I Must Be Crazy – NaNoWriMo and Other Fall Things

We’re knee deep in autumn here in Middle Tennessee. Leaves are an impressive array of golds and reds and oranges, the breeze is a little cooler every day, and pumpkin has permeated everything from our porches to our coffee cups. Halloween has come and gone, ushering in what, for most of us, is the busiest season of the year. As the saying goes, the New Year will be here before we know it.

I Must Be Crazy: NaNoWriMo and Other Fall Things

So, November naturally serves as the perfect time to take on a massive new project, right? Along with several author friends, I have accepted the challenge to once again participate in National Novel Writer’s Month, referred to as NaNoWriMo, and write 50,000 words during the month of November. I must be crazy.

I do have my reasons (she said behind wide eyes and a racing heart). I’ve signed on the be part of a very exciting novella collection set to come out early next fall! I will join hands with five other Christian authors to bring you some unique stories sure to satisfy your love story cravings. I can’t wait to tell you more about it soon.

You won’t be surprised to know that I’ve not written steadily for quite some time. Book two of the Laurel Cove series is still in need of a lot of attention! But this novella has really inspired me and I’ve decided to let NaNoWriMo give me the chance to hammer out the first draft. If you’ve been with me for a long time, you may remember that the first draft of Someplace Familiar was written during NaNoWriMo way back in 2013! If I can stick with it, it’s a really fun and exhilarating experience.

The novella needs to be only about 25,000 words. So, book two might just get the chance to grow a little, as well. I toyed with the idea of cramming in a Christmas novella, like I’d announced I had plans for a while back. But I’ve learned the hard way recently that life sometimes throws wrenches into the mix. Back in September, my husband joined one of the national tours of Hamilton! We’re so thankful for the opportunity, but that leaves me flying solo at Fort Tysinger. Less time for myself and a few more responsibilities. The days feel shorter and to-do list longer.

Have I said how crazy it is to take on NaNoWriMo right now?

But, we serve a BIG God who somehow empowers us to do much bigger things that we consider ourselves capable of managing. Often times, it’s just saying “Yes, God” today, then tomorrow, then the next day. And having grace with ourselves on days we need to take a breather and rest in Him.

If you’re still hanging on, I’d sure appreciate your encouragement and prayers during this crazy month. How can I pray for you?

Recapping Release Month + Giveaway

Recapping Release Month | Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

I can’t believe it’s been one month since Someplace Familiar released into the world! A special thank you to everyone who has shown support and encouragement for the book these last few months. It’s been a whirlwind full of some unexpected lessons, surprises, blessings, and more. I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights recapping my first book release month!

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Count Down to Release Day +Giveaways

Someplace Familiar, debut novel from Teresa Tysinger, releases May 30!

SQUEAL! 

Writing this post has been a long time coming, friends. Today I am starting my official countdown to RELEASE DAY! In ONLY EIGHT DAYS, on May 30, my debut novel Someplace Familiar will be available in print and e-book under my self-publishing imprint, Good Day Publishing!!!

I’m doing a few (fairly low-key) things to mark the occasion that I wanted to share with you all.

Pre-Orders Now Available!

First of all, for the next few days you can pre-order the book for Kindle/e-readers for only $0.99. This limited-time offer expires next Monday.

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Big Book Birthday Giveaway!

Second, if you’ve not yet done so, be sure to enter the Someplace Familiar Book Birthday Giveaway to win a signed paperback copy of the book, a Kindle Fire 7″ 8GB (!!!!), “Amazing Grace” necklace from MinMac Shop, a book sleeve from The Cozy Life Shop … PLUS, some unique treats from the heart of the very area of the Blue Ridge Mountains that inspired the book. ENTER TO WIN HERE through May 30!

Someplace Familiar Book Birthday Giveaway from Author Teresa Tysinger

Blog Tour  |  June 10-17

Then, coming up a few weeks after the book releases, me and several of my closest book buddies are teaming up to bring you a super fun Blog Tour for Someplace Familiar! Each day from June 10-17, visit a new blog (or two or three) to learn about the book and get a chance to win another giveaway prize pack including a signed paperback copy of the book, a custom 8×8″ canvas painting by artist Cyndi Browning (our book’s heroine, Livy, is a painter!), and a $10 Amazon gift card!

