Why I Craft (And How That Relates to My Writing)

This past summer I had the good fortune to stay with my mother (whom I love dearly and is one of my best friends) and enjoy a relaxing, extended vacation. After a hectic school year, we both needed time off to recharge our batteries.

So as we enjoyed some leisure time by the pool and binge-watching our favorite shows, both of us found ourselves drawn to crafts. She worked hard on knitting and crocheting some beautiful pieces and some functional washcloths. And I decided to create some cross-stitch fan art for one of my favorite shows, the BBCAmerica series Copper.

Home Sweet Bloody Home

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Staying on Task with Tech

In late August, I quit my full-time job as an Administrative Assistant to pursue what I’ve always dreamed of: a career as a writer. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and going after this “romance writing thing” since 2011. Finally, after years of trying to find my focus, I had a series (The Rookery Rogues, for those of you wondering) that I believed strongly in and a game plan. I would self-publish, thus giving myself the freedom to make my own decisions and go whole-hog on the crazy, untraditionally dark ideas I had in mind.

Writing In Her Journal 1

What I Expected to Be Doing

But quitting my full-time job meant I suddenly had no income until my first book, A Dangerous Invitation, debuts in December. While my husband devoted brings home the bacon with his career in computers, we still needed an extra bit of help. I accepted a part-time job two days a week working as a receptionist in another engineering firm. Getting out of the house for this job keeps me from becoming a hermit, and it keeps my skillset up and gives me a spot on my résumé should I ever decide to go back to full-time admin work. Continue reading

Gearing Up for National Novel Writing Month

It’s almost the middle of October (I know, what?!) which means that soon November will be upon us and with it the insanity of writers the globe over attempting to write a 50 thousand word novel in a month.  It’s fun, crazy, and more than just a little stressful, but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can be a great way to kick start a new project.

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Attempting Elizabeth was actually a NaNoWriMo novel and though it went through lots of revisions after the month ended, there was a lot of great stuff written during November of 2011.  There’s really something to be said for writing as much as you can and checking your editing brain at the door.  I didn’t get to fully participate last year because I was finishing up AE and working on Atone at the same time so my writing schedule was off, but this year I’m already signed up and logged into the NaNoWriMo forms and my fingers are itching to get started. Continue reading

The Writing Life, Illustrated with Monty Python Sketches

I was recently chatting with a friend about my favorite classic Monty Python sketches. This led to me spending time (i.e. procrastinating from grading papers or planning lessons) trolling YouTube for my favorite clips. And as I spent a few minutes (or more… maybe…) laughing, I realized that the sketches nearly perfectly describe aspects of my writing life. So here’s a tour through my brain and the wacky connections it can make… Continue reading

Why Books are Like Crack (and a giveaway to feed the addiction)

addiction-prv1Do you have a book addiction? Here’s a quick poll to find out:

  1. Do you forgo sleeping, eating, or Adam Levine on the Voice to finish reading a book?
  2. Has your significant other disabled the one-click purchase on your Amazon account?
  3. When you fall in love with an author, do you go and buy the backlist so that you can satisfy your craving for more?
  4. Have you sneaked the book to work so you can read during conference calls?
  5. Have you burned dinner because you were so deep in the story?

If you’ve answered yes to three or more of these questions, you are addicted – to reading. Continue reading

On Returning Home

As you read this, I am in my adopted home state of Florida, being the surprise visitor to my mother’s 60th birthday party. This visit came as a surprise to me too, when my mother’s fiance contacted me to ask if my husband and I would mind being flown into Florida for the party. Well, I never turn a trip down, so here I am, back from the big metropolitan areas (hey, if you could see where I lived in Florida, you’d know why these cities are huge to me) of North Carolina.

Key Largo Palms And Sky

Key Largo Palms taken by Sxc.hu user Winterdove

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My Go-To Happy Places on YouTube When Writing Gets Me Down

Keep calm and think happy thoughts.

This about sums it up for me.

There are times when I’m writing, both for my day job and for my romance writing, where the pressures of daily life just seem a little much. Not the crushing weight that makes you want to crawl into a corner and rock back and forth humming Willy Wonka songs, mind you. But those days when the news about Syria or the stupidity of local politics, or just plain ol’ “Family Drama” and first world pains seem to be piling up at an alarming rate. Now, for some writers, the obvious answer is to channel that angst and negativity and sadness into their writing.

I would not be one of those writers. Sadly, I have a really hard time letting that kind of stuff go. It clings to me like hot taffy, burning my skin, and I find there are really only two things I can do to make it stop. Continue reading