Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Writer's Life...or at least mine...

Every writer is different and we have different quirks and habits when we actually sit down and write. For the last few months, I realize I have somewhat a routine. It varies from book to book, but I thought it'd be fun to give you little peak into my world.

Hotdogs. I've pretty much raised the stock of Oscar Mayer sustaining myself on hotdogs this past month alone. It's pretty much all I've consumed during lunch. Of course, it doesn't help having enough pretzel buns in my freezer to feed an army.

And of course there's Sweet Tea. I make my own and practically live off the stuff...I am from Texas, ya know! 

Netflix. I can't write to music, but I can't work in silence either. Heroes, Twin Peaks, Greek, and Gossip Girl played in the background as I worked on PARADIGM. So if my characters have supreme super human powers, involved in a mystery, set in a sorority house in the Upper East Side, you know why. Ha, just kidding. Well, except for the powers part. 

Mochas. I'm addicted to them and indulge at least one or two hot mochas a day, including the whip cream. I always promised myself an espresso machine and after purchasing one last Christmas, it's certainly paid for itself, as I can keep my addiction without spending the big bucks at Starbucks (okay, I buy my beans at SBUX, but it's still cheaper making them at home).

I like to consider my coffee station part of my must have writer tools. 

So, I sit in my uncomfortable office chair writing, doing/eating/drinking all of the above. Glamourous huh?

On the actual writing front, I've got a lot done this last week (notice I missed my regular Wed post), and  am finally working on editing/revisions to PARADIGM! I should be contacting my beta readers within the next week or so.

I hope to have more updates next week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

ROW80 Update


Kickin' butt and taking names! Have written 4500k since Wed night! Yay! Paradigm is coming along smoothly and now it's just a matter of filling in some of the major scenes, plus a few extras.

This'll be another short post, as I gotta get back to my worlds...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update Drive-by

My ROW80 update is late. It's almost 10 a.m., I'm still snuggled in bed, in my p.j.'s, still drinking coffee, and watching Mystic Pizza (great 80's movie if you haven't seen it and one of my favorite Julia Robert flicks). But I'm writing too. How cool is that?

Anyways, I spent almost the entire day yesterday with the hubby and pugs, so I didn't get a chance to post my update yesterday. It's not much of an update, so you haven't missed much. So here it is: since Sunday, I've gotten another 3,329 words in, across three different stories. That's it! That's my update!

I plan on spending the rest of today writing...writing...writing. I've got a deadline folks! See you on Sunday, for what I hope will be a better update. 

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reading, Writing, and High School Football

Happy Sunday fellow NaNoWriMo Campers and ROW80'ers! I hope ya'll had a productive week of writing this past week. I didn't fare as well as I wanted to, only writing 2,500k (PARADIGM) since Wednesday, but they were important scenes and I feel as though my story is finally coming together. 

I didn't get any writing done yesterday, which is why my word count is low. I held a yard sale in the morning, then headed off to a high school football scrimmage (my friend's son's team was playing), so there went my day. And speaking of high school football, my good pal and fellow ROW80er Tiffany A. White has just published her first book, Football Sweetheart (YA Mystery), set in the world of Texas high school football. As a fellow Texan myself, I can't wait to read it! 

So, while I didn't get much writing done, I did get a chance to read. I hadn't read anything in a couple weeks, and my mind was craving some good brain candy! Here's what I read these last few days:

Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson

As a writer, I should know better than to read reviews. Sure, they're often helpful when trying to determine whether or not to read a particular book, but in this case, I should have just ignored all the horrible 1 star reviews (116 of them!) and read it two years ago when it first came out. I had been a fan of the series and when this book came out, readers were p*ssed. I decided to ignore the reviews and read it for myself. Personally, I loved everything the other readers hated about the book. I thought it was actually pretty brilliant of MJD to do what she did. That and I'm a sucker for time-travel stories! If you've read the series up to this point, it's worth forging ahead.

Demon Hunter and Baby by Anna Elliott

I picked this one up free on a promotion day and finally got around to reading it. The premise was good and I loved the storyline (a demon hunter with a baby, of course). It took me a couple days to finish this, as I had trouble with the author's writing style, but the world building kept me intrigued. All in all, it was a good read. 

Wuthering Frights by H.P. Mallory 

I finally picked up book four in the Dulcie O'Neil series by H.P. Mallory and as usual, it was a fun quick read. While I absolutely love the characters, I always find myself thinking there's something missing. There's a beginning and an ending, but no middle. I guess it's my way of saying..."make your books longer!" The book leaves us with more questions and I'll certainly pick up the fifth one to find out what happens next! 

That's it for today, folks! Happy reading and writing this week!! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer's Almost Over Folks

As you read from my last post, I began CampNaNoWriMo last Wednesday to great start. The first three days, I totaled quite a word count. But by Saturday, things just got in the way and I didn't get any writing done. By Sunday night, I finally rallied and wrote another 3,000k towards PARADIGM between then and yesterday!

I've also written another 665 words for the short story I'm doing for a Christmas anthology I'm submitting to (see guest post below). The short will be set of the Travelers Universe and will revolve around Jenny and Chase (their budding romance is just begging to be told)! I should be finishing up the story by the end of the week. 

If you aren't checking-in every Tuesday or following the Spellbound Scribes in, you should! My post on When Bad Guys Turn Good went up yesterday. Who's your favorite villain?

And as we get closer to the end of summer (It's almost mid-August! How did that happen?), here's a guest post by one of my favorite indie authors, Red Tash on what she was up to this summer!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Oh, how I long for the summers of my childhood. The sun warming the green grass beneath me, endless days of traipsing through the woods, climbing trees, swinging on tire swings, swimming in ponds and creeks—there was nothing like it!  Freedom! A world a-blossom in green and blue!

Summers aren't like that now, are they?

This summer has been terrific in terms of indoor entertainment (can't beat the Olympics), but it was oppressively hot in Indiana, and most of the Midwest. We were urged not to add to the gaseous emissions with unnecessary trips out in the car—sometimes, it was even so hot out that the car's AC got a little dicey! I confess, our trips to the beach were few and far between. Yards shriveled into yellow brown patterns of distress. You could practically hear them croaking “Water!” when we did leave the comfort of the house's cool environment.

So what was a girl to do?

Well, I'm a writer, so I wrote, naturally. I also read. It was my goal to read more this year than last, and so far I'm meeting that goal nicely. Still, when you've got a lot of kids to manage and a lot of work to complete independently, reading for pleasure stays way down the list of summer funtivities, I gotta confess.

I did one-on-one nights with my kids and may have managed a date with my husband at one point. I kicked off the summer with a family vacation to Florida, including a trip to Hogwarts that I'll never forget. I published a book—my second novel, Troll Or Derby.

We purged a lot of our belongings and packed away still more for an upcoming move (God-willing). I vlogged! But mostly, this girl wrote.  

I wrote in my blog. I socialized with friends on Facebook and Goodreads. Now that we're gearing up for “Back to School,” I'm trying to get myself into a better writing practice, so I've been working on the sequel to This Brilliant Darkness most mornings.  Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck. I'd like to finish that bad boy before October (first draft, anyway).

Another fun writing project was a Christmas story set in the world of Troll Or Derby. I decided to put together a collection of holiday stories, and Claudia's writing one for it, too!  That'll be my September “to do,” I reckon: assembling and formatting and getting a cover put together for that tidbit of holiday cheer. Isn't it funny, that I spent part of my summer worrying about Christmas?  

Oh, geez.  That reminds me.  Where did I put my Christmas list for this year? It's never too early to start, you know.  I know what I'll be asking Santa for this year: a time machine. I could use more hours in the day!  Or maybe just more hours of sleep.  Or maybe I'd like a milder summer next year.  Or maybe a new computer.  Or...or...or...

Claudia actually wrote a good list of stuff you can buy a writer for Christmas a few months ago on my blog.  Check it out! 

One of the last things I did this summer was add one of Claudia's stories to my free download, The Wizard Takes a Holiday. Her story is called Southern Hospitality and it's super creepy! Check us out, along with Ash Krafton

How about you? What did you do this summer? Do tell!

I totally forgot about my post on writer Christmas gifts! My own summer vaca pales in comparison, but if you want to know how I spent mine, I'll be over at Red's next week. And if you're curious about Red and her writing, check-out her website and download a copy of The Wizard Takes a Holiday (it's FREE), and tell us what you think by leaving a review! 

How's everybody else doing this week?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

It's been a great week so far at CampNaNoWriMo! After indulging in too many hotdogs and sunbathing by the lake, I actually got some great word counts in-between camp activities. Since Wednesdays, I've clocked in 5,403 words. Yay!

For those familiar with NaNoWriMo, I did not start my word counts with what I already had going into camp... I started my count at 0, starting the day CampNaNoWriMo began on Aug. 1st. So while I may not win overall, I should have book 3 finished well before Aug. 31st.

So get ready faithful readers, I'll have PARADIGM out sometime by the end of this month (here's hoping) or early September! And I've already alerted my proofreader/editor, will soon contact my beta's, and I'll soon be getting ready to work on the cover. Lots of stuff going on this month.

And sadly, I haven't ready any good books lately, not because what I've read isn't any good, but because I haven't had the opportunity to read lately...yeah, I know! I still have tons in my TBR pile and hopefully I'll need to take a break so I can get back to reading!

As for TV, I am anxiously awaiting the new seasons of shows that will be starting up soon, so it's basically re-runs right now. I am however watching GREEK (ABC Family) on Netflix as I write (I tend to watch shows I never watched while writing, since I can't do it to music) and I'm loving it! Probably cuz I was Greek in college and am now busy working on building up our alumnae association (yes, another time suck)... 

How did the rest of my ROW80ers and fellow campers fare this week? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Actual Update!

I feel like a load has been lifted and I am back on schedule with all my writing commitments and deadlines. Of course, I say that now, but that's how I feel today.

I finally finished up one of the short stories I had to submit, cranking out over 1,462 words the last few days this week in order to finish, and I'll find out in a week or so whether or not it was accepted into the anthology. Even if it doesn't get chosen, I'm so proud of this particular piece that I'll probably post it up somewhere if it's not.

PARADIGM is now on the front burner so to speak and I finally feel better about responding to you wonderful readers asking when it's going to be out. I REALLY am shooting for late August, but again, don't quote me on that. I really want to do this right and not rush, but it won't stop me from working hard to finish it up soon (i.e. no procrastinating)! I worked on some scenes today and it's finally starting to come together.

Looking at my cool new calendar (see post before this), I realized that school starts back up in 3 weeks! I always look forward to the beginning of each semester and meeting all my new students. Of course, this means I have to get as much writing done as possible before I start working on lectures.

By the way, if you don't know who The Indelibles are, you should. They are a group of some amazing YA authors and I'm featured in their Indie Spotlight for their newsletter this month! I am a HUGE fan of many of the writers in this group (Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Sarra Cannon, Karly Kirkpatrick, Addison Moore, Susan Kaye Quinn...the list goes on) and I'm honored they asked to interview me. If you want to check out the interview, make sure to sign up for their newsletter!

And before I sign off, the fab Red Tash did a little redesign on her short story, The Wizard Takes a Holiday, and included one of my shorts, as well as one by Ash Krafton. If you like quirky horror shorts, you can pick it up for FREE on Amazon (and other online ebook retailers). I'm totally looking forward to reading The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class!

Have a great week and I hope to have more updates on book 3 on Sunday!

UPDATE: In order to get PARADIGM finished on schedule, I decided to participate in CampNaNoWriMo! I got my duffle bag packed with lots of s'mores and Dt. Coke! I wonder if they have 'free time'??