Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Madness Day 30!!!

Okay, so it's been a long time since I've posted a recent picture of my darling cat. Right now he's waiting for me to close the laptop and give him a couple of treats. Does he look impatient? He is. And so am I, by nature. When I first started writing I was also delusional. I thought I'd be published within a year or two. Like most newbies, I was so impatient that I made some stupid mistakes.

Learning to be super patient with our writing and with the crazy world of publishing is imperative if we are going to endure. So let's talk patience here. When my impatience starts causing anxiety, I have to step back and focus my attention elsewhere for a spell. Writing is not my life. It is a part of my life that brings me much joy--when I'm patient with it. Kinda like a small child. ^+^

Congratulations to all of you for enduring to the end of the month. That took patience! Now here's the question of the day:  what do you do when you get impatient with your writing career?

Don't forget our last check-in tomorrow at L.S. Taylor's.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Madness Day 23

Sometimes You Just Gotta Do It 

Now you all can see what I did yesterday afternoon and let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I've done in a LONG TIME. Don't get me wrong, I love dressing up as an alien and entertaining children, but yesterday I was absolutely not in the mood. By 2 pm all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and take a nap. I still haven't recovered from being sick plus I've had one of the busiest weeks ever. Pass me a tissue, right? We're all busy and tired. 

So what's my point? Sometimes we must write, even when we don't feel like it. I admit that's been true for me at least 11 of my 22 writing days this month. But as you're all aware, if you wait for the "right mood" chances are you may never finish a project. 

And just for the record, me and the kids ended up having loads of fun yesterday. Isn't that what often happens when we put our butts in the chair and get to work? We often end up having fun in the end. 


See you tomorrow over at L.S. Taylor's blog

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Madness Day 16 Check-In

How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time!
Writing a novel, revising, seeking publication, getting published, marketing and promoting that novel--it's like climbing a tall, rugged mountain. You could probably do it alone, but it's much easier and way more encouraging to make that climb with others who will support you along the way, don't you agree?
That's what March Madness is all about. It's not just about attaining daily writing goals and checking in, it's about meeting fellow climbers--writers who are trekking step-by-step to meet those same goals. Over the years I've found some great partners here with whom I've been joyfully hiking the publication mountain.
So this post is about making connections. Please feel free to share with us how to connect with you via Twitter, Facebook, your Blog, or wherever else we can find you!

AND. . . I'd like to give away another prize from our huge prize arsenal today! Today's winner is...
Jennifer Pickrell!
Congratulations, Jennifer! Stop by our goal-setting post, and choose your prize from those still listed. Email Denise at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with your choice and we'll get it out to you as soon as possible.
And if you didn't win, there are still LOTS of great prizes to be won, so keep checking in each day...

So how have things been going this weekend?
Don't forget to check in tomorrow at L.S. Taylor's blog

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March Madness Day 9

Ten years ago, before I started writing fiction, I experimented with a variety of creative outlets. Drawing flowers with colored pencils on black paper was one. Over the years I've sang, danced, played several instruments, written music, cooked, painted, flower-gardened, and written loads of poetry. My latest thing is the celtic harp.

This week I did something new and completely outside my comfort zone. Curiosity led me to participate in a local poetry slam. The fifty or so people who gathered at the downtown coffee house were mostly English majors from the university. Yesterday, Carol blogged about voice. I found the majority of poets who read Wednesday night had the exact same voice, same rhythm, same theme. I got bored really fast. When my number came up, I read something I'd written as flash fiction a couple years ago. When I finished reading, the room went silent. I knew I'd shocked and disturbed. That was my intention. Will I ever attend a poetry slam again? Probably not. But maybe I'll use the experience in some future scene in some future novel. Maybe. In the meantime, I've fallen behind with my March Madness goal and must catch up!

So dear ones, do you have other creative outlets? Do you try new things? Does curiosity lead you down new paths? What new thing have you tried lately? How's the March Madness coming along?

Don't forget to check in tomorrow at L.S. Taylor's blog

Monday, March 3, 2014

Denise Jaden's FAST FICTION Blog Tour

Rather than doing a traditional interview-filled blog tour, Denise Jaden is celebrating the release of her new nonfiction writing book, FAST FICTION, by dropping tips about writing quickly at every stop of her blog tour, and offering some awesome prizes for commenting on any of these posts (including this one!)

