Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Five: Five of My Favorite Ways to Cool Off

The thermometer is rising and will continue to do so at least through the weekend so I'm looking for ways to bring my body temp down. What's a girl to do? Well, here are a few of my favorite cool-down remedies:

1. Ralph's Italian Ices Yeah, I'm addicted. Weight-conscious, I stick with the water ices, but the other menu items look really tempting.
2. Mio These water enhancers are perfect because you can use as little or as much as you need. I'm a mango peach fan myself.
3. Swimming. Thank God for the pool in my backyard!
4. Shopping. Hey! There's plenty of air conditioning at the mall.
5. Slurpees. With a 7-11 around the block, there's always time for a Slurpee.

What do you do to beat the heat?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Discipline Is Your Friend

By and large, writers are not the flighty, head-in-the-clouds, dimwit with a heart of gold or its polar opposite, the anti-social curmudgeon, often portrayed in movies or television (think Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone and Marvin Udall of As Good As It Gets). Writers are people, too. And there are the ones destined for success as well as the ones who'll never get beyond the threshold of the publishing door.

One of the key differences between successful writers and unsuccessful writers is DISCIPLINE: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer. (Courtesy of and I swear I didn't tweak that example sentence at all!)

But it's about more than showing up at the keyboard every day. It's about finishing what you start (a diatribe I've previously discussed in this feature), picking yourself up when the rejections knock you down, showing up where you've promised to be, and meeting deadlines on time. How can you do all this? Here are a few tips:

1. Be organized, be efficient. Use a calendar, datebook, notepad, parrot, whatever works for you to stay on top of things.
2. Educate yourself about all aspects of the business. Research is and always has been a writer's best friend.
3. Twitter and Facebook can be great promotional tools, but don't let them steal your creativity or suck up too much of your time.
4. Stop procrastinating. Just because something is due by the first of the month doesn't mean you can't finish it much earlier and submit it when it's done rather than waiting. (This will free up your time to tackle other projects so you're never running behind.)
5. Don't sacrifice your honor to get ahead.
6. Envy is a wasted emotion. Forget about that other writer who, even though she doesn't have half your talent, just signed a three-book deal. Focus on your work.
7. Don't quit. See that project through to the end before starting something new. Even if you think it sucks, finish it.
8. Be willing to sacrifice. Writing requires time, money, and effort. Playtime can't come before worktime.
9. Find a process that works for you and stick with it. Stop buying and reading how-to books. Too much advice can water down your own spark. Don't let others dilute your unique voice to boring pap. Take what you need and ditch the rest.
10. Know when to let go. You can edit a book into oblivion. For every writer, there comes a point in time where you must say, "There. I'm done." and move on. Don't keep trying to improve. Start something new.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Five: Five Things on My Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? The things you want to do before you die? To be honest, I don't have a physical list, but I do have a few goals I want to reach in the future. Here's a few of those things for me:

1. Skydive. Crazy? Maybe. But I've been dying (hmm...forgive the pun) to try it for years. This year, I convinced the hubster to jump with me. It's my birthday present. And I can't wait!

2. Dance at my kids' weddings. Since they're 20 and 14, I've got time (and so do they.)

3. See a Hawaiian sunset. That's next year's vacation, to help hubby and I celebrate 25 years of marriage and our 50th birthdays in one fell swoop.

4. Hold my grandchildren. See #2. They have lots of time. Really!

5. Hit the NY Times bestseller list. Well, you knew I'd have that on the list, didn't you?

What's on your list?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Five: Five Reasons I Haven't Blogged Lately

Yeah, I've been remiss in my blogging duties lately and I'm sorry. But here's a few reasons why:

1. RWA National. It was wild and crazy and ohmigod, the good news I received on soooo many fronts (no, I ain't talking yet. You'll have to wait). I barely spent any time at all in my room--even sleeping was about 5 hours a night.

2. RWA National Part II. Did you know the cost of internet service in the hotel rooms was $17.95 a day?! Yikes. And I can't forget to mention my $23 margarita.

3. RWA National Part III. Okay, so I just mentioned that internet cost. I paid for it anyway for a couple of days. Then I wrote this terrific post, really detailed, for last week's Mid-Week Rude Awakening and when I clicked "Publish" my Blogger went down. And stayed down for the next twelve hours, requiring another $17.95 and a whole rewrite to post that topic. Eventually, I'll rewrite it, but from home where it's free.

4. RWA National Part IV. I met with several agents, and one in particular gave me an aha moment for the book I'm shopping around. Since she wanted to see this story within 7 days of meeting me, I've spent the last few days adding this new dimension. (For the record, the improved masterpiece was sent on Wednesday.)

5. RWA National Part V. Along with the aha moment for my current completed work, I absorbed enough energy to mentally map the next book I'll be writing. Chapter 1 begins the journey from brain to paper this week. Yay!

So...what have you been up to?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Photos from RWA National

I'm finally home and couldn't wait to download some of the photos from this week. Enjoy!

First, the Literacy Signing, where we raised more than $46,000 for Pro Literacy!

Not a bad night's work, huh? But signing works up an appetite so a quick stroll through Times Square...

...and we found ourselves in a wonderful place called Maria Pia:

The following morning a few of the Avalon Authors met for breakfast at Junior's (on the left in pale pink: Shirley Marks, seated in the center in black: Carolyn Hughey, and on the right: Carolyn Brown)
Later in the afternoon, Avalon editor Lia Brown raffled off several books at the Avalon Spotlight: take a look at what some lucky attendees took home!

After the RITA/GH ceremony, we headed to Junior's for some celebratory munchies.
 Now, we wait until next year to do it all over again!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: