Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Quotes of the week

Writers should be read—but neither seen nor heard.
—Daphne Du Maurier

You learn by writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
—Larry Niven

I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries.
—Frank Capra

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.
—Virginia Wool

Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about.
—Natalie Goldberg

Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description.
—William Gibson

I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly
—Edgar Rice Burroughs

Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.
—Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Dedicated Space

I believe that you need to make writing a habit. Part of that is to create a dedicated space where you will do your writing. These spaces will eventually have a Pavlovian association with writing!

Here is my list of requirements of my writing space:
  • It should have a place for my coffee pot and mug.
  • It needs to be comfortable but not so comfy you can fall asleep.
  • Eliminate distractions like TV, Facebook, cats on keyboards.
  • I need a good stereo. I write with music playing quietly.
  • Writers reference books in easy reach.
  • A door that can close.
  • Large bright screen.
  • A keyboard with excellent key action. Pay the money for a better keyboard. 
Here is what I want in my next writers den:
  • A white board wall.
  • Hardwood floors so my chair ROLLS!
  • A printer that is handy. (mine is in another room currently)
  • A window sill cat bed to try and keep him off my keyboard.
  • A mini fridge. (anything to keep me in there)
  • A good speaker phone.
  • Lots of natural light.
None of this will make you write. It allows you to write. I know some people that can't even be at home when they write. They write in libraries or diners or coffee shops. I do this at times, but dedicated space is also awesome if you can pull it off.

--What requirements are in your perfect writers space?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Reading: Altered Carbon

Last week I read Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan.

Here is the description from Amazon:

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .

--I really enjoyed this book. Thumbs up!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Nancy Glynn

Nancy Glynn

Tell me about yourself, Nancy?

Hi there! My name is Nancy Glynn. I live in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, having grown up in the south side of the city. I’ve been married for 21 great years and have 3 cool teens (two boys and a girl). We also have 3 spoiled dogs and a fluffy bunny, so it’s a zoo. I used to be a medical transcriptionist for 17 years until 2014 when I quit to pursue my dream, thanks to my husband’s support (and awesome job in organ donation!). It seems I’ve been writing all my life, but actually just self-published in May 2015 when I buckled down and wrote my first book, Black 21, a supernatural romance, in three months. I’ve always been an avid reader, gobbling up anything from Stephen King to Danielle Steel. When I’m not writing or promoting my work, I’m hanging out with my family, finding great books on Goodreads and making friends, and pinning book scenes for my book boards on Pinterest, which is addictive! And of course reading!

Tell me about your current Book:

When an old face from her past shows up with a letter for her from his dead brother, Erin must decide to open her heart and secluded life to him, or lose him forever.
Eight years ago, Erin Donahue had it all—her own city apartment, a career in photography, and a man who’d do anything for her. But things change. Fate steps in. Now, living in the small town of Destiny, IL, Erin embraces her new life, free of hurting anyone else. She’s all alone, and she likes it like that. Independent, strong…and broken. Until a handsome, divorced rancher drives up her lane and drags her back into a past she wants to forget.

A forbidden crush born long ago…

In Afghanistan, Slade Callahan tucks Erin into his dreams and his heart. Guilt plagues him for wanting her when she isn’t his to want. She belongs to his older brother. But when Erin breaks his brother’s heart, she never realizes she’s breaking two. Honor keeps him from going after her. Discharged from the Marines, Slade moves on with his life and lets her go. Until tragedy strikes. His brother is dead. Found in his car with two letters…one to his wife—and one to Erin.
A letter full of hope and secrets…

Erin and Slade come together, fighting a love that won’t let go. Tormented by guilt, shame, anger, and the need to forgive, walls slowly crumble. Setting off a firestorm of buried passions, they embrace the truth in the stars. But their journey is only beginning when the letter is read. Decisions must be made. Is Erin strong enough to accept herself and trust in this beautiful love, or will she repeat history with another Callahan man?

What are you working on now?

This is a standalone series set in the same small town called Town of Destiny. Each book with have a new couple taking their journey founded on destiny. These stories will have a meant-to-be story line driven by the hands of fate, woven through strange circumstances, and finding the love they were meant to have. I’m working on the second book and hope to have it out by September.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I always write in my bedroom at my desk. I light my pretty-scented candle, sometimes play music for inspiration, and hang the sign on my door that says Writing. I’m not distracted by anything, which helps with deadlines!

