"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Release Date, Review Copies, and Meeting the Authors

Freedom Fox Press has set a release date of May 3 for Parallels: Felix Was Here!

They will be sending out a limited amount of print books for reviews (Library Journal, Publishers Weekly) and eBooks to some of their key science fiction reviewers. 

In order to get it into the hands of as many reviewers as possible, we need your assistance. If you are a book blogger, have a review site, or are an author who reviews, please comment below with a link to the site(s) where you would be willing to leave reviews. Also, PM me with the same links and include your information (name, email, website, and Mobi/ePub preference) and we may send you a review copy.

If you would like to meet the authors, read a tagline and a blurb from each story, or learn more about the anthology publication information check out our collective blog at http://parallelsanthology.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG: How Much is Enough?

Check out the new logo!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

A new writer recently asked me how many drafts, or revisions, did I feel we should go through before submitting. I thought a minute about my own style before answering:

“I’ll produce no less than four versions, but usually closer to seven or eight before I submit. Even then, I’ll find things I want to change. I guess most writers are never really done.”

She stared at me, perhaps in a mixture of confusion and horror. Was I too honest? I didn’t mean to discourage her. Finally, she asked, “How does that work? What do you change each time?”

So I explained:

Draft 1 – Falling in Love – This is where I start with an idea and just let the story and characters take me where they want. No preplanning. No outlining. I just enjoy the ride.

Draft 2 – This is where I go back and flesh out the characters, fill in plot holes, and make sure everything is flowing toward the conclusion I want.

Draft 3 – This is where I check my facts. Did I spell character names the same way throughout? Did I use repetition of words, phrases, or gestures that I need to adapt? This is where I’m checking for accuracy, consistency, and other issues that can distract the reader, or detract from the believability of my tale.

Drafts 4 through 7 – Most people call these line edits. This is where I scour the story for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I usually won’t show ANYONE else my manuscript before I get to this stage. However, this is where most of us are ready for a second pair of eyes. Someone to help us identify: Is my POV consistent? Did my main character develop in any way? Am I being too cliché? Am I showing instead of telling? Is the dialogue awkward, or wordy? Do I need to clarify any action, or backstory? This is where we are polishing the manuscript, and strengthening our voice.

Additional Drafts – Hopefully, you’ve had at least one other person review your work by now. That could be family, friends, fellow writers, readers, or even an editor, agent, or publisher. The truth is, the more people you can trust to give you honest feedback, the better story you’ll be able to produce. Once you submit, the editor or publisher who accepts your work will likely suggest at least one more round of edits. While you may grow to hate your story by this point, remember it’s all in an effort to produce the best version of your creation.

Don’t give up. Don’t deny the world your BEST writing.

What do you think? How many drafts are enough? What’s your routine for revisions? When are you ready to “let it go?”

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition

From Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out and Guilie Castilol-Oriard at A Quiet Laughter, and co-hosted by Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey. and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Do you remember that special feeling of love found? And who hasn't experienced the emotional experience of love lost? Some of you might have even lost a love only to find that person later for another go around. 

Tell your story about love lost or found in this special Valentine's blogfest. Your post can be a short fiction, an essay, poetry, or even a song--let your imagination run free. Any genre is fair game, be it romance, historical fiction, memoir, or even science fiction. After all there are no limitations when it comes to love. Want to participate today? For details and to sign up, go HERE.

MY LOST LOVES: pets who've passed away, a high school sweetheart, students I've taught who moved on and probably forgot me, family members who've passed away, friendships that became toxic.

MY FOUND LOVES: My husband who is perfect for me, the two daughters he gave me, the dog he gave me, my friends, my family, travel, writing, and the students I teach.

Secret Admirer - This a poem I wrote in high school.
Masters in Love - A short story about finding love in graduate school - about 800 words.
Love's New Beginning - A short story of a relationship starting a new chapter - about 800 words.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Parallels: Felix Was Here

I'm so excited to share the cover art for our science fiction anthology! I have a story appearing inside along with the work of nine other talented authors. The release date will be sometime in the Spring of this year. Isn't the cover super cool?

Parallels: Felix Was Here
Print ISBN 9781939844200
eBook ISBN 9781939844118
Science Fiction/Alternate History
Enter the realm of parallel universes!

Synopsis: What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

Releasing from Freedom Fox Press, A division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A to Z List Now Open!

A to Z List opens!

The seventh annual "A to Z Blogging Challenge" is coming soon, and the sign-up list is now live! 

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day. 

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE  TO SIGN UP, GO HERE.

Short posts are recommended, turn off Word Verification, and try to visit at least five blogs (hopefully more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list. 

Blogs must be on an open platform – no Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – and comments enabled. Please make it easy for visitors to comment on your blog.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Once the Challenge begins, blogs showing no activity or those that miss five days in a row will be removed. 

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows: 


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts: 

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Heather M. Gardner
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
AJ Lauer
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

We also have a Facebook Page and Pinterest Site 
Email address is contactatozteam@gmail.com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z



2016 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Sign-up 
January 25, 2016

A to Z Challenge Twitter Chats
February 18, 2016 - 9:00 PM EST (NY, USA)

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Blogfest Sign-up
February 22, 2016

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Blogfest Day
March 21, 2016

2016 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Day
April 1, 2016

A to Z Reflections Post
- See more at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-calendar.html#sthash.ndBiFIKI.dpuf


Friday, January 22, 2016

Editing Cave

I'm entering the editing cave for the weekend. I'll be back to blogging and commenting next week.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Writer's Conferences, Workshops, and Festivals in 2016

Last week I shared a detailed list of my local (Texas and Louisiana) opportunities which can still be found here.

I promised to return this week with a more detailed list and information about nation wide options. However, I found this great list on Jodie Renner's blog and thought I'd pass it along as it's more detailed than the one I have.

I still haven't done any research on international opportunities for this year. If you know of any, or would like for me to add some to the other two lists, please let us know by leaving a comment.