Posted in Encouragement, Heroine Interviews, resources

You are A Survivor, interview and post by Teresa Watson.

hopeA year ago, I started writing my 7th Lizzie Crenshaw book, Death Vetoes the Chairman. I never intended for it to take the serious turn that it did. My stories are usually filled with lighthearted humor, and that is still there in this book. But when I sent the first few chapters to my beta readers, one of them sent me a message: “I’ve been through this.” After she told me what had happened to her, I realized that this was a story that needed to be told. I asked for her advice every step of the way, so all of Lizzie’s reactions, as well as those of her family and friends, are genuine. To be clear, I’ve never been through anything like this myself. My parents had a wonderful, loving marriage for almost forty years, and my husband and I have been happily married for almost thirteen years. So sexual harassment and sexual assault are things that I know very little about.

When the book came out in July, the messages I got were mostly positive. One note came from a friend of mine who is a victim’s advocate in a domestic violence shelter. She told me that the book was very good. When I contacted her last week, she was more than willing to answer some questions for me.

Q: How often do women come to you for help, only to return to their previous situation?

A: It varies for each woman. Some it will only take once, and those are very rare. Most women it takes several times, and even three or more trips to the ER and to shelters before they finally have the courage to leave. Many times it’s due to the fact that the abuser is controlling the money and the transportation.

Q: Are there enough shelters?

A: No, and what shelters there are just aren’t big enough.

Q: And of course, not enough money. If you had a wish list, what would be on it?

A: The shelter my mom worked at (she’s a retired victim’s advocate) was a former nursing home. It gives the women and their children their own room and bathroom. Having a personal place to put your toothbrush and to hang a wet towel is very precious.

Q: How often does the abuser find out which shelter the women are at?

A: Turning Point in Marion, Ohio is a public shelter now. It used to be a private shelter, and if law enforcement brought a victim there, they had to do it in civilian vehicles.

Q: Why is it a public shelter now?

A: Because their security is much better than what it was before they moved. It puts it in the public eye, and it has fewer abuser incidents as well.

Q: Do you think more shelters should become public?

A: Personally, yes, I do. The public actually helps to keep an eye on the shelter as they drive by.

Q: So what is the difference between domestic violence and sexual harassment/assault?

A: Domestic violence is between two people who are in a personal relationship, whether they are dating or married. Sexual harassment can also happen between two people in a relationship, but normally happens when the people are either just acquaintances or strangers, and involves no sex, but mainly words and actions. Sexual assault is the politically correct term for rape.

Q: Can one lead to the other?

A: Yes, and that is normally how domestic violence starts.

Q: So it can start as sexual harassment, escalate to rape, and end with domestic violence?

A: Rape is domestic violence when it happens between a couple in a relationship.

Q:  But isn’t rape harder to prove when the couple is married?

A: It can be, and that is where people like my mom, who works as a victim’s advocate, come in and help. It normally starts with a civil protection order (CPO), and then goes from there.

Q: Tell me what a victim’s advocate does.

A: A victim’s advocate is just that. They help the victim by guiding them through the court system, and helping them find a safe place, both mentally and physically.

Q:  Do victim’s advocates also work with rape victims?

A: Domestic violence advocates do if it was their spouse/boyfriend/significant other.

Q: How often are men victims of domestic violence?

A: About a tenth of what women are, and many of them do not report it.

Me: Well, no guy wants it known that they were beaten up by a woman, any more than a woman wants people to know that they were beaten up by a man. There’s that stigma…not to mention the looks they get. Those sad, sympathetic looks.

Her: Exactly.

Q:  So, if I want to have my main character, Lizzie, open up a women’s shelter, what does she need? Victims’ advocates, counselors, a big house…certainly pastors can also help with counseling.

A: A director, financial officer of some kind, a volunteer coordinator, lots of volunteers, and a big house! And yes, pastors can be helpful, but many shelters have counselors that work specifically with domestic violence.

