Posts tagged writing
Happy fun year

I don't make New Years Resolutions because they're usually difficult to keep for a whole year and I always think it's just setting yourself up for failure. My husband always says his resolution is to work hard and make this year better than the last. I like that.

This year, however, I am going to make a resolution of sorts when it comes to my writing.

This is going to be my year of making writing fun again.

I think it's safe to say last year was a pretty crappy year for my writing. The fun got sucked out of writing. It got to the point where I sat down at the computer with my stomach in knots and stared blankly at the screen. I wasn't as productive. I wasn't as creative. I was miserable.

It happened for a few reasons. Some of them were beyond my control. Some things, though, happened because I let them. There were a few turning points in the year where I had to make some difficult decisions and take action, which was scary. But I did it. I took back control of my writing career. And things have improved so much.

How am I going to make writing fun again? 

In this business there are so many things that are out of our control. So this year I'm going to focus on the things I CAN control. Here are things I'm going to focus on, and things I'm NOT going to focus on:
I've had a five-year plan for my writing because I wanted to retire from day job and I hoped that my writing would help support me financially. I'm now two years into that plan and I can see it's not going to happen. But that's okay. I may not be able to write full time as soon as I'd hoped, but it will happen some day, and in the meantime, I still get to write and share my stories with people. So I'm going to focus on that.

I can't control the publishing industry. I entered into this business at a time where the industry is going through massive changes. This had an impact on my "plan" and is beyond my control. I need to let go of that and go with the things I can control. At first I thought that when the economy gets better and the publishing industry settles down, there still might  be hope of achieving my dreams. But now I don't think the publishing industry is ever going to go back the way it was, and I don't know what it's going to look like in the future. Maybe there will be a bigger place for me in it, or maybe not. I'm not giving up on the dream entirely, I'm just going to sit back and see how things shake out in the next few years. It may be that the dream I had just isn't realistic in this new world.

I love social networking, especially Twitter. I love all the information there is out there about writing and books and publishing. I love interacting with other writers and readers. But sometimes the world is a nasty place. There's a lot of hatred and ugliness out there. I'm tired of that. I'm tired of reviewers bashing authors any time they even talk about reviews; I'm tired of authors behaving badly over reviews; I'm tired of people who use all that negativity for their own agenda to draw attention to themselves, and thereby promote and perpetuate it.

Some of this I attribute to the Amazon phenomenon. There is so much pressure  - especially on self-published authors, whose only way of promoting their books is on their own -  to get reviews on Amazon, reviews which increase their rankings, which draw more attention to their books, which in turn sells more books. That's their livelihood and you can't blame authors for trying their hardest to do that. For self-published authors, I think it is safe to say that the majority of sales come from Amazon. It is HUGE. There are a lot of reviewers and traditionally published authors who don't get that. There are a lot of readers who don't understand that. It's caused a lot of conflict. Yes there are authors who have pushed too hard, reacted inappropriately. This is all new to people and people are making mistakes. But I'm tired of reading about it. All the time. People should just leave each other alone. So that is something I'm NOT going to focus on this year.

This year I'm backing away from some of the social networking. I think this will make me happier. It feels like a land mine at times, where an innocent comment can be misinterpreted and land you in a whole pile of steaming excrement. Having said that, if you want to interact with me - please do! I'm here and available through all the usual ways - email, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter. I will continue to send out newsletters to people who've indicated they want that. I will continue to Tweet about my writing and fun stuff and good news. I will try to post more on Facebook about those things. I will blog here and at the Nine Naughty Novelists and sometimes I'll do guest blog posts elsewhere. If you want to ask me a question or comment about my books, I'd love to hear from you.

I'm going to try not to focus on reviews (and I mean anywhere - Amazon, Goodreads, review blogs, review sites). This is a harder one, because every author wants validation for their writing. We all want to know if people like our work. So I have to keep reminding myself that there will always be some people who like it and some who don't. And that's okay. And I can't control it.

