Friday, May 31, 2013

Does Cheyenne need one of her buddies to come visit you?!



How do you get in the mood to write?  Do you just sit down?  Listen to music?  Read a book?  I’ve been reading articles on how to get inspired.  Can you really make it happen if your muse isn’t cooperating?  I gotta tell you, it kind of just hits me and then I start searching for little pieces of paper to write down ideas or try to find my cell phone so I can text the idea to myself.  From a bystander, it must be a weird process.  A few years ago my husband and I were at a friend’s house for dinner and it just hit me.  Later on I was chastised for looking like a ‘weirdo’, scribbling on to tiny gum wrappers.  That spontaneous idea spawned a 45 page short story.  It’s still sitting on my computer waiting to be developed. 
Do you do weird things to write? 
 
When I finished my first novel, Loyalties, I know it was by the grace of God (and that’s any piece of writing I finish).  I would pray before I wrote.  Each and every time I sat down to write, I said a small prayer of, “Thank you, Lord, for the great ideas you’ve given me.  Please help me to convey these ideas so people will love and follow them.” 
 
But here is the problem:  I’m a procrastinator.  I have tons of ideas on little pieces of paper and small paragraphs that will spawn books on my computer.  But nothing is going to happen to them unless I get off my butt and do something.  That’s what I’m doing now!  Want to know what is my little motivator?  My inspiration?  No, it’s not the crossbow wielding Cheyenne.  
But here is the problem:  I’m a procrastinator.  I have tons of ideas on little pieces of paper and small paragraphs that will spawn books on my computer.  But nothing is going to happen to them unless I get off my butt and do something.  That’s what I’m doing now!  Want to know what is my little motivator?  My inspiration?  No, it's not my very own personal, and yes violent, muse, Cheyenne. 
 
It’s my daughter.   Yes, it sounds cliché and you may be gagging on your fingers right now, but it’s the truth.  Writing for me has always been fun and wanting to make money with my writing has always been my dream.  I won’t let it be a dream anymore.  I’m making it a reality.  Yes, it’s a slow process but it’s happening.  My mother went back to school in her forties and graduated from college the same year I graduated from high school.  She was tired of working a full-time job and a part-time job to take care of my sister and me.  She always wanted to be a teacher.  So one day she said, “Self, I’m going back to school.  I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was a child and by George, I’m going to do it.”  She did it.  My mother is the kind of woman who says she wants something, and then she does it.  I’m proud of her.  Everyone is.  She is a blessing to everyone she meets.  Looking at her, I know I can do it. 
 
I see it now.  I visualize it:  my name on books in Barnes and Noble; millions of fans anticipating my next release; being #1 on Kindle and Nook lists.  Being on the New York Times Best Sellers List for weeks, months even. 
 
What inspires you?  Is it that need to get the hell away from your current job before your brain explodes?  Is it a little person or a parent?  Or is it you? 
 
You’re good enough.  I am, too. 
 
Oh, I do so hope you love my books.  Because I’d love for you to take the journey with me. 
 
I apologize if my blog entries sound presumptuous or self-serving.  If you read my blog, you are taking this expedition with me. 
 
Be proud of me.  Celebrate me.  Recommend me to your friends, complete strangers even.  Because I’m doing this. 
 
It’s happening. 

And if you need help with inspiration, I’ll have Cheyenne get one of her crossbow, hatchet baring buddies to stop by your place…

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overload



Seriously, this is what my brain feels like.  Forgive me if this blog entry is all over the place but again, this is what I feel like right now. 













As a writer, I am giving it my all to be successfully published and not just, “Look mom, I wrote a book!  See, look at my computer.”  I’m trying my hand at self-publishing.  Yes, I would love to be a self-publish success story but I’m also going to go the traditional route.  I’m going to start querying agents.  The thought is frightening and I commend my fellow author and buddy Faye McCray.  She’s in the querying process and now she’s waiting to hear from agents.  Her book is awesome and I know it’s going to get picked up. 
I’m editing, promoting, writing, mommying (to an awesome daughter), wifing (to a supportive husband), working, cooking, cleaning…  You get me.  I’m on websites every day, all day, figuring out how to attract more readers and blog followers.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it.  

But it is!  I know it is.  I have so many stories to tell, so many worlds to introduce you to, so many villains to have you hate, so many bonds that I want you to be a part of.  And you will be.  With self-publishing, I’m showing my agent-to-be that I can promote myself; that even without them, I was awesome at getting people to read stories by R.A. Boyd. 

I’m silently stalking, I mean checking out, agents right now.  They already love me.  They just don’t know it yet.  But they will.  Oh, yes.  They will.  

So… what about you?  Are you feeling the pressure?  Are you trying to be patient and not pull your hair and teeth out?  Just hold on.  We’ll get there.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Make it happen!



If you’re a writer, let me ask you a question:  have you ever had to sneak and write?  Writing for us writers is supposed to come naturally, right?  Of course!  That’s what we do.  But those of you who have children may understand where I’m coming from.

  My awesome daughter is going through a phase where she doesn’t want to sleep at night.  She wants to take long naps in the late afternoon and then rage when you wake her up.  It’s amazing that a 16 month old, 22 lb person can cause me to sneak around my own house like a freakin' ninja!

Amazing! 

She finally managed to fall asleep about six minutes ago and her I am, downstairs in the family room quietly clicking the keys of the computer.  I’m almost afraid that her bionic ears will hear me and she’ll say to herself, “Self, that mommy-lady is awake and by gosh I should be, too!”  Have any of you ever felt that way? 

So now you’re probably asking yourself, “Me, why isn’t Boyd asleep?”  Well You, I haven’t written anything in a few days and I just felt the need to put this out there.  So, here it is.
Just if you’re wondering, HBA did wonderfully!  I’m in awe of how many units were downloaded.  So, so happy am I.  I’m pretty sure all of those people who downloaded HBA didn’t follow this here blog before it was released, but I hope they are now. 

So fellow writer and readers, get it done when you have the chance.  If you have a little person or persons scoping you out while you try to read and write in the wee hours of the night, do it quietly.  Do it quickly.  Do it sneakily.  Just do it.    

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not in my Kitchen!



Right after my last post about my beloved New Orleans they had a terrible act of violence during their Mother’s Day Parade.  My prayers and well wishes go out to those who were hurt and their family members.  New Orleans has a special place in my heart and I go there as often as I can. 
When I think about The Big Easy, a few things come to mind:  The French Quarter, The New Orleans School of Cooking, The Famous Back Door, and… GUMBO.  I make a mean pot of that spicy, yummy goodness.  What does this have to do with writing, since my blog is about me being a writer?  Gimme a minute.  It’s coming. 
So, back to me and my mean pot of Gumbo.  I made a pot this past weekend the way I always do:  I finely chop the trinity, slice the andouille, cook the chicken.  I make sure everything is prepared and ready to go so when I need it, it’s all there waiting for me.  My husband, wonderful man that he is, comes in to the kitchen while I’m waiting for the roux (browed gravy) to get to the right shake of dark brown.  “Baby,” he says as he walks up behind me, “you should be using a cast iron skillet.”
In my sweetest voice I tell him, “I’ve got this, dear husband.”
“But baby, you’re going to burn it.”
My voice is a bit more firm.  “Go see what baby girl is doing.  I’ve got this.”  I do most of the cooking in the house and I’m the only one in this house who makes Gumbo, Jambalaya, Peach Bread Pudding… You get me. 
He walks away, circles the kitchen table, and comes back to look over my shoulder into the pot of browning gravy.  “But baby, it’s going to taste like a burned pot.”
“Has it ever tasted like a burned pot?” 
“No,” he says, noncooking man that he is.  “But you’re going to do it this time.”
Now I’m a bit upset.  “Seriously, dude?  Leave me alone.  The only reason you’re concerned about it now is because you’re watching me cook it.  If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.”
After I tell him to scram, he walks away mumbling under his breath as I add the trinity to stop the roux from browning.  Needless to say, he’s eaten most of the Gumbo.
 
I’m going to link this to my writing.  People, family members mostly, come to me quite often and tell me I should write about their lives because they are awesome.  Though I don’t doubt the awesomeness of these people, and it always happens to be an uncle, I’m going to pass on telling their story, unless they give me some good material.  Yes, you had a bar fight.  Yes, you saved three humpback whales with your bare teeth.  Yes, you worked as an actuary and you have stories up the you-know-what.  But I’m going to pass.  If you were attacked by a werewolf and a fairy last week, by all means, let me know.  I’ll put that stuff on paper!  I’m sorry but you running a marathon in jeans in 120 degree weather by no fault of your own does not a good book make.  Please don’t tell me that you getting into a fight with your brother and falling down the stairs is better than a story about a vampire.  An angel.  A sin eater! 
Erika Badu said it best, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my sh*t.”  Don’t tell me how to make Gumbo.   Not in my kitchen, darnit!
 
Don’t tell me to write about your life.  Tell me about it.  We can eat cookies and drink tea while you talk.
I’ll listen.  I promise.

And by the by, you can download the first 45 pages of Hunted by Angels for free on Kindle May 15-16th.  Check the link under my pic -------->