Posted in Anthologies/Novellas, Christian, Craft, Dystopian, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Paranormal, Romance, SF, Short stories, traditional, Urban Fantasy, Women's Fiction, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writing Links…4/16/18


Writing Links…4/16/18

Traci Kenworth



  1. “Since 2012, the month of April at Fantasy Cafe has been dedicated to highlighting the wonderful work women have been doing in speculative fiction. When closing last year’s series, I mentioned that it may be the last series of April guest posts—but I’m happy to say that 2017 will notbe the last one and the seventh annual Women in SF&F event begins tomorrow!” I LOVE this event! It introduces me to writers I wasn’t aware of and plus, women writers don’t always get the spotlight, here they do!
  2. “Born on Cusp – edge of the Zodiac Signs Cusps are extremely sensitive days as energy shifts into something else. This “in – between” thing is where witches believe that magic is most powerful.” I was born between Aquarius and Pisces.
  3. “But the “weirdest” celebration we have is Easter. We don’t search for treats in the garden at all! The boys go around the houses with a “pomlázka” (that’s kind of a braid from willow twigs). The girls open the door, the boys hit them with their “pomlázka” sing a song and then the girls have to give them eggs or chocolate. It’s supposed to bring the girls health for a year but I’m not really sure about whether that works so well…” How interesting!


Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. “The house came to be called the Segui-Smith House. In 1895 it was given to the city to be used as a library.  My library. It’s a good possibility many of the books I perused on the shelves had been there since 1895. Really. It’s still in use as a research library, home to historical records.” The library where I grew up was the first high school for Burton, OH.
  2. “I’ve just had the bittersweet task of writing the final books for two different series. It is a little bit like raising a child and then sending them off to college; you know you’ve done your job, and there is some relief that it is (mostly) over, but also a hole where that child used to occupy a room in your house.” I’ve written the final book in one series though not published. I can see where it would be hard for both the writer and the reader to leave behind beloved characters. As a reader, I love to finish series but miss everything like an old friend when it’s over.
  3. “The bad/good news about the nature guides is they’re not that easy to find. The one I used, Grasslands, is available used online and this may be true of the others as well. If you can find a copy of any of the nature guides that would be helpful to your story, grab it up and treasure it with your best writing resource books. Used book stores, library book sales, and online booksellers are your best bet.”



  1. “It is so true. The power of a book is the power to transform a life. To point the way. To carve a path. To break the darkness with a dawn. To embrace an emotion. To hear a new song that won’t leave the mind. To widen a perspective.  To salve an open wound. To get kicked in the seat of the pants. To open the heart to the leading of the Spirit.” This is wonderful!
  2. “Among the many questions agents field at writer’s conference where newcomers to the industry are in attendance are these: What’s a literary agent? What’s an agent do? Why do I need one? Is a literary agent sort of like an insurance agent, real estate agent, secret agent…but for books?”
  3. “Both the hobbyist and the professional may be good writers, even great. Both may often work hard. Both are valuable and worthy of admiration. Both may publish. But there is a key difference between them, a difference that either will profit from recognizing, acknowledging, and considering.” Which one are you?



  1. “Many of us like to read fiction because it takes us to physical locations where we’ve never been. We have a chance to travel without ever leaving the comfort of our homes. The uniqueness of historical fiction is that it also takes us to a time in the past that we’ve never experienced.  When writing Dearest David, one of my goals was to take the reader back to the year 1841 in Concord, Massachusetts, a time and place where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne all lived in close proximity to each other.” What an amazing time that would be!
  2. “Given the important role a male heir played in a landowning family’s life, it is hardly surprising that the birth of son, especially a first son, was often more welcome than the birth of a daughter. In the case of the birth of an heir to a great house, the birth might be celebrated throughout the region.” I’m glad this is not the case anymore. A child should be celebrated no matter what sex they are.



