Monday, April 26, 2010

New Resources & Update

Hi Cozies! It’s been a heck of a month. In March, my trusty laptop – Keats – passed away. Since the brave little Toshiba lasted longer in my care than any other computer before it, we erected a tower in its honor in the backyard. Okay, not really. But he deserves it. Thanks to a computer tech a town over, I was able to recover the hard drive and a year’s worth of writing files. Close call. Though I have two back-up hard drives I transfer all files to on the 1st and 15th of every month, I had been using the “paste shortcut” option instead of an actual “paste.” I’ve learned my lesson. Writers, please remember not only to back-up regularly but to do it carefully!

I completed my third paranormal manuscript in early April. The book came out to be roughly 106,000 words, my longest since 2005. When I’ve let it sit for a month or two, I’ll go back a cut it down to 95-100k. Not looking forward to the painful revision process. Before I can begin the fourth book in the series, I will have to do research on the American mafia. Netflix is bringing The Godfather and The Sopranos to my door. I look forward to writing my vampire’s story, but I wanted to get back to my ALW pen name when I’d completed over half the series. So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a Regency WIP. I’ve also been reading (and watching) a lot of Austen and various other Regency romances – particularly those by Christine Wells. I enjoyed Wicked Little Game and am now reviewing Sweetest Little Sin for The Season (which has a fun new look!). At this time, I have no idea how long this manuscript will turn out to be – novel or novella? – or who I will be targeting once it is finished. I am enjoying my escape into the times. I didn’t think I would write another historical for some time. After Forever Amore was nominated by Long & Short Reviews for Best Book of 2009, however, I decided to take another plunge.

While trailing my muse into Regency waters, I realized how little I know about period customs. There were so many society rules and titles. Plus, I knew little of Regency fashion or history. Thanks to a fellow TWRP author, however, I found an absolute gem in Nancy Mayer’s Regency Researcher site. It has everything a writer needs to know about the Regency period. And if you have questions about the material, you can contact her by email for answers. Since beginning what is tentatively titled “Desperate Measures,” I’ve visited the site once a week just to make sure I have all my period ducks in a row! Plus, the site will be featured in my web spotlight column for May’s RWU “Write Right” newsletter.

Another valuable web resource I have discovered through The Roses of Prose is the Social Oomph networking service. I love networking! Guest blogging, finding fans and friends and other writing professionals and readers on Facebook and Twitter, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. Social Oomph gives me a little breathing room on days that I need to be focused on writing, editing, revising or family. For example, Monday mornings are tough because my level of productivity on that day will set the tone for the entire week. At the same time, I blog every Monday at The Roses of Prose. What Social Oomph does is allow me to preschedule reminder tweets for my followers, letting them know where I am online. The same works for guest-bloggers both here at Cozy and TRoP. A part of being a guest is getting that extra attention, and it’s only fair that every guest get the same level of attention, as much as Cozy or TRoP can possibly offer. I’m sometimes forgetful so as soon as I preschedule the guest post to publish the day of the guest blog, I immediately schedule three reminder tweets to go out the same day. Other services offered by Social Oomph are tracking keywords, sending automatic DMs to new followers, URL shortening that allows you to track your clicks, automatically follow those who follow you if you wish to do so, etc. It also offers Facebook features and blog editors, and even gives you the added benefit of spam control. All the options I take advantage of are free, but you can order more.

If you need a little extra oomph in your word count, consider doing Joely Sue Burkhart’s MayNoWriMo – the May version of National Novel Writing Month. I’ll be guesting at Joely Sue’s blog on my birthday, May 12th and sharing my latest writing inspirations. Stay tuned for that as well as my birthday week extravaganza. Seven of my favorite writing peeps will be guesting here at Cozy from May 9-15. Check back in for some good fun! And on April 29, Kelly A. Harmon is bringing her virtual book tour here to The Cozy Page. Don’t miss a chance to win some great prizes!

Finally, I have to pass along the Breast Cancer Research Twibbon. If someone you or you love has ever been affected by breast cancer, add this pink ribbon to your Twitter or Facebook profile picture and pass the word along.

And I’m thrilled to announce that I have reached over 250 followers on Twitter! Thank you to all followers – old and new! The Roses of Prose are tweeting, too! Get the latest in contests and guest interviews plus be the first to know when guest spots are available by following TRoP !

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