Wednesday, June 7, 2023

IWSG: June 2023


Difficult to believe it is June already. Time for another first Wednesday Insecure Writers Support Group. Thanks to our found, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and all the IWSG admins, we can share our woes, victories, expertise, and ask questions. Find the entire list here.

This month's optional question:

If you ever stopped writing, what would you replace it with?

Though I hope many years pass before I even consider stopping, I have so many things I love doing besides writing. Reading. So many books and so little time. Cross-stitch. I have two projects started and many more I would like to do. My beloved jigsaw puzzles. Just finished a 4,000 piece and have two 5,000 and one 6,000 waiting my attention. I'm into my new bicycle and pickle-ball. I have sisters in three different states I want to spend time with. So much to do and so little time. When do I find time to write?

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln

Looking forward to a new season of Jack Ryan on Prime and The Witcher on Netflix. And Justified is making a short comeback. At least some good things to watch in June.

Coming up on two years in our condo and I love it more everyday. The upkeep is so easy and no grass to mow. Not that it is growing much with our current lack of rain. Lots of places to walk, bike, and a pool to swim in that I don't have to take care of.

Had a great writers conference last month in Pittsburgh, PA. Great keynote speakers and so much goodwill  and talent surrounding every workshop and activity.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
― Aesop

What keeps you busy day to day? What are you looking forward to in June?

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

IWSG: May 2023


I can't believe I missed last month. I believe it was the only time I've missed. I'm not sure why I'm busier ever when I'm 'retired.'

But welcome to my post for IWSG. Thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh and all the admins for the this amazing group. Find the entire list of blog posts here.

This month's optional question: When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

I'm inspired by lots of things. Reading a good book. Hearing about one of my writer friend's success. Sometimes watching a good show or movie. Visiting a bookstore or library. Attending a conference or any writing event such as a book signing. With all that inspiration, you would think I would get more writing done each day.

I have been getting some writing done. About 6K words in April. Still, slower than I'd like. And I have a conference coming up in about two weeks that will inspire me further. Had some work done of our home so that was disruptive and distracting and a few more events coming in May that will slow me down. I'm already collecting my excuses so they're ready to go. Hopefully, June will bring some peace and quiet at the old homestead.

"He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So little to watch on TV. I have enjoyed Will Trent in its debut season. The Last of Us was good considering I am completely ignorant about the video game it was based on. I'm going to watch Amazon's newest The Citadel but I haven't started it yet. The Mandalorian was disappointing but I have hope for next season.

I hope the spring season is filling you all with warmth and inspiration. 

What inspires you? Are you getting some writing done? What is your biggest distraction?

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

IWSG: March 2023


Time once again for the monthly blog hop. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his intrepid admin team, the IWSG is rolling along helping and supporting writers at all stages of their writing careers. Find the entire list of participants in this month's blog hop here.

This month's optional question:

Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

I have admired many plot twists but the most recent one that comes to mind is by Sarah J. Maas. In the cliffhanger at the end of Book #2 of her Crescent City fantasy series, she linked the series to one of her earlier series. It gave me shivers of delight and envy. Can't wait for the next book!

I'm nearly finished with edits on the fantasy series I've decided to self-publish. Waiting for my cover art for the first book. In the meantime, I'm also outlining my next three book series. Just a bare skeleton at this time, but it's getting some flesh on it. I'm pretty excited about it.

"I dwell in possibility." Emily Dickinson

I've been enjoy the new ABC show Will Trent. I read the books by Karin Slaughter. Fortunately, the show isn't as dark as the novels. I'm looking forward to the return of the Mandalorian and a second season of Shadow and Bone. I've found The Last of Us entertaining though it is rather brutal. Went to see the new Antman movie. It was okay...

I hope we see some more spring-teasing weather. I'm tired of chilly rain, clouds, and artic breezes. I know many of you live in locations with much more to complain about.

I'm also busy handling online registration for the 36th Annual Pennwriters Conference being held in Pittsburgh this year on the third weekend in May. Check it out if you're in the area. We have lots of great workshops and numerous agents and editors eager to hear your pitches. No matter how long I've been writing, I always learn useful things at the conference. Hope even one of you can join us.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

Have you suffered or maybe enjoyed some writerly envy? Yeah or Nay on any of the entertainment I mentioned? Are you ready for spring?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IWSG: February 2023


We're here already. Thank you to all the admins of the IWSG and our founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for this amazing group of writers. Hope you're here to share woes and victories. Find the list of participants here.

This month's optional 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?

If you read my last post, you know the small press I've been with for around 15 years closed their doors at the end of 2022. Suddenly, I have 28 homeless books that had already been published. I also had a three book epic fantasy series that had been contracted by another publisher who closed their doors a few years ago. I wasn't sure what to do.

I hate designing covers but I found a person to partner with me. We've started to get some of my work back on the market. And now I have full control over my covers though I'm always open to the recommendations of my partners. My previous publisher was very good about asking for my thoughts and then trying to bring my stories to life with a great cover. No complaints.

It's great to be back to writing though I'm mostly editing right now. I feel really good about it all. I'm also keeping busy helping set up the registration for the 2023 Annual Pennwriters Conference that will be held in Pittsburgh in May this year. I'll let you know when registration is open.

I've been so busy and it's wonderful. 

"Either you run the day or the day runs you." Jim Rohn

I've been enjoying the new show, Will Trent, based on the book series by Karin Slaughter. The show isn't near as dark as the novels which I like. The Last of Us is holding my interest also. Otherwise, not much happening. Give me some recommendations, please.

I feel like I'm in the best place as far as my writing that I have been for a while. I hope it is the same for you.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." Henry David Thoreau

Do you get a say in your covers? Do you have a favorite style of cover or least favorite? Are you following or living your dream?

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

IWSG: January 2023


Can we believe it's 2023? Not quite but welcome to the first blog hop post for IWSG for this year. Thanks to the IWSG admins for keeping us going and to our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, for bringing us together in the first place. Find the entire list of participants on this page.

I'm skipping this month's question and putting to page some thoughts going into a new year. As many of you know, my publisher closed their doors at the end of 2022. That's more than 20 published books that are now homeless. Enough to crush my motivation. But...

I have found some things to inspire me.

1. Seeing colleagues having new books coming out. Some are writers I've known for years and have spent time at writers conferences networking together. I love seeing them succeed and it makes me work harder.

2. Reading the various newsletters that come my way from a variety of sources. Some are writing groups like this one and some are from individual authors. I learn so much and also witness the writing successes of the other members.

3. Finding a new author, or new-to-me, that I fall in love with. There have been a few recently, but one fantasy writer I'll point out is Kel Kade. Kel's first serious was self-published and her second series was picked up by TOR.

4. Helping set up registration for the Pennwriters Conference coming to Pittsburgh, PA in May of this year. I love spending the weekend with other writers.

5. Receiving an invite from a successful local author to join her FB group. If you attended last year's Pennwriters Conference, you know Misty Simon. A gifted writer of mysteries who brings a lot of laughter and joy to those she interacts with.

Those are a few things to keep me going on this writing path with all its hills and valley. Things to remind me to work harder. What keeps you going?

"There are no traffic jams along the extra mile." Roger Staubach

"Hope is a waking dream." Aristotle

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

IWSG: December 2022


Welcome to the first Wednesday IWSG blog hop, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and constantly growing and expanding thanks to all the admins. Find the entire list of participants here.

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!

And this month's optional question:

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

I used to do a lot of catch up over the holidays when I was teaching full time. After I retired from teaching, I would usually take some break between Christmas and the New Year. Then I started watching my granddaughter full time, and now I'm back to working on the career I love during that time. I love being a writer despite all the set backs.

And since we're here to share, let me tell you about my latest set back. I've had 23 romance novels published by a small press in the last 15 years. After being in business for so long, my beloved publisher is closing. I won't share all the reasons, but I'm grateful for all this pub did for me. Now what shall I do with all those books that are no longer out in the world?

I've already been looking for a publisher who will take on my second fantasy series. The previous publisher who contracted this series also closed its doors. They published the first book and had completed edits on the second. The third and final book has only been edited by one person besides me so it has a way to go. Any suggestions on a publisher who might take on a series where the first book had been published before? 

I know many of you have gone the self-publishing route. But I'd rather not unless I must. Despite the disappointment of losing my publisher, I'm figuring out where to go next. I did take one day to feel sorry for myself, but now I'm over it.

"Every strike brings me closer to the next homerun." Babe Ruth

In the past, my daughter and I always enjoyed watching those corny Christmas love stories that nearly every streaming service has. We laugh at the absurdly expensive apartments and houses some of the main characters have. The women are always super sweet, love Christmas and are usually employed, often self-employed, as bakers, writers, or tea shop owners. The men are always outrageously rich. Don't know why feel so entertained. Maybe we just love 'happily every after' during this joyous season.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was really good. Still am shocked at the price of turkey. I hope you all could afford a feast.

Do you send out Christmas cards. I do but only because so many send cards to us. I try to cut the list every year. And of course, there's the growing cost of postage. Almost done Christmas shopping. Have a few things coming from Amazon.

Any publisher recommendations? Are you working hard at writing over the holidays? Are getting with family and friends over the holidays?

I wish the joy and happiness of the season.

"I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Jimmy Dean

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

IWSG: November 2022

 Whew, it's here already. The first Wednesday of the month and time for writers to share their woes and victories with others in the IWSG blog hop. Thanks to our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh and all the admins at IWSG, we can share and encourage each other. Find the entire list here.

This month's question: Have I ever participated in NaNo? If not, why not? 

I have not and can't imagine I ever will. It's not my style. I have gone through spurts where I write more than 2K words per day, but I haven't for a while. I wish the best to all who attempt to do so.

I have been writing a little. My publisher has been very supportive during the past two years when my production of new material ground to a halt. I trying to prove her faith in me.

I know some of you love Halloween, but it's far from my favorite. Glad it's over and now I can look forward to fall and then Thanksgiving.

Heads up for this Friday. Enola Holmes 2 is coming to Netflix. The author of the Enola Holmes books is a friend of mine and was one of my greatest inspirations to become a writer. She's a lot of fun on Twitter. Find her here.

My daughter convinced me to watch Dark on Netflix and now I can't stop. Don't tell me what happens. I'm only at the end of season 1. It's so wonderful to have children who share my tastes in shows and books.

"Be happy. It is one way of being wise." Colette

I had my blog birthday since last I posted. Fourteen years and counting. I keep vowing to be more attentive to it, but I keep failing.

I hope those of you in the USA will vote next week. Let your voice be heard.

"Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo da Vinci

Are you participating in NANO? Have you in the past? How long have you been blogging? Are you an Enola Holmes fan?