Tag Archives: writer

The NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag!

I found this tag and wanted to take part so I’m doing did just that. It seems you’re supposed to be tagged for it, but I wasn’t, but the creator of this Sophie’s Corner. So she’s to be credited for my involvement despite not being tagged to do so.

The following are the questions she’s asking everyone to answer to give readers and other participatants a better idea of what you’ll be working on for the month of November.

I’m still new to blogging and the people I know taking part aren’t bloggers so I really don’t know how to tag them.


Give me a blurb!

Ely’s family has been indebted to an immortal for generations. Upon the death of his brother his niece, Temperance, comes to live with him. This places her within reach of a killer, the vampire Jacques Germain.

What’s the genre?

Horror, supernatural

Describe your MC in three words.

  • Ely – Broken, caring, and workaholic
  • Temperance – Beautiful, smart, curious

Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.

  • Jacques – Sexy, dangerous, opportunist

What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)

A minimum of 50k

Is this your first draft? Second? Third?

First draft.

Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?

Brand new project

What is your favourite time to write in the day?

Nighttime.

Where are you going to write?

Mostly in my office.

Computer or paper?

Computer and my notebook. I’m also using Scrivener to keep organized.

NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?

I’m dividing my time between other obligations and this event.

Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)

No. I am doing this tag. I’m also going to blog my progress weekly.

Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?

I tend to begin with the beginning working toward the end, but if I get stuck I’ll skip forward to progress on my goal and then work around until the draft is done.

Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)

This project is making me a planner. I’m usually a plantser by nature though.

What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?

Not sure, probably whatever is in the pantry that’s quick.

Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)

Coffee or honey infused tea.

Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?

I usually reward myself when a job is completed.

Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!

All I can share is what has been shared with me.

  • Don’t give up.
  • Try your best to make your daily goals.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself, so take breaks.

How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)

Excited!

Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!

The Word: My Balancing Act – Scheduled Chaos w/6 Tips

I’m a work-from-home mother. I have been for more than five years now. I have been a writer in various forms, graphic artist, formatter, mentor, blogger, and done whatever I had to do to help my family using my God-given talents. I’m a survivor, love my family, and do what it takes to remain anything but a burden. I’ve paid my taxes and continued to do the best with what I got. With all that I do every day it certain has become a balancing act. Years ago, I posted my schedule that I knew at that time with timeslots included. Of course, this was a flexible schedule that always changed day to day or even week to week.

I’ve been asked in the past how I handle everything. That was part of the inspiration for the original Facebook share of my schedule in truth. I’m always curious how other parents handle their schedules with working from home as well. I’m in awe of others making it work too. Some days it feels like I’m spinning too many plates waiting for them to crash down upon my head with a miracle they haven’t yet. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and we’re a team. He understands I’m scheduling the chaos and I know he appreciates all my efforts. My Mother’s Day gift is usually a hug from my son and a ‘thank you for all you do’. Which means so much. It feels good to be appreciated.

I am my family’s secretary. I handle it all. I am the one answering the phone calls, making the meetings, scheduling the appointments, and working. I spend long hours at the computer and on phone handling calls. I am not sure if my restless nights due from my insomnia help me, but it gives me something to do when I can’t sleep. I take in consideration the dates and times of everything. When things just simply cannot be done and when things simply need to be handled. These help me in devising the scheduling.

The most important things to me for scheduling are that of what my family needs coming first. When things end, begin, when things are due. After knowing those things are handled, I start filling in the gaps with other things like my work hours. I take my working, graphics and writing, seriously so I schedule them as a any other job would. I give myself x-number of hours with breaks included. I am an agenda planner queen since high school.


An example of my schedule without insomnia

  • 6am – wake up
  • 6-7am – breakfast
  • 7-8am – check emails/phone calls/social media
  • 8-9am – cleaning/check social media/work begins
  • 9am-12pm – work/chores/answer any incoming emails/calls/social media
  • 12pm-12:30pm –lunch/chores
  • 12:30pm –2:50– handle more chores if any/work
  • 3pm – 3:30pm – finishing up anything that hasn’t been done earlier in the day
  • 3:30pm-4pm – another break/begin dinner arranging/finish up work for day
  • 4pm-5pm – catch up with spouse/check mail/deal with social media again
  • 6-10:30pm – family time

Coffee is happening throughout my day. If I have deadlines, I tend to drink more coffee.

Now if my insomnia has flared up most of the chores, emails, and online things have been handled in the middle of the night. For example, my blogging happens most at night. I have even been known to get a lot of work done in these quiet hours as my family sleeps. Work can consist of anything from writing to graphics and anything in-between.

My advice is balancing what’s important. Schedule time for your writing when you can. I’m not saying you won’t be tired. I’m also not saying that you must follow in my footsteps the way I do things, it’s what works for me and may not work for you. I know may freelancers, like me, work a day job along with freelance. More power to you and you have me in awe. Freelancing is my day job, my night job, and my whenever I have time job.

Tips I recommend:

  1. Loyally keep a calendar or agenda book to write down everything and keep dates organized.
  2. Prioritize what’s have to, need to, and want to do’s.
  3. Stick to your schedule as best you can daily, but don’t restrict yourself so much if emergencies happen you can’t recover when you’re able to return to the schedule.
  4. Set goals. Make a word count or page count, whatever it is you can handle and meet it. Even if it’s as small as just a few sentences or words. Something is better than nothing and it all keeps moving forward.
  5. Don’t be hard on yourself if you drop one of the balls you’re juggling. It happens to everyone. Remember to pick yourself back up and keep juggling along.
  6. Do not burn yourself out. Schedule yourself breaks. Too much time at a computer is bad for you. Take a walk, read a book, or even take a nap.

The Word: Working While Traveling – Convention Prep Advice, Tips, Item Reminders, and First Timer Help

I’m sure many of you have traveled because you’ve published a book. You must do signings, conventions, and appearances to help push your products to audiences and hopefully gain some new readers at the same time. I have done events in the past, probably more, but the biggest worry I had was how to prepare. What should I have with me? What would I need? How can I make sure I’m as ready as possible.The questions can mount quickly, especially for a someone doing their first event. Here are some tips to help you accomplish an event prep.

Plan Ahead

Before packing I highly recommend making an inventory list of everything that you can mark off as you’re packing. A single convention can take months to prepare for. Buying copies of your book, merch, and everything you’ll need to simply take with you.

Also before you start packing I recommend checking out the hotel’s website. See what they offer you, look closely at the rooms’ pictures on the website to get a good feel for what you may need. I brought my own coffee after finding out the coffee wasn’t very good or strong once.

Know your event’s schedule, what you will have to pay out of pocket for (like parking), and addresses to put into your GPS device.

Be Santa Clause

  • Make a itemized list of everything you’ll be taking, every item of clothing to every tiny piece of merch. You’ll be checking it twice if not three times.

Luggage

  • There’s a saying that the more totes, the bigger the truck, or if there’s a trailer behind a vehicle the bigger the vendor. From what I’ve witness it’s true. The more you have to pack the more you’ll use to haul the luggage and bins around.

Recommended Items to Pack/Don’t Forget

  • Three outfits per day. Some may call this much, but you never know what could happen. Hate to be the person walking around with the breakfast spill on your shirt all day. You’ll need one for event and if you feel like you need to change before dinner it’s best to have something different. Vendors sometimes have dinner together after a day of convention work.
  • Big bins are your best friend.
  • If you’re going to a convention or signing event in another state, the best advice I ever was given was to take no less than 50 of the first in a series with 25 or 30 copies of the rest of the books in the series. 50 copies of every other book you plan on taking with you. You may not sell everything or anything, but the best plan is plan to have more than you need just in case.
  • Take a laptop, its cords, its charger, and anything you need to have that laptop function. Whether its to play a book trailer on it, for someone to shop online for a book you may not have, or for you to use a laptop is key.
  • Bring a power strip. Sometimes you’re only given an outlet near your table, a power strip is the best thing to maximize its usages. Do remember not all places will provide power for your space, but if they do this is a must have.
  • Make sure you have a folding table. Some places will provide a table for you, but most of the time no. Make sure you take your table as a back-up.
  • Remember your ‘swag’ or your merch. Either to sell or to give out.
  • Don’t forget your tablecloth and/or signage. If you have a table cloth to fit the above mentioned table, great! Sometimes you don’t need it, but it’s always to get one. Sometimes the tables, if they supply, are rough and you want to make your spot ideal as possible. Signage is great to tell who you are, what you’re selling, or where they can get freebies! Also a table cloth is real handy in hiding any big blue colorful totes you used to haul your items indoors before the convention or signing began.
  • Bring display cases or book stands! This is option depending on what you want your space to look like. Shelving helps hold many items, especially if you have a lot of things and a small bit of space up front. A table can have books laying down on them, but a stand that’s upright can beautifully showcase your work.
  • Bring your business cards and their holder!
  • Phone and charger.
  • I’ve been told 50-100 petty cash, lock box for your money, a receipt book, and whatever device you need to make online sales through your phone or laptop.
  • Any table decoration you want to liven up your book displays, hold your swag on, and things that draw attention.

It seems like a lot, good because it is. Over time it’ll be routine though. You’ll be alright.


Quick Reminder Tips/Final Advice

What I did before traveling was to pre-pack everything in my tote and bags. This gave me a good idea how much room I was going to need before packing my vehicle. It also allowed me to head out first thing in the morning without worrying. First timers may not have much, I had a single tote once with two suitcases that held my clothing and my important items.

Remember as you’re packing to mark off your itemized inventory list (the thing mentioned earlier before the list here) and don’t get rid of it, pack it too. When you go to pack up to go home you will then have the list of everything you packed and reuse it as a checklist to make sure you pack everything up and nothing is left behind.

My first convention I ended up taking my table, one big blue tote with everything in it, two large bags of clothing (my husband/helper came with me) my laptop, and all my other items. I did an event locally to raise money for a school nearby. Took my tote, table, tablecloth, and all the books and items I had at the time. I also asked other indies to send me some of the swag they give out for free so I could help them spread the word locally.

After the event ended I got some sleep, and then was up again working on a story in the middle of the night ignoring the sounds from the hallway. I was posting on my social media through my laptop since I didn’t have a better phone at the time. As my husband was driving I also caught some more sleep.

Some authors give out candy, I don’t recommend it. I have talked to me that tried this and discovered that people would come up to grab the candy and keep going. It brings people to the table, yes, but not to stay, not to buy, and not to talk for longer than it takes to get themselves a few pieces. I’m sure some would disagree with me on this though.


Worried how to get hold of some of the items mentioned, like swag items? Don’t worry I’ll be doing another post about swag/merch help.

Did this piece help you? Let me know in the comments! I knew this was something I was going to eventually post. I haven’t done many events, but this mainly what I do, advice I’ve been given and practiced, and recommend. Got a piece of advice I forgot?Let me know!