Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Are Your 18 Things? Blogfest - My 18 Things Bucket List

Jamie Ayres is hosting the What Are Your 18 Things Blogfest in celebration of the release of her book 18 Things

This was what Jamie said about the blogfest:
All you have to do is blog about things on your bucket list.  If you don’t have a bucket list, you should, and now is the perfect time to start! If you’re not sure what a bucket list is (blasphemy!), it’s something completely personal that each person should do (IMHO). It’s a great reminder that gives an extra boost to live life to the fullest and keep us looking forward, even when life wants to drag us down sometimes. Finish a marathon? Read the top 100 books?  I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, poignant, or inspirational things that you want to want to do, or maybe already crossed off your list. And it doesn’t have to be 18 Things . . . it can be anywhere from 1-18 things (I just needed my title to get out there. Marketing trolls said so!)
Here are my 18 things, some achieved and some still to be done (and some are just big dreams. What's the point of dreaming if we can't dream big, right?):

1 - Lose weight and remain at a healthy BMI. (I achieved this when I lost over 145 lbs a few years ago and kept it off.)

2 - Complete and publish my children's chapter book.

3 - Complete and publish all three of my urban fantasy novels.

4 - Get my three picture books published.

5 - Write and publish my Skinny Dreaming book.

6 - Finish my flash fiction anthology and publish it.

7 - Finish and publish my YA novel.

8 - Write a writing guide.

9 - Have a house built the way my husband and I have always wanted.

10 - Go skydiving.

11 - Go bungee cord jumping (over water).

12 - Go to a writer's conference.

13 - Be interviewed on national television. (This was already done twice; once on Daybreak (a morning show in the UK) and once on Sky News (UK) when they interviewed me about my weight loss.)

14.Write a regular feature for a magazine. (This was done when I wrote for a magazine in California for over a year - articles about keeping kids healthy.)

15 - Write over 100,000 words, completing my novel in one month. (I achieved this during the 2012 NaNoWriMo, writing 100,163 words in 30 days. Before that, I'd  managed to write 50,000 words in 14 days the previous year.) 

16 -  Go to a country I have never been to before. (I've already been to the US, Mexico, England, Wales and Scotland.)

17 - Run writing workshops for kids. (I used to run a writing club for kids from home that my kids and their friends joined, but I want to do this on a larger scale. It makes me sad that very few schools today do not encourage or teach children to use their imagination and write stories, instead focusing solely on grammar, spelling and reading skills.)

18 -  Start my own publishing company.

What are your 18 things?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are You a Writing Rebel?

I have decided to join in with the Rebel Writer's Creed 2013 hosted by Writer's Alley. Those of joining can look in on each other throughout the year to see how well we are doing in keeping the creed.  (Besides, isn't the above graphic pretty?)

I've always been a huge advocate of dreaming bigger. What big dreams are you going to make come true this year?

Kirsten Lamb's Tips for Productivity

"The world doesn’t reward perfectionist; it rewards finishers." ~Kirsten Lamb

I came across a blog post by Kirsten Lamb that I had to share with you for two reasons. 1 - It is an awesome blog post on productivity; it's both funny and informative. And 2 - I want to win a critique of my novel's first 20 pages from her and mentioning the post here gets me an extra entry. 

We all struggle with productivity from time to time. I know that, for me, Facebook, my e-mail,. Twitter and other social media sites can be a real time suck for me. And I often don't feel like sitting down to concentrate on writing or editing even when it is exactly what I need to be doing.  Kirsten's post give some advice for remaining productive despite any ADD tendencies.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dionne Lister's "Shadows of the Realm" - on sale January 8th!

My friend Dionne Lister's book Shadows of the Realm is going on sale!

Epic Fantasy Saga, Shadows of the Realm, on Sale Jan 8-22!

Shadows of the Realm is an epic fantasy for teens and adults. Join Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, and their animal companions, as they are forced to leave the only home they’ve every known to undertake a dangerous journey towards Vellonia, city of the dragons.

The gormons are invading, slipping through the corridors between realms, and they want blood, lots of Talian blood. Will the young realmists learn enough of the Second Realm magic to prevail, or will everything they love be destroyed?

The first book in The Circle of Talia series is on sale from the 8th to the 22nd of January for the bargain price of $1.99 on Smashwords and Amazon. Grab it now and escape into an original and enchanting world filled with mystery, danger, dragons and adventure.

