Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Time for a Change #IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Visit others in this group here or find the hashtag #IWSG on Twitter.

This is my first post in the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I discovered this blog hop about a year ago and while I read many of the posts I've never written one of my own.

Time for a change.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm beyond insecure. Okay, well, maybe only my close friends know it. I don't advertise it. Except today! Ha! Seriously, I know I'm not the only one and that's okay.

Writers, as well as other artists, are known to be self-conscious and insecure, doubting their abilities.

I'm included in a great group of people!

Here we are in the first month of a brand new year! Hello, 2016! I'm always eager for these new starts. I want to try new things, accomplish the goals that I strive for and continue my resolutions. The trouble is that there are many times when I start something but I don't finish it. NaNoWriMo is counted among them. And I get easily discouraged by this.

And for some reason, I neglect to remember those times that I have finished stories. Many stories. So why should I be discouraged because I can't finish 50,000 words in one month?

For the beginning of 2016, I've made goals and resolutions. I have plans that I wish to accomplish. My fear is that I'll stop. That the motivation that stirs me along the first few days might dwindle.

So, for the start of the new year, I'm giving myself a total of 100,000 words to write. And I have the whole year to do it. It's not a race. I can finish it anytime I want. And not only that, but I'm including all words written in this goal, as in words written for journal entries and blog posts as well as any articles or stories that I write.

There have been too many days where I haven't written a word. Not a single word. Too many days that have gone by and I tell myself that I'll get that word count in and double tomorrow. But with those extra words stacked against me, its like climbing a steep mountain with heavy gear weighing me down. I'm not inclined to do it.

Sometimes I'm so easily discouraged.

Also, I'm not focusing on word count for my stories. I'm going to write it until the story gets done, not until the word count is reached. That way, I'm focusing on how much time I'm spending on my stories, whether its brainstorming, writing or editing. I'm doing something to move forward.

And if I include all of my writing to reach that 100,000 words, then I don't have the word count goal hovering over me.

It's been six days and I've written every day. Just the act of writing, no matter the content, feels good.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Witch and the Ghost #8Sunday #excerpt

I've joined again with the Weekend Writing Warriors to offer a short excerpt.

This week's excerpt comes from my newest release, The Witch's Kiss, where Sage Merriweather (a witch) is preparing for an argument from Marianne Grey (a ghost).

When she stood before him, he braced himself for her anger, scorn and ire. No doubt the scathing words about to exit her mouth would cut him to the quick. He’d been the target of Marianne’s wrath numerous times in the past, but never when he deserved it as mightily as he did in this moment. 
She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound emerged. The blood drained from her face, no easy feat for an incorporeal being. Fearing she suffered from some manner of ghostly apoplexy, he tried to reach out to her, only just remembering he could not touch her moments before his hand sliced through her arm. His skin shivered where he made contact with her phantom being.
His actions managed to snap her out of whatever condition had struck her, for she quickly looked up. Only then did he realize she did not see him, but some object beyond his shoulder in the ballroom. 
Please be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Sunday event. Also check out #8Sunday on Twitter to find more great excerpts!

Blurb for The Witch's Kiss:

Marianne Grey is a ghost. But, she's not dead. Cursed by a necromancer, Marianne searches for the elusive spell needed to merge her spirit with her physical body. She's not alone in her search. Her neighbor and best friend, Sage Merriweather, has vowed to help her break the curse.

Sage suffers from his own demons. Literally. After surviving a horrific attack, a demon has bonded with him, mutating Sage's magic so he can only conjure fire. Until he can break the bond, he is a danger to everyone near him, including those he loves.

From the glittering ballrooms of London to eerily dark graveyards, Marianne and Sage battle forces of evil destined to claim their souls for eternity. Though their newfound love for each other may be the toughest battle of all.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Goals #writinggoals

Happy New Year, dear readers!

It's that time of year again. Time to look back at the old year to see what worked and what didn’t and re-evaluate for the new year. I'm the type of person who likes to set goals, but often things run amok and sometimes I don't complete them. Not all the time, but I'll admit to some time.

This is sort of what happened in 2015.

I had a list of goals and I did well during the first few months. Then my son was born in April and my life again turned upside down. This time with the added stress of some health issues that sprang up over the summer. My mind was not on writing. Also, I had some technical difficulty with my blog. So much so, that I was prepared to close this one and open a new one since I couldn't figure out why it wasn't posting. That, hopefully, has been resolved.

Not only that, but my social calendar quickly filled with events for my children in 2015. They are very sociable and eager to join groups and events, so as their mother I'm obliged to encourage and assist them. Plus, I have to drive them!

I'm hoping this year will turn out differently. I'm keeping a positive mindset. I'm all about juggling my family and my life and making things work, but I'm eager to jump back into my writing world. Writing is my passion. I love it! And I want to make a prosperous career out of it. As in, I'd like to be able to promise my husband that I'll contribute to paying some of the bills for the house and our family so he doesn't have to keep working overtime just to make ends meet.

Even though I had some major life events occurring this year, I did manage to get two stories written and sent to my editor and publisher. I'm working on re-writes for one and waiting to see if they'd like to contract for the other. And I have additions to the lists of possible future books. My idea file is overflowing!

Also, February marked the release of my 4th Merriweather Witches book, The Witch's Kiss. This one
is my favorite so far and I was excited to share it with my readers!
  • With that said, I'm not going to give myself a list of projects to complete as I did last year. I'm just going to focus on writing every day, whether it's for a story, an article or blog post, or even an entry in my personal journal. As long as I'm writing, getting words down on paper or text, I'm using my brain and exercising those creative muscles. I'll be happy with that. My goal is a page a day. I'm going easy on myself since some of my health issues are not yet resolved and my son is still waking up multiple times during the night, so there are days when I feel like a zombie. I usually write 1,000-2,000 words a day, on those days that I'm writing. I'd like to see 100,000 words by the end of the year. I even downloaded a beautiful word tracker program to keep count.

  • I want to complete the many unfinished projects I have hanging around the house. Such as scanning in the family photos into the computer and labeling them, finishing the baby records and journals I have for my kids, and working on the genealogy projects that I do in my spare time. And maybe some of those unfinished craft projects. I have a doll house that needs decorating, too.

  • My husband bought an electric guitar for me as a gift this year. I used to play guitar many years ago. This year, I want to relearn those songs I've forgotten and teach myself some new songs as well. I have a very musical family with both musicians and singers. My grandmother sang on the radio back in the day and always lamented over not pursuing her music career. My great-grandfather and my uncle played the guitar in different bands. My brother plays guitar, too. I even married into music. My husband is a bass player and singer with an album to his name. And now my eldest son is learning to play the trombone. So, I feel compelled to plunge myself back into the music world. And as I'm always practicing singing, my husband and I are talking about recording a duet. That is exciting!

  • Last, but not least, I want to become more fluent in the German language. I've become rusty over the years of disuse, so I want to practice reading and speaking it daily. I have a few novels written in German that I've been putting aside thinking it too complicated for me, but why should I not challenge myself? I'm not going to become fluent waiting to save up money to buy the Rosetta Stone (although that would be a nice addition to my language collection). Others have learned without the benefit of such programs and I have many books on the subject. I have no excuse. So, I'll practice a new word a day to ease myself back into the language. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to intensify that, but I'm starting out slow.

So there's my list of goals. What about you? Do you have any resolutions that you'd like to share?