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!

 

It’s Never Too Late To Be Thankful

Last week I lost track of days. Maybe it had to do with only having to work three days  before Thanksgiving. But Monday came and went last week and I didn’t think about posting my Monday blog. And when I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the Macy’s day parade for some reason that jogged my memory that I hadn’t posted anything!

I had planned on writing about being thankful – very appropriate for the holiday. And I realized that it is NEVER too late to talk about being thankful. I think it is something we should think about every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful for my family – my dad, especially. And my friends who have been with me for years and those I have met recently as a writer.

And I am thankful for my writing. It has opened up a world for me. I have met amazing people and readers! I am so thankful for my readers – you jump into my world and understand my characters and keep reading! How blessed and thankful can one writer be?

Very, very thankful!

Writing is NOT Solitary

You might have noticed that last week I missed posting my blog. I had just returned from RWA’s national conference and by the time I realized I missed my blog last Monday, I decided it was Fate’s way of telling me to take a blog vacation for a week. So I did.

But I didn’t want to forget to share my conference experience with you. For me, the national conference gives me the ability to regroup, both mentally and emotionally as a writer. I attend sessions and find out what is happening in the world of publishing. But even more importantly, I catch up with my writer friends. Many of whom I only see at conference. Sure, I may email or talk to them since they are located all over, but there is something special about spending actual time together.

When I am with a group of writers, my sense or rightness (or “writeness”) returns. I gather with people who understand my language and have stories that won’t stay silent in their brains. Powerful friends to have.

So I got to spend time with my peeps to gear up for another year of writing and publishing. Batteries have officially been recharged.

Baby Brother Wants His Turn

My previous two blogs showcased a teaser from Misha and Aleksei’s upcoming books in my new Realm series. So you shouldn’t be shocked to learn that Sergei, the youngest brother of the demon trio wants his turn too.

Each brother have hurdles to overcome before finding their special someone. And don’t think their mates will let them get off easy. Heck no! That’s what makes the journey so wonderful.

So here goes… Sergei

Copy of Copy of She took a step away from him, and he cursed his stupidity, cursed his unwillingness to take a chance, cursed the Fates for waiting too long to tell this spitfire that sh

Try

So I saw a quote the other day and it made me think about my life and my writing which is always a GOOD thing.

Words hold so much power. As an author I understand that at a fundamental level. So when a few words inspire me, I know they are something I was meant to see and take to heart.

What makes this quote even better is that it is from an author. Authors taking advice from authors, right?

So here’s the quote from Ayn Rand:

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

There are all types of quotes and to me this is an anthem quote. I can almost hear the music behind the words (as with any inspirational scene in a movie).

So tonight I wanted to share these words with you. If you feel like you want to do something, then do it, or at least TRY.

I think that is what stops many of us – the fear of trying. We aren’t going to be successful at everything. But I think many are afraid of failure so they don’t even try.

But here’s the ironic thing. If you never try something that speaks to your heart,  then isn’t that a form of failing?

So pick up those paintbrushes, sketchbook, instrument, laptop and create. Go back to school, take singing lessons, learn how to ski, take up quilting, heck run for office.

Do something. Try something. You might be surprised at the results.

Do You Feel Lucky? I do!

Writing can be rewarding, but it can also be hard. Even though I rely on a team of wonderful women to help me edit, proof, format, and cover my books, when it comes down to the writing of it, it’s me and my computer.

And as much as my characters talk to me a LOT, writing is solitary. So how do I keep moving forward?

I rely on my writing community. Today’s blog is a shout out to a wonderful group of super-women. We were all finalists in RWA’s Golden Heart contest in 2013. We’re from all over the world and write all different forms of romance. We call our group the Lucky 13’s.

And we’re fierce cheerleaders for each other. Give me an S-U-P-P-O-R-T!

Yesterday, I found out that I am a Holt Medallion finalist for my book TO HAVE AND TO HOWL and that is such a thrill and honor. But tonight, I was reminded how truly “Lucky” I am. An outpouring of congrats emails and Tweets came my way from my writing pals. After five years we still have each other’s backs.

Always there for each other. Always supportive. Always…just always…

Thanks Luckies for you Love – right back at you!

 

When Attitude is a Good Thing

Three weeks ago my blog talked about inspiration. Inspiration that I received from family and friends in the form of two bracelets with sayings on them.

This week, another dear friend gave me a necklace – you’ve seen the type – a pretty bar necklace that hangs horizontally on a chain. Many of them have a word or saying. I’ve seen words like, Live, Love, Peace, Joy. So when I pulled out the pretty, delicate necklace from the box imagine my surprise when the word stamped on the bar was ‘Badass’.

I actually tilted my head back and laughed out loud. Because my friend gets it. It’s all about attitude. There are so many things in this world that can hold us back, not the least of which is our own fears and insecurities.

She reminded me that when I started this writing journey, my motto was Be Fearless. And it still is! So I wear this necklace proudly. It’s my own personal attitude boost.

Here’s to you finding your own attitude booster and using it often!

 

Redline IS My Friend

You might think that my blog title this week is a bit strange, but let me explain. While some people see corrections as a bad thing, I put my writer’s hat on and say, “no way!”

Edits are actually a very GOOD thing. My editor sent back edits on the first book in my demon trilogy and while those red-line edits and comments might seemingly glare at you, they serve a purpose.

Besides the obvious purpose of catching typos and grammatical errors, edits can catch issues with flow, logic, plot holes, character issues, etc. You name it, a good editor can find it.

What I learned early on in this writing business was that I wanted to give the best possible story to my readers. To do that, I had to put away my ego and accept that having someone else help me just makes sense.

In this instance two heads are better than one. So when Misha’s story is finally released, it’s truly what everyone has been waiting for…

Less Words do NOT Mean Less Work

Did I get your attention with the title, my friends? You would think that the less words a writer has to write, the easier things would be, right?

I’m here to disagree. Sometimes the EASIEST thing to write is the novel itself. Thousands upon thousands of words that come out and develop into a story. What becomes difficult is when you are trying to write less to describe more.

What do I mean? There is the book blurb, also known as the back cover copy. A couple of paragraphs to reflect mood, plot, characters, etc. Not an easy task for sure and I have bemoaned blurb writing in past blogs. Today I am going to talk about something even shorter in the word department, but not easier.

What is it? Drum roll please …….

The Title

Yep, imagine writing a book and then sitting down and trying to determine in five words or less what you are going to call it. Many of my book titles are two words. Oh, the pain.

With my new trilogy, I have been having an extremely hard time finding titles that fit. That make me say “That’s it!”

First, I started with using the brothers’ names as titles. Then I decided that didn’t work and went on to two word titles – dozens and dozens of two word titles that I played with and that needed to coordinate since I have to come up with three titles.

Now I have graduated to titles that are phrases, and I’m finally close to finalizing them! A lot of work, for sure. But when I release these stories into the world, the title (or bow) has to top the wrapping (or cover).

How else will I entice people to rip it open, and dive inside?

A Different Kind Of Inspiration

As a writer, I spend a lot of time talking and thinking about inspiration for my books. Where am I going to get the next idea for a character, scene, story, novel, or series?

But today I want to talk about how I find inspiration to do what I do, be who I want to be? I think we lose sight of what inspires us in the world.

Recently, I received two inspirational reminders for me, the person. They always seem to come at the most opportune times, too. Kismet? Maybe. Or maybe at the times when I need a pick-me-up, is when I’m most open to seeing the “signs”.

So this past week, I received two bracelets from different people. Each with a saying that helps inspire me to keep moving forward.

The first bracelet’s saying was short and sweet and packed a wallop – “Celebrate Life.” We have a finite time on this earth and if we aren’t enjoying ourselves, our families, our loves, then we may want to rethink things. Find those simple things in life that we can enjoy.

The second bracelet had the following quote: “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

AMEN to that! A quote from Elizabeth Edwards, I think it works for all of us as we charter a path through life and often find that life isn’t smooth sailing. But sometimes, when we go in a different direction we find it’s where we were supposed to be all along.

So this week, I found inspiration which might not produce a new story, but may produce a better version of me. And that’s far more important in the grand scheme of things.