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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Top Writing Blogs

A special "thank-you" to Tiana at 10greatest.com for mentioning my blog in her list of top ten blogs worth visiting. 

She mentioned me, and featured Writing in Wonderland in her list of top business bloggers in her article which can be found here: http://www.10greatest.com/top-writing-blogs/

She also shared links to some other great writers, and created this special badge to share.

It's always great to connect and share common interests with new readers, and other writers. Thanks so much Tiana!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

IWSG Anthology Contest

It's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group Anthology Contest! A special thank-you to the IWSG administrators, organizers, aids, judges, and Dancing Lemur Press for continuing to create these opportunities for our members. Below is the information for this years contest.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead (https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Caswell-Dead-Patricia-Stoltey/dp/1432834401/) (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 

I might have to submit to this one. How about you?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Surprised Writing

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.

SEPTEMBER QUESTION: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?)

My Answer - Yes, two of my favorite published pieces "WIN" (a new genre for me which was published in the IWSG PARALLELS anthology) and "Family of Rejects" (published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot) are both pieces I am particularly proud of producing. I won't talk about unpublished pieces yet.

I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised with some of your own writing!

If you're keeping up with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, you can read my post yesterday, or follow my facebook feed.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Life in Pieces

Hello all -

I'm writing briefly today with a heavy, but hopeful heart. My house sustained only minor external damages. We are back in it with additional family who was not so lucky.

My parents had more than four feet of water in their home and had to be rescued by the Cajun Navy. We were finally able to get back to their house today to start clean up. They've lost nearly everything. They were still some of the lucky ones.

I'm sure by now, you have seen news coverage showing homes with only rooftops sticking out of water. The New York Times listed my town of Bridge City as one of the six most highly effected areas in Texas. Houston isn't even on that list. I've shared the article on my facebook page. This disaster has shown some of the best AND the worst of people.

THE BEST - Even people who have lost most of their own possessions are sharing what little they have with their community. Local people who had no damage have opened their homes, hearts, and wallets to those around them. Local chain restaurants and churches have pulled together to get any food and supplies possible to people who are in need. The perfect examples of southern pride and Christian hospitality are giving thousands someone to lean on.

THE WORST - Federally funded relief organizations are barely helping. They make a big show coming in for the cameras, but then turning away help to many in need. I've seen people with pets, children, or seniors turned away. I've seen restaurant owners and churches with food and supplies turned away from being allowed to help because those federal organizations won't get their federal dollars if they can't prove they are using a set amount of money. I've seen them only allow their evacuees to have 2 bottles of water and an MRE a day while people flying in hot meals are being dragged away from the buildings because they are not federally approved supplies. I have seen people leave the shelter to get supplies from those offering them in the parking lots or down the streets, and then being told they are not allowed back in the shelter because the chose leave it for a hot meal. You can search articles and facebook posts on this. I'm not the only one witnessing it.

PLEASE, if you feel moved to donate - find a local charity or church. Lake Charles, Louisiana has many that are supporting Texas. My own church: http://www.tbclc.org/  is one. If you know certified remediation or construction crews, many in this area will soon need help.

Continued prayers and support will be needed and greatly appreciated for a long time. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Shelter In Brotherly Love

In case you haven't heard, we've taken a pretty bad hit in south Texas this weekend. Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 40 inches of rain in some places, and isn't letting up. While it's no longer at hurricane status, it is still a massive storm stalled over the south and will continue to slam down rain for the rest of the week. This picture shows how they believe it will ride the coast before heading north in a few more days.

My family has been very lucky so far, (we live in the southeast along I10 just before you enter Louisiana) but things are not over yet. My house still has power, and my street is flood free... for the moment. However, one block away is flooded, and there is nothing open in most of the surrounding towns. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no doctors offices, nothing. Schools have already announced they are closed for at least another week.

Our local Wal-Mart opened for a short time this morning to sell what was left on their shelves, but it was sparse. I have to say, while there are always idiots aplenty in this world, for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised at the depth of compassion and support in our area. While I expected to find people in a "Black Friday" sort of frenzy over the last groceries in our area, instead they were nice, asking after each other, and helping people load what they could.

No one cared what your political views were, how you felt about education, historical statues, or art. People are coming together, as they should, to help. My faith in humanity has been somewhat restored.

Continued prayers are appreciated for us as this disaster continues. So many have already lost their homes, and the flooding will continue to rise for at least the next few days.

May you all find and share the compassion and brotherly love we deserve. God Bless!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fiction Fallout and New Goals

Between taking a huge decrease in summer time work, and a larger increase in nonfiction projects previous to that, my fiction writing has been minimal so far this year. Aside from a few small pieces and a "flash fiction challenge" that I gave myself in May, my fiction output this year has taken a nose dive.

This weekend I'll be attempting to jump start my fiction goals by revisiting some old first drafts that have been collecting dust in my drawer, or on my hard drive. I'll be reassessing my goals for the rest of this year, something I do every few months. I hope you do the same. I want to complete several of the unfinished stand alone pieces, continue a series I let grow cold, and try a new genre.

I also want to get back in the habit of visiting with you, my readers and fellow bloggers. I must admit, I took a large break from visiting on social media this year - too much negativity zaps my creativity. However, I think I can safely return to you dear friends. If you'd like a visit, and promise there will be no rants, please leave a comment and link below.

By the way, if you are looking for submission possibilities check out https://writingcareer.com/

How are your WIP's coming along? Are you setting any new goals lately?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vestiges of Summer

As I mentioned previously, we returned from our summer travels two weeks ago - just in time for me to teach a week of writing workshops for our local Girl Scout troop.

Since I don't believe in giving assignments that I myself am not willing to do... I began writing poetry again. We tried a few timed writing exercises. It's been a while since I've written any poetry, so I thought I would share one with you. Here is a first draft  I produced in a 10 minute activity period. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

Pictures are of a few stops along this years travels from southeast Texas to southwest California and back again. You can see more photos on my facebook and instagram pages.

Vestiges of Summer

I travel this path of life
Always looking forward to summer
That scrap of time when I have my girls to myself
Not needing to share them with as many obligations
Enjoying our seasonal journeys across America
Dreaming of the days when our sojourns to different states
Will become explorations of other countries
Only when touring elsewhere
Do we see the true value of home
Discovering other creatures, cultures, and customs
Developing a true moral compass
Dictated by our souls rather than recitation.
New sights, sounds, sensations stir the imagination
Which way should we go?
One day I won’t be there to guide
Wintery shadows come to all
For death, indecision, and pain provide balance
I pray the beauty and love I share is enough
To leave you excited for your own legacy
Inspiring your mastery of voyaging through being.

I'd love to read your thoughts on this poem. Do you enjoy reading and writing poetry?