Let’s Get Organized

LGO Badge

Novel Clique, my writer’s group, determined 2012 the Year of the Agent. It went amazingly well, so we designated 2013 the Year of Social Media. We all plan to develop websites, continue to build our individual blogs, as well as the Novel Clique blog.

We’ll be busy, but maintaining a social media presence doesn’t have to be stressful. We sat down with our editorial calendar and brainstormed topics. Now, we have our group’s weekly blog posts planned for the year. It really took the stress out of figuring out what to write.

This morning alone, I changed topics three times. In an effort to find a balance between writing and the real world, we’re starting the Let’s Get Organized blog hop.

The rules are simple:

  1. Create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template). If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog. As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers to join in the fun, then contact them to let them know about it.

The party starts February 21, 2013. In the meantime, mark your calendar, grab the badge for your blog to help spread the word and start brainstorming topics for your editorial calendar.


If you want to join the party, please sign up using the Linky Tool below.

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Getting To Know You

Today, I’d like to take a little time to get to know the people who read/follow my blog a little better, whether you’re a writer or a reader or bloghopper or tweeter or Facebooker, it doesn’t matter. I’m curious about you and the things you like to do with your time. I invite everyone to participate in answering at least one question from the list below (please remember to put the corresponding number in front of your answer):

  1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  2. What are you reading? Favorite author(s)?
  3. Favorite all time movie?
  4. What kind of music do you listen to?
  5. List at least one blog you’d recommend to other commenters. This is where you shamelessly promote your own blog. 🙂
  6. What’s your favorite dessert?
  7. Did you dream last night? Care to share?
  8. If you’re a writer, what genre(s) do you write?
  9. Who’s your favorite fictional character, either from a book or a movie?
  10. When did you last laugh? About what?
  11. Tell one random fact about yourself.

I’d like to end by saying THANK YOU! to all the wonderful people who stop by my blog and those who leave comments! I look forward to reading more about each of you.

Kreative Blogger Award

A big thanks to Melissa Maygrove blogger and romance writer who passed this award on to me. Her blog posts include Grammar Police Monday, features interviews with both new and seasoned writers, and other insightful information. Find Melissa on Twitter here.
The Rules:
1) Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2) Answer the following 7 questions.
3) Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
4) Pass this on to 7 deserving others.

1) What’s your favorite song?
Love’s Theme by Barry White Love Unlimited Orchestra. This song lifts my spirits in ways I don’t understand. Though, when I’m writing I listen to completely different music.

2) What’s your favorite dessert?
Carrot cake (don’t judge me). My sister and Nicole are tied for making the BEST EVER carrot cake!!!

3) What do you do when you’re upset?
Serenity Now! Some of you may need to click the link to fully appreciate the term. Much like Melissa, my reaction depends on the cause. I first ask, “Is this a life-threatening situation?” and go from there. As a mother (twin boys + girl), I ask this question often, but it also applies to everyday situations as well. Plus, as writers, we should see upsetting situations as fodder for our work.

4) Which is your favorite pet?
Cats. Though I like dogs, too.

5) Which do you prefer? Black or White
Black, it’s my go-to color.

6) What is your biggest fear?
Afraid to say….

7) What is your attitude mostly?
I try to see the positive, though sometimes it’s difficult.

10 Random Factoids:

1) I’ve had the same best friend since first grade.
2) I cooked my first meal at age 4: pancakes for my mama.
3) I climb a tree every year, just to prove I still have it. I haven’t gotten around to it yet this year, yet.
4) I don’t like eggs anyway they’re cooked in a frying pan, but I’ve been told I make delicious scrambled eggs.
5) Even though the vampire/werewolf trend is on the way out (or is it gone now) I still LOVE them.
6) I love to cook, but I don’t like meal planning.
7) Until recently, I still used a VHS player almost everyday.
8) I can cross all of my fingers at the same time (which is worth four times the luck, I’ve been told).
9) Contrary to what my name will lead one to believe, I’m not Russian, but I do speak a little of the language.
10) I love to hear what people dream about, not their aspirations and life goals, but the ones they dream when sleeping.

