Monday, March 2, 2015

Writer Recharge: Final Update

How is that it’s MARCH already?!  

Actually, I’m kind of happy to see February go. Laptop crashing, not getting to see writer friends, abysmal winter weather? Yeah. Good riddance.

The saving grace was Writer Recharge. I didn’t meet all my February goals, but, thanks to Sara’s awesome program, I made great strides on several of them. Here’s a bit of what I was able to accomplish…  

 
WRITE/REVISE – Choose writing goals for the month.
This month I want to finish revisions on the current WiP.  

UPDATE: I did not finish, BUT I did knock a lot of items off the revision list AND my comment count went from 100 to 10. I’ll take it. And I am seeing that pretty clear light at the end of the revision tunnel so I’m hoping, HOPING, I can finish this thing by Pi Day.  

READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you. 
I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.
Did not finish, but I did start ALLEGIANT and I should finish that within the week.

STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing. 
Make strides in re-teaching myself Statistics (for research purposes)
CHECK. And still working on it. Learning all about the beauty of z scores. #sarcasm

SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body. 
I’m already doing this, but I started a tap class before Christmas. I’m going to make it a goal to go each week, no matter how busy things get. 
I only went to two of four. Will try to do better this month.

CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 
The write-in thing sounds like an awesome idea. So, I’m going to try that. J
Write-in didn’t happen, but I managed a few Twitter writing parties during the day so…

FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.
a)      I know you’re probably still in shock over the ALLEGIANT thing, but here’s something else I haven’t done yet: eaten at Chipotle. Making a date with the daughter to do just that. 

This didn’t happen . . . YET. I’m hoping to get there in the next two weeks.

b) Valentine’s dinner with the hubs. We don’t get many of those date nights. I’m going to make sure we have one sometime this month!
CHECK. Awesome Vietnamese cuisine with the fabulous husband. J

How’d you do?! Also, if you participated at all during the Writer Recharge, you are eligible for this fantastic prize from Sara! Check out the awesome on her blog and be sure to sign up on the linky!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Writer Recharge Update (kind of) and Surf and Surrender Release Day!


It’s hard to believe that it’s already the last week of February. I hope you all had a productive week! I would like to say that I did, but I pretty much failed on all my goals. I won’t bore you with the details, but I blame inclement weather (kids had one full day of school last week), prep for the IRL book club, and the fact that my laptop crashed—again. *sigh* I could spin tales of negativity and defeatism on that one, but that’s not very inspiring. So, instead I’m going to take today’s recharge update to share some super positive news with you. Today, my awesome and amazing friend Riley Edgewood has a book releasing! I’ve read this one and it is all kinds of steamy and AMAZING. Here’s some info so you can check it out too!
 

Surf & Surrender (Summer Love Series, #2)

Riley Edgewood

Publication date: February 23, 2015

Genres: NA, contemporary romance

 
Blurb:  

She wants to forget he ever existed. He'd never give up her memory. 

Quinn Westwood is completely over Sawyer Carson. He broke her heart years ago and disappeared from her life without a word. So yeah. She's over him. Never even thinks of him. In fact, she's spending her college summer break surfing and lifeguarding in the Outer Banks, while nursing a bruised heart from a different relationship gone wrong. She doesn't have room in her mind or heart for Sawyer--until she runs into him at a beach bonfire and the sparks that fly between them are way hotter than the flames heating the sand.

Sawyer never got over Quinn. The only thing stronger than the way he feels for her is the secret keeping them apart, but sharing it would destroy more than just his life--it'd ruin hers, as well. Still, he can't seem to keep away from her, can't seem to keep his hands off of her soft, tempting skin. Especially since she has even less self-control when it comes to reigniting the physical side of what made them perfect together.

But secrets have a way of slipping out, and when Sawyer's is revealed, it threatens to shatter everyone involved. He'll have to face walking away a second time, and Quinn will have to decide if fighting for him is worth it when the fallout could affect more than just her heart, but also those of the people she loves most.

Surf & Surrender is the second book in Riley Edgewood's Summer Love series, but can be read as a standalone! 
 

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
 

About the Author:

Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two. 

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

 
She and the amazing Liz Briggs are hosting a Facebook party today with a seriously awesome giveaway. You should TOTALLY check it out!

Hope you are having a great week! And don’t forget to sign up on Sara’s blog so I can hop around and check out your progress!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Writer Recharge Update 2




Another week down; another Writer Recharge update. It’s taken a turn for the cold and dreary in NC and, as much as I don’t want the Recharge to end, I do want an end to winter weather SOON. 

