Archive for January, 2014
« Previous Page
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
I don’t have a guy today, sorry!
Bailey Dog is better! We’re all very happy, especially Middle Son. I don’t like to see either one of my boys hurting (Bailey in physical pain or MS in emotional pain worrying). I know this sounds like we over-reacted but trust me on this, Middle Son doesn’t over-react. If he worries, there’s something to be concerned about.
Now for a quick story I forgot about. Middle Son texted me about Bailey last Saturday as I was leaving from getting my hair done. I answered then started driving. At the red light, I saw his text pop up on my phone resting in the cup holder: “It’s pretty bad, Mom. Bailey stands there and cries. I’m worried.”
I ignored it. I don’t text and drive–it’s illegal in California but more importantly, it’s dangerous. Even more dangerous when I’m distracted enough worrying about Bailey and my son. So in my head I kept saying, Wait until you get home.
I lasted about a mile before I caved, but determined not to be stupid, I pulled into a shopping center. Once I got into a parking space, I picked up the phone and text Middle Son. I told him I’ll be home in 10 minutes and call me then if he needs me and I’ll come out. In seconds I get a text back, “Ok.”
Feeling much better, I looked around to pull out of the space and spotted the motorcycle cop with a radar gun a couple spaces away watching the traffic. I hadn’t even noticed him! He’d seen me, but didn’t care since I’d pulled into a parking space to text. Once I pulled back into traffic, the cop roared out, and caught the guy in front of me for speeding. The moral of this story is it pays to use common sense even when I think my kid needs me I still can’t believe I pulled into the space so close to him and didn’t see him. Sheesh.
I’m not producing a ton of pages, but the story is getting there in my head. I’m happy about that much at least. This is my process, I don’t have to love it, I just have to respect it so we can work together to make the book happen
As usual lately, I’m juggling a gazillion things, including taking auditions on ACX to get The Proposition into an Audio Book (I turned down a contract and decided to do it myself). This has been a really interesting experience hearing the scene read out loud by various narrators. We’ll see how it goes! I’m also developing a workshop on Romance Tropes for my Romance Writers of America Chapter that I’ll be giving in June.
Sorry again for not having a picture! Hope you’re all having a great week!
Monday, January 13th, 2014
This weekend, Wizard and I worried about Bailey. His back legs or hips are hurting, possibly he hurt himself. He’s been improving over the weekend, but Middle Son will probably take him into the vet today. The worst text from Middle Son: “He (Bailey) is just so sad.” I wanted so much to hug them both. Middle son and his girlfriend were handling it—they know Wizard and I will come if they need us.
Hopefully all will be well.
Moving on: Wizard and I were on the freeway when I saw his head snap around to stare at a really cool Mustang Shelby.
Wizard has had a serious case of Mustang Lust for a long, LONG time now.
I said, “Wizard, eyes on the road.”
He laughed. “Did you see it?”
“Yep. But you were hilarious. You were even more into that car than the blonde in the store.”
His face screamed “BUSTED.” But he tried to recover. “What are you talking about?”
“Dude, when that tall blonde in shorts came in, you waked right into me!” Wizard is rarely ever that obvious, which is why it’s funny.
His mouth tightened, but I think his neck turned red.
“And,” I couldn’t resist. “I’m putting that on my blog tomorrow.:
Oh I totally would! Bwhahaha!!
Otherwise I did some work, and we’re starting a search for a new computer which is stressful. But not as stressful as worrying about Bailey and Middle Son.
How was your weekend?
Friday, January 10th, 2014
So how’s all your New Year going so far? Mine’s been frustrating, but that’s okay, we all love a challenge right?
You’re laughing with me, not at me, right? Sigh…things will get easier. I’m working on the problem of understanding my characters well enough to get my book started. Hunter and Alyssa have real potential!
Switching subjects, once in a while, Biker Witch (my sister) texts me random pictures. Here’s one:
Growing up, I had a boxer just like this. He was my best friend, we played together all the time, and got into a LOT of trouble together. I’m told I covered him in baby powder (I don’t remember–Biker Witch could be making that up!) among other things. That dog would put up with anything from me and never get mad.
