My Letter to Fear

Just loved this post! Both original, captivating and so powerful!

Desiree S. Brown

Dear Fear,

You’ve always been there for me. Always made sure I was safe. Always kept me alive. Always looked out for me.

…Until the day I dreamt.

Remember that day? When I had the audacity to believe I could be more. When I thought I could spend my days bathing in my creativity. When I was stupid enough–your words, not mine–to believe I could actually become a self-sufficient writer.

Remember?

You ought to. You poisoned that dream with paranoia, paralyzed me from achieving it and, worst of all, brought me down when I showed the slightest inclination to defying you.

Guess what? I‘m done letting you control me.

I’m not completely abandoning you (you’re necessary to some degree), but I’m limiting your influence on my dream. You will try and stop me, but this time…you’re not winning.

Sincerely,

A Dreamer

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Posts I loved this week

Here are my weekly favourite posts. From those that touched my heart to those that give reviews, they’re all here. Enjoy!

This one definitely surprised me as a way to write better by Emily Wenstrom in The Write Practice.

If you’re considering editing and wonder about options, this post has them for you by Jami Gold.

I’ve already mentioned the Write Practice but they had this great post on exercise and writing and I can’t help but mention them again. Such a great post by Birgitte Rasine from birgitterasine.com!

21 of the Best quotes on Writing from Stephen King. An absolutely delicious post. Check it out on the Positive Writer.

A great post on some very bad advice. I loved this one by Jeff Goins.

We writers are always looking for conflict for our WIP but we don’t want that in real life. Here’s a great post on how to resolve conflict with your loved one from Tiny Buddha.

Funny and endearing, this post by  had me from the get go. Then I noticed how informative it was! A huge thank you to Writer Unboxed for this great post.

A great set of links for writers in this blog. A huge thanks to Geri Walton at 18th and 19th Century.

Kristen Lamb has these five tips for long term writing success that were excellent.

Romance has often been criticized for being formulaic. In this fantastic post, All About Romance argues the pros and cons of following a winning recipe.

Cute or funny, these quotes from famous writers about writing made me laugh–on a Monday. A great post by Interesting Literature.

In this wonderful post, The Procrastiwriter wrote: “You can take long breaks, and the words will be waiting for you.” I just loved it.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan or if you just read the books, don’t miss this gem by Inky Tavern. It’s a thing of beauty.

The latest post Inside the Life of Moi made me laugh. Hilarious and cute, I had to include it here.

The title says it all: “When the Gazillionth Pass through your Manuscript tries to Kill you” by Heather Webb with great ideas in Romance University.

Absolutely delicious, this post had to be included in this list. A huge thank you to Part Time Monster for this one.

Brand new site, for those of you looking for reviews, check out Room With Books.

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Posts I loved this week

With this week’s huge selection of awesome posts, I had to stop while the post was still manageable. What an awesome list!

A fantastic post on marketing, this post was certainly one I needed to read. A huge thank you to J W Manus for the tips.

This one is on query letters. It includes Karin Gillespie’s best query letter and helpful tips from Karin Gillespie.

Having never been pregnant myself, I’m in awe of those courageous enough to try it. This post by Outmanned made me laugh out loud…and stare in shock at my screen. Sneeze-pee? Yowzers!

This post is beautiful reminiscence on 7 years of writing and what  learned during them on Brain Pickings.

A huge, HUGE congrats to Winter Bayne for this. An incredibly talented writer, Winter is also incredibly supportive towards others. Check out her blog here.

A lovely post on such a deserving topic, I want to thank Callum McLaughlin for this wonderful post.

I’ve added flashbacks into my books. If you’ve done so, check out this post on how to incorporate them properly into your novel by Now Novel.

This one was really helpful. How long should a post be? I suspected already that it shouldn’t be too long but here are tips on how to determine the most appealing length by Nikki Woods.

Hilarious and just cheeky enough for me, this post on First Drafts by Inky Tavern made me laugh out loud.

If you’re looking for that awesome publishing contract, this is a post on how to research agents (with links to resources) and submit a query letter by Write Nonfiction Now.

Seven brutally honest self-publishing tips, an awesome first look at self-publishing or a great reminder for the rest of us by Therin Knite.

Mishka Jenkins re-blogged this on A Writer’s Life for Me and I thought it was fantastic. It’s a post on how to find inspiration for writers by Spellbound Scribes.

The hero in my WIP is quiet and introverted. While these might sound like interesting, manly traits, it makes him quite difficult to write in a dialogue because he doesn’t say anything! This awesome post on Hidden Emotions gives tips and links to more posts on how to show the reader what your character is feeling but not saying. It’s a great post by another awesome site, Writers Helping Writers.

This one was a lovely post, so beautifully written I sighed at the end. It’s on giving up writing and its written by Monica Bhide on Writer Unboxed.

Finally, the cutest post ever, this one by Deidra Alexander had to go on the list no matter how long this post was getting!

Posts I loved this week

Another great week in posts. It was tough to select these and keep some out. Still, there are some really great posts here. Hope you enjoy!

Big congrats to Infinitefreetime for this great review.

Absolutely beautiful pictures. Here and here. Thank you to Sourcerer and Part Time Monster for the great shots. Keep them coming!

12 useful sites to Improve your writing. Everything from dictionaries to name generators. Awesome post by Just English.

Wondering what books are coming up in August? Here are August’s releases by date thanks to The Book Chick!

Writing part-time while holding a Day Job and dealing with life can quickly add up. If there aren’t enough minutes in your day, check out this post with 5 helpful tips for writers to help avoid being overwhelmed from Live Write Thrive.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a single idea for your novel, try this post on maximizing your creativity by Writerology.

I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to get critiqued. It’s so helpful and the advice is honestly what I need, but I still resist hearing it. So this post was perfect for me because it gave me ideas on how to accept critique. A huge thank you to The Write Practice for the tips!

Novel length is something I stress about. What if it’s too long? Too short? This post by D. Emery Bunn has great tips for lengthening or shortening different types of manuscripts and was just what I needed!

A very interesting July wrap-up, I loved this post because it gave me a glimpse of Inky Tavern’s month all in one go.

If you’re looking for marketing tips, here‘s a post on just that from Writer Unboxed.

If you’re looking to buff up your website, here‘s a post with seven tips on how to keep it looking fresh from Writers in the Storm.

Loved this Top Ten by Part Time Monster: Authors whose books I own the most of.

This one was an excellent post on fear as a character motivator. Since my WIP is Amy’s Courage, this was just what I needed. A huge thank you to Creative Writing with the Crimson League for the excellent tips!

If you’re burning out, check out this post on reasons to keep writing by James Preston.

If writing full-time is your goal, check out this post by Carlos Cooper.

And finally, it’s a long weekend here, I hope you have a lovely book to keep you company this weekend.

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On writing contests

I’ve entered writing contests…and wonder about the entire process.

It turns out, the judges are not paid. They’re volunteers who can be anyone from an editor to a reader–at times not even a reader of your genre. The entire process can be really biased.

At the same time, for a very small fee, you get several readers who will tell you honestly what they think of your writing–with a breakdown. It’s incredibly valuable.

If you’re considering entering one or are simply curious, check out this amazing post by a judge herself, Fae RowenShe also wrote this other one on the same subject: Writing contests: heaven or hell.

If you have entered and your head is still spinning from a nasty comment, you can check out this insightful post by Inky Tavern on reviews and how biased they are. Though her post isn’t about contests, the concept applies to contests just as well.

If you’ve never heard of them, here’s the biggest one of them all: The Golden Heart Award by RWA and a little one I entered in Canada: The Romance Writers of Toronto: The Catherine Contest.

Blogger Award

Sourcerer nominated me for this award, and since it’s Sourcerer, that’s high praise.

I never thought much about blogging before I started but I find I’m liking it. It’s fun to create these little posts and shout out my two cents out into the vast internet. It’s even better to meet nice, supportive and interesting new people. It turns out, bloggers are all those and more. I’ve been lucky. Not one troll (fingers crossed!).

Here are the only two rules of this award:

1) The nominee shall display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on her/his blog, and link to the blog they got nominated from.

2) The nominee shall nominate fifteen (15) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

Voila, la award:

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Please note, accepting this award is entirely optional. Don’t feel any pressure because I’ve named you. I just like your blog and your posts. To put your name on the list, I sat and actually thought of blogs that inspire me with either the quality of their writing, the humour they add, facts they pass on, great ideas they come up with or because the mind behind the blog is just simply awesome.

The Mighty Trebuchet – because the idea of this blog is outstanding.

Crystin Goodwin – because of the amazingly supportive things you do.

Winter Bayne – One of the kindest people I know, who also happens to work incredibly hard.

