Tag Archives: journey

A Resolution, Not a Resignation

Dear Readers,

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I started this blog. Doing so, for me, was a logical step in seriously launching my journey—or perhaps I should say relaunching a journey I’d started long ago, but strayed from over the years. Whatever the case, my intention at the time was clear:

Follow my dreams,

Follow my heart,

And most importantly—

Follow the stories that filled my mind and soul.

And so I did.

Along the way, I discovered things about myself and the way I write. I learned things about the craft through incredible posts made by other writers. And perhaps the most dear to me, I met dozens of amazing people on a similar journey, sharing their hearts and souls as they blogged, commented, and became part of a wonderful cheering squad that we as writers must strive, always, to be for one another.

In the last few months, I’ve stuck closely to my intentions. I’ve been writing like a fiend behind the scenes, often waking from a trance at the end of the week and realizing I’d somehow managed 15-20 hours alongside my teaching hours. I explored new venues and tried new things, putting my pieces out into the world and discovering exactly how deep this passion to write burned within me. I whittled down my blogging because I wanted to focus, and in doing so found more time to write, more ideas to run with, and more exciting things ahead.

And so, over the last couple months, I’ve been toying with a notion I wanted to avoid, but one that I’ve come to recognize as a necessity if I want to truly follow my heart and run with my creative burst: the time to step back from my blog as I navigate the full landscape of my writing dreams. The decision to step away has been a difficult one—and that’s because of you. My connections here have been so satisfying, and I’ve found so many thoughtful, supportive, and intelligent people through this blog that letting it go seemed liked the craziest choice of all…until I dove back into my writing and realized where my heart was, and where I needed to be.

Since I’ve always been one to avoid saying goodbye, and since I also don’t intend to disappear from here forever, I’m opting not to call this a resignation from blogging. Instead, I’m calling it a resolution—a resolution to continue exploring my writing journey, and to continue spending as much time as I can focused on the craft and where it leads me.

I will still be around. I’ll still be reading blogs, and replying to comments for anyone who happens to mosey on over my old posts. I’ll still be reachable by email (evariederauthor at gmail dot com) and through my contact form. You can also find me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (though I’m pretty quiet on the latter). Finally, you can connect with me on Goodreads, where I’ll still leave short reviews for the books I read.

I’m excited about putting my full focus into creating right now, and in doing so, fully committing to my original intentions. And while I’m gone, I hope that you, dear readers and writer pals, are doing the same! Always remember to follow your passion, your heart, and your dreams, and most importantly…

…live your fantasy!

Best wishes to all,

Eva

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Tech Tools for Writers—A Help or a Hinderance?

Not all that long ago, writers practiced their craft with exactly one piece of technology: the typewriter. It was a heavy, bulky thing, eventually moving from the mechanical world into the electronic one, and then morphing into something more portable. Later, it became a computer, which nowadays is standard writer fare. Most of us can’t imagine a world where we can’t tote around a laptop—while others have become so savvy with smaller, more portable devices, such as the ipad and cell phone, that even a laptop sounds like old news. (This post was brought to you in part by the WordPress app of my iphone, after all—not my favorite mode, but handy on the go.)

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Old School

Yes, the times, they are a-changin’, making a plethora of technological advancements available to help your writing along. Programs like Scrivener provide entire writing “studios,” enabling authors to organize, research, structure, and format (among other features) far beyond the writing itself. The Dragon series of software allows dictation into a headset or remote microphone for easy transcription. Various editing programs both for purchase and on the internet (like Smart-Edit) help authors fine-tune prose, whether through spelling and grammar checks, or more complex functions such as flagging overused phrases or clichés, or counting specific word usages. These are just a few of the many computer-based assists available to writers.

Then, of course, we have a bounty of social media outlets to connect with readers and other writers—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Tumblr, G+, etc—all methods the writers of yore most certainly never imagined. Truly, there are options, options, and even more options, some of them helping authors to overcome hurdles that might have originally kept them from the craft, or advancing in it.

So I suppose this begs the question—are all of these tech tools necessary? I myself am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to software. I operate on a Mac, starting long ago on PageMaker (the blame goes to my mother on this, since she was in advertising and it fit the house requirements), then switching to InDesign. Eventually I caved into Word because it was simpler, but since I’m fairly stubborn I used Open Office…until I started having all sorts of formatting conflicts. Now, it’s Word. Just Word. Sure, I use social media programs, and occasionally run a Smart-Edit when I can be bothered to open up my old netbook since the software only runs on PCs. I also picked up Dragon Dictate for a while, but I haven’t gotten much into it. For the most part, I’m an old school student of the new school—new school being A.T.: the After Typewriter era—which leaves me armed with just my computer and Word. Heck, I’ve even been so tech-boring as to bust out a pen and paper when I have an idea at work, and then scrawl two to three pages by painfully slow longhand to type up later!

