Friday Quotes #9 – Dahlia Adler

dahlia is an overachiever

Any writer – any person – can tell you that sometimes you get so busy in life that you are FORCED to place things on the figurative “back burner.” It’s common. It happens to the best of us. The thing that gets me through it sometimes is that cool kids like Beyonce and Sergei Polunin probablyyyyy have to back burner the hell out of things sometimes too.

But what happens when you’re not just letting things slide because you’re busy? What happens when your energy is zapped and it’s a miracle you’ve made it through the day without crying or sleeping for 10 hours?
Dahlia wrote a great post explaining how It’s Not Just You and because Dahlia is an overachiever, she tweeted it too and LOOKIT THAT, THE THING IS GOIN’ VIRAL.
But the point is, people are responding to that because it’s TRUE.
In case you’ve noticed, Trench Coats & Quotes has been curiously absent on all fronts. It hasn’t been intentional. It’s just because we’ve both kind of hit our max for the time being. For me, I’ll tell you exactly what my problem is – I’m not only stretched too thin, but I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety right now. And it’s seriously draining. I’m juggling a 70-hour work week with teaching dance and writing, and applying for ESL jobs and lesson planning for those applications and socializing and dating and that’s not even factoring in all the little stuff that happens during my week, like paying bills and fitting in my monthly Brazilian. (What do you MEAN, “TMI”???!)
That’s all I’ll say on it. But I just want you to know that sometimes you’ll get where I am and you’ll backburner your S.O. and your Twitter friends and your hygiene and your writing. You’ll backburner your entire life. And that’s okay for a little while.
xo
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Love is in the air! And on the page. And the screen.

This weekend is highly anticipated for many reasons.
1) It’s the weekend. Duh.
2) It’s Valentine’s Day! Time to lovey-dovey with that special someone. Ooh-la-la!
3) Mr. Grey will see you now. Well, more like you’ll see him. A lot of him.

This has been one of the most controversial movies, and books, that I’ve heard of. There seems to be no in between. People either love it or they hate it. Twilight was similar in picking sides (funny, as it FSoG started as a Twilight fan-fic), but Mr. Grey’s kinky tendencies are what really turned the world on their head. Personally, I enjoyed the books. I also enjoyed Twilight. They were both fun reads that let you leave the world behind for a bit. That’s the purpose of a book, is it not? Just because I enjoyed it doesn’t mean it applies to me or I want it to happen to me. Do I think it would be cool to be a werewolf that I knew wouldn’t rip me to shreds? Yeah. Do I want a red room of pain in my house? Not so much. I wouldn’t say no to a ride in Charlie Tango though. A lot of people in my neck of the woods are very anti 50 Shades, so I really doubt that they’ll be waiting in line to see the movie. What’s a book lover to do then? I decided to name some other book-to-movie adaptions that fit within the romance genre. These are also great if you just feel like staying home and snuggling with that special someone or you can read your favorite excerpts from the book. I know, you’re welcome!

The Princess Bride
As you wish. This one is definitely a classic.

The Notebook
Or any other book written by Nicholas Sparks. These aren’t my favorites as they tend to have bittersweet story lines (I prefer happy), but this man sure does know how to write romance.

Stardust
A fallen star, a boy trying to win the love of a girl. Add in a few evil witches and a gay sky captain and you’ve got yourself a romance.

Pride and Prejudice
The book that has so many re-tellings I couldn’t list them all. And there’s a reason for it. Who doesn’t dream of Mr. Darcy at some point in their life?

Austenland
If you haven’t seen this and you even remotely like Jane Austen, GO WATCH IT NOW.

Anna Karenina

This suggestion is from the rockin’ Candice. Keira Knightley and Jude Law? Why haven’t I seen this yet?!

One Day

Another suggestion from Candice! I trust her judgement, do you?

What are your favorite romantic book to movie adaptions?

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Friday Quotes #8 – Wyldstyle

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Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday, but Freedom Friday!…But still on a Tuesday! – Wyldstyle, The Lego Movie

Guys, I did it again. I forgot it was my turn for Friday Quotes. *facepalm* So, we will call today Saturday Sayings! Yeah, yeah, I know, bad idea. Moving on.

I know Wyldstyle said “Freedom Friday” because it sounded cool. “Freedom Tuesday” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. It got me thinking about something totally different though. (Bear with me, my mind jumps to places randomly.) It made me think of how people always wait until A certain day to start things.

When you decide to start working out, you pig out rest the week because you say you’ll start Monday. Same with eating better, getting up earlier, donating to charity, learning to fart silently, whatever. People tend to start things on a certain day, usually a Monday. Why? Because people are creatures of habit.

Aren’t we trying to break a routine though by doing something new? If you decide to start working out, you also decide to stop sitting on your butt. Choosing to get up earlier = breaking the routine of sleeping in. If you’re going to start something new, why wait until the same day to start it? Break that mold and start it as soon as you decide to!

What things have you been wanting to do and why are you waiting!

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Friday Quotes #7 – ELLEN!!!

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.”  ― Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously... I'm Kidding

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.”
― Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding

Y’all. I love me some Ellen. Her and Portia are, like, in my top 3 OTPs. Anyway, this quotes is about balance. This post is late. I meant to get it up by Friday, but life really got in the way and I haven’t been balancing all the aspects of my life very well. And that includes my writing. I truly believe you have to have balance in order to be successful as a writer.

This post is no suggestion. It is instead a cautionary tale. I haven’t been balancing my life as a more-than-full-time worker with my life as a writer and because of that, my writing is suffering.

Basically, Candice does not time manage very well. Do you have any tips to help a girl out here?

xo from this girl under the trench coat,

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Critique Partners: What to look for & how to be a great one

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Critique partners. You can’t get through the writing journey without one or two. Maybe you can, but I’d highly advise against it. Finding a great CP is a lot like dating. There’s the excitement of possibilities, the searching, the awkward first “dates”, and the one.

I went through several CPs before I finally found Candice. Some didn’t make it past the first email, some dumped me, I dumped some, others lasted a little while before we went our separate ways. There are lots of places you can look for a CP, but we’re not discussing that today. We’re going to talk about what to look for and how to be a great one.

What to look for

1. Someone whose writing style you enjoy. You are going to be reading that person’s writing for a looooong time. Make sure it’s something you want to read.

2. Find someone who loves your writing as much or more than you do. The writing game is a hard one. Sometimes you need a little kick in the pants to keep going. We’ve all gotten to that point where we feel our writing is the worst thing ever, no one will ever want to read it, we aren’t at all creative, etc., etc. It’s nice to have someone tell you they miss your MC and ask when they get to hear more.

3. A critique style you enjoy. A lot of times I would send one of my original drafts of a chapter to a potential CP, just to see how’d they critique it. I knew what needed to be fixed, where things didn’t make sense, and I knew there was a lot of it. I wanted to be sure that they wouldn’t be afraid to point it out and that I liked the suggestions they offered.
*Remember you don’t have to do everything they suggest. You know you’re story the best.
**Look at that, I made a rhyme!

How to be a great CP

1. Be honest. If something feels off to you, let them know. They may have decided half through the story to change Ricky’s name to Mickey and forgot to fix their change in a few spots. Or maybe the plot is lining up. Whatever it is, let them know.

2. Praise! Just as important as pointing out the bad is highlighting the good. Let them know if a scene made you laugh, if the LI sounds dreamy, or if their description of the ice cream sundae had you craving Cold Stone.

3. Try not to get butt-hurt. Occasionally, just like in any relationship, you and your beloved CP are going to have disagreements on each other’s stories. Let them slide. You know your story best, and they know theirs. On the other hand, if you have a couple people say the same thing on a section that you’re adamant about, maybe it is time to take another look at it.

You may decide to be strictly business with your CP and discuss only writing related things, but more thank likely, you’ll find a great friend. Candice and I text weekly about life and writing. I let her know when my son got a toy stuck up his nose and she made sure to check in and see how he was doing the next day.*

What do you look for in a critique partner?

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*Just in case you were wondering, the darn kid ended up having nothing up his nose! All that worry for nothing. 🙂

5 Basic Suggestions for Plotting Your Novel

plottingIf you believe anything about me it should probably be the lack of plotting that happens with each of my novels. Plotting = prepping. Plotting = planning. And a prepping planner, I am not. By nature, I’m actually a huge procrastinator. That works for me (kinda sorta mostly-ish). Not sure what works for you? We’d like to give you some suggestions to try.

1. Fly by the seat of your knickers

Hi, my name is Candice and I am a procrastinator. So this scene-by-scene, pay-as-you-go, figure-it-out-when-you-get-there method is my jam. I wrote all of WHERE WORDS FAIL that way and all of my two other completed novels that way as well. Mostly I knew what reactions I wanted, but not how I was going to get there. When words hit the page, they either felt right or they didn’t.

2. Missionary (yes, this is a sex joke—sorry)

This is your standard outline process. The one everyone’s doing. The one you learned in grade school. Whether you’re using roman numerals, numbers, uppercase/lowercase alphabet, or some combination of them all, the facts are all the same. It’s a step-by-step process for formulating your beginning, middle and end. It’s worth mentioning that there’s nothing wrong with Missionary—not when it comes to getting physical and certainly not when it comes to plotting your book.

3. Gap-fill (IT’S PAINFUL JUST LIKE THE DENTIST)plotting

I’m almost certain Diana plots this way—She writes a few key scenes, maybe the beginning and end, then fills in the holes. And for this: please stand up and applaud her like whoa. Because this is no easy feat. Still, if it works for you, have at it. If you know what your ending looks like but not your middle or end, great. Write that and fill in those gaps with play-dough, silly putty, jell-o pudding or anything else you’ve got on hand.

4. Y = mx +b

Yes, that is a math formula. FOR SHAME. We of the wordy persuasion know not this black art of numbers—or something! Basically we all hate math and I’m sorry. But, for this example, sometimes a formula helps. Standard romance formulas SOMETIMES look something like: LI #1 is introduced, LI#2 is introduced, LI’s 1 and 2 fall in L-U-V, LI’s 1 and 2 angst uber hard and quit the L-U-V-I-N (conflict), HEA (resolution).  Your plotting doesn’t even have to be anymore detailed than that. As long as you get there, to the end of your novel.

5. Pants that sucker!

‘Nuff said?

 

xo from this girl under the trench coat!

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Friday Quotes #6 – Emerson

Ralph-Waldo-Emerson

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

For so long I was really secretive about the kind of stuff that I write. Online, I’m super open about it. You can find me on Twitter all day talking up a storm about that awesome near-miss-kiss I just wrote. But IRL? I’m still working on it. You could say my IRL writer friends are an exact replica of the @GuyInYourMFA Twitter account. So that’s the criticism I deal with at every meet-up and hangout.

But now, I’ve resolved to be proud of what I’m writing. Show people what NA Contemp Rom REALLY is. I write romance and I read romance and I love love in all its guises. I want people to know what kind of writer I am. This isn’t necessarily a resolution—let’s call it a lifestyle alteration.

xo from this girl under the trench coat!

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