Join the 100 Word Challenge!

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You’ve got to love synchronicity.*

Last week I wrote about how I was going to take the slow road, writing just 100 words, but consistently doing it every day.

So far, I’ve been averaging 300 words. Because A) what can you say in 100 measly words? And B) writing is like exercising. It may be difficult to contemplate starting, but once you lace up those shoes and start moving, you don’t want to stop.

Then, at the latest meeting of my local chapter of RWA, we had a speaker who convinced me that I need to kick it up a notch.

Usually our speakers are fellow authors who address some aspect of writing – plot, conflict, self-publishing, whatever. But this week was different. Ruth Logan Herne was less about craft or marketing and more about inspiration.

That’s the genre she writes – inspirational romance, code for squeaky clean Christian love stories – which is at the absolute opposite end of the romance spectrum from my work. But she wasn’t there to preach Christian values.She was there to inspire in a different way.

Her workshop? Discouragement: How to Kick it to the Curb.

Her advice was simple: do whatever it takes to sit yourself down every day for half an hour, an hour, whatever you’ve got, and just write.

So far, so doing it.

But she insisted on one other thing. Make yourself accountable.

She suggested joining the Facebook group #1K1HR. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: One thousand words in an hour. You post your challenge to the other members of the group, write for an hour, then post your word count.

But, since 2017 is going to be about slow and gentle for me, I’m not going to go that route. Instead, I’m going to post the “best” sentence I wrote that day on Facebook to keep myself honest. Every day.

“Best” doesn’t mean I think it’s brilliant. “Best” doesn’t mean it won’t eventually get cut. “Best” just means that it made me smile or surprised me or just made me want to write another 100 words.

Want to join me in my 100 word challenge? Write your hundred words. Then post your “best” sentence in the comments on my FB post for the day. #100wordsaday

*According the the Free Dictionary synchronicity is the coincidence of events that appear meaningfully related but do not seem to be causally connected. 

The Erotic (Writing) Education of Hazel Hughes

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When I was in teachers’ college many moons ago, there was a catchphrase the professors kept drilling into us which really got my hackles up.

Lifelong learner.

We were charged with molding our students into lifelong learners. But more than that, we had to become them, too.

Annoying alliteration aside, it was the concept that bothered me. That I always had more to learn. That I would remain a student forever. That I could always know more, do better. That I, essentially, would never, ever be good enough.

At the time I was planning my wedding on top of putting in ten-hour days in the classroom and spending my evenings and weekends preparing lessons, grading, doing assignments, and building sets for a middle school production of Little Shop of Horrors (Who thought that was a good idea?Sexual innuendos much?).

I barely had time to do my laundry. The thought of taking workshops with names like Literacy and the Inclusive Classroom and Statistics: A Hands-On Approach didn’t thrill me, to say the least.

Homework for life? No, thanks.

Fast forward several years and things have changed. I still barely have time to do my laundry. But I’ve kind of done a 180 on the alliteration thing. And on the idea of being a lifelong learner.

The key, I’ve discovered, is passion.

When you are fascinated by something, learning about it isn’t work. It’s play.

That’s why I’ve taken more courses and workshops in the past few years than I did during my entire teaching career, and I took my fair share of those.

The courses’ names are a little different. Keeping it Hot: Social Media for Erotic Romance Writers, for example. Or the one I’m taking now, Burning Ink, with NY Times bestseller Angela Knight at the helm.

Sure, I’m a published author. One of my books has even been short-listed for an award. But that’s nothing compared to some of my classmates’ accomplishments. Even though many of us could be considered experts at what we do, we’re all still learning.

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be doing it – happily – for life.

*Are you a romance writer? I can’t recommend the workshops offered by RWA and Passionate Ink (the erotic romance chapter of RWA), enough. Inexpensive – or even free – for members, the workshops are lead by established romance authors and attendees run the gamut, from rookies to multi-published authors. Check them out here

Romantic Suspense Junkies, Listen Up!

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Pinot Noirs and Merlots are fine and dandy, but when you have a thirst for romantic suspense, there’s nothing like a good Chianti. Christine Chianti, that is.

This week I’m thrilled to be the first podcast interview on fellow romantic suspense author Christine Chianti’s The Romantic Suspense Insider. Listen in as we dish pantsing versus plotting, unusual research strategies, and the irresistible allure of the sexiest of all cities.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out her review of Dance with Me and grab a copy of Christine’s  Desert Dreams, free for a limited time.

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Christine’s Website

Read the Review

Romantic Suspense Authors: Want to be a guest author on Christine’s podcast? You can email her at christine@christinechianti.com.