This is how my past couple of weeks have been. Let me share what's been going on lately with my book!
I've had some interesting things happen lately.
First off, I'm pleased that I've finally completed my outline. I did it using a storyboard. Because I'm a visual person, I need to be able to see where I'm going. I used the plot line to help me remember that things need to be escalating for my characters and to keep my sights on the impending climatic moment. Once I knew what each character's big moment would be, I knew how to build up to that event.
And the picture above isn't the completed storyboard. I didn't want to post that yet. All my ending notes are on that and wouldn't showing you that ruin all the fun of the next story? However, for those who are interested, here's how I work this craziness out. I find pictures of places and people and glue them around the outside. I now have an idea for how Aloblase, Many Rivers, Belluvita, The Halls of Knowledge and Wilderland look and feel. I do this on my storyboard, but I also include some pictures in my Scrivener program and I post some on Pinterest.
My characters are color coded. This way, when I look at my outline in Scrivener and on my storyboard, I know who has the most scene, and who I might be leaving out. I can pick out those color post-it and scenes, line them up and see how a character's storyline is coming along.
Yes, this takes a lot of start up work. But I think it'll be worth it, especially for my next book where I'll be going into each friend's point of view.
Even though I do all this, I remind myself that nothing is set in stone. It's all paper and files that can be moved, adjusted and deleted as needed. I never close myself to the possibility of my story taking an unexpected turn. But this does help me from going down rabbit trails and getting off track.
Here's Some Other Fun Things--
I was given a chance to attend a local Voice of Small Business Expo.
I had no idea what it was about and was totally unprepared, but all wasn't lost. I learned a lot about marketing and how to present yourself to the public. I got all kinds of ideas of things I can do to market myself. Some ideas are kind of scary for me. I'll tell you about it in a bit. However, I'm a firm believer that if God lays down a path for me to travel on, he will provide everything I need to get to the destination.
I believe that with all my heart.
Here's how I set up my first table. Not much, huh? It gets better. I learned all sorts of cool ideas while I was at this meeting. It'll get better in time.
Which Leads Me To Fun Thing #2
One of my writing buddies was invited to speak at a book club. You know the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3? The one that says two are better than one?
This is especially true when you have to speak in front of a crowd. Nothing causes my knees to knock louder than public speaking. I'd rather stand next to a snake.
So, it went like this. My friend Patty text me:
"You up for a little road trip?"
Me: "To Where? When?"
Patty: "Friday. About 2 hrs from here."
Me: "2 hrs which way? Where are you going?"
Patty: "Some place out near Tyler. I have to talk to a bookclub."
Me: "Really? What are you going to talk about?"
Patty: "I don't know."
Me: "WHAT? And your not sure what town either?" (Mind you, this was only a few days before she was supposed to speak. haha.)
Patty: "I have the email."
Patty: "Bring your books."
Me. "Why? They didn't invite me."
Patty: "Its okay. I invited you."
Me: "But you're not even sure where ur going. Or what u'll say."
Patty: "So, you want to come?"
Me: "Yeah sure."
This is just the kind of friendship we have.
Later she added that I could talk a few minutes about my books. Which I freaked out over because I like to know all the details first. Not her. She's a seat of the pants writers, lifer, believer.
Still, I did get up and talk for a few minutes. I didn't pass out like I feared. I didn't stutter as usual. And afterward, some of the nice ladies came and hugged my neck and said I did good.
That made me feel really great.
And I was ready to present myself more professionally. Still working on my book table. But it was better. And I have chocolates. My dragon watches over them. =D
I have a pretty table runner to spread out. I want a different one. Oh, and I found an reptilian-type skin box that I can put stuff in. I'm still on the look out for a feather pen and I have a few other things I want to do.
Which Brings Us To The SCARY Idea I Have
Like I said earlier, public speaking has always been scary for me. I almost flunked out of Speech class because I hated talking in front of a group of people.
I'm great in front of a classroom full of children. I've even dressed up like a pirate, Peter from the Bible, and a couple of other characters to teach a class. So maybe the possibility of one day being a public speaker is there inside. Just crowded out by a bunch of "fear-weeds." I don't know. What I do know, is that the idea of giving talks to people keeps coming back to me.
It can't be me. I hate doing that. Which leads me to suspect God might have something to do with this prodding. Kicking. Throwing into the water.
Except, He's not thrown me in. He's offered a few small opportunities to let me get my feet wet and see that there is a firm bottom and that I won't drown.
Which is funny this is happening to me because my next book deals with Alyra having to face something scary. And her friends are worried for her. And the closer she gets to facing this thing, the more frightened she becomes. And I didn't make that happen, it's simply how the story unfolded when I first wrote it years ago.
I had to laugh when I realized what was going on. So, will my main character face her fear and go do this thing she's been asked to do?
Will Jackie face her fear of public speaking and go do this thing that seems to be opening up to her?
I'll let you know how it all works out.
Oh, one more thing!! Illuminated will be taking her first blog tour in March. I'll post more information later and include which blogs will be participating. I've sent off the print copies. This is also exciting and my first big step in getting my book reviewed by people who don't know me. Yikes.