Friday, December 30, 2011

Starting a new year


With all the internet challenges and everything else that found me in 2011, I'm hoping 2012 will be a bit calmer in some ways and more active in others.

I'm also hoping to be more organized. I've tried, unsuccessfully, over the past couple of years to find the perfect day planner. Working from home gives us a different set of parameters than someone on the 8-4/ 9-5 gig. Our daily routine is more about a To Do list than time slots and meetings. Most of the time, unless we have a lunch meeting with our editor or an appointment to interview someone, time isn't important. But knowing the things we need to do within our work day is.

While shopping at Books -A -Million back in September, I found the Busy Office Page-a-Day notepad. As you can see in the link, it has the day/ date at the top of the page and then the rest of the main part is a list-making space with check-off boxes.

I've used my computer to print out the 12 monthly calendar pages and that's what I'm working with this year. I've already started writing in some of the blog things I do on specific days. I still have more to add as I begin putting them into play. But for now I feel as if I have a solid start on the new year.

Monday, we'll talk about Goals for 2012. What are some of your 2012 Goals?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fast Five with Historical Athor, BJ Scott!

Happy Friday, everyone!
As we fly closer to the holidays, there is still plenty of time for last minute gift buying. And what better gift then a book!

This week, I'm proud to introduce you to my friend BJ. Highland Legacy is her debut Historical Romance. Here's a little about BJ:

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.

1. What did you do to celebrate when Highland Legacy came out?

Highland Legacy was released came on a Wed. Since it was a work day, I had to keep the celebration to a minimum, at least until I got home. My hubby had put a bottle of our favorite wine on chill and after toasting the book, it was back to the computer to answer emails, blogging and promoting. I think that part is harder and more work than the writing ;)

2. Do you have an idea for characters and build your plot around them or vice versa?

It varies with each story, but I usually develop a plot idea first and the characters evolve as the story is written.

3. What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
Never give up your dream. Write where you can and when you can. Write about things you know and are passionate about. Rejection notices are a part of the road to publication. Use them as a learning tool to improve your work.

4. If you were going to cast your hero, Connor Fraser, what actor would get the

Since I don’t have much time for movies or TV as far as that goes, picking an Actor would be difficult. The cover model, Jimmy Thomas is exactly how I pictured Connor. Maybe Jimmy could use the roll to make his acting debut. I could picture Adrian Paul, the actor who played the highlander on TV in the role too.

5. Tell us a little about your WIP.

Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?

Here's a taste of what you'll experience in Highland Legacy:

You can pick up your own copy of Highland Legacy at:

Please visit BJ at her website:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Post Nano

Okay, my Nano was a complete wash as far as workable word count is considered. All I managed was to get a grasp on what the book needs to be about (aside from The Wild Rose Press guidelines for HonkyTonk Hearts), who the players are and what's at stake for each one. Oh yeah, and I proved I am definitely an outline kind of gal.

I think I'm a throwback from members of my family who were all truck drivers. Dad, retired after many years on the road, taught me at a young age how to read a road map. Two of my older brothers and an older sister all drove truck at some point in their lives. Being an over the road trucker (before GPS) meant knowing how to get from point A to point B and in the shortest amount of time. On the road, making delivery deadlines, like any other deadline, is critical to making sure everyone gets paid.

I am a planner. I need to know where I'm going, how I'm going to get there and if there are alternate routes should I need them. My road map stays tucked into the back of my driver's seat at all times just in case (though I have given in to using hubby's GPS when I go to Nashville). As a planner, I need to know all of those things about a book before I can write it. That's what I did for Nano.

I take December off from writing. December is my time to close out one year and prep for another. It's the only way I can manage all of the projects I have going on 24/7. But come January 1, 2012 while the rest of the world is recuperating from festivities and celebrations, I'll be participating in JANO with my local writers group, Sleuths Ink. We do things only slightly different than the big NANO group.

1) we still have to write 50k in NEW WORDS
2) we can work on an existing project AS LONG AS IT'S NEW WORDS
3) member privileges allows for some of us to do a collection of short stories - totaling 50,00 min.
4) we have an extra day to write. That 1 extra day can make a difference
5) members who write 50k + also go into a drawing for a Kindle at the end of the year.

So yeah, I'm gearing up for January 1st. Anyone is welcome to play. But joining Sleuth's does have a couple of advantages. :-)

Wanna play?