Posted in blogs, Craft, fantasy, horror, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry

Five Links 3/27/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by JacekBen from Pixabay

Five Links 3/27/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/03/conflict-thesaurus-bad-weather/ “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Bad Weather”

2. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/20/10-signs-writing-success-is-actually-closer-than-you-think/

3. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/03/24/how-to-plan-a-novel-ep-6-free-podcast-for-writers/

4. https://jamigold.com/2020/03/writing-craft-basics-how-to-format-dialogue/ “If your brain is any amount of scattered like mine, now might be a good time to cover some of the basics of our writing craft. So let’s tackle a subject I haven’t dug into here before: dialogue formatting and a few do’s and don’ts.

I originally started this post intending to dig deeper into a dialogue point-of-view question a reader asked, but the introduction of these formatting basics took up the whole post. Oops! So rather than shortchanging either topic, I’ll cover the basics today and we’ll come back to the more advanced stuff on Thursday. *smile*

Most of us who want to write also love reading, so we might think we already know everything about dialogue formatting, but sometimes a tricky situation can catch us by surprise. So let’s make sure we know all there is to know about dialogue formatting.”

5.  https://rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/brainstorming-by-yourself/ “All across the nation, people are staying home, socially distancing, and generally isolating themselves. Which means, getting together with your critique partners has become a national no-no, unless you’re FaceTiming or using one of those conferencing aps like Zoom.

So what’s a writer to do when you’re staring a new book, and that writer’s retreat that you scheduled where you were going to plot it out with friends has been postponed indefinitely? Short answer: you gotta suck it up and figure it out on your own.

Here’s something I do whenever I get stuck, or I’m just starting a book, and my critique partners and brainstorming posse is unavailable.

Step One: I get a piece of paper and at the top I write the character’s name. And right under that I write down his/her major external goal or problem.

Step Two: For ten minutes I write down stuff that could happen that would make it harder to achieve that goal, or which would make the goal more important. I write down everything including dumb ideas, cliches, and stuff that’s just silly. When the timer goes off, I usually have a list of at least 20 things that could happen, and usually the last few are kind of interesting.

Step Three:  I get a second piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then instead of thinking about things that would make the goal more important or harder, I think about all the things that could happen that would make the character’s goal more important/problematic for the community in which the character operates.  In my case that’s always a small town, but for a police procedure it could be the local government or police force.

Step Four:  I get a third piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then I list out all the things that might happen that would make achieving the goal or solving the problem a life or death proposition.  This one is harder than the rest because of the kind of books I write.  But I always find ideas when I do this.

When you’re finished with this exercise you will have more ideas on how to “raise the stakes” in your story, and add conflict, which is what people want to read.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/03/20/found-mounds-the-call-of-albion/ “‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?

Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.

“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”

2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/03/20/types-of-spying-in-war-of-nytefall/ “Now, this may be a better topic for War of Nytefall: Ravenous, but I felt like I couldn’t risk forgetting it.  Spying and gathering intelligence is still very important in Eradication, especially when you see one of the big moves that Leo Kandrel makes.  In fact, the Dawn Fangs and their enemies have come to see that gathering information is more important than battles.  This is where the real struggle comes from since many events come down to who knows what and who learns of things first.  The side that pinpoints the location of the Fist of Durag could very well turn the tide of the slow-moving war.

Now, I’ve noticed about 6 types of spying that goes on in War of Nytefall.  It’s actually 3 to each side.  There is a 7th that I can’t talk about though because of spoilers.  Let’s leave that one alone and dive right into the methods.”

3. https://jenanita01.com/2020/03/20/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-horses-satin-and-cinders-by-jan-sikes/ “A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.”

