Monday, October 25, 2021

Motivation Monday...

 Since I've been back on Twitter with a new account, (@MelMcC7) I have met quite a few new authors; both Indie and Traditional. I've met published and unpublished. I've also directed a few to the IWSG pages, because, let's face it, we ALL need that!

I've seen a lot of questions brought up about things, but one stuck with me:

Should you only write in one genre? If so, how do you choose?

My response was short and sweet. It is Twitter, after all. I said, "Write what you want".

The long answer would have been:

There is no rule that you have to stick to one genre if you like to write in more than one genre. However, you may find that you are particularly attracted to only one genre. How do you choose? You write in all genres until you find one you click with very well.

Initially, for me, I was in love with fantasy and writing it felt like I had found my perfect niche. I would love to continue it, but I realize that I need to work on my description of things. While my first two books in my trilogy are pretty good, I know they can be better and a lot more descriptive about the world I created. But, in my defense, I was brand new to writing and didn't really expand my horizons much.

Several years ago I was approached by a friend because I was dabbling in writing a paranormal witch story and after a while, I jumped right into paranormal without hesitation. Then I wrote a horror piece. And now I love both. I'm working on a whole new series by myself and have been looking to query agents.

Had I not been dabbling in that paranormal story, I don't think I would have made the jump myself into any other type of genre. I was pretty focused on fantasy.

If you don't try anything else, you won't know what you like. Kinda like food, or music or style. Try it all out, find what you love. If you like it all, write it all! There's no rules and nothing is stopping you but you.

Now get out there and write!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Writing Wednesday ~ Walk The Night Pt 2...

Welcome to another Writing Wednesday! Let's continue on, shall we?

All stories posted on this blog are ©Mel Chesley, 2021 and may not be copied elsewhere unless express written permission is given by Mel Chesley. Thank you.  


As Brielle continued to walk her neighborhood sidewalk, she spoke to several sex workers that she knew. As Brielle passed by a dark alley, she glanced down, mostly out of habit, but also because she thought she heard something.

Usually, Everleigh would hang out in this particular spot and wait for the unwary passerby to rob them. Perhaps it was still early for her to be out. But when Brielle checked her watch, she frowned, noting that the girl should be here. Deciding to wait, she positioned herself next to the alley and waited to see if her friend showed up.

Like her, Everleigh was an outcast. A Dagrun with nowhere to go in large cities in this day and age. With so much technology taking over the world, it was difficult to hide. Especially if you were sporting the horns of a goat on your head. It was easier for Brielle, being a Blood Witch, she didn't have to worry about not blending in, but she was always tempted to use her powers, even if it freaked out the mundane humans. After all, it was in her blood, it was her birthright and she shouldn't have to hide her skills. When she found out she was adopted and where she truly came from, Brielle felt it was best she leave. At sixteen, she didn't have a plan, but at her age, who did?

A noise from the alley brought her attention back to present and she leaned around the corner.

"Everleigh?" Brielle whispered.

"Yeah," came a muffled reply. Brielle glanced around before ducking into the darkness.

"You all right?" Brielle asked when she saw her friend crouched down, hood pulled up over her head.

"I will be. Just got into it with a fighter. It's just money, they can't take it with them when they die, what do they care?" Everleigh sniffled in the shadows.

"Are you hurt?"

"More of a bruised ego. He clipped my jaw pretty good and then ran away screaming like a little girl when he saw me." Everleigh gave a slight chuckle and stood, leaning against the damp wall of the alley.

"I've got a salve if you need it. Heals bruises up pretty quick. Maybe not egos, though," Brielle dug into her shoulder bag and pulled out a small, silver tin. "You're welcome to it." When Everleigh gave her the side eye, she grinned. "No charge."

"Thanks," Everleigh nodded and held out her hand. She pulled back her hood and began to apply it to her bruised jaw. Her horns were very pretty in the dim light. A slight shimmer gave them an even more ethereal look. If they didn't stick out so far, they could blend in with her dark hair rather well.

"Why don't you wear your hair in ponytails?" Brielle asked, musing.

"Because I'm not five?" Everleigh said, sounding a bit unsure. 

"I mean, you could blend your horns in with your hair," Brielle offered, giving a half shrug. "You'd look like a Draenai."

"A what?"

"Never mind. My geek is showing. You good? You need anything?"

"Nah, I'm doing all right. By the way, there's someone scoping out the neighborhood. Says he's trying to help and knows what we are. He even mentioned you by name. Kinda tall, dark hair, dark eyes. Watch your back, okay?"

"Thanks, I will," Brielle gave a quick wave and left the alley. Knowing someone was out there, looking for her, she felt especially exposed. She pulled up the hood of her hoodie, stuffed her hands in her pockets and continued on her way.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Motivation Monday...

 All right, another Motivation Monday!

My last little bit of what motivates authors to write series, this last one is:

To achieve a goal.

What goal are you trying to achieve with your writing? Are you trying to put out a certain amount of books in so many years? Because one of the keys of success to writing is getting your books out there and in a timely manner. (Maybe I need to read this again, take my own advice...)

Are you looking to achieve a certain monetary amount so you can stop your day job and be a full time writer?

Personally, my motivation in this department is to just connect with readers. Even if it is just one, I would like to know my characters made a connection and helped someone.

If your motivation is books per year, how many would make you feel successful in a certain amount of time?

I do know someone who feels they are on a personal deadline due to health issues and feels that they have to be a writing machine in order to put money away so when they're gone, they're still taking care of their family. However, that can sometimes back fire on a person. You can lose sight of things rather quickly if you are just cranking out book after book and not paying attention to anything else.

A reasonable goal for authors would be up to three books a year, but even one a year would be great. A good, steady progress so you are able to take the time to polish your book up and get it out there to sell.

If you have a monetary goal, what is it? Are you looking to become a full time author? Or just enough to have money in the bank for when you retire? Either way, the same still rings true, don't rush it just to get it out there. Take the time to perfect your book, your craft and don't cut corners. Readers appreciate an author who takes the time to envelop them in their world.

Do you have any advice on this topic? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Writing Wednesday ~ Walk The Night...

Hey all, here is a short for this wonderful 13th day of October. Enjoy!

All stories posted on this blog are ©Mel Chesley, 2021 and may not be copied elsewhere unless express written permission is given by Mel Chesley. Thank you. 


Times had been pretty rough, lately, even more so for people like Brielle. She stomped on another cockroach before heading out the door to meet with a few of her friends. She pulled the creaking door shut behind her and used several keys to lock it, then added her security for an added precaution.

"Sigiliu," she whispered towards the door, twisting her index and forefinger as if turning a lock. There was a soft click, and she looked over her shoulder to make sure no one else was around. She grabbed onto the thick straps of her shoulder bag and, head down, walked down the long hallway with flickering lights. At the end of the hall, she pushed open the door to the staircase and quickly went down.

Out on the street, she breathed a sigh of relief, having skipped by the manager of the motel again. Hopefully tonight, she could make some money and get her late rent paid. Very few people were out in the late hour, which is exactly how she liked it; no one to bother her. However, that also meant other types of people were out, ones who didn't want to deal with crowds of people, either.

She walked past several adult book stores and shops, a few boarded-up buildings, and came up to the bodega. She popped inside and grabbed a package of Twinkies and Monster. For the briefest of moments, she smirked at the irony of her drink choice. She put her items up on the counter and pulled out a few wadded-up bills. She tried her best to straighten them out before handing them over to Ramone, her favorite cashier.

"Hey, did you get a chance to, you know, get me that thing I asked for last week?" Ramone asked behind the bullet-proof glass cage. His voice was slightly distorted from the microphone.

"Oh, yeah, I got it right here. You have the cash?" she asked, glancing around.

Ramone put a small wad of bills down in the tray used to transfer money. He held onto the lever until she finished rummaging around in her bag. She pulled out two vials containing different colored liquids.

"What about that other thing?" he asked, frowning.

"Right, sorry," Brielle apologized. She unwrapped a small bundle showing a small square of silver with a perfectly etched rune in the center. "Make sure you wear this against your skin. It won't work if it isn't making contact with you. Got it?"

"Got it," Ramone said, pushing the cash to her. She dropped in his items and grabbed the money. "Thanks, chica!"

"You got it. I hope that helps Sylvia with her morning sickness." Brielle gave a quick wave, cracked open the Monster, and took a drink. With her other hand, she stuffed the money and Twinkies into her bag.

Back out on the street, Brielle glanced up and down, noticing a few of the girls were out at their usual places. She walked over to one of them with a quick wave.

"Hey, girl," the woman said. "Don't you be hanging out here too long, I got bills to pay."

"Don't worry, Kara, I won't be too long. Are you good with what I gave you?" Brielle kept her distance, trying not to look like she was hanging around.

"I'm good, but I will need more. I have a regular in a couple of nights, and that last hex you gave me was perfect. I'll get you some cash. Can I get two this time?"

"I'll see what I can do, I gotta go shopping for some ingredients and they're not cheap."

"I hear ya, girl. By the way, Tiffany could use one as well. I also told Beverly what you do. She'll hit you up in the next day or two."

"Thanks," Brielle said, finishing her drink. "I appreciate you helping me out."

"We have to stick together around here," Kara said. She gave Brielle a quick hug and shooed her on her way. "And stop drinking those things! They're bad for you."

Brielle chuckled as she made her way down the sidewalk. Might be a good night after all.

Monday, October 11, 2021

My Motivation Monday...

 Hey all! It's October 11, and today, is my birthday!

Yay.

No, I won't tell you how old I am. I'm older than the internet, that's all you need to know.

So on this Motivation Monday, I would like to ask for donations to Suicide Prevention. This is a topic near and dear to me. I have severe depression and anxiety, I go to therapy and I fight every day.

This isn't a pity post, I'm not asking for your sympathy, but I am asking for your support and compassion. This is something so many people face every single day of their lives. Veterans who return from war who need help and are ignored. Teenagers who are beaten or bullied and feel there is no other way out except death. People who suffer abuse, PTSD, they fight every single day.

I don't care if you donate a $1 or more. All I am asking is that you donate.

And, if you feel like no one out there is listening or able to help you, please know that there are tons of people who care! 

Call the hotline:

800-273-8255

There is always someone willing to listen. You aren't done yet.

Thank you everyone, in advance, for your donations. Thank you for your compassion and caring.

It means more than you realize.

Have a great rest of your week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

 Wow, guys! It's October already!! Where has the year gone? Well, if you're reading this, today is the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means!

Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop!

This month's topic:

In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

I tell you what, I'm kind of a no-holds-barred kind of girl. I don't sugarcoat the truth (which doesn't make many friends) and I tell it like it is.

I know there are a lot of taboo topics out there, mainly politics and religion. The two things that should end wars, but actually starts them instead. But I wouldn't touch on topics I know nothing about. I do see people putting a lot of topics into their writing that is more personal opinion, as if trying to change the minds of readers, but I won't do that.

If I don't know everything about a topic, I won't write on it. But if I know quite a bit about it and have the actual references to back up my words, I'll write about it. But if it isn't pertinent to the story, I'll leave it alone. I write about bullies, I write about abused women. Topics I am familiar with. But I also write about how to stand up or get away. To become stronger.

I once had a beta reader for my "Blood of my Sisters" story who had to stop reading because the bully triggered her. She didn't blame me for it, and I didn't feel a need to put a warning in there, but she just couldn't continue. She loved the story, but couldn't get past that character.

Will I stop putting in those scenes? Nope. I'm hoping it will connect with someone and they can see how they can stand up for themselves and not be bullied. Or maybe they're reading it and they are a bully, and can't stand the character. Who knows what I'll trigger or help with.

I do draw the line at sex scenes, rape scenes and things of that nature. If it is a sex scene, you'll get the idea well enough without me going into graphic detail. I'm not a prude, but I just feel that isn't appropriate in stories in order to tell the story. (Yeah, I'm going to get hate mail from romance authors.)

As far as language goes? I'm pretty flexible with it. Profanity, no matter who you are, will come out in certain situations. That's life. I know a lot of people who don't like to swear or read books with any curse words in there. But, if my characters are going to be true to life, I throw it in. However, I go along the same guideline of sex scenes, it isn't always appropriate in the story to tell the story. So I do limit it, even though in real life I could make a trucker blush.

All right, now it's your turn! Let's hop on to the next blog and see what that author thinks! Have a good rest of your week!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Activate Motivation Monday...

 Sorry for skipping a Monday, things happen.

However, continuing on with what motivates authors to write, let's get to this Monday Motivation post!

A lot of authors out there are motivated by the thought of entertaining the readers. Because, let's be honest, if the readers are not entertained, the book gets put down and never picked up again, right?

So how do you make your story entertaining when a lot of the plot ideas have been done over and over again?


It's how you write it, it's your voice. Yes, there are stories out there that have been retold a million times over, but perhaps this time, it will be entertaining because of your voice, your style.

I've been on a Bailey Sarian kick these past few months. (You can thank me later.) Her Murder, Mystery and Makeup channel on YouTube is awesome! She tells a story as she does her makeup (because she doesn't know what to do with her hands. Her words, not mine!) and it might be one you've heard quite a bit about, but there's something in the way she tells it. Her voice is pretty soothing. I mean, you have people on there, young and old, male and female who aren't interested in the makeup aspect (but it is awesome). They're there to hear her tell it.

And it's the same thing with authors. You can find some pretty amazing stories out there that are a bit redundant, but it's the way they tell it. Their voice, their style.

