Friday, February 24, 2017

FEBRUARY CHECK-IN




OMG! Are you so scared of me? I've actually blogged 3, count them, 3 times this week! I know, I'm quite stunned myself. I might have to go have some wine and take a nap. 

Anyway, I think I've accomplished quite a bit this month. I have:

1. gone back through Entangled (the never ending book) and have rewritten, added and gotten caught up so now all I need to do is finish it

2. found a new job :-) Yay me!! I start the 27th and am so excited

3. talk to my doctor about the never-ending depression and gotten new meds to take

4. written down 2 new ideas for books, which I'm really excited about

I think for a short month I've done quite a bit and I'm really pumped for March to start. 

Now run on over and see what the rest of the bloggers are up to

Bronwyn
Jessica
Deelylah
Torrance

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

TIPS, TRICKS, AND TOOLS I USE TO ORGANIZE MY WRITING LIFE



I love this post topic . . . really. I mean, I am the epitome of organized, on the ball, totally with it . . .



Yeah, I know. It's getting deep in here. And I so wish I had a basket full of tips, tricks and tools to share. Because if I did, I'd probably be writing everyday and cranking out 7 books a year. Aaaaand I'm not. But there are a few things I've learned to do over these many years I've been writing.

1. Write everything down!!! I know, you say well duh Gwen, you're a writer so of course you write stuff down. And my reply would be, "Nay, nay, my friend." I didn't always. I was sure I would remember that awesome idea, great name, or book title. I didn't. So now, when an idea strikes I am on it and putting it down in a huge file I keep. 

2. Google (and other search engines) are my friend. I use them all the time. When I don't know something I always research it. I never want that one person who knows whatever to call me on a fact I could have looked up, but didn't both with.

3. On that same track, if I know someone who knows stuff I will so pick his or her brain. It's way better to have someone give first-hand information since that makes whatever I'm writing more real. 

4. Perhaps this doesn't count as a tip, trick or tool, but I try not to beat up on myself if I don't write. I have clinical depression. Have had it, will have it. It's something I have learned to live with. Living with it means there will be times I function on a minimal level. I force myself up and always go to my outside job, but often that doesn't leave me energy to write. If not, I don't get down on myself since the depression is already doing that. 

I think that's about it. I know, not much, but right now that's what I have. I will say I've gone to the doctor for help with the nagging depression and she's given me a med to add to what I'm taking. Even after only 6 days, I'm actually feeling better. 

Anyway, go on over to check out what the other bloggers have to say. I'm sure it's way more than what I have. 

Bronwyn
Jessica
Jessica D
Deelylah



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FEBRUARY SONG FLASH FICTION


The song this month is Glycerine by Bush. If you don't know it, or, haven't heard it in a while click the link and check it out. Even after 20+ years the song is still good. 

I'm not sure if the song inspired this bit of flash fiction or the song just prompted me to write it down, but whatever. I'm fairly certain this will, eventually, become a book. Oh and if you have comments or suggestions just let me know. 


Dark slowly took over the forest as Walker Monroe moved confidently through the brush, constantly sweeping the area with a light and calling. Always calling. Today it was Molly, but a week ago, it had been Ben. He couldn’t understand parents who brought their children out to the woods and, then, didn’t watch them. This place wasn’t a store, where doors could be locked and the space was finite. Hell, no, it was thousands of acres of wooded land. Thousands of acres where most people never went.
No matter, when a child went missing, Walker automatically came out. He knew most of this land like the back of his hand. To him, it was home, but a dangerous one that had to be respected.
His radio crackled and a voice came through. “The child has been found safe. Pack it in and head back to base.”
Relief washed through him as he turned and started back the way he’d come. Now that the kid was located he began to mentally go through the groups on his schedule for the next few days. Walker and his best friend, Cade, were owners of Walker Stewart Wilderness Guides. While Cade worked with the newbies and groups interested in day walks, Walker took on the people who wanted to go harder, truly experience nature over days or even weeks. So far, it was working for them.
A slight noise off to his left, pulled him from his thoughts and swing the flashlight in that direction. What he saw stunned him. A woman, in little more than a tattered shirt, stumbled out of the woods. Her skin was white, so white, which made her blue eyes stand out in her gaunt face.
Walker moved forward as she slumped to the ground.
“Help me,” she mumbled, “please help me.”
“I’ve got you.” He dropped his pack and dug a thermal blanket out to wrap her in. Grabbing up his walkie he called in to base asking for immediate assistance.
“Don’t let him find me,” she whispered, grabbing his hand.
“I’ve got you. No one is going to hurt you. I promise.”

Walker swung the frail woman up into his arms and began to move swiftly through the night dark forest.


Now go check out what the other ladies have written

Bronwyn
Jessica
Deelylah
Paige


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WINTER WHERE I LIVE








Sadly, where I live, all the above weather can happen in the same week. Just last week, I believe, we hit 65 and then, two days later, we were down in the upper 20s. So, truly, there's no rhyme or reason to the weather. I will say that, for the most part, it seems as though it's mostly gray and overcast, which makes it so dreary. 

Now, go check out what it's like where the other bloggers live.

Bronwyn
Kris
Torrance
Deelylah
Kellie

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

FEBRUARY TOP 10!


When I first saw this, I had a total misread and thought it said Top 10 ways to hook me a reader. I, of course, then added a huge twang to that sentence and got quite a laugh. Needless to say, that was not, obviously, what it said. I so need to get some sleep.

Anyway, here are things authors need to do to hook ME as a reader.

1) The book must be contemporary or paranormal - I read sooooo many historical (or hysterical as I used to call them) romance novels back in the day I just can't do them anymore. If the book has people in big puffy gowns on the cover I move on.

2) Amazing cover art - I do judge a book by its cover and the covers have to catch my attention. They do not necessarily have to have shirtless men pictured (though that doesn't hurt), but I want the cover to be something special.

3) An interesting back cover blurb. If I see a cover I like, I WILL pick it up and read the back cover. If it mentions some kind of mystery or it makes me laugh I will probably buy it.

4) Likable characters. And I'm sure you're thinking, well duh, but no that is not a given. I've read some books where the main characters were total shitheads. If they have no redeeming value I am out.

5) Smart characters. I do not want a stupid misunderstanding that keeps the hero and heroine apart. If they aren't together make it for a good reason. Nothing like she sees him talking to another girl and rushes out only to find out later it was his sister. Totally lame.

6) Falling in love without giving a reason. I just finished a book where the man and woman really didn't have that intense of a connection and yet somehow they were in love. They hadn't talked all that much, they did text, but nothing that struck me as deep sharing. I just didn't get it.

7) Good sex scenes. If the author is going to write sex, I want it to be good. I also want the characters to do more than have sex, so sometimes too much of a good thing isn't all that good.

8) Multiple books. I love a good series, especially one that I can really get to know the characters and they grow. I love J.D. Robb's In Death and Nalini Singh's Archangel and Psy/Changeling. Tons of characters and each one is given equal time. Every time I pick one up it feels as though I'm getting together with friends.

9) Humor. If a book can make me laugh out loud then I will keep coming back for more. Shelly Laurenston and Molly Harper are both great authors for this. Neither one has an issue with poking fun at their characters, which I love.

10) Snappy dialogue. I love when the characters are talking and it sounds and feels natural. 

And those are the top ten ways to hook me and keep me as a reader. What kind of things do you look for?? Also, go and check out what the other bloggers look for in books.

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
Kellie
Deelylah

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

THE WORST PLACE I'VE BEEN STUCK


The first thought that came to mind when I saw this idea for random Wednesday was . . . work. Then I realized it wouldn't make for a very good story, since, yeah, we've all been there.

So, let me tell you about the time I ended up in a jungle in Mexico.

Yeah, I wish, but not hardly. It was more like . . .



And hot, so miserably hot. Over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with about a billion percent humidity. 

So, a friend of mine and I decided to go to Mexico, the Riviera Maya to be exact to an all-inclusive resort. So much awesome. We decided we'd spend the first day taking a small tour, nothing big deal, to see the ruins. We signed up for a half-day (this part is important) tour of a place called Coba. The guy told us half-day, we both heard half-day. Can you guess what it wasn't??? You got it!! Half-day!

