NaNo Prep: Monday Blog Post

Bear Canyon Lake

Bear Canyon Lake

Newest News:

Spent Saturday the 15th in Scottsdale for the Arizona Professional Writers State Conference. Oh my gosh! So much information. And time to renew acquaintances with the people I see only once or twice a year. Because of the presentations, I’m planning some social media changes. If you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites, you’ll see some changes. If you don’t follow me on those sites, why not? You can find all my links here.

This week I’m getting ready for National Novel Writing Month. This will be my sixth one. My first one, and where I picked up the writing bug, was November 2011. The challenge is the same. Write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. I’m as excited about it now as I was in 2011. This year I have some notes to write the 4th Brown Rain novelette, already titled, Tested. I also have a short story, partly written, to finish and other projects, if I finish with that.  I’ll be doing some tweeting and Facebook posts about the process for sure.

Troubled Streets is out! Hooray! It’s already up on Amazon, both as an ebook and as a paperback. It’s up on Smashwords and other places. See my links at the end of this newsletter. I’m very excited to have the 1st book about Zoe Ohale out and into reader hands. As always, if you get it, I’d appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes and give me a review.

Giveaways:

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The Halloween Author Group Giveaway is still going until the end of the month. You can find the Rafflecopter link on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Recall, or for second prize, a copy of my Halloween Tales ebook. Over a hundred prizes from 30 authors plus a grand prize of $100 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day!

Shout Out:

Author and Social Media Consultant, Raleigh Pinskey. Raleigh was one of the guest speakers at the APW conference on Saturday and I enjoyed every minute. You can find her on Amazon at: http://www.raleighpinskey.com/ or on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Raleigh-Pinskey/e/B001ITXFFO.

The other guest speaker was Ric Hinkie. Ric is a multi-talented speaker, writer and business professional. Funny and inspirational, Ric kept us riveted with his presentation on how to fast forward our career to thrive as a writer. He can be found at: https://twitter.com/rhinkie, or at http://www.richinkie.com/.

I recommend both speakers for your next conference!

Garden News:

Some critter has killed the Swiss Chard and is slowly nibbling to death every single broccoli plant. Very disappointing. Some tomatoes are left and I’m picking them. Leaves are starting to turn yellow on the fruit trees but without a frost, it’s a slow process.  How about you? Is your garden clean-up done or do you still have some growing season left?

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were kind enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads or Chatebooks today! I’m still getting it loaded onto Apple, Gumroad and Chatebooks. You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Tempe Library Book Festival and More! Monday Blog Post

Connie at the Tempe Library Book Festival

Connie at the Tempe Library Book Festival

I attended the Tempe Book Festival Saturday as an author and a panelist for a SciFi panel on world building. I had a great time talking to a lot of readers, adults and children. I also met some of last year’s Payson Book Festival authors and some of this year’s registered authors. Oh what a great time we’re going to have in July at the Payson Book Festival. These are wonderful authors and fun to talk to. I sold 7 books, which seemed to be above average for the authors I talked to. Some made no sales at all. But this was Tempe library’s first festival so with more experience I’m sure a larger reader turn out will happen.

I continue to work on my Camp NaNo novel, Mystery at the Book Festival. (Yes, I couldn’t help it!) Anyway, I’m just about 50% through the story, well at least to my goal of 50,000 words. I missed writing on it Saturday because of the festival. Sunday, I had just enough gumption to write this blog post. I’ll try and catch up starting tomorrow.

I was on the January Jones show Sharing Success Stories, at 3pm Eastern time last Monday. If you didn’t get to tune in, you can go to the recording. Just go to www.iheart.com Official Site. Type in January Jones Sharing Success Stories. You can hear the whole show!

Chevoque

Chevoque

In other blog news, my Author Interview with Chevoque will be posted on Wednesday. You are going to love her. Can’t wait? Here’s her website called, what else? Chevoque.

The Spring Into Reading giveaway is in full swing. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day.

My craft project of putting an owl charm on each new book mark has only progressed one step. I punched holes in the top of each book mark. I need to set aside time to get the charms attached to the ribbon. Ack! Time!

