Reflections on the Old Year

On New Year’s Eve 2014, I wrote a list of goals that I wanted to achieve in 2015. It totaled over forty items, spanning four sheets (single-side) from a small, ruled notebook. I sealed that list in an envelope and scrawled “TO BE OPENED ON DEC. 31, 2015” across the front and the seal of the envelope. I tucked the sealed list in a journal and went about my business.

Yesterday, I opened that envelope and went through the list, checking off those things that I accomplished and making notes otherwise (e.g., maybe I accomplished part of a goal, or the goal needed to be modified during the year). Sadly, I didn’t check off most of my list, though I was proud of those things I did (the year wasn’t a total wash!). Among those was:

–Established a business banking account
–Found an accountant that specialized in small businesses
–Set up my author website
–Did book signings at independent bookstores
–Guest blogged on a site
–Got new glasses & a fresh supply of contact lenses
–Regularly exercised 3 times/week
–Wrote more handwritten letters, which of course led to
–Getting new stationery 🙂
–Got a new winter coat (not that I’ve had much occasion to wear it, what with temperatures being in the 60s & 70s for most of November and December 2015)
–Got more involved in my college alumni association and local chapter of the alumni club.

I also achieved some goals that I hadn’t listed, such as having my sports articles published in major, national publications such as Sports Illustrated (via The Cauldron on Medium) and Ms. magazine, and other articles published elsewhere around the web WOOT!  I was fortunate to make some cool connections with some like-minded folks in both the same and different industries, and I’m looking forward to our collaborations in the upcoming year.

I tried some new things and failed (applied for writing grants and submitted short stories to two publications), but got positive, valuable feedback that will set me up for success when I try again (and I was actually encouraged by The Powers That Be at each organization and publication to try again. How cool is that?).

Even those goals that weren’t accomplished were valuable. For some, they were only partially completed (I wanted to publish four books last year, but only did two: The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic and Stormbringer. That’s still better than zero. I also released BFC: Dominic and a previous book, Blizzard, in mass market paperback formats.).

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This a speculative fiction novel (a new genre for me!), written under the pen name Tai Daniels

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This is the second installment in the Bastille Family Chronicles series

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Now avaolable in mass market paperback, only on my website, tiffscribes.com

For others, they gave me an insight as to the work that was still to be done in order to check them off my list. Some goals were too vague, and some were too specific and didn’t allow for the twists and turns of life.

Still others became no longer relevant in retrospect, and these uncompleted goals are the ones to which I’m paying more attention. Their lack of relevancy to my life is forcing me to closeer inspect them and discover alternate routes that may be better suited to my needs.

Oprah Winfrey is often quoted as saying “Man’s rejection is God’s protection.” While some of my goals weren’t reached due to personal error, others weren’t due to circumstances beyond my control. There may be a reason for this, and that reason may be that Goal X isn’t what I really need–or, upon reexamination, what I really want. Not reaching those goals may have been a divine form of protection, and it’s up to me to figure out if this is true, and the way forward if it is indeed true. And for those unrealized goals that were my fault, having a long, hard look at some harsh truths is the best way to garner progress. As the Twelve Steppers say, admitting a problem is the first step. 🙂

Though 2015 didn’t shape up to be all that I hoped it would, the year ended up a lot better than 2014 was, for which I am truly grateful. I’m excited and optimistic for 2016, and I’m looking forward to opening the sealed envelope of goals that is now inscribed, “TO BE OPENED ON DEC. 31, 2016”.

Happy New Year, all, and thanks for stopping by.

CYBER WEEK SALE: 50% off ERRYTHANG!

AAAAAAGGGHHHHH! This was supposed to have been sent on MONDAY, but when I switched from “draft” to “publish” on the WordPress app, I guess the app/phone interface didn’t get the memo. Grrrr…

Anyway, here is the original post that SHOULD have gotten to you a few days ago. *sigh*

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Hi all,

I haven’t blogged in a long while because I was dealing with an ill family member, NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, and the imminent publication of my fourth book.

Well, the family member is better, I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo this year (only got to 27K words), T-Day is over, and my fourth novel, Stormbringer, is out as of today. WOOT!

Since it’s that time of the year where everyone and their grandmother is offering a sale, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon. 🙂

Here ya go: my biggest. sale. EVER.

50% off (yeah, I said it), all titles through my website. Yes, that includes my newest book, Stormbringer.  Enter code CYBERTIFF at checkout.

You can find details in the latest email that went out to my mailing list (and if you aren’t on my mailing list, then what are you waiting for?)

http://eepurl.com/bHIIdL

This sale is going on all week through Saturday, 12/5. Free U.S. shipping on all orders of $10 & up. How cool is that?

For those of you who wanted to try my books but were frugally conscious, now’s your chance! And did I mention that I now offer the mass market versions of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic and Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott novel? The regular price for those is $8.00 each; if you buy them this week, you can get them for $4 each.  That’s two for the price of one, which is a pretty good incentive to buy both. 😀 And the larger paperbacks, which are $14.95 each, can now be had for about $7.50! At this price, you can get all the titles and stock up for your holiday reading.

Oh, what a bargain! What a bargain for you!

And did I also mention that the books come autographed? And that they make great gifts? Just saying.

The offer is only good through my website, and ends at 11:59 pm ET on Saturday, December 5. Remember to use the code CYBERTIFF at checkout. Come through and gitchu a piece.

Thanks for stopping by.

I’m doing a HUGE book giveaway!

Hi all,

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I am collaborating with Black Girl Nerds to do a HUGE book giveaway! That’s right, I am giving away each of my three books, in both electronic and paperback format:

The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille [Bastille Family Chronicles #1] (BTW: email me at tiffscribes [at] gmail to get a FREE e-book copy, from now through May 27!)**

Camille ebook cover

The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic [Bastille Family Chronicles #2]

BFC Dominic cover ebook

Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott Novel [Sebastian Scott #1]

Blizzard_Cover_for_Kindle

Simply visit Black Girl Nerds daily from now until May 27 (next Wednesday) to make an entry. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

And don’t forget to email me at tiffscribes [at] gmail to get your FREE e-book copy of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille** (now through May 27)

Please spread the word, and thanks for stopping by.

**DISCLAIMER: by emailing me to receive a free e-book copy of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, you are consenting to be added to my mailing list. You may unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time. 

DOMINIC IS HERE! Let’s celebrate with a special sales deal!

Drum roll, please…

The second installment of The Bastille Family Chronicles is here! WOOT!

BFC Dominic cover ebook

(BTW: the title is not missing: it’s on the spine. Chuck Palahniuk used a similar setup for his novel Haunted.)

The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic is the story of Dominic Bastille, a transplant surgeon and one-half of the youngest Bastille siblings (he has a twin sister, Nicollette. Look for her story this summer). Dominic has relocated from Newark, New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia for a unique professional opportunity. Unfortunately for him, his past has caught up with him…in the form of his ex-fiancee, Cecily Porter. Three years post-engagement and Cecily still isn’t over Dominic; to make matters worse, Dominic has hired Taryn McIntyre, a very brilliant and attractive game developer, to help him with his medical research, which tends to integrate a lot of technology with commonplace medical procedures and training. Of course, Dominic and Taryn start a personal relationship in addition to the business one. But Cecily is not done with Dominic..and she plays for keeps.

Read an excerpt from The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic

This was more fun to write than The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, and that’s saying something!

Read an excerpt from The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille

In the original draft of BFC: Dominic, Taryn was a freelance journalist who specialized in healthcare, and met Dominic when she was assigned to interview him for a new healthcare magazine. But I didn’t want to be accused of writing about a thinly-disguised version of myself (I worked in healthcare for years, once upon a time, and I’m a writer, so there’s that), so I changed her to a game developer. I liked this version of Taryn better because I have interacted with quite a few female gamers and game developers on Twitter, and I am also a fan of Back Girls Code and Women Who Code. These ladies deserve some literary shine, and I hope I did them justice. I also wanted Dominic to have a romantic relationship with someone who isn’t necessarily like the women he usually dates. Taryn, with her shoulder-length, bi-colored dreadlocks (I use the term “locs” in the book) eyebrow ring, and sleeve of tattoos is not the type of woman Dominic usually goes for. Plus, she’s smarter and makes more money…definitely not Dominic’s usual wheelhouse. 🙂

While this is technically Dominic’s story, I explored some issues that have been going on with women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields in general, as well as entrepreneurs. Taryn is in the minority regarding her viewpoints on life and her priorities…read the book to find out exactly how.

Check it out: in honor of the release of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic, I am doing a sale special: if you purchase the paperback from my website (which is autographed, BTW), you get the ebook FREE! How cool is that? Use code EBOOK at checkout to get the free ebook. This deal also applies to The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (BFC #1) and Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott novel (which I wrote under a pen name and is more of a suspenseful book. It is centered around Brooklyn-born, Trinidadian-raised, San Francisco-based DEA Special Agent Sebastian Scott, who was introduced in BFC Camille).

Read an excerpt from Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott Novel

Camille ebook cover  Blizzard_Cover_for_Kindle

In order to get this book/ebook deal, you HAVE to purchase the book from my website; the code doesn’t work on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Can’t choose? Check out the starter pack, which includes BFC Camille and Blizzard, since they are the first books in their respective series. Good bargain!

To recap: Buy paperback from website. Use code EBOOK at checkout. Get free ebook. Lather, rinse, repeat. 🙂 Ebooks are also available for separate purchase in epub (Apple, NOOK, Kobo, Google) and Kindle formats.

Please spread the word, and #SupportINDIEWriters. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.  Feel free to drop me a line with your comments about the novel(s). Got Twitter? Speak your piece with the hashtag #BFCDominic (or #BFCCamille, or #SebastianScott ).

As always, thanks for stopping by.

One wall, coming up: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 10

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,769

Today’s blog count: 11

Total words written: 19,347

Total blog posts: 11

 

I am exhausted.

I just released my second book, Blizzard, today. Normally, I don’t write anything for at least a month (or, at the bare minimum, two weeks) after I finish a book. I use that time to mentally recharge, and I do everything but write: read, watch movies, catch up on TV shows, play video games. I admit to thinking about my next book, and I may take notes for future reference (on a note application on my smartphone, NOT my laptop), but that’s usually as far as it goes.

Now, due to my commitment to NaNoWriMo, I’m still writing in what would normally be my mental vacation. I didn’t realize how much of a toll it was taking until I had to literally push myself to reach my word quota for today. As in, writing and checking my word count every few hundred words, and pep-talking myself into finishing. “You can do it…good, you’ve gotten started…ou’re halfway through today’s quota…only six hundred more words…only 350 more words…only 200 more words…”

I’ve written a bit over my daily word count since I started NaNoWriMo this y ear, and it has been so tempting to just blow off today’s writing. But I know that if I do that, I’ll be tempted to blow off tomorrow…and maybe the next day…and then my vacation mindset will creep in and take over, and I won’t finish this year’s NaNoWriMo. Last year was the first time in seven years that I’d finished and “won” NaNoWriMo, and I’d like to continue that trend this year. So I’ll try to keep pushing myself to write, and hopefully I’ll drag myself across the finish line…with 50K words.

Also, this is my second post today for NaBloPoMo (the first was earlier today, about my book release).  Can I get extra credit?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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BLIZZARD: A SEBASTIAN SCOTT NOVEL IS HERE!

We interrupt the postings about NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo to bring you this important message:

 

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My new book, Blizzard, drops today! *hits my Nae Nae* Since it’s a different genre, I’ve written it under a pen name, Tee Emdee (I have an author page for that pen name on Amazon and everything!).

I’ve been working on this before and during NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo, and it’s finally out to the masses…just in time for some holiday reading (Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving…it also makes a nice Christmas or Hanukkah gift! 😀 )

For those of you who’ve read The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally known as The Camille Chronicles), I introduce DEA Special Agent Sebastian Scott as a character who ends up playing  a crucial part in the resolution of the story. However, Blizzard takes place about five years prior to the events in The Camille Chronicles, when he was stationed in San Francisco.

From the blurb on the back:

MEET THE FAMILY.

Fresh on the heels of a major drug bust of the designer drug Blizzard, Special Agent Sebastian Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration takes a long overdue trip home to Brooklyn, New York for a family reunion. What starts out as a pleasant gathering of his large, tightly knit Trinidadian family takes a dark turn as Nigel Pierre, Sebastian’s least favorite cousin, is arrested for possessing some Blizzard of his own. Out of his jurisdiction and with limited time and without his usual resources, a reluctant Sebastian must navigate family dynamics while he finds a creative way to clear his cousin’s name–without his family driving him crazy in the process.

I had a lot of fun revisiting this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook.

Want to try Sebastian Scott with little commitment? Check out the short story Undercover: A Sebastian Scott story. Only 99 cents!

Tell a friend or three. And thanks for stopping by!

Under The Wire: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 9

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,745

Today’s blog count: 9

Total words written: 17,578

Total blog posts: 9

I squeaked my word count under the wire today, as I spent most of my day preparing for tomorrow’s release of my new novel, Blizzard. I spun off a character from my previous book, The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, and gave him his own story. I hope audiences enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today’s writing on Fertile Ground (for NaNoWriMo) included more dialogue, where the two main characters were trying to sort through the puzzle pieces of their situation in order to figure out what was going on. I’m trying to figure out where I want them to go next: the plot will logically flow into the discovery portion, where the characters do some digging to either bolster their theories, or debunk them. I have to figure out how to get that done.

I’m not thinking of anything right now except going to bed; my mind is tired.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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