Wednesday, January 16, 2019

QUARTERLY GOALS: 2019-Q1 Goals

We're in a new year, and in lieu of resolutions I've decided to renew my use of my quarterly goals system. When I was sticking to them, I was much more productive and felt more accomplished for each goal that I crossed off the list.

Normally, I like to start off these posts by going down the list of the previous quarter's goals and tallying the number I was able to complete.  However, given how hectic the end of last year was, I've decided to call 2018-Q4 a wash. Some things were done, but not to the standard that I'd consider them finished.


What method(s) do you use to set and keep your goals, dear Writing Desk Readers? Do you use a timed system like this one, or something more free-flowing?

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2019-Q1 Goals:

1) Finish the first draft of (revised plotline version) Tom's Story. I realized last Fall that the plot and timelines of Tom's Story needed some serious re-working. Now I'm in a much better place with it and am looking forward to (finally) getting Tom back on track.

2) A minimum of one book giveaway per month. (See last week's post)

3) Continue with regular author/publishing professional interviews. I already have a few lined up to start off the year, and I'm very excited to share them with you!

4) Get the regular What Am I Reading Wednesday posts back up and running. At least two, but preferably more, per month. Book recommendations are always welcome!

5) Try one new experience each quarter. This isn't a writing goal, but it's one I'm looking forward to all the same. I'm using a broad definition of 'new experience' here. It could be taking an instructional class, attending a workshop or lecture, traveling to a new place, taking the opportunity to volunteer in the community, the options are endless!

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Yes, it's a short list, but I hope to add a couple new goals as the quarter progresses.

What are your goals for the start of 2019? Let me know in the comments below here or on Instagram!

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019: The Year of the Book Giveaway

Happy New Year, Writing Desk Readers!

For me, the year 2017 (and by extension, 2018) was the Year of the Author Interview. One of my main goals that year was to feature a monthly author/publishing professional interview, and it was a huge success!

While I still plan to have monthly/bi-monthly interviews published on the blog, it's not my key goal for this year. I want 2019 to be the Year of the Book Giveaway.


This year, I want to give away at least one book per month. These books might follow a particular theme, they might coincide with a new release promotion or author interview, or it might be a book I particularly enjoyed and want to share with all of you.

Entry instructions will be provided with each giveaway announcement. However, I'd like to go ahead and remind everyone that, for now, I can only do giveaways in the US and Canada.

Stay tuned later this month for the first book up for grabs!

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I want to say thank you to everyone who expressed their condolences when I had to say goodbye to Harley last week. It made the following days much more bearable to know so many of you knew what I was going through.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Some Unexpected News - Final Post of 2018

Hello, Writing Desk Readers.

I hope everyone has been enjoying this holiday season. It's been a difficult one for me so far, not altogether bad, but definitely not what I'd hoped for.

I'd planned to publish 2-3 more posts here on the blog before the end of the year, but last week I received some heartbreaking news.

Many of you might recognize my oldest dog, Harley, from previous posts here on the blog or on social media. I now have confirmation that he has lymphoma and, due to a number of factors, chemotherapy would be too much stress for him. He's started on a daily medicine to help curb his symptoms, and I'm changing up his diet as well. A friend of mine went through the same thing with her pup a few years ago, and she gave me some excellent pointers.


Of course, the most important thing is that Harley is happy and comfortable, so as long as he stays that way I want to enjoy my time with him as much as possible. I know the moment will eventually come to make the hard decision. Any pet parents out there who have had a seriously ill or injured pet will know the feeling. No matter how many beautiful creatures come into your life, letting go never gets any easier.

Keeping all of this in mind, I won't be making anymore blog updates the rest of this year. I have decided to continue with the #declitwrit Instagram challenge, though, connecting with so many new writers has been a bright spot these last few weeks.

I appreciate any positive thoughts you'd like to send his way, dear Writing Desk Readers, and wish you all a wonderful holiday season, no matter which holiday(s) you celebrate.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

It's Time for the #DecLitWrit Challenge!

Happy December, Writing Desk Readers!

REMINDER: There are only TWO MORE DAYS left to enter the Carolina Crimes 1-Year Anniversary Giveaway! All contest entry details can be found on the original giveaway blog post from last week.

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I won't lie, this year has been a stressful one and it's impacted both my writing and engagement with the writing community more than I care to admit. So, in order to get myself back into the holiday (and writerly!) spirit, I've decided to participate in the #declitwrit Instagram challenge!


Some of you might remember when I dove into the #marchlitwrit challenge earlier this year. It was so much fun and allowed me to interact with fellow authors and readers on Instagram in a way that I hadn't been able to before.

We're already on Day 6 of #declitwrit, and today's topic is going to be a bit daunting. The topic is: Your WIP To-Do List. At this point I'm happy to say I still have a WIP, so we'll see how today's post goes!

As always, I have to give a shout out to the amazing writers who are hosting this InstaChallenge:

@writerdaniellemichael
@moon.child.ellazara
@the_slp_reads
@bookishlybelle 
@blogherosix
@quillmistress
@becky_moynihan
@pagewitch
 
Be sure to follow these engaging writers and check out their posts for the challenge!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

CAROLINA CRIMES 1-Year Anniversary + A Giveaway!

I realized the other day that it's been a little over a year since my thriller short story, Set Them Free, If Need Be, was published as part of the Carolina Crimes: 21 Tales of Need, Greed, & Dirty Deeds collection. (Vol. II in the Carolina Crimes series.) It was an uncanny feeling, considering this was my first professional publication, and by "professional" I mean I received payment and author credit for the material.


Flipping through my personal copy of the book, I remembered feeling what can best be described as ecstatic disbelief when I received the letter notifying me that my story had been selected for publication. In the past I wasn't very confident in my short story writing abilities, and would often find myself putting them aside to focus on larger projects. So having this validation that not only had I successfully finished a short story that fit the entry parameters, but it was also considered good enough to be included by an entire panel of judges and the book's editor.

When the editor, Nora Gaskin Esthimer, described my story as "Creepy...in all the right ways!", that was the proverbial icing on the cake!

While I understand how important reviews are for authors, I'm also a member of the Don't-Make-a-Habit-of-Obsessing-Over-Reviews camp. Keeping that in mind, I have to admit I was absolutely thrilled when one reviewer wrote that Set Them Free, If Need Be was their favorite story in the book!

Reading an excerpt from Set Them Free at the launch event.

To (belatedly) celebrate the anniversary of  my first professional publication, I'm giving away another copy of Carolina Crimes: 21 Tales of Need, Greed & Dirty Deeds!

Carolina Crimes Vol. II Anniversary Giveaway Information:

Instagram:
  • FOLLOW me at (@ccwriter_)
  • LIKE the corresponding Giveaway post.
  • For a BONUS entry, COMMENT on the post and tell me if you prefer short stories and novellas or full-length novels?

Twitter:
  • FOLLOW me at (@CCwriter_)
  • LIKE the corresponding Giveaway post.
  • For a BONUS entry, COMMENT on the post and tell me if you prefer short stories and novellas or full-length novels?

The Writing Desk Blog:
  • COMMENT on this post and tell me if you prefer short stories and novellas or full-length novels?
  • For a BONUS entry, SIGN UP to receive an email each time there's a new post on The Writing Desk Blog.

This giveaway is open to the US and CANADA only. 
Entries will be accepted until Saturday, December 8, 2018 at Midnight EST. 
The winner will be randomly drawn after the entry period is over.

Good luck!

Now, one other favor I need from you, dear Writing Desk Readers: If you already have a copy of Carolina Crimes: 21 Tales of Need, Greed & Dirty Deeds, whether from winning a giveaway or purchasing your own, please take the time to review the collection on Amazon and/or Goodreads!   Organizations like the one that sponsors Carolina Crimes (Sisters In Crime) are able to continue doing so through the support of readers.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Now Available: Official Tamora Pierce Merchandise

BIG NEWS FOR TAMORA PIERCE FANS!

This week, Ms. Pierce announced the launch of the first ever officially licensed line of merchandise based on her novels! She has partnered with the independent Dual Wield Studio for this special project, and the items can be purchased directly through their website.

My Christmas list just got a whole lot longer.

Who else remembers the darkings? I love Leaf's hat!
 
As expected, this news has been met with serious enthusiasm. Some items, like the Keladry Shield T-shirt, have already sold out! However, Dual Wield Studio has already confirmed there will be other designs/items launching soon.

To stay informed on future Tamora Pierce products, you can sign up for Dual Wield's Newsletter and follow them @DualWieldStudio.

My longtime Writing Desk Readers will already know quite a bit about my love for Tamora Pierce, so you can imagine my reaction when I first saw the announcement about this line of products. I'm not ashamed to say that I had a pretty massive fan-girl moment.

If anyone has already ordered an item from this collection, I would love to know what you think of them in person!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Post Series: Industry News

This is something I've been toying with for a while now. I know there are many websites and blogs out there specifically dedicated to breaking news in the writing/publishing industry, but I wanted to create a post series discussing topics of particular interest to me.

Photo source: Pixabay.com

A perfect example, in several of my recent NY Times Sunday papers there have been such interesting articles related to books I'd never heard of, or publishing news I thought would be of interest. I want to start sharing these topics and sparking a discussion, whether it's here on the blog, on Instagram, Twitter, you name it.

What I also want, dear Writing Desk Readers, is for you to share any news with me that you think are interesting or relevant. Do you know of an author whose debut, or latest, novel is coming out soon? Share it! Was there a recent change in the publishing industry that you think writers should be discussing? Tell us about it!