Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Got my mom a Kindle for Christmas!

Prices have finally made it affordable for me to give a Kindle as a gift! I debated last year on getting one for my mom....going on on it with my brothers. But I wasn't sure. So I held off. But this year, Target had a FANTASTIC deal on the Kindle 3g...only $84 on Black Friday. Luckily they had them when I got there.

So I have the device and have opened it and set it up and played with it. I uploaded a bunch of freebies for her and also bought her a couple of my favs. I'm really excited to give it to her. She reads all the time. My only hope is that it isn't too complicated for her. My parents are not tehno savvy people. It is super simple for me to navigate...I only hope mom will get it. Last thing I want is for her to get frustrated and set it down and not use it.

Anyone else get a great deal on an eReader as a Christmas gift???

Monday, November 28, 2011

All in the name of research

When it comes to writing a story, I am extremely visual. I need to often see a picture of something to be able to describe it with enough detail that it is believable for the reader....so the reader knows what I am talking about. So, many times I have had to research things online (Thank you internet!). It is one reason I have a real hard time working without internet. Sometimes I am mid-scene and need to look something up right that second...I need a visual.

When I was writing Karma Kameleon, I needed a really fabulous wedding dress for Lexi, my MC. I am not a wedding gown designer, so for me to just come up with a fabulous dress in my head would be extremely hard. So instead I went online and looked up dress designers (Lexi would never wear something un-designer from like David's Bridal or something! LOL!) And I found the perfect dress that Lexi would so pick out for herself. I described the dress in my MS and having the designers description right there helped too.

Last week I was writing a scene for my current work in progress and there was a scene with a little bit of BDSM. So not my thing....so I really knew NOTHING. And after viewing a few BDSM shopping sites, I am even more confident in knowing it is just not for me...in my writing, or in real life! LOL! Kudos to those who like it...it's just not me. But anyway, it helped to see pictures of things to be able to describe them.

And then today, I am writing an engagement ring shopping scene. I obviously know what a ring looks like...I have my own. But mine is very simple...a solitaire. My character would not want a simple solitaire. So I Googled engagement rings. I kind of had an idea of what I was looking for, and found it on a site. It helped to have a picture in front of me as I wrote the scene.

So, sometimes research can be really really fun...like ring and dress shopping!! And really really informative, like BDSM toy shopping. Just another great thing about being a writer!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving thanks!

It's that time of year where everyone reflects and gives thanks for what they are truly thankful for. I try to be thankful all year long for the blessings in my life. But a holiday once a year to be extra thankful is nice too!

I am, of course, thankful for my family. My kids are the best thing in my life, even when they are driving me insane!! And my hubby too....though I sometimes feel like I am a single mother of three as opposed to a mom of two. LOL! I'm thankful for the things in my life that bring me joy, even though they are not perfect. I know I'm not the perfect mom and wife either!

I'm thankful for parents who don't judge and just let me live my life the way I need/want to...no comments, no complaints. Cause I've seen my fair share of parents who DO NOT treat their adult children that way.

I'm thankful for our health. We've been lucky and have only had minor ailments throughout our lives. My wish is to stay that way!

I am thankful for how far I'm come in my writing career. Sometimes I can't believe how much I've grown as a writer in the last 3-4 years. I am thankful for the start of my career and hope great new things and successes are in my future.

There are many more things I am thankful for, but I think these are the most important! :) Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Busy busy busy! What's your excuse???

I know my blogging frequency has gone downhill...waaaayyyyy downhill...like down-Everest. I used to blog 4-5 times a week, and lately it's been 1-2 max. I hate that I have not been here like I used to be.

But I've noticed I'm not the only one. Makes me wonder if the blogging thing is done and outdated. I love Twitter...been doing that a lot the last few months. But honestly...even that seems a bit slow now. What will the new thing be???

But anyway, things here have been hectic for me. I've been putting most of my time to writing and editing and trying to push my career forward. Once I finished copy edits for my next release, (Karma Kameleon in January 2012!)  I sat wondering what to do next. It was October and there were still two goals for 2011 that I hadn't met yet. I'd planned on revising an old manuscript and getting it ready to submit again. And I'd wanted to finish another complete manuscript. I had one that I started in May. I was 40K in....about halfway.

So I made a plan. And the plan was gonna need A LOT of my time. I spent the last two weeks of October revising my old MS. I managed to get it to a good place and fixed all the things that were wrong...added the subplot I desperately needed.  Then on November first, I dove into my first ever NaNoWriMo. Now I was not playing by the rules...I was being a total Nano rebel, but I was using it to finish my project instead of starting a new one. 50K would definitely get my MS where it needed to be.

