Monday, December 08, 2014

Trans Siberian Orchestra

This will be my last post until the January 7 posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I'll leave you with some shots from our eighth Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. Yes, eighth! We go every year, and since we are in the fan club, we get really great seats. This year we were second row. It's a great way to kick off the holiday season. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book is Available!

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.
And I’m posting early this week because we have a special announcement - after a lot of work and a big group effort, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available!

Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE

Available –
Amazon (still listed at .99 - tell them about a lower price)
Barnes & Noble

Don’t forget to visit the IWSG sites –

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest and Character Building at the IWSG

I’m over at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group site, outlining how to build a character through the handout I use for my characterization sessions.

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest

Hosted by Andrew Leon, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish.

The bloggers you miss and the ones you would miss.
List one to three bloggers you really miss.
List one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging.
And then go let them know!

The three bloggers I really miss:

Julie Luek - she announced that she wouldn’t be blogging anymore at her main blog, A Thought Grows, but she hasn’t posted at her other BLOG since this past summer. She was a woman of faith and had such a great attitude. Miss you, Julie.

Ella - Her blog, Ella’s Edge, has been quiet this year, with only an occasional post. She’s recently posted a few poems, so I hope she is back. Ella is so creative and crafty. I love seeing what she’s created for us every time she posts. Miss you, Ella.

Gary - He blogs at Klahanie, but those posts have been few and far between lately. He recently moved and I’m sure he’s struggling with the changes. I miss seeing Penny, his cute little dog, every week. She is a Superstar, and so is Gary. Miss you, Gary -we are here for you.

The three I would miss:

Karen Walker - We met through a blogging class many years ago and connected right away. She moved to Albuquerque, NM just months before I moved away, so we just missed meeting in real life. She is a wonderful writer and her posts at Followign the Whispers are so honest and transparent. She recently had a medical procedure done and I hope it won’t interfere with her blogging, because I would miss her dearly.

Jo - She blogs at Jo on Food and Travels, and she’s someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life. She lived in N. Carolina for many years before moving to Canada, so we know a lot of the same locations. She always posts a recipe and I’m always trying to figure out a way to make it vegan. She’s posted daily for so long and it would be so empty if she quit.

Sheena-kay - Her blog is Queen Sheena, and when you visit, you’re always greeted by this wonderful smile. She lives in Jamaica, so it’s interesting to hear about the world through the eyes of someone living in another country. She’s also a writer and I look forward to her upcoming books. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and hope Sheena-kay continues to blog for a long time.

Who would you name that you miss or would miss?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Doing a Characterization Session and Realms Faire Winner

Thanks to every one who participated in the Realms Faire and the Dragon Hunt last week. The winner of a $20 Amazon card and a copy of How to Promote and Publish Your Book Now is...

Dolorah at Book Lover


Thank you to all of the entrants and to the nine people who posted dragons for me - Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, Stephen Tremp, Susan Gourley, Melanie Schulz, Medeia Sharif, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jo on Food and Travels, and Mish Writer in Transit.


Kathy McKendry’s daughter Jess was invited to speak at her brother’s elementary school about writing and her book, From the Ashes. Kathy asked for suggestions, and I mentioned the characterization sessions I do for schools.

Last week, Kathy posted:
“From your comments, we decided it was best to involve the kids as much as possible in the talk. Jess decided her main topic would be character development and she would walk the kids through creating their own characters. She made a worksheet for them where they could fill in character traits like hair color, skin color, birthplace, etc.”

She was happy to report that it was a big success!

I’ve always taught that characters are the heart of any good story. It’s the foundation. And doing those sessions in schools is a lot of fun. I cover four basic areas:

Background - race, upbringing, parents and siblings, and economic status

Personality - type, strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals

Physical attributes - weight, height, hair color, etc.

Misc. - age, friends, children, and other important details

What other attributes are important to a good, solid character?