4. https://scvincent.com/2020/03/21/dignity-and-memories/We were supposed to be in Scotland this week, revisiting a magical place. However, that cannot happen at the moment. As things are rather up in the air, I thought I’d revisit a past trip this week and share a bit of history from a past adventure… and a Yorkshire parish church with an awful lot of history:”

5. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/03/23/character-archetypes-the-trickster/ “If you’ve been following my reblogs of C. S. Boyack’s series on archetypes, you’ll really enjoy his Story Empire post today on Tricksters. What are they and how can writers use them to add surprising elements to their stories? Just head on over and check it out. You’ll be glad you did! Oh, and please don’t forget to share so others can learn more about archetypes, too. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for such an interesting and helpful post. 🙂

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/what-does-this-pandemic-mean-for-writers/ “his is the question I’m getting over and over again from my authors. COVID-19 has changed everything. How is this going to affect us? What’s going to happen to publishing?

The short answer is: Nobody knows. But there are a few truths we can point to.

First, people are going to continue to read. If you’re a writer, keep doing what you do, because we need you.

Second, publishing has already survived pandemics, recessions, the Great Depression, two world wars, the advent of television, the growth of the Internet, and the proliferation of ways to entertain ourselves. Publishing has changed with the times and will continue to do so. My best guess is that books will still be published and people will continue to read them.

In the short term, there may be fallout. Some independent bookstores, which have thankfully been doing well lately, might not survive. That would be a big loss. (You can help by supporting your local indie right now!)”

2. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/03/23/writing-through-the-perilous-times-amwriting/ “We live in difficult times. You might be temporarily unemployed unless your work is the sort where you can telecommute. My husband falls into the “work from home” category. My brother does not. Like many others, he is mostly unemployed once again.

If you live in Washington State, you have some help available. They’re small, but better than nothing. Our governor immediately put our fallback resources in place, trying to help our struggling workers and our healthcare system.”

3. https://chelseaannowens.com/2020/03/23/11100/ ““Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.

“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.

“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”

4. https://whenangelsfly.net/2020/03/23/6-ways-to-help-anxious-children-during-coronavirus-behaviour101/Do you have an anxious child right now? Will they benefit from direct strategies to combat this feeling or will a subtle approach work better? This article provides both.

via 6 Ways to Help Anxious Children during Coronavirus — Behaviour101

5. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/23/when-you-learn-writing-gets-lonely-the-blank-page/ “The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.

Writing — and being a writer — is as fulfilling and worthwhile as it often sounds. There are downsides to every hobby and profession. Writing is also exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and frustrating. But that just makes the entire experience worth the occasional struggle.

Something that isn’t talked about enough is writing and its relation to socialization — mainly that you don’t always understand how lonely writing can be until you experience it firsthand.

It must be discouraging to finally dive into the hobby that could one day become your dream job, only to realize how isolating and lonely it can feel. Especially on days writing is more of a struggle and you wish you had someone to talk with about your frustrations.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/there-are-mowers-mowing/

2. https://kittysverses.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/choice-2/

3. https://www.djranch.org/2020/03/20/flash-fiction-the-storm-to-pass/

4. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-whats-in-a-name-vanessa-in-a-dilemma-by-sally-cronin/

5. https://susansplace.blog/2020/03/23/thank-you-for-all-that-you-do/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-20-march-2020/

2. https://pitchwars.org/happy-book-birthday-to-the-derby-daredevils-kenzie-kickstarts-a-team-by-mentor-kit-rosewater/ “A highly illustrated middle-grade series that celebrates new friendships, first crushes, and getting out of your comfort zone

Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin’s city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they’ll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone’s best friend . . . Isn’t she supposed to be Kenzie’s best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie’s neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall—and get back up again.”

3. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2020/03/24/gods-and-dragons-the-dragon-of-time-book-1-by-aaron-dennis-genre-epic-fantasy/ “Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?”

4.

5.

In need of some post-its?

What about printer paper? Pens?

What about an inspirational book to keep you company during your down time?

Or a good YA title?

Posted in blogs, Christian, Craft, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Music/playlists, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Paranormal, Reading, Romance, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 3/19/2020: What I'm Reading in YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay

Book Talk 3/15/2020: What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

I’m reading Kalona’s Fall: A House of Night novella by Kristin and P.C. Cast, Uglies by Scott Westerfield, So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Through The Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle, Chosen by Kiersten White, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Subject A36 by Teri Polen, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, How to Write a Children’s Book by the Children’s Institute of Literature, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, How to Write Kidlit by Mary Kole, and How to Write & Sell YA by K.L. Going.

How are you doing amid the crisis? Do you have all the supplies you need? Cleaning supplies: one, two, three, four, and five.

Baby supplies: one, two, three, and four.

Hygiene Care: one, two, three.

Pets: one and two.

Grooming: one and two.

Beauty: one.

Books: one, two, three, four, and five.

Art: one, two, three and four.

Music: one, two, and three.

Movies: one and two.

Thinking of starting your own website? Try Bluehost, link to left, WordPress, link to left, or Rubix, link to left. I use Bluehost and WordPress, they’re both easy and reliable. Then there’s Jetpack, link to the left, security for your website. Definitely use this!

Stay safe and peaceful! There’s a lot of craziness out there, don’t let it get to you, or worse, become you. Take a deep breath. Remember, we’re all in this together. Take care and God bless.

Posted in blogs, Craft, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Reading, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry

Book Talk 2/26/2020: What I’m Reading in YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Book Talk 2/7/2020: What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

Nefertiti’s Curse (a House of Night novella) by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast, Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, How to Write a Children’s Book from the Institute of Children’s Literature, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, Dark Alley by Mike Anka, Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I will shortly be adding to this list and hope to add, an arc by Robbie Cheadle. #reading #book #books #dark fantasy #fantasy #craft

Posted in blogs, Craft, Dystopian, fantasy, horror, Indie, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, SF, Short stories, traditional, Writing and Poetry

Five Links 2/26/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Five Links 2/8/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/02/the-curse-of-expository-dialogue.html “There are times when I need ten minutes of The Three Stooges. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve spent a long day writing some tough pages. Or you were bottled up in your cubicle at work, untangling your boss’s mess. Or maybe you were caught up in the latest news cycle, and you find yourself neck deep in the blues.

That’s what the Stooges are for. You don’t have to think. In fact thinking is precisely the wrong thing to do when watching the boys.

Now, I know the Stooges are not everyone’s comedic cup o’ noodles. Moe is often hard to take. Anything could set him off and get you a slap in the face or, worse, two fingers in the eyes. I had my run-ins with bullies as a kid, so Moe always made me uncomfortable (in real life, Moe Howard was a delightful man—who I met—and a great storyteller about the film business and the history of the Stooges).

But there is always Curly to save the day by giving us a nice, hearty belly laugh. (When Curly suffered a stroke in 1947, he was replaced by his and Moe’s real brother, Shemp. Most of my kid contemporaries didn’t like Shemp, but I did. While no one could ever replace Curly, Shemp is funny in his own way.)” Looking at these, I can see why in my earlier works they were so in-your-face. Awful. The staged dialogue bits just ring false.

2. https://megdowell.com/2020/02/01/the-12-most-frustrating-and-difficult-bad-writing-habits-to-break/

3. https://megdowell.com/2020/02/02/want-to-make-more-time-for-writing-youll-have-to-give-up-these-3-things/ I think everything can be done in moderation. Once you give in to your writing, you’ll want to spend more time doing that than doing some of the things you used to do such as internet, TV, etc.

4. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/02/tools-to-make-you-a-powerful-writer-in-2020/ “The start of the year is when I pay close attention to what is happening in our industry: what publishers and organizations are focusing on, the changes occurring on sales platforms, and what author advocates are suggesting writers pay attention to in order to succeed.

One of the big things I keep reading over and over is that 2020 will be a year where many authors will invest in tools and services to help them do more.”

So with that in mind, I have a roundup of resources that can help you be more productive and write stronger fiction, faster. Even better, they all have a free trial or version so you can test them out before investing, or they are a free resource altogether.

5. http://booksbywomen.org/unusual-writing-help/ “By now, if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, you’ve heard all the advice about what it takes to get your story down on paper. Write consistently, plow through a crappy first draft, toughen up and learn to take criticism and rejection, read a lot of other people’s books.

But people don’t talk as often about the weird-o things that keep the pages coming. When I wrote One Night Gone, my first novel, a suspense, cold-case mystery set in a beach town during the off-season, it was hard to find the time to write. I have a full-time job and an 8-year-old son, and I was a longtime editor of an online literary journal until very recently. Plus, you know, occasionally I like to sleep and watch a little TV or something. 

