Monthly Archives: August 2015

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 2015 Wrap-up!

RSW9

It’s time!

Time to wrap up Ready. Set. WRITE! Edition of 2015…

Thank you. Thank you so much for having joined us and for your support and for everything. And thank you so much to my co-hosts because the behind-the-scenes are as encouraging and wonderful as the weekly check-ins ❤

My overall goals for the summer?

  • Publish A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER at the end of July –-> DONE! I finished writing, revised and revised and revised and copy edited and published it on July 30th.

ASLNO 3D

  • Publish translations of ONE DREAM ONLY & ONE TWO THREE in German and ONE DREAM ONLY in French –> Half done and in progress. I am still waiting for news from one of my translators.
  • Revise my psychological thriller (New Adult) by mid-July –> Present Elodie laughs at Past Elodie for this goal…
  • Revise ALWAYS SECOND BEST (which is the follow-up to A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER) –> it ended up being a rewrite and a revision and it is almost done!
  • Oh and of course, become a NYT best-seller 😛 or rather not disappoint my current readers and having new people discover my books too. –> Still not a NYT best-seller BUT

Those are my writerly goals for the summer…I have a lot of personal ones too:

  • Run my first 5k ever end of June.  –> I did, I did 🙂

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  • Clean my office & clean the garage –> Did clean my office, still working on the garage though.
  • Find new areas to discover close by
  • Start taking pictures again
  • Find ways to give back –> I am working on that. I just applied to volunteer at a school
  • Create memories, enjoy the small moments because they really are the big ones…:)

And now…Manuscripts and Manicures

I chose red – for love, for all the romance, for all the kisses that are part of ALWAYS SECOND BEST. And I only painted a few of my fingers because it’s not entirely ready yet. It’s at this stage where I need to add the last scenes and then make sure it’s all pretty for my beta readers 🙂

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Did you participate in RSW? Don’t forget to link your wrap-up posts below!

And THANKS AGAIN!!!!

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 10th update!

RSW9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkKaty Upperman and myself. (For the detailed information about RSW, including  the wonderful buttons created by the lovely Jaime, click here)

Disclaimer: I’m in Europe this week, so I might be slow making my way through the blogs. Sorry about that, but I’ll try to do a bit of cheering each day!

IMPORTANT REMINDER –> The last week of Ready. Set. Write! (8-24 – 8-31) we’ll be holding a fun virtual event called Manuscripts and Manicures. We’ll each be painting our nails in a way that reflects our current WiP, then posting a photo of our manicure creations.

And don’t forget, if you’re on Twitter, we check and cheer each other on using #RSWrite

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

  • Finish drafting this manuscript. –> ALMOST. I wrote about 5000 words last week which isn’t too bad, since we left for Europe on Tuesday.
  • Finalize its blurb for the cover reveal. –> NOPE.
  • Send the feedback on a wonderful manuscript I’m beta reading. So. Good. So so so good! –> YES (and this book is simply AMAZING) I finished reading it on the plane from DC to Frankfurt and I couldn’t put it down. Loved. It.

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

  • Blurb
  • Finish drafting. I’m going to write at least 1000 words each day.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

And he kisses me. Tender and passionate. Desperate and hopeful.
I forget myself into his lips. Into the way he tastes, the way my entire body reacts to his, the way his arms tighten around my waist.
“What do you think you’re doing?” My father’s voice booms.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I’m currently in Europe and want to enjoy every second of it, but I also need to make sure I finish drafting this manuscript…

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

That a scene unlocked itself.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your  update below!

It’s time for our third giveaway! This lovely package has been assembled by Katy

GIVEAWAY Winner

The winner of Alison’s wonderful giveaway package is Crystal Schubert 🙂 Congrats Crystal!

And it’s giveaway time again!

This time the lovely package has been prepared by the wonderful Katy!

Giveaway

“If You Obey All the Rules You Miss All the Fun” journal, floral mini sticky note pad, lined floral note pad, Jelly Bellies, starry pencil pouch, Honey Pear hand cream, Lavender Lemonade candle, peppermint mints, various washi tapes, Eos Strawberry Sorbet lip balm, writerly quote pencils, Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea, and Twizzlers.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

(giveaway is open internationally – to RSW participants only)

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 9th update!

RSW9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkKaty Upperman and myself. (For the detailed information about RSW, including  the wonderful buttons created by the lovely Jaime, click here)

And don’t forget, if you’re on Twitter, we check and cheer each other on using #RSWrite

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

I shifted priority to writing, writing, writing this week. Always Second Best comes out on October 6th and I need the e-ARCs ready by September…so I am writing, writing, writing.

  • Set up the bilingual version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Set up the paperback German version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Set up the paperback bilingual version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Write, write, write. Every single day for at least 4 hours. –> YES, I did write 16030 words this week.  So that’s a definite YAY!
  • Run at least twice and yoga twice –> I did run twice and walked a lot…but no yoga.
  • Write a selfpub post on Wednesday –> NOPE

And I did get to enjoy one amazing evening with Katy and her fun daughter: great restaurant and wonderful book event where I got to meet Dahlia who was my mentor in #PitchWars three years ago 🙂 and Miranda Kenneally (I’m such a huge huge fan of her books) and Lindsay Smith (her books sound super intriguing) and Jessica Spotswood (I can’t wait to start Born Wicked!)

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2.  My goal(s) for this week.

We’re leaving for Europe for vacations on Tuesday, but due to my deadline I will need to squeeze in some writing time. So I have one goal and one goal only (actually I have three)

  • Finish drafting this manuscript.
  • Finalize its blurb for the cover reveal.
  • Send the feedback on a wonderful manuscript I’m beta reading. So. Good. So so so good!

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

“I don’t care if you’re first or last in the showcase. I don’t care if you go on to become a professional ballerina. I don’t care about all that.” I run my finger on her cheek, dying to kiss her. “I care about the way you always try to put other people first, I care about the way you always find something to smile about, I care about the way you make me feel.”
“And how is that?”
“Like I’m the King of the World.”
She cracks a smile. It’s small but it’s there, and I do feel like the King of the World. “I can’t believe you’re referencing Titanic, you said that movie was way too long and that they could have both fit on that wooden panel at the end.”

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Catching up.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

The romance. All the romance.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your  update below!

It’s time for our third giveaway! This lovely package has been assembled by  Erin

GIVEAWAY Winner

The winner of Erin’s wonderful giveaway package is Tonja Drecker 🙂 Congrats Tonja!

And it’s giveaway time again!

This time the lovely package has been prepared by the wonderful Alison!

Alison's RSW Package

Be Inspired Journal with Inspirational Quotes and Writing prompts Jane Austen Air Freshener Sticky Notes and Page Markers I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie! Bookmark Poly Spiral Index Cards WRITE Journal/Composition Book Werther’s Originals Caramel Hard Candies Paddy Wax Ginger Peach Soy Wax Candle Trident Island Berry Lime Gum Spiral Memo Pad in a rainbow of colors Sinful Colors Decadent Nail Polish Post cards with Inspirational Quotes Mini Ink Joy Pens

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am SO very much looking forward to reading all about your progress!

(oh and stay tuned for tomorrow’s post….it seems the Chemical Engineer may be back on those pages…)

The Holocaust is not romantic.

When I was a teenager, I read a book called “Death is my trade” by Robert Merle. The protagonist, Rudolf Lang, was closely based on Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the concentration camp Auschwitz.

It’s a book that made me pause and think. It’s a book that shows the horrors of the concentration camps under a different light because it shows them from the perspective of one of the people who ran the camp, who decided how many “units” they were going to be able to kill in one day, how to top those numbers, how to do even better. Those were no longer people for him but numbers to achieve, numbers to make people proud and pleased.

It’s showing the horrors under a the light that basically flashes in your face to remind you to ask questions, to not simply follow orders, to not stay silent.

That’s what it mentions:

Everything Rudolf did, he did not out of viciousness, but in the name of the categorical imperative, of duty, of loyalty to his commander, in submission to orders, out of respect for the State. In short, as a ‘man of duty’; it is precisely for this behavior that he is monstrous

—(Robert Merle, 27 April 1972)

His wife also asks him why he did it and when he answered that because if he didn’t someone else would have done it, his wife replies “But it wouldn’t have been you.”

Responsibility.

I read memoirs from survivors.

I have met people who fought on both sides during the Second World War. I’ve seen people regretting their choices. I’ve seen the pain in the eyes of those who suffered. I’ve seen survivors of the camps in my Junior high in France talking to us about what they’ve endured, making sure the history doesn’t become that forgotten place.

My German professor made sure we talked about it, that we discussed it, discussed the roots, discussed the way this happened. Because it did happen.

I also went to the concentration camp of Buchenwald when I was in high school…and I fail to see the romance in this place.

I saw death, I saw horror. I saw how humanity can commit monstrous acts. I saw a genocide.

Millions of Jews were persecuted and killed during that time. Millions of Jews died a systematic death during that time. The Nazi regime is responsible, yes. But not only. The ones who stood by and either helped in their silence or even helped by denouncing, by not hiding, by not trying in small ways to somehow help in Germany, in France, in Poland, in Russia, in England, in the United States, in the world are also partly responsible. And it’s hard to write that, because it always asks the question: what did my family do? what would I do? But at the same time, you know what’s worse? Being in those camps and dying. That is worse than the tough questions.

I haven’t read the book that actually puts a romance with the Holocaust as a background. I don’t know why the author chose to write it or what story she may have that made her believe this was not a big deal. That it was okay. That it was fine that her heroine was saved because she didn’t appear Jewish or that she redeemed herself by converting to Christianity (just writing those words actually hurt.)

I’ve seen how Jews were portrayed in the thirties not only in Germany but in Europe, in France. How simple it seemed to be to not portray them as people anymore. So that rhetoric of changing religion to be saved in the context of the Holocaust is appalling. A romance where the heroin really doesn’t have a choice in the matter, because well the guy could basically put her to death and no one would even blink is appalling.

I don’t understand. I sometimes hear “it was such a long time ago.”

Bullshit. Dehumanizing a group of people happens all the time. It happens now.

I don’t think I have the answers. I don’t think I understand how it affects generations after generations.

But what I do know is that I can’t stay silent.

Even if my thoughts are all over the place.

Because staying silent is the beginning of the end.

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 8th update!

RSW9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkKaty Upperman and myself. (For the detailed information about RSW, including  the wonderful buttons created by the lovely Jaime, click here)

And don’t forget, if you’re on Twitter, we check and cheer each other on using #RSWrite

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

Whomp. Whomp. Part Deux? 🙂 And DEFINITELY YAY!!!! I released A Summer Like No Other so that’s a definite highlight! (did you see the giveaway I‘m running ;))

  • My book is coming out on Thursday sooooooooo enjoying it without stressing too too much is one of my goals…–> CHECK!!! 🙂 I enjoyed my release day. So. Much. Thanks to my husband and spending the day with Katy and Riley and thanks to all my amazing friends and all the encouraging words, tweets, retweets, comments, phone call from my parents and so on that made this day oh so special!

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  • Write at least 2000 words a day (except on Thursday) –> WHOMP WHOMP. BIG FAIL. Silver lining? I did do my cover for Always Second Best (sooooo happy with it, thanks to Katy, Riley and my husband for the comments and feedback :)), and I did figure out parts of my plot. Now, I just have to buckle down and write it.
  • Run twice this week, work out once and do yoga twice –> YES!
  • Continuing my online class –> somewhat yes.
  • Prepare for my release on Thursday (send information to bloggers who signed up for my Book Blitz, newsletter, teasers, newsletter) –> YES!
  • Write a selfpub post –>Nope
  • Set up One Dream Only in German (the ebook) –> YES!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

  • Set up the bilingual version of One Dream Only
  • Set up the paperback German version of One Dream Only
  • Set up the paperback bilingual version of One Dream Only
  • Write, write, write. Every single day for at least 4 hours.
  • Run at least twice and yoga twice
  • Write a selfpub post on Wednesday

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Whomp. Whomp. —> the summary of my writing this week.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Finding the time to write.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

Its cover 🙂

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your  update below!

It’s time for our third giveaway! This lovely package has been assembled by  Erin

GIVEAWAY Time

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Erin’s package includes: “Embrace the Journey” journal with cork cover, “Enjoy the Little Things” notepad, Ink Joy mini pens, 2 pack of “Write On!” mini notebooks, Scrabble pencils that say: jot, note, write, create, compose, andinscribe, “Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy” pencil case, 2 packs of paperclips shaped like rabbits and crocodiles, manicure kit, Eos Fresh Flowers hand lotion, Revlon Fashionista nail polish (teal), David’s PomTango tea  (makes 34 oz.), Strawberry Fusion Tic Tacs, Cadbury Jelly Popping Candy chocolate bar, and Trident Very Berry gum.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I am SO very much looking forward to reading all about your progress!

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