Archive for the 'Real Life' Category
Friday, August 11th, 2017
A little over a year ago I had one of my short stories published with a series called Candy Hearts and released by the Wild Rose Press. Each story in the series revolved around Valentines Day, and each had to contain reference to the heart-shaped sugar candies with the goofy sayings on them like: Love U Forever; Be Mine; Take Me, I’m Yours. You get the picture. My story was titled For Keeps and it was a lot of fun to write.
When it came time to promote the story, the other Candy Hearts authors were willing to visit my blog but they only wanted to give me what they called a Media Kit. If I wanted to visit their blogs to promote For Keeps, I had to supply a Media Kit. Known among my friends and family as the Woman Who Needs to Get Out More, I had no clue what to do and was ready to hang it up.
So I asked and one of the authors very kindly showed me how to create a Media Kit. Step by step, cut and paste, be imaginative, she said. And whaddya know, it worked. Within one year I was teaching others how to create a Media Kit for each of their books. I call that Paying It Forward.
Now we come to Twitter, Tweeting and other similar social communication which do not involve dialing a phone. Up until six months ago I had no clue what Twitter or Tweeting meant, beyond a classroom of giggling eight year-olds who recently discovered Justin Timberlake or that man-child Bieber person. Okay, I’ll admit to hearing about tweeting when I tuned into Mike & Mike on ESPN every morning. These two guys tweet their . . . posteriors off several times a day. And it works—for them. Not me, I swore. I’d swallow my tongue before I did this “at hash tag whatever”. Like that’ll work.
Then I was invited to join a group of six authors to create stories for a box-set anthology set in a casino-resort near Niagara Falls in Western New York. One of the rules was each participating author was expected to tweet often, like daily. Okay okay, I grumbled. I’ll do this if I have to. If it kills me. I researched, I practiced, I learned. Now I’m helping others tweet. Wahoo. Let me tell you, I can re-tweet anyone’s butt off.
Facebook? Learned that one, sort of, after much trial and error. Then passed it on.
Pinterest? That, I learned, is soooo much fun, just like friends had been telling me for years. I now have Pinterest boards for each of my books, and I’m scheduled to present an on-line course in the value of creating Pinterest boards—not just for authors but for anyone interested.
By far, the best Paying It Forward concept I now employ is making seat belt cushions for patients who undergo chest surgery [mastectomies, pacemaker insertions, PICC line insertions for chemotherapy]. What began as a simple survival technique to stop the whining from the back seat, “this strap hurts my neck, Nana. Can’t I take it off?” evolved into helping others infinitely less fortunate than I.
Paying It Forward. It works for me.
Hey, you never know.
I love to hear from readers.
You can find me at:
my blogs: www.WildWomenAuthorsx2.blogspot.com
Thanks for inviting me to stop by, Delilah. I appreciate it very much!
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
So, I have this goal every year that I won’t miss a single day posting something new on this blog. It’s maybe a silly goal, but a girl has to shoot for something. Anyway, I was up so dang early today—5:45—that I didn’t get a chance to post before I left because I had to get to my dd’s. I promised myself I’d post once I got there, but then I was covered up in kids and dogs, and I only got home a few minutes ago. So, here I am!
Some of you may remember the 7-year-old, now 8, who’s had cancer in her leg twice. Well, today was her latest six-month check-up, which was why I was holding down the home front while my daughter zoomed up to Little Rock for her appointment at Children’s Hospital. After the last time her cancer appeared, she had her tibia removed and replaced with a donor bone. Then it was filled with her own bone material in hopes it would grow with her. The center of the top of the bone filled in nicely, but the ankle area wasn’t progressing as well. Today, the doctor says there’s been progress—slow, yes, but enough so that when she goes to school next week, she doesn’t have to be in a wheelchair. She’ll wear a “clam cast”—one she puts on and takes off—to protect her, and she’ll use a cane, but she’s on her feet! Which also means she’ll be able to ride the bus—something she’s yearned to do.
