Category - Random

Heigh ho, Heigh ho, it's off to write I go

Hello all! As you may have noticed, things are starting to get a little busy around here, and they're about to get busier. This year, my writing career has officially kicked off. I've had to make some sacrifices, but certain circumstances have allowed me the opportunity to write full-time. It's terrifying yet exciting. Like any job, if I don't work, I don't get paid. Unlike every other job I've had in the past, this is the first time I don't wake up in the morning with a groan. (They don't call it an evil day job for nothing!)

small_7829361646A lot of folks don't understand this crazy life of mine, especially friends of the family. They think I lounge around all day in my pajamas, chilling, and doing little else. Although I may indeed lounge around in my yoga pants or pajamas, I'm doing a heck of a lot more than chilling. A part of this misconception has to do with the culture I grew up in. To a lot of these old-school folks, unless you're doctor, nurse, lawyer, secretary, in pharmaceuticals, or just making a ton of cash, it's not a real job. It can get frustrating, but I've learned not to pay attention to it.

When I decided I was going to take the plunge and do this full-time, I knew I'd be giving it my all. I work from 8 a.m. until midnight, making sure to take appropriate breaks, play with my puppy, make human contact, get exercise, and eat healthy and so on. I take the weekends off, though sometimes when I have a tight deadline I might have to work. See writing full-time, means writing all the time, and I'm not talking about writing books. Before I was published, I wrote, so I've been building a book list, plotting out stories, and starting manuscripts.

I now have a writing schedule and tentative release schedule for this year and the whole of next year. This year the releases start in July through Dec (except for Oct), next year they start in Jan through Dec, so there (hopefully) won't be any big gaps between releases. I've learned a lot in the two years I've been published and I'm putting that knowledge to use. Like I said before, writing isn't the half of it. So what's my to-do list look like? Brace yourself.

  • Edits for Blood & Thunder (we're on round 3, followed by Galley edits with a tentative release date of Aug 4th)
  • Edits for A Rose By Any Other Name (we're on round 1, release in Sept)
  • Write blog posts for Hell & High Water release day party
  • Write 10 blog posts for Hell & High Water Blog tour
  • Edits start on Rack & Ruin end of June
  • Rise & Fall manuscript due July 1st
  • Set up he Blood & Thunder Blog Tour & Cover Reveal
  • Facebook chats in July & Aug
  • Twitter Takeover in July
  • Finish the THIRDS website
  • Sort out GRL swag
  • Writing deadlines Jul-Dec
  • Blogging

Aside all that, there's the emails that come in, my social media accounts I need to manage, and maintain a presence on, several other guest posts and I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting.

small_6574317555I know what some of you may be thinking--those who aren't hyperventilating--I don't have to do a good deal of what's on that list, or I could release less books, but like I said, this is my career. When I worked in management, I worked my butt off, so why would I give any less to something I'm so deeply passionate about? I love writing fiction and love sharing those stories with readers.

Despite all the work that goes into it, I love what I do and I'm lucky to have the support I do--the ones who don't think I should get a real job. I also have an amazing publisher that works things through with me. If anything gets to be too much, they're there to help. I make sure to rest and take care of myself, though I have plenty of amazing folks who remind me to come up for air should I need it. So yes, it's getting busy around here. I hope you'll join me along for the ride!

rosedivider

photo credit: fiddleoak via photopin cc photo credit: thomas.leuther via photopin cc

Weekly News Update

weeklynewsupdateHello all! I know today is supposed to be Book of the Week, but unfortunately I had a few things come up, so we'll be getting back to that July 18th **updated. This Saturday I'll be posting the third part of my author web building series: designing your website, since Monday we kick off the Hell & High Water Blog Tour! Woot! Come Monday it'll be just one week until Hell & High Water is released. 7 days! I'm so excited!

Don't forget you can get 25% off your eBook preorder of Hell & High Water until June 30th! Then on July 11th, Blood & Thunder will be available for preorder, and we're celebrating with a Cover Reveal Blitz & Giveaway! There's also still time to enter the THIRDS swag giveaway over at Lex Chase's blog. So many giveaways going on!