I’d like to pass this award to:

1) Susan Kaye Quinn, Young Adult Author [and marketing guru, seriously you could learn much from her.]
2) Carrie Butler at So You’re A Writer [She’s so funny, plus she celebrating her blogiversary. Hurry over, her contest ends soon.]
3) Nicole at My Writing Blog [I so enjoy her humor and her carrot cake.]
4) Susanna Hill [She’s a joy to read.]
5) L.L. McKinney at Info Dump a La El [Motivational post and she also provides contests links.]
6) Dawn Allen at Write On [Very informative.]
7) Rachael Harrie at Rach Writers… [for her role in connecting me to so many awesome writers.]

Please stop by their blogs to show your support!

Make It Worth The Money

My writer’s group is preparing for the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. conference in May. We’ve attended this conference for the past two years and continue to be impressed by the professional and well-coordinated event. Conferences are a great way to network with other writers, as well as meet agents, editors, and/or publishers face to face. In an effort to help other writers who plan to attend a conference for the first time or for those who have recently attended one, we decided to put together a series of posts offering advice on what to do before (mine!), during (Leatrice), and after the conference (Dawn).
Here are some things to consider BEFORE attending a conference:
  1. How to know when you’re conference ready. Anyone who wants to learn more about the craft of writing or who wants to meet with fellow minded people who also hear voices or those who have done the hard work of writing, revising, and polishing a manuscript and are ready to seek representation/a publisher. If your serious about your craft, it may be time to start researching conferences.
  2. Professionalism.  Though conferences are a blast, it’s important to behave professionally. Those agents/editors/publisher at the conference have eyes and ears. Don’t give them a reason to dismiss you. Also, it’s important to dress the part. If you intend to be taken seriously as a writer, present yourself as such. Think, business casual to business wear.
  3. Business Cards. Carry them with you. These should be easy to read, contain your name (or pen name), website and/or blog address, email address, twitter account, and any other social media information you wish to include. If you have a tagline which reinforces the genre you write while remaining professional, consider adding it.  You can print business cards at home (I strongly recommend buying business card paper if you do) or find an online source. VistaPrint offers free options, though I recently discovered and LOVE Moo.com. If you chose to outsource, be sure to order them well ahead of time to avoid paying extra fees for expedited shipping.
  4. Workshop/session selection. Workshops are a place to learn how to hone your skills. Chose a variety of topics which will help round out your writer’s toolbox. If you excel in a certain area (or if you can’t help buying/reading craft books on setting, for example) try to a avoid that session, unless something in the description is new to you. Sounds simple, but I’m a sucker for nonverbal cues workshops.
  5. Pitching. There are two basic kinds of pitches. The elevator pitch and the agent/editor pitch. The elevator pitch is your story in 1-2 sentences. This helps in case some one says, “so what’s your story about?” You never know who might be listening, or who might ask. Practice saying your it until it rolls off your tongue and be sure to use a present, active tense. The word “was” in all of its forms has no place in this pitch. The agent/editor pitch is a slightly longer description of your story. Something you can say in 1-3 minutes (like a query) that highlights the main character, his/her goals, what stands in his/her way, as well as when/where the story takes place. Be sure the tone of the pitch matches the tone of your manuscript.
Be sure to check out Letrice’s upcoming post on what to do during the conference and Dawn’s current post on what to do after attending.

What tips, recommendations, or suggestions do you have to help conference goers prepare BEFORE hand?

Fourth Writer’s Platform Building Campaign

It’s that time again. For those who have done this before, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with other bloggers. For those who’ve participated in the Writer’s Platform Building Campaign in previous years, welcome back. Last year, I signed up with multiple groups on the list of Campaigners. Looking back, I think it was too much. I didn’t get around to everyone’s blog as much as I’d hoped. This year, I think I’ll stick with the Paranormal Romance and YA lists.

This is an awesome event and I look to meeting new bloggers and continuing to connect with those I’ve already met.

If you’re interested, click the link above or picture for more details.