Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saying Good-bye to 2015

Wow, another year has past! Well, almost. I'm not really trying to rush it or anything. Even though I had a few disappointments, 2015 was a good year for me.

Next week I will recap how my yearly goals matched up to my production. The following week, I'll share my goals for 2016!

To be honest, I am just now starting to think about my 2016 writing goals. Have you set your goals yet or are you like me, still mulling them over?

I have decided on my one word for my writing career for 2016. It's reinvigorate. I need too. I've been slacking off a little so I need to reinvigorate my enthusiasm towards my writing and the every changing market place.

Did you receive a Barnes and Noble or Amazon gift card for Christmas? If so, you might want to check out the Lassoed by Marriage novella collection!

Friday, December 25, 2015

A King is Born!

Merry Christmas!

 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

Don't forget about the magic of the season. Look to the night sky. If you don't see flying reindeer, you may just see a 'star'.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Twenty Three

This is it. The end of this years series. Although I didn't post them in any particular order, I did save my favorite Christmas movie for last. I mean, Cary Grant, as an angel, it just doesn't get any better than that! Plus I always enjoyed Loretta Young and David Niven's acting too.

Of course this movie has a remake! The Preacher's Wife. A little of the plot is different, but I enjoy it too. Not as much as the original though. Which one of these movies do you prefer?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Twenty Two

This is another great movie featuring Santa and believing in the magic at Christmas. My favorite part of this movie is when they prove in court that the 'crazy old man' is Santa. Seriously, it's an ingenious idea to deliver the children's letters to Santa. I know why this movie has staying power!

Do you like the original version of this movie or one of the remakes?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Twenty One

Who could not this movie about Santa Claus? It's SO magical and explains all the magic behind the man. Mix the magic with comedy and tenderness and what do you have? A hit!

Plus I love the title's play on words! Do you like 'play on words' movies, songs, book titles?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Twenty

This movie makes me cry every time I watch it. It's a wonderful reminder of all the little things that we do in life that make a big impact on someone else.

Does this movie make you cry?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Nineteen

We are coming in on the home stretch for this series. It wouldn't be Christmas time without watching today's movie at least once. And who wouldn't? The costumes are gorgeous! And the song? Terrific, especially Snow!

Do you love the costumes from the older movies?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Eighteen

Today's movie I've grown to enjoy over the years. I can't say that I really liked it the first time I watched it. Turner Classic movies plays it every year at Christmas time.
Do you have movies that 'grow' on you?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Seventeen

Today's movie features Barbara Stanwyck. She is one of my favorite actresses. I think she's beautiful and has always reminded me of my mother! This movie has a fun premise and is just all around enjoyable!

Do you think either of your parents look like an actor or actress?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Sixteen

I'm posting this movie in honor of my son and daugther-in-law. They both love this movie. It's why I finally watched it. AND now I'm a big fan. It's an unusual premise for a Christmas movie. Do you like this movie?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Fifteen

Has this movie become a cult classic? Maybe? It really is a cute movie, but as a mother, who forgets their child? However, it's fun to watch a kid outsmart the bad guys!

I think the bad guys make the movie really funny. Do you?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Fourteen

Today's Christmas movie actually introduced a song that is still popular at Christmas time. The song is very well known, White Christmas! Yes, White Christmas was actually introduced in this movie.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Thriteen

My husband and I watched this next movie on Turner Classic Movies on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. We liked it so much that we purchased a copy. This movie goes back quite a few years, but has a fun premise and heartwarming ending.

This movie is black and white. Do you enjoy black and white films?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Twelve

This movie is based on a book. Although the movie is funny, I thought the book was better. Do you find books are better than the movies?


Friday, December 11, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Eleven

Today's movie appealed to me on various levels. I love snowmen, spirits in movies, and Micheal Keaton! This movie reminds us to stop working so hard and pay attention to what is really important in life.

Do you like ghosts in movies?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Ten

Okay this movie is a unique twist on a Christmas movie. Although it has dark humor, I do enjoy it.

Do you prefer serious or comedic Christmas movies?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Nine



Spoiler Alert! If you've never seen this movie or "In the Good Old Summer Time" with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, when you watch them you are going to see the same theme as "You've Got Mail". There is something very entertaining about 'rivals' falling in love through the mail whether it's snail mail or email.

