Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Sales Make Writing/Typing Easier

With Christmas comes sales. I am a sucker for sales. I do not make much money, aka minimum-wage and like to be careful with what I buy.

This year the hubby and I splurged and upgraded out T.V. It is a nice T.V. and was a well-deserved gift to each other. And, thanks to the sales, it was affordable.

But, the two things I bought that make a difference is a wireless keyboard and mouse. It is extremely helpful. I type better on a keyboard and our desktop keyboard is meant only for the desktop, so I cannot detach it and use it on my laptop.

With a wireless keyboard I can use it for my laptop and stay focused on typing and not get distracted with the internet.  Now I can lie down and type without hurting my side; which makes a big difference when I am in pain. Plus, it keeps me amused when I get bored…which happens a lot.

Now I can type when I cannot think of what to handwrite, and do my best to do this whenever I get bored. Typing, not blogging of course.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, even if people are still celebrating. Back to typing and enjoying my hour or two of Skyrim.

Being a writer as a hobby costs money, one day I hope it pays off.  What a big dream, I know.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 | By: Megan Held

It's the Holidays...and I am Having Writer's Block


The blasted thing has plagued me again. Writer's Block. I am off for almost a week and like normal, planned to do some writing. Alas, that is not happening. I have written four paragraphs. Measly amounts for me.



It seems with my book I have hit a brick wall. Nothing is coming out. I was doing so well. Christmas is a time where I can relax and spend time writing.



Well, that's not happening. I am going to be busy the next few days. Not complaining, but I do need to write.



Some people do not understand that being a writer one needs to keep writing. A day or two off is no problem. I have been writing since I was 12 and now it is a problem whenever I do not keep writing at least a few nights/days a week.



So, I hope tonight can be a night where I write a little more before the holiday gets rather busy for me.

On a side note, I wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays and I apologize about my lack of blogging. Stupid health issues tend to do that to me it seems.

Oh! Nearly forgot! I have sold 12 e-books. 11 for 1440 and 1 for Unknown Caller. I feel like I have accomplished something. Yeah, I know, that is not that many, but for me it is a big deal.  Maybe one day I will see that amount as minor, hence the word maybe. For now, I will think it is a big deal.




Sunday, December 11, 2011 | By: Megan Held

To be a Dork, or Not to be a Dork? That is the Question

It has come to my recent attention that I am rather dorky. Shocking, I know. One would think my hobby of writing would have been a clue, but nope, it was my Planet of the Apes excitement.

That is right, I loved the new one and cannot wait to buy it. Yet, my fascination did not begin with the recent one, I remember watching at least 3 of the original ones growing up. What can I say, my parents liked to watch those movies with me.

On top of that, I am a walking dictionary/speller. It happens when all you do is write…or I would hope because words are highly important when writing.

Now I am so off my train of thought. Well, as of 3pm today I started my two days off work. That is right, I don’t get weekends off from work and I don’t care. To me it doesn’t matter when my two days off occur.

So, with my two days of, I have plenty of time to dork-it-out (high hopes that this will catch on). I want to write (obviously) and play some Skyrim (obviously) and go buy Rise of the Planet of the Apes (another obviously), but maybe I may go out and write somewhere. I know! Shocker!

The hubby is visiting family and I get antsy being home alone. So, on top of working out I still feel bored. I am like my mother, what can I say.

I just feel that writing at home does not make me write or type all that much. I get distracted and want to do things that is not writing. I understand that I am taking 5 days off for Christmas, but with visiting family I won’t get much done. It may be that time again to set goals, but NOT Nanowrimo goals.

Well, I guess  I plan to dork-it-out because that is just me. I have been this way since I went to HT (my highschool). I guess I can play some Skyrim and write tonight. Two of my dorky, addictive loves. The joys of being done school and not having exams.

Monday, December 5, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Completed Nanowrimo, Now Back to Normal Life

I am honestly considering never doing that again. That was way, way too much.

Back to normal life it is. I haven’t written or typed since Nanowrimo. I need a little mental break, plus health issues came up. For once in my life, something is actually wrong with me and I HATE it. Eek! Do not even get me started.

But, I still work and live life. Just cannot work out as well as I like. Got back to the gym and then Bam! no luck. I keep a goal of 3-4 times a week, but that can be altered due to what I have.

Yet, with the holiday season coming around my work quiets down a little bit, which means I will have more energy to write/type at night. Maybe over the winter season I can finish typing and writing two books.  How awesome would that be?

My goal is to continue self-publishing a book a year. Like normal. No way am I self-promoting to increase my sales. Too much work, plus, I do it just for my family and me.

Since Nanowrimo, I slack at motivation and keep procrastinating. Want to know why?

Skyrim

Skyrim happened. I have tried playing and well, suck at it, but the hubby keeps playing and it is quite amusing. Intelligent, long, fantastic game to watch. As well, reading has been happening as of late. Finished a novel by Kay Hooper and one by Michael Connelly.

I figure as the time goes I will get back in to my habit of writing. It is amazing to see how books have evolved since I was a teenager and often wonder why, at Brock U, they never offered a creative writing-novel course. They offered it for short stories and poetry. Hmmm….ponder.

See! Distractions are everywhere. Terrible. Today I set the goal to keep blogging and to argue with my mind to get back to typing and writing. No more slacking. Time to function…in a more pleasing way than studying and writing essays ever did.

The struggle of being a writer: trying not to distract oneself. Alas, that never quite works out well.

Friday, November 25, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Never Writing This Much Again Unless Being Paid

There, I have said it. I never want to write this much again….while possessing a full-time job of course. It is hard to get myself into a routine to write a lot at night when I am tired and ready for bed.
Sure, if I had all day to write this would be no problem. In fact, I would probably write more, but alas, reality beckons and I have a full-time job to pay the bills.
No, I am not whining, just merely stating a fact. Hand-writing 50k is a lot to do. Damn me and being a traditionalist and liking to handwrite. Maybe once I am done my other 20 blank journals I will move to typing or using a tablet. One never knows what the future holds, other than handwriting hurts the hand.
Well, in other news, an outside person from my circle of family and friends has read Unknown Caller and the only thing I hear through the grapevine is: “It was deep”.
Well, of course it was. I don’t want my books to not have substance to them and not have a little me in it. I am sure years down the road this will change, but at the age of 17 (when I originally wrote that), putting a lot of me in a book was what I did.
Okay, okay. I am a terrible procrastinator. Time to eat brunch and get writing.
Monday, November 14, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Eek! Forgetting to Blog

I set this up to talk about my writing and how it is going.

Now look what happens when I start writing, I FORGET to blog. Such a terrible thing to have happen. The only upside is, I have written ALOT.nanowrimo logo

Since starting the whole Nanowrimo adventure, my hand has been frantically writing. It’s amazing having written over 20,000 words. Normally this would take a couple months.

I am not going to lie, it is really hard to do this and work full-time. I have to devote hours and sometimes, I can’t because I get distracted or cannot think of what to write next.

Thank goodness I am not professionally published because I do not know what I would do. This challenge is amazing, but difficult for those who work 40 hours a week.

Some people are even done their 50,000 word mark at day 13. What the hell? My max is 4,000 words in one night.

I am just imagining writing that much and how many novels I could pump out. That would be amazing. New goal, write like a fiend.

But, I think I will take this challenge again next year. If this existed in highschool, I would have made that goal mark so easily. Writing was all I did then. 2-3 novels a year.

imagesCA69DW39

My novel is being really nice to me, not so nice to the characters. I do admit I ask friends a question because the decision is too tough. The hubby I ask too.

But, time to eat and get my butt back into writing. I only wonder, who the hell will get my writing books after I die? I am already over 30 books written in. Fun question to ponder….

See how distracted I get? Alas, goal of writing 2-3,000 words is in place today. I would say wish me luck, but for those who know me, they know the answer to that.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | By: Megan Held

No More Typing…Must Get Writing

Am I a procrastinator? Sure am.

Since when? Since essays in university existed.

What am I procrastinating? Writing my book.

Eek! At last, I am forcing myself to stop typing up one of my other books and making myself handwrite my novel.

Why? Because the idea needs to come back into my brain, finish being written and then leave again.

Splendid, such a happy image for one to think of when writing a novel. I want the idea out.

With most ideas they get stuck in my brain and loom. This book idea has been waking me up in the middle of the night and not providing me with any idea of what the hell to write. Just wants to say ‘hi’ I guess.

With the month of November being NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it is time to kick my butt into gear and get writing.

This procrastination, easily distracted part is why I could never be a real, published, novelist. I would need an office with no distractions.

So, my writing book is beside me and pen too. It is time to start writing…or when the hubby wakes up so I can turn on the light to start writing.

Novel writing is difficult, but only if you make it. Learn from me. I can make books come out easily, other times the novels are a pain in my butt.writing quote 3

But, if I do not write…oh god! I do not ever want to think of what I would be like if I never wrote. It is such a terrifying image.

Back to writing I go! Everyone have fun in NaNoWriMo. And a shout-out to all the men participating in Movember. Time to see some epic moustaches and even beards for some.

Saturday, October 22, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Back From Vacation

Florida was great. Long ride though, so still recovering from that.

Went to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. Absolutely loved it. Yes, I support Harry Potter. In a recent study, it was researched and proven that that novel series increased literacy rates by 13% in Canada alone. That’s pretty impressive. So, did I get anything there? I got stuff for two other people, and in fact I did get something for myself. A really wicked writing book.

hogwarts

My first ever young adult novel was written in a Harry Potter journal; which was a long time ago. A decade ago.

We did go to Disney World. Had a great time. Enjoyed the changed firework show at Magic Kingdom. The before show was fantastic with a great message. It shows how one dream created something so spectacular.

I did get another writing book from Disney World. Sadly, not Eeyore but it is Pirates of the Caribbean. Could I find a picture of it anywhere? Nope.

Well, enough of my trip, now on to my writing. I wrote 4 pages. Crappy. But, to save my lack of writing I did think about where to take the novel. Do I still get some credit with that even though I did not produce much on paper?

Ugh, being a writer on vacation sucks. So much fun and distractions. I will write more being back home…

Maybe I should challenge myself to write a certain amount for NaNoWriMo? I have never done it before.

Alas, my writer mind is all confused. I will do my best, read a little more for inspiration and then get writing.

Monday, October 3, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Going Away in Less Then a Week

Vacations, nothing better to help the writer’s mind. I find that going away brings me to new/old places, but allows me to see new people. It helps the imagination flow and makes me want to write.

Writers’ block is plaguing me again. Not a severe case, thank goodness, but still a mild case of it.

I am doing my normal prep of leaving. Trying to lose weight (not fully accomplished. I do love food), getting haircut after 8 months (check) and dying my hair (as I type). I am not a typical pretty girl. I rarely dye my hair and stick with the same hair group. Nothing outside of blonde.

The last thing I have to prep for is bringing an extra writing book. I am on the cusp of moving to another book and I cannot chance running out of pages and not finding a writing book while I am down there.

So how is the book? It’s moving along. It’s tough…as in writing. Extremely outside my genre and a brand new experience for me. I am living through the characters and I am praying that it will get me through the long drive down and back. Yes, we are driving from the Niagara Region in Ontario to Kissimmee, Florida.

Let’s hope something will spark my imagination and allow me to write a lot throughout that drive. It would be fantastic work and a great accomplishment, but would lead to one hell of a sore hand.

Well, I hope after being a typical girl and dying my hair I will feel inspired to write. It is well needed seeing as it has been over 3 nights since I had a good night of writing.

Alas, the problem with being a writer and having a full-time job, the lack of writing time and creation of more writers’ block.

Well, time to rinse the dye out and get my butt to writing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Bullying Movement

Finally, something is being done about it, but it does not cover it all.
Recently, Hedley’s new song featuring P. Reign called “Invincible” has hit home with me. It is hard to talk about, the only two main people that know about my past is my husband and my mom. My father knows some, but not all that much.
I was bullied and it is seen in my writing as my grandma points out.
Sure, I was bullied in high school like most people at one point. The bullying I experienced and still somewhat experience at the age of 23 is from my older sister. What people do not take into account is that bullying starts at home most of the time and it goes unnoticed. Most of the reasons I was bullied was because I was the scapegoat and still am with some things. Yet, I know how to counter them. I can rely on my mom to voice it and my hubby. They understand and watch me go through it.
How come it is in my writing? I went through therapy in high school where I was told the reason for my stress, suicidal thoughts (at that time) and anxiety was mainly because of my sister. Therapists solution: keep writing. Writing helps me escape and become the person I am.
Over time, the hubby helped me change my writing from being always a depression release to be a happy release.
So, I still write. I look at all that I did wrong growing up. I was not a perfect child, but the bullying I endured was not needed. From that experience I am what I am now. I am tough. I have people who love me. I have my writing and have done well. A degree. A graduate certificate.
If people read this and want to criticize and call it sisters, trust me, it was not that. I wish it were just that.
This is a pretty big post for me. It reveals a lot about my past that I do not like to share with others. Its tough. But, because of it, I have grown. In a sense, I feel invincible. I have hopes and dreams no one can crush.
Well, back to writing. Not to relieve sadness, but because I am happy.
Here is the song. Support the movement. Keep writing if it is what you want to do.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Thinking of Titles For New Novel

HELPI know, its terrible. I can write novels, but I am terrible at giving them a title.
I was debating about this in my last blog post and have decided it is time to think of names. Now is everyone’s chance to help or ignore.
My novel is still in the works and is adapting, so it can change. Yet, having a title can help steer the story.
All right, time to give a little information to help determine the title. Sorry that I am not going to give much, but I am still writing and do not want to risk my idea/work being picked up by someone else who likes it. One never knows what the internet can have lingering.
The novel is about a woman who is wanted by several groups of people all from different countries. She is wanted to do harm and be controlled. In order to survive she relies on help from one man. Together they travel, fight and hide from the people chasing her. Gathering information, monitoring any groups movements they rely on her abilities and his skills with weapons to survive.
That is all I am giving away. 180pgs in and its still writing well.
So, people, post away with any ideas. I am free for people to even include single words that should be included. I will do my best to think of some myself. Maybe I will get people to vote.
Well, back to writing like I have told myself I am going to do. No work tomorrow morning; however, I have to battle the want of sleep.
Keep writing, keep reading, never stop gaining knowledge. (No, not my title of my new book.)
Monday, September 19, 2011 | By: Megan Held

To Write or to Type?…That is the Question

I have been telling myself that I will blog more, but the life of a writer is not as amusing or full of interesting things to talk about.
I write. Its not like I can describe everything I write about every day or couple of days. That would give away my story and bore people.
To change up my writing, and to give my hand and mind a break from writing too much I am considering typing up my novel Murder Never Dies. This novel was a pleasure to write, but will more then likely be a pain-in-the-ass to type up.
My handwriting is not neat and I tend to miss words and use poor grammar. It happens when you write what you think and not spend hours trying to edit right away.
There is another option if I chose to continue writing: give my current novel a title. I suck at giving my books titles. It is hard to do. I know it is just a working title because I would not be upset if someone wanted to change the majority of them. Nevertheless, if I put enough attention into it, I could name the book.
Being 175pgs into my current novel one would think I could name it. Nope. No way. Its taunting me. So, if I cannot name it, nor spend too much time writing it, I guess typing would be a good idea.
See how boring the turmoils of a writer is? Type or write?
Yes, I know I write my books out by hand, otherwise it would not have been an issue deciding what one to do. It would have been easier to alternate. But, I will continue to write. See how much more I can get done before I need a break.
And I promise, less graphic, seeing as too many people are complaining that 1440 was far too graphic.
Thursday, September 8, 2011 | By: Megan Held

No Sole Protagonist

Finally I have figured out a blog topic. Generic, maybe. Specific to my writing, you bet.

Why am I saying no sole protagonist? Because I do not write like that. There is nothing wrong with the writers that chose to have only one protagonist leading their story along.

To me, having two is a good number. It allows for interaction and the effect of working together and not alone. It is ironic to my life. I am one that is very independent and think its a one-man-show as my hubby tells me, yet I have no issue writing about a team.

Over time I have developed personal ways of working with two and not being into doing everything myself. I guess my writing has influenced my personal life. Nevertheless, what are the advantages of having two protagonists?

  1. More interaction and dialogue. It allows readers to feel a part of the conversation.
  2. Less filler because you have two ways to focus the novel on. It does not have to focalize about both in the same place, it can branch out and then meet up, or never meet up.
  3. Realistic. In mystery/thriller/suspense writing, it is near impossible to figure out everything through one person. If there is a madman after you, you are not going to confront them on your own, you bring others you rely on.
  4. Most people work better in partners. If it works in reality, it should work in novels. Look at jobs, schools, home. Pairs or groups.
  5. Neither character has to be good or evil. It’s up to the writer.

