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June 28, 2016

A New Love(s) @sloanebcollins #PlottingPrincesses #amwriting #Yellowstone #GrandTetons #MFRWorg

Last month, I fell in love.

With bears and moose, mountain bluebirds and coyotes, owls and bison.
To clarify, I fell in love with Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park. While it was my husband’s third trip there, it was my first.

The above-mentioned wildlife were just a few of what we saw on our adventures in Wyoming. It ranks now as one of my top favorite vacations of all time (and I think I’ve mentioned a time or twelve how much I love Maine, right?). I’d move to Wyoming or Montana in a heartbeat.

It was a vacation that fed my soul. I got to be creative with photography, relax and look at beautiful countryside, and get inspiration for the Cowboy series I’m writing, which is set in Montana. (YES! We saw a real live cowboy rounding up cattle!)

I grew up surrounded by the Franklin mountains in El Paso, and have taken other vacations in and around mountains. The Grand Tetons are now my favorite of all. And I came up with an idea for a series set in that area! I think it has a bit of a unique twist. But I can’t say anything yet…

June 23, 2016

75 Years & Counting: My love for M&Ms #MFRWorg #chocolatecandy #RssosSisters #romantic comedy

Seventy-five years and Counting

Each Sunday after lunch, my family and I visited my grandparents. Our first stop was to my dad’s parent’s house, an old prairie-styled home on a street lined with others similar to it. While my parents chatted with my grandparents, my sisters and I climbed the trees in the parkway, jumped off the front porch railing, and sang songs. As we departed, my grandmother gave each of us a quarter and a package of M&Ms, sometimes plain, sometimes peanut.

And thus began my love for the coated chocolate candies with peanuts inside.

June 14, 2016

Guest Princesses: Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi - The Setting Thesaurus Books Are Here! #PlottingPrincesses #RocktheVault #WritersHelpingWriters #SettingThesaurus #MFRWorg

The Setting Thesaurus DuoIt is a writer's job to draw readers into the fictional story so completely that they forget the real world. Our goal is to render them powerless, so despite the late hour, mountain of laundry, or workday ahead, they cannot give up the journey unfolding within the paper-crisp pages before them.

Strong, compelling writing comes down to the right words, in the right order. Sounds easy, but as all writers know, it is anything BUT. So how do we create this storytelling magic? How can we weave description in such a way that the fictional landscape becomes authentic and real—a mirror of the reader's world in all the ways that count most?

 Well, there's some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

 In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Urban Setting Thesaurus: Police Car.
And there's one more thing you might want to know more about....

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT.

At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking...if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!  

June 13, 2016

Pondering #Writing, #Birthdays, and #Thor

The last year has seen some incredible highs and devastating lows. On the up side, I think I'm stronger because of it. I know I'm abundantly blessed. I have a day job, a dream job, four awesome kids, and a tribe of amazing friends to keep me going. The days of, 'I'm bored' are long gone - which is a good thing. I like to feel accomplished. Even if I'm sometimes scrambling to get even part of what needs to be done. (How my two teenage sons, barely a week into summer vacation, proclaim boredom has already found them, I'll never know. Too bad they don't see doing laundry as a solid means of boredom prevention.)

I'm 42 years old today. 42. Not so old. Not so young. I'm thinking it's just right. I like me, so that's comforting. I mean, are there things I'd change - sure. I'd find my waist, for one thing. I'd worry less and laugh more. I'd churn out more pages in less time. I would have no idea what procrastination means (yes, this post should have been up at 5am). I'd be better friend/wife/mother/writer.

So I thought I'd share a Five Things I want to do or be better about before I'm 43 here:

June 7, 2016

Michelle Miles: It's Summertime!

You know how I know it’s officially Summer? It’s finally stopped raining (at least here in North Texas), school is out, Memorial Day is over, another birthday has come and gone and it’s June.

This weekend the husband and I were doing our weekend chores and I stopped to think how much it’s starting to feel like summer. With the early morning sun leaving slashes of light on the floor to the sounds of summer—baseball on the TV, lawn mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, the hum of the AC—it’s hard to believe we’re already in the sixth month of the year. Where does the time go? Does it speed up when I’m not looking? Or am I just so busy that I don’t realize the days are flying off the calendar?

At any rate, I can’t believe it’s summer. The rest of the year always seems to go so fast once we get into June and before we know it the holidays will be here. But right now I’m thinking about vacation and RWA Nationals and getting through the hottest months of the year (July and August) and writing. Lots of things are happening in my world—things I can’t talk about yet—but I’m going to be one busy girl this summer.

Plus I’m looking forward to re-releasing my Realm of Honor series on July 25 starting with the first three books.