Monday, December 29, 2014


Tomorrow begins a new year. Crazy, isn't it?

My new book comes out at the end of January, February will be filled with signings and readings (mostly in the Albuquerque area), and who knows what the rest of the year will bring.

But tomorrow brings on one thing that I really ha... Well, honestly, it's something that really tends to annoy me.

New Year's Resolutions

Mostly, they annoy me because people tend to make resolutions that there's no way they'll be able to achieve. They try to set goals for themselves, but they end up being things that we give up on within a few months. In all honesty, I only know three or four people that have actually succeeded in keeping their resolution (I only recall two off the top of my head: one stopped drinking soda, and the other read through the Bible from start to finish).

But really, it doesn't have to be this way.

If only we'd set goals for ourselves that were actually achievable, that we could do without feeling like we're forcing ourselves into something.

For example...

If you love to write but never find the time, challenge yourself to write a novella.

If you love reading, challenge yourself to a specific number of books (say, fifty?).

If you're a gamer, challenge yourself to beat your hardest games.

If you're a photographer, challenge yourself to photograph more than just the things people might find beautiful.

More importantly than that, it's the resolutions that mean something, the ones we care about, that really stick. So find something you love, find something you've always wanted to do and know you now have the drive to complete, and do it.

There's nothing standing in your way but you.


{Rani D.}

Back to the grind


Week after Christmas is always a little crazy, isn't it? Everything's done for the big holiday, and yet it seems there's still so much left to do.

That being the case, I've collected a list of ways I help myself get back to the ol grind, hopefully to inspire you in the last few days before 2015:

  • Make lists for everything
  • Prioritize the things on those lists
  • Remember that some things can be left for next year
  • Don't try to fit more than a day's worth into a day
  • Relax whenever you get the chance
  • Smile always--if only to convince yourself that you're having a good day
  • Deep breaths when things get tricky

And last but not least...

  • Never forget, there's always someone standing behind you and cheering you on. 

And if you're not sure that's true, then remember that I'm praying for you, I believe in you, and I know we can finish this year out strong.


{Rani Divine}

Friday, December 26, 2014


Hey my lovelies, can you believe it's Deanna and my second to last post in our series?

I promise, that's all I'm going to say on here. I'm allowed to, because Deanna didn't even write on the topic she was supposed to... Which I'm okay with, because what she has to say is very good.


p.s. Check out my post on Deanna's blog here: Timely Writers


Today Rani Divine put up a post about being sure to write through the holidays and I was supposed to write a post about rewarding yourself for doing so, but the other day I realized something and I think it is more important that I ask you a question:

Why do you write?

What is your immediate response? Is it your job? A dream? A to do list?

Why do you write?

What got you started?

I’m hoping that what got you started in writing was an adoration for words, their meaning and how they are so beautifully expressed, but even then… is that why you are still in the game?

On Monday I realized that I had stopped loving words.

Sacrilege, I know.

But I really and truly had. I’d forgotten what it felt like to write because I was inspired, because I couldn’t help it, because it was my favorite thing in all the world – my passion was dead. And I’d cried when I’d realized that for the last year, maybe even the last year and a half, I was writing because it was my job, because I had a project to finish, because there were people around me looking up to me.

If you are like I am, dreaming and driven, you can’t imagine changing the way you are working – not even to fall in love with your craft again.

Well on Monday, and Tuesday, and again today I’ve done something stupid.

I’ve decided to read.

I’ve decided to take time out of my day to just daydream about anything.

I found a picture prompt on pinterest and wrote a worthless scene for a novel that didn’t exist.


I haven’t been this happy in months.

I haven’t been more myself since this time in 2013.

On Monday, when I was rudely disregarding my schedule, this is what I wrote,

“Tis time to dream.”

And that it is.

It is time we remember the blue of the sky in the color of a crayon. It’s time we recall the emotion of a sigh in a song. It’s time we relax, feel the breeze, smile, shine, read, write, dance in the rain. Bringing back our childhood we will fall in love again. Being a writer is about being a kid at heart. You imagine and you bring it to life however you know how. Let that be your everyday mission: today I’m going to be a child.

Does a child worry about what has to get done in a day? Does a child concern itself with word counts, or coloring inside the lines? Does a child worry about pleasing the world with their doodles? Of course not, and that’s the very point.

It is not up to you to save – or please – the world. It’s not up to you to get things done. It’s not up to you. It’s just not.

It’s up to God.

You just sit and remember what it feels like to adore words, what they mean and how they are so beautifully expressed. You just feel… the brushing of a hand upon your cheek, the chill in your toes, the way a bedhead tangles your thoughts… just feel every little thing and fall in love with the feeling.

It is only in this peace, knowing God adores you and God has gifted you and God inspires you, that anything truly awe-inspiring can come forth from your lips.

Fall in love with words again.

Trust me.

It’s worth the banged up pride you might suffer in doing so.



P.S. Check out my Christmas blog here: Set Something Aflame

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's a big world

Christmastime is arguably the busiest time of year. Busy because we have all our end-of-the-year work, because there are presents to buy, places to go, people to see, and busy because (let's face it) it's the month after NaNoWriMo, and we're hooked.

Trouble is, a lot of writers end up putting their writing first during the holidays--when really, it doesn't need to be that way.

Though writing is important...

There are things in life that are more important than work... Or even hobbies

Yes, writing counts as both work and a hobby (because it's different for each of us). Even though for a lot of us it's only a hobby, it's also something that takes a lot of time and effort--and something that can easily be put to the side for one or two weeks while Christmastime gets too hectic.

Christmas is a time for us to embrace the joy of the season, for us to spend time with our families and be thankful for everything in our lives.

It's not a time for spending hectic hours behind the screen of our computers, cooped up in our offices, avoiding all sight and sound of other human beings.

So, I implore you. Friends, step away from the things you think need to be done.

I'm not saying don't go to work, I'm not saying avoid everything that you need to get done, I'm saying take the time to smell the roses. Go out and look at Christmas lights, make snow angels (if you don't live in the desert like me, that is), cozy up by the fire with the person you love. Do something fun, for you--and for the people you care about.

It's a big world out there. I pray you'll take the time to savor the parts that are around you. 

Have a Merry Christmas, friends!

[love and brightly lit trees]

{Rani D}

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve!

In honor of the holiday, all I'm sharing today is this, one of my favorite songs to listen to this time of year:

I hope you have a most blessed of days tomorrow!

[Merry Christmas!]

{Rani Divine}

Luke 2:1-21

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coffee House Love

To a vast majority of writers, and people in general these days, coffee is everything.

We get up, get ready, get our coffee and then start writing. 

But have you ever thought about what makes the atmosphere of your favorite coffee shop so great for writing?

Well it certainly isn’t this guy that’s always taking up the corner table with the electrical outlet and acting like he’s Sartre or something!

I don’t even think that it’s the calm chatter, or the smell of coffee and muffins in the air. It isn’t that the coffee shop makes you feel more focused or because it is the only place on earth where ignoring your fellow man is accepted. It isn’t the decorations or the comfy seat or the ready availability of plugs for your laptop or phone. It isn’t even really that you went somewhere and took set time out of your schedule to write – although that is highly necessary.

I would like to propose to you that the reason why your favorite coffee shop is your favorite coffee shop is because of the music they play. Maybe you haven’t even noticed the ambient, indie tunes dancing about in the background of your mind, but I bet if you sat a listened for a bit you could hear their inspiring voices calling your characters forth.

Realizing this fact you might begin to wonder what you ought to do when you visit a coffee house where no music is playing, or when the weather has kept you at home brewing your own cup of coffee. How can you replicate the inspiration without the Sartre man smoking at the corner table?

Well I’m sure many of us have heard of Spotify and have our own favorite playlists on there that we listen to ALL THE TIME. (Oh! Fun side note, I listened to 41,993 minutes of music on Spotify this year. If you can beat that be sure to comment below and we will all bask in your love of music. Anyway, back on topic…) Spotify has a lot of great playlists on it for us writers. And I have five which I would like to suggest for those of you missing the music needed for the enjoyment and full working effects of your life blood – coffee.