Okay, so if this were an essay I failed. Miserable evidence…blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I get bored just writing about one character. A lot of ‘I’s make it boring. ‘I was here’, ‘I was there’.

Sure, my one protagonist is more prominent than my other protagonist, but both are required to make the story work. My current work would be boring if it had one protagonist.

Some of the greatest works, and the popular novels I read now have two protagonists. You could argue that it is one and not two, but trust me, there are two.

For those writers who focalize on writing with one protagonist, give writing about two a shot. I have done both and find two is much easier. Better dynamics.

Well, back to writing. The more journals I use, the more journals the hubby will let me buy on our vacation in over a month.

Friday, August 26, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Summer T.V. Sucks, But My New Pen Does Not

Intriguing title? Yes?

As summer is almost over I have realized I have paid money for something that I only use to watch the news and a few odd shows when they appear on T.V. Depressing because I like to use T.V. as background noise to write. Yet, when there is nothing on I have to resort to selecting out of hundreds of movies and T.V. series we own.

How do kids nowadays love T.V.? Some of the shows drive me nuts and decrease my current intelligence and makes me livid. When I mean livid, I mean yelling at the T.V. What happened to intelligent T.V.? A silly rhetorical question, I know.

But…as my title of this blog gives away, I am using a new pen.

pentelNormally I use my trusty Pentel pen in blue ink. Yes, everyone, I am a fan of blue ink.

Pens are particularly important to me because I handwrite all my novels first and I need a pen that can last and will not smudge on the paper in my journals.

Journal selection and certain papers are a completely different topic.

So, wanting to test and see what other pens could be used instead of Pentel, which are rather expensive. Especially when the Hubby brings them to work, lets someone borrow it and never gets it back.

My new pen of choice? The Sharpie pen. It is still expensive, but it is good.

sharpie pen

Since I have started using it, I find that it is rather nice and smooth. The fine tip makes my writing a normal size and not large.

The upside I find is that it does not smudge and is water-resistant. No, I do not spill water all over my books. There is the odd chance if I fall asleep writing I drool and that never ends well with ink.

My verdict? The Sharpie pen is a nice change. The ink is a lighter blue, so I have to adjust after using the Pentel pen for almost a decade. (Yes, I just dated myself at the age of 23, well, almost 23). I would recommend people who like a nice pen and are willing to spend the money to give the Sharpie pen a shot.

On another note, this is now my 53rd post. I forgot to do the generic ‘Yeah! I posted 50 boring posts to annoy people!’. There, I just did that.

Back to writing I go with my new pen. Progress has been made. over 130pgs in my new book. Less blood and gore for me, so fans of my current books, if I ever self-publish this one, it is much much different.

Must stay creative. People lack creativity and I don’t want to be part of the new norm. Must rebel and keep myself distracted so I do not annoy the hubby; however, it is fun at times.

Monday, August 22, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Pages Fly By

No, I am not ignoring the world. I have just been busy…writing. Sure, work and exercising does take up most of my week, but since the hubby has been home my writing amount has increased.

Well, maybe not. I have just reached pg. 125 in my journal. Yes, I still handwrite my novels in journals. It’s more intimate to me. I swear this journal was 250 pgs., but it is only 240.

turningpages

As it has been said, I am an English major, not a math major. My hand is hurting at the thought of how many pages I have written. I started this book in the mid-late June time. No exact date can be remembered. So, two months in and 125pgs. later. Not bad.

All right, I know this is not a great post, but not much has been said to make fun of myself. Nor has any strange question been asked.

I guess being told I am creepy and scare people with my books is nothing new.

Hmm….maybe someone will ask me a strange question. For now, it is time to return to writing. I have made it this far, I cannot stop now. The book is becoming more intriguing.

What person does not enjoy accomplishing a project at a fast pace?

Well, back to writing. I enjoyed being a guest blogger on a friend’s blog. Nice knowing I can be considered that.

Hopefully strange questions about my books or writing will be asked. Then I will be willing to share.

Back to playing with words. Very powerful things: words .

Monday, August 15, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Megan, where did the idea [insert something graphic, perverse, or both] come from?

Oh, how I have been asked this question many of times.

Recently, the hubby asked me one about 1440. My response: “I don’t know. I was 17. I just wanted something that would terrify and be graphic.”

To be honest, I have no idea where the ideas originate, but they are there, in my mind. Reassuring, isn’t it?

Not all my books are entirely graphic, perverse or both. A nice simple blend works. 1440 was an exception. It may or may not be the only one though.

Writing is my hobby, and if I don’t make it challenging or interesting, its going to be boring. So, yes, I do think of some horrific ideas. The new one is about the use of abilities to control people. What person does not fear being controlled? Yes, I plan to include bloodshed. It would not be a novel written by me, Megan Held, if I did not include bloodshed.

I was raised, and taught by some amazing teachers, to read books that have been banned or are controversial. I guess that helps influence my ideas.

Yes, I may be pulling at strings here, but honestly, I have no clue where the most twisted ideas come from.

Am I sadistic? Maybe.

Am I a psychopath? I don’t think so, I like to write about them.

Am I sociopath? No.

All right, so I have to look back. Hmmm….where did my ideas come from?

Every time I get asked this, I wish I had an answer. ‘I don’t know’ is no longer becoming suitable. Thank goodness I am not professionally published. My PR training would backfire.

My ideas are kind of mystical. I do not know when they occur, why, but I know what to do with them. Sure, some I even question my sanity (been to therapy, I am sane), but I know that if I feel every emotion writing the books it will work.

For those who ask, my ideas come from my mind, my imagination, and my dreams. One day I hope to have an actual answer.

If you object and know where these ideas come from, comment. I am intrigued. Back to writing….ahem…maybe…crap.

Monday, August 8, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Things That Amuse Me Instead of Writing

Yet again, I am in another funk where I cannot write, but want to. I really do. I am not lying. Although, I cannot fully prove it. As I develop where to take my book next, I got distracted and started to look for amusing writing comics.

That is right, I said writing comics.

Here is my favourite, which I shared with my friends. I may be a writer, but everyone should understand this humour. Sorry to those who have already seen it.

comic-exclamationquestion-marks

I know the feeling because my characters tend to reflect this comic at certain times. I still get a chuckle every time I read and look at this comic.

Next one is so true. I feel bad for my writing books. I abuse them so much. They are in the bed with me, carried with me everywhere, travelled with me and left behind.

writerblockcomic

Whenever I leave my book behind I feel terrible. The Hubby calls it my safety blanket and I do admit, it is. After ten years of writing and carrying one with me it is. I cannot take the Hubby with me everywhere, so the writing book is still my safety blanket.

Wow, look at my slacking. It is terrible. Thank goodness writing is just my hobby and not my job. I would be failing right now.

Just shy of 100 pages. Failed at getting my goal, but writing a new genre is difficult. I have to resist letting all my old habits appear in the book.

I do have to say, since I self-published, more people have asked how my writing is going. It is great to feel such amazing support. It is like highschool, where I had a lot of people supporting me.My writing is going well. Slow and steady. Yes, I get distracted. I do have a job and other activities that can keep me preoccupied.

It is great to read and see how well all my other writer friends have been doing. Most have been succeeding and are brave enough to share some of their works with others.

Well, time to force myself to write…again…like every night in the past couple weeks.

Enjoy a good laugh if you are a Charles Dickens fan. I really am, that is why this last comic is my display picture for my Megan Held, Author page on Facebook.

writers-block-charles-dickens

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Book Has Taken Control

I love this. I hate this. My hand hurts and I lack my normal sleeping pattern.

This is all what happens to me and how I feel once a book consumes my mind. Its like a horrible infection that I love at the same time. I know the hubby loves it when he is home, it gives him a reason to play NCAA more because I am distracted.

Right now I am gearing up to shift the book to a whole new place (an actual place). With preparation comes time and detail. A person cannot just travel somewhere and not be prepared.

When a book consumes the majority of your brain, that is when you know you are an author. While I was at the gym I was plotting what to do next in the book, in what order. Never have I written down an outline because most of it remains in my head. I guess one good thing I have is a memory associated with words.

So far, this new style of book is going well. It will be one of my longest books because its been almost 100 pages and still no physical action has been written. But, it is moving quickly. A lot has happened. I have not felt this good writing a book over a year. I hope I don’t lose this feeling.

Well, I best get back to writing. I hope my mind will let it leave my brain so I can actually get some sleep tonight. Goal is to reach page 100 by Sunday night. That means only 15 pages to write, which is a lot when I work 8 hours for the next three days.

