Monthly Archives: September 2015

It’s Simple: Heart and Mind

I have only a suggestion to share today, but I think it’s an important one.

heart_mind 2

I’ve tried to go on and break this down, talk about what it means to do both, how we might accomplish a soft heart and a strong mind, the benefits, whether such things are inherent or fought for, but it’s not for me to say. It’s different for each of us.

We find our own journey of heart and mind.

Here’s to yours. And mine.

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How Many Books Should an Author Write in a Year?

Stacks of BooksIn the past few weeks, there’s been a bit of a stir in social media about how many books an author should publish in a year. An author on Bowker suggested that four books was a good number if you wanted to earn a decent living writing fiction. Another on Huffington Post balked at that idea, fearing that quality would suffer. (The art! she lamented. What will happen to the art!)

This satirical article from Bad Advice for Writers should perhaps have the last word. It’s frankly silly for authors to debate the ideal number of books to write in a year, because it depends entirely on the author: their goals, their writing process, the time they have to write.

Prolific authors existed long before indie publishing revolutionized the industry. Often they wrote under different pen names to hide the fact that they were writing so much. Also, traditional publishing is slow, so even if you write four books a year, your publishing house may not be able to keep up with you. That’s a consideration indie authors don’t have to worry about.

I know bestselling authors who release a novel every month. That’s right, twelve books a year. And their fans love them.

Readers read for a variety of reasons. It’s not always about the art. They want to be entertained. They deserve a well-crafted, well-edited story that delivers the reading experience that they’re looking for and that they’ve come to expect from a particular author. As long as the author is able to deliver that consistently, it doesn’t matter how many books a year they publish. What matters is keeping their audience happy.

As a reader, I look forward to new books from my favorite authors. Some are writing so fast that I can’t keep up with them. But at no point have I ever thought, I wish she’d slow down and think more about the art! Instead, I think, I need to make more time to read!

How about you? When you see authors producing four or more books a year, do you worry that they’re not paying enough attention to quality? Or are you just excited that they’ve got another book out?

Image Copyright: bonumopus / 123RF Stock Photo

Wasting Precious Time

In perusing yahoo news, I came across an article about a study done of older Americans (aged 65+) and what they regretted most in their lives. The most common answer? Worry. Out of 1500 people, the most common regret was that they’d spent too much of their lives worrying.stress

You can read about the study here.

I found this to be particularly relevant because I notice more and more young adults riddled with anxiety, more and more middle aged adults suffering the side effects of stress, and more and more people turning to pharmaceuticals for relief.

Some worry is unavoidable. If you’re a parent, worry comes with the job. If you or a loved one is suffering an illness, make room for worry.

But kids? Really?

School is harder than ever. The things my kids learn about in high school were college subjects in my day. A friend was talking the other day about a five year old who didn’t want to go to kindergarten because she didn’t know how to read. In kindergarten! When I was in kindergarten, we learned to tie our shoes. And it was half-day.

Bottom line: life’s too short. Every day is a gift. If we spend too much time worrying about things that either don’t matter or can’t be changed, we are frittering away the gift of life.

So get off the computer. Go outside for a walk. Read a good book. Call a friend. Smile at a stranger. Live the gift, and have no regrets.

photo credit: 2 : 😡 via photopin (license)

Release Week!

It’s release week for book #3 in my Silver Creek series ~ ALL ABOUT YOU

Venetta, Dianne- All About You (final)

Financier Katharine Wainwright is tasked with saving the charity ranch founded by her mother. Facing bankruptcy, the ranch for terminally ill children is a refuge, the one place they can redefine themselves outside of their illness and discover their true power. Canyon Laredo has dedicated his life to the cause. When accused his contribution to salvage the operation is less than adequate, he takes it personally and pushes back.

Frank Dillard currently runs the ranch. A close friend of the Wainwright family, he is central to Katharine’s success. But when crisis strikes, loyalties are divided, forcing Katharine and Canyon to work together toward a common goal: save Wainwright Ranch.

When the unthinkable happens, Katharine is faced with the challenge of her life. Can she survive the ultimate betrayal and restore the sanctuary her mother built? Or will it become nothing more than a memory…

Official release day is Wednesday – check My Books page for purchase details. **Excited** But as every author knows, there is no rest when working on a series and I’m diligently at work on book #4 ~ ONLY WITH YOU ~ an adventure that will take readers high above the mountains of Colorado as a heli-skiing trip goes terribly wrong, leaving it up to two of Silver Creek’s finest to try and save the day. Stay-tuned!

 

 

Fourteen years ago today

I was at the Habitat for Humanity office in the Netherlands, writing copy for a donor newsletter. One of my colleagues returned from a meeting with the news. There had been attacks on America, on American ground soil.

This was back in the days of dial-up and sketchy internet, and the lone office computer with a connection to the outside world was ancient and slow. The news sites were swamped and took forever to load. I didn’t get the full picture, but I got enough to know it was bad. I grabbed my stuff, picked up my kids from their schools and daycare, and drove home, where I watched the horror unfold on CNN International.

I think I’ve said it here before, I always had a problem with being called an expat. The word has all sorts of connotations, thanks to the little prefix at the beginning. Expelled, exiled, expatriated. Yes, I was living out of my country of citizenship, and yes, it was a voluntary move, but I’ve never liked the assumption that living abroad made me any less of an American. In fact, I’d dare say the opposite is true, that nothing heightens your feelings of national pride like being the stranger in a foreign country.

I remember a lot of things from that day in September, and from the days and weeks afterward, but the thing that sticks with me the most was the kindness. Dutch friends and family called with their condolences. Neighbors and other moms and strangers on the street, as soon as they realized I was American, expressed their solidarity. The unemotional Dutch, a culture known for their stoicism, cried real tears for me, an expatriated visitor from another country. Never have I felt more American, and never have I loved the Dutch more.

Those of us who lived through that day don’t need a hashtag to remember, but I’ll put it here anyway: #neverforget.

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