Next Up

Following up on my last blog post – No Time Like the Present – I’ve been tapping away on my laptop today.

I’m working on the rough draft of the second book in our Talon Family series. The working title is Winter Chase! and we are so excited to have it ready as a sequel to Tahosa Treasure.

Why is it that the first word is always the hardest to write? It is this intimidating, monster of a thing….taunting me, daring me to try to confine it to the page. That first word knows that it’s the flood gates: once it is on paper, the rest of the words pour out like a raging flood.

That first word is more than mere letters. It is a psychological battlefield, one I must win every time I put pen to paper or cursor to page.

The. That’s the first word. The great hulk that rose over me, telling me I better just give up now.

The day was perfect. That’s the first sentence. The psychological battle has been fought and won. All that for four words???

Yes. But four words that will now unleash paragraphs…and chapters…and a book.

No Time Like the Present

I posted this pic on our Facebook wall this morning. [Head on over and “like” us if you haven’t already!]

I found it floating around on Pinterest and couldn’t help but pin it (it’s actually a clock you can buy; I think it would fit great above my future writing desk 😉 ).

There is truly no time like the present. It will soon be gone. This moment that I have right now, how will I spend it?

I make up so many excuses not to write…it’s time I make up a list of excuse to write.

Here goes:

– I was born to write

– I have something to say

– I have a rough draft of the second book in the Talon Family Series due by the end of November

– I have an audience to reach

– I have the time

What are your excuses for not writing?

Now go ahead and replace them with a list of excuses for writing.

There’s no time like the present.

A Writing Desk

Some day I will have one. A desk where all I do is write.

Okay…and maybe read.

But I will read to write. And this desk will have only what I need to write.

It will face something that inspires me. Anything but a blank wall. It will face a window. Or photos that move me. Or perhaps this:

(credit here)

It would have a vase with flowers. Notepads and pens. My laptop. A photo of me and my love. And that’s about it.

This writing desk would be my place to think, to dream. And to move beyond thinking & dreaming to words.

Words written on paper. Words that contain part of my soul, breathing from the page.

Someday I will have my desk. But for now I will write anyways. Wherever, whenever and however I can.

I realize it’s the words that matter, after all. Not where they’re written from.

A Title Change: Tahosa Treasure

The editing phase is almost complete and we are very pleased with the final manuscript!

One big change that came out of the process is a new title. Tate’s editing team did some brainstorming and we did some brainstorming. I have to say that picking a title for a book is somewhat like naming a child. It seems like it should be easy…but it’s not.

In the end, we decided on Tahosa TresaureWe feel this represents our story well. 

So, that’s the title you’ll be seeing from now on when we refer to the book. It will also be the title to look for on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes & Noble once the book is released.

Next up: we can’t wait to see the cover design and layout for the manuscript take shape!

Phase #2: Developmental Editing

Our book, River of Despair, is now officially in Phase #2 of production. This phase is called Developmental Editing and lasts 2-3 months.

During the Developmental Editing Phase, the team at Tate Publishing meticulously combs our manuscript and sends us a detailed edit by the end of June. These edits will include ways to change, improve or strengthen River of Despair.

It’s our choice whether or not to apply the suggestions in the edit document. Tate does not make any changes; we make any changes and then send it back. Once Tate receives our changes, they apply them and send us the final draft for approval.

This first month, before we receive the edits, it will be fairly quiet. Earlier this week, we complete the Promotional Copy (also called the “Pro-Co”) for the back of our book. It’s basically like an ad for our book, drawing the reader [that’s you!] in and getting them excited about what’s inside.

At the end of the Developmental Phase, River of Despair will move on to the layout/design phase. We can’t wait to see how our book will actually look in print!

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Jedediah Smith: A Book Review

Title: Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West

Author: Dale L. Morgan

Number of Pages: 330

What is this book about?

Jedediah Smith was one of those restless Americans that eagerly went West. In 1822, at the age of twenty-three, he signed up as a member of a fur-trading venture. Ten years later he died alone at the hands of a Comanche war party.  During that time span, Smith discovered the South pass. He was the first to travel across the American frontier to California, over the Sierra Nevada. He was also the first to cross the vast breadth of the Great Basin and travel up the California coast to Oregon.

Why should you read this book?

Smith was a leader of men and a bold adventurer who is brought to life through the magnificent writing and thorough research of Morgan. If you spend time reading this amazing story, you won’t be disappointed.

Question: Have your read this book? If you have, what did you think?

4 Blog Posts to Inspire You [Take 2]

It’s time to gather some more inspiration from around the blogosphere. It’s been a few weeks since the last time.

Because some days are just hard writing days. Or dry. Or…nothing.

When the cursor just blinks at you. And there is nothing. And you need something.

Anything.

So, here are a few articles I’ve come across lately that I hope will inspire you as you write:

1. Because You Can on creating via Jasmine Star.

2. Five Things You Can Do – This Week – to Become a Better Writer via Writer’s Relief.

3. A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week via Copyblogger.

4. Fear Prohibits Ideas from Happening via Jeff Goins.

I hope these help. I hope they give you something.

Anything.

And I hope they inspire you to keep on writing!

Question: what’s been inspiring you lately? Link to it in the comments!

My Favorite Professor’s #1 Tip for Getting Published

Don’t wait to feel “good enough” to get published. Put yourself out there. Starting now.

That was the message my favorite professor communicated over and over again.

Actually, he never said a word about “being good enough” or “not being good enough.” He believed his students were writers. That was a writer. And that fact meant I should pursue publishing. Right away. No excuses.

He even made it a requirement in a couple of classes. I had to get at least one piece published during the semester as part of my grade.

I was terrified. Because I didn’t believe in myself or my writing as much as my professor did. He acted like it was a given.

“Don’t worry. Send your piece in. It will happen.”

Amidst my doubts, my fears and my insecurities,  I wrote. I sent in a piece. And – low and behold – my professor was right. I got published.

Not once. Not Twice. But multiple times. I was thrilled!

While I don’t think those doubts, fears or insecurities ever fully go away (I had them with our book), I will always remember my professor’s belief in me as a writer.

And his #1 tip for getting published: Put yourself out there. Starting now.

Question: Do you have doubts when it comes to getting published? If so, how have you pushed through them?

How I Started Writing

(It’s a little grainy…but it’s me)

When I was 11 years old I wrote my first book.

I honestly can’t even remember what it was about. Nor do I still have that first book. I wish I did. I’m sure it would provide plenty of entertainment on this side of things.

I do know that I poured my heart into that book (we’re talking a “book” that was 15 hand-written pages max). I was so proud of it. It felt like such an accomplishment.

It was written in pencil. On lined notebook paper. I’m pretty sure the main character was a girl. My age. My height. Like me. A girl who had dreams. A girl who wanted to go on grand adventures. And I’m pretty sure that girl loved to write, too.

So, that’s how I started writing. I might have kept a diary before then, but – if I did – I have no remembrance of it. I really have no remembrance of writing at all before my “book.”

I should have known then. What I was born to do. Write. Spill out my heart, my dreams, my ideas, my myriad of words onto an empty page. And not even worry if someone would ever read them. Or even want to.

When I was 11 years old, I wrote because I loved to write. Because I was born to write.

That’s how I want to write now. Not for an audience. Not worried whether someone will ever read the words I write. Or even want to.

I want to write just for the love of writing.

Question: How did you start writing?