Sunday, 31 March 2019

Flow

I've been struggling recently, trying to edit for the umpteenth time my new book, Crossing Atlantic. I've joined a critique group on Scribophile and I've gone through the first draft once already. I think I need to take a break now and get some perspective before going through another edit. Meanwhile, I will catch up on some articles that I want to send out into the world.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, Finding Flow, would say that the editing part is not challenging enough and that I am bored. To regain the flow experience, I need to increase the level of the challenge. I'm not sure how to do that while editing the same text over and over again, but perhaps in a month I will have a new view of it and it will once again become a challenge.
Click on the video above to hear  professor Csikszentmihalyi's TED talk covering the topic of Flow.

Monday, 18 March 2019

The routine of writing

What helps you be most productive when it comes to your writing? I know we're all different, but what works for you? 
I get out of bed, put the coffee on, open my laptop, then my Scrivener file, and start typing before my brain wakes up and says, "wouldn't you rather check your email, the weather, or the news?" 
I make the coffee and return to the story. I'm already hooked and want to know what happens next. It's like brushing teeth, I'm on autopilot and don't think about it, just do it. Before brushing teeth. 
It helps to write first thing in the morning and sometimes I even wake up at three with an idea, something new to add to the work in progress. Having a habit helps heaps. 
I get to play a minimum of one hour and after that, I do whatever I have to for the rest of the day: make breakfast, clean house, check email (I'm retired). Often, I find I'm still writing four hours later and the coffee is sitting next to me on the table, cold. 
Start with five minutes if that's all you can do but do it every day and slowly increase the time. Write what moves you. Find your writing corner and go there. Surround yourself with comfort items, coffee, whiskey, a teddy, a bouquet of flowers, a favorite shawl. Soon you will gravitate there and it will become your sanctuary. 
And most importantly - have fun! 
Let me know how you organize your writing day in the comments below.

Monday, 11 March 2019

My afternoon run

Now that my broken foot has healed, I started running again. I follow a C25K (couch to 5 Km.) program which begins with a five-minute warm-up, followed by eight one- minute runs alternating with one-minute walks. At the end, there is a five-minute cooldown. Total of about half an hour. I do this every second day.
This is where I ran today.

I find running is a great way for me to relax after writing. I can let my eyes rest from staring at the laptop screen and stretch towards the horizon. Running also lets my mind rest and zone out. 
I come back refreshed and full of new ideas. 
The weather is improving daily and soon, I hope to start swimming again. This is my favorite way to end a run - cool off in the sea.




Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Spring

It's spring in Greece. Wild plum blossoms have exploded on the trees on the edge of a lagoon in Aktio. Birds are chirping among the boats in the boatyard, looking for nest sites. Some of the owners have already arrived to prepare their boats for launching. But snow still caps the tops of the mountain peaks to the east and I still turn the heater on early in the morning. Soon, soon, I will stop hibernating and life afloat will begin once again.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Crossing Atlantic

I just finished the umpteenth draft of the ten chapters of my new book in progress, Crossing Atlantic. Numerous people from my Critique Circle on Scribophile have read it, made comments and pointed out some issues. All along, I tweak and tighten and adjust, so that it's as good as I can make it. For now. I'll be revising again and again and again, I'm sure. 
If you'd like to read the early version and perhaps become my beta reader, feel free to check my Patreon page and sign up to be my patron. I also offer other goodies for patrons who support me at different levels, such as audio chapters of my first book, editing services, signed copies of my book and even sailing holidays.  
And this chapter that in a different form won a prize and was published in a sailing magazine is available to read if you support me at the level of co-captain. Hope to see you aboard!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Great program for writers

If you have problems organizing your writing project, whether it's fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, research paper, or a genealogy tree, take a look at the Gingkoapp
It gives you a method to make your planning and organizing easy by a set of online index cards in a tree formation, that can be expanded, moved around and dragged. I can think of a hundred of uses for this program.




Another person bought my book

Someone recently bought a copy of my book, Salt Water In My Veins. Thank you! Whoever you are, you made my day. I hope you enjoy it and feel like posting a review. If you're nearby, I'd be happy to sign it for you.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Salt Water In My Veins: Chapter 3: From a dream to a nightmare






"I have been the owner of my 'dream boat' for two weeks now and the relationship has already become like a stale affair..."
This is the beginning of my story about buying a sailboat.
Become my patron on Patreon and listen to the podcast of a chapter from my book, Salt Water In My Veins.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Rainy day. Good time to write

Today it's raining, so I am editing the third chapter of my next book, Crossing The Ocean.
I joined Scribophile, an online memoir writing group and each week we submit 3,000 words to be critiqued.
Each week I critique five chapters written by my cohorts and receive five critiques from them. 
It's a good way to stay disciplined and I see much progress.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Beach

Pebbles, shining like gems,
on the beach.
Seashells, crunching like crackers,
under my feet. 
I pick up a broken crab shell
 and wonder what happened.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

And the winning title is: Two Against The Atlantic

So, the deadline passed for the vote on a new title for my story about two people who don't get along on a small sailboat, sailing across the Atlantic. 
There were more than 300 entries, some funny, some strange and some actually quite good. People sent in ideas on Facebook, by messenger, WhatsApp and by text. I chose eight that expressed the essence of the story the best and put them up for a vote. I then asked people to vote on my blog. Sadly, there was only one voter who showed up and she voted for one of the titles that happily I also like. 
And so, the winning title is (drum roll): 
Two Against The Atlantic
Thank you Kayla Cummings for voting and the person who chose this title, feel free to send me a comment on my blog to claim your prize.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Finalists in the 'Atlantic Crossing' Title Contest

Thank you to all who participated with title ideas to my Atlantic Crossing story. Here are the finalists - my favourites. 
I had been hoping there would be more ideas with the word 'Atlantic' included, but it was a fun project and some good laughs. 
You may vote for your favourite by leaving a comment. The deadline is this Sunday at noon, GMT. The finalists will receive an early link to the first 3,000 words of the story on Monday. The winner will receive an early link to the complete third draft once it's finished approximately at the end of February. Thank you again for participating and keep checking this page for updates.
  1. Stormy Waters
  2. Troubled Waters
  3. Perilous Crossing
  4. Rough Crossing
  5. Rough Waters
  6. Two Against The Atlantic
  7. Under The Atlantic Sky
  8. Against The Wind

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Help Me With Ideas For A Title To My Atlantic Crossing Story

 I've been editing a chapter for my next book about my ex-boyfriend and I crossing the Atlantic on board Eidos, my 32-foot sailboat. The boat is new to me, recently purchased, under-equipped for the voyage ahead, yet in good condition for its 24 years. I have offshore experience but James doesn't. He only comes to crew for me to add another "done it," to his list of adventures.
I need a catchy title and hoping for some ideas. Thank you.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Salt Water In My Veins: audio podcasts

"Why do we travel? Is it in the vain hope of finding happiness and fulfillment in some other place? No, it's not here in Paris, perhaps over there in Rome... They say, wherever you go, there you are."

While taking a break from editing my second book, I am recording audio podcasts of my first book. Download it for free from here and listen during your morning run, while stirring a pot on the stove, or stuck in traffic. Enjoy! 
The audio podcast of the second chapter, How I Can Afford To Cruise is only available to patrons who support me at the level of Co-captain for $50 per month at the moment. Please become my patron.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Pretty Please...Review My Book

If you've read my book, Salt Water In My Veins, I would love it if you would review it on Amazon or on Good Reads. If you haven't read it, feel free to buy it and then review it. :)) 
In return, I will review anything you have created: a meal, a game, a book, a painting, music, jewelry, your husband... ;) Also, I will add a link to your website on mine.
Thank you!