2017 ~ Looking Back #thinking #planning and more #thinking with @meganslayer ~ #iamwriting

Christmas Tree Blog 2017I’ve been thinking hard about this past year. It’s been an oddity. Really has. So many things have happened. You’d think 365 days wouldn’t involve that much change, but it’s unreal.

I’ve had lots of good points. I got to work with a dear friend on not one, but two projects. It was a great collaboration. I’ve been invited to work in Kindle Worlds. I’ve seen some of my best stories come out and weathered changes in editors, publishing houses as well as characters that want to be difficult. I’ve had the good fortune of being signed with a new-to-me publishing house and have had my stories from other houses that are defunct picked up by other pubs. That’s some good fortune.

But there have been some interesting, yet, tough parts of this year. I’ve seen friendships I thought were tight go kablooey. I’ve seen publishers change hands, or close. That’s been tough. I love my publishers and have had mostly fantastic experiences with them. It can’t all be wine and roses, but I’ve had a good time. I can’t complain. I’m terribly sad that one pub is closing. They weren’t the easiest, but they brought out the best in my writing. I’d rather have a hard edit than a super easy one. If I know there are issues and I’m working on them, I think it makes the whole story stronger to fix them.

I’ve had rejections this year. I don’t mind rejection–sometimes the project just isn’t for that pub–but one thing I’d love to change is the flat, blunt thanks but no thanks rejections. How can I get better if I don’t know what’s wrong with the story? I’ve had a few revise and resubmits – which I actually embrace. I prefer to know what needs fixed in order to make the grade.

I’ve seen the passing of my grandfather and the passing of my cat. Not just the family cat or a cat…my cat. My writing buddy. My snuggle baby. The one I raised from kitten-hood. I’d always wanted an orange cat and he was mine. I miss having him beside me when I write. His low pitched meow, the way he’d make the crackle sound to get my attention and how he’d seemingly appear out of nowhere to sit with me. Yep, I’m still struggling with that loss.

So I’ve been thinking. Lots of thinking. I’ve taken a few leaps this year, but I’ll save those for another post. I like to go into my year with a plan. My author friend, Cheryl Dragon, and I talk each January about the plan for that year. I’ve tried to make one, but going into 2018, it’s tougher. I’m a write by the seat of my pants kind of girl. If the story comes, I write it. If it doesn’t, I don’t force it. If it shows up, then goes away for a while, I keep the notebook full of notes there, but to the side. But this year…I’m not sure what to do. I have story ideas percolating. I’ll probably write them down and give them a chance, while keeping an eye on the market. I’m not the type of writer to write to the market. If the story is there, I run with it. If it’s not what’s popular…then I weather the storm. But as for that plan…yeah, no idea what I’m going to do. But I’m open to suggestion.

What about you? Did you get a shiny new kindle or phone for Christmas? Want to add some books on it to read? You should. Here’s a suggestion from me and one of latest short stories, Christmas Box:

Hayes Carter knows what he wants out of life — to be the best lawyer he can, to balance his work and home life and to please his Sir. This Christmas, he wants to belong to Sir for good.

Ford Rogan loves his boy, Hayes, but Ford’s not sure he’s relationship material. Hayes, though, makes him think otherwise. Then there’s that naughty Santa at the club… Submit and your wish will come true

Can Santa, even a naughty one, grant their wishes? Will the magic of the season be enough, or will they end up with nothing more than a lump of coal?

See? Not the standard here’s a gift and I hope you like it fare. A person in the box? Now, don’t get wonky on me. This isn’t a creeper story. I like feel good Christmas tales. Everything works out in the right way at the end. There’s magic, mayhem and a spanking or two. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

What about you? What’s your favorite thing about Christmas? I’d love to know!!

Want to know more about Christmas Box? Then check it out at Changeling Press! Out now and on sale!! Gotta love a sale!

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This post is also up at the Paranormal Romantics Blog:


Winter Blogfest: @MeganSlayer #contest #prizes #longandshortreviews ~ repost ~ Christmas Movies!! With @MeganSlayer #movies #christmas #writing

2017_WinterBlogfestHeader copy

I’m over at the Long and Short Reviews right now talking about my favorite Christmas movies. Come on over. Why? There are prizes to be won just for commenting!! Come on. You know you want to. 🙂 Where? Right here:



Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 23rd Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #onedoorcloses #onedooropens #lookingback

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I’d learned not to look back. Focus on the future. You never know what will happen if you focus on what’s coming, not what you’ve done already. It’s good advice. You keep from dwelling on things you can’t change.

If I’ve learned anything about Christmas, it’s that when one door closes, another opens. It might not be the door you expect, but another will open.

I’ve had a publisher announce that it’s closing as of the end of this year–at least it is to new submissions. That’s a huge door closing that I hadn’t anticipated. I’m severely bummed. But…it’s forced me to look elsewhere for publishing options. I need to branch out if I want to stay with small press or even bigger press publishers. So while I might be irritated that the door closed, I’m being forced to look for open ones.

I’ve had a couple friendships end or at least fizzle. It sucks. These are some of my very best friends. I’ve confided so much in them. But in one case, I saw the person’s true colors. I’ve had to accept this person for the warts I hadn’t seen all this time. In the other case, we simply drifted, but it’s become painfully obvious to me that the friendship is in trouble. I’m sad about losing both friendships. I’m sad the lines of communication aren’t open. Devastated that I won’t have these people to talk to. But doors are opening too. I’m more willing to look at certain situations more objectively. I’m better able to see when I’m being friended to move up a ladder. It stinks, but I’m wiser.

