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Happy Friday, everyone! How are you doing this week? Anything planned for the weekend?

I’m slowly getting back into a regular writing and blogging routine–and I’ve really missed it. My day job kept my life pretty stressful and chaotic for a while, but I also know it was an utter lack of motivation at the end of the day that contributed. I HAD time, I just chose to be lazy with it, because I was so mentally and emotionally drained from everything else going on. Things are a bit less hectic now, but I know if I want to use the precious free time I have wisely, I’m going to have to make myself do it. My life is not going to go back to the way it was before, at least not for the foreseeable future.

Is it any wonder we escape into fantasy worlds?

Last night I attended the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which honor works that explore themes of racism and diversity. I went with a friend (the woman who is the subject of the top blog post on that page) and it was such a great experience! It was really interesting listening to the award winners talk about their books and read passages from them. I met Shane McCrae and got an autographed copy of his book of poem and prose In the Language of My Captor. I’m eager to start reading it!

On my personal writing front, I’m awaiting edits on my current in-production book (with tentative, possibly-to-change release in November) and writing the sequel to it. I’m going to do something with my upcoming book that I haven’t done before and see how it turns out–and of course, I’ll make sure I share the experience on here so you guys can learn more. I’m going to use a PR service to promote it. I struggle with self-promotion beyond the obvious outlets (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) and I want to find out if it’s worth the money to hire someone else to promote it. If not, well–lesson learned. However, I feel like I can reach a wider audience (and of course, spend a lot less personal time doing so) than I can by myself. I’ll be sure to blog about the results after. Have any of you used a PR service to promote a book?

Everyone have a great weekend!

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I know I’m a few days late, but autumn has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere: my favorite season! I fully admit I’m one of those people who is all about fall leaves and colors, sweaters, fires, and pumpkin spice/apple flavored/scented EVERYTHING. And of course, Halloween! I love all the imagery and trappings of fall. I do like spring and summer too…basically, anything that isn’t winter.

I’m a bit of a freak about decorating, also. I swear I decorate as much for fall as I do for Christmas. You can click the pictures for full-size!

Definitely a fake plant, as I kill real ones by just being in their presence.

As you can see, despite it being fall, summer lingers on in the background. When will the fall outside match the fall in my heart?!

Do you like fall? Do you decorate for it?

Once again I must apologize for my lack of posting lately–I’m going to try to work my way back up to three posts a week. I’m trying to get back to a regular writing routine, as well. Real life is too distracting! But clearly, I have time to decorate. 😉

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I’m deviating from my usual blogging today because I have a special announcement and I’m SO EXCITED, I just have to tell everyone.

I’ve been invited to be a guest author at the 2019 East Coast Author’s Convention! AAAH.

Though it doesn’t happen until October of 2019, wheels are in motion now for this romance convention to be held near Philadelphia, PA. 70 authors were invited from those who expressed interest and I’m so thrilled to say I WAS ONE! I’m really looking forward to this event–it’s within driving distance, and it will officially be my first convention as Megan Morgan. What’s more, my publisher, Evernight, is one of the sponsors, so I’ll be in their special showcase room, selling books, signing autographs, and taking pictures!

Tickets aren’t on sale and there isn’t tons of information available yet, obviously because it’s so far in the future, but you can check out the website for more information. If you’re planning on attending you can also join the FB group.

I have so much to do and get ready and AAAAH–I only have a year and eight months left! 😉 Better hurry!

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It’ll be Thanksgiving here in the U.S. in just a couple days and that means it’s that time of year we reflect on the things we’re grateful for. Of course it’s important to count your blessings the rest of the year, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having one special day we focus on it a little bit sharper. Although I won’t be having much of a celebration this year because I have to work, I can still spend some time being grateful for the good things.

Since this blog is dedicated to writing, I thought I’d share with you some of my “writer thankfulness.” These are the things about writing–and the writing community–that I’m grateful for. Please feel free to chime in and tell me what you’re thankful for as a writer too!

My Writing Gratitude List:

  • I’m grateful for writing, full stop. Writing has always been an integral part of who I am, so much it makes up a big chunk of my personality. Writing has never left me, even during the bad times, and in fact it sometimes helped get me out of the bad times. I’m so grateful to be blessed with it and carry it with me. I love being a writer.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to tell stories. Whatever this is I possess–innate talent, learned ability, or a mixture of the two–I’m very glad it chose me. I’m glad for how my brain works, and that I have the ability to put it all down in words for the world to see. Whatever drew me to it and makes me stick with it, I’m grateful for it.
  • I’m grateful for the community of writers. There are so many ways to connect with other writers, especially in this day and age. It’s magnificent to be able to share your ups and downs with others and perfectly understand each other, no matter where you are on the ladder of success. I’m grateful for the readers of this blog. A few years ago I never would have IMAGINED myself as a prolific blogger, I hated blogging! I still boggle at what a huge readership I’ve managed to cultivate and I’m so, so grateful for all of you.
  • I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned. My journey has helped me learn so many things about writing. I love writing, and learning how to do it in the best way possible, learning the mechanics of it, and learning every day how to be a better writer, is truly a joy. There’s so many things to be grateful for, from the editors who taught me the technical aspects to the things I’ve learned about marketing and the business side of it. I’m grateful for every lesson I’ve received.
  • I’m grateful for the success I’ve had. Though I may not be a household name or even as big as a lot of writers, I’m grateful for every publication, glowing review, and special opportunity I’ve gotten. I’m glad for every acceptance and the few dollars I’ve made, though they be paltry. I may not be the biggest fish in the pond but I’m grateful that I’m allowed to swim at all.
  • I’m grateful for readers. Of course, I’m immensely grateful for the people who actually read my work. A writer isn’t much without a reader. I’m grateful for all the people who take a chance on me and buy a book, and especially those who let me know what they thought of it. I’m grateful each and every day that I can hammer out these tales, and at least a few people care.
  • I’m grateful for the technology that lets me write. Technology has advanced dramatically in an astonishingly fast period of time, and it’s no different in the writing world. I cut my writing teeth on manual typewriters and now I have a very nice laptop. I’m grateful that writing is so easy now, and I guarantee you none of us are nostalgic for the days of hammering out words on papyrus. Sure, we may romanticize the idea of the seasoned writer smoking his pipe while he clicks away on his old fashioned typewriter, but those typewriters were also clunky, cantankerous, and if you screwed up there was no backspace or delete key. Hardly anyone wrote first drafts on typewriters because that was a huge waste of ink, paper, and time. I’m so grateful for the technology that gets the words from my brain to the page smooth, fast, and cleanly now.
  • I’m grateful for the stories of others. Creativity begets creativity, and I’m grateful for all the wonderful stories written by others that inspire me. I’m grateful for the things people share that entertain me. I’m grateful for everyone who chooses to shine a beacon of distraction in a dark, cold world.

Those are a few of the things I’m grateful for. What are you grateful for? What is your writer thankfulness this year?

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I’ve talked before about how I “officially” became a writer around 13-14, but I think I was probably always destined to be a writer. Even as a child, it crept into my life. Of course, it made you a weirdo at that stage, wanting to do MORE schoolwork than everybody else, but I liked making up stories and I liked writing them down.

I didn’t go to kindergarten, because at that time (I’m old!) in the state I lived in, it wasn’t mandatory. I think you could have your child take a test, and if they were sufficiently advanced, they didn’t have to go. In any case, I started schooling with first grade. I don’t recall learning to read and write being particularly difficult for me, I just remember not liking those sheets where you had to form your letters correctly, largely because I’m left-handed and back then (again, I’m old!) it was still bizarrely frowned upon. Yes, if you’re too young to remember, or had no awareness of it because you’re a righty, they used to discourage kids from being left-handed! I was allowed to write with my left hand, but I had to use a grip on my pencil because I didn’t hold the pencil “correctly,” which is hard to do when you’re literally writing upside down. To this day, I still hold a pen strangely. At least I was ALLOWED to be left-handed. My grandmother was forced to become right-handed and would have her knuckles cracked by the teacher if she wrote with her left hand. This was really a thing.

In any case, I learned to read and write pretty fast, and I have a clear memory of writing an entire essay in first grade. In second grade, I won a contest for writing a story about a family living on a houseboat (the accompanying drawing was terrible though, I am NOT an artist), and I think my fate was set. I was always the kid who took writing assignments way too seriously. If we had to make up a story, the other kids would do the minimum while I’d be the one turning in a three-page story complete with plot and multiple characters. This continued into high school, too.

I took a creative writing class in high school, and one of our first projects was to write a story that hinged on us getting to know our classmates better. Everyone had to use their initials to create an adjective and profession (for example, someone with the initials AB could be an Awesome Baker). We then had to make up a brief story using 3 or 4 of the “characters.” I remember most people wrote a page or two, but oh not me. I wrote a six-page serious murder-mystery. To my horror, the teacher decided the best story would be read in front of the class, and guess whose it was? I remember not feeling proud so much as mortified that everyone would think I was kissing up to the teacher or trying to show off. However, I also remember my teacher saying “Ah, so you’re the one who’s actually going to be a writer,” and that has stuck with me to this day.

Growing up a writer is weird, especially if you’re not surrounded by creative types already (which I wasn’t). Still, my teacher was right. Here I am, actually being a writer!

What’s your “growing up writer” story? How and when did you figure it out for yourself, and how did it make you different from others?