I’m at the Madison Writers’ Institute this weekend filling my head with all kinds of wordy knowledge. Wish me luck!
I’ve got my road trip priorities (audio books, coffee and cake pops) all set!
To entertain you while I’m away, I’ve compiled some of my favorite reading spots to keep you company. And if you really, really miss me (Aww, aren’t you the sweetest?!), you can find me hanging out with The Indie Chicks. I’d love if you stopped by!
For the Writerly
Editing tips from The Secrets of Midwives author, Sally Hepworth, in What the Editing Process Really Looks Like.
Rachel Funk Heller guest blogs at Writers in the Storm with 8 Tips on Writing Faster – And Why You Should Try It!
Hopefully you haven’t missed Bayard & Holmes Writing Spies series. It’s pretty cool. The latest is How the Pros Bug a Room.
More thriller fun came in Kristen Lamb’s latest, Series and Psychopaths – The Author Sadist & Why Audiences LOVE the Pain.
It’s part of the job for writers, right? Social media is a must. Jane Friedman offers tips for managing it, My 5 Philosophies of Social Media.
For fans of Top Ten Tuesday and book lists, check out Maren’s post at The Worn Bookmark – Top Ten Books I’d Love to Revisit From My Childhood.
Looking for your next great book to read? Waste no time! Grab a FREE (for a limited time) copy of Tameri Etherton’s book, The Stones of Kaldaar. Already own it? Book 2 is out now!
For Those Who Love to Learn
I love the notion of “arousing your life” in August McLaughlin’s 3 Powerful Ways to Spice Up Your Bedroom Life. A must read.
“Life requires brave. And you’ve got it.” That’s the message of Erin’s #52Dares Challenge. I recently discovered this inspirational blog that gives you a new challenge each week to grow your own self confidence, boost your outlook on life, and be brave!
One of the founders of The Indie Chicks, Chiara Mazzucco, tells it in her signature straight style Accept Yourself – You’re All You Got.
Who doesn’t need a little nudge now and again to turn off social media and start tackling those to-do’s – 5 Ways To Manage Your Time So It Doesn’t Manage You.
For Your Funny Bone
Displaying micro-blogging at its best, The Bloggess, gifts us with There Should Be a Yelp For Places You Visit in Your Sleep.
Queen of Comedy, Her Royal Thighness, admits her kids don’t think she’s funny in What? You Don’t Like My Knockers?
Think you have skills? Let Steve from The Brown Road Chronicles tell you all about Slicing Bananas Like a Fucking Ninja.
What would you do if you discovered you didn’t have fingerprints? Aussa Lorens plans 5 Absolutely Justified Crimes I Might Actually Commit.
There have been some great blog posts lately, all of which are motivating me to stay focused on my goals. I hope to be 3/4 of the way done with edits by my April writers conference. I’m also working on author branding and hope to create new business cards as well as start up a pinterest page. Any advice from you all is greatly appreciated.
I know many of you are hard at work on your own goal list: figuring out which conferences to attend, starting new novels, finishing drafts, or maybe just planning a romantic night out with your honey.
If so, I’ve got you covered! Pull up a chair, wrap your fingers around a mug of your fave beverage, and happy reading!
In Preparation for Valentine’s Day:
- Emma Meade interviewed erotica author Kitt Crescendo on her latest release (of the literature sort) in Blogger Pal and Author of Steamy Fiction. *Bring a glass of water to cool down after you read Kitt’s book excerpt!
- Shannon Donnelly guests at Writers in the Storm to answer What Makes a Romance? with seven tips for helping anyone on the fence about whether their book fits.
- Liz from Be.Love.Live. is celebrating February by Learning to Love Yourself Through a Photo a Day. She’s hosting a photo a day challenge to take 28 selfies that share something beautiful about you! Aww.
- Shameless plug: Stay tuned for a Valentine’s Day guest post from pet behavioralist and thriller writer, Amy Shojai, right here on the Happiness Project!
- Adam from Roof Beam Reader gives his take on the J.K. Rowling interview in J.K. Rowling Can Say What She Wants. Have you heard about this?! Rowling was interviewed (by Emma Watson, the actress who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) and commented that intended for Hermione and Harry to end up together in the end, NOT Hermione and Ron. It’s a fascinating conversation and I would LOVE to hear your opinions on it.
- Speaking of Harry Potter, author Ginger Calem’s daughter snapped the cutest picture of a Harry Potter fan ever. Check this adorbs out! And follow Ginger on Instagram!
Is this cute or the cutest?
- Piper Bayard and co-blogger/author, Holmes,
kidnappedinvited bestselling author Ellie Ann to their blog to discuss the Steampunk trend as well as Enhanced Books. Fab interview on these new medias. Steampunk and Books That Sing
- Julie Glover discusses the power of book’s first line with great examples from both classics and her own works. I love that she includes Daphne du Maurier’s wicked character Mrs. Danvers to illustrate! Kickin’ It Off Right: A Novel’s First Line
- Bradley Somer posted in Wordbitches What We Talk About When We Talk About Our Writing, which is filled with great tips for anyone who has, or wants to have, speaking engagements like book readings or presentations.
- Kristen Lamb shares Why All Writers Should Attend a Writers Conference which is full of useful networking advice, tools and updates on the publishing industry, as well as information about an upcoming online conference!
What goals are you working on? What are your Valentine’s plans? And what blog posts inspired you this past week? Feel free to share links!
Some weeks you just wish for a mulligan.
I had hoped by this week I’d be reporting in fabulous word counts thanks to Fast Draft and a holiday week where I was determined to hang with #teamsprinty all afternoon!
Would you even believe me if I told you about the week I had? First day off I go and give myself food poisoning by eating a.) bad tomatoes and/or b.) bad cheese that was in my fridge since before I left for vacation. Yah, the smart thing would have been to toss that, but we still haven’t gone grocery shopping. I’m sort of making periodic mini trips and eating a lot of tacos right now… #headdesk
So on my second day off, you’d think I’d take it easy. I went to the coffee shop and started working on my WIP. I did, I wrote a few paragraphs, and then I got hungry. And I ordered a sandwhich with creamy cheese on it. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I immediately felt sick again!
Then it was back to work where I’ve put in extra hours regularly for the last 2 weeks. But saturday was a new record. We were Christmas-like busy and had an epic number of life events/sick calls. It was crazy – peoples parents were admitted to hospitals, others daughters were delivering a baby, someone scratched their cornea, others played phone tag about coming in, and some just didn’t show. To say I managed a skeleton crew is an understatement! I worked two hours myself in fine jewelry and then a half hour in juniors, and before I left closed half the department store’s registers to where I was starting to count cross-eyed!
I turned right around to return to work on Sunday and Monday leading new hire training, which I love doing, but was exhausted from all the talking and running around.
So when Tuesday rolled around, I didn’t work on writing. I didn’t wake up early or exercise. I slept in. I read Harry Potter, which has been my wonderful, magical escape each night before bed! I ate another taco and feasted on dark chocolate while watching reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. It felt wonderful.
But I’m still motivated by you ROWers to make changes. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell in particular gave me a good boot with her ROW update last week to make small changes for a bigger impact. I’m taking her advice this week and setting aside a half hour each day to write.
It’s much easier to fix a page with words on it than a blank one!
A plus side is that I visited a lot of blogs this week! I loved reading the innovative and inspiring posts you’ve all written. Below are my recent faves about writing, new book launches you should know about, and my favorite fun reads!
And Don’t Forget: I’m hosting a book giveaway of 3 e-book copies of Timothy McKinney’s The Power of Happiness. You can still enter to win by leaving a comment here before Sunday, September 16th at 5pm.
Posts on Writing:
One of my favorite posts EVER by the amazing and hilarious Jenny Hansen is 3Writer’s Commandments and Avoiding the Dreaded ‘S’ Word. Hear first hand how Jenny learned to never quit, write her story her way, and finish what she started. Sounds like useful advice right? So, READ IT! She also brings you fantastic links to NYTBS authors’ stories and gives props to the peeps that helped her along her journey. Love this post. Love that woman!
Did you all get to read fellow ROWer, Julie Glover’s, post about writing this week? I’m Awesome! I’m Awful! Epiphanies While Editing and ROW80. We have so ALL BEEN THERE!
I swear I’ve said this before, but if you’re NOT following August McLaughlin’s blog, you’re ridiculous! She is a favorite blogger of mine and has some of the most well written, introspective, thought provoking posts out there on real stuff! Check out her recent post, Carving Out Alone Time: 10 Tips for Creative Artists.
Jody Hedlund asked the question What to Do When People Don’t Get Your Story? Experiencing first hand and sharing a friend’s tale, Hedlund gives you the best of both critique acceptance and staying professional.