        1. Your Favorite Coffeehouse

This playlist is full of mellow indie tunes such as those by The Civil Wars, Daniela Andrade and John Schmitt. If you are looking for music that has a full, gentle tone this is the playlist for you. While nearly all the songs on the playlist have lyrics they serve for modern inspiration and a quiet bout of thinking and clacking away on your keyboard.

        2. Peaceful Piano

For those of you who cannot take lyrics while you are writing and tend to write best when your mind is gently massaged into a relaxed state I would like to recommend Peaceful Piano. WARNING: it might make you busy headed people sleepy so use wisely – like on a cool and rainy afternoon.

        3. Intense Studying

This playlist is also especially nice for those of you who cannot write with words playing the background and is a little more upbeat with some other instruments such as violin, cello and some brass.

        4. Deep focus

This playlist is much darker than the others I have mentioned. The beats are deep, melodic and melancholy. Perfect for that intense, scary or depressing scene you have to write – or a novel that is just entirely depressing and thought provoking.

Finally I would like to suggest a favorite indie artist of mine who has a voice that is simply angelic and can always get me in the mood to write something beautiful:

        5. Alex G

You can find a lot of her covers and singles on Spotify, but her presence is much greater on YouTube if you can use that resource without distraction – I for one simply cannot. ;)

Well, now that you have some new music inspirations that you can take nearly wherever you wish where are you going to go write first? Escape the rut of writing where you usually do and take your morning cuppa to a new special place where inspiration will flow all the better.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Slepp cHeq

As many of you know from my prior post, I'm in editor mode lately.

With that in mind, I've reached a simple conclusion:

Spell check is a crutch we should all learn to live without

 Why, you ask? 

I'll tell you why. 

Spell check is different in every program you use. The spell checkers are, in fact, vastly different between Yahoo and Google, between MS Word and Scrivener, between Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. 

Know what that means? 

It means sometimes it's very difficult to tell whether you're right or the computer's right. 

Personally, in one day I use almost everything on that list I just gave (I don't use IE), and by the end of the day sometimes I'm not even sure what words are contractions and what words aren't (mostly because some words that are contractions in the US aren't in Britain). 

The thing is, we've allowed spell checkers to become our crutch, the thing we lean on because we don't know enough about our own language to be able to stand up on our own two feet. 

Yes, spell check has it's uses. It's amazing in some cases and can be very helpful when you don't have enough time to make sure your writing is perfect. But when we allow it to get the better of us, when we find ourselves using it more than our clever little brains, we're in trouble. 

If you're a writer and you ever find yourself with this problem, I urge you to turn off your spell checker. 

Most of us still retain all the knowledge of our language that we learned in grade school. Thing is, we don't have need of it most of the time so our brains don't bother to access it. But if we didn't use spell checkers for a while, if we once again found need of all that information, I believe wholeheartedly that it would come back to us (and if you still have trouble, I suggest Googling for some helpful information). 

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. 

[love your editor]

{Rani Divine}

Monday, December 15, 2014

Follow Me

It's my 100th blog post! And you know what that means...

Below is the second released excerpt for my novel, Coetir: the People of the Woods. The novel is planned to be released in January 2015, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

If you'd like to see the first released excerpt, check out my post on this blog titled Crossing The Line.

Lastly, don't forget that if you comment on this post you'll be entered to win one of my very own fountain pens plus a surprise gift! Click Here for the official contest rules.

Enjoy the excerpt! I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you comment.




