Our Apocalypse Could Have Been Worse

To say the past couple of months have been … interesting is a bit of an understatement. None of us really expected to be locked up in our homes by mid-march because of some crazy virus that the CDC just couldn’t control. And now we’ve gotten confirmation on UFO’s and Killer Hornets have invaded the US.

Yeah, 2020 is shaping up to be a hell of a year.

Though most of us will admit that its not quite the apocalypse that we wanted. Admittedly some of us we’re really looking forward to zombies in our local area but beggars can’t be choosers. And since lock-down seems to be coming to a close with businesses opening back up in some areas, here’s a few novels that we can be thankful didn’t actually take place.

*** Warning: Possible Spoilers ahead***

  1. Under the Dome by Stephen King – I believe this novel gets over looked simply because it’s one of his newer based ones and the television series made it a bit of an odd film. But Under the Dome is all about a small town that gets cut off from the rest of the world due to some sort of dome being placed around it and it becomes a ticking time bomb as air pollution, lack of oxygen, and morals run low all across the town while people try to discover some way to lift their prison.

    It’s not his most talked about end of the world story like The Stand or The Dead Zone, but it’s definitely up there and worth the read. Considering most of us have gotten that small taste of isolation for ourselves. Thankfully we weren’t cut off from the rest of the world like they were in the novel.

  2. The Murder Complex By Lindsay Cummings – It’s Hunger Games. Kind of. The Murder Complex is all about dystopian future where a plague has devastated most of the world but a unique society that exists in Florida and is run by the murder complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

    This is an interesting take on dystopian world as the two MC’s learn more about each other and their growing distrust of a government that doesn’t care rather any of them live or die.

  3. Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie – This one of those morbid type books that I received in a subscription box and cried buckets of tears over. In this book all the worlds children get sick and die within a day and the story only gets worse from there. With all the illness and loss going on in the world, let’s be thankful that its nothing like the events in this book.

  4. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer– Its never quite stated what happened to the world where the MC Rachel scavenges through, but its a pretty desolate and dangerous place. The story seems to suggest that the biotech corporation destroyed it in some way. Leaving behind tons of biotech that’s just plan dangerous – like the huge bear that floats around the city- and a small little creature called Borne.

    In the end this is a really interesting read that is about learning to love and letting go and seeing the beauty of the world through another person’s eyes. It could also stand as a bit of warning as to what could happen to humanity should large corporations lose control of their creations.

  5. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – This book is about Neville, who when we first come across him seems to be the last man on earth who is still looking for a cure to the zombie like creatures that now inhabit it. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the movie, even longer since I read the book, though I vaguely remember hating the movie for not sticking to the book. As it so typically goes.

    But I remember finding it a bit depressing for the simple fact after everything he goes through and discovers, he comes to terms that the “monsters” roaming the earth is the new normal and he’s actually the villain.

    Only depressing when you think that some day or normal will no longer exist and another evolved form of humanity will come through replace all that we know.

BONUS Apocalyptic material.

Death Stranding – I was originally going to keep this post to focus mainly on books that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed but Death Stranding has a really good message that feel needs to be heard now, more than ever.

Death Stranding is a PS4 video game about a guy names Sam Bridges who is a porter and is tasked with the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE job of reconnecting the world. (Or at least North America) In the game you travel from one coast to the other – over mountains and through the woods- to bring various communities various supplies and connecting them to the Chiral Network all while fighting strange creatures called BTs that you can only see if carrying a BB, MULES that steal your cargo, and rogue porters that are just out to destroy the world for their own means. But all through the game there’s one phrase that is repeated over and over which is “Tomorrow is in your hands.”

Essentially, while you are a single player doing all these missions alone, there’s a constant need to interact with other characters and constantly forcing you to make connections from part of the game to the next. Hell, it’s run on an online system that allows other players to build something that you can use and later add to if you really wanted to. The whole game is about connecting the world and connecting with other people, and reminding all of us that we are stronger together.

