Wednesday, July 6, 2022

July IWSG Post...

 Wow, July already? That's just incredible. Time seems to move faster the older you get. It'd be nice if it would slow down just an eensy, teensy little bit. Right?

Oh, well.

Let's get to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question!

If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

This is a difficult question for me. There are many, many book worlds I would love to live in, but I think I wouldn't survive most of them! 

If I had to choose, it'd be a tough call between the Harry Potter world or Middle Earth.

In Harry's world, I would hopefully have magic, and not be a Muggle. Because, let's face it, that would suck. Living in a magical world and you're still mundane. That would be more like a torture. But, we're assuming that whatever world we choose, we'd get the gifts of the characters. And magic would be so fun! My house would be spotless as I learn from Mrs. Weasley, all the magical ways of cleaning. I'd have a penseive for those most important, special memories. I hope my Patronus would be a wolf, or even a cat. Ooh! A llama!

If I chose Tolkien's world, it would probably be a pretty dangerous place for a while. But I would love to be either an Elf or Hobbit. Hobbits seem to have a pretty quiet life, full of laughter and friendship. The Elves are respected and quite snobbish at times, but they're elegant and graceful. I'd be the only clumsy Elf alive! So, I think I would choose a nice quiet life of a Hobbit.

It would be a very difficult decision. I have so many other book worlds I would love to live in, such as The Little House on the Prairie book world. Or even the world of David Eddings, the Mallorean world. There's also the world of The Dragon Prince, by Melanie Rawn. It's a magical world with dragons and so many places to go.

Okay, final decision, I choose Middle Earth. I need some furry feet.

Thanks for dropping by and reading my post! Don't forget to hop on over to everyone else's post and at least leave a quick comment! Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

I'm Done With Adulting...

 I know I don't post as often as I should on my blog. It has been difficult to get back into it, mainly due to my personal life.

These days, I don't get into my writing much, but I now belong to a local writing group and it has been helping me a lot. I actually enjoy editing my stuff. I know it's okay to keep working on other stories when the urge arises. I do have a goal of getting my work back out there into the world, however, I continuously have to push back that goal due to life.

I miss writing so much! I miss blogging and being interactive here on the internet. I have the support and digital friendships with some amazing people!

Lately, though, all I can think about is getting through each day, politics, and the ultimate goal of any adult out there: What to make for dinner!

Seriously, though. I know I post more about not posting and everything than I do about writing stuff.

So let's change that a bit.

I'm currently working on rebranding myself, I'm sure I have mentioned that quite a bit. If I haven't: Hey! I'm rebranding myself!

I've been working on several different stories. First and foremost, is to edit and tidy up Blood of My Sisters. That was written for a specific group, but as I hold the rights to my work, I'm allowed to change and keep it, make it my own. So I did just that. I created my own paranormal/supernatural world.

So, after Blood of My Sisters, I have Walk the Night; a book about a teenage, runaway witch trying to survive on the streets selling her hexes and potions to the local sex workers who keep an eye on her.

Then I have Nowhere, Arizona. This is about a woman who is fleeing from her abusive husband, whom she doesn't know is a werewolf. She arrives in a small, magical sanctuary town and begins her life as the local Vet, not knowing her husband is tracking her down.

Next, we have my demonic circus story, creepy clowns and all. That is so very close to being done! I'm excited to get it out there.

Those titles listed above are all either single stories or a series. I have several short stories waiting in the wings as well, all sort of connected to this world I have created.

So what are you currently working on? Writing? Real life? Feel free to vent below in the comments! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG June Blogpost...

 That's right! It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means it's time for THE BIGGEST, and THE BEST bloghop for authors at any level!

This is the Insecure Writer's Support Group, and if you have not heard of it by now, you must be living in a shoebox.

Every month, the IWSG asks a question of the writing community and we either respond to that question or ask our own. Sometimes we offer up advice or just detail where we are in our writing journey.

