"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, September 15, 2019

7 Steps to Planning a Short Story

I've been reading a lot of short stories lately. I've also been working on writing several new short stories of my own. I recently realized I plan them all basically the same way. In case you are interested, or are stuck and hoping for some help, here is my short story process.

1) Pantsing - I never plan draft one. I always start with a general idea, goal, emotion, or scene in mind. I write this until I can't go any further.

2) Clarify Problem(s) - this is the central conflict of the story - it's purpose. Why should the reader be interested?

3) Clarify Character - why does the main character in particular need to face this issue? Why is it important to them? This is usually the protagonist, but not always.

4) Strengthen Obstacle - what has kept the character from achieving their goal? This could be more than one issue, but the struggle to overcome this is what helps you to develop character and caring from your reader.

5) Introduce Failure - have the main character fail at least once. No one like a perfect, easy, straight line to a goal. What do they need to learn to accomplish, or move on from, this dream?

6) Highlight Shortcomings - the solution, or key to obtaining the goal, lies squarely in the faults or overcoming of that characters issues. It should seem as if this story could only happen this way, for this particular protagonist.

7) Finale - show the hero achieving the reward, or learning to accept failure (unless you want the unsatisfying ending). Either way, this too should be a result of this particular characters decisions.

How does this process differ from yours? Any great short stories you want to recommend?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG: Where in the World Would You Write?

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

SEPTEMBER QUESTION: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

MY ANSWER: Scotland - almost anywhere in this country. Two years ago I spent a couple of weeks touring this beautiful country and I would absolutely love to go back. While I did very little actual writing while there (we were traveling and exploring nearly non stop - only pausing long enough to sleep and eat) I've since written quite a few pieces inspired by my time there. Now granted, I've only been to a few countries out of the 195 currently in existence, but it's hard for me to imagine a more beautiful one, or one full of nicer people. A return trip is definitely on my "must do" list. If you'd like to learn more about my trip check out these posts from April 2017.

How about you? Where in the world would you sit and write?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August Scribbler Box: the Good and the Bad

I just received my fifth box from Scribbler. You can learn about previous boxes, and why I subscribed by clicking the "Scribbler" link in the labels below.


As before, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice.

The "Curated Writerly Gifts" this month included a box of mint and lavendar loose leaf tea from Royal Treatmint, a small blue hardback binder full of various size sticky notes and a cover with the words Write On, a book light, and a decorative card with text from THE GREAT GATSBY (which I'm currently teaching).


This months new release novel is THE FIRST GIRL CHILD by Amy Harmon - a New York Times Bestselling Author. I mentioned last months book did not come with an autograph plate as the previous books had. That's because it had already been stamped inside as this months is as well.

As usual, there is an inside look at the publishing process for this months author, an exclusive invitation to chat with Adrienne Procaccini, a senior editor for 47North, and the collectible 'Writing Passport' with the author discussing this months theme of STORYTELLING.


This box came with a few bonus items I paid extra to add. I bought some of the earlier passports from before I joined since I was interested in the interviews for that month. I also added a fabric clutch or cover to keep the passports inside.

So, after five months what do I like and dislike about this service:

LIKES:
1) Looking forward to my monthly gift box.
2) Learning about new authors, or books, I didn't know before this service.
3) The invitation to chat with a publishing professional.
4) Some of the extra goodies are cute, or useful.
5) Additional purchases from the store come with free shipping for members.
6) Anything I don't want to use or keep can go to family or students.
7) The two times I've contacted customer service, they've been very prompt and kind in their response.

DISLIKES:
1) I'm not interested in every book I've paid to receive.
2) I don't particularly care for many of the extras as I don't drink coffee/tea, or wear buttons/stickers.
3) I don't always get something out of the chats with the professionals.
4) When I bought additional material from the store, it didn't ship until the following months box so I had to wait more than a month to receive it.
5) I don't always feel I'm getting my money worth.

I'm breaking even on the why I should, or should not, keep this service past another month. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 


To learn more about this monthly box service: https://www.goscribbler.com/

This months book description:


From the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.
Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.
Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.
Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.
What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

5 Myths About Published Authors

1. Writers make a lot of money - yes, it's happened for a special few...Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Nora Roberts... However, the average writer may only make enough for a nice meal or two when they get paid for a single piece.

2. You can only write what you know - If we all only wrote what we knew, then there would be no fiction.

3. You can only write in one genre - hogwash! Many authors have published in various genres. However, you will more than likely discover your strengths, or appeal to readers, may be greater in one genre than others. Never be afraid to try something new. R.L. Stine started out writing comedy!

4. Don't read other writers' work - many believe you'll end up copying them, and lose your own voice. This may happen to some degree for a time, especially when first beginning or fighting the dreaded writers block. However, reading widely is essential to expanding your skills. Studying the craft in a multitude of formats and styles actually aids in honing your skills and finding your TRUE voice.

5. Once you publish, it's easier in the future - it's not unusual for published authors to receive multiple, if not many, rejections between publications. Writing one good piece does not guarantee all future work will be good. Even when you have created a wonderful piece, it's not always easy to find the right publisher for that piece.

My first publication came while I was still in high school. Some manuscripts get published upon first submission - my record for acceptance so far is a matter of minutes after hitting submit. Some pieces receive multiple rejections and/or sit in a drawer for many years before finding a home - my record for this one is 20 YEARS later.

The truth is - nothing is certain. You can't control anything other than your willingness to create. So find your joy, embrace the ride, and learn to be happy regardless of the amount of publication and pay received along the way.

Are there any myths that you want to debunk? Any of them absolutely drive you crazy?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: Writing Surprise

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

AUGUST QUESTION: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

MY ANSWER:  My writing has taken me by surprise several times when I almost felt like someone else (my muse) took over and shared a tale so perfectly that I needed very little revision later. This has only happened a few times and I'm still in awe of those experiences. I think that is why I connected so deeply to Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC (see my previous post). She addresses those experiences and how to deal with their lack of frequency. I highly recommend this book!

I've also been surprised by a few of my readers who contacted me to share their own reactions to my writing. To realize you've created something so powerful to not only yourself, but to others as well, is a truly humbling and magnificent experience. It reminds me how connected we all are, even when caught up in the idea of our own life.

How about you? Have you ever been surprised by your own writing, or someones response to it?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Big Magic and Book Clubs

I've fallen so far behind on my TBR pile. Luckily, this read was definitely worth my time. The "Insecure Writers Support Group" Book Club recommended this one months ago, but the Spring was unbearably hectic for me and I just got to it this summer. I highly recommend it to anyone practicing, thinking about, or struggling with their craft.

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of
 
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.


"A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar

I'm so thankful to the IWSG Book Club for recommending this one. To learn more about them, or to join this amazing and supportive book club, see here.

Are you a fan of Gilbert? Have you read this one? Are you a member of a book club?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July Scribbler Box

I just received my fourth box from Scribbler. You can learn about previous boxes, and why I subscribed by clicking the "Scribbler" link in the labels below.

At first glance, this box seems to have less items than the previous three I received. As before, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice.


The "Curated Writerly Gifts" this month included a koozie claiming It's a Writer Thing, a Dot Grid Notebook, a red and tan tote bag with the word "Write" appearing five subsequent times on it, and a button pin with the command "Save a Writer, Buy a Book."

This months new release novel is THE TWO LILA BENNETTS by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke - the bestselling authors of THE GOOD WIDOW. For some reason there was no autograph plate(s) with this book as there had been with the previous publications.

However, as usual, there was an inside look at the publishing process for this months authors, an exclusive invitation to chat with a publishing professional (Danielle Marshall, Ediorial Director of Lake Union Publishing), and the collectible 'Writing Passport' with the authors discussing this months theme of COLLABORATION.

While I'm enjoying this subscription service, I haven't yet decided if I'll continue it past the next two months. 

This months book description:

“One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read!” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before
Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.
In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.
Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.



To learn more about this monthly box service: https://www.goscribbler.com/

Do you subscribe to any boxing services? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?

