Friday, March 3, 2017

No, please don't use that word! #MFRW

Hi All! Wow! Can you believe it's Week 9 of MFRW 52 Week Blog Challenge!? Me either.

This week's theme is "Words that make me go Ick!" I have a few, and I'm going to throw them out there (this week is hectic, so a longer post on my blog with be forthcoming in a few days).

The word "just." It's funny as I am guilty of using this way too often, but when I do, I cringe. And I take it out. And take it out. And take it out.

Unique words that become repetitive. Any writer can become guilty of this offense. Even me. When writing a lot of steamy scenes, sometimes you get caught up in putting the words down that something is used way too often. I use the word "pleasure" too often when I write. In my rough draft, I use it to keep my pace going. In my edits, I wince and change, change, change.I remember reading a book once where the author used the word "skate/skated" to describe how the hero touched the heroine. I *loved* that use. But by the time the book ended, the word lost it's pop to me because of how often it was used.

Speaking of steamy (Warning, strong language ahead), because I read and write a lot of romance, there are the necessary personal body parts that are written. I like euphemisms for body parts (within reason). Dated terminology like "honey pot" and "love stick" only make me laugh. But what really makes me go "ick" are when the technical terms are used. A lot. If I'm in the middle of a love scene and the author constantly uses the words "vagina" and "penis," it throws me away from the scene and makes me frown. I guess it's not truly an "ick" factor, but in that it turns me away, it works. If the words are mentioned occasionally, I can see that, but when everytime an erection is mentioned, "penis" is used, it throws me.

*Disclaimer: Please, authors out there, I mean no offense if you use these words. Good authors use these sparingly, as they should, so again, no offense meant.

I'm in a rush today or I'd fill your head with more ick words. For now, hop on over to these other great authors to see what their ick words are!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2017


Welcome to another awesome week of MFRW 52 week writing challenge! This week's theme is "How I Choose a Book Title." For me, it's quite easy (or hard, depending). I brainstorm. 

I only have a couple dozen books out and, like other authors, another pile I've written or want to write, but not a one of them have I ever conceived the book title first. 

Titles do not "come" to me. (And those that have remain unwritten. Weird). I wish I were brilliant that way. I have a friend who comes up with great titles--before she even begins writing. I wish! 

No, I've learned that my method is to put up "Untitled" then whatever specific theme/genre I'm writing. Like, "Untitled Paranormal." If something comes to me as I'm writing, I'll add it under the Untitled label. I keep a notebook next to the computer that is used specifically to jot down title ideas while I'm writing the story. Now, there have been those gems that come out while I'm actually writing (my favorite to date is Fever Hitch), but most often, I'll finish the story and it'll still be Untitled. At this point, I'll pull out my brainstorm pages and scour them with pen and pencil until I can come up with a title I like. 

Brainstorming ideas often include a lot of one or two word ideas. Maybe places where the story takes place, maybe colors that may be consistent through the book, it may be general ideas of what I'm trying to convey with the story. If I find myself really stuck or indecisive, I'll bounce ideas around with my husband. He can be an excellent sounding board.

To the left you'll see an example of one of my brainstorming pages. (I'm sorry it's sideways, I'm lost as to how to fix it 'cause it was fine in it's own file. Oh well, I've openly admitted I'm not a techie person). The point is, it's not pretty, and some of the titles I jotted down truly suck, but like any good brainstorming, you have to put the ugly with the not so ugly. The actual title of this particular book? I'm still not 100 percent. I've narrowed it down to two titles, none of which are on the page amusingly enough, but both title ideas have come from this process. 

Here's to happy writing and even happier titles! Don't forget to cruise around to see  how other authors come up with their titles. Thanks for stopping by ~ Ayla 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Music...or Silence? #MFRW

Welcome to another wonderful episode of the 52 week blog hop challenge by MFRW! This week's theme is Music to Write By.

For me, I write by nothing. The quieter, the better. I've tried writing by music. And television. And kids. And crowds. I just cannot do it. In fact, I've recently been going "away" to write. Most of the time I'll "check out" a little conference room at one the libraries nearby and write to my heart's content. Sure, there are windows and if I'm stuck I can see people walk by, but there is little to no sound to invade my space. Another place I've recently plopped down to write is Waffle House. Yes, believe it or not, the good ol' WH. There are probably a dozen I can easily get to, and it took a little bit of hunt-and-find, but there's a couple that, come 2 or 3 in the afternoon, hit a dead zone. Just 1 waitress and the cook. I settle in a corner booth, order something simple, and spend a couple or few hours typing away in relative quiet. 

So while other authors may thrive with their personal playlist going on in the background (and awesome for them!), I sway the opposite direction. Give me silence, and I'll turn out an awesome tale for you! 

Thanks for dropping by, and don't forget to hop over to these great blogs below to see what other authors write by. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hobbies I have (or wish I had) #MFRW
Oh man, when it rains, it pours! I'm slipping this post in last minute like as I returned home from the ER just a little bit ago. Stupid gall bladder had me worried, and I almost thought they were going to take it out tonight. Instead, they filled me with pain med that has made me feel sick beyond belief, and scheduled me for a follow up with a surgeon. So,  both good and bad.

But enough of that.

