A Fun Distraction

I really wanted to nail some of my descriptions down for some of the characters in Time Healer. So I wanted to share what I have come up with.

 

AMBER HEARD AS RHIANNON

 

ALDEN EHRENREICH AS JAIME

 

NICHOLAS HOULT AS SETH

 

KATE WINSLET AS MORRIGAN

 

ELIZABETH ROHM AS MAEVE

 

CLIVE STANDEN AS TANNER

 

JANE FONDA AS PRICILLA

 

ANGELA BASSETT AS ABIGAILE

 

EMMA STONE AS NESI

 

ALEXANDER LUDWIG AS ETHAN

 

So there are the big players in my story. Hope you enjoyed my mid-day distraction.

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Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time I had the plan of making sure I had updates every week. Once upon a time I was on a reasonable good streak of getting those entries put in.

 

Then things fell apart.

 

I had a running joke in my bullet journal of me getting my entries typed up since the end of PPWC. Mostly because I’d promised to get the entries updated based on that. And those are coming. I’m getting them written up right after this one which means that after this post, and over the next several weeks, you’ll start seeing my recap posts.

 

But what I wanted to do here is give you a little overview of what I’ve been up to and what my plans going forward are going to be.

 

WHAT I HAVE ALREADY DONE

Colorado Gold Contest: I was on the fence about entering this contest. I was feeling a little down hearted after the Zebulon. I wasn’t planning on entering the same piece (like I said in my good bye post, Goddess Born has been put to bed for the foreseeable future) but because I’ve made a huge connection to Time Healer. I’m sad to see the same fate. I want to have some validation, even though I know that it’s never going to be validated completely by everyone.

 

What helped me with this decision was that I had a number of days off coming up right around when the contest deadline was coming up. So I glued my butt to a chair and wrote up my synopsis and cleaned up my first couple chapters so that it was ready.

 

And with a deep breath and a racing heart I pressed submit.

 

Work and family: As much I would like to say the last few months have been spent getting words to paper, it wasn’t happening. My mind was not on writing. My heart wasn’t in it at the time, even when I did try to sit down and write, so I devoted myself to getting work in a happy place and spent quality time with my family.

 

Plotting and Planning: Even though I was not getting any actual writing done I was spending a lot of time planning on what I wanted to do next.

 

WHERE I GO FROM HERE

CO Gold Conference: We’re slowly creeping up on conference and I love that things are slowly being released about the conference. There are a lot of great things that are planned for that conference and as a first time attendee of this conference I plan to take advantage of a lot of it. As I did with PPWC I plan to do some pre-conference posts and post-conference posts. Those will be some of the ones I’ll get written sooner than later.

 

Time Healer: During CO Gold I plan to devote a lot of my time learning skills and developing this story. There are a lot of planned workshops that I think are going to be highly beneficial to me making this book shine. I am also looking at doing a complete “do over” on the beginning of this book. The more I look at it I don’t like the first 20K words or so, I need to get more world building and more conflict and I have a good plan for it but I have to sit down and work it out.

 

Time Healer part 2: I have other stories in this universe planned and what I want to do is sit down and evaluate how well the work with what happened in book 1. Also, if I do do a major “do over” then I’ll need to evaluate those plans again.

 

Paranormal detective story: Seems cliché nowadays, but I have a plan for a story brewing in my head that just won’t let me sleep. I need to get it plotted out and maybe start getting some words down.

 

Adult Percy Jackson-esque book: I’ve quickly determined that I love my fantasy and I love my mythology. I actually have an awesome story (at least in my humble opinion) planned out that feels like a Percy Jackson style story, but with adults.

 

Juggling multiple stories: As you can see I have a bunch of ideas floating around. I am going to sit down and plan how I want to handle these things all together. Do I want to devote time to just one story at a time or can I juggle multiple things?

 

As you can see I have a good grasp on where I am going. Well, at least, it kinda looks like that on paper. A nice thing is that I am going to have a baby-free day to devote to writing. It won’t be perfect, but I hope to get a lot more done. I will still be working to get stuff done during non-baby free time but I know that I’ll get a lot more done when I am free.

 

How has your time been spent recently? What kind of projects are you working on?

What I Do To Get Ready For Conferences

If you guys haven’t noticed, I get really, really excited when I get to go to conferences. I’ve shared my tips and tricks on going to conferences. But I thought I’d give you a little insight into what I personally do from getting ready to register, register and what I do from that point forward.

 

I am a BIG planner. If you guys haven’t clued into that by now, I’m not sure we’re reading the same blog. So, let’s jump in to see what I do throughout the year to get myself ready. I’ll use PPWC as a reference since I’m much more familiar with what I do for that conference and have my timing pretty well managed. I’ll add in the little changes that I’ve done to help get ready for CO Gold, or basically the second conference to my year.

Budgeting

Until most recently I have not been the best budgeter. I’ve been working really hard to get better at it and I think I am finally at a point where I am using a system that has been successful thus far. I usually start saving for PPWC around November. A little here and there so that I can have at least the amount that I need for registration. If I’m lucky, I’ll have enough to book my hotel room as well.

 

In November, after registering, everything else goes to the extra stuff I need. I save a little money here and there for things like costumes (if there is one happening – like this year), renting a car was an expense this year, and also things like books from the book signing.

 

Once I decided to go to CO Gold this year as well, I had to rearrange my budget to get things settled there as well.

 

Bullet Journal Pages

So, since I’ve talked about it, I thought I would share the kind of things my bullet journal has in it for the conference. Actually both at this point. I do have a journal used primarily for writing related things and here is what I have as part of my conference planning:

  • I have countdown pages that allow for me to mark down the number of days. Yes, I already have one for CO Gold and yes I know that it is over 100 days away.
  • I have a generic to-do list. This has things like registration dates, contest information (if there is one), create a packing list, when to book a hotel (as needed), etc.
  • I have my actual packing list. For PPWC it is pretty extensive since I’ll actually be staying over. Right now I haven’t decided if I’ll be staying at the hotel for CO Gold since it is actually in town so that packing list is a lot smaller.
  • I have additional information like workshop descriptions, keynote speaker profiles, contest information, etc.
  • Blog plans: what am I going to blog about the conference? I also keep prewrites of my entries here as well.

 

As we get closer to PPWC starting, they’ll be releasing things like schedules and the brochure. As those are released, I’ll print hard copies to keep in my bullet journal as well.

 

My Own Schedule

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’m always excited when we get close to the conference because they usually have the brochure posted so I can make my “plan of action”. I love planning which workshops to go to and such so I know what my goals are for the long weekend. One way I do that is my favoritest thing ever: Excel.

 

I know there are those out there that dislike Office products and whatnot, but I am a fan. There are also free alternatives (LibreOffice, Open Office, etc.) that work similarly. And it’s not something that everyone needs to do. I just like having it there for me. To play with.

 

Here are some screens of what my document looks like:

one

The first sheet I have in my document is a list of workshops (edited as I get more information). In here I have a few categories:

  • The name of the workshop
  • The presenter – so I know who I’ll be listening to.
  • Description – so I know what is going on
  • Rating – I rank my interest in the workshop. I love that PPWC releases a list of planned workshops before the brochure. This gives me some ideas of what to expect and I can really start playing with my rankings. These rankings range from “Definitely need to go!” to “Conflict”, they are then color coded so I can easily separate where things are.
  • Session – once I know which session each workshop is during, I’ll use this as another means of sorting the list.
  • Date – again, another way to just sort the information as I need to.

two

 

The next sheet is my faculty sheet. It basically just has the names, descriptions and session information for each presenter. The little boxes are set up to be one for each of the sessions, the boxes then have hyperlinks to move me back to the workshops section for more information. This will be flushed out a little more once we get the brochure.

three

 

My next sheet is divided for the actual scheduling. The first section is my suggested schedule section. As I have my “Definitely going to do this” option selected for a session, then I start filling in information. This is pretty blank right now but will be worked on once the brochure is released. What I have in this is:

  • Session
  • Date
  • Start time
  • End time
  • Session name
  • Presenter
  • Description

I’ll probably print a copy of this to have with me as well.

four

 

That same page also has each session separated out with the options for workshops during that session ranked. Right now I have just the prequel information in so we don’t have much deviation color wise since you pre-select the session you want to do.

 

Each of these sheets has formulas, hyperlinks, conditional formatting, and other things to make it a fun and easy experience. You can definitely hit me up if you want some more information on it and what I do with it.

 

So that’s a small insight into what I do to get ready myself for the conference. What kind of things do you do to plan for your conference experiences? Are you a go with flow kind of person? Do you plan like crazy?

Sharing Those Secrets!

When I wrote the entry saying that I was going to two conferences I also said that there was one thing that really pushed me into the “you can do it!” category. I also told you I’d talk more about it once I had a bit more information. Today is that day.

 

One of the biggest pushes into that yes! column was the announcement of the Key Note speakers and the fact that one of them is one of my favorite authors. So, we’re going to take a look at who is going to be coming to are their expertise with us all at Colorado Gold. If you want the official profiles and more details on them, you can check the RMFW page here.

