blogging

Thank you.

The image above shows just how far of a reach this blog has journeyed. At least one person in each of the yellow and red nations has visited me here online.

This never ceases to humble me.

I can’t thank you enough, each of you, for taking time to read one or more of my blog posts. You are the reason I do this. Thank you again.

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The Urge to Write: Finding the Time

If you write for a living or – like I do – as a hobby, do you often find yourself struggling to fit in the time? I do, and it can be quite frustrating.

Working a full time job takes most of a person’s energy. It’s so easy to come home from a long day at work and veg out in front of the television or any number of little electronic screens. So many days, the Muse will nudge me to write a little. Just a little. But my body and my spirit do not want to budge.

How do I deal with the urge to write in the midst of exhaustion?

It’s not always an easy thing to answer.

Lately, I have had three novels stewing and brewing in the back of my consciousness. These are stories I’ve planned to write for a very long time. One of them came to me in a dream last year. The others are from ideas conjured up in my head back about 25 years ago.

The problem I’ve had, it seems, is that I have no desire to sit in front of a computer after working in front of one for eight hours a day.

So, instead of writing, I’ve spent a good deal of my time recently reading books by other novelists. Some are classic, some are contemporary, but all are well-written stories that have captured my imagination. They gave me a spark and have inspired me to put something down on paper.

Anything.

So, just last night, I did that very thing.

After my shower, I grabbed a notebook and pen and started scripting out the plot of the dream story.

(It has a title, “Beyond the Blue,” and should be out by the end of the year if all goes well.)

Surprisingly, the fifteen minutes I carved out of my before-bedtime hour yielded a wealth of material from which to work. My scribbles started with one stumbling block after another, blocks I had not noticed until last night.

Questions started forming in my mind:

  1. What is the plot of the book?
  2. You know the dream you had. How are you going to expound on this?
  3. Who are your characters?
  4. You have your protagonist fully fleshed out. Who is the antagonist?

These are questions I had yet to answer. The information flowed from the pen and in a short time I had four handwritten sheets of paper.

Afterward, I laid my head down on the pillow and turned out the light. I felt in some way lighter and focused. Sleep came easy.

I knew I was on my way with this new book.

When I was in the process of writing Velvet, weeks went by where not one word was written. I’d hit the proverbial “wall.” No way out, no idea where to go next. And it was during those times I would read books. Somehow, the act of reading another’s words helped open up my storyline and give me the clarity I’d been seeking.

When you are too close to your project, or you feel in some way unable to write, try reading a book. Anything, fiction or nonfiction, seems to help me get my creative juices flowing. Maybe it will work for you, too.

How do you find time, or make the time, to write? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Photo credit: SelfPublish StreetLib

When You Blog, You Touch the World

 

Today I wandered around my blog and checked the stats page. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what countries were represented by my readership since I launched this blog several years ago.

I was taken aback when I discovered the above image.

This is a visual representation of the scope of my reach.

It took me a moment to wrap my head around the fact that at least one person in each of the shaded nations has read at least one of my blog posts over the years.

That’s a whole lot of countries represented. A whole lot of diverse readers who took the time to check out my blog.

Talk about humbling.

Thank you to everyone who has stumbled upon this little place on the web. It is my hope that you enjoy what you find and are able to take something away from here to benefit your lives.

You have benefited me by being here, and I thank you for that.

Photo screenshot from echolaveaux.com

Hard to Believe it’s Been a Year

Exactly one year ago, I gave Velvet a hug, kissed her on the cheek and sent her out into the universe to be found and embraced by others. That is a bit hard for me to believe. Wow, time does fly fast.

One full year ago, I published my first novel, a project that took three full years to create, write and edit. It is a book of fiction based on my past and a labor of love. My goal in writing is to offer light entertainment for the reader and am grateful for those who choose to read it. I hope that in some way it gives the reader a refreshing break from reality.

Back in April of 2013, I sat on the deck with Mr. LaVeaux and contemplated writing a novel. I asked him what he thought a good setting would be, and immediately he suggested Savannah, Georgia. Of course, I thought. What better place than the city we consider to be our second home.

In Velvet, a lonely divorcee moves from Atlanta to Savannah to start her life anew. She rediscovers old friends, falls into a dark and exciting underground culture, and meets an unlikely mate…all within the historic district of Georgia’s oldest and most haunted city. It is a bit of a love story woven with magical elements, and it is loosely based on my personal life.

The story wrote itself, and over the course of three years it evolved into something that I felt proud to share with the world.

Of course, fiction is just that…fiction…and some people may not enjoy a tale created in the imagination of another. However, for those who do enjoy reading a story, I did my best to create a book worthy of one’s time.

