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Are you looking for a good read in December?

I haven’t yet decided if I am going to go the traditional or indie publishing route, but I am leaning heavily on self publishing (indie). It’s tough enough just to write a book and then spend countless hours editing and re-editing, proofreading, sending to beta readers, editing again and questioning your sanity all along the way. Indie authors are responsible for their own marketing and advertising as well.

To support Indie Authors in December, here is a list of some books that I thought looked perfect for December reads. I hope you will join me in supporting some of these amazing authors. Also don’t forget that books make awesome Christmas presents for the readers in your life!

Thief by Stephanie Spicer 51aP1hXJtbL

 

Secret Admirer’s Christmas Wish #2 by Dariel Raye  51d32nLAiyL

 

Tasting her Christmas Cookies by Alina Jacobs  51UnM9R7KyL

 

An Heirloom Christmas by Megan Squires  515HA+k+bUL

 

One Complicated Christmas by Mika Jolie  516TayO+XzL

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

I am spending the first 10 days of NaNoWriMo at a cabin in the North Georgia mountains with a few other authors. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, (National Novel Writing Month), it’s a month long challenge in November every year where hundreds of thousands of writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Mineral Bluff, GA
50 degrees with a low of 29 degrees tonight. It feels nice in the sun and oh, that view!

It is a daunting challenge but knowing you are writing alongside other writers all over the globe who are going through the same thing you are, is empowering and inspiring.

The first picture was the view from my cabin bedroom this morning. We have had a few hiccups in the trip so far. The drive up the mountain in the rain was terrifying. My car did not want to make it and my tires spun in places. We have decided we are not leaving the cabin till we have to. We are also having an Asian beetle infestation. They look like lady bugs but they’re not. The whole region is having this problem. There are literally thousands of them crawling and flying around in the cabin. We vacuum them up as the rental company suggested, but more keep coming.

Thank God we have such a beautiful view to make up for the inconvenience! The cabin itself is also very beautiful. I’ve managed to write almost 700 words so far today. I still have a ways to go to reach my daily goal, but am feeling the pull of a nap calling my name. Yesterday was really stressful driving in such bad weather and I didn’t sleep well. This morning I woke up feeling sick. I’m already feeling better but all this fresh mountain air is making me very relaxed and sleepy.

I’ll get some writing sprints in later this evening and will hopefully be able to turn out at least another 800 words.

I am so blessed and thankful I get to spend a week and a half here with some other very talented writers.

Starting Novel #2

Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is when writers from all over the globe challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel, in one month. I participated last year and finished the first draft of Sugar Creek. I was hoping to be through the edits and publish it by November this year, but sadly, that just didn’t happen. Rather than rush my editing, I will put it away for a month and start on my next novel. I’m super excited to start this project and can’t wait to spend the first ten days of  NaNoWriMo in a cabin in the north Georgia mountains with a few other writers. That ought to get the creative juices flowing!

Fear of the red pen

Well, it’s here. My manuscript came back from my editor today and guess what? I’m scared to open it! Why? Because I enjoy living in my world of denial right now. In my head my manuscript is wonderful. When I open her email and read about all the things I’ve done wrong, well, my bubble will pop! I know this is part of the process but I have thin skin and I know it.

Is there a secret to mentally preparing yourself for criticism? 

I think I will go make more coffee while I contemplate my options and plan of attack.

February Rut

February is almost over and I’m not gonna lie, I’m glad to see it go. I’ve read so many blog posts about being in a rut in February and I am right there with you. We are sick of Winter and our bodies are craving the vitamin D that comes from being outside in the sunshine. We are ready to plant flowers and vegetable gardens, dig out our flip-flops and pack away the boots, fold up the 15 quilts we keep on the bed and the electric blanket. Dark colors like red, green and black are just depressing, we long for pastels and bright happy colors in our world. 

Along with just feeling bleh, we are less productive and even less motivated. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder plagues some of us and just getting through the mundane things like laundry, cooking and even taking a shower are a momentous task. 

If you can relate to any of the above, be sure and go easy on yourself! Self care is important but even more so when you are feeling down. Loose the guilt over not getting something done or gaining a couple pounds and just let yourself feel how you feel. No need to psychoanalyze all the reasons you are a horrible person. Don’t believe the stuff your mind tries to tell you. You are not alone and millions of people feel the same way.

Spring will be here soon but until it is, put your mental health needs at the top of your priority list. Drink your water, meditate, pray, read, get out of the house, reach out to your friends, exercise, eat well, but mostly just he kind to yourself. 

Project Semicolon

oh so whimZey

Amy Bleuel founded Project Semicolon in 2013. The non-profit was founded to bring hope to those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction. Those struggling with depression, self-harm, addictions, suicidal thoughts and/or attempts found comfort in the project as it brought them hope. Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.39.46 AM

“In literature, an author uses a semicolon to not end a sentence but to continue on. We see it as you are the author and your life is the sentence. You’re choosing to keep going.”    -Amy Bleuel

Mental health activist, Amy Bleuel, developed the movement with a specific view. Project Semicolon aims to encourage, love and inspire people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Project Semicolon provides comfort with giving a symbol to each and every story that could have ended, but it also encourages seeking the proper treatment and medication.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.40.21 AM

If you are struggling, no matter what it may be, take care of yourself; please reach out.

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Having doubts about my editing skills

Here it is February 5th and so far I’ve only managed to get 50 pages edited out of 200! I’m feeling so overwhelmed, and since I am brand new to this, like a fish out of water.

I was told to put my first draft away for at least a month so I could come back to it with fresh eyes. I think for me that was too long. I just can’t seem to get my mojo back. I’m thinking a couple weeks would have suited me better.

I’m still on my first round of self edits and one thing is for sure. I need to make an outline and stick to it if and when I write another novel. I thought I could be a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) writer and let the story evolve as it came to me. Obviously this was not one of my greatest ideas.

When I first started writing this novel, I didn’t even have a clear picture of the ending. I just sort of let my characters take me where they wanted to go. It worked, to an extent. I was able to flesh out 50,000 words in one month and I now have a beginning, middle and end. It’s all the stuff in between that’s throwing me for a loop. I keep moving things around and now I’m not even sure if it flows like it should. I’m in editing HELL!

More than once, I’ve wanted to throw the whole thing in the trash and start over. Someone out there please tell me this is normal!

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I will be using a different outlining approach if I ever get done with novel #1 and move on to novel #2. Outline Your Novel by K.M. Weiland has a workbook and even software to walk through the outlining process and I plan on making this my next writing related purchase. Thank you Kirsten Mah of the Kirsten Mah Writes blog for sharing this valuable information!

For now, I guess I just keep swimming.

Please send me some words of wisdom or just plain encouragement! I need all the help I can get!

Goodbye January, Hello February

Well, that’s a wrap for January! I am so happy at the progress my new little blog is making. I enjoy writing about whatever strikes my fancy and having this creative outlet to make me feel like I have a purpose is so theraputic. Thank you to my new followers and to everyone one who liked or commented on my posts. I appreciate it so much more than you know!

February is here…well in a few hours it will be, and that means everything is hearts and roses, right? I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan, but since it is a holiday for romance and I love to read and write romance, I’ve decided to do a little research for some new romance books to add to my TBR list. As usual, if I am going to buy an actual paper and ink book, the cover has to appeal to me. If I am going to read it on my kindle app, the cover is much less important. Here are some ideas I have come up with for February.

No, I’m not reading all of these in February, but they are now on my TO BE READ list. I’m also thinking of joining the Scribbler subscription box. It’s a monthly subscription that includes an autographed, fiction, best seller as well as some goodies and notes for writers. Here is more info if you’d like to check it out. Scribbler Subscription box

What are you reading this month? I love to see what other people are reading and if they are enjoying it.

My Review : ROSEMARKEDm

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I am not an offical book reviewer, I just wanted to share my recent read with you.

My usual go-to genre of books are in the Romance category. Contemporary, Suspense, and Historical. I decided I needed to broaden my horizons so to speak and read something different. The cover of this book is what grabbed me first. I think they did a great job at making the book stand out against other books and it also just so happens to be pink and gold. The colors of my newly remodeled office! It will look fabulous on my bookshelf!

