Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Lovin' with ManLove Authors

The Summer Lovin' ManLove event is in full swing. Stop by and check out oodles of great authors. Lots of prizes are being given away.

Tomorrow, the 17th, I will be on chatting about my Rough in the Saddle series at 5pm EST. Stop by and party with us!

A special thanks to Inner Goddess for putting on this event! Hugs!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Never give up on a loved one!

See the cute, fuzzy baby in the back. That's Tuffy, our five month old kitten.
On August 7th, our baby was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was inside the engine of the farm truck when it was started.
The mayhem that unfolded is something I'd like to forget. My kids were hysterical, I was crying, and poor Tuffy didn't look like she was going to make it.
A white-knuckled, high speed trip to the vet some twenty plus miles away or so didn't help my nerves. Tuffy was in bad shape and in shock. I think the vet techs thought I was out of my mind, but I was determined to save our little doll baby who makes us smile without trying.
Multiple lacerations, a broken leg, and a broken pelvis. Tuffy was in bad, bad shape.
The vet gave her pain relief and something for the shock, no doubt wondering if I'd lost my mind.
On Saturday, August 9th, Tuffy had surgery to fix her broken leg. Her name must suit her, because the little bundle of cuteness pulled through like a pro.
Today, August 11th, we got to bring Tuffy home. We are so happy and relieved.
My point in blogging about this is to educate and hopefully prevent something like this from happening to someone else. Tuffy was lucky as most wouldn't survive.
Please, if you have outdoor cats, honk your horn or check under the hood before you start your vehicle.
Love your pets and be sure to hug them often. Again, honk your horn before you start your vehicle.

Love knows no bounds and I'd race like a maniac again to save something so precious and close to our hearts.

Some may call me crazy, but I don't think love has a price. Watch out for your furry loved ones and keep this from happening.

Okay, go now, give your pets a big hug and tell them how much you love them!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Get Out The Big Girl Panties!

Lately, I've had a lot going on and oodles of stuff has come to my attention. For starters, I consider myself a newbie in the writing world even though I've published numerous works. Going on my third year, and no, I'm not rich. *rushes out to buy a powerball ticket*

The world of writing is tough, real tough. First, one needs to write a story worth publishing. Second, edits are a bitch...or can be. I swear, once you hone your craft you'll get better, and edits get easier. I promise.

What is more difficult than writing or edits is facing readers with said work that graces the world. *Big Panty Time*

Things you should know:

1. You will not please everyone. Seriously, if you can, I want your secret.
2. Likely, at some point and time, you will cry. It'll happen.
3. You have two options: You can put on your big girl panties and keep going. Or, you can allow it all to defeat you. Stick to the first option.
4. You're not going to retire right away.

If you're writing to get rich quick....Ummm, maybe you should just play the lottery. You have to love to write and enjoy what you do if for no other reason than to appease the voices in your head.

Also, at some point you will attract strange people. Geeesh! Yeah, I've had a few and normally I'm a super nice person. I'm so nice I hate to unfriend on FB because I don't want to hurt feelings. Yeah, I'm that nice. Anyway, strange people will do anything to get your attention. This happened lately, a guy tells me he's writing a book. Swell, get busy, dude. Next, he asks for advice. Okay, sure, what do ya want to know? I don't mind to help, but in reality, the best advice I can give is: Read, read, and read in the genre you're trying to write in. Seriously, reading is the best advice I can give. But me, no, I'm too nice. I get a snippet from said "new author". Oh, dear god, I wanted to gag, and it wasn't that his writing was bad, but the content. Yikes! Do yourself a favor, unfriend, likely the person is someone with fantasies who targets writers of romance to chat with. *Unfriend...Big panty moment*

Another piece of super swell advice. Don't friend or follow someone and immediately ask them to "like" your page or promo you. And do not for any reason post your promo directly on their timeline. There are tons of book promo groups on FB to promo on. Don't try to piggyback by using another author's page. *Big Girl Panties* Do the work yourself.

Do use the appropriate places to promo. I'm not a great promo guru, but I'm sure someone out there has some great advice. Research. I wasn't great at formatting my book for Kindle. Guess what? There is a book that will tell you step by step how to do it! Yay! The same goes for a lot of questions you may have. Use the appropriate sources to get what you need.

All of it is trial and error. Learn from mistakes and read as much as you can. I've purchased books on formatting for Kindle, dialog for fiction writers, as well as numerous works in various genres. To go into writing without any study or intent to learn is like going to work in a steel mill without safety glasses. *Big Girl Panties* Hone your craft by reading, researching, and learning.

