Sunday, May 13, 2018

Parenthood


I've been a parent for a number of years now, and it's a bit like juggling the space-time continuum.

Moms, I'm sure you get this.

I know it's 2018, and that my son is getting so tall he can just about look me in the eye. But sometimes I can't help looking at him and seeing that little baby we brought home from the hospital, with those ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. I remember how his hair smelled and how soft it was. I remember sitting on the couch with him and grinning at him, and my delight when, at three weeks of age, he grinned back. I can also look at him and see that toddler we brought to his first Renaissance Faire in his little kilt. And then when he got big enough to tote around a wooden sword at the Faire. This kid looks So Cool in a kilt. *grin*

And then, once in a while, I look at him and I can see what he's going to be like at 15, or 20, or even 30. That happens a lot more now that he's catching up to me in height.

Is it like this for every parent? I can't say. Do you forget what day it is? Do the weeks go by in a blur until you realize, holy cow, it's spring again? Are you buying shoes and pants because your kid's growing out of them the week after you got him a new pair?

Then yep. You're right there with me.

I love my son at every age. The more he changes, the more I miss that little guy. And then, the more he changes, the more I love seeing the new things he can do. I am with him every step of the way, and at the same time, I am right there with him again when he's a toddler taking his first steps, or in some slightly hazier future where I watch him graduate high school and head for his dreams. It's bittersweet, and still the best feeling I've ever had.

It amazes me every day that my husband and I made this person, this incredibly smart, kindhearted person. Part of me wants to hold onto him forever, but the other part is simultaneously looking forward with excitement to the day he jumps out of the nest and flies. He's a constant gift.

Moms, I'm sure you get that, too.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The End! (Swing, beta, beta, beta...)



I have finally finished the first round of edits for my New Adult book, and I'm happy to say it's pretty clean. Now, I have to begin the arduous process of getting beta readers and critique partners to go through it and poke holes. *grin*

The importance of a fresh set of eyes on your book can't be understated. It's great to have someone come to your manuscript with no preconceived ideas, because they may see something you've missed over many passes. You generally want beta readers and critique partners. Beta readers are voracious readers. They can go through your MS looking for that "wow" factor, and they aren't shy about telling you when they find it. Critique partners are also writers, and they can help you with the nuts and bolts of good writing. If you can find a one of two of each, you will find yourself with a well-rounded manuscript.

That's what I'm hoping for with this book. Since it's a fresh genre for me, it's almost like starting over. Wish me luck, because the fun's just starting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Writing Life



Feeling grateful today.

It occurs to me now and then how much richer my life has become since I started writing seriously. I have met amazing people, been to spectacular places, and learned some awesome things. Many writers say they write because (in varying terms) they are trying to better understand themselves and the world around them. I have learned that I can be strong, even if I never have to be. I can be stubborn (and usually am). I can show people a beautiful world where people heal each other instead of hurt. Most of all, I have found my tribe, an ever-growing, some close and some far, quirky, serious, shy, boisterous, always fascinating group of kindred spirits who live by the written word because that's where their hearts are.

I want to thank each of you who has come into my life because of this crazy writing life, whether you are like me, chasing the dream, or you read voraciously and happened to pick up one of my books. My writing family is amazing. Stick with me, because the best is, as always, yet to come.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Tax Time



It's that lovely time of year again, when writers get hives and start biting their nails. Yep, it is a deadline, but no, it doesn't involve your prose. It's tax time.

I used to get anxiety about it, too, but it really isn't that hard, with a little organization and some math skills (and a good tax guy to make sure you have all your math right).

Some Basic Organization Tips

At the beginning of each year, I start a file with the year labeled on it. Inside the file, I have dividers marked House, Writing, Medical, Donations, etc. I put all the year's applicable receipts in it, sorted by where it falls. All writing receipts, including those for book purchases (my own and others'), office equipment and supplies, income, 1099s from my publisher, writing-related postage, and domain fees, go in my Writing section. If you keep a folder in your emails pertaining to these incomes and expenses, it helps you sort and print applicable receipts at year's end. This includes mileage driven for the purposes of your writing, such as trips to your writers' conferences and meetings. (The IRS publishes the current mileage rate every year. You can Google it to get right to the page.)

If you itemize, you may also be able to write off a portion of your mortgage, homeowner's insurance, and utility bills. Be sure to save year-end totals for these expenses so that you can calculate your home office's portion of these bills.

Be sure your deductions are sensible, logical, and related to your writing, with receipts showing proof of expense. Your pleasant vacation to Hawaii, while it may become good book fodder, is probably not a business expense. Your trip to the national RWA writer's conference, however, is a verifiable business expense, because you're going there specifically to learn about your craft.

Keep a spreadsheet where you can enter the data from your receipts, and you will be able to track your income and losses each year. If you like the quick answers, like me, you will be able to see at a glance whether your year's effort is paying off, and make adjustments the following year accordingly.

Disclaimer

I am not a tax professional, merely an author who has been doing this for a while. Don't take my words as gospel on the subject, just a rough guide. Seek a professional's advice for what is allowed in your state when it comes to navigating the tax season. Good luck!

2018 "Earth Day Giveaway!"

My 2018 “Earth Day Giveaway” Contest is here!

** Permission To Forward Granted **



It’s April, and that means it’s time once again for the “Earth Day Giveaway” contest!  All month long, you can enter to win one PDF eBook or audiobook of your choice of any of my currently released paranormal, paranormal lite, or contemporary romance books (EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE, THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, FLASHPOINT, or HEAVY NETTING)! Not sure which to choose?  For details on each book, click here. Enter for a chance to win by clicking this link:

Nicki Greenwood’s 2018 Earth Day Giveaway!

Contest ends at 5:00 PM EST on April 30th.  The winner will be announced that evening on my blog. Good luck, and Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The End!


I'm happy to say I finally finished the first draft of my New Adult novel, which I'd been writing, off and on, for several years. This book is one of my favorites so far, and is a departure from the romance novels I usually write ... but I couldn't ignore it, no matter how I tried.  (And for you writers out there, those are the books you want to finish!)

It's still in drafting stages, but I hope to share some tidbits with you once I have it a little more settled. Until then, happy reading!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Reviews and Gratitude


One of the hardest things an author will do - besides write a book - is try to get an audience. These days, with the glut of available books on sale, low-priced, box-set, or free, it's insanely difficult to get noticed. Readers have to sift through many possibilities, some with great covers and not-so-great editing, some with superb stories and covers that don't hint enough at the treasure within. As readers, it's hard enough to choose which book to read, let alone set aside time out of our busy days to devote to that pleasure.

So, it's with heaping amounts of gratitude that I'd like to turn my attention to my readers. Those of you who have set aside some of your hard-earned time and money to take a trip through one of my books, please know that you are the reason I keep doing this. You are why I keep going back to my keyboard to spin these stories. I am grateful to each and every one of you who have taken the time to share this writing journey with me. I am also more grateful than words can say to those of you who have taken time to write reviews or mark my books "liked" on Amazon or Goodreads. I don't currently have a newsletter, and I'm not out there hustling my books as much as I could be, so the fact that you found me, read my work, and thought enough of it to share that enjoyment with others, is better than any writing award I could ever win.

Thank you, so very much. I hope you'll stick with me, because the best is yet to come.