Friday, December 30, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

While 2011 was better than 2010, it still wasn't the greatest year I've had.  I will be glad to see it come to an end. 

I'm looking forward to all of the possibilities 2012 has to offer.  I hope it's a much better year than the last two years have been.  I hope everyone, including myself, who needs a better year financially, health-wise, etc receives it in 2012.

Katherine

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Just finished Serendipity by Carly Phillips last night.  It's the first book by her I've read.  I'll be reading more. :o)

I'm going to start Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis next.  I really enjoyed her Lucky Harbor series so I'm hoping I'll like this one just as much.

Happy Reading.
Katherine 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

To all of my friends and acquaintances who celebrate the holiday, I wish 
you a very Happy Hannukkah.
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I'm trying to read Only Mine by Susan Mallery but I've been so busy wrapping gifts, baking, and preparing for out of town family that I haven't had a chance to read very much of it. 



Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Tradition


Everyone I know has at least one holiday tradition they look forward to every year from Black Friday shopping to family gatherings to attending that one special holiday party every year. 

I have two traditions I look forward to.  One is to watch Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.  I’m well past the age of believing in Santa Claus and flying reindeer, but it’s just not Christmas if I don’t watch Rudolph.  Every year, the night it’s on, I get in bed, prop up my pillows, and snuggle under my big fluffy comforter and watch the cartoon while my cat curls up at my feet.  Of course, there’s always a cup of hot chocolate involved too.

The most important tradition though is making Christmas cookies with my mom.  She started teaching me to cook when I was four years old.  Every December we would make cut out cookies in various holiday shapes.  She would mix the dough on a Friday evening and put it in the refrigerator over night.   My brothers and sisters and I would take turns peering into the refrigerator at the bowl of dough and asking when it would be ready for baking.

Finally, Saturday afternoon would come and she’d pronounce it ready.  She would roll it out and place the cutters on the dough.  Each one of my siblings and I would get a turn to push the cutters down into the dough.  My mom would peel away the excess, put the cut out pieces onto a baking sheet and into the oven.  We’d repeat the process over and over until every scrap of dough had been formed into a cookie.

Rows and rows of angels, reindeers, snowmen, Christmas trees, holly leaves, tree ornaments, and Santa Claus cookies would fill one end of the table to cool then be packed away until the next day, the most important day of all – the day we would frost them. 

My mom would make the frosting and allow each one of us to stir drops of food coloring into bowls of white icing.  We’d have a rainbow of colors and little bottles of colored sugar to decorate the cookies with.  We’d spend the afternoon decorating the cookies, making sure the Santa cookies were frosted red and white to represent his suit, the snowmen white with a strip of yellow around his neck and down his stomach to represent his scarf.  Christmas trees had brown frosting for the trunk and green frosting for the leaves and a dot of yellow at the top for the star just to describe a few.  When we were finished, my mom would lay them on wax paper to set.  We would ooh and ah over them like they were the most magnificent cookies ever made.

My brothers and sisters are all married with children now and building their own holiday traditions but for two days every December my siblings and I gather together and make Christmas cut out cookies with my mom.  It’s a tradition I hope we’re able to continue for many years to come.
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On Tuesday, 12/20 I'll be talking about what a Christmas Orange means to me on the Authors by Moonlight blog.  Link: www.authorsbymoonlight.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

I am beyond thrilled that it's December 16th and here in upstate NY we've only had .03 of an inch of snow so far. Last year at this time we already had 43 inches.  What I really know for sure is that when it does decide to snow, we are going to get a lot of it to make up for the late start.
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Today, I'm at AJ's Tattered Pages talking about character names. Hope you'll stop by. Link: http://ajbooks.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Please welcome my guest, Rebecca J. Clark

Today I'm interviewing Contemporary Romance author Rebecca J. Clark.  Here's a little bit about her before we start the interview.

