Writing Process Blog Tour Relay

Thank you Bryan Stone, a fine author and blogger, for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

Bryan is working on his third Kay Francis cozy mystery novel. Kay Francis photo 2 (revised)

I’ve read the first two in the series (Murder at the Belmar and Midnight in Valhalla)  and can hardly wait to read what the actress is up to this time.

I also follow his blog  not only because I like the content he posts but also because of his eloquent style of expressing himself. Whenever I read either one of his novels or his posts I feel like I am getting a lesson on how to write well.

This blog tour requires that I answer 4 questions about my writing process and then nominate the blogs of two or three other writers who inspire me,  to do the same.

1)      What am I working on?

Right now I am in between large projects. I’ve just sent a short story titled The Benefit of Tears to ROOM Magazine’s short story competition. I have to thank Bryan for this as his post on Nathaniel West made me go back to reading The Day of The Locusts and came across this line: only those who hope have the benefit of tears, thus inspiring me for the title of my story. Thank you, Bryan.

My crime novel The Protectors is off trying to grab the attention of a publisher while I’m still debating about self-publishing my women’s fiction novel The Dating Club. I am in editing mode for this novel, preparing to send out to Beta readers. I also have a sequel to The Protectors in the works.

As for my blog, I like to have series. I am someone who can get bored fairly easily and so the notion of a series appeals to me. Once finished I can go on. You can read these series on my blog: Ten Great First Dates, Writers’ Desks, Female Nobel Prize Laureates and Femmes Fatales.

2)      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think that The Protectors is more of a literary novel with a crime occurring in it rather than a traditional mystery novel. It’s not a who-done it for from the get go the reader pretty much knows who committed the crime. I am a criminologist by profession and  so I am interested in the whys of crime.

In The Protectors, I have three criminals: a serial killer, a destitute woman and a cop, each with different motives and past histories tangled up with their crimes. I like to push the social and psychological button.

As for The Dating Club, it’s different in that, although it can be categorized in “chick-lit” its protagonists are older and more concerned with issues such as death, mortgages and loneliness in middle age. The novel examines the effects of an absent father on  a woman’s future relationships.

 My novel Mourning Has Broken is also different in that it is a connected essays on grief. For those interested, I have posted excerpts on my blog.

3)    Why do I write what I do?

The simple answer to this question is because I must. In some ways it is the writing that chooses me and not the other way around. Oh, this sounds like such a cliché but it’s true.

4)    How does my writing process work?

I am such a disorganized person when it comes to writing. I take all these notes down that I never use. I started to write Mourning Has Broken when my sister died after a five year struggle with lymphoma. I told myself that I would write for a year whenever I fell into the grieving well. What surfaced was a collection of essays on mourning. After that year, I re-wrote, hired CreateSpace to edit it (which I have had pointed out still has mistakes) and published through Createspace. Otherwise, on a normal writing day (everyday) I make myself a cup of tea and read in bed to motivate myself to whatever it is I am working on that day, whether it’s my novels, a synopsis, a query letter or a blog post.

Who’s Up Next on my Writing Process Blog Tour?

The purpose of this blog tour is to offer support to fellow bloggers, to expose their writings to a larger audience and so I invite you to take notice of what these wonderful writers are up to and to follow them next week as they post their own writing process.

D.G. Kaye

Debbie Gibbs

She is a nonfiction writer of memoirs about life experience, matters of the heart and women’s issues. D.G. began writing using it as an emotional tool to sort and express her emotions back from her days growing up in an emotionally turbulent childhood. D.G. writes to share her stories about emotional conflicts, overcoming, and she digs deep within to analyze where emotions stem from and how they play into our older selves.

D.G. Kaye is the author of Conflicted Hearts and Meno-What? A Memoir.

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D.G.’s debut book, Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt delves into her emotional struggles as a child, growing up with a narcissistic mother.

Her newest book, Meno-What? A Memoir is a humorous and informative journey she shares about the pitfalls of menopause.

Get your copy of Meno-What?   D.G. also blogs about life, her opinions on people and events and she also shares helpful articles about the writing world. D.G’s favourite quote is: Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!

I have read both her books and have loved them equally as well. Her voice is authentic and writes with honesty and perception.

You can follow D.G. on twitter, facebook, her author page on Amazon and her website.

 

Claudia Anderson

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Claudia Anderson is a writer who specializes in fantasy fiction and creative non-fiction. She authors a blog titled Humoring the Goddess: Managing the Madness and Magic of Middle Age (www.humoringthegoddess.com), sharing the humorous and often confusing side of life after 50.  She also is a frequent contributor to the blog at Retirement and Good Living (www.retirementandgoodliving.com) , and a Copywriter for Imagine Publicity (www.imaginepublicity.com).

She has been published in the Wisconsin Regional Writer, Paper Tape, and the Peninsula Pulse. She has written several novels dealing with time travel, romance, and mystery, and is working on getting them published.  When not writing, Claudia is an Internet Data Conversion Specialist Analyst for a catalog distribution company. She is happily married, with two grown sons and one adorable grandson.

One of my favorite quotes of hers is from her post Ten Ways To Become a Better Writerthe dreams of those who have only a high school degree are no different than those with a Ph.D.  It is what one does with those dreams that matter in the long run.  You can read the full post here

 

Grace Lessageing

Grace Lessageing writes a blog titled  Anecdotage  where she writes about what is important to her in her life: children, music, food, health.

Writing as Jane Dean she is the author of A Year of Familiar Strangers, a novel about a marriage falling apart as she faces the empty nest syndrome.

Product Details

She began writing about 5 years ago, starting with short stories &then penning the novel she always wanted to write

She runs a writing group called the Spokes and also writes a weekly, meandering blog about anything she think of, including ageing, life, society and current affairs.

She is also leader of a creative writing group and lives in Bournemouth UK.

Her novel is available here.

PEACE, JUSTICE & BEAUTY

Some time back I refused two awards.

One by D.G. KAYE  and the other by DREW DELANEYMy excuse was a question of time and the unforgiving task of having to nominate bloggers. Who would I choose? Would I offend someone?

I still don’t have any more time than I did then and I still find the task impossible of nominating only seven beautiful bloggers from the hundreds I follow.

The Beautiful Blogger Award is an honor bestowed by fellow bloggers to show how much they love reading your blog and appreciate the beauty in your words.

All the blogs I follow deserve this award. They are all beautiful.

In accepting this honor I am required to nominate 7 people for this award.

Number 1:

 ALL THE BLOGGERS I FOLLOW

I nominate all of you for this Beautiful Blog Award. Through your blogs I learn the craft of writing, I read amazing book reviews and wonderful short stories , you take me to incredibly beautiful places, you make me discover new music, shine my days with your photography, make me more aware of politics, make me laugh with your jokes, I follow your dating experiences and learn from them, you invite me into your world and soul, expose me to novels I wouldn’t otherwise know about (including your own) and movies to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  You take me to adventures, be awed by amazing architecture and art and poetry. I travel with you on your journey around the world.  You give me ideas for supper and inspire me by your prayers and inspirational quotes and yes…there are cats.

So, feel free to copy and paste this award on your blog. But if you do so, please follow these rules:

1.  Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo.

2.  Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back.

3.  Nominate 7 (yes only seven) other bloggers and say a little something about them.

Beautiful_Blogger_Award

 

I want to thank  Marlyn at Kintal for nominating me for the Peace & Justice Award. No one deserves it more than she does.

Also warm thanks to  Karen at mytrainofthoughtson for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. She is certainly one of them.

Now, for the remaining six and not in any order.

If you don’t already know these bloggers have a look at their amazing sites.

PATTY NGUYEN 

I have a thing for grape pictures.

 I have a thing for grape pictures.

 

KERI (Keri’s Journal)

 

My heart has many cracks now, though I brought it to you whole.

 

JAZZYBEATCHICK

 

I want to awaken listeners around the world to the powers of jazz and literary arts that will heal and transform individuals and communities.   

ANN FIELDS

Fullers Curse Front Cover Promo

Through my writings, I choose to be part of the mass movement aimed at advancing this world in a positive way and aimed at helping humanity truly embrace “all that is good, noble, pure, and right.” 

OJIMA

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Ojima was one of the first blogs I followed. I love the freshness of her writing and the innocence of her graphic characters. It’s a fun blog with great African music to discover.

 

SCANDINAVIAN CRIME FICTION 

This blog is part of a project to document and celebrate the amazing amount of high-quality crime fiction

coming from the Scandinavian countries and being translated into English.

 

 The Peace & Justice Award

According to idealisticrebel, founder of this award:

“I am creating this award to honor WordPress bloggers who support Peace and Justice throughout the world and who are against Racism, Bigotry, Anger and Hatred. It is for the Heroes and the Sheroes who believe in One World and All People of all Races, Sexes, Religions, Creeds and Cultures Living in Harmony.”

here are the given rules for the award:

  1. Recipients should frequently write about Peace, Justice, Love — the goodness in the world, or putting goodness in the world.

  2. Recipients may also frequently call attention to the bigotry or racism that happens in the world.

  3. Link back to whomever nominated you and, since this is about goodness, politely thank them.

  4. Spread the love to whomever and however many you believe deserve it!

So if the hat fits go for it and post this award on your blog.

peace

COMMENTING ON POSTS

 Not long ago, Damyianti from the blog Daily(w)rite posted this:

If you could give just One #blogging tip, what would it be?

Many commented on quality content. While that is the foundation of a good blog, I also believe that responding to comments on my posts and commenting on fellow blogger posts is as important.

