Friday, January 30, 2015

Big Dreams Blogfest

The Big Dreams Blogfest is hosted by myself and Misha Gericke, which makes it ridiculous for me to be posting this late in the day. So sorry guys! My dag job has been INSANE.
So my big goals are to write a million words and make a million dollars. But I've started breaking that down into chunks to make it easier to accomplish. My goal for January was to write a children's story. I'm only 1000 words in, butI'm hoping to get up early in the morning and knock out the rest of my short. I'll update this post with February's goal, once that happens.

What's your goal for this month? How close are you?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday MIshmash

  1. House- We haven't moved everything out of the apartment yet, but we moved into our house this weekend. I love it! The last time we bought a house, as soon as we moved in we found twenty things we hated about it. This time the opposite happened.
  2. Goals- I've added a new goal to my list for 2015. I want to win a writing contest. 
  3. Hope- Which brings me to number 3. To enter into contests, I need a paperback of Finding Hope. My current cover doesn't work for that, so Hope is getting a facelift. Since we are getting a new cover, I'm going to relaunch it.
  4. Writing Class- If Savvy Authors ever lets me login, I'm registering for a writing class today. Hoepfully, this will help me get my career back on track.
That's me for this week. What's up with you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Romance Roundup

Here's what I'm looking forward to this week.

Okay. So I love this cover and the blurb (below) but based on the other recommendations with this book--I hope this is PG-13.
"Buh boom, buh boom.
My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night. All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and…
Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…"
Another beautiful cover & blurb. I love brooding boys, especially if they sparkle!

All Hannah wanted was a summer break from being “perfect Hannah Cohen” and a chance to forget about the devastating family secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect life. So when she takes off for her eccentric aunt’s house in the mountains of North Carolina and everyone makes one big (wrong) assumption about her past, Hannah figures that it’s easier to live a lie than have to face the truth.
She never expected to make any real friends, like the hilarious and spontaneous Kate and Ashton, who drag her to late night bonfires and ice cream marathons. And she especially never counted on meeting Jude Westmore, the brooding bad boy next door with gray eyes and permanent oil smudges on his fingers, or that he would ever take an interest in her.

Between moonlit movie nights in the bed of Jude’s truck and nearly romantic Ferris Wheel rides, Hannah’s old life seems father away then ever, but can she keep her secret, or is the truth worth the risk of losing everything, including Jude?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Mishmash

Monday Mishmash was created by Kelly Hashway.

  1. Goals- Yeah. It turns out the week you both start a new job and start packing to move is not the week to go off sugar and write a children's story. There is always next week, I guess? And while we're talking about goals, I learned my university doesn't have summer classes which is going to make getting those classes knocked out much more difficult.
  2. Easy Reader- I want to write an easy reader, but my agent is no longer represent them. Does anyone know of a magazine or anthology I could submit to?
  3. House- I just bought a house Friday. We are moving in this weekend. It seems like things have completely turned around from last spring.

That's me this week. What's up with you?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read and Rachel aka Parajunkee.

Do you have any fun collections (other than books)? Yes, I collect cups (mostly coffee cups but have a few others) from all the places we go.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why You Can't Get Your Book In School Libraries

First of all, one day after I posted my goals I missed a day of blogging. Wow.

Okay, now let's talk books. You have an awesome novel for young people that you can't get into the school library market even by giving away? Oh. You happen to be self published and you have an awesome book for young people you can't get into school libraries or even classroom libraries. Those jerks won't let you donate the book. And forget about buying it. It's so unfair.
If you really do have a well edited, well packaged product that they won't allow you to donate, it probably is unfair. But before you put a hex on the school librarian or the teacher who won't put your book in her classroom, you need to get upset with someone else: your self publishd colleague who doesn't use an editor.
What does that Other Writer have to do with this? Everything. Too many self published books do not use an editor. The grammar is attrocious, and before you quote the age old adage "Most people read for story not for grammar," you may be wrong. Some people call me a grammar nazi. If you've read this  blog for anytime at all, you may doubt that. But when I notice a grammatical error it does pull me out of the story. (If it hadn't, I wouldn't have noticed). For a teacher and school librarian, there is something more important than story though. They are working with young people to help them become literate. Teaching basic grammar is imperative to young people, so that they can understand complicated text (be able to read a legal document after high school) and write to a level that would be satisfactory in the work place. I understand in many work places you wouldn't need to be able to correctly use quotations, but in many work places you will need to undestand and apply the rules. So if a young person picks up a book (7th graders aren't going to investigate the publication method.) and sees something completely opposite of what they've been learning they will either become confused or assume school is wrong--this is a professional author, after all. Worst? What if the student really enjoyed that unedited self published book? Well, the purest form of flattery is imitation...
Educators have enough to do. They aren't usually looking to make their job harder. Those jerks are afraid to put your book on the shelf, not opposed to it. So how do you get around this? 1) Demand more professionalism of your colleagues. You're not going to get far with this option though. They don't care if they slaughter the English language. Their primary concern is spending no money and making as much as possible. 2)Meet people. Befriend a teacher or librarian. A bookclub may be a good way to do this. Get to know people in the education industry. If they your process, it might be easier for them to put your book out. Once you've been included in  a school or classroom library cite this in your next query. "Mrs. So and so at X school just put two copies of this in the library." This is the best advice I have for you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


2014 was the year of setbacks in most areas of my life. I'm not interested in reliving that, so I won't go into the details. But I am looking for a way to recover and not waste 2015. The reason my new year's post is so late is because I thought long and hard about not only what to post, but what goals were obtainable and helpful. I wanted to set goals that wouldn't just make me feel like I accomplished something but would contribute to my journey in some meaninful way and help me get back on track.
I decided for that reason the best way to accomplish was not only listing goals but stating why they were worth accomplishing. I've asked a couple of wiser people for feedback on how to best move forward, so this list is likely to grow when I hear back. But I'm starting witht he following and have put a hoped completion date in parenthesis:

  1. Read 52 books-- For whatever reason, this always seems to help. I'm thinking of reading them all straight from a school library as this might help me figure out how to break into the school library market. (December 31, 2015)
  2. Blog every day Monday-Friday-- Blogging every day helps me stay connected in the writing community which is where most of my support comes from. It helps me feel like a writer and get advice when I'm in a slump as opposed to this year when I just stayed slumped. It also means I'm writng something even if it's not fiction. One of the hardest things about 2014 was that I wasn't writing which felt wierd but I had no idea how to write.
  3. Reread the Twilight Saga-- I need to rekindle my love for writing and this is how I found it in the first place.
  4. Write an Easy Reader-- I actually outlined this to apply for a ghostwriting job on elance. I turned the job down and doesn't make sense  not to use an already developed outline. (Feb. 1, 2015)
  5. Write The Last Marlowe Girl-- My fans have been waiting for a very long time. (July 1, 2015)
  6. Revise Perfect Harmony-- This one may change. I can't figure out what to do. I thought it was done then wored with my professor on the first 30 pages and quickly realized how much stronger it could be. I can't decide if I should try to revise this on my own or if it's best to use it as my thesis project. (who knows).
  7. Lose 35 pounds-- This would just make me healthier and probably reduce some back pain. (December 31, 2015)
  8. Get off sugar!-- So this is another health goal, but it's not just a health goal. Being able to function off sugar helps the writing too. (ASAP).
  9. Write something new-- Okay, I realize I've already listed the easy reader which is something new for me,but I need to make a serious contribution to my million word goal this year. (December 31, 2015).
  10. Get my permanent certificate-- I'm currently working on a probationary certificate. To get my permanent certificate, I have to do some internship projects and complete 50 hours of professional development. (I can't do this until next Janurary, but I hope to finish the requirements by May 31, 2015).
  11. Take two/three graduate courses-- This chips away at my MFA. I'd really like to take three, but funds may be a problem. (December 31, 2015).
What are your goals for this year?