Why Research Changes My Stories {Writer Wednesday}

I just started writing the second book in the upcoming Wyoming Cowboys series. I had a strong grasp on the general plot before typing the opening line, but there were many things I didn’t know (and still don’t!) about the story.

As I brainstormed possible scenes and reasons for them to happen, I kept Google open and researched questions as they came up. I always do this when starting a draft. Each article I find gives me insight into the issue and it usually changes my story.

 

The reason? I’m not an expert on anything. I have limited knowledge of many of the themes and situations I tackle in my books. One thing I love when I’m spiraling into research is when I realize I was wrong about something, but the article/book gives me an even better idea. For instance, the plot in my work-in-progress has a church youth mentoring program. My initial thoughts on how this would play into the story weren’t feasible due to the age of the little girl involved, but it allowed me to have the characters agree to a private arrangement, which serves the story better.

This type of thing happens all the time when I’m writing. It’s one of the reasons I really enjoy researching. You’ve probably read the advice to push yourself to come up with unique ideas by coming up with a list and using one of the final ideas you write. I’ve tried this method, but I don’t always find it to be logical. I want the story to be believable! Research helps me push the limits to find believable situations.

Whether you’re a writer or not, how do you feel about research? I love it!

Have a terrific day!

Expense Reports, Plotting Flow Chart, and Project Tips {Writer Wednesday}

Expense Reports, Plotting Flow Chart, And Project Tips {Writer Wednesday}

I recently revisited my For Writers page, and I realized I continue to use many of the writing tools I’ve written about in the past. That’s why I’m sharing a few posts from the archives. I hope they help you with different aspects of your writing, too.

Expense Reports and more #ww

 

Since it’s officially tax season, you might be frustrated trying to figure out your business expenses but having no clue where to begin. The following article will help you create a simple system that works for you. No, expense reports aren’t glamorous, but saving money at tax-time is!

Writing as a Business: Tracking Expenses

Just yesterday I created a new flow chart template to use when plotting a new book. And then I remembered I’d blogged about a similar one a few years ago. If you’re interested in trying something new before you type the opening to your next book, check it out.

Using Flow Charts to Plot

Next up is a topic I’ve learned to master. It has NOT been easy for this one-track-mind lady, but it’s necessary. Every week I juggle at least two projects, usually three.

Tips to Successfully Switch Between Projects

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What writing problem has been on your mind lately? I’d love to hear how you solve it!

 

Have a terrific day!

Are You Picky About T-Shirts?

It’s March, which means soon I’ll be living in T-shirts again. For a few years I’ve struggled to find comfortable tees that fit me well and are reasonably priced. This means the majority of my tees have been worn out. They’re destined for the trash bin.

 

Are You Picky About T-Shirts?

 

If a T-shirt is too baggy, it swallows me up and gives me no shape. If it’s too form-fitting, I look like a stuffed sausage.  Some are too short–please, let me find some that don’t expose skin at my waist. And I love soft material, but not if it’s see-through! When I add my price limit, finding new shirts feels like mission impossible.

I can’t resist T-shirts with cute sayings or references to cats, bunnies and mini-dachshunds–unless they’re not in my price range. Then I sadly put them back on the rack with a sigh and tell myself they’ll go on sale.

Where do you buy T-shirts? Are you as picky as I am? If you know of a good resource for shapely, not too short tees, please let me know!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{Coming Soon} Game On

{Coming Soon} Game On

In April 2015, I sat down in a Panera with a coffee and ginormous triple-chocolate cookie. I was exhausted. But I knew it was time to start the project I couldn’t get off my mind.

As many of my ideas begin, this one started while I’d been trying to fall asleep. Two words had been seared in my brain.

Surviving Sports.

I’d been a sports mom for years at that point. If you’re not familiar with having kids in sports, it’s not all happiness and sunshine. Sure, it’s great having athletic kids, but the competitiveness and insecurities among parents can be contagious. I didn’t always like what the games did to me, and I often prayed for help. I wanted to be the calm mom, the one who brushed off bragging, politics, rough games and all the other anxiety-inducing elements of being a sports parent.

My prayers were answered, just not in the way I expected. When surviving sports flashed in my brain, I knew it was a book I needed to write. But how could I? I’m not an expert. I don’t write nonfiction. I write Christian romance novels! All I could think was I’m not qualified.

Back to the beginning of this post. Me. Panera. Coffee. Thousands of calories in that cookie. I had to answer this call. Had to write the book. I couldn’t drop everything and start writing, though. I had deadlines to meet. Instead, I decided to chip away at it even if only in ten minute increments stolen at odd times. I took a big bite of the cookie, created a new Google Doc and started to type on my phone’s teeny-tiny keypad.

Minutes turned into pages. Weeks went. The book grew. With each new section, another idea popped up. I found myself researching and gaining a better understanding of why I get so wrapped up in my children’s sports. Slowly, I changed. I couldn’t help it. As a Christian, I try to live my life according to Biblical principles, and one of them is raising my kids to be moral adults. I changed because my kids needed me to be a better role model, and I wanted to be one, too.

I still have my moments. I’m not perfect. Never will be. But I love being a sports mom, I love my kids, and I can keep the game in perspective. If you’re curious about the book, click on Game On for more information. I have a few spots open for digital advance review copies. Leave a comment or email me at jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com if you’re interested.

Coming Soon!!

 

Game On: The Christian Parents' Sports Survival Guide

 

A GAME PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN PARENTS

For years I couldn’t escape the anxiety that came with my children’s sports. The competitive atmosphere prevalent among parents often left me anxious, upset—even bitter. But all that changed when I defined why I wanted my kids playing. Instead of fretting about their performance, I saw opportunities for them to grow. Now I enjoy watching them play without letting politics, other parents, or my own unrealistic expectations get in the way.

Join me in exploring the realities of sports, the reasons parents get caught up in unhealthy competition, and strategies to keep the big picture in mind when we’re too close to the game. We can be composed and confident while our kids are in sports.

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Game On: The Christian Parents’ Sports Survival Guide will be available in paperback and digital books online at major retailers in early April. And I’ll be hosting a Game On giveaway next month on my home page, so be sure to check back!

Do you have children or grandchildren in sports? What do they play?

Have a terrific weekend!

 

Messy Desk {Writer Wednesday}

I’ve been quiet on the blog. Last week I was sick, and I’m playing catch-up. With all the tasks piling up, I’ve let my desk get VERY messy. *sigh*

Here’s a picture of my work space. I think it’s funny my Bible promise book fell on top of the chaos. Maybe God is trying to tell me something!

 

Messy Desk

 

What you don’t see is the mug of tea, scratch paper with scribbled notes, cell phone, pens, ponytail holders and who-knows-what-else. The trash can is overflowing. Much like my brain and day-planner entries for this week.

This morning  I’ll spend ten minutes organizing and tidying. I’ll push the papers into a neat stack. Throw away the baggies of pretzels and Chex Mix. Light a candle. Empty the trash.

And then I’ll mess it up all over again because that’s the kind of week this is!

Does your work space get messy when you’re busy? Or do you keep it tidy at all times?

Have a terrific day!