Category Archives: Sensational Saturday’s

Dig Deep and plan for the Future

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I feel like writing

It’s halfway through April and I don’t even have a single seed planted.

Gardening is like writing. You need to get started, or you miss the season. Spinach needs to be planted early, so does lettuce. Soon, you’ve passed the time period for planting the early season crops and you’re on to the tomatoes and melons. And then it’s fall and you have nothing to harvest.

If you are a pre-pubbed romance author, you too have a possible harvest deadline. Many of us are going to try to enter the Golden Heart, but you need to start your seeds of your outline now. Have your outline done? Then it’s time to nurture it into a rough draft. Once that’s ready, get out the hoe and mow down some weeds, it’s the middle of the growing season and editing time. And then you have your final draft. Your story. Your harvest.

If you don’t plant early, you’ll find the opportunities for contests and pitching opportunities have passed. I’m going to RWA Nationals, and I plan to pitch a particular story, is it ready? No. But it’s close. I’ve planted the seeds, now I’m hoeing the weeds.

Snow and the Seventh Wolf is in its last bit of editing before I send it off to my publisher. I’ve planted the outline, nurtured the rough draft, now I’m hoeing the last weeds from the very end before sending it to market, where I hope someone buys my harvest. It’s always a little risky, but if you don’t start, you don’t have a harvest at all. And I should have gotten it finished last month. What happens when it languishes, waiting for me to pay attention to it? Does the opportunity fly past? I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out!

What projects in your life need some nurturing? Have you started a garden? Do you have a manuscript in need of tending? Do you have a harvest date that you need to plan for?

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Sensational Saturday's

Banning Easter Egg Hunts?

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever I feel like writing

Banning Easter Egg hunts?Stock Photos - Jackrabbit Eating
Seem un-Easterish? It does to me. But then I’ve never gone to a city sponsored Easter Egg hunt, I didn’t as a kid and I’ve never taken my children to one. Why would you go?

Easter to me is about family. The only large Easter Egg hunts I’ve been to have been at Church, where they separate out the young ones from the very young ones and it’s all nice and friendly. You don’t get much, but that never really bothered me because we always do our own Easter Egg hunt at home.

That’s right. The Easter Bunny not only brings baskets of goodies like chocolate bunnies and extra underwear. The Easter Bunny spends a lot of time getting our very own colored eggs out of the refrigerator and hiding them around the house. Oh, and he throws in some jelly beans and maybe a few foil covered chocolate eggs.Free Stock Images - Chocolate eggs

If you’ve never done an Easter Egg hunt inside, it’s a blast. Houses have very fun places to hide eggs. Jelly beans are the best. Line up a bunch of white ones on a white window sill and watch a four year old look right at them and not see them. Or put blue ones on a blue pillow. Black ones hide the best, so you’d better have someone who can find them all or else you’ll be finding them years later. We found a chocolate egg behind a book the other day.

Inside egg hunts are never rained out, snowed out or over crowded. And you can make your own rules, like:

  1. Anyone over the age of, hmm seven, can’t look below their waist until the younger ones have pretty full baskets, then turn ’em loose.
  2. You can participate at any age, but at around fourteen or fifteen maybe it’s time to become a helper. Or maybe not. Your choice.
  3. When you think everything’s been found, you have the time to look again and play the  “hot and cold” game.

Inside Easter egg hunts are safer, warmer, and more fun. And you get to do it with the ones you love. NO pushing or shoving. No parents shouting, “get ’em all!”

I’ll be dying eggs tonight. And that reminds me, we have one more thing that we do for Easter.

We use the crayon in the PAAS kit to write everyone’s name on an egg. That way you know which one is missing when you can’t find it. And we have one more tradition.

The egg that doesn’t turn out so well from the dying, you know, the one that ends up that mottled shade of greeny brown from pouring all the dye together at the end? That one we call, the rotten egg.

Free Stock Photography - Eggs
There’s always at least one rotten egg, right?

Do you brave the public Easter Egg hunts? What has the Easter Bunny left in your basket? Do you even celebrate Easter?

Check out my post on Ostara on Paranormal Freebies entitled, Chocolate Easter Bunny or Jesus Fish?  and enter to win a free copy of Little Red Riding Wolf.