Anyhoo, here’s how I’m doing on my Writer Recharge goals…

·         WRITE/REVISE 

Get rid of twenty more comments in the doc           

            CHECK—I am officially at 40 comments left. J

Fix three huge items on the revision list           

            Um…kind of. I fixed two big items and a few small ones. It’s progress. I’ll take it.  

THIS WEEK'S GOAL: I would like to get rid of 20 more comments and fix at least five things on the revision list.

·         READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you.  

I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.

            It’s next on the TBR. I just have to finish reading my book club read, What Alice Forgot (Liane Moriarty)

·         STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing.  

Make strides in re-teaching myself Statistics (research for the WiP). 

            CHECK—I learned all sorts of geeky and glorious things about sampling, bias, dot plots, and pie charts. I shall continue to nerdify myself with this goal in the next week. 

·         SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body.  

Go to my tap class.

            CHECK—I’m going to try to make it there this week, but I’m also hosting my IRL book club. We’ll see.  

·         CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 

This week I’m going to make it to a Twitter party. I am. I AM.

·         FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.  

The hubs and I celebrated Valentine’s Day Vietnamese style. AWESOME cuisine. And then we went shopping at Food Lion after because that’s how we old married folks roll.  

I hope you’ve had a productive week! If you’re updating, make sure to link your post on Sara’s blog. Have a great week!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Writer Recharge Update #1


 
It’s time for a Writer Recharge update! Don’t know what that is? It’s a chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers.

This year the hosts Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren have come up with a few categories for overall goals. Mine are in red . . .

·         WRITE/REVISE – Choose writing goals for the month. 

This month I want to finish revisions on the current WiP.  

For week of February 2-8: I hope to cross seven items off the revision list and get rid of 20 pesky comments in my document.

·         READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you. 

I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.

·         STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing. 

 Still thinking on this one. Will definitely do something outside the box!

·         SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body. 

I’m already doing this, but I started a tap class before Christmas. I’m going to make it a goal to go each week, no matter how busy things get.

      ·         CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 

The write-in thing sounds like an awesome idea. So, I’m going to try that. J

      ·         FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.

 a) I know you’re probably still in shock over the ALLEGIANT thing, but here’s something else I haven’t done yet: eaten at Chipotle. Making a date with the daughter to do just that.

b) Valentine’s dinner with the hubs. We don’t get many of those date nights. I’m going to make sure we have one sometime this month!

Progress report:
 
·         My comment count went from 100-ish to 60 and I knocked 14 items off the revision list.

      ·         I went to my tap class last Wednesday. 

·         I set a “stretch” goal. In the name of research, I had wanted to re-teach myself Statistics, something I haven’t looked at since college which was, um . . . twenty-five some years ago. Well, I never did. This month I’m going to make strides to do so. 

For the week of February 9-15, I want to  

·         Get rid of twenty more comments in the doc

·         Fix three huge items on the revision list

·         Go to my tap class

·         Work on my stretch goal

·         Have dinner out with the husband

I hope you’ve had a productive week! If you’re updating, make sure to link your post on Sara’s blog. Have a great week! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Writer Recharge!

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

 

Once again hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers.

This year, we’ve come up with a few categories you might want to consider when making your goals. You can choose a goal (or goals) for one or some or all and just so you have an example, I’m listing my goals below each heading in red. J

·         WRITE/REVISE – Choose writing goals for the month.

This month I want to finish revisions on the current WiP.  

For week of February 2-8: I hope to cross seven items off the revision list and get rid of 20 pesky comments in my document. 

·         READ/REREAD - Read a book that's been on your TBR forever or reread something that had a great impact on you. 

I bought ALLEGIANT the week it hit the shelves and um…I still haven’t read it. I’m going to fix that this month.

·         STRETCH - Do something outside your comfort zone, from reading a genre you typically avoid to trying a new food or rock climbing when you're afraid of heights - that kind of thing. 

Still thinking on this one. Will definitely do something outside the box!

·         SELF - Do something good for your mind or your body. 

 I’m already doing this, but I started a tap class before Christmas. I’m going to make it a goal to go each week, no matter how busy things get.

·         CONNECT - Find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. Make a connection, via social media or in person. Initiate twitter writing parties, have a real-life write-in with writers in your town, or offer to critique or beta read someone’s work. 

 The write-in thing sounds like an awesome idea. So, I’m going to try that. J

·         FUN - Make a goal to do something super fun and exciting that you can look forward to.

a) I know you’re probably still in shock over the ALLEGIANT thing, but here’s something else I haven’t done yet: eaten at Chipotle. Making a date with the daughter to do just that.

b) Valentine’s dinner with the hubs. We don’t get many of those date nights. I’m going to make sure we have one sometime this month!

