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Come On, Brain! Make Writing Easier for Me!

Yesterday was one of those writing days. No, not a good one where the words are jumping from my fingertips onto the page. Not a delightful one where I’m chuckling at what the heroine just said and swooning over the hero’s grand gesture.

 

 

 

It was a long, slow, painful writing day.

 

Right away I could tell it was going to be dreadful. Within minutes I’d exhausted my supply of Gobstoppers. Ate a fun-sized Snickers without even tasting it. Had a Coke by eleven am. Nothing helped.

 

Why is writing so hard some days? I don’t know, but I have a bad session about every eight or nine scenes. Ugh!

 

Looking back, I knew the problem. I was dealing with an unruly scene–a bridge between story points, if you will. Emotional growth needed to happen, but not too much or too soon. I had to get the details right for the scene to be believable. I doubted my original set-up. Realized I needed to beef up the reasoning behind a key theme.

 

By the time I finally wrote the scene, I felt good, but not great. The scene still lacked tension. So back I went, layering in internal reactions to what was happening. Hours flew by, but my word count stayed low. That’s okay. I’m ready to move forward.

 

Writing, like everything else, is like that sometimes. I want it to be wonderful, but my brain balks. Oh well!

 

Do you have those days when work feels impossible? How do you get through them?

Have a terrific day!

 

 

What Revs Your Sweet Tooth?

I’m dreaming of a cupcake. It’s a yellow moist beauty in a cute pastel polka-dot wrapper. There’s roughly half an inch of chocolate frosting swirled on top. My word, I can taste this thing! Mmm…I love cupcakes.

 

 

 

I also love Chocolate Lasagna. A wise, wonderful woman from church brought this delicacy to a church potluck, and yes, I demanded the recipe. Bless her, she emailed the link to me. It’s delicious. I’m sharing it here, Recipe for Chocolate Lasagna. You’re welcome.

 

Last weekend college football kicked off, so I bought a bag of fun-size Snicker bars. They are all gone. They’ve been gone since Monday. Will I purchase another bag soon? I think we all know the answer to that.

 

I shouldn’t be admitting this, but Kroger had a sale event on Klondike bars this week. Hey, when they’re on sale for $1.99 and they have flavors such as mint chocolate chip and cookie dough swirl, it would be a crime NOT to buy them. Right? Anyone… *crickets*

 

As you can see, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I take my coffee full of sugar and cream. Sometimes I dollop Cool Whip on top for good measure. I’ve never met a blueberry muffin I didn’t like, and I brake for cookies. And cookie dough.

 

What revs YOUR sweet tooth? Or are you  more of a salty person?

 

Have a terrific day!!

 

*All month my new release, Unexpected Family, will be in stores! It’s available online, too. Click on Unexpected Family for links!*

 

 

Ditzin’ It Up at the Post Office

I was not on my game yesterday. Maybe it was the muggy, 91 degree weather. Or recovering from a relaxing long weekend. I don’t know, but I had several errands to run and I’m not sure where my head was at!

 

mushrooms

 

It started with the post office. I had several books and the gift package from August to send. Well, my box for the gift package was too small, so I figured I’d buy one at the post office. The gentleman handed me a box that looked perfect, I grabbed my bag of packaging tools and a customs slip (for my Goodreads winner from Nova Scotia), and got to work. I taped the box and set everything in, but it became clear the box was too large. No problem. I figured I’d pad it with newspaper and come back.

 

Meanwhile, I began filling out the customs form. Naturally, I wrote the wrong address and had to grab a new one. Then I wrote the address first, made sure I had it correct and got back in line. I told the kind worker the box was too big and that I would come back later, and he offered me a smaller one. While he did his thing with the postage for my stack of book packages, I repacked the gift. Bingo! It fit!

 

Before I could tape it up, though, the employee gently told me I needed to finish filling out the customs form. Duh! I’d completely forgotten to fill out everything BUT the address. I finished that up and went pack to taping the package. When everything was finally settled, I grabbed my bag and left.

And came right back in, because I’d left my original box behind.

*shaking my head*

Yeah, it was one of those ditzy days. It didn’t get better, by the way, but at least I survived!

 

Do you have trouble with real life after a long weekend?

 

My blog tour continues! Today I’m talking about “Why I love September” at the Craftie Ladies of Romance blog, and I’m also featured for the Author’s Casting Call--find out who I would cast as Tom and Stephanie in Unexpected Family–at Edgy Inspirational Romance. Both are linked. I’d love it if you stopped by!

Have a terrific day!

A Peek into My Non-Writing Life

I’m vocal about my love of chocolate, obsession with coffee, my fun family and, yes, my dumb-dumb dog. It’s no secret I love University of Michigan football and the television show, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team. One thing I don’t talk about much? My parents.

 

My husband and my dad
Dad, my husband and I three or four years ago. Love Dad’s smile here!

I visited them Thursday. I’m really close to Mom. She’s a true role model for me. She’s full of energy, never lets anyone push her around, and has a heart bigger than Lake Michigan. I love that woman! I also adore my dad, but his health has declined over the last few years. Due to Parkinson’s disease and late stages of Alzheimer’s, he is too sick to live at home, so he lives in a nursing home.

Dad’s a sweetheart. The nursing staff and CENA’s love him, and so do we. I’m really thankful he has such patient, goodhearted people caring for him. Yesterday, Mom and I sat with him during lunch, and some memories hit me of us eating around our dining room table when I was young. Those moments barb my heart, and I’ll admit, I got a little teary.

See, Dad usually doesn’t recognize me anymore, although he does recognize some people. It really depends on the day. If you told me two years ago this would be how it is, I would have fallen apart. But we’ve (including my sister) been with Dad throughout this journey, and I’m at peace with it.

I’m blessed. I still get to spend time with him. I look forward to it!

Whether he knows me or not, he likes me and enjoys it when I’m there. And every time I look at him, I see his beautiful blue eyes–the ones he gave to me–and I know we’re going to have great conversations someday in Heaven. Do I wish he could enjoy his senior years without these diseases? Of course. In many ways I feel he and Mom were robbed of their golden years. But, hey, we know people who have it worse. We all lose loved ones–some violently, some to disease, some tragically, some slowly, some unexpectedly. Talk to anyone, and you’ll hear a story of loss.

That’s why my faith means so much to me. I know there is better. I know this life is a blip–an imperfect blip–and there is so much more ahead. God gets us through.

Anyhow, I live a few hours away from my parents, so I visit about once a month. The drive gives me time to think, and I am so thankful I get to spend a few hours with Mom and Dad. I just wish I lived closer so I could help more.

So that’s a peek into my non-writing life. What’s going on with you this week?

Release week of Unexpected Family has been fun! Thank you to everyone who has purchased the book and helped spread the word about it!

Have a terrific weekend!

Sneaky Ways to Write More and Other Updates

Sneaking words in…sounds covert and exciting and slightly dangerous! I’m sharing how I sneak more words in each day over at Seekerville! I’d love for you to stop by, plus there are two giveaways happening at Seekerville!

Here’s the link, “Sneaky Ways to Write More Each Day.”

I’ve added Part 2 of my serial short romance, “Love and Other Obstacles” to the For Readers page. If you missed Part 1, no worries. Both are linked on the For Readers page. Newsletter subscribers get first access to installments, so if you haven’t signed up, consider fixing that! Sign up HERE!

 

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On Monday, I accidentally linked to Jeanne Takenaka’s blog early. If you’d like to stop by and find out my biggest life lesson and enter to win a copy of my book (link to entry form is at the very bottom of the post), go to “Life Lessons: Making an Effort–Guest Post by Jill Kemerer and a Giveaway.”

 

The fabulous Cheryl Malandrinos interviewed me and shared it on three blogs!! I talk about my childhood and writing journey. Pop over at The Book Connection: “Interview with Jill Kemerer.”

Boy, it got hot here. I would have preferred the warm weather in early August, rather than September, but at least it’s not snowing yet, right? Tomorrow night is college football kickoff. I’m sooooo ready. Yes, I will be watching the University of Michigan play at Utah on every television in the house! Woo-hoo!!

What’s going on with you today?

Enjoy yourself!!

Life Lessons and Final Day of Contests!

Did you have a good weekend? We did! My sweet in-laws stayed with us, we attended a few sporting events for our kids, had yummy food and nice weather. Can’t ask for more than that!

 

 

This week kicks off the official release of Unexpected Family! I have an exciting line-up of events. You can find the full schedule on my EVENTS page at any time! Today I’m a guest on Jeanne Takenaka’s blog and I’m talking about a life lesson I learned. I’d love if you stopped by.

Also, today is the FINAL day of two giveaways! You could win a gift package with both my books, biscotti, instant latte, a cute notepad and a mug. Hop over to my HOME page for the entry options. The other giveaway is on Goodreads. I’m giving away five paperback copies of Unexpected Family. The entry form is on the sidebar of this blog.

What did you do this weekend?

Have a great day!

 

Is a Writing Shortcut Worth It?

I recently revised a proposal. This particular proposal had already been sent to a valued member of my writing team, who suggested I change a few plot details. I did, and then another person requested a different set of revisions.

No problem!

 

Sure, I get nervous waiting for feedback on my work, but when it’s from my critique partners, my agent or my editor, I know anything they say will make my book stronger and more likely to sell. What a blessing!

Anyhow, I have a revising system, which I pretty much repeat every time changes are needed.

  1. Tackle content (story issues) first by brainstorming how to address them, then apply any changes.
  2. Print a copy of the revised piece, red-line and type in the edits.
  3. Read the book (or proposal, synopsis, etc…) out loud.

This means I already did a content edit, red-lines and read the proposal out loud before it was sent to anyone. Then I repeated the process after feedback from the first person. I gave it another go-round based on the second person’s thoughts.

Reading a novel out loud takes many hours. Since this was a proposal (roughly the first 50 pages), it only takes me two hours. But by the third time I’d revised the piece, I questioned whether I needed to read it out loud.

I’ve already read this thing over twenty times. I’ve read it out loud twice already! Do I really need to do it again?

I asked myself how I would feel if I sent it as is, only to come across a glaring grammar issue, misspelled word or a phrase that made no sense later.

Sighing, I popped open a Coke, took a deep breath and began reading it out loud again.

A few hours later, the proposal was on its way to submission. And I felt confident I’d done everything I could to make it shine. Could I have sent it without the final read-through? Of course! The things I caught were minor. But my goal is to put 100% into a project. Your 100% will look different than mine. You might never read your stories out loud, and that’s okay! We all have that one thing we do that goes above and beyond our efforts.

For me, taking the shortcut was not worth it.

If I was on a tight deadline, or my editor needed a quick turnaround on revisions or something like that, I would probably not read the story out loud. My 100% would look different in that situation. It’s important not to be too rigid with our own “rules,” but it’s equally important not to get complacent about our writing.

My hope is to become a great writer as time goes on. It takes experience, good advice, working with trusted professionals and a solid work ethic. We only have control over so much, but the things I do have control over, I’m not going to skimp on!

Have you ever regretted taking a shortcut? On the flip side, have you ever taken a shortcut that turned out to be the right thing to do

There are still a few days left in the Goodreads giveaway of Unexpected Family (entry form is in the sidebar)! Also, if you haven’t entered yet, head to my HOME page for a chance to win my August Unexpected Family gift package (US only)!!

Do you have plans September 1, 2015 from 8-10pm Eastern? We’d love to have you join our Multi-Author Love Inspired Facebook Party!! Eleven authors with September releases of Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical are hosting a big Facebook bash! We’re giving away a book every ten minutes. Just click on THIS LINK and hit “join.”

Have a fun weekend!

 

Me? On Television? Yep!

It’s been an exciting few weeks. The kids went back to school, we’re getting used to homework and fall sports…and I was on TV yesterday! I know–I’m shocked, too!
Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

 

*If the above link doesn’t work for you, try this one! Local Writer Stops by WTOL.

Here’s the thing. I’m not one of those people who secretly wishes to try out for American Idol. Yeah, I can be a goofball, but when my friend called, saying she wanted to schedule me on two morning television shows, my inner show-off went in hiding.

I’d be nervous. I’d talk too fast. I’d say odd things! In other words, I’d turn into a complete spaz! And for real, what was I going to wear??

I spend most of my days in jeans, yoga pants or shorts. Dress up clothes don’t really exist in my wardrobe. Guess who finds shopping super stressful? Yeah, that’s me!

Then I mentally slapped myself. I’m a big believer in making the most of opportunities. My friend had gone out of her way to arrange this, and there was no way I was going to say no out of fear.

So I went shopping. Found three dresses I liked, but they made me look bulky. I realized a cute blue dress I’d purchased for a wedding would work just fine.

When I arrived at the studio, everyone was so friendly. The interviewers made me feel comfortable, and I didn’t sound like a complete weirdo! Bonus!

It was a really fun day, and I will always remember it. If you ever get a chance to do something out of your comfort zone, I hope you’ll shush your inner critic. Get out there and try! You might have fun!

Have you ever debated turning down an opportunity out of fear? How did you get through it?

There are a few days left to enter my month-long giveaway of the Unexpected Family gift package! Click on my HOME page and scroll down for the entry options!

Have a great day!

What Are Your Weekend Plans?

My kids went back to school yesterday. I could use two more weeks of summer, but we all survived. It’s been beautiful weather–hot, but not too hot, temps with blue skies and sunshine. Adjusting to the earlier alarm will take time.

A friend recently asked me my weekend plans, and I opened my mouth to speak, then shut it, frowning. I couldn’t remember. How was that possible? I pulled up my calendar app and got out my teeny-tiny purse calendar. Nothing!

It hit me. We have a FREE weekend!! No plans!

*throws confetti, dances a jig, twirls with head tossed back and arms open wide*

This phenomenon happens about three times a year. Beginning next week, our Saturdays and Sundays will be packed with commitments. But this weekend–this glorious summer, no plans weekend!–I’m kicking off my flip flops, ordering a pizza, and reading a stack of magazines.

Life is good!

What are your weekend plans?

There is still time to enter my contests. The first one is on my HOME page for an Unexpected Family Gift Package! The second one is on Goodreads, and you can enter from the sidebar of this blog! Unexpected Family is in stores now and will be available as an ebook on September 1, 2015!

I’m a Craftie Lady!

It’s been an exciting week. My new contemporary Christian romance, Unexpected Family, released in paperback yesterday! The digital book will be available September 1. I have a month-long giveaway going on if you’d like to enter. Just go to my Home page and scroll down for the details!

Another development I’m thrilled about is I’ve joined the group blog, Craftie Ladies of Romance! Craftie Ladies are Love Inspired authors, and you can find out our new releases as well as fun facts about our books and our lives every day.

I’d love if you stopped by! Here’s the link: “New Craftie Lady Jill Kemerer.”

Two more things:

1. The fabulous Laura McClellan interviewed me on her podcast series, The Productive Woman!! I will share the link as soon as I have it.

2. Next Tuesday I’ll be on TV! Yep, I’m going to be interviewed on Fox Toledo Daybreak (sometime between 8:30-9am) and WTOL 11 Your Day (sometime between 9:00-9:30am)! I will share links after for everyone. We’ll probably have a good laugh, because I tend to get spazzy when I’m nervous!! Ha!

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! If you have ANY tips on television interviews, please share!

Have a great day!

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