Category Archives: writing organization

Knights, Werewolves and Witches, What to Write First?

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I want

Writers have a terrible problem, they have too many ideas and not enough time. I would love to write three books this year and three novellas. I have the plots swirling around in my  brain. Diverse characters waiting to get their stories told. It’s a little bit like being the Little the little old woman who lived in the shoeOld Woman in the Shoe, but with attention deficit disorder. “Pick me! Pick me!”

And they are all great stories. From the knight who finds out he’s still needed, to the insecure witch who discovers her skills are just as important as her sister’s. All of these stories have their own magic. But which one gets put down on paper now? And will some of them never get written?

I hear a lot about writers block. All the NYT bestselling authors say, no such thing, you just need to be disciplined. But for me the problem isn’t writer’s block, it’s too much to write. Sure I have those days where I’m struggling with a scene, but I have so many things to work on I just jump to a different scene, or even a different project. There is no reason not to be writing. If I can squeeze it into my life.

Ah, there’s the rub Horatio.

I have my current stories with Passion in Print. Little Red Riding Wolf does have a sequel and maybe a third book in the trilogy. I have the sequel, Snow and the Seventh Wolf almost done, but it needs just a little bit more. And my life is crazy! And I have the third one partially outlined, so just a little bit more effort and a full outline later and it will be in the queue fighting for a place on my screen.

I’m deep into deep editing Blood Were. It still needs a new title, but it’s coming together. I’m hoping all of these edits will be finished by the end of July. And then I can get down to the prequel for that one. It’s just in the outlining process. Meanwhile I have an entirely new series pushing to get out about kights and honor. When I’m out walking or half asleep almost dreaming these new characters are in my head. They want their story told, but there is no more room on the schedule!

When do I fit them in? In between the prequel and the NANORIMO YA series I want to write? That one has been waiting a year. Oh and I have another YA that wants to be written too. Let’s count them up. That’s two novellas written for this year. One novel edited, actually I have another that I want to revisit so let’s make that two novels edited. The knight book, the YA series and the YA stand alone.

There is no way all of this will get done.

So a writer has to choose. We have to pick and choose what is the biggest priority, or what fits our schedule. Right now Snow and the Seventh Wolf is very high on my list. As is Blood Were. And, if they are my priorities, then I should also make their next books priories. So we’ll move Blood Were‘s prequel up in the line-up. It came next anyway. But what about after that? Will I have more stories pushing for a spot?

As soon as I have one outlined another is vying to take it’s place. And sending them off without supper does not work, I’ve tried!

I used to wonder if a writer would run out of stories, but now I realize the opposite problem is true. Too many stories, all vying for attention. Are you a writer with too many children vying for your attention? Or do you obsess about one book leaving no room for the next until the first is complete? As a reader, I’m sure you all hope your favorite authors are prolific, but does having ideas mean they’ll end up on paper?

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Wallowing in Karmic Self Recrimination

Sensational Saturdays

my new once a week blog for whatever I feel like

KARMA

That’s right, it’s karma day. A day to seize your comeuppance and enjoy it for what it is, justified.

Whenever I get extra time in my life I think I can do it all. So I sign up for things. And then them come around and I’m handling it. I’m handling my family and my house and my writing and my volunteering. And then I start to work. And then something falls apart.

Then I fall apart.

And I realize that I did this to myself.

Stock Image - CamelI over loaded based on the fact that I was healthy, everyone else was doing great and I could do it all. But when you are at the tipping point and a fat camel comes and sits on your scale, somebody’s back has to break.

And it won’t be the camel’s.

I’m lucky. Okay, I had a rough week. Okay, I’ve had it rough since 2012 began, but none of it is debilitating. None of it will truly set me back for long. And none of it is truly insurmountable.

So what do you do? What am I doing? Well, you already know that! I’m cutting back. I’ve already cut down this blog to once a week. Oh, and I’m forgiving myself. I missed posting yesterday. Why? Well it wasn’t because I didn’t have time, and it wasn’t because I forgot. It was because I just quite plainly needed a day to not do any of this stuff. I needed a day to recover from this H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS week. And I stole it.

I stole it from myself, and it felt good.

I’m hoping that this week goes better, but facing the last two weeks, I’m not sure. So I need to set the second part of my plan in motion and that is do what I can ahead of time, drop what I can, and not sweat everything else. Because karma has come to kick me in the butt and there ain’t nothing to do about it but hang on and survive.

