Monday, August 30, 2021

Motivation Monday...

 We, as writers, are inspired by a lot of things, motivated by more. What are things that motivate you to write? Are you pushing a deadline? Are you competing with a writer friend/rival?

One of the things that motivates me is my muse. I can go for a long time without writing, obviously, but even when I am writing, I roll things around in my head. I like to have most of it planned out in my brain before putting it to paper or computer file.

But when I'm inspired to write, what really motivates me is wanting to get my story out into the hands of just one person. One person who will get it, like it or love it. Just one person to connect with my character.

I may write fiction, but there's a lot going on in this world these days. If someone can connect and relate with any of my characters and help them somehow, in some way, then I feel that is an accomplishment.

I no longer want my stories to sit in a dark corner, untouched and unread, anymore. I want them out there for people to enjoy. I've had a difficult time over the last decade, trying to figure out where my niche was, where I fit in and please, PLEASE, let me make some good money off my books. But now, I realize that isn't important anymore.

So readers. That is what motivates me. Getting my books out there and letting people read and connect with my characters.

Drop a comment below and tell me what motivates you! I would love to hear from you.

Friday, August 27, 2021

It's Not Easy Building Back Up...

 I have to say, I took a week off a couple weeks ago to help my mom recover after surgery. So, I didn't have much in the way of scheduled posts, because I didn't think about it. I honestly thought I'd have a moment or two to get something up.

But that's all right. In the past, I would have been stressing about "how I've let my blog readers down!!!" but that's not the case today. Life happens, things get in the way and all the careful planning you have laid out more often than not will get screwed up. 

Meh. It happens.

But I made the decision to stop writing a while ago and now I've made the decision to get back to it. And that, my friends, is going to be a lot of work. Work I am willing to do, I don't mind. I have a much different perspective these days, which is helping me a lot.

So, when I stopped writing, I'll be honest, it had a lot to do with projects I was involved in that I hoped like mad were going to help me and a few others hit the motherlode. Not so much. There's a reason why writers work solo. When you get a good group of creative minds, there's always that one. And I hit that particular jackpot twice.

Hindsight is 20/20, however. It has taken me a couple years to extricate myself from those projects and make the stories I wrote back into my own. Sadly, a couple have been lost, but I am trying to move forward.

When something like that happens, though, you have to realize that you are going to endure a period of grief. You're going to mourn the loss of your work like you'd mourn a loved one, because that story or stories, were your babies. You put your heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into that work. Trusted it in the hands of those you thought would be kind to it. But most people are out for money and glory and they'll take anything they can get, damn the consequences of their actions. So be careful who you work with.

Personally, I have no hard feelings with most of my colleagues, just a couple in particular that put a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to working on collaborative materials.

I'm patient and confident these days that I will build my reader base back up and I will get my books back out there for the world.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Writing Wednesday...

 As I get back into the swing of things, I'm trying to come up with blog posts for days of the week. At the moment, two days a week for me is good, I'll be able to add more later. Mondays, I'll try to stick to motivational things.

Wednesdays are for writing prompts and flexing my writing skills again. So here we go, I got this prompt off of Twitter from @dsuzzette:

"The streets were deserted..."

I gently parted the curtain from my second story apartment window, peering down onto the deserted street. I kept the lights off, made minimal movement to avoid being detected. It was going on sundown, and the street lights were still off, but in the distance, you could still hear the noise.

It was a strange sound, part screaming, part grinding metal. Loud screeches would accompany it every so often as well as explosions. Cars, buildings, who knew? I just decided I didn't want to know and would stand my ground for as long as possible. My friends used to tease me for being a "prepper", but it's entirely possible I'm getting the last laugh today.

Two days ago, around one in the morning, something flashed in the sky. Me, being a night owl and part-time insomniac, I watched it hit our atmosphere, begin to burn and then explode like something out of a cinematic sci-fi movie. The impact hit the surrounding buildings and high rises, followed a few seconds later with the most intense rumble and bang I've ever experienced. I could see glass shattering out of windows blocks away, then came the blast of hot air and debris. My windows remained somewhat intact, but they got rattled like a witch doctor shaking the bones.

The streets were filled, after that. People running and screaming, fleeing the city. Some cars, windows broken out, tried to inch along the crowded streets, but now sat abandoned. Most of their batteries died a few hours ago, so there was no more light. I moved away from the window and went back to checking my supplies to make sure I had enough if I had to bug out. A map took up most of my table and I had several different routes planned out in red Sharpie. Cell phone service was gone, but at least I still had a use for it and a way to charge it should an emergency arise or service became available again. There was no news on the television, just eerie silence, so it was impossible to know if it was just my city, or worldwide. I'm not the praying type, but I prayed for the former.

Something detonated outside, really close, and I paused, holding my breath. New, strange sounds were coming from the street. I moved back over to the window, noticing the sun was down now, the streets were dark. Streetlights weren't lit, so no power. I squinted through the dirty glass, watching something move down the street. One became three, then several. Crouched low, moving slowly, weaving in and out of the abandoned cars. Another explosion, a flash of orange light and whatever it was down there paused, but the light reflected off metal. A shape, an outline of something that looked like an animal with a very long tail briefly came into view. I had to let my eyes adjust to the darkness again.

As I watched, I wondered - do I stay? Do I run? Definitely have to wait to see where these things go before I just step out into the street. Movement across the way caught my eye and I saw someone moving in the building, flashlight bobbing around. I wasn't the only one who saw it, and soon, those things were circling in the street. In a flash, two of them were up the side of the building and crashing through the window with the light. I covered my ears to avoid hearing the screams, but that light moved frantically before finally flickering out.

Yep, not going to stay. I'll take my chances in the street. In the morning.

Okay, guys, that's my take on the prompt! Show me yours!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Motivation Monday...

 Coffee. I don't know about you, but I absolutely need coffee to get started on any day of the week, but especially Monday.

Yeah, I can skip a cup here or there, I don't have an IV of it in my arm, but that is a good idea. Hmm... something to ponder.

I also have to wake up my brain in the mornings, mostly I play silly games on my phone or iPad. I often feel like if I didn't waste that time playing games, I would get more done, but honestly, I stay at home, just about everything gets done.

Since Covid hit, (don't get me started on the politics of it...) staying home has been what we do. I live in a pretty rural area, so we're social distancing champions. Our entire county has only had 7 Covid related deaths since it began. I digress, though. My days blur, so staying motivated is something of a chore. It's difficult to maintain. Things that motivate me, though, are:



Just getting off my butt and doing it. Whatever "it" happens to be for the day.

I have been taking a painting class and I'm hoping to have the opportunity to teach a basic writing class. Those things motivate me to craft and write.

What motivates you? Leave me a comment and let me know! Have a great Monday and a wonderful rest of your week!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Flexing My Writing Muscles...

 I'm sure you all remember English class in high school. The days where you had to write in a journal for the first 15-20 minutes of class.

No? Just my high school? Okie dokie...

Anyway, one of my classes, the teacher posted writing prompts on the board. The one that caught my attention was "Describe a forest fire". So I did. And today I'm going to do it again.

Describe a forest fire:

The first thing you noticed was the smell of smoke. Like a campfire, but on a much larger scale. If it was just a mild odor, it would bring memories of camping on a lake or beach, in a forest or maybe just in your backyard. However, when it was so much that it made the air hazy, casting an odd color to the quality, it sent warning signals.

Depending on your view, you could see the flames licking up the trees; the leaves swirling in the waves of heat that rose from the ground, making it seem the trees are in a panic. Flocks of birds rise high into the sky, trying to stay ahead of the flames and smoke, some dropping from their flight from either sheer exhaustion or overwhelmed by the toxic air.

Animals of all kinds flee the flames that crackle at their heels, chasing them from their homes, from the lush feeding grounds and cool streams. Some made it out unscathed, others were either scorched or  devoured by the hungry fire.

Hours, maybe days, would go by before the fire was extinguished, either by human aid or just Mother Nature, casting a cooling rain down on the ravaged land. Smoke could still be seen curling up into the sky and the scent of it went back to campfire status, but the images of the charred trees and animals assured that the memory of the inferno would remain embedded in our minds. Never trust fire, never let it gain control. While fire will ravage and burn, it makes room for new growth, but at a very high cost. Always respect fire.

Okay, there we go. I'm not looking for critics, but they are welcome. I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Many Stops & Starts...

 Well, the last post I listed was back in 2019. We can all safely say that 2020 was not kind, and 2021 was about the same.

I have had many things happen over the course of the year +, as I'm sure you all did as well.

My writing has been on hiatus.

I got Covid and survived.

I became my mother's caregiver.

I've battled severe depression.

I've struggled with anxiety.

And now I feel as if I have come back full circle to try and revive my blog and my writing.

Several things have changed in the blog format: I removed the BlogLovin' link, because I don't even know what's going to happen. I've kept the author links to the ISWG Guide to Publishing & Beyond as well as updated all of the Ladies & Gentlemen of Horror and Fantasy links I could.

You'll see a Remembrance Anthology for Jenna Miller, who passed a few years ago. Not going to lie, that's one of the biggest reasons I feel my writing has lapsed. She was a friend and mentor to me. I still feel her loss deeply.

I have the opportunity to teach a basic writing class, which is why I have begun thinking, once again, about my writing and where I want to go with it. I miss it greatly. I mean, miss it like a part of me has died, miss it. So if you're still out there, if you're still interested in what is going on in my world, writing or otherwise, I'm here. I'm trying to come back.

I have a new Twitter account: @MelMcC7. I'm still on Facebook, but have no page to list. I figure I'll take this one step at a time and see what happens.

Missed all y'all. See you soon.