Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-January 2020

It's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled a great group of co-hosts for this month: T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

Sorry this post is so late! Life got busy, and it completely slipped my mind that we were posting today. Better late than never though!

Here's the optional question for this month:

What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

I've been a writer for as long as I can remember. Growing up, books filled our home. My parents were always reading. I was enraptured by the stories my parents would read to me. I wanted to know more about the people who created those stories. It astounded me that people had the power to imagine these different worlds, places, and possibilities. I can't recall an exact moment when I knew I wanted to be a writer,  but I also can't recall a time in my life when I didn't want it.

What started you on your writing journey?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

WEP December Challenge-Footprints

Hello everyone! It's time for the December WEP Challenge! I can't believe 2019 is almost over already. Where has the time gone?

If you'd like to join us in writing about FOOTPRINTS, check out the sign-up post for more details! And thank you to the IWSG's Tyrean Martinson for coming up with this lovely prompt!

Image by H. B. from Pixabay
Christmas Clues

Cami hugged her puffy green coat tight around her body. She would have zipped it, but her little fingers had yet to master that skill. She knew how to investigate things, though. Cami was an expert at finding clues. She knelt beside the ladder that led up to the roof. She couldn’t recall seeing it there yesterday while she played in the snow.
“Stupid Dylan,” she muttered under her breath as she shivered. She would be inside playing with her new toys if it weren’t for him. But no. He had to go and say something ridiculous, and now she had to prove him wrong. Big brothers could be so dumb sometimes.
She crouched low and studied the boot prints in the snow. They were huge! She held a mitten-clad hand above it and could only cover the heel. Then she poked gingerly at it, and when she pulled her finger away, the tip was covered with a light dusting of snow. The snow was fresh, then. It must have fallen in the night while she slept.
“These are new,” she said to herself. No doubt about it, then.
The first boot print had been made at the base of the ladder, which meant someone had been on the roof and climbed down. Cami straightened and followed the tracks. They wound their way around the house, coming close to the hedge that bordered the yard more than once. Cami hopped over the line of rocks that outlined the barren flower bed and onto the snow-dusted patio. The prints weren’t as deep here, of course, but they were distinct. She stopped there for a moment, following the tracks to their end point with her eyes.
“Yes!” Cami squealed, her cold cheeks aching from the size of her grin. She’d been right about Santa!
Cami used to worry about the fact that their house didn’t have a fireplace when she was younger. She even went to her mother with her concerns. “Mommy! How can Santa get into our house? We don’t have a chimney for him!”
Her mother smiled. “Santa doesn’t need a chimney, honey. Do we need a chimney to get into the house?”
Cami had blushed, feeling silly for her panic. “Okay.” She started to shuffle out of the room before another frantic thought flew into her brain. She spun around and rushed back to her mother’s side. “Don’t lock the door! He won’t be able to get in if you lock the door!”
“I promise I won’t,” her mother said with a little laugh.
She’d believed her mother, of course, but finding the evidence was better than taking her word for it! This was proof that Santa used the front door! A small smile crossed her face. Dylan was wrong. It was so mean of him to tell her Santa wasn’t real, especially when the truth was so obvious! She broke into a sprint. She needed to tell him what she’d seen! He’d surely see the boot prints and understand how mistaken he was.
She barreled through the door, kicking off her shoes as she went. She skidded through the entryway, stopping only when she ran into something wet and cold. “Eww,” she groaned as the dampness spread through the bottoms of her socks. She traced the puddle of water to her dad’s winter clothes that he’d tossed carelessly into the corner. Mommy would be so mad about the mess he'd made.
Oh well! Cami had more important things to worry about. She shucked off her soiled socks, leaving them behind as she ran off to find Dylan and tell him the good news.

Word Count: 607

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: December 2019

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene the next meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group! Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another great group of co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, and Tyrean Martinson.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for great writerly resources!

Here's the optional question for this month: Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

I've thought a lot about this. I think most writers have at one time or another. Living the dream would mean earning a decent living from my writing. I don't need to be rich. It would include seeing my books on shelves. It would mean taking the occasional trip to a writing conference and signing event. Maybe even a writing retreat here and there. That's it. Nothing crazy, but it sure sounds nice, doesn't it?

How do you picture your future as a writer?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things-November 22, 2019

Hello everyone! It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things!

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. It's been kind of a crazy busy month. Real life sure likes to get in the way of writing sometimes, doesn't it? It's a good thing I didn't decide to do NaNo this month. That wouldn't have worked out well for me. For those of you who are participating, though, I hope you're on track and making lots of progress!

The main thing I'm celebrating is that today is Zoe's birthday! She's three now. I can hardly believe it. Here are some selfies the birthday girl took earlier this week when she stole my phone.

Daisy is also six months old as of this past Monday. She's started eating solid foods, and she's loved everything she's tried so far.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: November 2019

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to gather for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group! Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another wonderful bunch of co-hosts: Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie.

