Jul 10 2019

Even Negative Feedback Can Be a Positive for a Writer

I entered the 2019 WriteClub contest. I didn’t make it this time. But, for the first time this year, feedback was offered.

Goodie goodie, a chance to learn!

Here are my takeaways.

No writer can ever please every reader. That just isn’t possible.

My story was a YA for adults who read YA, because it’s also a semi-historical fiction. Are the 1990’s historical? You know what’s great about Speculative Fiction? That they can be.

In the space of 496 words, I didn’t write “Hey, it’s the 90’s!” Instead, I alluded to it with references people roughly age 35 to 50 would get as being this setting. (I don’t know the ages of the judges. I’m guessing most weren’t in my target.)

Here are snippets from the feedback. And my thoughts. :

visual of setting

(An ominous setting) wasn’t a good hook. / I LOVED this (opening)!

To be fair, I wasn’t vague in the single sentence. If a reader knew the flora I mentioned, it’s creepy. (See above image.) “Sharp” and “pointy” were the fall-back adjectives I used. Also, the area that all of those could grow is very small. The trouble is that I forgot how few people would be able to paint a picture in their head with names of certain flora. One person loved it, one person hated it.

Where is (the love interest character) other than the MC’s imagination?

There’s absolutely no way anyone would realize this right now, but he was in the scene disguised as an inanimate object. Had I got in, it would have been revealed in a later round.

Left too many unanswered questions.

Previous years of WriteClub are often won by stories that are split up, using the same character and storyline each round. So yes, I very intentionally left unanswered questions to secure the votes of people who are on the fence but would vote with the hope of getting answers. It didn’t work this time. That’s the gamble. No regrets.

What have they done to (deserve a certain punishment if caught)? (x3)

If I had made it in, this question would have been answered in round two. The purpose of the line was to leave the reader wondering about it. And that purpose was accomplished at least three times.

Who is the other “they” person here? He’s only mentioned once.

Yup, another case of something that would be obvious in the next round. No regrets.

Why was a favorite song mentioned? No one knows this band. I don’t like this band.

It’s number 70 of the US top music sales of the 1990s decade, where it went platinum SEVEN times. It was number 1 in Australia in 1997 for a year, where it went platinum TWELVE times. In Canada, it went Diamond.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that a few people know the band and the song.
The song is mentioned for four reasons.

  1. There’s a paragraph based on the lyrics. People in the fandom would have been giddy. No regrets including it.
  2. It locks the story into a certain year without my saying what year it is.
  3. Some people can tell a lot about a person by what their favorite music is. This was a song that wasn’t a hit when it came out, but it just refused to go away, and got more and more popular as time went on. That’s the opposite of how music normally works. For it to be his favorite shows a commitment to a song that not everyone knew immediately, but that most grew to love.
  4. The band is named for a line in a book. (Notice how no one objected to the book reference. It’s an international best-seller from a series with movies, tv, and a Broadway play.) I rewrote a paragraph from the book and included it in the story. I also referenced the book’s main character’s nickname. It’s funny if you know the books.

I didn’t actually include it because it’s my favorite song. It isn’t. I like it, but it’s not my favorite. Thanks for guessing.

spiderman image humor

I know how Happy felt in this Spiderman Far From Home scene.

Loved the (paragraph that is a rewrite of song lyrics). (x3)

Song lyrics were the inspiration for this paragraph. If that song was stuck in your head at this point, it would be glaringly obvious what I had done. Full-on geeking out would have happened. Oh, and three of nine judges loved this paragraph. No regrets.

Why does the MC (only go to school) 38 weeks of the year?

Because that’s how many weeks a year the school is in session and students would live there. That’s a normal amount for where the school is located.

Werewolves & romance.

The main character isn’t actually a werewolf. There are only two clues about this in the story. To be fair, seeing him shift into a wolf would give this impression. But, had the story gone on, it would have been clear he’s more. And that takes the romance to a different place. Also, the main character is a teenage guy who has never been kissed.

Good contrast between the two mentioned settings. (Forest and school)

So grateful for the judges who caught that. It was the goal of the scene to show how this character is torn between the world he belongs in and the world he has to fit into. Which also mirrors his love conflict.

I didn’t understand this paragraph. A CD player and mention of spring break and blackberries?

Really just trying to hammer home that the story is in the late 1990s. The window for someone carrying a portable CD player is really small. And the mention of spring break and blackberries? In conjunction with the other clues, a reader could figure out the WEEK this story is set. Breadcrumbs!


So, to every reference book out there suggesting that readers can figure out settings based on context clues, I present you with proof that no, not really. Not unless they’re deeply invested in trying to do so.
Also, the CD player was from the dad with a note saying sorry SON. The entire point of which was so the reader would know the dad called the main character his son, inferring a male. It was a way to work the gender of the main character in the story. This mattered because I’ve learned people will not assume it’s a gay teen boy unless given a reason to make that guess.

Lots of well-revealed emotions.

Thanks!

I love this ending! This ending feels weak.

Did I mention you can’t please everyone? Two judges loved the ending. One hated it.

Not enough happens.

Fair enough. It wasn’t action heavy. I focused on making readers want to vote in the hopes of getting answers in the next round. Again, no regrets.

Made my top 30 favorites, even though I don’t like this genre.

I see this as a compliment.



I’m grateful for the feedback. Even the negatives felt like positives to me. It wasn’t liked by people who didn’t know about something that was wildly popular at the time the story is set. That sounds about right to me. Mostly, I’m glad that it wasn’t rejected for being a story with a gay main character. (I had entered it elsewhere a year before, and that was the reason it lost that time.)

I took a gamble based on previous wins. It didn’t pay off this time. Still, no regrets. I feel I learned from the feedback and am grateful for it.

Jul 08 2019

Sunday Stealing Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

  1. Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now?
  2. Yes, for the most part, yes.

  3. Do you drink enough water?
  4. Most days, sure.

  5. When was the last time you ate at Burger King?
  6. I don’t know. There was pie.

  7. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
  8. Mountains, usually.

  9. How do you usually feel when you wake up on a morning?
  10. In love.

  11. Would you rather take someone on a date, or be taken on a date?
  12. I don’t know what this means.

  13. When was the last time you wore high heeled shoes?
  14. There was a charity drag show thing about a decade ago.

  15. Vodka or wine?
  16. With what? Suitable pairings are a thing my Snookums goes on about.

  17. How often do you cry?
  18. I don’t count. Monthly, bi monthly, I don’t know. I work with sick children and some of them have an impact and it breaks the heart when they die.

  19. Ever had a crush on a teacher?
  20. Yeah, kind of. But I knew it was mostly admiration.

  21. Can you wire a plug?
  22. I’d have to look up instructions.

  23. Do you wear socks to bed?
  24. No

  25. What is currently bugging you?
  26. A thought I had:

  27. Can you change a car tire?
  28. Yeah.

  29. Have you met more than ten celebrities?
  30. Yeah.

  31. Do you sleep naked?
  32. Sometimes.

  33. What was the best music gig you’ve ever attended?
  34. I’ve been to a few. But there was one in a repurposed ice house that was pretty special.

  35. Have you ever had sexual feelings for anyone you follow on line?
  36. Long ago.

  37. Who is someone who has changed your life positively.
  38. My Snookums.

  39. Favourite city?
  40. Boston is pretty great.

  41. Can you drive?
  42. Yeah.

  43. Cigarettes or alcohol?
  44. Alchohol.

  45. Favourite and least favourite accents?
  46. No opinion.

  47. Did you play Red Rover when you were a child?
  48. No.

  49. Do you like 1980s fashion?
  50. Some of it.


Quote from Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!
This week’s questions were originally from: Questions, Memes, Asks, Etc

Jun 30 2019

Blog All About It – Risk

Blog all about it image

Is it a risk not to use this month’s prompt for a post before June is over? Is it a risk to blog about children in cages? Is it a risk to be a child who follows the adult in charge and then is punished because of it? Is it a risk to the soul to turn a profit as one of the people of the companies that earn money from children in cages? Is it a risk to deny due process to someone who may or may not be a citizen? Is it a risk to break the fire code because you’ve run out of space for the collected humans? Is it a risk to use words that make some humans sound less than human? Is it a risk to anger those who take such actions and who could easily come for you?

Anyone can be made to disappear if someone is willing to risk erasing them.

Jun 29 2019

Goals Check in for June Day 179 of 365

Nearly halfway through the year. Time to check in on my goal progress.

Got Goals Bloghop
https://gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com
#GotGoalsBlogHop

My emotions were heavily taxed this month. But it was a good month overall. I am behind in blog commenting, Sunday Stealing posts, and Photobucket image fixing. Also, I need to devote less of my time to social media and more to writing next month.


SPREADSHEET CHECK-IN

My brilliant A to Z cohost, J R Vincente, made a spreadsheet to track progress for the year.
I’m counting blogging as “social media.”
key 2019 Productivity JLenniDorner image

June image



MAIN LIFE GOALS:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 35 years

BUCKET LIST:

  1. Publish a book and sell 2,000 copies of it in one week or 8,000 copies of it in one month.
  2. Watch a meteor shower while in the Cranberry Lake area of New York or Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. (USA)
  3. Visit Mount Sinai.
  4. Skydive
  5. Learn how to play checkers.
  6. Take a hot-air balloon ride over Maine.
  7. Have dinner at Armando al Pantheon in Rome.

Goal image (NOT an actual screenshot.)


Current Writing Goals

  • Self-publish + Blog the reference book on Writing Book Reviews #BookishResolutions Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Self-publish Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) #BookishResolutions , including writing 60k more words, by August 2020.
  • Write 15k more words of high fantasy short story, and publish it, by Feb 2021 to give the characters more story-space/ page-time.
  • Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story, and publish it, by April 2021 to prove to myself it’s worthwhile.
  • Write 40k more words of the next Existence book, and publish it, by Sept 2022 to share this version of a story that was passed on to me, and hopefully make some money and have a career as a writer as a result.
  • Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book, and publish it, by Sept 2023 to sell books so my RPG time was valuable.

Other important goals:

Enter 2 writing contests this year to get my brand out there.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year for fun and to be a better writer.
Comment on 20 blogs a month to stay connected with my blogging community.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month to support book diversity.
Tweet 2 debut books a month to support debut authors.
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links to make my blog aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug to get out of Twitter follow jail. (Down to following 7880.) 459 to go.

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2019 Resolution:

#NewYearsResolution

  • This year I resolve to publish two books and write at least 25% of the year.




Seven Focus Topics

Posting about these topics monthly will keep my author brand strong:

  1. Lenni Lenape (Native American) — 0 posts
  2. storytelling –1 posts
  3. writing –1 post
  4. legends — 0 posts
  5. characters — 0 posts
  6. urban fantasy/ speculative fiction — 2 posts
  7. read –2 posts




2019 Goals:

  • 12 Blog All About It posts
  • Keep rocking the Debut Author Spotlight at Operation Awesome
  • 91 days of writing is my big #BookishResolutions (others are hashtagged)
    • Update on May 1 Posted!Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    • September 1
  • Take part in NaNoWriMo
    • July Camp #BookishResolutions
    • November 50k words #BookishResolutions
  • Publish two books #BookishResolutions
    1. One: Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two:
  • Be part of 3 blog hops/fests
    1. One: #AtoZChallenge First A to Z Book Tour Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two: #AtoZChallenge TENTH anniversary of the April blogging challenge Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    3. Three:
  • Enter 7 writing contests #BookishResolutions
    1. One: WriteClub 2019 ~ Congratulations to Wendy Cross.aka Sicaria
    2. Two: WEP April
    3. Three: WEP June
    4. Four: SPFBO5 Progress= Qwillery
    5. Five:
    6. Six:
    7. Seven:
  • Add 200 books to the spreadsheet organizing my TBR by page length
    • 419 as of Jan 1
    • 430 as of Feb 23
    • 432 as of Mar 29
    • 441 as of April 30
    • 448 as of May 31
    • 461 as of June 28
  • Complete Reading challenges:

blog all about it challenge 2019 try something new square 2019 book reading challenge all about the trope 2019 book reading challengeCreativity Reading Challenge 2019 Back to the Classics 2019 reading challenge2019 Diversity Reading Challenge #BeatTheBacklist2019 Ravenclaw The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club #IWSG Of Wonderland Book Club #OWBookClub #BeatTheBacklist #amreading #books 2019 #BookishResolutions

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
J. has
read 0 books toward
their goal of
50 books.
hide


EVERY MONTH:




Goals just for July:

  • Read and review 4 books
  • Post results of the #AtoZChallenge after survey
  • Pass or Pages Query Contest at Operation Awesome – Horror Genre!
  • July NaNo camp


Review of Goals just for June:

  • Read and review 4 bookshalf credit because @JLenniDorner accomplished part of this goal
  • WEP Caged Bird Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Post results of the #AtoZChallenge after survey FAIL image because @JLenniDorner FAILED this goal
  • Help with the Pass or Pages Query Contest at Operation AwesomeMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Get ready for July NaNo campMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • New Adult Scavenger HuntMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Vote at WRiTECLUBMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal



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Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!
gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com

Jun 26 2019

#NewASH New Adult Scavenger Hunt July 2019 #Win #Books

NewAsh banner

Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors and a chance to win some awesome prizes! During this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, but you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.

 

***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***

 

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by June 30th, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

 

LET THE HUNT BEGIN!

Please welcome: L. R. W. Lee

https://www.facebook.com/lrwlee/
https://twitter.com/LRWLee
lrwlee.com
https://lrwlee.com/about/

 

“In this gods-versus-mortals fairytale retelling, only sand maiden Alissandra can save the human realm from her father.

Dreamweaver Alissandra’s father, the god of dreams, plans to exploit her human dream charge in a quest to conquer Wake realm. If he gets his way, humans would exist only to do his bidding.

But if Alissandra tries to stop him, she’ll be forced to flee Dream realm…a move that would make her mortal and might even kill her.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Elise Kova, and Amanda Bouchet will love this emotionally driven, addictive paranormal romance series by award-winning author L. R. W. Lee.”

Rock-A-Bye Baby: New Adult Epic Fantasy Paranormal Romance with Young Adult Appeal (The Sand Maiden Book 1)

 

[EXCLUSIVE CONTENT]
Deleted Scene — Get it here:

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/78uckpzaz3


To enter the scavenger hunt, you need to know my lucky book number.
It is a highly composite number, which means that it has more factors than any smaller positive integer.
Here’s a hint from Fractions of Existence:

“What do I do now, Jez? Drive to her house with flowers and some lame teddy bear, and beg for her to forgive me? Do I wait until tomorrow and send twelve dozen red roses? Or am I supposed to just go home?”

“A gross of roses. Nice!”

Did you know twelve dozen is a gross? Did you know that my lucky number for this hunt is 12? Well, you do now!

Add up all the lucky numbers of the authors and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

The Summer NewASH goes live on Wednesday, June 26th at 12 p.m. U.S. EST and comes down Sunday, June 30th at 12 p.m. U.S. EST.

EXTRA GIVEAWAY

Name a character! Leave a comment on this blog post with your choice for the name of a character. One winner will have that name used in an upcoming publication of mine.

Picture it!

Hey, have you read this book? I named a character in it.

Impress your friends. Feel immortal. Honor a loved one.


Leaving a blog comment with the name you’d use for the character is the only mandatory requirement. There are a few bonus options to increase your odds of being picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***CONTINUE THE HUNT***

 

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author. Roll on over to the fabulous M Dalto at https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/blog/!

GOOD LUCK!!

Jun 18 2019

Book Comparisons in Best Sellers in New Adult & College Fantasy

I was checking out the Amazon Best Sellers in New Adult & College Fantasy.

Goal image (NOT an actual screenshot.)

One of my big goals is to get Fractions of Existence on the top ten of this list one day.

By comparison, the top ten books when I looked:

  • Six were about an academy.
  • (There is an academy in the Existence series, but not until book three.)

  • All had characters with magic.
  • (One book has a character with abilities similar to those of the Existence series.)

  • One has a bounty hunter.
  • (Only the antagonists could be considered similar to bounty hunters in the Existence books.)

  • Series book one, the next is up for pre-order: 3
  • (Ohh… one day!)

  • A book in an already published series: 6

Benjamin Ashwood by AC Cobble
This seems like the nearest book to Fractions of Existence. Time to compare!

A simple life until exciting strangers show up — that’s what happens to Wend.
Leaves on an adventure without understanding what’s happening — Wend does that.
More dangerous than ever imagined — that’s an accurate description of Wend’s journey by the end of the book.
Encountering assassins on the journey to myths and legends — Wend’s journey in a nutshell.

More than one character’s life is in danger as the series unfolds — Yup.
“Against the backdrop of warring political, economic, and military factions, Ben and his friends battle a threat to all of mankind.” — Against the backdrop of warring political, economic, and military factions, Xavier and his kind battle a threat to all of mankind.
“Ben’s knowledge and skill grows, but he must decide if he will live under the control of the unscrupulous leaders who rule the land, flee from them, or break them.” — This is very near to what Wend will learn in book two, but going into detail is a spoiler!

Jun 17 2019

The Infinite Pieces of Us #BookReview #Bechdel #WeNeedDiverseBooks #BeatTheBacklist

The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane
4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

Amazon Kindle genres:
#14 in Teen & Young Adult Coming of Age Fiction eBooks
#13 in Teen & Young Adult Romantic Comedy eBooks
#9 in Teen & Young Adult Romantic Comedy

GOODREADS GENRES:
Young Adult
Contemporary
Fiction
Romance

Publication Date: November 1, 2018
#WeNeedDiverseBooks #BeatTheBacklist
Author I Haven’t Previously Read

Quote: “I’m not sure why I ask this guy anything. He keeps canaries in a cage. Everyone knows why the caged bird sings.”
It’s interesting that I should read a book with that passage this month when the #WEP challenge theme is Caged Bird.

