Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG and Celebrate the Small Things


Good Morning, Insecure Writers! Are you ready to spread the joy and/or anguish of our craft? Thank you always to our leader, Ninja Captain Alex. J. Cavanaugh and his merry cohosts: are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte.

Today's question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Well, that's the thing. I don't have a genre I write in most often. I started with a paranormal thriller, followed by several short stories that were speculative, sci-fi, and/or suspense. Then I wrote a historical novel. And now I'm trying to write something contemporary. I don't think about the genre as much as the character. Maybe I'm edging into literary territory. Call me an up-market gal. That's what I'm aiming for anyway.

Regardless of the genre, there is one thing I love about all of them: the research. Back in my school days, I was a diligent student, but not a joyful one. I was a grade grubber, stuffing facts into my head like a kid cramming down their Brussels sprouts in order to get dessert. But now, knowledge has a purpose. 


brussels sprouts
Image: Mallory Dash


To write that historical novel, I dove into huge textbooks detailing everything that lead up to the American Civil War and couldn't get enough. For one of my sci-fi shorts, I scanned scientific papers on functional MRIs to mesh what was real with what might be possible in some not-too-distant future. And it was fun. Maybe we should turn all students into writers so learning isn't so dreary. 


622 pages of yummy historical goodness


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I did not mean to take another long break between posts, but it's completely my husband's fault. But first, let me thank our hostLexa Cain, and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker.

While I was taking care of our children, house, pets, and every critter within a 5-mile radius who might want something to nibble on in this frozen wasteland lovely Rochester winter, my husband tootled off to sunny San Diego for five days of sightseeing and visiting with his folks a math conference. He came back with a bucket of pens and the cold from hell a virus.

Thanks bunches! Achoo. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. 

So I've been busy coughing my brains out and filling Kleenex with snot. Good times. While I've been moaning and groaning, my kids have been up to some amazing stuff.

1. My daughter, the famous artist.



Like many teens, my older daughter enjoys posting on Instagram and getting likes and comments. Recently, she's been using drawing apps to make fan art of the pets of well-known "Youtubers" and other social media sensations. One of these pets was named Eddie the Lilac Lion, a senior rescued cat who had lost his ears, teeth, and was half-blind. After Eddie passed away, Sedona sent the above artwork to Eddie's owner, who loved the image and even posted it on their Instagram account. So far, this image has received 7851 likes and over 250 comments. You can check out more of Sedona's art at @creativecat_444.

2. I'm related to an outstanding violinist.

_MG_0104
Image: Collapse the Light

My kids also caught my husband's horrible cold and missed some days of school right before dancing and singing in their school's production of Peter Pan. Talk about horrible timing! In the midst of all this insanity, my younger daughter, a violin player, had a solofest which involves playing a prepared piece before a judge along with scales and sight reading. Talk about pressure. 

Nothing was going right before this solofest. Micada had missed several practice sessions with her orchestra teacher. Her nose was completely stuffed up. Her performance time was at 7:10 p.m. after a long day of school followed by two hours of rehearsal for Peter Pan. 

I felt that if she played anything for that judge, even one note, I would be impressed. Instead, she came out after playing with a smile on her face. 

These performances are graded on a scale that runs from "needs work" to "good" to "excellent" to "outstanding". When we got Micada's score later that night, she had scored "outstanding"! Unbelievable. 

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Do you write in one genre or several? Do you have an Instagram account? Play a musical instrument?


Friday, January 19, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things



It's Friday! Are you ready to celebrate something? Then let's get this party started. Thanks to our indestructible host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker.

Wow, it's been about a month since I posted for CTST. I've been trying to carve out more time for writing. However, time seems to be harder than diamonds and free time can be about as hard to come by.



Image: http://geologyrocks.tumblr.com/


But I digress. Let's celebrate:

The kindness of strangers.




Last week, Mother Nature dumped 14 inches of snow on our part of the world. I love snow. I love lots and lots of snow. However, my kids were scheduled to rehearse their play at 10 a.m. that morning, so I had to drag my sleepy behind out of my warm bed to shovel at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. I know. Boo-freakin'-hoo. 



Image: MWMS1916



Now the snow was light and fluffy, so I caught a break there. Still, it took me thirty minutes to carve a 4-foot wide path down the driveway to the bottom where the big-boy city snowplows had left a wall of solid snow and ice approximately 20 feet wide, 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Yeah, living on the corner sucks this time of year. The wall was so big I wondered if Wildlings and Whitewalkers were lurking on the other side. 



Image: Wikia Fandom



As I started to chip away with my shovel, a truck came by with duel snow-plows on the front, the kind of vehicle people hire for snow removal on their driveways. This guy stopped and with two swipes of his plow, he knocked that wall of ice all the way into my lawn. Ba-BAM! Forty minutes of back-breaking labor done in seconds. 




I was so stunned I just stood there and waved, grinning like an idiot. So THANK-YOU wonderful snow plow driver, whoever you are. You saved my butt. I would have never finished shoveling on time otherwise.

Has a stranger ever helped you out when you least expected it?  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG and Flaming Crimes Blogfest



Happy New Year! And what's more happy than a crowd of stressed-out, insecure writers? Maybe a sleighful of elves on their way to Cancun for a Christmas-recovery bash? Well, you guys deserve it. Also working like Santa and his elves are our host, Alex J. Cavannaugh and his merry band of cohosts: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

This month's fabulous question: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?


I had an excellent plan. Pure brilliance. Ready? I was going to write even if I felt bad. Yep, I'm one of those wusses who might let an afternoon of precious writing time slide by because I stubbed my toe or sneezed extra hard. But no more!

It's time to buck up and type even with a pimple in my ear or a hole in my sock. Time to get some work flowing. Yeah, baby!





And then, on the first day of the shiny, new year, I got a migraine. That's what I get for making bold plans. It's a little like saying you're going to write, no matter what, and then a elephant drops out of the clear blue onto your laptop and then proceeds to eat all your pens, pencils, and spare paper. Really?

But it's okay. I have medicine. I have time to recover while my darlings tackle the insanity that is middle school. Best of all, migraines come with super-sleepy powers. Man, I could snooze through a howling blizzard--um, I think I did that already. Twice, considering the snow piling up outside.

What's my next brilliant plan? I'll let you know, right after my nap.

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Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?


So here's the deal. The family is out of danger, as are any pets. Heck, I'll even throw in the laptop, since that's another obvious save. So you have a second to grab something silly, not necessarily nostalgic. What would it be?

It's tempting to pick artwork. There's a ton of paintings, drawing, and sculptures by me and my kids that can't be replaced, but I couldn't carry it all and I'd probably be overcome by the smoke deciding which pieces to grab.

So the winner is:

My pillow. It's old, probably infested with bedbugs, but it's a ridiculously squishy contour model I'm not sure is made anymore. I take it with me whenever I travel, even if I have to give up suitcase space for other stuff, like say, clothes.







 Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: 4.99 
Print Price: 16.99
Rating: Spicy (PG13) 

BUY LINKS:

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…





 About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:
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Want to read about other ridiculous items saved from a firey fate? Check out these blogs:


Blogger:



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How was your Christmas? Having a Happy New Year so far? 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things



It's Friday! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting stressed. Put another chore on the old woman's chest. (That's me-gasp, gasp.) In other words, with all the stoof going on, this will be my last post until January 3, 2018. But first, let me thank our host, by Lexa Cain and her cohosts L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker.

I ventured out to my favorite walking place in Durand park last Sunday. We finally got some snow, but since it was just a dusting, I figured it would be safe to take one last walk through the trees.




It was beautiful. The snow was coming down like sifted flour, coating everything including this huge, willow tree.






My favorite part was seeing the snow on moss. The flakes were so tiny and the moss was still green. Together they made a beautiful pattern I would kill to capture in a painting. The photos don't really do it justice, but that's my fault for starting this walk an hour before sunset.








After taking quick Mother-may-I steps around the lake, I headed up some short, steep hills. The slippery snow hid a thick layer of dry leaves. Guess who fell and slid down one of those hills on her tush? That would be me. Yowch. I guess I'll be sticking to the paved road until spring.






This has been the year of outdoor mishaps for sure. After crashing my bike and capsizing my kayak, I guess a tumble down a snow-covered hill is a fitting way to end the year. Good thing I don't ski, or else this would be me: (Oh my. That was a total Pat Hatt sentence.)



Faceplant


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Love or hate snow? Have a favorite walking place? Taken any spectacular spills this year?