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

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?