Sunday Summations

I read a great story this past week.
By Proxy by Katy Regnery. It was so much fun! The characters jumped off the pages...and for the first time in a looong time, I was completely amused. This book was not typical. Oh sure, the love story rang true, and I knew the hero and heroine would get together in the end--somehow. But the author grasped these two, never wavering from the integrity of their characteristics. Truly a country girl. Definitely a city boy.

The heroine didn't give in to some socially acceptable version of what a heroine should be. The hero actually questioned the why of his life--a life that had been going nowhere but up.

But don't we want the hero to go up? Isn't that what we're all looking for? Good looks, wealth, charm, position, status...virility?

I know from church last weekend that being rich isn't a sin. And if there was one complaint about the book, it would be the outlook--no redeeming value for the city lifestyle portrayed in it. Even so, it was the hero's life. And the author pulled no punches. He went from being lost to found. It was wonderful!

They saved each other. And it was so sweet...and not completely annoying innocent, either. Which was another great quality. Sexual desire between two people. Reality, even for people of faith, with an inner voice telling them they should wait. Chemistry, not glossed over or ignored in order to sell to the Christian romance market. Nothing overtly bold or mainstream romance... yet it is. It's just a wonderful blend.

Our sweet heroine discovering the passion of a real kiss. Awww. It was a fun read. Light yet emotional.
And totally Christmas!! Yippee. My first Christmas story of the year. :D

I'm so excited for my own Christmas story to come out.

Sunday Summations

Why is it that we're always learning? changing? discovering?

I think, in ten years, I've only figured out that nothing stays the same.

This makes branding myself a bit of an issue. If you're on my blog, you can see I made changes again. I've had a pretty 'cutest blog on the block' design up for a while. I knew it didn't really suit my writing, but I was okay with that for now. Even if I write on the darker side, I'm still a girl. I like pink and flowers and snazzy designs.

But the rule of promotion says to "Brand" myself. Make sure people can recognize me no matter where I show up online. This isn't a writer's rule, either, btw. We all recognize certain ideas, logos, themes when it comes to businessess whether they are online or off line.

This past week, I started messing around with my facebook page and my blog and my twitter. It's different. Not permanent, perhaps. Eventually I'd like to have my own domain involved and an actual Bethanne Design created that really IS me. But that will cost money!! So, I'll make do until then...

I think part of my problem is that I get bored. I like the change. Probably part of the reason I've enjoyed sharing a life with my husband who has moved us several times in 15 years. I get on my blog a couple times a year and I start messing with it. changing font, changing design, changing my bio.

So, there it is, the new design. It's fun, different, darker, and winner of the Most Likely to Change award at the graduation banquet. ;)

Let's Summate! [I don't think that's a word, but I don't care]
{ I'm editing. } <--that's the nutshell, btw. ha! doesn't it kind of look like a walnut?

I've written a lot of novellas over the last couple of years. I remember when I hit that phase. I'd written a half dozen full length novels, and I think I was tired. No luck came from any of those submissions, so I decided to shake things up. I'd heard that writing short helps focus your writing. That when every word counts, I would need to make every word count!! So I started writing shorter stories, 30K.

Two years later, I'm ready to go back. I've learned alot in writing them. I HAVE improved my abilities [I think], but now I'm sitting here with comments like... "if you made this longer, you could develop the characters more and really give the reader a better feel for them. Invest the reader!" and "I'm sorry. I don't review novella length. It might be a great story, but I just don't read them. Too many times I find I'm wanting more."

For me, that's okay. I do have a novella length coming out in November. But it's a Christmas story, so I think it will do well. People are more likely to pick up a themed shorter story. I am, anyway!! Something to get me in the spirit. :D This also means that I've had to rethink a few stories I'm working on now--like I said, editing. I think it's time to open the gates--so to speak. Time to bring the shorter novels up a step. Really get into the characters' heads, find the kinks. Find what I was missing before.

And then I'll see. :)
I was going to write something new this fall.
I don't know how that is going to happen, but if all else fails, I think in December I will take a break from all this editing and write something new over the holidays...even if it is another Holiday Novella. ha!

Have a great week,
With Love

Sunday Summations

I'm going to tell you what I'm reading, but you can't laugh. You got it?

Okay, here it is....

Yup... that's it. Published in 1987. Best cover ever. I wish publishers would go back to creating art that reflects the story. The updated cover pales in comparison. Go ahead, get on Amazon and see what I mean. In any case, I'm enjoying it.


Yes, I know. I'm crazy, but I am really laughing out loud at this story, and I'm enjoying all the fun facts that the characters are learning on their scavenger hunt in New York City. Books like this are exactly why I wanted to move to NYC when I was a kid. This one, and before that, the Judy Blume's Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing had me fantasizing a life of metro adventure! Not to mention From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler... I mean, seriously, run away and hide at The Met?! I was all over that growing up.

As a matter of fact, I still hold onto that dream a little. And someday, maybe I'll get my chance to live in the at local markets, walk through Central Park,...and completely drain my life savings. LOL Just kidding!! By then, I'll be a multi-published author, making millions of dollars.

...if you're going to dream, dream big.

With Love,

Sunday Summation

I haven't talked much about my writing lately...

Yesterday, I submitted two more manuscripts, my angel story and a Christmas story for 2013. I received a lovely email from the editor telling me he was glad to hear from me...and would get to my submissions ASAP. Possibly next month. ha! Gotta love this business.

So my weekend has been quiet. No writing. Just reading. And watching television. And being with my family.

February will bring about some new writing on a story for my Gerard Series, Winter Craze. And I finally get to open my National Novel Writing Month manuscript to do a few edits, read-throughs, and polishes on it. I'm totally psyched about that one. It's a good story. It's well-plotted. I need to add a layer of suspense and depth, but the structure of it is solid.

That's enough of boring from me for the week....
Take care!
With Love,

Sunday Summations

Look at me!! Actually getting to my regularly scheduled programming. :D I'm just going to chat today about a number of things.

In my writing world, things have picked up again. Phew! Seriously dudes! I'm such an impatient sick person. Today, though I'm over 11,000 words on the story I started 10-1-12. That's no record, believe me. And I wanted it to be LOTS more, but I'm satisfied for now. This has been a fun story for me. It's got a Mythical [smartass] Granddaughter of Mother Nature paired up with a Guardian Angel. I don't often write outside of reality...well, I take that back--dead bodies and stuff aren't really part of my reality either. :D But you know what I mean. :) I'm really enjoying's a story where almost anything goes. If I want it there--and it makes "Celestial" sense--there it goes. I've created a world. I'm still creating a world.

I've been reading a little more this month. Back to the basics romance. I read a story this week, written by a good friend of mine, Nina Croft. It's not a story that's out yet just one that she wanted feedback on. It was so good. And it just hit me, I really miss the romance... the sexual tension of those good ol' fashioned romances, even the sex. I love that about romances. I started reading romances when I was 22. Late in life compared to some, but if I take a step back I can see that really, I've been reading romance all my life. Fiction has always been my mainstay...and most fiction, including YA and juvenile, have elements of romance. Not always romance in a man/woman way but also in the HEA, overcoming conflict kind of way.

National Novel Writing Month is in November. I'm gearing up...plotting, thinking, getting ready. I'm going to pick a day of the week to blog on how that's going. There really should be a day that starts with N. Don't you think?? Wednesday though. That could work. Feel free to pop in and tell me how you're doing as well! I want to hear and be inspired by your progress. Also, if you want, I'll be spending a good bit of time--while writing--on the forum SavvyAuthors. They've got a Nano Boot Camp, not affiliated with the official NANOWRIMO webpage. Good spot though. Looking forward to the accountability and motivation.

Enough about writing...actually, if you've made it this far, I commend you. I don't read blogs that are more than 3 long paragraphs in length. So, I'll stop.  Enjoy this Sunday!
With Love,

Sunday Summations -- Cover Reveal

Here's something ironic.
I decided at the beginning of this year I was going to independently publish a novella. A short novel. You know that story...and I've had fun doing it, too. [hey! wanna see my cover?! :D] Me too! I'll show you after I talk about what's going on in my writing world.

Irony: having an editor email me and show interest in one of my well as a series I have written and partially written. Whoohoo! So excited about that. :D The timing is perfect. I'll already have my name out there with my indie...and vice versa, my indie will attract attention that I'll be able to direct to any book I get published through a company. Win-win.

OTOH, showing interest is not exactly a contract, so my fingers are still crossed. :)

And now...for the good stuff.... COVER REVEAL!

Prettiest cover ever. And Elaina Lee from For the Muse Design is completely responsible. If you ever need cover art... or web design. She is amazing!

PS If I mentioned that I was still looking for a title, I'm not anymore!! :D

Deployment Ideas--Sunday Summations

I think we've all heard of the paper chain idea for marking the days through a deployment. This is for the kids, mostly. Something fun and visual for them to count down the days. I stopped at Tips on the Tips webpage and Megan mentioned  a great way to send notes overseas with your loved one who is being deployed.


Those fabulous little pieces of paper with adhesive on the back. The paper everyone loves. :D Kids love it, moms love it. And now that special person in your life will love it!! By taking the time to carefully place a note on each page (without pulling it off), your soldier will be able to count down the days until he sees you again with little love messages, tearing one off for every day (if you're ambitious and steadfast) or even every other day (if you're...easily distracted) that he's gone. 

This is definitely going on my list of "things to remember for later." 

Let's just say, this idea goes beyond Military Life. You could do this for a friend who is far away and needs encouragement. It's personal. I like that best. Anyone can buy a book, Chicken Soup for the Soul or what-have-you, but this takes a little thought and because of that, means so much more. 

*  *  *
Sunday Summations

I've been thinking about a story for younger people, mid-teens... possibly a little older. A time travel. Time Travel!!! I don't know what brought it up and I honestly can't recall if I first thought of it before or after my discussion about speculative fiction. But it was before the weekend. A fantasy, of sorts, about a couple of people who visit a museum and end up on the battle fields of WW2. 

I'm looking forward to this project because it's going to mean I get to visit a museum... by myself--no kids invited (except Darla!). And I'm going to get to take notes!! I'm not a great museum attendee. I usually get bored because my husband reads every single word on every single display...until I start growling that the kids are restless and if I have to wrangle one more malcontent, I might lose my mind. Not only that, but when I visit the National Infantry Museum, I tend to skim over the exhibits, getting just the visual, because if I read too much I get teary-eyed. It's embarrassing!

Sooo, I'm into a bit of research in the next week. Not only will I learn something, I'm going to enjoy myself, too. 

Have a great week, friends!
With love,

Sunday Summations

Long week of not much done.
My Friday Five lines pretty much covered my progress in my WIP.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've been unsatisfied with myself.
It doesn't help that the first book I've read in months is a Nonfiction book called Guidance to Heaven. Don't get me wrong, it's a GREAT book. I'm enjoying it! But that's what's so strange...

Me, and nonfiction?

[stunned silence]

I know! It's crazy. I'm determined this week to finish this story, though. Because, even if I want to shake things up, go in a new direction, I just can't do that with an unfinished project on my desk. It goes against the grain. I have this story in my head, I just need to get it onto that white screen. Closure. Then start something new.

Now, that's ambitious of me! Finish a project this week?!
It's as ambitious as telling myself I'm going to go to the park every morning this week to do the exercise trail.
I did that, too.

Should be an interesting week with lots to report next Sunday.

Sunday Summations--Thank You Economy

It's LOOOONG. 61 minutes, but I watched it while making lunch one day. It's fast and absorbing. You won't be board or checking your watch...unless you're uninterested in ecommerce. [includes SWEARING]

I watched this You Tube video, marketing strategy with Gary Vaynerchuk, which--besides make me chuckle and laugh out loud--gave me a lot to think about in regards to this NEW publishing world. We've been talking about the changes for a few or more years. E-publishing has taken over where traditional publishing, and even self publishing, left off. It opened markets for people with unusual story lines and hard to place themes. It changed the business structure for authors--in good ways, mostly.

One point Vaynerchuk talked about was the Thank You Economy. It struck me that even as a traditionally published author, we ARE responsible for the Thank You. Bantam might look at all the advice this guy has and use it. Social media is becoming a huge part of marketing and promotion. But the Thank you economy he speaks of...

That is the author's.
Thanks for buying my book.
Thanks for sending me that note.
Thanks for reviewing my book. [yes, even if the review left you with a one star rating]
Thanks for friending me on Facebook.

I love how he ended his speech. It blew my mind a little and made me want to make my husband watch it... my husband insists that technology and the internet has depersonalized business. He would rather go to the hardware store or to the he can chat the with clerk or the teller. I agree, there's value in his approach that the internet has eliminated. BUT, social media has put us THIS close to our customers, our readers. In fact, the internet has brought us full circle, back to a time when personal interaction will be the winner, the money maker, the ultimate return on our investment.
Nothing new on my writing this week. Just a few words down with hopes of getting a lot more done in the coming week. I'm getting antsy about my submissions... did I mention that last week? If I did, well it's even worse this week. hahaha.

Have a great week.
With Love,

Sunday Summations

I write, manuscripts. Stories, if you will. When exactly does a manuscript become a book? Perhaps when it's assigned an ISBN number? In any case, I don't drone on about my writing here because I don't want to bore people to death. I don't want to rant about the ups and downs of publishing and submitting and story plotting. But, I have stories. And I want people to buy them...eventually.

Whether I sell to a publisher or sell on my own in the new world of epublishing. You just might be my reader. That's intimidating for me. There has to be at least one follower on my blog who read a post one day and thought, "That woman is nuts!" :D Or, even worse, "Booooring!"

But you know me a little if you've been around at all. I'm a romantic. I'm down-to-earth. I might be considered liberal in one circle yet conservative in another. Laid back, I'm more likely to aim for leisure and a good novel than success and the next best how-to book. My laundry gets done once a week because no matter how often I tell myself that doing a load a day would be easier in the long run, I rarely look that far ahead to worry about it.

Sunday Summations is my new way of incorporating some self-promotion. This week, I find myself waiting on two submissions. One full length ms and one novellita [a small novella. I just made that up!]. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I also have a novella that I've sent off to an editor. This one is going up Amazon style [or perhaps Pub It (BN) style] in June. JUNE! Seems so far away, but there's so much to do. Editing to happen. Covers to shop for. Formatting magic [and I do mean magic! or a miracle, God help me.]. Bottom line is... unless I acquire an editor at a publishing company who says, what have you got? I want you. Then I'm taking my novella, Spring Leave, to the stores. That's a little bit exciting, don't you think?

Last but not least, I've been looking for drive.
I keep seeing the stuff out there for kids, like my 12 yo daughter, to read.
And I wonder if I could write something for that audience.
Now there's a challenge. Just something simmering in the back of my mind... I might have to use a pen name, because you can bet your last dollar my 12 yo won't read a book I wrote. :P Maaahumm! <--since when is Mom a three syllable word?

I'll keep you posted.
With Love,