Posted in Links, MG & YA, traditional, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

When Do You Make Yourself Happy? by Traci Kenworth


When Do You Choose What Makes You Happy?

Traci Kenworth

Our lives are built around doing things for others. When do you choose what’s right for you? When do you choose what makes you happy? I hear you. Kids. The spouse. Your boss at work. Friends. They all pull us in different directions. And I get that they’re important. That you love them with all your heart. That’s great. That’s good.

We spend so much time doing for others, we sometimes forget our own priorities. And I’m not saying family, friends, or work aren’t a priority. The truth of the matter is, if you continue to let dreams crumble, one day they’ll be no more. We need to take a step back here and there to see what we’d like to do with our goals/our futures.

I’ve written since I was little but had no idea that that’s what I wanted to do with my life till after I left college. To me, words were something sacred, something that wouldn’t be practical for my life. Don’t all those guidance tests tell us that? Or at least, the guidance counselor? Choose something else. That was hammered in me from those days.

So, I did. Nothing worked out for me. I struggled to find a job that interested me. They were all boring. Or a necessity. But you know, I came to realize that’s what the draw to writing was about. It wasn’t boring. In fact, it was damn exciting. It thrummed through my veins as soon as I put my fingers to the keyboard or picked up a pen.

I stopped fighting what others told me was impossible. In a lot of areas of my life. Today, I’m so glad that I didn’t give up. I wouldn’t have kids. I wouldn’t have a good life. And starting this journey again would be so much harder. My health, admittedly, is something I still have to consider. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m taking strides further.

By the way, if you see someone you used to know from wherever, don’t assume things about them without knowing their health. I’ve had classmates from school and old neighbors assume my weight problems were due to pregnancy. The truth was far from that. I didn’t gain this weight till I ended up in the hospital and then they jerked me from medicine to medicine trying to solve my problems.

There comes a time when you have to realize that if something makes you happy, do more of it. Writing is the elixir of my life. I need it to feel accomplished in my day. No matter if I ever reach the goals I wish, I will keep going, keep fighting. Because to not do so, doesn’t give me anything to shoot for.

It might not seem like much to you, but for me, it’s more than enough. It’s a hope that I haven’t always had a lot of in my life. It’s a strength that builds my day. Who knows how long we have left in this existence? I don’t want to waste another minute. No matter what happens, I will always keep stringing words together. Hoping. Smiling. Keeping the faith. Have a great week, everyone.

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Some blogs you might enjoy:

  1. The Killzone https://killzoneblog.com/2022/06/tips-to-deceive-characters-and-readers.html

Fictional truth is never quite as clear as it seems on the surface. Deceptiveness boils down to manipulation, disguise, and misdirection. The writer can deceive characters and readers in numerous ways.

A villain might murder another character, then lie to avoid detection. This leads to more lies, more misdirection, and deepening deceptions, creating tension and conflict.

What if the main character lies to themselves about who they are or their current circumstances? Because the truth may be too difficult to accept, the charade continues. One of the most widely known examples is The Sixth Sense.

2. Writer’s Helping Writer’s https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/06/3-design-secrets-for-captivating-book-ads/ With so many books in the world and ads on every platform imaginable, social media can often feel like screaming into a void. In order to get any traction, you need ad design that gets noticed by your ideal reader or target audience. Following these 3 tips will give you a bit of a secret sauce foundation for capturing those clicks.

3. Middle Grade Mojo https://middlegrademojo.com/2022/06/28/mg-summer-reading-5-fun-cinderella-retellings/

Who can resist a fun retelling of a classic fairytale? Having some knowledge of the backstory allows the reader to get invested in the story quickly. Today’s guest post is a fairytale specialist—Leah Cypess is the author of the SISTERS EVER AFTER series and shares some of her favorite retellings of Cinderella.

Leah Cypess: While writing GLASS SLIPPERS, I avoided reading other retellings of Cinderella. But now that GLASS SLIPPERS is out in the world, I was able to revisit some old favorites — and discover some new ones — to recommend to any middle grade readers who are looking for more takes on Cinderella! Here are my 5 favorites:

  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I know, I know! It’s so obvious it almost doesn’t bear mentioning. But it’s so good that it has to be mentioned. (And don’t just take my word for it — the Newbery Committee thought so too!) The story of a girl named Ella who is “blessed” with the gift of obedience, this retelling is inventive, enthralling, and thoroughly magical. (And if you’ve watched the movie — go read the book anyhow. Seriously. They are barely telling the same story.)
  2. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George. This book is the second in a series, and I highly recommend starting with the first, Princess of the Midnight Ball (a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses). With that said, if for some reason you must, you can also read Princess of Glass as a stand-alone. This book is actually about a different princess at that famous ball, thus setting it up for a series of fascinating and fairy-tale-bending twists. It’s a sweet and fast-paced entry in George’s fabulous Princess trilogy.

4. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/06/29/too-many-windows/

I generally only have one or two windows open at a time. Recently, it’s gotten kind of crazy. I’m working on two manuscripts at once, so when I find something interesting or informative, I currently leave that window open. Beats adding a bunch of bookmarks when I only need them temporarily.

Let’s take a look at them, just for a laugh.

Entertaining Stories – you are here.

Facts about Potassium Iodide – used for radiation poisoning

Google window -for saltwater taffy

Recipe – for saltwater taffy – vehicle for Potassium Iodide

Google translate – for English to Spanish

5. The Write Stuff https://marciamearawrites.com/2022/06/30/thorsdaysmile-humor-amlaughing-11/ Are you ready for a few smiles this morning? Thor thinks you are, so let’s get right to it! Here is a bit of a mixed bag for you, and I hope you find a couple of things you enjoy!

Posted in blogs, Craft, Links, Links, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Pimples That Invade Our Writing by Traci Kenworth


The Pimples That Invade Writing

Traci Kenworth

Pimples can ruin your day. I remember many a day gazing into the mirror, seeing that horrible red invader. It always showed up in the midst of a big event. Prom. A date. The day of your wedding. Always inconvenient. Always hideous. You just wanted to crawl back under the covers and avoid anyone you knew seeing you.

The real you. This is what happened when life just went south. Any other day, things would be fine. Your skin would be close to flawless. You’d be ready to take on the day. Everything just seemed to work out the way it was supposed to. And then, once again, those pimples would show up when you least expected it. It’s the same with writing.

You’re working along, whether by longhand or key, and you stumble into a crater that destroys your train of thought. What to do? Go around or go through. Choosing to go around could interrupt everything. Pushing through might lead you to a new discovery. Whatever path you follow, you learn to deal with both the rough stuff and the easy.

After all, doesn’t that mirror life? You don’t always have good days. Nor do you always have bad ones. It’s a mixture of both. The ups and downs of the plot points in your story run the same. If characters always had a smooth ride, they’d never get off. Leaving town, getting to know the stranger out on the road, could bring great things for that character.

