Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Easter Sale!

For a limited time, my bestselling Christian Historical Romance, A Light Upon My Heart is on sale for only .99!

A Light Upon My HeartFront Cover https://www.amazon.com/Light-Upon-My-Heart-ebook/dp/B01DIEH8GI

 

Naomi Harris is only 18 when she’s sent from Georgia to Montana to marry a stranger. Joseph Walsh is a wealthy, 30-year-old, ranch owner, but he’s lonely and in need of a Christian bride. Naomi’s poor home life doesn’t prepare her for life on a large ranch and Joseph’s not sure how to react to the innocent young woman that he brought across the country to be his bride. Many obstacles stand in their way as they strive to make their marriage work, but can they get past them? The worst one is the secret that Naomi keeps, it could destroy what they’ve worked to gain. She can’t go back home, ever…

 

Tax season will be over on the 18th and then you’ll get an overload of me 😉 See all of you when I find my way out of the pile of returns… In four days!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Time? Who has Time?

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Time… it flies by without stopping… never ceasing. So how do we fit it all in? I’m often asked how I fit writing into my busy schedule with running my accounting office, being a wife and mom, being a children’s minister, life, reading, researching, among other things that fill my days. Well, some days it’s not easy.

How do I keep up with my word count and publish on time? I have a schedule of word counts, but that doesn’t mean that I make that count every day. Some days I don’t even type a word, but guess what, that just builds it up to the next day and so on… My daily word counts during tax season are low, but they add up quickly when I don’t meet my daily count.

So, how do you stretch your time? How do you fit it all in? I have some advice on that very subject. This is advice that I ignored years ago, but now I take it very seriously. Make a schedule and a list of what needs to be done daily. That seems easy, huh, but it’s not on most days. So what do I mean?

Here’s how I schedule my week. Sit down on Sunday afternoon and look at the week ahead. Look at meetings on the calendar, work that needs to be completed, deadlines, and anything else that comes into the week. Then prioritize the items that don’t have a specific set time, like meetings.

With tax returns and accounting, I look at deadlines for the week first, don’t forget to look ahead to the deadlines for the next week too. Then I sit down at my desk and make a list for each day. I number each task, start with the most important daily task, then work my way down. I know how many tax returns I can do a day, then I separate them and bind together each day’s work. That way I accomplish what I need to accomplish and meet my deadlines. But remember, if it’s not important to finish this week, don’t waste valuable time trying to fit it in. Put it on the next week’s schedule. That way you’re only accomplishing this week’s needs.

What about writing? This is where it gets tricky. If my day is filled with appointments and I have to work later than usual, well, my writing time suffers. I use the time after my hubby and son leave for work and school. I sit down with my coffee and write. If I’m behind on my count, well no blog that day and I don’t check social media until I’ve caught up on the count. That’s hard to do. A couple of days this week, I wrote when I came in for lunch. That helped too. (But now I need to clean the crumbs from my keyboard!) Also, I make my Saturday word count higher than my weekday, but only when I’m behind.

I know, you’re sitting back going, wow, she’s so organized, but don’t get the wrong idea. My life is always disorganized in one way or another. Like last night, I wanted to write at least 1000 words, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate, so I read for an hour, which helped my brain to calm a little, but then it was time to go to bed, so I have an extra 1000 words to add to today. By the way, I need to get back to the writing.

How do you stretch your time? Don’t forget to schedule in some ‘me time’. It’s important to your sanity…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

A little note, Ridge is finally free on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Ridge-Five-Oaks-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B00TFOPOFI


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Taxes & Writing on my!

Good morning, it’s already the 6th day of the year, wow times flying. If you’re an author then you’ll want to read this post, and even if you’re not and you file taxes, take a few minutes to check this out.

Here’s a list of expenses that you can claim as a published author if you have royalties to claim as income.

Expenses:

Writing program expenses (Ex. Word, Powerpoint, Scrivener, etc.)

Subscription Fees (Ex. Writing Magazines, Writing Site fees, etc.)

Dues (Ex. Romance Writers Associations, Writing Associations, etc.)

Computers/Laptops/Printers

Pens/Pencils/Paper/Journals/Notebooks

Postage (Used to mail books, letters to editors, etc.)

