Friday, May 30, 2014

The FIve Year Project

This is the last Friday of the month, which officially makes it time to review my progress on The Five Year Project. This is the brainchild of Misha Gericke, to help keep all of us focused on the bigger picture. You can join in the fun at

My five year goal: To have the Newstead books be the next great American novels

This was actually a very important month for me. I released two books simultaneously: Blackbird, and Revenge of the Rephaim, both of which have received initial praise. I’ve also started writing Bloodbrothers, which is the conclusion to this whole Newstead storyline I’ve been working on. At this point I’m about halfway through the rough draft stage, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve also started another book, Erron, which is my first non-Newstead book. It’s actually been a lot of fun to write; it’s more paranormal romance than anything, and I’ve found that by writing it simultaneously with Bloodbrothers, I’m able to being more of that element in that book as well. I also had my first actual release party this month, and I’ve got to say, it was a blast. I don’t know why I haven’t done these before. So, how is the goal going? In a lot of ways I feel like I’m already there. No, the Newstead books aren’t on any bestsellers lists (yet), but I’ve had people read the books and love them. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Garden

For those of you who don't know, I get pretty into my garden, especially this time of year. It's a time of projects and planting and moving things. All the plans I've complied over the last year need to be done in the month of May, because that's when the soil is workable and the plants are coming out of their dormancy. Now, it's the month of May for me, because of where I live. For some people it might be April, and for others it's June or July, and that's only talking about this hemisphere. It still blows my mind that for people in Australia, December is considered Summer. Now, what is my point in all this you might ask?
Because I'm a writer and way overthink things, I tend to make a lot of correlations between my garden and writing, and one of the biggest lessons I've learned is timing is everything. If I went down south right now, I'm sure I'd see lots of gardens in full bloom while mine is just a pile of dirt with some seeds buried in it. And that's okay. It's not time for mine yet. That's why we shouldn't compare our gardens (books) to other people's. We should just enjoy theirs while we wait for ours to bloom.

How is your garden going?

I've just read a wonderful review of Blackbird, posted by Randi Lee, Thank you so much Randi for your review, I'm so glad you liked it. Read Randi's review here

Monday, May 19, 2014

Release Party

I did it. I had my first actual release party. It wasn't huge, maybe a dozen or so of my closest friends at my house, eating chocolate and sipping wine, but it felt huge. And it felt like time.
Before, whenever I released a book, my husband and I would go away for the weekend, or out to dinner to celebrate, but this, this bringing other people into it, was new.
Now I know a lot of writers are introverted people, but I'm not. I'm actually very comfortable in social type settings--but my books are different--they're too close, too important to me. It was actually a major step of faith to send out the invitations. It's one thing to have strangers I'm never going to see read my book, something completely different having my friends reading it, having them know what's going on inside this messed-up head of mine.  
Do any of you have this same hang-up? Ever had a release party?

Line up for this week:
I'm going to do things different around here. I've found that I'm posting three times a week, and that's great, but it doesn't give me much time to visit all of you, and that's not the friend I want to be. So from now on, I'll only be posting twice a week so I can use that extra time to visit all of you. This week my next post will be on Friday.

See you then,

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flash FIction Friday

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday, this is a piece I wrote some time ago and posted on this blog, but for some reason it keeps haunting me, so I'm posting it again.
The woman pulled the fur coat in closer, like it was still an animal, like it could still protect her. But it couldn’t. It was just as dead as she was about to be.
And just like that fox, long gone, she didn’t suspect the gravity of the situation she was in until it was too late. There was nervousness, of course, there is always bound to be that when someone steps into the elevator with you and quickly pushes the button to close the door. But rest assured there will always be rational thoughts to overcome those nerves; perhaps he was just in a hurry... And as he turned to face her, knowing he was stronger, knowing she didn’t stand a chance, those rational thoughts slipped away, too late to be of good use to anyone. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Indie Life: Joint Ventures

