Archive for March, 2016
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Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
Anxiety, some life worries and frustration are dogging me this week, but I am refuse to let them drag me down too much. Although my stomach is a bit more susceptible, but we won’t talk about that
The good news is I sent book one, now titled Savaged Dreams, off to my editor! I really am happy about that as I’m in desperate need of constructive, editorial feedback. It’ll be a few weeks which is fine as I really needed to step away from that book for a bit. I was going over, over and over the manuscript until I realized I had crossed over into slightly obsessive territory.
“SLIGHTLY??” Wizard shouts. “I had to threaten to take away your coffee, wine and chocolate to get you to hit send!!!”
Can you all see me rolling my eyes? I’m not that bad! And if Wizard says one more word, I will hide his jelly beans where he will never find them.
Okay, so now that Wizard has silently left my office, we can get down to business! Forget all our pressures and troubles to answer this one question:
Do you think a man who cooks is worthy?
Monday, March 28th, 2016
The whole weekend just got away from me. I’m not sure how it’s happening but I’m constantly running around, cleaning or working, and I need to stop and catch my breath. And that’s my excuse for skipping Business Monday this week.
For those of you who didn’t see it on my FB page, here’s the Chocolate Shaving Cake I made for Easter.
It’s fun and pretty easy. I made a boxed cake (Devil’s food). Once that was cooled, I got a large chocolate bar and grated it on on large cheese grater. I spread those on wax paper and set them in the fridge to harden up a bit (so they are easier to handle) while I frosted the cake. Then I sprinkled the cold shavings all over the cake. Easy! And everyone seemed to like it.
This week, I need to finish editing the first rock star book (lots of company put me a tad behind, but I’ll catch up today) and then plot and outline a novella. In the meantime, book 2 of the rock star series is sitting there, half done and bugging me. I want so much to work on that, but this novella needs to be done too!
So how was your weekend? If you celebrate Easter, how was that?
Friday, March 25th, 2016
Happy Friday! This whole month has been a blur. But I do have book one of my rock band series almost ready to go to the editor, so yay for that! I’m going to have to retitle the books, leaving, I think, the second book as SAVAGED VOWS. Quick & funny story about that. Yesterday while I was home recording a video for my Brazilian publisher and cleaning bathrooms (yep, that’s how exciting my life is, LOL), Wizard went to a luncheon at his old job. I was invited but I had to get things done
Anyway, he was telling someone there that I had a book coming out later this year titled Savaged Vows.
Only she heard Savaged Bowels…ROTFLMAO!!!! Umm..I don’t think that would be a romance…but it’s an attention grabber!
Anyway, I also have good news, after a unforeseen delay the third book in The Plus One Chronicles is releasing in Brazil today! This is the cover:
Here are all three covers of the Brazilian portuguese version from the publisher Editora Charme:
I’m excited that Kat and Sloane get to hang out in Brazil. I’ve never been there myself, so I’m living vicariously through my characters So that’s my news, but now it’s your turn. I want to hear any good news you have, no matter how big or small. I really love hearing from you guys, so please share!!! It might be later in the day before I can respond as I have a bunch of early appointments, but I will read and respond as soon as I’m at my computer. So please, tell me one good thing in your lives.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
If you want to skip all my chatter feel free to scroll down to the Wednesday Worthy Candidate at the bottom of the blog!
And…the floors are done!! You guys have been awesome putting up with my whining I love the floors, most especially the tile. It’s truly beautiful. I like the carpet very much too. There’s one room (my office) that I’d love to have tiled rather than carpet, but after much debate, we went with carpet in there too and it looks pretty. We have almost everything back its place, we just have some storage boxes to move from the garage back into an extra closet upstairs.
