Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writing Prompt

In my excitement to post chapter one of Hell's Hollow yesterday, I forgot to provide a weekly writing prompt. So here it is, this week's writing prompt. It comes from Julia Cameron's Vein of Gold, a quote from Theodore Roethke:

"What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible."

So the writing prompt is to write about doing one impossible thing. It could be you or a character or a friend. Write about conquering/achieving the impossible.

I'll bet it leaves you feeling like you can do it too ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter Posted!

We reached our goal of 25 adds on Goodreads! So as promised, the first chapter of Hell's Hollow has been posted on the Chapter One page of this blog. I'm excited to share the first bit of the story. I love these characters and the story they had to tell. I hope you'll enjoy them, too. Of course I'm also nervous to share and I'd love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment or tweet me or find me on FB and let me know what you think! The cover reveal is happening on March 8th!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Managing Time

Are you managing it or is it managing you? How often do you find your writing time getting lost in the shuffle of email, social media, blogging, etc? What can you do to get a handle on it?

After struggling with this issue on and off for years (I'm not the most organized person you'll ever meet. Housecleaning for me comes in the form of -- OMG someone is coming over? Quick! Get the vacuum out, put away the clean laundry, hide the dirty, etc.), I have finally come to the realization that I need to block time that can be used for nothing other than writing. Sounds obvious, but it can be tricky to do.

What works best for me is small chunks. I might know I have even a long window of like four hours to work, yet if I'm not careful, it'll all get eaten up by junk online time. So lately I've been blocking a portion of that time, often in the middle, when writing is my top and only priority.

So far it's working for me. Maybe it'll work for you, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contest Time

Hell's Hollow is on Goodreads!

I'd love your help in getting people to add it to their lists. So to sweeten the pot, when it gets 25 adds, I'll post the first chapter of the book on the Chapter 1 page of this blog. When it reaches 50 adds, I'll choose one person who has added it to receive a copy of the book (once it's released). And when it reaches 100 adds, I'll give away a $20 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one person who has added it (chosen at random, of course.) Extra entries will be given for  retweets of my twitter announcement. If you post about it elsewhere (like FB) leave me a link in the comments here and I'll give you an extra entry for that too. The cover reveal is coming on March 8, and the cover is gorgeous! I can't wait to show you!

Thanks so much for your help!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Writing On

Step by step, Hell's Hollow is moving closer to release. The cover design is complete and I absolutely love it! Okay Creations did an amazing job! Next steps include planning the cover reveal and a blog tour and once all that is in place, I just have to hope the uploads to Smashwords, Amazon, and BN go smoothly. I find each step to be totally exciting and totally stressful at the same time. It's like making decisions for your kids -- you know like which preschool they should go to or whether you should let them go to the park unsupervised! Sending your baby out into the world.

In the meantime, I'm also trying to stay grounded by continuing to work on other projects. I thought maybe I'd start providing weekly writing prompts for those who might be interested. Jo Knowles does this on her livejournal blog and I thought it was a fun idea.

So my prompt this week is --

It was in the way his eyes held her as he moved through the crowd...

Even if the prompt doesn't grab you at first, give it a try and see where it takes you. Just write for fifteen minutes and see where it leads. If you feel like sharing what you came up with,  please do so in the comments! I'd love to see where you went.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Giving Props

Just have to take a moment to give big kudos to my critique partner, Lauren Blakely, author of Caught Up In Us, who is keeping me focused on all the steps of this complex task of publishing a novel! Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, she throws me a rope and drags me along until I get my legs kicking again. I'm so grateful! And I'm also so impressed by the indie community, how warm and welcoming everyone is, and how willing everyone is to help.

I think this is true of any endeavor we take on in life: make friends along the way! They keep you sane and on task and can teach you so much. And hopefully, you'll be able to return the favor.

Meanwhile, I'm getting excited. Cover developments are happening. Reveals and releases are being plotted. Lots to do, but so thrilled to be getting closer to sharing these characters and this story! Stay tuned :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blooming Blossoms

The cherry blossoms and Japanese magnolia buds are blooming and they are gorgeous. The rest of the neighborhood trees are barren and sad-looking this time of year, of course. But these bold trees that spend their summers green and their early winters bare dive head first into spring with their insanely luscious pink blooms. It's inspiring. It's like they're ringing the bell to announce it's time for spring.

This morning I was feeling gloomy and sedentary and stuck. Then I went for a hike. The sun and fresh air and especially the beautiful blossoms woke me up. They got my blood moving, my heart racing, and my mind back in gear so that when I got home and sat down in front of the page, the words were flowing, too.

I know if you're in a more wintery place it can be hard to remember that spring isn't too far away, especially if everything is all covered with slush. But I'm telling you, the cherry blossoms are blooming! And when that happens, you know spring can't be far away!

Here's a shot of the magnolia blooms for proof ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Café Writing

I met a friend at a café to write today. I always forget how it helps the flow to write with someone else who is writing too. Usually the noise at cafés makes it so hard for me to focus. I get distracted by the coffee machines and the conversations. But today, writing with a friend, it was like her focus was contagious, and I was able to sink into the writing, while the sounds around me became a blur of white noise that didn't bother me one bit. I usually need silence to write. Today I started thinking maybe that silence is a mindset. And maybe I can create it in ways other than real, actual absence of sound. Something new to experiment with anyway!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Making Progress

I'm getting closer and closer to being ready to upload my first novel! Every step feels complicated, but thanks to the generous help of others who have been there, I'm learning. Bit by bit, baby steps. But I'm getting excited to see this story I adore make its way out into the world! I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm looking forward to getting to know more readers, authors and bloggers, especially in the YA and women's lit communities.