 

The first is Sherry Thomas, someone that I was excited to hear about because I loved THE BURNING SKY. She also writes romance and historical mysteries. I went and looked up some of her other books and they look super interesting as well. So it will be awesome having her there.

 

The next person is Lori Rader-Day. I’ve not personally read any of her books but she is a mystery writer. It looks like she has some awesome books out there that I’m planning to try and pick one or two up and check out before September. I’ve just recently started looking into more mystery novels so I’m not terribly familiar with mystery authors right now.

 

The one that I am the most excited for is our third Key Note for the conference: Diana Gabaldon. She is the author of a ton of books, my most favorite series that she writes (and probably in general) is the OUTLANDER series. I started reading those books as a teen and have gone to signings for her newer books over the recent years. I can’t wait to see her in a conference environment and getting the chance to talk to her writer to writer.

 

I am very excited to see what else develops for that conference!

PPWC 2017 Thursday Prequel Preview

Hey everyone!

 

When I first started going to conferences several years ago, one of the things that helped me decide on Pikes Peak Writers Conference (besides the awesome people I started befriending prior to the conference starting) was the fact that PPWC offers a Prequel option.

 

It takes place on the Thursday prior to the conference’s normal Friday start day. It is, currently, divided into two parts: a morning session and an afternoon section. Both sessions are three hours long and are an awesome add-on to the conference. You can get more details on the workshops for the prequel here.

 

AM Session

During the morning session you have four choices:

  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface (Part One) — Presented by Donald Maass.
  • Everything You Need To Know To Write A Novel — Presented by Chris Mandeville.
  • Make Your Own Middle Earth: Worldbuilding — Presented by Mike Braff & Kevin Hearne.
  • Squared Away: How To Accurately Write Military Characters — Presented by Kevin Ikenberry (and friends)

 

Don’t just the names of the workshops and the presenters make you go “ooooh“? Go read the descriptions, because I have seriously gone into my registration and changed my choices several times now. But since I had to settle on one, I think I’ve finally chosen the one that I am going to go with. Which one you ask? Well, I chose…

 

Make Your Own Middle Earth.

Why? Well, despite enjoying writing fantasy type books, I’ve learned that one of the harder parts of writing fantasy is taking what I see in my head and putting it to paper. Some of the feedback I get on my stories is that I need to add more description of the worlds. This workshop says we get to work on building a world together. It’ll be awesome!

 

Here’s the description from the website:

In this three-hour long workshop you will learn the fundamentals of worldbuilding from New York Times Bestselling author Kevin Hearne and Del Rey editor Mike Braff. We’ll discuss what kinds of elements are important when building an imagined world, and will put those discussions to use as we create an one such world together as a group. After, participants will write a short piece set in the shared world and we’ll read, critique, and discuss our work as a group. Be prepared for a fun and enlightening workshop!

PM Session

And what do we have going on in the afternoon? Well:

  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface (Part Two) — Presented by Donald Maass
  • Be An Agent For A Day — Presented by Kristin Nelson
  • Scrivener Boot Camp — Presented by Patrick Hester
  • Misdemeanors to Murder: Nothing but the Truth from a Criminal Lawyer and Private Eye — Presented by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman

 

Again all of the amazing names for workshops. Who could truly say no to any of them?

 

Unfortunately I had to say no to three of them since I can only be in one place at a time. Can someone figure out a way to clone oneself? Anyways, the one I chose for the PM session…

Misdemeanors to Murder!

The why behind this one is simple. I have found myself plotting a potential paranormal mystery and have never been in that genre before. I think I am going to be okay on the paranormal aspect of this story, but not the mystery. So here I will find myself getting the knowledge I need to help me get this new project moving in a positive direction.

 

Here is the description from the website:

“Misdemeanors to Murder: Nothing but the Truth from a Criminal Lawyer and Private Eye” covers the history of private eyes, popular misconceptions of PIs, types of investigators, tricks of the trade, crime scenes, the relationship between PIs and police, legalities, and breakdowns of real-life investigative/criminal cases. At the end of presentation will be a Q&A.

No audio recording, please. We will provide a link so you can later download the PowerPoint presentation.

At end of course there will be a drawing for copies of our nonfiction books How Do Private Eyes Do That? and A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: From Crimes to Courtrooms.

Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  2. History of the Private Eye
  3. Types of Private Investigators: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
  4. Misconceptions About PIs: Don’t Let Your PI Character Become a Cliché
  5. Tricks of the Trade: Trash Hits, Spy Gear, Apps & More
  6. Breaking the Law: Don’t Make Your PI-Character Look Like a Legal Dummy
  7. PIs and Police: Debunking Myths
  8. PIs and Crime Scenes: Cold Crime Scenes vs. “Hot” Crime Scenes
  9. Examples of Real-Life Investigative Cases: Breakdown of PI’s Tasks (Misdemeanors to Attempted Homicide)
  10. Examples of Real-Life Criminal Litigation Cases: Breakdown of Defense Lawyer’s & PI’s Tasks (Misdemeanors to Murder 1)
  11. Research Sources for Writers: PI Blogs, Websites, Online Magazines
  12. Q&A

 

Now, did this help you get more interested in PPWC? Are you going to be there with me?

 

I hope to see you there!

 

FYI: There are only a couple more days at the discounted price to register. You can still register at the higher price as well, but if this helps convince you, take a few minutes and go register here.

Goodbye To A World and the People Inhabiting It

Once upon a time, when I was a young girl, I had a dream of a world unlike our own. It was inhabited by a collection of people that kept a secret.

I woke from that dream with this undeniable need to write. I was 12 or 13 and up until that point I had never had that much of a craving for it. I enjoyed it in school but, despite one idea that I had and worked on for a bit (but tragically lost when the Zip Drive it was on got corrupted). But even that came first from a homework assignment.

But after that dream I hid out in the little teepee I had in my bedroom and wrote.

And wrote.

Before the end of that day I had two notebooks full of scenes. It started with what I had seen in my dream and went far beyond that.

That day was the day I realized I wanted to be a writer.

Over the years, that initial spark never died. I wrote probably 75,000 words on that original idea. But then I realized the next part of being a writer: editing and rewriting.

That original idea is what brought me to Goddess Born. The original idea is sitting plotted, but unfinished in my house. It has moved with me in its original notebooks. And has been put into the cloud digitally.

I have several ideas for stories in that world but the only one I completed was Goddess Born.

But another lesson I’ve learned, one that is bittersweet and hard, is that even though that world is my baby I have to let it go.

There was a time that I thought that world was all I had in me. Those thoughts haunted me and really kept me from writing for longer than I’d care to admit. I clutched that world close with greedy fingers, I pushed it on others in an almost manic desperation for approval.

But my year off from writing, that year for me started opening up my eyes to the scary realization that it was time to say goodbye.

Those characters are my babies, that world a second home, how could I say goodbye so casually.

This blog has been a focus on that world, those characters, but now it will be a focus on the other worlds brewing in my mind. New characters are itching to be born. And here you will see that journey.

So here is my goodbye. Goodbye to Lynn and all her troubles. Goodbye to Selene and her sacrifices. Goodbye to Felidae and their secrets. Goodbye to Calypsa and her need for revenge. Goosbye to Tespion and the adventureyou took me on.

Goodbye to all the people too numerous to count.

As the tears flow freely, I’ll end this post.

On to some new adventures.

All the Pretty People

This year we have a full plate of keynote speakers and I’m excited to see how it all plays out in April. I’ve never been disappointed in any keynote speaker that PPWC has brought in to speak. They’re all inspirational and I’ve never left a lunch or dinner without renewed excitement that I am a part of this community.

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So let’s talk keynotes! In no particular order (I’m mostly just going by the staff page here):

Donald MaassI’ve seen him as both a keynote and during some of his workshops he’s done. Several of his craft books stay on my writing desk constantly because they’ve help me so much during this journey I’m on. He is so immersed with the writing world that it is amazing hearing him speak on different areas of the industry.

Darynda JonesHer profile on PPWC made me excited to get to see her come April. I’m not, currently, in the know on her work but I am totally going to hunt it down because I was so drawn in on her profile. I would love to pick her brain on a couple things that stick out in the profile. Yay!

Kevin HearneHis books I know of. The Iron Druid Chronicles are fantastic and now that I’m writing this I really want to read through them again. Also, finding my copies to possibly get signed would be awesome. I also realized that he’ll be co-teaching one of the prequel classes I’ll be taking that Thursday. It focuses on world building so that excites me.

Tess GerritsenI don’t think I previously connected the dots on who she is before re-reading her profile on the website. But she’s the one behind “Rizzoli and Isles”. I love that show. I’ve been picking my brain to remember if I’ve read any of her book but I’m not sure. I love me some romantic suspense and that seems to be the area in which she writes.

Basically everyone on the list looks amazing and I am so, so, so very excited. I also plan on making sure I talk more on their actual speeches and I can leave all of you lovelies with some of the inspiration I hear.