Monday, October 16, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 12 - Writing is Scary!

I feel really lame this year. No pumpkins, no fall decor, no Halloween decorations... As my boys keep getting older, they don't care about these things as much. The wonder and excitement is gone to sarcastic teenage apathy. Ugh.

Ah well. I still have pumpkin flavored everything and candy to give out. Halloween is what you make it, right? And I have this fun-filled spooky survey treat for you guys... enjoy!

Thanks for playing! I love finding out who likes what and sharing it with everyone.
Hope your October is full of bone-chilling thrills and tasty treats!

PS - My quarterly newsletter came out this month AND Thanks to those signing up to with my form for DISPOSAL's release coming up November 14. I might have to forego a survey for November... we shall see.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Vanished! #IWSG and #WritersLife Survey Results

I want to express heartfelt grief, sending hope and prayers to all those affected by the recent tragedies around the world. Hurricanes and psychotic terrorism are running rampant! But it strengthens my faith in humanity to see so many people working together to help others.

Now, on to less important drivel...

October? Really? Time has vanished again...
Well, I'm working again, so time is flying and I'm overbooked. I keep chugging along and that's fine with me. But I miss blogging around like I used to. I was so happy to be a hostess last month--it forced me to visit, and I so enjoyed it!

This month for IWSG, I'm dealing with change. I don't like change all that much. I deal with it, but I don't really like it. I like sticking with my old phone, my old computer, and all my old ways of doing things (I hate online banking - too many glitches and cyber-thieves!). If it ain't broke... But life moves on and we have to adjust if we want to succeed, whether we like it or not sometimes. The changes in my life are still up in the air too. We are planning to move soon, but we aren't sure where we want to go. Lots of things up in the air. I'm sure we'll be fine, but the stress of it all is starting to wear me down.

Anyone else resistant to change??

Moving on... Here are the results of my Writer's Life Survey #11 - Getting into Character

Who was your first main character?

A Characterful Word Cloud

Do you normally write characters the same gender/sex as you?

Do your characters have backstories?

Do you identify with any of your characters?

Well, I hope you enjoyed the survey results. Can you relate?
And how do you deal with change?

PS - I'm doing a day of class presentations to some 7th graders on Monday about VOICE - Any advice you think I should pass on? And wish me luck!

BTW - If you're interested in helping me spread the word about DISPOSAL - Pop Travel #3 coming out in November, here's a link to the FORM.

Thanks, y'all!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

#WritersLife #Survey 11 - Getting into Character

Yep, it's late. But better than Never... Tell me what makes your characters come alive!

Had a great time Saturday at Half Price Books - got lots of interest and sold many books. Great to be back out there!

Results of the survey in the next IWSG post, October 4. Yay for FALL!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Loving me, Loving YOU! Survey Results & IWSG

I'm super excited to be a co-host for the Insecure Writers Support Group this month! Join me for a cup of candid coffee!

Ahh. As you may know, IWSG members post woes or words of wisdom then visit each other on the first Wednesday of each month -- we're a big happy family that listens and encourages!

As a participant of the IWSG since its inception (great movie) I have discovered a few generalizations about myself:
  1. I like to try new things and put myself out there,
  2. I encourage others to do the same and give any advice and tips I can, and 
  3. I never have enough time to work on everything I want to get done! but
  4. Most importantly, I really appreciate how we all relate to and boost each other.
The IWSG is about give and take, sometimes I give advice and positivity, and sometimes I need it (Actually, I always need it!) It's not so much about the process for me as the journey.

What have you learned about yourself as a writer during the IWSG?

I usually have enough to write about each month (I do like to talk!), but since I'm a host this month, I will also answer the...

September Question - Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

When I go back and read older stuff I've written, I often surprise myself with how much I like it or don't like it. I know that sounds contradictory, but sometimes it's really good and that's a surprise. And many times it's terrible, which helps me know what to work on, and I'm surprised I was that bad! What was I thinking?

Meets 1st Wed of MonthI hope you have a chance to visit the rest of the awesome co-hosts for this month's September IWSG. They are Tyrean Martinson, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure! Check them out, they're terrific!

But wait! Time for a

The IWSG Anthology Contest is NOW OPEN!

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Story Deadline: November 1, 2017

And now for some RELEASE PARTY NEWS!

I'm having a little local signing party to celebrate the release of TWO PRINCESSES, Un-Princess Book 2. It will be nice to get out there again! And in conjunction with my live event, I'm hosting a Facebook Party too. That way, anyone can join in the fun! Plus I'm going to try a live video broadcast! As always, there will be raffle prizes and giveaways. I hope you can make it!

