Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Who?



Well Christmas is finally here. Its the first year my eight year old son said he didn't believe in Santa.
But he wanted us to set the video camera up just it case.
This morning after emptying his stocking he asked me if I put all those presents in there. "Yep" I said. Not thinking. A look of realization washed over his face. That was when I knew it had really sunk in that there was no Santa Claus.
Questions came flooding out after that. "So you and daddy were the ones that got my PSP for me that year. You guys got all those presents that said they were from Santa. Mamma you ate all those cookies every year?" Now why would he think I was the one who ate the cookies. It could have been his father.
Lets move on.
It was difficult knowing something that he had believed in 100% all those years was not true.
It saddened me.
But this is were being a writer is so wonderful. We take all those dreams and visions and turn them into a story we believe in. We have the chance to make others, if only for a short time, escape to a world of make believe, or open their eyes to something that might change them. We set the stage. They bring it to life as their own.
So always believe...in something. Its the only way we can make our dreams come true.
Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Joined A Writers' Group

Hey. Whassup?

Uh...okay....awkward start.

Let's try again.

Imagine: me, walking up to a podium, head held high: "Hello. I am Tanya Eby and I am a writer."

There's no shame in that statement, only pride--and maybe a little bit of attitude. I like being a writer. It makes me feel trendy. I like feeling trendy because I don't have enough of a natural sense of fashion. Just so you know, I'll be blogging here on my writing group's site once a month. I also blog on my own. I blog and I write and in the evening I try to do crunches to make up for all the cookies I've eaten through the day. Just thought you should know.

I was trying to think of a topic and the first thing that came to my mind was to just explain why I joined a writing group and what GRRWG means to me. It's a little bit of "What I Did Last Summer" and I do apologize for that.

So. Why did I join a writers' group? Therapy? Because I needed a support system? Because I was tired of secretly writing in the closet because it made me feel just a little past creepy? Yep. All those reasons.

I've never been a 'secret writer'. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. I was, however, a secret genre writer. I write romantic comedies. For literary writers, this is akin to saying I Have Herpes. It just makes everyone feel awkward. So imagine my pure delight when I walked into a room at Grand Villa Restaurant and found a whole group of women just like me! Uh...not with herpes. That was an example. I meant a group of women writers who, like me, write genre fiction. Not just romantic comedies, but erotica, mysteries, nonfiction, Christian fiction, sci-fi, steam punk...what have you. Not only that...they live in the Grand Rapids Area. An extra bonus: more than half of them are published.

I found instant support and acceptance in the group. I also found resources, knowledge, encouragement. And when I was just about to give up, I found a group who gave me stars for trying and a kick in the pants when I needed it.

Two years after joining the group...I have two books published and a third coming out in February. And I also have a much larger circle of friends. Hopefully none of them have herpes because that's just uncomfortable.

Cheers.

-Tanya Eby-
http://www.heyblunderwoman.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Courting Sparks - Available today!

My second book with Avalon,Courting Sparks, is available just in time for Christmas.  Amazon says it will ship in time for all your gift-giving needs. :-) <<keeping fingers crossed.>>


Dusting off the ashes of a failed relationship, Daphne Morrow decides she is ready to date again. But when her scorched prom photos are discovered to be the ignition point for a small forest blaze, marking her as the prime suspect for the arson, she finds they’re not the only part of her past sparking interest. After a friend’s wedding provides a romantic interlude with her longtime friend Noah Banks, Daphne tries to explain away her attraction to him: the atmosphere of the wedding, his resemblance to her ex, his heroic efforts as a volunteer firefighter. Still, their desire just won’t sputter out.
When the arsonist strikes much closer to home, Daphne fears she must risk Noah’s friendship to find the culprit and clear her name. She’ll know their love is real if his interest isn’t put out by her need to uncover the truth. 
Available at Amazon
I also have a recipe for Rosenmunnar cookies on my blog today.  (http://joselynvaughn.blogspot.com)
Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goals 2011

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." ~~ Ayn Rand

This is one of my favorite quotes and I often apply it to my writing and in particular to my writing goals. Who is going to stop me? Invariably, the answer is usually "You are." When it comes to writing or not writing, I am my own worst enemy. I am the one who lets interferences take over or who procrastinates or who gets distracted by anything other than my writing work. I'm the one who can waste time like crazy.

