Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's About Time

It's about time to break forth with the rhythm and the rhyme...

Just kidding.  It is about time for a break though.  I have had a very busy year, and I have a feeling there will be more, not less, to come, so this summer, I need to make sure I take a break from the day job as much as possible.  The school year winds down this week (with a few extra days next week for professional development), and I am ready.  I have so much writing to do, and I have every intention of getting it done.  I have a novella that is plotted and well on its way, but I need to devote time and energy to it.  I also have another one that will write itself if I can ever get back to it.  It is an awesome story with great characters I'm so in love with.  Plus, I have a flash fiction story spinning around in my brain.

So, how can I do all of this in about eight weeks?  Writing time, every day.  I will be rising and shining each morning to get in a good three hours of writing time each day.  Coffee will get me through the tough times, and when I have accomplished all I want to this summer, I'll pat myself and know it was all worth it.  Just have to actually get to summer days.
Needless to say, I need room to move.  (I am so channeling the 80's/90's right now).  So, here's to the end of another school year and (cross fingers) the beginning of a fruitful summer.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Saturday was an interesting day.  It was one of the best feelings to be surrounded by writing people.  They so know where I'm coming from without question, and I love that.  Being able to talk story people and the romance genre makes my day.  Some wonderful new writers joined us--Tina Michelle, who is a fount of paranormal knowledge.  Check her out at http://www.tinamichelle.com.  And we also met Kallypso Masters, who has the friendliest smile.

The meeting went off without a hitch thanks to our fearless leader-- JM Madden, who you can find at http://www.jmmadden.com.

Then the good vibe continued when Donna McDonald shared her experience with something I've been highly interested in lately--self-publishing.  She has ventured forth into the world of self-publishing and is doing very well.  She has three self-published titles released right now-- http://www.amazon.com/Donna-McDonald/e/B001K8PW86/ref=sr_tc_img_2?qid=1306281387&sr=1-2-ent  Her website is http://www.donnamcdonaldauthor.com

I've downloaded the first of her "Never too late" series, titled Dating a Cougar, and although I've yet to begin reading it, I can tell you that many are enthusiastic about it.

She explained to us the success she's had, and without giving details--yes, it's worth looking into.  But I'm not rushing into anything just yet.  First of all, I don't have anything I would consider ready to publish currently.  Second of all, I'm into promoting my soon-to-be-released story from TWRP.  Third, there are some upfront costs (editing, cover, etc.) that I'm not quite ready for.  Four, as I've said before on this blog, I'm a muller, and I've got some mulling over to do.

Like I said, I've been researching this old publishing phenomenon made new.  You see, I know that self-pubbing has been stigmatized for years, but that was when you needed trad. pub houses for editing, artwork, and distribution, and when you sunk money into it that you never got back.  Now, neither trad. houses nor excessive upfront money is necessary.  And everyone knows that with the popularity of e-readers, publishing is changing--like Middle Ages to Renaissance, possibly (too big?  Naaah).

Of course, there are other names to research if you are interested in self-pubbing.  One of the biggest self-pubbers right now used to be totally against self-publishing before he realized how much money he was losing by not going there.  Of course, I'm talking about J. A. Konrath.  If you are interested in reading about his experience, he has been really candid about his process-- http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

What are your current thoughts about the changes in publishing?  Is self-publishing the way to go?

Happy Writing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I just finished Bossypants, by Tina Fey, and it is a real treat.  Huzzah!  Tina Fey, huzzah!

Seriously, this is a great, laugh-out-loud read that I hope to pass on to many of my friends and family. 

Around Easter, hubby and I were in the Target on the other side of town, and though we decided it wasn't as good a Target as the one on our side of town, we were still buying too much, as is the current duty of all Americans.  As we perused the DVD's which just so happened to be next to my favorite section--the books, I pointed out the hilarious cover of Tina Fey's book.  On the cover, she is looking demure and beautiful from the neck up, and from the neck down, she is a man.  Not just any man, she is a large, hairy-armed, watch-wearing, sausage-fingered man.  And it is hi-larious (emphasis on the Hi).  Next thing I know, it's Mother's Day, and I own the book.

She covers topics such as growing up with her Greek mother and German father, her start in Chicago with Second City, her move to Saturday Night Live and then to 30 Rock, and of course, her personal life journey through marriage and having a baby (possibly babies).  Needless to say, I loved every minute of it, and often laughed out loud (literally) around strangers until they felt compelled to ask, "Is that a good book?"  Duh!  Just kidding, strangers.  I didn't think it was a stupid question at all.  There are no such thing as stupid questions (my training as an educator forced me to say this last part).

Weird thing was though, I decided I was Tina Fey.  Not in a psycho, identity crisis kind of way.  More like an I can totally relate to her life kind of way.  She's so down-to-earth, and despite the being a celebrity and all, accessible in a regular way.  My point is:  You should read this book.  Borrow it, check it out of the library, download it at Barnes and Noble (I guess you can for free with the Nook, three chapters at a time), or break down and buy it.  It will totally be worth it.

