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Goodreads Giveaway!

In two days we’ll be celebrating Bound’s third birthday.

Bookday. Publaversary?

Whatever you want to call it, I’m excited! And I’m celebrating with a Goodreads giveaway. Want to enter to win a signed paperback copy of Bound? Enter here!

Good luck!

books

Just one, though. Just one.


Shadows in the Garden Hotel is now available

The Raven's Quill

When a book goes live with 13 5* reviews already in the world, it’s hard not to get excited about sharing it. Allegra Rossi, my problem child, is taking readers by surprise. If you’ve read the prequel and the first two installments of The Invisible Entente (which, if you haven’t done so yet, now is the perfect time, as Death at Peony House is currently on sale for 99c for probably the last time for a long while) then you know how Allegra can be. She’s cold, calculating, seductive, and generally not a person you want to spend time with if you can avoid it.

But don’t be fooled by the persona she shows the rest of the world. Her expectations for the people around her are just as high as those she places on herself. To us, she appears to be the epitome of perfection — her body…

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Beautiful Mess

Completely non-shocking confession: I’m a perfectionist.

I want everything I do to be perfect on the first try. Right away. Because something deep inside me thinks that if I’m not magically gifted at something, I shouldn’t try.

Now, I am also fully aware that this is BS, and I’m fighting it. It’s a stubborn mindset, though.

But I’m trying to change the way I look at risks, messes, and mistakes. Because sometimes? Sometimes you have to make a huge mess before you can create something beautiful, and you have to take a risk to get a reward.

I’m thinking about this today because I got my hair done. Well… half-done. It was getting dull after over a year of purple dye, and I wanted a fresh start from root to tip so I could get back to something brighter.

But do you know what happens when you bleach hair that’s been purple for 17 months?

Highlighter pink, that’s what happens.

Screenshot 2017-03-30 19.30.40

I mean, I think it’s kind of fun, but it’s not the end result I’m going for. The point is, this little OMG this is not what I want what have I done mess is a step toward what I do want. A necessary step.

I couldn’t get what I want if I didn’t move through the mess.

(And honestly, I’m now considering going berry pink for a while before I return to the Land of Purple. Sometimes messes aren’t so bad.)

Hair is a tiny thing, but it reminds me of a whole lot of bigger stuff.

First drafts can be like this, too. I can plan everything and still make a mess of it when my fingers hit the keyboard. That happened to me not too long ago, when I got to the mid-point of a book I was SUPER excited to write and realized it just wasn’t working.

I could have called it a failure and walked away. But my mess showed me what, exactly, wasn’t working. And when I had a consultation call with my wonderful editor last night, I was able to talk through those problems. Now I can’t wait to get back to it and start over (though I do have some other stuff going on with that whole urban fantasy pen name thing…)

Life can be like that, too.

I’m working through a few medical issues right now that are kind of hit-or-miss with medications. We try stuff, maybe it works, maybe I feel like crap for a month while we wait to see whether I’ll adjust to it, maybe we try something else.

While this is going on, my productivity is lower than it would normally be. It sucks. I panic and want to stop trying. I get sick of feeling sick. I want to give up. But I’m taking a chance, hoping that getting through this mess will mean things will be so much brighter on the other side that it will be worth slogging through the side-effect circus.

I’m making a mess so I can make it better, tearing down walls instead of just wallpapering over the cracks, making a mess so I can rebuild something solid instead of settling for a cosmetic cover-up.

And whether it’s did you mean to do that?! pink hair, stress-inducing dead ends on projects, or just trying to get my *stuff* together in life, I’m trying to be okay with the mess. Not every step of every journey needs to be pretty or perfect, as long as I’m learning and growing and not stressing too much in the meantime.

At least, that’s what I’m trying to teach myself. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


“I’m real” and other lies we tell ourselves

All of the “me, too” here!

The Raven's Quill

That’s not to say it should be a lie, but more that, as I’ve learned, it often feels like one.

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that you’re not actually worth your accomplishments and that, at any moment, someone could pop up and shout, “You! You aren’t actually the thing you claim to be, so sit down and stop pretending that you are!”

This sort of fear is good if you are, say, an actual fraud. Perhaps it will stop you from doing something fraudulent.

For the rest of us, it’s the irritating voice in our heads that stops us from celebrating/talking about/recognising our own achievements to anyone beyond our immediate toddlers or cats. And even then, it might be a whispered “Woohoo”.

hiding_behind_pole-s490x370-196110 Ever feel like this when people ask you about your goals and ambitions? This image basically sums up most of…

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Starting Out as an Indie Author published! This month only 99c

Okay, so I’m not exactly starting out as an indie author, but I am still pretty excited to grab a copy and give it a read! Ruth’s blog is a fantastic and honest look at writing and publishing as an indie author, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book. It’s on sale now!

Ruth Nestvold - Indie Adventures

Starting Out as an Indie Author EBook

Starting Out as an Indie Author has finally been published as an eBook! It took me longer than I expected, but then, what doesn’t, right? 🙂 It’s available now at most major retailers:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Apple
Google Play

You can find other retailers on Books2read: books2read.com/u/4jKvPY

For the month of March, I’m offering a special introductory price of only 99c to get the ball rolling. I can’t reduce the price on Kobo yet, however, because I signed up for a promo where the minimum price must be at least 2.99. Writing this blog post, I also noticed that the sale price has not gone through everywhere. Soon, I promise!

Here’s the book description and table of contents:

Starting Out as an Indie Author
A Beginner’s Guide to Preparing, Publishing and Marketing Your EBooks

Have you written your first book and are considering self-publishing? Perhaps you have started…

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Social Media Break Update

One week down.

How did it go?

Well, I talk a bit about it in a video I’ll link below. But for those not into videos…

It felt like a start.

I removed Facebook from my phone. That wasn’t the end of it, of course. I made the mistake of leaving Twitter installed, mostly because I kind of hate Twitter and didn’t think it would be an issue.

Talk about underestimating my brain’s distraction addiction.

I slipped up. I needed to use Facebook to talk to my street team group when I was looking for beta readers for this new novella, and I ended up slipping back into the habit of checking notifications way too much. I did use Twitter more than I should have (in spite of how completely unsatisfying it is) because my brain would rather get a quick hit of that feeling of DOING SOMETHING and STIMULATION than be alone with itself for five seconds. I ended up breaking my phone out of phone jail way more than I should have by the end of the week.

But good things came of it.

I did get work done. While it wasn’t any easier for me to make my brain buckle down and start work every day, I at least had fewer alternative uses for my work time. I finished my second draft of Sanctuary, I made corrections and revisions on the aforementioned novella (which I’ll be sending out to newsletter subscribers on my birthday). I got some reading done (Slammed by Colleen Hoover and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown).

Do I feel calmer and more present? Absolutely not. Actually, if we’re being honest, my anxiety is through the roof right now. Whether that’s FOMO, withdrawal, or what, I don’t know.

So we’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

I got back on Facebook last night so I could attend the (super fun) release party for Krista Walsh’s Song of Wishrock Harbor, and now I’m leaving again.

I’m going to read more. More fiction, more inspiring biographies, more big ideas that my poor foggy brain might not even understand.

I’m going to escape to my own worlds.

I’m going to keep trying to calm and quiet my mind, to be a little more present in my own life.

And I’m definitely deleting Twitter. 😉


Social Media Break-Away

Today was a mess.

I’ve been doing pretty well with things the past few weeks, both at work and at home. Using my bullet journal to organize tasks, forcing myself to get to work most mornings even though my brain pushes back against it like one magnet forcing itself away from another, getting the housework done.

And today I stalled.

I could blame it on Facebook, since that’s where I spent too much time clicking on videos and articles and news tidbits, reading comments that weren’t worth the brain power I wasted interpreting them. Or I could blame it on the fact that the morning started with getting groceries and fielding a call where I had to answer questions about my focus and mental health issues, and there was chicken cooking, and and and…

But it’s me. It’s my brain. For some reason, the little tricks I’ve been employing to keep me on track are just not working. I had the beginnings of this last week, when the resistance to starting work got worse every day. Natural enough, given how hard the work I’m doing right now is, but it’s more than that. It’s not just resistance. It’s a frigging wall.

And it’s frustrating. Really frustrating. I know how good it would feel to finish this revision pass. I know how necessary it is for me to get this done. I want to do it. I’m excited about this story, dammit, and I want to see it done (and I definitely want to get on to drafting the next one).

I’m not going to go into why it’s not happening. Not here, not now. But I am going to make a plan.

I’m cutting myself off from Facebook for a week. And Twitter, though that’s no great loss. Maybe Instagram if I need to.

Starting tomorrow morning (because I promised a friend I’d drop by her FB release party tonight), I’m done.

A week probably won’t be enough to help me become mindful and focused, and it won’t change my brain. But maybe in that time my mind will come up with better distractions.

Reading would be a good one. I’d be fine wasting a day in a book rather than watching videos of Meryl Streep (much as I admire her) and purring lynx. Maybe I’ll go a little stir-crazy, and maybe that’s okay.

Maybe my brain will remember that my work is how it entertains itself, after all, and it will become a little quieter in here.

I feel like I need about three months completely away from social media to really rewire myself, but that’s not really an option for me.

But this will be something.

Wish me luck!


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