Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice to you all. The shortest day of the year has arrived for me, but depending on your time zone the Winter Solstice might be on the 22nd. The longest night could be worse. If you live in the northern polar regions, you'll be getting 24 hours of night for the Winter Solstice. You all know I'm a sunshine, warm weather loving kind of gal so I'll be glad to see the days getting longer. We've had endless days of clouds and gloomy weather here though the temperatures have been mild until the last few days. And warm is coming back around for Christmas. So no white Christmas this year.

I have a hundred more things to get done before Christmas though we did finally get the tree up on Sunday night. It looks lovely. The gifts for Christmas Eve with the family are already nestled beneath the boughs. Still lots to do before that day gets here.

Some men, if they have twice as much to do, will do it twice as well.
The Old Farmer's Almanac, 1902

Christmas Day will be a full moon. I don't know what that means but it should mean something. Hopefully, it doesn't mean anything crazy will happen today unless the craziness is that peace on Earth breaks out.

A little too late is much too late.  German Proverb

I won't be posting on Wednesday but I'll be back next Monday. Please stop by IWSG today for my last post of the year on that site.

And some useless trivia from the Old Farmer's Almanac: A Saint Bernard can make its way through snow as deep as 15 feet.

And in case the season brings out the Scrooge in you:  Santa Claus has the right idea...visit people only once per year.  Victor Borge

I wish you all the very best and Merriest Christmas. Hope you all are safe and loved this holiday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

White Light by Anna Simpson Cover Reveal


White Light by Anna Simpson

Publisher: Three Worlds Press

Genre: Cozy

Release Date: December 22/2015


About The Book:

Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car. What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers. Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it's haunted with guilt?

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog

About the Author:

Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she's lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn't able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown. She is easy to find though, if you know the magic word -- emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you'll see what I mean. :-) END OF HTML

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Joy Blog Hop

Much thanks to Elizabeth Otten at Liz's Random Ponderings for organizing the first annual Christmas Joy Blog Hop. The participants will share one of all of things from this list that brings them the joy of the season.
*A special Christmas memory
*Favorite Christmas song/carol
*Share why you celebrate Christmas
*Favorite decorations, favorite food or treats, etc.
*The best gift you ever gave or received

Growing up with a large family and now having one of my own, there are special memories from every year. Picking only one, I would name last year when my daughter came home after being in Morocco. It was a stressful time for all of us and would have been more so if I'd known then what I know now.
There are lots of Christmas songs I enjoy and couldn't pick a favorite. One that always brings a tear to my eye is I'll Be Home for Christmas. I missed spending the day with my family when I first was married and now my own children are grown and don't spend the entire holiday with us. I know how my parents must have felt all those years when we left the fold one by one.
We celebrate Christmas to honor the birth of the Savior. I pray every year to thank God for what I have and ask forgiveness for the way the human race treats each other.
No favorite foods or decorations though my children have favorite tree ornaments.
I received so many wonderful gifts I couldn't name one but the Christmas 20 years ago when we got a tiny little kitten for the kids was wonderful. My oldest son named her Merry, of course, and she blessed our family with her love for 18 years.
For traditions, we always decorate the tree together. That may not seem like something special, but with as busy as everyone is, it's difficult to all get together. Sometimes,we don't manage until a few days before the actual day. Last year, it wasn't up until December, 21st. We're hoping for the 20th this year.

What is bringing you joy this season? Are you ready for Christmas? Is tree decorating part of your traditions? Do you play the music of the season in your house, car or work? Don't forget to visit the other participants. You can find them on Liz's blog.

"It is doubtful if any gift could be bought more precious than the adoration of a heart which has put out all hatred, self-pity and desire for revenge."  Charlotte Bronte

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

As We All Get Busy

There were years when this time of year, well all times of the year, when I was so busy I used to hang a 2 X 3 foot calendar on the kitchen wall. Each day would be filled with schedules for the kids' activities and the few events my husband and I managed to squeeze in for ourselves. Four school age kids, all playing sports 12 months of the year, my husband and I both coaching, me trying to write and both of us with full time jobs. The kids had other things going on besides sports too such as homework projects, volunteer work and social events. I seldom finished laundry before 11 pm nearly every night. Those days are gone and despite people warning me that I would miss them, I really don't. I like having some me time.

But during those years, I kept up my membership in my writing groups. I would miss some meetings and never made the yearly conferences. Meetings were so relaxing as I sat back while other volunteers ran the event and brought in guest speakers. I just didn't have time to get further involved.

Now I hold board positions in both my writing groups. It's not a ton of time but it's more than if I was still sitting back relaxing. I feel like I owe some service to the groups that have done so much for me.

I have a lot of writing work to take care of at the moment, but because I now work from home, I get other things accomplished I didn't used to in the days of the big calendar. Christmas decorations are up and Christmas cards will be done by the end of the week. I used to dread those two chores because there was NO time. Holidays are so much more relaxed when we're not so rushed. We won't put the tree up until my daughter comes home from college. Tradition.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Allen Saunders

Though I didn't want to do it, I ordered a new phone so I'll be home to sign for it when it arrives. My cell phone reception has steadily deteriorated over the past year. My son who works for AT&T told me something as simple as trees growing taller could cause that. So my beloved iPhone 4 is being replaced by a 6 so that I can make calls through my WiFi connection. It will be nice to not have to stand at the back door or go outside to talk on the phone.

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs

Tomorrow I'm going to play some Christmas tunes while I work on the edits for the next Futhark book. I'm excited how my publisher is pushing those books. I can't wait to get back to my WIP, the second Galactic Outlaw book. The first one will be released later this month. I appreciate my publisher more every day when I hear stories of another well known romance small press who is struggling. Authors haven't been paid and are having trouble getting their rights back as that ship flounders. I can't give out the publisher's name but I'm glad they rejected me years ago.

"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."
Lawrence Kasdan

What was the busiest time of your life? Do you love the work you do whether it be writing or the job that pays the bills? Do you still use a landline for a phone or only use a cell? Do you have good reception or is this only my problem? Do you do a lot of decorating for the holidays?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Question of the Month And the Spirit of the Season

Before anything else, I would like to direct you to the IWSG site, where we have another guest post from the awesome Jessica Page Morrell. Today she's giving advice about what to do with that second draft. And she provides a checklist! Check it out.

The first Monday of the month brings a new question from Michael G. D'Agostino. Each month Michael proposes an insightful question and the blog hop members share their answers. You can find the entire list over at Michael's blog, A Life Examined. So this month's question:

Which one social convention would you get rid of?

This is a good one. There are a few that should change but probably will be around a long time yet. I'm not sure how this works around the world, but in the USA, when two people marry, one changes their name to the others. Why? It really causes a lot of paperwork for the person changing their name and often years of confusion. Just keep the name you're born with. I have a few female friends who didn't change their names after marriage and it is often remarked upon. There is no legal requirement to do it. I'm good friends with a gay couple who didn't change either of their last names when they were finally permitted to marry. Is it the norm across the world for a woman to take her husband's name? It is all so needless. I changed my last name when I got married but my husband's name was so much better in ways I won't describe.

I'm sure as I read across the bloghop, I'll find many opinions that will be more interesting than mine. I'll probably say at least twenty times that , yes, I should have said that.

Last Saturday, my local writers' group had our annual Christmas party. No one in our local chapter is offended by calling it a Christmas instead of a holiday party. It was in the lovely home of one of our members and everyone provided a dish for the buffet. We also had a small gift exchange. It was so relaxing and fun to sit around and talk with these people, many of whom I've known for years. That time woke my Christmas spirit a little.

On Sunday, we went for brunch with most of my husband's extended family. Many of these people we see only once per year so it was great fun. Again, a little spark added a flame to that Christmas spirit.

At home, I have a small stack of books my daughter requested for Christmas gifts. They're all non-fiction books that I have to order rather than something I can find on a store shelf. So later today, I might wrap those in pretty Christmas paper. On Tuesday, I'm going to drag out the Christmas decorations and give the house some holiday spirit.

Later this week, I'm having lunch with an old friend from my teaching days. We get together a few times per year. It's like we've never been apart. Can't wait.

I hear many people say they can't get in the holiday spirit and since my kids are grown up, there have been days that I've felt the same way. Listening to the news deflates the spirit even more. But I've discovered where to find that elusive feeling of goodwill toward all. The company of beloved friends and family fills me withe a feeling of quiet joy and contentment that I wish I could share with all. I hope the Christmas spirit wraps its warm arms around you all.

Do you know what to do with your second draft? What do you think about people changing their names when they get married? Has the holiday spirit grabbed you? What gets you excited for this time of year?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

IWSG: December

Its the first Wednesday of the month and that mean IWSG, the once per month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. For the hop, please share your latest insecurity or even lift our spirits by sharing your victories. You can find all the participants at the IWSG site and join yourself if you haven't already. You can also join the IWSG Facebook page.

And speaking of Alex, his publisher is running a special on the first book in his bestselling space opera series, CassaStar. Only .99 for a short period. I'm giving my personal recommendation though warning you that you'll want the next books too.

Earlier this week, I read this post by my friend, Sharon Ledwith. She read my mind. I recently finished my local writing group's 50/50 challenge. The rules are to write at least 50 words a day for fifty days straight. Fifty words is a pretty small number but the objective is to get in the habit of writing every day and most participants write many more words than the minimum. It is a great exercise and not near as demanding at NaNo. It carried me through more than half of my latest WIP even though I also had to spend some time on edits for two other books during the fifty days. I have a plan to finish this book by the start of 2016. But I need a break.

Between helping my husband do his paint job, doing all the outside work to prepare for winter, Thanksgiving, and all the social events of having the family home, I've been really busy. I haven't even had time to read. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, transporting and a million other things have taken up every minute of the day. It's tough to be creative when you're overworked with other responsibilities. So like Sharon suggested, I'm taking a vacation. My husband and I are going away for just two days, today and tomorrow, but we're going to just enjoy ourselves without worry about writing, painting or money. The last tuition payment has been made and we've even started some minor house repairs. And now we're taking the time to enjoy ourselves even if only for two relaxing days.

Many writers advise others to write every day, but we also need to recharge. Take time to read, exercise, and take vacations. I will probably have moments of guilt because I'm letting my characters hang until I get back to them. I might feel some guilt about not visiting as many IWSGers today as I usually do on the first Wednesday. But I'm going to have fun and then I'll get back to work.

Have you read CassaStar yet? Do you write everyday? Do you need a vacation? Are you wrapping up your plans for 2015?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Don't Come Back No More

My daughter and I have the best conversations about books and entertainment when she's home. We both caught up on Doctor Who over the weekend and (SPOILER ALERT) and cried together when Clara Oswald died. Clara has been almost dying or thought to be dead for a while now. We loved her as the Doctor's companion but now she's gone, and because the actress is leaving the show, we know she'll stay gone. Unlike the inability to die of other fictional characters such as many, many of the recurring characters over the yeas in Doctor Who.

I've been a Supernatural fan since the show started ten years or so ago. And I don't want either of the main characters to leave the show, but seriously? Those guys have died so many times and have been brought back along with other members of the cast.

We've all read books or watched movies where a characters dies but then surprise! They're not dead. It was a trick, magic or some intricate plan to fool the enemy. But it doesn't always delight the audience. It has to make sense in some way. In Supernatural, well it's supernatural. There are angels, demons and visits to hell, heaven and everything in between. Anything can happen. But if dead doesn't mean gone, the emotional impact of the loss is not only lessened but lost entirely.

Crime shows fake death all the time. How often is the same trope used? If a writer is going to do this in their book, they must find a way to make it fresh and new. In real life, faking a person's death would not be near so easy so how do writers make it believable? What are the complications? Does it help the reader or viewer connect to characters and does the plot remain believable?

Don't forget, IWSG post time is this Wednesday. We can all bemoan the fact that December is upon us and the end of the year in sight. ALREADY! I'm still shaking my head in amazement at the terrific short stories submitted by this impressive groups of writers for the anthology contest. The entries were awesome!

Can you name another show or book that uses the fake death or return from death trope? Does every crime show use it at least once every season? Perhaps I just want to know how Jon Snow is not dead this season. Are you ready for December?

