Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Misha Gerrick with 5 Reasons to Write by Hand

Please welcome Misha Gerrick with:

Five Reasons to Write by Hand

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know I draft my stories by hand. Most of you probably wondered why, though. So I thought it would make a good topic for me to write about here.

Without further ado, here are my five reasons for writing by hand:

1) If you over-edit (in other words, edit so much in the quest for perfection that you take the soul out of your writing), hand drafting makes you stop. You can’t hit the delete button if it’s written in pen. I suppose you can go back and edit old-school, but it’ll be a lot more tricky than hitting delete.

2) If you write by hand, it’s pretty much a fact that you have to rewrite the whole thing. You have to get the story to the internet, don’t you? Why is this a good thing, you might ask? Well. If you know you have to rewrite regardless of quality, it means that you have nothing to lose by taking risks and pushing yourself to extremes. Which means that things will happen in your writing that you would never have dared before. Especially when you’re an over-editor.

3) Writing by hand connects to a different part of your brain compared to typing. I’ve found that this part of my brain better connects to my creativity, which is like bonus points to point #2.

4) Maybe it’s the fact that hand writing forces me to slow down, or maybe it’s #3 doing its work, but writing by hand connects me to the story more. It also helps me to see how the scenes I’m writing add to the larger whole. So… I get fewer writer’s blocks and blank-page jitters.

5) It’s easy. If I’m writing on my computer and I want to go somewhere to write, I have to lug my laptop along. And consequently worry about it every time I’m not using it. When I’m hand writing a draft, it’s as easy as dropping a notebook and pen into my handbag. No one will want a notebook with my terrible handwriting in it.

I have a lot more reasons, but since the series is called Five Reasons to… I’ll stick to these.

Do you write drafts by hand?

 Answer from Tyrean: I write short drafts by hand, but not long drafts. I'm often in awe of people who write novels by hand and I keep thinking I'm going to try it, but then . . . I type. I think that #2 adn #3 are the reasons that I'm going to make another "long" project attempt at this.

What about everyone else, do you write drafts by hand?

About the Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:

About Misha's latest Book

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. 

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them. 

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless. 

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alex J. Cavanaugh's #5Reasons to Write to Music

Please welcome Alex J. Cavanaugh!

Five Reasons to Write to Music

1 – It drowns out distracting background noise. (Like people. Especially if you’re using earphones.)

2 – Music can set the tone for a scene, making it easier to write. It can inspire. Battle scene? Hard and fast music. Magical scene? Something flowing and rhythmic. Sex scene? Well, I guess whatever does it for you!

3 – Music reminds you to engage all of your senses.

4 – People will think you are singing when you’re really talking to your characters.

5 – Finally, who doesn’t look really cool when they’re jamming out to tunes? It will hide the fact that inside you’re having a writer meltdown because your manuscript is a mess.

Music provided inspiration for all of my books. In fact, a single song’s storyline inspired Dragon of the Stars.

Now, ready to be inspired? Start rocking!

Alex J. Cavanaugh
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, comprising of a website, monthly blog hop, and Facebook groups. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Dragon of the Stars is Alex's lates book, and it's a beautifully written, poignant tale of redemption and humanity set among the stars. 
I highly recommend giving it a read! 

Some bits of news: (I'm sure there's more - this is just what I know)
Karen Walker, a member is IWSG, is putting together an anthology on aging. More details found here.
Two IWSG members, Madeline Mora-Summonte and Michelle Wallace, just had hint fiction published in Nail Polish Stories.
I had a few bits of fiction published at Seven by Twenty and Between Worlds last week!

I have a crazy hope to publish other authors' writing . . . check out Wing's Edge: Call for Submissions.

C. Lee Mckenzie's latest book, Sign of the Green Dragon is out!

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

Buy now and jump into the adventure.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG July: The Best Thing and Announcements

I don't always share all the news and background of IWSG, but since I'm a co-host this month, I thought I should put it all out there - directly from the IWSG website, which I highly recommend for every author!


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder, noticed a lot of blog posts from writers mentioning their doubts, concerns, and lack of confidence. He also saw the positive replies they received and realized that the writing community offered an abundance of support. Writers want to see other writers succeed, which is how he came up with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This group would act as a form of therapy, letting writers post about situations where they need encouragement, or to offer words of encouragement to others if they have experience. 

On September 7, 2011, Alex launched the monthly blog posting of the IWSG and it has been going strong ever since

My own testimonial for IWSG: I have found the most encouragement and support from this group of writers. 
Each month, you all make my writing life awesome! Thank you!!!

IWSG News!
Voting has opened for the genre of the 2016 IWSG Anthology! 

