Wednesday, June 2, 2021

...It'll work itself out fine (#IWSG June 2021)

Hey, look! It's my first time this year posting two months in a row for IWSG! (Please don't drop me from the list, Alex, I'm at #59 and I don't want to start over!)

June Question
For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

I know I should wait between first draft and revision. I used to wait longer (on my first published book, Ten Thousand Days, I waited 8 years). I usually advise waiting at least a month after finishing your first draft, to give the story time to percolate, and to come back to it with fresh eyes. Unfortunately, the more I write, the less time I seem to give myself. On my second book, I waited two or three months. On Psycho Hose Beast, I waited about a month, which I feel is ideal. On my current WIP? I finished the first draft on a Tuesday and I started revising on Wednesday.

I'm putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I had a release date in my mind that I wanted to hit, which meant that I had several deadlines to meet that. Deadlines to get it to an editor, to get the cover artwork, to set the pre-order on Amazon, to arrange reviews and marketing. Again, I haven't announced this release date, and the only person expecting anything is myself. But it seems that as I write and publish, I want to write and publish more, so I'm shortening my timelines and making everything more difficult. 

Why did I think this is a good idea? The rest of my life certainly isn't getting any easier, or giving me more time. I just want to get Gale Harbour book 2 out, so then I can start working on book 3, and then I can start something new...

This is the kind of stuff I tell my kids not to do. My son especially. I'm constantly telling him to slow down and take his time, to work carefully, and enjoy each step in a process. Or at least to make sure it's done properly, to save yourself headaches down the line. Is there a fable about following your own advice? I think I need that one...

Anyway, onto some good news...


The latest volume of Strangely Funny is now available! It includes my short story, "Exorcist to the Stars." This is my fifth time appearing in Strangely Funny and my fourth published story this year:

Other crazy people who have printed my stuff.


It's been a heck of a year for me writing-wise, and I would love to cap it off by releasing a new novel, but will it happen? Should I care? More importantly, should I lose sleep and neglect other parts of my life to make it happen? 

I think I know the answer, I just have trouble convincing myself it's the right one.

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK

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 http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

NEW RELEASE: A Quick Spell by Patricia Josephine (Guest Post)

It's a great day! Friend of the blog, Patricia Josephine/Lynne has a new book out! I already read this latest collection of short (short!) fiction, and really enjoyed it. You can check out my review here. And find out more about Patricia's book below!


Magic.

Myths.

Fantasy.

We are bewitched by what we can't see.

Conjure delight with a fantastical collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to delight your imagination no matter how busy your day is.

Will you believe? 

 

!BUY THE BOOK!

AMAZON 


!GUEST POST!

The challenge of writing short fiction
by Patricia Lynne/Josephine

You may think writing a 200 word story isn’t that challenging, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some writers may actually say it’s harder than writing a full-length novel, and I know a few who don’t write shorter fiction because they can’t wrap their brains around it. Their muse only works in long form.

Writing short fiction is different from a novel. With novels, you have an unlimited number of words you can use to paint a picture for the reader. Short fiction you have restrictions on word count. You may only have 1000 words. You can even have as little as 50. When you have that limit, you are forced to choose more carefully. Your strokes have to be broader instead of going into minute details as you can with a novel.

The way I approach short fiction is similar to my novels. I just start writing. I figure out the story as I go and when I get to the end, I edit. I edit until the story is at the word limit I’ve imposed. That’s done by cutting descriptive words. The sentence doesn’t need the color of someone’s shirt for example. Thoughts the character has might get axed as well. If it doesn’t serve the basic story I want to tell, it can go.

Sometimes that doesn’t always work. Sometimes the story I’m trying to tell needs to be longer. When that happens, I stop worrying about word count and let it end as a novella or novel. I have a zombie apocalypse story I hope to release in the future that I initially intended to be 100 words. It ended at over 10,000!

Writing short fiction is a great exercise. It makes you think about word choices and their importance to the story. I encourage anyone who enjoys writing to give it a shot.




!THE AUTHOR!


Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy 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. 

!THE LINKS!

Website | Patreon |Twitter

Facebook Newsletter Goodreads

Amazon Author Page Smashwords 

Draft 2 Digital 




Wednesday, May 5, 2021

DARK MATTER and other frivolities...(#IWSG, May 2021)

What the hell... I missed another IWSG post last month? I don't even know where I am anymore...

As you've no doubt seen from other IWSG blogs today, the latest IWSG Anthology was released this week! Dark Matter: ARTIFICIAL, published by Dancing Lemur Press, is now available for purchase! Featuring brand-new stories from 9 amazing writers (plus me), you're sure to find something to satisfy any hankering for sci-fi goodness!

Be sure to check it out and pick up your copy here! 

You can also learn more about the anthology and all of the contributors are the official IWSG Anthology blog website.

Dark Matter: Artificial
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Print ISBN 9781939844828
EBook ISBN 9781939844835
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies/Space Exploration/Genetic Engineering

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Godim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

#


IWSG May Question

Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Those of you who have followed me awhile have probably heard this story before. Back in 2016, I signed up for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off with my first book, Ten Thousand Days. I didn't expect to do very well, but I also didn't expect to be the first book (out of 300) cut from the competition.

The reviewer assigned to my book took offense to an off-colour joke in the first half-dozen pages or so, and didn't even read any further. Now, I'm not surprised when people are turned off by some of my writing (Hell Comes to Hogtown and the Werebear vs Landopus stories are really obscene in parts), but I never dreamed anyone would be offended by Ten Thousand Days. I tried to keep it PG-13, and there was nothing in there that you couldn't find on prime time network television, but this particular reviewer just really didn't like the joke. It was a harsh reminder that different audiences like different things. The things that some readers love are loathed by others, and taste varies tremendously.

For comparison, the aforementioned Hogtown was entered into SPFBO the following year. The first reviewer who received it adored it, despite it containing hundreds of f-bombs, sex, and gratuitous violence. It actually made it to the second round of the completion. 

I dunno either, Pierre.

#

Oh, in case you missed it on Facebook and Twitter... I finished a thing:

I still really hope to get it out this year, but I'm a couple of months behind schedule so we'll see what happens. Watch this space for more info.

So.... is the world around you shit for everyone else, too?

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK

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 http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I've Got a Lot Going On (#IWSG March 2021)

 Wait, what day is it? I missed February's IWSG? It's been a hell of a week month year.

Y'all know what I'm talking about.

March Question

Everyone has a favourite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I read quite a variety of different stuff. I tend more toward fiction than non-, but I like a good biography or history book from time to time (currently reading - Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates, by David Cordingly). In fiction, I'm also all over the place - fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, westerns, "literary" (which I treat more disdainfully than "literary" types treat genre fiction), comic books, I'll try anything. Much like my writing, I especially gravitate to humour and satire, in any genre or category. There is enough blackness and misery in the world - if you're going to escape into another world, might as well make it fun. Especially if you can skewer or satirize the real world in the process.

Speaking of writing and comedy...

Smooth transition, right?

I am pleased to announce that I have had another story accepted into the Strangely Funny anthology series, from Mystery & Horror, LLC! The picture above is from last year's volume, but volume VIII will be published this Spring, and will include my brand new story, "Exorcist to the Stars!" This is my FIFTH time appearing in Strangely Funny, so I really feel like I've found an outlet for my brand of humour and horror there.

Also, I just approved the edits for my story in the upcoming issue of The Weird and Whatnot. My story was accepted there about a year ago, so it's been a long time coming. The new issue should be out within the next couple of weeks.

Pictured: Last issue.  Who doesn't love Death playing a pipe organ?

For those of you keeping score at home, these publications are in addition to the previously released Mardi Gras Mysteries (also from Mystery & Horror) and the upcoming IWSG Anthology: Dark Matter: Artificial, from our friends at Dancing Lemur Press.


Look, ma, I'm a writer!

That's FOUR new stories published in just the first half of this year. And not to jinx it, but I'm still really hoping that I will have Gale Harbour Book 2 out before the end of the year as well. Either way, it's going to be a big year for me, writing-wise. 

So why would I be insecure? Because I'm really frigging stressed out, that's why. Life is crazy enough right now without trying to write and publish. I should be keeping a low profile, taking it easy, focussing on my family and my real job. But when I get on a roll it's hard to stop, you know? I've wanted to be a writer since I was five. The fact that I'm actually doing it, and having fun and a small modicum of success with it, is hard to step away from. The only thing saving me is that I don't have any real deadlines or pressure except for what I put on myself. I don't have a contract saying that I have to have a manuscript in by July 1st. My children won't starve if my next book doesn't sell 5000 copies. This is supposed to be a hobby, so the only stress involved is what I put into it. 

That doesn't mean it's not real stress, of course. It's just that lovely self-imposed kind that we all seem to be so good at creating for ourselves.

So how's your month going?

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK


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 http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

New Release: The Window by Dave Cole


Hi everybody! It's the beginning of February and we're smack-dab in the darkest part of winter (at least in this part of the world), so it's a great time to pick up a new book and stay inside. Here's one from our friends at Dancing Lemur Press that's worth checking out!

Hugs & kisses,
-CDGK

The Window

By Dave Cole


A dark window to the future…

Everything changed the day Brian Bingham looked out the attic window and saw something that wouldn't happen for another week. Through a mysterious window no one else can see, Brian gains a portal into the future. But the future is not always something he wants to see.

