Australian writer, children's author, and poet, Helen Ross has tagged me in a Writing Process Blog Tour. Helen is also an educator and workshop presenter. Check out her site and learn more about this talented lady from down under. You can read her post, on which I was one of those tagged, on the blog tour here .
Helen's children's books were featured on Book Talk on June 20, 2012. You can read that post by clicking here . I met Helen in cyber space when I found her delightful blog Helen Ross Writes in 2010, right after The Unfaithful Widow was released. I asked her to review my memoir and we have been cyber friends ever since. I'd love to meet her one day in person and chat over Margaritas. Thanks Helen for tagging me in this tour. I am honored to be included!
(Do you think Helen's sweet kitty looks a little nervous to be on a Writer With Dogs blog? We are pet friendly here and embrace cats and other author pets too. Here kitty, kitty . . . you are purr-fectly charming. )
So what is this all about?
The Writing Process Blog Tour is simple. I answer four questions about my writing and then tag other authors to continue the tour and answer the same four questions on their blogs. Then they tag authors they know and it continues on . . . You can see who I've tagged at the end of the post. I am so pleased to bring this tour to the USA!
1. What am I working on?
I am not moving as quickly with my writing as I usually do. I've become distracted like a pup with its head out a car window, smiling as the breeze blows across my face, just enjoying myself, going nowhere in particular. Perhaps my excuse is it's summer. But then . . . other seasons have their own sirens. Maybe I am just a bit tired!
Writing my first novel was exhausting for a gal who is used to short essays. Danger In Her Words was released February 2014. I've completed a month long blog tour with WOW! Women On Writing to promote my book online. It required different interviews and one-of-kind posts I had to write on topics such as; the healing power of dogs, girlfriends, how to make a book trailer. I've just revamped the format for this blog. I've updated my website. All of that is very exciting - but it is not pulling together the books I see ahead of me. Writing marketing material is not the same as completing a new book, but it is equally as important if you want anyone to see your work.
I still dream big. I believe your heart and mind should be full of possibilities - in doing so wonderful things are accomplished. My dreams include my dog memoir, a children's book, an odd little series on my Chihuahua Chloe, and another novel with a sixty-five year old heroine designing her destiny. My goal is the dog memoir by mid fall. I have six dogs that are waiting for the moment of fame and I promised them their stories would be told. Perhaps I will stop sniffing the air out my window, as intoxicating and refreshing as it is, and get back to the business of my dreams . . . tomorrow. Today I want to be Scarlett, tomorrow I will want to be a writer again.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The one thing I focus on . . . dogs. My personal essays are chock-full-of-dogs. I've written short stories that revolve around dogs. My novel had a very spunky little pup that helped save the day. Perhaps my work is overrun with canines more than most.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Non-fiction memoir - It's cheaper than therapy. It clears my head. It's a social process. I live alone with six dogs so writing is my way of communicating with the world. I started writing when my husband died and found that it gave me purpose. I think writing from the heart, be it about sorrow, or joy, or dogs, is a way to reach out to others and form friendships that would never have been made in my daily life. Nothing makes me happier than to have someone comment on what I've written or contact me directly. Those are the perks of writing I love. I live a fairly simple life - which sounds bigger than it is on paper - but I like to journal about it. As one who talks about everything - writing about everything - seems very natural. I write because I have to, it brings me pleasure and I hope my stories do the same for others. Fiction is a different critter for me and I am trying to get a leash on it.
4. How does my writing process work?
I don't have a schedule - and I mean any schedule. I am retired from my career with the federal government and my time is my own - except for the doggie demands. In the morning after I run them into the yard - because they gang up on me about 7am for breakfast - and are relentless until I get up - I grab my coffee and sit at the computer. Most mornings I work on my blogs that promote other authors or do PR of some sort. My personal writing is more an evening thing - a late evening, early morning thing. I am up usually until 3am.
The most amusing aspect of my writing (to me and I recently discovered this about myself, although I knew it, just didn't acknowledge it) is that when I write my personal stories - I have to post them somewhere. That is why I have so many blogs - both public and private. I write on my blog, correct it until I am happy with it, and have to find graphics to go with the post. I was just part of a 24 Day Health Challenge - where we were to keep a journal. I couldn't write until I set up a private blog, gave it a header, backdrop, and illustrations to go with each entry. That is when I realized I was blog crazy. The good part - my blogs are my online files - so when I need something - I know where to find it.
Writing fiction - short stories- or my first novel - is all done in Word and kept in files in my Dropbox.
Next - Tag you're it!
The authors, artists who write and illustrate, and more below - have been featured on my Writer With Dogs blog or will appear here soon with their favorite canines.
I am stealing the lovely words of Helen Ross to take the pressure off those I've tagged. As she so gently wrote when she tagged me : Please do not feel you have to participate – quietly ignore if you wish. And if you are happy to participate, just do when you can do.
Tag and Go: Valerie Connors, Beth Rommel, Jayne Martin, Kerry Alan Denney, Barbara Techel, Elizabeth Cassidy .
Remember the rules - take the four questions above, answer them on your blog, and tag more writers to do the same!
Thanks again Helen for including me in the tour!