Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IWSG December 2021 with news on NaNoWriMo, What's Next, and Advent

Before I begin, please note this is a multi-subject post. 
Please feel free to read what you want and skip other parts.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an excellent place to find encouragement for your writing practice, writing profession, and writing moments. Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for founding the group with this hop! 

Many thanks also to the co-hosts this month: 

OPTIONAL QUESTION: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

This is one of the questions that I almost want to skip because I don't have a definitive single answer. The reality is, I am stressed and delighted by many parts of the writing process, depending on the project. I am delighted by some first draft writing and yet completely stressed by other bits of first draft writing. The same goes for revision, editing, and the last bits before publication.

Generally, though the most delightful and stressful time for me is the day my books go live and published. I'm excited, but also terrified there are terrible typos in there. In fact, there are always a few terribly tenacious typos that make it through to the final publication - even in all the traditionally published books out there. I just don't want them in my books. :)

Stepping Down as the Instagram Volunteer Admin

 This was tough for me. I enjoy Instagram and I appreciate all the encouragement and wonderfulness that is IWSG. However, my health has been an issue for a while now. Between three part-time jobs (I count writing as one of them), volunteering nearly eight hours a week, and my health stuff, something had to give. So, I stepped down and thankfully, Juneta Key stepped up. 

Thank you, Juneta!

And, a big thank you to the entire IWSG Volunteer Admin Team! 

Despite Recovery, I Won NaNo and it surprised me

If you follow me on IG or Facebook, feel free to skip. This is essentially what I shared there.

I wrote more than 50,000 words in 29 days. I honestly wasn't sure I could, given the sinus surgery I had in late October and the sinus headaches I've had since, as well as a whopping bit of Menieres Disease vertigo on Sunday (I had too much salt and caffeine on Saturday). But I did it. And this is how I did it. +I wrote every day for one to two minutes somehow, somewhere.

+I had some Nano Buddies.

+I went to a NaNo Sprint via Youtube, but left when I felt tired.

+I went to a live IG writing sprint with Marissa Meyer, but left when I felt tired. (Marissa Meyer is a local author in my area, and she is the author of the Lunar Chronicles, and many other novels. I don't "know" her but I follow her on IG.)
+If I could, I wrote between 2-5 sessions a day. Again, 1-20 minutes per session, depending on the day and session. +I wrote in my journal and counted that. +I wrote on my laptop and counted it. +I used dictation/talk to text and counted it. +I counted my podcast for my church. +I counted my bits on IG, Twitter, and Facebook toward my word count for the month.
+I rewarded myself for every word written. I congratulated myself. Told myself I was awesome for attempting. (I know this may sound silly, but it made me happy.)
Is it all on the novellas I had hoped originally to write? Nope. Do I feel bad about straying from my original purpose? Nope. Once I realized how hard surgery recovery would be, I threw out that plan and just counted any writing. Somehow, I wrote more than I have at this point in any National Novel Writing Month. Usually, the last day is a scramble, but not this year. I finished early. I am glad I wrote. And it is messy. And I am happy with all of it.


I am continuing to write. The Rayatana 3 book is underway. I am also working on a few other projects and rediscovering my "delight" in writing. 

I am continuing my part-time jobs but with reduced hours.

I am mainly focused on healing up and getting stronger. 

A Note on Volunteering and Why it Matters to Me

I was a Girl Scout who took my oath pretty seriously as a kid and volunteering is something I have often seen as a "duty" of honor and sacrifice.  As a Christian, I have felt incredibly blessed by the love of Jesus in my life, and I have wanted to share that love with others.

Because of this background, I have been volunteering a minimum of twenty hours a year to a maximum of twenty hours a week since I was in early elementary school in a variety of ways throughout the years.

I think volunteers make the world a better place to live in for everyone, and I used to feel I needed to volunteer at church, in my community, and in the world.

My church does go out and do acts of service in the community and in the world - but I am trying to limit myself even with that. The week before my surgery I made chili for a Habitat Build group and that was fun to create, but I was glad someone else collected it and served it because I knew that would tire me out. I have to measure out my energy while I'm healing.

I need to get stronger, which means I need to focus on self-care, which is something I struggle with. I recently discovered The Spoon Theory, which is helping me understand how many spoons I might have to work with each day. 

Slowing Down for Strength

So, I guess that's all to say, I'm slowing down, doing a lot of prayer and soul-searching, and figuring out how to love myself like Christ loves me, to heal and to rest in God's love, and not see it as necessary to go out and immediately do something with that love for others. I have to let it build up a bit, help me gain muscle mass in my body, mind, and soul. I need to rejoice in the love of God in the moment and live with strength, not busy-ness. 

And, so that brings me to Advent, of which today is the first day.


The theme of the first week of Advent is Hope.

Scriptures for Day 1:

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:3-5


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5


Lord, Thank you for this day. Thank you for your light which shines in the darkness. Thank you for preparing a way for us to see your glory in Christ. We hope and pray for your glory to be revealed and for all people to know you and rejoice in your steadfast love. We place our hope and trust in you. Amen.

I have an advent side project going on, so I will be working on these throughout the month of December this year, in the hopes it will be ready for December 2022.

Hope all is well with you!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 22, 2021

An Interview with Author Lynda Young


An Interview with Lynda Young

What's your writing advice/top tip for writers?

Normally my top tip would be, “Just write!” I say it often because it’s so important to 
spend the time actually writing rather than dreaming of one day writing, or 
spending all your time and effort on courses, seminars, and help books. 
But today, I have a new top tip that is equally important:

Read! And not only read, but read the genre you want to write. I’m truly astounded 
how many times I come across writers who don’t read. They think it takes time 
away from their writing, or they simply aren’t interested. There are so many 
benefits to reading, I couldn’t possibly list them all here. One of the major 
benefits is learning what works for your market. While “How to Write” books 
and courses are helpful, there is no substitute to reading the real deal.

For my 365-day devotional, Cling to God, I read so many devotionals and inspirational 
books. I worked out what I liked best, what I didn’t like as much, what left me 
feeling encouraged and stronger in my faith, and I applied everything I learned 
to my own book. In other words, I wrote the book I wanted to read, one that also 
fit within reader expectations.

Where do you find inspiration?

Each morning I read a few verses of the Bible, contemplate on the words, and 
occasionally jot down inspired thoughts in a journal. This is how Cling to God started. 
I hadn’t decided one day to write a book of devotionals. The idea evolved after filling 
the journal. There was enough there to share with others. I began reading them 
out during Bible study and as devotionals before church meetings. That’s when 
the idea grew into a book. 
But of course, ultimately, my inspiration came from God.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what music inspires you?

Silence is preferable but not always possible. When I need an escape from noise, 
I’ll listen to instrumental music. I can’t write if there are lyrics. The words distract 
too much. The kind of beat varies depending on mood. I love anything that tugs 
on the emotions. Epic sounds with swelling crescendos are great, or deep drums. 
Usually something modern. If I’m after something softer, then flutes work a 
treat or something tribal. As I said, mood has a lot to do with it.

Coffee, tea, or hot cocoa?

While I love the smell of coffee, I don’t drink it. When I’m trying to steer clear of sugar, 
I’ll have a herbal tea, a green tea, or a genmaicha (a Japanese rice tea). 
Otherwise, it’s hot cocoa all the way. The richer the better. No cream or 
marshmallows. Just a mug of dark chocolate yum.

What is the current book you are promoting?

Cling to God: 365-Day Devotional. This special book is a year-long journey with 
inspirational messages and uplifting scripture to help you spend time with God 
each day. It includes short Bible-based teachings that will encourage and refresh. 
It is faith building and thought-provoking with reassuring reminders of God’s love.

A great companion for individual worship or for group Bible study.

The perfect gift book or personal keepsake that will be cherished for years to come.

