Dawn Montgomery

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Halloween Heat II is Available for 99 Cents today only!

In Publishing News, Sale on October 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm

HalloweenHeatParaMenage-200x300HEY GANG! One of my own books available at 99 cents TODAY ONLY!

Awesome Deal Alert:
Etopia Press has dropped the price of the Halloween Heat Anthos to 99 cents!

ARe:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-halloweenheatii-968881-340.html

BN:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/halloween-heat-ii-selena-illyria/1113153000?ean=2940015575736

Amazon (I can’t seem to stop it from doing the amazon picture):
http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Heat-II-ebook/dp/B009MRN9SW/ref=la_B0076RPOQA_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383240007&sr=1-3

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Thunder and Roses has a cover

In Coverart on October 31, 2013 at 2:30 am

dk_dm_thunderandroses_coverinWhat do you think? 

 

The day before it begins!

In #amwriting on October 31, 2013 at 1:52 am

No excusesIt’s that time, people! National Novel Writing Month begins in less than eleven hours for me. 😀 I can’t wait to get started. Of course there are tons of last minute preparations going on. My illness wiped the floor with me for the past two weeks but I’m back on schedule!!!

I begin writing A Familiar Kiss tomorrow, but I’ve got other writerly duties to take care of as well.

Edits for Deep Cravings dropped in my lap yesterday. I have three days to finish up Shift the Night and get it into my editor. Not to mention a little side project I’m working on for next year. I’ve also been invited to participate in a fantastic anthology with some of my favorite authors. Lots of work. Lots of fun. A bit of stress. 😉

So here’s the deal. My NaNo word count comes first. The kids are writing their books so I can’t slack. All the side stuff I have going on, I’ll shoulder quietly because the last thing I want is their first National Novel Writing Months to be devastating to their ego. I have to make sure to reinforce their confidence, because writing is a tough process on your heart and mind. Not to mention fingers and hands…but that’s a whole other post on proper posture when writing.

I am proud to take that step with them and my husband. This year will be fun.

I’ll continue the NaNo Prep workshop into the month of November.

Prep for National Novel Writing Month (not something you have to do, I promise, just a checklist I keep for my own records):

  • Do you have an outline?
  • Do you know what you’re going to want to work on the first day?
  • Have you set up a visual calendar? (By the way, you should check out this reverse NaNoWriMo calendar that takes advantage of your enthusiasm at the beginning and leaves you with just one word on the 30th to complete the event. Her 2010 jpg is fantastic).
  • Do you have a timer set up for your personal focused writing sessions? I use E.gg Timer and Online Stopwatch so I don’t have to actually look a timer while I’m writing. Don’t forget about Cold Turkey (for PC) or SelfControl (for Mac) to block the websites that will distract you during your writing time.
  • Still floundering on where to begin? Check out Lynn Viehl’s National Novel Writing Month link roundup.
  • Have you suddenly been hit with inspiration but you think it’s too late? Try Holly Lisle’s Notecarding Under Pressure.
  • Not sure if you can really do this? How about an inspirational post from Kevin Wilson? “You are embarking upon a month-long incantation that might, possibly, produce magic.”
  • Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and The Way of Kings) soothes you with his struggles at the beginning and reminds you to “think like a storyteller”.
  • Sherwood Smith (Coronets and Steel) tells you to “be the trickster god, throw things at the characters, follow them as they react, and have fun!”. 
  • How about some love from Piers Anthony?
  • By far my favorite pep talk ever comes from Brian Jacques (creator of Redwall, one of my all-time favorite series). He says “Do it! Start now! Don’t make excuses to yourself, that’s the easiest way of admitting failure.”

You can do this. *holds out a hand toward you* Write with me. Let’s make this a November to remember. 😀

 

Annihilate Boredom with Interesting Characters Pt 1

In Workshops, Write Talk on October 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm

NaNoWriMo Workshop 2013

We’re continuing my spontaneous NaNoWriMo 2013 workshop today with building characters that you’ll actually like to write about. What you’ve missed so far:

Getting Started and how to Annihilate Boredom

As an experienced novelist I can tell you the absolute worst feeling in the world is disliking (loathing, hating, etc.) your main characters. Perhaps that was too strong. The worst feeling is finding out you hate them IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK. He’s too boring. She’s too angsty. He has habits that annoy me. She’s acting too childish about everything.

As the writer you maintain creative control of your characters. That sounds cool doesn’t it? Creative Control.

If you’re new to writing (like my kids and husband are this year), there’s an analogy I want you to think about. Writing a book is like taking a road trip.

  • We’ll call creative control the car you’re driving.
  • The road is your story (with or without a destination or road map in mind).
  • The characters are behind the wheel and you’re in the passenger seat directing their actions.
  • The speed the car travels is your writing pace (why do I suddenly have flashbacks to high school math?).

Some of you have never written a thing in your life. A few have tried and put it aside for whatever reason. Some regular writers like myself maintain at one pace for most of the year and then ramp up word count output during November’s NaNoWriMo.

This means writing before and during NaNoWriMo is like comparing a Sunday leisurely sightseeing trip against the crazy speed and curves of a Grand Prix.

If you’re riding shotgun during a breakneck race to the finish, it’s easy to get lost and lose sight of what you wanted your characters to do. Midway through the book is a terrible time to find out you don’t like your characters. I’ve been there. Trust me.

Take some time, then, and think about a character (or characters) you’d find interesting to learn about.

When I talked to my family and friends about developing their characters a bit, this is what I got:

  • A teenage boy caught in the undertow of a wave ends up being saved by a mermaid’s kiss. – Great one sentence explanation or “log line” of the book, but it doesn’t tell me about the character. 
  • The hero will go here and do this. And then this. And then this. – Knowing all the places your character travels is pretty cool. I’ll expand on why this isn’t a character development in a moment.
  • She wants a normal life. – Great goal, but what’s keeping her from having a normal life? The reply was “I don’t know.” 

Have you ever been on a road trip with an annoying person? The girl that screeches every time she laughs. What about the backseat driver who keeps kicking the back of your passenger seat in an attempt to push down on the pedals?

I remember one trip where I spent two and a half days with a business associate who would. not. shut. up. about the importance of water conservation and how wasteful the world was with this resource. Now I’m big into water conservation so don’t lose your minds, but imagine it…two and a half DAYS. That’s at least 500 miles per day. From breakfast. To lunch. Through dinner. The only break I had was when we went to our separate hotel rooms to sleep.

My nightmares involved water. Lots of water. And then deserts.

There’s a point to this…I promise.

You’re going to be in the passenger seat for thirty days AND nights. 😉 How terrible would it be to have Mr. Water Conservation mumbling in your ear for a week? Two? A month? You want to create characters that interest you. Ones who will be comfortable (if not necessarily happy) at the beginning of the story.

Then you’re going to put them in an uncomfortable situation and make them act. Their reaction sets them on the road trip.

There are three questions I ask are based on Lynn Viehl’s original post HERE with a modification thanks to Morgan Hawke HERE (note, Morgan’s site is not work or kid friendly).

  1. What/Who are you, and what do you do?
  2. What do you want?
  3. What’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you?

So let’s look at the three examples above.

A teenage boy caught in the undertow of a wave ends up being saved by a mermaid’s kiss.

What are you, and what do you do? 

Answer: Human water-loving Teenage Boy who likes to surf – We specified human here since he’s rescued by a mermaid.

What do you want? 

Answer: To escape the bitter divorce between my parents and get things the way they were in my head – His isolation caused him to not pay attention to his location and he got hit by a wave he wasn’t ready for. The author came up with this the moments she answered this question. 😀 

What’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you? 

Answer: Find out you’re the reason for the divorce in the first place. – She surprised me with this one. I can’t wait to see how his surfing, love of water, and the mermaid saving him fits lays out with the story! 

