Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's Stopping You?

Let’s say you’ve decided on a project. You have all the tools and materials you need to complete this project. You have set aside the time needed and you’ve done your research so you can move forward. Nothing is stopping you. You’re prepared. And it’s going to be great. Ready?

It’s go time!

Wait, what happened?

Why are you stalling? What’s keeping you from completing the project? Oh…YOU are.


How many times has this happened to you? An idea comes to you and you’re psyched. You jot down the information, figure out what it’s going to take to complete, and get all pumped up to do it. Maybe you even tell other people about this fantastic project. You’ve got the visual in your mind of how it will look when it’s done. But even after all of that time and preparation, all the planning and dreaming, you aren't any closer to completion.

Don't sabotage yourself. Don't be the one standing in your own way. Be cautious of all the little signs that try and veer you off your path to success. They're bright and pretty and sparkly and sound a lot more fun than doing work ever will. We all want to have some fun in our day, and we should incorporate fun in our day, but even that has to have a limit. We owe it to ourselves to keep moving forward and working toward our goals. We owe it to ourselves to do what we're passionate about.

There will always be times when life puts up road blocks. You can’t plan for every crisis. Maybe you have health issues you have to work around. Perhaps a family member came down with a cold or the flu. Maybe your spouse gets laid off from work. Perhaps Mother Nature decides to have her say. Interruptions are a part of life. Teach yourself how to make use of the time that you have. Don't wait for the time. Make any time productive.

If you have only fifteen minutes to spend on the project a day, then make those fifteen minutes valuable. Give those fifteen minutes all of your attention. Baby that fifteen minutes. In as little as fifteen minutes a day, every day, eventually you will complete that project. If you can spend fifteen minutes on the phone, watching TV, playing a game, hitting the snooze button, reading emails, getting off track while researching, or sitting down thinking about how much you don’t want to do something…you have that time.

If you’ve been wondering how you’re going to fit in the time to write when you already have a busy schedule, then set aside smaller increments of time. If it means setting a timer and making yourself write for a minimum of fifteen minutes without distractions in order to get your writing done for the day, then set that timer and have at it. If it means getting up fifteen minutes earlier, then it may be worthwhile.

Say you can type 1,000 words in fifteen minutes. In seven days you could have 7,000 words of your story written. Over time these words add up.

Say you want to build a cabinet or clean out your closet. Don’t make the decision to try and do it all in one day. The task will seem too big and you’ll talk yourself right out of it. It’s easy to do. But by breaking it up into smaller bits of time, you may surprise yourself how much you can accomplish.

If you want something bad enough, you’ll make the time. You’ll never find time, but you can make it, and you can make it work for you.

Do you have a spare fifteen minutes in your day? What can you fill it with?

~Ann Cory

Monday, May 30, 2011

Strengths and Weaknesses

This weekend I updated my strength chart.

What’s a strength chart? A visual chart of my strengths and weaknesses to show me the areas I need to work on. I actually have two separate charts. One is personal and the other is professional. I’m going to focus on my professional chart today.

When I first made the chart, I had a longer list of weaknesses than strengths. Over time the weakness list has decreased. But that's okay, I don't mind having weaknesses. They give me a goal to strive toward.

In life, we are students forever. We can learn and grow each day. We can better ourselves all the time. If you want to try a new career or write in a new genre, or develop new healthy habits through diet and exercise, you take the time to learn. You study, research, and analyze. You create processes<---that's for my hubby, record data, test theories, and put forth the action. You find what works, what doesn't work, and where to improve. We can always improve.

I spend time each day learning something new. I study my craft, read books on the business of writing, research, look up new ways to plot and develop. My brain is a total sponge and loves to absorb everything. I would do well on a game show about random facts and tidbits.

Each of us can list a number of strengths, skills, and talents. Some of my strengths on my chart include: coming up with catchy titles, writing short stories, quick learner, fast typer, constant supply of creative ideas, determination, passion, perseverance, wit, motivational, and writing sensual tension.

And while it's wonderful to focus only on strengths, it's just as important to pay attention to weaknesses. I choose one area of weakness each month and work on it until it’s on my strength chart. This can be areas of grammar, character development, world building, complex plots, or passive voice.

You'd think at some point my weakness chart will be blank. But no...I'm human, I'm not perfect, nothing comes easy for me, and I'm a student for life. There are always areas I can work and improve. A chart is a great visual to show me where to work, and keep me balanced.

