Wednesday, December 4, 2019
This month's optional question:
How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?
I think we all change our dream a little bit or maybe a lot as we learn the true nature and difficulty of this business. I've achieved my dream of being multi-published (23 romance novels and 4 fantasy novels) but it didn't make me rich or famous. All my published books are with a small press but I do still dream of TOR taking on my next fantasy series. My feelings are up and down about if I'm living my dream or not. I feel like I could work harder, do more, but I'm also happy and content with my life.
"A contented mind is a continual feast." Old Farmer's Almanac
Hope your Thanksgiving was great. I did more traveling than I intended and took up too much of time. But the entire family got together. They all get along so well, it's a joy to have that time. I have more than most to be thankful for and it's wonderful to witness how thankful my children are.
"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop
My granddaughter is done with the stitches. Still a little mark but hopefully over time it will fade. She's become very verbal and tells entire stories over and over again. She's so happy and cooperative all the time. We're doing Christmas decorating today. We cleaned yesterday and she helped with everything.
"Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they ever find?"
Dr. Samuel Johnson
Later this week, V-Wars is coming to Netflix. I'm so excited for this. Jonathan Maberry, the author of the books V-Wars is based on, is someone I know personally. He is a member of
Pennwriters, the Pennsylvania writers group I belong to and which I serve on the board. And best of all, he's going to be our keynote speaker at our conference in May, 2020. He's such a nice guy and very supportive of other writers. I wish I had his work ethic. He writes 5,000 words per day!
Then The Expanse returns to Amazon next week. The Witcher come to Netflix the week before Christmas. Christmas Eve will have the second season of Lost In Space on Netflix. I really enjoyed the first season of that remake though lots of critics didn't like it.
Are you living your dream? Are you excited about anything coming to Netflix or Amazon in this last month of 2019? Was Thanksgiving good for you? Are you ready for Christmas?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
This month's optional question: What is the strangest thing you've ever googled when researching for your writing?
Nothing really strange for me. One of the more recent things I googled was how marrow samples are taken. For my fantasy writing, I've googled mythology and for my science fiction, I've looked up information on Rare Earth Elements. I am very interested in reading the answer to this question from my fellow IWSGers.
I'm enjoying a few new and old things as TV shows kick off their new seasons. Supernatural has been very dark and a bit heartbreaking. Bracing for more of that before it's over. Poldark, as usual, has some many intertwining threads that I wonder how they'll wrap it all up before the series finale. I'll really miss that show. Three new shows have caught my interest: Evil, Prodigal Son, and Emergence. Evil manages the right blend of doubt between explainable events and possible supernatural things. And it's very suspenseful. I reserving judgment on HBO's Watchmen. I never read the comics so maybe that's why it's so confusing so far.
Writing is going okay, but I'd still writing slower than my usual pace. I know why, but I can't fix it at this time.
My granddaughter received her first stitches this past weekend. A little scary because she hit her head on a bench corner and it bled a lot. But it only required two stitches and some skin glue right above her left eye. I'm only glad it happened when she was with her father and not me. It did occur at our beloved library but I'm sure she'll still want to go there a few times per week. The emergency room doctors gave her two coloring books and said she was their best toddler patient ever. They expected they would have to knock her out, but she sat on her dad's lap and held her mom's hand and let them stitch her without moving.
A couple of hard frosts mean I'm finally done mowing the grass for the year. I have one more day of raking and cleaning out flowerbeds. Just in time for possible snow flurries by this weekend. Long sigh. That means that shortly I can start my annual whining about winter.
Do you google weird things? Enjoying any new TV? Have you ever had stitches? Any snow in your forecast?
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Monday, October 21, 2019
Have you ever taken out a manuscript that you've set aside and found a gem that only needed some polish? Don't you love those tall ships and adventure on the high seas? Add some magic and you have an epic tale.