Isn’t it amazing how a picture can invoke such powerful memories for us?
And of course, this makes me miss Bailey Dog
My weekend will mostly be work. What are your weekend plans? And did you have a dog growing up?
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
My MRI is done. I worried a bit as I’m claustrophobic, but it went fine and they got some good shots. I’m pretty sure they will find nothing useful, but at least my doctor will be happy. I swear my ankle bugs him more than me
The book–ugh! I’m going to love it, but right now, it’s a struggle to get to know these characters. I’ve deleted everything I’ve written. Every. Single. Word. Wizard came home last night and made the mistake of asking me, “How was your day?”
“Same. I can’t get this blasted book going.”
He made a beeline for the kitchen and I hear the sound of glasses clinking on the granite counters as he answered me, “You’ll do it, you always do it.”
“But HOW do I do it? What if I’ve forgotten how to write?”
Wizard hands me a glass of wine and heads upstairs to change. But I can still hear him say, “You haven’t forgotten how to be a drama queen, that’s for sure.”
Funny, real funny.
So here’s our hunk wisdom of the day:
Agree or disagree?
Monday, January 6th, 2014
I have no excuse for being late. Bad Jen!
My weekend was pretty good. Had a blast going to see CPA Boy’s two dogs, Corky and Cookie. Those dogs are complete opposites. Cookie is a bundle of wiry energy and loves to play, while Corky just wants to lay in the sun and have his belly rubbed. Both are adorable.
After a sleepless night, I’m heading into my writing cave to work nonstop.
Oh wait, I have to stop, I have an MRI for my ankle scheduled today. It’s not a big deal, just an annoyance and a time suck.
How was your weekend? For those of you in the brutally cold areas, I hope you’re staying warm! I was thinking of you all over the weekend while it was 80 degrees here in So Cal. Very weird weather patterns this year.
Friday, January 3rd, 2014
I’ve been a complete moron and forgot to tell you all that there’s a Plus One Chronicles Book Blast going on. If you haven’t seen it going around the various social media sites, you can link here and enter to win a $50.00 or $25.00 electronic gift card. There’s more links on the site–you can follow those and enter at the various stops until January 5th.
Also. The Proposition, book 1 in The Plus One Chronicles, is now free on these sites:
Amazon Kindle / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords
Yesterday was one of those incredibly frustrating days where I couldn’t get my next Once A Marine book started. I always *think* I know the characters and plot well enough until I sit down to write, then I realize I need to do more prep work. So I spent yesterday thinking. I made progress that way, but I still need to solve one more hurdle. And since I’m writing this blog on Thurs, what are the odds I’ll think of what I need right around two am?
This weekend, I’m planning to go out to CPA Boy and Special K’s to finally meet Corky–seen here sun bathing.
He’s a kick back dog I’m sure I’ll love him! They also have Cookie, so I get to play with two dogs for the price of one!
Otherwise, I’m back to work, work, and more work.
What are your plans this weekend?
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all a Happy and Successful 2014!
I started to write this blog late yesterday afternoon but Wizard came home from work early and I got side tracked by the glass of wine he held in front of my face I hope you all had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve! We stayed home and made our traditional steak and lobster, along with a spinach salad, fresh-baked bread and some wine. After all the non-stop holiday craziness from Thanksgiving on, we were ready for a quiet night.
I’m not doing New Years Resolutions, they always look the same: Get in better shape, learn to write faster, try to be more patient especially while driving…it’s always the same things. Instead I’m going to list a few things that I learned career-wise in 2013.
CHOOSING TO SELF PUBLISH: I didn’t shop the Plus One Chronicles anywhere, I didn’t even show it to my agent. This story was important to me and while publishers can be awesome to work with, in this case, I had a vision that I feared they might want to water down. I had no idea, not a clue, that the books would do as well as they did. What also surprised me is how much I love self publishing. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t quite grasp exactly how much long hours and sheer perseverance it would require of me. But now I have a pretty good idea and I plan to continue self publishing with a new series I’m beyond excited about in 2014. However, that said, I’m always going to keep an open mind. If a publisher offered me a good deal, I’d probably take it and be thrilled.
EDITING: I still, and will always, need a good editor. I found one of the best editors I’ve worked with in my entire career for The Plus One Chronicles. She’s not cheap but worth every penny. Editing is a rare combination of skill and talent that is critical to developing a book to its fullest potential. Sasha (my editor) always stayed true to my vision while pushing me hard to not only choose every word carefully, but to develop my characters to the point where she’d say things like, “This doesn’t sound like Sloane” on a piece of dialogue. On POSSESSION her revision letter started with, “This book needs some extra loving,” which meant, I’m going to work your butt off to make this book shine because right now it’s not good enough. I went into full-blown, stomach churning, bile spewing, panic. But I took that book apart and fixed it to the best of my ability. And I am grateful to Sasha that she didn’t pull her punches. We have a very professional relationship–she respects my vision, and I respect her edits. I don’t get angry at her edits, even in the rare case that if I didn’t agree with them.
GOALS: I learned that setting clear concise goals is important to keep me focused. My goals were to write Kat and Sloane’s story in three books, write the Once A Marine Series, and my overall goal this year was to reach new readers. That’s it. I didn’t aim for lists. There is a way to aim for lists, and I chose not to do that because I’d put too much pressure and expectations on myself. I know myself well enough to understand the disappointment would get in the way of my writing. When I ended up hitting a few lists (not the USA Today and NYT), I was stunned and over-the-moon excited, but it was more of a happy accident than a goal. And this leads me to my next one:
PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY: It’s real, it happens, we’re all human. We can’t always control what we feel, but we can control how we react. An example is my good friend, Laura, she’s hit both the USA Today and New York Times this year. Here’s how I felt: THRILLED! Laura and I’ve known each other for years and years, we’re critique partners, and I know exactly how talented she is, and how hard she works–and here’s the best part–Laura’s one of the most genuine people you’ll ever meet. Shes’ also incredibly supportive of me, and many other authors. I knew she was going to hit the NYT before she did. But was I jealous? Sure. However I refused to let that dim my happiness for her, I celebrated with her and had a blast. We were texting constantly and soon the jealously faded. (By the way, Laura knows all this, we talk about this stuff straight up.) Feeling jealous or envious is normal. The mark of our character though is how we react. I want to be happy for other people’s successes and so I will be.
SOCIAL MEDIA and BRANDING: This is something I’m still learning. It’s a guilt that dogs me, I should be interacting more on social media, creating a stronger online persona and branding myself. Except I would rather write And the thought of branding myself sounds…painful So…I’ll keep trying. Although I love my Lyon FB page–that one is fun, plus I love doing giveaways there when I have the time and resources.
DEADLINES AND PRESSURE: Stomach burning, insomnia producing, sweat popping pressure can force a book out of me. I don’t like it, in fact, I hate it. But I can do it. I’m hoping that knowing I can do it will calm that insane level of anxiety I dealt with this year. But it won’t–the root of that anxiety is that I care DEEPLY about my readers and worry about disappointing them.
EXPECTED THE UNEXPECTED: Like the offer from the German publisher to buy the translation rights to The Plus One Chronicles. I was gobsmacked. The books will be released in Germany late 2014. But the unexpected will also bring more work that takes time away from writing. I’m learning to be flexible and accept that there will be many nights where I must work. I have to sacrifice things like reading and TV. That’s okay though Insomnia gives me a chance to catch up on reading!
READERS: I love my readers! It’s readers that have given me the best job in the world.
Okay that was a long LONG post! If you made it this far, chime in with anything you want. Maybe something you’ve learned this year, or comments on something I’ve learned, or just tell me anything you feel like sharing.
« Previous Page