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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!

To the left are my two beautiful daughters, and below is a picture of my oldest child ;-)
We've been celebrating with church and fall festivals, class parties, pumpkin decorating, costume contests/shows, and musical shows (I'm so candied out!). 
Today we will probably be enjoying a popcorn and movie fest in preparation for the haunting fun of tomorrow night with friends and family.

Now that the temperatures are finally dropping a bit, it's more fun planning the outdoor activities. If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a good book, try one of my ten hauntingly good picks here.

Interested in FREE scary books for a Halloween read? Try these!

Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Try these 10-minute literary costume ideas.

How are you celebrating this season?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NaWriMo Challenge Update

As many of you know, I am hosting a challenge and giveaway. NaWriMo: for any style of writing.

I have just added a sixth option to the challenge, and more prizes to be given away. Don't forget to keep leaving comments on each post for more chances to win!

For complete details, please click the image in the sidebar to the right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Submission Opportunities

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Miracles - Everyone has experienced events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment and give them hope for a better future. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did divine intervention have something to do with it? Share your inspirational true stories with us to remind us that each day holds hope and that a miracle can happen at any time. The deadline for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2014: http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans is accepting submissions for its One Act Contest and Fiction Contest. Deadlines are in November and you can win $1,500! Feel free to pass it along to your membership. http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/win-1500-prizes-enter-our-fiction-and-one-act-play-contests

JANE LUMLEY PRIZE http://www.hermeneuticchaosjournal.com/contest.html  NO ENTRY FEE. The Jane Lumley Prize will only be awarded to writers who have not published a full length book. However, they may have published a chapbook, and/or found a home for their works in other literary journals. We also invite unpublished writers to submit their poems for consideration. Deadline November 30, 2014. The winner, selected by our editor, will receive a prize of $300 and will be featured in Issue 6, to be published in January 2015. Publication will also be awarded to the first two semi-finalists. In addition, all the entries will be considered for publication. Each poem should not exceed 2 pages.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Win NaWriMo in Only 9 Days!

Not sure you can commit to the traditional NaNoWriMo challenge? After all, November has many distractions - flu season has begun, Thanksgiving brings swarms of friends and family upon you, and demands on your time are piling up.
But what if you could win the challenge in just 9 days? Check out this article How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days.  That's right - nine days! The author, Ava Jae, shares her tips to completing her work in such a short amount of time. She also offers statistics to show you how she achieved her goal last year. It's worth a look.
If you are still struggling to decide whether or not to compete, perhaps you should try my own challenge and giveaway. Learn more in NaWriMo: My Challenge to ALL Writers, and a Giveaway.
No matter what you choose, it's important to give yourself goals, and have reasonable expectations. Best of luck and HAPPY WRITING!

What are your current writing goals? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

NaWriMo: My Challenge to ALL Writers, and a Giveaway

Every November, thousands of writers from all over the world participate in a month long frenzy known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  The idea is that on November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.  This is meant to be a completed rough draft only, not a finished product.  For more details: http://nanowrimo.org/ 

There are, of course, many advocates for and naysayers speaking against this process. Bestselling authors claim to have discovered their masterpiece during this month.  Some writers claim the whole process is too stressful, and encourages quantity over quality. Agents and editors have mixed feelings because they recognize any challenge that helps a writer produce is helpful, but they also receive an influx of unfinished, and unedited, manuscripts in December.

My problem with this whole process is that the original NaNoWriMo is directed at fiction writers working on a novel. What about everyone else? Yes, in April there is a “Camp NaNoWriMo” that is directed at poets, but why is the “No” still a part of the title?

What if you are working on a nonfiction book? Maybe your passion is short stories. Or, maybe, you want to break into magazine writing.

I have a personal challenge for all writers in November.  We’ll call it NaWriMo (National Writing Month).  The idea is this: pick one of the below challenges for yourself, and leave a comment below letting us know which one you chose.

1)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – FICTION

2)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – NONFICTION

3)      Complete 30 new poems – one a day

4)      Complete 30 articles – one a day

5)      Complete 30 short stories – one a day

6)      Complete 30 blog posts - one a day

7)     Complete a one page illustration for your children's picture book.

8)     Complete a 2 page layout for your graphic novel.

Remember, all of these are meant to be rough drafts. No editing allowed. Allow yourself the freedom to write without your inner critic.

As I mentioned in my last post, this week marks my fourth anniversary of blogging. I wanted to host a giveaway. That giveaway will be based on your participation in my NaWriMo challenge. Between now, and throughout November I will post updates, encouragement, etc. as I participate in this challenge. I would like you to comment and share your thoughts, progress, struggles, encouragement, or any other related ideas. Using Random.org in the first week of December I will choose winners from the comments left on these posts.

You may elect to contribute a prize of your own: books, critiques, guest posts, writing materials, gift cards, etc. If you would like to contribute a prize for the giveaway, please leave a comment, or send me a private message and I will add it to this page with a thank you and a link back to your site.

Prizes so far include Lap Desk, “Just Keep Writing” Journal, LED Book Light, CD’s, and a Plotters Workbook. So start planning your November project. HAPPY WRITING!

Added on 10/28/2014: Journals, bookmarks, book signed by the author, coffee mugs, folders, and bags.

Added on 10/31/2014: An ebook giveaway by Tyrean:

Added on 11/13/14: AND thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, I am adding a few more prizes to my NaWriMo challenge. Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I'll attempt a better one when I'm not so tired. There is a flash drive, another journal, dictionary, thesaurus, hand bookends, notecards with notecard binder, pen with words, coffee mug, green tea packets, candles and candle holders, bookmark, pencil binder, AND a copy of Writing 21st Century Fiction written by Donald Maass.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thank You, Blog Readers

I can hardly believe it has been four years since I began blogging. There have been times I had no idea what to share, and days when I couldn't wait to get to the keyboard. I have learned so much about myself as a writer. I have also made some amazing friends and connections through the blogging community.

If you've been with me since the beginning, thank you. You've seen me grow and gain more confidence - the part you played in helping me develop has been greatly appreciated. If you are new to my blog - welcome. I hope to have some exciting news and opportunities to share with you as we journey through our shared interests.

As a thank you to ALL of my readers, I will soon be hosting a giveaway. My official anniversary is October 19th, and I'm working on some ideas that I will share next week. Until then - thank you, and HAPPY WRITING!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Out of the Storm

Available now as a FREE download, Out of the Storm is a wonderfully written novella.  As always, this author has provided us with lovable characters who reflect a deep relationship with God. I was so engrossed in the story, I completed the whole tale in less than an hour!
Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known--and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her light keeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.
This was bestselling author Jody Hedlund's first novella, and a great preview of her newest Beacons of Hope series which takes place in 1800's amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan. The first book of the series, Love Unexpected will be released December 2, 2014.
Interested in why novellas and short stories have increased in popularity? Wonder why they are such great creations for the authors who write them? Check out Hedlund's newest blog post: The Growing Popularity of Novellas
What short stories and novellas have you read lately? Any title or authors you recommend?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Authors Anonymous

I recently came across this movie, but had not heard of it before. Anyone seen it? Do you recommend?

After a dysfunctional group of unpublished writers with the motto all for one accept Hannah Rinaldi (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) into their fold, the last thing they expect is her overnight success - but that's exactly what they get. While her career takes off, her eccentric and envious colleagues (Chris Klein, Teri Polo, Dylan Walsh, Dennis Farina and Jonathan Bennett) struggle to find their own paths to publishing fame and fortune. Tensions rise, rivalries form, and hearts are broken. Rejection turns to desperation. Good thing they're only armed with pens...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG Submission Deadline

This week is the deadline for submission to the IWSG anthology! Guidelines can be found below, but for more information, please visit: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

This week marks the one year anniversary since the IWSG site and Facebook group opened. The IWSG Team is putting together an eBook that will benefit all writers - The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. We invite all IWSG members, Facebook members, and followers to contribute, whether you are a writer on the journey or a published author.

Here are the details:

The purpose of the book is to assist other writers on the journey, so we are looking for tips and instructions. It can be inspirational in nature as long as you provide a solid benefit.

The three topics will be writing, publishing, and marketing. Please let us know what category your submission falls under.

Each contribution needs to be between 200 and 1000 words. Give us your best tip or procedure. The essay can include bullet points, top ten lists, and recommendations. (Websites, software, books, etc.) We’re trying to keep it simple, so no images.

Please email it directly to the IWSG email or to Alex J. Cavanaugh. Be sure to include: title, topic (writing, publishing, or marketing), a one line bio (with your name, book(s), and blog), and state that you give us permission to use it.

Please use fresh material – no recycled blog posts. (We will only edit for misspellings and grammar mistakes.)  All submissions need to be sent or posted by October 2, 2014.

We will compile them into an eBook and aim for an early December release. The book will be FREE and available for all eReaders.

Thank you for making the IWSG such a huge success!!