Thursday, March 22, 2018

2018 Blogging A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

I've been on the fence as to whether to participate in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Then, lying in bed last night at 3am while trying to get back to sleep (because I have a dog with a four hour bladder that has to pee in the middle of every darn night), I realized it really bugged me to skip a year. I've been doing this challenge since 2013. Did I really want to break my streak now? Now, when my word for the year is speak? No, sir, I did not. So while I won't promise to return every visit, I'll do my best to be as social as possible with what time I have available.

Deciding factors in the decision to participate:

• Missing a year did really, really irk me.

• My elderly mother in law is doing much better after three weeks in a physical rehab center and is back living in her home. I'm still on high alert on her care, but she's in amazingly good spirits (like happier than I've seen her in the twenty-two years I've known her) so we'll see how it goes.

• I don't currently have any scheduled author appearances in April, though I need to prep for a big one (Penguicon) in May.

A Broken Race has been redesigned and formatting on the ebook is nearly done for the re-release.

Destiny Pills & Space Wizards is print ready other than the inside illustrations that I'm waiting on from my daughter. Guilt tripping mom time!

• I finally received edits on Trust, but have yet to open that file. Look at me procrastinating.

• The two author events I'm organizing this summer are moving along. One is almost filled so I can get to work on the table layout and marketing. The other is still in the sign up phase, though that deadline is in April so that may suck some of my time.

• The more I tried to talk myself out of doing it, ideas for blog posts kept popping into my head. Thanks, stupid manipulative subconscious mind.

So there. I'm doing it.

And the theme is....  All about writing with a smattering of marking tips and bits about my books. 

Why? In working with my local writing group and considering all I observed at the writing workshop I was on a couple panels for recently, I discovered that there is a ton of knowledge about writing that I assumed everyone knew, but sadly, that is not at all true. So this April, we're going to cover an array of things, some of which may seem basic, or not, depending on where you are in your writing journey.

There you have it. I hope to see you in April. Good luck and happy writing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

IWSG: March and A Broken Race Gets A Facelift

What? It's March already? Did someone fast forward my calendar, or my life, for that matter. Ugh. There's just not enough time.

I used to do surveys for points. This was years ago. I don't remember what service it was, but on nearly every survey, toward the end where they ask you about your demographic details, there were always these questions. Do you feel the world is moving too fast? Do you feel the internet is overwhelming? I though they were the silliest things. Overwhelming? The internet is awesome! How can the world move too fast?

Well guess what? My answers these days are: yes. OMG yes.

I've reverted to playing solitaire on my computer to unplug from the internet. The internet is stealing my energy and my ambition. There is too much out there I should be doing: networking, marketing, learning, researching. Even though I'd hoped to blog more and I have plenty to talk about, I'm stuck on too fast and overwhelming. And no, this post isn't a challenge to see how many times I can use that word.

Here's one fun thing I can share that's quick and easy. A Broken Race is being re-released very soon. It has a new cover and additional content actually in the book rather that only here on my blog. I received the rights back from the publisher a couple weeks ago, and as soon as I get the all clear from Createspace, the new version will be ready to order.

And now it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post! 

How do you celebrate when you achiever a writing goal / finish a story?

When I reach a writing goal, such as finishing a chapter or a number of words, I go off and do a quick reward to relax. That might be watching an episode of whatever I'm currently binging on Netflix or going out to work in my yard or garden.

Finishing a short story usually means taking the rest of the day off from writing while I ponder potential edits.  Finishing a novel means taking a couple days off to let my brain decompress. Holding a whole novel in your head takes a lot of energy and it can be very distracting. All that thinking about motivations, backstory, what would this or that character do or say and twisting all the plot and subplots together into a tight thread. When I'm mid-novel, that's all going on at once during all the minutes of the day (and sometimes, night). Finishing a novel means I get a clean reboot. I go vegetate on a yard project or a season of show, or read a couple books. Of course, in the back of my mind, I'm now starting to contemplate edits, covers, blurbs and all those sorts of things.

If we're talking holding a finished book in my hands, I'd love to say I do something huge to celebrate, but honestly, I'm probably already contemplating which project to work on next. I don't know about you, but my writer brain doesn't seem to take anything more than long weekend vacations. No rest for the wicked.

How do you celebrate your writing victories?