A pretty wholesome message for a video game, in my opinion.

If you haven’t checked it out, by all means, go do it. If nothing else you can watch Norman Reedus track across the mountains for a couple of hours…lol…and go check out all the other books listed if you haven’t already.

And remember we’re going to survive these strange times. Together. Stay safe and take care.

Until next time.

Also…this quote from the villain Higgs just rings true on so many levels “Nothing like the eve of extinction to bring focus to the mind. Makes folks honest.” And yes, I totally heard that in his voice. lol

5 movies that I’ve seen but haven’t read the books to.

5 Movies that I’ve seen but haven’t read the books

So as a general rule that I’ve kind of adopted when I was in high school was if there was a book based on a movie I would try to read the book and then watch the film, or watch the film and then read the book.

I’ve mostly succeeded in this venture.

There are several books that I can honestly say are far better than the movie. (Honestly, we can say this about a lot of books to movie adaptions.) But there is, of course, a handful of films that I watched before I read the books, or even knew they were books. It’s only a recent discovery that I learned they will sometimes base a book off of a movie. Suicide Squad is the movie to book adaption that made me aware of this practice. Why bother is beyond me, but whatever.

There are some books that I haven’t bothered reading simply because I’ve already seen the movie or television show and don’t want the movie ruined for me.

(I’ve also refused to watch The Book Thief simply because I loved the book and don’t want it ruined. Go figure.)

But here’s a list of five books that I haven’t read simply because I’ve watched the movie. (I might be confessing some book lover sin here, but here we go.) I should have it noted that I do own all of these books and keep them for one reason or another.

  1. Day After Tomorrow – I have no complaints about this movie. As far as apocalyptic films with original end of world plotlines go, it’s great. I found the book several years ago in a freebie bin and grabbed it up. It’s since sat in boxes and later on a shelf for the past couple of years collecting dust. At one point I said I was going to get to it but let’s be honest here, do we ever get to those “eventually” TBR’s.
  2. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – This is another one of those books I meant to read and have attempted to on several occasions. Perhaps it’s the way Douglas Adams wrote his books that I’ve found it difficult to get into. Don’t get me wrong. I love the story and I’ve watched the movie several times but I just don’t see it happening unless the world actually does come to an end.
  3. Matilda – A childhood favorite and a book that I’ve had since… childhood. This is one of those books that my mom bought me when she realized how much I loved the movie and attempted to read but couldn’t get into it. Think eight years old me trying to picture a movie that I’ve already watched a dozen times and didn’t like it when things started changing. This was back when my love for reading was just starting and my attention span not that great. I’ve kept for sentimental reasons but don’t ever see myself reading it now.
  4. Death Note – Seeing as this one of my all-time favorite anime’s you would think I would have read the mangas. But no. Yet another series of books that I’ve started to read and for whatever reason just haven’t finished. Considering there are twelve books in this series and at the time of falling in love with the anime I was just plain broke. I could always go back one day and get the complete series and read them. Lord knows I love the movies (Japanese version not that one that Netflix put out.) as well as the anime itself.
  5. Pet Semetary – Honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet. It’s a Stephen King novel and I do I love his books, but its either because the hype for it hasn’t been all that great or I’ve seen the movie (newest adaption anyway) and wasn’t all that impressed. The only thing that even remotely frightened me was the relationship between the mom and her older sister. (Or lack thereof.) Either way, it’s on my TBR just somewhere at the bottom when I run out of everything else.

So, yes those are five books that I have seen the movie adaptions and just haven’t bothered to read them. Some of them I might get some flake for but oh well. Whatever some books that you’ve seen the movie adaption to and just haven’t bothered to read the books, or vise versa? Maybe you have a favorite book that you refuse to ruin with a movie. Just let me know in the comment and until next time.

Closing Old Doors and Opening New Ones. (Literally)

I went on a bit of a hiatus for the past two weeks because I moved.

My husband and I have been together for 10 years and one of the main things we’ve always talked about doing was buying our own home. Of course this crazy dream of ours would happen just as the world shuts down, but here we are.

We bought our own home and barely managed to move into it before my home town decided to declare a Stay-at-home order. So we get to fully settle into our new home and enjoy it… locked inside… with the kids.

Yay!!!

Leaving our old home was kind of a bitter sweet moment. We spent four years in that apartment. It was in that apartment, in my little space next to the hall, that I penned STOP THE RAVEN and several other short stories. I got my first short story accepted for publication there (got the email while browsing FB at midnight and woke my husband up because I was so excited) and my first query rejection. Started this blog, my Youtube channel and my twitter account all in that spot.

Met a many new online friends that I love talking to on the daily. (And am missing sorely because I’ve been so disconnected from the online world.)

A couple pics of the old set up

In that home, we planned and took our first trip to New York. (Well my first trip, my husbands been there before.) My youngest started school there, my oldest brought his friend over for the first time in that apartment. We had our last Thanksgiving with my mother in law before she passed in that space.

To say that saying good-bye to that place was easy would be a lie. But at the same time, I’m excited that I can now call a home mine. I can shape into what I want without restrictions. (Mostly… there’s still city codes and yada yada…but you know) And we can set down some roots and settle into a place.

My kids will have a place to fully grow up in and come back to when they are older and its exciting and nerve wrecking all at once.

We’ll make new memories here, start up new traditions, happy ones to boot.

Especially since Corona isn’t letting us out any time soon.

It’s strange sitting a new spot. We’ve turned our third bedroom into a game room / office (For the husband mostly) But I’m in here. In a little corner that I can call my own and it’s a bit of an adjustment. I don’t have the kids hanging over my shoulder like I used to because we were in the living room. I don’t have them flying by from their bedroom through the hallway.

I can shut the door and block them out if I really wanted to but the noise has always been a welcome background. (I grew up in a loud, busy family so quiet tends to throw me off.)

There’s going to be an adjustment period, I already know this but as I hang up pictures and find new places for everything it’s starting to feel more and more like home. And in no time I’ll be back into some kind of an old routine and thing will settle down enough that I can get back into some kind of writing schedule, that’s been uprooted thanks to forced homeschooling. But it writing will happen. I already find myself going stir crazy from not being able to sit down with my characters and write their stories.

So anyways, I’m going to wrap up this post. There are some announcements that I failed to upload in the past couple of weeks.

One is Love and Hate from the Dark Drabbles series has been released. It was released on Mar. 17th, but I believe I was pulling a muscle carrying a dresser on that day so I’m letting you know now but I’ve one in each and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about them so go and check them out since you’ve probably got no where to go anyways.

They are both available on Amazon and through the website.

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Also the 9th installment of the Dark Drabbles series, OCEANS will be released on April 14th. I’ve got 4 drabbles in that one and am excited to get a hold of other stories as well.

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Also, also Blood and Beetles is to be released on April 18th with a short story called Janet’s Price by yours truly. Pre-order is now available. And if you are interested check out the first installment of this series, Death and Butterflies

So as you can see even though the world is slowing down the world of publishing is not.  I hope everyone is being safe and taking all the necessary precautions during this time of uncertainty and until next time.

Authors That Inspire (Chuck Wendig)

Authors That Inspire
(Chuck Wendig)

So, there’s so many authors out there. You find them on Twitter, YouTube, Tumbler. Etc. Etc. Literally, everywhere and most of them are just posting about their daily lives, what’s coming next in their career, and that absolutely adorable pet picture they captured while being distracted. (Not dissing pictures of pets. I know I post enough of them.)

But there’s so many of them out there that I thought I would start a new series spotlighting the authors that have inspired me through the past few years. There’s so many of them from mainstream to those that deserve far more attention than they’ve received.

So here, we are.

Now I’m not going to go into the big names like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling.

We all know why we love them.

Nah, I’m thinking more of the everyday writers. The ones that have to jump onto social media daily and advertise their books months before it’s even finished in order to get any kind of sales.

Not that the main stream writers don’t work their asses off. There’s a reason their at the top, but we’re not focusing on them.

And I figure why not start this series off with the writer that made me realize I had to think about this writing thing as a 9-5 instead of some kind of distant dream.

Chuck Wendig.

Chuck is an NYT best-selling author of Starwars: Aftermath series. He has also written the Miriam Black Series and most recently Wanderers. A fantastic dystopian that I’ve heard has gotten great reviews.

But those are what makes him a great author, what makes him an inspiration is he runs the blog terribleminds.com where he posts such things like “5 things I learned…” which are guest blogs from authors and their current releases and if you dig far enough into his archives, you will find his “25 Things…” blog posts he used to post consistently. Or you can just look up his Kick Ass Writer book that has a fair amount of them from writing that first draft to tackling the marketing and social aspect of this whole writing thing.

He still gives a fair amount of advice for new writers, his book Damn Fine Story is supposed to be filled with little nuggets to write the best book you can. Haven’t read it yet myself but it’s there.

Through his blog and books, I learned of the writing community on Twitter and stumbled across the authortube community. Hence why he was the first person I thought of when thinking up this blog posts.

I wish to do more posts on Authors that inspire and steer further from the mainstream people so if you know of anyone out there that you feel is inspiring other authors feel free to let me know in the comments below or over on twitter and I will look them up add them to my lists.

Until next time.

2019 in a nutshell

2019 in a nutshell

2019 was an interesting year. I can honestly say nothing really exciting happened and something exciting did happen. Let me break that down a bit for you because I know I’ve lost a few people there.

Personal life wise, nothing exciting happened. I wrote my stories, posted videos and worked on the weekends. Held on to a few goals that I’ve been talking about achieving for the past couple of years.

Example….I kept promising myself I would workout and lose some weight. While my aim was 30lbs this year, I still managed to lose 15lbs and kept most of that weight off despite falling off the workout wagon.

I also managed to purchase my website this year. A goal that I’ve been putting off for a couple of years now. It feels weird not having .wordpress.com at the end of my domain name but something I can for sure get used to having.

I also managed to spend most of my year writing. In 2019 I wrote 1 novel, 1 novella, 6 short stories and several different drabbles for various genres.

And the biggest thing to happen for me this year is I did manage to get published.

Was it the Stop The Raven novel that I wanted to see in print everywhere? No, but I have five drabbles published in various books from the Dark Drabbles Series from Black Hare Press and I have three of those six  short stories set to be published in 2020 along with several more drabbles. I also published two more short stories on site under the “shorts” link. Feel free to check them out.

That 6th short story is somewhere up in limbo waiting for the Dark Lords of submissions to say yay or nay. Crossing my fingers here

Yes, 2020 is looking to be another great year for publishing small works. Maybe even that novella I mentioned, and dare I say it, Stop The Raven. It’s looking to be a bright year and it’s all because of the stepping stones that were placed in 2019 and the years before.

Like I said, not a wholly exciting year as far what adventures I had, but definitely great enough for the writing career that I’ve been trying to build up for the past three years!

Especially since I discovered Black Hare Press at the beginning of this year and have since met some amazing people that I look forward to continue working with in the New Year!

Here’s to a great 2020 and all it’ll bring about!

UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!

I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here. My apologizes in advance. I focused a bit on my youtube channel, which I ask that you check out for more content. I’ve also been focusing on writing and querying and that seems to take up a good bit of my time. 

So, without further ado I’ll get into the announcements.

First off, I’ve got a small piece recently published in the ANGELS: A Divine Microficition Anthology by Black Hare Press

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It’s currently available on Amazon and you’re welcome to check it out to find my piece as well as over 100+ other author’s. It’s already topped as a #1 Best Seller in it’s category and isn’t looking to disappear anytime soon.

