Precious Prose: A New Year’s Resolution

It’s about that time that we all start loudly announcing new goals for the year, letting as many people know what we intend so that we feel guilty if we don’t follow through (at least for a little while). This year I’m not promising to eat less chocolate (who would do something so silly?!) or work out more or spend more time with my family (though both of these would be nice). I have enough of those things, thanks. Instead, this is the year I will write more! I’m saying this loudly so the people in the back can hear me… In the next 365 days I am going to try and write as much as I possibly can. I’m also going to try and publish as much as I can.

To say I have big plans for this year is underestimating it by a thousand. I have huge plans; ginormous, great big dinosaur-sized plans.

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And maybe I’ll discover that I only have tiny T-Rex arms to accomplish these monster-sized plans, but I will try anyway.

I am lucky this year because I have the luxury of taking some time off of “work” and devoting myself to writing. I put “work” in quotation marks because I think writing is just as much work as any other job. Yes, it looks different from the outside. I won’t be going to an office. I won’t be sitting down to grade papers or plan lessons. I won’t be meeting with students or other professors. But I will still be working. Just like with teaching, there will be times I procrastinate, times I phone it in, times I’m unsatisfied with my product or wish I had more time to spend on one thing or the other.

But the point of taking time off from my “day job” is to WRITE. And, like I said, I have big plans. I want to train myself to produce prose that is good as well as fast. I want to write drafts in a matter of days or weeks rather than months or years. I want to write a helluva lot of words this year and publish as many of them as I can.

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And this is all in an effort to make my prose less precious to me.

Let me ‘splain.

As writers, we get attached to our words. We often get caught up in word count (see my previous post) and in getting things just right. We can linger over one word for a long time, wondering if it truly expresses all that we mean to say, and terrified that there’s another word out there that might do the job better than the one we have. We can linger the same way over sentences, paragraphs, chapters, worrying them until they are unrecognizable.

But lately I have been thinking a lot about improv, and procrastination, and the idea of splashing words on a page and handing them in. (Can you tell I’ve just finished a semester where I graded many many papers written at the last minute?) I’ve been thinking of deadlines and just getting things done, no matter how good or bad I think they are. I have a notebook full of ideas to think and write about. All genres, all styles, all lengths, all formats. Nothing is off limits this year. This time around, it’s all about volume.

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It’s not going to be easy. And I’m sure you’ll hear more from me as I push myself to achieve these big goals. But for the moment I’m excited and ready to take on a new year and a lot of new words.

What are your New Year’s goals, writing or otherwise? What do you hope to accomplish in the next twelve months?

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Helping Disaster Victims by Sharing Stories

Give us this day...This past week I celebrated my *mumbleteen* birthday. In all it was a glorious day of me doing absolutely nothing but exactly what I wanted to. That is to say, reading. I am not a watcher of television (though right now Lost Girl on Netflix seems to hold sway in the brief moments of “what do I do next” in my life). I also don’t subscribe to any news aggregators or websites of any kind. This leaves me blissfully free of any of the baloney political crap that seems to get my ire up in a big damned hurry. The downside, of course, is that it leaves me blissfully unaware of major events happening in the world and I must, sadly, rely on people notifying me, usually after the fact. Continue reading

New Things I’ve Discovered And Am Obsessed With


You know that feeling you get when you get when you discover something new and fall in love with it-to the point where you become obsessed with it and devour as much of it as you possibly can? That’s happened to me recently, and I thought I’d share them with you lovely folks so that I have someone else to share the madness with. Continue reading

What Are You Reading?

Alright, Teatimers, it’s time to show us your bookshelves! I need to make a wishlist of new books for people to buy me for Christmas! So please leave some comments telling us what you’re reading at the moment, romance or otherwise.

Outlander_cover_2001_paperback_editionI’ve just finished reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Or, I should really say REreading since I can’t count the number of times I’ve read this book. If you’ve never heard of it, click here now. It’s the first book in a truly epic historical fiction series that has one of the best couples/romances in literature. Bonus: it’s soon to be a tv series. So jump on board this fandom before it goes truly mainstream.

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I’ve also just finished reading Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1&2, and Henry V. In addition to being a Shakespeare nut (hello English major concentration!), I’ve been watching the amazing adaptations of these plays. You can watch them, too, thanks to PBS’s Great Performances series. Bonus: Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, and about every other awesome British actor you can name (expect Benedict Cumberbatch, who was busy elsewhere making everyone’s ovaries explode)!

And at the moment I’m deep into some research for a new book, so I’m reading two books for that: Set Fair for Roanoke and The Virginia Adventure.

So what are you reading? Share your lists in the comments!

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Teatime Romance!

Happy Birthday!

Teatime Romance has turned 1 year old.

Actually that’s not entirely true. As of this writing we’re one year, one month and 15 days old. You see, our real birthday was last month. On September 1st to be exact. It’s not that we forgot. No really it’s more that as of that very moment, we didn’t know it was September 1st… Okay, maybe we sort of forgot. But not for long and it says a lot about how busy we are here in the Tearoom. Guests arriving, snacks and tea to share, novels to chat about. Continue reading

On Returning Home

As you read this, I am in my adopted home state of Florida, being the surprise visitor to my mother’s 60th birthday party. This visit came as a surprise to me too, when my mother’s fiance contacted me to ask if my husband and I would mind being flown into Florida for the party. Well, I never turn a trip down, so here I am, back from the big metropolitan areas (hey, if you could see where I lived in Florida, you’d know why these cities are huge to me) of North Carolina.

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Key Largo Palms taken by Sxc.hu user Winterdove

Continue reading

Fireworks

Today is the Fourth of July and here in the United States that means we are celebrating Independence Day.  Everywhere else in the world it just means it’s the first Thursday in July.  It also means it is my day to post here at Teatime Romance, so I’m totally going to take the opportunity to share this video, because I love it.

Go ahead, watch it.  I’ll wait.

Now wasn’t that awesome?  Schoolhouse Rock, FTW.

And now, onto the real post.
One of my favorite things about the Fourth of July is fireworks.  Currently I live in Montana and these folks take their fireworks seriously.  Like my fellow Montanans, I, too, am a fireworks fan.  I’ve been to my share of sporting events with Big Bang shows after and theme parks aplenty. I’ve seen the various fireworks shows at Disneyland often enough that I know them by heart.  Fireworks, quite frankly, are awesome. Continue reading