The more you drop by and comment, the more chances you have to win these great prizes:

Denise's Fast Fiction Tip: Keep Inspiration Handy!
When I fast draft, I like to have lots of inspirational materials nearby. These include some favorite novels, so I can read a page or two when I need a reminder of why I write books. I also search for pictures of my characters and settings and paste those up around my office. Sometimes I’ll make an entire setting board, or a map of the town I’m writing about. I also like to make up a “wordle” of any theme words that I think are relevant to my work in progress. Surrounding myself with all of these things helps to give me a push, just when I need it. Sitting back from my laptop, even if I’m feeling discouraged, seeing the world of my novel around me usually gets me quickly back on track. 

The Prizes:

  • Compliments of New World Library: They will be giving away A BOX of copies of FAST FICTION by Denise Jaden and GET IT DONE by Sam Bennett (US and Canada only):
  • Compliments of Denise Jaden, TWO BOXES of great fiction (US Only). Details on Denise's blog.
  • Audiobook copies of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden!
  • A critique of your first five pages, compliments of Denise's agent, Michelle Humphrey from The Martha Kaplan Agency!

All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win (at the bottom of this post, I've included links to all of the other blogs where you can comment for more chances to win).

About Fast Fiction:

Writers flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels.

A portion of publisher proceeds will be donated to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Praise for Fast Fiction:

“Fast Fiction is filled with stellar advice, solid-gold tips, and doable, practical exercises for all writers who want to draft a complete novel.”
— Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway

“Being a ‘pantser’ I have always resisted outlining, but I have to say that Fast Fiction changed my mind! Denise Jaden takes what I find to be a scary process (outlining) and makes it into an easy and, dare I say, enjoyable one. Fast Fiction is a hands-on book that asks the right questions to get your mind and your story flowing. I know I’ll be using Fast Fiction over and over again. Highly recommended for fiction writers!
— Janet Gurtler, author of RITA Award finalist I’m Not Her

“Fast Fiction is full of strategies and insights that will inspire and motivate writers of every experience level — and best of all, it provides them with a solid plan to quickly complete the first draft of their next novel.”
— Mindi Scott, author of Freefall

“Fast Fiction provides writers with the perfect mix of practical guidance and the kick in the pants they need to finish that draft. This book is a must-have for writers of all levels.”
— Eileen Cook, author of The Almost Truth

Practical and down-to-earth, Denise Jaden’s Fast Fiction makes a one-month draft seem doable, even for beginners, any month of the year.”
— Jennifer Echols, author of Endless Summer and Playing Dirty

“One of the greatest challenges any writer faces is getting a great idea out of one’s brain and onto the page. Fast Fiction breaks that process down into concrete, manageable steps, each accompanied by Denise Jaden’s sage advice and enthusiastic encouragement. And anything that helps streamline the drafting process is a-okay by me! Fast Fiction is a great addition to any writer’s toolbox — I’ve got it in mine!”
— Catherine Knutsson, author of Shadows Cast by Stars

“Forget the fact that this resource is directed at those wanting to complete a fast draft — if you’re out to get your novel done, period, Jaden’s Fast Fiction will be the kick in the butt that gets you there, from story plan to ‘The End’. . . and beyond.”
— Judith Graves, author of the Skinned series for young adults

Where you can find Fast Fiction:

Blog Tour Stops:
Comment on any of the following blog posts celebrating Fast Fiction's release to be entered to win prizes galore! 
(All Fast Fiction blog posts should be live by March 9th, or sooner. Contest will be open until March 15th. If any links don't work, stop by for updated links.)

GCC Blogs:

Additional Participating Blogs:

Remember, all you have to do is leave comments to get lots of extra entries to win some great prizes. 
Don't know what to comment about? Tell us the name of your favorite writing book!

Share this widget here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Madness Day 2

"As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time."--Denis Waitley

Do you ever get frustrated in the pursuit of your creative goals? Do you feel like a budding artist who will never reach full bloom? What is the key to achieving those goals? Persistence. 

From the Free Online Dictionary:
per·sist  (pər-sĭst′, -zĭst′)
intr.v. per·sist·edper·sist·ingper·sists
1. To be obstinately repetitious, insistent, or tenacious.
2. To hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles, warnings, or setbacks.

As March Madness begins, we may be full of good intentions and energy and zeal. Will we persist? Think about it now. What will you do when obstacles or setbacks arise? It's good to have a plan, a mindset, a readiness to work through the difficulties.

I know this is going to be a tough month for me. I have out of town guests and special events happening throughout March. What will I have to do to persist in my writing goals? Butt in chair. Everyday. No matter what. Which means I'm going to have to be flexible and write at times that are not ideal for me. That's the only way I will succeed in making this madness happen.

