Friday, August 11, 2017

Energized and Excited!

I think all creatives find themselves in very un-creative places from time to time. It's part of the process, part of the journey. We each have different ways of rejuvenating that creativity. For me, the best way is to surround myself with other creatives. People who are like me and get me and support me. For me, the best place to find those people is at the Romance Writers of America annual national conference.

2016 was a sucky year for me. I lost all drive. I lost all creativity. I was falling apart and lost and I had no clue where my career was going. Many times I thought my career was done. I was unable to attend RWA's conference last year. It just wasn't in the finances.

I had been planning on going this year, for a long time. It was being held at Disney World. I mean...come on! My two loves and careers combined!! It was a no brainer. But finances were tight and I had nothing new to promote or pitch. I was still unsure if I was even going to pursue writing anymore.

But then the RWA organization contacted me and asked me to lead a tour of one of the parks. I couldn't say no!! We sat down and crunched the numbers and indeed, we could make it work.

A few weeks before the conference, RWA asked members on its FB group page what the RWA community meant to them. I replied and forgot about it. Until I arrived at the conference hotel in Orlando and found my quote on a giant poster on the wall!!!

This conference revived me. After the first two workshops, I texted my husband, tears in my eyes, and thanked him for making it possible for me to go. That just being there had rejuvenated me and my passion for writing. It gave me back a part of myself that I thought might have been long gone.

So here's to 2017 and new beginnings!! I've got some awesome things in the works and I hope you guys will join me for where this journey takes me in the future!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kindle Worlds!

Are you a fan of Carly Phillips, Melody Anne, and Ruth Cardello?? Then I have some great books for you!

All of these authors have created their own Kindle World. What is a Kindle World, you ask? Basically these authors have taken their own book series and invited other authors to write stories set in their fictional world. Some of their characters make appearances. They're the same town. Same setting and tone. It gives readers the chance to keep enjoying the series and meet new characters.

I wrote two for Melody Anne's Billionaire Universe, two for Ruth Cardello's Lone Star Burn world, and one for Carly Phillips' Dare to Love world. Check them out!!! (Click the title and read the blurb!)

Refuse to Settle

Refuse to Give Up

Broncos & Bouquets

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Get Fit by Reading!

I think most people think reading is a sedentary activity. And it sure can be. I openly admit I find lots of joy in curling up with a great book, a yummy warm beverage, and a fuzzy blanket for hours. But there are ways to read and be active too!

I go to the gym. I don't love it, like many people do. I go because I need to. Parts of it I really despise. Like cardio machines. (Boooooring!) But I found a way to make it work for me. I take my Kindle! I increase the font size so it's easier to read. I set up the machine and choose a higher resistance. Burn lots of calories, heart rate high, but I go at a steady pace so I don't bounce around too much. Makes it very easy to read! I do most of my reading at the gym. And that 30 minutes on the elliptical flies by!

Another option is audio books. I have not tried this yet but many people tell me they love them. Then it doesn't matter how much you bounce or what you're doing. You can listen to an audio book while pumping iron or hiking or bicycling.

The only time I find it very hard to read while working out is if I'm reading a sad scene. I remember one in particular. Me on the elliptical, fighting back tears. I'm sure I looked ridiculous.

So, what do you do? Do you find ways to enjoy reading while also getting your workout in?? Got tips for me??

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Starting Over

In life, I think we have to start over at least one time. Maybe more than once. The last year and a half of my life has taught me that life is full of ups and downs and sometimes the climb back up the hill is easy. Other times it's just not. You have to start over. And most likely you'll have to do it again. That's life.

2016 was the year of suck for me. I heard that from many people, actually. Why was it such a horrible year for everyone?? I have no clue, but my life was certainly in a downward spiral. Or a tsunami. Disaster everywhere. Like, every part.

But I got through it and I'm in the rebuilding phase now. Which included a reboot of my writing career.

Last year my writing career took several hits. I found it necessary to part ways with my agent. Then my publisher felt it necessary to part ways with me. (unrelated) I was left in a position of not knowing what to do. Or knowing what I wanted to do.

My last release, Temporary Dare, came out in December 2016. After that I took a break from writing. I needed to distance myself from it. See if I missed it. If I still loved it. Turns out I did. Which was good. The break helped rekindle some of my enthusiasm. It's been a slow process in getting it back, but I'm getting there. I'm working on a new project. I plan to pitch it to agents and editors when I go to the Romance Writers of America conference in July. Really hoping this is the beginning up the uphill swing for me.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lots of exciting stuff!!!!

So much happening over here!!!!

The 3rd installment of my Classy and Sassy series released on July 4th!!!! ONE SIZE FITS ALL is now for sale!!

Buy links here!

And my second Kindle World title released in June. I wrote a cowboy romance!! So so fun!! It's part of Ruth Cardello's Lone Star Burn series.

Check it out here!

I then signed on to write another in each of the Kindle Worlds, as well as another for a Carly Phillips Kindle World!! SQUEE!! I'm a busy girl!

Hope you're all having a fabulous summer and reading lots of sexy books ;)

Friday, April 29, 2016

A new book, a new adventure!!

So so excited to finally share this with you all! I signed on to do a Kindle World!! What is a Kindle World, you ask? Basically, an author creates a virtual "world" with her books, a series. Then they invite other authors to write books that connect to their world. Super fun!

My first is called Refuse to Settle and it's part of Melody Anne's Billionaire Universe.

Pretty, right??? I just love this cover!! And I helped design it!

Check out Refuse to settle and all the rest of the world here: Refuse to Settle

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Be Productive

I think most of us today have trouble being productive. There are so many shiny things that grab our attention. And some not so shiny. For those of us that work from home, it's especially challenging. The Internet is a black hole that sucks us in. Piles of laundry and dishes stare us down. The phone rings, the mailman arrives, and the kids ask for a snack or drink or toy every other minute.

My key to productivity is Out of Sight, Out of Mind!

The Internet: There are apps you can install on your computer that block the Internet when you need it to. I haven't gone that far yet, but I know they are helpful for a lot of people. Luckily, just closing out the browser is enough for me. If the browser is open, it's very easy to just flip over. If it's not, I have to actually click on it, wait for it to open, go to the website I need. It only takes seconds, but's a lot more than it being open already.

Household Chores: This one I have no problem ignoring! Piles of laundry and dishes bug me, but for some reason, during the day--my work day--I can ignore it...just as if I had left the house and was at work in an office. But I can't have clutter in my line of vision. I currently work at my dining room table. Which sucks. I can't wait to have an office. But if the table is littered with junk and I can see it on either side of my laptop screen, it bugs me. So I need to take  a few minutes to clean it up. But the rest, if I can't see it while I'm working, I'm good!

Interruptions: Hard to put some of these out of sight, especially the kiddos. Mine are a little older, so most of the time, they don't need me for much. If the hubby is home I will go work in the bedroom and close the door. That helps. The phone is easy. Shut it off and put it out of reach...out of sight. Mailman and other deliveries...not as easy to ignore. Especially when you have a dog that goes nuts whenever anyone comes within 200 feet of your property. I don't have solution for that...anyone? But usually those interruptions are short and then you can get back to work.

Writer's Block/Lack of Inspiration: I grouped these two because I think they go together, and I wanted this post to be more generic...not just geared toward writers. Many don't believe writer's block exists. I don't know for sure, but I know there are times I come to a scene and I just don't know how to write it. I think it has more to do with inspiration. And I think we can all relate to having a lack of inspiration at times, regardless of our task. And the only way to work past is to push through. I take whatever is giving me trouble and put it out of sight...out of mind. If a certain scene is not working for me, I move on and tackle another. Usually the inspiration comes back. And I think that trick can work for anyone in any line of work.

New ideas: Kind of the opposite of the last problem. Many of us in a creative field are often tantalized with a shiny new idea, mainly because we're getting sick of dealing with the current one and it's problems and challenges. The new idea sounds so fun and exciting. My solution: get it out of sight and out of mind! When I get new ideas, I know I need to write them down or I will forget them...gone forever. If I don't write them right away, my brain won't stop...trying to remember every detail. So I stop for a minute, jot down my ideas, and continue on. I get it out of my head (out of mind) and then close the notebook or close the computer file (out of sight).

Good luck with your productivity in 2016! Got any other tips on staying productive???