I hope every writer feels this feeling of obsession, a need to write and the feel of happiness while writing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Concentration and Husband are Gone

boredom

Most of the time I write while the hubby is gone away to work. Hence the word ‘most’. Today, my concentration has disappeared. Without the hubby amusing me and my writing not happening I get bored…easily. It does not help that I worked 8 hours today and had to make dinner. Those two activities took up the majority of my day.

What I need is motivation. I can picture words in my head pertaining to my book. Yet, they stay there. My journal (I handwrite all my books in journals) sits next to me, with two pens just waiting.

And what is my head thinking? This:

wantWith being 70 pages into my novel, I hate having these moments. It is not a form of writers block, its a form of no motivation to write down what I am thinking. I can see clearly in my head where I want to take the book next and what words to write down.

When I write novels I do not create chapters till I edit. I enjoy writing a chapter-free and flowing novel. Sure, breaks between sections are still used, I just don’t like judging myself by how many chapters I write.

Writing is never an easy hobby for me. Some days I can write over 10 pages, others, less. It is just a matter of concentration, motivation and need to write. Right now, I have the need to write, but lack concentration which causes a lack in motivation.

“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947

I wanted to end with this quote as a way to motivate myself to write and gain back concentration. Sadly, Thomas Mann is true, writing is more difficult for writers. Time to go word catching and write.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Heat Wave=Stuck Indoors

By 10 a.m. I had gone to the gym for over an hour and did groceries. A very productive morning. Yes, I am an early riser, but today was more or less to avoid the extreme heat warning issued. I like warm, but this hot, makes me sick. It’s supposed to be 37oC, real feel of 48oC.heat

If I were outside I think I would melt. So, after doing all my chores, I have eaten lunch and put on my favourite T.V. show so I can start writing. I am 64 pages in. Yes, less progress than I anticipated. But with the thermometer rising, I hope to do a lot of writing.

I am in several writing groups that have writers at my level, or just picking up the craft. This is great encouragement because when I am having writers block I can always check the groups and see what is being discussed or how people are doing. It’s sad that after 15 books I now need some encouragement.

Recently, someone has decided that they need to make people feel like nothing and brag about their success that does not exist. Using a blog to say you are a published writer heatwavemeans nothing. I find this insulting. I blog, but its about my writing process and how some days I hate not being able to write. I self-published 2 books. Nothing fancy, but it makes me happy. Maybe its the heat that is making me annoyed easier than normal.

To top it off, the book I am writing is the only book I am shy talking to others about. Normally I am open for people to read as I write, or ask what is about and tell a quick synopsis. This book is out of my comfort genre and it is challenging. I keep dreaming about parts to come, yet I am nowhere near there. It infuriates me at times. I see where I want to go, but I can never get there right away.

The weather. I am thinking of blaming the weather for making me dream so far ahead and my lack of being able to write to catch up. Why is writing a new genre terrifying? I know I am in control, but still, seems so different. Most of the anxiety and nerves are because the Hubby read a little. I am more terrified of his judgement over my book than anyone else’s.

Well, I must battle the heat and stay close to my fans. They are the only thing keeping me cool next to drinking a lot of water. Time to go force myself to write because I know what is best for my brain.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Authors Who Have Influenced my New Book

Writing is not about trying to be against all writers and do something different. Writing is about creative and being influenced. Most writers would be complimented knowing that they have influenced someone in their own personal writing.

Be shocked. Disagree with me…but, you know I am right. Certain writers may influence you in small things, never in entirety.

quinnTwo days ago, I bought and read Quinn by Iris Johansen. I have admired her mystery novels since I was a teenager and have not stopped. Her novels are fantastic and show why I admire using discussion as a main factor in my novels.

When her characters talk in the novel they reveal so much about the plot and I love that about her writing. Description is used wisely and when needed. Plus, the way this novel ends I was angry because I wanted more. When I can access more is not until October. Such a long wait.

I can say with a fact she has influenced my writing throughout the years, especially with my new novel. Dialogue is important because using descriptive narrative would lull people to sleep in this novel.The-Passage-Cronin-Justin-9780345504975

Over a month ago, I read The Passage by Justin Cronin and saw a surge of stories about people having powers to save the world.

Do not get me wrong, this novel was fantastic and a worthwhile read, but there are only so many ‘going to save the world’ type novels. Also, it always involves the U.S.

Eureka! My book idea appeared. What the book is about, if I can work it this way throughout the novel till the end (here is hoping), is about a person in Canada discovering that they are wanted to control large countries. Yes, it slightly involves the Canadian Army, but I am not a professional knowing the ins-and-outs of the army. Just a basic comprehension and that is all I need.

So far, only 53 pages in (yes, my lack of writing this week is horrendous) and I have stuck to my goal.

That’s one thing I find difficult. I have a basic idea for what I want my novel to be about and most of the time I venture off and will end with lightly touching the idea. This novel has to be different. Why? Because I dream about it. It’s a challenge. Also, I am curious on how it will end.

Well, time to make the hubby and me breakfast. I am hoping to have a good writing day and progress further.

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” ~ Victor Hugo

Thursday, July 7, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Books are on Amazon and smashwords...finally

I'm sorry. I know how annoying it is to have me post twice in one day. It's bad. Horrible. But, I am excited.

My writing is rather private, as most of my friends and family know. Yet, I am a writer and I do want people to read my work...minus the critiquing of course.

While I was outside on the back deck of the in-laws looking at Amazon on my Kobo I discovered that my books were finally available. I have been waiting almost 3 months for my books to approved to be sold on there.

To add to how my books are sold I also joined smashwords seeing as so many people in the writing groups I am in use it and are doing well getting their name out there. Good things do happen to people who wait...and people should know, I am not that patient of a person.

All right, less rambling more posting of the books...I guess if people want to see it for themselves and don't believe me.

Here are the links and I swear, I won't post another entry for at least three days.

1440:
Unknown Caller:
Now that I have shared my excitement like I was back in kindergarten I am going to relax and calm down.

Must Reach Page 50 by Sunday

My week vacation has accidentally turned into a reading vacation. I had a feeling that that would happen. Yet, I forced myself to read less as of last night.

This new book I have started writing is grabbing my attention again. A good thing I might add. I know people would give me crap because I am procrastinating. Here is my opinion, most procrastination for writers is called writers-block or being distracted. Heaven forbid if people, like myself, were distracted by reading. I call it research.

So, getting back on the writing bandwagon I have set a goal for myself. I hand-write my novels. Its more intimate to me. Currently, I am sitting on page 38. By Sunday, I want to be at page 50. A good goal and its doable. This is how I get over being distracted. I set weekly or nightly goals. Nothing ridiculous such as, 'This week I must write 50 pages'. Fantastic for those who can, but I am a person that needs to keep going.

Twelve pages. That is all I need to accomplish. I think I can do it. No guarantees. Visiting the in-laws can be fun and distracting. Well, I best get back to writing before I get distracted. Writing is good, distractions are bad.

Lets hope by Sunday I can post that I have accomplished my goal and I hope everyone else can finish their writing goals too.

Back to writing I go. Hubby needs his laptop back before he gets too bored.

P.S. I am enjoying reading more blogs about writing. It helps me blog about writing. Keep blogging. Keep writing. As long as it makes one happy and is not for alternative reasons.
Saturday, July 2, 2011 | By: Megan Held

New Book Has It’s Challenges

So, for the past two weeks I started a new book and after getting 15 pages in, started to do a massive amount of reading. When I mean a massive amount, I mean around 8 novels.

stack-of-books

This happens every summer. My reading list grows and my writing gets pushed to the side. But, with this weekend and being on nights I have some time during my night shift to sit and write. It helps me keep awake.

As of tomorrow I am on vacation, aka visiting the in-laws, where I hope to write over ten pages. Hubby thinks I can write more, so I will have to see.

The difficulty with this book is I want to get too far ahead and not let the story take its own course. Horrible, I know. But, this book, I don’t want to stop writing it. I want to go against the norm. Every book I tend to be reading is about people saving the world, having a gene to help humanity, fight off a disease.

Inside my little black notebook, similar to the picture, I am writing about something that if found, could control armies and do harm to the world. Okay, so most people will be thinking that that sounds generic and boring. cartesio-pocket-black-notebook-200Sorry Americans, its based in Canada, where I am from.

Normally, when I start a new book I go with my instincts and write what I dream about. Yes, I dream about what I am writing. Good for me, yet bad too. I wake up a lot and don’t physically want to get out of bed and write down the ideas. Plus, Hubby would shoot me if I got up every night at 3am to write. So, to help refresh my memory I try to find a song that relates to the book in some way; whether it is plot, characters or setting.