Monday, October 14, 2019
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Anne of Green Gables by Lucky Maud Montgomery (Canadian writer)
Last week, I bought a bagful of books from my local library's annual book sale. I'm very happy to support the library. As I've said many times, I love the library. Our local branch is located right beside the railroad and sometimes 2 or 3 trains will go by when I'm there with my granddaughter. It's cool because all the little kids run to windows to watch. Since there's a crossing right there, the train always whistles. The children's special reading lounge and play are has a train theme and it's perfect. My granddaughter loves it.
I realized a few weeks ago that I forgot about my blog anniversary in August. Susan Says has been around since 2008! Time flies.
I'm still cleaning house since my last adult child moved out. I'm not a collector of things but my children apparently are. I have a roomful of large Rubbermaid containers with their stuff still here. I told them they can leave it until I downsize which is happening soon. We've seen huge savings in our electric costs since the kiddies moved out. Fewer showers, laundry, computers, and TV time have made a big difference.
The house is very quiet, but I really like it. I'm busy with my writing, the outside fall work, great books to read, and taking care of my granddaughter.
"Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for!" Immanuel Kant
What traditional foods do Canadians have for Thanksgiving? Anything special about your local library? How long have you been part of the blogging scene?
Monday, October 7, 2019
The Draconid Meteor Shower will hopefully give us some delightful viewing tomorrow night. Unlike some of the meteor showers, the Draconid can be viewed after sunset instead of after midnight. I hope the rain goes away by then. Read more about them here.
I threw out almost 20K words on my WIP because it wasn't any good. LOL. That's a totally unbiased opinion. I hated it and what I'm replacing it with is better. So far.
"Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick." Spanish proverb
I haven't shared wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac recently. So here it is. When buying pumpkins to use as your fall or Halloween decorations, only pick ones with stems on them. The stem slows decay.
Our family has a lot of birthdays in the all. Both of my stepsons, my birthday, and my oldest sister. Not that any of us want to celebrate getting older. Getting older does encourage one to appreciate the small things. Cool fall nights. Fall scents like hot cider, burning leaves, and apple pie. I love to watch the geese fly south. Living in the country, sometimes there are half of a dozen flocks in the sky at one time.
"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." Erma Bombeck
That new show, Evil, is very scary. I'm enjoying it immensely. So many unanswered questions and the characters are complex and interesting. Stumptown and Prodigal Son have caught my interest but I don't know if they'll keep it. I'm going to give Watchmen a try on HBO. Supernatural is back this week. Yippee.
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is one that has me excited. The world Winter created is unique and the protagonist is complex. The question of who the good guys are will keep you turning the pages. I loved this book and can't wait for the next one.
Will you try to see the meteor showers? What do you like best about fall? Have you discovered any new fantasy series you could recommend to me?
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
This month's optional question: How can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?
I can't imagine not enjoying reading. I could read every spare minute I have. There are so many great books out there, including ones written by members of this group. If a person doesn't enjoy reading, I don't believe they can be a writer.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.”
― Stephen King,
New Concepts Publishing has released my latest space opera romance, Starship Refugees IV: The Alien and the Slave. A ship of Earth's refugees lands on a planet and find themselves forced into slavery along with the native humans. A great escape is planned but only if the two races of humans learn to trust each other.
For the first time since I married, I have an empty nest. My husband had two wonderful sons when we met, and then we had three boys and one girl together. This past weekend, the last child, now an adult, moved out. My husband thinks the house is too quiet, but I love it. My children are wonderful, but it was time for them and us to be on our own. And the bathroom is so much cleaner. Except for my daughter, the kids all live close enough that we're not alone for long.
I watched the first episode of the new CBS thriller, Evil. It was so scary! I loved it. I also enjoyed the first episode of Poldark's last season on Masterpiece Theater. Really good, as usual. Killjoys ended on a good note. Fun and hopeful. No bittersweet stuff there. Only one more week to wait for Supernatural to return. Too many final seasons for my favorite shows this year.
Do you read a lot? Should writers be readers? Do you enjoy a quiet house or the chaos of family? Did you watch Evil or another new show you could recommend?
Monday, September 30, 2019
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
This month's optional question:
If you could pick one place in the world to sit and right your next story, where would it be and why?
