Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Touch Down at the Finish Line

Last week, I finished the first draft of my WIP. I took the day off work to get it it done, but the closer I got to the end (of the first book in a trilogy), the harder it was to write. I swear it was the first time during the process I had any real form of writer's block. The sad thing is I knew exactly how it was supposed to end. Yet, typing out the words felt forced. 

I finally gave up, ate some lunch, did the dishes, and thought about going at the whole writing escapade again. Nothing came as I stared at the laptop screen. Again, I gave up, throwing myself at the mercy of the couch (or on the couch rather) and flipped on HGTV. Hours and a short nap later, I pulled out the computer again. Still nothing. Argh! So ridiculous not to be able to write, especially when I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it.

I realized it was like someone running a long distance. When they're nearing the finish line, it gets harder to keep going. They start telling themselves if they just make it to the tree way off in the distance then they can stop. Once they get there, they pick another focal point to keep them running.

This is how I felt. I was so blasted close to a finished first draft of my book, but so far away. Crunching out the words became difficult. I couldn't do it even though I only had a few pages left. Yet, I somehow got there just as I was about to quit. 

At that point, I was exhausted. It felt surreal to have all the words on the pages. However, for some reason I felt empty. After contemplating my feelings, I realized I was coming off of a writing high. I'd been typing furiously for so many weeks that not having the creative force pushing me along anymore was depressing.

Now, I get to partake of my most favorite part of writing: editing. Uh, so not my favorite, but it is a necessary evil. I look forward to it, though. I can take the things I know have to be fixed (and CP's have told me as well) and make it super fantastic. 

It's rather rewarding to know I've finished a first draft of book number two. I stash it under my belt, happy I actually got here and so fast, too. I can smile for that!

How have you felt after finishing a first draft?

Writing. Jewels. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks

After yesterdays huge meal and feeling like I was about the burst at the seams from stuffing myself, I went home from a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with thoughts in my mind of my family.

The most prominent parts were my nephew's hugs and "I love you, Julia's" that sounded beautifully in my ears. The youngest of the lot has the cutest voice in the world. Hearing him say my name is like angels singing. I love those little guys, but can't forget their little sister, too. Yet, she's not quite at the talking stage other than cute mumbles. 

I am thankful for my family. They are the best in the West. Um, yes I do live in the Western United States. Haha. I love my family lots!

Now, on to a more writing note . . . 

I am extremely thankful for all those who have stuck by me over the past two years while I've struggled through writing two books. These people are family, friends, writing buddies, and followers. You all know who you are! 

I thank you for getting me here. And here is a great place to be.


I feel blessed in so many ways when it comes to my writing craft. If only I could name them all . . .  But that would take way too much time and blog space.

Thanks! Gracias! Merci! Xie Xie! Arigato! Grazie!

What are you thankful for?

Writing. Jewels. Out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Loveth Blogging to Deatheth

Over a year ago I started blogging. I'll be honest, it took me around 10 months to get into the swing of things. And I'm still learning. It hasn't been easy for sure but it's worth it especially because when you are getting into the writing scene, no one knows who you are. A blog is a fantastic way to make yourself known.

There are some intimidating factors I feel play a roll in blogging.
  1. Writing content   
  2. Getting people to actually follow your bloggy friend
  3. Figuring out what it should look like 
I will go through some things I've done to help the process become a little less daunting. 

One: Your blogs content: Pick an audience. Once you've done that, write posts that apply to them. Mine is writers. Now you ask how to figure out what to write. Well, I'm constantly thinking of blog topics. Sometimes they come to me in the middle of the day and I stash them for later use. Other times, like right now, they come to me right as I sit down at the computer. It never ceases to amaze me how many posts I can come up with. If you need to just start writing and it'll come.

Two: Followers: Scary, huh? You are putting yourself out there in intergalactic world for anyone to see. Well, this is good. Love it. Embrace it. This is how you get followers. This also goes back to (one). Write content that they will want to return to. 

I've also done contests to gain a following. Book giveaways, Amazon.com gift cards, etc...

It may take some time, but they'll come. But don't feel bad if no one comments on your posts or there isn't a high number of followers listed on your sidebar. It took me forever to get into the 200's. Even here its hit and miss. 

Plus, you have to market it. I send out a Twitter message and put it on my Facebook page as well as the FB writing group I'm in. How else are people supposed to find out about what you've posted. I also have the URL listed with my email signature.