On the bus, heading to Coba, our guide is talking about all the amazing things we were doing that day. See Coba, have lunch, visit a village and trek through the jungle trying to see monkeys in the wild. WHAT??!!! 



Sadness, lamentations, and much cursing followed, but we were stuck. And really, how bad could it get? Right?

Coba was really amazing, but it was around 9 in the morning and the temps were already well into the upper 90s. Any breeze that came was hot and kicked up dust. Imagine sweat, loads of sweat, combined with dust. I'm sure you can now picture what we looked like.

At least we had dressed correctly. One woman on this adventure to hell was in an "outfit." Fancy shorts and top, dress shoes, jewelry, makeup, and fabulous updo. A man had on a track suit (pants and jacket), t-shirt, and sneakers. Last time I checked, the jungle had no track and field events. 

By the time we made it to the jungle, it was fairly late in the afternoon and we were hot, sweaty and exhausted. Our guide informed us, quite vehemently, that we were to stay with our individual guides since this was the jungle. No marked paths, no maps, no nothing. Oh, and by the way, the guides don't speak English. Of course they don't. 

I found myself in a group with track suit guy. I felt so bad for him since he was a tad overweight and his pants had begun to sag. In fact, I realized the pants we're a bit long on him. As he scuffed along, he was walking on the bottom of his pants. As we trudged through the green hell, track suit guy kept walking slower and slower. Now, there was no way to pass him, since the "path" was tiny, and I realized we were losing the rest of our group and, more importantly, the guide. 

At this point, my amazing friend nudged my back and hissed, "Get his ass moving or I will." Throughout our hike, she had been cursing up a storm behind me and I knew our track-suited friend would not survive her wrath. She probably would have booted him right off the "path" into the jungle where something was waiting to eat him. So I, being an elementary teacher, did what elementary teachers do. I put on my "Miss Mary-fucking-Sunshine" voice and clapped my hands behind Track Suit's back.

"Okay now, let's go, go, go. We don't want to lose our guide."

In my head, I was thinking - Because if we do, we'll be lost forever and you my track suited friend will be sacrificed for the good of the group and because you pissed everyone off.

He instantly snapped to attention and hauled ass to catch up. Yes!! Score one for the teacher.

Obviously, we made it back to the hotel since I'm sitting here typing this. The clothing I was wearing, did not. It was not salvageable. The heat and humidity had baked the dirt into my shirt, shorts and socks and no amount of washing could get them clean. I even used bleach on the socks and they still came out beige. 

And that is the story of the worst place I've ever been stuck. Now go and check out where the other bloggers wanted to escape from.

Bronwyn
Paige
Kellie
Jessica D
Deelylah

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MUSICAL MUSINGS


Hello!! This is a new feature for the randomness that is Wednesday and I am so excited. I love music! Always have. When I was a kid I had a small tape recorder that I would hold up to the radio to make my own mixed tapes. LOL! I'd get so mad if someone would talk or walk in and mess the song up. *rolling eyes* Yeah, as if the recording was going to be all that great anyway. It didn't matter though since I made dozens of those tapes. 



Now, it's even better since I have a MP3 player that I have hundreds (well over a thousand) songs on that I can listen to and they are all pristine quality.



1. Favorite Soundtrack: Hamilton, of course. I'm going to say, at least, four of the other bloggers are going to say Hamilton too. This isn't the only soundtrack I love. I've been listening to musicals since I was a kid. I love Kiss Me, Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Camelot. After Hamilton, my favorite is Kiss Me, Kate and Beauty and the Beast! 




2. Song that Makes Me Want to Dance - Dang, there are so many. Bang, Bang - Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande; Burnin' Up - Jessie J, Shake it Off - Taylor Swift . . . I could go on and on. If it has a beat then I will dance. Yeah, but not like this




3. Song I Love to Sing Along With - This is another category I will say, pick one. Hell, I'll belt out Alexander Hamilton one minute, Shake it Off the next, and end with Down with the Sickness. When I was teaching, I made up songs to sing to my kids. They, of course, loved it. I think the one that I enjoy most is Shake it Off because it has a great beat and I place a lot of meaning to it. 



And there you go. My thoughts on music. Now go over and check out what the other bloggers have to say.

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
Paige
Torrance