Friday, November 25, 2016

Do You Have Goals? Mini-Thanksgiving Edition

Thank you, fellow writers, for all of your encouragement!
Thank you, Misha and Beth, for hosting this hop!

I'm keeping this short today. My last post was a wee bit long.

My main November goals were:
1.  - Thanksgiving - as an attitude and a holiday - Yes!

2. Exercise and Health - Hmm. Some. Lost my walking logbook, and had to guestimate.
Miles walked: at least 30

3.  NaNoWriMo - 32,870 words - I'm way behind schedule, and I had to write three essay responses to questions about homeschooling for my daughter's college applications today. Why did we homeschool? 638 word response. What methods of evaluation were used: 235 word response. What classes were taken outside of the home? 427 word response. I have three more due by the first. 

Update on NaNoWriMo - I squeezed through the finish line on Wednesday, just at 50, 102 words!

My December Goals Are:

1. Christmas Cheer!

2. Walk 50+ miles.

3. Yoga x 20 days of the month.

4. Write/Revise 25,000 words.

For Black Friday and Always:
Champion in the Darkness is free everywhere.
I have a bunch of short e-story books set free at Smashwords. 

How are your goals tracking this month?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Links, and a Look Ahead


Thanksgiving has changed for me.
Maybe it's because of dietary restrictions in the house - think food intolerances and digestive issues to an extreme factor (eggs, dairy, gluten, corn - just to name the most annoying ones),
but I started focusing on giving thanks for Thanksgiving.

My father-in-law sits at the head of the table and tells Sven and Oly jokes. 

Everyone is invited to the kitchen, before and after the feast, at my Aunt's house.
This year, we aren't getting together at my Aunt's house. It makes me sad. I'm missing my cousins - three of the younger ones are pictured here. And yes, we are all stuffing our faces on leftovers - just an hour after dinner. :)

This year is so different from previous years. Some loved ones are gone. Some have larger families that have invited them into new traditions. Every celebration is different, and yet, I still have thanksgiving in my heart.

Thank you, God, for giving me life!
Thank you, friends, for giving me cheer!
Thank you, family, for your love!
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

And, don't worry, I still eat turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pie on Thanksgiving. It's just a little more creative.

I know that most people see this day as a day of insanity, rioting in stores, etc.
I know a wonderful group of people who see it as an opportunity to share..
On Friday, they have cookies to hand out to shoppers. 
They do this every year.
They don't shop.
They go to share love, kindness, and Christmas cheer.
If people want to talk, they might share their faith (but only if asked).
They inspire me.

Who inspires you on Black Friday?

If you don't have enough to do/read/consume this weekend, check out these links that I ran across recently:


How to Write a Headline (for twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.)

Outline and Tracking Tool for Writers

Eight Elements of a Successful E-book Launch

50 Vague Phrases that Have No Business in Your Query

How Authors Can Build Their Audience on Instagram
Although - I have to say - it does matter how many times a day we post on instagram according to my two "in-house" teen experts. Once a day is best, twice is okay. Once a week is good, as long as it's on the same day every week.

The Social Media Frequency Guide
The numbers change on this type of article every time I read one, but it's good to stay updated on the latest data.

Black and White Publishing has a new way to publish books through youtube!
Check out this Flash Fiction story, "Breathe," by Milo James Fowler.

I really, really like this video: Know Your Why

And, this is a longer "Know your Why" type video about How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Do You Have Goals? - This Friday
IWSG and Dressember - December 7th
Guest Post by Tara Tyler - December 14th
Last Post Before Christmas/The Reader Edition - December 19th
Do You Have Goals? And Early New Year - December 30th

What are you thankful for this year?

Do you know your why?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

5 Reasons to Write About the Paranormal by Christine Rains

Please welcome the amazing Christine Rains to 
the 5 Reasons to Write Series

Thank so much for having me here today, Tyrean! More so, for inviting me to talk about two of my favorite things: writing and the paranormal.

Tyrean: Thanks for coming by, Christine!

The supernatural has fascinated me since I was a child. I was the kid who wished Halloween was every month, I picked up every scary book and film, and I was the always the first to investigate strange noises in the night. (I wouldn’t last long in a horror movie!) I had to share my love of the paranormal through my stories.

Here are five fantastic reason to write about the paranormal:

1) Escaping reality. Of course every story helps you escape from your every day life, but the paranormal can bring you into a whole new world. You can create a parallel dimension or craft a hidden society of wizards which exists within our mundane world. You aren’t limited by every day rules, but you must always keep in mind the rules of the world you do create.

2) In creating that world, you get to play with countless what-ifs. What if vampires were real and controlled all the major countries’ governments? What if powerful psychics banned together to control the world’s population through their cell phones? I always knew those things were going to land the human race in trouble! You can put forth a lot of food for thought with these what-ifs.

3) Supernatural characters are such fun to play with. Sure, they can shapeshift, have super speed, and can read your mind, but along with the strengths of being paranormal beings, they get the weaknesses. You can stick with the legends and have your vampires unable to go into the sunlight and your werewolves deathly allergic to silver. Or you can create new ways to torment your characters. And since your characters are supernaturally powerful, you can torture them in ways you couldn’t normal humans.

4) Most paranormal tales have elements of mystery and horror in them. It’s such an adrenaline rush to write the scary and suspenseful scenes. I love to get my heart pounding and bring goosebumps to my skin.

5) Wide-eyed wonder. Sometimes it’s difficult to put into words what you’re imagining in your head, especially when it isn’t real. Yet when you do find the right words, not only will you be happy, you will leave your readers in awe. The paranormal can be beautiful and horrifying, but it’s the otherness which attracts us. Every book which has made a lasting impression on me has hit me with this otherness, because I’m seeing something new and wonderful.

If you write paranormal stories, what’s your favorite thing about writing them?

And if you’re a reader, what’s your favorite thing about reading them?

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. She’s a proud member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has one novel and several novellas and short stories published. Her newest urban fantasy series, Totem, is her biggest project to date and weaves ancient Inuit myths with modern day society.



A few notes from blog host, Tyrean:
1. "Rain Vigil" at A Story in 100 Words came out on Saturday. Plus, I have a vignette, "I am Patient," getting published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal tomorrow.

2. Children's author Stephanie Faris has a new book out in her Piper Morgan series!
Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

3. Remember, if you want to escape reality with some wide-eyed wonder, read Christine!
Her latest book just came out!

No one messes with Saskia Dorn’s family and gets away with it.

The same murderous shifters who had hunted her sister have attempted to steal a magical totem pole. Since the pieces are scattered across Alaska, Saskia, a polar bear shifter, takes her search to the tundra for any signs of the lost totems.

Cloak of Snow - at Amazon

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lynda Young's 5 Reasons to Write with Images

Please welcome Lynda R. Young to the 5 Reasons to Write Series

5 Reasons to Write with Images
by Lynda R. Young

1. For inspiration:  I once had an idea in my head about a place that functioned as a warehouse/shopping mall. It had to be different but I couldn’t see it. So I looked up ancient buildings in Google Images and found the perfect place with the perfect feel. It turned out to be a European Cathedral with vaulted ceilings, and a sense of awe seeping from the walls. The image helped me describe this strange place and brought the story alive.
An example: Click this Link

2. For posts: When a blogger or social media guru posts articles, the pieces are imminently more readable and engaging when images are included—whether they are graphs, photos, or drawings. In this visual culture, people are attracted to imagery and the pictures break up the text to make it easier to digest and understand.

3. For grounding: When a writer writes with word pictures—not just the description of the setting, but also what the characters are doing, feeling, smelling—the reader becomes grounded in the story and far more invested. The reader isn’t left in the dark to fill the gaps. They are, instead, carried away into a sensory experience, rich with imagery. They know exactly where they’ve been transported.

4. For engagement: To mix up the way you say things in your writing is to help keep the reader engaged. For example, the use of figurative language like analogies, similes and metaphors helps paint a picture in the reader’s mind that offers them a different perspective on a subject. Even using general description—a word here, a sentence there—can build a remarkable picture for the reader that will stay with them for a long time.

5. For sharing a passion: Passion is often displayed through the teller by the indepth way they speak or write about the object of their passion. The more detail, the more pictures painted in words, even actual pictures, the more others understand the depth of that passion.

So there you have it: my five reasons to write with images.
What would your reasons be?

Lynda R. Young
Lynda R Young writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband. You can find her here: BlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Her debut daily devotional, Cling to God, can be found here: Amazon PaperbackAmazon kindleNookB&NKoboiTunesGoodreads.

A few notes from blog host, Tyrean: 
#1 Lynda's devotional book is one of the best devotional books I've read in years. I haven't finished it yet because I'm savoring it. I highly recommend it!

#2 Crystal Collier's newest book came out last week and I missed the party. :( So, let's throw confetti and dance for her book and Lynda's at the same time.

Visit Crystal here: 
Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 

#3 I had a unexpected novella come out. See story about that here. I am working at getting the latest pdf from my small press publisher for some reviews. If you are interested, please e-mail me here: tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com - it's a paranormal early MG novella.

#4 I had a drabble published and a poem published in the last five days. If you have time, read them here: "Guidance Counseling" at The Drabble and here: "Waves" at Leaves of Ink. And, currently Seven by Twenty is running a series of Twitter-sized stories: "Selkies," "Wind-walker," "Rain Blanket," "Swim Lessons," and "Sorrowing Rain" - all coming out this week. 

Now, please, dance with Lynda and Crystal!!! Celebrations commence!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#IWSG November 2017 and Jeff Chapman's 5 Reasons to Write with an iPad

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the awesome people who make the IWSG website, facebook, twitter, and hop run smoothly each month!

November's Question: What is your favourite aspect of being a writer?
My Answer: 
Traveling to distant lands of imaginary landscapes with new characters in new situations is my favorite part, especially when it feels like it's all flowing onto the page right! 

Now, the next day when I look back at it and it looks like gobbledygook, that's no fun.

But traveling to distant lands of imagination is awesome!

Now, please welcome, Jeff Chapman, an amazing novelist and short story writer, who has 5 Reasons to Write on his iPad.

5 Reasons to Write is an ongoing series, separate from IWSG

Jeff Chapman's
5 reasons to write on your iPad

I used to write all of my first drafts by hand with pen in a notebook. I'd cross out words and phrases and then I'd scrawl replacements in the margins with arrows or circled numbers to keep track of what went where. Later, I would attempt to decipher the gobbledygook. Typing the manuscript took a very, very long time. I couldn't always read what I had written. I needed to do something to increase productivity, but composing a first draft at the keyboard doesn't work for me. I like to write curled up on the couch with a cat purring on my lap. Enter the iPad and the Hanx Writer app.

1) The iPad is portable. I can carry it with me everywhere, which means I can write whenever I have the time.

2) I am not tied to a desk or table. I can write lying flat on my back in bed or sitting on the couch or sitting on the beach. 

3) I love the typewriter sounds. I use Hanx Writer as my text editor. There is a free version, but an upgrade is necessary to get multiple documents. The keyboard look and sound effects mimic a manual typewriter. I love the clickety, clickety, clack, and there's a clunk when you touch the shift key. Maybe the noise gives me the sense of working hard. Writing is for the most part a silent endeavor. 

4) I can read what I've written. Putting the first draft into a story editor is now just a matter of copy and paste from a pdf. I email the current draft to myself as a pdf at least once a day. This also gives me a backup copy on an email server. 

5) Just like a typewriter, I have complete control over the text and layout. There's no auto correct or capitalization going on. It's a first draft, who needs fancy formatting?

Jeff Chapman writes software by day and speculative fiction when he should be sleeping. Fueled by dark hot chocolate, his imagination churns out dark, creepy, comic fiction ranging from fairy tales to fantasy to horror and ghost stories. His latest tale "The Flaming Emerald" appears in Ghosts of Fire. Check out Jeff's website at

Thanks for sharing, Jeff!

Writers - do you write with an iPad or portable screen like Jeff?
What's your favorite aspect of writing? 
(And, do you spell favorite the American way or the British way?)

BTW - all of my Trick-or-Treat reads are still free until this coming weekend.