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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

I am so very thankful for the gift of your friendship. The blogging community never ceases to amaze me with their willingness to befriend, share, and encourage. I hope you ALL have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Freebies

If you have the Amazon app, you can download some children's Christmas books for FREE. To learn more: http://www.amazon.com/iMarvel-Christmas-Story-Books-Free/dp/B0062NFLBM

The Barnes & Noble version: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-story-books-free-imarvel/1107444333?ean=2940043866479

To download 25 of the best Christmas classics: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/25-free-ebooks-for-christmas_b62275

Book One of James Patterson's "Christmas Wedding" can be found for free here: http://www.jamespatterson.com/books_christmasWedding.partOne.php#.VJXfVB0MA

Interested in more free books for kids? This site offers both holiday and other popular reads for free: http://www.kcedventures.com/blog/free-kids-holiday-and-christmas-books-online

Writers - a free ebook and chance to win a critique: http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/12/thanks-whw-emotion-amplifiers-ebook-gift/  and other goodies: http://themarshallplan.net/freestuff.htm

What are you reading? Any recommendations?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope) by Jody Hedlund

*Sigh* I always enjoy opening a new Jody Hedlund book, and I always hate finishing them. Each time I read one of her novels I feel she can’t possibly top the tale. However, she never fails to make me fall in love with another main character. Her skill as an author and her devotion to the Lord become more apparent with each publication. My only complaint is that I have to wait three more months for another of her new releases. If you enjoy Christian romance, you must pick up Love Unexpected.

Set in 1859 - Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.
Not sure you want to spend the money to try a new author? You can still download her novella Out of the Storm for FREE!

An Uncertain Choice, Hedlund’s first YA novel, will release in March. Hearts Made Whole, the second in her Beacons of Hope series, will release in June.
To learn more about this amazing author, you can visit her website: http://jodyhedlund.com/ Interested in becoming a writer? Check out her very informative blog: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/

What books have you enjoyed this year? I’m looking for a great nonfiction read – any suggestions?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last Submission Opportunities for 2014

ESSAY MAMA CHRISTMAS WRITING AWARD http://www.essaymama.com/blog/essaymamas-christmas-writing-contest/ NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 25, 2014. The 15 best works will be added to the printed "Best EssayMama's Stories: Christmas Edition" book and published on the best resources for writers. $330 will be given to each of the top three writers. Limit one story. Limit 4,000 words. Topic Christmas.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive This title deliberately has a double meaning: 1) You need to make time in your busy life to thrive; and 2) It's time to thrive-no more putting off those life changes you know you should make. If you have a story about taking time to thrive, i.e. pursue a passion, find your purpose, improve your wellbeing, or if you realized it was time to thrive and you did something about it, we want to hear from you. Were you stuck in the same old routine for years? Did you feel that your life had no purpose? What did you do to transform yourself and create balance and meaning in your life? Did you start a completely new career, have a travel adventure or find a new hobby? Was it a new love interest or an attitude adjustment that helped you thrive? We want to hear your stories. Stories can be serious or funny, but we definitely want them to inspire our readers to take that first step towards happiness, fulfillment, and growth. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Support for Therapists/Mental Health Professionals Therapists and mental health counselors listen to people's problems all day. But where's the "chicken soup for the soul" for them? Who supports the therapists and mental health professionals? We’re looking for stories from therapists and mental health professionals about how you get through your day. How do you separate your clients' pain from your own life? Share your advice and support with your colleagues. And if you have been client of one of these fine professionals and you want to tell them how much they helped you, for moral support, please submit your story as well. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
NIGHTLIGHT READING WRITERS CONTEST http://www.nightlightreading.org/writing-contest/ NO ENTRY FEE. Geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure.  Nightlight Reading's goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading. Short stories limited to 5,000 words. Theme is Adventure. Deadline December 31, 2015. First Prize: $1,000 award plus certificate and publication of the story. Second Prize: $500 award plus certificate and publication of the story. Third Prize: $300 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
What opportunities do you see in the next few weeks?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Writing for Small Markets

Wow, can you believe Christmas is only two weeks away? I have my house decorated, but I've barely begun my Christmas shopping! I'm a little sad about the whole thing because we usually have a LARGE family get-together at my grandmothers house on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, she passed and no one seems interested in the gathering without her. I guess we will just have a small celebration with my immediate family. I count myself lucky to have hubby and two small angels with which to enjoy the holiday.

