Monday, December 23, 2013

New finds, old treasures, and a new start

   Since Katrina blew us off the map, Christmas has been snowy and cold and lonesome. I was used to friends dropping in and weekend bar-b-ques that ended in bon fires and cookies swaps and there was none of that. I can talk to anyone, I credit the military child syndrome for that...the looks I got for saying hello and asking how their day was in Hillman and Alpena...well...cold would be an apt description. This year is a bit of a change for the hubs- he's from Michigan, but even he is having fun texting a friend to give him a weather update.
   Our granddaughters helped unload the truck and had a grand old time making fun of all the boxes that said "Christmas" and yeah, that stack was pretty high. As I went through the boxes I found decorations from when I was in student housing a few years ago-I found a bin with old decorations the kids had made at school, some I hadn't seen in years.
    We've discovered a few things that got left, like the cow bell that hangs on the door- the dogs go and ring them when they need out...they are all confused as all get out and we keep forgetting to get more, its now on a list for Monday. I discovered something out back that next year will help to resurrect a childhood tradition, Ed said I looked like a kid in a candy store.
   The new house is coming along, there's projects as with anything- the goal is to just be in it for a few months before we make any changes and see how it really works for us. I did gain an office- which right now my cats have decided the desk makes a grand nap spot- go figure. The little town we left 10 yrs ago has grown in leaps and bounds and I spent a great deal of time asking " where did that come from?"
   This year we'll have grandchildren in the house for the holiday, we're making up for lost time- passing on traditions and beginning a new chapter. Through all of this I came up with an idea for a new story...after the new year. So to all of y'all, in the cold and yuk- I wish you a Merry Holiday and much writing- as I sit on the porch and write and look at my Spanish moss draped trees in the sunshine of my yard, I'll be thinking of y'all.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"The Christmas Grab Bag Game!"

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling Super Spies series and it’s my turn to be a guest at the GGRWG Blog today. I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. Shopping for presents for my family, making Christmas cookies, and decorating the tree are some of the highlights that come to my mind. The fact that my kids still believe in Santa is a bonus too!

On my mom’s side of the family, we get together at Christmas and it’s great to see my relatives especially the ones I don’t get to see any other time of year. We have yummy food, wine, and awesome conversation. One thing we do after everyone’s stuffed is a gift exchange. We call it The Grab Bag.

We separate the gifts into two categories, male and female. Then we draw numbers and when your number is up, you can select a gift from one of the categories. Where this gets interesting is when it’s your turn, you can select an unwrapped gift or steal a gift from someone who has already opened one. J

Over the years, we’ve had to set some rules. For example, a gift can only be stolen three times. Once it’s with its third owner, that’s it. No more stealing. I’m sure you can understand why this rule developed. We had one party that went into the wee hours of the morning because; well I’m sure you get the picture.

Anyway, this year I was having a hard time trying to come up with a gift for this party. I ended up shopping at the last minute because I ran out of time. I couldn’t come up with an original gift. We’ve been doing this for years and I wanted to get something that hasn’t been given before. Anyway, I settled on a very pretty picture frame that when you filled it turned into a collage of different photos. I loved it, but I wasn’t sure anyone else would.

The person who got the frame loved it, but I felt it wasn’t very personal. After the party, I got a great idea for next year. I’m going to give either a bunch of books, everyone in my family loves to read, or a gift card to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I think it’ll be a gift card so whoever gets it can pick out the books they want to read. I love giving books at Christmas time! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before the party. My bad!

I love finding unique gems to read. I’m sure you do too, a book that touches you in some way. I’ve found such gems at this website.

The website is Clean Indie Reads and the books featured there are clean fiction. They’re not filled with bad language or questionable content. There’s something there for everyone. I have my own page too, featuring my Super Spies series. So if you’re struggling with finding the perfect Christmas Gift, think about giving some books and check out Clean Indie Reads I’m sure you’ll find something there for even the most hard to buy person on your list!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I hope you enjoy your Christmas Holiday and if you have any ideas for a unique Christmas gift please leave a comment I’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Better Writing With a Harder Job?

By W.S. Gager
I started a new job on July 1 and must admit that it is kicking my butt energy-wise but is fulfilling and I love it. It doesn’t really have anything to do with writing so I get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for about an hour and then head to work.

I have been fortunate to be able to take large chunks of time off in the last ten years with only a part-time job. Did I write more? Was my writing better? The answer is a surprising no. What I have learned is that I need to be around people in order to write. It helps me make them better characters. People help to feed my imagination.

Maybe that is why some writers go to coffee shops and write. It gives them that feeling of being around people but not the time spent interacting with them. While my new job is demanding, my writing has never been better. I have two projects going simultaneously, which I’ve never done before. I may not be writing faster, but I’m writing on a schedule and happy with the way both projects are going. They are very different and challenging. One is a non-fiction project that is collaboration. Another thing I’ve never done before. The other is a new series of books that have been in me for several years, I just couldn’t get them to come out until now. 

Why do you care what works for me? You don’t. The key is to find out what works for you and get your butt in the chair on a regular basis. That is what the big time authors say when interviewed. They have a time for writing and do it every day. I’m living that. It is only an hour and in the pre-dawn but I can get a lot done. I’m also not allowed internet during that time which helps as well. Find out what works for you and then work your system. If you can take a minute from your writing, tell us about your system, so it might work for someone else. Gotta go, my hour is ticking!

W.S. Gager Bio

Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS is the latest in the Mitch series.
This post sponsored by: A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS
Mitch finally scores a weekend dinner with a cute receptionist, but true to his reporter instincts an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive.  When he investigates, he learns his date is the only casualty in a botched robbery at a real estate office. When femme fatale Patrenka Petersen returns, Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date and her work aren’t what they seem. His world continues to twist when the police captain asks for his help and a city hall informant is found floating in the river. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.  
Buy it here...