Archive for April 9th, 2008

Will one night in Sin City equal a lifetime of regret?

On his way to be best man at his friend’s wedding, Caleb Daniels has high hopes that his run of bad relationships has come to an end. He can’t wait to lay eyes—and hands—on the funny and intelligent maid of honor. They’ve never met, but she’s been charming him for weeks over the internet.

At first Lara Sinclair’s cyberspace chats with Cal centered around the preparations for her sister’s extravagant wedding, but it quickly blossomed into an intense online affair. Now she’s more than ready to meet him face to face, and have his fingers stroke more than just the keyboard.

But before she can even say hello to the sexy groomsman, her trouble-come-hither, look-alike sister bursts her bubble with a bona-fide, happily-every-after emergency. And Lara finds herself faced with a heartbreaking choice.

Let her sister solve her own problems, or risk her budding relationship with Cal to help save the wedding—by pretending to be someone she’s not.

Making the writing happen as a mom.

I’m a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend and a fairly ineffectual maid. I have four children, ages six, five, and three-year-old twins, and five books published within the last two years. When people discover this about me, the first thing they ask is how I manage to get any writing done with all those kids.

I laugh. I think about lying and telling them my children are so perfect that they make it easy on me. Or even better still, I’m such a fabulous writer that nothing slows me down. But neither of those statements would be true.

The demands of motherhood and life beyond writing have a tendency to get in the way of my work. It can be distracting and frustrating and all too easy to get caught in a no writing rut. Only when I don’t write, I tend to go a little insane. It’s ugly and no one wants to see it. So I’ve come up with a few ways to keep the writing happening.

First, I search for a schedule. My best writing doesn’t take place in five minute increments, packed between resolving a Lego dispute and cleaning up whatever that is on the bathroom floor. It happens when I have a nice chunk of interruption free time to get my head totally into what I’m doing. I used to write during naps. When naps went by the wayside, I tried early in the morning before the family woke up. These days, my chunk of time is from eight until nine-thirty at night, after the kids knock off and before I kick back for some QT with the hubby. It’s the time I mentally reserve for myself to get the most done that I can. And by scheduling ahead this way, I take the pressure off during the rest of the day when I need to be concentrating on other things.

Second, I try to make the most of my time. There are nights where I’m just too tired to string a bunch of pretty words together or think of witty dialog. But I still want to get something done. So I go back and edit an earlier chapter or spend some time plotting or doing research for locations or characters. Really I just want to do something productive.

Third, I keep a notebook within reach at all times. When a thought comes to me, I drop my half folded t-shirt and take a minute to jot it down. Maybe it’s a few quick lines of banter, maybe it’s a detail that works into the conflict. Whatever it is, if I don’t note it, chances are I won’t remember it the next time I actually get a chance to sit down at the computer.

Fourth, I keep my head in the story. Even if I can’t manage to find that chunk of time to sit down and write each night, I make sure that I spend at least a few minutes working on some element of the story every day. Then, when I do get that solid block of time, I don’t have to spend half of it reacquainting myself with where I was.

Lastly, I remember that having family means the writing doesn’t come first. I try not to get too frustrated by the fact that I can’t always do what I want, when I want. That’s part of life no matter who you are or what you do. What’s important is to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves and eventually we get where we want to go.

Do you have any tips on making the writing happen for busy moms/writers?

***Don’t forget to comment for the chance to win a copy of NOTHING STAYS IN VEGAS!

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