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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

#IWSG: Holiday Frenzy



Once again it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, whose mission is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts: Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell!

Have you recovered from Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Did you brave the elements to capture the bargains? Or did you (like me) stay home and enjoy that second cup of coffee and visit with company?

Thanksgiving at our house was laid back and enjoyable. I didn’t rush around, as I’ve done in years past, making sure everything was “perfect.” Half of my family came along with my sister. (We’ll see the other half at Christmas.) As we settled down at a table loaded with more food than we could eat, we thanked God for our many blessings. That we live in a (mostly) safe place, have a home and plenty of food, and loved ones to share it with.

Something else we’re thankful for—we live in a place where we can choose our profession. We can write on any topic without censorship. Most of us don’t even give that a thought. We take for granted what others in the world crave. Freedom.

As an indie author (self-published), I’m responsible for all aspects of releasing a book. Since I have zero artistic ability, I hire a cover artist. And since, despite my degree in English, I can’t see my own mistakes, I hire an editor. Everything else is up to me. One thing I’ve learned is to be flexible. The book that (in my plan) was supposed to be released in October is still with my editor for a final proofing. I used to get upset. Now I force myself to remember that some things are out of my control and I have to go with the flow. I can tell you that The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé (An Alex O’Hara Novel) will come out before Christmas.

One deadline I did make this year is a writing short story for The Roses of Prose blog. Each year, we give back to our readers by offering a collection of free short stories, and I was given the privilege of going first. My story is in three parts. Part 1 came out yesterday, Part 2 today, and the conclusion will come tomorrow. If you get a chance, pop over and read “The Christmas Jailbirds.” http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-christmas-jailbirds-by-diane-burton.html

Despite the frenzy of the next four weeks, I hope you take time to enjoy the season. Wishing you all peace and joy and writing success.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.

78 comments:

  1. Happy Holidays, Diane. And yes, we have lot's to be thankful for . . . even if we have to wait a bit longer for it.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. And thanks, too, for introducing me to this group. I have so enjoyed the camaraderie of IWSG, their wisdom and support.

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  2. I went down to Ohio to see my dad on Thanksgiving. He takes us out to brunch. Then we had a second Thanksgiving on Sunday with my inlaws. But other than those two events, I hid out at home!

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    1. LOL, Melissa. Hiding out isn't such a bad deal.

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  3. Hi Diane,
    Happy to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving. As an ExPat living in Europe, I celebrate Thanksgiving with the German people, but the American Thanksgiving still has a special place in my heart. When I look back at this year, I can say, truly I'm thankful.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. Patricia, it's been a great year, hasn't it? If nothing else, we can be thankful that we're still here. :)

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  4. Sounds like a lovely holiday season! Normally I love to cook on Thanksgiving, but I was grateful this year to go to a big family gathering -- we're visiting NYC for five months and headed over to New Jersey to enjoy the day with cousins.

    I'm finishing up revisions with my editor, too. I'm hoping to get the book, including the layout, done this month so it can get to reviewers (in anticipation of a March release). If I'm late with it, I may miss some contests I want to enter...but I've realized I need to be okay with that. I'd rather take the extra time to try to get the book the way I want it. We're mighty darn close! Good luck with your upcoming release.

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    1. Thanks, Nadine, and good luck with yours. Much better to take the time than to regret what you hurried.

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  5. I wave half-heartedly at deadlines as they whip by at the speed of a bullet train. Unless you're in the medical field where a life is dependent on you timeliness, deadlines are arbitrary. As long as it's done right, it doesn't matter how long it takes.

    Good luck! :-D

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    1. Tanya, you are so right. Good comparison to life or death situations.

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  6. Like you, we had a no-rush Thanksgiving with no shopping. My sibs-in-law and I did a pedal wagon where this trolly thing takes you around to bar hop (day after the holiday). That and Bears vs. Packers (go Bears!) and lots of food and laughs.

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    1. For Hubs and SIL, it was the Lions and the Cowboys. Go Lions!

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  7. I've never thought of that. Definitely grateful that I wasn't forced to give up writing, even though I have a day job.

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    1. We do what we can manage. Thanks for stopping by, Deborah.

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  8. Hi Diane, We don't have Thanksgiving in the UK. We do have Harvest Festival which is similar but more low key - I guess it doesn't have the same historical significance. (Mind you, we do have Guy Fawkes night to fit in too!)
    All the best,
    Angie

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    1. I think most countries has some type of harvest festival. A great time to give thanks. Thanks for commenting, Angela.

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  9. In a world that seems to be filled with sorrow and sadness at the moment, we most definitely are lucky to be able to enjoy life and have the freedom to do so. So pleased you had a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for the short story link. I will be taking a look. Have a great December!

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    1. I hope you enjoy the story, Nicola. I hope you have a great December, too.

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  10. Happy Holidays Diane! I love your positive attitude about everything. Giving thanks, recognizing our many blessings in this country, and sharing your own wonderful talents & knowledge with others. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. Having a positive attitude takes work. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Happy Holidays! I had a quiet (but tasty) Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family and then went in to work on Friday to deal with crazy Black Friday shoppers.

    Anyone who complains about no coupons or long lines on Black Friday needs a serious reality check, in this sale associate's opinion.

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    1. Oh, Michelle. I feel so sorry for you having to deal with the crazies. Glad you had a tasty Thanksgiving.

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  12. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Diane. I didn't (and never do) go out shopping, although I did buy some slippers online. I'm not a shopper and don't like crowds so I'm never tempted. Hope you have a great Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Gwen. I hate crowds. Online shopping is more style.

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  13. That's hard when your deadlines don't go according to plan. I told my editor I would have the last book to her in April. She had the heads up. Despite that, she wasn't available until June. I was not a happy camper, but we got through it and no one died. Barely. ;)

    I'm glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did too. Nothing better than good company and excellent food, eh?

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    1. Ouch, Crystal. Good thing no one died. LOL

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  14. Like you, Diane, I thank the powers that be for the freedom we enjoy here, in Canada. The freedom to live the way we want, to make our own decisions and suffer their consequences. The freedom to keep our heads high and open. Thanks for the reminder. Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Olga. Freedoms come at a cost, don't they? And when we don't appreciate them, we can lose them.

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  15. You're smart to know there are certain things that need to be done by someone else.
    And I wasn't about to leave the house for anything this past weekend!

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  16. We truly are blessed, aren't we? I love that you hire a cover designer and editor. I hire a bookmark designer and someone to do my cover photos for Twitter and Facebook. I couldn't do cover design myself. That takes a special kind of talent!

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  17. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. My sister, her hubby and her kids came up so it was nice seeing them.

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    1. We are so lucky to have family with us on holidays.

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  18. Flexibility really is so important in this business. GL with the publication!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. That flexibility has carried over into my family life.

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  19. Indeed we have plenty to be thankful for and sometimes we do take freedom for granted.

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  20. I avoid real stores around Thanksgiving as much as possible, but I did go online on cyber Monday and snapped up a great present for my husband at half price and 4 Kindle books at very low prices as well. It was fun.

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  21. My Thanksgiving was good, even if absolutely no writing occurred during the extended weekend. I'm glad you've reached the point where you can relax when things are happening as fast as you'd like. I think that's the key to my happiness right now. Happy Holidays!

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    1. Thanks, Ken. I used to get so stressed and then made my family stressed. Not good. Happy Holidays to you, too.

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  22. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This is a nice post and a good reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. All to often it is easier to focus on what isn't going well in our lives, but that's usually greatly outweighed by all of the good things. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. Wishing you the best in 2016.

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  23. Hi Diane, we do have a lot to be thankful for. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Good luck with your book. I like the title 'The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé (An Alex O’Hara Novel)' Sounds intriguing.

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  24. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. Wishing you all the best in 2016! :)

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  25. What a wonderful holiday you had. That's one blessing about being an indie author, deadlines can be pushed if necessary. Good luck with your release.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I'm on pins & needles waiting for the final edits.

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  26. Holidays means working, because I'm a nurse and people don't take vacations from being sick. Thank goodness for time and a half! Makes it all worth it.

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    1. Thank goodness for people like you, Tess, who sacrifice family time to take care of the sick.

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  27. You Thanksgiving sounds lovely. Good luck and may happiness and delight fill your holiday season. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Christine. Same to you.

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  28. Yes, despite everything, we live in a wonderfully unique country that affords many opportunities. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  29. I wish more writers realized they NEED an editor. We can't proof our own work at a professional level.

    I'm sorry your book will be delayed. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.

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    1. You are so right, Diane. I miss typos, missing words, etc. no matter how many times I reread the ms. As for the rest of what an editor does, they see plot holes you can drive a truck through that I totally miss.

      You're right about rolling with the punches. Less stress that way.

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  30. Sounds like your thanksgiving was wonderful. Best wishes for getting your book out before Christmas.

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  31. Isn't it funny how we can see the problems in someone else's work so easily and not see them at all in our own? Thank G-d for editors and proofreaders.

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  32. Congratulations on all your writing success!
    My Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful and included two family dinners, both of which I didn't cook. I brought an extra dish or two, but the main meal wasn't my responsibility.
    I love your thoughts on the freedoms we have and on relaxing through the process of writing and publishing.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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  33. Those are great things to be thankful for, Diane. You're right - so often we take our freedom for granted.

    I'm wishing you happy holidays and much success with your new release!

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes, J.H. Same to you.

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  34. Funny how we can so easily spot the errors in another's work and completely miss our own :) Great that you can hire an editor.

    Wishing you the happiest of holidays Diane.

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Dolorah. Worse, the errors jump out at me after the story is published. Arggh. Happy Holidays to you, too.

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  35. Congrats on the pending release of The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Intriguing title.
    Offering a collection of free short stories annually, is a smart marketing strategy. A great way to give back to readers.
    Have a wonderful holiday, Diane.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I never thought of the short stories as a marketing strategy, but you're right. Wishing you a wonderful holiday, too.

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  36. My kids and I spent a relaxing Thanksgiving Day with my parents, visiting and eating way too much food. It's one of my favorite holidays because it reminds me how much I have to be thankful for.
    You couldn't pay me to go near a store on Black Friday.
    I had hoped to have my second book published by the end of the year, but it's looking like it will be February. It's disappointing, but better to have it released when it's ready, rather than forcing it when it's not.
    Good luck with your book launch! I'd be happy to do a launch day promotion for you. Just let me know the details. lmaclaug82@gmail.com

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  37. Black Friday--you & me both, Lori. Thanks for the offer. I'll be in touch.

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  38. We are definitely privileged to live in somewhere that allows us the freedom to do as we please. My Thanksgiving was nice. Good time with family. My nephew slept over with the kids the night before. I only had to make two things to take, and they were fairly easy. Glad you had a good one. Good luck with your upcoming release.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. I always enjoy when my grandchildren sleep over.

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  39. You have lots to be thankful for. Really smart to be able to recognize where you need help and hire. Cover design and editing are so worth the money in the end. Best of luck with your book release.

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    1. Thanks, Ula. I would never attempt cover design. That takes a talent I don't have. As for editing, I can't see my own mistakes. Hiring both out is definitely money well spent.

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