Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've been a bit remiss in my reading since last Wednesday's posting. I always try to make time for pleasure reading. It's my way of winding down at the end of the day after all of the day's responsibilities are done.

Unfortunately, the work on my current manuscript is going a bit slower than I'd hoped and I'm a few pages behind where I want to be. (I'm currently 38 pages behind where I should be at this time according to the goal I set for the time frame to complete this book. Okay, I admit it it's more than a few pages.) I've been working on trying to keep maintaining my regular daily page count and trying to do a couple of extra pages as well when time and responsibilities permit.

Needless to say I'm still reading Barefoot In The Rain by Roxanne St. Claire.  I hope to have it finished by the weekend.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What is success?

"Being a success is up to you."  I read this somewhere a few days ago. I'm probably paraphrasing it badly because I was sure I'd remember the exact quote and who said it so I didn't write it down. Needless to say, my memory isn't quite as good as I think it is. LOL.

While I love a good motivational quote and have quite a few of them written down and tacked up in my workspace, this one spoke to me. Short, succinct, it says a great deal. Now, I suppose one could argue success isn't dependent on just one's self because other aspects come into play. This is true. A lot of getting published by one of the big 6 publishers today depends on getting on the right desk in front of the right agent at the right time.

But in order to have something to send out, first you have to sit down and write the best possible story you can. That's what the above quote means to me. If I don't bother to write or write only when inspiration or the mood strikes, it could take months, perhaps years, to finish my manuscript if it gets completed at all. Years between books will hardly make me a success so essentially my success in the publishing business is really up to me. If I write two books a year, keep honing my craft, keep submitting/querying various agents and/or publishers then my chances of success increase dramatically.

So on those days when you're feeling tired and just don't want to do whatever it is you're trying to be successful in, think of this quote and work on your dream even if you can only squeeze out a few minutes to work on it. You never know what those few minutes added all together might bring you.

Friday, July 26, 2013

What I know for sure...

I'd always believed I'm adaptable. I can go with the flow and not get too verklempt about it. I more or less have to be flexible in my day job because I never know what's going to take priority on any given day. But this past week, I found out I'm much more a creature of habit that I thought I was.

My morning routine has changed so I can sleep in a bit later and not have to get up at 5:15 every morning. I was thrilled I can now get up at 5:45. Yes, it's only a half hour later but let me tell you after years of getting up at 5:15, that extra thirty minutes seems like so much more. You'd think I would love the new wake up time. Nope. Not so much. Most mornings I've been awake before 5:15 any way so the extra sleeping time is wasted. I tried just staying in bed until 5:45 but then I found I was running late getting out of the house. I guess I was used to having a certain amount of time and getting up later cuts into that time and I can't seem to get everything I used to do before leaving for work done in the shorter span.

Sooo, guess who's still getting up at 5:15 every morning.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week I'm reading The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley. I'm only about 50 pages into it, but am liking it already.

Here's the blurb from the back cover:
Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.
Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…

After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love. 

Sounds great, doesn't it?  I have a busy week this week so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read, but I'm sure going to try and squeeze in some in.

Monday, July 22, 2013

To Curse or Not to Curse

I recently read a blog post regarding the overuse of the F-word in many romance novels being published both digitally and in paperback format. Having written historical romance fiction up to this point, it wasn't something I dealt with in my own writing. As I'm currently working on my first contemporary romance novel, it start me thinking about that ultimate "bad word."

I think that word has its place in certain books.  In Erotica, the use of F--- is expected whereas if it's found in an inspirational romance, I definitely think the reader would sit up and take notice and may even be offended by its use.

That being said, I think in the right context the F-word would be accepted. You wouldn't expect a tough military/police officer/firefighter hero to say "dang" when something goes wrong. Nope, they're gonna use the "big" word and not be apologetic about it. To expect otherwise would be completely unrealistic. But I have to admit, I don't like the word being said by the heroine regardless of her profession. I can't explain why it seems more acceptable when said by a man other than maybe it's a product of my upbringing -- I was taught a "lady" doesn't use such language.

Will I use the F-word in my current manuscript? Yes, but only if it fits the story and character who says it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week I'm reading Barefoot In The Rain by Roxanne St. Claire.  My sister raved over the book and offered to lend me her copy. While I didn't realize it was the second book in a series, I'm quite enjoying it and don't feel lost at all that I haven't read the first book, Barefoot In The Sand.

Barefoot In The Rain deals with domestic abuse and Alzheimer's Disease. Both are handled very well with great care and sensitivity. I haven't finished the book yet, I'm only about three-fourths the way through it. Even though I haven't finished it, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great read.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Writing Time

First, sorry about the lack of posts last week. A personal matter came up with no forewarning so I didn't have time to schedule posts ahead of time.

This led me to start thinking about how life can sometimes interrupt our regular writing and promotional routines. We all have responsibilities within our daily lives that at times will take precedence over everything else. Those of us who work outside the home and have limited time for writing and promotion may find that days go by before we can find the time to sit down and write.

I started thinking how I could prevent that. Of course, there will always be times when I just can't get to the computer due to a pressing responsibility, but how can I keep on track?  Here are a few things I'm going to try the next time something comes up that throws my writing routine out the window:

  1. Write a few blogs and keep them saved on my computer so if something like last week comes up, I'll have a few posts ready.
  2. I keep a notebook and pen in my purse. Use those to jot down ideas, settings, outlines of scenes, or snippets of dialogue when I have a few free minutes while I'm waiting in the doctor's office, the hospital waiting room, etc.  This way those things don't disappear into the ether and I have them when I can get back to my routine.
  3. Post on Facebook (and Twitter once I figure out how to use it effectively) from my phone while I'm doing all that waiting.
I'd love to hear how you handle life's interruptions to your writing time.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Sorry, there will be no posts this week - 7/8 thru 7/12/13. I will be back on Monday, 7/15. Thanks for understanding.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th of July

I know I'm a little early today and I'll be a day late on Friday, but I will be offline for the next few day so...

Happy 4th of July!

(Photo courtesy of CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia (link:, Creative Commons website (link:

Monday, July 1, 2013


My day job can be noisy with various conversations taking place outside my office, ringing phones, the clickety clack of keyboards, and sounds of the printer and photocopier working continuously.  While I don't require quiet when I'm writing or revising, (I listen to classical music) I do feel that I need a bit of solitude every day. Just 15 minutes helps center me, allowing me to wind down at the end of the day.

I sometimes use the time to think about my WIP, about the plot, dialogue, and layering within scenes. Or I use the time to think about what I want to accomplish the next day both in the day job and in my writing career.

But most of the time, I try to use the time to To sit quietly and breathe, to listen to the birds, the wind through the wind chimes next door, the buzz of the cicadas, to empty my mind of all the things I need to do and the worries that come with daily life. It's amazing how doing this changes my whole outlook when I've had a bad day or am feeling particularly stressed about something.

Maybe Mary Chapin Carpenter and I have more in common that I would have ever guessed.