365 days of inspiration and Bible wisdom to lighten your heart.
365 devotions to bring you peace in uncertain times.
365 ways to Cling to God.

Start each morning with Cling to God to brighten your day and draw closer to God.

Thank you for stopping by, Lynda. I agree, we all need to read and write. :)

Have you picked up your copy of Cling to God yet? 
I recommend it.
I purchased extra copies to give to family for Christmas. 

In addition to this interview, I have a fall sale going on. Details are here:
A young woman, a spaceship in disguise on Earth, and a galaxy at war. What more do you need for 99 cents? The sale is limited but can be found here:
B & N

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Birthday Anniversary Scavenger Hunt!

 Happy Birthday and Anniversary to Patricia Lynne!!!

Cyclop can see other people’s futures, but his own is clouded by a past he can’t escape and a man he calls Master.

It’s not Cyclop’s albino skin and mismatched eyes that make him stand out, but his ability to see the future and a dark past he escaped. Only those close to him know his secrets, and with their help, he has carved out a normal life. But his past refuses to let him go, and when the man he calls Master finds him, he is forced to return to his old life.

Imprisoned, Cyclop clings to the hope of freedom. To do so, he must break Master’s control over him. Will he find the strength to become the master of his own life? Or is his past destined to be his future?

A mix of science fiction, speculative fiction, and self discovery, Snapshots is a YA story about facing the past and being in control of your own life and future.


Add to Goodreads

Did you find the word outlined in red? 
Head to for the list of other participants. 
When you've collected at least five key words, go back to Patricia's blog and comment on the post Happy Birthday AND Anniversary to be entered in the giveaway. 

In addition to this awesome scavenger hunt for Patricia Lynne's birthday, I have a fall sale going on.
A young woman, a spaceship in disguise on Earth, and a galaxy at war. What more do you need for 99 cents? The sale is limited but can be found here:
B & N

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

IWSG and Cling to God Launch Day!



Started by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG offers encouragement to writers of all backgrounds!

I'm skipping the optional question today because I'm actually out of commission due to a medical procedure. I will be back briefly for an interview with Lynda Young later this month, a brief hello for the December IWSG, and I'll be back to full blogging speed in January.

Please stick around to celebrate Lynda Young's launch of Cling to God. 

Cling to God Launch Day!

Cling to God: 365-Day Devotional

Link for ebook

365 days of inspiration and Bible wisdom to lighten your heart.
365 devotions to bring you peace in uncertain times.
365 ways to Cling to God.

This special book is a year-long journey with inspirational messages and uplifting scripture. It includes short Bible-based teachings that will encourage and refresh. It is faith building and thought provoking with reassuring reminders of God’s love.

A great companion for individual worship or for group Bible study.

The perfect gift book or personal keepsake that will be cherished for years to come.

Start each morning with Cling to God to brighten your day and draw closer to God.

Author Bio:
Lynda R. Young accepted Jesus into her life in her early teens and has been active in her faith ever since. She has written multiple Christian articles and other inspirational non-fiction, given Bible-based talks, and is always looking for other ways to encourage and uplift. She is also an author of fantasy novels, 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: BlogTwitterGoodreads

Have you picked up a copy of Cling to God? 
I recommend it!

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Sale, A Kindle Vella Review, Dark Blade, and Brief Movie Reviews

 Before I get into the informational review on Kindle Vella, I need to say two things.


Thank you to all who helped me launch Nexus! Your help made my book celebration fun!


I am going to post for IWSG and to help with a friend's book release in November, but I will not be around most of social media due to some health issues and a major medical procedure. I will be back briefly in December, and hopefully at full blogging speed in January. 

A Sale

Liftoff is on sale for 99 cents from today through the weekend after Thanksgiving!

LINKS: Kindle           Barnes and Noble                  Kobo               Smashwords                Bookbub         Goodreads

If you haven't started reading the Rayatana series, you can start now. :)

Kindle Vella Review

Going into it, I had low expectations. After some concern about the payment plan, I reworked the numbers and decided to continue to give it a try with a book I had already partially written.

