In Training Mode

This latest rewrite, which is, by far, the best stuff I’ve ever written, has pushed me into a whole new level of motivation and creativity for my writing.

To the point where I am training my body to wake earlier and earlier each week so I can get to a coffee shop or cafe in the wee hours to write until I have to see my first patient.

And you know what? It’s awesome!!!

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been super tired the last couple weeks in the morning, but the payoff has been huge in the way of productivity and word count and immense fortification of the creative juices

I should have known. I’ve always been more of a morning person, anyway, but I just didn’t want to get up at the armpit of dawn to write.

Currently, my alarm is set for just before 6, but I’m hoping to back that up to 5 a.m. over the next few weeks.

I won’t overtax myself if I need a morning off, because we all do, but the best writing I’ve ever done is bubbling forth from this fountain of morning inspiration and motivation.

So… I shall continue!

What have you changed or had to adjust to for the sake of your writing? Have you given anything else up in order to make time/room for your writing?

Happy writing!

 

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”
― Glen CookSweet Silver Blues

“Write in the morning, revise in the afternoon, read at night, and spend the rest of your time exercising your diplomacy, stealth, and charm.”

― Roberto BolañoThe Savage Detectives

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Coffee Shop Kook

Home is my enemy right now.

Completely.

I’ve been more productive in my writing in an hour or two at a coffee shop in the middle of my workday than I am for hours at home on the weekends or after work.

Gah!!!

I’m sure it’s because I get distracted by all the things that need doing or that I would like to be doing besides writing. Although I adore writing, I’m in the middle of a massive rewrite and it’s a LOT of work, so I look for things that are easier.

I haven’t had any success at home, so I’m essentially living at three different coffee shops around town. Thankfully, everyone is nice is about it, although my patients do notice I smell like coffee quite a bit.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but the smell of the beans after they’ve been ground seeps into my clothes. I’m fine with it. Eau de Coffee ain’t so bad.

Where’s your most productive location? Not your favorite location, your most productive. Home? Office? Work? Coffee Shop? Frigid street corner?

 

Happy writing!

 

“Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”
― Douglas R. Hofstadter

“To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self disciplined is to follow in a better way.”
― Corita Kent

All covered!

Emily is one of my closest friends, especially one my very BEST writing buddies. I’ve had the privilege to work with her and I adore her books. I can’t wait for this second book in the Demon’s Heart trilogy to come out next month. Be sure to add to your TBR list!

BumblesBooks

Today’s the day! With one month to the release of Stone Alliance, I’m pleased to present . . . THE COVER!

Ready?

Stone Alliance front cover

I’m biased, I know, but . . . I love it! Stars and clouds and ocean and craggy rocks . . . happy sigh. Here’s the lowdown on what you’re in for:

Haunted by his transformation, Rustav returns home to a war-torn land. More attacks from the island demons ravage the peninsula each day, and a centuries-old grudge threatens to tear down the last wall standing between Rustav’s people and swift destruction.

Determined to save his people and terrified that he might cause their destruction, Rustav must rebuild long-lost trust between three estranged cultures while concealing the secret that could crush the last hope of salvation for his people.

Coming March 2, 2016!

The adventure begins with Demon’s Heart, available now at Barnes and Noble and

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Irish Inspiration

For those who didn’t know, since I’ve been so absent in the blogosphere lately, I recently took a trip to Ireland with my sister.

Before you ask, no, I’m not made of money. She and I found a great deal on Groupon and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was an interesting trip. I had a lot of fun, but so many things went wrong, it bordered on hilarity and insanity. Heh.

So I thought I’d share a few photos that have my imagination whirling and helped fuel some writing while abroad.

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This is Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin. It’s about 1,000 years old and was begun just after the Vikings invaded Ireland.

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Inside of Malahide Castle. I just adore old architecture.

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That orange paint was specifically designed for the ancient family who lived here–the Tablots. Also, as point of reference, Margaret Thatcher sat in one of those chairs when she was PM.

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Glendalough, in County Wicklow.

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Upper Lake in Glendalough. Braveheart was filmed in and around these hills.

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The ruins of an ancient cathedral in a monastic city in Glendalough. Ancient buildings inspire so much in my imagination.

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Smithwick’s. They make whiskey. Basically, they’re the equivalent of Jameson’s in the city of Kilkenny, another super old city in Ireland.

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The Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s western coast. That’s the Atlantic Ocean right there. Anybody remember that cave? Hmm?? It made an appearance in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

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More of the Cliffs. I could easily have used up all 9,000 shots in my camera at this locale.

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The Cliffs of Insanity!!!! Princess Bride was shot here, as well, if anyone remembers those scenes.

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Can you tell I love architecture yet? Especially old churches. This one isn’t that old, actually, but beautiful, nonetheless.

 

None of these photos have filters of any kind, I promise. I took about 700 pictures on this trip. Some are much better than these, others are much worse, but I find myself drawn to these and a few others.

Have you ever been to Ireland? Where/when did you go? What was your favorite area? Do you like these pictures and find them as inspiring as I do?

Happy writing!

