Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#Whatmakesahero #Veterans day is the perfect time to recommit to our #soldiers and their families. #IARTG #MFRWauthor

PictureMy dad in China Burma Campaign I saw a twitter post about a BBC project with the tag #whatmakesahero. 

The video called "What Makes a Hero" by veterans and produced by the BBC is here. As you'll see, there are some  military men and women who are uncomfortable being called heroes. It's complicated, for them and for those of us who didn't choose to, or were unable to, serve.
I need to say thank you to men and women I admire, who have the qualities and courage to put themselves between me and someone who’s intention it is to harm me or my country, even if they feel like they're just doing their job. I feel the same way about firefighters, law enforcement, and social service personnel.

The most important thing this Veterans Day, is to re-commit to donate our time, efforts or funds to making sure these dedicated men and women have a rich normal life, like we all deserve, when they come home, and for their families while they are serving.

As the veteran Senator said on the video, "We don't want parades and celebrations, we just want someone to give us an opportunity when we get home."

There are so many ways to help.
  • Be there for a veteran or family member when they need it. 
  • Write your congressmen about issues involving veterans. 
  • Donate money or time to organizations that make a difference. You may know of some, if not, there’s a partial list on my          Vet Links page

IF YOU ARE A VETERAN and know of an organization that works, please leave a link or the name in the comments so others can benefit.

This month all sales from Her First Knight go to veterans charities.

In my fictional contemporary romance, the Under-Cover Knights series, Knights Production Inc. is a studio where images and videos are produced for use on book covers, ads, media campaigns and where the actors and models might even be used as movie extras. One of the owners of KPI, Ridge Romano, was responsible for the creation of a consortium of private companies that’s taking over the care of veterans. Ridge has made it part of their mission at KPI to hire vets and other men and women of integrity and service. They are not only former military but their regard for and dedication to humanity is intrinsic to their everyday lives. 

So far we’ve met Luc Larue in Hard Days Knight, who is not only a veteran but whose teencenter in Larue is changing the lives of disadvantaged youth, and Ridge, from Her First Knight. 

Let’s make a difference this year. The need is greater than ever.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Practical #Scrivener tips. Labels on the Fly #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG #MFRWauthor


I've been polishing up Merry Christmas, Baby (book 3 in my Under-Cover Knights series) and I used the flexibility and color of Scrivener labels to help set goals for the revision process. Above you see a screenshot of MCB after one pass through. During the previous pass, I determine what stage the scene is in - needing to be revised (pink), incorporate or move text elsewhere (aqua), a scene that needs to be written (red) and one which might need to be deleted (always green). (I also use green highlight or revision mode green for possible deletions.)

Setting the goal. I know on the next pass I have to start from the beginning but this time I'm concerned about my deadline and getting through the text thoroughly so I create a label called Today in orange. I planned to have the revision on this novella done in six days. At 28k that's around 5k a day, allowing for scenes that have to be written and the normal growth that happens in revision. So I select the number of files that add up to around 4-6k and apply the orange label. (If you don't know this, as you select a group of files in the binder, the word count is displayed at the bottom of Scrivener editor for the selected files.)

Here's what that looks like. Now the files I need to revise today are orange. I renamed the 'Done' label  'Do final pass' and as I finished each scene I applied that label. (On my last book which was 82k I selected 10k at a time and gave that a label that said 'Revise by Tuesday'. I knew it would be more trouble to rename all the labels if I got behind so it kept me on track until at least 75k was complete. )

Picture When I'm finished all the files will be pink and labeled 'Do final pass' at which point I compile them with chapter headings and send them to word so I can read it in a different format and prepare to put the completed manuscript in Vellum.

The point is, the labels can do or be whatever you need them to be. They can label plot points, pov, villain appearances and love scenes during the writing process but that doesn't mean you're done with them during revision. I hope this gives you some ideas about using labels. 

If you use them in a unique way, please tell me about it in the comments.

Look for a cover reveal on Merry Christmas, Baby the first week in December. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the homepage to get a chance to win the ASUS tablet for Christmas. 


Monday, November 2, 2015

#Nano and GE. Ugly transforms into beautiful. #ASMSG #IARTG @nanowrimo

"Ideas are scary, messy, and fragile, but under the proper care, they become something beautiful."

Interesting, fun, intense, thrilling and ugly. That's how the first draft of a manuscript often feels whether it's during @Nanowrimo or not. I was thinking about the current Under-Cover Knights book I'm writing and how these emotions have bounced around. Then during that fabulous Saints football game last night (sorry, you know I have to get my Saints thumbs-ups in when I can) I saw this again. It's a perfect description of a new creative work - or perhaps a career.

When you're in the middle it's messy, and yes, very scary, and then hopefully, the magic happens and it transforms into something you're not ashamed to put your name on, a piece that gave you joy to create and a sense of satisfaction to see the finished project. You do know that we are all creative beings.  Where does your imagination take you if you're a mechanic, a fisherman, a football player, a doctor, whatever. The mind is magic isn't it?" So says the GE commercial. Haven't seen it? You're in for a treat.

Kudos to GE for this ad that has so much truth in it.