Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet Ninette Swann!!

Hey all! Ninette Swann is a friend of mine who's been in the writing industry for years. Please welcome her as she releases her very first romantic suspense novel! Hit and Stay will be available yesterday at Resplendence.

How to Write a Book When You’re “Too Busy”

I’m a stay-at-home / work-at-home mom and one of the largest battles we face is that we don’t do anything. Our lives consist of trash TV, raising a few super-attached, maladjusted brats, and maybe cooking dinner. If it doesn’t interfere with our bon-bon eating, of course.

You can imagine how upset I was to find that writers face the same nonsense. If you write for a living, apparently you don’t do anything.

Writing is hard. It takes dedication, belief in  yourself, some kind of skill with the English language, and most of all, time. It takes a lot of time.

So, when people say they’d love to write a book, but they’re too busy, I totally get it. If you don’t make time for it, and make time for it consistently, it will never get done. Here are a few ways I’ve found to do it.

1) Put it on your to-do list (mental or otherwise)

I have a real to-do list. On it I place sixteen things I’d like to do each day. It’s a rolling list, so the things that don’t get done stay there until they are done. If “write chapter six” has been on my to-do list for three days, I know it’s time to write that thing or I’ll lose interest in my own project.

One of the biggest problems with writing for the “working” person (or the SAHM, in my case) is that it sounds like fun. It’s a reward. A gift. I can write if I clean all my bathrooms. I can write when I finally finish all my caseloads at work. I can write if. I can write when.

Forget it.

Write now. Make it part of your work, part of your day. You’re not goofing off, you’re working hard on something that will reward you.

2) Get used to interruptions.

I write in six-word intervals. With three-year-old twins, not a sentence goes by before I’m being begged for a snack, or a tissue, or to play a game.

When you write sentence by sentence, with minutes or hours in between, it’s not going to be your best stuff. You’ll have to go back and edit. You’ll find words that don’t belong and thoughts that are jumbled. But if you don’t plod on anyway, if you wait for the perfect six-hour window to write, you never will. Those six hours will never come. You’ve got to seize the moment. Every moment.

3) Forsake immediate goals for overall achievements

So many writers I know set word goals for themselves. I need to write 1,000 words this hour. I need to write 15,000 this week. But they’re only setting themselves up for disappointment. Remember, quality over quantity. If you don’t bust out a 1,500-word scene in the two-hour nap period (or your one-hour lunch break) don’t sweat it. The page will be there waiting for you. It’s more important to get down what you can when you can. And come back to it. You must always come back to it. If you consistently let yourself down by writing slower than you think you should, you’ll be discouraged and lose faith in the work.

Research is important. Tone is important. Sentences and word choice are important. These things take time. If you write 200 words one day, that’s great. That’s what you should be looking at. Those paragraphs get you closer to your overall goal, which is writing a completed work. Don’t lose the forest for the trees.

4) Get up in the morning.

You’ll write better if you do.  I always tell myself, I’ll write a chapter during nap, or I’ll write that scene after the girls are in bed for the night, but the truth is, by nap and bed time, I’m burned out. I’m spent. I can sometimes force myself to write, sure. But it’s not fun. And it’s not as good as it would be were I fresh.
You don’t have to write in the morning. If you’re not a morning person and you actually do better at night, use the extra time to get other stuff done so that it’s not over your head when you finally sit down at the computer. Take a shower, do the dishes, go for a walk, whatever.

Just get up early enough to start your day with some you time. It will center and ground you.

5) Leave your house.

For the particular among us, sometimes there are just too many things to be done around the home to allow for proper concentration. You can’t write because you are too busy tidying or cleaning, or Teen Mom is on your television set. Wouldn’t your time be better spent if you called your mom real quick?

That’s when it’s time to pack up and go out. Go to a coffee shop where you don’t know anyone. Go to a friend’s house who is also writing. You can feed off each other.

