Tag Archives: #writer #writinglife

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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#SaturdaySeven #LASreviews 7 Love Songs for the Ages ( or aged!)


Since I write romantic fiction, I like exploring all things romance-related and that includes music. I’m a woman of a certain age ( read old!!!) and have heard a great many love songs during my listening time on this earth. In no particular order, these are my favorite 7 love songs. And a little trivia: #7 is my wedding song.

  1. Can’t help falling in love with you. ~Elvis Presley   
  2. I will Always love you. ~ Whitney Huston   
  3. Because you loved me. ~Celine Dion     
  4. I just called to say I love you. ~Stevie Wonder      
  5. She Loves you. ~The Beatles     
  6. I think I love you. ~The Partridge Family ( David Cassidy) 
  7. I’m a Believer. ~The Monkees And because this is a weekly challenge, click HERE to read about the other authors and their 7 favorite things.

Looking for me? here I am:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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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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Things only my family would understand

Goodness! Week 10 already. Today’s topic is a little, well, I don’t want to say intrusive, but it kinda is, because I’m wondering if I have to explain WHY only my family would understand. I’m gonna take the easy way out here and just list them without explaining why. It’s not only easier, it’s less embarrassing. You guys have enough imagination, you might be able to answer why I’ve listed these things. If you can’t…oh well!

In no apparent order, only my family would understand:

  • my insane, almost pathological need for privacy
  • why shopping gives me a panic attack
  • my love for old black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s
  • the reason I don’t remember my sophomore year in college
  • why I consider mayonnaise sandwiches comfort food
  • my uber-defined personal space bubble
  • my issues with food.
  • the reason I dislike Tom Brady
  • why I’ve dyed my hair since I was 16

It’s gonna be interesting to see if the other authors on this blog challenge put up their reasons and don’t take the embarrassed coward’s way out that I did! Click on their links and find out.

 


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I’m not Inventor-y…

This week’s topic is a hard one for me because I’m not an inventor-y-type girl. I don’t even like to go to the beach, much less an island. If I got stuck on a deserted island, I’d probably be the first one the cannibals ate, anyway because, you know…I’m chubby! Lots of protein and fat.

But…..

So survival being the name of the game I’d need some kind of device that would be able to turn the water surrounding the island into water suitable to drink. It takes 3 minutes to die without air, 3 weeks without food and three days without water, so the water is a necessity. I know there are currently machines called desalinization thingies, but I’d need to be able to make this on the island from the raw materials around.

Don’t know how I’d do this, don’t have a clue where to being, but….that’s what I’d make. A thingie machine to make clean, drinkable water.

And then once that was off the drawing board and put into practice, I’d find a way to invent a pizza oven. Just saying. Food, you know?

Heehee.

Well, it’s uber obvious I’m not inventor-y, but maybe some of the other authors on this challenge are. Hop on over to their sites to see what they’ve come up with. And if it’s good, I’ll probably make arrangements to be deserted with them so I could survive.

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#MFRW I don’t like your voice….

The prompt of this piece is the worst writing advice I’ve ever gotten. I’m gonna share that, but a little backstory first so you can understand why the advice was the worst!

I’ve been searching for a literary agent since I started my journey in publishing. Haven’t found one yet but it’s not because I haven’t tried. At every conference I attend that allows agent pitches I sign up for a spot. In the past three years I’ve pitched myself and my work to 9 different literary agents. 6 were NYC based, 2 were from California, and one was from the NorthWest. They’ve all been industry  pros with great author pedigrees and clients,  but none of have them have offered to represent me. They’ve all asked for me to send them my work, which I have. Now remember, I’ve pitched to 9 agents. 4 never bothered to contact me back after I’d sent the work and waited the allotted 30 then 60 days for a response. When I did re-email them, no responses. 4 sent me form rejection letters within 15-30 days after I’d mailed my CV and work, not commenting on what I’d sent. The last agent I met with was last year. I’d actually connected with her via email  prior to the conference and she’d asked me to send her my work right away so that she could get a feel for what I wrote before meeting me. I complied.

