Category Archives: Blogging

Blogging Break

My life is on hold right now. My mother is ill, and I’m preparing for a cross-country trip to visit with her. Over the past several days, most of my time has been consumed by back-and-forth phone calls with my sister.

I have had little time to visit all of your lovely blogs, comment, and share your posts. I will be offline for the most part over the next two months.

My mother is eighty-seven years old. I pray she lives to see her eighty-eighth birthday on Christmas Eve, Christmas being her favorite holiday.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Summer’s end and Autumn’s beginning. Be well, my friends, and remember to keep your hearts open. Namaste ❤

(Featured image is courtesy of Terri Webster Schrandt)

#ShiningLight Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette Rochelle AbenAnnette Rochelle Aben is a shining light in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of several conversations with her, and the most striking thing I’ve learned is that she walks her talk. Her Angel Messages, Inspirations, and Attitude of Gratitude posts are spoken from her heart. She is the real deal. 

If you’re not familiar with Annette and her work, you will find her HERE and HERE. Listen to her Blog TalkRadio shows for an infusion of support and enthusiasm as The Magic Happens. 

This week on her blog, Annette posted two public messages: an apology to herself and a letter to her ex-husband. Both embody understanding, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness. It is with a grateful heart that I share them with you now.

A Public Apology to Myself

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/a-public-apology-to-myself/

A Public Letter to My ExHusband

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/a-public-letter-to-my-exhusband/

#Author/BloggerSpotlight D.G. Kaye aka Debby Gies

While I was on break preparing my first novel for republication, I missed several wonderful posts by my lovely friend Debby Gies.  Debby is one of the most supportive authors it is my privilege to know. She writes compelling memoirs and has five outstanding books to her name. Find them HERE.

Debby’s latest memoir, P.S. I Forgive You, was published in October 2016 and has received nothing less than 5-star reviews.

P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

Aside from sharing the work of fellow authors, Debby also writes thought-provoking articles and regularly shares helpful tips.  I’d like to share a few of these now. Perhaps you missed them as well. Since I’m still in catch-up mode,  I’m including a few of her later posts.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have ❤

#Kindness Rocks Project – #WATWB – How it Began – How to Participate

The Story of My Life – Writing Prompts – Memoir- 10 Things that Sparked Childhood Creativity

The Other Inconspicuous Form of Bullying – Emotional Bullying

Aging and Wisdom – The New Perennial Age of Women

Just Sayin’ – Get Your Best Deals When Purchasing Apps and Website Services

Sunday Book Review – The Fountain – Short Stories by John Maberry

SPOTLIGHT: D. G. Kaye ~ Live. Laugh. Love. And Don’t Forget to Breathe. | The Writer Next Door

In Between Friday Shares with Tina Frisco and Sally Cronin

Just Sayin’ – How to be Resourceful – Seeking Resolution with Postal Issues

 

Want to know what’s happening at the #BloggersBash? Here’s the Agenda.

Ali Isaac has posted the long-awaited agenda for the 2017 Bloggers Bash. Hugs on, shoes off, get ready to party! Wishing everyone a fabulous time  🙂

aliisaacstoryteller

the bash is back

And it’s bigger and better than ever! We have a lovely venue for you, which is central and easy to get to, and this year, we have focused on bringing some REAL blogging experts to you, people you know and love, who will share the secrets of their success and expertise with you.

Plus… it’s going to be a whole heap of fun!

So, are you joining us at the Bloggers Bash? Have you got your ticket, booked your transport, and decided what to wear? If not, it’s still not too late to get yourself a ticket. You can do that here.

Curious about what we’ve got planned for you on the day? Here’s what we’ve got lined up…

Of course that’s not all that’ll be going on, oh no! There’ll be lots of hugs (mostly from Hugh), conversation, the beginning of new friendships, the…

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#Sacha Black #Author Interview

Sacha BlackI am delighted to feature Sacha Black today.  For those of you who don’t know Sacha, she is the founder of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Bash Awards. (More about the Bash at the end of this post).  Please join me in congratulating Sacha on the release of her first book, 13 Steps to Evil:  How to Craft Superbad Villains, a step-by-step guide to creating multi-dimensional villains and much more.

