Monday, August 29, 2016

Don't Forget the Writing Part

I've been busy with doing some things for the writing groups. Sending out some membership renewal reminders, writing up board and meeting minutes and preparing for the next meetings. Lots of little things that take up bits of time but can add up to a bigger chunk that should be reserved for some writing of my own. This week, no excuses. I'm writing!

If you're one of the IWSG people who prepare their posts well ahead of time, don't forget you can use the monthly question for inspiration for your post. For September;
How do you find time to write in your busy day?

"A questioning man is halfway to being wise."  Irish proverb

Many schools and colleges are back in session by now. And I'm so glad I don't have to follow the academic calendar or the bells anymore. I'm also so happy to be able to visit the library, the bookstore and basically any kind of shopping while all the kids are in school. The joy!
"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough."
Earl Wilson

Went for a haircut a few days ago. It seemed to grow really fast or maybe time is just flying by. I always thought my hair grew slowly but I've been more conscious of my diet in recent years so maybe it is growing faster. Time for a fun fact about that.
The average person grows about 138 feet of hair per day.
I guess those guys who have to shave for work every day believe that one.

Next Wednesday, get ready to learn the detail of the next IWSG anthology contest. It's very exciting and I'm expecting some great entrees with all the creative talent in our growing group.

One of the members or Pennwriters is hosting an anthology in the Christian genre. I haven't vetted this but I know there aren't tons of paying opportunities for writers in this area. Check out Gina Napoli's page and see if you're interested. She's paying a flat fee for articles.

Back into the writing cave for me between bouts of swimming in the last hot days of August. Not doing anything else except a visit to the library and lunch with friends, a few walks...

Does your hair grow fast? Thinking about any anthologies in the near future? Does the start of school influence your life in any way?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Appreciating the Job

My oldest son is a teacher and coach, following in the my path as well as that of his father. He coaches high school football and we love watching him at his job. He loves the sport and his players and you can see they love him back. It makes fall very enjoyable. When asking him about his coaching schedule for this week, he reminded me that he has two days of inservice. Inservice days are those hours teachers spend at meetings where hopefully planning and learning take place. As most teachers know, they're generally dreadful days. And I'm so grateful that I don't teach anymore or have to go to inservice. This September will mark the start of my fourth year as a full time writer. And I still love it.

My first year of full time writing, I wrote pretty fast. I've slowed down a little but I'm doing more in the business of writing and more with writing groups. My current WIP is taking me FOREVER. But a few plot lines clicked into place this past week and I figured something out that was bothering me about one of my characters. I expect the pace to pick up from here on.

"Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still." Chinese Proverb

Did you notice the Halloween candy and fall decorations in the stores? No! Summer is still here. I'm so bored with TV, that I'm looking forward to the start of the fall season. I'm not looking forward to
all the election crap that will also be on TV and the ridiculous things that will be said.  Last weekend, my daughter and I binge-watched the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings. Still cried when Frodo said goodbye at the end.

Last time I asked for suggestions on what to watch, you wacky readers turned my onto Stranger Things. I then talked my children into watching it. My 25 year old son said he's had some really bad dreams about it. I'm not into watching scary movies or shows but Stranger Things was different enough that I really liked it. So nothing scary, but what should I watch next?

This is the first September for me when I have no children attending school or college. I don't miss those tuition payments. For those of you with younger children who you hope to send to college ... good luck. But what I do miss is shopping for all those cool school thingies. New pens, pencils, clips, notebooks and all that lovely stuff that is so cheap this time of year. And I don't need any of it.

Are you getting ready for back to school or getting a child ready? Have a show for me to binge on Netflix or even a good movie I might have missed? Are you in love with your job? Anything you're looking forward to with the coming of fall?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Stuart Horwitz and News

Today, Stuart Horwitz is guest posting on IWSG and sharing a short writing lesson on the editing process. I met Stuart this past May at the Pennwriters Conference where he appeared as a featured

Stuart spoke about book tours in the workshop I attended. He's not only knowledgeable but very entertaining. He's not shy about sharing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to booksignings. He has so much to share about publishing and writing. Please visit IWSG or his website. I have his books sitting on my desk where I only keep a select few within reach. You can also check out his tour schedule. He's going to appear at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in September. That's a conference I have on my list of ones I want to attend.

Yesterday was my dear husband's birthday and it was quite a grand day. Three of our sons played golf with him in the morning and then the entire family met back at our house for pizza, cake and ice cream. It is so wonderful how they all get along. It was a lovely day and then became a brilliant day when our son and his wife of only one year shared the news that they are expecting. Yes, I cried tears of joy. I feel like telling all my friends. So now you know.

Having a place to go -- is a home.
Having someone to love -- is a family.
Having both -- is a blessing.
Donna Hedges

The Olympics have distracted me during my writing time. Those American lady gymnasts are something else. And the American swimmers, male and female, have been inspiring to watch. I wish the entire world could get along like the athletes do.

Last week marked my blogging anniversary. I started Susan Says in 2009. After a slow start that first year, I stumbled upon Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog and slowly learned how to grow my blog into what it's become today. I expect I'll still be here for a few more years though who knows what social media will look like down the road.

Don't forget to visit IWSG today and learn something about the editing process. I know I'm mostly alone in loving the summer heat. 112 degrees heat index last week when I mowed the grass. Nice! Much better than cold and snow. And warm summer nights help those tomatoes ripen. I'm giving them away by the dozens.

Did you learn anything from Stuart's post on IWSG? Have any special days this month? How old is your blog? Are you loving this heat too?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Slow Down, Summer

The warm months are flying by and I want them to slow down. But a lot of good things have come along during that time.

This past weekend at my local meeting of romance writers, we had a guest speaker and met at the house of one of our members. Geri Krotow hosted the meeting in her beautiful home. Other members brought food, delicious wonderful food, most of it not real healthy but terribly delicious. Geri is multi-published in romance and suspense, using her amazing life experiences to add reality to all her writing. She's also one of those very successful authors who shares generously of her knowledge to other writers.

My friend, Heidi Hormel, brought a special treat. These ham and Swiss cheese sliders were delicious and big hit. You know Heidi from her guest spots here and on IWSG. She'll be back next month with a guest post. Heidi is a multi-published author of contemporary western romances with Harlequin.

But to the reason for the meeting, our guest was Kimberly Rocha, founder of Book Obsesessed Chicks Book Club, Blog and Promotions. She does all kinds of things to help authors, from reviewing books to hosting authors at her book club. Then there is her promotions business which I don't know
much about. What Kim did, was give us lots of her opinions on what works for authors and what doesn't. A few tidbits. Facebook release parties are usually a waste of a writers' time. Better to spend time on an hour long Q and A with readers on Facebook. She claims paid Facebook ads are often very effective. She's against giving away free stuff and had many suggestions on how to increase newsletter signups. Other advice was to enjoy your readers but don't be afraid to block and unfriend and un-follow trolls.

In other good news, the third and last book in my Warriors of Gaviron Series, The Warrior and the Professor, is now available on Amazon. Unlike many of my series where the first book is often the
favorite, in the Warrior series, this third book is my favorite. Now if I could only get the third book in the next series done.

"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." George Carlin

More good news, my daughter arrived home from Morocco yesterday. I don't know yet where she's headed to next. She learned a  lot about parenting while over there supervising 17 teenagers. The idea of 'herding cats' may have been used more than once. She handled the difficulties well for being only 22 herself.

I'm in a happy place right now. Daughter home and safe, sun shining and iced coffee on the desk with me.
"Start the day off with a smile and get it over with." W.C. Fields
I'm not ever going to watch that video of the Olympic gymnast breaking his leg that's going around. If you've every had a serious orthopedic injury, you would understand. I wince even thinking about it. But I'm looking forward to many Olympic events. I like the track and field races best and the swimming is second for me. I'm going to try and spend the entire week not thinking about the presidential election.

Now that my daughter is home, I'm also going to go see the new Star Trek. I promised I'd wait for her. Everything I hear about it is good.

What good things are going on with you this week? Ever tried to herd cats? Ever break a bone? What do you think about Facebook for promotion? What are your favorite Olympic events to watch?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG: August 2016

Today we're joined together in the monthly IWSG bloghop. Put together and led by Alex J. Cavanaugh, each member posts on the first Wednesday of the month. We encourage, share, comfort and help each other in our individual writing journeys in any way we can. After years of participating in this group, some of you might feel that you're shared the same thing month after month. If you're stuck on what to post, you can use (or not) this month's question.

What was your first piece of writing as an aspiring author? Where is it now, collecting dust or has it been published?

I'm going with the question this month. The first novel I wrote, The Greater Good, was not the first book I ever received a contract for. It was the novel I plotted out in my head years before I actually wrote. I wrote it by hand and then typed it on an old iMac desktop. Back in those days, everything was queried by sending out hard copies. I spent a lot of money on postage. But after I attended a number of workshops, I knew the book needed a lot or work. I put it away for a while and worked on the books I did have contracts for. But I loved that story. After many more drafts, I lost count, the publisher I'm currently with offered me a contract. In 2007, The Greater Good, was published. Nine years later, that book still has between 5 and 10 sales every quarter. And I still love that story. So dust off those old manuscripts and stories and give them another chance!

One of my IWSG friends has a book coming out soon!

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional  by Lynda R Young

Release date: 10/18/16
Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

Lynda R. Young, a Christian first, writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband. You can find her here: BlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

In case you're worried about the Zika virus, you should know that there are about 144,000 mosquitoes for every person on Earth. Today's not fun fact.

One fun fact that is actually funny. If you obsessively correct people's grammar, you may suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder called grammatical pedantry syndrome, GPS.

Where is your first piece of writing you did intending publication? Have your share of the mosquitoes found you this summer? Do you flinch when someone uses bad grammar around you?

Monday, August 1, 2016

QotM and News

First of the month of August and it's time for the Question of the Month Blog Hop, started by Michael started by Michael G. D'Agostino. Find him at A Life Examined. And this month's question is timely.

"What is your favorite beach?"

Unlike a lot of people, I'm not a huge beach fan. I love the heat but not such a fan of sand and waves. And worse, crowds of people. I don't hate the beach and can enjoy a few days there but not much longer. If I have to pick one, I would pick Myrtle Beach. We spent family vacations there with our children and last summer, actually one year ago as of yesterday, my son was married on that beach. His sister and three of his brothers were in the wedding party. It was a great family time.

Pat Hatt, writer and rhymer extraordinaire, has released more books in his Tarsier Man series.
Check them out on Amazon.

In case you're feeling the sneezes outside here in the northeast, I saw a stat that said a single ragweed plant can release one billion grains of pollen over the course of a season. Achoo. Bless you.

Don't forget this Wednesday is IWSG. If you're not sure what to write about, here is this month's question. Feel free to use or not.

What was your first piece of writing as an aspiring author? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Last week I mentioned that I needed suggestions of some summer TV to watch. Hart Johnson and Marcy Hatch suggested I check out Stranger Things on Netflix. Thanks to them, I watched the entire first season last week when I should have been writing. LOL.

I'm thinking of tying myself to my office chair this week to get some work done. So I'll end with this quote.
"Writers don't have lifestyles. They sit in little rooms and write." Norman Mailer

Do you have a favorite beach? Suffering from some allergies? Isn't Stranger Things awesome? Anyone know if there's going to be a season two and when? Did you read some Tarsier Man?