For cyber Monday, I'm going to order a book online. I have a B&N coupon for 20% off and my daughter has three books on her Christmas list. Are you shopping today?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanks For All of It

There is so much to be grateful for in my life. Too often the bad things happening in the world and around us drown out the good stuff. To our family, Thanksgiving starts the holiday season at our house.

This Thursday when we're all together, we'll try to cement our Christmas plans. Not what gifts everyone would like to buy or receive, but how we can all be together in one place again. We only manage it a few times per year so we appreciate the chances we have. And we also don't look past Thanksgiving to Christmas like the retail stores do. We love that day and it's not about the delicious food though we all enjoy that too.

So this year, unlike last year, all my children will be home. Last year my daughter was in Morocco where she and her American friends baked a small chicken because they couldn't afford a turkey. She has always said that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday so this year is special. She's also bringing her college roommate with her, a lovely young woman who feels like a member of the family.
Having my daughter home is the best

My oldest son is bringing his new wife for her first Thanksgiving with us so we're looking forward to that. My other two boys are bringing new girlfriends this year so we'll try not to scare them away. All the boys are doing well at their jobs and we're so thankful they have good ones. The immediate family is pretty healthy and we're so grateful for that.

My mother is still in long term care, her mind failing a little bit more each day. If there is a mercy in that, she is much happier and more content as her world gets foggier and foggier. She's less upset that she doesn't understand what is going on and lives in the moment.

We have one more tuition payment to make, a small one due to my daughter's scholarships, and then we'll be free of that financial burden. If you've had to make any tuition payments lately, you understand how grateful we are for that.

Our house is warm, spacious and filled with love. We have more food than is needed. We have health, jobs and live in a free country. My children are successful and happy adults. They freely show their love to me and my husband and their appreciation for what we've done for them.

Through writing, I've found a second career I love as much as I did my first. I've made friends in local writing groups and through this blog, from all over the world. There are people who buy my books and like them.

I am a happy woman. I'm thankful for the bounty in my life. There are lots of problems in the world, but this week I'm going to concentrate on what is right.

In the spirit of being a family week, I'm not posting on Wednesday but I'll be back next Monday. What are you grateful for this week? Is Thanksgiving an important holiday in your house? Will you be traveling?  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Future

I mentioned in my last post how science fiction romance is a very popular sub genre at the moment. Lucky for me that is where my space opera romances fall and they have been my most popular books so far. And I really enjoy writing them.

I was pretty young when the first Star Wars movies came out but I found a ride to theater numerous times to watch it. It may have been the first movie I saw multiple times in a movie theater. At least it cost much less then. But that was the movie that made me fall in love with the genre. Then came Stargate the movie and then the TV show. Firefly and the movie Serenity. The remake of Star Trek has also created more fans of the genre. Great stories set in a futuristic society with space travel a routine part of life. I hope humans do someday get to travel through the galaxy and discover other societies and lifeforms though I know it won't be in my time. If I make it to heaven, (I'm really trying), I expect to get all the answers there to what lies out there among the stars.

Romance novels are mostly about the characters but successful space operas have to have more than some kisses and sexual tension. As I create the universes my series are set in, I have to decide what will human society be like. Will there still be bars and pubs? I believe so. Will there be military units? What will health care look like and education? Will there be class divisions by economic factors or perhaps birthright? What will government look like and law enforcement? Usually one of those questions will be the basis for the external conflict that brings my characters together.

In my Recon Marines series, the futuristic issue I addressed the creation of genetically-enhanced soldiers and the questions of their humanity. In my Warriors of Gaviron, encounters with alien species drove the conflict and adventure. My newest series, The Galactic Outlaws, focuses on a corrupt central government that keeps the working class under their thumbs and the rebels who rise against it are the heroes. The first book in that series is not yet released.

For each of these series, I create societies different from the others but also with some things in common. I believe colonies in space will rely on renewable energy sources such as solar power. Health care will make major advances but just like on good old planet Earth, resources won't be distributed evenly. Like on Firefly, some settlements will be poor and not have the best doctors or educational opportunities. There will be corrupt politicians, greedy industry owners, common criminals and all the human failings we witness today. In the end, the same societal flaws of today will always be with us because humans are not perfect.

In other news, the second book in my much traveled Futhark Chronicles, Beyond the Gate,  is now available on my publisher's website. My publisher keeps exclusive to there for a few weeks to cut out the middle man like Amazon taking their share. The first book, Keepers of Sulbreth is now on Amazon and other online retailers. Unlike science fiction romance, epic fantasy isn't having a big popularity bump. Despite the success of Game of Thrones, the fantasy market lags far behind many other genres. But I'll keep trying.

What things do you think will remain the same in society centuries into the future? Do you believe humanity will find its way into space beyond our solar system? Do you read or write in a genre that doesn't have a big market share?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Good News for Romance Sales

Romance Writers of America put together their yearly stats about book sales recently for the year 2014. In print sales, romance comes in a close second to general fiction (whatever the heck that is). General fiction captured 24.2% of print sales with romance following at 22.3%. In digital sales, romance claimed the top rank with 32.1% of the sales with thrillers a distant second at 15%. An interesting note about digital sales is that fantasy lurked in at #5 with 5.7%. I love reading fantasy and science fiction but they seldom make the top of the lists for units sold. I know from my own fantasy writing, my sales numbers are minute compared to how much romance I sell.

Another thing of interest to me in the report was the list of growing subcategories in romance that are really gaining in digital sales. Science fiction is one of them and for once I'm actually writing what is currently popular with my two published space opera series and my third series that is coming soon.

My birthday was last week and my dear children came up with some great gifts. Three gift cards to bookstores, a really cool thumb drive that my daughter bought for me in Oman(it's shaped like a dagger), and a half dozen cans of iced coffee. My dear husband bought me that Shark Rocket I've been eyeing because my vacuum cleaner is just too heavy to lug up and down the steps. Yes, we've been married long enough that I appreciate household items for gifts when they're meant to make my life easier. He bought me flowers too.

I checked two things off my 'to-do' list last week and only added one. What we call progress in my little writing office. It's also that time of year when I start shopping around for my new desk planner. You've heard me rave about The Old Farmer's Almanac Engagement Calendar for the past two years, but I always look to see if there's something else that I might like better. Things I require in a planner are that it be spiral bound so it lays out flat and that it displays a week at a time. It also must have enough space for each day for me to jot down appointments, blogging ideas and my to-do lists. The bookstores are putting their selections out now as they prepare for Christmas shoppers.

Good things to look ahead to this week for me. My husband doesn't need me to help with his paint job anymore. I'm having lunch with a friend on Tuesday and going to give blood that day. That always makes me feel good. And I should get more writing done since I'm not painting.

What are you looking forward to this week? Do you us an appointment calendar and if you do, what requirements do you have for your choice? Do you mind getting household items for gifts? Did you find anything interesting or surprising about those book sales stats?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day 2015

It has rolled around again. A day to thank and think of the men and women who have served their country in war and peace. Veteran's Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in Canada. The past two decades have seen conflicts all around the world and most Americans today, know someone personally who has served in one of the trouble spots. I say many times, Thank you and thank you.

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow of the man who leads that gains the victory." General George Patton

There will be parades today and special ceremonies. Government offices may be closed but there are many organizations that think of our veterans throughout the year. One of the projects our family supports is Wounded Warrior Project. There are local fundraisers we contribute to every year. Our former neighbor, a young man of only 24, suffered a serious foot injury in Afghanistan more than three years ago. He's still has some surgeries scheduled to improve his mobility. Our local branch of Wounded Warriors has helped him with his housing needs since his rehab and many medical procedures makes it impossible for him to hold a full time job. And there are many warriors out there with much more serious issues.  You can check the WWP site for events in your local area.

"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards."  Theodore Roosevelt

As the holiday seasons approach, I hope you find it in your heart to help out a veteran is some way. This is more than a day off work or a day to complain of no mail.

Do you support veteran's in any way? Are there veterans in your family or circle of friends?

I'm going to finish this day off by reading more short stories for the IWSG anthology. It would be so much easier if they all weren't so good!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Fun Never Ends

November is in a hurry. Perhaps because I have so much going on. My to-do lists seems to grow rather than shrink. For everything I mark off as done, I have to add two more.

A quick roundup of what is going on in my writing world. The third and last book in my Warriors of Gaviron Series, The Warrior and the Professor is available as in individual purchase on my publisher's website. It's only offered as part of a boxed set on Amazon for now.

The Futhark Chronicles, Book #1, Keepers of Sulbreth, is now available on Amazon. This is the third publisher to have the book up on Amazon, each time with a different cover. I'm currently doing a round of final edits on Book #2, Beyond the Gate. My publisher has done a great job making the covers of both books match enough for a casual view to see they're the same book.

I also received the contract for Book #3, Beneath the Mountain. This week after I finish the above edits, I'll be working on the cover art sheet, blurb and logline for that book.

I'm also very excited to have the first book in my newest space opera romance series up on the coming soon page. I don't have the release date yet, but my publisher has already given the series its own banner.  The Galactic Outlaws starts off with The Outlaw's Prize.

There's only seven more things on my list that need done this week. And that's only my writing work. I'm still helping my husband with that huge paint job he has going on. It's over half done so this week should be the last he needs me for extended hours.

I finally rented and watched Jurassic World this weekend. I'm giving it a so-so rating. I'm glad I didn't pay theater prices to see it. On an up note, Fargo is on tonight. This season is incredible! In my opinion, I'd call it the best show on TV.

I visited the local Barnes and Noble this past weekend. The good news is that the store was packed. People everywhere. The bad news now is that B&N has given over nearly half the store to things other than books. Bags, candles, games, toys and other gadgets that I guess are helping them stay afloat.  On the weird bookstore news, maybe you hear that Amazon opened their first physical bookstore. Lots of mixed feelings about it.

Wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac: Nothing sharpens sight like envy.

What is keeping you busy this week? Have you watched Fargo? Did you hear about the Amazon store? Wouldn't you like to visit it if for no other reason than curiosity to see how the giant believes a bookstore should look?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG: November Version

First Wednesday of the month means IWSG posting day. Thanks to the creative mind of our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group gets together in a hop the first Wednesday of every month so we can share our woes and disappointments and support each other on this journey. You can sign up and join this incredible group here.

So what is bugging me this month? I'm a rather organized person despite how messy my desk sometimes appear. I'm very patient with most things but there are a few things that bother me. A big one is inefficiency. It was one of the things in teaching that could really piss me off. When you're working in a group, someone not doing their job leads to failure of the group's projects and more work for others. One of the writing groups I'm part of have had some failure in communications due to people not reading their emails or losing track of discussions. Then questions are asked that have already been addressed. It is an ongoing problem. Someone suggested that one person organize all the things discussed during the week and send everyone an overview to keep everyone up to speed. That offends me in so many ways. It would be rewarding inefficiency or laziness on the part of some by asking someone else to do more work. Just unacceptable to me. I've felt more than a bit of frustration during the past two weeks.

"They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me." Nathaniel Lee

Enough negativity for the day. I want to ask everyone to submit IWSG to Writer's Digest as one of the top websites for writers out there. Here is the address.
Use 101 websites it the subject line and in the body suggest

A question I'm posing today is about Pinterest? Do you use it as part of your social media promotion for your writing or is it only a really fun time sink? How do you use it?

I haven't been on Twitter as much lately. There's so much meanness on there. All social media have nasty members. It just seems more difficult to avoid them on Twitter.

Anything bugging you this month? Do group projects cause you frustration? Do you use Pinterest? Did you email Writer's Digest?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Question of the Month

It's the first Monday of the month and time for Question of the Month blog hop started by the multi-talented Michael G. D'Agostino. Each month, Michael comes up with a question not only to make one think but also to expose a bit of ourselves to our followers. You can find the entire list of participants here and feel free to join in. November's question:

 “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?”

That is a complicated question, isn't it? I would judge myself an introvert and always have been. I'm not shy but I don't seek out people just to talk. I'm very comfortable with quiet and keeping my thoughts to myself. I seldom engage in arguments and believe everyone who has an opinion opposed to mine is entitled to be wrong. I'm not the person who will start up a casual conversation with the person sitting beside me in a waiting room or on a plane. I like long drives by myself where I have the peace inside my own head as my only companion. I have no trouble speaking in front of people but I also don't have any need to have all the attention on me. Good thing since I grew up with six siblings and have six children of my own. Alone time is very important to me.

