Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bye, bye, bye 2017

While I'm not all that thrilled about getting older, I'm happy to say goodbye to 2017. It's been a rough year for a lot of people. Mother Earth hasn't been happy, throwing lots of strange weather our way from fires to hurricanes to tornadoes. If she was a toddler, I'd suggest she needs a nap.

Family and friends were affected by the fires in California, those in Puerto Rico are still trying to get some fractional semblance of "normal". Other friends have been flooded out, or had their houses knocked down by winds. It's be a roller coaster much of the year.

I'm looking forward to my characters starting up their chats again. They've been far too quiet as they've stepped back to let me deal with all of the chaos.

So bring on 2018! May it be filled with less chaos, more character chatter, higher word counts, and a little bit of peace.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Are you a NaNo'er?

NaNo is rapidly approaching. For those new to NaNo, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel in a month, 50,000 words minimum to be more accurate,.  It starts November 1st and ends at 11:59pm November 30th.

I've done it several years now, I don't always make my goal as my day job tends to get in the way and I find myself on-call on again this year right in the middle of NaNo. But I'm prepping earlier than usual.

If you've been on the fence about possibly writing the novel idea tumbling about in your head, this may be the kick in the pants you need. I did write my first novel in a month, long before I'd heard about NaNo, so I know it can be done.

There are many previous winners who have been published, 449 since 2006, not including those who self-published. That is a shorter list, however, it is still inspiring.

The nice thing is that NaNo has loads of resources available to us writers, all of it is free. NaNo is also a non-profit and, due to donations from a variety of sources, has expanded it's programs to include virtual writing camps, special programs for young writers (grades K-12), and programs for libraries.

Each region has leaders that help with questions, organizing write-ins, and keeping your motivation going. Some regions are more active than others, but there's usually at least one write-in event, giving you a chance to meet other writers and get some additional inspiration.

This year I'll be working on the second book in my Coven Sisters series, wish me luck!

If you'd like to know more about NaNoWriMo, check out their site at:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Summer's End

Hope everyone has had a great summer! I always try to get a lot of writing done during the months when I'm not teaching and the two orchestras I play in aren't meeting. But somehow, the time is quickly filled with other commitments, and all the writing and sewing projects are still incomplete. Now that the fall schedule is starting, I've got to kick things up a notch or two.

I always get more done when I have a plan. The first step is to write out in broad strokes what I want to complete by the end of the month. And then I'll break it down into smaller steps. This afternoon I sat down and figured my four main goals for September. Tonight or tomorrow I'll figure out what needs to happen each week so that on September 30 I'll be able to say they're done!

What do you want to finish by the end of this month?
                                      ~ Patricia Kiyono

Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview with an Editor and Member Chris Allen-Riley

Member Elle Clouse interviews fellow member Chris Allen-Riley on editing!  Join Focus on Fantasy Romance as they discuss the editing process and cover some pitfalls facing new authors.

Mentioned in this podcast: Writing Slices; Reading the Books that Teach You to Write
Find out more about Chris’ writing as Bronwyn Green here:
And check out Round Table Author Services here:
More Focus on Fantasy Romance episode with Elle here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

How Will 2017 be Different?

by Patricia Kiyono

Happy New Year! This is the time when we make decisions about our lives; we vow to make better choices, work harder, and become healthier. Or maybe we decide to let go of things that tie us down. As authors, we make decisions about what we want to complete. But how do we do that?

On January 14, I'll be speaking at the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group's monthly meeting about goal-setting. I'll have some exercises to share, but one of the things I want everyone to think about is to take stock of what the past year has been like. What have you accomplished? What were the things that allowed you to do these things? What did you want to accomplish but were unable to? What prevented you from doing them?

Once you've got a clear picture of what has come before, then you can look ahead. Decide what projects you want to get done. Not just "write something" but more specific. Try "finish my historical legal thriller." Or "finish and self-publish a memoir about my time in Paris." Then break it down into manageable chunks. What can you get done in a month? Write down 12 of those chunks for the year. Then break each of those 12 chunks into 4 smaller tasks. Now you've got your weekly goals. Keep track of these on a calendar, or whatever method works for you. A large task doesn't seem so daunting when you break it down into small, manageable steps.

Let's make this the year when you reach your goals!