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1. So Long and Thanks . . .

To quote Douglas Adams . . .


We started this blog in autumn 2012, as an experiment. After two years, we’ve decided to end it. Sometime next week, GroggSpot.com will go away.

This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop blogging, though!

You will still be able to follow Bess at www.bessgilmartin.com, and Helen at www.helenonwheels.com.

We want to say thank you to everyone who subscribed to GroggSpot, read our posts, and commented. We so appreciated you and your feedback; it made blogging a lot of fun. We hope to see you again on our respective sites.

Meanwhile, live long and prosper!

The post So Long and Thanks . . . appeared first on GroggSpot.

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2. Revenge of the Fortune Cookie

Somewhere out there, someone is having a lot of fun writing fortune cookie fortunes…

Ignore Previous Cookie

The post Revenge of the Fortune Cookie appeared first on GroggSpot.

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3. Comment on Some Days Just Feel This Way by ki pha

LOL Yes.

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4. Some Days Just Feel This Way


The post Some Days Just Feel This Way appeared first on GroggSpot.

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5. WriteMotivation: Setting Lofty Goals or Setting Yourself Up to Fail?










This is part of a series on WriteMotivation.

If you’re anything like me, you like setting lofty goals. You like having something outrageous to aspire to because when you manage it, you feel all bad-ass, like you’ve not only climbed Everest, but got back down, brought all your trash with you, and maybe saved a stranded climber or twelve on the way.

But when you fail to achieve those goals? Disaster.

Evils thoughts start to creep in, like maybe you’re not serious about writing, like maybe you’ve wasted a lot of time on a stupid hobby, and you don’t even have a ship in a bottle to set on the mantel, like maybe if you smash your laptop into a thousand pieces and cram them all into one of those giant pickle jars, you’ll at least have a conversation piece that doesn’t make people roll their eyes like the print out of your 1000 page novel perched strategically on the coffee table.

Not that you would leave your manuscript just lying around like that…

But back to those lofty goals. They can be tricky things. So, if you want to make progress on your work-in-progress, do you change your goals or change your attitude?

Maybe a little bit of both.

Goals that aren’t achievable when life throws you a little ol’ curveball aren’t good goals, and scaling back a bit is not an admission of failure, it’s just being realistic (hard for fiction writers, I know, but it’s kind of like postponing your Everest expedition until the snowstorm stops because setting out in a blizzard is just stupid). Hanging out in base camp for a bit doesn’t mean you’re not going to make it up the mountain, it just means it’s going to take longer.

As far as attitude goes, until you’re Stephen King, you’re your own number one fan, maybe your only fan, and you can’t afford to beat yourself up just because you haven’t yet made it to the top of the mountain.

So, strap on your oxygen tank, start climbing, and keep your eyes on the summit, but don’t be afraid to take baby steps when you need to. You’ll plant that flag before you know it.


The post WriteMotivation: Setting Lofty Goals or Setting Yourself Up to Fail? appeared first on GroggSpot.

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6. Comment on WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July by valerierlawson

you actually did quite a bit for a disastrous month. way to hang in there.

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7. Comment on WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July by Bess Gilmartin

Thank you!

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8. Comment on WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July by ki pha

Sounds like a great plan, Good luck.

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9. WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July

June was rough as far as #WriteMotivation went (hell, it was rough as far as just about everything went), and I didn’t plan for disaster when I set my goals for the month. Here’s what I thought I could do:

1)     Write 30,000 words on current W-I-P.

2)     Blog once a week.

3)     Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once.

And here’s what I did:

1)     Wrote 10,000 words on current W-I-P

2)     3 out of 5 blog posts

3)     I even visited some folks twice!

4)     Submitted a manuscript to several publishers

5)     Queried a few agents

Picture me waving a very tiny flag.

Here are my goals for July:

1)     Write at lunch M-F and at least two hours Sat. and Sun.

2)     Blog twice.

3)     Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once and Tweet encouraging things on occasion.

I’m scaling back a bit, as you can see, and I can’t wait to see how my word count progresses with this writing schedule.

