I’ve worked nights a lot.
On late night radio.
In a U.S. Army service club
Yeah, a lot. But you’d think as a writer I could choose to work the day shift. I tried, really tried, but my brain seems to be wired to work late.
So here I am at 3:36 a.m. writing my Slice of Orange Blog for this month. I don’ t know if it’s because of the lovely quiet, the comforting shades of night that envelop you like a cozy blanket, or the two pots of coffee, but I’m a night writer.
What’s your favorite time to write? Day, night?
Leave me a comment and it will be fun to see who writes when. But the bottom line is,
And that’s all that matters.
PS — I just finished my Paris WW 2 historical fiction story. Wow, what a challenge.
I adore Paris… I remember as a kid visiting the City of Light with my parents.
I never forgot seeing buildings around the city that still had bullet holes in them from the German Occupation.
I remember wondering what it was like in 1943 if you were a Resistance fighter… now I know. My book is about a brave woman who was.
Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…
When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.
Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.
As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…
A sweeping historical romance set aboard the Titanic, from the author of Her Lost Love (Christmas Once Again).
Praise for Jina Bacarr:
‘A delightful holiday romance that has all the charm of a classic Christmas movie. Christmas Once Again is perfect for anyone who loves a holiday romance brimming with mistletoe, hope, and what ifs.’ Andie Newton, author of The Girl I Left Behind ‘A breathtaking holiday romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’
‘A mesmerizing holiday romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’
‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’
THE RUNAWAY GIRL e-book, print and audio book:
In the middle of this pandemic, riots and protests, my husband and I decided to buy our retirement home, which will hopefully serve as a getaway place, until he retires in four years… so in the meantime I’m thinking writer retreat. But, gee, let’s add the stress of buying a house to the already chaotic situation we’re all living with.
And did I mention I’m finishing a book right now…well, I’m always either starting or finishing a book, so that’s not surprising. But finding focus during the unprecedented mayhem in my life, in all of our lives, isn’t such an easy thing.
And writing a romcom with all of the darkness going on sometimes feels like a disconnect.
And yet, when I need to escape, I’m turning to Hallmark Channel, or old television shows like The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, so maybe writing a romcom right now is not so out of place.
But finding focus, being able to escape to the peaceful little beach world in my head isn’t always easy. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. If I can get there the words flow. It’s more an inability to detach from the real world…and stay detached.
Usually when I write, I plan long blocks of time to work. I schedule breaks at the end of each hour to stand up and move around, then I get back to work. But, my process has changed. Instead of writing for 3 or 4 hours with ten minute breaks each hour, I’m writing in little bursts. I’ll sit down write a scene maybe 15 to 20 minutes, instead of writing a full chapter. Then I get up to go do some chores…pack some boxes for our new home…sew some masks, any of the above sit down and write for another 15 to 20 minutes. It’s a challenging process, but then, everything is challenging right now.
I’m trying to focus on the good things. People coming together to help each other and their communities, to support each other, sharing resources, finding new ways to teach, work and celebrate. Human beings can be amazing. Those things make it easier to sleep at night, and to write about people
Well, I’ve been writing for nearly 20 minutes, so it’s time to do some chores…or pack some boxes…or maybe it’s time to look at pictures of my new house, lol. How are you finding focus in this challenging time? How are you distracting yourself from the stress? Share your tips and ideas. I could sure use the help!
This past Thursday, June 4, I hit a major milestone as a podcaster — 200 episodes! To celebrate, I wanted to have a really amazing guest. So I thought about everyone I knew in the publishing industry and made a mental list of people I would be thrilled to talk to on my show.
And because I’ve gotten more courageous after 200 episodes, I decided to ask my first choice first. And she said yes!!! Woohooo!!!
Joanna Penn is a novelist, a podcaster (The Creative Penn, coming up on 500 episodes!), and has quite a few nonfiction books and courses for writers. She’s a wonderful role model and mentor for indie authors. And today she talks about the journey to build a six-figure career as a writer. I hope you enjoy the show.
For the last couple of months, my posts here included some of my take on what was happening with the Corona virus and how it was affecting my life–and how the changes had become my new normal.
Then there’s the economy, and all the people suffering because we mostly need to stay at home. Businesses are closing. People are losing their jobs. Where’s the money??
My new normal now also includes worrying about the protests occurring in many places in our country–including areas of Los Angeles, which is where I live. Oh, I sympathize with the protesters who are out there marching peacefully against racial inequality. The death that precipitated it all this time shouldn’t have happened. But now looters are using the protests as an excuse to get out there, break into stores, and steal a lot. And injure others. A lot of businesses in areas near me that haven’t experienced the riots are all boarded up, just in case.
And now here, and in other blog posts I’ve done, I’m wondering what’s next.
I’m writing, of course. Right now I’m working on my third book in the long-running Colton series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, featuring characters in one of the many branches of the Colton family spread all over the country. I keep thinking about the second one I wrote, when much of the action was precipitated by an earthquake–Colton First Responder.
Are we due for an earthquake as yet another major issue in our existence, like a pandemic and riots? After all, as I said, I live in Los Angeles. And there was an earthquake worth noting in Ridgecrest, a location not far from here, this week.
Other areas may be deluged with hurricanes or other storms.
Or will our next problem–no, read “disaster”–involve something else?
Well, I am a writer and my imagination never stops. And I keep telling it to calm down and imagine instead what things will be like when there’s at least a small semblance of a return to normal.
Although what normal will be next…?
Anyway, I hope that all of you who are reading this are well and safe and not subject to any of those or any other major issues.
Who knows? Next time I post here, things may be quite different… again!
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published 53 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. More than twenty-five of them are romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. Her latest release is Colton First Responder, for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. She has also written several mystery series including the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs!
Please forgive me for the replay. I’m in the middle of editing. Considering the state of our world right now, I thought it might be interesting to repost my plan for 2020. This post made me laugh. Like most writers, I have had to alter my plans for the year. In spite of the unstable time, I’ve been able to keep on track with my planning tools. Please stay safe. Use wisdom and don’t rush to get back to the old normal. Instead, get excited about the new normal. See you next month. Happy June.
REPOST FROM JANUARY 2020
Happy New Year and Happy Decade. First I want to apologize for the mishap last month, internet issues prevented me from doing anything.
Let’s get this year and decade off to a great start. I don’t believe in resolutions. For those who do, good for you. Instead, I choose to set goals and plans for myself. This is what works for me. This method keeps me focused and forces me to strive for the next level. Do I always reach my goals in my designated time frame, no. But that’s okay, I simply push them back and keep working towards them.
To briefly recap 2019. I started the year with great aspirations to publish four books. That didn’t happen. Instead, I released one book, A Southern Gentleman Vol 2 in October. I did however, release four boxsets, Secret Love, Real Love, Loving Her and Falling For Her Boss. I didn’t get more books published because I made a decision in 2018 which carried over into 2019…ReBranding.
I talked about ReBranding a lot at the end of 2018. However, I failed to underestimate how long it would take. In 2019 I started changing covers and blurbs, which opened a can of creative worms. I love the new covers and the new website. I still have work to do on the website, which appears to be a constant work in progress.
Since I do all of my graphic design, it takes up a little more of my time, which sometimes makes me a victim of poor time management. This is something I’m working on this year. [I’ll talk more about that later.]
It wasn’t until I released A Southern Gentleman Vol 2, that I realized I needed help. Me not getting help was costing me valuable time. I thought by me doing everything myself, I was saving money. In reality, I was losing money and valuable time. As my mother says, “you can always get more money, but not more time.”
A few weeks before my release, I booked a publicist [Honey Magnolia PR] to help me. The minute, I booked Honey Magnolia, I immediately felt relief. I had used a PR company before, but the results weren’t as good as I had hoped. So I was a little apprehensive to go that route again, but this time, it worked. I saw good sales and engagement.
My takeaway from 2019 was simple, be patient with rebranding and know when to get help.
A couple of years ago, I took you on a wild challenge of writing and publishing a title a month. This year, I want to take you with me on another journey…no, it’s not a book a month. SMILE. Planning. It seems so simple, but for me, it’s not something I’ve really committed to. Let me clarify.
In the past, I would start the year with a production schedule. Pretty much every month was filled with a title. There was a mix of new books, backlist updates and special boxsets. I figured the best was to get eyes on me was through titles. This is sort of a good plan when worked effectively. But I failed to schedule promotions and market the titles.
I went searching for a marketing calendar for my other business and stumbled on a couple of authors who like to use planners. One in particular, Sarra Cannon, opened my eyes to planning. She also shared her 90 Day plan. This is a remarkable plan. I’m, going to try it this quarter and share my progress.
This year, I’m also going to share how I use a planner to help me write and organize my business. Trust me, this is a world I never knew existed, but it’s filled with tips on how to work more efficiently.
Next month, I’ll share the results of my first month using a planner and update my 90 Day process.
In the chaos of war, not all heroes shine. Some must rise from shadows to claim the light.More info →
The sands of time are running out . . .More info →