Category Archives: Reading

The Talking Shoes…

The first story I ever wrote was called, “The Talking Shoes.”

I can’t tell you what it said, because I don’t remember. I was in the 4th grade. It was entered into a contest, and I won. I had to go to a convention of some sort and read the blasted thing, too. I did it. I remember, even today, standing in front of all those people and being terrified out of my mind. I read my story though, like a champ. Met some local authors and illustrators. Even got a free book that was signed and everything.

I had zero idea way back then that I’d someday write professionally. But honestly, if I could spin a fantastic tale out of a pair of talking shoes that won an award and was worthy of being read in front of a crowd, it couldn’t have been complete rubbish, right? I mean, it had to be somewhat rubbish, after all, I only had a 4th grade education. 😘 But there’s got to be some talent deep down in my bones somewhere. I like to think I honed it over the years and I’m an exceptional writer now. (Don’t burst my bubble, y’all. )

As someone who was never good with speaking words, I could certainly weave them together on paper decently enough. That should have been one of my first signs. The fact that I used to spend my days as a young child playing basketball out front, with a little radio and headphones in, crafting all sorts of stories in my head, should have been another one of those signs. And then when I got older, and despite trying not to win, I’d still, every year, manage to win these essay contests we were required to submit for extra credit in high school. Even when I gave it the least amount of effort I could, because I hated winning and having my picture taken and put in the newspaper, I’d still win. Every year. It should have been a clue. All the nights I used to spend out back in the my parent’s swing, headphones in, night sky above me, weaving even more stories together, usually inspired by the many different songs that blasted through the speakers…. it should have been a clue. Pair all that with my obsession for reading, and clearly, the writing had been on the wall all along.

It started with the talking shoes, but it didn’t end there.

What’s more? Many of the core characters of my first few novels, came from those late nights out in my parent’s backyard in my late teens and early twenties. Characters that popped into my head, with stories galore. I had no idea I’d put them to paper someday. But here I am. Still crafting and weaving, reading and writing, the same as I’ve done for years.

Sometimes people are just meant for things. Life has been nudging me in this direction my entire life; I just didn’t always know it.

I know it now though.

I don’t write about talking shoes anymore. Although, clearly, I’ve always been a creative genius… 😘) No, I spin tales of love and romance. Handsome men with piercing gazes and searing kisses… (Don’t let Dad read this Mom!😂) And lovely women with kind hearts, fierce character, and eyes for those handsome men. I write about loss and heartache, but then journeys that even despite pain, lead to happy endings and hopeful futures.

I guess that should come as no surprise given my kindle and bookshelves are slap full of romance novels.

No, there are no more talking shoes, but they certainly served their purpose way back when. They were the beginning. ❤️

Keep Reading…

My Thursday went like this….

I woke up. I took the dog out. I put out some bird seed. I started re-reading a historical romance novel. I stopped to eat lunch. I resumed reading. And then I read, and I read, and I read. Never even changed out of my pajamas.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Heather, you should have been working. But hear me out. I was!

I am only a writer today because I have been a reader for years. I would never have been able to write two entire full length novels if I hadn’t spent so much time reading over the years. I only know how to craft romance novels because I’ve been reading them religiously since I was fourteen. I know the pieces of the puzzles I need to put them together like the back of my hand. Don’t ask me to write a thriller or a mystery or a dystopian novel though. While I enjoy reading them from time to time, I’d be lost in the sauce trying to write them.

And I know when I’m reading I’m not getting any writing, editing, marketing, or networking done, but I am continuing to hone a craft, and that is just as important. Now when I read, I see the words through the lens of a writer. And an editor. I learn as I go. Even more so now, than I did before I began writing.

Always make time for reading as a writer. It’s truly important!

Much Love,
Heather.

Feel Free To Read This In Your Spare Time… :)

PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… 😀 … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. 😀

 

I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.

The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.

As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —

But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.

I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.

So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.

And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —

Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —

& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.

There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. 😉 — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.

I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. 😉

I Have Two Options…

I have to be honest. I don’t know what to do. I mean this is serious business.

I need to clean the living room. I need to read a book. ( I mean honestly, I’m right in the middle of it, It’s good.)

Only I can’t do both at the same time. What I really need is for someone to come read to me while I clean. — Best of both worlds if you ask me! (Except the cleaning part… I find that there is nothing “best worthy” about that at all…ever, lol.)

If I’m being completely honest with myself & every one else right now…. this living room isn’t getting cleaned tonight. — I just don’t have the will power to put the book down. I’m weak…. & I’m woman enough to admit it too, Lol.

If only I had my very own personal reader…..

However, since I’m the only reader I have, I think it’s going to be book tonight, living room tomorrow night. 🙂

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” — But I think it’s missing a little something: “But if you can only do one of two things today… pick the fun one!” 🙂