Tag Archives: Jessica Aspen Writes

Writing is a Muscle—Use it, or Lose it

Moonday Mania

a blog for the readers and writers

It’s the end of the summer. Out here in Colorado, kids are heading back to school, the nights are getting cooler, and we’re on to the last of my summer blogs on The Top Five Things I’ve Learned Writing Romance. Today’s topic may be the most important of all: Writing is a muscle—use it, or lose it.

Here is the list of the other top five things I’ve learned writing romance, and the links to the posts:

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene.
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it.
  3. There is no such thing as the muse.
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.

Now on with today’s blog:

Writing is hard!

I have had a lot of ups and downs in my effort to write on a regular basis. Sometimes it seems like I get on a writing roll (writing three days a week and getting 10k done) and then it happens: life laughs at me and says “Sorry! Time for a family emergency. No writing for you!”

GRR!

Why is this so upsetting? Because, just like running, lifting weights, or even walking more than ten minutes, it when you don’t use your writing muscles, they degrade.

I know I can write. I know I can get a good sized rough draft done in about 2 months, but my health, my family’s health, and various other interruptions mean that the last book took four months to write, instead of 2. And that just frustrates me.

In fact, I think I can even do better!

I wrote for 11 days in April, 8 days in July, and four in August for a total of 66,556 words. An average of just under 3,ooo words per day. Now that sounds pretty impressive, but let’s take a better look at that. Some of those days I wrote less than 1,000 words, and some days I wrote nearly 5,000 words. Why were they different?

  • Amount of time is a piece of that: some days I only had an hour to write, some days I had four.
  • Organization is also a piece: sometimes the synopsis and beat sheet were spot on and I could really sit down and just write. Some days I had to throw out the synopsis and figure out what I needed to do.

Getting back to writing is slow writing.

But mostly, it had to do with if I’d written that week at all, or if I was sitting down to a cold and chilly keyboard. The first few days of July, when I hadn’t touched this manuscript since the end of April, my pace was super slow. The first two days: 331 and 433 respectively.

The more I sit down and write, the faster the words roll out. If I want to write a book in two months, they need to be consecutive months, they need to be consecutive weeks, and the best possible scenario? They really need to be consecutive days.

Imagine if on the days when I wrote a few hundred words, I actually wrote my average of 3,000 words. (And this really is my average. If I’m writing 2-3 days per week for 3 hours at a time, I write 3k per sitting.) My word count on those days would be 3 times what I actually wrote. And that would mean I could have written the entire rough draft in less than a month, instead of two months stretched over four months.

Wow! I’d be a superhero writer!

muscle

Photo by Denis Yang, creative commons

 

 How do you get to be your own writing superhero?

Write as much as you can as often as you can. It’s that simple. Okay, it’s not that simple. Writing is just like working out. It takes discipline and focus. And it takes getting to the job day after day, even when you don’t want to.

Notice, I can tell you what you should do, but I struggle with it myself. But when I crunch these numbers, I can see superherodom in my future. And I want it.

How can I write like this?

I won’t lie, it’s hard. But like all good things it comes with it’s own reward. Just like working out, when you write on a consistent schedule, you’ll see your muscles getting stronger.

I’m going to test out my theory. I’m goaling writing my next book in a month. It has a 50k rough draft goal. At 3k per day, that’s 16 writing days. And if I can get my writing speed up because I’m writing faster? I think it’s still 16 3 hour days because the days I wrote 5k I sat at the keyboard for an extra hour per day to make up the time from the days I couldn’t get to the writing.

So that’s the goal for the next project:

16 days writing. Want to see my plans? I’ll be detailing my calendar in my next writing post. Want to see how I do? Check in at the end of September and we’ll see how we’re doing. Thousands of people achieve this very goal in the month of November. The most I’ve ever written in 30 days is 30,000 words.

Life? Challenge accepted. Superhero, here I come!

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Get A Log Line Baby!

Moonday Mania

a nano-istic blog

NaNoWriMo PARTICIPANT 2014 graphicI’m starting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) today. Okay, it should have started on Saturday, but I couldn’t really start then. I had plans. And I’ll be blogging more about how that works with Nano next Moonday Mania, so check it out. We’re Nanoing romance all month on Jessica Aspen Writes!