That’s my “real life” news. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to remain at my desk long enough to get some actual writing done. We’ll see. There’s always something.
And don’t forget. I posted a contest yesterday. It’s still open, so be sure to check it out. And tonight after midnight, Reined In releases! So be sure to get your copy! Good night and thanks for all your support! This tired woman’s heading to bed. ~DD
Saturday, July 15th, 2017
UPDATE: The winners are: Confused, Brenda Gremli and Michelle!
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Today marked the end of my weeklong writer’s retreat with Cynthia D’Alba, Parker Kincade, and my sister, Elle James. We’ve had a terrific, productive time! Thanks, ladies, for including me!
I didn’t make huge word counts on anything. But I did make progress on some things I probably wouldn’t have tackled…um, this year…or maybe ever. We’ll see how those “things” pan out.
In the meantime, I hope you noticed that I re-released Four-Gone Conclusion. Yes, I know, we all NEED more cowboy-brothers who love to gang-bang the love of their lives stories, right? I hope I met your kinkiness requirement. There are three more refurbed stories to release. When I’m done, be sure to let me know if you want more new stories. If you’re silent, I’ll move on to something else you might love. I take requests, you know. Why else am I writing stepbrother SEAL installments?
As I settle back into my office, do my laundry, visit with the kids, I’m gearing up to finish the first of the Montana Bounty Hunters stories. I loved introducing the agency in my two recent Uncharted stories, Big Sky SEAL and Head Over SEAL—same couple featured, by the way! (Love those covers! Thanks, sis!)
I see bounty hunter stories everywhere. I’m like that. I get stuck on a theme, and I can’t let go! Here’s hoping you get stuck on my bounty hunters, too!
And because I’m back home, catching up on mail, laundry, playing with my cat and babies, and getting pruny in the pool, because I’ve missed it so much, I want to run a contest. It’s simple. All you have to do is comment below and tell me what you’re most wanting to see me write. Have fun with it. You can suggest silly things or serious things. I don’t care. I just love your input and our interactions. Have a great weekend! ~ DD
Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
In today’s society, and especially for women, every person has to be a master of time. We need to figure out how we can fit in everything we want to do, everything we should do and everything we need to do. Sometimes those can be in diametrically opposing directions.
This year, I have come up against this far too many times and like the song suggests, I have had to let a lot of things go. Things I love have fallen by the way because of events and circumstances that were way beyond my control.
In January of this year, my husband of thirty-one years was diagnosed with colon cancer. And while this changed a lot of things for him, for me, it made me dig in my heels to keep something of myself within the spiraling chaos that might surround us. He was surprised but I wasn’t because of symptoms and problems he’s had for three years. But we all know how hard it is to get a man to admit there is something he can’t control.
So when we were driving home, I basically laid down the law. There were things he had to do and there were things I would not give up. Now, that might sound rather harsh but I have seen too many women cater to their man’s every need and lose themselves. Even more so, I’ve seen men who don’t even know how to load a dishwasher because their wife did everything. I’m really not trying to say this is wrong on either side but it’s never been the case between us.
Still, more than even enumerating what I would and would not give up, I knew I would need to become a master of time. Sure, there are only 24 hours in a day and at least 8 of those are needed for sleep and that left a mere 16 to do my thing and make sure he got to his appointments or work.
Here are a few ways to make sure you can do it all.
- Keep a calendar. – Yes, we’ve all purchased a calendar for the beginning of the year. Some of them are cute and fun and it’s meant to track everything. However, if you can’t keep up with those things or accomplish any of them, what good is it? One of the best calendar’s ever is the one in your smartphone. Wait a minute – that’s too easy. Yup, it is but you can program every appointment, every book release, every promo gig in it and accomplish them all because it’s alarm system is amazing. Frankly, if it doesn’t go in my calendar, it won’t get done. And don’t get me wrong, I still do paper calendars when scheduling promotion because I need to see the big picture.
- Don’t over book yourself. – We’ve all done it, thought we could slip that extra writing time or promo item when in reality, we truly can’t squeeze one more minute out of the day. If you are too tired, can’t think straight or even remember with the calendar exactly what’s happening, you’re doing too much. Do items and other things in small measured doses. Overdoing is just stressing yourself out and if you’re like me, if I’m stressed not much gets done.
- Schedule your writing time. – One of the best pieces of information I’ve ever had is if you write it down, you’ll see it in black and white then it becomes real for you. People will do this with writing goals all the time. Same thing goes for scheduling. If you schedule your writing time, that time is blocked off for you and your writing needs. Sure, it might have to go around doctor appointments and chemo treatments, but at least you will have time to do the writing.
- Learn to say no. – Recently, when my sister was having a difficult time getting it together to move, I had to say I wouldn’t be coming to help her no matter what. While it hurt me to do so, I just didn’t have the time between all the trips and scheduling conflicts plus she lives two states away. I did have my promo and royalty money and I said I’d hire a moving company to help her because it would be easier than her begging all our friends. It wasn’t expensive since she was only going about 3 miles between new and old place. Yet, the piece of mind I go in knowing I helped the only way I could while saying no, made me happy. You can’t do everything and that’s something every writer needs to realize. Sometimes you have to figure out what’s more important and do that thing.
- There are things that are just more important than others. Family will always come first for me, next is friends and writing is third if I had to put them in some sort of order. But that’s overall priorities. Sometimes, the priority for the day can be totally different. When I know that my family and friends don’t need me, writing and anything to do with my writing career becomes the priority of the day. There is nothing wrong with juggling things as long as you keep your priorities straight.
Now, I’m no super-woman and there were days that I thought I had to be going mad. But we’ve made it to the other side with both husband and my writing career intact. There’s nothing better than that!
Hope this has helped you in some small way.
About the Author
Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
I’ve mentioned the 8-year-old’s struggle with a very rare bone disease here from time to time. Colleen’s battle began in 2015, but after two surgeries on her left leg, the last where they removed her tibia and replaced it with a donor bone, she’s cancer free. We hope forever, but she’ll be checked every year for the rest of her life. While she walks with a cane at home, at school, she’s still confined to a wheelchair for her safety.
Yesterday was a big day for our girl and our community. Her school honored her by making her the “mascot” for this year’s Relay For Life. They had a special recess where the entire school came out to play and hear about her journey. Everyone wore #TeamColleen T-shirts. The local paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, plus THV11, all highlighted her struggle. Last night, she was honored, along with all the local cancer survivors, with a dinner, and the family took their turn walking in the relay.
If you’d like to see the short TV news clip of yesterday’s recess, here’s the link: Colleen’s Story.
And if you’d like to donate to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, here’s that link: Relay For Life.
Friday, January 20th, 2017
First, thank you Delilah and Delilah readers for receiving me on this blog.
I am not one to make resolutions. Like so many, in the past, I firmly declared my goals in the first month of the year and promptly forgot them by the third month. But this year a Facebook friend posed the question: How will you grow this year? This question goes beyond resolutions, although I realize that part of the reasons people make resolutions is to inspire some personal growth. But this question challenged me to think about how I will fundamentally change who I am so that I can be a better me.
I have been wrestling with this question because growth requires you to change, to leave things behind and let stuff go. I don’t like change or letting things go (not old emails, old receipts, old manuscripts, old grudges). It also requires you to be brave enough to accept your new strengths as well as the challenges and responsibilities those new strengths inspire, like a superhero whose presence invites villains. You just know that if you become more patient, a slew of people are going to stand in line to try your nerves. So, growth isn’t easy and trying to grow demands that you work at it consistently.
How will I grow in 2017?
As a writer, I have not always shown up to the page. Being a mother, a teacher and a writer has been a balancing act that has not always resulted in every aspect of me getting a fair amount of time. More often than not, the writer in me has gotten the shaft. In this new year, I am going to commit to showing up to the page, writing something every day. Ok, let’s be more realistic—five days out of seven. (This is a good start as there were some weeks when I didn’t write at all.) I feel best, when at the end of the day, I have created. So I will work to produce and create. I will show up to the page!
I will also commit to stretching my reading and writing genres. I love to read, but I tend to select the same types of stories to enjoy. (I am in love with the paranormal!) I will expand my reading to include new, varied genres. Maybe a historical romance and definitely a thriller. I am open to any suggestions people might have for good books to try.
As my reading expands, I am sure my writing will, too. I commit to trying new genres of writing. Actually, my short story “Vivify” in Delilah Devlin’s Sex Objects was the result of an earlier attempt to try a new genre. I had never written erotica before, but I found in exploring my character Cecelia’s sexual re-awakening, that this is a genre that is fun and fulfilling to write within.
I’m sure I will have to let go of something although I don’t know what yet. I know that it is true that you can’t do the same things and not get the same results. Maybe I will have to learn to say “no” when people ask me to be on this committee or do that project for them. Saying “no” will be hard. Maybe I will have to give up my slightly obsessive need to watch everything that comes on television. Letting TV go will definitely be hard. We will see what this effort toward growth will bring. While I am not sure of the challenges that will come, one thing I am sure of is that by implementing these new practices into my life, I will grow as a writer.
How will you do to grow this year? Let me know.
Cashmere S. Jackson
Check out Cashmere S. Jackson’s “Vivify” in Sex Objects!
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
Maybe you’re curious about the authors you “hang” with… We must lead these glamorous lives, right? Huh.
Here’s a rundown of a typical day for me.
6:00 — The alarm goes off and I toodle upstairs to relieve my daughter, Kelly, who slept on the couch with her phone alarm going off every two hours to wake her so she can check on my grandma who is still recovering from breaking her back, but who doesn’t think she needs help to the potty (she does!). I sit at the kitchen table and work on whatever portable, paper thing I printed to get a head start on today’s work.
7:30 — I dress grandma and help dad prepare breakfast. Afterwards, I do the dishes and then head to my office to get some work done.
8:30 — I prep my blog, review my emails, get dressed and straighten up.
9:15 — I walk across the road to my dd’s house for a cuppa in the quiet (no kids other than the 3-year-old). We love our time together, so it’s our time to gossip.
10:00 — I begin whatever editing/writing tasks I have planned for the day.
4:00 — I’m done with work. I head over to my dd’s, hang until dinner in the chaos with all her 4 kids. After dinner, we might watch a movie or catch up The Magicians or The Big Bang Theory.
8:00 — I head back home to answer more emails, maybe do some more editing, until my dd comes over at…
10:00 — to stay the night. (She does that 5 days a week, I have one night, and my aunt the other). We hang for an hour, gossiping, checking out celebrity gossip, looking at art or food pins on Pinterest.
And that’s a typical day. Not very glamorous. When my dd has appointments or games or whatever with the kids, I babysit. We take care of each other and the people we love.
And sometimes, we carve out adult time, something fun. Like last night. I organized an art night in my messy, cluttered art room with my mom, dd, and our friend Christi. We ate from cheese and veggie trays while we worked on projects — Christi painted votive candle glasses with alcohol inks; Kelly drew cartoons in her art journal; my mom worked on a watercolor painting; and I cut circles out of an Arizona Green Tea can to make earrings with and painted some dominoes.
Me, Christi and Kelly. Fluorescent lights aren’t very forgiving! LOL
Afterward, Christi, Kelly and I headed to a restaurant in town to drink daiquiris. When I came home later, I worked a little longer on decorating my dominoes…
Something mindless and relaxing, because this morning, I began the cycle again…
So, that’s my glamorous life. What do you do when you’re not writing/reading?