Monday, July 22, 2019

6 Authors and Their Literary Stops in Southern California

Known for its abundance of sunshine and movie stars, Southern California has also offered many writers inspiration with its unique environments and colorful array of people.

1) F. Scott Fitzgerald - there are two distinct places that bear his presence. The first is his West Hollywood home at 1443 N. Hayworth Avenue in West Hollywood. More than a decade after publishing The Great Gatsby, "The Great American Novel," Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood hoping a career in screenwriting would bring him the continued success and lavish lifestyle he and Zelda so loved. Unfortunately, he died broke just a couple of years later following another heart attack. The second is Gatsby Books at 5535 E Spring St. in Long Beach. Inspired by Fitzgeralds legacy, this new and used bookstore offers complimentary coffee, a generous selection of Fitzgerald work, frequents readings, and other literary events.

2) Ray Bradbury -  this Los Angeles resident got his start at age 14 writing for George Burns. As if that wasn't impressive enough this scifi author went on to bring the public some of the most memorable tales of the genre. If you're in the area and want to feel close to this beloved author, spend some time in Clifton's Cafeteria at 648 S Broadway in Los Angeles, CA. Bradbury ate many lunches and dinners here. In the 1930s, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society held meetings in their Brown Room, indulging in soul food and discussing weird science. Bradbury continued to visit Clifton's over the years, even celebrated his 89th birthday here. Today, you can visit his booth on the third floor and admire memorabilia that Bradbury's family donated.

3) Steve Martin - his first job was at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Located just two miles from his house Martin started out selling guidebooks, keeping $.02 for every book he sold. He graduated to the Magic Shop on Main Street, where he got his first taste of the gags that would later make his career. He also learned the rope tricks you see in ¡Three Amigos! from a rope wrangler over in Frontierland. Martin later landed his first writing gig for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He began rubbing elbows with and learning from a number of other well known writers including a brief relationship with Hollywood IT girl Eve Babitz.

4) Eve Babitz - notorious for indulging in drugs and romantic conquests (including Jim Morrison, Steve Martin, and Harrison Ford to name just a few) Babitz still resides in Hollywood. Ports (now called Jones)7205 Santa Monica Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA was a favorite hangout for the author who was said to have come in around noon on most days to have food, trade pills with others, and continue on to enjoy the evenings. The Beverly Hills Hotel 9641 Sunset Blvd.; Beverly Hills, CA 90210 was also frequently visited by Babitz with her variety of lovers.

5) Charles Bukowski - born in Germany, Bukowski was about as "L.A." as a writer could get. He's most known as an alcoholic, a misogynist, and a reckless gambling man. However, his work reveals a tenderness, love, and pain not always expressed in his daily life. De Longpre Apartment at 5124 De Longrpre Ave.; Los Angeles, CA is where he lived from 1964 to 1973 "somewhere between alcoholism and madness." It's also wheret he completed seven novels, including Factotum. The Santa Anita Racetrack at 285 Huntington Dr.; Arcadia, CA. Bukowski loved his horses. He was a gambling man, and life at the tracks was a common theme throughout his career. He spent many drunken afternoons at the Santa Anita Park, betting on the horses. His ex-wife Linda has hinted that this may be the reason why the nearby Huntington Library displays some of his original work. The King Eddy at 131 E 5th St.; Los Angeles, CA - he was a regular at countless watering holes reaching beyond L.A.'s city limits. Some of his old haunts included Cole's and the Frolic Room. (He even had a delivery system set up at the Pink Elephant Liquor Storewhen he lived in Los Feliz.) However, Bukowski wasn't always an admired poet who was welcome in bars. It was here, in Skid Row, that he'd plant himself and wash down his troubles with countless beers.

6) Joan Didion - While Didion was raised in Sacramento, she made L.A. her home after kicking her career off at Vogue magazine in New York. From personal essays to novels to political journalism, her writing is as eclectic and extensive as Southern California itself. At the age of 84, she continues to produce noteworthy works while looking back at her success and loss itself. House in Hollywood at 7406 Franklin Ave.; Los Angeles, CA 90046. A friend of Didion's described this area of Hollywood as a "senseless killing neighborhood;" perhaps this was an omen for the nearby Manson murders that were to come. Didion lived here with her late husband, John Dunne, and their daughter while penning The White Album. She lived in a constant state of horror, as reflected in her writing, until she moved up the coast with her family in 1971. The Freeway - seriously. When you live in Southern California, you learn to live with the freeway, to accept your time on it, and it becomes part of your daily landscape. As Carolyn Kellogg stated, "Writers who know Los Angeles... have done some of their best writing about freeways. Think Joan Didion in her novel Play It as It Lays... The rhythm of Los Angeles's roads has seeped into its decentralized heart, into the minds of writers for decades, and you, too, will hear it as your wheels spin and spin and spin." Try driving down the 405 to San Diego, or head northbound on the 101. You'll see that the freeway becomes a character in and of itself.

7) Bonus - interested in a few more modern authors and reads from Southern California? Check out: 
5 Powerful Books by 5 Powerful Southern California Women 
The 10 Contemporary L.A. Writers You Should Know
10 Contemporary Californian Writers to Know
27 Books to Read If You're California Dreamin'

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Apollo 11 Anniversary and the Lunar Library

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first man on the moon. 

What was once an interesting federally funded space race followed by a couple of decades of amazing explorations and discoveries seemed to lag over the last generation. Federal funding minimized and American astronauts have been forced seek a ride with China or Russia to get into space. 

While NASA has never ceased its missions entirely, its focus has been with an eye towards the exploration of Mars. The Orion projects have been slated for crews in the 2020's. 

Privately funded missions to orbit our planet have become more frequent in this century. Great strides have been made both by scientists and businessmen to learn more about what lies beyond our orbit.

In February, Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster with a dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy test flight and became an artificial satellite of the sun. 

More recently, this spring a black hole was discovered at the center of Galaxy M87. Scientists and students worldwide are still reeling from the newest images and seeking to understand the resulting implications.

Yet, with all of these new discoveries, man has not forgotten the first steps to the moon. In fact, new missions to the moon are being planned. 

Perhaps even as a precursor to manned missions to mars, and as a guide for any possible visitors from elsewhere, SpaceIL  Beresheet Lander carried an "Arch Lunar Library". This is the first in a planned series of lunar archives prepared and maintained by the Arch Mission Foundation, a non-profit organization that tasks itself with maintaining a billion-year history of Planet Earth.

The records include millions of images of pages of books. For more details, read the overview of the Lunar LibraryThe article is a bit long, but it’s an interesting read.

In the meantime, you might consider visiting several areas this week in celebration of the 50th anniversary: a NASA location, a Smithsonian, or other history/science museum.

So, if you were going to include a book for the Lunar Library what would it be? Anything that you feel should NOT be included? Are you doing anything to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: Writing Personal Traits

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

JULY QUESTION: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

MY ANSWER: I've included fears, dreams, desires, and struggles I was experiencing at the time. Writing is the best form of catharsis after all.

What personal traits have you included in your writing? 

Friday, June 28, 2019

June Scribbler Box

I just received my third box from Scribbler. You can learn about the April box, and why I subscribed here. Or you can learn about my May box here.

At first glance, I don't love it as much as the second box. Just as before, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice.

The first item after that was a bag of coffee. As I mentioned in April I don't drink coffee, but I do enjoy the smell of it so I will be passing this bag (which smells wonderful) to my husband.

Some other goodies included a coaster that reads "Rise & Write," four different bookmarks with pictures/quotes, and a "Reading Guide" notepad.


This months new release novel is STORM AND FURY by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The description for this one sounds mildly interesting. As usual, there is also 
an autograph plate, a revision letter from an editor, an exclusive invitation to chat with a publishing professional, and a collectible "writing passport" from a bestselling author. 

This months theme was AUTHOR CAREER 
and the revision letter included was from a different novel by this author.

The monthly professional invitation is to chat with Natashya Wilson, executive editor for Inkyard Press. I absolutely love that this subscription service is connecting us to professionals in the field. I had to miss the last two months invitation to the live interaction due to work conflict, but have since caught the recording. I'll let you know how all three have gone soon.

