Friday, September 27, 2013

Writers are the Bravest of All

We write the story we're meant to tell, putting our hearts into each word, sentence, paragraph, and page. We sacrifice our time, skip meals, ignore the phone, and the door. We shed blood, sweat, and lots of tears. We bear our souls. We kill our darlings. And when we get kicked down, we get right back up and dust off. We do all this in fear of failure. 


Because that's what writers do. We are word warriors. Go ahead, turn to the mirror and ask: 

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the bravest of them all?"

The answer will be loud and clear: Writers

In our profession, rejection is so plentiful. It lurks behind every corner. And still, we plod on, time and time again.

No matter where you are in your writing career, take note, you are brave. The bravest of them all.

As Sara Bareilles says, "Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave."

~Be the brave and mighty writers you were meant to be~

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: Heading to My Writer's Cave

For the next couple of weeks, while I'm working on some writing and editing, I'll be cutting back here on the blog. So my posts will be short & sweet. Enjoy Debbie Ridpath Ohi's newest Will Write For Chocolate comic.

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at

Boy, wouldn't that be nice?

Have a writerly week, y'all!

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Keep Story Notebooks

It's Fun Fictional Friday, folks!

1. Ideas do not follow your time schedule:

Writers' minds are in constant motion. So what happens when your next big story idea arrives while you're grocery shopping? Driving a golf cart on the greens? Or how about when a new plot twist idea arises when you're driving your kids to school? 

You guessed it. Keep a notebook. 

If your ideas are anything like mine, they don't wait until it's convenient for you. More than 90% of my ideas come when I'm not sitting by the computer. They can be impatient little boogers. Jumping around in front of my face, blocking my view, screaming, "Hey, lady!" Other times, they're explosive fireworks, bursting in a rainbow of colors before my eyes. If I don't write them down within a few minutes, they fizzle out and disappear.

2. Writers are creative people:

We need to have creative outlets even when we're not writing. Or at least I do. A story notebook can be as creative as you'd like.

I prefer to keep a notebook for each of my stories. 

As you can see above, I like Mead composition books (wide ruled) the best. If I'm feeling rather crafty, I may decorate the covers as well.

Author Jeff Abbott shares how he keeps novel notebooks. His choice of notebook is pricey, but using a simple 3-ring binder will do the trick. His opinion is 3-rings are bulky, but I like the idea. Scroll down on his post to see what he includes in his notebooks. Genius.

Here's a neat blog all about notebooks. The author of the blog, "Nifty" claims to be addicted to notebooks. I have to admit, I'm sort of obsessed with notebooks myself. 

When I see a blank notebook, my first thought is, story.

3. Writers need a place to collect their thoughts:

Trust me, our heads are not safe storage units.

What do I keep in my story notebooks? Well, I'm glad you asked.

  • Seedling story ideas
  • Plot notes
  • Character notes / analysis
  • Character name ideas
  • Setting notes
  • Sketches
  • Images (cut out or printed off computer)
  • Quotes or inspiring passages
  • Music play list (depending on genre. I normally don't have play lists for my PBs.)
  • Letters written to my characters
  • Scene ideas
  • Dialogue 
  • Plot diagrams
  • Newspaper or magazine articles
I carry my current WIP notebook everywhere I go. When an idea arises or if I hear a particular interesting piece of dialogue while eavesdropping, I can jot it down. 

Of course, there are times when I forget my notebook, and I grab anything available, including an envelope from the day's mail. Whenever the idea arises, it must be written down. Just don't forget to put the notes inside the notebook later.

4. Writers need mental bookmarks:

If you're a busy writer with tons of story ideas swirling around, notebooks are an excellent way to keep up with them. Each story notebook can act as a mental bookmark. If you need to put a particular project on hold, your notes / ideas will be waiting, bound or spiraled, when you return.

5. Because when you publish that book, you'll want to share your story notebook with your fans. They'll want to hear all about it.

Tell me writers, do you use story notebooks? If so, have a particular favorite kind? 

Happy writing, y'all~

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: Author Alex J. Cavanaugh Takes the World by Storm

Hang on to your spacesuits, my friends! A storm is sweeping across the galaxy!

Join me in celebrating with author Alex J. Cavanaugh as he takes the world by storm with CASSASTORM, his third book in one of Amazon's best-selling series.

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together."
- Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” 
- Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“…the racial conflicts propelled much of the plot in this story, driving home a message that's relevant to our own world and giving the book an interesting texture.” 
- C. Lee. McKenzie, author of Alligators Overhead

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:

Alex J. Cavanaugh


Who's the man behind the books?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and work in web design and graphics. I minored in music and play several instruments, including guitar. I'm experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, my interests range from books and movies to music and games. I'm the founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group and a co-host of the A to Z Challenge from 2011-2013. My first book, CassaStar, was released on October 19, 2010, and the sequel, CassaFire, was released February 28, 2012. Both books are Amazon Best Sellers. The third in the series, CassaStorm, was just released! I live in the Carolinas with my wife.

Don't miss out on the storm, get the entire trilogy today! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: Texas Word Wrangler Festival

This Friday from 9:00 - 5:00, I'll be participating, along with 19 fellow TX authors in the 8th annual Texas Word Wrangler Festival in Giddings, Texas. 

The Texas Word Wrangler event is an opportunity for the community to come out and meet local Texas authors, purchase books, and learn about their writing craft. The event is put on by the Giddings Public Library & Cultural Center and the Giddings Chamber of Commerce.

This will be my first official book signing for LITTLE ACORN'S BIG FALL. I'm super excited about the event, but most of all, I can't wait to get out, meet the community, and have the pleasure of visiting with the children.

KTEX 106.1 FM, a local radio station interviewed me this morning about the event and LITTLE ACORN'S BIG FALL. I've added a link to the interview below. I tried to embed it into this post, but sigh, I'm a writer, not a tech queen. Listening to myself, it is obvious I enjoy using the word, actually. Let's hope it doesn't show up in my writing, too. O_O

If you live in the area, come on out to the Giddings Public Library and visit with some great writerly folk on Friday!

*I've uploaded the mp3 file to Google Sites, but I think you have to have some kind of media player to listen.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fun Fictional Friday: Books (When It's Done) Parody

It's Friday, folks! Popping in to post an adorable parody about books, performed by author Sue Fliess. I couldn't resist! 

Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend. :D

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September IWSG: Do You Thumbtwiddle Between Projects?

Happy IWSG post day, folks! It's also the 2nd Anniversary of the group. Wow! I also hear there's big news over at Alex Cavanaugh's blog. Don't miss our great founder and Ninja Alex's big announcement.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group meets globally online on the first Wednesday of the month. It's a day where we can release our fears of writing or offer support to those in need. You can join up at any time by clicking on this link. This month's co-hosts are Chemist KenS.L. HennesseyMichelle Wallace, and Jolene Butler. A big shout-out to all of you for helping Alex this month!

I'm not feeling the insecurity this month. So, I'm offering up support. If you need it, grab some!! It's here, free for the taking. Need a shoulder to cry on? Ears to gripe at? Email me: Anytime. xoxoxo

If you're wondering about the title of this post, well, I'm in between projects. Sort of. I'm waiting to hear back on some feedback, and I finished a first draft of yet another project. So now what? Do I twiddle my thumbs? 

Thumbtwiddling: To interlace the fingers and roll the thumbs in a circular motion, aka, twiddling. An action most performed by those who are bored. A complete waste of time.

Heck no! 

For me, in between projects is a good time to get busy.

I'm lusting over another story idea. I use the word lust, because that's the sort of crazed, I've-got-to-write-it drive I experience when researching a new premise. Surfing the Internet, reading articles, books, and just about anything I can get my eyes on relating to the subject. It's as if I can't get enough. Sort of like me with Blue Bell Buttered Pecan ice cream. 

How about you? Do you get lost or bored between projects? Are you a thumbtwiddler? What are your favorite sources for researching a new project?