Amy on writing

Happy Holidays

When the world around us seems so upside down and doesn’t make sense, remember to stop and breathe. Relieve yourself of the troubles and focus in. For just a moment. Whatever it is. Your family, loved ones anything that reminds you to have hope and feel peace.

I wish this for you.

All the best, cheers Amy

This is my majestic dog Yoda. Enjoy.

Amy on writing

Amy’s Bad Advice #9

It’s worth what you Paid for it.

This long overdue piece of advice comes with a song and an important question. Heed friends! Heed!

There once was a troll,

Guarding a bridge,

He wouldn’t let you pass,

Until you did what he says.

And his special request,

goes something like this………..

Fuck the rest. You don’t need to cater to the asinine requests of a troll. Period.

But what should you do if you get trolled online?

This situation can’t be fun no matter where it happens, but when your professional website or blog gets bogged down by an online troll, it’s critical you deal with it in a way that doesn’t detriment the hard work you’ve invested in building your platform. My reaction is be the bigger person and react and engage with the person as kindly as possible, win them over as it were, despite how painful that might feel.

But when that doesn’t work, what do you do? Block them, erase everything and pretend it didn’t happen. Or just call them out and tell them to get a life and jog on?

Enquiring minds (mine) need to know!

What would you do?

Tell me all about it in the comments.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Here we are

Happy Holidays everyone!

I love this time of year, the traditions, decor, extended family. Awesome movies and baking shows, but it’s also a stressful time for many. For me it’s the self-imposed burning of both candle ends as I prepare to host my 4 Christmas’.

When I get stressed I always try to sit back a few minutes, maybe with an eggnog, watch my tree cast it’s glow around the room and the mist covering the California sun out my window and remember why I do it. Every year, without question.

It’s for the memories. Memories I hold and share and build with my little family.

What are your favorite holiday memories? Share with me in the comments. I am in deep need of all your warm and fuzzies…And anything hilarious is critically valued.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

That’s My Jam!

Finding inspiration through music.

“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

I’ve hit a number of writer blocks in the years since I began writing Capture the Tide. And an interesting thing I noticed, about myself, is it wasn’t so much that I didn’t have an idea. But I couldn’t find the mood. I remember driving in my car and listening to the radio. And this song came on, I liked it so much I bought it for a buck 29 on iTunes! Anyway, why did I like it….. as I listened, an entire scene unfolded in my head, it was everything I needed. I simply needed to feel the feeling, hear it, away from the sterile blue light of a computer screen. The intense rawness of new love, of being young and totally impetuous. It’s so easy to forget those feelings when your day’s full of toddlers or you’re feverishly typing notes into your phone between ballet classes and lunch time.

I should note that if you find yourself having those wondrous feelings, enjoy them, please don’t stop to write them down for fucks sake!

Cheers!

Amy

Amy on writing

Pantser or Planner?

This question seems to pop up a lot, here’s my take:

What kind of writer are you? Do you stream consciousness, shoot first and ask questions later? Or are you an airtight, color coded, outliner with a calendar of to dos?

I’d like to say I’m something in between… but I’d be fuckin lie’n if I did. 😉

My first novel came to me as a vague dream and one sentence. I taught myself to write by editing and rewriting the first 10 chapters. What did I learn?

I learned that the voice that is passive sucks, and adverbs suckingly suck.

(I filtered paragraphs through free websites like Hemingway.com and pro writing aid to learn this.)

I came a long way writing those 10 chapters over and over. By the end of 7 years I finished the remaining 21 chapters with a pretty defined picture of where the arcs and ending would take me, a journal of hard to read notes and a hope for what the hell I’d do with this infernal book when I was done.

With all my hard work I decided to invest in a pro editor from skribendi. (Its worth it! And no one told me to say that.)

And now? Working on a query package that will slay em dead. Because if your query’s bla, agents and publishers won’t even turn the proverbial page. (I know this because the internet told me.)

Feel free to share what kind of writer you are through comments.

Cheers to your bestowal of wisdom!

Amy

Amy on writing

Authenticity

via Authenticity

Stay gold Ponyboy.” — Johnny, The Outsiders

When building an online presence, or platform, how do You maintain your authentic self while riding the bloggernaut through the blogosphere?

In art school (15 years ago) I took a class on branding. (Was blogging even a thing then). Anyway, what did I learn: You are your brand. Being your own brand before the internet made it famous was about presenting yourself in a manner that highlights your art. Easy, I thought, I have a great portfolio, education, unique personal style and excellent rapport with people in the know. I was unapologetically me. And like me or not, it worked.

But…… In today’s world. With the internet ready to hold your words and actions in infamy, how do you hold onto your authentic self without risking the empire you wish to build? I don’t know.

Until then, I suppose I’ll keep doing what I know best… Me.

…Because at the end of the day, if it doesn’t blow your skirt up, why fuckin write about it?

Cheers! Amy

Amy on writing

Who are you?

“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.”

–The Brain, The Breakfast Club

Who am I? I’ve been asking my self this question a lot lately. Who am I. Why am I interesting…

My name is Amy Westphal and I’m an author…. amongst many others things. I am a wife, a mother, a painter, a cake designer, a Harry Potter enthusiast and now, after seven years of toil. I am ready to call myself a author.

Being a author sounds so simple but it’s not. It’s more than just editing a story you wrote a million times and telling yourself you suck until one day you decide hey, This doesn’t suck anymore.

As I come to completion of my first novel, I find my attention turning to the business of being a novelist. Like my time as a gallery artist and cake designer, as a novelist, you are your business. So I’m my own business and I need to promote my business.

And to be honest. It’s been a while since I’ve had to promote my art and I’m daunted. I’m 37 and I’m not tech savvy. Its embarrassing. I can paint you anything, design you a cake that doesn’t look like a cake. I can talk your ear off and make you laugh and I’d like to think I can write a compelling story. But I can hardly use my iPhone. I type with 3 fingers and I’m not on social media. Gasp why. I don’t get it, I don’t like it, I don’t have time for it. I do however love some well timed tweets that make their way into the news sites I read everyday, all day, as the time allows (bathroom). My world for the last few years as been my daughters. And the crazy world of family daycare. 6 cousins, 1 grandma, 2 aunties, and me. And a houseful of other wonderful butter beans and peanut butter cups fill my day.

Which brings me back to this quote. Who do you think you are. Who am I.

I’m a writer who needs a platform. An artist out of the game ready to make a valiant effort to join the digital world.

I’m Amy Westphal and welcome to my blog. I hope I don’t bore the shit out of you.