Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Retro Blog: Resolved to Battle the Demons of Fear and Doubt (first aired 1/9/12)

Feeling low? Been rejected again? Feel like giving up? Don't! Here's a retro blog from January 2012. I almost quit. Read and see how I conquered the Demons of Fear and Doubt to find the will to keep on trucking.

January 2012:

Usually when I say I will embrace positivity and all things light and wonderful a serious case of doubt, fear and anxiety follows. Despite knowing that the universe will challenge my resolve, I continue to state my desire to be positive and conquer the beast.

Why? Why do I risk this battle? This battle which will call into question my belief in myself and my drive and my hopes and my dreams?

I wish I had the answer, but I don't. I just know that I do enter into these battles almost as right of passage. It's as if I must call into question my resolve to succeed in order to prove to myself that I will not let the dark days kill my passion for writing and crafting books.

The Physicist has wisely learned to nod and say nothing when I wage these wars. I will be honest here: I'm not quiet about it. My CPs have learned to let me rant a bit and nod their heads then say it is the nature of the beast. My beast, my achilles heel is my impatience.

I am not patient. I like answers, results, follow through information in a timely manner. That being said, the flip side of this is that I provide all the above in a timely manner. I am fast, efficient, organized, driven, reliable, committed to giving my best. So if you hire me, you'll get a great worker. Or writer (hello? publishing world? can you hear me now?). Give me a deadline and I will meet it barring death or major catastrophe.

Trust me on this. I won't let you down.

But the writing world doesn't operate on Christine Time. It operates on a time wheel which I have yet to understand. I don't like this time wheel. It's maddening to me. And waiting. Oh, the endless waiting and waiting and waiting drives me insane.

Over the weekend--after embracing positivity--I had a huge meltdown over it. By Sunday I was ready to QUIT. Yes. QUIT. Seven plus years--four of them extremely high paced--of shooting for the stars, the moon, the sun. Countless dollars spent on conferences, contests, classes, workshops, membership dues, travel, proper clothing, paper, pens, office equipment, gas, hotels, postage. Hours upon hours slaving over stories that might never be read.

It all seemed like a grand waste of my time on Sunday. I ranted about my frustration. My beasts of fear and doubt raging through me and out of me in great bursts. I rebelled. I began shopping on-line. I went to stores and looked at pillows. I did anything BUT the writing.

The Physicist just nodded. He didn't try to fix it (good man that Physicist). The CPs just texted me with little one liners and LOLs and gentle reminders about how I can't control anything but the writing and submitting. And then I came to meet myself in the mirror of all my angst and anger and anxiety.

And I said to myself, OK, you've hit the lowest point. Now what? Well, there's nothing else for me folks.

I have to write. I can't not write. I want to win. I will find a new way to achieve my goals while continuing to work on the manuscripts. I will surround myself with positive, loving, understanding people who GET ME and MY DREAMS. I will not give up despite my weaknesses as a person and a writer.

I do embrace positivity. I also embrace the fact that sometimes I will need more than my own will to get through the dark days. I will need my friends and my support system in place.

Surround yourself with people who support you. Don't just embrace positivity. Embrace people who can be positive FOR YOU.

January 2014:

Guess what? The last three paragraphs will always be true. Never give up. Never surrender. Don't quit. Because if you do, you reject yourself!

And if I had quit? I wouldn't have had the thrill of signing my first ever publishing contract to Entangled Publishing in May 2014.

Once again because it can't be said enough:

Surround yourself with people who support you. Don't just embrace positivity. Embrace people who can be positive FOR YOU.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CP Shenanigans: Pam Mantovani in the House!

I would not be where I am today as a writer if it weren't for my incredible relationship with Pam Mantovani. She's more than a critique partner, she's a friend dear to my heart. I've got other amazing writing friends and readers, but Pam is my primary partner in writing crime.

We met through the Georgia Romance Writers of America Moonlight & Magnolias Maggie Contest, which she chaired in 2009. I called to ask for help with their first ever online form and the rest is history. One Maggie final and five years later and we're sharing an incredible writing partnership.

Pam arrives today for one of our super charged critique partner weekends. We'll write, brainstorm, muddle our way through understanding technology together, and do it all over again. Three days to work together and encourage each other is a gift of time that I cherish. I only wish we could meet more often.

The key to a great critique partnership isn't just ability or talent, it's TRUST. I trust Pam Mantovani with my stories, the heart that I pour into them, and with ME. All of my vulnerabilities, highs and lows as a writer are entrusted to her.

This is where being a writer has been such a blessing to me. The friendships I've made with other like-minded souls. And Pam is one in a million.

Best of all, we get to share the "we sold" dream together. Pam Mantovani's debut novel COWBOY ON HER DOORSTEP releases from Belle Books in July 2014. If you love cowboys and romance, you'll love her story. Trust me. I've read it.

Are you in a critique partnership? If you're not a writer, who would you consider your best partner in fun and crime?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

From My Pinterest Recipe Board: Tried It and Liked It

I love Pinterest. It's like scrapbooking without all the stickers and hole punches (but I still love to think about scrapbooking). My hero and heroine and romance boards give me plenty of inspiration for my stories. Sometimes when I'm stuck during a first draft issue, I go to my story boards and that helps unglue the plot mess and get me pumped to go forward.

But sometimes I just get deliciously lost in the amazing recipes that I find on Pinterest. I have a recipe board and I'm determined to make more of the recipes this year. If I try it and I like it, I'll share it with you!

Here's this month's selection from My Pinterest Recipe Board:

Roasted Garlic Lemony Broccoli


2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
2 tsp. extra virgin oil (I probably used a tad more)
1 tsp. sea salt/coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 clove garlic minced
grated parmesan cheese (not the fine kind--this is a combination of two recipes so do with it what you will)
freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half to one lemon depending on how much broccoli you have)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper till coated.

3. Bake on cookie sheet (I cover mine with foil and spray with Olive Oil cooking spray first) until florets are tender enough to pierce stems with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving bowl (or not--I don't). Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli and sprinkle with parmesan) then serve.

This is really good stuff. I've made it many times for the Physicist and the College Kid. I consider this  a "Company's Coming to Dinner" dish.

Try it. You might like it.

And follow me on Pinterest to see who I think makes the perfect hero!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Entangled Publishing is 3: Celebrate all Month

My publisher is celebrating it's third birthday!! Happy Birthday to Entangled Publishing. And my category line, INDULGENCE is celebrating it's 3rd Birthday as well.

Join the party!

And all month long you can buy any Entangled Publishing book for .99 cents!! That's a great deal.

I'm new to the Entangled family and proud to be part of this big birthday bash.