Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas in Chicago

If you read my page on the Christmas Anthology site, you'll know that one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is my annual trip to Chicago with my best friend.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to go this year as she's gone back to school and had work, family, and finals to deal with.

I was disappointed that we couldn't go this year, but since I'm so proud of her for going back to school I really can't complain.  Still, Christmas without a trip to Chicago seems incomplete, so instead my sister and I are heading there tonight and spending the weekend.

The weather here is a mess, so we'll be taking the train there and back, and won't have to deal with driving or parking.  I am beyond excited, and am looking forward to a weekend away with my sister, and the inspiration that only Chicago dressed for the holidays can bring.

In writing news, my original story is coming along well.  I'm at almost 30,000 words and am about two thirds of the way through.  Then comes the terrifying and thrilling prospect of seeing if anyone is interested in publishing it.  Once I get a bit more done, I'll post a small section of it here so you can see what I've been working on.

I've also been working on an outline for a follow-up to my Christmas Delights, Christmas Reunion story.  Eric and Dillon are clamoring for me to share more of their story. ;)

I hope you'll all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Turn for a Give-Away!

My story, Christmas Reunion, is included in RJ Scott's Christmas anthology, Christmas DelightsYou can get your free copy here.  There are some amazing stories included, from both established authors and new authors (like me!).

My story is about two childhood friends who are reunited in adulthood:

Eric hadn’t looked forward to Christmas so much in a long time. After living away from his family for several years, he was excited to be moving back home in time to spend the holidays with them. A surprise from his past turns an already amazing Christmas into one that he’ll never forget.

I love young romance that stands the test of time, and that was my inspiration for the story.  I already have an idea to expand on their story that I'm looking forward to sharing with you.  If you've already read Christmas Reunion I'd love to hear what you thought of it, and as my Christmas gift to you, if you comment on this post you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card! NOW CLOSED

Don't forget that RJ Scott is hosting a whole month of prizes at her blog.  She's giving away some amazing gifts, so be sure to visit her site each to to be entered to win!  And if you haven't, be sure to check out her incredible catalog of work.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

All About Writing

My ideas for writing come from all over: a song, a performance, a picture, something someone says in passing.  The idea usually starts with a situation, but occasionally a character shows up first.

When I'm first developing a story, I usually prefer it to be quiet, but once I'm into it (have a basic outline and list of characters), I often work better with some background noise.  That could be either music or t.v.  If it's t.v. it has to be something that I've seen before, so that I don't get too caught up in it.  If it's music, it's typically folk/rock like Matt Nathanson or Frank Turner.

When I start a story I usually brainstorm on paper, coming up with locations, characters, themes, and other details that could be key to the story.  After I have all of that narrowed down I come up with character profiles.  I try to have an actual, physical piece of paper for each character that I can easily refer back to as needed.  I've also started using Trello and Pinterest.  Both can be accessed on my laptop, iPad, and phone, which makes it easy to add ideas if something hits me when I'm in the middle of grocery shopping (Trello especially).

I don't plan the entire story out before I start writing.  In fact, many times I have no idea how things will end (though I can't imagine writing anything other than a happily ever after).  I get the basics down and just start to write.  I supposed that might change if I ever decide to do a series, but even then I'm not sure I could work that way.  I find that too much planning limits my creativity, and I find myself trying to fit things in that I thought might be necessary, but in actuality are not.

 I like the process of writing, of bringing something to life from nothing.  Hopefully, other people will enjoy the result.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Little About AJ

My story, Christmas Reunion, in Christmas Delights Anthology from Love Lane Books is my first published work, which is both thrilling and terrifying.  It's an honor to be included with such a vast array of talented authors.