What helps you to persist? What will you do to keep on task throughout the month? Don't forget to check-in over at L.S. Taylor's tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oh What A Knight! Blog Tour and Giveaway

Through a twist of fate, Princess Gabrielle became First Knight of the King’s Elite Guard, a position always held by the second born male. She's spent years proving to the Minsters of Faldaera she is capable of leading the king’s Army.
When mythical creatures plague her kingdom, Rielle is sent to capture Captain Brody, the alleged culprit behind the attacks and the man who broke her heart four years ago.
Brody, Crown Prince of Delphine, is living in self-imposed exile, atoning for the sins of his father. But Fate has different plans for him. Tired, beaten down, and ready to give up on life, he is tossed into the path of the one person he would do anything for―Princess Gabrielle.

With a traitor in her ranks, and a mark on her head, Brody joins forces with Rielle, hoping to keep the woman he loves safe. Happily-ever-after is not guaranteed, and mythical creatures aren’t the only danger the couple face. As battles rage, Rielle has the chance to prove herself a capable leader, but will doing so cost her the love of her life?

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Here are a few personal thoughts from Mary:

On Writing:

Favorite thing about writing a first draft: Meeting and learning about my characters.
Best thing about writing for kids and/or teens: Reliving lots of firsts.
Favorite word: Seriously?
One word that describes your path to publication: educational
If I could have two dream careers, I’d be an author and a: mom (which I am!)

On Life:

If I could snap my fingers and solve one of the problems here on earth, it would be: How we treat each other. If we all lived by the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do to you) I think we'd all get along a bit better. :-)
One question I wish I had a definitive answer to: Is there life after death. I think so, but it would be nice to know for sure.
Best thing about being a child: Very little responsibility
Worst thing about being a child: Not realizing how good you've got it.
Best thing about being a teenager: Time spent with friends.
Worst thing about being a teenager: Being stuck between being a kid and an adult. You're too old for things, yet not old enough for others. 
Most memorable teen moment: My first kiss.
One thing I’d like to say to my teen self:  It's okay to not know the answers about what you want to be when you get older. No matter what you choose, you can always decide a different path later.
A quote I live by: Do unto others... I'm not always successful with it, but I do try.
My dream vacation: Camping with my family and friends. Doesn't matter where, as long as we're together.

In My Perfect World…

Everyone would get chocolate and ice cream at least once a week.
There would be an abundance of sunshine and happiness.
No one would be deprived of love.
Every child would have a happy childhood.
No one would ever be mean.
Hugs would be free for everyone.

Mary lives with her husband, son and two cats. When she isn't twisting fairytales, she enjoys reading, playing games, watching hockey, and camping. Her Princess of Valendria series (Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, Different Kind of Knight) are available from MuseItUp Publishing and other major retailers. Her Faery Marked (book 1 in the Faery Series) will be available from BookFishBooks this summer. 
You can find Mary Waibel at:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Conquering Fear!

"I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him." Eleanor Roosevelt 

Since the last time I posted, I figured out what was holding me back from writing again. What I was afraid of. It's a bit complicated, but let me try to briefly explain.

When I write, or when I'm totally focused on anything for that matter, I lose complete awareness of space and time. This wasn't a problem until my life circumstances recently changed. Over the past year I've had a daily struggle to get out the door on time, even without writing! So why was I afraid to dive back into my novels? I was afraid the problem would get worse. So I avoided writing, thinking that eventually I'd get better at keeping track of time. But over the past few months my ability to manage time got worse. Thus I was even more terrified to start writing again. But I wanted to write!

Last week I found the solution. Voices. Voices coming from my computer. Voices telling me what time it is. Constantly. 

And so I'm writing again. And I'm getting out of the house on time EVERY DAY.
Yay me!

Anybody else ever experience time management issues? How do you cope?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Facing Fear

Welcome to my writing world.
A world of fear, stagnation, indecisiveness, procrastination, downward spiral.
The desire stirs inside.
Need to write.
Must write.
Another day passes.
Writing retreat?
Long train ride?
What will it take?
Not fear of failure, but something else.
I know not what. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winner of Jennifer Hubbard's UNTIL IT HURTS TO STOP

We have a winner!
Of course, all of you are winners, but not everyone wins a copy of Jenn's book. ^_^
Our friend chose one of the commenters:
Please email me your mailing address
yacscribe(dot)angelina (at) gmail(dot)com

Thanks all for entering and make sure you make time to read UNTIL IT HURTS TO STOP!