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Follow My Book Blog Friday!!!

Today is my very first Follow Friday! I was so excited to see this awesome opportunity to get to know other book bloggers on ParaJunkee’s site. I HAD to join! The Follow Friday is a way for book lovers to unite! lol Talk about books, meet new blogging book lovers and make a few friends and followers. ParaJunkee provides the questions and I will do my best to answer. This week’s question:

Who are my favorite authors?

This is a seriously tough question for me because it changes with the books I’m reading. I get so excited about certain books and everything else seems to fade away! For one thing I know I love love love Janet Evanovich. Hands down, awesome. Next, I read Personal Demons a few months back by Lisa Desrochers and I still think about that one. I just finished an awesome series by Angie Fox who had me laughing right through three novels of pararom. I loved that. Then, I’ve read so many YAs this year that I couldn’t possible chose a favorite. Oh I nearly forgot Gena Showalter. You see, I could make this list all day :)

Big thanks to ParaJunkee for this fun way to meet new bloggers. I have enjoyed my first hop and I’m off to hop now too!

Book Blogger Friday: Blog Hop!!

Book Blogger Blog Hop was designed to help book lovers find one another and enjoy their love of reading together. Bloggers share content, favorite books, and any details related to reading and books. Its a great way for book bloggers to get to know one another and maybe find a new blog or two to add to their list of faves. This week’s hop is sponsored by Crazy-for-books, and you can join to! Stop by her site to see how!

This week’s Book Blogger Hop Question: “What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?”

I never mind when a follower drops me lol. I mean, its a free web. Sometimes though I admit that I wish I knew if it was something I said.  If the lost follower decided I wasn’t what they thought I was or if the content just didn’t sit, I get that. But, on occasion, I slip out of writing mode and go into personal blog Julie. If that’s sending them flying, I’d like to know. I really do want to create a site that’s useful to writers and empowers authors. As for the second part, yes. I have stopped following a blog or two. One I remember specifically because they offended me horrendously and after a week or two on the fence, I decided to stop following. Others have seemed like something I needed and in a month or two they seemed to repeat content over and over or just stop updating, so I stopped following. Too bad there isn’t an optional exit interview for followers who want to follow but are turned off by something specific. LOL

Well, I’ve enjoyed my first blog hop. I hop you will leave me a comment and I will now be off hopping around too!

Wow! Women on Writing & The Muffin

I just realized that I have yet to blog about one of my favorite blogs. What was I thinking? Today, I’m struggling through the Theraflu and NyQuil to think at all, but I can’t wait another day to tell you about Wow! Women on Writing and their blog The Muffin. This is another awesome Twitter find of mine. A few months back I saw a random tweet about an agent judged flash fiction contest and followed the link. As we all know, some links lead to disaster. This one lead to some serious fun, friends and information. As an aspiring writer, I need all of these things. I stop by the Muffin daily and if you’re like me, you might want to also.

Women on Writing has an ezine with enormous amounts of information on writing. There are plenty of articles, tips on the craft, and other writers there to support and encourage you. Quarterly, Wow! has a real life agent there to judge a flash fiction contest and you can even get feedback on your piece if you ask for it. Winner are interviewed and featured on the blog, and their stories are published. Its an incredible opportunity. Everyday on the Muffin there’s a new post on writing or the writing life, written by women for women. One of my favorites is the blog tour they offer. Authors can opt to have WOW! host a blog tour for promoting their new book. I am very proud to say that I am now a partnered blog for their blog tours. What an incredible thing to do for other writers! One day, I hope to find myself on one of their tours :) Wow! sets up a series of stops for the writer where she will give an interview or guest post on a different blog throughout an entire month. Think of the exposure and all the new friends! It’s wonderful. I know, you really want to slip over there, but wait! There’s more! The Muffin is running a Friday Speak Out where they are accepting articles from any writer to feature each Friday morning. Its another awesome opportunity! Get a blog post together (around 500 words) and send it in. If your article is used, your pretty face will grace their page all day along with your bio, web links and the article you sent. They have been kind enough to feature me twice and I get all bouncy and cartwheely every time. Can you tell, I LOVE Wow!?

