Tuesday, November 30, 2021

IWSG: Of Stress and Delights . . .

How did it get to be December so fast? This first Wednesday of the month (and every month) is Insecure Writer's Support Group day! Our group shares thoughts about struggles and concerns, offering support to writers everywhere by reading each others' posts and connecting. 

This month's IWSG question: In your writing, what stresses you the most, what delights you?

Ah, the IWSG gods gave us an easy question this month. Straight out, I get stressed when 1) I stop writing -- as if I believe the words will not ever leap from my keyboard again, and 2) when I can't see the next step -- whether its drafting or revising. Usually scaffolding helps me climb up out of that sense of emptiness. Usually.

And what delights me about my writing? How about that moment of insight, when something new appears. This can be something a character does, or when an unexpected scene develops. Or when I set a writing goal (yes, number of words), and make that goal every day. As I'm deep in revision just now, I'm feeling so grateful for revision tips and strategies from Annette and several others, including the famous Donald Maass (via his nicely structured, focused, and positive exercises for revision in his Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook). 

So, last month, your comments helped me center on a new title for my current story. Did I need a cover to inspire me? Yep. Again, thanks to Pixabay, I happened on the perfect image, and thanks also to Book Brush, here's the cover. For now.

These last two years have been challenging for us all. Maybe you find writing (or reading) to be one of several anchors, to keep us connected to what truly matters. Covid-related issues are not going away quite yet. 

For a time this last month, my foot problems escalated to the point where surgery (and 2-3 months of non-weight-bearing life) appeared certain. Even Maass says that for our characters, life can (and truly must) get worse -- to add conflict to the story. But I don't need worse -- none of us do just now. A second opinion led to a new diagnosis, the fact that surgery would likely not be successful (saved from bed rest), and the long-term outlook not so good. But I have today -- to write and to cherish what is possible. Truly, that's enough.

May the coming month be good to you and those you love. May your writing go well.

Thanks go to Alex Cavannaugh, the inspiration for IWSG and to this month's co-hosts: PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray   Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!  Share, if you like. Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. 

And why not visit at least 12 new writers to see what's happening in the IWSG world!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Just Today? Frank Zafiro's Crime Mystery for you!

Just thought you'd like to know that Frank Zafiro is running a freebie today (I don't know for how long) on Amazon for his Beneath a Weeping Sky

If you like an engrossing story with characters who immediately engage you in their lives as they face down gritty challenges, prepare for immersion into River City!

Frank is an amazing and prolific writer -- with diverse interests. His stories are shaped by his police experience, and, as he says, his stories reflect "both sides of the badge." His love of writing translates into many forms -- novels, short stories, blogging, and podcasts. Did I say he loves hockey? 

Just this last Wednesday, I "sat down" with Frank at a Zoom presentation on websites for the Inland Northwest Writers Guild here in Spokane. He is a wonderfully supportive and generous writer, a gifted speaker. 

I hope you check out Frank's website: Frank Zafiro: The River City Author.

Snow is predicted for this afternoon. I can't wait to get started on Beneath a Weeping Sky, a lovely distraction from holiday prep.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Beneath a Weeping Sky (River City Crime Novel Book 3)

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

IWSG: What Could Be Easier?

The first Wednesday of each month is Insecure Writer's Support Group. This online community of writers is another way to celebrate the writing life -- by sharing our challenges and goals, accomplishments and doubts through posts on our blogs. At times, what can be uncertain becomes more clear. In sharing, we may strengthen our resolve on our own writing path -- and encourage other writers.

We don't have a word requirement. And there's always some sort of writing question to answer, if we like. November's questionWhat's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

What we do ask participating writers to do is very simple: Write on your blog, somehow related to the writing life, this month's question, or whatever takes your fancy. Visit about 12 new writers' blogs and post a comment. Delight in the variety of the writers in our community as we write. And remember to thank (and perhaps visit) those writer/bloggers who cohost this month: Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

If your skills take you to Twitterland, here's our Twitter handle @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG. Now for the goodies!

November's questionWhat's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb? As long as it takes me to write a story (typically 2-3 years), the blurb feels like the easier process, for I'm writing/editing about something I know very well.

Usually, the book title swims up as I write the first draft. Except, not this time.

Readers of my 'Stones' historical fiction series (Standing Stones, Years of Stone, and Rivers of Stone) have let me know they want to find out what happened to Moira and Dylan. After all, as did happen in mid 18th Century, Dylan left his wife behind on a small Scottish island -- and never returned. So, what did happen? Will they be reunited? This last year, I've been working on Island Wife, a kind of working title, for that's where Moira was left behind. Maybe the new title will be Scattered Stones, for that fits the series. With about another year on revision, that title just might stick.

Does it help you to know that titles don't necessarily come easily? Or, they may. I do believe a title should resonate with the theme of the book. Maybe Island Wife focuses too much on the character who's been abandoned, while Scattered Stones hints that what once was apart can now come together!

Update on NaNoWriMo: So far, on target with 1,700 words a day. True, we're only at Day Two, but I do appreciate the challenge and focus on drafting and revising (so far, only new words). I haven't tried 'sprints' . . . yet, but I feel a part of the NaNo community sprinting ahead just by posting daily word counts!

Update on marketing: Aargh! I'm one with all those writers who would rather eat asparagus than market. Well, broiled asparagus with butter could be better than marketing! This month, I took the plunge and joined 18 other writers to promote a book giveaway (actually short stories, novels, AND samples) through Book Funnel!

Why not zip over to see what free reading awaits you? 

Here's the LINK.

Isn't November the month you really would like to curl up on a comfy chair,    avoid the snow outside, and read a delightful new author?

Meanwhile, stay safe, and may November be a good month for you!