Today I am guest posting at the "Insecure Writer's Support Group" blog. My article on writing for small markets can be found here.  If you have a moment, please stop by. You can also download their "Guide to Publishing and Beyond" for FREE. For more information on the free ebook read here.

Are you busy making plans for the holiday? Are you still writing, or is that on hold for you at the moment?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Writing in Obedience

I found this book to be an excellent source for ANY Christian writer, not just those hoping to write specifically for the Christian market. As a person of faith, I have wondered what the Lord's plan was for me. While I have never felt specifically "called" to write "Christian" fiction, I AM a believer who didn't want to exclude my religion from all of my writing.

The authors of this book (one agent and one editor) discuss the differences in being called to write for Him, and writing as an "offering" to the Lord. Sections include pointers in writing for different audiences, structuring your story correctly, and getting the manuscript published.

This book briefly reviews what we want to achieve with our writing, and discusses how we define success.

About the Authors

Terry Burns has been with the Hartline Literary agency for ten years, more than five years as an agent, and has a substantial list of clients, a growing list of credits, and a reputation for presenting to conferences all over the country. Terry comes from a writing background, has over forty books of his own in print, most recently adapting a Christian movie script to print for the movie Footprints, a Young Adult novel entitled Beyond the Smoke, which won the Will Rogers Medallion, the three book Mysterious Ways series from David C. Cook, and a book on the skills needed to get published entitled A Writer s Survival Guide to Getting Published that was developed out of the month long course he held for the American Christian Fiction Writers. A bookstore of his available works as well as a periodic blog can be found at terryburns(dot)net. Terry has a BA from West Texas A & M and did graduate work at Southern Methodist University. He's a member of the Association of Author s Representatives (AAR).

Linda W. Yezak holds a BA in English, a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies, and a bucket list as long as her arm. Among the things on the list is owning a stable full of horses, and since that s not likely to happen any time soon, she includes horses in each of her novels, from her contemporary western romance, Give the Lady a Ride, published in 2011, and her current work, The Cat Lady s Secret, under contract to Harbourlight Books, to her works-in-progress. Linda has been a freelance editor for several years and is a speaker for writers groups and conferences in the Ark-La-Tex-OK region. Until the day she can retire with her husband to their land in Central Texas and ride to her heart's content, she'll continue with her writing and editing careers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NaWriMo Winners and a FREEBIE for Everyone!

Congratulations winners! Below is a list of winners of my NaWriMo challenge. If your name was drawn, simply email me three or four selections from the prizes (visit http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2014/10/nawrimo-my-challenge-to-all-writers-and.html to find a complete list). REMEMBER: this is first come, first served. If there are any prizes left, I will choose more names later.

Texas Gulf Coast Writers
John Harp
Crystal B
Bayou Writers Group
The Silver Fox

AND FOR EVERYONE: A FREE DOWNLOAD! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available for download. It is packed with information, and I have an article included in the marketing section. Please help us spread the word about this awesome book.
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, "The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond" contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on the do's and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey. 

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE
IWSG sites – website, Facebook, and Facebook Critique Circle
Find the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaWriMo Wrap-Up: The Memoir Project

Thank you to everyone who participated in my NaWriMo challenge! Those of you following my own journey this month know that I started strong, but didn't finish due to illnesses. I didn't even try to add anything this weekend. My youngest was finally well enough for some activity, so we unpacked our Christmas decorations, spent time with church and family, and went out to eat. It was a great weekend after the virus scare a week ago.

