Friday, July 29, 2016

Do You Have Goals Update

Many thanks to Misha and Beth for hosting this invigorating blog hop each month. 

Misha kindly hosted me for a guest post on "Starting Over" last week! 

Writing Goal: 25,000 words each month.
July: Finished 15,050 words (mostly after the 15th).

I had some serious doubts about my WIP Patient (unhappy marriage arrangements, kidnapping by dragon kin, magic, dragons, etc), wrote more short stories, and did some research for Great Glory (a foray into historical fiction and redeeming a historical villain). 

I had eight stories and poems published this month - hooray! (See links at end of post, if interested.) 
I also had one story acceptance and one poetry acceptance for future publications in August and November.
And, I had five rejections, which all rolled into my e-mail within four days of each other.
Seventeen stories/poems/articles are currently out on submission or re-submission. 

Exercise Goals: 
Walked: 40 (just about where I want to be)
Biked: 90 miles. Yes, this is getting back where I want to be.

Maybe Marketing:  
I decided to do something crazy and clean out the books I have in my basement by hosting:

Books for a Mission - an event this coming Saturday from Noon to 2 PM at the Subway on Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor (if you're local, please come). 

What this is: a donation to the One Hope Church Peru Mission Team = a signed paperback by me (while supplies last) and a Subway chocolate chip cookie (while supplies last).
All proceeds will go to the mission team. (I'm donating the books and hoping others will donate cash.)

The mission team is going to give away health kits and run an after-school program at several elementary schools in Peru. 

Spiritual Growth: sometimes this happens because I remember to read my Bible and pray, and sometimes God just throws stuff in my path so I get forced to grow. 

It's been a serious time of prayer these last few weeks. Beyond all the violence, I have had several reasons close to home to pray. Some friends have two teens who have been in the ICU in the last few weeks. (Two teens, same family, two different circumstances.) One of those teens is a living, walking miracle - he fell from a 350 foot waterfall and could actually walk 5 days later, athough his full recovery will take longer. The other teen was on a mission trip and collapsed, but is now recovering. 

At home, we discovered that my oldest daughter fractured her foot in two places, not just one, but the most recent x-rays showed good bone growth/healing. And, while my husband is healthy enough to ride 206 miles on an organized bicycle ride from Seattle to Portland in one day, he started to feel ill and was diagnosed with pneumonia a few days later. He's recovering quickly, but he doesn't like to rest.

My parents took their annual scooter trip and along the road they lost: my mom's hearing aids, my mom's glasses, one of my dad's teeth, and part of my dad's prosthetic leg. 
Thankfully, my dad carries spare parts and my mom's hearing aids were insured. I'm not sure 70+ is a good age to be riding the highways on a scooter with a sidecar, but they are happier when they travel. We definitely had some good laughs over all the missing gear and they haven't lost their sense of humor. (They are home safe now.)

Rest: in some moments, this happened. I'm hoping for more next month.

So, how are your goals coming along this month/year?
And, do you carry spare parts with you when you travel?

Short Stories Published This Month - if you have time to read:
"The Fence" at The Drabble. July 24th, 2016. (Beware: story content includes child abuse.)
"Good Enough" at The Drabble. July 17th, 2016. (Beware: this is a story commentary on rape culture.)

"Spikes" at Seven by Twenty. (Twitter fiction)
"Floppy Sunhat" at Seven by Twenty.  (Twitter fiction)
"From Heat to Final" at Seven by Twenty. (Twitter Fiction)
"Racing" at Seven by Twenty.  (Twitter fiction)
"Races End" at Seven by Twenty. (Twitter fiction)

"The Shimmer" at Between Worlds Zine. (Flash fiction. Beware: story content includes child abuse.)

My "happier" fiction just has been low on acceptances lately. Maybe I write depressing stuff better? 

I keep forgetting to mention this, but two of my books are 50% off at the Smashwords July Summer Sale. If you're looking to pick up Champion in Flight or Champion's Destiny, this is a good day to do it. :)

And, Check out the Wings' Edge Call of Submissions Here!

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.