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.

May 18 2019

Readathon #BookReviews #boutofbooks 25 Growing TBR and Most Read Authors


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Share the love!

Share the books, websites, etc., you’ve discovered this readathon.

I made quite a few new friends on Instagram during the challenge. There might be more, and I don’t know if they’re all BoB fans. But here’s a screenshot from today:
New Instagram followers @JLenniDorner

I looked up a few other books, but some weren’t in Amazon (not in the US, anyway). But here are six that joined the list.

J's Amazon wishlist grew during #boutofbooks 25



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Most read author



Day of the challenge: 6
What I read today:
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon



Total number of finished books: 3
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
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

line break

Book Reviews:

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology
4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner
#SpecFic

I recommend this book to those who enjoy pondering where the Old Gods are now, what they might be doing since the religions that worshipped them have so greatly declined in followers. A large chunk of this book uses myths from the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse mythologies.

I really wish there was an included link list to more information about the referenced deities and myths. I knew most, but still, I think it would be useful. Most of the stories have Gods who were formerly worshipped in parts of Europe (some from Africa or Asia) now retired in the United States. (Coyote was the only Native American omnipotent being I spotted.)

I read the whole book because I’ve read a few of these authors before and looked forward to seeing what they contributed. As a bonus, I found some new-to-me authors to look up and fan-stalk. The title goes very well with the book, as it does describe several of the characters. There are some references to sex, alcohol, and rock-n-roll, but it’s a clean-read overall.

Each of the stories was a page-turner, though I read the book over a week’s time because it was my “I have 20 minutes” book, so I mostly read one story at a time.

The current genres listed are correct for this book.
Greek & Roman Myth & Legend
Greco-Roman Myth & Legend Fantasy eBooks
Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories

Disclaimer: I signed up to host a #bookblast and to read an ARC (April 17, 2019, was the last updated one I received). I am a speculative fiction author who is writing a series where the main characters are omnipotent beings.

Pan by Vanessa Wells – I had never heard barbed wire called bob wire before, so I learned something. The story itself I really liked. It pulled me into the book. Excellent opener. It left me wanting more of the Clair character.

A Low-Key Game Night by Elizabeth Shaffer – I like the hidden joke in the title. I found this quite amusing. Pretty sure fans of the traditional lore will enjoy this far more than fans of the MCU.

For Want of a Feather by Andrew Dunlop – A very interesting concept. It didn’t end exactly as I thought it might, but I was close to guessing. Good philosophical debate opener, especially for atheists.

Out of Luck by Vanessa Finaughty – This one is full of feels by the end. Love the HEA. Very meaningful.

Rule 34 by Avery Vanderlyle – You know, this is kind of realistic fiction because it *could* be true. I mean, it’d be hard to prove one way or other, wouldn’t it? Authors of romance and erotica will probably get the biggest kick out of reading this gem.

I really loved this part:
“You’re a harvest deity, Demeter. You’re only concerned with procreative sex.” Loki leered. “But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A force like sexuality — then you add human imagination -”

Immanent Domain by Wendy Smyer Yu – This was my favorite story. (I’m a Native American. This story used Coyote as a trickster, who is from the lore from some Native American tribes. That makes me happy.) I like that it was more Urban Fantasy, and that the immortal and mortal had real interactions, and that she was able to help him and others in the end.

I don’t know the Scrub Jay mythology. (Or jackrabbit, muskrat, or tule elk.) I’ve heard of Coyote as a trickster in several mythologies/ religions though. I do wish I knew which tribe’s lore was used in this case though.

A part I enjoyed:
She’d never heard of that one and for a moment she was embarrassed that she knew the names of all the current game shows. Yes, she had been a little depressed in the winter and had watched too much television, but her recent resolve to cultivate new interests and find greater fulfillment still held firm.

God of Morning by Elizabeth McCleary – This was a complex story. I enjoyed it. Excellent ending.

There’s a part I really loved:
There was a homeless man on a bench, enjoying the first rays of the sun as they warmed his face. His joy at the morning was earthy, but heartfelt. Mere existence spawned depression in some, but here was one who savored every moment. He treated the day like a brother.

And then there’s a part that I feel a lot of LGBTQIA+ people would appreciate:
“Don’t call me Dawn. I’m not a goddess, I’m a god.” He sounded sulky. This was an old argument. In truth, the gods and goddesses were neither masculine nor feminine—or maybe they were both—but were assigned characteristics by their believers based on their perceptions. But Morrow—Dawn—had never wanted to be a girl.

I really love the ending. It was full of feels. HEA!

Zeus Really Needs to Go by Shawn Klimek – Love the duel meaning of the title. The part about the “me too” movement caught my attention. The setting is intriguing.

There’s a conversation that had me pondering:
“The jury of public opinion, Dad. Media.”
“A fig for the opinion of mortals.”
“Mr. Zeus!”
Mars held up a palm and blocked the chair. “Dad, our power faded when people stopped worshipping us, right? What do you think will happen if they start hating us?”

Breaking the Habit by Ronel Janse von Vuuren – Sneaky “Woody Allen” use in there. I loved the idea of them golfing. I could picture it. Well-done. Good plot-twists. I like the theme of the importance and continued value of the old. My third favorite story in the book.

The New Chief Medical Examiner by Tom Vetter – I ended up liking this far more than expected. My second favorite story in the book. I love the inclusion of Elvis. Very entertaining. The setting made me wonder several things, mostly at the end while SF is in the restroom. I’m curious as to the lore of the story, if it’s more fantasy/myth where people don’t know the place exists, or more like “magical realism” where it’s accepted that the world population would know about the place.

Lines that made me laugh:
“When things get particularly bad, we bring in George Patton or Chuck Norris to slap him back into line.”

“Well, he’s certainly high-functioning, and his intellect is intact. Completely crackers, of course. Totally self-deluded and immersed in this (*SPOILER) identity to the point of having lost his original persona.”

If any readers are highly offended though, please write and send me your valid postal address. I’ll personally apologize and send you a free gift: Medusa’s head in an unmarked box.

Playing Hooky by Juneta Key – I really liked the bartender, even if that’s a minor character. I enjoyed the wider variety of deities. The use of Gameboys made me laugh.

Harbinger of Doom by Katharina Gerlach – This one made me hungry. It was inspirational and entertaining. I like how it turned out.

Whither Athena? by Marshall J. Moore – I liked the twist on the old-school detective story. I loved the scene at The Lincoln Memorial. This story made me laugh and left me pensive. Excellent emotional rollercoaster. A perfect story to end the book.

This conversation cracked me up:
“Ah.” He set the phone down on my desk, steepling his fingers. “Again, my apologies. You can call me Mr. Mercury.”
“A Queen fan, I see.”
A smile cracked his tan face, wide and genuine. His teeth were perfectly white. “Who isn’t?”

And then this hit me like a ton of emotional bricks:
“As you said, wisdom now is needed. Your leadership is corrupted by greed, the populace divided by fear and dissent. In a land of strength and prosperity wealth and power are held by the few, and the many suffer for it. Change is coming, but it rests with the people to determine if it be for good or ill.
“So I will step away, to see if this democracy can weather the storm it finds itself in. To see if the people have learned well the lessons of justice and equality, and can use them to right the course of this ship before it wrecks itself upon the reefs.”

That is the most powerful lesson in the book. It should be quoted and spread all over the Internet. Meme viral wildfire! Ask how candidates feel about it when the elections come. Really, that’s an excellent quote and made me grateful to have read this book.

#Quote Whither Athena? by Marshall J. Moore in Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1


Lovers and Liars: Manhattan by Liz Meldon 🐦 @lizmeldon2 / 📷 @authorlizmeldon
4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

{ Also known as:
The Maenad of Manhattan (Lovers and Liars) (Volume 1) – September 9, 2014
Manhattan (Lovers and Liars #1) }

#SpecFic #BeatTheBacklist
Author I Haven’t Previously Read, First book in a series

Lovers and Liars by Liz Meldon

Aphrodite is a love columnist and wealthy Manhattan socialite. (Like Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, but with Mr. Big’s bank account.) She hasn’t seen many of the Old Gods in a long time. Then Loki shows up. The amount of humans who remember and worship the Gods has a direct impact on how powerful they are, and if they still exist at all, in this story.

