I got a brilliant new idea. (See video from 2/5/19 post) However, I don’t really know enough about the subject to write a believable story. I would be willing to bet that you know what my time has been spent on the past few days, right?
Yep, research. Google can be an amaze-balls tool or a dangerous chasm of unhelpful information that never ends. Have you ever followed the search to those pages listed at the bottom? 2, 3, 4, 5, . . . 18? Talk about falling through a rabbit hole.
To be honest, most of the time I stick to the first page because those are the closest to my search words. If I don’t find what I want, I change my search words. This time, I clicked through the pages, finding the most helpful site on page 6.
I saved it to my bookmarked pages so that I can go back and reference it when I need it. More helpful than any site however was my friend. She answered questions I had, explained some terminology that I didn’t understand and walked me through the various forms of magic, witchcraft, spells, and all things witchy. At least I understand enough to get me started and I will check back with her frequently. it helps that she is one of my beta readers so this time around, she will be my alpha reader and my consultant.
It’s more enjoyable to converse with someone who understands the subject you are interested in than visiting a static website. Live interaction trumps dry research any day. I wish we lived closer, although she would probably tire of me wanting to come over for coffee and talk her ear off daily.
I know several authors who have gleaned their information from people rather than researching online. Also, vice versa. There are a few pitfalls when you rely solely on the internet or on books. Real life implementation of the topic may not actually be the same as documented. For instance, if you are doing a police procedural and you are basing your story on what you’ve seen on TV, you could be way off.
All I need to do now is reference a book of shadows. I happen to know where I can get my hands on one, then I will be discussing it with my consultant.
How do you like to do your research? Do you think research is an important part of writing? Leave a comment below and click like, if you like this post!
Go to Youtube to catch my latest vlogs as I often forget to upload them on here.
Write on my friends, write on!
Hello my lovelies! What’s going on in your neck of the woods?
We have some warmer weather here in the midwest, The expected precipitation will be coming down in the form of rain and not snow – so relieved.
Here’s the brunt of what I wanted to say today.
A slight correction, it’s Wizard Con not Comicon. I feel that is secondary to Jason Momoa!!!!!
Write on my friends, write on!
This past week, I think my answer would have to be – *drum roll*
I admire my friend Vicki’s work ethic. She is diligent to get her writing time in every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t. My goal is to write for an hour five days a week and spend my weekends with family and taking care of those domestic things. It is treating writing like a business, a business that I work five days a week.
However, I know many authors who say you should write daily to stay in the habit. There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a good habit. So what about those parts related to an author’s life that aren’t exactly the drafting or writing stage? What about proofreading? What about editing? What about the brainstorm sessions for a new idea, or trying o figure out your plot?
There is a lot more to writing than the first draft. Here, in a nutshell, is the summation of my week.
Authors are just like everyone else. Our lives consist of numerous aspects. Somebody has to do the dishes, the dish fairies never show up! Someone has to do the laundry, the laundry fairies don’t show up either. Of course, this is the part of life we often omit in books because who wants to see the character folding laundry? Nobody!
What have you been up to, reading, writing, or living? Let me know in the comments.
Write on my friends, write on!
You know how the districts will call off school for the day for inclement weather? Well, I’ve postponed my blog, writing, OK,… my life due to inclement health.
If any of you reading this has had a bout of this year’s flu, you have my sympathies. I had the flu shot by orders of my oncologist. It wasn’t enough. A couple family gatherings over the holidays and I picked up the prevailing germs. Lucky me. I’m still not at 100 %, but compared to how horrible I felt, this is amazing!
So, enough about me being sick, that’s not why y’all are here. Happy belated New Year’s!
I had scheduled the following to go up on my birthday – January 2nd – so let’s just start there.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
RELEASE BLITZ for BREAK LINE
Title: Break Line
Author: Ellie Mack
Release Date: 1/2/2019
Cover Designer: Nemo Designs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Former Marine Nathan Fletcher had to get away. Everything was crumbling under the constant pressures of coping with PTSD, and he had to regain control. When opportunity knocked to relocate to paradise, he couldn’t pass it up. He had it all – paradise, family, and the career of his dreams. Nathan even had the best therapy in the world: the ocean. His life was perfect.
