~Held Hostage by the Muse

Hi Y’all! I have a special friend visiting tomorrow so I thought I would do my Writerly Wednesday a day early. I had a post set to write-up, but I had a muse attack me the other night. Next week we may be Drafted. This week  I am talking about ideas and how they can come. The post may be short since I am having some respiratory issues and feel like crap.

This week  I am talking about ideas and how they can come from left field. I was watching TV with my husband and the Farmers Only .com commercial came on.  One of my muses whispered in my ear a secret title. I think this new idea could be a lot of fun. After talking to my friend Misty, I came up with a couple of names for a contemporary story. There will be cowboys!  While brainstorming my MM muse whispered in my other ear, wanting the story for himself. After a little more brainstorming I took my title and turned it into a world and may do two books.  There will be cowboys in both two entirely different stories.

I need my muses to help me with these rewrites and edits instead of bringing me new ideas so often. I can’t wait to write a fresh story. It has been a while. I still plan to finish Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats and Simon Plus Two first.  After that, I think I will begin one of these.  I wrote the ideas down and can work on it on the weekends after my blog work is all done.

I’m not crazy, and I know muses are not real entities. Some authors don’t believe in muses at all wanting all the credit for themselves. Some authors have real muses like artists have. These can be friends husbands pets or whatever. Others, like myself like the imaginative muse that keeps us company finds us ideas and pushes us forward. I don’t think it matters what muse we use as long as we create fun, imaginative stories I think it’s all good!

Do you like cowboy stories? Which genre do you prefer M/F or M/M or both?  Do you have a muse?  I have many.

Take a Peek Tuesday~Boy Meets Girl #amwriting #romance #sports

Hi Y’all! Would you like to take a peek at what I’m working on now?  This week I’m sharing a snippet from my current work in progress Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats, a M/F contemporary sport/cowboy romance. I have just started rereading self-editing and making notes so I can start the next draft. That one I plan to finish by April to get to my Beta reader if not sooner. I have posted bits of this before, so I will be skipping around. Don’t forget this hasn’t been edited yet, but should be a little better than the last draft. LOL

I am doing this a bit different. I will post a paragraph or so in each view since I write in first person split views.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  copyright2016

Chapter One

Annie

Then the last one bounded from behind the vehicle with two duffles and a  bag of sports equipment.  His strong biceps are bulging under the weight, yet he trotted over to us, a bundle of energy packed into a tight pair of jeans a shirt stretch tight around his muscular frame and a cowboy hat on his head. He dropped the bags with the others; bounds back over to us shakes Rick’s hand then takes mine into both of his holding them securely.  (Work in the pink here  with the blue having Simon trailing behind him shyly?)

“It sure is kind of you to let us stay here in your lovely home. Coach didn’t tell us our hostess is such a beauty” He( who is he?) lifts my hands up to his full lips and lightly brushes them with a kiss. “Oh, I’m TJ.”

“Down Casanova. Get your butt over there with the others. You’re here to play baseball not charm all the women you meet!”  Rick rolls his eyes as he playfully punches TJ on the arm.I stood there mesmerized by the cutest boy–young man I’ve ever seen in years. Broad shoulders, big brown eyes and wild curly hair that’s a little too long. His handsome face in need of a shave. He would be my dream man–if he were 20 years older.

TJ

I helped Simon gather our stuff then jogged up to Coach and the hostess.Why did the heck Simon park so far from the house? Then I saw the others tossing the ball and figured he didn’t want to chance one through his window or a dent. The way we pitch a ball can do some damage.

Excitement overtook me as I took her small, fragile looking hand in mine.

Hot damn no ring! How on earth could a woman this gorgeous be single? I guess she could have a boyfriend, but all is fair in love and war.

“TJ join the others while we finish our business.” Coach glares at me.

He turns his head back and begins talking with Annie.  A sweet name for a lovely woman.  The coach focuses his attention back to her, lightly touching her arm as he speaks gently. I wonder if they are an item?

What do you think? Do you like the first person split view? What about Annie and TJ?

 

Writerly Wednesday~Decisions Decisions #amwriting #genres #newwip

Five years ago I decided writing would be fun. Just pick up a pen and start writing that story brewing in my head.  That is a good thought. It is also a good start. In reality, it isn’t that easy at all.

Having an idea for a story is a good beginning, but who are all the characters? What’s the plot? Subplots? Trope?  Genre? Are you going to plot it out? If so how much detail? A basic beginning middle and end or details by chapter? Or are you going to pants it? Even If you do that, you still need to know your characters to a point and the basic plot. How long is the story? Is it a short story, novella or novel? These are just basic questions for the writing of the story.  Now say you figured this all out. Sat down and got your first draft now the next barrage of decisions.

How many times will you reread it? How many rewrites will you do? Do you have your beta readers picked out? How many do you need?  Should you send it to them before the editor? Do you need one editor or three? Are you going to have a proofreader?  While you contemplate this, you also need to figure out who will be designing the cover.  Who will format? Will you hire it out or attempt it yourself and that brings you to–are you using CreateSpace, Smashwords or something else?  Are you self-publishing or submitting to a house. If you choose the latter, then you need to look up their submissions. What do you need? How many pitches? Are you writing them or having them professionally written? how do you write a summary? What’s the difference between a summary and a blurb? A blurb and an excerpt? Do you need all of this?

It took me years to come up with something that worked for me as I kept redoing and redoing and now I have a stack of unfinished books in files. I felt I never could get them right enough.  Now I am writing the rough draft, rewriting it once going through Grammarly as I do and then sending to my Beta(or Alpha) I’ll correct what she finds then send it to an editor. After that, a beta and proofreader and hopefully I will be ready to get it formatted.

Now that these decisions are made, you have more. You need your social media campaign set up. You need marketing plans. How many social media sites do you need?  How much time do you need to spend on them? Do you need a newsletter?  A blog? A website? What’s the difference? Do you need all three? How do you get people to sign up for it? All of this is up to an individual, but you do need to get out there.  I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest , Goodreads and I blog. I will have a website to showcase my books and a newsletter once I get my first release out.

Whew! Now you’re done, right? Nope. Whether you self-publish or submit to a house, you have to market your books. Social media is just to get you out there. to get people interested. the easiest way to lose them is to only post buy my book stuff. so how do you market?  I haven’t figured out all of that since I haven’t gotten that far, but I do have marketing experience since that was my day job for 19 years. If I could sell diamonds I should be able to sell books. I hope. There are a few ways to market I haven’t mentioned. One is tours. Not as many people read blogs as they use to so be sure to make these fun, offer prizes but what? Do people want a cup with just your name on it? Most likely not.  Books are good. If they are in your party they probably read. Gift cards are also good.  Look into your book and what it’s about. are there some fun scenes in it that you could come up with a prize from?  Early in the year, things like planners and calendars are good mid-year and later unless you have next years these probably aren’t good.  Does your character cook? find easy to ship cooking relating items like aprons, cookbooks, special utensils and you can ship direct from Amazon which makes it easy. Pick items related to the season as well.   Another fun way to get readers are Facebook parties. I love these.  and do as above have a few fun prizes, some books maybe one grand prize. One thing I dislike about these parties is if you have to preorder the book for the prize. it may be ok to have one post for those that do but don’t make it the only prize or grand prize. I also don’t like the prizes on the follow me posts. The prizes should be for fun and not to force people to sign up to your pages or like you.  more than likely they will leave shortly after. You want to win people over and get them to stay so be fun.

There is one more thing. Reviewers.  Reviews are important in so many ways. not only does it help other readers choose to buy or not, but it helps you move up the ladder in Amazon, get on lists, etc.  Reviews do not have to be professional or extensive.  Just pick your stars and a few words like it was good,  it was ok, I loved it. Or even if you felt there was something missing. Reviews should be honest. These should never be bought.

So as you see there are lots of decisions in writing. It isn’t just sitting down on your computer and popping out a story. A lot of work goes into it. Don’t get me wrong it is a fun occupation, but it can get overwhelming and expensive as well. Not all books will come out of the red. It is something you have to want to do and work hard at.

I am sure I left something out, especially in the putting the book up on Amazon. I haven’t gotten there yet so I don’t know what all choices are there. I have seen several, such as Kindle unlimited or KDP select. I see new things now like Kindle Worlds and Kindle Scout I will have to research.  And there is research.

Do you attend Facebook parties or follow blog tours? What kind of prizes do you like to see offered? Do you buy books based on covers and titles or by only authors you already know?

Writers work hard to entertain you so go out and let some of your favorites know how much you appreciate them. Life would be dull without books, since most movies once began as a story.

Teaser Tuesday ~~Simon Plus two~~ A change is coming #MMMromance

Welcome back to Teaser Tuesday. NaNoWriMo is finally over, and I can breathe.  I completed my 50k, but the story needs lots of work. The end got a little rushed, and I have some fluff to remove. But that’s what rewrites are for.  I have introduced Simon,  Topher,  and Max. If you missed it click on their names to check it out. Last week we had a first for Topher. You can find that here.

This will be standalone.  I made it so those that don’t care for MM romance can enjoy Baseball bats and Cowboy Hats and those that don’t care for M/F and read only M/M can enjoy this one without needing to read BaseBall Bats and Cowboy hats. It has been a challenge to write in real-time with the other book and not make it sound like the same book. This is entirely a different story.  This way those of us that like to read both genres can read both books and not get the same thing twice.  Another challenge for me is this one is a lot steamier than I usually write. Topher is quite the character and experimenting to find himself. Another difficulty is this is my first M/M/ M story.  Lots of firsts for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have written it. I hope to have it out late next year after Baseball Bats and Cowboy hats debuts.

I don’t know if I will continue posting from this story or what comes next. Stop by next Tuesday to see.

WARNING: There is man on man sex involved, and it may be a little steamy. If this isn’t for you. I understand. 

Simon Plus Two  Copyright 2016

This is very raw. I haven’t edited it any.

 

I Break down and finally call mom. Not because I wanted to but because Caleb said I do it or he will tell her what I am up to. I am not ready for her to hear about any of my changes or that I am moving into an apartment thinking of staying in New Orleans. When Caleb told me she is dating one of the players I saw red. It has to be some crazy mid-life crisis. That’s not the plan she was supposed to someday see how good Caleb is and marry him making us a real family.

“Mom. Have you lost your ever-loving mind?”
“Hello, son. Isn’t that what I asked you when you told me you were putting college on hold for a year to explore the states?”
Hmmm.Yeah, I guess she is right.Among all that yelling and tears I believe she dis ask me if I was crazy. I scratch my head. I’m not letting her turn this conversation to me.
“Why on earth did you move five strangers in our house? My room too!”
“Not that it’s any of your business what I do. It is a good cause. You gave up your room when you moved out.”
“I did not move out!” At least she doesn’t know that yet. “ I’m exploring life outside a Podunk town and smelly farm.” I practically yelled, clenching the phone with one hand rubbing my thigh with the other.
“These guys needed a place to stay and didn’t mind taking on the chores and fixing up this ‘Podunk’ farm as you call it. Just in case you have forgotten, it’s slowly falling around me.”
“Caleb could pay someone to fix it. Hell, he would be more than happy for you to move into his house in town. I don’t see why you stay out there anyhow.”
“ Now I know where you got your information. You can call Caleb but not me?”
“Caleb doesn’t yell at me every time I call. That is part of our deal. I have to keep him posted of where I am on a regular basis.”
Oops. Me and my big mouth. I hope she didnt catch my slipup.

“It’s notdidn’tb’s place to fix up my farm or to send you money.”
Shit. She did catch on.
“It is your place to want to help out your mother and keep this farm in the family!”
“Mom, in case you haven’t noticed, neither David nor I want the farm. It isn’t productive, and neither of us has ever cared much for it. Dad didn’t even like it. He only paid the bills on it for you. To keep you happy. It’s what killed him, trying to work a job and help on the farm as well. He is gone, and you can’t keep it up. If you want it that bad, perhaps you should consider Caleb. He will do whatever it takes to make you happy.”
There is a long silence and for a minute I thought she hung up on me.
“Where are you?” She ground out. (another action or sound of her voice
“Oh no! I recognize that voice. You may send me a letter bomb or poison cookies.” I try to lighten the mood—and avoid the question.
I hear a soft whisper. It sounds like a man’s voice.asking he rif she is OK
“Who the hell is that?” I shout. The other person says the same thing more quizzically.
“Christopher the players are coming in from practice. I need to finish getting dinner on the table. You can report back to Caleb that this tactic didn’t work any better than the last. As a matter of fact, I had planned to call him later today. Now I think I better cool off a few days first. Tell him I will see to Lover Boy, that it’s best he stays away until I do call. “
“Wait mom!” I could hear the panic in my voice.
“Caleb had nothing to do with this. I called him. He only filled me in on what was going on there.”
“Why did you call Caleb and not me?”
“You refused me money in the first place. My graduation funds aren’t holding out.”
“You called Caleb for money? How often is he sending you money?”
“Look. What does it matter to you? I’m out of your hair so you can play Hanky Panky with a boy not much older than me.”
I can hear growling and pots and pans clanging in the background. What the hell? Dies she have me on speaker phone?
“I am not playing Hanky Panky with anyone. Not that it’s any of your business who I am with or if I finally do decide to have a relationship.”
“God Mom! Are you actually considering that? What will everyone think?”
“What was it you told me when you left? You didn’t have to have my permission? You are a grown man now?” She tosses my words back at me.
“Well, I do not have to have permission from you! Conversation over and you better learn to enjoy living below your means. Or get a job! Consider your cash cow slaughtered!”

I hope you enjoyed the post. I am interested in what you think. Do You like Topher? what is your opinion of him?

Serenity Sunday~Holiday Lights #happyholidays

 

 

I decided to celebrate the holiday season that my Serenity Sundays will be holiday related. I started decorating yesterday. I am simplifying so instead of hanging lights My Hubby got me one of those light shows. It’s really beautiful.

If you missed it on my Facebook, here is the snowman wreath I made.And with the light show on.

 

Here is a video

 

I’m not a good photographer  but hopefully you can see how pretty. 

Now I’ll leave you with a Christmas song.

Have you started decorating yet? feel free to show pictures in comments.  Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays  Or happy whichever holiday you celebrate.

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