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What are Your February 2019 goals?

What Are Your February Goals? Jill Kemerer Blog

Well, that went by quick! After last week’s Polar Vortex, I’m thankful February is here. The sooner winter is over, the better!

January was a blur of planning, busy work, and writing a first draft. February, for me, will be all about two things: launching the Resort to Romance series and revising a contracted Love Inspired book. Oh, and roses and chocolates…Valentine’s Day will be here soon!

First, let’s see how I did with last month’s goals.

Jill’s January 2019 Goals

  • Finalize A Meddled Match: Resort to Romance Series to prepare for February launch! This includes setting up promo, sending out ARCs, uploading to Amazon, etc…
  • Replot and draft rest of book one in the new Love Inspired series! It’s now going to be a Christmas book releasing this December. Aaah!
  • I’m the 2019 president of Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. and need to do several administrative tasks to start the year off right.
  • Health: Log calories daily in MyFitnessPal, stay within calorie range, workout for 30 minutes 4+ days/week.

How did I do?

  • A Meddled Match is ready to go! CHECK
  • Book one (working title is Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion) is drafted. It needs A LOT of work! CHECK
  • MVRAI administrative tasks? Yep. These will be ongoing throughout the year, but I’m off to a good start. CHECK
  • Health. *Giggling* Okay, three weeks I stayed on track. Last week? Nope. NO CHECK

Jill’s February 2019 Goals

  • Revise and submit Wyoming Twins Christmas Reunion
  • Promote A Meddled Match
  • Health: Track calories, meet fiber goals, exercise 5 days/week.

How did you do last month? What are your February goals?

Have a terrific day!

2 Ways I Prevent Writer’s Block

2 Ways I Avoid Writer's Block By Jill Kemerer #ww

It’s the final Wednesday of January! Where did this month go? Well, around here it was buried under snow and negative temperatures, but I’ve whined enough on social media sites, so I’ll shut my mouth!

I’ve been writing a first draft, and first drafts are the hardest stage of writing for me. I love plotting–adore plotting! Revising? Challenging, but I enjoy it. Polishing gets me excited because I know the book is THIS close to being finished. But the writing itself…

It would be terribly easy for me to get writer’s block. Every day. I wish I was kidding! For me, getting started is the tricky part. Thankfully, there are a bajillion writing blogs out there, and I’ve experimented with various tips. Here’s what gets me back into my story each day.

2 Ways I Prevent Writer’s Block

  1. At the beginning of each writing session, I read through the previous scene.
  2. At the end of each writing session, I sketch out the next 2-3 scenes.

If I didn’t do these two steps every time I sat down to write, I would stare at the screen for hours.

Reviewing the previous scene jogs my memory and gets me back into the story quickly. And since I have the next 2-3 scenes outlined, all I have to do is review my notes to pick up where I left off.

At the end of the writing session, I’m usually really tired. I’m always tempted to skip my prep work for the next day. But I don’t let myself. I know from experience if I don’t spend 5-10 minutes thinking of the next scenes, I’ll regret it. I’ll end up wasting time and creating more work for myself. No thanks!

How do you prevent writer’s block? What gets you back into your story quickly?

If you’re dealing with the bitter cold like I am, try to stay warm! If you’re in warmer climates, I wish I was there!

Writing Slow and Not Loving It

Writing Slow And Not Loving It. Jill Kemerer

I’m writing a first draft right now. I’m excited about the story. I know the main characters, know the main plot points. Usually, I can estimate a word count goal for the day (depending on what I have going on) and meet it in a set amount of time. Not this time, my friends.

I’m writing slow. I’m talking S-L-O-W.

It’s frustrating.

Yesterday, I didn’t even hit my word count goal, and I worked past six pm. Today, I did hit my word count goal, but it took seven hours to do it.

I want to write faster! What’s going on?

Right now I’m chowing down on a creamy caramel and trying to figure out why I’m struggling to get the words on the page. My thoughts:

  1. It’s January. I live in northern Ohio, and we had a severe winter storm this weekend. Yesterday it was below zero. Today wasn’t much better. I can’t blame everything on the weather, but being cooped up inside with gray skies does affect me.
  2. This is the first book in a new series. I’m still getting to know the secondary characters. I’m creating the town and the feel of the community. Plus, there’s a lot of plot to pack into this story.
  3. I’m in the middle scenes. My mind can’t always keep track of the various plot threads in this phase. I drop things–the faith thread, the romantic tension, the conflicts and goals. And it slows me down because I know I’m not getting it all but I don’t know what I’m dropping. At night, I usually get lightbulb moments–hmm…I forgot to address the emotional fallout from the previous scene. Or this IS a romance, right? Shouldn’t the MCs be getting butterflies?

