Wednesday, March 1, 2023

IWSG & Great Twists

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


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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!   

March 1st question: March 1 question - Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

I'm continually impressed by other authors. I've always loved mysteries and remember devouring Encyclopedia Brown. When I moved up to Agatha Christie novels I was enthralled. I think Christie is the queen of plot twists. And Then There Were None. The ABC Murders. Murder On The Orient Express. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd...so many!

I also love a clever first line (It was a pleasure to burn) and a line that pulls me right into the character's heart. So many of my friends here at IWSG know exactly how to do these things well!

But, envy? Nope.

That's not part of my personality. I will be enthralled, impressed, and brought to tears, but I won't wish I'd written it. Instead, I'll cheer on the author and then dig deep to try to create my own magic.

How about you? Any favourite first lines? Any favourite authors who pull off those magical twists?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

WEP & With The Wind

This was where they’d met. Janie smiled as she looked over the view. It hadn’t changed that much over the decades.

Tom had been hiking with his buddies on their summer break, she'd been alone. They were all on the coast for the summer, working jobs in the tourist town. Tom had been working at a souvenir shop, she’d been at the fudge shop across the street.


But they’d met on the top of this hill. The hike had been worth it for the view alone. Meeting Tom had made it the best hike of her life. They’d often joked about what they’d have missed out on if they hadn’t made that hike at the same time all those years ago.


No holding hands or stolen kisses in the shadows between the street lamps. No dances on the beach or anniversary trips back here. No kids or grandkids.


They’d been so lucky, so blessed. And today was a day to celebrate that. A day to look back on all the kisses, all the stolen moments, all the laughter. Even the tears.


Jane walked to the edge of the bluff and shook the tube the funeral director had given her. Tom hadn’t wanted a fuss. The man had never wanted a fuss.


With a tear slipping down her cheek, Jane opened the tube and watched the last of Tom’s earthly body slip away on the wind.


But he’d never really be gone. How could he be? He’d become a part of her just as she’d been a part of him. She’d carry him along with her and make sure the little ones knew all about their gramps.


Jane blew a kiss to the wind. Whenever she felt the breeze, she’d know Tom was kissing her back.


***

Tagline: Gone isn't always gone

***



The above is part of the WEP Challenge for February's prompt Gone With The Wind.

Confession 1 time: I've never read the book. I've never seen the movie. I doubt I'll ever remedy that 🀷  It's never been something that appealed to me. But I love the title!

For the WEP challenges, I almost always draw inspiration from the title or the words. I've done that again with this prompt and probably will for the rest of the prompts (because I haven't seen most of those movies either!).

Confession 2 time: As many of you know, my mom was placed into palliative care a few weeks ago. She passed peacefully and painlessly shortly afterward. I wrote this piece before any of that happened. I almost wrote a new piece, but decided to leave this as is. I'll be thinking of Lizzie whenever I touch the wind.

I hope you check out the other entries in this month's challenge and I really hope you'll enter your own piece. We're always eager for new writers to join in!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The IWSG & Covers

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


IWSG badge

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!  

February 1 question - If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

I made the cover for Dancing With Dementia. I loved the experience of learning how to use photoshop and create layers and elements. I enjoyed finding just the right image and choosing fonts and colours.

What I didn't enjoy? The time commitment! And while the result is fine and portrays what I want it to portray, I'm sure the cover will get an update at some point.

I have a talented family member who is terrific with graphics. She enjoys studying fonts and putting the images together. She loves the challenge of branding the series and keeping the look of each series separate. I LOVE the results of her work and I was more than happy to turn over the job of designing covers to her.

What about you? Any talented family members helping you out in your business? Anyone great with graphics and fonts and the rest?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sleep well, Lizzie

My first published book was Dancing With Dementia: Recognizing and Coping with the Early Stages of Dementia.

The star of the book is Lizzie. I used an alternate name for Mom to protect her privacy but the stories in the book are all real.

Lizzie was a firecracker - from her early days growing up in Scotland throughout WWII to her time in a local nursing home where she was often the highlight of the day for many people.

Dementia is a cruel and nasty disease. The last few weeks have been difficult for Lizzie as she mostly lost contact with the world around her. She was put into palliative care and fell into a peaceful sleep. She passed away Monday morning without experiencing any pain.

Lizzie was known for her sense of humour, her adventurous spirit, her oh-so-colourful language, and her big heart. We will miss her sass, her spunk, and her stories.

Sleep well, Lizzie. Sleep well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

IWSG & Words

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


IWSG badge

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!    

January 4 question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year was Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? 

Love this question!

2020 was the first year I chose a word. I decided I would take the big step and start publishing my books. My word that year was RISK.

In 2021, I chose FORWARD. In 2022, I kept the same word, FORWARD.

Since 2020, I've been living outside my comfort zone. Putting books out in the world is terrifying!!! For 2023, I want to keep stepping forward, keep risking, keep trying new things. I've signed up for one course with that in mind.

But, I also want to keep sinking into Me. For the first few years of this writing gig, I assumed that my way was wrong because it seemed like everyone else was doing it differently. (Everything from ideas to drafting to revising to genre to publishing to marketing). I'm learning to believe the advice I've given my students over the years: Follow your gut, listen to your heart, keep your mind open.

So for 2023, I think I'll choose BRAVE.

I want to be brave enough to follow my own path. Brave enough to learn and to try new things. Brave enough to reach out for opportunities. Brave enough to say No when things aren't right for me or when my plate is already overflowing.

How about you? What new things are you wanting to try this year? Is saying No difficult for you as well? Are you going to be brave with me?

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

IWSG & Holiday Goodies!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


IWSG badge

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!   

December 7 question - It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

It's definitely a time for me to fall behind!

We are a small family but we get together a lot for the holidays. My holiday job in the family is the baker. I enjoy baking, but it is time-consuming as everyone has their favourites - Nanaimo bars, fudges, shortbread, gingerbread, melting moments, apple loaf, family recipes...

Lots of goodness, lots of time, and lots of love.

How about you? Are you the baker? What's your favourite holiday treat?

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

On another note, here are two book treats for you!

Built of Flames released yesterday & early reviews are great!

"This book is entertaining, enjoyable and intriguing. I loved the quick reconnection between Bella and Mitch, their hot chemistry and the need to not let the other slip away again. I love that the heroine is a kick-butt arson investigator in a field usually dominated by men. The rapport and support among the friends living at Tansy’s compound in Phail is wonderful and heartwarming. It makes me want to know about the group of them and who will join them next." ~ rebmay



Amazon    Apple    B&N Nook    Google Play     Kobo

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

Reaching For Christmas is on sale at 40% off for the entire month of December. If you're looking for a heart-warming romantic suspense story with a fabulous rescue dog, you might enjoy this one!


Amazon      Apple      B&N       Google Play     Kobo

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

Wishing you joy and peace for the holiday season!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

WEP & Harry's Mission

Nothing was going to stop Harry from achieving his mission. He’d planned every step. It had taken him days and days. Now, he had to make sure no one messed it up.


He ate all his supper. Even the broccoli.

He scraped off his plate. Put it in the dishwasher.

He didn’t splash in the bath.

Well, not too much.


Harry put on his new pajamas. The feet were a little too long, but he’d be careful.


At bedtime, he only asked for one extra story.

Then he waited.

Waiting was hard.

So was staying awake.


Harry pinched his toes and counted all the way to a hundred.

He whispered his plan to Marshall, but the stuffed Dalmatian didn’t have any ideas on how to stay awake.


When he’d waited forever, he looked at his clock. The first number was a nine. Or was it a six? He traced the number on his hand like his teacher had shown him. It was a nine.


That had to be late. No one could stay awake until nine.


Harry hugged Marshall for luck and then snuck out of bed. The nightlight helped him see and he peeked into the hall. Lights were still on downstairs but they’d have to leave them on tonight.


Harry slid to the side of the stairs and held the banister tight. His pjs were a little slippery but he only fell once on his way down.


When he reached the bottom, he looked down the hall. No one. He tiptoed into the living room and grinned. No presents were under the tree yet. He wasn’t too late.


Harry went straight to his hiding place, between the two chairs and in front of the bookshelf. Then he sat down to wait some more. He was going to see Santa’s face for the first time. All he had to do was not fall asleep.


Harry jerked awake when something wet touched his face. He tried to roll away, but the wet followed him. When something barked, Harry opened his eyes as the dog licked him again. A Dalmatian. Just like Marshall. “Did Santa bring you?”


The dog woofed and jumped in Harry’s lap.


Mom and Dad came into the room with their coffee cups. “Merry Christmas, Harry.”


“Did Santa bring me a puppy?”


“Didn’t you see Santa?”


“No.” He must have fallen asleep after all. He hadn't seen Santa's face.


Mom picked up a red paper from the plate where they’d left the cookies. “Looks like Santa left you a note.”


“What does it say?”


“Maybe next year.”


Harry nodded and hugged the Dalmation. "I'll see him next year."

***

Tagline: Harry's on a mission to see a face for the first time

The above is part of the WEP challenge First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Please check out the links to read the other entries into the challenge. There's lots of time to join as the entries will be open from Dec 1-15. I hope you'll join in the fun!!!