Wednesday, May 2, 2018

IWSG: May, 2018

I'm fully into the summer feels as May rolls into town. Today is the first Wednesday of the month and that means, IWSG posting time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, we all have this wonderful blogging group where we share our successes and insecurities. And the IWSG is more than that. Visit their website and check out all the resources, and while you're there, check out the entire list of blogging participants.

This month's optional question for the group:
It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

The nicer the weather, the less writing I get done. I exercise more, have hours of yard work to do each week, and love sitting on my porch or deck to read. My best writing season is winter and the cold rains of spring and fall, though I despise those times.

If I have an insecurity, it's that my marketing sucks, as in I hate doing it and have been ignoring it.  Other sorrowful news, I received two rejections from publishers as I search for a home for my previously published fantasy novel. The publisher closed and the 2nd and 3rd books weren't published before the closure.

We did have a cold wet spring so I completed the first draft of the first novel in my next space opera romance trilogy. I wrote about 78K in seventy days. And it's a little less rough than my usual first drafts. I also completed the last round of edits on the last book in the dystopian trilogy. I'll have a release date for Exile's Savage Lady soon.

I'm making some blogging plans for the summer. Every Wednesday except for the first one of the month, I'm going to host a writer friend for some fun and promotion. I'll let you know more about it later and offer some dates for my IWSG friends.

Some of the shows I've really been looking forward to are back for their short runs. The 100 is back, my favorite post-apocalypse show. Timeless is also back though not quite as fun as the first season was. Once Upon a Time has only a few episodes left in the series run. Will be sad to see it go, but I've loved it all. Supernatural has been enjoyable this season. New shows I've been checking out are Krypton (giving it an OK), Deception, and The Crossing. I like The Crossing a lot.

"Fill you life with experiences, not excuses." Wisdom from the Old Farmer's Almanac

I've been a bit absent in the blogging world, but I hope to catch up to everyone in the next week. Does the nice weather interfere with your writing? Any good shows entertaining you or some you're looking forward to their return?  




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IWSG: April 2018

It's already that time when the amazing group, Insecure Writer's Support Group, do our once per month blog hop where we share our victories, woes, and give hope and support to each other. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting the group and all the hard-working administrators who keep it running. If you'd like to join our posse, check out the entire list here.


I'm skipping the optional question this month and I don't have any really big insecurities hampering me at the moment. This is mostly a report today.

I did get the cover art for my upcoming release, Exile's Savage Lady, Book #3 in The Survivors of the Apocalypse series. My publisher didn't get me the exact release date yet. Hoping it will do as well as the second book, Horse Tamer's Fiery Lady.

In personal news, I'm scheduled to speak at a panel at my local library next Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not someone who has any problem speaking in front of people, probably thanks to over thirty years teaching high school students. Audiences don't get tougher than that age group. I also know two of the other authors who will be on the panel so looking forward to spending time with them. Here's an article on how to snag some public appearances to build your audience.

On Saturday, we're sitting down together and doing our taxes. Since my husband and I are both self-employed, we always have to pay in some. Sometimes a lot when my husband has a good year. I'll let you know on Monday if I need you all to buy at least one hundred of my books apiece to pay the tax-man. Wish me luck.

Easter was pretty great with all the children home and having fun together. My granddaughter was the center of attention, of course, and loved every minute of it. Not to brag about the little genius who is only a month past one year old, but I have to spell words around her now. Mostly words like OUT because she wants to go there and the weather has been miserable. Also have to spell LIBRARY because she goes to the door as soon as she hears it and then is upset if we don't get in the car.

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
—Philip Roth


I'm still on target writing 1,000 words per day on my WIP for more than six straight weeks now. Still don't have a name for it though. Been getting about 40 minutes of exercise in 4 or 5 times per week since the new year. I'd rather be outside but ... weather. (Trying really hard not to complain about the snow that won't fricking stop!)

“I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”
—Tom Clancy, WD

Has spring arrived in your area? Did you file your taxes yet? Are you feeling insecure today?





Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring, Please Arrive

Winter has seemed so long this year. Though we didn't get a lot of snow, there were a few long stretches of frigid weather and recently, the most relentless wind imaginable. Tomorrow is D-day for spring's arrival on the Vernal Equinox. I believe we're expecting spring to magically start at 12:15 PM EDT. I'm ready. If you want to know more about the Equinox, my go-to source of information is The Old Farmer's Almanac. Check out this quick easy read.

