Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Being a Write-At-Home Mom

Any working mother will tell you it takes an amazing amount of skills to successfully navigate each and every day. Multi-tasking is imperative. A working mother must be chauffeur, chef, secretary and maid, in addition to the job they’re paid to do. 

When the job is writing, things can get a little more interesting. When you’re an accountant or history professor or waitress, you can separate your work life from your home life. As a writer, there is no “bringing work home”. A writer’s work is always with them, inside their head, fighting for attention. 

So, when I’m driving my kids to a doctor appointment or cooking dinner or fending off a grabby toddler while trying to fold clean towels, I’ve got a few other people inside my head saying things like “I wonder what would happen if …” and “Can you kill someone with a meat thermometer if you shoved it directly through the temple?” –The answer, in case you’re curious, is yes. At least in my new novel A LIFE BEYOND YESTERDAY the answer to the meat-thermometer-death-blow conundrum, is yes.

Unless you’re successful enough as an author to afford a nanny, working as both a writer and a mother can feel like the medieval torture of quartering. Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty for not giving my children 100 % of my attention 100 % of the time and then I feel guilty for not reaching my 2,000 words-a-day quota because I was busy with the children when they would have survived just fine playing safely in their rooms for an hour.
The answer? Do what you can, when you can, and hope for the best. If that means a question like “What’s that word? The one for having your body ripped apart by four horses?” creeps into your mind while changing diapers because you’re preparing to write a scene in which your main character feels torn in different directions, it’s okay. You’re not crazy, you’re just a writer.

What some people might call psychosis, writers call multi-tasking.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'd Like To See E-Books Pull This One Off ...

How cool is this? A Tree made from books! In 20 years, I hope to have written enough books to build my own tree.

Also, Santa, if you're listening ... how about making my first release, A LIFE BEYOND YESTERDAY, a best-seller? Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Perfect Gifts for Writers

1. Scrivener writing software. $40

2. IP address fee paid for a year. (Mine would be around $90. If your wondering for your writer friend/spouse, I think that's about average.)

3. Author Swag for giveaways/promotion. Cafe Press and Zazzle are great places to start. $5 and up

4. A shiny new Author Logo. $125

5. Chic office accessories to make
desk-time more fun. See Jane Work has cute stuff online, Target has a nice selection in the store. $10 and up
    6. Netbook for easy typing/researching on the go. Around $200

    7. Unique USB Thumb Drives for the sale/giveaway of e-books.

    8. Barnes and Noble or Amazon Books gift card. The best way to write great books is to read great books. Also, books on writing and books for researching themes (i.e. Celtic Myths for the paranormal writer, A History of Scotland for the Highland romance author.) $25 and up

    9. A great coffee machine...cause every writer I know needs to mainline caffeine in order to meet deadlines on top of everyday life.

    10. Dues or conference costs paid. Romance Writers of America membership $115, RWA Conference or Romantic Times convention.

      Saturday, December 10, 2011

      Twitter Etiquette for Authors

      • If every one of your posts is a plug for your writing, you're doing it wrong.
      • If you only tweet excerpts from your novel, you're doing it wrong.
      • If you send me SPAM the second I follow you, you're doing it wrong.
      • If you post Review snippits once an hour, every hour for an entire day, you're doing it wrong.
      • If you use # in front of half or more of the words in your post, you're doing it wrong.
      • If you occasionally post about contests on your website, you're doing it correctly.
      • If you sometimes post novel excerpts and self-promo but it isn't the majority of your tweets, you're doing it correctly.
      • If you follow someone and then un-follow the moment they follow-back, you're doing it wrong.

      What are some of the other annoying things you see on Twitter?

      Wednesday, December 7, 2011

      The Best and Worst of Christmas

      Best Christmas Movies:

      While there are many I could name as "the best Christmas movies", the original Gremlins and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation are indisputably two of the greatest. Two lesser known (at least to recent generations) movies that I've found to be some of my favorites are Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Inn. If you haven't seen these, do yourself a favor and watch them this holiday season.

      Worst Holiday Decorations

      While no one can be blamed for having a slight curiosity about the "wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube man" of Christmas, you have to admit, this semi-recent craze is one of the tackiest Christmas traditions available at your local Wal-Mart.

      "Hey, look! A ten foot, plastic, touch-button inflatable Snow Globe! That'll look great in our yard next to that old Ford we have up on blocks. We'll put it between the Ford and our trailer. It'll really tie the yard together."

      Or, for some reason I'm not sure I even want to know, you can get a set of hollow, plastic, preferably weather-faded Nativity Scene people/animals and prop them up under a shoddy ply-wood lean-to. If you want to get real classy with it, drag out a bright orange extension cord and plug in a spotlight to shine on this atrocity so it cannot escape notice, even after dark. Presentation, after all, makes all the difference.