Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photo Friday - Resolution check-in

With January officially over, I thought today would be a good time to check in and see how we're all doing on our resolutions.

One of my resolutions was to write every day.  To that end, I printed off this calendar, with the idea being to mark off the days you accomplish your goal.  You'll start to get a chain of days going as momentum builds, and a positive feedback loop develops--the more you do, the more you want to do.

Because I am an office supply nerd (and to keep things colorful) I decided to color in the squares with a highlighter.  What you see at the top is my progress for January--all the squares have been colored in!  I managed to write every day this month, even if only a sentence or two.

You'll notice there's a lot of white space left on this page, which means there is a lot of work left to do.  But I'm pleased with my progress thus far, and I hope I can keep it up!

How are you doing with your resolutions?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back to the Future Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Mark Asher, winner of the Back to the Future Giveaway hop!

Thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to come back next month for another great giveaway!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Early Bird or Night Owl?

There are a lot of books out there, full of advice and tips on how to fit writing into your daily routine.  One of the most popular suggestions is to get up extra early and write a little bit before you start your day.  On the face of it, this is good advice: first thing in the morning is a fresh slate, before the distractions of the day conspire to steal away your time.

Except... I am not a morning person.  I am the exact polar opposite of a morning person.  Even if I am forced to get up early, I will still stay up late at night because that's just how my circadian rhythm works.

I'm told I come by this naturally.  My mother assures me that even when I was in utero, I would stay up late and sleep in, so it's no surprise I still do. Weekends are my favorite part of the week, not because I'm off work, but because I can follow my preferred sleep schedule.  For me, the best writing time is at night, after I'm done with my day.  It's almost like a reward for getting through the other stuff that pulls at my time.  Plus, I spend the whole day mulling over the story, picking out words and phrases and getting them in order for when I sit down to commit them to paper.

My brain doesn't work very well in the morning, so I think if I were to try to write at that time, I'd wind up frustrated and exhausted.  I envy the people who can jump out of bed early and flip on that creative switch.

In the end, I think it's all about figuring out which time works best for you, and sticking with it.  So that's my question for you, dear readers. Are you a night owl like me, or do you work best in the early morning?

images from

Friday, January 25, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things!

It's Friday, which means it's time for another Celebrate the Small Things post!  Be sure to stop by Scribblings of an Aspiring Author to see the other blogs participating in this hop.

This week, I'm celebrating a conversation I had with a student.  This student had stopped by my office last semester, and we had a good talk about their academic plans and career goals.  Then, much to my surprise, s/he disappeared, leaving me wondering if I was some kind of academic kryptonite.

I'm happy to say that I ran into this student outside my office a few days ago, and s/he explained to me why s/he'd fallen off the map.  I'm not going to go into details, but suffice it to say I was happy to find them again, and to know that they're back on track.

What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday -- 'And in the end...'

The picture is a little blurry, but that's my project statistics window from Scrivener.  Why am I posting this?  Because my revisions for Edge of Trust are done!  The editor requested I add about fifteen thousand words, and I wound up writing closer to twenty thousand.  I don't think that will be an issue though, because the manuscript is (barely) under the word limit for this line.

Keep your fingers crossed that the editor likes my story updates!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back to the Future Giveaway!

This month, I'm pleased to participate in the Back to the Future Giveaway hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Book Haven Extraordinaire.

The theme of this hop is the future or the past, which means you can give away books with a futuristic or historical setting.  Since I don't read much in the way of futuristic, I'm giving away a historical romance. :)

Up for grabs is an autographed copy of Lydia Dare's The Wolf Who Loved Me.  Here's the back cover blurb:

Regency England Has Gone to the Wolves!
Lady Madeline Hayburn Has Money Problems...
Specifically, she has so much of it that she's dogged by fortune hunters, including her bewilderingly attractive, penniless neighbor, with his wild nature and uncouth manners...
Weston Hadley Has An Identity Crisis...
Specifically, he's just turned into a wolf while Madeline was watching. Now it's up to the regal lady to tame the wild beast...if she can...

This is a fun series--I really enjoy the combination of historical and paranormal romance, and I hope you will too!  Plus, the cover is quite pretty...

Want to win?  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  The giveaway is open to US readers, and will run until January 28.  I'll post the winner's name on Tuesday, January 29.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 18, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things blog hop!

Celebrate the Small Things is a blog hop hosted by VikLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.  The idea is to blog about the little events or goals you met during the week, and to take joy in those baby-step accomplishments.

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that I made it through the first week of the spring semester.  I'm particularly proud of the fact that I've kept up with my writing, and have written something every day, even if it was only a sentence or two.  Let's hope I can keep this up as the semester progresses!