Q: What about resources for the children?

A: A whole new kettle of fish. Turning Point will help with putting the kids into school, or setting them up with online schooling.

Q: What kind of issues do the children have?

A: Nightmares, severe acting out, defiance syndrome, bed wetting…the list can be huge.

Q: How much time are the women allowed to spend at the shelter? Is there a time limit?

A: The residential time limit is different with each shelter. It can depend on how many cases and how much room is at the shelter.

Q: What else should I know?

A: It is a very stressful situation that takes a lot of guts to get out of.

Q: A lot of women are too scared to make that move, aren’t they?

A: Yes, they are!

Q: For the ones that do leave, what is usually the thing that pushes them over that line? That tells them it’s time to get help?

A: It is when they finally decide that they are worth the effort to get out.

Q: Is there anything that you would want people to know?

A: To be patient if they know someone in a domestic violence situation. Give them support and a safe place, be it mental or physical.

Q: How are is it to get financial support for shelters?

A: Many are part of United Way, or part of another charity. Ours was started by our local churches.

Q: So there aren’t many privately financed shelters?

A:  Not too many that I know of.

Q: How many woman are in a shelter at one time? I guess that would depend on the size, right?

A: The size would dictate that. We actually cover a seven county area. Our county alone has 63,000 in population, so one shelter is enough. But severe cases may be sent to larger cities.

Once I realized the direction my story was taking, I got very nervous. I wasn’t sure how people would react to one of my books tackling a serious social topic. But it is one that needs to be talked about, be it through a fictional character, or by articles like this. Men, women and children find themselves in situations like this every hour of every day. And it’s not going to go away. We can sit and pretend that it’s not there, bury our heads in the sand and say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Or we can try to help.

Be a volunteer. There are some links at the end of this article. Check them out; find out what you can do to help. I did ask my friend if she had thought about starting a Prayer Shawl Ministry for her shelter, and she told me her church already does this, and provides shawls for the women who come to the shelter. If you can knit and/or crochet, then you can take part in this ministry.

If you know a friend who is in a dangerous situation, provide them a safe place if you can. Don’t push them to leave on your time schedule. Leaving is a difficult decision, and it may take several times of them leaving and going back, before they leave for good. If the abuser has control of the finances, then they will have to find the resources to help them. Mostly, they need love and support, not questions and condemnation.

Above all else, please remember that while you may feel like a victim for a while once you do get out, YOU ARE A SURVIVOR. There is help. When you’re ready, make sure that you are in a safe location before reaching out. Erase all the phone numbers from your call history, and clean your browsing history on your computer, so that your partner won’t know what you are doing.

Just reach out. There will be someone there to grab your hand and help you through the storm.

RESOURCES:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – www.thehotline.org

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) – www.ncadv.org

Love is Respect – www.loveisrespect.org

The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence – www.ncdsv.org

The Domestic Violence Shelter – thedvshelter.com

No More – nomore.org

Posted in Encouragement, resources, Self-Rescue Princess

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

peace love stopOctober is domestic violence awareness month. I’ve never talked about this issue on my blog, but with everything going on in our world today, I thought it was time. Domestic violence is usually seen as between spouses, but it encompasses—sadly—a lot more. Not only is it between parents and child, but at times between siblings. I grew up where the bullying occurred in my home. I was called names, labeled the nothing in the family, mocked because I had a stuttering problem. It used to hurt that my oldest brother acted like he didn’t know me when we were at school. He was a year older than me so we usually attended the same schools. People were shocked when they found out he had a sister going to the same school because he never told anyone.  When I was in the tenth grade, and he was in the eleventh, we shared the lunch period and yet I ate alone every day. That year, we also had the same first period class and my mother had him moved out of the class the next day for fear I’d embarrass him. In time, I came to realize that they had unwittingly done me a huge favor. School was a time where I could just be without worrying if I was doing or saying something wrong. I liked blending into the background and not being noticed by anyone. It gave me eight hours a day (I hated summer) where I was safe from the bullying of my siblings, and being abused by my parents.

This is a part of my life I’ve always tried to live past, and try hard not to let it control my life. One of my biggest fears now is being defined by the abuse I suffered as a child—what my father did to me—rather than what I do in life. I realized that the lack of a loving family when I was growing up is why I’m drawn to creating them in my fiction, and was the driving force of the New Beginning Series. This romantic suspense series follows a group of skip-tracers who dedicate their lives to relocating abused women who need a new start in life. These women and men face danger as they keep their clients — and their own hearts — safe. http://www.christinafreeburn.com/#!newbegin/c1yzj

I’ve been in the position of having to save myself because those responsible not only refused to do so, but were the very reason I was in danger. They had built and placed me in the tower I was desperate to escape from. But I did. Not an easy task when you’re really still just a kid, but a necessary one. I learned at a young age that I had to fight my own battles or else let the dragon burn me.

For many, there is no prince (the reason for my blog’s name). No knight in shining armor … actually not even a knight in tarnished armor willing or able to go to battle.  Some women will have to defend their own honor.  Slay their own dragons. Find a way out of the tower through their own strength. The self-rescuing princess isn’t doomed to a life of unhappiness if a man doesn’t save her because she’ll save herself. One day, she’ll find her prodigal prince, or help that knight shine up his armor.  But if she doesn’t find her match, she’ll still live a life to be proud of and admired.

This month, I’ll share some excerpts for my novels and those of a fellow writer, Teresa Watson, and will include links to resources. I pray that no one needs them, but the sad reality is someone out there will.

Posted in Books, Encouragement, Everyday Life

Stay in the Now

So far, 2015 has been a little overwhelming for me (in a good way). I decided at the end of last year to expand my horizons a little and silence the annoying voice in my head that liked to say I couldn’t do something. Or, it just wasn’t in me to figure out a new skill. I was really tired of it so started doing some new things and working on some skills I did have. And that voice had also made me second guess myself that resulted in me pulling out two threads from Embellished to Death. I loved them and believed added so much to the story but I worried about it…one changed a lot for my heroine and required a new mindset for her. Fortunately, my wonderful editor knew I was holding back something and encouraged me to go with my instinct and write it. I’m so glad I did. EMBELLISHED front under 2mbThose two elements…Bob (Ted’s brother) and Garrison’s (Bob’s life partner) appearance in the book added a richness to the book and I really enjoyed seeing them together on the page. I must admit they are my favorite couple in the Scrap This series. The other element in the book shook up my heroine’s world and while I was worried about it happening in Embellished, when I finished writing Framed to Death (#4) I was so happy I finally ignored the “you can’t” voice. I enjoyed seeing Faith grow on the page. It’s nice seeing her also silencing her own “I can’t’ voice.

To work on silencing mine, I took a sewing class at the end of last year and did pretty well I must say. I then decided to take an online course on taxes, did a good job, and then got a job preparing taxes. I know this might sound strange but I actually enjoy it.. What makes me the proudest was that I overcame the voice saying I wouldn’t be able to do it, and forged ahead even during the class segments when I started doubting myself. So twice last year I won against the “You can’t” voice that liked to derail my plans and vision.

contest 012While Framed to Death (the fourth in the Scrap This Series) is with beta readers, I’ve been working on a book that has been in my mind and heart for the last few years. I’ve been wanting to do it but the “You can’t” voice had overcome me and convinced me the book was a little more than I could write. There are elements of paranormal and mystery in the story, but the hardest one to get just right is the uniqueness of the spirit of not only the people in Appalachia but also Appalachia in and of itself.

This year I stopped listening to the voice saying I can’t and have dusted off the manuscript and began working on it again. I had completed half the book when I let the ‘I can’ts’ convince me I couldn’t adequately tell the story in my own head. If I can’t tell the story who can? And it’s a story I need to tell. It’s been with me for a few years and won’t leave. That tells me it wants out and into a book. The story has grown over the years and I’m confident I can do it. I’ve made some major changes to the original plot and I’m loving how the book is coming together. I don’t know what will happen when I complete this manuscript, but I’m proud that I’m writing ahead and not letting me stop myself from trying. I decide to live in the now writing moment and will consider the book’s future when I’m done. I realized that at times I’m so concerned at what will come next, what could happen, that I don’t enjoy where I’m at now so my motto for this year is “Stay in the now.”

Posted in Encouragement, Everyday Life, Writing

You are a Diva if — Not!

You are a Diva if…

you are not doing what others expect you to do at all times.

Or at least that is the impression I’m getting lately. Diva (along with narcissist) is a word I see and hear quite frequently. Sometimes diva is said tongue in check and a term a woman applies to herself, and other times it’s a putdown used against others. A recent blog post I read has me thinking about this a lot today and mostly because it has hurt people. Good people. Wonderful, hardworking, loving, giving women stretched almost to the point of breaking are made to feel that devoting time to their own dreams and goals is wrong. Sinful.

For most people, time is the most valuable and limited resource. Between jobs, second jobs (writing for some authors), family, household, volunteering most people are hanging on and just managing to get everything done. And sometimes tasks are not done and it adds on a layer of guilt and makes a person feel unworthy. Lacking.

Instead of trying to ease the burden, some are heaping on more guilt by labeling people divas or narcissists because they aren’t doing enough for others. And interesting to me, the “others” the labeler seems to be talking about is themselves. In these hand slaps, what I hear loud and clear is basically, “Using your time on yourself, and not me or what I say is important, makes you a Diva.”

Sadly, this phenomena seems to be more prevalent in Christian organizations and circles. If a woman (and yes, it’s usually a woman it’s directed at) isn’t giving all her ‘free’ time or personal time to causes and in support of others dreams and goals then she is a Diva with a capital D. To make sure she gets the point, some version of the “God is not happy with you” quote is throw in. I think sometimes in our quest to prove ourselves a good Christian to the world and make God love us, we forget 1. pointing out others ‘faults’/’sinful’ behavior isn’t proof and 2. He already does.

We do not know all that is happening in a person’s life at any given moment. Sometimes I don’t even know what is happening in mine. When someone doesn’t step up the way you feel they should, doesn’t do enough for you, it doesn’t mean they are a Diva. It could mean they have a lack of time. It could mean they’re struggling. It could mean they need your help.

“Do onto others as you would have them do unto you” should be said and thought of with a loving and giving spirit, not with a self-righteous and punishing spirit. As bling does not make a Diva, nor does having limited time to help others in their pursuits make a writer a Diva.

Posted in Encouragement, Everyday Life, Writing

Setting Goals

I’ve been taking a finance class at church and this week’s assignment was about goal setting. The goal setting the course wanted us to focus on was financial ones. Plan out the big purchases we knew we needed to make in the next few years. List out the purchases and figure out the amount we needed to save for that item. My husband and I are determined not to use debt (credit cards and loans) as a method of purchasing large items. (newer car, kitchen remodel, vacations, etc). Thinking about $25,000 for a kitchen remodel is depressing. My first thought was we’ll never save that much. But, breaking the cost down to years, and then into months, made our goal seem doable. Reachable.

 I decided to take that mindset and apply it to my writing projects. I know how many books I’d like (and need) to complete this year and broke those projects down by word count. Writing 2,000 words a day (1,000 each book) for 2 different works-in-progress made the goal of completing those books more doable in my mind. Well, I did give myself permission to change it up if I’m in ‘the zone’. Write 2,000 on one book, and the next day 2,000 on the other project.

When I focused on the big goal –writing three books this year– it put a bit of pressure on my muse. I felt overwhelmed, discouraged and headed toward failure … and the year has just started. All I could picture in my mind was thousands upon thousands of words in a mish-mash, thousands of blank pages I needed to place all those words on. Three books. In one year? Not going to happen. Then I split those books into separate goals, then divided each of those books into  smaller daily word goals. By looking at those daily goals, I realized it was possible. Achievable. It didn’t look so bad when I saw how many words a day I had to write.

This week I started my daily goals for my projects. At the beginning of the week, I write down the words count I want to write each day, for each project and check them off as they are completed. I find myself more relaxed when I write. I didn’t think I could write 300,000 words this year. But I know I can do 2,000 words a day.

Whether it’s paying off debt, saving for a large purchase, or completing a book, the end goal because more manageable when it’s looked at in smaller bits rather than as a whole.

Posted in Encouragement, Writing

Taking My Own Advice

“Every writer’s journey is different.” This is a piece of advice I have given out, but haven’t been taking lately. It’s so easy to advise  and give encouragement to others, but so hard at times to do it for ourselves. I find myself questioning and comparing my ability, my commitment, and my success against how others are doing and managing their writing careers. And for the most part find myself falling short. Sometimes way short. Nothing shuts the muse down like brow-beating oneself.

But the truth is I’m not them. I’m not any other writer. I’m me. What works for one person will not work for me. Not only do we have different obligations, commitments, time available but also personalities. Some writers can write at a consistent breakneck speed, producing thousands upon thousands of words a day every day. I can’t. I can for a certain time period, but not on a daily basis. It’s just not the way I write best. I need time off to read, scrapbook, quilt.

Music is my muse. Without having time to just sit and listen to tunes that I have purchased, or spend some time browsing iTunes for new songs, I don’t feel ‘complete’. Some of my best characters and books have come from listening to a song and having a character or storyline come alive in my head. It’s my way to recharge. At times I feel as if any time not writing is wasted time. It means I’m not as committed as other writers. If I spent more time writing, I’d be more successful.

In order to live in the world of my characters, I have to spend time out of it. When my life only revolves around their lives (writing) then I find myself basing my worth on business … aka money. The self-defeating mindset that what I make determines my worth in life. A horrific untruth that I pound into my heart and soul. I keep reading advice that basically says the more books the better. I believe it and judge myself and work against that ‘truth’. I’ll forget about ‘my journey’ and try to duplicate others journey. Even worse, I start believing that if I’m not doing it that way (their way) it means I’m setting myself up for failure. An insistent voice scolds and says the only reason I’m not seeing success is because I’m not managing my writing career like them. But when I try, I fail and I realize the simple reason why … I’m trying to be someone else and not me. I forgot to take into account there is a difference between the words ‘mine’ and ‘their’.

What is theirs cannot be mine. For me to have ‘their’ success, I have to be ‘them’. I have to be someone else. I can’t. I can only be me. I have a different personality. A different background. Different obligations and commitments. I write best at different times. A different writing pattern and method is most suited to my personality and my life.  I have to find what works best for me and use all those methods to the best of my ability. 

Everyone’s journey is different and I can only succeed if I travel down mine.

Posted in Encouragement, How To, Uncategorized

Managing Time

Why is that after a vacation, one finds it hard … or more precise … I find it hard to get back into the swing of things. Or in my case a ‘hiatus’ resulting from preparing for a writer’s conference, attending conference, taking care of treasury duties needed done because of conference, and then a vacation following right on the heels of said conference. One thing I’ve learned is that it would be less hectic and tiring I didn’t plan our vacation for a week after conference.

I like to plan vacations in advance so at the time I made the arrangements, I didn’t know that I’d be treasurer for an organization. It’s a position I never thought I’d ever take but like any good self-rescuing princess, I decided to give it a try and stretch myself. I’m glad I did and am enjoying learning more about non-profits and taking on the role. It gives me a real sense of purpose and accomplishment to be doing this for an organization that I have grown to love.