While I haven't added a lot to my word count in the last ten days, I have still been thinking about the story. I've let it gestate in the back of my mind. I haven't done ANY editing, but I have thought a lot about the direction I want to take the story now.

I also spent some time reading The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text For Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith. This is a short book (about 112 pages) that I received as a door prize at a writer's conference earlier in the month. I enjoyed this quick read. Smith's take on writing in refreshingly honest and open. In this text she decries writing exercises, claiming only purpose-filled writing is a useful way to spend your time. I found her analysis and examples extremely insightful, and I hope you'll consider taking a look if you plan to write ANY type of nonfiction.

Later this week I will be announcing the winners of my challenge. Random.org will pick a few winners from the commenters, and they can email me their selections.

How did your project turn out? Read any good books lately?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NaWriMo Days 25-28

My daughter was extremely ill this week, and we spent three consecutive days at the doctor trying to help her. They very nearly put her in the hospital, but THANKFULLY she finally began responding to medication. Thanksgiving day was the first time she began sitting up to eat and interact with others. Needless to say, my nonfiction project wasn't really on my mind during this time.

Last night I finally added a few thoughts, but only about 372 words. Not sure how much I'll get back to it this weekend, but at least now that my daughter is feeling better I can think about it some more. I may just take the weekend to enjoy having my whole family together and healthy.

How is your project progressing? Don't worry about beating anyone else, just write for YOURSELF!

There are only a few days left to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.

Monday, November 24, 2014

NaWriMo Days 21 - 24 and Thanksgiving

Over the weekend I was able to add 5, 239 words to my project. The good news is that I'm on target with the 40,000 words you should have by midnight tonight.

Unfortunately, my youngest became seriously ill last night. We spent today at the doctor and getting medicine. She is resting now - fitfully. We will be heading back for a follow up in the morning to see if she is getting any better. Prayers for a speedy recovery would be greatly appreciated!

In case I don't make it online again this week - Happy Thanksgiving! I'm extremely thankful for my online family. For some fun reading, here are ten reasons I'm thankful to be a writer.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.  Also, please view last Mondays post for more prize opportunities!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

NaWriMo - Days 19 and 20

I'm still fighting my cold, and I refuse to give up. It's my last full day with the house to myself. My kids will be getting out of school tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday. The next ten days will be full of friends, family, and food. I may not get much done on my project over that time so I'm getting as much as possible down now. I just added another 4,321 words.

If you're participating in the National writing competition this month, here is a calendar of words counts. Each day tells you how much of your 50,000 word project should be completed by the end of that day. If you follow that, today you should finish with 33,333 words.

Thankfully, I'm slightly ahead now. We'll see what the next week of merriment does to my work ethic! ;-)

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.  Also, please view Mondays post for more prize opportunities!

What are you working on, or reading?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NaWriMo - Days 14-18

Well, it's a good thing I started out strong because I've barely looked at my NaWriMo project in the last few days. Family get-togethers, work parties, school events, finishing other writing assignments, and getting sick have all slowed me down. For days 14-18, I have only added a total of 1,785 words.

I hope your projects are progressing better!

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.  Also, please view the previous post below for more prize opportunities!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Action Kids’ Club and Giveaways!

Todays guest post is brought to you by Aidyl"

Yikes! We’re already starting the second week of my blog tour celebrating the release of Action Kids' Club. Exciting, right? Read the last post at this blog and find out more about Action Kids by clicking here.

The answer to Saturday's riddle is: It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. -Babe Ruth

In Action Kids' Club one of the things Olivia, the main character, is learning about is opportunities so I thought it would be fun to share with y’all about some opportunities I’ve had. 

When I was around 14 I got sick with Lyme disease and ended up spending a lot of the next six and a half years in bed. For the first while I griped and complained and made everyone around me miserable. Then my dad told me I needed to change my mindset and gave me a book by John Maxwell to read.