Rebecca Clark has wanted to write romance novels since she read her first Harlequin Romance at age 11. When she’s not writing, she works as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor, where she teaches Pilates, Turbokick®, Zumba®, and yoga. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 24 years, two kids, a German Shepherd beast who thinks he’s a lap dog, two cats, two rats and a gecko. In her not-so-abundant free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, watching Criminal Minds reruns on TV, and doing absolutely nothing. 

Welcome Rebecca, I'm so glad you could join me. 

   How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career? 
       I’ve always wanted to be a writer—well, since I was about 11 anyway. That’s when I read my first Harlequin Romance and was hooked. I saved all my babysitting money and bought every book in that line as it came out each month. My grandpa referred to them as “I Love You Truly” books. LOL. It took many years before I wrote my first book—I knew I couldn’t write about love until I had experienced it. And I didn’t experience it until I was about 22. Then life got in the way—marriage, non-writing career (graphic design at the time), kids. When my oldest was two I finally decided to pursue my writing dream. Then it took many years after that before I sold my first book.

  I love the name your grandfather gave the Harlequins.  Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing? 
       My day job has really crazy hours—sometimes I work a triple shift (I’m a personal fitness trainer and instructor). So my routine varies depending on the day. I think I’d be more productive if I had a set routine. For instance, if I could write from 1-3 p.m. every afternoon. Sigh. Someday. As for where I write, I have a nice little office to write in…but I prefer setting up my computer on the dining room table. It doesn’t feel as dark and closed off. Once a week I take my son to Seattle to skate (he’s a sponsored skateboarder), so I park it at my favorite Starbucks and get a few hours of uninterrupted writing in.

  I'm in awe.  I couldn't imagine working a triple shift.  I write at the dining room table too for pretty much the same reasons.  Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do? Any plans in the future to write in a different one? 
      I write straight contemporary because that’s what I love to read. I also love, love, love romantic suspense, and I have a couple of story ideas that include a suspense plot…. We’ll see.

 Who is your favorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.)
      Totally unfair question! But I will give a shout out to my two ultimate favorites: HQN author Laurie London (cuz she’s my sister) and Avon author Candis Terry (she was my first writer friend, first CP and still one of my BFFs).

  How cool that your sister is also a romance author.  How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate? 
      The only thing that works for me is BICHOK. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Then I keep my fingers moving. Sometimes (often times) I write things like, “This is stupid. I have no idea what comes next. My hero is an idiot.” Then I start brainstorming on the screen, asking myself “what if” questions. Sometimes, I might write pages of this self-talk/drivel, other times it’ll just take a sentence or two before I figure out the scene. Back to BICHOK—I find I get writer’s block way more often when I’m not writing every day. So I make sure I write every day. Period. Otherwise, I have no one to blame but myself.

  I love how you deal with writer's block.  I find I also get writer's block more often if I don't write everyday.  Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc?
      I have two CPs—both my favorite authors I mentioned above. But, unfortunately for me, I don’t utilize them as much as I should. When I do, it’s mostly for moral support (they often assure me, “No, you don’t suck.” “No, your story idea isn’t the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”) and for brainstorming. I also belong to a plotting group with the fabulous Cherry Adair, my sister, and about 8 other writers—we call ourselves the Cherry Plotters.

  I think we all need those same reassurances.  What’s the best writing advice you were ever given? 
      Can I share two? 1—Write every day (see my answer to number 5). 2—Don’t write for the market unless you can write really, really fast; otherwise, by the time you finish that book, the market will probably have changed.

  Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.  
      Her One-Night Prince is a Cinderella story about a shy and sheltered woman who wants to go back to her class reunion a changed woman. She just needs a little help from the hero first.

   Sounds interesting.  Can you tell us a little about your next project? 
       I am working on a sweet short story for The Wild Rose Press (one of my publishers), and a spicy follow up to my first book, Borrowed Stilettos. I hope to have the short story submitted next month, and the other by summer. But I’m a slow writer, so we’ll see on that.

