Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 New Releases and Friday Funnies




Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.




Feature and Follow Friday

This week's question: What is your most anticipated book of 2017?
Hm. Lots of good ones slated for release. I think I'll go with Cassandra Clare and Laini Taylor's newest releases. Two of my fave authors, so I'm excited for their new books. ;D

Strange the Dreamer
Lord of Shadows


How does #FF work?
--The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends, and have something to post.
--You create your own post using the weekly question.
--You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post (visit alisoncanread.blogspot.com)
--Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and them them hi. FOLLOW them, don't just comment.
--If you especially like a post or just want to show appreciation, like the blogger name on the linky list.
--The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature.
--You must follow the weekly featured blogger.




What books are you looking forward to this year? ;D

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG: Fearlessness in Writing

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
Details HERE and as always thanks to our wonderful host, Alex J. Cavanaugh

The thing I've been thinking about lately is boldness vs. fear. I've never thought of myself as a fearful or timid writer, but I think sometimes I am and I don't realize it. Some of my earlier stories were accused of being somewhat predictable. I haven't had anyone say that in awhile, but that doesn't mean that I've completely gotten away from it either. 

Part of that is just learning how to craft a great story. Learning to put in twists and turns and do what the reader won't expect. But I also think it partly has to do with simply being bolder. Taking more risks in general. Some of the most successful stories on the market are popular specifically because they don't do what the conventional story does. 

I'm going to be doing a lot of story boarding and planning for upcoming projects this month, so I'm challenging myself to always ask if what I'm doing with my story is something that might be expected or predictable. If the answer even might be yes, I've told myself I HAVE to change it to something more surprising. The most shocking thing I can think of for that scene. It can be harder than you might think to do that and still keep whatever theme, plot, or character you're going for in tact. But that's my challenge for this month. And therefore, the thing I'm most insecure about. ;D Wish me luck!
















January Question: How had being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

It's definitely made me more critical. As a writer, we are our own editors, so we tend to edit--whether consciously or unconsciously--every book we read. I'll admit it can make it harder to just sit back and enjoy a great story.

It also makes me always dissect a story as I read it. Where is it going? What's the point of this scene or that detail? When it comes to watching TV or movies, I always have to keep my mouth shut because I can usually predict where the story is going, just by it's structure. A by-product of crafting your own stories, I'm afraid. But I always find that understanding the story structure enriches the experience for me.

What are you insecure about this month?

Monday, January 30, 2017

January is Ending: The Number One Way to Keep Accomplishing Your Goals

So January is coming to a close and I'm taking stock of my month. The first month of 2017. At this point, statistically most people (like 75-90%) who made New Years Resolutions have already dropped them like Charlie Brown's rock.

I actually haven't, and I'm proud of myself for that. But did I accomplish everything I wanted to in January.

Another no. I wanted to finish the draft of my WIP by the end of January, and while I've made good progress, I'm only roughly half way done.

I also wanted to write one short story this month on top of my other writing. Yeah, kinda choked on that one. It took me most of the month to even come up with a viable idea. I think I have one now, but the fact remains I didn't get it written in the 30 day period I was aiming for.

The same is true of some of my other personal goals. I definitely made progress, but not quite as much as I was hoping.

And do I say this to be negative or feel sorry for myself? Of course not. Quite the opposite. The fact of the matter is, I've done more writing this month than I did in the last six months of 2016 combined. Even if I don't manage 12 short stories, if I manage like...3, it'll still be more short stories than I written in the past 3 years. (That's about how long it's been since I wrote my last one.) And while I didn't make as much progress as I would have liked, the fact is, I still made progress.

And I think this is the main problem most people experience who give up so quickly on their resolutions--be they physical, productive, financial, or anything else. They assume that if they can't do 200% of their goals immediately, it means they'll never be able to, and they'll never reach them, so they give up.

But the thing is, you have to train your brain to work toward any goal. I'm still re-training my brain to get used to this amount of writing. As much as I accomplished on each of my goals this month, I'll probably do time and a half or twice that next month. As you train yourself to do more, you'll be able to do your tasks more quickly and efficiently. But as with anything, you have to build up to it.

So what's the number one way to keep accomplishing your goals?

Just keep on keeping on. 


Even if you only did 50%, 10%, 1% of what you would have liked, just keep pressing forward. Decide you'll do that much again this month. No! Decide you'll do more. If you only did 1% this month, do 2% next month. Or 5%. Or more. Then press on from there. The brain is an amazing organ and it adapts more quickly than most people realize. You'll improve at an amazing rate, if you just keep trying. Bottom line?

Just don't give up. If you're still pursing your goals, you're already a head of 3/4 of the population. And you'll be J.K. Rowling before you know it. ;D

Happy Monday!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blogging Tips, Friday Funnies and Week in Review


Scroll down for both #FFs. ;D

                                     Week in Review

Words Written: 6204. Better than last week. Not as many as I wanted, but meh. I'm happy with it. :D Moving right along. I actually think I've written more words this past month than in the last...I don't even know...3-6 mos combined. *does creepy author dance*

Books Read: Still haven't finished American Gods, but making progress. I have five days to finish! ;D

Short Story: Yeah, didn't even touch the short story. :/



Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.





Feature and Follow Friday

This week's question: What are some tips that help you with blogging? 

Source
I think my number one tip would be to just be yourself and not overthink it. Treat your blog (kind of) like a journal. Not necessarily a personal one, but a journal about whatever your blog focuses on. I've taken to sometimes just posting about rambling thoughts I've had in the past week, strange ideas that I realize I can incorporate into my writing. These posts tend to be short and not at all thought out, but sometimes they get way more hits than the ones I do think and plan out. People are most inspired by genuine, human thoughts, I've found. So just be yourself and don't overthink it. ;D




How does #FF work?
--The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends, and have something to post.
--You create your own post using the weekly question.
--You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post (visit alisoncanread.blogspot.com)
--Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and them them hi. FOLLOW them, don't just comment.
--If you especially like a post or just want to show appreciation, like the blogger name on the linky list.
--The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature.
--You must follow the weekly featured blogger.


How has your writing week been? Do you make these faces when reading/writing? ;D

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

LTUE 2017

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! :D

Just a quick announcement today. LTUE 2017 runs from February 16-18 at the Provo (Utah) Marriott. For those who don't know, LTUE stands for Life, the Universe, and Everything. It's an annual symposium on Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I haven't attended in a couple of years but I love it. So much knowledge and networking with other authors to be had! More details HERE.

Anyway, I'll be there this year, both as a panelist and as an appearing author at the Book Extravaganza. If you're in Utah, come and see me. I'd love to meet you and stay for some panels. I promise you'll learn tons and feel an amazing drive toward your own creativity. Hope to see everyone there! ;D


Have a fantastic Wednesday! Make sure to practice random acts of kindness! ;D

Monday, January 23, 2017

The State of the Publishing Industry in 2017

Source
Good morning and Happy Monday! How was everyone's weekend? Good, I hope. Mine was, well, semi-productive, but I also had some fun family things going on. It's been very snowy in Utah the past week or two. We're getting far and away more snow than we did last year (which is actually a good thing) but it makes going out kind of hard.

Anyway, I actually just want to share an article with you today. I follow Kristine Kathryn Rusch via email and this landed in my inbox this past week. Honestly, I don't often read blog posts that land in my inbox. As wonderful as I'm sure they all are, I just don't often have the time. But something made me open this one and I'm glad I did.

It's a fascinating article about the state of the publishing business. The numbers for the the final quarter of last year are coming in, and they're revealing some interesting trends.

Some teasers: 

1) For next year, if you have the option for your books to be in brick and mortar stores (not all of us do) make sure and get them there BEFORE the holiday season hits.
2) Did you know Amazon is building brick and mortar stores? I totally didn't.

The reason for both of these things is the same, and really fascinating. Based on information that's come in recently about book consumer habits.

This will probably be both relevant and interesting to anyone who plans to sell books in 2017, especially indies, so I'd encourage you to take a gander. I read the article like three times, just trying to absorb all the info. So, here it is:


Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friday Funnies, Follow Friday & Week in Review

Scroll down for both #FFs. ;D

                                     Week in Review

Words Written: Only about 3,000 this week. Realized I have a lot of things to fix having to do with my website and email list. Just logistical things, but I've been prioritizing them this week. 

Books Read: Finished The Charge, but still working on American Gods. In good shape for my reading goals.

Short Story: Yeah, not much progress there. Unfortunately. ;D


Source


Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.







Cheesy joke, but still made me smile.
Too cute. Source

Feature and Follow Friday

This week's question: What Movie from Book coming out in 2017 are you most excited about? 

I think I'm gonna have to go with Stephen King on this one. A new adaptation of IT will be out this year, as well as a film based on book 1 of The Dark Tower. I genuinely hope they do a good job on both and am excited for both.


IT is an amazing book. Even if King's genre isn't your favorite, he's a masterful story teller and IT is the quintessential example of his work. They did a TV mini series in the '80s. I'm sure it was fine for that era but watching it now is just lame. I hope they do the book justice this year.



I haven't read The Gunslinger in years, but it's a very abstract book. With Matthew McConaughy and Idris Elba set to star...yeah, I'm super excited. Might have to re-read it before seeing the film, tho.



Just to change directions, I'm also excited for the next Chronicles of Narnia film: The Silver Chair. One of my favorite Chronicles. Just sayin'. ;D





How does #FF work?
--The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends, and have something to post.
--You create your own post using the weekly question.
--You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post (visit alisoncanread.blogspot.com)
--Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and them them hi. FOLLOW them, don't just comment.
--If you especially like a post or just want to show appreciation, like the blogger name on the linky list.
--The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature.
--You must follow the weekly featured blogger.


How has your writing week been? Do you make these faces when reading/writing? ;D