"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall in Love with Your Writing

It’s Fall, and time to love writing again. Rejection, frustration, envy of others, and real world demands can drive a wedge between you and your passion. Just remember, you started writing because you love it! Here are four ways to remind yourself, and reignite the spark for your craft.
1.      Focus Your Time – It’s one thing to write for money or on assignment, but if you don’t enjoy what you are writing, you’ll begin to detest the process. Planning, rewriting, submitting, and marketing can all take a toll as well. Devote an equal, if not greater, amount of time to YOUR choice of writing projects. And stay away from people and activities that distract or bring you down. Time will rekindle the love.
2.      Rediscover the Romance – Turn off the interruptions of phones, social media, etc. Spend time alone, sipping your favorite beverage, listening to your favorite music, reading your favorite books, and let your mind wander. Write out your thoughts, fears, guilt, hopes, dreams, and scenes that create themselves in your mind. Write without the intention of publishing, seeking an audience or approval, or even correcting your work. Let go and enjoy the process. You are redirecting the passion that led to your love of writing.
3.      Share the Love – Allow yourself to spend time every month with other writers. Join a writer’s guild, critique group, or read books and blogs on the craft. Occasionally surround yourself with others who value writing because it is a solitary endeavor, and sharing the passion you feel will fuel your creativity and success.
4.      Build Your Inspiration – The best inspiration comes from developing a fan base for your writing. Readers commenting on your posts, or asking about your next publication provide you with continual support and motivation.
All writers experience burn out, whether it is for a few hours or a few years. Allow yourself to ignite the passion, fuel your creativity, and fall in love with this craft again.

I'd love to hear your ideas. How do you ensure that your relationship with writing remains healthy and full of love?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Free "Thrilling" Reads

Fall is here and with Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would share five "thrilling" books now available for free download.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Reading Treasures

I've been insanely busy this past month, and as a result I'm having trouble getting into any of the books I pick up. I read a variety of genres, but as I peruse my "to be read pile" for a great escape, nothing seems to click.

So, what are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Affordable Writers Conference

The Bayou Writers Group annual conference, A Bridge to Publication, is set for Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The cost is $35 for members, $40 for non-members, $25 for students with an ID, and $50 at the door. Below is a few of the agents, editors, and authors who will be speaking and taking pitches. For more information, visit: http://bayouwritersgroup.com/

1) DiAnn Mills - Keynote Speaker: award-winning writer of Christian fiction and writing coach to authors in any genre. First published in 1998, she currently has more than fifty books in print, which combined have sold more than a million and a half copies. She often works with Lahaye and Jenkins of the popular Left Behind series.  http://www.diannmills.com/

2) Jessica Kirland - Agent with Blythe Daniel Agency: She is acquiring and representing adult fiction, young adult fiction,and some non-fiction. She will be taking pitches. http://www.theblythedanielagency.com/jessica-kirckland-joins-as-marketing-literary-agent/

3) Jill Marr - Agent with Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency: Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for nonfiction projects in the areas of self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music. She will be taking pitches. http://www.dijkstraagency.com/meet-the-agents.html

4) Sue Carswell - Author, ghostwriter, seasoned journalist with extensive knowledge and experience in print, broadcast, publishing, and blogging. Unique skill-set with expertise ranging from story development and strategic planning to reporting, writing and editing all editorial content from pop culture, to lifestyle, to hard news. High-profile positions include roles at O, The Oprah Magazine, People, Vanity Fair, Good Morning America, Random House and more.

5) Stella Riley - Aquisitions Editor - She will be taking pitches. http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-conference-news.html

6) Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit - Screenwriters. For more information: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/2013-conference-update.html


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Starter Kit for Writers

I often watch my dog dig in the blankets and pillows, pawing and circling many times before bedding down in just the right spot.

Not all writers choose their own areas with such care. Maybe they don’t have the time, ability, or inclination to be so picky. However, you should endeavor to “mark” or organize your space to suit your current needs and goals.

