Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Time Management - 5 Tips For Making Time For Writing

Managing your time. Making time for your writing. Finding time. Whatever you call it, it can be tricky while juggling kids, relationships, job, whatever else you're involved in that you can’t really give up or set aside.

So, in the spirit of my back to basics mood at the moment, here are a few ideas ( 5 tips) to help things along.

1.  I always suggest keeping a notebook or notecards with you. That way you can jot whenever something occurs to you or whenever you observe something that needs to be remembered, even if away from your writing place. 

Or take notes on your phone or record messages to yourself on the phone if you can. 

There are also great tiny recorders you can use to capture notes to yourself then plug into your computer and transfer like the Yoday voice recorder.  Inexpensive too!

   2. Set priorities and do your darndest to stick to them. Talk with your spouse, your kids, whoever is going to be around and work at getting them to understand how important this is to you. 

   You have to let others know that at times you’re going to have to say no to things that drain away your time minute by minute and that you must stick to your ‘to-do’ list to keep things moving. Remember to do the most important first. Plainly, there will be bumps in this road.

  3. Creating goals that are good for you is a great help. Decide perhaps you’re going to create a certain number of pages or words during a session. Maybe go with an amount of time. Or best yet, set a goal of how many words you want to get down on paper during the amount of time you have available. Stick to it! 

    If you do this you’ll minimize distractions and get a lot more done. Remember – the world of social media is out to get you and rob you of all your productive time!

   4. Dedicate a writing space, no matter how small. Even if it has to do double duty. If you have to write on the kitchen table, do it at a time when you can clear the table, set up your laptop and do nothing but write at the table. It helps train the mind that this is the time for writing. If you can convert a closet or set up a small desk somewhere, so much the better. If a sit/stand desk like what I use from Veridesk is good for you and in your budget, go for it. Work with what you have.

   5. Finally, don’t put enormous pressure on yourself. If you’re forcing yourself into doing something you don’t want to do you’re not going to get very far. If this is something you want to do you WILL begin to set your parameters and goals. If that doesn’t happen then perhaps writing isn’t for you and it’s time to move on to other things.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Big New Project coming - Medicare Wars pamphlets

Hi there folks.  I took a bit of a break from the blog throughout the holidays and because I was loaded down with work.  

Something new is coming soon - and it's not our usual fiction!

During our break we began in earnest, work on a major project, a series of pamphlets to explain Medicare, where it came from, where we are, and what the future might hold, in bite-sized bits. 

It's a big project, brand new, geared to help lots of people created by my writing partner on The Egg Chronicles, Planet Of The Eggs comics, Charlene (fondly known as Charlie) Brash-Sorensen and I are working on.

Charlie has a very long history - Twenty-six years in management and executive positions in the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance industry. 

As she tells us, those "twenty-six years is a LONG time.  It takes a toll personally and physically.  It takes a few years to totally drop the stress and move on.  In my particular case shedding my career persona—Director of Strategic Planning, Director of Operations, Associate Executive Director, Executive Director, Vice President of Network Development, Vice President of Operations, Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Consultant—has taken 4 years. The last vestige of those years was putting my Brooks Brothers 3-piece suits for sale on eBay." 

So was born, in this political atmosphere, the non-fiction project: MEDICARE WARS! A series of pamphlets clearly titled so people old and young can see which one best fits their need for learning and our guess is most folks will want them all. 

First up is the beginning with info on the history of Medicare, what you, and yes, your employer,  PAY for, what the Medicare Insurance program is all about and some links, tips, and helps to make it clear what each citizen of the United States does in order to be a recipient of this program.  And what everyone should receive because of it. 

Future pamphlets will take individual elements and go into very clear detail. We call it Medicare Wars because, since this most recent election, the program is in danger. together WE THE PEOPLE have the power to defeat the assault being waged on Medicare. This is why we’ve named our series of pamphlets, Medicare Wars.

