Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Gale Harbour Book Three Update (#IWSG June 2024)

At long last, I finally typed "THE END" on Gale Harbour Book 3. I "finished" the first draft a few months ago, but it needed a bunch of revising to put it all together, and I only just wrote the epilogue a couple of days ago. This will be the longest book in the series by far, and my longest published work to date,  and that's after I cut numerous chapters and side plots. I'm still worried it's too long - it's come a long way from the fast, adventure-romp of the first book. I guess we'll see what the proofreaders say.

After the proofreaders/beta readers, it's off to the editor. I really hope to release the book before the end of the year, which should be possible if I focus on ironing out all the edits that come back.

Is the book any good? Yeesh, that's a hard question I can't answer right now. So let's answer the IWSG question instead: 

In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?

This is an excellent question and I'm not sure if I know the answer. Just the network of like-minded writers is and has always been it's main draw. Finding more specific offerings and services is tricky because everyone is at different points in their writing journey; some are traditionally-published, some are self-published, some are trying to finish their first manuscript, some are bloggers, some write things they have no intention of sharing with others. 

For me, personally, I would love some sort of interview or review swapping, to help boost visibility. I know this happens unofficially now, but I was in another writing group where they had a dedicated, organized schedule where 12 writers would each post 12 interviews per year on their blog - you would appear on 12 other blogs and you would host each person on your own. It was a great success.

Another thing I would like to see would be updated versions of the Writers' guides that IWSG put out years ago, and perhaps to update the resources on the "Self-Publishing" tab of the website. Again, these are things I would like to see for myself, but I'm sure it would helps others, too.

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

GUEST POST: A Quick Test Release!

Did you know friend of the blog, Patricia Josephine Lynne, has a new book out this week? It's true! Patricia always writes fun, imaginative stories no matter what the style, so do yourself a favour and check it out:

A Quick Test
A Quick Tale #4


Outer Space

These mysteries fascinate our minds.

Explore the unknown in this exciting collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and
designed to stimulate your brain no matter how busy your day is.




If you asked Patricia J.L. to describe herself, she’d tell you, “Too creative for my own good.”

A paranormal and fantasy junkee, she loves to craft fantasy and paranormal stories about vampires, mermaids, angels, demons, zombies, and other mythical creatures. Aliens might even appear in her stories. No matter what mythical beast you crave. Patricia J.L. has a fantasy for every imagination.

Patricia J.L. officially started writing in 2012. She was bored and since she was always day dreaming
fantastic stories, she thought, “Why not write them down and share them with people?” She's still deciding if that was a mistake or not. Since then, she has finished a dozen stories and has no plans to stop.

When she’s not lost writing in fantasy worlds, she relaxes with knitting, drawing and art, and jigsaw puzzles. And of course, good paranormal fantasy books. Patricia J.L. currently lives with her husband in Upper Michigan. One day, they both hope to have enough pets to resemble a petting zoo. (Until then, can she pet your cat or dog?)


Blue Sky:

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Still Blogging (#IWSG April 2024)

Busy, busy, busy... It's the craziest week of the year at my day job, so I have to keep this short. Which is too bad, since I actually had a story cooking about the monthly question.

Writing and revision have been slow due to how busy it's been at work, but it is plodding along slowly. Hopefully when I'm over that hump I can jump back into it and finally put Gale Harbour 3 to bed (or at least off to the editor).

April Question - How long have you been blogging?

My first blogging experience wasn't with this blog, but with a tabletop gaming blog called I wrote about role-playing games and tried way too hard to be edgy - some of the early posts are particularly cringy. 

I won't go into too much detail, but suffice to say I do miss the community. The RPG community at the time was very vibrant, and despite the arguments between "Old school" and modern games, there were a lot of great conversations to be had. A lot of it took place on the now-defunct Google+ social media platform, which I also kinda miss because I never found those same groups again. I mean there are also gaming groups on Facebook but OH MY GOD those people are obnoxious.

