Our Mission Statement:

The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Feminine Spirituality

When I signed up to write a blog in November, I thought I would write about "being thankful" because that's where my focus is in November. And I do have much to be thankful for this year! However,I've just read an interesting book called The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It is her first novel, and all the while I was reading, I kept trying to figure out why her name seemed so familiar. I finally googled her name and found out that she used to write for Guide Post. She is now known as a contemplative, feminine spiritualist--thus the title for this blog. I found it interesting that Dr. David Jeremiah of "Turning Point" lists her along with Rick Warren and Brother Lawrence and others as "people who have discovered how we can bring real living excitement into this life".

One thing I find especially interesting about her is that her first full length publications are highly acclaimed memoirs. Regardless of what one might think of her "theology", I think The Secret Life of Bees shows a rich imagination at work. Lily, the main character will "stay with me" for awhile.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nano Bits

I should have known better than to sign up for a blog in November, when I planned to do NaNoWriMo. SO I am a week late. But if we're all a week late, we'll be on time, right?

The good thing about having the external motivation of Nano is that I'm getting more writing done than I think I've ever done in such a short amount of time.

The bad thing is that it is at the expense of other important things in my life, like housecleaning. Luckily I'm not expecting a lot of guests this month.

SInce I haven't had time to organize a coherent thought that doesn't involve my novel, I"m going to link to some resources I've found during the course of this month.

First, I was relieved to find this article on "Dialogue Spines", because it is something I'd been doing in my first drafts anyway. Now I know it isn't just lazy writing to let my characters yammer on and then add the scenery and flesh out the scene later.

Something that bothered me a lot in my first novel was the unwieldiness of using Word (or the shareware equivalent, Open Office, which is what I actually use)for the two-hundred page plus document that was my novel, plus the multiple smaller documents that were things like scene lists and character lists, plus my handwritten outlines and character studies and such. After I put that novel aside, I sort of forgot about it.

Last week I stumbled across a computer program specifically for novelists that has all those features and more. It's called Liquid Story Binder, and you can download it for a free month trial, which is what I've done. There are so many features that it's overkill for me, actually, but if I can at least figure out the basics that I would need and use, I think it will be just what I need. I'm going to try to master it enough to figure out if it is indeed what I want by the end of the month, as it is on sale half off for November.

The Nano Pep Talks are available online here and are good reading even if you aren't doing a Nanowrimo novel.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I missed my blog post deadline, but forgive me: I'm NaNoWrithing.
Yes, you read that right. I'm doin' the NaNoWriMo, and I'm at the point (it hits me late, I guess) where I'm going, "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!" So, yeah. I'm NaNoWrithing.

For those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanowrimo. It's wikipedia, so not the final authority, but a pretty good start.

If you think you might want to participate (you'd be starting kind of late, this year, but it's not unheard of either) go here: www.nanowrimo.org.

It's the best thing I've ever seen other than Dr.Wicked's "Write or Die" (here: http://writeordie.drwicked.com/)for slapping those words down on the virtual paper (or real -- many people still do it old school) and turning off the crabby little internal editor.

If you wanna write, you'll write, but sometimes you have a hard time getting over that hurdle of perfection. The NaNo helps with that.

So does Dr. Wicked...but you better be prepared to suffer if you don't keep typing...

Write on!

Edited to Add: (and show I don't endorse without trying first ;-)