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09 September 2019

The Bahamas Is Still Open For Business



I was thinking about what to blog about today and since the devastation that Hurricane Dorian wrought on portions of the Bahamas is very much on my mind, I thought I'd help spread the word that the rest of the Bahamas is still open for business. You can see on the map above which islands were impacted and which weren't.

Many folks are canceling their plans to visit the Bahamas not realizing that only part of this island nation was impacted by the hurricane. The Bahamian economy is very dependent on tourism and keeping that tourism continuing to flow will help them rebuild.

We've cruised throughout the Bahamas on our sailboat, both in the Abacos (marked in red above) and in the southern islands (marked in green). This lovely country is well worth a visit whether you travel by boat or plane. And if you need a little inspiration, check out all of our posts on our Bahamian adventures HERE.)

Have you been to the Bahamas? Where are you planning on taking your next vacation?

07 September 2019

Saturday Spotlight | CassaSeries By Alex J Cavanaugh

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 the pleasure of hosting Alex J. Cavanaugh the author of the Amazon best-selling CassaSeries, as well as the founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'm a big fan of Alex's books and if you like space opera, you'll love them as well!

Have a read below for details on the CassaSeries and how Alex comes up with his character names, as well as a cool giveaway!

Where Did the Character’s Names Come From?

Some people labor over character names. I read posts and comments from writers who struggle to find the right names or have to rename characters. Fortunately, I’ve never struggled with names.

Byron and Bassa came to me with their names in place. So did Athee, who appears in the next two books. Byron’s son was easy – Bassan honored his friend.

As for the rest of the names? I spent a whole thirty minutes per book making them up! That’s right – I just brainstormed unique, alien-sounding names that were also simple to pronounce and wrote them down. (My apologies for Ernx – it’s pronounced Urnks.) From that point, I paired them with the right character.

Yes, that meant that while I was writing each story, there were a lot of blanks in the manuscript. Which made it really fun filling them in later!




CassaDawn
CassaStar Series Prequel
By Alex J Cavanaugh
Genre: SciFi Adventure, Space Opera 

The prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa series!



A pilot in training...

Fighting the odds, Byron is determined to complete Cosbolt training and join the Cassan space fleet. Poised at the top of his class, only one situation holds him back–his inability to work with anyone in the cockpit. Byron’s excellent piloting skills won’t be enough without a good navigator…



**Get it FREE!! **


CassaStar
CassaStar Series Book 1 

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.

Much to Byron’s chagrin the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?


“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal


Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * BAM






CassaFire
CassaStar Series Book 2

From the Amazon best-selling author - CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…







CassaStorm
CassaStar Series Book 3

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries







Get the CassaSeries Boxed Set Here! 




Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the award-winning site, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!



04 September 2019

Hurricane & Writing Update | 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:

"If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?"
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.



I didn't have the time or energy to put together a "proper" IWSG post complete with an appearance from Simon the Time Traveling Cat. The reason has a name - Dorian the Hurricane.

I just asked my hubby when Dorian first came onto our radar as something we needed to be concerned about. He said, "Sometime last year." To be honest, that's what it feels like. In reality, I think it was just last week. When the National Hurricane Center started showing forecasts that had Dorian barrelling straight toward us as a major hurricane, that kind of got our attention. We prepped the boat, bought food, topped up the car with gas, and waited to see what Dorian would do.

Turns out we were fortunate. He bypassed us. Unfortunately, he pummeled the Bahamas. It's been heartbreaking seeing the photos and video showing the aftermath. So many of the places we've spent time cruising on our sailboat are no longer there. There really are no words to describe what I'm feeling and supposedly I'm a writer.

I have three more books planned in my Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series. I'm currently working on the third (Dead in the Dinghy) and once I finish that I need to get started on the fourth (Shooting by the Sea). I had always planned for it to feature a hurricane and the impact that it has on Mollie, Scooter, and their marina friends. Now I'm not sure what I think about that now.

In other writing-related news, I just finished writing a Mollie McGhie prequel novella - Robbery at the Roller Derby. (Yes, Mollie used to be on a roller derby team. That's how she met her hubby.) I'm planning on using it primarily as a reader magnet for newsletter subscribers, although I'll probably also put it up for sale. Love to hear from any of you about your thoughts and experience with reader magnets and building your newsletters.

Where would you like to sit and write your next story or work on your other favorite creative pursuit? Has Dorian impacted you (or forecast to)?

Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.


02 September 2019

Nothing To See Here

I've got nothing for you today because there's been too much going on with hurricane prep, hurricane stress eating, and hurricane conversations around the marina.

At the time of writing (Sunday afternoon), things are up in the air as to what Hurricane Dorian will do. We're still in the cone of uncertainty and are keeping a close eye on things. Hopefully, he turns northward and stays well off-shore. But even if he does, the winds and rains may be pretty damaging here resulting in us losing power and internet.

In the meantime, we wait.


28 August 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Hurricane Prep


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 - It's that time of year again when hurricane season is in full swing in Florida.

2 - Dorian may or may not impact us. Too early to tell.

3 - This year, we're "on the hard" in the workyard at Indiantown Marina. Prepping our boat for a potential hurricane this time around is a lot easier than when we were in the water. The boat is already stripped (canvas and sails are down and there isn't anything on deck), and we don't have to worry about getting fenders, lines, chafe protection etc. sorted. Just some things to secure on the ground and tying our boat down with hurricane straps.

4 - It's all bringing back memories of the last major event we had to deal with - Hurricane Irma.

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!


Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.


19 August 2019

How To Jazz Up Your Life With Zeke {Or Biking The El Rio Trail}

Remember that blog post about sweat? No? Don't worry, here's a recap:
"We went biking. It was hot. There was a lot of sweat. And some lizards."
Ah, but there's more to the story than that. Despite the sweat dripping off my face and my frizzy hair, we had a great time. Here's how it all went down.

We drove to the train station in West Palm. Or, I should say, my hubby drove. I don't like to drive. Except to get ice cream. Then I don't mind driving cause, you know, ice cream.

Neither of us likes to drive in Florida. People are insane here. Double yellow lines? Why let that stop you passing with another car barreling down toward you in the other lane. Speed limit? Totally optional. Bonus points if you tailgate the person in front of you who is driving the speed limit. Turn signals? Those are for sissies. And then there's the traffic. Far more relaxing to take the train then drive.

Speaking of, here's the Tri-Rail train. It runs from West Palm to Miami. It's a pretty boring picture, wouldn't you agree? That's where Zeke comes in. Let's see what magic he can work on it.


This one's so much better. Who knew that they had filters you could put on pictures to change how they look. Okay, everyone knew except me. I'm a little late to the party. Did you know they give filters names, like Zeke? What I want to know is what you have to do to have a filter named after you. When is there going to be an "Ellen" filter? I'm trying to imagine what it would look like. I think there would be sparkles.


Tri-Rail is bike friendly. There are racks in each compartment to stow your ride. I put a filter on this one too, but I can't remember its name. So, I'm going to call it the Gertrude filter. My bike is the one in front. You might recall that I plastered it with Star Wars stickers. They've faded in the sun. That makes me sad.


After a pleasant ride (made even more pleasant by the fact that an all-day ticket on the weekend only costs $5) we got off at Boca Raton and onto the El Rio Trail. Yes, that's another filter. It's called Burlesque. Honestly, I expected more. Like tassels or something.


It's a great trail. Paved and flat. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised by the flatness cause this is Florida after all. No filter this time. I wouldn't want you to become too accustomed to them.


There were some honking huge lizards. If you squint really hard, you can make one out in this photo.


Nah, I was kidding. There's no lizard there. Man, those things can scurry away fast. You'll just have to trust me on the fact that it was there just a few seconds prior.

