Sunday, July 30, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
A few weeks ago, I started a new planner method using a Travelers Notebook (TN) and the bullet journaling (bujo) method. I thought it might be fun to explain how it all works and what my setup is.
(there's going to be a LOT of photos. If you click on them you'll be able to see them bigger)
What is a Travelers Notebook?
A TN is basically a folder that holds other notebooks inside it. They come in a ton of different sizes. Above are a few of mine...
(discussing them from left to right)
1. Websters Pages TN--brown far left
(I used this one to track the household financial stuff)
2. Chic Sparrow Sidekick-- gray
(I use this one to do long term tracking on my writing projects...it goes out several years, so I can track what I plan to do in 2019-2020, and beyond..and sometimes I'll do longterm brainstorming in it)
3. Chic Sparrow Nano's-- turquoise and lime green
(honestly I buy these little ones to check leathers before I invest in one of the big Chic Sparrows that can be rather expensive...esp if I get something that I won't like to use...a lot of people use these as little wallets and I hope to get one set up to try that soon)
(this is my main planner and the one I'll be showing you today)
The Components of my Everyday TN:
The great thing about TNs is that the whole system is interchangeable. All the books inside are held by elastic bands (you can see them in the center of the black leather below...just slide the band to the spine of the notebook in the center and it's secure...there are YouTube videos about this if you don't get how it works). So you invest a lot in the cover and just switch out the books when you finish one or are going on a trip. I love this because I like to switch up my system.
Above you can see all the components of my TN (all of these components will have a section where I explain how I use them further down below):
1. Bright pink book is a Leuchtturm1917 notebook. This is my main daily planner.
2. There are two kraft notebooks (one decorated, one not yet). These are 4 month inserts from Chic Sparrow. This is a messier place where I can jot down appointments and my book review schedule.
3. The pink flowered notebook is a place for me to track my writing goals and publishing checklists.
4. Then there is a tiny notebook in the back pocket that I use to track my book reviews obligations.
My main planner book inside my TN...
My main planner book is my Leuchtturm1917 and it was that journal that helped me decide that the A5 TN was the size for me.
And I'll admit right now that the A5 is a big planner to carry everyday.
The main reason I like the Leuchtturm1917 is that the pages are numbered and there is an index in the front. For me, that means I can jot down info about my books on any given day and be able to find it later without having to go through my entire planner (and still not find the information).
I mark book information with the stars.
The other thing that I really love about this system is the dot grid pages.
My layout is different every single day, depending on my needs for the day.
Some days have more blank space in the to-do list area. Some days have more space for me to just jot down notes. That changes for me every. single. day.
I also love this system, because it combines my art along with my planner that I carry with me everyday. Before July those were two separate planners. Now it's all in one big book.
Both the pages above are what my layouts look like when the day is complete. To see what they look like before I do any of my tasks (and have all the added notes/scribbling/page counts), all my daily layouts go up on Instagram page in the mornings when I get them complete. You can find that HERE.
NOTE: I rarely spend more than an hour doing my layout in the morning. This is a time to get me focused on what all I have to do for the day. I also spend that creative/artistic time thinking through the scenes I plan to write that day.
That's actually how my art planner originally started. It was 2 summers ago and I was missing my plotting time while I drove Kat to school and was trying to recreate that at home somehow. Mindlessly coloring rubber stamps (all the images in my planner are stamps from Unity Stamp Company) does that for me.
The calendar inserts...
Because I don't create my page layout until the day of, there are things I need to track for the longterm...appointments, my review schedule, release days, etc. For this there are two inserts that I bought from Chic Sparrow.
The outside is plain kraft cardstock, so it was fun to decorate this one. The other one isn't done yet.
They each are dated for 4 months and this is where I keep my blog schedules sorted as well as other little things that I know about before the day that I want to keep track of.
BUT this isn't a system I could ever use as my main system, because there isn't enough room there for everything I need to track daily.
(and if you look above, you'll see how desperately behind I am on all my reviews. All those books on Tuesday should have had check marks beside them LAST week...sigh.)
I do love that these come with those little flags (which I spent one day watching a webinar and watercoloring each week a different color).
My publishing checklist book...
There is nothing pretty about this notebook. This is my workhorse writing tracker. I'm in several different accountability groups that meet each week. This is where I paste all my goals associated with those.
There are three different sections in the book.
1. Quarterly goals
2. Weekly goals
3. Publishing checklists
I literally just print up what I post online and trim it to paste it into the book. So not pretty or elegant, but it's all in one place and it works.