Last, but certainly not least. I should warn, junior high didn't stop way back when. Yes, you will encounter drama. *smacks head on table* Some people are incapable of growing up. There are virtually oodles of ways to get sucked into drama. Over the last few years I've watched many unfortunate events unfold. I'll break down key points, and it isn't that they have personally happened to me, but the negative aspects have stayed with me.

1. Do not by any means slander other author's works, i.e. Facebook, Goodreads, name a few. Nothing will make you look more petty and childish than rating fellow author's books poorly. And no, it won't make your sales increase.
2. Don't open fake accounts to use for purpose of above mentioned dastardly deeds. Someone will figure it out. I promise.
3. If you don't like what someone posts on FB, don't slander them for what they like or believe. Unfriend, but don't be an asshole.

Overall, just be kind. In this era, where so many people hide behind a computer, people say things they'd never say in person. A computer gives a certain amount of anonymity, but it is false. People should not say anything if they don't have anything nice to say. Sad, but true, most don't live by this simple motto. When you put your words out there expect to have them attacked in some form or another. Don't take them to heart! One person's cup of tea isn't necessarily for everyone. *Big Panties* Put out a free read and you'll catch what I'm talking about. Instead of a, "Hey, thanks for the free read...." Yeah, doesn't matter. Suck it up!

Do what you love, and if writing is your true love, do it. Don't expect the world to love it or you will be crushed. Even the most well known authors, highest paid, and best advertised get negative reviews. Keep going, keep trying, and ignore negative feedback. Read, read, read, and read some more. There is no better way to learn than reading. Be kind and don't do to others something you wouldn't want to have done to you. Words can be liberating, and take us to new places, or they can be mean and hurtful.

In conclusion:

1. Read, read, read.
2. Don't be an A-hole.
3. Be courtesy and kind.
4. Don't piggypack.
5. Eliminate negatives and strange people on FB.
6. If you don't like something...well, pretty simple. Unfriend, but don't be and A-hole.
7. Don't expect Ed McMahon to deliver your first royalty check. Seriously, he's dead, and you're not going to retire.
8. If you don't know who Ed McMahon is then you're too young to be reading my blog.
9. Haters are gonna hate.
10. Drama didn't end in junior high.
11. Ooo, last minute, don't respond to negative feedback about your work! It's your baby, your work, but don't do it! I think Buford T. Justice sums this point up nicely.

Did I miss anything? Let's see, kind, courteous, don't be an A-hole, Ed McMahon won't deliver first royalty check, read, study, and learn, avoid drama, don't post promo on someone's timeline on FB, don't friend someone and immediately ask them to like your page, don't respond to negative reviews, put on your big girl panties... Hmmmm, I think I've covered it.

Writing and publishing isn't easy. It isn't a get rich quick scheme. And it definitely isn't for the faint of heart or for those easily injured. Learn from constructive feedback and ignore the haters. Some people have nothing better to do. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Getting in the Mood!

Wow, yeah, Hennessee here. Mercy, I'm bad at this bloggin' thing. I think the reason is because I've always understood a certain quote, "If you don't have anything important to say, don't say anything at all." I'm not sure if that's the accurate quote, but you get my point.

So, we're talking about getting in the mood, and no, I'm not talking sex. I'm talking about that wonderful mood writers love to get into when writing.

I have noticed many writers need music to stay focused and get into the mood so to speak. For me, well, I can't concentrate with kids running around the house or music playing. My tiny brain can't handle the distraction. But, in saying that, I have noticed a few instances where music has made all the difference in the world with what I want to portray and the mood I want to capture.

While writing Warren's Story, I needed to listen to music in order to write the strip scene. Prince to the rescue. I used his music to create Warren's moves and style. In fact, I used the exact song he was dancing to. Eeek, I must have listened to the song, Gett Off, I dunno, 'bout fifty times!

Outside of using music during stripping scenes, there are many other applications. Another instance I used music extensively to create a "mood" was while I was writing Owned. It should come as no major surprise that Radioactive by the Imagine Dragons fueled me. I listened and was captivated by the words, and the sound of the music. It evoked emotion in me and captured the time I was writing in. For others it may not affect them. To each, their own.

Outside of using music specifically for a scene, I've noticed that the music I listen to prior to sitting down to write affects me. Seriously, I can't listen to Rico Suave by Gerardo and then try to write a combat scene. Doesn't work. The emotion I want to capture starts before I begin to write. Having a shitty day??? Huh, tanks my night. I need to be enthusiastic, bubbling over with excitement. Music touches a region in my brain and sets off the mood I need. And while I can't listen to it while writing most times, the need to hear emotion provoking sounds is crucial.

Writing for me is so much more than just sitting down at the computer. For me, I want to capture the scene and the mood, hopefully conveying that message to readers. If I don't feel it, how can I expect readers to?

Is there a song out there that gets you in the mood? What is it?