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Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Musings: 10/10/16

  • As you can see from the picture, I'm still writing on my couch for some reason. I haven't figured out what my issue is with my office, but every time I go in there to write nothing happens. But my living room has been fabulously productive, thank goodness! 
  • After having been stalled out for several weeks, I'm getting to the very end of this short story that will be included in the 2017 Wicked Ink anthology. I think I've settled on a title: The Delicacy. I'm excited to be on the down slope with this and looking forward to beginning the revisions. 
  • And speaking of Wicked Ink: We announced the authors who will be included in our 2017 anthology, Off Beat: Nine Spins on Song. Congratulations R.B Wood and Calypso Kane! I had the enormous pleasure of reading both of these submissions and was blown away by their fantastic stories. I can't wait to see them in print next year.  
  • And if you didn't see the Turkish cover for our first anthology, Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time...it's pretty creepy-cool.
  • This weekend I had the pleasure of joining several other indie authors to celebrate the first ever Indie Author Day at the Elizabeth Library here in Colorado. The event was sponsored by Library Journal and Biblioboard and was a great opportunity to connect with some local authors and readers. 
  • And finally, on October 22nd I'll be teaching a workshop in conjunction with the Colorado Writing School along with several other authors and agents. This one day conference offers several classes and opportunities to pitch your work to the attending agents.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Motivation: 10/3/16

Writing in my backyard this morning
This morning, I'm thinking about all of the hundreds of distractions that get between writing and me. There are huge nonnegotiable ones, like being a mom, and smaller, completely within my control to ignore ones, like Netflix.

Here's my current list in no particular order:

  • puppies (two adorable ones, AMAZINGLY distracting)
  • also dog sitting (currently four dogs in my house)
  • managing household and housework (so. much. can't. let. go.)
  • kids' activities, projects, games, practices, camps, etc, etc, etc
  • events I've committed to (so many these last few months)
  • email 
  • reading others work and critiquing 
  • reading others books and loving so much I can't put down
  • this blog post (which reminds me...)
There are also sneaky distractions. Distractions that are tangentially related to writing, like blogging, facebooking, and tweeting about writing. Teaching at conferences about writing. Appearing at libraries and schools to talk about writing. Book signings. All important, absolutely, to a writing career and yet NOT actual writing. Sneaky because you run the giant risk of tricking yourself into believing you are accomplishing things, and you are, but you're not accomplishing any WRITING.

And I happen to believe that the biggest impact you can have on your writing career is actually writing, getting that next book done.

This morning I felt like my usual writing space, my office, was serving as a distraction from writing. The space is in flux, furniture is being moved, papers are piled up, half-read books lie spread eagle--I couldn't focus. So I unplugged my MacBook Air from the monitor and went out into the early October morning to write.

My focus followed. So thank God that worked!

I don't know if I have a specific point to make here, but I suppose it might be something like: If you're a writer (or any type of artist, really) it's important to recognize when the busyness of LIFE is keeping you from getting to the work. Recognize that, then find a space and a time, even if it's just an hour, and take your focus and your current project into that world.

It's time well spent. 



Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings: 9/26/16

Affective Needs in some fine "Also Bought" company I see

  • Despite having only one review on Amazon, my Affective Needs is still selling consistently every day. I'm thinking it must be because of how it's popping up on the "Also Bought" pages of some very popular YA contemporary books. That's really great news for me and my little book. Keep going book, I believe in you.
  • The past week, actually the past month, has been fairly crazy with bookish events. Which is great, I mean, let's sell some books. But it's also tough on the writer system when it comes to getting NEW writing accomplished. While I'm a firm believer that when an opportunity presents itself that allows a writer to connect with readers, especially indie writers who often need all the marketing help and exposure they can get, it's of paramount importance to always get BACK TO THE ACTUAL WRITING. We can't forever rest on the laurels of what we have already written and pushed out into the world.
  • So this week, I'm looking at my pretty quiet calendar for the next few weeks and getting really excited about making real progress toward finishing my short story for the 2017 Wicked Ink anthology. That anthology was open to submissions from other writers outside the WI clan and I have to say, there were some really exciting submissions! I can't wait to let the writers know that their stories are going to be published with us! Sadly...I must still wait or all the other WI authors will kill me.
  • And speaking of WI, the emails are beginning to fly as we prepare the creation and launch of next year's anthology. So many moving parts! The submission window for 2017 is closed, but if you're interested in writing a spec-fic short story, keep an eye out next spring/summer when we open the sub gates for the 2018 anthology.
  • And my final Monday Musing: as soon as my short story for the anthology is complete (by Wednesday of this week) I will return my efforts to completing the final book in my Ascendant Trilogy, DESCENDANT. I'm excited but also nervous to finish out the series. It's awesome to actually see that story round out and imagine typing The End for Charlotte, Caleb, Hayden, and Sophie. But it also leads the mind into the land of What Next? I have several concepts percolating, but they also have me asking myself even larger questions such as: More YA? Possibly a middle grade? And what about adult? Being an indie writer is wonderful because you have the freedom to explore any idea you like--and publish it. But is it more important to stick with an age demographic and continue to try and build upon your existing audience? I don't have an answer to any of this and will continue to mull it over. If any of you have thoughts/opinions on the matter, please feel free to share.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday is for Writers: 9/21/16

My kids and my niece looking pretty joyous.

