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You can find all my books online in ebook and paperback format! For Amazon, click here.
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Essence Planning Course

Essence Planning Course

Goals. We know we need to have them.We know we need a plan. A LIFE plan. But we c
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Here are links to my other sites, plus some sites and people I love reading: The Next T
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Have you always wanted to write a book but just not been able to? Maybe you couldn't figur...
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Latest Posts


Am I Still a Writer If I’m Not Writing?

So many plans. That's life, right? Plans and schedules and then you discover this thing called FLEXIBILITY. Well, usually you discover it after you weren't flexible and crap started to break, am I rig...

There’s Writing, and Then There’s Writing

I didn't, as it turns out, do Camp NaNo. Fortunately, I didn't sign up, because I DID intend to do it... I just ran out of time. I'm sure this never happens to other people... (That was sarcasm :) )

Camp Nano Is Coming – Are You Going?

Originally published on 3/24/15 on my previous (un-movable) site! My friend said, "What can I say to talk you into it?" Part of my mind was screaming, "DON'T DO IT!!!" If you've followed me f

When Planning Becomes Writing a Planning Course

Okay, I confess. I'm a project person. I've written about that plenty on my (old) blog. It's why NaNoWriMo works so well for me - I do much better with bursts of intense activity than with a daily...

NaNoWriMo Posts

National Novel Writing Month is coming in November! Are you ready?
So many plans. That's life, right? Plans and schedules and then you discover this thing called FLEXIBILITY. Well, usually you discover it after you weren't flexible and crap started to break, am I right? I was going to do Camp NaNo in April, and honestly, that was probably a peer-pressure based bad decision going in. I knew I'd be traveling for a week out of the country; I told my friend I'd do it anyway. Fortunately, I didn't actually sign up for it on the Camp NaNo site, so no harm done - and 6000 words written on the next Quinn adventure, when I get back to it. Ironically, the friend who was talking me into doing it didn't end up doing it really either - she discovered her WIP needed a lot more planning than she'd done. So there ya go - FLEXIBLE. yoga cat Bend and not break, that's my motto! The first 5 months of this year have been kind of odd, not what I expected, and so I'm having a hard time planning a book(s), or even thinking about writing more than a blog post. (Ok, sometimes Twitter or Instagram seem about all I can manage!) Things have changed so much in the market that I haven't even done much with marketing - I'm not sure WHAT to do, and my budget (meaning sales) is pretty sad, so I don't want to do what I used to do if it's not going to work. I spent a crazy amount of time transferring websites to BlueHost, including this one - turns out (here is my free fun fact of the day) that, if you do those "easy and beautiful" blogs like Weebly and SquareSpace, you can't save/export your blog content. To anywhere. I had 4 sites on Weebly, 2 of which I'd originally done on So I paid BlueHost to migrate the sites to sites hosted on BlueHost, and then spent hours and hours and hours and hours and hours manually moving blog posts from Weebly, trying to find and figure out a theme for each, trying to use plugins and widgets and who knows what else. (Okay, yes, there was a reason I used those "easy and beautiful sites!) I'll be out of the country for a little over 2 weeks in June - yes, starting in 2 days. Half that will be at a crazy busy insane conference (7 pages of schedule for 3 days of conference), and half of that in a place with probably no internet. Although it is a location I've wanted to use in a Quinn book, so I'll *sort of* be doing some research. And then my best friend lost one of her daughters, who was only 18 and died in her sleep. (Since when do 18 year old girls die in their sleep??) No cause yet, but it's been a hard hard week. All of this to say........ FLEXIBILITY. Maybe the reason I wrote 7 books in 2 years is because this season was coming up. I know I have more in me. I'm trying not to stress out about when/what those are! Thanks for hanging in. I'm hoping to at least get more blog posts done during the rest of 2015, and maybe - just maybe - I can do NaNoWriMo in November. Here's hoping! flexible
-Am I Still a Writer If I’m Not Writing?
Originally published on 3/24/15 on my previous (un-movable) site! My friend said, "What can I say to talk you into it?" Part of my mind was screaming, "DON'T DO IT!!!" If you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I love National Novel Writing Month. You can go to my old blog and read LOTS about why, about how, about what...) I've written 5 books during NaNoWriMo. I wrote my first book in my first NaNoWriMo, when I thought I'd just write 50,000 crappy words that I never even printed off. So it's not that I don't WANT to do the April Camp NaNo... Okay, it's only a little that I don't want to do it. But I'm going to be on vacation for the week of April 18-25 - a combination 20th anniversary/50th birthday, super special, hubby and me alone, Caribbean vacation. FOR A WEEK. And then there's all the other things I've got going on right now. Writing a first draft in a month, which is what I have done in the 5 NaNoWriMos that I've won, takes a lot of brain power. The writing may only take 2 hours a day, but writing that fast means that your brain is always working. It's one of the reasons why I love doing NaNo - I'm a project person, as I mentioned in this post, and it works for me. But it is pretty intense. And can one actually BE intense in the Caribbean?? I don't know about you, but I hate signing up for things and not doing them.... Oh, the angst! But now it's a week until Camp starts, and I