Frequently Asked Question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

You know, this is probably sad … but I really don’t celebrate.  In fact, I seldom really celebrate a book release!  I’ve had a couple of book release events, either solo or with fellow authors, and it’s nice to see the couple of friends who show up.  But real celebrations?  Not so much.

Maybe that’s something I need to reconsider.  Maybe, rather than heaving a sigh (whether or not it’s from relief) and moving on to the next project, I need to be a bit more cognizant of honoring my own milestones.  This is food for thought.



Frequently Asked Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeOnce again this month, the question comes from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

Maybe it’s a cheat, but I’ve actually answered this one in a previous FAQ post.  Still, I’m happy to answer again.  Quote from the linked article:

I think what draws me most to historical fiction is the glimpse into how people lived in other eras. I have always found that fascinating. Social mores, fashions, even food! I recently completed a course on royal food and feasting from the Tudor to Victorian eras.

I enjoy the process of researching a story, and I love the richness of detail that comes from doing that work. I’m one of those rare birds who treats research as a treasure hunt rather than a chore; the hardest thing I experience is limiting how much research I do, because it is far too easy to go down a rabbit hole and never do any writing!


Frequently Asked Question: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeThis question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

You know, I really am not great about doing this.  Living with an autoimmune disease kicks my butt sometimes, and that means that what Robbie Burns said about the best-laid plans of mice and men comes true far more often than I’d like it to.

I’ve set up regular features for this blog that I do my best to keep up.  I’m in edits on It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories … and I have a new idea for another short fiction collection niggling at me.  It hasn’t jelled quite yet, but it’s in the “definitely maybe” stage.  When there’s more than that, I’ll start working on it. An honest-to-Deity writing schedule?  Not so much.

As for publishing?  My goal with IHIMAOS is to be published in time for InD’Scribe … but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be fine.  I would rather not rush the book for some artificial deadline and have it fall short of my own standards.

I do have two personal goals for 2018: to spend more in-person time with friends, and to hear more live music. I find that both of these things help my creative juices, and I’ve been neglecting both.

How about you?  If you’d like to share your writing goals and/or your personal goals for 2018, please feel free to chime in at the Comments section.


Frequently Asked Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group … and it’s both good, and difficult to answer.

I think I would have begun doing additional/different appearances earlier in the year than I did.  I realized a need to expand my calendar, and started with a few local conventions/events.  I didn’t know much about them, but was invited to participate by the con holders and figured it couldn’t hurt.

From this decision came a great realization:  I cannot do back-to-back events.  I had one in Campbell, Calif. one weekend, and one in Modesto, Calif., the next.  Even though they were not far from home, it was just too much to manage.  So, the great lesson here was no more than one event per month.  My current health situation means I need some time in between events to rest up and restock — not just on books, but on self-care.

Also, while convention sales can be hit-or-miss no matter who or where you are, I realized that I need to find some appearance opportunities that are more in line with the direction my own work has taken rather than sticking with a given show because “I’ve always done it.”  When your writing takes a different direction, your audience changes.  Sometimes, economic realities have to trump … especially when you’re laying out your own funds to purchase sales space since there’s no publisher behind you to handle the initial expenses.

And yes, sometimes you’ll lose money … which you won’t know until you try a given show.

In any event, the bottom line remains that I would have expanded my horizons sooner and planned a little better based on my own health situation.  So, that’s what I’m working on for 2018.  How about you?


FAQ: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeThis question comes, once again, courtesy of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

I’ve only done NaNo twice — once in November 2016, and earlier this year in the April “Camp NaNoWriMo” edition.

On neither occasion did I finish my project.  I used the time to motivate/focus on finishing the first draft of Bayou Fire … and didn’t accomplish that goal until December 29, 2016.  The book was published on May 1 of this year.

In April, I worked on some of the short stories that will make up whatever I’m really going to call Bayou NonStandard Time (it’s a working title … sometimes the real ones take a while to show up).  No joy there, either; I knocked out about 10K words.

I signed up this month, and I’ll be using the time to both write and build BNST.  It will at least give me an idea of whether the project is viable.