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How My Life Changes Affect My Storytelling

September 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

I have made the realization this year that as my life changes through the years, the way I view my original story has changed. Change being the central word here. And my word for 2023. So what type of changes in my life am I talking about?

Blog header titled How My Life Changes affect my storytelling by denise M. Colby

Life is full of changes

I knew there would be several big life changes this year on a personal level. Two children graduating and one getting engaged being among the largest change. I also have been making strides in some health choices, adding in yoga daily and working with a doctor to heal specific areas of my body. And then the bonus life change was the addition of our puppy, Ace, in June.

But the other reason I chose the word change this year was for my writing. I wanted to change the way I edited my story. Change my phrasing. And not be afraid to change my characters. All for the better, of course. I felt focusing on the word change could help me mentally make significant changes in my story to make it stronger.

Age changes us

What I didn’t plan for was really thinking about my story from a different perspective. An age perspective. See, when I started writing my story over ten years, I was in a different time in my life. My kids were younger, I was younger and my relationships were younger.

Young love looked different to me. And I’m not as naive as I once was. Life changes over the years have exposed me to new perspectives.

But I’m not upset about all of this. I’m just more aware. And have to make decisions now based on this new awareness. Taking some time to figure out what I believe in, how I view the world, and what’s important to me will help me write better stories. My own life changes can help me develop stronger characters who go through their own life changes.

Change is important

I have enjoyed learning about the word change this year. Change allows us to move forward in life and experience new and exciting things. We all change and evolve daily, weekly, yearly.

I think our writing changes and evolves with us as well.

Do you think your writing changes as you grow older? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Denise Colby loves to write about her word of the year and share quotes that include that specific word in them. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

Change Quote by Eckhart Tolle for blog post about life changes
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Writing Time Literally Going to the Dog

August 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as ,

We have a new puppy, so my free writing time is literally going to the dog right now.

So instead of writing some great blog post, I thought I’d share some cute pics of our puppy.

But first, being the historical writer that I am, I looked up the phrase, go to the dogs, just to make sure I had its meaning correct. And sure enough, the summary meaning is becoming ruined.

Although it was originally tied to bad food that wasn’t good for human consumption. For this post, I thought I would write a fun, cute article that basically says my writing time has been ruined. That I’m distracted by the dog. Hence, all my writing time is going to the dog.

Meet the new dog

So, without any further ado, let’s meet our new puppy, Ace.

Denise Colby new puppy named Ace which is where all her writing time is going

This is the first day we brought him home from a lab rescue group. About five months old, he’s super sweet and pretty easy going.

Writer Denise M. Colby with her new puppy Ace
Writer Denise M. Colby with the family’s new puppy

Of course the call came in the week of my son’s high school graduation, so things were pretty chaotic. But we had to go with the flow if we wanted to adopt him. My word this year is change, and although I knew there would be a lot of change this year, getting a puppy wasn’t on my radar! But he’s stolen our hearts and we love him.

Naming the Dog

Now, it took us about a week to name him. This is mostly our son’s dog, so he had some cool names he was coming up with. A huge 80’s music fan, Huey was at the top of the list, as well as Elo, and a few others. But what tipped the scales was when my other son threw out the name Ace. As in Batman’s dog Ace (from the Justice League cartoons). Being a batman fan, that one became the winner and thus our dog is named Ace.

photo of Ace the Bat-hound from the DC universe website justice league to illustrate why we chose the name Ace for our dog
This is Ace, the Bat-Hound from Justice League. Photo taken from the DC website

So of course, we had to have a photo shoot with my son wearing his Batman costume so we could introduce Ace to everyone on social media. We even found a dog toy with the logo on it. Such cute photos.

Why My Writing Time is Going to the Dog

We have had middle of the night wake-ups, and other puppy antics too. Like chewing. We can’t really leave him alone too much right now. Which makes it difficult to dive into my manuscript.

We are now in puppy training class, which also teaches us humans on how to behave with the dog. As you can see, we have our hands full. It won’t last forever, but this is what we’ve been doing this summer. I hope to show him periodically in my Author social media. So follow along on my instagram at denisem.colby I’ll leave you with this last pic so you can say awww.

Ace, Denise M. Colby's new dog, loves playing with balls. Denise M. Colby loves throwing the balls for him which takes away from her writing time
Ace loves playing with balls. And I love throwing balls for him, which takes away from writing, but gets me outside.

Denise Colby loves to write about her word of the year. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

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How To ReStart Writing After A Prolonged Break

July 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

How do you restart writing after taking a prolonged break? Do you jump in to a daily quota right away or start slowly one time a week working on your manuscript? Do you spend time reading what you wrote, first? Or, do you start writing a new scene to work with something fresh? Do you start a completely new project, or go back to the one you were working on before?

