Burnt Edges Available on Kindle

You can get my debut novel today on Kindle!

Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s era, Burnt Edges is the heart-breaking story of Laurel Lee Page, a young girl born into an abusive and violent home. She appears to be living a condemned life but she is determined to find independence and freedom amidst her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 19 years old, Laurel finds herself in a powerful position, poised to break the cycle of abuse but can she do it?

Click here to get it on Kindle!

Stay tuned for contests, extras, and more!

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How I Pull Myself Out of a Blue Mood

I think many writers suffer from depression because we think too much. And for those of us who are brave enough, we write what we think so the depression doesn’t consume us. Depression has always been part of my life in some form, like an inherited legacy. Lucky me.

Recently, I came down with an awful cold and had to stay in bed for a few days. That usually puts me in a down mood because I’m not being useful in any way. For me, I dictate how things are going by how I feel. If I feel good, the day is awesome. If I feel crappy, my day usually goes crappy so I try to do things that make me feel good. That’s where I start whenever I’m in a blue mood: what will make me feel good at this moment?

  • Watching a funny video on YouTube.
  • Meditating or doing yoga.
  • Talking to a friend.
  • Writing down whatever is burdening my mind.

Sometimes these don’t work. I’m too down. I feel helpless and hopeless. And the only thing that helps is crying. It’s like there’s a build up of gunk in my heart and it needs to come out some way and unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to prevent the build up of gunk. I think it just happens over time and I need to clean it out periodically, like the gutters on my roof.

My turning point came when I realized that my mind is a powerful force and I can choose to change my perspective on how I see and experience things like depression. Rather than sucumbing to it like a ping pong ball floating helplessly down an angry river, I can look for the signs and triggers that signal an episode and reach out for an oar that will help me navigate the raging river. I can feed my mind with positive information, images, and ideas that lead me down gentler waters. I stay away from the news and disturbing images…the other night I was watching American Horror Story with my husband and some freaky, serial-killer clown came on. That’s when I siad, “Oh hell no!” and turned it off.

Depression won’t ever go away. It will raise it’s head once again, I know it. But I’ve gotten much better at recognizing it, accepting it, and managing it.

 

Flying Books

5 Blogs Every Self-Published Author Should Read

Being a self-published author means you never stop learning. Some would say (including me) that just being a writer means you never stop learning too. The very nature of what writers do makes them curious individuals who want to know more about things so they can articulate and express them in ways that connect with people.

The world of publishing is changing every day. The choices and options you have available to you as a self-published author are constantly changing too so that means you need to educate yourself on the business of publishing, distributing, and selling your books. There’s no better way to do that than to learn from how others are doing it.

Here are the best blogs out there to date that will give you the straight scoop on how to write, publish, and sell your work as a self-published author.

  1. The Creative Penn Blog – Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling, self published author and she share lots of wisdom and advice about what it takes to be
  2. The Book Designer – Joel Friedlander knows how to build good books and he helps writers and self-published authors do just that on his blog.
  3. A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing – JA Konrath, one of the most prolific self-published authors around, shares his uncensored opinions about the publishing industry and what’s worked for him.
  4. Hugh Howley’s Blog – Hugh Howley, an extremely successful self-published author, also shares his opinions and insights on the business of being an author and publisher.
  5. BadRedHead Media - Rachel Thompson, award-winning author and poet, shares tons of great advice on how authors can use social media to boost their platforms.5
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Just Keep Editing…Just Keep Editing

How the heck do you know when you’re done editing your novel or book?

I don’t know.

Honestly, I don’t know when you’re done because one day you’ll be like, “Okay, this is it. I’m done with edits!” Then the next day you’ll look at your manuscript again and realize that it could be so much better if you fix a few things. Just a few things. Then you’re switching stuff around, moving entire chapters, writing new scenes, and you wonder if the damn thing will ever be done.

I finished my novel. It’s been out for edits and came back with suggestions, which I’m working on now but I’m finding that there is still so much to do! Crap. I wanted to publish it by the end of October but that’s not going to happen. Whenever I hit this point in my writing and publishing process, I Google my butt off because I’m looking for answers, or at least a blog post about someone who has done it before and what they did or learned what NOT to do by making mistakes.

Jeff Goins has a great suggestion: The 5-Draft Method. I started using this toward the end of my revision process and wish I had known about it sooner.

Then there’s a great discussion on Nathan Bransford’s blog when he posed the question: How do you know when your novel is really finished? There’s all kinds of advice from quoting Leonardo Di Vinci: “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” to check lists to just getting plain sick of working on it any more.

The Sarcastic Muse ponders The LIfe Cycle of a Manuscript on her blog as well making it sound magical, and etherial. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that way right now about my manuscript.

I’m even following my own grammar tips, but this process is brutal. In an attempt to not get stuck in this editing quagmire, I’m working toward a new publishing deadline of November 21. If I just keep plugging through, a little each day, I’ll get there come Hell or high water. Just keep editing. Just keep editing.

Zen

Finding Zen in Your Crappy WIP

The more I meditate and do yoga, the more I am able to be okay with the way things are…even when things are crappy. It’s a process and I know I’ll never really get there, and I have to be okay with that too.

It’s harder to be okay with a work in progress (WIP) that you are desperately trying to shape, mold, and hack into something amazing. But it can be done. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy though. We all know that first drafts are not ever going to be perfect as they emerge from our grey matter onto the page. But we still have this expectation that it’s going to be awesome. And then it’s not.

I’m at the tail end of birthing a novel while starting another one and I’m finding that the new one I’ve started is really…well, crappy. Here’s what I’m doing to try and find the Zen in my crappy WIP. Continue reading