Five years

Five years is both a tremendously long length of time–longer than a presidency or high school or most college degree programs–and the blink of an eye.

Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

Five years ago, I became a mother. Today I watched my little girl pedal away from me for the first time on a real “big girl” bike for the first time and the soundtrack in my head was Dr. Seuss:

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
 
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
That’s how my daughter is–full of confidence. She doesn’t look back when we drop her off at school or when she rides away. She’s a planner–she planned this birthday for months, right down to the color of the cupcakes and the contents of the goody bags.
She never had any doubts that it wouldn’t come true. I hope she never loses that certainty that dreams become reality if you plan long enough. The indomitable Cherry Adair says in one of her classes, “A Goal is a dream with a deadline.”
My five year old is full of dreams with deadlines–the bike she wanted to get for her birthday, the reading she wants to accomplish by the end of the year, the swimming she wants to learn by next summer.
As adults sometimes it’s all to easy to lose sight of both this certainty that dreams do come true and this innate ability to give our dreams deadlines. It’s way to easy to get caught up in the other part of the Seuss tale:
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.
I know I’m not alone in experiencing a bit of a Fall Slump. I’ve got several projects out on submission but I’ve spent a week without a WIP. It makes me antsy and uncertain. And we  all get that way–when the doubts start to creep in and dreams feel silly. And we forget that we’re on a journey–one that’s uniquely our own.
If all goes well, I’ve got a book out next week and it’s not unlike the experience of letting my child out into the world–my stomach is all wobbly and I want to snatch it back. But books, like children, are meant to be shared. And dreams are meant to be realized.
Thank you to my little planner for reminding me of that. Time to set some more dreams-with-deadlines and trust the journey. Time to look ahead, instead of looking backwards at how much time has escaped our grasp.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
Where do YOU want to go today?

Project Get Faster

The awesome Kaylea Cross asked on twitter how I’m working on getting faster. Way back when I started writing fiction, I spent several (okay five) years setting unrealistic goals–50k in a month, 5k a day, 4 hours a day–things that just didn’t take into account my real life. And I’m the kind of person both with life and writing that once I fall off the wagon, it takes me forever to get back on–whether it’s exercise or eating right or keeping the kitchen clean or my WIP. So how to write faster?

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Six Sentence Sunday: In Your Eyes

I missed the deadline to do the official six sentence Sunday (again!), but I thought I’d share another snippet from Swimming the Distance from the Going for Gold anthology which released on Friday from MLR. One of the things that I really love is figuring out how my characters see each other. This is how Bohdan sees Kyle:

That got a genuine smile from Kyle at last and some of the tightness in Bohdan’s chest eased. When he smiled, Kyle looked younger and mischievous — like a misplaced Weasley sibling from Harry Potter. The preppy, gay Weasley — his styled red hair, designer green pullover, and expensive loafers were a contrast to Bohdan’s decades-old jeans and sponsor-donated sneakers. Kyle embraced his preferences — from cashmere to Shaker furniture to subway tile. It was that enthusiasm, the absolute comfort Kyle had in his own skin that had first drawn Bohdan in.

Be sure to check out the other Six Sentence Sunday entries or follow along on twitter #sixsunday. I’m setting a reminder to join the official list next Sunday.

Happy Release Day to Me!

Last night,  I got to do something I’ve waited 30 years to do. I got to buy a book with my writing in it. I’m not gonna lie, I got a little misty. Okay. A lot misty.

Going for Gold

 

Going for Gold is now up for purchase at MLR–they have nook, kindle, and pdf formats there. It should also be up at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon soon.

Tomorrow, after I finish reading the other stories, I’m going to talk more about the other authors in the collection and their great heroes.

In which Annabeth muses on blogging

First up, I’m over at Marie Sexton’s and Heidi Cullinan’s blog Coffee & Porn in the Mornings. I’m talking about the allure of sexy swimmers in speedos and sharing some totally-safe-for-work hot men. And doing my first giveaway for Going for Gold! Stop by!

Second, I’ve been thinking more about how I blog now that I’ve got actual real, live books coming out. I’ve been doing book reviews now since 2008 over at GoodReads and I’d amassed almost 600 reviews in that time. What changes should I make as I transition to being published?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Second Hand by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton

I buy books. A lot. Some (okay A LOT) are impulse purchases and some are from my long to-buy list or sales. (I get bonus points if it’s a sale on to-buy books!) But then there are the special books, the books from my auto-buy authors that I count down to like my almost-five year-old counts down to her birthday.

Second Hand

This week, I’m counting down to next week’s release from two of my auto-buy authors. Two! Heidi and Marie collaborated on this book, and I can’t wait. Like peanut butter and chocolate, the combo of both can only mean good things. (If you haven’t read either yet, I really reccomend starting with Marie’s Promises–it launches a great series of related books. For Cullinan, a great start is her Dance with Me.)

From the blurb:

Paul Hannon moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend, but she’s left him with a house he can’t afford and a pantry full of useless gadgets. All Paul wants is to get back to normal, even if he’s not sure what that is anymore. When he wanders into Tucker Pawn for a gift to win her back, he meets El Rozal, pawn shop owner and all-around cynic.

El Rozal doesn’t do relationships, especially not with clueless straight boys still pining for their ex. El may make his living dealing in castoffs, but that doesn’t apply to men. Still, when Paul starts clearing out his old life, pawning kitchen equipment he never wanted in the first place, El is drawn to Paul in spite of himself.

Paul and El have nothing in common except a past full of disappointments. There’s no reason to believe the two of them could fit, but in El’s line of work, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When it comes to love, El and Paul may learn that secondhand doesn’t mean second best.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

 

Six Sentence Sunday–Meet Kyle & Bohdan

I missed the deadline to do the official six sentence Sunday, but I thought I’d share the opening of Swimming the Distance from the Going for Gold anthology which comes out on August 31st from MLR.

“So you’re straight now, is that it?” Kyle tried to keep his eyes on the road and his mind off the raw hurt eating away at his stomach lining. He’d memorized Bohdan’s answers to “25 Questions for 25 Hot Olympians,” but now he needed to get the facts from the source. He flipped on his blinker and merged the car into the I-93 traffic.

“Don’t start.” Bohdan looked out at the Boston skyline, eyes hidden behind mirrored sunglasses and everything else locked down behind the firm set of his jaw and don’t-mess-with-me attitude.

Be sure to check out the other Six Sentence Sunday entries or follow along on twitter #sixsunday. I’m setting a reminder to join the official list next Sunday.

Cover Reveal! Going for Gold

I’m so excited! Less than a week until the Going for Gold anthology is out from MLR Press!

And . . . .

We have a cover! Isn’t it pretty?

Going for Gold

And we’re now up at Goodreads, so you can the anthology to your TBR pile! 

In which Annabeth unveils…

The shiny new site!

And a new fresh start. I’ve shared my call story below and I look forward to sharing more on the blog and to hosting guests!

My Call Story

When I joined RWA in the Spring of 2005, I had just finished my first manuscript. I really believed I’d be a published author by the end of the year. Then by the end of the next year . . . And now seven years, two children, five finished manuscripts, a hard drive worth of first three chapters, and 100s of rejections and several almost-sales, I’d almost started to believe it just wouldn’t happen.

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