How Best to Procrastinate

Today, my friend and fellow author, Pat, is going to guest host my blog. Many of you may remember Pat from my “Why do you blog” blog.  I’m guest hosting over at her place today and I have a fun project, so come visit me over there and say hi. Pat’s Blog

You know how to procrastinate. Everyone does. Think how often you sit in front of the television mindlessly switching from channel to channel just because there is too much to do and you don’t want to do any of it. But stuffing your mind with crappy shows while stuffing your mouth with crappy snacks is not the best way to procrastinate. It gains you nothing but excess weight and unnecessary guilt.

This past year, to keep me away from my work in progress — a whimsically ironic apocalyptic fantasy — I have spent a lot of time perfecting the art of procrastination. In fact, this virtual book tour is a good example of how best to procrastinate. It was supposed to be a whirlwind tour — ten blogs in ten days — but the first person who agreed to host chose November 11, the second chose October 18, the third chose November 21. By the time I filled in all the intermediary dates (which gave me plenty of fodder for procrastination — I couldn’t be expected to work on a manuscript when I needed to query book bloggers, could I?) I ended up with a thirty-five day blog tour.

Bad, right? Two blogs every day for over a month (one post for the host’s blog, one for my blog to promote my appearance on the host’s blog) is a lot of work, but it also means thirty-five days of guilt-free procrastination! Just think of all I am accomplishing while I am not rescuing my poor hero (I left him sweltering beneath a tangerine sun). I get to promote my recently released book, Daughter Am I, a young woman/old gangster coming-of-age novel. I get to make new friends. I get to visit new virtual locales. And all to keep from writing. Not bad at all.

There are so many things one can do while procrastinating, but the best way to procrastinate is to do something constructive while not doing what you feel you should be doing. You can take things too far, though. If I ever find myself doing housework instead of writing, I’ll know it’s time to dig out my WIP!

(The first chapters of Pat Bertram’s novels — A Spark of Heavenly, More Deaths Than One, and Daughter Am I — are included in the free Mystery Sampler from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.)

Featured Author

I am the featured author at  Second Wind this week! That’s pretty cool. It means that they put my face up there and the cover of my book, Images of Betrayal. There’s also a little about the book, and a little about me. And as a bonus, the entire first chapter is posted! There’s even another nice little surprise, a sneak preview of my next book, Seeds of September.


First, go to here, (But make sure you come back to wordpress): Second Wind Publishing Featured Author 


See? That’s cool, huh? You can look around a little. I’d really like that. You can buy Images of Betrayal as a book or an ebook. You can pick it up on Amazon for the kindle too. My other book, Fate and Destiny is out there in those formats too. And if you want it for the Iphone, or palm reader, or in a ton of other formats, you can buy the books from Smashwords.


Okay, there’s more. Come talk to me. I hosted a discussion on facebook, too. You don’t have to discuss my topic if you don’t want to. I’d be tickled pink if you would just come say “hi”!

And while you’re on Facebook, I’d love to be your friend, so click on my name and add me and leave some graffiti on my wall. Claire Collins


I have a couple of blogs too. One is for all of the Second Wind Publishing Family, and the other is All Mine.

How about videos? Here’s the trailer for Images of Betrayal.  


I think that’s most of it. Thanks for coming to visit and my little tour of the Internet and Images of Betrayal. I’d love to hear from you!



Interview with Shadow from the novel Fate and Destiny by Claire Collins

Collins: I wanted to give the readers of “Fate and Destiny” a little more insight into the characters, so today, I am here with Shadow.



Collins: Hey, Shadow.

Shadow: (Puts his paw up to shake)


Collins: You’re a good boy.

Shadow: (Tail wags)


Collins: I heard you found a body in the woods.

Shadow: Barks (runs in circles)


Collins: What did you think of her?

Shadow: (Head and shoulders down on the ground, back end wiggling happily. His tail goes crazy)


Collins: You like Destiny, huh? She must be a good person.

Shadow: (Rolls over to have his tummy scratched)


Collins: But didn’t she shoot you?

Shadow: Whimpers (Rolls over and plays dead)


Collins: That’s how you were, and you still like her?

Shadow: (Jumps up, barks, and wags the tail more)


Collins: What did you think of Charles DeMont?

Shadow: Snarls then growls


Collins: Down boy. We won’t talk about him anymore.

Shadow: (Raises one eyebrow and cocks his head)


Collins: Thanks for coming today Shadow. It’s always a pleasure rubbing your tummy.

Shadow: (Puts up paw to shake)

Reading Novels After Writing One

The process of writing a novel, including the never-ending edits has forever changed the way I read someone else’s novel. Reading for pleasure is a new process. Instead of getting lost in a story, I find myself looking at the sentence structure, the grammar, and the descriptions. What techniques did the author use to make the characters believable or to allow me to see the scene in my mind? Are the things I imagine as I read the same thing the author intended for me to imagine?


One of my favorite things now is to ask my own readers what they ‘see’ as they read a certain scene or what they think my characters look like. My sister and I play a fun game where we find pictures of famous people who we think fit the parts in novels. Sometimes we pick similar people and sometimes we don’t.


After years of editing and re-writes, I find myself paying attention to the mechanics of writing in the books I read. If the author and I were both describing the same scene, would I have chosen the same word as the author? Would I have picked up on the same nuances as the author? Of course not. Each of us sees different things in the same scene. The mechanics of writing are fairly rigid while the style of writing is as different as each person. The key is to be able to separate the mechanics of the book from the story and determine why it works, or why it doesn’t.


I try to read for entertainment, but I catch myself rereading the paragraphs as I go along. The first read through is for enjoyment, and the second is to learn.