I want to quickly mention Bailey here too. We loved having him, but it was hard to see him in pain. The meds the vet put him on helped tremendously in the days, but at night after being asleep for a few hours, he’d cry. One night was pretty bad, and around four a.m. I finally sat in the recliner and he slept on top of me. It was like having a sick baby again, LOL. Yet the next day he livened up and played out back, having fun. I’m not sure if he’s tightening up and cramping/spasming when he tries to move or if it’s something else. He’s now back home now with the two people he loves most in the universe and they are taking excellent care of him. Middle son texted me last night that his girlfriend was babying Bailey and all I could think of was this lovely young woman came into Bailey’s life a couple years ago exactly when he needed her. And in turn, he gives her his boundless love.
Yesterday morning I got up to the news that Brussels, Belgium had endured a terrorist attack. Like all the sane and caring people in the world, I’m sickened and enraged by these atrocities. I don’t want to dwell on it as my goal is to keep this blog a place to get away from it all. But I want to send a shout out to our friends in Belgium that we care and are thinking of you.
I’m working away, rewriting scenes to get the book ready for the editor. This first book is going to be roughly 60K words, probably more by the time we’re finished with edits–which is why I need to split it into three books. For reference 60K is LONGER than each book in my Once A Marine Series; The Baby Bargain, Her Temporary Hero and Exposing The Heiress. So I have been working, LOL! But man this turned into a project–but it’s a labor of love. I’ll have it ready for the editor probably by Monday and then we’ll see what she says.
And so…that’s what my month has been like so far!
Now I’ll stop rambling and move onto our Wednesday Worthy Candidate:
So what do you think?
Monday, March 21st, 2016
Thanks for having me, Jennifer. My name is Carrie Ann Ryan and I’m a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of over forty novels and novellas. I’ve also done all of that within four years, which, as some of you know, is a little crazy. Jennifer asked me here today to discuss a little about my process and how sprinting helps me get things done. My process happens to work for me for now, but I know that eventually I might need to alter it a bit.
To start, I’m a plotter. I know the titles of my books for each series, which character goes with each book, and the main plot of each one before I even put a word on the page. While that can change, having an idea of where I’m going helps me focus.
I’m also a mathematician and chemist at heart, so numbers make me happy!
I set myself goals for each day when it comes to writing, 3k, 5k, 10k for that day so I can slowly work on my book. If I think about each book in parts, it helps me relax. Rather than worry that I have five weeks to write 100k, I can work on things per day. I also know I can’t do things alone!
I’m in a Sprint Loop of ten or so romance authors where we not only discuss business, but do sprints. We use SKYPE but only the text part. There’s no need for video without coffee! We’ve done 15, 20, and 30 min sprints where we focus solely on writing for that time and at the end, report how many words we have. Its not a competition as everyone works at different paces, but it keeps us accountable. I can usually get around 900 words in 20 min, but I know that not everyone can do that. Sometimes I can only get 400 words, but I know that I focused for those 20 min and at least wrote.
Why do small sprints and not #1k1hr? (1000 words in 1 hr)
Well I can’t focus for that long. If I have to sit at my computer and try to write for 60 min, my brain wants to do something else. I’ll start moving in my chair, I’ll get distracted by a cat, or literally a bird outside my window. By doing it in small spurts, I can focus for a smaller amount of time with less distractions.
That doesn’t mean I’m perfect and won’t get distracted, but I do my best to focus for those 20 min.
After those 20 min, we usually take 5-10 min breaks for social media, talking to our spouses, research, or bio breaks. More importantly, we force ourselves to get out of our chairs and stretch. Many of us have joint issues from sitting for so long and other health issues, so doing a group stretch actually is working wonders!
Another thing I have tried recently is using my FOCUS app. I set it for 20 min and that counts as my timer. (I used to use my iPhone rather than a web browser so I wouldn’t get distracted by the internet!) The FOCUS App refuses to let me get on the internet yet still let’s me keep on my Skype loop. You’ll be amazed how many times you go to your browser for something once you hit a sentence that pulls you out of the story. My writing output has increased nicely when I started using it.