This was an enjoyable book to read, though also heartbreaking. I wouldn’t call it a romance book, though there are love-story subplots. It’s more of a contemporary YA with social and religious issues. There’s a good amount of diversity (lesbian, gay, poverty, pregnant teen, psychic, Christian group, and a mentioned character who might be Muslim or Jewish judging by the surname Kahn). It’s interesting how Esther’s emotions and mental dealings are revealed layer by layer. There’s a mystery mixed in. The relationship between the sisters is more vital to the plot than any “romance.” The focus is on the bonds of friendship and healing from emotional trauma.

I’d recommend it to those who enjoy a YA book about ordinary teenagers. Also to anyone researching a debate on teen pregnancy or adoption, and the small town gossip that goes with those choices. Or, if you like math jokes, this book has those! I don’t read much in the contemporary YA genre, but this was a Kindle first-reads. I read it cover to cover because the mystery of what would happen next kept me hooked.

This realistic fiction is somewhat controversial. The story is complex. The author’s voice is a strong one.

I learned about the name of a real place. “Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to “Truth or Consequences”, the title of a popular NBC Radio program.” (Wikipedia, and mentioned in the book.)

“Life is simply better on coffee.” I love that quote and the role coffee plays in the book.

“I’ll feel around for her, touching my belly, and all I’ll find is loose flesh.” This is sort of raw, emotional punch this book delivers.

Esther’s list of fears in Chapter 24 is fantastic. There’s a bit of pop-culture mixed in that not everyone will get.

“And the strangest thing happens in the middle of my happiness — I worry it will all go away.” Wow. That’s such a powerful line to me.

quote

A possible trigger for some people, there’s a portion that questions Christianity and the Bible.

I deeply loved the part about men creating borders, not nature. How the lines are arbitrary, they don’t actually exist outside of the minds of people.

The cover is a setting in the book, something only someone who has read the book could appreciate. The title is a reference to her love of math. It’s a well-edited book.

The universal life lesson seems to be not to underestimate someone, or make assumptions without facts. Everyone has a secret. I could relate to Jesus, so he’s my favorite character in the book. Hannah reminded me of someone I knew long ago, but to say why would be a huge spoiler, so I’ll just say my one-time-friend had the same kind of plot-twist with someone that Hannah did.

Obstacles in the book seem easier for the other characters. So it seems that the real obstacle is the need to cope with something that has been shoved under the rug instead of faced.

It holds up a mirror up to the society of small towns that gossip about teenagers, and to those who pretend life-altering events didn’t happen instead of seeking therapy to help deal with reality. The book also presents the reality of inadequate sexual education and how shaming safe-sex also has consequences. (Interestingly, even if the consequence breaks the heart and mind, it still doesn’t always become a deterrent.)

There are multiple scenes where females characters have conversations that are not about males. There are also scenes where mixed genders don’t hook up with each other, but rather form friendships. #Bechdel

Jun 14 2019

Hogwarts House Sorting Time

I found this Hogwarts House Sorting game on Twitter. https://twitter.com/whosnhi/status/1138862721087094785

Hogwarts House Sorting Time

I’m a Ravenclaw. (Already knew that.)

Here are copies of the blanks, if you want to play along.

Hogwarts House Sorting Time Hogwarts House Sorting Time
Hogwarts House Sorting Time Hogwarts House Sorting Time

Jun 13 2019

Anah’s Plausibility Cage #WEPFF #FlashFiction #WEP #IWSG

I had a tough time deciding what story to share this time. Ultimately, I went with a scene from ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS, the YA speculative fiction I’m working on turning into a novel. I’ve used this character for a WEP entry before.

WEPFF image
WEP Writing Contest link

Scene set up–

Anah and her parents are telepaths. The US Government has declared telepathic powers to be illegal. There’s an agency, the HSMTF, rounding up people. But the government only knows about the lower level telepaths. The levels, referred to by telepath’s as Eve and a number, go up to Eve Nine. There’s a rumor that it could go as high as Eve Ten. Anah’s father is an Eve Four. Her mother is an Eve Six. Anah is an Eve Nine. A telepath is born at whatever Eve number, and that is and will always be the amount of potential the person could unlock.

Anah has an English teacher who is an Eve Two. He’s the only person in her life she’s not related to who is also a telepath. She had one brief fantasy about him while writing a short story in her journal. Her parents worry because that’s an inappropriate age difference, as she’s 15. So her dad arranged for Anah to spend three days with Tyler, an Eve Five cousin, at Lewis University. Her dad believes that Anah just needs to be around more mature boys closer to her age, to see a possible future is only a few years away.

(Lewis University is just outside of Chicago, IL. The Sigma Delta Fratority is, as the name suggests, not gender exclusive. In this story, it is quite popular to this day, and is where Tyler resides.)

Italic words are telepathic communications.

WEPFF Anahs Cage image

Anah’s Plausibility Cage

Tyler throws his baseball toward the ceiling. We watch as gravity returns it. Laying on beanbag chairs, watching gravity work, is this what college is like?

“Do you think Hermione ever believed in the tooth fairy?” Tyler asks as he throws the ball again.

“It wouldn’t be logical, so probably not,” Mark says. His room, across the hall, is covered with Harry Potter paraphernalia. I expect the bronze eagle doorknocker would give me a riddle if I tapped it.

“Yeah, but we don’t start as logical beings, do we? We’re all born in a cage with plausibility for bars.”

I lean closer to Tyler. “You smell like cigarettes and bourbon.”

He stops throwing his ball. “No, I don’t. It’s just how my bodywash smells on me. It smells like wood and citrus on other people. I’m just weird.”

So you don’t smoke or drink? Or you do, but you don’t want Mark to know?

I don’t. And I’m tired of being accused of it. But I hate the smell of other soaps. Ivory makes me sneeze.

“I bet she did believe. I bet she put her teeth under her pillow like any other kid. And her dentist parents came to get them, but got all caught up staring at them. Because, you know, dentists. And she woke up and caught them lying about the tooth fairy. Bam. Plausibility bars shattered. She got out of that cage.” Tyler throws his ball again.

“And then went to a school with magic? How many letters do you think she destroyed?” I ask.

“Faculty delivers letters to muggle-borns. A professor would have shown up and explained everything. Offered proof.” Mark explains as he shakes his can of soda as if more will appear.

“Is that why she read the book on the history of the school? Because she was looking for more proof it was real?” I sit up.

“Probably. Then again, she also really liked to read.” Mark rolls off his beanbag chair, waves, and is gone.

There. You’ve met a guy closer to your own age. You’ve had a philosophical conversation. A future path has been presented.

I stare at Tyler’s ball. Instead of falling back into his hands, it twists around and knocks him on the head.

“Oww.” What was that for?

Mark isn’t like us. True, his thoughts were quite an upgrade from the guys at my school. But he still isn’t like us.

Well excuuuussseeee me. Didn’t know you were exclusively dating in the Eve gene pool. How’s that working out for you?

Tyler rolls on his side so he can stare me down.

Not exactly getting hit with flashes of happy memories over here. Not feeling any waves of butterflies, either. Come on. Share one.

I flip him the finger as I wall off my mind.

“So that’s why my aunt and uncle are worried. It isn’t just that you showed interest in a guy who is too old for you. It’s that you’ve never shown interest in someone appropriately aged for you.”

“Leave me alone. Don’t you have homework or something?” I roll toward the wall and broadcast the It’s a Small World song at top volume from my head.

A pillow muffles my face. It gets dark and hot so fast. The hold is too strong for my hands to break. If I don’t panic, I’ll be able to breathe longer. Right? But it’s so dark. And he’s so strong.

What if it isn’t Tyler with the pillow? What if he left because the song was too loud? I stop playing it.

Tyler?

What if it’s an HSMTF agent? Am I about to be taken?

TYLER! HELP!

The pillow moves. He gets off of me.

“You okay? I just wanted you to stop drowning me out. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I wasn’t scared.” I run my shaking fingers through my hair and wipe the tears from my face. “Your pillow stinks. I thought I was getting cancer from the secondhand cigarette smoke.”

He shoots a death glare at me. Tyler’s mind curses at me for picking at his insecurity. But I feel him filter it. “Funny.”

I lean my head on my knee. “That’s why I haven’t dated. What you just did.”

“The pillow thing?” He tosses it out his door. It lands in Mark’s room. A Dobby toy thanks him for a sock. I laugh.

“No. Where you said funny but, in your head, you were cursing me out. People say polite things, but they don’t mean them. And those unsaid thoughts, especially of the guys in my school, I can’t stand them.”

Tyler slides beside me. “My first girlfriend cheated on me. Well, not really. Just, one day, she started thinking about another guy. I broke up with her before she had a chance to be a cheater.”

“So she might not have cheated? Given enough time?”

He wraps his arm around me. “That’s how it is for us. We don’t know the future. But we have more information than others. I could have waited. She never did get with the guy. But, to me, it was like she had. For you, those thoughts you hear, they might never happen.”

I lean against him. His bodywash is truly awful. I’ll miss the smell when dad picks me up tomorrow.

