Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bizarre and Unique August Holidays

If you really look, you can find a "holiday" for every day of the year. Obviously, the majority are not major holidays or are celebrated by everyone. Here are some I found for August that I thought were interesting.

August 2
National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

August 9
Book Lovers Day -- encourages you to find a shady place to relax with a good book.

August 19
National Aviation Day -- in honor of Orville Wright's birthday. The day honors the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers. It's sometimes called Wright Brothers' Day.

August 22
Be an Angel Day -- encourages people to do an act of kindness and to help others. Jayne Howard Feldman, the creator of this day, says she was inspired by angels.

August 30
Frankenstein Day -- is in honor of author Mary Wollenstone Shelley who was born on August 30, 1797. She wrote Frankenstein in 1818.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Five: Childhood Sitcoms

Last week when I was writing about my favorite sitcoms, I realized I as writing about the ones I currently watch even though most of them are no longer in production. I didn't even think about the sitcoms I watched when I was a kid.

So here are the top five.

  1. The Brady Bunch -- The family seemed like they had a lot of fun, and they seemed to always have everything they wanted. 
  2. Happy Days -- The Fonz! Do I need to say any more?
  3. The Facts of Life -- The problems the girls got into and dealt with hysterical.
  4. M*A*S*H --  Even now, I'll watch some of the reruns of this show.  It lasted for 11 seasons, not bad for a bunch of army surgeons.
  5. Different Strokes -- Arnold, played by Gary Coleman, was hilarious.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Five: Sitcoms I Like

Narrowing the list down to only five sitcoms was actually tougher than I thought it would be, but I did it.

  1. The Cosby Show -- The show is warm, caring and funny.
  2. Roseanne -- A typical, working-class family struggling with bills, jobs and family issues. The show is funny. I love Roseanne's snarky, out-spoken personality.
  3. Home Improvement -- Tim Allen is so funny. This is a great "escape"  show.
  4. The Golden Girls -- I didn't start watching this show until I happened to stop on it late one night, but I immediately fell in love with the ladies who play the characters.
  5. The Drew Carey Show -- Again, this is a show I didn't start watching until I caught it syndication. I just love Mimi!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated with a project is not just a pitfall of writers. At some time or another, everyone needs a little motivation to keep them going so that she can finish her project.

But what is motivation?

According to, motivation means providing with a reason to act in a certain way. in other words, we need reasons to keep pushing us until we cross the finish line.

Writers, for the most part, appear to be highly motivated people. They sit, day after day, churning out words to create their stories. What they do looks so easy that anyone could do it. And yes, writers are very motivated, but we have days when we need a little extra help--a push or reason to keep us writing, because in a lot of ways, we are very much self-destructive. We are our own worse critics.

I'm constantly questioning myself about what I'm writing. Is it good enough? Will anyone actually read it? Will they like it?

So how do we stay motivated?

If you're like me, you probably have several "tricks" you use to help keep you motivated. Here are some of the things I use to give me the reasons to finish my writing projects.

  1. Reread what you have written. Sometimes it helps to go back and read the stories I've written. It's a way for me to prove to myself that I can write, as well as putting my head back on track, especially when I'm working on a stress.
  2. Changing writing locations. Right now I have a desk in my bedroom where I do the majority of my writing, but some days it just doesn't work. I can't stand staring at the wall in front of me. So moving  to a different location often helps get me re-motivated with the story I'm working on.
  3. Read letters  and notes from fans. Self-doubts are big motivation killers, and writers are filled with self-doubts. Reading letters and notes from fans helps to squish the self-doubts because you're reading the praise from a complete stranger who is not motivated by food and clean clothes to tell you how great a writer you are.
  4. Little treats. Finish the scene and I can go to the local coffee shop for a latte. If I write another thousand words, then I can watch another episode of Grimm. I think you get the idea. It's the old trick of dangling a carrot in front of the mule to get it motivated to pull the plow.
These are just a few things, or tricks, I use to help keep me motivated. How do you keep yourself motivated.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Writers Write. Do You?

When people find out I'm a writer, I get a wide range of reactions.

"That's really cool!"
"I've never met a writer before."
These kind of responses usually led to a neat discussion about my books and books in general.

"How much have you made from your books?"
"I have an idea for a book you can write."
These are the questions that I have to plaster a smile on my face. I was taught that you don't ask ask people how much money they make, so it's something I don't discuss. If you have an idea for a book, I'm excited for you, but I want you to write it, not me. I have lots of ideas and even several outlines waiting for me to work on, so thank you for the offer, but I have to politely decline.

"When do you find time to write?" 
Finding time to write is not always that easy. There are a few writers who make enough off of their writing to quit their day jobs and write full time. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them, though one day I would like to be.

I have a full time day job. I teach in a public school. My day job helps to pay the household bills. The lucky part of teaching is that I do get holidays and summer off with the exception of the workshops I have to attend during summer.

During the school year, I do a lot of my writing on weekends and in the evenings, often after the rest of the house is asleep because there are few distractions that way. My writing goal is to write a minimum of 1000 words a day, but there are days I can barely get in a few 100 words. I've learned I have to be flexible. Life happens.

Writing during the summer often presents a whole new list of challenges. Typically, I spend most of the day writing and working on household chores or running errands when I take breaks from writing. The main challenge to my writing time comes from friends and family. It's the "you're off and at home doing nothing, so you can do this for me" attitude. I have no problem helping family and friends, but sometimes it comes to a point that I have to save no.

So where do I find writing time?
I find writing time anywhere and everywhere I can.
I even take a pen and notebook with me everywhere I go.

Writers write because, not only do we love writing, we have to do it. Writing is as much a part of us as breathing and eating is. Being writers are who we are even if we never take the step to publish our stories.

Are you a writer?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Covers

If you haven't noticed, take a look to your left. I've posted the new covers for Guardian of Atlantis and Wrath of Hades.

I decided the series needed a more uniform look. In a few days the new covers will be up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. I've also re-edited both books.

In a few days, I will do a cover reveal for Ethan's Trials.

Let me know what you think.