Tragedy strikes, taking more than his leg with it. His confidence is shattered leaving fear in its place. If it weren’t for his cousin and new best friend Kai, he might give in to the demons of his past and present.
Fate seems to be mocking the once cocky marine when a petite Hawaiian beauty becomes his physical therapist. She pushes all his buttons ten ways to Sunday! Nathan is torn between irritation with Kini Okana, and his desire for her.
Can Kai and Kini help him overcome the trauma that has turned his world upside down, or will Nathan let the tragedy rob him of his future dreams?
**Will be available on Kindle Unlimited.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Contemporary romance author, Ellie Mack, is a former columnist outside of St. Louis, Missouri where she resides with her husband and daughters. Her works have earned her nominations in the Indie community for best debut romance and best ugly cry in 2017. Recently, she has “dipped her quill” into the realm of Norse mythology with her title The Awakening.
As a breast cancer survivor, Ellie encourages others with the diagnosis to keep fighting and to always have hope.
“If there’s life, there is hope.” -Stephen Hawking
Ellie has also won both the Liebster and WordPress blog awards for her blog Quotidiandose. When she’s not working on her next book, Ellie enjoys journaling, crocheting, and practicing her skills in the kitchen.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Greene
Lip Services PR
@Lip Services PR
TRUST ME – I wanted to share this on January 2nd. I am so very grateful to Maria at Lip Services PR.
I have several more things I want to share. One things for certain, not getting the words out of my system means more blog posts to come! Thank you all for your patience.
Write on my friends, write on!
Did I read that right???
Was it really August 31 when I last posted???? OMG! I knew I was in a funk but seriously? Holy Moly!!
Wow, I really don’t even have an excuse for that except the funk and I’ve had my head down, trying to work amongst other things.
So, if there are any of you out there still following . . . THANK YOU!
We have a lot to catch up on, so settle in, get your coffee, tea, soda, beer, scotch on the rocks, . . . or whatever rocks your boat.
The short story – it’s been hell trying to overcome the side effects of the cancer meds, which apparently have a cumulative effect that worsens over time.
the longer-ish version:
I basically decided that my limited energies needed to be focused on writing and preparing for Penned Con, and the newest one, which you will hear about tomorrow and other requirements with the day job.
Alright Misty, fine! I’ll give a few more details for those who are curious if there is anyone listening anymore. It’s been a whirlwind! A whirlwind I tell you!
August was difficult.
Trying to get my books ordered in time for Penned Con turned out to be a bleeding nightmare! First off, if you all recall I had this beautiful cover:
My great niece Savanna was the cover model whom I planned to use for the entire series. However, the image became pixelated in print with my ARC copies. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work. Then, there was the whole Createspace transitioning to KDP fiasco. So of course, I needed a new format file. It wasn’t just me, but every author transitioning to KDP.
I’m hoping to still use some images of Savanna in the future, but had to let this one go with great regret. However, my cover artist did a redesign and I love it.
Gorgeous, isn’t it? Then there were issues with the interior files, my computer was having a big crisis with running out of memory. Like I had time to transfer files and delete files while trying to meet a deadline! Why do computers pick the worst time for their breakdowns? I mean it isn’t like it doesn’t get enough attention daily!
Ergghh! September is the time they do maintenance on the pool at our local gym, so I had to find alternate forms of entertainment, I mean exercise!
September 9 through the 15th was our long-awaited vacation. I cannot tell you how badly I needed this! Well, I can. I needed it like I need air! Like a fish needs water! So the perfect combination of course, is the salt air!
Of course, do you think I got a complete reprieve from feeling sick? I wish! Wednesday was spent in bed at the hotel room. At least I could look out the window to the ocean and remind myself that feeling sick in Florida was better than feeling sick in the Midwest sauna we call home. I gotta be honest here, I thought when I finished radiation that it would be a relative straight line to wellness. Was I ever wrong!
Back home in the suburbs of St. Louis, I had a few days to pack and prep for Penned Con! On Tuesday my books still had not arrived and I was beginning to think this was going to be a waste of time, but they arrived on Wednesday!
Guess what else happened on Wednesday? Go ahead, you’ll never guess.
I drove my sister to the eye doctor, the retinal institute in South County area of St. Louis. While I was in the waiting room I got the notice that my books arrived – Yay! Then I looked outside at the blackening sky. It was so dark, the street lights came on at two in the afternoon. The wind was whipping around like crazy, and I was driving ridiculously slow because visibility was very limited. I told my sister we are going to have to pull off somewhere soon because I couldn’t see. ( She is blind in one eye and they had given her a shot in the other basically making her fully blind at that point)
The rain let up a little, but since it hadn’t rained in a while, I knew the roads would be slick so I was being extremely cautious. Then all of a sudden, there are cars stopped in the road in front of me. I hit the brakes! I managed to stop before hitting the car in front of me – whew! But then, an SUV hit me from behind/driver’s side pushing me into the third lane, which pushed me in the path of a tractor-trailer. As if that wasn’t enough, a pickup rear-ended me, then we felt a few more bumps as the cars behind him piled up. You can’t make this stuff up –
Thank God we are both relatively OK aside from the trauma, bruises and anxiety, and well, the loss of my car. This was before the paramedics arrived, a nurse who had just got off work rushed to us to see if we were ok.
NOT HOW I WANTED TO SPEND THE REST OF MY DAY!
Well, that brings us up to the day before Penned Con 2018, and a good place to leave off. I’ll catch you up more the next time.
Until then, here’s a DEAL for you:
Write on my friends, write on!
Hey guys! Whassup?
I’ve been gearing up for this year’s Penned Con. Sadly, I won’t have book 2 of the Valkyrie’s series done in time. Darn it!
I’ve been working a lot on the day job, got my office decorated finally. I”ll bet you haven’t seen another mortgage loan officer’s office like mine!
Purple walls- what are you going to do with that? It wasn’t my choice of colors, but I worked with what I was given. this has become my place of solitude to write uninterrupted.
I’d like to say I had a completed project to share with everyone, but I don’t. I have been organizing my files, going through duplicate files, making print copies of each story so that I had a reference point, and writing out my main storyline and plot points.
In Kiss of the Dragon, for instance, I pantsed that one. It didn’t have a viable plot, other than romance, but they meet they fall in love, they work their way towards the big deed isn’t exactly a plot, now is it? In the meantime, there are five different things going on in their world that involve them. I had to sort it out to make sense inside my head before continuing. The first book, which I wrote during Nano many years back, I wrote over 100K. Sadly, much of that will either go into other books of that series or it will be thrown in the virtual trash bin. I have four or maybe even five books planned for that series. It’s just a matter of whether the mage parts can be included into the other books or not. Which, is why I was working on writing out my plot points.
For those who have followed me for a long time, you know that I have multiple projects in the incomplete file. I’ve really been trying to focus on just one at a time like my friend Vicki Locey has advised. If I could get to where I can crank out the writing at even half the pace she does, I might stand a chance to get all of my books completed!
In the meantime, I’ve been packing and decluttering my home. So far this month, I’ve removed over 300 items, whether it has gone in the trash, recycling, or to charity. It’s liberating, but man I got a lot more to do in the dungeon, errr basement.
So, aside from all of that, I’ve been gearing up for Penned. I wanted to share over the next few days some of the past interviews I’ve done with attending authors.
The first one, Mr. Rick Miles, organizer of the event. (This one is from 2016 – my God, I was huge!!!)
Next, is AnnaLise Grant, author of the Lake, the only book I have read of hers yet. I have others, I just haven’t read them yet.
