Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Liebster Blog Award

Had anyone bothered to ask me four or five years ago if I'd ever write a book, let alone a work of fiction, I would've told them they were nuts. It was never my dream to be a writer and it would never have dawned on me that I'd ever write a novel or even a blog. Then Jess popped up and I wrote my first draft of my first book in less than a month. 

After submitting the first book to a few agents, I realized I would need more help if I were to ever get this thing published so I checked out a few local groups. They didn't like Jess, because she swears, and the first book is a bit dark in spots. (How can you not get dark when writing about a dead child?)
I then found Grand Rapids Region Writers Group and emailed then-president Cheryl Sterling about whether or not I might fit in their group, given Jess' penchant for swearing like a drunken sailor and having a BFF that is a Drag Queen Diva. The very first meeting I knew I found a new home.

Fast forward a year, and here I find myself the recipient of the Liebster Blog award courtesy of Patricia Kiyono, a fellow author/crafter/seamstress/procrastinator (I especially love that last one). Patricia Kiyono has fun blog Creative Hodgepodge – complete with cute grandbaby pictures - and is the author of three current titles at Astrea Press: Aegean Intrigue, A Chrismas Phoenix, and The Legacy. You can check them out at her site or purchase them directly from Astrea Press.

The Liebster Blog award is supposed to be given to "up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers". Thank you Patricia for granting me this honor! And now it's my turn to pass it on.

All that's required to accept this award is:
1. Thank the person who gave it to them and link back to that person's blog.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog. (It's up at the top!)
3. Choose 5 blogs to award in kind and break the news by commenting on those blogs.
4. Hope those people pay it forward in turn by accepting and awarding "The Liebster Blog Award" to blogs they'd like to honor.

I'm choosing these five bloggers:

Erica Clodig at The Pen is Mighter than the Darkness. Erica is the one who introduced me to NaNoWriMo, where Collie was “born” and has an amazing number of books in progress and who, like me, is not yet published. She inspired me to keep working on my writing and gave me my first introduction into the writing world.

Jennifer Armintrout at Sweaters For Days And Moves Like Jagger . Jennifer is the USA Today best-selling author of several paranormal romance novels and makes me laugh often. She's also the one to get me into my first real critique meeting which has been hugely beneficial and loaded with lots of much needed advice and suggestions for improvements.

Mia Watts at The Art of Seduction is Watts Beneath the Covers. Mia is one of the writer's I connected with at the first meeting and assured me that Jess' swearing really isn't an issue. She also is a prolific romance author who appears to have book releases every week!

Tanya Eby at Tanya is my mentor and writes fun, quirky characters that I can totally relate to. She has an amazing sense of humor and continues to keep my faith up by allowing me to see her own struggles with getting books published.

Andrea Dickinson at Diary of a Romance Writer.  Andrea writes some amazingly hot, quick romance reads and has a similar appreciation of the LGBT community. She also makes me laugh often and I could easily spend a day having fun with her and feel like we'd barely gotten started.

So those are my 5 nominees, now to finish up the comment/contact instructions!

You know, for being currently unemployed I seem to have tons of work to do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I got paid to write!

One of my favorite global software companies contacted me to see if I would like some contract work during my current unexpected unemployment. (No worries, I had an offer just 3 days after being released from the last job).

I just wonder if being contracted to work on some ROI and Cost Benefit Analysis documentation is truly considered writing in a freelance sense. The really cool part, is they like what I've done already and asked me to help with another piece of collateral material that is needed. It's certainly been a fun, geeky project for me to work on.

The bad part: Jess and company are still waiting in the wings - impatiently - for me to work on their stories. Hopefully I'll get some downtime this weekend...although I do have some studying to do for the new gig.

It's kind of nice to be busy, and wanted, again.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ah, at last!

I have a break. An unplanned one that started out a little stressed, but is wrapping up fairly quickly. The nice thing is I will have time to sit and write for a long stretch at last.

Paul has been bugging me to hurry up and finish up the second book in the Jess Barker series, so I can get on to "his" book in the series. Jess, in the meantime, has been harrassing me to hurry up and finish edits on the first book and hit up more agents.

The Scot is patiently waiting in the wings, while I do more research. Merie has been unusually quiet, while Collie has been chattering like crazy of late. I think it has something to do with the weather as she's not happy about the weird weather pattern we've been having. I, however, have been loving it!

Jess and Paul will be appeased. There is a competition coming up that I think fits Jess pretty well. I'll be checking into that tomorrow and see if it's a good fit for Jess' book or not. I'm crossing my fingers that it is.