May 10, 2018

My New-Age New Year: Writing, Wellness, and Woo-Woo

All right, sooo...drafting my next manuscript hasn't quite been as productive as hoped over the last week. BUT, what I haven't accomplished in writing this year has been more than made up for in woo-woo.🔮😉

The Dread Pirate Duffy and I have invaded and overtaken my husband's business-book shelves. Good for the soul and some proper R&ARRRR!!! 😄

It seems 2018 has found me in need of some incubation. After the flurry of writing, publishing, and marketing activity toward the end of 2017, I felt a bit emptied in the New Year, meandering without a muse. I didn't feel that special spark of creativity or drive. So, I decided to fill my cup through some self-care.

When I read self-care guidance, I tend to feel guilty because it isn't as if my life is so hectic that I can't carve out downtime. I've got all the me-time in the world if I want it, to be honest. But it's what I was doing with that time lately that felt counterproductive, only getting me increasingly trapped inside my head. I'd never felt so scatterbrained or self-absorbed and just needed to grab the reins on my thoughts and steer them toward mindfulness. I needed to not get so caught up in myself but to give again, through my time, creativity, whatever compassion and talent I have to offer others.

But it's tough to give when you're not operating at 100%. You know, the ol' put-on-your-own-oxygen-mask-before-helping-others-with-theirs schtick that you hear after boarding a plane. Having alone-time is not enough to find serenity, focus, and motivation--again, it's what you do with that time. You've gotta work at it.

And so, a year after immersing myself in the sparkly world of crystals and steadily growing my collection and knowledge of them, I've established a new daily routine of morning meditation. I have a tiny altar set up at the foot of my bed, where I've placed comforting crystals like rose quartz and amethyst, a Himalayan salt lamp, and assorted supplies for meditation and prayer (mala beads, rosary, palm stones, incense, etc.). I like to light a candle and ring a vintage sanctuary bell to cleanse the space and set a tranquil tone first, then I pop on some noise-cancellation headphones (with or without new-age music) to block out city sounds and will sit cross-legged on a cushion with eyes closed and crystals in hand for about 10-20 minutes. After this, I often shuffle and draw angel, oracle, and/or tarot cards to set my intention for the day. More recently, I've added evening prayer to this daily ritual, making sure I share my gratitude for the good and bad of the day and send blessings to loved ones and those in need. This has powerfully reconnected me with my faith, helping me appreciate its beautiful ancient rituals more than ever.

Mixed in with this, I incorporate a crystal or moon ritual when one seems fitting (usually at the new moon or full moon), setting intentions and meditating/acting on them whenever I need a kick in the pants to achieve my goals. Not surprisingly, my most recent ritual involved tapping into my creative heart as I try to get my writing mojo back. We'll see how that pans out.😁

Tapping into my creative heart with rose quartz and carnelian hearts, a one-week ritual prescribed by Energy Muse.
In any case, all of this moon-phase/crystal craze has been part of a greater self-care regimen that I adopted as a New Year's resolution. As I said, I've always been all about me-time--as an introvert, it's essential to recharging my batteries!--but I've felt like I could do more for me. Not as self-indulgence but self-respect. Had I been respecting my body, mind, and soul enough, fueling myself with what I truly needed physically, mentally, and spiritually? No, I don't think I was. So, I've been having a wonderful time researching and reflecting as I work to become the best version of myself. Only when I'm taking care of me properly can I be any use to others.

Okay, so I could bang on about this for ages--and surely you haven't heard the last of it--but I'll wrap this up for now with my current Top 3 Self-Care Books:

~ * ~

1. Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You, by Julie Montagu

2. Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals to Tune in to the Real You, by Heather Askinosie & Timmi Jandro

3. Lunar Abundance: Cultivating Joy, Peace, and Purpose Using the Phases of the Moon, by Ezzie Spencer, PhD

And in the audio department, Julie Parker's Priestess Podcast makes for some enlightening listening during my daily walks. 🎧

~ * ~

It may sound like a bunch of touchy-feely fluff drifting outside the atmosphere of your rational, pragmatic world, but there's sound psychological (and sometimes physical) science to all of it. It's largely about training your brain to become more focused and aware, about gaining perspective on (and ownership of) your own life choices--and recognizing that, ultimately, you already know the answers to all your questions. Yeah. Our brains (and intuition) are amazing like that! Julie Montagu's Recharge also offers some super-simple tips on eating and exercising to support the mind as much as body.

And while there's science, too, behind crystal energy (which I sincerely do feel across my chakras), these stones can at the very least offer tangible reminders of what we wish to be most mindful of and improve at any given time. Their colors psychologically trigger sensations (e.g., the calm of blue and the vitality of orange), and they might just simply feel or look aesthetically pleasing. If they can please or comfort you in some way--or even produce a placebo effect--there's no harm in them (unless you genuinely need medical treatment, in which case crystals are meant to supplement not replace). And the author of Lunar Abundance will be the first to tell you that the moon itself has no control over how you feel or what you do; she simply demonstrates how we can follow its phases to chart our own paths forward. It's symbolism of the purest, most natural variety...and we writers loves us some symbolism.😍

Caffeine and crystals for creative energy--fire me up!!

At any rate, feel free to ask me any questions about this schtuff! I'm by no means a self-care or crystal-healing expert, but I'm happy to share what I've learned or at least point you in the right direction. Love and light! ✨💖✨

April 26, 2018

New Muse Rising...

 
Hello, hello, my dears!

I know it's been a long time coming, but since my new release last year, I am finally getting the gears turning on my next story. I'm quite excited to share that this will be my first book series, following a team of televised ghost hunters as they investigate paranormal phenomena at various lodging sites around the world (hotels, inns, motels, B&Bs, etc.).

The first chapters are already written, started a while back before I'd even anticipated writing Coattails & Cocktails. The latter (a 1920s murder mystery) came about rather even unbeknownst to me! But I'm so glad the inspiration for that one struck and brought it into being. I had always wanted to write a murder mystery and feel so pleased having one under my belt now.😊

In any case, prior to writing that actual murder mystery, I was already priming myself to write about a murder mystery dinner, which will take place during my next book. Set in present day, this story will follow a group of friends spending the night at a quaint and historic bed and breakfast. They're simply gathering for a 1940s-themed mystery game (all decked out and acting in character), but personal conflicts simmering beneath the surface eventually come to a boil--ignited further by the presence of a TV ghost-hunting team seeking to confirm or deny claims that the property is haunted.

The end result will hopefully be a fun romp through contemporary romantic comedy, historical drama, and paranormal suspense--much in the vein of my debut novel, Seven for a Secret. I also expect it to be a standalone novella where this particular dinner party and B&B are concerned; the series will continue with the same paranormal investigation team, however, just at different locations involving different proprietors and/or guests.

There will also be a special feature of this series that I'll keep secret for now...something totally experimental that'll be a great writing challenge for me. And hopefully something that'll make it a truly "novel" reading experience for you! 😃

Until then, dear readers, I bid you happy days of happy reading--and I promise to return soon. 💋

~Rumer

January 5, 2018

Leeds UK Author Event - 3 March 2018!



Hello, daahhlings. It's been a long, long while. But guess what?

It's Flapper Friday!

And I've got a FREE ticket to the Leeds book-signing event burning a hole in my fishnets!

For a chance to win, dears, simply comment at my author page on Facebook with your favorite 1920s slang term. To be eligible, please ONLY share your comment on my post here: .

I'm leaving the contest open through tomorrow (Saturday, the 6th) and will select one winner at random. In the meantime, you can find more event details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leeds-uk-author-event-2018-tickets-32387845919 (hosted by Hourglass Booksigning Events). In addition to the daytime signing with me and loads of other authors, there will be a Flappers & Gangsters-themed after-party at the same location!

So, if you're in the UK this spring, I hope you can make it to the signing and/or party! Meeting in Leeds would be the bee's knees!

September 14, 2017

NEW RELEASE! Coattails and Cocktails, by Rumer Haven



COATTAILS AND COCKTAILS
by Rumer Haven

Genre: Historical Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Publisher:  Fallen Monkey Press
Cover Designer:  RoseWolf Design
Release Date: September 14, 2017




A body clearly shaken, but not stirring…

Summer, 1929. Murder isn’t on the menu when Chicago tycoon Ransom Warne hosts a dinner party at his country estate. But someone’s a victim—and everyone’s a suspect—when drinks and desires lead to disaster.

Hollywood starlet Lottie Landry has returned home to celebrate her engagement. She’s famous for her on- and off-screen romance with co-star Noble, but, privately, she’s having second thoughts. As her former guardian, Ransom doesn’t approve of the match. Yet his own affections raise questions when his wife, Edith, suspects him of having an affair—just as Noble suspects Lottie. Stirred into the mix are Lottie’s friends Helen and Rex, a young journalist and football hero who can feel tension building in the Warne mansion like a shaken champagne bottle.

And once the cork pops, a body drops.

Coattails and Cocktails is where Agatha Christie meets The Great Gatsby, a whodunit spiked with new love and old baggage, public faces and private vices. Filled to the brim with romance and mystery, it’s sure to intoxicate.



http://getbook.at/CAC

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35911613-coattails-and-cocktails

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7996b6c5403/

August 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: COATTAILS AND COCKTAILS, by Rumer Haven

Very excited to share this with you, Flappers!


COATTAILS AND COCKTAILS
by Rumer Haven

Historical / Romantic Mystery
Releasing September 14, 2017


SUMMARY
A body clearly shaken, but not stirring…

Summer, 1929. Murder isn’t on the menu when Chicago tycoon Ransom Warne hosts a dinner party at his country estate. But someone’s a victim—and everyone’s a suspect—when drinks and desires lead to disaster.

Hollywood starlet Lottie Landry has returned home to celebrate her engagement. She’s famous for her on- and off-screen romance with co-star Noble, but, privately, she’s having second thoughts. As her former guardian, Ransom doesn’t approve of the match. Yet his own affections raise questions when his wife, Edith, suspects him of having an affair—just as Noble suspects Lottie. Stirred into the mix are Lottie’s friends Helen and Rex, a young journalist and football hero who can feel tension building in the Warne mansion like a shaken champagne bottle.

And once the cork pops, a body drops.

Coattails and Cocktails is where Agatha Christie meets The Great Gatsby, a whodunit spiked with new love and old baggage, public faces and private vices. Filled to the brim with romance and mystery, it’s sure to intoxicate.

~*~  Add it on Goodreads!  ~*~

  ~*~  Find me on Amazon!  ~*~
http://viewauthor.at/RumerHaven

August 20, 2017

FIRST PLACE WINNER! What the Clocks Know



I'm ridiculously excited to announce that this weekend, my last novel, What the Clocks Know, won first place in General Fiction for the 2017 Red City Review Awards!

You can see the full list of winners in each genre here: http://redcityreview.com/2017-winners/

And here's some of what Red City Review had to say in their 5-star review:
"Rumer Haven presents a twisted paranormal story in her latest novel. Keeping to a small-foiled cast, Haven features Margot, a young woman whose vulnerable state is intensified by her paranormal experiences. . . . A unique approach to Haven’s writing style is her use of red herrings. Taking advantage of her principal character’s vulnerability, Haven keeps her audience often confused as they are trying to figure out if Margot is suffering from a mental condition, is really experiencing the paranormal, or both. By using this literary tool, Haven is able to not only produce a consistent narrative flow, but also provide a flurry of unexpected character scenes up to and including the story’s close. What the Clocks Know offers paranormal enthusiasts a refreshingly gripping yet keenly deceptive read."
They also previously had this to say about Seven for a Secret:
"An intriguing tale that twists together the paranormal with a witty rom-com, Seven For a Secret is both a ghost story and a romantic escapade. . . . By pairing the modern-day story with intriguing elements from the 1920s, including ghosts and tantalizing trysts, Haven crafts a spellbinding plot that is sure to keep readers enraptured. . . . The story unspools at the perfect pace, layering more and more upon the reader as they move along the narrative. The comparisons that are drawn up between how women were treated in the early twentieth century to how they are viewed in the modern era is an especially fascinating element of the book which the author pulls off quite well. By blending genres of romance, historical fiction, and the supernatural, Haven pulls readers into her story with ease, as her talent for constructing such a juicy novel displays itself readily in every chapter."
You can find the full reviews here:

What the Clocks Know 
http://redcityreview.com/reviews/what-the-clocks-know-by-rumer-haven/

Seven for a Secret 
http://redcityreview.com/reviews/seven-for-a-secret-by-rumer-haven/

Thank you, dear readers, for your constant support!