What did we find out about the character? He loves water, is dealing with some crazy stuff at home, and then finds out (as a direct result of his interaction with the mermaid) that he’s the reason they split. Is this enough to make you like the character? No. Not yet. But it’s a good start.

The hero will go here and do this. And then this. And then this. 

What are you, and what do you do? 

Answer: I am a Princess in charge of a tiny but important kingdom – I’m a fan of fairytales in any form.

What do you want? 

Answer: To stop the invasion of the shadow king – Good. I like it. 😀 

What’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you? 

Answer: Fail to stop the invasion – totally works. 

What did we find out about the character? She wants to protect her tiny and important kingdom from invasion. Failing to stop the invasion would lead to bad things. Do we know enough to like the character yet? Not quite, but we’re getting there.

She wants a normal life.

This goal isn’t specific enough so it’s hard to figure out your character. A normal life for me would be phone free, hanging out with my family, writing all day, and chatting with you all online. A normal life for a dear friend involves 24/7 access to a phone and texting, traveling all over the world, and rollerderby when she’s home every other month or so. See what I mean? What is normal? When you figure out what your character specifically wants…then you can move on. 

Rogue from the Marvel Universe wants to be able to touch someone without 1. draining their power and 2. killing the person she touches/loves. Her version of normal is definitely different than mine. 

Now, you’ll need to do this for each of your main characters (this includes your villain/villains if you have them). This may take longer than you expect or you may breeze through it. Keep these notes close by as we’ll be revisiting them in the next few posts.

If you’d like to see the entire workshop list of posts click HERE.

Disclaimer: My experiences aren’t your experiences. If anything you read here helps, fantastic! If not, take what works and discard the rest. Writing is an individual process and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to get it done. 

If you’d like to see the digital graphics I made for this year’s NaNoWriMo, click HERE and scroll down to the bottom to grab them (right click on the picture and either copy URL for your site or download to your computer).

Things To Help you Get Started Boredom Part 1

In Write Talk on October 25, 2013 at 3:10 am

NaNoWriMo Workshop 2013We’re a week away from National Novel Writing Month and some of you guys are feeling the burn already. Panic is setting in, prep time (or avoidance) is in full swing. We’re cramming in last minute things we know November won’t leave us time for. It’s like the week before summer break ends…all the fun of freedom at 70 mph!

What if I told you that twenty minutes of prep a day would get you ready to roll out on November 1st with a plan (even if you’re a panster, a person who writes by the seat of their pants with no plot in mind) which will let you kick off NaNoWriMo with ease?

Even better, what if I told you a little prep will keep you writing through the month no matter how crazy life gets? No gimmicks. No short cuts. Just a little bit of play time before the event. Keep reading if you’re curious or scroll down and grab the NaNoWriMo goodies I made this year.

PWCicon2There are five things that will kill a novel before it has a chance to really get started: boredom, stress, disorganization, fear, and laziness. We’re going to tackle boredom first.

Find three books you love more than any other. They don’t have to be the same genre (and you don’t have to feel guilty if it’s not one you “think” it should be). Write down five things you love about each book. Break it down further by asking what is it about the characters you loved (or hated). Think about the storytelling style. Do you enjoy it? Why?

Next think of three books you disliked and do the same. List five reasons why you didn’t like it. Do the same with the characters and storytelling style.

I’ll wait until you’re done.

*sips iced tea*

Done? Good. Now, I want you to think about your novel. You have before you a list of things you like and don’t like. Since you’re going to be spending an entire month in your own head, you should pay attention to what you find interesting. Keep this list with you.

Don’t force yourself into the well of boredom or else you’ll drown before your book gets a chance to get up off the ground.

For the rest of your prep today, think about your story elements. What kinds of scenes would be fun for you to write? Let your imagination soar with ideas. Jot down the ones you’d really like to try and spend ten minutes or so doing research. In my NaNoWriMo book this year, I’ll have a Were-panther as a character. There’s a scene I can’t wait to write where he’s in panther form and attacks a demonkin (it’s a paranormal romance). Tonight’s research involves their hunting habits, territorial urges, how they kill, and the sounds they make.