Good luck to all the other WriteMotivation folks this month. Here’s to achievable goals!

The post WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July appeared first on GroggSpot.

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10. Comment on #WriteMotivation: Why I’m Behind on My Word Count by Bess Gilmartin

If that ain’t motivation, I don’t know what is. Thank you, Heather!

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11. Comment on #WriteMotivation: Why I’m Behind on My Word Count by Heather Jacobs

Sorry to hear about the salary thing with your husband. That’s hard. Thinking about you guys.

Ummm, about the manuscript…AWESOME! Maybes rock! Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

And yay for finishing the resume. I personally hate doing them with a passion.

Keep up the awesome word count darling!

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12. #WriteMotivation: Why I’m Behind on My Word Count

It’s been an interesting 48 hours, folks.

My husband had his salary scaled back in a rather dramatic and unexpected fashion. Deep breath…not going there…moving on.

That news, quite naturally, sent me into a panic and forced me to work on my resumé rather than my new novel. Grrrrr… another deep breath…

And then in complete freakout mode, I did something else, something crazy and desperate (cuz that’s pretty much who I am), and possibly annoying and whiney as well (don’t say it).

I sent an email to the editorial director who has A Duchess is Always Right. I only sent the manuscript to her at the end of April. Hadn’t thought to bother her about it for months, but couldn’t help myself. I told her I was panicking and why. Honestly, I didn’t think I would hear from her.

But less than 24 hours later, I got a reply. She thinks my manuscript looks intriguing and she’s sending it along to one of her colleagues.

This may not sound like much to you, but to a writer, this is good. Seriously good. It’s not yes, but it’s not no, either. It’s maybe, and maybe is freakin’ awesome.

It may be months before I hear anything else, and when I do, it may be another rejection, but even if it is, I will forever think good thoughts for that editorial director (and her assistant who sent the reply). I mean, yay, she sees some potential there, which is awesome, but the fact that some folks took a few minutes out of their day to give me a little piece of good news at a really scary time is amazing, and I am grateful.

Deep breath…

My resumé is finished. I’ll send it out soon, but for now, I’m off to do what needs to be done; I’m off to work on my novel.

Time to check in with my #WriteMotivation peeps.

I’ve visited everyone’s blog, commented where I could. Yay, me. But I’m falling behind on my word count. I should be at 7,000 words today. I’m about 2,000 short. Yep, those two days of panic cost me. But I’m determined to make it up. 8,000 words by the time I go to bed Sunday.

Deep breath…

The post #WriteMotivation: Why I’m Behind on My Word Count appeared first on GroggSpot.

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13. Comment on I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation by GroggSpot

Thanks, everybody for welcoming me back. I’m soooo happy to be hanging out with you guys again!

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14. Comment on I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation by Heather Jacobs

Yay! Great job on your goals so far! You are off to such a great start. Write Motivation is so awesome to keep up all accountable along with so many awesome writers. I love that.

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15. Comment on I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation by MAJK

Welcome back! I feel you on the need for accountability. Great work busting out 1000 works right off though!


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16. Comment on I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation by valerierlawson

it’s amazing how much being accountable out loud, even in print, helps us stay on target, right? glad you’re back!

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17. I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation

Without it, I tend to wander, tend to slow down, drift, and find other things to do besides write.

I signed up in February, and again in March, and what I got done (what WriteMotivation helped me to do) was amazing. I finished my first novel (after 7 years of trying), learned how to plot and plantz, stuck to a regular blogging schedule, and met some very interesting writers online.

Since then? April was BUSY! I kept up the awesome momentum, submitted my novel to two editors who expressed an interest, and plotted my next novel.

That’s right, plotted. Me, a pantser. This article from Writer Unboxed helped a lot in that regard.


In May I actually started the first draft. Everything was going great, but then things started to slow down, and suddenly, without realizing it, I wasn’t writing very much.