This month's question is a doozy!! Ready? Here we go:

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

Well, I can absolutely relate to both of these questions. I am currently stuck in the first. I have a story I started for NaNoWriMo and didn't finish, but it's very close to being done. But I hit a snag near the end. The story went in a different direction than I had actually plotted out!! I know, I know... I'm a pantser, I should have expected this, but it threw me. It really did. I didn't have an alternate ending planned out or even thought to have one. I was so thrown by this, I haven't looked at my MS since December.

It didn't help that I was trying to find a new place to live and was surrounded by packed boxes and a huge mess. But I do contribute all that to not being able to work at my issue.

I need a somewhat calm environment to write. I'll listen to music, I'll read through the story and try to find some loose ends to gather up and tie together to get to the end of the story. It's worked in the past, but not this time. I'll have to try again, soon, to finish the story and get it ready for the world.

For the second question... man, that is a tough one. Sometimes the story is still forming in the back of my mind. I will jot down notes, or try to remember them... (HA!) and once I feel I have a good beginning and ending, I'll get my BIC (Butt In Chair) and get moving. But even then, I'll get blocked and not really know how to start. That's when I go looking for some artwork that matches the story in my head and start writing some flash fiction about it. Sometimes, that's all I need to get moving. Other times, not so much.

There is all sorts of advice out there on how to get moving and get past the blocks of starting or even how to push through to the end if it gets tough writing, but everyone is different. Everyone will find their own way to get in the groove. And sometimes, it just means writing to the end to hit that finish line and clean it all up in editing. You'll find your clues within your story when you go back to it.

That's it for another month! Make sure to visit the IWSG page and hop over to all the participants and see what sort of advice suits you! Just click the picture below:

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Writing Challenge: Sit Outside...

 I went out to my side yard today. The temperature is warm, mild. A slight breeze caressed my cheek and ruffled my hair.

I stood next to the two cherry trees, both in full bloom. Their flowers were white, their buds were pink like the rosy cheek of a baby. Bees buzzed around the blossoms, paying me no mind as they worked to collect the pollen to bring back to the hive.

The grass has grown tall in my yard; tall and green. The tops waved in the gentle breeze, making a soothing shush sound as the wind passed over and through.

Across the street, cows graze lazily. The grass short and green. Thick and lush. The sun shines down on them, their black hides glistening in the golden brilliance.

Past the cows, a structure can be seen. It's old and dilapidated, leaning to one side as if a good sneeze might knock it over. But it's been there for a while now, strong and sturdy against the elements. Just like I want to be.

The mountains finish off the landscape, their tops still dusted with snow. Each day the line gets higher and higher. At the base, the foothills of the mountains, the area is covered with brush and trees, creating a mosaic of different hues from grey to green and black.

As I live near a highway, I hear the rush of cars speeding by, the thrump-thrump-thrump of their wheels when they hit the rumble strips on the side or middle of the road. Small vehicles, large trucks; they all speed by with purpose. Even above that random noise, I can hear birds chirping in the distance, cows lowing to their calves.

I close my eyes and breathe in the clean, fresh air. The sun is warm on my face and light dapples behind my lids. I need the sunshine. I've been stuck inside for far too long, going outside only to head to another location where I'm stuck inside.

I miss the burbling of my little creek from the old house. I loved hearing the water rushing over the rocks and splashing as it raced past. I still get to hear peepers at night. I love the sound of their little chirps.

**I was given a challenge to go outside and listen, look, smell my surroundings and then write it out. I know I went into other details, but I'll be doing this again in different areas of my town.**

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Great Semi-Colon Debate...

 Semicolons. You love them or hate them? In between? Don't understand them? Think they're over-rated?

Well, let's take a look at the semicolon and figure out why some people think it's a big, bad scary.

Semicolon definition: a punctuation mark (;) indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma.

