My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If Only... / IWSG + Flaming Crimes Blogfest


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Flaming Crimes Blogfest: My publisher likes to give me release dates where I have to plan during a month when no one is ever around. lol So now I am trying to get blogfest participants for January 3rd, Flaming Crimes' worldwide release date, which happens to also be the first IWSG Day of the year. :)



When: January 3rd, 2018

Where: Your Blog

Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

Ridiculous is the keyword there. After your family, pets, and important items are safe and sound, what is the one odd thing you'd want to grab from your home?

Info: All posts will have the cover art, blurb, and buy links for Flaming Crimes, and possibly an excerpt, which I will email to participants during the last week of December.





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IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I have openly shared my struggle with depression this year, which started September 2016. I struggled to write because of this depression. Actually, struggle implies I tried. I didn’t try. I thought about it but did not feel the motivation. I was weak, physically and mentally.

Now that the end of the year is fast approaching I am realizing that I am a year behind with the last book in the Disaster Crimes seriesLooking back, I am angry that months in the beginning of the year, when I did not have edits to do, went unproductive, with not even a page written, because of my damn depression. I am kicking myself, and my depression, for the fact that I could’ve written during that time but didn’t. Couldn’t.

(UPDATE: I'm not really beating myself up over this. I understand why I couldn't write. As a writer, though, I mourn the lost time. I've suffered from depression since I was a teen, but I am A LOT better than I was earlier this year.)

If I could do it differently, I’d want to write feverishly during that time…but I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to. I was experiencing the worst depression of my life then. If I could go back as I am today, I would manage it, I would do it, but if I went back to who I was then, I’d fail. Again.

Looking forward, I will pretend December is NaNo. And. Write. This. Book!


IWSG BOOK CLUB:

For December/January, the IWSG Book Club on Goodreads is reading:


The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray

Writing too slow was the second biggest insecurity voted on by our members. And worrying they won't ever finish their WIP was voted #4, so we hope this book will provide some insight to our members who struggle with these. The discussion will be on January 24th, 2018.


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Holiday Shopping: Looking for hand-crafted gifts for your loved ones? Do you love to support small businesses? Check out my mom's brand new website where she is selling her bookmarks (and soon some knitted baby blankets). Read the ordering details and surprise the book lovers in your life with these gifts from the heart.








P.S. This is my last blog post of 2017! I will be back in 2018, but I'll be posting less...three posts a month; I need more time to write. :)


And my blog made Booksie's Top 100 Writing Sites list!





QUESTIONS: Are you signing up for my blogfest? Do you like handmade bookmarks? Have you ever been a year behind on a WIP? Will you read The Weekend Novelist?


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!


Monday, November 27, 2017

COMING JUNE 5, 2018 / Monthly Mishmash


COMING JUNE 5, 2018:


Publisher: Freedom Fox Press
Publication Date: 06/05/2018
Formats: Paperback and eBook


Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide Your From Idea to Publication

Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.

  • Spark One: Being a Writer
  • Spark Two: Story Essentials
  • Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
  • Spark Four: How To
  • Spark Five: Character ER
  • Spark Six: Editing
  • Spark Seven: Publishing
  • Spark Eight: Marketing
  • Spark Nine: Writing About
  • Spark Ten: Final Inspiration

With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.




Write with Fey Book: I am excited to publish this book with Freedom Fox Press. It has been in the works since my very first blog post. For a long time, many of you have said how handy it would be to have my posts together in a book. Well, now they will be! All of the articles in the book have more details and additional tips that you won't find on my blog. Also, there are 11 articles never before published.

I'll keep everyone updated as Write with Fey, the book, comes closer to publication day. 


Holiday Shopping: Looking for hand-crafted gifts for your loved ones? Do you love to support small businesses? Check out my mom's brand new website where she is selling her bookmarks (and soon some knitted baby blankets). Read the ordering details and surprise the book lovers in your life with these gifts from the heart.







I even did a video to promote them. It was a little tricky. LOL!



Book Event: I went to a local book event on November 18th. MJ Fifield was also in attendance. And I finally sold some books! I think I've mastered the "sales pitch" and the deal I offer readers, which is buying one print book (Seismic Crimes) for $10 and getting a free ebook (Hurricane Crimes). Since Hurricane Crimes is the first story of my series but only in digital format, I had to figure out a way to get readers to want to buy the print books on my table. And two print books (Seismic Crimes and Tsunami Crimes) is $15...a $5 discount. And they still get the free eBook. It worked, too! I'll test it out again at the BIG book event I'll be attending June 2018.