Do you keep track of your strengths and weaknesses? What are some areas you'd like to improve?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fabulosity!

It's time for Friday Fabulosity!

Each Friday I plan to post about some fabulosity that I encountered during the week -whether it's wine, movies, food, books, favorite or new to me authors, and well-whatever strikes me as pretty fabulous. So, let's get fabulous!

Fabulous book I finished this week Into the Woods by Harlan Coben. Suspenseful. You think the story is going one way and then it gut punches you into another direction. It's a large book but I managed to read it in a day because putting it down wasn't an option.

As I've mentioned, hubby and I enjoy wine with our dinner most nights. This week we tried a new wine and let me tell you, it moved up into my top fifteen list of keepers! It's a Spanish wine by Jean Leon called Terrasola Crianza 2005. 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache. Mmmm. Even better, it's an incredible price for the complexity, and pairs with all red meats, hearty pasta sauces, and of course the important one - cheese.

You may not have heard about this indie gem Ten-Inch Hero but it's worth the rent. Rated R, really for one small scene of a woman's breasts. The bulk of it is sweet and I lost track of how many times I busted out laughing. Great characters and character development. The movie has heart. If you want something different, give it a try.

If you're looking for a high energy but easy on the body workout that kicks serious butt, makes you sweat, and revs up your metabolism - you should give Kickstart Your Metabolism a shot. I do this workout 3x's a week and I love it. Great music, fabulous instructor, and it's over before you know it. You'll feel the burn but love the way you look afterwards :)

Fabulous news - my novella Unladylike Behavior has found a home. Once I get the cover I'll post all about it :)

Okay, so this week ended up being fabulous. How was yours? Anything fabulous you'd like to share? I'd love to hear!

~Ann Cory

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm stuck on board games this week. For whatever reason, they work with the topics I want to write about, and allows me to reminisce about games I played growing up.

I loved playing the game Perfection. The object - beat the clock to get all the funky shaped pieces where they belong before the timer goes and the pieces explode in your face. Fun game. Not a fun way to be.


While not as terrifying to me as the word "risk" it reeks of negativity. To me the word perfection insinuates failure. It hints that there's something wrong with me. It screws with my confidence and magnifies my flaws, and I'm attached to some of my flaws. My flaws help me learn. They make up who I am. And part of being me means I write. When something threatens my ability to write, I go all Xena Warrior Princess and get my battle on.

I've gotta fight for the right to write!

Perfection comes with a cost.

It can cost you relationships if you expect it in others. It can cost you your health if you try and live up to someone else's idea of beauty and weight. It can cost you a job. It can get you to write the voice right out of your story. I tried so hard to make a story perfect that I lost my voice.

True story.

I tweaked and changed and twisted my words to make them fit something that in the end wasn't my story. I rewrote my characters until they were strangers. And my plot? Forget about it. Gone with the wind. Gone with my voice. Gone baby gone.

Messing around with all the unique and exciting elements to my story resulted in a humdrum and incomplete story. Humdrum because it didn't flow. Incomplete because it lacked voice. I didn't recognize my story anymore. All of my stories have some element of ME in them, yet I couldn't be found. I was a missing piece.

So I had this super clever idea: Start another story.
Guess what? I did the same thing to that story. I butchered it. At no point could I convince myself that it was good, because it wasn't perfect. I don't even know what perfect is. Soon I had ten unfinished and imperfect stories. All lacking voice. Months of work and nothing to show for it. I convinced myself that if I kept reworking the sentences it would be perfect. I lost my way and went down a dead end street. The words that I tried to fit into the story blew up in my face - just like in the game Perfection. I timed out. Game over.

Well...not over. Because like the game, I tried different tactics until I got it right. I worked at it and found a way to make the pieces fit. Nothing went boom.

I don't obsess about my stories the way I used to. I write and I edit and I allow myself to be heard. I know when I need to take a breath and hit send. I know when enough is enough.

I don't need to be perfect. I need to be me.

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What If Wednesday!

It's What If Wednesday. Each Wednesday I will have three questions posted. Choose to answer one, two, or all three questions. Why? Well that doesn't matter - it's all about What If? (And it's fun). Plus it gives me extra time to work on tomorrow's topic :) So here goes:

What if you had to give up all of your clothes except one item. What piece of clothing would you keep?

