New Year and a New …

I didn’t set any goals this past New Years eve. The main reason is that I normally set myself up for failure.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  So although I am not setting up goals for the entire year and expecting myself to meet them, I am going to set some monthly goals to keep me going.  They will all be achievable goals though.  So here it goes-

2015

For January:

1. I will finish my editing and get to the third draft of my current WIP.  I’ve posted a few snippets on facebook if you are interested.

2. I will wake up at the same time every morning and work until my short little dae-er, children wake up.  This could mean handling the day on a few hours of sleep.  I need consistency.  If it isn’t the best time, I will adjust it next month.

3.   I will find another freelance position. Web site design and resume writing is great, but I need one more source of income.  Any ideas?

4. My house will remain a shade better then last year.  I am going to set the goal of keeping the kitchen island cleaned off.  Sad goal I know.

 

And those folks are the goals i am setting for this month to try and improve my life. Did you do a new years resolution or do set mini goals for yourself throughout the year?

 

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Throw Back Thursday – When I Started to Write

When I first started to write I simply knew I would be the next big one. The next Stephanie Meyer or <Insert famous author>.  This wasn’t because my vampires sparked, because well, they didn’t.  No.  It was because I had something to say that would bring joy to people. Little did I know that the average it takes a person to get published isn’t exactly a fact, but it is founded on facts.  The average I last heard was 8 years.  Is that true today? I would say no.  Why?  Well now there is self-publication and therefore one more statistic.

Okay – enough depressing words.  So for fun. 

If you are a writer – what is the first thing you tried to publish?

If you are a reader – what have you thought of some authors new releases vs. their later releases?

 

Here is my embarrassment.  Mind you I started to seriously write during the vampire craze about 7 bad ideasyears ago.

Seventeen year old girl who is human, falls for a vampire that is a friend of her vampire family.  Yes – a human raised by vampires.  There’s some crazy vengeance from a few hundred years of feuds, some trips to Ireland and Italy.  Shopping in France.  A crush from a human boy – so a small love triangle.  Love struck girl is kidnapped, but don’t panic.  There is an over indulgent HEA – because all my stories are happily ever after.  The end!

You can laugh now 🙂

Fun Fact Friday – Georgie Tyler’s Warming Things Up

Georgie Profile PhotodbbIt’s cold here in Colorado. I can’t say its cold everywhere though. Georgie Tyler’s new release should thaw things out. Not only is her new release a romance set in the heat of a warm climate, the woman lives in a climate goldmine, Australia. Hey Georgie, feel free to send some warm thoughts our way. (… the book will warm your blood too.)

Georgie’s new release Doctors Beyond Borders, is unique and fresh.  I wanted to know what inspired such a cool plot. Take it away Georgie.

1. What inspired you to write Doctors Beyond Borders?

I admire people who leave their 1st world life to help others not so fortunate in the 3rd world. We read about them all the time in the news and in magazines. I wanted to make these people my main characters in DBB and along with developing a budding romance between the protagonists show the hardships and dangers they face being deployed to places like Sudan. Since I also supported children in Sudan through a charity, it was a no brainer to use this location as I had learnt quite a bit about it corresponding with my children and their families and from the charity itself. I’m also also convinced  I must have ventured into these sub-Saharan lands in a past life as they have always intrigued me. I’ve got a bit of a Lawrence of Arabia thing going on and think the music score to that film is one of the best ever!

2. Who is the character in your story that originally inspired the story?

It would have to be one of the boys my heroine, Ariadne sponsors before she embarks on her journey to Sudan as a volunteer Doctor for medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF). It’s remarkable how a story can stem from just one small idea and flourish into a whole book.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

At my desk. It’s just a nook facing a large window allowing me to gaze at the evergreen treetops of the National Forest across the road. It’s a messy desk most of the time which can be aggravating, especially when I’m looking for something buried under a wad of papers and folders! But I read a quote from Albert Einstein once and I don’t care how messy it is anymore. He said;

‘If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?’s Beyond Borders

And if you think my desk is cluttered you should take a look at what’s going on in my head!  Having said that, it does get a tidy up once in a while!

Thanks for having me Michelle!

Doctors Beyond Borders

She’s about to find out that nothing is fair when it comes to war except perhaps, the healing power of love.

When Ariadne Tate takes a deployment to Sudan with a medical aid organisation, romance is the last thing on her mind…but Dr Ford Gosden puts a glitch in her plans. Too damn attractive for his own good and a thoroughly nice guy, Ford slowly seeps under Ariadne’s skin.

But Sudan is not a stable place to form a relationship, and as political tension escalates in the region, Ariadne has no choice but to focus on her job and her safety. Under the protection of a UN convoy, she heads out into the war-torn countryside — and the unthinkable happens. Captured and held hostage by a renegade with no chance of escape, Ariadne’s hope for a new life with the man she loves begins to fade and the fight for her life begins.

Excerpt

When the hell were you going to tell me about this? Ford threw the piece of paper across the desk.

Ariadne bit the inside of her lip. She looked at her R&R leave glaring at her in black print. She took a deep breath and braced herself. I was going to tell you this week. Her voice was cool and steady.

He leaned down, his hands grabbing the sides of the desk. Everyone else seems to know. His lips were pulled tight across his teeth.

Ariadne gulped hard. I meant to tell you but I haven’t seen you much. She couldn’t look at him.

You saw me last night, he snarled.

Her eyes looked up. His face was scorched with anger.

It started to rub off on her. He could go to hell. Bursting into the office, demanding to know every move she made? It was because of him that she contrived this ridiculous strategy of working her guts out so she could avoid them fucking like a couple of rabbits.

What do you want me to do about it? It’s okay if I have to watch you leave and be left here in this hellhole. But when I decide to leave before you, you don’t like it. She tried to keep her voice even but knew she sounded like a petulant child.

He pushed himself off the desk, his eyes never leaving hers. They softened, saddened. I decided I was only going home for two weeks to sort some things out, then I planned to come back for your last couple of weeks here and then I thought I might visit Sydney…I’ve never been. The anger in his eyes had dissipated completely, now replaced by a deep-seated hurt.

Ariadne’s lips parted. Pangs of guilt stabbed at her and his stare slashed her to pieces. He was going to come to Sydney? She started to tremble. He wanted to come to Sydney with me? She felt the heat of tears searing her eyes. Her bottom lip began to quiver as he turned and strode out of the office. Alone and bereft, she dropped her head into her arms and sobbed.

About the Author:

Georgie Tyler lives on Sydney’s leafy North Shore with her husband and three children. After years of being a stay-at-home mum she decided to branch out and return to university to study teaching and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. When she’s not teaching or writing she likes to watch movies, catch up with family and friends, and has been known to dally on social media.

Guilty – I Watch Terrible Movies

Anyone really embarrassed to admit they watch a movie or series?  I think a lot of people felt that way about Twilight – if you were over the age of 14 anyway. Well for me, my new guilty pleasuresteps are the terrible – and I MEAN TERRIBLE, Step Up Movies.  The plots are awful, well sub-par. The motives are weak and character development is far from well done.  So why do I watch them?  I love the music, the dancing, and the idea that it gets me off the couch to dance with my kids.  Plus, if you watch something mindless that has more music then dialogue you can actually multitask easily.

 Well, I did it.  I got that weight off my chest.  Phew. I feel so much better.

 So what is something you’ve watched recently that made you scratch your head and wonder, what the heck am I doing?

Thoughtful Tuesday – Anyone Can Cook

Anyone else like the movie Ratatouille?  I love the saying “Anyone can cook.”  That doesn’t mean I am taking up being a chef, although I did just get laid off and am looking into a career change.

What I like about it, is that it says that anyone can be anything and come from anywhere.  Not everyone is great at everything, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So for those that feel like you aren’t sure that you are cut out for something, ask your heart.  If you love it, then put the effort in and don’t listen to the doubters.  Learn from criticism and failure, improve and grow.

Just because a writer, or cook, or astronaut can come from anywhere doesn’t mean that we don’t have to listen to those around us in order to succeed.

On a lighter note – do you sometimes want to take your ideas and run with them? I mean literally run with them and throw them out the window?  Well here’s a little photo to make you smile.

disney-graphics-ratatouille-497413

Thoughful Tuesday – Advice or Opinion?

When is it advice based on fact vs. an opinion from your own little mind?  There are a zillion books on writing, editing, and selling. Don’t stop there. Look at all the parenting books and books on finding your soul mate.  So out of all these books which ones are really helpful and which are simply a string of opinions that worked for one person. We are not cookie cutter. Just because Author A got published without editing a single word doesn’t mean Author B can do the same. Just because your child responds to time outs doesn’t mean that another child will. Now the book/movie, He’s Just Not that into You, might actually have some legs to stand on.

He's Just notWhat self-help or instructional books do you rely on? Writing, parenting, dating or otherwise. I personally like Dr. Sears books for child rearing and my own personal gut of course. I have yet to find a query letter book that is perfect, but The Guide to Query Letter’s isn’t bad. The Element of Style for basic grammar isn’t all that bad either – are there better?  I guess it depends on who you ask.

Thoughtful Tuesday – Perspective

Looking at my new baby, I can’t believe how tiny he is. Apparently though at 8 lbs he isn’t as tiny as I see him-according to nurses. I say pooh to that though. Compared to a toddler he is small. Was my daughter ever this little?

It’s all in perspective though, isn’t it? I guess this goes for anyone who’s ever questioned if they were good at something or even bad at something. Was a book written well or just a good story? Is it hard to write and raise kids and have a job? I think like most things, if you are in the situation you see it all as doable, even if you are struggling.

Have you ever taken a step back from something to decide if your perspective needed an adjustment? If not, sometimes it might be a good idea to try.

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Thoughtful Tuesday – Every Car is the Right Car

Have you ever met someone, noticed their car, and promptly decided any car that looks like that car is their car? What I mean is- now that you know your boss drives a red jeep you now think any time you see a red jeep he must be there. You are now the weird person taking a glance just to make sure it is indeed not your boss.

Maybe you aren’t that person. If you aren’t, then don’t judge. I am a visual person and for some reason this is an odd habit I have developed. Let’s take my husband’s car for instance. He drove a red Ford Escape. Every time I saw another red SUV I’d have to check and make sure it wasn’t him. Wouldn’t I have been surprised has one day it been him. Otherwise it is just an odd thing I do.car

Anyone else do this or have an odd habit that they are almost too embarrassed to admit to? I think quirks like this can make for some great moments in books.

The Editor and the Author – Round Two of Re-writes

What did you expect after the contract was sighed?  Did you think you would get line by line edits and be ready to go?  Because I have known a few authors I had a little more of a realistic idea of how things would go.  Although each editor has their own approach.edits

The first round of edits worked out a major plot issue that needed to be addressed to make the story satisfying for readers.  Now on to the second round of edits.

The second round of edits are still rewrites, but a lot less substantial then possibly having to change a major plot point.  My editor is great at giving leading advice.  She steers you in the direction that makes the most sense while still allowing for my own creative voice.  Once my story is published I will give specific examples, but for now I feel the need to be general in a specific sort of way.

Some example comments:

 “Here is another place to be very specific.”  What I learned from this statement, is that even though word count matters, don’t skimp.  People actually do care about specifics.  I always hate when authors go into random details that have no bearing on the story.  What I failed to realize is that a characters past love interests matter, even if just a one liner; generalization of “all his past girlfriends” may not cut it. My change now says ‘the girl who expected him to change everything, or the girl who refused to visit him in the hospital, and the list goes on and on.’ Or close to that. This actually falls under show vs tell.

“Here is sounds like they actually were dating because you use the word date.”  Although in my mind the word date doesn’t mean to actually date, it does give off the impression doesn’t it? Word choices are huge.  If you don’t want someone to get the wrong idea, stop and think.  What was it they were actually doing and describe the action.  In my case they weren’t on a coffee date, they were meeting up for hot cocoa– the closest they could ever get to a date.

“This is a huge moment and deserves more dialogue.”  Another show vs tell situation. That moment in your book that is a catalyst or the turning point, something huge, shouldn’t be all internal monologue.  Yes, we care about their feelings, but show this through dialogue or action vs. feeling.

“Great place for a new chapter.”  Obviously means start a new chapter – the why?  It gives more emphasis to the major milestone before it.

“Heroines don’t use the word retarded.” This was not meant in an non PC way.  I used this word instead of profanity.  I should have stuck with simple and said “jerk”.  When putting words in your characters mouths – yes they need to fit the character, but check who your audience is.

“Why didn’t you type out the email?”  I had an email in my story.  Why didn’t I type it out? Word count really.  That and now I have to actually figure out how to make it that the supporting character isn’t hated, but the heroine is still crushed.  Oh bugger!

And yes, the list goes on and on.  But the good news is, most of these can be fixed with a word change or an addition to a sentence or two.  There are only a few changes that suggest building the world a bit more –but also not a hard change here and there.

So again what did you expect when you signed the contract OR when you get a contract would you have thought that there could be multiple rewrites before detailed edits started?