Monday, October 29, 2012

Erotic Romance Calls for Submission

I would like to think the title of this post is a funny double entendre...or maybe I'm just writing this too early in the morning.

Anyway, I have been going through an odd stretch of writer's block that is a combination of a strong desire to write, coupled with ideas to write about and, amazingly, the time to write, with a complete inability to write.  All of metaphorical ducks are in a row, yet I'm not writing.  It's almost like I'm spoiled for choice.  Or lazy.  Maybe, really, just lazy.

Well, here's hoping it passes and quickly.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some recent calls for submission by erotic romance publishers that might help you (and me) get our fingers moving.  Typing, I meant.  Geez, get your mind out of the gutter.  Or in, as the case may be.

Entangled: I'm really bummed about missing this publisher's zombie call but there's a Valentine's Day theme that gives us all until the last week in November to come up with a sexy book-length story.  Complete manuscripts only.

Carina Press: This publisher is always seek erotic romance as well as erotica but they also have a special call for holiday themed romance and erotic romance with a deadline in March 2013.  Plenty of time to get those pencils moving!  Bonus: there's also a military "home for the holidays" collection they are seeking stories for.

Ellora's Cave: They're looking for stories about bounty hunters and also expanding their Fusion line (multicultural and interracial stories).  They also have a EC for Men line that was launched this year that is currently seeking submisisons.

Bonus: Forever Yours is a new digital publisher on the block which is seeking all kinds of romance, so they may certainly be worth a query.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Success and Failure

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Today, I was toting up my writing career.  To date, I've published two erotic romance short stories/ novellas and I have a full length contemporary novel forthcoming in January 2013.

Not too shabby, right?

Well, I've been writing romances for about fifteen years.  Yes, you read that right.  Fifteen...years.

I've completed about a dozen full manuscripts and have countless short stories, chapters, first pages and scraps written.  Again, not too bad, right?

In my sums today, I realized that I have sent out each of these manuscripts at least two or three times to publishers.  I've spent a fortune on ink, paper and stamps.  So far, I've had the three publications I mention above.

That's a lot of failure.

Fifteen years of trying and three publications.  Is it worth it?  Yes!

Seeing my work in print (okay, e-print) ranked right up there with one of the best feelings ever.  And you know what, without sending out my work over and over, I would have never gotten here.

So, a la Alanis Morrisette, thank you Failure.  Without you, I wouldn't have achieved success.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

How to Handle Competing Priorities

Like most women, I have about a dozen "to do's" on my list every day.  Heck, every hour.  Work, family, writing, friends, volunteer work, they all pile up every day and every day I must attack the pile.

Lately, we've heard that multitasking doesn't work, but we still do it, don't we?  Right now, I've got my smartphone beside me as I type this out and I have several windows open on my browser, all touching on different topics and all waiting for my attention.

In my writing life, I have second edits due back to my publisher next week, I have an entire novel I'm trying to write by mid-month, I have a submission I have to send off to my writing group which meets this weekend, and I want to read entries for the So You Think You Can Write contest.  Oh, and this blog post.  Does that sound like enough yet?

I can't do everything at once -- nor do I want to -- so how do I handle it?

Set Time Frames

Most of the writing tasks I have to accomplish will take an extended period of time.  Some have concrete deadlines (like my edits), while others don't.

Make a list -- mentally is okay -- of the tasks and how long you estimate they will take to complete, or, if they have a deadline, when it is due.

The Snowflake Method

The snowflake method is a debt reduction strategy I recently read about where you pay the minimum balances on all of your outstanding debts, but you pay off your smallest debt first by putting all of your available funds into that payment, then when that's paid off, you roll the extra payments into your next smallest debt and so on until you've paid them all off.  The idea is to promote a sense of accomplishment as you see your number of debts be reduced.  Another version has you paying off your highest interest rate debts first.

If any of your tasks can be completed in a short time, say less than fifteen minutes, do it first.  Do it now.  So, I would finish this blog first then I would send off my chapters to my writing group.

Set Mini Deadlines

After I've tackled the tasks that can be completed quickly, I move on to my larger ones.  These are high priority tasks that need to be completed by certain deadlines.

The edits will take a few days and I have about a week on hand.  I set out a block of time in my schedule -- the weekend should be okay -- to complete them.  That's my deadline before the deadline, which gives me time to catch up in case I fall behind.

Writing the novel is another larger task and I know I have to dedicate more time to it, but at this point I'm not sure how much time I will have on hand.  So I set a different kind of goal.  Every day from now until I decide that I need to have my first draft completed, I will write X number of pages a day.

In between all of these other tasks, I will be reading entries to the contest...such as when I need a mental break from writing or editing.

This may not be the best way to balance all of the millions of things that come up every day but it is a guideline and I always feel better with a plan in hand.  Try it and see if it works for you.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Vote for my Romance: The Dating Lesson

The voting portion of the So You Think You Can Write contest is now open!

Vote for my Harlequin Romance, The Dating Lesson.

Just a word of warning, the voting works differently than in past years for this contest.  Instead of rating each entry as you read them, you can now only vote for your favourite -- one per day.  Trust me, I learned the hard way and voted for an entry that did not really impress me.  Oh well, tomorrow is another voting day.