June 1, 2017

Upstate 8 Literary Festival: Keynote (Part 5 - CONCLUSION)


In Part 4 of my keynote speech, I addressed why we write and how that entails writing what we don't know as well as what we do. I cautioned how we must also assume accountability for what we create, so writing the first draft is merely the first step of a longer process. And on that note, I finally conclude this keynote series! Thanks for listening to me babble on and on if you've made it this far. ;)

As your own editor, you need to be a “self-conscious” one. I don’t mean self-conscious as in insecurity-ridden—I think we’ve all probably mastered that one just fine. What I mean is to be conscious of the kind of writer you are and the audience you’re writing for.


Step back from your draft and look at it as a whole. Does it achieve what you want it to? Is this is what you wanted to write? Also, is this what your readers will want to read? How will they experience it?

Because, we can’t forget about the reader if we eventually want to share our work. Arguably 80% of its meaning will come from the reader, not us.

No matter how much they might lose themselves in our writing, readers still form their own interpretations based on their personal experiences and attitudes. So, we want to strike a chord with them through our work so they can make their own meaning from it. 

In many ways, our writing is self-examination. We see ourselves in our words every step of the way. But consider, too, how our writing can hold a mirror up to our readers, confirming or challenging their perspectives and possibly showing them another way of living and thinking. As much as your writing might be for yourself, it could also help your readers make sense of themselves, others, and the greater world around us. 

And while I’m on the topic of others reading our work, allow me to drill this into your heads:

Everyone needs an editor.

Everyone needs an editor.

Everyone needs an editor. 

I stress this not only as a writer whose manuscripts desperately need editing, but as an editor who’s prepared dozens of manuscripts for publication. Even the strongest stories with the strongest grammar need more work than you’d realize. Whether it’s idea development, pacing, style, or the nitty-gritty of sentence construction and continuity, everything you write needs another set of eyes. For as solitary as the act of writing is, we can’t do it alone.

Everything we write becomes our dear, sweet baby, and we can be ever so proud of it—and of ourselves—but it’s downright diva to think we’re above having our work critiqued. I know it’s scary, though. Writing is such a personal passion. Such a vulnerable one. What we write is who we are, and who likes hearing they’re anything less than perfect? So, frankly, every time we hand our work over to others, we’re giving them the power to upset us.

It’s hard to control how other people will respond to our writing, but we can control how graciously we respond to their feedback. It’s okay to admit we’re not perfect, and we’ll never improve unless we accept our limitations by accepting help from others. I actually feel more confident knowing that. Because I know I’m not alone, and once I can own my weaknesses, I can work to strengthen them.

As an editor, it never ceases to amaze me how much easier it is to identify issues in someone else’s manuscript than my own. As a writer, I’m simply too close to my story to see what others can. So, I welcome having my work edited. And I welcome editing others’ work, even if it takes me away from my writing—because it’s a thrill to help someone else share their story with the world, and I in turn learn so much from their talent and creativity.

Also, editing’s not just fixing what we’re doing wrong but learning what we’re doing right. As a teacher and an editor, I have always balanced my criticism with positive feedback so that my students and authors feel good about their work and remain confident in their voices and what they have to say. That’s why I end every editorial letter with this:

“It’s an act of great trust when a writer shares his or her work with someone else and opens it to commentary. I thank you for this trust and hope my feedback demonstrates an understanding of your work, your style, and what you’re seeking to achieve.”

Because here’s the thing: No matter what, your writing is for yourself. Even when you’re sharing it with the world. Keeping an audience in mind doesn’t mean forgetting who you are at heart. 

There’s endless advice out there for what we writers should and shouldn’t do. But, ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to writing a good story, sketch, narrative, essay, poem, or play. We each bring something unique to the craft, and that’s something we should celebrate in our writing as well. 

You can only be the writer you are. So, listen to your voice, and find your way of smelling the flowers.