Happy Writing (and Reading)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Feeling of Fear

I have a fear of success.  I wasn't aware of this fear until I had to send copyedits back to my editor.  Maybe it was when she mentioned that this was my last chance to make my story look like I want it to when published.

DANG!  That's pressure.  I mean, this is it.  I'm sending my baby out into the world, and I'm nervous about the reception.  Hubby said, "All you can do is your best, and you know some people still aren't going to like it."  How very...me, of him.  It's something I would say to him, and you know what?  It might be true, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  (Note to self:  revisit my motivational speeches.  I think some just serve to piss people off rather than pep them up).

Anyway, although I sent the copyedits back, my fear still lingers.  What if I really do suck, and they just needed a warm body and that's why they said yes?  What if it was a fluke, and I can never do it again?  What if I spend waaaay too much time worrying about things I have no control over?  Okay, that last one's true, and I know it.  What I don't know is if this fear will ever go away, no matter how many copyedits I get lucky enough to make it to.

At any rate, all I know is, even with that crazy fear twisting around inside me, I did still send those copyedits back.  I guess the one good thing to come out of this is even though I'm afraid, I can and do face my fears--good outcome or bad (fingers crossed it's good, only good ;0))

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


So many times I am reminded just how blessed I truly am.  Today was one of those days.

I had a great check-up with my oncologist today.  Everything looked great.  However, while waiting for my appointment (bloodwork an hour before, then wait), an older gentlemen struck up a conversation.  He was there for a follow-up from his first chemo treatment.

At first he was shocked that I had gone through cancer treatment.  Then he was excited to see me this far removed from my treatment and looking well.  He told the CPN later that it had given him hope.

The whole conversation was very uplifting.  He'd lost so much already--his voice had changed, his speech was slightly slurred, but we laughed and talked like friends rather than patients waiting for our turn.  As the conversation continued, he mentioned he didn't have any family.  Ironically, the event that started our interaction was a large family going back with a patient.  Nothing like a little perspective to remind you how blessed you really are.  I don't know how I would have coped without my very supportive family while I was going through everything last year and the year before.

We finished our talk on a positive note.  He asked how I'd kept busy during the time when I was sick.  I explained that I wrote a novel.  One that will never see the light of day, but it was something that kept me busy, focused, and made my time feel worthwhile.  I told him that even if what I was writing wasn't the best stuff, I kept on writing, and I'm proud of that time and what came out of it.

Unfortunately, I got called back to see the doctor, and when I came out, he was gone, and I don't even know his name.  But it got me thinking.  I now have a school counseling degree, but with 12 more credit hours, I will be able to take a licensure test to become a certified mental health counselor.  If I make it that far, it wouldn't be a bad thing to be there for those who don't have anyone else.  Most cancer centers have social workers now, but I don't know if they have any links to mental health counselors.  That would be something to work toward.  It would be a way for me to give back for all my many blessings.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

This crazy roller coaster I've been riding lately is crazy climbing again.  I finally completed my very long, very time-consuming school counseling internship, and I got my very first copy edits yesterday.  Good news all around.

Listening and making people feel better is one of my strengths, so a few (100) years ago, I began working toward a Master's degree in school counseling.  Today, I completed that very long process.  My stress isn't over yet though.  I have to pass a comprehensive exam and graduate officially, but it's going to happen, and I never thought I'd make it to this point, so I'm *happy dancing* all over the place.

Furthermore, I opened my e-mail yesterday, and my editor had sent copy edits my way.  Well, let me tell you, I had heard the copy edit version looks more like the published product, and it was so true.  For the first time ever, I saw the title page of my story--the copyright page of my story.  I was giddy with excitement, and I can't wait for the next and the next and the next step in this amazing process.

Now, time to write and write and write on my current WIP.  I should have more time to devote to it--in an ideal world, and all that.

What's your good news?

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Any Man of Mine--Rachel Gibson

I finished Rachel Gibson's latest--Any Man of Mine, and it's one of her best.  I love her hockey heroes, and she delivers again with Sam LeClaire.

Here's the blurb:

What happens in Vegas...doesn't always stay there.

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots--not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire.  The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her to run.  And she did--right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life.  But Monday morning jolted her back to reality, and before she could say "pass the coffee," Sam was gone.

Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn hasn't clapped eyes on the heartbreaking hockey superstar for over two years...until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a BIG play to pick up where he left off!  But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps.  Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

Aside from a few missed typos, I loooovvveed this book.  Ms. Gibson has an amazing pacing ability.  Her characters go about their creatively normal lives, but before I realize it, I'm halfway through the book and wanting to meet the characters.  If you want a good contemporary read with a hawt Alpha male, you can't go wrong with a Rachel Gibson book, especially this one.

Any good reads lately?

Happy Writing!