J.W. Manus – because of his amazingly helpful and kind posts.

Writers Life For Me – One of the kindest, most supportive people I know.

Nancy H. Doyle – Funny posts that somehow still show just how kind Nancy is.

Amos M. Carpenter – Helpful and talented…plus, he has a soft spot for animals. Lovely new kitten!

Sonia Lathem – Hilarious writer…with class.

Inky Tavern – Honest, gutsy writer who tells it like it is and has a fantastic sense of humour.

Elsie Elmore – So, so very kind and incredibly talented.

Katie Writes – She’s a blogger, mom and an awesome writer. Plus she’s a literacy advocate for kids.

DBCII – Awesome posts, great photography and an outstanding sense of humour. Plus, he’s a little bit geeky and I LOVE that.

Just Gene’O – I won’t mention how kind the mind behind the blog is. Quality alone makes this an outstanding blog. I never miss a post.

Outmanned – because she makes me laugh out loud.

Book Chick With Kick – Just those posts with upcoming releases would do it, but this blog has constantly outstanding material.

Rachel Mankowitz – A blogger who loves doggies and has a sense of humour to boot.

Kristen Luciani – Super-kind romance writer who has such an appealing way of writing, I feel like she’s talking to me alone.

Oops. I’ve gone over 15. It’s easy to find awesome blogs online. Really easy.

A big thank you to everyone on this list for the great blogs they’ve created full of those amazing posts.

Please note: Infinitefreetime, Part Time Monster, you were already nominated by Sourcerer or your name would also be on this list. 😀

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Posts I loved this week

This was a particularly festive week with Canada Day and the Fourth of July and there were a ton of great posts out there as well. A ton! Check out these beauties!

I loved this post because of the picture of Bella mid-twirl. I can just see how happy she is and there’s something magical about a child smiling and being happy. If that wasn’t enough, I also read the background into this very special picture in this other post and that doubles the reason for this comment.

A great post by Sourcerer on Search Engines and how to get your posts at the top of a search. Sourcerer keeps putting out amazing how-to posts for bloggers. It’s a site I’d highly recommend following. Here‘s another example, this time on tags.

I love the theme posts “If we were having coffee.” I look forward to them each week. Here’s one that’s particularly beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This post is a taste of the newest book by Jill Shalvis. Since I’m a big fan, this post was right up my alley.

I loved this post by . He claims that, if you know too much, you can lose touch with the newcomer and your audience as a consequence. I loved not just how well he wrote it (it was light and funny) but also his ‘fix’. “If your grandma doesn’t understand it, you need to revise.” Ha! What a hoot.

Congrats to Infinitefreetime for this. Awesome accomplishment!

I’m in awe of those Camp Nanowrimo participants. I have no idea how they manage to juggle that with life and work. Big congrats to Crystin Goodwin, Chris Musgrave, Inky Tavern and Winter Bayne for taking it on. (If I missed you, feel free to give me a shout and complain! 🙂 )

This one is very beautiful and full of Zen. I do the exact opposite of what it suggests. I resist life with every molecule. I gain acceptance in spite of my resistance through tears, shouts, and sometimes, even kicks.

Part Time Monster had this great list of the Top Ten Monster Books. I love lists and I love book lists even better, so this post was an instant hit with me. A big thank you for the list to Part Time Monster!–A side note: check out this little guy painting! Awwww! So cute!

This one moved me almost to tears. I have a lot of trouble reading about animals who are in pain or neglected. Careful if read this post and you’re sensitive about the topic because it’s very well written and will definitely make an impact. A big thank you to Living With Izzy for the beautifully written post.

This post is a great how-to if you’re considering getting beta readers. It explains what to ask and how to work with the feedback you get. An excellent post to keep as a reference or just to read by someone who really knows the craft.

Sending out query letters and work to editors is one of the hardest things I’ve done. If you’re in the middle of that process, check out this post by Winter Bayne. She changes a very stressful situation into a funny one and made me laugh out loud.

This post united writing and soccer and had me at the title. They’re definitely two of my passions and love anything that puts them together. On a personal note: I can’t wait for those final games! Soooo exciting! I know Birgitte Rasine gets where I’m coming from. 🙂

These Wordless posts are absolutely amazing. No words, just a beautiful picture. They certainly have me smiling every time I see one. Check out this one and help me cheer on the newly re-named blog Just Gene’O!

