Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Giving Books to Celebrate

I'm giving away books to celebrate! I've just confirmed that my next book, A Home For Christmas, centered on holiday time at a shopping mall, will be out November 2010.

That sounds really far away until you consider I'm just now writing the story, wrangling Chase McCann and Sylvie Stark into shape to make a life together.
Believe me, that's not easy, considering how these two feel about relationships--maybe later, maybe never. Not to mention their different attitudes about saving Starlight Desert Mall.
They'll get there, don't worry. (That's my job!)
Celebrating this news, I'm extending my contest to gain readers. (Click "contest" at for details and to enter. It's easy!)
I've had plenty of entries so far and enjoy the kind words about my stories. I'm feeling generous during this long, hot summer, so drop me a line about a book of mine you loved and win a second you'd like to try.
Dawn Atkins

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dawn's Blog on Working Through Troubles

Welcome to Dawn's Blog, newly added to my website, so pop over any time and you'll get my latest meanderings right here. Cool, huh?

I've been struggling with my writing lately, distracted, troubled by personal and family worries.

I seem to believe that if I work hard and take care of business, I'll arrive at some magical smooth spot in life and stay there. For good.

Nothing is constant but change, as they say, so it's clear that I will never be able to sit down for a day's writing with a clear head. EVER.

I'll be juggling concerns about my father's cancer, my sister's struggle with arthritis, my son's new journey to college this fall, what the heck is making my cat sneeze crazily, and on and on. Ad infinitum, to go all Latin on you.

That's not even counting my doubts about my writing--have I lost my touch, will I make this deadline, have I tapped out on story ideas?

So, the Zen of all this is to release expectations and go with the flow. Yeah, right. I'm such a go-with-the-flow girl. Not.

I write fiction because I want to control how things come out, darn it, not because I'm easy with the rocky shoals and roller coasters life seems to bring.

So, how do I set aside these worries and fears and gather some writerly calm to get my head in the game every day?

Some of it is habit. Like Pavlov's slobbering dogs, or the old Dalmatian who takes off whenever he hears the fire bell, I sit at the computer and start tapping keys, no matter what else is going on in my head.

Beyond that, I try music, deep breathing, yoga postures, candles, guided visualization or a meditation mp3 I own. Sometimes these techniques work, sometimes they don't.

So, tell me, what do you do to quiet what the Buddhists call "the monkey mind"? I'd love some new approaches to get me through the next few white-knuckled, white-water months.

All my best,