With this book, I was lucky enough and had the song come to me without much searching. It’s a unique song, gaining popularity, so it should help me continue to write the book….hence the word ‘should’.

I guess I ‘should’ go back to writing, seeing as whenever I blog I make a comment that I am going back to writing. This time, I plan to. Writing is not easy. So, for those people that comment “I wrote 3000 words today” everyday, I am not like you. Some days I write a page, others 10, and sometimes none.

As I go back to writing, here is the song that helps me spark my creativity with this book. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Work Talk=Book Idea

My hubby works in the Army and goes away in the summer to work. So, typically year-round, but primarily my summer is filled with army talk once he gets home to visit. new-yellow-magnet

Army talk is like a foreign language to me filled with acronyms and phrases. After nearly 6 years of being together, I am beginning to understand most, but not all. I feel like I am being taught how to understand my hubby and his friends speak.

Lack of sleep this past weekend, work and hearing army talk made for a great weekend to develop a book idea…not. Currently I have five typed pages of a beginning of a  new book. Not bad. It means I can start handwriting the pages soon.

I am trying to get my hubby involved in my writing, which is tough because its not like he can sit down and write my books for me. Mind you, that would be fantastic when I suffer from the never-ending writers block. This time, listening to him talk and explain his work helped me develop a great idea for a story if it all goes as planned.

This how I see it, whenever my hubby talks about work, that is his language. Whenever I talk about my books its my own language. We mesh.

So far, I hope this novel works out. I like the idea in my head. Beginnings seem to always work out, its just what to do once I am halfway through that I have difficulty with.

I best find a new journal to write in out of the several I have. If I can type this much in two nights then it’s best to keep writing it.

Guess thanks goes out to the hubby for inspiring this book, even though I have no clue how he did.

Book concept: What if you were the one person wanted by the world and you don’t even know why?

Will that stick, who knows. Ask me when I finish….if I finish it.

Friday, June 17, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Book 15 Complete…Time for Some Mental Rest…If Possible

untitledMonday night I finished writing my 15th book. I found this to be a struggle. In highschool I could write two-three books in a year. Now, I am lucky to finish one. After almost a 3 year gap of writing, I have finished two books in subsequent years. A great feeling.

Since Monday night, I have written two paragraphs in one of my other books I am working on. Not due to writers block, but because my mind needs rest. Writing a novel is mentally exhilarating and tiring.

It is the summer and most of my writing does occur now. Other than work and going to the gym, most evenings and my days off I am free to enjoy writing.

People have been asking me to dabble in other genres or change the time period my books occur in. I guess over time (almost 11 years now), I can experiment more with my writing.

The two books I am currently going to work on (if my mind will let me) is the 3rd novel in my detective crime series and the other one is from the pov of a female killer. One challenging, the other comforting.

No, I am not bragging about how many books I have written. It is a personal achievement of my hobby and not a way to brag and show superiority over other novice writers.

My writing tip of today is to take some time and rest. I need to rest, mentally and physically and am doing so right now. Without some sort of rest we cannot write our best. Just a thought.

Time to eat and work on my hobby.

Inspirational quote of the day for me: “Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies”. ~Terri Guillemets

Monday, June 6, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Show me, Don’t Tell Me

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Seriously? This comment has been appearing on every novice writing website and group I have joined where other novice writers give this as advice.
Here is the problem: you cannot show a person without telling them the details. You want the reader to see a scene, you tell them about it. Writing is meant to be to the point and allow imagination to occur as the reader is reading.
I admit, I hate reading books that drone on with setting the scene. I don’t care if the grass is a vibrant green. All I care about is the characters, the plot and how well the book flows.
What’s my advice? Don’t change your writing because a novice writer is telling you to. It’s your novel. Do what you want with it. I think telling a writer something is important if it is meant to be known. I understand some people will “show” aspects of their books.
Maybe its because I am still a novice writer that I get annoyed by comments such as this one. I do not care if I ever get professionally published, I am just happy knowing I have written 14 books.
Mystery novels, or thrillers, require extreme details. But, you don’t have to show people what you are wanting them to see. IMAGINATION people!!! The whole point of reading is to escape and imagine what is happening.
Honestly, when I hear this phrase I think of love, and those type of novels. You always want to be shown something. So here is my theory, show me your writing. Show me the words on your pages. Show me your effort into writing. Just SHOW ME your ABILITY TO WRITE.
If you are a novice writer, listen to me and not them. Most writers feel like failures after hearing this phrase about their work that they have tried hard to write. It’s your story, do as you please with it. I can say, if you have written even 5 pages, I am proud of you for doing so. Writing is not easy, its hard.
Well, I am back to writing. This whole rant about how people assume since they wrote a novel and have been told this phrase that they are experts. WRONG! Only you are the expert on your own book.
Keep writing. I believe anyone can write a novel.
Monday, May 23, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Some Days I Wish I Was an Artist

Writing is a form of art, according to some people. This instance I am referring to painting, drawing and sketching. I have always placed great value in that type of artistic talent and admire anyone that can do it.

Why is this appearing on my blog? I can visual scenes of my books in my head, see what is happening. Yet, I cannot express it properly or fast enough to keep the image in my head.

As a child I could paint, and my mother sometimes mentions that. But, over time writing took that place and that painting ability was lost.

I love writing and I hate it at the same time. Too many opinions. Too many people wanting a writer to do something out of the norm.

Painters, drawers and sketchers do all their work for themselves. No need to ever sell any art worldwide. It’s just for them. Because of this, I am adopting that theory.

Sure, I have self-published two books, but that was mainly to have physical copies of my book for myself, my family and friends. What it comes down to is, I need to return to writing for myself and no one else. I used to write 3 novels a year in high school. Now, it takes nearly one year to write a book of the same length. I get distracted more now then I did before.

This summer I plan to refocus my attention for my writing. Try to change it back to the way it was, except for I will include the hubby more instead of blocking him out like I did back when we were friends in high school.

Challenges will arise, including my horrible talent of procrastination, but I will succeed. If I cannot be an artist and have beautiful works around my place (although, I would really enjoy being able to display my talent instead of concealing it in a storage container), I mine as well be a writer and fill empty journals with words.

Back to battling procrastination. Let’s hope we get the storms we are supposed to get in the Niagara Region. The smell and sound of rain, the flash of lightning and the crack of thunder spark my imagination.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Writers are amazing, but so are artists.

Friday, May 13, 2011 | By: Megan Held

I’m a Writer and I Don’t Write all the Time

Ha! What writer writes all the time? No, I am not meaning taking a break to eat, shower, sleep, go to the washroom and watch one’s favourite T.V show. I am meaning going days or more without writing.

No person is mad to write all day, every day. If people can do this, give me your hands because my knuckles always hurt if I type or write too long.

My normal amount of writing each day differs between none at all-30 pages. Big gap, but realistic. Life is busy and takes away from my hobby. I understand that some people write for a living, so in a sense, they are not included in this because for aspiring novelists, like myself, writing is more of a hobby.

I have joined a few writing sites and have noticed that people make it seem like they write all the time. But, I find that the people that write all the time (and are not getting paid) are doing it not for themselves. People need to realize that writing is mainly for oneself.

I wrote two pages today. Will I write more? That I do not know. I do have other interests that can take over my time. For those writers that do write all the time, make room every day, or take an entire day or two to do something for yourself.

Sunday, May 8, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Let’s get going

Ugh. Lack of motivation. Hi, my name is Megan, and I have a problem motivating myself. With summer approaching, work, going to the gym, and enjoying time with friends, writing gets pushed aside. It happens, and I am sure I am not alone.

Writing is my hobby, not my end-all be-all. I don’t walk around and tell everyone “I write novels” with some sort of arrogance. (I know people who do this, but in other genres)

So, by reading new blogs, and enjoying the warm breeze, I feel myself getting motivated again. Maybe if I write more I can sleep better, seeing as no matter what time I go to bed at I wake up before 7:30, causing me to wake up the husband.

This year, I am going to spice up my summer and writing. I am going to set goals. I know, I know, I commented on not setting goals too much. But, I am choosing a practical goal. I want to finish writing the novel I am working on…and name it.

If I really want to push it, maybe get the guts to write and submit my manuscripts to agents and publishers.

Well, I hope my summer writing goal is not that far-fetched. I am sure others have some sort of summer goals, writing or not. Let’s hope we all reach our summer goals. Now, back to writing I go, this time, I mean it.