That being said, I also have another bit of drabble coming out soon in their Beyond Dark Drabbles #4 and is up for Kindle preorder and is due to be released in September.

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So keep an eye out for further updates on that.

Now on to other news.

I’m still querying STOP THE RAVEN the stats for that are as followed.

22 Queries sent out

17 Rejected.

0- MS Requests….

I’m really beginning to think that I need to take a look at my first chapter and maybe the query and synopsis but I’ll wait a bit longer to see what happens. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here and a tad stubborn but I’ve seen worse odds. So….To each his own, right?

Though I have already started plotting out how I can make the first chapter far more interesting and possibly even change the plot all together but that whole bag of worms will wait until I’ve reached a few more rejections.

On the writing front I am currently working on another story. Think IT where a bunch of kids are fighting a monster lurking in the woods. I’m enjoying it. For the most part. It’s giving me some trouble as far as not wanting flow as easily as I hoped it would but it’s only in first draft mode and not looking to meet public eyes anytime soon.

Maybe if I put myself on some kind of deadline I can get this thing finished and edited and figure out how I wanna publish this thing. That will be a problem for another day though.

I’ve also have several short story ideas building up for submissions to anthologies. If you write speculative fiction and are looking for a place to submit your work feel free to check out Black Hare Press. They have more drabbles looking for submissions as well as their new Seven Deadly Sins series that just opened for submissions as well as several others.

If you’re a reader, still check out their content because they have some amazing anthologies coming out.

My current reading lists includes:

Angels – because I do wanna read some of those other stories. I got glimpses of titles and they all look so amazing. Can’t wait to dive into that.

and

Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I’ve followed her on twitter and love her enthusiasim for writing and traveling and have been meaning to get into one of her books. I’m not even disappointed by the story thus far and am looking forward to finishing this series off.

Otherwise summer has been filled with kids, camping, and an upcoming water park trip. Woohoo! Yeah, it’s been going by pretty fast and the end of the year is just around the corner.

So what things have you been up to? Achieved any major goals? Read any good books this summer?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Keep Reading

2018 is right around the corner. Literally, there’s what two (?) weeks left for the entire year.

*Checks Calendar*

Sorry. There’s 11 days left and people are wrapping up all kinds of things. i.e. gifts, goals and of course their reading lists. I for one am one of those people. I have 458 pages left on Stephen King’s IT and I’ll have reached my lofty goal of 15 books this year. For those of you who read 50 to a 100 books in one year this may not seem like a whole lot, but I started out with the mind set of reading 12 books and finished 15, most of those pretty good sized books like IT.

If you haven’t seen it, just know that in any print it’s a behometh of a book.

That’s not including all the books on writing and my 99 cent romance novels I get on Kindle. I don’t count those for some reason, though I guess I could and that would lead my reading number into the twenties, but we won’t go there.

This blog isn’t about my reading goals, or what I have and haven’t read. We could get into that another time, or you can just check out my goodreads list on the side bar.

This blog is about why you should be reading. Even when it’s the end of the year and things are usually wrapped up tight with a pretty little bow on top.

My family, heck my 13 year old niece, could attest that I’m never one without a book. In fact, I already know which book I’m reading when I finish up IT because that’s the kind of person I am. I keep reading.

For various reasons.

          1. It’s my safe space.

This past couple of years you’ve heard that word a lot. People needing places to go for quiet and a sense of security. I never really needed a specific place, I just needed a book and a place to seat and I can find myself escaping whatever dilemma is eating away at me and I’m fine. Of course, like with most safe spaces, you are going to have to come out and deal with those problems but while I’m reading that’s best left for another time.

         2. It’s relaxing

I don’t know about you, but when I start reading a really good book I go into a kind of trance. To the point I don’t hear or see anyone else around me. I once had someone rip a book from my hands cause they’ve been trying to get my attention. ( The death glare they received.) But they had been saying my name for ten minutes, and even attempted to wave their hands in front of the pages. Never even seen or heard them.

But when that happens and I finally come back to reality, usually at the end of the book, I feel like I’ve had one of those really good nights sleep that you only see on Hollywood movies.

       3. Books are Informative

Most of the time we don’t realize we’re learning something while reading until it comes up in later discussion. Especially when reading fantasy novels. Those are the good books though. The ones that teach you things and broadens your horizons without actually telling the readers what it’s doing. It just happens.

One minute, you are clueless about some old roman king… ruler… whatever and the next you’re reading about the same roman leader in a text book at school and you’re the only kid that has an answer for the teacher.

This honestly happened to me in Highschool and it was hilarious when I had to explain how I knew who Charlamagne was before even reading the history book.

Of course non-fiction books are even better at this, but you’re getting the idea.

 Fantasy is best for those random bits of facts that you don’t realize are being sprinkled in there until it’s to late. Non-fiction is better at actually teaching you stuff. Seriously, if you are a writer and find yourself lacking ideas for stories, pick up a couple of non-fictions stories and see where it takes you. I mean where do you think all those, “based on true events” movies come from.

                  4. You pick up the Do’s and Don’ts of writing

This is aimed more for my scribbler buddies out there. At some point in our writing careers we start picking apart other peoples writing subconsciously. Rather it’s a friend’s writing or the Harry Potter book that you’re reading for the umptenth time. We start looking for those things that everyone seems to be doing, or shouldn’t be doing, and it helps in our own writing.

We usually don’t mean to do this. Especially when we’re just trying to sit back and enjoy a good book but it happens and sometimes it’s for the better. Sometimes it’s for the worst because you have to rewrite an entire chapter that is starting to read like a Stephen King book.

Yes, I’ve been guilty of this.

But that’s why you should read widely and not stick to one author or genre. Harking back to that previous point of ‘broaden your horizons.’

                 5. Last, but not least, it helps you find your voice

Again, this is aimed for those writers that pop on here, but reading widely and various different authors can in fact help you find your voice. Over time you find that you’ve attempted, either intentionally or not, to write like one specific author or another and some where in between stalled WIP’s and half forgotten narratives, you’ve found a particular way you like to write.

You’ve found your voice.

Now this isn’t to say that that’s going to be your voice from now til the end of your writing days. It could change. It could evolve. It happens because people change. You aren’t who you were twenty years ago and you won’t be who you are now twenty years from now.

You grow and so does you’re writing.

That’s why you need to keep reading so that your writing can keep evolving. The more you read the more your brain tucks all that useless information inside and the more you have to use toward your stories and your characters. Think of it as an unlimited supply of ammo that you can continue stocking up on anytime, anywhere.


Rather you read for enjoyment, or knowledge, or whatever. Just keep reading. Keeping swallowing up those stories and carry them with you.

What to buy that writer

            Christmas time is coming around and people are getting excited for more family get togethers. The Christmas parties, the traveling, and of course the gifts. The best and worse part of the holidays would be the gifts. Coming up with gifts for everyone that you know isn’t going to earn you an eye roll is by far the most stressing inducing part of the whole ordeal.

That’s not including the meal prep and get together with the whole family.

But if you have a writer in your life, particularly a beginning writer that’s looking to get serious, here are a few items that might just perk up their day.

  1. Books on writing advice.

          There is plenty of books out there that can help someone figure out just about any stage of the writing process. There’s a wide array of information out there ready for said writer in your life but to narrow down a couple of my favorites.

There is always the most well known (also termed the writers bible) and that would be Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’

In his book, he gives a bit of a backstory on himself and how he got into writing and turned it into a career and then he gets into some of his most well known writing advice and even a list of book recommendations.

Next favorite, and I just realized she has published another one, is Angela Ackerman’s Writer’s Guides. She’s got the Emotional Thesaurus, the Positive and Negative traits and a whole slow of other books that is more reference material for writers looking to make great characters and settings. A definite must have in a writer’s arsenal when fleshing out those stories.

Like I said there is a slew of reference material that you can browse through on Amazon and no matter what stage of writing your writer friend is on, they’ll be thankful.

  1. Notebooks and Pens

     Writers write.

             That’s just what we do. Rather it be on the computer, or phones, or on that scrap of napkin at the coffee shop. We write. Everywhere. So why not buy that writer in your life a couple of note books and some pens to do just that. Don’t have to be fancy. Could probably go down to the local wal-mart and pick out some cute notebooks and decent pack of pens and we’d be happy.

Though I can be sure said writer would be more thrilled if you actually put in the effort and buy them that leather bound journal with the string that wraps around to keep it closed and those beautiful fine liner color pens to go with it. But really any notebook would do and would be greatly appreciated even though we already have like a hundred other notebooks lying around the house.

  1. Coffee Mugs and Candles

           Okay, so it’s not essential. We don’t really need the coffee mugs, or candles, or even a t-shirt that defines as writers. We are who we are. But just like having those name plates at the office, with your name and title on them, or getting one of those, “World’s Best Dad” mugs. Their nice to have around, just for the sake of having them. Not to mention that candles and caffeine help us relax and get those words out of our system.

  1. Books

              I’m not talking about more of those advice books. I mean just regular every day books because most writers love to read as much as they love to write. It’s not a must do requirement to be a writer. It just happens to come with the territory and I can guarantee there’s a wishlist of books sitting around somewhere.

It’s the never ending lists that get’s added to daily. Yeah that one. Take a look if they have it written down, or ask them.

Better yet.

Get them a gift card to their favorite bookstore and let them go nuts for however long they decide to get lost in those bookshelves.

5. An Ear to Listen

                  Every writer needs that ear to listen to. The one that let’s them bounce off ideas and just talk through random plot points that are probably never going to take place in the actual story.

Not to mention that extra pair of eyes that they can show bits of story to so they can get some idea if they’re on the right track and not demand to read the rest of the story.

Because it’s not finished. We just need to know if this particular part is working or not.

So, the best gift you could give is your time. Let us run ideas by you and rant a few times about how the story or character isn’t going the way it’s supposed to. Sure we have writer buddies we can do this with. It’s just nice to have a friend that goes along with our craziness as well.

So there you have it. A handful of items that you can give to that writer in your life that hopefully makes shopping for at least one person less stressful and time consuming.

Every Writer Needs to Keep a Journal

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Notebooks, journals, those random bits of paper that you find at the back of your desk drawer. All of them a great places to jot down notes, make that quick list or essentials or just write down that really motivating quote that you just read.

Me, personally, I keep three. One to jot down scenes and random ideas. Another for planning and yet another for quotes. We won’t go into the odd bits of printer paper
shoved into said journals from work when inspiration struck at the oddest times.
My love for notebooks and journals knows no bounds. Mainly because they can be used for a great many things.

 

1. Great Place To Keep Notes.

The first and obvious is they’re great for keeping notes.

Need to remember to grab that thing at the store, or need a list of something that your kids want for birthdays or Christmas. Just grab a notebook. Don’t have to be a fancy one, just a small $0.50 one would do the trick. Keep it in your wallet or back pocket.

Simple.

Smart.

Everything at your fingertips.

Or you could just use that notepad app on your phone..that’s fine too. Unless you’re like me who constantly loses, breaks, or forgets her phone and doesn’t have those notes readily available on said device.

I’ve found notebooks/journals to be slightly more reliable.

2. Good for writing out ideas

Need to jot down that one line that you know you’re going to be forgetting later, I’ve got a notebook that has whole chapters in it from stories written three years ago right along with my blog posts and those crazy writer tags.

Why?

Because I’ve told myself this lie countless time while I’m laying in bed, ready to sleep after a long day, and come up with some epic scene. By morning I’ve forgotten most of it and am banging my head on the wall trying to remember even a portion what was said or done.