So I had to find the small stuff to help keep me motivated. Here are a few surprising things that worked for me.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/2631/ “For the first time ever, I’m turning Fantasy Author’s Handbook over to another author, and one who’s been dead for almost eighty-three years. Love him or hate him, H.P. Lovecraft is one of the undying masters of horror and dark fantasy fiction. This essay, apparently written in 1933 but first published in the May-June 1937 issue of Amateur Correspondent, draws back the covers on not just his reasons for writing horror fiction, but describes his process as well.  Though not as detailed or proscriptive as Lester Dent’s Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot, Lovecraft’s five-step process is certainly worth a look-see, and I’m going to try my hand at his method in the weeks ahead. I’ll let you know how that works out, but in the meantime, I give you, in its entirety…”

2. https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/02/04/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-163-poetschoice/

3. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/02/04/living-knowledge/ ““Crepuscular!” He was getting desperate now, having exhausted his list of the most obscure words. His face fell as I gave him the definition. He tried another and scowled… “How do you do that?”

“I read.” The words he dangled before me, trying to catch me out, may not be common in verbal usage, but they have cropped up often  enough in books to learn their meaning through meeting them in different contexts and from different angles. Except for unfamiliar technical terms, I don’t look up words when I read. It isn’t necessary to fully understand every word to experience a story… you need, instead, to enter fully into the tale and feel it as you read.  Over decades of reading, you encounter words in so many phrases that your understanding of their layers of meaning evolves and eventually becomes clear.

For me, that seems the best way to expand…”

4. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/02/03/the-path-to-becoming-an-author-amwriting/ “People often say they want to write a book. I used to say that too.

In 1985 I came across my first stumbling block on my path to becoming a writer. I didn’t know it, but to go from dreamer to storyteller is easy. Anyone can do it.

But if we choose to become an author, we’re taking a walk through an unknown landscape.

And the place where we go from dreamer to storyteller to author is the hardest part.

At first the path is gentle and easy to walk. As children, we invent stories and tell them to ourselves. As adults, we daydream about the stories we want to read, and we tell them to ourselves.

That part of the walk is easy. At some point, we become brave enough to sit down and put the story on paper.

The blank screen or paper is like an empty pond. All we have to do is add words, and the story will tell itself.

The first impedance that would-be authors come to on their way to filling the word-pond with words is a wide, deep river. It’s running high and fast with a flood of “what ifs” and partially visualized ideas.”

5.

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://writersinthestormblog.com/2020/02/12-survival-tricks-for-a-creatives-anxiety/

2. https://stevelaube.com/how-to-overcome-impostor-syndrome/

3. https://lithub.com/dahlia-lithwick-and-moira-donegan-what-happens-when-women-tell-the-truth/ “What if we believed women? That’s the question at the heart of the new anthology Believe Me, edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti which gathers together more than two-dozen leading voices on gender, power, and the most pressing issues shaping feminism today. Among them are Dahlia Lithwick and Moira Donegan, who came together for a conversation on the ways in which institutions are ill-equipped to address violence against women along with the systemic failures on display during the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018.

*

Dahlia Lithwick: Hi Moira. I loved your essay on the way early psychoanalysis failed to address women’s trauma but it also broke my heart a bit. The parallel narratives of Dr. Freud attempting to talk truthfully about women and sexual assault and then being forced to retract it to save his career, while Bertha Pappenheim had to save herself by escaping the world of men and building a life in feminist advocacy and organizing, feels all too contemporary to me; you can pass in a man’s world or you can be full throated in a woman’s world, but never dare to hope for more.

In my essay I tried to get at the ways in which the machinery of our ostensibly neutral justice system is propped up by the machinery of agents, lobbyists, pricey attorneys, and all the things that mean—to paraphrase our colleague Irin Carmon—that the system is in the room, toiling at great expense to press and defend the narrative you depict as “the rapist as an upstanding man, their memory of the past as happy or peaceful.” I wonder what you think about what happens when women in mainstream media are essentially forced to choose between Pappenheim’s lane and Freud’s? We can try to forge through the turgid he says/she says conventions, or we can try to invent new forms with which to do journalism. Are we making any headway, covering abuse and assault in the mainstream press? And are we taking care of ourselves as we do the work?”

