#MFRW- Character-Driven Plot Building

blacksmith-3141724_1920#MFRW Plotter or panzer, and why?

I tend to be a character-driven writer. I have a bunch of people stomping around my head demanding that their stories be told.

Yeah, kinda like that. Because they are at the base of my writing, I usually have to structure a plot based upon what the main protagonists in a story want, the obstacles that get in the way with that, and how they change from the beginning to end of the plot. So, an organic plot structure is at the crux of my writing.

I also have a drill-sergeant for a writing coach, who doesn’t believe in just writing and letting a story evolve, at least not at the fundamental level, which plotting a story mainly involves. I think that is what confused me at first, and I also see it when I mentor writers. I had the tendency to think of details as essential to structuring a plot. They aren’t, and once I got used to sifting through them to the core components of a story, I have become better at having a solid plot on which to build it. Continue reading “#MFRW- Character-Driven Plot Building”

MFRWAuthor: Books and Bravado – An Author’s Must-Haves

MWTY Collage

The difference between bragging and marketing.

If done well, telling the difference between bragging and marketing can be as challenging as deciding if a shirt is midnight blue and black. For real, who can tell?

I have to brag. Our society generally ignores the social intersections I embody, making it necessary for me,  like many Black women,  to blow my own horn. I’ve learned to highlight my talents and accomplishments as well as appreciate them for myself.  “Shine,” “Black Girl Magic,” “Do You,” all are a part of getting acclamation usually denied. Continue reading “MFRWAuthor: Books and Bravado – An Author’s Must-Haves”

#MFRWAuthor- Anger & Food: A Deadly Combination

Stress Eating: The Whys and Wherefores

Anger is the main emotion that makes me stress eat. I will be basically cool with life and eating decently—then BOOM!

Papa Bear or one of his male cubs do some man shenanigans…the little ones act up…someone on social media tries it with me—and I am heading for the kitchen.

Anger increases my appetite like a forest fire, and I consume food like flames old tree logs.  I tend to rationalize the need for my greediness. I tell myself that I “deserve” a treat and it will help me relax.

I tend to look for something sweet first. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. Sugar is my primary addiction.

Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor- Anger & Food: A Deadly Combination”

#MFRWAuthor – A Bookish Life

MFRW 52-Week Blog – How books can influence daily life.

I have books e’rywhere. I think each room in my entire house (basement included) has a book. Yeah, I checked.

Fortunately for me, I married a bibliophile. When we married and I moved into his apartment, he sat my boxes of books in front of his wall-high shelf filled with books. Our collections have been growing for over 27 years.  Our kids caught the book bug as well.

We all appreciate the impact that books have on our lives. Whether for learning, entertainment, or a combination of both, reading is essential. Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor – A Bookish Life”

#MFRWAuthor -Read-Write-Live: An Author’s Continuum

fantasy-2861107_1920MFRW 52-Week Blog – Reading, Writing or Living?

I haven’t been a writer my entire life. As a matter of fact, I used to H*A*T*E writing—thanks to my terrible penmanship and a list of drill sergeant teachers who just couldn’t get that the chicken scratch in front of them was the best they were going to get out of me.

Once I took my first keyboarding class in high school, I never looked at a pen the same way. I avoided them in favor of the musical clicking that lulls so many of us into sharing our thoughts, ideas, and stories.

Eventually, a real love for writing followed. Now, I can not quite imagine my life without being able to write.

The same goes for books, but unlike writing, I was able to develop a love for reading at an early age. I majored in literature in college, and my master’s thesis focuses on literature.

While in grad school, I started using my literary criticism skills to review books. I also became a contributor to my college’s student newsletter, which extended into a freelance gig with other online media, and I just published (indie, of course, duh) my first novel.

So much of my life is spent reading (entertainment, to my kids, to review, etc.) and writing (articles, short stories, books, and so on) that I can’t imagine compartmentalizing any of the three. I kind of glide along a continuum, where I may be doing one more than the other, but all are still there.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you exhibit A.

 

 

Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor -Read-Write-Live: An Author’s Continuum”

#MFRWAuthor-Woke Romance is a Thing?

Woman Holding White Plumeria Flower

MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge

Week 1: Writing – Doing it for fun, profit or other?

For many authors, it may seem like questions like the one above are asked so frequently that they have become trite and answering them tedious and tiresome.

Before releasing my first novel—in my other life—I interviewed authors and heard them complain. So, I  would try to avoid asking such questions. Now I realize my mistake.

Mis Quince Años

Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor-Woke Romance is a Thing?”

#MFRWauthor-The Dream Vacation That Isn’t One

What is your dream vacation?

The world offers so much, that thinking of what would be the ultimate vacation may be hard for some. Even when considering all of the prospective destinations, none of it means much if I can’t find what I’m looking for when traveling.

I think venturing out into the world is more than it’s cracked up to be. Basically, I don’t find stuffing of my life into some suitcases and my person into some mode of transport to traverse the earth particularly thrilling, especially considering my traveling track record.

Mis Quince AñosI spent most of my life in one spot, acquiring my knowledge of the world through books and documentaries. It wasn’t until I was older, that my marriage to a wonderful husband who loves to explore the world that I started to travel, and I did not take extremely well to it.

Basically, I like seeing the world, I just don’t like doing the packing, driving, flying, etc. to see it.

Therefore, the perfect vacation for me would be an empty house with the world coming to me, well the part that would do the cooking and cleaning while I get to eat and read in bliss. The rest of the world will be shut out, except for Papa Bear. It’s been too long since either one of us has truly enjoyed domestic quietude with each other.

So, cleaner, chef, hubby make up my dream vacation.

Mis Quince Años (1)


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#MFRWauthor – Italian Ramadan

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Ramadan is a special holiday for Muslims all over the world. Those who are able to spend daylight hours fasting and engaged in increased worship, which is the primary purpose of the month.

But when the sun sets, there are 30 days of some of the best eating of the year. Whether at home with family, invited to neighbors and friends homes, or visiting one of the many large community meals, the food is fantastic.

Here in the United States, the diverse American Muslim population means that break-fast meals (known as iftar) can have a cornucopia of food from people of native-born (i.e. African American, Latinx American, Native American, European American) and immigrant Muslim backgrounds.

One staple dish in my family is baked ziti. I make a big pan to feed my husband and kids fasting for a couple of days. I will also make a couple of pans to bring to my local masjid (mosque) for a community meal. I always bring home empty pans.

Recipe

Continue reading “#MFRWauthor – Italian Ramadan”

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