The blog content here is not always family friendly. I OCCASIONALLY write/review in erotica, extreme violence, horror, foul language and otherwise questionable content. I will warn the readers when this content occurs.

IWSG: In 300 words or less


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Excuse the rush in this Insecure Writers Support Group post, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one to received a group e-mail from our host that said:

Based on feedback from members, some suggestions:
* Short posts, 300 words or less
* Remove word verification (you’d be surprised how many have it on and don’t know it)
* Return comments and visit those who visit you

The purpose of IWSG is "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!" (source)

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to post a legitimate insecurity in 300 words or less, and still add all the advertising requested: link to the IWSG sign-up site; link to the host Alex J Cavanaugh, and links to the awesome co-hosts since the signup list has grown larger than one Ninja Captain can accommodate (297 participants) even with a cloning machine. This month's fearless co-hosts are Krista McLaughlin; Kim Van Sickler; Heather Gardner; and Hart Johnson. Please be sure to stop by the co-hosts and offer your appreciation for their contribution.

My IWSG topic post this month is about WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW. From a young age as a reader, I've always immersed myself in fantasy/sci fi worlds and horror. The genre's are so removed from my real life they are an escape from that real life. As a writer however, what I know is all about characters (people). Motivations, life circumstances, culture . . but I'm not sure I want to make up my own worlds and rules that the fantasy/sci fi genre's require.

So I write contemporary fiction in horror/thriller and women's fiction novels. Yet my publishing successes have been in short fiction for spec fic, urban fantasy, and epic fantasy. A quandary I'm not sure how to navigate as an author. Should I listen to writer feedback that tells me I should write fantasy because that is what I read; or should I follow my author heart and write the contemporary world because that is what I KNOW and am comfortable with?

I have more elaboration on this topic, but I'm trying to be concise and stick to the word count (eek, I'm over at this point, but the concern itself is only 164 words) specifically for IWSG so the participants can swoop in, read my IWSG post, leave a brief encouraging comment to show they were here, and dash off to the next post on the linky or in whatever blog-reader is being used.

However, the e-mail request to keep IWSG posts on a limited word count got me thinking . .

What good is it for the IWSG post to be 300 words or less if a blogger has a 1-3k regularly scheduled author interview, guest post, book/movie review(s), blog tour stop, or any other lengthy announcements along with IWSG?  Does the blogger really really expect the IWSG participants to ONLY read the 300 words dedicated to IWSG, and not read/comment on the REST OF THE POST?  Doesn't posts on the first Wednesday of every month that include more than IWSG defeat the convenience of the 300 or less word count?

Not judging or complaining; just asking questions.

Click here to read other submissions or to sign up for Insecure Writers Support Group if you are not already a member.

Have a good week y'all. I've agreed to critique/beta read two projects sent to me from former critique group partners, so aside from reading as many IWSG posts as I can for the next few days, I don't expect to be blogging during the month of July. I apologize in advance for missing important posts, blogfests, and blog tours.

My life is a mess right now, and I make no excuses or apologies.



Tuesday June 24, 2014

I'm not skilled at writing romance. That HEA (Happily Ever After) requirement escapes me, and I always end up with something twisted. An ending that is satisfactory - depending on your perspective - is much more my style. I like it when "the rest of the story" is left up to my imagination to create. For me, life is an ever changing journey that has to be worked at to obtain the ultimate goal; and the only way to know if you attained true, lasting love is to die as happily in love on the last day as you were on the first.

In this age of throw away - everything - I wonder how relationships can last long enough to stand the test of time. Let me use my grand-niece as an example:

She is seventeen and a half, he is 22. She's planned her life for the next approximately eight years - she started this path as a freshman in high school - and he's still looking for his life path and the woman who will complete him. She comes from out of state to visit family, but hopes to find a "boyfriend" while she is here - six weeks is a long time to be without a relationship. Its love at first sight when they meet through family-friends. He follows her to every family event, snuggling and cuddling, kissing and holding hands, anxious to get to know every member of her family, making plans for their future. She refuses to participate in any event he is excluded from attending.

They have exchanged cell phone numbers and friended each other on Face Book. Both have changed their relationship status from "single" to "in a relationship." They are in love, and love transcends distance, career goals, age and immaturity.

