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

Monday, January 24, 2022

Reading Stack and Twitter Pitch Reminder


I received quite a few books for Christmas - something I'm always excited about. 

Throughout the year I often save books I'm interested in reading to my digital wish list. If a friend or family member wants to get me something for the holiday, my birthday, or some other special occasion, then they know what I want.

This year was no different. While I have already enjoyed a few of the holiday and romance themed reads, this is a picture of the ones I'm working my way through now. I've already read through quite a bit of the INK & PAINT book as well as the TREASURY of DISNEY ANIMATION ART book. I'm looking forward to diving into the other four others soon.

Did you receive any good reads for the holidays? What have been some of your favorites this year?

I'm also working on a few of my writing goals for the year. While I have not spent as much time as I'd like writing this month, I HAVE been writing and even submitted some. One of my new year's goals was to improve my own motivation. This includes editing pieces I have started, and not just abandoning them for new projects once I've made it past the first draft.

I hope you are working on a project you are passionate about as well.


There will be an #IWSGPit on Wednesday the 26th!

If you've never participated in a Twitter Pitch Party, this is your chance. Dozens have signed book contracts as a result - you could be next. Visit the #IWSGPit page for the rules and hashtags - then join the group on the 26th.

How are you doing so far on your 2022 writing and reading goals? Will you be participating in the Twitter Pitch?

Monday, January 17, 2022

2022 Conferences, Workshops, and Literary Festivals

This list mostly focuses on Texas and Louisiana (where I am). However, there are some others listed here for you. Also, keep in mind, many are virtual now, so your own location may not matter. Please let me know if you would like to recommend any others to be added to the list.

Since the pandemic, many events have either been cancelled, or moved to virtual. The list below is what I know of as of today.

First, please let me recommend MASTERCLASS. This is an online set of instructional and motivational videos given by some of the industry's top professionals and gathered together in one location. These are very reasonably priced, and you can read about my personal experiences with it by clicking on the link in the labels below. There are other genres besides just writing that are extremely beneficial and interesting as well. They just added quite a few more options this past month.

Any Time: More than a dozen authors - https://www.masterclass.com/homepage

2/11-13 - Houston Writer's Guild Conference - SCBWI | Winter Conference 2022

3/11-20 - SXSW Film and writers festival in Austin - http://www.sxsw.com/

3/23-27 - New Orleans Literary Festival -  http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/

4/9 - Wimberley Book Festival - http://bookfestival.network/

4/30 - 5/1 - Austin Writer's and Illustrators Conference - https://austin.scbwi.org/events/austin-2022-writers-illustrators-working-conference/

5/28 - Lone Star Book Festival of Seguin, Texas - http://bookfestival.network/

6/24-26 - Austin Agents and Editors Conference - https://writersleague.org/programs/a-e-conference/

9/8-11 - World Mystery Convention will be held in Minneapolis - http://www.bouchercon.com/

10/22-23 - Unconfirmed, so check back: Dallas Writer's Conference - http://dfwcon.org/

10/27- 11/3 - Austin Film Festival -  https://austinfilmfestival.com/

11/5-6 - Austin Book Festival - https://www.texasbookfestival.org/

11/12 - Unconfirmed, so check back: Galveston Island Book Festival - http://galveston.bookfestival.network/index.php/component/users/?view=remind&Itemid=101

11/12-13 - Unconfirmed, so check back: New Orleans Book Festival - https://www.everfest.com/e/new-orleans-book-festival-new-orleans-la

Please feel free to comment with any you would like to see added to this list - even if it's not happening in the USA.  You never know when an opportunity will arise. Right? :-)

Monday, January 10, 2022

IWSG Anthology: First Love and Twitter Pitch

I'm so excited to announce my short story "Paper Faces" will be included in the upcoming IWSG anthology, First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts. 

The genre for this publication is sweet romance with a theme of first love. This is the seventh contest and anthology IWSG has partnered with Dancing Lemur Press to produce. I also had a story in the first anthology they produced together. 

Each anthology has a different genre and theme. Each contest is judged by professionals of the field, usually with a specialization in that genre. These judges pick the top ten stories they enjoyed which are then published in that anthology.

First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts will be published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint, Freedom Fox Press, later this year. Over the next few months, I will share more about my story and the other authors appearing in this book. I hope you will check out their social media pages and offer up a congratulations.

To learn more about this group, the anthologies, or the authors involved in these projects visit https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/ or https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/

There will also be an #IWSGPit this month!

If you've never participated in a Twitter Pitch Party, this is your chance. Dozens have signed book contracts as a result - you could be next. Visit the #IWSGPit page for the rules and hashtags - then join the group on the 26th.

How are you doing so far on your 2022 writing and reading goals? Will you be participating in the Twitter Pitch?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

IWSG: Fears, Regrets, and Celebrations

t’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.

What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

MY ANSWER - Confidence. Sometimes I have faith in myself, but quite often I STILL struggle with this - the confidence to finish a story successfully, to edit appropriately, to submit, to not be a complete fraud. The regret comes when I let the fear, or lack of confidence, keep me from trying. There are days when I overcome my fears, but even after all of these years I can still struggle. Some days I wish I no longer lacked confidence. I wish I had no fear. Then I wonder..."Would I still find joy in completing a new task, obtaining a new publication, trying new things?" Life is a balancing act. I'll take the good with the bad. I'll continue to struggle with confidence and regrets. I'll still celebrate each time I accomplish something new.

How about you? What do you regret the most? Have you been able to overcome it?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year Wishes!

This is a photo from about 2009, or 10. One thing I always loved about my visits to Disney have been the fireworks. The neighborhood I live in now tries to rival this type of show during holidays including Fourth of July, Texas Independence Day, and New Year's. While I always enjoy these shows, at least at Disney I don't have the added concern of a stray firework catching my house on fire. Luckily, this has yet to happen.

A new year means goal setting, rekindling hopes, and a time for wishing and dreaming. This year I hope to be braver, stronger, kinder, healthier, and happier. I pray we all have love, hope, peace, and a fierce determination for accomplishing good. What are you hoping?

I'll see you again on Wednesday for the IWSG post. Love to all - stay safe!

Interested in reading an old New Year poem I wrote in 2011? Check it out here: http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-years-poem.html