Friday, August 10, 2018

My Next Guest on the Blog is: Hank Phillippi Ryan!

I can't believe I'm finally making this announcement!

This month, my special guest on The Writing Desk Blog will be bestselling mystery author, Hank Phillippi Ryan!

Official photo provided by: Hank Phillippi Ryan

I had the pleasure of meeting Hank at the Bouchercon 2015 conference, and I've shared her work as part of What Am I Reading Wednesday and on Instagram. Imagine how thrilled I was when she agreed to join me for our August author interview!

This interview will go live on the blog just in time for the release of her latest novel, Trust Me, a standalone mystery that has already been hailed as: “A riveting story of guilt and deception...a tense and twisting psychological thriller that explores the shifting perception of the truth. Chilling, suspenseful, and impossible to put down.” (Megan Miranda, New York Times Bestselling Author)

I'll be posting a handful of teasers between now and the interview release date, but here are the details everyone will want to remember:

Author Interview - Hank Phillippi Ryan:

Interview Publication Date: August 24, 2018

Trust Me Release Date: August 28, 2018


Easy, right? Stay tuned for a few sneak peaks between now and the interview date. If you don't already follow me (or Hank!) on Instagram, I suggest you head on over and join us!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Coming Tomorrow - MY SECOND BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Good Evening, Writing Desk Readers!

As some of you might remember, over the last couple of weeks I've hinted at a few exciting announcements that would be made soon here on the blog.


The first, was that I'll be a "Writer on the Move" for nearly the entire month of September, and am accepting proposals for Guest Bloggers to share their own posts while I'm gone! Don't forget, the deadline is August 15, so keep those ideas coming!

The second piece of news, which I've been sitting on for longer than originally planned, is going live TOMORROW!

It feels so good to be active and engage with everyone, both here on the blog and on Instagram/Twitter. I hope these new developments have been as fun for everyone following along as they have been for me.

Have a great night!

Not me, but that view sure is pretty!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Writer on the Move - Guest Bloggers Wanted!

It's time for the announcement I hinted at last week!

I am a Writer on the Move once again, and will be traveling for the month of September! This is a trip that has been at least a year in the making, and my mom will be going with me. I'm also planning to take part of the time we're gone to research a new writing project! 

Where are we going? I'm keeping that a surprise for now, until we get a few more details ironed out. Anyone care to guess our destination(s)? I won't lie, it's going to be an amazing trip!


What does this mean for the Writing Desk?

While I do have a few posts already planned to go up while we're gone, I would love to take this opportunity to invite some Guest Bloggers to contribute!

I'm taking a page out of Tara Lynne Groth's book for this project. She has been featured and interviewed here on the blog, and is a fantastic writing resource! Below, I've provided a specific list of guidelines and post-types I'll be looking for. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay anyone for a guest post at this time. I hope that doesn't discourage anyone from wanting to submit.

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Guest Blogger Guidelines:
  • Reading Period: August 2, 2018 - August 15, 2018
  • Word Count: 400-700 words
  • Submit queries to (official.cc.writer@gmail.com) ONLY with all information in the BODY of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS.
  • Your pitch should include:
    • The topic of your post.
    • A little bit about you and why you've chosen this topic.
    • Proposed topic length.
  • Remember, this is the Writing Desk Blog, so your proposed post should fit into the categories of:
    • Writing or Publishing Advice/Experiences (both traditional and self-publishing)
    • Publishing industry news/topics/challenges
    • Interviews with other writers/publishing professionals.
    • Book reviews will be accepted for submission, but this isn't an opportunity to bash an author you don't like. Only constructive reviews will be considered. You'd better have a solid reason for why you liked or disliked the book in question. 
  • Be smart about language. I'm all for throwing out a swear word or two when it's warranted, but don't go crazy. Any posts with excessive language or content issues will not be considered. 

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I will notify all guest submissions that have been accepted on August 18, 2018 and guest bloggers will have until September 1, 2018 to send in their completed posts.

I realize there isn't a lot of time between each step of the process, but I look forward to reading any submissions that do come in! Even if we only end up with one or two Guest Bloggers for September, it will still be a chance to hear other writers' voices and experiences.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 27, 2018

The ON WRITING Giveaway!

Happy Friday, Writing Desk Readers!

I've found another way to help shake up the cobwebs and help get me excited again about my writing projects: I'm giving away a copy of Stephen King's On Writing!

10th Anniversary Edition

Because I have some pretty amazing friends who like to send me writerly gifts, (You know who you are, I love you all!), I've ended up with two copies of On Writing. The copy I'll be giving away is the 10th Anniversary Edition in paperback. This is one of my favorite books on the craft of writing, not to mention the advice King shares from his own experiences as an author.

This giveaway is also going to be the lead-up to some very exciting news that I'll be sharing on the blog next week. I wish I could give you a hint, but I'm afraid of giving the whole thing away. So, everyone will just have to wait a bit longer!

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On Writing Giveaway Information:

Instagram:
  • FOLLOW me (@ccwriter_).
  • LIKE the corresponding Giveaway post.
  • For a BONUS entry, COMMENT on the post and tell me either 1) Your favorite novel by Stephen King, or 2) If you've read On Writing and if it helped you as a writer.
Twitter:
  • FOLLOW both me (@CCwriter_).
  • LIKE the corresponding Giveawy post.
  • For a BONUS entry, COMMENT on the post and tell me either 1) Your favorite novel by Stephen King, or 2) If you've read On Writing and if it helped you as a writer.
The Writing Desk Blog:
  • SIGN UP to receive an email each time there's a new post on The Writing Desk Blog.
  • For a BONUS entry, COMMENT on the blog post and tell me, if you could have any super power what would you choose? 