Charlie is in the process of starting up a blog to go along with it as well as a Facebook page where people can ask questions, briefly describe their own good and bad experiences and come to for breaking information that's clear and up to date. 

So, as work continues, don't hesitate to comment here with questions you may have about how it all works, why younger people should be paying attention and a whole lot more.  

Please leave questions and suggestions for content we can cover in future pamphlets in the comment section and don't forget to tell your friends, family and anyone with any interest. 

Pass it on and let's do this thing!  First pamphlet releasing very soon in Kindle and then paperback editions. Watch my for more info soon. 

And yes, we love our Eggs and they will continue their adventures. Number six (the final in the first Vol.) is under way with a few delays. But, not to worry, it's coming soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How to Write a Novel - and not just talk about it

Okay folks, I think I’m going to go back to basics for those writing novels – especially since this is national novel writing month – or NaNoWriMo as it’s called and we’re already well into it with a few of my friends participating.

So, there are lots of people out there who TALK about writing a novel, but then there are the ones who actually do it. Congratulations if you’re one of the later. Then there are people who’ve talked about writing a novel and finally actually do it!  Congratulations to you as well. Bet it feels good.

For those of you who are still kind of getting your feet wet and aren’t really on stable ground as yet. Here are a few things to get you motivated and stay on track.

First give yourself some attainable goals (you can do the really heavy duty, nearly unattainable if you want, but the attainable ones are generally reached and motivate you to continue to the next goal). Those involved in NaNoWriMo are already on that track.  I suggest you even write it down. Use strong words for yourself. For example, tell yourself you’re going to start and finish a publishable novel within a year (or six months, or whatever). If you do it you’re creating a goal and a deadline for yourself and as a writer, believe me, you need both.  It’s that old ‘it’s hard to make yourself work when you’re the only one you’re answerable to’ plague that nails many an author.

Second, the secret to completing that novel is writing. That basic. Every day won’t bring amazing paragraphs and stunning chapters, but it’s important to stick to it. To do it every day. If you’re turning out bad writing that’s okay. Eventually that bad writing will evolve into good writing. And, eventually sentences equal paragraphs and paragraphs add up to chapters and chapters…well, you get the drift. There’s a finished novel in there somewhere.

And remember for the third point here that there is no right way to write a novel. Seriously. You might plan the whole thing out from beginning to end. Another writer wings it entirely. Some ideas begin with only a title. Some writers are agonizing over the title long after the novel is written. Some people write the story. Some let the characters guide them to the end. Whatever way works for you is the way to write a novel.

Great writing is most times rewriting. That means you could well write many more pages than what the novel will actually have. You’ll do a lot of deleting and you’ll probably get mad at whoever you draft to give you input as you realize you have to delete even more, then restructure the story to fill in the holes that are left. It hurts. Almost every writer I’ve ever known resists taking out chunks. I, myself, had to reduce a novel by about a third once in order to have it published. But it DID get published.

published originally by Doubldeay - now available on Kindle

Lastly don’t forget to celebrate and pat yourself on the back when you finish a goal. Do something nice for yourself when you complete a chapter. When you finish the first draft crack open the champagne!

When it’s ready for publication blow out the stops. Truly, you’ve accomplished something amazing, don’t let it be just another day.

Now, think about what I’ve said here, then get out there and write the novel you’ve always intended to. (or that short story or comic or non-fiction or......)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy autumn – another year is racing by.  The holidays will soon be screaming down upon us – and a new year in the offing.

As seems to be usual lately, as the time spins by, the children’s comic book series, Planet Of The Eggs, part of The Egg Chronicles family, is taking up a good deal of my time along with that of my writing/creative partner Charlene Brash Sorensen.

We’ve completed five books in the Planet Of The Eggs comic series for Children and are working on the sixth Children’s comic in the series, Worlds Collide. The script is written and we’re about six pages into creating the illustrations to tell the tale! We hope for a release date somewhere in late Nov. or early Dec. Add it to your Christmas list!

Our most recent interview on the Planet Of The Eggs series is with Lisa Haselton and you can see it here   Do stop by today and leave a comment with your thoughts. Share it with your friends. Explore Eggland.

In other news, my latest short story, Skykicker, has just been published by CowboyJamboree magazine. The PDF of the magazine is free to download and contains the short story.  Enjoy!  And I’d love it if you could leave a comment there or here on this blog on what you think.

Upcoming are more books for the Egg Chronicles family- including more children’s comics in the Planet of The Eggs line and more early reader books for the Read To Me series.

Meanwhile I’m settling back and watching the change of the seasons while I contemplate how in the world I’m going to get my romance novel finished – Serpent’s Tail. Not even a tentative date set for that one, but it’s definitely in the hopper at about 2/3 done. 

Enjoy the lovely crisp weather and awesome colors of fall!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Scattered Blog Post for Writers & Readers

Yep, autumn has come to my little corner of the world, temps in the low 40’s when I got up this morning.  And, since this time of year tends to make me a bit scattered with the need to pull it back together I’ve decided to treat my readers to a scattered post. A bit of a few things to let you know about, to give you a little something and to hopefully make your day.

With the sun shining outside, the green tea on my desk and access to the web coming and going this morning I’ll do the best I can – so here’s the first thing on my small list.

The publisher, Baen has introduced their FREE library and are offering free electronic versions of some of their books. You can read online or download in a variety of formats.  Nice. Thanks Baen.

And wait, there’s another free resource. Ebook Lobby They offer free books, more of the non-fiction variety, but a few children’s books as well. Also free to download.

And, if you write pretty much anything, there might be a time when you want to grab a copy of Elements Of Style – you can get that free here

On another subject, a friend of mine, author Robbie Cox, has a great series going with two installments already completed which I’ve read and enjoyed.  It’s the Warrior of The Way series. 

The first is Reaping The Harvest $2.99 on Kindle  It kicks off with -
On his way home from a moving job, Rhychard Bartlett heard a scream and ran to help. That action changed his life forever and tossed him into a war between the Way and the Void. Given the Guardian Sword, assisted by an ellyll who only stands two feet tall, and bonded to a mind speaking coshey the size of a Newfoundland canine and a taste for pepperoni pizza, Rhychard must stop the demon Vargas from carrying out his plans. Once he finds out what they are, of course. In the meantime, he longs for the girlfriend who left him because he suddenly had too many secrets. Not only must he save the day, but he also must convince Renny Saunders he's not the cheating lover everyone thinks he is.

And the second is Lore Master $3.99 on Kindle 

Robbie is an excellent writer with a gift for drawing in the reader and giving him a great tale.  Check him out on facebook.

And his website at The Mess That Is Robbie Cox.

And wrapping it up for this week – what am I up to? 

Work on the sixth installment of the Planet Of The Eggs Children’s Book Series under The Egg Chronicles banner with writing/creative partner Charlene Brash Sorensen.  

We’ve blocked out the story line, figured out the illustrations we’ll need to create and are about ready to start creating that book titled Worlds Collide.  You can still get the first in the illustrated stories for kids by going to our Facebook page (hopefully giving it a like while you’re there) and click on the sign up button for our newsletter. This will only continue through the end of the year so you might want to get a move on to grab your PDF copy of Cracked Open FREE
 and start the series that just keeps getting better as light battles dark and the heroic egg warriors confront the depths of evil!

On the back burner for The Egg Chronicles is our next Read To Me Picture Book for very young readers (and the parents who read to them). No title yet, but we’re playing with ideas. Meanwhile, check out the first. 

Since our ‘egg empire’ is expanding we’re planning a whole reboot at the beginning of 2017 with the creation of The Egg Chronicles under who’s banner will be the children’s series Planet Of The Eggs (six issues in Vol. 1 now complete with Vol. 2 in development), the Read To Me Picture Books for Young readers, and more to be announced.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great autumn and I’ll be back with the next post soon!
Meanwhile, watch out for Puff the dragon-
he's growing up fast!

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