BTW, DISPOSAL comes out in November -- I'm looking for reviewers and blog hosts... form in the works. But you can give me a shout if you're interested


Author Website, Blog, or Both?

How often do you post?

Which blogging website do you prefer? (for blogging and/or visiting)

Do you think blogging is still a good tool for authors?

How often do you visit other blogs?

And I wanted to give a shout out to some of the bloggers who participated (and gave their links) Plus some suggested blogs to visit...

The WEP - lists other great websites, with loads of opportunities!
Fairday Morrow - book blog
NEW blog/website C Lee McKenzie

Check out the new #WritersLife Survey 11 - Mid September
I'll be asking about your Characters!

RECAP! (I know that was a lot of info!)

What have you learned about yourself as a writer during the IWSG?
I hope you can come to my Release/Facebook Party!
What do you think of the survey results?
Let me know if you have something I can shout for you!

TRIVIA--Can you name the band whose song is in the title of this post...?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Writers' Congregation - #WritersLife Survey 10

This month's #WritersLife Survey is about how writers communicate. Long ago (ten years or so), we were once told to start a blog or website - is this still a rule? I've cut way back on blogging, but I will keep at it as long as I can. It's awesome to talk about our woes and accomplishments with other writers. And this community always has positive, encouraging words to share.

I also wanted to thank fellow substitute warrior, Victoria Marie for the Liebster Award! I haven't done an award in quite a while, so this should be fun. Thanks, Victoria!

Liebster Award Rules and Nominees:
Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
Rule 2: Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Rule 3: Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
Rule 4: Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions (My questions are at the bottom of this post.)

Here are my answers to Victoria's questions:
1.     You are thrown into a favorite story. [Not your own.] Which story and who would you be?
I always wanted to live in the world of Xanth by Piers Anthony - then I'd get a magic power!
2.     What is the hardest part of writing for you? Why?
Marketing & Promotion, bragging and being pushy like a salesperson isn't what I signed up for!
3.     When and where do you write? How did you discover that was best for you?
Mornings are best, at my desk or on my treadmill!
4.     If you could be anybody or anything, who or what would you be and why?
I would be a dragon. Do I really need a reason?
5.     How do you push forward when the inner critic won’t shut up?
I read or watch movie trailers which make me think, if this person is famous, I could be too!
6.     Do you need to write inside a bubble or library [like me] or do like to listen to music or other inspiring background sounds or “white” noise to write?
QUIET! Before the herd wakes up.
7.     How do you keep the wolves…ahem…I mean convince your children or other people to leave you alone to write? Does it work? Provide tips—please!
I write while they're sleeping or out of the house - sorry, no tips. Kick them out for a while?
8.     Who was your favorite author as a child? Who is your favorite author now?
From Piers Anthony and Michael Crichton to Janet Evanovich and Harlan Coben - and Christine Rains!
9.     If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why that?
Flying - I hate traffic
10.  How do you find inspiration?
It's everywhere, on a walk, shopping, walking my dog, traveling, reading, even watching TV
11.  What book or movie or writing workshop or blog post has affected your work the most? Why?
Can't think of a specific one, but I do love to read and watch lots of media to keep up with it and be inspired.

Now, here are my nominees (participation is optional, but I recommend you all visit these fabulous people!) My questions are in my survey above, open to all... (yes, I took the easy way out with that one!)
Doctor Faerie Godmother - Rena Rocford writes witty scifi and fantasy, and blogs about it
Tyrean Martinson - Christian writer and blogger and friend
The Faux Fountain Pen - Sarah Foster shares her struggles as a writer, giving us a good relatable laugh!
Defending the Pen - Yolanda Renee isn't just another pen blog, she encourages other writers and helps host a regular writing prompt - WEP
Positive Letters...inspirational stories... - Hilary Melton-Butcher is one of the most interesting people I virtually know. Her stories are rich with history and fascinating facts!
Kidbits - Tonja Drecker is an amazing mom and her video book reviews are stupendous!!
S.A. Larsen - talking about teen and tween tales

And new friends from Twitter...
Christa Conklin - she discusses writing issues, supporting writers, and the path of her book
M.B. Tosi - A fellow Ohioan, but originally from South Dakota, she writes about Lakota life in the Old West
Amy Eyrie - her blog is full of enlightening sci fi and stranger worlds posts
J.A. Allen - hosts guest posters with great stories, as well as her own

Thanks again, Victoria!
And thank you all for playing!! Results of the survey will be posted Sept 6 for IWSG day - and I get to be a host next month!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hot Answers to #WritersLife survey

It's been four months since my last book event and I'm feeling down for not selling or promoting my books.

