Wednesday, December 26, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Countdown from 2018 to 2019

The countdown is on. Only a few more days until 2018 rolls into 2019. Then we can all struggle with making sure to write the correct year on forms and everything for the first month or so.

This year, admittedly, was a little better for me. Life is starting to find some sort of rhythm again that may slightly resemble "normal". Now, I'm still not 100% sure what that is supposed to look like anymore, so I guess I'll say that it is "normal" for me.

Writing-wise, I'm still here.
- Still blogging, though once a week or twice a month, mainly on Wednesdays.
- Still writing, though not on one of those "100 words a night" regular routines. I may try that again. It was kind of nice having a nightly goal to meet.
- Still trying, because no matter what, I can't seem to let this writing thing go. Even if I step away for several months, I come back with some "new shiney" that needs to be fleshed out.

Social media-wise, kind of a fail here.
I left Facebook, as in completely closed my profile. I am considering coming back, but then it would mainly be for one reason, and that's because there is a very special group of folks I miss chatting with. U know who you R.

Marketing-wise, I suck terribly.
But I have good reason to work on this. I mentioned several posts back that FABLE RANGER II was a go. So I really need to work on strengthening my marketing for the MG crowd. Anyone with tips, I'm all ears. Please share them in the comments.

Now what will 2019 hold for me? For you?

Let's all fasten our seatbelts and get ready for the ride :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

What is it about Anticipation?

Credit to ThinkStock
I love anticipation as a reader, not so much as a writer.

Let me explain...

When you're reading a story, whether it be a romance, fantasy, mystery, or thriller, the use of moving the story along while driving up the stakes, inserting red herrings, foreshadowing.... those things are fraught with anticipation. As a reader, I can't turn the pages fast enough, the plot laying out before me with its twists and turns and OHHH so much fun.

Um, can you tell I love to read?

As a writer, though, anticipation can lead to situations of anxiety and stress, especially when you're putting yourself out there for a critique, while on the agent hunt, or on the cusp of publishing a written work.

I'm curious, as readers, what are some of the ways you enjoy writers weaving anticipation into the story? For writers, what are some of the things you do to deal with anticipation when you're in the "wait" zone? Hey, while you're here, enjoy some virtual chocolate cake.

Credit to ThinkStock

Thursday, November 22, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Happy Thanksgiving!


Whether you're spending time with family and friends or relaxing in your own space, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

May your turkey be delicious,
may your dressing be tasty,
and may your desserts be plentiful!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG and NaNoWriMo-go!

It is the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another wonderful episode of IWSG sharing, caring, commisserating, and encouraging.

What makes this such a special and enduring occasion is the ability to hop from blog to blog, reading what others are sharing: the good, the bad and the ugly. Then, because the writing community is truly an awesome community, commenting and encouraging others to help in understanding that as solitary as writing can be, there's no need to feel all alone in this process.

So, click here to blog hop about :-)

Each month, there is an optional question. This month's question is:
How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

Please feel free to share in the comments your answer to that question. Or, how are things going for you if you are participating in NaNoWriMo?

Myself? Having a bit of difficulty, but I've got something more than just a blank screen. Not a lot...but it's a start lol!!



via GIPHY
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

How Do You NaNoWriMo?


Do you try to pants it out for the whole month of November?
Maybe you go for a storyboard approach?

At some point, you may be a little drained.

But in the end, we can fist bump like crazy since we'll be NaNoWriMo Rock stars!!

So, what do you do to NaNoWriMo?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Elements of Untethered Realms

Earth.
Water.
Fire.
Air.

The authors of Untethered Realms have penned various short stories for each element, for each element is powerful alone.

But together, they bear a power beyond measure. So it is was humble heart that I share that we have joined the stories of each element into one single anthology for your reading pleasure.

Book Description: Enter our mysterious realms where the stories are as varied and
rich as the types of soil on this and other planets. Enchanted forests are knotted with
roots and vines. Dreaded paths take us through strange, unexplored places.
Investigate new worlds and houses frequented by ghosts. Come across witches and
wizards and an assassin tasked to kill Death.

Meet hot robots, hungry winds, and the goddess of chaos. Explore alien lands,
purgatorial realms, and a shocking place where people bury the living with their dead.
Encounter paranormal detectives, imprisoned dragons, dark demons, cursed jewels,
and handsome prophets. Search shifting worlds trapped in mirrors and a disturbing
future where a president aims to rid the world of Otherkind.
Experience a haunted journey on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies,
preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the Lady of the Lake who lurks in dark
waters.

From USA Today bestselling and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes
Elements of Untethered Realms, a supernatural compilation of the anthologies Twisted
Earths, Mayhem in the Air, Ghosts of Fire, and Spirits in the Water. These forty thrilling
tales feature authors Angela Brown, Jeff Chapman, Cathrina Constantine, Julie
Flanders, River Fairchild, Gwen Gardner, Misha/M. Gerrick, Meradeth Houston,
Graeme Ing, Simon Kewin, M. Pax, Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, and Catherine Stine.

Check it out:

Amazon World Smartlink: http://smarturl.it/EoURKindle
iTunes World Smartlink: http://smarturl.it/EoURiTunes
Google Play link:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG - What is a Writer to Do?

Although I'm sure you didn't miss it, I wanted to take time today to point you to two places:
Hop around and give some blog love to other IWSGers on this first Wednesday of the month.
And...
Make sure to check out the IWSG Anthology contest. The countdown is on and I don't want you to miss out on getting your submission in on time.

Will I be putting forth a submission?

Hmmm...we'll see. :-)

Now, for this month's question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

It was a major life event that actually spurred me on to take writing a lot more seriously, and that was the birth of my daughter. It took a few years to grab hold of my courage and do something instead of just wishing.

Even now, though I'm not as active as I was a few years ago, writing remains an important part of who a I am.

  • Journaling is cathartic.
  • Tinkering with story ideas can be a fun distraction.
  • Facing a tough scene in a story reminds me of the strength I have to face the tough life moments that will come.


What about you?
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Will There Be A Fable Ranger II?

It has been a while since I discussed anything writing related. You've all been wonderful, helpful, and encouraging regarding my need to step back and take time to deal with some things that needed to be dealt with.

In truth, I have long felt like that poor little bugger trapped in that bird's mouth below. That bird represents Chop-Shop-Grill-You-Up-And-Spit-You-Out-Time-In-Life.

In truth, I'm not all of the way out of the beak, but I've got some good news...

There's reason to celebrate! Grab your cupcake and join me in this wonderful joy-filled moment.


Fable Ranger, Summons, was picked up by Dingbat Publishing and this same house has decided to show continued faith (THANK YOU!) by taking on FABLE RANGER II.
*cue the Kool and the Gang's "Celebration"*

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Not Always a Race

StoryBlocks
Look at that dog.

The brilliance of the sun highlighting its beautiful blond fur, legs stretched out in the height of excitement, running to return that ball in its mouth.

I am not that dog.

There was a time I thought I had to be. I didn't realize that was my mindset at the time. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that.

It wasn't until I stepped back, and I mean stepped back far enough there was a question in my own mind as to whether or not I would write again, did I see that I had given myself over to things I'd claimed I didn't want:


  • Comparing myself to other writers
  • Belittling my own success because it wasn't the same as others
  • Wondering what I'd done wrong
  • Wondering why I couldn't seem to do anything right to garner a growing readership despite so many people telling me they loved my stories
  • Wondering why I couldn't seem to pump out a new novella every single month or a new novel every 3 months to feed the reading frenzy


I realize whole-heartedly that being sucessful in this writing gig requires more than some storytelling, although it's the storytelling I wish I could just focus on. It's just that, well, in the midst of trying to turn this hobby into a business and this business into my full-time thing, I allowed it to become yet another rat race, or dog race, and nearly tossed the storytelling aside.

I give mad props to the authors who can push out that new novella every month or that new novel every three months. That takes a lot of work. The success you have as a result of that is commendable.

Where are you at in this journey - not always a race - that is your writing life?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 | By: Angela Brown
Monday, July 23, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Change

There is a saying that the one constant in life is change. But what does change look like? Is it defined in some way beyond what Merriam-Webster defines as change? I find that I am falling into the intransitive verb version, much like the moon: to pass from one phase to another.

What do you think of when you think of change?

And what did you see or think of when you first saw the above picture?

I'd love to know so feel free to share in the comments below :-)
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

When The End is Not The End


Take your pick of chocoloate cake or chocolate cheesecake. Celebrate with me!!

FABLE RANGER II is done!

Woot! Woot!

Now, to take a very short breather because we all know that reaching "The End" in the story is not the end. It's the beginning to a whole series of things. Will Dingbat Publishing be interested in taking on the project after my prolonged - though necessary for my sanity - writing hiatus? Will I need to seek a different publication avenue? What will I name FABLE RANGER II so that it is a fitting name to go with its duology companion, Fable Ranger, Summons? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Yeah, it can get crazy lol!!

What do you do when you get to "The End"?
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG, the Seasons, and Tick Tock

First Wednesday of the month is when many of us in the writing community take time to post and share good news, bumps in the road, and difficulties. It's a time where we are all reminded that on this writing journey, as unique as each of ours may be, we are not alone. And that is true encouragement and support.

I'm glad you've stopped by today to visit with me and ask that you visit others as well by clicking here to get to the Linky list. Hop from blog to blog and check out what other writers have to share.

A question is provided as an option. I would love to hear your thoughts on this month's question: Does spring inspire you to write more than others or not?

I shared this song by The Byrds because it is cool and it came to mind when I considered how seasons have impacted my writing life. Not winter, spring, summer, or fall from a calendar perspective. Rather...
Spring - the lively bouncing time when writing burst at the seams in the raucus garden of my imagination
Summer- the bouncing crazy continued on for a couple of years
Fall - a bit of real life crept in and brought unexpected changes
Winter - writing didn't die, rather, lay in a quiet place with the occasional idea to remind me I will always be a writer
Now back to Spring - blossoms of that bouncing time making a slow but steady comeback, perhaps a bit slower so I can do better at finding my mom/work/life/write balance.

By the way, have you gotten your IWSG anthology? Want to learn more about the recently released Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime and others?

Click here to check them out.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

What Writing Can Look Like

ThinkStock.com
Writing doesn't always look pretty.

Yes, there are those who can sit at Starbucks or McDonald's from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday, banging out chapter after chapter of wordsmith genius that can be shared with the world in less than 6 months.

Then there are those of us learning the cycles of our writing lives.

From the time I first plunged into the blogger scene and donned my writing hat, I danced about in the long spring and summer of that part of my writing cycle. Then, after publishing Fable Ranger, Summons, life loopy-looed a different way, ushering in a long fall and even longer winter in my writing cycle.

So I empathize with the tree in this picture, a creature of nature reaching and stretching to the heavens, branches once thick with foliage, but now barren and skeletal, barely clearing through the fog.

But it is happening.

Spring is returning.

Slowly, but it is happening in my writing cycle.

It felt good adding conent to Fable Ranger II, the follow up to my MG fairy tale mashup story. Casey is in Lorealia. Dovetail is at his schemes once again.

But this time, it is a family affair.

So what about you, where are you in the cycle of your writing life?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG and Rainy Days

First Wednesday of the month is IWSG posting time. I don't post as often as I did when I first started. I was quite the busy beaver in my early blogging heyday. Yet, I try my best to participate in the monthly IWSG.

This group has been a source of inspiration and motivation, and such a helpful support group when I believed I was dealing with something that no one else could understand. Because when I would hop around from blog to blog, I'd find out that in my good times and my bad...I wasn't the only one.

So be sure to click here and visit other blogs. See what they have to share. Perhaps they are posting about the optional question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Honestly, there have been days that weren't so much rainy. They were filled with rolling thunder so loud it shook the foundation of my writing life. Lightning crackled across a roiling cloud-heavy sky and struck me to my core. The rain fell with such might, crashing into the ground so hard and fast it bounced back up into the air creating the illusion of soaked grasses and streets sending rain upwards in reverse.

When those days happened, writing took a backseat to survivng daily struggles and making time for my daughter... for making time to take care of me.
The struggle gets SOOO real sometimes : ( (credit: Thinkstock.com)

But writing didn't go away.

I read, both fiction and some craft titles, keeping my love of words ever in the forefront of my mind. Maybe writing is in my DNA. Or maybe I'm like Linus from the Peanuts Gang, inseperable from his blanket as I am from writing.

What about you, what do you do when the clouds ands rains invade your serene writing space?
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Vive La Revolution!

It starts as a spark, an idea, that something more can be done about an issue of concern. The issue on my mind is diversity in the arts.

What got me thinking about this is a blog post I stumbled across discussing how some publishers are hiring sensitivity readers.

Now, I've read and endured classical reads, such as Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, for school. Personally, I recognized that Twain wrote for what was his time period whether I liked certain word choices or not. I also read my fair share of sword and sorcery or saga/epic tales where nearly every "human" is white. Like seriously, I love Lord of the Rings and still realize that's just how it was.

It isn't how it has to be.

There are things being done, awareness being made. Stories where the MC is a member of the diverse universe - like they are a person of color and NOT in a gang or selling dope, or is a female and it ISN'T a romance, or they're challenged by a physical or mental impairment, or they're GLBTQ - are slowly fitting into the shelves.

Not filling them.

But there is progress.

There won't be any overnight change in publishing. Just as there won't be one for Hollywood.

But there is progress.

So I'm curious. I would love for you to share your thoughts. What do you think about publishers hiring sensitivity readers?
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

What the Google?

Credit

It's that time of year again. Time for school age youth to bustle about the house unencumbered by Algebraic equations that must be solved, essays to outline, or staring beyond the weirdly shaped mole on Mrs. Whats-her-name's face.

For us as writers, it may be a time to take a break from writing and spend time with the kiddos.

Just don't google "spring break" and click the Images option, especially NOT with the kiddos around. Seriously, like no joke. I'm no prude by any means. But the levels of skin on display make it seem spring break equals strip-club-at-the-beach.

So, changing gears, please do share, what are you doing for your spring break?

As for me and the kiddo, we're heading to a ranch in the "Cowboy capital of Texas" to enjoy some city-lights-free nights and some Cowboy style breakfast, lunch, and dinners, with a campfire and hayriding for good measure.
Monday, March 5, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Of Sales and Hacks

Of Sales...

It has been a while since I mentioned anything about my books in a marketing way. Truthfully, where my writing took a hit and has moved at the speed of a tortoise stuck in mollases, my marketing took a deathblow to the head.

Today, I begin a rather slow resurrection by sharing that Fable Ranger: Summons is on sale. You can grab a heavily discounted copy today at Smashwords using the coupon code RAE50. Then you can discover the importance of the above picture. If Smashwords isn't your thing, I am sure you can find it discounted on Amazon as well.

and Hacks...

Anyone who has been hacked knows it is no fun. You have to do quite a few things to prove you are you so the hacker can get the boot. On Instagram, my tomewriter account got hacked. This tomewriter2 impersonated me, going to my followers, DMing them and goodness only knows what else. Thank you to those who hit me up and let me know that something was wrong. And I am sorry you had to deal with some cheap imitation of me bothering any of you.

After doing my part to prove I am who I am, Instagram notified me that the imposter is gone. Now, I'm a bit paranoid so I deleted my tomewriter account anyway and created a new account with additional privacy settings. Going to give it another go :-)

So, any book sales you want to share about in the comments? Have you been hacked? What was you experience like?
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Snack Time for the Write Time

When it comes to sitting down and putting pen to paper, or tapping out words on the keyboard so they scrawl blissfully across the computer screen with all the genius you can put behind it, it can require energy replenishment.

What is your favorite go to? Is it fruit?
Or are you a lover of all things chocolate?


Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG, My Genre & Me

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.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!
February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I LOVE the variety and the journey that comes with fantasy and science fiction. As a kid growing up, reality was always so...well... REAL. It was wonderful to hop into a book and take off to a different realm or a different planet other than my own. I'd always have to face the issues and problems in my REAL LIFE, so it was nice to escape to some place or thing far removed from my norm.

It is just as much fun creating new worlds, spinning a new twist to an old aventure, dreaming up a new language or way of speaking. It is why I enjoy building bridges between here and anywhere imagination takes me.

What about you? What genre do you write most in and what do you love about it?
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

We're Here to PROMPT You Up!

This is probably very telling about how old I am. I remember sneaking and watching some of the Saturday Night Live shows when I was younger. There were these two guys who were always trying to...

So yeah, that is the inspiraton for this blog title, and I think I will do this regularly, maybe once a month since I mainly post on Wednesdays here.

See this picture?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at it? What is the "first line" you think of if you see a book that has something like this on the cover?

Please comment and share. Inquiring minds -  like mine- want to know :-)
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Getting Back into the Writing Life

Stepping back into writing slow and steady has gone better than I thought. Now that I've given myself permission to NOT be so hard on myself, I'm making progress. Some days may not go quite as planned...
But it is okay. Really and truly okay.

What do you do on those days where things don't go quites as planned?
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

Something Like Normal

I'm not quite sure what normal is anymore.

Before 2012, normal was...
...getting my kid ready for school
...drop her off
...go to work
...complain for half the day
...get complained at by customers for the other half of the day
...pick my kid up from her after school program
...work homework and read with my kiddo
...then go to bed.

2012 - the beginning of 2015 was all of that plus...
...blogging 2- 3 times a week
...hopping on various social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to post, share posts, like posts, network multiple times through the day everyday
...more networking on LinkedIn and other outlets that I wasn't sure why I was hopping on them anymore
...marketing research
...marketing attempts
...blog tours
...building newsletter lists
...sending newsletters while trying to not be spammy
...and writing, writing, more writing.

Somewhere in there was the occasional sleeping moment.

No regrets from any of it given I gained a whirlwind of knowledge, friends, and had some really awesome times doggone it!

So now that I've taken my hiatus, I've stepped back to breathe for a bit, I'm ready to set my new normal. I don't have anything solid yet.

No specific goals like a certain word count per day.

No demand on myself to produce XYZ product or item. I have plenty of deadline demands with my day gig.

Actually, here is my goal for each day:
Be like Happy Kitty!

Oh, and you'll notice I made a little change to the layout of my blog. I really liked what I had before. Just trying something new. In case you are interested in trying something new with your blog, I'd suggest Heather McCorkle. I've had a very good experience working with her. In fact, she designed my Shadow Jumpers and NEO Chronicles books, both the older and new versions.

Since we've got more than one toe into the new year, have you had a chance to set a schedule? What is your normal like?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG and 2018

It is the first Wednesday of the month, of the year of our Lord, 2018. It is IWSG time.

Time to frolic and hop from blog to blog checking out what others have to share at this most wonderful and commisserate time each month. Click here for links to other blogs.

As we bid adieu to 2017 and walk, run, or stumble into 2018, I find myself regarding goals with a rather skeptical eye. In 2015, I started off with a bang, big and small writing goals set, SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) that I was so sure about.

Life guffawed as it told me, "Hold this beer and spill nary a drop, ya hear!" as it splashed about in my writing life like a beluga whale in a too-small pool.

No surprise that I did not hold on to that glass of beer. I've spent a lot of time gathering the pieces. Instead of trying to glue it back together, which would mostly end with me glued to the mug, I've claimed the broken pieces for my own and handed them over to a master glass blower to turn what was broken into something new.

I've taken time away from writing and hold true to my heart's desire to return with vigor when it is time. I have a feeling that time is near.

When it comes, I would be interested in knowing your answer to this month's IWSG question?

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Perhaps some of your comments can provide me some assistance in getting back into a writing groove, so please, comment away :-)