Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Wanna Write?

My last post was Memorial Day. That’s a whole month with nothing to say. *sigh* Why?

Well . . . did you ever noticed that most people who write blogs are experts at something? I’m not. I’m not an expert gardener. (The weeds are choking my veggies as we speak!) I’m not an expert knitter, but I have several projects started. I’m not an expert photographer, although I get a lucky shot now and then.

(No whine. Just fact.)

Recent Lucky Shot

                           Recent Lucky Shot

I am a pretty good reader of the books I like (but who’s not?) and I’d LOVE to be an expert writer. Still working on that one.

As a pretty good reader and wannabe expert writer, I’m going to share parts of a book I’m reading right now.


A really, really long title (and hard to remember exactly.) This book is by Roz Morris and is part of her Nail Your Novel series.

And since about half the people who know I’m a writer tell me they’d love to write a book, I thought I’d share a little of Roz’s expertise. Yes. She’s an expert. 🙂

The first thing a writer should know is what a story is.

Here’s Roz’s definition:

A story is usually someone trying to do something, or trying to prevent something. The story ends when they’ve done it, or done something else instead that put an end to the journey. To spice things up they have obstacles, or conflict, which make it all way more troublesome than they imagined when they started.

So . . . easy-peasy. Right? Bahahahah! (Insert the Wicked Witch of the West’s laughter here.)

I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s read and/or used Roz’s Nail Your Novel series. So far, it’s making sense to me.

Ps: I do have an expert imagination–but it’s not something I can share.



Or: My Writer’s Weekend Revisited

I have friends who take a weekend now and then to go somewhere and just write. These smart women leave home and hubby and kiddos, check into a hotel or cabin and spend their entire time writing.

I’ve never done that. My writing schedule consists of getting up early and writing before the rest of the house wakes up. But I envy these women their dedication and stern I’m-going-to-do-it-ness. (Yes, I do like making up my own words. Why do you ask?)

Once a year for the past few years, though, I’ve gone with G-man to OKC for a weekend. He’s there to get his continuing education hours. (Keeps his pharmacy license alive.) So while he studies, I hang out in the hotel room.


One year, I spent as much time knitting as writing. The next year, I spent my time writing blog posts so I could concentrate on writing for the next few weeks after I got home. But this year, I decided I would write. Nothing but write. Write, write, write. Words on paper. Go. Go. Go.

Note: Not as easy as it sounds.

I knew that going in, so I decided to take notes on my progress. Here they are: (Don’t laugh.)

6:50 am–My first “true-ish” writer’s weekend, where I’m hoping to do nothing but get words on paper. It’s Saturday Morning, October 25, 2014.

My goal for the weekend: Make it to 50,000 words.

Yes, I’ve had weekends before where I’ve written, but this one is different. I’m Determined! I’m Dedicated! I’m Delovely! (Sorry, couldn’t come up with another D word.)

So . . . I’m not here to watch TV, shop or visit. I’m going to see how many words I can get on paper–on screen, rather. 🙂

I’m starting at 46,190 words. Gary and I are going to breakfast in a few, and the writing will begin!!!

*  *  *

Saturday Morning:

7:00 am–breakfast.

7:40 am–Back at work. Somehow, I lost 7 words in the last read through. Sigh. At 46,183 I’m heading the wrong direction. Better get busy.

8:15–Stop for TV man to fix it. Probably should have left it broken, but hey.

8:25–Back at work.

e fingers

9:30 am–47,159. Almost a thousand word in two hours. 500 words an hour. Sigh. Why don’t I write faster?

10:15– Sleepy. Gotta wake up. Walked the square. 47,689 words.

11:00– Took a Benadryl for stuffy nose and headache, which brought on a short nap. 48,080. Message from sweet friend and wrote her back. Praying for friend.

11:40–Gary back for lunch. 48, 258. (Yikes. FB and texts are stopping me. Gotta quit that!)

1:00–Lunch is over and G-Man is heading back to class. I’m too full! (What is it about a buffet that makes me eat too much? Argh!)

Back to the words.

Sometime in the last half hour, I fell asleep on my keyboard. I woke up to CCCCCC across the page. Do C’s count? No? Sigh. 48, 506.

Sunday morning 4:15 am 48,509–Napped yesterday afternoon (maybe next time I have a writing weekend, I should skip lunch or make it a light one) and G-Man got out of class early.

2623 words for Saturday. Not killer, but better than a poke in the eye.

Okay, starting at 48,509 today. And it’s a go!

Sunday morning 4:15 am 48,509, And it’s a go!

Have to check out of the room at 1:00. (Late check out. Yay!) But G-Man doesn’t get out of class until 5:00. Sweet hubby bought me a power converter so I could write in the car without draining my battery. We’ll see how that works out.

Hot and windy outside. Had to change seats several times while I wrote. The Internet doesn’t reach outside the hotel. Stingy people. 😦 (Just kidding.) No Internet is a good and bad thing. I don’t get sidetracked by emails and FB, but I also can’t Google things I need to know.

e computer

So I wrote much of the afternoon. Kind of weird to sit in the parking lot with a computer in my lap. People walking by had to wonder what I was doing, but who cares?

I didn’t streak through a manuscript. Apparently, I’m a tortoise writer. The tune from that old cartoon about the lazy buzzard or eagle or some big bird keeps playing in my head. ♪♫ I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee. ♪♫

Final word count for the weekend–50, 493. Made my goal with a few to spare.

Not wildly successful, but not too bad.

Anybody else take weekends to dedicate yourself to something? I need help!

See? I’m a real Killer. 😛