That’s all I’ve got. Tomorrow I’ll force myself to sit in my office and tap out words until another scene takes shape. Then another. And at some point I will walk away from my laptop–with or without having met my word goal for the day. And I’ll repeat this until the book is finished.

Then I’ll find all the threads I dropped and all the areas I know are flat, and I’ll revise the book to make it shine.

In the meantime, I’ll have another caramel and try not to overthink it.

Writers, what slows your writing down? How do you get through it?

Thank you to everyone who entered The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby (by Jill Lynn) giveaway! The winner is Lori R.! Congratulations, Lori, check your email for further instructions!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Cover Reveal Of His Wyoming Baby Blessing + Giveaway! Jill Kemerer

It’s cover time! Whoop! Whoop!

I’m so excited to share with you the cover of my May 2019 release (and final Wyoming Cowboys book), His Wyoming Baby Blessing!

What do you think?

Ooh-la-la!!

She’s pregnant on his doorstep…

Saddle up for this Wyoming Cowboys novel!

When his childhood friend Kit McAllistor shows up, widowed and pregnant, rancher Wade Croft offers her a place to stay…but he can’t offer her his heart. As old feelings begin to surface, past tragedies force Wade to ignore them. But on the brink of losing his ranch, will he also risk losing the woman he’s beginning to love…or can he cowboy up in time?

As if this wasn’t fabulous enough news, my friend Jill Lynn (the other Jill of “the Jills”), is giving away one signed copy of HER new release, The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby!

Soooo adorable!!

FROM BACHELOR TO DADDY…OVERNIGHT!

After his marriage ended, Gage Frasier vowed he’d never remarry or have children—but now he’s guardian of an orphaned baby boy. Thankfully, his friend’s sweet sister, Emma Wilder, offers to nanny while Gage seeks a more suitable family for the child. But soon Gage finds himself bonding with his new son…and with Emma. Parenthood surprised Gage, but will love sneak up on him, too?

Purchase The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby HERE!

Fun fact: The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby was the working title of my book, His Wyoming Baby Blessing. Hey, great Jill minds think alike!

To enter The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby giveaway, click on the link below for the easy entry options! This giveaway is for US Residents, 18+ older. See Terms & Conditions for full rules.

Ranchers, babies, and surprises–oh my! What do you love in a cover?

Have a terrific day!

What are Your January 2019 Goals?

What Are Your 2019 January Goals? JillKemerer.com/blog

January 2019 Goals

Happy New Year!!

I’ll be honest, Monday was a rude awakening for me. I’d been playing catch up on administrative and marketing tasks for five days straight, and guess what? Monday was another full day of it. *waaahh!!* *crying face*

That’s the writing life, though. It’s not all writing!

So how was your Christmas? What did you enjoy the most? Or did you have a hard holiday? Some years are like that.

I was not my optimistic self this December. Sometimes I just get gloomy for no apparent reason. I babied myself. Read a lot. Watched Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network. Spent a lot of time with distant family members (yay!). Oh, and I took the month off from tracking calories. The nice thing? I’m in a good groove with my eating habits and only gained a few pounds over Christmas week which promptly disappeared as soon as I resumed my normal diet. I have noticed my back aches more when I don’t work out at least three days a week, so I’m thankful to be back on track with my DVDs.

Let’s see how I did last month.

Jill’s December 2018 Goals:

  • Revise and polish Christmas novella.
  • Finish Christmas shopping.
  • Take time off after the novella is finished to refill the creative well.
  • Create my 2019 Production Plan.
  • Workout 4 days/week and stay in calorie range most days until Christmas week, when we have 70-billion parties with decadent food!

How did I do?

  • Christmas novella revise and polish? CHECK! Finished it early. Woohoo!
  • Finish Christmas shopping: CHECK! Took me until right before Christmas Eve, but I did it.
  • Take time off to fill creative well. SORT OF CHECK. I took time off, read, relaxed, but I didn’t really do much to fill my well. It was more like crashing and burning…
  • 2019 Production Plan? CHECK! I’ll tweak it each month, but I’m happy with the overall plan.
  • Health stuff. NO CHECK. I did NOT workout 4 days/week. My body is scolding me!

Jill’s January 2019 Goals

  • Finalize A Meddled Match: Resort to Romance Series to prepare for February launch! This includes setting up promo, sending out ARCs, uploading to Amazon, etc…
  • Replot and draft rest of book one in the new Love Inspired series! It’s now going to be a Christmas book releasing this December. Aaah!
  • I’m the 2019 president of Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. and need to do several administrative tasks to start the year off right.
  • Health: Log calories daily in MyFitnessPal, stay within calorie range, workout for 30 minutes 4+ days/week.

Side note: My health goals are the same each month. I know some of you are trying to get healthy this year. Two years ago I made the decision to stick to a lower calorie diet without drastically changing what I ate. I also committed to exercising 4-5 days per week. Within six months, I’d lost 20 pounds. Ever since, I’ve consistently kept off 15 pounds. Last year my weight fluctuated 3-4 pounds on any given month, but I stayed below the 15-pound loss mark. I’m happy with that!

I’m not telling you this to brag–I’m telling you it CAN be done. I realize we all have different struggles. You may have significantly more weight to lose or you just can’t seem to take off the last five pounds. You might have physical issues preventing you from certain exercises or foods. I get it. I still want to encourage you. Small decisions every day add up to big results. For me, being consistent has made ALL the difference.

How did you do last month? What are your January goals?

Have a terrific day!

December 2018 Goals, New Contract and Final Day of Giveaway!

New Contract, Goals And Final Day Of Giveaway, Jillkemerer.com/blog

There’s a yawning hole where last Wednesday’s blog post was supposed to be. Where was my head at? Who knows? But I’ve remedied it today. December goals are important! You’ll find mine below along with how I did with my November goals.

Before we get to that…

Since my brain clearly went AWOL after Thanksgiving, I’m also sharing the good news you may have seen on Facebook, Instagram or if you’re a newsletter subscriber. I recently signed another four-book contract with Love Inspired! Yeehaw! All four books will be set in the fictional town of Rendezvous, Wyoming, and the first book releases next Christmas. I’m really excited!

Also, today is the final day of the big 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. Twelve inspirational authors give away prizes each day, and they accumulate. Today’s winner will receive each of the previous day’s prizes PLUS their choice of either a $150 Amazon gift card or a 1-year Gold subscription to Audible! WOWZA!! If you haven’t entered, you can find the entry form HERE! (US only)

Okay, goal time! Let’s see what my goals were last month…

Jill’s November 2018 Goals:

  • Draft rest of Christmas novella and revise it for plot issues.
  • Finish up marketing and promo for various projects.
  • Submit one freelance project.
  • Health: Work out M-F at 8am, log calories, stay within calorie range.

How did I do?

  • Draft rest of Christmas novella and revise it for plot issues. Check! I finished the draft before Thanksgiving, and revised for plot issues the following week.
  • Finish up marketing and promo for various projects. Check! Is it terrible to admit I’m glad I have promo off my plate for another month? Haha!
  • Submit one freelance project. Check! Last month was good!
  • Health: Work out M-F at 8am, log calories, stay within calorie range. Check! An unfortunate bout with stomach flu kept me from working out for the better part of a week, but the rest of the month, I stayed on track.

Jill’s December 2018 Goals:

  • Revise and polish Christmas novella.
  • Finish Christmas shopping.
  • Take time off after the novella is finished to refill the creative well.
  • Create my 2019 Production Plan.
  • Workout 4 days/week and stay in calorie range most days until Christmas week, when we have 70-billion parties with decadent food!

What about you? How did you do last month? What would you like to accomplish this month?

I’d love to hear your goals! Leave a comment!

Looking for a short, heartwarming Christmas read? Try my novella, Sugarplums and Second Chances. Only 99 cents on Kindle (linked)!

Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Welcome to Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!!

I’m so excited to be participating in our third annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. If you love Christian romance novels, this is the giveaway for you! I’m thrilled to join Liz Johnson and ten other fabulous authors of inspirational fiction to give away prizes galore, including eleven books.

Here’s how it works. The prizes accumulate, and you only have to enter once! A winner will be selected each day. Woohoo!!

 

Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Jill Kemerer

 

Today’s winner will receive:

A copy of my latest release, Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets and…


 

Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe plus a jingle bell necklace!!

Here’s how to enter:

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below by following some of your favorite authors on social media and signing up for their newsletters. We draw a new winner every day, and on December 12th, we’ll give away a $150 Amazon Gift Card OR a 1-Year Audible Gold Subscription (winner’s choice) in addition to all the other great prizes!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Stop by Jessica R. Patch’s blog tomorrow to see what prize is added then!

Thanks so much!

***

My Christmas novella, Sugarplums and Second Chancesis only $0.99 on Kindle! Why not give it a try? It’s a companion to my Lake Endwell romance, Hometown Hero’s Redemption.

Buy it HERE for $0.99! It’s also available for paperback on Amazon.

 

Sugarplums and Second Chances by Jill Kemerer

Are some mistakes beyond redemption?

When former NFL star, Chase McGill, invites Courtney Trudesta, the widow of his former teammate, to spend Christmas with him and his son in Lake Endwell, he simply wants to repay her for the weekly letters she sent while he was in prison.

He didn’t expect to fall for her.

Chase regrets his past and knows it will take more than sugarplums and wishful thinking to heal Courtney’s lonely heart. But with a dose of small-town charm and plenty of Christmas cheer, they might have a second chance at happiness…with each other.

 

Buy it HERE for $0.99! It’s also available for paperback on Amazon.

Jill Kemerer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

What’s on Your Writer’s Wish List?

What's On Your Writer's Wish List? Jill Kemerer Blog

Are you making your list and checking it twice? No, I’m not talking about your Christmas list–I’m talking about your writer’s wish list! And you can make one whether you’re naughty or nice. *wink*

As we reach the end of another year, I like to take inventory of the practical (and a few impractical!) items I use on a regular basis. I also weigh in on if it’s time to try something new, upgrade existing equipment, or switch services. Sure, I replenish necessary supplies as needed throughout the year, but the once-a-year wish list gives me a valid excuse to spend a few hours thinking about how to improve my productivity.

Here are some of the items on my writer’s wish list, and, yes, I have categories!

Office Supplies

  1. Pentel EnerGel pens with purple ink. What can I say? I’m a pen nerd. I’m down to two pens, and that’s not going to cut it, my friends.
  2. Black and red Pilot G2 pens. See above–I’m picky about pens, and I like to have a variety of colors. I tend to blow through these G2s like they’re toilet paper. I should buy a fifty pack and call it good.
  3. Copy paper for printing. I buy a case at a time when it’s on sale, and, oh look! I’m down to only one full package left.
  4. A new office chair. The left arm of my current chair has lost its padding and the finish on it is crumbling. I lean on it a lot. The right arm seems fine. Sadly, this means I have the worst posture on the planet. I’m working on correcting how I sit. But in the meantime, a new chair has been added to the list.
  5. The PERFECT day planner. I have yet to find it, but the hunt is on and, my friends, the quest is real.

Last year, I stocked up on tape, staples, index cards, paperclips, mailing supplies, and manila folders, so I’m set on those for a while.

Computer Equipment/Software

Believe it or not, I have nothing on this list at the moment. I know, it’s shocking.

I bought a new laptop last year. My black-and-white laser printer is only a few years old. Last year I paid for plugin I’d been wanting for my website, and I hated it, so, thankfully, I have no stars in my eyes for other plugins at this point. I switched newsletter services a few years ago and am very happy with my current provider. So…I’m good. For now. Check back with me next year–this list will likely have something on it.

Oops, spoke too soon. Our internet provider is on my list to deal with. Our rates keep going up, but we have dead spots in our house and a lot of slow internet times. Guess I’ll be making a call soon. *sigh*

Creativity Helpers

  1. Gift cards for coffee shops. When I see a deal on them, I snatch them up. I love getting away for a few hours to explore ideas, and it’s less painful on the wallet when I can use a gift card.
  2. Pretty notebooks. I can never have enough.
  3. A super comfortable chair with an ottoman for my office. This is a long-term goal. I would love a comfy chair in my office to red-line my drafts, research, and dream. Someday…

Personal Items

  1. Hand lotion. Winters are dry where I live, and I keep a tube of thick hand cream on my desk. My hands thank me for it.
  2. Cardigans. I love cardigans or any garment that will keep me warm while I’m working. I bought a cape this fall to keep in my office. It’s easy to throw over my shoulders and it keeps my hands free to type.
  3. Candles. Lighting a candle makes the room pretty and it smells good.
  4. Candy. I can’t help it. Afternoons make me crave caramels. One or two can’t hurt, can they? Don’t answer that!

Research

  1. Books on the writing craft. There are always books to be purchased!
  2. Online classes. I recently found Udemy. Thanks, Kristina Knight and Tina Radcliffe, for sharing it with me! You can find tons of classes on a variety of subjects. The one I’m taking isn’t graded, and I can work on it at my own pace. It suits my needs perfectly.
  3. Magazines. I enjoy buying a variety of magazines throughout the year. They always give me ideas, inspiration, or motivation.

I’m sure there are tons of other things I could add to my list, and I’ll be jotting them down as I get more ideas.

What’s on your writer’s wish list? I love hearing about your ideas and favorite items!

