Words and Weights

As writers, we have one tool—our body.   I first heard this nugget from Rebecca Moesta at my first Superstars. That was over three years ago, but wow, did that stick with me. And it’s true. Doesn’t mean I do anything about it, but it does make me feel guilty when I swing through the Panda Express drive-thru because I’d rather write than cook something healthy.   I have Hashimoto’s and a year ago I spent a ton of money to figure out how to manage that with food. Well, let me just tell you, that’s fricking hard. Eating healthy is hard. It’s time consuming. Seriously, in the time it takes me to make dinner, I can pound out 1500 words. Not a lot of incentive to trade out a drive thru… gotta be honest.   But I feel better when I manage my Hashimoto’s with food, and I know it. Holy cow, I can tell in one day too. If I eat crap I’m tired, my joints hurt, my eyeballs hurt (how lame is that?!) But some days that still isn’t enough to make me trade writing for cooking.   Along with all that, I just hit another birthday, but I’m feeling good about this one. I feel like I’m at the midpoint – I’ve had the first half of my life to do everything wrong and now I know all the mistakes and things not to do.   When you know better, you do better. Maya Angelou   My goal for the rest of this year (and the second half of my life!) is to screw up less when...

It’s Never Good Enough

I’m insanely deadline oriented. Honestly, I have no idea why I even bother working the other weeks out of the month. I should just stock up on Redbull’s and write for a week straight. This month, the deadline was to get the first book of my new Middle Grade series off to one of my editors, Joshua Essoe. I think I cried more than I wrote. And it wasn’t good tears of emotional turmoil alongside my character (though that did tear me up a time or two). These were honest to goodness tears of frustration and agony as I plowed through the manuscript one more time looking for any bit of it that could be salvaged among the poo of words. I hear all writers go through that at some point in their book, and for me, it’s certainly par for the course at this stage, and while I’d like to take heart that I’m on track, it’s just plain agonizing when I’m in the middle of it. I lost track of how many times I almost emailed Joshua to tell him to give my slot away, but then my rational mind would take over and I’d remember how much of a part he is to the process of putting out a polished, finished product. I’ve used Joshua for both current books in the Alterations series, and I’m not sure I can write a fantasy book without him, he’s just too keen on spotting places where I can beef up the middle, or rearrange events for maximum impact, or go deeper with descriptions, or beat my characters up more....

#MyWritingProcess [AKA: How I tripled my daily wordcount]

#MyWritingProcess   I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about #mywritingprocess, so I’m super excited that the talented, Amy Jarecki invited me to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour. Amy writes insanely hot Scottish historical novels and you can find her over at her website or on twitter   1) What am I working on? I have two answers to this question since I’m also a professional ghost when I’m not working on my own stuff. June is super exciting because I’m starting a ghostwriting project for my highest-profile client to date and wow — it’s just amazing to be writing at this level knowing my words are going to have some serious shoes to fill. Aaaaaaand that’s all I can say about that project *devilish grin* As for my own work, I have the next book in the Wunderland Series, UNDERTOW, that releases later this Fall. Six women. One bachelor. Six weeks. One boat. What could possibly go wrong? 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? I love everything about NA and the sheer diversity of such a new genre makes it easy to stand out. I think the biggest difference (that makes me the proudest) is that readers love that my heroines come in curvaceous shapes. I write normal women who don’t focus on what they look like because they’re too busy saving the world. Some are literally saving it in the case of my time-traveling heroine, Evy, and others are doing their part, like my tree-hugging hippy, Cassidy. 3) Why do I write what I do? I want to give women characters...

Nursing a Serious Hangover.

There are parties… And then there are parties!!! The Get Snowed Under Launch Party for my new NA Contemporary Romance, SNOWED UNDER was a smashing success. There were guests. And Prizes. And Books Galore!!!! Readers found new authors and amazing authors found new readers. (I’m currently draped across my couch trying to catch my breath from the two-day extravaganza!) See the Grand Prize Winner HERE And the other winners HERE Major congrats to all the winners! Because everyone had so much fun, we’re going to keep it going in the Tribe of Jen Street Team (First order of biz may be a new name! :) If you want to be a cool kid (and find out about parties, giveaways, new releases, and extra awesome), you better get your name on that list! ;) LOOK! It just so happens I have this handy sign-up right here! (I may still be punchy from the party) Name Email Opt into another list New Releases Newsletter Subscribe But along with being punchy, I’m overwhelmed by the response to this new book as well as my others. You guys make this job so much fun!!! Ciao, If you haven’t grabbed your copy of Snowed Under, you can grab it here: Amazon Smashwords (For all devices other than kindle) Read Chapter One HERE (scroll to the bottom) Share...

Are you going to get snowed under?

    I started a super fun NA series called the Wunderland Series. SNOWED UNDER is technically the second book in the series because Cassidy gets introduced in UNDERTOW which comes out later this year (There’s a sneak peek at the end of SNOWED UNDER). They totally stand alone, so you’re not missing anything, but I knew readers would want to read Cassidy’s love story. (and seriously, did you guys really expect me to do anything the normal way?? :) It’s out on Amazon already, and should be showing up on Kobo, Nook, and iBooks later today! We’re having a huge FB party for this one on MAY 3. Lots of guest authors (with goody bags!), prizes, and giveaways! COME PARTY! a Rafflecopter giveaway   SNOWED UNDER is a novella and the content may not be suitable for all audiences (The sex is super steamy :) Hippie + Logger = Enough heat to melt the fiercest Alaskan snow storm. Cassidy has life all figured out. She’s one semester away from finishing her degree and then she’s off to save Mother Earth. But first, she has to stop the planet-murdering Whetman Logging. Teague Whetman brought MIT home to the family logging business in Alaska. They’re high-tech artesian. But even his advanced technology can’t handle Cassidy’s handcuffs when she chains herself to the main saw. When a late-Spring storm hammers the little town of Bear Ridge with eighty inches of snow, Teague and Cassidy must put aside their animosity to battle a power outage, crazed wildlife, and their own attraction. SNOWED UNDER is a steamy NA contemporary romance novella in the Wunderland Series....

Change. New and exciting changes coming to the site.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi I’m not sure that quote is the right one for this topic, but it’s always been one that speaks deeply to me. I searched this entire site for the perfect “Change” quote, but there were just too many good ones, so that’s how I ended up with the Gandhi one. I wanted to take a quick second and talk about some changes that are underway here at thesurvivalmama.com and jengreyson.com and on my social media sites. While I’ve always been passionate about survival and making that fit into busy mom lives, the underlying current has always been about writing–whether writing to bring valuable content to you, or writing my novels . . . but it was never the perfect fit. Which is a lot of the reason why my blogging has fallen off as of late. But that’s bugged me. I don’t like leaving stuff hanging. I’ve felt like I let the lot of you down and I’ve wanted to get back to blogging and connecting, because I miss it. But I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t just jawwing about stupid stuff just to hear myself talk. So I didn’t blog. Over the last few months, a few things have happened. 1. I turned 40. Nothing like a killer milestone to make you reevaluate your life. Ugh. I was so not where I thought I was going to be when I turned ancient. But I’m also not where I thought I would be . . . and that’s a good thing. Turning 40 is...