Of course, recovering an old project means rediscovering some mistakes so I had a bit of a slowdown after chapter six. I decided to change a few things up, add a few point of view characters, and recreate the story a bit differently than I originally had written.

That's my writing dilemma though, and some of you would really like to know if I have a review of Kindle Vella.

Please keep these three items in mind:

First, I had low expectations.
Second, I don't make megabucks from my writing at this point anyway.
Third, August is always a terrible month for sales for me.

So, what happened?

I didn't make tons of cash, but I did make more than I expected and my Kindle Vella episodes far outsold any of my other books for the months of July and August. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately, due to my writing dilemma and some stuff going on in life, I let my project fall to the wayside for about a month. Any traction I had gained with an audience waned and that was my fault.

I am back to releasing an episode every two weeks on Wednesdays. 

While it might not break the bank with sales, Kindle Vella is helping me gain some traction with readers and I am earning money from the program.

What I like about Kindle Vella: 

  • I can work on a project over time and publish it over time. I know that's not for everyone but I like it.
  • It's flexible for short or long projects, fiction, non-fiction, or collections.
  • Readers can opt in for three free episodes and decide if they want to take the plunge. When they do take the plunge, it doesn't cost that much, so it can get addictive to keep on clicking through chapters. I've read a few.
  • While everyone might not keep reading, I might get them for a handful of chapters, which is more than I might get them for a whole book. It's an easy opt in system.
  • While popular with romance readers, the speculative fiction genres of science fiction and fantasy are doing decently.
  • It forces me to write cliff-hanger chapter endings, or at least ones that leave the reader with a question or mystery of some small kind.
  • A few other authors and I are reading each other's work. We can "help" each other with likes and faves this way, so it builds up more author community. If you have a book on there, let me know! 
  • A reader can only use one fave a week. I like this because it helps even out some of the "popularity" stuff going on there. I can fave myself, I can fave someone else. I can rotate faves. As a reader, I get to choose one a week, or after a week's worth of reading.
  • It's easy to ask people to read the first three episodes for free. I can always hope they stay on for more. :)
  • New readers.
  • Sales I didn't have before.

What I dislike about Kindle Vella:

  • There's definitely a popularity system flavor with the faves.
  • Reviews seem few and far between even if I do get likes and faves sometimes.
  • It's new so some readers fear it/won't try it.
If you would like to read my first three episodes for free, try it here: Dark Blade: Forged.

If you could click like on my episodes, that would be awesome!

If you have a Kindle Vella project, please put it in the comments. I want to read yours, too. :)


I had the fun of watching a number of movies this fall - either streaming or in the theater. We also went to a drive in earlier this year - a real, actual drive-in theater. I enjoy watching movies. So far this fall, I've been pleasantly surprised by some and less pleasantly surprised by others. I know this is a lot to tack on at the end of a post, so I'm just going to give them a star review and a brief thought for each.

FREE GUY - 4.5/5 stars. I liked this film far more than I expected to. Funny and endearing, Free Guy offers up some fun entertainment with a tiny bit of message and an HEA with a bit of a twist. The entire cast did an excellent job and I appreciate seeing every single person play their part really well. This movie also offers up an easy costume and was officially the second costume I saw at the Grit City Comic Show. You simply need a blue shirt, khaki pants, sunglasses, and a nametag that says GUY.

NO TIME TO DIE - 4/5. I wanted to really love this movie, but so much happened here to change my view of Bond, M, and the entire Bond universe, it all felt a bit like they packed too many changes into one film. Daniel Craig definitely played the part well, bringing in nuances to Bond's character. The rest of the cast rounded out the film with excellence, and so I can't say it was the acting, directing, or even the production that let me down. It was the conclusion and some of the world-building changes. Yep. But I recommend seeing it, because it's still a decent Bond film.