Do you like modern remakes of old movies?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Eight

I'm going with another comedy today. To be honest, I've seen many of 'The Ernst" movies, but I'm not certain I saw the Christmas movie. However, Jim Varney's character Ernst became very popular in the 1980's.
Did you see this or any "Ernest Saves" movies?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Seven

In honor of Hanukkah, today's movie is:


This is a very good movie!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Six

Today's movie is in honor of my husband who is a Muppet's fan! We actually own this DVD and watch it during the holidays.

Are you a Muppet's fan?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Five

Today's movie is another one from my son's childhood. We saw this in the theater and at the time the effects were top notch which made the movie magical.
Is seeing a new Christmas movie apart of your holiday celebrations?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Four

Okay so this was a television movie, but it's one from my childhood. My family would watch it every year. It's a very touching story about a father dealing with grief.

Does anyone else remember this show that starred Jason Robards?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Three

Time for another comedy. I love Charles Dicken's, A Christmas Carol however the original version, although is has a wonderful message, can be a little heavy. However you can't say that with today's movie, SCROOGED!

Which version do you prefer? Serious or Comedy?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Movie Parade - Day Two

Since yesterday's movie was a comedy, today I'll go with a serious movie.

This is a movie I took my son to one year and the theater was packed!

Did you see this movie in the theater?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Movie Parade - Day One

If you are a follower of my blog you know in December I do some sort of Christmas parade. One year it was a parade of toys from my childhood. The next year it was a parade of toys from my son's childhood. I did a parade of Christmas books and this year it's movies! I have seen each one of these Christmas movies and they will parade in no particular order until the last two days and those will be my tried and true favorites!

Today's movie on parade is:

Yes, this 'con-man' movie is a Christmas movie. Why do I like it? They sing Silver Bells in it and it's one of my favorite Christmas songs (Hey...there is an idea for my next Christmas parade!) In honor of this film, I have Lemon Head candy canes on my Christmas tree this year.

Have you ever seen this classic film?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Early Bird Special!!!

IT IS OFFICIAL: Early Bird Special for Wordsowers Christian Writers 2016 Conference. Our official website isn't up, but you can sigh up for the conference now. 
Early Bird Special is 1/2 price, just $40.00, Share this with your friends. It's a valuable price break and your food is included. When the official site is set up you will receive more about the scheduled workshops.Check out this webpage: http://omahawordsowers.blogspot.com/








This writing group puts on a TERRIFIC conference for a BARGAIN price! There is something for every type of Christian writer. I urge you to check it out. Inline image 1

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Shamless Plug!

This is my next release. It's a novella collection that releases on January 1, 2016. I've had the cover image on my blog for a while if you've notice. It's available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Barbour Publishing and Christianbook.com. Last time I looked it's on sale on all of these websites!

Also Harlequin has all their back list romance ebooks on sale for $1.99. I have never seen this happen before. So if you love a good romance you should definately check this out. Of course, all but one of my Harlequin Heartsongs are included in this sale including the RITA Finalist, The Widow's Suitor. They are available on the Harlequin website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.



If you need a stocking stuffer or $5 exchange gift, two of my inspirational romance novels are still in print and under $5. Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart and Sweet on the Cowgirl print copies are available at Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com.

Lastly, Dakota Love is the perfect gift for a quilter and reader in your life! It's available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Barbour Books.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Channeling My Inner Child!

As you all know I write for the Christian children's genre as well as romance novels. Yesterday I had a chance to channel my inner child at my oldest granddaughter's birthday party.

What excellent 'market' research. Experiencing and observing what the age group I write for enjoys. Inflatables!

Here is what I learned playing as a child:

Inflatables are fun. FUN!

Children like to race through the obstacle course. Not just my granddaughters, their friends and my son.

Children are inclusive. They don't care how old you are, they want you to play along with them.

Children are open to new ideas like making a train going down the inflatable slide.

Children are impatient. They can't wait for old ladies to climb up the slide stairs to race down with them. They have to slide down as soon as they reach the top!

Are you writing for a certain age child and are suddenly stuck? Go do what they do!

 Shop in the mall if you are writing for teens or preteens and watch their actions, their clothes choices or the stores they shop in.