The proper use of a semicolon, is to help sentence structure. It is literally the opportunity to end your sentence, but choosing to go on. If you think your sentence could potentially become a run-on, the semicolon could swoop in and save the day.

I use them, more often than not. Some people think it is an outdated punctuation, that it doesn't need to be used at all. But think about it. There are a lot of great authors, even now, who use semicolons. Next time you pick up a book, keep an eye out for them.

So why are they scary? Most writers don't know how to use them properly. And yes, there is that chance that you could screw up one of the best written sentences of your life; but I doubt it.

See what I did there? Gotcha. That pause where the semicolon is, it could have been a period. It could have been a comma. It broke up the really long sentence I was aiming for and it worked.

When you have a sentence structure that can be stopped with a period, done, over, no more words, but you have just a little more to say, drop in the semicolon and impress your editor. Just remember, the words that follow your semicolon should be able to stand alone as its own sentence. Yes, it is a bit of an afterthought, but it should be just as concrete as a normal sentence.

I hope this little bit of information is helpful. If you still have an adversity about using semicolons, that's okay. They're not for everyone. It is part of a writing style, you do have to get used to them. And like everything else, don't overuse them and frustrate your editor and readers.

Leave me your thoughts on this underrated, often misunderstood, little punctuation mark. I'd love to hear what you think.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Relatable Characters...

 Hey everyone! Dropping back in here to say hi, how's it going and whatcha working on?

My title today is relatable characters. I had written a blog post about it back in the day, but when I look at it now, yeah, lots of ramblings going on there. What can I say. I'm a pantser in everything I write!

So let's talk about relatable characters and how they get into and out of trouble in your stories.

People read to escape. They watch TV, play video games, watch movies, all to escape their problems in the real world. Yet, they still want to be able to relate to what they're watching or listening to at the moment.

I'm going to take a moment here to talk about the new Reacher series on Amazon Prime. No, I'm not getting paid for this promotion.

That show kicks ass. In a LOT of different ways. First of all, Alan Ritchson plays a much better Reacher character than Tom Cruise ever could. 

First of all, Tom is kinda short, he's not as muscular. Tom's portrayal of Reacher is more of an intellectual, than physical.

Alan, on the other hand, seems more believable to me as Reacher. He's got the build, the expression, the attitude all down pat. If I had never watched either actor's portrayal before, and then watched them side by side, I would connect more with Alan's portrayal. Hands down.

Why? Because I can see him having more strength than "boys his age", as the character's mother put it. I believe his military skills more than I would Tom's portrayal. I can relate to Alan's portrayal easier than Tom's.

People want that connection. They look for it in all their escapes.

How do you make your characters relatable? What troubles do they get into that they have to get out of in a way that would be relatable to your readers? And no cheating, because your readers will know. A lot of the time, they're looking for solutions as well, and it makes them think; if your character can get out of trouble in a logical way, so can they.

You have to connect your characters with readers on multiple levels. Emotional, physical, intellectual. Your reader wants to believe that this fictional character, the one that's entertaining them, could also teach them a few things about life. How to look at it, how to solve some of the problems. Even if it's a Sci-Fi or Fantasy story, people get through tough times in a lot of different ways.

So I ask again, how do you make your characters relatable? What tips and tricks can you offer up to help other authors to create these soon-to-be memorable characters?

Watch people. See how they act, react, and interact.

Think about how you would get yourself out of a fictional jam.

How open minded are your characters? Why?

Introverted vs extroverted; how do your characters cope?

Finally, don't be gun-shy over the stigma of mental illness. As much as is happening in this world today, stop making it more of a hush topic and get messages out there to your readers that it's okay to get help.

These are all just my thoughts and suggestions. Leave me a comment below and tell me how you make relatable characters!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday: Writing Journey: Past & Present...

Hey everyone! Welcome back, to you as well as me.

I've been thinking about my writing journey a lot these days. I've been on Twitter more and I still see tweets about things I wrote about back in 2016 or so. There's always a time for a lot of the topics that have been written about, to re-emerge.