For those who have read Velvet, thank you. For those who haven’t and may be interested, it is free for KindleUnlimited customers at this link here.

If you have written and self-published a novel, please share your link. I would love to see what you have been working on and where your imagination has taken you.

Photo by Echo LaVeaux

Why Write? My Thoughts on Putting Pen to Paper

Every once in awhile, I stop and ask myself this question: “Why do I write?”

It’s a question I think some writers ask themselves, especially on the days where words don’t seem to be flowing as well as they should.

Why do I write? (more…)

Trust me. It’s okay to be silent.

Somedays I have lots to say, both in the written and spoken word. Other times, as of late, I’ve found myself without a word to say or write. I find myself quiet.

This used to bother me.

I have always thought that when you write a blog, you need to pack in the content so that your followers would always have something to read.

I agree that it would be the ideal thing to do, but like everyone else I have times where there is nothing worthy for me to write about…no experience or insight or anything.

This has been one of those times.

Instead of berating myself, I’ve just allowed myself to be and breathe. To experience my existence without the need for communicating anything. When there is no inspiration, there is only silence.

And silence can be a very healing thing.

I will have my very first book signing in downtown Augusta, Georgia very soon. If you live in the area, I hope you’ll watch this page for more details on that.

By then, I’m sure I’ll have something to say.

500 followers! Thank you all!

When I started this blog in September of 2014, I intended this webpage to be a place where I could share ideas, stories, and impressions with the world at large. Just a tiny place where I could express myself. When the first person chose to follow me, it was the most amazing feeling.

There is one person on this big, big world who likes what I am doing.

That one person made me feel that I had something to say that others would like to hear.

This weekend, I was surprised to discover that there are now over 500 of you wonderful people following my blog.  I am honored and quite humbled. Thank you so much for coming along with me on my journey.

Let’s see where life leads us next. So very glad that you are here.

Photo credit: http://www.timeinc.com

Just Keeping It Real

I can’t speak for all bloggers, but I can speak for myself. Why else would I blog? What is the point of communicating if you don’t use your voice, whether in speaking or writing or by using some other form of communication?

This post is going to be a simple one, and from the heart. It’s about keeping it real.

Fame is an exciting thing to think about. Money, influence, power…some people crave that.

Not me.

There are many people who feel the need to be famous. Nothing wrong with that at all. If that’s what makes them real, then I say go for it. Even though many people dream of it, not everyone is destined to be a rock star.

This person here just wants to share thoughts and ideas. I bare my soul on this webpage. What you see is truly what you get. In fact, my first novel, Velvet, is based on my real-life experiences. When you see my name attached to anything, you know you can trust that what I write is real.

My goal with blogging, writing books, and doing art is simple.

I just want to touch a life or two while I’m living out my life on the earth.

My motivating force in life has always been this: to help others, to be a shoulder to lean on, and to be a good listener.

I’m not interested in climbing social ladders or being the center of attention. What I am interested in is becoming the best writer that I can be. I want to write all the stories that have been itching to come out of me for the past twenty years. I want to find and share things that I feel will help everyone get through their day with a smile.

I look forward to the day that I can do this full time.

For now, though, I will grasp each free moment and use it toward my goal. I write for myself, but I also write for you. I feel that we all experience similar things in different situations. As humans, it’s to be expected that we will have bad days, tragic experiences, stressful occasions.

My goal here is to share things that will help you (and myself) during those darker, sadder, more intense times of life.

Thank you for allowing me to reach out to you through this website. I do wish the best for you and yours, and I hope that what I share here helps you in some way.

Just keeping it real here at echolaveaux.com.

Photo credit: communikait.com

Sometimes you have to take a break

If you are a blogger, do you sometimes feel the need to step back and reflect? If you are a writer, does your writing sometimes keep you from blogging?

I know, maybe that is a strange question.

Sometimes other passions and hobbies grab my attention and do not let go. Lately, my fiction writing has been a priority.

Right now, I’m in the final stages of the second full revision of my first novel. Since this is my first time writing a full length book, I am learning daily about editing, structure and above all…patience.

This project is an extension of myself. Kind of like a baby, so to speak. I have nurtured it, cleaned it, prepped it, and am preparing to send it out into the world for all to see.

This scares me.

I would guess that most everyone who has ever written a book understands this feeling of fear.

This project was started in April of 2013. It’s hard for me to believe I’m almost at the two-year mark.

If any of you have tips or suggestions to offer in regards to finalizing a writing project, I would love to hear them. Thanks, and peace.

Photo credit: poker.co.uk

I live to read

Yes, I am a little shy in certain circumstances. Yes, I tend to keep to myself a lot. But no, I’m not depressed or suicidal, and I’m most certainly not antisocial.

On that same note, I am not a hermit. I just love my books. (more…)