Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Writerly Recap



The end is near! I'm so glad to see 2012 scuttle out the door. What a horrid year it's been for us, but I'm not going to let that get to me. 2013 is going to be brilliant, positive, prosperous, and full of opportunity. The possibilities are endless. :o)

I read many, many writing articles daily, and it's difficult to keep track of who wrote what and who said what. In 2012, the one bit of writing information that has stuck with me was said by Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. When you settle in to work, enter your office, or however you kick off your writing workday, 80% of your time should be spent putting words on the page. 15% of your time should be spent promoting, blogging, marketing, learning, submitting, and all the other things we do that isn't writing. 

That is going to be one of my primary writing goals in 2013. 80% of my writerly time will be spent putting words on the page. As for my other primary writing goals, I want to take more risks and step outside my comfort zone. I want to submit more work and generate more sales. I want to submit a contemporary category novel to Harlequin Desire, and when my erotic vampire novel is ready, I want to send that out to one or more of the three publishers I feel it's targeted toward. More about that in my recap list. 
Writing-wise, I grew by leaps and bounds in 2012, but it wasn't easy. I have lots of scars, a couple of rejections, and scraped knees to show for my efforts. Even so, I'm happy with the progress I've made. 

Below is my writerly recap for 2012. I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting, but this is still a good assemblage of events. For additional bits and bobs, I have a partial list on my website News & Trailers page under the What's New section.

2012 Writerly Recap
  • Chasing Moonlight - new Werekind story - written, accepted, and published - available ebook
  • Little Deaths - published in the Coming Together, Hungry for Love antho - available print and ebook
  • 4 p.m. No Show - published in the Morning Noon and Night antho - available print and ebook
  • Prince of Thorns - published in the Ultimate Angels antho - available print and ebook
  • What She Doesn't Know - my first erotica collection - self published - available on Smashwords
  • Five themed stories written for a vampire erotica collection - soon to be edited/uploaded
  • BDSM role play micro short story - sent into the wild and has received a "yes"
  • Wrote 5 new (non-targeted theme) erotic short stories - all of them complete and staring at me from the editing stack - the final I.L. story, sexy beach story, salon story, mechanic story, zombie
  • Finished the rough outline and synopsis for a 50k novel I'm targeting to Harlequin Desire 
  • Rewrote page 28 of the GalleyCat Varney the Vampire Literary Remix - available as a free download on Smashwords
  • Wrote tentative first draft for T.V.P. vampire novel - 80k and sitting at...95%. I'd say compete, but then last night I came up with a hot new scene for that book, so subconsciously it's not finished yet. Targeting this book toward EC, Aphrodisia, or Mischief. Should be ready to send out in the spring/early summer.
  • Participated in two (one-stop) blog/book release tours
  • Attended several writing workshops hosted through RWA University and Savvy Authors
  • Received my first ever print author copies via snail mail (So exciting!!!)
  • Completed a 6 week proofing/editing certificate program at LA Tech - more skills for my writerly tool kit
  • Volunteered for and still serving as the contest coordinator for the 2012 Suzannah Contest - NolaStars Chapter of RWA (Shreveport/Bossier area)
This is my last blog post for 2012. Here's to a New Year filled with lots of promise. See you all in 2013! :o)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holly Jolly Days

MiniBeast putting ornaments
on the Disco Tree.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

While tomorrow is technically Christmas Eve, we're going over to my parents' house for dinner. I'm making a potato salad right now (taters, they are a'boiling!), since the house is fairly quiet. In the morning, I'll put Mini in the bath, then we'll all go over the parents' house to eat and open gifts. This year we've tried to make this all as stress free as possible. My kind of Christmas!

Afterward, I imagine we'll come home and lounge around, nap, and watch TV. That sort of thing. I'm totally looking forward to it.

Each year we celebrate with my parents, and then Christmas morning, it's just us - hubby, me, and the kids. Of course, this year, we will only have MiniBear home with us, since Oldest is serving in Bahrain. It was tough missing Oldest at Thanksgiving, so I'm trying to keep Christmas positive. Mini is very aware that his brother isn't here. Poor beast. We all miss the big boy very much. At the start of the month we sent him a care package - his presents. A few small, fun things we were sure would make it through customs. His grandma and grandpa sent a care package too, as did a few of hubby's friends. So hopefully the big guy knows we are all thinking about him.

I have a story to finish and revise this week. It's not long, but the deadline is coming up on me fast. I imagine the end of the week will be focused on getting that one ready to send out. Anyway, I'll save all that bloggity-blog stuff for another day. For now, I'm focusing on fun, family, and food. Speaking of food...at this rate, I'm sure I'll be finding an extra ten pounds for Christmas. Gee, thanks, Santa! ^_^

Until next time, wishing you many happy, winter-y wishes!  
  ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄   ❅ ❄ 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apples, Dreams, and Deadlines


The plague is finally lifting. Mini went back to school yesterday, and I settled in to get some writing done. I only managed about 1k words before I went to help hubby rearrange the dining room. This was planned, of course, but I had no idea when I started what a job this was going to turn out to be.