That is a tough question. First of all, I have an awesome office at home and I have it all to myself on evenings and weekends. It's pretty much perfect and I shouldn't be greedy and wish for something better. That being said, I would love to spend a week at a dude ranch in Montana where I could horseback ride in the morning and evening, walk for miles and enjoy the big sky and write in between being outdoors.
My daughter moved to Boston this past weekend to begin her PhD program. I'm not a city person but I appreciate the history of Boston and its many lovely spots to have a seat in a coffee shop and write. Harvard Square is one of my favorite. Yes, I could spend a week writing there.
The question for me, could I stay on task in those beautiful places? I'd like to find out.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Labor speech, 1903, Theodore Roosevelt
Work on my next book is going slow as I dealt with knee replacement and helping my daughter move. This time her move isn't simply going back to college. It's a real move that will last 5-7 years. Those are my excuses for writing only about 15K words the past two months.
I'm back to watching my granddaughter five days per week as her teacher parents go back to school. Such a little bundle of joy. She's speaking in full sentences and knows all her letters. (Her dad taught her the alphabet by watching Wheel of Fortune) She's only 2 and a half as of today. On our agenda, more library programs and swimming once per week to start. She loves learning and trying new things. Play doh last week.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Chinese proverb
I'm also back to exercising 5 or more days per week. Since I have my knee fixed, I can actually do downhills again and use the elliptical more than one day in a row. I feel younger with my bionic parts. LOL
I have a writers' meeting tonight, so I'll try to visit as many blogs as I can before and after. I seem to keep volunteering for things I don't have time for.
"Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." Earl Wilson
I'm enjoying the last season of Killjoys. Only a few episodes left. I'll really miss those characters. The last season of Poldark starts later this month. I'm looking forward to the last season of Supernatural starting up in October. There's a new show this fall called Evil that looks interesting. Not sure anything else will catch my interest. Seems I'm depending more and more on Netflix and Amazon when I have the urge for a little screen time.
Do you have an ideal writing spot in all the world? Do you get yourself in trouble by too much volunteering? Do you like the coming of fall?
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
I'm skipping this month's question. The only thing that ever surprised me about my writing was when one of my publishers closed and even that has happened so often I'm no longer shocked when it happens.
A writing issue I am addressing today is writers' groups. Do you know now much it costs to be a member of IWSG? Zero dollars. The runners of this group spend countless hours behind the scene, all voluntarily. I'm on the board of the state-wide, multi-genre group, Pennwriters. Again, everyone on the board volunteers all their hours and there have been many, many hours of work. Members of Pennwriters pay the low price of $45 per year and receive lots and lots of benefits including a discount to the annual conference that amounts to more than the price of membership. That brings me to my point.
I am a long time member of RWA, Romance Writers of America. For over twenty years, I've paid to be a member of this organization and then an additional fee to belong to my local chapter of RWA. Each year as my career moves forward, I feel like I get less for my money. I won't to into the details of that list, but to pay $99 for RWA membership and then $28 to belong to my local group, I want it to be worth it. And I no longer feel that it is. When my membership expires later this month, I'm finished paying out that money.
I'm sure there are other RWA members on this loop, and I would welcome your thoughts.
On a more personal note, this is a dangerous time of year to shop. All those back to school supplies are on sale. So many clever and cute journals, pen, paper clips, and sticky notes. How is a writer to resist even though I need none of it? I managed to buy only one notebook and two post-it notes.
My knee rehab is complete. My orthopedic surgeon called me his best patient ever. Back to walking an hour a day or doing a day on my elliptical. Full range of motion and all the good stuff. Not quite back to writing 1,000 words per day but I'm getting there. Also, received another contract for the book I submitted in June.
I'm enjoying the last season of Killjoys on SyFy. My favorite show, The 100, ended its season last night and announced next season will be their last. Sorry to see it go, but I also like when a series knows when to end. I was very excited to learn that Amazon has renewed The Expanse for a 5th season before the 4th even airs. Endgame made me cry as much when I watched it at home as it did in the theater. Football season starts soon so I won't have much to say about TV except to complain how much football my dear husband watches.
