Some weeks I can’t get out of my own way. I sabotage myself. One of my problems is taking on too much. I often struggle to get my writing done amid my other obligations such as two writing groups, a full-time job, and large family. I want to do it all and I want to do it yesterday.
While I’m not a planner by nature, after taking Sarra Cannon’s HB90 program I’ve learned to be more reasonable about my goals and try to plan accordingly. I still don’t always get it right. Things happen and derail a tightly scheduled plan but I’ve lived most of my life by the seat of my pants. I may have a plan but if that doesn’t work I have a plan B, C and D. Of course, D is duck and cover, but hey, it is a plan.
This past week due my failed attempt at being a stunt double (I flew over the dog’s lead and landed on the sidewalk) I was not up to my usual performance level. One good thing about not being completely mobile, is I managed to surpass three of my writing goals: 1) I wrote every day, 2) I wrote over 10,000 words, and 3) I reached 30,000 and even made it to 40,000 words in my work in progress.
I am close to the end of the first draft and I’m sending out the call for advanced readers. If anyone wishes to read Trent’s Melody before it is published just message me here or through social media. As an advanced reader I would appreciate being made aware of any grammar or story errors you find, your help promoting the book and your review when it is published.
I have been an advanced reader for several of my favorite authors most recently, Reese Ryan and Sabrina Jeffries. It can be fun being a part of the promo team especially if you are a fan of the books or author. I wish I had more time to be an advanced reader for authors I adore but that is one of the worst things about being an author, the lack of time to read except for research.
Last year and again this year, I have made a point of making time for pleasure reading. It’s not as easy amid the critiquing and classes, as well as research reading I need to do but I am determined to have a little fun with my old time favorite hobby, reading.
In case you missed the announcement, the winner of my name the renovation show contest is Pamlico County School teacher, Susan Long with Renovate-ology. Congratulations, Susan! Renovate-ology will be the name of the show in Trent’s Melody. Susan won a $5 Amazon gift card and will have a brief acknowledgement in the book. I felt the name was unique but still familiar, and would work if I decided to use it in another series. Thank you to all of you who sent in ideas. There were several really good ones. Two of the runner-ups were: Debbie’s Renovation Innovation and Barb’s Second Chance Renovation. There were some others who were memorable but just didn’t quite fit for future stories: Property Reboot, Sextacular Renovations, Form and Figure Fabrications, Bros who love M & M’s and many more.
Don’t forget to send in your poems or songs for Trent’s Melody. The contest ends April 24th. Already there have been some great submissions.
When Trent believes he’s lost the girl he loves forever to his former best friend and bandmate, he leaves the reality show competition Winning Nashville where their band is favored to win, to drown his sorrows in Mexico.
Melodie is finally brave enough to call Kyle on his bullshit and break things off for good. When she boards the plane to Cancun for her writer’s conference, she has no idea that Trent is on the same plane.
Their whirlwind romance comes to a tragic end when they are summoned back to Nashville for Kyle’s death. When the media blames them for Kyle’s suicide, Trent leaves Melodie to face the media alone.
Now, six years later they come face to face in a battle-of-the-sexes reality show competition but this time the stakes are even higher. Can they find their second chance at happiness, or will the past once again destroy them?
Trent is a singer-songwriter. Music is the only thing that keeps him sane. Ashamed of his disabilities, he does his best to hide them but like any truth, it finds its way out. His fear and shame is what caused him to leave Melodie after their amazing two weeks together. He knew he couldn’t face the media without revealing his secret.
There have been other girls, women, one-night stands, even a few relationships but Melodie is the only woman he’s ever loved. He can’t forget her but is he brave enough to face his past failings and seek a second chance?
Melodie writes young adult fantasy novels. She once won an award for promising new author but that was before the media labeled her a whore and a murderer. It didn’t matter that Kyle had cheated on her and she’d refused his ring. He died and the media blamed her and her relationship with Trent.
Hiding from the world and writing under a pseudonym Melodie finds herself once more being forced into the limelight. Can she salvage her career or will the past once more make her pay for loving the wrong man?
Song contest ends April 24th, 2022. Don’t miss your chance to add your song to Trent’s Play List. You could win a $25 Gift Card, your name and links in Trent’s Melodie, my upcoming book and your song featured in the book.
Contest Alert! I need your help. If you are a poet or song writer, would you like your work to be featured in my novel? Trent Harrell is a song writer and the main character in Trent’s Melody.
Brief synopsis: Trent is a down-on-his-luck singer/song writer. His band almost made it but lost it all when their band mate overdosed. Trent blames himself for his friend’s death. They were both in love with the same woman. He walked away from Melodie, the band and the promise of his music career.
The author of the song or poem that best fits the story will win a $25 gift card and will be named in the book credits and I will also add in their links.
Send your submissions to the link below with your name and email address. Finalists will be chosen April 24th, 2022.
Not a poet but still want to help me with Trent’s Melody? How are you at naming TV shows? Trent and his brother, Cole are competing in a reality renovation show competition against the all-female construction crew 3Ms of Melodie, Maddie and Morgan, in a men versus women renovation of Main Street, Leeward. They will each have to renovate two stores to help bring good publicity to the town after all the bad news.
$5 gift card, named in book credits and if applicable, a link in my book matter.
To submit your show name, just click on the link below, don’t forget your name and email. Finalists will be chosen April 10th. You can submit as many times as you like but only one title per submission.
Dorian threatened to keep
me from my mini vacation but thankfully, he didn’t do as much damage around my
home as he did to others. My heart goes out to those on North Carolina’s Outer
Banks, Myrtle Beach and especially the Bahamas.
With only the inconvenience
of power outages at home, my husband waved me off and I hurriedly packed my
bags for my very first writers retreat in the most exotic– Murfreesboro, North
I met my friend and
fellow Pamlico Writer’s Group member, Adrienne Dunning in Greenville and she
graciously agreed to drive. I was exceedingly grateful after having traversed
the perilous traffic of Greenville after a hurricane when all of Beaufort
County is shut down due to the power outages, oh my God, people are crazy! I
stopped at Walmart to purchase a bottle of wine and debated opening it in the
parking lot. I didn’t think that would go over very well and I still wasn’t
sure how to get to Adrienne’s apartment, so I left the wine corked and after
looping around several times managed to find her quite easily, right where she
said she’d be.
Adrienne, having attended
Chowan college (now Chowan University) took me to see the beautiful campus. We
arrived at the Murfree-Williams House after a quick view of the town. While not
exactly exotic, the small town is a lovely homage to Mayberry with its retro
Main Street, brick sidewalks and historic homes.
We were greeted by our
hostess, Ruth Akright, the owner of the lovely rehabilitated 1801 home. The
luxury of being among the first group of writers to enjoy the hospitality of
Ruth and the Murfree-Williams house this weekend was a treasure I’m not sure I
can put into words.
Ruth opened her property
to a group of writers who wished a venue to write, learn and fellowship with
other writers. Quiet by accident, all of the attendees happened to be romance
writers. This weekend, our small group, two from the Pamlico Writer’s Group
member, Adrienne Dunning and myself, Michelle White from Chesapeake, Virginia
and her daughter, Samantha Keel, we were also joined by presenters Sonja McGiboney,
a children’s author from Smithfield, Virginia, and Trudy Gibbons, a poet and
song writer from Murfreesboro.
We started Friday evening
with a light supper and a talk by Sonja. Sonja started her journey as an author
with her camera and her dog. After taking too many pictures of her beloved pit-bull
pup, Jazzy, she put together a book for niece and nephew for Christmas. They
loved it and wanted more. Enjoying the process, Sonja wrote seven books about
Sonja’s experience going
into schools and libraries and sharing her stories allowed her to interact with
parents and children and she discovered that is what she enjoys. She has plans
for a middle grade book and hopes to someday write for Scholastics.
Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, a cool breeze, the blessing after the curse of the hurricane. Ruth treated us all to a luscious breakfast of muffins, pecan bread, mixed fruit, juice and coffee. Trudy Gibson joined us after breakfast and treated us to the story of her journey as a poet and song writer. Trudy and Sonja graced with a lovely rendition of the song she wrote, and Sonja’s father-in-law penned the notes for, they brought us all to tears with the beauty. A renowned poet, Trudy’s “Heart and Soul, a collection of short stories, poems and songs,” was a labor of love, compiled and published with the help of 1984 graduating class of Chowan College where Trudy was a secretary in the graphics department.
Needing to stretch our legs, we took off on a walking tour of Murfreesboro’s historical homes. Our residence, the 1801 Murfree-Williams House also had a neighboring law office, known as the Williams-Smith Law Office. Ruth led us down the brick sidewalk to the tiny house print shop. We followed the walk around the oldest commercial building in North Carolina, a lovely little house/tin shop, blacksmith shop, we wandered around to the gingerbread house. We circled around back to our house when the bells on the church start ringing. With a lawnmower going and the trill of the church bells, the lovely and quite innocent looking children’s author, suggested this would be a great time to murder someone, no one would hear them scream. Ya know, just because someone looks sweet and innocent, don’t let down your guard. I think she may have missed her calling.
We made our way up to Main Street to the infamous Walter’s Grill. The grill is full of character and could even be a character itself. A definite greasy spoon, the rich home cooking is a local favorite. Our next presenter, Duane Cotton author of Driven and known for his work on ABC’s Extreme Make Over: Home Edition.
After laughing our way through lunch, we made our way back to the house where we spent the next three hours talking about Duane’s journey to writing and publishing his book, as well as how we could relate his journey to success to our own journey.
Another guest for supper,
and an early evening, I retired to my room to write and think about what I’d
learned. When you attend a writers’ event, whether it’s a conference or workshop
or retreat, it can be a bit overwhelming. Letting the information stew and
digest helps to make it more useful.
Sunday morning breakfast brought guest, free-lance illustrator Ron Neale shared his knowledge of being and commercial graphic designer, illustrator and his new job as graphic designer for NASA, talk about the coolest job ever.
Ron, a dear friend of our
hostess, Ruth, was the master carpenter who’d helped resurrect the Murfree-Williams
Ron shared his marketing
and design expertise as discussion across the table escalated. My greatest problem,
like many indie authors, is promoting and marketing. Adrienne and Samantha both
confronted me with my own words, and what they made me realize, is I’m not a
romance author. I am a suspense author with strong romantic elements!
I am a suspense author!
On the way home, Adrienne
and I discussed the retreat, and both agreed this was something we would like
to do again. Maybe next time, we can host our own writers’ weekend.
If you are interested in renting
the Murfree-Williams House for a writers workshop, retreat or residency, or just
for a vacation, you can contact Ruth Akright for rates and availability at
757-477-2795 or via email at email@example.com
It’s a Long Story by Willie Nelson and David Ritz,
Narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant
Willie, Waylon and the boys…in 2015, having just turned 80,
Willie shares an in-depth look at the good and bad the comprised his life, so
far. While the story is narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant, he does a fabulous
job of letting you hear Willie’s voice. This autobiography is told in the same
style of Willie’s songs, often the words of his songs are shared amid the
story. It feels like you are sitting on the porch listening to a good friend
tell you about his life. Isn’t that why we love Willie Nelson, his songs, while
simple in design have layers of truth that resonates with each of us.
From his boyhood in Texas, through his tumultuous marriages,
his family, his songs, his battles with the law and the IRS, Willie unashamedly
bares it all. If I didn’t already love him, this autobiography would make me a
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss