Monday, December 19, 2011

It's a wrap!

Holiday break is here!!!

My husband landed a job, which involves relocation to Vancouver, WA. We're excited to explore another part of the beautiful Northwest!

The writing stats for this year:
1 book started, edited and submitted. Because of Scrivener, there was no major story reconstruction and hours of reordering during the first pass of revisions.

2 former books torn apart for the indie market, the first- which is a young YA or older Tween is in final edits.

I'm snowflaking a new story idea over the holiday break. No hard writing goals just writing as pockets of time come open. I'll be back in January 2012 with a new series on snowflakes, Scrivener and getting the story right in the first draft.

Have a WONDERFUL holiday! Wishing each of you days filled with Merry and Happy and Bright!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Season of Want

My youngest daughter, updated her Christmas list - decorated and glittered and hanging on the fridge - the other day. There, at the very bottom and written in pencil so it kind of blended with the red construction paper, she'd written:
"For my daddy to get a job"

Yes, I got all blurry-eyed and felt that Grinch-heart expansion that stole my breath and made me have to hold up the fridge a few minutes. And yes, my biggest want this Christmas season - even with a book on submission - is for my husband to land a job. We'll be fine, we're fortunate I'm working. His going through this has been tough because I can't fix it, can't even attempt to fix it. And he's excellent at what he does and is a hard worker and SO didn't deserve to be caught without a chair when the music stopped. The Mom part of me knows it's life and life's not always fair, just like I've had so many talented writer friends passed up by agents and publishers and reviews. It happens. (Insert boo-hiss here!)

But the re-org which organized him out of a job has been a blessing in disguise. It's made us ask hard questions like:
How do I want to live?
What's most important?
Am I doing what I LOVE?

This same line of questions pack the same punch when you turn them to writing. Especially the last question, in this season on want. Are you writing what you love to read? Are you writing a story you love or writing a story you think you should be writing? It's the details we ignore until we have to which seem to make us grow the most. And like any other type of growing, there are periods where some sort of pain is involved...but in the end, things are better, bigger or even both :D

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Online or Offline or Compromise?

I love this quote! It's in my writing nook, reminding me where I must spend my time. Because whether you're an indie author or a traditional author, we all have the same 24 hours in each day.

The trick is staking out enough time for writing and leaving some time for hanging out online with other writers. I have learned more through blogs and the Blue Boards and tweets than I would have ever imagined!

I enjoy reading blogs...but doing so requires actual stretches of time. There are SO many excellent blogs available for writers no matter which stage in the journey.

And blogging here is also fun, but as my entries show, less than regular.  Part of me knows I should work on building a readership, but the other part is aware of how important, how CRITICAL working on the book is.

Not to mention, it's a daunting task to carve a blogging niche and standout! My heart and interests are telling me where my focus should be, but it will take some time to get organized.

I <3 Twitter as a compromise of writing faithfully and still allowing some time to hang with other writers. A few minutes in the Twitterverse catches me up on all the good news, publishing world headlines and writer's life snapshots eloquently captures in 140 characters. It's amazing and I'm thankful we have something like Twitter as a happy compromise to stay online and we can continue working on the Important things and still stay connected when we surface!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fast Fiveday!

My blog-o-pause is due to lots of writing things happening in the background! Good things! Snoopy dancing time sorts of things! 

Things I can share are today's fast five:
1. My first Indie book's title initials are MOB
2. The cover is READY and I'll have the big reveal on 11-11-11
3. Edits are absolutely critical for Indie books. Don't skip this step no matter how long you've been writing!
4. My cover makes me giggle and smile, every single time.
5. Next week I'll be blogging about finding and making most effective use of an indie editor

This weekend I'll be reading Nikki Burnham's latest, SHOT THROUGH THE HEART because
a. It's a lyric in an 80's hair band song
b. Water guns are central to the plot. Yes, water guns, who can resist?!
c. She's the Yoda of YA Rom-Com. 
d. The scoop is here:

Have a great Friday...let me know what you're reading this weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Motivational Monday - Indie Authors

Today I'd like to share the story of an Indie Author who took the eBook route after numerous accolades from her peers but couldn't break into the traditional publishing world.

Debra Holland, author of the Wild Montana Sky series, is a three time Golden Heart finalist and one time winner. For those of you not familiar with RWA's Golden Heart contest, it's a tough contest in that the judges give a single number rating - no comments on how or why the number was given, there are no specific elements of story which the judges must have in mind during the reading/judging. It's fair to say an author who manages to final more than once knows not only how to tell a story, they've also got advanced storytelling elements mastered.

But as many authors know, telling an exceptional story isn't enough. There are certain elements traditional publishers like to have in genre fiction (in general, I know there are some outliers!) and if a story doesn't have those elements, readers don't have an opportunity to read it.

This is the beauty of indie publishing. No longer are readers given choice between a filtered range of stories. The preference for specific elements and genre-specific stereotypes has been removed! Unconventional stories, unlikely time periods, unusual characters....readers have more variety, more choice than ever before.

Readers and writers benefit. Welcome to the Indie Book Age!

I don't know Debra but I have read both her books after hearing the buzz online - both books in her Wild Montana Sky series were refreshing and ended too soon!

For more information, here's a couple of interviews with Debra:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fresh Start

A new page.
A new blog.
A new direction.

Don't you love fresh starts?

There are so many authors making fresh starts, taking new directions, trying new ways to get their stories into the hands of readers. There isn't a one-size-fits-all way to publish just like there isn't one-size-fits-all jeggings (and that's a good thing). 

I adore the real life flavor in books by Sarah Dessen, the humor in books by Gwen Hayes and the angst in books by Shanna Norris. I'm leaving out a billion of my favorite authors but I'll be sure to mention other faves in upcoming posts. 

I write sweet, contemporary YA's. My first book will release in November, after it's gone through an editor and proof reader. (Note: my first book to be published is not my very first book written and that's a very good thing!) 

This blog will help you lose ten pounds(1), tame the frizzies(2), capture the to-do's of indie publishing(3) and share the roller coaster ride of being a working YA author. 

(1) Maybe, if you promise not to eat anything while you're BIC
(2) I could share how rubbing a dryer sheet over your head would help, but who wants to go around smelling like their laundry?!
(3) Yes...think of it as a cheat sheet for self-publishing!