Monday, August 18, 2014

CURRENT PROJECT - August 18-24th

Doesn't this porch look inviting?
While this is not the porch in my story - nor my own, I would love to be there right now.
I think sitting there with a cold glass of tea and this laptop would make writing so much easier.

I did not write any new words on my story last week. Thought about the direction the story needs to go. But I've been dragging my feet at writing a funeral scene. Sometimes, selecting the best way to approach a scene is more difficult than the actual writing. While I mulled over the challenge, I spent time polishing the first 2 chapters to perfection. My main focus was to remove all of the passive voice possible. Editors prefer 1% or less. Getting below 1% is difficult in that sometimes a character is remembering an event or has to describe something in a past tense.

Passive voice takes our readers out of the present story we want them involved in so reducing the percentage to that 1% is crucial to keep them turning pages.

I'll be talking more about Passive Voice Percentage, how to find out where your manuscript stands and how to fix later in the week.

For now.. I'm off to write a funeral. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

CURRENT PROJECT - Week of August 11, 2014

Welcome to the Old West...

For the next few weeks I'll be traveling back in time to 1884 in the first book of what I plan to be a trilogy - The McCracken series. The first is Jayson's Range.

Here's a sneak peek
When Kathleen Kennedy steps off the train in Merkel, Texas as a mail order bride with her young son she expects to meet the man she has come to marry. Instead, his oldest boy, Jayson, greets them. The tall man with the firm jaw is the farthest notion of a boy and where is Jay? Hearing her betrothed has been murdered, Kathleen refuses to show desperation. She and Charles have no place left to turn. Jayson’s temporary solution begins a journey for the three of them in a land where only the strongest survive and love is the tie holding everything together.

I can't remember how this story came to me but the characters began forming in time for Nanowrimo 2009. And here the WIP sits with only one polished chapter, the rest outlined and lots of work to do in between. Later in the week I hope to have a word count meter set up. My plan... to finish the rough draft of Jayson's story so I can pitch the series to Liz Pelleteir of Entangled Publishing at the ORA Conference in late September.

So hang onto those reins... we have a long trail drive ahead.

Friday, August 1, 2014

WEEKLY RECAP - Good week

Okay.. BUSY Week!

Wow. Let Bob leave for Chicago and my schedule turns into a traffic jam. Suddenly promotional opportunities came from all different directions. I am NOT complaining. LOL But WOW!

I'm slowly getting caught up on the tech stuff. Still need some studio time if my promo items are to be ready for ORACon2014 coming up in September.

Speaking of ORACon2014, today is August 1st. My Zone group has BIAW for the next seven days but I plan to use the entire month to hopefully get the rough finished of the western historical - Jayson's Range. The first chapter has placed well in the last two competitions. I want to pitch the book to Liz Pelleteir from Entangled Publishing at the conference. She is looking for historicals and this book is the first in a 3-book series.

I want to put a word widget on the blog sometime this weekend so we can track my progress together.
Creative Blessings

Monday, July 28, 2014

CURRENT PROJECT - Week of July 28th

Monday's are usually crazy but today is more so. I'm participating in a 6-day Facebook party launching Ropin Romance. This is a fabulous new site for romance authors and their readers. While the site is still in the early stages of life, there is so much promise here.

The Facebook party started on July 22nd and is going through today. I have a spot this morning. So I hope you'll come join me from 11 a.m. - Noon CST.  I'll be talking about my novella, Somewhere Down the Line, as well as giving away some prizes. Going to be a packed hour of fun!

I'm also spending time today and tomorrow on Facebook with Entangled Publishing's Christmas in July event. Another great opportunity to network with a publisher I'm planning on pitching to during ORACon2014 in September.

Bob leaves tomorrow morning and I dive in to long days trying to get ahead of some things plus finish the rough of Jayson's Range.

Hang with me this week. We're going to have FUN!

CURRENT PROJECT - Week of July 28

This is basically how my week will begin - as of tomorrow. After 21 days home, Bob will head back out to Chicago for 21 days for his job as a riverboat Captain. And I will become a hermit for most of the time he's gone. Occasionally, I leave the house to mail bills or go out to eat but for the most part I am happy right here.

I take my job as a writer seriously - most of the time. There are days where I just don't feel like working. But if I do want a day off, then I make sure to plan ahead - just as if I worked outside the home.

Most of the next week will be spent getting blog posts up and running for the month of August. Although I don't have to schedule them ahead, I found this month that having them scheduled made me less stressed. I didn't worry about something not getting done if the wind blew in a distraction I had no control over. I mean, face it, LIFE HAPPENS. Working from home means I have a very understanding boss - ME. But the 'boss' side of me also knows that if you fluff off a day, things still need to get done. Even if it means being up till 2 a.m. (which I've done but don't recommend) to get caught up.

Our tip on Thursday this week will be about Time Management. We're always looking for that one thing that works for us. Hopefully, this will be THE ONE.

Creative Blessings on your week!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


A little something different today. I thought I would introduce you to my co-worker.
This is Spirit. He is a 5th generation Black Panther... all 12 pounds of him. He turned 7 on Good Friday and is my baby... or as Bob calls him 'Momma's Boy' (Bob watched too much Bambi LOL)

As a 9 week old young kitten, Bob spoiled him. He has to lay in the crook of Bob's arm and snooze while we have our coffee. So when Bob's gone, this is where he and I have coffee. I have to watch that he doesn't snuggle up against the vent on the laptop. I'd have to fire him if he shut my computer down.  But after about an hour, he's ready to go in search of somewhere more comfortable.

Writer Tip for this week:  Get a co-worker. They can be distracting but also a bright spot in your day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CONTEST & CONFERENCES- The Ozark Creative Writers

I've been attending the annual Ozark Creative Writers Conference (OCW as we regulars refer to the event) about 20 years. Aside from Romance Writers of America conferences, this was the first writers conference I ever attended.

Ozark Creative Writers is a unique multi-genre conference in it's 47th year! Held in beautiful Eureka Springs Arkansas the second weekend in October, this is a conference you do not want to miss! Aside from two days of workshops, there is plenty of opportunity to network, pitch your next big seller as well as offer your own books for sale at an author's table.

The beautiful Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Hotel and Convention center is our Home for 3-4 days. I never stay anywhere else when I go to Eureka Springs. The staff are amazing. After so many years, this is like a family reunion for me - and we're always open to letting new folks in. Reservations fill up fast around town as this is when Autumn shows off a fabulous wardrobe of color. You'll find additional accommodation suggestions on the OCW or the Official Eureka Springs websites

Plus for the cost of your registration you may enter as many of the contest categories as you wish with the chance of winning prize money. But hurry... entries must be postmarked by Sept. 1

They've added a couple of new things this year.
One is a Jam Session in memory of talented songwriter, Nick Nixon. So if you play an instrument or just like to sing, plan to sit in on this fun addition to an already great conference.

Another continuation from the last couple of years but with a little extra umpf is the Fiddle Faddle Anything Goes Open Mic.  This takes place on Thursday evening as what use to be our Meet and Greet/ cocktail hour.

So polish up those entries, pack your walking shoes and be prepared for a conference you'll come back to year after year!