The Best Kind Of Fortune

This weekend I ordered Chinese food. With it came the obligatory fortune cookie. I always read the fortune even if I don’t finish the cookie. Most of the time, I forget the words that appear on the small rectangle of paper before I have even walked out of the restaurant.

Every so often, a special fortune comes along and I hold on to the slip of paper as a reminder. This one was a doozy.

“Romance stirs your heart – share it with others.”

Pretty appropriate for me, the romance author. Perfect you might say and timely – including the closeness to Valentine’s Day. It’s as if I get these little cosmic pushes telling me to keep writing and telling my stories. And that’s important. Sometimes you wonder if the writing is paying off, then you get a reminder of why you need to keep going.

If someone enjoys my romantic mysteries (or mysterious romances) and possibly escapes whatever is bothering them for a short time, then why wouldn’t I keep writing them?

Since we are two days shy of Valentine’s Day, I will say that romance is something that should be shared, and I hope to continue sharing it through my stories.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I can feel romance in the air…and in the pages of a book.

 

 

Impatience is my Middle Name

I am getting sooo close to finishing the draft of the current manuscript I’m working on that my impatience gene has kicked in BIG TIME. When I am close to the finish line, I want to sprint to the end.

Yep, I’m too busy gasping for air and dreaming of running through the finish tape, throwing my hands in the air and screaming YEAH!

But if I start sprinting and not watching my step, then I don’t take into account that there are plot lines and character developments that need to be wrapped up in order to offer the reader a satisfying ending.

And while that may already exist in my head. I need to make sure it ends up on the page as well.

So I regulate my breathing and my stride and head toward that finish line at the pace I need to set to finish the RIGHT WAY.

And I remind myself, that the book is far from over. Maybe I need to think about it as a triathlon. The next leg are the edits and then publishing takes up the third part of race.

Breathing regulated…

 

Calendar Me This

It’s almost February and I was quickly losing sight of a goal I had set for myself this year. My plan was to map out 2018 as best I could concerning my writing. How exactly to do it?

A giant, erasable calendar, of course!

In that way, I can scope out my plans for the year and look at them hanging from my wall in all it’s technicolor glory. And while my hope is I can stick to the plan, the calendar is erasable, so it allows me some flexibility.

Flexibility is a very important thing to a writer. Nothing ever goes exactly to plan. Whether it’s the writing of the story – the plot goes a new way, the character evolves into something unexpected- or the process to get that book out there to readers – edits, proofs, formatting – something will not follow the normal path. So you learn to roll with the punches, but at the same time, if you don’t plan at least a little bit, you won’t ever get to point B.

I’ve decided that I want to plan for writing in 2018! Better planning – leads to bigger successes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Thawing Out

Over the past few weeks I (and many of you as well) have been living in what I like to call Frozen-ville. And while there are no quirky singing sisters or a comedic snowman in my current land, there has been a lot of snow, and ice, and single-digit temperatures.

So I thought it appropriate that last week, as I was writing my newest novel, that I got stuck. I basically decided I was not going in the right direction with my story and that caused me to freeze in my tracks (pun intended). I spent a couple days trying to rework my plot to see where I needed to go and with the rework, the story came to a standstill.

This weekend, the weather changed and with the rising temperatures the snow and ice melted away. And luckily, the thawing of the snow corresponded with the thawing in my brain and I started to write again.

Writing is never easy. It can be fun, and exciting, and sad, and painful, but it ebbs and flows, or freezes at the worst of times.

Now I am enjoying the thaw while I can. A glimpse of what spring will look like in a couple months, but a welcome respite before the cold sneaks back again. Hopefully, I can keep my brain thawed, and the story flowing, even when the snow starts to fly again outside my window.

How this Writer Reboots

Today while I was working on my laptop, I received a message that my computer needed an update. And as I watched the green bar move slowly across the screen signaling the percentage of completion for the update, I wondered how we (humans) can do an update to our own operating system?

Is it when we exercise and we work our heart, lungs, and other muscles? Or maybe it’s when we sleep and we reboot our brains.

For me, coming up with story ideas is often my system reboot. It’s something to look forward to and create new characters and plots that I haven’t dealt with before. I just have to make sure that these ideas don’t derail the current work I am attempting to finish.

Let’s be honest. Ideas are the exciting part of writing. They can come to you in a flash and provide a burst of adrenaline. But then the hard part is taking those ideas and fleshing them out. Attaching words upon words to bring that idea to life for readers to delve into.

So no matter how we update our own human operating systems, the point is that we keep doing it. Keep those ideas flowing and hearts pumping so that we don’t grow obsolete in a world that is constantly evolving.

 

Fast Talker Benefits

It’s actually working, my friends! Last summer I shared in a blog that I had purchased dictation software to hopefully increase my productivity. When I purchased it, I was in the middle of finishing my third wedding planner novel. Since I was on a deadline, I couldn’t take the time to truly delve into using the software.

Now I am working on the Misha book and I pulled out the headset to give it another try. Guess what? I like it! And I seem to be “writing” more words, which for a writer is a WONDERFUL thing. So, I’m going to keep speaking away, and see where the story takes me! If it does increase my word count, maybe I can actually get books done a bit faster.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. As much as you want to read the next story in my two series, I want to write it. I have so many ideas in my head and not enough hours in the day to get them down. Now? Who knows…I am a VERY FAST TALKER!

 

My Non-Resolution List

Last week, I listed out my accomplishments for 2017. We are now officially in 2018 – Happy New Year to everyone!

With the start of the year, it’s time for me to make another list of my plans for 2018. We will NOT be using the word resolution, since those have a tendency to be broken weeks after they’re made January 1st.

So on to my “non-resolution” list for 2018…

Year of Health. With a two-pronged action plan.

  1. Go back to yoga class! I used to attend yoga classes years ago and they were so good for me. I need them, especially since I sit WAY TOO MUCH.
  2. Eat better. Funny, but I had decided to eat better and had not told anyone about that plan. As if the planets aligned, I received a gift card to buy a new cookware set. I also received a wonderful gift that can be used to take salads to work. And I also received an amazing gift of having meals sent to me to cook with all the ingredients included! So cool, right?

Year of Words.

  1. For the love of all that is holy, I am going to put words to paper and not get too caught up in thinking too much about it. Because when I let worries creep in, I don’t write my stories.
  2. Finish writing my Misha story. Yes, he is getting his own story. He demanded it 🙂
  3. Write books 4 & 5 in my Paranormal Wedding Planner series. This would be Connor’s story (book 4) and Giz’s story (book 5). We’ll see if the boys play nice with me…

Year of Happiness.

  1. This one is a BIG one. I have to let things go and remember to find joy in my writing and my family and friends. Life is too short to worry all the time. Move forward and enjoy every little accomplishment.

There you have it. So what are your non-resolutions for 2018? Let me know when you get a chance…

 

 

Making a List AFTER Christmas

Sorry this is a day late, my followers, but I just got home from celebrating Christmas with my family and I figured that you would forgive me for posting this a day late. I hope that everyone is having a good holiday season.

We know that Santa makes a list and checks it twice. But for me, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time for list making. I reflect on what I accomplished this year and what I want to accomplish in the next. I go through my house and clean at the same time, throwing or donating things I no longer need to streamline my life. Sometimes I wish that I could “declutter” my brain as easily. But I’m not alone in that sentiment 🙂

So let’s get to reflecting on accomplishments, shall we?

I created an advance reader team for both my Mind Sweeper and Paranormal Wedding Planner series. I created newsletter automation so that all of you wonderful readers who sign up for my newsletter, hear a little bit about me. I also created some wonderful “freebies” available to my subscribers as well.

Mind Sweeper has been free for a while now on the major book retailers. I hope that entices people who don’t know me to give my books a try.

I gave my website, not one, but two face lifts this year. I think the newest version is going to stick for a while!

I worked with a new cover artist to come up with ROCKIN’ new covers for my paranormal wedding planner series.

I also worked on some new advertising avenues this year as well as giveaways that brought in new readers.

I attended two writing conventions and also spoke at a of couple events.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that I published three flashback (prequel) stories for my Mind Sweeper series and released the 3rd book in my Paranormal Wedding Planner series in November. I’ve also been working on a new Mind Sweeper book that centers around Misha (Ha!).

Wow, I guess when I list it out like that I’ve been a little busy, right? Sometimes, we have to take stock of our accomplishments to motivate us for the upcoming year…

Thanks for helping me accomplish all of this in 2017. If it wasn’t for my readers, none of this list would mean much.

Thanks for helping me  – now on to next year!

 

Twas the Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and this writer was nestled snug in her bed, hoping for visions of her next story to dance in her head.

But her eyes popped open with a feeling of dread. There was no story to be found, but something else filled her thoughts instead.

So she rose from her bed with a clatter, as her cats watched her to see what was the matter.

It was as if her mind had been in a fog, until she relaxed and realized it was Monday night and she had forgotten her blog!

Dash it all!

So she grabbed her computer and started to write. But what could she possibly compose so late at night?

Why a poem of course…

…with a little help from the season. Any good writer will find a good reason to use a writer’s prompt that is tried and true, like reworking a favorite poem if she can’t think of anything else to do.

She hunkered over her computer as her fingers flew over the keys, and hoped her readers didn’t think she was too much of a tease.

And as she typed her last words and dashed of out sight, she wished everyone sweet dreams and to all a good night!

To Glitter or Not To Glitter

Call me old fashioned, but there is something magical about receiving Christmas cards in the mail. You go to your mailbox and a stack of colorful envelopes wait for you. Then you slit them open to see pretty cards and notes from friends. Or maybe you get a picture card of the sender’s children as they grow another year older.

Yep, that is simple pleasure.

This past weekend I wrote my Christmas cards and just dropped them into the mailbox a few minutes ago. For me, choosing the right card is a science. What do I want to convey? With the words, with the pictures…what mood do I want to send to my friends and family as I offer them season’s greetings? And of course, there is the ever important question of how much bling do I want to send their way.

How do you bling a card? I’m glad you asked. It’s all about glitter!

Some people don’t like the mess that glitter makes. But for me, glitter provides a little magic to the season. And we could all use some magic in our lives, whether from a card or a story. Sometimes experiencing something a little unexpected is what we all need to get through the day.

So fair warning, friends and family…get out your dust vacs and prepare to be “glitterfied”.