What’s Up Wednesday

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What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

This is what I’ve been up to this week…

1. 1. WHAT I’M READING…

I’m going to be reading three books this week…

First up, I have an ARC by my friend Kelly Mooney to read. It’s entitled ‘Affliction’ and promises to be as good as her others. I can’t wait. I’m honored that she sent me a copy.

Next, I’ll be diving into Tabatha Vargo and Melissa Andrea’s “Little Black Book.”

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You can get your copy on Amazon.

And I’m continuing to read “Grammar Girl.” I’d like to eventually get her whole collection.

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You can get your copy for only $.99 on Amazon.

2. WHAT I’M WRITING…

I’ve started a new novel. I’m only at 13,000 words, so I still have a long way to go, but I’m making progress. I haven’t worked on it much the last couple of weeks because I’ve been busy, but I’ll get there. That’s what I love about writing. I write when I have time or when the mood strikes me, and if not it’s okay.

3. WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW…

I’ve been working on making “NOWHERE” and “SUMMER LOVE” available in print. I’m so excited to be able to hold my books in my hand I have goosebumps. Thanks to my formatter I discovered a cool website for fonts. I’ve been choosing the ones I like. It reminds me of picking paint colors for for a room.

4. WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO…

A lot of tears were shed this past week…we said “Hasta pronto” to an amazing girl from Spain who spent the last 10 months living with our family and attending school here in the US. We had so much fun and our lives are richer due to the experience. We will miss you!

We will miss you!

P.S. She’ll be thrilled to know she made it into one of my posts. She is one of my biggest fans!

Happy New Year

Greetings followers! I want to wish you all a happy new year! May all of your wishes and dreams come true in 2014.

2013 was filled with revelations and I’m sure 2014 will be too. The most important thing I learned last year is to believe in myself. In June I asked for the rights to my book “Nowhere” back from Muse It Up publishing and self published it instead. Finally, my writing career took off. I love being my own boss. I am completely in control of all decisions and have the final say in everey aspect. I am the only one who I can blame for my successes and failures. That being said, this year I learned how to ask for help when needed and trust the “experts.” Jennifer Sommersby was my editor for “Summer Love” and she offered me valuable insights into my writing. She helped me flush out my characters and bring them to life on the page. Thank you Jenn. I would also like to thank Lee Rowland for her artistic talent in creating a beautiful new cover for “Nowhere.” Lee can be found at Pear Tree Space.

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Nowhere

I hope 2014 brings not only revelations but inspirations as well. I am currently working on a contemporary romance novel that I’m excited to finish. Once it’s complete I am jumping into Senior Year book #2 – “Falling Into You” set to be released in August 2014.

Please check back with me throughout the year to see how 2014 turns out.

Tuesday’s Top Ten!

What better way to bring in the new year than to recap my top ten accomplishments of 2012, the top ten things I learned, and my top ten goals for 2013.

Top Ten Accomplishments of 2012

1. I self-published “The Perfect Prom Date” in January.

2. My book “Nowhere” was released in June by Muse It Up Publishing.

3. I gave my website and blog a facelift to attract new followers.

4. I have written 48 posts, including this one.

5. My blog has received more than 1,500 visitors.

6. I read 14 books during the summer months.

7. I helped my dear friend, Kelly Mooney, edit her latest book, “Please Don’t Go”.

8. I conducted my first author interview to a group of students.

9. I participated and contributed in my first Indie-read-a-thon.

10. I began writing a new book, “One Complicated Summer”, which is the first book in a four book series.

Top Ten Things I Learned in 2012

1. The importance of Beta-readers (I will be sure to ask several beta-readers to read my next manuscript before I even send out any queries. Beta readers are extremely insightful).

2. I enjoy crafting “Character Bibles.” ( I made character bibles for the main characters in Nowhere and it really helped me get to know them.)

3. I have a difficult time finding my own typos and grammatical errors. (However, I enjoy editing other author’s manuscripts and I am much better at helping them than I am helping myself.)

4. There are advantages and disadvantages to self publishing.

5. There are advantages and disadvantages to publishing with a publishing house.

6. Barnes and Noble does not directly accept non-US publishing houses. They have to go through smashwords. (Hence, I have been patiently awaiting for “Nowhere” to appear on the B&N website for almost seven months.)

7. I am not a fast writer. (Which I am totally okay with.)

8. Some months I have a difficult time making time to write, while other months I can’t seem to stop.

9. I can’t read a book and work on my own at the same time. (Nor can I flip between stations when there is a commercial on.) My brain just doesn’t work that way.

10. Always take constructive criticism, constructively. I used it learn about myself as an author and how I can improve in the future. (Because of course being an author is my future!)

Top Ten Goals for 2013

1. Finish writing “One Complicated Summer.”

2. Receive a contract for “One Complicated Summer.”

3. Continue to blog two to three times a week.

4. Establish more relationships with other authors and readers. (Goodreads is a great forum for accomplishing this.)

5. Obtain more followers on my blog.

6. Spend more time with real teens, so that my writing connects to them even more than it already does.

7. Read at least as many books this summer as I did in 2012.(Nothing is more relaxing than sitting at the beach or by my pool reading a great novel).

8. Take a writing course (I took an on-line course with Anastasia Suen in 2011, and throughly benefitted it.)

9. Visit the YA book fair at Nazareth College. (A truly inspiring experience to be surrounded by fellow authors, such as Melisa de la Cruz and Simone Elkeles, and thousands of wonderful readers!)

10. Sell thousands of copies of “The Perfect Prom Date” and “Nowhere.”

What did you accomplish in 2012? What did you learn? And what are your goals for 2013?