Category Archives: RWA

On being a #writer and #publicSpeaking

So this past Saturday I gave my first ever PowerPoint presentation to my local chapter of RWA.

To say I was nervous would be to do a disservice to the knocking in my knees and the way my heart was shooting extra beats.

I’ve spoken publically before, — hell, I use to teach Nursing to undergrads! – but I haven’t spoken publically in a very long time. In fact, I haven’t done anything publically in a very long time, not since I retired and started writing full time.

I think I was nervous because  I didn’t want to screw up, be boring, or deliver a topic that didn’t appeal to the audience. I didn’t eat anything all day because I was terrified I’d hurl!

I’m sitting here to report (1) I did not hurl, (2) I was absolutely starving the minute the presentation ended! (3) my audience laughed, repeatedly and freely in all the appropriate spots (4) there was discussion about the topic – a lot of discussion, so YAY!, and (5) my audience seemed to genuinely like the presentation.

So, again, YAY!!!

Now I just have to get my nerve up again, because I’m giving this presentation again next month to another group.

But I’ll think about that…tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

When I’m not being overly dramatic, you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

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

That old #adage Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover, #JABBIC, is now a #contest..

SO, every year, the HOUSTON BAY AREA RWA Chapter hosts a Book cover contest titled, you got it! JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.

This year, two of my current titles, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and THE VOICES OF ANGELS are among the entries for the Contemporary Romance category. Both covers were designed by uber talent Rae Monet and I’d reallyreallyreally appreciate your vote! I’ve enclosed the link above. I’m on page 2 in the contemporary category – just scroll down once you’re there.

Here are the covers. The highest you can score them is 5 stars (pleasepleaseplease). Shameless, I know I am.akissucl_850-1 perf5.000x8.000.indd

When I’m not being shameless, you can find me here:

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#NoraRoberts, #WritingAdvice, and #MondayMorningQuarterbacking…

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First, a disclaimer: this is not a post about football. I would be the last person on the planet to ever post about a game I know nothing about. I can’t even bulls**t my way through a discussion on it, so there.

Now. I was listening to a podcast recently about advice. How to give it, how to take it, when and why you should offer it. For the record, I don’t like to give advice routinely simply because I don’t like getting unsolicited advice. There’s always THAT person who thinks they know everything that will make your situation better and easier, and believe me, they are usually wrong. Having said that, there are two pieces of advice that I’ve heard throughout my writing career that I’d like to offer. One, I listened to.

First, the good piece of advice. I heard this at my very first RWA conference in San Antonio in 2014 from a chat with mega-wonderful Nora Roberts. Her advice to the following question,  “How can I find the time to be a prolific writer like you?” was simply the best thing I ever heard anyone say. It was:

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See how good it is – someone made a Pinterest board for it!

Added to that advice was this little gem which I remind myself of daily:

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Words for a writer to live by.

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Now to the worst writing advice I’ve ever received. Here’s the backstory: I entered a contest and this was part of one judge’s critique. “If you change the name of the heroine, make her younger and give her a tragic background, you MAY ( and yes, she put may in capitals!) have the beginning of a decent story here.  Otherwise, I don’t see this book ever getting published. I also feel your hero is dumb.”

And I paid to enter that contest. Last one I ever entered, that’s for sure!

Well, the laugh is on her,  because I took none of her advice and that book, COOKING WITH KANDY, is coming out in April from Kensington/Lyrical Shine and I didn’t change a thing about the book/characters/backstory.

So here’s the Monday morning quarterbacking mentioned in the title to this blog in the form of my own writing advice- completely unsolicited.

                                                 Write for yourself, first.

I don’t have a Pinterest block to put up on that one, so I just bolded it in the hope that it makes a statement. YOU are your first reader.  If you don’t write something for you, that you love, that sings to you, it won’t do so for anyone else. Remember that. I do. Everyday.advice4

‘Nuff said.

When I’m not giving out unsolicited advice, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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#AuthorVisit with Marianne Rice, #Contemporary #Romance writer

Today one of my wonderful writer friends ( and don’t I just love saying those 2 words together – writer and friend!) has a new book out. Marianne Rice is a multi-published contemporary romance author who writes stories set in small New England towns. Her latest book, STAYING GROUNDED, ( A Rocky Harbor Novel) is set in the beautiful state of Maine and releases today. She’s giving us a little taste of what we can find inside the pages and believe me – you’ll want to read it all after this little snippet! I’m so happy to call this talented, lovely lady friend.

STAYING GROUNDED by Marianne Rice (A Rocky Harbor Novel)

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Blurb:

Graham Riley enjoys the laid-back freedom of a pilot’s life—until one choice puts his career in jeopardy…

Graham loves his job—it allows him to escape his troubled past and the stigma of being a murderer’s son. But after an altercation with a drunk passenger is posted on social media, he’s forced to go on administrative leave until his name can be cleared. To get his wings back, he must attend anger management classes, and to avoid the media frenzy near his home base in Texas, he heads to Rocky Harbor, Maine.

Responsible therapist Maggie O’Fallon wants a stable relationship with a man who’s not going anywhere…

Maggie grew up with parents who were never around, physically or emotionally. Needing steadiness in her life and in a relationship, she only dates men with normal jobs. But when Graham walks into her office and flashes his charming steel-blue eyes at her, she’s at a loss for words. Torn between her ethics and her heart, Maggie asks Graham to see a different therapist so they can explore the chemistry between them.

He has everything she’s been looking for—except stability…

Maggie touches something deep within Graham and he panics, pushing her away, too scared to face his feelings. But when a private investigator threatens to discredit not only Graham, but Maggie’s practice as well, he is faced with two choices. Fight…or take flight.

Battling a lawsuit and his heart, Graham must decide what’s more important—the life he thought he wanted…or Maggie. Maggie might be the only thing that will ever help Graham
Stay Grounded.

Excerpt:

“I haven’t been with Ashley, or any other woman, since I met you.”

Her girly parts tingled at the admission. But still…

“Congratulations. You must be very proud. And horny.”

Graham smirked and her toes curled. Double damn! Her snarky comments were supposed to piss him off, spar a fight, not twist his lips into a magnetic grin.

“You might not believe it, but I have pretty good control over my…sexual tendencies.” The words rolled off his tongue and she had to clench her thighs. “Except when I’m around you.”

“That’s a good one. Do most girls fall for that line?”

“First time I used it. How’s it working?”

Too. Damn. Well. “I’ve heard better.”

Graham stood, stalking her with his eyes, doing that unfair panty-dropping grin thing with his perfect lips.

“Maggie.” He stepped closer, and she told her legs to move backward, but they wouldn’t listen to her and stayed locked, waiting, wanting, Graham to come closer. “You do things to me I don’t understand.”

“Ditto.” Oops. She didn’t mean for that to slip out.

“I want you to think about kissing me as much as I think about kissing you.”

Buy Links:

Kindle Unlimited:      Paperback

MEET THE AUTHOR: 

mariann

Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

Find Marianne here:

Limitless Publishing:   Facebook:    Twitter:    Website:

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

#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.

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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:

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I need a little #writer and #RomanceReader help…

This is going to be a good test to see if anyone ever reads my blogs!!

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I told you recently that I’m all atwitter and discombobulated because I’m putting together a Power Point presentation for my local NHRWA chapter in March and then for the New England (NECRWA) Chapter in April and I’m learning (slowly) the ins and outs of the PP program.

That’s fine. No worries there.

But…

I need a little help from my romance writer and reader friends. Who ( what author) do you read who writes romance with heroines and heroes OLDER than 45 years old? I’m not looking for writers who write about the fabulous 20 somethings or terrific thirty-year-olds. I want romance titles and books written about folks in their middle years. If you read romance books concerning this age group, please send me book titles or the authors who write them.

I have a few in mind, but I want to explore more. Please.

I’ll say thank you in advance.

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

My life in three words….

and those words would be, “Help me, Jesus!!”

Let me ‘splain.

I’m doing a presentation for my Romance Writers writing group in March 2017 and then giving it again at a conference to the New England Romance Writers group in April. It’s a good talk, even if I do say so. Timely and to the point. Plus dotted with humor.

But, I digress…

The lecture/talk is accompanied by a POWERPOINT presentation. Now, I am a great talker. I could ramble on for hours about any topic that strikes my fancy. I was on debating club in school so I can argue for both sides of almost any discussion. But I have never before used a machine to aid me in my discussions, and this is why I need celestial help. I have no freaking idea how to effectively use PowerPoint.

Now, because this is, well, me, and most of the things I’ve learned about in life I’ve learned about in books, I did the logical, smart, quick thing to do and bought a PowerPoint Manual. 2 in fact. Powerpoint for Dummies, ( because this is, like, me!) and Teach Yourself Visually PowerPoint.

Last night I started learning how to navigate through the PowerPoint system. Chapter one was called NAVIGATING THE POWERPOINT INTERFACE. Okay, what?? Navigate and Powerpoint I knew the definitions of. Interface? No friggin’ clue. This is Webster’s definition of Interface:

  • a device or program enabling a user to communicate with a computer.
  • • a device or program for connecting two items of hardware or software so that they can be operated jointly or communicate with each other.

Okay, once I got over being panicked by a simple word, I read on. How to choose a theme, how to decide on a design, how to create a SLIDE, how to navigate around the RIBBON. That’s another word I had trouble with because, you know, RIBBON signifies something I tie my hair back with or the backs of fancy dresses.

I dutifully created my first slide after about 50 stops and starts and deletions and begin-agains. I had some text – no pictures yet because my mind was boggled by now – but a starting point.

Okay, so now, how to save it? I did everything the manual instructed me to do. Perfectly, I might add, the first time.

Then I went back to check and see where the document had saved to and….couldn’t find it. Yup. Two hours of sweat down the drain. Another fifteen minutes of frantic checking and I “found” it listed in an obscure compartment titled PRESENTATIONS. Well, Du-uh and FML!

2 hours and fifteen minutes on just one slide. Here is what it says because –of course– I couldn’t figure out how to cut and paste it here!

Romance and the Baby Boomer Generation

or

Writing Romance about and for the Seasoned Crowd.

2 hours fifteen minutes, people. For that. At this rate, my presentation will be complete in 2020.

When I’m not pulling my hair out trying to learn something new, 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 Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Pet Peeves, research, Romance, RWA

Home stretch…NaNoWrimo, Week 4

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It’s hard to think that November is almost gone already and with it, NaNoWriMo. On November 30th at midnight, not only will the month end – giving us 25 days until Christmas, but for the millions of writers around the world who are participating in this year’s annual event, it means we can all breathe a little easier, take a little break from the laptop ( a very little break!) and see where we are in our current works in progress ( WIP). Hopefully, many of us will have reached that brass ring of 50,000 words ( or more!) and be declared a WINNER by the NaNo team. Many of us will not have reached it, but that doesn’t make us any less a winner. Just devoting yourself to writing something any day is winning in my book.

I happened to make it to the golden number a while ago. Don’t hate me. I knew what I wanted to write, and my life is such that I can devote it to writing for long stretches if I so desire. I did. I realize I am one of the lucky ones who can do this.

But even if I hadn’t reached my goal I would still have considered my efforts winning-worthy. There’s an old saying that it’s not the destination of a journey that is important, it’s the journey itself. I sosososo agree.

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Just attempting to do the NaNoWriMo challenge is empowering. Getting in the habit of committing your words to your laptop everyday fosters that continual need to do so, so that, long after November is a memory, you are still devoting yourself to the thing that gives you such joy, namely, writing.

Take these last 4 days of the challenge and pour your heart and soul into it. Get those emotions, those worlds, those characters, settings, and plots from the depths of your imagination to the confines of the page.

The world needs your book.

And you need to give it to them.

When I’m not participating in NaNoWrimo, you can find me here:

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