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Fun, sexy reads

Fun, sexy reads

Looking for fast-paced, sexy romantic suspense with military heroes? Blind Fury (#1) is a hot friends-to-lovers story in D.C. Blind Ambition (#2) is a sexy, second-chance romance on the run in the Caribbean.

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Scrivener Training for Everyone

Scrivener Training for Everyone

Need help with Scrivener? I provide Scrivener training to individuals and groups all over the world through online courses, in-person workshops, and private training sessions.

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Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

A great reference for new and experienced Scrivener users, a guide to software and apps that help with productivity, and essays on every facet of writing from the Writer Unboxed contributors.

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Tracking Progress in Scrivener up at Writer Unboxed

progress bar with work in progress written by hand

Despite the craziness of landing in a new town and house hunting last week, I managed to get my latest post written for Writer Unboxed on time. (Yes, I probably should have written it long before the move so I wouldn’t have to stress.)

What I failed to do was let you know about it! If you’ve ever wanted to know how to set manuscript and writing session goals and track your progress toward them in Scrivener, this post is for you.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Enjoy!

image of boxes in basement

A graduation, a retirement, and a(nother) move

image of graduation ceremony

If it seems like I’ve been a bit distracted lately, I have. Life’s been busy at Casa de Hernandez, pretty much for the last year.

In March of 2015, my husband was preparing for a September deployment to Afghanistan for six months when the Air Force said, “Never mind, we need you in Florida in three weeks instead.” Cue the scramble, and the complete upending of all of our summer travel plans. And, of course, a small celebration that he’d be staying Stateside (though I’m pretty sure some part of him was disappointed at the location change).

We’re good at adjusting course on short notice, finding adventure in the unexpected. Some people are adrenaline junkies who find their joy by jumping out of planes, climbing Meru, or surfing 30-foot waves. We like to travel and explore, and move. (Good thing, right?)

image of boxes in basement

And, while it’s been fun letting the Air Force pick where we go, exploring places we might never otherwise get to know, we’re finally in a position to choose for ourselves.

This month, our youngest graduated from high school and my husband retired from the military. So, we’re off to California. Sacramento, for now, while my husband goes back to school, with an eye toward moving to the coast in a few years.

image of moving boxes in living room

Yes, I’m still working on my next two Scrivener courses. Yes, I’m still working on Men of Steele #3. All are coming along slower than I’d planned, but the classes will be live by the end of summer, and I intend to have MoS3 out before the end of the year.

For the next few weeks, though, I’ll be filling up my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages with pictures from our cross-country trip and some new adventures. Feel free to follow along and share your own.

Got any fun plans for summer?

Minute Man statue

The study of Mass (Cape Ann, Cape Cod, Concord)


Rockport, MA (Cape Ann)
Rockport, MA (Cape Ann)

I’m an explorer at heart, so living in such a history- and beauty-rich place as Massachusetts has been fabulous. But now that I only have five weeks (!) until we hit the road for our post-Air Force adventure in California, I’ve been trying to visit a few more places on my must-see list before we leave.

Last weekend my husband and I jogged around Cape Ann (part of our training for an upcoming half marathon) through Gloucester and Rockport. I loved the seaside views, the inviting and walkable main streets, and the beautiful homes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of pictures because I didn’t want to stop every three minutes (because running) and it was drizzling most of the time.

house with buoys
Gloucester, MA
Rockport beach access
Rockport beach access
lobster traps on restaurant roof
Lobster traps on the roof are a thing on seafood restaurants around here…

On Sunday hubby and my youngest son took me to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod for Mother’s Day. So much fabulous ocean time in one weekend! And New England—parts of it anyway—is just so darn quaint. That’s one thing I’ll definitely miss.

buoys for sale in Ptown
door in Ptown
Pilgrim monument in P-Town
Pilgrim monument in P-Town
buoys on pier
Are you sensing a theme yet? Pier in P-Town.
beach in Ptown
Gwen at Herring Cove Beach
At Herring Cove Beach
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore

Another example of a nice downtown is Concord. On Tuesday, my writer friend Maura Troy came up from Connecticut for the day and we walked the town. Since I’ve already been to the Thoreau and Alcott homes and Walden Pond, we toured Old Manse (Ralph Waldo Emerson’s family home) and the Old North Bridge battle area where “the shot heard ’round the world” marked the first victory for the colonists on the opening day of the Revolutionary War. (The “shot heard ’round the world” was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Concord Hymn, a poem that’s engraved on the statue “Minute Man” at Old North Bridge, which was in his family’s backyard.)

Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia rented Old Manse for three years early in their marriage, and literally left their mark on the place. Sophia liked to record interesting moments by inscribing them into the glass window panes with her diamond wedding ring. Seems kind of rude to me—especially for a renter—but it’s cool from a historical perspective. Hawthorne was inspired to write Mosses from an Old Manse here, which inspired the home’s name.

emerson's desk
Emerson’s desk, which he often took outside to write
Hawthorne's desk facing the wall. It ratchets up and down to change height.
Hawthorne’s desk facing the wall. It ratchets up and down to adjust the height and angle.
writing on the window
Sophia Hawthorne’s writing on the window
fire buckets
Every family had to have their own fire buckets and respond to a neighbor’s fire or risk a fine
Old North Bridge looking west across the Concord River
Old North Bridge looking west across the Concord River, and the Battle of Concord monument
Concord river view
View across the Concord River from the backyard of Old Manse
Minute Man statue
Statue “Minute Man” by Daniel Chester French (sculptor of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.)

Up next before we move: Whale Watching! And a few other adventures.

Are there any places near where you live that you want to/really should visit? Make a plan to do it this summer!

Writing without Distractions in Scrivener (and moving!)

full screen composition mode with image

Scrivener’s full screen composition mode is one of my favorite ways to stay in the zone when writing or editing. In case you missed it, I wrote an article all about it for Writer Unboxed last weekend. Please stop by and check it out.

I hope May is treating you well. We’re finally starting to see spring here in Boston. A bit late for my taste, but the warm weather should come much earlier for me next year because we’re moving to Sacramento this summer after my husband retires from the Air Force! I’ll share more soon. 🙂

No foolin’ (and cute babies)

man with kick me sign on his back

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day. Not because I don’t have a sense of humor or like to have fun. I just don’t enjoy when that fun comes at the expense of someone else. Who wants to feel like an idiot because they fell for someone’s “dire” news, or thought the plastic spider in their shower was real? Not me.

I did try to prank my dog. I told her there’d be no more afternoon walks or Kong toys filled with peanut butter. She called my bluff.

In case you get pranked today, here are some cute babies to cheer you up.

By the way, if you’re a BookBub fan, I finally got my author page ready to go, and now you can follow me on BookBub to find out about new releases.

Of course, I also announce new releases in my newsletter, at Amazon, on all of my social media sites, and here on the blog. So, you’re covered.

And no foolin’, I will have another Men of Steele book out this year. Maybe even two if the big move to Sacramento this summer doesn’t mess me up too much. Promise.

May your day be prank free and your weekend glorious!

Conferences. Podcasts. Fun.

Create Something Magical conference banner

One of the fun things I get to do every year is give in-person workshops on Scrivener to writing groups and at conferences. I don’t have many booked yet for 2016 because we’re moving from Boston to Sacramento this summer, but this weekend I’ll be at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference in Iselin, NJ to present two Scrivener workshops.

If you’re in the area, the book fair/signing on Saturday from 4-6pm at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin is open to the public. I’ll have copies of Scrivener For Dummies, Blind Fury, and Blind Ambition on hand, and there’ll be lots of other great authors too. I’d love to see you there!

Also, if you’re a fan of podcasts, I was recently a guest on the Writing Renegade podcast hosted by Carl Plumer. I talked. He talked. We both talked at the same time. 😉 It was fun. We discussed Scrivener, writing romance, a bit about self-publishing, and book covers. And it’s not too long. Just shy of 30 minutes. Check it out if you get a chance.

By the way, if your group or conference would like a Scrivener workshop, either live or via video, please contact me.

Have a fun St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and a fabulous weekend!

Springing forward

Daylight Saving Time

If you live in a part of the U.S. that follows Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to move your clocks forward today!

Despite the loss of an hour, I love this sudden leap into later sunsets. In fact, I kind of wish we stayed on DST all year round because winter could definitely use longer evenings. But I know the early risers bemoan the return to dark mornings (at least for the month or so it takes for sunrise to catch back up). 😉

I’m not sure changing the clocks works for its intended purpose of saving energy. It’s probably time to scrap the whole concept, but since my day just got longer, I’m not complaining.

Do you like DST (or your country’s version of it, if you have one) or do you think we should stay on Standard time?