We Have A Winner!

So, I consulted the random number generator and it chose a winner from the subscribers of my mailing list. It did, and I’m pleased to announce the Patricia W. will receive a free copy of Shades of Green just as soon as she emails me and sends me her mailing address. I have also dropped her an email to let her know.

Congrats Patricia!

Do you want to win a copy too? Like I said I’ll be running a contest closer to the release of Lost and Found to give away a copy of Shades of Green, but instead of having to like, think of something interesting to blog about, I’ve also decided to do another giveaway on GoodReads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shades of Green (Paperback) by Rhonda Parrish

Shades of Green

by Rhonda Parrish

Giveaway ends September 30, 2010.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Also, if you use Goodreads and we aren’t friends there? We really need to rectify that πŸ™‚ Send me an invite, I would love to hook up with all my friends over there.

Workin’ Magic…

There’s a brand new review of Shades of Green out, and the reviewer loved it. Universe? This is how I’d like to start all my Mondays, if you don’t mind.

Clayton Bye reviewed Shades of Green for Alternative-Read.com and said I worked magic. Awww! He also said:

When a story pulls a reader in to the extent that he forgets about all else, the author has done exactly what she’s supposed to do.

That’s awesome, what a great way to start my week πŸ™‚

This review reminded me that I haven’t given away a copy of Shades of Green in a fairly long time. I’m going to have to change that. I will be giving away one copy to a random subscriber to my Newsletter tomorrow to make up for it. If you’re not into newsletters, don’t despair — I’ll also be giving one away in a contest to promote the fact I’m giving away Lost and Found… soon. That’s not a Blizzard soon, it’s a ‘In_a_month_or_so’ soon.

Pub Changes

It occured to me that there have been some publication changes recently which I’ve never blogged about. I’m going to do that now, and offer up some of my thoughts about them at the same time.

One relatively big change around here is that my contract with Eternal Press recently expired and we parted company. The split was amicable and the end result is that all the rights to Sister Margaret have reverted back to me. I’m hoping, one day, to be able to put together an Aphanasian stories collection, and Sister Margaret will definitely have a place in it. In the meantime you can now read it, completely free, here. While it was originally published by Wild Child Publishing I felt that the first issue of Niteblade needed a bit more fantasy and reprinted it there. Of course once I included Sister Margaret I suddenly got a bunch of fantasy submissions, but whatcha gonna do?

I took it down while it was contracted to Eternal Press, but now I’m allowed to share it with you for free again πŸ™‚

Also, you may remember that my zombie munchkin story “…Oh My!” was one of the runner-ups in the Dark Moon Books ZOMBIES! anthology contest. I was estatic. They’ve recently made some changes though that meant that anthology was canceled. The editor offered the story a spot in their upcoming magazine (The Dark Moon Digest), but I passed. Nothing against the editor or the magazine, which I will consider as a market for future work, I just didn’t think the magazine was where I wanted the story to go.

Originally I thought my hesitation was due to the fact I really wanted it to go in an anthology rather than a magazine, but I’ve since submitted it to a different magazine (*fingers crossed*). Truth is, something about it going into the Dark Moon Digest just didn’t feel right. I’ve ignored that feeling in the past when it came to my writing and I always regret it. This time I listened. It meant giving up a ‘sure thing’ and having to look for a new home for that story, but still, I’m glad I listened.

I’ve not always been very good at listening to that little voice inside me, but I’m getting better. You know why? Because I realised that I’ve never regretted it when I’ve listened, but I sure have when I’ve ignored it. How about you?

Slow and Steady

Last weekend was spent at my parent’s in southern Alberta. It’s often rather tricky to find something for all of us to do and enjoy, but my mom hit on a wonderful idea when she suggested we go to the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale. I will totally be going back, but in the meantime some of the pictures I took on that trip will decorate this post.

So far I’m doing very well at my goal to write more consistently. I’ve not been allowing myself to play World of Warcraft unless I’ve written that day. Occasionally I’m not very good at the whole self-denial thing, but so far I’m pulling it off. That means less naps, and a more regimented daily routine in order to get everything I need to do and some of the things I want to do done, and I really like it. I’ve mentioned that I do very well if I have a routine? Well, that one resolution is helping me establish one.

I’ve been using a couple aps to help me stick to this. The first is called ‘Streaks’ and is really just a calendar where I can tap any day I’ve written on and it puts an X on the day. It keeps track of my streaks and if I miss a day that ends the streak and I have to start again. If you’ve got a brain like mine it’s surprisingly movitating to be able to make that little X appear on the screen, as well as not wanting to miss any days LOL The other ap just came out last night and I love it already. It’s called ‘Epic Win!’ and basically it lets you add your chores into a list and then as you do them you gain expirience points so your little avatar dude gets to level up and get gear. It’s like the ultimate nerd to-do list. I love it already.

So, yeah — so far so good. I’m getting a fair amount of writing done. I’ve written, revised and re-revised Chapter Eight of Lost and Found, for example. It’s done — I’ve sent it to Bill to work his magic on, that means no more changes for it. Chapter Nine has also been written and revised and is just waiting for me to send it to my critique group for their feedback before polishing it and calling it done.

Chapter Ten on the other hand…oh, chapter ten.

Happily my aps and my new routine will help me write it, and if it’s really bad, write it again, and again until I get it right. After all, I really need to get Lost and Found finished up, and then move on to Shadows. I’d been hoping to have the first draft of it finished and resting by November so I could work on something else for NaNo. I don’t think that’s going to happen now, but maybe. And either way, like the tortoise I’m making my way to the finish line. Slow and steady — because that’s how you win the race.

P.S. I got 50 expirience points for writing this blog post πŸ˜‰

What Photos Have Taught Me…

This weekend we went to Fort Edmonton Park. We arrived on Saturday, stayed the night at the hotel there and then left on Sunday. A large motivation for the trip was just to have fun at the park as a family, but staying at the Selkirk Hotel was one of those things on my ‘Edmonton Bucket List’ (for lack of a better phrase) and I also wanted to turn it into a photo safari. The idea of being able to shoot things in the park without the crowds (between closing and opening) was too much to resist.

It was very nice. We had a lovely dinner and had fun hanging out with each other, meandering around the streets, petting horses and riding trains.

However, as a photo safari it did not meet my (ridiculously high) expectations. The problem wasn’t the setting, it was the photographer. That’s right, me.

I made a series of minor mistakes that piled up to mean several shots that could have been great were lost, or ruined, or just didn’t work. That being said, I’m still counting the trip as a success — even in regard to photography. Why? Well, because while I made a whack of mistakes, I also learned from them and I’m optimistic I won’t make them again — at least not in succession like I did this weekend.

I am still learning to apply that attitude toward my writing. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s true. While photography is a hobby that I am really enjoying right now, writing is my job, it’s what I do. Being a writer is who I am. So I put more pressure on myself for it than I do photography…but little by little I’m becoming more forgiving of my own imperfections, even in regard to writing.

I finished up a new chapter on Friday and within minutes sent it off to my critique group. That is not something I could have ever forced myself to do a year ago. No way. Now, granted, I sent it off that quickly because it’s part of Lost and Found which had deadlines of the looming kind and I wasn’t going to have time to let it set and revise before sending, but it’s still progress. And progress, often, is good.

So I’ll keep working on that, being forgiving toward myself and in the meantime I’ll share some of my Fort Edmonton photos here as I find time to process them because Arnold, at least, told me to keep sharing photos here and no one screamed ‘Oh God No!’

Hmm…

Ever submit your work somewhere and then weeks later look at their website and go ‘What on earth was I thinking?’

<.<

>.>

Yeah…me either.

However, if I -had- it would certainly make me aware of the effect a bad website can have in regard to how you are perceived. I think my website’s biggest fault is that I don’t update it regularily. I’ll be working on that, right after I master my current project which is to create a writing routine. I watched this fabulous video yesterday:

Clicky, Clicky

It’s Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat, Pray, Love) talking about nurturing creativity. I really enjoyed the talk but the part that hit me the hardest is where she says “I’m here for my part of the job.” She’s talking about showing up everyday and writing, even when it sucks, even when she doesn’t want to, but doing it because that is her job.

Writing is also my job and I haven’t been doing it. Not the way I should. I thrive on routine, and yet for some reason I haven’t created one for my writing. I just do it “when I can”. In between being a Mom, and doing work for clients, and schoolwork (which I’m way behind on) and gaming and…and…and.

And that’s not right. I need to have a time that is when I write, without the internet, without distractions…as much as possible. Right now it’s summer time so an actual set-in-stone routine is unlikely to snap into place nicely for me, however, I am taking two hours a day to write. If I don’t write for two hours? Well, guess what? No World of Warcraft. It’s really pretty simple. I’d been treating WoW as a hobby, but now it’s a reward. And the two hours of writing? Well, that’s my job so it is going to come before client work, before photography, before schoolwork.

Once school begins again and things settle down a bit more around here I’ll see about fitting that two hours into the same slot everyday…and I’m seriously considering taking a page from Tobias Buckell‘s book and doing it while everyone else around here is sleeping. I’ve always had trouble sleeping ‘when I was supposed to’ so perhaps it’s time to embrace that and make it work for me. I guess we’ll see.

First writing two hours a day (at least), then fitting it into a routine, and then regular updates of the blog. I hope you’ll be patient with me. In the meantime, should I return to posting photographs, or not so much? πŸ™‚

Lost and Found Delay

I hate missing deadlines, but I’m going bump the release of Lost and Found back a little bit. Not long, possibly November (it can be your NaNo reading!) but I’m hoping for October. The re-writes are going a little slower than I’d hoped because I’m actually making some major plot changes. Wheee! I blame my critique group and their wonderful feedback. The story will be better, but a lil later.

The other reason the re-writes are going slower than I’d hoped because I’m failing at monotasking. I’m working on it. Honest.

I’d like to do a blog post that isn’t all ‘Me, me, me enough about me, what do you think about me?’ but I haven’t any good ideas atm.