Monday, August 7, 2017

The Normal

Our local chapter had an interesting meeting this past Saturday. As I mentioned before, my group, CPRW, won an award for being the top small chapter of RWA for 2017. After the business portion of the meeting, the handful of members who attended RWA's yearly conference gave a recap of the insights into the industry they gathered at the massive gathering of writers, editors, and agents. One of the interesting thing they shared was how smoothly our chapter runs compared to so many others. Each of our members had tales from other groups of how their chapters suffered from infighting and drama. Some groups are considering disbanding because of the dysfunction of their chapter. There is not one hint of that in our group. We won the 'less than 50 members' group award. And we all support and cheer for each other. There's no jealousy or ego-driven rifts in our little family. I would never have imagined other groups weren't like ours.

Tomorrow I'm taking my granddaughter to library for the first time. We're getting her library card and in three weeks we can sign her up for her first reading group. She'll be six months old so it's time. Not that we haven't already bought her dozens of books. Mostly, she wants to eat them at this time, but I'm sure she'd get over that.

"To me there is no picture so beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children; no music so sweet as their clear and ringing laughter."  P.T. Barnum

My publisher put together a Best of  Susan Kelley album for me. I mean an anthology of three of the first books in my space opera romance series. I'm excited to see how this does as it's something new for both of us. I'm really excited that I have enough series to make an anthology with only my work in. Though since this contains 3 full length novels, it's more like an omnibus.

Went with my daughter yesterday to use a great coupon we had for The Gap. Way too many people. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I don't have to do back-to-school shopping. I do miss searching for some cool office supplies. But I really don't need them. I buy a planner once per year and occasionally need more pens or pencils.

I've heard about Game of Thrones being the most pirated show in history but how about the leaks and hacking they have to battle all the time? I watched Les Miserables so I understand stealing because you're starving, but what is with the thieves in this world. I don't understand the mindset that it's okay to take something that belongs to someone else.

I'm looking for a new home for my other fantasy series that I received my rights back for after the small press closed. They had published the first book out of three but only for a few months. So I've narrowed down a few publishers who will look at a book that's been published before. There aren't many of them. Suggestions are appreciated if you know of any.

Are you doing any back-to-school shopping or only bemoaning the crowds like I am? Are you a fan of anthologies? Have you ever been part of a writing group that didn't get along? How old were you the first time you visited a library?







Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: August 2017 Style

The last Wednesday of the summer is upon us. Time for IWSG monthly posting. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, this dedicated groups blogs once a month to help each and share our woes and successes. Find all the participating blogs here.

This optional question this month:
What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

There are certainly more than one. When reading it's difficult to take off my writerly/editing glasses. It really bothers me when I find so many of the things we're told to not do as writers. Adverbs everywhere. Info dumps. Starting with dream sequences. And yet, these authors have big traditional publishing contracts.

In the support side of this blog hop, I've had some frustrating days in the past few months. But I talked with some people like fellow writers, my publisher, and read a few articles. The hard truth is that all writers struggle at times. Even very successful writers struggle. Part of growing as a writer is learning to push through the struggles and keep on writing. Also knowing when to take a break and let your muse call you back to it when you're recharged. I also look at my writing as a job, and sometimes the job doesn't go as smoothly as you'd like but you still go to work. So I'm hard at work on the third book in my current series.

Game of Thrones really wowed us this last episode. Lots happened and the last scene was one of the best of the show. I'm liking Salvation so far though I don't know if it's getting good reviews. Killjoys is okay this year as their story expands into the greater universe. Zoo is one crazy thing after another with some weird things going on though the entire show is pretty weird.

Getting lots of cucumbers and tomatoes from my plants. My refrigerator is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. It's a lot easier to eat healthy in the summer.

Do some pet peeves jump out at you? What summer shows are you really enjoying? Has summer sped by for you like it has for me? Do you grow your own veggies or otherwise enjoy them this time of year?


Monday, July 24, 2017

A Week of Opportunity

Where to begin? This Thursday is #IWSGPit. I hope you've polished and perfected that pitch.
There's an amazing list of participants, agents and editors.

Also, this is the last week to send your submission for the next Insecure Writer's Support Group nonfiction anthology Guide to Writing for Profit. Can't wait to get my hands on that.

C. Lee McKenzie is offering Sliding on the Edge for free:
 Scarred. Scared. Alone. Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past? 

Shawna has spent the first sixteen years of her life in Las Vegas and learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Damaged inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of stranger to call, this troubled , desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known. 

Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baffles Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by Monster, that strange voice inside her head. Kay struggles to keep the ranch going and fears that unless she helps this girl, she could lose her last living family member.

As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their suffering and transcend the past?