The important thing is to get yourself alone with your computer so that you can’t write for a few moments and then check your email, write for a few moments and then IM your sister. You can’t get up to dust that ceiling fan that you always forget about. You have nothing to do but write. There is nothing but you, the coffee and the blank page.

Long story short, nobody is too busy to write. If you want to write, you can find a way. So stop making excuses and get started. You’ll find the words flowing more quickly than you would have imagined possible.

**Ninette Swann is a romantic suspense writer whose debut novel, Hit and Stay, is out now by Resplendence Publishing. She writes in between her gigs as a freelance journalist, editor and mommy blogger—and while wrangling her two adorably sweet angels…or insufferable hellions, depending on the day. You can visit her at

Thanks for joining me today, Ninette!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Help! I've Fallen And Can't Get Up!

I think I need a keeper. Or to be walked on a leash.

Yesterday morning I fell. I tripped over an extension cord that wasn't supposed to be where it was. sighhhh And down I went. Head-butted an end table, landed on my left knee (leaving rug burns and a bruise), landed on my left hand (spraining the wrist), AND! Slammed my right hand into the end table. My middle finger on that hand is swollen like crazy and can't be moved. I guess that means the symbol of my road rage is out of commission for a while. lol

Anyway, I'm in pain. Typing is not easy. Ouch! So this is going to be short. Here is my question. Don't you just want to slap someone when you fall and get hurt and everyone is laughing?

Monday, May 14, 2012


This morning I went with my youngest daughter to see her OB-GYN. She'll soon be twenty and she's pregnant. Seventeen weeks pregnant. She's a tiny woman. Five feet tall, tiny bones, tiny hands, tiny feet. So that pudge in her midsection is quite obvious.

And she cries about that. lol

She is soooo worried that everyone is looking at her and thinking she's fat. And it's soooo obvious that the belly is a baby and not a beer gut. We all laugh at her.

The baby is just beginning to flutter inside of her. She feels it but says she's not certain. But it's the baby--letting her know he/she is there, of course. lol We don't know the sex yet. We'll find out on June 13. Today they drew blood and will run all the usual tox screens. That worries her, and I tell her not to worry.

The child is a healthy living nut these days. Orange juice, water, and an occasional iced tea. Baked chicken and fish. Salads, fruits, and veggies. Her weight gain is perfect. And still she worries about the baby.

It wasn't too long ago when I worried myself sick about this child of mine. She was a wild child. Loved to party. She's done a complete reversal and is soooo happy. I guess it just took the right guy for her to love and feel confident in his love. She's an angel now.

My angel is having an angel.

And today I heard the beats of that angel's heart. I cried.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Eye Openers

This has been an interesting week. I went to visit my brother and his family, then came home to have my former mother in law and my ex living in my home while they visited my children. The back and forth emotionally was exhausting. It was worth it in every way.

My brother is someone I've looked up to my whole life. As adults we stopped getting along somewhere along the time he decided I had stopped maturing at twelve (just like I will forever see my little cousins as being preteens, despite the years that have occurred since) and ended up just like my mother. And I, resenting that and having experienced his stubbornness first hand, decided he was a jackass.

What happened was a visit without my parents there to interject, and without the distraction of children so that adult conversation was truly adult conversation. We stayed up late every night to talk. We needed it. By the time I left, my brother stood up, in tears and said, "[Insert my full real name here] I don't believe we've ever met. It's really good to know you." Of course that made me cry too.

That feeling I had when I realized that my ideal childhood wasn't shared by the brother I idolized, that feeling where he'd been stripped away from me and I stood alone on those beautiful memories, alienated from him... they fell away. Now I feel like I've been given back that brother and we're going to be okay. I left the visit with an open invitation to join my sister in law's family at Christmas time when they go to a lodge in the middle of the woods to spend time together. It's like I have a family again. I can't express what that means to me.

The other moment, when I came home to potential disaster, was reaffirming. Even though my ex-mil was a huge influencer in the way the divorce was handled (and that's not a compliment), she got to see some of the things I had to deal with. And I, in turn, got to hear her express her frustration with him, at him. The thing that saddens me is the way the kids have to see it.

