Monday, February 24, 2014

Eyes on the Prize! Never say Never! Get 'er Done! It's Your Monday Fortune Cookie, 2/24/14


 SNARKY RESPONSE: And sometimes it's just called not knowing any better.

They say you are stubborn; you call it persistence.

Despite the snark, I love this fortune. Anyone who has taken the bit in their mouth and pursued something to the end despite the naysayers has to be right there with me.

For folks who stick to their guns regarding dreams and goals, stubborn is the mortar that holds your efforts together. Anyone who's pulled out a hundred rows of knitting to correct one dropped stitch, anyone who has hauled themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to put in a couple of miles, anyone who has corrected that bit of paint, clay, or pastel until they captured their subject knows that it's really stubbornness that pushes them through.

For writers, this is what keeps us sending out that novel, essay, or poem over and over until it finds a home. Even if, in the end, that home is in something you produce on your own. You wanted to get those words into print and by George, you were going to see it happen.

If it was easy, everyone who wrote would be published. Mini-Snark:No, wait! Thanks to some online publishing services, everyone CAN, but there is the matter of quality versus quantity.

The key, for me, is to have made the effort to produce the best possible writing you can, polish it until it gleams, and then put it out there. I see no reason why you can't sidestep the publisher route and publish on your own, just make sure that it's worthy of your time and effort as well as the time and effort, not to mention the cash, of your reader.

Persistence is a nice word, a pleasant word, a 'politically-correct/motivational speaker' word, but for true - 'stick-to-it'ness (how would you write that phrase?) - I'm putting my money on Stubborn.

What have you been Stubborn about lately?

Monday, February 17, 2014

No Cookie for You, but a Peek at My Writing Process

My Writing Process – Blog Tour
 I'm taking a brief break from Monday Fortune Cookies and am thrilled to be participating in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. Thank you, Tracey Livesay, for inviting me to play along. You can visit this amazing debut author at and her new novel is The Tycoon's Socialite Bride

What am I working on?

Currently, I'm working on a couple of projects. One of them is the second book in my Marant Clan trilogy, a romance involving Peter Marant, the eldest son of the Marant shapeshifter clan. The other project involves final revisions for Aces Down, another shapeshifter romance set in the same world as Collector's Item, but outside the Marant clan.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'd like to think that while I adhere to most of what is expected for the Paranormal Genre, I give it all my own spin. For instance, I gave the animal sides of my shapeshifters their own personalities, complete with names. I've seen other authors including the animal side viewpoint upon occasion, but I wanted to go a step further. The animal personalities serve the purpose of the side-kick or advisor for my shapeshifters, sometimes helping my shapeshifters to pick up on things the human side might miss or stop over-complicating things. The back and forth between human and animal can often be amusing, give me the freedom to make observations that might be censored out of our human mental dialogue (or not).

Why do I write what I do?

I write paranormal and fantasy because that's what I love to read. I've written since I was a child, always exploring the "what ifs" and testing to see if I can add my own spin to the genres' tropes. All while trying to weave a story that I would enjoy reading myself.

How does your writing process work?

I'm basically a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. Generally, my stories evolve from a character who steps onto the stage of my imagination demanding the spotlight. Together, we explore their world and generally get into mischief of one kind or another. Then, as a member of two wonderful critique groups, I am required to regularly inflict pages of my current projects upon them for feedback. This keeps me honest, believe me. I have to write so that I don't look like a slacker. Writers Endeavor and RichWriters have been invaluable to me for learning the craft and art of writing. If you don't have a critique group or critique partner, do yourself a favor and find one or both. 

Next week, February 24th, I invite you to visit with three wonderful and diverse writers to read about their Writing Process. As anyone with a grain of experience in writing will tell you, there are as many ways to approach writing as there are writers, so I encourage you to visit with my friends see how they're navigating their paths.

Sofie Couch

Sofie Couch writes sweet romance with just enough piss and vinegar to make you spew your coffee and test your bladder control. With the help of 1,000 Typing Monkeys, (which also just happens to be the name of her blog), she cranks out romantic comedies and other literary mischief. You can find her at

Alleyne Dickens

Alleyne Dickens was destined to be a writer the moment her parents named her. It's just taken her a while to get there. Pre-published, Alleyne writes historical romance, historical mystery and historical fantasy (aka steampunk). Discover her at

Leah St. James

Leah St. James writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil, and the enduring power of love. To learn more about Leah and her books, visit her at

Until next week, keep reading, writing, and smiling.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What dreams may come and your Monday Fortune Cookie, 2/3/14

Old dreams never die they just get filed away.

SNARKY RESPONSE: And my office is proof of that fact.

Old dreams never die they just get filed away.

The trick is to remember to go back through those files once in a while and see if anything has changed. Time passes, we change and those changes may give us more perspective, skills, or opportunity than we had when we opted to file that dream away. Sometimes we're just not ready to take that leap of faith. Sometimes we have too many irons in the fire already--one more would create a catastrophic meltdown. Sometimes we have to gain more experience, more knowledge, more skills before we can pursue that dream.

That's what I did in 2000 when I decided to find out if I could truly write something worth publishing. I set myself on the path to publication and have trod the path as best I could. There have been the inevitable quagmires, wrong turns, and darkest nights. There have been false starts, misleading middles, and abandoned endings. And there have been tremendous friendships, amazing guidance, and unexpected partnerships. Along with victories, big excitement, and enduring determination.

What about you? What dreams have you plucked out of the archives of your heart to pursue with your soul?