Writer.Chef.Romantic.

My latest LOVE! (Planners, Personalities, and BIG ideas)

In Obliger on April 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hi there!

When I think about writing a new blog, there’s always this little person in the back of my mind (It’s not just a voice. It’s a whole person, rolling her eyes.) telling me no one cares about that topic. So I go on with my life without writing the blog because my life is crazy busy and super interesting (even if only to me). Of course, there’s another person (This one has her hands on her hips and is sighing and shaking her head SO SADLY.) who thinks I should blog at LEAST twice a week to build my author brand so I don’t disappear while I’m writing this monster of a book that eats my heart every day. So I go on with my life without writing the blog because that person is nuts and there are too many good books to read to spend that much time writing.

But I like to SHARE, so when I have something I think you guys might love, I blog.

So…one great thing that has made my life love-lier IS:

My Me & My Big Ideas planner. No. Really.

I’m not a planner. I’m not. (I wasn’t.) I’m not crafty. At. All. And I couldn’t understand why all my author friends were talking about stickers and posting pictures of their planners. It seemed so silly. My author friends are smart. And have super busy lives, and…stickers? Whaaaaaaat?

But then (in January) I somehow came across a Me & My Big Ideas Planner on the internet, and people, they have videos of each planner, so you can look through them and see all the inspiring quotes. Inspiring quotes are something I can really get behind. Because WORDS! My particular favorite in this planner is “No grit. No pearl.” But I also like the one about balance. Of course.

I really want to finish this book.

So I got to thinking, “What if I got a cool planner and put all the stuff I usually write on post-it notes each DAY, and kept track of my life in ONE place? And then what if I figured out a reasonable way to really focus and prioritize and delight in my writing projects with the whole YEAR in sight and not just one DAY scribbled on a post-it that ends up mashed and lost in a pocket somewhere? What if? What if I were somehow ACCOUNTABLE?”

The eye-roller told me I’ve bought planners before and I will waste money AND fail.

HOWEVER, I’m bigger than the eye-roller, and I’ve learned a little something about my personality type, thanks to that little trip to Palm Springs with my high school BFF last year. (Thanks, Erin!) I’m an obliger. Which means I find it easy to keep promises to others…but not to myself. (Find YOUR personality type here! There’s an article and a video with links to Gretchen Rubin’s site where you can take a quiz. See if it helps you reach your GOALS. It’s given me a lot to think about this year.)

So I found a way to make this planner thing work for my obliging self…by dragging my friend Jessica Topper into it. She’s not a planner, either, and frankly, she’s a little stuck on her book, like me. She said no, because non-planner people are resistant. But I was enthusiastic, and eventually she was as seduced and intoxicated by the idea of making things happen as I was. Plus, I made it an early birthday present, so she had nothing to lose. LOL. (See, there’s persuasion and then there’s bullying. I’m an Aries. It’s a fine line. But so is she, so it’s all good. I got her the same one I got myself because you should give other people things you want for yourself, right?) We decided to meet on convenient Sundays and plan/dream/brainstorm and keep our big ideas present in our lives instead of hidden on post-it notes jammed in forgotten pockets.

And I think it’s working! I have a long running list of things I check off or transfer from week to week. I write down the appointments and work things that usually hover in the back of my mind making me uncomfortable and I get them done. On the creative side, I can’t avoid the fact that I want to get the book done because there are all these cute little stickers cheering me on. It’s so easy for me to prioritize the work and family goals and ignore my creative goals (because they’re only important to me). Planning is helping me do ALL the things, and meeting my creative goals is DELIGHTING me, and talking to Jess makes the things HAPPEN. Don’t tell anyone, (especially the eye-roller) but I’ve planned to finish the monster book THIS MONTH.)

It’s Jess’s birthday today and mine on Saturday, so we are celebrating, planning, writing, having lunch, and going to yoga. Banner day! So happy birthday to us and to all the other April babies out there! Do you use a planner? Does it make you HAPPY? Which one?

HOTtest thing ON ICE!

In Romantic on March 21, 2017 at 8:11 am

Hi everybody!

It’s spring! It’s spring! My yard is dappled with melting snow and shingles that blew off in the windstorm that happened right before the heavens opened up and dumped two feet of snow on us, but it’s spring!

And that means HOCKEY! Actually, I have no idea when people play hockey, but it’s probably the fall. That seems to be when they jack the parking lot prices up downtown when I’m teaching and make me beg for a discount because I’m a poor professor.

However, HOT ON ICE, an anthology of 18 hot hockey romances is out today! I considered taking part in this anthology for a hot half-second when these super-cool women asked me to join them, but I don’t sports. Like, at all. I have never, in this life of mine, taken time to understand the rules. But I’ve loved sports romance ever since Jaci Burton’s series with all those shirtless athletes. Molly O’Keefe had some great hockey players, too. I love the adrenaline, the alpha, and the sweat, but I am perfectly content not to write about it. Let’s leave that to people who love it — the authors of HOT ON ICE.

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology .99 cents. Hot hockey heroes. Some of my favorite authors AND people. I actually pre-ordered this one, folks, and I never do that. If sports romance is your thing, go get it!

And here’s the link to the Facebook Party going on all day. I’ll be there! If you have never taken part in one of these things, check it out. Authors give away tons of books and stuff. I’m giving away the bowl scrapers I ordered for Wild Wicked Weekend swag bags. (Yes, I know I promised you a re-cap of the weekend, but, as it turns out, what happens at the dungeon stays in the dungeon. Vegas rules, apparently, and I signed something to that effect. However, I’m not sure that applies to MY experience. I am the confessional sort, however, my mom reads this blog! LOL. Another day for that post!)

In order to win at the HOT ON ICE Party, you have to join the party. Like, actually click “join” or “going” or whatever on the party page. That way they can find you and tell you what you scored.

Another reason to buy the book: part of the proceeds are going to Homes for our Troops, a charity that builds specially modified homes for injured veterans. I’d love these hardworking women to make a big splash with their book, so even if hockey ain’t your thing or you hate FB parties, would you mind sharing the HOT ON ICE news with some of your sports-minded reader friends? I’d appreciate it! FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, whatever you got. (As an aside, whenever the topic comes up, my Instagram-addicted teen tells me FB is for moms. Bwahahaha! I am that mom, and I’ll be in and out of the Hot On Ice FB party all day.)

Happy spring, my friends! Here’s hoping it grabs a hockey stick and beats winter’s chilly butt into the ground.

XOXO,

Amanda

Free Book for Wild Wicked Weekend!

In Love Maker on February 21, 2017 at 6:58 pm
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Download for FREE from iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Whew! I made it through another five weeks of teaching four nights a week while working weekends and sometimes during the week day at Wegmans. I had many moments of “I’m too old for this.” However, on the whole, I got enough sleep, I remembered to pack meals, I stayed hydrated, and I even managed to make significant progress figuring out how to finish the book. (Sometimes it’s complicated to be a person who writes by the seat of her yoga pants. It got MORE complicated when I decided I wanted this book to follow a hero’s journey and that I wanted to outline the second half BEFORE I wrote it.)

ONWARD! The next big thing on my list is attending Wild Wicked Weekend in San Antonio with my friend Jennifer Kacey and her mom. I usually attend craft-based conferences because I’m a craft junkie, and there are few things I love more than listening to a writer talk about process. However, this is a just-for-fun con. I’m not signing or presenting a workshop, I’m just going to talk about sexy books with like-minded readers and writers, drink margaritas, respectfully admire the physiques of the cover models who help sponsor the weekend and…perhaps visit a dungeon. 🙂

Basically, I’m going to go play with my kinky friends!

fullsizerender-3Of course, in order to justify spending the money (and writing it off on my taxes), I had to have SOME sort of presence. So I made swag. I sent bowl scrapers for the swag bags that will be given to all attendees, and I made postcards for the paper-swag table. But that’s not all… I worked some indie magic and made BOTTOMS UP free! You can download it from iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. So if you’ve been wondering what a series centered around a sex toy boutique called Come Again might be like, please consider this my personal invitation to visit. I hope you’ll want to stay and explore the other books in the series!

I’ll see you guys on the other side of my Wild Wicked Weekend! I plan to “kiss” and tell y’all everything, especially if I have to change the names to protect the not-so-innocent! 🙂