I can tell that man is running out of money and friends because he seems to think that telling me he finally appreciates me will make me swoon and run back. Never fear, that's not even a blip of a thought. It's just comical at this point. He thinks we can be friends after the kids leave my home for college. In six years. I told him not to hold his breath because I have no interest in talking to him again once that happens.

I needed this week. It was replete with deadlines and urgent emails, emotional ups and downs, yet in the end I had more reaffirmation than I've had in years. You know what? I'm doing all right. Better than that. I'm doing great and on top of that, I'm happy with the choices I've made. How often do we get to say that?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Something New from Regina Carlysle

Change and just general 'busy-ness' has been the order of the day around here. Life gets complicated and yes, messy, and these days, my mind has been occupied on things outside the realm of blogging, writing, etc. I'm in the middle of a major move. Boxes and packing materials are scattered all around. It's probably a good thing that I have this to occupy my mind. Change can be a scary thing and I suspect that if I stopped to really think about it all, I would be terrified. It's tough facing the unknown after so many years of everything being the same. A true test of my 'mettle', I think. Wish me luck!

In other news, I have a new book coming out tomorrow at Ellora's Cave. Tinderbox, set in the world of Jaguar Hunger, is one of several hot little stories appearing in Jaid Black's Something Wicked This Way Comes, Vol. 2. So please whip out your credit cards and pick this one up.

Buy it Here

Available NOW for pre-order.

Will release May 1 on those sites, and May 2 on the EC webstore and other vendor sites.

Fatman & Robyn

Jaid Black

Jake Chamberlin, star quarterback of the New York Bloods, has a not-so-little secret—he’s into chubby chicks. He does all he can to resist temptation, but when Jake bumps into the gorgeous Robyn DiMarco at a bistro in Little Italy, all bets are off.

Scarred and Kilt

Laurann Dohner

Matty has a new neighbor, and she strongly suspects the kilt-wearing hottie is a vampire—he only goes out at night, has weird visitors and the blood bank is making regular deliveries. But he doesn’t seem to hurt anyone, so “live and let live” is Matty’s motto. Until she sees a guy armed with crosses and wooden stakes breaking into the neighbor’s house. Matty charges to the rescue—and ends up in Mr. Hottie’s bed…and on his desk…and…


Regina Carlysle

Set in the same world as Jaguar Hunger.

Private investigators Nate and Daniel don’t expect to find their mate while working a case. But they recognize Olivia as theirs the second they catch the missing woman’s scent—the scent of a female jaguar shifter in heat. Nate and Daniel’s task? Find then claim Livvy in every raw, animalistic way possible…and release her inner beast.


Katalina Leon

Betrayed by her village chief, Larisa is brought to a mysterious island and left bound in a subterranean labyrinth, where drops of her blood summon the mythical Minotaur. She expects the man-beast to take her life…but it’s her body that’s sacrificed. Darron, a shapeshifting being, ravishes Larisa, and she gives herself freely to the pleasure—a decision that will change both their worlds forever.

Decadent Dance

Aubrey Ross

Surely the dress Zoe purchased did not transport her to an alien ship, right? No. Hallucinations. Must be. Though…the gorgeous alien who greets her seems real enough. And the sex? Out of this world.

Vaden has waited years for his Decadent Dancer, and though Zoe swears she didn’t know what the dress could do, Vaden has been lonely too long to be easily thwarted. He’ll use every sensual trick he knows to convince Zoe she’s right where she belongs.

Sahara Heat

Diana Hunter

As a favor to a friend, author Carla Braun agrees to meet with archaeologist Josef Anderson to discuss his recent desert find. To her dismay, the man’s infuriating…as well as tall, blond, gorgeous—and into BDSM. If she can look beyond Dr. Anderson’s cool exterior, Carla just might discover some scorching Sahara Heat