• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

What is it about the new year that makes us want to create goals for ourselves?

For a long time I’ve been hesitant to create resolutions every time the year rolls over. If I really had something in my life that I wanted to change, or do better, then why wait until the new year? Why not do it now? Because of this I would generally avoid resolutions every year. Too often they get forgotten about, or you work really hard in January and slack off after that. To me the word resolve just doesn’t seem to have enough punch, enough measurement built-in to be worth using. For this reason I avoided new years’ resolutions for a long time.

I’ve changed my tune a little bit though. I still don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals.

Goals are things to reach for, I know fully well going into the year that there’s a solid chance I won’t complete all my goals, but they are there and at the end of the year, or other times when I feel I want some self-reflection, I can look over those goals and see how I am doing.

So what goals did I set for 2014, and did I achieve them?

Reading: I always set a reading goal, last year it was 100 books. According to my Goodreads profile, I read 71, which I think is fantastic. 2015 I again set a goal of 100 books and I will mostly likely set that as my goal for the foreseeable future. I am a bit of a fast reader, when I’m not sucked into some other media (cough video games cough), but two books a week for me seems pretty do-able.

Writing: My goal was to finish two books last year, and I “did”. Technically. Neither of them are edited, but I did at least complete them. Working on editing one of them now. I also wrote a few short stories last year. I’m currently toying with the idea of setting a goal for short stories this year, but for now I’ll leave it as-needed.

So there are my goals, at least when it comes to writing/reading. What goals do you set and why? Do you prefer resolutions or goals, or some other word, and why?

Above all, Happy New Year from the Evil Dwarves!

Are you ready for Nano? #AmWriting #NanoWriMo

 

National Novel Writing Month.

November.

Write 50,000 words in one month. Around the holidays.

That’s an average of approximately 1, 667 words per day.

I’ve attempted Nano three times, and succeeded twice. The first time, well, lets just say the results weren’t pretty. What helped me win was preparing before the month began – but then, I’m a plotter, LOL.

What I like best about Nano, though, isn’t whether I hit the word count or not, but diving into the habit of daily writing with specific goals in mind.

This year, I have a small goal. Write every day except for Sundays, and Thanksgiving. I’m not concerned with making the 50k, but I’m going to try for it 😀

With the last few months researching and building a new world and a new series, hopefully I’m prepared!

So, who’s doing Nano this year?

Have you done it before? How do you get ready for the push?

 

And if you’re interested, I’m higleyb on the Nano website if you’d like to add me as a friend

😀

~Amber Kallyn

The Devil’s In The Details #AmEditing

Edits.

More edits.

And even more edits since I just got my book back from one of my editors 😀

Sometimes, it seems like no matter how much time it takes to write the first draft, the editing always takes at least three times longer. Sigh.

Partly, I think, it’s because when I’m writing, I really *try* hard to just get the words down. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the wrong words, or even bad words. But, as a writer, editing means searching for ways to make them better. Clearer for my readers. More emotional, deeper, getting down into the characters that I fell in love with in the first place.

Because I write to tell their stories, and I hope readers fall in love with these people as much as I did.

So, back to the edits for me because I have a release date coming up soon : )

Q4U: Readers, what makes you love characters? Writers, what’s some of your editing process?

2014–It’s going to be a BIG ONE! #newreleases #pnr #romance #goals #coverreveal

And now for our regular programming…

Dr Who 2

Before we get into the swing of 2014, here at the Swamp we do the annual creation and review of writerly goals for the Evil 7 (or 8). This means we’re trying to hold ourselves accountable while grasping for our writer dream.

For me, the last few months have been a hectic whirlwind.

My NaNo attempt fell short (hit 39K out of 50K)

My EDJ (Evil Day Job–a nifty new term I’ve learned and come to adore) has been undergoing a flux like the Time Vortex under the stunning gaze of our endearing Time Lords (yes, most of my holidays were spent with the Prankster Duo and a marathon of The Legendary Dr. Who),

Black Opal’s THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS came out in December, including my Kyn short: WRAPPED FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Having all those great authors come visit was fun, but now I have to clean up the place.

The shack has become Grand Central Station during the end of year celebrations.

I had multiple offers for my new Paranormal Romantic Suspense series and after whirling like a dervish, I finally, FINALLY got to put my name to paper with an awesome house… (insert name here), so now I can officially say I’m multi-published.

Which means 2014 will be mad, I tell you, absolutely MAD, because:

SHADOW’S MOON, the third book of the Kyn Kronicles will be out in Spring/Summer 2014 by Black Opal Books. And here is the COVER:

JamiGray_ShadowsMoon1400

In May the Knight and I are joining Might Dwarf at the 2014 Romantic Times Reader Convention in New Orleans. ((mad dancing abounds)). For those who don’t know about this conference, it’s like a Red Carpet event for writers and readers. Since I can technically claim both statuses, and it’s in a city that’s on my bucket list to see, I’M EXCITED!

Then we come home, and, if my current contract negotiations go well, HUNTED BY THE PAST, the first book in my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Psy-IV Teams series will release in Summer 2014. Once the ink is dried on the contract, I’ll tell you who I’m lucky to be publishing with, so stay tuned.

Then, then, as if that was not enough for any writer to giggle manically about, my fourth Kyn book is coming in Fall 2014 from Black Opal, SHADOW’S CURSE.

So because I have so much going on, I decided it is time to create a….NEWSLETTER.

See that nifty link over there in the upper right corner, you can click there and sign up. I’m hoping to have my first one out in Feb/March.  It may only come out a couple of times a year, but still, I wanted a way to reach out to my awesome audience.

Don’t worry, I don’t share your emails with anyone, not even under threat of death, so you’re safe.

I’ve got a couple other events throughout the year planned, but I’ll keep you posted as they come up.

Now, last year we had some of the most fabulous author interviews, and this year is looking just as exciting. Check out the Where Am I? Who’s Here? tab. Kaylea Cross, Deborah Cooke, Martha Bourke, Melissa Groeling, Mona Karel, Pamela Cross, Cynthia Eden and OH SO MANY MORE! (think Despicable Me “It’s so fluffy!” voice).

((big gasp of air))

And all of this would not have been possible without all of YOU! Thank you, all of you, sincerely, for following my blog and continuing to follow–through the interviews, rambling, chaotic writer posts, and blog hops.

Here’s to a rousing 2014!

It’s Time for the “G” Word!

It’s that time again, when blogs across the blogosphere tout the joys and agony of setting those “G” words.  Oh yes-GOALS.  The one thing my mom always told me about goal setting was to WRITE IT DOWN.  Something about putting it to paper makes it all too real.  Then when your faced with the evidence, there is no squeaking out of it.

Wait!  Don’t run and hide! I’m way too tired to chase you down!  I swear, no preaching from this choir.  Look, we’ll even review those pesky things I set for 2012.  I’m not sharing the non-writerly ones, oh heck no.  That would be way too depressing.  So focusing on my creativity goals for 2012, we had:

Finish SHADOW’S MOON by end of year.

Status Check:  DONE! Yes, indeed, we finished our first draft just before the holidays! Which means it got shipped off to the other Evil 7 for evisceration. Now I can remind the Prankster Duo and my Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor that, yes, they do have a wife and mom living with them–somewhere!

   Blog every week for both Jami Gray and 7 Evil Dwarves

                           Status Check:   We’re going to call this one good.  I think I may have missed a total of two weeks, but only because I was recovering from the TKO life had decided to lay on me.   DONE!

        Concentrate on getting out in the world of the internets

                           Status Check:  Okay, I am now the proud mama of a website, Facebook page, Facebook Author page, Twitter account, Goodreads account and author page, Amazon author page and I remember running around to various blogs through out the year, trying to come up with entertaining answers to questions or picking juicy tidbits from SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL to share.  Done!

Grow enough that writing career can replace job-that-pays-the bills

Status check:  Umm, yeah…still working on that one.  Seems to be a bit harder than anticipated.  Guess it will graduate to the 2013 list.

I’m thinking 3 out of 4, not so bad. 

Want to share how your list looks? Come on, we’d love to celebrate with you!

And to think you were done…

I promised to drag you along this journey of crafting a novel from beginning to end, but I have found that my OCD tendencies have put a kibosh to multi-tasking in this one aspect of my life.  I may be able to juggle the Prankster Duo, the hellhound, the knight in slightly muddy armor, the job that pays the bills, life in the Swamp, and various other aspects commonly referred to as LIFE, but when it comes to writing, I can only do one thing at a time.

So now that Shadow’s Soul is off my desk and on my editor’s, I thought I was good to go for book 3.  Until I realized I’m not finished with Shadow’s Soul just yet.  Nope, now I need a tag line, a synopsis, and a cover.  Great.  I’m so thrilled (and yes, that is sarcasm in my voice!).

Although the opening scene of book 3 is floating around in my head along with Eerie’s voice screeching “Just write it, damn it!” while Snarky’s whip is whispering along my prickling skin, I can’t do it.  Not yet.  Not until the tag line and synopsis is done.

I enjoy writing, because let’s face it, if I didn’t, I’d have to be a masochist to put my self through all this crap for some words on paper. Yet I have to say that trying to pare down 387 pages into two catchy paragraphs is like trying to get my hellhound into the backseat of my car for a vet’s visit.  It’s not pleasant and suddenly there seems to be a long list of things I just HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW.  It stinks but it’s something that has to be done.

Plus I’ve found that my working line of logic to tie up the project known as Shadow’s Soul is somewhere along the lines of:  DO SYNOPSIS, CREATE TAG LINE, and then, go forth and try to piece together your cover so it matches what the book’s really about.  I have started but I just keep stalling out.

As soon as this post is done, I think I’ve run out of THINGS I MUST DO RIGHT NOW and will be forced to finish my dreaded synopsis and tag, then submit it to the other Evil 7 for dissemination.

Procrastination is now heading for the door and wiggling bony fingers in a very snerky way leaving me chained to my desk with a keyboard super glued to my fingers and a mental countdown clock is slowly driving me mad.

I will get this done, really…

Oh look, a text message from my BFF… movie at 5 tonight?  I think I can work that in…

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