Buy the book HERE and HERE  

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Welcome, Sacha!
Why did you write this book?   This book started out as a couple of blog posts. Everything I’ve learnt on my journey to publishing, I’ve blogged. I guess as both a consolidation of my learning and a way to give back and share the lessons and mistakes I’ve made so others don’t have to. When I was studying villains it was no different. I wrote up the things I’d learnt as blog posts and I was fortunate enough they proved popular. But that told me that kind of content was not only wanted but needed too. So the seed was sown for 13 Steps To Evil.
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for this type of book?   Absolutely, because of the popularity of the posts, I did some research and discovered that although there were lots of blog posts, there were only a couple of books out there that covered the topic and none were as in depth as I wanted. So absolutely there’s a market.
Does the book shed new light on a common issue?  I think so. It comes at villain-creation from a different angle. For a start, it’s based on a myth busting concept. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Most writers have hero-worship syndrome. Blindly concentrating on their hero and creating his or her depth of character and forgetting that a novel isn’t just one character.
So 13 Steps To Evil tries to blow that concept apart by suggesting the villain is actually the most important character in an author’s book. Why? Because a villain is the source of conflict, and without conflict, there is no story and no need for a hero.
Is it a topic that a lot of people can easily relate to?  Absolutely. This isn’t a stuffy textbook. I purposely use really well known character examples from books, film and TV because most people will have heard of all, or at least most of the examples. I try to sprinkle a little humor and sarcasm into the book and provide a couple of thought provoking exercises at the end of each chapter.
How will the book help writers?  The book is an easy to understand, step by step guide to creating Superbad villains. Each step has bite size chunks of info a summary and a couple of useful questions/exercises. There’s also a free checklist to go with the book, a short course and I’m also opening up a Facebook group for the short course completers where they can discuss their ideas/feedback with each other, and I will be in there monitoring it as well.
It will take writers from the basics all the way up to their ultimate warlord.
Who’s your favorite villain?  Can you ask me that? That’s totally not fair! Honestly, I have a penchant for anti-heroes. The first anti-hero I ever fell in love with was Beetlejuice, I secretly wanted to wear his stripy suit. I love Deadpool too, with his ego and outrageous sense of humor, Loki, Patrick Bateman, Dexter, GAH there are so many. If we’re talking pure villain, then one of the best has to be Hannibal Lecter, surely? 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

BIO
Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.
BLURB
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
  • How to develop a villain’s mindset
  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

EXCERPT
Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains
Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.
A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).
While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.
Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:
   1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.
A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.
   2. Writers are hero worshippers.
We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.
Learn more about Sacha:    Non-Fiction Website            Fiction Website    Amazon UK   Amazon US   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Tumblr   Google+   LinkedIn   Goodreads Non-Fiction   Goodreads Fiction
Annual Bloggers Bash
Sacha organizes the #AnnualBloggersBash along with Ali Isaac, Geoff LePard, and Hugh Roberts.  This year, the Bash will be held on June 10th in London.  If you haven’t yet voted for your favorite blogger, you can do so HERE.  But hurry, because voting closes on June 2nd at 12 p.m. BST ❤

#BLOGGER INTERVIEW – Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape

The Story Reading ApeChris Graham  is much admired, respected, and appreciated in the blogging world. His indefatigable support of authors and bloggers is rivaled by few others.  The Story Reading Ape‘s 4th blog anniversary is April 4th, and I can think of no better way to show my appreciation than by featuring him on my blog. Here’s to you, Mr. Ape! May you live long and prosper. I’m also putting energy out there for you to win the lottery 😊

Follow Chris’ blog  HERE 

When did you start blogging and what prompted you to do so?  

I started blogging on April 4th 2013 after reading authors’ pleas (on Goodreads) for promotional opportunities on blogs. 

What moved you to choose an ape as your gravatar and online presence? 

My Most favourite author was (and still is) Terry Pratchett, who once stated, “The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan Narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” 

From this I extrapolated that since I didn’t TELL stories, but listened to, or READ them, I must be a Story READING ape (Pan Audiencia – as near as I can get). 

What motivated you to make author promotion and support the
focus of your blog?
 

I’ve always enjoyed reading, either to learn or be entertained, and owe a debt of gratitude to authors, so when I saw their pleas on Goodreads, I decided to focus on authors, rather than the stories they wrote. 

After all, there are LOTS of book review blogs, but very few that give authors the opportunity to talk about themselves (as well as getting a plug in about their books). 

You also add a weekly dose of humor to your blog. Does humor play an important role in your daily life as well? 

Yes, it does. 

Like everyone else in the world, I have my bad times, as well as good, but was raised not to dwell on, or agonise over, the bad things. It’s better to learn from them and get on with those aspects of life I DO have control over. 

Laughter and the ability to see humour (or the stupidity) in bad situations helps me get over, or overcome, the depths of despair that others seem to slip into easily. 

It may well be an Irish trait, an example being after a funeral, where humour, song and celebration are an important part of remembering the deceased (and overcome grief). 

This could be summed up in the old joke about friends putting a crate of drinks on top of the coffin and saying, “He left instructions that the drinks were to be on him.” 

How much time each day do you spend blogging? 

Too long I suspect; I often pop in and out of the blog to respond to comments and thank those who share the posts, while I’m reading emails, other peoples’ posts and searching around for articles that might be of interest to my blog readers (and myself). 

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? 

Apart from Terry Pratchett, I enjoy books by the old masters like Dickens, et al, but there are quite a few modern (and self-published) authors I enjoy as well – however, I’m not going to say who – they already know who they are 😊 

You and your sister recently published a book of your mother’s My Vibrating Vertebraepoetry. Tell us a little about your Mum, her poetry, and the book. 

It was my sister Lorna who collected the poems and Jo Robinson who edited and formatted the book – all I did was upload and publish it. 

Poetry was a side of Mum that I never knew about until Lorna sent them to me. So I was both surprised and humbled when I read them. 

What most inspires you in life? 

Nature in all its diverse forms, from the variety and tenacity of life, to the wonder and immensity of the Universe. 

Any parting words for your followers? 

Read, learn and experience as much as you can about everything. 

If Reincarnation exists, it will help you progress. 

If it doesn’t, you will have enriched your time while alive. 

I hope you enjoyed learning more about our very own blogging Ape. I’m sure I speak for all of us in thanking Chris for his abiding support of authors and in wishing him a

VERY 

 

Please visit and follow Chris’  BLOG, and take a peek inside his book,  My Vibrating Vertebrae
Thanks so much for stopping by ❤

Love, Fear, and Gratitude – Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Thank you to Chris The Story Reading Ape for his monthly feature of authors and bloggers. I am honored to be among them 💚

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

What is love? Not romantic love, but the essence of love, pure and unadulterated. Pure love lightens and enlightens. But what is it? In truth, love can’t be defined; we can only talk around it. In attempting to de-fine it, we con-fine it and thus lose it. Love simply is. And love is our true nature.

What is the opposite of love? Many would say hate. Seems logical, right? When we’re not sitting in love, expanded and with an open heart, we’re struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand of raw emotion. Truth is: the opposite of love is fear. All that isn’t love stems from fear. Love and fear are our primeval baseline emotions.

So what is this seemingly ubiquitous, all-consuming emotion we call fear? When we constrict – when our hearts close, our muscles tighten, our thoughts ricochet, our spirits dim – we sit in…

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Calling all Kid Lit Authors and Book Bloggers #PBPiO #MARCHingBookstoKids

Michelle Eastman is collecting children’s books throughout the month of March to benefit children of incarcerated parents. This is part of the MARCHing Books to Kids initiative for the VNS of Iowa Storybook Project. She is reaching out to kid lit authors and book bloggers to get quality books into the hands of deserving kids.
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO DONATE A BOOK and keep passing it on!  You can make a difference to a child in need… 
Please use these tags when sharing:                                                      #PBPiO #MARCHingBookstoKids

Michelle Eastman Books


I would like to reach out to kid lit authors and book bloggers to get quality books into the hands of deserving kids.

Featured Image -- 1290

Throughout the month of March, I am collecting new children’s books to benefit children of incarcerated parents. Authors, I hope you will consider donating signed copies of your books. Book bloggers, please help us by sharing this information with your readers.

I am a children’s author, teacher, and mom who is passionate about children’s literacy and the power of children’s books. When I learned nearly 2/3 of children, living in poverty, DO NOT own books, I was moved to act. I founded the literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On, to raise awareness for literacy issues and get books to kids in need.

Three years ago, the Picture Book Pass it On initiative grew to include a month-long book drive called MARCHing Books to Kids.

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Objectivity in book reviews: can you be honest AND objective?

This is a brilliant post by Lynne LeGrow at Fictionophile on book reviews and blogger bashing. A poignant question raised is: Can you write a book review that’s totally devoid of personal preference? I don’t think anyone can write a completely objective book review that doesn’t sound as if they’re dissecting the author’s writing skills. If you’re incensed by blogger bashing, this is a must-read.

Fictionophile

book-review-objectivityThese past few weeks I have read some rather unpleasant comments about book reviewers. Blogger ‘bashing’ seems popular just now.


An example of this blogger bashing:

https://prettymessreading.wordpress.com/…/dear-book-blogge…/

When someone – anyone – calls me or my fellow book bloggers dishonest – then steam starts to come out of my ears.13420806205_766b819771When I give a book 5 stars it is because I love it. I’ve recently given a book 2 stars because it wasn’t to my taste. Everyone’s taste is different. I get most of my books from NetGalley, Edelweiss or directly from publishers. They do not cost me anything, yet I still rate them ALL as according to my enjoyment of them. Why would anyone post anything this hurtful. I do not lie when reviewing books! I do try to be kind, as I know authors invest a lot of emotion, time, and hard work writing. Just because I don’t care for it, there…

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Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Author Tina Frisco – Time is an Illusion.

It’s a pleasure to be part of Sally Cronin‘s Blog Sitting Special while she’s off celebrating her birthday with her sisters in England. There will be many more hosts throughout the week, so do stop by and enjoy the variety of posts she has lined up for our edification in her absence 💜

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

blog-sitting

I am delighted that my lovely friend and talented author Tina Frisco leapt into action when I invited writers to blog sit whilst I am away with my two sisters. Tina is hugely supportive of all her blogging friends and in this post she explores our perception of time.

61drzdpa47l-_ux250_About Tina Frisco.

Tina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, and student of shamanism. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews, essays, articles in the field of medicine, her début novel – PLATEAU, her children’s book – GABBY AND THE QUADS, and her latest novel – VAMPYRIE. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and…

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