Showing posts from March, 2020

Happy 10th Anniversary to An Eclectic Muse

Today is  An Eclectic Muse's  10th Anniversary! I can't believe it, but the proof is in my first post, dated March 30, 2010: Getting Started With This Blog Thing In 2010, a lot of people didn't know about blogs, so my first post tried to explain the concept. I, also, talked about my plans for this channel. A lot has changed in that plan over the years, but I'm still here and churning out information related to writing. People all over the world read my blog. This amazes me, but my stats tell me that my readers come from: United States Russia France Germany Ukraine Canada Czechia Unknown Region United Kingdom China Not sure where that unknown region is, but this is my audience. Maybe it's aliens from outer space! Those stats also indicate most of you find me through Facebook or Google. What are the most popular posts? I thought you'd never ask.  My top three posts are as eclectic as this blog's titl

Social Distancing Lemonade: How Our Writing Group Did It

My granddaughter's artwork When life gives you lemons... We can look at this social distancing experience as lemons. I have had my lemon moments in the past week. Just read l ast week's post ! But we're adapting. One of my writing life adaptations happened Monday night. Well, the culmination of it occurred Monday night. I spent Friday through Monday getting ready for it. What? Our writing critique group. I run the local chapter for the South Carolina Writers' Association . We meet two times a month. In. Person. We look forward to this time of sharing and giving feedback on each other's work. Determined to not let that disappear, I began exploring options to hold our meetings online. And found Zoom. I participated in a Zoom meeting with 150 other people a few days before I began looking for an online option. This platform works amazingly well. You can: See everyone who chooses to be seen Mute or unmute participants Mute or unmute video options S

Week 1 of Captivity and Social Distancing

Image courtesy of HyenaReality/ Week 1 of Captivity How our week has gone so far: Sunday We went to church, possibly for the last time in a month. They had taken great precautions with how the Lord's Supper and the general mingling should occur. Most of the congregation was there, with many of our elderly members missing, which I anticipated. I teared up when they announced we wouldn't meet again until Easter (hopefully). My church family is dear to me, and the church is there to encourage us in tough times. I do support the decision. It makes sense, and we're trying to continue encouragement from a social distance. In the afternoon, we got the ominous message I'd been praying not to see for another week: schools were closed. I struggled to rethink my plans for the week and offered to help out the single mom across the street. She needed help with the kids on Wednesday and maybe Thursday, and I told her no problem. Monday Can I

Why Some Writers Avoid Conferences and Why They Shouldn't

Me and friends at a writing conference a few years ago. Oh wow! I went to the first ever  Saga Conference   in Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend, and I have so much to share. It will take several blog posts to cover it all. Also, last week, I participated in PitMad on Twitter and have a lot of tips to share from that experience, too. But for now, let me address some of the excuses people give for not attending a writing conference. The Excuses I'm not ready This excuse appears in several forms: I haven't finished my book I'm just starting to write I don't have anything ready to pitch I don't know how to pitch Etc., etc., etc. (to quote the King in The King and I ) Balderdash! Yes. I find a way to toss that word in every year or so. It fits here. Writers' conferences offer opportunities to meet and schmooze agents and editors (a nice benefit), but they offer so much more. They help writers learn how to write better. I've be

Things Writers Do

Writers do things differently than other people. Sure, we may look normal, but we often aren't. Some of us don't even try to be normal. What's the fun in that? For many writers, this is a crazy week.  PitMad  is Thursday. What is PitMad? It's a Twitter party where writers pitch their stories to agents and publishers in 280 characters or less. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it has worked for many writers . I'm getting ready, as are many other writers, and what we do to prepare might seem odd to non-writers. Since I'm caught up in the frenzy of the writer's version of March Madness, I thought it might be fun to share some of our regular habits and idiosyncrasies. Writers: Spend a lot of time with invisible friends (who aren't really invisible to them) Create worlds that may or may not look like the world you live in Hang out in coffee shops on our computers Kill people off and have fun doing it Listen to voices in their heads Play make-believe while