Tag Archives: #amblogging #amwriting

Leaving on a jet plane….

If you get the John Denver reference, you know where I’m heading today. A week of workshops, friendship renewals, motivation, and hopefully some book sales and new readers. Hee hee – I had to put that one in!

Any hoo….

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight to leave and thought I’d check in and let you know that the rest of my posts this week will be coming to you livelivelive from Denver, CO and the #RWA2018 conference. Stay tuned for daily updates – sometimes more than 1! and for tidbits from the conference.

This year, the event is even more special because my dear writing friend and NHRWA sistah, LISA OLECH, is a Rita Award nominee. I can’t wait to cheer her on and scream with glee when she wins!!!

SO, wish me safe travels and I’ll check in soon! Be well and look for me here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Why I love a list….

I’m a list-maker. You know: one of those annoying people who write everything they have to do, everyplace they have to go, and every item they need to buy, down on a piece of paper before they ever leave the house or attempt a task.

This is the list of things I needed to do for Saturday, July 7.  You will notice the list is even dated. That’s so I don’t confuse it with another day’s list. You will also note at the bottom of the list is a reminder to write a blog on…lists.

I make lists for the grocery store; the chores I need to do; the stops I have to make while I am out of the house doing normal life stuff. I make sublists, too, when I have to go more than 2 or three places during one trip. I’ll list my destination, then – in bullet form – all the things I need to purchase or do at each place.

I have lists for birthday presents. I have a list of people I need to buy or make Christmas gifts for every year. I have a list of the days I need to send bills out to be paid.

I have a list of all the blogs I want to write, a list for the titles of the books I need to finish ( or start!) and then sublists added to that.

I have a bucket list with 1000 items on it. I have a to-do list for every day next week already.

I make a lot of lists. A lot of lists.

Maybe if I stopped making lists, I’d get more stuff on the lists done. Just a thought…..

 

 

 

 

When I’m not making lists, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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Get your hands off my…..

I have simply lucked out these past few weeks with the writing prompts on this blog challenge. Today is another easy peasy piece for me to write.

The prompt is “the item I can’t live without.” As a writer, you may be thinking, “Well, it’s got to be a computer? Or a dictionary? Or a grammar book.”

Respectfully I say, you would be wrong.

Teeny bit of backstory: I am of Irish descent. I was born with jet black curly, kinky hair, hazel eyes and skin the color of pasteurized milk. In the 1960’s when I was a kid, no one believed much in sun block. In fact, the more color you had on your face and body during the summer, the better everyone thought you looked. Since I am so fair, I typically burned at least twice during an active outdoor summer. The fact my mother would slather me in baby oil and iodine didn’t help the situation any. In fact, I would venture to say all that oily manipulation added to the depth and breadth of my burns.

Flash forward to my teens, twenties, and thirties. Sun block was more popular and had numbers attached to it. Most dermatologists suggested you use it when ever in the sun and reapply often. I did. But I used an oil called Ban de Soleil that had an SPF of 2. Going without the block would have been better, probably.

In my forties I started noticing wrinkles on my face. By then, dermatologists world wide suggested – heavily – to stay out of the sun, and to never leave the house without a block on. I complied.

In my fifties I was diagnosed with skin cancer. First basal cell, then the more serious melanoma. I’ve had several surgeries to remove sections of my skin on my face, back, and legs. The scars left behind are not pretty. I venture to say they are hideous. With all of this, I became a vampire, shunning sunlight at all costs. If I do have to spend anytime outdoors, be it on a walk, or traveling, I now always wear long sleeved shirts, a hat, sunglasses, and a 100 SPF block that’s so thick it makes Desatin look watery. ( the mothers in this group will know what I mean, here.)

So, the item I simply can not, will not, and should not live without EVER is…sun block. Everyday, everyplace, no matter what.

I am an advocate for keeping skin protected whether you are 6 months old or 90 years young.

Everyday, everyplace, no matter what.

To read what the other authors in this hop can’t live without, simple click here.

And since I am never in the sun, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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The best gift I ever gave….#Mfrwauthor Week 22

Last week we wrote about the best gift we were ever given and I thought this week it was going to be the worst – just stood to reason in my mind. MY BAD. I have to tell you about the best gift I ever gave  someone today.

Another easy peasy post to write!

Only one thing comes to mind and that’s the gift I gave my husband 28 years ago on a sunny, warm, day in September: our daughter.

From the moment she came into our world she changed our lives for ever – for the better – in every way possible. She was truly a daddy’s girl from the very start.

28 years later and she still is!

 

Since this is a blog hop, let’s see what some of the other authors here have to say. Click here: MFRWauthorBlogChallenge

 

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A great #Booksale from one of my Favorite #Authors

Wild Rose Press sistah and fab author Donna Simonetta, is having a book sale. From now until June 8, A SWEETER SPOT will be on sale at the following Venues. If you’re looking for a great read to start your summer, this is a book for you!