Anything else you’d like to share? 
       Like my heroine, Lydia, from Her One-Night Prince, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side (used to be really, really shy, too). I have a blog for shy writers called Once Written, Twice Shy. So if any of your readers fall into that category, I’d love for them to stop by. http://shywriters.blogspot.com

Thanks for the great interview, Rebecca.  Now let's learn more about Her One-Night Prince.


Blurb: Her One-Night Prince is a Cinderella story about a woman’s dream to be something she’s not for just one night at her class reunion.

As all fairy tales go, however, happy endings don’t come easily.

Shy and sheltered Lydia St. Clair is uncomfortable around men, so she advertises for a gay man to be her date and revamp her style. Mitch Gannon answers Lydia’s ad and he’s perfect for the job--he’s handsome and, even more important, he’s charming.

Unbeknownst to Lydia, Mitch is straight and answered the ad as the unwitting victim of a practical joke. Before he can reveal the truth, Lydia is convinced he’s her fairy godmother, ready to transform her into the belle of the ball. And Mitch, prince that he is, doesn’t have the heart to set her straight.

Excerpt:
With a firm hand against her upper back, Mitch propelled Lydia out of the bar and out the door. She peered back through the windows and could just make out that waitress standing behind the bar and staring out at them. 

“She’s beautiful,” she said, turning back to Mitch. Something about that woman signaled a déjà vu of sorts in her mind, but she couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

“Who? Edwina?” He glanced into the pub. “Yeah, she is.”

Edwina’s showstopping figure and stunning looks caused Lydia to self-consciously smooth back her boring, pulled-tight-into-a-bun-as-usual hair. She couldn’t imagine a woman like Edwina ever advertising in the gay personals. She couldn’t imagine Edwina making a boob of herself by assuming Mitch worked at a gay bar. 

With the heel of her palm, she bonked herself in the side of the head a few times. “Just shoot me, will you?”

Mitch pulled her hand away from her head. “You’re too hard on yourself, Lydia.”

For a moment she zeroed in on the feeling of his large, warm hand holding hers. It felt good, like it belonged there, which was a crazy thought. Reality returned, and she pulled her hand from his grasp. 

“What in the world was I thinking?” she asked. Her skin burned from embarrassment, or the heat of summer, or his touch…or all the above.

“It’s understandable you’d assume I worked at a gay bar. I mean, you think I…er…”

She waved her hand back and forth. “No, no. That was just plain stupidity. What I meant was, I had this grand notion of you helping me out and transforming me into the belle of the ball. You know, Queer Eye my style or something.” She wrapped her arms around herself despite the warm air and strode down the alley. If a sinkhole opened up in front of her, she’d gladly fall into it. 

He jogged up beside her as they reached the sidewalk. “I don’t know about the clothing and hair stuff,” he said, “but I could certainly give you advice on men.” He cleared his throat and coughed. “I mean, since I’m a, ah, man.”

“That’s okay. It was a dumb idea. Besides, I don’t want advice on men. It would be pointless.” She pulled black-framed sunglasses from her purse and exchanged them for her regular glasses to block the blinding glare off the sidewalk. 

Mitch didn’t respond right away, so she knew he silently agreed with her. Finally, he asked, “Why would it be pointless?”

She had about a million reasons. “It just would be.”

Buy links:


 
 You can learn more about Rebecca at any of the links below:
Twitter @rebeccajclark

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Every year as soon as Thanksgiving arrives, I look forward to Christmas.  Not this year.  I don't have any Christmas spirit this year and I can't figure out why. 

 I have done so little gift shopping so far I might as well say I haven't started.  I'm dreading fighting the crowds, and trolling the parking lots looking for a spot to park.  I listen to Christmas music at work, but it just goes in one ear and out the other, without any impact.  I've watched a number of the Christmas cartoons, movies, and specials, but still no spirit. We don't have our house decorated or the tree set up yet.  And I have no desire to do either.

What's causing me to have the Bah, Humbug feeling this year?  I can't really say.  Could it be because we haven't had more than a couple of inches of snow total so far?  Nope, don't think this is the reason.  I hate the snow and the less we have, the happier I am.

Could it be that with starting a new job, I can't take any time off?  Could be.  I usually would take a couple of days before the holiday to spend on all day shopping trips with my mother.  Can't do that this year.

Could it be that everyone I know is struggling and wondering how afford gifts for their loved ones?  I'm sure that's a big part of it.  I know giving gifts isn't just what Christmas is about but I love giving gifts to show my love and appreciation.


 I can't really pinpoint the exact reason, but I sure hope to find my missing holiday spirit soon.

Katherine


Friday, December 9, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

The closer the holidays get, the crazier my schedule has become.  Shopping for gifts, wrapping said gifts, baking, planning get togethers, not to mention putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it leaves very little time for writing.  As much as I enjoy the holidays, I think I'll be glad when the chaos part of it is over.
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On Saturday, 12/10 I'll be talking about a Christmas tradition I look forward to every year on Linda Laroque's blog.  Link: http://lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com

On Sunday, 12/11 I'll be talking about the setting of Impetuous on Cathie Dunn's blog.  Link: cathiedunn.blogspot.com

Katherine

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm still trying to read Loose Ends by Tara Janzen.  I loved all of her other books, especially the Crazy series but I'm struggling to get through this one.  It's a bit depressing because this is JT's story and I was so looking forward to it.

Katherine

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is Cooking Becoming A Lost Art?


The young women of my nephew’s generation (he’s 21) seem to take great pride in the fact that they can’t cook or as they say, “can’t boil water.”  Why is that I wonder?  Did their mothers not teach them how to cook or about the immense feeling of satisfaction when you make a meal or bread or a cake or anything else from scratch?  Did they not pass on the sense of pride one feels when given a compliment on how good something they’ve made tastes?  Or perhaps their mothers never learned to cook themselves.  It would be hard to pass on the art of cooking if one never learned themselves.

Maybe I find the concept of not knowing how to cook so foreign because I was taught to cook by a mother who very rarely used anything out of a box or can and to this day still doesn't.   I didn’t have a store bought cookie until I was a teenager and was at a friend’s house.  I’m only in my late 30’s so it’s not like store bought cookies were some new innovation.

I was four years old the first time I made cookies with my mother.  I remember kneeling on a dining room chair, helping my mom stir together the dry ingredients of a recipe, learning to crack an egg.  (She was smart enough to have me crack them in a separate bowl or else we would have eaten a lot of shell pieces with our cookies.)  She taught me how to use measuring cups and spoons by giving me my own bowl in which to measure flour, sugar, and baking powder into.  Over the years we made all different kinds of cookies from chocolate chip, to peanut butter, to ginger snaps to oatmeal and more.  As I grew older, I graduated from doing more watching than cooking to being responsible for mixing the dry ingredients together, to mixing them with the wet ingredients, to being able to take the hot pan from the oven (this was a big deal to a 12 year old), to finally making the entire recipe by myself for the first time.

Baking cookies with my mother throughout the years are some of my fondest memories and maybe the reason why, as an adult, one of my favorite things to bake are cookies.

Unfortunately, now-a-days making cookies means buying a package from the refrigerated section of the grocery store and either breaking the pre-cut dough into pieces or slicing a log of dough into circles and tossing them in the oven. 

When I do hear someone say they don’t know how to cook, I want to tell them they can learn.  If you can read and follow directions, you can learn how to cook.  Get a cookbook that looks interesting, read through the recipes, and choose one to try.  This is how I made Coq Au Vin for the first time.  Yes, I know how to cook but I’d never made it before and didn’t know anyone who had.  The first time, the chicken came out a little dry.  The second time, the chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan, but the third time, the third time, it came out great.   You can learn to cook.  It just takes patience and practice.   

And start with something easy.  Like cookies.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Winner/This I Know For Sure...

Sandra Sookoo is the lucky winner of Emma Lai's 11/30/11 guest blog giveaway.  Congratulations, Sandra!