have to decide. I HAVE to decide, so I know what I'm even going to write! A 3rd Quinn Adventure? That makes sense because the Quinn books are my best selling novels. But a lot of people want a second book with Livvie and Rafe from Undaunted Love, too. I just had a Facebook message about that last week. My daughter nudges me about it every once in a while, too. good at bad decisions My husband is ghost writing a book for a guy who wants it done fast, so he says that he will most likely have to write while we're on vacation. And it's been winter so we're pasty-white - we can't spend ALL day in the sun, on the beach, drinking adult beverages, right??? So I just messaged Heather and said, "I'm prettttyyy sure I'm doing it - do you want to request the same cabin?" And. I think maybe I'll blame her. Like, if she doesn't respond in time for cabin selection, I can say, "It wasn't meant to be!" And if she does, and I do it, and I don't win, I'll just say she dragged me into it. But then, if I enter AND win AND get a good book out of it, I'll mention her in the acknowledgements, because that's only fair! Participant-180x180-2
-Camp Nano Is Coming – Are You Going?
This is one of my most popular posts, so while I'm transferring posts from the Wordpress site over here, I thought I'd lead off with it. If you're participating in a Camp NaNo event (or the "big NaNo" in November) you, especially, need to read this! I just put “inner editor” into my Bing search bar. This is what I got: 43,600,000 results. Google, not to be outdone, has “about” 84,800,000 results. I find that astonishing! Of course, go to the NaNoWriMo website and forums and you’ll see lots about that most wicked of unwanted visitors. But people are still looking — obviously. So what to do? The inner editor is a demon of epic proportions that’s got to be at least as scary as a balrog. balrog copy Like a balrog (my own balrog experience being limited to The Lord of the Rings), it’s the bane of writers everywhere. In fact, it’s so scary that many would-be writers never venture forth into writer-land, afraid that the flaming whip is going to come out of the dark recesses of their mind and snatch them right off their feet. Many who start writing aren’t able to stand up to the balrog like Gandalf, uttering my favorite line of the whole book/movie: YOU. SHALL NOT. PASS. Many, if not most, don’t think they have that power. Let me assure you, friends, that you do. You, too, can stand on that rickety writing bridge, turn to face the demonic inner editor, and throw down the gauntlet. You, too, can look that flaming freakazoid in the fiery eyeballs and refuse to back down. You, too, can claim your territory, can draw a line in the sand, can put a stop to the tyranny by saying “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!” Who is this inner editor anyway? Well, like the balrog, he or she lives down in the dark recesses of your mind. Usually, it’s content with scathing remarks when you’re standing in front of the mirror or when you say something you’re not sure if you regret. But get out the pen and paper, or computer, or paintbrush and paint, and its true nature comes swelling into life. It says: How dare you think you have anything to say to the world? How dare you presume to write 50,000 or 100,000 words on paper and expect anyone to read it? Who told you that you could write? Who told you that you could do anything at all unique, interesting or good? Who do you think you are? If you forge ahead anyway, the inner editor goes from vastly exaggerated statements of your measly self-worth to minutia in an instant. Your grammar sucks. That sentence sucks. Why would you choose that word? This is crap. Those people are one dimensional, unbelievable, and stupid. You are one dimensional, unbelievable and stupid! This whole thing is stupid. Let’s just order pizza and watch a movie. And if you don’t turn, at some point in this whole process, and say it — say “You shall not pass!” right then and there — you will quit. You will close your laptop or cap your pen, wander off to the tv, and quit. And the balrog… uh, inner editor… will smirk and smile and leave you alone for awhile, so you have peace and forget about that stupid writing thing. Well. Are you going to give up that easily? I’ve given you tips before for outsmarting the inner editor, and you can read those here. But I was struck by the fact that, really, the inner editor can only be stopped by taking a stand. Sure, you can trick it. You can use my tips and get your 50,000 words for NaNo, and that would be a great accomplishment. But what happens if, like 10-20% of us doing NaNo (totally made up that estimate, to be honest) you really want to try to do something with the book? That will require finishing it, and editing it, and the inner editor will get louder and louder. And you have to shut it up, or your novel will be one of millions in drawers, old hard drives and dusty boxes the world over. writing 2 copy It IS necessary to be honest with ourselves about our writing. It IS necessary to get beta readers who will be honest with us about our writing. It IS necessary to edit and edit and edit, and try to make it the very best it can be. But if you don’t believe in yourself and your writing, if you won’t take a stand for it against the inner editor/balrog, you will be stuck in the two blue squares above. Humility is one thing. False humility is another. Your balrog isn’t a pet… It’s an enemy. One only you can fight. Will you stand up for yourself and your vision and take a stand? (We’re now required to put in this disclaimer for anything containing ‘NaNoWriMo’ or ‘National Novel Writing Month': “This is not an official NaNoWriMo site, and the content has not been reviewed by National Novel Writing Month. For more information on National Novel Writing Month, visit”)
-Your Inner Editor