I'm going to focus less on promotion this year. Yes, we all want to sell more books, and reach more people with our stories. But there's a lot of stress involved in that too and it's always hard to know whether you're really getting any results. I'm not saying I won't do ANY promotion, because I will, but I'm not going to go crazy with a hundred guest blog posts with every new release and hammer-over-the-head promo Tweets about my books.

I will focus more on the fun things about social networking - interacting with people about fun and interesting things, celebrating other authors' good news and helping them share it, talking about books I love. I will unfollow people who are always negative, mean or self-righteous.

When it comes to my writing, one of the mistakes I made last year was trying to write what I thought I should be writing. So this year my focus will be on writing what I want to write. Yes I want to sell my books. But with other viable options for getting my stories out there, I'm just going to write the books I want to write and have fun doing it!

I think focusing less on the negative things and the things I can't control, and focusing more on the positive things and the things I can control will make writing fun again for me.

So I hope you'll come along with me for year of having fun writing and reading.

A week of ups and downs

This week I had to make a tough decision with respect to my writing career. It was something I gave a lot of thought to over the last few months. I talked to writer friends about it, weighed the pros and cons, talked to my husband. It was difficult but it had to be done. And I did it. I'm a little sad but I'm also ready to move on, feeling more free and at peace with it.

Music is powerful for me, especially when a song speaks to me, and I listened to this song over and over this week. It really lifted me up. Sadly I could not find this version on YouTube, only a weird distorted version. Some of the lyrics:

Took a long hard look, at my life.
Lost my way, well I was fighting the time.
A big black cloud, stormy sky.
Followed me, while I was living a lie.
So heartless, so selfish, so in darkness, when all your nights are
You're running outta hope.
But I found the strength inside to see, found the better part of me,
And I'll never let it go.
I've come a long, long way,
Made a lot of mistakes,
But I'm breathin, breathin, that's right and I mean it, mean it.
This time I'm a little run down, I've been living out loud.
I could beat it, beat it, that's right, 'cause I'm feelin, feelin,

I love Hedley!!

And in other news.... The UP part of the roller coaster... I have a new sale to Samhain Publishing! Sweet Deal will be out in the spring of 2012! Stay tuned for details (Yes I know it's a far far away. But I do have three releases between now and then, including one next week- Friday!)
A rant about hypocrisy

I blogged about this once before on another blog but today I am once again struck by how social media seems to make some people immune from the "filter" we use when we speak to people face to face. Or maybe some of the people I see on Twitter don't have that filter even face to face. There's no way of knowing with people I've neve rmet in person.

Today a prominent review blog reviewed an independently-published book and gave it a fairly scathing review. There were a lot of details about the story included in the review. I will admit this would not be the type of book I would read. Apparently it was never touted to be a "romance" but rather historical fiction and apparently included some scenes of rape including repeated rape of a child that would definitely turn some readers off, me included.

But the Twitter chatter immediately began vilifying the author for writing this stuff. There were comments about not just hating the book but hating the author. And yet some of these same people have also commented that they are not the books they write. Authors of erotic romance have often had to deal with perceptions and assumptions about who they are because of what they write, and have often spoken out about this in social media. But yet they do the same thing to someone else because of something that person has written.

If someone chooses to write about subjects many people find abhorrent, does that mean he or she is a bad person?  There are very likely are people offended by what I've written. And they may have made assumptions about me because of that. I don't have to read about things I find abhorrent. But should I tell people they can't write those things? Should I make assumptions about who that person is because of what they've written? I don't want people doing that to me...
WIPs and Chains
Hello Monday, and time to blog about my progress on my "work in progress" or rather, this week, LACK of progress. Actually I don't even have a WIP, unless you count the two manuscripts I started months ago and haven't gone back to.

I started working on a story idea for a spin-off story of a recently completed manuscript. I really want to write this story, I do,'s giving me a hard time. The funny thing is, I tried to do this once before - write a spin off story for a character who appeared in one of my books. The last time I did this, it was the story of Gabe, who appears in Power Struggle - the Master Dom who helps Tori and Dev figure things out. Many readers asked for his story, and I did plan to write it, but when I sat down to actually do it, it was really hard.