It was good.
It’s interesting within the paranormal romance/ erotica genre because it brings the heat early on (15% in has the first steamy kiss that leads to more), and it keeps up the heat. Aphrodite and Loki are into rough play, but they are immortals and it is consensual.

I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading erotica where the characters are from different pantheons. I don’t read a lot of erotica, but I thought this was well written. I do greatly enjoy paranormal romance as well as urban fantasy. (With slightly different names and backgrounds, this could easily be an Existence novella of my own. And because it reminds me of how my characters feel about and approach certain things, I enjoyed it far more than I might have otherwise.)

Some of my favorite lines include:
“persons working in service positions were the people to flatter if one wished to get anything extra in this world.” The line is thought by Aphrodite, and it explains why she’s so very generous to drivers, bartenders, maids, etc.

“bodacious body” I haven’t heard someone use that adjective, outside of surfer speak, in a long time. It was odd that the action paused for a lengthy description, but perhaps that’s why I noticed the word. If not for passages that paused for description, I would have given this five stars.

“It’s been pleasant to have someone by my side and in my bed who truly understands what I am.” Another Aphrodite quote, which sounds exactly like something my Existence characters would say. Really, if emoji hearts could appear in my eyes, I would have had them at this line.

I also enjoyed the author’s afternote, which suggests I can go have a baked good for being awesome and fantastic. And the quick and dirty guide to the gods mentioned was an extremely thoughtful addition. I appreciate that.

I read the whole book because I was curious about what Aphrodite would do next. It didn’t end as I suspected it would. It did leave me wanting to read more from this author. This is the first book in a series, which seems to be a spin-off of another (non-erotic) series.

It’s a happily-ever-after for the most part, erotic, romantic, controversial if you have feelings about certain pantheons, there was some action, a few plot twists, and it was fun and entertaining to read.

I hadn’t heard of the Maenad before, so I learned about them.

There are several covers. I do like the one with the man (Loki) about to kiss the neck of the woman (Aphrodite), though I don’t know how much it matches the characters.

The theme seems to be independence, knowing how to make your own way. I think Aphrodite was the author’s favorite character, as the erotic scenes focus much more on her and her body.

Obstacles are difficult to write when your main characters are deities. Aphrodite’s main one seems to be that she’s lonely. Loki’s main one seems to be that he was being forgotten, and thus fading. Those are the internal conflicts. The external one is the Maenad.

May 17 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 Favorite Hero, Villain, and Feel Good Read #Books and #WriteClubDFW Scorecard


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Favorite hero/favorite villain

You got this. Who’s your favorite hero? Favorite villain? Share each for today’s challenge.



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Favorite feel good read



Day of the challenge: Day 5
What I read today:

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology



Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris




My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews


#WriteClubDFW Scorecard! Because reading and voting in all the bouts is part of my goal this month.
These are MY votes. You should vote for the stories YOU like. I just wanted a quick reference for my own purposes.

#writeclubdfw 2019

May 17 2019

The Magic Misfits #BookReview and #BoutofBooks 25 #BookRecommendation #MustRead #FavAuthor


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

If you like this, try that.

