Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coffee and laptops...yeah they don't mix

I have been gone for far too long. But I have a perfectly good explanation for that so I'm about to tell you a story about a coffee cup, a laptop and hope!

There are two things that are very important to me as a writer; 1) coffee. I need my coffee to keep me awake as I write long hours into the night. Yes, I pull all nighters and they are pretty much impossible without that cup (or two) of joe. 2) my laptop. The laptop is essential, without it I would not be able to write because good old paper and pen just don't work anymore everything is done electronically. So, without these two things I would not be able to write.

Coffee and laptops, great separately. Usually my laptop is sitting in front of me and my coffee cup is sitting to my left as I type but on this particular day I was doing a read through and edits on my manuscript so my laptop was pushed back and my coffee cup was sitting in between it and me. You can see where this is going I bet. As I read along I had to get up from my seat at the dining room table so that I could do, what, I don't even remember because what happened next was painful. As I got up and pushed my chair back my chest bumped the coffee cup and dumped all over my laptop. It was on for two seconds then the screen went black. I immediately unhooked all power sources from the laptop and turned it upside down so that the coffee could drain.

My husband who was trying to help me, looks at me and before I even say anything he says, "It's going to be ok," I was like, "No, no it's not." He was so great as he tried to calm me down and after a few tears and some deep breaths I calmed down but the thought that my laptop was ruined burned through my brain. You are thinking, no big deal you have your manuscript backed up right? Uh, no. I didn't. I know, I know it wasn't a very smart choice to not have it backed up but I hadn't thought that I would actually be that careless. I'm usually really cautious around my laptop because it holds all of my writing.

So my laptop is sitting upside down draining onto a towel and I am frantically searching online (with my phone) for some advice on what I should do. Everything that I came across said that if you dumped water on it then there is a chance it could be saved but if you dumped something sugary or with dairy in it then it was probably not savable. Well my coffee had both of those things in it and I was thinking to myself this is so not going to be good.

I am a women of faith. I believe in God and Jesus. I definitely believe that He has a greater plan for us if we follow Him He will set us on that path and every single event that happens to you on that path is meant to be because it is His will. So the series of events that took place next was not surprising but I was so grateful that He gave me a sign so clear that it gave me some peace of mind.

All of this happened on a Thursday. Friday my husband and I were preparing to go on a weekend camping trip with our two children and Scout family. I had just finished all of my own edits as I was wrapping up the last chapter. Earlier that morning I had asked my editor if she was ready for my manuscript on Monday because I was going to finish the last chapter edits and do another read through over the weekend. Yes, I was suppose to spend a family weekend with the kids and camp out in a tent on the hard ground in the wild. But I was thinking of ways that I could smuggle my book into the campsite and read it so that it was fully ready by Monday morning for my editor.

My husband, bless his heart, was getting pretty tired of hearing me talk about my book and how I needed to finish it. How it wasn't getting done because I couldn't work continuously on it like I wanted. We had been at odds a couple of times about it but he realized how important it was to me so he relented. I have to admit that I let the book be one of the most important things in life for me while I was writing and editing it. Even though he was helping me with my laptop I think deep down he was thinking, good now she can take a break. He had told me that he was going to tell me to stay home alone for the weekend and just finish up what I needed to finish too.

Completely saddened by the turn of events I flopped down on my couch and tried not to hyperventilate because I had just finished my first novel, didn't have a back up and my laptop had too much coffee and went haywire. Logging on Facebook I was going to ask for some advice since I had found only negative things about it online. I follow Joyce Meyer Ministries on Facebook so I get those neat little devotionals and Bible verses that she posts. On this morning she had put this one up:

Learn to enjoy things without developing too strong of an attachment to them. -Joyce

If this was any clearer It would be transparent. I mean really if God had slapped me in the head and said, "Get a grip." it would have been really difficult for me to deny that He was clearly at work here. On Friday Doug and I packed up the car, the kids and headed out to Camp Echockotee. Laptop left behind to drain, manuscript untouched and hope completely and faithfully intact that when I started it up on Sunday evening it would work.

We had an amazing weekend and the weather was absolutely perfect for a fall camping trip. My husband and I actually repelled down a 50 foot wall and we just don't do that stuff because he is afraid of  heights and I am afraid of anything new especially something that could equal death. Hello, 50 foot wall, one harness and a rope that I controlled, yeah I was afraid. But I didn't panic and I didn't stress. I kept it together. And that goes for both laptop and that 50 foot drop that could have very well been the death of me.

On Sunday when we got home we unpacked and settled in. As I got my laptop and turned it over I put the battery back in and pushed the power button. Ok, the lights were on that was a good sign. When the screen came up with all of my files I was so happy!! I was not surprised because my faith was unshakable because of the clear signs that I had gotten from up above.

Can you believe that I am typing on my laptop right now and it works. At first the keys stuck and some didn't work but when I hooked up my wireless keyboard and, out of habit, typed on the laptop keyboard 4 days later all of the keys worked with the exception of the right clicker. My laptop is back and in good condition. Faith and hope can give you a lot of things and a peace of mind is one of those. There really is no use in worrying about something that is in God's hands. I had a great weekend, my editor has my manuscript and I am blogging again, woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The purpose of this weekly post is not to rant, rave or bash anyone. It is only to voice my opinion and concerns on current events in the writing community. I will in no way ever be nasty or hateful to people even though some of this stuff really is upsetting because it has an affect on everyone.
Recently, on my Facebook page I came across a post that linked back to an article about a popular author who was accused of plagiarism, something that is beat into our minds by teachers at a young age all through school. As we get older we start to develop a better understanding of these things and why they are unmoral. It seems to me that sometimes as we get older and have a better understanding about morals that we tend to loosen the moral chain a bit for personal gain.
There have been several accounts of accused plagiarism in the writing community in the past and that leads me to a questions; Are these authors truly plagiarizing? The answer, we will never know. It may seem like plagiarism and the authors mostly will deny the accusations but in all honesty we'll never know if an author actually plagiarized or not because it is impossible for us to get inside their head. We have to go on with the thought that they have to live with it.
Here is my concern about plagiarism. The world is not fair it never has been and it never will be because we have certain people making decisions for us all collectively and no two people are alike. But will these plagiarism accusations change the writing community. At some point people are going to say enough is enough and they will come up with some policy that will try to eliminate plagiarism. I am concerned that whatever policy is put into place will in the long run hurt the self publishers.
After reading the article on a particular best selling author and the accusations on plagiarism against them I scrolled through the comments. I wanted to know what other people thought. Boy was I sorry I did that. This author was self published as well as traditionally published with a publishing house. The first comment I read was about this being a problem among self published authors because there is no one to refuse publishing because of their plagiarism. And that is where this post stems from.
It's truly sad that people plagiarize and when they do it affects more then just them it affects their readers, the person they plagiarize from, editors that work with them, and other authors. But mostly it just affects them. Why take the risk on plagiarizing? So that you can sell a book? So that you can get past writer's block? It's just not worth it in the end. If you have writer's block there are writing communities and articles out their that can help you and give ideas on how to get past it. Find another writer that you can talk to about it. Just remember that you have to live with the decisions you make.
If you have any concerns on plagiarism I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What is your opinion on plagiarism? And remember there is a fine line between unmoral and illegal when it comes to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Be safe and write your own words. If you are using a source for some research, cite the source.
How can I get over writer's block?
I like to read when I have writer's block. It gets me in the write fame of mind for writing. If you aren't coming up with anything still I would suggest putting the story down and coming back to it. Don't rush and remember that having your own original work out there is by far more satisfying then plagiarism.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fun Giveaway!

Who doesn't love free stuff! I am doing a fun giveaway on my author FB page all you have to do is tell me what your favorite book cover is. You can click here for your chance to win 1 of 4 "Turning Leaves" metal bookmarks with a burgundy silk tassel. Perfect for the fall. I do most of my reading on my Kindle but from time to time I do have a paper book but usually I am stuffing whatever is closest to me in between the pages so that I don't loose my spot. Not anymore!

"Turning Leaves" metal bookmark with burgundy silk tassel

New Blogging Schedule

I have a new blogging schedule! Everyone needs a schedule because without it we would all be wondering around aimlessly trying to figure out where we go and when! I have neglected my blog due to well numerous things but I love blogging! So I have scheduled posts at least 3 days a week! Here is what those posts will be;

Tell It Like It Is Tuesday

I'm not usually an opinionated person out loud but we all need an outlet for the drama that is going on in the writing and reading world. On Tuesday's I will give my opinion on some recent event that has happened. For example; the Goodreads policy change, the plagiarism accusations made against a bestselling author things like this. I'll give my opinion and I would love to here your take on it too as long as we are being decent about it.

Let's get personal Thursday

Thursday's will be about my personal endeavors in the writing/reading/blogging world. Maybe there is something that I have done or come across that could help you.

Spotlight on Saturday

On Saturdays I will turn the spotlight on someone else! It can be an author, blogger anyone. So watch out, I may be coming for you!
I may blog on off days about anything but you know that these three days are occupado on this site :) Thanks for stopping by and come back for Tell It Like It Is Tuesday.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


This blog will be getting a facelift! Stop back on Monday (10/7) too see!!

You can 'Like' me on Facebook where I post teasers and do random giveaways! Or you can follow me on Twitter! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Echo's, Fractured Heart cover and a little sneak peak!

Gah! You can hear your own echo in this blog. I have been working on fine tuning my manuscript and it is definitely more time consuming then I could have ever anticipated. But it is completely worth it and I can't wait to get Katy's story out to everyone! The cover should be ready in two weeks and I know it's going to be amazing as I have an amazing photographer. I am so happy that she has agreed to work with me. You can check out Pam Bell's work by going to her website or visiting her Facebook page. Her pictures are absolutely gorgeous to look at. She takes the most beautiful landscape pictures as well and you can even purchase them for your own personal use. They are just breath-taking. I am so excited about the cover! I have decided to use a scene from the book for the cover so Ms. Pam, myself and the cover model will do our best to re-create something visual for everyone. I leave you with a sneak peak of Fractured Heart! Hope you like it and please feel free to share away! This is the epigraph and is used to set the tone of the book.