I’m not the only one. Amy A. Corron had this to say:

I have found that the blogs I enjoy the most are the ones where the blogger consistently responds to commenters. I have unfollowed several blogs just because I would comment regularly and the blogger NEVER replied to any comments. I find this rather snobbish, rude and off-putting. So, if you want to get a good following on your blog and build relationships with readers, I would suggest treating comments with respect and trying your best to respond to them, even if it’s just to say “thanks for stopping by”.

So, here’s the thing.

As much as I LOVE blogging and communicating with fellow bloggers, I find that it takes up an awful lot of time.

 

Lasalle College

source: Standing the Test of Time

 

Yet, there are bloggers who have  many more followers than I have: 500 more, 800 more, some over 1,000, even 6,000 and 10,000 more.

Curious as to how bloggers with mega followers coped with such a large number to respond to, I asked  Alana Munro on her post, Amazing Update: My Blog has over 10,000 Followers, how she kept up her correspondence with her followers.

This was her response:

I guess the best thing to do is treat your blog as a full-time job. Every spare moment I have had I have been working on my blog, sharing my posts on social media and following/networking/commenting on other relevant blogs. Definitely making the time to connect with other bloggers, replying to every email possible etc has helped me build support and friendships. 🙂

What about you: Do you treat your blog like a full-time job?

How do you handle comments?

Guest Post: Fellow Blogger

In her blog It Goes On Suzanne quotes Robert Frost: “In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on”

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Her blog focuses on “looking for the beauty and blessings in life and moving forward from the dark places that sometimes consume us. We all go through dark patches in our lives. For some, it becomes serious and medication may be required. For others, it is just a ‘speed bump’ on the road of life. In my life I have suffered grief, loss, despair, abuse and an abundance of love.

Right now, I am writing a book about depression. I don’t want it to be a depressing book though. I want it to acknowledge that suffering depression or anxiety in any form is not something to be ashamed of. It’s a learning and strengthening life experience.

Through this page, I hope to share hope and encouragement that may help. On occasion I may post things that don’t fit neatly into the category of moving forward and looking for the blessings.

My goal is to create content that is relevant to the readers that can be put into use in your life. My wish is to reach out and help those who need it.”

Her blog has won many awards including Blog of the year six times.

The categories of her blog range from everyday reflections, to amazing photography, inspirational quotes, grief and well being. One category she posts regularly and generously is Fellow Bloggers.

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I am truly honored to be on her blog today.

You can catch me there at :

http://suzjones.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/fellow-blogger-carol-balawyder/

Thank you Suzanne for having me on your wonderful blog.

Roni Loren’s Writing Tips

Because my blog is basically about writing I am  interested in blogs that help writers. You might have seen my post on Jonas Journey where you can download his amazing photos (with attribution, of course). We all know that  a post with photo adds pizzazz.

So onward to another blog. Well, this is technically not a blog but a menu on Roni Loren’s website. It used to be a blog about writing which she wrote for almost three years. 

10100106-22767230-thumbnail Now, she’s put it all together, very  well-organized under the menu heading For Writers.

Okay, anybody who is in the IN on erotic romance writing probably is familiar with Roni Loren. You’ve probably all been on her blog and web site and read her romance novels.

Not a romance writer? No problem. Her website offers comprehensive tips on any genre of writing. To prove my point go read her post on the literary versus genre debate.

Another thing I like about her is her clear advice on a variety of topics: voice, hooking the reader,  writing love scenes, editing,  selling and publishing your novel, building a platform, guest blogging  and so very much more.

Check it out: You might want to  hang out with her for a while.  I’ve read quite a few of her posts and when I feel I lack motivation I go back to her website. Somehow, there’s always something there to jump-start my writing.

Thanks, Roni.

The Dropout

I don’t really recall how I got in touch with this blogger. She’s a new blogger on the block and a lot of fun to follow.

I’m not even sure if her name is Aladi or Ojima. Still.

If you have a chance to look at her early posts (she doesn’t have that many) you can see the remarkable evolution of her drawings

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and she’s quite funny; for example her post on How to Make a Nigerian Hit Single is hilarious but also there’s  a lot of truth to it. Truth,  which could also be applied to how to make a best seller.

This rambling dropout is very much into music, particularly African music and she posts some awesome videos on her site.

Plus, she provides an insight into what it’s like living in Nigeria.

This is a young woman starting to bloom into her talent. 

Voila, one of her drawings on her reflections on what to be when she grows up.

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Check her out at http://aladiabalaka.com/

You won’t be disappointed.

A Blog I Like: Jonas’ Journeys

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 I love this blog because of the amazing photographs Jonas takes about his travels and the little bits of information that he gives us about each place he’s been to.
I am often looking for photos to place along my posts. Jonas allows us to use any of his photos with a link back to his site:  http://jonasjourneys.com
The above photo is one of my favorites? Can you guess where it was taken?