I’m still putting together my next newsletter. I thought I’d have it done last week. I did get my video done. It still needs to be edited. Again, more time! I’ll have to be super disciplined.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery. Tickets for both days are only $35. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it. Register in advance on the site and mention that you heard about the event from me. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize on Friday night and/or Saturday. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I might even make two and have a giveaway both Friday and Saturday. What do you think?

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Roses, Camp NaNo, and Other Fun

CNW_Participant

Today’s the 11th  and so far I’ve only missed 2 days of writing in the April Camp NaNo. As of Sunday, I’m over seventeen thousand words into my new book, Mystery at the Book Festival. I’m moving right along through my outline, changing some things as I work my way through each chapter but so far have not had to throw out any scene.

I have not received any notice of reviews for the new contest I started two weeks ago. That’s too bad as the contest ended on the 10th. No prizes awarded.

If you’d like to hear me, I’ll be on the January Jones show Sharing Success Stories, at 3pm Eastern time tomorrow, April 11th. I decided to keep the whole hour for myself and I’ll be talking about the Payson Book Festival, my current writing projects, and maybe even gardening. Tune in!

April Rose

On the gardening front, we have had another  cold front move through though not enough to get snow. The tomato seedlings are outside during the day but I have to still bring them in for the night. The roses are beginning to bloom. I’m including a picture of the yellow and the pink ones. They’re especially pretty when the entire bed is in bloom at the same time.

April Yellow Rose

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The owl charms I mentioned last week have too small a hole for me to thread ribbon through so I went and bought some tiny jewelry making findings and will hook the charm to the finding circle and then thread the ribbon through that to attach to the book marks. It’s going to take a little more work and it has to be done this week because the Tempe Library book festival is this Saturday, the 16th! I’ll have some there for anyone who purchases a book.

Speaking of appearing, I’m putting together my next newsletter. Last week I mentioned I needed a hair cut. Well on Thursday I got one and now I’m just about ready for Saturday’s book festival. I’m going to be on a SciFi panel there, with three others, to talk about world building. Also on the panel is Randy Lindsay at RandyLindsay.net, Ray Torres at TheMonsterWarSeries.com, and Austin Aslan at laustinaslanspace.wordpress.com. These are super guys and great authors and have attended the Tucson Book Festival and the Phoenix ComicCon. We’re going to have a great panel. It starts at 1pm so get there early and grab a seat.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show at w4cy.com. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out. You can even listen on your computer!

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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April Camp NaNo 2016: Monday Blog Post

CNW_Participant

Oh! Oh! Oh! It is April Camp NaNo and as of Sunday, I’m over four thousand words into my new book, Mystery at the Book Festival. Camp NaNo is a slightly different take on the November event. At Camp NaNo, we choose our desired word goal count. Some people choose just 5,000, some, like me, push for that 50,000-word goal. I’m already looking forward to digging deeper into my main character, Jean and her best friend, Karen. In Mystery at the Book Festival, Jean and Karen, both big readers, learn more about authors and book writing and publishing than they ever wanted to know. I think you’ll like the story.

 

Me, Begging for Reviews Photo by Brenda Warneka

Me, Begging for Reviews
Photo by Brenda Warneka

I have not received any notice of reviews yet, the new contest I started last week. Missed last week’s blog? Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement, my ratings. My several ratings on Amazon and other book-sellers is predicated on my reviews. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks, I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prize? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

 

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle in two days on Wednesday, April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

 

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

On the gardening front, we had a big cold front move through and it did indeed drop some snow on us. Those tomato seedlings were safely inside. But now the forecast is for warm sunny days. It’s time for me to get the compost on the garden beds and get planting. The rosemary is a sprig I had cut to use with a chicken dish a month ago. I didn’t need that sprig, but thought I would later. I stuck it in a glass of water and not using it, the cutting rooted. So, I’ve stuck it in a pot of dirt. I think I’ll give it to a friend. She doesn’t have rosemary growing in her garden, yet! Who doesn’t need rosemary growing in their garden?

 

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day.

 

StPatsGiveawayPromo

Speaking of the Spring Into Reading giveaway, I want to give a shout out to my winners of the Luck o’the Authors giveaway. My first prize winner was Petr Kristek and he won a free ebook. My second prize winner was Belinda Clemons who won a necklace and earring set. I want to thank both of them so much for participating in the giveaway. I’m glad these great fans won these prizes. Don’t forget to enter the Spring Into Reading giveaway.

 

Bookmark and Charms Swag

Bookmark and Charms Swag

The owl charms and the book marks I ordered have come in. I plan on attaching the charms to the book marks to give away to book purchasers at the events I attend. Aren’t they cool!? The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I am making special prizes for a drawing for those who have registered in advance and noted my name on the registration. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look below or at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

 

TempeBookFestival2016

Speaking of appearing, if you get my newsletter you may have clicked on my link to my newest YouTube video. (The video is something only newsletter people receive.) I know! I have a YouTube channel. I didn’t even realize I was setting one up! Anyway, you can see my hair is getting a little shaggy. Sometime this week I’ll be getting it trimmed so I don’t look like a sheepdog at the Tempe Book Festival.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

January-Jones

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

pbflogoorig1446X1253pxcroppedcontrast

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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My Writing Origin: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Owl_using_Computer_by_RedPigeon via DeviantArt.com

Owl_using_Computer_by_RedPigeon via DeviantArt.com

This month’s topic is an origin story. How did I start writing? I’ve always written. Stories for school, a play when I was 13 that the school actually let me produce, fits and starts at books as an adult. The problem was I never knew how to get past the first couple of chapters.

That all changed in 2011. My daughter Elizabeth had moved in with us while she re-evaluated her life, and made friends with a lovely young woman, Jaime Raintree. Jamie is an author and she told Elizabeth about this writing challenge called National Novel Writing Month. She was going to participate and encouraged Elizabeth to do so as well.

Elizabeth told us about this challenge. “Write every day, 1667 words a day, and you’ll win the challenge. I’m going to do it.”

“How hard can that be,” I asked. I should have realized right then that karma was about to give me a boot.

“Hard, mom. If you think it’s so easy you should do it.”

Well, challenge issued and accepted.

I knew I needed a plan. The problem was still that I had no idea how to go about it. Not a problem. Elizabeth had a book, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. I sped read the book as it was already the middle of October and following his suggestions, used the back of the closet door and a lot of sticky notes to plot out my first book, The Bad Seed.

It was hard as those of you who write could have told me back in October. Some days I was completely at a loss. Some days I knew exactly what I wanted to say. By the end of November I had my 50,000 words!

That NaNo was where I found the wonderful people of the Forward Motion writing group and a whole new world of writing. They suggested the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel class. One that I was hesitant to spend the money on but was the best thing I could have done for myself.

Since that November of 2011 I’ve gone on to write and publish 13 books, another, Kindred Spirits, due out soon, and numerous short stories. I post a free flash story every week on my blog, ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

So that’s it! That’s how I got started. Do you write? How did you get started?

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com! Up next: L.C. Aisling.

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It’s January So That Means Goals!

Goals! Of course. It’s the start of the year and yep, I do have a list of things in mind to help guide myself along my writer’s course in 2016. You’ll note that I’m only talking about writing goals. I could put a lot of other goals in here but that would lead to chaos. Let’s just stick to the writing goals.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

Note: I began this process in November when I put out a call for authors who’d like to be interviewed. I posted the first interview on January 13th, one of our own Forward Motion authors, B. C. Mathews. I loved how she answered the interview questions. You can see that interview here.

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

The thinking here is that this goal is one of several to help me increase my readers. It’s hard for most readers to find new authors. This is one way I can help increase my visibility.

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I had this as a goal for 2015 and only published two books. This year, though, I already have two books in the editing process, one book finished and resting before editing, and another book about 2/3 finished. I also want to do a collection, probably science fiction, of pieces I really loved and posted on my blog. I’d have to select those stories, polish them up or maybe even expand them, and then edit and publish. That leaves one more book. I’d like to do a Christmas book. I may draft that at the April Camp NaNo. I’ll see what I can think of between January and the end of March.

  1. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

I mentioned the April Camp NaNo in goal 3. But I like to do the July camp and the November NaNo as well. After all, I have to have something to publish in 2017, don’t I!

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

Again, see goal number 3. I love to read Christmas stories. Aside from A Visit from St. Nick, the first Christmas story I remember was The Gift of the Magi, by O’Henry. I read that story in grade school and it always stuck with me. It’s become my yardstick for what a good Christmas story is all about.

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

This is one of those goals that may be out of my control. If Forward Motion doesn’t have a 2016 anthology, I want to submit a story to some other anthology. In any event, it will get done.

  1. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

This is another one that may be out of my control. The How to Write a Series class is dependent upon Holly Lisle’s health and her ability to finish writing the class. The other one, the World Building class, that one is within my control. So, it’s up to me to schedule the time to improve my writing!

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I might have been ambitious here. However, I have already subbed: Bell Ring, Rest (a poem), The Reunion, and Eavesdroppers, to various magazines. My stories Gold Dream and After Math were subbed in late December so I’m counting them for 2016 as well. That makes 6 stories out by mid-January. Not a bad start.

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

May Story A Day is a writing challenge on the Forward Motion site. We can try for a story every day of May or set ourselves a goal. My usual goal is twelve stories. That way I can write short stories instead of just flash stories and I have a pool of stories to apply to number 8!

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

This goal works hand in hand with number 2. I’m trying to expand the number of readers of my books.

  1. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

This goal is a no-brainer. I’m the organizer of the event. Unless I’m deathly ill, I’ll be there.

You’ll notice I don’t have the goals in chronological order. I put them down as I thought about them. It doesn’t bother me that they’re not in order. I’ll get to all of them sooner or later. How about you? Do you have a few goals for 2016? What’s driving them? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara.

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Post: Conclusions

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goals? Arrggh, I haven’t looked at my goals since May, I think. Let’s see what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t. I feel like Santa, checking my list, lol! So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t. I’m including May’s status first, then my current status.

Status:

1. Goal: Upgrade my blog site to a real website

MAY: The blog is half transformed. If you look for www.conniesrandomthoughts.com, you’ll find it but I’m having trouble getting into it from the WordPress side. I also want to dress it up better. Many of the cool things I had on my blog did not transfer over to the website. I have to figure all of that out. Stay tuned.

DECEMBER: The blog is now a website. I seemed to have lost all of the WordPress followers, maybe not, but I am signing up new followers so that’s a good thing. Goal achieved.

2. Goal: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up.

MAY: No activity

DECEMBER: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up. I haven’t begun selling from my own site, but I am selling directly on Gumroad.com which allows me to sell both paperback and ebooks. I have to sell the paperbacks from my home, which means I need a supply of each book on hand to satisfy any buyers. So far, I don’t have buyers but, that could change. I am also selling directly on ChateBooks.com. ChateBooks is a great, reader-friendly site. Every book has its own chat! So until my sales increase, I’m sticking with these options for direct sales. After that, I will re-examine selling directly from my own website. I’m calling this, goal achieved

3. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2015

MAY: One book published in January. One (from November) is being edited. The 3rd book in my brown rain series is drafted. A new series, All About Bob, has the first book drafted.

DECEMBER: I published a second book, Mystery at the Fair, in July. That was it. I wrote 2 novellas, and part of one novel and am finishing up a second novel manuscript from November’s NaNo. Hopefully next year I’ll get more out. Goal not accomplished.

4. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

MAY: Participated in April Camp NaNo! Yay, a small win for me.

DECEMBER: Participated in July’s Camp NaNo drafting Mystery in the Woods, which is not finished. Also in the November NaNo with my Zoe Ohale book. So this goal was achieved.

5. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

MAY: Working on my 2013 2YN story, Mrs. Claus. Maybe.

DECEMBER: Mrs. Claus is not completed. No other Christmas story was written. Goal not achieved.

6. Goal: Submit a story to the 2015 FM Anthology.

MAY: Had an idea, changed it, haven’t messed with it in two months. It may be part of the May Story a Day or the July CampNaNo.

DECEMBER: In late June I took a flash fiction I had written and as part of July’s CampNaNo, expanded it into a full short story. I did submit that to the anthology. Goal achieved.

7. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

MAY: Still working on the How to Write a Series Expanded class. Holly’s been putting it together slowly, that’s what being on the beta group means. No matter. I don’t mind working slowly.

DECEMBER: With all of the July, September, and November activities and October’s vacation, I didn’t get back to the World Building Class. I also haven’t finished the Write a Series Expanded class as Holly got sick and then has been totally involved in a complete site rebuild and revisions of her major workshops. Will have to pick both of these back up in January. Goal not achieved.

