Waking Up the Creative

2014 and 2015 have been an interesting collection of potholes, roadblocks, detours, and downed bridges in regards to writing. The last time I journeyed through an extended period of not writing (and no desire to do so) began back in 2006. Life found me, then. That is, instead of living vicariously through my characters, I found myself embroiled in Life and its many adventures.

But even though my life seemed to be nothing but blessings, people commented that I didn’t seem to have joy. That was in 2008. The comment made me reevaluate my heart. What was keeping me from joy?

Simply put, I missed writing. That was the first year I participated in NaNoWriMo. Life was good again.

2013. We moved for the fourth time in as many years, and I lost my job. it took most of the year for me to find another job. It was a blow to my self-esteem, and my writing suffered for it. Thankfully, after thanksgiving I was hired at my current job.

2014. We moved again, and because of the fact my husband was away from home on projects, my sister and I were solely responsible for finding the house and getting us moved. Later in the year, my mom was diagnosed with NASH (non alcoholic cirrhosis) and passed away 3 months later.

It was a blow no one expects. Two weeks after her death, I released book 2 of my romance series and didn’t look back. I didn’t think about another character, nor even read a book. I didn’t care about them anymore.

2015. We decided to look at purchasing land and build a home. Life had other plans. Months later, we shifted to the possibility of buying a home instead. Again, what should have been simple was not. Life had long since become an exercise, navigating disappointment after disappointment just trying to get to the other side.

Usually, I vented my frustrations and irritations through my writing, but this time my characters didn’t appeal to me. I had no desire to explore what I was feeling, why I felt what I did, and how to get to the better side of it all. Thinking of my characters and my stories brought to mind the pain of my mother’s death. She had always been my brainstorm partner. My fact checker. My sounding board. Not only that, both novels I would have been working on had main characters struggling with the loss of a parent. To write more in-depth about those struggles would have revealed my own agony, starkly and without mercy. I simply was not ready to face the depths of what I felt.

It was clear how the lack of writing was affecting my attitude. I knew it. The husband knew it. But whenever people would ask me about my writing… I just couldn’t. When the husband tried to encourage me to get into it again… I couldn’t. The thought of reacquainting myself with my characters HURT. I dreaded the idea of going to the next novel to get it finished. Writing should never be an act of dread. I think everyone understood that I needed time, and that fact helped me be okay with giving myself that time. Even my characters gave me permission to be apart from them. It could be heard and felt in their silence.

They left me in my corner to mourn and try to find the strength to get up again.

Then, one day last week, I found myself tip-toeing around the characters and story of book 3. I didn’t feel the shadow of dread. Instead, there was a sigh of relief. A clear impression that my characters, all this time, were simply resting their hands upon my heart and encouraging me to open my eyes. Finally, I believed I might be ready to step forward into the journey of repairing myself after an unfathomable loss.

And you know what? There is joy in my life again. There is a realization that, through my writing, I can revisit memories of my mother. I can channel my pain and my joy my readers to be comforted. Healed. Encouraged. Yes, Life is still sending challenges and disappointments, but at least now there is excitement and eagerness because I can finally see the hint of light on the other side.

What challenges have you faced [are facing] this year?

Nona King


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Vacation’s Inspirations and Preorders

Inspiration is a funny thing, as we all know in some form or fashion. I’m here at the Romance Novel Convention hosted by Jimmy Thomas and find myself benefitting, yet again, from the classes and speakers. Especially one Mark Coker (founder of Smashwords), who presented a talk yesterday (7/10/14) on Preorder Strategies. Because of that talk, and because of his offer to help us Indie Authors with our preorders, I am being able to make my as-of-yet-incomplete novel, Releasing Yesterday, available for preorder on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

It’s pretty exciting!

At present I am putting brainstorming possible incentives to get people to purchase the preorder; including coupon codes for free books, pricing discounts for those who preorder versus those who order my book after it goes live, and merchandise incentives. If you want to be a part of this as my “Street Team”, subscribe to this site to receive updates, and/or preorder my book, Releasing Yesterday, at the special preorder price. This price will go from $1.99 to $3.99 once the book goes live (likely a few days after the date of release).

Thank you for all your prayers, positive thoughts, and encouraging comments and emails. Let’s get this done!

Nona King


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Pinterest equals inspiration

I love Pinterest.

Why?

Because Pinterest holds a cavalcade of inspiration regardless of your genre of interest. If you want a writing prompt? You can find THOUSANDS. An inspirational quote to get you through a period of shadow? Yes, they have epic numbers of those too. Fashion? Food? Landscapes? Book covers? Yes, YES, YES and YES!!

But more than the visual and mental candy is the opportunity to network with others and find even more bits of awesome. Not only do you find inspiration for a character or a setting, but whatever you Pin can, ultimately, be found and inspire others.

By far the biggest reason for loving Pinterest–at least today–is the fact that this site helps me get excited for whatever writing project I am perusing images for. This mental and spiritual candy cajoles me into remembering why I am impassioned with writing the stories my characters are eager–and sometimes loathe–to tell.

And more than that? It helps me show the passion to others and introduce them to the stories that are such an intimate part of my soul.

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Why do you love/hate Pinterest?

Why DON’T you Pinterest?

Why DO you Pinterest?


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Not “Because I Can”

There are so many words, phrases, and concepts swirling around in my head that I’m having a bit of difficulty grasping onto a collection of coherent thoughts to put down here. There is the knowledge that I have been wanting to put something here for quite a few weeks only to have that inclination to do so pop like a detergent bubble.

A post about the contagions of excitement.

Or a post about the potency of a creative sigh before one takes another step forward.

Today is usually when I post the next installment of my fantasy adventure serial, The Soul Cycle: Para. It’s such a temptation to dive back in before I know for certain I’m ready to do so. It’s such a thin line, the renewal of a writer. Especially when it is drilled into us the importance of writing something every day.

Unfortunately, that can sometimes drain us of the motivation and inspiration that is so important to the passion of a writer. Obligation and guilt are potent poisons to our muses. Unless, of course, you are the style of writer where these are more of a motivator than a hindrance.

But I, for one, have never cared for the chill of “I write because I can,” or “I write because I should produce at least 500 words every day.”

I began writing because I couldn’t help myself.

There throbbed within my soul the pulse of dozens of characters. They had stories and life experiences aching to be exposed and experienced. To teach me who I was, who I could be, and what I had to offer the world. I didn’t take the time to care about what rules were followed where, or how to portray something correctly. I saw these characters and their lives in my mind’s eye as real as if they were a memory of an actual friend or family member. How could I not write about their agonies and joys?

This is how I wrote for almost twenty years. I suppose you could say I wrote with reckless abandon. With passion. With a certainty in the importance of what my characters had to say. That they had a right to be written.

Then I read a how-to writing book that told me I went about it all wrong. But how can I be doing it wrong when the most basic rule of being a writer is TO WRITE? When I am so obsessed with following the rules and outlines and “do”s and “don’t”s that I can no longer produce, isn’t THAT going about it all wrong?

WriteOn_KathyJeffords
If I sing a song with pretty words and pretty sounds but no passion, there is no interest, yes?

If I paint a picture with correct lines and shades and shadows but with no passion, there is no depth, yes?

So that is why I now trek this uphill battle to once again find my way to my characters. Somewhere along the way I began speaking a different language and missed a turn because I couldn’t understand what a sign said. Balance. Understanding. Knowing when to push and when to simply sit there and listen…. But at present I’m trying to re-learn how to allow myself to be still. To not allow distraction from the challenge of re-discovering my place simply because it’s uncomfortable, this silence. This stillness.

But the silence is not always scary. It is not always wrong. Sitting in silence is the only way to hear the whisper.


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Distance, Day One

Today is the first day after my decision to lift the deadline from my publishing projects and take a break from writing, characters, obligations, dates, and everything else. Today is the first day of my creative and spiritual renewal.

Today is also the first time [in a while] I’ve felt my brain begin to scramble for anything to write about. This is a good sign of the end result of my “forced” (voluntary?) hiatus.

Yesterday afternoon I dedicated my brain to the task of not thinking about my characters–hopefully they are understanding of what could be inferred as the “cold shoulder”. Instead, I prayed about them. About their stories. About the direction their lives would take. I also offered the characters and their stories fully over to my Muse, meaning that I handed the reigns over to the Lord.

He has always been the leader in my creative team–my inspiration since I can remember–and He has never let me down. This hiatus will be key in getting that priority hierarchy back to where it needs to be so I can, once again, enjoy the adventurous struggle of writing about these life-like characters who are constantly with me.

What do you do when you need/take a break?


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