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Showing posts from 2023

IWSG December - If you can't say anything nice...

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for December 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:    C. Lee McKenzie,   JQ Rose,   Jennifer Lane,   and  Jacqui Murray! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you . 💻💻💻💻💻 December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book reviews do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author? This one is complicated. Not only has my perspective changed, but being honest is going to reveal a side of me I'd rather not. I became a voracious reader before I became a writer. I began leaving reviews that praised stories I enjoyed, but I wasn't shy about saying what I didn't like if one didn't meet my expectations. As I learned more about fiction writing - about what authors *should* be doing - my negative reviews turned harsh. Too harsh. When I finally published, that created a huge dilemma. Not on

No NaNo

I am skipping this month's IWSG due to work obligations  (annual skills fair + NICU re-designation, for those in the know - Gah!).  So, I will leave you with a link to a past post about speed writing.  Maybe it will help you NaNoWriMo. Click here to go to >  Speed Writing (Eleventh hour help for all you NaNo people) Thanks for stopping by. :)

IWSG September - AI is the new Murder Hornet

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for October 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Natalie Aguirre,   Kim Lajevardi,   Debs Carey,   Gwen Gardner,   Patricia Josephine,   &  Rebecca Douglass! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 October's question: The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts? I'm still learning about AI and forming an opinion, but I agree.  From what I understand, it is not without significant limitations.  It can't be trusted for accuracy, and asking it the right questions is imperative.  This AI-generated image says it all. "Jesus flipping over tables at the temple." I don't fear AI. Honestly, it seems like a lot of hype over nothing.   I might let it help me brainstorm or outline a story, but I doubt I would ever let AI write a manuscript, especially cons

FREE BOOKS! Stuff Your E-reader

I have big news. HUGE NEWS! Today is STUFF YOUR E-READER day! ( Actually today & the next two days, because the promo broke Amazon last time .) Hundreds of authors have come together for this event.   Over 2,400 books are FREE to anyone who wants them.  Yes, you read that right. 2,400+ books . All books are either romance or have a romantic element. All new! No duplicates! None have EVER been featured in this promo before. There's a large variety of categories and a range of heat levels. The books are also grouped by author type, such as authors with disabilities, in case you wish to show your support. These books are genuinely free , not just free in Kindle Unlimited, so they won't count toward your KU limit. ( Check the price before clicking 'buy,' because glitches happen .) No Kindle? No problem. Many are available from other retailers. (You can also get the Kindle reading app for other devices.) Each book is listed with a brief story description and keywords

IWSG's 12-year Anniversary - Looking Back

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for September 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Sonia Dogra,   J Lenni Dorner,   Pat Garcia,   Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen,   and  Meka James! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 September 6 question: The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you? Goodness! Has it been 12 years? I feel old. You are old, Melissa. I had trouble locating my first IWSG post. But that's probably because I signed up, forgot to post, and got kicked off. Alex was gracious enough to let me try again. Since then, I've left the hop and rejoined, as life and blogging time allowed. I enjoy touching base with my cyber-friends, and I find comfort in knowing other writers struggle with the same things I do. I've also learned a lot over the years. My August 2012 post on the almost- one-year anniversary of IWSG  was one of my funnier ones. Click i

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Editor?

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for August 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:    Kate Larkinsdale,   Diane Burton,   Janet Alcorn,   and  Shannon Lawrence! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 I had planned to skip this month's question, but my answer is short, so I changed my mind. August 2nd question: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay as it was, take it out, or rewrite it?   I don't shy away from strong emotion or vivid descriptions when I write, if it's appropriate for the story. IMHO, novels should evoke strong feelings of all kinds.  On a micro level, I have chosen to redo portions of scenes - usually so I don't go too far for my audience or have extremely dislikeable MC behavior - but I can't recall making any changes on a large scale, such as nixing an entire chapter or story. ### Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Editor? Finding and hi

Happy 4th

I hope you all have a happy, safe holiday. I'll be spending mine with the preemies. To any IWSGers who stop by, sorry I missed you.  See you next month.

IWSG - Never would I ever

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for June 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Patrcia Josephine,   Diedre Knight,   Olga Godim,   J. Lenni Dorner ,   and  Cathrina Constantine! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 First, a quick post-heart-surgery update:  My check-up with the surgeon went well, and I saw my regular cardiologist yesterday. He gave me a clean bill of health, so it's back to work for me.  I told my boss it won't be the walking that gets me (I can walk two miles without stopping), it'll be all the things I have to do with my arms. This whole open heart surgery experience has gone better than I thought it would, except for the pain I still have from doing everyday chores. Ouch. On the writing front:  Once I felt clear-headed enough (read: once I got off the muscle relaxers. LOL), I started writing my next western historical novel in the Forging America series. Some days I feel good about my story. Other

IWSG - What lights your fire?

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for May 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Joylene Nowell Butler,   Ronel Janse van Vuuren,   Meka James,   Diane Burton,   Victoria Marie Lees,   and   M Louise Barbour! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 May 3 question - When you are working on a story, what inspires you? I write historical romance, so I do a lot of research. Some of my best scenes were inspired by non-fiction articles or books I read during the planning and plotting phase. Pictures also inspire me. I'm a visually oriented person, so I often print out images that match my vision of the story's main characters, as well as landscapes of the setting, to help me describe them when I write. I would post a sample, but because they are for my personal use only, I don't limit myself to images that are royalty free. Sorry...not going to risk getting sued over a blog post. What about you? What do you do for inspiration? ❤❤

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

I'm not ready to get back to a full blogging and writing schedule yet, but I wanted to pop in and let my followers know that the heart surgery went well, and I'm home from the hospital. God has blessed me in more ways than I can count. I had changed employers in the recent past and didn't know as much about the facilities, doctors, and coverage, other than it wasn't the hospital system I'd trusted for 20 years, or the doctor I had formed a relationship when the aortic valve problem was discovered.  I was scared, so I asked my pastor to pray for me. Shortly after that prayer, an unexplainable peace came over me. I was certain God was in control of my path, so I chose to turn my worries over to Him. At times, it wasn't easy. No one I worked with had even heard of the hospital they were sending me to, not even my director.  I later learned the facility had only recently been bought. The hospital where a family member had died from malpractice years ago is now a hig

Fixing my broken heart

Some problems have cropped up with my heart. I need a valve replacement, among other things. I'm not a candidate for TAVR, so it'll be open heart surgery. Previous heart surgeries (congenital) are complicating things.  My heart can never do anything plain and straightforward. Oh, no. It's gotta be all fancy. I'll be admitted into the hospital in a couple of weeks for more testing and a heart cath, then two days later, they'll do surgery. Predictions are that I'll stay there a week, followed by two months of recovery at home.  My mom and daughter are coming to take care of me, and short-term disability checks will keep the mortgage paid. I'm very blessed. Now I just have to stay optimistic and not let my nurse brain run amok. I'm plotting my next novel with hopes I can write it while I'm out on leave. If you have room for one more on your list, I'd appreciate your prayers.

IWSG - Spoiler Alert

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for March. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Diedre Knight,   Tonya Drecker,   Bish Denham,   Olga Godim,   and  JQ Rose! Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .   💻💻💻💻💻 March 1st question - Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy? I've had many author envy moments over the years. A couple stand out.  Go ahead. Laugh at me, but I enjoyed the Twilight series. It was what spurred me to write my first novel, just to see if I could do it.  Despite all the criticisms of Meyer's writing, she kept readers reading, and gave science-loving me a moment of envy I will never forget.  This excerpt is from Breaking Dawn , shortly after Bella becomes a vampire, and her senses are enhanced.      Everything was so clear.      Sharp. Defined.      The brilliant light overhead was still blinding-bright, and yet I could plainly see the glowing strands of the filaments

Cowboy Kisses & Hearts

I am over at the  CowboyKisses blog  today with a post that is apropos for national heart month.  Cowboy Kisses on  Facebook

Taking a break

I'm skipping February's IWSG.  See you next month!

IWSG January - WORD

  This is my   Insecure Writers Support Group   post for January 2023. Alex's awesome co-hosts this month  are:  Jemima Pett,   Debs Carey ,   Kim Lajevardi,   Sarah Foster,   Natalie Aguirre,  &   T. Powell Coltrin Please stop by their blogs and say thank you .  💻💻💻💻💻 January 4 question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? What is your word for 2023 & why? There are several, but if I have to choose one, it would be SUCCESS. And not in the way you might think.  Sure, I want to be successful at writing and selling books, but that's only one part.  I want to be successful at other things, too.  I want to stick to my diet and see results.  I want to spend more time with family, and not keep putting it off. I want to get plugged into church, even though my job requires working every other weekend. (Gonna have to think outside the box on that one.) Basically I want to accomplish the tasks