My Credentials

jen1It has been implied recently that I am not a “real” writer because I am not “serious” about my career. I’m not naming names or anything like it. That is counterproductive to what I am doing here.

It is true that I don’t brag and send out press releases every time I have something going on. That’s my fault. And that will change. But for now, here is a list of–well–a lot.

I have over 20 years of experience in writing for publication. My work has appeared in WritingforDollars.com (unfortunately now out of publication), Writers JOURNAL, Ada Evening News in the main paper (series on meth in Ada) and in the annual Progress Edition, Ada Hub Magazine, Ada Magazine, 4HEALTH Magazine, World Of Myth Magazine, and the OWFI Report (a column of website reviews and Internet-based tools for writers that ran for five years). Articles have also appeared on eHow.com and Demand Studios.

I am a hybrid author, meaning I have been traditionally and independently published. I have two novels and three short stories out under the pen name Kat O’Reilly. I have a series of short ebooks (currently three titles have been released with more to come), a book of devotions, a book about Twitter, books about creativity, and books about planning. Currently, I am working with The Wild Rose Press toward the publication of a paranormal/mystery novel, which is the first in a trilogy.

The complete list of my titles is:

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone (currently out of print)
Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter
Windsong & Other Poems
80 Creativity Tips
Create Your Own DIY Planner
Project Planner for Creatives
8 Patterns to Crochet
Journal Your Way to Creativity

JEN Enterprises Presents:
Why You Need a Writing Practice
BOP Your Way Through Writer’s Block
3 Keys to the Kingdom

Written as Kat O’Reilly:
Navajo Rose
Kiernan’s Curse
“They Call Me Malak”
“This Is Your Karma”
“Sex, Politics, & Vampires”

My articles, novels, and poems have won various awards. I have been a writer-in-residence on several occasions at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I have presented at conferences, civic organizations, and even this group. I have served as a contest judge for OKRWA (the Oklahoma chapter of RWA – Romance Writers of America) and OWFI. I have served in numerous volunteer positions within OWFI, including as 1st and 2nd Vice-President. If you are unfamiliar with the OWFI organization, the 1st VP is the person in charge of the contest.

I do not present any of this to put-down or disparage anyone. I mention it only to correct the implication that I am not “serious” about my career.

Creativity in the Heart of the Ozarks

If home is where the heart is, then mine is split between where I live and Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

I first started going to Eureka Springs in 2000, the first time I went to the Ozark Creative Writers’ conference. That was also the first time I ever heard about the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. I got to tour it the next year.

That is when I decided I would go there. I would stay at the Writers’ Colony one way or another. I applied for a paid residency. I didn’t get that, but I did get accepted for a general residency that I would pay for. After finding out how much that would be–and knowing it was affordable–I went.

I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve stayed, but it has been several over the years. It is where I finished Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone. It is where I started writing Kiernan’s Curse and Navajo Rose. I’ve worked on most of my books there. It is definitely a locus of creativity in the heart of the Ozarks.

I wasn’t able to go to Eureka Springs at all last year, not even for the conference. I hope to return this year. The arts, in general, are supported as a whole (it seems) in Eureka Springs. They have a very strong arts community and many artists call the town their home.

I can’t wait to go back!

Happy creating.

Works-in-Progress

redpenHave you ever thought about why current projects are called “work-in-progress” (WIP)?

Have you ever been in the middle of something and it…just…doesn’t….feel quite right?

I’m there.

I have a couple friends I can use as sounding boards and I am very grateful to them! Last night, I chatted with one of them on Facebook;

The project, a book, was tentatively titled Selling Yourself Is Not Prostitution: Networking & Self-Promotion for Wallflowers. For now, it will be a newsletter and possibly an ecourse that will be available through Udemy. Nothing on that is set in stone yet, but I will let you now what happens with that.

It will still be a book. Just not in the way I had originally planned it. But that’s the way it goes with WIPs. They’re changeable. Unless you have a written contract in hand that says it has to be a certain way, you can always change it up. So I am.

Today, I am working on setting up the newsletter. It will be offered through MailChimp.com. I will post tomorrow when I have the signup information.

All Work and No Play

DSC_0090I am writing this while sitting at Basin Park. I just had lunch at the Balcony Restaurant at the Basin Park Hotel here in Eureka Springs. I am in town for another two-week residency at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

I decided I needed to start a blog post that I could tpe in later.

Part of me says I need to get back to work on my book. Another part agrees, but insists I can do it later, after the rain comes in.

For now, I’m watching traffic, taking a few pictures, and enjoying the breeze.

Why am I telling you this? Do I have a point?

Yes. I do.

We all have things to do, places to go, people to see.

But do we ever slow down to enjoy the people and things around us?

(Right now a guy has started playing a guitar not too far from where I sit. He’s pretty good too.)

The doing — the work — is good, but enjoying things — playing — is too.

You know the swaying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Why tolerate a dull life? Enjoy it!

Recently, in the news and circulating on Facebook and other social media sites, articles and reports talk about how Americans don’t take any time off. They always work. Why?

MasterCard companies is cashing in on this as well.

I’m not saying you have to live it up. I am saying enjoy what you have, who you love, while you can. You don’t have to be busy all the time.