What is your favorite Website?

I’d probably say KBoards Writer’s CafĂ©, as I learn so much there about marketing and get inspiration by other authors. We have fun over there! Canva would be my other fun addiction as I like to create banners for my books. Sorry, too hard to say just one!



Images that Inspire

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Quotes of the Week

If your book doesn't keep you up nights writing it, it won't keep anyone up nights reading it.
—James A. Michener

It is impossible to discourage real writers—they don't give a damn what you say, ther're going to write.

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself...I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see
—CS Lewis

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.
—Carol Burnett

But with writers, there's nothing wrong with melancholy. It's an important color in writing.
—Paul McCartney

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
—Erica Jong

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
—W. B. Yeats

Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.
—Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tip Tuesday: Showing

Anyone that has taken a writing class or joined a writers group has heard someone say, "Show, don't tell."

The most often quoted example is, "Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass."

Writers struggle with this, myself included. I have found the easiest way to avoid this issue is to simply be more specific about the scene. The glint of light on broken glass is far more specific. Leading to a better fleshed story.

The trap for beginning writers is that there are lots of different ways to "show don't tell". Some writers will pile on cliches while showing. Some things take too long to show without advancing plot or character.

Showing is different depending on your POV. I like being in a characters head. Using what the character thinks is a good tool. A narrator that speaks directly to the reader can tell as part of show. They way they tell IS part of showing.

Use the senses to show. ALL the senses. "He had coffee and a cookie." should be "He dipped his Oreo in strong, black, coffee as he breathed in the fragrant steam."

All this being said, know the rule, but then do what ever the hell you want. Be true to the voice of your writing. Lots of classic novels tell. Just do it on purpose.

--Just don't bore the reader.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Music as Inspriation

My son loved the band Linkin Park when he was younger. Still does really. I took him to see them in concert a few years ago.

When I was in the early stages of writing The Solstice 31 Saga I watched him screaming these lyrics at the stage when the volume was impressive. His passion for the words made me listen. The words of this song influenced my saga.

If you have read all three of the novels listen to the song and read the lyrics in the vid.

Image Barcus speaking them...

--Plus it's a great addition to your Zombie Killing playlist.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Marcus Kusi

Marcus Kusi

Tell me about yourself, Marcus?

I'm a dedicated husband, passionate father, and love spending time with my family.
Together with my amazing wife, I help newlyweds adjust to married life and inspire married couples to become better husbands and wives.

In addition, I host the First Year Marriage Show podcast and co-authored two best selling marriage books with my wife. Visit me at my website to learn more about me.

Tell me about your current Book:

 When you get married, you must intentionally build a strong foundation for your marriage or else your marriage will become unhealthy. And most likely end in a divorce.

If you want to build a strong foundation for your marriage, but don’t know where to start? Get your copy of First Year of Marriage today. And start building a strong foundation for the lasting and fulfilling marriage you desire. I strongly believe building a strong foundation for your marriage will reduce the chances of your marriage ending in a divorce. So get your copy of this book right now.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I am promoting our book: First Year of Marriage to every newlywed and married couple because of the impact the lessons we share in this book has had on our marriage.
In the future, my wife and I plan on writing our third marriage book for couples.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Our home office.

What is your favorite Website? This is the only blog l read everyday.


Twitter: @marcuskusi

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Quotes of the Week

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
—Albert Einstein

Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.
—Paul Theroux

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
—William Faulkner

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.
—Truman Capote

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
—Richard Bach

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.
—James Michener

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
—Jules Renard

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.
—Frank Herbert

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Titles

I like to pick the titles of my novels out early. That step usually occurs some time during the outlining phase and always before I start writing.

Every now and then you have to break your own rule.

Case in point:

The novel I am writing now was originally titled Proper Darkness.

I heard a quote in a TED talk while I had my ever present notebook. "There is no good lighting that is healthy and for our well being without proper darkness." Roger van der Heide  It's a good title I will save for another project.

I like phrases I hear that strikes a cord. My notebooks are full of potential titles. I was working with a cover designer for my next project and I showed the one I like best to my wife one night and she loved the title, Virtues of the Vicious. When I told her it's origin, an Oscar Wild quote, she immediately demanded that I retitle my current project.

One last tip on renaming titles: Search for your title on Amazon first. You want to be found easily with a search. Have a unique title. Otherwise it will be there a thousand times as a cheesy romance. They take ALL the best titles.

--So my tip for this Tuesday is: Be flexible. A happy wife is better to have than Proper Darkness...


Monday, August 15, 2016

Reading: Fugitive From Asteron

While I was on vacation I read, Fugitive From Asteron by Gen LaGreca.

It's a fast read. I read it in a day, in my hammock, between naps!

Here is the description from Amazon:

In a grim world of tyranny, one man struggles to survive. In a place where life is cheap, he prizes his. Where work is drudgery, he gets the one job he wants. Where passion is extinct, he loves a beautiful woman. Then he loses everything.

Arial is an ace pilot who is imprisoned for sedition by Feran, the brutal ruler of Planet Asteron. The young rebel is pushed to desperation when he’s sentenced to undergo an unbearable punishment.

Feran is about to embark on a vital mission that is shrouded in the highest secrecy. But in a death-defying escape, Arial steals his ruler’s spacecraft, foiling his plans. The ship takes the fugitive on Feran’s pre-programmed course, with a mysterious cargo aboard.

Arial’s life is about to change forever—and with it, the fate of two planets.

During the stormy events that seize his life, Arial is drawn to two women. Reevah is the proud Asteronian whose strong will sets her apart in a society where all must obey. She lives for her stolen moments with Arial. But will her love for him seal her doom?

Kristin is the high-spirited woman of another world who falls in love with the handsome stranger who lands on her planet. But will she discover the secret of his past that will make him her mortal enemy?

This book was given to my by a friend in my writers group because they know I love Scifi and Dystonian novels. This is both. What I didn't know is that it was a Young Adult level.  It has themes about the evils of socialist collectivism and the goodness of free market capitalism.

I think the story would have been better served as a true adult novel. Rate it R and give impact to the sex and violence the was glazed over for the younger audience.

--On to the Next!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Jody Rawley

Jody Rawley

Tell me about yourself.

I worked in television, wrote screenplays (none sold but one was produced), I wrote genre fiction off and on for about twenty years (all Kindle published), then in 2014 I began work on a literary novel. About myself: I am Southern and just like the old anchorman, John Chancellor used to do, I introduce myself as “an out of work newspaperman.”

Tell me about your current Book:

My “current” book is either my Kindle available, published, science fiction survival story, Shackleton Crater, or it is my finished, unpublished, available-upon-request (PDF), African travel novel, Safari Nzuri.

Let’s go with Shackleton Crater, it’s a “hard science,” space book. The inciting incident is when a group of astronauts in Low Earth Orbit commit to an unexpected lunar mission and a damaged thruster crashes four of them on the Moon’s south pole, in Shackleton Crater.

Everyone interested in Apollo history, and everyone who read Sir Ernest Shackleton’s South, you will want to read Shackleton Crater. It’s a mash up that gets the exploration and the historic personalities right. It will also give readers a glimpse into some of the technology we will see in the 2020’s.

What are you working on now?

After the American Civil War, about sixty-thousand dedicated Confederates emigrated to Brazil to re-establish Dixie. A few succeeded. I am working on an epic novelization of some of that history. The book follows two main characters from South Carolina to Texas and New York City and Mexico and Honduras and Cuba and Amazonia and Rio and Americana, Brazil and ends on a road to Paraguay. It is about letting go and embracing, and it gives readers a rare, accurate understanding of the Confederate cause.

What is your favorite Website?

Just one?!



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Quotes of the Week

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.
—Robert Graves

Don’t talk about it; write.
—Ray Bradbury

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
—Albert Einstein

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.

The use of language is all we have to pit against death and silence.
—Joyce Carol Oates

Some books leave us free and some books make us free. 
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Go On Vacation

All work and no play makes Marty a dull boy...

Every now and then you need to break the routine and just go on vacation.

Don't take your laptop along and write all day in a hotel while your family enjoys the beach.

Get away.



Maybe a pencil and paper could be allowed...

PS I'm currently on vacation. I wrote this post weeks ago.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Three Days and Two Knights

This week I read Three Days and Two Knights by Scott Davis Howard.

Here is the description from Amazon:

“Few tales tell of heroes and dragons, knights and giants, magic, miracles, love, a banshee, and the undead . . .” So begins Aelfric the Entertainer, this tale’s invasive, witty, and often philosophical narrator. Set on the moors of Scotland in the waning months of Arthur’s rule, "Three Days and Two Knights" tells how Sir Alanbart, an impoverished and spineless knight; Heather, an indomitable and irresistible serving maid; Scot, a pagan swordsman of questionable intelligence and sexuality, and Sir Gawain, the legendary romantic hero, form an unlikely alliance to free King Arthur from prison. The catch? They have just three days before the blue moon rises, at which time the red wizard Rabordath will use Arthur’s blood to conjure a dragon that will end a kingdom and set all of Britain aflame. "Three Days and Two Knights" features characters, settings, artifacts, and events drawn from medieval myth and history, and will appeal to anyone who loves the middle ages, knights, monsters, magic, or King Arthur, especially those who grew up with "The Lord of the Rings," Percy Jackson, and Cressida Cowell’s "How to Train Your Dragon" series.

I am actually on vacation. I sucked this book down while in my hammock. I took only one break for lunch. I really enjoyed this book. I rarely give 5 star ratings on Amazon because most books I read can be improved in some way. This one is just right as is. It sucked me in and the world around me faded away and I was in the story. I didn't see words on pages, I was there.

I am the perfect audience for this story.

--Well done. Highly recommended.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

On Vacation

I am Time Traveling on vacation. Here is where I will be if you need me...

SCA-WELCOME HOME from Raiya Corsiglia on Vimeo.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Joan Carney

Joan Carney

Tell me about yourself, Joan?

A transplant from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the sunny beaches of Southern California, I enjoy writing stories about women who are strong—whether by nature or circumstance—and the men who love and respect them for who they are.

Things that make me happy are rainy days (too much sun is a bore), writing the perfect first line, family get-togethers, reading books that grab my heart, and finding new connections in my genealogy research. Bold coffee and dark chocolate fuel the artistic fire inspired by my family, friends, and psycho, lizard hunting cat.

Tell me about your current Book:

Burdened with the scars of a tortured childhood and a shattered romance, Kitty is being forced to resign from the dull, anonymous job she’s been hiding behind. With her life in shambles and her friends moving on without her, she jumps at her cousin’s invitation to visit. However, Maggie’s new boyfriend, Simon, has a secret that accidentally hurls the trio a hundred and fifty years into the past. Trapped in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history, the events that unfold will require more mettle than Kitty’s ever had.

Inspired by my own genealogy research, the second half of this HEA story is set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and is written from the viewpoint of a 21st Century woman treating injured soldiers in a primitive 19th Century field hospital. I’ve worked to maintain an accurate account of the names, places and living conditions of the time. I hope you’ll agree.

What are you working on now?

My newest endeavor, “Frosting”, is still in its infancy stages.  Whereas Fated Memories involved time travel and sweet romance, this book is more of a contemporary romance with much steamier scenes and higher stakes. I’m having a blast writing it!  I have my characters profiled, and a general outline of where I want them to go, I just need to get them there.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.

What is your favorite Website?

You can find posts on just about anything on Pinterest. I spend a lot of time there browsing collections of recipes (I love to cook), crochet patterns, and genealogy hints and photos. There are also numerous helpful posts for writers on body language, showing emotional cues, descriptors, etc. It’s been a useful resource when I get stuck or need an inspiration.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quotes of the Week

Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.
—Marlon Brando

One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.
—John Berryman

Do it now—write nothing but what your conviction of its truth inspires you to write.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.
—T.S. Elliot

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Read

This may be the easiest tip of all.

If you want to be a writer. Read. A lot.

You cannot be a decent writer if you don't read.

If you want to become a better writer. Read. A lot. Especially in the genre you want to write.

My goal is to read about 50 books a year at minimum. Last year I read about 100 books. I am on track for that this year as well.

The sad thing is, even at that pace I will never get to read all the books I want before I'm dead.

I always have a paperback at my desk at work for breaks and lunchtime. I have my Kindle at my bedside for reading at night with no lights on. I also always have an audio book going in the car during my commutes.

Need some recommendations? Try these! Click it!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Read: The Rook

This week I read The Rook by Daniel O'Malley.

Here is the description from Amazon:

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

This was an easy fast read. A good one to read at the beach. Amnesia stories are usually not my favorite. This book took a new angle. Plus it's totally whacked.

--Have fun.