Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Click here for credit origin
Although you really can't believe everything you read on the Internet as gospel truth (my apologies to anyone who does and this statement ruined a few things for you), you can find some pretty interesting things.

I stumbled across this fantastic nugget during one of my brief perusings of Facebook (truth be told, I've not be as active there as I probably should be but no excuses, just prioritizing things differently).

I would love to give you all the stuffing, but it's better explained at the original article. So for lovers of mythology, African folktales, space opera or all three, click here to find out more about Yohance - with its Lord of the Rings inspired creator.

Monday, August 8, 2016


If this is what it feels like to start your Monday, just know that you're not alone. Your struggle is real but it is one you CAN overcome. So scream it out, grasp tighter, and pull those legs back up and then...

Take a breather.

You earned it before it's time to get back to work :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG & a Different D & D

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

I believe a question is being provided if you're having difficulty with content for today's post. It can be hard sometimes, sharing. For today, though, I have a message that is just as much for myself as it is for others struggling with this writer's life.

Doubt and disappointment are not your friends. They take and there is no giving of anything but more negative. Their goals are to hurt you, not help you. They happen naturally, and are rather hard to avoid, even when things seem to be going your way. And those times when the chips are falling, they are there to distract you from letting go and letting God so that you are too blind and hurt to recognize your "chips falling into place" (Casting Crowns).

Things are a little hard now, okay, so been this way for a while, but writing and life are not sprints. They are journeys to undertake for the long haul. Purge doubt and disappointment from your system in a way that works for you. Chocolate, wine, and stacking word count on a story are some pretty good avenues to start that purge

What are some ways you work through/deal with doubt and disappointment?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Energized by Memories

This picture was taken with my Chipmunk a few summers ago, 2013. It was the year of adventure. Earlier that year, she and I lucked up on taking a trip to Universal Studios with a few friends, then we went to California to visit family and Disneyland during a summer trip. Later that year was the IRC - Indie Romance Convention - in Tennessee...which I thoroughly enjoyed and met some wonderful authors and readers.

It was the year I released Frailties of the Bond, Atone, and They All Fall Down (Shadow Jumpers II). Looking back, I'm not sure how I did it all: writing, self-publishing, traveling, social media presence, working full time, being a single mom. Sleep happened in their somewhere lol!

I'm glad for pictures like this one that remind me of what is possible.

Through this and many other memories, I am energized to pick up the pace. I may not return to the beast-mode schedule I was pushing at that time, but I'm feeling it again, that joy from writing a story I really want to share. Especially the one I'm working on. I've got a 10 month deadline according to that grinning cutie in the picture. And I don't want to disappoint her.

Any memories you can recall to energize you? Are you already energized? What do you have going on in your reading and/or writing world?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Challenges of the Writing Journey with C. Lee Mckenzie

 The Adventure's Here Now

I can't believe Sign of the Green Dragon is really going to be published. I started this book years ago, set it aside, worked on it a little, then set it aside again. My critique group read at least three versions. I had at least three titles. I just could not pull this little story together, then it happened.

One night I pulled up the file, deleted almost half of the book and wrote until I saw the story come to life.

Why is it that some stories fall into place right away and others, like Sign of the Green Dragon, don't? It's not as if this were a complex literary work. No. It's a book designed to entertain young readers.

Ahhh! Of course, there's the answer. Writing for young readers may seem like a walk in the park, but that is not the case. I knew that, but knowing it and understanding what was blocking my progress are two different matters. I just needed to wait until I'd mastered a little more in the writing craft department.

Looking back at this book from start to finish, I can see where I made the wrong turns.
  • I didn't start the book where it should have started. I did the classical bad newbie thing and had my young MC arriving at his new home. 
  • I set up a ton of backstory. Guess where? Yep. In chapter one! 
  • I didn't move the story forward quickly enough from the first dragon encounter. Instead, I took the reader (who was now snoring) on another long trip to the next destination. 
  • I didn't have any surprises to keep the middle from sagging. Talk about deadly dull.
  • I didn't wrap up the ending so that it was satisfying and still left some questions about what might happen next.
I learned a lot from starting this book to wrapping it up, and I learned it by writing and reading more. Have you ever had a book that just would not come down to the page the way you wanted it to, and then viola! There it was. You'd finally discovered how to write it.

What's this story about?

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When his teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. And the chest isn’t empty. Inside, a crumbling skeleton clutches a map with a cryptic note, promising treasure if the finder reveals the truth about an old murder and returns the remains of the victim to China.

Is the note a hoax? Maybe. But what does Sam have to lose? He doesn’t have a real home anymore, and his uncle already treats him like a nuisance. With Joey and Roger, he sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When finally some puzzle pieces make sense, they become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 

Sign of the Green Dragon is a middle grade tale with fantasy elements of Chinese mythology. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”

Buy now and jump into the adventure.

Connect with C. Lee at her Website

This is C. Lee McKenzie’s third middle grade novel. Her first was Alligators Overhead, her second The Great Time Lock Disaster, Sequel to Alligators Overhead. She also writes contemporary-realistic young adult and has four published. She offers gifts to her website visitors. Visit today and see what she has for you.