Wednesday, September 05, 2018

September! IWSG and Ohio

My little space.
The move to Ohio is almost complete. We are in our “new” little (rented) abode but are still moving boxes around. We have discovered we must keep our storage unit. There are things we want to keep, and this house is not big enough for all of those things. I have made a small space for myself in our living room where I can write, and so, I am writing my first IWSG and blog post in my new little space in what will be our home for the next two years. I’m glad to finally have a place to write.
A friend (she is also a writer) asked the other day why I didn’t “get out” and write in cafes or parks or somewhere else. I know that famous-of-all-famous-writers, J.K. Rowling’s did well that way. But I can’t write where I’m constantly distracted. I do best tucked away in a quite place, away from things that will pull me from my writing world. Do you need quiet or are you one of those who can write anywhere?
Apart from my writing life, I awoke this morning in deep sadness. I am sad to not be in NC anymore. I am sad to not be in France anymore. And I’ve realized that most of that sadness comes from the people who I love and miss that are still in those places. I. Am. Lonely. I’m not used to this feeling. I think if I can allow some time pass from this move, I will find my stride in front of this computer and loneliness will recede. It’s been such a busy, change-filled year. I guess it’s normal to feel what I’m feeling? I have gone to a French speaking group, which helped restore part of my disequilibrium. Now I am going to write to a writer who contacted me before I even got here and see if we can meet. Since my husband is very, very happy with his studies and teaching, I must put my best feet forward toward making a place for myself here in the middle of Ohio. Wish me luck!

The amazing co-hosts for the IWSG September 5 posting are
Please drop by their blogs and thank them for being co-hosts!

Columbus, Ohio

Our little abode.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Ohio and IWSG in August -- Already?!!!


Happy August everyone. I can't believe we're almost done with summer when it seems it just got here. Our move to Ohio has started (I won't go into the crazy stories, because I know everyone has at least one) but we have one more stage to complete, and that can't happen until mid August when we will finally be able to move into our little rental house. So, meanwhile, I am worrying about whether or not I should help us out money-wise and get a "day" job (been wondering if I could find work writing newsletters or blog posts for someone yet don't know where to start...any ideas?), when all I want to do is bite the bullet and write full time again. I feel very insecure about this which adds to the stress of the move. I woke at 4:30 this morning unable to sleep, but I got up and finished comments on a story I'm judging for a contest. Soooo missing France right about now! In the meantime, my husband has started at OSU and is very happy/busy/stressed/excited. We've gone from staying with my parents in North Carolina to staying with our daughter and son in law in Ohio until we can move into our own place, which is stressful for them, even though they are being wonderful and generous about our temporary invasion of their sweet home.
So, today, I sit here on their couch surrounded by sleeping dogs, with a light and steady rainfall outside the window and tell myself to relax and be in this gentle moment. To appreciate what I have in my life and that all will work out. To stop worrying and just be. So much easier said than done... Breathe, just breathe.

August 1 IWSG question:
What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

The very first thing I would warn other writers to avoid, is to even think about not having their work edited by a professional editor if Indy/Self publishing. Not one "traditionally" published author exists that was not edited by a pro before publication. No one is perfect and a badly or unedited mss is what has given Indy/Self published authors a bad rep. It might be a really wonderful story, but if the reader is constantly pulled from it because of the writing/lack of editing, you will not have repeat customers. I cringe to think of the first novel I put out into the world thinking it was so wonderful. Learn from my mistake!

Please drop by their blogs and thank our wonderful co-hosts of the IWSG this month 

My Dad with the rental truck in NC. We'd already driven from south GA up to NC at this point, 12 hours.

The next stage, driving from NC to Columbus Ohio...

Arriving in the town where our daughter lives! 8 hours this time. Whew!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Guest Post: Diane Burton's Newest Release!

Meet my friend, Diane Burton. She has a new release and I'm helping her share her news. Hope you enjoy!

Tell us about yourself.

Growing up in a rural area meant that kids my age were few and far between. When I wasn’t reading, I made up my own friends. I also made up my own stories. Life went on. I married, had two kids, did a lot of volunteering in church, school, and scouts. When those kids went off to college, I decided it was MY time. That’s when I sat down and wrote my first novel-length story. And got my first (of many) rejections. I’m now a hybrid author. I have two novels published by small presses and eight that I self-pubbed. My favorite genre is science fiction romance, followed closely by cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. I love the flexibility of being an independent writer because it allows me to choose what I want to write and when to release them.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends. I thought my current book would take much less time than it did. But that was a rewrite of a book started fifteen years ago. (It’s much easier to start from scratch.) My goal this year was to release three books.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

As soon as I get up, I grab a cup of coffee and open my computer. I wish I could say I don’t read email or play games first. LOL As soon as possible, I get into my work-in-progress. I reread part of what I wrote the day before then keep going. I’ll break for lunch then either write more or read/respond to email, check out blogs, write an upcoming blog post. I’m a monthly contributor to Pandora’s Box Gazette and Paranormal Romantics and a bi-monthly contributor to The Roses of Prose blog.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I used to enjoy gardening. As much as I love my flowers, Hubs takes care of them now. Since knee replacement surgeries, I can’t kneel and bending over kills my back. I love to quilt but don’t make time. I read a lot. My favorite activity is playing (babysitting) my five grandchildren. Sometimes it’s the two older ones (11 & 8½); other times it’s the 8-month-old twins and their 3-yr-old sister; or all 5 together—that’s the best since the older 2 love to entertain the others. I love setting everything aside to concentrate on them. They are so much fun (work, too) and much more fun than raising their parents. LOL

What do you think makes a good story?

A great story captures my attention from Chapter 1 and keeps me turning the pages. I want adventure, action, humor, romance, and emotion with a satisfying ending. Since that’s what I like to read, it’s what I like to write.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

An idea will pop in my head, usually as I’m drifting off to sleep. I’ll jot it down and when ready (i.e., finish my current wip and ready for something new) I’ll just start typing. I don’t write long-hand because my brain works faster than my fingers, and I can’t read what I’ve written. I keep writing until I get to about Chapter 8. I’ll have a vague idea where the story is going and what might happen along the way. This is when I need to be more specific. I don’t actually plot, but I’ll make detailed notes. I research on the fly. That is, when I need to know something I look it up. I learned the hard way to save the link to my research.

If I were a first-time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with?

If you like science fiction romance, start with Switched. My first published book. If you prefer contemporary light-hearted mysteries, try The Case of the Bygone Brother (first in my Alex O’Hara PI mysteries). If you like romantic suspense, try my new release Numbers Never Lie.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

I hope they are satisfied and happy that they’ve taken the time to read my book.

Tell us about your latest release.

Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense, takes place around West Michigan, from Muskegon (on the Lake Michigan coast) to Grand Rapids (Michigan’s 2nd largest city). Maggie, her brother Jack, and Drew were inseparable as kids, despite the boys always trying to lose Maggie. Later, when Jack dies in a car crash, she suspects foul play. She enlists a reluctant Drew to help—not just with her investigation but as chaperone for camping trips with a group of fourteen-year-olds, including his daughter. Drew despises being sweaty and dirty, definitely not an outdoor guy. When his best friend, Jack dies, it’s like Drew’s wife’s fatal accident all over. Though he vows to protect Maggie, her independent spirit fights against his attempts to help her, even though he has doubts about investigating Jack’s death. Being in close proximity, Maggie’s teenage crush for Drew revives. Drew finally allows himself to put aside his grief from his wife’s passing and acts on his attraction. Now they must figure out what really happened to Jack.

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.
A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie. Jack's an accountant, Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader, and their best friend is Drew, is a lawyer.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash is an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her goal because he loved Jack as much as she did.

Drew Campbell was too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter, too busy to stay in touch with Jack, too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong, because logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that--an accident caused by fatigue and fog.
A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that has also put her in danger?
Meet The Author

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

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