Writer's Block or Butt-on Couch?

There are times that it’s hard to write. Sometimes those times are days. Sometimes weeks. Months. God, I hope they never become years. I don’t consider this writer’s block. I think it’s just recuperation and rebuilding. Each work takes heart. Takes soul. Takes guts.

And with each piece of work we try to dig deeper.

So I give myself a break.

At writing conferences and all over social media I see the mantra butt-in-chair. Butt. In. Chair. And I know that this is the way to get writing done. I get that. But sometimes it’s too much to contemplate writing what we write. How we write it. Even the humorous ones take grit if we do it correctly. Properly.

So if you see me on Facebook or Twitter talking about the fifth Netflix binge. The seventh viewing of Harry Potter movies, the pure unadulterated joy of not creating, give me a nod of acknowlegement and understand that I’m just refueling.

#writingisabadboyfriend because he wants it all. But even He understands that after bleeding out we may need bedrest and popcorn and movie transfusions. Maybe even Sour Patch Kids and Twizzlers, too. There’s plenty of time to eat healthy, live healthy and be productive. Give me this bout of butt-on-couch bliss.

So I can return to the page renewed.

It’s who I am.

It’s what I do.

It’s how I live.

So. Be. It. 

Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt Stop!

 

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes!

                      Hello, I am Stacie Ramey, your hostess for this leg of the hunt.

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are six contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all

 

I am part of the Gold Team...Yay Team Gold! 

But there is also a RED, BLUE, GREEN, ORANGE, and PURPLE team for a chance to win a whole different set of books. 

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

 SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). And here’s a big hint. My favorite number will be in GOLD so it's easy to find. 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Now that we’ve dealt with the details, let’s get this hunt started!

 

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

I am so excited to be hosting Margo Kelly on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Margo and I have only ‘met’ virtually. First on a group blog and now here. The book world is a small world afterall! 

Here’s some cool info about my friend, Margo:

Margo Kelly is an award winning author who resides in Idaho. Her debut novel, WHO R U REALLY? Was published in 2014, and her second novel, UNLOCKED released October 1, 2016.

Now let’s find out about the book UNLOCKED: 

17-year-old Hannah is losing her grip on reality, which is affecting not only her but her friends and family too. She wrecked the car when bugs crawled over her hands, but were the creepy things even real? Now someone is moving Hannah’s possessions around in her room, or is she imagining that also? Why does she feel like she isn’t in control of her brain anymore? Hannah is terrified she’s headed for a horrible llife in and out of the mental institution, just like her dad.

When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Her boyfriend, Manny, doesn’t believe her wild stories, and new girl, Chelsea, is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah discover the truth, but even he can’t help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever is taking over. She’ll have to do that on her own, especially if she wants to save her friends, her mom, and herself.

Sounds great, right? Here's how to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads. 

And here is how to buy it on Amazon

Or on Barnes and Noble

Or at Indie Bound

If you want to find out more about Margo Kelly you can visit her website

So are you ready for the exclusive material? Finally? Well this next part is from Margo Kelly herself....

Oh ... guess what? You get an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the rough draft covers for UNLOCKED! As an author, I had very little input on the cover for UNLOCKED. However, I did get to see a couple of early drafts before it was finalized. And frankly, I was truly blessed to have Frank Rivera from F+W Media design such a fabulous, spooky, and captivating cover. I am in love with it! The image is based on the opening of the story when the characters attend the local fair. If you look closely, you’ll notice darker shadows that loom in the sky. The shadows and the events that took place at the fair have lingering consequences throughout the story. Also, the actual book jacket is thicker than most, and it’s textured. So even the “feel” of the jacket is a bit creepy (in my humble opinion). What do you think of cover? Do you like spooky stories?

(Stacie here)I don't know about you, but I loves me some spooky stories and this one sounds amazing!

so let's take a peek at the cover evolution from first attempt to finish product, shall we? 

unlocked_rough (1).jpg

Isn't the cover wonderful? 

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Margo Kelly, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is ....36 Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Gold Team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT

I hope you had fun on this part of the hunt. And I want to thank you for visiting my website! While you’re here don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter bonus contest I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt.  5 lucky winners will win a copy of my first book, THE SISTER PACT, Good luck everyone and happy hunting! 

 

 

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out author SELENE CASTROVILLA's blog.  

Link to next blog

 

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016!

It’s coming!