What if you could go go on tour with your favorite singer/band? Which singer/band would you choose?

What if you could shapeshift into an animal. What animal would you choose?

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Taking Risks - Writing without a Net

Either I play too many board games or I just find they work into what I want to blog about.

Today I want to talk about taking risks. I find the actual word “risk” kind of...menacing. I don’t know why. It’s one syllable, it ends in sk. It’s short and like brisk, it’s cold. You could call my house and instead of breathing heavy or asking me trivia questions about my favorite scary movie, you could say “risk” and I’ll gasp, drop the phone, and run down the hall shrieking. I swear I won't fall. Hmm, sounds like I have a bit of a complex with the word risk. Even when I play the game Risk, I play it safe.

"You've gotta risk it to get the biscuit"
from the movie Fired Up

It's a catchy quote and very true. Sometimes you have to do what shakes you up and what freaks you right out.

When you put yourself out there, a shift happens. Old, stagnant energy gets stirred up and moving. Stagnant isn't good. It leaves you open and vulnerable. It leaves you less prepared to handle the unexpected. If you’re lying around like a pile of leaves and a big gust of wind comes along – you’re mobile, like it or not. You’re going to land somewhere new and have to figure out where to go from there. Learning to take risks and managing the fear behind taking risks will set you up for a better way of handling stress.

Say you want to try a new job. Maybe you don't have all the skills they're looking for, but you have other skills. That new job caught your attention and sounds promising, but you talk yourself out of it because you're used to being stagnant, and change sounds too much like work. You might be missing out on an exciting opportunity. Change really is good, and we’re all very adaptable about change even if we don't like to admit it.

When it comes to writing, the moment we put our work out there and share our creations, we take a risk. When it goes to publishers, editors, agents, reviewers, readers, and our families, we take a risk. But it can’t be too bad because we keep doing it. Maybe your creativity has fallen short...why not try a new genre? Look at the books in your bookshelf. What do you like to read most? Is that the genre you're writing in? See if writing something outside of your comfort box sparks new interest and creativity.

Don't get yourself so stuck that you believe you aren't capable of greatness. Comfortable is nice for a little while, but comfortable borderlines that easy thing, and often comes with a price.

The object of the game Risk is to conquer the world. You use strategy and create a game plan. You attack opponents and defend territories. Little by little you take over the next territory and the next territory. I'm not suggesting that you should go all Rambo, no need to get violent, but say you want to be on the NYT bestseller list, then you better know how to strategize, take charge, and prove your worth. You create a brand, make a business plan, and put your best work forward. You take all the necessary steps, even if they're scary, because you want the success.

Say you have to talk in front of a large group and you're shy. The thing is, you know what you're going to get up and talk about. You have the tools and skills behind you to back up each word. Stand up and say it. Your words may be of great value to someone else. Your experiences may be what propels someone into action when they've fallen stagnant.

Say you have a book to pitch to an agent and you believe that you'll freeze up. Take that risk. You wrote the book, you know it. The characters have slept at your place, ate dinner with you, and hung out to watch movies...though they mysteriously disappear when it's time to do the laundry or dishes. They've argued with you, ignored you, and played "let's hide the plot". You know the book - it's yours - lovingly created and crafted by YOU. YOU are the best spokesperson for your book!

Change can give you a personal, professional, and creative boost. Don't get so comfortable that you forget about that greatness in you. Start with small risks and work your way up. Little steps. Conquer the fear. Kick stagnant to the curb.

Take a risk - the outcome might be victorious :)

Ann Cory

Monday, May 23, 2011

Appreciating the Path

Are you one of those lucky people who traveled a smooth road to success? Whatever that success may be? Cool - thanks for stopping by - nothing to see here. I wish you continued success. Buh-bye.

Are you one of those people who have to work harder? Whatever it is that you do? You've been down the yellow brick road, the bumpy road, followed moldy breadcrumbs, hit a dead end or two, and know that a shortcut through the Gumdrop Mountains is a cruel joke disguised as a pretty portal to paradise? Maybe you've done the real-life version of Candyland, and just when you closed in on your personal castle of decadent dreams - freakin' Plumpy or meddling Mr. Mint snatched you up and forced you back like you were some kind of amateur? *raises hand* That's so me!

I've accepted that I have to work harder. I've accepted that easy doesn't mean better. No matter what, I refuse to give up. That personal desire to succeed drives me, fuels me, and makes me never take accomplishments for granted. I'm determined, perseverant, committed, and stubborn :) <--- hubby is probably nodding at this one.

What about you? Got what it takes to make it? Of course you do!

I've made craptastic choices. I've written stories that make my eyes bleed. I've sent in work that fell a few thousand miles short of my best. I've let people down, unintentionally. I've let myself down. I'm human with a boatload of flaws, but I learn from my mistakes. Not right away, because you know that would fall under easy and I already let you know upfront I don't do easy, but I do learn. And when I learn I like to share.

So I'm sharing that we have to take the stumbles and dodge Lollipop Woods on our journey to The Castle of Dreams. If you've suffered from a rejection of a story you thought had gingerbread cookie goodness written all over it - and now you want to drown your sorrows IN gingerbread cookie goodness - hey go ahead - it won't affect MY hips...oh, what I mean to say is...don't you dare surrender. Don't you dare drag yourself down to the molasses swamp. And don't you dare detour off to Lord Licorice's Lair. Flash a brave smile, brush off the cookie crumbs, maybe stop at Grandma's (I hear she makes awesome sauce) and get back on track.

Be accepting of mistakes. Remember that you hold all the tools you need to improve. Learn from the mistakes and apply them. Looking back can help ground you in the now, and it can ready you for the future. Make each day better. Keep working, striving, reaching, moving forward. Don't forget to pause and reward yourself for all that hard work. We all need to work harder at being good to ourselves and create healthy habits.

So you have to work harder? Big deal! You'll appreciate the end results more. You'll appreciate YOU more.

~Ann Cory

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Someone very sweet and wonderful sent me sunshine in my email today :) Who? The amazing and lovely Elizabeth W. Gibson :) What did she send? The Versatile Blogger Award :) What did I do? Well I danced around the house, sillies :) Why? Because it's always an honor to receive an award - no matter the award. AND it's even more special when you receive an award from someone you admire.

So by accepting this award (which I do) I am also accepting the rules that go along with it. I'm supposed to share seven facts about me. I know, snooze right? But since I really really want this award, okaaaaay.

1) I drink peppermint tea every morning. Two cups on a good day :)

2) Cheese is my food of choice because it pairs with my drink of choice...which leads into fact #3

3) Red wine is my drink of choice. Especially when shared with my hubby :)

4) I love musicals - Phantom of the Opera is my favorite with Grease second

5) My favorite book ever is Anne of Green Gables

6) I LOVE rock concerts and frequent them often - never too old to rock!

7) My dream vacation spots are Ireland and New Zealand

And the other rule by accepting this fabu award (which, I do) is to nominate another Versatile Blogger. That's super easy to do! I love to stop by Castles and Guns. The name excites me and their topics thrill me :)

Yay! Thanks again to Elizabeth for the award - I'd say it's definitely a second cup of tea day!

~Ann Cory

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fabulosity!

It's time for Friday Fabulosity!

Each Friday I plan to post about some fabulosity that I encountered during the week -whether it's wine, movies, food, books, favorite or new to me authors, and well-whatever strikes me as pretty fabulous. So, let's get fabulous!

As I've mentioned, I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner most nights. The 2008 Shannon Ridge Cabarnet Sauvignon is exceptional and has made a regular appearance on our dinner table. The price is affordable - always a plus - and goes down smooth. Pairs well with roast beef, roast chicken, and lamb.

This week the family and I watched Secretariat. I had no idea I'd enjoy it. The movie is so much more than about horse racing, it's also about a strong woman who saved her family and her family's farm. There were parts that made me teary eyed, and parts that made me cheer, but it was John Malkovich (love him) who had all of us cracking up. He had the best lines. Diane Lane, James Cromwell, and Scott Glenn also star in the movie. I like movies that showcase a heroine, and teaches others to not give up and to reach for their dreams. Fabulous indeed!

I'm a sucker for a gorgeous cover. The moment I saw the cover to Blood Rights by Kristin Painter, I had to pre-order it. Seriously, it exudes the very essence of fabulosity. Releases in October.

This week I made a fabulous chicken dish. It's so fabulous I don't really have a name for it. All you need is boneless chicken breasts, parmesan cheese, spinach, and prosiutto. Pound the chicken flat. Put a slice of prosiutto across the chicken lengthwise. Add a tablespoon of cooked spinach. Add a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and heat in a 360 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes. Tastes delish!

What made your week fabulous?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Setting Unrealistic Goals Can Burst Your Bubble

Do you ever have that moment when you're on top of the world? You're invincible, and excitement radiates throughout your body like you're plugged into a super-powered Energizer battery? Life is brighter, easier, full of hope and promise?

That smashing good mood of yours has you planning your entire week. You're going to get that project finished. Clean out the garage. Go through all the cupboards and closets. Churn out one story after another. Blog daily with renewed enthusiasm. Invest time in the social network sites. Edit your current story with the hope of subbing it out within days. Oh, and query an agent. Good times!

You log your goals on a notepad and get started. Because you're all amped up on happy juice you're cruising through and marking each item off. You're singing like a rock star, getting your groove on. You know you're going to bust through tomorrow's agenda with the same mad passion.

And the next day...

Your oh-so-happy mood bubble burst. The creativity bug sprouted wings and took off to some Avatar-inspired world. You look at your lengthy to-do list and think WTF?

Life is funny that way. You can have a super productive day and be walking around with a cute little bunny bounce, and the next day you're struggling to put on a sock. What happened? It's easy to get caught up in a moment. It's easy to plan your day in advance, especially when you're pumped. It's even easier to set yourself up for failure because you expect too much. And a vicious cycle happens when you set unrealistic goals. You berate yourself, call yourself down, tap into negativity and give up. You think you can't finish what you start and you're a failure. Not good!

When you set goals, whatever they are, they should make sense. They should be doable. They should be positive. They should fit within your daily schedule. Otherwise you're doing yourself a disservice. You only have so many hours in a day and losing sleep to finish your overloaded list is equally damaging. At some point you'll crash or your family may consider an intervention. I used to have unhealthy work habits, and my hubby will call me out if I even think about repeating them.

Find the right balance. Make goals you can accomplish. Be forgiving when life happens. Believe it or not, there is always tomorrow.

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What If Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's time for another installment of What If Wednesday where I give you three "What If's" and you decide whether you want to answer one, two, or all three of the questions. Sometimes they're funny, nonsensical, serious, or just plain weird. You might ask why, but that doesn't matter here. The whole idea is about what if.

I'd love to read your answers, so please don't be shy :)

1) What if you had Harold's purple crayon and could use it to create something that became real. What would you draw with it?

2) What if you were given a two day all-expense paid vacation? Where would you go?

3) What if they were still casting for the Lord of the Rings movie and you were asked to audition. What part would you audition for?

Thanks for playing!

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Release - Patchouli Dreams

I’m excited to announce that my erotic romance, Patchouli Dreams, is now available at All Romance Ebooks and also on Kindle

Lovers from another century?

When Marilyn Sommers inherits a beautiful Gothic-style house, she has no idea its past and hers are intertwined. In the room upstairs, the scent of patchouli lingers, a scent that reminds her of Mason Donahue, the guy she dated her senior year. The guy that got away.

Marilyn decides to host a get-together, and invites Mason and two of her girlfriends. It’s a night to revisit the past, and a night that could change the future.


Mason’s profile passed by the windows and stopped at the door. Amy and Nicole came up behind Marilyn nearly jolting her out of her skin.

“Aren’t you going to let him in?”

“What? Oh, yeah. Sorry.” Her laugh wasn’t genuine, but her nerves were.

She forced down the lump of bile in her throat and imagined the hallway elongated to three times its normal length. Life was flashing before her eyes and suddenly she wanted to run and hide. She’d made a terrible mistake in arranging all this.

“If you’re not going to let him in, I will.” Amy made a move for the door.

Marilyn put her arm out to bar her way. “No, I’m going.”

She willed her feet to move forward. Why were there drums playing inside her chest? Her heart sounded ready to explode. Slowly she reached for the doorknob, her fingers slick with perspiration. Simultaneous chills and heat waves raged inside her body, and all the blood drained from her face. Marilyn turned the knob and pulled open the door.

Mason’s pale lips formed into a thin smile, exacerbating his sexy left dimple. A duffle bag hung over his shoulder and a folded denim jacket lay over his other arm. All the breath left her lungs like she’d been internally vacuum-packed. After ten years the man she had never gotten over stood in her house looking even dreamier than before.