QUESTION: Do you like bookmarks? Do you have a special deal for readers at book events?


Monday, November 20, 2017

Diverse Character - X + Y + Z



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol



Here are the diverse characters for X:

Individuals with Xanthocyanopsy (only see blue and yellow)

Individuals with Xanthopsia (objects appear yellow)

Xenophobics (Individuals with the fear or strangers or foreigners)

X-Men (Individuals with powers)

Xylophone Player



Here are the diverse characters for Y:

Yakuts (Turkic-speaking Siberian people)

Yankees (US)

Yazidis (Kurdish sub-group)

Yemeni Individuals (From Yemen)

Yogis (Individuals who are proficient in yoga)

YOU!

(Put yourself in your books or give your characters your traits.)

Yo-yoer (Professional yo-yo trick artist)



Here are the diverse characters for Z:

Zambians (Individuals from Zambia)

Zimbabweans

Zombies 

Image from Pixabay
Zoologist

Zoo Employee

Zoophobics (Individuals with the fear of animals)

Zulus Individuals (Bantu ethnic group)



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Holiday Shopping: Looking for hand-crafted gifts for your loved ones? Do you love to support small businesses? Check out my mom's brand new website where she is selling her bookmarks (and soon some knitted baby blankets). Read the ordering details and surprise the book lovers in your life with these gifts from the heart.









SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with V or W let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?



Monday, November 13, 2017

Empowering Women - Madeline Stuart



Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:


Madeline Stuart

Madeline Stuart is a young woman who became known for being the first person with Down Syndrome to model, which was always her dream.

In 2014, she saw a fashion show in Brisbane with her mother. and that’s where her dream began. After struggling with her weight, she lost 44 pounds. A year later, her mother started an online campaign to help Madeline land the coveted modeling contract, which led to not one, but two modeling contracts for Manifesta Fitness Wear and EverMaya Handbags.

Later, she participated in a bridal photoshoot for Rixey Manor and also appeared in Vogue. Since then, she’s been on the catwalk for New York Fashion Week twice, “becoming the second model with Down Syndrome at the event after Jamie Brewer. She also became the face of GlossiGirl (a cosmetic company).


Photo

All of this has led to Madeline being known at the first professional model with Down Syndrome in the world. If that’s not enough, she even had a bag named after her: The Madeline by Evermaya. All of its sales are donated to National Down Syndrome Society.

And her pictures are just stunning.

From her website:

“Maddy really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability through gaining attention through social media. She wants people to know that Down Syndrome is a blessing, something to be celebrated.” 


INSPIRING SONG:


QUESTION: Have you seen Madeline's photos on Facebook or elsewhere?



Friday, November 10, 2017

Fighting with the Ending / Guest Post by Patricia Josephine / Mistakes of the Past





GUEST POST by Patricia Josephine


Fighting with the Ending:

I’m a panster, so when I write, I don’t have an outline or even a plan for the story. What starts me is a character or a scene that excites me and I can’t get it out of my head fast enough. I start writing with zero direction. That often means I have no idea how to end the story. I don’t figure it out until I’m there, staring at the screen, and wondering how to save the day.

The ending to Mistakes of the Past went through quite a few different versions before I finally got it right. Luc went from three chances at redemptions to one, back to three, then finally one. There was a sex scene, but that got axed. Another scene moved from one location to another. Parts got cut then added back in and adjusted to fit. Whole elements that I researched were discarded. Even lines I loved didn’t make the final cut.

It was quite the evolution. Sometimes you have to fight to get it right, to find the perfect resolution that readers love. I hope this ending is one that readers will enjoy. At the very least, I enjoy the ending. That’s got to be a good sign, right?



Blurb:

Luc seeks atonement for the actions that banished him from his home. Living as a priest in a small town, he strives to show how much he’s changed with the hope that one day he can return to his family.

Haunted by the guilt that destroyed her family, Rose has shut her heart off. She vows to never let anyone near again lest she hurt them. When she meets Luc, she can’t deny the draw she feels to him.

But the past is not easily forgotten. When Luc’s past finds him, Rose is caught in the middle. Forced to face who he used to be, Luc must decide if he’s willing to give up his chance at redemption to save Rose. But doing so means he won’t be able to hide who he is. Will Rose be able to reconcile the man she knows with the devil he used to be? Or are the mistakes of the past too damning?


