Thursday, February 11, 2021


 This week is a book-o-rama of deals!

In the world of Epic Fantasy- we have  a collection of FREE, yes, FREE, epic fantasy books for your downloading! (Essence of Chaos is in there ;)).

This is brought to you from the IASFA (International Alliance of SFF Authors. Each month member authors (yup, I'm one ;)) post a selection of free books for a specific sub genre.  You can check them out, and take what ones you want! (I grabbed more than a few myself ;)).

And in the world of Science Fiction-- SWFA (Science fiction and Fantasy Writers of America--yup- member of them too ;)) has put out another Story Bundle! Not free, but very discounted. For $5 you get the first five titles, go up to $15 or more and get all 18 books!  Support authors and SFWA.

Happy Book hunting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

#IWSG Balance and pivoting

 Hello and welcome to another episode in the monthly blog hop for Insecure Writers! Writers from across the land join forces to share our tales of woe!  JOIN US!

 Today marks a bit over one month that I jumped off the regular day job train and moved to full time writer. Ya want insecure? This chick has serious insecurities!

I do have a back list of books (book 16 comes out this month) and a wee pension. But this is scary stuff!

I knew from the start I needed a plan and a schedule that works for me. Right now that means working 5 days a week (I take Wed and Sat off). Starting at a mostly set time, but for this month I am keeping a timesheet to see how much time I am spending (last month was too all over the place ;)).  I have set daily and weekly word counts, plus trying to working in advertising time, newsletters, blogs, etc. Still a major WIP ;).

I'm finding that some folks get it, others don't.

I've had friends who figure that since I retired from my day-job, I'm free to do whatever I or they want. I explain I am working--and they just shrug and again say I can do what I want.

In a way, they are right. I can.

But what I want is to build a stronger writing career. To do that, I need a routine. When I worked at the old day job, I'd get up at 4:30/5 am to write before work. After dinner, I'd write. Weekends--I'd write.
I had a schedule (it was a bit intense, but it worked ;)).

Now, I literally can do what I want. BUT to achieve my goals, I have to have a schedule, a routine to keep me going. I write in set word chunks. Right now, it's 4 chunks of 750 words each (goal at this point is 3,000 a day). When I hit my goal for that section--I stop. 

Yes, I could keep going (and will go a bit over) but it's important for me to know that I hit my goal and now get a 10 min break. If I pushed past that goal, I'd run out of steam. Also, it really helps when the words are coming slowly, to look at my counter and remind myself I can stop in 345 words (or wherever I'm at ;)).

I know many writers say they must write everyday. For me having those two days off is wonderful. Now, I might take part of a day if something pops up and causes a pivot (lost time on Saturday because I was behind on edits). But knowing I have those days to recharge really helps.

I'm still building balance in my schedule-- keep to the daily word count, not cram all the words in a few days. And learning to accept that I will have to pivot. When I get stressed about this whole thing, I cling to the schedule like a life raft. I am learning that as long as it's moving me forward in terms of the over-all goal, pivots are okay.

I'm insecure, but I'm trying to get better :).

What makes you feel insecure?

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

#IWSG What stops you?

 Happy New Year! And happy monthly blogging with the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Join us!

I hope you all had a lovely and safe start to the new year :).  Today's IWSG question is looking on the reader side:

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

That's a very good question, because understanding what may stop a reader, particularly YOUR reader, can keep you as a writer from making that same mistake.

One caveat though, not all readers are your reader. What will throw me off a book would be absolute gold to another reader--so the connection for us a writers is what does YOUR reader like.

I love characters. If you give me some amazing characters, some humor, a bit of snark, and send them off into trouble- I AM ALL IN. So, if I'm reading a book with flat characters, even if the world building, description, etc. is to make angels weep--I will DNF it (Did Not Finish).   

The older I get, the pickier I become. Just because I DNF a book doesn't mean it's bad, it means I'm not the right reader for it. There are readers out there who LOVE long descriptions that go on for pages and don't really care as much about the characters specifically.

What throws you out of a book?

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

#IWSG- Seasonal slow downs

 Welcome to another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Each month, writers from all over join to support each other as we toss or fears out into the world!

Join us!

Each month a question is suggested for a blog idea. This month's was dealing with times of the year when someone is more productive in their writing.

I'm switching it up a bit-- I'm doing when  I am less productive.

I realized last year (probably before that, but didn't pay attention ;))-- that I don't do well in summer. Even this summer, where I was in my house all of the time, and working remotely, I did less than other times of the year.

I don't have kids beyond the furry kind, so it's not that. 

But, I do work for a college-- and unless you are one of those magical unicorns, a ten-month employee, summer is very busy. We're wrapping up the prior year, setting up the next, and dealing with the summer students. 

When I sat back and looked at it, I realized that even though I would work the same amount of hours--that intensity just wiped me out.  

The problem is, I don't always look at things like that--but I need to. Knowing when and how you write best and what things can shut you down, is essential for a writer.

So, I guess my best times to write are the other nine months of the year ;). And I'm going to start paying more attention to my writing time!

When are your best times? (or worse ;)).

Happy IWSG Day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

#IWSG Starting full-time writing



Once a month writers from across the land gather to share our hopes, dreams, and terrors.  Join us!


For my entire writing career, I have worked a full-time day job alongside my almost full-time writing job.

That ends Dec 30th, 2020.

 I’ve taken an early retirement buyout from the day job and will be working full-time as a writer starting Jan 2, 2021 (yeah, need a few days to recover šŸ˜‰).

Now this doesn’t mean I’m retiring retiring…more like a graduation to full time writer (and since the day job was at a college—graduation is fitting).

I am very motivated and love telling stories. I’m also extremely lazy. LOL. This means I need a schedule in place to reach my goals. Here’s what I have so far:

·         1) Work five days a week, 40 hours. The days off can fluctuate, but they need to be there to keep me working during those 40 hours.

·         2) First month, keep a spreadsheet of time in, time out, lunch, and results for the day. I haven’t had to clock in for probably 20 years—so this will be odd. BUT again, building the habit of a regular workday.

·         3) See above—make sure to LEAVE the desk for lunch time.

·        4)  Building my daily word count to what I want to be hitting regularly. Each week in January the daily goals increase. Obviously, if I have a project in editing, the word count will differ.

·         5) Daily walks and stretching. Getting outside in the yard for part of lunch.

·         6) Focus on setting up my office and the rest of the house in such a way that it keeps me working.

·         7) Naps if needed. This was suggested on another group and I like it.

·        8)  Find other creative outlets.  At a writing conference last year there was a great panel on writer burn out. One of the things brought up was that when your “creative outlet” aka writing, becomes your primary job, it loses  ability to relax you. The former stress reliever is now a stressor. You’re still being creative—obviously—but the psychological assist it can give is reduced. Soooo, cooking, coloring, who knows maybe knitting, will come into my life.

·        9)  Holidays are mostly days off. I reserve the right to work during part of a holiday if I’m on a deadline.

·        10) Spreadsheet the heck out of my book release plan.

·         11) Social media and marketing will be broken up so each of the five days has a portion of it assigned to them.

That’s what I have so far—any of you full-time, self-employed folks have additional things that work?

Happy Insecure Writing Day!!






Wednesday, October 7, 2020

#IWSG-- Changes!

 Welcome to the monthly blog hop of insecure writers EVERYWHERE!

Join us!

So this has been a very interesting week. I applied for an Early Exit from my day job (with severance) and got it in part due to my years of training getting badges for Comic-Con International (limited spots-- got mine submitted in 19 seconds ;)). This is great news!  As of Dec 31, 2020 I will be a full time writer.

It's also scary as heck.

When people think of stressors, they think the bad ones. However, good events can still cause lots of stress. It's a step into the unknown. We like being in our routine and this is going to blow the socks off. Plus, while I will NOT miss my day job, I've been there 15 years and have many people I WILL miss.

But I'm moving forward. My office at home needed/needs a serious revamp and I'm in the process of it. New computer, new monitor. Moving forward.

Which actually sort of leads into this month's question-- do we think of ourselves as a working writer?  Hmmm- the IRS has thought so since my first year being published.  But, yes, I do think of myself as being a working writer--even BEFORE the escape at the end of this year.  I spend 30 hours or more (way more) on writing. Along with my current day job--this leave me tired. A LOT.

But I LOVE IT.  I am proud to be a working writer.

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Seeker's Chest is on preorder! More drunken faeries!

 Soooooooo--I just put a book on pre order-- The Seeker's Chest!

 This book is the start of new adventures for Taryn and some familiar drunken faeries. The Diamond Sphinx wrapped up the six book original series, but I just couldn't let them go!

This new series The Lost Ancients Dragon's Blood takes up a week or so after the epilogue at the end of Diamond Sphinx. New adventures and new mayhem! We're traveling to the southern continent of the world, where more dangers lurk.

While you don't have to read this if you read the other series, that was a contained story (in six books ;)).

BUT you REALLY should have read them if you want to read this. There are spoilers for the original series all over and it is designed for folks who read the first six.

If you think you might want to go on another adventure this fall, click the link!