Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Mix-It-Up Under the Tree

The time has come where the Southern Girls of Okay Listen Here are mostly published and moving in various directions, multitasking like no other time before.  It’s been an incredible journey together, learning and growing, laughing and thrilling together in the written word.  Being the newest voice under the tree, I had to go back and look at what all has happened over the years.  And le’me tellya, Cher!  What wonderful times have been had underneath this tree!  Stories of Precious Angel and Oldest Friend, Book Reviews and talk of cereal, fabulous Friday Recipes, tales of the High Seas and Pirates and Gators, and Barn Tales and Ghost Stories, too!  And then along came my voice of wacky to throw into the mix this past year.  We’ve laughed a lot and made new friends along the way.  Yes.  It has been wonderful!  

But now with Alicia Hunter Pace (aka Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones) and Katherine Bone published and touring other blogs and manning websites and such…not to mention writing more stories to entertain us all… well, it’s time to heed the changing season and mix it up a bit here on the bench.  

Starting this week, we’re going to post blogs on a need basis rather than every day of the week, Monday thru Friday.  In other words, when we need to step under the tree and say something (of great importance, no doubt!), we’ll blog and let you know by way of our usual social groups, Facebook and such.  We don’t want you to miss one beat of what’s going on with us in the world, be it publishing or our day-to-day happenings. 

So followers, thank you for reading our words, encouraging us, laughing together with us and supporting us on our journey into the world of books.  We are each so very thankful for your support and interaction.  Watch and be ready though!  I know there will be more stories to share very soon!  In the meantime, please find Alicia Pace Hunter and Katherine Bone at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Crimson Romance  You are just going to LOVE their books!   And if you want to help, “Like” their titles at such places as Amazon, Goodreads, and Pinterest to spread the word.  Shout it out and let the world know there are a few Southern writers new to the publishing world having their say!    

Happy reading, y’all!  See you soon, right here under the tulip tree…..

Monday, December 3, 2012


I have not had much trouble balancing my responsibilities in years—until lately. Every writer works, waits, and prays that one day she will be able to say, "I'm on deadline." But it's a double edged sword. It means that finally, finally someone has bought your book on proposal, but you have signed a contract promising to have that book finished by a certain time.

Stephanie and I are there. That certain time is January 1. I have been terrified that we won't get done. And what would happen? Well, surely our editor would call all the other editors in the known world and say, "Jean and Stephanie, writing as Alicia Hunter Pace, did not get done. Put them on THE LIST." And everyone knows what the THE LIST is. It's the roster of people who never get to publish another book. Not only that, they have had their computers, legal pads, pens, and that old dusty Smith-Corona typewriter in the attic taken away. No more writing. And that is worse than no more publishing.

So all I did was write, worry, and fret because my house was dirty and I needed to do some things to begin to get ready for Christmas. Then I realized I was doing more worrying and fretting (which is the same thing in my internal dictionary, no matter what Daniel Webster thought) than I was writing.

I don't function well when my house is not in order. It messes with me. I can't help it.

It was time to call on my old friend Logic. I got out that handy dandy plot chart that Stephanie insisted that we make. I figured out we lacked four scenes—two pretty long, one medium, and one short. They would all have a lot of dialogue because that's how we roll. Add on a little epilogue and done. Though we are not tied to a word count, I reckoned we lacked about 9 thousand words.

I have never been one to look at how many words I write in a day. Lots of writers do. They even have goals. I don't know why I don't care about that. I just write and hope for the best. But now I wondered.

So I did a little figuring. On a good unrushed day, I can write 2000-2500 words. That's after I edit the previous days writing, which I always, always do.

I finally faced what Stephanie had been trying to tell me all along: We were not in trouble. So, last Friday, I did not write. I cleaned my house, went to lunch with Oldest Friend, conned Oldest Friend into helping me finish decorating the front of my house for Christmas. That night, I took my niece to eat at Red Robin and to see Breaking Dawn. Over the weekend, The Guy and I got a tree, set it up, and got boxes out of the attic. We went to church, to lunch, a party, and played D&D. Most important, we watched our team win the SEC Championship. (Roll Tide and National Championship, here we come!)

And all the while—well maybe not during that intense game—, I played in my head what I would write today. I am ready to roll. It's going to be a great writing day.

Did you have to learn balance or does it come natural?