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I’ll be continuing the countdown on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram–including a video of me opening up my PRINT PROOF (first in-hand copy of the book) which should arrive TODAY–so be sure to follow along! I’m also considering some in-town celebration options … I just can’t decide!  So, stay tuned for those fun details.

Thanks for being on this journey with me. These last few years have been a roller coaster of emotions, challenges, and pushes out of my comfort zone. I give God all the glory for being steadfast and faithful in his promises to never leave my side. The book is HIS…and I hope it touches your heart.

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Before I go, I wanted to share a HUGE giveaway opportunity from Reading Is My Superpower. Head over there for all the details about this MEGA giveaway!

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You Won’t Remember the Pain: Birthing a Book

BirthingABook

I’ve heard authors compare publishing a book to childbirth. Metaphorically, of course. But on that vein of thought, I think I’m in the throws of birthing pains, friends. Someplace Familiar is my “first born” book. She’s gestated for three years, not counting the decade or so I dreamed of her…the possibility of her.

Like all new mothers, one of my biggest struggles as I wait for the book to come to life is self-doubt. Before I had my daughter eight years ago I worried if I had the capacity to properly care for her – her body, her spirit, her happiness. I could barely handle those things for myself. Oh, self-doubt is a quiet, sly foe.

I came across this quote about birthing from Barbara Katz Rothman that made me stop and think…

Birth is not only about making babies.
Birth is about making mothers –
strong, competent, capable mothers
who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

What if we rewrote this for the circumstance of an author publishing a book?

Publishing is not only about making books.
Publishing is about making authors –
strong, competent, capable authors
who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

No child will grow up perfect and without flaws – it’s not in human nature. Likewise, no book will it make it to the digital or brick-and-mortar shelves without mistakes. There will be typos and sentences that could’ve been written better. We authors must remember that if we focus too much on unattainable perfection of our books we risk missing the lessons we learn along the way about our own abilities and strength.

These talents are God given. Placed upon your for such a time as this, in your lifetime and within your influences. You wrote a book! I mean, that’s huge. What’s more…we authors have worked hard on the books to get them to the point of publishing. No small feat.

My daily prayer as I grit my teeth through these labor pains of publishing is that God will help me focus on the journey, and find joy there where exhaustion and hard work threaten to dissuade me from noticing victory.

Once the book is “born,” my newest baby, I’ll forget the pain it took to get her here. Like my own cesarean scar from eight years ago, the memory of trauma will fade and will be replaced with joy and anticipation of what God will do with her life…how she’ll impact others…how she’ll leave the world different, better, than it was before she came.

That’s my prayer. I’ll forget today’s pain.

250+ Author Tips (Plus, a Giveaway!)

authortips

“Would you stop being so stubborn?!”

I uttered these words under my breath during my last editing session. My heroine was being particularly stubborn to do what I wanted her to in the scene.

What? You didn’t know fictional characters have a mind of their own? It’s true! If you’re like me, characters take on the personality you give them in the beginning and, before you know it, can take steps in directions you never saw coming. Say things that surprise you. Lead the story down unexpected paths.

When I find myself in these situations, as a still-learning newbie author, I turn to the experts. Those who’ve been in the trenches and come out the other side wiser and willing to share their knowledge.

Over the years, I’ve collected hundreds of tips for authors on everything from…

  • planning your next novel
  • plot structure
  • character development
  • writing for your genre audience
  • self-editing
  • author platform building
  • working with agents/publishers
  • developing deep POV
  • resources like stock photos (covers, promos, etc.)
  • self-publishing
  • creating an author website
  • author encouragement
  • grammar and mechanics
  • writing descriptions
  • showing vs. telling
  • writing emotion
  • story arcs
  • and much more!

Leave Your Ego Off the Page

My heroine was trying to show me a more natural arc for herself. The conflict I had her in helped develop a goal that I hadn’t seen before. After reading Character Development: 9 Tips for Convincing Arcs, a plan to proceed in writing this character became clearer. Whew!

