Monday, January 15, 2018

Plugging Away

I didn't accomplish a lot of writing related things this past week, but I did get some things out of the way that I don't like to do. Such as:
Adding up my expenses and income from writing in preparation for taxes.
Polishing up a blurb and synopsis for one of my books.
Rearranging some things in my office do everything looks more organized. (Now I can't find some things.)
Cleaned out some cupboards with my granddaughter's help. Lots of noise. At least, she had fun.

Then there were things I did like that I worked on this past week. Such as:
Started the plotting and character descriptions for my next fantasy series.
Sketched out a marketing plan.
Organized some things for my writing group responsibilities.
Extended my workout time from 40 minutes to 50-60 minutes. Adding some intervals this week.

Adding up my income from 2017 was a dismal task. My sales numbers were really down last year. My publisher assures me this is true across the board for a lot of small presses and indie authors. I figure I have to try harder to make sure readers find me. Working on that though it's another thing that takes time away from actual writing.

"Do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin

Winter has mental issues. It's not sure what it wants to be. After ten straight days of sub-freezing weather, and some sub-sub-sub-freezing, it was in the 60's last Friday. Now, a few more days of cold, a little snow, and in the 50's next weekend. Make up your mind, winter, you s#&*!

Anne R. Allen had an interesting post about how the start of your book can kill your sales. I've heard most of them before, but from the manuscripts I've been asked to read by beginning writers, these suggestions aren't as well known as you might think.

Don't forget IWSG Twitter pitch party on Thursday. Wish I had something ready to pitch. Use the #IWSGPit tag and go find an agent of publisher.

I read somewhere this past weekend that people are so busy clicking on and reading about the political drama and the sexual assault and harassment news that they're not looking at or reading fiction as much. Seems to me that we need more escapism from the reality than ever. Everyday in the news, it's like 'What or Who said or did something stupid, arrogant, or dishonorable.' Crazy times.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are actually rearranging their prejudices." William James

Are you ready for #IWSGPit? Is winter being a little crazy in your neck of the woods? Does all the insane political and celebrity news distract you online?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Confidence in 2018

I read lots of plans and goals from my fellow writers last week. I'm cheering for all of you to reach them and maybe even accomplish more. Writers work in isolation, and that allows lots of doubts to creep in and join us at our keyboards.

When we're all alone, we tend to compare ourselves to the big industry success stories. We see those same authors with their big hardback releases month after month. Stephen King, Brandon Sanderson, and many others. And we don't see all the hard work that is behind their success because they're working in isolation also.

Even when we have success, a bestseller or a short story published, another rejection will sooner rather than later will appear in our inbox. Sharing those setbacks with other writers who all have similar experiences, helps us keep going.

Sometimes we get so down on ourselves that we can't even accept praise or good reviews. All that self-doubt gets in the way of our work. The discouragement slows us down. So accept that you know something about writing and the business connected to it. And don't be afraid to ask and share with other writers.

And that's all I have to say about getting your butt in gear and 2018 and set that keyboard on fire.

Bad news about 2018. Officially no new Stranger Things or Game of Thrones. My other most favorite show, The 100, isn't coming back on until April. The Good Doctor is back on tonight, but though I like that show,  I don't mind if I miss it. Nothing to get excited on TV for months to come.

Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness. Mark Twain

Other good news. the vicious cold weather has finally given us a slight break. Anything that gets out of the single digits is good. Also, this Wednesday, library reading group for my granddaughter starts up again.

"One kind word can warm three winter months." — Japanese proverb

My most recent dystopian romance is now for sale on Amazon. The Horse Tamer's Fiery Lady, Book #2 in Survivors of the Apocalypse, is now available on Amazon. Sometimes you write a book and just know it's one of your best. This is that book.

What is keeping you motivated this year? Ever feel like everyone else is having success and you're getting nothing but rejections? Have you been stuck in this deep freeze? Does TV  offerings stink right now.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG: 2018 #1

Can you believe it? I guess so since we're all here. It's the first Wednesday of the month and of the new year. That means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group posting time. Share your victories, rejections, hopes, and plans with this wonderful group started by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Find the entire list of participants here.

Don't forget the IWSG Twitter Pitch fest coming on the 18th of this month. It's bigger and better than ever. Wish I had something ready to pitch. Maybe by the time the next one comes around.

As usual, each year I make plans for what I hope to accomplish in the coming year in regards to my writing. I'm working on a new epic fantasy series. I'm just in the plotting stage but hope to get working on it soon. I finished the first draft on my latest romance novel and need to do the second draft with some major rewrites as the first order of business in 2018. After that, I already have the general world building for my next romance series figured out. I'm also looking for home for my fantasy series that lost its home with its publisher closed after publishing the first book of three. Those are my plans.

"Of a good beginning cometh a good end." John Heywood

On the personal front, I was disappointed (hugely) when my old knees said no more jogging last summer. Walking doesn't give me the same workout without putting hills into the mix. But those of you with bad knees know that going down hills is the worst. So I bought myself a mini-machine that is a combination of a stepper and elliptical. It takes up almost no space and I can move it easily. Love it so far though my calves complain every day.

Looking forward to more time with my grandchild this year. Also looking forward to the latest Avengers movie coming out in May.

I saw Amazon has come out with a water proof Kindle so we can all read while in the pool. Sounds good. On the less great front, I saw a statistic that claims that 17% of all eBooks have been illegally downloaded. That's depressing.

And happy days, after an entire year of missing it, in 2018 I'm using the Old Farmer's Almanac as my desk planner again. So get ready for some great factoids. Did you know that today at 12:35 am EST, the Earth reached perihelion, the point in its orbit when it's closest to the sun. Doesn't feel very close here in the frozen lands of Pennsylvania. Did you know that one quarter of your brain is used to control vision? And a group of frogs is called an army?

Wishing you all a happy and productive 2018. Have you made plans for the year? Would you like to have a waterproof tablet? Every heard of the perihelion? Ever seen one of those frog armies?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Farewell, 2017

What a year. It went fast. A lot of fine things happened in our family, like the birth of my granddaughter. Christmas is really exciting with a little one running about. Family will pull me away from blogging for a while.  I'll post again on the first Wednesday of 2018 for IWSG day. I'll still be writing, but my time on social media will be limited.

We had the first snow that actually hung around last Saturday. Only about two inches in my neck of the woods though not far away, they received more. My sister in Picayune, MS sent me a picture of the three inches they had on Friday. They built a little 12 inch high snowman.

Those fires in California are horrific. Keeping those suffering and worried in my thoughts and prayers.

Hope you have clear weather and can step outside at night and take in the yearly celestial display from the Geminids meteor shower happening this week. I think the best time is around the 13th or 14th. Those of us living in the northern hemisphere have the best show.

Netflix isn't letting me down during the TV drought. Lots of offering from Disney on there and from the Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed The Punisher and my daughter and I are enjoying Godless though it's a really grim and dark show.

Christmas shopping is pretty much complete at my house with only a few gift cards to be picked up for stocking stuffing. And perhaps a few bottles of wine. This is also the first time since I graduated from college where I don't have any traveling to do over the holiday. More time at home, though the reason for it leaves a hole in the family.

And a wish for all my blogger friends. May you find the joy of the season and spend time with those you love. If I could share out the huge mountains of it we'll have at our house, I would send some to all of you.

Are you taking any writing breaks over the holiday season? Doing any traveling? Are you going to enjoy the meteor show? Done with the Christmas shopping?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: Farewell to 2017

Can it really be the last IWSG post of 2017? The year flew by. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this awesome group. Join in if you want. You can sign up here and visit lots of other participating blogs.

The optional question this month:
As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I guess I would spend more time on my fantasy writing and less on the romance side of my career. I felt like I didn't get much writing done, but looking back, I did complete three new novels. One less than I wanted but still not too bad.

My local writers' group held our group Christmas party last Saturday. We also went to a retirement party for the mayor of the town closest to us on Friday evening. On Sunday, I made Mac-n-Cheese for the kiddies after we decorated the Christmas tree. Needless to say, I'm watching the calories this week. I'm not a person who usually gains weight over the holidays, but it was a tempting three days of goodies. Still, it was wonderful to have all the children together to decorate the tree plus the new granddaughter. It's a time when I really see how much my kids love each other as they argue over placement of ornaments.

Christmas... is not an external event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart.
Freya Stark

Between now and the start of the new year, I'm going to organize my projects and my promotional plans and ideas. And of course, I can't wait to break out that brand new Old Farmer's Almanac Planner. I already have things written in it. In the meantime, I need lots of coffee for rewrites and outlining for what's up next.

TV land is drying up over the holiday season as usual. The Gifted has continued to keep me interested. The Good Doctor hasn't disappointed me yet. I like a medical show where everything doesn't always work out. More realistic when the patient isn't always saved. Looks like a lot of Netflix happening at my house for the next few weeks.

Last week also was a time of giving at our county libraries. They collected foodstuffs and took donations. It was also a great time to donate to the library itself. Perhaps even to gift a book in the name of a beloved teacher.

The news is awash with all kinds of accusations about sexual misconduct by people in power. It's all sickening and not at all surprising. Will it ever stop? As parents, we need to educate our children, boys and girls, about respectful behavior. I hope I've taught my daughter to take no s**t. 

We're expecting a bit of snow this coming weekend. Traffic in all the places I have to shop is already bad. PA has terrible roads and there's also still some summer roadwork that is messing things up.

Would you change something you did in the past year in terms of your writing? Suffering from holiday TV hiatus time? What good causes do you donate to at this time of year? Did you get the LotR reference?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Disposal by Tara Tyler

DISPOSAL has arrived!!

DISPOSAL by Tara Tyler
Pop Travel, Book Three

Cooper and Geri are finally in a good place, but their bliss is short-lived when Cooper's rebellious nephew Jimmy moves in with them for a summer internship. He hits the town hard and thinks he's found the girl of his dreams in an fiery, exotic beauty. Against all words of warning, he pursues her and ends up getting kidnapped by her powerful Drug Lord father. Geri tracks him down, but gets herself kidnapped as well.

Now it's up to Cooper to use all his resources to save them, including the hot homicide detective Geri secretly despises, and the latest sketchy gadgets his genius friend Hasan offers him to field-test. Sure, why not? Cooper will do anything to get his family back.

KINDLE <=> Paperback (coming soon)

About the Author:
Tara Tyler is a math teacher who writes to share her passion for reading with others. She loves dogs, coffee, and is the lazy housewife, living in a world of boys with three sons and a coach husband. Join her for an adventure!

Pop Travel & Simulation - The Cooper Chronicles
Broken Branch Falls & Cradle Rock - Beast World fantasy series

To celebrate, you can take Tara Tyler's SURVEY- which will automatically enter you for a PRIZE!

Here is the DISPOSAL blog tour schedule:

FRI, NOV 17 - Tyrean Martinson - 5 Things that will get you published!

MON, NOV 20 - Christine Rains - The Lazy Housewife talks Garage Goals
THU, NOV 23 - Juneta Key - I'm Thankful for where I am

MON, NOV 27 - Patricia Lynne -
THU, NOV 30 - Diane Burton - The Lazy Housewife talks Bathroom Blues

WED, DEC 6 - MJ Fifield - Special IWSG: Will anyone like me? Will anyone care?
FRI, DEC 8 - Elizabeth Seckman - The Journey of the Really Real Housewives

MON, DEC 11 - C. Lee McKenzie -

Monday, November 20, 2017

Give Thanks

It's that time of year to give thanks for all my blessings. So, so many. Family, friends, warm home, great food, health and safety, and living in a country where those things are possible. The Gourley house will be filled to the limit with fun, laughter, and way too much food, all prepared by moi.

But it's not the way for everyone in our country. It's the time of year to give generously to food banks and other organizations who help make sure everyone can have a Thanksgiving meal. There will also be football on the TV for most of the day. Its the first time in many years that all my children will be home and off work for the entire day.

I haven't watched the entire The Punisher series on Netflix yet as I write this, but I like it so far. Frank Castle is more interesting that at first glance. And it's not all shoot-em-up stuff going on. And I'm glad to see season 2 of Frontier is coming to Netflix later this month. Finally saw Thor, and it didn't disappoint. It will definitely be in my video library once it's available.

Speaking of video library, I no longer buy blu-ray or DVD style media. Any movie I decide to purchase I get through Amazon video. Nothing to store and I can watch it on my Kindle, with my Fire stick, or on my computer.

I don't like to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I have completed some Christmas shopping early. Just little things to bring a smile. It's really difficult to find those things when the kiddies are actually adults.

On Wednesday, I will feature Tara Tyler and all you need to know about her newest release, Disposal. I hope you'll stop in and check out her newest. The next time I will post will be on the first Wednesday of December for IWSG.

Are you having Thanksgiving at your house or traveling somewhere else? Did you watch the Punisher? Have you watched Frontier? Do any Christmas shopping yet? Do you still buy blu-ray or DVDs?