Coffee…a writer’s Prozac

Hello! How did May go for everyone? May was rough for me. Great stuff happened on the home front: there were plays, recitals, graduations… a lot of reasons to be proud of my kids.

But as far as writing went…OMG.

I finished my romance serial, which meant tons of publishing. I had to publish the last episode, the compilation of episodes 5-9 because I did a compilation of episodes 1-4 and then the compilation of all the episodes together. And, because I’m a little crazy, I decided I wanted a companion book to go with the series that was a nail design book. The story takes place around a beauty salon. I had blogged several nail designs throughout the serial, and thought it would be fun. The marketing strategy was to give it away for free to draw more interest to the series.

Surprisingly, everything came together well. Julie got the editing done quickly (I honestly can’t praise her enough), and though it was very time consuming, the nail art came together too.

But I always crash at the end of a big project. I crashed hard after finishing episode 9 before I had completed the nail design book. Foolishly, I decided to stop drinking coffee for a while too because I had had so much to get all the publications out. That’s when I realized that coffee keeps writers optimistic.

Without coffee in me, my opinion about my own writing plummets. But when I take that first sip before I start typing, I am the best writer ever. So I thought it’d be fun to put together this little poster for you:


The depression might not have been so bad if I had had any sales. But sales were way down. Particularly Amazon has been abysmal this month. I’m actually even at All Romance between April and May on number of sales, and I made more money because I sold the higher cost books this month more than the cheap ones. Barnes and Noble and iTunes are the other places with sales, but not nearly as many as in April. Fortunately I made enough sales this month to keep me at a sale a day average for the year because April was so good.

I wish I knew what caused the swing. So far the nail book isn’t helping me at all, but Amazon won’t put it at free and it won’t be out at iTunes and Barnes and Noble until sometime this week. Fingers crossed people love it there and buy my other books.

But the serial is done! I should really celebrate because it was a big project coming in at over 125,000 words. However, I must get on to the next book. It’s already Tuesday, but I’d like to do a word count marathon. No gift card this week since it’s a short one. Think of it as a warm up for next week.

My goal is 2000 words a day this week. It feels out of reach because I have several activities planned this first week of summer, but I have a publication schedule that needs attention!

So, ready! Set! Write!

Word Count Marathon Day 4

So I did pretty much everything but write. I’m working on visual continuity with the covers for my serial and made the cover for the compilation of Episodes 1-4. On a previous day, I edited all of the episdoes for continuity issues that happen writing something off the cuff. Today I uploaded the compilation of 1-4 with the updated text and cover to three of my vendors.

Tonight was a great family night with concerts and banquets. But after, I took my test for my introduction to digital marketing and passed with distinction. That means I got an 85%. Hooray! After taking that course, I need to take a deep breath and start applying things slowly. It’s a little overwhelming to see how much behind the blog stuff there is to do.

In the back of my mind I’ve been thinking about the voice for my Nail Art book. I need to scratch it and start over again. I’m hoping by tomorrow morning to have a better idea.

How did you guys do? I hope the words flew onto the page!

Here’s a pic for inspiration:

coffee on the beach

Catching up and Word Count Marathon!

Hey Guys!

I’ve been away too long. What are you up to? What’s going on?

A bit of sadness entered my life a couple of weeks ago. A lovely friend of mine past away unexpectedly. I met Ellen Howard 17 years ago at a games night right before my son was born. At the next games night, she had a baby quilt for him. A quilt! Quilts take so much time and imagination that I couldn’t believe she was giving him one.

Over the years, we were lucky enough to receive more handmade gifts from her–each of the kids got a quilt, we got wall hangings and coasters. I wanted to post some of them here because I always found her work inspiring:

IMG_2896[1] IMG_2897[1] IMG_2898[1]







Ellen will definitely be missed.

In writing news, I’ve been working hard. I wrote the last episode of my serial and decided when it reached 20,000 words that it was actually two more episodes. Thank goodness the first half was exactly what I wanted for episode 8. The second half must be completely rewritten.

So this week I’m going to do a Word Count Marathon! Not only do I need to finish the final episode, but I have two other stories I need to make headway on. Well, one of them isn’t a story. It’s a non-fiction book, but it still needs to get done! My goal is 10K words a day. I know. Ha ha. I haven’t been able to do that yet. I know tonight I won’t be writing 10k, but maybe tomorrow.