Whether your writing area resembles an empty warehouse or a garage sale tabletop, it should offer you some measure of comfort, privacy, and motivation. Try this starter kit:

1.      A decent chair that is comfortable enough to sit, but not nap in.
2.      A desk or table appropriate to your height.
3.      At least one bookshelf.
4.      Fill it with material you are passionate about such as poetry, fiction, or essays. 
5.      At least one dictionary and thesaurus. Other reference and usage guides are a plus.
6.      Bulletin board and/or a dry-erase board.
7.      Notebook paper – not everyone likes to write by hand, but research has proven it forces you to think more about and commit to what you are writing than just typing it does.
8.      A good luck object or treasured item placed in your line of vision.
9.      Excellent light.
10.  Something living or moving – pets, plants, or fountains can keep the loneliness factor at bay in this solitary endeavor.
What items have helped you create a Zen Writing habitat?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Winner of Rebellious Heart

Congratulations to Alana Ingram who has won a signed copy of Jody Hedlund's Rebellious Heart! Alana if you will email me your mailing address at writinginwonderland(at)gmail(dot)com, I will get with Jody about sending your book to you.

Thank you to everyone who participated or encouraged both Jody and myself.

For anyone still interested in winning a copy, you can find 16 more opportunities to win at: http://jodyhedlund.com/media/

Also, this book will soon be available in stores. You can preorder a copy: http://www.amazon.com/Rebellious-Heart-Jody-Hedlund/dp/0764210483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378599491&sr=8-1&keywords=rebellious+Heart+jody+hedlund

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rebellious Heart Giveaway

It’s September and that means Jody Hedlund’s newest release will soon be hitting the shelves! You can read my interview of her in the September issue of Southern Writers magazine: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/

To celebrate the release of Rebellious Heart, coming September 15th, I get to be part of her 20 Book Giveaway!!

Rebellious Heart follows in the same vein as The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady in that it’s also inspired by a famous couple from history. The story is set in Colonial America and inspired by the beautiful courtship of John and Abigail Adams.

In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she’s ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she’s a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She’s determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer’s son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn’t see how he’ll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he’s drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna’s decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben’s growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

For a chance to win a free copy of Rebellious Heart just leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways:
1.      Become a follower of this blog.
2.      Follow  Jody's blog..
3.      Share on Twitter and/or Facebook: “Want to win a signed copy of @JodyHedlund’s Rebellious Heart?! You can win one here http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/ via @SylviaNey
4.      Follow Sylvia Ney and Jody Hedlund on Twitter and Facebook.

Be sure to leave a comment by 9/06/13 at 11:59 (CST). I will announce the winner in a blog post here on September 7.
While you wait, here are a few interesting facts Jody shared with me:

She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Michigan with her husband and five busy children.
You say you hope that readers will enjoy reading your books as much as you loved writing them. Do you communicate much with your readers? As a published author, I love hearing from readers. I’m always thrilled to get emails or hand-written notes from readers telling me how much my story touched them.

What is your favorite snack food and your beverage of choice? My favorite non-sweet snack is nachos and cheese.  My favorite sweet snack depends on my mood. Of course I like chocolate! But I also occasionally like pie (particularly Apple, Blueberry, Cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company which is just around the corner from my house!). My beverage of choice for the morning is coffee—very black and very strong! And in the afternoons I switch to tea.
If money were absolutely no object, what is one place you would love to go with only your husband? I’d love to take a research trip to England. I know my husband would enjoy going too and would put up with my obsessive need to read about and study all the historical details of everything I come across.

And as a family? My children on the other hand don’t have as much patience for my appetite for history. So I’d love to take them hiking in the Rockies or to Yellowstone.
Where can readers find you?
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Or you're welcome to email me at: jodyhedlund@jodyhedlund.com

Thanks Jody! And good luck to everyone entering for a chance to win Rebellious Heart!