Monday, January 31, 2011


First and foremost I have a winner of my critique contest, thanks to the Random Number Generator I found on-line last night (I love Google).  So without further ado…the winner of a free critique and review is:  Allyn Stotz.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you to everyone who entered. 

This week and I read and did a review of the novel, Dragons Among Us, by C.L. Kraemer.  You can find it here:  http://roguesangels.blogspot.com/ 


It’s the end of January and I thought I would take inventory of what goals I am still working on.  I did complete and submit one story (it’s a maybe, btw).  I read six books this month and if I can find the time later tonight that number may be seven.  I have done relatively well staying on track and may have my YA Novel, A Howl in the Night, just about ready by the end of this week.  It’s going to be a busy week, so we’ll see about that. 

On the personal front, so far I have been going outside for a walk on Sundays.  I have to say, just yuck.  Why do we have to go outside in the winter?  I forget now why this was a big deal…..ok not really, but its so cold and blah and dead looking outside I don’t want to do it.  The kids and the animals enjoy it though, so I haven’t much choice in the matter.  I cannot wait for spring. 

One month down….are you still working on your goals for the year or did you chuck them out on the 5th? 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Critique Contest and More

Lots of things going on this week.  First and foremost, Congrats the Kelly Hashway for winning the contest for a free print book of Shadow Dancer, autographed of course by yours truly....me.  Thanks again to Allyn for her wonderful contest and interview. 


Next on the list of things:  I have a new interview up.  You can find it:  Here   I have to say, Terrie did a lovely job on this interview and it looks great.  Make sure to check it out.  I will be stopping over hopefully daily to answer any additional questions and such. 


Finally.  As I stated last week, beginning today, January 24, 2011, I will be running a contest to win a free critique and review of up to 8 pages of any story, article, or whatever your heart desires.  It does have to be your own work.  If you want an honest review and opinion, this contest is definitely for you.  I wont say it's great just because you win, however, if it is great, I will certainly tell you.  This contest will run for one week.  Therefore, it will end at midnight on January 30, 2011. 

How to participate...aka the rules and such:

1.  If you are not already a follower of my blog, you must become one.  If you are already a followers you can go right to number 2.

2.  You must leave me a comment. 

3.  You can comment as many times as you want.  Each comment will count as an entry into the contest. 

Any questions?  Let me know.  I tried to make it as easy as possible as who has time for hard?  Not me, that's for sure.  So good luck to all that enter. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Upcoming events and Contests

Alright all you authors and writers out there, do you ever need or want a fresh pair of eyes on a project you are working on?  A different take and perspective?  An honest response to "What do you think?"  Well here is your chance.  Beginning Monday, January 24, 2011, I will be running a contest where one lucky winner will receive a free review and critique of up to 8 pages of a story or article or whatever you are working on.  If this interests you, well then come back on Monday for the rules and terms and all that jazz. 

Also, I have an author interview and questions event that will be posting on Monday, January 24, 2011,  HERE

Finally, this is your last day (January 21, 2011) to enter to win a free autographed copy of my book Shadow Dancer.  To find out how go HERE

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  See ya Monday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving up?

First, be sure to check out the new interview I completed at: HERE  You could win a free autographed book of Shadow Dancer from yours truly.  Check it out, post a comment, etc, etc and you are good to go.  You only have until Friday, January 21, 2011 to enter.  Hurry up already. 
I have been working on a story for an Anthology for a few weeks now.  I hate it.  It's not going well at all and the struggle is taking away from other projects I could (and should) be working on.  I can't decide if its worth the continued fight to get it written or if it's time to just say enough and move on to something else.  I have never not finished a story, whether good or bad.  I always once started, pushed forward to the end, but then, all those bad stories do are sit in my computer collecting....cookies so to speak.  I always think I will go back to them and fix them and make them into something usable, but I never do. 
It feels as though I am giving up, quitting.  I can hear this little voice in my head that says, once a quitter always a quitter and do you want to be one?  The answer is no.  Unequivocally, no.  Its not in my make-up, and yet I have never wanted to chuck something out the window as I do this stupid story!  It's haunting me for Pete's sake. 
I thought that maybe if I just "put it to the side" for a few days that then I could come back to it fresh and be able to see my way through it.  Let's be real though, if I put it aside, I'm never going back to it as that's just the kind of excuse that can get you in trouble.  No, no, really, I'm just giving the story time to rest.....ten years later. 
What are you thoughts?  Do you chuck and run or do you stick with it to the bitter end?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time Management

First, be sure to check out the new interview I completed at: HERE  You could win a free autographed book of Shadow Dancer from yours truly.  Check it out, post a comment, etc, etc and you are good to go. 

Moving on.  I worked very hard this week to keep myself organized and working toward my writing goals.  I tried to stay off the on-line boards.  I failed at this miserably.  I popped in (just for a second of course) a time or two…or three….to check out what was new and going on, on not one, but two writer’s boards.  Not mentioning any names here…. but all I can say is, is that if people wouldn’t have such interesting postings and threads that I want to follow, this would not be a problem. 

My next step was to stop checking my email hourly.  I did pretty well at this, until it got to be around 3:00 p.m. Then I was checking every 15 minutes or so just out of shear boredom with my day.  Plus my new cell has a great app that tells you when new mail comes in, so now I find myself checking that all the time too.  *…sigh* 

Lastly, I sat myself down every single day to get some writing done.  This goal I reached. I am making headway on my story that I am working on for an upcoming anthology.  Finally!  I also put out one re-write submission.  Woo Hoo. 

So all in all, the week although not perfect, shows a bit of progress.  Next week will be even better.  How was your week?  Did you accomplish anything on your list?

Monday, January 10, 2011

How Much is Your Time Worth?

Its tax season as we all are very aware, I'm sure.  I gathered up all my income and all my expenses that were writing oriented for the last year and now the question of the day is:  Was it worth it?  But then, that leads to another more real question.  What was I actually writing for? 

Some people write because they have dreams of being famous and rich and all that goes with it.  Me?  I do not want to be famous, and yet...I do want my name "Courtney Rene" to be known.  Such as, "Did you see the new Courtney Rene book comes out on the 8th?  I dont want to be afraid to leave my house for fear of being bombarded by strangers, fans though they may be.  So fame..no thanks.  Riches, oh yes I could use that.  Couldn't we all.  The dreams I have had of what I would do if I only had to be a writer, ahhhh that would be just lovely.  I dont think I would know exactly what to do with myself if I could just sit down all day and write.  If only.....but I dont actually write for the money, although it is a nice perk and a good excuse to hit the shoe store or Harry and David.

Some people write for the love of writing.  Yes I can see that too.  I love dropping into a story and working my way out of the problems that I have set for the MC, or creating new worlds, or dare I say it...falling in love.  But after I have created my masterpiece, the true joy for me is having someone else read it and like it or hopefully fall in love with it and demand more.  So its not just for the love of writing either for me.

I would say in the end, I simply love to write.  I love the fantasy, the stories, the what-if of it all.  I want others to enjoy what I have fought to create, and in the end, I want to be paid for it so that I can write more and maybe in the future have writing be my JOB and not just my part-time hobby. 

How much is my time worth?  I guess the real answer is, I dont really know.  It wasn't worth much this past year in terms of money.  But in terms of accomplishments and joy, now that's another story entirely. 

What are you writing for?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Nothing.  The new year is here and all my goals and such are set and I am getting no-where.  At all.  I think my to-do list is over-whelming me.  I need to do status checks on 6 submissions.  I need to revise 3 previously rejected pieces and resubmit them out.  I need to finish up a story I am working on for an anthology (I am way way behind on this one).  I need to revise Shadow Warrior.  I need to finish revising A Howl in the Night.  And lastly I need to write something new for the month.  Maybe two something news.  I didn't do any of it this week.  I sat down at my computer to work on it tonight and I am so not inspired to do any of it. 

Is it the weather?  Do any of you get the winter time blahs?  Does all your inspiration vanish with the sunshine?  How do you get out of the winter blahs?  Usually I go for a walk, but it has been so cold that the thought is abhorrent to me right now, even with my warm winter boots.  Sometimes I will bird and squirrel watch for a bit, but it has been snowing and sleeting and icing so much that they haven't even been out when I need them.  I tried reading a bit, but all that did was make me want to continue reading and procrastinate on the writing.  Oh I miss the sun.....

Let's see what the weekend brings.  Maybe with a fresh nights sleep, I will wake up and be ready to get to it. 


Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Everyone always sets new goals for the New Year.  I have asked and asked around as to what they are and it is a varied and personal lot.  Loose weight, stop smoking, publish more, write more.  I have put together my list of ten things for the new year.  Some are personal goals, some are writing goals.  They are as follows:

1.  Write at least 15 new marketable stories and submit them all.

2.  Publish at least 15 new stories in any form (magazine, anthology, book)

3.  Read more.  I have been reading less and less lately and I miss it.  So I am going to say at least one book a week.  That's not all that much.  Considering in past years I would read 250 to 300 books a year, 52 should be a cake walk. 

4.  Spend less time on line.  I keep finding that I have less and less time to just write and I think it is because I am spending too much time on-line.  So I am going to limit myself to 1-2 hours a day catching up on my emails, boards, and sites, and etc.  This does not include research time and other real administrative stuff.  This is the play time stuff I am talking about. 

5.  Take a writing class that focuses on adult writing to add to my YA and children's writing.  Can't ever learn too much right?  Why not add to my cache. 

6.  Save more money wise.  I am a miser in general, but I think I could add a bit to savings this year. 

7.  Forgive all the past grudges I have been holding onto.  Let it go already.  I have already made headway on this one as I was aware this was a goal of mine for the new year and have been trying to find the peace I need. 

8.  Eat better.  I am what I call a flexitarian.  What is that?  I eat mostly veggies and such but I do have a weakness for bacon and peperoni, and such now and then.  I also am a candy-aholic.  I want to cut back on the bacon and the candy and try to be more aware of my diet. 

9.  Get in better shape.  I am not talking about losing weight, I am talking about health-wise.  I get lazy in winter.  I hate the cold and the wind so I pretty much sit on my butt most of the winter long.  I dont want to do that this year.  I am going to get my butt outside and be more active. 

10.  Not take everything so seriously.  Laugh a bit more, at myself and others and find more joy around me.  I am a bit of Pollyanna most days but somethings....not so much.  I want to have less of the "not so much" and more of the fun.  I can do this. This is one of the easier goals. 

I like firm goals.  It gives me a bit of balance and something to focus my energy on.  Without goals I think I would go stagnant and I dont want that at all.  Will I reach them all?  Yes.  Yes I will. 

Did you set yourself goals and resolutions for the new year?  What are they?  Did you blog about them?  If you did post your blog address here so others can check it out.