Category Archives: research

On #bingewatching, #beingcool, and #Millennials

I used to consider myself one of the “cool” people. Really. I did. I was always up on pop culture so I could talk to any age group; my daughter’s friends always asked me questions, opinions, and actually liked sleepovers in our house. They valued my opinion.  I was relatively thin ( for a few years!) and dressed in all the new season’s styles every year.

But something changed and I don’t know when it happened…

Let me esplain it, Lucy.

I was binge watching the E! show So Cosmo about the lives, loves, and careers of twenty-something millennials who all work at COSMOPOLITAN magazine.

I wanted to watch because I wanted to get a “feel” for what millennials are up to these days, to – maybe- use in my writing. I know about women in their 40’s and 50’s but I write about younger gals, so I thought I’d use this show as a sort of reference for putting my finger on the pulse of today’s woman.

What’s that saying about the best laid plans?? Yeah, not so much.

The basic plot line of the show involves the magazine’ surprising turnover of its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles to a new editor. Joanna is 2 years younger than myself ( me, 56; her, 54) and is a powerful, assertive, smart smart smart woman in an industry that has been typically defined and run by men: publishing. She brought COSMO  to the number one magazine women buy – both in trade ink copy and e-zine – during her tenure. To say she is a woman who gets things done and has her finger on the pulse of the Cosmo “girl,” is true. For the purpose of disclosure, Joanna was offered a new position with the Hearst organization ( the parent company of Cosmo) – a much more powerful position, which is why she was leaving Cosmo. You go, girl!

As I started watching the show I was quickly invested in the lives of the cast – all 20 and early 30 somethings. Most of them were single ( one was married with a kid), lived in Manhattan and took full advantage of city living by going out most nights to “party” and de-stress. Now, when I was their age (a millennia ago!) “party” meant literally that. Have a party to celebrate something. Apparently, it doesn’t mean the same thing anymore and this is where I realized my cool moniker was starting to shift.

By the third show I realized I was not only NOT cool anymore, I wasn’t going to be again in this lifetime if this was the yardstick to measure cool-dom by! I didn’t even understand most of the references the cast was using about fashion, life, and relationships. COSMO prides itself on being the voice of female empowerment and I totally buy that.  The Cosmo girl is billed as successful, smart, and sexy; able to live life to the fullest with no regrets, and the women in this cast are. Their purpose is to advise, counsel, and acquaint women on a myriad of topics relating to life, love, career, and finances.

But as I watched this show and the lives of its cast unfold, I began to realize that female empowerment does not mean the same thing to all women. For instance, the word “party” again. To some of the cast women it meant – basically – going out and getting as drunk as they could in an effort to unwind from the stress of their work lives. In the next breath, during the cast interviews, they would say they were living the dream life. So why then, is their work life so stressed they need to get drunk to unwind from it?
See what I’m saying?

They also look at relationships in a much different way than I thought. It’s cool now ( apparently) to hook up ( another word that doesn’t mean what it used to!)  with a series of people randomly, casually, and with no strings attached until you find one you may want to stay with…for a while. Maybe. Cosmo millennials don’t appear to view that whole Happily Ever After with a single mate concept as a  valid thing.

Okay, so now I am not only NOT cool, my whole existence for being -writing the HEA – isn’t ( apparently) relevant!

Before you write me scathing letters, hating me for trashing an entire generation of millennials,  know this: I realize this is just one little “reality” show on a network known for scripted reality shows. My daughter is a millennial who happens to live in Manhattan and I know she and her friends – who are all successful, smart women – don’t think and act in the typical Cosmo Girl fashion portrayed in this show.

Believe me – I get it!

It doesn’t erase the fact that I am no longer cool,  though!

When I’m not bemoaning my lack of cool, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The art of #naming your characters

I love names. Especially names where you can actually see the origin. Like SIOBHAN ( Irish!) NICOLLETTE (French) ANTONIO (Italian.)

Naming characters has always been a little bit of an obsession for me because I like to find names that actually mean something inherent in the person. For instance, my name, Margaret, means PEARL. If I was going to write a story with that name as my heroine’s ( and I never will because I hate my name!!!)  I would most likely give her attributes associated with pearls – strong outer shells, they take a lifetime to evolve, they are rare. You get the idea.

