Thursday, March 21, 2024

Hung in there and found NANOWRIMO SUCCESS!


National Novel Writing Month is held every November. Participants do their best to write a 50,000 word novel draft in 30 days, throughout the month of November.

People from all over the world participate. I marvel at the thought of thousands and thousands of creatives writing at the same time. Published and unpublished authors creating and hopefully one day sharing their stories with the world. It's amazing.

Once registered, you have the opportunity to connect with other writers to make friends and cheer each other on to the finish. This event includes a Young Writers Program. These are only a few of the fun opportunities offered, but the encouragement throughout the journey including earning colorful badges as you reach milestones, online and in person write-ins, helpful and informational craft articles, etc. keep writers engaged. However, I was busy trying to stay on track and didn't take advantage of many of these opportunities. I did however make two lovely writing friends.

I must admit that if you miss even one day of writing or hit a writers block, it is very difficult to make the time up. But it can be done! Regardless of whether a participant reaches the 50,000 word count by November 30th, participation is a huge accomplishment. You may think it is easy for me to make that comment because I "made" the word count. Yes, this year I did. However, this is my third attempt. I was successful reaching the goal in my first try. I did not meet the goal in my second attempt. I didn't participate for a few years, but 2023, I met the goal. My 50,000 words are a rough, rough, and did I say, rough Draft? The trick to making the word count in 30 days, is to do absolutely no editing. It's imperative to turn off your inner editor during the 30 day challenge. If you are typing and you know you just made a spelling error, don't correct it, just keep typing. If you type a paragraph and feel it's not good and you will absolutely be chopping it, do not go back and delete it or try to correct it. Just keep going. If a scene idea pops into your head but it belongs in the middle of your story and you're only a quarter of the way in, type it anyway. Type it now. (I put asterisks in front of those scene ideas to alert me after the deadline to put that scene where it belongs.) It's important to get it on the page while the idea is fresh in your mind.) There will be plenty of time after November 30th to edit the good and the bad. Anything and everything that pops into your creative mind is worthy of the page. It's all about the word count. The point is to get that story idea out of your head and onto the page.

The holidays 🎅🎉💖🍀 have kept me busy and I did very little editing of my nanowrimo first draft. It's still a mess. I've recently begun sharing first draft chapters with my critique group.

Until next time, Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling!   

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Halloween Fun has ended and it's time to get back to work - IT'S NANOWRIMO TIME!


It's NANOWRIMO time!

I hope you've decided to sign up for the annual November self-challenge. Write 50,000 words in a month.

It's not easy, but writers all over the world will be writing their hearts out all month long. 

Even if we don't manage to write 50,000 words before the last day of November, we will have more written than maybe we wouldn't otherwise. So why not give it a try. The challenge begins today!

This is my 3rd time. On my first try many years ago, I was successful.

                                  On my second try, I wasn't.

                                  We'll see how this year goes. I have high hopes.

I wish everyone who registered the best of luck! And a big hug to everyone participating.

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime,

Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Keep Updating your craft. Like all things change, so do the rules of craft.

Hello Fellow Writers 😎

Studying the craft of writing is an important aspect of being an author.

Writing is the fun part and attending workshops can be too. It's great learning from professionals. In  person or online, I enjoy the different topics and personalities of the presenters.

Last month I attended the August 2023 Writing Romance Mastery Summit, hosted by Paula Judith Johnson. It was amazing! And to make it even more amazing is the fact that this five day Summit was offered free with the option to purchase the event. By the end of day four, my hand was cramping from taking 67 pages of notes and I still had another day of workshops to attend! At this point, I knew I had to purchase the entire summit. So, I did. Here's how it worked:

There were 30+ different workshops offered over a 5 day period. Attendance was free of charge so long as you registered for the Summit. If for any reason attendees missed a day, we had 48 hours to view the recordings free of cost. At any point during the summit, attendees were offered the opportunity to purchase the workshops which included MP3 versions as well. If you purchased the summit at the time of registration, the complete summit cost $67. During the 5 days, you could purchase the complete summit for an additional $30. and after the summit the cost went up a bit more. But of these 3 price tiers, it was still an incredible value. Have you checked out the prices of single classes and workshops being offered out there? Some are very expensive and I know we all don't have unlimited education budgets.

Along with the workshops, many presenters offered free gifts to further help writers. Some gifts were for all attendees and some additional gifts were offered to those who purchased the premium package.

The information shared by the presenters was current and invaluable. You may be asking yourself, why are the presenters doing this for free? There are professionals who believe it is a wonderful thing to give back to the writing community. Also, this is an opportunity for the presenters to offer their professional services such as editing, ghostwriting, coaching, etc. And why wouldn't they? Don't think of this as a negative. After all, if I am in the market for an editor or an agent for instance, wouldn't it be beneficial to have some knowledge of this person rather than searching the internet blindly? 

I'd like to send out a Huge Thanks to everyone involved! Writers Helping Writers is a beautiful gift of their time and expertise. 