 
How Writer Recharge works:

·         First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post on the linky on Sara’s blog.

·         Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on our Monday posts.

·         Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!

·         Friday, February 27: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.

·         Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win a fabulous prize package at the end of the month.


So hope you’ll join us for a February Writer Recharge! If you do, please be sure to sign up on Sara’s blog (click HERE) once you post your goals!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: The Please Do Your Research Edition

Rant ahead… you’ve been warned. J

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J 

WHAT I’M READING:

I finished reading THE YEAR OF FOG (Michelle Richmond) for my IRL book club. Premise: future step-mom looks away for less than a minute and future step-daughter is abducted. The writing was spectacular; the story, well-executed. But for a mother of two who’s a neurotic worry-wart? I had a tough time getting through the story. 

Currently I’m reading a book that is making me want to throw things.  

Okay, so normally the teacher in me tries to say very positive things about books, even if I’m not completely enthralled by them. If I don’t like them at all, I don’t say anything. That’s just how I roll. But this book I’m reading? The premise is pretty good, one a lot of people can relate to. I feel like it’s taking a while to get to the main crux of the story and there are some issues I have with buy-a-bility, but I am enjoying the story itself. The main character’s a teensy annoying, but I warmed up to her. And the writing, for the most part, is pretty good. So, what about this book makes nice girl Alison want to throw things?

People who know me know that I probably watch soccer as often as I brush my teeth—and I tend to be a good little patient and brush twice a day. So, when I came upon the part of the story where two of the big secondary characters play soccer, I was all kinds of excited. Until the soccer game happened. My soccer lingo was a little rattled when the main character improperly used the term goal box. My jaw dropped a little when the players came into the stands to chat with the fans at half-time (that is unheard of in my parts), but I talked myself into being okay with it because maybe that’s just how some folks do things and how they refer to things. But when the coach called a time out in the middle of the second half, I may have thrown the book. 

There are no. Time outs. In soccer.
 
EVER.

I guess if you’ve never watched soccer, you might think that hey, they have time outs in football and basketball, so I’ll just write that in there because I need one of the players to stop what he’s doing and do something else instead. But um . . . no. As my husband always says, when you ASSUME something, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

That, my friends, is where research comes in. Why it’s so important that you get the facts right—even if it is something that might seem like a small thing—because if you don’t, you turn faithful readers like me off, to the point I might not even finish what might be a truly great read. And, on top of that, I will recommend your book to NO ONE.

I know. You’re probably thinking BIG DEAL. Get over it, Alison. But, to me, it is. I love soccer. I love sports. And this is why I’m neurotic about getting research right. Why I do so much needling on the minor details. Why I talk to people about things I’m not sure about. Why I get hoards of reliable readers who will tell me when something’s not quite right.  

I’m still bothered by this. And I think what bothers and angers me more is not only did the time out thing escape the author’s notice, it escaped her readers' notice, her agent’s notice, and the notice of her editors at a major publishing house.

Okay, rant over. But seriously folks, for the sports lovers (and animal lovers and music lovers and whatever lovers) out there, please, please, please do your research. Also, sorry, but I’m not going to reveal the name of Frustrating Read here. I’m not normally a book basher so I’m uncomfortable divulging this much. BUT if you really want to know, feel free to DM me. 
WHAT I’M WRITING: I’m this close to finishing this particular round of revisions. Don’t get too excited. I’m not. My revision list is six pages long and I have, like, a hundred some comments in the doc. BUT I am excited to work on that list. Hoping, hoping, to have the next round finished by the end of February. Then a polishing round before I send it off to CPs. *fingers crossed*

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: I revised a chapter last week that reminds me so much of this scene from The Breakfast Club.  


For those of you who know me, you know this movie is my favorite movie EVER. And the scene I wrote is definitely not John Hughes worthy, but it has the reveals, the feels, and well, the fifteen year old gave it her stamp of approval so… the scene’s a keeper. And my favorite. And the one that makes all the frustrating times with revisions WORTH IT.

So, when I get a little frustrated with what I’m working on and want to throw my WiP against the wall (I know…violence #smh), I reread scenes like this one. Do you have a scene that keeps you going?

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO: Um...

My life’s not super exciting. But I am going to see Wicked this weekend. And I have a retreat with some writer friends coming up that I’m super excited about so… 

What’s up on YOUR Wednesday?! 
.