On The Chain Gang #9 – Writing In 2009


My LINK in the Blog Chain


THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.


My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of Novel Notes.


Happy New Year! Many people take this season to reflect on things past, look forward to the future, and some go as far as making resolutions or goals. Since it is my turn to choose the topic for this link in the Blog Chain, I thought we could take inspiration from these traditions.

I have several questions – answer them all or pick and choose, as you’d like. I think we could learn a lot about each other and our writing in the process.


This Round’s Topic is:

  • What writing related things have you done in the past?
  • What WIPs are you working on now?
  • Do you have anything brewing for the future?
  • Are you setting any writing goals or resolutions for 2009?
  • once-upon-a-time

    My mother was an avid book lover who enjoyed reading aloud to my sister and me. She gave it her all using different voices, facial expressions, and sometimes-even actions to engage us in the story. Always riveted, we begged for more. She encouraged us to use our imaginations and creativity.

    The pure joy she exhibited with these pursuits drew me to storytelling and writing. I would make up stories about anything, and make believe was my favorite type of play. In high school and college, I wrote for the newspapers. While that was all right, it wasn’t as much fun as twisting a plot, creating the conflict, and discovering the character quirks of something new and exciting bubbling in my own imagination.

    When my children started bringing spelling words home from school, I helped them study by making up ridiculous and funny sentences (using those spelling words), to build a story with each one. Believe me — creating a story off the top of my head as I read the spelling list took some major thinking at times. But it is a great memory that we share, and they always did well on their spelling tests…bonus! Life is never dull around our house as any of us can just break into song or random accent, taking off on some tangent into craziness.

    Being open to spontaneous ideas is an advantage for a writer. It was on one such tangent, while walking in the park with my kids and my niece, that the inspiration for THE GATEKEEPER’S CHARGE started to take form. Suddenly bombarded with voices, faces, and places, I couldn’t wait to get inside the library (at the park) to write things down. It was exhilarating. Now I know that the rush of getting the first words of a story down on paper is only equaled (or perhaps beaten) by typing the words, The End. Check out my About… page to see my favorite quote on the first words of a story.

    THE GATEKEEPER’S CHARGE is my first project and my only completed novel… well, completed in the sense that any writer’s work is ever finished. A writer can always find things to tweak, edit, and add, in hopes of improving the story.

    nano-bannerlogo_bigger NaNoWriMo 2008 brought me my work in progress, TIME’S UP FOR FATHER TIME. This cozy culinary mystery has a little over 50k words written, and I am dying to get back to work on it.

    Recently my brain started swirling with story ideas for something I am calling, OCEAN. Of course, the ocean will play a major role in the story, but the puzzle pieces seem to be coming from fairy tales, modern day times, and more. My best guess is that it will end up in the Urban Fantasy genre. I don’t want to go into details at this stage. Right now I am only writing ideas… random thoughts, chaotic and messy. But I am excited about this project, and it’s thrilling to watch it grow and take shape.

    As far as goals or resolutions, I have set some for the New Year. Here they are in random order.

  • Look at the sidebar to the right. You can see I have employed Word Counters to provide a little accountability.
  • To take part in the Tuesday Night Writers Group that my local NaNo buddies and I have started.
  • Write / revise / edit for a minimum of two hours a day, five days a week. And this does not include blogging (or writers’ forums) time.
  • To blog on a regular basis. You can never get too much writing practice.
  • Do research and develop OCEAN.
  • Sign with a Literary Agent for THE GATEKEEPER’S CHARGE.
  • Get published!!!
  • Follow the Chain to Elana’s blog. Meet me back here in about two weeks for a wrap up, but there is always something going on around this blog, so make it a regular stop on your daily blog routine! Mary Lindsey was the first to post in the Jingle Bells Chain we just finished if you would like to read that from the beginning.

    The BLOG CHAIN GANG members are listed in the sidebar to the right.


    Happy New Year 2009! Let’s WRITE!


    I love hearing from you, so leave me a COMMENT. hmmm



    Stumble It!

    ~ by bloggingexperiments on January 2, 2009.

    25 Responses to “On The Chain Gang #9 – Writing In 2009”

    1. Ooh! A multi-part question, you sneaky thing!

      Very apropos for the new year. 😉 Great choice!

    2. I like the story about your mother. Great post, Abi!

    3. Sounds like your writing blog chain is off to a great start, lots of interesting questions. I just saw your trailer for the first time.
      Wow! is all I can say! It looks like the book is going to be great!

