Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Me

One year ago tomorrow, Dying Embers went live for everyone in the world to buy.  To celebrate my book's birthday and my anniversary of taking the leap into self-publishing, I'm doing a few fun things.

1) Starting tomorrow, Dying Embers will be free on Amazon through Sunday night.  If you haven't snagged a copy yet, now's your chance to do it!

2) Starting tomorrow, you can enter for a chance at a copy of Dying Embers in paperback over at Goodreads.

Yeah, you say, but that's tomorrow.  What about today?

Well, today, I'm going to have a little contest for our Killer Friends.  One commenter here will receive a paperback copy of one of any of my books.  (U.S. only.  Sorry.)  All you have to do is leave a comment.  Tell your friends to stop by and leave a comment.  Invite family and acquaintances.  Encourage perfect strangers.  The more the merrier.  Hell, maybe if I get enough comments, I'll pick two names.  I'm crazy that way sometimes. 

Whoever wins will also get some swag to show off.  

One comment entry per person.  Winner to be announced next Friday.

Happy Anniversary to me!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sometimes being "polite" is overrated -- contains a "NOTE TO THE IDIOTS OF THE WORLD"

This past weekend I went to a writer's group meeting.

The presenter was horrible. HORRIBLE.

He was unprepared, obnoxious and a misogynist. AND he didn't even freaking speak about what he was supposed to because he was too busy stroking his own damn ego.

I'm not exaggerating. His blamed his unpreparedness on being a "good person".

**NOTE TO THE IDIOTS OF THE WORLD** -- If you have to tell people how good, or smart, or kind you are, chances are you're not all that good/smart/kind.

I knew within three minutes that the session was going to be a disaster and yet I stayed through the whole thing.

It's Wednesday, and I'm still frustrated at myself for not walking out.

Normally I have no problem walking out. As a general practice, I sit in the back of workshops so that I can walk out without disturbing others.

Some people think this is rude.

I happen to think that if something is not worth your time, you shouldn't feel stuck.

Side note: It can be challenging to set up speakers at meetings, so this rant is in no way a reflection of the group, just of the obnoxious speaker who wasted 2.5 hours of my life. The last two speakers I saw that the group had, a novelist and a hospice nurse, were AWESOME.

So why didn't I just get up and walk out of this meeting?

1) Because the room is laid out in a way that doesn't allow for easy escape.

2) Because I was attending with a friend, and I didn't want to make her uncomfortable


This is the second time this has happened in the past couple of weeks.

I went to see a play with a friend and hated it too. I wanted to leave during the intermission. (See, I'm not so rude that I'd get up and disturb everyone during the show.) My friend wanted to stick it out.

If possible, the second act was worst than the first.

So I'm invoking a new rule for myself: I give myself permission to get up and get out of any situation that I want.

If people are offended, too bad.

Life is too short to spend being miserable.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you stay in situations where you're miserable? Do you walk out of workshops? Plays? Concerts? Talks?

(I have to say that I've walked out of workshops at conferences and ducked into others and more often than not found my second "choice" to be worthwhile.)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Reading, Watching and Music

My apologies. I'm late. Again. 

I'm in the writing zone. Or the revision zone to be specific, and working my way through my work-in-progress. So, quick post today.

What I'm Reading:

I'm dipping my toes in Audible. Confession: I've never listened to an audio book. But I have set a walking goal and I need something to listen to on the treadmill. I asked the advice of a friend and she gave me some great recommendations for narrators. The first thing I learned? Audio books are expensive. Because I'm still testing the waters of whether I should listen to a fiction or non-fiction book, I downloaded a free fiction read (or listen?). Yeah. No. I knew it was not the book for me in the first 5 seconds. Should have listened to the sample. Looking into downloading one from the library. Will try again. 

Actively reading and LOVING the The Ivy Years series by Sarina Bowen

Lady in Waiting - The Lake House by Kate Morton. Started it but was seduced into reading the above because it's February and I needed a sweet, sexy romance and the first book led to the next. Also, for those of you who are curious, it has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. 

Next up is The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt for next book club. Looking forward to this one too. Looking up the link I realized I could listen to it in Audible. Huh.

What I'm Watching:

Watched The Martian. Loved it. 
Watched Dirty Dancing again. Loved it again. 
Watched Brick Mansions. Watching movies with Paul Walker makes me sad. It was good(ish). 

What I'm Listening To:

I listen to music when I write and these days I'm listening to a lot of Dean Brody, Paul Brandt, and Blake Shelton.  And Easton Corbin's  I'm A Little More Country Than That is playing on repeat.

Back to revising! What are you reading, watching, or listening to? Any Audible advice or recommendations?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Scar Tissue

A friend and I were chatting yesterday, talking about a post she did about fear and feeling broken and how she's not sure if she's fully healed yet.  I happened to mention that it's all scar tissue.  We know it's there, and it doesn't really hurt anymore, but it's never the same.  That's when she mentioned Kintsukori.

Kintsukori is a Japanese process where broken pottery is repaired using gold dust and resin.  Something about imperfection being beautiful.  I don't know about beauty, but I do know that the repairs have to be stronger than the original material.  Which is basically what she was talking about. I think.

Or as I like to think about it: Scar tissue makes you stronger.

After it heals, a broken bone will be stronger along the break than it was before the break.  (At least that's what my doc said all those years ago when I was terrified of my leg breaking again.)