The hunt begins on Oct 4th and ends Oct 9th

It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016!

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Now that the authors have signed up to participate in this exciting event, we’ve put them into teams of 20 by color. There are six teams total this round!

Check out the teams below to see which teams your favorite authors will be on and what their featured book will be.

And this year for the first time, we’ve created a Goodreads list of all the featured books. Head on over and vote for your favorite teams!

It’s getting close folks!

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Archived Posts

Do I Write Everyday? Managing Writing Goals While on Vacay

In Stephen King's book On Writing, he says that he writes every day that he's working on a book. Vacations don't matter. Birthdays, holidays, the book still needs to be worked on, and so he does. I am not comparing myself to the King, however, now that I am trying to build a writing career, I wonder, can I live according to those rules?

onwriting

Turns out this summer, I'd get a chance to test my mettle.

Before I get started, I'll admit that I would never plan to have to write on a vacation with my family. Vacation is supposed to be about taking time off, right? But this year, my annual Cape Cod vacation came smack in the middle of a very strict contracted deadline, so I had to figure out how to make both things happen without compromising either. I used King's words of wisdom, along with the fact that I felt grateful to have this specific problem to propel me forward.

The test: I needed to have a completed first draft of #thenextbook ready by the end of August. Could I do that and still take a vacation? Only time would tell.

kids compete

 (how I felt at the beginning of vacation)

Starting stats: 30,000 words. Goal: 1500-2000 words a day.

Here’s how it all played out:

My baby niece likes to get up super early so writing in the morning isn’t so productive. Pancake breakfasts with Becca are definitely worth giving up writing time for, but the book wasn’t going to write itself, sooo….

pancakes

(our pancakes were not this fancy but....)

Day time is always beach time at the Cape. Unless it’s raining. Then it’s bowling time or movie time. Which is why I love it there. Walking to and from the beach with one or more of the kids gives us time to talk about everything and nothing and just enjoy each other’s company. You might wonder what the big draw is when I live in South Florida where beaches abound, but northern beaches are different. Rocks. Wind. Kites.I could stay on the beach all day on the Cape and be happy, but wasn’t going to happen with all the work I had to do. So back to Mark’s house I went, everyday, earlier than the rest, to grab some peace and quiet and some writing time.

walking on beach

It’s all hands on deck with my family at the Cape house. And we’ve developed routines over the years to play to everyone’s strengths. Many times that means I’m the cook, but this year that couldn’t happen. 2000 words a day is hard to fit in with beach time and cooking, so we adapted and brought shrimp and lobster and fish in almost every night and Mark manned the grill for the fish and burgers. It was a sacrifice, for sure, but my family all chipped in (translate: ate shrimp and lobster)to lessen my burden in exchange for a favorable mention in the acknowledgements for the WIP. How my family works.

lobster

(this always makes us do the lobster scene from My Best Friend's Wedding!)

This summer I had my ARCs for The Homecoming with me and I watched as Mark and Bonnie read it in one day. We are big readers in my family and are always passing around books, so it was cool to see them pass mine around for the second summer in a row.

the homecoming on the beach

After dinner, evening walks are the order of the day. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and in that time we usually comment on the same houses, the same views, the same bunnies that we see along the way. Bonnie always feels the bunnies are having some sort of meetings when we see them, but we were all disappointed last year when they were few very few bunnies congregating. I postulated that maybe there had been a big bunny convention in Atlantic City or something or that Cape Cod had become blasé for the little beasts, but luckily this year, the bunnies were back in fully restored numbers. Yay!

bunnies on the cape
bunnies on the cape 2

Author life has changed my life in many ways since The Sister Pact was first contracted in July of 2014, but it’s stayed the same in the best ways possible. Now as I get ready to board my flight back to Florida, I have to compile my stats.

Current words on WIP: 41,000      Total words added: 11,000Average words per day: 1,375

So let’s review. I did NOT make my 1500-2000 words a day goal, but I came pretty close. And I’m still in great shape to reach my overall goal of having a good first draft completed by the end of August. So yay me!

boxer

(how I felt at the end of vacation!)

We Are World Builders

We Are World Builders

As writers, we are world builders.

I don’t just mean when we sit down to write our stories. I don’t mean during Nanowrimo or any other wrimo. I don’t mean during word counts. I mean that we, as writers, are building worlds together.

The people we meet at conferences and workshops, on Facebook and Twitter, those people are parts of our world.