I wonder if it was hard because I had some parts of the story already predetermined, and also the character, so I may have felt a little constrained by the things already in place. For example, with Gabe - I knew he was a Master Dom who belonged to the club Le Chateau. I knew he had developed feelings for his play partner there, Tori, but he had to let her go when she fell in love with another man. I knew that Gabe had a difficult past and had tried to live a lie...but I didn't know exactly what that difficult past was.

I also had a hard time finding the right woman for Gabe. I went through several characters, developing them and then rejecting them as they weren't right for him. At one point, I envisioned him becoming involved with another couple and the story being a menage story...but that didn't work out either. I finally had to put Gabe's story aside for several months while I worked on other things, and then when I went back to it, I think I at last got it right.

Now I'm having the same problems with this story - I know some things about my character (his name is Dylan). I know he's been hurt by a woman and feels betrayed by his best friend. I know he's recently had an experience that threatens his career, which is all important to him. But as with Gabe's story, I can't seem to find quite the right woman for Dylan. And I can't seem to find the right reason to bring him home again after leaving, hurt and in pain.

So, as with Gabe's story, I may have to put this one aside for a while and work on something else. But this time I feel more confident that the perfect woman for Dylan will come to me, and so will Dylan's story.
WIPs and Chains
After another one of those weeks wondering if this is it, I'm done as a writer, I'll never write again,  I'm happy to say-  it's back!

I don't have those self-doubts as much as I used to because I've been through this a few times now. That feeling of thinking I should be writing...but I don't want to. I have ideas but none of them excite me. I have a few projects I've started that I could go back to. I did go back to them. They didn't excite me either.

This usually happens when I've been writing like crazy and yes, I've just completed a few manuscripts and I guess somehow my brain just needs to rest and regenerate or something. I wanted to write something fast and easy, something that doesn't take a lot of research or planning, something hot and sexy and fun. Even that seemed beyond me, though I'd started something that I thought fit the bill.

This morning I woke up early (except for the Daylight Savings Time thing - losing an hour REALLY annoys me, but maybe it wasn't so bad because I wasn't writing something and didn't feel that urgent need to GET UP OUT OF BED AND GET WORKING which I usually feel) so I lay in bed for a while and started thinking about the story I'd started and a few hot scenes came to mind and...whoa! I was inspired!

And I wrote nearly 4000 words today on that story. Yay!
WIPs and Chains
First of all I have to apologize to anyone who has been trying to email me through my website About a month ago my web goddess made some changes to my website at my request in order to protect my privacy, however the changes have impacted the email account. She fixed it once but then I found a problem again. I don't know how many people tried to email me and couldn't get through, but I'm so so sorry if you did! It should be fixed now and hopefully no more problems. If you ever want to contact me and email doesn't work, just leave a comment here at at the blog, I always get those!

So as for works in progress...I have been making progress on what I've been calling "Gabe's Story". If you read Power Struggle, you'll know who Gabe is, and I had so many readers asking for his story! I intended to write his story and I've been working on it. I started it a while ago, but struggled. Gabe is a complicated man! And for that matter, so is Reagan, the heroine of the story. But I've gotten back to it and I'm about half way through now. And I'm pretty happy with how it's going, though it's not easy!
WIPs and Chains
Monday morning and the holidays are over...almost. I still have today off from the day job and I'm hoping to get some writing done on the current WIP. I did work on it over the holidays although the last few days haven't been as productive as I'd like.

On New Years Eve I was completely unable to write because I was upset and distracted about something that had happened, so I sat down and reread the manuscript I finished about a month or so ago. I like to let my finished works rest and then go back to them. So I read With Strings Attached from start to finish. I found a few little continuity details that I often overlook during the writing, like they'd just been out for dinner but then he says he's I fixed a few little things. But mostly I just read it. And I liked it. Even if I wrote it myself, I enjoyed it.