This I know for sure...the older I get, the faster time goes by.   It seems like summer just ended and it's December 2nd already.  Maybe it seems less like December than usual because we've had great fall weather with average temps in the 50's or higher and barely a trace of snow so far.  Not that I'm complaining.  :o)

The holidays always seem to fly by with all the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and attending parties and family gatherings.  Before we know it, it'll be January 2012 and the beginning of another brand new year that's sure to fly by just as quickly.

Just remember to stop and take the time to notice all the great things that come your way throughout the year.

Katherine

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Please welcome my guest, Emma Lai

Today I'm interviewing Romance author Emma Lai.
Welcome Emma, I'm so glad you could join me.
    
How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?      
 
I have always loved writing--from the first moment, my chubby hand picked up a crayon, I’m sure. I’ve always loved reading as well.

Before that time, I wrote for work--technical documents and such--and school--paper after paper for my masters. I also wrote the occasional poem and diary entry. However, it never dawned on me that I could write what I love to read until a little over three years ago.

After I signed my first contract, then I decided maybe I should try writing as a career. Now, three years later, I have seven published short story romances--paranormal to contemporary erotic--and another under contract with several more in the works.

Wow, I wish I was so prolific.  Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?
       
Right now, I have no set routine. Pre-baby, I woke up and wrote until my stomach reminded me to eat then I wrote some more...until hubby demanded my attention, or I got hungry again, or tired. So many stories to tell, so little time.

Post-baby--in a toddler world now--I write whenever I can sneak away from home to the library or coffee shop. I’ve found writing at home to be nearly impossible. I’m always on the alert for the smallest peep during nap time, which makes it hard to become lost in another world.

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one? 
       
The two broad romance sub-genres I write in are paranormal and erotica. The paranormal series I write spans from the futuristic to the historical and involves science fiction as well as otherworldly beings. The erotica I write spans from the historical to the contemporary. So, I feel like I get to explore a broad range of genres.
 
I hope to write a paranormal novel myself in the near future.      Who is your favorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.) 
       
I have lots of favorites though the one I’m currently most impressed with is Steven Erikson because of his ability to build such a complex world rich in history, politics and theology.
 
How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse 
won’t cooperate? 
     
I take a break and go see a movie, which almost always inspires me to write something.
 
I love the idea of taking a break and going to a movie.  I might have to try that.  :o)  Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc? 
      
I have numerous critique partners, who each help in his or her own way. I have a couple I turn to when I need to brainstorm. Then there are a couple of awesome editors. Finally, they’re all great in terms of moral support.
 
What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?  
 
      Submit. You can write the best story in the world, but if you don’t submit it, then it won’t get published. Of course with self-publishing, that’s not entirely true anymore. So, my advice is no matter what road you take, make sure your work is as polished as you can make it before sending it out into the world.

Good advice.  Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences. 
            
      
     Riding Rodeo is part of The Wild Rose Press’ Cowboy Kink line. With that in mind, cowboys, broken hearts and second chances can present all kinds of interesting situations. 

     Can you tell us a little about your next project? 
          
      Which one? I have four actively vying for my attention: a sequel to the Regency erotica Twice is Not Enough; a contemporary menage; a M/M contemporary western; and the fourth book in the Mates of the Guardians series. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in, on what will get finished first.
 
I know what you mean  I have a couple of projects currently vying for my attention.  Anything else you’d like to share?  
 
Readers can find me...
Facebook: AuthorEmmaLai
Twitter: @emmalaiwrites

Thanks Emma for the great interview.  It was fun learning more about you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Update/Book Review

I'm being interviewed on the You Gotta Read Reviews on Tuesday, 11/29.  You Gotta Read Reviews Blog

On Wednesday, 11/30, I'll be welcoming guest, Emma Lai, here on my blog. 
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I don't usually post reviews here but I so enjoyed the following book that I'm posting the review I wrote for Goodreads here.


