Friday, January 29, 2010

TGIF: Check in!!!



It's Friday again!!!  Where did the week go?  Time to check in and see how we did with our goals.

These were my writing goals for the week and how I did:

*  Write  one page a day on the new novella.  YES!!!

*  Write book review.  NO

*  Tidy up notes from online class so they'll be ready for next class in May. YES

*  Prepare for February book signings (mail stuff for goody bags and basket).  YES/NO

*  Update website and blog. YES/NO

I did write one page a day and I'm on page 6.

I finished reading the book, but still need to write the review that is due Feb. 5.

I organized my notes and lessons from the online class.  PLUS I gathered everything to start preparing for a new and different class that I'll be teaching.

Still need to finish preparing for the booksignings.

Still need to make further updates to blog and website.

All in all, a pretty successful week!!!

How did you do?

Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spotlight: Mary Alice Pritchard



Today, we have author Mary Alice Pritchard visiting Just Write!  She has two books and three short stories out right now. She also has the sequel to one waiting on a release date and another in edits. She's one busy writer, isn't she?

So, let's ask Mary Alice some questions. . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?
I write paranormal romance with suspense thrown in. Mostly shapeshifters.  I do write romantic suspense as well but they usually have some form of paranormal element to them.

~  How long have you been writing?
I’ve written off and on all my life. At least since I was eight years old. I’m not telling you how old I am now.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?  
I started writing to be published about six years ago.


~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?
Actually only one. It wasn’t even the one I sold. I sold a proposal to a small e-publisher first. Then I sold the one I’d finished.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

 Mine was an e-mail. I was ecstatic. I hadn’t expected to sell anything so quickly.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
 I re-read it about six times to be sure I understood it. Then I turned my office chair in a circle.
 
~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?
Amazed, Ecstatic.  I just couldn’t believe I had sold something so quickly. Of course, then, it took a while to sell the next thing. It’s never as easy as you think it will be in the long run.

~  Who was the first person you told?

 My parents. They live with me and I ran over to the house. (I have a separate office next door.)

~   How did you celebrate?
We went out to eat lunch and then browsed an antique store. I bought a porcelain cat statue. I collect cats.

***

Jaguar Nights
is a cat shifter book in the Tales of the Cat series. Leopard Dreams is the sequel to it.  You can find Jaguar Nights and Ghostly Mistakes, my other paranormal book, at www.thewildrosepress.com, www.amazon.com and www.fictionwise.com They are available in both print and various e-book downloads.
  
Jaguar Nights by Mary Alice Pritchard

Can the calming energy of a human empath prevent a dangerous, untamed weir leader from destroying his pard? Will Cole be the answer to Syndee’s longing for acceptance and a home, or will he be her destruction?

Be sure and check out my web page at www.maryalicepritchard.com and my blog with my muses, www.maryalicepritchard.com/blog They keep me on track and love to tell what is going on at my place.

Thanks for a great interview, Mary Alice!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :) 

Monday, January 25, 2010

BICHOK!!! Again!!!



Monday's the write time to Just Write!!!

Here are my goals for the week:

*  Write  one page a day on the new novella.

*  Write book review.

*  Tidy up notes from online class so they'll be ready for next class in May.

*  Prepare for February book signings (mail stuff for goody bags and basket).

*  Update website and blog.

I hope everyone has a productive week!!!

Post your goals and updates, then we'll check in on Friday!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

TGIF: Check In!!!


It's Friday!!!  Time to check in and see how we faired . . .

These were the goals I set on Monday: 

*  Set up document for a new manuscript entitled:  THE VISCOUNT'S SURPRISE.

*  Start the opening scene of ms.

*  Finish a guest blog interview and send it back.

*  Keep ahead of the online class I'm teaching.

*  Go to my RWA Chapter meeting.

I'm happy to say that I accomplished them all!!!  WooHoo!!!  A good week, all in all!!!

And I have good news!!!

I had a request for the full manuscript of the Regency novella, and I SENT IT IN!!!

Now the wait begins . . .

How did you do on your writing goals this week?