Earlier this year we moved a new desk for hubby into the dining room, so now we have no place to put our Christmas tree. To make a place for the tree, we had to shuffle the furniture around. A lot of furniture. Oh boy. My house is a complete mess for now. It was simply too much to take care of in one day. We moved the robin's egg blue, 1940s kitchen hutch into Mini's room to use for shelving. That meant I had to rearrange Mini's room and sort toy boxes to make room for it. It took about three hours just to do that.

Tomorrow we're moving the Cajun style standing pantry to the wall behind the dining table. The tree is going to be sitting where the Cajun pantry is right now.

Before we tackle all that, though, I have to go buy bins, because a lot of the stuff we had in the blue hutch is now homeless and sitting on the dining table. There's no other place for it. Before buying the bins, to try to save a few dollars, I'm going to rearrange my office shelves and see if some of the craft bins will fit in here. One room leads to another, then to another. Le sigh.

Back to writing. I'm working on a deadline piece right now, and it's just not flowing. I've written well over the required amount of words, but none of it "speaks" to me. Boo. I've already cut a lot out of it, and still it reads flat to me. I'm debating tossing the whole thing and starting from scratch.

Since getting sick around Thanksgiving, I've been low energy and not feeling very inspired. I know, lack of inspiration is no excuse for not writing. In the morning I seriously have to snap out of it and get some word count down before I run out of time with this project. The last thing I want is to have worked on a piece for a month then miss the deadline. I'll be stuck with a story I have to sit on until I gather enough similar stories for a collection. I mean, that's not necessarily a terrible thing, but I'm trying to avoid that because in 2013 I'm going to be focusing more on novels. And I'd like to focus on writing more romance.

One more thing before I go! A few days ago, I had this really strange dream. It was so vivid, and I've been meaning to write it down. In the dream I was walking in the yard with hubby. It was late fall, early winter. All the leaves were off the trees. We walked to the far corner of the yard where we have a rosemary bush planted, and a very tall tree had grown there. The tree didn't have a leaf on it, but when I looked up, through all the branches I saw this enormous yellow apple. Seriously, this apple was the size of a bowling ball. Or, as I thought in the dream, it was the size of a human head. Take your pick.

The apple was beautiful. It had one tiny bruise on it, but it was perfect in my eyes and I wanted to pick it. I asked hubby to come closer and try to pick the apple, which was pretty high up. Hubby looked at it and said we'd have to do it later, because we had to go. I knew he was right, so I linked arms with him, and we crossed the yard, walking along the road.

About halfway across the yard, we came upon more trees that had sprung up along this short path. I looked up at the branches and was awestruck because this tree had dozens and dozens of enormous apples it. They were so big and richly colored that they looked like heavy paper lanterns hanging in the bare branches. The fruit was beautiful and perfectly ripe, and in every color you could think of. Red, yellow, green, and that peachy yellow-to-red color some of the blushy type apples have sometimes when you buy them from the store.

I was very excited by just getting to see the this spectacular tree, and that joy and sense of wonder was on my mind when I woke up. It was a very nice dream. And so colorful. I don't usually have dreams that colorful. I'm even thinking about making a project out of it. I have a fresh pad of watercolor paper, and I may end up painting the apple laden tree. I already have a space picked out for it in my office, if I go through with it. All I have to do is find the time! :o)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thinking Positive Thoughts


Eek! Only eight days left until the start of the holidays. For us, at least. Mini gets out next week for winter break, so I'm trying to wrap up as many writing projects as possible before then. So far, so good. Last night I wrapped up a huge freelance project, and just this evening I finished outlining a brand new story for EC. First things first, though, before I start any new projects, I have a (promised) short to write and submit by the end of this month.

Speaking of Ellora's Cave, you have to check out their brand spanking new website. It's absolutely gorgeous. I love it, but not only for aesthetic reasons. It's so easy to navigate. Easy to navigate wins me over every time, hands down. Check it out! www.ellorascave.com

Currently on my desk, I have two stories left to revise and edit. Once those stories are taken care of, I want to take a little time off for Christmas. At least a couple of days. While Mini's home, I'm going to bake and decorate until I drop!

Oh, and sometime during all those reckless days of baking, painting, and decorating, I'm going to start building a writerly game plan for 2013. I'm also to compile a list of writerly goals I accomplished this year, and I'll be sharing that list here on the blog. 2012 has been a super tough year for me and my family, and with the New Year fast upon us, it's time to reflect and adjust.

