Facebook

06 November 2019

Writing Update & Googling Weird and Wonderful Stuff | IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's optional question is:

"What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. You can find out how I answered the question below.

* * *



Before I dive into this month's question, a bit of a blog and a writing update.

Let's start with the blog.

[Scratches her head and tries to figure out what to say.]

[Head hurting because she scratched it too much, she changes tack.]

Okay, let's start with the writing update. Things have been busy on the writing front. Crazy busy, but also good busy. Crazy is good, right?

I finished book #4 in my cozy mystery series and sent it to beta readers last month. {Cue all the insecurities that come with sharing your work.} I'm hoping to publish it next month if all goes well with the final revisions and my editor. And now NaNoWriMo is upon us and I'm working on book #5. Plus, I've been putting some energy into marketing my prequel novella through newsletter swaps and group promos with the aim of drawing in new readers for my series. And trying to get more reviews for my back list through BookSprout.

Which brings us back to the blogging update.

[Pauses to drink some coffee, then takes a deep breath.]

I've been terrible at blogging lately. And not just posting regularly here on this blog, but also visiting my blogging buddies. I need to do better. I almost didn't post today, but I knew that if I didn't, I'd be missing out on connecting with the wonderful folks I've met in the writing and blogging community.

Okay, enough about that. Let's talk my weird and wonderful (and slightly scary) google search history. Over the past few months, I've searched for various ways to kill people, how to get away with murder, and what knife and gunshot wounds look like. I've also researched various diseases to give to my characters. Odd how my job is to take all of that horrifying stuff and work it into a lighthearted cozy mystery. You wouldn't really think "cozy" and "murder" go together, but somehow they do.

On the weird side of things, my current work in progress features pub trivia contests so I've been googling for weird facts. Did you know that it's illegal to duel with water pistols in Massachusetts? Or that Oscar the Grouch used to be orange?

I'll do my best to visit folks and comment, but it may take me a few days as I need to get some serious NaNoWriMo words written as I'll be distracted for a good chunk of the month while I'm visiting family.

What weird and wonderful things do you google?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

22 October 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Snowbirds


 



Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:
 
1 - Snowbird season is upon us. People are driving down south in their RVs looking to spend the winter in a warmer climate.

2 - It's getting harder to find a parking spot at Walmart these days.

3 - RVs come in all shapes and sizes, just like people.

4 - If you had to describe yourself as an RV/camper, what would you say? Are you more of a travel trailer kind of person? An Airstream? A luxury motohome? A converted van? Or something else?


What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 

 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!




Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

21 October 2019

Dogs & Cats On Boats


Because we don't have a real-life cat or dog aboard our sailboat, I have to get my fix other ways. My Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series features a Japanese bobtail cat named Mrs. Moto and I occasionally blog here about an imaginary cat named Simon, but it's doesn't always hit the spot.

So I do what you'd expect - watch a millions cat and dog videos on YouTube. But I also read other sailing and cruising blogs / sites in order to live vicariously through their boat dogs and cats. I thought I'd share some of those links with you in case you're thinking of having a furbaby live aboard your boat or just enjoy looking at adorable pet pictures.

MJ Sailing

One of my favorite boat cats is Georgie from MJ Sailing. I've kitty sat her a number of times while Matt and Jessica were at Indiantown Marina (you can see some of my pictures HERE.)  Check out their YouTube channel and Facebook page and see if you can spot Georgie walking on her leash in ports of call or hanging out on deck.

The Boat Galley

Carolyn Shearlock not only is a guru when it comes to all things galley-related, she also has an adorable dog named Paz. She has a bunch of great resources for keeping a dog on board including:
 
Dogs on Boats 101
Boat Dog Food
Flying with a Small Dog

Denali Rose

Bill and Donna sail their Nauticat 43 in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. They have two super cute cats - Gus and Elsie - who feature regularly in their blog. Here are a couple of my favorite cat-related posts:

Kitty Mom - check out the cute shark bed
When it Happens - the time Gus fell in the water

Something Wagging this Way

Honey the golden retriever is sailing along the East Coast of the States with her humans. She shares info about dog-friendly places to visit and dog training tips and tricks. There are lots of fun and informative posts including:

Boat Dog: Everyone Should Have One
Taking the Dog for a Walk at Anchor

Bailey Boat Cat

Bailey is a gorgeous Siamese cat who sailed in Europe and even has his own book. I believe Bailey is now a land-lubber, but there is a new canine crew who are equally adorable. Check out their blog and Facebook page and be prepared to say "aww" a lot.


Do you have any dog and cat-related sailing blogs and resources to share? Leave a link in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

16 October 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Archery




Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:
 
1 - I think archery may possibly be the coolest sport in the world.

2 - I'd only be successful at it if they made the target a whole lot bigger. Hitting that tiny bullseye seems tricky.

3 - We were biking when we saw this taking place. We made sure to go the other way. I think it would hurt if a stray arrow hit you.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 

 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!



Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

14 October 2019

Eating Our Way Through A (Non-) Hurricane

When Hurricane Dorian was forecast to be on a collision course with Indiantown, we freaked out a little. What do you do when you freak out? Us? We make hotel reservations and skip town.

Fortunately for us, Dorian didn't come within spitting distance of Indiantown. Unfortunately for us, our reservations were non-refundable. So we ended up spending three nights on the Gulf coast of Florida.

To be honest, we were a bit bored. We didn't really want to leave the room, no doubt in part due to the fact that there was a large bed (yay - no need to squeeze two people onto a small boat-size bed) and a bathroom with a shower! and a toilet! attached directly to our room! Yes, when you live on a boat in a boatyard and have to use communal facilities, these little things are like winning the lottery.

It was hot outside and we've seen most of the Gulf coast before during other travels so we ended up watching a lot of TV, taking naps, and pretty much only leaving the room to go in search of food.

Want to see what we ate? Of course you do. Why wouldn't you? This will be the perfect distraction for your Monday morning. Just make sure you eat breakfast first or else you'll end up with some serious hunger pangs.

Isn't this adorable? I might have screamed a little when I saw it and made Scott turn around to go check it out. We actually didn't buy any ice cream. Are you impressed? Are you in awe of our will power? Don't be. They weren't open. We did drive-through McDonalds later for hot fudge sundaes. So all was not lost.


We love Greek food. We rarely get to have Greek food. This makes us sad. So when we saw a Greek restaurant at Fort Meyers Beach, we felt an overwhelming sense of joy. The beer was super cheap too. That helped to our happiness level.


It was pretty cute inside. Almost like we were back in Greece if you ignored the fact that they had American beer on tap.


I could use a manicure. That's what I think when I look at this picture. I also think about how delicious the gyros was.


One night we went out to dinner at the Big Hickory Fishing Nook Marina in Bonita Springs. It was a super cute place.


We barely beat the dinner rush. Turns out it was fish taco night. Very popular with the senior set. I decided to be a contrarian and ordered a cheeseburger instead of fish.


Is there anyone who doesn't like pizza? I don't understand people like that. It's like folks who say they don't like cookies. I'm immediately suspicious of them. We like pizza so much we had it twice at Leoni's in Bonita Springs. Pretty darn tasty. The fact that they give you a free glass or wine or beer doesn't hurt either.


What's your favorite food? When's the last time you ate out? What did you have?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!



Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

12 October 2019

Saturday Spotlight | Author Interview With Charles Suddeth

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday and Wednesday about our travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.


Today, I have an author interview with Charles Suddeth to celebrate the release of his book, Stone Man and the Trail of Tears. Sit back, grab a snack, and find out what Charles has to say about writing, penguins, and cookies.

1 - What inspired you to write this book? 


My great-great grandfather, Bill Pennington was born about 1830 in a Cherokee mountain village, possibly in Kentucky. The family moved north of the Ohio River around the time of the Trail of Tears to a rural area north of Charlestown, Indiana, 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky where a mixture of whites and Meti (French/Shawnee mixed bloods) lived. Many of the Cherokees in eastern Kentucky were chased out during this period.

2 - Do you have any writing rituals? 

I do love my coffee. After coffee, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and clear my mind. My inner self takes control.

3 - What's more important - character or plot? 

I think they are equally important. A fantastic plot will generate great characters. And complex, conflicted characters will get in trouble and generate great plots.

4 - What do you like best about being an author? 


I love writing stories that people cannot stop reading. What do you like the least? I am a humble person. I hate telling editors and readers that my books are a great read. I would rather tell them about my friends’ books.

5 - What's your favorite cookie?
If you don't like cookies, what's wrong with you? Oops, sorry, scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be far more polite - "Why don't you like cookies?"

The one in my hand. I never met a cookie I didn’t like! If pressed, I might mutter about oatmeal raisin cookies. I will answer both ways. I don’t like food that fits in my hand and contain infinite calories.

6 - A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why did he come visit you?



“Que tal, yall?” says penguin. He has come to beg me for oatmeal cookies, but he is out of luck.







7 - What else would you like us to know about you? 


I love learning about DNA research, though I am not an expert. Dinosaur tissue has been discovered, and T-rex may come back to life. I want to write about the resurrected dinosaurs!

Editor's Note: Thanks for participating in the interview, Charles. Oatmeal cookies are a great choice! Too bad the penguin got there too late :)

About Charles

Charles Suddeth has published poetry, picture books, middle reader’s books, young adult thrillers, and adult mysteries in English, Cherokee, and Turkish. He is active with Green River Writers and leads a monthly SCBWI Social. He lives in Louisville and teaches for the Jefferson County Schools. 

You can connect with Charles on his Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr


About Stone Man

After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live.

His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.

Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee warrior? And will they ever find their family?

Print ISBN 9781939844620
Driven to Stone Man’s trail...
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Release date – October 8, 2019

Find Stone Man: And the Trail of Tears at: Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


09 October 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Are They Out There?




Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:
 
1 - I bought a copy of Contact for a dollar at a thrift store last week. It's one of my favorite movies, but I've never read the book. I wonder how much they "Hollywoodized" it? Was Carl Sagan happy with the outcome?

2 - According to this Gallup survey, 60% of Americans think that UFO sightings can be explained by human activity or natural phenomenon. 16% claim that they've personally seen a UFO.

3 - What about you - do you believe in UFOs? Do you believe there's life out there in the universe?

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 

 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!




Get a FREE copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby by signing up for my newsletter HERE.

Or you can buy a copy for 99c/99p at your favorite retailer HERE

Also available in paperback and large print.

This prequel novella is set around twelve years before Murder at the Marina and tells the story of Mollie's roller derby days and how she and Scooter met. Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com