Wednesday, September 7, 2022

IWSG: Never Say Never, Song Lyrics, and 500 Miles of Writing

The main blurb here about IWSG is reposted from the IWSG website. Check it out HERE

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

September 7 question - What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting the IWSG! 

IWSG

NEVER SAY NEVER

My thoughts on the September 7th Question: Never say never! Even if the genre would be the worst one for you to tackle.

When I say Never Say Never, I'm not quoting the Bieber song. In fact, when I say those words, I hear a very different song from the 80s running through my head and some of the lyrics are... well. Umm, I don't even know who the song was by or the actual name of it, but it was on a mix tape a guy friend gave me - and doesn't that make me sound like I could be writing 80s-90s historical fiction? Said guy friend was someone I dated, but did not ever call a boyfriend because, well, we thought about it, but he was Catholic, and I was Protestant and we thought it mattered. There's definitely a story there, but I'm not sure it's one I'll ever write. The above is actually enough over-sharing for that. However, as I said, never say never. Who knows, another decade will pass, and I might think, yes, it's time to write that story in a fictionalized way.

I say all this because I "never" thought I would write with a pseudonym. Now, I have two. 

I "never" thought I would write song lyrics. I have, both in fiction projects and outside of them. 

I "never" thought I would write a stand-alone book because I honestly love a great series, but now, I have.

I "never" thought I would write in second person point of view because that's just too weird and grammatically confusing, right?
But now I have written a novel with three POV characters that shifts from second person point of view, first person point of view, and letter writing (first again, but different). 

This is not a new writing technique, but it's a rarely used one. NK Jamieson obviously made it work. Scott Reintgen did it successfully in his Ashlords duology. I'm sure there are more examples outside of the speculative fiction realm. 

Will all of these projects see the light of day? 
Yes, eventually. Some already have. Some will someday.

Because this writing gig is something I love. I am not giving it up, ever. I will write and I will write, and maybe I will write all the "nevers" by the time I'm done, which will be when they pry the pen and laptop from my cold, dead fingers. 

 For anyone waiting for Rayatana 3, I apologize. Drafts 1, 2, and the partial of 3 were shlock, pure and simple. They didn't work. Parts of them shine prettily, but problems happened when I tried to salvage them, so I went back to the brainstorming phase. It will get finished. I have carved out a block of time to rewrite it entirely, but I am not promising any particular release dates until I'm satisfied it doesn't stink.

Current writing vibe:


I decided to replace Never Say Never with 500 Miles by the Proclaimers for my song for the week.



*I had to look that song up because you know how it is when a snatch of lyrics is running on repeat in the back of your head? Yes. That feeling. So, the Never Say Never song I remember is by Romeo Void and came out in 1981. I heard it the first time around 1989 or 1990. If you like clean lyrics, don't go looking it up. It's a weird song from a time when weird song lyrics were the norm.


What's your writing vibe right now?

Any songs sticking in your brain these days?

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pseudonyms

 


I have wrestled with the idea of pseudonyms for over a decade. I didn't originally want one.

I love my name. I love the way it reads. I love the way it sounds. I love it as it is.

However, some readers find it off-putting for various reasons, sometimes because they can't pronounce it easily.

Think of how you use the 'ea' vowel combination in words like read, lean, mean, freak, leak, teak, ease, sea, and you should have it right. 

However, it's still a conundrum on the front of a book cover.

Now, if you're wondering what I'm doing with most of my existing series, well, I'll keep my name there.

However, for some new projects, I'll be going with one of a couple of pseudonyms.

Plural.

Yep. 

It's going to be a big of an experiment, but so far, I think it will go well.

For one of them, I'm just adding a page here at my blog and my other website. For the other, well, you'll have to hunt for it. I'm not going to reveal it at the moment. 

Ironically, the one I'm adding here is the one with which I'll be publishing slightly more dicey material. My Captain Wrath stories have often surprised people who know me in the real world. It's like I'm too "nice" in my regular life for friends to realize I actually can and do write some slightly grittier material. 

So, for now, TA Thorne (yes, it's obvious, right?), is my pseudonym for my Captain Wrath series, which is going live on Kindle Vella this month. 

The page for TA Thorne is HERE.

More information about the pseudonym and the story are on that page. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IWSG August 2022 and a Massive Book Sale

 




The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

Optional Question for the month:

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original, or do you try to give readers what they want?

I hope to do be both original and give readers something they want. However, I have often erred on the side of original, which can be a tough sell.

I have been writing a long, long time and I love to write original ideas, but I would also love to get "read" by readers. 


As I ponder this quandary this month, I have some stuff going on behind the scenes. 

Plus, I have a birthday this month, and to celebrate, most of my eBooks are on sale at Amazon for 99 cents. If you've ever been curious about reading my books, but haven't yet, now is a good time to plunk down less than a dollar for one. 


MASSIVE BOOK SALE

These titles are all only 99 cents for Ebook for the month of August:


Liftoff into adventure with Amaya when her movie theater turns out to be a spaceship in disguise!




Champion in the Darkness, my first publication with a new cover, at only 99 cents!
Faith matters in this fantasy world - Christian Fantasy YA Adventure.




















Wednesday, July 6, 2022

IWSG July 2022, Fictional Worlds, TikTok, Branding, and Events


 

Insecure Writer's Support Group

A resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG

Website / Facebook Group / Twitter / Book Club

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!


Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh with the awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!


July 6 Optional Question - If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?


IWSG

If I lived in a fictional world, I would have a hard time choosing between Narnia, Middle Earth, Aramatir from The Champion Trilogy, or the alternate Earth in my Rayatana Series. I love world-building, even if I keep some of the details back to myself and struggle to know how much is enough. 

For now, I live here, and I do my best to live life well and fully. 
This means, going to the gym, eating healthier than I was, taking bike rides, reading good books, writing books (hopefully good ones), worship, prayer, travel, volunteering, teaching, family and friend time, music, and more.

Something New These Days


I'm on TikTok these days, something I thought I would "never ever" do, and I'm actually liking it. Did I admit to that? Yes. There it is.

Has it been a good marketing tool? It's a little early to tell, since I started it a few weeks ago. I do know more about Tik Tok now, like it's a good idea to follow certain hashtags and accounts to stay away from some of the garbage on there - because, yes, there are some icky things on Tik Tok as well as the good things.

The best "click-rate" for marketing for June came from an ad I pinned to the top of my page on Instagram for the month. I'm hoping I can utilize both IG and TikTok more effectively together. 

So, why did I go on TikTok when I said I "never" would? 
I write YA fantasy and science fiction. 
There's a YA #booktok community, and some pretty active YA Fantasy and YA Scifi #booktokers as well as those on Instagram. 

I am giving it a 100-day trial to see how it goes. I'll try to remember to recircle back to this and review my experience in October.

Branding Reflection, Again

I've been working on pinning down my main themes, my universal fantasy areas in my books, my often-used tropes, and my joys in writing to create an easier-to-understand platform. 
I don't think I'll ever have a good one-liner this is "all of who I am" kind of brand, unless lightning strikes me with it, but for now, I know I work with doubt/fear vs. courage as an often-used theme, chosen one and chosen one with a team kind of tropes, and I enjoy writing imaginative adventures with faith and reflection. 
I also enjoy helping other writers to hone their craft and overcome the blank page or muddy middles. 
Hmm. Anyway, still keep thinking on this. 
And, I still love my new logo created by MiblArt




Upcoming Events/Activities

Gig Harbor Senior Center Author Talk July 6th.

Gig Harbor Art Fair Local Author table July 16th-17th.

Attending Realm Makers in Atlantic City July 20-24th.
This is my first time at Realm Makers, so I'm going as an attendee. If you're coming, let's hang out!

Books and BBQ at BBQ2U's Author Table August 15-21st.

Teaching a class at the Write in the Harbor 2022 Conference November 4-5.

Teaching College Prep English at Harbor Christian Homeschool Cooperative for the 2022-2023 school year.


Sign up HERE if you would like to read some super short fiction or poetry and get more updates in my newsletter. 


Also, for now I'm double-posting here and on Tyrean's Tales although this site is the only site I have signed up for IWSG. I'm trying to figure out which is more effective.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG June 2022: When the Going Gets Tough

 


The Insecure Writer's Support Group

This is a place to vent fear, encourage one another, and consider the ups and downs of the writing life!

Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the co-hosts this month!

OPTIONAL June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

When The Going Gets Tough

I can't help but hear the little tune to "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" when I write that phrase. Some tunes stick in our heads like that partly because of the music, and partly because of their truth. 

When the going gets tough for me, I get going by:

  •  Going for a walk/bike ride.
  •  Getting on my feet and stretching.
  •  Cleaning something - if this doesn't make me want to write more, it's a super tough day.
  • Singing, dancing, moving somehow.
  •  Changing the scene I'm writing.
  • Creating a list of questions about what I'm writing to help me consider all possible angles.
  • Changing the project I'm working with. I have a bouncy brain and sometimes I get more done in the course of a week by allowing myself to change up the projects I'm working on. It might go something like this each day: Project 1 - 25 minutes, stretch 5, 25 more minutes. Later (after other life stuff) - Project 2 - 25 minutes, stretch 5, 25 more minutes. Even later (if possible) - Project 3 - 25 minutes, stretch 20, then Project 4 - 25 minutes. That's actually my favorite schedule.  
  • Reading something completely different from what I'm writing, like poetry, or a craft book that inspires me but doesn't make me feel as if I need to change my current WIPs on their heads and make them walk on their hands. I found one of those craft books last year, put it on my wish list, and received it for Christmas. I have been pleasantly inspired by Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, certainly not a new title, but one that always inspires me to write. 
  • Sometimes, I do read those craft books that make me flip my WIPs upside down and get them dancing to a different tune.

It really depends on what seems to work.

One tried and true method which has helped me, whether any of these others do is to celebrate the work I have done, good or bad. 

Taking time to see the work already done as an accomplishment, reminding myself that it is, and celebrating it accordingly, usually puts me in a healthier, happier mindset about writing, which means I can return to it.

To read more about why I decided I needed to celebrate, go here: Writing Productivity: Why celebrate every word and moment? – Tyrean’s Tales (tyreanstales.com)


A lesson I have learned: I need to write as I write and not how anyone/everyone else writes. My brain is bouncy, so I need to celebrate the way it works and not try to fit it into someone else's mold. 

So, please use any of the above methods if they help you. If they don't, chuck them and create your own list of what works for you. 

What helps you when the going gets tough?

My newsletter goes out once or twice a month, if you would like to know more about my writing and reading life. Sign up: Tyrean Martinson, Author (list-manage.com)