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OCC RWA Proudly Presents Our March Online Class

February 26, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,


March 10 – April 6, 2014
WRITING HOLIDAY-THEMED ROMANCE STORIES YEAR ROUND
with Beth Daniels

About the Class:
They show up on the bookseller’s lists, at the book section at the grocery store, the pharmacy, the BOOK store, and are featured in cases at the library and on end caps at various and sundry places. They even blanket the bestseller lists at those special times of year.
What are they? Well, the holiday themed novels, novellas, and short story collections, of course!
Holiday stories not only send regular readers staggering to the check out stand with armloads of titles, they snag the not so regular readers, the folks stuck looking for a Secret Santa gift, or a stocking stuffer or a “thinking of you at the holidays” token for the babysitter, the hairdresser, the…well, fill in your own blank!
December isn’t the only month that has a holiday though! There are holidays every month of some sort, and they are worth gold when it comes to themes for stories.
During the four weeks of this workshop will deal with: all those THINGS that relate to the special event at the heart of your story.
Because it is the most “profitable” of the holiday season, we’ll spend two weeks on the Winter solstice timed tales then move on through the calendar year seeing what other holidays could supply a tasty tale or two.
We’ll also talk about what might be the best time of year for a holiday themed manuscript to land on an editor’s desk.
No ideas needed beforehand as we’ll dream them up during the workshop – perhaps even more than one!
About the Instructor:
When wearing her Beth Henderson hat, Beth Daniels has had a number of storylines that worked in the holiday extravaganzas of December: RING IN THE NEW (originally published as NEW YEAR’S EVE) and SEDUCING SANTA both reveled in the season while MR ANGEL finished off under a gaily decorated tree. While she hasn’t considered Halloween personally, she is laying claim to guys in bunny suits for a Spring story, so hands off Pete Rabbit!
Enrollment & Payment Information
For more information on how to enroll and play please click here

If you are interested in more online classes, the 2014 class schedule is here.
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Time and Project Management Class Starts Monday

January 9, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , ,

j0227558Hello my friends! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. I sure did. I’d planned since last Christmas to take two full weeks off and relax. Right up to the last minute, I was sure I wouldn’t “be able to” do it. But in the end, I did!
My workload piled up during the two weeks off, but I feel so much more relaxed and rested and ready for work! How did I manage to take so much vacation time when life has been battering me for the last couple of years? The primary reason is because last January I laid out a written plan for my year.
Granted, a LOT of things went wrong with the plan. I couldn’t have anticipated six months of unemployment for John. I made more money than I did in 2012, but it wasn’t enough to offset the costs of a few book-selling risks I took that didn’t pay off. Near the end of the year, I had to put my writing business on the back burner and work full-time at a temp job.
Calendar 2013But for the whole year, I could look at my writing plan and my calendar and I could figure out how each of my plans would be affected by the new turn life took. I could move the sticky notes on the calendar to change deadlines. I could cancel things that just couldn’t be accomplished now that the course of life had changed.
And I could do it all with more peace than usual because I had a written, changeable plan.
If you’d like to work with me over the next four weeks to get a plan in place for you this year, please sign up for my online class Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer. Due to popular demand, this is the fourth year I’ve taught this class, and there’s always something new to learn and share. I hope you’ll join us!
What do you want to accomplish this year?



Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, came out in 2011. Her new novel, Unexpected Superhero, book one in The Adventures of Lewis & Clarke humorous urban fantasy series, 
is now available in print and ebook format. Superhero in the Making and Love at the Fluff and Fold (book one in The Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series) will be released in mid-2014. Her short stories can be found in the anthologies Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters, available in both print and ebook formats. “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story at AmazoniTunesSmashwords, and other retail sites.

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5 Time Management Tips for the Holidays by Kitty Bucholtz

December 10, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

During the holiday season, I always struggle to keep up with my writing routines while also adding in extra time with family, parties, Christmas events at church, additional baking, and more. Over the years, I’ve found a few things work well for enjoying the holidays with less stress without quitting my writing job for a month or two.

  1. Do a little less of everything. There are only 168 hours in the week. If I add in a full day of hanging out with my godchildren, I need to figure out what I’m going to do less of. If I decide to make several kinds of Christmas cookies, where am I going to find the time? The answer that works best for me is to do less of everything else – writing, watching TV, reading, etc. – in order to have some time to add in these other seasonal favorites. If, in January, you schedule less writing time for the following December, it won’t be time “lost” but planned for.
  2. Multi-task. During the rest of the year, when I put brownies in the oven, I will probably fiddle around the kitchen, or check email and read Facebook. But since I’m going to do a little less of everything in order to have a bit more time, I plan to use chunks of time better than I usually do. Every batch of brownies takes 25 minutes to bake – the perfect amount of time for me to get a solid chunk of writing done. The ten minutes cookies take in the oven is a good time to brainstorm, or write in snatches, thinking about what I’m going to write again in a few minutes when I get the next batch in.
  3. Say No. Sadly, I can’t do everything I’d like to do, especially at the holidays. What is most important to me? What won’t happen again for a year (or more depending on how often you get to go away or have company in for the holidays)? What can wait for next month? Some of my writing deadlines are time sensitive for now. Some can wait a few weeks. I need to plan my month so that what needs to get done in my work, does. And what I want to do with friends and family, I have time to enjoy.
  4. Take a time out. I’ve found that time outs are not only great for toddlers, they’re great for writers. Depending on how stressed I’m beginning to feel, I’ll take 30 seconds to do some deep breathing, forcing my shoulders back down from around my ears, or I’ll take an hour out of my “important work” to watch TV with my husband. The people closest to me run the risk of getting the least of my time and attention during the holidays because “I know they’ll understand” if I hide in a corner with my laptop, working. What are they doing that they enjoy and that they’d most enjoy my company? What do they want to do that they won’t mind if I’m not there? (No one ever seems to mind when I grab an hour to work while they watch a football game.)
  5. Consider opportunity cost. When you think of all the things you could do with X amount of time or Y amount of dollars, and then you choose ONE thing, the rest is opportunity cost. The cost of me hiding away from the family for an hour while people are sitting around talking is high – this is when we connect and feel close. It’s lower when I work while they watch football. The cost of missing the Christmas pageant is higher because it only happens once a year, while missing the showing of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” is lower because I have it on DVD. The cost of missing Christmas sales from your book is higher, but is it as high as missing out on roughhousing with your nieces and nephews who may otherwise remember you as too busy to play with them?
I hope you and I both manage our time this holiday season in such a way that we feel good about our writing work, and are filled with joy and peace and laughter in our personal life. Merry Christmas!
Note: For more time management and project management tips for writers, enroll in my online class, Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer. It’s only $30 for four weeks, January 13 – February 8, 2014, twelve lectures that come straight to your email Inbox. If you’re an OCC member, you get it all for $25. Sign up today!
If you live in Southern California, attend my live workshop in Carlsbad on Saturday, January 25 – Write Your Book in 2014! In one day, we’ll break your book into pieces and plot it out on your calendar, so that you have a completed book ready by your deadline. The 8-hour workshop is only $49, but is limited to 15 people, so sign up soon! Email me at Kitty AT KittyBucholtz DOT com for questions and more information on either of these classes.
Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, came out in 2011. Her new novel, Unexpected Superhero, book one in The Adventures of Lewis & Clarke humorous urban fantasy series, is now available in print and ebook format. Love at the Fluff and Fold, book one in The Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series, will be released soon. Her short stories can be found in the anthologies Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters, available in both print and ebook formats. “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story at Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, and other retail sites.


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February Online Class: Plot Fixer

January 26, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

OCCRWA Proudly Presents: header

February 11 – March 10, 2013

Plot Fixer: Fixing Your Story Problems

with Kara Lennox
About the Class:
Do you create wonderful, three-dimensional characters who then stumble around blindly in your book, trying to find a story?  As a frequent critiquer, contest judge, and the recipient of many, many rejection and revision letters over the years, Kara Lennox has witnessed and personally experienced just about every way your plot can veer into a ditch. 
In this workshop she’ll cover the fifteen most common problems, how to spot them and how to fix them.  Some common problems covered include :
  • A premise that isn’t compelling enough (includes discussion of “high concept”)
  • the cute meet that goes nowhere
  • starting in the wrong place
  • lack of clear-cut goals for your characters
  • weak conflict
  • too many conflicts
  • stakes are too low
  • the plot moves too slowly
  • the dreaded saggy middle
  • plot moves too fast;
  • plot is too predictable
  • episodic plots
  • plots that rely on convenience, coincidence and contrivance
  • the drama doesn’t build
  • loss of focus
  • weak black moment
  • unsatisfying ending
The workshop includes illustrative examples from well-known movies, books, the author’s own supply of failed plots, and samples made up just for this workshop.  If time permits, the author will take questions and make suggestions for solving plot problems on the spot.

About the Instructor:
Kara LennoxKara Lennox, a.k.a. Karen Leabo, is the award- winning, bestselling author of more than sixty novels of romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin and Bantam/ Random House. Currently she is working on the next installment of her romantic suspense series, Project Justice, published by Harlequin Superromance. Also, several of her classic Bantam Loveswept novels (writing as Karen Leabo) have been re-released in e-book form by Random House, with more scheduled for next year.
Enrollment Information
This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
For more information on enrollment, please follow the link.
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