Meets 1st Wed of MonthHi, everyone. This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for this month.

I think I'm in book event withdrawal! I usually do at least an event every other month, but had to cut back this summer, and even this fall with one baseball graduate leaving and now a football senior, losing two in a row. I love supporting them, but I feel very unproductive on the marketing/selling front. Like my books are collecting dust and I should sell them before I write more...

But that's how life goes. I'm cherishing the time I have with my boys, and my time to sell will come to keep me busy when they're on their own. In the meantime, I really appreciate the help several of you have offered, and I will get onto promoting online, now that life is returning to normal after vacation. We had fun on the lake, btw. Here are a few pics -

I always appreciate the support - you all keep me going - in blogging and writing!

Now, for the survey results...

I guess YA is still on top, but the regulars are always around - a good story is always hot!

What is your favorite genre to read?

What is a hot topic to write about?

  • Not sure
  • no idea. life's been too busy to pay attention
  • Supernatural (haunting/ possession)

What have you heard Agents are looking for?

  • Agents seem to be talking about historical novels here - Hilary Mantel and 'down'!

What would YOU like to read a story about?

  • I want more fantasy
  • I still love reading paranormal romance.
  • I just want a story that moves me to feel something. Genre doesn't really matter.
  • I would love to read some dark fiction with strong characterization.
  • I'd love to read more Asian historical fiction.
  • I'd like to read about today's family struggles

Do you write what's hot? Or write what you feel?

What temperature keeps you writing?

Where is/would be your writing getaway?
I loved these answers - very insightful and inspirational!
This month, I'll be asking about Newsletters and Blogs - what do writers do? and does it work? Come back and help fill in the blanks!

PS - If you tripped and I said, "Way to go, Grace." Would you all know what that meant? Or am I dating myself? I guess that's my other insecurity as my young editor doesn't get some of my characters' sarcasm!

Monday, July 17, 2017

New #WritersLife Survey! What's HOT?

Summer usually mean travel and vacations...

This year we let my oldest choose the place for our family vacation, since he's graduating and all. So we are going to a lake and renting a boat - fun stuff and plenty of down time to play games, read, and write! I hope. We are also bringing the girlfriends of my older boys. That will be interesting. But I do like having more girls around--the boys actually behave a little better =)

Summer also means HOT TEMPS! Here's this month's Writer's Life Survey about Hotness!

Did you take the survey? Look for the results at the beginning of next month. 

Where in the world are you this summer? Going far or near? Or taking a Stay-cation?

PS Section...
Thanks for the offers to promote TWO PRINCESSES! (ebook) I'm still coordinating a Facebook Party with a local Signing Party for August or Sept.

Also thanks for the offers to read and review DISPOSAL! If you're interested, let me know! Release Blog Tour form coming soon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#Writerslife lightning round results

*** Happy Independence Day! ***
4th of July selfie
with my son's American Flag sunglasses!
Well, we're smack dab in the middle of summer here in the Midwest. I must be enjoying it, because it's flying by. But I'm excited to share that I'm getting loads of writing done! (Big News at the end of the post)

Meets 1st Wed of MonthFor this month's IWSG post, I've been trying not to worry about my lowly writer status in the big writing world picture. Fortunately, I've had a few breadcrumbs of hope from strangers that's boosted me since I've taken the summer off from book events, painful as that's been. So, I keep pushing myself to write more and venture into more media... The only thing that will stop me from succeeding is if I give up. And I hope you all are making positive progress, no matter which phase of writing you're in.

Good luck and keep writing!

I also continue to be encouraged by more people taking my Writer's Life surveys each month - and I love the results! Here's the latest---

The red and blue seem appropriate for July. And this month, I will give my amateur statistical analysis...
  • With the majority, I consider myself a multi-tasker, though I'm not sure that's a good thing. Spreading ourselves thinner over a bunch of separate projects means the projects get done at a slower rate. Hmm.
  • I like the 50/50 splits - plotter v. panster, slow v. fast reader, morning v. not! - we writers can't be pigeon-holed!
  • I'm one of the few who likes to write my outline/first draft in a notebook - I love scribbling and doodling and using multiple colors - and especially making maps. I feel it's easier to look back and forth... plus, I can do it anywhere. Recently, I typed a first draft on my ipad for WINDY HOLLOW. I liked knowing my word count, but I still used a notebook for the rough draft.
  • Not surprised by these majorities - pen over pencil, college-ruled over wide-ruled, more righties than lefties, and coffee is awesome!
  • Was surprised by paper book over ebook - I thought everyone was going digital. Nice to see we're not!
  • Lastly, the social media. I will have to do a separate survey just for that. I didn't have blogging on my original form, but a friend pointed out it's a widely used social media, especially by us writers. I guess my intent was to see which other social medias float a writer's boat? And in that field, by my small survey, Twitter beat out Facebook. So is less more? Or is Twitter more of a meeting strangers in a night club and therefore more exciting, while Facebook is more of a family and friends barbecue where you go to catch up? Yes, definitely a whole set of questions needs to be asked!
And so, I hope you will look for my next survey toward the middle of the month.

Finally, I self-published the second novella in my Unconventional Princesses series...


Deja was a happy, trouble-making troll, until she was exiled from her home under the mountains for her perilous pranks. Now she must serve a frilly human, Princess Calleah who's locked in a tall tower to keep suitors away. The Two Princesses from opposite sides of the Valley become unlikely friends in their seclusion, but when the time comes for Calleah to fulfill her duty, their bond is put to the test by propriety, princes, and parents. Deja doesn't take any gruff and will give it right back to protect Calleah, no matter the cost.

JOLISSA - An Anti-Princess Story is UnPrincess #1

I'm planning a release party at a local children's consignment shop in August. Should be cute! Plus a Facebook party... never done one, so we'll see how that goes - you're all invited!
I'll send a free e-copy of either novella to anyone who asks in the comments. Reviews are gold coins to authors!

The self-pub process continues to evolve and I continue to learn. And Amazon continues to grow, extending it's tentacles into every aspect of life! They're making movies and shows for goodness sake! I hope to take advantage of their new ventures...

Happy July!

PS - my quarterly newsletter for the summer is out!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#WritersLife #survey - Lightning Round!

Thunderstormy today! Perfect for unleashing my latest Lightning Round #WritersLife Survey 8!

I can't believe how fast summer is already flying by - baseball, travel, appointments, and eating out (too much!) plus some extra writing - I'm a morning person for sure, and I love the quiet when all my boys sleep in (or go to work or football! so busy!)

 Hope you are enjoying June and writing up a storm!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#Writers Gone Wild!

It's summer!
As a teacher, I have more time to write and blog in the summer - yay me! At least I think I will, then my days seem to get filled by appointments, summer events, running kids around, and the chores I've been putting off because I'll have more time to do them this summer... Anyone else feel this?
But at least I've had my quiet mornings =)
So my Insecure Writers Support Group post this month is about having so much on my plate I want to get done! Here's my
Summer Writing To Do List:
  • Finish typing up WINDY HOLLOW, so close I can smell the edit gnomes! they're stinky buggers - and unlike shoe elves who do the work for you while you sleep, edit gnomes nag you to get the job done, very motivating
  • Polishing DISPOSAL (Pop Travel #3) - comes out in NOVEMBER! Woohoo!
  • Publish Unconventional Princesses novella #2, TWO PRINCESSES - been waiting ages on the cover. So long that I am about ready to...
  • Publish Unconventional Princesses novella #3, PRINCESS B - have to beef it up and get some illustrations...
  • Then there's my latest obsession lurking and stalking me, very eager to be fleshed out - MAGIC STORM - Twins in London find ancient talisman and race against evil descendant to bring magic back to earth - debating to make it into a graphic novel, or submit to a publication as a monthly series... so many possibilities!
  • I also would like to write the Christmas short story - A Harried Holiday, where Cooper takes Geri home to meet the family and solves a local mystery - gotta write this stuff months before the season for submission!
  • And finally, I have not one, but two new novels to outline - the next Pop Travel #4 CONDUCTION and a new Christian YA novel FARTHER ALONG
Sorry for the rambling, but writing this all out really helped me organize my madness! 

Now, for the results of the latest Writer's Life Survey #7 - Time Mgmt - I so enjoy collecting this data and reading the answers!

Do you write every day?
Do you have a day job?

