Friday, April 29, 2016

Update Day April 2016 Do You Have Goals? Blog Hop

Many thanks to the founders of this hop: Misha and Beth
If you would like to join this encouraging group, go here. 

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and I'm restless to do more, write more, and exercise more. As usual, it's hard to find a balance. Family life is always full and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Goal Updates (slightly different than the last few months, but a similar idea):

1. I'm into my new novel with full gusto after weeks of half-commitment. It's going good some days and bad on others, but I just keep writing one word at a time.

The picture that sparked my W.I.P. Patience can be found here: National Geographic. However, my story isn't set in Kosovo.

2. I've written several short stories this month - some hint fiction length and some at a comfortable short story length. I've submitted seven of them and have had some responses already - some positive and some negative.

3. My health goals are all over the place with a different dose of thyroid medicine, less caffeine, more walking, some biking, a tiny amount of skiing. The weight remains the same and it's not a number that's healthy so I'm finally, really-for-sure-this-time, starting a diet/health daily diary.

4. My spiritual life has had its ups and downs, but is mostly on a good note these days. I've had some days where prayer was a necessity and asking for prayer from friends and my pastor was necessary, too, and yet, I'm fully on board with praise team again, which I love.

"Prayer and Praise is the double-barrel shotgun against the enemy, the father of lies."
 - Nicholas Kraft, Go Missions International.
BTW, Kraft is a non-violent missionary who underwent a brutal, physical attack in his home in the mission field. He was beaten unconscious as his family was forced to submit at gunpoint to an armed burglary. If he can come out of that, and go straight to prayer and praise, I think I can rely on those two for my every day life.

5. The Guest Series part of 5 Reasons to Write is will kick off next week with Karen Lange!
Upcoming 5 Reasons to Write posts will be by: Tara Tyler, Lori Machlaughlin, Sean Maclachlan, Milo James Fowler, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Randi Lee, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Misha Gerrick, Elizabeth Seckman, and Mark Noce, although the series will have a brief hiatus in August.

6. The Thing That Turned Me: An Anthology is coming out at the end of May!

I haven't conquered new worlds, but I'm still writing one word at a time, and that seems to work.

Total Word Count for April: 21,174 (slightly under monthly goal of 25,000)

Total Miles Walked in April: 36.5 miles (slightly under goal)

Total Miles Biked: 30 miles (way under goal, but still going)

Vacation (I met my goal of rest!) Images:

Math-Nerds on Vacation OR Daddy-Daughter Homework for Dessert

My handsome husband on Blackcomb Mt, Whistler, B.C.

Biking at Whistler, B.C. (approx. 12k)

John (my husband) and his older sister Lynn at Lost Lake
(We hiked to it and around it.)

If you couldn't tell, it was late spring "off-season" at Whistler for us this year. 
17 family members went.
We talked long, laughed hard, stayed up late, woke up early, and enjoyed every moment.
It was one of the best weeks of the year so far!

Do you have goals?
And, how do you tackle them?

If you would like to write a 5 Reasons post, please look at the list and consider e-mailing me about September or October.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Five Reasons to Write Hint Fiction (by just me)

The Five Reasons to Write Series is off to a slow start with Super-Powered Guests Coming Next Month! 

For now, I'm just adding a few posts to build the fire . . . I mean, fervor. Hmm.

5 Reasons to Write Hint Fiction with 5 Links

1. Topping out at 25 words a story, hint fiction is short enough to write on a coffee break.

2. It's fun! I bet you can't write just one.

3. Subject matter is everywhere. Look out the window. Stare at the desk. Glance at a headline. All systems go, and you have a story.

4. It gets me through the daunting days of writing. I can at least write one hint fiction story - even if I don't have time, confidence, or brain-power for anything longer, 

5. There are markets for it, and it's a good way to start spreading your author name all over cyberspace.

A brief history: legend has it, hint fiction was created/coined by Robert Swartword in 2009.

Markets for Hint Fiction and Micro-fiction

This post brought to you via a celebration for getting five more hint fiction stories published in the April 2016 edition of Nailpolish Stories! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: Newsletter?

Hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
with co-hosts:

My insecurity this month: I'm trying a newsletter . . . again. I started one over a year ago through mailchimp and I never got it off the ground. In fact, I became so nervous about it that I never actually wrote a newsletter. I started one or two, but I never sent them.

This time, I'm three months into a new newsletter with Mad Mimi, and I'm enjoying myself, even if my audience is literally: my parents, my husband, and one friend. 

