Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Time for a trim?

Shaping is crucial to a story, and trimming extra words or cutting lines, paragraphs, or scenes that slow down the pace can make your manuscript that much tighter, brighter, and engaging.

No, I admit, it’s not easy at all. Sort of like having long hair and deciding to cut it short. Not an easy decision, and it usually sits with you for a while as you debate back and forth with yourself if you REALLY want to do that. Similar to scenes that you really like--maybe with clever dialogue or some funny incident. It is a debate back and forth, almost a fight with yourself because you know it would be better for the book, BUT you feel it is such a good piece of writing, too, that you don't want to get rid of it. Yet, if those paragraphs/scenes stall the pace, you are doing more of an injustice to your story and especially to your reader by giving them a chance to stall, pause, a reason to close the book and go wash their sink-full of dishes.

You want your readers to HAVE to keep turning the pages and let those dishes sit for another hour while they finish your book.

Think of it kind of like a trip to the hairdresser--maybe you did decide to cut your long hair or simply have it styled, and more often than not you come out feeling better about yourself, confident, beautiful.  No, it’s not an easy decision to cut parts of your story you think clever and witty, but like getting a fresh haircut, your confidence in your story will raise tenfold when you chop off the unnecessary lose ends and see how much you gain in forward momentum.

And remember, always save those witty, funny, dramatic scenes or pieces of dialogue you loved in a miscellaneous file. Just because they didn’t fit this manuscript, doesn’t mean they can’t wholeheartedly benefit another in the future.😉

© bystacydawn 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mommy Time-out

Ever wish you had a special place you could just hide away from everything and everyone...just for a little while? Sort of a self-imposed mommy time-out?

Of course, we love our children and family deeply and would do anything for them, but sometimes, we could use a bit of solitude in order to regroup and give our brains and bodies a rest from care-giving, just a little while. 

This is how I picture mine...😁😍

What would yours look like?

©bystacydawn 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Standoff at the Waterin' Horse Saloon

Looking for a quick and fun historical?  Well, here you go...😁

Historical Western Romance
 Short Story 
Rating: Sweet/Sensual

Standoff at the Waterin' Horse Saloon

Bridget Schneider has a few things to say to the cowboy who stole her heart over a year ago and never came back. Sneaking into the Waterin' Horse Saloon to confront him, the last thing she expects to find is Jonas Decker immersed in a bathtub in all his God-given glory. Her righteous indignation evaporates in the steam and heat of his naked chest and flirtatious smile—but she's not about to let her anger be hog-tied by sudden...distractions. Jonas might've stolen her heart, but she's sure as shootin' gonna get her pride back.


5 Angels and a Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews
"Standoff at the Waterin' Horse Saloon is laugh-out-loud funny and perfectly romantic. I smiled from the first word until the last. I loved this short story. This is a charming slice of life that I know I'll read again. Lively characters, vivid images and an amusing plot all make Standoff at the Waterin' Horse Saloon a great read." ~Reviewed by: Marlene, Fallen Angel Reviews

"Wow. This is such a cute, funny story. Stacy Dawn has managed to pack the pages full of action, humor and intensity. I found myself laughing out loud in the first paragraph and I didn't stop until the very last word! Any story that can hook you in a few paragraphs, create friends within a few pages and leave its imprint on your mind after so short a time deserves the praise. This one does all that and more! I will be keeping my eyes open for more wonderful works by Ms. Dawn!" ~Reviewed by Lily of The Long and Short of It Reviews


"Jonas Decker! You low-down-dirty-rotten..." The crash of Room 3's door as she flung it open gave Bridgit Schneider a moment of pure satisfaction. The barrel of the gun pointed square between her eyes did not.

All sounds of the Waterin' Horse Saloon's barroom below the second floor landing muted beneath the ricocheted beats of her heart.

Fierce green eyes stared steadily at her for half an instant before widening in shock. "Bridget! What the hell are you doin' here, girl? I coulda shot your head off!"

She clasped a hand to her throat as her gaze followed the lowered gun to a bare chest grazed with dark hair, which coursed down to disappear beneath steaming water.

Maybe Izzy was right—I shoulda thought this through a bit better.

Her gaze darted back up at the curses hissed out above the broad chest. Quick as lightening, Jonas holstered the gun in a thick, leather belt hanging off the chair next to the long, narrow wooden tub. With the same frantic momentum, he grabbed the brown cowboy hat from his head and slapped it onto the water between where his knees broke the surface and his chest drizzled with moisture.

All my titles are available in multiple locations:

The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble

©bystacydawn 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fun Updates

A couple of updates for Sunday Funday...

No Zero Days:

Back in March, I started to put into play no "zero days" meaning I make an effort to do something every day that forwards my goals/dreams.  (You can read the initial post HERE) and I am very happy to say I am up to 62 days with no zero days.  Sometimes it is only five minutes, and other times it could be an hour, but every day I do something to move myself closer to reaching my goals.  At about day 50, I reassessed and fine-tuned my current plan even further so I can have a more measurable outcome, and so far so good.  No, it is not easy, especially when there is a lot of personal family stuff going on, and it is all I can do some days to put one foot in front of the other, but focusing on something always eases some of the stress, so there is so much more benefits for progress than just goals, like self-care and positive thinking.

I will let you in on this particular project in the future...near future I hope 😉

100 Day Project:

April 3rd began a yearly, world-wide creative movement called The 100 Day Project.  I thought I had blogged about it but I see I didn't--oops.  Basically, it is choosing something creative to do every day for 100 days straight. I knew my time was tense to begin with, but again, creativity is my happy place, so I wanted to participate and decided I would do a mini sticky-note doodle every day for 100 days.  And at just shy of the half-way point, I am still cruising along there, too.  I've been trying to pick themes for a few days or a week, and I am quite happy with my little five minutes a day doing something fun.  Here are the results so far...

©bystacydawn 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How I Write by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalog

Writing is a learning curve that never ends, and continued study of the craft only makes your writing stronger. So I thought I would share an occasional reference book here for you.

First up, I want to share How I Write by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof.

For fans, you will recognize the main author right away. For others, Janet Evanovich has written many books from romance to mystery, one of her most famous being the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series (One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc.)

This book is a bit different than most because, as shown by the title, it is not a how to write book, but rather, her interpretations on various topics through a question and answer type format.

I found the book entertaining and inspiring. Because of the format, it was like sitting down to a cup of coffee and a box of donuts with your favourite author and hearing all the ins and outs of how she makes a living. Often funny, occasionally serious, and with a few more specifically craft oriented notations from Ina Yalof, the book was an easy read with the simplest of lessons woven through: Nothing will happen if you don’t just sit down and write.

There were a number of pages I marked for future reference and other areas that, though I may not have totally agreed with her perspective on, I did respect her explanations and was still able to take bits from those areas, too.  And this is the one thing you want to remember when reading reference material: We are all unique and have different perspectives whether through life experiences and/or educational experiences, and therefore, you may not agree with everything you read. One craft book can’t tell you exactly how to write a perfect story, but continuing to expand your knowledge base by taking the bits and pieces which speaks to you from each, gives you the inspiration and drive to write more, are what makes each book beneficial whether you liked it or not.

How I Write gave me a lot to think about and, most importantly, inspiration in my chosen careers, so for me, I'm glad I read it and recommend it as one of the more entertaining reference books.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

Whether you are a mom, grandmother, guardian, caregiver, parent of fur-babies, single parent playing both parts or just an all around motherly person caring for those around you, I wish you all the best and sunniest of days today. 

You are loved, appreciated, and very, very special 💖

©bystacydawn 2018

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Check your Format

Every publisher has their preference, so it is very important that you do your homework and read the submission page of the publisher(s) where you are interested in submitting.

Though it might look cool and impressive to you, most publishers don’t like fancy fonts, spaces between paragraphs, extra wide margins or fancy header/footer or chapter sections.

If you cannot find specific instructions from the publisher, best to go with the general industry standard:

Double spaced
One inch margins
Times New Roman 12 font
Paragraphs beginning .5 indent in
Each chapter beginning on a new page

Most important: Use your computer program to format! 

When you use the Tab key to indent every single paragraph or space down to a new page after the end of each chapter, it can be a nightmare to fix everything for publication formatting purposes. Most programs have a Help section, or simply Google instructions to format per your specific program.

One more good tip...make sure the partial and or full manuscript is all in one file. The only thing worse than getting a partial submission with each of the three chapters (and sometimes prologue) in three or four different files attached to an email, is fifteen or more chapters of a full manuscript in fifteen or more individual files attached to an email.

So once again, I repeat one of my favorite writing tips: Do your homework...both in learning your program's formatting features AND publisher requirements.

©bystacydawn 2018

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Too Many To-Dos

Feeling a little overwhelmed lately.  I think part is the time of year--the day job gets busy in the spring/summer as well as nightly editing schedules. Add in family schedules and some days I feel like this...just trying to keep up and remember everything...

How about you?  Do you find certain times of year when you are supposed to be happy and encouraged can feel more weighty and daunting?

These are the days to remember something every day--even for ten minutes--that is all about your own enjoyment, your own piece of mind, your own "down time" or whatever will help you breathe.  I've learned this year that it is NOT selfish, it is NECESSARY ðŸ˜‰.

©bystacydawn 2018

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Corvette Confessions

Today was the most beautifully warm day we have had in ages...and perfect to get out for a drive...

Corvette Confessions 
Contemporary Romance 
Short Story 
Rating: Sweet

Have you ever been in the right place at the wrong time?

Dumped at the senior spring dance, AJ, who’d always been more into softball and shop class than cheerleading and pep squad, escaped the crowd to mope in the Corvette on loan to the class for the semester. When Greg Roberts unexpectedly joined her, his attempts to cheer her worked—too well. She might have even confessed her love that night if Greg’s longtime girlfriend hadn’t come looking for him.

Twenty-five hard years later, forced to come to the reunion by her best friend, AJ escapes back to her favorite class, only to find the exact Corvette—a little worn and faded—sitting right where she’d left it. Fond memories turn into reality when Greg shows up at her driver’s side window again—and déjà vu takes on a whole new meaning.


5 DIAMOND REVIEW from Gemstone Reviews!!

"Stacy Dawn weaves a great story...I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to all."

4 Tea Cups from Happily Ever After Reviews!

"Ms. Dawn's characters are delightful and well grounded as the story unfolds in the front seat of the corvette, which is as much a character and personality in it's own right. I loved the description of the memories being kept in the box, which is gradually prised open as the conversation moves over the last twenty-five years. Written in the first person from AJ's pov, we still get as much emotion from Greg from his actions and expressions, as we do from AJ. A quick read, it is a powerful a story as some longer ones."
 ~Happily Every After Reviews

"The class of '85 series can add another gem to the homecoming queen's crown, Corvette Confessions is a witty, whimsical, fun read." ~Donna Bolk, an review


“Ma’am, I’m going to need to see your driver’s license and registration, please.”

Twenty-five years sucked me back through a narrow tunnel and my heart pounded along with the thunder of sudden time-travel beating against my eardrums.

The light lowered to reveal honey-brown eyes crinkled in amusement. The overlap of youth and maturity flickered back and forth until my eyes came to focus on a handsome face, the grace of silver kissing the edges of thick, sandy-blonde hair.

I fumbled for the volume dial without taking my eyes from him. “G-Greg?”

A chuckle came from the wide smile. “Sorry, A.J., I couldn’t resist.”

“It’s A…J…” I trailed off from the automatic correction when I realized he’d gotten my name right. He remembered? And remembered more than just the way he surprised me last time, too.

Through the windshield, I watch him shut off and set down the Trouble light. I quickly tamed my mussed up hair and snagged my purse back from the passenger seat as I followed his progress around the hood of the Corvette. I don’t think I actually pulled in a breath until his weight in the bucket seat shifted the vehicle and kicked my lungs back into survival mode.

Long seconds went by as he contemplated me with those twinkling eyes.

“Don’t know about you,” he finally said, “but I’m having a bit of déjà vu here.”

You have no idea

All my titles are available in multiple locations:

The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble

©bystacydawn 2018