Next up will be creating characters who will keep you entertained for a month (or more). Until then, keep writing! Don’t forget to check out the NaNoWriMo images at the bottom of this post. You’re welcome to share and enjoy.

Disclaimer: My experiences aren’t your experiences. If anything you read here helps, fantastic! If not, take what works and discard the rest. Writing is an individual process and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to get it done. 

Here are four participation images I set up for NaNoWriMo (I’m not a big fan of their 8 bit graphic ones this year). Feel free to use and distribute. I wish I could take requests for new ones this year, but I’m running short on time with prep for my novel and getting the kids and husband ready for their debut NaNoWriMos. The first one is for Facebook and fits the profile pages (taking into account the profile picture and the extra buttons usually found at the bottom of the cover image.).

My website address will be hidden by your profile picture, but I put it on there so you can find me again next year if you want NaNoWriMo goodies.  Please note that a Facebook GROUP cover image is a different size and wouldn’t need the profile gap you see on this one. If you’d like to see what it looks like on a Facebook page, check it out HERE (during the end of October through November 2013).

Facebook NaNoWriMo

NaNo 125 NaNo 180 Participation Icon

Wednesday Woes and a Head Cold

In #amwriting on October 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

PWCicon2

Man oh man am I ever tired…

Tuesday and most of Wednesday were tough, motivation-wise. I couldn’t focus at all and was pretty cranky. After the kids got home from school I fell asleep at my desk…and then at dinner (I’m not kidding)…and then again immediately after. My husband was really worried (I was too tired to be) and tucked me into bed. I woke at 11pm with a fever and a serious stuffy head (headache, sinus congestion, etc.). Normal people would respond with ARGH I’m SICK! LOL. Unless you’re me and then it’s…THAT’S why I couldn’t concentrate. I was getting sick! *cue relief*

I’m sure that says something about me, but I’m not sure what. 😉

Truthfully, I have reasons to be relieved. I promise. In my last year in the service I took a pretty hard hit to the head that sent me into the hospital. I’d spend the next year and a half in and out of the emergency room from complications related to it. That time in my life is a blur of hazy memories and unwelcome fear. We had some pretty close calls. I’m happy to say I’m mostly recovered, but my brain kind of rewired itself. Occasionally I get confused and my memory goes a bit. Those times scare me to death. Any time I can’t concentrate, that nightmare time of my life sits in the back of my mind. Worrying won’t do anything for it, but you can’t help it. So since I know it’s a different issue, I can actually do something about it. I can accept that when I’m tired I have to sleep and that my body will ache while it’s trying to heal up.

For me this means lots of rest, some forgiveness, leniency in my goals, and homemade lemon and mint tea (the link goes straight to the recipe, if you’d like to see it). 


#ROW80 update


ROW80Logocopy

Goals this week:

  1. Three short stories for That Magic Touch. Each story will be an experiment I’m doing where I’ll sell a small collection of shorts stories for 99 cents and give the readers a chance to pick what I work on next. – I’ve organized my collection and have to write two more to finish it up. 
  2. 10k on Shift the Night – Shift the Night is almost done, but I’m going slow at the end (seems to be my M.O.). 
  3. Feral Hunger moves to the back burner until Shift the Night is done. – Got a chapter fleshed out. 
  4. Dragons Never Lie I’m not sure what I want to do with this one this week. Everything I’m working on is pretty dark so I might need to lighten up a bit. – Never made it past Shift the Night’s goal. 
  5. Format and upload Ravenous – Formatting will have to wait until the weekend. 