What did you accomplish this week?

book image from

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Photo Friday - Supervision

Whoever said writing is a solo endeavor clearly didn't have pets.  You met kitty #1 on Monday, now meet his brother, kitty #2.  They usually content themselves with sleeping next to me on the couch, but every so often, one or the other will have to get more involved in my writing process.

How about you?  Does anyone 'help' you write?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Uh oh...

The culprit.  Despite his laudable commitment
to oral hygiene, his breath still smells like tuna.
I recently discovered my cat has been chewing on my toothbrush.

This is not okay.

The other morning, he jumped up on the bathroom counter. He does this every day, as he likes to 'help' me get ready for work.  On this day, after his usual pacing back and forth, he went over to my toothbrush and started gnawing on it.

Horrified at this new turn, I shooed him away.  He merely turned around and gave me The Look. Fellow pet owners, you know what I'm talking about.  It's the expression that says, "Whatever.  I'll just wait until you leave."

I have no idea how long this has been going on.  Frankly, I don't want to think about it.  I love the little guy, but I don't loooove him, know what I mean?  Needless to say, I now have a new toothbrush.

What's the most disturbing thing you've seen your pet do?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Photo Friday - Words of Wisdom

It might be a bit early in the year for panic, but seeing as how my classes start on Monday and I'm not quite ready yet, I thought this picture was particularly apropos...

What's your motto?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writer's book club?

Fellow writers!  Would you be interested in a monthly craft/technique book club?  I have a stack of writing books that I have yet to start, and I thought it would be fun to discuss them with a group of people.

If this sounds like your cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer) let me know and I'll put up a poll so we can all vote on which writing book to start with.  I figure we could discuss the book at the end of the month, which should give us all time to read.  Even if you don't finish the book, you could still participate in the discussion.

Who's with me?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Books Go To The Movies: Jack Reacher

I saw Jack Reacher this weekend.  I haven't read these books yet, but I think I'm going to start.  The movie was a good blend of mystery, suspense, and action, and if it was true to the book I think I'll enjoy the series.

I am normally not a fan of Tom Cruise, but I thought he did a good job.  I remember hearing the hubbub that he doesn't physically resemble Jack, but since I didn't already have a mental picture in my mind I wasn't bothered seeing him play Reacher.

Has anyone else seen the movie?  Did you enjoy it?  For those of you who have read the books, how does the movie stack up?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Photo Friday - Stylin'

Welcome to Photo Friday, a new weekly post I'm starting on the blog. As the name implies, every Friday I'll post a picture that has something to do with books, writing, reading, or a combination thereof.  If anyone is interested in joining me, let me know in the comments and maybe we can turn it into a blog hop.

For my first post, I thought I'd share my writing attire for the past few days:

Quite stylish, wouldn't you agree?

Now, I'm not saying that wearing pajama pants emblazoned with love letters makes me a better romance writer.  It probably doesn't hurt, though...

What's your favorite writing or reading attire?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG - January edition

Happy 2013 everyone!  I joined IWSG late last year, and I'm excited to start a new year off with the group. One of my resolutions is to participate in all 12 IWSG posts this year.  Haven't heard of IWSG? Get thee to Alex Cavanaugh's blog and check it out!
We're starting a fresh new calendar year, a blank slate on which to write our goals.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share my 2013 writing resolutions with you all.

1)  Write every day.  I know this is standard advice, but it's not something I've been very good about doing in the past.  My goal is to write at least 2013 words per week.  Kind of an intimidating number, if attempted in one sitting. However, it translates into ~ 290 words per day, which is completely doable.  This should help keep me on track and keep the WIP's fresh so it's not so difficult to dive back into the stories when I sit down to write. Plus, a little bit adds up, and I think I'll be pleasantly surprised by how much I get done if I write every day.

I'm a bit visual when it comes to tracking my progress, so I printed off a Don't Break the Chain calendar.  The nerdy, office supply loving side of me is really excited to X-off days as I get writing done.

2) Blog more.  I've been a bit lax in keeping up with the blog.  I need to step up my efforts to connect with others and share my thoughts, so to that end, I'm kicking around ideas for some weekly posts.  The goal is to continue to build my online author platform, and at the same time tap into the wonderful community of support that writers of all stripes have built.  I'm looking forward to cheering others on as they work to achieve their goals this year!

3) Get published.  To a certain extent, this goal is out of my control. However, I'm not going to stop working to put out the best story I can, which I think will translate into publication (pause for your cynical laughter here).  I know that sounds kind of naive, but I'm still working to pursue traditional publication this year, and I will definitely keep you all updated as I gather rejections (and hopefully good news sprinkled in as well).

So those are my Big 3 goals for this new year.  What are your writing resolutions?  How is this year going to be the best yet for you?