Guess what? I need to be held accountable in order to get anything done. I do so love a deadline! So, here I am, and these are my goals for the month:

1)   Write 30,000 words on current W-I-P (it’s about Jane, Violet’s sister from A Duchess is Always Right).

2)   Blog once a week.

3)   Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once.

Today I wrote 1,000 words. Only 29,000 more to go. Wish me luck, and good luck to all the other WriteMotivation folks out there.

The post I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation appeared first on GroggSpot.

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18. Nobody Says it Like Georgette Heyer


I’m on a Georgette Heyer kick these days (Cotillion, Cousin Kate, and now The Grand Sophy). I just ran across this sentence in The Grand Sophy, which I’m pretty sure will end up on my fav books of all time list.

Bear Alley, which led eastward from the Fleet Market, was a narrow and malodorous lane, where filth of every description lay mouldering between the uneven cobbles.

A beautiful sentence about dirt.


The post Nobody Says it Like Georgette Heyer appeared first on GroggSpot.

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19. It’s Time for the International Digital Awards Contest!

The International Digital Awards contest opens May 1st!

The IDA is a contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America, but is open to all works of fiction in digital format and print-on-demand, regardless of their romantic content.

Let’s say that again: you don’t have to be a romance writer to enter this contest.

Self-pubbed, indie-pubbed, or traditionally pubbed, so long as your book is only available digital first/print-on-demand, and has an original copyright of 2013/2014, you are eligible.

And now some IDA fun facts:

  • 7 categories, 2 winners per category–1 for novel-length and 1 for shorter length work. That’s 14 winners!
  • Winners receive an engraved paperweight plus 3 REVIEWS plus TWEETS plus FACEBOOK POSTS about their winning title, and who doesn’t need publicity?
  • BONUS FOR ALL ENTRANTS: Each entry (whether or not it places) will be entered in a drawing for a free book trailer.

The deadline for entries is June 15, 2014. We’ll announce winners on or around October 1, 2014.

Questions? Check the Rules and FAQs at http://okrwa.com/contests/international-digital-awards/rules-faqs/

The post It’s Time for the International Digital Awards Contest! appeared first on GroggSpot.

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20. Comment on A Plantser is Born: Wrestling Your Inner Writer by valerierlawson

i’m pretty sure i’m a plantser, with a strong lean toward the pantser side of the equation. I get an idea, think about it a lot before i even start writing, then dive in for awhile. if it feels like the story has legs, then i’ll write up a bell curve plot outline just plunking down the main scenes of the plot and all the subplots to see where they should go in general relation to each other.

i’d take those nice comments about your story to heart. one thing i heard from speakers during the conference this past weekend was how hard it was to sell those type of stories right now and how they really had to be willing to take a huge risk on one if they took on a new one right now.

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21. Comment on A Plantser is Born: Wrestling Your Inner Writer by K.T. Hanna (@KTHanna)

You seem like you’re doing fantastic. I know how much rejections can be so very dependent on the current perceived market. I’ve learned to take those ones with a grain of salt. Ultimately, you want an editor who is as in love with your MS as you are – because they have to WANT to fight for it.

I’m glad you seem to be having a good March goal wise so far.

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22. GroggSpot Quote of the Week: Jill Jepson, Write to Done

“All you need is the will to work hard, develop your skill, and keep submitting your work, even when the going is tough.

Do that, and you already have what it takes. The decision is yours.”

After my latest rejection last week, that’s just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Jill!

Here’s the link to that article if you need more.

The post GroggSpot Quote of the Week: Jill Jepson, Write to Done appeared first on GroggSpot.

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23. A Plantser is Born: Wrestling Your Inner Writer

If you’ve been following my posts the last two Saturdays, you’ll know I’ve been struggling with the question of how to write faster, how to write better, and how to write period.

Up till now, I’ve been an extreme pantser, grabbing hold of that first sentence like it was a parachute, and jumping out of the plane, knowing I’d land somewhere, just not caring where or when.

Pantsing is a great way to discover the magic of writing. It’s just not a great way to write quickly. It’s not a great way to get the final draft done (at least not for me).

