Writing Community (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(For more information, including a complete list of participants, please click on the above link…)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are Louise-Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?”

I am pleased to report that I have.

When I started blogging a thousand years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I figured it would just be me talking to myself about whatever random whateverness popped into my head that day.

But then I stumbled onto the writing community, which led to this writing community and the opportunity to get to know some truly wonderful writers who inspire me greatly. I even found some friendships that extend beyond the world of writing (yes, there is, in fact, a world beyond writing), and a brand spanking new accountability partnership (I’m not sure I’m holding up my end of this partnership particularly well, but I aim to improve).

And I wouldn’t have any of these things if I hadn’t started blogging. So to you all I say…

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Be safe and well.

February Goals

It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of MY MONTHLY GOALS!

But before we get to the main event, here’s a brief recap of what I accomplished last month. (And it’s definitely brief for the sake of post length. Definitely not because I didn’t accomplish very much. Definitely.)

JANUARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

—I added 5,700 words to Full Circle.

I started out the year having some third act issues, so I concentrated on finishing some of the incomplete scenes in the first two acts while my brain worked on the third act problems in the background. This was marginally successful. I wrote words, I deleted words, I ended up with a problem that I shall discuss more in February’s goals. So, progress is being made. Albeit very slow progress.

—I attempted some marketing.

My January Marketing Attempt (that’s a generous use of the words ‘marketing’ and ‘attempt’, by the way…) was to offer to mail bookmarks/postcards for my books to any interested readers. It’s the kind of thing that would be handed out at book events, had I any book events on my schedule. One person took me up on the offer, and judging by the email I received in response, it may even lead to a sale. So…successful-ish? (Yes, you’re probably (rightfully) laughing at me for thinking this could count as some sort of success, but please keep in mind that I am in a serious ‘remedial marketing for anxiety-ridden dummies’ place)

(Also, if you’re in the US & would like some bookmarks of your very own, I’ll be happy to send some your way. Just email or DM me or something.)

—As of the moment I wrote this post, I walked a total of 98 miles in January.

I aim for three miles every day and was, admittedly, lazier in January than normal, but the daily average was almost 3.2 miles. That is what the kids call…

FEBRUARY GOALS

—Figure out the main villain arc in Full Circle

As is often the case in everything I write, the story shape-shifts in unexpected ways, forcing me to rethinking/redraw certain character arcs and storylines and the like. Full Circle has proven to be no different. Yay.

I started reconstructing this arc toward the end of last month and had a brief moment of thinking it might all work out with little reconstruction on every other damn part of the WIP.

Yeah. That’s over now. I wrote out everything I know and don’t know about this arc and from that developed a list of eight items that still need to be addressed in order for this arc to be complete and maybe even (that’s a big MAYBE, by the way…) make some semblance of sense. (Apparently, that’s important to a story? I dunno. That’s just what I hear.)

As much as I may like to, I don’t think I can’t put it off any longer because this arc naturally has a hand in the main plot as well as the subplot. So I think if I want to make any further progress on this WIP, I will have to suck it up and do some deep thinking.

—Figure out & complete my February Marketing Attempt

Can I just say again how much I hate this? I just feel so very clearly NOT cut out for this line of work.

—Read a damn book

Though there are, like, five new releases sitting on the side table in the living room—books I was soooooo excited to pre-order and read—I have yet to even open any of them.

Seriously. What the hell is WRONG with me?

—Walk at least three miles every day

Just looking to stay somewhat active.

And on that note…I’m outta here.

What are your goals for February?

Be safe and well, all.

What’s In A Name?

Today, we’re turning things over to awesome author, Chrys Fey, who’s here to tell us about her latest release and give us some insider information about one of its main characters…

The question…

Why was Detective Thorn’s first name a secret in the Disaster Crimes series until Book 6, A Fighting Chance?

The answer…

Well, because I didn’t give him a first name. HAHA! Simple as that, really. He was Detective Thorn, and many officers or people with titles (such as doctors or individuals in the military) are often called by their surnames at work. Beth and Donovan met Thorn at the police station when he was working on the case against the murderers of Donovan’s brother, an Internal Affairs investigator. So, they called him Thorn, which is actually his surname but is how he’s known by everyone. There was never any need for me to give him a first name. Not until, that is, when Amanda wants to get to know him more and becomes curious about his first name. 

You and me both, honey.

In one scene, Amanda asks Beth what Thorn’s name is, but Beth doesn’t tell her, saying if Amanda wants to know, she needs to ask Thorn herself. It’s Beth’s way of encouraging the two of them closer. Beth knows his name. Donovan knows his name. But they aren’t telling Amanda. Or me.

I ended up posting a poll in my Facebook Group, Fey’s Sparklers, and asking them which name they liked more. A few of the names I had in the poll were: Nathanial, Timothy, Joshua, and Tyler. The name that got the most votes (not listed here) became Thorn’s first name.

Now you’re wondering, what is Thorn’s first name?

You’ll have to read A Fighting Chance to find out!

*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he’s worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?

Now available at

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***

THE DISASTER CURSE

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

TheFightingChance.org is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.

***GIVEAWAY***

Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle

ENTER HERE

About The Author

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Find Chrys online at:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(If you’re new to the IWSG, or just interested in more information and/or a complete list of participants, click on the above link.)

This month’s co-hosts are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner, Sandra Cox, and Louise Fundy Blue.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book, throws you out of the story and/or frustrates you the most about other people’s books?”

But I’m going to skip that question in order to ramble incoherently talk about a subject about which I know nothing but how much I don’t want to do it.

Marketing.

If you happened to have read my last post, you may remember that one of my goals this year is to attempt to make some kind of monthly attempt at marketing.

This goal came out of an exchange with my sweet babboo (I have no idea if I’m spelling that correctly. But, fortunately, neither does Auto Correct…) that happened toward the end of last year. I received a message from one of the Evil Social Media sites telling me I could use their Evil Social Media Business Service to help my business.

I snorted in derision and said aloud, “That shows what you know, Evil Social Media Site. I don’t have a business.”

To which my sweet babboo (Ha. That time, Auto Correct changed it to ‘bamboo’) responded, “Yes, you do.”

Which was followed by a moment of confusion followed by the realization that I do, in fact, have a business.

Needless to say, I do not excel at marketing.

Among other things.

So this led me to ponder whether I should maybe possibly kind of put forth maybe just a tiny bit of effort in the marketing department. But here’s the thing…I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. Just thinking about doing it in any way, shape, or form makes me feel physically horrible. Just the idea of saying something like, “Hey, I wrote a book” to someone feels physically horrible.

I seriously cannot stress enough how goddamn horrible I feel.

For a while, I thought it might get better, easier, if I kept at it. If I kept stepping out of my comfort zone, I would grow more accustomed to it. That…didn’t happen. It only felt worse to the point where I took every event off my schedule even before the pandemic would have done it for me.

When my sweet babboo (No, Auto Correct. Not Bambi) asked why, I told him I needed to feel not horrible for a while.

And that was that.

Which is why my goal is to attempt to make an attempt at marketing. I’m going test the waters and see how it feels (I’ll go out on a limb and say…horrible?) and go from there.

I don’t know how to do it or where to start or anything except (again) how much I don’t want to do it, but it’ll be an experiment.

We’ll see how far I get.

Again, just a guess…

What are your goals for the year? How do you handle marketing? Any advice for me?

Thanks for stopping by today, folks. I’ll try to do better the next time.

Stay safe and well.

Here We Go Again

Hello, everyone! Welcome to 2021!

As is my tradition, today’s post will be all about my goals for the coming year. Keep in mind that these are big, year-long goals that will be (in theory, anyway) broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

The Writing Goals

  1. Finish the first draft of Full Circle

Full Circle is the third book in my fantasy series. This goal is a carryover from last year’s goals. I’d like to say that I came close to completing it, but I don’t think I really can. Too much time writing pointless conversations about goats and not enough time writing actual, useful plot that, you know, moves the story forward.

I hope to correct that this year.

For anyone keeping score at home, this WIP is currently sitting at 232,924 words.

2. Finish the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel

This is, of course, the sequel to the Terrible Romance Novel (aka Love & Other Lies) that I started during NaNoWriMo last November. I haven’t looked at it since November 30th, and it’s not my top priority this year, but I hope that I’ll get a chance to finish it at some point.

Its word count is currently sitting at 51,309. There’s even a chance that some of it may be useable. Fingers crossed!

3. Participate in all three NaNoWriMo sessions this year (April, July, and November)

This goal makes the list because I am the ML (municipal liaison) for my region. Participating in events comes with the territory. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be working on those three months, and I won’t know until I see where the aforementioned WIPs are when the events get closer. The Camp sessions in April and July offer participants more goal flexibility, so it won’t necessarily be a 50k word goal each time out.

4. Attempt to make some attempt at marketing once a month

This goal is deliberately vague to give me as much wiggle room on this as freaking possible because I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS GOAL. Like, at all. You should have seen how long it took me to add the damn goal to the list. I can’t stress enough how stressed out I am even thinking about this stupid goal.

The Other Goals

  1. Read 52 books

Haven’t managed this one the last few years, but maybe 2021 will be different?

2. Improve fitness

In theory, this will be a multi-step kind of thing. I’ll be keeping my three-miles-a-day goal but attempting to add in yoga and strength training and some aerobics and things of that nature.

I actually did some yoga, strength training, and aerobics yesterday. And today, I feel great. Really.

3. Drink more water/Reduce caffeine intake

I was doing a terrible job of hydrating toward the end of the year and was drinking entirely too much soda, so here’s when I attempt to, you know, stop doing that. Please note the part where it says “REDUCE caffeine intake.” Not eliminate entirely. Gotta keep these things realistic.

4. De-clutter

It just really needs to be done. I am such a scary pack rat. It’s sad, really. And yeah, I know this was also on the 2020 goal list and I got as far as looking at the closet in my office and saying, “Ugh, I can’t even” but maybe it’ll be different this year.

And on that note, I’m outta here.

Hope you have a very happy and healthy 2021.

Stay safe and well!