One of my topics from way back when was on cliché fantasy names. You know, the tongue-twister ones that leave you skipping over the name, making up your own nickname, or just frustrating the hell out of you enough that you stop reading the book.

Yup, those names.

My old post about it is here.

I can pretty much agree with that old post. I'd like to add some new ideas as well, though, regarding how to find good names.

First, Seventh Sanctum dot com still has great resources for names with lots of generators for just about anything. Fantasy, dark fantasy, vampire names, spell names, pirate names. You get the idea. Just head over there and expect to spend some quality time!

Second, using Google to find old Norse names, German names, any foreign country, really. One of the best things is you can find names from other cultures and their meaning. Lots of authors like to use names with meaning. Who doesn't?

Third, and final, is still my tried and true. I use the English to Latin generator on Google to find some good names with meanings.

Now, remember, with all of these options available to you, there's nothing like your good ol' noggin'. If you find something really close to what you want, but still doesn't set right, change it until it does. I can't tell you how much I love to name characters! Creating them is awesome as well. I just love character creation. I know, I know, I'm repeating myself. It's just so fun!!

Well, that's it for me today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and may your words flow like a river!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Moving Kicks The Stuffing Out Of You...

 I know. It's been months! Months, I tell you!

We were on a time crunch to move, as our landlord had sold the place we were living in; which meant a mad scramble to find a place.

Now, I'm not going to get into the politics aspect of this all, but with the way things are changing these days, it literally took us eight months to find a place.

Eight. Months.


Prices are high, people are moving from other states and driving up those prices. Not to mention taking away an available rentals from people already in the area.

We went to a property management place and were told that due to my hubs not having a job (long story) and me not having a credit score of at least 600 ... well, we were a risk! Insert eyeroll here.

We finally found a place the same day my husband got a new job. So, boom, boom, boom! Everything was set.

Took us almost the entire month to move, as I had made the brilliant decision to not rent a U-Haul.

I know, I know. Hindsight and all of that. Because I ended up with the worst sinus infection of my life and had to leave the moving of the household to hubs, sister in law and brother in law. Not to mention, it was really difficult for my mom, going back and forth.

We're settling in and I'm currently organizing my whole life as well as the whole house. We've had enough of being renters and we're going to work on getting our own home or even a piece of land to build on.

I have missed two really good IWSG posts. I've been keeping up on some writing stuff on Twitter, but that is about it, sadly.

I hope you are all doing well and have an amazing weekend! I hope to see and hear from you all soon!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Motivation Monday: Writing Blues...

 I've been AWOL since NaNoWriMo, and I wish I could say it was due to being terribly caught up in my writing endeavors.

Sadly, not.

Life throws me a lot of different curveballs since I began caring for my elderly parent. Naturally, that flows into my writing time, crafting time, whatever time. So I typically go off and do whatever I can to wind down and destress, which is my gaming, my go-to for escape.

When it gets like this, I get a little down because I can hear my voice in my head telling me I need to be doing something other than sitting around playing World of Warcraft or Conan Exiles. But, what can you do?

Getting motivated seems like a monumental task, sometimes. Right around NaNoWriMo, my characters were screaming in my head, my stories were overpowering my senses and my muse was smacking the backside of my head, like Gibbs. I just jumped right back into it, sat down and got busy. A wonderful feeling, to be sure, but not my modus operandi.

Blogging helps a lot more than I realize. Reading helps a lot as well. I've decided to start reading classic literature that I was never able to, before, or didn't have access to, before. My first choice out of the box is "The Count of Monte Cristo".

Definitely an inspiring piece, one that gets the creative writing juices flowing. For now, I will have to settle with blogging every so often, so if I am ever absent, these days, at least you know why.

What are your go-to's when life gets in the way of writing? How do you motivate yourself to get back on track? Writing or reading, or both? I'd love to hear your comments. You know where to leave them!