Red blotches make us suffer humility at times. Even the prettiest girl in high school got them. Lots of cover-up and powder followed those days. However, when it comes to the page, seeing those zits as a growth opportunity for your characters is the way to go. Everyone has problems. Young and old. How we handle them is all different.

Some hide them, some pull them out to get everything out in the open. It depends on the personality of the character. It’s why some run into adventures and others burrow into their hobbit hole. No two characters are alike. That’s what makes the story beat with excitement. It brings our characters to life for the reader. They’re interested in the characters’ reactions as well as the story at hand.

Flaws build character. No one is perfect. And if they were, readers wouldn’t identify with them. They want to share the struggles; feel the emotions your characters go through. A flat, emotionless character might sound like a good experimental character but in reality, readers aren’t going to attach themselves to that type of personality. Again, they want to be part of the journey. When Frodo reaches Mt. Doom to destroy the ring, they want to be right there with him, cheering him on.

The pimples that invade our writing might look ugly at first but if we let them, they can teach us lessons about what’s missing in our characters. Giving them problems helps make them more identifiable. That leads to better writing.

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I may recieve a small compensation for any of the products listed above.

Links you may enjoy!
  1. James Scott Bell on Killzone: https://killzoneblog.com/2022/03/its-crucial-to-know-who-you-are-as-a-writer.html

Have you heard about what Brandon Freaking Sanderson is doing? As they used to say in the 60s, “It’ll blow your mind, man.”

Last Tuesday Sanderson made a “surprise announcement” via YouTube, telling his fans that over the course of the last two years he has produced four—count ’em, four—“secret” novels. Instead of releasing these books through a traditional publisher, Sanderson is running a Kickstarter campaign to sell directly to his readers. The books will be delivered each quarter in 2023. And not just books. At certain levels supporters receive a box of Sanderson swag in each of the other eight months.

When you run a Kickstarter, you choose a minimum goal for your campaign. If you don’t hit it, the pledges aren’t collected. Sanderson set his goal at $1 million.

2. Syl65’s blog for the wonderful poet Sylvester: https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/03/06/spiritualsunday-8/ Spiritual Sunday

3. Fictional Favorites by John Howell: https://johnwhowell.com/2022/03/05/stream-of-consciousness-saturday-prompt-way-to-go/

Drumming my fingers on the counter, waiting for the orchestrated process that manufacturers a cup of coffee to be complete, the memory synapses kick in before caffeine. That darned bunny was the message relayed to the heart, lungs, stomach, and legs. Mercifully the machine finally delivered the soothing syrup designed to smooth out the peaks and valleys of an overrevved reaction to the torturous memory interruption. “Way to go,” I whispered to the hot, steaming mug of dark frothy deliciousness.

In a more stable condition, the realization that the front door needs to be addressed sets in. Since there is no clue of anything on the Ring doorbell camera, there is only one way to determine if the grey carrot munching talking cartoon of a rabbit is gone. My prayer goes up that he is indeed somewhere else. The door is flung open.

“What’s up, Doc?”

4. Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/03/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-memories-music-and-movies-1986-halleys-comet-hawaii-magnum-pi-top-gun-by-sally-cronin/

In celebration of our time in America and the wonderful people we met and still are in touch with, here is our second year living in Houston and some of the adventures we enjoyed. We actually ended up visiting all the East and West Coast as well as driving across country.. On this trip we wanted to see the once in a lifetime visit of Halley’s comet.

It is now 1986 and we were very aware that we only had a year left of David’s contract in America and that we needed to step up our explorations. In that twelve months we visited the East and West coasts and made the epic road trip from Houston to New Mexico with a friend to try and glimpse Halley’s Comet: Wikipedia

5. Chris the Story Reading Ape: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/03/06/crave-rejection-7-never-fail-100-guaranteed-tips-for-raising-your-r-score-by-ruth-harris/

Are you embarrassed by your pathetic R-quotient?

Do other writers sneer at your R-score?

Has your pile of rejection letters stalled out?

Have your R-levels been diagnosed as too low?

Has too much time gone by since your last rejection?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you must take immediate action.

Here’s some advice for those who feel they are missing out on one of the basic building blocks of a successful author’s career: Rejection.

For those who feel they are not paying their dues.

For every writer who is not receiving an adequate, soul-satisfying number of rejections, try these pro tips to help you pump up your pathetic, wimpy R-score.

Where the Genres Collide March 6 2022 at http://www.tracikenworth.com

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, John Howell, author, Links, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry

A Little Bit of Rouge There… by Traci Kenworth


A Little Bit of Rouge There, A Little Bit of Shade to Our Characters

Traci Kenworth

Foreshadowing has never been my strong suit. I see authors such as J.K. Rowling that have snuck items in books that the reader wouldn’t have even noticed in the beginning. And then you just look back in awe. How did they think that far ahead? I know mystery writers do it all the time. Sneaking things in that the reader might see as a diversion but are the absolute truth.

How do they know when to do that? I have a hard time figuring out when to add things as you can see. I know I have to slip it in somewhere but where is the question? Do you find yourself in the same boat or do you totally get those details in just where they need to be? Of course, I know the majority of writers go back through in drafts and add what they need. My problem is knowing how much to put in and where exactly.

I’ve read that some writers know the significance of every detail in the scene including the green curtains in the background. Elsewhere, a butterfly could symbolize rebirth. I’m not that meticulous when it comes to framing things. I would love to be. As I’ve said before, adding something in the second book that shows back up in the sixth is just phenomenal talent for some writers.

I know that in school, stories are examined by teachers and students to determine just what that antique doll sitting on the shelf means. What did the author mean by focusing on that sled in the movie? Theories are sought and discussed over and over. I’ve never been a fan of pulling things apart like that. I like to be more subtle. What does the story mean to me? What are the relevant details and how did they fit in that spot? Would I have done something different? It’s hard to say.

In college, further studies of the classics happened. If Beale Street Could Talk. The Catcher and the Rye. Both books to make you think. Especially as a younger person. It broadened your world. Made you see that everyone has their own suckish life but once you work through things, you discovered life is what life is. You make the best of it. It helps to put your own in perspective. Maybe you didn’t have it as bad as you think.

That’s what books do. They help us explore options. What could be versus what is. It’s only in the learning and exploring that we understand what the story is about. Foreshadowing is a tool writers use to set up a scene further in the future. Discovering when and how to add the clue is done differently by every writer. And let’s face it, some of the clues readers discover ended up there by accident.

I know it’s popular nowadays to think that a writer might have broken down every scene with objects that meant something to the story. The chair in the middle of the floor might showcase a kidnapping. A chest might lead a character on to a quest. Sometimes however, a detail in the story is just there. A character needs a place to rest. To discuss options with his or her friends.

I suppose I’d understand the ways writers insert shade into their stories more if I did the breakdowns of stories. Somehow though, that feels like almost an intrusion into them. I like a bit of mystery, a bit of wonder as to where the writer pulled that out of their page. Mystery writer I may never be, but from what I’ve learned while reading and absorbing the story, I can see the value in adding the clues.