How about you? Anyone else lament to the changes to blogging and social media over the years?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Spring is Coming (#IWSG March 2024)

I'm sorry about my mopey and depressed post from last month. Not sure if was the winter blues or what, but I'm feeling much better now. More positive, more energy. It probably won't last, but I'll make the most of it while I can.

I've been writing again, and revisions on Gale Harbour book 3 are coming along well. I've also started thinking long and hard about my next project, and I have several ideas for short stories I want to write in between. It's amazing the impact not being depressed has on your productivity. 

I've also been painting again and I picked up Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. I've only played it for an hour so far but I'm really looking forward to getting into it - there's only so many hours in the day.

I finally finished this guy last week, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

My day job is still crazy busy as it always is this time of year, and will continue to be for about two months, but once I'm past crunch time I should be able to finish my writing projects and get into Final Fantasy VII. Spring is looking up!

Random Question: I've almost reached the 500 subscribers limit on my free MailChimp account, and I really don't want to pay the $30+ per month to expand the limit. I really don't make that much money off my writing. I want to keep building my mailing list, obviously, but I don't send very emails/newsletters - just when I have a new book or pre-order to announce, really. I'm considering exporting the email addresses, and just using MailChimp to collect new addresses. Does anyone have another solution, or suggestion on what other systems they use?

Oh, and there's still the question of the month...

Have you "played" with AI to write those nasty synopses, or do you refuse to go that route? How do you feel about AI's impact on creative writing?

I have not played with AI for writing synopses, though I really want to because I hate writing them myself. I guess there's a part of me that's afraid of feeding entire manuscripts into the AI's learning algorithm. Not that it couldn't have picked up my text from somewhere else, and I'm sure it's already scanned tons of work way better than mine. Still seems weird to actively do it myself.

I'm also being hypocritical, because while I'm apprehensive about embracing AI-enhanced writing, I use it for producing art all the time (mostly for fun, and not for commercial purposes). Whether it's feeding on my written words or someone's visual art, it's still stealing/borrowing without permission from someone's work. 

I know that AI is going to have an impact on writing and publishing, and fighting against it is a losing battle. It's inevitable, like the lightbulb replacing oil lamps. And algorithms learning from the work of others is not that different from humans being inspired by the writing or art of others - we all borrow elements from our favourite creators. The difference, of course, is that a computer program can process artworks a million times faster than we can, and does not have any discretion on how it uses that information. 

I'm also really paranoid about that "Does your work contain any AI-produced material?" question on the Amazon publishing page. For now I'm steering clear of any AI content, because I don't know what Big Jungle will do to my books if I click "Yes."

Most terrifying form I've had to fill out in awhile.

Wow that's alot this month. Time to go check out some other blogs.

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Sigh. (#IWSG February 2024)

I feel like a broken record, but I've been struggling to write lately. I want to, I really do, and I often try, but I never get much out. Life in general has just been a drudgery, from illnesses in the family to constant appointments for ongoing health issues to increasing pressure at work. Even when I get the time to do anything, I just don't have the energy. 

I started to revise Gale Harbour Book 3, which involved going back to read the first two books. You know how sometimes you go back and read something you wrote in the past and go, "Hey, this is pretty good?" Yeah, that didn't happen. I don't know if it's because I'm already depressed, but I did not look back on it with rose-tinted glasses. I am going to keep going, and it will push me to make the next book as good as possible, but it just feels like a mountain that I do not have the ability to climb right now.

Before I get too negative, let's get to the question of the month... which will probably also be negative. Sigh. It is an interesting one, but will likely cause some (hopefully positive) conversations.

February question: What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? 

I look forward to hearing everyone else's response on this, to learn things I shouldn't do with my website. I'm sure there LOTS of them.

If I have one pet peeve, it's pop-ups asking me to sign-up for a newsletter. I know, I know, newsletters are important blah, blah, I have my own mailing list, I get it. But asking me to sign-up for a mailing list before I even see anything about you is a big turn-off. If I'm interested enough in your work I will go sign up or buy a book, but I NEVER sign up for something that pops up in my face. It's just a stubborn principle. I refuse to buy anything from solicitors at my door, too (sorry, Girl Guides!).