8. Goal: Develop a schedule of contests for short story submission process

MAY: I have the schedule of contests. What I don’t have is good material to submit. Working.

DECEMBER: I have submitted to a couple of the contests from the list I generated before May. I didn’t feel I had a lot to send off.  Goal achieved.

9. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

MAY: Participating in MAD. So far 4 stories drafted.

DECEMBER: Completed 10 flash and short stories in May. I thought that was pretty good. Goal achieved.

10. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books.

MAY: Appeared at an Arizona Professional Writers lunch in February. Did a book signing locally in March. Plan on a book release in July and an appearance at the Payson Book Festival on July 25th. Have my tickets and table for the InD’tale conference in September.

DECEMBER: I did the July book release, and was an author at the Payson Book Festival. I attended the InD’tale conference in September. In October, while on vacation, did a book signing in Gloversville, NY. In November I had a table at the November 14th VETFest in Avondale, and did a workshop in Pine for the Pine/Strawberry writer’s group. I also did a workshop in Camp Verde in November, Critiquing on a Shoestring. The addition of Gumroad.com and Chatebooks.com is also part of the increase in opportunities to get my name out there. Goal achieved.

11. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

MAY: All ready to appear at the book festival.

DECEMBER: Participated. Goal achieved.

For me, 2015 was a year mostly successes! Three goals were not achieved but progress was made on them so I don’t feel too bad. How about you? Did you have a few goals for 2015? How did you do? What would you do differently? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Completed! Monday Blog Post

NaNo-2015-Winner-Certificate-Halfsize

Completed! I completed my National Novel Writing Month Challenge! I hit 50,000 words on Saturday the 28th. That felt pretty darn good. The book, however, is not completed. I may have about 10,000 more words to go on Zoe Ohale. That’s what I’m calling this YA book. I may change the name later but that’s it for now. It will be out mid-late 2016.

I have begun the process of editing both Kindred Spirits, the 3rd book in the Brown Rain series, and All About Bob, the 1st book in my All About Bob series. The ‘Bob’ book needs a title. I may hold a title writing contest for my newsletter folks. See below for how to sign up. I still need to finish Mystery in the Woods, which I started in July. Those of you who are waiting for the next Jean Hays book, I promise, I’m working on it.

I’m going to be on the January Jones web radio show, Sharing Success Stories, on both December 7th and December 14th. The show on the 7th is me wrapping up 2015. The show on the 14th is a Christmas show. I have links to the show on my Where Will I Be page and the times. I hope you tune-in to listen.

I’ve been signing up authors for my new feature, author interviews. I’m leaning toward every other week, on Wednesdays. What do you think would be a good day to post them?

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. I’ve put up the two books in my Brown Rain series as my main prize. I also put up my Christmas Tales book as a second prize. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

The mornings here in Central Arizona have been cold, with hard frosts. Most of the garden has died off. However, the parsley, the sage, and the rosemary are still good to cut. I love being able, this time of year, to walk outside my back door and cut fresh herbs. I put a small bunch of sage in my giblet stock on Sunday, when I roasted a chicken. The chicken was sprinkled with a lemon zest, salt, pepper, sage and rosemary mixture both inside and out. I stuffed the bird with cut up orange, lemon and apple. Best roast chicken ever.

Holiday gift giving. I’m making candy to send to my mom and siblings and my daughter. They all enjoy the dark chocolate confections I make. Are you ramping up your holiday buying? I have decreased the prices on all of my books. Right now, the most you’ll pay is $2.99. That makes it very affordable to buy the whole Gulliver Station series or the Brown Rain series. I even have a middle grade book, Lost Rainbows, which I’ve put on sale for .99. Yep, Ninety-nine cents. Several other of my books are also .99. You can check them out on Chatebooks.com, Gumroad.com, or find links to many other sellers on my website, My Books, page.

Chatebooks.com is a new reader/author site that allows readers to connect directly to authors. Each book has its own forum space. You can ask questions, leave comments, and tell your fav author how much you liked the book. You can find my books by searching on my name or use this direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve brought all of my Christmas decorations out of the garage and am prepping to put everything up.

