Good morning! I do hope everyone had a safe and Happy 4th of July! It’s always rough the first day back to the real life after a three day weekend. So, as the title suggests, today is my Monday. And of course I’ll have to wrap up two days in one.
As for my writing, well… Yep, got another chapter finished and I’m on the final stretch to the finish line. This book is pulling me from every direction. It’s been a wild ride into a new realm. I’ve written western romance as well as historical, but never about a wagon train. The things I’ve learned have been eye opening.
Television can romanticize the old west and the wagon train experience. But the facts are staggering and sad. Life on a wagon train was hard. The struggle to get to a new life was tough, but many made the trip.
I’ve tried to keep it as close to real as possible, but at the end of the day, it is fiction. And that brings me to another subject. Why do reviewers continue to say, ‘this book doesn’t fit into real life or real life scenarios’? Think about it. If you write fiction, it’s just that, fiction. In the world of fiction, anything can happen. If not, we wouldn’t have some of the best books out there. And if you think some of that really happens, then I need to enlighten you. It can’t.
Writers open up themselves to scrutiny every time they hit publish. Whether it’s a blog or book. But it’s part of it. And as a fiction writer, there will always be something that doesn’t really happen in real life. The reader wants to be taken to another place or time. They need that out of this world experience, if only for a moment.
So, take this from my post. Yes, most writers try to keep close to real life, but in fiction, the rules go out the door.
Good Saturday morning! I hope everyone’s coffee is flowing freely and you’re getting some much needed relaxation. As for me, I’m working on my newest manuscript, Storm. Saturday morning is one of my favorite writing times. I can sit and sip my coffee… Gather my thoughts… And just write…
Good Wednesday morning! We are halfway to the weekend… Are you ready?
As I sit here working on the last couple chapters of Broken, I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s not that I have some exciting plans, but I do enjoy sitting longer with my coffee and sleeping in on the weekend.
There’s several reasons to smile today. One, it’s Friday. Two it’s release day for Double Take At Mistletoe Ranch. It seems like just yesterday I was announcing the first book in the Mistletoe Ranch Series and now the series is complete. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun!
So, if you haven’t met Denver and Maddy, then grab all three books and fall in love again. Their love story is one that will have you laughing, crying, and rooting them on.
Why does editing hurt so bad? For one thing, you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into the work, so yes, it will hurt. The other thing is, it’s hard to cut out what you think needs to be there.
But I have some advice, and I had to take this advice myself. In order to make the work the best it can be, then you’ve got to trim the fat. And believe me, it hurts, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the better product. Sometimes I look at my editor and shake my head. But, once I see it in another light, then I’m better with it.
So, here is what you need to tell yourself, it only makes it better. Yes, you will have to do this multiple times.
Repeat after me… It only makes it better!
Now, let me tell you the worst thing that can happen, and this happened to me. One of my previous editors told me to get rid half a chapter and I had a meltdown, but once I took the plunge, I saw it worked and flowed better. And in the end, that’s our goal, to make our work flow. If it doesn’t, then the reader won’t enjoy the read.
So, edit without mercy and keep the tissues close as you do.
I have the rainy Monday morning blahs… But sipping some strong coffee, so hoping this feeling passes. So, let’s dive into writers and their health. It’s a double edged sword…
If you’re like me, you work a day job and write in your free time, which leaves precious little time to exercise. Even full time writers don’t take the time to exercise. So, what do we do? The fact is, it’s important to get moving as much as possible. Yes, we love to chase the words, but are we doing it at the cost of our health.
Let’s look at some things you can do to help stay healthy and keep up with your word count:
Get in those steps! Try to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Yes, I know it’s hard, but even on a rainy day you can walk inside. I’ve set a timer on my phone to make me get up and move. Today is my first day of keeping track of it better. I’ve been slacking since I had a book deadline, not to mention it’s tax season. So, get up and march in place for a few minutes, or walk to the mailbox a couple of times a day. Whatever it takes to get those steps up? Give Yoga a try. It’s a great mind clearing way to get healthier and stay in shape.
If you have to snack while writing, then grab something healthy. A couple of examples are: 1. Freeze some grapes and eat when writing. 2. Cut up an apple and get a little peanut butter to dip it in. 3. Eat low salt nuts such as almonds or cashews. 4. Yogurt with granola. 5. Cut up veggies such as carrots or even bell pepper and dip in ranch.
If you grab coffee, like me, then opt for no creamer, or less creamer. Maybe even grab some decaf at times. Also, remember those fancy coffees from the coffee shop add a lot of calories to your day. Opt for a simple cup of joe.
Tea is great, unless you’re southern like me and love it sweet. Change it up to green tea or herbal with antioxidants to help you out.
Last, but not least, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. I keep a bottle of water with me all of the time. Get in your allotted amount of water a day. If you can’t handle plain water, then grab some of those no calorie flavorings. I love those. But staying hydrated is important.
Remember, the only way to get that bestseller seen is to be healthy enough to finish it. If you’re not here, then it won’t see the light of day. And as your fellow writer, I want to see you succeed and stay healthy. This goes for me. Let’s start this today!
Good morning! I’m a little emotional this morning. I typed THE END on the Mistletoe Ranch Series late last night. To say I’m sad to see these characters go away is an understatement. This has been one of those series that totally filled me with joy.
Today marks the first day after the Mistletoe Ranch. That may sound strange, but to a writer, it’s all too clear. You spend almost everyday with these characters and it’s surreal when they no longer fill your writing time.
But as with anything, you step away and start a new manuscript. So, I say goodbye to Denver and Maddy, but maybe one day I’ll revisit them. You never know, I am a writer and we’re a different people. We love our characters fiercely and have a hard time letting go of them.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…
Release date: January 29th!
Preorder now. Starting this afternoon it will be only .99 for a limited time!
It’s a rainy morning in Georgia, which calls for extra coffee. Monday’s are hard, but especially when it starts out rainy and dreary. But, life goes on, so let’s get this day going.
Free books make some authors shudder, but making the first book in a series free can give you that boost that you need. Some authors opt not to offer the first book in a series for free and that’s alright too. Just having a series that readers can fall in love with is good too.
Why is it good to offer the first book for free? I tried this with the first book in the Five Oaks Ranch Series. At first I was skeptical, but then I realized that it was the best decision for this series. The fact is that the rest of the series sells great following the free downloads of Ridge, the first book that is free. And this series has become my best selling series yet.
Here’s the catch. Don’t you just hate a catch. If you offer a book for free, make sure that it is edited well. Why? Because a free book that has a tantalizing cover and blurb will fly off the shelves. People love something for free. And if the book is well written and firmly edited, it will gain you a fan for the rest of the series. Readers love a good series that can draw them into a world created in the series. If they love it, then they’ll buy the rest of the series.
Here’s a look at Ridge. Fall in love with the Cauthen family in this sweet series that follows the lives of the five siblings and their ranch.
Ridge was the first one up the next morning. He needed to check the cattle in the far pasture and make sure the newborns were doing well. When he walked into his office in the stable with his coffee he was surprised to see Mallory walking up from the stalls.
“Good morning.” She said as she stepped into his office. “I didn’t expect to see anyone this early.”
“What are you doing here so early?” He sat down and took a long drink of his hot coffee.
“I’ve got an early meeting with a ranch across the county and needed to check on Chase’s horse. He thought he might have something wrong with his back leg, but it was just a little strain. I’ve iced it up and left Chase a message on what he needs to do when he gets to the barn.”
“That man rides his horses too hard. I’ve always told him to be easier on them.” His younger brother was the wilder one, thinking about nothing but the rodeo.
Mallory laughed, causing his heart to skip a beat. “Chase has his head set on the rodeo. I’ve tried to convince him it’s not a good idea, but he doesn’t listen to me.” Rolling her eyes as she spoke.
Suddenly Ridge was jealous of his brother, but why? Was it because Mallory was having conversations with him? Did they have something together? Ridge’s heart hurt at the thought. He used all his strength to push it out of his head.
“Well, Chase does have a stubborn streak.” He commented as he looked down at his desk.
“Yes, he does. But I hear your stubborn streak is worse.” She said in a quiet voice.
His head snapped up at her comment, causing him to become defensive. “I take it Maggie has been talking more than need be.” He’d have a conversation with his meddlesome little sister.
“I didn’t mean to make you mad, it was just an observation.” Struggling with her better judgment, she continued. “You seem really high strung and tense. Maybe you need to have some fun, get out and live a little.”
Ridge leaned back in his chair as he studied the woman standing in front of his desk. “And what do you suggest I do for fun?” The look he sent her way made her step back a bit.
This man made her squirm with something she’d never felt before and she couldn’t quite put a hand on it. Was it anger, envy, or interest? “I don’t know what you like to do.” She shrugged as she backed up to the doorway. “There’s a dance in a couple of weeks. You could always find a date and go let off some steam on the dance floor.”
“Oh I can think of several things to let off steam, but going to a crowded dance doesn’t come to mind.” He watched the blush creep up her neck and cover her beautiful face.
Mallory stammered with her reaction to his comment. “I was just making a suggestion.”
“Well, thanks for the evident concern, but I’m handling my ‘stress’ just fine.” He stood and walked over to where she was rooted to the floor. “Are you offering to help me release my stress?”
She gasped and looked up into his gorgeous eyes, mesmerized by his nearness. Clearing her throat she found her voice. “No, not at all, just commenting on the obvious.”
Ridge grinned devilishly, and walked past her, headed toward his horse. “Have a good morning, Mallory.” The parting words spoken over his shoulder in humor, as he gave himself a silent high five, realizing he still had it.
Mallory propped on the door frame to gain her senses. That man had the ability to make her speechless and that was a hard thing to do. She straightened and headed for her truck. Her heart was pounding like a thunderstorm in her chest as she pulled herself up into the truck. What a start to the day?
Ridge stepped into his horse’s stall with a grin. He’d made her stammer and blush. Maybe now she’d get the picture. He was unapproachable and happy to be alone for the time being. Women weren’t off the table for him, but at the moment it wasn’t advisable.
I hope you liked this small look into Ridge, the first book of the Five Oaks Ranch Series. It’s FREE on Amazon, so fall in love with this series by clicking this link. And think about making one of your books free to kickstart sales.
Happy Thanksgiving week! It’s Monday, so forgive me if I ramble a bit. After a busy weekend, I need multiple cups of coffee just to get my eyes open. But, for now, let’s talk writing.
Do you have to do things in the right order? Well, it’s according to what you’re doing. You can’t bake a cake before you make the batter. You can’t ice a cake before you bake it.
With writing, you can write the ending before you write the beginning. How? For some writers, they have to get the last scene written in order to get a grip on the first three fourths.
I’ve posted several things on outlines and writing technique. And I’ve always said, put your ideas together, so that you know where you’re headed. Before you ask, yes, I’ve written the last scene of a book first. Of course, when I did, the ending changed slightly as the first parts were written and put in place.
Since I write in Scrivener, sometimes I go ahead and put in the Chapter heads that go with my outline first. That way I can write different scenes ahead of time. If I get stuck on a certain part, sometimes skipping ahead helps to beat writers block.
The goal of the post is to let you know, it’s alright to write your book in the wrong order. Just make sure that it fits together like a puzzle. The pieces need to fit, but not forced.