So that goals sheet I set up at the beginning of the year, this week I’m ignoring it. And I’m facing the fact that come next month it may need total revising. My social media frenzy that I’ve been working on for over a year, this week I’m ignoring it. No Twitter, no Facebook, and thanks be to the heavens I already gave up on Linked In. Anything that makes me feel like I’m having a panic attack is getting ignored.

I’m in survival mode and that’s just the way it is. I should have done this months ago, but I avoided looking at the signs. I kept hoping (because as you may know, I’m an optimist) that my life would get whipped back into shape if I just tried harder. But I got hit on the head this week and I’m listening.

I know many of you have done this to yourselves, over-estimated your time, over-committed your time, or over-estimated your capacity for stretching yourself to the bone. Tell me your stories. Share with me your coping strategies. Did you forgive yourself and move on? Or did you wallow in the mud of self-torturing recriminations? 

Free Stock Photo - Pig

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Tax Tips for Writers

Moonday Mania

a blog on writing

Today I’m going to talk a little about taxes. Now as a pre-published author, I pretty much skipped doing anything with my writing expenses. But I also didn’t have too many expenses. If you are writing and have a reasonable amount of expenses, you should think about taking the deductions. I’m not a tax expert, never going to happen, but here are  a few tips I’ve gleaned over the last year.

  1. Keep all your receipts. Even the small ones. If they are for something like coffee with your crit partners, write a note on the back so you remember what it’s for. I keep track of all my expenses in a program called Quicken and I keep track in the special spot for notes.
  2. Something on my list is to purchase a scanner. Have you noticed that nowadays most receipts fade?  I don’t know about you, but that’s the stuff of nightmares, handing your box of receipts to the IRS agent and they are all blank.
  3. After you scan your receipts you should upload them to the cloud. Whatever cloud you use. I use Dropbox. This way if your computer dies you are not handing the IRS agent a dead hard drive. And back everything up. The computer ate your receipts is no excuse.
  4. Be reasonable. Do you think it is really tax deductible? Find out and then don’t be stupid. The refrigerator for the house is not tax deductible no matter how many times you stare into it for inspiration.
  5. Start ahead of time. I’m a major procrastinator, but next year I’m going to be figuring out my taxes in January. At least the parts I can do myself. That schedule C is supposed to be easy to figure out, but I want time to make mistakes and then fix them.
  6. Get help. I have a back up plan. If my taxes are too convoluted (and since I’ll be doing them ahead of time I’ll know long before the deadline) I’ll be asking some professional for help. In that case I’ll have a nice file of receipts downloaded from my drop box and my Quicken files to hand to her. Yippee!
That’s all I’ve got. But if you would like some additional help I am copying some links from my friend and fellow author Amy Atwell. Amy has started Author EMS a site for author’s seeking information (Check it out HERE) and while I didn’t get these links from there they are some that she posted on our goals loop:

http://www.forwrite rs.com/taxes. html
http://louisianalia r.com/business- of-writing/

http://curiosityqui lls.com/being- a-tax-wise- author-writer- part-one/

Best of luck with your taxes this year, and if you are in the USA you have two extra days this year WOOT!

Have you started your taxes? Do you get professional help? Have you started deducting your expenses as an author? Are you scared of the IRS?

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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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Examining Excel from the a Non-Techie Perspective

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

The last two Moonday Mania’s I’ve been discussing the Snowflake method of plotting and how it’s changing my pantsing ways. You can read the first post HERE and the second HERE. And today I’m going to talk about a tiny piece of the Snowflake method that has expanded my non-techie universe just a little more.

Excel.

(cue scary music) DA-NA-NA-NA!

Here is what Randy Ingermanson says about writers and spreadsheets in ‘How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method’:

“For some reason, this is scary to a lot of writers. Oh the horror. Deal with it.You leaned to use a word-processor. Spreadsheets are easier. You need to make a list of scenes, and spreadsheets were invented for making lists. If you need some tutoring, buy a book. there are a thousand out there and one of them will work for you. It  should take you less than a day to learn the itty bit you need. It’ll be the most valuable day you ever spent. Do it.”

I read those words and I thought; ok, Randy says to just do it, I can do it.

Now like a lot of writers I have avoided the Excel side of life. I took a class, many moons ago, and about the only thing I remember is that you plug in rows of complicated formulas into the cells and they work their math magic all by themselves. But writing isn’t math, so how the heck is this going to work? Can I plug my scenes into the cells and my story will automatically write itself?

I wish!

I do have a little more experience withe Excel. I am part of an investment club, The Queens of Green, and we have been blessed with a woman with a masters in accounting. She created amazing spreadsheets for our stock evaluations. Every month I go to the Excel spreadsheet for my stock (until recently, Target) and I open up a two sheet multi-column spreadsheet with detailed instructions from the CPA goddess on how to plug in numbers.

It goes something like this:

I open the spread sheet and read the first instruction. Copy last column and paste. Ok, I do that. Then each color coded square has similar step-by-step instructions on where to find the correct numbers online. What site to go to, which tab to click. Go to this page and plug in that. Very detailed. I stumble through, and at the end I have some idea of what’s been going on with my stock. The color coding tells me if we want to retain it, or dump it.

And each month I have to figure it out again. Why? Because I’m non-techie (read: resistant to change.

But Randy says I need a spreadsheet. So last month, I bravely opened up Excel and did it. I, all by little old lonesome, created a scene spreadsheet for my new novella (working title Snow and the Seventh Wolf). And guess what? It was way easier than I thought it would be!

You see, I’ve been getting very cozy with Microsoft Word and Excel is its kissing cousin. Yes, they look very different on the surface, but underneath they are more similar than I thought. The navigation bar at the top looks almost the same, and there are many things you can do that are the same. So I started to play.

Yes play. I think the main thing that keep us non-techie writers from using Excel is fear. Fear I will make a mistake. Fear I will lose all my work. So the secret is to back it up, and back up frequently. Once you start doing that you realize that you can play in the sandbox with the other kiddos without being scared.

I now have a lovely spreadsheet where I can cut and paste my scenes. I can easily add extra scenes by adding a row, or cut them with a ruthless click of my mouse. And how has this changed my pantsing, um, plotting? Well, I’m figuring out my plot before writing. And even after I started writing (when those darn characters changed their motivations on me) I was able to shift scenes and change the plot.

The end result is a detailed list of chapters with an approximate word count, so my plot can stay on target. One line per scene, not too onerous for a pantser like me, still leaves lots of room for flexibility with my writing. And an entire book plotted in just a few days.

Is it life changing? You bet! I’ve never been one for shuffling the notecards, but here is an easy way to do it, without all the pesky hand writing. I know there are programs out there to do this for you, in fact I bet Randy’s Snowflake program comes with something to do it for you, but I’m glad I am doing it this way. Because I am also learning (although in tiny baby steps) how to work Excel. One more step along my road to writing as a career and a personal celebration of overcoming my fears.

One more note. Randy’s program, Snowflake PRO, is one of the most affordable writing/plotting programs out there. It only costs $100. And he is running a special. If you buy his book Writing Fiction for Dummies, he’ll cut the price to $50. Go to his website for details on how to get this amazing special HERE.

Have you used Excel in your writing? Or maybe a writing program that utilizes spreadsheets? What about new skills, have you ever taken on a skill that you were terrified to do? What made you try?

Enter my Little Red Riding Wolf contest HERE. Still lots of opportunities to enter and win! Contest will close at the end of February, so jump on and win some chocolate or the best sticky notes ever! And check out Romance and Beyond for my interview by the fabulous Sherry Isaac!

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Making the Arduous Journey from Pantser to Plotter

Moonday Mania

A blog about the craft of writing

I’ve always been a pantser. From the moment Mr. Brown in fifth grade introduced us to outlines, I knew I hated them. I even had to write my ten page research paper two weeks before it was due so I could fake the outline, turn it in, then pretend I’d written the paper from the outline. I desperately didn’t understand why anyone needed an outline.

In college I would get up the morning a paper was due and write it, then go turn it in. Well, only if it was a short one. Longer papers required writing the night before, but none of them got more than my brain turning them over and over. Maybe a few notes scrawled in my spiral notebook, but no outlines. Nada.

So when I really started to write I of course sat down in front of a blank screen and thought about my first scene. Then I typed. This worked well. For the first few scenes. Enthusiasm drove me along through chapter one, then chapter two, then chapter three. By chapter four I was sinking fast and when I hit the second quarter of the plot, I was stumped.

Without a road map I had no idea where my characters were going. Without character sketches, I had no idea why they were even on the journey. I had to change. Even if change meant kicking and screaming and acting like a two year old, I was going to learn how to plot.

Of course what I really did was read books. Lots of books. Books on how to fill out sheets with your characters names and descriptions and deep motivation. Wait, deep motivation. How could I possibly know how my characters were motivated without seeing how they acted? I couldn’t. So I struggled through completing my first book. And then came the editing.

And then more editing. And then the re-editing.

You see without a roadmap I had created some serious issues. I had discovered my characters so far into the plot that I had to go back to the beginning and re-write. A lot. And when I had done that, I found out that some of the plot didn’t work so well, so I had to re-write it. And when I had done that, I still needed to polish the whole shebang. And then I had someone say that they didn’t understand my hero’s motivation, so it still needs more editing. ARRGH!

It was then that I realized that I needed to plot. At least a little bit. And it was then that I discovered the Snowflake method. Randy Ingermanson (author of Writing Fiction for Dummies) has a free Advanced Fiction Writing e-zine that you can sign up for, but what got him started on the e-zine was his plotting method. So many people wanted it he was called to post it online. And now he has a program to help you do it yourself. It’s simple, it’s fast, and better yet, it works for anti-plotters like me.

Next Moonday Mania I’m going to share how I use the Snowflake method and how easy it is for even a committed pantser like me to make the switch to plotter.

Are you a pantser, plantser or plotter? How do you know? Have you tried to make the switch? Leave a comment and tell me your plotting story.

And don’t forget to record it on the Rafflecopter widget. Every day is a new opportunity to enter the contest and win prizes HERE in celebration of the release of Little Red Riding Wolf. More opportunities to comment when you visit the blogs on my blog tour. Tuesday visit with me at Her Story Calls and leave a comment there too!

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Using a Goal Setting Group to Bring Success

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

If you’ve read any of my past posts, you may have noticed I’m a goals girl. I love taking out the paper and figuring out where I want to go and how to get there. Making sure I check those goal sheets, well… that doesn’t always happen. I can be racing along, in a hurry to get where I think I’m going, and totally forget to check the map.

That can end up with the end of the year check in being a big surprise and can go something like this:

“Wait.. I said I wanted to save money for a trip to Hawaii? But I spent it all on that writing conference. What happened?”

This year though I did something different. I joined a goal setting group last December. Writing Giam hosted by the amazing Amy Atwell. Not only does Amy supervise the entire Writing Gaim site, she jumps on to all the loops (I’m on loop number five, and I know there are more than that), and she also is starting a database for authors with helpful articles.

Writing Gaim has been a lifesaver for me. I’ve found that having a group to report to has made my goal setting much more focused. Every week I set my goals, and I’m actually staying on course! (Except for the Hawaii thing). This is one of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful. Reporting back to a person or a group of people on your weekly endevours increases your chances of success. Checking in with my GaimX5rs loop on a regular basis is like looking the WW leader in the eye and confessing to eating a whole box of Little Debbies. Not going to happen.

When you know you have someone to report to, then you are much more likely to stay on track. And if you have a bad week, you are much more likely to get back on the wagon. This is particularly helpful if you are easily distracted (like me) by things like unwashed dishes or husbands or dogs.

You see those things (especially the husbands and dogs) notice if you don’t follow through. Who notices when you don’t follow through on your writing goals? Just you, you say? It might be time for a change.

Writing Gaim also has a Go-Pro loop, for those people who haven’t yet made it to PRO. I love this idea and if I’d known about it before I hit PRO, I would have jumped on it. PRO is great, but you can’t access any of it’s benefits till you finish and submit that first ms. And that can be a mountain of work. If you are interested in achieving this milestone, and are having trouble, a whole group focused on getting you there might be the answer.

The other great thing about my goal setting loop is all the wonderful author friends I’ve made. And I use the word author instead of writer on purpose. These people are all either publishing or on the road to publication. And it’s happening at a fast rate. Whether they’ve jumped off the romance boat to write memoirs or are self-publishing, they check in and show their progress. These are authors on the move.

How do you challenge your goal setting weaknesses? Do you have someone who keeps you accountable? Is it a group or a crit-partner? What if they don’t actually push you? Do you need to make a change?

