Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Books Week

Here we are in the middle of Banned Books Week, 2016. It's always interesting to see the list which you can read here. It seems this year, the closed-minded are worried about sexual diversity the most rather than too much sex or profanity. Not so many people are worried that Harry Potter will lead young children to demon worship. So baby steps for humanity. As a writer, remember if your book is ever honored by being on this list, you're probably in for some really great sales.


Today on Insecure Writers' Support Group, Demi Stevens is sharing some ideas on how to organize and run a book event. Demi is a super energetic lady who is involved in every piece of the book business. Demi is the force behind Year of the Book and the upcoming event held at the York, PA Fairgrounds. I'll be signing my books again and hope to have a successful and enjoyable day like last year. Demi has a lot to say and she's very encouraging on Twittter is you'd like to follow her.

I hope you're working on that entry to the IWSG latest anthology contest. Get all the details on the IWSG site. Can't wait to read them all. This group is so talented, I expect lots of great fantasy stories centering on the Hero Lost theme.

So glad some of the new fall shows are here. My daughter and I enjoyed the first episode of Pitch. But will the next episodes keep me interested? Once Upon a Time returned last night with their unique take on fairy tales. This Friday, Luke Cage is coming to Netflix. Hopefully, it will be as good as Daredevil and the entire season will be available all at once.



The nights are cooler and arriving sooner. I actually get more writing done when there's a little less daylight so I'm hoping. I'm finishing off my tomato plant today. I could probably keep it going a little longer but we've given away hundreds of little cherry tomatoes. That one single plant has produced more than 1500 little red spheres. What can I say. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I'll keep my family alive with my farming skills. But fall is welcome so I can stop farming for a few months.


Barnes and Noble offered 20% off to all their card carrying members this past weekend. I heard they had a really bad quarter. It makes me sad to think soon I might not have a big sprawling bookstore to hang out in. All our independent bookstores nearby are used book stores and only one has a cafe. That one is in the city of Harrisburg so you're talking limited parking in a not so nice part of the downtown. I've heard reports that Target and Walmart as now leading booksellers. I'm sad.

Have you ever tried to organize a book event? How many of the books have you read on the most recent banned list? Do you want my secret to growing tomatoes? Sorry, that is a banned subject.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Amazon Again

I read a recent news article about Amazon opening more physical stores across the USA. They're not going to carry many books but will likely promote Amazon's electronics line, like their tablets and phones. The monster expands. I saw another stat that said of readers who pay attention to reviews, 46% of them list Amazon reviews as the ones they pay the most attention to. No other review source had more than 10% saying they took note of them.

Anna Simpson, a member of IWSG, wrote a post about another publisher biting the dust. She's feeling some of the same frustration I went through last year when two of my three publishers closed. Stop by and give her some encouragement. It's a tough business.

Peace flourishes when reason rules.  American Proverb

Wednesday is International Day of Peace. If the above proverb is true, it makes sense that there is so little peace in the world because there certainly is little reason. Some days I feel like there is a viral infection spreading across the globe. It causes the loss of common sense, human decency and any sense of compassion for others.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H.G. Wells


Don't forget that Thursday, the 22nd, is the Autumnal Equinox. The days are really getting short and fall will be here for real.

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." George Santayana

Went to a street craft show in local town with my daughter. It was a lot of fun though the two of us mostly looked. We each only bought one thing. The two of us have become real conservative in our purchasing of 'things.' Except for books. We always buy books.

And I need to add a happy thought today. Books!


What do you think of Amazon's stores? Do you own any Amazon electronics? Do you think peace will overtake Earth on Wednesday? Have any of your publishers closed recently? Is there a 'thing' you buy whenever you can like I do with books?








Monday, September 12, 2016

Series Bible and Fall Cheer

I hope you'll stop over at IWSG today. Heidi Hormel is guest posting about using Excel to create a series bible. Statistics show that readers love series. Lots of us write books in series. If you do that, there's a lot to keep track of and many ways to do it. Excel is one so check out Heidi's post.

When I taught school, I dreaded fall. Back to work and back to the hectic pace of the kids being involved in activities. The day would start shortly after 5 am everyday and many nights I was still doing the laundry past 11 pm. And if I wanted to write, I usually dug into my WIP after 9 pm. Meal times were staggered to fit the various schedules and often eaten on the run. I seldom had time to notice the beauty of the fall season. Now I do.

The leaves haven't started turning yet, but they will soon. The nights are cooling down starting this week which means excellent sleeping with the windows open. I'll miss my swimming pool when we close it later this week, but it also frees up the time I spend taking care of it. And I love hearing the geese flying over, especially at dusk and dawn.

Politics in America
The grass will grow slower with the cooler weather and free up more time for writing. My husband will be watching football all weekend, every weekend, which gives me a lot of uninterrupted time to write also. I'll also spend most Friday nights watching my son coach high school football which is a pleasure though his team is struggling this year.

New TV seasons start for a lot of shows I've missed. Once Upon a Time, Scorpion, Hawaii Five-O and a few new shows I'll probably try out. Now I just need to ignore all the political ads.

I hope you're working on your entry for the IWSG anthology contest. If you're not a part of IWSG, this is a good reason to join us and then next year you can be a part of it.

One of my recent books is now available at ARE (All Romance Ebooks). The Galactic Outlaws #2, The Outlaw's Rebel Lady has one of my favorite sharp and sassy heroine. I love banter between a couple and Jake and Poppy know how to snipe at each other.

Are you loving fall? Do you keep a series bible and what tech or method do you use? Do you have a new fall show to recommend? Can they really make a show to compare with the original McGyver?


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG Anthology Contest 2016

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Our awesome co-hosts today are C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

September’s question of the month - How do you find the time to write in your busy day?


Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2015

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine WritersKB.com.

Richard Harland finished his first novel in 1993 and resigned a university lectureship to become a full-time writer. With seventeen fantasy, SF and horror novels published since, he went international with his steampunk fantasies, Worldshaker, Liberator and Song of the Slums. He has won six Aurealis Awards and the A. Bertram Chandler Award in Australia, the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France. Writing Tips

Laura Maisano has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.

Russell C. Connor has been writing horror since the age of 5, and has been in the self-publishing industry for a decade. He has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook, including the Box Office of Terror Trilogy and "Whitney," an epic horror novel about hurricane survivors fighting a washed-ashore sea monster. He also designs books for clients and assists them with self-publishing endeavors.

Dawn Frederick is the founder of Red Sofa Literary, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency, and she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency.

Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background in addition to a lifetime of working with books (sales, editing, and writing) and authors (marketing, promoting, event planning), and also has been a script/story consultant for an independent film.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.
Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day

I hope all my American friends have the day off and get to spend this end of summer holiday with family and friends. Our house is a little empty with two of the children at the beach, one working and the other very busy coaching football. But after a hectic summer, I'm enjoying the slow pace and some quiet around here.

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.  American Proverb

I'm getting that writing done and am very pleased with my word count. I ran across this interesting article about the daily word counts of famous authors. I've had 5,000 word days but it's not my normal pace.

Don't forget on Wednesday, IWSG will be giving you all the news about the next anthology. I'm scurrying to finish my book so I'll have lots of time to read the entries. Can't wait!

Also, if you're not sure what to write for IWSG's Wednesday post, you can use this month's question.
How do you find time to write in your busy day?

I'd also remind everyone to follow IWSG on Twitter. And hopefully, you'll follow me also. There are lots of great writing tips being shared.

I'm going to the bookstore today. Can't help it since I have a nice coupon. Must get another book! And I'll probably sit in the cafe and write a little bit. I won't just sit there and drink coffee though. That's just not right.