Do you pay to be in any writing or other creative groups? Think RWA is too expensive? Do office supplies tempt you? See any good TV lately?
Monday, July 8, 2019
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
First of note, thank you to the IWSG administrators for spotlighting me in the most recent newsletter. You really brightened my day.
Second of note, thank you to the administrators for all they do. I was once among their numbers and there is a massive amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of IWSG to make sure the group remains dynamic and offers so many FREE services to writers. I'm on the board of another writing group and I'm currently buried under responsibilities to help run that group. Anyone who volunteers in such a way, sacrifices a lot of their own writing time to give to other writers.
Third of note is the monthly optional question:
What personal traits have you written into your characters?
Are we supposed to do that? LOL I do write my characters to have qualities that I hope I have. Loyalty, honesty, and love of family. Add an burdening sense of responsibility and you have a too perfect character. (Not that I'm perfect or even close) So, always add a helping of traits I hope I don't have. Mistrust, wariness of relationships, and of course, the damage that caused all that.
Fourth note for today, I apologize for not haunting the blogs I usually do. About twelve days ago, I had knee replacement surgery so I've had trouble sitting at my computer for any extended period of time. No worries, I feel great. My top-notch surgeon used high tech robotic surgery. I was in pretty good shape going in. Surgery at 10 am. Woke up at noon. Got out of bed at 2 pm with the nurses' help. Went home the next day at noon. Six days later and I was walking without any assistant devices like a cane or walker. 30 staples are coming out today and then it's just a matter of finishing physical therapy. Unfortunately, my new knee is not bionic and I can't run 60 mph.
Is the year flying by for you? Have any fellow writers or bloggers you really appreciate? Does your personal character show up in your fiction writing? Would you be comfortable with a robot wielding the knife in the operating room?
Monday, June 17, 2019
Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.
Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.
Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...
Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings.
Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!
Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!
Check out the WINDY HOLLOW Release Blog Tour schedule:
6/20 - Heather Holden - How does she Create such Awesome Art?
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Interview
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building
6/30 - SA Larsen - Special Newsletter & a Vlog?!
7/1 - Tara's IWSG post with updates and a Special Guest!
7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Kids in Books
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV
7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - Hiking!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends
And of course, there's a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
This month's optional question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?
I write in two genres, science fiction romance and epic fantasy. I love both. Science fiction gives me a chance to include my science background and the space to make up some science. Almost all my science fiction is space opera though I have one dystopian series. I love epic fantasy with the chance to build a word and invent a magic system. I also love the idea of heroes and heroines that go on a journey to grow into the people who will defeat evil so good can triumph. I really like the tales where the protagonist starts out as a nobody who becomes the most important person in the world.
When the chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, kings, and queens all go back in the same box. Italian proverb
Hope your summer, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, offers you some time to relax. I also hope you're not getting wet every day like we have been in the northeast USA. We had nearly twice the average amount of rainfall for the month of May. I have one more week of watching my granddaughter before summer vacation is here for her parents who are both teachers. I love her, but I'll enjoy some time without my adorable little shadow on my heels.
The new season of Luther is here and next month we have Stranger Things season 3, so something to look forward to. In the meantime, I'm doing some re-watches of my favorite shows like Haven. Poldark's most recent season is on Amazon Prime, so I'll take that in also. Anything you're binge watching or catching up on during the summer months.
Do you write in more than one genre, and if you do, do you prefer one over the other? Have any vacations planned for the near future? Are you in a part of the country that has been inundated recently?
Monday, June 3, 2019
Jeff and Michelle’s lives had felt as perfect as their love for one another. A successful family business, wonderful children, and the hope of a long life together… until an inoperable brain tumor threatens to destroy the happily ever after they thought was guaranteed.
Will faith and sacrifice be enough to save the woman he can’t imagine life without?
Have you ever had someone say something as motivating as Vickie's friend who told her she was being selfish? Have you known a relationship where the man was the one to give up his career and stay home to care for an ailing loved one? Have you read a book that gave you hope and inspiration?