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Advanced Plotting with Chris Eboch

Moonday Madness

A blog about the craft of writing

Today’s guest is multi-published author Chris Eboch. Chris is not only an accomplished fiction author, but she now teaches what she has learned. Her book Advanced Plotting will help you smooth out those bumps in the road. 

A woman heard I was a writer with 12 books published, and she said, “Why aren’t you living in Beverly Hills?”

I managed to keep a straight face. Besides the fact that I prefer New Mexico to Beverly Hills, 12 books in about as many years does not pay a living wage. It does, however, mean that I’ve learned a lot over the years. I’ve written historical fiction (The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery set in ancient Egypt, and The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure, both for ages nine and up), an original paperback series (the Haunted series, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs, also for kids), and various types of work for hire. I also recently started writing romantic suspense for adults under the name Kris Bock (Rattled is a treasure hunting adventure in the New Mexico wilderness).

Besides my published books, I have a dozen unpublished manuscripts – part of the learning process. I learn a lot from teaching other writers as well. I lead workshops, work with students through a correspondence school, and do private manuscript critiques. You can’t analyze thousands of stories and novels without learning a few things about what works and what doesn’t.

And yet, somehow, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to see the flaws in your own work. But I’ve found a method to help. I call it the Plot Outline Exercise, and I discuss it at length in my book Advanced Plotting. The short summary is, you make an outline of your finished manuscript, briefly describing the main action and any subplots in each chapter. Then you analyze your plot. Looking at the outline, rather than the entire manuscript, makes it easier to see the big picture without getting distracted by little details.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It takes a lot of work to make a manuscript strong, so I ask over 40 questions, divided into sections for Conflict, Tension, Main Character, Subplots and Secondary Characters, Theme, and Fine Tuning. For example, here are the opening three from Conflict (and each of these bullet points I consider to be one question, despite the multiple question marks):

·         Put a check mark by the line if there is conflict in that chapter. For chapters where there is no conflict, can you cut those, interweave with other chapters, or add new conflict? The conflict can be physical danger, emotional stress, or both, so long as the main character (MC) is facing a challenge.

·         Where do we learn what the main conflict is? Could it be sooner? Is there some form of conflict at the beginning, even if it is not the main conflict? Does it at least relate to the main conflict? The inciting incident—the problem that gets the story going—should happen as soon as possible, but not until the moment is ripe. The reader must have enough understanding of the character and situation to make the incident meaningful. Too soon, and the reader is confused. Too late, and the reader gets bored first.

·         Where do we learn the stakes? What are they? Do you have positive stakes (what the MC will get if he succeeds), negative stakes (what the MC will suffer if he fails), or best of all, both? Could the penalty for failure be worse? Your MC should not be able to walk away without penalty.

As you answer each question, you make notes on the outline for where you need to make changes on your manuscript. Then, of course, you need to actually make the changes. Advanced Plotting has over 20 additional articles to explain how to make these changes, covering topics such as getting off to a fast start and using cliffhanger chapter endings.

As I said, it isn’t easy to do this kind of revision, but when the result is a much stronger manuscript, it’s worthwhile. Since I now outline before I start writing, I use the Plot Outline Exercise at that planning stage and catch a lot of problems early, but not every writer can – or wants to – sketch out a manuscript in detail in advance. However you write, making an outline at some point can help you see what you really have, so you can identify and fix problems.

Learn more about Chris and read excerpts of her work at www.chriseboch.com (for children’s books) or www.krisbock.com (for adult romantic suspense written under the name Kris Bock) or see her Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Eboch/e/B001JS25VE/. You can also read excerpts from Advance Plotting on her blog:http://chriseboch.blogspot.com/.

Thanks Chris! Leave a question or comment for Chris and you will be entered in today’s Halloween Treats drawing for an autographed copy of Michelle Celmer’s A Clandestine Corporate Affair. All commenters will be entered in the drawing for three grand prizes to occur on October 31st, so check back to see if you are a winner! Saturday’s winner is Gloria Richard! Congratulations Gloria, send me your address and I’ll send you the book!

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New to the Rodeo

Moonday Madness

a blog about the craft of writing

It’s a wild ride.

From the first moment I decided to write for publication, that was my goal- publication. Now that may sound obvious, but I know many authors who say they are interested in publishing, but they never seem to do the things they need to do to get there. I understand this. It’s easy to let yourself slide into all the myriad things that need to be done and never actually do the few things that will get you to publication.