  1. “To continue my celebration of National Poetry Month, today I’m sharing a reprint of my poem “Rocking.” This one first appeared in the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar, an annual regional favorite that I’ve been lucky enough to have several poems in. Then “Rocking” was reprinted in the 2018 edition, which was a sort of editors’ choice/best-of compilation. The 2018 calendar can be found in the Dos Gatos Press storeor on Amazon for $15.95.” I miss sitting on a porch at night, gathered with family.
  2. In this podcast Michael David Wilson, Bob Pastorella, and Dan Howarth celebrate five years and 200 episodes of the This Is Horror Podcast.
  3. The Haunting of Green Cabin. And X3.



  1. “But then what happens? Publishing adores a debut so what about book number two? What does thatfeel like? For me, it was part panic over whether I had more than one book in my head, part relief that I knew what was coming, and part discipline in that I had much less time to produce the follow up. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the fear of potentially disappointing readers, too. Complicated!” I think we all wonder if our career will last past the debut. I’m in for the long haul if need be.
  2. “Ultimately, it took me seven yearsand three agents to finally find the right place for Anastasia Phoenix’s story. I never gave up. It is the book of my heart, and I believed in it enough to rewrite it again, and again, and again. I’m so glad I did. The novel is so much better now than it was in its first draft. My writing is so much better now. Would I have liked a shorter road to publication? Sure. But the road that got me here taught me a lot along the way, and I’m enjoying the view now.” That’s what I hope.
  3. “Last week you asked me many, many questions! And while I can’t answer all of them, I am answering some of the most popular ones in this slightly longer vlog. Enjoy!” I like what she said about how to come up with good titles. I usually have titles for my books but who knows if they’ll change when I get published?
  4. “Most authors understand this as an analogy to our work. We begin writing while safe in the harbor, while anything is possible for the future. But at some point, we must put ourselves out there and when we do, we become subject to whatever the journey holds.” She makes a lot of sense. Don’t worry about the little things, just keep on with where you’re headed.
  5. “Charlie has been dumped with his TV-obsessed grandparents in the village of Castle-on-the-Hudson. When an old woman disappears after giving Charlie a desperate message in sign language, Charlie is determined to find answers.”
  6. “I recently had the pleasure of talking to 2018 Newbery Winner, Erin Entrada Kelly, about her her newest middle-grade novel You Go Firstwhich hit bookstores this week. In addition to winning the Newbery for Hello, Universe, Erin has won many other awards for her middle-grade novels, including the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girlsand the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird FlyYou Go First was a Spring Indie Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild Selection.”



  1. “Whether you plan to start your own self-publishing business or join the traditional publishing world, you need to be aware that you’re stepping into a harsh marketplace.  You’re going to run into a whole lot more rejection, criticism and negative feedback than warm fuzzy compliments or gold stars for participation.” Things to watch out for.
  2. “I’m only half kidding. For Patterson really did popularize the short chapter method for thrillers. Indeed, much of the time he takes what would be a traditional chapter of, say, 2k words or so, and breaks it down into three or four shorter units. The last line of a unit will have some sort of read-on prompt and there you have it—a page turner. It’s kind of worked for him.” I find I write really short chapters for my historical romance but for my YA they’re about twelve pages usually.
  3. “Tokyo has a long history, dating back to when it was a small fishing village called Edo. It’s also a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis – the most populated metropolis in the world – that attracts people from everywhere. It’s a banking, commercial, tourist, and business hub, too. And that’s to say nothing of the restaurants, art, theatre, nightlife, and more.” A lush setting.
  4. “Amazon does not waste space on books that don’t move. Many readers love to read about knitters, cookie bakers, candy makers and florists who solve murders. In fact, the more arcane the sleuth’s profession, the better. There are cozies about pickle shops, jam shops, antique shops, plus tea, chocolate and coffee shops galore.
    The readers for these cozies are primarily women.” I could see myself writing cutesies in the future.
  5. “The first quote, while humorous, makes God sound a bit sadistic. I don’t think He laughs when our plans go awry, especially if His plans for us are why. My best-laid plans this week didn’t come to fruition, and I know it wasn’t funny.” This week’s links.
  6. “ “With today’s technology, it’s not easy to ‘disappear,’ especially if the police have an arrest warrant. It might be possible to hide for a short time, especially with some help. And there are, of course, stories of fugitives who’ve escaped detection for years. As a rule, though, it’s hard to run from an arrest warrant for any length of time. And it’s even harder to avoid detection forever.”


Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. “It was a good trip. I went to some good seminars, volunteered for a few projects, and got to see some old friends from other states. Even got my one night out for a decent meal.”
  2. “It was early afternoon. Jaime sat out with the boys drinking beers. It was the last holiday before the wedding. The sun shone down in Billinudgel, New South Wales. The beer glistened.”
  3. “Passive/aggressive is part of Stream of Conscious Saturday. Not necessarily behaviors of any of the principles it’s just that today’s prompt is passive/aggressive. There are bonus points for starting the post with either. (Cha-ching) If you would like to participate please visit Linda Hill’s blog and learn how to manage both passive and aggressive prompts. Here is the link.
  4. A chat.
  5. Sara over at SARA IN LALALANDhas issued a challenge to writers to come up with a short story. Now I am the farthest thing from a writer as one with not a shred of talent can get, but a challenge is a challenge….. SO………. Here’s the challenge…..”



  1. Start the engine.
  2. The appearance of freedom.
  3. Once named it is known.
  4. Landscape of fear.
  5. The most magical light.
  6. Mental illness.



  1. “For several years we’ve been giving away The Book Construction Blueprint, an amazingly helpful 37-page PDF with core information about how print books are put together.”
  2. “Let’s say you have a great idea for a novel set in Granada, Spain, but you’ve never been outside the USA. How do you make the setting realistic? More to the point, how do you keep from making the sort of gaffe that will make readers who have been there throw your book across the room?” I have a story coming up that I worry about this. These tips will come in handy!
  3. “Lately I’ve been working on a project recording people’s personal stories and editing them for publication. While creating these transformations, I have gained a new appreciation for the difference between a work told by a storyteller to a live audience and something written by an author for the reading public. Storytellers who want to write their stories down run into so many problems because some elements of the storyteller’s art just don’t translate to written form. Since the ability to tell a story is one of the key items in every writer’s toolbox, we all tend to slip into storyteller tricks. Watch out for this slippage; often it doesn’t work.” I always thought being a storyteller would be something I wanted to do. Now, I see, it’s a bit like acting. I’m more comfortable being on the writing side, though I do love the thought of being a storyteller.
  4. “Authors now have a choice in how they publish and get their books into the hands of readers. This article covers the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing.”
  5. “If you’re lucky enough to afford a publicist, don’t spend anything unless your cover is not only good, but excellent. Otherwise, you could be throwing away money.” I think a good cover sells the book.
  6. “The drawbacks are that the decision-making process can easily become very tortuous, and the need for everything to be mutually discussed and decided generates a surprising amount of extra work for everyone involved. Threads of thirty or more emails on a decision topic are not uncommon: working solo, as I’m used to, eliminates all of that. On the other hand, the pluses are lost along with the minuses.” Being in a group does help that someone always seem to be available. But when life pulls us in different directions, it can be hard to keep up with one another.
  7. “I’ve just finished a fantastic screenwriting short course at the National Film and Television Schooland in today’s show, I’m going to go through a few things that I found useful as an author and hope that you can apply them to your writing situation, whether you are specifically interested in screenwriting or not.”
  8. Indie news!



