Showing posts from 2015

New Year, New Plans!

Like with the last two years, I don’t plan on setting a specific word count goal (I don’t plan on pushing myself to write 1 million words in 12 months ever again). I’m just hoping to be better than last year. If I do that, awesome! If health issues arise that make it so I can’t…. I guess I won’t get there.

Publishing: I have 8 books* planned for release this year. I might do more… I might do less. I guess it all depends. I’m on track for the first and third planned publications… but am a little behind on the second. So it’s going to be getting a lot more attention this first week of the year than other projects are.
* “Books” is the general term I use to encompass Novels, Novellas, Novelettes, and short stories/collections. At the moment, the break down is 3 novels and 5 novellas. I haven’t planned for any short stories—though I have one or two that might make an appearance depending on my editing time.

Reading: I’m going back in for—hopefully—another “100 books read” year. I’ve go…

Let’s talk about my favorite books read in 2015

I’m going with what I’ve marked as 5-stars on GoodReads. Largely because with my memory issues after the two seizures this summer/fall, I’m not sure I can trust my memory well enough to say otherwise. And I plan to read one more in the last week of this year, but no promises (though I have been assured I’m going to love it, it’s one of my mom’s absolute favorites from recent years.)

This year, I read 55 Novels (it looks prettier if you take a gander at it on the GoodReads site). 5-star | 8 books
4-star | 21 books
3-star | 8 books
2-star | 6 books
1-star | 3 books
0-star | 10 books *

As you’ll see with these five, I’m not lying when I say I read EVERYTHING, there’s paranormal, SciFi, a YA Thriller, a graphic novel, steampunk and contemporary romance in here.
Patricia BriggsNight Broken (Book 8, Mercy Thompson) I’m going to admit. I really dislike when you have x number ofo books in one format and then suddenly start releasing them in a different format (in this case, mass market paperback and…

7 Things You Can Get Your Author For Christmas

Have an author in your life you want to get something for? This is a list of things you can get before time runs out:
Review their book – Word of mouth sells books. If you’ve already got their book and are willing to spare 5 minutes of your time, reviewing it could be the way to make their day! It’s a free gesture that can mean the world to us.

Buy their book (and then review it) – If you don’t have their book, consider buying it. You like them, don’t you? If you want to show them that, grab a copy of their book, read it, and talk to them about it. I love this more than I’d ever appreciate a box of chocolates (and I LOVE chocolate).

Buy them books as distractions – Most of the authors I know are in this business because they LOVE books. They read as constantly as they write. And this is a good thing. Believe me, anyone who loves books always wants more books, no matter how many they have stacked in a to-be-read pile.
Don’t know what to get them? Buy a gift card to their local indie books…

Opinion: Why Jessica Jones Is My Favorite Thing Marvel Has Done To-Date

I watched Jessica Jones the week it came out on Netflix. My husband and I binged it in two days. This is your “fair warning” for the spoilers that are about to come your way.

I don’t really know what I was expecting when we sat down for the show, but marvel’s been doing amazingly with their different offshoots (let’s all pretend F4 is a bad dream). And with Krystin Ritter, David Tennant, Carrie-Anne Moss and Rachael Taylor among the top-billed cast, I knew the likelihood of amazing acting was bound to come my way. I was not wrong.
Jessica’s character is the kind of “gifted” individual I have always thought made more sense. The world is not a kind place to people who are different, and just because you have some super strength and the ability to sort-of fly, doesn’t mean that you’ll be okay with the mental and verbal abuse that’s likely to go hand in hand with coming clean about who and what you are. Time does not heal all wounds. She’s been traumatized by the bad there is in this world.…

How Epilepsy Has Effected My Writing

Feeling like crap is a major factor in my ability to write. Having severe memory issues as well as suffering the effects of temporal seizures has meant that this year’s writing has been pretty sucky.

