Posts Tagged ‘writing life’

Trouble at Mentink Manor…and a giveaway!

Pull up a chair and a fork. I’m having dessert and a chat with my cyber friends about treats and troubles. I’m also raffling a lovely prize. Details in the video. You don’t want to miss this one!

 

Author throwdown…weird animals,and embarassing junk food choices.

 

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Hey, all. So thrilled to be discussing the nutty world of fiction writing with fellow Harvest House author Virginia Smith! Take a look at our rockstar YouTube video. Like or comment on the  video for a chance to win one of our books. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to enter the August prize pack giveaway. God bless!

 

On dogs, writing… and dessert!

 

Hey, all. Starting a new little feature here. Take a look and see what you think. Got a little August contest going for some nifty loot! :

Why not write on Sundays?

 

 

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Hello, all. I’ve been chit chatting about the writing biz a lot lately and one of the questions that always comes up is, “How do you balance two jobs, family, church, etc?” Everyone has the old balancing problem to solve, don’t they? We only have so much time in the day, right? I made the choice early on in my writing career not to write on Sundays, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. I don’t write on Sundays because….

1. Writing is a blessing that can easily become an obsession. I have a passion to write that can become a monster, if I let it. Since my writing is also a business, that makes the tendency to obsess even greater. Three books a year, short stories, online presence, writing one book while creating a proposal for the next, the endless promotional efforts, all those things are requirements which can fill up the available hours if I let them. Sunday is the day I let those demands fall away, and come up for a much needed breath.

2. Writing does not belong in the center of my wheel.  I never really stop writing. Even when I am not sitting at a keyboard I can’t really shut my mind off. I’m inventing scenes, rolling through dialogue, wondering what would happen if so and so said this instead of that, constantly asking “what would happen if…?” It’s good and bad, believe me. I have an attention deficit, so I can appear to be completely engaged in a conversation when my mind is sometwhere else entirely. I will not go into how many problems that has caused! My decision not to write on Sundays is my effort to refocus on the important things, God, my family, church, pen pal letters, all the rich blessings God has showered down on me. God blessed me with the ability/opportunity to write, but He belongs in the center of the wheel.

Do you do something special on Sunday that refreshes your spirit? I would love to hear about it! 

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All that stands between Stephanie Pink and her dream is 100 pounds of trouble!

Fetching Sweetness, available now!

 

Dreaming up a new fiction series…gulp!

Dangerous Tidings is a Holt Medallion Winner

Yep, all good things must come to an end, you see, and I’ve just stuck a pin in the last of the Pacific Coast Investigations series. Four books filled with intrique, mystery and love and now…poof! All done! Time to hash out a proposal for a new series. Oh the agony and the ecstasy! Here are two big questions every fiction writer needs to wrestle with when creating a series idea.

1. How are you going to link the books? It is going to be tied together through the setting? (Think of rustic Buckaroo Town where murder and mayhem is the norm.) Or could it be a series tied together by theme? I had a blast writing a natural disaster series like that. Might I suggest that it could be linked by profession? (Navy Seal Protectors, that kind of thing.) Or perhaps we might employ the popular method of linking through family connections (The Macho brothers of Polkadot Ranch.) Hmmm. Now we’ve got some decisions to make.

2.  On to the second question. How overlapping are these books going to be? By that I mean to say how will I wrap up the mystery/suspense/romance in each individual book  and still sprinkle in enough unanswered questions to keep readers looking for the next book? Or perhaps the secondary characters in book one will be so compelling readers will immediately run to the bookstore to get their hands on the next installment? Sigh. One can only hope.

Those are just two of the big questions that an author needs to wrestle with. So what about you, dear reader? What compells you to pick up the next book in a series? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Three writing lessons from snow country.

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I live in Northern, California and this means that I am not rugged. I will admit this freely. It the temps drop below fifty I am not certain of my survival, and I am only vaguely familiar with the concept of snow. Hence, when I traveled to Lake Tahoe this weekend, I learned a thing or two! These lessons are so true of the writing life, so I thought I’d share.

Lesson #1: You’re gonna need chains. Yep, to write a book and make the summit you’re going to need some help. Yes, I know your car is nifty and has all the bells and whistles, just like your computer, but at the end of the day you’re going to need down and dirty helping tools like old obscure books (A Writer’s Guide to Poisons, anyone?). You’re going to find yourself hoarding good old fashioned notepads, and perhaps, dare I suggest it, a phone for calling various experts that do not respond to emails or texts. I know, archaic as old steel chains, but there it is.

Lesson #2:  You’re gonna need other people.  Writing is a solitary endeavor for sure. It’s a ‘buns in the chair’ get-it-done kind of slog up the mountain, but when you think you’re reached the summit, that’s where the strangers come in. You need to hand yourself over to that chain guy or that snow plow operator and trust your precious property into their hands. That is to say, you gotta let people help you. Often times, this means people you don’t know…hiring that proofreader, allowing that online critique group to read your work, or in the traditional publishing world, that editor who is going to potentially tear up your writing. It’s important. You have no objectivity about your writing, I’m sorry say. You need the chain guy and the snow plow operator to make your work the best it can be.

Lesson #3. God’s going to take you on an adventure. You will be changed by the journey. You will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know. God will show you sights more incredible that you could ever have imagined. Savor that as you head up the mountain.

Did you ever learn a lesson during your travels? Would love to hear about it! 

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http://www.amazon.com/Seaside-Secrets-Pacific-Coast-Private-ebook/dp/B015W8IXOE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1461595987&sr=8-3&keywords=Seaside+Secrets

 

What’s your dog’s personality…..a quiz for dog lovers!

 

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I’m still getting to know our rescued pup, Junie. This means I am still staring at her frequently asking, “Why did THAT seem like a good idea?” Glad to know from this quiz that Junie is “the life of the party.”

What’s your dog’s personality? Does the quiz do your dog justice?

http://barkpost.com/dog-personality-type-quiz/

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http://www.amazon.com/Sit-Stay-Love-Unleashed/dp/0736966072/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1461189471&sr=8-2&keywords=Sit%2C+stay%2C+love