  1. Joanna Penn. I do this all the time. I worry I’ll never be as good as so-and-so. The truth is, I never will I can only be as good as I’m meant to be.
  2. “Your story’s first chapter is one of the most important pieces of your story. Not only does it provide the foundation for a solid storyform to come, it is also your first and only chance to pique readers’ curiosity and suck them in. For better or worse, the first chapter is also one of the most challenging parts of any story. There’s just so muchthat has be set up in these opening moments. Too bad we don’t have a first chapter checklist, huh?” This sounds like a great checklist to go by!
  3. “But it turned out, I wasn’t a poor writer at all. I was an anxious writer, a writer who worried so much about every single word, in every single paper, that I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again each and every sentence I managed to wrestle onto the page. In the end, most of my sentences resembled elaborate Faberge eggs.” This sounds like a good idea: think small. Concentrate on the scene on your own. Build from there.
  4. “Here are seven different ways that you can unobtrusively slip information (also known as exposition) into your story without raising any red flags. Master these ninja exposition tricks, and you’ll never struggle with “Show, Don’t Tell” again.” Learned a few tricks!
  5. “Writing advice, as I am wont to say, is half-a-bag of nonsense. It’s a wonderful, heady, narcotic mix of survivorship bias and whisper-down-the-lane stories, a steady parade of bullshit in a long line of linked-up wagons. But it’s useful, too, especially when you can take the advice in as exactly that: advice. When you absorb it as an option, as a bit of guidanceor a loosey-goosey recommendation, you bring it into you, you get to play with it, examine it, challenge it. And then you can utilize it. Or discard it. Or hide it in a drawer for a day when it makes more sense.”
  6. “Never state what you can imply” differs from “show, don’t tell,” that oldest of creative writing chestnuts, in that it allows for times when implication can’t always be achieved through action or “showing.” Sometimes—often in fact—we rely on the narrator’s intervention to interpret or color characters’ experiences and actions for us. There are also times when for pacing purposes an author wants to establish context more quickly than dramatization (“showing”) permits. And while it’s true that a story told purely through authorial summary (“telling”) isn’t likely to satisfy most readers, the same novel told purely through action and dialogue would in all likelihood be equally unsatisfactory. It would be like reading a movie, which is like drinking a steak.” More to think on.
  7. “Two literary agents talk books, fandom, writing, and beyond. Hosts: Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary Inc. & Jennifer Udden of Barry Goldblatt Literary. Please subscribe on iTunes and rate/review if you like our work! And don’t forget to send any…”
  8. “Too many stories fall flat because they lack the barbs necessary for snagging the modern reader who has the attention span of an ADD hamster with a meth habit. Additionally, a lot of us writers fall into bad habits of assuming readers are stupid, that they need all kinds of brain holding to “get” what we are talking about which means we not only lack barbs…but necessary You do need to start with a problem. It doesn’t have to be explosive, just something that gets us into plot.
  9. “Today, I’d like to share with you some of the reasons why many authors are making the upgrade to Scrivener 3, as well as the key facts related to upgrading and whether you should.” Anyone switching to this?
  10. “But sometimes narrators break that wall and speak directly to the reader. Done well, it can make the reader feel as if they’re listening to a story by a good friend. Done poorly, it jars the reader out of the story and reminds them they’re reading a story.” I’ve never read a book like this. Hm. Different.
  11. writers have their preferred methods for inspiration, and for me, it’s always been setting. I visit a place and find story there, which is why travel is so bound up in my creative process, and why my books often span the globe.” Find something in the scene. I would suggest you make your character fascinated or repulsed by it.
  12. “Rhoda Belleza is a children’s editor at a publishing house and is the author of Empress of a Thousand Skies and Blood of a Thousand Stars.  The New York Times Book Review wrote, “Intergalactic political intrigue, family betrayal and coveted thrones feature in this space opera story…real-world analogues and social commentary make Empress of a Thousand Skies an important and relevant novel.”
  13. “Most storytellers know that the climax should be more exciting than the rest of the story. However, many don’t know that climaxes need a critical turning point. Neglecting this turning point is one of the most common mistakes that writers make, and without it, endings don’t feel satisfying. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, worry not. I’ll show you how they work.”
  14. Overview: An outdoor guide is someone who leads excursions into the natural areas. These excursions may be anywhere from a few hours, to days or weeks. An outdoor guide uses their skills and vast knowledge of the area to give clients an experience that only a seasoned outdoors enthusiast might otherwise have. Guides may take groups into natural areas to view scenery and animal activity using land and water transport, usually going by foot, horseback, boat, or other means. This allows clients to safely explore harder-to-reach natural areas, or in the case of mountaineering, summit a peak.
  15. “It left me gun-shy. Dean evaluated and obsessed and figured out what we did wrong, using facts and figures and tons of numbers. All that work, necessary as it was, simply confirmed what I had already known: we grew too fast and without the proper financial support.” Something to think on!