Looking for inspiration on the upcoming ROW week? Rachel Funk Heller blogged about our fear of failure and our fear of success. She’s making some changes in her life, and inspired me to do the same. Gr8ful4: Mediocrity, Fear, and Why I’m Giving Up Sugar.
New Book Releases You Have to Check Out:
As it is now Football Season, what better way to get in the mood with a little YA mystery set on a football field? Tiffany A. White just self published her first novel, Football Sweetheart, and it’s soooo in my queue to read this fall!
Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year. She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.
Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her. As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella. Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance? Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup? The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.
Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed. Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting. Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?
Nothing can explain to Aydan Fulbert how she survived the savage attack in the woods. Why her left eye, instead of being blinded by the injuries she’d sustained, had simply turned a shocking shade of silver. And nothing can explain the fact that she can hear the Stranger speaking in her mind – or that she can answer him back without using her mouth.
Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.
Nothing can explain the things the Stranger knows about her – things that she, until just a few hours ago, hadn’t known herself: that she’d healed faster from her injuries than was humanly possible. That the cruel family she’d been raised by isn’t biologically hers. That her stepfather is now hell-bent on bringing her to his own form of justice for a crime she didn’t commit.
Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.
Nothing can explain why she so easily agreed to go with the Stranger. Why she didn’t find the notion of another world ludicrous and impossible. Why she didn’t cut and run the minute he explained where he wanted to take her.
Nothing can explain it – unless she believes he’s telling the truth.
Aydan knows she’s being intentionally naive. She knows her decision to follow the Stranger is at best, reckless. At worst, deadly.
…unless he’s telling the truth.
And if you’re craving even more witchy goodness, do seek out Fabio Bueno’s Wicked Sense. The paranormal romance that just might get famed by the Redhots! What say you, Fabio? Be our Valentine?
Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.
Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.
Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.
Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.
Going on a date has never been harder.
Just for Fun:
What was your first kiss like? Myndi Shafer tells the tale of her awkward adolescence in First Kiss, and it’s a good one! Elements of jealousy, secrets, saliva, and shame all make their way in!
Fans of Ellie Ann Soderstrom’s Tall Tale Tuesdays will love this gorgeous photo blog she shared on What I Did Last Summer.
Adam at Roof Beam Reader is hosting an LGBT Readathon in honor of LGBT Awareness Month! The Literary Others: An LGBT Reading Event This event is hosted with only positive, and accepting participants please! He’s put together an awesome list of book ideas both written by LGBT authors and books with their characters or themes LGBT related. Thanks Adam!
My lovely literature friend, Jillian, at A Room of One’s Own, turned me onto the Harry Potter Readathon and is loving the series too. She had a fun conversation with a coworker over the question What is Your Favorite Book? Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Hey Writers and Readers,
Yours truly is taking a blogging week hiatus to go on vacation! It’s a much needed break from work, and yes, even writing, to spend a week with my honey. We need to put in the quality time with each other, and finally, our schedules have matched up enough to take a trip. I’ll be back in two week’s time to tell you all about sunny Toronto.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll post in the comments any links from blogs you’ve read or written and want to share with me. I promise to read them all and leave a comment. Plus, you’ll make sure I don’t miss anything fabulous while I’m away.
I’m sharing with you a quick mash-up of awesomeness to peruse through while I’m off.
You can read about my meltdown and why this vacation is perfect timing in Writer Meltdowns: A Case of the Mean Reds, my Life List Club guest post over at the amazing Gene Lempp’s Blog.
Pam Hawley, my secret east coast twin, shares her writing tips in a fun-flippered way in her guest post at my place Sit, Waddle, Scoot and Swim.
Kristen Lamb served up a slice of self-discipline that was just my size in Self-Discipline-The Key to Success.
Amanda Rudd discovered one of her favorite science fiction writers was actually a woman! She sleuths out the truth in Is He a She? Using Pseudonyms to Hide Gender.
Tiffany A. White’s got the Ooo Factor on Long Lost Childhood Reads. Share your favorites too.
Selena Wolff shares with us her tarot spread and the karmic balance of relationships in Tarot Tuesday-Love and Relationships. Very interesting read for writers and readers alike.
Sonia Medeiros is hosting a blog prize giveaway in her post 100 Posts…What? Already! Go stroll down memory lane with her and maybe you’ll win a prize too!
And announcing the publication of my awesome friend, Mark Petruska’s book, No Time for Kings, here him discuss the self-publishing route and what it feels like to see his name on the book spine, and he also complains about the price of eggs! Congrats Mark!