It’ll be something I need to observe more in my reading so that I can apply it to my writing in the years to come. How about you? Do you like to tear stories apart and put them back together? Are you like me and don’t like to study every detail down to the author’s name? I just know what I like when I read it. It’s in the pages that we uncover the magic, the talent of each writer before us and how they came to weave their genius into the story.

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Below are some links you might like to view:

  1. Pitch Wars https://pitchwars.org/upcoming-release-red-thread-of-fate-by-lyn-liao-butler/ Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela. With no other family around, Tam has no choice but to agree to take in the girl she hasn’t seen since the child was an infant. Overwhelmed by her life suddenly being upended, Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. But when a long-concealed secret comes to light just as she and Angela start to bond, their fragile family is threatened. As Tam begins to unravel the events of Tony and Mia’s past in China, she discovers the true meaning of love and the threads that bind her to the family she is fated to have.
  2. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/01/how-to-use-touch-in-writing/

Touch is a basic human need. It’s the first sense we develop and our first social interaction at birth.

The Power of Touch.

Imagine walking barefoot through a forest. The softness of moss between your toes, the cool slime of mud, the pokes and scratches of pine needles, sticks, and stones.

Think of the kitchen and the intense heat of the oven. Remember kneading and punching bread dough, making deep indentations in the mixture, releasing stored aggression on the dough. (Good therapy.)

Touch has two different systems, factual (location, movement, and pressure) and emotional. Both types are used in writing.

3. Story Empire Blog https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2022/01/28/what-can-be-done-if-the-desire-to-write-is-missing/

Hi SEers, John is with you today. I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend. I know I am. Today’s post is all about providing some perspective on those times when no matter how much a writer knows they should get to their writing, they just dread it. I have had those moments. It’s that awful time where writing sounds like it will be a miserable experience.

These times may not last long, but while they are there, they become a cause for unreasonable concern about the future as a writer. I mention unreasonable since, like most things that go bump in the night, these concerns under the white-hot light of reality tend to fall away.

So, what kind of white-hot light can be switched on to expose these feelings of not wanting to write to a reality check. The title of this post gives a hint. Some things can be said out loud that will chase the specter of doubt to St Louis. I am suggesting some things can be said when faced with a lack of desire to write. Once any of these are expressed, writing will take on a revitalized characteristic. Some of these are meant to be humorous to show how laughable it is not wanting to write.

4. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/robbies-inspiration-my-word-for-the-year-patience/

Several people in the blogosphere had selected a word to inspire them for 2022. One of the best such words I’ve encountered is curator shared by Marsh Ingrao of Always Write blog. You can read her post here: https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/01/26/wqw-4-word-of-the-year-or-writers-choice/

Seeing as the bloggers have collective colluded to twist my rubber arm with regards to a wordy inspiration, I have chosen ‘Patience’. I shared my choice with my long suffering husband and, after he’d picked himself up off the floor after laughing himself silly, I composed this poem to keep me on the path of patient virtuousness:

5. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2022/01/27/light-years-from-home-by-mike-chen-blogtour-bookreview-scifi-family/

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

Posted in blogs, Craft, Links, MG & YA, writers, Writing and Poetry

Five Links 3/9/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

Five Links 11/23/19

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. http://booksbywomen.org/step-away-from-your-comfort-zone-by-beverley-harvey/ “For the last month, my writing has stalled. Spectacularly. It’s not time, opportunity or commitment that I lack, it’s motivation and self-belief

Like myriad writers, I am prone to introspection, anxiety and low self-esteem. No sympathy required here; I count myself lucky that I manage these personality traits – and that they do not manage me. However, it does mean that I have to push myself hard and set realistic goals and achievable targets.

Regardless, my writing habit is strong and on a good day, feeling wildly optimistic, I can fly through 1,200 words – and words that I still like the next day – other times, just conjuring 500 can be a colossal challenge. Nevertheless, I keep chipping away and so far I’ve managed to write and publish two novels in this way. 

So why now do I find myself mired by indecision about whether to finish my Work in Progress or not?”

2. https://megdowell.com/2019/11/19/writers-dont-quit-when-youre-falling-behind/ “ used to be an “all or nothing” achiever.

This meant that went I went all in on something — such as National Novel Writing Month, for example — I really went all in. And I would do everything I had the time and resources to do in order to make sure that I completed every task, every goal, no matter what.

But this mentality had a darker side. If for whatever reason I could not even come close to meeting a goal I had set for myself — especially if starting was the issue I found myself struggling against — I just quit. I wouldn’t even try. If I couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause, I wasn’t going to give anything at all.

There is a reason I was not a great student. When it came to studying for an exam, I would either abandon all other obligations and necessities and study every waking moment until test day, or I wouldn’t even bother printing out a study guide. It was always one extreme or the other, every single time.”

3. https://stevelaube.com/what-were-they-reading/ “In attempting to declutter, I am culling my book collection. Parting with beloved tomes is one of the hardest parts of decluttering for me since I enjoy books so much! I’m keeping copies of all the books I’ve written and the many I have had the honor of representing. Because I tend to buy nearly every book that interests me, I have a massive stack to review.

Re-reading bestsellers from the past has made me think of writers and researching. By “bestsellers,” I am not necessarily referring to books that students are assigned to read in school as the best of the best in literature, although, of course, those are always good choices. Instead, I refer to books meant for entertainment and leisure for the audiences of that time. Books that accompanied readers to the beach, or whose primary purpose was to make readers forget their worries so they could become absorbed in the concerns of characters making bad choices, being victimized, and fighting for their lives. Plots in which good may or may not overcome evil because no character is so exemplary that a reader can root for her without reservation. Regrettably, unlike in Christian fiction, characters’ relationships with God tends to be none, not addressed, or set aside. This realization caused me to appreciate Christian fiction anew, by the way.”

4. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/holiday-writing-plan/ “No getting around it, the holiday season is here. Next week is Thanksgiving, families are gathering, and stores are already playing Christmas music. The joys, the stresses… here they come.

What does this mean for writers? This season can easily lead to frustration for people trying to juggle a busy life on top of their writing. The time available for your writing dwindles and you start to feel behind and get stressed that you’re not meeting your goals or deadlines.

It’s time to make a Holiday Writing Plan.

Let’s face this time of year head-on with a strategy that will take us through to January 2nd with the least”

5. https://conniejjasperson.com/2019/11/20/creating-depth-subtext-amwriting/ “NaNoWriMo is in full swing and sliding toward the finish. We have slightly less than two weeks left. My manuscript is inching toward completion. I have crossed the 50,000 word line, but the book is less than half finished. Many scenes that currently exist will likely be cut, and new scenes written that better show the story.

A lot of new authors are discovering words like “subtext” and wondering what that means. Subtext is a complicated aspect of the story, existing in the depths of the inferential layer of the Word-Pond that is Story.

