Thursday, December 3, 2020

IWSG: Writing the Times

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
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The fearless co-hosts for the month are Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!


Before I address the question of the month, allow me to express how strange 2020 has been. Not only the Covid19 Pandemic but so many other crazy things are happening around us at breakneck speed--I find myself at the epicenter writing away as best as I can considering the circumstances. Whew, what a year. 

What goals were you able to accomplish? Do you have others in mind for 2021?

Okay, now what you've come for!

December 2 question - Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?


Aaron Burden@Unsplash


For me, life happens nonstop whether by month or day. It doesn't make a difference when I have a houseful of kids and homeschool--it is busy every day, every month, every year!

I do find, however, that I am more productive during the wee hours of the morning when everyone is still asleep.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I pray 2021 is a better year for everyone!
How is it like for you?




Wednesday, November 4, 2020

#IWSG: Why do I Write what I Write?

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!


The question for this month is why do I write what I write? That is a very intriguing question. I've been writing for about 30 years. The main thread I've written is romance. I enjoy the thrill of feeling loved, cherished, and watched over--of which I missed out on while growing up.


photo by LunarSeaArt @ Pixabay


Writing has always brought pleasure and fostered escapism. It's as though I'm experiencing firsthand what the characters are.

I started out with high fantasy because world-building came naturally to me. Centaurs, goblins, elves, gods, monsters. It's been decades since I've touched on this genre, and I plan to explore that again in the near future. I believe it will be like visiting an old friend who has not forgotten me!


Peter_pyw @ Pixabay



 I started dabbling in realistic fiction in 2011 and haven't turned back since (discounting historical which is my utter favorite right now--it takes place in Renaissance times where chivalry was ALIVE!) Le sigh.



F. Hayez, The Kiss, 1859. © Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy / Bridgeman Images




Romeo and Juliet painted by Frank Bernard Dicksee in 1884



Because chivalry extended into the Regency Era, I also plan to dabble there a few to try my hand. It should be an easy transition, right? Haha!

I've written a thriller where the love interest is killed because of poor choices but that was my entire point of the book--almost like a cautionary tale. My books tend to be uplifting and light. Ahem...

I find my writing as a great means of escape. If I had the choice to go to the movies or two hours of uninterrupted writing time, of course, I'd choose writing! Writing is beautiful!

I would love to know what your reasons are for writing?


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG: Working Writer or Spastic Creature?

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
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October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?


Working writer to me means someone who has years of writing experience on their side, a few books published, has done a few interviews, participated in a few writer's conferences, hangs out with other writers, goes insane over deadlines or characters that just don't want to cooperate.

Also, I find it funny how the movies depict a writer as some mysterious, wise--or spastic--person who is looked upon with a degree of reverence.



photo by Tú Nguyễn @ Pexels.com


I, for one, don't feel anywhere close to being revered or mysterious but I sure do feel spastic!

Am I the only one out there who thinks authors are made to look exotic? What does a working writer look like to you?




Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Frozen Crimes Giveaway Bloghop with Crys Fey!



Welcome to Chrys Fey's Frozen Crimes BlOg HoP! Today, we will find out whom I  want to be stuck with during a blizzard, and what I would do!

Finland, Landscape, Scenic, Cabin, Hut, House

Photo by user 12019 @ Pixabay.com


 I take it that these poor folk would have no choice because it's my crazy wish. Cue the maniacal laughter: Buahahahaha!!!


Oh, along with a nervous chef--that way we get good food until the roads are cleared up! 

Hop around to the other participants to read their answers: 



 When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?

 


BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

 

EXCERPT:

The crunch of the shovel pounding into the snow and ice filled his ears. It was all he could hear. The rest of the street was silent beneath its wintry blanket. Breathing was difficult with the icy air clogging his lungs. His nose burned. His throat was dry and on fire. But he ignored it, focusing on his task.

Crack, crack, crack.

He jabbed the shovel into a hunk of snow. On the third hit, it shattered into several pieces. He scooped them up and flung them to the side. He surveyed what remained. There was one big ball in the middle of the path that needed to be dealt with next. He moved over to it and struck it. That one impact had it severing in two. He was about to hit it again when something crashed into the back of his head.

Explosions of white light danced over his vision. Pain enveloped his skull.

The shovel slipped from his fingers. Blackness cloaked his mind, coaxing him into its depths.

Beth. Her name was a whisper in his head, as if his thoughts were being sucked into a wormhole.

His legs collapsed under his weight.

Cold. It seeped into him, consuming him. And then his consciousness fled down that same void that ate his thoughts.

 

***HUGE DISASTER CRIMES GIVEAWAY*** 

 


 

Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)

 

Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am EST

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e0221/?

  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***FREE EXCLUSIVE EBOOK***

 



To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!

 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon




Monday, September 14, 2020

Sherry Ellis and the Latin Flavor BlogHop!




Welcome to Sherry Ellis's fantastical Latin Flavors Blog Hop in celebration of her book ReLeAsE, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure (releases tomorrow, September 15th)!


We are to share a Latin recipe and I'm going to share a painting I've done with Latin flare. Meet La Muerte, pony style!

I painted this for my cousin from ThisIsSoTexas.com


Onto the recipe. Enjoy!


MEXICAN NOODLE BAKE (From my sister!)


13x9 baking dish
cup or so of pasta (any kind!)
1 pound of hamburger
1 packet of taco seasoning salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion--chopped fresh or powdered garlic to taste
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 cup cheese for topping


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by frying beef in skillet & cooking pasta. Chop onion and throw in skillet. Add garlic, salt, pepper, & taco seasonings to taste. Open cans of diced tomato, tomato sauce, & kidney beans, dump in skillet. Only drain and rinse black beans (reduced sodium). Throw in pasta, stir all & let simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust all seasonings. Dump all into the baking dish, top with desired cheese (I usually freezes a combo Ziploc bag of mozzarella & cheddar when I buy bags of each in bulk at Sam's Club). Bake covered until cheese melts or all is bubbly, about 20 minutes.


*if pressed for time: After following stove top directions, throw it all into a *huge* mixing bowl and heat it up in the microwave
Also delicious with plain tortilla chips for dipping







Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure by Sherry Ellis


An ancient Mayan civilization!

That's what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.

But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tate Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.

Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?




Release date - September 15, 2020
$7.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 96 pages
Juvenile Fiction - Action Adventure (JUV001000)/Legends, Myths, Fables-Caribbean & Latin American(JUV012070)/Fantasy & Magic(JUV037000)
Print ISBN 9781939844705 / EBook ISBN 9781939844712
$3.99 EBook available in all formats


Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Congratulations, Sherry!




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG: Writing during the Pandemic

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click on image to join other IWSG writers!
IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!




From what I know about writers, we are natural introverts, obeying those voices in our heads. I mean, what would a writer rather do? Writing is an isolated experience when it comes right down to it. Writers, though preferring to be lost in the worlds they create, are also human. Right?

I do wonder, however, how we, as writers, are really faring during this COVID19 Pandemic and its social distancing.  

My home life hasn't changed much as I've been homeschooling for the past 6 years, but has only reinforced our hermitlike state.


More like Writer's Dream House. Haha...


I do miss going to the library and writing without distraction and being surrounded by books! I also miss going to the theatres so much! I can only imagine how it is for Alex Cavanaugh with them being closed and how he'd go to the latest to review them. The agony!


             


I hear how it's impacting people but am curious about how it's affecting writers. I read in my comments from my last post that now isn't a great time for authors to release books. Things change drastically when it affects home directly--I pray for the health of my friends out there. 


How has it impacted your writing? What about overall?




Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: Welcome to Chrys Fey's Blog Hop!

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click on image to join other IWSG writers!
IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!



Welcome to Crys Fey's Blog Hop at WriteWithFey!  Today, we are combining with IWSG and sharing our story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout and how we overcame it or what we are currently doing to heal.

Here we goooo!



