Hello old friend, hello… knitting it all together
So I just handed in another story to my super fab agent. Go me!
But really those in the KMJ know, know there is never any of that “Go me!” spirit when I do these kind of things. It’s more of a weak ‘yay, got that done’ and a shaky hand turnover because I’m never all that confidant in what I just put down on the page. The neurotic writer critic in my always wins out.
I will say I do adore this story and these characters and I hope when it’s time to share them come next holiday season you all will think they are just as delicious as I do. My heroine got to take the dream vacation that I have been longing for so there is that.
And with my hand-off, my super agent gave me the advice to not just dive into the next work, but take a moment for myself, which I also find hard to do. But with that permission to goof off from her I’m pulling out my long forgotten knitting to unwind with and instead of unwinding I’m having a devil of a time trying to remember this lovely stitch.
Oh well, I wonder if I can get this shawl done by the time my story comes out late next year. Ya think?
Tell me do you have an unwinding hobby that you retreat to?
All the best,
Be cool girl…fave plot book recs
Over the next 6 months I’ve got writing deadlines breathing down my neck
and looking at me like…
And I’m looking back at my original concepts like…
And the pressure of it all has me in a state of panic like…
So a little over a week ago in my panic stricken state I reached out to my peeps on twitter looking for bookish ways to help streamline my plotting process and get my racing, jumbled thoughts in some sort of order.
You see I only play a cool multi-planner having, washi tape decorating, cucumber on social media.
The chaos in my mind in a big old mess.
So I sent out this tweet:
And here are the books that were recommended to me in response. Thanks so much my twitter friends!
I know some of them will be of help to me (hello 1 click) and I wanted to share them here with you.
Please feel free to add any of your faves in the comments. Thanks and happy writing!
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon –
This one I already have in my library and is a fave http://amzn.to/1UxJvd9
Trough of Hell: How to Wrap Up the Middle of Your Story with Maximum Impact
by H.R. D’Costa http://amzn.to/1UxJLca
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley-
This is another one that I already have in my library and like. http://amzn.to/1UxJRAC
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
by Martha Alderson
2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love
by Rachel Aaron –
another book I have and am a fan of. http://amzn.to/1UxLwWN
Outlining Your Novel Map Your Way To Success by K.M. Weiland –
this is one I just ordered and am getting into. Lots of good points here. http://amzn.to/1PYgq41
Story Trumps Structure: How To Write Unforgettable Fiction By Breaking The Rules
by Steven James http://amzn.to/1K2Fan4
Meanwhile wish me luck with my deadlines because I need to be like this and just do it…
All the best,
Gifs from Reality TV Gifs
Just here… looking pretty
Jack says, hey people! He wants you all to admire him and his lovely haircut and his bandanna that says ‘I am handsome’ while Kwana runs around over on the sidelines doing all the things a writer does a week before the biggest conference of the year (no, she’s not grumpy or stressed at all).
For those coming to RWA National next week she can’t want to see you and remember Thursday the 23rd is #WeNeedDiverseRomance tee day. Later!
All the best,
Jack & KMJ
Feeling Friendly… Deal News!
I’ve been holding on to this news for a little while and I’m so happy to now be able to share it far and wide (social media pun totally intended). I’ve been signed on to write a novella called FRIENDING THE FASHIONISTA for Samhain Publishing under the fabulous executive editor Latoya Smith who I adore and have been wanting to work with for so long. FRIENDING will be the first in my Flirty Fashionista series, marrying my love of fashion and romance.
I can’t thank Latoya enough for taking me on and my fantastic agent Rachel Brooks from the L. Perkins Agency for making it all happen. Thank you ladies for helping to make my publishing dreams come true.
Now let me get to writing… after a dance just a little but more.
All the best,
gif fm reaction gifs.com
So it’s officially May and I can’t quite wrap my head around it. But time and desperate circumstances require that I do.
I have to admit that though I’ve been what I think is incredibly busy these last few months (delusional much?), I have not been anywhere near as productive as I’d like to have been and now, once again, I’m feeling backed against the wall to get pretty much EVERYTHING done within the next few weeks before school is done for my twins and summer officially starts.
Oh and while I’m at it can I possibly write a story of two too?
So with that said
Welcome MAY! Good Times ahead.
Tell me are you, like me, feeling the pre-summer crunch or are you sailing easy into the new season?
All the best,
Thanks for all your support of the #WeNeedDiverseRomance Tee campaign. I have started it up again for new orders so those who didn’t get in on the 1st round can still order and get a tee before Nationals this summer.
Click below to place your orders:
BTW I’m wearing my shirt to RWA Nationals on Thursday, July 23rd which is the day of my workshop. Feel free to join me and wear yours that day too!