Since nothing has changed since I last wrote on this subject, here is the reprise of the post Subtext, first posted here in March of 2018.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://ryanlanz.com/2019/11/20/writing-action-scenes/

2. https://wilfredbooks.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/25-free-tools-to-improve-your-writing-in-2020/Writing tools promise to make our life easier. But first you have to choose which one to use. And God knows there are plenty of them around nowadays! I counted four posts on the subject on my blog alone, with dozens of links to promising tools. So, wouldn’t it be if someone organized that information into an Infographic, letting you compare what they can each offer with simple single-line tips?

That is exactly what WikiBuy did, with their Infographic, “Free Tools To Sharpen Your Writing Skills.” I’m sharing here, in the hopes of helping you discover your”

3.  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2019/11/20/5-easy-ways-to-get-readers-to-leave-comments-on-your-blog/ “During the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve found many ways of getting readers to interact with me. Today, I’m going to share with you what I believe are the five most important and easiest ways of generating comments.

In one of her recent blog posts, blogging expert Janice Wald says that search engines such as Google and Bing are attracted to blog posts that contain at least 30 comments. Why? Because they show that the blog is active.

Janice goes on to say that value-added comments can bring in lots of extra traffic and boost the post’s SEO ranking too. Comments help lengthen a blog post, and search engines are attracted to long posts rather than short ones.”

4. https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/angel-messages-november-21-2019/

5. http://booksbywomen.org/from-news-release-to-novel/ “When I was about seventeen years old, my father asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I said: “I’d like to write novels.” 

His response was less than encouraging. “It’s really hard to write a novel, you know,” he said. “You’d need to do a considerable amount of research, and that’s not easy.” He went on to say that, in essence, people like us didn’t write novels. 

I was a little deflated, I have to admit. But, to be fair, my father had a great respect for authors. He really did think you had to be extra-special to become one – though I’m sure he wanted me to get a ‘proper’ job and that was at least partly why he said what he did. I don’t blame him for his response: in those days, not many people became authors and there wasn’t the huge range of entry points – novel-writing courses, MAs in creative writing – that there are now. 

So, anyway, what was I going to do? I went off to university to study a subject I was inspired by, Linguistics, and I continued to nurture my love of language with no clear idea of what I was going to do with it. In those days (further off than I care to say!) you studied the academic subject you wanted to, with no imperative to attach any long-term plans. You enjoyed yourself as much as you could, with a little learning thrown in.”

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/11/20/november-20-2019-working-on-us-week-24-mental-health-blogging-community-mental-health-series-topic-managing-your-mental-health-during-the-holidays/

2. https://mybipolarmind.com/2019/11/19/late-nights-anxiety/

3. https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/11/21/%f0%9f%8d%8e-november-21-2019-quotes-and-food-for-thought/

4. https://megdowell.com/2019/11/20/when-no-one-reads-a-different-kind-of-rejection/ “I don’t think there is a writer in this world who particularly enjoys being rejected.

There are some who seek it out, who make it a point to accumulate as many rejections as possible to both increase their chances of success and prove to themselves that “failure” is a necessary part of the journey.

But we all secretly wish it didn’t have to happen — and that it didn’t happen to so many of us in such a variety of unappealing ways.”

5. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/11/20/accept-yourself/ “Do you accept yourself for who you are, or are you the type of person who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin? In other words you are always trying to be someone else? Feeling comfortable and accepting yourself is important if you want to lead a fulfilling and happy life. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve these feelings. 

Your first step is to ask yourself a couple of questions:”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://somethingferal.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/a-notional-realm/

2. https://butismileanyway.com/2019/11/20/tallis-steelyard-bringing-the-joys-of-civilisation-blogtour/

3. https://phillipknightscott.com/2019/11/20/in-the-shade-an-awakening/

4. https://charmedchaos.com/2019/11/20/stark-array/

5. https://syl65.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/thoughtfulthursday-time/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://mystictalestintin.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/review-till-we-meet-again/ “Everyone leads a unique life; a life that could be penned down in a book. In Shibaji Bose’s novel ‘Till We Meet Again’, we come across one such ordinary, young man Aryan, whose only aim is to cross the threshold of being an average. After his father’s untimely death in a political riot, Aryan finds himself the man of the household. He somehow has to let go of his inhibitions and hold his breaking family together. In the midst of it all, he encounters life like no other. This is a tale of an ordinary man living an extraordinary life. Will he be able to fulfill his much-needed duty? Or will the average tag remain his only identity?

I wish I had read this book earlier. It’s inspiring, bold and has a wide spectrum. I loved the overall narrative tone of the story. It’s so motivating. Each of the women in Aryan’s life taught him something; Rhea taught him to let go of the past and move forward, Kavya’s sensuous and unapologetic nature made him bold, Priya taught him the lesson of life, and Ahana held his heart and made him shed his shell. It’s amazing that he met so many women and they were all different from each other. Even his mother is such a strong character in the book. I enjoyed the character development, even the minor characters had their rightful place in the novel. The political growth displayed throughout the narration was splendid. The ending was fulfilling; it did justice to the plot. It was realistic until the very end.”

2. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/bookreviews-books-by-sue-vincent-and-d-g-kaye/ “The relationship between Ani, the inimitable Small Dog and her two-legs, first came to light in ‘Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two’. Their poetic adventures continued in ‘Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End’. In this new collection of poems, their daily life together takes centre stage. From the perfidy of humans who insist on bathing dogs, to the unpunctuality of writers at mealtimes, the relationship between two legs and four is explored in verse. The Small Dog reveals her continuing fascination with chicken, tennis”

3. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2019/11/22/sweet-baby-yoda-do-i-have-some-news-for-you/

4. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/friday-book-share-a-comprehensive-list/ “This is a most generous post. Staci dedicated her Story Empire post to her fellow SE members today. Check it out and meet some pretty cool authors.”

5. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2019/11/21/all-of-my-every-things-by-l-bachman-genre-poetry/ “his is not a normal poetry book. It is an exorcism of the soul. A poet will write about the highs and lows of their life in excruciating beautiful ways. Wrapping their pain with a ribbon to either be kept as a secret or presented. L. Bachman has gathered some of her most emotionally raw verses selected from a nineteen-year period of her life and is the first volume of complete non-fiction to date.

With bruised white knuckles, created by a humbled self-diagnosed battered and broken being on the road to healing and coping from a painful childhood. This is a display of work created to express personal struggles and surviving through periods of insomnia, moments of love, depression, anxiety, and healing.

Cover to cover you will read the inner workings of a reclusive introvert that has spent her lifetime trying to answer her own questions about who she is, what part she plays in life, and trying to heal from things she couldn’t. You will see into the mind of the woman known as L. Bachman through over thirty poems left up to the reader to interpret with an introduction by author KJ. Taylor.”

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Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, fantasy, gothic, horror, Indie, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry

Five Links 11/9/19 Traci Kenworth


portrait fantasy

Five Links 11/9/19

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://killzoneblog.com/2019/11/stretch-your-style.html “Not every writer is interested in style. If they can write lean, mean plots that move, with interesting characters and a satisfying ending, that’s enough. They’d rather write fast and turn out more work than spend extra time trying to find the “right” words.

Isaac Asimov was such a writer. He purposely developed a stripped-down style so he could churn out the books. He was once asked what he would do if he found out he had just six months to live. “Type faster,” he said.” I can see both sides. I want my stories to be the most important, but I’d love to add a little zip to things. I read poetry every other morning and keep a journal for morning writing or those late-night thoughts.

2. https://megdowell.com/2019/11/02/12-things-everyone-tells-you-about-writing-but-maybe-you-need-to-hear-them-again/

3. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/publishings-tripping-hazards/

4. https://writersinthestormblog.com/2019/11/writing-about-hair-comprehensive-guide/

5. https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/11/08/writing-for-audio-first-with-jules-horne/ “Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, but how do you make sure your books sound good in audio?

How can you improve your writing so listeners come back for more of your books?

In this interview, Jules Horne gives some tips for audio-first writing.”

Research & Some Fun Bits:

1. https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/11/08/what-can-we-learn-from-comments-as-bloggers-plus-tips-d-g-kaye-writer/ “I do try to live my life with the adage of ‘Do unto others’ mantra. That’s what inspired me to share this comment I received. I try my best to keep my blog ‘clean’ and not crowded, and thought I’d pass on a few tips. Now, I do know that sometimes my blog posts will have the occasional wonky formating in them – courtesy of WordPress and theme not playing nice. But I do use the ‘preview’ before scheduling a post to make sure it doesn’t look wonky, and sometimes, there are conditions beyond my control, which I will always state on my blog so that others don’t think I’m being sloppy. So below, I’ll mention a few options we have in our WordPress editors to enhance the reader’s experience.” Comments usually show me what readers like and don’t like.

2. https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/edit-online-graphics-editor-review/ “Today’s post is the second of a 4-part series that started with DesignCap’s review. The series explores three sites that can help you create stunning visuals and offer a free version.

As a bonus, some of them will give away free subscriptions to the first five of my readers to click on the links at the end!

How EDIT can help you

EDIT is an online graphics editor service. It promises to simplify your design experience by offering you a bunch of templates to choose from.”

3. https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/quotations-on-first-drafts/

4. https://amylsauder.com/2019/11/07/stories-of-an-author-encountering-readers/ “As an introvert, I was surprised to find one of my favorite things about being an author is in-person events. Because y’all are seriously so fun to meet and connect with. Here are just a few encounters I’ve had in my year of being published:

I don’t know what it is, but kids are always interested in my table. I need kids books.

A girl around 6 years old wanted my psychopathic murderer book. Her mom told her when she got older she’d be able to read a book that big. Skipped right over the whole scary murderous part, just said she needed to work her way up to bigger books. #parentinggoals, am I right?

I told the girl she could take a collectors card instead, and she picked up Cami’s BFF, a real safe choice.” Her readers sound a-mazing!

5. https://thepbsblog.com/2019/11/08/black-history-fun-fact-friday-what-hollywood-left-out-the-harriet-movie/

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/11/03/%f0%9f%8d%8e-november-3-2019-quotes-and-food-for-thought/

2. https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/11/08/%f0%9f%8d%8e-november-8-2019-quotes-and-food-for-thought/

3. https://mybipolarmind.com/2019/11/07/catching-my-breath/

4. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/11/08/living-lore-the-black-dog-of-yapton-bryony-voller-sue-vincents-daily-echo/

5. https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/angel-messages-november-8-2019/

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/11/02/myths-of-the-mirror-november-writing-challenge-sorrow/ “Diana over at mythsofthemirror has a new challenge out for November:
Write from the point of view of a creature that doesn’t exist in the “real” world.”

2.  https://jenanita01.com/2019/11/02/what-do-you-see-encounter-with-air/ “Dear friends, as some of you know that our dear Hélèneused to do this Prompt and after her sad departure, I have felt that this gap needs to be filled. I have decided to take this challenge up and as a trial, I will post 4 challenges for the next 4 Mondays at 12:00 am PST, every Monday morning. And we shall see where to go from there. I hope that you will” I enjoy prompts. I learn something new every time. Currently, I’m working with another writer to improve my craft at short stories.

3.  https://phillipknightscott.com/2019/11/07/just-breathe/

4. https://charmedchaos.com/2019/11/07/thoughts-at-a-french-cafe/

5. https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/glow-writephoto/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/11/06/conversations-with-colleen-meet-author-eloise-de-sousa-twitter/

2. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/bookreview-christmas-cupcakes-and-a-caper/ “It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire of Callie’s Cakes, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?”

3. https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/author-spotlight-raymond-walker/

4. https://teripolen.com/2019/11/07/the-prisoner-of-cell-25-michael-vey-1-by-richard-paul-evans-bookreview-ya-fantasy/My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

5. https://johnwhowell.com/2019/11/07/thursday-a-little-personal-serang-a-new-book-by-c-s-boyack/ “Let me try again. Serang was a popular character in Voyage of the Lanternfish. Her origin is pretty amazing, and Craig decided to turn that into a book. It supports the Lanternfish trilogy, but isn’t part of the trilogy. It also helps quell that urge for more Lanternfish while he finishes writing the remaining tales.

Serang’s father was a fisherman, and he died when she was very young. Her mother abandoned her at a monastery, and she was raised by monks. She learned things she never would have learned otherwise, like reading, writing, and martial arts. She also adopted a lifestyle of service to others and sharing what she has.

Fathers are kind of a driving force behind Voyage of the Lanternfish. James became who he is, because of his father’s actions. Dan also had some father issues he dealt with, and even Mal dealt with some of this from the father’s point of view.

Serang never let go of her father, either. Her memories are limited to the idea that he was a fisherman. She and her master were helping a village, because the Emperor took nearly everything they have for his”

Posted in blogs, Craft, MG & YA, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry

Book Talk 11/1/19: Jack M. Bickman’s Setting Traci Kenworth


fantasy

Book Talk 11/1/19: Jack M. Bickham’s Setting

Traci Kenworth

Setting: The Elements of Fiction Writing by Jack M. Bickham 1994 Writer’s Digest Books.

Amazon’s Blurb: Suggests ways of creating an appropriate setting and incorporating it into the story, discussing the function of a setting, how it can affect story meaning, and how it can advance the plot

My Review: It’s been a long time since I read this book and the re-read helped me to see things that I couldn’t when I was a newbie writer. I learned how to use an object in the setting to bring the scenes together such as a clock tower, a restaurant, or a train station. He showed different scenes in books to showcase how important the setting is. It shouldn’t be bland or white noise. On the other hand, you don’t want to purple prose things either. A happy medium will do. This is part of the Writer’s Digest Book Series. They have a lot of fantastic volumes in their inventory. I’m lucky to own quite a few. I haven’t been able to keep up in recent years as much, but these volumes are from when I started out writing. Sometimes, going back in later years points us to a lot of things we didn’t get the first time around.

