ONE of my TBR piles... Yes I am a book hoarder.

Welcome to day 2 of A Writer’s Life: 31 Days of Chaos!

To read Day 1, click here.

I’m happy to say that this morning I was awakened by my alarm clock and not a phone call! Yay! 6am and I was up. Since the Princesses were asleep, I indulged in a luxury not often seen by me in this house… A peaceful shower! There is nothing worse than trying to break up a morning Princess brawl with shampoo in your eyes. And glory of glories? Finally the scale is moving again! I’ve lost now 33lbs 🙂 So excited. Feeling spry again. Each baby put about 20lbs on this gal… so I’m on my way back to pre-pre-pre-baby weight.

Woke the Princesses, and luckily #2 did not recall the dog poo incident and was excited to go to school (also I bribed her with $0.75 to buy an ice cream treat at lunch.)

Miracle of miracles? I didn’t have to drive anyone to school this week! They made the bus every day, which I don’t think has happened since the first week of school. AND I got to drink my coffee hot!

If you read any of my comment replies from yesterday, then you’ll know my modem died on my around 9:30am… I thought my world was over! I have an android phone, so I was able to do emails, and things like that, but the workshop I was teaching is on a forum, and I couldn’t seem to get in with my phone 😦 Luckily, the participants were understanding, and I’ve already checked their assignments this morning.

Update on yesterday… Worst Mommy and Me gymnastics class ever… lol. Princess #3 is in the middle of her I’m-2-and-I’ll-do-what-I-want-forget-you phase. Which, normally only rears its head when she’s tired–and she most certainly was yesterday. Right from the start she took off running, hiding, throwing herself down and crying. Then she’d get herself together and do the balance beam, bars, rolls, etc… Then when the teacher asked her to do the trampoline all hell broke loose. Luckily, all of the kids are going through that phase and two other mothers actually left halfway through the class! We made it through, but it was nap-time when she got home, and the poor thing slept for 2.5 hours! (Which she hasn’t done in forever, so I was able to clean up our family room and toy area–and dust!)

I revised three chapters in my novel and wrote a new scene. Wrote two out of the three blogs (in addition to this one) I needed to get done. Everything else went as planned–with a bonus! Hubs got home early, so I was able to go to Princess #2’s gymnastics without the other two and actually watch her this time.

So, what’s on the list for today? Workshop, write a historical blog, daily writing, daily revising… Have to drive 30 minutes north to drop off the cable equipment–soooo loving Hulu and Netflix!!! Oh, AND, I’m returning some clothes to Old Navy. We went on a cruise at Christmas, and in November I bought a ton of dresses to wear–then lost 10lbs, and nothing fit 😦 Been putting off returning them because its hard to find time to drive an hour out of my way for 2-3 minute transaction. BUT it is near the cable company, so two birds with one stone.

Gotta get the sitter’s arranged for when I go to RT. Hubs usually takes off Friday when I’m at conferences and watches the kiddies over the weekend, and I arrange for sitters the other days so he doesn’t go insane! lol. I go to conferences around 2-3 times a year.

Have to buy some birthday presents, #2 and #3 have friend parties tomorrow–back to back! Ugh! And I plan on going to Zumba tonight. Gotta shake the booty 🙂 What’s on the menu tonight? Broiled swai fish springled with lemon juice, brown rice w/Yoshida’s sauce and steamed green beans–and for me, a GIANT glass of red wine!

So, I asked you all to send me writing questions and I’d answer one every day! (you can send me other questions too if you want). Here it is… From Andrea:

Eliza I have a question for you. :O)

I always struggle with action. When you write a scene and the characters are DOING something, I have a hard time making that seem real. It always comes out stiff. Do you have any tips or hints on how to make the action work?

Is it best to have most of the action happening around the dialogue?

I also have a problem with physical movement. – like moving arms, legs, head.. that sort of thing. How do I make it real. Saying, he shook his head is just so blah!

And I especially have a time with emotional action. Trying to show character emotion using movement.

Shaking of the head. Taking a deep breath. Shuddering. Showing anger through action. Not making eye contact. How do I SHOW these?

Does this question or four – lol, sorry!! Make any sense at all?

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!!!

Great questions, Andrea! They make total sense! Lets tackle this one at a time…

1. The best way to make your action seem less stiff is to show rather than tell. Adding in some emotion, thoughts, dialogue makes it flow better. Add in some description too. Also, don’t give us a play by play, as in, he stood up and walked over to the door, then he opened the door and walked outside. This could be better written as, He stood abruptly, determined to get some fresh air. Once outside he took in a deep cleansing breath.

2. Dialogue is one of the best ways to move a story along. It reveals so much! Both characters’ thoughts, reactions, actions, goals, motivations, conflicts, feelings, etc… Action is best interspersed with dialogue, absolutely.

3. Physical actions… Sometimes you need some of the, he nodded, she shook her head, he shuddered, but it is blah–unless you back it up with emotions, thoughts, dialogue. She shuddered, why was it so dark in there? He shook his head, disappointed that she wanted him to eat a salad.  When you’re writing physical actions also beware of body parts. His fingers touched the table–just show us–He touched the table. He nodded his head–He nodded. Her body shuddered–she shuddered. Avoiding eye contact: She glanced away, not wanting to see the disappointment in his eyes. OR He looked toward the ground, away from her questioning gaze. To show anger through action, have your characters do things that angry people do: stomp, glare, slam there hands on a table, throw something, growl.

By showing us their motivation behind their actions, you are making your scene more lively and real 🙂 Hope this answered your questions!

Well, off to get started on today’s list of To Do’s. Feel free to leave a question for me to answer on tomorrow’s post!