Stay Writing… always
The other day, while procrastinating on Twitter, as I’m often found doing, I saw a tweet go by from the amazing director of Selma, Ava DuVernay. It said that she was participating in a talk this past Wednesday for the Tribeca Film Festival. Now I was instantly intrigued and knew I wanted to be there. But me being me I had to go to my usual second guessing and I got to thinking if I really wanted to take the trip down to the city, take on driving and parking and oh who am I fooling, it all came down to if I really wanted to get dressed and put on real pants and shoes and go out.
Well, I’m so happy the pants and better sense won out. It was my dear son’s day off from classes so he was more than happy to go as my “date” and he even urged me to bring along a copy of one of my books and some postcards (I guess paying for all those business classes isn’t for nothing).
The two of us headed down to the west side of 23rd street and upon our arrival we were greeted with a long but patient and enthusiastic line of what seemed to be mostly were writers and film students. And to the horror of my poor DS I went to snapping pics as if I didn’t grow up in the city and attend college at FIT right up the street. Who knows? Maybe I’ve been in the burbs a little too long, but whatevs. They don’t put cameras on these phones for nothing.
Once we were inside there was a short delay as we waited for Ms. DuVernay to make it in from the airport and her red-eye flight. The delay was no big deal to us as we were inside and comfortable and the room was full of fans of her work.
When Ms. DuVernay arrived along with the immensely talented, Q-Tip who was her interviewer for the hour, there was little doubt that the wait was well worth it. Q-Tip was a well prepared and through interviewer asking many of the questions that we all wanted answers to and Ms. DuVernay was just wonderful. She was friendly, thoughtful and candid with her answers. As well as generous with sharing her opinions and advice.
Here are just a few of her insightful words that resonated most with me:
Her mission: “To magnify the magnificence of black people.”
Wow! I could just stop with there. Isn’t that just beautiful? I just about gasped in my seat. With all the negative images we have been bombarded with for so long and the awful injustices that have been brought to life recently thanks to social media this just makes me want to stand up and cheer.
But I’ll keep going. She also spoke about her work and her responsibility to it saying, that it’s no one else’s responsibility to make the things she wants to see. Which also spoke to me and the stories I tell. Yes, I write for my readers and my fans, but ultimately these are the stories that speak to me and the ones I want to tell. If I’m not filling my own well then this is all for nothing.
Getting to Ms. DuVernay’s process: I was only too selfishly happy to hear that a genius such as herself also struggles with writer’s block as I do. Now I know there are those that say there is no such thing as writer’s block and try as I might I’ve tried really hard to embrace that philosophy (mostly by searching out articles over the internet when I should be writing) but I just can’t. She also has accepted procrastination as part of her process and recognizes that she is fueled by the deadline crunch. Something else I can definitely get behind and see in myself.
On working and ‘making it’ in a white male dominated profession: I loved Ms. DuVernay’s strong opinion and slightly ‘what of it’ attitude to it all. It is what it is and how we should just do what we do and go for it. She spoke about women too often asking for permission for things we don’t need permission for. I’ll just leave that right here with an amen.
Lastly, she spoke about her motto which is “Stay Shooting.” Which means to work your creative muscle. Don’t take breaks and don’t get stagnant or stale by being stuck in one box. Very good advice. I think I’ll take up a version of that and tack onto my bulletin board:
Thank you, Ms. DuVernay for sharing a wonderful hour with us!
Lets not talk about my closed eyes on this pic. Ava is holding BOUNCE here and that’s all that matters.
All the best,
Happy Valentine’s Weekend!
I hope you are having a wonderful one filled with plenty of sweets and your favorite sweetheart 🙂
You all know that I’m a big advocate for diversity in romance and to speak to that I’m proud to have been invited to participate in a Romance Writer Chat #RWChat on twitter this Sunday 2/15 with the fantastic Alisha Rai to talk about diversity in the romance industry. If you are around at 7PM EST please hop on Twitter and join in as we’d love to have you. You know my motto: #WeNeedDiverseRomance Hope to see you there!
All the best,
All Day Err’re day…
This for sure.
No, I’m not doing NanoWrimo but I need to do my own form of some sort of marathon/ get it together writing sprint.
You see I’ve been in a fog and a funk, but it’s time I clawed my way back to the light before the hole sinks too deep for me to come out of. My lists of potential projects is starting to feel like it’s getting bigger then my actual potential so instead of dreaming about new ideas I’d better get to actually finishing up some of the old ones. If I don’t, this rambling mind of mine won’t get a bit of peace and right now that’s what I need most.
Wishing you all a wonderful and productive week.
All the best,
image from tumblr
Wishing, Dreaming, and Feeling Golden… plus a winner announced!
I don’t do well when confronted with myself. Ultra critical, when I look in the mirror it’s the faults I see first, though I’m probably not all that special in that regard. But wait, it goes further. So cringe worthy is my self-reflection, that I find the sound of my own voice, intolerable and I won’t even do the recording on our home’s answering machine. That said, you can imagine how I feel about doing public readings or private ones for that matter, as I loathe the sound of my own voice even more when it’s chiming my own words back at me. Taking every flaw that was a mere whisper in my mind and scraping it out, long and slow like nails shimmying then quick skipping along a chalk board.
All that said, still, many months ago I went and entered my self-published book BOUNCE in the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf contest. The contest where the winner is announced in a crowded ballroom, full of edge of their seat romance writers waiting with baited breath to hear the winners words being read by the iconic, Anne Frazier Walradt. Why would I do such a thing? Me, a person with severe stage phobia who also doesn’t like to hear her own stories read aloud? It makes no sense.
Well, the answer isn’t all that deep. You see, I’d been the New Jersey Romance writer’s conference many times before and like so many others I always wished I was one of ‘the ones’. Those chosen special few who for that year got to get the applause, but more than anything got to have their work read so beautify by Anne. Each passage a perfect literary triumph. So I entered, and this is where it gets a little confusing, because if truth be told, I’m sure I entered, despite my phobias because I well and truly never expected my entry to get very far. You see I entered expecting to lose. I’m a wisher in the worst sense of the word. I make my wish and instantly negate it with a ‘and that will never happen’ on the back end on the wish.
So long story short I entered. I entered and I made a halfhearted wish upon my entry, I’m sure backing it up with my seal of doubt and then I let it go. But then, way later, a strange thing happened. I got a call that I, me, well someone by the name of K.M. Jackson had finaled in the contest. It was a total OMG, Snoopy dance and then what in the world can this really be real moment. The Universe must surly be playing a joke on me. Someone had took my wish and broken the seal of doubt. My system was good and truly wrecked.
But I went with it. And pulling up my big girl pants I, for the most part, slipped it to the back of my mind, telling myself that I was a not one of ‘The Ones’. That this was great and great was as good as it was gonna get so just roll with that and be happy. When friends told me to prepare an acceptance speech I laughed at them, saying what was the point. Preparing a speech took my wish and edged to closer to the dream category and dreams have a way of wiggling under your skin, making you put work behind them as you think they could possibly come true and I wasn’t ready to let that happen. Remember my phobias and I was fine with wishing ThankYouVeryMuch. So while I was wishing I was mentally working on my perfect Oscar clap and smile for the real winner for when I didn’t hear my words read by Anne.
Finally, it was the big moment. I was sitting with my friends, trying my best to look cool as we were waiting for my category to be called. I had it all together in my head and if things would go according to my fool proof unscientific calculations there was no possible way I could be the winner. I had my clap and smile ready and waiting. The Wisher was firmly in her lane. But then it happened. Anne walked up to the podium and I heard the first few words …
“Sean reaches over and pulls my body in close to his, cradling my backside into his groin. He’s sleeping soundly, but his erection is strong and wide-awake.”
Holy crap, she was reading from BOUNCE! I inwardly groan with embarrassment as my inner critic raised her hand to poke me in the ribs (who in the world opens a book like that?!) while at the same time my heart leaped with joyous pride. This was it. This is not my wish moment but my dream coming true. There were cameras and eyes turned my way but all I could hear was my own voice telling myself to focus. Just listen to Anne. Hear the words that I wrote. And you know what? They never sounded so good.
Thank you to Anne Frazier Walradt and the New Jersey Romance Writers for a night I will cherish forever.
And for making a Dream come true.
All the best,
P.S. Thank you to all who entered. The Winner of my Creative Hearts Giveaway is Jackie Roberts! Congratulations Jackie. Please email me at kwanawrites @ Yahoo. Com with your information so that I can send you your gift card.
A Golden Night
It was truly the most Golden of nights. I can’t thank my fabulous RWA/NYC chapter enough for honoring me with this year’s Golden Apple award for Author of The Year. An award so amazing that I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life writing to feel like I’ve actually earned it. But hey, it’s in my house now and it has my name on it so I’m not giving it back. I’m going to write on, inspired by of the glow of this magical Golden Apple.
Maybe I’ll stop sleeping with it and let the DH back into bed in a week or two? Maybe…
Thanks once again to my RWA/NYC chaptermates and congrats to all the winners!
All the best,