            “I’m not going to get this,” I said as I got to my feet. I’d never felt so frustrated in my life. Tiiram had started training me on what he considered the simplest of tasks—coaxing a flame into a fire pit.
            I wasn’t sure how this was supposed to be simple.
            “Take your time,” Elim said, smiling up at me from his seat beside the pit.
            Tiiram stood silently a few feet away, watching me. He’d hardly said a word, and yet he was supposed to be teaching me how to do this. I didn’t understand. He was the one who had pressured me to begin my training. Why was he refusing to teach me now?
            “Tell me what to do,” I said, my head aching in my frustration. Supposedly, Eiriol learned these things much faster than Coetir—but I needed to learn as quickly as possible. If I didn’t master this, Fari would go to the village on her own.
If that happened, knew people would notice her, and they would know she wasn’t from the village. They wouldn’t handle it well. Lionel would fear her.
            “You know what to do,” Tiiram replied. “You’ve seen it done before, have you not?”
            Part of me wanted to scream.
            Instead, I knelt beside the fire, my new dress being sullied once again by the ash around the pit, and I tried. My words were in basic, but they were just as strong in this realm as the Coetir tongue. I asked the embers to spread, to grow into flames—but instead of lighting, they put themselves out.
            “What am I doing wrong?” My eyes looked straight into Elim’s, and I blinked back tears. I hadn’t realized there were tears in my eyes until I looked at him.
            “You’re trying too hard,” he whispered. “Connect with the Vartes; ask for aid.”
            I sighed and my eyes shifted to Tiiram. He wasn’t even watching me. He was looking out into the woods, his body tensed. He was normally so open and warm that to see him nervous made my body tense along with his.
            In glancing to Elim, I saw that he’d done the same. He reached out over the fire pit and he took my hand. “Come,” he whispered.
            “What’s wrong?” My voice cracked, and the pain in my head got worse.
            He hushed me, and our feet silently moved over the dead leaves to join Tiiram.
            “What do you see?” Elim whispered, his voice coming out as the wind. “Beth ydych chi’n ei weld?”
           “Humans.” Tiiram pointed through the trees. “Bobl.”
           My eyes widened when I saw five human men walking through the trees. Their feet crunched on the leaves, and they broke branches that hung down into their path.
           They were all a part of the militia.
           My brother was among them.
           Tomas led the team, his eyes scanning the woods and somehow not even seeing us.
He’d styled his hair differently. I guessed that he hadn’t seen Raichel today—she’d never liked his hair like this.
            I tugged on Elim’s arm. “It’s my brother,” I whispered. “It’s Tomas.”
           “Quiet,” Elim breathed. “Tiiram will shield us.”
            I didn’t know what that meant. The humans—my brother among them—were coming straight toward us. There was no way we could avoid running into them if we didn’t move.
           Neither Tiiram nor Elim seemed nervous about it. They acted as though things like this happened every day.
           As Tomas drew closer, Tiiram whispered under his breath, words of the Coetir, and Elim’s fingers tightened around mine.
           It was, in that moment, as though everything slowed down. Tomas, Samyel, Will, Stepfen, and Paater stepped passed us and into the clearing. They each wore dark clothes, held a sword in their hands, and were adorned by many more weapons—weapons that I didn’t know anyone in the human village had access to anymore. But they didn’t seem to see us. They were focused on the fire pit, and the small amount of smoke that still emerged from the ash.
           “Someone was here,” Samyel said, sticking his hand into the pit. “You think it was them?”
           Tomas opened his mouth to reply, but as he did so the flames returned to the pit. I wasn’t sure if it was my doing or not, but I knew that it wasn’t supposed to happen.
           Samyel shouted in pain as the flames licked at his fingers, and he yanked his hand from the pit. Paater rushed to his side and clamped his fingers over Samyel’s mouth, quieting him, while the rest made a perimeter around them, looking out into the woods.
           “Eyes open,” Tomas said.
           Will helped Samyel to wrap his hand. The burns didn’t look so bad.
           I only hoped that it wasn’t my fault. No matter what, the humans were still a part of my life. I couldn’t give up on them. As an Eiriol, I would have to speak to them.
           “Go to the camp,” Tiiram whispered to Elim, his voice more like a breeze. “Ewch i’r gwersyll.” “I will lead them around the long way.” His eyes pierced into my brothers, but Tomas did not see. “Byddaf yn eu harwain o gwmpas y ffordd hir.”
           Elim nodded, and we walked away. Our feet made no sound—Tomas and his men had no idea that I was ever there. As soon as we were far enough away, Elim looked into my eyes, and I nodded. He released my hand, and we ran. 
            Adam was waiting for me on the edge of the camp, and Qida stood a few yards farther into the trees. She knew that something was wrong. Her stance reminded me of Tiiram—completely tensed, on edge, and ready to strike—only her stance was more vicious than his. She had no problem killing anyone to defend her home.
            I was beginning to understand how she felt.
           “The humans have entered the wood,” Elim said as we pulled up in front of her. “Tiiram is leading them here.”
            Raichel waited behind her father-in-law’s barn, the hood of her mantle pulled up over her head. She’d changed into a black gown, one with short cap sleeves and a low cut bodice, but one that she could use to keep herself hidden as soon as the sun went down—and it was about to do so. At her side, she’d strapped one of Tomas’s old weapons—the sword his father had given him when he retired from the militia. Tomas had been kind enough to teach her how to use it, when no one was watching, in the privacy of his father’s barn.
           Women weren’t supposed to learn things like sword fighting, but she’d insisted, and Tomas had relented. It was a power that she very much enjoyed holding over him.
By now, she’d been waiting here for hours. If anyone had seen her come here, they would’ve thought she’d left already. They wouldn’t have watched long enough to know that she was still here.
           She’d been planning this out all morning, though she hadn’t expected Tomas to insist that she stay home. She’d planned to go to Cirie’s home, talk her into faking an alibi, and leaving before Tomas returned—but this was even better. The shutters were left open and the door hung from only one hinge. People would think that someone had come for her. They wouldn’t suspect that she’d left of her own accord, or that she’d gone into the woods after her husband. Most of them didn’t even know that her husband was gone.
           Most of them wouldn’t care.
           The sun dipped low enough that she found herself in the shadow of the barn, and the shadow extended all the way to the woods.
           She gripped the sides of her mantle, and she walked into the woods. Her eyes never looked back. She never stopped to make sure no one saw. She only walked, her feet carrying her faster and faster until she reached the edge of the boundary, the point between the human and druid lands.
           “Tyrd, fy mhlentyn.” The words echoed all around her, and she found that as she stepped over the boundary, she understood what they meant. “Come, my child.”
           It didn’t make any sense. One moment, the words were complete gibberish. The next, they’d been comprehensible. It was about as logical as the fact that she’d woken up this morning with ears that sharpened to points.
           The druids had worked their magic, and she was going to find out what it was all about.
           The farther into the trees she walked, the darker the world around her became. Something about the woods made it darker faster than the valley—she hadn’t anticipated that. But she knew more than most about traversing grounds like these. She’d always been with the boys when she was a child. She knew how to climb a house in the dead of night—she could find her way to the druid camp without a problem.
           Her eyes focused on the bright firelight ahead of her, and she didn’t look back.
           There was no telling how far into the woods she was at this point, but she doubted that she could find her way back even if she wanted to. The people in her village had been ordered to dim their lights as soon as the sun went down—there would be nothing to guide her home.
           Strangely, though, she didn’t feel as though she was away from home. It was as though there was a presence, following her, showing her the way, guiding her through the brush.
           Her feet moved more slowly when she realized how close she was to a druid encampment—and how much noise she was making. Her feet had been crunching on dead leaves and naked branches for what seemed like hours, but couldn’t possibly have been.
           The druid camp was not far from their home.
           She stopped a few dozen yards away, secure in the knowledge that none of them had seen her as far as she knew. Unless one of them had guided her here, they wouldn’t have expected her.
           But as she watched them, she noticed the last thing she expected.
           Her husband and his team of men were stumbling their way through the trees, following one of the druid men.
           It was a strange thing, laying eyes on the druid. He was the first one she’d really seen. She hadn’t been there when the one had entered the village—she’d been preparing the evening meal, just as Tomas liked her to. But her husband had described the druids as beastly, as hideous and dangerous.
           What she saw was nothing of the sort.
           He had deep green skin, wore clothing similarly enough to theirs, and walked like one of them. His face and hair were different, but he in no way seemed frightening. He was nothing more than another species of humanoids—just like Ellya had always believed them to be.
           As Tomas and his men were ushered into the clearing just outside the village, she crouched down on her knees, trying to prevent anyone from seeing her.
           The sound that issued from all around her was enough to make her scream, but she crouched deeper into the thicket and covered her mouth. Her arms instinctively wrapped around the trunk of the nearest tree, and she waited to see what would happen.
           If they touched her husband, there would be hell to pay.

Mode = Edit

Happy Monday, everyone! Do you realize it's only a little over a week until Christmas? I hope you've all done your shopping and are super excited for the holidays! I know I am!

Still, this time of year isn't just about having fun and celebrating Christmas. There are a lot of things we try to get done in December, if only to make room for the multitude of things we needs to do in January.

That's what this post is about.

Well, sort of.

During this time of year it's common that I'll be editing. Why? Because usually I don't actually have time to write anything, but I can edit while I'm doing other things (though I don't recommend trying that if you're just starting out--it takes a lot of getting used to).

In essence, that's what this post is about.

Spot the crap, delete it, and move on

It's probably one of the most annoying and tedious things that every writer has to do. We have to edit. There's no maybes or buts about it. If you're a writer, at some point you will be editing.

But when you're just starting out, that's incredibly difficult to do.

So I've developed four simple points for you to follow (which are especially useful for those of you who just finished your first NaNoWriMo and are itching to start the process, now that you've had time to recoup):

1. Spot the crap

If you're a writer, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you're also a reader. If you're not that, then I can almost guarantee that you watch television.

This will help you.

You know those parts of books, shows, and movies, that you hate? If you spot one of those in your book, it's probably crap.

Repetitiveness, boring conversations, unneeded dialogue, unnecessarily long expositions, don't need to be there. Cut them down.

Especially for the beginnings of books and stories, we want to know more about what's going on now than the backstory. Fill us in on all of that later, in subtle clues left in the here and now.

2. Delete it

Sometimes that crap you've spotted doesn't just need to be trimmed, but fully deleted. True, this is very difficult if you absolutely love your story and don't want it to change, but here's the big secret:

Change is a good thing.

If you want your story to succeed, you'll have to get used to cutting scenes, characters, dialogues, plot points, the list goes on. I find the ctrl+F function to be quite useful when I'm going through things like this, because it helps you to find all the instances of something within a book.

(for example: look up how many times the phrase "I love you" is used in your book. If it's more than a dozen, you probably have some cutting to do)

3. Move on

This is the hardest part of editing.

Though we love our stories, though we want them to succeed and to be all that they can be, we have to be able to move on. No story is ever going to be perfect, and we have to learn to live with it.

There are typos in every major book released on the open market. There are. I've found them. Shakespeare had typos too. It's okay. We all forgive you. Many of us would even give you a hug and a pat on the back to help you on your way.

4. Remember...

It's not the end of the world if it doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to.

Stories rarely do.

Ideas mutate and change, and like I said before, it's a good thing. Stories become what they want to be, not what we want them to be.

We can't control what the story is going to be, any more than our feet can control the way our eyes are going to look.

Harsh truths, I know. I'm writing them down here to lay them on myself as well--because even stories that aren't so good, even chapters that I know are bad and need to be changed, still hold some special place in my heart.

We'll get through it together.

[love and tissue boxes]


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The "Plight" of the Starving Artist

I think all of us have a romantic vision of what it is like to be an artist or an author.

Something like this:

With a view like this:

And money enough

To be able to have hundreds of books and have an “inspiration nook” like this:

When really it looks a lot more like this:

Or if you’re lucky you’ll be able to pull a

But in the end, whether starving artist or a published hot shot, the fact is that


Because writing isn’t about the money, or cute lanes in Paris, or being able to look like this classy lady.

Writing is about the story inside of you or an unending passion for words. It’s about speaking what needs to be said, whether you need it at 2 am or the world needs it in bookstores around the globe. Writing is about crafting worlds and characters and spinning stories that save souls. Writing is all about an obsession to be better than one is, though we know that we may never reach that mountain top we so desperately desire. It’s about seeing our dark places and using the eyes of the world to shine a light there. It’s about taking the voices in your head and letting them thrive on the page. It’s about knowing that you are a tad bit insane and living with it. It’s about being courageous and proclaiming wherever you go, “I am a writer!” 

So in the end we leave a legacy.

And it doesn’t matter if we ever travel the world,

Or own a typewriter,

Or have a fluffy feline which will rest upon our shoulders,

Or sell a million books.

In fact in the end it doesn’t even matter if you ever get published or if people love what you write. In fact, the best authors of all time remained unpublished until long after their death and the reason was that they wrote ahead of their time. They wrote what the world needed to hear, but was shutting its ears to.

The world needs more writers like that.

The world is in need of many more dragons.

-Deanna Leah.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Now that the week is back in full swing, I couldn't think of anything better to share with you than... 