Blurb:

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Excerpt:

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  // The Wild Rose Press  //B&N //  Amazon UK // Kobo

About Donna:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Find Donna Here:

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Children learn from your example

Mother’s day was Sunday and I usually don’t post anything on facebook or social media except for a generic ( but heartfelt!) HAPPY MOTHER’S Day greeting to all the moms out there. This Sunday was a bit different, though. I didn’t post anything – as usual- but my daughter did. What she wrote floored me, and I’ll admit freely – had me bawling my eyes out. I copied it from her facebook post here – not because I want to brag on her or myself, but because it reminded me that no matter what you may think as a parent, your kids ARE watching what you do and LISTENING to what you say, how you say it, and to who you say it to and about.

Here’s the post:

My mom has given me many gifts, but none so powerful as the example she’s set by following her calling as an author.

About five years ago, she left a comfortable job to pursue romance writing. For some, it would’ve sounded like a whim or a pipe dream — but she had stories to tell and she wanted to share them with the world.

She sent out hundreds of queries to agents and publishing houses. The inevitable rejections came, but she never lost focus on her own North Star. She was, of course, incredibly privileged to be able to follow this dream with my dad’s support — but that doesn’t dilute the work she put in. Finally, she got an acceptance letter, and then another one. Five years later, she’s authored a whopping 11 published books and has another 5 on the way.

In charting her own course, she sent messages to me whose power continues to crystallize: that it’s never too late to pursue a dream; that external validation comes and goes, but internal motivation is what will carry you through; that magic happens when you combine a little luck with a lot of hard work; and that the joy of the journey is, itself, the destination.

We are so proud of you, Peggy Jaeger. Thank you for the example you’ve set.

And because I’m in marketing: if your mom likes romance and you need a last-minute gift, grab one of her e-books today!

https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Jaeger/e/B00T8E5LN0

https://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/…/peggy-jaeger-intervi…/

When I was a kid there was an expression: “Little pitchers have big ears.” It was meant as a reminder to people to be careful what they said around children if they didn’t want something repeated that shouldn’t be. I’d like to add my own version of that expression here: Your kids may never tell you this, but what you say and do IS making an impression on them. They’re seeing and they’re listening and they’re learning.
So, I ask you: Are you teaching them the right things? Are you sending them the right impression? Are you setting the right example for them?
Food for thought today.
And can I just tell you how much I lovelovelove my daughter!

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Imposter syndrome….

Last month at my NHRWA meeting, one of my uber-talented and wonderful writing chaptermates spoke a phrase I had never heard before:  Imposter Syndrome. She gave me a very good definition of the word, but when I got home I decided to delve a little more into the meaning. Here’s the best explanation I found of it:

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” ~My 2008 Harvard Business Review

Hmmm.

That kinda sounds like very writer I know.

I’m plagued with doubts about my writing Every Single Day of my life. Does that mean I have I.S.? 

I worry that my next book will be trash, my editor will have me completely rewrite it, the public will hate it – and me – and I’ll have to go out and get a job cleaning floors at night in office buildings to make ends meet ( not that there’s anything wrong with that!!)  Does that mean I have I.S.?

When I read a less than flattering review of one of my books ( and by less than flattering I mean a 1 on Goodreads and Amazon!!) I think : this is it. I’m done for. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. No one will read this book now. Does that mean I have I.S.?

The moment I read something back I’ve written and think, “this sucks wind so bad, it’s a hurricane of a mess!” I start to sweat, my heart rate goes tachycardic, and I get a sick, vomit-worthy sensation swell up in my throat. Does this mean I have I.S.?

 

No. Emphatically no. I KNOW I am a decent writer. I may never win any major writing awards, or have a million seller, but that’s okay. I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated here: Even if I’d never had any book of mine published, I still would have kept writing because I love doing it so much. I didn’t need accolades, royalties ( not that they are necessarily a bad thing!)  or good reviews to validate that I AM A WRITER.

This, I think, is the difference between thinking you might have I.S. and actually having it. My sense of self worth, my idea of success, my feelings of value, are not tied up in whether or not the book reading world knows my name, buys my books, or clamors to retweet anything I’ve put on Social Media. What it adds up to is that – in my very humble opinion – I have a strong, well defined, and productive EGO. And I’m not talking about the posturing, self important, look-at-me-and-no-one-else part of an Ego. I mean, simply, I know my worth, am okay with it, and can hold my head up high.

Okay, peeps, here’s my writing PSA for the day: STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

‘Nuff said.

Looking for me? Here I am:

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

 

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A new day…a busy week…a hectic life

My life has been a bit…on the constant go…of late. A new book release, a new audio book release, edits for my Christmas release, an author appearance, and two virtual book tours. All in the past 2 weeks. Plus, all the social media promotion involved in each and every one of those things so I can get the word out my work and, you know….make a living! HeeHee. Add in the book reviews I need to get done for Netgalley and then the 3 personal friend reviews I’ve been asked to do for soon-to-be-released books AND the judging I need to get done for a romance writing contest I’m involved in, and…Yikes!!

When I set out to write full time three years ago after the publication of my first book, I thought I’d spend my days happily inventing new characters and situations that would bring them together, pull them apart, and then reconnect them for their HEA. And I have done that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved every millisecond of being able to devote myself to writing.

But….

It’s all the OTHER stuff that goes along with wanting to be a published author that’s starting to make my life a little harried. Strained. Busy. Swamped. You get the idea.

 

The social media stuff alone is mind boggling at times. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m actually grateful for my menopause insomnia because I’m typically awake and out of bed by 3:30 every morning. From the moment after I get myself situated with a cup of tea, I’m at my desk, posting my SM stuff for the day through the scheduling app HOOTSUITE. There’s even a group of other insomniac writers like me on Twitter  with the Hashtag (#) 5amwritersclub. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone when the rest of the nation is still slumbering!

If I was a million-seller author by now, I’d have a publicist and a media consultant do all this for me. Can you imagine how much writing work I could done in those 3 hours in the middle of the night every day? I can tell you how much: my first book was written between the hours of 1 am and 3 am for 3 solid months when I first hit menopause and was afflicted with this sleeping disturbance. Now that I’m a seasoned writer and edit as I go, I could turn out another book every 45 days just by writing during the hours I am usually doing the media stuff! Mind boggling!

There’s an old saying that, if you want to get something done in a hurry, give it to a busy person. While that may be true more times than not, it also makes the busy person feel overwhelmed, stressed, and – in my case – sleep deprived.

And I just realized how this sounds like I’m a whining 3 year old. I’m not ( well, maybe just a titch!) Before the advent of social media ruling the world, I really wonder how authors did it. How did they get the word out effectively about their work? How did they get new readers? Who helped them?

All questions that will, for now, remain unanswered, as I need to go and schedule today’s posts.

And if you’re looking for me, here’s where I am ( see? I told you I was busy!! Heehee)

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

 

 

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#LASR #SaturdaySeven

For today’s Saturday Seven list, I’m talking about 7 bad-ass chicks in fiction that really speak to me as warrior women and game changers. I really could do this in at least 3 parts because there are so many, but these are my top 7.

Eve Dallas, the In Death Series by JD Robb.

A futuristic cop with the NYSPD, Eve Dallas is the survivor of a dark, tortured, and abused childhood. Raped, starved, and beaten until she finally kills her tormenter- her father – she grows into a woman who, although she doesn’t have superhero powers, is none the less the most powerful woman you will ever meet. Her sense of right and wrong is defined, clearcut, and as sharp as a razor. As her backstory unfolds in the first half dozen books of the series, Robb allows you to see that despite coming from the depths of humanity, you yourself don’t need to turn to the dark side. You have a choice: light or dark. Eve chose the light and for that she is an amazeballs woman and warrior.

Elinor Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

 The oldest of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor is the “sense” part of the title. Composed, articulate, quick-witted and minded, although she tends to hide those characteristics behind the female conventionalism of the day, Elinor is the moral center of her family.  Even her mother looks to her to make decisions for the betterment of them all. She keeps her emotions hidden behind a cool and calm facade, but never for a moment think she doesn’t feel deeply. Elinor, to me, embodies the quiet warrior.

Stephanie Plum from the series of the same name by Janet Evanovich.

Who better exemplifies the woman of today in all her glorious angst, doubts, and confusion about life, sex, a woman’s role in society  than the gloriously klutzy and at times clueless bail bondsman Stephanie Hunter? From the moment you meet her – divorced, unemployed, and crushing on 2 men at once, you are drawn into her likeability, her openness, and her humor. Complete with a gun-toting grannie, a best friend who used to be a “ho”, and a cousin who is rumored to have performed illegal sexual acts with a duck, and you understand completely why Steph is the way she is. And to me, that’s perfect.

Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer.

You may think this is an unusual choice for a grown-ass, approaching Medicare age woman to admire, but you would be wrong. Bella embodies what every girl possessed with a romantic heart embodies ( including me): the desire to be loved like no one else has ever loved you before, and to know you would rather die than be without the one you love. She will do anything to protect the ones she loves and has no regrets about her choices. To love and be loved is what motivates all she does.

Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. The penultimate spoiled southern brat, Scarlett is either loved and revered by readers or hated and despised. There is no gray with Scarlett. She is single-minded, determined, and forceful. She can pout and simper to get her way or fight back and rail. Plus she has the best resting bitch face of anyone in literature. Bar none.

Janie Crawford from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Janie is an independent woman in a time in this country when black women weren’t seen as equal to their white counterparts. Janie keeps on going, no matter what her life throws her way her, and is able to hang on to her dignity and sense of self no matter what. She challenges the conventions and forces those around her to do the same.

 

 

 

Gemma Laine from A Shot At Love by …me.

I feel a little wrong including one of my own heroines here, but Gemma Laine embodies every trait I feel is necessary in a kick-ass woman in fiction. Coming from humble beginnings and deeply hurt by her parent’s divorce, Gemma knew from a young age she needed to fight for herself and her sisters against a society that looked down on them. She is proficient in martial arts and not afraid to defend herself or anyone else with her physical prowess if necessary. She doesn’t suffer fools, and she is loyal to a fault. When she loves there is no middle area about it: it’s all or nothing. She would die to protect someone she loved and she always, always has the back of those loved ones. She may not be the most pleasant woman you ever meet, but you will always know where you stand with her and if she considers you a friend, you are one for life no matter what.

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