Wednesday, 7 October 2020

IWSG October 2020

So we've reached October of this most memorable of years and, seeing that it's the first Wednesday of the month, it's time again for our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as always by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offload whatever fears or insecurities are plaguing us, which is surely becoming more needed than ever. Our cohosts this month are Jemima PettBeth CampBeverley Stowe McClure and Gwen Gardner.



What with one thing and another, I missed last month, but I figured I couldn't miss today's posting being as it coincides with a significant date for me of the "four zero" variety. Does that mean my life is beginning? I could use a fresh start...

Given that I've been able to work throughout the pandemic, I feel bad being insecure about anything. Progress continues on my newest WIP, although it's been on and off throughout the year, and I'm still trying to get back to that sweet spot of 1k a day. I am making progress, though, and I'm not going to whinge about anything. I sincerely hope you are all doing OK and haven't been impacted to too great a degree. 

Let's have a look at this month's IWSG question: 

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

This is a great question and I think it comes down to how much you "own" being a writer. To me, a working writer is a writer who writes - simple as that. It would be very nice to earn a comfortable living from it, but that's the preserve of the very few, and no one gets there without putting in the same level of work - or more - than someone who has already become a household name. I'm not really sure what an "aspiring" writer is, but if you aspire to do something it basically means it's something you'd love to do one day, or at least that's my interpretation. If you start writing, you're a writer. "Hobbyist" sounds too trivial and brings to mind something like crocheting, although having said that, I'm sure there are crocheters (crochetists?) who are fiercely devoted to their work and would be outraged at being called a hobbyist. I hope I've answered the question there!

Don't forget to check in other IWSG writers by visiting the list here.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Influenced Book Blast

Happy Saturday! Today, I'm helping Patricia Josephine celebrate her latest release, which is a very fun read with a great premise. Check out the details below.

Blurb

There is no Light without Dark.

Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.

Or so they thought…

Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.

Which one will win?

My review:

This is a really fun, quick read by Patricia Josephine that features an interesting premise and a pretty pertinent message at the heart of it.

Most of us know the concept of having a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other, swaying us to do either good or evil. We've seen it in cartoons. Well, Josephine takes that idea and fleshes it out by giving these characters feelings and emotions. They're known as "Influencers", basically pawns in a larger war that's about capturing souls for either the Light or the Dark. But having individual personalities means carrying out their duties isn't always as simple as you'd think.

Influenced is a collection of three short stories, and what's neat about it is that each works perfectly well as a standalone, but they also make a cohesive whole with an arc running through. Each features a romantic element between the Light and Dark influencers assigned to a particular "mortal". That might sound like it'd get repetitive, but the dynamic is different in each case, and there's the idea of an influencer being torn between doing their "duty" and following their heart - almost as if they had their own little influencers on each of their own shoulders. Fascinating!

I won't say any more for fear of spoilers, but I will say that Influenced is a diverting, thought-provoking read, perfect for a lazy afternoon. Recommended. 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

About the Author


Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Social Media Links:

Website

Patreon

Ko-Fi

Facebook

Newsletter

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

IWSG August 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month again in this strangest of years, and of course that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as always by the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer space for writers to air doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Why not join us if you haven't already? This month's excellent co-hosts are Susan Boury RouchardNancy GideonJennifer LaneJennifer HawesChemist Ken and Chrys Fey!


Every month there's an optional question for us to answer. This time it's: 

Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Well, I have written a short story collection and most of the stories in it were definitely always meant to be in that shorter form. However, the first story, A Change of Mind, ended up in a much longer form, more like a novella, which wasn't how I'd anticipated it. Initially a story of only a couple of hundred words, it was set in a fictional future where a woman is threatening to sue a surgeon after a procedure to alter her personality has gone wrong. (She wanted to be more confident but ends up becoming unbearably arrogant.) I thought there was a lot more to the idea, so I changed the protagonist to a man, and relocated the action to the present day where personality surgery is an illicit trade taking place in rooms above garages and spoken of in hushed voices in seedy pubs. Again though, the desired change was to become more confident for the mild-mannered main character, but this ultimately manifests itself in his becoming a sociopath.

I can't really think of another time this has happened, as usually I set out to write a novel or short story and do that, but I always stay open to possibilities. It's nice to go down a route you hadn't expected sometimes!

What's your answer to this question? I'm sure there'll be loads of interesting ones on the IWSG sign-up list - you can find it here.

Monday, 20 July 2020

"Keep Writing with Fey" Book Blast


Today I'm helping Chrys Fey launch her latest book, which looks like another excellent resource for all writers. Check it out!


Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

·        Writer's block
·        Depression
·        Writer's burnout
·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
·        Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.


BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo


AUTHOR’S NOTE:
When I shared my story about depression and writer’s burnout, I received many emails, comments, and Facebook messages from other writers thanking me for my bravery and telling me about their own trials. That really put into perspective for me how many people suffer from depression and/or burnout in silence. I had no idea those individuals were impacted by these things, just as they hadn’t known that I was, because my outward presence to others was always happy and smiley and bright.