So, how do you keep your focus and end up with a terrific story at the end of the month? Kristen Lamb knows. You need a log line. She wrote a terrific blog last week about why people fail with their stories and how even bad stories can get made into movies. Check it out:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/write-a-terrific-novel-nano-minimize-revisions-improve-odds-of-finishing-and-publishing/

What is a log line? It’s your elevator pitch. The one thing you should be able to get out of your stumbling mouth when that famous agent, editor, author asks you when you’re waiting in line for drinks at the bar, “So, what’s your book about?”

A great place to learn about log lines and writing that story idea down is by checking out author Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. If you follow me at all you know I’m a big Randy Ingermanson fan. I love the Snowflake method and it’s perfect for Nano.

You start with a character with a goal. It’s that simple. Frodo needs to get the ring to the mountain. But Randy suggests you put it into non-specific terms. Small, underestimated hero takes powerful evil ring across an entire world, facing great danger and discovering the meaning of loyalty and true friendship.

Okay, that’s more than the fifteen words Randy recommends, but you get the drift. Let’s winnow it down even farther:

Underestimated hero takes powerful evil ring across an entire world and discovers the meaning of true friendship.

Still more than fifteen, but I like it, so I’m leaving it.

Write it down on a sticky note and put it where you can see it when you write.

And that’s how you do a log line. And how you keep Nano and the end of the 50K in your focus.

Do you use log lines in your writing? Can you winnow down your favorite stories to just a few words? It’s actually a fun game. Go ahead and try it!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, writing craft

Seduced by A Sinner

 Whimsical Wednesday

a blog to meet new authors!

Today I’m lucky enough to interview fellow romance author Cynthia Woolf here today on Jessica Aspen Writes. Cynthia has been on the blog before with her sci-fi romance, but she also writes killer western romances and is very well known for her Bride Series, including Tame a Wild Bride. She’s also a fellow member of Colorado Romance Writers and will be at our CRW tea in October partying it up and signing books.

Hi Cynthia, Tell us a little about yourself and your book.

I write historical western and sci-fi romance. I’m concentrating on the westerns because that is what sells. This book, Seduced by a Sinner, is the third in the Destiny in Deadwood series. It completes the story arc for the villain introduced in the first book, Redeemed by a Rebel. It also tells the story of Zach, the middle of the three Anderson brothers.

What is your writing environment like? I write at my desk and it’s totally cluttered with stuff. I have my keyboard in a tray underneath the desk, so the top of the desk holds research, calendars, calculator, snacks, whatever else I want or need.

Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer? My husband is my greatest cheerleader.

What do you love about writing? Hate about it? I love the initial writing of the story, but have a love/hate relationship with the editing portion. I love it in that I see the editing making my story stronger. I hate it in that I want the story done right now.

Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.  I’m a pantser. I write a little bit, maybe a page or two about the characters and the basic plot.

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict? The first thing I do it come up with the setting, then I do initial research on that. Second is the plot followed by the characters and the conflict. The title is last for me. One of my critique partners is the opposite. For her, she can’t do anything without the title first.

How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics? I use the internet a lot. If I can, I go visit the place, like Deadwood, SD for my latest work. Then I use the resource materials that I get at the location, history books, old newspapers, train schedules, whatever I need for the plot and character specifics.

Are you self-publishing? Why or why not? I am self publishing because I like the control. I like writing to my own schedule and answering only to myself.

What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges? I went the indie route because I was tired of trying to get published the traditional way and being told that westerns are dead or we can’t place you. The best part is being able to set your own pace and write what you want. The worst part about it is having to promote yourself so much, but I guess even those that are traditionally published have to do their own promotion these days. Unless, of course, you’re Nora Roberts.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? This is the third in the Destiny in Deadwood series. As to sequels, none are planned, but you just never know.

What are you releasing next, and when? My next series is about mail order brides in San Francisco in 1867, after the Civil War, when men were scarce in the east. The first of those books is titled The Brides of San Francisco – Nellie and will be out in November 2014.

Seduced by a Sinner

seduced by a sinner by cynthia woolfZach Anderson is a desperate man. He needs to find a killer before the man destroys Zach’s entire family. He also must convince one Lily Sutter, the woman he loves, that she loves him and wants to marry him.

Neither task is an easy one.

