Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Life…As a Writer

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a great, productive weekend. Let’s make the best of the week ahead.

Life as a writer is sometimes crazy. There are stories running through our heads at every turn. Some days it’s hard to do my day job because a character is knocking on my brain, wanting out. But, when I finally sit down to let the character out, they are stubbornly sitting there with arms crossed refusing to come out.

Then, when you get a couple of days to do some serious writing, everything else has to be done. I try to do social media posts and write on weekday mornings. Of course, I need to train myself to wait on the social media posts until after I’ve written my designated word count for the day. Social media is like a leech, it sucks the time out of the morning.

What’s fun is when you have a great story come into your mind, but you’re in the grocery store… LOL! That’s why I have notes on my phone. Usually, I’ll stop where I am and at least get the basics down, if not, I’ll forget them until a much later time.

Oh, and then you have a deadline, but also a list of things to be completed. That’s when you get creative with your time. Even eating breakfast while typing. Ok, so my laptop has crumbs in the keyboard, but it still works.

So, how do you juggle things?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You….

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Where did January go?

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already February! I feel like I just got settled into the new year and then, bam, another month has passed by in a flash. My grandmother always said, the older you get, the faster times goes by. Of course, when I was young, I thought that was the silliest thing ever. Now, I get it.

So much water has flowed under this bridge that some days I can hardly believe that I’m nearing the half-century mark. Don’t go there! I don’t feel my age and I certainly don’t act it, but it’s there none the less. And to think, my baby is graduating high school in May, what???

Another milestone I’m facing this year, but it’s a good one is that I’ve been a published author for five years. May 12th will mark Ghost Lover’s fifth year in publication. To think, this time five years ago, I was still skeptical about putting my name and work out to the public and now I’m nearing the publication of my 30th book. Yes, I said 30! That’s another thing that baffles my mind. I guess the old adage is true, time flies when you’re having fun!

This Sunday, the hubby and I will celebrate 23 years of blissful marriage. Some days it feels like just yesterday, then other days it feels like we’ve been together our whole lives. That’s what romance does to you, it blows your mind. I wouldn’t take anything for all of the adventures we’ve had and the things we’ve shared.

Now, as I sit here, getting ready to do my morning writing, I’m gazing at my calendar. Yep, I had better get off this post before I fall further behind and have to deal with my assistant’s frown. She has a tendency to look at my writing calendar and tsk tsk at me. LOL!

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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Time Travel

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Just in time for Halloween, throwback to one of my older releases, “Finding the Right Time”. This book is really different as it slips in and out of the past. I’ve had mixed reviews on this one. It’s in the revision stage at the moment, but I still love it.

This story came to me in a dream and it pulled me into the mystery of time travel. You’ll fall in love with this unique love triangle that spans 100 years. Once the story starts you just have to know what happens and who she chooses, but the surprise ending will leave you saying, What?!

The revised edition will be available soon, but the story will stay the same. Romance can span the ages and this story sets out to prove it. True love never dies, even when one of the participants does. As I said, it’s a good read for Halloween.

Here’s a little excerpt to intrigue you…

He stood up and walked over to stand beside her. “I know this is going to sound crazy, but do you think that people sometimes do not cross over immediately?”

“I don’t know, why do you ask?” She looked back at the head stone. “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“I believe that when someone has unfinished business that maybe they stay here to finish that business. Maybe that’s what a ghost is, someone with unfinished business.” He watched her reaction to that and noticed that she looked a little perplexed.

“Are you saying there are ghosts here in the cemetery?” A shiver ran down her spine.

He noticed her shiver. “I’m just saying that sometimes we bring on things with emotions so when you read that head stone try not to get emotional.”

She laughed and looked back at him. “You’re kidding right.” She quit laughing when she saw his face. He wasn’t kidding and she’d hoped he was.

“I’m just preparing you for the emotions that may come over you if you’re sensitive.”

“I’ll take my chances.” She turned back to the head stone and read it. “Lilliana Faith Kennedy – Loving wife of Rafe, caring Mother, dedicated Friend. Born August 8 1839 – Died November 20, 1899. Married on August 12, 1965. The love they shared will never die, but will last forever…” She sat back on her heels and tried to hide the tears that suddenly welled in her eyes. The words were so familiar to her and she couldn’t figure out why.

“I tried to warn you. I think it has a meaning more than just a saying on a grave marker. It carries a promise.” He looked down at her and he had a sudden feeling of protectiveness. Why did he feel like he knew her from another time? He didn’t want to tell her how he felt because it might scare her.

When he saw her the first time it was like a hit in the chest. His heart beat so fast that he couldn’t even think straight. Was it just the fact that they both were sensitive to time?

She stood up and walked over to the old oak tree. It felt as though a slight vibration came from the old tree. She looked back to see if Anthony felt it, but he seemed preoccupied at the moment. She reached out and placed her hand on the bark. Then suddenly the wind picked up and the chimes got louder and louder.

My favorite quote from this book:

He bowed his head and shook it from side to side. “I don’t understand how a man that’s been dead for over one hundred years can just take over your heart. How can you even think about going back to him? If you love me, how can you love him too?”

So check it out!

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Clicking On and Off…

Writing doesn’t work like a light switch. You can’t just switch it on and off at your whim, can you? I sometimes struggle with writer’s block. It feels as though the writer in me has been turned off, but it wasn’t my choice. Some days this scares me because I love to write, what if it doesn’t flip back on?  So, what controls your switch? Good question huh!

I’ve worked on this question for a while and here’s what I came up with. It’s not an exact science, but it makes sense, for me that is.

Life controls my switch a good bit of the time. I’ve realized that when something is going on in my life, usually something stressful, life turns the switch off. No matter how hard I try, what comes out of my mind through my fingers isn’t satisfying. So, control the stress, keep the switch on. Easier said than done.

Guess what else controls your switch, other story characters. I noticed that when I decide to work on just one story, another story’s character steps in and holds the switch. It’s as though they’re saying, ‘work on my story or the switch goes off, your choice’. The only way to deal with this is to at least give the other story a few lines, then the switch is untouched.

Does this sound crazy? Think about it. How many times has your switch went off and you struggled to get it back on? Did you have something going on or was there another story pushing at you? Now you’re seeing what I’m talking about.

Try to push stress out when it starts in and give the other characters looming in your brain a little love, it might help.

What flips your switch?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. If you get a chance, come by and join my Street Team. I some special prizes inside the Street Team portal that you might enjoy. Go to www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and follow the instructions, it’s easy and fun…


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As my mind drifts…

It’s funny how the writer’s brain works. Some days I can push the characters voices away so that I can do my accounting or other work that needs to be done. But most days they seem to take over my thoughts and even the simplest tasks are hard. The only way to get them calm is to write or at least get a outline down on paper.

One example of my mind drifting was discovered yesterday morning at breakfast. I love apple cinnamon oatmeal. When I was at the grocery store last Friday I picked up a box of my beloved oatmeal or so I thought. I all but forgot I’d purchased the box of oatmeal until yesterday. I smiled happily as I heated my water and mixed my oatmeal. I did notice that the oatmeal had pieces of something red in it, but I thought it was made from red apples, so hence the red peels.

As I took the first bite, anticipating the sweet apples and wonderful cinnamon flavor I made a face. This wasn’t right. I took another bite and still nothing familiar. I got up and walked to the kitchen, curious about why this tasted different. That’s when I made the discovery. I’d purchased apple/cranberry oatmeal. Giggling at my goof up, I remembered that a story line was niggling my brain as I shopped and evidently I wasn’t paying attention to my purchases very carefully. At least the oatmeal is flavorful and the cranberries are good for me. I’ll eat it and remember my mind drifting.

I’ve noticed many times in my life when I would drift away to another time, place or most anywhere but where I need to be. But be warned, when driving it’s not good to drift too far away.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Struggle for Writing Time!

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Do you have a hard time finding quality writing time? Do you struggle for a few minutes a day to put your thoughts and stories on paper? Does life, career and just general everyday chores get in the way? Well, if you’re a writer, it’s a real possibility that this has happened to you.

For me it’s a constant struggle. If you’re not ready to be a full time writer, then of course you have a job which takes up a lot of your weekday time. Not all of us have the luxury of writing being our full time job. That would be nice, but most writers are inevitably part time writers. But can we even go as far as calling ourselves part time writers. Let’s get real with the numbers. If you have a part time job, then it’s considered less than 30 hours a week. Most of us, me included, get less than 10 hours a week to actually sit down and write.

Oh yeah, then you have the need for quality writing time. This is time when it’s just you and your writing. There’s no outside interruptions, just you and your laptop or pad and pen, whichever is your preference. 

Do we have the obedience to make the time happen everyday? Even if you have obedience, life can take over and throw that in the trash can. Let’s be truthful, it happens, so get over it. But, does it help to set aside time. Maybe even discuss it with family and state, “This is my writing time, so don’t interrupt me for an hour or so.” *Laughing uncontrollably* Sorry, but it doesn’t happen that way. 

For me I try to schedule my writing time in the mornings after my son gets on the bus and my hubby leaves for work. It’s quiet except for the news low in the background. I also write at night as the family watches television. That way they’re into what’s on the tube while I write away. Some people ask how I concentrate with the tv in the background, well, it’s called totally immersed in my manuscript. Most of the time when I’m totally into a piece, I can get lost completely. I shut out everything in the background and it’s as if I’ve entered my characters world. If I’m having concentration issues, I just put on head phones and listen to one of my playlists. I say one of them, because it’s according to what I’m writing that decides the playlist. I have several by the way. 

So, do you struggle for writing time? How do you set your times, or does life set it for you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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