I'm only putting out one newsletter a month, but I finally put the "Newsletter Sign Up" button on the right. Yes, it took me three months to get that integral part done. 

And, for the March/April newsletter (Mapril), I'm running a promo: whoever signs up for my newsletter will receive a 100% off coupon for Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry at Smashwords. 

So, I admit I don't know what I'm doing. I'm taking advice from my teen daughters who told me to "keep it simple, mom." (Hmm, was that last change of word intentional?) Each month has only three to five sections. The Mapril newsletter has the Special Offer (Flicker), News, New in 2016, and For Writers sections. It's pretty short. 

Why am I so nervous about newsletters when I write blog posts all the time? 

Because they are supposed to be the biggest marketing tool of authors today. 

Yikes! That means it has to have it all, right? Meaning, beauty, perfection? 
That last word strikes a painful G7 minor chord played on a dusty organ in my soul. 
I don't do perfection. Ever.
(To prove my point, I just used a sentence fragment and I hate those in essays and most fiction, so why do I use them on my blog? Agh. The truth is out. I sabotage the word perfection with every fiber of my "I refuse to be type A even though I lost hair in high school over an Honors Society event I had to organize as HS V-P" purposefully type B self.)

On the plus side, I had an article accepted for and published in the March IWSG Newsletter, so I'm learning how to do newsletter writing with some help from all of you!

So . . . do you think newsletters are the biggest marketing tool of authors today? And, do you have one? If so, how do you tame the newsletter beast? And, how often? And, do readers actually sign up for these dastardly things?

My newsletter sign-up

The IWSG Newsletter sign up is here!

Chrys Fey has a new book out!
An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments. 

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs. 

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything? 
Seismic Crimes at Amazon

Milo James Fowler has a new book coming soon!

Private eye Charlie Madison saw his share of murder and mayhem during the war. But he's never seen anything like this on home soil. The culprit can't be human. A mandroid, then? Cyborg?

Madison's investigation takes him deep into the underground world of extreme fighting -- duels to the death, showcased beneath the city's biggest casino. Along the way, he discovers a new steroid quietly coming out of Little Tokyo. If rumors are true, it can turn a man into a killing machine.

Before vengeful police can find and execute the murderer, another officer is found slain. With rogue yakuza, the Russian mob, and Federal agents in the mix, Madison must put the pieces of this violent mystery together before the city loses another good cop.

Problem is, the killer may be one of his own clients.

Death Duel pre-order at Amazon

Angela Brown has a new MG book out!

Twelve-year-old Casey doesn’t think life could get any more unfair. Plans for her special basketball tournament are tossed aside by her sister’s wedding plans. She even has to be a bridesmaid now, with all the lace and silk and—oh, the horror! All she wants is an escape, but she never imagined she’d be swept away to a world of Mother Goose rhymes, fairy tales, stories of Arabian Nights, and oh, by the way, all but one fairy godmother has been kidnapped. 

Casey learns she’s been summoned as the Fable Ranger to lead the search and rescue of the missing wish-makers. But she’s not the hero they want. In the world of fairy tales, damsels aren’t meant to swoop in and save the day. 

Now all Casey wants is to go home, but the veil between worlds is on lockdown. Taking fate into her own hands, she embarks on an airship flight to find the phoenix tears that can open her way home. Her journey would’ve gone as smooth as the perfect layup if it weren’t for that pesky bounty the evil Dovetail has placed on her head. But if Casey fails, the Arabian Nights will disappear forever—and leave her trapped in a world unraveling one fairy tale at a time.

Fable Ranger at Amazon

And, Randi Lee with Stay Classy Publishing and a huge crew of wonderful authors has a new Anthology coming out soon!
The Thing That Turned Me: Anthology
I'm honored to have a story included. :)

Lastly . . . I'm not joining A to Z this year due to family requests and general craziness. 
Best wishes to all who are A to Zing and writing posts every day!
I'll be lurking but not posting most of the month, and prepping posts for the 5 Reasons to Write Series (with guests) kicking off in May. 

Have a newsletter? Have you read the latest books? Know of more releases?

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Sweet Blessing - Michelle Wallace and her A To Z Posts

I'm just taking a short moment for thankfulness.

Michelle Wallace at Writer-in-Transit highlighted my short story and poetry collection: Dragonfold and Other Adventures at her blog. She's highlighting authors all month!
Thank you, Michelle!!!

And, here's one pic from Paddler's Cup last weekend from the Dragonboat race