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#Boomers and Hobbies #MFRWAuthor #Health

Welcome to Week Six of the MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge! This week’s topic is My hobbies (when I’m not writing).

By now if you follow us at all, you know we’re baby boomers, so it should come as no surprise that staying healthy tops the list of anything we get involved in. (Photo – biking in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas).

With any luck, I might need this body another three decades, and I’d like to be able to enjoy it! Our health, our hobbies, and our writing form the proverbial three-legged stool upon which everything else depends.

That may sound way too serious, but don’t worry, our first criterion for selecting a hobby is pleasure! If we don’t enjoy it, we’re not likely to keep at it, no matter how much it might be good for us  🙂 . Beyond being pleasurable, we hope it contributes to our health in some fashion, but even if it doesn’t, a major criterion is that it not be harmful.

Most of our hobbies involve physical activity: hiking, bicycle riding, dancing (ballroom and country/western), walking, mini golf, and golf (Mr. Kraft is a regular, I’ve just started lessons). We thrive on being outdoors, traveling, taking in new events and new scenes, any time the opportunity arises. (on the right, Hecata Lighthouse, Oregon coast; on the left, hiking in Sedona, Arizona).

We both have a few sedentary hobbies – as long as our bodies stay healthy, we’d like to have a brain to go with them, and there’s Alzheimer’s in my family tree, so I’m probably overly sensitive on this issue.

In addition to reading (goes without saying – we’re writers!), both of us enjoy several word games – scrabble, crossword puzzles, the WordStreak App and the WordBrain App among them. I might be addicted to Sudoku. I take on the challenging ones and have to limit myself to one a day or I’ll get nothing else done!

And where does writing fit in? We started writing erotic romance together as a hobby to keep our own juices flowing and follow the use it or lose it dictum. I’ll spare you the details about how our writing feeds our personal life (TMI and all that…) – let’s just say we hope it does the same for our readers!

We blog about health issues from time to time and are always looking for authors and readers to interview about their health stories – leave us a comment if you’d like to be on our guest list!

Curious about what other authors do when they’re not writing? Check out the posts below!

 

Best Friends #MFRWAuthor

Sometimes in my blog posts I write for both of us. This week for the MFRW Blog Challenge I’m writing as the female half of Adriana. I’m actually married to my best friend, and he and I write romance together – but today I want to talk about the role of women’s friendships in my life and in our fiction.

Wherever we’ve lived, I’ve gathered or been gathered into groups of women. To be fully known, understood, received and supported by these women has been a lifeline for me. By now some of those friendships go back decades—and even though distance separates us, we gather periodically and are always able to pick up where we’ve left off. I cannot begin to describe how powerful I find this.

When we write a leading female character (we’ve never done a book without one!), we almost always give her a friend, a group, a support system. Their role in our character’s life is the same as it has been in mine. Sometimes they hold up a mirror, alerting the character to what she’s not seeing. Sometimes they challenge assumptions or push the character to take that next courageous step. Sometimes they just offer hugs and solace for a flood of tears and sobs. And when we write a character who’s missing such a friendship, its absence is palpable. Learning to trust and open up in relationship becomes central to that character’s growth through the novel.

Of all our fictional characters, Cassie Travers (Cassie’s Hope) and Traci Steele (Detour Ahead) from our Riders Up series most deeply reflect this level friendship. In this excerpt from Detour Ahead, Traci has fled from Scott because she’s convinced she can never meet his needs. Holed up in her Chicago apartment, she’s miserable and defeated.

EXCERPT

A week later, Traci’s apartment buzzer rang incessantly.

“Shit,” Traci muttered, dragging herself up out of bed. She punched the intercom button. “Who is it?” she demanded.

“It’s me. Is your answering machine off?”

“No, Cassie, it’s not off.” She pressed the button to let her friend in the downstairs lobby and then waited for the knock.

It was a bang, actually. Traci opened the door and Cassie Travers stormed in. Traci knew she’d made a tactical error by not returning the redhead’s calls.

“What are you doing holed up here like some recluse? You can’t move on by shutting out your friends.” Cassie pulled herself to her full height and pointed at Traci. “Look at you. You look worse than you did when you first got back from California. So what do you have to say for yourself?”

Traci pulled her robe tighter around her body. She didn’t want to argue with Cassie. She didn’t have the energy. “Do you want some tea?”

Cassie slapped her own head with her palm. “What do I have to do to get through to you?” She sighed and pulled off her jacket. “Okay, I’ll have some tea with you. Along with some toast and jam. And orange juice, if you have any. At least maybe I can make sure you eat something.”

 

Yes. Friendship that knows when to challenge, confront, insist that we reach inside ourselves and put one foot in front of the other. Here’s to the women in my life who have been there for me. They live in our books.

 

Cassie’s Hope

Riders Up, Book One

High stakes, a fiery Irish redhead, her stunning racehorse, and a fiercely loyal rancher

 

 

 

 

 

Detour Ahead

Riders Up, Book Four

Threatened race horses, city slicker attorney, sexy California wrangler—what can possibly go wrong?

 

 

 

Click on the links to find out about other authors’ best friends!

 

 

#%&*@ Typos! #MFRWAuthor

Welcome to the MFRW Weekly Blog Challenge! This week’s topic is “Sorry, Editor: My Common Writing Mistakes.”

I like to think hubs and I are pretty good at submitting clean manuscripts, so this is a hard one to fess up to, but here goes!

When we first decided to try our hand at fiction after having done some academic writing together, we were fortunate to find the Romance Writers of America and join our local chapter. It wasn’t long before the chapter offered a day-long romance writing workshop facilitated by Jennifer Crusie, which was an eye opener for us. We had a steep learning curve ahead!

One of the invaluable things she spoke about, however, was what she called the “Don’t Look Down” draft. You know the moment – when Wile E. Coyote runs off the cliff, he doesn’t start to fall until he looks down and realizes the earth is no longer under his ninety-mile-an-hour feet.

The point is that when the muse is flowing and the characters are talking is NOT the moment to get all bungled up in grammar, spelling, commas, and proper English. Get the ideas down, however rough. Go with the flow. Don’t look down. Go until it stops…

And Then: Take a deep breath, face what’s on the page, and edit it mercilessly.

Which we do. But I’m here to tell you that even with two of us (plus a couple beta readers) passing a manuscript back and forth what seems like countless times, there are typos that still pop up when it gets to our editor.

That’s because our brains are a marvelous invention – in their mad dash to bring us meaning out of what we read, our brains readily supply what ought to be there, instead of what’s actually on the page.

So our apologies to our editors, who have to weed the typos out and fix them. Sadly, it’s not even a learning experience. If I make a grammar mistake and someone teaches me the correct solution, I can learn that and apply it in the future. But typos? #%&*@ Typos? Random events, it feels like, twice over: randomly hitting the page, and randomly being missed by several pairs of eyes.

Tedious work, but worth it in the end. Thank you, editors!

Be sure to click to travel for more confessions…

 
© 2018 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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