Monday, March 7, 2016

Tales from the Lonesome Blogger

Once again, this month is just a check-in and update post, so you know I didn't fall in a hole someplace. I won't be visiting you, and let me tell you . . . I'm getting lonesome!

Book Two is with my critique partner, and I'm working on Book Three. Feels really good to finally write those words. I'm hopeful that this book will come together relatively quickly, as books go, since it's the ending of the story.

Any positive vibes you care to send my way for this fast finish actually happening will be most appreciated.

My Letter to the Editor is done, and I'm in the process of sending sample pages to a few. Fingers crossed!

All in all, February was quite productive, especially when you also include real life. A lot of action there, which I'm not ready to talk about just yet. But all good.

Thanks to all of you for hanging with me during this halfway blogging time.

I'm taking April off. Just from blogging - not writing or anything else - because y'all will be all wrapped up in A-Z. If you're participating in the A-Z Challenge, have fun! It's hard work but rewarding and beneficial. If you haven't done it before, give it a try. You'll be glad you did.

I'll be back here on Monday, May 2. With a Real Blog - and I'll be visiting yours in May, too.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Let's Have a Fantabulous February!

January passed me faster than a bullet train on steroids.

I don't yet have Book 2 to my critique partner. I need another couple of weeks. To be fair, we had company for a few days and had so much fun I didn't make myself crawl in the cave and work. Not only would that have been rude, but since one of my goals was to have a real life, I don't feel (too) guilty.

My editor list is now updated and sorted. During February - and possibly into March and April, too - I want to contact each one before I make a decision. Thanks to those of you who supplied me with names. I now have many more possibilities. Hugs!

I'm reading almost every day, and that's a wonderful thing. So far, I'm also more dedicated to exercise than I was for much of last year. Also good. I haven't touched the blog yet, however.

Once again, I'll only be responding here at the Tiki Hut and not visiting your blogs. So comment at your own risk, LOL. I just wanted to give you a heads up on where I am.

I'll leave you with a photo - perfect for Valentine's Day. I posted this to my Facebook a week or two ago, along with the caption. So I'm sharing here, too.

So this morning I was slicing strawberries for cereal.
And now I'm sharing a slice of my heart with you.

Wishing you the most Fantabulous February ever.

I'll be back here on Monday, March 7. See you then!

Monday, January 4, 2016

My Big Fat Untitled Post

Happy 2016!

You know everything you didn't get done in December? It's all still hanging around.

How well did you do at meeting your goals for last year?

I did fair--I give myself a C.

I accomplished all my small goals, and by a bug's breath, I read the number of books I'd goaled for the year. This number is embarrassingly tiny for a writer, so I'm not sharing. I'm still way behind, so my TBR list isn't shrinking any time soon.

I could've done better with my walking/exercising goal, but I'm ahead of where I was last year, so I'm happy.

I did not get a newsletter going.

Nor did I complete the drafting of my trilogy project. Two books are done, so only the third one remains to complete.

I did get a better grip on restoring some balance to my life. Not much, but every bit helps.

In 2016 I have fewer small goals, but my large goals are just as intense and more immediate:

 1. Find my Forever Editor.
For reasons beyond my control, none of my previous editors have edited more than one of my books. I need and want to find my Forever Editor. During the last year, I've collected about a dozen names, some of whom I'm pretty sure I can't afford. 
If you know of or have used a really awesome developmental and line editor who is familiar with trilogies and the broad mystery and romance genres, and you would like to share his or her name with me, I would be most appreciative. You may do so in the comments, by email at tikihuttimeATgmailDOTcom, or by messaging me on Facebook or Twitter.
 2. Get Book #2 to my critique partner, which involves reading and making changes I know are needed for it to make sense.

 3. Draft Book #3

 4. Create a marketing and promotion plan for the trilogy.

 5. Start a newsletter.

 6. Publish Book #1. Those of you who are writers, traditionally published or indie, know all the steps this involves.

 7. Read a minimum of [BLANK] books. Still not telling you this pitiful number because it's the same as 2015.

 8. Blog

 9. Walk and/or exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes.

10. Have a Real Life. This includes taking off one day a week.

That's it. Ten little items. Doesn't sound like much. But for me it is. I'll have to stay focused. Think Windex will help?

What are some of your goals for 2016?

Wonder why I'm sharing my goals here? Publicly? Writing them down makes them real. Sharing them makes me accountable. I may need that extra push come the fall. Or maybe even next week! Sad, but true.

There's another reason, too.

For the first few months of the year, my blogging routine is changing again. Here's my plan.

January: I will respond to your comments here on the blog, but I won't be around to visit your blog. I know how selfish that is, and I apologize. I have to get a running start on Book #3.

February: Will likely be a repeat of January with probably only an update post from me as to where I am. Or something else entirely.

March: I hope to be back to a real blog and visiting yours in March. As long as I'm at the middle or more of the third book by this point, I will be. Otherwise, no.

Since I won't be reciprocating with a visit and a comment on your blog, do not feel compelled to leave a comment on this post or the one in February. I debated with myself about turning comments off, but decided to leave them on. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll leave me some fantastic editor recommendations.

April: You'll all be busy with A-Z. April at the Tiki Hut will be a blog-free zone.

May: In the words of Arnold--I'll be back. We're gonna rock 'n roll!

There you have it. All my writerly angst hanging out to dry.

Also during this time, I'm going to clean up around here. I'll start by a long-overdue scrubbing of the blog rolls. If I haven't heard from you here or on other social media in the last year or so, your blog link will be deleted. If you lurk, that's fine - I'm happy you still drop by and read. It's just that I don't know you've been here. Contact me by any method outlined above, and I'll leave your link on.

I'll be making a few other changes during the year, but the scrubbing is probably the only thing I'll get done before I'm back in the spring.

I feel as if I've forgotten to tell you something, but I'm not sure what. Don't be surprised to see updates here or in my February post.

Wishing all of you a fun and productive year.

If you want to know what kind of progress I'm making, check back on Monday, February 1.

Hugs to all!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

Can you believe it's December already? Almost 2016!

This time of year is always hectic for me. I'm bad about piling too many projects on my plate to begin with. Then with all the extras around the holidays, too many things fall off and plop on the floor.

Every year I fear I won't get everything done. Somehow, most of it gets accomplished. And some doesn't. I'm sure this year will be the same.

So on to this month's blog.

I promised you a guest. He's been out of his writing cave for a few weeks promoting his newest novel, and I'm honored to be the closing act for his Salem's Daughters Blog Tour.

Here he is . . . Stephen Tremp!

Thanks Carol for rounding out my Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour! You are the final stop. It’s been a lot of work and I’ve been looking forward to spending time Under the Tiki Hut and drinking Mai Tais.

For my protagonists Bob and Debbie Stevens, Murcat Manor is their Tiki Hut, a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of a back-stabbing corporate life. Unfortunately, thirteen cats, witches really born four hundred years ago, have different plans for the Stevens and their guests.

Writing a book is a funny thing. You begin with an outline, you know the end from the beginning, you develop characters and give them names, but you’re not quite sure who is going to live and who dies until the dust finally settles.

For me, after I bullet point the outline, I’m a panster and fill out the story here and there as I jump around. And as the story unfolds, the story itself actually begins to take over and write itself. I just let it flow naturally, allow for the characters to fight amongst each other for face time, and pay attention to what should naturally happen during each scene.

So I don’t select who lives and who dies when I outline a story. That only becomes clear as I write the book. It’s really a mystery to me. Often I say to myself, “I didn’t see that coming.” And it’s often sad to kill off a particular character. It’s easy to become attached to them. Developing characters is similar to raising children as we develop them over months or years of writing.

I didn’t realize how many people died in Salem’ Daughters until I wrote down the names after my final edit. The witches, now in the sixth of their nine lives, killed fifteen people, Of course, the witches had to die too, bringing the total to twenty-eight. But don’t feel sorry for Emily, Rebecca, Annie, Chloe, Amy, Helen, Angel, Scarlett, Isabella, Rachel, Jacqueline, Esther, and Madelyn. They’ll be back as they still have three more lives to live.

Well folks, that’s it. Time to bring Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour to a close. It’s been a lot of fun and thank you all for your support. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I did with all the tour stops.

Murcat Manor Kitty
Not Waving Goodbye
Fun Facts It is known that 25 percent of cat owners blow-dry their cats after bathing.

Did You Know Cats are often lactose intolerant, so stop giving them milk!

Question How do you go about killing off your characters?

A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.

Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.

For a full synopsis and to download Salem’s Daughters Click Here.

Thanks for blogging with me, Stephen.

I just want to say I want to be sitting in one of those chairs in his tiki hut photo! But I digress.

I owe Stephen an apology. He provided me with a copy of Salem's Daughters. I'm so far behind in everything that I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm hoping to remedy that next year - the story sounds fascinating, and I'm looking forward to meeting all those witchy kitties.

I'm coming back in here to talk about killing characters. When I have to do that, I actually can't write for a few days before I do it. I guess I'm grieving and saying goodbye. Finally on the day, I tell myself I'm just going to do it. The scene then writes itself very quickly, and the deed is done. Then I can go on.

I guess if I killed as many as Stephen did, my books would never get written, LOL!

Does anyone else have this problem?

I will be back here on Monday, January 4. Until then,

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year