Marilyn’s lips formed the word hello, but her voice didn’t follow, so she smiled and stepped back so he could come inside.

“Hey ladies, long time no see.” He turned and eyed her. “A little too long.”

Mason’s voice was honey on a fresh buttermilk biscuit. Standing in her house, only a couple feet away, was the boy she’d been infatuated with since the day she laid eyes on him. Inseparable high school, they decided to date exclusively at the beginning of their senior year. Marilyn never tired of being by his side. When they weren’t together, she dreamed about him, wrote poems and stories, and fawned over pictures.

The luminous quality about his existence was something she couldn’t explain, like she’d known him before, some other time, some other life. This felt like only one of a series of reunions they’d taken part in.

She would need him to confirm her feelings in order for the night to take the path she’d been hoping for.

Mason shook the duffle bag off his shoulder and let it drop to the floor.

“Hey Mare. You look sensational.”

Too nervous to say a word, she nodded instead.

He stretched open his arms and leaned in, waiting for her to meet him halfway. When she didn’t return his affectionate greeting he stepped forward and embraced her. She caught a whiff of the familiar patchouli and her body thrummed.

Her Mason had returned.

~Ann Cory

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Managing Your Time and Peak Hours

Time management. For years, those two little words were a source of my frustration. I do better with it now. But it takes constant work.

Most of us can't wait for that elusive prime time to write. We lead busy lives, have responsibilities, hold other jobs, raise families, and work more hours than we like. We juggle too many balls. And if you’ve ever tried to juggle – it’s about coordination and timing.

I’m both a morning person and a night owl. Afternoons - forget about it, I'm toast. Does that mean I can slack off for hours each day? Not a chance. Not if I want to accomplish my daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Those goals – personally and professionally – mean I must coordinate each hour in my day. I must stay productive and motivated. There isn’t time to procrastinate.

I write down my tasks and goals each day, and check them off afterward. I celebrate each item I’ve accomplished. Why? We’re often so pressed for time that we forget to take a moment to celebrate the little steps and events in our lives. Anything positive is worth doing, and when you do it enough it becomes a healthy habit. Healthy habits are good! And by checking in each time I’ve finished a task, it allows me to review my goals so I stay on track. Otherwise my time isn’t well-spent.

Afternoons aren’t the best time for me to tackle edits, critique someone’s story, or engage in a complex discussion about calculus. By coordinating my afternoons with more mundane activities, it leaves my peak hours open to accomplish the big goals, and frees up my most creative and energetic times – boosting my productivity.

Time is valuable.

Recognizing your time is a valuable asset.

Are you successful with managing your time?

~Ann Cory

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Fabulosity!

Apologies for the lateness of today's post - blogger apparently had some issues.

Each Friday I plan to post about some fabulosity that I encountered during the week - whether it's wine, movies, food, books, favorite or new to me authors, and well - whatever strikes me as pretty fabulous. So, let's get fabulous!

I enjoy wine with my meals. My preference is red and living in Oregon allows me to be close to some fabulous wineries. A most enjoyable one is from Forza Cellars. Particularly their 2007 Syrah. It's also affordable and pairs well with roast chicken, lamb, and most red meat.

I don't often read sci-fi, but I picked up Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy and I'm hooked! I had to order the next one because there's no way I can wait to find out more. The story drew me in immediately - always a good sign. I may have to rethink my sci-fi interest.

Not sure if you caught this gem of a movie, but The Astronaut Farmer is fantastic. It's sweet, funny, suspenseful, and exciting. I always love a movie about the underdog - though I didn't actually appreciate the actual movie Underdog - just the cartoons. Anyhow - back to The Astronaut Farmer, it stars Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen with a great cameo by Bruce Willis. Check it out if you haven't seen it.

Looking for amazing hot reads with heart? Be sure to check out N.J. Walters. Not only is she fabulously talented, a total sweetheart, and super nice, but she's prolific as all get out, and to prove it she has over 50 books waiting for you to read! Pick one, you won't be sorry. You'll be hooked.

And this morning started out with extra oodles of fabulosity with an acceptance of my historical/fantasy/adventure romance Her Warrior Heart. It will release June 8th from Resplendence Publishing. Once I get the cover (which I'm sure to love and will be fabulous) I'll post it along with a blurb. Can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by. What fabulosity did you discover this week? I'd love to hear!