I’ve learned my lesson of course; as my co-workers could attest to. Now I’ve been known to stop mid work day to write down that crazy scene, or outline that next part of my book. My friend rolls her eyes at me but she knows it’s done for a reason.

With it I’ve managed to remember names, places and some of my favorite lines. Even managed to rewrite several scenes from different stories. It’s also kinda fun to go back and look through your old notes and see how far you’ve come as a writer.

Gives you a bit of a moral boost just to see how far you’ve come.

3. Journaling is essential for not only motivation, but for mental health

Keeping a journal has also been known to help boost ones moral.

When you keep consistent notes on what days bothered you and why, you tend to have a better understanding on what things you should probably avoid. Or things you need to prepare for that you know is going to trigger some sort of non-stellar mood. (Yes, I totally used that word. Who cares.)

Mood Journals, as their sometimes called, allows you to write out your feelings. Especially those that you don’t feel like expressing to the world. Their private and you need them to stay private, but it’s not good to bottle things up. A journal is a way to get them out without telling it to the world if you’re are not ready for that.

 

4. They make amazing planners.

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard of bullet journals. Where you keep a journal as a planner and you can create and change your own lay outs. Making it easy to add and remove things at will.

Yep, I’ve got one of those.

It’s been great this year for my goal of being more productive. It’s help. To an extent. I find that when I actually take the time to write down my tasks in bullet form the night before I’m more liable to complete those tasks the next day. When I don’t bother…well.

You get the picture.

You can do various different spreads from word count goals to weekly blog posts layouts. Even financial and TBR spreads. There really is no limit to what you can place inside these little planner/journals. Allowing you to keep everything in one, easy to reach spot.

Bullet journals are also good for adding in those little things. I have quotes, photos and movie tickets. Small little momentos from the past year, not to mention a handful of receipts that I might need one day.

People have Memory pages dedicated to specific events or even months, some have mood calendars. Like I said, a litter of versatile ideas with no end in sight.

 

5.  Fun to look back at all your crazy ideas and note worthy days.

I’ve kept journals for as long as I could remember. Long before my for sure writing days. All the way back to my middle school days when I would write down my angst ridden poems.

I still have them. Their sitting in a box somewhere and whenever I move I glance over them, cringing at my 11 year old self and smiling at the same time.

Journals are good for that. They allow you glance back in time, rather it been last week or 20 years ago. Little time capsules that you can stow away and look back on whenever you wish .Especially if you keep photos and little diary like entries in them. Next year, I’m going to try to do more of that. Take more photos and paste them into my bullet journal.

Something to add onto what I’ve already cataloged and will hopefully have for a long time. It’s my firm reason to believe that everyone needs to keep a journal.

Writers especially. We tend to be scattered brained at times, jumping from one thought to the next, never really sure where those little roads might lead and what might be forgotten in the long run.

Even if it’s a small $0.50 notebook and a pencil. Grab it. Keep it in your purse, pocket, whichever and jot down all those random little things in your life. Ideas, to-do lists, those moments that impress upon you the most.

After a while you’ll be glad you did.

At the beginning…

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So, I did this thing. It’s not an amazing thing. Relatively small in the grand scheme of things. Ideas formed, characters were birthed and scenes played out. Ink staining paper until it grew big enough to be called a story. Something tangible and touchable that can be held and read and loved.

I wrote a book.

Well, a first draft anyways.  Still for some that’s a pretty big deal.  Now comes the fun part. The edits and re-edits and then sending the manuscript out for commentary and another round of edits, or two, or three.  Seems to be a never ending cycle.

And don’t get me started on doing this again with another story. Not that I wouldn’t. I totally would. Just looking forward to one story at a time and in the mean time.  I’m creating this blog as a diary of sorts. A way to keep tabs on where I’ve been and what I’ve done. Welcoming you all to follow along and hopefully one day I can looks back and say I did it.

I wrote a book