Posted in blogs, Craft, MG & YA

Seven Links 10/12/19 Traci Kenworth


scarecrow

Seven Links 10/12/19

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://lithub.com/philip-pullman-on-childrens-literature-and-the-critics-who-disdain-it/ “This talk is going to be partly at least about children’s literature, or so it says in the program. I should say at the outset that I’m not going to treat the subject in an academic way, even if I could; I find it hard to think about anything for very long, or at all deeply, unless I can get some practical grasp of it. My qualifications for saying anything about books that children read are strictly limited to the fact that I write them. So these reflections are those of someone who makes up stories and thinks about how he does it, rather than those of a scholar who has studied the subject from an academic point of view.

I thought I should begin by trying to say what children’s literature is; but that’s not as easy as it seems. We think we know what it is—there are books about it, you can be a professor of it—but it still seems to me rather a slippery term. It’s not quite like any other category of literature.

For example, if we go into a large bookshop we find many different ways of dividing up the stock. We find books separated by genre, for example horror, crime, science fiction; but children’s books—children’s literature—isn’t a genre in that sense.

However, we also find shelves labelled women’s literature, black literature, gay and lesbian literature. Is children’s literature like that?”

2. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/receiving-feedback-on-your-work/ “A few years back, I met with an author during a conference to listen to a pitch. Based on the short introduction to the manuscript, I had a few words of advice on how the author could change up the project to make it more relevant for the market. The suggested changes were not big, and I was just trying to be helpful. The author did not take this feedback well and told me that if I didn’t like the book it was okay because it was out with other agents anyway.

I do believe that sometimes one agent is just not the right person to represent a project, but to reject constructive feedback from a publishing professional is not a good move. As an author, you want to be a sponge, soaking up all the helpful information you can on your journey to publication. Now, it is good to take feedback with a grain of salt, but being gracious and receptive when advice is offered is always wise.

The agents of Books & Such often ask for an author to rework a bit of a proposal or manuscript before we offer representation to an author to see if he/she is receptive to our feedback. It’s very hard to work with someone who isn’t open to making changes that we believe will strengthen the project before we send it out to publishing houses. When an author is receptive to making changes, it shows us that he/she will work well with an editor at a publishing house, too.”

3. https://lithub.com/when-stephen-king-is-your-father-the-world-is-full-of-monsters/ “We had a new monster every night.

I had this book I loved, Bring on the Bad Guys. It was a big, chunky paperback collection of comic-book stories, and as you might guess from the title, it wasn’t much concerned with heroes. It was instead an anthology of tales about the worst of the worst, vile psychopaths with names like The Abomination and faces to match.

My dad had to read that book to me every night. He didn’t have a choice. It was one of these Scheherazade-type deals. If he didn’t read to me, I wouldn’t stay in bed. I’d slip out from under my Empire Strikes Back quilt and roam the house in my Spider-Man Underoos, soggy thumb in my mouth and my filthy comfort blanket tossed over one shoulder. I could roam all night if the mood took me. My father had to keep reading until my eyes were barely open, and even then, he could only escape by saying he was going to step out for a smoke and he’d be right back.” I like what he describes: a normal family, all dear to each other. We need more of that!

4. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/why-book-pre-orders-matter/ “Publishers will tell you that one of the best ways to build momentum for your upcoming book is to encourage pre-orders from readers. What’s the big deal about pre-orders?

Pre-orders are stockpiled and then counted officially as sales the first week your book releases.

That means your title will burst onto the book world scene like a race horse out of the gate. These sales are built up over months of readers pre-ordering. But the books are all shipped during the first week. That means the chances of your book being on a national best-seller list are the strongest at the book’s release. Especially because pre-order sales will be combined with sales from readers who buy the title when it releases.

Establishing a book as a hit its first week can be a momentum boost.”

5. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2019/10/how-to-scare-your-readers-using-deep-point-of-view/ “I love to get geeky about deep point of view and I’m so excited to be a guest writing coach here. *mittened fist bump* What is Deep Point Of View? It’s a writing technique, a strategy, that removes the perceived distance between readers and characters so readers feel like they’re IN THE STORY, in real time. Deep POV straps a Go-Pro to your main character and takes the reader on an intimate, visceral, emotional journey. You can use deep POV for your entire novel or for key scenes where you’re looking for an emotional gut-punch. 

Take fear, for instance. It’s such a common emotion that it’s sometimes hard to make it real for readers. When I’m critiquing, I find that writers don’t go “deep enough” into fear to really create that emotional punch they’re looking for in key scenes. Have you ever had an editor or crit partner say “go deeper?” Here are some of my best tips on how to dig deeper into fear to really make it work for you. “

6. https://stevelaube.com/writing-sympathetic-characters/ “Have you ever stopped reading a novel because you didn’t like or weren’t interested in the characters or you couldn’t muster enough caring about them to stick with them for 300 pages? Here are a few tips to try to keep this reaction from happening to your readers:

1. Portray your character as a true victim. Do use caution, so you don’t venture into melodrama. People like rooting for the underdog, so opening with your character being in a terrible situation beyond her control will not only make the character sympathetic, but will engage the reader so she wonders how this character will overcome her condition. For example, the character:

— is an orphan.

— is a widow.

— has lost everyone she cares about.

— has lost everything that offers her security.

— is physically scarred.”

7. https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2019/10/fear-what-scares-you-most-in-books-movies.html “Fear: What Scares You the Most in Books and Movies?

I am no longer in the habit of indulging in self-fright by reading books that are too alarming or watching movies that terrify. But that’s today. When I was young and foolish, I took chances.”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. https://megdowell.com/2019/10/09/yes-your-writing-dreams-are-worth-chasing/It’s easier to believe we will never get where we want to be and quit then it is to believe we will get there someday and work harder.

OCT 9, 2019MEG DOWELL

When you were small, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My answer to this question is multi-layered because I have always wanted to do and be everything all at once — and I still do. At one point I wanted to be an artist, then a dancer, a musician, and I don’t know, at some point the idea of writing for a living came along and I just couldn’t let it go.

But just because I have held onto that dream for a very long time does not mean I am immune to the “what if” moments. You know the ones. The “what if I fail and embarrass myself” moments. The moments when you start to wonder if this dream everyone seems to think you will never reach is nothing more than a total waste of your time.”

2. https://whenangelsfly.net/2019/10/09/the-basics-of-using-the-gutenberg-editor-part-two-colleen-m-chesebro/

3. https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/english-blog-post-2-by-alexandra-biddison/ “The novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, primarily revolves around Victor’s Frankenstein’s monster, which is usually referred to as the “creature.” Throughout the novel Frankenstein unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the monster multiple times up until he succumbs his fate. Something that I found interesting about the novel is that the creature does not have a name. The monster is not treated in a humane fashion and was even sometimes referred to as “it.” Having a name gives a person or animal or object an identity. The purpose of a name is to give someone or something a sense of uniqueness and individuality. A name is usually given by a child’s parents. However, Frankenstein does not even care to give the monster a name. Even though the monster appears to look similar to humans, he is deemed by others, specifically Frankenstein, as a “daemon” or “the wretch” (Shelley). The creature is seen…”

4. https://acflory.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/music-for-the-acolyte/

5. https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/amazon-kindle-matchbook-is-retiring/ “This is the third major change announced by Amazon in the last days. After retiring Amazon giveaways, Amazon now is ending its Kindle Matchbook program on October 31.

