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Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Cover Reveals Writer's Tool Box

All He Wants for Christmas: Cover reveal and pre-order deets!

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All right. Me again.

Time for a cover reveal. Yes, I’ve chatted about SNOW IN LOVE, the sweet collection of holiday stories brought to you by #Readertainment available for pre-order on Amazon. (The woman to the left is how I envision myself. Darker hair, a far better red lip, but the caffeine is spot on! Glasses, too.)

But, now, here’s the tease for my story. Drum roll and wham:

ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS…

A Greek god meets his match in his soon-to-be-ex unless a holiday hiccup that strands them both on a deserted Fijian Island provides them the chance to do more than talk!

What’s a love-starved mortal, hot for her husband but not the family demands better suited to Mt. Olympus, supposed to do?

Pre-order now for .99 cents!

SNOW IN LOVE: A sweet collection of holiday romances (8 diverse voices, 8 reasons for the season, and 8 ways to sweet release from whatever stresses you out!!)

PRE-ORDER NOW!!

.99 CENTS on #amazon

(Did I say .99 cents enough times?)

FREE on #KU

So now, my question to you, is are you TEMPTED? Teased? Encouraged to click? Crafting ads is such a different beastie than writing stories. Try it and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

That said, please, if you’re a reader, I want to hear from you. What did I miss? What did I hit? And how HARD? (Inquiring minds do nothing but ask endless questions. Sorry. Kinda.) The idea here is to please YOU. So consider that open season on letting it all out. Claws, too.

Writers, props all around, please throw a fellow a bone. Preferably with a lot of juicy meat on it because I tend to be low on iron. What a wonderful flaw considering red meat is my favorite. But hey, we can’t be perfect. Took me long enough to give up that crazy train. (Props to Ozzie Osbourne!)

Thanks for being here every last one of you. You’re needed and APPRECIATED, whether you leave a comment or not. Silent types are often the very best of friends. ((HUGS)) I look forward to hearing from you!

Write on!!

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Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Writer's Tool Box

ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE Book Trailer: Indulge me, please!

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Feels like that … SOMETIMES.

Hey Guys. I’m back with an AMAZING book trailer. Amazing because I finished it this weekend with no fatalities. My boxed set sisters–Anne Greene, Stephanie Guerrero, Diane Tatum, and Sydney Winthrop–have been kind enough to let me take a stab at this shared promo.

I’m honored.

I’m also flying high–and no, I’m not sampling any spiked eggnog in anticipation of #Christmas. The creative end of just about everything trips my triggers. Always has. But that’s likely why a gazillion snap boxes full of whatnot are preventing me from parking in my garage. (Must. TRY. Everything. ONCE!)

And now it’s time to celebrate…. or check out my latest creation.

Filmora 9 is a fabulous video creation tool, but there’s a learning curve. This isn’t my first video and won’t be my last. God willing they’ll get BETTER. I’d love your thoughts!

Thanks for sharing my excitement. I hope you’ll pick up your set of Romancing the Billionaire today–if not for you, then for that friend, relative, or special someone who lives on luxury and the lifestyles of the rich and soon-to-be famous. LoL. Did you catch that shameless plug? I hope so.

Buy here==> http://bit.ly/ROMANCINGTHEBILLIONAIRE

It’s not #blackfriday yet, but this set can be yours for a cool $3.99. Whatta bargain?! I’m betting Filmora 9 has a promo running. If you’re a writer or someone who enjoys creating like me, you’re sure to have fun dabbling.

Write on!

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Author Recommendation Cover Reveals Holiday Musings New Release Writer's Tool Box

Christmas is the time for THANKSGIVING: and SWEET deals too good to miss!

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ALL ABOARD!!!

Sorry, guys, but I’m too excited not to jump in!

Don’t let the fair weather fool you — there’s mystery, mayhem, MONEY, and Christmas Snow inside this sweet ROMANTIC deal!
You know you want to take him for a spin!


Check out the #BESTDEAL for #CLEAN #BILLIONAIRE romance to leave the dock. All ashore who’s going ashore, but for those who want to take a ride–GET READY–you’re going to #LOVE this trip!


Money, mystery, adventure, fantasy, #ROMANCE, and with #CHRISTMAS to boot. Consider gifting a friend!! ‘Tis the season! Available NOW on #Amazon for only $3.99.

That’s FIVE stories for less than a dollar each. #HELLO!!

ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE: 5 RICH ROMANCES is, without question, the #BESTCHRISTMASGIFTEVER for the sweet reader in your life! (If you’re not guilty-as-charged, you absolutely have at least one woman or man on your #Christmaslist who appreciates #adventure #romance #international #fantasy #mystery, and at the very least, a fabulous #DEAL!

Please, don’t dismiss the men in your life who, while not saying so, often appreciate the best in ALPHA heroes, STRONG heroines, FAMILY values, and an engrossing story. ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE is a GREAT read for men to get in touch with what women like. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

Who’s to say that fiction can’t be factual when it comes to learning what others find deeply satisfying?

So here’s what you get:

Is this a murder for hire, a revenge killing, or a political assassination? Is the man with no memory a drug dealer, an FBI agent, or a billionaire?
While incognito, her Royal Highness- Princess Lucy Christianson offers assistance to a soot-covered, motorcycle-riding firefighter only to discover she just aided the one man her family wants her to marry.
She must return to her classroom in North Carolina at the end of her sabbatical. He would give her his fortune if she would stay and become his Lady Caroline.
How could she have given their child away? And how could Caro be so blind to a kindred spirit who, like her, is determined to do the right thing? But the right thing means finding the baby’s true mother, something Caro must convince Perry to do, even if it breaks his heart… and hers.
The cozy mystery series set in Saint Joseph, Michigan continues. It’s Halloween and Suzette can’t stop screaming.

Read all 5 stories for FREE on #KindleUnlimited. (Can’t beat that!) Your passage into passion-filled mystery and romance and fantasy is just a click away at:

http://bit.ly/ROMANCINGTHEBILLIONAIRE

#FGMNauthors #cleanromance #billionaireromance #cleanandwholesome #romanticsuspense #Christianfiction #contemporaryromance #newrelease #mustread #amreading #Christmasgift

And for all you WRITERS out there, take a look at this lovely setup. It’s a win/win for writers to gather together with one’s family–OUR TRIBE–and work together in a set to bring readers the stories they love. The mystery they crave. And the romance that’s often what it takes to put that secret smile on our faces.

Share the love. Share the #BOOKS. Follow my blog. PLEASE. And always….

Write on!

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CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Writer's Tool Box

Audio STAY-Cation. The best little getaway that takes you where you SHOULD go!

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Snoopy is a TOTAL bonus!

Okay. This great pic of Neil Diamond–the soulful enchanter who can still capture the masses–is floating around on Facebook.

Best thing? I’m now listening to “Sweet Caroline,” and feeling darned sweet. Hallelujah. Yes, there are personal issues that could translate into a crown-of-thorns, but thoughts matter.

Where do you want your thoughts to be?

It’s about free will. Taking charge instead of being dragged helpless to the dark side. Think positive may sound corny, but upbeat brainwaves are often the greatest act of charity. To ourselves and others. Music–that’s melody and lyrics–fuels imagination. It helps alleviate those tensions that bunch our shoulders, block creativity, foment hate–another baddie to be avoided at all cost–and give us premature wrinkles. The wrinkles that crease our character and need ironing out are better avoided.

Indulge yourself–an act of pure charity!

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?

Okay, so I didn’t get the wording right. I “think” that’s not a big deal. (Get the idea?)

So think on that. Do you want to be positive? Create great BOOKS and an even better life? Tap into the soulful sounds of Neil Diamond or whatever artist takes you there. Wherever that happy place might be. FYI: Audio STAY-cations may be beneficial for your health. And the happiness of others!

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box Writing TIPS

Ads, Ads, and More Ads. Marketing makes the world go around.

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Here’s a hilarious Party City “line” idea. Halloween may be a ways away, but the costumes in store are getting to me!

Question: What makes you click a buy link? Seriously. What makes you pause – gasp for breath – and think, oh yeah, I’m so doing this?

We all have lines. Moral, financial, and fictional constructs that hem us in and keep us honest. At least until we’re tempted to go beyond.

The fantastic crew at Winged Publications works wonders with book covers. Cynthia Hickey is one talented individual. Creative expression is mine, however, when it comes to ads. So I ask you. What do you prefer? 

Great copy–those killer lines? Contrasting pictures? Does a smoldering hero or a savvy-looking heroine catch your eye? Almost nightly, a blur of the above races through my brain as I struggle for sleep, and the answer.

How about video book trailers? Check out one I made last week using Wondershare Filmora 9. GREAT!!! STUFF. That’s the software. I’ll let you be the judge of the video. (I’m LOVING this aspect of marketing.)

Do GIFs do it for you? Static ads?

Roham Arshad is quite the looker, no?

In between researching and writing my action romance series, DIAMOND DOGS, and visiting the sleepy town of WILD HORSE, MONTANA, home of my contemporary western romances, I’m busy figuring that out. Trying.

So throw me a bone if you’re so inclined. Let’s talk. I enjoy giving readers the experiences they crave. I’d also enjoy helping fellow authors who, like me, are scrambling to produce that secret something to put a yes on readers’ lips. That’s not mercenary, mind you, its fun to say yes. One reader to another.

The learning curve, however, has been a dark mountain. One that shall not be named. Can’t give power to the dark side. Veni, vidi, vici needs to be the order of this day – Friday the 13th with a full moon to boot – and every day. I came, I saw, I conquered!!! No chuckles. All things are possible with God and since I’m no Caesar, I’ll rely on Him to do the heavy lifting. That’s God, not Julius.)

I’d trust Andrea Vahl to do a live feed video — but I’m on the fence…in my pajamas!

Andrea Vahl – author, speaker, and consultant – recommends, “running Facebook Live videos to talk about parts of your book, the book writing process, or special tips around your book topic.  What this will do for you,” she assures readers in her blog, The 4 Best Types of Facebook Ads for Authors, “is create a “warm” audience for you to promote your book to in the future.  You can use Engagement retargeting when you promote your book to reach those who have engaged with your content in the past.”

That sounds great and all–although being retargeted sounds somewhat off putting. Unless you’re on the receiving end of loving-it. But still. I’m not sure I have what it takes to live stream. LoL. How about you? Is that something you’d like to see? The bumbling? The false starts? Lipstick on my teeth? If so, say so. I’ll think about it and maybe get the nerve.

What I’d really like is to hear from you, readers. Writer’s too as we’re in the same arena, struggling to stay alive and be relevant. Ideally, we read, too. So whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Instagram, or Pinterest, stop on by. Let us know what you like to see. What you’d like to see more of. And always…

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Dreaming of a publishing contract? Here’s your chance!

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Hear, ye. Hear, ye. If you’re looking to publish your latest novel, read on. And feel free to spread the word. This summer is shaping up to be the best one ever.

TAKING FLIGHT ANNUAL CONTEST

Winged Publications presents its first annual contest–Taking Flight!! (Indie published okay to submit)
Any genre! Only clean or inspirational, please.
If fewer than five submitted in a category, your book will be placed in the next, closest genre.


Entry fee $45 for Taking Flight Writing Contest 2019

  • First prize winner receives a book contract
  • Second prize winner receives a critique of synopsis and first three chapters
  • Third prize is a critique of a synopsis
    *Book contract entails the publication of winning title under the standard contracts held by Winged Publications. Grand prize winner will be provided with details upon announcement.

Submissions will be received from June 1, 2019 until July 31, 2019. Finalists announced the end of August and winners announced mid-September. Judges will be multi-published authors.

Send your synopsis and first three chapters to wingedpublications@gmail.com putting Taking Flight Contest 2019 in the subject line. You will then be emailed the link to pay the submission fee. Your entry will not be valid until fee is paid. Indie published authors welcome to submit.


There will be a winner for every category of more than five entries.

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box Writing TIPS

Overcoming Summer Stall: A writer’s guide to get going.

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It’s supposed to be FUN!

Summer is here and I’m so glad. The gentle breezes, the abundance of birds and squirrels, the SUN. I never believed I was dependent on the latter. Having grown up in San Jose, California, I took sunshine for granted. Truth is I longed as a child to move somewhere I could experience real weather. Storms, snow, tornado force winds.

Be careful what you wish for is my answer to that wanderlust now. The shift from bright and shiny often leads to getting stuck. Not in snow, but the mire of our own minds.

We often carry around our own personal clouds.

That’s how it’s been for me these past months. Yes, we’re grieving the loss of a dear friend. Any and all prayers for the repose of the soul of our sweet young Brandt – and the family whose sorrows far outstrip mine – are very much welcome. So too is the article in Psychology Today that is helping me overcome the frightful storm that has consumed me.

But here’s my take on the 7 steps outlined for mental health. The mental health of a writer in particular, those of us who are, by nature, sensitive observers of the world around us.

1. Let go of the past. 

Don’t hold on to those things that hold you back.