For younger children, go to a park and play. Feel the wind in your face as you swing, the exhilaration as you slide down a twisting slide or the satisfaction of completing an obstacle course. If you're not up for outside, attend a children's movie or play. Sit in the back and observe. What punch lines tickle their fancy? Which character do they cheer for?

Put yourself in their world to add accuracy to your stories. Do you have any other ideas to reach your inner child?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

In the spirit of the day, I thought I'd share some Halloween memories!

My favorite Halloween costume as a child was Bewitched. It was store bought costume and the mask was as pretty as the real Elizabeth Montgomery!

My favorite Halloween book as a child was The Witch Next Door. I still have it.

My favorite 'scary' book as an adult is The Bad Seed. It's the first book I read with a twist ending. I still have it too.

My favorite "Halloweenish" television show was The Munster's. My sister has the Munster Family paperdolls.

My favorite horror movie is....I don't have one. I don't like horror movies. They scare me!

My new favorite "Halloweensih" television show is GRIMM.

Can to share any of your goolish memories?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

November Approaches

And writers know what November brings -National Novel Writing Month.

In case you don't know, this is a program where writers get 50,000 words on paper during the month of November.

I've participated several times and completed two novels under contract. This year I have a short story assignment to work on, a children's novel I plan to revise, and a new book idea to brainstorm.

It's not exactly getting 50,000 words on paper, but at least it's a goal!



Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Hiatus is Over!

Yes, I took two months off from my blog. I'd like to say it was to finish a proposal or I was under deadline. It's wasn't. I just needed a break.

Now I did have both of those things, but neither of those reasons are a good excuse. I've written my blog through both of them before!

This weeks blog will be an update. So this is what I've been up to over the last two months:

Obviously, by the picture at the top of the post, I have a new book releasing! It's a novella collection and the release date is January 1st. However, it is available for preorder on Amazon and at the publisher's website. If you visit the Barbour website you will find it's on SALE if you preorder it. www.barbourbooks.com.


I completed a 13 story short story assignment in August and have received an assignment from the publisher for 13 more short stories that is due in January.

I am working on a romance proposal package that I hope to have wrapped up and to my agent by the end of the month. Of course, I know it may still need tweaking before it's ready to be sent to an editor.

I've been asked to speak at a Wordsower Conference in the Omaha, Nebraska area next spring. I'll be covering work for hire assignments in the Christian children's genre.

I found out this weekend, The Widow's Suitor, placed second in the Booksellers Buyers Contest. Although the book didn't place first in any contest I entered it in, I had an excellent showing in three contests.

I am starting to enter Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart in contests.

That's it for me!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Giveway!!!

I decided to celebrate the end of summer. I've hosting giveaways on two different websites. One is on Amazon. This is the first time I've tried a giveaway on Amazon. They make it very easy for author's to offer their book as a giveaway. You have three chances to win on Amazon. I'm giving away a copy of Dakota Love and two copies of Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart and Sweet on the Cowgirl.

You can also visit Goodreads and enter my giveaway of Wedding on the Rocks. Wedding on the Rocks isn't available in print anymore, but I have a few print copies! I'm giving away two copies of this book which was a finalist in two contests last year. 

All of the contests should be active by Wednesday, so please stop by and enter!

www.goodreads.com

www.amazon.com

Monday, August 3, 2015

Highlights From NYC

Oh boy! I am behind on my blog posts. I'm still trying to play catch-up after my trip to New York City to attend the RWA Conference. Although my book didn't win either contest it was a nominee in that didn't stop me from having a great time. For lack of a better blog post, I'm going to share some of my pictures from my trip!
Here I am in Central Park. We walked through the very south end of the park where the Dairy and carousel is located.
This is the ceiling in Grand Central Station. I hope image shows up. They are the Zodiac signs and I was standing underneath mine, Taurus, so I snapped a picture.
Harlequin pampered their VIP authors (Rita and Golden Heart nominees and book milestone authors) to hair and make-up artists.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Very old headstones at Trinity Lutheran Church.






Sunday, July 19, 2015

Packing Light

I am heading to the annual RWA (Romance Writer's of America) conference this week so my mind is on packing. I have my 'professional' outfits chosen, pressed, and ready to go. My casual outfits not so much.

