Friday, January 29, 2016

My Reading List

So, I'm taking the day off from life. I'm reading. I woke up this morning and finished the book I started last night then stared another one. Here's my current reading list. (These are Amazon Associate Links and will take you right to the Amazon page for that book.)

Finished Lollipop by Amy Lane this morning. I've loved all the books in this series. This one dragged in places but I was cheering for them in the end.

Then I read Red River by Cardeno C. Really enjoyed this one too. Was a pretty fast read but quite enjoyable.

I'm feeling like sticking the werewolf world for a while so, up next... My Boss is a Grumpy Werewolf and I Think He Wants to Eat Me by Jane Wallace-Knight.  The title is catchy so I'm going to give it a try.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Already? Really?

Arrgh! Last Sunday was “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.”  That’s so sad that we’re willing to give up on resolutions 2 weeks into the New Year.  As I said in the last post, I think it’s because resolution is such a finite word. If you fail a resolution…YOU FAIL.  How dreadful.

Having said that…

Confessional:  Even after just a short amount of time, I’ve started wavering on my “less soda/more tea” initiative. I found myself saying, “screw it, I’ll just have another soda,” but then decided to cut myself some slack and take it a day at a time.  I didn't beat myself up about the extra soda I drank. Just decided today, I'll make sure I have more tea. Seriously, there’s a reason that saying works.

When I looked forward to 2016 and asked myself what I wanted out of the year, it was to take my writing to the next level. I’ve been kind of hovering for the past couple of years and I’d like to improve—sales, recognition, options.

Obviously something has to change.  To paraphrase a popular quote—insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  (Note: from what I can find, this actually goes back to a 1981 Narcotics Anonymous text. It’s also not really a definition of insanity.  If you’re looking for one, here’s an interesting link.)

No, I don’t think I’m insane but certainly doing the same thing isn’t going to change the results. I need to do something different, something better. The same thing, only different.

As part of that initiative, I’ve decided to read a book on the craft of writing each month. It’s a manageable goal. Most craft books are under 300 pages. That’s less than 10 pages a day or about 10 minutes.  I can do that.

My first book is Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (link below).  It’s a well-known screenwriting book. I’ve learned some good things about beats and ways to boost the sagging middle (my own personal challenge). I might not be able to use every element in the book but it’s got my mind spinning with ideas to fix points in my working stories.

And you’ve got to love when new ideas pop up, yes?

Here is a link to Amazon for Save The Cat. It's the paperback copy because I like to be able to write in my "craft" books. Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate, so if you click the link and decide to buy the book (no pressure), I get a bit of a finder's fee. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-changes (Gotta do a tribute to the great David Bowie, yeah?)

Yes, it's crazy we're almost 2 weeks into the New Year.  Are you keeping your resolutions?
Did you know that January 17th is "Ditch New Year's Resolutions" Day? Argh! We give up so easily but I get it. We've made resolutions in the past and they have been wicked hard to keep.  
That's why this year I've decided on "New Year's Initiatives." It's a very business-like term, eh? But it's working for me.
Resolutions sound so finite. "I resolve I'm never drinking soda again!"  Yeah, from someone who drinks 4+ sodas a day? That's a hard habit to break.
Initiatives mean I'm beginning something. I don't know the outcome but I'm making a start.  So I've made several initiatives for the New Year and over the next few weeks I'm going to share them with you. 
Also, with initiatives, they don't have to start at the New Year. So, #1 initiative for 2016...every month I'm going to try I new healthy idea. I'm not going to go crazy (learned that lesson). I'm going to do some small changes.
So for January...more tea, less soda. I wasn't kidding when I said I drink 4 large (20 oz) sodas each day.  Since the beginning of the year, I've managed to eliminate at least 1 sometimes 2 sodas by drinking tea instead. Yes, I put sugar in my tea but studies have shown drinking diet soda doesn't really help you lose weight. For my overall health, a little extra sugar each day will be better than 80+ oz. of diet soda.
And that's the good news. I'm hoping this will stick and if it does, maybe later in the year I'll wean myself off sugar in my tea. But I'm tellin' you now...I can't go from artificial sweetener to no sugar. It won't last and I'll be back drinking soda in no time. 
I'm going for long term changes here.   
Coming up...I'm making changes in my professional life as well. Little things that could make a big difference. 
Have a great day!

And looking for something fun to read for the New Year? Check out Unexpected Alpha, Book 1 of the Lone Wolves.