Another big tip to writers, If a free workshop or podcast is described as being in a genre that you do not write in, please don't count it out. I have found that there are so many good tips shared in most every podcast that applies to writers of all genres. This was certainly the case with this Romance Summit. There were great workshops on How to Write a Query Letter, How to Market for Amazon, How to tackle Writers Block, and much more.

When you finish a workshop, podcast, or find a blog post that lights a fire in you, "follow" that presenter. Check out their social media pages. More than likely, they'll have more great information to share with you.

I'm sure you can tell how much I enjoyed this workshop and for less than $100. I'll be able to enjoy the information for a lifetime.

Keep Writing, Keep Smiling, and Keep Submitting!   


Friday, August 18, 2023

Finding the time to write when life gets busy

 What do you do when unexpected company shows up for a week long visit? Doctors appointments, scheduled car maintenance, and family obligations, are swallowing up your days. You promise yourself that you'll squeeze in a couple of hours of writing when the lights go out and the world is asleep. Unfortunately, while you're waiting for the laptop to fire up, you realize you're just too tired to write. Tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow, the sun set and you were just as busy as yesterday? 

There are plenty of blog posts and websites with suggestions on how to find a bit of time in your busy day to write. Not all will work for everyone. However, it's well-worth looking at some of the advice. If even one suggestion resonates and opens up a little bit of writing time, it's worth a try.

Vicki Millar from NZ is a multi-talented woman. Vicki shares ways to gain writing time on her Facebook page. Look her up to read many more tips.

Here's a good one from Vicki. Set time limits for tasks. If you give yourself only one hour to clean the house, you'll move faster and finish sooner. What may have taken longer last week, may take much less time to finish when on a time limit. This one works for me. I never thought to use it to free up writing time. I've done it for other reasons. Like when I wanted to get a snack during a commercial. It's funny how quickly we can make up a snack tray during commercials! 😀 Why not speed up for writing time.

Vicki advises staying focused. Don't get side-tracked. I need to be thoughtful on this issue with so many things in my life volleying for attention.

Vicki suggests investing a little money to save time. For example: try online grocery shopping and or pay a little money for the groceries to be delivered. Brilliant! I spend at least an hour or two when I shop for the family. Never thought to take those two hours and sit down at my laptop and write. 😃

One way that I have stolen some writing time is taking my laptop with me when I go to doctor appointments. I am transportation for some people who cannot drive. Doctors are getting busier and busier causing wait times to be longer and longer. While I'm sitting in waiting rooms, I now open my laptop and write or do research for a writing project. I'm amazed by how much time I've taken back.

Self-care is no longer a simple pleasure. It's become a necessity. Writing brings me joy. When I'm imagining and creating, I escape the demands of real life. When I close my laptop I feel happy and fulfilled. Writing is my favorite self-care activity. If writing brings you joy too, then carry on and take care of yourself.

Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling!


Wednesday, May 17, 2023


 I am excited to say another one of my little stories has been chosen to be in 

             Chicken Soup for the Soul: Well That Was Funny. My story is titled Stuck!

It is available now in retail stores, Amazon, and the other online book sellers. I hope you'll buy copies to share with anyone who needs a lift.

I love gifting them to doctors and their staff, patients, first responders, family, and friends. Enjoy!

Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling!

KEEP Writing and submitting! You never know what will happen ...

  Like this great surprise! 

Remember the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Advice that Changed My Life, well, I received an email from the team. It said,

               "We are excited to let you know your story Assertive vs. Aggressive, which appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Advice that Changed My Life will be featured on the Chicken Soup for the Soul podcast.

I am so excited and thrilled that little story was chosen.

The title of the podcast appears as Great Advice for the Workplace and Beyond. If you want to check it out on May 19, 2023 and indefinitely after, go to "The Chicken Soup for the Soul Podcast with Amy Newmark". It is available free, with three new episodes each week. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

I love being a part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Family!

   Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling!

Friday, March 31, 2023

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Advice that Changed my Life


I am thrilled to announce this book officially went on sale March 2023. 
My contribution is titled Assertive vs Aggressive.

It is wonderful being welcomed into the Chicken Soup for the Soul family. All of the contributors in this book were invited to a ZOOM party. 30+ writers from all across these great United States and Canada had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Amy Newmark, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, D'ette Corona, VP Associate Publisher, Shelby Janner, Chief Publicity Officer Zilker Media, Barbara LoMonaco, book distribution, Maureen Peltier, head of marketing, and the rest of the staff who turn these book ideas into reality.
This was my second invitation to attend a Contributors Zoom party. It is such a treat to put faces to the names we see at the end of each great story. Thank you, Chicken Soup for the Soul!

There are new books in production all year round. I would love to hear that you've decided to write a story for CSS and took the leap and submit. To learn more about CSS and the submission guidelines visit

Chicken Soup for the Soul books are available in retail stores like Books-a-Million, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, etc. They are available online where books are sold. 

Keep Writing, Keep Submitting, and Keep Smiling!