Tag Archives: encouragement

The Countdown Begins

One week….one week and I will be on my way to Penned Con in St. Louis. I haven’t begun to pack. aaaaack.

I’ve been looking forward to this event since last year. I cannot describe the incredible, positive energy I get from this signing, and truthfully…from most signings I go to. There is nothing like being surrounded by a community of people who, while they may not write the same genre as you,  have more books published, or who are a bigger name, look at you and smile in welcome as if to say…”welcome home.”

These kindred spirits are your tribe. They get the whole writing process. They understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into putting pen to paper and the weaving of words together that will pull a reader into a story.

And the readers…the wonderful, supportive readers. They are the reason we release our babies into the world. At these events, there are readers you have met and have made a connection with in the past. There are also readers who have never heard of you, but are open to taking a chance on you by buying your book/s. Sometimes you don’t know how they feel about your book once the event is over until the following year when you show up with the next book. The simple fact that they want the next book is at times the only encouragement you need to keep going.

Anyway…I need to get packing, otherwise I’ll have books and swag but no clothes with me…and trust me…nobody wants that. lol

Until next week…Happy Reading!




Recently, a very dear friend of mine advised me that they love that I am ‘fierce.’ I take this as a priceless compliment. I think I am fierce too. I love fiercely, live fiercely, and charge forward with an untenable focus on my pursuits. It is no mistake that the Rhino is my logo and philosophy.

I am also fiercely loyal as a friend. I will interject myself into situations to defend when necessary, or to stand up in the stead of a friend who is not present to do so for themselves. I personally believe this is the hallmark of friendship, or at least one of them…brutal honestly, and sometimes being the director of shenanigans is also in the job description.

But…all this fierceness, makes the results fierce too. For example…the mad, crazy juggle often is the source code for a FIERCE headache, fierce disappointment, and fierce self-condemnation. I am angry and frustrated when I can’t run as hard as I feel I should, or learn something faster. I want to be better with each day, at everything I endeavor to accomplish. This is not always the reality.

As you have seen, I have been part of two recent sets with others. One was…for lack of a better description, Author Marketing 101 on crack. I have never learned so much in such a short window while at the time feeling like I dropped so many balls. I ran hard, and gave my all…and at the end of the crazy push – I am frustrated that I couldn’t learn more to do more faster. Add that everything else on my plate has sort of become soupy from running together as they got luke warm…and my frustration is ugly, and fierce.

Whatever comes next, there is a fierce pride commingled with the disappointment. Next time…I will be better, I will be faster, and I will contribute more if it kills me. Yes, I’ve said it to myself and the organizer…who assures me that growth takes time. I might believe her.

Until that, I’m re-evaluating my agenda. I still have every intention of releasing the other 5 works in 2017. The dates may juggle, but this is me being fierce…fiercely hard-headed & stubborn to achieve the goals. Which means, it’s back to the cave after I finish posting my promos for today, because juggling…often takes time that would be used for other things…and there are no more hours so NOW it is.

See you on the pages.

A Little Encouragement From Where You Least Expect It To Come

Encouragement can come from any number of sources. It may be from your mentor, who takes the time to listen to you rant and ramble on incessantly. Then while laughing maniacally points out the complications and conflicts you will have to resolve if you decide to include a certain subplot. It may come from an author friend who brain storms with you over how the mechanics of a tricky point of entry can be plausible. And it may come from authors you have met briefly who know the path your on, have traveled it themselves, and are willing to share their knowledge of the pitfalls that you may or may not cross.

The path to being an author isn’t an easy one. Anyone who says it is is L.Y.I.N.G-lying. You write the first draft. Set it aside and let it stew so you can go back and look at what you’ve written with fresh eyes. You tweak, fill plot holes, re-write passages. Sometimes those passages can be whole chapters. When you think you’ve done everything you can, you send it to the editors. You then pray to the gods and goddesses of writing that your manuscript doesn’t come back looking like the editors red pen committed Hari Kari. Anyway, you go through the editing calls, the final hard read through then  send your precious baby to be formatted.

The cover is accepted. The manuscript proof is A-Okay. Everything is a GO! Woot! You are finally going to be published! You did it! Celebrate now, because the work is just beginning. You have to promote. You have to engage potential readers and get them interested in reading your book. If you are an introvert, as I am, this could be a little out of your comfort zone. Okay, a LOT out of your comfort zone. LOL But it can be done.

Finally, your book baby is in the hand of the readers. You watch Amazon like a hawk. Are people reading your book? Are they liking it? Do they hate it? Do they think the writing has merit, or do they think it’s pure drivel? Aaaack! This can drive you bonkers. Yet, you still have to promote your book. You promote it because it’s YOUR baby. You want people to buy your book, read it, love it….or not, but whether or not they love it or not is out of your control. You do have the power of making sure they at least know about it. You think you’re doing well, then you remember, you have to write the sequel to your book. Wait! Crap! I do.

You start working on your new manuscript. You did it before. You can do it again. You keep in mind the editing calls from your first book. You recall that you have three paragraphs tops to capture the readers attention. Then you wonder, can you do this again. Can you flesh out the story as well as you did the first, perhaps a little better? Can you draw the reader back into a world solely of your making? The doubts creep in. Dark insidious thoughts that maybe you are a one book wonder.

You fartz around doing everything but writing. Then you go to your email and you find a notification from a writing contest you thought you were out of the running for. No, you didn’t win, didn’t make the top 3, or top 10 even. You did make the top 50! How many entries were there. *shrugs* No clue. Don’t care. You made the top 50 of a No More Than 30 Words contest! ENCOURAGEMENT from the least likely place. How cool is that?!

Now that I’ve procrastinated (procrastination and I are very good friends) with writing this post 😉 I better get to moseying on. There’s a story in my head that is waiting to be told. I have it on good advice that the story will not write itself. Until next week, keep your eyes open for the encouragement you need. You may find it where you least expect to find it.

Happy Reading and Happy Writing!