Lily Sutter is a sinner. Just ask anyone in Deadwood. She had a baby out of wedlock and she doesn’t deny it. She was seduced and left by one man; she refuses to be taken in by another. The fact that Zach makes her blood boil and her heart race, just by being near, has nothing to do with anything.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00O4QLPS2

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seduced-by-a-sinner-cynthia-woolf/1120402919?ean=2940150463547

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/seduced-by-a-sinner

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seduced-by-a-sinner/id925857407?mt=11

Seduced by a Sinner, historical western romance, 978-1-938887-47-5, indie published, release date September 2014

BIO

cynthia woolf, authorCynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of nine historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

 

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

 

TITLES AVAILABLE:

SEDUCED BY A SINNER (Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series)

HEALED BY A HEART (Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series)

REDEEMED BY A REBEL (Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series)

CAPITAL BRIDE (Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series)

HEIRESS BRIDE (Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series)

FIERY BRIDE (Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series)

TAME A WILD HEART (Book 1, Tame series)

TAME A WILD WIND (Book 2, Tame series)

TAME A WILD BRIDE (Book 3, Tame series)

TAME A SUMMER HEART (short story, Tame series)

 

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web or Blog Site: www.cynthiawoolf.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf

Twitter: www.twitter.com/CynthiaWoolf

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Woolf/e/B005O1ZXK2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1qBWhFQ

 

 

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Filed under guest post, romance, Whimsical Wednesdays

Paranormal Romance Book Trailers-Fall 2014

Thursdays Bite

a peek into the romantic world of the paranormal

Hello and welcome to Jessica Aspen Writes on Thursdays Bite, my paranormal romance blog day. Well, Thursday is typically my paranormal day, but I have a HUGE announcement to make. I’m switching my paranormal romance posts to Fridays and calling them Fantastical Fridays. Why? Well if you read Monday’s post on my Fall Resolutions you will know that I’m reorganizing my time around writing my romances. Thursdays have become so busy that not only am I not home to respond to comments on the blog, but getting the blog done eats into my Wednesdays, which should be my writing days. Hence the Thursday sabbatical and moving on to Fridays!

This will be the last Thursdays Bite for some time. When my schedule shifts around, then I’ll look at adding it back in again. Or, if I just feel like it, I may do one for fun! Stay tuned. Next week I’ll have my typical paranormal romance blog on Fridays. Fridays are fun, right? No, they’re fantastical!

Now on to what you’re really waiting for, the Fall 2014 Paranormal Romance Book Trailers!

We’re covering the gamut today with our romance trailers, from magic shops-to Egypt-to Regency England. We also have some very different styles of trailers. I love how each romance author brings her own style to their paranormal book trailers.

The first book trailer I have today is Shannon Grey’s Shoppe of Spells, book one in the Gatekeeper’s series. It’s a simple text trailer, but I love the way the words shatter. It’s also pretty short, so I think the length helps keep your attention long enough to get to the end.

Now we come to Magic of the Nile by Best Selling Author and USA today HEA Sci-Fi Enounters Columnist Veronica Scott
I love Egyptian music, that and the sparklies in the video make me want to dance. Not that my Egyptian dancing is all that!

Magic of the Nile is one of Veronica Scott’s Gods of Egypt series. If you love exotic romance and a little history with your reading, check it out!

And last, but not least, is Angela Quarles new time travel paranormal romance, Must Love Breeches. Angela not only has produced her own book trailer, but she recently had an article on how you can do the same. Check out Jami Gold’s Blog HERE and find out how you too can make your book into magic.

So that’s all folks! See you tomorrow on my first Fantastical Fridays. Since I showcased my paranormal romance book trailers today, you’ll be able to click the link to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s and see what a paranormal romance author cooks up in the kitchen. It’s not just witches brew and fairy cakes!

Do you have a paranormal book trailer for your book? Would you like to see it featured on Jessica Aspen Writes? Please send me the YouTube link, as well as your name and buy links for the book and I’ll try to get it posted in the next Fantastical Fridays Paranormal Book Trailers feature.

Jessica Aspen

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

Author web links:  

Website: https://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

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Filed under Book Trailers, Thursdays Bite

Werewolves in the Kitchen…Oh My!