I met her face to face for an allotted 15 minute meet/pitch and the first thing she said to me was “I don’t like your voice.”

 

I knew she meant my writing voice, not my actual voice voice. Even so, that was a bit…harsh as an opening line. She went on to say she’d read 5 pages of the 30 she’d requested and couldn’t get past the way I wrote. There was nothing technically wrong with it, she said, just that it was unappealing.

Huh?

Okaaaaaaaaay. This had taken exactly 15 seconds of a 15  minute space. What was I supposed to do? Sit there and just stare at her until time was up? Stick up for myself? Cry?

 

I mean really. Talk about how to hurt someone’s feelings. Only, mine weren’t hurt, surprisingly. No, I was feeling something else entirely.

When I get really mad I tend to get very quiet. Deathly so. People around me have remarked that me, quiet, is terrifying.

 

I was so stunned by what she’d said, I couldn’t think of a response. That silence, I think, prompted her to say her next thing – the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. “You should think about changing your voice. Experiment with something different, because I just don’t think you’re going to sell commercially sounding the way you do.”

Huh?

It was apparent to me that she hadn’t read the publishing CV I’d sent along. Last year I had already had 8 books traditionally published and had contracted for 3 more. So without an agent I’d already sold 11 book to publishers. If she’d read that she would have known that SOMEBODY liked my writing voice enough to publish me. 11 times. Traditionally.

 

Again, I stayed silent and smiling, even though I wanted to stick my tongue out at her and say, “so there!!” I know. Real mature. By now I knew even if she offered me a contract ( which she didn’t) I wouldn’t sign with her. If you have an agent you want her/him to be on your side, have your back, and promote you and your work and strengths. When I continued to stay mute she said, “Well, I have a lot of people to see today. I’ll be making decisions on who I want to take on, what work, and such, so  I’ll get back to you within a week or so with my decision.”

Huh?

Hadn’t she just told me my voice was horrible and that I’d never sell commercially? That certainly didn’t sound like she wanted to represent me, does it? I couldn’t take it another minute. I stood, shook her hand and said, “thanks for meeting with me. Enjoy the rest of the conference,” and I bolted before she could say another word.

Weird, right?

Do I really need to tell you she never, ever, got in touch with me again? Not even a form letter.

Like I said: weird.

So that advice –  to change my writing voice – was simply the worst piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten. Who would say that? WHY would you say that? Each writing voice is unique; distinctive; individual. I could understand that she didn’t like mine. You can’t please everybody. But as an industry professional to actually tell me to change something that’s so inherently part of me is like asking me to change my DNA makeup; my height; my personality. Would you ask Dr. Suess not to rhyme? Would you advise ee cummings to capitolize?  Make Janet Evanovich ditch the humor? Good God, would you ask Jane Austen to stick to writing letters and give up on the whole fiction thing?

Needless to say, I am still on that quest to find an agent. Preferably one who likes my voice.

Since this is a blog hop, click on the other authors in this challenge and see more example of bad writing advice!

 

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#MFRW Top 5 things on my bucket list

Until the movie THE BUCKET LIST came out, I’d never heard this term before.

Once I knew what it meant I kinda ignored the term for about 10 years or so because I wasn’t ready to make a list of things to do before I die. I mean, come on. It’s not like I’m imminently north ( or south) bound. I don’t have one foot tipping over to the hereafter yet.

Yet is the definitive word in that previous sentence.

So, since I can dream about what I want to do someday, here are my top five thoughts on the bucket list in no real order of when or how I want to do them.

GO skydiving.

My daughter went a few years ago and said it is unlike any feeling or emotion you will ever have.

TUSCANY. I want to visit Tuscany for an extended stay and take cooking lessons from real, old world Italian chefs. My pasta making needs expert instruction!

