Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Giveaway!!

It's almost Christmas, and one of the best parts of Christmas
is giving gifts! Rachel Schieffelbein had the genius idea to get together some of her favorite writers (and critique partners)
to do an awesome give away! (Thanks Rachel!)

One winner will get a bundle of a bunch of amazing ebooks!

The bundle will include an ecopy of
Secondary Characters, by Rachel Schieffelbein
Unexpectedly You, Riley Janes and Mia Josephs
 Fraction of Stone, by Kelley Lynn
and (perfect for the holidays!) The Spirit of Christmas!

which includes short stories by Me, Jessica Salyer, Kelley Lynn,
and more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Writers REALLY Want for Christmas

Let's be honest here. I've seen a lot of these "lists" going around with cute notebooks and pens and books and such. Writers do like all those things. They're fun. They're not bad ideas in the least. But it's not what we really want.

In my house pens get lost and notebooks get doodled on by my kids. Books are awesome too, but I'm low on shelf space (as in, I don't have any more) and kindles are more convenient (kindle gifting is encouraged).

Besides, a lot of writers *cough* just me *cough* are really unorganized. It's better not to get us stuff that makes us feel like we have to be organized. Then the guilt is too much. Better if you don't spend money at all.

I'll tell you what writers really want for Christmas. This, I believe is true of every writer out there. I don't care how successful you are. What writers want for Christmas is this:

More time to write

Well, that and a muse who lets the words flow better than they've ever flown before. If we get down to the nitty gritty truth, what every writer wants is to sit in their favorite writing spot, have the right music (or silence) and let their fingertips fly. Getting rid of distractions is helpful too. That makes the word counts higher.

It comes down to this, if you love a writer, give them the gift of writing time. I promise they'll be a lot happier if their day has been productive. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Goodbye 2013

It's that time of year, the time you look back at what you've accomplished and look forward to the future. I can't believe how much has happened this year and how quickly it's all flown by.

Blogging is great becasue you can look back at your old posts and remember your mindset when the new year started.

I remember making a list of goals at the beginning of this year, knowing full well I might not stick to them or that life would change. I didn't expect to be living in Texas. Just goes to show how much time warps perception.

Looking back, some of my goals seem laughable, but they were important to me at the time. Still, most of what I set out to do I accomplished. Let's look back on them, shall we?

1. Finish writing my current unnamed YA romance novel. It's called What Not to Do When You're Falling in Love, and I'm pretty sure I finished it last January.

2. Polish Stealing the Stars, My NaNo novel. HA! That's hilarious! I never did anything with that novel. I tried to write it again, and failed. Boo.

3. Give my first oral pitch at a writers conference. Did it! Twice! I feel awesome for having done it, even though nothing came of  either pitch.

4. Polish said YA romance novel. Um, yeah. That's the novel I pitched. Still querying...

5. Self-Publish a Christmas Anthology that will feature some of my awesome blogging buddies. This is the big one that I'm really super duper proud of. It was a lot of work, and we had a last minute addition to the team, but The Spirit of Christmas came out excellent. I even got my print copy in the mail the other day and I read my story again. It's the first time I can really say I'm proud of something that's been published. It gives me hope that I can have an actual writing career someday. So happy about that one :)

6. Try to write three books. I'm writing #3 right now. I have a couple weeks left. I can finish it if I just sit down and actually write, haha. 

What's in store for next year? I'm not really sure yet. I plan on writing out those goals in January. I can only hope next year will be as awesome as this year has been.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Find Your Musical Muse by Michelle Argyle

Today I'm happy to let Michelle Argyle take over my blog for her Out of Tune tour. Isn't her cover so pretty?

I asked her to write a post about music and writing, and boy did she deliver! Enjoy :)

Can you believe that a long time ago I would have told you music was way too disruptive to writing? Nowadays, if I don’t have an absolutely silent room, music is the only way for me to focus on my writing. I’ve also found that more and more, I actually pick music over silence. But it’s always something different depending on what I’m writing. For my newest novel, Out of Tune, it was obviously country music. I had to immerse myself in country to make my characters and story feel authentic. For other novels, it has been other genres.

I think the key to using music as a muse, however, is to become familiar with the music first. At least for me this has been the case. I like music so much that if it’s something entirely new to me, I’m more distracted by the music than anything else. But if it’s something I have been listening to for a while, I find it really helpful to inspire me. I’ve heard that if the brain has something to latch onto in your subconscious, it can actually be more helpful with concentration. So with music, if I listen to a familiar song over and over, I find myself tuning out the music and concentrating more on my writing—oftentimes coming up with ideas and directions I’m not sure I could come up without the music looping through my subconscious.

So, to find your musical muse for any creative project, I suggest the following these simple ideas.

1. Evaluate your project and decide what kind of music might fit it best.

2. Experiment. Try out different playlists to see what helps you feel inspired with that particular project. Do not be afraid to try something different! For Out of Tune, I was scared to dive into so much country music, but in the end it has become one of my favorite genres.

3. Listen to the music outside of your project so it becomes familiar to you. I’ve also found that listening to music outside of your project can help inspire you outside of actually working on the project, often in different and unexpected ways.

4. If music is only distracting, don’t be afraid to cut it out altogether. Sometimes silence is best. Don’t be afraid to make that decision.

I think music can be a really helpful tool with creativity. I’ve also found that when I listen to old playlists I listened to for past novels, I get a huge rush of memories and nostalgia that’s really fun to revisit.

Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword­wielding husband and energetic daughter.

She believes a simple life is the best life.

Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels like it).

Don't forget to check out the rafflecopter below!

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