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Four Fabulous Posts to Check Out Since I’m on Vacation

Sensational Saturday’s

a blog for where I’m at (and it’s not here)

Hey folks! I’m on vacation! Enjoy these other posts while I’m away!

Gloria’s done it again! Her sense of humor slays me!

DO NOT CLICK ON THIS! Disjointed Excerpts Exploding Within! 

Looking for a more reliable book review site than mine? Check out Kayla Tocco and her Whole Latte Romance. Today’s blog:

Review: Forbidden Fantasies by Jodie Griffin

Want something totally different and more paranormal? Mare’s series on Chakras is muy cool!

Magical, Mystical, Metaphysical Monday Mania – March 26, 2012 2nd part of 3rd of 4th levels or dimensions of the universal field

And for you writer’s in the group, if you haven’t checked out Bob Mayer and Jen Talty’s blog, you need to go. They are rockin’ they publishing world!

The Secret Success of the Digital Author

That’s all folks! Have a great week and I’ll see you on Moonday Mania!

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Help! When do I write?

Sensational Saturday’s

a blog about whatever the bleep I want to write

Free Stock Photos - Blue Ballpoint Pens

I’m a goal setter. A go-to goal setter. If you peek back into January you’ll see my mega-list of goals. And there are a lot of little things, like, hmm, blog, blog and more blogs. But the most important thing on the list, the one thing I’m supposed to be doing before anything else, and the thing that actually might bring some real meaning to my chosen career is to WRITE.

Now don’t get me wrong. All the other stuff is important, but if I’m not writing, am I an author? If all I’m doing is promoting the one book or checking out everyone else’s books, can I call myself anything but a dabbler? A doodler? A dilettante?

Even if I’m sacrificing my writing for a good cause, even if it’s because my house needs attention, the fridge needs re-stocking, or the family desperately needs me, even then can I call myself an author? Or am I just a hobbyist?

Writing is the call. Writing is the thing that needs to be done.

Stock Image - Cow
That’s why my family is forced to eat nothing but PB&J’s till the cows come home, because Mama ain’t cooking. Mama’s writing.

Am I struggling to balance my life?

Yes. But I’m still writing.

Yes, this month things have gotten seriously in the way. My folks have needed way more help than usual. I took on a contest and that required a good deal of attention. And there are the usual suspects, the dirty bathrooms and the dog that needs walking.

But overall I am writing. And I’m on schedule. Or close to it.

My main goal for the beginning of this year was to write a novella. And I’ve done that. I have the rough draft of the sequel to Little Red Riding Wolf finished. Snow and the Seventh Wolf is in the middle of the polishing stage and I am on target to have it off to Passion in Print for the query stage by the end of March. Now all I need to do is fend off the children during spring break. Any ideas?

My next main goal is to edit BW (and rename it, I’m not happy with the title, hence the intitials). I’ve signed up for a Margie class in April, specifically to get the editing rolling. Fab 30, where Margie herself looks at your thirty pages. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

I’m working in April, so this will be a challenge, but like I said, the natives will have to eat more PB&J. Or maybe learn to cook for themselves. That’s an even better idea!

I have a ton of other things I want to get done. Re-vamping this website is high on my list. But don’t expect to see it done anytime soon. One thing I took away from my Bob Mayer class, one thing I took away from reading Stephen King’s On Writing, one thing I read over and over again from successful authors is…. WRITE!

Do you have trouble getting your goals accomplished? How do you fend off the natives when they need, need, need you? Can you turn off your phone and buckle down? What are your success strategies?

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Prepare for your Doom!

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I feel like writing

It’s coming. The day when you have to move out of the house you are in and not just downsize, but really downsize. The day when you move into that cozy, tiny, one bedroom, retirement apartment. Or really tiny bedsitter. Or the dreaded room you share with some stranger.

Okay, it’s not coming for a long time for me. But as I help my folks downsize it makes me want to do it all now. Get rid of the junk, streamline my life. All those pillow forms I purchased just waiting to be stuffed into pillowcases I quilted with all the left over scraps of fabric? Gone!

Yes, it’s true. Watching my parents labor to move into an apartment that’s less than half of what they’ve been living in for the last forty years has driven me to get rid of things. And the first things to go are the crafts. I have tons of craft stuff. Things I was really enthusiastic about for a year or two and then something else took its place and now I have twelve large totes of unused craft supplies. It will all be going soon.

I started with the fabric because truthfully, some of those projects are just never going to get finished. Half sewn dresses that are way out of style. Entire baby quilts that just need quilting. (Okay I kept those, I will get out that needle and quilt them!) But what about all those clothes from 1990 that I might fit into someday? Are they really out of style?

And what about all those things my parents have passed on to me? You see, in an effort to hang on to stuff they find important, they attach importance on to an item and hand it to a child. Then it will go on, in someone else’s house for generations. That’s a true talent. How to have your children hang on to your stuff for you. I have no space for their stuff. I want to get rid of my stuff!

So I’m starting now. I am taking books to the used book store and I have a charity pick up on Monday. My goal is to clean out so I can do something useful in my basement, like raise my own organic mushrooms. Now that’s a hobby!

What’s lurking in your basement, attic, shed? Do you have clothes from the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s? Is it time to say, “NO MORE!” or are you having sympathy pains for those people on Hoarders?

Check out Elise Rome’s March Madness this month for prizes and authors galore!

And Google has a very cool Celtic Knotwork heading today for St. Paddy’s day, so google something just to see it.

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Sensational Saturday's

Spring is coming! Believe it or not!

Sensational Saturday

a blog for the moment, and in the moment

Spring is coming.

Free Stock Images - Daffodils
  Okay, it feels far-fetched looking out at the remainder of last weeks snow storm and knowing there is more snow coming. And it seems even more far-fetched when you know this seems like one of the coldest February’s I can remember. But it’s still coming!

And even though it’s bitter (around 22° f for my morning walks) I can see the beginning signs of spring. The cavorting owls that woke me up a few weeks ago, hooting up a storm. The squirrels chasing each other around the bare tree limbs. But most of all it’s the small sprigs of life poking up through the dirt. The bulbs.

I can tell what’s coming already. My neighbors have some slender crocus peeping up, no flowers yet, but they’ll show up eventually. And it’s not just the early bird crocus I can see. My daffodils and even a few brave tulips are poking their green heads up, and it is truly exciting.

And if you look closely at the trees, there are buds forming on those barren branches, signs of emerging leaves way ahead of when I truly expect to see them. It’s coming, despite the frigid weather.

It reminds me of Dr. Suess’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. After the Grinch stole the Who’s Christmas, it still came. There was nothing he could do about it. And there were no signs it would show, but the Who’s had faith and Christmas came anyway. And so does spring.

So as I work my way through a few dozen to-do’s and panic at the on-coming final judging responsibilities for the Award Of Excellence, I know spring is coming. Through the winter and despite anything I do, it still comes. The AOE will be over and summer will be coming on and I’ll make it through.

What gets you through? What small things do you see everyday that have you taking a deep breath and continuing with a lighter heart?

Stock Image - Three crocuses

Find me today also at http://joseerenard.wordpress.com/blog/ and read an excerpt from Little Red Riding Wolf.

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Filed under About the Author, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's

JUMP! It’s your life!

Sensational Saturday

a blog for where I’m at today

This has been a crazy month, and I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be on my goals.

One thing that has progressed, whether I’m there or not, is my Write It Forward Class with Bob Mayer. I started the class with the idea that I would figure out a plan for where I should go as an author. What I really wanted was for Bob to hand me a list and a plan and say, “Go get ’em!”

Well, that’s kind of what happened.

Actually, as Bob says, no one can plan your career but you. So my hopes of having a plan are still hanging on me, myself and I.

Not Bob.

And that’s good. Why should I hand my life over to someone else’s check list? Why shouldn’t I decide what should go on the check list?

Turns out what I really needed wasn’t a plan from someone else, it was the “Go get ’em!”

And Bob delivered.

I’ll be going over his lessons many times over the next year as I try to figure out this crazy publishing business and my goals. Do I really want what I think I want? What should I be writing? And is self-publishing a realistic way to go? What about my publisher? What about my next book?

None of it is easy, but I’m the only one who can answer those questions.

Meanwhile, I have to share some Bob-isms. His dry sense of humor is sprinkled throughout the lessons and I now have started keeping a list on the refrigerator to remind me to face my fears and “JUMP!”

“Not taking charge of your career will doom you.”

“Write what you are afraid of.”

“Saying I can’t is really saying I won’t.”

“There is no 99% when jumping out of an airplane.”

These are all from the Write it Forward class, which is also available in book form from Who Dares Wins Publishing.

Are you waiting for someone to help you figure out your career? Who is going to be better at that then you? While you’re waiting for your white knight, how are you spending your time?

Leave a comment, then skip on over to the Paranormal Freebies site HERE to register it with the Rafflecopter widget and get one more entry into my Little Red Riding Wolf Contest, ending soon.

Come into the woods with Little Red Riding Wolf*, a spicy paranormal romance novella available from Passion in Print Press. What if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?

Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen
Buy Little Red Riding Wolf Here

Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?

*Honorable Mention in Passionate Ink’s 2011 Stroke of Midnight contest



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by | February 25, 2012 · 6:00 am

RELEASE DAY FOR LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF! WOOT!

Sensational Saturday

A blog for where I am today!

Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen

Little Red Riding Wolf Cover picture

It’s here! Today is the Release day for Little Red Riding Wolf!

I checked and it’s there! On the Passion in Print Press website click HERE to buy! (or just go look and do the happy dance with me, I’ll be clicking my heels all day.) And they posted a long excerpt. WOOT!

(The ISBN is 978-1-60820-615-5 in case you are looking elsewhere, but I don’t think it will be available anywhere else for at least a week.)

Okay, on to regular Blog Business. (Time out for another turn around the room, clicking my heels in another ecstatic happy dance!)

There is still time to enter to win a copy and you can find all the ways to enter, as well as enter, at the Paranormal Freebies site HERE. But that’s not the only way to win a free copy!

The fabulous Brinda Berry, author of The Waiting Booth, is hosting a Twitter Party for me on Twitter at 5pm Mountain time today, February 18th, 2012.

<Free Stock Photography - Party tonight
Party Details:

WHEN:  Feb. 18, 7-7:30 pm ET (6-6:30 pm CT; 5-5:30 pm MT; 3-3:30 pm PT)

WHERE: online at Twitter

WHO: Author @JessicaAspen

Hostess @Brinda_Berry

WHAT: Twitter party –  Little Red Riding Wolf Release Party

HOW TO JOIN:  Follow the hashtag #ridingwolf

Click HERE to read Brinda’s post on all the ins and outs of how a Twitter Party works. We’ll be doing the Happy Dance Conga line over the internet, so come prepared for fun! And prizes!

Thanks to all my wonderful writing friends for all their support! My family and non-writing friends too. And you can look forward to the sequel  all about Seth sometime this year. (Working title Snow and the Seventh Wolf). I’m still working on it, but it will be finished and sent off to the wonderful editors at Passion in Print Press by the end of March. See Sherry, I can write a specific goal. (Click HERE for the last in Sherry’s goal setting series on Gloria’s Hammock.)

Don’t forget to leave a comment and if you want to enter the contest you need to click HERE and update the Rafflecopter widget, or your entry isn’t registered! Did you go look at the PIP site? Isn’t it exciting? Tell me what you think and what kind of happy dance you are up to in your living room!

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It’s Not New Years Any More, Dorothy

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I feel like writing

What happens when you set a huge mountain of goals, and then life interrupts?

First, you panic.

Then you look at the goals and wonder: What was I thinking?

Then you get back to work and try to get back on track.

This is my epiphany now that it is the middle of February. In January I happily set a huge amount of goals. (Click HERE to see the mountain) I knew that I wouldn’t get every single one crossed off the list. I even said that. But I wanted to dream big.

So I wrote them all down. And then life kept interrupting.

Okay, it’s not the end of the year, but it is the middle of the second month and I am not where I expected to be. To start with, I had planned to have all of my edits, including the galley’s, done for Little Red Riding Wolf in January. I was going to edit an old ms while I waited for them to show up and work on my plotting for my new novella.