Advertising

Swag expenses

Book Signing expenses

Labor paid to a writing assistant

Editing fees/Cover Design Fees

Website design fees/Domain fees

These are just some of the expenses that some authors forget when they sit down to do their taxes.

Now remember to make sure you get all of the 1099 forms from all the places where you sold books this year. I always print a summary of sales report on all of the sites my books are on, that way I don’t leave out anything.

If you have any questions as you prepare to do your return, email me and I’ll help. Check out my accounting website for more information at http://hurtsbusiness.wix.com/hurtsbusiness

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Romancing the New Year…

Good Tuesday morning peeps! How’s your new year so far? Mine has been busy. Of course tax season starts this month, not to mention the end of the year reports, income statements, W-2’s and 1099’s are all due out. Oh, and did I mention my newest book is set to release February 17th.

Whew, yeah, it’s a little busy, but those that have been reading my blog for a while, you know this is when I’m in my element. My new book is coming along great and in line with the deadline. Let’s hope it stays that way. I just need a couple of more hours in the day, but don’t we all?

Have you added any romance into the new year yet? If you haven’t, then go to any of the book sites and you’ll find something in the romance genre you like. Just cuddle up with a blanket and get lost. Hopefully I’ll have a little time in the next couple of days to do that, but for now, I’m cuddled up in a blanket, by the fire, sipping coffee and writing. Then it’s off to the office for a day filled with cleaning, organizing and setting up appointments.

Hope you’re day is going well.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little reminder, “Seaside Beginnings” is on preorder at Amazon and Smashwords. Go by and get your copy preordered so it will be delivered on the release date…

By the way, tomorrow I’ll be talking taxes and the author! So come back for a little tax advice…


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Tax season is over and I’m back!

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Well now that the main part of tax season is over I’m back to my blogging and writing schedule. I’ve missed speaking with all of you everyday. It’s funny how you miss it. My writing has seriously suffered this year, but I plan to make up for the lost time and quickly.

I have several projects coming up and in the works. Today and tomorrow I’m working with my assistant/editor on those projects and I’ll be letting you in on them really soon… Also be looking for several giveaways of Ridge before Oakley comes out in the next week or so. I’ve received some great response from this new series and I’m excited about what’s to come in this next chapter of my writing.

Also I’ll be working on my publishing company more closely and am excited about the things coming up with it. Since I have a great designer on my team, I know things will only get better. We’re working closely with a fellow author to create her author platform. Can’t wait to get involved again now that things aren’t so busy.

Well off to write and dream. Hope all is well with all of you and enjoy this day you were blessed with.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday morning writer’s block!

Good morning everyone! It’s Monday, but it seems like it was Monday just yesterday. Time flies by sometimes faster than you want it to. I’m working on many deadlines; tax returns are due out April 15th and ‘Oakley’ is supposed to release April 15th.

Of course deadline number one is affecting deadline number two… Since it’s tax season and I’m an Accountant I’ve been working really long hours. That of course affects my writing in strange ways. Some days I get back home from the office and can’t write fast enough, but other days like the last couple of days I can’t seem to muster up the energy to put words to paper. This makes me crazy especially when I sit down with laptop ready and nothing… not even a word. There’s on thing I’ve learned as a writer, don’t write when you’re not into it. You usually end up deleting it totally…

Hopefully now that I’m making headway with the huge pile of tax returns on my desk I’ll get back to writing. I made a huge dent in them yesterday. I work best on the weekend when my phone isn’t ringing off the hook. I can turn on the tunes and work without much interruption.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday, Monday, Monday

As I sit here sipping my 2nd cup of coffee trying to get my eyes to stay open, I notice the clouds moving in. Yep, we’re expecting rain here in the south today. I had a busy but wonderful weekend. Saturday was the Easter Egg hunt at our Church. That was really fun, but lots of work. It was worth it. Then yesterday was my hubby’s birthday. Also after Church several members (including my family) got the sanctuary ready for Easter and the Spring season. Considering our Church is three stories, yep I got my exercise. No need to work out today.

For all my American friends tomorrow is the last day of non extension tax season. That means I’ll be slammed with tax work today and tomorrow, but I’m taking the last three days of this week off. I plan to get some writing in that has been put to the wayside for the last couple of weeks. 

This is a reminder to all my writer friends. Make sure that you claimed your royalties and the expenses that you had. Don’t forget all those advertising sites, production fees, programs purchased to help with your writing, computers and printers, website fees, dues and subscription fees for all those sites you joined, and the many more expenses we writers incur in a year. If you received a 1099 for your royalties, don’t ignore them because the IRS won’t.

Hope everyone has a blessed Monday and don’t forget to smile today, it’s your day so make it over the moon!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Time to recharge for new year!

Ok, the holidays are over so it’s time to buckle down. As an Accountant it’s time to close out the year on all my clients, do W-2’s and 1099″s. Not to mention the start of Tax Season… But as a writer it’s time to buckle down and get out more manuscripts, clean out my work to be done file (It’s rather large 🙂 ) and get all my writing expenses together.

You may be saying oh nooooo… But if you have a method of doing this it helps. I’m here to help. The first thing you need to do is sit down at your work area and declutter. Clutter clouds the mind, or so they say. Funny thing is I know my clutter well and can tell you where anything and everything is in my clutter. 

Ok, once the clutter is somewhat organized make sure all your invoices, papers and such are filed in their correct files. This makes tax time so much easier. What if you didn’t print all your invoices off your email, well now’s time to declutter your email. I always forget to print those pesky things off email, because once they get to the bottom of the list they’re forgotten. So, print all your invoices and remove them from the email. It will make your system run smoother too…

I like to sit down and get all my royalty reports off the many sites I’m on. This takes a moment, but well worth it. You need to know what you can expect in 1099’s. Yes, people, royalties are considered income. I’ve been asked this question multiple times, but writing is a business, so run it as such.

Then sit down and separate all your miscellaneous files such as donations, medical, and office expenses. So many people miss out on tax deductions because they just simply don’t want to take the time to get the paperwork out, but I consider it money in my pocket and who doesn’t like that. Just plan an afternoon in front of the fire sorting paperwork. That’s how I do my own paperwork. I can spread out and have multiple piles. 

Don’t forget any equipment you might have purchased during 2013. Did you get a new laptop, printer, keyboard, mouse, well you know where I’m going with that. Also subscriptions, yep that subscription to the writers magazine is deductible to a writer 🙂 Then of course you have royalties paid to photo sites, yep bet you forgot about those didn’t you?

Then you have all those little expenses that we often forget such as postage, advertising, long distance calls to editors, agents or such as that. Don’t forget any programs you bought that help your writing. They can be costly and are deductible.

These are just a couple of things. Once you’ve cleaned out those packed files or drawers, start the new year off right by setting up a filing system and keep it straight. When you pay bills, or order something online, print that invoice right then and file it, deleting the email. This helps next January be a little less stressful.

I do hope everyone had a great 2013 and look forward to a blessed 2014. 

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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When the bloom makes way for the leaf

As most of you know, I’m an accountant. This is my busy time of the year with tax season in full swing. My office is beside my house which is great. I have a flower bed nestled among the trees in front of the office. The big draw to the flower bed is a forsythia bush or yellow bell to most. I raised it from a cutting that my grandmother gave me of hers back when we first moved in our new home around 19 years ago. The bush has been in her yard for more years than she could count. 

When I look at this bush I think of her. She’s been in Heaven for over 12 years but every year when the bush blooms I think of her. I think of the precious heirloom in it’s full beauty.

As I watched the bush flowing lightly in the breeze yesterday I marveled at the tiny yellow blooms that were still hanging on among the vibrant green leaves. It made me smile as I thought about how this process is similar to writing.

You may be saying what? Think about it. As writers we start with the bare limbs, then as the bud of a story blooms forth we get the story started. Then comes the full bloom of the work, the beauty. But the final is the nurtured green leaf that is the finished product, which holds on. But a lot of the time the bloom holds on for dear life, not letting us get to the finished product completed until it’s the right time.

As always good writing and May God Bless You…


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Friday night and smiling :)

Well I made it through another week. Thanks to all the well wishes I’ve received. I’m feeling much better, but still a little stuffy. I’m excited for the weekend. Not planning much of anything but some time for myself somehow among the  tax returns, my son’s shot gun practice and house cleaning.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday night and remember to smile. It’s the weekend and God has given us in Georgia a beautiful weekend. Get out and enjoy the outdoors if you can.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…