|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on October 19, 2011 at 1:15 AM||comments (0)|
So what do you think of the fall colours? The golds, russets, reds, and bright yellows?
It's beautiful around here. Many leaves have been hastened to their demise by the cold, evil winds of winter, but some have managed to cling to the trees. The others have found their final resting place on the ground and are brown and crispy, but make cool sounds when you walk through them.
Soon everything will be white, or a yucky grey. *Sigh*!
I made this crockpot recipe the night before, when it was dark, so that I could enjoy more of the daylight hours. It was tres excellent (pardon my french)!
MEXICAN CROCKPOT CHICKEN:
2-3 chicken breasts (about 3/4 to 1 lb, or 400 ish grams)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can green chilies
1 can olives
Throw everything in the crockpot in the order listed and walk away. Enjoy the out-of-doors, read, or even nap, for 7 plus hours. You could also clean your closet or do laundry, but why bother??? It will just get dirty again.
Then grate some cheese, slice some lettuce, grab some taco chips or a soft taco, and ENJOY!!!
Then have dessert...and enjoy it even more.
Oh yeah, you might want some wine, or a cooler, or a beer, or marguerita, or even coffee and Bailys if it's cold out. It will be easier to be nice to the 5 people you invited to share your dinner.
Ya know, a nap sounds really good....
So take it easy and have a good one!
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on October 11, 2011 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
So the bird is sliced, diced, and stored. Same with the mashed potatoes, gravy, cabbage rolls, and, best of all, the pumpkin pie and whipcream.
I think I'm just going to set and think for a minute.
So much has happened since January 2011:
1. I published my first romantic suspense novel, Black and White.
2. In July, I published my first young adult novel, The Oracle, Part 1.
3. I learned alot about self-publishing and self-promotion. I figured out how to use kindleboards, facebook, twitter, and several other sites.
4. I started this blog.
5. I was pirated. No matter what J.A. Konrath says, it was and is not a compliment, and it makes me mad. Sales were pretty steady at about 100ish per month after the initial boom. Since then, it's gone down to a trickle. Maybe these people wouldn't have bought my book otherwise. But the thing is they paid $4.99 for a membership to Sharemaster, the site that has my book posted. So I think they would have paid the $0.99 for my book.
So now the final quarter of the year is upon us. It seems like a good time to make some resolutions. The pirating fiasco did far more than lose a few sales - I lost my motivation. So, what better way to get it back than to set some goals?
I resolve to spend at least 1 hour per day writing. Plain and simple... WRITING! Not checking and reading the blogs I follow, not posting on facebook, and not checking my stats..or the weather, or current events, etc. etc.
And how will I do this? Well, in practice it sounds so easy. In reality, it's not. I am not going to check my email or fb or anything else until I write. I'm going to pop in my memory stick, which will limit what pops up on my screen, and go to work.
What do you think? It's simple and it's workable. I'll let you know!
Nicki Lynn Justice
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on September 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
Isn't it funny how different seasons mean different things?
For example, consider this equation:
Summer + sun + beach + great book = wonderful day
Or how about this one:
Autumn + not freezing temps + burnt orange and rich yellow leaves + porch + great book = wonderful day
Funny how that works!
Do you see the common element here?
That's right.... a great book.
So, try this and let me know how it works:
Winter + freezing temps + warm living room + great book = ????
Let me know what you think the answer is!
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on September 12, 2011 at 10:15 PM||comments (0)|
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Have you ever noticed that Candians have a fixation with the weather? I'm really bad. I check 3 weather forecasts everyday, and read the Farmer's Almanac. I write what the week is supposed to be like on my calendar, just so I know.
I can't just wait and see. I have to worry about it, plan for it, and generally plan around it.
For example, I don't want to go grocery shopping on a day when it's plus 30 out. However, somehow or another, I always seem to end up driving around in my non-airconditioned vehicle or going grocery shopping when it's hot out. Plus 30 just isn't any fun unless you have the proper kinds of food on hand, such as jumbo freezies, watermelon and diet pepsi. One also needs a zero gravity lawnchair, and, most importantly, a good book!
Conversely, I don't want to go grocery shopping on a day when it's minus 30 out either. My vehicle is cold and drafty, and I just want to stay home. However, minus 30 isn't bearable unless you have the proper kind of foods on hand, which would consist of coffee, chocolate, chips and comfort food. One also needs a blankie, slippers, a reclining chair, and, most importantly, you guessed it.... a good book!
So I guess minus 30 and plus 30 are almost the same.
So here's the newsflash: summer is over! I know it's hard to admit, but it's the cold, hard fact.
Stock up on books, and prepare to hibernate!
I'm looking for good beach reads. Anything that involves hot temperatures and, preferably, water. No snow, or winterjackets, or gosebumps. Any ideas?
Summer wan't just a dream....or was it?
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on September 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM||comments (0)|
Here's a cool link for you:
There's lots of exciting "bite-sized excerpts" from indie authors at Indie Snippets. What this means for those of us who are time-restricted (ie we're at work on coffee...or not....), you can pack alotta bang into your minute. You can speed read through the short excerpts, get a quick feel for what you like, click on the link, and then download! All in record time.
Then, on the weekend when you have some time, you can plop into your favorite chair with some popcorn and a blanky, and...
Hope there's no one looking over your shoulder as you're reading this.
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on August 29, 2011 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
It's that time of the year again! The most wonderful time of the year, for some of us!
Okay, I'm being a little witty...well, maybe sarcastic! But really, think about it! 5 days a week, 17 days a month (yeah, exactly) the little monsters..errr..darlings, will be in school.
Am I the only one who has noticed exactly how expensive it is to have our 17 8-4's without the yard apes? Not only do we have to pay school fees, we have to buy new clothes (gak!), new school supplies (those zippered binders are pricey, as are markers and pencil crayons), specialty items that our kids convince us are necessary (laptops, tablets, etc) and, most of all, those specialty items that need to be bought so they can be stolen (the newest ipods, fancy cell phones, etc). Then there are the braces, the sports team registration, and the field trips (often to exotic locales, such as Disneyland for the band trip, New York for the art trip, Paris for the French class etc).
For all that, there's Mastercard! This is still the most wonderful time of the year. I'll worry about the Mastercard bill next month!
In keeping with my back to school theme, here's an excerpt from The Oracle:
“Good afternoon girls.”
Mrs. Mulch was holding a form that had white, green and pink pages bound together. Marina knew immediately that it was a misconduct form. She was no stranger to school discipline. She knew that Gramps would receive a phone call, and she would be sent home with the pink copy, which would have Mrs. Hall’s and Mrs. Mulch’s signature on it. Then Gramps would ground her for the rest of her life.
“It would appear that the three of you were involved In an incident on the bus. And Marina, I just received this update from Mr. Ference indicating that you did not complete your homework assignment.”
Great, thought Marina, here we go.
Ahhh! Some things never change! The field trips and gadgets are getting pricier and pricier, but the kids are still getting in trouble for some of the same old things. I think we all got in trouble on the school bus and for not doing our homework!
Well, everyone except me. I was an angel...
Nicki Lynn Justice
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on August 25, 2011 at 1:35 AM||comments (0)|
I had an interesting email from a prospective reader today. She was thinking of buying my book and wanted to know if I had an editor, and if I belonged to a writers group. I responded, and said that yes, I was a member of a writers group and do have an editor.
She then replied and said that in terms of marketing, I should say how many pages my book is, and, in the "Author Profile" on Amazon Kindle, I should give the name of my editor and my writers group. This does seem like good advice, so I am going to get right on it.
I really love my Writer's Group, although I must confess that I have been skipping meetings. I was thinking about this during my vacay, and it seems that somehow I've been letting life get in the way. So from now on, Tuesday is going to be sacred. That being said, I missed this Tuesday because we were making hay. That might be the second acceptable excuse, the first being a sick kid or sick animal.
The name of my group is the Strathcona Writer's Foundation, and the wonderful executive has managed to do a great job of keeping the club up and running. In fact, it gets better every year. There was a one-day seminar, which I managed to miss, and there was a reading on Tuesday at the Second Cup in Sherwood Park. I really should've gone. I even had a gift certificate for the Second Cup that one of my school bus students gave me.
So what does all this mean? I think it means that I have to get organized!
I totally agree with the opinion expressed by the reader. I know that when I associate with other writers, I get a whole host of advice and ideas. All freely given (not knockimg my editor - she is worth every penny I pay her)!
And, about my editor, well, it seems that she doesn't want her name mentioned. She's kind of mad at me. She did the first reading, suggested a bunch of changes, all of which were excellent. I then implemented the changes. Here's the bad part: I reread The Oracle, then posted it. I skipped the step where my editor rereads also.
All I can say is I FORGOT! The hard part is that I think I may have done it on purpose, because I didn't want to do any more work.
So, there are 2 great examples of self-sabotage that are going to change. I will go to writer's meetings, even when it's summer and the weather is beautiful. And I will make use of my editor's expertise, even if it's gonna mean a little more time and a little more work!
Maybe I will even lose a bit of weight if I stop with the self-sabotage.
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on August 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
So I was just outside looking at my apple trees. We have had a cool summer with lots of rain, so my apples aren't ready yet. However, I'm thinking that they will be any time soon. Our hay was about a month behind this year, so I'm hoping the same holds true for the apples.
I would be really sad if fall went by and I didn't stuff myself with apple crisp. I associate cooler weather and less daylight with apple crisp, but in a cosy, warm way, not a bad way. Yes, I know winter is coming, but, for now, it's nice to be sitting in the kitchen eating apple crisp. Summer is so busy, and I always enjoy fall because even though summer was fun, it's nice to have some time to myself.
So that's the real connection: Apple crisp = time to myself
Which means time to write!
So, here is my favorite apple crisp recipe:
6 - 7 regular apples, peeled and sliced, or about 12 smaller apples from my tree
cinnamon to taste
crust: 1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
Fill a small casserole dish (1 1/2 quart) 2/3 full with sliced apples. If the apples are really tart, add white sugar, but not too much.
For the crust, cream the butter and brown sugar, then add flour. Use a pastry cutter. Keep adding flour untile it is a crumble texture, then sprinkle over the apples.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 min.
And that's about it. It's really easy, but it's the peeling and coring of those darn apples that take the time. But some things are worh it, and , I promise, this is one of them.
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on August 19, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
So watcha doin' this evening? Surfing around? Thinking about reading?
There's so many things do to, and so little time to do it in!
That's one reason that I really appreciate the reviews I get. I know most people today are so busy they don't even have time to sit down and read, let alone write a review.
But somehow or another, a few people do find the time to do so, and it is greatly appreciated.
In fact, I super-duper surprised, in the best way possible, when I was surfin' the Goodreads page and came across my very first review of The Oracle!!!!
So here's what Carlee C. had to say:
Really loved this book! I thought the writing style of Nicki Lynn was amazing and that she made the main character very relatable. The main male character was very different which made me love him that much more! Very creative "other world". All in all I thought it was a great YA book
She went on to give it 5 Stars!
So, thank you very much!
I've read that reviews are very important. It's so hard to get the professional book reviewers and bloggers to give reviews. They are people just like you and me, so their TBR (to be read) piles are scary!
So keep 'em coming!
|Posted by Nicki Lynn Justice on August 14, 2011 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
I have been following and reading a number of blogs, and it seems that the most common advice I hear is to write alot and not to write garbage.
So how many ebooks does an indie author need to have available? I keep hearing "the more the better". Well okay, but how many ebooks before one is doing, well, better than okay.
Strangely enough, I keep hearing the number 4. Now I wonder about that. Why 4?
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as there always is. There are some authors that have one book out and are doing great, and there are others that have more out and aren't doing so well.
So I am shooting for 4. Of course, I would like to surpass that, but a goal of 4, for now, sounds reasonable.
I currently have two ebooks out. I released Black & White in January, and The Oracle this month. The Oracle is the first book in the NIne Lives series. I plan to release the second book in the series, which is, as of yet, untitled, by December. So I'm hard at work on it.
So, I am halfway to my goal!!! Yay me!!!