Monthly Archives: January 2017

Sorry Editor–I’m Having Another Dyslexia Moment #MFRWauthor

I’m taking a little different approach on this week’s MFRW Blog Challenge prompt and talk about how my learning disability causes my most drastic editing mistakes.

Mistakes. We all make them and we all hate when people correct those slips. But as writers, we have to quickly get past this feeling. The process starts long before we get our work in front our publishing editor. It begins with our critique partners. Early in my writing career, I had a hard time not taking my critique partners’ suggestions personally when they pointed out what most people would think of as a silly mistake. Now, I actually love when either my critique partner or editor finds those dyslexic moments.

One of these moments is my occasional use of the wrong word. I’m not talking about using “there” for “their”, or “to” for “too”, I’m referring to my heavy reliance on Spell Check. We all know Spell Check can be a both a blessing and a curse. My problem is sometimes I can’t tell which it’s being.

I’ve always hated that sometimes language isn’t easy for me. I didn’t learn to even read until I was in fourth grade. This was when I was moved into special education classes for my learning disability. I’m dyslexic and I also have a similar speech disability. Sometimes the word I want to say isn’t what comes out of my mouth. I sometimes forget totally how to pronounce words or I garble up the syllables. I call it speech dyslexia, because it’s so similar to the way I see words on the page and in my head, which means, I never really learned how to spell complicated, multi-syllable words. Or, more precisely, I’ve had a harder time of it then most.  I’ve overcome so many of  learning issues extremely well, but  sometimes I just lose all my coping mechanisms and mistakes happen.

So, I don’t have just one common mistake that my editors find. I have several, but I think using the wrong word is my most common. The funniest being this example caught in my very first book. I wanted to use the word “inconvenience” but couldn’t remember how to spell it, so when I got the drop down list from Spell Check I picked “incontinence.”  I know, how could this mistake be made? Well, easy, often in these multi-syllable words, the letters jumble together and I only know what’s being said because of context.

For me reading has always been a challenge and writing sometimes an even bigger one… But just like I can’t stop the changing seasons, I can’t stop the stories forming in my head, wanting to be told to the world.

Thank the stars there are editors out there willing to catch my dyslexic moments!
Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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Categories: Insights, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Shows I Love to Binge On #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

Wow!  Week three of the Marketing For Romance Author’s blog challenge and I’m still blogging!

Today’s topic  is about which TV shows I like to binge watch. I’ve started many shows, but after a few episodes, decided to move on.  Since getting Netflix last year, I’ve binged on more than one TV series. I suppose I’m making up for all those years I didn’t watch any TV at all.

So, here is a list of six shows I’ve binged on and couldn’t stop watching the past year.

Outlander—Hands down this is one of my all time favorite shows. The Starz show brings Diana Gabaldon’s marvelous time-traveling Scottish historicals to life and does the show with a great cast, amazing costuming, and fantastic settings—and let’s not forget Sam Heughan! I’ve seen both finished seasons three times now. Guess I’ll now have to binge on the books again while I wait for season 3… Dang how I hate Droughtlander!outlander-pic

The Tudors—I watched all four seasons of this HBO show over a period of a month last spring on Netflix. I’ve always loved English history. In fact, I did a research paper on good ol’ King Henry VIII, so watching this show was a lot of fun despite it not quite being historically accurate. Besides, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (who plays Henry VIII) and Henry Cavill (who plays his best friend and eventual brother-in-law) are great eye candy!

the_tudors-logo

The Vampire Diaries—My daughter got me into this show. Interestingly enough, I’ve finished binging on all seven seasons months ago, but she still is only on season four or five. Doesn’t Ian Somerhalder have the most electrifyingly beautiful blue eyes? He could hypnotize me with a look any time.

the-vampire-diaries

Dark Matter—The blurb for this SyFy show caught my interest and now I’m waiting for the next season to come on. It’s about the crew of a spaceship who wake up from hibernation and they can’t remember who they are or what they are doing. Then they find out that they aren’t the good-doers they thought, but are actually dangerous criminals. The show is based on a Dark Horse comic book by the same name.

 

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The Crown—My husband and I just finished this Netflix Original series and absolutely loved it. Claire Foy deserved her Golden Globe for her role as the young Queen Elizabeth II, even if I was rooting for Outlander’s Claire (aka Caitriona Balfe).

the-crown

The White Queen— Another great Starz production from a few years ago and is based on Philippa Gregory’s historical novels The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter and is about three influential women at the end of England’s War of the Roses. I now want to read these books and can’t wait for the sequel series The White Princess, also based on a Gregory novel and about Henry VII’s wife, Elizabeth—a bit of trivia: she’s King Henry VIII’s momma. Hey, I told you I love English history.

the-white-queen

So how about you: what shows do you love to binge on?

Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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Sorry, Family… I’m Working (How my family survives my writing) #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

I often tell people I hold down two full-time jobs. I work a 40-hour-per-week day job and fit my writing career in around this. I easily put 40 hours per week “writing” (which includes all that goes with it—drafting new material, editing, promotion, networking, and a million other things). I spend at least two to four hours every evening and as many as twelve to sixteen hours on the weekends writing.  I do take days off and there are weeks where I barely write anything, but when I’m under deadline, in the middle of a promotional push for a new release, or the story is flowing then I’m not spending time with my family.

In the early days, when my kids were little they would sit in the den where our only desktop computer was and watch Disney movies. If they needed me, I’d stop working to take care of them, then I’d go back to writing when they were settled. My husband wasn’t as understanding. He’d often get mad at me for spending so much time “playing” on the computer rather than watching whatever TV show he wanted to see.

But never did my family suffer or lack my attention. I was there when the kids wanted or needed me. My husband had my attention when he really needed it—like when we had to talk something over or just for snuggle time. We ate (and still do) every supper together—at the dinner table, with no distractions. There’s never been a time we ate in front of the TV. We use this hour to talk about our days and to laugh together. I’m a neat freak, so the house has been and still is cleaned every week. The laundry is done and put away. I’ve gotten good at multi-tasking. I use this time while doing housework for plotting and planning.

Now, my kids are grown, or nearly so—my son is in his second year of college and my daughter is a very active high school junior. She and I spend a lot of time shopping and talking. We can talk about anything and everything. She’s easily my best friend (or rather will be when she’s all grown up). She likes to tell me stories that she’s come up with. My hope is someday she’ll become a writer, but for now she’s content with keeping her stories in her head. What’s funny is this is exactly what I did as a teenager… So, who knows.

My husband has since accepted my writing career. He’s gotten over my late nights and not watching TV with him. He’s gotten used to eating frozen pizza when I’m on a deadline. He’s even started cooking some himself. I think that now he believes all that “playing” on the computer has paid off. He likes my royalty checks as much as I do. In fact, not too long ago, he asked me when I’ll be publishing my next book.

Being a full-time writer with a full-time day job and a family is a tremendous joggling act. Sometimes all the balls are in the air like we want them to be, and other times they all come falling down on us… The key is to be able to pick them back up and get them all in the air again with the least amount of hardship.

 

Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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Categories: Insights, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Few of My Favorite Things #MFRW Blog Challenge

What are some of my favorite things? This is actually a hard question to answer—not because I don’t have any, but because there are so many to choose from.

Not counting the obvious things like my family, home, hobbies, and writing, I decided to make this a picture journal of six of “my favorite things.”

  1. Since I haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations yet, I’ll start with that. I love the Holidays and love decorating for them. One of my favorite decorations is the poinsettia. In fact, I consider it one of my favorite flowers of a long list of favorites.
  1. I love birds, especially cardinals. I love them so much that I have a bird garden and my office is decorated in a bird theme, which cardinals are a big part of.

 

  1. I know I said I wasn’t going to consider my hobbies for this list, which gardening is one of. However, I do consider my garden among my favorite things. Here, I’m sitting in the middle of my bird garden. This picture was taken about seven years ago, right after I planted it.
spring, flowers, gardening

Copyright: me

 

  1. Everything Star Wars. I first fell in love with the Galaxy Far, Far Away in the late ’90s when my husband picked up a discounted VHS boxed set of the Original Trilogy from a bargain bin. I would have been a kid in 1977, but hadn’t seen the movies until then—and it was love at first viewing. Since then, I’ve probably seen all the movies—including the Prequels and the animated Clone Wars movie—at least a two-dozen times. I’ve watched the animated TV shows, read over 200 books and comic books in the Expanded Universe, and even wrote over 40 fan fiction stories. Yeah, I’m a fan girl geek.
Copyright: Disney

Copyright: Disney

 

  1. Everything Outlander. This is a new one for me, but since I only first listened to the audio books a little over a year ago, I’ve listened to the series three times and watched the TV show three times. Yep, Droughtlander is killing me…
outlander

Available on Amazon

 

Lastly—- My cat Penny.  Who really is a member of my family, but I couldn’t resist adding a picture of her. She’s lying on the same bench that I’m sitting on above in my bird garden. She loves tormenting the birds… Fortunately for the birds, she’s too fat and lazy to catch any of them.

Copyright: me

Copyright: me

 

What are some of your favorite things?

 

Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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A New Year, A New Beginning

2016-happy-new-year-celebration-with-firework-blue-background-converted

2016 was a tough year, and not because we lost so many Hollywood and music stars or because of who will sit in the Oval Office come January 20. It was tough personally and professionally.

I’ve been suffering from a major writing slump. I haven’t written more than a few thousand words since May and only finished two novellas and re-edited a previously published book for republishing. I’ve released five books in 2016—Heartsong in January, A Hunter’s Demon (a novella) and re-released A Hunter’s Angel in May, Sadie’s Fantasy Cowboy (part of Cowboy Time) in June, and finally Heartland in July.  Sure, this all looks like I’ve had a great year, until you consider, almost all of these books (save the two novellas) were actually produced in 2015 or before.

Personally, the last few months were rough for my family. My beloved father-in-law passed away unexpectedly in October, leaving a huge whole in all of our lives. I haven’t felt much like writing, and because of it, went days where I didn’t even turn on my computer.

On a more positive note, in April of last year I changed my diet, developed an exercise routine, and made sure I got at least seven hours of sleep every night. I lost almost 70 pounds and haven’t felt this good in years. You’re probably wondering how this is a bad thing.  Well, it’s not; it’s fantastic, but because I spent every lunch hour (time I’d previously used to write) and as much as two hours every evening exercising, besides not staying up to midnight, I didn’t leave much time for writing. I know I’m using this as an excuse, because I could have used that hour or so I used to watch TV to write, but my point is, I hadn’t cared enough about writing to eke out the time.

With the coming of 2017, I realized I needed to make some changes or I needed to quit. I’m not ready to do that. In fact the thought of quitting on my dream scares me to death. So, there was only one thing I could do. I needed to make some changes. It’s funny how things come along to help people do this, if they really want look for them. When a fantastic opportunity presented itself, I snatched it up like a life preserver in the middle of a churning ocean.

In the second half of the year, I will be releasing a novel in  Sable Hunter‘s Kindle World, HELL YEAH. I’m excited about this and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

I’m also going to write a novella that will be released either as part of a multi-author boxed set or as part of one I plan to put together with a few previously published works of my own.

I joined a blogging challenge, which will mean my neglected website and blog will actually see some activity. I also want to revive my newsletter, which has been all but abandoned. My goal is to send out one every other month.

This year will also see my continued life-style change. I’m hoping to reach my weight loss goal, which will mean losing another 70 pounds.

I’m excited about 2017 and can’t wait to jump in with both feet.

So, lift a glass to all of us having a happy, productive, and amazing 2017!

glasses

Categories: Insights | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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