Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Summer Scavenger Hunt Winners and Insecurity is like bird poop

Let's start with our winners from the Solstice Scavenger Hunt. Thank you to those who commented. The grand prize winners were announced Monday on the Fantasy and Sci-fi Readers Lounge on Facebook. Head over there if you entered the contest.

Now, for the winners of the audiobooks I promised to those who commented on the scavenger hunt post. These three people can choose one, two, or all three audiobooks--The Magic Wakes (book 1), Dawn of the Mages (TMW book 2), and/or Stellar Cloud.

And the winners are...


Alex Cavanaugh
Liz A
Rebecca Woodie

Keep an eye out for an email from me later today.


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Sometimes life is beautiful. It's like this summer walk I took this morning. Blue skies above, green everywhere I looked, the sun filtering through the leaves...

The best part was it was early enough that the road was still in the shade so it wasn't too hot. The birds were singing good morning. It was really nice.

My writing world is like that sometimes. The ideas fill my head, and when I sit to write there are no interruptions. The words flow and the story takes the shape I expected. I get up from those writing sessions feeling fulfilled, like I accomplished something.

Other times, life and my writing world feel like every bird in town decided to poop on my car.


Some poop are simply distractions. My kids need something, my husband needs something, the phone won't stop ringing, I have to do laundry or not wear clothes (ick!).

But some of the poop is insecurity.

That new release has only sold a handful of copies and no one is reviewing. I thought it was my best work yet. Must not be true though if I can't even give the thing away. No one cares but my mom. I should just give up and find something else to make me happy.

The problem is all these insecure thought processes just leave me feeling yucky inside.

So, what do we need to get rid of insecurity?

Yep, find a way to wash it away. The sad bit is insecurity will come back. That's just a fact of life that will never change. The trick is to accept it and pull out the metaphorical bucket of soapy water. Whatever that may be. This week for me it is reading notes from people who do enjoy my writing. Notes from people who are NOT my family, because it means more somehow.

And I have to keep telling myself that writing is part of who I am. Even if no one ever reads another word.

What positive things do you tell yourself?


JULY 3rd question: What personal traits have you written into your characters?

For the last ten years I've been discovering myself, or who I wish I was, in almost every character I've written. They have my fears, many of my weaknesses, but some of my strengths too. The most important of which is my inability to simply give up or give in to my fear. I believe my characters to be real, flawed, and yet hopeful for the most part. This is me in a nutshell. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Solstice Scavenger Hunt with lots of winners!

Fantasy SciFi Readers Lounge Presents its first ever Solstice Scavenger Hunt!


This month I'm participating in my first ever social scavenger hunt. It runs from June 16th to June 29th. With a name and theme based on the summer solstice, how could I resist? Back in my college days my friends and I created superhero personas for ourselves. I opted to be more of a sidekick, but my name was Solstice.

I could fly, travel at the speed of light, which made me almost invisible and form fireballs to use as weapons. Sometimes I really miss those carefree days of adventure.
Art by Sketch at The Sketch Pad (from a long time ago)
Now you know why I was interested in this scavenger hunt, but why should you check it out? Let me lay it out for you.

19 Authors have joined forces to offer readers:

  • a chance at $75 cash via PayPal
  • 19 eBooks as Grand Prize
  • 38 secondary prizes (an eBook from one of our participating authors) will be given to randomly chosen participants who solve the puzzle

And I will be giving away audiobooks of three of my books to those who comment on my blog.

You could get THE MAGIC WAKES, DAWN OF THE MAGES, or STELLAR CLOUD for free, just for commenting!

To play for a chance to win the other prizes, you must go to each of the authors' sites listed below, collect the "hidden" word(s), unscramble them, and then enter to win! Enter Here

Entering does not subscribe you to anything! You have the option to choose who to subscribe to and who to follow - the only requirements are:
1- you must follow the Facebook page for the Readers Lounge in order to get the winners announcement
2- use the link to enter the giveaway

eBooks prizes up for grabs:

A Bit of Magic
Azimuth
Bonded
Curse Breaker: Enchanted
Dragon Blood
Elven Jewel
Forever People
Ian's Realm Saga
Schrodinger's Cat
Shadow's Hand
Sleepless Flame
Tattoos
The Fox and The Hunter
The Glass Gargoyle
The Hand of Atua
The Shikari
This Cursed Flame
Witch's Moonstone Locket
Wolves' Gambit


Make sure to visit all the sites to gather all your words! Happing Hunting!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG June--Stop Saying "I'm Sorry"


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Diane BurtonKim LajevardiSylvia NeySarah FosterJennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

June 5 question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

READING: I love books that make me feel something, regardless of genre. My heart has always connected to the adventure in science fiction as long as it's not too political. And in the last few years, I've grown to love reconnecting with that young first love feeling of contemporary romance.

WRITING: Because those are the two I love to read, that's what I enjoy writing the most. Lately, though my romance had been bogging me down because I'm digging "too deep." Not my words, but those of my writing group. There are certain issues my brain wants to dissect and deal with that is turning my romance into women's fiction. Maybe I should have stuck to my sci-fi ideas to do that. LOL, oh well. Good thing I can write what I want!

Reflections From May


May was a roller coaster of emotions for me. There were many great moments, lots of fast-paced days that left me drained, and some good lessons as well.

First, I've decided my husband and I should always travel in May. The last two years of May excursions have gone down in my "best trip ever" book. Last year it was Ireland. This year it was Alaska. We enjoyed the beauty of the land, saw humpback whales, otters, sea lions, orcas, and bald eagles. The trip was educational too, which is always a bonus in my book. Here are a few photos.

 Ice as we neared the Endicott Arm to view the Dawes Glacier. The sun came up and all the color came out.
 The Mendenhall Glacier was one of my favorite stops. Beautiful 70-degree weather and sunshine as we strolled through the rainforest.
This is perhaps my favorite photo from the Endicott Arm. The water was like glass, creating perfect mirroring and then the wake from the boat looked like ribbon.
Sea lions sunbathing. This lake in Juneau was so beautiful I kept expecting to see water skiers everywhere. But nope. Just whales and sea lions.

We returned home happy and refreshed, having enjoyed some of the best weather ever in Alaska. Of course, that meant life had to go crazy. We've stayed busy building another room in the garage for our exchange student who will arrive at the end of July. I'm also helping plan a writer's boot camp for August, as well as the annual preparedness fair in September. All three things feel like full-time jobs at the moment. That means there has been no writing which sends me into a perpetual state of frustration with everything and everyone. 
Victoria, Canada
The good news is I'm generally polite about it. This means I end up apologizing to everyone all the time for stupid stuff--like breathing. At one of my many meetings, another woman was trying to thank me for all I was doing. I immediately apologized for doing too much.

See, stupid stuff! Her lesson for me is something I really need to internalize. She said I needed to stop apologizing for being me. For doing the things I'm passionate about in the full-speed-ahead way that I do it. 

I told her I still feel like a poser after all these years. Sure, I've published books and am finally out of the red at the end of each year with them, but just barely. That doesn't feel like success, so I'm always saying "I'm sorry!"

This wise woman told me to stop because my experience over the last ten years is what makes me an expert. 

That's what I want to share with you today. We all need to stop saying "I'm sorry" for trying our best to do what makes us happy. Each day adds experience and makes us an authority in that area. Every mistake means we have something to share and teach others. 

In honor of that, here are a few things I'm participating in this month:
Browse and grab the first 10 chapters of my latest YA space opera HERE.
Browse and grab my first contemporary romance HERE.
Come back on June 16th to find a hidden word on my blog as well as the list of other participating blogs. 

And now, some more home project photos. The first is inside the room, the next two are the new "hall," and the last is the view from outside. We still have a ton to do, but we're getting there.


 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Lost, Forgotten, or Fictional Places--Z is for the Lost City of Z

You've probably figured out by now that my A to Z is going to be more of a "have you thought about this place recently" kind of thing. I'm just musing aloud from a to zed. Feel free to muse right along with me!


is for The Lost City of Z

Percy Fawcett
The Lost City of Z is the name given by Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British surveyor, to an indigenous city that he believed had existed in the jungle of Brazil. Fawcett theorized that a complex civilization once existed there and that isolated ruins may have survived.

Fawcett found a document known as Manuscript 512 [pt], held at the National Library of Brazil, believed to have been written by Portuguese bandeirante João da Silva Guimarães. Da Silva wrote that, during 1753, he discovered the ruins of an ancient city that contained arches, a statue and a temple with hieroglyphics. He described the city ruins in great detail without giving its location.

Fawcett intended to pursue finding this city. He was preparing an expedition to find "Z" when World War I broke out and the British government suspended its support. Fawcett returned to Britain and served on the Western Front during the war. In 1920 Fawcett undertook a personal expedition to find the city but withdrew after suffering from fever and having to shoot his pack animal. On a second expedition five years later Fawcett, his son Jack, and Jack's friend Raleigh Rimell disappeared in the Mato Grosso jungle. (from Wikipedia)

Artist rendition of the Lost City of Z (Earth Chronicles News)

Calakmul Mayan Ruins, Yucatan
Whew! Made it! How did you do this year?

Here's the link to the Master List of blogs you can check out during the challenge:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Lost, Forgotten, or Fictional Places--Y is for Yavin 4

You've probably figured out by now that my A to Z is going to be more of a "have you thought about this place recently" kind of thing. I'm just musing aloud from a to zed. Feel free to muse right along with me!

is for Yavin 4


Yavin 4 was the jungle-covered fourth moon in orbit around the red gas giant Yavin. Prior to and during the Galactic Civil War, it hosted the headquarters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, a group of resistance fighters that opposed the dominant Galactic Empire. Following a major battle that took place around Yavin, the Alliance relocated its headquarters to Hoth. (From the Wookieepedia)



Come back tomorrow for the Lost City of Z.

Here's the link to the Master List of blogs you can check out during the challenge: