DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

February 5 – Supporting Cast 

Support. To keeping something going. Your supporting cast moves the protagonist’s story forward, or backward, or perhaps slides it sideways.

DIY MFA Radio Episode 103 (sorry, I cannot get the links to work)

Writing  the Multiple Point of View novel with Emma Staub.

My WIP has many characters, but it is not a multi-character story. It has  one main character, with the story told in many POV’s. Each character moves my protagonist closer to his goal, even when he is not in that particular scene. The supporting characters’ views, on achievement and success, impacts my protagonist.

“adulthood is a moving target” – Emma Staub (Episode 103)

This is the theme of my story. I didn’t have one until I listened to this podcast. But I digress……

Back to the supporting cast.

the Fool – the protagonist’s cousin. She introduces Love Interest (2) and moves the story along when it gets stuck.
the Love Interest (1) she is toxic, pulls down the protagonist. She is messy, not good for him and bad things happen to her all the time.
the Love Interest (2) she is “normal”, has normal issues.
the Side Kick (1) he is toxic, messy, pulls down the protagonist, he causes bad things to happen.
the Side Kick (2) he is “normal”, has normal issues
(ahh, I see what is happening here)
the Mentor – his grandfather, a man who has lived life, made his mistakes, sharing what he has learned.
and of course, the Puppy, because all stories should have a puppy.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

February 3 – Ohm’s Law
Resistance = Voltage/Intensity

R= V/I


Ohm’s definition – the potential difference in charge between two points in an electromagnetic field.
My definition – the objective – getting a the first round of revision done by the end of February.


Ohm’s definition – the measure of difficulty of passing an electric current through a substance. 
My definition – the difficulty of sitting down and working on the revisions of my WIP


Ohm’s definition – the measurable amount of force used to affect change.
My definition – the amount of effort I put into my WIP at any given time.

To reduce Resistance, you must increase Intensity. The Voltage is the constant.

The accumulation of unnecessary projects or distractions (resistance) dilutes the effort I put into my WIP (intensity).  My objective is to revision 1000 words per day (voltage)

My Resistance/day: I joined a 6-week prompt challenge. My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. It is year end for our “real-life” business . I plan a holiday, no, wait… two holidays. I visit with a friend, it’s because it is her birthday. I started the diyMFA Book Club, WIP,  etc. etc.
R= V/I = 1000 words for WIP/8 projects or distractions = 122 words


My Resistance/day: My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. It is year end for our “real-life” business. I started the diyMFA Book Club (30 minutes) WIP, etc. etc.
R=V/I = 1000 words for WIP/6 projects or distractions = 166 words


My Resistance/day: My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. I started the diyMFA Book Club 
R=V/I 1000 words for WIP/3 projects or distractions – 333 words

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

I have already spent way to much time on this blog and not my WIP
………proving the power of resistance.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 31 – “Best Practice(s)” ~that didn’t work for me~

  • 1. Write “X” number of words everyday.   This is the worst. I will write, count (14 words) write, count again (17 words) and then write some more and count AGAIN.(25) I get nothing done, I become consumed with the words. I have tried NaNoWriMo four times and “won” once. 1666 words everyday was just too stressful. I was constantly in catch-up mode.  Solution: I write by time. I always set a timer, deciding on how much time I have to devote at the beginning of each session. More often than not, I overwrite my time, but I am liberated and know I can stop when I need to because I have met my criteria. (NaNo Camp in July is perfect for me.)
  • 2. Work from an outline. Nope!. I write organically, often unaware of where my characters are going to take me. I can’t outline something that does not yet exist. Solution: Once I have written a story, short or long, and extremely messy and disjointed, I return to the beginning of the journey. Then, I do character sketches and outline.
  • 3 Revision – Reread your scene and then set it aside and rewrite it from memory. I have tried to do this several time. Again. Nope! “Why,” yells Gnome, “would you try to write something you have already written?” Solution: Thank goodness for ~cut and paste~. Now I take a sentence or a paragraph, write it down on the top of a fresh page and run away with the story, organically.  It is the same thing you say? According to Gnome it is not and that is what counts.

PS. I set a 15 minute timer and have gone over that by 16 minutes and have written approximately 300 words. This includes taking a picture of Gnome. (note to self – Gnome needs a photoshoot)

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 29 – Feed Your Creativity

I have tried several times to make an oracle, mood board and angst jar. My attempts seemed contrived and forced. It just wasn’t working for me. Then, after a particularly, and rare, bad day in the office, my husband brought me a new tea cup in a pretty gift box and a bouquet of flowers. (Even though he had nothing to do with that particularly rare bad day.) I had my box, my treasure chest! A few days later, my mom called and said she had found a little two inch gnome that had hung on my door knob throughout my childhood. She, who saves nothing, had saved my gnome. He now resides in my treasure box. I have yet to learn if he is my outer muse or inner critic, or perhaps a bit of both. Then, I found, and I don’t remember where, a giant red die. It sits beside Gnome in the treasure box.

My creativity is fed by my family, my friends, my environment, my dogs and cats, but mostly by me. I love to set challenges for myself. For instance, my current challenge is a  weekday challenge. Fifteen minutes each day, Monday to Friday, of new content for my WIP. I cannot write “X” number of words. I spend the whole time counting and not writing. (so far….7/30 days – haven’t missed a day.) I have done NaNoWriMo  four times, and only succeeded once. NaNo Camp is more my style.

Finding Word Nerd Unite and other Facebook groups has inspired me to keep going. I have met people on these sites from all over the world. I am spurred on by the positive feedback and constructive critique, by watching others with the same fears and onstacles power through and succeed.

There is no velvet rope, no exclusive club. My creativetiy is just that, MINE.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 25 – Story Telling Super Power

Photo by Elias Castillo on Unsplash

The Underdog

You are the quintessential underdog storyteller and your superpower is creating relatable characters who have a deep desire to change something in themselves or in the world around them. From rages-to-riches narratives to epic David- and-Goliath style battles you craft stories with high stakes and compelling characters your readers can’t help but love.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 23 – Honor Your reality

Reality #1

I have carved out 90 minutes every morning to write. But, my husband and I have a home-based business. Although he tries to respect my writing time, now and then, business has to come first.

Honor #1

I use a timer. When he interrupts me, I turn off the timer, deal with the issue, then return to my writing desk, turn the timer back on and write. Most of the time, 90 minutes is just that, 90 minutes. But sometimes it is 2 hours or even 2 1/2 hours. And sometimes, it just doesn’t happen at all.

Reality #2

I have to grown children who have moved away, but they still need their mommy.

Honor #2

When we visit, in person or on the phone, they come first. They have 100% of my attention. But, they also respect my writing time, and give me the space I need.

Reality #3

My parents and mother-in-law are elderly. I live 45 minutes away. We are dealing with heart disease and early on-set Alzheimer’s.

Honor #3

When call display tells me my mom or sister-in-law are calling, I leave my writing world and stay  in the real world as long as I have to.

Reality #4

In 2014, my husband and I decided to cut our 3500 sq. ft. home into three pieces and move it from the city to an acreage

Honor #4

I did not write anything meaningful at that time, but boy, do I have a story to tell.

Reality #5

Life is busy. it will always be busy. Emails, writing courses, Facebook groups, critique groups, family, Christmas, pets, cooking. Yep. Busy, busy, busy.

Honor #5

Embrace the business, but hold fast to your goals, whatever they may be. Don’t get discouraged when the time frame gets skewed. Forgive yourself for being human. Love what you do, whatever it may be.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 21 – Prompt 

How did you become a writer?

I had the same English teacher/track coach all through high school, (he loved the written work so much he could engage even the jockiest jocks to read) who spent a whole week teaching us about commas, colons, semi colons, sentences within sentences, parenthesis, etc. and then he assigned a two hundred and fifty word essay, that had to be one sentence. (The previous sentence is 61 words. I am a little out of practice.) Not so easy, right? But, I loved the challenge. He came  to class, near the end of grade 12,  and announced that he had published some poems. Poems?? The class was not impressed, after all we were teengers and it was poems. I was impressed that he was published. But still…. poems??  

I, however, planned to be a vet, a dream since I was a little girl; so after high school, I was off to university, with my A+ in English and A-/B+- in my sciences. (I should have seen the writing on the wall) and at the end of my second, very difficult year, a councillor sat me down and explained that I had a wonderful way with words and a superb grasp of Canadian Lit nuances and, apparently, I could really rock an essay. (83 words)

“What can I do with a degree in literature?” I asked.

“You could be a teacher.” she said. Nothing else was suggested or discussed.

I am not teacher material so fast forward thirty years, a marriage, two children, a career in retail, working along side my husband in our own consulting business while I dabbled, writing shorts stories, starting a course for writing children’s books, back in the day of snail mail when the feedback took too long and I lost interest. (58 words, I am so out of pratice)

Then my dog died, I was devastated. I wrote an obituary and shared it with family and friends. They all cried and laughed with me. Then my cat died, the obit was another hit.  That was my zero moment.