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Join me Today at the Virtual Beach!

I have the distinct honor of being interviewed by the famous author/interviewer — Sharon Donovan — On Location, at the beach, no less!

Join us on the beach in front of my dream home–with Sharon & Oliver @  Sharon Donovan’s Blog

The usual suspects of Sweet Romance Yahoo Group are expected to attend… if you haven’t heard of us, watch out. Sweet Romance authors do indeed know how to party.  😉

We’re discussing: All or Nothing, my new short story – His Darling, and the WIP (Work in Progress), Sapphire Tears (working title) that’s been with me ALL SUMMER!

Come join the fun!

~Ashley

(Meet Oliver… *sigh*)

Bloggiesta Month…

Yes, I know it’s the middle of July. Alright, it’s almost the END of July — but here’s the deal I just made with myself. And by God’s grace, I just might stick to it.

For the next month, I’m taking a much needed “Bloggiesta.”

When readers can sit down and inhale a book that took a year to write and release – in, um, a day… who has time for blogging? Facebook? Twitter? and now, so help me, GLUE? What’s that all about? I am often asked in interviews, etc. “How do you have time to do it all?”

I finally have an answer I can/have to live with. I can’t. I’m not superhuman. I’m an author. And, as an author, I have an over-burgeoning responsibility to use the talent that I’ve been blessed with and — um — write.  And, when I’m not writing, I’ll be honing my craft. Why? Because when a skill becomes your heart’s desire, you need to sharpen your sword. You need to practice. You need to write.

My bloggiesta reading list is:

  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
  • Story by Robert McKee

and, for fun, I’m reading — Both by James Rollins:

  • The Last Oracle
  • The Doomsday Key

My creative energy has been requested elsewhere… so…

Instead of blogging, I’ll be getting things done around the house, at work, and on my current work in progress. As much as I love you all, and am enthralled by the visitors, your comments, etc. – If I don’t get back to my current cast (whom I’ve left in desperate peril), I’ll have nothing for you to read in the spring!

I’ll leave you with this:

Can an archaeologist unearth the truth before she loses the greatest treasure of all?

When maritime archaeologist stumbles into an ancient treasure, she finds her colleague murdered and her own life in jeapordy. She must trust a faithful FBI agent to protect her while solving an ancient mystery to free those whom she holds most dear.

In a hurricane of love, loyalty, and deception — Chandra Drake is confronted with the ultimate choice: Does she sacrifice everything that matters to her heart and expose the truth?

On that note, I’ll be back to chatting, e-mail, face book, twitter, blogging, etc. when the first draft is completed.  My challenge – 1,000 words a day (through edits or pounding through the ending) until it’s done.

What do you think?

How Do Authors Get Motivated!

We’re discussing this today at my online critique group… :

http://temeculawriters.blogspot.com

Special thanks to Sharon K. for mentioning it, and  Ëarwen! for your insightful suggestions…

Losing enthusiasm for your writing? Here’s how you can handle it.

1. Stand Back—This involves creating a certain distance between you and the project. When you’re writing, you focus on a specific area, a certain scene, or a critical chapter of nonfiction information. And so it’s easy to lose perspective. Your original enthusiasm sprang from your concept of the project as a whole. When the enthusiasm wanes, it’s time to stand back and revisit your original concept. View the project as whole, complete, and engrossing—the way you first thought of it. That’s where you’re headed. That’s where the book is headed, no matter what stage it’s in right now. Reminding yourself of this is great way to rekindle your enthusiasm.

2. Move On—Very often, enthusiasm wanes because a writer is struggling with a particular section. And because that section isn’t going well, it’s easy to think that the entire project isn’t working. The cure? Set those pages aside and write a different section of the project. Pick a section that seems fun or exciting to you. Chances are the writing will go well and your enthusiasm will begin building once again.

3. Read—Enthusiasm still weakening? Begin looking over the manuscript that you’ve produced so far. As you reread what you’ve done, pick out a few aspects that are strong and working well. It might be a particular character, a section of dialogue, or in nonfiction, an exciting anecdote or even a strong how-to section. When you see something that’s working well, it’s hard to view the project as a lost cause. And so your enthusiasm can return.

4. Focus on Yourself—That’s right. You’ve come this far, and what does that mean? You’re a writer. Plain and simple. Even if the project doesn’t seem to be going well, you’ve taken it this far. You’ve done more than most people do. You’re far beyond those folks who casually say that they’ll “write a book someday,” then never write a word. You’ve taken the risks and created something. You’re a writer. And if a piece of writing isn’t well done, a writer can fix it. If a project has lost its zing, a writer can rediscover that. A writer can tap imagination, alter words, and make things right. You’re a writer. You’re capable of doing all that.

Blogging today at MamaWriters.com

I’m guest blogging today at www.mamawriters.com

Come join me where we’re discussing our works in progress, sweet vs. sensual romance, and how on earth we ever get things done with all the social media at our fingertips!

See you there!

~Ashley

Three more chapters to go!

I’ve got three more chapters to go – or so – on my current work in progress (WIP). It’s getting very exciting… even though I know what happens, you never know how the characters will end up working out their story.

I’ve already been suprised by my main character a couple of times, and the guy she loves is nowhere near the scoundrel I thought he was going to be in the beginning. More of a tragic hero, actually.

The bad guys have had their own suprises along the way– which is also cool. The act of developing a story is just as exciting for the author as hopefully it will be for the reader. I look forward to reading the finished product as much as someone who plucks a book off of the shelf. I always know when it’s ready when I can read it without a pen in my hand.

Does anyone else feel that way? When do you know if your story is truly ready to share with the world?