Friday, August 29, 2014

TMI Post

This will be one of those posts your mother told you never to do. Heck, I've been in such a mood lately, and I have no real reason for it, I'm not quite sure how it will turn out. But here goes. Bear with me. I get this way every time I get towards the end of another book, and boy is this one grabbing hold of me and not letting go. That's usually a good thing.

You are looking at the picture at the upper left side of this page and you're going, "What on earth is she going to do with all those things: a black nightie, a red bra, Colin Kaepernick unisex multi-sport flavored mouthguards, and a TRX training system?" Just for the record, only the mouthguards are flavored in Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch and Bubble Gum.

Every once in awhile I feel the need for new underwear, and I found some really nice things at my favorite store. The sweet lady who owns the shop also reads my books. My first heroine, Christy, had worked at a lingerie shop in San Francisco on trendy Maiden Lane in the story, so I tried on every kind of French bra I could find one afternoon and came home after the family had eaten dinner. New underwear makes me feel like a new woman. What can I say?

I've been a little mouthy lately, not quite holding back words I probably should have. Hopefully I
haven't said too many things I will live to regret. The flavored mouthguards, with beautiful Colin demonstrating how to hold a football, were something I could use one of these days. The old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth is ruminating around in my brain. Of course, it does all depend on what that mouth is doing. Could be very important for the health of a relationship, don't you think?

Now the TRX system is not some new bondage thing for use in the bedroom, although I am sufficiently whipped into shape by my new personal trainer, Erik. He was the one with all the tats in the Ice Bucket Challenge earlier in the month. First he kicked my but on this TRX thing, and then he squeezes eggs, flour and salsa on my head. All for a good cause, though.

The saying on the box says Make Your Body Into A Machine. Well, I already am. I'm a machine of pure emotional energy, dressed in a red bra, my Fruit Punch mouthguard making me drool over my chin while I hang with my TRX from the yellow military equipment I just happen to have in my backyard. The dogs are barking, the electrician has put his palm over his eyes and my husband is shaking his head from side to side with a sudden urge to do a Costco run.

But I am working it. I'm working my story. I'm working my sexual energy with my new underwear. I'm doing presses and curls and squats with my new bondage system, while my breath is fresh and my teeth are protected. The world is protected too since I cannot say a word. I have to write it.

So I give you some sage advice, should you want or need it:

1. Wearing red underwear is always sexy and makes for fun writing. It's also useful for other things.
2. Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut, and protected with a little restraint, and yes, it's okay to do it flavored.
3. There is no point to doing a workout unless it can be done to the extreme. Like sex, the more intense it is, the better it is for you. Training my mind and my body is good for compelling stories. When I get sore, staring at the stars in a hot tub at midnight can cure all ills.

Just a little of my personal logic for a dying August, waiting for a bright September. What do you think? I'll pick the best answer on Sunday night and award a tee shirt with his logo on the backside.




Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lost Colony Series Book Tour September 15 - October 13

Dear Readers,

For all of you historical romance lovers out there, my book tour is just around the corner. We'll be featuring the first two novels in the LOST COLONY SERIES:

  • BREAKING TIES (already available in eBook and paperback at all major online retailers)
  • TRAIL OF CROSSES (releasing September 9)

Stay tuned to www.JoGrafford.com for daily announcements about games, festivities and giveaways to include a Lost Colony t-shirt, signed copy of BREAKING TIES, free eBooks by SIX amazing authors, signed bookmarks, and much more. You are cordially invited to join us for this fun event! Bring your booklover friends as well. :-)


The tour is hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. A BIG THANK YOU to Roxanne Rhoads for coordinating the following awesome lineup of blog stops:

September 15 Spotlight
Deb Sanders

September 16 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

September 17 Guest blog
Lisa’s World of Books

September 18 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 19 Interview
Darkest Cravings

September 22 Spotlight
Theresa Stillwagon

September 23 Character Interview
Author Karen Swart

September 25 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

September 26 Spotlight

September 29 Guest blog
More Romance Please

September 30 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm

October 1 Interview
Author Anita Cox

October 2 Spotlight
Sizzling Book Blog 

October 3 Spotlight
CBY Book Club

October 6 Guest Blog (review later)
Historical Fiction Obsession

October 7 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt

October 8 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

October 9 Spotlight
Booklover Sue 

October 10 Spotlight and review
Illuminite Caliginosus

October 13 Review
Brooke Blogs

The book trailer for TRAIL OF CROSSES will be pre-released in my September newsletter and posted across social media outlets a few days later in time for the September 9 book release. You are welcome to subscribe at www.JoGrafford.com if you want a sneak peak. :-)

Here is one of my favorite "Jane moments" at the beginning of the book:


See you on tour. Blowing kisses!