Have a good weekend and Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BK Reeves on Writing

 It's release day for BK Reeves!!!  The Open Face of Heaven,  her second Orphan Train story from The Wild Rose Press, is available today!!!  Leave a comment and you'll be eligible to win a free copy!!!

The Open Face of Heaven
by BK Reeves
Available from The Wild Rose Press
 
Just what the doctor ordered... After losing her parents, Milly Blakely cut her hair and pretended to be younger to get on the Orphan Train. She’s come a long way to find a new family. Her heart hungers for someone to love. When she spies a frail and sick-looking young woman with a frowning, yet handsome man at the Orphan Train’s stop in Addison, Kansas, she knows she can help these people and can’t wait to get started. But can she love these hurting people without getting hurt herself? Rad Powell’s wife, Frances, is dying. He gives in to her wish for a companion and takes in Milly Blakely. Milly is a blessing and so much more than a mere companion during Frances’ last days. After the loss of his wife, he realizes how much this young woman has changed his life and touched his bruised heart. Can he find a second chance at love?
***
And now it's my pleasure to welcome  BK back to Just Write!

Writer’s Voice by B.K. Reeves 

I’ve been writing a long time and  have had some truly outstanding  mentors. My parents enrolled me in  school when we moved to Kent  County in October 1938. When my  mother went home, the first grade  teacher, after she discovered I was writing short stories, and writing  cursive at that, promoted me to the  second grade. By the end of the day,  the other students were calling me Smart Kid, and not in a friendly way.  My mother went to school and made it plain to everyone that I  was not, repeat not, to skip grades, explaining that she wanted  me to remain with my own age group.

The school itself was a gigantic red brick building that  housed classes one through eleven. That’s as far as Texas  schools went at the time. Right away, I  volunteered to be  school reporter, and that’s how I became acquainted with the  editor of the local newspaper, a Mr. Johnson. (Not his real  name.) I took him the school news and gave him a piece I’d  written about moving from a small country school in Oklahoma to this large Texas school. He complimented me on my voice and told me, when I asked, that voice was how a writer sounded  coming off the page. He explained that voice has to do with style and the way a writer expresses this style. He was very kind to me, never seeming  too busy to visit.

Mr. Johnson taught me so many things. He said a writer  should write honestly, with the simplest words possible. He told  me to remember my reader and his/her expectations. He explained suspension of disbelief. Meanwhile, he was printing  some of my think pieces in the paper, but only after he stringently edited them, scrawling across one piece he rejected Where‘s your voice here? He encouraged me to read, so I set  out to read every book in the Jayton School Library.

The library was a narrow hall-like apartment directly in  back of the study hall, with a tiny window where students could  come and confer with the librarian. By now, I was officially part-time student librarian (at age eleven), and it wasn’t unusual for  a size-huge football player to amble up to the window and ask  me to recommend a short, easy-to-read book for a book report  he had due. Others did the same, and I became a mentor to anyone approaching that window.

I had many other duties at school but my bliss was complete when I could work in the library, helping students of all  ages. Teaching as I did for many years in the Continuing Education Departments at San Jacinto Central and South, and at Gilruth at NASA, I mentored hundreds of students. I can’t begin to  tell you how much I learned from them. At the same time, I  can’t forget my first mentor, Mr. Johnson. He was great and is  ever green in my memory.    
***

Thanks, BK!!!  Congrats on the new release!!!
You can visit BK at www.bkreeves.com

Monday, January 18, 2010

BICHOK!!!



Good Morning on this bright and wintry Monday morning!!!  Time to settle in for some serious writing this week!!!

Since I failed to check in on TGIF, I'll give my progress report right here.  I met my goals for last week and most importantly, I wrote the blurb and proposal for the Regency novella and SENT IT IN!!!  WooHoo!!!  Now the wait begins!!!   Let's hope she asks for the completed manuscript!!!

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  Set up document for a new manuscript entitled:  THE VISCOUNT'S SURPRISE.  (Don't you just love that title?)

*  Start the opening scene of ms.

*  Finish a guest blog interview and send it back.

*  Keep ahead of the online class I'm teaching.

*  Go to my RWA Chapter meeting.

How did you do last week?  What are your goals for the coming week?

Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spotlight: Skhye Moncrief



Today, we have author Skhye Moncrief visiting Just Write!   She's a talented writer, a good friend, and she has a flair for the written word. 

So, let's ask Skhye some questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?
I love writing historicals and paranormals because of my love of archaeology. Mythology and cultural reconstruction float my boat--hence, my reason for studying anthropology in grad school. Throw in my undergraduate degree in geology and you'll understand why my work is a mixture creating new worlds set either in the future with a link to the past via cultural evolution and time travel or set in the present. Either way I go with a story, the tale always delves into the ideology of the characters I create. I've been told reading the stories is like living them.I'll blame this on my obsession with the creating a vivid tale using deep POV. 

~  How long have you been writing?
Gosh, that's a tough one. Let me fan the memory flames... I wrote a novel for my journal assignment three years in high school in the (yikes) 80's, ages ago. But didn't write fiction until 2001.  

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?
I started submitting around 2003 with an epic saga. I've deleted it. LOL. Talk about closure! 

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?
Am I really supposed to have kept up with that? Maybe 10. ??? Just shoot me. My biggest problem was cracking the great mystery of writing the synopsis. Then there was categorizing speculative fiction. I tend to write extremely cross-genre romance. So, if anyone likes something very different, check out my work.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”
I almost threw down the quill and smashed the ink bottle. Then a friend with The Wild Rose Press read my first 6 pages of HE OF THE FIERY SWORD. She insisted I submit it to TWRP before quitting. The Call note came upon my printed manuscript: If you make the changes I suggested, I'll be happy to publish this story. Well, those changes took me a whopping 20 minutes. And now my Time Guardian series is available! Again, HE OF THE FIERY SWORD was a difficult story to place. It's about a time-traveling shape-shifting dragon who becomes King Arthur after learning what it's like to be a man. Fairies are behind the time travel (interplanetary and along the time line). So, my story world was a difficult story to sell to a large publisher. I don't know why I always have to do things the HARD way.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
I don't remember doing anything but calling my husband. That was 4 years ago, after childbirth, and before brain drain. AnneMarie, you've had children. Why is it that you can recall all this information? I'm certain someone is going to say that we recover and suddenly remember our past... People keep telling me that.

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?
Closure. But it really hit when I could place the first copy of my novel on my bookshelf. People think you can never get this far. I say you can! Look, I did it!
 
~   How did you celebrate?
I did my 20 minutes of edits. I should have suggested a piece of trophy jewelry though...

Thanks for having me over, Anne Marie! You're due at my blog soon!!! ~Skhye


Here are a few of Skhye's reviews:
"Arthur is a masterpiece..." He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio

“The Spell of the Killing Moon offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books" ~Snapdragon, LASR

"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR

My books are available at amazon.com, bn.com, borders.com, as well as

I have a newsletter yahoo group where people can enter my Valentines' Day contest:



Thank you for a great interview, Skhye!!!  See you over at Skhye's Ramblings on Friday!!! ~ Anne Marie   :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

BICHOK!!!



Another Monday, another chance to start anew.  Thank goodness!!!

My writing goals for this week:

Work on blurb and proposal for novella

Send proposal off by Friday

* Write a Guest Blog post due Thursday

*  Stay ahead of the online class I'm teaching (vbg)

I know, I know . . . no new pages, but that will come in good time.  The old brain is percolating on the back burner wrestling with the new story.  I'll be doing the prep work soon and then I'll get to do the fun part!!!

Hope everyone has a productive week.

Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

TGIF: Checking In

Well, it's Friday. Time to check in and see how we did on our weekly goals . . . 

*  I didn't get as far as I'd wished on my novella, but I'm well over the half-way mark, so that's progress.  I will be submitting it next Friday!!!  Maybe if I state it publicly enough,  I'll make it happen.

*  I commented on various loops and blogs, so that was good.

*  Still need to update website and blog.

*  Online class started today.  WooHoo!!!

What kind of progress did you make this week?

Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Feeding Your Subconscious Writer's Brain


Writing is like magic: We make something out of nothing. Writers take a seed of an idea, and with a little imagination and a whole lot of hard work, we end up with a story/product that we can sell and that will evoke emotion from our readers, making them come back for more.

Our subconscious writer's brains are like magic, too. The old adage says to "write what you know." That doesn't mean write only about the things you've actually done, the people you actually know, the places you've actually visited. Writing what you know encompasses a whole lot more. Anything you've ever read, movies you've seen, television you've watched, stories you've heard--EVERYTHING becomes a part of you and is stored in your magical subconscious writer's brain.

There's a flip side to this: You can feed information and data into your SWB.

We already do this instinctively when we do research for our books and stories.  No matter whether we pore over tomes at the library, check out a couple of "Dummies" books, conduct interviews or sit for hours searching Google; research is feeding your SWB.

I take this a step further.  I only figured this out last summer when I had one of my writerly moments.  I had been in a writer's slump for five years.  I started projects, but couldn't finish them.  I was making all kinds of excuses NOT to write and I was miserable.  I was really doubting myself as a writer.

During these five years, I read numerous books on the writing craft, took online classes, attended seminars.  My brain was so crammed full of "rules" and techniques, I was literally paralyzed.  There was so much to remember while writing.  How could I ever keep it all straight?

Finally, I'd had enough.  I was tired of NOT writing.  I decided to shove all that lovely information on writing to the back of my brain and trust my SWB to use it as needed.  And it worked!!!  I started and finished a manuscript.  I'll be submitting it this month.  I feel like a writer again!!!

So then it occurred to me, I could deliberately feed my SWB with information to be used as needed.  My current venture in this ongoing experiment is to read as many fairy-tales, folk tales, legends and myths as I can.  These tales have classic story structures and will be great weapons in my arsenal.

Don't underestimate the power of your subconscious writer's brain.  Learn to utilize it and your writing will be the better for it.

Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

BICHOK: 2010!!!



I don't know about you, but the New Year starts for me today.  Monday is always a good day to begin again, and what better day to start the New Writing Year?

I wish everyone great success with their writing endeavors this year.  I hope this blog will help us to keep on track with our daily writing and consistent output.   May our plots thicken, our characters triumph, our writing sparkle and our sales boom!!!

Here are my writing goals for this week:

1.  Read through the novella one last time and make the final tweaks.

2.  Finish preparing for my online class that starts this coming Friday.

3.  Update my website.

4.  Comment on at least 5 blogs/loops.

What are your writing goals this week?

Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Just Write!!!




A New Year heralds in a new beginning; a chance to start fresh, to start over, to make new goals, to continue on revitalized with hope and ambition.  To boldly go where no writer has gone before!!!

This is true.  Think about it.  Every writer explores his own unique story world, limited only by his imagination, which is no limit at all.

What does limit a writer is failing to sit down and write, to get the words on the page, to put off the actual writing.  Life gets in the way and it's easy to fall off the daily writing wagon.  Then we're miserable because we haven't written and guilt sets in, and we keep making excuses . . .

But hey!!!  That's what's so great about the New Year!!!  It's our chance to pick ourselves up, dust off our keyboards, and JUST WRITE!!!

Here are my 2010 New Year's Writing Resolutions:

* My most important resolution is to get back in the daily writing habit.  When I'm in creating mode, I will write one page a day, five days a week.  By the end of the year, I want that to be two pages a day or ten pages a week.

Let's look at the numbers:  One page a day for five days equals five pages a week, twenty pages a month, 240 pages a year.  That's a couple of novellas or a short novel.  Not bad and very doable.

When I double that, look out!!!  I'm hoping this will snowball, and in several years, my output will be awesome!!!

* When I'm in editing mode, I will spend at least one hour a day, five days a week, working on the manuscript.  Very doable.

Here are my goals for 2010:

1.  Submit my Regency Novella by Jan. 15th.

2.  Revamp two novels and submit them by year's end.

3.  Write two new novellas and submit.

4.  Help encourage other writers and myself through this blog.

Writing and submitting are the keys to a successful and satisfying writer's life and career.  Finding kindred spirits, supporting one another and holding each other accountable makes it that much better.

What are your 2010 New Year's Writing Resolutions?

Happy New Year!!!   Happy Writing!!!

AM    :)