Don't forget to visit the IWSG website for great writerly resources!

First of all, this post is going up super late! I'm so sorry for that. I forgot it was IWSG day until just now. In my defense, a lot has been going on. We traveled out of state for a funeral over the weekend. Then I had an important appointment I had to go to today. Life happen, after all. I'm here now, though! Better late than never, right?

So here's the optional question for this month.

What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

I've googled a lot of strange things. One time I looked up how long it takes blood to coagulate. I needed that knowledge to help me describe a murder scene. I also researched how to make bone meal and blood meal. Those two things may not sound weird in and of themselves, but if you read the story I needed that knowledge for, you might be a tad disturbed. 

What's the strangest thing you looked up when researching for a story?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things-November 1, 2019

It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things!

First of all, I have to start out on a somber note. My husband's grandfather passed away, so we'll be going out of state this weekend to attend the funeral. I'm hoping for good weather and safe travels.

On the positive side of things, on Wednesday attended a show. MST3K Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour made a stop in my vicinity this past Wednesday, and of course I had to go. It was amazing seeing Joel and the bots performing in person and riffing on a the film Circus of Horrors. Here's a picture of me right before the show started.

My wonderful husband also fixed my broken laptop screen, so my computer is up and running again! Yay for that!

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trick-or-Treat Reads

Happy Halloween everyone! This is always such a fun time of year! There are costumes, candy, and ... free books? Yes, that's right. You can get free books for Halloween!

Thanks to Patricia Lynne for starting the Trick-or-Treat Reads tradition!

Here is a list of my free offerings!

Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family

Genre: Holiday/Humor/YA
Word Count: 27,000

Book 1 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier has decided to write a self-help book about how to take over the world, but she’s not sure where to start. After all, she’s only seventeen and looking for a better way to make money than babysitting. She buys a self-help book that promises to teach her how to write a self-help book in the hope of getting the job done.

Not that it’ll be easy to get any work done this holiday season. Her family is staying at the house for Christmas, and fights break out almost immediately. Dani also has to deal with the fallout from an unexpected kiss with her best friend Seth and the feelings that go along with it. On edge around her family and unsure how to interact with the one person she’s trusted with everything in the past, she can only take what inspiration she can from the crazy circumstances surrounding her and see what happens.

One way or another, it should be an interesting holiday.

Download Links:

Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury

Genre: Holiday/Humor/YA
Word Count: 25,000

Book 2 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier has self-published her guide to taking over the world, but she still isn’t rich.  Now she’s eighteen, still babysitting for money, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.

Of course, she has to survive a 4th of July outing with her family first.  That’s a challenging prospect considering she has to be in close proximity with a group of cousins known as The Fallible Four.  As if that weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the fallout of her parents learning more about her relationship with her boyfriend Seth than she ever wanted them to know.

The good news is that, if she survives this holiday, she’ll have plenty of material for another self-help book.

Available from Smashwords.  You can find it HERE

Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You  Deal With People

Genre: Holiday/Humor/YA
Word Count-29,000

Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time.  She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world.  Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her.  Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong.  Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.

Available from Smashwords.  You can find it HERE

Adam's Apple and the Infinite Regress

Genre: Sci-Fi/Humor
Word Count: 17,000

Adam Evans has always felt like the universe was mocking him. That only gets worse when he's charged with murder under bizarre circumstances and exiled from existence. Facing a life of utter solitude, he seizes the opportunity to escape with a strange girl. He's determined to put his life back together, but he never could have guessed how crazy things were about to become.

Download Links:

A Silent Soliloquy

Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Word Count: 28,000

TIPPIE was created to be a weapon. By all appearances, she's an ordinary girl of 18, and she uses that to her advantage in her work for The Facility. What no one sees is that there's another girl buried deep inside. She can't speak or control the movements of the body she inhabits. As TIPPIE's silent passenger, she can only observe. She uses the details she learns from TIPPIE's work to reconstruct the stories of other people's lives. It helps her feel a little more connected to the world she can only watch.

When TIPPIE's work leads her to David, a young man with a haunted past and information that The Facility wants, TIPPIE uses her skills to earn his trust. The silent girl beneath the surface knows that TIPPIE is only going to hurt him, but she can't help but feel for him. Those feelings only grow, but she knows all too well that TIPPIE's work will soon come to an end.

Available from Smashwords.  You can find it HERE.

Cosmic Seasoning

Genre: Sci-Fi/Short Stories
Word Count: 16,000

This compilation of ten short science fiction stories is sure to add a little flavor to your day. You'll get to see what happens when a universal translator malfunctions during first contact, the repercussions of a maladjusted writer making a holographic duplicate of herself, the reunion of a couple of shapeshifters that have been exiled to Earth, and more.

Some stories are funny, and others are a bit darker, but they're all short enough to read in one sitting.

This book is always free, and you can get it from any of the following places.

Download Links:

What are you waiting for? You can use the linky below to visit all the other participants and collect your free books!