Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - getting back into the writing groove


School's back in, and the house is quiet. Time to start writing!

... soon. After I finish painting the kitchen cupboards. Boy, that floor needs to be washed. Perhaps I should attend to my neglected garden. Oh, look! A new Deadpool musical on YouTube. I bet I don't need to tell you that's NSFW!

It's tough getting back into the writing groove. I had a busy summer away from the computer, and just putting my butt in the chair isn't working. So how do I reignite my fire?

After spending way too much time reading articles about this, here are five of my favorite suggestions:

1. Rid yourself of the guilt. I have so much I need to do, and I'm immensely behind schedule. But it is a schedule I set for myself. There is no deadline I have to meet except the now clearly unreasonable ones in my head. It's okay. Time to reset my goals. Time to be kinder to myself.

2. Clear out all the things that are drawing you away from writing. Do those chores, turn off the TV and internet, make sure you have a chunk of time when no one is interrupting you.

3. Read, read, and read some more. Stories inspire me. Reading always gets my juices flowing. Even if it isn't about my book particularly, I'll happily travel to other worlds and play with the possibilities there. Those can then help lead to story ideas for my own work.


4. If you can't get into the story via your word processor, get into it in another way. Look up inspirational images on Pinterest, research your protagonist's job, browse possible book covers, or do silly character interviews. Get that fire burning with other types of fuel.

5. Writing is a habit, and it will take some time to get back into it again. Last school year, I had a schedule. I was ready to write by the time the afternoon rolled around because my mind and body knew that's when it happened. Even if I don't write the new story, just sitting down at that particular time and working on old stories or writing blog posts about getting back into the groove *winkwink* will help.

How do you get back into the writing groove?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Three geeky freebies!


The first day of school is in five days. I'm super excited. I finally get back my writing time!

This weekend is also one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world, Gen Con. Have you ever been to a huge convention? It's a phenomenal experience. So much to do!

I won't get a chance to go this year, but at least I'll get to play with my gaming group next Friday. It's one of the highlights of my week to be creative, scheme, and laugh with friends.

In celebration of geeks everywhere, my hilarious and steamy trilogy, Dice & Debauchery is free for five days!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG for August 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover,Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

This month's optional question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Don't publish your story until it's ready. You'll want to get it out there as quick as you can and share it with the world. But don't. Make sure you have an editor, critique partners, and beta readers. Revise, revise, and revise again. I've seen too many authors put out their books before they've been polished, and readers do notice. Sometimes we feel the stories are never ready, but that is another lesson on learning to overcome the fear and letting go.

My insecurities: I blinked and summer break is gone. My son goes back to school next week. I'm eager to get back into my regular writing schedule, but I see everything I want to do looming before me. One thing at a time, I tell myself, but sometimes the shadows make everything look like too much.

Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

We're insecure writers. We can do anything... right? Maybe?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tempting Friendship - guest post by Patricia Josephine plus a giveaway!


Keane’s Top Five Video Games by Keane

Hello my adoring fans. *winks* I decided to take time out of my busy schedule and clue you in on the must have video games everyone should play. And don’t try to tell me you’re not into games. These are worth it. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know good quality when I see it.
  1. We have to start with a classic: Pong. It doesn’t get much simpler than that but did this change everything. I don’t want to think of where gaming would be if not for this game.
  2. Sonic The Hedgehog. I know there are going to be Nintendo fanboys/girls yelling at me but hear me out. Sonic is just a blast. It’s fast paced, the music is great, and the graphics still hold up. I’m right and you know it.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Can I really call myself a gamer if I didn’t love this game? It was amazing. The story. The characters. The music. I still play this game. (I do have to admit, Breath of the Wild has become a second close.)
  4. Street Fight. Chun Lee. Nuff said.
  5. Tomb Raider games, but not the reboot. The reboot was fun to play, but Lara is so booooring now. Before she was snarky and confident. I love a confident woman. I hope future releases in the reboot have Lara gaining the confidence the old Lara had.


At first, Quinn isn’t impressed by Keane. He’s cocky and has sex on the brain. The polar opposite of her. Despite their differences, something blossoms between the two.

Never one to take things seriously, Keane is an incubus coasting through life without a care. When he meets Quinn, her lack of reaction to him piques his interest. No human has ever been able to resist him.

As Keane and Quinn struggle to understand what is going on between them, something sinister rocks their world. Young incubi are vanishing, and Keane's friends go missing. Someone is after his kind. When Quinn is kidnapped, Keane must uncover who is behind the abductions and get to her before it's too late.

Buy links:

About the Author:
Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Links:

Giveaway!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - catching up on things


Coming back from vacation, it's a scary thing to turn on the computer and see how much you have to catch up on. I've gotten to a point where I just make a new to-do list rather than let the previous one smother me. At least my July list is very small.

My family vacation was wonderful. I highly recommend to families to try a family camp at least once. This year, there were a ton of kids, and never did I see one not having fun. I got a lot of reading done and took a few naps. Lovely.

With how busy I've been this year, it was nice to sit back and relax. It gave me time to reflect on what I've been up to lately.

1) I haven't written anymore on Of Death and Sorrow (the third book in the Of Blood and Sorrow series). I have 25k words down, but I paused it at the end of the school year. The story has become very large in my head, and I don't think it will be done this year. I'm still trying to be okay with that.

2) Once school starts up, I'll revise, edit, and publish Of Gods and Sorrow (book #2). It's been sitting long enough for me to come to it with a clear mind. Plus, getting that novel out this year will help ease my stress about not having the final one done.

3) I've worked with editors on two short stories for a collection called Futuristic Canada. I'm excited because these stories are unlike anything else I've written. The anthology will be out very soon!

4) I've experimented with a pen name. I wrote a novel and published it. I've marketed it to a very specific audience and done very little promo. It's already done so much better than anything I've ever published. Later this year, after I release the second book for the pen name, I'll be sharing my experience with you. Apparently I have learned something about marketing. Except it works for my pen name and not for me, which is at once exciting and frustrating.

5) I'm building a new story in my head for a big project the authors of Untethered Realms are creating together. I've done a lot of fun research into mythologies I've never read about before. It's so much fun.

6) As many of you know, I'm a geek and I love to play Dungeons & Dragons. I play weekly with a great group of guys. We are in the middle of a long campaign; the first one of this length that I've played in. So, of course, my character is demanding I write a book about her. I can't help it! I'm a writer. These things happen. I may end up writing a series of short stories for her and putting together a collection or sending them out to fantasy venues.

What have you been up to lately? I want to know!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Guest post with author Susan Kelley - Minimal Viable Population

I'm still enjoying some family vacation time, but I have a special treat for you. Please welcome the wonderful Susan Kelley to my blog!


MVP: Minimal Viable Population
I’m thrilled to be here on Christine’s blog and take it over for a day. Let’s talk some genetics science stuff.
Survivors of the Apocalypse, my three book dystopian romance series, is set three hundred years in the future. A virus has nearly wiped out mankind. Inside a doomed city are thousands of people, surviving by keeping their sterile city completely closed to the outside. But there are people outside the doom who survived the pandemic. They’re living rugged, frontier lives, but they have plenty of resources. The thing they don’t have is a large population.

This forces the frontiersman to reach out to the city, hoping to recruit people so they can maintain a MVP, minimal viable population. What is that number for humans? There are many examples in science of species being brought back from extinction, some with as few as one breeding couple. But what about humans?

There are plenty of opinions on that, ranging from 50 couples to 10,000 or even 50,000. The TV show Salvation put that number at 160, which is a number sometimes quoted in the scientific community. The population would have to careful to prevent inbreeding. Why is inbreeding bad? After all, many of the old noble houses in Europe, and let’s not forget the Tsars of Russian, who married relatives for generations. And that most famous of fictional inbreeding stories, Game of Thrones, showcases how common though not always accepted marrying a close relative was in medieval times. Here’s an interesting debate on those numbers.

Now for the bad:

Any birth defects that are in the family line become more likely to appear.
Genetic issues that are recessive are more likely to come up if related people have offspring.
Successive generations of close inbreeding will decrease the diversity more and increase the rate of bad mutations.

Siblings or parents and kids (super disgusting) marrying are the worst. They share 50% of their DNA. First cousins share 12.5% and until rather recently, wasn’t considered that bad of a thing. Before people became more mobile, most people were born, lived, and died within less than a ten-mile radius. They didn’t have many options. It was also a way to keep wealth within the family. Once people moved around more and women had more say in their futures, first cousin marriage started to be frowned upon. In some parts of the USA, it is against the law though the US is the only western country that has such a prohibition. However, there are groups of people in the world who still practice it. Read more interesting facts about cousins marrying.

On the fictional series like Game of Thrones, we see the Targaryens have many family members who suffer from some mental issues. But what we really want to know is if Jon and Daenerys should have children, being aunt and nephew? Most of today’s societies would consider that an incestual relationship. But then again, it’s in Westeros.

But back to my series, the outsiders are smart enough to understand they need a larger gene pool. But can the city people survive the outside air where the virus still lurks? Can the outsider people possibly convince the city folks that a match with a rugged frontiersman is the best thing for mankind?



The last book in the series, Exile’s Savage Lady, is now available along with the first two books at all major eBook retailers. Robin Linden was saved was saved by the outsiders when he was exiled from the city by a corrupt government. Now he’s determined to return to the city and bring the cure to the starving, oppressed population. Kerry Gibbs was raised with her brothers on the wild frontier and isn’t afraid of anything. Until he realizes she might lose the strong, quiet big man back to the city he feels responsible for saving. Her only choice is to sneak into the city with Robin and make sure he doesn’t get himself killed. Robin is willing to sacrifice himself to save those unfortunates, but Kerry is going to do everything she can to make sure he survives. The city is a dangerous place and neither of them may make it out alive.


Susan Kelley has been writing for more than ten years and has nineteen published romances. She resides in a large country home in central Pennsylvania where she has raised six children alongside her husband of many years. Deer, turkeys, hawks, and other wildlife cavort outside the window of her office where she writes fulltime. Find her:


What do you think about marrying cousins? How close is too close? How many people would you put on a ship to populate a space colony?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

#IWSG for July 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

This month's optional question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

A long time ago, I wanted to be the next Stephen King. I wanted to be picked up by a big publisher and an agent, be an international best seller, make millions, and have movies made from my books. If that still happened, I'd be ecstatic, but I'm much more realistic now.

I no longer feel the desire for an agent, and I don't query publishers. I'm in control of my own destiny. Being an indie author wasn't an option when I was young, but these days, it is a wonderful choice. I'd love to be able to make enough money to equal my husband's salary which would make me a mid-lister. In our publishing world, that would be a marvelous achievement. And instead of movies, I would love an HBO show or series on a cable channel that follows my books as well as Game of Thrones followed Martin's.

I have no doubt my ultimate goals will change again in ten or twenty years. The industry might be a whole different beast then.

* * * * *

We're only sixteen days away from this month's IWSGPit! Click on the image for all the details. It's a fantastic opportunity for writers.


8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

P.S. I'm lounging by the lake and reading this week. I'll get around to everyone's blogs later this month. Have a great week!