Testify before the House Committee on Funding. These life-long bureaucrats need to hear from real people about why funding for Mental Health, Cancer research, and Education needs to be fully funded. I’m sick to death of my tax dollars going to pork spending. These guys need to hear from me in person!

Start a public service organization dedicated to PAYING IT FORWARD. I’ve been so blessed in my life; I think if a person can, they should pay that blessing forward in any way possible. We’re all in this together, folks. We need to boost each other up. I know I personally have stood on the shoulders of all the women who came before me who fought for reproductive rights, voting rights, mental health rights, employment rights. I want to be able to do the same for the next generation of women and the generations to come.

Plant a tree in all 50 states. I can see some eyebrows rising with this one, but it goes along with the paying it forward thought. Every day, millions of trees are cut down for various reasons. I understand most of those reasons, but if we cut down one, shouldn’t we replace it with another so the cycle can continue? If we continue to destroy our natural landscape without any kind of replenishment, the future will be a vast wasteland. I don’t know about you, but I want my great grandkids to be able to climb trees, take a walk in a forest, and breath in clean air!

So, those are my top bucket list items. Stop by the other authors in this blog hop to see what they’re planning on doing with the rest of their lives!

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#motivation…it’s closer than you think.

2018 seems to be the year I need to give myself daily motivational prompts, either in the form of quotes by famous, successful people or in just reminding myself every day when I wake up that I have goals I need to work toward this year.

It suddenly dawned on me today that all I have to do each day to be reminded of what my motivation is, is to simply look up and to the left in my office and stare at the wall. If I do that, this is what I see:

 

The top picture was given to me by one of my favorite people on the planet, photographer/artist/all-around fabulous human, Stephanie Rita. Steph is a successful businesswoman  in addition to being an artist,  and I’ve been privileged to know her since she was 5 years old. I’ve watched her grow into a deeply spiritual, dynamic, and talented young woman and I lovelovelove this watercolor she did for me. Go to her Etsy page and you’ll find a wealth of beautiful creations from her to purchase. The simple play on words, WRITE NOW, is so indicative of Stephanie’s subtle, yet insightful, style and persona. I simply adore this painting!

The second picture was gifted to me by my NHRWA chapter president and USA best-selling author Christyne Butler. In addition to being a multi-published, Harlequin author and the President of my local RWA, Christyne is one of the most supportive, intelligent, and kindest people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. She gave me this plaque when I signed my contract with Kensington/Lyrical for my WIll Cook For Love Series.   And it went a long way in helping me realize that the dream I’d been working towards was coming true! Love that.

To say that these two images motivate me towards my daily writing goals is the truth. Obviously, I don’t have to go far to gather motivation on a daily basis! I simply have to look up from my desk.

Really…how cool is that?

When I’m not being motivated 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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If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for #MomentsfromMenopause

My other person, #MenopauseMama, has a new blog post up today. I need a second job to pay for my menopause skin issues. Check it out. Moments From Menopause

When I’m not complaining, you can find me here, not complaining!

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We’re going waaaaaaaay back, here!

Welcome to week #2 of the 2018 MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Today, we’re supposed to tell you about our earliest memory.

Okay, this one’s a toughie because I’m… not young, and my memory isn’t what it was even a month ago!!!

When I really think about it the very first memory I can conjure is from when I’m about 5 and I went to the library with my babysitter for the first time. I remember walking into the building and being surrounded by the stacks and racks of books. There’s a certain smell libraries have – knowledge and fine paper – that I can still recognize today. It’s like comfort food for my senses. I loved books even back then and I distinctly remember getting my library card when I was with my babysitter. So cool. We took out a bunch of kid books and she read them all to me and then encouraged me to try and read them too. Love that! What a great memory that is.

I still love libraries and whenever I’m in a new city I make a point to visit one. I don’t take any books out, I just troll around the stacks and admire the architecture. And, of course, the books!
Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop have for their first memories:

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