Monday, March 27, 2017

Picking a Title and Guesting

I hope you'll join me today over at Kathleen Watson's blog where I'm talking about space opera science fiction and why it's so popular. I accidentally linked to it last week but I was seven days too early. Please stop by.

I finished my WIP and am still working on a title. I'm not enthusiastic about the one I came up with. My publisher has helped me in the past when I can't settle on something. There is a lot of advice out there for picking a title for your book. Over at Writer's Digest, Chuck Sambuchino has these five bits of advice.  Anne R. Allen has ten tips for choosing a title. Maybe I can figure out a good one.

My daughter and I had a recent discussion about books, movies and TV shows that have made us cry. We had no trouble agreeing on a book. My daughter convinced me to read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Hein a while ago. Most heartbreaking fiction book EVER. I will never re-read it. On TV, we both agreed that the GoT episode, Hodor, led to loud, ugly sobbing. I'm bracing myself for the last episode of Grimm this Friday. I've been a steady if not always enthusiastic fan of the show from the start and it all ends this week. I'm not expecting happiness.

I went to the cafe at the local BAM a few days ago so I could concentrate on some rewrites since our house was rather noisy with March Madness cheers and groans. To my disappointment, the cafe was loud and very distracting. Now I don't expect a bookstore to be a library, but it's usually pretty calm. To make matters worse, the people being loud and distracting were the workers. Irritation happened but I did get something done.

This Friday is the last of the month and the start of a new monthly blog hop. We Are the World members will blog the last Friday of every month and share positive stories and thoughts with the world. Every little bit helps.

I went with my daughter last week to see Beauty and the Beast. It was very nice and we had a good time. It closely followed the original animated version but I didn't mind. Great special effects for the talking household items and on the Beast.

Are you a fan of space opera? What book, movie or show has made you cry recently? Do you have trouble picking titles for your work? Do you like your bookstores quiet?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring for Real and DR Grady

I hope you'll hop over the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog where I'm talking about attending a conference. Please feel free to add your own advice and experiences in the comments. I'm very excited to be attending the 30th annual Pennwriter's Conference in May.

D.R. Grady is a fellow member of my local RWA chapter and a prolific author. Her latest release, The Trouble with Nerds, is now available on Amazon.

Odd things keep happening to Dr. Sara Newton. She’s a soon-to-be-unemployed pediatrician with an alleged stalker, a hot cop on her heels breathing dire warnings, and way too much student debt.

It doesn’t help that the hot cop is Clay Morrison, her best friend’s older brother. The man has made her heart pound and her palms sweaty since puberty. The trouble is, he only interacts with her when he’s expounding on new security measures. He sees threats everywhere.

Clay Morrison is frustrated. He hates his new job, misses his Army Ranger days, loves his well-meaning, pushy family—and when did sweet Sara Newton grow up? She won't admit she has a stalker, and she won't keep out of his thoughts. He can only protect someone in denial for so long. No matter how attractive she is...


Clay and Sara are circling each other, trying to meet in the middle. Then a brand new threat sends them in a completely different direction.

Find D.R. Grady at her Website, Facebook and Twitter.
You can also find all her books on her Amazon Author page.

Despite the 15 inches of snow we had last week, spring is determined to show up today. The snow is melting really fast and hopefully all my spring flowers have survived beneath it. The thing I like best about spring is that it's that much closer to summer. Bring the heat, Mother Nature.

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” 
― Pablo Neruda

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. -Proverb

Happy Spring, to the Northern Hemisphere. I've been waiting for you.

Are you ready for spring? Do you know DR Grady of Kathleen Watson? Did you get that big snow storm last week?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Goodreads, GoT, and Hoedown Showdown

Lots of news to share today as PA and most of the northeast USA braces for a snowstorm. Lots of us had a 'oh no' moment last week when HBO announced Game of Thrones would not return until July 16th for season 7. Do they know how many times I've already watched season 6? I can't wait that long!

In more excitement of things to come from IWSG, we're forming a book club on Goodreads. Please join us and invite your friends.

Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.
 Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.
 Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.
 
OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.
 
**The first book will be announced on April 1st.**
**The discussion will start on May 17th.**
 
For more details and to join: Book Club

Don't forget to work on that Twitter pitch sponsored by IWSG coming in July. Being in the right place at the right time is how many authors find their agent or publisher.

I met a woman last week who arranges the books on her shelves by color. ???? What? There are people who don't arrange their books by author and subject matter? Am I the only one who thinks arranging by color is very strange. How do you find what you're looking for? Do you say to yourself, 'I think I'll read a blue book today?'

I have the pleasure of sharing news from a friend of mine. Misty Simon writes romance and mysteries. Her heroine, Ivy Morris, is fun and smart as are the amusing characters who live in her small town.
 
Hoedown Showdown, Ivy Morris Mysteries by Misty Simon

With the Tasty Tomato Tournament just days away, the small town of Martha’s Point is all abuzz. This is the first year without a sure winner, and the competition is fierce to gain the judges’ approval, even before the tournament starts.

But when Ivy finds one of those judges dead in a shed across the street, things go from bad to worse. All she wanted was seven glorious, kid-free days of messing around with her husband. Instead, she’s going to be tracking down a killer, staying out of the way of a pickle-obsessed farmer, and dodging the new cop who seems out for her blood.

Find Misty on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Are you anxious for Game of Thrones to come back on? How do you arrange books on your shelves? Are you a member of Goodreads and ready to join a new group? Are you in the path of the oncoming storm?


Monday, March 6, 2017

Ups and Downs

What a stressful and exciting few days at the Gourley Homestead. New granddaughter has joined the world. She's perfect and beautiful, but she took long, difficult route to get here. A long labor that ended with a C-section made things rough for the new mother as well as a few additional complications. All is well though an extra day or so in the hospital is required. As a parent, there's something really special about seeing your own child become a parent.

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. When a man’s mother holds his child in her gladdenarms he is aware of the roundness of life’s cycle; of the mystic harmony of life’s ways. – Christopher Morley
I found time to enjoy a local writers' meeting. We had a great speaker. Geri Krotow is a very successful novelist and a retired naval intelligence officer. Geri spoke about a variety of things, but mostly about finding your own path as a writer. Even as successful as she is now, she shared all the failures and missteps she made to get where she is today. Geri is one of those writers who is always willing to give back and help other writers.

Did you see this article in Publishers Weekly about Barnes and Noble? As much as I love the small independent bookstores and shop at the only one near me, I still really enjoy visiting a big bookstore. I think I cried when Borders closed. And now B&N is barely hanging on. My most successful book signings have been at Barnes and Noble. I've never left that store without buying something.


One of my favorite shows returned last night, Once Upon a Time. I'm thinking it might be the last year for this show, but I really won't mind because the characters have grown. I'd rather it end now instead of dragging on and becoming boring. Lots of shows that go beyond 5 or 6 seasons lose what made them good in the first place.

I'm being optimistic here, but I might finish my WIP this week. Next week at the latest. It's only the first, terribly rough draft, but I love typing the end.

The time changes next weekend, Spring Ahead. I always hated that when I was teaching. I really don't like getting up early though I've had to for most of my life. Now that I can sleep in a bit, I can enjoy the time change that gives us light later into the evening.

Will you miss B&N if they close? Can you think of a TV show that stretched on too long? Do you like Daylight Savings Time?





Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG: March 2017 Version

Time to share your triumphs and failures with other writers. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG is stronger than ever and growing every day. If you haven't already, please join our Facebook Group and our Twitter.

And that leads me into an exciting announcement. Coming in July, IWSG will host our first Twitter pitch party. You can find all the rules on our page. You have lots of time to get that perfect 140 character pitch ready.

Also, if you haven't sent for some IWSG swag, check out some of the new items. I already have my pens and I'm thinking about one of those mugs.
IWSG Eraser

The co-hosts for this month's IWSG blog hop are Tamara NarayanPatsy CollinsM.J. FifieldNicohle Christopherson.

The proposed question for this month's hop;
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
I haven't really done this but I do have a few I'm meaning to get to. One of them I have hopes for but The Greater Good, went through dozens of rewrites before I found a publisher for it. That was ten years ago and every quarter, I still get sales of that book.
the others not so much. The first book I ever wrote,

As far as insecurities goes this month, I'm worried about my to-do list and how it never seems to get shorter.

“I made a list of things I wanted to do with my life, but it ended up mostly being a list of books I wanted to write” 
― Ellie Rose McKee

Any old manuscripts you might breath new life into? Have you ever tried a Twitter pitch? Get any bites? Are you ready for some IWSG swag?










Monday, February 27, 2017

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Another month has slipped away. I'm not finished with that first draft yet, though I've very close. And it's nearly time for the monthly posting of IWSG. You can still sign up on the list and be part of this dynamic group. There are some exciting announcements coming your way on Wednesday.
This month's question, should you decide to use it:
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

More sad news from the world of small presses. Samhain Publishing is closing its doors tomorrow. It was a powerhouse for a while but began facing the same difficulties all small publishers and indie authors have been facing over the last few years. I've heard nothing but good things about Samhain and how they've treated their authors and continue to treat them. It's still a sad time for the authors and the owners who have put so much work into their business. I'm quite worried about all small publishers.

As I've mentioned before, many small presses sell books directly from their site. The publisher and the author make more money from those sales without the middle man such as Amazon taking its cut. My latest release, The Outlaw's Savior, last in The Galactic Outlaw series, is now for sale on New Concepts Publishing Website.

The warm weather last week spoiled me a bit, but I put in lots of outside miles while exercising. Winter is back this week, but it's not so cold as some years. The good weather didn't help reduce my TBR pile which is very tall right now.

One of my top two favorite TV shows returns next week, Once Upon a Time. I noticed this week, how little live TV I've been watching. Sometimes, while I reading blogs in the mornings, I'll catch up to something on Demand such as Scorpion, Supernatural or a few other shows I like but don't love. Many times, I'd rather watch reruns on Netflix than check out any recent TV.

Does Samhain closing touch anyone you know? Is the weather strange in your part of the world? Are you ready for March?

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ― Charles DickensGreat Expectations










Monday, February 20, 2017

Triumphant Return

I didn't post last Monday, but with good reason. A young family member had some very serious surgery scheduled for last Monday at a children's hospital out of state. We spent most of Valentine's Day in a hospital waiting area. Everything went well and the child is now home again though a long way from recovered. Prognosis is good. You can imagine how stressful the past month has been while waiting for this dangerous surgery. But all is well. Apologies to those I didn't get around to visiting last week. I'll do better this week.

Some great news to share if you didn't hear. Insecure Writer's Support Group made it onto a 100 Best Writing Websites in 2017. I hope you'll check that out and share it around. I also received my IWSG pens. Really cool.

I know we all need to be concerned about climate change, but my long time readers know how I hate the cold. The weather has been so lovely and mild. It finally stopped raining and the sun even showed its face for a few days. It also made me anxious for spring.

Work on my WIP took a hit last week with everything going on, but I'm back on top of it now. I mucked through the ugly middle and am working on the last quarter of the book.

“It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.” ─ Will Shetterly
“Getting a first draft done is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.” ─ Joyce Carol Oates
If you didn't get a chance, visit IWSG post from last week and read about cover designs and what you need to consider if you do your own. Very interesting.  And of course, read the new post today.

A TV show I forgot to mention that I've been enjoying is Timeless. It involves time travel to the past where the heroes bumble around and too often change history as they try to prevent the bad guy from doing exactly that. Each week we meet historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Bonnie and Clyde, Hemingway, and Houdini before he was famous, and witness historic events. And recently it seems the 'big' bad guy might not be the biggie at all, though still pretty ruthless in his own right. And they don't avoid the prejudices and sexism of the past either as they encounter lots of it. It's fun.

Are you enjoying unusually warm weather this winter? Ever try pushing a peanut across the floor with your nose? Did you share the good news about our terrific IWSG? Do you have the day off for President's Day?