Select Page

My Writing Process (in GIFs)

IDEAS. SO MANY IDEAS.

Typing all the things.
 

When did I get so brilliant?

I am so great!
 

Wait…

Hooray but not.
 

What was I thinking???

WHY?
 

Maybe I can fix…

Wasn't expecting that.
 

Nope.  Too late.

Resigned to fate.
 

Impotent rage.

Impotent rage.
 

Getting really, really drunk.

Problem solving.
Sorrow.

Sad Tennant.
 

No! I can fix it!!

Pull yourself together!
 

Must. Have. Confidence.

You is kind. You is smart. You is importan
 

Workworkworkwork

More Coffee.
 

The End.

Dancing bear!
 

Aaaaaand done.

Exhausted.

Wasting Time and Killing Productivity

So many posts out there will tell you how to use your time efficiently and get more work done. Sure, it’s important to do stuff and accomplish whatever, but sometimes you just gotta play around and do something mind-numbing. That’s why I’m here. If you’re sitting there bored with nothing to do, let me give you a few places to get started on your time-wasting voyage.

1. Eat something.

Eating is your go-to time waster. It doesn’t matter what, just get some snacks in your belly.

Eat something
 

2. Watch a movie

Click. Drag. Get a snack. Watch.

Movie poster roulette
3. Play Cookie Clicker

You will love and despise this addictive game. Click the cookie. You know you want to.

Lola's Bakery
4. Play Mamonosweeper

Like minesweeper, but with monsters. Don’t be a baby–play in HUGE mode.

Gameplay of Mamonosweeper
5. Find cat gifs.

Never fails. Thank you, Internet.

Cat in a box

Life in Retirement

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog since I got back from my cross-country whirlwind trip. Visiting my friend in Toronto was fantastic (although why I volunteer to drive 20+ hours, I’ll never know) and I finally got all the Canadian treats I’ve been craving…buttertarts, all-dressed chips, and Cadbury Crunchie bars! If you don’t already know this, Crunchie (slash honeycomb/hokey pokey) is the nectar of the gods. And if you spot them in the wild, you’d better buy one bar for yourself and all the rest to mail to me.

Crunchie bar heaven via www.loladodge.com

CRUNCHIE IS THE NECTAR OF THE GODS!

Now life has taken me to Florida, where the average age in my zip code is roughly 65. I’ve tried to acclimate to the lifestyle, and my current hobbies include watching the bird feeder, eating dinner at 4pm, and jigsaw puzzles. I’ve also been known to hustle a few nickel card games (all your Jeffersons are belong to me).

Chilling w/ the Sandhill Cranes in Florida
Hooray, retirement!

Except, not really. I’m working hard on the Manhattan Ten, a sportsy New Adult series, and lots and lots of editing and writing for Ink Monster. Hoping to have all kinds of cover reveals coming at you soon!

Still deciding where to make my next move. Europe? Japan? Back home to NY? Wherever it is, it’s gonna be cold. I haven’t seen snow in years and I’m beyond tired of this humid, tropical, sweaty nonsense. What good is a climate that prevents you from wearing sweats??

Conferences and Catch-Up

I just left the In Your Write Mind conference at Seton Hill, and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and get to know some new ones better. This was my first time attending the retreat since I graduated, and I’m glad I escaped Taiwan for a summer. Plus, shoutout to my fav reader, Aileen Erin–it was so nice seeing her in person again! The group of us discovered a restaurant gem in Greensburg, and went to Lupi & Leo’s three nights in a row—I will now spend the next few weeks trying to burn off ravioli weight. I also laughed so hard I hurt my hernia, but I’d do it again in a second!

The conference was also super motivating. Hearing Beth Phelan talk about New Adult helped me organize and focus my WIP, and when my mentor Nicole Peeler described NA as “crackalicious” my ideas all gelled together. Now I’m on the word wagon and trying to bust out a CampNaNoWriMo novel. This may be complicated by my travel schedule–I’m visiting my Taiwan bestie in Toronto this weekend, and have about 20 hours in the car after that. But, I’ve been nursing this project forever, and am ready to get it out into the world, so driving or no driving, I’m going to get it done.