There is always a way to make a story entertaining with action and adventure. Dialogue and witty characters. Be entertaining and you'll get your readers!

Have a great rest of your week and go check out the link above. I promise, if you love murder and mystery, you'll love her channel!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Writing Wednesday...

 My sister-in-law texted me and said, "Hey! Give me a writing prompt!" So I thought about it a bit and gave her this one:


You own a thrift store and one day someone leaves a strange package at your door.


So here's my take on my own prompt:


The bell at my back door rang, alerting me that someone had left a donation during business hours. It was a little damp outside from the rain the night before, so I decided to go get it while there weren't any customers in my little hole-in-the-wall thrift shop.

I unlocked the door and looked around, but the person was already gone. After a moment of glancing around, looking for either a large box or several overstuffed trash bags, I spotted the small package at my feet.

"Well, that's weird," I muttered to myself. I picked it up and examined it, noting that it was expertly wrapped, fit into the palm of my hand and had a tiny tag attached to it.

"Handle With Care", the tag read. Those words had stopped me from giving the box a quick shake. Good thing, too, if it was fragile. I hate breaking things. With it wrapped up the way it was, I didn't want to open it. Was it a gift or a donation?

I checked the security camera footage to see who had dropped it off. Someone barely walked into frame, kept their head down and rang the bell. No car pulled up, so no help there, either. So the little box sat on my counter.

The rain had began to fall again, and having been in this business for a while now, I knew I wouldn't get very many customers with this weather. It gave me an opportunity to sort through some new items, price them and get them on the floor. Every so often, I'd walk by the counter and eye the strange little box resting there. I had a few brave stragglers come into the shop and help them. As they paid for their items, they would comment on the box.

"I don't know," I'd say. "It just showed up." Each one asked to be updated on it the next time they came by and I agreed.

I had locked the door, flipped the sign to "Closed" and retreated back to the counter to take care of the register for the day. All was quiet, except the music I piped in from my iTunes. After I finished counting the change, the little box shook. I stopped what I was doing and stared at it a moment. Did I bump the counter? No, because it shook again.

"Whoa," I said as I stepped back, dropping the change back into the drawer. Now the package shook a little more and flipped itself over. "What the heck?" I moved towards it carefully, wondering if there was a small animal in there. And if so, who the heck would leave that? And where were the air holes for it to breathe? Now I was more concerned than scared, because I didn't want to cause harm to a helpless living creature. I grabbed the box and quickly tore off the beautiful wrapping, the tiny tag fluttered to the floor in my haste.

Underneath the careful wrapping, a small box that could hold some sort of jewelry remained in my hand. I carefully lifted the lid, cupping my hands around it in case something jumped out. But it didn't jump, it flew! It scared me so badly, I dropped the box on the counter and stepped back as shimmering, glittery particles filled the air. Whatever it was, it  moved so fast I couldn't track it as it flew around my shop. All I could manage was to follow the trail of whatever was falling off of it as it went. It kept this up for a full ten minutes before finally landing back next to the box it had escaped from.

I moved in for a closer view and watched as it began to preen the most beautiful dragonfly wings I had ever seen.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Means Motivation...

 I'm continuing the blog posts of what motivates authors to write. We've talked about it being a way to express yourself. Writing what's meaningful. (And yes, I'm working off a list I Googled.)

Now, let's discuss how our writing can help others.

I'm not talking about JUST writing self help books. Or cookbooks, or step by step manuals to help you rebuild a transmission. All of those types of books are excellent examples of how our writing can help others.

However, fiction writing helps in a lot of ways as well. How? Well, first of all, characters you can relate with. I love reading books where I have a lot in common with the characters. 

If they were teased in high school for wearing hand-me-downs, or being a goofy "reject". I can relate.

If the characters are badass, and stand their ground when push comes to shove, I can relate.

If the characters have been abused, or broken. I can relate.

And I watch how the characters deal with it, how they react and grow from it. And I can relate.

Our stories can help people. Not only show them how to rise above certain situations, but how to do it with sass and style. Our stories give readers an escape, a way to dream about getting out there, either to just get away or to travel or whatever. Our stories help people.

Romance is a big, big writing business. Why? Because people just want to be loved and be treated with respect. (And sex sells.) There's lots of lonely people out there. Either single or in relationships.

Thrillers help readers escape the dull, boring, day after day routines. Murder mysteries make you think and use your brain.

Horror... well, horror just helps you realize that you DON'T. RUN. INTO. THE. HOUSE. And it also teaches you some great escape tactics and trickery.

Whatever it is that you write, somewhere, somehow it will help someone and I can't think of a better motivation to write then that. What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment and have a great week!