How do you make time to write?
  • I just make the decision, block off a couple hours, and do it.
  • I just sneak it in whenever I get a few minutes. Extended writing time is rare for me.
  • I just ignore my to-do list.
  • I try to force myself when I have the time. Doesn't happen very well.
  • I have a lot of "down time" in my life, so whenever I'm inspired, it's easy to find time to write.
  • I take a journal with my everywhere. If I can, I take my laptop, too.
  • I gave up on sleep.
  • Getting up early on my days off & making sure I don't turn on the TV :P
  • I have a house to myself during the day, so I just have to be smart and not waste time. 
  • Shut down everything and go somewhere quiet.
  • while the kid is at school
  • I've set a word goal of at least 650 a day. 500 is almost assured, so I upped it a little to challenge me, but not overwhelm myself.
  • I stay at my desk during lunch and write instead of enjoying my meal elsewhere.
  • I have a set time every night.
  • Setting aside a certain time each day works, as well as going to a library or other place without distractions.
  • I literally have to wrench it free.
Do you meet your daily writing goals?
Do you have any creative ways to save time you could pass along?
  • Blog from work! Then it's like you're getting paid for blogging.
  • Be ready to write at all times, so when that ten minute slot of free time opens up, you can take advantage of it.
  • Write while the microwave is heating something up for lunch, write in the car (not while driving), and write before/after appointments in a waiting area. Saving time: um, cutting out commercials or anything commercial-like in my life. Use this time to socialize, do chores, or exercise.
  • Set a timer for social media and just walk away when time is up. 
  • Clump your chores into a block of time. Do email all at one time and not throughout the day, for example
  • Hire a nanny?
  • Making a list and checking things off.
  • Shut off WiFi while writing, while keeping open any windows you need for research.
  • Several came up with wishful ways…
    • Hire a virtual assistant.
    • Clone myself... ;)
    • Don't do housework?
Great responses! I can totally relate to these. I was surprised at 50% with the jobs - I need to delve into that one! What about you? Can you relate?

This month, I'll be asking "lightning round" style questions for quick responses. Look for it mid June!

Lastly, I wanted to share about my school presentation... It went very well! I had it filmed so I could critique myself and I'll share a snippet of it with you... 

The kids did a great job! And I made notes on how to improve for next time - looking forward to it!

So what have you all got going on??? And I love to give you a shout out, just let me know what you need. HAPPY SUMMER KICK OFF!

**Also wanted to express my condolences and concern with all the hate spreading through the world lately - praying for solutions, safety, and peace.**

Monday, May 15, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 7 - How do writers make TIME?

I guess it was time I made a badge for my surveys, eh? This is my desk - it says, "Have fun, but get your work done!"

Well, over in my neck of the galaxy, we only have a couple weeks left of school. This past week, I really enjoyed my temporary classes, and I was able to do my own lesson for some new kids. It was a refreshing change of pace. I love seeing students light up with discovery and letting their own abilities shine through, connecting learning to life.

My regular kids come back Monday. Over this long journey, we've had some good days, some bad days, and some really bad days where I didn't know if I wanted to go back. But I always do. I won't let them get the better of me. Instead, I take these tough times and figure out how to make the next day better. I ask myself, What can I do to help a child who has a rough home life behave better? How can I inspire them to feel good about themselves? And I always PRAY! Sometimes it's not about the schoolwork. Kids won't listen or learn if they need attention or affection. They need to feel safe and important first. They need to know teachers care about them.

Moving on! Though it's been a worthwhile experience and given me many ideas, working so much has really taken a bite out of my writing time. Only two more weeks and I get to ramp it up in the summer! Woo hoo!

Which brings me to this month's survey. How do writers make TIME?

PS - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! My boys took me to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for Mother's Day - I'm a happy Momma!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 6 Results & Trying new things

Meets 1st Wed of Month

Teens are clueless, reckless, and thoughtless. I ought to know, I'm an 8th grade teacher and I live with 3 teens myself! But they can't help it. Their brains don't get enough exercise because their bodies are going through so much change. So I try to cut them some slack.

Teens are also great to write about because of all the turmoil - they're dramatic, unpredictable, and funny!

But teens aren't the best audience. They're very judgy, relentless teasers, and hard to impress. And most of them don't like to read. So it's going to be tough doing a presentation for them next week... Wish me luck!

Well, that's my IWSG post for this month. I'm facing a daunting group of traumatizing teens. It's going to be worth it as it should lead to more presentations and more books sold!

I hope you are trying new things too!
Thanks to Alex and his Crew for giving us insecure writers this supportive venue.

And now for the results from Writer's Life Survey #6 - Inside a Writer's Head

Which of these describes you?

Do you keep a journal?

How do you deal with writer's block?

With which character do you identify most?