JUNGLE CRUISE - 3.8/5. Cheesy lines, slapstick humor, a bit of romance, adventure, and great acting combine to make this a fun film to watch. If you've ever been on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland, you will recognize some of the jokes at the beginning of the film, and will probably have a greater love of the movie in general. If not, enjoy the ride. :) This is where Disney takes cheese to its fullest meaning.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS - 5/5. As you probably guessed, I'm a fan of Marvel movies, and I loved this installment in the MCU landscape. Excellent acting, fun fight scenes, good humor, and some great world-building make this film a treat to watch, and has enough connection with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you feel excited about what's to come. My take-away is that I felt it was an origin film not only for a hero, but also for a possible villain. 

BLACK WIDOW - 3.8/5. I'm thankful Black Widow had her own film and I liked how this film tackled the tough subject of human trafficking. However, there are a few scenes that didn't play well for me. With lots of action, humor, and an interesting peek into a side world MCU could do a lot with in the future, this film is fun to watch. I'm also getting the sense of a build up of villains, with a scene at the end of the film which ties into something from the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney Plus.

A QUIET PLACE, 1 and 2 - 5/5. I hadn't seen the first film, so we decided to watch the first and enjoyed it more than we expected to, then we watched the second and really loved it. They were really fun movies that had horror elements but didn't scare me into having nightmares. For some reason, I really see these as more like sci-fi films than horror films. The creatures are scary, the way the family handles the devastation of the world around them is done really well, and the acting is excellent. So, I would recommend these films to anyone who can handle some horror. 
However, I will not be watching IT or anything in the true horror realm anytime soon.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Notes from A Restaurant Author Table and the Grit City Comic Show


Last week, I had an author table at a local restaurant and at the one-day Grit City Comic Show.
Both of these events were first-time events for me. 


The author table is an ongoing table at BBQ2U, a local restaurant whose owner supports local authors and artists by giving them space inside his restaurant to show off and sell their wares. He also raises money for various community groups, schools, and Backpacks 4 Kids, a feeding program for school kids in the area. If you are ever in Gig Harbor, Washington, I highly recommend going to BBQ2U for some really good grub and to support the generous-hearted business owner and the community.

What I expected: honestly, I didn't have super high expectations because I've had some really tough times selling books at author tables at book fairs, bookstores, and other community venues. I get nervous and my nervous laugh sometimes comes out and scares people away. 

What happened: the owner, the entire work crew, and a couple of authors from The Greater Gig Harbor Literary Society all ensured I felt welcomed, cared for, and supported. They encouraged me and helped me in every way they could. The BBQ crew told customers about my books when I wasn't at the table. 

The customers, well, some were super supportive and came by to either talk and buy a book, or at least chat about books, writing, and the authors of Gig Harbor. Some didn't approach but said hello and were friendly. And some ducked their heads and moved by quickly, but I get that. Honestly, I don't always stop at tables where someone is selling something either, so overall, it was a good experience. 

Books sold: 10 in six days of sitting at the table. 
No, this isn't a huge number, but again, honestly, I have had some really bad events where I sold 0 books so I count all 10 sales as a huge gain. Plus, I have some hope those who came and "looked" might buy a book later or stop by again. You see, the restaurant keeps a shelf of all the authors who have been there, and the books are on sale all the time. I sold two books for another author while I was there because the people I was talking to didn't read fantasy or sci-fi, so they bought historical fiction. 

The owner invited me to come back in November or December to try and get some Christmas sales, and also told me the summer months are actually the best months. So, I will go back again and try again. I also appreciate the invite!

The author table at BBQ2U in Gig Harbor, Washington


At the Grit City Comic Show,
I had a vendor table between a used book and comic book vendor and a huge empty space because two vendors who were supposed to be there didn't come. I wasn't as prepared as I should have been and my husband did a super-heroic job of finding me have a better table cloth (mine was too small). 

My husband cleaned out some of his tool boxes and we used them to create an easily moveable kit for my table.

My table before my husband aka superhero searched for, found, and brought back a length of black cloth to use as a long enough table cloth.
Note: I had no backdrop and that's something I will change for next time.

The empty space next to me was a bit of a problem because people were often walking quickly by it, or looking across the aisle at other stuff. 

The used book and comic book place next to me actually brought me a little business and the sellers there were friendly and kind. You can see part of their display, which wasn't finish when I took this photo, in my background.

I met three other authors, had a conversation with one and we bought each other's books, and had a good time meeting a handful of other vendors who, again, were friendly, interesting, and fun to talk to.

One thing I loved about my location is that I was near a free gaming table area hosted by Alexandria LitRPG Library at Grit City Comic Show. 
Game area across from me.

The cool cosplayers were out!

Sales total: 6 books in 1 day. 
Would I have liked to sell more? Yes. But all guests and vendors had to have vaccination cards or proof of a negative test to enter. I think this may have driven the crowd numbers lower. 

My only, major negative for the day was the cacophony echoing off the convention center walls and ceiling all day. This is not something I think the show organizers can really do anything about. It's the nature of indoor conventions in large spaces. 

I have Meniere's disease and my ears both ring in an annoying way sometimes, and I can be a little hypersensitive to sound. For example: right now I can hear my laptop fan, the fan on my husbands' PC downstairs), my dog's snores, and the dishwasher in the other room and I'm thinking about putting on my headphones to cancel out some of the sound. 

So, I have thought of three solutions to that problem for the future: 
1. Take more outside breaks throughout the day so I can get away from the sound.
2. Bring noise canceling headphones and wear them for short breaks.
3. Have cloth backdrops for my booth/table area for both a better presentation and sound canceling.

I am also considering the possibility of having a sign that somehow states I have some hearing sensitivity and issues. I want to be there and I want to be friendly, but I know I need to take some breaks.

And, the best idea I have for making future cons and tables far, far better: I need to bring a buddy, or two or three. 

Does anyone want to share an author table with me in the nearish future - like 2022? 
Let me know. I live in the Pacific Northwest region of the US, so anywhere between Bellingham, WA in the North and Eugene, OR in the South and between Bremerton, WA in the West and Boise, Idaho in the East would be good. 

Next time, I also know I would like to:
  • Have 1-3 table runners.
  • Have 1-2 cloth backdrops with either signage or soothing images. The table across from me had a forest scene cloth backdrop for one side and the back of their booth area. It was really nice to glance at in a soothing kind of way.
  • Make and bring some "small" items to sell like jewelry (the Rayatana symbol necklace) and possibly some design/art work I've made on Canva or with my photos and poetry combined. I saw some really cool examples of this.
So, if you've done author tables, what else would you do or bring? Thoughts?


10/11 Moveable Book Party Continues!

Guest Post on Pan-Galatic Gargle Blasters at Patricia Josephine's Blog

The Role of Food and Beverage in Fiction Writing, Part 1 at Chrys Fey's Blog

10/12 Moveable Book Party Continues

The Role of Food and Beverage in Fiction Writing, Part 2 at H.R. Sinclair's Blog

10/13 Moveable Book Party Continues!

The Role of Food in Fiction Writing, Part 3 at MJ Fifield's Blog

Two New Books at C. Lee McKenzie's Blog.

10/18 Moveable Book Party Continues

Fave Food and Beverage in Science Fiction with Jemi Fraser

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana.

 Nexus: The Rayatana Book 2 is available all online, retail, and e-book platforms. Published by Tyrean Martinson with Wings of Light Publishing, LLC. Young Adult - Science Fiction/Adventure/Sweet Romance. ISBN for Kindle: 978-1-7357695-5-4,ISBN for  Paperback: 978-1-7357695-6-1, and ISBN for EPub: 978-1-7357695-7-8.

Book Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK: 

Amazon AUS: 

Amazon Canada: