Virtual #BookTour: Sunshine Book Promotions

Do you like to win? Do you like free stuff? Pop on over to Sunshine Book Promotions today, read an excerpt of Denim & Diamonds and sign up for a free Amazon gift certificate! Have you gotten your free ebook? If not, go get it!!

Bonus: Throwback Thursday picture from vacation 2010 at my favorite family vacation spot.

http://lorilrobinett.com

Katelyn & me at Silver Beach

Living with Lupus: Laying by the Pool

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Butterfly (symbol of lupus)

I’ve been living with lupus for many years now. That’s the reason my kiddo was born at 28 weeks. Lupus was lurking, but didn’t rear its head until I was preggers. I can’t complain (well, I can, but it doesn’t do any good . . . ) – I live a normal life and do pretty much what I want. But I’m able to do that because I take care of myself, and take the disease seriously. Part of that is keeping regular appointments with my docs. Last week was my annual exam with my regular doc, which involves doing my impression of a human pin cushion, and this week was my semi-annual exam with my rheumy.

It was good news/bad news. My vitamin D levels were low, and my white blood count was low. Not dangerously low, just enough to notice. I joked today that the prescription should be laying by the pool and napping. That should totally be a real prescription, right?!

Whether it was prescribed or not, I’m going to make time for that in the next few days. 🙂

How ’bout you? What do you do to take care of yourself?

Miniature Diamond J

When I was growing up, I always said I was going to live on a farm surrounded by animals. I wanted dogs, cats, horses, goats, cows . . . I wanted it all! I spent my summers armed with a recycled jar with nail holes in the lid, determined to catch lightning bugs, frogs, crickets and praying mantises (OK – that word has shown up twice today . . . I really need to look up the plural for that. Manti?). And I awoke each morning horrified to find the tiny dessicated carcasses of whatever creature I had caught the day before.

But I digress. Animals, whether large or small, were destined to be part of my life. When I met my husband, I was delighted to learn that he wanted to move to the country. And we did. Several years ago, we bought the 10 acres that we live on, then we bought a modular home, built a shop and built a barn. We’ve had cattle (and, oh, boy, are there some stories there. When you read Denim & Diamonds – which you will, right? – the scene where Andi helps deliver the calf is the story of our first calf), horses (tip: If someone offers to sell you a horse named “Satan’s Lady” – run.), dogs, cats, turtles, fish.

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

My favorite farm animals by far are our miniature horses. We bought Jasper when our kiddos were little, and gradually added to our little herd over the years. We’ve had babies and we’ve lost horses. Right now I’m sitting on the back deck watching Jasper, Cali and Cinnamon graze in the small pasture behind the barn lot. There is something so calming about the snuffling of horses, the small of fresh hay, and their soft nickers when you talk to them. Though I dreamed of having a horse ranch like the Diamond J, I’m quite happy with our little mini farm here in rural Missouri.

When you were a kid, what was your dream home?

 

Denim & Diamonds: Proof Copy

Denim & Diamonds

Denim & Diamonds

 

I just got an email from CaryPress. They are mailing a proof copy to me. I can’t wait to actually hold this book in my hands.They had no further changes after my last round of edits – but I bet I find something else when I read through the book again.

There’s something about reading something in a new format. If you have to proof something, print it out in another font or print it on colored paper. The human mind is an amazing thing. It sees what it wants to see. It knows what you meant to say. So, sometimes you have to trick it. That goes for writing of any kind – fiction, non-fiction, stuff for work.

Try this trick the next time you need to proofread something, and I bet you find something you’ve missed before.

Juggling Jobs

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

I work full-time as a paralegal. For the past several years, I’ve written during my spare time. In the last few months, I’ve upped the ante and started treating my writing as a true “second job.” What’s this mean?

  • I’m doing the fun stuff . . . and the not-so-fun stuff like editing and rewriting and marketing.
  • I’m writing for publication, not just for me. Which means when my critique partners tell me to kill my darlings, I do. <insert evil laugh here>
  • I’m writing every day, whether I am inspired or not. Regardless of how tired I am, I show up at the page and put my fingers on the keyboard.
  • I’m submitting. Although I think there is true value in the indie revolution, I wanted a contract. And I feel so honored that Cary Press offered me that first contract!
  • I’m spending a vacation day ensconced in my writing perch at the end of our sectional, instead of lounging in the pool with a drink and a book.

This is harder than I expected, and I have a newfound respect for those who turns hobbies into second careers. It can be done, but it’s tougher than expected! Not that I’m complaining! 🙂

Blog Hop: Writers write

I’m honored to have been asked to participate in an author blog hop with my friend Tierney James this week. Be sure to click on her link at the bottom of the page and visit her! Blog hops are a great way for authors and readers to connect, plus by adding links to each other’s pages, we create some dynamic group marketing.The blog hop rules are simple. Each author answers four questions and invites three other children’s authors to participate the following week. I invited some entertaining, talented authors to participate. You’ll see their names, book titles and links to their sites below.First up, my job is to answer four blog hop questions as follows:

What are you working on right now?
I am working on a rewrite of a suspense novel drafting during National Novel Writing Month. It is about a pregnant woman who kills her researcher husband, and then discovers that he was using their baby as a guinea pig for his research – research that his boss will do anything to complete.
How does your writing process work?
I draft a story from beginning to end, completely linear. I can’t skip around like some writers do. Once the story is drafted, I let it sit for a couple of months at least, then I read it through, beginning to end, making note of plot holes, character changes, time line goofs, that sort of thing. And then the rewrite starts (and it is definitely a rewrite!). At that point, I send it to my critique group, a couple of chapters at a time, every couple of weeks. They are a tremendous asset. Once it goes through them, it’s time for a line edit.
What is the hardest part about writing?
For me, the hardest part is that first draft. Turning off the internal editor and getting words on the page. Once I can get that done, and reach “THE END,” the next hardest part is rewriting. It is so difficult to kill your darlings, but that is often what must happen.
What scares you?
Failure. And success.
Thanks for stopping by . . . and be sure you drop by to say hello to my friend Tierney James and let her know I sent you. And check out her debut novel, An Unlikely Hero.

Location, Location, Location

ImageLocation, location, location – that’s not only true for real estate, it’s true for fiction, too. The setting may be simply the backdrop for the story, or it may be a character. Think about Gone With the Wind. That book was set in the South – and it provided a beautiful backdrop for the story that simply would not have worked set in any other location. The setting is tied so closely to the story that there was no option for locating Scarlett anyplace else. Then there are stories like the Stephanie Plum series written by Janet Evanovich. Yes, the setting provides a nice backdrop and there are certain regional aspects to the story – but you could just as easily place Stephanie in another tight-knit community and the story would still essentially be the same.

Think about Lost. I know, it’s television, but the storytelling in that series was awesome (well, up until the finale)! I loved the way all the threads (characters) were woven together (plot) to create the tapestry that was Lost. In that series, the Island literally became a character in the show. It was a force to be reckoned with. That story would not have been the same set anywhere else.

I chose to set Denim & Diamonds in western Missouri, largely because I live in Missouri and am comfortable describing the area. It is essential that you know the location that you are writing about. You don’t absolutely positively have to have first hand knowledge, but it helps. I read a book a few years ago by an author who wrote about a woman’s travels as she was trying to outrun the mobsters after her. At one point, she was in Kansas City, Missouri. The author described her stepping onto her front porch and looking south to the mountains. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Missouri, but you sure don’t see mountains from your little bungalow in Kansas City. I was naive enough to think the author might want me to point out the error, in case she was writing a sequel. She emailed me back and pointed out that she had seen a map and the Ozark Mountains are clearly in the southern part of Missouri. So, she had (sort of) done her homework and looked at a map. But she was from the East coast where something in the southern part of the state could conceivably be within view of something in the center of the state. That ain’t the case in Missouri! And the Ozarks aren’t what most people think of as mountains.

There are resources available to help you make the location in your story realistic (I apologize – these links are not live yet due to a problem with my blog software, but you can cut & paste them into your browser until I get the issue resolved):

www.city-data.com/  – for basic information about a BUNCH of cities.

maps.google.com/ – for map information. Street view can be very useful for writers.

www.writerswrite.com/journal/nov98/keegan13.htm – Great article on creating the perfect setting.

TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY: What if you couldn’t fail?

Image

Like most writers, I am fairly introspective. I spend time thinking about who I am, what made me this way, and where I’m heading. I have learned that we need to spend time thinking about our dreams, and finding ways to make them a reality. If you find yourself not pursuing your dreams, I encourage you to try working your way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It is a revealing journey. It taught me that I can make my dreams a reality, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.

One thought I have pondered recently is this – What three things would I do if I knew I could not fail?  1) I would quit my job and I would spend more time writing. 2) I would open a scrapbook store (my favorite stores are the Scrapbook Store & More in Mexico, Missouri and Soul Sentiments in Millersburg, Missouri). 3) I would get my pilot’s license.

I am interested in hearing YOUR three things. Email me or post a comment and tell me your three things. I’ll discuss your responses in a future post. But first . . .  now that you’ve decided what three things you would do, it’s time to take action. Take a moment to consider these things. What can you do to incorporate these things into the coming week? You have 7 days, and 24 hours in each day. Surely you can devote one or two hours to one of these things. For instance, I plan to spend an hour today scrapbooking. Sure, I need to bless my house (for those of you who know Flylady, you know exactly what I’m talking about).  And laundry needs to be done. And I need . . . well, you know how it goes. But I can spare one hour to pursue my dream. That’s all I’m asking. One hour. Are you seriously going to tell me that you are so busy this week that you can’t spend ONE measly hour on your dreams?

I didn’t think so. :o)

Plan your week. Make time for your dreams. They deserve your time and attention.

Facebook: Is it the work of an evil genius?

Link

Facebook: Is it the work of an evil genius?

For years, I stressed to my stepdaughter and daughter the importance of protecting their online identities, and not giving too much personal information to strangers. Then Facebook came along and everyone threw that fear out the window. We now willingly announce our relationship status, our location and what we’re doing every day. Even if you have your privacy settings to allow just friends to know what you’re doing – how well do you know your friends? What about that guy that you went to high school with? The girl that moved away in sixth grade? Facebook has become integrated into our lives so completely that many feel disconnected if they aren’t on. Is it more than social media? What is the next step? A chip implanted that automatically tracks us and updates our location? What about a map instead of a wall, that constantly tracks you and your friends and shows you where each of you are in relation to others? What if it was used by governments? Employers? Stalkers? Serial killers?

The Cure for Cancer

Link

The Cure for Cancer

The novel I am currently working on involves a researcher who believes he has found the cure for cancer. It is always interesting to see how things make the news once a story idea is swirling around in my brain. Perhaps I just notice them now. My brain is receptive to those ideas. In my novel, the researcher works for a private foundation where testing isn’t quite as controlled and careful as one would hope. Although this speeds up his research, the results can be disastrous . . . for him as well as his wife, it turns out. Professor Hawthorne (click the link above) is much more respectable than my character, and I wish him all the best in his continued research at the University of Missouri.