When I start a new book I always start with my characters first and the naming process usually takes me a few days to get right, especially with my hero and heroine. I want their names to connect, to go together, to be individualistic, but nonetheless when you hear the names mentioned you think “couple.” Like Oprah and Stedman, Goldie and Kurt, Elizabeth and Darcy. See? They go together ( why does that song from GREASE keep playing in my mind??)

Some writers spend more time naming their fictional characters than normal, non-writing people do naming their children. I feel both are crucial. You don’t want to name your alpha hero Marmeduke and please don’t name your child Zippity Doo Cogwheel or FeMale Jones. Don’t laugh…I have a doctor friend who told me a story of her OB/GYN internship days and a couple named their daughter after the name tag the hospital gave her: Female. But they thought it was pronounced  Fe-mal-ay. People are weird. Names shouldn’t be.

There are as many books and websites detailing names as there are, well, names. Baby Naming books get new editions yearly, as the popular and trendy names for kids change with the culture. Old Bibles are great places to get names especially if you are writing an historical novel. Writers who cater to fantasy or science fiction have a great deal of leeway in naming their characters because they can call them whatever they want ( like Zippity Doo Cogwheel) since they are inventing their own world with their own rules.

You don’t even need a baby naming book – although they are a fast, easy reference tool. You’re on your computer, so just get to your search engine. If you click Google images and type in name-meaning ( and then the name you want, like Margaret) you will get an unlimited array of images with the meaning of the name. That’s how I got the Margaret sign above.

Naming your characters and then giving them attributes associated with the name is a fabulous way of actually bringing your characters to life and having them be memorable to readers. Would Scarlett O’Hara have been such an icon if Gone With The Wind was published with the original name Margaret Mitchell gave her of Pansy? “Frankly, Pansy, I don’t give a damn!” doesn’t have the weight of “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn!”  Pansy means “thought”, Scarlett means “Sent from Heaven.” Now we all know Scarlett O’Hara never gave a “thought” to anything but herself and Tara, and as seen through the eyes of the men in her realm, sent from Heaven seems appropriate, no?

So, when you decide to name your characters ( or your children!) please please please give it careful, complete, thought. Don’t just pick a name out of the air or call them fruit ( anyone remember Apple Martin?) or weigh them down with a moniker they’ll never live down like Dweezle or Moon Unit. Give them normal, easily pronounced, meaningful names. After all, you want your readers to discuss your book with their friends and remember the characters names don’t you? You seriously don’t want them to struggle to remember what you called your hero and heroine. And if you’re really good – and very lucky – those character names will stand the test of literary time, like Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Rochester, Scarlett and Rhett all have.

When I’m not naming characters, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

My Writing process; #MfrwAuthors; week 11

So this week, we are talking about our own writing processes, namely, PLOTTING.

I am a plotter. ( When I say that I feel like I’m in a self-help group; “Hi, my name is Peggy and I plot.” 

But, as always, I digress.

So. Plotting. I am a dyed-in-the-wool plotter for several reasons none of which counts more than the other, but just goes to explain why I am the way I am.

  1. I am a Nurse so, therefore have a scientific background. I need to now if I do A, then B or C will happen ahead of time.
  2. I hate to be surprised. I have impulse control issues, so when someone surprises me I never EVER say the right thing or act the appropriate way. I have ruined enough birthday parties and drop-in visits from people to fill a lifetime.
  3. I am a linear thinker. I like going from A to Z in a straight line. It’s logical for me and alleviates anxiety.
  4. I like knowing what will happen to my characters before it happens to them. I have never been the type of writer who says, “My characters just insisted I have them say this or act this way. NO. Not gonna happen to me.
  5. I like, no actually LOVE, being in control. The one thing I have absolute dictator control over in my life is my writing, my characters, and what happens to them.

If I didn’t know where my story was going. what was going to befall my characters, what their storyline was, I think I would write a pretty horrible book.But that’s me…just saying.

When I’m not plotting out my next novel, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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A visit with #author DeeDee Lane; #TheWildRosePress

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It’s so much fun for me as a reader – and as a writer – to discover new authors to me, because I can then introduce them to you! Today I’m hosting Seattle-based author DeeDee Lane, one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs. DeeDee writes historical fiction ( love that!), time travel and westerns. Wow! Can you say “prolific?!”  Here’s a gab fest I engaged her in recently. Learn more about this fun writer, and stick around because she’s giving you a little taste of her newest selection, My Traveling Man, which is out TODAY!!