Welcome to my first Wednesday is for Writers post where I plan to write about anything that may relate to writing, being a writer, becoming a writer, not writing...you get the idea.

Today, coming straight off a morning meditation about judgement, I'm thinking about all the ways we as writers judge other writers and ourselves.

Spending too much time on the internet will quickly reveal that there are any number of opinions out there about what makes a "real" writer.

From one extreme:
  • Are you an international, best selling, lifting the literary conscious of the entire reading world to grander heights of actually contributing something new and worthwhile to the canon?
To the complete opposite end:
  • Did you happened to wake up this morning and entertain the thought of possibly penning a memoir (maybe, you're not sure yet)?
There are PLENTY of opinions (many kinder than others) about "real" writers.
Between these outlier extremes, most of us writers fall somewhere in-between and often make (probably silent) judgements about ourselves and other writers regarding where everyone falls on the Writer Success Continuum.

It is a silly mind game with no purpose or outcome other than personal misery.

This morning, during that meditation, I was reminded that it is unnecessary and easy to stop this particular cycle of internal conflict. You simply stop engaging with it. Which requires nothing more than noticing when an especially toxic thought, about yourself or another, arises. Recognizing that thought for what it truly is, its complete lack of positive purpose in your creative life or the life of others, and then, let it go.

Completely.

Repeat as often as necessary until real joy for yourself and others returns to your soul. Then, go write.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Musings: 9/19/16

This summer in front of Stonehenge

Now that I've left the day job, I've been wanting to pick up a more regular blogging schedule. I've poked around a bit and found that the writers/blogger who do this successfully seem to follow a formatted schedule and I think this would probably be the best place for me to start. So starting today and with all the best intentions to continue, I bring you my first ever Monday Musings. You may also sometimes see this as my Mondays Motivations, or Monday Meddling, pick an M word.

Anyway.

1. I have had a crazy reading filled week. Some of you may know that, in addition to my own writing, I collaborate with six other authors over at Wicked Ink Books. Our first anthology, Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time, was our own stories, but it was such a success, we decided to open the second anthology up to other speculative fiction writers. Well, the submissions came pouring in and I've been frantically reading for the last week. There are some truly fantastic stories in the bunch!

2. Today I had a scheduled phone conference with my MFA student at Regis. What a great conversation we had about their WIP and many things writing in general. It's a low residency program so it's always nice when we get to connect outside of email.

3. I signed up to participate in this season's YA Scavenger Hunt. I hope I filled the form out correctly because I'm excited to participate.

4. Nook just announced this morning that they are allowing publishers to price ebooks for Free. This is awesome since I give away the first book in my Ascendant series on every platform I can (previously only Kindle and iBooks) so now, if your a Nooky, you can get it for free too.

5 This Thursday I am co-hosting an author event with Shannon Baker here in Denver. We will both be giving a (very) brief reading and answering questions about our new titles, writing, and books in general. It's open to the public so if you're in the Denver area, please come by.

6:00pm
682 S Colorado Blvd, Glendale, CO 80246

6. My regular monthly blog post for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers went live today on their site. Check it out. 

Have a great week and see you for my Wednesday post where I think I'll focus on some aspect of writing or writers in particular. Because....W. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

And the Winners are....

It's over...thank you everyone who entered and added Affective Needs to your TBR lists!


The Goodreads giveaway for my latest book has ended. At final count 4472 readers entered from countries all over the world and helped to push Affecitve Needs near the top of the Goodreads "Most Requested" list. Amazing! Thank you readers. 
Affective Needs sitting with some pretty great company!

Congratulations

Iris Hileli of Mercaz, Israel
Alejandra Flores of California, United States
Anna Jacobs of Utrecht, Netherlands
Hannah Malatzky of Massachusetts, United States
Maryam Infiyaz of Western Provence, Sri Lanka



The signed paperbacks of Affective Needs will go out in the post tomorrow.


For anyone who has had the opportunity to already read Affective Needs, I'm hopeful that you will consider writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks...wherever you shop. These reviews don't have to be long and make a huge difference in the marketing efforts for authors.


Thank you!