We need, as writers, to learn from the past, not beat ourselves up with it. If you didn’t write yesterday, that holds no bearing on your ability to write today. Unless you let it. The past can be a great steam engine, pushing us forward in a manner wherein we avoid landmines we’ve learned are out there. It can, if not properly managed, become that ill-fated albatross, flapping desperately against the phantoms that will only sap its energy until flying isn’t an option. (So let those portions of the past go that prove detrimental. Shut the door. Toss the memory. Better still, associate that memory with a new, positive action that will head you toward your new goals!)

2. Change your perspective. 

Not the straightest path, but a great way not to get lost in the trees.

This one seems easy, but can be tough if you haven’t cut ties with past demons. A change in perspective is more than a change in scenery. Step number two involves looking at reality in a new fashion. So you’re stalled. Great. It doesn’t feel good, but what if it did? Changing your attitude about the change in productivity is often the way to get back on track. Engines need fuel to run and so do writers. If you’re stalled, it could be a sign that you need to fill the tank. But being gentle with yourself – and taking that break from the routine – may be just what’s needed to blow out what’s bothering you. Different people, places, and things give our mind a much needed rest.

3. Start with small changes. 

The baby steps are all part of the journey!

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a new perspective. A sign of just how stuck I am is that I’ve been willfully cleaning the garage and breezeway. LoL. But you know what? It feels good. The breezeway sure looks better and my mind isn’t bogged down with what I think I “should” be doing when I go out there with my laptop. Same goes for embracing my nightly yoga routine – a tiny one – outlined by my son who shakes his head at his OCD mother’s lack of balance. But that’s part of the change, too. My kiddos aren’t small anymore. They can see what might help me. So I’m listening. Not a complete change as I’ve always tried to do that. But actually “doing” what’s suggested is different. And that feels great.

4. Explore your purpose. 

The building blocks of good fiction, but also a great way to analyze what kind of character you want to be. And what roadblocks are keeping you from getting there!

Seek meaning in your work. Dig deeper. If you’re out of touch, maybe it’s because your purpose has shifted. And that’s okay. Writers write. But they don’t have to write the same thing all the time. I’ve been woefully neglectful of my blog and perhaps that’s adding to my angst. Perhaps analysis is the way to go.

We writers embrace the premise of Goal, Motivation, Conflict when crafting our characters, but often fail to apply these faithful tools to ourselves. Want to create a great character? Dig into GMC. Find “your” purpose!  To entertain? Teach? Share? Uplift? Intrigue. Rediscover what you want to do with your writing and then check out the obstacles with a dispassionate precision. You won’t be sorry.

5. Believe in yourself. 

We’ve come a LONG way, baby!

It’s been said that people are often their own worst enemy. But we can also be our own best friend if we actively engage in believing in ourselves. And the potential of every new day. So change the toxic dialogue in your head. If you’re not making the progress you’d like in your project, welcome to the club. Celebrate what progress you are making. Lift the cloud of self-doubt and key on what you are accomplishing. Even a much needed break is worth lauding if that respite keeps the proverbial cheese from sliding off your cracker. We’re only human, but humans can achieve great things if they believe they can. Otherwise we’d all be living in caves.

6. Practice being hopeful. 

If you want peace, ask for it. Need directions? Look up from the confusion and seek those sources wherein answers are found every day. And knock without ceasing if you want to be let into the inner sanctum of knowing it’s going to be okay. The door will open if we’re patient with ourselves and others.

Treat pessimism like the pest it is. Would you let flies collect on your BBQ when you have hands to swat them away? I know I wouldn’t. (Another food reference, I know ;^) So don’t let your soul collect flies whose sole purpose is to sting and sully. Get back to basics. Do what’s needed to forestall the inevitable because the flies are out – in greater numbers during some seasons of our life. Pray, meditate, engage in those physical activities that will distract you from whatever poison threatens to dilute your hopes and hope on. We need to eat to stay alive, right? Well, we need to work on positivity — we need to pray — to stay positive. The alternative is is a very dark place.

7. Consider talking to a professional. 

Friends really DO make a difference!

In the Psych world, this means seeking a therapist. In the writer’s world, this can mean seeking a professional editor and mentor, or it can mean networking with fellow authors. We’re not alone. We’re not the “first” to experience these realities of the writer’s life. Far from it. Sometimes just getting the assurance that others have gone before and conquered this nasty malaise is enough to nudge a writer back into gear. Sometimes talking with friends is the break-thru we need to rediscover ourselves, the core of whatever we write. So don’t miss the opportunity presented by summer stall. It could be exactly what you need to…

Write on!

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Author Interview Author Recommendation Writer's Tool Box Writing TIPS

Sit-down with Lana Higginbotham: Get to know the spirit behind the stories

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The awesome strength of nature is amazing to behold.

Hey guys. I hope everyone is enjoying the shift in seasons and that nasty weather is on the decline. (We had a corker lightning storm Saturday night. Full on cracking, white light flashing in the wee hours. Lovely. But I’m weird that way.)

Meanwhile, I’m back with another author interview. Why do I do them? Because learning keeps us fresh. And the best way to learn is to glean wisdom from those who have gone before. Those who are doing what we want to do — keep writing. (Reading, too!)

So who is Lana Higginbotham? And why WRITING?

Lana Lynne Higginbotham – well rounded, firmly grounded, and sharing the realities of God and family — the foundation for satisfying romance.

Firstly, I am Lana “Lynne” Higginbotham (Did you all catch that middle name? It’s important, but we’ll get there.) As a Speech-Language Pathologist and a writer/author, I wear two hats. My love of reading led me to writing early. During a terrible bout of scarlet fever at the age ten, my mother encouraged me to use her typewriter to decrease my boredom. It stirred stories, and I wrote, putting poems and stories in a drawer all the way through school. My high school Creative Writing teacher fanned the flames. I also participated in theater and started college in the theater department as a Communications major.

Earning degrees is excellent training for the long haul of continued publication!

However, an unexpected college course touched my heart and led to a change in my major from Communications to Speech Pathology. I married, became a mother, graduated with three degrees: Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Education with a Speech Pathology Major and a Special Education Minor, and a Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology.

I live with my husband in East Texas. We are empty nesters and proud grandparents. (I’ll bet your granddaughter is pretty proud, too!)

You write romance, but what’s your message, Lana?

We all need guidance at the crossroads!

I have always loved romance, but I believe the best ones must also involve God and family. My characters all face challenging circumstances. None of my heroes and heroines find each other on their own. I want my readers to look for God’s hand during the everyday moments, as well as during the trials, recognizing how He walks us all eternally home.

How does family/work/personal life play a role in your writing?

I treasure my family heritage. It is a legacy of faith and love. My readers can see how important family is to me. I gleaned inspiration for my post Civil War novels from the heritage of my great-grandfather who served as a 3rd lieutenant in the 4th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, but my fictional characters served in the 3rd Arkansas.

Supporting those who support us doesn’t end on the battlefield.

My advocacy for soldiers draws from this lineage and also from growing up during the Vietnam war. I wore an MIA bracelet until it fractured into two pieces. The soldier never returned home and is still listed as missing.

Due to my years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, I also support those who have developmental and physical disabilities. One of my characters has suffered a spinal cord injury.

So what spurred that first book? And do tell about what’s out there for us to buy!

When my daughter entered middle school, I found my pen stirring again. I had continued to write poetry and learned to oil paint throughout my life. And after unearthing the last story I had started in high school, I headed to the library to start the historical research needed for the late 1866 period of my novel. But the winding road of writing prevailed. (Isn’t that always the way? That nagging have-to that isn’t satisfied until the words come out.)

And now. . .

INTENSE!

These are my published historical fiction novels under my pen name, Lana Lynne:

Home Always Beckons: A New Sunrise (First Publication 2009; Second Edition 2018); Trails of Change: A New Sunset (First Publication 2010; Second Edition 2018); and Sunbeams at Twilight: A Life’s Echo (First Publication 2012-first printing 2012, second printing 2014, Second Edition 2018). A Compass of Stars in Her Eyes (First Publication 2018) is my newest historical fiction romance.

Whimsy’s world holds treasures. Are YOU ready?

My first contemporary Christian novella is Whimsy Michaels and Her Amazing Room (First publication 2018).

Other writing credits include: A creative nonfiction novel, written with a coauthor: Life Between the Letters: The Chuck and Mary Felder Story (First Publication 2014) by Lana Lynne Higginbotham and Mary K. Felder. Unfortunately, this title is now unavailable due to the closing of my previous publisher. (Amazon, however, seems to have found copies. Pricey, but that’s a matter of perspective.)

The memories and wisdom of the greatest generation must be preserved!

Mary is now in her nineties. She is pleased with the people the story reached. The signings and public appearances/talks we made together following the book’s release satisfied her. The book received all five star reviews while available.

Well worth the read if you want to write!

In the arena of non-fiction, I am delighted to be part of the new collaboration release: Make Your Mark: Writing Tips from the authors of Winged Publications (2018).

Take us through your writing your process.