Ah … I think I’ve discovered one of the reasons I have trouble getting back into the swing of things — otherwise known as staying on task — is that my mind can easily divert itself to another project or item even when I’m currently trying to concentrate on one. Right now, I want to talk about time management, or my lack thereof, and my brain wanted to interrupt to mention about my decision to step outside of my created box and take on a role I never thought I would.

I think I’m going to employ a ‘trick’ that I used when I was a church secretary. Items were added daily to my to-do list and a single call could reshuffle and undo my plans. The Yellow List. It was the Yellow List because I always had one of those large yellow legal pads nearby. Every morning when I got to work, a few minutes before the office officially opened, I’d take out my list from the night before and read it. I’d make any adjustments I felt necessary and then started going down the line. When new projects were given to me, I’d add them to the bottom of the list and then at lunch time reevaluated the order. If there was a true emergency, I’d work on that project and once completed go back to my list. Then at the end of the day, I’d write a new list for the next day. I found that The Yellow List cleared my mind from obsessing about work and reminding myself about what needed to be done ‘tomorrow’ and then in the morning I didn’t feel overwhelmed when I walked in the door.

Since I returned home to write, I didn’t think that having a list was important. But I found that working at home there are more distractions and items needing my attention and in so many different areas that I lose focus. A lot. I’m going to start keeping one list and breaking it up into three different category: Work, Volunteer, Home. Basically writing, treasury duties and family stuff. Then I’ll focus a part of each day on a category and go down the numbers.

I feel hopeful that tomorrow will be more productive. Now I really wished I had picked up one of those princess notebooks from the store today. It would have been a nice place to keep my lists.

Posted in Encouragement, Uncategorized, West Virginia, Writing

Off to Gather Inspiration

Wow. I can’t believe how much time has passed since I last posted. I thought it was just last week but it’s actually been almost two weeks. My schedule has kept me busy the last few weeks. Wrapping up schooling. Preparing for conference. Treasury business and duties. Research for the next book. Preparing for conference. The annual purge through the books and other items I seem to have bought just to store. And well … yes … getting ready for the conference. Because of my other duties this year, it’s taking me longer to get everything together. Or else it just feels that way because I’ve been triple checking every hour for the last few days to make sure I have everything.

The one item that has gotten pushed from my to do list is writing. And I miss it. So, now I know I’m at the stage to start working on the next project. At the end of some projects, I can feel burn out and question why am I doing this. Is my time best used doing something else? Breaks have a way of reminding me very clearly why I do this … I love it. It’s a part of me. In a way … who I am. I start to get a little antsy when I can’t. I even start to dream … not about the book, the characters, or the plot but just about the writing. Typing away at my keyboard. Nothing specific just the actual action. Yes, it’s time to start the next book. I’m anticipating the start, but before that new Chapter One starts to take shape on Monday, it’s time to head out and gather some much needed inspiration.

The end of this week is the perfect way to help reinforce my love of writing and getting back in gear. I leave in about an hour for the West Virginia Writers Conference in Ripley. There’s something inspiring about being with a group of writers. They understand the doubts, the frustration, the joy and the love that is all mixed into the craft of writing and in the publishing business.  I always come home from the conference feeling inspired, ready to create and most important feeling connected. I think that being able to spend quality time with my friends is just as important … if not more so … than the workshops on techniques.

I know it’s not just new knowledge that I’ll bring home with me but also encouragement and cheering to help me through the next year of the uncertainty of trying to make it in the publishing field. Sometimes I’m not sure what I’m doing, if I’m doing it right, or if I even have the ability … but not after this weekend. I always leave Ripley feeling empowered, capable and ready to take on the writing world and the next project. And at times, that feeling is the most important take away from a conference.

