I don’t know about you, but for me, 2015 was a year of MASSIVE change and transformation. If there was one overall theme, for me it was courage—namely because I did so many things that scared the crap outta me, lol! But you've got to take chances in this life if you’re going to grow, right? So I did.
I broke way, way out of my comfort zone this year on several fronts. The biggest breakthrough, really, was in crashing through the narrow boundaries of how I had seen myself for so long—my role, my possibilities. At the end of 2014, I started asking myself a very powerful question: “WHY NOT? Why CAN’T I do this or that thing I’ve been wanting to try? I’ve only got one life, damn it.” That philosophy is what drove me to become a writer in the first place. If you've got a dream, you gotta try!
So, somehow, throughout 2015, stubbornness kept me from wimping out when that question led me ever deeper into unknown territory. Lo and behold, at the end of the year, I find myself a much stronger person and a more versatile writer, so all the white-knuckle moments were worth it.
But it did take constant effort and getting used to working 10-hour days. I expanded my storytelling repertoire, finally taking the time to explore the non-Regency romance ideas that had been calling to me from my file drawer for a long time, and it was so much fun! I experimented with different writing methods, such as very detailed outlining, creating a “Worldbook” (full "story bible" of characters, settings, etc.) BEFORE beginning to write, rather than figuring out details of my story as a I go (which slows the process down terribly). I invested time and effort in training myself to use Dragon dictation for the first drafts of my scenes, and also took up a very effective new habit of working in 25-minute bursts in what is called the Pomodoro Method. This has been shown to help you stay sharp for intense mental work over a longer workday...
Each year it's my tradition to post a favorite carol on my blog over the busy Christmas holiday. This year, however, I thought I'd share something a bit different. Here's a truly magical treat, set to the tune of a lovely Strauss waltz that always makes me think of ice-skating.. These enchanting Lipizzaner stallions and their riders look like a toy soldier cavalry come to life under the Christmas tree ~ an equine ballet fit for the Nutcracker. Simply breathtaking. Enjoy! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Peace, love, and light to you all, Gaelen (posing with the dancing gingerbread men in one of the Christmas display windows at Lord & Taylor in NYC earlier this month! They moved--fun!)
Come check out my fun new interview at the Rakes and Rascals blog, with Welsh book reviewer extraordinaire, Carol Cork. Rakes & Rascals is fast becoming THE place to be for historical romance. Carol makes every visiting author tell their most embarrassing story... Now if that doesn't get you, I don't know what will, haha. Enjoy!
Also ~ I'm participating in a Holiday Book Giveaway at The Next Great Read blog. Click the link to visit and enter the drawing, and you could win an e-book copy of my DUKE OF SCANDAL, along with other yummy romances in a variety of subgenres: The Next Great Read.
Before I sign off, Happy Winter Solstice! Darkest day of the year tomorrow ~ so says the henge! I love this picture of Stonehenge by starlight...
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Duke of Shadows
A heartbroken belle, a missing suitor, and a heroic duke in disguise.