Haven't yet read A Whisper of Smoke? Get your copy now, exclusively at Amazon. Click the picture below to order!
|Angela Hoke (Angie), Author||
Since I published A Whisper of Smoke in 2013, I have been hard at work on my next novel, currently called "The Cuba Book" (my working title :) ). You can check out a description about it as well as some of my favorite quotes from the book so far on the 'Exclusive Content' page of this web-site. It is keeping me busy, for sure. But even though I'm enjoying writing my new book, Susanna and Calvin are still in my thoughts and in my heart. For those of you that have read A Whisper of Smoke, I hope that they are in yours as well. So, for those of you that loved the relationship between Susanna and Calvin and miss it as much as I do, I have written a short scene that is 'beyond the book' -- a brief look into Calvin's feelings in Vietnam in the fall of 1968, just as he and Susanna are beginning to write each other. If you want to check it out, go to the 'Exclusive Content' page of this web-site. You'll see that I labeled this 'Part 1', which means there may be more brief glimpses to come, as Susanna and Calvin continue to talk to me. But in the meantime, I'll continue working on the next book and looking forward to sharing it with you!
Haven't yet read A Whisper of Smoke? Get your copy now, exclusively at Amazon. Click the picture below to order!
Check out my new book cover created by Peter at Bespoke Book Covers (at bespokebookcovers.com). I found Peter on-line, and I'm so glad I did! The cover turned out beautiful, and it perfectly captures the essence of the book.
Three Tactics to Stop Letting Inspiration Rule You by Emily Wenstrom (reposted from the Write Practice)
At the opening of Odyssey, Homer appealed to his muse for the inspiration to tell his story. Shakespeare did the same thing in a number of his plays. Let’s face it, when it comes to art, inspiration is the queen on high.
And sure, those moments when inspiration strikes are exhilarating. But let’s face it, the muses are tempestuous and unreliable. Inspiration is demanding, pushy, and withholding in turns to keep us under their thumb.
The muses keep us up late when we know we should be sleeping, strike in the shower where we can’t reach a pen, and then abandon us for weeks without a word.
But you don’t have to be inspiration’s beck and call any longer. In fact, breaking free is a lot easier than you might think. Try out these three tactics and see for yourself.
Work at the same time, consistently.
Our brains are made for habit. If you put in the time to establish a consistent behavior pattern (science says it takes about three weeks), the force of habit begins to take over, and your brain will respond by getting into writer mode in your designated writing time.
You don’t have to write every single day for this to work, just set a regular routine for yourself—I recommend at least one block of time a week. Then, guard that time with your life.
Show up no matter what, even if it’s just you and the blank screen and utter silence. Don’t worry, the words will come.
Keep an idea log.
One of the frustrating things about writing is the time required to take an idea from conception to completion. But you can also use this to your advantage.
Ideas take just seconds to think up. They accumulate much faster than finished works, so when it’s time to start a new project, the only question you should ever have is, “which one do I pick up next?”
So when inspiration does hit, encourage it by taking swift action—write it down and store it somewhere safe. Then all those pieces of inspiration in one place, ready to spring into a story whenever you’re ready for it.
There’s a lot of different ways to do this, from the classic pocket journal to apps like Evernote. Personally, I use my smartphone to email them to myself.
Brilliant creative through the ages have been known for their quirky rituals. Nikola Tesla had dinner at the Waldorf every night at 8 p.m. James Joyce woke at 10 a.m. each day, then laid in bed an hour after waking up each morning.
You can do this, too.
Maybe not the sleeping ‘til 10 necessarily, but you should find your own ways to trigger in your mind that it’s now writing time. Do this consistently every time you write, and you’ll find that over time it gets easier to settle into writing mode and get the words on the page, regardless of when or where you are.
Inspiration Rules, But So Do You
It’s as easy as that—a little consistency in your schedule, a notebook in your pocket, a trigger to get your mind in gear. Put these tricks to work, and you’ll be on your way to taking charge of your creativity for the long haul.
And finally, you can stop sitting around waiting for inspiration to drop by. The better and more consistently you stick them, the more you’ll find that inspiration shows up exactly when you want it to, freeing you to reclaim your creative time and get some real writing done.
Consider the moments when you’ve had your big aha moments in the past—what was consistent around them? A time of day? A state of mind? A place? A mood?
“Antonio,” a voice says. It is raspy yet authoritative, and is at once distantly familiar to me, the way hearing an old song can resurrect a forgotten feeling and a glimpse of who you once were.
The shadows of his face, the way his cheeks sank like pools and his eyes floated above dark wells, which usually seemed indicative of his ill health and hard living, now seemed fitting – a tribute to death.
I am such a sucker for his coffee eyes with their dark lashes, like a ring of black flames. I think I’m trying to read my future in those eyes – like they are black tea, and the leaves in their depths hold some secret for me.
The Customs officer is wearing a brown uniform and has sideburns. The skin on his hands is thin and his veins stand out like a topographic mapping of a mountain chain.
The driver takes us down potholed streets, in and out of other taxis and cars and government vehicles. Buildings in every color line up to greet us like little girls dressed up for an Easter parade.
23 Essential Quotes from Ernest Hemingway About Writing by Joe Bunting (Repost from the Write Practice)
23 Essential Quotes from Ernest Hemingway About Writing by Joe Bunting
All quotes taken from A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s memoir about his life as a writer in Paris:
1. “Do not worry. You have always written before…”
I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”
2. All You Need to Write Is…
The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful), the marble topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. For luck, you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit’s foot in your right pocket.
3. Write One True Sentence
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.
4. Cut Out the Ornamentation
If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.
5. Don’t Think About Your Writing When you’re Not Writing
It was in that room too that I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything.
6. Write as Straight as You Can Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
“Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.”
7. Write What You Know
Up in that room I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.
8. Allow Painters to Influence You
I was learning something from the painting of Cézanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone. Besides it was a secret.
9. Don’t Repeat Yourself
This book began magnificently, went on very well for a long way with great stretches of great brilliance and then went on endlessly in repetitions that a more conscientious and less lazy writer would have put in the waste basket.
It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again.
11. Never Empty the Well of Your Writing
I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
12. After You Write, Read When
I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day.
13. Let the Pressure Build When
I had to write it, then it would be the only thing to do and there would be no choice. Let the pressure build. In the meantime I would write a long story about whatever I knew best.
14. What Do You know Best?
What did I know best that I had not written about and lost? What did I know about truly and care for the most? There was no choice at all.
15. Omit Anything You Want (As Long As You Know You’re Doing It)
It was a very simple story called “Out of Season” and I had omitted the real end of it which was that the old man hanged himself. This was omitted on my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood.
16. Stay Sound in Your Head All
I must do now was stay sound and good in my head until morning when I would start to work again.
17. If You Can’t Write, Don’t Write
To an aspiring writer: “You shouldn’t write if you can’t write.”
18. It’s Okay to Be Shy …
[F. Scott Fitzgerald] had the shyness about it that all non-conceited writers have when they have done something very fine.
19. But Don’t Pimp Your Writing
[F. Scott Fitzgerald] had told me at the Closerie des Lilas how he wrote what he thought were good stories, and which really were good stories for the Post, and then changed them for submission, knowing exactly how he must make the twists that made them into salable magazine stories. I had been shocked at this and I said I thought it was whoring…. I said that I did not believe anyone could write any way except the very best he could write without destroying his talent.
20. Break Down Your Writing
Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph.
21. Forget Living the “Literary Life”
I was getting tired of the literary life, if this was the literary life that I was leading, and already I missed not working and I felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.
22. Don’t Drink While You Write
My training was never to drink after dinner nor before I wrote nor while I was writing.
23. Don’t Judge Your Writing
Until the Next Day After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.
Bonus Quotes from Hemingway’s Mentors These quotes are not from Ernest Hemingway, but they are tips to Ernest Hemingway from his friends and mentors which he captured in A Moveable Feast:
24. Be Careful About Writing About Sex
“It’s good,” [Gertrude Stein] said. “That’s not the question at all. But it is inaccrochable. That means it is like a picture that a painter paints and then he cannot hang it when he has a show and nobody will buy it because they cannot hang it either.”
25. What We Lack Most
“We need more true mystery in our lives, Hem,” [Evan Shipman] once said to me. “The completely unambitious writer and the really good unpublished poem are the things we lack most at this time. There is, of course, the problem of sustenance.”
26. Only Read What Is Good Gertrude Stein told Ernest Hemingway:
You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad.
See link below for a great post about researching and writing.
For a limited time, you can get A Whisper of Smoke for Kindle for just $0.99 on Amazon! It's a great time to check out one of Amazon's Hot New Releases. :)
I’m a little confused about how to use my social networking platform to market my book. Lots of sources say it’s important to build a social networking platform, meaning make friends, get followers, all that good stuff. Usually they don’t tell you exactly how… I tend to think you rely first on your friends and then you just try to grow your list organically by telling people about your book, and by following/friending others. But that’s not really the part I’m confused about. I have a page on Facebook which I try to keep updated about all my book’s activities/developments. And when I post to it, I think it also shows up on the timelines of most of the people who have chosen to be friends of my page. And then I usually repost my book postings on my own timeline, which means a lot of my friends get it twice. Now that is a lot of book posting clogging up their timelines. And it’s not intentional! On the topic of excessive postings, some books/blogs/people suggest that you need to do lots of updating about your book, and others say it comes across as self-serving if you do too much. So I’m a little bit at a loss as to how to balance it! But I want my friends to know that I’m genuinely sorry if I’ve overposted and worn them out. That’s the last thing I would want to do. But to those that have continued to “like” my posts and been really supportive, I sure appreciate that. It means a lot.
Anyway, what’s my opinion on the subject? I do think too many posts can wear thin, but I also want to continue to capture what all is happening (I’m doing a marketing blitz in the month of February and it is generating a lot of extra activity). So I guess I’ll continue to post everything on my book page, and maybe I just won’t repost quite as much on my own timeline. And I’ll beg my friends’ tolerance during the times when my book happens to be having a lot of activity.
What are your thoughts on the subject? And where in the world Twitter fits in, I have no idea! Still trying to figure that one out.