Weekend Goals: 

  1. The Captain’s Woman: Co-Written book I started years ago. My partner and I just picked it back up again and I’ve got a chapter to finish. – Finished a chapter on it. Will send it to my writing partner this weekend for her next round. 
  2. Organize my new cramped office space. My research materials take up a lot of surface area. I didn’t realize how much until I had to pack it all into one tall bookshelf. Argh. – Started on this and it’s looking so much better
  3. Make PDF copies of the two workshops I attended last month. The steampunk one was INCREDIBLE. So many thoughts racing around in my mind. 😀 – All PDF’s made, but I’m in a new workshop this week. So I’ll be going along with it. 

ROW80 Stuff: 

  • Make sure I stop by and give you guys some serious love! It’s the start of the 4th Quarter and I’m so ready to truck along with you all. – Catching up for the past week!

Things that happened this week: 

  • I submitted a synopsis for Savvy Author’s Entangled NaNoWriMo Smackdown (Entangled is a publishing company. Click HERE to go to their site.). The feedback was pretty awesome.
  • I’m sick, but it’s totally manageable. So a lot more forgiveness and less stress.
  • Last week’s overzealous physical labor did me in most of last week, but I’m feeling great again. Not great enough to rearrange furniture or hike a mountain, but I’m doing alright. 😀
  • Thank you for all the incredible support over the drama last Sunday (the guy I’ve had to block from every place in my virtual world). I promise we’re being safe, and I truly believe there’s no danger. You guys are awesome.

I’m part of a fantastic group called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and if you’d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the list HERE.

Would you like to be a part of our writing challenge? Check out the rules HERE.

Keep Writing and I’ll see you on Sunday!

Life, Lemons, and the Last Chance Saloon

In #amwriting on October 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

PWCicon2I spent my younger writing days absorbing everything thrown my way and comparing everything I did to others. Some told me if I wrote more than 500 words a day, it was crap (others said 1k, some said 250). Other people said if I didn’t write 5k a day I wasn’t trying hard enough.

Balancing real life and your writing life is unique to each person. The person who writes 5k a day may have to spend three days editing that 5k. The person who writes 500 words a day may do so without taking any breaks for the entire year. We can’t compare ourselves to others in a creative endeavor and hope to stay on track.

I lost my focus this week. It bummed me out so much I buried my head in a hole and tried to keep myself distracted by other things. Which kept me from writing and created a guilt cycle. LOL.

I made a promise to myself that I would post my bad weeks along with the good ones so I can be honest with you and myself about my writing progress. So here we are, a less than stellar week. 🙂 The sour lemons I came across will be a kickass hard lemonade by this week’s end. 😀

We have a week and a half left in October so if you’re a Last Chancer like me, let’s march through the week and a half to reach our goals. I know it takes me 1-2 hours to get 1k written. If I can dedicate 4-6 hours per day on one manuscript, I’ll be done with it before NaNoWriMo begins. *fingers crossed* If I can’t, then I just deal.


#ROW80 update


ROW80Logocopy

Goals last week (Sunday to Saturday):

  1. Three short stories for That Magic Touch. Each story will be an experiment I’m doing where I’ll sell a small collection of shorts stories for 99 cents and give the readers a chance to pick what I work on next. – Got NIL done on this one. I am totally bummed about it. 
  2. 10k on Shift the Night – I’m 2k shy of this goal, but I’m glad I got as much done as I did. 
  3. Feral Hunger moves to the back burner until Shift the Night is done. – Still simmering. 
  4. Dragons Never Lie I’m not sure what I want to do with this one this week. Everything I’m working on is pretty dark so I might need to lighten up a bit. – Never made it past Shift the Night’s goal. 
  5. Format and upload Ravenous – Didn’t happen. 

Because I didn’t reach most of my goals, they’re still on the list for this week. I have to get them all done.