  1. I think more people care, I think they just don’t know what to do about it.
  2. “Made using Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca Bonus Bundlesyou will never want to take this gorgeous shrug off.  Alpaca is similar to sheep’s wool but warmer, softer, and hypoallergenic. Touch of Alpaca® blend offers these top qualities of natural fiber combined with durability and washability.” Check this out!
  3. “The daily word prompt is Shift” Prompts seem to be popping up everywhere anymore!
  4. Style!
  5. “So, is the easy access to Google destroying our memories?  I decided to Google that question and find out.  Apparently, I am not the only one who is worried about the destruction of our ability to remember facts and information.  When I Googled – Is Google destroying our memory? – I was presented with 115,000,000 results. That’s a boatload of results. It turns out, because of our reliance on the Internet and smart phones, we are all suffering from digital amnesia.  We store everything in our phones – dates, appointments, passwords and make no effort to remember anything, because all that information is right at our fingertips.” Tech is a hard blade to handle for sure.
  6. “After thinking about it for a few years, I finally spruced up my website to reflect where my writing is now, particularly my soon-to-be released novel, Lily White in Detroit. This book moves me firmly into crime novel territory and I want a website that reflects that without discounting my earlier novels. I think we did it. New template (thank you always awesome Word Press), new header of Detroit skyline designed by the fabulous Dora Badger of Woodward Press and new everything else by tech expert Barb Drozdowich of Bakerview Consulting.”
  7. “I’m Jo – quirky artist, writer, traveller, mental health advocate, music lover, wild west nut intrigued by science. Renaissance soul with potty sense of humour. Pleasantly eccentric, I’m told. Five years ago I miraculously recovered from 30 years of depression over a period of three years. I’m blogging about the rebuild of my polymath life on Creating My Odyssey. Five years ago chance led Husband and I to the mental health team who brought me to where I am now. Which proves that provided sufferers of depression know where to look, help is available. That’s the hard part. My blog is a great vehicle for my creativity and life. I’m unleashing everything that was hidden under a bushel! I’ve been writing an epic Wild West novel forever, Alias Jeannie Delaney. Since my recovery I decided it’s time to get it out there. I’m blogging about it and Husband has taken me in hand and we’re slowly editing our way through it.”
  8. “And yet, the town’s only major printer, Berryville Graphics (BVG), became in 1998 the nation’s No. 3 book manufacturer with a brand-new patent for its Duratech binding technology. This was a revolutionary alternative to traditional Smythe sewing that provides a ‘lay-open’ quality for easy reading. Using this new method, BVG could produce 110 books a minute.” I used to work at a book factory till I had a high-risk pregnancy and they fired me for no longer being able to do my job.
  9. “How doesit feel to be alive? It is not as if most of us have anything to compare it with. It is an either/or situation and anything in between is actually neither, for consciousness seems to be elsewhere. What we think of as ‘feeling alive’ is really feeling emotion and sensation. It is hard to even separate thoughts, emotions and perceptions from who we are and how it feels to be us, here, now.” Something to ponder.
  10. “It’s April already, and we reach Part 4 in my serial starring two fox-rabbits, a magpie, a man, his horse and various other travellers they find on their adventure.”
  11. “To stay stable and productive, I have followed a few tips and tricks that have helped me stay focused in this journey. I am no expert, but I hope a few of these suggestions will help and make your big day one to remember.” Good things to remember!
  12. “Have you ever wonderedhow to punctuate dialogue that’s interrupted by an action? If so, you’re in good company. Many have the same questions about punctuating interrupted dialogue.”
  13. “This week—after spending a couple minutes chatting about the insanity of the dumb fight about misandry in publishing—we take a look at the recent industry conversation surround Pitch Wars and entrance fees. The debate last week led to all kinds of important questions: What’s access, and why is it crucial for it to be free? What’s labor, and who should do the compensating for it? And perhaps most importantly, what do the two sides of the argument reveal about the state of the industry at the grassroots level?” Some people don’t realize that just because your poor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the internet or trying to break into publishing. I’m on a fixed budget with disability, why should I be blocked from publishing because I don’t have the money? Publishing shouldn’t be only for those who have the money. It should be for everyone.