I just finished the galley to Blood & Thunder and second round of edits on A Rose By Any Other Name--which I have the final fabulous cover for!! I'll also be receiving edits on Rack & Ruin any day now.

Did you know I have a Cafe Press shop? It's got all kinds of cute merchandise and there will be plenty more added soon. You can check it out here: http://www.cafepress.com/catspajamasboutique If there's a particular series or book you'd love to see designs for, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Just drop a comment here, or send me a message. I think that's all the random news for this week. Have a great weekend!

Pretty Planning - Staying Organized in 2016

Hello all! Hard to believe we’re almost through with January. Where is the time going? With the arrival of a new year comes new goals, new events, and new tasks to keep track of. These days I have to have everything written down or I’ll forget. Despite my best multi-tasking efforts there are far too many details to keep track of. Organization is a must, but something is bound to slip by.

A couple of years ago, my mode of organizing consisted of several notebooks, slips of paper, and dozens upon dozens of Post-it Notes. As you can imagine, having things scribbled down in numerous places was not helpful. I’d tried a few agendas but they didn’t help. They never seemed to have enough room for what I needed, and I became frustrated with them quickly.

I started to do a little research. I needed something I could stick with, and wouldn’t get bored with or want to chuck out the window. Something where I’d have room to jot everything down in an organized manner where I would be able to easily find it later. Where I could keep track of all my tasks, reminders, events, notes, and not have it be the size of an unabridged dictionary. Another problem with previous agendas was that I couldn’t find information when I had to go back to look something up.

In came the planner. I blame Pinterest for my new planner obsession. After working with my new planner, I realized my previous attempts at organization and planning hadn’t worked because, aside the vast number of lists and notes I had, things were always changing, being added, removed, moved, and for that I would need a ring binder. Again, I’d tried one or two, but I found they were too small or the pages too narrow. Also, I wanted something pretty, because well, I like pretty. I love color coordination. I’m artsy, and pretty colors, patterns, and designs are my kryptonite. I have a thing for stationary. Not uncommon among writers.

I came across Simple Stories, and fell in love with their planners. Then in November of 2015, they released their Carpe Diem planner which was exactly what I needed. There were plenty of gorgeous colors to choose from, and they sold a host of coordinating accessories I could use to give my planner a personal touch. Stickers, clips, washi tape—some of you know about my unhealthy obsession with washi.

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Anyway, aside being pretty, the pages were wide enough with plenty of space. I could customize it to fit my needs as an author. It is a hefty planner, but I'm one of those folks who carries a big bag, so the size is just right. Also the clasp keeps things from falling out. There's also a cut little zip pouch for storage.

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I have several divided sections for things like blogging, marketing, ideas, and release prep so I can easily find this information when I need it. There’s a yearly calendar, a monthly calendar, a weekly, and even a daily. There’s a page every month for a monthly breakdown, birthdays, important dates, goals, and reminders. There are several bookmarks to make access to certain areas quicker. It has pockets, and clips.

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So far, I am completely in love with my planner, and my planner madness has spread to several author friends. It’s become more than just something to scribble things in. If I need a break, I can decorate a page, and it relaxes me. When I get together with author friends, we bring our supplies and it’s really a hoot.

I’ve also finally organized all my planner supplies. It’s at hand on my desk which is finally how I like it.

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These clear plastic boxes are perfect for storing my planner accessories. Number and alphabet stickers, date stamp, washi samples, stickers, and smaller bits, along with the bottom drawers for my favorite and most used washi tapes.  The majority of the storage on my desk is from T.J. Maxx, Homegoods, and Ross, with a few pieces from Zulily.

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I’ve also finished decorating the office with a teal, mint, gold, and white theme with pink accents. For me, being happy with my office makes me feel happy and productive. It took about seven months to get it the way I wanted, but it was worth it. I spend more time in my office than anywhere else, so it made sense to fix it up. I think it fits my style perfectly. <3 So here's to a shiny new year of pretty planning!

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