Which led to a huge feeling of frustration. I'm not the most patient person in the world (just ask my family!) and I have this manuscript here that I so want to share with people and yet, depending on what I decide to do with it, it will be probably two years before it's out in the world, if not longer. I'd love to send this one to my agent, though I'm not sure if she's interested, but I just sent her something so I can't send it right now. If she is interested in looking at it and then thinks it's worth pitching to editors, I know now from experience how long that process takes (over a year and still going!). Even if we were successful selling it to a publisher, release dates are usually at least a year after that, if not longer in the print world.

I could just send it to one of my digital publishers, which is what will happen if agent's not interested, but my first choice publisher already has TWO of my manuscripts that I'm waiting to hear back on so I don't think I'll be sending a THIRD. By the time I can send it, wait months to hear and then, if it's accepted, get a release date (which last time I sold to them, was a full year after the contract offer)  it will likely be coming up on two years before it's published.

And I want people to read this story now!

Patience. I need patience. Lots of it.
WIPs and Chains
Christmas has come and gone! I hope it was wonderful for those of you who celebrate it. Here we had a great time - lots of family time, laughing, eating, drinking and oh yeah, a few presents!

For the last week I haven't done a lot of actual "writing". I  mentioned in my "What I'm Reading Wednesday" blog a book I'm reading called 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I can't rave enough about this book. I've been working my way through it with several of my WIPs and it has helped me solve so many problems. Today I just finished off some revisions to a troublesome manuscript I completed a while ago, which I love, but which has not been well received, shall we say. I think (hope!) I have made some changes that will make the story more satisfying. I'm ready to send it out into the world again. (Urgh).

I've been working with some characters from other WIPs too and now I've seen how I can incorporate what I'm learning from this book into my writing, I'm eager to start working on other manuscripts. I'm on holidays from the day job this week so I'm hopig to get lots done! (Picture me rubbing hands together over my keyboard). I love learning and I'm always looking for ways to make my writing better, whether it's workshops, books, or just analyzing books I read that I love to figure out why. I think in 2010 I learned a lot and I'm really looking forward to incorporating what I've learned into my writing and growing as a writer.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
I finished Fools Rush in by Kristan Higgins and I do believe I have now read all her books. I enjoyed this one, as I have all of them but I wished for a little more of the romance between Millie and Sam.

Then I read (very quickly) Ice, by Linda Howard. This is my first Linda Howard book and probably wasn't a good intro to her. It was quite short (I borrowed it from the library so didn't pay for a hardcover book that's probably not much longer than category novel length). Her writing was good and the suspense was good, the romance was way too fast (I know it's a romance and people can fall in love in one day, but still...) and I didn't get the point of the story...the attack was random and how did everyone learn and grow through that? I will probably read another of her books though.

I'm also reading a couple of non-fiction books this week - Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, and 45 Master Characters, also by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. 45 Master Characters is freakin' awesome!! I borrowed this one from the library too, and I haven't even finished it yet, but I love it so much I just ordered it from Chapters. It has totally solved a problem I had with one of my completed manuscripts (guess what I'll be doing over the holidays!).
WIPs and Chains
As I said last week, I had some revisions to do on a manuscript I'd sent to my agent, the fabulous Laura Bradford. She had some suggestions that she thought would make it better. The first thing I did was send it off to my critiqe partner to get her input. Then I started thinking about it myself. Some of the changes I knew I could do fairly easily - others I needed to think about. So that's what I've been working on this week. I deleted one secondary plot and enhanced another. Ideas kept coming to me and I kept adding them in, and in the end the manuscript is pretty much exactly the same length as it was when I started. I was relieved about that!  As for the other problems, I gave them some thought too as I was revising, and came up with a few ideas. I'll see what my crit partner thinks once she's read the manuscript. She did look at it before, but only the first few chapters.

Having someone like Nara to bounce ideas off, to get a second opinion and to get honest feedback is so important. When we started exchanging work three years ago, we were doing line edits and correcting grammar and finding overused words. Now we both are published and that's not the kind of help we need any more - it's deeper things like characterization and conflict and motivation. So many times she's given me good advice about my stories. It's hard when you get so close to your story and your characters that you can't see them clearly any more, and having someone with a bit of distance offer their persepective is invaluable.
WIPs and Chains
Wow I've been doing pretty good on the WIP this week! I might actually finish another book!

