Resolutions for 2016

There’s a cold front sailing into Montgomery encapsulated in three-six inches of rain, and unfortunately the storm seems to be raging in my head. I’ve had a headache for two days now, and no amount of nasal spray, Allegra D, Sudafed, Tylenol, or Advil seems to be helping it.

It seems fitting to wake up on New Year’s Eve with a headache. Starting a new year is like a fresh start. Oh the possibilities. But sometimes the only way to get to where you want in life is to suffer pain and heartache (or in this case, a terrible headache). This headache is a little reminder to me this morning of how far I came this year in my own life.

I’m a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I know they say only 30% of people achieve those resolutions, but for the last few years I’ve been in that 30%. The hint to achieving your resolutions is to set small, measurable, attainable goals.

For instance, instead of saying: I’m going to lose weight. Say: I’m going to lose 15 lbs. Or instead of saying: I’m giving up all sugar forever and ever, say: I’m going to give up drinking soda. Instead of saying: I’m going to become the next great author this year, say: my goal is to publish one book. Seriously, measurable and realistic.

So what’s my resolution? I have one main resolution, and I’m sure I’ll add goals as the year goes on.

  • Finish revising Little Birdhouses and start querying.

That’s it. I’ve been sitting on it and not doing what I need to do with it, and it’s starting to annoy me. So I know I need to finish. I’ll query it, and if that doesn’t go my way then maybe I’ll submit it to Booktrope. They published my book, The Devil Within, which has been moderately successful.

I have a couple of things I’d like to achieve this year as well, which aren’t really resolutions but just items on my list to check off.

  • Run a Half-Marathon – this is a biggie and scares the crap out of me, but is also really exciting.
  • Finish working on The Cape and start revisions.

That’s it folks. What are your resolutions this year?


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The Life and Times of a Writer

It’s been a rather crazy week in the world of the Greenes. Once school starts, everything seems to take off with super hero speed. But I’ve actually been productive this week too besides scrambling just to get everything done.

Here’s what’s been taking up my time and dragging me away from my readers at my lovely blog:

1.Editing my newest piece of Southern Fiction (Southern thriller, maybe?) Little Birdhouses. I finished Chapter 5 yesterday. Slow going, but I’m finally on a schedule.


2. Trying to figure out how to eat a Dairy Queen ice cream, take a “groupie” of me and the boys, and not include my hand in the photo (I still need work on this).


3. Putting together a newsletter for you lovely people to read. You can sign up at (Also, FYI the little monkey round button at the bottom of each of my posts is a newsletter sign-up). Next one goes out 8/31/15

4. Hanging at the playground with some fun peeps:

FullSizeRender (5)

5. Writing loads of flash fiction at Finish That Thought, Micro Bookends, and Flash!Friday. Never winning, although I do have a knack for taking the special challenge winner. My day will come, I tell you!

6. Dealing with a sick Kindergartner and driving three kids to three different activities plus a day job, coordinating babysitters, and trying to figure out who is going to cook dinner.

7. Writing a Southern Literature novel with no name. How I wish I could find a name for the dang thing, but at least the words are flowing.

8. Trying to figure out Reddit so I can entertain my readers on September 20th:


9. Exercising to burn a few calories (more news soon about a collaborative Healthy Writer piece!)

10. Drinking lots of wine so I can consume the calories I just burned off.

That’s my life in a nutshell right now. Crazy busy. I’m thinking organization, calendars, and scheduling might be of use to me. These have never been my strong points, but I’m making a change (or trying to). I’m also trying to be more productive, because there is literally no time to procrastinate!

How you doing? What’s been going on in your world lately?

Did you know I wrote a book, and you have a chance to win a free copy but HURRY, because the winners will be picked on 8/31/15. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Devil Within by Lauren Greene

The Devil Within

by Lauren Greene

Giveaway ends August 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Writing, Editing, and Reading

I woke up super early today to write, edit, and possibly go for a run. I decided against the run, because my calves are hurting. I’m feeling a little bit like I should go, since it may be my only chance at exercise until Saturday. I’ll have to break out the exercise video tomorrow morning, and I hate those dreaded things.

I’m still rewriting Little Birdhouses, and I figure it will be awhile before it’s ready. I printed it off, and I’m reading it aloud and making commentary on the edges of the paper, figuring out what needs to be cut, what doesn’t make sense, etc. I’m working on Chapter Four and thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was writing in my sleep or smoking crack when I wrote this dribble. I’m also wondering how many times, “she stood” or “she nodded” needs to show up in my work. Lots of strike-throughs are littering my pages, but this is good thing because I’m making it better!


“Garden birds house” by CaliforniaCat0001

In Chapter Four, Lana (the protagonist) meets Gideon Peterson for the first time. I love this line, even though it needs a little work grammatically still, “Just like the birdhouses, I felt Gideon Peterson creep into the back of my mind and secure his place there ready to haunt me at any moment.”

Creepy huh? Romantic, maybe? Obsessive: yes. It’s funny when you’re editing and you feel like all you write is shit, and then all of a sudden there’s a redeeming sentence in the mist, and you, as the author think, “Oh yeah, maybe I really can write.”

And birds, they seem to be taking over my life despite my dislike for them. I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott right now, and I’m wondering how I’ve come so far in my writing career without reading this book. It is hilarious and true. I’m not very far into the book yet, but I just read her chapter on perfectionism and I couldn’t agree more. This is a book every writer should read along with On Writing by Stephen King.

What are some books that have made a difference in your life?

There’s still time to enter the giveaway for my newest book, The Devil Within

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Devil Within by Lauren Greene

The Devil Within

by Lauren Greene

Giveaway ends August 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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The Dreaded “R” Word: Revisions

Before I left for the Midwest Writer’s workshop, I had been working on a Southern Literature piece called Little Birdhouses. I wrote Little Birdhouses almost a year ago. It sat in a drawer gathering dust and vintage while I worked on finishing up No Turning Back and The Devil Within, and I pulled it out to start revisions in May. I’m a horrible procrastinator, as I’ve talked about before, and I didn’t get far with my revisions before wanting to stop. Something about the ending didn’t click in the correct way. It frustrated me not to know what wasn’t working!

At #MWW15, I attended Lori Rader-Day’s session on #AmEditing. When I edit, I think I tend to go for the little things first. Lori Rader-Day said there are no rules to editing but top-down editing, i.e. looking at the bigger picture, is probably the place to start first. In other words, don’t get caught up in the little things until the big things are fixed (there is a life lesson here too). The three types of editing are:

  • Structural — Also known as developmental. Big Picture. Print off your work. Read it OUT-LOUD. Look for scenes that are repeats, don’t make sense, or are in the wrong places. Look for anything that might need to be cut.If you notice smaller areas, such as line edits to be done make a comment to fix it, but do it later.
  • Line Editing — Fixing individual lines. Cutting lines that don’t make sense. Grammar.
  • Copy Editing — Proofreading. Getting ready for copy. Improve format and style of the text.

Rader-Day spoke a lot about how editing works at the publication level too. The big take-away there for me is not to be afraid to cry, but don’t let it deter you from the work to be done after you’ve used up your whole box of Kleenex.

And finally, here are Rader-Day’s FIVE HACKS for editing:

  • Pair Up With Another Writer: This helps you, as the author, to figure out what you hate about your own writing. Sometimes, we know something is missing or not working, but we can’t put our finger on what it is. Often critique partners can help point out what the missing piece is.
  • Plotters: Go through and make sure the plotting didn’t stifle the writing. (I think this is what she said, but I’m a pantser, so honestly I just wrote down the word plotter and moved on — Sorry!)
  • Pantsers: No, not someone who likes to de-pants someone, but someone who writes without outlining. A pantser may be lost in the book, so it could be helpful for them to reverse engineer and outline. This way they can see the story ARC and figure out what can happen next if they’re at a point where things aren’t working.
  • Save As: Save all your revisions as a different file, so you don’t delete something permanently that might actually work! I suggest saving to the Cloud, hard drive, and sending to your email. You want to make sure to have back-up.
  • Write Book Jacket Copy For Story: This narrows your focus and helps the author remember what they wanted to say in the book in the first place!

Do you have any editing tips that work for you? 

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Easter and Editing

This weekend, I’m going to read over the edits and send “The Devil Within” back to my editor. I must have told myself this about a thousand times as I watched the clock tick by. I didn’t literally or figuratively watch the clock. I mostly spent time with my family, because it was Easter weekend.

I am not religious, but I was raised in the church. Everyone in the south seems to be.  When Christmas and Easter come around, it’s a big deal. We had egg hunts galore, including one for my daughter’s daycare where the organizer brought an ice cream truck. Boy, that was popular! We know have candy pouring out of our ears–the dentist will be happy to see us coming soon. And we spent time with our family.

The thing is, my edits are done, but I really want to read through one more time and make sure no more changes need to be made. I’m also a hater of conflict, and there are several suggestions my editor made that I don’t agree with. I’m done procrastinating TODAY. I keep telling myself just to finish the darn editing. After all, the sooner it’s finished the sooner I can move on with edits on my other works.

Having your work edited is so hard mentally. Being a writer means you’re a creator of sorts. You create a world for your characters to live in, and when someone shoots that all down or doesn’t understand where you’re coming from. It can be quite hard to accept. It’s all part of being a writer though. Whoever said writing was easy? No one ever.

I’m glad I put editing on the back burner this weekend though, because I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my three growing kids. One day, they’re not going to want to wake up at the crack of dawn to see what the Easter bunny left. One day, Easter egg hunts are going to be things of the past. Until then, I need to enjoy these little moments.  I’ll leave you with this little gem from the weekend. I usually try to keep my personal and writing blog separate, but this photo of my middle boy is just priceless.  Happy Belated Easter!