Thanks Michael for another interesting question.

Don't forget this Wednesday is IWSG day. Get ready to share your woes and support each other. If you're not part of us yet, go sign up now.

Eleven persons take eleven paths. Kashmiri Proverb

I hope all of you in the USA go out and vote tomorrow. Some local political drama around me though I'm sure lots of people won't take the few minutes needed since it's not a presidential election.

My birthday is later this month and that makes my birthstone topaz which I've always thought was the least attractive of monthly gemstones. But I read somewhere that topaz was once thought to increase wisdom so maybe I should reconsider my opinion.

And happy Monday in general. We're supposed to have beautiful weather her in Pennsylvania this week so I'm predicting some great walking days and a last cleanup of the grounds before we start expecting snow.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you like time alone? Are you going to vote tomorrow? Do you wear birthstone jewelry or have you gifted it to someone?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Full Steam Ahead, Fall Back

I'm sooo busy. My job on the board with Pennwriters is keeping me busier than I want to be. Keeping up with this blog and putting in appearances in on Twitter and Facebook now an then takes up a good bit of time.

The husband still needs my help on the big paint job he's working on. My mother's birthday is today and I knew my sister and brother would visit her in the long-term care facility she lives in so I went yesterday. She's turning ninety today. I bundled her up and took her for a walk out in the residential streets where we could run her wheel chair through the leaves. It was a good time and helped pull up a few of those quickly disappearing memories of the past. Her smiles made the long trip worth it many times over.

The new WIP is coming along and the characters are becoming real people like they're supposed to. It's at the point where it's on my mind all the time. Good thing.

And there's still lots of outside work to be done. Some flowerbeds need a little loving before winter jumps us.
Facebook group for BC awareness

Later this week I'm going for my mammogram. Did all you old ladies get yours this year? Did you guys remind your wives and mothers? Be aware.  Not a fun thing but better to get rid of that one worry.

From The Old Farmer's Almanac trivia:
Tomorrow, October 29th is the birthday of the ballpoint pen, first sold in 1945 for $12.50 each.
In medieval England, apples and nuts were believed to have magical powers and thus were eaten on October 31st.

And I saved the best two things for last. You still have a few more days to send in your short story for the first IWSG anthology contest. Get the details and send it by November first.

Second thing. Turn your clocks back Saturday for the ending of Daylight Savings Time. An hour of sleeping in though it does mean it gets dark around 5 p.m.

Be save for Halloween. I'm staying home.

What has you busy? Any Halloweening in your future this year? Do you like when the time changes? Would you pay that for a ballpoint pen? I wonder how much that would be with today's inflation rate taken into account.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Listing My Way

Thanks to Bish Denham and Alex J. Cavanaugh as they host the first ever 'listing' blog hop. The Listing Blog Hop celebrates eight years of blogging for Bish and a bunch of us are helping her celebrate by sharing a list of anything. The list should be between 5 and 25 items long.

I don't make lists of favorite movies, TV shoes, bands or foods though I enjoy reading what others think. Often that gives me new ideas of things to watch, listen to or try. My lists are always of things to do and always about my writing. I actually buy small tablets just for this purpose and make a new list every Sunday. I make myself feel better by checking off things I've accomplished. This past week I did all of them except for one. But that list is boring and meant only for me.

If you've read my blog over the past few years, you know how much I despise winter. I complain (okay, I whine) about it frequently over the course of the cold dark months. So, I'm going to try and list my winter issues today and then maybe I won't repeat them over and over again later. But I probably will.

*Winter is cold! I hate being cold. Give me sweltering temperatures any day.
*Snow and ice. Sure, they look pretty on the trees, but one has to be shoveled and the other makes the world a dangerous place.
*The heating bill goes way, way up. We hit a record for one month last winter when we had so many sub-zero nights.
*The hours of daylight are very, very short. Still dark when you rise in the morning and it's dark again before dinner.
*It's basketball season. Don't get me wrong, I played basketball in high school and all my boys played, but I can't stand to watch it for hours on TV. But my husband can!
*No swimming pool! I love my pool and spend some of nearly every day in it in the summer. Usually to cool off after lawn work or walking.
*Exercising outside becomes a battle of wills between nature and my desire for health. Sometimes nature wins because it's TOO cold.
*Fresh fruits and vegetables are more difficult to come by. And the fruit smoothies I make aren't as much fun when I'm cold.
*Poor drivers descent into something worse than bad driving in the winter.

You know me, I could go on and on about the evilness of winter but I'll stop there. A good thing about it is Christmas and the other holidays during the otherwise darkest time of year.

Don't forget you have this week yet to get your short story in for the first IWSG anthology. Deadline is November 1st and the details are here.

Visit Bish Denham or Alex J. Cavanaugh to find the rest of the list of list-ers. And you can help me out on my list. Show solidarity about winter with me or point out some of the good points of winter that I may be overlooking. Are you a list maker? Have you been blogging as long as Bish?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Plan Ahead

My husband has a lot of sayings he uses as a painter. My children quote them all the time. One he uses a lot is "Plan your work and then work your plan." When painting a room or an entire house, there is an order to things so everything comes out looking good. You also want to work efficiently, painting everything that is one color first before you clean brushes and start another color.

I always like to say I don't set goals. I make plans. Sometimes those plans are written down somewhere though usually they're sitting somewhere in my mind at all times. I know what order I need to do things in to get everything done. For instance, I had to get this blog ready for today, so I wrote it Tuesday night before I went to work on my newest WIP. This had to be done today. The WIP is still in the infancy stages and there's no deadline on it so far. In the efficiency department, I usually outline what I want to include in a post and open windows to all the links I'm going to use before I start typing. For my WIP, I always have a scene outlined in my head or on paper before I open the document. Much more efficient than staring at a blank page wondering what is coming next.

My painter family also has a term called, negative painting. Negative painting occurs when you mess up and have to back track or redo. Serious negative painting occurs when someone spills the paint or steps in the paint tray. Other examples are using the wrong paint, leaning against a wall that is still wet or bumping the roller pad against the ceiling or trim when you're rolling the walls. Negative writing is when you keep redoing a scene or continuously edit the first draft so you never get to the end. I believe in pushing forward through the doubts and crappy first draft. All can be fixed in the second and third drafts.

