Hey, Writers, Let’s Pretend!

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Hey, writers (of the creative variety)!  Do you remember the simplicity of childhood make-believe?  Your bestie would come up to you and say “hey, let’s pretend that…” and would fill-in-the blank with something delightful, adventurous or silly, and it filled up your afternoon.  Maybe you played “house” (mom, dad, brother, baby, etc).  Maybe you played pirates, princesses, Ninja Turtles or (like me), Rainbow Brite.   But whatever it was, it was easy.  It was creative. It was fun.  And there was no agonizing over character motivation, contrived plots, style, or believe-ability.  It just happened.

I’ve been writing novels for almost four years, and in that time, I’ve struggled with the need to be perfect in my craft.  Clarity and strength is important in writing, yes, but sometimes, it’s a hindrance.  I know, it’s nothing new to be told that, for a rough draft, you “just need to write”–to get it out, and worry about making it look pretty and making it make sense later.  But if you’re like me, there’s still that midget of a voice in your brain,  demanding of you, perfection.  And so you sit and stare at the screen.  You stress.  You look at your outline and think, how did this seem so easy before?  How did this flow so wonderfully, how did these characters pop in my head, and how is it that now, now that I’m attempting to write this thing down, it’s…stagnant?

Now, somewhere along the journey of your WIP, you DO need to concern yourself with character, plot, style, etc, but if you’re working on your rough draft, my challenge to you is this:  Play make-believe.  That’s right: Hey, let’s pretend….!  Let it be simple.  Let it be fun.  Let go and don’t concern yourself with the fact that “as a RD, it’s going to be bad”, because with that kind of negative proclamation, you could be sabotaging your efforts.  Yes, it’s going to be bad, or at least not that great, but would kid you be concerned with that?  Wouldn’t kid you just…play?

(Disclaimer: it could be something else that’s causing your writing woes; this is just one method of troubleshooting that maybe you haven’t yet considered.)

So, for now, be a “kid” again (yes, even if your WIP involves blood, guts and scary stuffs), and just let your imagination run wild.  Go off your outline, sure, but when the words stop flowing, put yourself in your kid shoes again, and go from there.  And, hey, guess what!  If you have a young kid, you have a built-in model.  Watch them play, and follow their example.  Write without restraint. Remember, your profession is creative by nature.  So, Writer, create.  Pretend.  Play.

Time for me to take my own advice and finish my RD!  What about you?  How goes your WIP?

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December Featured Author

Looking for a quirky, fresh and fun series to read this season?  Look no further than the work of the delightful Kendra L. Saunders, author of the “Alien Pop Star” series.  Book one, “Dating an Alien Pop Star“, is available now, as is the sequel, “Engaged to an Alien Pop Star“.  Check it!

“Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating An Alien Popstar a sexy romantic comedy.”

 

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And the third in the series is on its way (“Marrying an Alien Pop Star”)!  While you’re waiting for it, check out Kendra’s other book, “The Unlove Spell“.    Just check out this gorgeous cover!

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Don’t forget to leave some sparkly reviews for Kendra on Amazon!  Cheers!

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The Christmas Beagle

It’s here at last!  “The Christmas Beagle” is now available!

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See what people are saying about my beloved heart-warming Christmas novella!

“This story felt like it was my story.”

“An emotional and sentimental read that warms your heart the whole way through.”

“..Definitely got me excited for Christmas….”

“…Bursting with quirky personality and lots of Christmas spirit!”

“Thank you S.E. Eaton for a loving, feel good story for the holidays!”

“It renewed my interest in reading books for pleasure. Well done, Eaton!”

“If there were a sequel, I’d be waiting for it!”

“Beautifully written and heartfelt story for the holidays.”

“I simply cannot say how much I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a heartwarming story.”

“It’s a beautiful, moving story and would definitely recommend it to anyone.”

Wow!  These reviews left me flattered, to say the least. I truly had a wonderful time writing this story and I am excited to find out what YOU think of it, too!  For more insight about what inspired me to write this story, click here.

“The Christmas Beagle”, out in the world:

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“Look what I got today!  Can’t wait to start reading it tonight!”

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“Sitting in Renton, Wa and about to start reading while I wait to be unloaded.”

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Pictured above: My sister Amanda, with her copy of “The Christmas Beagle”—signed by me and given to her by my mother for Christmas.  🙂

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Thank you for your continued support! I love you ALL!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Amazon.

 Buy “The Christmas Beagle”

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The Middle Grade Character

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Pictured: My niece, Chloe

My title protagonist from “Belinda Starr and the Metallic Enchantment” is, at the start of the story, eleven years old.  But eleven years old was a long time ago for me.  …Too long.

And as a writer, if I come off as condescending or not relatable to my target audience (middle grade), all is lost. I know that if I want to write a character from a age group different from mine well, if at all possible, I need to spend time with someone or lots of someones from that age group.  And I’m lucky enough to have a niece the same age (or close–she’s ten) as my protagonist.  I’ve also observed Girl Scout troops and youth groups of the same age, but it’s time with Chloe (said niece) that I love the most.  The reasons for that are twofold: One: it’s quality time with a smart, funny, sweet, creative girl whom I love with all my heart, and two: “Belinda”—courageous, blue eyes, freckles, plays basketball, loves animals—is modeled after Chloe.  It works well.

Today, after a breakfast at Applebee’s to support my nephew’s youth group fundraising, I had the honor of watching Chloe’s volleyball game and then toting her along to Christmas Gifts on Broadway.  This lovely shop is a traditional Christmas destination for our family, though it’s been years since I was last there, and this was Chloe’s first time. She was enamored with so many of their wonderful items, and it was a joy to see the look on her face as she buzzed from room to room, taking it the Christmas splendor.  I got to see it through her eyes, and the more time I spend with her, the more of her “middle-gradeness” will ingrain itself into my thought process.   Sometimes I take notes of what I see–sometimes merely mental notes—and sometimes I just enjoy the moment.   It all makes its way to my brain, and more importantly, to my heart.

…The moments where she acts silly and makes me laugh, shows her crafts and collectible toys, amazes me with her thoughtful insights about how the world works, and makes me proud with how hard she works at her sports and how much she loves her family and pets…gah, I love it.  I am in awe of her, and thankful to have her as a prime example of her age. She reminds me that middle-graders are, or can be hyper, child-like,  imaginative, goofy, intelligent, gross, thoughtful, loving, cranky, wise beyond their years, helpful, eager, frustrated, passionate, and adventurous.   On their best days, they’re bundles of chaotic fun, with waves of gentility, humility, and spurts of smack-you-upside-the-head wisdom. No wonder it’s such a fun and eventful age to write!

I love spending time with my niece.  When “Belinda” is finally published, I will owe (and already do owe) a big dose of gratitude to this girl.  So, here’s to you, Chloe Rhiannon.  My favorite (and only) niece, and forever my inspiration.  And to my readers, for another heart-warming article about inspiration and encouragement, click here.

What cute/endearing/funny/overall nice stories do you have about the kids in your life? Share in the comments! 

Psst!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and be sure to check out my novella “The Christmas Beagle“, available for pre-order soon!

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My Goals, Your Goals

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“Goals are dreams with deadlines”.  Though I’m having a difficult time finding who said this powerful quote, I wanted to include it in this blog post anyway.  Long ago Steven and I decided to stop wishing and start doing.  It’s been a slow process, but we’re not about to give up–life is too precious to do anything but what truly makes you happy.

My Goals (tell me yours in the comments below!):

•   Get BIG-TIME, hard-core published (million-dollar contracts, merchandising, film rights, the whole shebang! I’m not afraid to dream BIG, my friends!)

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•   Become a mother (we only want one…just ONE, I promise! LOL, famous last words…?)

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•   Make a huge, positive impact on a large number of people or animals (I’m not sure how this will be accomplished, but I feel it stirring in my soul).

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•  Start and run several successful businesses with my husband (this COULD be how I achieve the last item).

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•   Travel the world, but in particular, Ireland (I’m Irish, after all, and wow, have you seen the pictures…?  The verdant hills, the seas, the castles, the rich history…? Pure magic!).

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Though life has presented its struggles, we’re steadily working towards making these desires a reality.  And along the way, we’re enjoying each other’s company and appreciating the blessing that we can be together almost every day.  Now it’s your turn!  What do YOU want to accomplish?  What are YOUR goals?  Are any of your goals similar to mine? Let me know in the comments below!

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November Featured Author

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of having author April L. Wood make a guest appearance at the cover reveal party for “The Christmas Beagle“.  In short, April was and is awesome, and I for one can’t wait until my next book purchase, because you can bet your sweet patootee it’ll include this intriguing tale:

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Here’s a synopsis:  Winter’s Curse is a young adult (YA) paranormal romance about a teenage ice witch named Winter who is cursed once her High Priestess Grandmother wagers her womb in a broom flying contest. Winter finds love and safety with Turmeric of a rival witch clan… except, their inter-clan love is forbidden. Winter is doubly cursed!

What’s cool is that April included recipes of foods described in the book!  What a fun way to really bring a story to life!  You can buy “Winter’s Curse” here!

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Cover Reveal Party-The Christmas Beagle

 

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YOU’RE INVITED!

Get cozy! 

Join us November 4th, 2 to 6 PM Pacific Time, for the online cover reveal of “The Christmas Beagle”!  There will be contests, guest authors, prizes and a special surprise at the end!  And, of course, you will all get to see “The Christmas Beagle” cover!   It all takes place on my Facebook Author page, right here!

Meet Talented Authors

At 3:00 PM (Pacific Time), author April Wood will chat with us about her upcoming novel “Season of the Witch”, and at 4:00 Heather Blanton, author of “In Time For Christmas” and “A Lady in Defiance”, will take over to talk about her books.  What a great opportunity to mingle with great writers and learn more about their work!

Win Prizes!

There will be contests throughout the evening, with prizes including Starbucks gift cards and a free advanced digital copy of “The Christmas Beagle”!

How to Join the Party

It’s easy!  Just click here, and click the “GOING” button.  Then, on November 4th, keep a look out for posts form the party in your feed, or go to the party’s page and join right in on the fun!   See you there!