Then came the lovely spring with a rush of blossoms and music.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In other important news, my new printer was easy to connect and set up. I'm pleased with it for now. And still average 1000 words per day on my next WIP.

Combing spring and writing news, spring is a favored time for writing conferences. IWSG had this great post about organizing so you get the most of any conference you attend. Pennwriters, a state-wide and beyond the borders of PA writing group, has one large annual conference and also puts together two smaller mini-conferences.

The first mini-conference called Writers Project Runway is happening in Leesburg, VA on April 7th. They still have room if you're near there and interested.

The large annual conference is being held in Lancaster, PA this year and filled with great workshops, speakers, as well as agent and editor pitch appointments. Gayle Lynds, a very successful thriller author, is this year's keynote speaker among many other opportunities to advance your career and network.

Anne R. Allen posted about word count by genre. It's always good to keep those in mind. I've read a few thrillers lately that were good books, but I wanted them to be longer. Even with writing a thousand words per day and watching my granddaughter for eight hours, I can read a 70K book in 2 or 3 days.

I also read this interesting post by Eli Landes that says there are only two types of stories. We've all heard before that there are a limited number of plots in stories. Her theory is that there are only two types of protagonists in stories. Very interesting and I couldn't argue with her ideas.

Are there any conference plans in your future? Do you like reading long books? Are you excited about spring arriving?






Wednesday, March 7, 2018

IWSG: March 2018

I missed a few weeks blogging in February, but no way was I going to miss the IWSG blog hop held on the first Wednesday of every month. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting the group and all the administrators who do so much work to keep it running and growing. Join us and share your woes, successes, and ask questions. There's lot of talent here to help. Check out all the participants on this complete list.

The optional question this month: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal or finish a piece of work?

I BUY BOOKS, OF COURSE! Not just buy them, but go meander around a bookstore for hours. And books plural, not just one.

Speaking of bookstores, here's an interesting article where comparing the buyer experience at an Amazon physical store and a Barnes and Noble bookstore. I know lots of us are bracing ourselves for the coming doom of Barnes and Noble. At my most recent writers' meeting, more than one author referred to Amazon as the evil empire.

I ordered a new printer. I had my last one for probably six years. I don't know if that's a good lifespan for a printer or not. It's arriving today so next Monday's post could be full of curse words in reference to how difficult it was to get it all figured out and WiFi active.

I'm almost 20K into my next WIP. Starting a new series that I don't have a title for yet, but I'm back in space for a little space opera romance. I'm writing a bit more than one thousand words per day but I'd like to up that to two thousand. I do use some of the techniques described in this article on how to write fast.

A member of my local writing group, Hope Stephan, gave a presentation on procrastination at our writers meeting. It was extremely interesting. There's an entire industry of books, podcast, and every other form of self-help stuff aimed at procrastinators. Hope shared this quote:

"Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly." Alain de Botton

Also,last Saturday, my granddaughter turned one year old. That year went so fast. She's walking though only when she wants to. She loves being outside though the weather isn't always cooperative. She's my little joy. We all need some joy.

My youngest son has a birthday tomorrow, so we're all in on a week of celebration. Not good when it's snowing again and I can't get outside to walk.

I'm looking forward to the return of Timeless this coming Sunday. I re-watched the first season last week. And my favorite summer show, Salvation, did get a second season. March Madness is almost upon us. I played basketball in high school and all my children played the game at some point in their athletic careers. But I'll be so sick of it in a few weeks, I won't be able to enjoy it. Way too many hours of it on TV.

Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead this weekend for Daylight Savings Time. And remember this:
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana." Groucho Marx

How do you celebrate reaching a goal? Are you a procrastinator? How long should a printer last? Are you dreading springing ahead?



Monday, February 12, 2018

By The Numbers

I haven't started writing a new book yet, but I've been working on a lot of different things. Some of my work last week and this week is preparation for a board meeting of one of my writing groups. We only meet three time per year so there's a lot to cover. But there are other writing things I'm getting done before diving into a new WIP and looking back and forward to things happening and that have happened in my career.

By the numbers:

2 books I have a rough outlines and some plot completed.

3 online classes I've signed up to take over the next five months. Two have to do with marketing.

1 new contract for my most recent completed novel.

1 of my older titles available on KU for the first and limited time. The Marine's Queen was my first bestseller romance.

2,000 books on my TBR list. That's an estimate.

3 publishers who have closed their doors when they held my books under contract. Sigh.....

10.5 years since my very first book, The Greater Good was published. And it still earns some royalties every quarter.

23 books that I've written that have been published by various small presses. Still not rich or famous.

10 weeks until one of my favorite shows, The 100, returns to TV.

4 times I've re-watched season 7 of Game of Thrones. I embarrass myself.

This week I'm going to so some more plotting and next Sunday I'm going to start writing my next book.

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I remember when we used to have this day off of school and government offices would close. Then they made up that President's Day thing and robbed us of a day off.

Wednesday is Valentine's Day. Hope you have someone to share it with or at least, some great memories to warm the day.
"A good heart's worth gold." William Shakespeare

Do you have a good number to share this week? Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Have you ever used KU? Good results for selling or reading?






Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG: February 2018

Here we are again, joining together as writers to help each other through shared tears, woes, and victory cheers with our monthly IWSG posting. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this group and all the administrators who help make it such an amazing group. Find the entire list of participants here.

The optional question of the day is:
What do you love most about the genre you write the most often in?

I write romance and fantasy. Though I've published more books as a romance writer, my true love is writing fantasy. The thing I love most about writing and reading fantasy is the wide-open scope of where the story can go. World-building is fun as a writer and fascinating as a reader. There are endless ideas on creating a magic system. Villains can be anything. The possibilities are endless.

This past weekend we had an awesome writers' meeting. Lots of good things happened. A few promotional opportunities were presented. A presentation from a local group that presents workshops gave us a mini-lesson on story premise. The group of instructors have put together a series of lessons that will take a novice writer from story idea to a completed novel. They call their workshop A Novel Idea. It's pretty great with all highly successful authors doing the teaching.

I also signed up for a three online classes my group is sponsoring over the next six months. I'm really excited to take advantage of what I might learn.

My publisher is trying a few twists to get some of my older titles more attention. I'll tell you more about that later, especially if it works.

I also created a profile on Library Thing. Not sure if I have any idea what I'm doing there. I can't keep Goodreads up-to-date so of course, I added something else to keep track of. Anyway, be my friend on Library Thing if you're there.






Monday, January 29, 2018

Third Drafts and The Business

I took last week off from blogging and finally got through the third draft of my WIP. Which is no longer a WIP but is now complete and with my publisher. In the third draft, I found a good-sized plot hole. I don't know how I missed it when I was doing the second draft. Glad I found it and fixed it.

I put my tax stuff together a week ago also. It's ready to go for whenever we decide to torture ourselves and do it. If you're a numbers person and want to see if any writers were making money last year, here is an earnings report. It's complicated, but it does point out something that is often overlooked. If you look at print sales in general, the earnings are skewed by the sale of academic books. Textbooks costs are outrageous as any college student knows. If you look at fiction book sales, you notice that eBooks command a great percentage of earnings.

In good book news, I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday, and it was as packed as ever. I wish my are had independent stores that sell new books. All our independents sell mostly used books and only have new books when they have an author signing.

The outlining and world-building for my next fantasy series has started. Already have about twenty pages in a spiral notebook. It's going well.

I'm reading a lot and spent some time updating my Goodreads. I've really let it fall behind and that is not a good thing. Did some work for one of my writing groups. I also scheduled two appearances at local libraries. One in February and one in April.

"The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library." Albert Einstein

Speaking of the library, my granddaughter broke her first heart last week. A very cute and sweet little boy named Liam invaded her personal space. She pushed him away. Actually, she knocked him down and made him cry. Her dad, her grandfather, and four uncles were all very proud of her for standing up for herself.

I heard the rumor that Game of Thrones will return in April of 2019. Torture. But here are some funny Twitter moments from last season to make you smile while we agonize. Haven't heard any speculation on when Stranger Things might return in 2019.

Wednesday is a Blue Moon. A Blue moon is when a month has two full moons occur. There are actually two this year. This month and in March. Also, this Friday is Groundhog Day. If you don't know what that is, you're not missing a thing. It's really silly.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

I won't be posting next Monday but will be back next Wednesday for IWSG day. Do you keep your Goodreads account updated? Do you know what Groundhog day is? Do you think my granddaughter is being a bully at 10 months old?