Jo

Website: www.JoGrafford.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor
Twitter: @jografford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360736.Jo_Grafford
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoGrafford
YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I
Highlighted Author: www.HighlightedAuthor.com
Amazon.com Author Page: amazon.com/author/jografford
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JoGrafford/

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Writing Muscle

I'm having my first meeting with a personal trainer today. I used to do this years ago, and it helped me get into some awesome physical shape. Because so much of my day is spent on a chair in front of a big screen, and due to my age (for some reason the years don't stop flowing past), I need this now more than ever.

I plan to babysit grandkids tomorrow. If my new personal trainer doesn't kick my butt, I'm sure my grandkids will polish me off nicely.

So this reminded me of what we have to do to stay sticky, relevant and unstoppable as a writer. Certainly the excited fans who love our books helps. The community of other authors who enthusiastically travel along the same path, and the collection of shared associates to help us do what we do can spur us on and keep us motivated. But, ultimately, the writer has to do the basics every day. I'm going to outline some of them here today.

1. Develop a daily writing routine. I recently read Manage Your Day-To-Day, a collection of essays edited by Jocelyn Glei, which discusses setting up a routine each day based on your own body's most creative rhythms. I recently began leaving the mornings open to write first thing. I've stopped scheduling Dr. appts, critique groups or other meetings during that most productive time for me. I try to stay off the internet until so many words have been placed on the pages, or until so many pages of edits are completed. My mind just works better creatively in the morning. There are actual physical reasons why this just makes sense. Everyone is different.

2. Write even when I don't feel like it. Here is where the amateur is separated from professional writers. The professional trains every day. We used to say in the other coaching and training field I was in for nearly three decades Tiger Woods knows how to golf, yet he trains intensely every day. Only way that muscle is developed is to push it a little. Do it when it doesn't feel good. Most writers underestimate how important this is. The public thinks the writer gets "inspiration" and then writes. Most of us doing this with any kind of success know that the inspiration comes later, in the polishing or editing.



3. Slow and steady wins the race. Ever watch chickens lay eggs? They have a routine set up to support this activity and they rarely deviate from it for good production. In sales, a few routines things can propel an average seller into a mega seller. In writing, we are talking about turning out a volume of quality work. Some people write fast but have no quality. Some have high quality but no volume. No matter what end of the spectrum you fall, learning to stretch and develop slowly in the areas we need improvement works.

4. Occasionally push hard to blow out all the carbon. Like cleaning clogged drains, I find having deadlines is good. Sprinting, working hard and fast brings more intensity to my writing life. Sitting back and waiting for the muse to descend upon me is like waiting for a 3 year old to want to be potty trained. A good kind of stress is actually healthy. If it wasn't, we'd never enjoy sex, raising a family, maintaining long-term friendships or relationships. We'd never run marathons compete in contests, play games.

5. Occasionally do something stupid, or something new. I don't think it matters which we do, as long as we mess with our own routine now and then. Kind of like sprinting or pressing through a deadline, learning to be flexible and well rounded is a healthy trait to develop, and it doesn't happen on it's own. Practicing randomness, even foolishness, can be a good thing. I've got several things on my bucket list I want to accomplish that will probably not make any sense to anyone but myself, and have nothing to do with writing. But they are part of the person inside me who likes to break out of boxes, throw caution to the wind, and experience (healthy things mind you) just for the experience of it.

6. Ask for help. As has been recently written about in the news, if you are struggling, don't be so closed you can't ask for help. This is probably the hardest part for an independent, creative thinker to do. Stay plugged into your community. Get people to help you through the rough patches so you don't have to go there alone. Get advice from those you trust, always. Never think that you stop learning and know that needing others around you is actually a healthy thing. You don't have to trudge through the ice and sleet and pain, especially alone.

I'm sure you could add one or two things onto this list. I'd love to hear about them. Everyone who comments on today's post will receive the kindle version of Game For Love: SEAL's Goal, if they leave their coded email in the body of their response. Life is a game, afterall. We never really win or lose, we just run out of time.




Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.