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Daughters of Odin

Did you know THOR had three naughty sisters?


The father of all Gods must teach his three wayward daughters a lesson in humanity. With no options left, he sends them to different time periods on earth to retrieve hidden amulets. If a mortal man finds the pendant first, they must serve him until he willingly returns the amulet.

The Goddesses have until the winter solstice to return to Odin or they will lose their immortality and never see their sisters again.

The authors of DAUGHTERS OF ODIN are having a buy one get one free ebook until May 21, 2011.

Buy Daughters of Odin ebook and choose another ebook from one of the three authors: Ann Cory, Melinda Barron and Lyn Armstrong.

Visit author websites at:

Lyn Armstrong

Ann Cory

Melinda Barron

Please email Lyn and Melinda through their website with receipt of Daughters of Odin to claim your free ebook of choice. Please email Ann at anncory_erotica at yahoodotcom.

To purchase DAUGHTERS OF ODIN click Here

What If Wednesday!

It's What If Wednesday. Each Wednesday I will have three questions posted. Choose to answer one, two, or all three questions. Why? Well that doesn't matter - it's all about What If? (And it's fun).

What if you could change the color of your car anytime you wanted with a flip of the switch? Would you bother? If so, what color would you choose? What about patterns or symbols?

What if you really could jump into a chalk drawing on the sidewalk? What picture would you choose? Where would you go?

What if you went down to Fraggle Rock? Which fraggle would you want to party with?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New cover - Patchouli Dreams

No matter how the day starts, I always get a mood boost when I receive a new cover :) Today is no exception!

My book Patchouli Dreams releases May 18th.

Lovers from another century?

When Marilyn Sommers inherits a beautiful Gothic-style house, she has no idea its past and hers are intertwined. In the room upstairs, the scent of patchouli lingers, a scent that reminds her of Mason Donahue, the guy she dated her senior year. The guy that got away.

Marilyn decides to host a get-together, and invites Mason and two of her girlfriends over. It’s a night to revisit the past, and a night that could change the future.

~Ann Cory

Monday, May 09, 2011

Morning Pages

Eleven weeks ago I started doing what are called "morning pages" from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Morning pages are when you write three pages every morning about the first things that come to mind. Whatever they are. Even when you don't think you're awake enough to form a thought. You don't have to worry about punctuation, spelling, or whether it makes sense or not. That isn't what the exercise is about.

The idea is to purge scattered thoughts and allow more headspace to focus and be creative. Sort of a feng shui for mind clutter. And I am a big supporter on getting rid of clutter, I just didn't think about it in the creative sense. You get those thoughts out before you start working on your WIP so they don't creep up on you, or stifle you. It really does work.

In the first week I didn't know what to write, so it ended up being a bunch of nonsensical stuff, venting about the neighbor's dog, my grocery list, and random thoughts. The second week I wrote about my work in progress. I argued with myself on the direction I wanted to take the characters, who to kill, who to save, and how many POV's I planned to have.

I'd say by the seventh day it all clicked for me. Morning pages became a habit. I found myself in this funky zen zone and watched my word count increase each day. Ideas for a series, books in new genres, and complex plotlines emerged - and I'd been worried the well had started to run dry. Now I can't start my mornings without writing those three pages. I don't write more or less than the three pages, though there are days when I'm sorry to have to stop at three, but there's no need to go beyond that.

I also find that morning pages are a calm way for me to wake up. I keep the notebook beside my bed with a pen and cliplight. The alarm goes off, I grab my stuff, silently groan that I can skip a day - but I never do, and write. Typically during the first page I'm barely able to keep my eyelids open. By page two I've settled in and notice that I'm waking up. At the end of page three I'm refreshed, awake, alert, and ready to work on my book.

If you've never tried morning pages, I'd recommend giving it a week. Be open-minded about the process. Write three pages at the start of your day and see if you find a boost in creativity. Of course it may not be your thing. No one thing works for everyone. But give it a shot. I didn't realize how much the pages would impact my life. New and healthy habits are always a plus!

~Ann Cory

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

All the love and support from my mom, all her guidance and patience, helped shape me into the mom I am today. I will be eternally grateful to her.