….I can feel procrastination setting in. Uh-oh.

Monday, April 25, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Holding Unknown Caller

I am not bragging because every person feels some sort of pride in what they love to do. Mine is just writing, and I know everyone is tired of hearing about it.

When I came home today my copies of Unknown Caller were waiting for me at my door. Honestly, I was like a little kid in a candy store wanting to open the box to look at the book. Here is the one benefit of writing, holding your work in book form. All possible due to self-publishing…for now.

Unknown CoverIt took a lot of time and effort to get this book ready, and now I realize that writing long books takes too much effort. My writing advice for today, write the length of book you want to read. Picking up and reading novels exceeding 400 pages is not always an enjoyable read because most of the time you will skip over large portions of books. I know I do it.

In the end, I guess all I can really say that having a copy of my book is more for me and people close to me.

It may not be the best read, best written, or even the best genre, but its my book and no one can make me like it less. This is what passion is, and nowadays I see less and less of it.

If you want to write, do it, and never set boundaries and rules. Just write. I know people are sick of me hearing it, but if I didn’t do that myself, 1440 and Unknown Caller would not exist.

I will be updating my books section with the description of the book. I know, I am a dork. Now its back to writing my other book and thinking of what book is going to be next to be typed up. Keep reading and writing.

Once again, thank you to everyone who supports my writing, even in its novice stage. Without you guys I would not have the courage to self-publish my books.

Back to writing I go!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Things that Inspire

I can guarantee that this type of post will occur several times throughout my blogging career. This does not apply to just writers, because that is just foolish if a writer says only inspiration can affect them.

Music can inspire everyone and I know that I use music to help me write certain parts of my book. Why? Sadly, I cannot make myself instantly upset, or really happy, but music can have that affect.

Right now, Dr. Dre ft. Eminem’s “I Need A Doctor” is my new song to get inspired. Just one of those songs that makes you want to prove to the world how well you have turned out, or to prove a point. It is just one of those pump-yourself up songs. Plus, it does help me get in my writing mood because my writing is what I use to prove people wrong.

Sometimes, you will also find that one person to inspire you, to help pick you up and piece you back together. Like this song says, you need a doctor and at times I do. I have gone through writing bouts and needed people to help me get back into it.

But, another thing that makes me smile is this picture I found through several websites.

awesome

I know it is hard to read, but you can google the title and it will bring up a larger picture. Its cute and some of it is true. Most are standard concepts that if done properly, can be used to write some of the greatest stories.

Well, back to editing I go and writing. Trying to edit more of my new book again seeing as I missed a lot and that annoys me.

Keep reading, writing and being inspired.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Writing Blues

It happens. The woes of writing. Not all of us can be great writers that make money off of their books and am set for life. This feeling of sadness came about last night when I was editing my next novel and reading other writers blogs.

Its great that there are so many diverse writers having success, but what caused this feeling of being blue is the fact that the writers were BRAGGING about being a writer and being professionally published. How inspiring (sarcasm). Because of these writers I am thinking twice about really putting effort into trying to find a literary agent or publisher this summer.

I understand that you must have great writing skills, but by bragging and saying "Oh being a published writer is difficult" does not help aspiring writers.

So, I will continue writing, just keep it primarily to myself, close friends and family. One day I can aim again to be published professionally, but I will wait till my feeling of being blue is gone. It just irks me when I want other writers to inspire, and they hinder.

Instead of bragging about success, and how great I am with only one-three novels professionally published, I can say I have written 14 books in total, been writing for over 10 years, and am damn proud of it. Do not listen to people brag about their success. If they have to brag then well...shows that they are making their success seem bigger than what it is. Money is not success, accomplishing dreams and goals are.

Thank you all for listening to my rant. If you experience any form of this, not just for writing, but in general form, show them why you are better than them.

Feel better now. No more writing blues. Still scared to try and get published, but no writing blues. Yeah!
Sunday, April 3, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Ideas Building Inside

Not going to lie, this is happening to me right now. For the past couple nights I have had this idea brewing in my head as I tried to fall asleep. It hit me so hard that I knew I needed to figure out where to place it in my book.

This is the downside of being a writer, you get smacked with ideas that do not fit in the story right now. So, I have to keep the idea fresh in my mind as I write closer to when it gets placed in.

I am sure I am not the only one that suffers from this. Over the years I have developed some tips.

  1. Do not force yourself to write it into the story as soon as you think of it. That is bad, unless it does fit. You thought of it and you will think of where it should go.
  2. Try not to forget the idea. This is a hard tip because it could be weeks before you get to write the idea out. If you are one to forget, write it down on a piece of paper and either put it near your computer or inside the cover of the book you are writing in.
  3. Never overthink the idea. I know this contradicts my earlier post, but while trying to remember the idea sometimes overthinking will occur. Developing on it is fine, as long as it does not take away from the initial idea.
  4. Think of what you were doing when the idea came about. This can be useful when trying to remember it better. I get an idea a lot when I am in bed trying to sleep, or watching Drew play video games.
  5. Tell someone else. This can help develop the idea, as well as having an extra person to remember an idea.Sadly, this one is new to me. I tell Drew some of them in case I forget, but so far (after years of practice) my memory is able to contain them all. Oh yes, with telling other people, they can give you feedback if you want it.
  6. This is applicable to all forms of writing, not just novels. So, if you are a student and have a painful essay, this can be helpful in that it will give you an idea on where to take the paper, or a part of it that can be placed in it.

Keep the idea fresh and understand that this will happen a lot to you if you decide to keep writing. Most of my novels appear as random ideas and it kills me when I am at a place and I cannot write it out. So, as my last tip, bring paper and a pen if you don’t already, or ask your girl to bring it. Sounds weird, but these are useful besides writing out story ideas.

Oh yes, make sure this idea will fit with your style of writing. It is important not to differ too much. Back to writing I go. I have an idea to get to writing out before it makes my brain hurt. I hope this is helpful and gives some great insight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Writing Advice 4

This should have been my initial advice post, but I got distracted with all the other amazing advice out there. People comment that I write in the same style. Well, of course I do, as do many other writers in the world.

Find your style and voice and do not change it. This is what makes you a unique writer. If you are strong at writing love stories, stick with it. Over the years people have asked me to write a love story. Here is my response, I don’t know love, only the love I put in my stories. I know crime and pain. Sadly, its what I know, but every story I place in love because it always helps a story.

If you do want to try another style, do it by all means, just do not give up on your original style. Here is a little type, always have a phrase you like for your characters to use and place it in every story. May seem repetitive but it is yours andandresr100900036 helps connect you to your story.

Plus, your style will change as time goes on. You will branch out, write more or less, try new things, add ideas and concepts. Embrace it. Cherish it.

No matter what, please do not let other people interfere with your style. This is who you are as a writer. It is your voice. Do not be afraid to put yourself into this voice, it gives more to the potential reader.

Keep writing because I am. Never lose your goals and ideas. Remember: if you are writing, its for you mainly and only a little for others. Like I said, I am never giving up crime writing. It’s me. My husband can agree to that, so can my parents and close friends.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Why I Write

After looking through all my posts I have realized that I have not written why I write. I just say that I write and for most writing comes out of something. Sure, I have said I wanted to challenge myself to write when I was 12, but that is not all of it.

Writing has changed throughout my 10 years since I started. Let’s just say, moving in with my dad and step-mom was a challenge. More rules, more adjustment, new friends, and sister who wanted me to hate things that I did not know why I hated. So, when I felt moments of weakness, writing became my muse. I would write to hide and escape. It was tough being the daughter of a dad in the K-9 unit, and a step-mom who dabbled in everything in the police.

When I had to help my dad, by either taking his clothes that were dirty from a call (when I mean dirty, I mean mud, leaves, blood, vomit, you name it) to waking up in the middle of the night to help put the dog away. It was tough, but I accepted it. If I was upset, I would write. My husband knew that even when we met as kids. He knew I would write to escape and hide from the world.

As I moved on to highschool, I got ridiculed for being a cops daughter by some and it sucked. Let me tell you, it sucked. But there I met my support for my writing and changed from not just writing out of pain but out of happiness. It still was tough because at this time my brother and sister were born, so not only did I have to work, go to school, do homework, still do my chores, help with my siblings, dinner, but still help my dad out.

When my dad lost his K-9 job, my world changed. More stress and worry. My attitude changed, no longer was I close to my older sister. My roles as a daughter changed. I was always the one my dad would turn to talk to. Some of the stuff is even hard for me to remember because of how hard it would be to witness what he did. I wrote. Best way to get everything out. It was my pride and joy writing, and I could see the look of my parents and friends at my talent (or so called talent).

Once I went off to university, things changed. I got to experience living on my own. That’s when the husband came into the picture majorly. We became serious and got engaged. He made me happy and didn’t want me to write because he was worried I was upset. So, out of practice, I began to write when I was happy. Still, I wrote when I was upset because he is in the Canadian Army Reserves and is gone most summers and weekends so I need to pass the time. But he still supports me and encourages me to write. He knows I need it because he watched me go through everything.

Everyone I have met in my life that has made in impact do appear in my novels. Whether it be on phrase they use a lot, a characteristic or even look, people appear.

I hope this helps understand why I write and that it is not out of pleasure all the time, but out of need. It has become such a part of my life it is never going to go away, even if I don’t get published. I do not care if I get judged for my past, but this is what has made me the woman I am now, and the person my husband fell in love with. So, for all those writers out there, you are fooling yourself if you do not know why you write. Everyone has a beginning, its just knowing it that makes a difference.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 | By: Megan Held

“Where do I go from here?”

This is the proverbial question that most writers are faced with. If writer’s are not faced with this, then I may be alone.I am not the type of person that makes lists of characters and information about them, nor do I write down what I intend to happen throughout my novel.

By making notes like that I find that it takes away from the novel. Stories in novels are supposed to just happen, not be planned to every line of every page. So, at times, every writer will experience a moment of “Where do I go from here?”

writing-with-penWhen these moments arise, do not panic. Stories need time and nurturing. If you are impatient, then do what I do, and ask people a simple “what one is better?” question.

The advice or input from your friends can help make the decision for you easier. Essentially, you are writing the book for yourself, but having input from potential readers is always wise. I tend to get stuck at major decisions that could take the story in different directions for a bit.

Never panic or rush a decision. If you need to leave writing for a few days to make the decision then do so. Writing does take up time, but you have to expect that there will be times when you have to take a break from it. Not all writing is fluent.

Do not stop a story either to make it go “your” way. Sometimes the flow of the story should stay the same and not be altered.

Just know that if you are having the “where do I go from here?” moment, you are not alone. Ask for help, give it time or let it takes it own path.

Only advice when asking for writing help, specify it is for writing. Learnt my lesson when I asked several friends “disappear or die?”

Keep writing!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Dealing With Death

Sorry for misleading you, but this is about dealing with death while writing. It is not easy to have a death in a book. Time, thought, pain and sadness is felt by the writer.

I may write crime novels and thrillers, but deciding to have a character die still takes a toll on me. It is heartbreaking because as you write the reactions, you feel what the characters are feeling. If they cry you can beat that you may feel the need to cry.

Even if you think you are desensitized and cannot really feel emotions, you will feel them. If you feel them then you know you are writing about death correctly. I am not going to act like I am tough, I just had a person die in one of my books and had to resist crying. Honestly, when I do have to kill someone off I tend to call or talk to people because I am upset.

Here is my advice I have learnt about writing about death, whether to make it realistic:

    1. Do not make it so that no one cries. Any death will have at least one person crying.
    2. Make it realistic for your story. Don’t make it so that an alien sucked the person’s brains out in a love story.
    3. Don’t make the character take hours to die by describing every moment unless it is essential. No reader will want to feel that much heartache reading. Torture, that is fine; actually dying, not fine.
    4. Make the reader see and feel the emotions felt. The more emotions that people can picture and feel the better the story. It will make the reader become a part of it.
    5. If you don’t feel it, the reader won’t either. This is my main rule that if you can take from these, this is the one. You should suffer more actually because in a sense, you are doing the dirty work.

So, you have written the painful scene and it has affected you. Here are some methods to help get over the death. For most deaths I have become accustomed to getting over it after I have written it, but some take longer to get over. Here are some pieces of advice:

    1. Talk to someone. I tend to call the hubbie or my mom. My mom just tells me I had to do it for the story and calms me down. Hubbie gets my mind away from it. Find people you can talk to, and they will be your muse to getting over the death.
    2. Take a walk. It clears your mind. Whether the walk be 3 minutes or an hour. Does not matter.
    3. Take a shower or bath. It helps relax the body and mind.
    4. Watch T.V., listen to music, distract the mind. Focusing on something else will help drain out the thoughts.
    5. Keep writing. This may not seem to connect with the other ones, but sometimes continuing on with the story will help its progression and also help get over the death. I tend to do this the most because the death makes me want to keep writing.

Hope my advice helps. This can work for more than just death. It can work with break-ups, loss of an object, anything that requires a rational decision that causes emotional strain.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | By: Megan Held

Get Lost in Writing

You open the blank book, grab a pen and its all lost from there. No, not lost as in you have no clue what to write; the lost where you start writing and you don't know what happens to Father Time.

This is why I love to write. Some nights I cannot produce anything, either due to homework, work, exhaustion or writers' block. But, when I am able to write, it turns into hours of nothing but that.

There is never enough time in a day to do this, but all you need is 30 minutes. A lot to ask for, but it is an ideal amount. It does not have to be 30 minutes in one chunk, just 30 minutes in general. If you want to get some writing done my one suggestion is try writing a little before bed. Although you may only write a paragraph or two it still adds to the amount you have left.

My other suggestion is if you are an avid T.V. watcher and have favourite shows-yes, the news counts-write before the show starts or just after. I am not responsible if you get lost in writing because that is the main point in writing.
You do not begin to write a story and just slowly chip away at the plot, dialogue or characters. No, that is not writing. Writing is the creation of an entirely different world, not much different than one we think of or live in. When writing you travel to this place and think, breathe, see everything that you are writing about. THAT is getting lost in writing.

I get an adrenaline rush just thinking of getting lost in writing, and it happens a lot when I write a post on this blog. I know, I know, writing is not easy and never has been. In order to get lost in it you have to begin it. Sometimes it takes hours, days, weeks, even months to reach a point when you get lost in your writing. I have learned a few tips over the years on how to get lost in it.

All I can say is keep writing and you will become lost one day.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 | By: Megan Held

I warned you, 1440 is graphic. Here is proof for those intrigued about the book. It's a warning.

Hour 16


Cody listened to the plan. It was not too bad. He knew that this would just be the beginning. “It’s not much different from what we have been doing all along,” Cody said.

“But it is. They are allowed to use brute force. They can bring in their weapons and use them on her,” Brandon told Cody.

“That seems a little harsh don’t you think?”

“That’s the point. The harsher we are now the quicker she will die in the end.”

Cody just shook his head. That part was the one he did not like. He knew that I was going to be in immense pain, and he knew he could not stop it. Not yet. All he can do is listen to my screams and plot his revenge on Brandon and the others. He looked around the room and saw the hunger and amusement in the others’ eyes.

They were all just as blood hungry as Brandon was “Did you already create a list of who goes in when?”

“Of course. I thought Darren would go in first. He’s a big help and deserves his shot.”

Cody looked over at Darren and could tell that he was smiling underneath his mask. Cody hated Darren because Darren always wanted to be like Brandon. He was power hungry. “You like that idea, don’t you Darren?”

“Yes, I do. What are you, jealous?” Darren asked Cody.

“No, why should I be jealous? I’m not like you who wants to be like Brandon.”

“I do not!”

“Sure you don’t Darren. Just to give you fair warning, she’ll put up a fight.”

“I like challenges. I’ll be able to handle it. I’ll have her calm in no time.”

“Calm and unconscious are two completely different things.”

“Not to me.”

“Okay! Enough! Cody, you said your piece. Darren, be careful what you say to my brother. You may be a good friend, but you have no right to talk to my brother like that,” Brandon said. He looked around the room. “Do we all understand the plan?”

Everyone nodded.

“Good. Cody take Darren to see Melanie. You’re in charge of letting him out of the room once he is finished with her.”

Cody nodded. He did not want to be the one to do that. He wanted to have nothing to do with the plan. He walked over to the door and looked back at Darren. “Let’s go. The sooner we start, the sooner the plan is done.”

Darren followed Cody out of the room. “How much time are you going to let me have?” Darren asked Cody.

“I don’t know yet. As much as I want to, I guess. I should not let you have too much time since those other guys need to have their turn as well.” Cody walked through the gym at a quick pace. He hated this plan. Cody stopped outside the change room door.

“I’ll be out in a bit,” Darren said. He walked in to the change room and saw me lying on top of the bed, on my back, with my eyes closed. “Just the position I like.” He walked over to me and knelt between my legs. “Don’t worry Melanie. I won’t be gentle.”