I originally ordered a three month subscription, and I'm not sure about the long haul, but I will subscribe for a few more months to see what quality and variety they offer. To learn more about this service: https://www.goscribbler.com/

Do you subscribe to any boxing services? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Haunted Book Shop

Every summer I make sure to include some kind of literary stop in my vacation. Last week I came across a truly enjoyable find.

The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama was a surprising delight. The original namesake was created in 1941 by Adelaide Marston (later Adelaide Trigg) and Cameron Plummer and named for their favorite book, The Haunted Book Shop, by Christopher Morley. 

The Haunted Bookshop is not a novel of  the supernatural. Rather, the name refers to the ghosts of the past that haunt all libraries and bookstores: "the ghosts of all great literature." - Christopher Morley

The current bookstore’s owner, Angela Trigg, is the granddaughter of Adelaide Trigg and knows that the store is “..haunted by the ghosts of all great literature.”

She’s also been moonlighting as a romance author, writing under the pen name Angela Quarles. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance.



This charming store is full of interesting finds, tidbits, and more. Wall displays offer interesting breakdowns and ties between genre stories, authors, and timelines.




Sticky Notes can be found around the store pointing out interesting information about the plots, cover designs, and more.




Themed rugs adorn each genre section of the store. And a writer's room mimics a dream home office complete with shelves full of books on craft.








To learn more about Trigg and this delightful bookstore, you can visit:  https://thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/

For other ideas on fun Literary Travels:

17 New Orleans French Quarter Literary Hot Spots
26 Days of Literary Scotland
7 Austin, Texas Literary Locations
10 Italian Literary Hot Spots
10 Places You Can Drink Like Your Favorite Writer
10 Reading Venues Worth a Visit
7 Literary Locations to Visit With Kids
5 Writers Homes for Literary Vacations
Poe Museum


How about you? Have you found any great literary spots you would recommend while traveling?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG: Favorite Genre

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

JUNE QUESTION: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

MY ANSWER: I genre hop quite a bit, but the most common element seems to be romance. Whether I'm reading, or writing, I enjoy elements of love. It's the most basic human need, and universal theme, so it makes sense that I would prefer a tale with elements of that emotion - even when it's not an outright romance novel.

For a sample, check out a few of my FREE short stories:

Thankful Every Day
Madame Tooshkas Spell
Masters in Love
Love's New Beginning


Which genre is your favorite to read and write in and why?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May Scribbler Box

I just received my second box from Scribbler, and so far I love it even more than the first box! You can learn about the April box, and why I subscribed here.

This months box was full of interesting, useful, and fun items. Just as before, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a fun writing exercise postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice.

The first surprise was a package of old-fashioned hard candies called "Lemon Drops." I've never had them before, but I absolutely loved the flavor. My husband and I have been devouring them.

Some other goodies included a pin depicting a skull with a pencil in its mouth and the phrase "Write Your Wrongs," a red journal with a battery life symbol and the words "Loading Ideas," and a nonfiction book by Gail Carson Levine called Writer to Writer.

Then were the main reasons I joined this service: a new release novel, a revision letter from an editor, exclusive invitation to chat with a publishing professional, and a collectible "writing passport" from a bestselling author. 

This months theme was CONTEMPORARY, and the selected novel is The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman. This book sounds really good, and I'm anxious to dive in after I complete my current read. The author also included an autograph plate, a pretty blue pencil with the title of her book, and an envelope with a writing project from the books publisher. The revision letter she included was from a different novel which is interesting.

The most exciting item included in this box is the invitation to chat with an Associate Director of Marketing for Berkley at Penguin House. I absolutely love that this subscription service is connecting us to professionals in the field. I had to miss the previous months invitation to the live interaction due to a work conflict, but I plan to access the recording soon. I'll let you know how that goes.

This is only my second box, but I am truly excited about the posibilities offered so far. To learn more about this service: https://www.goscribbler.com/

Do you subscribe to any boxing services? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?