romance novel (that I actually started in 2004). I won first place in a writing contest, and then didn’t look at my manuscript again for over two years.

I’m back writing…and I’m loving it.

I hope you will join me on my never-ending journey to creative perfection!

MLUV:) Be blessed.

–Dominique