Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cruising Past Insecurities #IWSG

Insecurities have a tendency to crop up and hang around like weeds, breeding more weeds, making writing difficult. The best way to deal with those insecurities is to take a break. Walk away for a short time, remove the pressure, and just live a little.

I recently came back from said break where I went on a cruise to the South Pacific islands. Best break ever!

To avoid rubbing it in (because that would be bad), I'll post two photos that pretty much sum up the bliss. If I were to rub it in, I'd tell you all about the glorious weather we had, the scrumptious food we ate, the many and varied cocktails we drank... so I won't do that. I will tell you that I spent a lot of the time relaxing and reading through the story entries for the IWSG Contest, which are now with the official judges. Wow, there are some remarkable stories. We have a bunch of talented writers in the IWSG. Glad it's not up to me to pick the winners.
Right now I feel so refreshed that there 's no room for insecurities. Thus unto the breach I charge!!

How do you feel after a break? What are some of your favourite break types?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Stephen Tremp: On Re-Editing and Cats

If you are looking for my IWSG post, you can find it here: 5 Steps to Deal with Writer's Block because today I've handed my blog over to Stephen Tremp, intrepid writer extraordinaire.We've been blogging buddies for many years now and he's always inspired me with his can-do attitude. Take it away, Stephen:

My family of kids has just grown to four. That’s a pretty good size family. Sure, my focus is on my new baby Salem’s Daughters. She just entered the world and I’m busy oohing and ahhing over her.

But I do have other kids. Three as a matter-of-fact. And as much as I love my newborn, I can’t neglect the rest of the family.

So I’m re-editing the Breakthrough series in preparation to release as a box set.

My first book Breakthrough has been a real problem child as I had to do a lot of editing and bring the book up to date. Since I use real establishments and some have closed down, I needed to replace them with new restaurants and resorts and such. It’s amazing at just how fast that book became dated because of various references to people, places, and things. And there were a lot of typos and such to correct.

Opening took a lot of tweaking but not as much as Breakthrough. Escalation was in much better shape, but I had quite a bit of experience under my belt by the time I wrote that.

Oh, and I have Salem’s Daughters discounted this week to $0.99 because of Halloween.

Fun Facts Cats can be allergic to you. According to a 2005 Study feline asthma—which affects one in 200 cats—is on the rise thanks to human lifestyle. Since cats are more frequently being kept indoors, they’re more susceptible to inflammation of their airways caused by cigarette smoke, dusty houses, human dandruff, pollen and some kinds of cat litters. And in rare cases, humans can even transmit illnesses like the flu to their pets.

Did You Know Cats have similar illnesses as humans. They are susceptible to more than 250 hereditary disorders, and many of them are similar to diseases that humans get. Felines even have their own form of Alzheimer’s Disease, and, like us, they can get fat—in fact, 55 percent (approximately 47 million) of American cats are overweight or obese.

Have you gone back to re-edit or tweak books you’ve previously published?

Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. 

Come on Lucky Number Seven
Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.

Thanks, Stephen. I'm looking forward to reading Salem's Daughters. To everyone, if you haven't already, don't forget to visit me over at the IWSG website: 5 Steps to Deal with Writer's Block. I'd love to see you there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Many Blessings of Being a Writer

During a discussion about how writers are both cursed and blessed, no one questioned the cursed side, but a few admitted they hadn’t thought of themselves as blessed. This stayed with me. There are so many reasons to celebrate being a writer, so I thought I’d share a few today.

We have freedom of creative expression. Not everyone has the ability to express themselves in a creative way. As writers, whether we write fiction or non-fiction, creativity is a doorway to living rich and full lives.

We are gifted with the ability to share our version of the world, to offer a glimpse of what we see and experience, even give others a portion of ourselves through our words. We have the power to make a difference to people’s lives through that shared experience. The multiple connections we can make are possible because of our writing.

Our research takes us into strange and unusual places. That alone can broaden our world like no other profession.

Writing teaches us to grow thick skins. Not everyone will love our work. And that’s ok. Learning to deal with the range of different criticisms frees us from the shackles of doubt, and strengthens us as human beings.

Writing keeps us sane. Otherwise those voices in our heads might manifest in a different, scary way.

Writing keeps the people around us sane. Let’s face it, most of us are terrible grumps when we don’t get the time to write.

Only writers have a reason to act crazy. Can’t beat that.

What do you see as a blessing or joy in your writing life?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open until November 1. The theme is Alternate History/Parallel Universe. Winners will be published in a royalty-paying anthology next year. For details, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two Big Announcements of 2015

The First Big Announcement: The IWSG Short Story Contest 2015

After the success of last year’s IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, we decided to create another book. This time it’s a short story competition with the top ten stories getting published in the anthology.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That’s right, we’ve decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st 2015

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details.

Judging: We have some top industry editors, agents and authors to judge for us. We are super excited!  For more information, please check here.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited then published by Freedom Fox Press in the IWSG anthology next year. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. The winners will also receive an exclusive badge to display on their blog.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

The Second Big Announcement: The Body Institute by Carol Riggs 
The Body Institute
When 17-year-old Morgan Dey joins up as a Reducer at The Body Institute, her job is to take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body. It’s innovative weight loss at its finest. Only there are a few catches…it’s not long before Morgan must decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul.

Congrats to Carol! I'm certain it's going to be a huge success. It's a great read with lots of thought-provoking concepts and plenty of page-turning twists.

Next mini announcement: A quick look behind character creation.
If you want to know a little more about what I've been up to lately, I've written an article about character creation for games. You can check it out here.

Final announcement: Since today is IWSG Day where we post about our insecurities or encourage others, I am happy to share that this is a very rare occasion: Little-to-no insecurities are currently plaguing me. Woo! How about you?

Have you read The Body Institute yet? Do you already have ideas for our writing contest? What have you been up to lately?