Thursday, May 24, 2012

Perfect Man in Writer Land

My Dream Guy = God-fearing, handsome, clean, educated, driven/ambitious, stylish, responsible, caring, supportive, thoughtful, creative, straight teeth, nice lips, family-oriented, independent, no kids, employed, own vehicle, own place, has a good relationship with both parents (yes, it's all good if a man knows how to treat his mother, but if he has a father who treats his mother like a Queen, then he will be eager to find his own and treat her the same), open to compromise, funny.

I'm not picky, I'm selective. Yes, there's a difference. Of course every guy isn't going to match all of the preferences on my list, and I did make some exceptions when choosing my previous beaus. However, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having standards. In fact, survey says most men are attracted to women who give them a hard time. And I'm not an easy catch.

I recently read a blog post entitled The Dangers of Dating a Writer and I realized that my go-getter mentality may be intimidating to some men. Oh well...

I'm single.


It's been a while since I've been able to say that and not wish that I wasn't. So, I'd like to say it again.

I'm single.

I've learned the following things about men from my past relationship experiences:

  1.  You can't change him. No matter how much he loves you, he loves himself more. He will change on his own time, but more than likely he will stay the same and find someone else who accepts him flaws and all.
  2. They're sneaky. They tell you what they want you to know and when you find out bits and pieces of what they tried to keep hidden, they STILL won't tell you the whole truth.
  3. They need space. Men don't like to be shadowed by their women 24/7. They enjoy breaks from lovey dovey commitments and appreciate the fact that you're still there, willing to understand.
  4. Some men love to have long, meaningful conversations. Some don't. It depends on the mood. When you ask what's on his mind, be prepared for a relevant response or a blank stare. Don't get offended if he totally ignores you.
  5. They prefer showing their love through action examples (gifts, small gestures such as cooking for you, holding your hand in public, massages, etc.) vs. saying "I love you" every single day. We love to hear it, they'd rather show it.
  6. No matter how much they deny it, they're complicated. Most men don't know what they want until they lose what they had.

Which brings me to my conclusion.

These days, I'm all about being independent and free. I realized that if I put as much effort into my writing as I put into my relationships, I could build a union that would truly last forever. So, during this time I have placed dating on the back burner.

Relationships are hard work. I spent most of my life dedicating myself to making someone else happy and decided that I need some "Me" time. Although it's tough, I'm attempting to ignore all of my desires to love and be loved in return to focus on my dreams and aspirations. But, just like you, I get lonely too... and truth be told, I don't really know how to date. Hopefully my prince charming will be waiting patiently to sweep me off my feet as soon as I reach the finish line.

Bonus Dream Guy Qualities: Knows the title of every single one of my published articles, can recite lines from my poetry by heart, reads with me, listens to my new ideas and provides input, critiques my work honestly and lovingly, isn't bothered by my editor instincts, prays on my behalf and asks God to make all of my dreams come true.

If you're out there, Dream Guy, I'll be waiting...

Until then,

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Number 4

Everything that's supposed to happen will happen in due time... no matter how long you have to wait "four" it.  

I attended my first Writers Conference this past weekend.

Tallahassee Writers Association Writers Conference and Book Festival

Here's what I learned:
  • A story isn't a story if it doesn't include scenes. Scenes spark tension.
  • POV is the most powerful tool in a writer's toolbox. Third person omniscient is recommended, but not mandatory.
  • The best stories are based on a single dramatic question.
  • Fiction is never predictable.
  • Every character must have their own agenda.
  • A writer's job is to torture the reader. Create an emotional reaction!
  • Take good notes!
  • Pacing! Don't speed up the action if it isn't necessary. If it progresses too fast, the reader won't feel anything.
  • Your story should be loaded with change, conflict, and intrigue.
  •  Include cliffhangers to keep the reader interested and eager to turn the page. Deliver plenty of unfinished action.
  • How to incorporate autobiography into fiction
  • What are you trying to reveal? Identify it! Explore it!
  • 99.9% of writers don't finish what they start.
  • No one can teach you how to write. Writing is an acquired skill.
  • Acquiring an agent is much harder than finding a publisher.
  • Writing is a discipline, not an obsession.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs. The advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing
  • Begin your story with a BANG! Make an impact on the first page.
  • Why do readers read? Six E's (Education, Enjoyment, Enlightenment, Experience, Escape, Emotion)
  • In order to become a bestselling author you must emotionally engage and satisfy the reader.
  • How do you create an authentic voice via dialogue? Become a professional eavesdropper! The best dialogue is inspired by real conversations.
  • Self-Promotion is a necessity for all writers. No one is going to promote you better than you can promote yourself.
  • Establish a brand.

  • Identify your target audience.
  • Read about what you want to write about!
  • Rejection-Proof your writing! Revise, Revise, Revise!
  • Write your first draft as if your pants are on fire! Get it all out ASAP!
  • Put your manuscript away for 2 months before you begin your editing process.
  • Edit in a different font (If you typed in Calibri, edit in Times New Roman) and an odd location.
  • Don't panic if you notice a lot of errors in sequence. Rewrite from a new standpoint.
  • Never give up! Rejection is necessary to improve your creative process.
  • Always remember what inspired you to write in the first place. Don't forget where you came from or how you progressed.
English Building on the Campus of Florida State University

Remembering and Reflecting...

Before hitting the road, I was suddenly bombarded with a "clue" that I would not fully understand until the end of the weekend. I was excited about all of the new information I received, and immediately ready to incorporate all of these tips into my novel. However, this "clue" kept popping up during random moments, and I became distracted. 

The Number 4:

Worked 4 hours of OT

Graduation Date: December 13, 2008 
 1 + 3 = 4

Conference Date: May 4, 2012

2012 - 2008 = 4

Hotel Check-In Time = 4:00 p.m.

Room Number = 418
4 + 1 + 8 = 13
1 + 3 = 4

Keynote Speaker joined critique group that ended up with 4 members.

Independent Author, Michael Beckford signed my copy of his fifth novel, Dying to be Straight

iWrite4orU Wrist"Brands"
Michael is currently writing a book that he started 4 years ago. He has completed 31 pages so far.
3 + 1 = 4

Ahhh! What does this mean???
Add a 4th "Sista" to my novel Dearly Beloved Sistas!

Ding Ding Ding! 


Problem solved!

Wait, it's not THAT easy!

Please watch video below...

The number 4 symbolizes completeness and stability...

Please help me add the final piece to my #WriterGrind puzzle!

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*