One last thing before I go... Yesterday I learned Morning, Noon, and Night (Alison Tyler, editor) is one of About.com's Top Pick Sex Books for Everyday Holiday Giving for 2012. Awesomesauce! My story 4 P.M. No Show is included in that book.

That's it for now. It's after midnight, and I still need to put Mini's uniforms in the dryer.
Until next time, happy writing! :o)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Desire Combo With A Side Order Of Writerly Things


I'm finally starting to kick this plague we've had going around our house for about three weeks now. The coughing is the most brutal part of it. At times, I've coughed so hard I've given myself a headache. Sounds like fun, right? I'll be glad when this mess has run its course.

I missed my local RWA chapter Christmas party this morning, but I couldn't go over there in good conscience knowing I could give everyone my sick germs. So, I stayed home, and I guess it's a good thing because around noon I completely ran out of energy. One minute I was running strong, working on a freelance beta piece, and the next minute, my eyes were slamming shut. I had to get up and stagger my way to the den and crash on the couch with SassiePup and JakeDog. I slept for three hours. Arg! All that time lost, when I could've been doing something productive.

Anyway, what's going on with me in a writerly sense...let's see. I've finished a rough outline/synopsis for a contemporary category book targeted to Harlequin Desire. And I have a two freelance projects to mark up and send out by the end of the month. Also, The Butterfly Prince is coming along nicely. I'm gradually getting it ready to compile with the other short stories in my fairy book. I have a short story out in the wild right now with a tentative yes on it, but I don't know the status of the project, so I'm thinking that one will be a surprise yay or nay a few months down the road.

Over NaNo, I completed one of two planned vampire novels (single title) I've been working on, and I completed several short stories for a new vampire erotica collection. All of those projects are on my revising/editing stack. There's plenty to keep me busy through the Christmas holidays, and well into the New Year.

New sticker for December 2012
3 for $9.99 - Interesting.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the store taking all but a few Harlequin Desire's off the shelves. They brought them back last month after my write in campaign, and I bought all but one of the November releases.

November 2012. Standard
sticker.
When the December books made it to the shelf, I was too sick to go to the store to pick through them, so I sent hubby. Good guy that he is, he brought back three books. I was jazzed with the books he picked, and intrigued by the new sticker on the cover.

I guess they are doing more to market the books to my area now that they are back on the shelves. (And flying off the shelves, too, apparently. Hubby said the Desires were very picked over when he got to them. They were very picked over in November as well. I think they were almost completely gone by the end of the month. One or two books left.)

Instead of the standard price sticker, there's a pink 3 for $9.99  sticker on the cover now. The savings, before taxes is $1.23. That's good, I guess, but it doesn't really matter that much to me. I'm curious, though. Is this going on at your store too?   Or maybe this is just a regional thing? If you've seen the pink sticker in your area, the combo buyer's price, please take a minute to leave a comment and let me know.

That's all for now. I'm going to make a cup of tea and settle in for some writing this evening. Until next time, happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rainy Tuesday and Author Copies

It's December already, can you believe it? Hubby and I need to pick out a day to go Christmas shopping, but the whole house has been sick since the Thanksgiving holidays. We haven't even put up our Christmas tree yet. We gotta fix that this weekend.

I'm feeling a little better now, and to celebrate, I spent the day processing the finalists' entries for the Suzannah contest. Now that they've all been sent off to the final round judges, I'm free until the end of January to tend to all my back burner projects and  tie up loose ends. There is so much to catch up on. I'll probably need to make a list to check stuff off as I go.

I'd planned to run to the store this afternoon, but I got caught up in a freelance project I'm supposed to turn in tomorrow. Too, it's been thundering and raining all day, and I don't really want to go out in all that mess. I'm not over this cough yet, and I worry about JakeDog (who is roughly 6 months old). He's terrified of the thunder. I'm reluctant to leave him home alone because we've had a hard time getting him to go outside to do his doggy business as it is. To leave him home alone while it's thundering? Yeah, that's asking for disaster.

Speaking of "doggy business" training...

Earlier today I found a "puddle" in the hallway, and assumed that Jake had an accident. I mopped it up, and went about tidying the house. About thirty minutes later, I went into the bathroom to put up fresh towels and saw a wet ring around the bottom of the hot water heater. The puddle in the hallway didn't have anything to do with Jake Dog. Le sigh. The hot water heater had leaked into the hallway. And it's still leaking. It looks like Santa may have to bring us a new hot water heater for Christmas this year. Hubby and I have to go price them tomorrow.

That's pretty much all the new news. Oh, there is a bright side to all this chatter. I received the author copies for Morning, Noon, and Night yesterday. Pretty, pretty. I keep flipping through them and reading a few paragraphs here and there. That's enough to make me a happy girl. For now, anyway. ;o)