One of the things that keep me motivated with writing is my love of spreadsheets and my own self competitive nature.
I set goals (sometimes unrealistic) and I keep track of all sorts of writing metrics. The most simple of these two things relate to word count.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that in 2013, I set out to write 1 million words between January 1 and November 30 (I’m rubbish at writing in December – there’s too much else going on!). I met that goal and am still sorting through the pile of edits it left me with.
But since 2013, I’ve been keeping detailed accounts of my daily writing. 2013 is also the year when I started having my partial seizures (or at least when I noticed them).
Now, as far as I know… the partial seizures don’t affect my writing too much. In some c…

7 Searches you'll have to explain

First off, Mom, these baby-name sites are for naming my CHARACTERS! You're not going to be a grandma within the next 9 months. I'm sure we've all been there. Stumped for a name, we meander over to a baby-name site and most of the time, no one's the wiser. But when someone sees it... then you have to start fielding questions. Luckily, you should only have to do this once per person.

Hypnosis techniques for brainwashing isn't actually something you want to put into practice. I'm not saying it wouldn't have useful applications in the real world, I'm just saying I personally will only use my powers for good.... or in situations that are morally ambiguous.

Dear FBI, this ordered list of how to keep a torture victim alive as long as possible is not what you think it is. If you're writing the next best-selling thriller, this may be something that puts you on a watch list. But let's be honest... being on that list isn't a bad thing. You'll gain so…

Insta-love: I Got No Problem With That

Confession time: I have no real problem with insta-love.
And now the clarification…
I’ve read a lot of reviews that come from people who straight up HATE insta-love as a romantic plot device and I can get that. It does seem irrational and can be frustrating. However, I’ve seen it in real life. I’ve felt it. So it’s difficult for me to back the idea that it’s unrealistic.
Love is an emotional and chemical response that defies logic. It doen’t make sense half the time and on occasion, it crashes into you like that proverbial bull into his ill-fated china shop. Sometimes, love grows from like or from what you thought was hate, and sometimes, you wake up one morning and realize that you’re irrevocably in love with the person you’ve spent your life thinking of as your best friend.
Love is weird.
So I can never look at a love story and say it’s unrealistic.* There are some love stories I wish weren’t glorified in the way they were, but those are things I can find ways to avoid.
But those are t…

7 Friends You'll want to have

The Pen-Is-Mightier-Than-The-Sword Swallower – This is usually another writer and they know exactly how you feel when you want to tear the book you’re working on to bits. They talk you off that ledge and remind you that first drafts get to suck because editing exists. The Booze Magician – we all know that person. The one who has something alcoholic on them at all times or at least knows where to find it. They’ll pull bottles from random hiding spots. These are the best people to have around when you’re in THAT stage of writing a novel. You know the one. The Inspiration Dealer – Find someone who pulls ideas out of you on accident. When you have ten projects on standby and you accidentally pitch them a story you didn’t know you were writing, that’s not the best thing ever, but when you need to talk through a plot problem… they’re you’re go-to. The Review Tightrope Walker – When you just can’t with a review (because you can’t stop yourself from reading them) this is the person who walks out…

7 Things Writers Should Do on Halloween

Hand out Books instead of Candy – There are a lot of allergies out there anymore so navigating the peanut infested candy bowls of Halloween can be downright scary for some kids and their parents. Make it easy for everyone, hand out books instead!
Dress up like your favorite character – Emphasis on YOUR character. Make sure it’s someone you’ve created, that way, when anyone asks who you are, you get to tell them about your book. Bonus points if you dress up as your book. Put your crafting skills to use with cardboard, duct tape and high resolution print outs from your local office supply store!
Eat so much candy you get a massive sugar high (not so much you go into a coma) and write your magnum opus in one night – I can’t guarantee that you won’t wake up to a notebook full of indecipherable scribbles in the morning, but it’s worth a try!
Bathe in the blood of your enemies – or just add food coloring to your bath… I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being pink for the next few days or a wee…

7 Ways You'll Exercise As A Writer

Typing marathons. Prep for these with word sprints and a healthy diet. You don’t want to get to mile 15 and be ready to fall out of your chair to writhe on the ground with finger cramps!
Coffee refill relay. Or tea, or whatever beverage keeps your creative juices flowing. That constant jog/shuffle back and forth from desk to kitchen is going to tick up the numbers onyour pedometer a lot more than that chase scene you just wrote!
Exploring other perspectives. Much like a butterfly press, this one requires some upper body strength. Mostly because the lazy alternative is going to seem like a good plan. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS, GYMRAT!
With Run-on Sentences. You don’t even need a good pair of running shoes! Slippers or bare feet work just fine. And, since you don’t have to leave your house, you don’t even have to put on pants! And let’s face it, this is less annoying than the rhythmic jush of a treadmill.
Dodging the comments section. Like those red rubber balls in middleschool gym class…

Feminism Is Important To Me

A while back another female author chose to use “Oh right, you’re one of those feminist types” as an insult/reasoning behind my opinion that a certain work had shallow exploration of a main character and that the story fell into the all too familiar habit of portraying women as cold, bitchy and means-to-an-end.

That and a few other things got me thinking:
Why do so many women seem to think feminism is a bad word? Why do so many people think feminism is a grab bag of castration (metaphorical or not) and a refusal to shave your legs?
How does equality for women equate to oppression for men?

Feminism is: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
When did things get twisted to the point that some women would rather pretend to be “one of the guys” and accept that the patriarchy does not see them as equals as long as they can be “one of the good women”?

I am a feminist because I believe that my gender does not determine whether or not I’m …

7 Things You'll Eat As A Writer

Your weight in comfort food. Seriously, pass me the doughnuts. Pick your poison and expect to pop open that box/bucket/wrapper/whatever because there will be days you hit an awful spot in a draft, a revision, or a review, and you’ll want to have your stash handy (or your delivery boy’s number on speed dial). Other days, you’ll crack open your go-to snack because you’re burning through a ms and you CANNOT STOP FOR ANYTHING! SOMEONE BRING THIS MAN A STADIUM PAL!
The ends of Pens. I don’t make the rules.
Tear soaked… anything. Don't worry if you're mid-draft brain has you sucking the moisture out of a tear stained sock to rehydrate yourself (unless it's a dirty sock, then be afraid; if it's not your sock at all… well, I guess it's good there's no one around to judge you.)
Your words. They won’t sustain you, but you can bet you’ll eat those black lines and curves you plop down on the page from time to time. You’re going to make commitments that are just out of your ab…

IWSG: Support

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J Cavanaugh. Posts go out the first Wednesday of every month. Join up to post with almost 300 other blogs.

Writing can feel like a very solitary activity.

You sit at your computer/notebook and you create worlds. You tap out 100,000 words…. And no one’s there to help you or give you encouragement beyond the general “way to go.”

One thing that is important about writing is support. This isn’t a completion, it’s a community. I want you to succeed. Your success is not something that will hinder mine. I’m not sure if everyone realizes that.

I love other authors. And I love giving them help in any way I can. To me, support is a thousand different things.

Support is retweeting about a book release or a Kickstarter.
Support is reviewing a book good or bad (I still believe that bad reviews can be helpful for readers to find your book.)
Support is offering to be the one who reads three pages and tells them what’s…

Flash Fiction: First/Last Date

Wandering the Phoenix Art Museum one evening, I saw a couple seated in front of an art installation. I didn’t know their names, I didn’t know what had brought them to the museum that night. But together with the fixture in front of them, an idea came to life.
It was a Schrodinger’s cat situation, the people in my head (who clearly don’t exist in real life) could have been on their first date, they could have been on their last. I didn’t know, and while they sat – completely oblivious to me – a story began to form in my mind.
Today, I’ve decided to share that story with you:

First/Last Date They were such good friends, she’d balked at the idea of change. Dinner had been fine. It had been normal -- like two old friends sharing a meal. But she’d seen that spark in his eye, the one that told her he felt something more. He wanted something more. As his friend, she wanted to give him that, even if she didn’t know what it was. He’d led her through the art museum, a place she thought of as his dom…

Guest Post: How To Survive a Vampire Attack

Today we have a guest post from Ileandra Young who's new book Silk Over Razor Blades releases on Monday. It will be available on Amazon and her website

Ileandra writes Fantasy, horror, comedy and general fiction while the other half of her brain works under the pen name Raven Shadowhawk.

And now, I'll let her take it away:


Hi, I’m Ileandra and I thought you might be interested in this very interesting excerpt from an old text published by The Clerics in 1843. Though it has been modified for the modern day order of Clerics, established in 1999, the essence of the text remains a fascinating read.
I hope you enjoy it.

When one of these dark creatures decides that you’re to be their man course, there are very few things you can do to stop them. Myths and legends aside, true vampires are vulnerable in very specific set of ways. Taking advantage of these things requires special training that most ci…