                                                            In A World Just Right by Jen Brooks

In other fun news, I picked up an ARC of my classmate Jen Brooks’ YA debut—In A World Just Right. I’ve already started reading, and the story is as amazing as expected. It’s a perfect example of how to write in the first person present without being annoying—very few writers can pull this off. The book will be out in April 2015, but you should probably preorder it now (Kindle | iTunes), because you’re going to want to read it!

Singapore, Print Anthology and Swirl Awards

I’m spending a few days in Singapore, and the diversity of this country is amazing. I’m staying in Chinatown and spent yesterday in Little India. Later today, I’m headed to the Middle Eastern district for some shopping and Turkish coffee. Being in such a hodgepodge place, filled with disparate cultures and customs and languages and foods is incredibly inspiring. I can hear chanting and music from the Hindu temple down the street, and smell the fresh flower garlands as vendors prepare them for prayer. The announcements on the MRT are made in four languages, and people of all colors and religions and walks of life mix in this place that has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Sri Mariamman Temple Singapore

A Hindu temple in the middle of Chinatown.

On a diversity note, Ivory is in the finals for the 2014 Swirl Awards–an award competition recognizing excellence in interracial romance. The paranormal/scifi/fantasy category is huge, but I’m honored to be nominated! I’ll keep you all posted on the results : )

AND–the Manhattan Ten print anthology is coming!! This will be my first book in print, and I can’t wait to have it in my hands. I’ll be revealing the cover on June 16th. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate, stop by Xpresso Reads to sign up!

After Singapore, I’m back to the U.S. for a bit, and then…? No plans yet, except continuing on my writing spree! The good news is that Manhattan Ten #4 is written and out for feedback. Now I’m working on some novel-length projects that I hope to share soon : )

One Month in Bali and my 3k/day Challenge

I’m writing this from my coworking space—Hubud, in the center of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Wild, huh?

The Hubud Sign, Bali Indonesia | www.loladodge.com

Ever since I became a writer, I’ve never focused only on my writing. I always had part-time jobs and day jobs taking my attention. Even when I was between gigs, I was focusing on the next thing…and a distracted Lola does not prioritize getting her daily words written.

Now I’m taking a month away from everything—I’m not working and not looking for work, and I don’t even have a TV in the villa I’m renting. After a year of strenuous, full-time editing, this is my reward to myself: unadulterated writing time.

My writing space in Bali | www.loladodge.com

Writing on my terrace–I could get used to this!

I’ve wasted months with worrying and have barely written a word, so this month, I’m setting concrete goals to make sure I get the most of this precious time.

I’m targeting 3,000 words a day.

Given that I have 24 hours of no scheduling, it should be easy. Even though it’s a steeper hurdle than NaNo pace, I have all the time in the world…piece of cake, right?

Not exactly. I still struggle when I’m not sure where the scene is going, or what themes I want to get across. I might do 500 words in half an hour, or four hours, depending on the state of my focus.

So far, I’m eking it out. If I keep up the pace, I’ll knock off my current novella, and be well on the way to finishing the novel I’ve been toying with for ages. That’s right where I want to be.

I’m hoping that as time goes on and I get used to the rhythm here, my productivity will spike. Can I do 4k a day? 5k? I’ll post about coworking later, but I’m finding the environment super stimulating—the people, workspace, and Bali itself.

Giving myself time to write feels both rewarding and validating. I think we often call ourselves writers, but don’t take it seriously, or are too afraid to take it to a full-time level. I still have doubts, but I’m enjoying my test run,and hitting my word goals is reassuring. I really could crank out the books like a pro, if only I gave myself a chance.

To my writer friends out there, I’m guessing you can do it too.

Have faith, and don’t be afraid to take your goals seriously.