Another thing is, you've got to be consistent. Pick days of the week that you will always post on. I post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hopefully people know those are my post days and they'll come visit it to see what's up in my writing world.

Three: The Look: Make sure your blog is easy on the eyes. Its hard to read blogs where there are funky florescent colors and weird fonts. Make it as non-obtrusive as possible. Play around with how you want it to look. I've gone through 4 different styles so far. I think I've finally found one that sings to me. 

Anyway, I hope that my little bit of blogging wisdom has been helpful. 

Now, what are your ideas that will help others with blogging, myself included?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Better Late than Never, Right?

Wow! It's Friday and I haven't posted yet. Many a sorry from me to you! I know you've been waiting in great suspense. Haha.

Anyway, the last couple days have been filled with crazy busyness. Lots of work stuff and writing my WIP and not feeling super good. I just woke up from an I'm-not-feeling-so-hot nap and thought it was Saturday morning already. That made me feel bad because I didn't check in with the blogosphere yet. But alas, it's still Friday and I can say, "Hello!"

Well, last night I saw Breaking Dawn. Eep! It was super good. Yes, the poor person next to me probably wanted to wring my neck for all the giggling, but I couldn't hold it back. Bless people's hearts who have to deal with my while watching movies. Or while I'm reading books. You can't hate me for being a super active watcher of movies and reader of books. It could be thought of as hilarious if you really think about it. 

Well, I'm going to get on my soap box for a minute. Ok, I pretty much hate it when people won't read a book because there's way too much hype about it (ie: Twilight or Harry Potter). Just read 'em, silly people. It's just literature which has probably inspired many a person to read, myself included. You never know, you may just like 'em, too! :D 

*Steps off soap box*

All right, Breaking Dawn was pretty great. A couple cheesy parts but what are you to do? And the end scene was A-FREAKING-AWESOME! Pretty much prime bam-hit-you-in-the-face videography.

Have you seen Breaking Dawn? What were your thoughts?

Well, these are my Friday thoughtseven if they are a little late. Yet, better late than never, right? And I just thought of how funny my blog post title is when put in context with Breaking Dawnbetter late than never . . . Get it? Anyway, bye!

Writing. Jewels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Countdown Begins

Picture this:

A group of people crowd around an iPad perched upon a desk. All eyes focus hard on the small screen as if it's the last thing they will ever see. A hushed silence presses the air out of their lungs. Breathing becomes heavy, almost desperate. Sweat billows from the nape of their necks. Hearts beat fast. Nerves feel as strong as a lightning storm. Hands clench into fists in eager suspense of what's to come.   

And then . . . The Hunger commences. The Games begin. 

What I've recounted happened yesterday as my coworkers and I joined in a half circle to watch The Hunger Games movie trailer. I can't speak for how the others in my office felt, but I sure had an overwhelming rush of excitement explode through my senses. Enough to make me watch the trailer six times in a row. And enough to make me write a blog post about it.

Now, I can't wait until March 23, 2012 to see the movie for real. I will for sure be at the theater, front and center.

Anyway, what did you think of the trailer? Do the actors match what you felt was the essence of the book's characters?

I am well-pleased with the choices of most of the characters. Although, I envisioned Prim rather differently, smaller and more breakable. But, you can't make everyone happy with the choice of actors for book characters.

But I will enjoy the movie quite a bit, I think. The countdown begins!

Jules. Writes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Madly in Love with What You Write

On Tuesday, I blogged about an idea for a book that randomly popped into my mind. One of my wonderful writing buddies and good friend, Morgan Shamy, brought something up in her comment that interested me. She expressed that authors have to enjoy and be excited about what they're writing.

Seriously, what's the point of writing if you aren't madly in love with the idea. I can tell you from first hand experience, if I'm not giggling or crying while writing a scene, then I know there's something terribly wrong with where I going with the story.

Authors should enjoy what they're crafting with words. If you aren't, then how will your reader love it and fall deep into the book's world.

Find an idea that keeps you up late at night because you can't stop thinking about it. That is when you know you can and will write a winner. Like my WIP and the idea for my future project, I am overjoyed to write them. They've caused many a sleepless night for me. Even though I'd rather have been asleep dreaming of chipmunks and faeries, it was a delight to get to know my characters, setting, and plot instead.

So, make sure you love what you're writing. If not, think of something else and fast. Why waste time on something that isn't making you smile and jump for joy?

What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever had to stop a project because you weren't feeling it? How have you felt when you absolutely adored your story?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Burst of Inspiration

Have you ever been in a completely normal situation, then BAM, an idea for a book bursts into your head?

That happened to me the other day. It was like I had been transported into another dimension with the premise of the book lightning bolted into my mind. I felt a surge of energy as though I had been plugged into the largest power source known to manthe universe. Bubbles of giddiness made concentrating on the present situation almost impossible. I surrendered to the idea of my next project. Although, it will have to wait until I finish up my current projectsa trilogy in which I've only finished half of the first book. 

Yet, perhaps, I'll pop this project in-between writing the other two. Who knows? Just depends on if I need a short break from my sweet trilogy.

But, alas, an idea is trapped in my mind, awaiting being written into reality. Well, just the initial premise is there, but the rest will come I'm sure in the midst of a sleepless night (how most of my plot thickening experiences take place).

Have you ever had one of these types of experiences? How did it make you feel? And, guys, look around everywhere for ideas for books. You'll never know what might inspire a book!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Design and Writing

Since I was a wee lassie, I’ve enjoyed watching shows about home improvement. Ie: Hometime or This Old House. Nowadays, I really, reaLLY, REALLY love HGTV! Typically, if I’m watching TV, it’s definitely tuned in to that channel. Unless if NCIS is on, of course. I have a tiny-little-maybe-super-huge-gigantic crush on Mark Harmon (Gibbs). *wink’s awkwardly at him* Winking isn’t quite on the list of things I’ve exceled at.

Any who . . . From shows like Color Splash with David Bromstad to Divine Design to Home by Novogratz, I’ve become rather savvy with home décor. I know what looks nice and what doesn’t. If I had a little extra time, I’d probably head off to an interior decorator school. But alas, I haven’t the time for such an awesome degree to be added to my resume.

With all that said, it makes me think about writing. With being an author, I read a lot (as much as I can, but not quite as much as I’d like). It’s through reading that a writer can gain a wealth of knowledge about their craft.

These are things I look for when I’m reading:
  • Sentence structure (including grammar and punctuation)
  • Dialogue usage
  • Beats
  • Showing
  • Character development
  • Plot thickening
  • Hooks
  • And of course, a great wicked awesome story to revel in!

These things have helped me develop my own writing skills. Like all the HGTV I’ve watched has given me the designer’s eye, feasting upon words has enriched my writing. I pay attention to what I read so it can give me ideas to strengthen my own prose.

What do you pay attention to while reading? How has reading helped your own writing skills? Or, what books have inspired your writing?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It’s November 1, guys, and I’m on Cloud 286 right now! I could pass out! I might just decide to run a marathon! I may very well use exclamation points at the end of every sentence in this post!

Why, you ask?

Because . . .

Today commences my very first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) experience! It means that I’m super motivated to kick some writing buttocks.

Are you participating? If not, why not? Get on the writing band wagon for heaven sakes and join forces with me, Writing Jewels (aka: Super Jules). If you don’t I will fire sparkly jewels out of my blue eyes that will definitely pinch your bum until you sign up for the challenge.

Basically, NaNoWriMo’s objective is to help you finish a book within the month of November; more specifically to write 50,000 words.

Eep! I’m about to dance around the room with the delight of knowing I’m going to do this. I AM GOING TO DO THIS WITH A HUGE SMILE PLASTERED ON MY FACE!

So, I started writing my WIP in September. My goal was to finish it in 5 months—as in be querying it by the end of the duration of that time. Well, guys with the help of NaNo and some great kick rocking writing buddies, I’m gonna do it! Quite possibly sooner than I expected as well!

Woot Woot!

Now all you need to do is follow this link to sign up to become a NaNoWriMo-ista. Become my buddy on there (just search JuliaWritingJewelsKing and you’ll find me). Let’s write up some dust!

Have you ever participated in a Nano? What has been your experience? Are you going to join forces with me in this adventure? We definitely will make up a secret handshake including an Elaine-esque type dance from Seinfeld and eat ice cream to our tummy’s content. Sigh!

Bring on the words! Bring on the motivation! Bring on tons more exclamation points!