Plus throw in the complete planning and prep for my parent's 30th anniversary party last weekend.

But I am happy to say everything is going well. I got behind on NaNo over the weekend with the party....4 days went by without one single word typed. BUT I am happy to say I am almost back on track. I was hoping to be on course by tomorrow, but it looks like it may happen today if I can stop fooling around on Twitter and Fb and Blogger and actually go write. But in my defense, I'm kinda stuck right now, so I needed the break. :)

So, continued wishes for luck on your NaNo projects or whatever you are all doing! have a great day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ever wish you were somewhere else???

We were supposed to be somewhere else today. Everything was all set and planned and then it all changed and we couldn't go anymore. I understood the reasons, they made sense, but they didn't stop me from being sad.

Many days I struggle with the fact that I am not where I want to be...and it's not just my physical location. I know we all feel this way from time to time. Things just don't work out the way you hoped/wanted. I try to just be happy with where I am now, what I'm doing now, but it's really hard sometimes.

Hoping 2012 will be a good year for me. I have some things to look forward to...some things I hope will happen for me. I am doing all I can to make things happen for myself. Wish I knew what more could be done.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My favorite things about owning a smartphone

The last time my cell phone contract was up, in 2009, we debated. Blackberries were BOGO. But for both of us to pay $30 each a month for a data plan was just ridiculous. It would have been cool to have but it wasn't a necessity. In the end we passed and went with regular phones, no data. I said to hubby, "Maybe in two years I'll be more important and it will be worth it to pay the monthly fee."

This past May our contracts were up again and I wondered if I was really any more important than I had been two years before. Kinda, I guess. In 2009, I had just signed my first book contract, but the book wasn't due to come out for another year. But in May 2011, I had three books out, with another contract just having been signed. I was blogging, networking online, etc. So I did spend a lot more time online.

So I upgraded to an Android phone while hubby stuck with a regular phone (And let me tell you, there is slim pickins. If you don't want a smartphone, you have like three phones to pick from and they aren't great.) I love that I can stay on top of my email and not log on each morning to 50 unread emails. I can keep up on Twitter and FB and all that stuff when I'm not on the computer during the day. It's been real great for me and my career and networking.

BUT....there are also some fun advantages too!! If we're in the car listening to the radio and don't know the lyrics to a song, I can look them up right then and there! If we're watching TV and want to know how old an actor is or who they're married to or if that's really the guy who was on that other show like 5 years ago....I can look it up! I no longer have to boot up my laptop to check movie times. I can search for specific stores or restaurants right on my phone while we're out.

I was watching a special on the History Channel a few weeks back...the Top 100 Inventions of All Time. guess what #1 was....the Smartphone.....passing radio and TV in the #2 and #3 spots.

I have to say I agree.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving away the milk for free????

Lately I've been wondering what the best way is to reach readers and get them to buy your books.

I'm on Twitter, I blog, I Facebook. I occasionally visit Goodreads and Amazon message boards and groups. I participate in blog hops. I run contests.

I recently did a reader survey to find out what entices readers (read it here) and most readers told me they get most book recommendations from friends. Makes sense. If you love a book, you tell the world. So I've assembled a Street Team and will be shipping out promo packets in the next few days. Hopefully that's a step in the right direction.

But recently I was told readers have found new authors by free Kindle reads. Who doesn't like free??? Just about anyone will give a free book a chance. No loss if they hate it. But if they like it, and like the author's style and voice, will they go out and buy their other books? This is what I'm wondering now.

What do you guys think??? Has anyone done this before??? I am not self published...so I'm not sure it's even possible for me to give my book away for free on Kindle.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To NaNo or not to NaNo?????? And Contest winner!

I've decided to NaNo this year. But I'm being a rebel. Technically you are supposed to start a new project for National Novel Writing Month...but I'm not. I have a book I started earlier this year and need to finish by the end of the year (It was one of my New Year's Resolutions). So, I decided to participate in NaNo this year and finish it. Not sure if I'll need the full 50K to do it, but we'll see. It's at 41K now....so I need at least another 40K.

But I'm delayed by a day or two. Two weeks ago I made a personal goal to revise and do one edit of an old project that's been on my hard drive for years. This story is really great (I think, anyway) and after these tweaks, I think it might finally find a home out in the publishing world. But I just didn't have enough time to finish. I'm only a day or two away, so NaNo will wait. I'm sure I can catch up.

So, without further ado.....the winner of my Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway is:

Holly Wright!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!!