Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Make-Over

This summer, I wrote a blog post suggesting a swap of services - my critiquing/beta-reading services for a new, more personalized blog template - and Kat Brendel was one of the very first to respond :)

And now, thanks to the lovely Kat, my blog has a whole new look! Isn't it wonderful? I'd love to hear what you think about it in the comments.

Personally, I couldn't be happier with the end result - not only am I totally in love with my blog's new look, I also have this warm, fuzzy feeling which is a direct result of the amazing writing/blogging community I am lucky to be a part of. It's a rare thing to find a community where everyone is striving for the same general goal and yet gladly shares their own expertise to help each other. I can only imagine how cold and lonely the road to publication would be if writers fought other writers for publishing contracts.

Anyways, yay for collaboration! :D And thank you all for the amazingly supportive comments you left on my last post - it might sound silly, but guilt I hadn't realized I was carrying was lifted from my shoulders when I read your kind words.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I've Been Up to - Part 1

I've been completely neglecting this blog and now it's time to finally own up to it. Over the past few months, my priorities have shifted, and blogging took a serious hit. I only wish I'd realized what was happening and let my readers know to expect a break. But I didn't. And I'm sorry!

So now that that's out of the way, I thought I'd share a bit with you about the things I have been doing :)

The biggest, most time-consuming, new addition to my activity list has been this - growing a baby girl!

Being pregnant might not seem like an "activity" or something that requires time, but it is. At least for me. It's meant a huge shift where sleeping enough and eating well are prioritized. Gone are the days of drinking a strong cup of coffee to stay up late and finish that extra chapter or blog post or throwing a frozen pizza into the oven rather than preparing something fresh for dinner in order to maximize writing time. These are the days of afternoon naps and caffeine-free tea. And then there are the doctor's appointments, pregnancy exercise classes, nursery preparation, researching and buying the perfect stroller/car seat/etc., and paperwork to do!

Obviously, writing and blogging are things which need to be prioritized, too, otherwise there would always be an excuse getting in the way, preventing them from happening. And I've seen plenty of writers keep on a regular writing/blogging/interacting on social media schedule through a pregnancy and into their baby's first year without a hitch. I'm in honest awe of these ladies!

For me though, that just hasn't been possible. We're not all built the same way, and I haven't had the energy these amazing writers seem to possess. And since I don't have that energy, it's not worth prioritizing writing or blogging just for the sake of it. At this point in my writing career, I don't have any contractual obligations or deadlines, and so I've allowed writing/blogging to step down a rung on the ladder of priorities. I'll only be pregnant with my daughter once, and I won't stress myself out with self-imposed writing/blogging deadlines just because.

P.s. The baby girl is due on November 23rd - I'm almost there!

What do you think? Is there anything you other writers have let or would let take priority over the writing time you've carved out for yourself? What about the non-writers out there? Is there any particular activity you've worked to prioritize (blogging, crafting, reading, etc.)? Could you ever imagine shifting that priority back down?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: THE CRIMSON HUNT by Victoria H. Smith

You Guys!!! Today I get to share an amazing new cover with you for a NA novel coming out next month. Seriously, this cover is amazing :) Here's the info:

The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1) by: Victoria H. Smith
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance

Book Description:

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

About the Author:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes. 

Victoria H. Smith Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads