Decisions, Decisions…

Recently I posted a blog called Writer’s Crossroads about deciding on what to write next. A month later I am still struggling with that decision. I’m not sure what my hold up is exactly.

I have actually written the first couple pages of the sixth book in my paranormal wedding planner series which means that I am heading in that direction, right?

Maybe. Because then I wrote the first couple of pages of the potential first book in my Mind Sweeper shifter spin-off trilogy.

And as amazing as I try to be at balancing my day job with writing and publishing, I can’t write two books at once. So I really, really, really need to make a decision and settle back into my writing process once again.

Do I roll the dice? Ask my magic eight ball? Shuffle the deck?

Any suggestions on decision-making would be greatly appreciated!

 

Writer’s Crossroads

When an author writes “the end” to a story, it’s an amazing feeling. But it also signals the author to gear up for what they are going to do next. If they are in the middle of a series and have obligations to finish that, then it isn’t hard to make a decision to move forward.

For me, I will be publishing books 4 and 5 in my paranormal wedding planner series this fall which leaves book 6 to go. And I will get to that book soon. But right now, I am at a crossroads. Because when I’m done with book 6, I have to decide what I want to write next.

I have some ideas (all possibilities and not certainties, aka – no promises!).

I could write a spin-off shifter trilogy for my Mind Sweeper series and tie up the loose ends for my unattached characters – Doc & Jason for one, and Grffin for another…

I have also been toying with writing a cozy mystery series as well…

I could pull a partially written book I have started that would jump start a new trilogy on some pretty interesting supernatural that I have been playing with…

Or, I could work on a new series that’s starting to form in my brain which would be very different than what I have written before…

See? A lot of options to sift through. And while they are exiting, they are also a bit daunting. So any suggestions (or votes) would be appreciated. I’m writing for my readers after all…

Proof Positive

My proofreading editor sent back FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF to me today with the final proof edits. And as I go through them I think about all the steps that got me to this (somewhat) last edit.

Brainstorming that started back in the prior book of the series so I could set up the heroine for book four (I’m tricky like that), followed by writing and writing and did I mention writing?

Then it went to content edits, then regular edits, then final line edits before I sent it to proof. And in between all of these steps, I read and reread the book some more. Soon I will be sending it for formatting as well so that it can be sold as an ebook and a print book. (But not before another read through).

It’s a journey for sure, but it’s always amazing to me when I get to this point as I read through the book, that I created this world, this story, and these characters. It’s a part of me and I love to share it with my readers.

So as I finish my edits, I thought I would share the joy with you 🙂

A Writer’s Vacation

So this past week I took a vacation. An actual, honest-to-goodness vacation that was not a writers’ conference. I saw the ocean, scrunched my toes in the sand, ate ice cream on a daily basis, and spent quality time with two of my writer-besties, Miranda Liasson and Sandra Owens.

We headed to the low country of South Carolina. You can tell by the picture that we were in the tidal marsh. We could see this from the back porch of the house we stayed in! What a view, and what a way to unwind. There is something magical about water. Sandra says that water is ‘her peace.’ And I can understand that.

So we spent time by the beach, and we walked along the sand several times as well as traveled the island on bike and golf cart. And we had some amazing food there too.

And when you get writers together, we’re going to talk books – whether it is what we are reading or have read that is ‘really good’, or talk about our own stories to see if we’re heading in the right direction. Brainstorming, synopsis writing, beta reads got tucked into the trip as well.

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And of course we’re there to support each other too. All in all, it was an amazing adventure.

I got home today and what did I do first? Write about it, of course!!

 

Writing Style – Tortoise or the Hare?

Writing is an interesting job. It’s part part project management, part marketing, part story-telling. The list goes on. And because of this, it takes creativity as well as mental and emotional strength to create an engaging story.

And for me, sometimes writing can be compared to the tortoise and the hare. I am currently writing my second paranormal wedding planner book this year. FOR BETTER OF FOR WOLF, book 4 of the series, is an eighty-one thousand word book that I wrote in two months. I wrote the last twenty thousand words in about ten days! Definitely reminiscent of the rabbit, or hare, right?

FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER, book 5 of the series, is chugging along at a ridiculously slow pace. The book is going to be a bit shorter, around fifty thousand words (or at least that’s the plan) and as much as I try, I can’t seem to up the pace. Tortoise vibe going on here.

Neither is necessarily a “bad” way to write, it’s just different. Sometimes it depends on where we (the writer) is in our lives. How much energy we have to expend at any given time when our real world (not our made up worlds) also need our attention as well.

So for now, I’ll move forward and finish this book. Whether I plod along of hop, the important thing is that I’m moving forward!

Cake Usurper

There is something to be said about tradition, even when it comes to our birthdays. Growing up, I can remember getting my favorite treat for my birthday. For years, my favorite birthday treat was a mocha ice cream pie from a Friendly’s Restaurant in the neighboring town. I can remember when they stopped making that pie. I felt a little bit like a part of my memories and childhood went with it.

From there I moved on to other treats until I landed on a yellow cake with coconut frosting, and it has been my birthday cake for years.

This past week, my father celebrated his birthday and when I asked him what he wanted as a treat, he said that he already had gotten the cake. It was the coconut cake – MY coconut cake. Do I have a patent on this cake, or do I own the company that manufactures this cake? No. Am I being melodramatic when I told him that he needed to find his own birthday cake? Maybe.

Was it over the top when I called him “usurper of the cake” – okay, yeah that was a bit much.

But I think there is something to be said about the small things in life that are tied to important events, like birthday memories.

The same can be said for stories. The ones that resonate with us are the ones that bring up possible memories, or more likely emotions that we can then relate to at a personal level. That make us become part of the story and experience it as a participant rather than an observer. Hopefully you’ve found an author who can provide you with that inclusive feeling – like when you take the first bite of your birthday treat each year.

So this week, we celebrated my father’s birthday, coconut cake and all, and I only called him “usurper” once or twice while enjoying a piece of my…I mean his birthday cake. May you also enjoy your own sweet treats this week, whether it be cake or stories…

Sleepy Time

As an author, I have to find time to think about my books. For me it’s not just sitting down and writing it, it’s also thinking through some of the main points of the book. Even though I’m not a true plotter that outlines the story, I still have to pick a direction and go!

Thinking about the characters and the general plot is often done when I have a spare moment – in the shower, on my daily commute, etc.

But I have found for me that the best time to come up with those great character developing moments and pivotal scenes is first thing in the morning when my alarm has gone off and I set it for snooze, or I know that I can stay in bed a little bit longer on the weekend.

That is when the ideas come to me since I’m not bogged down with to do lists, and social media, and my day job. My psyche is free to explore options I wouldn’t think about if I was fully awake.

I call it my sleepy author time. And I treasure it.

So if you’re trying to work through something, try thinking about it when you first wake up. You never know what you might come up with!

Time to Hunker-Down

This past weekend in my neck of the woods it snowed. I spent Saturday in my PJ’s and robe doing laundry, and dishes, and adding more words to the new novel I’m working on.

As much as I’m not a fan of snow (I’m not the outdoor skiing, skating, snowboarding type), I do find benefits to staying inside. I call it my “hunker-down time” and it usually lasts through January and February. A time for me to write my stories (and read some as well). To explore worlds in my imagination that are more interesting and less frigid than my current world.

Sometimes I think we all need to hunker-down and relax especially after the craziness of the holidays. Take some time, maybe even squeeze a nap in here and there, and enjoy the snow…through your window while you sit on your couch drinking hot cocoa. With a good book, of course.

Time for Some Attitude – Holiday Style

Intrigued? Let me explain. I think that the holidays can be a wonderful time. But they can also be a difficult time for those of us who are now “grown up”. (Whatever that is supposed to mean…)

Even for me, a writer who spends time creating characters who come to life on the computer screen, I need to take a leap of faith.

It ultimately comes down to attitude. Something my friends and family will tell you I have in abundance.

In this instance, I’m talking about that extra special “Holiday Attitude”. Case in point – the saying I have on my mantle!

It’s a funny quip, but I think we can learn from it. We all have to believe in something or someone. Whether that’s Santa, or a friend, or neighbor, or ourselves for that matter.

Find it in your heart to believe, believe, believe.

And maybe it will help you remember what it’s like to be a kid again – a kid who doesn’t get underwear for the holidays!

 

Come Celebrate A Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

So the craziness of the holidays has commenced…Black Friday, Cyber Monday that both somehow last way longer than the day of the week they are named after. So as I’ve been jumping from store to store (both brick & mortar and internet stores) I thought to myself…

“Hey self, you should do your own sale. Don’t your readers deserve that?”

And the answer is yes you do. Now to figure out what to call it…Black-Cyber-Every-Day-of-the-Week?

So I am having a sale for you! IN SICKNESS AND IN ELF the first book in my paranormal wedding planner series is just 99 cents for a limited time! If you’re looking for a book to escape the holiday hustle with – this is the one for you!

Recipe for a great read: Take a wedding…add fangs, fur, and fairy dust and stir!

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