What do I like to do when I'm not writing? Welcome to MFRW week 6 of the 52 week blog hop. In thinking of this question this week, I've had to ponder a bit in order to give you the best possible answer. First, I love to read. Give me warmth and a book and that's my heaven. But that's not really a hobby, is it?

I'd like to say I'm crafty, but I'm more of a crafty wanna be. I'll periodically do something crafty (usually for an event or holiday), and think, "Gee, that was a lot of fun. I need to do that more often." In truth, I don't.

I love to hang out with my family. But I guess that's not much of a hobby either.

That leaves walking. But I don't mean just up and down the street. I don't mean for exercise. I like to...hike, I suppose you could say. I like to walk on trails, in the mountains, on the beaches. Those kinds of walks. I like to see nature and all her wonderful surroundings. It may be a pretty flower, an odd shaped tree, or even a darting lizard. There something about being in nature this way that brings me a peace and calm that's hard to get anywhere else. It may not be much of a hobby, or one I can indulge in often, but if given the chance, I'll take this anytime!

photo from fotolia

Sorry for the abrupt end, but please be sure to check out the other posts in this hop to see what other authors like to do when they're not writing.

And as always, thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Writing Status (and Sickness) Update

Sickness is in the house. I mention this because it is very rare for our household to be sick--the stomach bug and flu type of sick at any rate. Yesterday morning my 10yo started complaining of a hurt belly. Yeah, yeah...I really thought he was trying to get out of doing school work. No temp. Seemed okay. His lack of appetite should have clued me in, but I'm busy, so it didn't click. When he started tossing his cookies around 10 am though, I knew. Fever, chills, multiple trips to the bathroom later, the boy's sick as a dog. I've been through the house with Lysol every time the poor boy moves! He's feeling better at this moment (over 24 hours later), but he's not yet on the road to recovery.

What does this mean for me? Bleary eyes, no sleep and my own gall bladder issue has decided to rear it's ugly head again. Which also means I have completed: nothing. BUT, I was able to make progress on Monday. If you want to know more, check out my Journal Page (look to the right under Blog Pages). I may not update this home blog page too often, but I've been keeping regular updates on my Journal Page. The latest post is always at the top, and there is where I make note of how my writing is progressing (or not).

Check there often to see what new is happening in my writing world.

In the meantime, I'm crawling back to bed. Since it seems the little one will sleep soundly this night (I pray he does at any rate), and I've had my vinegar, I'm going to get my own rest until tomorrow.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Best friends are for life #MFRW

Best Friends ARE for life. My definition of a best friend is one that exceeds all expectations of what a friend should be: loyal, a confidant, and above all, a person (or persons) with whom you can totally be yourself. There is never any (negative) judgement, never any false promises and never any let-downs. At least, none intentional. 

I have two "best friends": my husband and an amazing woman who currently lives on the other side of the country from me. 

My husband because hey, we're in it for life. I can be myself and then some around him. He's known me since before kids, and I love that he remembers that me, and still loves the woman I am now. He may not necessarily "get" everything about me, but he knows and accepts it all. 

SJ, is my other best friend. She is a writer and we hooked up when both of us were only trying to get published (she's ridiculously more prolific and successful than I at this point, and I love her for this). In my "real" life, I am involved with many different groups of people, and behave accordingly. She is the only person (outside of family) who understands this about me. And knows all my secrets. And knows how I behave within all these groups. Beyond this, we have common interests--books, guys, kids, food--to name a few. I will admit, especially since she's hours away instead of just down the street, I may not be as on-point with staying in touch. But despite this, I know that as soon as we talk, it'll be like no time separated us at all. 

I do have a bevy of friends in general, but not many at all who knows all parts of me. That's okay. I like to say I'm an extrovert, but I'm a closet introvert really. I'd much rather only a couple people know who I truly am, rather than the whole world.  

If you want to see who other authors consider their best friend, check out the hop below. Have a great weekend while you're at it! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

He Said She Said Do...What-Do-You-Mean?!? #MFRW

Sorry Editor, My Common Writing Mistakes 
(MFRW 52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 4!!)

First off, THANK GOD for editors! The written word would be in a sad state if not for those diligent written-word police to make sure our stories look and sound terrific. 

Hmm...from me, I know my editors see plenty of mistakes. My more common ones revolve around two main issues: misplaced modifiers and awkward wording. 

I start writing and get caught up in the moment and before I know it, I'm writing half statements like, "silky to the touch, she put on the gown...." My editors quickly come back with, "what exactly is silky to the touch?"  

My awkward wording reminds me of someone trying to speak with a mouth full of chewing gum. Or cotton. I write off the hip, so to speak, and I often can picture exactly what I want. I write down all the different ways I see it in the rough draft, but by the time I'm working it though and it gets into my editors hands, I may have muddled the scene even more. I can clean up phrases and wording, but I usually have to have it pointed out to me. Then I can stew over one line for hours (!) until I'm able to change and bend the words to make them make sense. 

I could go on (possessives are another of my weak points), but hey, we all make mistakes. Right? 

So what are some of your writing boo-boo's? Want to see what other authors trip over in their writing? Check out the blog hop below to find out. And thanks for stopping by~have an amazing last-Friday-of-January!