Tag Archives: MFRW

Writers…Write. And other thoughts for the New Year

I’ve known most of what I was going to write for my New Year post for a while. The intention was to think on inspirations from 2013, and how those could be applied going forward. Then I started looking for a Thomas Edison quote I’d seen recently. Edison was a brilliant man, able to apply the vast amounts of data he took in to solve problems not everyone knew existed, and his life philosophies apply just as much to writing as to inventing. Such as:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up

The three greatest essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard Work, Stick-to-itevness and Common Sense.

Success in writing, at least the non literary writing I read, is gauged by selling books. The more books you have available to sell, the greater opportunity you give yourself for success. Simple. Sales are often, but not always, gauged on the quality of the writing but as with any endeavor, practice makes you better. Granted there is no rhyme or reason to the success of some books but the key behind those sales is…the books were written, and available.

Last year a writer I first met through dogs (which won’t surprise most who know me) was going through the loss of one of her precious dog buddies. She told me later, as she waited for the doctor to come by and ease this lovely lady on her journey, that she was at something of a loss what she could do, except: “I’m a writer…I wrote.” This is her approach to life, and I probably don’t need to add she successful in both sales and in quality.

A writer friend had her apartment burgled. She lost not only jewelry and other items but also her computer, which contained all of her many books including the WIP. Devastating. Again, a prolific, successful writer, one I admire greatly not only for her writing but also her willingness to help. Not long after the burglary, she was sharing section of her WIP on FaceBook. I told her how much I enjoyed the segment and also admired her getting anything done after her loss. And she said “Some days I only write a line or a paragraph but I have committed to writing every day.”

And as simply as that, I had my life goals re-affirmed. I am a writer. I write. I hit stalls and other demands on my time but every day, I’m writing if only a line or two. And the two tortured lonely people in my WIP thank me although they’re getting impatient for their first love scene.

When the book looms too large in my mind...

When the book looms too large in my mind…

When the idea of a full length book or even worse a series looms large in my mind, I remind myself every book is written one word at a time.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed149049.html#9oMcwbCbm5iHxTtY.99


Filed under Uncategorized

Fantasy vs Reality

A few years back our well dried up. We’re thinking a good spell (years) of rain that well just might come back around. A deep snow pack that’s not vaporized by hot spring wind would help a lot. While I’m at it, I’ll put in a request for a barn to hold the many horses I’d love to own, and a nice working arena.  Yep, that’s one of my fantasies.

Reality is, once a week I hitch the trailer up to my old truck and drive a few miles to the local water source. On the trailer is a 250 gallon tank, enough water to last through laundry, showers, and cleaning. Loaded with minerals but really tasty for drinking, though I fill jugs with that reverse osmosis water for coffee. Now, 250 gallons of water is one solid ton of sloshing weight. That sort of weight puts pressure on tires, and the smart thing is to keep them inflated

Yep, that's a blown tire

Yep, that’s a blown tire

properly.  Sometimes I get too backed up and think “I can get to that next time around.” Resulting in, you guessed it, a blown tire.

If this was one of the books I write and read, the day after I limped my trailer home on a wheel and a rim, a compellingly attractive but not quite handsome farmer would drop by to help, even though such a person hasn’t been seen by me, especially not at the end of a half mile private lane.  Mayhaps a Navy SEAL or a ReCon soldier would wander by while training for battle in a hostile environment. Okay, so it’s not so hostile to me but my Canadian friends think all this dry brown stuff looks strange. Dirt, guys…it’s what’s under all the green stuff in your yards. I might even have a renegade Fae prince offer to help while working out issues with his kingdom under the hill.

Alas, ends up all I have is myself.  So I had to get to it.  Don’t let it get out but I’ve changed tires on my own before.

Can this tire be patched?

Can this tire be patched?

Also changed oil, alternators and a starter. Tried changing spark plugs but that didn’t work out so well. But a single small tire? No problem.  It took an extra bit of lift to make the car jack work but the rest was slick and smooth. Soon enough I was strollinginto Wal Mart, asking if they could patch my tire. The guy, oops Sales Associate, behind the counter didn’t think so, and led me over to the shelves to show me they didn’t have the right rim.  Guess he got the memo on show don’t tell, about the same time he had a humorectomy.

I ended up getting the correct tire at another place and doing the switch out. A minor chore,

All Done

All Done

but one I could handle on my own. Which I have to admit had its own reward. Though I wouldn’t have turned down a Highlander in a summer weight kilt, especially on a breezy day.

If you don’t have any tires to change out, you might spend this weekend immersed in marketing wizardry at the MFRW Summer Camp  where you can get your head filled with a multitude of ideas on how to promote your books while reliving your youthful times at came. Virtual marsmallows are the best…all the flavor you can remember and none of the calories or tooth decay. You can get to the camp through the MFRW website, the Summer Camp Link. Hope to see you there for fun, friendship, and knowledge.


Filed under Uncategorized

Yeah, About That Luck Thing

I was in Canada when this blog of Kristen Lamb’s came out. And I thought about it during my visit, the plane ride back, and dealing with rearranging dogs to get back to my regular life. When it Comes to Success, Is It Hard Work or Luck?.