 Sounds like a fun read; doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group Post #IWSG - January 2013 - The Evil Inner Voice

This is my second monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the IWSG is:
 "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"

I am a bundle of insecurities when it comes to my writing. In yesterday's post, I wrote that "believe" is my word for the year and that I am going to believe in myself. Well, that belief is still a work in process.

It seems like every time I read some really great writing by someone else, that nasty little inner voice pipes up in my head, saying things like, "You'll never write as cleverly as he does," and "Your writing will never grip people the way that her writing does." I have told myself over and over that the nasty little voice in my head LIES, but sometimes, I still let that voice get to me.

I'm working on it though. I am editing my manuscripts and getting them ready for publication, and hopefully, when I start sending them out to my critique partners, I will find out that my manuscripts are not as bad as I fear.

No KISS Blogfest - with a "no kiss" scene from my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel

I am joining in with the No KISS Blogfest this year, run by Frankie Diane Mallis.  It sounds like a fun blogfest to join!

Here's what the site says about the blogfest:
"The 4th Annual NO KISS Blogfest!

What: The No Kiss Blogfest! This is when you get to write a scene or post one from of your favorite books, movies, or TV shows that show the almost kiss-- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing, tension that comes  when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it, want it, NEED it....and then...they don't!"

These are the rules of the No Kiss Blogfest:

No Kiss Blogfest Jan 2, 2013! 

Things You Should Do To Prepare For The Ultimate Non-Kissage Festivities!
1) Sometime between now and Jan 2, 2013 write a post about the No Kiss Blogfest to let everyone know you are participating and that they should too. Why? Because it's awesome! (Please link back)

2) Sign up for the No Kiss Blogfest by filling in the Mr. Linky on the No KISS Blogfest site

3)Tweet about No Kiss Blogfest, using the hash tag: #nokissblogfest because #hashtagsareawesome

4) After you've recovered from New Years Eve, write a blog sharing your Almost Kiss, No Kiss Blogfest entry (either one from your WIP, one you just wrote, one from a book, movie or tv show, or even a really hot almost-kiss picture)and post on January 2, 2013!!! Because reading your posts are awesome! (Don't forget to link back)

 photo source: the Supernatural TV series

And here is my entry, taken from my this year's NaNoWriMo novel:

“Look at me, Marie.” His voice was soft and enticing. He gently lifted my face and our eyes locked. “I’m pretty sure we both saw the same thing. I’ve been wanting to hold you like that since the moment we first met. You came out there, brave and feisty, determined to help us despite the danger, and I was lost. And everything I have learned about you since just makes me want you more.”

He leaned down, his lips just inches from mine. All I had to do was turn my head just that one space closer and his lips would be on mine. I could feel his breath, hot against my face. I lifted my hands to his bare chest and felt the heat coming off his body under my fingers. In the space of one sigh, despite the desire pooling deep inside, I pulled away.

“We can’t,” I whispered, my voice hoarse and raspy. “I can’t.”

I was running from the room when I heard him asking, “Why not?” Because it won’t last, I screamed inside. It’s not meant to be.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - the Year to BELIEVE

A friend of mine (Joanna Marple) was asking what my "word for the year" was going to be. She had decided that hers was going to be "centered," and she encouraged me to take risks this year. I hadn't really thought about what my word for the year would be before she asked. I took my time thinking about it. In 2010, my word for the year was "courage." In 2011, although I didn't specifically pick a word, it would have been "dream," and in 2012, due to all of the challenges I participated in and goals I challenged myself to complete, it would have been "challenge."

This year's word is "BELIEVE." I believe that good things are going to happen this year. I believe that 2013 is going to be the year I reach several of my goals. And most of all, I believe in myself and in my ability to reach my goals.

What's your word for 2013? Think about it and then post it in the comments below.

And here are my writing goals for 2013:

-Submitting one piece of writing to either competitions or anthologies or book publishers every month.
-Editing my urban fantasy novel and getting it ready for either submission to agents/publishers or self-publishing.
-Editing my urban fantasy YA novella and getting it ready for either submission to agents/publishers or self-publishing.
-Editing my children's chapter book and getting it ready for either submission to agents/publishers or self-publishing.
-Writing a new chapter book (first draft) during the month of March for the Chapter Book Challenge.
-Writing enough short stories and flash fiction pieces (added to the ones I have already written) to put together my own anthology.
-Writing at least three fully edited and ready for submission children's picture books (out of the 12 first drafts I will be writing for the 12 x 12 challenge).

I have other writing goals, but I will leave the ones written down to the ones above, lest I overwhelm myself.

Happy New Year! May your 2013 be full of success, happiness, health and magic!