Short post since I'll back on Wednesday with the anthology announcement. Are you taking it easy today? How does your word count measure up to the famous writers? Are you following IWSG and me on Twitter?




Monday, August 29, 2016

Don't Forget the Writing Part

I've been busy with doing some things for the writing groups. Sending out some membership renewal reminders, writing up board and meeting minutes and preparing for the next meetings. Lots of little things that take up bits of time but can add up to a bigger chunk that should be reserved for some writing of my own. This week, no excuses. I'm writing!

If you're one of the IWSG people who prepare their posts well ahead of time, don't forget you can use the monthly question for inspiration for your post. For September;
How do you find time to write in your busy day?

"A questioning man is halfway to being wise."  Irish proverb

Many schools and colleges are back in session by now. And I'm so glad I don't have to follow the academic calendar or the bells anymore. I'm also so happy to be able to visit the library, the bookstore and basically any kind of shopping while all the kids are in school. The joy!
"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough."
Earl Wilson

Went for a haircut a few days ago. It seemed to grow really fast or maybe time is just flying by. I always thought my hair grew slowly but I've been more conscious of my diet in recent years so maybe it is growing faster. Time for a fun fact about that.
The average person grows about 138 feet of hair per day.
I guess those guys who have to shave for work every day believe that one.

Next Wednesday, get ready to learn the detail of the next IWSG anthology contest. It's very exciting and I'm expecting some great entrees with all the creative talent in our growing group.

One of the members or Pennwriters is hosting an anthology in the Christian genre. I haven't vetted this but I know there aren't tons of paying opportunities for writers in this area. Check out Gina Napoli's page and see if you're interested. She's paying a flat fee for articles.

Back into the writing cave for me between bouts of swimming in the last hot days of August. Not doing anything else except a visit to the library and lunch with friends, a few walks...

Does your hair grow fast? Thinking about any anthologies in the near future? Does the start of school influence your life in any way?


Monday, August 22, 2016

Appreciating the Job

My oldest son is a teacher and coach, following in the my path as well as that of his father. He coaches high school football and we love watching him at his job. He loves the sport and his players and you can see they love him back. It makes fall very enjoyable. When asking him about his coaching schedule for this week, he reminded me that he has two days of inservice. Inservice days are those hours teachers spend at meetings where hopefully planning and learning take place. As most teachers know, they're generally dreadful days. And I'm so grateful that I don't teach anymore or have to go to inservice. This September will mark the start of my fourth year as a full time writer. And I still love it.

My first year of full time writing, I wrote pretty fast. I've slowed down a little but I'm doing more in the business of writing and more with writing groups. My current WIP is taking me FOREVER. But a few plot lines clicked into place this past week and I figured something out that was bothering me about one of my characters. I expect the pace to pick up from here on.

"Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still." Chinese Proverb

Did you notice the Halloween candy and fall decorations in the stores? No! Summer is still here. I'm so bored with TV, that I'm looking forward to the start of the fall season. I'm not looking forward to
all the election crap that will also be on TV and the ridiculous things that will be said.  Last weekend, my daughter and I binge-watched the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings. Still cried when Frodo said goodbye at the end.

Last time I asked for suggestions on what to watch, you wacky readers turned my onto Stranger Things. I then talked my children into watching it. My 25 year old son said he's had some really bad dreams about it. I'm not into watching scary movies or shows but Stranger Things was different enough that I really liked it. So nothing scary, but what should I watch next?

This is the first September for me when I have no children attending school or college. I don't miss those tuition payments. For those of you with younger children who you hope to send to college ... good luck. But what I do miss is shopping for all those cool school thingies. New pens, pencils, clips, notebooks and all that lovely stuff that is so cheap this time of year. And I don't need any of it.

Are you getting ready for back to school or getting a child ready? Have a show for me to binge on Netflix or even a good movie I might have missed? Are you in love with your job? Anything you're looking forward to with the coming of fall?