I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The December newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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NaNo Break: Monday Blog Post

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Since my last Monday blog post, it’s been crazy. I managed to get a few words written this week but for the most part, the week, at least concerning NaNo, has been a loss. I’ve only written two days out of the seven. Since today is the 23rd, that means I have only seven days left to get to 50,000 words. On Saturday I had 35.3k finished. That means I need over 2k per day to finish NaNo. I think I can do it. The rest of my month, except for Thanksgiving Day, is appointment free.

I attended for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. I’m so glad I went. We’ve not attended, by we, I mean the fair board in general, this conference in years. It was way past time to do so. Several nearby fair managers, have all volunteered to help us out. It was so nice to be among such passionate people. I learned a lot about fairs, entertainment, management and organizational skills specific to fairs. I can’t wait to share it all with the rest of my board.

I taught a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. What a wonderful group of writers. Everyone, no matter their skill level or time as a writer, had excellent points to offer on the topic. I think we all learned a lot! I know I did. I enjoyed meeting a whole new group of writers. They all have such unique points of view. I can’t wait to read more of their work.

I’m compiling a new feature on the site, author interviews. I don’t know about you but as a reader, I’m always on the lookout for authors new to me to read. I think I’ll start the new feature in January. Perhaps one article every other week to start. If you like the feature, please be sure to comment. I have to assume that no comments means that you’re not interested and I’ll drop the feature after a time. So, be sure to let me know what you think of the posts!

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I finished getting all of my books but my first (The Bad Seed) up on Chatebooks.com. You can find my books by searching on my name or here’s a direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family and friend love and good food.

I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The November newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Wild Ride: Monday Blog Post

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

I have to say, this has been a wild ride of a month for me. So much is going on in all aspects of my life. First, it’s National Novel Writing Month. That means I am being committed have committed, to writing 50,000 words this month. This annual challenge gets thousands of authors all around the world pumped up and super excited to just write. I tend to write 2k words per day, a little over the 1667 words per day requirement to meet the 50k goal by the end of the month. This is important for me, especially this year, because…

From Tuesday the 17th through Thursday the 19th, I’ll be in Laughlin, Nevada to attend for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. The reason I’m going? Because I serve on the Northern Gila County Fair board. For the first time in a very long time, the board has decided someone should attend. That turns out to be me! I’m supposed to attend workshops and presentations and attend the associated trade show where I can sign up acts, carnivals, and whatever else, for my fair next year. I’m a little nervous about all of the responsibility. Good thing the other board members are a phone call away.

This last weekend, Saturday, November 14th, I was in Avondale, AZ to sell and sign books at their VetFest. Avondale’s Western Avenue is being updated to be beautiful and visitor friendly. It’s a lovely spot. Besides a full-blown craft show, there were at least 17 authors there to talk to readers and sell a few books.

Some of the VetFest Authors

Some of the VetFest Authors

I sold two and lost at least two sales because my Square application couldn’t connect to the internet. That was very disappointing. I have a picture above of my table at the show. Also offered, veteran support: ID’s, services, and so much more were available for visiting vets. See http://www.historicavondale.org/vet-fest.html for more pictures of the entire festival.

I’m teaching a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing which means I’m ditching the banquet at the Arizona Fair Commission conference so I can be back on time. If you live in the area, call the Camp Verde library to sign up. There’s still time! I have an entry for this event on my Where Will I Be tab on my website.

No Author Friend Boost this week. I’m working on National Novel Writing Month. I’m doing well, a little ahead of plan, as I know I’ll lose writing days while in Laughlin. I’m working on a Zoe Ohale novel so if you’ve liked the flash fiction story I posted about her not too long ago, I have a short story about Zoe in the upcoming Forward Motion Anthology, and now, this!

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I’ve also started my Christmas candy making. One of the things I make is miniature peppermint patties. I’ve been having a horrible time making the fondant that is the center of the candy. You can read all about it on the 25th in my post on Chicklets In the Kitchen, blog. Have you started your holiday prep?

I’m also busy getting my books up on another new site, Chatebooks.com. You can find my books by searching on my name or here’s a direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. How about you, is November starting to feel like a marathon? Post your comments below.

I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The November newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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