Brian has enough troubles in the present without worrying about the future. His parents are constantly fighting, his grades are plummeting, and his new relationship with Charlotte, a girl way out of his league, is in jeopardy.

When the window reveals his best friend's brutal death, Brian’s world is turned upside down. He must find a way to change the future…or die trying.


Release date – February 2, 2021

$13.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 170 pages

Print ISBN 9781939844767 / EBook ISBN 9781939844774

Young Adult – Paranormal (YAF045000) / Contemporary Fantasy (YAF019010) / Horror (YAF026000)


The Author:

Dave is from St. Louis and has a degree in Computer Science. He is the author of The Math Kids series for middle grade readers. When he is not designing data center management software, he is usually reading, writing, or coaching elementary school math teams. He loves writing and his wife loves that he has found a hobby that doesn't cost money!

www.theMathKids.com


Links:

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B5FX755

Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-window-dave-cole/1137179862?ean=9781939844767

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-window-30

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54455124-the-window

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Year, New Books! (#IWSG January 2021)

Happy 2021! It won't solve all your problems, but at least we can start with a more optimistic outlook, right?

You've probably already read the news by now: My story has been chosen for the IWSG 2020 Anthology! Pretty crazy, right? This will be my third time appearing in the anthology. I want to thank Alex, the folks at Dancing Lemur Press and all the judges for putting up with my ridiculous stories time and time again. And congratulations to all of my fellow contributors!

Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unravelling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Goldim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Release date: May 4, 2021
Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)
186 pages

Table of Contents
Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor https://stephanieespinoza.com/
Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King  http://www.cdgallantking.ca/
Rift – Kim Mannix  https://makesmesodigress.com/
The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans  https://www.teasighcreate.com/
Sentient – Tara Tyler  https://taratylertalks.blogspot.com/
One to Another – Deniz Bevan http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/
Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski  https://charleskowalski.com/
Nano Pursuit – Olga Goldim https://olgagodim.wordpress.com
Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller  http://www.elizabethmueller.com/
Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert  http://www.markalpert.com/

For more info on the anthology, check out the IWSG website.

AND IN OTHER NEWS...

In other news, I also have a story in another anthology released this week:


Mardi Gras Mysteries is an anthology of Mardi Gras-themed crime and mystery tales, edited by Sarah E. Glenn and published by Mystery & Horror, Inc. It's available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.

My story features inept gumshoe Gussy Saint, who coincidentally first appeared in another IWSG anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, a few years ago. Unlike the first story, Gussy's latest outing is a little, shall we say, racier, as you can see from the opening lines:

I woke up in a brothel and stumbled out of the back room in nothing but my socks and boxer shorts. I expected some hard looks from the ladies and the madam, who did not take kindly to me passing out and taking up one of their beds for the night, and I was ready with a witty retort to put them at ease and call off their goon, a huge Polynesian man named Leakee.

I was not expecting to be surrounded by cops, and thus found myself for perhaps the first time in my life at a loss for words. My quip about polishing the morning wood would probably fall flat on these uncultured, humorless swine...

Not all of the stories are as odd or racy as mine (they actually asked me to tone it down a bit), so there should be plenty in there for mystery of lovers of all kinds. Even if you're not into bumbling, foul-mouthed detectives chasing women with polymastia.

So, 2021 is starting off pretty well for me, writing-wise. Then again, we're less than a week in, so there's still plenty of time to go downhill.

How's your New Year going?

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK


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 http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Mardi Gras Mysteries! New Story and Cover Reveal

Just wanted to drop a quick line today to let you all in on some news: I will have a story appearing early in 2021 in the MARDI GRAS MYSTERIES anthology, from Mystery & Horror, LLC!



These are the same fine folks who publish Strangely Funny, where my stories have appeared multiple times. I decided to try my hand at some mystery this time, instead of comic horror, which is always fun. For those interested, this new story will follow Augustine "Gussy" Saint, the protagonist of my story that appeared in Dancing Lemur Press' Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime anthology a few years ago. Gussy is a hard-boiled detective (well hard, anyway, and his detective license is under review by the state) from the mean streets of Mount Vernon, Washington. In this go-around, Gussy finds himself in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and is once again thrust into the middle of a mystery he didn't ask for and has no idea how to solve. Hilarity, sex and mayhem ensues. 

I will of course have more details closer to the release date, which is scheduled to be just in time for Mardi Gras. It looks to be a fun one!

Hope everyone is staying safe and getting ready for the holiday season. Be nice to each other, okay?

Hugs & Kisses,
-CDGK

A previous anthology, available right here.



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