"Inspiration exists, but it must find you working." Pablo Picasso

Enough painting analogies.  On the TV front, I'm loving the new season of Fargo and Blindspot is keeping me interested as is Limitless. I gave up on Minority Report already and might give up on the Bastard Executioner. Doctor Who was good last week after what I thought was a weak start to the season in the previous episodes. Once Upon a Time has been terrific. That show made Peter Pan the bad guy two seasons ago and this time around it's King Arthur being the nasty. I love the creative spin on fairy tales they do.

I know we all have people we enjoy following on Facebook and Twitter but I'd like to recommend an entertaining writer who makes me laugh every day on Twitter. Brain Rathbone writes epic fantasy and he says so many clever things on Twitter. Check him out if you want to add some humor to your social media.

"Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain." Edward de Bono

Still ten days to get your short story in for the IWSG anthology. Speaking of epic, this venture is going to rock.

Have any sayings to fit the way you approach your work? Have you done any negative writing lately? Any show capturing your interest this season? Who makes you laugh on social media?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slow Down, October

The month is more than half over. Have you submitted your short story to the IWSG short story anthology contest? You still have until November first. Read all the details here.

Ready for more confusing statistics about book sales? Here are some numbers and analysis from the Association of American Publishers. One good point they made was that in 2014, there was a huge bump in sales of children's and YA titles because of the Frozen craze and the last book in the Divergent series. Once again, like previous reports this accounting only includes reports from the the members of AAP and these are only for the first part of 2015. People are still buying lots of books. They're just buying more self-published books.

Last Saturday's Book Expo in York, Pennsylvania ranged from a medium to great on a success scale. Great was the atmosphere. Lots of enthusiastic writers and artists. Hundreds of readers, many of them children. I met some new writers and chatted with long time friends like Cate Masters, Allison B Hanson, Heather Heyford, and Don Helin. That was the success part. At an event like this, authors pay for their table space. You have to sell a lot of books to even break even. I'm happy to say that I sold enough to pay for my table and a little bit beyond that. Not bad because the table was expensive. Beyond the books I sold, I also handed out a lot of cards and had a number of people who snapped pictures of my books with their phone or looked them up right there. So hoping that means some additional digital sales. And it was fun.
Me, taken by Cate Masters

On more news from last week front, I received a new contract for the first book in my newest space opera romance series. Title isn't set in stone yet, so I'll share it later. I'm busy with the second one and happy with my word count if not sure about the pacing of the contents.

I have so many lists of things to do on my writing desk that I'm thinking of making lists of lists. I'm trying to get those done in between raking leaves and doing some major house cleaning. I've mentioned many times that I don't like the cold but the one weather condition I really try to avoid is wind. And it's been so windy. I'm thinking of just raking the leaves out of the flowerbeds and from under the trees and hope the wind carries them all into the woods or into the neighbors' yards.

A few of the things I enjoy about fall weather is the crunching of leaves when I walk or jog. The sound of geese flying south. The brightness of the stars on a clear cold night. The change of seasons is a beautiful treasure with mysterious of science and the grace of God giving me an appreciation of what I've been blessed with. So slow down, October, and let me enjoy it a while longer.

"In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia." Charles A. Lindbergh

"It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something." Charles Dickens

Are you working on that short story? Ever make a list of lists? Do you enjoy a change of seasons? What do you think of my nefarious plans to send my leaves on their way to another land?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Not Writing Every Minute

I've very excited for this Saturday when a ton of authors will be participating in the York Book Expo. It's the first year for the expo so we're hoping it does really well and can become an annual event. Oh, and I hope I sell enough books to pay for my table. If you're anywhere near York, PA, stop in and see us.

Though this blog is usually something about writing, I really don't spend every waking moment writing or thinking about writing. Lots of other things are going on around this house.

I've mentioned this before. It's a big house. Finished basement, six bedrooms on the third floor and four big rooms on the first level. One of those rooms is my perfect office. But it's a lot of square footage to keep clean. Then we have an acre and a half of property outside that I do 100% of the work taking care of it. Keeps me busy.

My husband is a painter as in home and commercial painting. He has a pretty good reputation for perfection. Recently, he has had so much work backing up that he has had to call in reinforcements. You guessed it. I'm not as skilled as he is but I'm very patient. This week, I've already spent 17 hours removing wallpaper. Ask a house painter what he hates and he'll say wallpaper. Removing it is my specialty but this job is challenging even my vaulted even keel.

I read every day, even if only for 30 minutes. Not only do I enjoy it, but as a writer, I think it's part of my job.

Unless I'm helping my husband with his work, I walk/job at least 60 minutes every day. Not looking forward to the cold weather.

I only watch a little TV in the evenings. Once Upon a Time on Sundays, Scorpion on Monday, Sleepy Hollow on Thursday and I have to add Fargo to the list. Friday nights in the fall, I go watch my son coaching high school football. Anything else I watch is usually on-demand days after it airs and I do that in the morning when I'm doing social media stuff.

Being a full time writer and working from home, even with my own office space, it is so easy to be distracted by all those other things. Add laundry, shopping and cooking, and it's very easy to put in a full day without ever sitting down at the keyboard. I usually write later at night and weekends, a habit holdover from my teaching days. But for the next 48 days, my local writer's group is having a 50/50 competition. It started Monday and each participant writes at least 50 words per day for 50 days. That's not that many words and most people once they start write many times more than 50. And everyone is so encouraging as we post our daily totals on our forum. Which is exactly the point. And getting that habit of writing every day is highly recommended for people who want to make a career of it. But not every minute.

"True friendship is a plant of slow growth."  George Washington

Don't forget you have until November 1st to get your short story in for the IWSG's very first short story anthology.

Do you think about your writing even when you're not actually sitting at the keyboard? Do household chores take away a lot of your writing time? Every participate in something like our 50/50? I know NaNo is coming up soon.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Salem's Daughter by Stephen Tremp

Thank you Susan for hosting me on my Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour. This post I’m spotlighting a particular character named Madelyn, one of the thirteen disembodied witches inhabiting the bodies of cute little kitties that terrorize a bed and breakfast called Murcat Manor. 

Madelyn is the youngest and a very shy girl (compared to the twelve extroverted witches) and has a different and unique gifting. She’s a genius with an incredibly high IQ. Black circles of fur around her eyes look like thick rimmed glasses giving her a nerdy look. She uses tablets and laptops when Bob and Debbie Stevens sleep to research science and technology, helping explain some of the witches magical abilities and increase their gifting. Here’s Madelyn explaining to her sisterhood: 

“With Bob’s touch screen devices, I can touch and swipe and move to any site. And I can key in words. It’s difficult, but I can do it. I punch in the first few letters, and the computer completes the word or phrase—and most of the time it gets it right, just what I wanted. This information age is nothing short of amazing.” 

This is important to the coven as the other twelve, originating in Colonial America in the early 1700s, never progressed past elementary school and had no desire to educate themselves during their previous five lives. 

Understanding E=MC2 is a cinch for Madelyn. She helps Esther, another witch, employ a new trick; creating energy bursts from water vapor in the air. Esther had always been able to cause small explosions but never understood the incredible potential she had. Madelyn teaches her to focus on converting hydrogen from water molecules in the air into helium and energy is released. The result is much smaller than an explosion, but still another very effective toy to help terrorize the guests at Murcat Manor. 

Madelyn also benefits herself from access to the Internet. As the story progresses, certain people begin to make connections that there’s more to these thirteen lazy cats than meets the eye. The witches are locked in numerous deadly battles with these characters and often it’s Madelyn who use logic, not magic, to defeat those who challenge the cats and their mystical powers. 

Madelyn is one of my favorite characters in Salem’s Daughters. It was a challenge to develop her since she doesn’t have an ability like the others, but after much perseverance, I think I ended up with a real winner with the nerdy introvert. 

Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. 

Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here
Nerdy Me Hard at Work Writing Salem's Daughters

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs

Next Stop: Tuesday October 13th Stephanie Faris for How I Use Kids in Salem’s Daughters. To kill, or not to kill. That is the question (and that's not really me hahaha).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG October Edition

First Wednesday of October, ALREADY!  Please join this terrific blog hop started by our creative leader, Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can join us by signing up on the IWSG site and/or join our Facebook group. Come and share your victories, your advise or ask for help. There's answers and support to be found.

I just finished the third draft of my first novel in a new space opera romance series and sent it off to my publisher. By the end of the week, I'll be working on the next one. One of the things I work on in the second and third draft is to make sure all my scenes have a reason to exist. If you've studied the craft of novel writing, you're heard the term, saggy middle.

The middle of the novel should build the tension, develop the plot and if it's a romance novel, develop that too. Many writers know how to make the beginning of their novel exciting and the end is always fun and fast-moving. But you have to keep the reader turning pages through the middle so they get to that finely crafted ending.

Here's a few things I check to make sure things stay interesting in the middle. Don't have too many scenes in the same location. Writing space opera romance, it would be easy to have my characters having scenes on the bridge or making love in the captain's cabin for all the romance scenes. But I have to mix it up. They need to make stops on different worlds or space stations.

Your story probably has a big conflict that you're building up to from the beginning of the story. Add some complications. Make it tougher for your protagonists to solve their problem. Add another complication to the romantic relationship.

If you have trouble with a sagging middle problem, the best solution may be to cure it before it starts. Plot it out. Plot those scenes that will keep your story moving along. And then edit, edit, edit when you get to the second, third and fourth drafts.

This coming Friday is Leif Eriksson Day so how about and Irish proverb.  A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.

Don't forget your short story ready for the IWSG anthology. Read the details here.

How do you deal with a sagging middle in your novel? Do you have your short story ready for the anthology? Have you ever caught yourself writing too many scenes in the same setting?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Question of the Month

The first Monday of the month is when Michael D. Agostino hosts the blog hop, Question of the Month. You can find him at his blog, A Life Examined, and join into this fun easy hop. The question this month:

"Who would play you in the movie of your life?"

I asked my children this and they suggested Linda Hamilton as she was in the first Terminator movie as Sarah J. Connor. But I see myself more as Patricia Heaton as she played Raymond's wife in everyone loves Raymond. All those silly males and the one sensible female putting up with them, that's me. My dear husband even admits to being more than a little like Raymond when it comes to fixing stuff up around the house. It doesn't usually turn out so good. I think Patricia could portray me with the endless patience I've needed as a mother and a high school teacher.

Don't forget this Wednesday is IWSG and I hope you're participating because it's fun and because it qualifies you to submit your short story to the IWSG's first ever anthology. If you're seriously pursuing a writing career, having one of your stories selected in a contest could be just the one little thing that encourages an editor or agent to take a longer look at your query. If you're self-published, it's the chance to have an entirely new group of readers learn of your existence and fall in love with your voice. Don't miss the opportunity. You have until November first.

Have you heard of this? Text neck? A real and growing health issues is striking smart phone users, some of them quite young. Early arthritis, herniated and bulging discs, muscle strain and pinched nerves. Did you know that your head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds and the angle you bend your neck to read that smart phone raises that pressure on your upper spine to up to 60 pounds. Of course, the best way to prevent is limit use of your cell phone. Lots of people will agree to that, won't they? But you can do some gentle head and shoulder rolls to relieve the tension in your neck. Looking down at our tablets and laptops adds to all that strain.

And some wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac in case you didn't win the lottery last week.

If you spend one dollar every second, it would take more than 31 years to spend a billion, 

Wisdom consists of 10 parts--nine parts of silence and one part with few words. Arabian Proverb

Are you having some pain in your neck. Or being one? Who would play you in he movie of your life? Are you ready for IWSG on Wednesday. Can it really be October already?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Bad, Good Old Days

I mentioned in passing the different stories being put about in the publishing industry about ebook sales. Some reports say digital sales have leveled out or stagnated. The other side of the tales explains that this is actually only true when it comes to ebooks sales by the 5 big publishers and selected small presses. When you looks at ebooks sales taking in all the small presses and the indie authors, ebook sales are not stagnant at all. L. Diane Wolfe shared the truth that the Big 5 are trying to hide.