Last, but noway near the least is how incredible the staff is over there at Wow! When I first contacted them I had about 4 regular blog visitors and one was me. I think the others were related to me. Hey, but I knew a great thing when I saw it and I asked to be included. I was. So far, I have had the opportunity to talk many times with Robyn and Jodi and they are fabulous. Fabulous. Awesomesauce over Ben&Jerry’s. Truly. If you’re a writer adn you aren’t familiar yet with this site, check it out. You will love them, I just know it. They give great advice, are warm and inviting and will make you feel like family. We all need that in this nutty business, don’t we?

Stop by, find Wow! on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @womenonwriting. Let me know- do you know Wow!?

Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Jessica Brockmole!!

Today is a very exciting Writer Wednesday for me! Today NaNoWriMo is in full swing AND I have a four time veteran here to tell you about it! Best part – she’s an ultra cool twitter-writer-pal of yours truly. Awesomesauce. Yessah. Today’s featured writer is Jessica Brockmole, writer, mother, tweeter, NaNoer and all wround fun chic. If you don’t know her – you simply MUST.  Catch her on twitter at @jabrockmole or stop by her website Jessica Brockmole.

BIO

Jessica Brockmole has been noveling since her oldest was born, when she decided that changing diapers and scribbling after midnight would be more fun than having a real job and saving for her own helicopter like any sensible grown-up. She currently spends her days at home with her two children and her nights propping up her eyelids to write historical novels.  In those rare slivers of free time, Jessica can be found reading and collecting random historical tidbits (hey, everyone needs a hobby…).

She’s still waiting for that helicopter.


Lucky lucky me has Jessica here on my blog to tell me all the scoop on NaNoWriMo. I thought for sure, you would want to hear it all too!

So Jessica, Thank you so much for tearing yourself away from your mad writing, but I have to get some serious deets. How many years have you participated in NanoWriMo? and What drew you to NaNoWriMo?

Three years ago I’d finished my first novel and was hitting a bump with starting the next. I had already done my research for the story (a historical novel), knew where the characters were headed, but couldn’t get past that first sentence. A friend at the Absolute Write Water Cooler suggested I try NaNo as a way to jumpstart the new WIP. I reluctantly signed up, knowing I wouldn’t get to the 50k goal (I was a steady, but not speedy writer), but willing to give it a try anyhow.

To my surprise, I not only hit the 50k but loved the journey! Participants in local regions meet for write-ins–picture a café full of writers pounding away on laptops–which were wonderfully motivating. It’s hard to justify playing Solitare when everyone around me is busily creating literature. When December 1st rolled around, I begged my fellow writers to keep meeting. Twice a week, we continued to meet, until we’d finished our NaNo novels. Until we revised them. Revised them again. Started to query. Started the next one.

This is my fourth year doing NaNo and, since I love encouraging people to give it a try, my third year acting as a Municipal Liaison in my region. I monitor our regional forum, plan write-ins, and act as general cheerleader for local Wrimos. If I can get one person who never thought they could write a novel to the finish line and beyond, that makes my November.

I adore the writing community for that very reason! never mind the 1 in 15,000 chance of getting published lol, we band together and pull for each other. You know, its writers like you that make writing so fabulous! You pull for everyone to get to the finish, have you finished each year?

It depends how you define “finished”. For the purposes of NaNo, I have. I’ve reached my 50k before December 1st. Have I gotten to “the end” for each of those novels? I haven’t. My first NaNo, I finished my novel in December, and then spent a year revising. Most of the problems (at least for me) are plot problems rather than prose problems. There’s no rule that you have to write crap during NaNo.

My other NaNo novels remain unfinished and I’m fine with that. I use it as a time for experimentation, trying different styles or genres. In the end, if the experiment doesn’t work, I’ve only wasted thirty days. And, as every novel is a learning experience, even those thirty days aren’t a waste.

I have to agree. All writing is good experience, and its fun, plus new friends, I mean, hw can you go wring, right? Tell me more: What positive changes have come for you based on the NaNo experience?

Trust. I learned to trust myself as a writer. When you’re writing at that pace, there’s no time for self-doubt. If you hit a rough patch, you are forced to keep writing through it. Before NaNo, I’d walk away. I’d tell myself that I needed to wait for inspiration to come again. I worried that it never would. But doing NaNo, and sticking with my story through good and bad, I realized that it all works out in the end. I get through the rough patches and back into the happy spots.

Acceptance. I’ve learned to accept that first drafts don’t have to be perfect. The other eleven months of the year, I do let my Inner Editor out of the cage, but I no longer give her as much say as I used to.

Joy. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing, no matter what month it is. But writing at my regular pace, I slog through the rough spots a little more. I feel my doubts a little keener. NaNo is writing in its purest form. If my usual noveling is a scenic cross country ski trip, NaNo is a blind hurtle down the side of a mountain. Close your eyes, kiss your lucky rabbit foot and know that, whatever you crash into, it’ll be one helluva ride.

Joy! I love it! Finding joy in anything makes it perfect, nto to mention all the other great things you mentions. What are your favorite aspects of the event?

Although I never thought I’d say this, the social aspect. I’ve always been pretty shy. Writing (and everything else) is a solitary activity for me. It surprised me how much I liked sitting down and writing with a roomful of people. And even outside of the regional write-ins, to know that this whole community of writers exists worldwide, all busily working towards the same goal…it’s really kind of cool.

What will you be working on this year?

I’m taking a bit of a departure from my usual NaNo fare. I write historical fiction and tend to do very lighthearted things in November. Comedic capers and jaunts. Am planning something more character-driven this year, the kind of stuff I usually write December-October.

As it stands now, it’ll be the movie Up! meets Don Quixote in the Great Depression. An ex-Army doctor, faced with the recent death of his wife and foreclosure of their home, sets off to find his wife’s childhood hero, a show cowboy who once playfully promised her after a show that he’d make her a deputy. Thanks to the bad moonshine coursing through his veins, he travels through an imaginary Old West, with black-hatted outlaws and damsels tied to railroad tracks. The story is told through the eyes of a tough twelve-year-old girl, who’s been riding the rails in search of a surrogate family. She sees through the moonshine and outlaws and damsels, but can’t get him to see that he’s already a hero to her.

I LOVE it! I hope to take a peek at some of that!

Who would you recommend NaNo to?

People who’ve always said, “I’m going to write a novel one day.” Here you go. Here’s thirty of them. Whether or not you want to do something with that novel at the end of the month, you can still say that you did it. I meet so many Wrimos at write-ins and online who only write during November. They cheerfully pound away on a keyboard all month, give themselves a round of applause at the end, then tuck the novel into a dark corner of the hard drive and wait until next year. And really, that’s fantastic. NaNo doesn’t have to be an avenue to anything bigger. You can give yourself a pat on the back and know that you’ve accomplished what many people never will. However briefly, you’ve noveled.

Writers who are having trouble getting started on a new project. This is usually where I fall. I might have ideas, I might have the story all laid out in my head, but sometimes it just takes the kick of NaNo to get me past those tricky first pages.

Writers who want to try something new. NaNo is great for trying out new genres, styles or techniques. Stuck in one genre, but curious about another? Wonder if you can write comedy when you’ve only ever done literary? Give it a try! Pretty sure you’re a pantser? Do an outline! Really, in the end, if the experiment fails, you’ve only lost thirty days to it. And you just might discover a previously unknown strength.

Wrimos, please look me up on the NaNo website. I’m Past_Midnight over there. I am a fairly rabid NaNo cheerleader, but I don’t bite. Yet.

Thank you so much Jessica! I know how much work it is to get through NaNo and you still took time to share your love of the event with others. I really appreciate it and I know they do too!

If you have questions or comments for Jessica, leave them here and we’ll keep an eye on them all day. Best of luck to all those participating is this exciting event! and thanks again to Jessica for sharing your experience with us!!

Do You Think You Can Write? #SYTYCW

Once again, my humble thanks to Twitter for this fabulous find. All week this week, Harlequin is offering an online program for FREE filled with information on writing romance. There are webinars and Twitter Chats and opportunities to meet other established or aspiring romance writers as well as editors and other Harlequin professionals. I mean – Why aren’t you registered yet? Seriously?? I told you at least two lines ago. You can link over to their blog here and get the deets. Then, you can follow the hastag #SYTYCW all week long on twitter to keep up with the low-low :) There’s an overflowing calendar on the Harelquin blog filled passed the brim with all the must read courses, chats and events. Did you see where I said this is FREE?

For anyone dismissing this opportunity because they don’t write romance, tisk tisk. ANY opportunity to glean a crumb of information is absolutely worth the effort and your time. As writers we simply cannot afford to think there’s any information we don’t need. Actually, that’s probably true as people too.  Writing is writing and improving our writing is paramount, so stop by the blog here: SYTYCW take a peek at the calendar, and see if there’s something useful to your craft. I’m certain you will be glad you took the time!

So, are you doing it? #SYTYCW?? Leave a comment and Say “Hi!”

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