It's so funny but it seems I can't get over the feeling that I might never be able to do it again. I don't know if other writers feel that way...?

As I get closer to the end of the story, I'm more motivated to keep going. I think the hardest part is starting a book - those 70,000 words (or whatever the goal is) loom in front of you like an impossible goal. But when you're at 68,000 words it finally seems doable.

And not only that, when it gets close to the end, like any book, I have to find out how it all turns out!

I said that to my husband on Saturday morning -  I have to work on it and finish it because I have to know how it all turns out! He laughed at me. "Don't you know how it's goign to turn out?" he asked.

Well, yes, I do. Sort of. Of course there's going to be a happy ending. Of course they're going to end up together. And in this case I knew WHO was going to end up together, though I hope readers wonder. :-)
But I don't know exactly how that's going to happen, because it's up to the characters. I don't know what exactly they're going to say or do until my fingers are tapping on the computer keys. And I want to know as much as anybody!
WIPs and Chains
Sorry this is a day late - for some reason Blogger decided not to post it yesterday.
 I'm not sure how many words I wrote this past week because I don't always keep track of that. I don't think it was the most productive week ever, but I did do some work on my WIP, which I posted a little excerpt from last week. I also spent some time working on a couple of new ideas, getting them started. This time I'm using a little different planning process, thanks to the workshop I've been taking called The Big Question. In fact, in that workshop I've been working on  yet another idea and planning it out. This process of starting with "the big question" that your story is about works the opposite of how I usually plan a story. Sometimes I have a story idea and sometimes I start with the characters, but I always start the planning process with the characters, developing them and then figuring out plot points that will challenge them and make them grow. With this other process, I have the story question and then come up with some plot points and THEN develop the characters, developing them to fit the story. There's no right or wrong way, but I'm going to try this and see how it works out.
Friday Sneak Peek
Courgette or Zucchini!!

By samsfadil Flickr

Here's a sneak peek from a work in progress, tentatively titled With Strings Attached:

“Hey if you guys are going to hang out in here, you can help.”  Matt got Corey scrubbing the little potatoes he’d bought at the market and Dylan cutting up the vegetables he’d already washed.

Dylan held up a baby yellow zucchini, not much bigger than his thumb. “Hey, you know what this reminds me of?”

The wicked gleam in his eye told Matt exactly where the asshole was going with that, but Corey turned and looked and said, “What?”

“Matt’s dick.”

“Oh har,” Matt said. “Very funny.”

Corey snorted, though. “As if.” She looked over at the counter where Dylan sat on a stool, and picked up a large green zucchini. Really large. “I’d say more like this.”

Matt grinned and nodded. Dylan laughed. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot you two are friends with benefits. Of course you’d know all about that.”

“You must have been thinking of your own junk,” Matt said, nodding at the tiny squash.

Corey laughed again and so did Dylan. “Bullshit.”

“I can’t believe we’re talking about the size of your man parts,” she said, reaching for a towel to dry her hands, the potatoes all scrubbed and in a pot. “Men. You guys are all so insecure about your size.”

“I’m not insecure!” Dylan protested.

“Sure,” she said with patent patronization. “Uh-huh. The more you protest...”

“Hey. You want me to whip it out right here?”

“I dare you.”

Matt held up a hand. “Stop! Not in the kitchen, for god’s sake.”
WIPs and Chains
The last week hasn't been extremely productive in terms of working on my two "works in progress", though I have continued to work on them. I did write FIVE blog posts however, and did some work to prepare for release day coming up November 26 (Taming Tara). I'm also doing another workshop right now which takes some time and involves homework - gah! And I did some planning and brainstorming on another project I have in mind. I got this idea and I want to try to flesh it out, but I know once I do that I'm going to be tempted to abandon my WIPs and start on it. I keep thinking about priorities and what I can do with these projects and time frames but there's so much that's out of my control as a writer (response times from publishers, response time from agent, whether something will be accepted or rejected, how long it takes to actualy get published after acceptance) it makes it nearly impossible to plan ahead. I LIKE planning so this frustrates me and I have to keep reminding myself, "JUST WRITE".
WIPs and Chains
So how do you like the new photo? I'm kinda liking it!

This past week I've continued working on my two main works in progress, going back and forth between them, and it's been going great! I've been cranking out some great word count, though I did get a little hung up yesterday, so I went for a run and did some yard work. Today I broke through the little writer's block.

Last week I also spent some time working on a plotting spreadsheet. This isn't as scary as it sounds. I've learned I'm not a plotter, or I shouldn't be anyway, because it takes all the fun out of writing when I know what's going to happen. But as I write (this is my own process) I have some looseleaf sheets that I jot down notes about each scene and chapter - the page numbers, whose point of view it's in, a few words about what happens. This helps me pace myself, so I know when I need a hook to end a scene or chapter, so I know I'm not writing too much in one character's point of view, and so I know when I'm getting close to a turning point (which I do plan out ahead). Lately I've been highlighting the character POV with different colour markers and adding in the plot, subplot or secondary plot that's in the scene also with coloured pens, thanks to the last workshop I took.

So I decided to try a spreadsheet instead of paper and it's been working well. I could use it to plot the whole story, but I just use it to do my scene notes as I go. It shows the word count for each scene as well as the TOTAL word count, and I've got colours for each POV and plot line. It has spaces for the scene goal (which I usually know before I write) and a short summary of the scene (which I don't know until after I write it - sometimes those darn characters just take over!) So I'm pretty happy with my plot spreadsheet!
WIPs and Chains

Okay - what happened to my picture!  Look at the thing go! Do you realize I never knew until just now that it was animated? I wonder if everyone else has been seeing that?  I think I may need to search out a new image! (Not that it's not appropriate for some of my stories!)

I've really been on a writing roll this week! I've been turning out between 2000 and 4000 words nearly every day, and man does it feel good after a long dry spell. Last week I mentioned I'd been working on Gabe's story and then switched over to With Strings Attached. I wrote and wrote on that story up until today, and then went back to Gabe's for a while. Gabe's story is at about 21,000 words and With Strings Attached is over 32,000 so I'm really happy with my progress. In fact, I was so busy writing I forgot to write this blog post yesterday. And now...cracking the WHIP...back to work!
WIPs and Chains
Okay so the picture is ropes not chains...
Well I've been successful at the writing this week! And it feels soooooo good!

I went back to Gabe's story. Sorry, I don't have a better title yet. I suck at titles. Sometimes they come so easy and perfect...and sometimes they just don't come. Did I tell you the story of titling my next EC release? No? Okay!
This story has to have gone through the most titles ever. When I first wrote it I called it What She Really Wants. I didn't like it. In its first incarnation it didn't have the BDSM elements and when I rewrote it I didn't think that really fit. I then named it Taming Carina. I thought it kind of went with the "Taming of the Shew" thing I had going, but I didn't really like that either. When I submitted it to my editor at EC I titled it Power Exchange. PERFECT!!! I loved it, and it went with my last story, Power Struggle. The stories aren't really connected other than by Le Chateau, the club the characters belong to, but I thought having a series of names was good. BUT...that title had already been used. Pout. I had to change it. Not only that, I had to change the hero's name because I'd used an overused name. Now THAT was painful. I'd come to know and love Cole...and suddenly had to change his name. I suggested two other names to my editor and she rejected both of them, one already used, another she felt didn't really give a good sense of the story. Finally, I ended up changing the heroine's name too, to Tara, and naming it Taming Tara, which has a better sound than Taming Carina. But both characters' names had to change. My god it was like changing the names of my teenage children, I tell you.

A little side story.