Whimsical Wednesdays

guest post

Today on Jessica Aspen Writes, I’m interviewing author, Shauna Aura Knight. Besides having the coolest author name ever, she also has a pretty hot cover and a seriously hot book! You might also be interested in her non-fiction books on dreamwork, rituals, and goddesses. Please welcome, Shauna, to the blog

Hi Shauna and thanks for being my guest today on Jessica Aspen Writes. Let’s get started on the interview, shall we? What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

I’d say characters and conflict. I often hit right in the middle of the story, particularly when one of my stories comes from an idea from one of my epic dreams.

 

Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?

I haven’t had many rejections, but I also waited until I was a really solid writer to submit my work. This is speaking both as a nonfiction and a fiction author. I did recently have a rejection that devastated me at first. However, having a beta reader go through my rejected novel helped me figure out what was wrong with it. In the act of defining the villain more clearly, I not only improved that story, but I came up with the villain/primary conflict for at least three or four other books that I had started, yet I wasn’t sure what the motivation for the villain was. So that rejection ended up being really good for me!

 

Are you self-publishing? Why or why not?

I have self published some of  my nonfiction, and I’m working on a fiction story to self publish. I like working with publishers as it helps to get my work out to a broader audience, and it’s nice to not have to manage all the details. Plus, the experience of having my work edited has tremendously improved my writing. However, I am looking to self publish some fiction just to get a more direct idea of what promotion efforts are working. I do a lot of social media, and I’m never sure what is actually helping to sell my books. I’d like to spend more time writing, and less time promoting, so the only way to do that is to get more strategic about it.

 What’s unique about this particular book.

The book is has some very intensely sexy moments, particularly when all three of them are having sex together…but what really made the characters come alive for me is how funny Jake and Kyle are together. I had no clue when I started writing the story that the two of them would be so clueless about how to seduce Ellie. Writing them made me laugh out loud.

 

Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?

I was surprised that Jake and Kyle were werewolves. I wrote the scene of the three of them hooking up first. By the time I finished writing that very erotic scene, I knew that they were werewolves. I’ve always been more into vampires, to this was a surprise.

 

Werewolves in the Kitchen by Shauna Aura KnightDid you have a favorite scene?

I do; it’s this hilarious interchange between Jake and Kyle. I don’t even know where it came from, but it still cracks me up when I read it. These two incredibly sexy werewolves are trying to seduce Ellie and completely failing at it.

 

“Was she running away from us?”

 

Jake folded his arms. “You scared her off.”

 

“Me? I’m not the one who was all, ‘Would you like some lemonade?’ No, that didn’t spook her.”

 

“You were about to force feed her pie.”

 

“I was just offering.” Kyle tugged his apron off.

 

“She does run away from us though.” Jake and Kyle headed outside. “Why do we scare her?”

 

“We’ve never gone feral in front of her….”

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

I didn’t intend this book as a series when I wrote it, however, I now have three novels I’m working on that all take place at the SpiralStone retreat center where Werewolves takes place. In A Golden Heart of Glass, Angel is a devotee of the goddess Aphrodite, but as she and Benjamin grow closer, they both find themselves sought after by creatures that want their magic. Jake, Kyle, and Ellie make appearances, and I’m also working on a freebie short story about the threesome from Werewolves. Jake and Kyle ambush Ellie with a feast of chocolate…delicious smut ensues.

What are you releasing next, and when?

My next release will be A Fading Amaranth. Alexandra’s psychic abilities have made it impossible for her to be in a relationship until she meets Nathaniel, a vampire who has lost his muse. When a Faerie monster begins stalking the streets of Chicago, they have to face dark magic and danger. I don’t have a release date just yet but it’ll be out soon!

 BOOK BLURB: Werewolves in the Kitchen

When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?

 

Excerpt on my Blog: http://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/book-release-werewolves-in-the-kitchen/

 

To buy Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Jupiter Gardens Press: http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/werewolves-in-the-kitchen

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Werewolves-Kitchen-Shauna-Aura-Knight-ebook/dp/B00HVJMUSI

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/werewolves-in-the-kitchen-shauna-aura-knight/1118063246

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-werewolvesinthekitchen-1396618-340.html

 Werewolves in the Kitchen is a paranormal romance with a M/F/M ménage.

ISBN:  #978-1-938257-65-0

 shauna aura knight, authorBIO: Shauna Aura Knight

An artist, author, and presenter, Shauna’s work is inspired by the mythic stories of heroes and magic, and of the darkness we each must overcome. She’s a fantasy artist and author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Her mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations.She travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of community leadership, facilitation, and personal transformation, and is the author of numerous articles and books on those subjects.

 

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web Site: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com

Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunaKnightAuthorArtist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shauna_A_Knight

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/shaunaaknight

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Filed under guest post, Whimsical Wednesdays, Writer's Journey

Fall Resolutions, Part – The Whine

Moonday Mania

a blog based in my reality

Before I dive into Jessica Aspen Writes I want to dive into the news.

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenGhosts of Christmas Past, my contemporary Gothic romance is now available on all channels: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, IbooksAllRomanceEbooks and Kobo The ghosts make it perfect for Fall and Halloween reading as well as Christmas. And of course it’s a romance, so give it a go.

I’m planning a birthday party for The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court. I love Fall and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so the month of October will be filled with special tricks and treats and birthday celebrations for my first fantasy romance.

Now on to the blog!

WARNING: This is the whiny blog. If you want the actual resolutions, tune in next week where I tell you what I plan to do about changing my mindset and my schedule.

My new year starts in the Fall. It always has. School starts in Fall and from the time I was a child, that’s when the year shifted. Yeah, we have the big party in January, but that is such an artificial time to start the new year that it’s never felt right. I have fun in January. I even re-set my goals and participate in the whole New Year’s Resolution things. (You can check out my January Goals Post HERE.) But both my gut and my heart say the new year starts in the Fall.

This year, more than ever, I’m looking forward to school starting and having the house to myself. As I travel the path of becoming an author, (yes, six books out and I still feel like I’m in the becoming stage) I find that every day, week, and month my goals and life change. When my kids were in school and I wasn’t working my current job, I could write! I was so productive. Two thousand, three thousand words a day poured out of my brain and into my laptop. I edited and polished and produced. And then this year I changed jobs and summer hit.

Yikes!

My kids aren’t little, but they are super distracting, and my new job happens almost every day. EVERY DAY! I know, I know, the rest of you are thinking I’m crazy. (I did warn you this was the whiny blog, didn’t I?) Other writers get up at five in the morning or are typing long after everyone has gone to bed. Well, I can’t do that. At least not the writing at night thing. I fall asleep on the couch between 8 and 9 pm, most nights. My husband is always waking me up to send me to bed and my brain is mush.

Okay, then there is the writing in the early morning thing—before work. My brain takes time and coffee to wake up so I’ve been doing other work at 5 in the morning. Like writing blogs. A little caffeine and a fantastic spell-check and I can write non-fiction. I can even edit other people’s fiction, but create my own? That takes me being a more awake, a lot more sunshine.and way more coffee.

So this year my Fall will be a true New Year. I’ll be re-immersing myself in writing after a ton of editing last year and a summer spent reacting to everyone else’s needs. This fall I will be putting writing first and tell everyone else to go away. This year, I’ll be the no excuses writer. The one who I read about who says they write 8 hours a day and don’t let anyone or anything stop them!

Because I’m not giving up. No way. No how.

What happens to you when you have one of those seasons that takes away from what you really want to do? Does the whiner in you come out? Are you like me and whine, have the pity party, then pull up the big girl boots and move on to the work?

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

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Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

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Filed under channeling success, facing failure, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Shift Happens

Thursday’s Bite…

…on Friday!

Please welcome paranormal romance author JC McKenzie to Jessica Aspen Writes. Of course she writes paranormal, but this is also a book with shifters (something I love) and vampires. Paranormal romance to love! Give a warm welcome (claps) to JC!

Shifting Setting

When I sat down to write Shift Happens, the choice of setting came naturally to me. Vancouver, BC.  I’m Canadian, so I wanted to showcase a Canadian city instead of an American one, and I’ve lived in or around the Great Vancouver Area for well over a decade. I know this city. I love this city.

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city nestled in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It is by far the most ethnically and linguistically diverse urban centre in Canada and is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. It is consistently named one of the top worldwide cities for livability, quality of life and natural beauty. Not bad for a city that grew from a sawmill and a nearby tavern!