It was hard at first, but then I learned how to see the opportunities that were all around me, even when I was sick in bed. It was during that time that I began writing more seriously, started a blog and signed my first book contract.

I’ve been so thankful ever since then that my parents didn’t let me waste all of those years, but helped me to make the most of them. It seems like a lot of opportunities hide in hard situations, so next time you’re faced with something that’s difficult, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, look around and see if you can find an opportunity of your own!

Another, more recent opportunity I had was to go to Asia for a month. There were a lot of logistics I had to work out to make it happen, but in the end, it was all worth it because it was an amazing life-changing month.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to put my computer away for a few minutes and play a game with my little brother. I won, we had some great sibling time and my brother had fun. Plus, the break probably helped clear my mind which made my writing better when I came back to it.

What about you? What is one of the last times you saw an opportunity and decided to take ahold of it and run?

And here’s your quote riddle for today. Figure it out and leave the answer in the comments section and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a great prize! And, check out my blog to find out about the $50 gift card I’m giving away!

(Answer Key)
A B C D E F G H I  J   K L M N O P Q R  S T  U V W X Y Z

D E F G H I  J  K L M N O P Q  R S T  U V W X Y Z  A B C

Dgyhuvlwb fdxvhv vrph shrpoh wr euhdn; rwkhuv wr euhdn ohfruav. -William A Ward

Thank you so much for stopping by! Make sure you visit this blog tomorrow for the next stop on the tour where you’ll find out what inspired the Action Kids Series, the answer to today’s riddle and another giveaway.

I’m so very excited about this Giveaway I’ve put together!

“Extreme Action Kids Package”  Including but not limited to: A signed copy of Action Kids' Club, Action Kids Bookmarks, Action Kids Notepads, Pens, a Paracord bracelet or Keychain with Compass, Snacks to munch on in case you get hungry while reading, and some awesome money from Zimbabwe! Sorry but the giveaway prizes can only be sent to address in the USA! See below for  more ways to win!
Action Kids’ Club Back Cover BlurbTwelve-year-old Olivia Hall’s dream of a friends' club ends when she finds out her family is moving. Her parents assure her it's a good thing, opening a new world of possibilities for the Halls. But going from ‘miss popular’ to ‘the new girl’ won’t be easy, and Olivia is not convinced. Soon she begins to realize that although her life has suddenly changed, there's plenty of adventure to keep her on her toes. From making new friends at Forward Focus, to hanging out at the world-renowned Kids Zone, to meeting the curious head chef, she discovers that there's much more to life - and her new surroundings - than she ever imagined. How will she make the most of these new opportunities? Or will she let them slip away?

About the Author: Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who enjoys hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe and cooking for large crowds. Lydia grew up in a barn and has always dreamed of living in a tipi. She is trained as a John Maxwell coach and her passions include self-development and Christian apologetics One of her life-long dreams was realized when her first book, “Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl, was published by Answers in Genesis in 2013. Find her online at her Blog, Facebook, Twitter,  Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Four Lessons from NaWriMo

Today is the half way point. Whether you are participating in National Novel Writing Month, or you have accepted one of my personal challenges (click icon in the sidebar to the right for more details) you should have met half of your goal by midnight tonight. If not, don't despair, just keep going!

Four lessons this challenge can teach you:

1)      Create a Goal – maybe you’ve only committed to write for five minutes a day – every day. Or maybe you have set yourself a specific word count to achieve each day, a number of submissions per month, or per year. Whatever your goal, keep driving yourself forward. Chase success long enough, and you’ll find it.

2)      Know What Motivates You – Accountability can be a driving force for many writers. The nature of the NaNo website, where you report your daily word count, or advertising your goals through any other form of social media, can be very motivating. The stigma of having to confess your failure publicly can drive you to continue when it would otherwise be easy to give up. If public praise/humiliation does not work for you, try rewarding yourself for meeting your goals by watching a favorite show, indulging in a glass of your favorite beverage, or opening that package of chocolate.

3)      Identify Stumbling Blocks – For many of us social media can become a large time suck, and enable us to avoid productive work. Cleaning the house will suddenly become more important, or comparing yourself to another writer can cast doubts and cause depression. One I’m guilty of is getting overwhelmed by my research and failing to produce any work of my own. Be honest with yourself, and avoid problem areas.

4)      Learn How Far You Can Push Yourself - By writing every day, we learn which events can cause us problems, and which don’t. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need for your work, or to have the courage to walk away from a project that you know is not good for you. Trust yourself and try not to fear failure or success. For more on this topic: http://nicole-singer.blogspot.com/2013/12/7-common-fears-and-advice-for-writers.html#comment-form

What have you learned about yourself?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaWriMo - Days 11, 12, 13, and More Prizes

Days 11, 12, and 13 – Began chapters nine, ten, and eleven, sent proposal and samples to the editor I met at the conference on Saturday, added information to my acknowledgements page, and continued work on chapters fourteen and fifteen. Total word count for days eleven through thirteen: 6,725 words.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details. AND thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, I am adding a few more prizes to my NaWriMo challenge. Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I'll attempt a better one when I'm not so tired. There is a flash drive, another journal, dictionary, thesaurus, hand bookends, notecards with notecard binder, pen with words, coffee mug, green tea packets, candles and candle holders, bookmark, pencil binder, AND a copy of Writing 21st Century Fiction written by Donald Maass.

How are your projects progressing?

Monday, November 10, 2014

NaWriMo - Days 8, 9, 10, and Veterans Day

Confession Time - I have not been slacking (at least not completely).

I spent day 8 of the challenge at the Bayou Writer's Group Bridge to Publication conference. I enjoyed a long day of company with fellow authors and a few editors. I even pitched my nonfiction project, and received a submission request! I'll soon be sending a few chapters for review.  That evening after the conference I attended an 80th birthday party for my grandfather. While it was a wonderful day I wouldn't trade, it means I wrote ZERO new words for my challenge.

Day 9 was spent at church. We began practicing for our Christmas program, and while we finished around 3 pm, the afternoon was spent completing errands and shopping for some much needed new clothing for my girls - apparently if you feed kids every day, then they keep growing! ;-) I completed a whopping ELEVEN new words to my project!

Today is day 10, and I have yet to add a single word to this project. I'm working to complete other assignments and will hopefully return to NaWriMo this evening. It will probably be late at night as I have a Golden Triangle Writer's Group meeting at 6:30 pm.
Update: Began an appendix (178 words), wrote an introduction to chapter five (312 words), and wrote an introduction to chapter six (603 words). Total word count on this project today: 1,093 words.

Day 11 - Veterans Day - I hope you will be celebrating your own heroes. If you, or someone you know, has ever served in the military then please consider submitting to the Proud to Be anthology. The Missouri Humanities Council and Warrior Arts Alliance is now accepting submissions to their fourth volume. Prizes will be awarded in five separate categories. For more information:  http://www6.semo.edu/universitypress/Contests/PTB_Contest.htm

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaWriMo - Days 6 and 7

Continued work on chapter one (656 words), continued work on chapter two (499 words), added to chapters seven and eight (364 words), expounded on chapters twelve and thirteen (5,296 words), wrote introductions to chapters fourteen and fifteen (629 words), and began chapter sixteen (588 words). Total word count for days six and seven 8, 032 words.

While some of you may be impressed with the word counts, please remember this month is about quantity - getting your thoughts down and a first draft completed. You'll work on quality next month when you begin revising and editing.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.

What are you working to complete?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaWriMo - Day 5

Today I created an acknowledgements page (564 words), continued work on chapter one (2,279 words), and continued work on chapter two (524 words). Total word count for Day five – 3,367.

I'm hoping to get as much done as possible before Thanksgiving week. My kids will be out of school for that whole week, and I know the visits with friends and family will be welcome interruptions to my writing time.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.