  14. “I love animated short films. I spend far too much time looking at student’s works that are posted on YouTube. I’ve seen some amazing works from Ringling College of Arts students.” Very cute!
  15. “Book reviews are a fact of life. If it’s your book being reviewed, they’re nice if they’re positive and decidedly unpleasant if they’re negative. Every book is going to have a few negative reviews. That’s a fact of life because people are different, have different interests, enjoy different things, and will relate to your work in different ways.” I try to write a review for each book I read. I used to try not to write anything negative but lately I do review them anyway and explain why I didn’t like it. It may be that others will. It all depends on the reader’s taste.
  16. “Next time you visit the beach, pick up three pieces of plastic.”
  17. “Eli Kyoko and I began following each other this spring. I’m so pleased to share a poet of immense talent with anyone who hasn’t discovered MoonLit Pieces.” A terrible experience brought to life.
  18. “My two biggest publications are Legends of Windemereand War of Nytefall.  The former is a 15 book adventure series that takes place in the fantasy world of Windemere.  I published the final book in December and I’ve just released the first volume of my vampire series, which takes place in the same world.  Both series have plenty of action, humour, and colourful characters.” Amazing. Prolific!
  19. “You can gain so much from a Book Launch Team (BLT). You get some much needed feedback, you get some fresh eyes going over the book (to help you make some last minute corrections) and you can ask them to give reviews.” Does anyone have experience with these? Benefits? Cons?
  20. Good things.
  22. “Well, I hope that these are occasionally the same thing! As a reader, I’m often looking for originality, and I think that may be the norm for fans of speculative fiction. Unlike some genres where certain tropes define the form, speculative fiction is incredibly broad, and there’s no reason not to experiment. Even if that weren’t so, I would probably still honor my preference for originality. My stories feel organic to me, inspiration sparking on the inside and bursting like fireworks into my head as fully formed ideas. I’ve never sat down and said, “I want to write a variation of “The Hunger Games.” I wish I’d gone through with writing plans earlier but as D says things work out so that we are the person we’re meant to be.
  23. “Despite flowering early in the year, when there is hardly anything in the garden, hellebores were often ignored. They were considered dull and rather bashfully hung their heads. So much so some gardeners put mirrors under the plants so they could see the flowers.” Some pretty but also some dangerous ones.
  24. “Do you ever reach a point where you feel you know enough about the subject you’re writing about? Whether it’sa novel setin the midst of the French revolution or a high school essay on geology, it’s a question which many writers often have to deal with. In fact, it’s rhetorical: you can never really know everything! What’s important is combining your research with something which makes your work interesting and exciting to your readers. After all, as Albert Einstein may or may not have said, “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”. You can find inspiration in all kind of random places, even a lemonade stand, so don’t let the fact you might not know everything about the turn of the century Argentina stand in your way. Here are a few simple tips to get you going.” I know I worry when I can’t find a lot of info on places or subjects whether I should write the story. I have done so with TGW, but I will go back in-depth for what I can find to verify things.
  25. “This article looks at correct usage of pronouns and prepositions, followed by a quick glance at those instances when, grammatically speaking, it’s right to be wrong.”
  27. Alli conference!





I write YA as Traci Kenworth. I also write romance as Loleta Abi.

44 thoughts on “Writing Links…4/16/18

  1. “But it turned out, I wasn’t a poor writer at all. I was an anxious writer, a writer who worried so much about every single word, in every single paper, that I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again each and every sentence I managed to wrestle onto the page. In the end, most of my sentences resembled elaborate Faberge eggs.”

    Wow! So much great info here — thank you, Traci!

    Liked by 1 person

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