Technology is grand. Technology is the future. Right? But writing is writing. Whatever it takes to get you writing is good, whether it be gadgets or mind-blowing software or even the rattle of a little radio in the background. I’m not sure where all this tech will lead, but I often wonder if for some it’s an advancement, or a hinderance.

What about you—what are the tech tools you use for your writing? Do you find that they help, or hinder you? If you don’t use anything “fancy,” do you wish you did?

Please share your thoughts below, I’d love to know!

And for now, it’s time to sign off [another piece of tech: WordPress]. Until next time…

Happy writing!

 


Life…The Hamster Wheel

I consider myself a runner. I think this because I conquer a few miles three days a week for both fun and fitness. For me, it’s a time to enjoy being active, to breathe fresh air, and to meditate while burning off calories. It’s also a great time to come up with story ideas. Bonus!

However, while my usual run is along a winding trail, my life is more akin to running on a hamster wheel. Kind of like this.

Today, for example, I opted to cram in a run after cleaning my house, then went straight to the store to buy the fixings to make 15 bean turkey chili for my step-dad’s birthday tomorrow. It’s a simple recipe, but one I’m excited to make for him. However, the beans needed to soak overnight, which is why I thought I’d hit the store now.

Except Safeway didn’t have any bags of 15 bean soup mix. Odd.

I grabbed some other things, then ran over to Trader Joe’s. There I picked up other items for my house and the chili, and went hunting for their 17 bean barley soup mix.

“We don’t carry that anymore,” the grocery attendant said.

Um, what?

So then I ran over to Lucky’s, which fortunately had bean soup mix. Only two bags—no more, no less—which thankfully was all that I needed.

While still pondering the absence of beans in the world (I mean, it’s a bag of beans, one of the oldest staples known to man), I got home, unloaded my groceries, and looked at the clock. The following is where my brain went:

8 p.m. Way overdue for my blog post. Dinner is not made. Groceries are scattered in bags on the floor. Must soak beans. Cats need to be fed. Dear gawd, I still haven’t showered since my run. Yuck. Um, wait, did I ever move that laundry over?

And then:

Oh crap. I forgot the ground turkey!

All of this, a typical evening in the life of me, and not surprisingly, most people.

So tonight I wanted to take a minute to honor those who run this hamster wheel called life, somehow managing to swing it all while still writing. I heard some statistic that 90% of writers have day jobs, and while I’m running over here on my wheel, doing the usual wake-up/feed cats/cook/write/work/run/grade/write/cook/consider doing dishes/throw hands up in air/feed cats again/ponder the existence of people who actually sleep enough/pass out/repeat, I have to wonder how we all do it. And often when I think this, I am baffled at the realization that I don’t even have kids and I’m still running on this hamster wheel trying to get it all done. Kudos to those of you who balance work, writing, and a family—like you, Jessica Vealitzek, and Rebecca Lane Beittel, and a dozen other people. It’s mind-boggling, and sort of amazing, really.

But it forms an interesting question: how do we do it? Specifically—

How do you find the balance? How do you “fit” the multiple life and writing goals you have into your day without falling off the hamster wheel?

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder such a thing, so please share your thoughts below!

As for me, I feel like I’m still working on that balance. Always running, always spinning, always…

Oh dear. It appears I just burned a pan cooking dinner (and blogging at the same time).

*Sigh.*


Preparing to Start Your Next Novel

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

For the last six months, I’ve sworn that I will be starting my next novel in February. In the meantime, I’ve been tackling oodles of projects, from writing short stories to submitting them, as well as continuing to send Kyresa to various appropriate markets and agents. I knew I wanted the “board clear” when I began writing my next book, so that I could wrap all my focus and determination around crafting my next piece. The truth is, the tale has been bubbling around a bit in my head for almost a year, but having had Kyresa go on for so long, and then having had a full length side project I wanted to tackle first, I needed some time to let it all simmer.