And I did get my edits, and I did get them done. And I do have my novella plotted. But what I didn’t plan for was the family emergency that sucked a week out of January. Poof, gone.

Oh, and the other thing I didn’t plan for was the CRW Award of Excellence contest (that I am running) to come to a head the same week as the family emergency. Nor did I plan for that week to be the week my second round of edits came in.

Life sucks happens.

But what do you do when you are a tight goal setter? What do you do when it snows and the kids and husband don’t leave the house. Or you get the killer head cold and can barely even stand to look at the computer for a week? Or those same kids get sick and not only are they home, in need of Mom’s homemade straight-from-the-chicken soup, but they also then need to be driven to school when they are finally almost feeling better?

All these things made my January crazy.

Actually the killer head cold was last week. I did get some writing done, but not enough. And this week I also had another family crisis. Not an emergency, but still….

I’m at the point where I need to be firm and say, I’m not answering the phone between the hours of nine and three. If I was at work, they would have to wait. Why is it so hard when I’m at home?

I’m the sandwich generation. I have parents who need a little more help and my kids still need me. I’m trying to work at my writing career, and (in the spring/summer/part of the fall) I hold a job. I’m trying to keep up with my Dr. Oz recommended healthy lifestyle (the 85 pound Labrador helps get me out the door) and oh, yeah. My husband.

Let’s not forget about him. He seems to think that being married requires that we spend time together. Where has he been the last ten years? Modern couples just text  I LUV U, and roll over exhausted.

And yet, no one but me set those goals. I knew things might come up. What was I thinking?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking. IN fact you can go back and read the original post if you want to, but I was being optimistic. Is that a bad thing?

No. I don’t think so. But now when I know I’m falling behind, now is the time to reexamine those goals. To figure out if I can buckle down and make my word count double this week and catch up for last weeks head-cold. To realize that I’ve not just been busy with other people’s crisis, but I could have worked harder when I had the time.

Yeah, I admit it. I’ve slacked off too much. So now is the time to get back on the track. Now is the time to not answer the phone for a few hours, check messages at lunch, and then get back to work. Now is the time to treat my time at my computer as sacred.

Because if I don’t, I’m not even going to get halfway up the mountain. And I expect to do at least that.

Have you stopped by Gloria Richard’s blog an seen Sherry Isaac’s Step Away From the January, It Might Be Loaded posts? Unlike me Sherry has a reasonable approach to goal setting. Where are you on your goals? Did you set any and have you reviewed them?

My Little Red Riding Wolf Contest is still open. Leave a comment today and click HERE to enter.

This week I’ll be on Sutton Fox‘s blog on Friday and don’t forget to RSVP for the Twitter Party that amazing Brinda Berry is throwing for me on February 18th at 5pm Mountain time.

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Sensational Saturday's

Killer Blog Tour Continues

Sensational Saturday

an eclectic blog

If you haven’t entered my Little Red Riding Wolf contest, you still can! The link is HERE to take you to the Rafflecopter plug in on http://paranormalfreebies. You can add another entry daily by commenting either on my blog Jessica Aspen Writes, or on any of my tour stops.

Yes, I’m still on the killer blog tour and here is a list of my February stops:

February 2012

Just FYI, the contest ends on February 28th, but I’m still going to be visiting some stellar blogs, including Gloria Richard’s Hammock on March 12th.
Today I’m at Josee Reynard’s blog HERE with my most open interview yet!
And more exciting news, Brinda Berry is helping me out with my very first every Twitter Party! Since most of you can’t be here to eat cake and pop the bubbly with me on February 18th, when Little Red Riding Wolf is released, Brinda suggested you all could celebrate with me on Twitter!
We will be using the hashtag #ridingwolf and I’ll be posting instructions closer to the date. Actually I still haven’t quite figured it out, but Brinda has promised me she will be disclosing all on Gloria’s blog on Wednesday. Check in on Brinda at the Hammock on Wednesday  and we’ll discover how to do this thing together.
As they say in the cartoon industry “That’s all folks!”, but I’ll be back on Monday with an exposé on my forays into Excel. Meanwhile, stop on by Josee Reynard’s today, leave a comment and then hop on by Paranormal Freebies and update your Rafflecopter entry.

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