Posted in Books, Encouragement, How To, Writing

Finding the Theme Song

Music was the answer to most of the problems or blocks that I experienced with writing. When I’m stalled it’s usually because I can’t ‘see’ the part of the book that I’m working on. It’s hard for me to write scenes with the correct tempo without feeling it. Fast paced beats offered the driven pace to write chase scene. Tender love ballads helped slow the speed of the sentence and affected word choices. The best way to make the story and characters come to life was by sharing the emotional mood. If I couldn’t feel the emotion — melancholy, anger, longing, joy — in the scene then how would the reader experience it?

Yet, for some reasons I never connected this answer –music– to the issue I was having with writing romance. I thought I just needed to read more romantic suspense books (not a bad idea, it’s really hard to write a type of story you don’t read) and needed to read more how to write romance books (okay, sometimes I go overboard with these and use every suggestion and land up confusing myself and with a complete mess … like my first attempt at romantic suspense). I did these two thing and found myself still struggling.

With Lost Then Found, I didn’t want to give up on the project. This book spoke to me in a way that a project hadn’t in a long time and I wanted to share it. Get it published. But first I had to ensure that the motivation for the heroine and hero falling back in love was felt by readers. I got it but others not so much. And I needed …wanted … everyone to get to know and love these characters and experience their growth and rekindled romance.

I needed to find a way to ‘get’ the romance writing part of writing a romantic suspense. The suspense I had down but the relationship between the heroine and the hero wasn’t strong enough. The conflict between the heroine and hero was understood but the happily ever after ending wasn’t believable to anyone but me. Then came my ah-ha moment.

I heard a song (Away in Silence by Creed) and thought ‘that fits Renee and Jonas perfectly’. I could see a ‘trailer’ of the story when the song played. Saw bits of the couples past, present, and a hope for their future. Yes. This was their song. I listened to it over and over again, memorizing not the individual words but the feeling and mood that the lyrics portrayed. The regret. The pain. The apology. The hope of forgiveness. I went back and edited the book, keeping the song in mind — and playing it when I had to — in order to portray those emotions to the reader.

 Theme song search is now part of my research for each book. At times it’s harder and more time consuming than other areas of research but it is vital to me. Sometimes, I’ll find the perfect song that will fit a different project (which I will note so I don’t forget) . But I don’t stop looking or stop writing. I know the song will ‘announce’ itself to me and it might be when I least expect it .  

Since I’m starting a new book, it’s time to start the quest for the perfect song. A good day for it as both American Idol and Glee are on tonight.

Posted in Books, Encouragement, How To, Writing

Projects and More Projects

Editing a contracted book.  Quilting a princess blanket. School. Financial duties. Planning for a conference. Reading. Getting ready for another conference. Revising and editing for a re-release of a book long out of print. (okay seven years probably not that long but longer than my mind had grasped at the time) Finding a cover artist. Not to mention the other items that come up during the routine day of maintaining a household, raising teens, spending time with a spouse. Then there’s the children’s mystery that I loved to find a home for.

Some many projects and not enough time to do it all … well at least do it all correctly. Some of the items, I decided to do make the wisest choice (though more expensive) and hire out. Cover artist I am not. I’ve found a great cover artist that I know will do a fantastic job. He’s encouraging me to think big on and let him know all my wishes, even those elements that I’m not sure can be done, and we’ll go from there. I’ve also hired an editor for the reissue of my out-of-print title. Since I’ve rewritten a good portion of the book (retyped the rest by taking apart the actual book as I had no updated computer file), I decided that hiring an editor would be the best choice. My eye has a tendency to read what I know I wrote instead of what I actually wrote.

One of the other decisions I’ve had to make was putting the children’s book to the side for the time being. With a contract for five romantic suspense books and then deciding to re-issue a paranormal detective novel, one of the areas I’m writing in needs to take a back seat for a little. I need to concentrate on the other two to ensure they are the best books that I can write. I know I can manage two but am not sure about three. Plus, I don’t want to always feel like I’m juggling and need to have time to read and pursue my hobbies. I always find that I can work better when my brain is allowed to disengage from the task of writing and editing and focus on something that is done ‘for fun’.