Why is that? It’s because actually publishing is scary.

It’s scary for me too. From the moment I sent off my first manuscript and received that first rejection I was on a wild ride. First the anticipation and hope of sending it off. Then the deep depression when it comes back, rejected.

Some authors get thrown off and never get back on. They want to publish, even have a deep desire to be published, but the thought of receiving another rejection letter is overwhelming. It’s tough to get back on that horse when your spine is bruised and your ego shaken.

But the reward is great. When I opened the email from Passion in Print Press and saw that it had not just a letter, but an acceptance letter and a contract for Little Red Riding Wolf…well let’s just say I was higher than the top of the stands.

But it’s not over with the acceptance. Then, as a newbie, I’m worried about everything. Is the contract what I think it is? Should I sign? Should I send it certified mail or pay the extra five bucks for Priority? Did they get it? Will they send it back signed? What do I do next?

And worst of all. I can’t stop here. I have to keep writing, keep submitting, and maybe even court another one of those rejection letters. Up and down and up and down, authors have to have wills of iron and buns of steel. Because I know the ride doesn’t stop here, it’s just beginning.

It’s October and my first annual Halloween Treats Contest in celebration of the acceptance of my spicy paranormal novella Little Red Riding Wolf (soon to be released from Passion in Print Press). To enter leave a comment for me and I’ll be announcing the winner of today’s free book on Thursday October 6th when Keridak Kae is my guest blogger. Today’s free book giveaway is Liz Carlyle’s The Bride Wore Scarlet.

And the winner of Saturday’s book is Casey Wyatt! Please email me your address through my contact page and I’ll be sending out books next week! Congratulations!

The winner of The Bride Wore Scarlett is Brinda Berry! Congratulations Brinda, send me your address through my contact page and I’ll send out your book next week! Congratulations!

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Embarking on a New Adventure

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write, whatever!

For those of you just joining my blog I started the year stepping onto the board of life. Spinning the wheel and seeing where my little car would take me I drove straight into a class by Angi Morgan, author of Hill Country Hold Up (if you love suspense, you’ll love Angi’s books!) where I learned that first time authors have a world of things to do and no time to do them. Angi described her first year as an author as a roller coaster ride, thrilling, but scary.

Angi’s advice was to jump on the roller coaster now! What would you be doing if you were published? And she told us what she’d needed to do. Not only come through with edits for the accepted book, but whip out a synopis and a second book in record time. And the roller coaster continued with websites and promotion and all the things she’d never thought of doing before being published.

And that’s how I find myself in the predicament I am now, amazingly, astonishingly, awesomely busy. I love everything I do and dropping something is difficult. I am very active in my local RWA chapter CRW. I’m working hard on our OctoberFalling into Romance Tea. I am still juggling reservationist, but have a wonderful person to take it on after today. So that will leave me PRO liason and AOE co-ordinator.

Phew! Along with balancing two websites (if you haven’t checked out Paranormal Freebies, please do so HERE), my crazy self-imposed goals for writing, oh yeah, the dog and the family, I have loaded a lot on my plate. But I’m winnowing it down.

And then I came across the Third Writing Campaign! Seems easy, right?

Just check out the 25+ blogs in my group, and accept the three challenges.

Well I couldn’t leave it there? Could I?

I have added in Kerri Cuevas Choose Your Own Adventure to my plate. But how could I resist? I loved those books as a kid. It was like writing your own story. You would start the story, and it would be about you. Something terrible would happen and at the end of the chapter would be those magical words: If you  choose to stay and fight, go to page five. If you choose to run out the door, go to page twenty-two.

Well, what would you do?

Read them over and over and over, till you had the entire thing memorized. I still see them sometimes in used bookstores. Well read, but still chugging along. So I had to jump on Kerri’s train and I’m thrilled to announce that we’re about to start working on our very own choose your own adventure!

You can check out the list of nineteen intrepid bloggers and authors who will be writing this adventure with me HERE, and I hope when the time comes you will all be adventurous yourselves on October 23, 20011 and go to Kerri’s blog and see what happens when the reader gets to choose!

Did you read these as a child? Share with me if you did and if you didn’t what fabulous books held your attention when you were young?

And don’t forget to check back Monday for Moonday Madness with guest blog by Summer Mahan!

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Filed under channeling success, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's, Third Writers Platform Building Campaign, writing organization