I surprised Nikki Jefford, she commented that she almost came downstairs early in her pjs, but she was glad that she got clothes on when I surprised her.
She looks completely together to me! So last year, I made an invitation to the Penned Con group and was overwhelmed with responses. Sadly, I greatly overestimated my energy level and was unable to get to everyone that I had signed up to do an interview. Please don’t hate me guys – I blame cancer! Yes, I’m pulling the cancer card on that one, because I was drained after treatments.
But here are a few from Penned Con 2017. First. Laura Hawk!!
IF you are into military romance, have I got the author for you! Meet Shannon Nemecheck!
Well, that’s all you’re getting for today, I have to get back to work on these darned edits, which will require more coffee.
Y’all have a great day and come back to find out who else I’ve interviewed tomorrow. Or the net tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes.
Write on my friends, write on!
IN case you wondered, I”m not dead!
My internet has been. We had a series of storms come through and it knocked out power. When we got our power back, we realized that we didn’t have any internet. It’s been weeks!
I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I had become. Yes, I ‘ve had very real withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to go to local businesses to use their wifi in order to finish work related business. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic about this. I’ve had to budget my time a little differently is all.
It’s still not working correctly, but my husband has managed to “redneck fix” it. NO duct tape was involved.
This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
My new book just released. I’ve not been able to get on to order print books to have available. I ordered a few for prizes from release parties, but that’s it. Then I find out that 2 recipients did not receive their prize packages – but USPS tracking says they were delivered. I get it, we have our mail delivered to wrong addresses all the time. It’s still frustrating though.
You’d think with all this time offline, I’d have volumes written, but I don’t. I have made progress on the second book, and I’m in chapter 6. I may start sharing some snippets from both – don’t even know if anyone would be interested in them.
I’ve taken my connections for granted, I’ll be the first to admit. I like having my wifi connections. I like being able to scroll through my tablet from the comfort of my sofa. I like being able to check facebook with my morning coffee. I like being able to write a blog post when I have something to say – which is often. OF course, you’d never know it from the past few weeks, now would you?
So, I plan to get back into the saddle as soon as things get straightened out, but in the meantime, I have to budget my online time between the library and our local YMCA. After spending an hour and a half in my aquacize class, spending another couple of hours sitting in their lobby is not my idea of a good time. Besides, I’m hungry after the classes!
Until next time, be thankful you have internet!
Write on my friends, write on!
Welcome to my blog!
For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week, you know I haven’t managed to do that.
Still dealing with the malaise from medications, but trying to get on top of it.
Today and for this week I thought I’d talk about frequently misused words. We all do it, be honest.
It’s – its has been my latest issue. I thought everything was good to go on my newest release and just a couple of days ago a friend pointed out that I had it’s on my back cover blurb instead of its. EEEEEEEK! I got so excited about the design and finishing this book that I didn’t read my own blurb, just glanced over it.
That’s just one example which is only noticed in print. HOw many times though, have we been in conversation with someone and they misuse a word, or habitually misuse the same word. Do you correct their grammar or just cringe a little inside? NO? Just me?
Here are some that I’ve heard frequently misused.
• Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.
Correct: “There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”
• Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.
Correct: “I appraised the jewels for the insurance coverage.” / “I apprised him of the situation.”
• As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.
Correct: “As far as the money is concerned …” / As for the money …
• Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.
Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.
• Cliché is a noun and is not an adjective.
Correct: “Shakespeare used a lot of clichés.” / The plot was so clichéd.
• Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.
Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.
• Data is a plural count noun not, standardly speaking, a mass noun. [Note: “Data is rarely used as a plural today, just as candelabra and agenda long ago ceased to be plurals,” Pinker writes. “But I still like it.”]
Correct: “This datum supports the theory, but many of the other data refute it.”
• Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.
Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.
• Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean difference or discrepancy.
Correct: There is a dichotomy between even and odd numbers. / There is a discrepancy between what we see and what is really there.
• Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]
Correct: The enormity of the terrorist bombing brought bystanders to tears. / The enormousness of the homework assignment required several hours of work.
• Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.
Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.
• Homogeneous is pronounced as homo-genius and “homogenous” is not a word but a corruption of homogenized.
Correct: The population was not homogeneous; it was a melting pot.
• Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.
Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We’re homing in on a solution.
• Intern (verb) means to detain or to imprison and does not mean to inter or to bury.
Correct: The rebels were interned in the military jail. / The king was interred with his jewels.
• Ironic means uncannily incongruent and does not mean inconvenient or unfortunate.
Correct: “It was ironic that I forgot my textbook on human memory.” / It was unfortunate that I forgot my textbook the night before the quiz.
• Irregardless is not a word but a portmanteau of regardless and irrespective. [Note: Pinker acknowledges that certain schools of thought regard “irregardless” as simply non-standard, but he insists it should not even be granted that.]
Correct: Regardless of how you feel, it’s objectively the wrong decision. / Everyone gets a vote, irrespective of their position.
• Literally means in actual fact and does not mean figuratively.
Correct: I didn’t mean for you to literally run over here. / I’d rather die than listen to another one of his lectures — figuratively speaking, of course!
I can’t tell you how many times I find these in editing, which is easy to mark for correction but when they are used in conversation . . . Irregardless is a major pet peeve with me. It seems to be the standard thing from several people lately. I don’t know if this is a local colloquialism or just general misinformation but the grammar nazi in me wants to correct them every time.
What words do you commonly misuse? Which ones set your hackles up when others misuse them?
Tomorrow is the big day – come back and check here tomorrow.
Until then, write on my friends, write on!
Forgive me, readers, it’s been weeks since my last confession. I mean blog post. Well, sometimes they are about the same thing.
At the beginning of each year, I make plans. Often, big plans! One of those plans was to get back to regularly posting. If I could figure out how to get onto my blog from my tablet, it would speed things up tremendously. Sometimes I am technically inept. I’ll figure it out eventually.
My husband is an IT guy. A code monkey. Name the electronics, he masters it. He writes in SQL all day at work. I was lost back in the day when I had to use Fortran and Cobol. Yes, I’m showing my age but oh well.
Until I have the time, (*cackles hysterically* time, as in extra time – a delusional thought that most authors fantasize about) I’ll keep coming back to the laptop to enter my posts. Now that I’ve met my deadline for the anthology, I can return to a more manageable writing schedule. Well, more manageable for me anyway.
My friend Vicki Locey is like a writing machine. She doesn’t use any dictation aids, she just plugs away every day at her writing while managing a small farm. I don’t know how she does it. Other author friends have to juggle their home life, some with jobs whether part time or full time outside the home and still manage to crank out the books.
OK, a year ago I would have been stressed to the max over that, but not anymore. It is what it is and if nothing else, I’ve learned over the past year that I have to put blinders on to what “Other authors” do and DO what I can do. PERIOD! So, let’s do a little catch-up, shall we? Since I’ve been in absentia, maybe one or two of you have wondered where I disappeared. You did, right? Right?
January I had big plans! Some, I realize are on the dream level because if you never aim for the stars, you won’t ever clear the trees. I was super focused on decluttering our home and preparing to move closer to my husband’s work. We did great on that, taking several carloads full of plunder to Goodwill. The estimated dollar value for all of the stuff we removed from our home – $3500. Yes, you read that right. Between clothing, (mostly mine in larger sizes that I am proud to say no longer fit!) furniture, small appliances, children’s toys that somehow got stored in a corner of the basement, and a plethora of knick-knacks. I should mention that our kids are adults now. I was shocked to find that we still had toys from their grade school years.
Just a word of advice – if you are planning to make donations to a charity, if you limit the donation amount to under $500, you are less likely to be audited. We wrote off most of the stuff because I doubt that we are going to be able to itemize anyway.