Find it on Amazon,   Smashwords,   Kobo,   Barnes and Noble

Michael J. Sullivan, once a guest on IWSG, has a new book release tomorrow. Age of Swords in the second book in his newest series. He's one of my favorite fantasy writers and a nice guy on top of that. If you're looking for a good epic fantasy series to indulge in, try this author.

Tomorrow is also the day my latest, Hunter's Exiled Lady, is available on Amazon. After a frustrating week finding the time to write, I'll be excited to see how this book sells. Sometimes when I get my royalty checks I want to weep.

Wow, does the trailer for the second season of Stranger Things promise another great season. I hope the show avoids a sophomore slump. Salvation, the short season summer show on CBS, is pretty good. Lots of science and intrigue along with interesting, imperfect characters. Zoo gets a little crazier every season, but it's summer so I'll take it.

Do you have your Twitter pitch ready? Know something about promotion you can share with IWSG members? Ready to pick up a free book from C. Lee McKenzie? Did you see the trailer to Stranger Things?








Monday, July 17, 2017

The Game Returns

I suspect a lot of you were glued to your TVs last night to watch the return of Game of Thrones for it's seventh season. It didn't disappoint. Loved the opening scene. Loved Jon and Sansa acting like brother and sister even though they're only cousins. I liked seeing everything coming together and the characters finally being all on the same continent. Things I'm still looking forward to is the meeting of characters like Jon and Daenerys and when can all the Starks please get together. And can Littlefinger finally get what he has coming? And isn't Jon being a wise king so far. And how about Jamie's opinion of the Greyjoy's? Don't we all agree?
"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select the more enjoyable." Lousia May Alcott
Check out this interesting article about authors bullying other authors. I've seen it happen but never knew anyone personally involved. We need to support each other. Anne R. Allen speaks from experience about this. We need to support each other. In light of that, here's a new book from my CPRW friend:
Into the Fire by Vicki Smith
In Olivia Sanders' world, people like her don't survive very long. Special abilities are a threat to the corrupt government and those loyal. Olivia and those with similar abilities struggle to keep their secrets as new laws threaten them daily. Though hiding isn't enough for Olivia. A healer and firestarter, she works with the resistance to ensure the safety of the people of her sector, toiling in an unforgiving world without freedom or hope with the goal that someday they will find both.
Poisoned by someone she should never have trusted, betrayed by her godfather, the former governor, who is using disturbing methods to control the population and grow his army, Olivia is forced to seek help from Luke Jamison, the leader of the resistance. They join forces with his brother, Matt, and Jillian Derrick, a hard-as-nails woman leading a band of "undesirables" to safety.
As conditions in the sector deteriorate and the death toll climbs ever higher, Olivia and Luke, Jillian and Matt, cling to the miracle of found love while facing the horror of a future without each other.


Victoria Smith lives in Central PA with her high school sweetheart and way too many animals. She writes paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian—all with romance, because who doesn’t love a happy ending? She publishes with Liquid Silver Books and Soul Mate Publishing. Visit her at http://vickismith.blogspot.com.


 Books: 
 Twitter - @smith_victoria

"There is no friend as loyal as a book." Earnest Hemingway

Did five hours of cleaning out and packing things for Goodwill. At least two dozen coffee mugs, a dozen wine glasses, and thirty vases. When you have six children, you get a lot of 'best mom' style mugs as they're growing up. Every child bought me a coffee mug or wine glass when they were in college. So yes, I have Penn State, Gettysburg College, Boston University, and University of Pittsburgh. Now they're bringing stuff from work. LOL

Did you enjoy the first episode of Game of Thrones? Have you supported some of your author friends lately? Known anyone to get attacked by author bullies? Do gifts collect in your house? Need a coffee mug? Hardly used.

Monday, July 10, 2017

When Everything is a Chore

So much work to do? It seems I have more chores piling up all the time. Am I busier than I used to be or am I older and just don't get as much done as I'd like to every hour of the day?

A partial list of things I had to do before writing this post: Register a copyright, send a cheery card to a sick friend, update CPRW membership list, do some Twitter and Facebook scheduling(Please follow me if you're not already), direct the boys in some trash removal, and renew my Pennwriters' membership.

Thing I have to do later this week: Have dinner with a friend I haven't seen for months, call and check on an ailing sibling, babysit my granddaughter on two occasions, make a date to have lunch with another friend, keep an eye on the guys doing some work on our pool, and DO SOME ACTUAL WRITING.


I didn't include all the housework things and outdoor chores. I think I'll take a nap now. Though in all serious, I almost never take a nap.