Alyson Reuben’s A Beautiful Cage is a great read for anyone interested in a wonderful story set against the back drop of World War II.  The story is full of suspense and kept me turning the pages wanting to know what was going to happen next.

Rebecca Bloomberg, whose loved ones have been taken from her and sent to a concentration camp, is a gutsy young woman the reader can immediately sympathize with.  She’s thrust into a way of life that forces her to trust the one man she shouldn’t – Gustav Von Furst, a man she believes supports the Nazi cause.   Though she tries to keep her distance, circumstances forces them into close proximity, leading her to see the man behind the façade.

Gustav Von Furst is a man determined to do what’s right even if it could cost him everything he holds dear including his own life.  He works undercover as a Nazi journalist while helping the English government.  Due to the very nature of his work, he is suspicious of nearly everyone he meets, questioning if friends and acquaintances are just that or something more sinister.  The fact that he is willing to risk everything to do what’s right makes him a hero to root for and to fall in love with.

It is apparent from the very beginning Alyson Reuben has done a great deal of research into the time period.  Both Rebecca and Gustav are well written characters that had me wanting them to get their happily ever after from the very start. The nail biting suspense, encounters between Rebecca and Gustav, and the perilous situation in general make this a must read.  I can’t wait for Alyson’s next book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

  I'm a day early but I know I won't have time on the actual day.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with their friends and family.
 
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

When do you write?


I recently had a conversation with a friend who was intrigued with the idea of how a writer gets her/his story ideas down on paper.  She peppered me with a bunch of questions. I've listed a few of them here along with my answers.

1.)   Where do you get your ideas?
Pretty much everywhere.  You’d be amazed at where some of my ideas come from.

2.)   Do you write every day?
I try to write Monday through Friday.  Of course, appointments and other commitments sometimes get in the way of that.

3.)   If you don’t write every day, do you write only when the mood strikes you?
I have to write every day or at least try to.  I can’t wait until I’m in the mood or until my muse decides to make an appearance.  I’ve found if I don’t write on a regular basis, I tend to lose the thread of my story and/or, even worse, interest in my characters.  If I don’t care about them, no one else will either. 

4.)   Do you write a certain number of pages or for a certain amount of time?
My answer:  I try to write at least 5 pages of new material each day but I also am constrained by time, having only approximately an hour and a half to devote to writing each day so I guess the answer is both.

5.)   Do you write in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening?
Ideally, I’d write in the morning.  I’m a morning person so I feel I’m at my best then.  But with a 10 year old to get up and get on the school bus plus get myself ready for work, mornings just aren’t possible.  I tried getting up at 5:00am a few times to write before getting the boy up at 6:00am but neither my brain nor my muse was ready to string anything resembling a coherent sentence together after only 6 hours of sleep.  I usually write from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.

I’d love to hear your answers to the above questions.  I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time so I can devote more of it to writing.

Katherine
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Tomorrow, Tuesday, 11/22, I'll be blogging about where I get my some of my story ideas from at Terry's Place.   http://terryodell.blogspot.com

Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Blogging/This I Know For Sure...

Today I'm writing about what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving on Emma Lai's blog "Emma Lai Writes." Please stop by and check it out.  The link is http://emmalaiwrites.blogspot.com. 

This I know for sure...
Participating in NaNoWriMo sounds a lot easier in theory than it actually is.  I've been struggling to write more than 1,000 words within in the hour and a half I have available for writing time Monday through Friday so I guess the fact that I'm not officially participating is a good thing because I'm well behind in word count to come anywhere close to the goal of 50,000 words by the end of November.

Katherine

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I haven't had much time to read lately so I'm still reading the same things I was reading last week.

For pleasure I'm reading A Beautiful Cage by Alyson Reuben. 

For writing related stuff I'm reading Twitter For Dummies.

On a separate note, I'll be blogging on Emma Lai's blog "Emma Lai Writes" on Friday, 11/18/11.  The link is http://emmalaiwrites.blogspot.com. 