I've planned my outfits around one of pair of shoes. GASP! I know! However, I have to pack to evening gowns and one pair of dress shoes so I don't want to add more weight to the suitcase in the form of shoes.

I've also chosen lightweight clothes, including my jackets which are lace and eyelet. They are lighter to pack and cooler to wear. The remaining clothes are made of lightweight almost wrinkle free fabric. I don't want to have to iron my clothes when I get there. Which leads me to a couple of questions for my readers.

First, do you try to pack light?

Second, does the 'rolled up' method of packing work for you? I've tried it a couple of time and will say the clothes do seem to come out better. However, I'm not going to try to roll the gowns!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Breaking News!

I received a call today! The Widow's Suitor is a finalist in the Orange County California RWA Chapter's Book Buyers Best Contest!!!!!!

What a great way to start the week!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Story Ideas Are Everywhere!

Last weekend I celebrated the 4th of July in a non-traditional way. I attended a small town parade. This was a first for me and it was wonderful!  Although I've read about many people going to 4th of July parades, I've never had the chance to attend one.

The town is only about an hour away from where I live. A friend of my husband's lives there and  invited us to come and watch the parade. Due to a change in our normal plans, we gladly accepted.

Of course, many things I saw triggered my writer's creativity. Here are a few story ideas I came up with while watching the parade.

Hero occupation: Restore antique tractors

Heroine occupation/hobby: Parade planner. Story line: Town wants to cancel the annual parade.

Hero or Heroine could be a 4H Leader and are trying to help a trouble teen.

Hero and Heroine are competitors in a BBQ contest.

Heroine is trying to raise money for a community memorial garden. The Hero plans to expand his company on the site.

The heroine plans an elaborate float and has to ask the hero, a local carpenter she doesn't get along with, for help.

The parade lasted one and gave many ideas to consider for a short story or a book. What is the last event you attended that gave you a story idea?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Excuses

I have posted on my blog for two weeks. Want to hear my excuses? One weekend I was on grandma duty. The next, I was fighting a bout with a flu bug. Both of those are good reasons I didn't get my blog updated, right?

Maybe not. I knew in advance that I'd be on grandma duty and still I didn't work ahead to have a blog post up and ready to go. The flu bug, well, that one is unpredictable and left me tired for two days. There was no way I could have worked a head and by the time I felt good enough to write a post, it was almost time for this week's post.

So, I have one legitimate excuse and one no so legitimate. Both resulted in low productivity for my writing, no blog and no new writing. BUT I did work on my writing. I had three chapters to proof read and input the edits in the Microsoft Word document. Why? Because the only way to have results in your writing career is to work on your writing!

Take a look at the past two weeks of your life. Have you given your writing priority or was attending lunch with friends, cleaning house or watching a movie eat into your writing time? If so, what was your excuse to blow off your writing?

Remember you can't go back and recover your valuable writing time, if you want results you have to make your writing a priority and save your 'excuses' for other areas in your life.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Join!

There are professional organizations for almost every type of writing. Join one!

They provide support and valuable information. Many have monthly publications. Most have websites where authors offer courses or webinars (see my previous post). Some organizations print or post market guides for their members.

In addition they keep you up to date on your chosen genre, provide mentors or critique groups, and in some organizations can provide legal advice. Most of the organizations need volunteers and allow you to be as active as you want.

The draw back is some membership fees are pricey and many organizations assign you a chapter and you have chapter dues too. Research all organizations before you join. I've found the benefits of belonging to these organizations far outweigh the cons however I can't stress enough you need to join an organization that supports your chosen genre.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Learn!

Today's tip for developing a writing career is learn or study your craft. So if you instituted either of my last two tips, you've read a craft book. Perhaps you still have questions or you're having trouble knowing the difference between showing and telling then don't overlook a writing class or two.

In our online world taking a writing class is easier than ever. Writer's Digest magazine offers many courses/webinars, most Community Colleges offer writing course as well as the continuing education departments of universities, organizations in your chosen genre and don't forget to check your favorite author's website! Many author's offer online courses for a nominal fee.

With any career there is training involved. Writing is no different. Let me say that again. Writing requires training. No one can sit down and write a publishable manuscript in one setting. Trust me, if you want to succeed, take a writing course!