The house was looking better, after each purge we let the dust settle, literally. Had to give a day or two between sessions because the dust aggravated the sinuses. Then we found the shop vac – and began to be more proactive.
One shocking bit of purge – books. I know, I know, y’all are shocked. I got rid of over 100 books. A few of those were my books from college, my husband’s books from college, reference books, and many old novels. I kept my first edition copies, despite the hubs protests.
February – decluttering continued but I was more focused on writing. Value of things hauled out of our home to Goodwill or set on the curb with a sign – FREE estimated at $2600. (Not that I’m bragging if anything it’s embarrassing to admit how much stuff I didn’t need that I purchased with retail therapy over the years.) I had two anthology submissions to have in by the beginning of April. The doctor appointments, weekly therapy for lymphedema and aquasize classes kept me more than busy and by the time I got home from the aquacise classes and the therapy, I was drained. My stamina is greatly improved since radiation treatments, but I’m still not there yet.Fatigue is a very real issue.
I spent the majority of the month writing The Blood Key for the 12 Realms Fantasy Anthology while I worked out a plot line for my short novella for the Cancer Research anthology. Then I went gangbusters on that one. More about this in a bit.
March – this is where the train comes to a screeching halt while our lives are derailed. Things were going well. We were making progress on the house. We could start renovations mid-March if we kept going at the same pace.
March 12 – 16, our oldest daughter was home for Spring Break. She didn’t get to go to Ft. Lauderdale or anywhere cool because she had doctors appointments, dentist appointments, and had to get her regular scheduled auto work done. While home she told us her big plans for the following school year, which were quite frankly ridiculous. Her plans were to move back in with us and commute every day. Now, that may not sound like a problem except that the commute would be an hour and forty minute drive one way, every day, to and from. That’s three hours on the road on a highway that semis use regularly. Sometimes she works late hours.
Being a mom, I was terrified! What if the semis push her little car around and she has an accident? What if she is so tired that she falls asleep driving? What if she starts skipping classes because she’s tired of driving?????
The following week I spent a day researching available apartments in Cape. I set up appointments for the next day when she would be available to go see them. We viewed 14 apartments in about four hours. They ranged from roach motel to the Bates Motel, to meh, to College Life Resort center. Obviously, we didn’t want her to be in the roach motel, and we couldn’t swing the Resort.
So, our plans for renovations are on hold for a while so that we can help her finish to get her degree. Our plans to move closer to his work are on hold because, . . . well, moving costs money. There are closing costs, moving expenses and we have decided that our daughter’s safety is more important.
This put a big kink in the writing for a few days, so then I was back at it like gangbusters when I got news that the 12 Realms Fantasy anthology was canceled. SIGH
I’ll take The Blood Key and work on it some more, develop it more. 15,000 words were limiting, I was just getting warmed up at 10,000! Now I can put in some of those scenes I had in my mind. It will have to be worked into the schedule for writing though as it’s been pushed from top priority to about fifth down the pipeline.
Now the good news! Break Line is complete! Cover Reveal for the anthology, next week!
I thought things were getting back on track and then . . . hospital. People need to stop getting sick and hurting themselves! I’ve been to the hospital more times than I can count over the past few weeks.
Life always throws you a curve ball when things are going smooth, and sometimes the ball machine goes haywire and throws out multiple balls when you’re already under the gun!
For now, things are calm and I’m back to writing or rather revisions. Valkyrie’s Curse has been on my desk for a while, a couple of years. In 2016, I did revisions on it and realized that it wasn’t a complete story. Back to the drawing board. Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening is in revisions again. This time I’m checking my grammar before sending it off to my alpha. The release date for this one will be in a couple months, I’ll have more of a set date next week.
So, now you know what I’ve been up to. There was a funeral, sickness, and dealing with anxiety all thrown in the mix as well. More about the anxiety at a later post but for now, I need to get a couple more chapters done for today.
What’s going on in your neck of the woods?
Thanks for stopping by! Write on my friends, write on!