Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Tool Box: Throw in one of your own! ~Tanya Hanson

You probably already know most of this, but here’s my tool box for writers. Don’t forget to leave your takes, hints, and helps in the comment box!  Let’s get a really big tool box going!

1. Have a confidential support system of fellow authors for those shaky times of bad reviews, snarky editors or (horrors!) rejection. Try as they do, my family doesn’t quite get it. Other writers do.

2. Move around! Writing is so sedentary.

3. Write what you love, not what’s trendy at the moment. If you don’t, writing’s a chore and what’s the point?

4. Spread the love by “sharing” other authors’ covers and good news on your FaceBook pages or blog, and tweet ’em, too. Even genres that you don’t write or read.

5. Accept your wants and limits. I tried a personal blog and Pinterest and hated the time-suck. For me, a group blog like Seriously Write works best. I finally accepted it was okay for me to blog in herds. (I participate monthly in three others that feature western themes, promo, and giveaways.)

6. Read!  Make the time. A recumbent bike is great both for exercise and books. Good literature showcases first-class style, illustrates life-themes on the human condition, reinforces correct grammar, and increases our vocabulary. (Can you tell I taught high school English forever?)

7. Read outside your genre. For all the above reasons.

8. Be kind, be kind, be kind some more when you're judging an awful contest entry or critiquing a needy manuscript or writing a review of a weak story...you gotta find something good to say, too.

9. . Do something creative every day. I know I should say, write something every day, but...sometimes I admit I just can’t get it done.

So what’s creative?

     **Think outside the box--try a new recipe or go meatless for a day. Wear red shoes or a turquoise scarf or something totally unexpected.

     **Notice a beautifully written sentence in the newspaper or a blog. Listen for a cool, real-life name to use for your next hero or heroine. Or a real-life tidbit you can fictionalize. Just this morning, I read an obit about a hundred-year old Midwest woman who rode a horse to her one-room school house everyday. Her dad had trained the Palomino to come right home after taking her in the morning, and the horse knew how to get back to school at 3 p.m. to pick her up. Hmmmmm.. I write Westerns... 

     **Take a walk, pick up a pine cone or a seashell and examine it as though you've never seen one before. On a recent walk, I came across a passion flower vine and posted a pic on Facebook. So lovely!

     **Appreciate the view outside your window...after all, it’s a landscape already framed!

10.  Breathe deeply, for your body. And pray ceaselessly, for your spirit. It's so easy to get discouraged.

A native Californian, Tanya Hanson lives on the central coast with her firefighter hubby and looks forward to a Deep South tour soon to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary! Two kids and two grandkids later!  She is an award-winning author with releases in many genres including western historical, inspirational contemporary western, inspirational suspense, and Young Adult.  Angel Child is dedicated to her own precious godson, her own “angel child.” 

Determined to get her life back on track,  Mary Grace Gibson takes on a substitute-teaching  job, grateful for the room and board offered at Hearts Crossing Ranch. The bustling family life helps her heal after abandonment by her ex. But her little boy’s serious disabilities make her cautious about revealing her secrets to anybody. Even Scott Martin, the handsome cowboy who’s fast stealing her heart.

Her former student now grown up, cowboy and graphic artist Scott Martin is instantly drawn to the beautiful single mom. She’s had some hard luck but never let go of her faith. Their age gap doesn’t fret him, and their kisses ignite his love. But as they fall for each other, Mary Grace’s lack of trust in him shatters his feelings, for he’s been down that broken trail before.