Tag Archives: writer

Working Up to Working Out

Moonday Mania

a blog for the new year and the new me

Happy New Year!

Yes, we’re into week two? or is it three? But who cares? It’s the New Year until we give up on it being the New Year. Sometime in week four or the first week in February when those New Year resolutions are really sinking in.

For me, that’s today, Thursday. I know you are reading this on Monday, or Tuesday, or maybe even next year, but right now it’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to wake up because my body wants to stay in bed after working out Tuesday. And Sunday. My stomach muscles are so sore it hurts to sneeze.

Is that confusing? Okay, here’s the story.

I work out. I walk or sprint five days a week and go to the gym two to three times per week.

Sure I do. And if you believe that, then I have a werewolf in my closet I’ll be happy to show you. That schedule is in an ideal world. When I work my way up to it and I’ve been doing all of this on a daily basis, then I really do do all of that, but in reality I get sick and I slack off. Or the weather is bad, so sprinting is out of the question, unless I want to slip on the ice and end up in the hospital. So the real work out schedule tends to be:

Try to walk five days per week—maybe make it four because of work or it being too dark outside. Try to get to the gym two to three days per week—maybe make it once or twice, due to the schedule. Or, (even more likely in winter and fall) get sick and don’t go at all.

So here I sit today, the second week of January with aching stomach muscles because…I haven’t been getting to the gym since the beginning of November. 

Does this sound like you? Do you set goals, but then something happens and you let yourself have a day off? And then another? I’m terrible about that when I don’t feel good or there is a holiday or I’m on vacation. All of which happened in November. And then it was December and I hadn’t been to the gym for a month and I got sick AGAIN! Any normal person would do what I did, put it off until January. December was nearly over, right? Right!

Writing is exactly like this. When I write, and I write on a daily basis, my writing  muscles are in good shape. I can sit down and knock out 2k in no time. Easy peasy. But…when I haven’t been writing my writing muscles are soft and getting them going again is tough. I sit and stare at the computer and struggle for what to write? Even though I love writing it becomes difficult, way more difficult than it needs to be.

And it’s not like I haven’t done all of this before. 

I know you won’t believe it, but I have failed at going to the gym before. Really. I have had to re-start those muscles time and time again. And I keep doing it. The same with the writing. I may need a jumpstart in January. I may complain about my aching muscles and have a tough time getting going in the mornings, wishing I had never slacked off in the first place, but I still end up in this same spot.

And it’s okay. Because I am determined to get those muscles back again.

I may never have that sixpack, (I’m naturally a curvy girl) I may never be that author who can churn out a book a month, but I am determined to get back into shape, both physically and as a writer. How about you?

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Are you writing? Swimming? Working out? How about eating more kale? Leave me a comment and let me know what you resolved to change this year and how it’s going. Are your muscles sore?

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 About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goals Check in, Nearing the end of 2014

Moonday Mania

a goal oriented blog

Whew! It’s the end of 2014 (well almost the end) and I’ve been reviewing my goals for the year. Who knew writing romance would be this tough? When I very first started in 2007 I only had one goal: finish a romance novel. Well, I did that. Then, it was publish the romance novel and write another. Well, I did that too. Now here I am at the end of my seventh year of taking writing seriously and looking at my goals for the year I realize I had no idea that I’d be here when I started.

So where am I?

Here’s the link to my goals post for 2014 and here are the goals and how I did. Red is DONE, Blue is NOT THERE YET!

Overall Goals for 2014

  1. Publish two books in Tales of the Black Court Series (Prince by Blood and Bone-end of Jan, Mirror-summer 2014) Published Prince by Blood and Bone April 2014, Wrote Broken Mirror rough draft, completed Dec. 2014-not published
  2. Publish Christmas story (First of Haunted Holiday Novellas)  (goal is Christmas in July) Published Ghosts of Christmas Past in August, 2014
  3. Publish on more formats Added in Ibooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and All E Romance
  4. Be making enough money by the end of 2014 to cover my writing expenses Okay, I’m not here yet. But I think with the publication of Broken Mirror in 2015 I will achieve this. Go 2015!
  5. Continue to hone marketing techniques. This is a continual work in progress, but I’m getting there!
  6. Remember balance Had to write this one in blue, as this year was a study in imbalance. But it’s December and I feel like I’m finally on my feet and maybe learning some balance. Or at least how to fake it!
  7. Work on writing on a schedule Another result of not having balance is my writing schedule got turned upside down when I changed my job schedule. But I think I’m finally getting this. If there aren’t holidays, sick days, and kids underfoot! 
  8. Come up with a plan for other books/series: What is my next step? Either start writing Tales of the Winter Court, focus on Haunted Holiday novellas, or write other Shifter books I’ve gone up and down on this, but I finally have a plan…You’ll see it next Moonday in my 2015 goals.
  9. Work on writing/spending time more efficiently I really think this is almost a reflection of #s 6 and 7. So once again, it’s in progress and getting better every day.

