Friday, September 27, 2019

Li'l Pears of Sunshine

Last Wednesday on Instagram I debuted my new art series Li'l Pears of Sunshine, and I'm excited to share the first one here with you today, too!

Frost Your Words With Kindness……ESPECIALLY to yourself! Why is it we can be so kind and encouraging to friends, family, and even those we’ve just met, yet be so brutal and hard on ourselves? We put ourselves down for what we perceive as not good enough, for not measuring up or being who we think we SHOULD be rather than happily enjoying and reminding ourselves of the wonderful, unique, amazing person we actually are.

The concept for this whole series began because I slowly (very slowly) started to recognize this constant, negative dialogue I had with myself. I started practicing mindfulness, using a simple phrase to pull myself back when I caught myself immersed in that negative thought/overthinking spiral…”Bring it on back, Sunshine," and in a gentle voice--as in bring your focus on back to the blessings right in front of you. My dad used to call us Sunshine like that when we were kids (and even now sometimes๐Ÿ˜) and always with a big smile on his face. It always made me feel happy and special, making it the perfect, positive reinforcement. And it honestly worked. Yes, it was a slow process, and I’m still working on it--but I actually get proud of myself now because I catch the negative patterns so much sooner, switch them out, and focus on all the blessings in my life that show me positivity really is a far better path. So, frost your words with kindness, Sunshine, and remember to show YOURSELF the same love and encouragement you so generously give to others ๐Ÿฅฐ☀️๐Ÿ. 

This is just the beginning, so if you want to see more or follow the series, I will be posting new ones twice a week on Instagram @lilpearsofsunshine, once a week here on my blog and occasionally other social media sites like facebook and twitter.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tuesday Tips: Do you have the right time?

(Repost from July 2018 because I am finding it relevant yet again for a handy tip)

Are you sure?  Because quite a number of manuscripts that cross my desk don't.
  • Characters are noted as preparing for a birthday party in two weeks, but a month passes before the actual event happens.  
  • A court date is set for Monday, but the characters meet to discuss it the next Thursday.
  • The characters meet on Thanksgiving, kiss under the mistletoe on Christmas Eve, then sleep together a week before Christmas.  
Sure makes readers scratch their head and think, Huh?

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your manuscript is to print out a blank calendar page--weekly or monthly, even yearly depending on the time frame of your story--and keep it beside your keyboard as you write.  Jot down a quick reference note on the day the story opens and every time a day goes by or a time lapse such as "a few weeks later" are mentioned. Underlining, highlighting, or making main events bold also helps. (If you are anything like me, you'll have a cupful of colored pens beside your monitor, too ๐Ÿ˜) 

Having a calendar to make notes on not only gives you a visual of the timeline and pacing of your story, but you will quickly find the holes that can happen, the gaps needing to be filled or validated to make the story flow appropriately.   As you revise, keep track again, maybe in a different color, to ensure new details, added scenes or pages, stay on target or show you where you need to revise again to ensure the timeline makes sense to your readers.

And if your story is to happen in a certain time frame, even better.  Jot down the start day and the end day, which now gives you a direct timeline to play with.  Fill in the main events, scratch them out, mark the days up again, and keep playing around with it until you find the natural flow of events necessary for an accurate time frame.

But what if I write by the seat of my pants, you ask?  Pansters unite--because having a calendar doesn't mean you have to know every detail right away, that's why you keep the page beside your computer, so as the creative juices flow and you twist and turn your plot and characters, you can make quick notes on the calendar page, too.  Then, when you look at it after the first draft, you have the perfect visual reference guide to assist you in making those decisions needed for revisions, those fine-tuning details that really bring your story to life...and on time.

A search on Google for free calendar pages will produce loads to choose from, or simply draw up a blank template of your own.

Whether you are a planner or a panster, it's a good idea to have blank calendar pages in your writer's toolkit to pull out before beginning each new manuscript.



๐Ÿ™‹Don't forget to check out my links on the side to pop on over and visit me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Just a few more days...

If you have been following me on Instagram--@bystacydawn--then you will know that it is only a few more days before I debut my new signature art series...

I am so excited!!  This Wednesday is a big day for another reason, too, and I will share both of these on the blog then as well as setting up a new regular blog stay tuned!