Katherine

Monday, November 14, 2011

The First Snow


As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m not a big fan of the winter season.  Here in upstate NY, it drags on much too long with the season beginning in mid-November and if we’re lucky, ending in mid-April though we have had snow as late as May in the past.  The area I live in gets an average of about 110 inches of snow each winter. 

Every October, I always say I’m moving south where it’s warm and has very little snow if any but I’m always still here every year.  I stay mainly because all of my family lives here and I can’t imagine not seeing them on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  It certainly isn’t because of the weather.  I hate the cold, the icy roads, the drivers who drive like speed demons despite the treacherous conditions, and of course, the snow itself.
 
Except for that very first snow of the season where it comes down in fat, fluffy flakes slowly making its way to the ground where it covers everything just enough to make the neighborhood look pristine and beautiful.  I love that first snow, watching it float lazily to the ground, going outside and hearing the silence of the snow fall.
 
I think I’d like the winter season and the snow a whole lot better if I could experience it from inside my home or on my front porch and not have to actually go out in it and risk life and limb to get to where I have to be on a daily basis.  Of course, I’d really like the winter season better if I could just convince my family members to move south with me.

Katherine

Friday, November 11, 2011

This I Know For Sure...


 I can never say thank you enough to everyone and anyone who has served or is serving in the military.


 Today, take a moment and remember our veterans and their families and all they have sacrificed. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

For pleasure I'm reading A Beautiful Cage by Alyson Reuben.  I'm not very far into it and I'm already loving it.  It's very well written.

For writing related stuff I'm reading Twitter For Dummies because I want to set up a Twitter account and actually know how to use it.  :o)

What are you reading?

Katherine

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Revise or To Not Revise


Some authors revise their manuscripts as they go along, others write flat out and then go back and revise after the story is completely written.  Just like everything else in writing, there’s no right way or wrong way to revise your manuscript.  There’s only the best way that works for you.
For me, I seem to alternate between the two depending on the story and how well it’s flowing and how much pre-thought I put into the plot, characters, etc.

Today’s blog post came about as I sat at my dining room table with a hard copy of my current work in progress.  I’m about 50 to 75 pages from completing the manuscript and yet I can’t seem to make myself finish it.  And I don’t know why.  I’ve been at this point for about two weeks now.  Usually, when I get within 100 pages of the end of a story, I can’t tear myself away from the computer.  I’m so driven to see how everything works out.  (Yes, I’m a pantser.)  Instead, I find myself working on another story I've been thinking about.

Thinking if I went through and worked on revising some scenes, I’d get my mojo back, I worked on a few chapters, adding notes in the margins, drawing lines through entire paragraphs that seemed to serve no purpose, adding more dialogue in some places, and taking it out in others.  Pretty soon, I was suffering from “revisionitis.”  This is a term I made up to describe the feeling I sometimes get when revising a manuscript.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in following the “rules” we’ve all been told when we first started writing that I feel like I’ve revised the life right out of the scene.  Other times I change a sentence or word only to change it again or back to what I’d originally written.  At this point, I usually stop, knowing I’m not going to accomplish anything productive.

How about you?  Do you revise as you go along or after you’ve completed the ms?

On a separate note - Tuesday, 11/8/11 I'm being interviewed at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews.  Please come check it out.  Here's the link: http://www.sizzlinghotbooks.net

Katherine

Friday, November 4, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

It's always easier to be pessimistic when things aren't going well in our lives.  It's hard to find the good in your situation when you're struggling in certain areas of your life.

As we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm finding more and more things to be thankful for from having a job in these tough economic times to having a loving family around me to having the opportunity to pursue my dream of being a published author. 

Do you find yourself thinking of the things you're thankful for more often at this time of year?

Katherine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

Yesterday was the first day of National Novel Writing Month otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.  The object is try and write 50,000 words of a new novel within the 30 days of November.   The official link is http://www.nanowrimo.org

I've always wanted to try and see if I can do it.  If you break it down, it's only approximately 1,667 per day and I usually write 1,250 words 5 days a week but for some reason the thought of trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days scares me. 

I'm going to try and do it unofficially.  I'll be posting my daily page count on my Facebook page each week day. (Weekends are too hectic to try and do any writing.)  You can follow me here: My facebook page link

Are you officially or unofficially participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Katherine

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

Everything happens for a reason even though you might not be able to see the reason when you're going through hard times.  Change is hard, but sometimes it's necessary.

Katherine

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Please welcome my guest, Kellie Kamryn

Today I'm interviewing Romance author Kellie Kamryn.

Welcome Kellie, glad you could join me.

     How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?
      I always had this dream of writing a novel, so after a health scare a few years ago, I decided it was time to chase the dream or live with the regret of not trying. Five years ago, I self-published a book of poetry and then I set my sights on novel writing

Do you have a writing routine? 
 
       Now that I’m promoting releases too, I make a schedule for myself of what I want to accomplish in a day. I set aside at least one hour, hopefully more, to work on WIP’s. 
 
I try to write an hour each day too.  Where do you usually do your writing? 
 
       I have a great PC and desk set up in my living room where I can keep an eye on my kids while I work, or I settle into my rocking chair with my laptop. 
 
Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans
in the future to write in a different one? 
 
      Contemporary is the easiest for me because it involves the least amount of researching at this time. The erotic genre is something I decided to dabble in just to see if I could write a hot story people would want to read. I’ve had 3 erotic stories released in the last month. In the new year I have a couple of contemporary romantic novels that will be released. One day I’d like to tackle a paranormal romance, or romantic suspense.
 
I'd like to write a paranormal/romantic suspense combo type novel myself.  Who is yourfavorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.) 
 
       I have so many authors that I love to read and I do name a few but the one that will forever stand out is Eloisa James, not only for her exquisite writing but because a couple of years ago when I knew very little about publishing, I dared to ask her advice on how to get published and she emailed back, telling me about Romance Writers of America and how I shouldn’t give up. It meant a lot to me that she took the time to set me on the right path. I’ve met her a few times and she is the most wonderful lady. 
 
How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse 
won’t cooperate? 
 
      I throw a temper tantrum. Literally. *laughs* Actually, I just surrender to it and realize that there is something else I have to do, like promotion or taking care of my kids. My muse always comes back, so I try to remember that I have all the time in the world to accomplish what I’m meant to.
 
Hmm,  throwing a temper tantrum.  I might have to try that.  :o)  
Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc? 
 
     My critique partners are also fellow bloggers the Ass Cheek Angels. We are a wonderful support to each other both in writing and in our personal lives. I’m so blessed so have them in my life. Whenever we read for each other, or need a shoulder to lean on, we all learn something new and they are the most amazing ladies.
 
What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?  
 
      See my answer above in the question about my favorite authors.

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences. 
    
       
       I wrote Pleasure Island, from The Wild Rose Press, after I separated from my husband. It’s an erotic novella about a woman who goes on vacation to find herself after her divorce is final. She ends up in a place she’d never thought she’d be but finds so much more than she ever thought imaginable. My wish for everyone who has lost love to find it again.
Can you tell us a little about your next project? 
    
       Rebound, Book 1 in the Love and Balance series is scheduled to be released in January 2012 as is The Perfect Score (Book 2). They will be published with Secret Cravings Publishing. They share my passions for gymnastics and writing!

Sounds interesting.  Anything else you’d like to share?  
     
      Readers can visit with me at www.kelliekamryn.com or www.kelliekamryn.blogspot.com or on twitter @KellieKamryn or on facebook www.facebook.com/KellieKamryn
      I love to hear from readers and they can find out about my other 2 releases on my website which are also available on Amazon, ARe, Bookstrand and B&N.

Thanks, Kellie for allowing me to interview you.  It was fun learning about you.
           
      Thank you so much for having me on your blog!