But not all that glitters is gold…Just as the natural beauty of the city shines through the day, full of spandex-clad yoga practitioners and cool ocean breezes, the city has a darkness to it as well. The largest population of homeless people in Canada, a renowned serial killer, infamous strip clubs, overdosing celebrities, rundown buildings, greasy bars, dark alleyways, and a buzzing night life.

I love the dichotomy of the city, its blend of natural beauty and cityscape. What a perfect location to set my Urban Fantasy where all supernatural creatures have been exposed and live amongst “normal” people.

Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all the while surrounded by the brilliance of lush evergreen forests, snow-capped mountains and onshore ocean breezes.

I needed Vancouver.

My imagination took me on a journey to a city I love.

 

Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?

Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?

ANDY SHOULD BE SOLVING A MYSTERY, BUT SHE’D RATHER PLAY WOLF. CAN SHE GET BOTH JOBS DONE?

Shift Happens

Shift Happens by JC McKenzieAndrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

 

Excerpt:

A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.

My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.

Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.

When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au 

All Romance Ebooks | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Chapters – Indigo | Wild Rose Press

Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014

And JC is having a super  Rafflecopter giveaway!

  About the Author: Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. You can discover JC at:  J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | The Wild Rose Press| Amazon Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under Writer's Journey

October Burn Out

Moonday Mania

a blog about blogging

Before I get started whining (and trust me, there will be whining) I would like to take care of a few business items. 

  1. THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who has signed up for my Goodreads Giveaway (ending on October 22nd), hopped over to all my guest blogs (I have more coming!), and just in general supported the release of my new twisted fairy tale, The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court.
  2. Tomorrow is the opening of Sam Cheever’s Trick or Treat with Your Favorite Author! Don’t forget to stop by Jessica Aspen Writes, as well as the thirteen other participating authors stops during the next two weeks. The contest ends on Halloween. There will be terrific prizes including two Kindle Paperwhite Readers, so come back and enter!
  3. I will be visiting several more sites this week including author Lynn Cahoon’s site tomorrow, October 15th. An interview with Sherry Issac on Wednesday, October 16th, and a very cool article on Wicca in my World on the site Worlds of the Imagination on Thursday, October 17th.
  4. Last, but not least, on Friday, October 18th, I will be in Las Vegas at the Hot Mojave Knights Romance Readers Convention! WOOT! If you are going, please look for me. I’ll be the one putting her feet up in the bar!

Now on to the whining!

If you read the above list about this week you’ll see why I’m afraid of burning out this October. Not only did my planned September release of The Dark Huntsman get pushed into this month, but I also ended up springing an out-of-town trip on myself when I won the Hot Mojave Knights tickets in the August CRW mini-con auction.

I guess none of this is really something I can complain about, since I’ve done it all to myself. I’m the one who decided to schedule all the blogs and blog hops. I’m the one who bought the tickets to Vegas. And I’m the one who went at ahead and released The Dark Huntsman.

The question is why?

Why would I do this to myself?

Why would I chose October, one of the busiest months of my year to do all of this?

jessica aspen

Because I’m crazy, that’s why.

I am a crazy, over-achiever, goal setter. I knew you all suspected, but this month is proof. We are only half-way through and already I’m worried about not making my goals, deadlines, seriously high expectations. I have activities planned for every weekend, blogs to write, and a novella to finish.

WHAT?

What did you say?

I have to finish writing Ghosts of Christmas Past while I’m going to the October CRW Tea, and signing books, and going to Las Vegas? No way.

Yes, but…

I set the goals.

Yes, me.

The Crazy One.

So when November comes around and the rest of you think you are going out of your mind with planning the holidays for December, remember me. I’ll be the one in the straight jacket trying to type.

Any sympathy from the peanut gallery?  Are you realizing it is the end of the year and you better get cracking on that novel, that life-style change, that house-cleaning that you meant to do all summer? Yep, the end of 2013 approaches and if you are like me you are squishing everything you can into October so you can make it to New Years and say, “Yes, I did!”

How is your October going? Are your goals coming home to roost? Leave me a comment (and try not to say “I told you so!”).

Oh, and if you haven’t checked out The Dark Huntsman on Amazon, now is your chance. Click HERE to see how terrific the book looks. If you’ve read it, please think about leaving a review. I love reviews!

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, writing organization