There is a song quote I find perfectly apt to the romance genre: bad times make the good times better.

The true romantic will read the rest of this story as: she goes home, resumes her life, discovers she is pregnant, gives up on graduating high school and joining the marines to take a waitress job to support her love child; then three, five, or ten years later these two lovers accidentally meet again and he takes responsibility for his kid; moves his "family" into his high-rise, CEO comped apartment suite; they marry and live happily ever after. Tomber amoureux.

All the romantics sigh with admiration for her self sacrifice and approve of his eventual decision to reunite with his lost love and the child he never knew he fathered.

The cynical realist in me (social worker) would paint an entirely different version of this same story scenario. It begins with the deprivation Mom and kid goes through . .  Nah, I won't write the dark and tragic relationship; I have a soft spot in my heart for die-hard romantics. I secretly hope their worldview is true; at least some of the time. (Yeah, I read Nicholas Sparks upon occasion.)

Maybe that's why I love short stories; the best ones explore a specific event, a single focus scene, and the reader is left with an impression of the ongoing saga to fill in after "the end" is written. Some readers need the author to create every nuance of a story, and craft an ending that is "ahhh" worthy. Some authors can't finish a story without writing a specific end. Maybe my social services employment has primed me for knowing a segment of the life a character (client) life that brought them into my world, then they move on to the next phase, and I don't always get to know the outcome. If the family name never passes my desk again, I can at least envision a "satisfactory" ending to their episode.

The possibility of HOPE is all I need to be satisfied with the romantic interlude of a story.

Experience makes certain outcomes predictable to me. YOU may call this bias or negativity. I consider it a healthy expectation of reality. I'm always pleased when the unexpected occurs in real life, so I love a good story with an open ending. My submission for WEP this month has that realistic/satisfactory ending I appreciate in both real and fictional life.

For this month's Romance theme for Write, Edit, Publish I'm posting a duet by two of my favorite artists: Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. If I were to write a romance, it would of course be a tragedy of the William Shakespeare variety, and Willie Nelson has a voice for tragic romance.

Well, since I don't have an original writing for y'all to read/critique, I'll ask a question that doesn't depend on you watching any of my posted videos. Which type of romance do you prefer: the happily ever after where finding true love is all it takes to make life perfect; or the intense affair that burns brightly for a brief time with either tragic or uncertain ending?

Oh, and this month's WEP Romance entry has a $10 Amazon gift possibility from the hostess L'Aussie Denise Covey.

Write your stories, poems or get your artwork or photos ready!

You can link up immediately or with your direct link after you post on your blog.

Word limit of 1,000 words for stories, poems or photo essays.

Publish on your blog between June 24 - 26th. Leave a message at WEP when you post.

As always; Write, Edit, Publish your excerpt, but be sure to have fun with the post.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy first day of summer everyone. I hope you are all out enjoying fine weather and cleaning up camping gear for Fourth of July celebrations.

Wow, my Battle of the Bands post got some extra attention this time thanks to DL Hammons Blog Blitz event. Anyone can sign up to be a member of the BLITZ team, which also earns a possible entry for
being BLITZ'd yourself. There are 474 members at the time of this writing and believe me when I say getting this many comments on a single post certainly picks up the blogging muse.

Big hugs and many many thanks to everyone who participated in my BLITZ day, and double thanks to those who offered their votes on my BotB post. Hopefully many of you are also offering your critiques and votes to the participants of WRiTE CLUB 2014. These brave authors have already passed the rigorous panel of judges to be one of the 32 entrants chosen to battle their writing skills in 16 bouts over the next eight weeks. Now it is up to the viewers to cast their votes for their favorites.

Moving along to the voting tally for my Band Battle between The King Elvis Presley, and one of my favorite Outlaw Red Necks Willie Nelson singing BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN . . .

For a while it was Elvis, then Willie caught up but never took the lead (pity, imo), and the final race was a landslide for - Elvis. Yep, still very much alive in the hearts of his fans.

Elvis: 49
Willie: 35

Thanks everyone. Have a good weekend.

Battle of the Bands: THE KING or THE REDNECK


Sunday, June 15, 2014

This is one of my favorite, favorite songs. Has that tragic romance/gospel sound to it.


or Willie

 I chose this video of Willie because it is prior to his infamous Red Neck-hippy look. I've listened to this 1962 version of Mr Nelson, clean cut and suited, and looking every bit proper for societal image of his era. The voice though, is distinctive as ever. His voice has not changed in the over 40 years I've been listening to him. Nor has the content of his songs. I guess most would consider his music the old "cow died chewing his cud" variety of country. I guess I'd agree; but, I like it. And if you were to track his career, you'd know this "outlaw country" singer has sung duets with Ray Charles, Alison Kraus, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristopherson, Waylon Jennings, Toby Kieth, Julio Engles, Emmy Lous Harris, and many other greats both country and rock.

The same logic flows for my choice of video for THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL, Elvis Presley. There are a lot of images for Elvis, but I'm sure most people would only recognize the one posted here; the one that Hollywood and Las Vegas promotes. I remember Elvis in his beach-party movies, and watching news-clippings of him in the army. I remember The King before he donned the flash costumes, and gained the weight, and I remember the last live concert he performed. God, what a beautiful voice this man had, from his first recording to his last. The singer I remember is not the same one that people go to for their novelty weddings.

I guess this post is about more than the Battle of The Bands. Most of my viewers won't like either artist because of the old-time country twang. Perhaps many won't even know that Elvis was a real person and not some fictional character to dress up as at Halloween. And Willie is the country hick who grew his hair long, got stoned on marijuana and took his family "on the road' in a Winnebago for several years while avoiding the IRS.

And I wonder; what photo of me do I want the literary world to remember, if I were to ever become famous. Will the literary world remember my entire works, or just the last thing that made them money? If I only publish in paperback, will anyone even recognize the medium in say, 150 years?

So cast your vote for which version of Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain you prefer for the BATTLE OF THE BANDS bi-monthly blogfest. I don't consistently post for this event; but it is hosted by Stephen T McCarthy at Ferret Faced Facist and Far Away Eyes. Steve usually keeps track of the list of posters, so  you'll want to visit his blog to listen to/read more musical battles. And of course you can send him an e-mail or post a comment with your own submission to Battle of the Bands.

I'll be back in a few days to post the results. Seriously, I promise not to forget . . .



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Well, its another first Wednesday of the month, and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's helpers: C Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and L G Keltner. Visit the sign up page to add your link - if you are new to the IWSG - or to view other participants. Please try to visit someone new-to-you on the linky, and you never know who's day your will make, or what kind of friendship you will establish by taking a risk.

I have no accomplishments or insecurities to post this month. I've been comfortably busy in my writing world, day job, and personal life; barely having time to stop and see where I am, much less where I am going. Time consistently gets away from me whatever I am doing. Unfortunately, my blogging is the first activity to suffer. I have not been posting, and even worse, have not been commenting on either my friend's posts, or even responding consistently to comments on my posts.

To rectify this lack of commenting, my contribution to this month's IWSG is to hop around and read/comment on as many blog posts as I can before the end of this weekend.

Have a good weekend, and I'll see ya'll around the blogs.



Monday, June 2, 2014

A friend of mine sent this in my e-mail. Sooo inappropriately funny (and true for us women) I just had to start your Monday off with a bit of realistic humor . . .

 Stress Management for Women!  This is absolutely wonderful!!!!
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'  She fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.  Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
"If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.
1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue!
2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.
3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8 * Never buy a car you can't push.
9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.
13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
15 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
16 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
17 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
18 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.
19 * Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!
Today someone asked me if I liked you.  I laughed and said, "Ha!  That's funny!  I absolutely LOVE that woman!  She's funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she's reading this e-mail right now and I love her!" 
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh, Oh, SHE's UP!"

8th Rule: WRiTE CLUB


Monday, May 26, 2014

8th RULE: Anyone can WRiTE, but you have to have your submission in by May 31st. – No late entries will be accepted this year.

What are you waiting for? You only have four days to polish and submit your 500 word entry!

See WRiTE CLUB details at DL Hammons site here.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

I've been working on my Write . .Edit . .Publish excerpt off and on for several days, and when I went to bed last night it was still unfinished, unpolished and unpublished. I haven't been blogging/socializing lately, so I figured I could at least read and comment on all the other submissions. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the linky for May's prompt, FAILURE, was still open.

