JuNoWriMo Has Started

Are you in?

For those that aren’t aware, JuNoWriMo is a 50,000-word writing challenge in June. It’s not nearly as strict as NaNoWriMo, and it’s a little better placed in the year. No major holidays and the kids get out of school if they aren’t already. Which depending on the age of your children, may or may not be a good thing!

I do it every year, though I have yet to reach the 50,000 goal. Haven’t won a NaNo at all, in fact. But I try every time one comes around. The only downside to JuNoWriMo is that it is back to back with Camp NaNoWriMo in July. And July is hard for me, as Reverse SAD kicks in around the 4th…and often has me out til September/October.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Which stinks, because I love summer.  About the only time of year I can get out and do things here in Maine.

JuNoWriMo may have already started, but it’s not too late to join in! Head over to junowrimo.com to sign up for the newsletter. Join the FB Group, and have fun writing 50,000 words like a mad person! I run word sprints on Twitter Thursday evenings, and did some of the behind the scenes work too – though JuNoWriMo isn’t my baby, I just help out. Join us on the #JuNoWriMo hashtag for all the fun!

What are your favorite writing challenges?

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CampNaNoWriMo April 2019

CampNaNoWriMo April 2019 Blog Post
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

There are definitely some changes afoot here on the site. No, you are not going crazy. Like everything else in my life, this is a work in progress – let me know what you think!


It’s that time of year again, the first of many writing challenges for the year. I usually do four a year, though sometimes I do less. I know there are some other ones out there, but my focus is on both CampNaNos, JuNoWriMo, and the official NaNo. CampNaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo are held by the same folks, though the volunteers change I do believe, and are held April, July, and November respectively. JuNoWriMo is held every June, started by Becca Campbell (@beccajcampbell on Twitter) and I do behind the scenes stuff for them while working on my writing. Keeps me involved in the writing community. Camp NaNo allows you to choose your goals, so you can write however much you need or want. JuNoWriMo and NaNo are 50,000-word sprints to the finish.


Apparently, there is also a JulNoWriMo, but I personally do CampNaNo in July. JulNoWriMo is another 50,000-word challenge if July works better for you.


Want to sign up for these writing challenges?

I do have to say that my CampNaNo isn’t going well this year at all – April is quickly becoming a busy month. All my Mondays and Tuesdays are full, and some of the other days are too throughout the month. And it’s still early in the month! So I lowered my already low goal, 5,000 words on House Of Dolls, to only 1,000 words for now. I may still make 5,000 words, but depending on how my month goes, I don’t want that kind of pressure.


Writing challenges can be fun, especially if you have a support team. I usually team up with either various Facebook friends, or friends from my favorite writing forum Absolute Write. I don’t get to pop in there as often as I would like, but it is definitely the only writing forum I recommend. Many of the others are plagued with drama in my eyes, and I really don’t need drama in my writing life. The last thing anyone needs is drama when they’re trying to be creative! What forums do you enjoy?

But I digress…writing challenges. They’re really good for people who need a kick in the pants and a reason to write – or those who just like a challenge. I always recommend trying a few out to see how they feel to you, especially as they come in two “flavors” – pick your own goal or 50,000 words.
Which do you prefer and why? Let me know in the comments!


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Starting My Freelance Journey

Starting My Freelance Journey
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I have decided to take up freelancing, and you get to come with me on my journey! It may be a long one, it may be a short one (hopefully not!) but in the end, it will be one. I’m doing this in addition to my fiction writing, so I guess I’m both a fiction and nonfiction freelancer. ? Have to start somewhere I suppose. The advantages of this would be bringing in some income and branching out with my writing, as that will be my focus. There are some disadvantages though, or at least possible ones – how I’m going to handle a depression cycle and freelancing. That right now remains a mystery, but I’m willing to try – no one ever got where they wanted to go by thinking about it. Not on Earth anyway.


Depression is just one of several challenges that I will face. One that may not be an issue once I start bringing in enough income to do more than just survive, which is my current income level. Hard saying not knowing. Not sure how I’m going to work freelance writing into my schedule either, but I know that if I wait to figure everything out, I’ll never do it. And being able to make my own schedule is part of the point – a 9-5 never worked well for me, even when I could work a regular job.


So I’m basically jumping out on a leap of faith, which isn’t sitting the most comfortable. Type A++’s rarely are comfortable without massive amounts of planning.


And I am planning, be assured of that. I don’t think it’s possible for me not to plan honestly. Yet it is still a leap of faith because there is so much I cannot plan for – mental health issues, family stuff, parenting mishaps etc. Too many variables and unknowns. All I can do is plan the best I can, commit, and do the damn work. If I have to reduce my sleeping hours, I will – at least it is for a good cause. I’ve stayed up late for worse.


There will be adjustments around here as well, as I adapt.


Have any freelancing advice for a beginner? I’m especially interested in web content and blogging. Topics of choice being lifestyle, parenting, writing, mental health (especially depression/anxiety) and self-improvement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! ❤️


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Giving Away Ebooks For Free

Giving Away Ebooks For Free
Photo Credit: Free-Photos @ Pixabay.com

I don’t believe in giving my work away for free.

And I’m not sure why writers are doing this either – what benefit is there? Now I’m not talking about offering your list something fun for free, as you are building relationships with them. That’s different. Though if you are constantly giving your books for free to your list – why do you even have a list? You do realize that you can make money doing this, right?


Let me tell you a bit about my ebook buying habits, now that I’ve been “trained.” First of all, I don’t “buy” ebooks – why bother when I can get them all for free? I have a library of around 30,000 ebooks – and I maybe paid for 10 of them. Maybe. Probably more like 4. Either way. I have built a rather large library on free ebooks. And this doesn’t mean I prefer print, though I do, I’m not buying much in the way of books right now. As in spending real money. My read through is abysmal – I read the free book(s) in the series, then move on to my next free book. And in most cases, I can read an entire series for free! I often forget to leave reviews on book buying sites (though I do usually review on my book review blog (coming soon!)), so what value is the writer getting from me reading their book?

And this is someone who believes in helping authors, and I do – I’m just more selective now. I have my fave authors like everyone else (take my money now!) and there are a series or two that I’m considering buying. Granted, right now money is tight, and a million other reasons why I love free books. But I’m being trained to expect free.

Giving Away Ebooks For Free
Photo Credit: Perfecto-Capucine @ Pixabay.com

Putting your books for free (because you aren’t “selling” a free book) just seems like a bad gamble to me. Full of wishes and hopes that may or may not come true. You’re hoping that they buy more books, which is doubtful for most as they are giving away damn near their entire backlist AND new releases for free at some point or another. You’re hoping they sign up for your list, which they probably will as they want more free stuff. You’re hoping they leave a review, and they might – either a well thought out one that provides actual value to your incoming customers, or a scathing one that has nothing to do with the book because they read two pages and assumed a lot.


Plus you are all missing something that I feel is vital – people do not value free items. At all. And we are training readers to expect our work for free. I can’t think of another medium where everyone is giving away free work regularly. Anyone remember the backlash when U2 gave their latest album away for free to iTunes subscribers? It wasn’t pretty. There was very little gratitude, and a whole lot of hate. At the rate we writers are going, we’ll be giving away everything for free, never making a dime off our work – and wondering what happened. I really do believe we are doing ourselves a disservice here.

Do you give your work away for free? Why or why not? Let me know in comments! Are you a reader? Chime in!


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If you would like to make a one-time donation, go to Paypal.

Starting My Self-Published Journey – Again

Starting My Self-Publishing Journey - Again

This is it. I’m committed.


Once again, I am entering the writing trenches. Yeah, I’ve done self-publishing before, but I knew literally NOTHING about it, and frankly, I’m still learning. I long ago pulled the short stories that I had up because I was caught up in how crappy they were – the search for the elusive perfection or something, I don’t know. But that was back in like 2010/2011 – no one knew anything really.


This time I’m going for that Indie Author title. Yeah, I know that I can probably already consider myself one, but I don’t – not yet. Maybe after awhile of getting “respectable” sized books written. 


I’m writing my first novel since recommitting to the writing life and having a creative career. This isn’t necessarily my first novel, as I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old – but the others will never see the light of day.

Frankly, I’m not even sure what happened to them, probably eaten by one or several computers that I’ve had over the years. The novel I’m working on now is a fantasy/romance kind of mashup – and to be honest, it’s kicking my ass. But that’s half the fun, right?


I’m also going to be a multi-genre author – I don’t like being stuck writing one thing. That would get boring so fast for me. Besides, I’m a voracious reader who literally reads almost anything I can get my hands on (I’ve read the dictionary 12 times, okay?) and I know there are others like me out there. I’m also not using any other pen names but this one. Kind of a “this is me, take me or leave me” kind of thing.

Random Photos From Maine Volume 1


I won’t start marketing until I get a decent number of products out there, but everything will be mentioned/shown here on the blog. And I do plan on going wide (except my photo books, they don’t like ePub for whatever reason) so as I publish you’ll be able to find me on your favorite platform. I also don’t believe in putting all my eggs into one basket, giving the control of my career to one company. Nope, too much of a control freak for that.


On my schedule right now, assuming of course that I finish this cotton picking novel, is some horror, a new adult type thing, some shorts, a sci-fi and a bunch of others that I haven’t decided genre for yet. The new adult is a tentative genre, I’ll know more when I get there. The ideas are doing me no good sitting in my head, nor are they doing any good for others. And I love helping others as much as I love entertaining them. So that is my main goal for my career right now – to help and to entertain.


What are your creative career goals? Where are you in your career, creative or otherwise?

[Photo Credit: Raiscara Avalon]



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