When I first started writing, there were few options to the Big 5. And there were rules to be followed if you wanted those entities to even look at your work. Everything was snail mail. They sneered at the idea of email queries. Not only did you have to send you submission in the mail, but you had to include a SASE so they can return it to you after a form rejection. An editor or agent might even scribble, No thanks, on your query letter. All that postage and trips to the post office and then waiting weeks and months for a reply. Some guidelines said they might take up to a year or more to get back to you.

Lots of agents and editors didn't even post their guidelines online, leaving you to search them out elsewhere. And those guidelines were sometimes very strict, especially for romance. Twenty pages per chapter and twenty chapters was an accepted length for a book. Some romance lines expected the hero and heroine meet in the first chapter, kiss by a certain page and other exacting plot points to made when directed. The number of words per page was also explained in detail.

This was if you could get an editor to read your manuscript. Many of the Big 5 won't accept a submission directly from a writer and will only look at something from an agent. If you happened to meet an agent or editor at a conference, you would hear tales of the six foot tall slush piles filling their offices. And horrors, what if your manuscript ended up in the slush pile!

Should you receive a contract, the standard time between signing and publication was around two years. If you were lucky, you might get more contracts during that time, but if that first book didn't earn back its miniature advance, the publisher probably wouldn't want that second book.

I signed on early with a digital publisher, years before the Big 5 were jumping into the ebook market. There were actually successful writers I knew who advised me I was ruining a chance at a writing career by doing that. It was the smartest career move I made. I've been with them for nearly eight years.

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." Marilyn Von Savant

Now the latest news from the publishing industry is that many writers are finding success outside the New York overlords of publishing. Many are throwing the rules out the window and making their own way.

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs

Do you remember some of those old, strict rules? Have you been following the publishing news about ebook sales? How long have you been with your publisher? Any missteps along your career you would do differently?

Monday, September 28, 2015


Years ago my local branch of CPRW had a president who would spend five minutes at each meaning introducing what he would call a wall-banger book. Karl would hold the book up and explain why it fit the derogatory description. What he meant by wall-banger was that he'd purchased the book but it was bad, he would quit reading and throw it off the wall. He always ended his spiel by doing just that.

My husband is a painter and he can tell you what kind of damage throwing something at the wall can do. He has to fix little dents and dings in walls all the time. But the idea behind Karl's demonstration is legit without the tossing, of course.

What kind of things make a reader set aside a book without finishing? A slow plot. Nothing happens for pages and pages. Maybe it's backstory or world building filling those pages that turn a reader away. Or perhaps one of the characters is lost in introspection. That's okay for a little bit, but if it goes on and on .... I'll probably toss it aside especially if it get the feeling that nothing is ever going to happen.

Perhaps the writing is too simple, reading like a fifth grade storybook. Yes, I'm usually smarter than a fifth grader. If I'm reading a YA or MG book, then I expect appropriate prose but I don't want it in an adult novel. Or just as bad, writing that is too flowery as if the writer wants to impress me with their vocabulary or ornate turn of phrase.

Then there is a premise that is too bland to care about. The problems facing the protagonists just aren't compelling enough for the reader to care. The obstacles are big enough, the antagonists aren't threatening enough or are ill-defined.

Sometimes the plot is too confusing. Perhaps too many threads are tangled together. Or too many characters are involved with too many POVs. Maybe the created world is confusing or perhaps the names of places or characters are too similar and difficult to pronounce. Things within the plot such as the magic, science, technology or invented laws are poorly explained and it leaves the reader confused. All these things result in a book toss.

Perhaps the biggest reason for me to put a book down are issues with the characters. Perhaps they're dull and boring. I know people like that in real life, I don't want to read about them. Or they're unlikable. Is there anything worse than a whiny protagonist? As a reader, you just want them to grow up. Occasionally a characters comes across as unbelievable as in no one could be that naive or no one could be that forgiving and kind. Even the antagonist can be too unbelievable.

I recently read a book by a fantasy author whose previous series I had really enjoyed. I stayed with it for more than half the book but then decided I didn't have time to waste on a book I really didn't like at all. Bland characters, slow plot and vague, boring threats. But I didn't damage any walls with it. It will find it's way to a used book store.

It also reminded me that just because a book is published by a big fantasy publisher like Tor, it doesn't mean it's a good book. On the flip side, just because a book is indie-published or published by a small press, doesn't mean it's not better than many of those books filling the shelves in B&N.

Hope you got to see the Lunar Eclipse last night. It was cloudy here. My current favorite show, Once Upon a Time, turned last night and later this week, Sleepy Hollow will return. Good times.

Don't forget to get that short story finished and sent for the IWSG anthology. It's going to be great!

Have you started and not finished a book lately? Did you see the Super Moon get eclipsed? What favorite show returned this past week or so? Please don't say Monday Night Football.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumnal Equinox

Fall is officially here. It started around 4:21 AM in my part of the world. Today we're supposed to have equal parts day and night or very close to it. The days have been getting shorter and very soon, they'll be much shorter. I don't like the colder temperatures on their way, but I do get more writing done when the sun isn't calling me to go outside. Want to know how much daylight you're losing? Check out this chart.

September's birthstone, the sapphire, was once thought to protect the wearer from snakes. I know snakes are a common fear for lots of people so think about getting a pretty sapphire ring or bracelet maybe. Or better, an ankle bracelet.

The first episodes of Blindspot and Minority Report intrigued me so I'll be watching them again. And Limitless deserves a chance too. Notice how many of the shows I like have supernatural or science fiction elements? Add to Doctor Who, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time to the list and you'll see I have a favorite theme.

Hopefully, all of my fellow Americans are braced for the next fourteen months of election overload. This quote is something to keep in mind when listening to politicians.

"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that the sometimes has to eat them." 
Adlai Stevenson

I hope you're working on your short story for inclusion in the IWSG anthology. Deadline is November 1st. Read the guidelines.

My publisher has made another of my space opera romance series into a boxed set available on Amazon.  All three Warriors of Gaviron books are at one reasonable price so I'm hoping it kicks up some sales.

Any new shows catch your eye this week? Dreading the shorter days? Bracing for endless political ads?