Blogging at the 4RV Blog

This month, I began contributing to the 4RV Publishing blog. The 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News is geared toward writers and artists. It has a lot of helpful hints I’ve used over the years. I’ll be blogging every second and fourth Wednesday.

On May 9, my article “Understanding How Book Reviews Make You A Better Writer” appeared. You can find it here. Today’s article includes tips to balance writing time and marketing time. You can find it here.

If there are topics you would like to see me address in my bi-monthly posts, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. If you’ve never participated in STORYSTORM, I encourage you to consider it for next year. As I’ve said before, it’s been responsible for two of my published books and I also have several others in various stages of editing and one manuscript I’m going to pitch to an agent this year.

We are 21 days into STORYSTORM and I am excited to say I have 21 ideas listed on  my spreadsheet. We are in the home stretch now. I can feel victory on my horizon.

Are you participating in STORYSTORM? How are you doing?

Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors – Amos Faces His Bully

 

This is the third Friday of the month, so I am blogging at Christian Children’s Authors. Today, I am sharing my new release, Amos Faces His Bully. This is my fourth children’s book, the third book I’ve published with Guardian Angel Publishing. You can find out more about my new book at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2018/01/19/new-release-amos-faces-his-bully-by-cheryl-c-malandrinos/

2017 Goals Year End Update

Hard to believe that we are close to the end of 2017. For me, it was a good real estate year, which means it wasn’t such a great writing year. That said, the last quarter has seen me focusing more on my writing than I was earlier. Here is what my goals were when I started.

GOALS FOR 2017

  1. Participate in Picture Book Idea Month in January. I’ve participated in this endeavor twice, which resulted in Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving being published, Amos Faces His Bully being under contract, and four other picture books written. I’m game to do it again.
  2. Submit two short stories this year.
  3. Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids e-zine once this year.
  4. Seek out guest blogging opportunities once a quarter.
  5. Write four chapters of Amelia’s Mission by June.
  6. Attend writing group monthly.

Then in June I added:

New item: Amos Faces His Bully is currently being illustrated. That should come out sometime later this year. I’ll need to dedicate time October – December to promote it.

New item: I’ve given the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote to one of my publishers for review. With any luck I’ll be needing to work on edits to that this year as well. Say a prayer.

 

Where did I end up?

2017 GOAL YEAR END UPDATE

Goal 1 DONE!: Picture Book Idea Month became STORYSTORM this year. This allowed more writers to participate and certainly helped me to achieve my goal of 30 story ideas in 30 days.

Goal 2 Incomplete: Thought I would do this, but much of my focus this year has been on a larger project you’ll see below.

Goal 3 Incomplete: Guardian Angel has been very good to me over the years. They have another book of mine in the works, so I will put this one back on my goals list for 2018.

Goal 4 DONE!: This has been an important part of my marketing plan since before my first book was published. I love to host fellow authors at my blogs and they are more than happy to return the favor. My last guest spot of the year appeared at Mary Cunningham’s Cynthia’s Attic blog. You can read it at http://cynthiasattic.blogspot.com/2017/12/holiday-inspiration-by-cheryl-c.html

 Goal 5 Made Progress: I am up to seventeen chapters and I just edited all of them because I’ve been writing a tiny bit each Wednesday. I’m ready to start the new year off strong. I want this book completed in 2018.

Goal 6 Made Progress: I can’t say I kept track, but I think I only missed three meetings this year. Not bad for someone who is usually out selling houses in the evening. I’ve already set up our meeting schedule through the year for 2018, so I am in the process of adding the dates to my calendar. I won’t usually schedule over it if that time is already reserved.

GOAL 7 In the works: Sadly, the original illustrator for Amos Faces His Bully became ill this year and was unable to complete the project. I am thrilled with his replacement, but I don’t have a  new release date from the publisher yet.

GOAL 8 On hold: The publisher opted not to pick up the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet, but I’ll see what 2018 brings.

In a day or two I will be posting my 2018 Goals List. Hope you’ll share how your goals went this year and what you’re planning for the new year.

Vacation Time Writing

 

Vacation is some of the most creative writing time for me because North Carolina beaches inspire and intrigue. On the one hand, there are few things as lovely as watching the sun rise or set over the water. But at nighttime the sharks come out and, at least for me, it’s frightening not being able to see clearly as the deep waters crash into the shoreline.

What settings inspire your creativity?

 

2017 Goals Update

It’s time for a goals update. I used to review my goals once a quarter, but now it’s more like twice a year. No matter how often it happens it is important to gauge progress.

GOALS FOR 2017

Considering my real estate work schedule and my family commitments, I am keeping it simple again this year.

  1. Participate in Picture Book Idea Month in January. I’ve participated in this endeavor twice, which resulted in Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving being published, Amos Faces His Bully being under contract, and four other picture books written. I’m game to do it again.
  2. Submit two short stories this year.
  3. Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids e-zine once this year.
  4. Seek out guest blogging opportunities once a quarter.
  5. Write four chapters of Amelia’s Mission by June.
  6. Attend writing group monthly.

JUNE 2017 GOAL UPDATE

Goal 1: Complete! Picture Book Idea Month became STORYSTORM this year. This allowed more writers to participate and certainly helped me to achieve my goal of 30 story ideas in 30 days.

Goal 2: I’m really not a short story person, but I am hoping something I have in my finished works might be tweaked. Might look at this on vacation next month.

Goal 3: Not yet. I may be too late, but I’ll see what the themes are for the remainder of the year and go from there.

Goal 4: Definitely got back into guest blogging this year. The release of Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and my participation in the Author’s Fair at our local library helped this along.

Goal 5: Did not happen and might not happen. I ended up going in a slightly different direction, using my monthly writing group meetings to review The Sisterhood, a women’s fiction story that I would really like to revise.

Goal 6: I’ve only missed one so far this year. I’ll miss next month’s while we are on vacation. Amazing considering how busy my real estate business has been.

New item: Amos Faces His Bully is currently being illustrated. That should come out sometime later this year. I’ll need to dedicate time October – December to promote it.

New item: I’ve given the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote to one of my publishers for review. With any luck I’ll be needing to work on edits to that this year as well. Say a prayer.

How are your writing goals coming?

Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors – Faith and Curveballs

 

It’s the third Friday of the month so you’ll find me blogging at Christian Children’s Authors. Today’s topic: Having Faith When Life Throws You Curveballs. Check it out at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2017/05/19/having-faith-when-life-throws-you-a-curveball/