That is an example of my publishing checklist that I made up. When I finish the first draft of a book then it moves into this process. This list goes through all that rinky-dink marketing stuff I have to create and is supposed to work so that I'm not scrambling to do it all the last week or 2 weeks before release. This is a new system, so it's not tried/true yet, but I'm hoping I can make it work to make my life easier.
If anyone is an author and wants a copy of this file (it's just a word doc...printed up two pages on a single page to make it small enough to fit into my book), drop me a comment here or send me an email with your email address and I'll send it to you.
NOTE: if you look at that notebook above, you'll notice it has washi tape down the center. That's because I discovered you cannot use cheap, glued together books in the TN system. The elastic puts too much stress on the glue binding. I fixed that in this book with my washi tape down the center of every other page. If I cared about how this book looked, that would bug me. But I don't.
But now I know...all the TN inserts need to be stitched or stapled for it to not fall apart later.
And that's my new planner system. If you have any questions or want to see something closer, ask. This is still a work in progress, but so far, I love it...although I'm eyeing another A5 Chic Sparrow cover...just waiting for some more Nanos to check out leathers first. ;)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
It's 7:00 on Thursday evening and as I type this, I have a million and a half things to go do because we're headed to Tucson tomorrow to do a quick whirlwind visit to see our son.
So, I know that I promised you a full write up of my new Bullet Journal planner and my Travelers Notebook, but I simply don't have time tonight. Next week...I really, really promise this time...pinkie promise (so you know I can't go back on it.)
But I do have a couple of other things to share with you.
Write. All. The. Words.
As of fifteen minutes ago, I hit my 50,000 word goal for the month of July (which just happens to be CampNaNoWriMo month).
The breakdown of those words...
1. 26,461 words were for KB Jacobs
2. 23,817 words were for Snowcroft Restoration
3. 542 words were added to Intertwined Hearts right before I sent it to my editor.
And the month isn't over yet.
***We should finish writing the KB Jacobs book early next week. This is book #2 in our next series...the Bookstore Love series.
***The first draft of Snowcroft Restoration should be done before the end of the month.
***And did you catch that Intertwined Hearts went to the editor?
So many books still releasing in 2017...
Bookstore Love #1 by KB Jacobs
Intertwined Hearts (Snowcroft #3)
Snowcroft Restoration (Snowcroft #4)
Smolder (Paranormal Texans novella #1)
Bookstore Love #2 by KB Jacobs
Bookstore Love #2.5 by KB Jacobs
Shiver (Paranormal Texans novella #2)
Found at the Jazz Club (Found #2.5...maybe)
All these release dates are tentative, but I think it's all do-able at this point.
Book Release News...
Secondly, did you see I had a book release this week?
The reviews have been overwhelmingly amazing for Found at the Bookstore. Thank you to each and every one of you who've already read the book and loved Stig and Ryder just as much as me.
And if you didn't catch the first book, now is your chance. Found at the Library is a Bookbub deal today...only $.99.
This is a limited time markdown, so go grab it while you can.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
It's release day for FOUND AT THE BOOKSTORE!!
After suffering a traumatic brain injury the final football game his senior year in high school, Ryder Garrett’s life was never normal again. Most days he’s happy when he can remember the way home. There’s no room in his life for romance or love, which means he’s destined to die a virgin.
Stig Minton doesn’t remember what virginity felt like. Twelve years older than Ryder, he’s been around the block too many times to count and has the scars to prove it...both physically and mentally.
But as these two men come together to help with a wedding, they forge a friendship, a friendship they both desperately need. As their relationship evolves, feelings go deeper. But is it stupid to risk this new—and, yes necessary—bond in pursuit of something that’s doomed to fail?
They both think they’re too broken to make this work. But what if they’re wrong?
Two broken souls may just be able to find reparation in one another...
Book #2 in the Found Series.
Found at the Bookstore works as a standalone.
But if you want to check out book #1 first, Found at the Library is on sale this week for only $.99.
(This week only.)
His entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront...again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.
Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow...until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not.
Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.
Life is hard, and sometimes when conflict arises you have to write your own plot twist to pull yourself out of the fray.
Note: if you're one of my m/f readers wondering if I've abandoned you, I HAVEN'T!!
This year the majority of my m/f releases are coming out as KB Jacobs writing (I'm half of that writing duo) and I think these are some of the best books I've put out. I hope you'll check them out, too.
(Click on the banner and that will link you up to the series on Amazon)
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
I had something else planned for today and then realized...
Found at the Bookstore releases this next Wednesday!!
So, I thought it was appropriate to discuss all things Found at the Bookstore this week...
How do Book #1 and Book #2 tie together?
The Found Series:
1. Found at the Library
2. Found at the Bookstore
So, Tommy (hero from book #1) is brothers with Ryder (hero from book #2). Tommy is engaged to marry Mac. Stig (Ryder's hero is book #2) is Mac's ex-boyfriend.
And that sounds almost incestuous in the mix of friends here. But Stig and Ryder barely know one another when book #2 begins. Stig is friends with both Tommy and Mac...and because Ryder is Tommy's brother, they become part of the same circle of friends.
And that friendship is one of the reasons I love this book so dang much. This is a VERY slow burn romance. They truly become friends first. Both Ryder and Stig are very broken men and they have a lot to work through before they can become more.
Gah, I love them so much. You all know my writing. I love me some angst. And going into this, if you read book #1 then you know Ryder has some issues (don't worry...both books work as stand-alones...you wont' be confused in this book if you haven't read Found at the Library first), but I was really surprised when the guys started speaking to me at just how wounded Stig is, too. All that sarcastic wit is hiding some deep feelings.
I just love them both.
Hell, let's be truthful.
I adore all four of them...
Stig Minton is a 38 year old gallery owner. He's grown up wealthy, born to a very famous artistic mother whose art was much more demanding of her time than her son.
Stig has been the playboy his entire life. He parties hard and fucks harder.
But as he's gotten older, he's realized that he wants more. He wants that Happily Ever After that everyone else seems to get. He wants someone in his bed every night. He wants someone to be with. He craves companionship and is desperately lonely.
His problem is that he doesn't know how to connect to people on an emotional level. That's led him to some dark places...and those dark places have left their mark.
Ryder used to be brilliant and talented. His senior year in high school, he was riding high...on his way to the state championship in football and he'd already received a full-ride academic scholarship to MIT when tragedy struck. His last football game of his senior year, he took a hard tackle that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for three weeks and it took a year to get his limited faculties back.
Now, 8 years later, he has good days and bad. The bad days leave him bedridden with horrific migraines and he can't even remember his name. The good days are enough to torment him with memories of the way life used to be.
He's only 26 years old and facing a lifetime of living a half-life that he simply doesn't want. But he promised his big brother Tommy that he wouldn't try suicide...again.
Yeah, Ryder isn't in a happy place most of the time.
The Art and the Research...
If you've read the first book, Found at the Library, then you know that art plays a huge part into these stories. Found at the Bookstore is no different. Like Tommy, Ryder is an artist, although it's not something he discovered until after his brain injury.
His recovery, such that it was, took a long time. For almost a year after his TBI, Ryder was non-vocal. Tommy bought him a camera to help him interact with the world.
That camera and the photographs he takes has developed into another art form that Ryder can only explore when his brain is glitching (what he calls it when his brain goes "offline").
It's a really interesting and bizarre phenomenon. The reasons for it are explained in the book, but the inspiration for that came from my research. Traumatic Brain Injuries are difficult just because the brain is such a complex organ. And the fact of the matter is, that no two brains work exactly alike. TBI's are the same way. They affect everyone differently.
One book that I found very enlightening was this one...
The Ghost in my Brain by Clark Elliott, PhD
Preorder Links and an Excerpt...
Ryder Garrett watched as Mac, his brother’s boyfriend, got down on one knee in front of the bookstore crowd and proposed to his brother, Tommy. Gasps sounded out from the crowd. Happiness...tinged with something a little sadder...tightened his throat. Mac was awesome for his brother. In the past year, he’d watched the two of them flourish in their love.
Ryder glared down at his wheelchair. This was not flourishing. The strength in his left side came and went, but lately, it seemed to be more absent than not. He was twenty-six years old and looking at another fifty to seventy years like this—miserable, trapped, alone...
He should be thrilled for Tommy’s happiness. Instead, he was making it all about himself. Shit, he was pathetic. No girl would ever want him as long as he was wallowing. Who had he become? Ryder Garrett did not wallow. He conquered. He charmed. He owned his own happiness despite life’s bumps and trials. He overcame. At least, that was what everyone thought who listened to him speak on his inspirational circuit.
That was the only thing that had kept him going the last eight years since a football accident and a traumatic brain injury sidelined his life. Inspiring others was his life work now. But his ever-cheerful outlook on life was waning, more and more, day by day.
The happy, congratulating group around his brother and fiancé was finally beginning to thin where Ryder could maneuver his wheelchair around the crowded bookstore. He headed toward the front where the two guys were all smiles.
Tommy met his gaze while he nodded and shook hands with the trio of men talking to him and Mac. Happiness literally glowed from him.
Ryder gave a small wave and signaled he would meet Tommy over at the coffee shop. Ryder detoured to that side of the store. But as he rolled up to the crowded, small cafe, he sighed. Never mind. He didn’t need coffee that bad.
With the crowds here to see his brother’s fiancé, Mac, a famous science fiction author, there was no way he’d get in there with his bulky wheelchair. His shoulders drooped.
But then a voice whispered across his ear, “Salted caramel latte, right?”
Stig. He hadn’t even seen Tommy and Mac’s friend here, but it made sense that he’d come tonight.
He turned to take in the friendly expression of one of Mac’s closest friends. Stig Minton was one of those guys. He had a personality bigger than life echoed by his shockingly bleach-blond hair and quick wit. He was always ready with a sarcastic or suggestive remark, but Ryder got the feeling there was a lot more behind that easy smile and attitude than Stig let on.
“That would be great. Thanks.” Ryder twisted his hips to grab his wallet and shoved his planner into the pocket on the side of his wheelchair. “Here, let me give you some money.”
Stig waved him off. “No, don’t worry about it. I got it. Why don’t you go grab us that free table before someone else claims it?” He gestured toward the empty table in the corner.
Ryder hadn’t seen the empty table off to the side with all the people standing around. He began rolling that direction when a hipster dude skirted around his wheelchair and slid into one of the empty chairs.
Just perfect. Ryder scowled at the jerk for a moment, but the guy ignored the force of his glare. And he couldn’t blame him. Seriously, it wasn’t like he could be intimidating when he was in his chair like this.
Unfortunately, there was nowhere else for him to go. There was simply no room to maneuver in here with the crowd. People repeatedly jostled his chair as they tried to slide around the bulky piece with mumbled apologies. Ryder gritted his teeth in annoyance as another person bumped him. He shouldn’t have come, no matter how much he wanted to be here for Tommy and Mac’s moment.
Ryder sucked in a breath as telltale spots began to encroach on his vision, a precursor to what was sure to be one hell of a migraine. He closed his eyes and rubbed, hoping that stress had made him imagine the tiny black dots. But nope, when he opened his eyes, they were still there, taking up even more of his vision. He had to get out of here before it hit him full force with all the fun of puking and the disappearance of his ability to think straight—or as straight as his mind ever worked anymore.
He frantically looked around for a familiar face, but he didn’t see anyone, so he began pushing his way toward the doors. He knocked into people as he went, but he was past the point of caring.
The pain finally slammed into him, swift and brutal, and he still hadn’t made it to the door. This had snuck up on him too quickly. He wasn’t prepared. He needed help. He fumbled for his phone, but along with the fog of pain came the inability to make his fingers hold his phone.
He dropped it, and someone walking past kicked it. It disappeared beneath a bookcase. He closed his eyes and swallowed back the nausea.
He had no idea how much time had passed when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Ryder, are you okay,” a deep voice rumbled with concern.
He looked up into a stranger’s face. He should know this man, but with his head in the migraine fog, nothing connected.
“Home. I need”—he swallowed against his thick, dry tongue—“to go home.”
“Okay.” The gorgeous man with bleach-blond hair and dark, concerned eyes cupped his shoulder.
Ryder couldn’t get his brain to process any of this. He could see the guy’s worry but didn’t understand the reason for it.
“Let me just find your brother,” the man said.
“No!” Ryder didn’t know why it mattered. The pain in his head thrummed with a beat so loud it was hard to think, to process. He couldn’t quite access that part of his brain anymore, but something about today was important. He wouldn’t ruin it for Tommy...not again. “Can text. Home. Please.”
His ability to vocalize slipped further and further away from his grasp.
Okay, so that's it from me today.
Don't forget, Found at the Bookstore releases next week on Wednesday. I hope you all are as excited as me. The reviewers are loving it. So, if you're still debating it, go check out the Goodreads page.
Have a great week everyone!
I'll be back next Friday with a Friday Five post all about my new way for planning...and introducing you to my new bullet journaling system.