Okay, time for one more Zeke-enhanced photo. I'll tell you more about this dude next time.


Do you use filters on your photos? What's your favorite one? If there was a filter named after you, what would it look like?

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

Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.


17 August 2019

Saturday Spotlight | Grumpy Old Gods & Author Interview With Juneta Key

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'm featuring an interview with Juneta Key to celebrate the release of Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 2. I'm halfway through this hilarious collection of stories about retired, waning, reborn, and AWOL deities and loving it! It's definitely an anthology well worth checking out, as is the interview below where Juneta shares her thoughts on writing, penguins, and cookies.

Author Interview

1 - What inspired you to write this story?

In order to answer this question, I need to give a little background

This year I and another author engaged in a conversation on a writing forum where we are both members talking about mythology and humorous stories.

We meandered around this topic, and at one point related it to a well-known movie starring Walter Matthew and Jack Lemmon, Grumpy Old Men. We laughed and decided stories about Grumpy Old Gods could be pretty funny and lots of fun to write.

This whole conversation led to us teaming up to create themed anthologies and co-owning Stormdance Publications.

So, to answer your question, this is our second anthology release of Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 2. My inspiration for it came from the title of the book and this photo I found at Pixabay.com. It so cute I couldn’t resist.

2 - Do you have any writing rituals?

Not particularly, but I do like to wear a fedora hat when I write.





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

I think both hold weight in really good stories, but character trumps everything for me. Character generates plot, world elements and the story for me.

I tend to relate best with stories and movies based around a strong main character. I need to care, or I feel I am wasting time.

I want the payoff of some connection, even a good psychological or horror story has character connection when it blows you away.

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

Best: The story payoff. When someone else enjoys something, I wrote and wants more because they get it or relate to it or just makes them happy.

Least: I could say marketing, but I find learning about that interesting. I think it is the internal struggle within myself I like least when words elude me, or refuse to emerge onto the page, because of some emotional angst or situation that is plaguing me in that moment.

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?"

Bought: Keebler Deluxe Fudge Covered Graham & Keebler Coconut Dream Fudge, Carmel and Coconut. (Okay, I admit Oreo’s are right up there too)

Made at Home: All-time favorite, since I was a child, Nestle’s Toll House Chocolate Chip.

6 - A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

“Yo Quiero, Taco Bell. I’m here to replace the little dog.” It is a reboot of the Chihuahua commercial with a twist.

Yeah, one of the best commercials ever. Taco Bell even changed their building design so those commercials really are a step back in time.

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

I write speculative fiction. Love the short story and flash fiction, so write those often as I can. I am working on three paranormal fantasy series and a sci-fantasy space opera.

By April 2020, we will have published seven Grumpy Old Gods anthologies. We decided to make a brand, but we do have plans to do other types of anthologies in the future once we are established at Stormdance Publications.

About Grumpy Old Gods



Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 2

The Grumpy Old Gods are back in this second installment of mythical fun. Join us for 13 new tales of deities that are retired, reborn, waning, or AWOL from their assigned posts as they hilariously navigate life, death, and everything in between. 

 Buy a copy on Amazon or FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited.













Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 1

What happens when gods wane, retire, or just decide they need a change of employment?

13 writers took up the challenge and let their imaginations run wild in this anthology that is nearly-always amusing, somewhat insightful, and completely irreverent as we imagine the gods of yore in retirement.

 Buy a copy on Amazon





About Juneta


Juneta writes SPECULATIVE FICTION. She loves fantasy and all its subgenres, the paranormal, mythological and space opera. She is a huge proponent of flash fiction and the short story. In 2019, She entered into a partnership with another Indie author as co-owner of Stormdance Publications, their mission, to create fun, quality themed anthologies, especially about grumpy old gods. She is one of seven founders of the Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop founded in 2015. She is currently working on three book series projects.



Connect with Juneta at Amazon Author PageWebsite Writer’s Gambit  | Facebook | Twitter | Stormdance Publications Website  | Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop  | Medium Publication Writer’s Gambit

Editor's Note: Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Juneta! Homemade Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies are my favorite too :)

14 August 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Empty Seats



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 - At the beginning of August, we went to see the Minnesota Twins play the Marlins in Miami.

2 - There was hardly anyone there.

3 - The Twins lost. Boo.

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!


Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.

12 August 2019

Random Thoughts About Sweat & Biking In Florida

We went biking on the El Rio bike trail in Boca Raton yesterday. Three things ran through my head while I was pedaling away:

1 - There sure are a lot of lizards in Florida.

2 - Lizards are lucky because they don't sweat.

3 - Sweat above your upper lip is truly annoying.

Yes, I thought a lot about all things sweat-related. Probably because it was a gazillion degrees outside in the shade. It was even hotter in the sun, but I have no idea what number is bigger than a gazillion, so we'll just say it was a gazillion plus degrees.

Now that I'm back inside next to the air conditioning, here's what I want to know - do good things come to those who sweat? At first, I thought the sweating was good. I was shedding calories left and right. I could see them flying off my body as I wiped sweat off of my face.

Then I had a refreshing can of soda pop, which I wouldn't have had if I hadn't been dying from the heat. The calories giggled as they flowed down my throat encased in fizzy cola-flavored carbonated bubbles. "We're back!" they said gleefully.


Here's another question about sweat for you - can you drown in your own sweat?

It sure felt like it yesterday, especially with all that sweat under my upper lip. Does that kind of sweat have it's own name, like "lip sweat"? If it doesn't, it should. But maybe something cuter than "lip sweat."


Maybe it's all about perception when it comes to sweat. Maybe I don't even sweat at all. Maybe I sparkle. Yep, that's it. I sparkle. At least that's what I going to tell myself on our next bike ride.


What about you - do you sweat or do you sparkle? Any idea what the sweat over your upper lip is called? Do you exercise in the sweltering heat?

Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.




10 August 2019

Saturday Spotlight | The 5 W's & Terror On Sunshine Boulevard By JQ Rose

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 the pleasure of hosting J.Q. Rose, the author of Terror on Sunshine Boulevard.



Hello. Thank you, Ellen, for hosting me today. 

Ellen was a guest on my blog, Focused on Story, last month when she was touring with her new release, Poisoned by the Pier.  Click here to read her post. 

The 5 W's in Story
The 5 W's of a story are who, what, where, when and why (and sometimes How is included if it doesn't contain any spoilers.) These important W's make up the skeleton or the bones of a story. This series has been a hit with readers. Click here to read Ellen's earlier blog post on my blog for Murder at the Marina sharing the 5 W's of that story. 

Today I thought I'd take a turn on Ellen's blog to share the 5 W's of one of my mysteries, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, a touch of horror with a lot of humor. Similar to the fun Ellen includes in her Mollie McGhee series about a marina in Florida.


That makes the perfect segue to the WHERE in Terror on Sunshine Boulevard--Instead of a marina, the action takes place at the Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort--a beautiful park filled with manufactured homes, a community center, golf course, tennis, pickleball, horseshoes, bocci ball, heated pool and a club for every interest imaginable.

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
R
escuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed?
Investigating mysterious murders?
These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community
for 
volunteer first responder Jim Hart.
WHO--The main characters are Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds from Michigan, who spend their winters at Citrus Ridge meeting friends and joining in the social activities. 

Jim and Gloria retired after selling their hardware store in Michigan. Jim was a volunteer fireman, so when he moved into the community, he became a volunteer first responder and eventually the co-captain of the Citrus Ridge first responders squad. Because the volunteers live in the park, they are key to saving many lives due to their quick response.

WHEN--Contemporary 

WHAT--The members of the first responder squad are accustomed to being called to seniors' homes for slip and fall accidents or high blood pressure issues, but Jim has never been called to the homes of so many folks dying of unknown causes. 

WHY--So if seniors are dying every day, the question is why? What is killing them? A virus, deadly air quality, bad water, a treacherous mad man? 

Why don't Jim and Gloria head back north and get out of there? (If any of you have endured or are enduring winter storms, icy roads, blizzards, you may understand why Jim and Gloria want to stay in warm, tropical Florida. !!!) 

As co-captain of the squad, Jim is drawn into the police investigations.  Gloria feels responsible for so many of her senior friends who rely on her for assistance. They both know if they went home to Michigan they would only be miserable worrying about their Florida friends and feeling guilty for abandoning their community in crisis Wouldn't you?

HOW-- I can't tell you how the cause of so many deaths are solved. You knew I wouldn't, didn't you? That would ruin the fun of reading Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. 

But, I can tell you my publisher, BWL Publishing, is running a Kindle Countdown now through August 16 so you can get the e-book for a discount. The sooner you order, the more you save.

Click here to download your e-copy at amazon during the countdown.
Click here to order your paperback copy at amazon. 


***
Jingles, a star in the book


BACK OF THE BOOK: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? Not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

About J.Q.
Author J.Q. Rose

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her mysteries published by BWL Publishing are Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, Dangerous Sanctuary, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted, spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q.'s blog, Focused on Story http://www.jqrose.com/

07 August 2019

What Do Tangents Look Like & Do They Wear Monocles? | 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:

"Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you had forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming."
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.


My writing takes me by surprise each and every day. 

Hmm. I just read what I wrote. It's not exactly accurate. In fact, it's a bit of a lie.* Or is it a complete lie? Can you have bits of lies or is any untruth a full-fledged lie?

Sorry, that was a bit of an unwanted insight into how my mind operates. It goes off on wild tangents and sends me down rabbit holes where there aren't any adorable, fluffy rabbits, just more odd tangents.

{Did you ever wonder what a tangent looks like? I always picture them as stocky sort of creatures with three eyes who wear waistcoats. Some of them wear monocles too. Although, I'm not sure how they decide which of their three eyes to put the monocle on.}

Anyway, back to what I was saying. When I'm typing away, whether on a blog post or one of my cozy mysteries, sometimes I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the stuff that flows out of my brain. It's often weird. Sometimes, I find myself smiling because the weirdness is amusing in a sort of Terry Pratchett way. Not that I'm comparing myself to Sir Terence, mind you. I can only aspire to a fraction of his hilarious literary genius one day.

Writers often talk about their muses, that personified force who is the inspiration for their creativity. My muse, Simon the Time Traveling Cat, is constantly surprising me with the stuff he comes up with.** That's gotta be a good thing, right? If he didn't, I imagine that might mean the creative well is dried up. Or do some people have muses which don't surprise them, but still generate lots of interesting ideas?

Yes, I know. More questions than answers. But that's where you come in. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on creative muses.

*Were you wondering what this lie was that I was talking about? Since I don't write every day, my writing doesn't take me by surprise on a daily basis. And why don't I write daily? It's all due to a severe lack of mental discipline and focus. I blame all of those monocle-wearing tangents for distracting me. Do you write daily? How do you do it?

**The regulars among you might be wondering where Simon the Time Traveling Cat is today. One of the tangents dropped his monocle, Simon batted it under the couch and he's spent the whole day there trying to get it back out. When I told him it was time to write this month's IWSG post, he ignored me, hacked up a hairball, then went back to ignoring me.

BREAKING NEWS!

Murder at the Marina is currently a bestseller on Barnes & Noble! 

Talk about your writing surprising you! I know this won't last long (update: the tag has already disappeared), but I'm going to enjoy it while it does. It's on sale for only 99c through August 12th. 

Grab your copy HERE.

 

Does your writing ever surprise you? What's your relationship with your creative muse like?

Want to find out more about my books? Check out my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new releases, sales and promos, and other fun stuff.