 

“The tune was sad, as the best of Ireland was, melancholy and lovely as a lover’s tears.”
― Nora RobertsBorn in Fire

“It is an ancient land, honoured in the archives of civilisation. Every great European race has sent its stream to the river of the Irish mind.”
― Thomas Davis ‘Literary and Historical Essays’

Reading Challenge 2016

I’ve already started the New Year by lagging sadly behind on my blogging. However, my writing and reading have been happily productive, so I don’t feel too bad.

This year I’m taking part in a reading challenge hosted by John Guillen over at Johnny Reads. I follow him regularly and if you don’t follow him, you should. He’s not afraid to share his views and frequently posts book and writing news I don’t see in any of my other frequently visited sites.

I haven’t done a reading challenge before because, let’s be honest, I’m a voracious reader and it doesn’t take me long to paw through books. But his list is fun and doable and will stretch me out of my reading comfort zone in a few areas.

Check out the challenge here and maybe join us on our reading ride!

I do need some advice, though.

Two of the challenge requirements are reading a crime novel and a book by James Patterson. I am not well versed in either, so I’m hoping some of you can recommend a few good choices.

I usually don’t take reading recommendations from people because I like to find my own books and many peoples’ recommendations have ended up being DNFs for me.

So if there are any gateway-books into the crime and Patterson lists, I’m happy to hear your suggestions.

Thoughts, anyone?

Happy reading!

 

“My eyes hunger to read more books then time allows me to devour.”
― Jazz Feylynn

“You read too much.” Daemon exhaled slowly. […]
“There’s no such thing as that.”
― Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsidian

Top Books of 2015

This insanely busy, exciting, dramatic year has finally drawn to a close.

It brought with it a new job where I can travel the country to my heart’s content.

New book ideas that have filled my hard drive with endless stories and dialogue.

Amazing new friends I’ve met online and in person.

My first year participating in NaNo.

And a whole slew of new authors I read because of different posts and tweets and comments from all my online buddies.

Here are some of my top picks of the books I’ve read this year. I’m including new reads only, since we all know I’m a huge advocate of re-reading.

These are in no particular order.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles – A Cinderella cyborg surrounded by her equally enchanting and bedeviled fairy tale partners? Umm… yes, please! The first book, Cinder, is actually my least favorite of the four, and I’m currently reading Winter, the last book. But these books are amazing. Once I got into the 2nd book, I devoured the rest of them. So good!
  2. The Throne of Glass series – I adore this series. Partly for the plot, which is insanely in-depth with twists and turns at every corner, but probably more because of her writing style. Sarah J. Maas is brilliant with words. And I mean an absolutely insane master of language. I sometimes have to stop after a sentence or paragraph and say – “Man, that’s good.”
  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – This one I snagged from a little free library when I was in Washington state and was totally enamored of this book. I couldn’t get enough of it, and it opened me up into the world of mixed media books. Which I bravely ventured into more after reading Hugo. A great read.
  4. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo’s first book in this series was utter perfection. And I truly mean that. I read it I think in one day. Or possibly two, because I was on a train trip. But I was hooked from chapter one and couldn’t put it down. It’s dark, fantastical, edgy, and she, also, is a master of words.
  5. Jackaby – The tagline, Sherlock Holmes meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is spot-on. This first book in the series combines two things I adore: Sherlock Holmes, and fantasy.
  6. The Penderwicks – While my first love is YA and MG fantasy, The Penderwicks was a refreshing read about four sisters and their adventures on summer vacation with a young boy they meet. Also a read-in-one-sitting book. Highly recommended.
  7. Demon’s Heart – Of the more than 200 books I read this year, this book deserves more than other to be on my favorite’s list. Emily H. Bates is one of my writing buddies, and her blog is one of my favorites. I’m privileged to be a critique partner with her and am obsessed with pretty much everything she writes. Demon’s Heart is the first in a fantasy series and I adore it. You can ask her. I finished her second book in four hours. Four. Hours.

 

So there it is! My list of my favorite books this past year. I lost sleep on each and every one of them. Literally.

I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for new authors and opportunities to write and read.

What books were your favorites this year?

Happy New Year!!

 

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. EliotFour Quartets

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
― Ellen Goodman

Ebook vs. Hardcover

Many of you know I care for neither eBooks nor hardcovers, but I’ve come to the realization that I have to pick one.

There are a couple of series I’m reading right now and the next book is out in hardcover, but they only came out a couple months ago, so the paperback is far, far away.

They are both amazing series, and part of me wants to wait until the paperback is released, since that is my reading medium of choice. But I honestly don’t think I’ll make it.

So I have to pick.

Ebook (since I have a Kindle I barely use), or hardcover (which I hate holding and think too bulky).

What shall it be? What shall it be?

It is…

Ebook.

I know. Shocking, right?

My reasons are 1. They’re cheaper. 2. I can’t stand holding hardcover books.

3…

Well, that’s about it.

Hardcovers look nice on a shelf, but I can’t stand how it feels to hold them. Plus, they’re heavier and take up more space in my car when I travel.

So, if I can’t have a paperback in my hands, I’ll suffer with an eBook. And hey! I might even learn to love it.

Which do you prefer?

Happy writing and reading!

 

“The judge said he was going to throw the book at me. I hoped it was an ebook in the cloud, and not a heavy dictionary.”
― Jarod Kintz99 Cents For Some Nonsense