Well, there's my gloom and grumpiness for this month. How's everyone else doing?

Hugs & kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, January 10, 2024


Just dropping a quick note today to tell you about a fun new anthology coming next week from the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Writers Alliance!

Versus features thirteen stories that examine humanity's triumphs and failures in a world full of challenges. Drawing from science fiction, fantasy, ancient myths, and post-apocalyptic worlds, these tales examine the expectations and demands of society, love, death and reality through the supernatural, the challenges of technology, and reimagined myths and legends.

Versus presents exceptional stories from 

MJ James - G. Clatworthy - EB Hunter
Kat Vancil - M. Fritz Wunderli - LL Baker
Isa Ottoni - SR Malone - EA Robins
Nick McPherson - Michael C. Carrol

Forward by Jade C Wildy
Edited by Aaron H Arm



Who is the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Writers Alliance?

We are a group of Fantasy & Sci-Fi writers who have banded together to help promote each others works, share each others social media posts and try to help each other to create a healthy following of readers on all our social media platforms.

Once in the alliance, we will loop you in on follow trains for relevant platforms as well as postings to help promote you and your fellow alliance members works. You can join the trains or share the posts at your discretion, but the more you give, the more you will get from the experience.

The hope is to create a network of like minded writers who will be able to:

1. lengthen the reach of our social media,

2: to draw in more followers across platforms and

3: ultimately improve all of our success as writers.

Anyone who is a writer in the Fantasy and/or Sci-Fi genres will be able to sign-up, all that is needed is at least one social media account. It is encouraged to have at least the big three of Instagram, Twitter & Facebook though to get the maximum effect.

If you are a part of an Indie Publisher, you can also sign up your social media accounts to be linked into the alliance network.

No information that is provided on this form will be shared outside of the usage stated above, and will be kept in a secure location. This information will be provided to other alliance members so that they can help support you and share your accounts and works.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Survived Another Year (#IWSG January 2024)

So I had a rough end to 2023. In November the family came down with Covid and we were sick for weeks. I was sure I had long Covid, but turns out that I had actually developed an unrelated sinus infection (which I do not recommend), and my wife and daughter had strep throat. That was a lot of bugs going through our house! We had a course of antibiotics and finally cleared up in time for Christmas, but it was a close one.

Fortunately, I had mostly finished my annual Christmas book for the kids before the illnesses struck. As a reminder, every years for the past five or six years I've written a book for my kids and nieces to give to them at Christmas. As they've gotten older, the books have gotten longer and more involved. This year there was actually no illustrations (thank god), but it was about 50,000 words long. Which is a lot for something that will likely only ever be read by half-dozen people.

This is last year's. This is possibly the most work I've ever put into a book.

Last year I finished the Pokémon arc (which, by the way, met with mixed reviews because it had a rather dark, bittersweet ending - I don't sugarcoat things just because it's a kids book!), so this year I started a new series based on their Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Like our games, it started off with a lot of random nonsense, including numerous characters dying, before settling into a more traditional fantasy story. I'll have to let you know how it was received at another time, as they haven't all finished reading it yet.

Like I said, nonsense.

Looking toward the New Year, I think I should have the next Gale Harbour book out before the calendar turns over again. Still have a lot of revising to do, but nothing insurmountable. 

This is my tenth year in self-publishing. I don't know if I've hit my goals, because I never had a clear outline for what I wanted to accomplish. Sure, there are vague daydreams of making tons of money and quitting the day job, but that's never been the focus. I'm kind of amazed that I'm still going at all, to be honest. I don't have many hobbies that have lasted ten years. Except writing itself, which I don't really consider a "hobby." It's just something I have to do, whether I publish or not. 

Okay, that's all for now. I'm going to try to get back to a regular blogging schedule, so I hope to see y'all soon. Best wishes for your 2024!

Hugs & kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

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