Since the beginning of this summer, my creative flow has waned significantly! First, I had barely found the desire to edit an already completed novel but the further into the story I got, the less interested I became. I switched to writing a short story: I came up with the outline from beginning to end and started the first chapter with full power but then my juice dropped off the precipice of doom! Next, I decided to illustrate a children's book for my little boy because I've refused to go to the library because of COVID19 so I figured I could write up a library for my little one and get him interested in reading again! But then my desire to do that stopped. I tried creating memes (which I enjoy doing) but even that fell flat!

It was so disheartening that I cried and went to pray over it. I felt peaceful during the prayer and the thought to fake it til I make it and I will succeed came to me. I decided that just because I don't feel like doing it doesn't mean I should obey that notion. I can work past it.

I know this may sound pretty simple but it sure gave me courage to move past the horrible funk.




Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop: Share your story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal.






Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

·        Writer's block
·        Depression
·        Writer's burnout
·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
·        Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.


BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/



How have you found yourself again after writer's block or depression?

The Blog Hop:


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

IWSG: My Book Cover Designing Experience!

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!



Today, I'm sharing an adventure of book cover making--sorry, it's not a tutorial but a rough outline. After a painful learning curve with using an art program (it took me about a solid week of over 8 hours a day to learn it!), a lot of authorly graphic making stuff has become so easy for me!

My favorite art program to use is Medibang Paint Pro. I can cut and paste and duplicate and layer and edit photos.

Meet My Perfect Match: Ryan Greyson, all-star football player, lives a life of parties, kissing, and Friday night games. He believes all girls are made equal until his first blind date with Kimber who’s everything he’s not, and he can’t keep his mind off her. Will he lose his royal status with the team?

First, I decided on the concept art of the cover. Because it's a YA clean romance, I studied Amazon's book covers for that genre and the idea was born: A girl leaning into the boy as though in a kiss.

I next spent many hours searching through football pictures through Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash. I was very picky with the images I needed. I had to get a player all by himself. Like this:


Photo by Football Wife @ Pexels

Next, I needed to find a photo of a woman who faced "Ryan". I cut around her and pasted her onto his photo, but I had to adjust the lighting on her dress so that it matched the daylight of the field. It was no easy feat.

Photo by Allison Heine @ Unsplash






I found a separate photo of those red curls and carefully cut them out and pasted them. I inked in shade after matching the color between the two characters, the grass beneath her feet, and anything along her dress.






I used this template from Amazon for a 6x9 book cover (I was able to download it after setting up my other book, My Christmas Miracle) and placed it as the first layer and started playing around with font styles and lined them up.





I drew in my own flowers--not using any type of font. I can draw my own flowers, thank you!

My Perfect Match is book 3 of My Perfect Kiss Series--it's all still a work in progress. I'm not sure what prompted me to try doing the book covers out of order. Artist prerogative?


What cool stuff have you learned as an author?




Wednesday, June 3, 2020

What are Writing Secrets?

IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!




June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?



What? Secrets? Every writer has them? Where have I been!? lol

blue and black butterfly
Photo by Beckett Ruiz @ Unsplash.com
Okay, seriously, my secret is that I used to feel so left out of the loop of writerhood, I'd get frustrated at how other writers refused to share their "secrets" with me.

Secrets as in how did they learn how to format an ebook and a print book? How did they get marketing to work for them? Why didn't they ever let me join their critique circles? Why was I always so left out?

One day after that, I had a friend tell me that books are consumable--there is no such thing as really getting ahead of anywriter else. I agreed and yet, I was stuck in this loop where others refused to help.

blue butterfly on hand
Photo by  Christian Wiediger @ Unsplash.com
Fast forward 8 years and it seems as though everyone has realized the wisdom of the philosophy that books are consumable items and we all need each other!

I learned how to format a print and electronic book, there are writing communities now who are actually willing to share painful experiences as well as the mechanics of problems that arise (such as losing reviews on an existing book when all you want to do is update the cringy story text on Amazon).


Butterfly, Blue, Forest, Fantasy, Woods, Dream, Surreal
Photo by Stergo @ Pixabay.com













My "writing secret" is that I don't have any; I'm the kind of person who loves to share growing pains with others so that they won't have to suffer. The key is, getting them to actually talk to me--people are too busy being busy.

I know this is probably not what IWSG meant by writerly secrets but there you go.

What are your writing secrets?