Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Bits and Pieces (For a Change)

Since I didn't do a B&P post for Wednesday, and I have an assortment of notes and links, I decided to do one today.

The Last Day for Carolyn Poling Schriber's Book Launch Party

If you haven't read all the great interviews and articles at the launch site for Beyond All Price, check it out. This party will be of special interest if you like to read and/or write historical fiction.

What I'm Reading

Judgment & Wrath, a Joe Hunter thriller by Matt Hilton. The first Joe Hunter novel, Dead Men's Dust, was excellent, and this new book is full of action and mystery. A really creepy bad guy just blew up a house, so I hated to put the book down and get other work done.

Holly Jahangiri's Awesome Review of My Mysteries

Holly blogs at It's All a Matter of Perspective, and the review post is called Sylvia and Willie, Two New Friends Worth Meeting. When I sent the two books to Holly, I had no expectations she'd get around to reading them in the near future because I know she's a busy lady. And even if she read them, there was no guarantee she'd like them or have time to bother with a review. The post was a lovely surprise, and I appreciate it a whole bunch.

If this persuades you to check out Sylvia and Willie (and the Florida Flippers), note that The Desert Hedge Murders is now available in mass market paperback from the Harlequin Worldwide e-store.

Two Guest Authors in the Line-Up Next Week

On Monday, my guest will be Sylvia Dickey Smith, whose new novel, A War of Her Own, has just been released.

My Thursday guest is Cara Lopez Lee, author of the Memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands: A Memoir of Alaskan Love, World Travel and the Power of Running Away, scheduled for publication in November.

Photo From Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference

Beth Groundwater, Me, and Deni Dietz

Yes, that's me in the middle with the longer hair and the squinty-eyed smile. I guess it's time to get a new photo for my website and blog. Maybe one with my eyes open.

Beth is a fellow Colorado author. She has just signed with Midnight Ink for two different mystery series. Here's her website with more about her books.

Deni is an author and also an editor for Five Star's mysteries. She was my editor for both Sylvia and Willie books. Her most recent release is Soap Bubbles.

Finding Time to Write

I've had a bad habit my whole life: taking on too many tasks and responsibilities. You'd think a person would learn eventually, but I tend to slip back into old habits as soon as someone asks me to do something that looks like fun.

However, Nagging Whisper has been at me again. She calls me Stupid. Says I'm a Procrastinator. Tells me there are stories to write and characters just waiting for me to set them free. She finally got through. I'm letting go of a few obligations to free up more writing time.

I'm not going to give up blogging or visiting blogs, but I am going to post mostly on weekdays. If I post anything on Saturday or Sunday, it will be short -- a reminder, photos, an upcoming guest's book trailer, etc.

The name of the game is writing, and I haven't been doing enough. I'll attend a guest ranch writer's retreat in October. That's usually good for 10,000 to 20,000 words, depending on how much time I waste visiting the kitchen for coffee or snacks, staring out the window at the river that runs past our bunkhouse, or running outside to take photos (which I did a lot last year since we had a beautiful snowfall during the weekend).

I've also cleared my calendar for the rest of the fall and winter. No trips, no conferences, and no fooling around until spring.

You know what finally did it? Well, besides Nagging Whisper, I mean. It was the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference. There's no way I could be a part of that energy, inspiration, and support for a weekend and not have it motivate me to get busy.


Mary said...

You have "Happy Eyes." Your smile makes others smile.
I have a poster on my wall with NO in large red letters. I'm learning to use that word (kindly of course). I was trying to fit in everything I thought I missed doing before I retired. I found I didn't really miss them then and so I don't miss them now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that you're motivated, get moving!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

When I saw the picture on Beth's blog, it took me a long time to recognise you. You look really nice with longer hair- time to replace the mug shot, I think. Though you look like everyone's favourite school teacher in the current one.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Hey, I'm Judgement&Wrath too.It's great stuff.

Paul D. Brazill said...

I'm 'reading' J&W, I should say. Life isn't a Ray Bradbury book ...

Karen Walker said...

I love the new you, Patricia. And something I learned a while back - No is a complete sentence. Glad you're listening to Nagging Whisperer.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you. I need you to send Nagging Whisperer to Texas for a few days.

Clarissa Draper said...

Great links and news and I agree, blogging has been taking up too much time away from writing so I'm going back to limiting my time on the internet.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Patricia: Gee, from the picture, I know you gals had fun. I hated to miss Colorado Gold, because I enjoyed it so last year, but alas, it's far from my house, plus I had a July workshop at RWA nationals. I keep hoping I'll win the Fla. lottery so I can attend all the conferences. Enjoyed the Bits and Pieces blog--lots of interesting snippets.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Mary -- I love the idea of writing a big red NO across my calendar. I should also write it on my forehead so I see it every time I look in the mirror.

Hi Paul. I'm already a big Matt Hilton fan, thanks to your blog. Meeting him at Bouchercon was a bonus.

Alex -- I am. I'm moving.

Rayna -- I know. It's hard to believe two years, a hairdo change, and a few pounds can make a person look so different. I kind of like that "favorite schoolteacher" tag, though. Since I've been teaching a few classes at Northern Colorado Writers, I qualify.

Hi Karen -- Nagging Whisper wins again!

But she has a mind of her own, Carol, so I'm not sure when she'll bop down to see you. She reads all these comments. She may show up on your shoulder any day, acting like the little shrew she is.

Clarissa -- I can see why you would need to limit Internet time. Your posts are so detailed and informative, it must take much longer to write them than mine take me.

Hi Joyce. I was just thinking about you as I reworked my To Do list. Good to see you here. While you're pining for Colorado Gold, I keep thinking about Sleuthfest in Florida. I'd like to give that convention a try at least once (win I win the Colorado lottery). :)

Hart Johnson said...

Pat, you suffer from FOMS (fear of missing something)--At least that is how I've diagnosed that exact 'keep adding activities' thing in myself. I hope it works for you! I suspect when I add 'promoting' to this ordinary networking thing, I too may need to cut back somewhere, and weekend blogging (when readers are lower anyway) makes total sense.

Patricia Stoltey said...

That's exactly it, Hart. FOMS. The older I get, the worse it gets. And yes, promoting is super time-consuming. But it's fun. And if you don't do it all, you might miss the best parts. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Here's a great post from Time Management Ninja on

10 Things to Stop Doing Now...To Get More Done

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Being motivated is all it takes to achieve something.
Love the post, i do enjoy your Fridays Bits and Pieces.

Have a wonderful week end.

Anne Randolph said...

Missed seeing you at the RMFW Conference, but I had a great time. Glad you were there. Anne Randolph

Ann Best said...

It's great "seeing" you. I can relate to your longer gray hair, though mine won't be long but I am letting the gray come back in. Too much bother to color it, and being brown-haired isn't really important. But what is important is what you and other bloggers have recently said: deciding what's important to do and what isn't. Blogging is fun, and I won't give it up either, but it has addictively taken over my life since I started six months ago. Like some of our followers, I'm also now limiting my time on the Internet. For one thing, I have books I want to read, including Desert Hedge Murders that arrived the day before I took off on my vacation. It's first on my list!

Have a great weekend!

Kay Theodoratus said...

Time to put the "Behind in the Chair", preferably in front of the computer, and keep writing even if you aren't motivated. I'm waiting to read your next novel.

Like the picture since it displays your most common expression ... a smile.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Yvonne -- I do seem to have a nice list of odds and ends pop up each week. Might tell you something about my writing life: scattered and unorganized.

Hi Anne -- Sorry not to connect at Colorado Gold. I worked registration early Friday afternoon, but I was taking care of A-D. I was lucky enough to meet a couple of other writers I'd connected with on line. That was fun.

Ann -- bless your heart for ordering Desert Hedge Murders. I sure hope you like it. As for reading time, there's never enough. I try to hard to stay awake to read at bedtime, but it's hard to retain anything when my eyes are closed more than they're open.

Hi Kay -- Gee, seems like I saw you about an hour ago. Oh, wait. It was an hour ago -- at the grocery store. :) BICHOK -- Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. I'm seeing that everywhere on the blogs. (And thanks for saying my most common expression is smile. I hope it's true.)

Monti said...

Wow! I love the idea of going to a ranch for writing. That would even make an inspiring setting!

How exciting! The more I read about your mysteries, the more I want to write one.

Happy writing,

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Monti -- I have to say, the grass is always greener. When I'm writing mysteries, I want to write women's fiction. And after I did that, I wanted to write suspense. Now I'm eying YA (and thinking about my next mystery)...

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Finding time to write has been tough this month. I'm scheduling time for everything which drives me crazy. I have an idea for a new WIP and I haven't been able to start. Good luck with everything.

Jemi Fraser said...

Time has been slipping through my fingers as well. Thanks for all the links :)