The characters come to me first. It’s like their names are whispered in my ears. The story premise soon follows and then the research process starts. I love going down that rabbit hole and the many tunnels of libraries, historical societies, newspaper archives, vintage bookstores, and internet searches. The last—internet research—is my least favorite. I’d rather visit the places and research the history of the cities, states, and surrounding areas in person. You don’t know the air, the smells, or people until you do. I’ve written from an outline and also without one, letting the story unfold on its own. Both have merits, but each story is different.

Whimsy Michaels and Her Amazing Room is my only novella. This contemporary story took me by surprise. I could feel the Lord’s leading on every page.

What has your writing journey taught you about yourself? I am a patriotic American girl with deep roots. God, family, and Country are my core. (Amen!)

Realize your worth, ladies!

What would you like other women to know/learn?

Their value. I think this really shows in all of my heroines, but especially in the characters of Hallie in Sunbeams at Twilight and Mina in A Compass of Stars in Your Eyes.

What’s next on your horizon?

My current WIP is set in the late 1930s and 1940s. It is a fictional story based on some of a family member’s real childhood escapades.(The family member wishes to remain anonymous.) I love Mark Twain’s adventure stories. I hope to honor this story-style. Due to burning the candle at both ends, I’ve taken a short break to care for family and myself. So, finishing it has slowed a bit. My critique group members were enjoying it, but understood when I took a break.

Sometimes a slow-down is what’s needed to keep that smile bright!

My husband and I continue to work. I am a SLP at an outpatient pediatric clinic. He teaches high school speech/theater/radio and also acts in the professional Texas Shakespeare Festival during the summers. We love time with our granddaughter and our second grandchild is due in June.

What would you recommend to new writers/established writers?

Don’t try to write like everyone else. You do need the input from critique groups, writing groups, conferences, and editors to hone your craft, but keep your individual voice. No one else can write your story the way you do.

Where can reader’s best connect with you? Social media, etc.

I am on FB-personal page and an author’s page, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon Author page, and Pinterest. (Translated: Lana is EVERYWHERE ;^)

Check out my website: http://www.lanalynne.com for links to my social media pages and other information about my books.

************

So there you have it. Another sit-down to tuck away and review whenever the writing journey gets you down. Thank YOU, Lana. And thank you readers. Don’t forget Lana’s sweet spirit-fused romances that will fuel your creative muse when she needs a rest. (What’s summer without a great books?)

Write on!

Categories
Wisdom Reblogged Writer's Tool Box Writing TIPS

Writing Tip: STOP Writing

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Ready, get set, STOP WRITING!

No, seriously. If you want to write well, check out this must read by short story novelist and reading enthusiast Kayla Ann. Published and well on her way to holding a Masters in English/Creative writing, she gets the impulse to forge on.

What serious writer doesn’t?

The MUSE is demanding if nothing else. She can also hide a great many warts that we writers will not see if we rush to get our darlings out the door. Don’t believe me? Read on…and I hope you’ll join me in following Kayla Ann.

Write on!

Categories
Writer's Tool Box

Patience Bears Fruit: Building a Back List by Looking Back!

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I’m loving me some David Austin ROSES!

Check it out, peeps. The hedge is exploding. But careful tending is still required. I’m pruning deadheads to make room for new growth while exhausted blooms are put to good use.

Am I making compost?

Nope.

Fun, fragrant, and great for a soak!

Bath salts! I started making self-care products when my kiddos were small. It was a great craft project and a reasonable alternative to high cost purchases, especially when second-hand grinders etc. are readily available. (Not that I don’t love me some LUSH products. Can’t beat their bath bombs.)

LUSH bath bombs are like no other. Try them. Your skin will THANK you!

But saving things is what I do. Maybe too much. I feel the same way about my manuscripts. Tossing things out – snippets of dialogue, description, colorful characters, etc. – gives me the willies. So the metaphorical hedge in my mind – and my file cabinet — is filled with future flowers.

This may seem to contrast with my earlier advice to prune extraneous projects, but a writer like any other human being needs to hold on to those things that feed the soul. Crafting is my catnip and often the delight of my eyes. Colors, textures, and patterns fuel my creative brain. I look at my tickle files the same, those safe places where I’ve tucked away old manuscripts. (Part of my future back list, set aside but not forgotten.) These beloved pages, sometimes frozen in stasis, sometimes left to age on purpose, will be repurposed.

All that’s needed is patience, tending, and a careful eye to pick through the trove. The best new book idea is often right there in your previous efforts, just waiting for you to bring new skills to the table.

Write on!