Wednesday, July 5, 2017

One Valuable Writing Lesson #IWSG

When I first started writing, I just wrote. I had no clue what I was doing, but that didn't hold me back. It was enough for me that I read a lot of fiction and from that reading I knew what worked and what didn't. Later down the track I decided to get serious about my writing, so I read copious amounts of books on writing, how-to articles, I went to conventions and listened to advice on panels, and I attended workshops. That's when I realised I had no clue what I was doing, and that did hold me back.

Eventually I got past the crippling notion that I can't do this, I can't do that, my writing is horrible and no one will like it. That was right about the time when I told myself, "You know what? Writing is a creative process. Rules don't need to rule. I have the freedom to experiment, to write what I like, to try new things and get creative. If it doesn't work, then try again."

It's important to learn what works and why, but that doesn't mean crippling yourself with doubts. Just write!! Then fix it. Or throw it away and write again. But don't give up because someone else said, "No!" And that's the most valuable lesson I learned since I started writing.


Every first Wednesday of the month the members of the IWSG post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE to find out more and join up.






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Cover Reveal:
 JALAPENO CUPCAKE WENCH
AMAZING GRACIE TRILOGY, BOOK 1
A hot and spicy taste of murder—and more.

During the day, law enforcement consultant Gracie Hofner is on assignment at a small San Antonio bakery, waiting for a delivery. No one knows what it is or when it will arrive. The upside? Working next to Donovan Beck, a flirty hunk and a half—perfect fling material.

At night, Gracie resumes her search for a little girl and her mother who went missing following a double murder. Finding the pair is imperative or the girl will become a target.

At the girl’s aunt’s house, Gracie experiences a peculiar need to leave immediately. She tries to deny the urge to flee and pushes the pressure aside, but the compulsion intensifies. Gracie thinks she must have a brain tumor. Or is losing her mind. When similar events continue to occur, Gracie sees a pattern. Can she use this newfound ability to help her find the girl and her mother before it’s too late?

Where to connect with Carol:
Blog - Website - Facebook - Twitter - Amazon
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A reminder about our IWSG Twitter Pitch Party!

Hashtag #IWSGPit

July 27, 2017, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time




Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Gain Momentum in your Writing

Today I'm over at the Insecure Writer's Support Group with an article about 10 Ways to Maintain Writing Momentum. Please pop on over to check it out.

In the meanwhile, here is a pic I took at Australia Zoo...giggle.


What's been happening for you lately? How has your writing momentum been going?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Calling for Submissions #IWSG


Today I'm thrilled to announce the next big IWSG guide calling for submissions. Please read the guidelines below.

Guidelines:

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit--This will be a non-fiction book like our Guide to Publishing and Beyond.

What to write: Share experiences about making a profit as an author, what it takes to become a successful writer, the many skills a writer needs to learn other than writing, share the experience going from hobby writer to published author (without making it a self-promotion piece), the fallacies behind writing for profit, the little known facts learned along the way, what you wished you knew when you first started writing, or marketing tips based on experience of what has worked and what hasn't. Please include a title, your name, and a link to one of your sites. Send as an attached Word file or pasted into the email.

If you have any questions, email us at admin AT insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Word limit: 500-1000 words.

Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It's free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2017

Send your submission to admin AT insecurewriterssupportgroup.com as an attached Word document and note which IWSG group you belong to. Please include your name, a one line bio, and one website link.

The one hundred best entries will be included in the book.

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June's optional question is: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I did quit writing for a long time. Silliest thing I ever did. It was the love of story and words that brought me back. But having taken that massive break, I found it really difficult to get back to the same skill level and ease of writing I had before I quit. But what is just as damaging is quitting reading. It can easily happen when you get busy and decide to sacrifice reading time so you have time to write instead. Big mistake! It has the same effect on writing as if I'd quit writing. So I recommend all writers make the time to read as well as write.

How about you? Did you ever quit? What brought you back? 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Marked Beauty Cover Reveal

Marked Beauty
S.A. Larsen

Ellysian Press, due October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.


About the Author:
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads
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On the weekend, I went into Brisbane CBD to take skyscraper type shots with my new camera. So what ends up being my favourite shot? The creeping shoots of a clump of violets. Typical.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Best and Worst Hot Chocolate

Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a sweet tooth. I like my chocolate dark and bitter. Consequently, if you have a taste for sugar, you may not agree with my list.

The Best
Overall, Brisbane makes a better hot chocolate than Sydney, which surprised and delighted me, having moved to Brisbane recently. However, Sydney does feature in my top four.

The Shack: This is an organic wholefood market and cafe with a few locations around Sydney. The one I frequented was in Gymea. This one is all about the chocolate. Rich, thick and heavenly. And not sugary. It had the perfect balance of yum. A true standout.

Murray Street Vineyards:  Located in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. This hot chocolate was made by a resident chocolatier who loved what he did. He made the hot chocolate in layers of silky goodness. A real treat. This is my one exception of having a hot chocolate in a glass. Unfortunately I doubt he is still there after all these years.

Swich Espresso: A little cafe in Holland Park, Brisbane. It's an unassuming cafe on a main street but offers seating on a deck out the back away from traffic noise. The hot chocolate arrives in a large low cup. With not too much froth on top, the chocolatey goodness underneath is a glorious treat. And their hot chocolate is consistently good, unlike so many places.

Oliver Brown: While this Belgium Chocolate Cafe is a chain, it's a good chain. You can order your hot chocolate in dark, milk or white. You have other choices too: mint, coconut etc. I always order the dark hot chocolate with mint. Oh my gosh it's yum. It is sweet, but it's also rich and delicious.

The Worst
The absolute worst hot chocolate I ever tasted came from the small island of Capris, Italy. This one wasn't about the chocolate or the sugar. It was about the sludge. I could literally stand my spoon up in it. I had to order extra milk to make it palatable.

Gloria Jeans: This is a franchise chain that has lowered its standards over the years. The hot chocolate is watery and the froth takes up half the mug a lot of the time. Hugely disappointing.

Some Sydney cafe: Their hot chocolate was so sugary that it tasted like marshmallows, even though it had no marshmallows in it. Not good.

Chocolat Cafe: Found in Westfield, Garden City, Mount Gravatt, Brisbane. Oddly enough, this is a cafe that prides itself on its chocolate. Unfortunately they gave me a cool, watery 'hot' chocolate in a glass when I specifically asked them to put it in a mug, pointing to the mugs.

What is with this trend of serving hot chocolates in a glass? It might look great when presented in a tall glass, but there's no comfort in a glass. To be able to pick up a glass to drink from it means the hot chocolate has to be cooler than it should, and if served hot then it loses its temperature way too fast in a glass, so you're forced to scoff it down before it gets cold. So when you order a hot chocolate, always ask for it in a mug!

Are you a hot chocolate drinker? What was your best experience of a hot chocolate? What was your worst?



Special Note:
The IWSG is now partnering with Reedsy on some upcoming events, and today, May 8, is a big one!
Through the #IWriteBecause project, we want to raise awareness about the power of writing. Above all, writing is not just a vocation or a hobby; it’s one of the greatest ways to express our thoughts and get our message out.

At Reedsy, we believe that every child, regardless of geography, gender or economics, should have access to education and the freedom to raise their voice and share their message with the world. That’s why, for every writer who shares their story, Reedsy will donate $10 to Room to Read — a non-profit organization that seeks to provide girls in Africa and Asia with access to education.

The IWSG asks members to Tweet and re-Tweet #IWriteBecause Monday, May 8!