December 2023 Author Updates

It’s another month and it’s time to reflect on what I accomplished in November and what’s coming for the end of the year. After Halloween I quickly got Christmas decorations up and inspired several neighbors (I think) to do the same. I added three new inflatables to our yard – now, to find storage space.

This month I am:

  • Reading: Bookshops and Bonedust
  • Drinking: Hot Cocoa
  • Watching: Hallmark Christmas
  • Playing: Animal Crossing

Writing Progress and Updates

Last month I said I was going to stay on target…and I did not. I did submit my poetry collection to a few locations and entered a few poetry contests. I started the idea for two short stories that have due dates in December but not sure if I’ll be able to finish them, so I’ll likely just focus on one. I’m still planning on releasing my poetry collection in April if those places don’t pick it up.

My coauthor and I worked with an artist to create fantasy creature art to go with the cozy winter short story we wrote. It turned out GORGEOUS. The story went live December 1st and is available for free on Kindle Unlimited or just for .99!

Due to being sick that lasted almost two months, and other life events, I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked on my novella edits. I’ll be working harder in December and through January to finish the edits. I’m thinking of adding a few more scenes and a bit more worldbuilding. You’ll get to see a reptilian race and learn more about the various gods and goddesses!

What I’m Reading

I finished up a book on parenting (How to Be a Calm Parent), and I decided to switch to some Christmas books – which I’ve never read those types in the past (though I do love Hallmark movies). I received an ARC of Sleigh Belle and then I just ordered In a Holidaze so hope that arrives soon.

Sleigh Belle A quick, festive read. This story is like a modern Beauty and the Beast from the Hallmark Christmas collection. 3.5/5

In a Holidaze is supposed to be like Groundhog Day meets Christmas

Family Updates

I’ve been planning the celebration of life for my brother-in-law. If you read my update last month, you may have read that my husband lost his younger brother. The celebration of his life is in a few weeks so I’m finalizing the slide show and getting the decor together.

We then had to say goodbye to our fur baby, Poe. He was 13 years old. His quality of life was rapidly declining those last few weeks after a year of battling a cancerous tumor. I’m glad we were able to get another year with him as the vet wasn’t sure we’d have much time after finding it.

We had Thanksgiving with my family and then got a beautiful Christmas tree from the tree farm we like to visit. The boys helped pick out a great one and we got the lights on immediately. My husband and I also visited the Van Gogh experience at the Newfield Art Musuem. Van Gogh is my favorite and the immersive experience was definitely memorable. Highly recommend!

Here are some photos!

IWSG December 2023 Author Question

It’s a IWSG Wednesday (what’s that? read on!) and the question posed this month is about book reviews.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post on the first Wednesday of the month. “Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.” You can find my previous posts here. The group poses a monthly question to answer as well.

IWSG Question of the Month

Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave book reviews, do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

As an author, I know how much it can sting to get a bad review. If I didn’t enjoy anything in the book, I’ve learned to put it down and not even finish it – there are too many books in the world to waste time on a story I’m not connecting with. If I do finish and my opinion is mostly bad, I won’t even write a review. Unless I feel like the books as some problematic elements I’d like to warn other readers about (like the lack of any female characters beyond a token love interest) because as a reader I’d like to know the book contains that so I can choose to avoid it.

I mostly write my reviews for the reader. I’ll gush about the things I loved so that a potential reader who likes the same things can see it as a flashing sign that says, “Pick this book! It has your favorite stuff.” And then I’ll call out some of my dislikes, like if I felt like there was too much data dumping not worked into the actions of the characters or the side characters felt flat. Again, so that a potential reader can know – and not just stay away. Some people love tons of data dumping in paragraph form, so if they see me call that out it may also blink on that sign… “Pick this book!”


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