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

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG: Reader Responses

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.


MAY QUESTION
Have readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

MY ANSWER - Yes, actually. There have been several times that a reader reached out and compared my writing to another, much better known, author. In all three cases, I had never actually read anything by those authors at the time. I'm not sure whether to feel flattered that I'm compared to authors deemed "great" by others, or feel deflated because my work isn't more original - maybe a bit of both. We all bring our experiences to the writing, and the reading, table. Those experiences are just as unique as the individual, but also as recognizable as so many universal themes. If you enjoy reading and writing, just keep doing so - regardless of what others think and say.

How about you? Have readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dark Matter: Artificial

The newest Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology publication releases next week. Be sure to order your copy now so you can be among the first to read it.


Discover dark matter’s secrets…


What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Goldim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Amazon.com: Dark Matter: Artificial eBook: Villamor , Stephanie Espinoza, Gallant-King , C.D., Tyler, Tara, Kowalski , Charles , Godim, Olga, Mueller, Elizabeth, Alpert, Mark, Wolmarans, Steph, Mannix, Kim, Bevan, Deniz: Kindle Store


Don't forget to join us for the next posting of the INSECURE WRITER"S SUPPORT GROUP on May 5. You can check out the official blog for more news and updates on the annual anthology competition at Insecure Writer's Support Group (insecurewriterssupportgroup.com)


Have you ever submitted to an anthology? Have you read one of the IWSG publications? Which release was your favorite? 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Shakespeare Day

"National Talk Like Shakespeare Day" is fast approaching. It's observed on April 23, in honor of the author's birthday. To learn more about this celebration, check out the official site at: http://www.talklikeshakespeare.org/

Folger Shakespeare Library also hosts a variety of events, activities, contests, and programs for both kids and adults.

I've previously shared my own interest in Shakespeare in an article with Southern Writer's Magazine. You can check that out here: For the Love of Shakespeare.

For other great reads, Shakespeare fans should check out:

25 Romances for Shakespeare Fans
English, Irish, and Scottish Poetry
All the World's a Stage: Great Drama

Are you a Shakespeare fan? Will you be celebrating? What is your favorite Shakespearean creation?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

2021 National Library Week

It's the end of the annual National Library Week (April 4- 10, 2021) in America. This is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries offer opportunity to all. 

The theme for National Library Week 2020, “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services. During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs. 
This year during National Library Week, we celebrated by showing our appreciation for the many innovative ways libraries, librarians and library workers are continuing to serve their communities during a time of crisis.

Actress, author, and activist Natalie Portman lent her star power to shine a spotlight on our nation’s libraries as the honorary chair of National Library Week 2021. She helped highlight the essential role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in serving their communities, especially during challenging times.


Portman is an Academy Award-winning actress, director, producer, and activist whose credits include “Black Swan,” “Jackie,” and the upcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder.” A lifelong fan of books, she shares the books she’s reading on her Instagram feed, as part of Natalie Portman's Book Club, using the hashtag #whatnatreads. Born in Jerusalem, Israel, she is a graduate of Harvard University, and now lives with her family in Los Angeles. Natalie Portman’s “Fables” is her debut picture book.

- First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
Most writers and readers adore their local libraries, and it's often an included vacation locale. However, many don't realize the full range of services a good library offers. For great examples, check out this article at The Write Life.

Do you celebrate this year? What is your favorite aspect of libraries?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

IWSG: Risky Writing

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.


APRIL QUESTION - 
Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

MY ANSWER - I suppose that depends on what you mean by "risk-taker". I write in a variety of genres and refuse to write something just because I've written in that style before. I've written from a woman's POV, a man's POV, the POV of different races, and ethnic groups, of inanimate objects and more. I suppose that could all be considered risky as I've often been told by editors that I should pick just one genre and POV in which to write in since that is the only way to "make a name for myself". I'm sure that is true to a point, but I prefer to write based on my interests rather than those of someone else.

How about you? Are you a risk-take?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Easter Celebrations, Reading, and Writing

 


I hope you are all able to enjoy some much need time of relaxation, fun, and love this weekend.

Looking for a great Easter read? Check out This Easter Reading List

For a little Easter writing inspiration, check out one of my former posts 4 Easter Inspired Prompts, or this list came across: Easter Journal Prompts.


Do you celebrate Easter? How are you celebrating this season? Have you tried writing anything Easter inspired, or similar to the above prompts? Do you want to share anything that you have felt pulling at your heart lately?

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Serious Series


In case you didn't hear, the amazing Beverly Cleary passed away a few days ago just shy of her 105th birthday. Her Ramona books were one of the earliest series that I enjoyed. The only earlier precursors might be the Mercer Mayer Little Critter books and the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel.

News of her death put me in a nostalgic frame of mind and I started thinking back to all of the book series' I have enjoyed over time, as well as to the ones I still haven't gotten around to reading. I also started thinking about the ones I would highly recommend versus the ones that might be a waste of time.

As a middle and high school student, I enjoyed several different variations or series of Nancy Drew. Then I discovered Christopher Pike and several of his horror series such as the Chain Letter and The Last Vampire before discovering and becoming consumed with R.L. Stine's Fear Street series. Other author series I pored over in those years included L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle and Vampire Diaries as well as the Sweet Dreams romances by multiple authors. 

It would be so very difficult to pick the best book series ever written. You could argue genre, timing, in-depth creation of worlds, redefining characters, the number of generations who have enjoyed it, and so much more. Finding a new series to fall in love with has led to an all weekend binge for me in several cases. Some of the more popular series that I have enjoyed included Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, and more. Here are a few I've missed, but hope to try soon:

1.) The Brigid Quinn Series by Becky Masterman - the story of an FBI agent tracking down a notorious killer who murdered her colleague, this four-part crime series as been highly recommended to me.

2.) The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - this fantasy series includes 16 books showcasing vampires, demons, and magic.

3.) Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan - this series based on Greek mythology has been in my TBR pile for a while. Students have often claimed the series is funny, and full of heroes, love, adventure, and characters I will never forget.

4.) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - while I did read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a young girl, I never picked up any of the other books in the series. It might be time for a revisit.

5.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - I was visiting Scotland when they first began filming the television series version. I watched a few, but I didn't care for them. However, as is usually the case, I have been informed the books are so much better and the series did not stay faithful to them.

There are so many more series that I have enjoyed, and many more that I have yet to try - more than I wish to cover in this one blog post.

How about you? What was your first series? What is your favorite? Do you have one to recommend as a "must read" or even as a "must avoid" series?