Second Wednesday Each Month

This is the second Wednesday of the month, which makes it Indie Life day. I had to check my calendar on this one, because it feels a lot later than just the second Wednesday of May, doesn't it? Anyway...
My topic for today is Joint Ventures.  Joint Venture is a business term meaning two separate businesses coming together for a specific period of time for both businesses mutual good, and in the Indie world you see this all the time. Writers join with other writers and do a blog hop, editors offer their services in exchange for a cover design for their own books; the list goes on and on. This is huge. Because all of the sudden you don't just have one person vested in your business, you have more, and it can be a lot more. So look for it, look for businesses you can help and that can help you. Basically, I'm saying we're not as Indie as we thought, or at least we shouldn't be.

So, what do you think? Is it time for a Joint Venture?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Shadow Warrior Cover Reveal

Today I get to do a cover reveal for Jay's new book Shadow Warrior, the second in his steampunk series, The Mechanica Wars (I love doing these--always so exciting when a fellow author gets to see their dreams realized). It's set to be released on August 4, 2014.

My Schedule for blogging this week:
Monday: this blog: Jay's cover reveal
               Notes from a Survivalist blog: My version of Square Foot Garden

Wednesday: this blog: Indie Life
                     Notes from a Survivalist: Companion Plantings

Friday: this blog: Flash Fiction Friday
            Notes from a Survivalist: Backyard Orchard

You can check out my other blog here
Have a good week everyone!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it ISWG time. Thanks again to Alex Cavanaugh and friends for hosting this. If you haven’t checked out the ISWG site yet, you should. It’s full of all kinds of writerly-type advice. You can find it here
I’ve been forced to get over one of my biggest insecurities this month. I tend to care way too much about what people think of me, and that’s not a good thing. Not in writing, and certainly not in life. This particular lesson came in the form of a rally I went to a little over a week ago. It was for a political cause I feel very passionately about. As with most things, there were two sides to this argument. I don’t think I’ve ever been told to f**k off so many times before. The people on the other side hated me, just for being there. It was a very eye-opening experience, and not just about politics. It opened my eyes to people, too. I realized not everyone is going to like my books because my books and the things I write are offensive to some people because life is sometimes offensive and I don’t try to skirt around life. And that’s okay. Sometimes you have to stand there and hold up your sign (books) and get ready to be told to f**k off.
Have you been forced to get over any insecurities recently?

Monday, May 5, 2014

A to Z Reflections

A to Z in Review

This was my third year in the challenge, and my second doing flash fiction, so I don’t know why I was so nervous, but I was. This year felt so beyond what I thought I could do. I knew I wanted to do flash fiction again, I really enjoyed that from 2013, but I was also toying with the idea of featuring a single story, Steven’s story. I’d just finished Blackbird, so I was really into that character, and I knew that for the sake of moving the story forward in that particular book, I had to start later in Steven’s life than his story really began. In the Newstead Project, I got to show what Joel’s life was like before he went to Newstead, and now with this years A to Z, I wanted to show how Steven’s life was like, too. But could I do it? Could I coincide his story with the letters of the alphabet—without compromising the story? I have to admit there were times I did. In Blackbird, Steven’s uniform wasn’t actually yellow. It was green, but green doesn’t start with Y. Hopefully you will forgive me this little indiscretion for the sake of the challenge—It doesn’t change the basic facts—that Steven and Foltz are brothers. I love revealing little secrets to my readers, and this is a big one—it explains some of Foltz’s actions in Blackbird.
    But that’s only about me. Those of you who participate in the challenge know that our own posts are only a small part of the actual challenge. Mainly, it’s about connecting with others. And I did. I learned how to world build with Susan, was reminded of some great one-hit-wonders with Jay, discovered an endless source of craft projects with Elle , found some great books with the Ninja Librarian, got lots of ideas on things to do with my four year old with Tania , and found out I used to pay a lot less for gas with Alex. The list could go on and on, but I’ve been told if I make these posts too long people’s eyes will cross, or worse yet, they will skip over the post entirely.
     So forgive me. You know who you are, and I know I’ll be back to your blogs soon. Until then, take care.