Then there’s plotting, the opposite extreme, which depending on the writer might involve collages, storyboards, index cards, a precise outline, a perfect itinerary of your trip.

Now I love plotting my vacations, the goal being to see as many things as I possibly can before coming home. But I can tell you right now, when it comes to writing, that ain’t me. The one time I tried it, I wrote a 20 page outline in an hour, and then lost all interest in the book. I just couldn’t make myself write it after that.

I really don’t ever want to do that again. Thanks to some much appreciated comments on my earlier posts, I won’t have to. I now understand that there’s a hybrid method that just might work for me.

Introducing the plantser. I’m having this image of me with a pen in one hand and a trowel in the other, but maybe that’s because the daffodils are finally blooming.









I suppose there are as many types of plantsing as there are writers, but I think plantsing for me will involve the following:

  • A first sentence (cuz that’s how I roll. First sentences don’t scare me, they just set the mood for the entire story, and like everything else, they can be re-written or beaten into submission with my trowel).
  • A genre (there was a time when I would write not having any clue what kind of story I was writing. No more. Now I know what I like and what I want to write. So from now on, it’ll be Romance. Most likely Regency. Possibly New Adult. And if there are zombies, it will be with the understanding from the get-go that I will self-publish those. See bullet 1 below).
  • A heroine (I may not know her name, but I will know why I like her).
  • Ditto for the hero (just being hot isn’t enough).
  • A problem that must be solved by the end of the book.

To you plotters out there, that probably doesn’t sound like much, but to me, it’s so much more than I’ve ever started with, it feels like the book’s half written already. I think I’ll add another bullet. Or two.

  •  As I think of scenes to write, I will figure out where they fit in the story BEFORE I WRITE THEM.
  • In fact, I’m thinking I might make a map of sorts (possibly with pictures, definitely with a dashed line showing the trail and an X marks the spot at the happily-ever-after ending) and when I think of a scene, I’ll put it on the map where I think it goes. Kind of like “Here Be Monsters” or “The Lonely Mountain.”








I feel better already. Now for this week’s progress on #WriteMotivation. Here’s what I set out to do for the month:

  1. Email editor to check on status of MFM.
  2. Design cover for ADIAR.
  3. Revise ADIAR if I get editorial comments back.
  4. Plot next book.
  5. Blog every Saturday.
  6. Visit other #WriteMotivation blogs at least once.

And here are the results with one week to go:

  1. Yep. Got rejected. The editor said my writing was strong and my revisions were great, and then he stressed again how much he enjoyed my writing (he used those words! Yay!), but romance and zombies just don’t sell well enough for him to take a chance on it.
  2. Yep. Will tweak as needed closer to publication.
  3. Ugghhh! Still on Chapter 11. Forgot that kids had Spring Break this week! But don’t write me off yet. I still have a week to go. Miracles have been known to happen.
  4. Nothing yet. Gotta finish A Duchess is Always Right revisions first. Just gotta.
  5. Yep.
  6. Yep. If I didn’t comment, it was because I couldn’t find a #WriteMotivation blog post to comment on. :( But it was still fun to visit everybody.

See you next Saturday. And just because I can’t enough of these silly bulleted lists:

  • Hope everybody’s blasting through their own #WriteMotivation goals.
  • Hope nobody else got rejected.
  • Hope everybody else’s daffodils are coming up, too.

As usual, if anybody has anything to share about this crazy plantsing thing, leave me a comment. I can use all the advice I can get!

The post A Plantser is Born: Wrestling Your Inner Writer appeared first on GroggSpot.

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24. Mr. Darcy’s Man Cave

Sure he owns Pemberly, but once Lizzy moves in and redecorates the place, Mr. Darcy finds himself desperate for a place he and Bingley can hang out in.

Join me on Pinterest at Mr. Darcy’s Man Cave.


The post Mr. Darcy’s Man Cave appeared first on GroggSpot.

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25. Comment on A Pantser Repents: Confessions of a Slow Writer by Lissa Clouser

Plantser? I love it. This should be an official term.

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