Monday, June 17, 2013

Fabulous Features & Favors

Coming Attractions

Authors Tyrean Martinson and Cathy Bryant will stop by soon for a forum on self-publishing. Tyrean's YA fiction, Champion in the Darkness, made its debut in February. The Way of Grace, Cathy's third book in the Miller's Creek series, was released last fall. Hope you can join us as these smart and savvy writers share their insight.
Alex Cavanaugh joins us in September when his third book, CassaStorm, is released. There's never a dull moment when Alex is in the house, so be sure and stop by to soak up some of Alex's wit and wisdom.

We'll also hear from Ann Gabhart, Cathy Gohlke, Jody Hedlund, and Sarah Sundin, whose new books hit the shelves before the close of 2013.

If you're a fan of The Emotion Thesaurus (And if not, you might want to be - read my review here), then you'll be excited to know that authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are working on two new Character Trait books on Attributes and Flaws. This is good news for writers of all genres. Will keep you posted on the details.

Oh No Volcano! is a new app, coming soon to an iPhone near you. How do I know about this? The Creative Director of the project is my son David Lange (so pardon me if I plug it:). If iPhone apps are your thing, hop over the Oh No Volcano Facebook page and check it out.

The Favor

On May 16 I signed a contract with Helping Hands Press for an e-book about homeschool learning co-ops. If you aren't familiar with what a co-op is, it's when homeschool families meet for cooperative learning and activities.

The lovely and talented Diane Estrella of That's What I'm Here For, is helping coordinate a blog tour, and we are looking for bloggers to participate. Might you be interested?

There are no set rules; posts can range from a blurb to a spotlight, interview, review, or similar feature. I will supply links, bio, and picture, and to make it even easier, I've a set of stock questions/answers if you are short on time or inspiration. 

Here are the details:

Title: Homeschool Co-ops 101

Release Date: On or about August 15

Projected Blog Tour Date: August 15 – 30

Synopsis: This book is for parents who are thinking about starting or joining a homeschool learning co-op. It provides info ranging from co-op benefits and getting started to scheduling, organizing, finances, resources, helpful hints, and more. Also included are ready to use, hands on unit studies for grades K-12, suitable for co-op and/or family use.  Author Karen Lange offers insight from over sixteen years as a homeschool parent, co-op coordinator, support group leader, and homeschool consultant. Whether co-oping with a small or large group, HC 101 offers insight and encouragement. 

The Giveaway:  A copy of the book and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 

If you can help, that would be great! If you cannot join in or do not feel like this is a good fit for your blog, please know that I understand, and that you won't offend me! :) Either way, if you know anyone who would be interested, feel free to pass this info on.

Kindly let me know in the comments or email me at if you'd like to participate. Thank you! :)

FYI: I am taking a break till July 1. (I want to avoid being a saboteur as discussed in last week's post. If you missed it, click here.)

What exciting things does your summer hold? Have a great week! 

Happy reading and writing,


Popcorn photo: Stock Exchange

Monday, June 10, 2013

Are You a Saboteur?

Do you sabotage your work? Not intentionally of course, but how often do you dance to the tune of procrastination? Or allow distractions or lack of confidence to get you off your game?

At my house, pending projects fade into the background when the dryer's lint screen is full. Spotlights appear out of nowhere, shining on every single cobweb. The sticky spots on the kitchen floor can no longer be ignored. Alas, I become a saboteur....

With a book deadline pending, I'm reassessing my days, and hence, my strategy. Even with the best of intentions, writing time is wasted more often than not. Can anyone relate?

So here's the breakdown on the new plan.

1) Prioritize - Everything clamors for attention it seems, but some are more pressing than others. Weigh things in order of importance. When in doubt, pick one, do it, and cross it off the list. Voila! Progress.

2) Set Goals - Daily, weekly, or whatever works best. Without a target, we wander aimlessly and get little done.

3) Deadlines - Even self imposed ones can motivate, build self discipline and productivity. The feeling of accomplishment after meeting one? Priceless.

4) Ignore the Gobblers - Assess what gobbles time (Facebook, email, laundry, phone calls) and determine, even for short stretches, to ignore them. Tackle must-do projects or errands at designated times to lessen distraction potential. 

5) Utilize Unproductive Time - Years ago I heard Roger Palms (author/former editor of Decision Magazine) speak; he stressed the importance of taking advantage of unused time. You know, the five minutes here, ten minutes there, while waiting for a call, or before you leave for an appointment, that are sometimes available and are otherwise unproductive. I call them pockets, and use them to make an outline, scribble a paragraph or two, visit blogs, do internet research, etc. They provide opportunities to chip away at the to-do list.

6) Keep Moving Forward - One step at a time eventually brings us to our destination. Meeting a goal provides a sense of satisfaction. This stifles doubts and boosts confidence.

Simple points, I know, but ones that help me stay on track.

How about you, do you sabotage your work? What steps do you take to avoid the saboteur syndrome?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, June 3, 2013

Visiting a Friend

I'm a guest at Susan J. Reinhardt's blog today!

If you have a moment, hop on over.

We'd love to see you!

Do you plant flowers in the summer?

Have you spent time with good friends lately?

Happy writing,

Karen :)

Image credit: Stock Exchange