Wednesday, September 1, 2021

IWSG & Success!

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! 

***

September 1 question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

For me, success is a moving target.

On any given day, any of these mean success:

  • feeling good about the words I've put on the page
  • knowing I had my first short story chosen for a great anthology
  • someone buys one of my books
  • drafting over 1k words in a session
  • a reader leaves a positive review
  • a payment from one of the retailers lands in my bank account
  • I manage to write a scene I've been avoiding
  • an idea for a new scene/book/series/character lights up my day
  • I edit a scene and it's so much better
  • I can provide feedback for another author
  • I can help a newbie writer - even though I feel like I'm in that category myself
  • I manage to plot out a book...
Oh, wait! That last one is totally impossible!

Success is relative and changing. To be honest, I rarely give it much thought! Instead, I just focus on the next step.

How about you? What does success mean to you? When was your last successful moment?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

WEP & Their Voices & News

Their Voices

They try to silence

the voices

the voices that tell the truth


They try to squash

the stories

They try to rewrite

the histories

They try to erase

their lives


They took away

their freedom

their choices

their futures


But truth cannot be silenced

Not forever


Unmarked graves will be found


Their stories will be told

Their truths will be shared

Their lives will be celebrated

and mourned

and remembered


Their potential was erased

Their loss is uncountable


But they have not silenced their voices

Those who will listen

Will always hear


***

Some parts of Canadian history are horrific. Residential schools aimed to destroy indigenous cultures and people. Unmarked graves in multiple sites have been found. It's a hideous part of our history and something we have to acknowledge. We can't go back to fix the mistakes of the past, but we can acknowledge them and offer reparations and work to ensure nothing like this happens again.


The freedom to speak, the freedom to live and thrive, the freedom to be, was taken away from so many kids. I hope it never happens again. I know I can't fix the world, but I'll continue to work on my own little corner of it. It's the least we can do.


***

The above is part of the WEP Challenge - although it's not an actual part of the challenge. One reason is that I'm offering the prize this month. The second reason is, I'm now a part of the WEP team!! I'm thrilled to be joining this talented and lovely group of writers!


Please check out this link to find the stories that are actually part of the challenge. WEP is always a good place to stretch your skills. I'm excited to work with the winner and to be part of the team in the future!




Wednesday, August 4, 2021

IWSG & Pants & Family, Oh My!

 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! 

August 4 question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

My favourite craft book is Take Off Your Pants!! by Libbie Hawker (scroll right to the bottom of her page for links).

I'm NOT a natural plotter. I was the kid who had to write the essay first and then make the outline that you had to hand in before you were supposed to start writing the essay.

As a teacher, I've always planned units backwards - start with the assessment piece at the end and work back to figure out how to get everyone there.

Most plotting books hurt my brain and inhibit my process. They also make me feel like a twit because I simply can't do it no matter how hard I try.

Libbie's book talks about starting with the character and his/her personality and flaws. Then you build a path based on that. It's not written for romance authors, but I simply think about two people, two paths, and how they can twine together.

Notice I said think, not write. I do create charts for the steps of the plot points along the path for each character but I haven't completed one of these charts yet. Getting better though!

I don't follow Libbie's entire process but it makes sense to my brain and has helped me organize my stories in my head so that I'm not dealing with a bazillion revision rounds trying to make the plot make sense.

Honorary mention to ALL the Thesauruses (Thesauri??) written by Angela & Becca. They are amazing!

How about you? Are you a backwards planner as well? Plotter or pantser or somewhere in between? Thesauruses or Thesauri?

***

In other news, Reaching For Family (Bloo Moose Romance #8) releases on August 10th! That's next Tuesday!

Jenna Wilkes grew up knowing that animals were the only source of unconditional love. As Bloo Moose’s vet, she’s determined to make sure all of her patients find a loving home.

Noah Washington may not have been able to save the farm his adoptive parents owned, but now he’s got it back. Instead of taking out the bad guys as a Ranger, he’s trying not to sever his fingers while shearing his herd.

When the land surrounding her barn is suddenly filled with nosy alpacas and a wary man with shadows in his sexy eyes, Jenna realizes she wants to heal him as well. But when accidents start to happen she wonders if he only wants her gone.


When the threats escalate, they’ll need to rely on each other if they’re ever to learn what family feels like.


When family isn't safe, you need to make your own.

Preorder today to make sure Reaching For Family pops onto your e-reader as soon as it's available!

Website 

Amazon 

Apple 

B&N 

Eden 

Google Play  

Kobo 

BingeBooks 

Bookbub

Goodreads 

Books2Read



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Bloo Moosiversary!

 One year ago, the first three Bloo Moose books hit the shelves. Hard to believe it's been a year. And a great one at that!

A huge thank you to everyone! I've had so much support over the last year.

  • blog posts
  • guest posts
  • tweets and retweets
  • cheerleaders in so many corners
  • readers
  • reviewers
  • kind words
  • friends - so many amazing friends
So thank you!

