Category Archives: writing

My Favorite Drafting Apps & Work from Home Tips

This post contains sponsored content.

I hope that all of you are doing well and keeping safe during this crazy time, practicing social distancing and washing your hands as much as possible. Those two things are so basic, but they’re our best bet to flatten the curve.

(Two months ago, I would’ve thought “flattening a curve” had something to do with weight loss. Strange times.)

It’s hard to believe how much has changed in such a short period of time in the United States, and around the world. I’ve found my anxiety is a bit higher and good sleep is a little harder to find. The positive size has been that I’m also spending more time actively trying to connect with my friends and family. Have you found this to be true in your world. too?

(My brothers called me three times in one week y’all. That’s more than they called in all of 2019!)

my favorite writing apps & writing from home tips

Amidst all the chaos and confusion, I’ve been trying to maintain a semblance of normalacy. And my normal is a writing day.  I thought I’d try for a bit of normal with talking about the items that I use during my writing day. And I also will include a video at the end that gives some work from home tips for those of you who aren’t used to working from home. 

My Fave Drafting Apps

When I’m drafting, I start with Microsoft Word and Scrivener. I’m mostly a panster/discovery writer with a couple plotter tendencies. So when I’m starting my project and just running down the road with no map at all, I’m in a Word document writing things out. Once I’ve gotten this smorgasbord out, I tend to use Scrivener to take chunks and many rearrange things. Sometimes a scene will work best in a different area and it’s earier to move pieces with Scrivener. 

Scrivener in the back...
This is what the backends looks like…

And from here I do two things. One: I use Google Drive to make it accessible to beta readers and to have a backup in case one of these other programs betrays me and loses my work. (Always back up your stuff y’all!) And two: I also have an external drive that I use as my safety zone.  I bought my Seagate external drive from Walmart. I back up each completed draft and it gives me peace of mind. I’ve lost too many things in the past.

Current Works In Progress

Right now I’m finishing the edits on Midnight Murder. I’ll be working on those and writing the synopsis for the next few days. I’ll be back here soon, to let you know when it’s completed. It’s a story that gives a little backstory for my West Virginia cousins– Isa, Freya, and Neilina. You may have met Freya in Wiped Out, Book 1 of the Beach Bound Cozy series. And Isa hangs out in the Mystic Eye Bookshop Files 

I have some plans for Camp NaNoWriMo, which is happening in a couple of days. (Where did March go?) I’ll give you an update on that when we get there. Until then, here’s the video that I created to help people who aren’t super comfortable with working from home. It’s all a learning experience.

Btw, tonight at 9 p.m. EDT, at #writestuff we’re hosting a chat about branding and Rachael Thompson, author of The Bad Readhead 30 Day Marketing Challenge will be there to answer you’re branding questions! I hope to see you there.

If you have any tips for folks who are working from home or if you want to share you which apps you use in your writing flow, let us know in the comments!

Aloha, y’all! 

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Women in Publishing Summit and me

Hey everyone! I wanted to give you an update on the two things that are happening over here at the moment.

I was so fortunate to be asked to be part of the Women in Publishing Summit. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a free online event that’s open to the public where over 40 women discuss different aspects of this crazy publishing life, whether they’re indies, traditional published, or industry professionals. It’s from March 2-8.

And I got to be part of it!

Me. Little ole me.

I’ve got receipts. That’s me!

I discussed how I used AuthorTube and #writestuff to create an online community and an author platform. It was a great conversation and I really look forward to y’all checking it out. I like to think I was personable, yet informative. (You’ll have to let me know if I pulled it off.)

The way it works, you can sign up for free and then you have access to the interviews and panel discusses for that day. You can also sign up for lifetime access to the workshops, but that’s explained more on the site. My interview is on Day 3, but if you click on this link, you can see all of the information that’s available. I’ve attended two years in a row and I’ve never regretted it.

Registration is open now! I hope you go over and sign up for it. I’ve learned so much from these sessions, whether it’s panel discussions or one-on-one interviews, like mine. These women are talented, successful, and sharing their knowledge and resources. I’m so honored to be a part of it, and I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity.

Have you done Women in Publishing Summit? What was your experience like? Share in the comments.

Aloha y’all!

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Twitter Chats- How do they work?

I know this is one of those pretty old school things on these interwebs, but it’s still new to some people. So I thought I’d write up this post and give you a brief rundown about chats on Twitter.

Let’s get started!


Is it TweetChat or Twitter chat?

It’s referred to as both, but I tend to skew to TweetChat. I like the way it looks.  

What is a TweetChat?

A tweetchat is a conversation on Twitter that uses hashtags to keep up with the chat. There’s generally a topic, a moderator, and a scheduled time/day that people chat on that topic. 

How do you find a TweetChat?

There are tons of way to find chats. Often you’ll find them by searching for topics that you’re interested in on Twitter or via the internets. Word of mouth works really well. And there’s people who keep track of chats for you. For instance  Free Writing Events is run by a developmental editor who keeps track of free writing events, including tweetchats.

Mine is #writestuff which happens every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. 

How do you join in a TweetChat?

Generally speaking, the tweetchat will have an opportunity for you to answer a question introducing yourself. And that’s it. You join right in.

With my introduction I ask people to introduce themselves and something else whether it’s about their WIP or something that goes along with the topic of the day.

Mine like many others is a Q&A form where I ask a question and everybody else gives an answer. And then we comment on each other responses and have a conversation.

It’s too fast, how do I keep up?

I like to use a 3rd party app to help me keep up with chats. Tweetdeck has been my go-to for the last five years or so that I’ve been involved in chats. Basically, you’re able to track different hashtags and topics, in addition to any Twitter lists you’re following. 

I know that people use other apps like Hootesuite and Twubs, but I haven’t used them for this. So I don’t want to speak on that. 

How do they work?

Is there any Tweetchat etiquette?

It’s good to let your Twitter followers know that you’re going to be participating so they can temporarily mute your tweets if they’re not interested in seeing more.

Hashtag is king in Tweetchats. If you want people to see your part of the conversation, then use whatever hashtag is designated for that chat.

Be polite and try to engage others in conversation. It can be unnerving, especially if tweetchats are new to you. But once you get the hang of it, they can be a lot of fun and a great way to interact with other people with similar interests. It’s nice to not be yelling into the void.

I hope this post was helpful. Do you have a favorite tweetchat that you like to attend? Any questions, comments, concerns? Let me know in the comments!


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