I’ve often said there are things I would like to change in my past. Things I wish I could’ve skipped. But I can’t. That’s life. So, for this day before the day before Christmas, I’ll leave you with this… The Dance by Garth Brooks. I’m not much of  a country music fan any longer, but this song is very fitting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpwdwbO1uvM

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 22nd Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #Deadlines #iamwriting #stress

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I got this wild idea. I’d deal with the stress of losing my cat by writing. Like, throwing myself into a story and getting lost for a while writing.

I did.

I focused on a Christmas story that’s been there for a while, but dying to come out. This book won’t be published this year. It’s not ready. The thing is, it’s been great therapy to write it. I’ve been able to focus on something other than the empty space in my life. I put words on the page or words on the computer and I don’t feel better, but I’m busy.

Trust me. This Christmas won’t be remembered for being perfect. Not by a long shot. But I will be able to look back on it and remember what I did manage to accomplish, what I cherish and maybe cherish a few more things in my life a little more.

Has this ever happened to you? You got something wonderful out of something not so wonderful? Let me know.

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 21st Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #RIP #inmemoriam #pets #cats

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I had something very unfun happen this week. I was told, the pet is just a critter, but I don’t agree. My pets are my children. They are my family. Having to put my cat down this week, well, it sucked. Big time. I know I did the right thing, but I still hate myself for having to do it. So this post won’t be long. I don’t want to dwell on what happened, not because I’m uncaring, because I would rather stay quiet or I didn’t love the cat. He was my cat. My baby. My writing pal. But it’s a raw thing and I’d rather just not go there.

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 20th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #movies #whitechristmas

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

Monday Movie Rundown Banner

This time of year I like to watch holiday movies. Well, I like to watch them in July, too, but that’s another blog post. I love to watch holiday flicks, but there are a few I haven’t seen. There are lot I have and some I wish I hadn’t, but that happens. You have to watch them to know if they’re any good.

So this time around I decided to watch White Christmas. I’d seen some of the movie, but not all of it. The funny part is, when I saw the chunk, it made no sense.. . Trust me. It’s worth watching and worth seeing the whole movie. This isn’t one you can come into halfway through and know what’s going on.

I enjoyed it. The song and dance numbers are great and lively. The movie was the reason the song White Christmas became so popular and I can see why. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby shine. Rosemary Clooney is awesome, too.

If you’re in the mood for a holiday movie and want something light, but fun, then this might be the one for you!

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 19th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #memories #lookingback

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

During my second year of teaching, I got pregnant. It wasn’t planned, but hey, miracles happen. Anyway, the students were engrossed in the fact that I had a little person growing within me.

As it went, I happened to be pregnant over Christmas. This was the year before the very bad, no good, horrible Christmas (but that’s for another time). When break time came, I was elected to help with the silly games at the pep rally/assembly. Imagine me trying to referee the ballbat on head and spin game. It wasn’t pretty.

Well, before everyone left, one of my students, Jess, came to my room. She handed me a small bag and said merry Christmas. She blushed and tried to leave pretty quickly. I asked her to stick around and I opened the bag.

There used to be carts in the malls that had ornaments. Around Christmas, these carts promoted their ornaments and how you could personalize them. One of the ornaments happened to be a pregnant bear.

I pulled the tissue paper out of the bag and found the gift inside–an ornament of a pregnant bear with the words World’s Greatest Teacher on it.

I cried. I loved that ornament. Loved that the girl had given it to me. Jess was a favorite student of mine because I knew she’d do something awesome with her life. She did, by the way. But I also knew she needed a friend. Someone to keep an eye on her. Throughout my career at that school, that’s what I did–I kept an eye on her and tried to steer her in the right direction. I don’t know how much help I was, but my heart was in the right place. She’s one of the many I felt guilty for leaving when I switched schools.

She’s now a grown woman and productive member of society. She’s a good kid with kids of her own.

I cherish that ornament she gave me and it’s on the tree right now. It’s one of my favorites.

Do you have a favorite ornament? Which one? I’d love to know. 🙂

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 18th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #memories #confession

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I’m the type of gift giver that tends to go a tad overboard. Yep, I’m that friend. I like to make gifts for my friends and family. This year, I made bracelets for everyone. I went to a lot of trouble to find just the right charms for each person. I couldn’t just put random charms on. Each had to make sense for the person involved. Do they like dogs? Then a bone or paw print charm. Are they special and sparkle like a unicorn? Then a unicorn. It took time and patience, but I love how they turned out.

I just wish I’d have taken photos.

Yeah, I forgot to photograph what I made. Would help to have done so, then if I wanted to make something similar, I’d know what I did. But I didn’t take photos.

Another thing I did this year for friends was a special pin for each member of my book club. Not my reader group. That’s for next year. (Hint, hint) But for my book club. I wanted everyone to have a token to say, yeah, I’m part of this. As I write this, my thoughts turn to the fact I haven’t read the book and oops…maybe I should. There’s always tomorrow.

Did I mention I didn’t take photos of these, either? Yeah. Fail #2. Oh well.

I hope my friends enjoy the buttons and the bracelets. I hope they see what time and effort I put into the gifts because I love these people. They deserve the best.

What about you? Do you do anything extra special for your friends? Did you make any of your gifts this year? Let me know.