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  • Patricia Hollett

    The Author

  • Currently Writing/Completed

    Currently working on:

    Fallon -70,094 words
    Forest Born -67408 words
    Ice Whisperings -2997 words
    Garrett -9623words
    Northern Blood -11658 words
    Winter's Reign -787 words


    Blood Harvest - 998 words
    Keeping Secrets - 1500 words
    Misunderstood -700 words
    Sarah's Amulet-A Necromancer Slave Story -6004 words
    The Cult -1998 words
    Unfortunate Blessings -454 words

    To Be Published

    Artistic Escape - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Happy Birthday Honey - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Making Choices - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Together Forever - flash (to be pub 2011)


    Allie's Clown - 1500 words (Published on Dark Valentine website March 2011)
    Valeria's Knight - 4807 words (Published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine)
    The Angel Wars/Post-Apocalyptic Emails at the end of time-A collaboration with author Tammy Crosby (Published by PillHill Press in August 2011)
    Valeria's Knight - 4807 words (Published in Night to Dawn Magazine-September 2011)

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Setting Goals

I’ve always been good with setting goals. Need to get things done…make a list and do it. No excuses. No ifs, ands or buts, just do it.

With NaNoWriMo coming up next month, it reminds me of last years goal… 50k in 30 days. Yes, it’s a goal, and yes I met it. Because I wrote it down somewhere so I could be reminded I had to meet that goal.

Now we come to the hard part…setting goals for writing all the time. 10k per week doesn’t seem unreasonable. But the problem is, I haven’t been writing it down. I just think about it, so I never achieve that weekly goal.

Our subconscious knows and picks up the slack when we write a goal down. It remembers what we’ve done and keeps reminding us to meet that goal. So on a 3×5 index card, I’m writing 10k per week and posting it on my cork board to remind me of my weekly goal. That way there are no excuses and no deviations from the plan.

Setting goals is a key step to getting your work done, whether it be writing, a job, family responsibilities, whatever it is. Goal setting forces you to achieve what you write down. Well, it does for me. So, today I’m turning over a new leaf. Weekly and monthly goal setting. And Writing It Down!

So, I’ve taken a step in the right direction. I’ve been reading a book aptly titled ‘Book in a Month’ or as they abbreviate it in the book: BIAM, and since we’re coming up to NaNoWriMo it seems appropriate that goal setting and ‘Book in a Month’ are topics worth discussing before NaNo.

Yes, anyone can do NaNo, but to achieve the goal of 50k in a month, you need to set that goal. And don’t lose focus! Keep your eye on the brass ring and you’ll get your book done in a month.

Yeah, yeah, I know…it sounds easier than it is. But, without goals, would we achieve everything we need or want to do?

Not me!

Good luck with NaNo…whoever is doing it…and remember to ‘Set Your Goals!’


Social Media vs. Productivity

TwitterYep, blog topic this week! Does social media affect your productivity?

I’d say yes, although others may disagree with me. Since this is my blog, I think it’s absolutely okay for me to express my opinions about it. We all use social media, Facebook, Blogging, Twitter, Linkedin, writing groups, etc., but how important is it to maintain an online presence? Is is necessary to further your career or does it just decrease your productivity because you’re spending so much time blogging, chatting, socializing and just generally interacting with other people?

I spend way too much time socializing. More than I care to say. But, at the prompting of some of my fellow writers I started a Twitter account. In about two weeks, I’ve probably made over 700 tweets. A twitterholic…definitely on my way! I’m hoping there’s help for me…Twitterholics anonymous? Maybe.. But, seriously, I need to govern my own actions better.

I’m not a published author. I have several short stories published, working on my manuscript, and seriously that should be taking priority for me right now. Not social networking! But, I love chatting with the people I know and interacting with them. Writing is a lonely business, and it’s easy to ‘wander’ off and before I know it a couple of hours have flown by just travelling from one site to another checking and chatting and generally just seeing what’s going on with everyone. I like knowing when things are going well for my friends, and yes, equally disappointed or sad when things don’t go so well for them. But….

I’m not getting as much of my work done as I could. And I know my productivity has dropped because of social media. Do I need this online presence? No! But, I like it. What I need to do is get my priorities straight. Set targets and not allow myself any social media interacting until I reach my targets. Like Pavlov’s dogs…a reward system of sorts.

At this point I don’t need to establish an online presence to promote myself or my stories. And if I spend too much time on social media I’ll never be able to achieve my goal of completing my manuscript. Solution: Set priorities, use social media when I need it, and limit myself to surfing and socializing so I can reach my goals with my writing and other life goals.

Social media is important. And keeping in touch with fellow writers is wonderful. But, I know I need to keep better track of my time so that one day I’ll need to make social media an important part of my on line presence. Until then, I’m going to try and be better at controlling my use of time.

Happy and productive writing this week fellow writers! 🙂

p.s. Thanks for the blog topic Tammy Crosby!

Realism in YA stories

Seriously, I have a thorn in my side about this topic. I’ve read quite a few YA novels and really?? Where is the realism? Teens in those books don’t swear, don’t drink, don’t have sex, don’t talk back to their parents and all their friends never say anything wrong to them. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about…the real world doesn’t work that way.

I have 2 teenage daughters and a son who just turned 21, and I’ve had plenty of their friends over and seen them in ‘action’. And I can honestly say that most YA books idealize teens and their habits and behaviours. It’s just not real. My kids aren’t bad, but they are normal and most of their friends are exactly the same. They all drink on occasion, they swear, they post nasty messages on Facebook when they’re pissed off, and they make no bones about saying what’s on their mind.

I want more realism in YA stories, and yes! I want to write it that way too, but there’s that imaginary line that stops us writers from crossing that line. Editors, publishers, agents, all don’t think it’s good to write this ‘stuff’ in to our stories and basically idealize young people so they look wholesome and good and never do anything wrong.

Oh, they make mistakes just like we all do. But, they learn from their mistakes. Their social lives are of the upmost importance to them, and they talk openly about sex and drugs and drinking. I’d have to say mine are pretty good about staying away from the drugs, but not ALL teens are like that.

Are we only appealing to an audience of teens who sit at home with no social interaction and read because they have ‘nothing better to do’? Shouldn’t we be writing with more down to earth and real life stuff so teens can identify with our characters? I’d say yes, but of course I don’t have the final say. I wish I did.

So, I’m working on my manuscript, and I’ve decided to break from the norm and make it more believable. No sparkling vamps, no perfect kids, just down to earth and real…lets see where it takes me. Yes, there’ll be some re-vamping of my work, but I’ll feel more true to my own writing by doing this.

This has been bugging me for some time. Of course I’m not going to take it over the top. There won’t be any crazy ass drug dealers or high school hookers in my story, but just the real stuff that happens to teens every day that we gloss over and don’t write in our stories because someone in their infinite wisdom thinks it won’t sell.

I’m writing for me, and writing what I love and what I love is realism. Maybe it’ll be an eye-opener and maybe it won’t, but lets see where it takes me.

Good luck with your stories fellow writers. Write for yourself. Its the only true way to self-satisfaction. 🙂

What You Write Matters!

This week I thought I’d talk about ways to get rid of writers block and creativity stumblers. Yeah most writers get that from time to time and if you don’t you’re one of the lucky ones!

    1. There is never a best time to write

True! But, when is the perfect time to write? We all have doubts, fears, problems, things to do…so when is the best time to write? Anytime and right in the middle of all that you have going on. Don’t wait for the perfect time to write…just do it. Right in the middle of whatever you’re doing. I have to keep reminding myself that one!

    2. Believe in yourself

Seriously! You have something to say otherwise you wouldn’t be writing, would you? Tell yourself it matters what you say, and eventually you’ll believe it. Push any doubts out of your mind!

    3. Take out the big ‘BUT’

Yep! You all know what I’m talking about here. But, the dishes need to be done, the shopping, the laundry, I’m too tired, I’ve had a long day at work, etc., etc. Whatever it is…eliminate that big BUT that’s stopping you. Stop with the excuses. Oh, its easy for me to preach this one because I’ve flagrantly disregarded it so often. I put everything else first then do my writing. That laundry won’t disappear, the dinner will still get made, etc., but I need to write and forget about doing everything else first. Try not to do everything else first, unless it’s a job, but instead of saying I’m too tired after work, write for a while. Just don’t let that BUT get in your way. I promise to practice what I preach as well. 🙂

    4. Cut out the junk!

Yeah you know those little things that are meaningless! Surfing the web, looking for other things to do besides writing, playing X-box or a game, all the little things that take up so much time and really don’t count for much in the end. You’ll find your day more rewarding when you can look at what you’ve accomplished and how much you’ve written in the time you would have spent doing something that yeilded no results. There goes my recipe hunting excursions, and my web surfing… LOL

    5. Calm yourself

That’s right! Forget about everything else going on around you and just concentrate on the task of writing. Thinking about all the things you have to do leaves you stressed and your mind is not calm enough to think about writing and creating. Clearing your mind of the clutter will allow you to open yourself up to the task of writing. Get rid of the inner turmoil and chaos and just enjoy the calm, peaceful, tranquility of writing.

    6. Take out the fear

Last but not least, take out the fear that’s stopping you from writing. You have a story to tell. Many writers hesitate to continue because they’re afraid of failure. Stop thinking about the outcome and concentrate on the process. If you don’t try, you’ve already failed.

So, that ends my little blog speech for this week. I hope someone got something out of it. None of it is new to us writers, but I thought just blogging about it might be a good way of reaffirming some of the things I personally need to work on to push my writing into the next gear.

What hinders you from writing? I’d love to hear it. 🙂

Note: Some information obtained from ‘What You Write Matters’, by Eric Maisel

Lovely Blogger Award…hehe!

One of my very favorite people and writing partner Tammy Crosby awarded this to me and I guess that means I have to share some facts about myself that no one has heard before…I’ll try to make it painless to read. 🙂

Lovely Blog Award


There are two very simple rules that accompany this award:

1. Share “7″ facts about yourself
2. Pass this award on to “15″ other deserving blog owners. (Ummm…15, yeah right! That’s not happening! Maybe 2 LOL.)

Okay, here we go…

Fact 1- I’m a movie fanatic. I’ll watch anything. I just love movies. I probably have over 5000 in my collection and add more all the time. My favorites are probably anything supernatural, old classics like Gone With The Wind, and Romantic Comedies, or just plain romance. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a good vamp movie or a good ole fashioned love story.

Fact 2- We have 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 kitten. I love animals and hate to see animals hurt or abused. I’ll probably become some crazy old cat or dog lady taking care of as many of them as I can when all the kids move out. I’m just a sucker for a helpless animal.

Fact 3- I can sew anything and probably have. I can make a pattern for anything and sew it together. I’ve been sewing since I was 9. My mom was too poor to afford ‘bell bottoms’ for me when they changed the dress code at school to allow pants worn by girls so she gave me an old skirt of hers to cut up and make some bell bottoms. I have a degree in Fashion Design from Ryerson and have made stage wear for some big country stars. My motto in Uni was ‘who needs patterns, I just make it fit’.

Fact 4- I have a huge love of architecture, art, designing and decorating. Its unfortunate my budget doesn’t allow me to do everything or buy everything I really want. I’ve designed my dream house…hectagon shaped, right on the beach, windows from floor to ceiling, fireplace in the centre… If I could afford a house like that, I could afford to have someone clean the windows for me. LOL

Fact 5- I’m a control freak. I have to control the money, the budget, what happens and when it happens, and I keep lists for everything. It’s almost anal… but no one in the house seems to mind because then they don’t have to worry about it. Of course, it’s only the things I CAN control that I make my responsibility. Everything else is fate.

Fact 6- My love of international quisine is frequently tested on my family… I really love making Indian, Italian, Chinese, and anything else I can try. And I really love wild game and fresh fish which we eat quite often. Nothing quite as tasty as venison or fish right from the lake.

Fact 7- I have a fascination for Native culture and traditions. My step-father was Ojibwe (he’s since passed), and my hubby is Ojibwe, and all Native cultures are interesting and hold a special fondness and place in my heart and story telling. Growing up with some of the histories my step-father passed on have stayed with me and I still love learning about them.

Well, hopefully that was painless for you because it was hard for me to think of seven facts. There are so many things I could have said, but I tried to find some things that were important to me.

Now to nominate 2 others who deserve the lovely blogger award. How about I nominate TJames and Chrissey both from since it looks like they haven’t been nominated yet.

And, like Tammy did (which I really liked), share a fact about yourself if you comment on the blog. Thanks 😉

Seriously Cute Blogger Award

An amazing writer and friend Tammy Crosby very sweetly awarded me this cute blogger award.

She is an inspiration to me and is my writing shoulder to lean on, vent to, and plot out ideas with, not to mention just chat with and have fun talking. So here we go….

Seriously Cute Blogger Award

Puppy Club rules are:

1st RULE: You do not talk about Puppy Club.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about Puppy Club.

3rd RULE: You talk about 5 books/films/TV shows you’ve read or watched in the last 12 months.

1.) Game of Thrones-a brilliant HBO series set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where “summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime,” GoT chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the kingdom’s noble families for control of the Iron Throne, based on the book by George R. R. Martin.

I loved this series and have watched it twice now. Really anticipating the next season.

2.) The book ‘Hooked’ by Les Edgerton-this was the first book that actually made me sit up and think about the beginning of my manuscript and how crucial it is to hooking the reader. Brilliant and entertaining.

3.) Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’- seriously down to earth and details his struggles with writing. Love the fact that he’s a pantster and threw ‘Carrie’ in the trash. Lucky for him, his wife dug it out. You know…behind every great man….. LOL

4.) So many great movies to choose from that its hard to pick just two but ‘Beastly’ I enjoyed because of the concept of a witch changing a guy with tatoos to show how ugly he is on the inside by tatooing him on the outside and he has a year to find someone who loves him.

5.) Limitless-Another good movie. That a pill would create a limitless existence. And a good twist at the end. Really enjoyed this from start to end.

I’m supposed to nominate 5 people who should get this award, but I figure with everyone doing this, I’ll end mine at me, and save doubling some ‘seriously cute blogger awards’.

Character Development

Last week I talked about planning your manuscript right from the beginning. During the Dark Fantasy Writing course taught by Kelley Armstrong, she handed out a form to develop our character profiles.

I took the one she gave us, and revised it. I added lines for information that I needed to know about my characters so its a combination form, partly her ideas and some of my own. So its a full profile for my main characters, and I can when I write about them, I know everything I need to know to develop their personalities in my story.

Then I did another form for secondary characters…you know the people that come and go in your story, but you don’t need to know everything about them. You may need to know a little, but not a full profile.

Doing these has helped me understand my characters so much better. I thought I knew them well enough to write them into my story, but readers need to identify with them, and the writer needs to know them as well as he/she can possibly know anyone.

I know my characters so well that they’re like familiar friends or family members. I don’t know all their intimate secrets yet, but I know enough that I can write about them. They need to be just like real people and that’s what the reader will sense while they read the story. Identifying with your main characters will draw your reader in. If you don’t know them that well, then your reader won’t either.

This is another stage of planning, which I can’t stress enough as being an important part of starting your story. Hope this helps!

Feel free to use mine or make your own if you find anything useful in the form. They’re underlined in blue below.

Keep writing, and enjoy your week! 🙂

Character Profile Page-Primary

Character Profile Page-Secondary characters