DeeDee Lane, The Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? This changes for me quite often so I’ll answer what is driving me right now. I believe empathy and kindness are a muscle, something each of us has to practice every day. Right now entering someone else’s Point of View is giving me a chance to see the world in a new way, to practice empathy, and how I can be kind to myself, and kind to others. So right now, writing is a pretty selfish past time!
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? The Slip in Time series is historical fiction, time travel, and western. I chose to write in this combo genre because it gave me the chance to research the Old West and explore how a contemporary woman would survive/thrive in the past.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Pretty much all. I’ve often been a judge for the RWA Golden Heart contest and I always ask for a different category so I can stay up on what’s going on in the Romance world. I can’t say, “All” because I don’t read erotica which is probably a shame because I know some pretty amazing erotica writers out there!
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I write best in the morning, by the afternoon I need to switch to things like this blog, updating my web site etc.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? The best thing about where I write is I have a huge L shaped desk; which means room for my computer, a pile of books, notes to myself, a stack of binders, and my office supplies. Also, I am addicted to collecting pens when I go to writing conferences so I have three cups jammed full of pens on my desk table top!
  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? Not quiet but pretty quiet. I just read about some noise canceling head phones a writer I like uses, might give those a try.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No music, I get too distracted. I often do have a few songs I feel connect to my heroine…something she’d listen too.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m super suspicious so don’t talk about my current WIP – I know! Weird huh…even my husband and my besty beta reader don’t know what it’s about. Of course my husband can sort of tell by the stack of research on my desk! (Peggy here – not weird at all! I don’t like to talk about my current works either.)
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Ohhhh good one. When I really connect to a character she is most often in the middle of some situation, some problem, some conflict so it really happens simultaneously. I know I’m onto something when I have a hard time not thinking about the character!
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? These are the three words I WANT to describe me as a writer: Exciting, emotional, satisfying. (Peggy here: I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head with these words – they DO describe you!)

Dee Dee, The Person:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I have never seen the Giant Tin Foil Rooster but it is on my list of not-to-be-missed-road-side-attractions!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Paul (sigh) I was 8 and we wrote notes to each other that said, “I love you, do you love me? Yes, No, or Maybe – circle one.”
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….I just watched two Christmas movies that had the same theme and I wouldn’t do it – no way, no way!
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs!
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Oil of Olay face moisturizer….I’d cry if I had to give it up.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Thoughtful, funny, scattered
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? “Suddenly Seymour” from the musical Little Shop of Horrors. (Peggy here: OMG! I lovelovelove that musical!!)
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Sherlock Holmes of course, we’d smoke a pipe, have a spot of tea with Dr. Watson, welcome a mysterious weeping widow wearing a black half veil and telling an improbable tale, then together we’d crack the case!

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound – Kitchen Timer – Baking is done! (Peggy here: Yummo! I’ll be right over)
  2. Least favorite sound– My mother crying
  3. Best song every written– “Summertime” From Porgy and Bess
  4. Worst song ever written “Who let the Dogs Out” (sorry U of Washington Husky fans)
  5. Favorite actor and actress– Meryl Streep and James Spader
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Barack Obama – I want to know what his world looked like when he was US President. I would want to feel the weight of his responsibilities to our country and the world.
  7. What turns you on? Kind acts done for the sake of kindness
  8. What turns you off? Racial slurs, hate language, hate actions
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “This won’t take long, right?”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sunny, ocean, my husband, my family coming over for dinner in the evening, singing, sand, lots of laughs.

 

Blurb:

My Traveling Man ( is the fourth installment in the Slip in Time Series)

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Alice Hanstrom prefers books to people, facts over feelings, and in her world, “adventure” is just a word in the dictionary. That is until the night she braves shadowed hallways of the Cowboy and Western Museum in pursuit of a long-lost diary. Her search of an antique covered wagon halts abruptly when the museum slips Alice back in time.

Thomas Bristol is an experienced wagon master. On a daily basis he deals with cholera, exhausted oxen, and river rapids on the treacherous journey to Oregon Territory. But he’s completely flummoxed when a mysterious woman appears in Big Blue River.