Somehow, I still manage to get a lot done. I make big goals every year. I don't make all of them, but by placing such high expectations on myself, I meet enough of my objectives that I can be satisfied by my year's work. And I do plan for the year...

In December, I sit down with my calendar, my list of projects and a planning notebook and decide what I want to do for the upcoming months. Quite a few of the projects are already contracted so they're no brainers. But I have books I want to do for my agent and for other publishers so I have to work them in. Then there's blogging and promotion/writing business busywork. How much do I want to do? What do I need to do?

It all gets penciled into the notebook. I actually write very little in my calendar--I've ruined more than one by marking it up with all my goals then crossing out all over the place when things change. It's best to only mark up your calendar a few weeks to a month at a time.

Once I have my goals, I break them down. How long will it take me to write each book? The best way to determine this is to know how many words a day you write. Take than number and divide your story's word count by it. That's how many days it will take to write your book. I'd advise you to then add a day per 5000 words. If your manuscript will be 100,000 words, figure out the days by your normal daily word count then add at least 20 extra days. i.e. If you write 1000 words a day, it should take you 100 days to write the book. Figure 120 days. You need leeway. Hopefully you'll be done on schedule, but in my experience with authors, nothing goes on schedule. Of course, with a manuscript that size, you should also figure 20 days of revision and self editing.

This is what works for me. Whatever works for you, I encourage you to take time this month to think about it and get it down on paper. That's important. Once it's on paper, it becomes concrete. If it's in your head, you can just let it float away into the ether of "that which will never happen". You don't want that.

So go make goals, some big writing goals for the next year. Let's fill up our GRRWG bookmarks (and the banner I have for ALL our goals) and see what we can do this year!!

What do you want to do in 2011?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Courting Sparks Blog Tour

From member Joselyn Vaughn...

Join me on my blog tour with interviews, book reviews, sneak peaks and chances to win books. Don't forget to stop here (http://joselynvaughn.blogspot.com/) each day for some easy holiday cookie recipes. (They are easy because I am capable of making them.) I'm saving my favorite recipe for last. :-)


 Dec. 6 - Elaine Cantrell's Blog (http:/www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 7 - Book Boost Blog (http://thebookboost.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 9 - Romance Reviews Today (http://romrevtoday.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 10 - Avalon Authors Blog (http://avalonauthors.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 13 - Anne Patrick's Blog (http://suspensebyanne.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 13 - Stacy Juba's Blog (http://stacyjuba.com/blog/)
Dec. 14 - Happily Ever After Blog (http://happilyeverafterauthors2.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 15 - Love Romances and More (http://loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 16 - W.S. Gager on Writing (http://wsgager.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 17 - Lovestruck Novice (http://thelovestrucknovice.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 20 - Romancing the Book (http://www.romancing-the-book.com/)
Dec. 21 - Terry O'dell's Blog (http://terryodell.blogspot.com/)
Dec. 22 - Classic Romance Revival Blog (http://classicromancerevival.blogspot.com)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Releases

It's a banner day for GRRWG! Two of our members are featured on the home page at Resplendence Publishing. Go to resplendencepublishing.com to check out Brynn Paulin's Blood of the Wolf, (Book Three in her "Cruentus Dragons" series), and Abigail Barnette's Glass Slipper (Book One in her new series called "Naughtily Ever After"). Great for Christmas reading!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finalist in Golden Rose Contest

Andrea Dickinson's contemporary romance, Baltimore Heat, is a top three finalist in the Golden Rose Contest, and will be judged by Megan Records, editor from Kensington.

Good luck, Andrea!

Threefold Anthology gets great reviews

Our talented authors Suzanne Graham and Brynn Paulin both have stories featured in the fabulous Threefold Anthology that is receiving rave reviews. It was voted Book of the Week at BlackRaven's Reviews and Whipped Cream.