Strangely enough, I heard the news on The Passive Voice and The Digital Reader instead of Amazon. This, despite the fact that all of my books are on the Matchbook program!

Launched in 2013, Kindle Matchbook was a program where authors and publishers had the option of creating ebook and print bundles that combine a Kindle ebook with a print book sold by Amazon. The ebook could be given away for free, or sold for $1.99 or $0.99.”

6. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2019/10/09/windemere-monsters-dread-boar-fantasy-adventure/ “The Dread Boar is one of the creatures that came out of nowhere and racked up a ton of mileage quickly.  Debuting in the Legends of Windemere series, they have also been mentioned and appeared in War of Nytefall and The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks.  That covers a lot of ground, so you know these giant pigs are going to keep coming back.  Honestly, they’ve kind of become my ‘go to’ wild beast when I need something big and aggressive.  Not necessarily for a fight, but comparisons and declarations of toughness for blowhards.  So, where did they come from?”

7. https://jolenemottern.com/2019/10/09/busy-countin-blessings/ “I’m not sayin I’ve been busy, I’m just sayin — Last night I had a dream that my dog was bleedin to death and there was nothin I could do. I was helpless. Only a matter of time. Her death was imminent. And yet — In my dream, as I lay beside her, I was impatiently thinkin I don’t have time to hold my dog while she bleeds out — I got too much shit to do.

Lemme just take a moment to count my blessings.
I am home, bathed, fed, comfortably adorned in pajama pants and a sweatshirt, sittin on my sofa. And there’s this:”

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://mybipolarmind.com/2019/10/09/autumn-my-favorite-time-of-the-year/

2. https://syl65.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/sylvester-stallones-most-inspirational-speech-to-power-through-adversity/

3. https://juantetcts.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/on-survival-2/

4. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-what-bestsellers-were-released-in-the-year-of-your-birth/

5. https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2019/10/10/the-whirlpool/ “t begins with a feeling… A feeling that something has fallen: like a vital bridge being destroyed.

As it develops, you sense the landscape being stretched, allowing forms of life alien to your own to enter the world.

And then you become conscious that there is a velocity, here – that we are all going somewhere we didn’t ask for. After a while you realise that the world is not only changing, but is being buffeted from the same place…

That place is the centre. The place from which the tearing winds are coming.”

6. https://stacitroilo.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/power-outage/ “Hi everyone. This is Michele, Staci’s sister.

Staci is currently experiencing a forced power outage and is unable to respond to, comment on, like, or share any posts.

Once she is back online she will resume her regular blogging, posting, sharing, commenting, and liking in all social media.

Staci thanks you for your understanding.

For Staci, this is Michele signing out.”

7. https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/10/10/these-four-websites-are-a-huge-help-with-naming-your-characters-by-bryn-donovan/

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://charmedchaos.com/2019/10/09/haiku-red-leaves/

2. https://johnwhowell.com/2019/10/09/wednesday-story-day-aka-hump-day-231/

3. https://scvincent.com/2019/10/10/lost-in-space/

4. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/10/10/5th-halloween-poem-contest-start-chris-the-story-reading-apes-blog/

5. https://phillipknightscott.com/2019/10/10/up-in-the-sky/

6. https://charmedchaos.com/2019/10/10/happy-little-duckies/

7. https://carrotranch.com/2019/10/10/rodeo-2-pro-bull-mashup/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/giveaway/magical-medical-facilities/?POTTER series were quite familiar with Hogwarts’s infirmary.

In Cassandra Clare’s MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, the Shadow-hunter Institute also has a nice infirmary, although it looks like they outsource most of their medical work to the witch/warlock community.

Magical communities have their medical needs, just like everybody else, with some special twists. If you’re a werewolf and you are injured in wolf form, are you better off with a veterinarian than a surgeon who works on humans? Do vampires suffer from anemia? And do the faerie folk risk environmental allergies in an increasingly industrialized world?

Some fantasy series do address medical needs in an organized fashion, not by just seeking the help of a mystical healer or apothecary. It’s fun to see what some series writers do with a more consistent medical approach.

Who has your favorite magical medical system? Or, who has the least convincing healing community? Please share!

One commenter with a USA address will be chosen at random to win a book from our Stacks.”

2. https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/streets-ahead-street-team-robbie-and-michael-cheadle/ “Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook (2019) is the next in the author’s delightful series of books that blend children’s stories with themed original recipes. This one is a clever story poem about the disappearance of zoo animals and how Sir Chocolate must figure out what happened.

“One day Sir Chocolate arrived, and not a sound could hear, he called long and loud, but no animals did appear. The animals had vanished, the zoo was empty and still,”

“The monkey is naughty, he likes to have fun, he plays tricks on the others, then away he does run.”

The story is written in the format of a poem and includes great photographs that help readers visualize the action. At the completion of the story, there is a cute poem to introduce an original collection of animal-themed recipes children can complete with their parents. Some of the recipes are:”

3. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-review-sing-your-sadness-deep-by-laura-mauro/ “Back again with another fantastic release from Undertow Publications, and this time it’s the debut collection of Laura Mauro. For those not in the know, Laura has been writing/publishing professionally since about 2012. Her first story, ‘Red Rabbit’ appeared in the fourth volume of Shadows & Tall Trees (also published by Undertow, making this release somewhat of a full circle). Since then, she has had numerous pieces in various anthologies and periodicals including Black Static, Interzone, Imposter Syndrome, and Great British Horror Vol 1: This Green and Pleasant Land. Her short story ‘Looking for Laika’ (Interzone #273) was nominated for and won the British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction in 2018. And before that, in 2017, her novella Naming the Bones was released through Dark Minds Press to much acclaim. A body of work and accolades any seasoned writer would be proud of. This is all the more impressive considering Laura’s youth and the relatively short span of time she’s been active.”

4. https://www.theresahuppauthor.com/blog/2019/10/09/letting-go/ “I’m in the final steps of preparing my novel, My Hope Secured, for publication. I both love and hate this stage. It is exciting because I can see how close I am. It’s frustrating because I keep seeing things I want to change.

I need to let go.

Most of the changes I’m making are very minor. There are a few typos and other mistakes. There are a few minor inconsistencies I really should fix. But most of the revisions I am making are tweaks to the text on things that don’t really matter. Or some of them matter . . . but only to me.

I need to let go.”

5.  http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-little-broomstick/ “Having recently watched Mary and the Witch’s Flower, I was curious about how it measured up to its source material, particularly since I usually read the book before watching its filmic adaptation.

And The Little Broomstick (1971) is a strange little book in so many ways: beautifully written, with plenty of haunting passages, but with a story and setting that would have been served well with a lot more detail and background. Imagine Hogwarts School without any sense of its history — though Endor College predates Harry Potter by over two decades, there are so many unanswered questions about why it exists and who attends.

Mary Smith is a ten year old girl who’s thoroughly unhappy with her current situation: bundled off to the Shropshire countryside, separated from her siblings, and living with an elderly great-aunt while her parents are in America. But adventure is on the horizon: in quick succession she discovers a little black cat, a strange and beautiful flower, and an ordinary looking broomstick.

But one night the broomstick whisks Mary into the air, carrying her to Endor College (this also predates The Return of the Jedi), a school of witchcraft, where she’s welcomed into the fold by the imposing Madame Mumblechook.”

6. https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/10/11/colleens-2019-book-reviews-wake-of-the-sadico-by-author-jo-sparks-sparks777/ “When five friends embark on a Caribbean dive vacation, they encounter an evil that will change their lives forever. If you’re looking for a suspenseful read for the Halloween season, make it this book. Intrigued? Let’s meet the characters.

Melanie is a gorgeous, spoiled twenty-something who likes to manipulate men for sexual favors. Her current lover, Wall Eddington, is a cool-headed British diver accompanying her on the trip. Will Melanie ditch him for one of the other men?

Jill, voted the best student in her cousin Jon’s dive class, is determined to conquer her fears. Jon’s dive shop, the Crusty Porthole, boasts the top-rated training in Delaware. Jill’s best friend Mike, the amateur bodybuilder, partnered with Jon years ago. What could possibly go wrong?”

7. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/10/10/book-review-the-lost-by-natasha-preston-authornpreston-sourcebooksfire-getbooklit-firereads-thelost-thelostbook-booksonthebookshelf-bookblog-bookblogger-bookreview-bookreviewer-a/ “Originally posted on Books on the Bookshelf: PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire PUBLICATION DATE: March 26th, 2019 …… Thank you to the publisher Sourcebooks Fire for gifting me a beautiful paperback copy of this thrilling novel to read and share my review with others. …… ABOUT THE BOOK: In the small town…”

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

Regulating Your Writing Time


A Writing Kind of Day
A Writing Kind of Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Are You Regulating Writing Time to the Background?

 

Traci Kenworth

 

 

 

It’s so easy to let time get away from us. Letting time slip away that’s reserved for writing here and there due to errands, appointments, life is hard to get back. I know I’ve been going through this for a while now and it’s like being stuck in a whirlwind. You promise yourself you’ll make that lost time up another day, another hour. The problem is, every day we face the risk of losing more. Soon, it becomes a pattern, dare I say, even a habit to skip? Surely when life stops being so complicated, we can get back to our Muse. If we don’t put up a stop sign—even for just ten minutes out of our day—writing becomes less important to us.

 

Now, I know there are days we can skip on occasion, but when it adds up to weeks or even months, we’re ultimately hurting ourselves. It’s tough enough to make it in the writing world without becoming our own worst enemy. Not spending time doing something you love (and I assume you love writing, why else would you do it?), makes it easier to let it slip to hobby status and then just fall by the way side. It’s hard to say, “No,” you can’t do something when you’re a writer. After all, the majority of people in your life assume it won’t be a bother to you to take care of something. Your writing doesn’t account for bosses, time cards, and set hours. So letting things slide shouldn’t matter.

 

Oh, if they only realized. Writing is a business. If you don’t do it, you don’t get a chance to be published, an opportunity to be paid by your bosses (the publishing house/s). So don’t feel guilty for scheduling time to write. More time writing also equals more growth in your work. Take the time. Stick to it. Schedule appointments around it as much as possible. Now, this is not to say, emergencies won’t come up and I’m not saying to ignore them when they do. Just don’t let your set time become less and less until there’s nothing there anymore. Because getting the Muse to work again, takes a long time. That’s time that could be spent moving on to the next level in your career. Lesson learned. Now, to get back to it.

 

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

When the Muse strikes…


A classic fairy with a wand
A classic fairy with a wand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When the Muse Strikes…

 

Traci Kenworth

 

 

 

Often, if you’re like me, the Muse strikes whenever it wants to. Sometimes, it’s convenient, sometimes not but if you’re a writer, you learn to deal. Do I lose some fragments of ideas when I’m driving or at the doctor’s office? Sure. It happens, but most of the time I can capture those clues with the help of the pens I keep in my purse and various post-its, scraps of notebook paper, even napkins. Hey, whatever works. This weekend I was recovering from surgery when I had some complications hit me. Needless to say, I spent a LOT of time resting and while I did so, who should show up? The Muse fairy. She tickled her wings and voila, the solution to some of my world’s problems rested in my palms.

 

Things that should have been obvious in my character’s universe suddenly clicked. Not only that, I discovered the title and plotline to how the 3rd book (all of these written to be stand-alones) rocketed into place as well. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of quiet, a bit of reflection to uncover what will/or should be. I feel more on firm ground again and I’m ready to move forward. Happy writing, everyone.

 

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

Procrastinating…and the details


Writer's Stop
Writer’s Stop (Photo credit: Stephh922)

 

Procrastinating…and the details

 

Traci Kenworth

 

 

 

Procrastination has been a serious wrench in my editing/rewriting as of late. Doubts sometimes creep in when we’re working on a project and this was no exception. Not misgivings about the story, but, well, me as a writer. Around me, I’ve watched others moving on with their books, getting published, receiving awards etc. while I’m still in the same place. Although, really, I’m not. In the same place. I’ve been learning, growing, coming to terms with things. I think it’s a path a lot of writers take in their journey, sort of losing that momentum, falling behind. The truth is, we need that to happen in order to re-focus on why we’re doing this, who we are, and to realize everything will fall into place when the time’s ready.

 

This is the time when some writers fall by the wayside, lose hope, and walk away. What’s more, I’m sure from what I’ve read on other author’s experiences, that it won’t be the last time something like this happens. You’ve got to decide whether you’re going to let circumstances make you or break you. I’ve decided to persevere. It hasn’t been my time yet, but one day, it will be. Since last fall, my writing has slid to a crawl in pace. Slowly, now, I’m picking up speed. It didn’t happen overnight. I’ve had to fight to get there but Spring is dawning. There is hope. Reading over my wip, I realize, I have something here. I have only to open myself up to the possibilities.

 

Ideas are brimming, popping up when least expected. Avenues that make sense, that excite the story. One day, I hope to be able to write as fast as I used to, but for now, I’m taking it one day at a time, knowing that I’m headed in the right direction. I may not get there as fast as I wanted to, but I’ll get there. How about you? Do you feel like giving up or have you walked away in the past, only to return anew? Hold on. You’ll reach where you’re going, it just takes time. I know that’s a pulling teeth answer, but it’s the truth. Juggling this life is tough in itself. That’s why we need each other’s support in this. Cheer your fellow authors on because in doing so, you’ll lift yourself up to the next level and soon, it’ll be your turn.