Video I Love: Organizing your bookcase? Try this…

Some folks from and decided to organize their bookcase one weekend. They said, “It got a little out of hand…” (source: YouTube)

I don’t think I’ve ever had this much free time, but it’s a fun video to watch.

Sounds to Ease the Muse

I recently downloaded an iPod app that rocks when it comes to my writing life. It has nothing to do with helping to organize my plots or character development. Nothing for keeping track of word count or character names. It’s not a fancy storyboard app or research app. It’s not a fancy app at all, really.

It plays white noise.

When I’m outlining or drafting a story I sometimes listen to music. Just so it’s not so quiet. But most of the time it ends up distracting and I have to turn it off. When I’m reading through a scene and revising I really can’t have distractions. Yet I have found the near silence of the rural area where I live almost too distracting. An entire day of that silence can be a bit much. Some background noise, the sound of a fan running or something constant like that is nice. It even helps me focus.

I had downloaded white noise and nature sounds on my laptop, which worked pretty good. Then someone mentioned the White Noise app from TMsoft. Now I can listen to various nature and white noise sounds on my iPod which also has a couple of other apps I use while writing (including a timer to keep track of my writing sessions). I’m even using White Noise to sleep at night.

There’s a running shower, a kitty cat purring, crickets and frogs (which I find annoying rather than soothing), waves, several types of rain, and more.

You can also create mixes. These are my two favorites for sleeping and writing.

I can even spend my day writing on a sailboat. Could be good to put me in the mood for a sailing romance. Do you think there’s enough room on that deck for some down and dirty action?

Here are a few more mixes.

I’ve got a ton of other apps that I love for the little things in my daily life, but I won’t bore you with the list. Just know, they all help to make life more efficient and give me more time for my writing. Speaking of…I’ve got two boys who were just about to hit the sheets.

Heading back into the writing cave.

Have a fab weekend!

Questions, questions, questions

The lovely Winona Wilder interviewed me on her blog today. I shared my thoughts about the popularity and availability of m/m, those pesky pronouns in an all-male romance, and more.

Also, I’m updating my website with a FAQs section. Stuff like…when is the next book due out, what titles do you have out and where, when will your books be out in print, how did you get started writing, etc. I’d love to hear any suggestions for other questions to add. Anything you want to know about me? Anything you want to know from authors in general?

Feel free to comment here or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks. Hope you have a happy hump day!

Video I Love: The Rare Betty White Blooper

I absolutely adore Betty White, and this blooper vid gave me a laugh. I can’t help but giggle when Betty does. Hope you enjoy it.

Freedom! Finding Peace with My Work Schedule

(c) istockphoto, Anna Bryukhanova, 2007

After weeks of overworking and pushing myself too hard, I’m finally feeling good about my schedule again. I couldn’t sustain the effort and time I was spending on writing, writing-related activities, my other work, family obligations, and the activities of life in general. Every day of one week I did nothing but work from the moment I woke up until bed at 2 am. It was crazy.

I’m still working at least 10 or 12 hours a day, but I’ve been taking some much-needed time off in the evenings. And I have organized my office, my task list system, and how I manage my emails. I’m even getting caught up on a few things as time allows but not freaking over every little thing that doesn’t get done.

I’ve returned to a schedule that works for me. I write or edit in the morning. Then in the afternoons and early evenings I take care of emails, any writing-related business stuff, my freelance work, and try to do at least a bit of social networking or promotion-type activities. I’m really working hard to cut off for the night with some time before bed to spend with my sweetie (a priority for me this year), to read more, and to just have some non-writing fun.

It’s very freeing to find a schedule and organization system that fits me and how I work. Even though I’m still doing as much (and maybe more), I’m squeezing it into smaller amounts of time. I’ve found a tranquil acceptance of my schedule, my writing process, and how much I can reasonably produce in a year. I’m still a slow writer (or I should say re-writer), but I’m picking up the pace as I go.

I’m sure there will always be some level of stress (this is a tough business, after all), but having a more reasonable schedule as often as I can will help fuel the fire when I need it most.

And ultimately, my worst day writing is better than my best day at the old corporate job. There’s nothing I’d rather spend my time doing.

Thanks for listening,