Category Archives: February

Part six of The Whiteboard

You can find part five of The Whiteboard here http://wp.me/p3VxaG-1QS

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So, here is the sixth part or installment of our strange tale. The Whiteboard is about a woman whose dry erase board at her job suddenly starts issuing someone’s opinion and becomes the object of their interest with her as the recipient.  Today we find out what happens next.

©The Whiteboard Part Six by Kim Smith

The writer didn’t put out new whiteboard writing at all on Thursday. By the time Anne got ready to leave work, she had convinced herself it was just a silly office game someone was playing with her and best left ignored. She wanted no part in it.

But when she prepared to leave for the day, she couldn’t locate her keys.

She was fastidious to a fault and to misplace anything was not her norm. She checked her sweater hanging on the back of the door, took every item out of her purse. turned it upside down and patted it to make anything inside fall out.

Nothing did.

And she had an immense set of keys. They were impossible to miss when they were lying on the desk or in the bottom of her purse. She checked her desk, every nook and cranny, even looking all around on the floor.

The keys were officially missing.

She gazed up at the whiteboard. Nothing there to give her a hint.

Or was there?

In very tiny writing, using the yellow marker this time, was one single line that she had completely missed.

“I like your car.”

Now, a cold drip of fear sucked through her belly. Did the writer take her keys?

She had to go to her car.

Of course, the writer had taken the keys.  Why else were they missing? The writer was taunting her. Anger made her breath come out in a whoosh as she strode from her office headed straight for the elevator.

If this lunatic had done anything to her car…she’d kill him. Or her. She didn’t care. When she got her hands on them, they’d be a believer.

When she walked outside, she blinked at the brilliance of the sun as it shone on her face. She would love to be able to just sit on the concrete steps and enjoy it. But instead, she thought about how unfair life was. She couldn’t even enjoy the seasonal beauty because someone had gotten focused on her and now had her heart filled with hate.

When she arrived at the car, her keys were lying just underneath the car’s door. Did she accidentally drop them? Had she been all keyed up over the writer’s activities and been at fault all along?

She scooped them up and walked around her car, suspiciously. She had had to have them in her hands to lock the vehicle’s door’s with the clicker. It was obviously locked. Besides, hadn’t the writer said in the latest writing that they liked the car?

Frustrated, she rushed inside the building to go straight to her boss’s office. Enough was enough. When she walked into her supervisor’s office, it was like it wasn’t even her moving her legs. She was a robot performing some weird pre-designed action.

“What’s up?” Mr. Stanton asked.

“I…I have a problem,” she replied, looking at the various items on his desk, formulating her thoughts.

“Like?”

He was being kind.

She was approaching this all wrong. She dove in anyway.

“Y-yes,” she stammered. “I’ve been having a visitor at night in my office.”

She glanced at him.

He steepled his fingers together and sat back.

“A visitor?”

__________

Well, there you have it, my friends. What do you think will happen next?

 

 

 

Weekly links: Mixed bag of goodies

Good morning, lovelies! It’s a mixed bag for links this week. There is some stuff about Valentines Day (sorry, I know it’s over) and there is some stuff about blogs, stuff about technology, etc. It’s just fun to click a link and magically get transported to someone’s blog and see what they are talking about, isn’t it?

I am going to try to get a real blog post up here soon. I have a lot to share, but just no time to share it!

I also hope to be updating the website soon, so be sure to look for new stuff coming soon.

Speaking of bags, is anyone packing theirs to come to Mid South Con next month? Yes, I know. It’s already mid-February!

WEEKLY LINKS

The Book Designer 

The Passive Voice

Bustle

Self Publishing Advice

LitHub

Plot to Punctuation

SeptemberCFawkes

That’s it today, folks. I hope your week flies right by!

 

 

This is one of those days when I need some reminders that all is not lost, things will turn around, and I will feel more myself soon. I am facing a huge loss, serious story-development, a leaking faucet, and a dirty house. It’s the small stuff that really gets to me sometimes. In case you are having one of these days too, here is a little reminder for us.

 

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When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. —Henry Ford

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Here is what I ended up telling myself after some coffee and meditation.

The loss is greatest when it’s someone you love, but this loss is not forever, only a temporary condition.  The story is your baby and you have to chastise it about its poor posture and terrible weight problem for its own good. A leaking faucet should be an adventure in learning via Youtube. And a dirty house is one hour from being righted when armed with the right tools.

[Tweet “There is nothing I cannot accomplish as long as I remember failure is not an option.”]

In case you have a leaky faucet, here is the video I watched – before learning it wasn’t the faucet but instead the sprayer- 

 

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How can I make my mornings more productive as a writer?

Most of my life, I have been one of those people everyone hates. I am a morning person. I like to get up early and begin the day with the chickens. Not everyone is like that, however.

And since I am a morning person, I was never the popular family member. My kids still get mad at me if I text them before 8 AM – after two cups of coffee have been consumed. You can imagine their growls as I smiled at them from the foot of the bed, all  chirpy greeting every day.

Now the kids are off on their own life adventures, and I have the day’s beginnings to myself, so I enjoy the solitude most days. I find that I am a whole lot less busy with family in the mornings now, but I love them just the same. It’s being a writer, and that whole experience-it’s my kid now. And yes, I have some great morning routines that keep me on track. And so, I thought I would share some of them with you in case you could use a dose of someone else’s helpful habits.

Even if you are not a person who likes mornings,  you have probably had times where you got out of bed and everything went south from that second. Maybe you spilled your coffee, forgot your phone, had an accident on the way to  work, and couldn’t get the job done on time once you reached the workplace, so you felt like a complete failure for the remainder of the day.

It won’t take many of those to make you grab the antacid.

So here’s 10 ways to make your morning easier

1. Take time for your family

It’s why I even mentioned the info above about my kids. If we do not have a loving and fun start to our day with our family, it is for sure someone is going out the door in a bad mood. That can lead to all sorts of interesting problems. So, try hard to be that morning person that everyone hates. It’s as easy as reading a funny joke on the Internet before waking the kids. This goes for your spouse as well. No one likes a grump.

2. Try finding motivational quotes

I love to use inspirational quotes and positive affirmations to keep myself on a happy path. I post them in obvious places for the whole family to see, and it does help ground us in something to feel good about ourselves. Even if it is just you in the morning these feel-good quotes can keep you smiling.

3. See your accomplishments

It’s like – why be positive, keep smiling, etc. if you don’t have a picture of what you are trying to get to? I keep a picture of a beautiful painting in front of me with the image of water and mountains and serenity right where I can see it each day. If you make the positive affirmation you are thinking on- into a PICTURE you can see – then you are reinforcing that saying in your mind.

4. Write it down

You should use your writing skills for putting what you want to accomplish into a written form. Write down what you want to achieve in goals. Do you want to write a first draft? Write it down, and put yourself a deadline to get it done. You can do this for ALL goals – even life goals.

5. Get healthy

Health plays a big role in how we feel. If we are sick, or feeling unwell, we are less likely to sit down and get any writing done. Begin today to eat well. Have healthy oatmeal for breakfast and steamed veggies for lunch. Try eating a banana or apple for a snack instead of chips and cookies. Your body will thank you and you will feel more productive.

6. Work out your body

It is a proven fact that working out can increase your mental stability. Those endorphins that are released from physical exertion make your writing time stable and filled with great things. Even if it is only a short walk each day, doing something physical will make you feel great. Great writing comes from great feeling of overall health.

7. Pre-work

Even laborers of some companies are taken into a pre-work meeting each day for the boss to lay out the work. You should do this too. Check your production schedule. See what you have planned for the day. Pay your bills, clean your kitchen, and let the dog out before you sit down to do your writing for the day. If you get the pre-work out of the way, you are more likely to stay in the writing chair.

8. Housework can help you!

It can! I have found that mundane tasks can get me into the mood to write. I find that when I am occupied with something mindless, my muse decides to talk to me. Making the bed, sweeping the floors, etc. are great muse-tweakers!

9. Do crossword puzzles

it is amazing how much finding new words and looking up their meanings can help you with your writing life. Sometimes all it takes is a new word that sums up exactly what you are trying to say to send you off to the writing chair. Try crosswords, word searches, etc. to get your writing brain kicked into high gear.

10. Make more time

This is the big one for me. I always try to make time to write. It’s a daily habit. Even if it is only for twenty minutes a day, I will get those words down. If you can watch ten minutes of a news program every morning, you can write 500 words. Make more time in your day for writing and see the growth of your story!

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I know this is a short list of things to make your writing life better. Do you have more? Share with us below in the comments.

This is one of those days where I either slept too much and not enough. I am tired, whatever the case. Yes, I think you can sleep too much and it makes you tired.

I have pulled a muscle in my chest wall, on the right side, on the side of my bony juncture where my ribs join(my breastbone?) It’s extremely painful and no matter how I hold my arms, if I move, I flex it. I know how I did it. I yanked on my backpack one-handed and tossed it over one shoulder. I have to work today, and I guess ibuprophen is in order. Moving my arms in any direction just hurts.

This is going to be a brutal day. But I’m a trooper and plan on working through it. I went out of town over the weekend and really got nothing done. I can’t do that; it flatlines my production plan.

Today I planned to blog about my favorite authors, and how they inspire me with the way they handle their success. I think it would be a great subject for aspiring authors, (I always get questions from them).

But because I really, really need to get out of the Interwebs and get some serious work done, I’m going to keep it light, but give you the best advice for authors that I have in a quick easy-to-read format.

-If you’re looking for good advice on how to be a better writer, check out Writer Groupie. It’s a great podcast, and the guests all have a better handle on writing than me, so their advice is solid.

-If you’re looking for info on how to e-publish your books and get into it, check out the Kindleboards or Kboards as they are lovingly called.

-If you’re wondering how to self-publish and build a business with it, check out Joanna Penn’s business site, The Creative Penn. She’s the expert on all things Authorpreneur.

This is a very short list. The bottom line is, if you want to go indie, you have to get out there and do your due diligence and find out. There are so many great sites and so much info you will have to surf a lot to find the nuggets amongst the dirt. But hey, if I can do it, anyone can, right?

OKay, back to formatting on book two. A real update about that coming soon!