Miss you mom.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Going on an Artist's Date

If you've read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, then you know all about taking yourself on an artist's date. There are many local places I take my artist self: To a bookstore, a walk in the woods, to anywhere pretty and inspiring like a flower garden or a nursery, to a gallery, anywhere that boosts my creativity.

It isn't about spending money, it's about treating yourself. It's about spending time with yourself and allowing that inner child and perhaps some hidden creativity to come out and play.

A wonderful way to accomplish both without leaving home is with crayons. I will always believe crayons are magical. You start with a blank piece of paper or even a coloring book, grab crayons (or colored pencils) and with the first stroke you've created. You don't have to make a masterpiece or make it perfect. You don't have to color within the lines. You can add polka dots and stripes, or funky squiggles. It's whatever you want. And you reconnect with that inner child.

If you haven't colored in awhile, take out fifteen or twenty minutes in your day, and go for it. Find a couple coloring books at the dollar store. Or print out some free pictures online and make your own coloring book. You don't need an entire box of crayons, just grab a few. Take your artist self out on a date and reconnect with that childlike self inside you that is very much present and waits for the times when you let them play. It's a wonderful way to boost your creativity!

Ann Cory

Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday Fabulosity

Welcome to Friday Fabulosity! Each Friday I'll be posting about books, music, movies, wine, friends - anything that sparked my interest during the week. Hope you'll join me!

To start off, I finished a fabulous book called Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn. There's a lot going on in this book, but it all fits together beautifully. Excellent story structure, engaging characters, and a seamless tie-in to all of the plotlines. I've enjoyed her Kitty series, but this is some stand-out writing. Highly recommended.

Wine of fabulosity - Masi Amarone Classico. Pair this with steak, roast beef, or lamb and it's heaven. Smooth, rich, delectable, a little too easy going down. A wonderful accompaniment to a fancy dinner.

Fabulous movie The King's Speech. Wonderfully acted, directed, and thoroughly entertaining. Don't miss it.

And finally...check out books by a wonderful friend of mine - Jan Springer! Her book Tyler's Woman just released in print, and she's written one heck of a scorcher titled Dark Heat. Check out her website for more hot reads.

What is something you found fabulous recently?

~Ann Cory

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Playdates Are Good for the Creative Soul

Yesterday, hubby and I spent part of the day together. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm, seventy-two degrees, just wow. Today, overcast and drizzly. I think we made a good call.

We went to our local nursery and walked around for a couple hours. Everything is in bloom. The colors are a feast for the eyes, vibrant and inspirational. Not many people were there, unlike the weekends, making our time both quiet and relaxing. We strolled hand in hand, arm swinging, pointing out favorites, dreaming up ideas on how to improve our backyard this year. Seeing all the colors and beauty - total mind candy. Therapy for the soul. I didn't realize how much I needed to get out and break up the normal routine of my week. And I'm all for spending extra time with hubby. As a bonus, we didn't spend a dime for two hours of paradise.

I'm dedicated to my work. I keep extended office hours, since there aren't enough hours in the day, yet make sure there's plenty of family time in the evening. However, there are days where cutting out early does more for the creative soul than pounding the keyboard, or trying to power up a paragraph.

Today I feel an overall boost in my creativity, and it shows in my current WIP. I owe that to my playdate with hubby. I look forward to another one later this month :)

What do you do to amp up your creativity?

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Now out on Kindle!

You can now find both Angel with a Blade and Bard of Bristol on Kindle!

Looking for a sweet and sensual historical romance?
Angel with a Blade is now available for Kindle.

Using rune stones as her guide, natural healer Rebecca travels to aid those who need her. Armed with her basket of tonics and a sword, she travels to her next destination, Blatsfort , England. At first glance, a handsome gentleman stirs her desires and makes her question the solitary path she has chosen.

But their sweet exchange turns sour when the gentleman is poisoned by men seeking to rob him of his fortune. Unable to deny her growing affections, Rebecca gathers her sword and all her courage, knowing in her heart she was meant to save him.


Looking for a little more spice to your historical romance? You might like Bard of Bristol also now available for your Kindle.

When famous Bard, Leif Garnette, comes to a small out-of-the-way village with the intent to a write a book of women's fantasies, he's met with a strong-willed woman who leaves him scrambling for words.

Look for other titles of mine at Kindle by visiting my Amazon Author Page