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

View this post on Instagram

Challenge: If you like this, try that. #bookstagram #books #boutofbooks #BoB25IGphoto #reading #readathon #reading📖 The Alchemist has a guy who opens up to possibilities. A Year of Yes is about @shondarhimes opening up to possibilities and enhancing #girlpower #womenpower #feminism . The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by @debb_rod has a woman running a business in a country struggling with equality. All three are #diversereads #weneeddiversebooks 📚 #NPH Magic Misfits has a similar #middlegradebooks fiction voice to Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) 📚 And if you like to both #read and #write, I suggest 📖 Writing Book Reviews as an Author. Because every #bookreview matters! 😊❤

A post shared by J Lenni Dorner (@jlennidorner) on



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Auto-buy author

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Ha ha ha. My cousin jumped in. We laughed so hard we were crying. Her account is private, I believe, so let me share the laughs here via screenshot:

@Penminion autobuy authors boutofbooks
~
@penminion Jamie.Writer signed copies books #boutofbooks

By the way, I’m still cooler. Ha ha ha.



Day of the challenge: Day 4
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology


Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris




My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews



Book Review:

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

#WeNeedDiverseBooks #DebutAuthor (NPH Middle-grade debut book) #BeatTheBacklist (2017), First book in a series

Real magic is all around me because I know where to look. 😉

I was already laughing at the TOC. 11ll! Oh, here’s a thing I know, bakers get one more because that extra one is for the taste tester. Royalty couldn’t have an uneven number.

This book was filled with secrets (and magic tricks) and a hidden thing or three… which made it an awesome and engaging read. I don’t read a lot of middle-grade fiction, but this seems incredibly entertaining and encouraging for young people. I read the whole book because I wanted to know how it would turn out.

I especially enjoyed page 100 / Ch 8, where Theo tells Carter that he helped because others could not help themselves, and that was enough even though all he got out of it was knowing he did the right thing. I like that as a character motivation.

This has a similar voice to the Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) “A Series of Unfortunate Events” series. (Which isn’t a shock since NPH starred in the Netflix version based on those books.) It’s also a bit similar to Harry Potter, though this is stage magic that anyone willing to practice with patience and perseverance can learn to do. Also, for those who don’t like Dumbledore and Harry’s relationship, this book would be more appealing because of Mr. Vernon (I can’t elaborate, but the end lays it out).

Grilled cheese and radish sandwiches? That’s new to me.

Has anyone ever cried so hard they laughed? Yes. That has happened to me. (My mind might have snapped a bit that day. I think that’s called dark humor.) Just thought I’d weigh in on the question from page 171 / Ch 14.

I borrowed this book. I highly recommend getting a print copy because you won’t fully enjoy it unless you can thumb back and forth. Which you will want to do. It’s part comedy, somewhat realistic fiction (I’m not sure if a place like Mineral Wells exists, but I’d like to think it might), happily-ever-after, action-packed, inspirational (especially if you’re an outsider or wannabe magician), meaningful, fun, entertaining, and informative (especially if you like to do tricks). NPH is an authority on the subject of magic, and he’s an adoptive father of two. Plus it’s a diverse book! A homeless kid, an adopted kid with gay dads, a kid in a wheelchair, people of color, plus carnies (who are villains, but still). The theme is about friendship and family (“non-traditional” perhaps).

There’s also a life lesson about honesty and not stealing. I think it holds a sort of dusty and cracked mirror up to society, because here’s a homeless kid but the book isn’t about him being homeless, it’s about him being a good person at all costs. I think that’s really important, and something that society doesn’t consider– that a lack of birth parents doesn’t make you a bad person. (Could someone shout that for the people in the back, please? Thanks!)

I’m a fan of NPH, so yes, I’ll read more of his books. Plus, I already plan to read the next books in this series.

I learned a magic-math trick from this book. The cover and the inside art are top-notch. The title makes perfect sense by the end. Some people might be off-put early on when seeing how Carter’s uncle mistreats him, and there might be difficult conversations about homelessness and foster homes/ orphanages. But I care about those topics, so I think that adds value to the book. It was relatable for me, and brought up some emotions from my youth. Leila reminds me of a friend I had years ago, someone who was easy to become friends with and wasn’t overly judgemental.

Bosso’s carnival and the magic shop were both settings that really came alive for me. My senses were engaged.

