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Tag: Muse Mondays

Writing Goals

new year

Happy New Year! I’m writing this post with my phone. My kids were at my parents’ house for a couple of days, and Scott came down with Type A influenza.  So, I left home in a hurry to do the 5-hour-drive, and inadvertently left my computer at home. But, I can still do this blog post, clumsy as it may be! It has been an incredible year. I have been amazed and humbled by the way God is using me and developing my ministry.

Here are my writing goals for 2014:

virtues1. Publish the serialized Virtues and Valor novellas.  This will be one continuous story about a rescue mission of a female spy in World War II, with each book having a different character’s point of view. There will be 8 total stories, and the plot will not conclude until the final story.  I will publish one a month, or one every two weeks once I start.  I’m really looking forward to it.

2. Publish A Carol for Kent, book 3 in the Song of Suspense Series.

3.  Begin my Renkoff Brothers series, love stories involving triplet brothers of Russian immigrants. I LOVE the Renkoffs.

4. Bring back my Readers Write to Know author interviews on Wednesdays, and have a giveaway with each interview.

5. Launch Muse Mondays linky as a way to connect to other author blogs.

5. Attend the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, the Romance Writers of America Conference, and the Romance Novel Writers Conference. I will also be at several other events including the Arizona Dreamin’ and RomCon.

6. Have some form of a speaking or book signing event at least once a month.

7. For Olivia Kimbrell Press, my husband, Gregg, and I hope to expand our ministry to include assisting other indie published Christian authors. More details will come about that as our ministry develops. We’ve joined the Christian Small Publishers Association as the first step.

I also developed goals at Hallee the Homemaker, including my cookbook goals.  You can find them at this blog post.

What are your goals for the coming year?

Hallee

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Muse Monday: Mailing Tips

muse mondaysWelcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Mailing Tips

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  I enjoyed a much needed break from blogging, but I didn’t stop writing!

I sell a lot of autographed books through the mail — especially over the Christmas holiday.  When I first started selling them, I tried to figure the best way to do it, the best way that would keep me from having to run to the post office every-other day.

I looked into online postage sites, but those charge a fee for their services and I don’t really sell enough to justify paying a fee.

After researching it, I figured the most economical way (aside from going to the post office and mailing media mail, which is an option if a reader chooses) is to use the USPS website.  There, I can create a label that has the postage printed right on it.  You also get a discount for using this service verses going to a brick and mortar post office building.  The only downside to that is that you have to do First Class, Priority, or Express mail.  You can’t do media mail.

But, in my researching, I discovered Flat-Rate Priority Mail.  Whatever you can fit into the envelope costs one price.  Once I send more than one book, it is SUPER cheaper to ship it with the flat-rate price than with the priority price.  Plus, as a bonus, they provide free envelopes and I can save my supplies.

Like I said, going to the post office and paying media mail would ultimately be cheaper, but if you consider time and trouble, the extra two dollars to do it online from my computer and paying with Paypal just works for me.

What is going on in your Muse world this week? Leave a link to your blog post! Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Re-Writes

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Re-Writes

My current work in process was the first book I ever wrote.  I wrote it in 6 weeks – 100,000 words of uneducated, un-researched story that just poured out of me.

The thing is, it’s a really good story.  The other thing is, there is so much in there that is just junk.

It wasn’t so hard to re-do the first half of the book.  The mystery and intrigue plot just needed a little bit of refining.  I did need to incorporate the things I’ve learned about police procedure and such over the last fifteen years.  But, all in all, tt wasn’t too bad.  The relationships needed a little bit of help, but it was okay.  I breezed through seventeen chapters in two days (about 8 hours) of writing.

I thought, “Wow!  We originally wanted to publish this in August.  Even though I ended up taking the summer off, maybe we can still do it in August, or close to it!”

Then I hit a wall.  The relationship changed and became sexual – what I do not write now.  The intrigue and mystery plot got more intense and I was able to see just how clumsy I used to be about that type of plot.  And while I’ve started sprinkling some elements of faith through the story, there isn’t nearly what there needs to be — especially now that I’m removing the sexual relationship.