All the same, I’ve been so immersed in these shorter pieces for the last few months, I felt a variety of sensations upon discovering that February starts this Friday: a bit of terror, a lot of anticipation, and overall, a genuine sense of excitement. Fortunately and by fluke coincidence, I’m going to end up with a large chunk of time to write on Thursday, which in turn gives me the opportunity to close up shop on the shorts until I resurface from the first draft of my dark fantasy novel. This means I can wake up Friday to my blaring 4:45 alarm and dive right into it, without any hold ups of what if or but I didn’t or oh I meant to…. Pretty convenient timing, if you ask me. Phew!

So how do I prepare to start my next novel? It’s a great question, with many answers depending on the writer you ask. For me, preparation meant finishing other projects that would eat at me if they weren’t complete. It meant reviewing the [extremely incomplete] rough outline I wrote a year ago about my plans for the book. It also meant bolting upright after a dream at 3 a.m. one night in late December, running to the computer, and frantically typing the first two paragraphs as my protagonist said them to me in my sleep. (Yes, this really happened.)

But I imagine that on Friday, when I sit down to start, I’ll actually be doing much more prep work. Kyresa was less about outlining for me; this was instead something I did after the fact, a way to organize my thoughts and figure out the point of each chapter and where I could move things around. For my next, as-of-yet untitled work, I intend to have a little more of a plan before I launch. I prefer to not know the end when I start, but to at least know a few bumps along the road. If I were to sketch out my narrative arc this Friday, it would probably look like a rocket shooting straight into the sky, waiting for a reason to come back down—and that’s okay with me, for now. While I’ll need to flesh out some more key events, I’ll also write some character sketches to get myself pumped up, and bookmark various informational websites that I’ll need to reference along the way (note: I’ve been fascinated with Russian names, lately, so this will indeed come into play).

In short, if you asked me what I do to prepare for my next novel, I suppose my answer would be, “Type up some quick notes, cross my fingers, hope for the best, and then turn into a shut-in and let it all flow!” 🙂

But what about you?

How do you prepare to start a novel? Do you start on a lam, or do you plan out extensively before you launch, using research, characters sketches, and detailed outlines? What gets you motivated and ready to GO?

Please share your thoughts below!


Where Am I Going, Where Have I Been?

Hello again, Readers!

It’s been a long time away, and I have so many things to share with you! For starters, yes, that title is a reference to the masterful Joyce Carol Oates and her beautiful work, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Has my time away been like 15-year-old Connie’s journey in the story? Golly, no. But it has been a time of discovery in all things writing, and since Joyce Carol Oates’s talent is incredibly admirable to me, I would say that my time away has inspired me to dive headlong into my writing. (And if you are unfamiliar with Ms. Oates, check her out!)

So, what have I been doing for the last six weeks while I broke away from this blog?

TONS.

Here’s a quick list. I…

  • Finished editing a novel-length side project
  • Edited three short stories
  • Researched markets for six short stories and submitted three others
  • Cleaned up my website
  • Started tinkering with ideas for the novel I’ll be starting in February
  • Received super exciting news about a short story I wrote (the official news comes out in May/June; I’m leaving you hanging, sorry!)
  • Read oodles of stories and books, and I mean oodles—a book of short stories, a few stand-alone shorts, a literary novel, an amazing dark fantasy novel, and two YA novels, all of which were great examples of solid writing (which in turn makes me a better writer), and
  • Researched and read a lot of blog articles about fiction authors maintaining blogs, such as these three thoughtful posts by Joel Friedlander, Rachelle Gardner, and Jody Hedlund.

This last bullet point actually led me to some deep thinking about the whole blogging process. I’ve missed posting regularly, but mostly I’ve missed you, my readers! On the other hand, I found in the last six weeks that I was not only less stressed, but I was extraordinarily productive with all my writing plans. When my alarm blared at 4:45 so that I could squeeze my 30 to 45 minutes of writing in before work, I was actually less likely to sleep through it, chuck it across the room, or even allow Sienna Cat to fight with it and bat it off the nightstand (she’s apparently not into the noise). I also found myself coming home more excited to tack on more time, often spending at least an hour, if not two, on something writerly before I fell into a deep, idea-rich slumber.

Another thing I noticed was that, while I’m enjoying reading the blogs that I follow, a lot of posts reflect similar information. That is, an idea, or topic, gets addressed by many of us at some point, often in a short window of time. Most of the time it’s not intentional, but all of the time, it’s inevitable—take for example the three articles I read in a six-week window on authors blogging, and if you google the topic, you’ll find many more. The good news is that this provides interesting perspective and commentary from each author, but the bad is that the whole point of blogging, or one’s “platform,” is to showcase something special and uniquely you.

This put me at a bit of a crossroads. The creative boon is the key piece—I am, after all, a writer, and the only way to be a writer (and eventually get published) is to be a writer and write—and the burst I’ve had in the last six weeks has been amazing. I do enjoy blogging, but for different reasons—namely, connecting with and hearing comments and thoughts from you, my readers. Clearly, some sort of compromise was in order. Would I quit blogging forever? Ha. NO. Would I give up all the writing creativity? Double ha. HECK NO. But…

What I need to do is write.

Frequently.

Constantly.

Repeatedly.

That said, I’ve decided to scale back my blogging a bit. From here forward, I’ll be posting the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I hope in this way I will (a) still be able to connect with you, providing fresh, informative posts, and (b) be able to continue working on my writing at the productive pace I’ve experienced since the beginning of December. It was a tough decision, I’m not going to lie, but a necessary one.

Knowing that many of my readers are also writers, I’m curious what all of you think about the burning to write or blog question.

Do you find blogging takes away from your writing? Do you love blogging so much/enough that it doesn’t matter? And also, why do you blog?

Please share your thoughts below, I’d love to know!


Liebster Award…Take Two!

***See end of post for information on the theme call for next week’s Third Thursday Flash: The TURKEY Edition!***

A little over a week ago, I was honored with two awards in one day. Wow! Today I’d like to discuss the second of the two, the Liebster, which comes to me from the wonderful Katherine Checkley—thanks so much, Katherine! Katherine runs a beautiful and informative blog called The Intrinsic Writer, which deals with all sorts of writerly topics. Katherine’s is a great voice, and this is why it’s such a compliment that she nominated me for my second Liebster Award. 🙂

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

  • Post eleven random things about you.
  • Answer the eleven questions provided by the giver for you.
  • Create eleven questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose eleven people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs.

Eleven Facts About Me:

  1. I eat cold sweet potatoes almost daily as a quick snack, and I keep them pre-baked and grab-able in my fridge.
  2. I “run hot” most of the time. Fortunately, I prefer tank tops.
  3. I own enough high-heeled shoes to fill a small closet—and I have a small closet actually filled with said shoes.
  4. I am addicted to Trader Joe’s apple/pumpkin/cranberry-apple butter. Yum!
  5. I’ve been getting up between 4:45 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. almost every weekday to squeeze some writing in before work. (I’m still not entirely sure why this is working for me, but it is.)
  6. I like the smell of paper. In fact, I worked at a print shop for two years in college, and I used to love to smell every type of paper and report a scent description to my colleagues. They thought I was weird. Go figure.
  7. I love baking cookies for friends and colleagues.
  8. I have an impressive Venetian mask collection hanging around my house. (I might have as many masks as I have heels, come to think of it…)
  9. I have only been in eleven U.S. states: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, West Virginia, Hawaii, and Florida for a day or more, and New York and North Carolina for under twelve hours each. How sad!
  10. My favorite show is Vampire Diaries. An extremely close second is Fringe. They have clever writing, fascinating topics, and beautiful casts on both!
  11. I love candy, and I have since I was a little kid. It’s kind of a problem…

My Eleven Questions to Answer:

  1. Have you ever seen a ghost/spirit? If so, tell me about it. If not, do you believe in ghosts/spirits? I haven’t, but I do believe in them.
  2. What’s your favorite movie from the 1980s? That’s easy—Who’s That Girl. I’m a crazy Madonna fan, and that was one of my first Madonna memories.
  3. What do you wish you knew in high school that you know now? So many things! Mostly, that if it seemed like people weren’t telling the truth, then no amount of convincing could make it any different.
  4. What’s your favorite cocktail or alcoholic beverage? A lemon drop floated with Chambord. Yum!
  5. What’s your favorite vegetable? I’m fond of just about every vegetable other than asparagus. However, I eat spinach and brussel sprouts the most. This is hilarious if you know me, since I grew up hating brussel sprouts but “trained” myself to like them. Now I actually really enjoy them!
  6. What’s one band or artist you love that goes against your normal range of musical taste? My normal range is pretty much all over the map, so I don’t know that there’s anything against normal for me. Though, as a huge Madonna and pop fan, I suppose mentioning I also love Tool, Stabbing Westward, and some Metallica might be unusual…
  7. What’s your favorite Disney movie? No hesitation: Sleeping Beauty. Whenever I read it to my niece before bedtime, there is inevitably the moment I bust out singing “Once Upon a Dream.” To which she usually rolls her eyes and says, “Auntie Eva, the song is not in the book!” 🙂
  8. What do you think was the most interesting news story of 2012? That women are able to prevent pregnancy during rape by willing it so. News to me. (And horrifically ludicrous news, I might add.)
  9. List all the major cities of the world that you’ve visited. Which was your favorite? Since I haven’t been out of California much (see random fact #9), I also haven’t made it to many major cities. However, if you look at Wikipedia’s List of U.S. Cities, I have apparently been to more than I thought (seriously, Oakland made it on this list?). I’ve been to every major city in California, as well as Washington D.C.; Charlotte, N.C. (though it was an overnight hotel stay only); Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Reno, NV; Henderson, NV; Las Vegas, NV; and Honolulu, HI. Okay, that list is somewhat depressing. I’m not sure I have a favorite. I love Las Vegas but not for the traditional reasons people love Vegas—I have family there, and stay far away from the Strip—but I also love San Francisco. Er, scratch that. I love Honolulu. I love Hawaii! (Excuse me while I go book a flight back!)
  10. Who is your favorite figure from history? Queen Elizabeth I, Cleopatra, and Mata Hari. Everything about Queen Elizabeth’s era fascinates me (I worked the Renaissance Faire for many years when I was younger), as does her entire life story. Cleopatra intrigues me more for her romance with Antony, but I also love the time period. Mata Hari has captivated me since I read a book about her in my teens—a seductress spy whose failing was to fall in love? Intense.
  11. What current song can’t you stand? Kesha’s “Die Young.” I try, try, try to appreciate Kesha, since I know my kids are listening to her—but I just can’t pretend on this one.

Phew. Those were surprisingly challenging questions by Katherine! 🙂 Now on to…

Eleven Questions for Those I’ve Nominated:

  1. What is your favorite musical decade?
  2. List your travel destinations of the past. Which one is your favorite?
  3. Do you live where you want to reside, and if not, where would you move?
  4. If you had to go back to school today to follow a new career path, what would you study?
  5. What is your favorite wild animal?
  6. If you could board a time machine and live in any place and time, where would you go?
  7. What is your favorite song of the moment?
  8. What genre do you prefer reading that is distinctly different from what you write?
  9. You and your laptop are on an adventure to write in the most blissful setting possible (free of charge). Where do you go?
  10. What is the book you read (or were read) as a child that charmed you the most?
  11. If you pick an actor or actress to play the lead role of your most recent work, whom would you choose, and why?

Okay, on to the nominees…Having just nominated five fantastic bloggers last week, and having discovered that all of my favorite bloggers are people I nominated the last time I sent a Liebster around, I have decided to break the rules (for shame, Rieder!)…I am nominating only two people. While I am issuing an honorary Liebster to the five people I nominated for The Illuminating Blogger Award, the following are two people whose blogs are full of great information, and whose posts I always look forward to reading!

Thanks for the engaging posts, you two! Well done, and keep up the outstanding work. And of course, thanks again to Katherine Checkley for nominating me! 🙂

Before I wrap this post up, I want to remind everyone that next week is the sixth edition of Third Thursday Flash—meaning theme submissions are open now until Monday the 19th at 8 p.m. PST! Since this particular edition will fall on Thanksgiving, I’m officially entitling it Third Thursday Flash, the Turkey Edition. That’s right: The TURKEY Edition! Interpret as you like, and send along an idea, pair of words, sentence, or theme that you would like me to craft into a flash fiction piece for next week’s Third Thursday Flash. You can send your ideas to evariederauthor@gmail.com.

Thanks for participating and reading, everyone!


Why Aren’t I Doing NaNoWriMo?

It’s November—the month of writing mayhem! 🙂

If you’re a writer, you are well aware of NaNoWriMo. For those who aren’t familar, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which rolls around every November. It’s a time when many writers take on the challenge of crafting 50,000 words of a novel (broken up over 30 days, that’s an average of about 1,667 words per day). For experienced and new writers alike, this month is a popular one to dive into the challenge—and to help keep authors motivated and on task, the NaNoWriMo website hosts special day challenges, word counts, forums, and lots of support. In many ways, it’s a great banding together of the writing world.

So as many writer friends (and non-writer friends alike) have asked, why aren’t I doing it?

For the last two years, I’ve intended to participate in NaNo. While 50,000 words is only the start of a novel, I liked the idea of a camaraderie with other writers involved. Writing is a completely independent art—which is why we often encourage one another to attend conferences and workshops, or to start critique groups so that we don’t disappear in the confines of our offices and forget to share our work with one another. With this collaborative spirit in mind, it seems I should have signed right up.

Last year, I was heavy in the throes of finishing my first real novel, Kyresa. I toyed with the idea of stopping to create something new during NaNo, but doing so would have stalled my momentum on a book that had to finally be finished. I’m glad I held firm on that.

This year, I considered the idea again—especially because this time, one of my closest friends (a romance writer) decided to go for it. Cheering each other on like we did in high school sounded superb.

But again I had to pause and take a deep breath while I thought about the possibility. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I just started my new gig as an English teacher—which I’m loving—but it’s still taking some adjusting (read: paper grading) as I try to also maintain my writing life. In addition, I’m still in that unpacking stage of my recent move (read: curtain rods remain on the floor!).

And of course, there was the bigger issue: I promised myself after my July writing conference that I would take some time to craft shorts and finish editing another piece until the month of February. I made this decision with the goal of learning how to start and finish, over and over, so that I would never drag a novel out like I did with my first one again. Thus, February has long been set in my head as the month I intend to start my next full-length piece. 

I am a woman of strong conviction once I make up my mind, but until then I’m as indecisive as they come. So I wavered back and forth on this, between the lure of the “team,” the best friend, and even multiple blogger pals getting involved…plus those nifty word counters sure are fun…

And then I put my foot down. My enthusiasm over building a collection of shorts is high, and some small semblance of sleep is important to me in this adjustment period to my new house and job. So…no NaNoWriMo for me, and I’m okay with it!

Instead, I’m opting to stand on the sidelines and cheer all my fellow NaNo writer pals on. I’ve been the biggest cheerleader for those I support for as long as I can remember (which is funny, since I never was a real cheerleader), and there’s no reason I can’t do that for all of my NaNo-ing peeps. Go team! While all of you are working away at creating the awesome 50,000 words you’re aiming for this month, I’ll still be writing alongside you. I’m not counting my words, and I’m not building a novel just yet, but I’m excited for every one of you. I’ve got pom-poms in the air, foot kicked high, and pigtails swinging in the breeze. Ra-ra. Yay-you. Goooooooo Team Writers!

Keep up the good work, everyone! Can’t wait to hear about your NaNoWriMo progress. 🙂


The Illuminating Blogger Award!

Today I’d like to share exciting news—I’ve been nominated for two blog awards! Wow! These nominations come from fellow bloggers Michelle Ziegler and Katherine Checkley. Michelle nominated me for a new one, the Illuminating Blogger Award, while Katherine nominated me for my second Liebster Award. Thanks so much, ladies, I’m honored! 🙂

Since each of these awards has different requirements—the Liebster’s are quite thorough—I’ve decided to address them in separate posts. For now I’ll say another quick thanks to Katherine Checkley for the Liebster, and I’ll elaborate more on it next week! Now for…

The Illuminating Blogger Award

The rules for the Illuminating Blogger Award are as follows:

  • Visit the award site at http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ and leave a comment indicating you were nominated and by whom.
  • Thank the blogger and include a link back to their site.
  • Share a random thing about yourself.
  • Select 5 or more nominees and notify them that they’ve won the award.
  • Put the award on your blog somewhere.

Michelle, my nominator, is a romance writer who posts as she makes her way along the writing path. Her posts are fun and informative, whether about writing or the world in general. Thanks for the nomination, Michelle!

Time for a random fact about me…hmm…I love fun socks! This is particularly random since I’m always warm and wear flip-flops most of the time—but around the house I love short or knee-high socks with some variety of silliness on them. I own a lot of striped, polka-dotted, and zebra-printed ankle socks. I have knee highs with stripes, others with skulls and crossbones, and some with both! I also have pairs that tote some verbal hilarity all over the feet that I’ve owned for many years (“Diva,” “Sassy silly flirt,” etc…seriously, who buys these for me?!). My new house has bamboo floors, so I have an excuse to wear my socks more—and slide across the surface a la Risky Business!