  • Specifically, can't think of one, but any that suffer great loss, are feel isolated or alone can hit triggers. Loved Harry Dresden, Harry Potter, Dallas J.D. Robb.
  • Pippin from LOTR
  • Anyone who's bookish and quiet
  • Alanna the Lioness (from a quartet of books by Tamora Pierce)
  • geeky heroes
  • Hmm. I never thought about that. I tend to write characters who can be what I'm not.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don't know that I thought it I have just always done it. I did think maybe I want to be a professional writer and began the journey to learn what it takes in 2011--was already deep into learning and taking writing craft courses and reading about since the in high school, writing since age 9 stories.

Didn't ... it happened late in life

It's my earliest childhood desire

When I picked up a new book called The White Dragon, it hit me - I want to be an author.

I've been doing it since age four. It's just something I've always done.

I wanted to be the one making the magical things on the shelves that I loved.

I've been writing stories since before I was five! I didn't want to be a writer, I have always been one.

I like writing stories...

Just always have.

Awesome responses! I enjoyed hearing what makes my author friends tick. I hope you did too! Join me in a couple of weeks when I put out the next Writer's Life Survey - Dealing with TIME!

Can't believe it's May!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 6 - Inside a Writer's Head

Hoppy Easter!
Hope your spring is in full swing. Here in the Midwest, we are enjoying flowers and baseball and warmer temps!

I also got to go to Ohioana again, my fourth time, with my book event buddy, Julie Flanders! We didn't get to sit together, but we still found time to chat. I know we'll do another event together soon.

And now, here's the latest Writer's Life Survey #6

I wondered how that "character" question might come across.
Here's my answer: I associate most with Monica Gellar (Courtney Cox) fiesty and loud, thinks she's right and a total geek, and rubs some people the wrong way... but I definitely don't cook!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#writerslife Links and Survey Results - What are you looking for?

No fools on April 1 this year. It came and went without any teasing or jests. I was a little disappointed. But that's okay, I'm on spring break and enjoying my extra time off! Yippee!

I don't have any complaints this month for IWSG, so I thought I'd share some Useful Links & Advice for Writers in whatever stage of writing you might be in...

Stage One - Writing
**Believe it or not, this is the easiest stage! Here are some helpful links to get you through...
  • Beta readers/CPs - I have some regulars, but I usually ask someone new with each book to get a fresh perspective
  • Writer's Digest - awesome site for writing advice and writer chat rooms to ask writerly questions. It also takes you through all the next phases, with new agent articles and book event info
  • Absolute Write - a total site for writers to communicate, bounce ideas off each other, and play writerly games - I had to give it up because I was having too much fun playing the games and not writing!
  • The A to Z Blog Challenge - I made so many contacts through this challenge, going on right now! It's changed format to keep up with the times, but if you can get involved, it'll open your horizons!
  • And of course, there's the IWSG! Beyond the monthly blog postings, the website offers many great articles full of writerly advice.
Stage Two - Finding an agent/publisher
  • Query Shark - Janet Reid is the queen of queries and she tears them to shreds to help you get to the core of your query. Read and Learn!
  • MS Wishlist - a continuous feed of agents and what they are seeking, right now!
  • #PITMAD and more - twitter pitch contests held throughout the year with agents reading your blurbs! Hosted by Brenda Drake 
  • Writing Contests - google and enter! smaller publications on your resume is a great start 
  • Writing Conferences - google and GO! You can usually set up appointments to pitch to an agent which  is worth the experience even if you don't get a bite.
Stage Three - Marketing your book
  • L. Diane Wolfe - this woman has tons of experience and great advice for marketing your book and more - check her out!
  • Jane Friedman - I've been following Ms. Friedman since I started writing. She's got links, advice, news, and all the latest trends in the industry. Highly recommend checking her out.
  • Book Events - google and GO! Get out there and sell. You have to start somewhere! (I've got lots of advice on book events)

Now for my #writerslife survey results

What's a good/constructive/funny comment you've received from a CP/Beta Reader or Editor?
It was tough to remember some, but here are a few that stuck out!

"n,lxdjfjgkzmgxdfbbbbbxkbzx... Oh! Sorry. Baby butt." - love this one!
It's a rough draft. Don't worry. You'll make it better. 
You're just sick! Meant in a nice way, I'm sure!
You just made me cry! two people said this =)

And here's one of mine - Hahahaha I always enjoy his brand of insanity in these books!

Lastly, I posted my quarterly newsletter this week with details about upcoming publications, my event schedule - where I've been, where I'm going (besides crazy) - and what I'm working on!