Open to the US and CANADA only. 
Entries will be accepted until Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 11:00pm EST. 

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I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Stay tuned for next week's BIG announcement!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Getting Out of a Writing Rut

The other day, I sent a question out into the Instasphere: What do you (as an author) do to get yourself out of a writing funk? (Or, if you prefer, out of a writing rut? I'm using the word "funk" as more of a lack of motivation in this case.)

It's been difficult lately for me to focus on any of my projects. You might have noticed that we didn't have a blog post last week, which I do apologize for! Also, my planned blog interviews for June and July were both pushed back, which couldn't be helped but my schedule has been a bit off ever since.


I was so grateful to those of you who chimed in on Instagram! Here are some of the awesome responses I received from my fellow writers, as well as a few suggestions I've gathered from other resources:

  • "Switching back to pen and paper often works for me as well. A notebook I love, and multicoloured pens are just the ticket." (From @vpgrey)
  • "Go for a walk or run in the park or on the beach or drawing/ sketching things from my book meanwhile I listen some music that inspire me." (From @sonya_falcon
  •  The always awesome Jenna Moreci offers her Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated While Writing Your Book. ("But, Jenna!" - Fans of her YouTube channel will understand!)
  • WritersEdit.com published an article that discusses how to recognize if you're in a writing rut, and offers their own tips for how to break the cycle. 
  • Last, but not least, I wanted to share a Tweet from J.K. Rowling to remind all of us, there are going to be times when our writing doesn't go the way we'd planned, and that's okay:


What are your tips and tricks to getting out of that writing rut? How do you stay motivated when your WIP seems like it's at a stand-still? I'd love to know!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Writing Resources: GamaRay Optics Computer Glasses

Hey there, Writing Desk Readers!

I hope everyone who celebrated had a fun and safe 4th of July! We went to a local 4th of July fair on the 3rd, but last night was spent watching The Office at a ridiculously high volume and distracting the pups from any neighborhood fireworks.

This post was actually supposed to go live last week, but apparently your resident blogger forgot to set the auto-post date. Oops! 

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Today I'd like to share another writing resource that could also be utilized for everyday use!

Like most people, I spend a large amount of time (more than I really like, most days) staring at screens. Whether it's my laptop for my day job, or my phone (Hi, Instafriends!), or when I'm squeezing in some writing time. There's a whole lot of screen watching going on.

While I'm lucky in that I don't need any corrective glasses or contacts, I was starting to develop some pretty nasty headaches from all of this screen-time. It reached a point where I didn't even want to look at my WIP in the evenings after work, because my head throbbed at the thought of staring at another screen. Sure, I take most of my story and outline notes by hand, but eventually everything needs to be typed.

Then a friend of mine, who also happens to run the Migraines Are Madness blog, suggested I try these:

(Source: GAMMA RAY on Amazon)

Behold, the GammaRay Optics Anti-UV Glare Computer Glasses!

I'd seen ads for blue light-blocking glasses before, but I wasn't sure how effective they'd be or if the use would justify the cost. (Some of the pairs advertised were very expensive!) But, having a recommendation from a friend whose online-shopping expertise is unparalleled, plus the fact that these handy beauties are available on Amazon for only $12.99, convinced me to give them a try!

I ordered them back in February of this year, and wanted to wait until I'd used them for at least three months before reviewing. I saw a difference within the first week! My eyes felt less dry and tired at the end of a workday, and after about a month my screen-related headaches stopped altogether.

Of course, everyone is different, and what worked quickly for me might take more time (or potentially not be the right solution) for someone else. But for the low cost, and the fact that these look the most like "regular" glasses that I've seen online with very little lens tint, make them a product I would definitely recommend!

Has anyone else tried the GammaRay computer glasses, or a pair of blue-light glasses from a different brand? What was your experience? Did you notice a difference, or are you still searching for a remedy?

If anyone decides to order a pair, I'd love to know if they help you out!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Writing Resources: The Headspace App

We've made it to another Friday, dear Writing Desk Readers!

Today, I'd like to share a Writing (and life, in general) resource that I've been utilizing for about a week now: The Headspace App.

(Credit: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app)

Lately, between pursuing my writing goals, working full-time, and trying to wade through the cesspool of news stories popping up each day, I've found myself (like many others) growing pretty overwhelmed. Some of you may remember, I even took a digital detox week at the beginning of the year just to clear my mind out a little bit.

Then, a friend suggested I try Headspace. I've always enjoyed meditation, and wished I'd take the time to practice it more often. In its most basic form, the Headspace app helps you set aside 10 minutes per day to go through a guided meditation. There are three "Basics" levels to start out, each with ten sessions, that teach you how to meditate. The narrator also guides you through recognizing how you feel before and after each session.

From there, you have access to several mini-sessions, a few minutes long each, as well as a line of single sessions tailored to more specific concerns: Anxiety, grief, stress, trouble sleeping, and much more.

The Goals character!
(Credit: Headspace App)
I've also discovered, for all my fellow writers out there, a session geared towards creative writing and
learning to "Get in touch with your natural sense of creativity by allowing distractions to come and go". I will definitely be listening to that one this weekend!

There's a wealth of meditative sessions available in the initial free download, and of course, once you finish those you have the option to subscribe to a paid plan. The app also keeps track of your progress and notifies you when you've reached a new goal.

Has anyone else tried the Headspace app? If so, what was your opinion of the app and how it's set up? So far, I've enjoyed taking this time each day to just step away from my desk and bring myself to a calmer place. I know I don't talk about my personal experience with my anxiety much here on the blog, because I'm really trying to keep it focused on writing, on book reviews, and on publishing industry news. But, since this was a new tool that I think is going to help me in both my writing and personal life, I thought I'd share it with you.

Have a great weekend, everyone!