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

Saturday, April 27, 2019

My First Scribbler Box

In early March I wrote about my interest in a subscription box called Scribbler. You can read that post here.

After seeing invitations and videos for dozen of subscription services, this one really caught my attention. This month I decided to take the plunge and subscribe for three months to see if their claim was true.

The website asserts the box will help novelists do the three most important things: stay motivated, improve craft, and connect with writing professionals. Inside each box - curated "writerly" gifts, 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.

I just received my first box and am already excited by the possibilities and the plethora of goodies inside!

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, and the only item I didn't care for, was coffee flavored candy. While many writers love this beverage, I've never cared for the drink. I like the smell, probably since I grew up with it in the house, but I can't stand the flavor. So, I passed these on to my husband who claims they are "okay."

Some other surprises included cute pencils, each with a different day and mission emblazoned on it. One reads "On Mondays I Plot," one that reads "On Tuesdays I Write," one that reads "On Wednesdays I Drink," one that reads "On Thursdays I Edit," and  the final one reads, "On Fridays I Daydream." I also received an inkwell sticker, and a "Voice and POV Map."

Below that were the main reasons I joined this service: 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 VOICE, and the selected novel is Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds. While this is not a book I would have chosen for myself from a shelf, I'm curious to see how this unique idea plays out, as well as what the author can teach about voice.

The most exciting item included in this box is the invitation to chat with an executive editor at Harper Collins Publishers. I absolutely love that this subscription is connecting us to professionals in the field. 

Although this is my first box, and I haven't taken time yet to examine each item, I am excited already about the next shipment. To learn more: https://www.goscribbler.com/

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Shakespearean Fun

In case you haven't heard, today is "National Talk Like Shakespeare Day". 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/

About seven years ago, I shared my own interest in Shakespeare in an article at 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

15 Shakespeare Quotes to Use in Everyday Situations

Are you a Shakespeare fan? Will you be celebrating today? 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

4 Easter Inspired Prompts

1. Imagine you have traveled back in time to witness the Crucifixion and/or the Resurrection. Describe your observations, experiences, and feelings.

2. In His life, Jesus taught many lessons through parables and by example.Thousands follow His example. Create a story in which your main character leads by either a similar or completely opposite approach.

3. Many religious tales include references to miracle. Write a story about a miracle.

4. Signs of Spring and new life are everywhere. Describe something in nature that reminds you of new life, a renewing of hope, or a return to complete happiness.

Do you celebrate Easter? How are you celebrating this season? Have you tried writing anything similar to the above prompts?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

National Library Week

We just wrapped up another "National Library Week" in America.
National Library Week (April 7- 13, 2019) 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 the 2019 National Library Week was "Libraries = Strong Communities," and  Gates Foundation Co-founder Melinda Gates served as 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair. 
Gates  has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Now she will lend her support to advocate for our nation’s libraries as honorary chair of National Library Week. Over the last 20 years, Gates has invested more than $1 billion through her foundation’s Global Libraries initiative to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States.
On April 23, Gates will debut “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment. The candid and inspiring book traces Gates’ awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. It introduces us to Gates’ heroes in the movement toward equality, offers startling data and shares some of the moving conversations she’s had with women all over the world. Gates details the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change, and she provides simple and effective methods that each of us can use to make a difference.
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.

Did you, or your local libraries, celebrate with any special events this year? What is your favorite aspect of libraries?

Monday, April 8, 2019

IWSG: 2019 Anthology Contest Announcement

IWSG is opening for entries sooner and extending the submission timeline this year. It now opens May 1 and closes September 4. 

This year the genre is – Middle Grade Historical – adventure or fantasy. 

They will announce the theme on May 1. 

To learn more, check out: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Don't forget the Masquerade anthology is hitting the shelves on April 30!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Website - IWSG Anthologies

Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary

Print ISBN 9781939844644

eBook ISBN 9781939844651

Print and eBook:

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

IWSG: Writing Wishes

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: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

MY ANSWER: For most of my fiction pieces it would be the the scene or chapter just before the climax. I usually seem to have a lull or awkward scene just before the final showdown. I've heard a lot of writers say their weakest spot happens in the middle, but mine seems to happen maybe 2/3rds into the story. I do have one story that it seems to be the last chapter instead. Perhaps I just need to end this one sooner. I'm not sure what to do about the 2/3rds weak spot. Any suggestions?

If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? When reading, do you notice a particular area where you wish other authors had used a wish for help?