IWSG has a new monthly feature: a question prompt for the month!
This month's question: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

This is actually a tough question to answer.
It made me realize just how awesome my support system is.
I'm super blessed to have some amazingly supportive family members.
I've received a few fan e-mails and twitter messages - which is just crazy amazing.
I've even had editors of magazines say super sweet things about my writing.
And, I've had some awesome reviews of my books - some by bloggers from this community.
In fact, when I really thought about it, I wanted to cry a little and give you all a ginormous hug! (that's giant and enormous in one word - I have teen daughters)

But, I'm going to take a trip back into memory lane for a particular answer to this question.
My husband once said to me, "When one of your books goes to the bestseller lists and makes millions . . . (enter in dreams of fancy sports cars, travel, etc) "
And, I thought he might be joking, but he was serious. 
He still thinks that my writing deserves that much success. 
And, I'm just blown away by that.
Sure, I had teachers and school friends who thought I had "potential," but my husband simply "knows" that something I write is going to be successful. He doesn't say "maybe" or "someday" or "when you get your marketing act together," he says he "knows" one of my books will "make it."

I hope that each of you has someone who believes in your writing like that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Guest: Randi Lee Shares Five Reasons to Write Honestly

Five Reasons to Write Honestly
Guest Post by Randi Lee

First off, a big tip of my hat to the wonderful Tyrean Martinson for inviting me to be a guest poster. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my voice with your readership! (Thank you, Randi!) As part of Tyrean’s guest posting series, I’m here today to discuss my “five reasons:” the five reasons to write honestly.

What do I mean when I talk about writing honestly? I mean writing in your true voice—writing what’s in and from your heart to write. I mean writing that isn’t fictitious or forced. I mean writing that reflects your values, your likes and dislikes, and your own personal style. Writing that is you, the real you—ups, downs, good, bad, nitty-gritty and all.

I see this happen frequently with writers: “Vampires are popular at the moment, so I’m going to write about vampires.” “SciFi is trendy right now, so I’m going to write SciFi.” However, these themes and genres aren’t what’s in their hearts to write. They ignore their true voices and instead write what’s trendy in pop-culture at the moment—and for that reason, the writing suffers.  

I invite you to awaken your true voice and stick with it. Experiment with writing until you find a voice that just feels right. There is plenty of motivation to do so:

1.) It’s cathartic.
Writing honestly is healing. Whether it be a journal entry, a memoir, or something entirely fiction, letting out what’s in your head and heart is good for you! In fact, a recent study at the University of Texas at Austin revealed that, “focused writing can have a beneficial effect on everyone from those dealing with a terminal illness to victims of violent crime to college students facing first-year transitions.”   

2.) It will bring you the most success.
Honesty rings true in writing. I have found that my most successful pieces have been written using my true voice, while pieces I’ve forced myself to write married more with failure than anything else. By being true to yourself, you’re being true to your words, and your readers will applaud you for it.  

3.) It will highlight your unique voice.
Writing honestly shows the world who you are as an author. It reveals to the world you—the real you—and shows everyone how you think and feel. It provides you with an outlet to express yourself when you otherwise might not be able to. You don’t want to hide your true self from the world, so why hide your true voice?

4.) It will bring something fresh and new to the field.
By writing honestly, you’re contributing something to the field of writing. You’re giving the field something it cannot get from any other person other than you. Why copy the voices and styles of other writers when you can use your true voice and provide fresh, new content? Look back at the most successful authors—they all gained success by providing something the writing world had not yet seen.  

5.) It will help someone else.
Telling honest stories helps people. It helps them to feel needed, understood. It makes them feel less alone. Even fiction is based, in part, on reality, after all. There might be people out there who are struggling with something that you yourself address with your true voice. Getting your message out helps others out, and that’s always a good feeling.

Here I’ve given you five reasons to write honestly, but there are many, many more out there. I encourage you to awaken and experiment with your true voice and discover all of the wonderful reasons to write honestly for yourself. And if you haven’t found your true voice just yet? That’s okay! Practice different writing styles and techniques and it will come to find you. If you let it, that is.

About the Author
Randi Lee is a writer, editor and designer who lives in New England with her family and much loved dogs. In college she followed several majors, including psychology, political science and environmental science, before finally pursuing the field of communications. An avid blogger, Randi uses what knowledge she has of the writing world to write articles about writing for other writers. A lifetime learner, she believes there is no such thing as “completing” an education. Her debut novel, “Affected,” is available on most major online bookselling sites such as Amazon, Kobo and Visit Randi on her website:

Randi would also like to apologize to all of the vampire and Science Fiction fans out there. She meant no ill by having a go at them and likes them a rather lot; they were merely the first two writing themes and genres she could think up.

Eight years ago, there was no World Government. There were no agents, no carts. The fear of a nosebleed did not exist. Then came The Affection-an incurable disease that ran rampant across the planet, killing off roughly 60% of the human population. Two years later-with order in shambles and governments all over the world in ruins-the World Government formed. That's when the real trouble began. The WG made it its mission to segregate the sick (known as "Affected") from the rest of the population in an attempt to keep the disease from spreading. Agents were put into place to corral the ill and the God-forsaken carts were introduced.

For the past six years, Ethan has lived a quiet life. He has done his best to remain out of the public eye and, more importantly, off of the agents' radars. However, when his ex-girlfriend, daughter of the famous scientist who first discovered the disease, is captured by agents and taken to World Government headquarters to be experimented upon, Ethan can no longer pretend the world around him doesn't exist. On his way to save her, Ethan is thrust into a place of turmoil, espionage and conspiracies. Will he be able to handle the pressures of reality? Will he be able to save her in time?

    Thank you for joining me, Randi Lee!!!
BTW - I have a guest post at Laurel's Leaves this week, starting 6/30, so please stop by and visit with me about character development.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Elizabeth Seckman and Do You Have Goals Combo

Please welcome Elizabeth Seckman with her
5 Reasons to Write Romance!
My Goals Update is Near the End

Five Reasons to Write Romance:
1. Reality Avoidance -  The cable bill is wrong—again. The dog peed on the floor—again. And every single time someone opens the refrigerator door, the milk disappears. Life can just be so unexciting sometimes. It’s wonderful to write worlds where life’s little nuisances disappear by magic.
2. Study Fiction, Learn Facts. Reading romances and watching romantic movies, I learned a few things— Stubborn behavior without proper motivation is annoying. Lies always, always come back to bite you in the rear. And holding some things back heightens the mystery.
3. It’s Life. The quest for satisfying relationships is a basic need. Romantic tales take that portion of our reality and put it under a microscope. True love may not be the end all, be all, but choose wisely for smooth sailing. Choose unwisely and it’s a rocky road.
4. Be a Believer. Sure, the worlds may be fictitious with their unstained furniture and rock hard abs, but love is the one universal truth. No matter who, where, or when…people have the capacity to love.
5. Happy Endings. Life can be full of dark times and sadness. It’s good to write a genre that not only encourages, but expects a happy ending. It’s a small reminder that there are bad times, but there are good times too. 

Elizabeth Seckman, Author  
           The Books

Elizabeth's Latest Novel is Out!

He came looking for a ghost. Instead, he found a girl. 

Tucker Boone is a war-hardened Marine on a ghost hunt. Fresh out of the corps, Tucker learns he has a missing half-sister, Maddy. The only clue to her whereabouts is a cryptic note…I’ve gone Mad, Mags. Tucker agrees to search for her and heads to Ocracoke, North Carolina where a ghost named Mad Mags is said to haunt the ancient graveyards dotting the island. 

The note doesn’t bring him any closer to finding Maddy, but it does offer him a diversion to the doldrums of civilian life— his new island neighbor, Josie McCoy. Tucker is drawn to her quiet spirit. There’s something special about Josie…a connection he can’t quite explain. 

By summer’s end, he’s mixed up in deception, murder, and the love of a lifetime. Logic tells him to head home and forget the truths he found on the island. But can he walk away? Josie offers him more than love; she offers him hope. When the clues pile up and it looks like she can never be the girl for him, he has to make a choice- play it safe and break her heart, or risk everything for a chance at being swept away.

I love Elizabeth's thoughts on the capacity to love!

And now, I must give my goals update. I have to admit, it's hard this month. I added "mom-brag" pictures at the end for a bigger positive. 

Miles Walked: 30
Miles Biked: 5 (so few)
Words Written: 15,300
Note on Words Written: So much backstory, world-building, note-taking, and other messy stuff, that it feels like I haven't written anything at all.
Good News (There's always some): I had four poems published, and I have a short story coming out on July 1st. 
Family News: It's canoe and kayak season with regattas every month. We actually can't make all of the regattas, but we made two in June and are headed to Nationals in August. One daughter chipped bone off of her foot playing capture the flag, missed her dance recital, and is supposed to "rest" although she's still attempting to lift weights, do core, and canoe carefully (she's in a lunge position for sprinting); and my other daughter is kayaking and lifting weights 4-6 hours a day. It's all pretty intense, but I love my family dearly so we are just living life intensely together, and I'm forcing everyone to rest now and then. 

My oldest canoeing before her foot injury.

My oldest dancing (center) before her foot injury.

My youngest cooling down after a race.

The coach and my youngest daughter, walking to the dock at a race.

Our team requires athletes to carry their own boats and it's something the kids take pride in being able to do - however, these kayaks and canoes are sprint-style so they are usually between 11kg and 17kg in weight, and very narrow. They are awkward, but not especially heavy to carry.