And now that I get my ass up every morning at 5:30 and take my son to school, I look forward to Friday. Every. Damn. Friday. Before that, days just ran together because working from home, home schooling, all things delivered to your door… But anyway, FRIDAY! I can sleep in tomorrow. Thought it rarely ever works that way, it is nice to dream.
So, this post. I’ve blogged every day now since last Friday. Twice yesterday. And one of my goals for 2016 was to take a page out of Delilah Devlin’s book and have something on my blog all the time. It might be a guest post, or me yammering away about nonsense, or posting information about book releases, etc… But to start utilizing my blog again. A lot.
I’m disenchanted with social media. I use it. A lot. But I use it way more than I use my blog and my website and really, I think, it should be the other way around. I may only have 3 people reading this blog or visiting my site right now, but at least I know those 3 people WANT to be here.
2016 is the year I’m going to turn that around and use my blog and website and newsletter more than I use social media. I haven’t figured out all the ins and outs yet. I haven’t figured out how to get more people here or there or to sign up, but it’s a process and I’ll figure out what works for me.
I don’t generally like social media because Oh My God, I can’t control all that drama and I really don’t want to be part of it. I want to keep up with the business and then do the business MY way. (cue Elvis on stage in Hawaii singing MY WAY. it’s his birthday, by the way… he’d have been 81).
Now, that man… He did it all his own way.
And I think that’s what we need more of. People doing things their way and even though we’re in a business of creating, most of us doing get ahead by being different. Nope. Author A does one thing. Then, Author B. emulates exactly what Author A did, right down to the hook and cover of her book. Authors C, D, and E, follow suit, and what we now have is an alphabet size pool of books that all look the same, read the same, follow the same path, etc…
I don’t want to read the same book and I don’t want to write the same book. I don’t want mine to look like yours or yours look like mine. But different in this business seems to have gone the way of the dodo. If we’re not all doing the same thing, then whoever is doing it different is doing it wrong. And I call bullshit.
I have listened for too long all that. No. More. I’m going to go about this my way. That’s how I started and I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not scared to say what’s on my mind. I’m not cowed by the ‘but how’s that going to look?’. Who cares.
It’s the small things that mean something. It’s the small gestures that are remembered, not always the grand ones. It’s the personal touch. It’s the individuality. And that’s what I’m going with. That’s what I want 2016 to be and mean to me.
No, I’m not talking about a race where you have to lace up your shoes and walk or run 6.2 miles. Heaven forbid! Not that we shouldn’t move around a little bit, because we absolutely should. It’s why I stand to work most days now, but that’s another post for another day. The 10K I’m talking about is writing words.
When I first started in publishing, there were several of us who would commit to writing 10,000 words in a weekend. Sometimes there were longer word counts, rarely ever shorter ones. But some of us would write well into the night or early in the mornings. We’d check in on social media or through Yahoo! IM. It was fun and it was a good way to get some words in and not always feel so isolated.
That’s what this is about. Starting on Thursdays and going through Sunday nights at 11:59pm, up to 10,000 words are written.Not everyone will get 10,000 words in just a few days. Some will definitely surpass it. But the goal is to try, to challenge ourselves, to maybe even surprise ourselves. And I know with family and friends and work and home, etc… it’s not always easy to write on the weekends, but for many, writing during the week after work or before work or after dinner or after the kids go to bed or…the list goes on… isn’t easy, either.
These reasons and because I need a good solid kick in the ass sometimes is why I wanted to create this writing challenge. As much for me as for anyone else it may help.
This is how it works… Below each post on Thursdays, there will be a Linky. Add your name. Check in on social media with the hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters to update your word count, starting, ending, etc… There’s a button on the sidebar —-> over there…for you to snag if you want to add it to your own site and link back to mine and this post. I’ll also have little finish line badges that will have different word counts on them for you to grab when you hit a certain one.
All writers of any stage of the game are welcome. Beginners all the way to someone who’s published a ton of books. Bloggers are welcome, too.
This whole idea sorta came to me while I was washing my hair and I realized maybe it’s not just be me who would benefit from some blocks of writing time and a goal, even if you don’t make it to 10K.
So, what do you say? Are you interested? If so, Click Here and add your name to the Linky. You can find me on the following social media sites:
For this episode of Tune In and Tune Up Thursdays, I thought I’d share with you some of the blog posts I’ve been reading lately, and links to some of the articles I’ve been reading as well. I do a lot of that now. I love the spark…
Most of them are inspiring. Some are full of practical information. Others are just for fun.
On Pinterest, I have a board for Blogging, Website, Social Media. I totally need to tidy the board up, but there are some great Pins in it for what we writers and bloggers and designers do. Tips and tricks and ideas. Check it out.
I fell in love with two posts last week. I mean, deeply in love with each and every word that pertained to writing.
Along with blogs and websites, I’m reading books. On the sidebar, you can see ‘What I’m Reading’ and that’s generally going to be fictional, but I’m also reading other things like: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. They’re great for inspiring and motivating and looking within to see what, where, who, how, and why. And shit like that takes courage.
I have found that a lot of the self publishing books have a lot of the same information, just from different perspectives, but they also each have something new to take away because not every one experiences self publishing, or anything else, in exactly the same way.
I learned about this site this morning and am curious to check it out.
There are many other things I’ve read, articles and posts and snippets and lists. I’m working on my goals for 2016 now and refining them. Reading about people who are successful in life, in business, and trying to utilize what is relevant to me. No more looking back and wishing and what if’ing. I’ve made the difficult admissions and made peace with it, made peace with me.
After my post on Sunday, I was nervous. Scared. And those two words probably don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I truly mean when I say I was nervous and scared. But a reader commented that I was daring, brave, bold, and fearless for writing it. I don’t know if that’s true, but I like to think it is. The support has been overwhelming and I’m filled with gratitude and humility that I have such a loyal group of readers and friends.
But one word that has come out of it all that I will fully own up to is FREEDOM! I feel as though a burden has been lifted and I can write again. It doesn’t absolve me of my responsibilities or obligations to others that I’ve promised projects to, or that I’ve told readers I would be writing…at some point…in the future, but it has given me a feeling of freedom and that feeling has opened up a well inside me that was blocked until I opened up and got some truths out.
I have high expectations of myself. Those who still read my books have expectations of me, too. I know I haven’t always lived up to them and I know I’ll fall short in times to come. For me though, the expectation now is different, is full of breath and light and possibility. I let go of things that were holding me down and holding me back and finally, FINALLY, started to let the words have their way with me and when that happens, y’all… I was in awe last night when I had a few moments to write at the words that not only found their way onto the page, but with the beauty of them. They’re raw and they’re in need of tweaking, but they’re awesome words. They’re free words. They’re not bound to an ideal that I have do something that I am no longer capable of doing in the way that I once did. I was elated and inspired.
And that is the feeling that writing used to create in me. Not the dread. Not the stress. Not the feeling of ‘ugh, I don’t want to write’. But the freedom in creation and in discovery. That’s what’s been missing for me and that’s what I found by being honest and maybe, just maybe, being a little bold, a little daring, a little fearless, and a little brave.
The familiar itch to keep riding had been absent for several weeks after Gus met Bex, but ever since the wolf had shown up with all his theories and troublemaking, it was back. The desire to run as far away as he could get. Only, he couldn’t do that. Not now. He was in deep and leaving Bex behind was out of the question.
She was his home.
And he wouldn’t let her fight alone. He didn’t trust anyone to keep her safe better than he could.
He took a sharp curve, then another, and another. With each climb through the mountain pass, Bex clung tighter to him. Her thighs gripped around the hips. Her hands clasped at his t-shirt. But she didn’t tense. She wasn’t scared or frightened on the bike with him. She trusted him and he’d never betray that.
So, he’d stay. He’d resist the urge to run from his adoptive family, from the pain of the past being dredged up, from the tethers of falling in love with Bex. He’d resist it all and he’d stay.
Only, he didn’t know how to fight through it. He’d never had to. He’d always just picked up and left.
When the bike reached a stretch of road that was somewhat flat and straight, Gus took one hand off a handlebar and used it to cover her hands, linking their fingers. She calmed him. From the moment they’d met, she’d touched something inside him and the first time he touched her, peace unlike anything he’d ever known flowed through him.
He’d been scared ever since.
And none of it made sense to him. He was content to go with the flow, to take it however it came. But ever since the wolf, Luke Blackwood, had shown up, all Hell had broken loose and not only was Bex’s quiet life disrupted, but everything from her past and Gus’s past was coming back to haunt them.
He eased his fingers from hers and resumed holding onto the bike with both hands as the curves ahead came into view.
Bex leaned into him and laid her head on his back.
She was comfortable with him. She was at ease with him.
She’d never been scared of him, but she had been curious about him, something he’d relished. He’d been interested in her from the start. Her smile made him ache. Her body made hungry.
She had no idea what she did to him.
He knew for someone like Bex, trust didn’t come easy. She didn’t have many friends, no family left, had a sketchy coming into the world. She was naturally wary, but she was strong. And faced with what had been presented to her in recent weeks was more than any one person should have to deal with in a lifetime. She wasn’t who she’d always thought she was.
But she was who he needed her to be.
The winding country roads brought him freedom. Being out and away from the closeness of a family who didn’t really belong to him usually made him feel at one with nature, at one with who he really was. A bear. A shifter. A lover of the outdoors. An artist. The forests and the mountains were his inspiration for the art he used to express himself and that he used to help others find ways of expression through ink.
Bex relaxed against his back as he began to decelerate the closer they got to Dandridge. He loved it, the way she put her faith in him. As he turned down the side street that led to the Victorian house they were still in the process of renovating into her bed and breakfast, he scented the wolves, first. Blackwood must’ve left them behind. He also scented the bears of his adoptive family, namely his adoptive mother.
Bex gripped his shirt and lifted her head when he parked his bike. Her thighs didn’t ease their grip on his hips. Her arousal was strong, the way it always was when the wolves were around. It was the craziest damn thing that he scent of them made her angry and horny and aggressive.
If he hadn’t been on the receiving end of her horny aggression, or seen the split second shift from mild to angry aggression, he wouldn’t have believed Bex capable of it.
“She’s cooking,” Gus said, speaking of the woman who’d raised him as her own. He took his helmet off and hung it on the handlebars.
“I smelled it about a mile out,” Michael remarked as he mirrored Gus’s actions with his head gear.
“I can’t smell it. What’s she cooking? Anything good?” Bex swung her leg over and slid off the bike.
“She’s frying fish. Catfish.”
“Trout,” Gus countered.
“Nope. Catfish. It’s my favorite.”
“What does it being your favorite have to do with anything? She’s here at our house. So, it stands to reason that she’s making my favorite.”
Bex shook her head and took the back steps up to the kitchen door. “You two are pathetic.”
“They are,” Mama Bear agreed. “They’ve always argued about food. Especially fish. And sweets.”
“Other than fish, what are you making? Smells like hamburgers.”
“Yes. Hamburger steaks. The wolves didn’t want fish.”
“Why does it matter what they want?” Gus asked, elbowing Michael in the ribs. “Catfish. Told ya.”
“There’s trout too, you big baby.”
Michael grinned and hugged his mother. “I knew I was your favorite.”
There will be more information for you soon about a new set of Southern Shifter books coming in early February from some awesome paranormal romance authors, so stay tuned.