Life after NaNoWriMo

For most of us who take part in the event, NaNoWriMo is our whole life for the month of November. Then December is taken over by preparations for Christmas and the other major holidays, and many of us are so swept off our feet that we never get back to writing.

At least, that's what usually happens to me. In fact, it's what has happened to me. I've hardly written in a week, unless you count blog posts.

But it's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't count it as one.

Even writers need a break from time to time.

Trouble is, sometimes that break grows a little too long and lasts a whole year before we get back to it. That's what we want to avoid.

Like the meme says, productivity goes up after NaNoWriMo--but it always tends to be in things other than writing.

In order to avoid that, here are five things for you to do: 

  • Write whenever you get the chance, at least once a day
  • Write down ideas as they come to you
  • Don't put your other work to the side--get done what needs to be done when it needs doing
  • Read every chance you get
  • Never give up, even when you feel like it

If you can do that, if you can stick with it no matter what, you're golden. And it's a beautiful place to be. Trust me.

[love and chocolate]


Monday, December 8, 2014

Introverted and proud

Thanks again to all of you who were able to show up at Deanna Leah and my book signing last Friday! We had a blast!

After that, I couldn't think of anything better to do that to tell you all how much I love being an introvert.

This post isn't going to say much. I'll tell you that upfront. But what I am going to say is this:

In a world that praises the extrovert, it's time for the introverts to stand up our ourselves. Quietly, and in the background, of course.

This world needs us too, because we do a lot of the things the extroverts just can't bring themselves to do.

And we're smarter than they take us for. *wink*

Check this out if you'd like to know more:

Power to the Introvert

[love and Christmas cookies]


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Buckle Down

Since NaNoWriMo is in November, December often becomes a month of epic relaxation. At least, it's sometimes that way for writers.


Because after writing 50,000 words in one month, sometimes all we want to do is sit and do nothing.

And truthfully, sometimes that's exactly what we should be doing. Especially when all you want to do is edit the book you just wrote, because it's never a good idea to start editing right away.

Trust me on that.

But there are also some problems with taking that time to rest, because a lot of the time a month of rest quickly turns into a year of rest and we find ourselves right back in November again, forcing ourselves to write that same 50,000 words over again.

Let's not be like that. 

Instead, let's...

  • Be the writers who buckle down. 
  • Be brave enough to start new stories. 
  • Not be afraid of failure, because failure isn't an option. 
  • Not be afraid of bad drafts, because everyone has them. 
  • Be strong enough to keep going, even when we want to give up. 
  • Not fear the beast of editing. 
  • Not fear the time when we have to write two different stories on the same day. 

That's a real writer. That's a professional. That's what we're all striving to be, and it's what I want to see us all become.

I'm not there yet. A lot of you aren't either. But we can get there together, we can build each other up, and we can buckle down together to make sure none of us give up.

That's what I'd like to see.

[love and 21 days...]


Monday, December 1, 2014

Anytime, anywhere

It's finally happened.

NaNoWriMo is over.

Hopefully, at least some of you completed your stories. However, if you're like me, by this point you're thinking...

Why in the world is NaNoWriMo in one of the busiest months of the year?!

Don't worry, you're not alone in feeling that way. A lot of us wonder this every year. Yet we still take part in NaNoWriMo, because there's something special about it. I'm not even sure what that is.

But truth be told, it doesn't have to be NaNoWriMo for it to be NoWriMo.

Your novel could be written in any month. Maybe it would even be better if you wrote it during a month when you're not so busy.

In fact, I'd highly recommend that you don't take part in NaNoWriMo, and only take part in your own NoWriMo. As long as the words get on the page, as long as you do the writing that is begging to be done, you've succeeded.


NaNoWriMo isn't the only way to get a book written. 

It's a tool. It's a way for you to get started, something to help you learn how to get going.

But it's not the only thing to writing.

It can't be the only time of year when you write. If that's what your life has come to, then I suggest that you give up writing altogether.

The point is to write, to write often, and to finish what you start.

If you can do that, you can do anything. Take my word for it if you're not so sure. Or try it out, and find out how right I am.

[love and twenty-four days until Christmas!]

{Rani D.}