After the supportive response and upon realizing how many writers in my online circles were struggling, too, I wanted to do something to help. I was candid with my experiences and blogged about the things that assisted me through the rough times in the hope that it would aid others.

During this time, I recognized the need for writers to receive support, guidance, tips, reminders, and encouragement during their writer’s block, depression, and burnout. That’s how I got the idea for this book. A book not just about depression or only about writer’s block, but both, and much more.

Since you have picked up this book, that means you may need assistance with one or all of these areas, and I sincerely hope you find what you need here…that tiny spark to get you through whatever you are going through.

As always, keep writing.

Keep believing.

Keep dreaming.

Chrys Fey



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

IWSG July 2020

A new month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Helmed as ever by Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group offers a safe space for writers to share insecurities of all kinds without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Jenni EnzorBeth CampLiesbet @ Roaming AboutTyrean Martinson and Sandra Cox.


In terms of writing, I'm not feeling too insecure as my WIP progresses. My one gripe might be that I'd like to be moving a bit quicker - I'm at just over 25k since starting earlier this year - but I'm enjoying the story and the level of invention and creativity it calls for. Onwards!

Let's turn to this month's optional IWSG question, which is: "There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?" 

This is a great question and the answer could be very wide-ranging. Who knows where we'll be in ten years' time? Over the past decade I really think we've seen indie and self publishing solidify as a force in the industry, but I'm not sure indie authors are truly seen as being on the same level as those traditionally published - I'd like to see equal recognition, and that could include things like reviews in the New York Times and equal opportunities for things like audiobooks, movie adaptations, and so on.

At the same time, on the traditional publishing side, it would be nice to see more stability for small presses in particular. Many seem to fold very suddenly or without warning, often leaving authors' dreams turned upside down. This is a difficult one. I'm sure many of them will not weather the current crisis, and who's to say there aren't more episodes to come? I'd like to see grants or other help made available for them. I can't say I know much about this area, but I'm thinking about dipping my toe in it, and I worry what state COVID will leave it in.

What thoughts do you have about the future of the industry? You can check out others' responses here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

IWSG June 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time once again for our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted once again by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group offers a safe space where writers can share their insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Pat GarciaJ. Q. Rose and Natalie Aguirre.


It's June! Hard to believe we're almost halfway through the strangest year I'm sure many of us can remember. A big insecurity here in the UK is the lifting of the lockdown and the fear that things are happening too quickly - some kids back at school, more shops opening up. We won't be doing anything majorly different until August when schools are planned to come back in Scotland - we'll just need to see where we are then, and again, it's only what we're comfortable with. As a diversion, let's take a look at this month's IWSG question: "Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?"

Hmm, I don't think I have secrets as such - nothing overly dramatic, anyway - and I'm pretty open about stuff, but one thing that wouldn't be obvious from my work is that my childhood dream was to be an actor. This went as far as performing with the drama club in comedy revue shows during high school, with our own self-penned material, but stage fright was pretty much a constant - I soon realized that the writing part was what I preferred, and things just developed from there!

I'm sure many more fascinating secrets will be disclosed by the authors found at the IWSG sign-up list here. I look forward to checking them out! 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

IWSG May 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and one thing we can rely on for certain is that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by the Ninja himself Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without fear of being judged. Probably something we need more than ever. This month's excellent co-hosts are Feather StoneBeverley Stowe McClureMary AalgaardKim Lajevardi and Chemist Ken!


So it's my first proper IWSG post for a couple of months, although I thank you for the messages that were left on my placeholder post last month. I'm not going to dwell too much on COVID-19 because I think it's good to talk about other things, but I'll just say that we're all still doing OK here while keeping an eye on the news and the talk of coming out of lockdown - a far more worrisome prospect than being in it for us, and although it's pretty safe to say schools won't resume until at least after the summer in Scotland, it's very hard to picture it (although things are going to look different, that's for sure). Youngest daughter is set to start high school in August, a transition that's tricky at the best of times. Like with this entire mess, we're just going to have to wait to see how it pans out, and we're not going to be doing anything we're not comfortable with.

Let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

No rituals as such, but the best thing I can do is remind myself that my writing is time-limited. Despite the lockdown, my routine hasn't changed a great deal and I'm being kept plenty busy with freelancing work (thankfully), so I'm able to carve out thirty minutes to an hour in the morning for writing - basically until the dogs ask to get up for breakfast! After that I'm dealing with work and I'm in a different mindset, so the time is gone if I don't use it. At this particular time, I'm also in a "relatively new and shiny WIP" phase and I'm enjoying finding out where this story is going, which always helps. If you wake up excited about writing, it becomes much easier.

So that's where I am. How about you? Any rituals to share? How are you coping with things overall? Many more IWSG posts can be found by clicking here.