So if you like your romance HOT! with multiple partners, be sure to check out Threefold Anthology published by Total-e-Bound Publishing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Member News

Member Temple Hogan announces the release of the second installment in her "Pirate's Booty" series, Her Pirate Lover, available now from Resplendence Publishing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Release

Member Temple Hogan announces the release of her new book, Dark Paradise, available now from Resplendence Publishing. Order your copy at www.resplendencepublishing.com and help support our GRRWG members!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What I've learned as a writer

From our fabulous writers at today's meeting:
* Have manageable goals.
* You are your own worst enemy.
* It's okay to have a $#^! first draft.
* Don't give up, persistence will win out.
* It's okay to fail. Sometimes, a good idea doesn't equal a book.
* There are many writing venues, including blogs and articles.
* Know where your muse is (shower, sleep, music, car) and tune in to it.
* Take the first step and just start writing.
* Have a the structure of a daily goal.
* Have faith in your talent.
* Read your genre. Being a reader is as important as being a writer.
* Learn how you work to be more efficient.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Member News

Learn the wonder of girl island on Bronwyn Green's post:
http://bronwyngreenblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/riding-in-cars-with-boys-part-seven.html

Welcome Back former member Tanya, also known as Blunder Woman:
http://www.heyblunderwoman.com/

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Release

It's a super month for GRRWG authors! Member Bronwyn Green announces the release of her new novel, Maggie's Mates, available now at www.resplendencepublishing.com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Release

Member Abigail Barnette announces the release of her first paranormal romance, Ravenous, available from Samhain Publishing. Check it out at www.samhainpublishingcom today!

Monday, September 6, 2010

More Member News

Two of our members, Brynn Paulin and Suzanne Graham, are represented in the hot new anthology from Total-E-Bound called Threefold. Get your copy today at www.total-e-bound.com!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Member News

At All Romance E-books, their top ten list includes THREE books by our very own Brynn Paulin. Check out www.allromanceebooks.com for Kidnap & Kink, Plays Well With Others, and Belonging to Them!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Author Readings

Two of our members read from their works!

Tanya Eby, the woman behind Blunder Woman, and Jennifer Armintrout, she of Blood Ties fame, will read short excerpts from their books at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, July 23rd from 6-7. It's FREE. As in no cost to you.
They will be joined by authors T.M. Camp and Adam Schuitema.
After the reading, you're invited to listen to Side Pocket, a local band.
Support our members by joining Tanya and Jennifer this Friday night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Releases

Member Temple Hogan announces the release of her first e-book, The Virgin Pirate, available now from Resplendence Publishing. Order your copy from www.resplendencepublishing.com today!

Member WS Gager has been "on the road" promoting her book A Case of Accidental Intersection, the second installment of her Mitch Malone Mysteries. The series is available from Oak Tree Press as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Members Rock!

Bronwyn Green announces the release of Moonlit Menage, Book Three in her Celtic Fire Series, available from Total-E-Bound. Go to www.total-e-bound.com to order your copy!

Other exciting news: member Brynn Paulin's publications hold the top two spots on the Best Seller list at All Romance Ebooks! Check it out at www.allromanceebooks.com/#topTen for descriptions and ordering information for those and other books by our "Queen of the Quill".

Congratulations to both ladies on their amazing accomplishments!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dissassembling the Girl Cave

Follow the progress of Andrea Dickinson's Girl Cave unplanned renovation on her blog at www.andreadickinson.blogspot.com this week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Exception to the rule

Check out Suzanne Graham's blog today where she tells you which movie is the exception to her rule that all romance stories must end with a HEA. http://suzannegraham.blogspot.com/2010/07/exception.html

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Website

Check out the spanking new website of member Andrea Dickinson at http://www.andreadickinson.com/Andrea_Dickinson_Home.html

Quote of the Day

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.

- Shira Tehrani

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Release

Member Suzanne Graham announces the release of The Anniversary Present, Book Three in her "Gifts of Desire" series, from Total-E-Bound. To order a copy, or read a description of the book as well as an excerpt, go to www.total-e-bound.com.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

- Louisa May Alcott, author

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Release

Super prolific member Brynn Paulin announces the release of the second installment in her "Taboo Wishes" series, Kidnap and Kink, available now from Resplendence Publishing. To order, visit www.resplendencepublishing.com.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Member News

Member Joselyn Vaughn shared some exciting news!

CEOs Don’t Cry tied for first in the single title contemporary category in the Wisconsin RWA’s Write Touch Readers’ Award. It also finaled in the Greater Detroit RWA’s Booksellers’ Best Award for traditional romance.

Congratulations, Joselyn!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June meeting

Please join us for our June meeting on Saturday, June 12th at the GrandVilla Restaurant, 3594 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418, (616) 538-1360. We start at 11:30 and adjourn at approx. 2:30.
Saturday's speaker is Peg Hanchar. She will share Insights and Techniques on Research.
Guests are always welcome.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Writing Quote

To paraphrase the philosopher, Nietzche -

"We should consider every day lost in which we have not written at least once."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Collective Creative Power

Join us Saturday, April 10th at the GrandVilla Restaurant for our montly writing meeting. We start at 11:30 and conclude around 3.
This month, Cheryl Steimel and Mary Timmer will present a workshop on brainstorming. There will be several interactive sessions using verbal and non-verbal skills. Teams will rotate through the different variations, presenting plotting/characterization problems to their team members.
Bring a notebook and your imagination!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blogs and our members

Check out Brynn Paulin's blog on boys and books at http://brynnpaulin.blogspot.com/2010/03/boys-twilight-and-romance-novels.html

And say hello to our newest blogger, Peg Hanchar, at www.templehogan.blogspot.com and discover how she spends these cold Michigan winters.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bronwyn Green's Immortal Curse out today

Stop by Resplendence Publishing and download a copy of Immortal Curse, member Bronwyn Green's latest book out March 16th! Read an excerpt of Immortal Curse, and in the meantime, here's the scintillating details:
Cursed by a witch, Ian O'Meara has been trapped between the world of the living and the spirit realm for the last hundred and fifty years. Annoyed by having his eternity interrupted by amateur ghost hunters, he reaches through the veil to Emma Boulton knowing she can see and hear him even if the others can't. When he discovers she can also feel him, he decides Emma is the most exciting thing to happen to him in the last century. Suddenly, escaping his miserable curse isn't quite so appealing.
Much to her dismay, Emma has been able to see ghosts ever since she was a child. Most of the time she ignores them, but Ian makes that all but impossible. With his dark, good looks and his brooding personality, he's a gothic novel hero come to life. . .so to speak. She knows she should help him toward the light, but the only place he seems to be interested in is her bed. Falling in love with the charming spirit is all too easy, but is a future together possible between the living and the dead?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Enhancing Creativity CD review


Thanks to Arianna Skye for today's review!!

I've decided to re-post a review I did awhile ago when I was a contributor to the Romantic Inks blog. This is not an ordinary review. Today, I am reviewing Enhancing Creativity, a subliminal self-help music album by Steven Halpern.
Here's the blurb from Mr. Halpern's website:
New ideas, insights and solutions spontaneously pop into your mind. Tap into your creative wellspring with this extraordinary recording.
Recommended by Mark Victor Hansen and other leading success coaches. Enhanced with a series of short, positive suggestions, recorded subliminally.
Recently, a bout of writer's block plagued me. Remembering a suggestion from one of the other members of GRRWG, I decided to download this album. I've always been a little skeptical of these self-help CDs that claim to have subliminal suggestions in them. You know the kind. Lose weight, stop smoking, become a better lover, etc. I've been struggling with my creative flow recently, so I decided what the heck did I have to lose besides a couple of dollars? Not like I was selling my soul to the devil or anything. I was delighted to find I could download the MP3 version of the album for $8.98 on Amazon. How cool is that?

So, with one jaded eye and the other optimistic, I downloaded the album to my iPod and set up a playlist. The melodic sounds drifted to my ears. Soothing and calming. Absolutely peaceful. Wow, I think to myself. My mind is clear and my fingers are itching. By golly, it really works!

Pianos, strings, violins and many other melodic instruments, all interlaced with subliminal affirmations to boost creativity, kept my mind focused and energized while maintaining a peaceful soul. I kid you not! I have found that while listening to this album, I become relaxed and the worries drift away. With that, my mind is able to concentrate on writing. With this CD, I am definitely in the zone. Of all the subliminal music I've heard in my thirty plus years, this one ranks pretty darn high. So, Mr. Halpern, I just want to say that you now have a new fan.

If you'd like information on Steven Halpern and his other musical works, please feel free to visit his website. He's got an extensive list of subliminal self-improvement albums to choose from, including Enhancing Intimacy. Perfect for that man (or woman) in your life.
May you have a joyful - and creative - day!
Arianna

Monday, February 15, 2010

Character

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
William Faulkner

Friday, January 29, 2010

Today's Quote

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Revising Fiction Book Review

A big thank you to Peg Hanchar for reviewing this book!

