Escapism

es·cap·ism

noun

the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Bet we could all use some of that escapism right about now. Did you know it exists? On your bookshelves! Authors from many times and many lands have created the greatest escapism the world has ever known—books!!

 

 

Fall in love with a dragon. Learn you have magical powers and how to use them. Be a simple peasant boy falling for the princess. Find a happily ever after. All between the pages of a book.

At a time when the news is screaming at us hourly, relax, escape–find a book to take you away from it all. Let the Authors of Main Street take you away!!

Happy Reading, Jill James
author of contemporary, paranormal, and zompoc romance

 

Hiatus or Not!!

First, I love writing. Years ago when I started, I would write all-year long. Summer, holidays, vacations, didn’t matter. I wrote. Words, glorious words.

I have a writer friend who doesn’t write in the summer, she is an outdoor gal. Running, biking, hiking, camping. So not me. I’m an indoors, binge-watch a series kind of girl. My friend doesn’t write during the holidays. She has a large family and she is now the matriarch in charge of the occasion.

Before, I’ve always written during the Christmas holidays and grumbled because I didn’t write every day and I didn’t get how much done I wanted to do. I would be a group and think “I should be writing.”

So, Christmas 2018 I decided to take a hiatus for the first time. Not worry about writing. Not think about writing. Enjoy the holidays. I would get back to it after New Year’s.

Bad idea. Really bad idea!!

January came and went. No writing. It was okay. I could start again in a couple of weeks.

February came and went. No writing. I thought that’s okay, it’s a short month.

March came and went. Now I’m panicking. Don’t know where to start. I should have at least one story done by now.

April came. Okay, this is getting stupid. Just put some words on the screen!!! Finally, the end of April I forced myself to sit at the computer and work on my book for the Authors of Main Street. Come on, Jill!! You don’t have a title or characters or plot, but just write. Funny, not funny. The words are in my head but they aren’t coming out like before. Each sentence is a struggle. I’m deleting as much as I’m writing.

I’m not where I wanted to be when I pictured this year at the end of last year, but I’m writing again. (fingers crossed, knocking on wood)

Hiatus? Never again!!!


Jill James, romance author (which means I must write)

BICHOK?

No, not a new food delicacy. It is an acronym for Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. For writers, it means to get that butt in the chair, your hands on the keyboard…and write. But while we are getting those word counts in and the chapters accumulating, something else is growing…our butts! LOL

Writing isn’t everything, although with deadlines, it sometimes seems that way. The voices scream in your head and you have to get the stories out onto the paper or the computer screen. Your health is so, so important too. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, aches, pains, headaches, all take you away from what you love to do.

I have a bad habit of going gung-ho into a new workout routine and burning out after a week or so, so I really enjoy the workouts that start slow and build up as you strengthen your muscles and get a healthier routine going.

This is my fave!!! The Buns, Guns, and Abs Challenge. It works the buns and thighs, the arms, and the abs. You do a few of the exercises at the beginning and each day is a little more and a little more until you are doing massive numbers at the end. What I try to do is do it every day (like writing) and try to get to the end without missing a day. If I miss a day I have to go all the way back to Day 1. 😦 Not something I want to do, so I try to not miss a day.

I’m starting back at Day 1 today. Join me in the challenge!

Email me with I’ll take the challenge and I’ll enter you in a drawing for (one) signed paperback copy of Ghostly Intentions (should be available this coming week!)


Jill James, romance writer

My Year of More

Before Christmas there were a bunch of memes on Facebook about your word for the year. A power word that would define your year to come. I chose mine.

More!!

More writing. More reading. More exercise. More healthy eating. More activities that get me outdoors. More taking chances. More looking for opportunities and seizing them.

I’m already taking some marketing classes to up my game. I love my books but it doesn’t do me any good to write them if no one reads them. I need to make them discoverable. I need to do ads, and giveaways, and get them seen by actual eyeballs. 🙂

I’m going to start the Buns, Guns, and Abs Challenge. Every day is a fresh day to start anew. I don’t have to wait for the beginning of the week or the beginning of the month. Every day is a new possibility.

I’m going to try new-to-me authors in genres I don’t normally read. I’m going to get back to doing genealogy. I love writing, but it doesn’t have to be all I do. I can multi-task every aspect of my life.

So, I’m going to work on 3 books this year (at least to start the year) plus one for the Authors of Main Street boxed set and one for myself. Not sure what it will be yet, but it will be just for me. I might not even publish it. But it will be MORE. More deep, more intense, more me. Might be time for that memoir I always threatened to write. LOL

My MORE year will have zombies (book 4), ghosts (books 2 & 3), and self-growth (exercise and good food). I can’t wait.

What will your year be? Leave a comment and your power word for 2019 and I will pick a comment to win a free book from me.  Jill

Seasons

Being originally from Baltimore, Maryland I was used to four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Moving to California–not so much. LOL I’ve always joked that Cali has two seasons: wet and cold and hot and dry. Nowadays, it seems like it is landslide and fire.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I did not realize when I moved to Reno, Nevada last year that we would again have four seasons. It has been glorious. It is already becoming autumn here. Today’s high was 74, with it being barely 50 this morning. The leaves are turning colors, the wind is cool and crisp, and the skies are a bright blue with a million stars at night.

 

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

The natives said summer was hot. After the years in California’s Central Valley, not so much to me. We had most days in the low 90s with a few days during the whole summer hitting 100. It was awesome.

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Spring was amazing. In the winter, everything is dormant and dead-looking, so each new bud, every little flower is a celebration of the earth waking up after a long-winter’s nap. If it wasn’t for allergies, spring would be the best season of all.

 

 

 

 

Photo by pparnxoxo on Unsplash

For the first time since I was a very little girl, we live where it snows for the winter. Looking out over a blanket of white covering everything is magical, no matter how old or young you are. Where we live, the snow is a few inches overnight and in the morning. By afternoon the sun hits it and it melts away.

 

 

It has been an experience to write for the boxed sets with the Authors of Main Street. Trying to feel the heat of summer when I’m sitting in my slippers, sipping hot tea and trying to envision the chill of a snowy mountain day as I swelter with the fan on full blast. A writer’s imagination is her greatest gift, but mine is still tasked sometimes to bring to life the opposite season it is. 🙂

Coming Soon! In My Dreams by Jill James in the Christmas Wishes on Main Street boxed set.

What is your favorite season? And why?

Jill James, romance author

It isn’t easy being a writer

I know Hollywood has made being a writer look so easy and so glamorous. In my head, I see that vision of Meryl Streep in She-Devil. Doing her writing and then doing the pool boy. LOL All while dressed exquisitely and not a hair out-of-place.

Reality-time. Most days, being a writer is like that Facebook video of the cat slamming the keyboard with its paws going 90 miles an hour. hahahahaha THEN, looking at what you wrote and going, “What did I say there?!!! All while you sit there in your pajamas and stress that you’ll have to get dressed to go out because there is no food in the house.

So, you sit there with Imposter Syndrome going on, wonder why you ever wanted to be a writer, until The Moment hits. The one where you read your own writing about the girl finally making her way back to the boy and they hug and they kiss and you cry. All the stress. All the headaches are nothing when The Moment hits. Writers live and die for those moments.

It’s all done. The End is typed. The cover is just right. It is edited and polished and sent out into the world and you wait for the reviews. Or lack thereof. The doubts start piling up. Maybe I should have done one more round of edits. Maybe the Beta readers were just being nice. Maybe it is all crap and I can’t write worth a hill of beans.

Then…that review comes in. The one where the reader couldn’t put the book down. She loved the hero. He was to-die-for. She says the book helped her get over her heartache. You and your book were there for her when she needed it the most.

You gather your notes. Your favorite pens. Your plotting board. You write for the hundredth time…

Chapter One


Jill James, romance writer

http://www.jilljameswrites.com

 

Why a Writer?

Believe me, I ask myself that question daily. I’ve always liked to write but I didn’t plan on being a writer. When I was five years old I was going to be a brain surgeon. I can not imagine what I saw on television to know that was an option.

By high school I wanted to be a lawyer. I took business law and debate. I loved it. Even being an introvert was not going to stop me from being a lawyer. I was going to put away those bad guys!! With no money for college, let alone law school, I tried to join the Air Force. Life had other plans. LOL

With a small child in my life, I knew I needed a job much quicker than college and law school. So, I went to business college and became a junior accountant/computer programmer. So not what I had planned.

Accounting and computing was not to be my field of expertise, but it did bring me my soul mate, the love of my life. There is a reason for everything. Sometimes it just takes awhile to find the reason and its meaning.

All through these years I wrote. I wrote poetry. I wrote romance novels that ignored every rule made for writing romance. I had women who cheated on their husbands and left them for their lovers. I had women kidnapped, falling for the kidnappers. Thankfully, those stories are dead on floppy discs. hahahaha No way to read those now. Thank goodness.

I wrote most of those on a typewriter and paper and lots of liquid paper. It wasn’t until a few years after my marriage that Mr. Wonderful bought me our first personal computer. A new world opened up. Cut. Paste. Move stuff. It was magic.

Through the wonders of the internet I “met” the writers and authors I’d read for years. People online today can not imagine my heart palpitations when an innocent remark on Prodigy bulletin boards about a wonderful time travel romance I’d read and loved was replied on by the author of said time travel romance. (I still have the printout of the email from Constance O’Day-Flannery)

Then . . . I discovered Romance Writers of America. Who knew there was a whole group of us who loved reading and writing romance? I was living a dream and learning so much. I’ve made friends I will have until the day I die. They’ve given my writing wings.

And I discovered that no, I hadn’t become a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut, an archeologist, or the first female President of the United States, but I could invent worlds where a character who had a little bit of me inside her that could be all those things I had imagined. I could be everything I’d wanted to be . . . and more. I could be a writer.


Jill James, writer of romance, living the dream

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash