Friday, July 29, 2016

Cherished Blogfest 2016

This is my first year participating in the Cherished Blogfest hosted by Dan AntionSharukh BamboatDamyanti BiswasMary GiesePeter NenaCheryl Pennington and Kate Powell where a group of bloggers write a short post about something they cherish and why, picture included or not.

On my writing desk, I have a 4 cards my daughter made for me for Mother's Day during her years at college. A little background here, I have five sons older than my daughter. To say we are close is a vast understatement. We're not needy but sometimes it seems like we're of one mind. We share so many of the same interests and that includes numerous TV shows. Once she went away to college, we couldn't watch them together anymore but we would often call each other the next day and discuss plots and make predictions. For Mother's Day each year, she would pick our current favorite, copy a picture from the show for the front and then write very heart-felt words of her own inside. Doctor Who, The Musketeers, Once Upon a Time, and The 100 have all provided inspiration. Can't share the words, they're too private, but if you're a mother, I guarantee tears. I look at those cards and I see love.

Thanks for those hosting this blogfest. And don't forget to read some more inspiring and lovely posts on the constantly updated list.

What thing do  you cherish?

Monday, July 25, 2016

What Does It Mean?

My friend, Chrys Fey, was doing some research and found my blog on this list of top Romance blogs. What does that mean? I don't know. But my blog is on some lists so I'm going to feel a little bit famous for a little while. Okay. the feeling is gone.

There were so many great trailers coming out of SDCC that I couldn't pick one to include. Wonder Woman, Justice League and so many others look so great! Go to Comic Con's home and look at everything!

I really wanted to go see Star Trek this weekend but I promised my daughter I'd wait and see it with her. That way she and I can fan-girl over Chris Pine together. Only two more weeks until she's home from Morocco.

I'm glad it's so hot out. Gives me reason to be outside since I love the heat and there is NOTHING of interest for me on TV. I'm currently re-watching the second season of Daredevil when I need some video entertainment. I'm taking in Killjoys on SyFy Friday nights but I'm not in love with it. Ripper Street is coming back to BBC America soon so I'll watch that. Good thing that I have dozens of books I want to read.

Besides getting back into a more vigorous exercise routine, I'm really watching my health in other ways. I'm trying to remember to take my B12 every day and my CoQ10 though I miss days on occasion. B12 has many benefits for your circulatory and nervous systems and may help you battle fatigue. Many people need to take a B12 supplement when they get older. CoQ10 does so many things I'll just link to the information. If you're over 40, your doctor may have advised you to take this vitamin-like supplement. You should now that you know what they mean.

If you're feeling a little achy after a workout, eat a salad. Lettuce contains 2-10 parts of morphine per billion. How much does that mean you would have to eat to help the pain?

Next week will see the start of August.  For a great post today, visit IWSG where Anne R. Allen

is our guest. And don't forget the question for August if you want to post about it. You don't have to but it might stimulate some discussions.
What was your first piece of writing as an aspiring author? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Any good shows to recommend for the summer? Did you see Star Trek yet? Do you take any health supplements that aren't prescribed? Did you see any Comic Con trailers that excited you for what's to come?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lessons Learned

Jonathan Maberry, super nice guy and a very successful writer, shared some wisdom at the writing conference I attended in May. He led a workshop on using social media to build your brand. He said so many things that made sense I could turn this into a very long post by sharing only half of it. He uses Twitter and Facebook. You can follow him and see how he uses the social networks.

Here are a few things Jonathan says to remember.

"We're in the entertainment industry."  Chose the personality you reveal on social media. You want the readers to remember you, not the title of one book. Stay out of politics and avoid religion. Use humor but keep your audience in mind as far as level of crudeness. Share personal stuff but not private stuff. Ask questions instead of just making statements. Don't say, 'I love this movie,' but rather ask for an opinion on the ending. And don't be a celebrity all day long. Talk about things other than writing or your books.

"Never respond to a negative review." Jonathan shared a personal story of making that mistake early in his career. It really is a no-win situation for the writer. In addition to that, never talk about rejections on social media. Only share your successes. Also use your social media to be a cheerleader for your genre.  Here's what Elizabeth Spann Craig has to say bout responding to negative reviews.

"Remember this is a business when talking to agents or editors." This isn't about social media but about not making a fool of yourself to another professional. Jonathan pointed out how many writers make sport of the quality of writing in such series as Twilight or the Fifty Shades of Gray books. We claim our writing is nothing like that. Jonathan points out that any agent or editor would love nothing more than to contract a hit series like those books. We're talking major money like in the billions. Every agent wants to discover the new Twilight. Saying our work is nothing like that series only shows that we don't understand that writing is a business.

And now this picture because we all need a smile today. Have one of those at work?

Like many of you, I get most of my news online. When news worthy events are unfolding, Twitter can be the source of fast up-to-the-second reports. But it's really scary to see the viciousness expressed on Twitter. What is more disturbing? That people have such hateful thoughts or that they share their virulence for all to see? Let us all be kind in words and deeds.

Hot weather found us last week and we're expecting more of the same this week. I love this weather. Not sure if I'd feel that way if I didn't have my pool, but I do have it so I'm loving it. Ankle has healed enough that I'm back to walking but a ways from jogging yet. And I'm staying on flat surfaces and not setting any speed records. It still feels good to be exercising outside again. And it gives me an excuse to buy more music.

Do you agree with what Jonathan said about Twilight? Have you read some horror stories about authors responding to bad reviews? What would you like to see in vending machines?

Monday, July 11, 2016

So Much to Say

IWSG Anthology
The results are in. You voted for your preferred genre for the next IWSG anthology and it is..... Fantasy!  I'm super excited about it. Fantasy is my first love for writing and reading. I expect the members will make the competition as amazing as last time with some terrific writing. More information will be coming at the start of September.

Heart Stopper and Other Stories  By Tamara Narayan
One collection, four stories, 171 pages of suspense...

Heart Stopper: The disappearance of random household items baffles Dallas Radner and his eleven-year-old daughter, Tessa. Ten plastic bags, nine ballpoint pens . . . what's next? This odd countdown should end on November 1, The Day of the Dead. That's also Tessa's birthday and the one-year anniversary of her surgery, the day her heart stopped on the operating table.
Dallas almost lost Tessa once. On November 1, one thing will vanish forever. Will it be his daughter?

Detour: Fed up with her abusive boyfriend, coed Chloe Langley takes off in a borrowed car for the safety of home. She'll never make it.
One Step Away: Acrophobia has ruined Darryl James's marriage and stolen his son. To get Andrew back, Darryl undergoes desensitization therapy. Just as success is within his grasp, a relapse occurs with shocking consequences.
Monitor: Perched on a mountain with a view to die for, Laura and Paul Alderson have it all: new house, new baby, and new challenges. But urgent whispers from the baby monitor about her infant son and the garage threaten to turn Laura's American dream into a nightmare.

Available on Amazon ($2.99)

Anthology on Aging 
Karen Walker, a member of IWSG, is putting together an anthology on aging. It sounds very interesting and you can be part of it. Read her post from last week's IWSG and get the details. Of course, you have to of a certain age. I am, unfortunately, plenty old enough so I'm thinking about this. Just another example of the great things you find on IWSG days.

Prime Day
Once again, Amazon is having it's day of special deals for Prime members. I'll probably look around a little but I don't really expect to buy anything. First because there's nothing I really want to purchase and second because the deals weren't that great last year in my opinion. Perhaps it was just that I didn't want anything they had.

I don't do politics on this blog or any social media, but this past week has left most sane people reeling with dismay, grief and a feeling of helplessness at the craziness all over the country and the world. So a quote about that.

Will you shop Amazon on Prime Day? Do you have some interesting thoughts on aging? Are you excited for writing some fantasy stories for the IWSG anthology? How about Tamara's Heartstopper? Sounding pretty spooky.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG: July 2016

I hope you're joining the IWSG bloghop today. Started and led my Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG members post on the first Wednesday of every month. We share out victories, woes, and help each other in every what possible and positive. Please join us here. Many members have been participating for years! Starting this month, IWSG is posing a question just in case after so many posts, you're run out of things to talk about. Sometimes, it seems like our difficulties are the same month after month and that's okay. You don't have to answer the question. But here it is.

What's the best thing anyone ever said about your writing?

When I'm feeling down on my writing, I reread some good reviews I've had. "Couldn't put it down." "I laughed. I cried." "Want to read more by this author."
Those good things help keep me going. Saying good things about pacing and characters helps too. Thanks to all those who take time to write reviews.

In other BIG news, IWSG members can vote for the genre of our next anthology. Please go to the link and cast your vote if you haven't already.

I didn't post the Question of the Month on Monday since it was July 4th. Michael G. D'Agostino runs the monthly bloghop. You can find him at A Live Examined and the rest of the group on this list. July's question:

What was the first book (or book series) that you really fell in love with?

I'm not sure. I read so much from about fourth grade on. I read all things animal at that time. Jack London books and The Black Stallion Series by Walter Farley. I also read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle during that time. It could have been any of those that I fell in love with.

I read Michael J. Sullivan's newest book, Age of Myth over the weekend. It was terrific! I hope you visited him when he guested last week on IWSG. He's a great guy and one of my top five favorite fantasy writers.

My writing groups are keeping me busy as usual but I have been getting some writing done. My husband has been around the house a lot which is a distraction. He likes to talk whereas I like quiet. I saw a statistic that says the average woman utters 7,000 words per day and the average man speaks just over 2,000. It's opposite at our house.

Do you remember the first book you fell in love with? Do you have some 'feel good' writing comments to fall back on when you need it? Did you vote for the anthology yet? Who talks the most at your house?