All these things will make the week go faster until next Sunday when Game of Thrones returns. Here's an interesting article about the world of Westeros and why they've never advanced as a society. If their history goes back 10,000 years, shouldn't they be a little more civilized? In the meantime, I have some GoT soundtrack playing in the background while writing this week.

I'm also going to check out two new shows starting this week. Will is a period piece about young William Shakespeare that is on Mondays on TNT. Salvation is a short running series on CBS about an asteroid heading for Earth and the people looking to stop the extinction of all life on Earth.

This article about copyrights came to my attention. I've never known any writers personally who had to go to court to protect their work, but all writers know about piracy. And we've heard stories about famous writers like JK Rowling facing questions.

Do you register your copyrights with the government? Is it money well spent? Are you ready for another disaster show about an asteroid? Why do you think Westeros is stuck in medieval times besides that it makes a good story? Do you take naps during the day?







Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: July 2017 Edition

Wow, we're more than halfway through the year. Where did the time go? And it's the first Wednesday of the month so it's time to share our insecurities and offer encouragement to each other. Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh who started this wonderful group. You can join and receive all the wonderful benefits of being a member. Find other members of the group or sign up here.

What are those benefits? There are too many to name, but lots of people believe in IWSG as proven by IWSG being selected as one of The 101 Best Websites for Writers. Congrats to everyone who put in so much hard work for this to happen.

Don't forget about the #IWSGPit coming up at the end of July. Get your pitch ready.

Today's question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

It's tough to pick just one but I have learned over the years how generous writers are to each other. They help each other. They share advice and give of their time. We may write alone but it's not really a lonely job unless you want it to be.

My latest book is no available on Amazon. This if the first time I've stepped into dystopian territory. The Survivors of the Apocalypse Series is set 300 years after a plague wipes out 99% of humanity. A city of a few thousand is protected by a dome while outside in the wilderness, a small number or people live who were immune to the disease. Now the city people are running out of resources and desperation sets in. Who decides who lives and who dies? Can the outsiders be the secret to finding a Hunter's Exiled Lady opens the trilogy when two outsiders come upon a small group of people exiled from the city. Even if the exiles somehow survive the plague, they must adjust to the dangerous frontier life outside the city walls.
cure?

The little getaway for my husband and I last week was great fun. Until we got home and he discovered he'd been bitten by something, probably a spider. Doctor visits and some harsh antibiotics later and he's on the mend. July 4th was fun at the house. Burgers on the grill and the children playing games. By children I mean my grown children.

Yippee for Killjoys coming back on last week also. I also caught up on Zoo before season 3 started last week. It gets stranger and stranger. Gotta love that. And the countdown is on to the return of Game of Thrones. Yes, the science fiction and fantasy shows are my favorites.

Did you see any good fireworks for the 4th? Is your Twitter pitch ready? Do you enjoy Zoo or Killjoys? Ever have trouble with a bug bite?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hot Reads and Weather

I love the heat and hate winter. I don't enjoy the rain like some people do. But even I think we need some this week. So let it rain, a bit.

I've read some good books in between working on my outline for my next book and finishing up some line edits for the one coming out shortly. Lesser Evils by Joe Flanagan was a great read. The
main character is so human and interesting. The story is suspenseful and very dark, but the ending allows the light to shine through. I will read more by this author.

I have a stack of library books to read but that won't stop me from going to the bookstore today. In other good news, my local library has extended their hours for the summer. I guess that means that donations are up or the county powers-that-be found money in the budget to actually put toward a worthwhile thing.

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. William Shakespeare

Father's Day was great at our house. Two of our boys took their father golfing which they all enjoyed despite the heat. I prepared some of my husband's favorite dishes, corn on the cob, pasta salad, meatball sandwiches, and the other children make time to spend at least part of the day here. My husband is an excellent father and deserves all the love that came his way.

The imprint of the father, remains forever on the life of the child. - Roy Lessin 

I'm polishing up the first page of First Dragon for a workshop we're doing at my next local writer's meeting. We're having three outside professionals come in and they'll evaluate first pages with the writers being anonymous. I also made a short list of fantasy publishers I intend to query that book too. My favorite is closed to submissions until the end of July so I'll probably wait until then.

Wonder Woman was great. Really glad I went to see it. We also rented The Batman Lego movie last week. It wasn't as good as the first Lego movie, but it was okay. My husband wants to rent the second John Wick movie next. I guess I can stand some endless violence and a main character I could care less about for an evening.

I won't be posting next week as my husband and I are going away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Finally. My next post will be for IWSG July version. The optional question for that post is: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Did you see both Lego movies? One better than the other? Summer getaway plans on your agenda? Ever attend a workshop where pages were critiqued in a group situation? Did you learn anything?