Happy birthday, Bloo Moose! You're 1!!

If you're interested in any of the books, check out my website for easy links. Reaching For Family will be out in the world on August 10!



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

IWSG & Stress Breaks

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!  

July 7 question - What would make you quit writing?

Hmm. It would have to be something serious in my personal life.

When dementia slammed into our family a few years back, we had several months where I maybe slept 30-35 hours a week. Didn't write much for those months. Took my heart several more to heal enough to have the zip needed to produce any words. Even then, it took more than 18 months before I was back writing with any sort of regularity.

Writing about dementia helped me come to terms with the disease and its effects on our life. As that healing process moved along, I was eventually able to turn my attention back to the Bloo Moose romantic suspense stories.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls my way, but I can't imagine a time when I wouldn't want the release & enjoyment that writing gives me. Even if I never published again, I think I would continue to create stories.

I write because I enjoy it. It's my "me" time.

How about you? Do you have to change things up when life gets stressful? Is writing your "me" time, too?


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WEP: Red or Green?

Update!

Red or Green was chosen for the Encouragement award by the WEP team. Thanks so much and congrats to the others. It was great to read new voices in the challenge this month and I hope those writers continue to join in the fun!


***

It started in her toes.

A tingle that ran from the baby toe on her right and grew across her body until it hit the final toe on the left.


The next wave reached her ankles, then legs. Each wave of tingles higher and stronger until her entire body shook with them. And it took only seconds.


When she’d lived on planet, she’d experienced earthquakes. This disorientation was similar but the specific directionality differed.


Momentum wanted Liane to move left, but the cause had to be on her right. At the rate the waves were growing, if she didn’t find and fix the cause soon, she’d be space dust before she handed over command to the next shift.


By the time she reached the engine room, the deck was buckling beneath her feet, comms were inoperative, and panic was trying to claw its way up her throat.


The door had been cracked and as she approached, the deck rolled in another wave and the door fractured into pieces.


The engine room itself was unrecognizable. Metal lifting and rolling. 

Screens shattered. And bodies trapped in the debris.


Grief and despair battled against her control but she moved forward into the chaos.


Walls weren’t supposed to buckle, floors weren’t supposed to roll.

And the engine wasn’t supposed to pulsing with an angry orange glow.


Nothing she’d seen in any of her decades had prepared her for this and Liane wasted precious seconds simply staring.


The next wave threw her into the bulkhead and brought her focus back. From this angle she could see the body of the engineer, arm outstretched toward the wall.


Crawling to the body of her friend, Liane saw he’d been reaching for a panel with two buttons.


Engineering gobbledygook covered the wall and she wished she’d paid more attention during those classes.


More waves. More cracks and breaks. More screams and anguish.


Red or green? Stop or go?


Which button was he trying to reach?


The entire ship shuddered around her.


Liane closed her eyes and pressed red.



***


This story is part of the WEP Challenge.

Click on the link to read the other entries.

Have you joined the challenge yourself? Jump on in -  the people are awesome. I've learned a ton by participating!


WEP Great Wave


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IWSG & Marinating Stories

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! 

June 2 question - For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

I NEED some time away from my draft. It has to marinate for a good while (about a month) before I set eyes on it again.

I have a bouncy brain that is often working on (worrying about) multiple stories at a time, so this is pretty easy to do.

At the moment, I have:

  • Bloo Moose #8 - awaiting final polish
  • New series #1 - awaiting a rewrite after a critique on draft 1
  • New series #2 - first draft about 1/2 complete
  • Bloo Moose #9 - making planning notes in Scrivener on plot & characters
Of course, there are also main characters for Bloo Moose #10 and New Series #3 & 4 who are walking around in my head letting me know who they are and what their stories will be about. That doesn't count Future Series characters knocking on my skull.

An author's head is never lonely!!!

So, with my Tigger Brain, I focus on one story's needs at a time. Then while that sits and waits for the next step, I do the next round of work on the next story. That gives me the 3 or 4 weeks I need away from the first story to see it with clearer eyes.

So far, my pattern has been pretty consistent - basically 3 or 4 stories in various stages at a time.

How about you? Do you have a Tigger Brain? Or, does you brain let you focus on one story from start to finish (I can't even imagine how that works!)? Anyone else have a head chock full of characters?

Reaching For Family is up for preorder at most retailers.
Google Play & Eden Books will be up soon!


Jenna learned early that family wasn’t safe. As Bloo Moose’s vet, she’s determined to find her patients loving homes even if she knows the same isn’t possible for her.
 
Noah Washington promised his adoptive parents he’d save their farm and now he’s bought almost all of it back. Only one acre to go but it belongs to a woman who makes his owned guarded heart seem vulnerable.
 
After a decade as an Army Ranger, Noah’s alpaca are supposed to ensure him of a peaceful life but someone is targeting them. Or Jenna. Or him.
 
As the danger escalates, Jenna and Noah build a wary trust, but they’ll need to learn the true meaning of family if they want the farm—and themselves—to survive.