What projects are you working to complete? If you're competing in NaWriMo, let us know how it's going.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Blue Couch and NaWriMo - Day 4

It's November and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away! Today also marks the release of a new Southern Writer's magazine issue.

In this issue, I talk with poet Laurie Kolp. Her new collection Upon the Blue Couch, offers a variety of work for all tastes. I always enjoy talking with her, and I hope you enjoy the interview and her book if you have the chance to read them.

The magazine has also just released their Holiday Shopping issue. To learn more about this magazine or to order a copy, please visit: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/

As for my fourth day of NaWriMo - I spent a lot of time today researching my nonfiction topic. I added 1,944 words today, and I think some of them are repetitive of work from the three previous days. However, I will forge ahead, and worry more about the editing and organization when I finish my first draft.

I hope your work is coming along well. Are you reading any great books or magazines?

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaWriMo - Day 3

Wrote an introduction to chapter four (137 words), created a list of questions to interview professionals or research about for my topic (593 words), wrote an overview, or prologue, (843 words), wrote an introduction to chapter two (736 words), introduction to chapter 3 (242 words), and started a glossary of terminology that will be used in this project (278 words). Total word count for Day 3 – 2, 829 words.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details. 

How is your project progressing? Leave a link below so we can visit you.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaWriMo - Day 2

Drafted a cover letter (548 words), and a writing resume’ (1,713 words) both of which will need to be included with my nonfiction proposal. Total word count for Day 2 – 2,261 words.

Want to create your own writing resume? See: http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2013/04/resume-for-writer.html

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.

How are your projects coming along?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Here We Go: NaWriMo - Day 1

Today, I began creating a manuscript proposal for my nonfiction project: an outline (645 words), an introduction to chapter one (246 words), began chapter seventeen (1,524 words), and drafted a query letter for the project (422 words). All of this will help me to focus my goals throughout this challenge. Total word count for Day 1 – 2,837 words.

Don't forget to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway so that we can help encourage each other. I just added two more categories and another prize. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.

Are you competing? How did your first day go? What problems or advice do you want to share?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!

To the left are my two beautiful daughters, and below is a picture of my oldest child ;-)
We've been celebrating with church and fall festivals, class parties, pumpkin decorating, costume contests/shows, and musical shows (I'm so candied out!). 
Today we will probably be enjoying a popcorn and movie fest in preparation for the haunting fun of tomorrow night with friends and family.

Now that the temperatures are finally dropping a bit, it's more fun planning the outdoor activities. If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a good book, try one of my ten hauntingly good picks here.

Interested in FREE scary books for a Halloween read? Try these!

Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Try these 10-minute literary costume ideas.

How are you celebrating this season?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NaWriMo Challenge Update

As many of you know, I am hosting a challenge and giveaway. NaWriMo: for any style of writing.

I have just added a sixth option to the challenge, and more prizes to be given away. Don't forget to keep leaving comments on each post for more chances to win!

For complete details, please click the image in the sidebar to the right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Submission Opportunities

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Miracles - Everyone has experienced events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment and give them hope for a better future. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did divine intervention have something to do with it? Share your inspirational true stories with us to remind us that each day holds hope and that a miracle can happen at any time. The deadline for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2014: http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans is accepting submissions for its One Act Contest and Fiction Contest. Deadlines are in November and you can win $1,500! Feel free to pass it along to your membership. http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/win-1500-prizes-enter-our-fiction-and-one-act-play-contests

JANE LUMLEY PRIZE http://www.hermeneuticchaosjournal.com/contest.html  NO ENTRY FEE. The Jane Lumley Prize will only be awarded to writers who have not published a full length book. However, they may have published a chapbook, and/or found a home for their works in other literary journals. We also invite unpublished writers to submit their poems for consideration. Deadline November 30, 2014. The winner, selected by our editor, will receive a prize of $300 and will be featured in Issue 6, to be published in January 2015. Publication will also be awarded to the first two semi-finalists. In addition, all the entries will be considered for publication. Each poem should not exceed 2 pages.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Win NaWriMo in Only 9 Days!