Starting today and until Saturday, post your writing goals, or how many words you’ve achieved so far. Or both! On Saturday, I will put all the names of people who have participated in a hat and draw a winner. If you’ve commented on multiple days, I will put your name in all the times you’ve commented. The winner will receive a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Starbucks…winner chooses.

Join me in my fun. Let’s get some writing done!

Your Favorite Part of Writing


I posed the question to readers: What is your favorite part of writing? Thank you to Shari and Dave for responding! My answer is last. Please enjoy!


I guess the part of writing I like most is when I get an idea for a story and it just flows smoothly. Often times lately I don’t have that happen. I get stuck. I stumble. Halfway through It just seems lagging or the plot suddenly isn’t making sense anymore. I love when I write a story and when I get to the end, I think, “Wow, that’s a great story.” Wish it would happen more often, and wish others would see it the way I see it, as well.

Dave Barz 

I do a lot of driving that gives me time for that daydreaming or as I like to justify it, internal composition.

As much as I plot, outline and plan as I write, my favorite moments are still the little surprises that come to me as I am physically writing. Now, I could not rely on those to flesh out my entire story like a discovery writer. But as I wrote the first draft and now the edits, little details still come to me and I am amazed how great I feel the ideas are (of course readers’ opinions on these thoughts may vary). Often, I am literally bouncing softly in my seat as I incorporate these ideas. So yeah short of the thrilling rush of a new project or the euphoria of finishing it is the little surprises that keep me happy week after week.


This seems to be a tough question for me to answer. As I said last week, I used to love the daydreaming part, or as Dave puts it, internal composition. But writing all the time has taken the daydreaming portion away. Currently, I think I enjoy the puzzle solving part of writing the most. Though I was frustrated with Episode Seven because my first two drafts were terrible, I really liked pushing and trying to figure out what would work. What would be the best solution to the characters’ problems and the best way to go about getting there. It was very satisfying when Julie finally said it worked.

Something I both love and loathe about writing is verbalizing world building. Julie and I spent an evening on vacation talking about the world for the urban fantasy I’m writing. It’s difficult for me to blurt out world building because it honestly sounds stupid. But amidst several jokes we we worked out problems and the foundation is much stronger.

Free Form Question


The way I write has definitely changed over the years. My favorite part used to be day dreaming about a huge chunk of the story before I sat down and let it flow. That hasn’t happened in awhile because I’m always writing. Gone are the days where I’m exhausted on the couch from taking care of a baby and all I can do is daydream.

I’m curious what part of writing you enjoy. Please comment below and I will post on Monday. Invite a writing friend to comment too!

Spark Check


I finished the episode! And Julie got the edits done fast. It’s amazing what a good editor can do. One of my sections, which I didn’t think was bad but it wasn’t great, came back to me with the rhythm so much better. It had dialogue, and suddenly it was snappier. It was really cool seeing that section shined up.

I wrote about 3000 words so far this week. I have one more episode and then the serial is done. So far we’ve managed to stay on time with it. It’s the books coming out in May that I’m worried about. I’m taking a break from the serial this weekend to work on one of them.

How are you doing so far? I’ll have a question for you Friday. I hope there’s people still left here to answer it!

Spark Check!


I’m back! I was on vacation! I had a great time visiting Julie in Virginia. I even met Deb who frequently comments here. Thanks for coming over Deb! It was great meeting you and now I can put a face to your comments :)

I think I’ve mentioned I’ve been having a difficult time writing the current episode for my serial. Third time’s a charm. I’ve been writing since Tuesday, and I think it’s finally going well. 3700 words for me so far this week and they feel good.

How are you guys doing?

Guest Blogger: Shari Klase!

Shari is doing a very interesting series on her blog about writers who spent their lives as recluses. I asked her if she thought it was possibe to be a recluse or an introvert today and still be a writer. I find as an introvert, social media to be very difficult, but Shari’s answer surprised me!

Enjoy! And Thank you Shari!


In olden days reclusive writers were very mysterious and romantic. Now, however, a writer who is also a recluse is viewed as a social misfit. I think we have to take into account that often the reason writers became recluses was because they were already famous and hounded by the media. If you’re a best selling writer, you can own your eccentricities with a lot more grace than we novices can afford.

Is it possible to be a reclusive writer in modern times? I’d still say yes, but with caveats. No man is an island, but with today’s social media spectrum it is easier than in former times. You can promote yourself through Facebook, Twitter, your own websites and blogs. It is possible to know people, even a great deal of them, without once meeting a person face to face. Sooner or later, though, in order to be a best selling author, there will be a need to talk to an actual person; say a book store owner or book seller, or even potential people who may buy your books at a book signing, if you’re fortunate enough to have one of those. Rude, discourteous writers seldom make sales.

Here are some ways to be a writing recluse:

1. Frequent social media. Most writers prefer a written exchange over a verbal exchange, so use that to your advantage. Write your own blog. Comment on other writers’ blogs. Promote yourself via Twitter and Facebook.

2. Submit online. In the beginning, I left a paper trail with every magazine publisher I felt inclined to submit to. I ran myself dry on copy ink and visited the post office clerks like they were family members. I wasted a lot of money and time this way. Now, I almost always submit online. Whether you want to publish a book, a nonfiction article or a story, there are many opportunities via the internet. Find your comfortable niche and start submitting frequently to the places you feel best represent your style.

3. Write under a pseudonym. If you want to be strictly anonymous, a fake name is a good way to go. The same can be said if you want to explore different avenues of writing. This can be good or bad. The good: No one knows who you are. The bad: No one knows who you are.

4. Write well, or even better write masterfully. As was stated before, you can afford your privacy if you have a few accolades, contracts and checks or Paypal money under your belt.

5. Have a second job. If you don’t depend on your writing money, you have freedom to be selective. The problem with this solution is that a job often eats into your writing time or drains you of energy to write, so you have to be a more disciplined writer. Often times this turns your craft into a hobby instead of a job. This can also be helpful because there is less pressure to make sales since you already have an income.

My final questions is, do you really want to be a reclusive writer? I suspect that most of us who claim that term are recluses for one simple reason; we are not much in demand. We are actually cocooned butterflies just waiting to spread our wings.


Spark Tally Saturday!


Greetings! Strange week for me. I was sick for part of it. I don’t know if it was feeling down in general or what, but right after I sent Julie the latest episode to edit, I hated it. I hadn’t been too happy with it, but thought it was interesting. And then I decided that I was wrong. And then I decided she needed to delete all the files. So I started the episode over, though I did keep the first few sections.

That puts me at about -10000 and then +4000. I’d like to finish the episode again tomorrow. Fingers crossed for me!

How did you guys do? On Monday, I will have a guest blogger. I think I’ll keep it a secret to build suspense :)

I hope you had a good week and stayed healthy!

Free Form Question + Odds and Ends


Hey Guys!

Sorry for my absence. My schedule has been very strange because my kids have been home from school so much. We’ve had holidays, inservices, illnesses and parent teacher conferences. My son keeps telling me he only has two full weeks of school left. The rest of his weeks all have a day off. Noooooooo!

They are older now, but I still don’t like to ignore them completely :)

All of my writing time has been dedicated to getting another episode done and another episode published. I don’t recall if I told you my complete publishing schedule for the year, but I essentially have something coming out every month. In April I have two stories coming out, which was not in the original plan but added on by me after our yearly meeting. So far I’m staying up with the schedule, but it’s pretty intense. I’m already thinking the story due out in July is not going to happen. But if I stay on it for six months, I’ll be pretty proud.

Something I’ve noticed that is getting worse while I’m writing fast is my descriptions. I never want to stop the action to fill in the description of the surroundings. I know we’ve talked about this on the blog before, but it’s an area all writers have to deal with and be good at so I think it’s worth covering again. So today’s free form question is about description. I’ll post everyone’s answer in the main blog on Sunday or Monday. Feel free to get a long discussion going…I need help! 😀

How do you fit in description? How much description do you enjoy reading? I used to read Marilyn Stewert books and she had quite a bit of description in her romance suspense, but when I started reading her Merlin books, the description became too much. I don’t like pages and pages of scenery. What do you like and what do you do?