Buy Links:

Amazon–– https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0768T62H5
Smashwords–– https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/754277
B&N–– https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mistakes-of-the-past-patricia-josephine/1127262701?ean=2940154593783
Kobo–– https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mistakes-of-the-past
iTunes–– https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mistakes-of-the-past/id1298802560?mt=11



About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.


Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/plynne_writes
Website: http://www.patricialynne.com
Newsletter: http://www.patricialynne.com/newsletter.html 
Books: http://www.patricialynne.com/my-books.html
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/patricialynne07
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine


Comment: Give Patricia some love!

QUESTION: Have you ever struggled with the ending for a story you were writing?



Monday, November 6, 2017

Books for Writers - Children's Writer's Word Book



Sherry Ellis recommended this book to me when I was helping my mom with her children’s story.

Writing for children can be tricky. There are several different genres including picture books, picture story books, easy readers, for specific age groups, and chapter books. Each of these have guidelines such as word count, age brackets, and reading levels. You really have to know the ins and outs of what type of children’s book you want to write and the age of your target readers.



Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner & Tayopa Mogilner is a great tool to help you learn how to write a children’s book. This book is divided into 7 sections from kindergarten to grade 6th and middle grade. Under each section is a word list that all children learn at the level and can be in your story. There’s explanations for what children learn in the classroom at each grade level, publishing information such as what publishers expect in terms of length and content, and also short writing samples to give you an idea of how to write for each level.

At the end of the book, there’s a neat thesaurus that highlights common words and provides synonym alternatives for different grades.

EX: abandon (4th): desert (1st), discard (6th), give up (K), leave (1st), quit (1st), reject (5th), surrender (5th), yield (4th).

EX: zone (4th): area (3rd), arena (5th), belt (2nd), district (4th), field (2nd), part (1st), quarter 
(1st), ranger (3rd), realm (4th), region (4th), section (4th), space (1st), sphere (6th), territory (3rd), ward (5th).

If you want to write for children, but you don’t understand the levels and age groups, this book will assist you greatly.




QUESTION: Are there any words I shared above that surprise you with the grade level that they are for?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

So, I Tried a Thing... / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Sign up here: Insecure Writer’s Support Group 



YouTube: Alex had asked me: Where else can I go to promote my books online?

Here is my answer:



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So, I tried a thing that didn't turn out as planned.

During the summer, I set up a talk at a local library. I wanted the practice because, back in January, I was asked to be the speaking author for a local chapter of writers who get together for an annual book and author luncheon. Everything I've done this year has been gearing me up for that, but I wanted to do a real in-person discussion and reading before that luncheon. That's where my local library came in. I promoted it as much as I could through social media and other authors in my area were kind enough to share the information. 

The big day came.

I set up my stuff.

And only one person came, fellow IWSGer, M.J. Fifield.

I am not a public speaker. I didn't want to forget anything, so I had my speech on paper. MJ let me practice reading my speech to her and gave me a pointer: to try to memorize my speech so next time I can use my printed speech as more of a guide. I'll do that next time, MJ. Or, at least, I'll try. lol

I had a feeling only my mom and MJ would be there. MY TRUE FANS! Yay! I was bummed that the other people I knew locally didn't come and that the library didn't do what I'd seen them do for other authors, but that happens. Even if something doesn't turn out, we learn from it.

At least I know the luncheon in January guarantees people will be there. Score!

I am doing something next month, though, a local book signing on November 18th with 49 other authors, one of which will be MJ! So far, I haven't had luck selling books at an event, but that has to change eventually, right? RIGHT?! 

(I didn't admit to this before, but that big event I did in June, it resulted in one book sale thanks to MJ buying a copy of Tsunami Crimes. In return, I bought Effigy from her. It was great for other reasons, though. I got a bunch of new subscribers, handed out stacks of postcards, and networked.)

So other than my "failure" at selling books at events, I just realized this post is also about MJ. She'll hate me for this but...three cheers for MJ!!!

HIP-HIP- HOORAY!

HIP-HIP-HOORAY!!

HIP-HIP-HOORAY!!!

THANK YOU, MJ!


QUESTION: Have you done an event that was a bust?


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick-or-Treat Reads Blog Hop - FREE EBOOKS




WHAT IS TRICK-OR-TREAT READS?

Trick-or-Treat Reads is an annual Halloween event where authors put their books for free and readers go trick-or-treating to get the books. BOOKS ARE THE CANDY!


FREE SHORT STORY!!!!


Disaster Crimes Series:
Hurricane Crimes #1
Seismic Crimes #2
Lightning Crime #2.5
Tsunami Crime #3

BLURB:

A freak lightning storm unleashes its energy on Central Florida. Bolts of lightning crash to the ground. Torrential rain soaks everything within seconds. And the power goes out, casting Beth and Donovan’s apartment into darkness. Beth is already on edge after receiving a menacing phone call several months ago, and this storm doesn’t help with her nerves.

Donovan tries to distract her from Mother Nature’s tantrum, but someone else has other plans. When they find the front door to their apartment wide open, they soon realize it isn’t an accident. Someone is in their apartment with them.

What crime can happen as fast as lightning?

FREE LINKS:


HAPPY TRICK-OR-TREAT READS! 



Monday, October 23, 2017

Diverse Characters - V + W



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol




Here are the diverse characters for V:


Vampires

Pixabay

Vegetarians/Vegans

Venezuelans

Veterans

Veterinarians

Victims

Victorians

Public Domain
Vietnamese Individuals

Vikings

Virgins

Voodoo Priestesses


Here are the diverse characters for W:


Warriors

Wealthy Individuals

Welders

Welsh Individuals

Werewolves

Whales

Wheelwrights

Wiccans (Real Witches)


Widows/Widowers

Wrestlers
Photo Credit
Writers


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with V or W let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.


Have you written about a character from my list?




*All images are free to use.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Toi’s Top 5 Angel Books Blitz / #Kindle Sale + Paperback #Giveaway.


In celebration of author, Toi Thomas’ birthday, on October 21st, all her ebooks are on sale $0 - $1.99 from October 20th – October 24th. All these books are also available in print and come with reasonable shipping through Createspace.com, if you don’t have Amazon Prime. Check them out below and then stick around for Toi’s Top 5 Angel Books and giveaway.

~  

Legend of the Boy, In the Window, and Other short stories 

sale $0.99 |Createspace $9.99

Collection of multi-genre stories including science fiction, romance, and paranormal. The first title story is that of a boy who must destroy the world so he can save humanity.



It’s Like the Full Moon 

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

A romantic comedy and the first in a series. The mild-mannered Rebecca gets caught up in a most unlikely love-triangle and her BFF Lisa isn’t much help.




Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel  

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

Giovanni’s a creature out of time. Mira’s a doctor trying to classify him. Beauty and the Beast meet Jekyll and Hyde in this paranormal romance with biblical influences.



40 DAYS AND NIGHTs OF ETERNAL CURSE- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel
sale FREE | Createspace $5.99 



Eternal Curse: Battleground 

sale $1.99 | Createspace $14.99

A family saga that touches the past and future. Giovanni’s story will bring you to tears as loss and duty blur the lines of hope for what is to come.



BATTLEGROUND SURVIVAL 101- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel
sale FREE | Createspace $5.99 



Chip and Skip Need Each Other  
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

What Does Joe Need 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

These two simple, yet vibrant stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the difference and importance of needs and wants, at home, school, and overall. Sold separately.



Plants and Animals Change Over Time 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

Land Changes Over Time 
sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99

These two simple, yet vibrant stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the importance and inevitability of change in living things and the world. Sold separately.


~

Hi there; I'm Toi. If you aren’t familiar with me yet, don’t worry; this is your chance to learn that I love Batman, Betty Boop, Star Wars, and Angels. I like all kinds of angels. Good ones, bad ones, and creatures with wings that look like angels but may not actually be. I don’t think it’s just a matter of wings either. There are other winged creatures I like, such as dragons, but there are also some I don’t like such as flying monkeys or seagulls. LOL! But seriously, I’ve grown a fondness for angel lore and stories about and or containing angel-like creatures. Heck, I even write about them in my Eternal Curse Series. While my books are influenced by Bible tales, a great many angel stories are not. Either way, if it’s about angels, I’m probably going to like it. So, here’s a list of the Top 5 angel books (or books with an angel or angel-like character) I’ve read in at least the last ten years, and in no particular order.

Angelfall - Book Depository | Amazon

The Conduit - An older edition cover; same awesome story. 

The Devil’s Daughter - Book Depository | Amazon

Mercury Falls - Book Depository | Amazon

Secret in the Wings - Amazon

If you like angels or supernatural and urban fantasy stories, you should enter my paperback giveaway (open to US only) of the books mentioned above. I’ve enjoyed them and hope you will too. If you are looking for discounted print books with free international shipping, give Book Depository a try. Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me... And remember, book reviews are every author's life force. :)



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