8♠️9♦️ 6♣️5♦️Q♠️Q♠️Q♦️4♦️ 9♠️5♦️A♦️4♠️5♦️9♠️

May 15 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 #CoverLove #BookishFavorites

I just updated the 1000 posts giveaway. Three prizes unlocked!
Winners:
Prize: $5 US Amazon egiftcard Cassandra
Prize: $5 US Amazon egiftcard Ace
Prize: Live, Love, Laugh, Learn Magnetic Bookmarks Nicki




Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Book plot emoji

Tell the plot of a book (recent read, favorite, whatever) with emojis.



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks Love on your favorite cover(s)



Day of the challenge: Day 3
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris



Total number of finished books: 0
Titles of finished books:



My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

May 15 2019

#BoutofBooks 25 Favorites and #Fandom #GeekingOut and #DiverseReads


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

OMG!!! Guys, I’m geeking out over here. I may have mentioned my love of the Red Queen series.
(“By ‘mention’ you mean not shutting up about it?” Umm… yes…)
Today, this happened:

@VictoriaAveyard liked @JLenniDorner tweet May 14 2019

I’ll grant you that she’s tagged in the tweet, because it’s my bookish favorites and NATURALLY I put one of hers in there because she’s one of my favorite authors. (Even more so after reading her endnotes. Seriously, if you haven’t read the books and aren’t into future fantasy stuff, at least do yourself the favor of reading the personal notes she left at the end of the books because OMG.)

You know, that’s kind of the author dream. I may need to add it to my life goals. Have a fan who geeks out because I hit like on their tweet. Anyway, that’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me during Bout of Books. No, wait… I had a brief chat with Mary Elizabeth Summer after I reviewed her book. Was that during bout of books or because I’m on her mailing list? I’m not totally sure. ANYWAY. Enough of my fandom rambling. Onto today’s wrap-up!

Today’s challenge:

Bookish favorites

Today is all about sharing your favorites. Get wild. Share your favorite author, audiobook, book, series . . . if you have a favorite anything, today’s the day to shout it out.

flaming dice bookmark
There’s a better picture of my favorite bookmark. I probably like it because of my tabletop RPG days.

Writing Book Reviews As An Author is also shown, but not listed in the caption.



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks

What makes Fractions of Existence a Diverse read?

Xavier — scarred, body dysmorphic disorder
Jezebel — Indian-American
Heath — nutmeg tinted skin (heritage has only been hinted at in the series thus far)
Gwendolyn — golden olive skin, plus-size female, Mormon/ LDS religion
Jun — Asian-Caucasian
Caleb — Gay

#WeNeedDiverseBooks #DiverseReads Fractions of Existence by @JLenniDorner



Day of the challenge: Day 2
What I read today:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

Not much progress due to work and doctor appts.



Total number of finished books: *****0
Titles of finished books:
n/a




My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews

May 13 2019

Raving about Readathon Love for #BoutofBooks 25


Bout of Books
Bout of Books 25

Today’s challenge:

Introduce Yourself #insixwords

#InSixWords #boutofbooks  My autobiography in six words: rebel, strange, author, man, American, Lenape

#InSixWords #boutofbooks
My autobiography in six words:
rebel, strange, author, man, American, Lenape
(Yes, all the words are from book spines. 📚 )



Instagram:
#bob25igphoto #boutofbooks



Day of the challenge: Day 1
What I read today:

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1 – Anthology

I’m reading an ebook. I’m also borrowing an actual book. PLUS, I’m reading 500 word enteries at Write Club!



Total number of finished books: 0
Titles of finished books:
N/A



My GOALS during Bout of Books 25:

  1. Finish reading 4 books
  2. Take part in the challenges
  3. Write 4 book reviews



The Twitter chat was fun. My TBR pile grew. (Big shock, I know.)
I decided to make a list of what sort of books people want to read, based on the Twitter question. The number is how many people gave that answer.

Q6. Fill in the blank: I’d like to see more books with ____. #boutofbooks

13 #WeNeedDiverseBooks (non-binary, trans, genderqueer/fluid, non-straight, POC, #ownvoices, paranormal black characters, diverse parents, disabled, aro/ace, LGBT+, diverse mysteries, all body shapes have fair representation, LGBT+ dystopian, noticeable flaws, mental issues, normal weight, plus-sized, marginalized)
3 Viking, Celtic, Native American (characters, mythology, protagonist/ “good”)
2 Unicorns
2 strong female friendships without backstabbing & drama, really smart women
2 magical realism / technology and magic (not steampunk)
1 Urban Fantasy with Dragons
1 Lady Pirates
1 New Adult non-romance (more college and young professionals)

May 12 2019

Mother’s day Sunday Stealing Questions

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

1. Do you own your things or do your things own you?
I own them.

2. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
Have some pretty bad old ones. And have been making good new ones. So I guess lose the old. Ohh… but would I remember the stories I’m working on? Yikes. And never recall what I’ve read? Eeek.

3. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?
Find a way to cut them from the equation.

4. What do you have that you cannot live without?
Survival instincts.

5. When you close your eyes what do you see?
Mostly darkness, some bits of color.

6. What sustains you on a daily basis?
Love.

7. What are your top five personal values?

  • love
  • creativity
  • tolerance
  • freedom
  • loyalty

8. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?
Because people aren’t possessions.

9. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?
Uhh, I guess.

10. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?
Plenty of them.

11. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
Publish the whole Existence book series.

12. Why are you, you?
Because no one else signed up to be me.

13. If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?
Hope.

14. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?
Challenge, love, uncanny.

15. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing? Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?
Yes, because some laws require disobedience to improve society.

16. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?
Being equal to the others of your species, including not having someone try to reclassify you as some other species just to make you less so you can be owned.

17. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?
Publish another novel.

18. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?
I’d ask someone why they did something horrible.

19. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
This is interesting because I’m writing a fantasy story where this is true.


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: Thought Provoking Questions

May 05 2019

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Reflection of a Co-Host


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge

We celebrated our Tenth Anniversary at the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.



#AtoZchallenge. The blog hop that made an online community by asking bloggers to spend the month of April using the English alphabet as inspiration for their posts.

The Reflection post is an A to Z Challenge tradition. It gives us a chance to look back at what worked, what didn’t, what we’ve done, what was learned, and where we hope to go from here.

This year, in honor of our anniversary, there’s a list of ten questions:


  1. What did you love about the challenge this year?
    • I love that it is the TENTH year. Do you know how many hops don’t make even two years? And we’re at TEN!

      (Sure, we didn’t have the 1,718 blogs of 2012. Or the 2,009 blogs of 2014. But 685 is still impressive!)

  2. What would you change about it?
    • I try my best to please as many people as possible. I know some people were upset with some comments (an escort service and taxi company spammed people, for example). And others are upset that we’re not BlogChatter (I mean… I can’t make us be an entirely separate blogging group that happens to have a similar event at the same time). But the biggest complaint I heard was from people who were angry we stopped using Google+ and Feedburner email service (both of which were shut down, and we don’t own Google, so… I mean, I can apologize, but it is what it is). Honestly, I’m thrilled with how things are running. Jayden is a sheet goddess. John knows all the tech. Zalka is so upbeat. Arlee has given us a real gift, for which I’ll always be grateful. Our team is wonderful.
  3. What was the best moment for you during this year’s challenge?
    • Thanks Team post – Arlee wrote a deeply moving post. That was my best moment, reading that post.
  4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment?
    • You know what was fun in the comments for me this year? Janet and Ronel. I feel the love, ladies! You’re both awesome.
  5. Will you do the challenge again?
    • Without a doubt.
  6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?)
    • I love my team. And fill it out… yeah, I freaking wrote it.

    J Lenni Dorner blog numbers April

  7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy?
    • I love the number spike that April brings. The challenge makes blogging so much more interactive. I love our community. And yes, I did find some new blogs to enjoy! And I really loved blogging another reference book. I think sharing knowledge is really useful to the community.
  8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?)
    • I am locked at the top of the list. And the daily lists had SO MANY complaints that I’m pleased as pudding to see them gone.
  9. Any suggestions for our future?
    • I want to see what others write for this. All my thoughts and suggestions are already shared with the team.
  10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one?
    • Our team is great. Jeremy does AMAZING work and we should all go attack him with praise and shirt orders. (He and I did try to find a way to get other merch, like mugs or pens, but it didn’t work out.)

LINK TO REFLECTION SIGN UP FORM:
https://forms.gle/qWu8NmVgitt9CBiK6

The team needs your feedback!

https://forms.gle/k4UpJgaTpca5venR7

That’s the link to the after survey.




Grab your A to Z gear, and other cool goodies from our graphics guy, here: NeatoShop.com/artist/Jeremy-Hawkins



#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge SURVIVOR badge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Questions: Did you make a reflection post and sign it up on the form? Have a chance to enter my giveaway?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge


~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~


Find the book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image

May 05 2019

Sunday Stealing 15 Questions

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

1. Name three things you love about yourself.

  1. I love that I’m a writer. I love sharing stories with the world.
  2. I love that I decend from the Lenni Lenape. I’m proud of my heritage.
  3. I love that I support communities of bloggers, readers, and writers. (Via the A to Z Challenge, Bout of Books and Tackle TBR, Operation Awesome and We Need Diverse Books.)

2. What’s the bravest thing you ever did?
In my opinion, told someone I loved them.
In the opinion of another: Years ago, I came across an injured guy who was under attack by a wolf. I did not know the man. I came between him and the animal, got the wolf to go back into the woods, and thus probably saved both lives.

3. Talk about the craziest night of your life.
Good crazy or bad crazy? I mean, bad crazy, yikes, I don’t want to go there. Crazy good… Snookums and I went out. First time staying in the forest for my other half. We had only been together for a few weeks. There was a picnic under the stars. We stayed in a cave. One of us (me) enjoyed that, the other liked it less, at first. (But got into it as the night went on… 😉 ) We fished for breakfast. (I caught a fish… Snookums caught a styrofoam cup.)

4. Name three things you want in life

  1. Love, which I have but always want.
  2. To publish more books.
  3. To inspire others and give back to my communities.

5. Who’s your biggest celebrity crush?
Michelle Rodriguez or Oscar Wilde

6. What’s your most common mistake?
“Unnecessary comma in complex sentence.” – Grammarly Insights

7. Which three things would you save if there was a fire?

  1. Keys
  2. Meds
  3. Snookums isn’t a thing… umm… my pants? Seems smart to not run out naked if possible.

8. What’s your favourite sport?
Is hunting a a sport? I’m good at going into the woods with nothing, making my own weapons and traps, and using nearly every part of any animal I take. But sports with moving a ball from one spot to another don’t excite me.

9. Talk about something good that recently happened to you.
I reached 1000 blog posts. And 4000 comments. And I’m really close to some other follower goals. Plus, I just completed the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And won the WEP encourgement award.

~ GIVEAWAY! Click here. ~



#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge SURVIVOR badge THE ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD FOR THE 2019 WEP APRIL CHALLENGE JEWEL BOX goes to @JLenniDorner #WEP #WEPFF

10. Which fictional world would you want to live in if you could?
That’s a tough call. Maybe my own, in Fractions of Existence?

11. What’s one thing you can never say no to?
A cat asking to be held.

12. Talk about a childhood memory.
I made friends with some girls. I hadn’t had peer-friends before that. We enjoyed reading books together. Most of their parents didn’t especially like me. It all fell apart when one girl agreed to go out with a guy. And that guy led a violent attack on me because he assumed I liked my friend as more than a friend. He was wrong.

13. Name five things you find attractive in others.

  1. Being literate.
  2. Being accepting.
  3. Creativity.
  4. Leadership.
  5. Courage.

14. Are you good at making final decisions or do you easily change your mind?
I’m good at final decisions.

15. Name three guilty pleasures of yours.

  1. Reading marathons.
  2. Surveys like this.
  3. Pinterest.

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: One Direction Asks

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