      • Betty: I’m glad you took a look at my Book Trailer, and I’m ecstatic that you liked it!
        I had a blast making it. 🙂

        Heather and Elana: I hope we can all have fun with this topic. After I stopped stressing about what I was going to choose and actually started writing, I had a blast!

    4. I found you through the SITS Comments. I love the story about your mom reading to you! My sister and I had big LP records with stories narrated on them and we’d turn out the lights and pull the curtains and the 3 girls, me, my sister, and mom would listen to a story every afternoon as we waited for daddy to come home from work. I think that’s why I love reading aloud to my students so much!

      • Elizabeth: Thanks for swinging by my blog! Oh, we had some fabulous records too. We had a 1973 Disney LP that my sister and I would listen to over and over again (play acting along), called THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS… so much fun.

        But our favorites were a series released by Telegeneral called, LET’S PRETEND. These were AMAZING!!! The fairy tales were told by a cast, like an old radio show.

        If you are ever looking for some great stories for listening, I highly recommend you check out this website…


        Matt Bynum has done quite a job of collecting old vinyl records and making sure they weren’t lost forever with his Arts Reformation project. He’s converted them to mp3. Go take a listen!

    5. I certainly have missed you.

    6. I love the story of you making up stories with spelling words! I guess I’ll be able to do that in a few years.

    7. Thank you so much for helping me vote for Joe. 😉

    8. What a great post! I love your story. I’m sure it will get published! Good luck!

    9. Sandra: Alex will be ready before you know it. You can have lots of fun with homework…who says it needs to be boring. I think they learn better when it’s fun anyway.

      Scriber: Thanks! I’m so glad you like my story.

    10. Ahhh, very nice post, and excellent for the new year 🙂 I’ve actually been thinking a lot lately about what I’ve accomplished (writing wise) and what I would like to get done this year, so this topic is perfect for me 🙂

    11. Hi again…left you a comment on your about page but wanted to also comment here to say thanks for stopping by my blog and you may absolutely link to me…would love it!! I have also followed you on Twitter (@cgccoach) and added you as a friend on Facebook! I am so excited about your upcoming project…love the trailer. Would love to stay in touch…fiction is a new world to me and I am so glad I have a new friend along the way!

    12. Hi there (I don’t even know your name blogging xpert) … yes, I popped back again… referring to the traffic issue, I guess I was overwhelmed by the initial AI experience but things have settled down again… I am not sure I understand how this comes about.. still I am pleased. I actually did not want to start a blog but my publishers Harper Collins thought it would be good idea for promoting me and the book. I am not so sure but I have certainly learned alot about the blogging world in the past couple of months…. hmmm might even be another book in it!


    13. My two week vacation has come to an end. I work a bit of a crazy schedule. Sorry if you don’t get as many comments from me as usual during the week, but I promise I will pull up your link every day to make sure you at least get a hit from me everyday. Now on the weekends I promise I will comment for sure. I don’t want to lose touch with you since I have enjoyed getting to know you and all other writers on our blogroll so I will do my best to keep in touch. And thank you so very much for being a follower of Joe’s blog. We appreciate you very much. 🙂

    14. IT’S SNOWING (yes, I’m easily distracted)! I may have to try your spelling words trick, very cool. I feel like such a slacker reading this (justifiably).
      🙂 Terri

    15. Ohhh, great post… and so much to it! Your writing sounds incredible and inspiring, I’m such a fan of great writers! Keep up the great work!!



    16. Playing make believe was always my favorite thing too as a child! Great post. Good luck on your resolutions!

    17. saw you on SITS. I am a writer too (and a fashionista)and am currently working on something bigger than the weekly newspaper column I write and my style blog. so reading this gave me some inspiration-thanks!!!! I will be back!

      • Terri: Slacker, schmalacker! You ARE published! 🙂

        Tabitha: Thanks.

        Kat: Wishing you good luck on your writing this year too.

        Christinalee: Glad you found my blog! I always enjoy meeting other writers. There is just so much to learn from one another, and the support is fantastic.
        Welcome and come back often. 🙂

    18. Wow big questions here… but also great ones. It sounds like you have some great goals for the New Year!

    19. I love your topic. I’m looking forward to my turn to post on it. I loved reading about your mom. It’s fun to get to know more about my fellow QTers better.

    20. OCEAN sounds amazing!! Just hearing that little snippet about it makes me want to read it now. More, more! 🙂

    21. Parents who read to their kids are the best! I’d be really interested to see what percentage of writers started out that way!

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