Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson


How Do You Keep Your Creativity Simmering?

For most of us, writing is a passion relegated to our spare time due to our need for money to keep a roof over our head. And let’s face it: between home and the day (or night) job, all that energy can often get sucked right out of you. If it happens often enough, we can despair from ever achieving our dream. I’m not a writer. I can’t come up […]

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Why Moment-by-Moment?

After many years of trying to bring structure and process to writing, of telling stories that were close, but never felt quite “right”, the ideas of a new writer, my husband, recently made everything finally click into place.  I don’t know why I didn’t see it. In my heart, I think I’ve always known it, but I’ve never given this idea the credit it deserves.  Until a conversation with The […]

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Originally posted on Whatever:
Here are three questions I was recently asked about writing. I’m going to condense the questions, because when they were asked, they meandered across several paragraphs; they boil down to three sentences, which are: When may you call yourself a writer? When may you call yourself a professional writer? When may you say you are a good writer? These are three separate but related questions. Let’s…

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Guess Who Hit Creative Pay Dirt Today?

Idea BulbOne of my most creative times during the day is in the morning, halfway between sleep and wakefulness and up through showering, when the challenges of the day haven’t had time to seep into your consciousness.  I love those times.  I take pains to nurture them, setting the alarm earlier than necessary just so I have the time to think and plan, as these precious minutes in the morning are the prime times for me to brainstorm creative solution to problems that have been bugging me.

Today was even better than that.

As I lie in bed this a.m., allowing my mind to wander, a story idea burst upon me in full bloom. Within an hour, I had ideas for potential characters, conflicts, setbacks, etc. And all day long I’ve been adding to it as new ideas pop into my head.  I haven’t felt this jazzed in a long time.

Will this be my next writing project, instead of the one I have been planning?

You know what? It just might.

Am I going to tell you what the idea is?

Nope.  Not until the thing is written.

For now, we’ll call it the Super Secret Project.  And while I won’t give you any of the details, I will keep you updated about my progress, and any learnings I have along the way.

So stay tuned, dear friends.

Until next time, happy writing!

And The Cow Mooed…

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

Happy holidays, everyone.

I know I’ve been silent for much longer than I expected. I had good intentions, as I always do, but Life was busy throwing roadblocks and dangerous curves my way, and I had to keep hyper focused to maneuver through to what I hope is the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I’m not really complaining about the struggles.  I have a lot to be thankful for:

  • I’m blessed to be married to be my best friend of 15 years; it’s truly amazing to me that I still experience joy, love and laughter every day (and that we still find we like each other’s company almost more than anyone else on the planet).
  • I’m healthy and have made great inroads to becoming Cynthia 2.0 — the newer, healthier, more self-assured and self-aware me.
  • I have friends and coworkers who are a constant inspiration, and have provided me unflagging support and encouragement.  I’m afraid I may not always be as good a friend to them. I do try.
  • I have a large family who cares about each other. Although I don’t always march to the same drumbeat that they do, I love them all without reservation.

As for the writing…while Life got in the way, draining me of energy until the words would no longer flow, the distance of a few months gave me a few ahas. I wasn’t happy with my main character, which made writing a chore vs. a labor of love and discovery. And most importantly, the story I ended up writing was missing all the elements I intended to write about, and still want to write about.

So here’s where the subject of my post comes into play. Back when I was struggling to finish a scene and getting more and more frustrated, the husband (who likes to surprise me and make me laugh), threw out a wild suggestion:

“So write ‘And the cow mooed’ and move on.”

I’m sure he meant it as a joke, but it stuck with me. So now it’s my code phrase. I even bought a little cow to be a reminder that sits by my laptop.

So really, what I’m saying to all of you is, “And the cow mooed.”English: cow

Enough already. I’m moving on. I’m leaving behind the darkness and taking charge.

And that includes taking charge of my book.  There’s a lot right there. I’ve already thought of a new element to my character’s makeup–a secret pain that drives her–that will help me better tell the kinds of stories I want to tell.  I need to nail down some other new worldbuilding elements to the overall mythology of the story, and then I’ll be mady writing to incorporate them and finally have the novel I want to share. Pretty exciting stuff, really.

So, for those of you faithful who continued to drop by my blog, I thank you. I’m back–and moving ever forward in the journey toward Cynthia 2.0 who, among other things, will be a published author.

Until next time, happy writing.