Rosemarked, by Livia Blackburne, is a young adult fantasy fiction. The book had an Aboriginal vibe to it, in my opinion. The main characters are Zivah and Dineas and the story takes place in a world that I am not sure is past, present or future.

Zivah is a 17-year-old newly appointed healer in her village of Dara. She tends to plagued soldiers from Amparan who are a threat to her village even before they become ill. While caring for one of the Amparan commanders, she catches the plague which will either kill you, leave you rosemarked for a couple of years and then kill you or leave you umbertouched with brown marks but alive and immune to it. Zivah becomes rosemarked and her healing days are numbered now.

Dineas comes from a warrior tribe close to Zivah’s village, and his tribe has been fighting Amparan soldiers to keep them from taking their land. He is introduced as a recently released prisoner of the Amparan Empire because he had the Rose Plague and they turned him loose to die. He doesn’t die but becomes umbertouched.

Zivah and Dineas are commissioned to go to the Amparan Capitol to spy and send word back to their villages.

The story started off kind of boring to me, and I didn’t feel very connected to the characters. I didn’t honestly get into the story until the second half of the book.

Zivah and Dineas had to work together to find out Amparan secrets and in doing so, a slow burn romance formed. Yes! A Romance! Lol. Zivah used her knowledge of herbal potions, and snake venom and Dineas went undercover in the Amparan army.

Thankfully the author included a rough map at the beginning of the book or wouldn’t have known where the heck the scenes were taking place. The worldbuilding could have been better because I still don’t have a picture in my head of how the villages and compounds looked. The storyline picks up near the end of the book. I wish it hadn’t taken so long!

The Emperor catches the Rose Plague, and his son becomes the ruler. Questions of how the plaque originally started, begin to surface. Zivah and Dineas rally together to send word of an impending attack back to their people.

The ending isn’t really an ending at all, its a cliffhanger for the next book. Haven’t decided yet if I will read it.

My Office Reveal

A pretty space just for me!

A labor of love

Right before Christmas I told my BF that I wanted to re-decorate the spare room so I could have a a place to write and a place to feel girly. His first words were, ”As long as it’s not pink.” Well, guess what? I guess you could call it peach.  Wink 😉

I moved in with him several years ago but I’ve never really had a space that was all mine, to decorate as I wish and without all his junk in it. The house isn’t very big and lets just say that it’s filled to capacity! In fact, I had to get rid of a lot of my own personal things because there just wasn’t room for them. I’m not complaining. It was my choice to do so. Still, I’ve been feeling like I needed a space where I could feel feminine as well as be productive. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

He worked really hard and it shows. Most of the furniture that was in there has been passed on to someone who needs it, and some has been temporarily relocated till we figure out what to do with it.

He pulled the dirty old carpet up and we found original, hardwood floors underneath. They were coated in some strange funk that I don’t even want to know what. He sanded and re-sanded it till all the gunk and finish was removed and just naked, smooth hardwood was left. Next he stained it to match our kitchen and bath as close as possible. The color of the stain we used is Colonial Maple by MinWax. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Minwax-Wood-Finish-Colonial-Maple Then he sealed it and put trim around the edges. Looks great doesn’t it?

I finally have a pretty space all to myself!

Goodbye dark and dingy catch all room, hello feminine office/vanity area.

I created a Pinterest board full of decorating and furnishing ideas because yeah, I’m a Pinterest addict and we have a pin board for everything! After searching for white furniture that wouldn’t break the bank, I decided on this desk and file cabinet from IKEA. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40260717/  https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90373038/#/10373037 I can hide all my power cords in the back compartment of the desk and that and the nice size is what sold me. The bookshelves are also from IKEA and have nice big drawers on the bottom for storage. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90301225/

The paint color I chose is called Pine Hutch from Glidden. https://www.glidden.com/colors/orange-copper/pine-hutch I gotta admit, it’s a lot lighter than I thought it would be. I love it! It’s a peachy pink that brightens up the room so much, yet still feels warm and cozy.

Before and After

So much brighter! I love it so much! Now I better get some work done. I have no more excuses!

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