Not sure you can commit to the traditional NaNoWriMo challenge? After all, November has many distractions - flu season has begun, Thanksgiving brings swarms of friends and family upon you, and demands on your time are piling up.
But what if you could win the challenge in just 9 days? Check out this article How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days.  That's right - nine days! The author, Ava Jae, shares her tips to completing her work in such a short amount of time. She also offers statistics to show you how she achieved her goal last year. It's worth a look.
If you are still struggling to decide whether or not to compete, perhaps you should try my own challenge and giveaway. Learn more in NaWriMo: My Challenge to ALL Writers, and a Giveaway.
No matter what you choose, it's important to give yourself goals, and have reasonable expectations. Best of luck and HAPPY WRITING!

What are your current writing goals? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

NaWriMo: My Challenge to ALL Writers, and a Giveaway

Every November, thousands of writers from all over the world participate in a month long frenzy known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  The idea is that on November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.  This is meant to be a completed rough draft only, not a finished product.  For more details: http://nanowrimo.org/ 

There are, of course, many advocates for and naysayers speaking against this process. Bestselling authors claim to have discovered their masterpiece during this month.  Some writers claim the whole process is too stressful, and encourages quantity over quality. Agents and editors have mixed feelings because they recognize any challenge that helps a writer produce is helpful, but they also receive an influx of unfinished, and unedited, manuscripts in December.

My problem with this whole process is that the original NaNoWriMo is directed at fiction writers working on a novel. What about everyone else? Yes, in April there is a “Camp NaNoWriMo” that is directed at poets, but why is the “No” still a part of the title?

What if you are working on a nonfiction book? Maybe your passion is short stories. Or, maybe, you want to break into magazine writing.

I have a personal challenge for all writers in November.  We’ll call it NaWriMo (National Writing Month).  The idea is this: pick one of the below challenges for yourself, and leave a comment below letting us know which one you chose.

1)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – FICTION

2)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – NONFICTION

3)      Complete 30 new poems – one a day

4)      Complete 30 articles – one a day

5)      Complete 30 short stories – one a day

6)      Complete 30 blog posts - one a day

7)     Complete a one page illustration for your children's picture book.

8)     Complete a 2 page layout for your graphic novel.

Remember, all of these are meant to be rough drafts. No editing allowed. Allow yourself the freedom to write without your inner critic.

As I mentioned in my last post, this week marks my fourth anniversary of blogging. I wanted to host a giveaway. That giveaway will be based on your participation in my NaWriMo challenge. Between now, and throughout November I will post updates, encouragement, etc. as I participate in this challenge. I would like you to comment and share your thoughts, progress, struggles, encouragement, or any other related ideas. Using Random.org in the first week of December I will choose winners from the comments left on these posts.

You may elect to contribute a prize of your own: books, critiques, guest posts, writing materials, gift cards, etc. If you would like to contribute a prize for the giveaway, please leave a comment, or send me a private message and I will add it to this page with a thank you and a link back to your site.

Prizes so far include Lap Desk, “Just Keep Writing” Journal, LED Book Light, CD’s, and a Plotters Workbook. So start planning your November project. HAPPY WRITING!

Added on 10/28/2014: Journals, bookmarks, book signed by the author, coffee mugs, folders, and bags.

Added on 10/31/2014: An ebook giveaway by Tyrean:

Added on 11/13/14: AND thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, I am adding a few more prizes to my NaWriMo challenge. Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I'll attempt a better one when I'm not so tired. There is a flash drive, another journal, dictionary, thesaurus, hand bookends, notecards with notecard binder, pen with words, coffee mug, green tea packets, candles and candle holders, bookmark, pencil binder, AND a copy of Writing 21st Century Fiction written by Donald Maass.