4. https://www.elle.com/culture/books/a30612269/young-adult-fiction-authors-interview/ “n a photo studio high above midtown Manhattan, five of the most accomplished new voices in young adult fiction have gathered. While getting glammed up, Tomi Adeyemi, Akwaeke Emezi, Elizabeth Acevedo, Angie Thomas, and Nic Stone chat about everything from preferred moisturizers to career updates, the latter of which there are several. Only yesterday, Emezi’s Pet was named a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature—a prize Acevedo nabbed the previous year with The Poet X. Stone was gearing up to release three new books (JackpotClean Getaway, and Shuri). Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, which reportedly landed her a seven-figure deal, was being adapted by Fox 2000/Lucasfilm. And Thomas’s The Hate U Give was holding strong at or near the top of the New York Times Young Adult Hardcover Best Sellers list (141 weeks and counting).”

5. https://stevelaube.com/how-to-hear-no/ “In a recent media interview (yes, I am that cool), I was asked if as a literary agent I liked saying “no.” I answered emphatically—even a bit rudely, I’m afraid, as I started my answer before my questioner finished asking. “I hate it,” I said. It’s a part of the job. In fact, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named sometimes answers the question, “Steve Laube, what do you do?” by saying, “I say no for a living.”

That’s close enough to the truth to sting. A lot. Way down deep. But no one—at this agency, at least—enjoys saying “no.” We do it a lot, but we hate it every time. Well, except for the one person who compared her proposed book to this Christian agent to E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

But otherwise, it’s no fun to say “no.” And, I know, it’s no fun to hear “no,” either. Believe me, I hear it far too often, both as an agent and as an author myself. But it makes a difference how you hear the word “no.” The temptation is to hear, “not you.” Or even “you stink.” Even, sometimes, “give up.” But none of those are helpful, and they’re far from accurate, in the vast majority of cases. How should you hear “no?” I suggest five ways:”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2020/02/02/writephoto-daybreak/

2. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/02/02/a-novel-look-at-merlin/ “Jamie had gone to bed as soon as the others had left and Merlin had followed shortly afterwards. He was still considering the problem of the barguest as he undressed and threw his clothes in a heap on the chair.

Not a pretty sight, Merlin! Must you look so old, dear one?”  Merlin made a lunge for a dressing gown to cover his nakedness, only to find an intruder sitting on it, employing very similar tactics to Heilyn’s sheep. He retreated behind the inadequate cover provided by a small towel and swore graphically.

“Aren’t you pleased to see me, dearest?” The lithe figure reclining on the bed stretched provocatively, trapping the dressing gown ever more firmly beneath her. Long black hair billowed across the bedspread in curling tendrils and the diaphanous gown left little doubt that most men would be very pleased to see her. Merlin bowed with considerable dignity, holding tightly to his towel.”

3. https://ronovanwrites.com/2020/01/27/weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-jump-asp/

4. https://charmedchaos.com/2020/02/02/silent-sunday-13/

5. https://somethingferal.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/freyja/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-old-man-of-the-sea/ “I am visiting the lovely Sue Vincent‘s blog with a post about the Old Man of the Sea and how I wove this myth into a short paranormal story I wrote. Thank you, Sue, for hosting me.

Background

In Greek Mythology, the Old Man of the Sea is the term used for several water-gods, purported to have existed since the beginning of time. The water-gods most often referred to in terms of this expression are Nereus, the eldest son of Gaia and her son, Pontus, and Proteus, a prophetic water-god whom was referred to as “Old Man of the Sea” by Homer. Triton, a Greek god of the sea and the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite; Pontus, an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god and the fatherless son of Gaia; Phorcys or Phorcus, a primedial sea god and the son of Pontus and Gaia, and Glaucus, a Greek prophetic sea-god born mortal and turned immortal as a result of eating a magical herb, are also referred to using this expression.”

2. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/the-land-of-far-beyond-by-enid-blyton/ “Welcome to my new children’s book series which will run for February and March 2020. I have a wonderful selection of children’s books by both Indie and traditionally published authors lined up and will be sharing these posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I have selected The Land of Far Beyond to review for this first post because it is my favourite children’s books. I remembered reading it, as a young girl, but it was a library book and I couldn’t remember the title or author. All I could remember was that it was a children’s version of The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. When my first son was born and I started buying all the books that had enchanted”

3. https://amytruebloodauthor.com/monday-musings-dear-bookseller-help-me-help-you/ “It’s been a while since I’ve written a Monday Musings post, but there’s been something weighing on my mind that I want to share.

Being a published author is a huge gift. A dream come true. Seeing my book on the shelf at bookstores always puts a smile on my face. In truth, I have a very soft spot in my heart for bookstores. When I worked for a major book distributor in the late 90s, there was a huge dust-up after a major retailer wanted to handle all the company’s distribution in the U.S. This made dozens of stores, whom the company served, reach out in protest. The deal never went through, but after that incident many smaller bookstores began to close their doors. After that, I still insisted on spending my money at my local stores because I understood how important they were to my community.

In the mid-2010s, the small bookseller had a resurgence. This fact made me so happy. Finally, once again there was a local place where I could spend my dollars rather than a chain. Back then, I was just a reader and not a published writer yet.

Once my first book was published, I was excited to finally get to work hand-in-hand with some of my favorite bookstores around the country. But when it came time to approach some of those stores to do events, I was surprised by the rigorous requirements they required of a debut author. One store made me fill out a five-page application along with the reasonings why it was “in the store’s best interest” to host me. I painstakingly filled out all the paperwork, including adding another author to the mix so that we could draw a larger crowd. The event coordinator at the store did not respond to follow-up emails. When they finally did, it was with a terse one line reply that basically said “No thank you.” That’s a shame. I would hope local bookstores would be more welcoming to a debut author. Perhaps, it’s just the name they want.

4. https://pitchwars.org/happy-release-day-to-malice-by-our-mentee-liaison-pintip-dunn/Summary:

What I know: a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…”

5.

Posted in dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, writers, Writing and Poetry

Links 20


Writing:

1. http://www.tatumflynn.net/1/post/2014/02/the-writers-9-stages-of-fear.html

2. http://jamigold.com/2014/02/how-to-make-turning-points-drive-arcs-and-themes/

3. http://mythicscribes.com/writing-techniques/romance-tips-for-writers/

4. http://blog.sevantownsend.com/2014/02/keep-in-character.html

5.http://thewritelife.com/become-a-better-writer-even-short-on-time/

Short Story:

1. http://amloki.blogspot.com/2014/02/do-your-shortstories-begin-in-ideas-or.html

2. https://notenoughwords.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/what-to-do-with-short-stories/

3. http://writeitsideways.com/10-resources-to-help-you-write-a-great-short-story/

4. http://pimpmynovel.blogspot.com/2011/06/long-and-short-of-it.html

5. http://thebluestockingblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/when-novels-ideas-masquerade-as-short.html

Horror:

1. http://clarionfoundation.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/writers-craft-92-three-ways-to-end-a-horror-story/

2. http://www.tphperfecthouse.com/2012/08/27/history-of-horror-found-footage/

3. http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/why-writing-horror-is-should-be-hard-part-1/

4. http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/columns/antipodean-nights/10-must-read-australian-horror-writers/

5. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/06/whatever-happened-to-horror

Fantasy:

1. https://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/14-quick-tips-for-fantastic-fantasy-writing/

2. http://aidanmoher.com/blog/2011/07/articles/guest-post-fantasy-imagination-and-the-hero-a-response-to-michael-j-sullivan-by-john-ginsberg-stevens/

3. http://io9.com/10-key-terms-that-will-help-you-appreciate-fantasy-lite-1463800561

4. http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/sci-fri

5. http://www.omnivoracious.com/2011/02/modern-heroic-fantasy-vibrant-and-diverse-or-bankrupt-and-nihilistic.html

