I had filmed a video yesterday morning, one of those “What’s in my Bag?” videos, then finally posted it on my channel this morning.  While I think I did okay on it, in actuality I think I have way too many bags. My husband says I do. While I do tend to overpack for any endeavor, I love bags. Not purses, mind you, but bags that serve a purpose (I hate purses, btw. ).

For instance, there is my little Krafter’s Purse, which is kind of cute by the way, and quite “bright breast cancer pink,” but again, I bought it to serve a purpose: to hold arts and crafts supplies. And it’s small, especially compared to my (quite large in my opinion) standard-size craft bag. And both of these have some great pockets for keeping things organized and easily seen, but out of the way.

Then there’s the tote bags. I have quite a few of those. I have a quite sturdy cotton canvas tote with real wood buttons (well, I lost one button but I don’t care), that work with a loop closure to keep the top closed. Great in case of rain. I like to use this if I’m going somewhere with at least two of my journals. I’ve had this tote bag for about two years. Another reason I like this bag is that I can wash it with the rest of the laundry. When it’s fresh and clean, I even rub clear wax on the bottom and the handles to keep it from getting dirty too soon.

Last year, I found a 100% organic cotton tote bag. It’s smaller and much less sturdy than the above bag, and has long handles ( I can’t use any bags with long handles because I am tempted to hang them on my shoulders. I have been told by my chiropractor not to do this), but for some reason I like it. Right now, I use it for keeping my current crochet projects out of the sun. I think it works well for this.

I also have a cotton canvas briefcase I use for toting my laptop to meetings, if I feel like I need it.

Then, like I mentioned in the video, I had found that little black backpack. I think it will be useful for me. I recently got rid of a bonded leather backpack purse I’d had for years. I loved it. But it was time to let it go. It had gotten worn with time, and there were features it had I never used.

So while I have hemmed and hawed over trying to find a bag that works for me, and what I think I need now, I actually think that what I need is. . . .  what I need that day.

So. Yeah. . . .  I know.

 

 

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Random Thoughts on my Work in Progress

When I started doing research for my novel in 2008, I came across a lot of things… some of which have become a part of every day life for some, now.

I had a character who was into making everything, from the products she cleaned with, to the cloths she used to clean the house, and cooked from scratch every day.

Now, it’s a thing to do all of that.

Plus, she makes her own medicines. Lives off the land. Some people do that.

Was I onto something? I don’t know. But it sometimes makes me think that maybe it’s not as much of an original idea, now.

In early January of 2008 I had an idea for a fantasy novel, several months after the last Harry Potter book came out. Maybe I was bored. Although I don’t know how I could have been: I was an adult Mass Comm student, mom of a soon-to-be four year old, and a freelance writer/editor/photographer.

Anyway, I just loved doing the research involved with the story. I didn’t remember doing research for a fiction story before. Heck, I hadn’t written fiction in ages. I was having fun! Maybe too much fun, though.

After about six months of that, making some notes on plot and writing a few scenes, I realized I may be taking a long time to write it. And a couple months back I realized I couldn’t write the whole story as one book. It would have to be a trilogy. I remember thinking: Uh oh. Now I said to my self, like my son sometimes says: Really uh oh. 

Some other things happened in my personal life that year, which pushed me back some as well, like moving and having some medical issues in my family.

Doubts started to creep in, as well. After all, some writers seemed to be on the same wavelength as me, coming out with stories of young adults having supernatural adventures in strange lands of possibly Celtic origin. Sigh.

I didn’t know what to think. Who to believe, as well. But I did start going to critique groups, which helped me a lot. Even though I found out some don’t think writers should attend critique groups until you have a finished first draft. Sigh again.

I was just trying to get the darn thing done. And trying to see if I was on the right track.

And learning how to be a mom to a kid with special needs.

All in the same year. Or two. Or three.

Sometimes it seemed impossible. At least improbable, anyway, that I would ever finish it. After the five year mark, I just thought it would never get done. So why bother?

However, due to meeting some great people in the occasional critique groups, writers meetings and writers conferences who listened to me talk about my idea, and staying in touch with them online, people would ask me about it. I started feeling encouraged again.

I am grateful to them. Because I have been writing again. Thanks, guys!!

Especially to: Kat Heckenbach (another author with a female character in a foreign land, where there are supernatural goings-on… ),  Kim Kelly Hackett, Miriam Goodspeed, Chris Coad Taylor, etc., etc., etc., also to the FWA (Florida Writers Association), BAPWG (Bay Area Professional Writers Guild), the TWA (Tampa Writers Alliance), etc., etc., etc.

You all rock!!

P.S. I hope to blog weekly now, giving status updates on the progress of my novel, and possibly on other projects. Stay tuned!

 

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This Week’s Post

So I’m trying to go to a weekly post. This week, I am pretty busy, with getting ready for Camp NaNoWriMo, getting ready for some editing jobs, and prepping some of my Autism Awareness crafts for photos. Because Saturday starts Autism Awareness Month, of course. I’ll link to all of my social media, including my blog here, and my other blog — called A Dance With Disability — my Google+, and anything else I can think of.

Anyway, this week, in prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have been working on characters, and I have been revising more of my plot. I have been rewriting my character sketch for my main character, and adding in a few new things, using the book Tarot for Writers. I just got it a week ago, and it is amazing!

I am also working on making a Writer Tag/Author Tag/Newbie Tag video for my YouTube Channel. I have been getting a few thoughts together over the course of the morning.

***

It’s now afternoon, and  I’m getting my notes together. I hope this works!

Here’s the link to my video.

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Necronomicon 2016

Well, I’ve edited this post way too many times. . .  And then I got so busy, I forgot to post it!! *Sigh.* Oh, well. Here it is:

 

Yes, I went to Necronomicon again this year, and it was great! I went all three days, and I’m really glad I did.

I met some really wonderful people, and got to talk to some friends. Some of which just happen to be really great authors.

Like Dr. Rick Wilber, former sports reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and former Mass Communications instructor at  USF. He writes some great short stories involving baseball (some of which I have read), and his new Sci Fi novel is on my to-read list.

Also, friend and fellow fantasy writer Kat Heckenbach, who also creates works of art in many forms. Including some very cool Harry Potter-esque wands!

There were lots of panel discussions on writing, creativity, and even different fandoms. One was on the Marvel movie universe.

Lots of fandoms were represented among the cosplayers. There was a pool of Deadpool cosplayers in different variations of the character, haha.

Some attendees (whether authors, artists, or others) came for the cosplaying. Some to hopefully sell books. But we all had a great time!

At least, I know I did.

 

 

 

 

 

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I entered a contest

Some of my online friends know that not only am I a writer, I am a sometime crafter.

I just went to scrapbook.com to check out a stamp, then was offered to enter a contest in order to win a bunch of supplies and equipment, worth I think about $2,500. You do have to  do some poking around their website in order to have additional entries, but I am interested in learning more about papercrafting anyway, so I just ran the free video class while I finished it up.

Also, writing this blog post was on the list of ways I can generate more entries. *shrug* So I figured, why not? if it helps me get some words down today, I’ll do it. I think some of my many (ahem) followers might be interested. . . .

 

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Under Construction. . . .

I’m undergoing a revamping/reconstruction of my blog. I haven’t been posting for quite a while, but I have been thinking about getting back to this, especially now that I’m serious about finishing my book.

I have also been doing some art recently. I never thought of myself as an artist growing up, but I was always doodling. I also seem to have a need to keep my pencil moving when listening to a lecture or phone call. Flip through my yellow legal notepad of to do lists, and you would see that it’s filled with sketched tornadoes, cubes, hearts and spirals.

So, keep an eye out for upcoming content, and please give any (albeit constructive, please) feedback on how it’s coming! Thanks,

Heather

 

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Death in Writing – It’s Not a Story Unless Someone Dies by Brad Windhauser

I have been blocked on a certain story I’ve been working on for quite a long while. Reading this blog post made me reconsider my strategy on opening the story. This was a very interesting read!

Five Writers

Death in Writing – It’s Not a Story Unless Someone Dies by Brad Windhauser

I don’t have a morbid fascination with death. I didn’t grow up surrounded by death. Although I did have the extreme misfortune of losing two friends in high school—two separate car accidents—I don’t have a pessimistic view of life. However, somewhere along the way—perhaps influenced by these tragic experiences—I internalized that the most potent way for someone to feel was to experience the death of a loved one. So, this explains why most of my early stories included a death of some kind. Now, I do my best to avoid this narrative option.

Because death is a part of life, writers shouldn’t avoid death all together. For many (and for a long time my outlook), how else does someone get so close to the life-changing emotions that accompany the grief associated with this type of loss?…

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