See, I do get the luck thing. I understand about winning Best in Show when there’s been a judge change and you have NO idea what this new person is going to like. That’s luck, right?  Well, sort of. But before your dog is seen by that lexington 2010 026judge, you’ve made it through the breed and the group competitions.  With, of course a trained, conditioned dog. Luck? Or the payoff for generations of careful breeding, and hours of exercise, grooming, training…and did I mention training? Because the very best structured and conditioned and groomed dog will go nowhere in the show ring if they can’t carry themselves with pride.

And you’re wondering why the heck is Mona talking about showing dogs when she started out with one of Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone blogs for writers?  Because in both endeavors, luck favors the prepared.  At my first RT Convention, I’m standing in the breakfast line.  Woman next to me, wearing an agent badge, asks what I write and her eyes glaze over when I explain “It’s a book about a woman with an Irish Setter who writes for a magazine and lives in a motor home and…” I had the luck of meeting an interested agent when I was definitely not prepared.

Since then I’ve practiced pitching whenever and wherever I can. I’m published because when I heard about a start up boutique press (luck) I had a fairly well polished book ready to submit (prepared). When a great promo opportunity came up on a local television show (luck) I was able to explain about  my writing and my books without flailing my arms around or gushing (prepared).

I credit a lot of being prepared to Kristen Lamb’s no holds barred blogs, and to Marketing for Romance Writers never ending support for writers who are ready to make their own luck. And it’s not too late to be a part of this year’s Summer Camp, where you’ll learn about building your platform, preparing your pitch, and in general rocking the writing world. It’s free, it’s fun. Hope to see you there. 


Filed under Uncategorized

Meet Kendra…and Get Ready for Summer Camp

I’ve mentioned MFRW once or twice (okay, obsessively) Marketing For Romance Writers helps educate and promote authors, while encouraging them to do the same for each other.  Information is shared through a discussion group plus a forum with  Coffee Time Romance ,  and they’ll be repeating the amazing Summer Camp July 14-15. Two days of non stop learning and sharing, filling your head with knowledge and answering so many questions about what to do after the book is finished. Which actually means before the book is finished since we need to be setting up our marketing plans from the beginning.  And MFRW is there to help. Block off July 14-15, stock up on easy to fix meals. Pack your virtual bags, sew name tags into your clothes and be sure to have a supply of your elixir of choice so you won’t miss a thing.

What’s this about meeting Kendra, from My Killer My Love? Kayelle Allen, founder and driving force behind MFRW, offered Kendra an interview on  Romance Lives Forever Naturally Mykhael showed up since he doesn’t like to be too far away from Kendra for too long. Being Mykhael, he sort of took over, but I think you’ll enjoy learning more about these very special people.  Meet Kendra Weiss

If you’ve been missing the recipes, don’t worry, I’ve been working on some new low carb yummies. And on May 31 I’ll be sharing something from my wicked eating days, guaranteed to make you the hit of any summer get together.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mona’s Wondering Does anyone really like SPAM??

Royce William’s SPAM Can Collection

I’m not talking about the state meat of Hawaii, though I know some people can be really intense about this canned culinary treat. Research shows SPAM came onto the market in 1937, and has been enjoyed by a multitude of happy eaters ever since. I do remember SPAM sliced and fried, eaten in a white bread sandwich when I was running around in the woods pretending that big cardboard box was a fort, or pirate ship, or castle.

Hmm, haven’t had any SPAM in a long time, and doubt I will again. But that’s a personal choice, one I make when I walk past the canned meat section of the grocery store.  My husband loved corned beef hash but he wanted his meat to come out of a can (all of which were produced in Argentina according to the labels) instead of me starting with a slab of beef brisket and producing something home made.  Again a personal choice, which I was happy to fulfill, as long as he would occasionally try (gasp) herbs in the roasted chicken.

Which brings me to the point of this post, and many I’ve recently read.  In Rock Your Writing Cathy references several excellent articles on how writers can torpedo their careers by excessive promotional enthusiasm.  Wow, that was pretty PC, wasn’t it? When actually I want to say: writers obnoxiously shoving their books in my face every time I open my e-mail. To the point I’ve automatically deleted their posts then had to dig into my trash file when I discover they actually had an important message to share.

Naturally this trend isn’t exclusive to writers. While enjoying a Facebook group dedicated to a specific area of interest, or related to my breed of dog, one of the group members will post an announcement about their wonderful skin products. Once is okay.  Twice is irritating. Three times, sweet cheeks, is spam in my world and you have severed that

Beamer in the wildflowers

Beamer in the wildflowers

last nerve. Ditto when I’m looking at pictures of someone’s litter, checking the link to the pedigree, maybe commenting on something I really enjoy, such as a specific color I like, or markings that remind me of one of my old dogs. Along comes someone with pictures of THEIR puppies with markings they KNOW I’m going to love. Since I’ve already seen these pictures five times today, given that they’ve been showing these puppies on every possible Facebook page, they’ve essentially sucked the pleasure out of the minuscule amount of time I allot to Facebook these days.

And I can hear the whining now.  How can we possibly promote our wonderful book? Writers from small presses don’t have the advantages of writers with the big guys.  Yeah, I know.  I’m with a small press myself. And I’m also in groups such as Marketing For Romance Writers that work hard to help us learn how to effectively present our books.  None of us are born great writers, and the most effective marketers learned their skills from the experience of others.  Do your homework, let others help you learn, and spend that time you’ve been marketing on your next book.

That’s what I’ve been doing, and the sequel to My Killer My Love is coming along so well, I forgot to share recipes.  Tomorrow, I promise.  And this one’s really for the dogs.


Filed under Uncategorized