Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  It has moved forward in drips. Concentrating and trying to get into the mindset of my characters has proven difficult. I did realize I have a major flaw that runs throughout a large portion of the book. Rather than stop writing and go back and fix it, (mainly because I want to finish this book already. It's taken me far to long to write the first draft as it is) I'm going to try to edit the pages already written while still pushing ahead with writing new material. Whether or not I'm successful in this will be another thing.

News from the publishing world: Harper Collins is starting to sell books directly from their website. Here's a link for a bit more information. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/harpercollins-pivots-to-sell-print-and-ebooks-directly-to-readers-through-main-website/

Quote of the week:  “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.” ~ Unknown.  I think this says it all.

Health news: Sorry no health news this week. I just haven't been able to get to any of the journals I normally peruse.

Random things:  A few people have told me I've been having a string of bad luck lately. It all started on July 10th when I had a flat tire. Thankfully, the tire waited to deflate until I'd been home and parked in the driveway for a couple of hours. A few days after that, my mom slipped down the last few stairs in our house and injured her wrist. A day or so after that, my loved one became ill and as you all know passed away 2 days later. I don't know if I'd put everything I've been going through down as bad luck, but I'd sure like things to start looking up.

Random photo of the week: 

This was on Facebook a few days ago on a friend's page. Given everything that's been happening in my life lately, I thought it was entirely appropriate.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Writing...Or Trying To.

The sudden death of my family member has thrown me for a loop. It was so unexpected and she was very young. I'm finding it hard to concentrate or focus on anything. One day last week I found myself staring into the cupboard looking for laundry detergent which is always kept in the basement on a shelf next to the washer and dryer. I don't know why I thought I'd find it in a kitchen cupboard. Even though being at work during the day helps keep my mind busy, I feel as though I'm walking around in a fog with the slightest things setting me off on yet another bout of tears. 

In the past, I've read items by other writers who took solace in their writing during a family member's long illness or after the death of a loved one. I remember one particular moving post about how the writer sat at her father's bedside while he was in hospice care. She dealt with the sadness of what her father was going through by escaping into the fictional world of her characters. 

I wish I could be that type of writer. This is by no means a condemnation of writers who write while grieving for their loved one, but I found it almost impossible to get into the mindsets of my characters. Writing even this post was difficult. Actually writing anything, even the grocery list, has been hard, if not next to impossible this past week. It was a struggle to put down the 100 words per day required to keep my 100 day challenge going. I have to admit I did not write at all the day my family member died or the day after, but am trying to continue with the challenge. I keep telling myself every day will get easier both in writing and life in general, but right now it's hard to imagine.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Apologies

Due to a sudden death in the family, there will be no posts this week.

Friday, July 18, 2014

This I know for sure...

Sorry no post today due to a sudden illness in the family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Wrote 25 new pages last week which is an accomplishment because I had two appointments after getting out of work so I lost writing time, but I did manage to write at least a page both of those days. I'm almost 30 days into my 100 day challenge.

News from the publishing world: While this article doesn't necessarily fall into this category, I thought I'd include it here as it's more or less a bird's eye view of what some "slush pile" manuscripts look like. What I Learned About Submissions As A Reader For An Agent

Quote of the week: “One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don't feel like doing it.” ~ Unknown. This quote was very apt last week. When I arrived home after those two after work appointments, the last thing I felt like doing was sit in front of the computer to write when I knew I had such a short amount of time in which to do it before it was time to make dinner and then family time after the clean up.

Health news: According to a research study from the Rush University Medical Center, people who meditated as little as eight minutes a day were better able to control stress, emotional eating and the triggers associated with them.

Random things: It's always been some what of a joke in my family that I have a brown thumb when it comes to growing plants. I now have something or someone other than myself to blame for my plants that don't seem to flourish -- Squirrels. I left a planter of daisies outside on the back porch overnight and the next morning found the daisies dug up with little paw prints in the dirt that had been thrown out of the pot.


Random photo of the week: 

This was posted on Facebook and I found it very true. It's something I need to continually remind myself to do.
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Reviews

Last week on one of the writing loops I belong to there was a lengthy discussion about reviews. While we writers bask in the glow of a wonderful review, the bad reviews take the wind from our sails, leaving us riddled with self-doubt.

As a writer, I can't stress how important reviews are and, in some cases, how they can impact a writer's career both in a positive and negative way. If a novel receives a majority of glowing reviews, buzz builds about the book increasing sales. The impact may be the author is contracted to write more books for that publisher, or if they are self-published, the buzz may end up having publishers and agents reaching out to that author to offer them a contract or in the case of an agent, representation. Amanda Hocking is an excellent example of this. Of course, I'm not saying every writer that receives excellent reviews is going to have the same experience as Amanda.

If a novel receives mostly negative reviews, odds are sales will be low and the publisher may decide not to publish any other novels by the author. Once a book receives a large number of negative reviews, it's very hard to overcome the stigma associated with the bad reviews. People may decide not to buy the next book based on reviews of previous books. Unfortunately if the novel is self-published, then rumors may start that the author self-published because their stuff is so bad, they couldn't get published any other way. Many times when an author chooses to self-publish that is not the case. They choose self-publishing to have control over the cover art, cover copy, and the like. They also can schedule the release date whereas in traditional publishing most novels aren't released until 12 months or more (usually 18 months) after the contract has been signed. I won't even mention the royalty issues.

Like most things in life, reviews can be good and bad. If you've read a book, please leave a review. You may be helping an author you enjoy reading reach new heights in her/his career.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This I know for sure...

It's the middle of July already. Summer seems to go by so fast. I know that technically each season is approximately three months long, but in my part of the U.S., it seems the seasons are as follows:


Fall/Autumn from September to November



Winter from November to March, but most of the time until Mid-April.













Spring from Mid April to the end of May











Summer from June to the end of August










What are the seasons like in your corner of the world? Do think Summer is the fastest season as well?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Low word count this week due to the holiday. I did write every day though so I'm still going strong on the 100 day challenge.

News from the publishing world: I found this article interesting. I think it puts things in perspective when related to Ebook sales vs. Paperback or Hardcover sales. Link: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/bookstats-ebooks-flat-in-2013/

Quote of the week:  "Believe in yourself regardless of what other people think. You can accomplish anything, absolutely anything, if you set your mind to it." ~ Marcus Allen.  This is a great quote when you're feeling down on yourself.

Health news: A new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology recommends not hiding your nervousness before a big event. You should embrace them instead. Instead of saying, "I'm nervous," say "I'm so excited." Doing this reframes your anxiety as a positive emotion and boosts self-confidence. I found this interesting as I hate public speaking and always feel anxious before having to do it.

Random things: I did something this past Friday that I haven't done in months. I did only the essential things that had to be done and let the rest of my "To Do" list go. Instead I just relaxed, read a book, and took a walk in the neighborhood enjoying the day as it dusk fell. 

Random photo of the week:

 The strange plant growing in a friend's backyard that we can't figure out what is. If you recognize it, let me know.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday Books


The last few weeks I've had one of the secondary characters from my current work in progress pop into my head. At first, it was just him telling me more about himself, then the heroine showed up and told me her name and a bit about herself. Now entire scenes and dialogue are taking over my thoughts as I drift off to sleep or I'm driving in the car.

A few weeks ago, I read an article about authors who wrote more than one book at a time, working on one during the week and one on Sundays which they call their Sunday books. At the time I thought was an interesting concept, but not something I could do.

Now that these two characters are speaking to me, I don't want to lose what they're conveying so I've started jotting everything down in a one subject notebook. It's all very random and not cohesive in any way. As I'm starting to know the secondary character that appears in my current manuscript better, I'm finding he's adding depth to the book.

This makes me want to write his story even more, so this past Saturday I sat down and started writing the opening scenes of his book. Anything I work on related to his book won't count toward my weekly page goals because I don't want to be someone who sets aside one manuscript to start another over and over again and never finish any of them.

I don't know if I'll work on it every weekend, but I do know he's compelling enough to make me do something I didn't think I'd ever be able to do - work on more than one story at a time even if it's just a few days a month until my current work in progress is finished.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th


I hope you and your families have a wonderful and safe 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I'm haven't missed a day yet in the 100 day challenge so that's still ongoing. I reached a point in my manuscript that made me realize I have to go back and change a couple of things. One is very minor, but the other is going to require some rewriting. I'm hoping to get this done as well as a significant amount of new pages this week. The 4th of July is going to be just a quiet day at home so I'm planning on using a good portion of the day writing.

News from the publishing world: Book Sales Dipped in 2013 - this article posted 6/27/14 by Jim Milliot is from Publisher's Weekly. It isn't very encouraging for those of us who hope to make a living from our writing. Link: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/63131-book-sales-dipped-in-2013.html

Quote of the week: "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." ~ Jim Rohn.  I picked this quote for the week because it fits in with my post from Monday.

Health news: According to a small study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, people who drank watermelon juice before working out had less muscle soreness the next day. Watermelon contains large amounts of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can improve oxygen delivery to muscles. I'm not sure if you can buy watermelon juice, but blending a cup of frozen watermelon cubes, 1/2 cup of strawberries, and 1/4 cup of orange juice makes a great smoothie.

Random things: Monday was my mom's birthday. I took the day off from work and we went out to breakfast and to the movies in the afternoon. It was a great day.

Random photo of the week:

 This is the cat's new favorite place. There's not a lot of space but he manages to jump in there, turn around, and get comfortable.