Monday, January 31, 2011

Photos From the Holliston Library Local Author Day

This is a little later than intended, but I'm finally posting a few photos from the local author day I participated in at the Holliston Library on January 22. The event had a good turn out of authors and readers. I enjoyed talking shop with fellow writers and getting to introduce my book to the community. The Holliston Patch featured the event, including a little about Dead Locked!

My little setup at the library. I scrambled to get some samples together and it worked out pretty well.

A wide view of the event thanks to my sister. Children's book author and my table mate Josephine Tam Ho is talking in the foreground.

This one came out blurry but I still like it! Fantasy author Clifford Bowyer is standing next to me.

Thanks to the library's director, Leslie McDonnell!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get Dead Locked Half Off & Local Author Day

I have a couple of fun announcements today. First, I've started an email newsletter. About once a month, I'll send out an update, including book teasers, release dates, and special promotions and giveaways. Plus, everyone who signs up automatically gets 50% off of the Smashwords ebook edition of Dead Locked! Just go here to sign up. It's easy and free and you just need an email address.

Secondly, this Saturday from 11-1 the Holliston, Mass. Public Library is hosting local author day! It's the first time they've done this so I'm excited to see what happens and to connect with other authors in the community. Swing by if you're in the area!

I've got other fun things cooking, which I'll be announcing in the weeks to come!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I was supposed to post something else today, but since we got snowed in, I thought I'd post photos of the snow instead! It's the first notable snow storm of the winter here in Massachusetts. The last foot we had all melted in a warm spell, but this amount (about a foot and a half I think) should hang around a while. Everything turns an icky brown in winter and we need a nice blanket of white to keep things pretty.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Create a Scene

Grand Central Station in New York City. It's beautiful, bustling, and a good spot for something exciting to happen. If you need a jump start for your writing this week, take a cue from this photo. Pick someone out of the crowd (or more than one person) and write a scene. What is the person saying or doing? Why is he there?

If you'd like to share what you've come up with for this prompt, post it on your blog or website and link to it in a comment. Have fun!

Photo by Max HUSSON

Friday, January 7, 2011


My sister coined a new word recently - millitweaks - to describe the minute changes she makes when finishing a song arrangement. She labors over the details, adjusting all these little sounds that you and I might never notice. But she notices them and takes time to make the changes.

It makes me think of my own writing and all the polishing work I do. It may just be a word here or a phrase there - things no one else may see. They're millitweaks. Practically microscopic. But, as I'm sure you'll agree, they count just as much as the major changes. Even if you're the only one who notices.

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Take Action to Reach Your Writing Goals!

Finishing my writing projects and getting them out into the world for people to read used to be a dream. It was just something I wanted to do but I had no plan to make it happen. I often left projects unfinished and I had no destination and therefore no motivation to follow through.

Close to two years ago now, I started what became Dead Locked. Determined to break my cycle of unfinished stories, I used concrete goals and deadlines to get to the finish line. Things didn't always go according to plan. But with a long-term destination in sight, I found a way around obstacles and kept moving.

You can reach your writing goals too with a solid action plan. Here are seven steps to take to get your action plan off the ground and reach your goals in 2011!

Choose a destination. What is your long-term goal? Writing a novel? Completing a short story? Something else? Pick a concrete destination - a goal - to work towards and you will automatically improve your motivation and determination to get there.

Set a deadline. I don't know why, but self-imposed deadlines work just as effectively for me as external ones. While it doesn't have to be a rigid time frame, setting a date to reach your above goal may help you to stay focused and work even when you don't really want to.

Create checkpoints. A key to reaching a long-term goal is having short-term goals. Short-term goals act like stepping stones. Each one gets you closer to the end result. For instance, short-term goals to writing a novel could be outlining (if you do that), writing the first draft, completing a first revision, doing a beta reading, etc. How much you break things down is your choice.

Set daily/weekly/monthly goals. Based on your long-term and short-term goals and deadlines, you can figure out what you need to do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to get there. That may mean setting word count or section goals or scheduling writing sessions so you work regularly.

Write down your goals. We know the written word is powerful. There is something about seeing a goal on paper that makes it that much more reachable in your mind. Write down your goals and deadlines and look at them often to help you along.

Share your goals. Tell family, friends, or others about your goals to make yourself more accountable. While this can be a little scary, it can also help you not to back out when things don't go well. If everyone is waiting to read that book you've promised by next year, you'll have trouble wriggling out of finishing it!

Celebrate all your victories! Every time you reach a goal or deadline, celebrate. It doesn't have to be dramatic; do something you love to do no matter how simple. But don't work and work without something fun to look forward to. Little rewards can be big motivators.

What are your writing goals? What actions are you taking to achieve them?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Writing Jump Start

To start off the week, I have two writing prompts: one for starting a new idea and one for those of you in the middle of a project.

1. A woman moves into a new home and stumbles upon a secret tunnel.

2. Take your newest scene (or pick one randomly) and add one surprising complication. Pick anything: a car wreck, a mugging, a marriage proposal. Even if the idea sounds silly, put it in there and see what happens.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eyecandy Blogfest!

This photo always makes me smile. The statue is at one of the mansions in Newport, R.I. (forgot which one). My friend and I had a good laugh over his interesting pose. Check out other Eyecandy entries at Rambles & Randomness, the host of this cool 'fest. Enjoy!

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