“The reason I didn’t curse you out verbally, in case you missed it, is because I know you were feeling defensive. I provoked you. You defended. I attacked. You hid. We both know you could take me.”

I giggle. “Me? Take you? Tyler, look at me. I’m the size of one of your legs, and that’s being generous.”

He taps my head. “No. You’re an Eve Nine. You’re the best of us. Break your plausibility cage bars. The wings of your mind will let you soar. No one can defeat you, Anah.”

977 words FCA, please! (This is a scene from a book I plan to indie publish, so I welcome all thoughts, notes, proofreading, everything!)

wep wepff feedback preference chart

Jun 06 2019

Book Review Time #goals #nanowrimo #writetip #ShowingTelling

Ever finish a book about finishing and goal setting… and then fall behind?
It’s been a rough week. Sick friend. Taking care of our niece. Been kind of out of it (am I getting sick?). Anyway, it’s book review time!

Goal humor


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff. 5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner
#BeatTheBacklist (2017), Author I Haven’t Previously Read

Witty, entertaining, inspirational, and easy-to-follow — this is a great book. I didn’t just finish reading it, I actually did all the suggested activities (on my blog, for accountability). I’ve been goal-setting for years. This book has some extra and different approaches. It had me reevaluate and update nearly all of my goals. (Which is why I set the book down a few times — to stop to do the activities. To be an active reader. To commit and make the changes.)

I picked the book up when it was on sale, and I’m glad I did. I’d recommend this to anyone who has goals they’ve yet to achieve, or is thinking about setting some goals. Especially to those who do NaNoWriMo — even more so to the writers who have tried and failed at it.

“When it stopped being perfect, I stopped too.” This really describes me as a writer. When I find a scene or chapter that isn’t perfect, I stop. Let it sit until I know how to fix it. And I’ll go for weeks, months, or even years before making any more progress. Writing isn’t an issue. It’s editing that takes me forever. This book made me take a hard look at that.

“Developing tolerance for imperfection.” That’s my hurtle.

“Inadequate to do a job because I don’t know how to do it at that level.” Me. Called out. That’s me when I’m editing. That’s me searching the same document for the twentieth time convinced there’s another error, one more stray comma, another word that should be a stronger one, and one that should be a more common word. Me. So me. Accurate.

“A noble obstacle is a virtuous-sounding reason for not working toward a finish.” Yeah, I have those. A lot of them are editing related. The cuckoo of the dangers of success is another I definitely have.

I like the idea of data as a gift. The idea that data can show that, yes, the bank account is low but more money is being spent on something than was noticed makes sense. Until I looked at the data, I hadn’t slap-in-the-face realized that what took me 72 days to write took 72 months to edit. I can do better. I have to do better.

“It’s one thing to complete your book. It’s another thing to have that book open to feedback from strangers…” That’s what keeps me in the editing cycle instead of the Finished path.

The part that explained the “ignorance is bliss” saying, that blew my mind. That the expression is being interpreted backward!

Not knowing what to do with data– I’ve been there, too. Someone hands me data about something important, but doesn’t give me the next step or any idea what to do with that information… I hate that. Squirrels have definitely shown up because I didn’t know what to do with data.

I have read a few motivational and goal-setting books. I’d say this is tied with Year of Yes for my favorite in that genre. I read all of this book because, come on, not finishing a book with this title is like the ultimate in failure! Also, it was worth reading. Even the parts where I felt called out, I knew I was reading something that could put me on a better path.

The cover with the Finish Line banner is simple and makes sense. The book was very well edited. I feel the book did change me in some way, because it made me be more honest with myself about my goals. I think it’s a great book for authors. Also, it would make an excellent graduation present. Or a holiday present for anyone who sets New Year’s resolutions and fails them soon after.

I am curious which Harry Potter book the author didn’t finish reading, because it says 7.9 of 8 books. There were 7 original books.

 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner
Show, Don’t Tell: How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions by Sandra Gerth

#BeatTheBacklist (2016), Author I Haven’t Previously Read, Writing Craft

This book should come with a coupon for the Emotional Thesaurus. (I already have a copy, but if you don’t, get that first.) This is more of a companion, a book about how to use that book to improve your book. I wish I had learned more from this book. That is, I wish I had read it a few years ago when I could have appreciated it more. I would recommend it to those who want to know more about this write tip. It is informative.

Jun 05 2019

#IWSG Favorite Genre to Write #SpecFic #SFF

June 5 question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

My favorite genre to write is Speculative Fiction.

Speculative Fiction Diagram
annieneugebauer.com

“Speculative fiction is an umbrella genre encompassing fiction with certain elements that do not exist in the real world, often in the context of supernatural, futuristic or other imaginative themes.” Wikipedia

“Today, speculative fiction serves as an umbrella under which are gathered not only science fiction, but also fantasy, horror, magic realism, alternate history, various -punks, weird fiction, and superhero fiction.” – diymfa.com

I love writing this because it allows for world building and fun possibilities.

Jun 02 2019

Sunday Stealing Movie Questions

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

What was your first movie-going experience without your parents?
All of them. But anyway, it was in seventh grade. The Addams Family.
Do you still buy DVDs or Blu Rays (or do you just stream them)?
Streaming.
What is your guilty pleasure movie? What about it works for you?
Die Hard. Funny, qippy lines.
You have compiled a list of your top 10 movies. Which movies do you like, but would not make the list?

  • Die Hard
  • Fast & Furious
  • Divergent
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lucy
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Dances with Wilves
  • Braveheart
  • Good Will Hunting
  • The Matrix

Which movie(s) do you compulsively watch over and over again? What makes it so great?
Characters or sotrylines that inspire me and give me something to work up to.
Classic(s) you’re embarrassed to admit you haven’t seen yet?
The Godfather movies. Not that embarrassed though.
Do you have any movie posters hanging on your wall? If yes, which ones and why?
Nope.
Tell us about a movie that you are passionate about.
I’m passionate about the fact that Allegiant, the last Divergent movie, was a disaster. Character arcs were destroyed. It became impossible to make Four, the other book. It’s like they didn’t even read the book.
What is a movie you vow to never watch? Why?
Most Westerns, where the Native Americans are portrayed as villians for trying to survive.
Tell us about a movie that literally left you speechless.
(Or we could not ask the mute that.) Allegiant, in a bad way, because that ending is a failure. It’d be like if the Titanic didn’t sink, Voldermort defeated Harry, etc.
What’s a movie that you always recommend?
Die Hard
Who is an actor you always watch, no matter how crappy the movie?
Michelle Rodriguez
Who is an actor you don’t get the appeal for? Why don’t you like them?
Ashton Kutcher. Though he’s quite the humanitarian. But the only movie I thought he did well in was The Guardian.
Who is an actor, living or dead, you’d love to meet? Why do they intrigue you?
Tom Hanks. He seems to be a cool person.
Sexiest actor/actress you’ve seen. (Picture requested!)
I don’t have any pictures to share for this.
You are casting a movie, pick four or five actors you’d hire to be in it and why we’d love them together.
Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Momoa. Some kind of action movie where they’re using lots strength for something.
Which are your favorite actor pairings of all time?
Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel
Have you ever watched movies from a decade that was before you were born? If so, which decade is your favorite?
Yeah. Don’t know that I have a favorite movie decade though.
If you were to be in a movie would you rather play the hero, villain or anti-hero? Why?
I don’t know. Can I just be the sidekick?


Quote from Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!
This week’s questions were originally from: Books Traveler.

May 31 2019

Marvelous month of May Goals

Got Goals Bloghop
https://gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com
#GotGoalsBlogHop

Pretty good month. The goal-oriented book I read has me altering some of my goals.


SPREADSHEET CHECK-IN

My lovely A to Z cohost, J R Vincente, made a spreadsheet to track progress for the year.
I’m counting blogging as “social media.”
key 2019 Productivity JLenniDorner image

May 2019 spreadsheet goals



MAIN LIFE GOALS:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 35 years

BUCKET LIST:

  1. Publish a book and sell 2,000 copies of it in one week or 8,000 copies of it in one month.
  2. Watch a meteor shower while in the Cranberry Lake area of New York or Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. (USA)
  3. Visit Mount Sinai.
  4. Skydive
  5. Learn how to play checkers.
  6. Take a hot-air balloon ride over Maine.
  7. Have dinner at Armando al Pantheon in Rome.


Current Writing Goals

  • Self-publish + Blog the reference book on Writing Book Reviews #BookishResolutions Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Self-publish Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) #BookishResolutions , including writing 60k more words, by August 2020.
  • Write 15k more words of high fantasy short story, and publish it, by Feb 2021 to give the characters more story-space/ page-time.
  • Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story, and publish it, by April 2021 to prove to myself it’s worthwhile.
  • Write 40k more words of the next Existence book, and publish it, by Sept 2022 to share this version of a story that was passed on to me, and hopefully make some money and have a career as a writer as a result.
  • Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book, and publish it, by Sept 2023 to sell books so my RPG time was valuable.

Other important goals:

Enter 2 writing contests this year to get my brand out there.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year for fun and to be a better writer.
Comment on 20 blogs a month to stay connected with my blogging community.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month to support book diversity.
Tweet 2 debut books a month to support debut authors.
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links to make my blog aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug to get out of Twitter follow jail. (Down to following 7880.)

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2019 Resolution:

#NewYearsResolution

  • This year I resolve to publish two books and write at least 25% of the year.




Seven Focus Topics

Posting about these topics monthly will keep my author brand strong:

  1. Lenni Lenape (Native American) — 3 posts
  2. storytelling –1 posts
  3. writing –2 post
  4. legends — 0 posts
  5. characters — 1 posts
  6. urban fantasy/ speculative fiction — 1 posts
  7. read –8 posts




2019 Goals:

  • 12 Blog All About It posts
  • Keep rocking the Debut Author Spotlight at Operation Awesome
  • 91 days of writing is my big #BookishResolutions (others are hashtagged)
    • Update on May 1 Posted!Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    • September 1
  • Take part in NaNoWriMo
    • July Camp #BookishResolutions
    • November 50k words #BookishResolutions
  • Publish two books #BookishResolutions
    1. One: Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two:
  • Be part of 3 blog hops/fests
    1. One: #AtoZChallenge First A to Z Book Tour Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    2. Two: #AtoZChallenge TENTH anniversary of the April blogging challenge Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
    3. Three:
  • Enter 7 writing contests #BookishResolutions
    1. One: Check!
    2. Two: WEP April
    3. Three:
    4. Four:
    5. Five:
    6. Six:
    7. Seven:
  • Add 200 books to the spreadsheet organizing my TBR by page length
    • 419 as of Jan 1
    • 430 as of Feb 23
    • 432 as of Mar 29
    • 441 as of April 30
    • 448 as of May 31
  • Complete Reading challenges:

blog all about it challenge 2019 try something new square 2019 book reading challenge all about the trope 2019 book reading challengeCreativity Reading Challenge 2019 Back to the Classics 2019 reading challenge2019 Diversity Reading Challenge #BeatTheBacklist2019 Ravenclaw The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club #IWSG Of Wonderland Book Club #OWBookClub #BeatTheBacklist #amreading #books 2019 #BookishResolutions

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
J. has
read 0 books toward
their goal of
50 books.
hide


EVERY MONTH:




Goals just for June:

  • Read and review 4 books
  • WEP Caged Bird
  • Post results of the #AtoZChallenge after survey
  • Help with the Pass or Pages Query Contest at Operation Awesome
  • Get ready for July NaNo camp
  • New Adult Scavenger Hunt
  • Vote at WRiTECLUB


Review of Goals just for May:

  • Read and review 4 booksMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Do the Bout of Books ChallengesMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Take the #AtoZChallenge after surveyMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Post my #AtoZChallenge Reflection postMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Sign up for the #AtoZChallenge Road TripMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Help with the Pass or Pages Query Contest at Operation AwesomeMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • May the Fourth be with me 😉Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Get away for a weekendMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Vote at WRiTECLUBMischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal



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Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!
gotgoalsbloghop.blogspot.com

May 31 2019

Giving Myself the Gift of Done Part 5 (Final)


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.

Learning from my past:

1- What happened the last time I attempted a goal like this?
2- Who did I involve last time?
3- How long did it take?
4- How much money did I spend?
5- Was there a deadline?
6- Were there consequences for not finishing?
7- Was there a reward for finishing?
8- What would I do differently if trying the exact same goal again?

Write 60k more words of Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) by August 2020 and write 15k more words of high fantasy short story by Feb 2021 to give the characters more story-space/ page-time.
Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story by April 2021 to prove to myself it’s worthwhile.
Write 40k more words of the next Existence book by Sept 2022 to share this version of a story that was passed on to me, and hopefully make some money and have a career as a writer as a result.
Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book by Sept 2023 to sell books so my RPG time was valuable.

1- The last time I wrote a fictional story to self-publish, Fractions of Existence came to be.
2- I involved my assistant, an old friend who is a writer and avid reader, a friend who taught English at a University and was an editor, a paid for editor, a few Beta readers, a friend of a friend who knows formatting, feedback from some agents and published authors, some ancestors, my Snookums, another friend who let me complain, probably some other people too.
3- SIX YEARS.
Violent Typing
4- An absurd amount that I’ll probably never recoup. Four figures.
5- No.
6- Feeling like I failed my soul, my purpose, let down the ancestors. Shame, lots of shame.
7- Yeah, a book that’s for sale. Feeling of accomplishment. Relief that it was done. Pride.
8- Not overspend. Not take so long. Stress less about editing. Maybe not write 50 some different openings. Or scrap a scene I spent a year on. Scene… pfft… two paragraphs. What was I thinking???

Enter 2 writing contests this year to get my brand out there.
1- Won an award.
2- Asked one person to read my story beforehand.
3- A week, thereabout.
4- None.
5- Yes.
6- Not getting to enter. Can’t win if you don’t play?
7- Yup, got an award. And feedback.
8- Not use a sports reference.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year for fun and to be a better writer.
1- I didn’t complete the goal last year. I usually do.
2- Just me, really. Unless you count check ins?
3- A year.
4- Bought some of the books, so I don’t know, say $30.
5- One year.
6- Just my own bad feelings.
7- The reward of having read a good amount of books.
8- Read more early on, not leave so many for the end of the year.
Comment on 20 blogs a month to stay connected with my blogging community.
1- Last time I managed.
2- Just me, unless you count the blogs I went to.
3- A couple of hours. I didn’t time it. Five?
4- None. (Unless we’re nit-picking about the cost of Internet and stuff.)
5- Just my personal one of the end of the month.
6- Less interaction. More disconnect.
7- More interaction. Feeling more connected.
8- Nothing really.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month to support book diversity. Tweet 2 debut books a month to support debut authors.
1- I accomplished the goal last time.
2- Just me. (And I guess the people I retweeted.)
3- Couple of minutes.
4- None.
5- My deadline was a month.
6- If I didn’t do it I guess I just wouldn’t have supported people. Bad karma?
7- Having cool tweets and having shown my support. Good karma?
8- Nothing.
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links to make my blog aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
1- I started the project, but then had more important things to do at the time. Never went back to it.
2- Just me.
3- I could gnaw a tree limb off faster.
4- None. Though I had been paying for it before, but they cancelled that plan.
5- I never gave myself a deadline before.
6- Not being pleased when I look at old posts.
7- Blog looks better to me.
8- I don’t know yet. Maybe make the pictures easier to find? The download killed their titles.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug to get out of Twitter follow jail.
1- Last time was YEARS ago. And I got more followers. Except the gap was only a few people last time, not 900. It resolved itself in a month or so last time.
2- TwitterHero. But he’s no longer there.
3- Last time it basically fixed itself in a about a month.
4- Nothing.
5- I hadn’t had a deadline.
6- Twitter follow jail means not being able to follow any new accounts. Which kills the growth of my own account. It makes Twitter less fun.
7- Able to follow other again.
8- Well it was easy last time. It’s this time that’s a bear.

It was fun to edit Fractions of Existence. Yeah, it sucked in some ways. There was a steep learning curve. But I did a lot of the editing with some friends. It was a thing we put on our calendars to do together every week. I barely have any contact with one of those friends now, and the other is a distant memory. I hang out with the other one yet. But we miss the other two. They’re busy with their lives, their families, their own goals. End of an era.

It HURTS to know that time will not come back. Those good days have vanished. Maybe that’s why I get lost in editing? Maybe I’m searching for something that isn’t there. It’s all dry and clinical now. It wasn’t. There was laughter. Bonding. Time together. Shit.

potato

Here. Have a potato. I just broke myself.

What I can adjust if the above goals aren’t going my way:

  • The goals themselves.
  • My timelines.
  • How I do these goals.

“It’s one thing to complete your book. It’s another thing to have that book open to feedback from strangers…”

Wow, is that the truth! And it’s the other reason I edit with such vigor.

When it comes to the Existence series, I fear they weren’t right to pick me to tell the story. That I won’t do it well enough. That there will be grammar and spelling errors. More scenes I should have tightened, tells I should have shown, and confused readers because they haven’t encountered these exact beings before.

Fractions of Existence Amazon Rank on May 31 2019
Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited power. “able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature” “omnipotence is generally understood to be compatible with certain limitations or restrictions”
That’s what the actual characters are, as they’re born from a mythology.

“A superhero is a type of heroic stock character, usually possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and usually battling super-villains.”

That’s not far off. It’s not how I think of them. But okay.

A fairy tale is a story, often intended for children, that features fanciful and wondrous characters such as elves, goblins, wizards, and even, but not necessarily, fairies. The term “fairy” tale seems to refer more to the fantastic and magical setting or magical influences within a story, rather than the presence of the character of a fairy within that story.”

It isn’t for children. There are no elves, goblins, wizards, or actual fairies in the book. The settings are NYC, southern California, and some highways. Nothing about this definition fits the story. (Other than a chapter title. CHAPTER 4 — FAIRIES AREN’T REAL)

So I look at the category list and wonder if it means I didn’t tell the story well. The book still isn’t in these two:
Myth & Legend Fantasy eBooks
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

Which is where it belongs.

three potatoes sorry for the long post potato image line break

What if it’s not amazing? I don’t market well enough for Fractions of Existence to have sold to the potential it has. The book suggests it’s more so because life isn’t perfect. Could be both reasons, I suppose.

But finishing can mean starting the next thing. And it looks like I have a good list of next projects. So there’s that.

How to finish when there’s a crisis? According to the book, either have a life-altering experience that kicks you into gear, or have a friend who reminds you of your goals.

What am I getting out of not finishing?

Holding on to the illusion that I could finish?
That publishing more books could lead to more sales?
Getting other goals done instead, and making it seem like their just as important?
No one expecting my books to be perfect, or best-sellers, or to have a wide fan base?

Those are what I need to have bigger rewards (or fear motivations) to overcome.

I just finished the GOAL of doing all the actions in the book.

May 30 2019

Giving Myself the Gift of Done Part 4


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.

My secret rules:

(To idenitfy, destory, and replace.)

1- Do I even like this goal?
2- What’s my real goal?
3- Does the method I’m using match who I am? (Play to my strengths, give me joy.)
4- Is it time to quit?
5- What has stopped me from already accomplishing this goal?

Write 60k more words of Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) by August 2020.
1- Yes. I like her story. I care about the character.
2- To give her more of a story. She was just an A to Z short story. But I want there to be more. I guess selling it is also part of it, but less so, because I think the theme is important. Money is nice, but it’s not my reason.
3- Not so much. I’m trying to fill in the longer, missing parts of the story. I’m better at writing start to finish. But I faked it through school, so I know I can pull it off.
4- No.
5- Something happened in real life that made one of my fictional scenes more relevant. As a result, I don’t know what Anah’s parents should tell her to do if the situation comes up. And it matters because there’s a direct correlation that is real for too many people. So I feel like I should know the right answer. I don’t.
Write 15k more words of high fantasy short story by Feb 2021.
1- Yeah. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time.
2- It’s kind of a fan-fiction of a sub-story from Fractions of Existence. It landed on the cutting room floor. I have even read a review where the person deducted a star because I didn’t include this story. (Thanks so much to the agent that told me to cut. You owe me a star for your bad advice costing me one! Sorry for the rant there. It’s my fault, I’m the one who listened.) So I want to save it because there clearly are some people who want to know what happens with Monoghan and Candra. And, if it sells well, I’ll probably write more of those. Though I’m considering making it free to draw people in. I don’t know.
3- When I actually sit to write it, yes. I just haven’t been. Bad author, bad!
4- Nope. Not even close.
5- Disorganization. I have parts of this story in different files. I didn’t write it start to finish, and now it’s a puzzle that needs to be put together so I can fill it all in.
Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story by April 2021.
1- Yes, I like this goal.
2- To prove to myself that it’s a good story, a better story than it was given credit for, if only it had more words. There was a LOT of lore and two time periods in one short story. I cut and cut and cut, and I think it got confusing because I cut too much that maybe explained things. (Like if you watch Endgame without any prior Marvel movies. You’re going to be confused by a lot. Or if you watched the Harry Potter movies without the books, you wouldn’t know why a certain Professor knows EXACTLY what the Marauder’s Map is because hello Moony.)
3- Yes, yes it does. It’s tree lore!
4- No.
5- I lost some of the enthusiasm, and it doesn’t feel as important because it’s for me. But that should make it matter more, not less.
Write 40k more words of the next Existence book by Sept 2022.
1- I love this goal.
2- To share this version of a story that was passed on to me, and hopefully make some money and have a career as a writer as a result.
3- Yup.
4- Nope. Never!
5- I keep taking a break from difficult scenes. When I come back, yes, I now know how to fix them. But then I want to reread everything and fix other stuff that changed because of this. And then I’m editing instead of writing and deleting and it’s slowed the progress to a snail’s pace.
Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book by Sept 2023.
1- Yeah, it’s fun.
2- To sell books, making an old hobby a profitable and professional life experience.
3- It’s a fantasy story that doesn’t start in a tavern! Ha ha ha. But seriously, it’s fun to write, so yes, that plays to my strength.
4- No. I quit once because one person, who DOES NOT write fantasy, didn’t like my opening. I really looked up to the person at the time. That person has since fallen off the pedestal and has had many complaints from more well-respected sources. So maybe some or most of that evaluation belongs in a trashcan.
5- That person’s voice in my head. The story opened very much like Divergent. I need to tell myself it could “fail” that bad. (Which translates into a big pile of money and a movie deal.) Divergent doesn’t open with Tris at the ceremony. It opens with her getting ready. Harry Potter doesn’t open with the owls, it opens with the Dursley family. Hunger Games didn’t open with the “I volunteer as Tribute!” ceremony. So why am I listening to someone who said I can’t have 300 words that paint my character into her world as she refuses to wear a fancy fantasy dress and instead jumps out of her window? (Because she’s NOT going to the ceremony. Where Tris, Katniss, and Harry went… Alison is skipping out to go do forbidden stuff.)

Enter 2 writing contests this year.
1- Kind of mostly.
2- To get my brand out there.
3- I prefer writing longer works. But I do learn from writing short ones. Hard to say.
4- Probably not.
5- I haven’t looked for them, much less written anything to enter.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year.
1- Yup, love it.
2- The real goal is read more because reading isn’t just fun, it makes one a better writer. And one of my challenges involves reading books that help with writing, so that’s double points there.
3- Yes. I pay attention when I read. I notice things authors do and think about how I could use that, or avoid it.
4- Hell no.
5- I’ve been working on them. I do other things too. Note this list.
Comment on 20 blogs a month.
1- I really like this goal.
2- The real goal is to stay connected with my blogging community.
3- Well yeah, I like to think so.
4- Uh, no.
5- I have been keeping up. It’s a monthly goal, it isn’t like it ends.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month.
1- Yes I do.
2- To support book diversity.
3- As a diverse person who uses Twitter and read books, yeah, I certainly think this plays to my strengths.
4- Never.
5- Have been doing it.
Tweet 2 debut books a month.
1- Yuppers.
2- To support debut authors.
3- It’s pretty easy. So yeah.
4- No.
5- Have been doing it.
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links.
1- I like the end result.
2- To have my blog looking proper, like I know what I’m doing and it’s not amature hour over here.
3- I don’t know. I maybe once I make more effort I’ll find a good method. It’s all frustrating.
4- Not really.
5- It’s an annoying pain in butt so I just haven’t made the time because look at all the other goals I want to do! And yet I want this done. So, there you go.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug.
1- No, I do not like this goal. But I hate being in Twitter jail MORE than I dislike this goal.
2- To get out of Twitter follow jail.
3- I guess so.
4- No, it’s more like time to start.
5- I was hoping it would resolve itself. I guess I knew it wouldn’t. So, yeah, gotta be proactive.

three potatoes sorry for the long post potato image line break

I was supposed to find my secret rules by asking those questions. And then I can ask what it means. I don’t know if I found any secret rules though. Who says I have to do any of these things? Umm… me. This is all me. Who says I have to write? Me. Who says I have to read? Me. Who wants me to Tweet? Me (though others may benefit, but it’s my call.) Who wants my blog to look nice? Me. Who says I have to get out of Twitter follow jail? Definitely me. So I don’t see anything to replace.

Looking at what has stopped me from already accomplishing my goals?

I don’t know what to tell Anah to do. Her parents probably don’t either. Because, honestly, I’m not sure there is a right answer for that scene. I’ve been looking (not just because of the story). But no one knows how to best handle it. You really need to get lucky to survive it at all. Money, looks, connections — none of that is of any use. It’s downright terrifying. Maybe that’s what I need to say through her parents.

And I guess that’s my secret rule there– that I can’t write it unless I have some idea how to handle an impossible situation.

Or that I can’t write until things are organized correctly.

Or until I feel excited.

Or until I get out of my own head.

So I guess the “new rule” would be to just sit and do it and deal with each thing as it comes.

red background three potatoes sorry for the long post potato image line break

The data I want to gather is how many more days I spend writing. How many more book I publish. I should eventually add in sales. But, for now, I want this to be more about what I’m doing on the front end instead of the back end. (Both are important. But I’m trying to focus.)

Data can avert disaster if one pays attention. Data can prevent shame.

So the three things I’m measuring are:

  1. Time spent writing.
  2. Number of books read.
  3. Number of Twitter followers.

May 29 2019

Giving Myself the Gift of Done Part 3


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.

Chapter 5.

Hiding places let you get your perfectionism fix while avoiding your goal. Oh, that’s me playing a video game. Even an easy phone app. Just to get a badge and feel better about myself for ten minutes. That’s a hiding place? Well, it’s not productive and doesn’t contribute to my named goals. Feels like a mental health break. IDK.

Identifying other hiding places:

Where I “accidentally” go.
Twitter. Pinterest. Outside.
Yeah, I’ll sit down to do a goal, and suddenly find I’m outside headed toward trees. Whoops.

And any multi-step reasons to go do these things?

Yup.

Twitter. Social media! That’s where I build an audience.
Pinterest. Inspiration!
Outside. My mind needs to clear.

Family and health is a commitment. I get to keep those. Yay!
(I’m writing this while watching our niece. Regular readers of this blog might notice the short sentences and the fact that I probably sound distracted. It’s because I am.)

New ideas trying to take over, making me postpone the current goal? Yup. That’s very much a problem I have. The book suggests not starting the new project until finishing one. I want to try that.

Noble Obstacles

“I can’t complete this goal until something.”

Yeah, I do that. I can’t publish this until (insert number of edits, which is after dozens of rounds of edits.) Or I say I’ll wait to publish until closer to A to Z or NewAsh or whatever. It took a LOT for me to finally hit the publish button on Fractions of Existence. I still had one more Beta reader, who had been paid, that I didn’t hear back from. (Instead of a refund, I’m supposed to get a book review. But, from what I’ve heard, he still hasn’t read it. Imagine if I opted to wait? Yikes.)

Could any of my current goals/ projects be easier or simpler?

Writing, not really. (Maybe one scene at a time??) Reading goals, not really. I simplified blog commenting by keeping folders of bookmarks so I’m not hunting down favorites (“open all”). I really don’t know how to make fixing blog images easier, but maybe I’ll find one? And Twitter unfollowing I already picked an easier way in the prior two posts.

Eliminate side goals

  • Enter 2 writing contests this year.
  • Tweet 5 diverse books a month.
  • Tweet 2 debut books a month.
  • Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links.
  • Those are all side goals related to my Noble Obstacles. They are things I want to do because I believe they’re useful. Writing contests get my name out there. Tweets make me active in the community (and it feels good to do good for others). And the blog posts fixing is my own vanity because I paid for a service that went all “mobster” and suddenly quadrupled their rates and I’m ashamed that I couldn’t pay the “ransom” money and had picked Photobucket in the first place.

May 28 2019

Giving Myself the Gift of Done Part 2 and Blog All About It Bloom


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.

blog all about it challenge 2019
I’m also working in my Blog All About It – May prompt of Bloom in here.

Bloom line break seperator

ACTIONS from Chapter 3

1- A list of 3 things I can bomb (suck at) to BLOOM or flourish at my goals:

  1. Facebook.
  2. I already suck at it. No point in feeling bad. This way I’m not spending time trying not to suck at it.

  3. Folding towels.
  4. I love my Snookums, I really do. But I don’t care about towels being folded. I don’t even like towels! Savage.

  5. Replying to blog comments.
  6. I make an effort, but not enough of one. I’m a month behind on those right now.

2- A way to simplify time drains I can’t bomb.
It would be faster to write in Scrivener and edit in Google Docs with Grammarly one scene at a time. Then paste the scene to the next program to check for adverbs and homophones. And the last one to check the length of sentences. And finally into wordcounter to hear it. But then I HAVE TO STOP. That’s it. No more editing after that. Anything I haven’t caught by then I have to live with
… my brain just added a beta reader, no two, okay three beta readers and then another round of edits… SO yeah, this is a hard one to stick with for me.

I don’t know how to format faster. I don’t know how to fix image links faster. (Other than to ignore it, which I’ve been doing for almost two years.)

Audiense will make the unfollowing on Twitter faster.
@JLenniDorner audiense May 2019
I can already see who to cut first here. (The inactive people who aren’t following me back.)
Honestly, if I knew it was free instead of $10 a month, I’d have done this ages ago. I use to pay for this and kept up monthly, back when it was SocialBro and was $9.76 after taxes and such. But I was looking at ways to save a few bucks a month, and this was one thing I cut.

3- Keep a secret list of relationships that will suffer.
Okay, that’s not word-for-word what it says. But it’s what it means.
And at least two of them have already suffered.
Like… I’m sure I’m downgraded from a close friend to “oh yeah, I remember him.”

Bloom line break seperator

Satisfaction — What makes a goal fun while doing it? Or how can it be made fun?
Performance Success — What is so great about accomplishing the goal?

simon sinek stress passion quote

ACTIONS from Chapter 4

1- Fun level of goals on a scale of 1 ☹️ to 10 🙂.

Fun level= 8 Write 60k more words of Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) by August 2020.
Fun level= 8 Write 15k more words of high fantasy short story by Feb 2021.
Fun level= 7 Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story by April 2021.
Fun level= 9 Write 40k more words of the next Existence book by Sept 2022.
Fun level= 9 Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book by Sept 2023.

Fun level= 7 Enter 2 writing contests this year.
Fun level= 8 Complete my reading challenges half way for the year.
Fun level= 7 Comment on 20 blogs a month.
Fun level= 6 Tweet 5 diverse books a month.
Fun level= 7 Tweet 2 debut books a month.
Fun level= 1 Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links.
Fun level= 1 Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug.

2- Motivated by fear or reward?

Is it more fun and motivating for me to move to a positive or avoid a negative? Push failure away or pull myself toward victory?

http://www.seemypersonality.com

Behavioral Approach: 69
Behavioral Inhibition: 86
You sometimes have a strong drive for completing important tasks, but you will often not be driven if you do not feel the task is important enough, however you actively seek out activities that will make you happy, including parties, hanging out with family and friends or even thrill seeking through sports etc… You also tend to be fairly impulsive.

Overall Score: 69
Drive: 42
Fun Seeking: 83
Reward Responsiveness: 80

You are very motivated by seeking reward for your behaviour. The offer of a reward (such as a promotion for working hard or winning a bet) will keep you motivated to complete difficult activities.

Overall Score: 86
Avoidance: 86
Your major motivation is to avoid things that you don’t like. This can mean organising your life to avoid activities you don’t enjoy, or to escape punishment or pain. You can also tend to be a fairly nervous person.

So toward a positive is at 80% and avoid a negative is 86%. No wonder I’m not sure! It’s neck and neck.

3- This is weird, but I find ____ fun?
Video game achievements.
Looking up space pictures. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod
Finding fun drawings on Pinterest.
Watching a movie.
Reading a book.
Hanging out in a tree.

4- Three small points of fun to add to goals.
Writing gets more fun thinking about it being published.
Picturing what my characters are like beyond the page is fun.
Looking up the space pic of the day is a good and fun reward.

orange flower

What do you think? Do my goals have a better chance of blooming with these changes?

May 27 2019

Giving Myself the Gift of Done Part 1


I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff. It was on sale and I had a book credit, so why not?
You know what? It was amazing! It really spoke to my kind of thinking.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.

Angela Duckworth Grit Scale
“Get a score that reflects how passionate and persevering you see yourself to be.”
@JLenniDorner Grit score
Your Grit Score

3.30

You scored higher than about 30% of American adults in a recent study.

Actually, that sounds about right. More passionate than some, but not as much as others. Yeah, that’s pretty much spot on to describe me. I’m still blown away by a few people, but I also impress people. Yeah, this is really accurate. Usually, a short online quiz is just entertaining. But this one is really nailing it. And it was free, which I always appreciate.



Do I want more finished books, or more perfect books?
That’s a tough one to answer. I’m leaning heavily toward “perfect, or near as I can get it.”
Though this book says such perfectionism leads to a wall of frustration, shame, and incomplete hopes. I agree with the frustration and incomplete hopes– that’s accurate. But shame? I feel that more if my book is lower quality than my standards. (It doesn’t help that the author asking this has a team of editors from a major publishing house; whereas I have what I can afford.)



My perfectionism laundry list that stops me:

  • Too many stories I want to write. Don’t know which to focus on.
  • Not enough money to hire a proper editor again.
  • The Existence story is too similar to ones about the more “popular” pantheon members living in America. (Who, for some reason, almost never run into the hundreds of Native American counterparts. Like all the tribes here had their gods move to Rome and Athens???)

It’s funny how I won’t compare the Existence series to any of those books… unless it’s a reason NOT to write, or to stall, or to do something else. I am so called out by this book, it’s like Jon Acuff knows me. Except he doesn’t. And it means I’m not alone.

I hate to think of myself as an Insecure Writer. (Even though I support the #IWSG.) But this book pointed out that I am. Or, at least, I’m insecure that my editing skills won’t be good enough. NO ONE’S ARE, EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES. Which is probably why I notice them so quickly in the works of others– I worry I’d make that mistake.



I did set some impossible deadlines for myself. In my monthly goal setting, at one point I broke it down to weeks. That was the WORST thing I ever did. I can’t live with that constraint. It was too much. I got far less done because I was failing too often. It de-motivated me.

ACTIONS from Chapter 2

1- Goals attempted but failed and why I failed:

  • 2019: April: Read and review 2 books.
  • Why: I knew I wouldn’t have time during the A to Z Challenge. I set myself up to fail.

  • 2019: March: Work on writing next book
  • Why: I knew I wouldn’t have time beyond preparing for the A to Z Challenge. Set myself up to fail.

  • 2019: Feb: WEP
  • Why: I was running another hop. It took more time than I thought it would.

  • 2018: YEAR: Didn’t publish a book.
  • Why: Didn’t focus on just one. Stalled myself. See above laundry list.

  • 2018: YEAR: Bookish Bingo
  • Why: I kept forgetting it existed. I didn’t enjoy it enough/ it became a hassle.

  • 2018: YEAR: 50 Book Pledge & Goodreads reading challenge.
  • Why: I focused too much of my time and energy elsewhere, and thus read far below my usual number.

  • 2018: YEAR: Publish Anah’s story
  • Why: Because I’m being stubborn and insecure and lying to myself.
    Also a bit because the world kept making the story too real, by correlation, and it was scaring me.

  • 2018: YEAR: Not enough comments on blogs.
  • Why: I was focusing my time and attention elsewhere.

  • 2018: YEAR: Fix more broken image links
  • Why: It isn’t fun. It’s hard. There’s no reward other than it’s eventually done.
    Unless whatever another service also takes down the image. And then it’s a waste of time.
    It’s already a waste of time unless someone is searching my old blog posts. I don’t feel like that’s happening much.
    So my heart isn’t in the goal.

  • 2018: YEAR: All Author group members WHEN I GET OUT OF TWITTER JAIL
  • Why: I’ll be in Twitter follow jail until I unfollow 900 people, or get 900 people to follow me WITHOUT following them.
    Twitter changed their API and about 1500 tweeps left me. They were all genuine people.
    I’ve never bought followers. I got my number from cultivating interesting content, sharing topics I care about, and making good friends. Especially Stu, who was well connected. He has, sadly, died. A lot of the people who left were our mutual followers, ones who used a program that stopped working after Twitter’s update. And if they couldn’t use the program, they just weren’t going to use Twitter anymore. While that’s a big loss for me, Twitter has enough users that a thousand or two jumping ship doesn’t even show up on their radar.
    The logical, efficient way for me to deal with this is to pay Social Bro (Audiense). Okay, I signed up for a free account. It’s $10 a month for the bigger one. So, that’s unfollowing about 30 people a day for a month to get out of jail… probably should work on this goal that I’ve been hoping would just solve itself.

2- Write down numbers associated with my goals.

3- Decide wheater I can cut my goal in half or double my timeline.

4- Share the goal and ask if it’s too extreme.

5- “What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t cut these goals in half or give myself more time?

Self-publish Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS)
How do I write down a number for that goal? I mean, it’s done when it’s for sale. But I’m going to try.

  • Write 60k more words.
  • (Edit… spend less than 40 hours editing. ?)
  • Format for 2 ebook distributors.
  • Format for 1 paperback distributor.
  • Design 1 cover.

Those are pretty much the steps for this goal. And the same numbers and steps go with the next set. The words are approximate, because these are books, and one can only know about how many words a book still needs.
I can’t cut that in half. It’s a book. I’m not writing half a book. Double my timeline? Well, I already said I was going to do this last year and now I’m saying this year. So I guess I could double it. I don’t want to, but for the purpose of this action, I suppose I could say that I have, instead of 7 more months, 14 more. New deadline= August 2020.
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Reduced fan base due to a lack of books. Less time in my lifetime for potential sales. Feel I’ve let myself down. One less possible gift to give that year to someone special.

Complete the high fantasy short story. (15k words still needed. ) Bugger. I’m going to need timelines for all of these so I have something to double… New deadline= Feb 2021
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Self doubt because I’ve been working on this since Feb 2014. Seven years for a freaking short story? And really, the idea is even older. Shame spiral!
Self-publish the WIGS tribal short story. (20k words still needed.) New deadline= April 2021
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Nothing. I’m just doing this one because I liked the story and it didn’t win a competition but I really wanted to expand it.
Finish and publish the next Existence book. (40k words still needed.)New deadline= Sept 2022
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Book one came out in Sept 2017. Five years between books? And I have a whole series planned? Audience drop off! I didn’t know I could feel this aweful about myself.
Finish and publish the Alison Fantasy book. (90k words still needed.)New deadline= Sept 2023
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Nothing really. I’ve only hinted that it exists. No one is hoping for a next one. It isn’t impacting my current sales.
(The idea of it taking this long to write all these is depressing. But… haven’t I already been taking years? Huh.)

This year I resolve to publish two books.
Half= Only one book this year? I already did it!
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: I already did. So I guess I’m awesome. Which is good, because I feel like I’ve kicked myself in the teeth.
91 days of writing (25% of 2019).
Half= 45. I’ve already done 53.
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Thank goodness I already nailed that half. But honestly, looking above, I really want to triple it instead of half. So there’s that…
Enter 5 more writing contests this year.
New number= I guess 2 more. Can’t enter half a contest.
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: I’ll miss out on the fun of WEP, and I won’t actively go look for something else to enter. I won’t win something I don’t enter. Nothing big here.

Reading challenges. (All have numbers and it’s a long list.)
New deadline or half= They all last a year and have a set number. I guess half?
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: I’d fail for a second year in a row. Which I didn’t enjoy last year. It really bugged me, honestly. I couldn’t keep up with two things I love, reading and writing. I’ll end up questioning my identity. Midlife crisis. Externally, nothing really.
Comment on 40 blogs a month. (30 regular favorites, 10 A to Z ones.)
Half= 20 a month.
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Depleted fan base. Loss of personal connections. Feelings of failure.
Tweet 10 Diverse Book tweets a month.
Half= 5
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Maybe more unfollows. But no real damage.
Tweet 4 Debut Book tweets a month.
Half= 2
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: Just personal guilt.
Fix the broken image links of 789 of my blog posts.
New deadline or half= I mean, it’s not done until they’re all done. I guess I need to set a date and double it. So New Deadline= 5 years/ 13 fixed a month (appx)
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: I’ll keep being angry that Photobucket just stabbed everyone one day out of the blue. But nothing much bad happens.
Get out of Twitter follow jail by unfollowing 900 tweeps.
New deadline or half= I can’t get out of jail with half the number. So I need a time again and need to double it. I said 30 people a day for a month. So I’ll give myself two months. Aug 1, 2019.
The worst that could happen if I don’t meet this new number/date: The frustration of not being able to follow new, interesting accounts will continue to haunt me.

Share the goal and ask if it’s too extreme.

What do you think, readers? Are my new goals too extreme? Frankly, it feels not extreme enough to me. But that’s more for the next post.

May 19 2019

Exquisite #boutofbooks 25 Readathon and #BookReview


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Stretch Goal

It’s the last day of the readathon, so today’s challenge is to take a look at the goals you set for the week



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks shelfie



Day of the challenge: Day 7
What I read today:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman



Total number of finished books: 4
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon




My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  2. Take part in the challenges Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  3. Write 4 book reviews Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal



Book Review:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman

5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

Writing Craft book

(Review of Second Edition)

This book was even better than the original. Very useful for novelists who want to punch up their fiction. I pre-ordered this book because of how much I enjoyed the first one. I very much enjoy books on the craft of writing. Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman are authorities worthy of trust and praise. The book is entertaining and informative.

Great quotes from this book:

“Because above all else, readers pick up a book to have an emotional experience.”

“[subtext] allows the character to carry on whatever subterfuge she deems necessary with others while revealing her true emotions and motivations to the reader.”

“writers need to show the character’s physical and internal responses rather than stating the emotion outright.”

And something that irritates me on end when it happens, so I’m especially grateful this lesson is mentioned: “Without the proper context, readers can’t be sure which emotion the character is feeling.”

The reason people sometimes hide emotion was revealed 3% into the book.

I learned how to avoid writing melodrama (or how to write it, I suppose, if so inclined). And schadenfreude! There’s a word you don’t encounter every day.

The book is relevant to me because I’m a writer. There was a mention of the weather, how it can impact a character’s mood and goals. Everything in these pages had a purpose. It’s well organized and designed to be worthwhile reading all the way through. And then coming back as a reference later.

I’ve followed both of these writers for a long time, as I too write reference books for authors.

May 19 2019

Sunday Stealing Word Association

Sunday Stealing welcome mat image for blog hop
Sunday Stealing
Questions to get to know each other.

I say … and you think … ?

Hurry! :: Slow it down.
Dumb :: Well that’s rude.
Fudge :: Delicious.
Sturdy :: Table.
Printing :: Press.
Itch :: Redness.
Creaks :: Creeks.
Paste :: Glue that’s from chemicals or natural stuff?
Waste of time :: Trash can be treasure.
Let down :: Elevator.
Cancellation :: Bonus free time.
Suspect :: Ski mask, shady, mystery books.
Fireplace :: Indoor warmth.
Spring :: Green beauty.
Commute :: Darkness, evil, dread.
Places :: Arbitrary lines
Fraud :: Certain politians.
Adoption :: Luck.
Election :: Electoral college.
Moving day :: Box trucks.


Quote from Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.
Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!
This week’s questions were originally from: Unconscious Mutterings: There are no right or wrong answers. Don’t limit yourself to one-word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. Thanks to The Gal Herself for the suggestion.

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