Tawn’s Best Laid Plans

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 8: Five Current Goals

As you can probably tell, I generally don’t do well with goals. I can stick to a schedule if I really have to, but I’m usually a disorganized mess racing against the clock to finish my work.  I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush which, since I haven’t been flying in seven years, I can only get by flirting with death by editorial deadlines.

I’m not a completely lost cause, though.  I’ve recently started using Habitica to “gamify” my habits and goals, Cooksmarts for meal planning, and Google Keep for lists that I want to share with my husband like groceries, household to-do items, and reminders.  So far, the results have been encouraging.  I’ve been able to stick with these tools far longer than I’ve been able to complete a blog post a day, and I’m also able to track my progress objectively.

As for my five current goals, I doubt you are interested in baby steps like “walk 10,000 steps a day,” “floss,” or “take a yoga class.”   In that light, I’m going to zoom out and give you my big ticket items.

Create a Business Plan – I am just now beginning to understand that being an author is a business.  In order for me to be successful, I need to market and sell my books, maintain an author platform, participate in social media, and of course, write. Thankfully, I have the help of my publisher, BigWorldNetwork, in many of those areas, but the responsibility still rests on my shoulders. I need a game plan.

Figure out how to do in-person ebook sales – I will be participating in Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest December 4th – 6th, and it got me thinking about a way to sell ebooks in addition to my paperbacks from my spot in Artist’s Alley. I want to have something tangible that I can autograph. Anyone have any suggestions?

Complete my Cardinal Directions season– I am working with four very talented BigWorldNetwork authors to write this serial novel.  My season is approaching soon, and my goal is to have my twelve episodes written by the end of January.

Write another Toni Drake novel – She’s been talking to me lately. It seems being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and she wants to go on another adventure.

Expand into audiobooks – While I’ve done the audiobooks for my own work, I’ve also narrated books for other authors, such as Heart of the Hurricane by May Woodworth. I would like to continue to do this for BigWorldNetwork authors, and also connect with other authors through Amazon’s ACX platform.

Whew!  Just looking at that list is making me a little lightheaded!  Hopefully I’ll recover quickly so I can catch up on my posts.

Speaking of which, the next blog must be sponsored by Capital One because the prompt is “What’s in your wallet?”  I’ll give you a hint: “cash” won’t be on the list.

My A to Z Blogging Challenge Ultimate Defeat

Congratulations to all those bloggers who successfully completed the April A to Z Blogging Challenge!  Sadly, I burned out about halfway through.  However, I did learn some things along the way.

First of all, I learned that while it has been asserted that one should write every day, it is important to start slowly and build up endurance.  You don’t start an exercise program by trying to run a marathon.  Writing is hard work, especially if you’re not independently wealthy with a full staff of attendants to take care of all the little details of life that don’t involve writing.  Like cleaning.  And children.

I also realized that I do a lot of writing in my head.  Everyone has their own method.  While some simply sit down at a computer and type away–editing as they go–without any sort of plan in mind, others use a storyboard, note cards, outlines, and innumerable drafts to plan, shape, and polish their work.  Even if I’m not physically writing on a daily basis, the story is still stewing in my mind.  For me, trying to write anything before the ideas have blossomed is simply a waste of time.

Finally, I learned that I have an incredible support network of family and friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  You guys rock!  Thank you.

While I didn’t complete the challenge, I still intend to finish the alphabet.  If I begin with a weekly posting schedule, I’m positive that by next year the April A to Z Blogging Challenge will be a breeze.  I am also working on a new eSeries on BigWorldNetwork.com, Kai’s Inquisition: The Blight of Shaddowfall.  The first episode was released yesterday, and all the following installments will be available on Sundays.  Please check it out, and don’t forget to let me know what you think.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – Part One

Aloha, Bloghoppers!  Welcome to TotallyTawn, a place where you can get a glimpse inside my mind, and hopefully, share a laugh or two.  I want to thank Tof Eklund for including me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, and ask that all of you to drop by and peruse his little corner of the web.

My blog contains everything from recollections of my favorite freight pilot memories to fictional short stories.  If you look hard enough, you can find my very first blog post, discover my favorite chick flick (300, although Skyfall is now a contender… I’ll have to write about that), and witness me indulge in a bit of self promotion every now and again.

I’ve been very busy for the past year working on my adult modern fantasy/action eSeries Darkling Drake; my children’s eSeries, The Pirate Princess and subsequent Mini-eSeries that will very soon be compiled and published in paperback, ebook and audiobook format; and even a BigWorldNetwork.com Valentine’s Day special, Love Never Dies: A Zombie Love Story.  I’m planning on continuing to contribute more stories to BigWorldNetwork.com in the future, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to publish my work and share it with all of you in such an innovative format.

I will post Part Two of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop in a week.  In it, I will answer a few questions about myself and my work, and have links to other bloggers that I’d love for you to meet.  If you would like to participate, drop me a line at tkmakela@gmail.com, and I’ll give you the 411.

Thank you for stopping by!

2012 Wrap Up

It’s hard for me to believe that I now have yet another year of blogging under my belt.  I have made many new friends, ventured outside of my comfort zone, and learned so much that I cannot judge 2012 as anything other than a fantastic year for which I am ecstatically grateful.

I have done the prerequisite year-in-review post for 2010 and 2011, but this year, I thought I’d do something a little bit different by sharing with you the short stories that I’ve written throughout the year instead of just my most popular or my favorite posts.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.  And I wish each and every one of you the very best in 2013!

The Jacket

A Mother’s Love

The Well of Souls

A Time To Reap

Undead No More

Flying Squirrel Cargo

Breathe

Otterbox

I am Werewolf – Hear Me Howl

An Exercise in Empathy

You can also read or listen to my eSeries Darkling Drake and The Pirate Princess, my mini-eSeries Pirate Princess Adventures, and my Valentine’s Day special Love Never Dies: A Zombie Love Story, while you’re checking out the amazing work of all the talented authors, narrators, editors, and artists at BigWorldNetwork.com.

Happy New Year!  With love and thankfulness – TotallyTawn

What Writing Means to Me and a Plea for Help

When I was about ten or eleven years old, I wrote my very first fictional short story.  It just popped into my head and I wrote it down.  To this day, I can remember the storyline and how it felt to write it.  I think it may have even been “published” in the school newspaper, but that wasn’t the point.  I had to write it.  I didn’t have a choice.  And I loved it.

Later on in high school, I wrote a research paper on dragons.  My parents worked at the University of Chicago and brought me to the library on campus so that I could find some of the more obscure information I needed that was difficult to find at a high school or even a community library.  That one silly English assignment was the highlight of my entire four years and not simply because I got an A.  I wrote it on Wordstar (yes, I am old) and I still have the disk even though I have no way of recovering the data.

In college, I wrote a paper for an Aviation Management class based on a Feasibility Study done when my municipality was considering purchasing and expanding our local private airport.  My professor had returned it to me with the words “You write well.  The only 100 I gave.” written across the top.  Almost 20 years later, I still have a copy of it in my office.

Yet even with these tidbits of encouragement coupled with a deep love of writing, it wasn’t until recently that was able to put the fear behind me and actually write… and now I don’t ever want to stop.

The person who has helped me the most on my journey is Jim McGovern.  If it weren’t for him and the amazing staff at Big World Network, I would not have had the courage to share my stories with you.  That’s where the plea for help comes in.  Big World Network’s Indigogo fundraising campaign has about 12 hours left and it hasn’t quite reached the halfway point to its goal of $5000.  Please share this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/bwn and do what you can to help Jim reach his goal.  Every little bit helps and they have some fantastic perks for your contribution.

It would mean a lot to me, because whenever I feel like that ten year old putting my imaginary worlds on paper while a cruel little voice buzzes in the back of my head insisting that I’m not good enough, all I have to do is remember that I was good enough for Jim and Big World Network.  And through that, I have become part of a wonderful community of writers, readers, bloggers, publishers, and fans to which I would never have been exposed had I not taken that leap.  Right now, the only way that I can think of to thank Jim for giving me back my childhood dream and the courage to make it a reality is to ask everyone I know to just give a little bit and share the link with their friends.

Please do it now – there’s not much time left – and the success of this fundraising campaign in your hands.  All I can offer you is my gratitude for doing this for me.  Well, that and more stories.  Thank you!

The Jacket

I’m a finalist! Check out all the entries here and don’t forget to vote for your favorite. I hope it’s me, but I’ll completely understand if it isn’t – the competition is fierce! And please be sure to visit the other writers and share the love. After all, the Beatles were pretty clear that “All You Need is Love.”

Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

The finalists in The Jacket Writing Competition have been selected.

Boy, howdy this was tough!  I asked a distinguished panel of 3 judges to review the entries for me.  Our criteria was simple: we were looking for an interesting story, told well.  We had consensus on several of the entries, but were widely apart on others.   I debated having a top 10 list, but decided that many was too unwieldy.  In the end I had to resort to taking up strong drink to narrow the field to 6.

Entries are again presented in the order in which I received them.  The Polldaddy poll is below the last entry.  Please vote only once per day until the polls close next Friday, March 30th.

Thank you so much to all who submitted entries!  I hope you had fun – I know that I did.

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Name: She’s a Maineiac
Website: http://miraclemama.wordpress.com

Proceed Without Caution

“God,” he sighed…

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