Do you remember the famous line from A League of Their Own? “There’s no crying in baseball!” Tom Hank’s character is the rough-edged manager of an all-female baseball team. His players emotions were getting in the way of focusing on the game.

I say, “There’s no ego in writing!”

When you approach the blank page assuming you know everything there is to know about writing a best seller, you sabotage your chances at achieving that very thing. What do actual best selling authors have to say about writing? Learn how they write. How they earn faithful readers. What they do when their characters get stubborn and your momentum stalls.

Leave your ego off the page and your book will thank you.

Where to Get Help

I have two degrees in English. Thus, my shelves at home are full of books on craft, theory, etc. I’ve even collected a few favorites in recent years like this oneBut, let’s face it. These days when we’re writing on various devices and constantly connected to the internet, it’s convenient to have resources just one click away.

I’d like to think we’re friends, you and I. So, I’ve gone ahead and put together lots of references for you in one easy place.

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Follow my Author Tips board on Pinterest for 250+ (and growing each day!) excellent tips and tricks for being the best author you can be.

Sharing Is Caring (& Pays off!)

What are some of your favorite resources? A favorite book, website, Facebook group, or other tool for writers? I’d love to add more pins to my board….and we all get smarter.

SHARE your favorite resource in the comment below. One reader who comments will win a $10 Amazon gift card!  Share this post using the social share links below (tell me you did so in a separate comment) and earn an extra entry. Winner announced Tuesday, February 21.

This giveaway has ended. Thanks!


So, next time your characters get stubborn, a new plot starts forming in your mind, or your author platform seems to be falling flat, FEAR NOT AUTHOR FRIEND! You’ve now got an arsenal of help right at your fingertips. Go forth and write!


Keep Reading!

A Pantster’s Guide to Planning
Hand Me the Wrench: A Writer’s Toolbox
What’s in a Genre: Choosing Your Genre Niche

 

Authors: Get Graphic Design & Marketing Help

Most often I’m writing these posts in the evening between cooking dinner and bedtime. But, by day, I work as a director of communications for a large church. It’s the biggest blessing to be creative for a living (even before my writing takes off!). And I don’t take it for granted.

That’s why I’ve decided to turn my 10+ years of experience in graphic design and marketing into an opportunity to help other authors. Introducing…Good Day Publishing!

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Good Day Publishing is open and running! We’re in an era of self-promotion. Many publishers expect you, the author, to do a lot of the leg work to sell a book. But that can take a lot of effort, time, and planning. Find more time to write (the thing you love most!) by letting me help with things like:

  • Author branding
  • Graphic design needs (from logos to book covers!)
  • Social media consultation and scheduling
  • Website content management
  • Marketing consultation
  • Book launch campaigning
  • Plus, more!

If you’re interested, I invite you over to my Author Services page to learn more about how Good Day Publishing works. Then, contact me for a FREE 30-minute consultation!

The flagship Scripture behind Good Day Publishing is Psalm 118:24.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

It would be my pleasure and my honor (not an exaggeration) to see how I might help make your day…your writing journey…a good one. One that doesn’t overwhelm or stress you out. God has given us THIS day! Let’s use it!

Do you have any questions about Good Day Publishing or author platform building and promotion? Feel free to ask! From time to time, I’ll also be offering some posts with tips for authors on the topics of design, marketing, and social media. So, be sure and check back often.

But if you’re ready to take the next step and add me to your team, just say the word!

Authors’ Open House: Laurie Tomlinson

The month-long Author's Open House at https:teresatysinger.com features various Christian authors chatting about books, reading, writing, and more!

Well, here we are again, friends. Are you enjoying the Authors’ Open House so far? Me, too! In case you missed them you can go back and check out posts from Rachel McMillan, Meghan Gorecki, Jaime Jo Wright, and Mikal Dawn (see remaining line-up here). I’m up to my ears in preparing for the ACFW Conference, so I am indebted to these sweet ladies for keeping you all company.

Laurie Tomlinson visits the Authors' Open House at https://teresatysinger.com.