I opened my eyes and looked at the guy I had not seen before. I gripped the glass tightly in my right hand. When I could tell he had a smile on his face, I swung my arm, cutting his upper left arm. I rolled away from him and stood up. “Don’t touch me,” I told him. I gripped the glass tightly, ready to strike when needed.

“You bitch!” Darren yelled at me.

“I know. This is what happens when people go through traumatic activities for fifteen hours straight.” I moved around him, leaving a good distance between us.

Darren looked at the cut. He stood up and turned around to face me. “So, we’re going to play this game. Come on!”

I just stood where I was. When he walked closer, I kept moving the piece of glass slightly. It was a way to remind him that I was still armed with a very sharp weapon and knew how to use it.

He grabbed my right arm, which was holding the piece of glass, and squeezed it. He watched the piece of glass fall and threw me back on to the bed. “Now I’ll get my revenge for this whole situation.” He pushed my legs apart and knelt between them.

I quickly grabbed another piece of glass underneath my bed, and swung it. I had cut his throat. I looked at the blood pouring from his neck and dropped the piece of glass. Before I could move away his body fell on top of me. The weight of his body hitting me caused me to yelp. He is so heavy! Blood began to move down my neck and chest as his throat still bled. It was warm. Finally, after a few minutes I began to realize that I had killed someone. It was self defence Mel. You know that. I screamed. I was terrified. Using all of my strength left I tried to push his body off of me. Still screaming I could not hear the door open. When I looked towards the doorway I saw Cody standing there. “Cody?”

Cody did not know what to say. All he saw was Darren lying on top of me, motionless. Blood was all over the bed and me. “What happened?” Cody had managed to ask me.

“I think I killed him.”

“You think you killed him?”

“Yes, I think so. I cut his arm and then his throat. He just collapsed on me. Cody, help get him off of me. I’m not strong enough to do it by myself.”

Cody nodded. He walked over to the bed and pulled Darren off of me using all of his strength. Realizing what this could do to my survival he dragged Darren’s body in to the bathroom and hid him in one the shower stalls. It would save me from being killed earlier than expected. “Get up Mel! You need to shower and change your shirt. You don’t want anyone else to notice that amount of blood on the bed and you.”

I got up and walked over to the first shower stall. I took off all of my clothes and stepped in to the stall. When the cold water that first came out of the faucet hit me I jumped. After the water warmed up I began to wash my body. The water turned red as it went down the drain. Once all the blood had been washed off and the smell of it was gone from my skin I got out of the shower. Cody was waiting for me outside of the shower with a towel for me to dry off with I grabbed it and dried myself off as fast as I could. With the minimal selection of clothing I had left I dressed myself. “What’s with the rush?”

“There are more people. If I don’t go through with this plan, we’ll both be dead.”

“I don’t like this plan so far.”

“Me either. Please don’t try to kill any more people.”

“I didn’t mean to!”

“I know. Just be careful.” Cody gave me a quick kiss and left the room.

I walked back over to the bed when I heard the door click shut. I gathered all the blood stained sheets and tossed them away. I did not want to be near them. It was a reminder of what had happened. I looked around the bed and quickly hid the pieces of glass that I had used. Although the sheets were no longer on the bed, the room still looked like it had before I had killed Darren. I heard the door open again and took a deep breath. Standing in front of me was another guy. Oh shit! The door opened again and four more guys entered the room. I’m screwed.

“Grab her wrists and her ankles. I don’t want her to fight. I just want to hear her scream,” the first guy said.

The four guys held me down on the bed each one taking either a wrist or ankle. They held me down with extreme force not letting me have any movement, forcing me to remain on my back.

“Let go of me!” I yelled. I was hoping Cody would hear me and maybe help me, but that was impossible because it went against the plan and that would give him away.

“What’s the matter pretty girl? You don’t want a knife in you?” they guy kneeling between my legs asked.

“A fucking knife? You’re going to stick a knife in me?” I started to thrash around, trying to prevent myself of that amount of pain. “Hell no! Get the fuck away from me!”

The four guys held me down, harder. Each placed one had on my wrist or ankle, and the other on my elbow or knee. It allowed for no movement. The guy with the knife put his one arm down on my ribs.

I was barely able to breathe from how much pressure he put on my ribcage. Yelling would do me no justice. I felt my pants being undone and tried to twist my upper body away. It did not work. He put more pressure on my ribs, causing me to feel pain whenever I inhaled. “You’re going to kill me! Brandon won’t be pleased if you do!”

“There’s a way to do this that won’t kill you. Say your prayers.” He stuck the knife in me.

I screamed.



Cody heard the loud screaming from inside the room and jumped at the painful sound. He looked out in to the gym and saw some of the students looking in his direction. It was painful and started to make him feel upset. Not wanting the students to see him upset, he turned around. The screaming was unbearable. Each time he heard it he felt worse for not being able to help me. It was not time for him to help me. He paced outside the door and cringed at every scream, every swear word, every cry for help. He stopped and leaned against the wall, taking deep breaths to help calm him down. He heard footsteps approaching him and knew who they belonged to. “Are you happy now Brandon?” Cody asked him.

“I’m very pleased. Can’t you hear those amazing sounds?” Brandon asked Cody.

“I wouldn’t call them amazing. I’d call them something else.”

“Like what? Terrifying? Horrible? Erotic?”

“Not erotic. I don’t get off on this type of shit like you do.”

“I can see that.” Brandon studied Cody’s face behind the mask. The pain in Cody’s facial expression gave away how much he disliked it. “Their time is almost up. You won’t have to listen to that for a bit now.”

Cody heard the knock at the door and opened it so that the five guys could leave the room. “Are you done?” he asked the one holding the bloody knife.

“I’m good. I’ve got enough of her blood on here,” the guy told Cody. He held the knife in front of him with the point facing the ground. Blood dripped on to the floor. “I pity who ever has to go in there next.”

“You’re the last group. The rest weren’t interested,” Brandon said. “Come and tell me everything.” He walked off with the five guys, leaving Cody alone outside the door.

Cody waited till they had turned the corner before he entered the room. When he saw me, he had to lean against a wall to hold himself up. The sight was horrific. “Melanie?”

I lied there on the bed, limp. Tears were streaming down my face while I just stared up in the ceiling with no expression on my face. I could feel the blood on me and coming out of me. The feel of the cuts inside of me and knife caused the tears to continue to come. I was in pain. There were no better words to describe how I felt. I looked over at Cody and saw the hurt and fear in his eyes. “Am I still alive?” I asked him.

“Yes.”

I would rather be dead then to have to deal with this amount of pain. “Are they gone?”

“Yes.”

“Do I look that bad?”

Cody nodded. His mouth had gone dry. He desperately wanted to gather me up in his arms and carry me away from this agony. Cody slowly walked over to me, his entire body shaking. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Could you pull up my pants and underwear for me? I don’t want to see all that blood.”

“No problem.” Cody swallowed what little saliva he had had in his mouth. Cody pulled up my pants and underwear with trembling hands. They had begun to shake when he had first heard the screaming.

“How come you didn’t come in?”

“Brandon came over and started talking to me.”

I nodded because I understood what he was saying. “I need to stand up.”

Cody nodded. He grabbed my hands and pulled me up to my feet. He pulled me against him so that I could use his body to stand up. “You lost a lot more blood. Just try and take it slow. You don’t need to give in just yet.”

I closed my eyes and leaned against him. My lower body had gone numb from the pain and shock. “How long were they doing that to me?”

“Too long. Maybe ten minutes.”

I did not say anything. For ten minutes my inner essence of being a woman was destroyed. Cut to shreds. “I need to sit back down.”

Cody led me over to one of the benches and helped me sit down. “Are you sure that there is nothing else I can do?”

I nodded. I was not in the mood to deal with anyone right now. I wanted to be alone. Gather all of my thoughts. I knew that I was going insane. That I was losing everything I ever had. “Can I be alone for a little while? Is that okay?”

“No problem. I’ll come and check on you. Just relax. Take a shower, a nice hot one. It may help.”

“I’ll try.” I watched him leave and started to cry. I curled up in a ball, pulling my knees close to my chest and cried. The pain was unbearable. The thing that worried me the most was the fact that the damage may have prevented me from ever having children. It could prevent me from even enjoying pleasure again. I looked through the spaces between the wood and saw a little puddle of blood forming underneath me. Turning my head slowly I looked over at the bed and saw the amount of blood on it. There was a lot. “Fuck!” I rested my forehead against the top of my knees with tears still streaming down my face.