On the trail, Alice and Thomas strive to balance his love of roaming adventure and her desire for predictable orderliness. As the wagon train reaches Independence Rock, the sparks between them catch fire. But can such different people become equal partners in love…and can their love survive the slip in time?

Excerpt:

Alice bent her lanky frame forward to squint at the notation scratched in the corner of the diary—scribbled in a different hand, less confident, childish.

I’m hiding Mama’s last diary in our covered wagon’s secret hidey hole ‘til she’s in her right mind.

The wagon mentioned was in the museum’s storage basement, two floors down. Alice’s stomach fluttered and hopped. Every part of her yearned to find the “hidey hole,” be the one to find the diary not just write about it afterwards. Before she could talk herself out it, Alice exited the research library to set off down the darkened corridors of the Cowboy and Western Museum. Her footsteps made soft thwacks on the marble floor. She, Alice Hanstrom, intrepid scaredy-cat, was on an adventure. How thrilling, how positively mind–blowing, how…. Alice flinched away from a creaking noise to her right.

Buy Links: Amazon  // Wild Rose Press //

A word about the author…

deedeelane
DeeDee Lane is a Seattle author and a member of Romance Writers of America. Her mystery scenarios and characters turn up on boat cruises and many corporate and private events around the Puget Sound. She and her husband love to go on road trips especially if there’s time to check out a tin foil rooster or the largest truck stop in the world. Originally from central Wisconsin, DeeDee was raised on a Century Farm.

DeeDee’s novella MY GAMBLING MAN received third place in the Paranormal Short category of the International Digital Awards (IDA)

Connect with DeeDee here:

Amazon 

Peggy here: This was such a fun interview. DeeDee, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you! Much luck with your continued writing and congrats on release day for My Traveling Man.

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

I #write words, but I see images; #Pinterest

Strange blog title, I know. It  kinda reminds me of “I see dead people.LOL But there’s a reason behind it, so let me ‘esplain it to, Lucy.

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I’m a very visual person. I’m one of those people who sometimes think their dreams are real and have actually happened because they are so vivid and fully detailed. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that statement, but I digress.)

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I was actually that (weird) kid who enjoyed going to art museums. I could spend hours – and did – strolling along hallways and chambers chock full of art from every time period, decade, and century. The colors, the way light was used, or the absence of it; the way the artist positioned a hand in a portrait, or the background in a scene. Just looking at those beautiful portrayals and representations of life was awe-inspiring for me. And got my creative storytelling mind revving.

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Images help my writing in ways that are too numerous to describe. Suffice it to say, I see a book in my head before I ever type a word into my laptop. If I wrote science fiction my world-building would the size of a dictionary before I ever got to the plot. So, because I’m such a visual person,  I love PINTEREST. 

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Really, what did we ever do before Pinterest? I do remember saving fashion magazines for months on end when I was working on a story just so I could troll through the pages to find perfect depictions and portraits for my characters and settings. Other than that, I had no place to search.

Pinterest is to a visual person what words are to writers. Both are necessary for creativity to blossom and grow. And you can find anything on Pinterest. Anything.

I use it as a shorthand form of a storyboard for each of my books. Seeing what my hero and heroine, plus the ancillary characters look like, helps me describe them better in the story. I usually have several pictures of my h/h in various setting and with different expressions, just so I can write them vividly enough that you can see them clearly in your reading mind. I do the same thing with settings, buildings, even rooms.

Check out my newest board, Rick and Abby. I’m currently adding to it daily, so it’ll get filled up fairly soon, but I’ve got a good idea of Rick ( boy do I!) and I’m working on Abby. This is a wonderful way for me to make my characters come to life in my mind and on the page. Again, a shrink would go to town with that last statement, but you know what I mean.

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If you don’t know Pinterest, you should. Especially if you’re a writer.

‘Nuff said. Gotta go pinning….

When I’m not trolling through Pinterest, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And just to see who really reads my posts: The first person to tell me in a comment here who the guy in this picture is will win an e-copy of one of my books of your choice. This should be illuminating…

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On #Pinterest, #IceCream and #epicfails….

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I lovelovelove Pinterest.  For a writer who plots ( like moi) it’s a visual dream come true. If you click on my personal link in the previous sentence,   you’ll see I use it for characterization, writing tips, plotting, and info I need for books about stuff I don’t know about, but that I want to use in the plot/story.

I also troll through recipes and how-to videos. I’m a kinesthetic learner, which means I learn how to do stuff by actually doing it. My husband and daughter can read a manual and put a truck together – or take it apart. I need to be shown how to do it because trying to follow instructional steps has never been my strong suit. I tell you this because I want to explain the title of this blog: EPIC FAILS.

I don’t drink coffee in the morning. I drink decaf tea at night in a ridiculous attempt to help dietdewme sleep. It hasn’t so far, but I digress…..

I don’t drink coffee for my caffeine jolt in the morning, I drink DIET MOUNTAIN DEW.  I know…don’t judge me! SO when I spotted a video how-to the other day about making Mountain Dew Ice cream, well, I simply lost my mind and knew -KNEW- I had to make it.

There were 4 ingredients: Heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, DMD and food coloring.

Here are a few snaps of the process I took as I performed them according to the video.

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After the requisite 4-6 hours in the freezer, I tried a sample:

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I truly wish someone had been home with me to video my reaction when I tasted it. This is as close as I can come to thinking what I must have looked like:

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No lie…..

Le sigh.

Now I know why there is an official website called PINTEREST FAILS! Think I should upload mine to their site???

When I’m not attempting to try things NOT in my purview, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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On being an #eavesdropper and a #voyeur…

As a writer, I have a basic need to know about humans so I can describe them truthfully in my stories. Their quirks, foibles, mannerisms. Their cadences in speech, their body movements, the physical way they handle stress. I also need to know what they think and how they speak.

Hence, today’s topic. I am a natural eavesdropper and voyeur. When I was a teenager I had to wear rose-colored glasses ( no pun intended) because of an issue with light hitting my eyes. My grandmother ( the witch I’ve mentioned many times in previous blogs) nastily called me SPY-GIRL, because  I could look at people without them knowing it behind those lenses.  This is where my life long obsession with being, well, nosey, came from. ( And if you don’t know the significance of this picture – you are not over 40!)

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These are just some of the, shall we say funny, things I’ve overheard and surreptitiously seen over the course of the past year.

At the  gym:

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“You know, I bet if you hit him with just a five pound weight you could do serious damage, or even kill him.”

“When he sees how much weight I’ve lost, he’ll come back begging. The dick.”

“I hit something in the road on my way here. I’ve got blood and shit all over my front end. Hope it wasn’t, like,  a body. Hope the cops don’t see it.”

At Panera:

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“Are your eggs fresh?” ( In my mind, to this one, I wanted the clerk to say so badly , “No, just a little snarky at times.” think about it!

“What kind of meat is in your turkey sandwich?”

“Can I get an egg with my souffle?”

“What kind of fruit is in your Mango smoothie?”

At the grocery store:

This one was the clerk calling to the floor manager when she couldn’t make change. “Hey, I need coins. I’ve gotta give this lady fifty cents change and all I have is a bunch of dimes. I need some of those twenty-five peice coins.” And okay, here’s the truth in advertising part of this blog – that story was told to me by my hairdresser! but I still thought it was good enough to add here.

At WalMart

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( and full disclosure here, these were pulled off a site – yes, they actually have a website – titled PEOPLE IN WALMART – so I’m not the only one on the look out for these peeps!

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Is it, really, any wonder I’m a writer??

When I’m not watching and listening to people out in the world, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

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#ReadingChallenges and why they are important…

 

goodreads_icon_100x100-4a7d81b31d932cfc0be621ee15a14e70Last year I officially read 150 books in the Goodreads reading challenge. I say officially because I actually read more like 250, but the extra numbers weren’t on my Kindle and I forgot to enter them into the challenge stats whenever I was finished.

My bad.

This year, I’ve signed up again and my goal -again – is 150 books. It will probably be more, but that’s okay. I’ll try to remember to add the paperback and hardcovers after I finish them.

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I tell you all this because I feel a reading challenge is an important undertaking no matter what age you are.

We all remember having reading lists over summer vacation while is school. Some of us found it torture to get through the required books, while others of us ( like moi) asked for extra books because I’d finish the required ones in the first few weeks.

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Those summer reading challenges were meant to keep kids on the reading track and not get lazy and have all those drilled in vocabulary and spelling words forgotten over the 8 weeks of summer recess.

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I read a horrifying statistic the other day that said 33% of college grads NEVER read another book once they graduate. Like in, NEVER! Holy Cow. How can that be??? If I don’t have a book in my purse, or my kindle with me whenever I go out of the house I feel…naked. Emotionally and intellectually and literally ( hahaha- pun meant!)

How can a person never open another book? Never want to be entertained using their mind, imagination, and emotions? Never want to lose themselves for a few hours in the plights, adventures, and romances of characters who jump off the page and into their lives? Never want to educate themselves on new topics, inventions, or learn from the biographies and autobiographies of leaders, movers, and shakers int his world??

I think reading challenges should be mandatory for everyone. I know. Read that sentence again. The word that sticks out is MANDATORY: required by law or rules; compulsory. I know this would never fly legally. You can’t make someone read if they don’t want to. But how about a hard sell of encouragement? Listen, we got two generations of kids off drugs with THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS campaign.brain

I bet we could do the same with people who don’t read. Show something rotting – like five week old fruit and say THIS IS YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU DON”T READ REGULARLY. I’m not an ad executive and don’t work in publicity for a reason, peeps, but you get my drift.

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I am challenging everyone who reads this today to a 2017 reading challenge. The prizes are vast and include: you’ll be smarter, happier, more entertained. You’ll have things(Books) to talk about at parties, opinions about situations you never thought you’d have, and a general feeling of being smarter than you’ve ever experienced before. You’ll come across as erudite, well informed, and well-read.

Try it. Set a reading goal – write it down ( or send it to me!) and put it someplace you’ll see it every day. And then follow it.

Reading, to quote Martha Stewart – an avid reader – is a good thing.

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When I’m not reading you can find me here: :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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A #NewYear, a time for new #blogideas

2016 has exited the building – thank you, Jesus!  Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to say here, in this forum, for the next 365 days.

No pressure….not!

I started this blog because I wanted to talk about writing with people who enjoyed writing as well. Over the past 2 years, it’s morphed into something more. More substantial; more funny; at times, more an internal reflection of my feelings and emotions about…stuff. I’ve been able to introduce you to new authors who are fab and promote their work. I’ve had some serious discussions about life, writing life, family stuff, and current events. I’ve veered away from anything controversial and/or political/ and negative. I’ve wanted this to be a fun place to spend a few minutes getting to know new writers, and to challenge you with ideas. I hope I’ve done my job…

So, 2017. What the heck am I gonna talk about??

Well, I do have some new author interviews lined up already and I can’t wait for you to meet these talented writers.

I’ve also got at least 2 books of my own coming out this year ( maybe 3!) and I know I’ll be going gungho with promoting them.

The publishing world seems to be changing daily, so we’ll talk about that.

I’ve got at least 4 writing trips coming up this year, so you know I’ll be showing you pictures of your favorite romance authors whom I’ll be meeting and fawning over, plus writing about my traveling experiences.

And I guess I’ll be divulging some more personal stuff – only the funny stuff, though!!!

2017 promises to be a life-changing one for me – I’ve got lots going on!!! All good and all exciting.

So, stay tuned and we’ll discuss……lots of stuff!

 

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#Christmas2016, done…#2017 #plans…

Well, Christmas  has come and gone with a bang. As has 2016.

Almost.

As I look ahead to the next year I see lots of interesting events on the horizon. I’m taking 4 trips this year for business/reading/writing.

New England (NECRWA) conference in April

RT Convention in May

RWA in July

and.. Fall in Love with New England Readers and Writers Conference in October.

Holy Cow!! That’s a lot of air fare, gas, and room rentals…but so worth it.I’ll be doing book signings, and in one case ( NECRWA) a class. Too much!!!

I’m also having 2 new books published ( so far!) with my new Publisher, Kensington/LyricalShine. The first is in April, COOKING WITH KANDY, available for preorder – just click the link. The second, (I believe) will be in October. Much more on that info in the coming months.

cooking-with-kandy

So, as I kick 2016’s ass to the curb, the plans for 2017 are shaping up nicely, no?

You still have time to purchase my latest 2016 book before the New Year begins, though, so if you are looking for some light, fun, funny and family reading, give A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS a gander!

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And when I’m not planning trips, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press