Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Something New

It's that time of year. The plans are in the works for the next IWSG anthology. This year, we're sharing some of the planning with all the members. IWSG members can vote on what genre they'd like the next anthology to be. Starting today, you can vote right here.

Another thing we're starting in July, is offering a question you can chose to use for your monthly post. Sometimes you have lots of ideas on what to share but there are other times when you might not have anything to share. Hence, the question to use or not to use. So here's an early heads up for July's question.

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

Add this question and your answer to your July 6th IWSG Day post. And please visit other members to read their answers.

If you’re not signed up on IWSG, please join HERE.

One of my earlier posts talk about too much coffee but for the lovers of the bean, here's some good news. The steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amount of antioxidants as three oranges. So even if you don't like the taste of coffee, lean over a cup and enjoy the smell.

I probably won't post on Monday, July 4th, but I'll be back for July 6th and IWSG. Hope those of you in the States have a safe holiday. We'll be doing the cookout if they weather cooperates and probably play some lawn games like we usually do when everyone is together. The boys never tire of trying to beat each other. I hope to catch up on some reading. I bought Michael J. Sullivan's latest, Age of Myth. If you didn't see his post on IWSG, please check it out now. He shared some great tips for getting your writing career going.

What genre would you like to see for the anthology? Doing anything special for the 4th? Do you let the steam from your coffee drift across your face? 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Michael J. Sullivan

Today we have a terrific guest post in IWSG blog by Michael J. Sullivan. If that name sound familiar it could be that you're read my raves about him before on this post. Or it just could be because he is a very, very successful hybrid author. And he's sharing tips on how he became so successful.

You can read about his journey to becoming a full time writer at IWSG. Though he doesn't mention it in that post, he is a very hard working writer. Not only does he write a lot of words every year, but he attends to his readers. He's a model for how writers should interact with their supporters. He answers emails, keeps up two blogs, tweets out his news on twitter and appears on blogs. If you reach out to Michael, he will answer.

It's no secret that I love epic fantasy. Michael's first series, The Riyria Revelations, is one of my favorite all time series. In my busy life, I don't have time to reread many books, but that series is falling apart from all the beloved readings. His characters are complex, fun and darkly heroic. I looking forward to starting Age of Myth, the first book in his next series when it's released tomorrow.

Spend the weekend attending graduation parties. One outstanding neighbor who will be going onto college on a football scholarship. Guess he won't be around to help shovel snow next winter. The other for a nephew's son. Made me fell a little old but he's the last one in the immediate family for a few years.

Writing is going pretty good and I'm finally catching up on the outside work. I'm wearing my hiking boots to do yard work to protect that darned ankle. Looking forward to Killjoys coming back on the SyFy channel this Friday.

I'm avoiding all talk of politics on this blog and on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Mostly because like most of the would, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. No wonder people are intrigues by so many post-apocalyptic stories and why we love the super-heroes genre.
"An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind." Mahatma Gandhi

And a disturbing fact for today. 25% of all vegetables consumed in the USA are french fries.

Do we really have to wait almost a year for Game of Thrones? Will Martin ever finish writing the book series? Do you even consider french fries as a vegetable? Have you read any of Sullivan's books?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is celebrated all around the world. Where I live the exact time for the solstice to arrive is at 6;34 PM. The daylight will last for 15 hours, 5 minutes and 40 seconds. The longest day in another summer that seems really short. Events are flying by. And today is the Full Strawberry Moon.

Yesterday, Father's Day came and went really fast. Two of the sons took their dad golfing at the Hershey Country Club. It was a fun day for my dear husband. My sister visited last week, the reason I'm so behind visiting blogs, and now I won't see her for another year. We have the best time together and stay up late every night talking. My daughter is leaving for Morocco on Wednesday so the house will be a little quieter and a lot more empty.

Not much writing was accomplished last week but I hope to make up for it this week. I'm going to be optimistic about it. This article tells me my life will be better if I'm optimistic.

Recent events really reminded me how mean social media can be. Good thing I'm not famous or people might be attacking every little thought I have on Twitter.
"Words are like bees: They have honey and a sting." German proverb

Lots of writers seem to love coffee, chocolate and wine, but not necessarily in that order. There are many great things about coffee but it really can kill you. A lethal dose of caffeine can be imbibed by drinking somewhere between 50 and 200 cups of joe rapidly. So you need to be careful in your writing cave and spread your 50 cups out over the entire day.

Ribs are almost better and ankle is much improved. Back doing some walking today, just a little slower. Still not trying the jogging and still am watching every step. Just glad to be moving again. The pool is warm and perfect so I'm happy there.

Are you having an optimistic week? Can you imagine 50 cups of coffee in one day? How much is too much for you? Are you spending some time enjoying the longest day today?

Monday, June 13, 2016

My Species

The keynote speaker at the recent writers conference I attended was Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author or thrillers, horror novels and comic books. He has so many things going on like having one of his series being in development for a TV series and another for a movie. A good place to start with his books is Patient Zero.

Jonathan was a member of Pennwriters early in his career. Now that he is big time and living in California, it was really generous of him to return to our writers' group and lead workshops and give a dinner speech that left everyone laughing, applauding and truly inspired. Not only did he travel across the country, but he arranged for a copy of one of his books to be distributed to every attendee and then hung around to sign them. All weekend, he made himself available for questions and discussions. For three days he gave back to the society of writers.

After giving a brief personal history of his writing career, Jonathan explained why he enjoys the company of other writers so much. Writers are his people. His species. No matter how much our family and friends support our careers, there are things about being a writer that only other writers get. Like how when you're sitting at your desk staring blankly at the wall, you are working. When you're listening into the argument going on behind you at the restaurant, you're working. When you do all those weird Google searches, you're working. Sitting on the porch reading? That is working. Only members of your own species understand that. Thanks to Jonathan for being so generous.

Thinking about writing a short story? Maybe submit it to an anthology? Check out Alex J. Cavanaugh over at Anne R. Allen's blog and his post, Anthologies: How They Can Advance Your Writing Career.

Tomorrow is Flag Day here in the States and also my oldest son's birthday. He's a pretty patriotic guy so it fits. He doesn't care about his birthday and never has. He's excited about the upcoming football season so the quote today is one he lives by or rather coaches by.
"Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is." Vince Lombardi

I'm still toiling away on my WIP and it's going so much slower than I expected. So this quote if for me.
"Luck is not chance, it's toil; fortune's expensive smile is earned." Emily Dickinson

Do you feel the species love with other writers? Are you thinking of being part of an anthology? Have you heard of Jonathan Maberry? How do you give back to your writing community?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Things to Celebrate

Did you know what yesterday was? What an amazing historical event transpired? I wasn't there when it happened and only learned about it later when I saw it on an old VHS tape.  Thirty-one years ago was released. It was filmed in Astoria, Oregon where they have a yearly celebration. The Goonies is a movie that holds up well over the years and has gained new fans from each generation since it was made.
The Goonies

"Goonies never say die."
"Hey, you guuuys!"

What am I reading? Busy indulging in Tuck Watley: Freedom Fighter Fighter by Brandon Meyers and Bryan Pedas. I almost forgot to write this post. Review coming soon. It will be difficult to write one without spoilers. My husband was asking me all evening what I'm laughing at because I almost never laugh out loud when reading.

What am I watching? Game of Thrones every Sunday night. This Saturday, Hell on Wheels starts its final run. I've really enjoyed that series though it can be painful to watch. Person of Interest is almost over also. Only two episodes left. I hope some of the main characters live at the end but I'm not hopeful. A few more shows are coming back over the summer but none that I'm terribly excited to see.

Ankle and ribs are doing better but still a long way from 100%. It has slowed me down with my outside chores but I'm getting a little done at a time.

My sister from Mississippi is visiting at the end of next week. Fun times expected. An anniversary for my husband and I. We'll be celebrating 34 years. Whew, where did that go? What is the secret for a long and happy marriage? Pick the right partner for starts, someone you like as well as love. And practice forgiveness. No one is perfect. Be kind, patient and supportive. My guy is all that. He does think he's the model for all my romance novels, and I'll never tell him different.

I have my daughter for two more weeks before she leaves for Morocco. We have so many things to do between now and then.

The WIP is still going slow. Not enough coffee, I think. My publisher isn't bugging me about it. Yet.

What are you watching this summer? What are your reading this week? Are you a Goonie fan? Anything to add to my recipe for a long, happy marriage?

Monday, June 6, 2016

QotM and What Do You Know?

Time for the Question of the Month. This blog hop is the brainchild of Michael G. D'Agostino. You can find him at his blog, A Life Examined, as well as the other participants in this hop. Each month, Michael poses a question and we all try to answer it.

And this month, Michael asks:
"Of all the places you haven't yet been to in the world, where would you like to go next?"

Oh, the list is long. But in general, I would like to places seemingly untouched by humans. I say seemingly because there can't be many of them. I want to see the Congo, the Amazon, Antarctica, and parts of Russia and ... all those places where the world is still wild. The place I would go first if there were no problems with political unrest I think would be the Congo. I love watching TV specials on it.

At our most recent romance writers meeting, one of our members was the speaker. She spoke about personal energy fields and spoke about her career in massage. She certainly knew all the places a person spending a lot of time on a computer will feel the soreness and muscle tightness. At one time, one of our members gave a presentation on self-defense for women. Many books have kick-ass female protagonists but there are still rules a smaller, usually weaker person needs to follow if she wants to defeat a larger, stronger antagonist. It was so interesting. I think I mentioned about the member who spoke about working in a TV newsroom. Amazing stuff. Every member of our writing group has experience beyond their writing. There are former military members, an engineer, a physician, and many who have traveled far and wide. And that's just in our small little writing group.

Think about all the people you know through blogging. They live all over the world. They have day jobs and experiences that cover all parts of human society and multiple generations. What a resource! And all you have to do is ask. Writers are so generous with sharing their knowledge.
My favorite minion

Please visit my post over at the IWSG today where I'll talk about using cliches in your writing.

What do you know about that might help another writer with setting or some hard facts? Is there a place in the world you would love to visit? Think you would enjoy the Congo?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

IWSG: June 2016

Welcome to June's edition of the The Insecure Writer's Support Group, first Wednesday post. The wonderful supportive group shares our woes, victories and advice once a month. Started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, our stellar band of writers, listed here, help each other on our journeys to publication.

This month I want to say thank you. Thank you to all the people who volunteer and give their time to help other writers. Ten days ago, I attended the Pennwriters Conference like I do every May. I've been the secretary for Pennwriters, a state-wide writing organization, for almost two years and a member of PW for much longer than that. Until I volunteered to serve as secretary, I had no idea how much work went into making the conference, online classes, mini-conferences, newsletter and social media run smoothly. Hours and hours of work and it's all done by volunteers just to help their fellow writers.

If you've participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, you know it's a lot of work. For the amazing people who run it, it's many times over the amount of work for them. And it's all volunteer. Thank you to all of them.

And here we are on IWSG. As a participating member, you only have to post once per month and then have fun visiting. But behind the scenes, a lot of things go on. Facebook, the newsletter, Twitter and don't forget the two anthologies.  All volunteer work. Thank you to my fellow administrators.

This weekend will be the monthly meeting of my local romance writers group. RWA have very strict guidelines for local groups and how the officers are elected. But again, all volunteer. Once again, there is an amazing amount of work going on behind the scenes. Thank you to all those unpaid workers.

The writing community, online and in person, is very generous and supportive. I hope we all remember to pass it on. Volunteer when we can. Help someone starting out as someone at one time
helped you.

On a lighter note, from The Old Farmer's Almanac:
There are about 900,000 poppy seeds in one pound.
One should know everything that one says, but not say everything one knows. (1901)

Do you volunteer in any writing organizations? Have you thanked a volunteer lately?  Do people come to you for advice? Who do you think counted those poppy seeds?