I'm alive! yeehaw! I realize you couldn't tell it from my blog activity (this blog, at least). That's because life just came along and slammed me in the face. True story. In fact, I'm taking time out from packing up our house to write this post out of guilt for not having written in so long! So what's up in the writer's house? Glad you asked! First of all, and a huge HALLELUJAH, I got Darian's War off to the production team yesterday, only a month-plus late. Here's the cover reveal: TA-DA!!! Darians War cover 2 Do you love it? I do!! Here are all three covers side by side so you can see the awesome work Glendon at Streetlight Graphics has done: IXEOS 800 Cover reveal and Promotional Ixeos Rebellion 800 Cover Reveal and Promotional Darians War cover 2 Not only will Darian's War be released (fingers and toes crossed) next week, we'll also have a boxed set of all three available for Christmas! So that's really exciting. (I won't tell you how stinking hard it was to wrap up a global war... Whose brilliant idea was that anyway?!) Now for marketing and all that stuff, and hopefully some good sales coming up to and just after Christmas. In other news, we're moving three hours away in January. I'm pretty excited because I've wanted to live there for years, but it's kind of complicated, since we're moving to a house we already own and which is already furnished. Plus it's 1/3 the size. So that's proving to be a logistical nightmare. My grandmother will be ONE HUNDRED (yes, 100!) on December 1, and we're all headed to FL for her big party the following weekend. She still lives alone, walks her dog, makes her meals... All my cousins will be there, so it'll be chaotic craziness. But we're driving, which is nine and a half hours, so that's two full days. Then helping my mom get everything ready. It'll be a fun but not very productive week. My husband and I have been doing some national radio hosting. It's been a blast! We'll see if it goes anywhere, but, as the guy said last night, "You guys are a great team on the air!" I told him we were a pretty great team off the air, too! C&J wedding brunch Then there are the holidays just upon us... How is 2014 almost over?? So that is life at the moment, and I must say, I'm SO glad I'm not trying to do NaNoWriMo, and so glad to have Darian's War done. I won't be writing fiction for awhile. Maybe February? Or I might wait and see if the Office of Letters and Light does another April Camp NaNo. The next book will probably be a sequel to Undaunted Love. We'll see! Meanwhile, I'm hard at work on fundraisers for my nonprofit. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know about our work in Uganda and Andros, Bahamas. The end of the year is coming, and we'd love to have your help with our work. Please check it out, and you can donate on the website or at our page. A little goes a long way, especially in Uganda, so thank you for anything you can contribute! That's about it. I'm going to try to be more regular here, or at least repost some "best of" blogs. I'm going to be crazy busy until the end of January, so don't think I disappeared! I wish you all a VERY......... Happy-Thanksgiving
-Did you think I disappeared? A writer’s tale…
Hello all - and a particular hello to those of you who have plunged themselves in the crazy, wonderful world of NaNoWriMo. Can you believe it's NOVEMBER already?? Cra...zy... I am in Houston to speak at a fundraiser tonight. It's not writing related - it's about hospice in Uganda, which is, really, my real job. I'm in Houston, right across the interstate from the Galleria, but it's kind of like Idaho - you can't get there from here! So my excitement for the morning was to walk next door to the Shipley Do-Nut place. Now, I was told that this was Houston's answer to Krispy Kreme. I'm pretty partial to Krisy Kreme - we have the 2nd ever store about two miles from my house, and the original store is wehre I went to school. So I was skeptical. My verdict? It's not Krispy Kreme (how can you compete with a hot glazed??), but it was pretty good. And I got two donuts for $1.35... which beats the $15 + tax for the breakfast in the hotel restaurant. shipley donut Since the only way to come to Houston today would have been to take a 5:30am flight (okay, not totally true, but the flight I came in on yesterday would have really pushed up against the fundraiser, and I would have been late if the flight was delayed), I came yesterday. I'm really not doing anything except speaking, so that means I'm hanging out in the hotel. Right now, Argo is on - what a great movie! This afternoon I'm hoping to get at least 4,000 words written, practice my speech, and then go have fun with 175 people who are interested in Uganda. So that's a prety good day! For those of you waiting for the final book of the IXEOS Trilogy, I'm almost done! It should be released around Thanksgiving. October was a big black hole for me, between surgery and then an illness. Plus there was the problem of how to resolve a global war. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but boy, is it hard to come up with a way to end it, especially when the world's population is so decimated that there is ample empty space. But I finally had a middle-of-the-night revelation, and now it's flowing easily. I've been doing some editing all along (yes, contrary to my regular method, but editing while on pain killers is a lot easier than writing on them - which is the opposite of Hemingway's advice: write-drunk-edit-sober but I'm never going to be Hemingway, so I went for it!) The cover is already done: Ixeos3-3 So I'm really excited! I'm taking a break after Darian's War is done to work on fundraising for my own nonprofit and to get ready to move to another town in January. I'll keep up with the blog, and will start work on a sequel to Undaunted Love in the spring, once things have calmed down a bit. I may even do an online auction, and I'd love for you to "attend" to help us help the people of Uganda and Andros, Bahamas, so stay tuned. (And if you'd like to donate anything to that cause, let me know!) Thanks for reading and being patient with my scanty offerings in October. I'm hoping to be more on the ball this month!
-Greetings from Texas!