I loved this post because it’s eloquent, beautifully written and so logical. It’s one of those I could just sit and savour. At the same time, it’s on a subject close to my heart: self-publishing. Definitely one worth reading. A big thanks to D. Emery Bunn for the fantastic post!

And finally a new blog was born, The Mighty Trebuchet. It’s a blog with a very interesting mission. Check it out here.

Wow! That’s a lot of awesome posts in one week!

Sleep-deprived

 

Taylor Grace in The Character Blog Hop

Oddly enough, I just participated on my first ever Blog Hop yesterday and here’s another! I was nominated by Crystin Goodwin for this one and I’d like to give her  a big thank you for thinking of me.

Here are the questions:

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My character is named Klias and he’s most definitely a creation of my little mind.

 

2) When and where is the story set?

The story is set after Klias finds out he’s probably going to die–mostly due to what he’s done. It’s  a paranormal story so the reason is somewhat magical or ethereal.

 

3) What should we know about him/her?

We should know Klias will help others even if it kills him–which it nearly did.

 

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

He had accepted that he was going to die…but then he falls in love. With Amy.

 

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Klias wanted to ensure that Amy was safe before he died.

 

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

It’s called Amy’s Courage.

7) When can we expect the book to be published? 

I’m doing the big edits now. Then come little edits. You can see my progress on the first page of my blog. You can read more about Klias in the first book, Olivia’s Choice. He’s a secondary character in that book.

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I also get to nominate five awesome blogs for this hop. I have five just in mind:

Infinitefreetime

InkyTavern

Heather B Costa

Elsie Elmore

Amos M Carpenter

I hope everyone enjoyed this Hop. I tried to keep my answers brief and sweet. If you have questions, please give me a shout.

Posts I loved this week

From photography to D Day, this week has it all! I loved the varied selection of amazing posts!

If you like photography, you might want to check out this post by Hansstellingsma. There are some truly beautiful shots.

I love the blog theme: “If we were having coffee…”. It’s written in such a way that it’s whimsical and yet so inclusive. It feels like the middle of a good book, when I know the characters and I’m comfortable in the story. A few of my favourite blogs follow it. I thought I’d share them here. Here’s one by Part Time Monster and another by The Writing Catalog.

A excellent post for those interested in Twitter, Sourcerer explains just what Follow Fridays are and how to do them. With lists to look for and clear steps this is a great help for anyone looking to increase followers.

I loved this post by Winter Bayne because, for me, the story starts with the characters. I have a list (not unlike hers) that I must answer about the hero and heroine before I go anywhere near a plot. A great tip for other writers, thanks for the great post, Winter!

A big congrats to Amos M. Carpenter for getting published! Check the post and the book here.

On June 6, 1944, D Day started in Normandy and everything changed. This one is a breathtakingly beautiful and thoughtful post on the anniversary of D Day by Chris Musgrave. A big thank you for that inspirational post.

A great one to make you smile, this post is on famous rejections! Yeap, those big, famous authors whose names are now commonplace, suffered rejections! Check out what they were told of their masterpieces! A big thank you to Inky Tavern for the great post!

A book list for summer reading! I was delighted with this post because it had books! To read! With covers and everything! Absolutely awesome! I can’t say thank you enough to  for the post.

A rant by Alianne Donnelly that’s so well written, I wanted to cheer. As a romance reader and writer, I can so sympathize. Thank you so much for sharing such an honest post!

Finally, I am such a sucker for great quotes and these are awesome. From world leaders, 10 quotes to inspire you. A big thank you to Jeff Moore for this great assortment!

Reviewing fears

I’m not a reviewer. I like to give my two cents about books I read but those are books from stablished authors who probably couldn’t care one iota what I think to begin with and who certainly don’t need my review. I hesitate about giving a friend a public review–I would definitely do it privately.

Why? Well, I’m terrified of messing it up. I’m not a professional reviewer. It takes talent and good writing to write a good review. You can’t just say: good book. Worse, I could misinterpret something or disclose something and wreck the book for someone. Worse still, I could offend the writer and, if they are a friend, that’s just not worth it.

I’m not alone. The Inky Tavern posted this on reviewing for friends. Michelle D. Argyle posted her thoughts here. One more by Damyanti.

I know, I know. I just did a review for Infinitefreetime. The fear of messing that up is still with me.

What do you think? Should reviewing come hand in hand with writing? Is it a conflict of interest?