Weekend Goals: 

  1. The Captain’s Woman: Co-Written book I started years ago. My partner and I just picked it back up again and I’ve got a chapter to finish. – Finished a chapter on it. Will send it to my writing partner this weekend for her next round. 
  2. Organize my new cramped office space. My research materials take up a lot of surface area. I didn’t realize how much until I had to pack it all into one tall bookshelf. Argh. – Started on this and it’s looking so much better
  3. Make PDF copies of the two workshops I attended last month. The steampunk one was INCREDIBLE. So many thoughts racing around in my mind. 😀 – All PDF’s made

ROW80 Stuff: 

  • Make sure I stop by and give you guys some serious love! It’s the start of the 4th Quarter and I’m so ready to truck along with you all. – Catching up for the past week!

Things that happened this week: 

  • A publisher showed huge interest in the Dark Talisman series so my co-author and I pulled it off the shelves to do up a requested submission package. The beautiful part about self publishing is that putting it back up for sale takes little time. More information on that in the future.
  • I lost my focus. Argh.
  • I overdid some manual labor last week so I’m still suffering from serious pain. It really sucks. I won’t go into detail except to say I can’t haul around 100+ lbs on my back any more.
  • Virtual harassment. I’ve drawn the attention of an individual who is going through some fascinating and scary hoops to let me know he’s always watching me. The guy (if he is a guy) freaked me out a bit yesterday by leaving fourteen comments on this blog (and a few on Facebook). I’ve blocked his IP address and am so thankful I have comments on moderation. It’s been six months now since his first contact. While he hasn’t directly threatened me, he’s shown some crazy possessive intentions. Weird. People. To date he’s created multiple Facebook accounts, hit me up on twitter, and now here. I’ve blocked him every step of the way. It feels weird to be cornered in such a large virtual world. Anyway, I let it get to me, but that’s not my style. So it’s back to it.

I’m part of a fantastic group called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and if you’d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the list HERE.

Would you like to be a part of our writing challenge? Check out the rules HERE.

Keep Writing and see you Wednesday!

Head Down and Eyes on Target

In #amwriting on October 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

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Welcome to the first week’s update of Round of Words in 80 Days 4th Quarter of 2013. We’re in the home stretch. I’ve got less than three months left. My fourth quarter goals are pretty intense, but there’s a reason for this. I promise. 🙂 January starts a new round of writing for book two of the Thunder and Roses universe. The first one took six months so we’ll see how book two goes, but I’ve blocked off the first half of the year just in case.

This is my first time as a sponsor for A Round of Words in 80 Days (#ROW80) since the first year and I’m stoked. Everyone is so fired up to get their goals done. 😀

My kids surprised me with their interest in joining me during National Novel Writing Month in November. I ordered their workbooks, downloaded the free PDF versions, and downloaded their lesson plans (you should check them out if you’ve got kids. The elementary school one lets them do a lot of their storytelling for NaNoWriMo through pictures). Hop over to their Young Writer’s Program if you’ve got a young one in the house. We also started a cute blog (I call it the monster blog) called Will Write For Cookies. Expect it to be silly nonsense. Two days ago SuperChef also took up the challenge. 😀 Looks like we’re going to be a NaNo family. 😀

So why would someone like me, someone who takes National Novel Writing Month as a personal mountain challenge, decide to write with the entire family? I learned a valuable lesson back in the Air Force which has stuck with me. Nothing shows you the ins and outs of something until you have to teach it. I’m getting back to my roots…the first time I wrote a story. When fear, frustration, and panic hits, I’ll be right there with them, holding their hands through the process. If we’re lucky, they’ll want to keep writing. 😀 At a minimum they might come to empathize with what it takes to create, write, and stay motivated.

I’ve also found some cool new programs to show you guys later this week.

I hope you all are doing awesome today. 😀 Happy Writing!