Have a terrific day!

4 Tips to Start and End a Scene #WW

Scenes build stories. How you begin and end them can mean the difference between a reader finishing your novel or tossing it aside.

When you’re writing, it’s fine to put down whatever comes to mind so your brain can push through and get the draft on paper. But when you’re revising, it’s wise to analyze each scene’s hook and ending to make sure they’re pulling their weight.

Here are my “rules” for how to start and end a scene.

1. Don’t bore the reader.

Madeline slathered butter on the bagel. Stan had really crossed a line.

Whoop-dee-doo. Does any reader care if Madeline has butter on her bagel or not? I don’t think so. And while the second sentence gets more to the heart of the matter, the first sentence is what counts.

Try this:

She wanted to chuck her bagel at Stan’s head. The nerve of him, treating her like a five-year-old in front of her boss.

2. Give transition details early in the scene.

Readers need to know how long it’s been since the previous scene, whose point of view we’re in, the location, and any other pertinent setting information. Don’t make them guess!

She wanted to chuck her bagel at Stan’s head. The nerve of him, treating her like a five-year-old in front of her boss. Madeline peeked out of the break room but saw no sign of him. Good. After this morning’s humiliating meeting, she hoped he crawled back to corporate headquarters where he belonged.

3. Tease the reader at the end of a scene.

Stan handed her the report. “Verify your numbers with this.”

Stimulating. I, for one, don’t get excited over a hero handing a heroine a report and telling her to verify her numbers. YAWN…

How about:

“Verify your numbers with this.” Stan’s tone was as icy as his blue eyes. She snatched the report out of his hand.

 She’d verify them all right. And if he questioned her expertise again, she was taking the other job offer, even if it meant a cut in pay. No job was worth this.

4. Check scene hooks and endings.

A quick and easy way to make sure these openings and closings are doing their job is to copy/paste the first and last sentence in each scene in a separate file. When you have them pasted one after the other, it’s easy to spot the duds. Try it! I always find a few that need punching up.

What are you tricks to start and end scenes? I’d love to hear them!

Have a great week!

*

Sugarplums and Second Chances by Jill Kemerer

Are some mistakes beyond redemption?

When former NFL star, Chase McGill, invites Courtney Trudesta, the widow of his former teammate, to spend Christmas with him and his son in Lake Endwell, he simply wants to repay her for the weekly letters she sent while he was in prison. He didn’t expect to fall for her.

Chase regrets his past and knows it will take more than sugarplums and wishful thinking to heal Courtney’s lonely heart. But with a dose of small-town charm and plenty of Christmas cheer, they might have a second chance at happiness…with each other.

Sugarplums and Second Chances is only $0.99 on Kindle. Purchase HERE!

 

What Are Your November Goals?

What Are Your November Goals? Jill Kemerer Blog

I’ve actually been enjoying the blustery, overcast weather. Winter will be here with the snap of my fingers, so I will take the windy, rainy weather since it comes with yellow, rust, and fiery orange leaves.

Okay, so it’s time for goals. How did you all do last month? Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo? I don’t do NaNo. November is packed full for me, and adding the pressure of 50,000 words would send me over the edge! But I love cheering on my friends who do it, so if you are, I salute you!

Let’s get to goals! First I’ll share my October ones and how I did. Then I’ll set my new ones. Ready?

 

Jill’s October 2018 Goals:

  • Start writing Christmas novella
  • Line-edit and polish February novella
  • Final edits, His Wyoming Baby Blessing, Wyoming Cowboys Book 4
  • Put Sugarplums and Second Chances up for preorder (previously released novella)
  • Submit two freelance projects
  • Health: Work out M-F at 8am to exercise DVDs, log calories, stay within range.

How did I do?

  • Start writing Christmas novella? Yes. But only by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. I got about 2500 words in. It counts! Check.
  • Line edit and polish February novella? Check.
  • Final edits for His Wyoming Baby Blessing?  Check.
  • Put Sugarplums and Second Chances up for preorder? Check.
  • Submit two freelance projects? I only submitted one. No check.
  • Health: Yes, I actually stuck to it! Woohoo!! CHECK!!

Jill’s November 2018 Goals:

  • Draft rest of Christmas novella and revise it for plot issues.
  • Finish up marketing and promo for various projects.
  • Submit one freelance project.
  • Health: Work out M-F at 8am, log calories, stay within calorie range.

How did you do with your October goals? Do you want to set new ones? Please share in the comments.

Be realistic about this month with Thanksgiving and the Christmas season soon approaching!

Best wishes to you!

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