One more thing you can do is keep a record of your writing. I have a wordcount record for each month, book, series etc. I’ve always kept it because I like numbers and it keeps me on target for a deadline. However I’ve also been doing a hand written one for daily counts. It has what my goals are for the day in increments of 1000 words on the left side, and I write the time of day when I hit that goal. It gives me an idea of how I’m doing during the day and where I get stuck.
All of this though, sprinting, focusing, writing down word counts, all of it is so my brain can relax and I can dig into the story. It keeps me on track because writing is a business and I have commitments, and it lets me know when I need to push a bit and when I can breathe and work on a special project on the side.
I hope this helps you if you’re looking for a way to focus and if you ever need anything, feel free to email me!
Thank you so much and happy sprinting!
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan never thought she’d be a writer. Not really. No, she loved math and science and even went on to graduate school in chemistry. Yes, she read as a kid and devoured teen fiction and Harry Potter, but it wasn’t until someone handed her a romance book in her late teens that she realized that there was something out there just for her. When another author suggested she use the voices in her head for good and not evil, The Redwood Pack and all her other stories were born.
Carrie Ann is a bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas and has so much more on her mind (and on her spreadsheets *grins*) that she isn’t planning on giving up her dream anytime soon.
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Friday, March 18th, 2016
It really is a Happy Friday here in our house. Bailey is feeling better! Wizard and I took Bailey to the vet on Thursday. Just a FYI: My son and his girlfriend would have done it too, but it all happened so fast. Bailey’s done this off and on for a while, he’s suddenly in pain, then after a couple days it clears up for a few weeks or longer, then it happens again. We needed the vet to see him in pain to evaluate the situation. Anyway, the good news is Bailey is in very good shape for his age. Strong heart, lungs, kidneys,etc. He does have arthritis in both his hips though, and it’s obviously painful. Once they determined he was healthy enough, they gave him a shot and started him on oral meds. Here’s the result:
Bailey before seeing the vet. This isn’t even him at his worst, so you can see it was bad and why we were worried.
Bailey less than 24 hours after starting the meds:
Amazing! Yesterday, he was outside playing, hunting lizards and eating very well. He’ll have some ups and downs, etc., but overall he will be much better and we’re all so happy. Also, my youngest son’s girlfriend works for the vet so she helped us get him in and took such good care of him The vet was awesome too. Bailey was a very good boy.
This weekend we are playing with Bailey and getting ready for the carpet which will start Monday. It should go pretty quick, no more than two days.
I’m also finishing the edit on book one of Savaged Vows. I have one more timeline issue to fix in the book, then I’ll do a straight edit and I should have it ready for the editor by the end of next week.
Now for an important programming note: On Monday, March 21st, NYT Bestselling author, Carrie Ann Ryan is sharing how she used Writing Sprints to pen more than 40 novels and novellas within four years. I hope you’ll all stop by! I may not have an internet connection, but I’ll try to access the blog on my phone.
What are you all doing this weekend? I hope it’s something fun!
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
My website was down off and on yesterday, so getting a post up has been a challenge. Hopefully the blog will cooperate and let me finally get this posted. So the good news is the tile is all done and we’re happy with it. I put a picture of the stacked stone fireplace surround up on my FB here if you’d like to see it. Now we get a few days break before the doing the carpet next week.
The bad news–Bailey is not feeling well. As I’m writing the blog, my son called and let me know Bailey’s hip pain flared up suddenly again. Wizard is on his way there to pick up Bailey, so by the time you all read this, Bailey will be here with us. I may take him to the vet if he doesn’t feel better by tomorrow (I asked my son if that was okay, and he said yes.) I know they are really torn about leaving Bailey right now, but they aren’t going far and I can reach them if Bailey needs them so I urged them to go. Poor Bailey, getting older really sucks.
Now for Wednesday Worthy Candidate. I pulled this guy out of my files. What do you think?
Is he worthy?
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