REVISING FICTION: Making Sense of the Madness/The Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Self-Editing by Kirt Hickman



Perhaps the reason Mr. Hickman has chosen such an endless title for this book is that he wanted to make it perfectly clear exactly how thorough his book is in the approach to self editing or maybe he just didn't follow his on advice on the subject. At any rate, his is an ambitious undertaking covering most everything to do with writing and editing a book. For easy and quick reference, he's broken the subject matter into chapters which cover the concept of theme, word building to case studies. In between he's crowded information such as character development, plot basics, building suspense, character arc, research, the purpose of a scene as opposed to puppet scenses, the pitfalls of static conversation, resolving suspense elements, enhancing your settings, chapter breaks, prologues, exposition and where to place your information to reveal plot and character in the best way, scene structures and openings, the difference between show and tell, showing emotions, ending a scene, length of a scene, building tension, point of view, character consistency, and introducing and describing characters.

Whew, everything we ever wanted to know about writing. An ambitious undertaking, indeed. At the end of each chapter Mr. Hickman provides and encourages the reader a chance to partake in a writing exercise to use the just learned information. The information hits the mark in many areas and should be a real asset for a serious writer. Although some of the 'stuff' as he refers to his information is clearly meant for the beginning writer, there's plenty for an experienced writer to learn as well, even if it's just to brush up on old skills that may have become sloppy.

Mr. Hickman thoughtfully provided a free copy to our writing group, which was a clever promotional ploy, but in fact, I would pay to have a copy of this book on my shelf.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arianna Skye Book Trailer

Arianna Skye's "Wings of Desire" will be published Feb. 7th from Eternal Press. Find out more at her blog: www.ariannaskye.com. Until then, enjoy her book trailer:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Member News

Our authors have been busy!

Brynn Paulin's Blood Bought is on the front page of Fictionwise. See (and buy) it at www.fictionwise.com

Joselyn Vaugh is interviewed here:
http://lindamfaulknertips.blogspot.com/2010/01/author-interview-with-joselyn-vaughn.html

Arianna Skye discusses muses at http://musetracks.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/writers-inspiration-arianna-skye

Writers, Like Me has writing tips at www.writerslikeme.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are You Ready for the Challenge?

GRRWG's version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicks off tomorrow, Jan. 9th. We've challenged ourselves to write 40,000 words between tomorrow and the February meeting. That equates to 4.57 something pages a day. AAACCCKKK! some of you say. That's more than I can do, it's more than I can think about, do I have to?

Stop whining. I've done 50K in 30 days twice now. It almost killed me, but it was good stuff (eventually.)

Here are some suggestions to help you make this goal:
  • Turn off your inner editor. Kill her. Stuff her in a box. Mail her to Alaska (it will take two weeks for the package to get there. Trust me, I know this stuff.) Don't let her peek at anything you've written.
  • Don't peek at anything you've written. Okay, maybe the last sentence, but not any further back than that, or you'll start correcting stuff and THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. The direction is forward, not backward.
  • Don't erase anything. Word count is word count. If you absolutely, positively can't stand the thought of it on the page, highlight it, go to Format->Borders and Shading->Shading and pick a color (gray, black) that will keep it from sight. But do it quick.
  • Look at the clock and mentally advance it 20 minutes. Give yourself permission to write for 20 minutes. That's doable, right? Piece of cake. Don't set a timer, though, you want to trick your mind into writing longer. It works.
  • Become a fan of XXX. Don't search for the perfect word. Or that piece of research you need. (Your inner editor is camping in the tundra, remember?) Instead, use XXX or namethischaracterxx or brandofsneakerxx or whatever will be easy to search later.
  • The same with a scene that isn't working. It's legitimate to use (insert sword fight herexx)
  • Even if you think you’re writing dreck, it’s good dreck. Not every building can be the Taj Mahal. Sometimes you have to start with a straw hut and make a lot of improvements. This is a vomit draft. Quality, not quantity is all that matters. Throw up all over the page, change plot direction, forget what color eyes your character has or what they wore in the last scene. It doesn't matter. Repeat after me - It doesn't matter.
Now, go forth and write. 40K in 35 days. I have faith in you.