Thursday, April 8, 2021

IWSG April 2021 - Risky Business

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for April.



Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
 are: 

 PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia,
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you



My insecurity for this month is that my office is not unpacked yet. I love my new house, but I miss writing.

And, no, I am not a risk taker. The only risk I've taken on lately is a mortgage. LOL



Wish me luck.



IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG - February 2021

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for February.



Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
 are: 

Louise - Fundy Blue , 
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


February 3rd question: Blogging is often more than sharing stories. It's often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Heck yeah! Although one of my longest-running friendships came first, before the blogging. I met Carrie Butler on a writer's site when I was looking for a CP. Being a marketing major, she drop-kicked me into nudged me to start blogging right before one of Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building campaigns. That grew my following fast. 

Since then, I've made lots of friends in the writing world. Some have come to be very dear--people I correspond with often, while others are professional acquaintances for whom I share a bit or promo or catch up with occasionally. Regardless, I'm a better person for every writer friend I've met. 

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Note: I will probably skip the next IWSG. I'm in the process of buying a new house, and the window for closing and moving is currently predicted to be early March.

Thanks for visiting!


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG - January 2021

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for January.



Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
 are: 

Ronel Janse van Vuuren ,
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


Aren't you glad it's FINALLY 2021?
I am. 
Here's hoping for a better year.

January 6 question - Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

Oh my. I almost decided to skip this month's optional question. I'm not sure you will want me to answer. My comments might stir up insecurities rather than calm them.

Keep in mind that I freelance as an editor. What makes me good at that makes me a picky reader.

Melissa's Naughty List

The #1 thing that will make me put a book down is poor editing. If I feel like I need to take a red pen to a novel, it ruins the enjoyment for me.

Anachronistic language in a historical novel. If your 19th century characters go out for some 'retail therapy,' I won't be a happy reader.

Historical characters who behave inappropriately for the period (as if it's 1990 instead of 1890). I don't mind characters who are a bit ahead of their time in their opinions, but I expect them to observe the social mores of the setting year. 

Stilted dialogue.

Weak or implausible motives. Implausible behavior. 

Boring openings. Disappointing endings.

POV errors. Not establishing POV in the first couple of lines of a new chapter or scene. Not setting up a new scene so that the reader is oriented to who, where, and what. 

Poorly crafted prose (excessive exposition, info dumps, word overuse, etc.). I like tight writing that reads smoothly.

Insta-love. Romance novels in which the MCs' relationship is based on sex. Physical attraction might cause them to notice one another, but give me more.

Characters whose emotions feel inappropriate or excessive OR characters who come across as flat / deadpan because there aren't enough emotional cues woven in.

Too much research or historical data inserted into the story. Research should form the skeleton of your book, not the skin. (The amount a book can bear varies by genre.)

Authors who use their book as a soapbox for political or religious views. I don't mind characters being characters, even when they're different from me, but if the author is using them to push an agenda, it turns me off.

Unlikable MCs. They don't have to be entirely lovable from page one, but give me a save-the-cat moment--a glimpse of his or her positive traits to keep me reading.

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I have two announcements - one happy, one sad.

Lisa Buie-Collard has a new book!



Congratulations, Lisa!

###


Now for the sad.

I got word recently that Josephine 'Jo' Wake--avid blogger, bowler, and surrogate grandmother to many of us writers on the blogosphere--passed away. Jo was part of a private goal group with me and several other writers. She was a vital member of our group who kept us on our toes and was always willing to offer a critique whenever one was needed. Our beloved Grandmother Dragon will be very missed.

To honor her memory, we are posting a favorite recipe. 

Dad's Favorite Oatmeal Cookies 

  • 1 cup shortening, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 cup raisins

  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Cream shortening and sugar, then add wet ingredients and mix. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry to wet a little at a time, mixing well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Place by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Don't over-bake.



IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Twitter handle is @TheIWSG 
Hashtag is #IWSG

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

IWSG December

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for December 2020.



Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
are: 

Pat Garcia,
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


December question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?


Yes. Most definitely. During November and December, I usually get less writing done because of the holidays. Although this year has been different. 

I took the pandemic-related advice to do my Christmas shopping early, and I had the carpet cleaned (which forced me to de-clutter). That left me with a clean house and very little to do during the latter half of November. Other than putting up the Christmas tree this week, I won't have much to do in December either.

There are other times of the year, such as tax-prep time and months when I have a lot of continuing education to do for my job, that I find it almost impossible to gain any word-count. 

But sometimes life surprises me. I love it when I set my expectations low because of a busy schedule and then end up having unexpected time to write. :)


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

IWSG November

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for November.


Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
are: 
Jemi Fraser, 
and 

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


November 4 question: 
Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. 

Why do you write what you write?

I read for entertainment and relaxation--to escape this world for a little while.

I write for much the same reason, and because I enjoy being creative. And, okay, who doesn't love a good review. But seriously, I've often referred to writing as my therapy. It truly is.

I lean toward writing historicals and stories with historical elements because I'm drawn to times when life was simpler (though not easy), people didn't expect a handout, and chivalry and honor were things men took very seriously. 

I write romance because I enjoy a good, well, romance, and because I like the assurance of a happy ending. Life has enough downers of its own. With rare exception, I don't enjoy books that leave me feeling depressed.

###

Thank you for visiting.

If you'll allow me a moment of shameless self-promotion, I'd like to mention that October 30th was the third anniversary of FULL DARK: A Benefit Anthology.  It's a collection of suspenseful, creepy tales by me and ten other authors. To celebrate, we've put the ebook on sale for $1.99!
FULL DARK is available for Kindle and Nook

Hurry and grab a copy. Sale ends soon!
100% of proceeds go to the 



IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Friday, October 30, 2020

FULL DARK - 3rd Anniversary

Can you believe it's been three years since 
FULL DARK was published?  I can't. 

Since then, the book has earned several 5-star reviews, gotten a face lift (thank you, Carrie Butler!), and has generated over $200 in donations to the Gary Sinise Foundation. Thank you, readers!

To celebrate, we've put the ebook on sale for $1.99. If you've been wanting to add it to your TBR, now's the time. Encourage anyone who enjoys creepy, suspenseful stories to grab a copy soon!

What happens in the dark will come to light.

Full Dark is a collection of eleven short works with impressive depth and range. Twisted tales of ghosts, villains, and the paranormal await you—mystery, heinous fantasy, and pure suspense. Acclaimed and award-winning authors as well as a few talented newcomers have joined forces to be your guide. Venture into the dark if you dare.

Just A Matter Of Time by Loni Townsend
Forerunner by David Powers King
Taking Care Of You by Carrie Butler
The Apartment by Lisa Buie-Collard
The Caricature by Nick Wilford
Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Seckman
Shadows Falling On Rainbows by Celeste Holloway
Meringue, Murder or Marzipan by Tonja Drecker
Haunted Lake by Michelle Athy
Soul Coin by Laura Rich
Retribution by Melissa Maygrove

FULL DARK is a benefit anthology. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation, an organization that does many wonderful things for our country's active military, its veterans, and the countless first responders who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.

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FULL DARK: A Benefit Anthology is available from these retailers:

Amazon
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/FULL-DARK-Anthology-Melissa-Maygrove-ebook/dp/B076P2BFGF

Barnes & Noble


Hope you have a safe, fun Halloween.
Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG October - Am I really a writer?

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for October 2020.


Alex's awesome co-hosts this month
are: 
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


I decided to join IWSG again and let this take the place of my monthly blog post. The pressure is on to keep up and not get booted from the list! 😛

This month's question is: When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if the latter two, what does that look like?

When I picture a 'working writer,' I imagine someone who works at writing full time. They might be a fiction writer or a member of another profession that requires a lot of writing, such as a technical writer or journalist. Regardless, whether at home or in an office, they write most of every workday as one would work at any other job.

I wish I was a full-time writer, but for now, I must work full time as a nurse, so writing takes a back seat. I pull out my laptop whenever I can and type a few lines or paragraphs, until I have to put it away and wait for my next few hours of free time. 

I view my writing as more than a hobby, and I'm multi-published, so I'm no longer in the 'aspiring' category. I guess you could say I'm a frustrated writer who wishes I could do nursing as a hobby.  😄


Thanks for visiting! If this is your first time here, tell me a little about yourself in the comments.


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

Monday, August 24, 2020

Blogger's Block

I made a commitment to blog at least once a month, but I've been staring at this page for 10 minutes, trying to decide what to post. And that's after thinking about it off an on for days.

I could tell you all that's been happening to me and my family, but that's not what this blog is for. I could complain about not making much progress on my current WIP, but then I'd sound like a broken record.

I WILL take a moment to say how much I hate Blogger's new interface. Why must people fix what isn't broken? And why can't they give us a choice to keep the old design?

Part of my blogging block is due to the fact I'm not visiting other blogs as much as I used to. I had to step back from the writing-blogging world to deal with life's responsibilities, and that has caused me to grow further and further out of touch with what's going on in the literary realm. It's proof, at least, that we bloggers feed off each other when it comes to inspiration.

What kind of content do you like most? Tell me in comments. I need some inspiration.

I also would like to find some blogs to visit. If you know of a blogging writer whose blog you haven't seen me comment on or a newbie who needs followers, please leave a link.