Anyhoo...I wrote a lot on Gabe's story. Realized I'd screwed up a little on his background, based on what I wrote about him in Power Struggle. Have to fix a few things, but should be easy. Got to a point where I was "written out". I wonder if other writers experience that? I sometimes write and write and write and then I'm just....done. For a while. Like I need to refill the well of inspiration or something. Sometimes it only takes going for a run, or doing something else for an hour...sometimes a little longer. Just need ideas to strike me.

This time instead of going for a run (which would have been healthier, I admit) I went back to another WIP, With String Attached. I read through the 11,000 words I'd written, seems like such a long time ago. It felt so laborious when I was writing that, and I know I was going through a hard time, but when I read! It was sharp and fun and seemed really easy!

My lesson this week: Have faith in your writing. Even when it seems hard, DO IT. (Like Nike says, LOL). Just do it.
WIPs and Chains
Thought I'd post one more picture from my vacation. That's me and my kids, our first morning in Santa Barbara, sitting at the end of Stearns Wharf. We could hear the sea lions barking out on the buoy. They made us laugh.

Yes this blog is a day late but I spent all day Monday travelling and had no internet access. Now I'm home from my wonderful vacation in California. But that wonderful vacation meant I got no writing done whatsoever last week.

But that's not entirely true, because as you know from reading this weekly blog, writing isn't just about writing. Huh? I mean, there's the editing and the researching and the planning, and also the business of writing. And I did do all of those other things last week. I got another round of edits on my next Ellora's Cave release, Taming Tara, and I did work on those during my vacation when we had some quiet time back at the hotel. I also did some research - I went to the historical museum and the library to do research for the historical romance I have "in progress". I did some other research on a book that is in the planning stages by travelling to the Santa Ynez Valley and really, all my time in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Ventura could count as research because I set nearly all my books there, or in fictional California towns just like them. I did a little planning work and I also kept up with the "business of writing" with emails and Twitter and blogging. So it's not like I wasn't doing ANYTHING over the last week :-)

I've been pretty distracted from my writing over the last month or so, as you'll know from reading my blog, and I got some good news last week that I think will help with that. I'm really hoping that I can get my head back into writing and not thinking about the "business" of writing and start being really productive again. Wish me luck!
WIPs and Chains
Before I talking about what I'm writing this week, I have to mention the Nine Naughty Novelists Anniversary Contest !  We're having a month long scavenger hunt and all the details are at our blog. November 9 will be our first anniversary so we're giving away some books and  $50 Amazon gift certificate!

Over the last week I have been writing again. Not a lot, but some. I'm still quite distracted by a lot of "writing business" issues but getting better. I was working on my new menage idea (as I mentioned, tentatively titled With Strings Attachd) and then go a little stuck. I believe I may have experienced writer's block!  My solution: work on something else. So I went back to Gabe's story and started zipping along with it. And it's going pretty well, actually! Since this story is set in Santa Barbara and that's where I actually am this week, hopefully the beautiful setting will provide inspiration. (see photo below!)

Also worked on edits last week, first round edits of my next Ellora's Cave release, Taming Tara. Just got second round of edits from my editor yesterday so will be working on that again this week.
WIPs and Chains
 The photo this week doesn't have anything to do with either whips or WIPs but it's a nice tree in my neighborhood, and today was a beautiful fall day.

This past week I have done some writing but I'm back to bouncing around from one project to another. I need to FOCUS, MAN!

I got a Great Idea for a new story and was anxious to start it, so I did that. Meanwhile I got a few more reviews for Power Struggle (great reviews - yay!) and it seems everyone who reviews this book asks for Gabe's story. I've been planning to write it and had the basic idea sketched out, but this made me want to work more on it, so I've actually been working on both stories!

Which means I let my historical go for now. I was feeling a little stuck with that one anyway, so it's okay, but I had hoped to have a draft done for next month so I can do some research when I'm in California.

Sometimes it's good to have several things on the go at once, so that if I do feel stuck with one, I can move on to another. But then sometimes I think I need to focus on one project and stick to it until it's done. I guess there's no right or wrong, as long as I keep working on something!
Kelly JamiesonwritingComment