#ROW80 update


ROW80Logocopy

Goals this week (Sunday to Saturday):

  1. Three short stories for That Magic Touch. Each story will be an experiment I’m doing where I’ll sell a small collection of shorts stories for 99 cents and give the readers a chance to pick what I work on next.
  2. 10k on Shift the Night
  3. Feral Hunger moves to the back burner until Shift the Night is done.
  4. Dragons Never Lie I’m not sure what I want to do with this one this week. Everything I’m working on is pretty dark so I might need to lighten up a bit.
  5. Format and upload Ravenous

Weekend Goals: 

  1. The Captain’s Woman: Co-Written book I started years ago. My partner and I just picked it back up again and I’ve got a chapter to finish.
  2. Organize my new cramped office space. My research materials take up a lot of surface area. I didn’t realize how much until I had to pack it all into one tall bookshelf. Argh.
  3. Make PDF copies of the two workshops I attended last month. The steampunk one was INCREDIBLE. So many thoughts racing around in my mind. 😀

ROW80 Stuff: 

  • Make sure I stop by and give you guys some serious love! It’s the start of the 4th Quarter and I’m so ready to truck along with you all.

I’m part of a fantastic group called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and if you’d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the list HERE.

Would you like to be a part of our writing challenge? Check out the rules HERE.

Keep Writing!

Fourth Quarter Goals and Why You Shouldn’t Panic

In #amwriting, Goals on October 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

PWCicon2Welcome to the Fourth Quarter edition of the 2013 Round of Words in 80 Days. For those new to the ROW80 crowd, this amazing event is so encouraging! You set your own goals (check out the rules post here) and update twice a week.

It’s the Fourth Quarter of 2013. I have to tell you this year has been a roller coaster of major highs and lows. There was a time where I’d look at the fourth quarter and panic. I didn’t get all the stuff done I wanted and there’s not enough time left to get it all done!!!

Cue chicken running around with its head cut off, mad cackling while simultaneously pulling out all my hair, and then staring at my family, friends, and crit partners with a wide-eyed stare and a creepy smile. I think I would say something like…”No it’s okay, sleep is overrated and I know I can write 10k a day for 90 days without going insane.”

LOL. Those days are over, because here’s the real deal.

Your brain has to function in all capacities. That means you must use the right brain and left brain to keep yourself on track. Your creative side, the side you use to create your stories, is like hot water from the tap. It can run for a while, but eventually (for most) the heat (passion) gets used up. When that happens, you’ve got to let that part refill and reheat (the same can be said for those who use the analytical side while ignoring the creative one). Does it go away? No, but you have to refill it. You also need the non-creative side to keep you on a schedule, but that’s another post.

Our biggest problems as writers involve a lack of realistic expectation. I’m the world’s worst, but I’ve learned a trick to keep my heart and mind happy. Let me share it with you.

I have two sets of goals.

  1. The stuff I have to get done.
  2. The additional stuff I want to get done.

The stuff I have to get done is usually the top two or three spots of my goal lists. The rest is just gravy (an addition to a southern meal that makes it go from good to soul-happy comfort food).

So I encourage you to pick a measurable goal (Six chapters of SuperChef and the Revenge of the Kentucky Fried Ninjas) and stick with it. Every day, if possible, work on that goal (even if you’re just jotting down a note about it).

I’m going to lay out my goal plan the way I always do so you can see what I mean.


A Round of Words in 80 Days 4th Quarter Goals for 2013


  1. *Edit, format, and publish Shift the Night for a Veteran’s Day release.
  2. *NaNoWriMo workshop here on the blog.
  3. *Finish and Submit Feral Hunger
  4. *Co-written book written and ready to submit by Christmas
  5. *A set of short stories finished and published by Halloween.
  6. Polish up (and update) another novella I wrote back in 2008. Submit it for publication as soon as it’s ready.
  7. A Familiar Kiss (fifth time trying to write this book) NaNoWriMo
  8. Dragons Never Lie finished and submitted.
  9. Silver Tongue Devils (maybe) written and submitted.
  10. Begin writing Sabian
  11. Enraptured finished and submitted
  12. Start planning aspects of book 2 with Ditter Kellen in the Thunder and Roses Universe.

*Note* Those with an * denotes hard deadlines. Things I HAVE to get done by a specific date.  Read the rest of this entry »

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