Writing the Witchy Way: Candace Havens book giveaway!

Hey everyone! In the middle of my mad dash to finish my WIP, I took a breather and found this free book giveaway--super easy and the prize is from a fantastic author! Good Luck!

Writing the Witchy Way: Candace Havens book giveaway!

I Do Battle Plans, Not Resolutions

OK. New year--make that new DECADE--is here. Over at the Textnovel Divas blog I went on and on about how I am going to make this MY decade.

All talk, no action, so to speak.

Affirmations are good, but without consequences, bribery, and a list of what is expected of me, I'm not going to get too far.

Enter the best Yule gift I've ever had. Well, maybe not, but right now, it's at the top.

Deborah Blake, author of pagan non-fiction, my writing group pal, and all-around fantastic friend gave me NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM: Novel Writing Kit.

There are gold stars involved!!!!

As fantastic as that is, it did something I haven't been able to do for months. It got my hubby and I together for a 90 minute conversation about where I was going with my writing, what had to be done, and how I'm going to do it.

NPNP (Novel Writing Kit) is written by Chris Baty. That should ring a few (alarm) bells with some of you. He was the guy who came up with NANOWRIMO. Well, with this lovely kit, I am going to start my very own 31 day writing extravaganza. In the end, I hope to have finished a novel and perhaps a few short stories.

The kit comes with some great stuff. Like I said, gold stars to put on a large poster of your progress (it's hanging in front of me right now!), daily inspiration cards, a coupon book for family to threaten you with if you don't make word count, a contract you sign with a witness, and more. We took the coupon book thing a step ahead and created a sheet of 7 horrible things that will happen to me if I don't make daily word count. Things like NO INTERNET FOR 24 HOURS and TAKING THE GARBAGE TO THE CURB (big deal, you say? Well, at my house, we measure my driveway in ACRES). Of course, if I DO make my word count, I get things like a 20 minute foot rub and no cooking for a whole day.

Sounds good so far. I've got incentive and a cooperative husband (I didn't bother trying to communicate with the toddlers. They will have to just go with the flow). Now, the Battle Plan.

See, I procrastinate. A lot. Ask any of my high school teachers and they will roll their eyes at you and comment that sure, I got things done, EVENTUALLY. I waste 5 minutes, 10 minutes here and there just wandering around, knowing that I am supposed to be doing something...It all adds up.

So I made a chore chart, broken up by hour. It starts at 7 am and ends at 10 pm. Hubby and I went over the things that need to get done and when I will have my hours for writing. I filled out the chart, giving myself plenty of empty spaces for catching up on writing, housecleaning, and doctor appointments. Now I know what I can get done, and he knows what to expect while I start this crazy writing ride.

For the next 31 days, I am the Commander in Chief of my everyday life.

Wish me luck!

Oh, what will I be working on? Well, it may be cheating, but I'm going to continue with the beginning of a novel I have entered in the Textnovel contest entitled WICKED ENCHANTMENT. I know, I know, I should start something new, but I have so little written (only 3000 words) that I figure it will be okay to fudge just a little. I will not be counting those 3000 words! Tomorrow, with the help of my charts and progress poster, I will put my battle plan in action!

ONWARD, HO!

Gifting without breaking the bank

I love to give presents. There is something in me that gets a thrill when a person opens a box and loves what's inside, whether that be an inbox or gift box. Like many, the economy crunch has tried to keep my crazy gifting ways to a minimum, but I refuse to let it. I refuse to let YOU keep you down, too. So this blog won't have anything to do with writing, unless you decide to gift someone a story with him/her as the main character (cheap and fun!), but a whole lot to do with giving some gifts that are either FREE or so cheap you won't have to get another day job. Hey, being cheap is what allows me to stay home and write!


FREE RESTAURANT GIFT CERTIFICATES!

Restaurant.com is back with a fabulous off. Send up to 30 free $10 gift certificates to your friends, family, co-workers, etc. Pop in their e-mail or do it via facebook, you can give you old college roommate from way too many years ago a little something that they would be glad to remember.

Make a free ESPN poster of your fave sport nut (be it kid or adult)

Speaking of magazines, Amazon has had a lot of great magazines on discount-many, including Oprah's magazine,Family Fun, and Parents are just $5 for the year. a gift that keeps on giving...

I do a lot of canning, and therefore have a TON of mason jars around my house (Spaghetti jars, apple sauce jars, etc). For a few years, I've made a few "gift in a jar' baskets--and they are well received, especially if you know of a family that could use a little more food and a lot less junk. I've done hot cocoa in a jar, rice pilaf in a jar, chocolate chip cookies in a jar, you get the idea. All the recipient has to do is add the liquids and they are good to go.RECIPE LION is offering up a free ecookbook to get you started on these great gifts.

For the ladies: Head over to Bath and body Works with this coupon for a FREE TRAVEL ITEM or this coupon for a FREE LIP ITEM When you get in the store, find something for $1, like the mini hand sanitizers (mmmm, warm vanilla) and pick up your choice. Or use one, do a little shopping, come back and use the other. The travel lotions/body washes are worth $5, and the lip stuff is up to $8. So, for $1+tax, you have a pretty nice stocking stuffer.

This Saturday (December 19) Old Navy is having a ONE DAY WONDER sale on cozy Socks --for a $1. Really. Oh, and then there is a 30% off coupon that you can use on them, making a pair of Socks $.70. Yowza.

Got photos of the kids? purchase a few frames from a dollar store and try out some of these deals:
Seehere.com- 100 FREE 4x6 prints, code (prints) Shipping is $5.19!
Walgreens.com-Code (PRINTJOY) will land you with $.10 prints. 1 hour photo+pick up in store is a pretty good last minute deal! Oh, and buy white wooden painted frames and have the kids color it. So nice!

Hint!!!! If you aren't going to see some family until AFTER Christmas Day, save your shopping for the 26th of December. Trust me. I got a down blanket for $15 a few years ago, marked down from $75, and the beautiful ornaments from the big department stores are usually marked anywhere between 75%-90% off. Save your dough and wait to get the big deals when the stores just want to clean out gift items.

Whew, that's it for now. So go on, get your shopping done! We'll write more about writing after this holiday craziness is over. Gods, I need an eggnog.

Here I am, standing around naked in cyberspace again.

After six months of the complete cyber insanity that was the Next Best Celler contest, I took a little hiatus. I didn't update any of my stories on textnovel, I didn't haunt twitter or facebook like I had. I reconnected with my husband, my kids, and my friends in the most traditional of ways. I met them face to face.

As all of you fellow writers know, that got old, fast.

So, to further my writing career, I sat my butt down and made myself an honest to goodness author website (http://www.robinwriting.com). It's quite bare bones at the minute, but heck, so is my writing career.

I also finished my first short story, BACK ROADS, and with the help of the marvelous and clever Saranna DeWylde (who also happens to be one freaking awesome editor), I polished it up and began a search for a home. BACK ROADS isn't a romance. It isn't even paranormal. It is Dark Horror--horror that is driven by the craziness of the human psyche.

I may have made a mistake. It isn't a story from the genre I'm interested in working it, paranormal romance. however, this is my thought: It may be a good way to cut my teeth in the business. I can find my way around, get to know the path. Also, if it gets rejected, I won't be totally crushed.

Yeah. That is a biggie.

So, what do you think of my choice to get into the action using a work that isn't what I usually write? Know this, as well, I am not completely sure if I don't want to write horror. It's kinda sick, but it comes easy to me. This may be the path I was destined to take. That's the glory at being so new at this: I have room to move. I could always combine genres, which is my plan for HUNTER'S MOON--a horror romance.

Wish me luck. I submitted BACK ROADS to a publisher of ebooks and audio broadcasts. Again, I'm just testing the waters, so a small independent publisher was my aim, but not necessarily of print books. Unfortunately, I have to wait for either an acceptance or a decline, which could take as much as 6 months. 6 months that it has to sit on a shelf until someone tells me otherwise. Lesson 1 in publishing: You can't show everyone your goods.

So, like Shannon has told us about the publishing world, things happen slowly, but while I'm waiting, waiting, waiting, I'm gonna get everything out of this experience I can.

BLOG TO READ! Jackie Kessler - Harlequin Horizons VS RWA

Well, I was thinking of going over to Harlequin and to try and start my career. However, Harlequin is no longer a recognized publisher according to Romance Writers Of America, the largest romance writer's organization I know of. I just joined about a week ago, and now this. So, I'm off to find a publisher who is keen on taking unsolicited/un-agented me. This is a fantastic blog that explains everything, almost line by line. So, if you've heard about the uproar from Ann Aguirre, Nora Roberts, and twitter, this is what is going on.Jackie Kessler - Harlequin Horizons VS RWA

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What this is all about

The insanity began when my friend and author Shannon Delany told me to put on my big girl panties and share my work with others. She is an advocate of textnovel.com, a serialized novel website that opened doors for her and her series 13 To Life, which was picked up by St. Martin's Press and will be in the bookstores June 2010.

So on went the panties. I entered the Dorchester Next Best Celler contest via textnovel, and here I am, glued to my computer and typing away at a variety of works-in-progress.

27 Days and counting!

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