Posted in dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry

Links 20


Horror:

1) http://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com/2012/05/horror-of-it-all-writers-on-being-scary.html

2) http://www.writer.ly/community/write-horror-tips-first-time-horror-writers/

3) http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/2012/10/script-to-screen-the-rocky-horror-picture-show.html

4) http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/what-writers-can-learn-from-the-masters-of-horror/

5) http://www.blackgate.com/2013/09/02/adventures-in-horrific-fantasy-literature/

Fantasy:

1) https://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/14-quick-tips-for-fantastic-fantasy-writing/

2) http://aidanmoher.com/blog/2011/07/articles/guest-post-fantasy-imagination-and-the-hero-a-response-to-michael-j-sullivan-by-john-ginsberg-stevens/

3) http://io9.com/10-key-terms-that-will-help-you-appreciate-fantasy-lite-1463800561

4) https://annemhairisimpson.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/building-your-fantasy-world-fantasy-creatures-part-3/

5) http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/sci-fri

Short Stories:

1) http://www.magicalwords.net/edmund-r.-schubert/breaking-in-to-publication-short-stories-vs.-novels/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+MagicalWords+(Magical+Words)&utm_content=Google+Reader

2) http://www.andrewjackwriting.com/2011/06/should-writers-self-publish-short-stories/

3) http://pimpmynovel.blogspot.com/2011/06/long-and-short-of-it.html

4) http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/05/guest-author-diana-bocco-how-short.html

5) http://diymfa.com/2012/04/30/why-short-stories-matter-guest-post-by-emma-komlos-hrobsky/

Writing:

1) http://kriswrites.com/2014/01/29/the-business-rusch-marketing-and-readers-discoverability-part-who-knows/

2) http://www.itsonlyanovel.com/2014/01/27/the-terrible-truth-my-writing-journey/

3) http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2014/01/writing-pesky-adverbs-or-no.html?spref=fb

4) http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/creating-and-writing-believable-villains-a-tasty-recipe/

5) http://paulbogaards.tumblr.com/post/75143223535/things-publishers-say

Posted in a bit of seriousness, dark fantasy, fantasy, humor & fun, Muse, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry

Doorways


Doorways

Traci Kenworth

 

The world of fantasy invites us through doorways. Just a glimpse beyond the ordinary, the delicate flowers, the enchanting water, the castle towers. It’s the awe, the wonder that draws us into these stories. The need to find out who or what walks these forests, touches the ocean, breathes upon this world. Where would fantasy be without the hobbit holes Tolkien created? Anne McCaffrey’s dragons? Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Seers? The settings are beautiful but sometimes fraught with their own wickedness.

How do we create doorways of our own? We dream. We envision. We use our sword to cut a pathway into another time or dimension. Taking the journey is our first step. Think about what fascinates you about the realms of fantasy you read? How can you go further in your own writing? What if the hobbits have a protector who watches over them? What if she found out someone wanted to take a few of her charges from their home? What risks would she take to keep them safe? Would she abandon the whole to save the few?

The possibilities are endless. Somebody’s masterpiece began with a peek through the veil. Tell us what you see. Your vision, your story will be unique. Doorways are there, waiting for someone to discover them.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, humor & fun, Muse, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry

There’s Trees Out There, But What Else?


Tolkien's Cover Designs for the First Edition ...
Tolkien’s Cover Designs for the First Edition of The Lord of the Rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s Trees Out There, But What Else?

Traci Kenworth

 

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what should be in your stories. A hidden brook? An enchanted forest? Elves? All can be fun and yet, just as discouraging. You don’t quite want to bring someone else’s tales to life. You want different. Unique. Where to begin? Listen to your characters. Is there a new twist you can put on giants or dwarfs? Maybe enslaving one or the other to a master who becomes a threat to both kinds? Someone who intends to use the populations to control the world? The possibilities are endless.

I love the LOTR world as much as anyone, but I want to make my take on the beings within unique. Thus, one of my monsters has hobbit feet. Hairy, bare, no-shoes-here ones. Although, from the rest of the creature’s make-up, you’d find a hard time finding anything cute about them. There meant to show the flaw in the design of the monster being able to assimilate itself into the human world.

I started out with small plans for my story background, but it grew more complicated, more complex along the way, until I had a world I love to explore. A world hidden among our own, with principles older than time. I’ve created a people who shouldn’t exist, but through our need for them, do. They are the guardians, the last protectors of mankind. Bursting out of the shadows, they save us from the evil that hangs onto the edges of society. Yet, they don’t want to be our saviors, but our teachers, to bring us back to what matters in our hearts.

I’m fascinated by their village, how it exists, who they are, what they mean to us. I know monsters and magical beings don’t usually mix in the same stories, but in my writing, they do. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m always excited to see just over the next hill, behind that Spruce tree, into the valley below. Magic exists if we wish to see it around us. I hope to bring you all along on those journeys.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, Reading, Writing and Poetry

Finding My Way between Genres


Fantasy Faire 2009
Fantasy Faire 2009 (Photo credit: Monyokararan.)

 

Finding My Way between Genres

 

Traci Kenworth

 

 

 

I know I’ve said I write scary before, but it occurred to me recently that I also bring in the whole world-building of fantasy as well. I find myself teetering between genres. My stories definitely have all the horror elements but the world is steeped in the fantasy settings I grew up on. It’s because of this that I’m no longer going to focus solely on horror on my blog but add in fantasy as well. Call it my salute to LOTR.

 

I enjoy all the details of fantasy: the creatures, the people, the cultures, the magic, on and on. I was in heaven when I attended a Medieval festival a few years back. It was like stepping between the pages of one of my beloved author’s books. So, I’m going to start visiting topics on another genre I love.

 

I don’t know quite how the genres ended up mixing together for me. It’s taken me quite a while. I realized what I have isn’t strictly horror but a blend of the two. I’ve invited giants, ghosts, and the undead into my world. Why restrict myself to one element when I can discuss so much more? So from now on, I write scary with a bite of dark fantasy.

 

Posted in a bit of seriousness, humor & fun, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry

Update Feb. 7, 2013


English: Street scenes of fall
English: Street scenes of fall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Update Feb. 7, 2013

 

Traci Kenworth

 

 

 

I’m still in the editing/rewriting stages on my wip. Although it may not seem like I’m making much progress (it feels like it’s been forever doing this), truly I am. My story has undergone such changes that will make it better, stronger, hopefully more fulfilling for the readers and that’s what matters. I know each time we query, we need to present the best story possible for us at that time. It takes a lot to get it to that “ready” stage. I’ve rushed in the past and found myself putting forth less-than-perfect entries and that’s not good. We want to earn an agent’s notice for writing well, not by something we should stuff inside our desk drawer as “lessons learned.”

 

What I’ve been working on with the book are the creatures. There’s different kinds and within one group, different levels. It’s tough to come up with something totally “unique” but I’ve tried to with mine. I’ve thought of the things that scare me and built on that in the development. What scares the characters also went into the consideration. It has to be a combination of both, I think, to get the “monster” to be at its worst.

 

You know from the last time, one of my characters went from being a brunette to a blonde. Well, I took a look at the rest of my cast as well and fixed those I needed to. Her brother is still dark-brown-haired but I’ve added glasses for him and more of a “stiffer” personality to accord his lawyer aspirations. His girlfriend is still a redhead, but more of a tomboy which will allow some conflict between them. Not to mention, the brother is torn between all that he’s learning about the legal world and the fact that his family is on the run because of his sister’s supernatural abilities.

 

The excitement is brewing is regards to this project and I’m so thankful. It really helps to love your story, your characters, what you’re doing. When you’re miserable, it shows. Right now, I’ve added another two chapters with the creatures pursuing my characters. I wanted to show not only their terror but how close to losing everything they love they are. I think that’s a key to horror. They have to not only be afraid of their lives ending, but the lives of those around them as well. When they care about someone other than themselves, it keeps the reader spell-bound. It shows what kind of character they really are: others come first.

 

I hope your own writing/editing is coming along well. Happy writing.