Experience - no matter how terrible it seems at the time - will make you stronger.

So, if you're in a place where the world is beating you up and you're feeling like you're made of eggshells, hold on until you find your strength.  It's there waiting for you.

And I'll leave you with this musical interlude thought...

I admit to not knowing all the words, but their concept of Scar Tissue always struck a chord with me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Doing what I love this month

Happy February!!

Big thanks to everyone who helped make the launch of THE HITWOMAN AND THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB a success last month!

Here's what I'm tackling this month.

My writing goals:

I'm having a blast writing the romantic suspense novel HARM'S WAY.  It's all about Kimberly's bad boy cousin, Harmon, who returned to town toward the end of UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.

He's misunderstood and unappreciated, but I love him.

I'll also be editing THE HITWOMAN AND THE CHUBBY CHERUB and, if things go according to plan, that will be published by the end of the month.

My health goals: To install the habit of drinking 40 ounces of water BEFORE lunch every day. (Last month it was 20 oz before coffee)  AND to continue my habit of walking around the lake every morning, PLUS doing an exercise dvd most mornings.

My creativity goals:  To enjoy the PROCESS of what I'm doing, rather than worrying about whether the PRODUCT will fail. 

My happiness goals: To maintain my happiness/gratitude practice (you can find it here) and to work from a To Do list every day (because checking stuff off makes me happy).

Tell me Killer Friends: What are YOU working on this month? Do you love To Do lists? What are YOU loving this month?

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Benefits of Being a Romance Writer

This morning's sock joice was an omen, I just didn't realize it when I put them on this morning.

Also, I have a thing for socks.

It's February! Yay!

Plus I'm this close to typing The End on the first draft of my current work-in-progress. I'm fleshing out an idea for a new series. New writing challenge starts today. Love writing along side my fellow writing group members. The writing groove has been hit.

The Benefits of Being a Romance Writer

  • Being quirky is a given. No explanation needed. Me: I'm a romance writer. Other People: Ohhhhh. There are three types of Ohhhhs. The people, and by other people I mean some not all men, who have no concept of the romance genre and therefore don't understand what it is I do but assumes it's something substandard. The other kind implies you're one of those kinds of writers and I don't read those books #sorrynotsorry. And the third and most beautiful kind is the reader who appreciates the genre and you go on to have an intelligent conversation.
  • Your characters get a happily-ever-after. After you've tortured them sufficiently. Well, except the ones who end up dead or in jail. Generally characters based on the person who pissed you off in the grocery store three weeks ago don't come off so well. I'm not gonna lie, it cathartic.
  • Real life is a constant source of inspiration. My real life. Not yours, don't worry. Like when the much younger than me water heater renter plumber guy comes to do his scheduled yearly inspection and you've spent the weekend catching up on the laundry you hadn't gotten done because you've been writing and EVERY SINGLE BRA and unmentionable you and your daughter own that has to hang dry is hanging up. Right beside the water heater. You shove the clothes horse into a corner therefore ensuring he notices. Then you gather up the other unmentionables that are in a heap on the floor and blocking his path to the water heater and shove them in the corner under what is essentially a bra tree. Yeah, that is definitely going in a book. 
  • You can do a search for gorgeous and sexy men and claim it's research because it really is research. Even if you already know what every single character, female or male, you ever invented looks like down to their shoe size. 
  • But the best part is writing stories about people who are caught in the middle of falling in love. 
Have a fantabulous Monday! Feel free to add to the list. Or explain your love of socks!

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Editing Process

Since I've been in the editing cave, to the exclusion of pretty much everything else, I thought I'd share a little bit of the writing process for this upcoming release.  (In Deep Wish - due out mid-March.)

1 - 5) Do all the things to write a book and make it coherent enough to not send my editor into grammarly convulsions.
6) Send it off to my editor. 
7) Wait a month.  Preferably working on something else while she has it.
8) Get the manuscript back, copiously marked up in pretty pink.  (Because that's how my editor rolls.)
9) Gnash teeth.  Tear hair.  Write a long letter to my editor arguing over some point. 
7) Delete letter without sending.
8) Quit whining and get to work on addressing her notes.
9) Once her notes are finished, read through entire manuscript making my own notes.
10) Fix that crap.
11) Find every instance of my crutch words... just, like, though, even, thought, knew, said, only, well... and pare those down considerably.
12) Make sure all my ellipses and em-dashes are in the right places and necessary to the book.
13) Send it back to the editor for further pinking.
13) Wait three weeks. Preferably working on something else.
14) Get the manuscript back and fix those notes.
15) Read through it all again on the Kindle, checking for typos I may have made during my last 'fixing' and anything either of us may have missed.
16) Fix that crap.

At that point, one hopes the book is as ready as it'll ever be for public consumption.  Which means formatting and other junk.  Every writer's process varies, so what's true for me, might not be true for the other Killer Chicks or even any other random writer. 

As of yesterday, I'm in stage 13.  I'm waiting. 

If you're waiting right along with me for my next release, like I said, this book will be out mid-March.  I hope you're as excited as I am.  Meanwhile, all my books are currently 99 cents at Amazon - but only until tomorrow night for certain titles.  So, if you haven't jumped on the B.E. Sanderson bandwagon, now's the time to hop aboard.  =o)