Blog banner titled how to restart writing, after taking a break by Denise M. Colby

I don’t think there is a wrong way to restart writing, but there may be ideas we can use to help us get back into strong habits right away. I’d love to hear what you’ve done. Share them in the comments below.

As I am writing this blog post, I’m facing this very thing, restarting writing. I took a few months off to enjoy my sons’ graduations (college in May, hs in June) which I wrote about in last month’s blog post, and now I’m ready to write and edit again. As I started working on a few scenes over the weekend, the time flies. And I need to it to be quiet around me, which is hard to do with everyone home. All of these thoughts made me realize I need a game plan. And I couldn’t remember what I did before.

One thing I’m truly thankful for is my critique group. With a possibility of a weekly submission, I have a built-in deadline to help me complete a task. This is a huge motivator to restart writing.

Next I need to figure out when everyone will not be home, or I need to go somewhere to write. I love my large monitor, but maybe getting out the house will be exactly the best approach.

Denise is writing a western historical series set in 1869 California. She’s in the middle of editing the first book in the series, a full-length novel as well as a fun rom-com novella, with a few side characters.

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The Brand Challenge; Adding Book Pages To Your Website

May 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,

I talked about a brand challenge a few months back to encourage you to try something new on your website to help you build content and SEO to support your brand. In this post I’m going to dive deeper with my suggestion to add book pages to your website.

Blog Header titled the Brand Challenge; Adding Book Pages to Your Website by Denise M. Colby

First, were you able to do anything on the list from the first brand challenge? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.

Whether you did or did not, let’s try again!

It doesn’t have to be a lot of something, just one thing. Sort of like taking a small bite of the elephant. You don’t need to eat the entire elephant at one time. Many successful websites were not built in one month. They started somewhere first. Then changed or added pages or content later.

Last post, I gave generalized ideas, including adding book pages on your website. For this post, I’m going to expand on this idea. 

What type of book pages do you have on your website?

Similar to a blog post, having a page that is focused on one main idea, allows you to use it as a link in other content. This isn’t usually something we think about when building our website pages. Deep linking is adding links that direct the reader to a specific page, not just the front page of your website. The faster they click to the content they want, the happier they will be.

Ideas for pages on your website include a series book page and individual book pages on each book you publish. You can add where to buy for that specific book on the page, but there’s so much other content that can be connected to these pages.

Where to deep-link your book and series pages for brand building

Create a social media post or a blog post on any of the content below and include a direct link to the book or series page it represents.

You can also add some of this content onto the book page itself to give additional context for your readers who choose to want to know more. It’s a way to connect with your readers or potential readers besides just the book.

Another option is to share research gathered for your stories. This could include research you weren’t able to add to your book but you’d like to share. Such when I learned about the first school-teacher who was trained from the school my heroine came from. So I wrote a blog post titled Harriet Bishop, First Public School Teacher in 1847

Frequent small steps add up over time

I know branding and dealing with your website can be challenging, I hope some of these ideas spark something for you to work with. Remember, your content doesn’t have to be perfect. It can even be something you decide to change later on. 

I encourage you to do one thing on this list above to help build your brand. It may not seem much. It may seem overwhelming, or underwhelming. But if you do one thing this month, and then another thing next month. Pretty soon, you’ll have many months of blog posts and content that you didn’t have before.

Sometimes we feel this urgency to hurry up that adds extra stress we don’t need as we are busy writing our next book. I’m hoping these ideas help propel you forward in your Author career. 

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Love & Romance Disney Couples Style

February 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

I’m a Disney nerd. I love everything Disney, from the movies, the characters, to the parks. A few years ago I wrote a February post titled Dating Lessons from Wall-E. It was one of my funnest posts to write. I decided this February to try and find some other Disney couples to write about.

Blog Post Header reads Love & Romance Disney Couples Style by Denise M. Colby with black Mickey heads and white hearts on a red background

But first, I googled Disney Couples

Did you know there are a lot of Disney couples? I found two lists with vastly different names on them. Some had duplicates, but some did not. So I decided to create my own list. How many of these couples are you familiar with? Do you know their love story?

  • Aurora & Phillip
  • Snow White & the Prince
  • Belle & Beast
  • Wall-E and Eve
  • Rapunzel & Eugene
  • Anna and Kristoff
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Jack Skellington and Sally
  • Ella and Kit (from Cinderalla 2015)
  • Meg and Hercules
  • Mulan and Shang
  • Ariel and Eric

Of course there are these main Disney couples

  • Mickey & Minnie
  • Donald & Daisy

Do you have favorites? Can you can identify which movies these couples are from? Do you know other Disney couples I need to add to my list?

Thanks for playing along with me today. If you are interested in some other Disney-related blog posts on my website, check out my Disney mugs are fun post, or my Christmas & Disney post.

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