Today is Laurie Tomlinson‘s turn to make herself at home here. Laurie and I first connected on Facebook then she blessed my socks off when she recognized me at last year’s conference! (Made me feel less invisible!.) Laurie is gifted at telling love stories and supporting other authors. She has selflessly helped me wordsmith and edit and not fall off the author ledge. I’m so excited to read her upcoming novel that’s recently been contracted…big things coming! Be sure and pay attention to what this sweet lady is up to.

Say hello to Laurie…


God Didn’t Design Everyone to Hustle Like Usain Bolt

It’s about this time of year that we celebrate the relief of mid-90-degree days in Oklahoma. We stay inside or hurry from home to car, for within 30 seconds, our skin protests the heat by sticking to leather seats, our hair reaches to the sky in surrender, and some magnet from the sun drains our internal batteries.

It’s now that I can picture my perfect fall day so clearly and succinctly: A trip to the last farmer’s market of the season for butternut squash. Leggings tucked into fuzzy boots. Home filled with the scent of a hearty stew bubbling in the crockpot. A run on my favorite trail with cooler air that’s refreshing to breathe. Hot chocolate in my hand with S’mores by the outdoor fireplace. College football on the TV all day. The hug of fleece pants and a hoodie as we take an evening walk around our neighborhood and say hello to our lovely neighbors who are also coming out of their summer hibernation. Lastly, falling asleep with a book and a warm mug of tea.

With trusted friends, I often let the (mostly kidding) dramatics fly:

FALL, COME QUICKLY! WE NEED YOU!

Yet come fall, I will miss our lazy summer mornings with nowhere to be and slicing through the marine-blue plane of the swimming pool, along with ripe farm veggies and cold nectarines straight from the fridge plus all that the grill has to offer.

(Note: I actually took a break right here to arrange an end-of-summer BBQ. Amen.)

I started this post intending to talk about seasons and how, if you can’t find a way to be happy where you are, then accomplishing your goal, arriving at your destination, and experiencing your dream come true won’t give you true satisfaction. The last thing the internet needs is another pat on the head saying, “Be patient and work hard in this waiting season. Your time will come.”

While I’m a firm believer that waiting produces the most important growth, that’s not what this post is about. I want to speak on not losing ourselves along the way. On not losing ourselves when we get there.

I just signed my first book contract (another point for summer!) and know for sure that this elusive event — while a wonderful, satisfying, pinch-me-is-this-real? thing — won’t solve every problem or answer all of life’s mysteries. Dishes still pile up in the sink, you will still have to change tires on the dusty side of the highway, and you will have to navigate a new season in which your art is no longer solely your own.

That’s the nature of work, though. No matter what section of the path you’re walking (sometimes crawling?), there’s always email or comments to answer, content to read, a conveyor belt of to-do list items to conquer. Publication can feel like a sprint where the only way to stop the road from crumbling beneath you is to gather as much information as your brain can hold and make alllllll the connections until your network sags under all the weight.

Except we’re not Usain Bolt charging for an Olympic finish line and God never intended us to do that to ourselves or the dreams and talent He gave us. 

If we let ourselves rest and really lean into the place God has for us right now, the opportunities will still be there. We won’t miss anything — except for maybe the frayed singe of burnout. We will gain valuable experience in placing satisfaction with our work, not in any outside force, approval, or circumstance, but in the life it brings us and in the communion with God it affords.

Whether you’re beginning your very first story or have spent time on the bestsellers list with your multiple novels, this practice is important for the quality of your work and every aspect of life.

So I’m going to enjoy the last few weeks of slow, golden mornings and catching my kids with ripe blackberry stains on their cheeks. And I’m going to stop trying to mimic the Usain Bolts of this world and go off-route to play in the sprinklers every once in a while.


About Laurie Tomlinson

Laurie Tomlinson visits the Authors' Open House at https://teresatysinger.com.Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author, freelance editor and PR consultant, and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God’s love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles.

Her debut contemporary romance novel releases in May 2017 from Harlequin Heartwarming.

You can connect with Laurie on her websiteFacebook page, and Twitter.  She is also a regular contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog.


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TODAY’S TWEETABLE:

#AuthorsOpenHouse welcomes Laurie Tomlinson who shares
about taking time to rest from the hustle. — TWEET THIS!