How are your goals for the year?

Did you do everything that you said you would? Did you do any of it? Did you hit a few bumps in the road and have to re-balance your alignment? Leave me a comment and tell me what’s up with your 2014, and then it’s on to 2015!

 

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 About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goals, Goals, Goals

Moonday Mania

a blog for picking yourself up and starting over

It’s been awhile since I addressed goals. I used to have a huge list of goals, take classes, market, improve the blog, but then Fall of 2013 was so stressful my body just gave in. Now I’m recovering from that and as a result, I’m honed in on the most important goal, getting Prince by Blood and Bone, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court out the door.

Because the fall was so difficult, and then I didn’t feel well, everything became delayed. I was supposed to get my Christmas novella edited in the fall, that got pushed back. I was supposed to outline Broken Mirror, and that’s been pushed back. At first I was devastated.

These were my goals. I’d given myself plenty of time. I should be able to get them done. Or at least get one of them done. But as sub-contractors didn’t get things to me on time, and then the day job blew up, and other events took precedence, I began to realize: the universe was sending me a message.

And I had better listen.

So I am refocused. My goals have slimmed down for the year.

Number one, Prince by Blood and Bone.

Number two, write Broken Mirror.

And number three, get the Ghosts of Christmas Past out the door.

That’s it. From a huge page long list of goals I’ve winnowed it down to the basics. And I truly believe I can get all three of these done. Prince by Blood and Bone will be off to the proofreader this week. Cover is finished! YAY! And once I do the corrections I can get it published.

I’ve got a cover artist lined up for Ghosts of Christmas Past, all I need to do is polish up the blurb and send it to her, and I will have a cover. The book itself is in the last stages of re-writing, from there it needs to go to line- edits, then the proofreader, and then it too will be ready for publishing.

So that leaves Broken Mirror. My poor neglected book that should have been in edits by now and has instead been waiting impatiently to be written. Plan is to outline it this month, and then get started writing. Of course I have the day job coming up, and a few other things, but I believe that by the end of the summer it should be written, and ready for some edits. So that puts it on track for publishing in early 2015. If I get it done sooner, so much the better, but I’m not setting myself up for failure this time.

Who knows what the coming year has to bring? Who knows if I’ll get the book back on time from others when I send it out, or if the cover will be as difficult as the last two covers for The Black Court series? Who knows if my life will stay on track?

What I do know is no matter what happens I will do my best to stay the course, even if it means re-working my goals on a daily basis. Because they are my goals. I get to tweak them, I get to decide what works for me. And that’s one of the benefits of being a writer. And one of the pitfalls.

How have your goals been this year? Are you on track? Have you ever had to scrap everything and start over? Was it difficult?

I’m guest blogging today on When Paleo Met Sally about my Journey to Paleo. Check it out HERE.

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Filed under channeling success, facing failure, Goal Setting, Writer's Journey

Discover Three Tools For Making Your Dreams Come True

I’m beginning to love Facebook. It’s taken a while. At first I was a Twitter fan. I could easily think up one liners and there were all these cool tools for re-sending information on my blog. Hootsuite made it organized and I found interesting things on there. But Facebook was slow. I felt a little lost, didn’t know what to post, and only visited about once a month.

A few months ago I decided to start doing a little more. So I checked it out once a week. Then a little more. Now I’m over there at least once a day. And I’m enjoying it so much more. Why?

I think it’s the pictures and the fact that people are not limited to 120 characters. They can say what they want to say and illustrate it. And I’m learning how to see when friends respond to me, or follow them better on the side. I still don’t like the way Facebook changes stuff all the time. That is not user friendly, but I’m learning to like other aspects of it.

It’s how I found this killer post on success on Karen Salmnsohn’s site, Not SalmonSelf help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help. You gotta love that tagline.

And this poster. Which is also available as a cool journal to record your successes on your way to your dreams. Love it!

Now I am a self-help lover, I love to hear boostering talks and read books, but I am not so great on the follow through. Mostly because it either takes a lot of time, or it is very goofy. And there are only so many things I will spend time being goofy about before I give up and move on.

But I really like her philosophy.

She has three simple rules in this blog and I love all three. I’m only giving you my short explanation, for Karen’s excellent in detail explanation, click HERE.

1. BAN THE WORDS “ALWAYS” AND “NEVER” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY!

This one is pretty self explanatory, but I want to add ban negativity. My least favorite phase this year is “The problem is….” . Forget about the problem, what is the solution?

2.    KNOW WRITE MAKES MIGHT:

Hence the journal. Write it down. Make lists. List your goals and your successes. Big, small, and everything under the sun. Some days it’s as simple as- I wrote 1000 words. If you can do that everyday, you have accomplished something small that will grow to 52000 words a year. And that is a novel.

3. KNOW THAT “SEEDING IS BELIEVING.”

This works hand in hand with #2. Those little steps grow into big accomplishments, but if you don’t acknowledge the little steps you might stop making them. So get to work stepping and start your marathon.

Many of you don’t know this about me, but after I had my second child I was in terrible shape. I was 220 pounds (and I’m only 5’2″) I’d had two surgeries and two kids within eighteen months. I was a wreck. And I was not exercising. I started getting up at five am, before any babies, husbands, or dogs could start making demands, and sneaking out of the house and walking for fifteen minutes. And then twenty. And then thirty. I lost a bunch of weight and eventually was walking an hour a day. Small steps make a big difference.

Several of my friends are working on the Artist’s Way (Sherry Isaac and Gloria Richard)  and I think that goes along with this kind of attitude. Start with the basics and the big things will come. I’m not ready to plunge into the Artist’s Way, but I think I might just start a journal like this. Fill it with all the little positives and big positives that come my way.

And if you want to read a very good post with a funny kid story then hop on over to Karen’s Not Salmon blog on Mustering Up Success HERE. I loved it and it gives you the real nitty gritty on her three steps as well as the opportunity to see what classes she’s offering that are not self-help!

How do you keep yourself charged? Do you do activities to stimulate your creativity like the Artist’s Way? Do you read books outside of your sphere? Do you make lists of blessings or three good things that happened that day? How do you stay re-charged and what keeps you going?

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Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Ten Terrific Facts for The Next Big Thing

The lovely Joan Leacott was kind enough to tag li’ll ole me for The Next Big Thing! You may have seen The Next Big Thing hopping around the blogs, it’s another way to find out interesting facts about what’s going on with your favorite authors and their writing. Hop over to Joan’s blog HERE and find out all about her latest book.

And now onto the Questions!

What is your working title of your book?

I’m currently working on Goldi and the Bear, the third book in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Before I wrote Snow and the Seventh Wolf, which comes out in February, I had the idea to write another twisted tale with a werewolf. I wanted to work with another color name, like Red, so Goldilocks (Goldi) was the one I chose. From there the ideas just flowed and Goldi the werewolf was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Here goes: Spicy Twisted Paranormal Fairy Tales

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, I’m terrible about this. But I think Christian Bale could play a dark moody werebear. He played a dark moody Bruce Wayne, didn’t he? As for Goldi, she’s tougher. I need a tough blonde; one who can run a ranch, be a wolf,  stand up to Christian Bale, but still be very sexy. Any ideas?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When she-wolf’s home is in danger the only one she can turn to for help is the one person she shouldn’t-  her high school sweetheart who holds a grudge.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This one is due to Passion in Print. It takes place in the same universe as Little Red Riding Wolf and Snow and the Seventh Wolf, but it’s set in the next town over from Radon, Colorado.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started this one during Nanowrimo this year, but as I was working it wasn’t finished until the first week of December. I’m still working on the edits because I hit a bump that I didn’t take care of during Nano. It was a big lesson in writing fast and furious!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmm, another toughie. I sure wish I read more. One of the categories I’ve not read very much lately are twisted fairy tales, for several reasons. One, I didn’t want to read what I was writing. Two, I like to read outside of my genre. And Three, I just didn’t have any lying around in the TBR pile. That means I have to actually go out and hunt something down, which doesn’t happen very often. Has anyone read something that is like Little Red Riding Wolf? It’s tongue in cheek, but with a dark side. And it’s hot, hot, hot! Goldi and the Bear and Snow and the Seventh Wolf lean more toward the dark side. Any thoughts?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Now I left this question in, but it will be a repeat of my above answer for where I got the idea. So if you really want to read that answer again, go ahead!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This book is darker and deals with old anger between former lovers. Can you get past that deep hurt that’s been simmering for years? Can you start over? And do you still love someone when they’ve hurt you badly enough that you still want to hurt them back? While this book title is all about Goldi, I think the real interest here is how the hero, Zeke, overcomes his pain and anger to rediscover love.

That’s all folks, well, all the questions that Joan passed on to me. I am happy to answer more questions like…How do you write about werewolves when you aren’t a werewolf?  Or…what’s it like living in Colorful Colorado? Or….what do you wear when you write?

Or, if you really want to know more about what I’m doing this year, check out my Goals post from Monday HERE.

M L Guida and Jessica Aspen CRW tea October 2012

Mary and I at the CRW tea in October 2012.

And when you are through don’t forget to hit the Next Big Thing ML Guida. Her post will be out on January 16th and you can find out all the deep dark delicious details of what she’s currently writing! I love her tagline: Even in a world of darkness, true love survives.

(FYI, I’m leaving this post up, so no Thursdays Bite tomorrow, see you on Monday Mania!)

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Filed under About the Author, Bloghops, Jessica Aspen's Books, Writer's Journey