Breaking it Down: Writing Goals for 2019

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The last few days I have been thinking about what I want/hope to accomplish this year in my writing life. At the end of the day (well, year) I’m not going to beat myself up over what I didn’t do.

I’ll be honest, at times I feel like a total fraud or impostor. I’ve mentioned that before but I figured out a (small) part of why. There are times when I don’t write. I don’t mean for a few days or weeks. I mean months. On end. And how can I can myself a writer when I don’t write? (In my defense, I am always dreaming up of new stories and characters…but I end up staring at a blank page or blinking cursor.)

So, my goals for the year will help me to create more. That’s the real goal. So here is my personal break down.

10 minutes a day: Thanks to a FB group I’m in called 10 Minute Novelists, I decided to do just that: write ten minutes a day. No pressure or stress. Surely out of a twenty-four hour period I can find ten minutes to write. There will be days when I don’t manage it, but that’s okay. Life happens. During my minimum of ten minutes, I will work on my current WIP, a new story or blog post.

Get Organized: I have many notes, scraps of paper and old writing journals that I need to get together. Figure out what ideas I want to work on and put the rest in the maybe later pile. I have a partial ‘series bible’ for my Lily and Quinn series. I’ll sort out and re-write it and add to it. It’s a project I keep meaning to get to but procrastination tends to be my best friend.

Blogging: I did really well last year being here, but I did drop off. (Life happened) Part of my problem is sometimes I don’t know what to write here. So I am going to brainstorm some writing and nerdy topics to help keep me going. Writing, book reviews and maybe an author interview or two is on the list. What would you like to see here? 🙂

Nanowrimo/Camp Nano: I did camp nano last spring and really enjoyed it. It’s a lot more flexible then Nanowrimo. But I plan to partake in both these events, and start a brand new shiny project come November.

Writing Retreat: On several occasions, myself and some female writing buddies have done our own little retreat. The last time was 2 years ago and I am thinking we are due for another. The weekend is full of writing, talking about our projects/aspects of writing, as well as wine and snacks. 😉 It’s a fun weekend with loads of laughs and I come home with progress on whatever project I took with me.

So, those are my writing goals for the year. What are yours? What do you hope to finish?

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New Year, New Goals

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Last year I decided to set myself some goals for 2018. Get back to reading, increase how often I write, etc… I wanted to make another list for goals for 2019 and try to improve upon what I managed to do this year. There are some personal things I want to work on, but they won’t be on this list. They aren’t resolutions, just changes I want to make, and not because its the time of year everyone tries to improve themselves. These are things I want to do anyway.

So, here is my new goal list for 2019!

The Book Pile: I didn’t reach my goal of reading 15 books in 2018. I had some personal life crap that put me off of doing much. I can’t read or focus well when I am stressed. But I did get 9 or 10 under my belt, discovered a new author and binged on some great books. This year I am attempting to tackle this reading challenge from Pop Sugar. Right off the top when I read this list I have at least 11 books on my shelf that fit for it. I plan to set my goal again for 15 books, and hopefully this time I will reach it at the very least.

Blogging: I will be blogging book reviews again, writing topics and the like. I would like to make a schedule but instead I will aim for writing once or twice a week.

Writing:  One thing I really want to improve is how much I write and work on my projects. I want to spend at least 10 minutes a day writing. Which is better then what I do now. There are times I go months without writing, and I really want to change that. Plus I have too many plots in my head that need to come out. You know, to make room for more ideas I can’t keep up with. 😉

Other stuff: When I was looking back on my Facebook photos the other day, I forgot how fun this year was. From comic con to a mini road trip with my mom and sister, the good outweighed the bad. I want to keep that up. I have a few ideas for this year that I hope pan out. I also have small projects I want to get at, like some crafts and I have stacks of photos that need to be organized.

So, do you have any goals for the year? If so what is on your list?

Top Faves of 2018

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Hey all! Well, we are about to say goodbye to another year. Since I started off this year focusing on the positive, I thought I would make my last blog post of 2018 on the same note. From books to tv and personal moments, here is my list of favorites from the year!

Book: While I didn’t read as many books as I had wanted this year, I did binge out on some great reads. It’s a hard thing to pick a favorite book, but I think for this list I am going with new-to-me author Candace Osmond and her Dark Tides series, which I have raved about here. The Devil’s Heart is the first in the series and it got me hooked! I am looking forward to reading more of her work in 2019.

Movie: Again, another hard pick. I watched a lot of great flicks and there were a ton that came out this year I didn’t get to watch yet. But I am going with Black Panther, which was a kick ass awesome movie! I loved every aspect of this movie, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Song: I got hooked on a few new bands this year, thanks to my husbands great taste in music. The band July Talk is now on the top of my list of fave bands, but the song Roots by In This Moment is my binge song of the year.

Celeb Meet: Hands down, Manu Bennett. I met a few cool people and had a blast at comic con in Toronto, but he was on my bucket list for a few years and I was supposed to meet him a few years ago. He was an awesome guy, and I enjoyed chatting to him.

me and manu

I was so happy meeting him I didn’t even care I looked like shite in this pic haha.

Life Moment: Adopting our greyhound, Foxy. It has been a much more rewarding experience then I could ever have imagined. Watching her come out of her shell has been amazing. She’s a hoarder of stuffies and she makes me laugh every day.

 

Bucket List Moment: Getting to see Bryan Adams in concert with one of my best friends. Mr. C surprised me with the tickets last spring. He wasn’t able to come with me but miss Tanya joined me for an amazing night.

concert

This year was a good one. I hope 2019 is just as good. What are your favorites of 2018? I would love to hear what book, movie or moment is on the top of your list! 🙂

2018 Wrap Up

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Another year is just a little ways from being over.

While there were some bumps in the road, I gotta say that this year was pretty good. I even accomplished more then I realized or expected.

Writing: I am pretty happy with what I have done this year, even though I had hoped to do more. But I blogged more then I had in awhile, published a new short story and self published a collection of short stories.

Reading: I didn’t meet my Goodreads challenge, unfortunatly. I had aimed for 15 but fell short at 9 or 10. I do have a new reading goal and plan for 2019 but I will save that for my New Years Day post.

Positive Vibes: About half way through the year I stopped writing in my positivity journal, but I didn’t stop looking at the good side of life. I had a lot of good things happen this year that helped keep me focused. New salon location, expanded with adding a new co-worker, adopted our greyhound, a trip to Toronto to name a few. The journal I kept really helped my mindset and made me feel better over all. That’s been a huge thing for me this year.

Goals for 2018: I didn’t cross everything off of my list but I crossed off some, and added a few things as the year went on. Usually I give myself a hard time for not finishing goals/projects but I learned to not be so hard on myself.

So, how was your year? Did you accomplish any of your goals?

A Magickal Interview With Candace Osmond

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If you have been here before, you know that I am a big fan of Candace Osmond. I discovered her because of her Darktides series, which has magick, time travel, pirates, adventure and more!

Now she is onto a new story, with more magick and time travel, but a in different world and new characters to fall in love with. Her story, co authored with J.J. King, is newly in my hands, thanks to being on her ARC team. I recently talked to her about her new story, co authoring, and life after Darktides.

Hey Candace! Thanks for coming back! You’ve been a busy bee! The Dark Tides series just ended, how are you feeling about that?

Writing Dark Tides was a total rush. We did a rapid release with each new book in the series releasing every two months for the last year. Now that it’s wrapped up, I feel like I can finally suck in a full breath of air LOL but it also makes me anxious to not have a brand new book to give to readers yet.

I’m very excited about your upcoming project! The Rite to Reign box set. Can you tell us a bit about it? 

I’m excited, too! The theme of the box set is Royal Witches. So, all 24 books have a fantastical witchy theme. There are nearly 30 authors in total, some partnering up and co-authoring a book like myself and JJ King did. But there are 24 books in total, plus two bonus books by USA Today Bestselling Authors Rebecca Hamilton and Monica Corwin for free!

The group also banded together and created a custom spell book, recipe book, and short story collection that are all totally free to readers when they pre-order the set for $0.99. You can get our FREE gifts right here.

Oh my gosh! That sounds fanastic! Tell us more! What is your story called? And what is it about?

Mine and JJ King’s story is aptly titled Reigning Magicks and follows the epic journey of Princess Ashlynn, a powerful Celtic witch and rightful heir to her kingdom’s throne. But her father doesn’t care about that. He plans to use her as a tool to bridge peace between their kingdom and a rival Scottish clan of witches and sorcerers.

Of course, stubborn Ashlynn will have nothing of it. She ventures out in search of a way out and stumbles upon an ancient ritual that will grant her a wish. But it goes awry, and Ashlynn is thrust to the future; our modern day.

There she meets a handsome gypsy prince and powerful sorcerer, Cian Boswells. He’s in a similar predicament that Ashlynn had been forced into and together they solve one another’s problems while also falling in love.

Is it going to be the start of a new series for you or a stand alone project?

At first JJ King and I had planned for it to be a stand-alone project, something fun for the box set. But as we kept writing and developing the characters of Cian and Ashlynn, we realized there’s so much more story to tell. So, it’s set for a trilogy!

That sounds exciting! So you’re co authoring this as well, correct?  What’s that been like?

I was terrified at first. I’d never co-written anything before, not to this degree. Also, JJ King is one of my closest friends. But the process was amazing! We learned a lot about one another’s writing style as well as technique and discovered just how well we compliment one another. The key is to establish ground rules and what you expect from the other upfront, before you begin writing.

Going through this experience, would you co-author again with someone?

Only with JJ King LOL Coming form a background of screenwriting, I’m a very plot-driven writer. JJ is more focused on the descriptive narrative, so we just work so well together.

What goals do you have for the box?

Our main goal is to release on Dec. 11th and soar to the tops of charts, with a focus on NYT and USA TODAY. We’ve set goals along the way and are working hard to meet them. But pre-orders are crucial to this goal. It helps us to see how far we are and how far we have to go before release day.

When does it come out?

Dec. 11th is the official release date! But after that, the price goes up so be sure to pre-order to grab that sweet $0.99 deal plus all the pre-order goodies.

I pre-ordered ages ago! I can’t wait for release day! What writing goals do you have for the rest of the year?

For the rest of 2018 I’m focusing on this box set release while writing book one in my new series that’s slated for a 2019 release. It’s called Kingdom of Sand & Stars and is a Time Travel Fantasy Romance with an ancient Egypt setting. You can find out more about it on my Facebook page!

Thanks so much for the chat, Candace! Now, if you all will excuse me, I have a novel to read…and a review to write!

rite to reign

Author Interview Tips for Newbies

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When I published Blood Bonds: Stories from The Lily and Quinn Series early this month, I wasn’t sure what to expect. While I have been published traditionally in anthologies, this was the first time I have gone it alone.

I have been doing my best to get the word out on my social media platforms, and was wondering what else I could do. The answer came to me one morning when I woke up to find a Facebook message from a reporter at the local newspaper. We went to school together and she noticed my posts about being published, and asked if I wanted to do an interview.

I knew I’d say yes but I needed to call my friend and writing buddy Sherry D. Ramsey for advice. Of coarse, she let out a ‘yes!’ when I asked if I should do it. I replied back to Erin, saying I would do the interview. She was excited and said she’d be calling for an interview in a few hours.

Aside from thinking about feeling like an impostor, I kept thinking of the worst. What if I came off like an idiot? What if I was misquoted? What if she asked me something and I didn’t know how to respond? But, in the end, everything went off well. And I am really pleased how it turned out. Here’s what I did before hand:

Deep breaths: Simple, I know, but there are times when we forget to breath. Focusing on those deep breaths also helps as a distraction from negative thoughts.

The story: I went over different things in my head about the book. Why I self published, what I liked about my characters, when I started the series, etc… Having answers in my head made me feel prepared.

The questions every writer gets: Why do you write? Where do you get your ideas? When did you first start writing? These are things many authors get asked and I tried to think of as many as I could. Again, I was trying to prep as much as I could.

Positive thoughts: My husband, Sherry and a couple of other friends I told were happy and excited for me. The exposure would help get the word out. I reminded myself I may get a book or two sold because of this but also: as a writer, especially in a small community, it tends to feel lonely. (Thank goodness for my writers group!) So, I also thought letting the community know  about another writer was a good thing. There are more writers then people realize in Cape Breton. We have lots of talent here, including those who write. Sometimes I feel we are in the shadows. I tried to focus on the positive and remind myself that I got this.

I was very excited this week to read my interview.

It turned out very well and I am very happy with it. So, if you get asked to to an interview for a newspaper or blog, do it! And each time you say yes to an interview, it will get easier each time. Those nerves will go away. Or mostly, at the very least.

How I am Prepping My Life For Nanowrimo

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There is more to Nano prep then just writing outlines and character sketches. Right now I am doing the most important Nano prep I can do: sorting out life in general. If I can do that, then I will set myself up for a good chance at success.

Cleaning House: There isn’t much time in November to take care of the house like you’d usually do. I know if I sit down on November 1st and my house isn’t sorted out it will be a major distraction. I will want to finish cleaning and organizing which is wasted time. This week I started my fall cleaning: the upstairs bedrooms are freshened up, swept and mopped. Most of the downstairs is sorted. For me, as long as my kitchen and bathroom are clean I’m a happy camper. Having any big cleaning done for November helps prevent junk, dishes and laundry from piling up. Nobody wants to deal with that come December.

My office: Not only will a messy house distract me but so will a messy office. I did that room first. My desk is tidy and I can keep notes, snacks and drinks near me. I have a big comfy blanket on the floor so Foxy, our greyhound, can come in and keep me company while I write. Whatever writing space you are using, make sure it is tidy and organized.

Writing Fuel: With Halloween coming I’ll be picking up some extra goodies, especially if they are on sale. You can’t sit and write a novel without chocolate or another form of fuel. If you vise is coffee, pick up some of your fave flavors before November.

Food prep: This one will be easy for me since hubby is leaving for work. Since I will be only cooking for one, leftovers and easy meals will be my best friend in November. I do plan to make a few bigger meals so I can have leftovers for a few days. The last thing I want to do when I come home after work is spending a lot of time cooking and on clean up. I will want to get to my laptop ASAP.

Warning Friends it’s Nano time: Not that I have a super busy social life, but come November I will be posting on FB that it’s Nano, which means hibernation mode. Partly, at least. Pen pal letters will have to wait until December, some coffee dates will have to wait. People who care about you and support you don’t mind waiting a little while for your time.

So, how do you prep for Nano? What other non-writing ways is there to get ready?