Consequently, when I got to chapter 18 (and really, I deleted two chapters until I got to this one, so it’s the old chapter 20), I read, re-read, started to re-write, and finally decided to scrap it all and start fresh at that point.  Three solid hours of writing Friday and I have half a chapter to show for it.

As I write this in preparation for Muse Monday, it’s actually Saturday, and my mind is whirling with plot ideas, character development, and where things need to go in the story.  I’m itching for that 9AM-2PM writing window on Monday morning to roll up my sleeves and dig into the second half of this book.

What is going on in your Muse world this week? Leave a link to your blog post! Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Links

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Social Media Links

I know the Muse Monday is intended for writing craft articles and blog posts, but I’ve spent some time this weekend doing a few blog hops and came across something that I see as a trend among writer blogs.  While this may not be about craft, it is certainly about marketing.

I cannot easily find how to follow many writers on social media.  I can find links to everywhere on the planet to find a book, but I can’t find social media links.

I’ve spent over three years blogging at Hallee the Homemaker and interacting with other homemaking blogs.  For some reason, a typical homemaking/mommy/marketing blog is full of links in the sidebar or in every post for “follow me”.  I think they’re so obvious, because sponsors and advertisers for those kind of blogs want to see numbers – stat numbers, follower numbers, Facebook and Twitter friends.  The more obvious the “FOLLOW ME!” signs are, the more likely people will add their name to the numbers.

But in pursuing writers’ blogs, I have noticed that many of them do not have ANY obvious “follow me” signs.  I have to hunt and search for Facebook links,Twitter handles, and Google+ pages, and often I can’t find them.  I’ve had to go so far as to search for their names in Facebook or Twitter and then make guesses as to whether I’ve found the right person or not.

Here is my advice to you, my writer colleagues:  Make it obvious.  I you look on the left of your screen, you’ll see my big “Follow Me” banner – which will open up to provide you my links.  On Hallee the Homemaker, near the top of my sidebar, all of my social media links can be found.  At the bottom of each blog post, under my signature, a host of links are available.

I want people to follow me and I’m sure you do, too.  This is an easy and instant way to communicate with our fans.  Make it easy for them to find you.  Make it easy for ME to find you.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Hours a Day

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Hours a Day
Long ago, when my daughter (who is 15) was nearly two-years-old, I started writing.  I kept it for a secret for a while.  I’d wake up at 4AM and write until 6AM, then would turn my computer off and wake the household for the day.  I worked full time, and often went home on my lunch break to catch 30 minutes of writing time.

Even after my (now ex) husband knew that I was writing, I maintained that schedule.  I didn’t really write any other time, and I was always alone (or the only one awake in a sleeping house) when I wrote.  Writing that way, two hours a day, five  days a week, I was able to write 10 books in two years.

Starting this week, I will have six hours a day, three days a week that will be focused solely on book writing.  The other two days of the work week will be spent blogging on my two blogs.  That is giving me 18 hours a week to write – eight more hours a week – of alone writing time.  I haven’t spent more than an hour or two alone for years.  I am so excited to see what kind of productivity I can accomplish in this designated writing time.

I have a goal, I know.  I know how many books I want to write before the end of the calendar year.  If I’m able to maintain a good pace, I’ll be able to meet my goal with no problem.

God willing, very soon my current work in progress (working title of Song of Retribution) will be completed.  Debi Warford has already given me a draft cover for it, and I’m well on my way into the story.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Time to Write

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Time to Write

Summer is officially over in our house this week.  My daughter begins her first day of 10th grade on Thursday.  The following Wednesday, my boys will enter 4K and Kindergarten.

I have to say, I’m looking forward to school starting.  I had hoped I’d be able to finish my current work in progress this summer, but I don’t think I was able to write for more than two days.  I need to not be distracted when I write, and listening to boys play or interacting with my daughter, while wonderful, is distracting.

I’m also a schedule girl, and the relaxed environment during the summer time really messes with my writing chi.  The structure of the school year really helps me stay on track and keep everything in order.

I’ve set up my schedule that will give me three solid book writing days a week, and two blog writing days a week.  Here’s a peak at the preliminary draft:

I’ll be able to tweak it once I try it out and see what works and what doesn’t work.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.



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