My five nominees for the Illuminating Blogger Award are:

  • Jessica Vealitzek at TrueSTORIES: this award is intended for illuminating, informative bloggers, and Jessica is just that. Her posts involve real stories from real people, and they’re all beautifully written. I love finding her posts in my inbox!
  • Mike Manz at Stories for the Masses: Mike restructured his blog to focus on his fiction, and it’s exquisite. In addition to posting his work, he creates a companion podcast every time (wow!) and has a special feature showcasing other story-based blogs. Love it!
  • Anna Meade at Yearning for Wonderland: Anna runs flash fiction contests and posts her own work. She is a social media guru, managing to rile up participation like none other! The themes she creates for her contests are inspired—I plan to enter more!
  • Rebecca Lane Beittel at Rebecca of Tomorrow: Rebecca’s posts are playful and clever, often full of facts about authors of the past or present. Sometimes she sheds light on the season (she posted a fun series on Halloween), and others on writing in general.
  • Shay Fabbro at Dr. Shay West aka Dr. Shay Fabbro aka Dr. Fab!: Shay posts author interviews and book reviews, but also posts about fabulous science topics! Shay is a Biology Professor with expertise in the field, and as a former biology student, I get a kick out of her posts.

So there you have it—five awesome nominees. Great work, everyone! And thanks again to Michelle for the nomination! 🙂


New Digs, New Desk, New Dreams

Over the last month and a half, I’ve been moving. It’s a slow process—this is the first time I’ve ever moved during the school year in a long while, and I am now officially in awe at the rest of the working world for doing this all along. While I moved my bed in three weeks ago, it wasn’t until this weekend that the place started to feel like a real home. Sure, there are still curtain rods and picture frames that seem to come to life and jump right where I’m stepping every time I walk down the hall, but for the most part it’s coming together! 🙂

My running trail along the bay!

In this short time, I’ve also already fallen in love with the place. I lived in my old house for seven years, so it was hard to leave. Sadly, the neighborhood had grown increasingly more uncomfortable (read: neighbors breaking into condos in the complex, a jewelry store hold-up at gunpoint two blocks away, and various other violent and/or creepy oddities) and I had also become the fishbowl for the neighborhood (bottom floor, center unit; gazebo smokers watching the Eva Show daily). It was time to go.

I found a condo in one of the safest neighborhoods in the vicinity, a beautiful space that almost feels like an entirely new county. It’s filled with trees, clean areas, and neighbors who so far seem to look out for one another in a respectful way. A bonus to this whole event is that the place is along the water where I’ve come to run for the last seven years. Just a two-minute walk through the complex and I’m on my favorite trail, breathing in the fresh smells of the ocean and observing the beauty of the waves as they roll into the shore…and if I turn right instead of left out of the gate, I get to watch the sailboats coming into the port!

Score for me, right?

Now, when I packed up my old place, I decided it was time to give up my desk—the desk being a beat-up old table I picked up on the side of the road when I moved in. It served its purpose, for sure, but I wanted to buy an actual desk for my new office. Nothing fancy and certainly not expensive—I have no qualms with buying furniture at Target at this point in my life, honestly, if it looks nice enough and does the job—but something that would make me feel at home and ready to pursue my writing goals in my comfortable new condo.

So, I did. I bought a lovely little desk and assembled it last weekend, and while I still have yet to fill the drawers, I plopped my computer right on top of it with a delighted squeal. In addition to the desk, I bought two (more) bookcases so I could officially begin forming a wall of books (more squeals). It finally feels like I have a real office, and I’m looking forward to spending every day writing in here!

Sometimes a change of location means the world. For me, the change signifies safety, happiness, and a new boon in creativity. And with this great new desk under my computer—well, I think some new dreams are about to form. If you could see me now, you’d find a big smile plastered across my face!

I’m off to continue my unpacking bonanza now. Next post, I’d like to talk about the two awesome blog awards I received from Michelle Ziegler and Katherine Checkley. Until then, have a great week, everyone!

—Brought to you from the new desk in the new place of one newly happy Eva Rieder 🙂


Third Thursday Flash Submission Call and the One Lovely Blog Award!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I’d like to start off my thanking the wonderful Nathan Payne over at Writer’s Codex for nominating me for another award, the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks, Nathan!

I’ll go into more detail on the award in just a moment, but first—drumroll please!—it’s time for another call for submissions! As a reminder, every three Thursdays I’m posting a 500 to 1,000 word flash fiction piece I’ve written based on your idea! Submissions are now open for theme ideas you’d like me to craft from for next Thursday’s post. Please pass along whatever idea you like (it can be a theme, a sentence, a prompt, a couple of words you’d like me to incorporate or use as background—your choice), and send your suggestions to me by email at evariederauthor@gmail.com. You can also use the handy contact form on my website. Submissions will remain open until Monday the 17th at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, when I will pick one of your great ideas and craft a piece! In your email, please let me know if you would prefer I keep your name anonymous should I pick your idea, otherwise be prepared for me to shout out your awesomeness for providing a swell idea.  🙂

You can click here or here to read the first two installments of Third Thursday Flash. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your suggestions thus far, everyone—it keeps me writing and I love having your input. So, I welcome more ideas and themes for next week’s edition!

And now…back to the One Lovely Blog Award!

The One Lovely Blog Award is another of those fun blog awards circulating at the moment. While some bloggers consider them chain letters just by the nature of passing them along to more bloggers, I find the mention by my esteemed peers quite flattering. There are about 80 gazillion blogs out there, so being nominated as one of a small group that someone likes to read is not only encouraging but a real highlight of the day. So, thanks again, Nathan!

The One Lovely Blog Award suggests that I should: thank the nominator (done—you rock, Nathan!), post the picture (done!), mention seven random facts about myself, and nominate fifteen other blogs.

We’ll start with the seven random facts. (Dun dun dun…this could get interesting.)

1. One of my favorite foods is a pot pie with popcorn in it. This is a holdover from childhood, when my mom loved to eat popcorn for dinner (why, mom, why?), and we’d grab handfuls and sprinkle it over our pot pies. For some reason, the butter flavor mixes quite well. I have to get crafty with this now due to a double whammy of lactose and gluten intolerance (random fact number 2!), but I sure do love that combo.

2. See last sentence of #1. Fortunately, this is a pretty bearable issue now that it’s 2012 and there are delicious substitutes available.

3. I’ve become addicted to getting up at 4:45 to squeeze in 45 minutes to an hour of writing before I leave for work – so much so that I have to remind myself to sleep in a little on the weekends. (Why waste a perfectly good day?)

4. I’m a clean person but I have a tendency to drop mail and shoes as soon as I come in the house. Mail on the counter (which I leave, often, for a week at a time) and shoes by the door. This results in (a) no counter space and (b) random bouts of tripping over shoes while heading into my kitchen. My kitchen, by the way, is inconveniently placed as the opening to my apartment. This leads me to item #5.

5. I am giddily, delightfully, and over-the-moon excited about the fact that I will be moving in the next month to the area I’ve dreamed of living in for the last seven years. (Please review #3. This is the only writing time happening for a while since I’m packing.) The new place is on the water, beside my favorite running trail. Tranquil, safe, and beautiful are three words I would say best describe my new neighborhood, and I can’t wait to move!

6. I use an exercise ball as a desk chair half the time. It’s only half the time because my cats have a tendency to pop every exercise ball I acquire (the current tally is cats: 3, exercise ball: 1), and so I’ve been hiding this one in the tub of my guest bathroom with the door closed to prevent their access. This also means that I often sit down and start writing before I remember to grab the ball, and then I’m too immersed in what I’m doing to grab the darn thing. Sorry, abs.

7. I now consider myself a former theatre brat, Renaissance Faire girl, and circus freak. I acted a bit in my teens and first year of college, and hope to do it again one day (you know, when I have more time). I sold garlands at Renaissance Faire for seven years (I was there, but flighty, for my eighth and ninth years), which was fun and formative, but now I have a strong dislike for dusty, dry areas, as well as camping.  And the circus part—if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve heard this fact. If not, you can read more about my circus life here.

All right, there are some random facts about me for you! Now, since Nathan was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award just a couple weeks ago, I recently nominated several blogs that I love to read and follow. The list often does not change as I follow these blogs because I think the writing is either informative, superb, or both, and for that reason, I would like to redirect you to my formerly posted list of blogs here. However, there is one blog that I’d like to add to the list, since her blog had already been nominated the last time around and thus I couldn’t renominate her. (Yes, I’m breaking all the rules in only technically nominating one person, but there you have it.)

That said, I nominate Katherine Checkley over at The Intrinsic Writer. Her blog boasts not only great writing but helpful writing posts, and I consider her a veritable fountain of clever writing information. She is also one of the first bloggers I ever started to follow!

I’d like to say thanks to Nathan again for the nomination. He’s running a fascinating blog with lots of good insight, and I’m enjoying following him through his writing journey.

And to my readers, I’d like to say thanks again for being a part of my journey. I look forward to reading your theme suggestions for Third Thursday Flash, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and restful weekend!


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