Friday, April 28, 2017

Travel Bug....I Haz It! #MFRW Authors #17

Yikes!  Friday managed to sneak up on me!  Since I'm getting ready to travel to an event, I'll keep this short and sweet.

Where would I like to visit?

1)  Italy.  I love the food and want to see Rome.

2)  France.  Again, I love the food and want to see the art museums.

3)  Greece.  I love mythology and want to see the ancient ruins.

4)  Branson, Mo.  Guess I'm dating myself if I say I want to see the Osmond Brothers perform?  Plus I saw a commercial with an amusement park....yeah, I'm still a kid at heart, which leads me to the final one....

5) Disney World.  I want to spend an entire day at each park, then have the luxury of going back to watch the shows and enjoy the nightlife.  Tried to do this in 2004, but when you travel with a 3 mo/old and teenagers, as well as aging parents, let's just say a) June was NOT the month to go and b) I should have left the kids at the motel with their grandparents and gone by myself, lol!

Where do YOU want to visit?  To see others' dream spots, go here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Livin' The Life #MFRW Authors #16

Cue Fiddler on the Roof...."If I were a rich (wo)man...."

If money was no object, what would I be doing?  Really, one of two things:

1) Domestic Engineer who had the means to bring in a cleaning lady once a month, in order to tackle those icky housework chores like cleaning the bathtub/shower and DEEP cleaning the house. 
     -Attend multiple conventions every year
     -Pay for cover art/edits w/o the payment plan
     -Have plenty of promo to hand out
     -Pay for advertising w/o batting an eye.

2)  Own my own bookstore/Cafe and NOT have to worry about the town supporting it or not.  My store would be right down town, and host events every other month or so.
     -I could employ someone to make soup and sandwiches for lunch, and maybe even open up for breakfast.  Once a month, be open for dinner.
     -Host author signings
     -During NaNo, be a sponsored write-in spot.
     -Host 'Open Mic' Night.
     -Every month, spotlight a new Indie author.

In short, have enough money that I didn't have to worry about every penny.  My income would replace what I spend....which really isn't that extravagant.  I mean, I generally spend $500/month on food; $40/month on e-books, $100/year (okay, maybe $200!) on print books; and maybe $300/year on clothes.  Last year I spent over $1000 on promotion/venue costs/inventory.

Is it too much to ask that my income exceed my needs?

I'll admit; I've got 'champagne tastes on a beer budget'....but I've learned to somewhat curb that as I've gotten older.

What are YOUR dreams?

To see what other authors dream of, go here. 
        

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Social Media Hangouts #MFRW Authors #15

Yikes!  You want to know where I can be found in cyberspace besides here and my shared website?

I have to be honest; I'm a little anti-social on social media.

I know, an oxymoron....but it's true.  I usually let my alter-ego do all the 'chatting'.  Oh sure, I post my buy links or even links to this blog, but really, Blogger is about the only place where I can be.....me.

Facebook:  I have an author page, Author Kenzie Michaels.  But if you want to see pictures of the 'real me', look for Molly Daniels.

Twitter:  The only thing I really ever post here is my weekly karaoke progress.  So if you look at my twitter feed, it's filled with (song title)...nailed it or ugh...never sing this again!  You'll also find some retweets from others who have mentioned me.  Once in a blue moon I'll actually post my hourly word counts.  Yeah, I really don't 'get' twitter just yet, or how to engage in conversations.  As you can tell, once I get started, I'm pretty 'chatty', so limiting me to 140 characters is pure torture.....

Instagram:  I discovered the camera app on my phone is malfunctioning, so the only way I can take photos that can be accessed is to use Instagram.  Which sucks, because I used to use my phone to record my karaoke songs.  Looks as if I'm back to the trusty digital camera which cuts off my head.  Unless I can find something to sit it on.

Chat Loops:  Does anyone really hang out on them anymore?  (ducks head)  I used to love Novel Sisterhood and Romance Books 4 Us, but I prefer Facebook now....I still get the digests from all 14 loops, but the only ones I actively READ anymore are RB4U and MFRW (how I found out about this awesome weekly blog hop, lol!).

I have a Pinterest account, but have only used it once; I also have a Google Plus account, but haven't accessed it in years.  My kids love SmapChat.

GoodReads:  My books are listed, but again, Molly does the chatting, and does share info about my books as well as hers.  I usually only pop in once or twice a day to update my reading progress, and to answer the Q of the Day on one of the groups.  I'll pop in more often if the conversation is more interesting, or if I'm procrastinating!

What's That?  You Want The Link To Molly's Blog?  
It can be found to the right under 'Favorite Links'.

Go HERE if you want to check out where others hang out.  Maybe they're more social than me.

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Have I Got An Idea For You!" #MFRWauthors #14

I've already told you the story behind Kira's Slice of Pizza, so by now you should realize I find inspiration in the weirdest places!

All She Ever Wanted:  I was cooking dinner at the stove when all of a sudden I heard 'Don't get your knickers in a twist; this is only temporary...' and then I had two characters bickering.  I had to shut off dinner and go write it down.  Four days later, the book was finished.

Class Reunion:  From a fan:  Hey Kenzie, I really want to know more about this Brian Vellinger character....Six months later, I attended two reunions and when two classmates discovered they share a birthday....this story was born.

Off The Clock:  I began attending my 1st writer's group, and after a couple of meetings, an anthology idea was tossed around.  I came up with the first two chapters, presented them the next week, only to be told they were thinking of another setting.  Cara and Austin wouldn't leave me alone, and then the anthology idea went nowhere, so I 'stole' the title and then Austin hijacked Class Reunion....suddenly I had a trilogy!

Teacher's Pet:  I was challenged by friends to bump up my heat level, so I remembered the reaction I had toward my son's history teacher, and well, the rest is history....

Wild At Heart:  News blurb about prison reform is heard on the radio.  Suddenly 'Steve' is in my head telling me, "That's me.  I'm trying to convince the town I've changed after my prison term...write my story!"  I happened to be driving at the time, so a month later I was able to finally sit down and write it.  Wasn't exactly the story 'Steve' had in mind, but I love it!

Appetite For Desire:  I'd been watching Food Network.  I also used my own country club waitress experience plus tossed in some fantasy:)

The Chosen series:  Everything was going fine.  Tricia and Brock had met, they spent the night together...all was going well until Brock suddenly told her 'I'm not from Earth'.  I quit writing it for an entire decade!  Then when I dusted it off and kept going, it spawned four more books.

If you're wondering about that Confessions Over Cold Eggs I mentioned last week, well, here's an excerpt:

“I’m sorry. I thought I could present my argument less emotionally. Just forget I said anything.”
“Ains….”
“No, let’s simply salvage what’s left of our breakfast, then I won’t bother you again. Maybe I can stall the decision a little while longer, at least until I graduate next year. Then I’ll have my nursing certificate and can join a hospital in another town, where no one knows me or my background, and I can find another karaoke bar.” Ainsley put a bite of food in her mouth, then grimaced. “Ugh. This is cold.” She looked up at him again.
Gary felt laughter bubbling up, and saw the smile spreading across her face. “Guess we should have eaten before talking about your troubles?” He chuckled.
“Confessions over cold eggs.” Putting her hands over her mouth, she giggled. “This is my treat, so shall we start over?”
He shook his head. “No, they’ll just microwave our plates. Tell you what, let’s go back to the bar and I’ll ask Rachelle to whip us up two shredded beef tacos. They should be about to close down the bar for the night, and she won’t mind. She’s done it before for others.” Gary signaled for the server and scooped up both tickets. “No, I’ve got this,” he said when Ainsley protested. “Besides, I think you just helped me with something I’ve been struggling with.” He slid out of the booth and paid the cashier, then turned back to the stunned girl. “Let’s go.”

For other authors' story inspirations, click here.

Or here, the other one.  (This week, it's this one.  I know; confusing.  If I knew how to do the code, I'd step up to volunteer to coordinate this.)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm A Naive Nellie....#MFRWauthors #13

Last week was greatest strength....this week it's weakness.

I think I'm too trusting....

Plus, I have a sincere weakness for sweets, in particular at the moment, blackberry pie/cobbler.

Peanut Butter Twix bars.

Reeses Cups.

Whatchamacallits (yes, it's a deeeeelicious candy bar!).

Singing.  I will break out in song when the mood hits, or someone around me reminds me of a song lyric.

Drives.  My kids.  CRAZY!  (Hey, just doin' m'job!)

That's all I got at the moment.  I've been spending this week out in the yard, cleaning up leaves and pine needles.  Older grandkids return home on Saturday.....Miss Drama Queen has matured into a lovely babysitter for the 4-y/o granddaughter, so gotten a LOT accomplished!

In the mood for some general fiction stories?  My alter-ego's had her 11th book released this past week (eep, she's catching up to me!  I need to write RiKar's story pdq, lol!), anther anthology she was invited to contribute to.  Go check it out here; it's also in print.



Her stories are Family Secrets and Confessions Over Cold Eggs (remember our Title Topic?  Yeah....figure out that second title, lmao!)

Click here for more posts.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Faith, Compassion, Forgiveness....#MFRWauthors #12

What's my greatest strength?

I'm about to break a sacred rule.

You see, I attend a Women's Conference at church every year, and we're not supposed to divulge secrets.  But since this one's about me, I'll share it anyway.

I was raised in a Christ-oriented family, and thanks to some childhood bullying and anxiety issues, I clung to my faith, since I'd been taught about a loving God.  I pictured Him with gray hair and wrinkles, and a very loving manner, much like my own grandpa.  I didn't feel accepted by kids at school, but I was close to several friends whom I only saw once or twice a week.  Plus, I had Father God whom I could talk to any time of day or night:)

So yes, I have a deep faith in a Higher Power.....which may seem strange to romance writers.  Stranger still, I have many friends who don't believe, or are of other faiths.

My childhood issues gave me a unique compassion for others, and I've also been told I'm way too forgiving at times.

But that's how I was raised....and since I was an 'ugly duckling' who has blossomed into some sort of swan, it allowed me to develop my imagination, since I was a voracious reader.

I am loyal to a fault; I can be your greatest fan if I love your books; I can champion the underdog.

Hope:  I've never given up hope that one day I'd be published.  This has allowed me to be flexible, since at 1st I wanted to be published by age 20 and be a guest on Love Boat, and have that shipboard romance with either Doc or Gopher, but alas, it went off the air when I was 13 or 14!  Nevertheless, when it didn't happen at 30, I was thrilled when it finally happened before I hit 40!  Even then, I struggled with marketing, but through trial and error I've attained some small successes:)  The worst thing anyone can say to me?

"Why don't you give up on that writing thing?  You're not making any money!  Go get a 'real job'."

Ummmm....Yeah, I don't make a huge sum of money, but I would much rather be doing something I love than spend a lot of time and energy doing something I despise.

If those aren't strengths, then apparently I've misunderstood the topic.

For more, or even better posts, go here.

Or here.   You might get all the links on this one; there was some confusion at the beginning of the week!

Friday, March 17, 2017

How My Brain Works....#MFRWauthors #11

Welcome back!  This week's topic is 'What is your writing process?'

Answer:  I really don't know.

I've written books in a month, involving several hours' worth of pounding the keyboard and snarling at any interruption.

I've written books which have taken years, yanking every word from my brain, much like a toddler in the throes of a colossal temper tantrum.

Then there was last Wednesday......

I was working on a new short story, and being under an intense deadline (long story short, I thought my original story was accepted, but discovered two weeks before publication, they were asking me to revise it!  Thankfully, publication has been delayed another week...okay, that wasn't so short,,,,are you getting ANY sense of my thought process yet?  LOL!), I was rather stressing out about the way the new story was going.  I sat down to watch Jeopardy, when one of the clues sparked an idea.  As soon as the commercial break began, I jumped up and went to the computer and wrote.....then back to watch more Jeopardy.

Then Survivor began.  I'm a die-hard lover of this show, so, you guessed it....every commercial break I was back at the computer, pounding out the words and relying on my mother to yell, "It's back on!"  This went on for the next two hours.

Let me stop a minute and mention the fact we'd ordered Chinese for dinner.  I had fully intended to get another plate of Mu-Shu Pork while watching the premier of this season's Survivor.  With the brainstorm, this didn't happen!

After Survivor, I went back to the computer and finally finished that damn story ninety minutes later.  Then returned to the kitchen to find my dear mother had carefully packed up my food and placed it into the refrigerator!  So at eleven-thirty at night, I finally finished my meal, and watched an old Perry Mason episode with my mommy.

Mom asked how the story was coming along, so I told her I'd finally finished it.  She smiled at me and said, "It's so amazing how your brain works!"

I'm interested in seeing if the other authors on this hop share this, or are there those who actually plot, outline, and write, as we were taught in school, or if we're all pantsers?  When I write longer books, I like to have a sense of where the story is taking me, but occasionally it's nice when the characters simply hijack your brain and all you can do is hang on for the ride!

Normally at this time, I'd provide a link to the others on this hop, but no such link appears to exist...so keep checking back HERE. 

EDITED:  There's a new post with links:  Go Here.