I don't guarantee the 811 word excerpt feels finished, or polished, but it is posted. This is part of a larger project I'm writing at for my son. He's likely to 40 when I finally finish this YA Dystopia. (Yes, I know, I don't read/write YA which is why its taking so long.)
* * *
Standing watch has never been my favorite activity. Well, it’s the lack of activity that bothers me.  I’ve been pacing the gym roof for two hours waiting for sundown, a set of binoculars practically glued to my eyeballs.  Sun glints off the rooftops, sending stabbing pains of light all the way to the back of my head. I've always been an early riser, rarely use sunglasses, so this sudden sensitivity to the waning light is starting to worry me.

I usually pull my stint during the pre-dawn hours, relieving the shift as their eyes are tiring, whatever booze or drugs they used to get through the night are wearing off.
Morning watch also has a selfish reward: it keeps the bugs from eating my face off as I try to sleep next to my girlfriend in the nurse’s office. Mosquitoes in this area were aggressive enough before the Insectoid aliens arrived, but now the tire dump two miles outside of the school grounds was a breeding ground for natural Earth-bound Aedes Mosquitos as large as Monarch Moths. Those big ass suckers aren’t picky about what’s on the menu either.

I sense more than see movement off to my left, near the back fence of the baseball field. I don’t need the binoculars to recognize the tie-died shirt that Rusty never takes off, or the purple and pink hair that belongs to his girlfriend. I don’t see the sentry that should be guarding the broken slats so I unclip the handheld radio.

“Gabe, look smart. Rusty and Tandy are trying to slip over the fence again. Fucking idiots.”

It takes a minute before Gabe staggers out of the dugout, zipping his pants and fumbling with the M9 we stole from the National Guard depo just after all this began. The lovers cover their ears so I know he’s yelling at them – I can almost make out the curse words even from this distance. After some shoving and prodding Tandy grabs Rusty’s hand and starts tugging him back towards the school. Gabe gives me a thumbs up and heads back to the dugout.

How many times have I warned the watchers no sex, drugs, or booze while on duty? I want to yell at him, but what’s the point.

Last week Jimmy Huntell somehow enticed Lucy Plume to sneak out after chores and meet him for some afternoon delight up near the quarry. Global warming slowly diminished the water level, but it’s still deep enough that some kids think its safe to swim up there, never mind the stories of kids falling off frayed rope ladders and drowning because the rock wall was too smooth to climb and nobody knew they were there.

Jimmy was nothing but a shriveled husk when my patrol located the couple, but Lucy was flat on her stomach, her back, legs and arms covered with black and white striped, skeletal bugs I’d never seen before. Once the shooting started, most of the bugs took flight and joined the battle, swooping in and slashing faces and hands with razor sharp legs and gaping proboscis. I lost two of my best troopers in that fight; one when a spray of gunfire from Ray’s M9 ripped his head off, the other took several disrupter hits from the Insectoids.

The bugs have no odor when they’re live, but the putrid smell when you kill one is bad enough to make a man vomit his last meal. All told we killed four, wounded two and scared off two small ones that never even pulled a disrupter. Most of the mosquitoes flew off after their initial attack; but several never detached from Lucy’s naked body. Ray had a lighter and he burned off four. The last one was so bloated it couldn't fly off, and we stuffed it and the burnt bodies into a back pack to take to General Guff.

I was on this gym roof in the heat of the day because of those overgrown mosquitoes. I failed to save Jimmy, but his death could still serve a purpose. Over the last few months the annoying buzzing inside my head that I've lived with for most of my life has started to make sense; like language that forms images in my mind. I can hear the buzzing over a mile away, which is how I knew where to find our missing lovers. I got mental images of the feast that’s still giving me nightmares.

Yep; if the option to see a school psychologist was available I’d probably sneak off to the office.

General Guff wanted more live bodies, and since Aedes were day feeders and breeders, I hoped this new breed was still mosquito enough to sleep during the night. I hadn’t collected bugs since I was in the fifth grade, but this seemed like a good time to clean out the mayonnaise jars and go exploring.
* * *

Visit the linky at Write . .Edit . .Publish to read more interpretations of the FAILURE prompt, or to write and post your own entry.

Have a good weekend everyone!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hey Guys!

Well, I got busy and forgot to post the results to my Battle Of The Bands Post of May 1. I'm and infrequent poster to to this bi-monthly event - can't always think of a song, or forget to post a follow-up later. I don't know anything about music other than as a listener either.

I was having a bit of fun with the song THERE'S A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. I don't know why it gets stuck in my head sometimes, and of course it has my name in it. Because I think of this as a family fun song, I made the voting a bit different this time:

3 points for consulting a child under 12
2 points for consulting your own inner child
1 point for just listening and offering a voting comment

I wasn't surprised much by the results, except in one respect. I listened to these two versions of the song so often it infiltrated my dreams. Sad, sad. Anyway, below is my tallies:

#1 Barefoot Brooks
Inner child   2
Adult – country twang of Lonzo hurt the ears  1
Adult    1
Adult     1
Inner child   2
Adult – liked the SKA style    1
Adult    1
Adult – thinking of self as a child   3
Inner child   2
Adult    1
Adult    1

My grandkids:
Miranda (age 9) didn’t like the song AT ALL. But, she was the only one who noticed the lyrics were different to both songs. Really? I had to watch both at the same time with Barefoot on mute – it has the lyrics printed on screen. Huh, she was right. Not only completely different styles, but the lyrics are different too. Her vote went to Barefoot because she didn’t like all the talking at the beginning, and during, Lonzo and Oscar’s song. However, she did like the lyrics of Lonzo’s better.

Sandy (age 6) voted for Barefoot for the pictures, the catchy tune, and because if you couldn’t hear it you could follow along with the written words. Of course, she didn’t need to hear it or see it, as she knew all the words – to the first song. She barely watched the Lonzo video, but sang her own lyrics as she bounced and danced to the music.

#2 Lonzo and Oscar

Inner child   2
Adult 1
Adult- liked SKA and Raggai; #2 gave nightmares  1
Inner child  2
Adult – really funny  1

Ok, so no need to actually tally the votes: Barefoot Brooks wins by a landslide. My personal stylistic favorite is Barefoot too; although when I listen to just the lyrics, I prefer Lonzo and Oscar's.

All right, I'm out'a here. Busy at work, obsessing over my new baby kitty at home, and working on 2 beta reads and judging contest finalists. And I hope I remember to write and post those two blogfest entries. Love to be busy; hate to miss deadlines . . .



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Its May! And my part of Northern CA is having some nice spring weather, complete with gentle showers that water lots of May blossoms. I like cooler weather; I like snuggling under a comforter at night, long hot showers to wake me in the morning, and making stew on weekends while watching a thunder/lightening storm. I call this "cozy" weather. Hmm, got any suggestions for a good cozy mystery?

And, it's the first Wednesday of the month, so hopefully all you exhausted A-Zers made one more post for Insecure Writers Support Group! I didn't participate in A-Z, so don't look for my Reflections post. I posted more often in May than I expected to, but wasn't good at keeping up with letter specific posts. I commend everyone on their blogging spirit during the month of April.

I'm not having any insecurities lately, or any successes. I'm just going along, sporadically blogging and commenting, occasionally writing or editing on already started projects, digging through my book collections (paper and e-reader) for something interesting to read. I've been at the new job four months now, but it still feels like I'm playing catch-up to all the other workers. And I feel like I'm settled in the new home - been here about seven weeks - but I'm still adjusting to being around my family all the time, and loving all the to-do lists of making my home "my home."

Really really, I'm enjoying the mediocrity of my life. Except the allergies; I could live without that part of my life.

My IWSG post is longer than it should be, but I've got a few announcements so feel free to scroll through and get the gist; I'm sure others are posting the same announcements right now. Margo Kelly is having a giveaway also, so I'll post her's first.

To celebrate the cover reveal for Who R U Really? Margo Kelly is giving away TWO Advance Reader Copies of the book! Visit www.margokelly.net to enter by Sunday, May 11, 2014!

by Margo Kelly
Merit Press -- September 18, 2014


Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a real-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

About the Author:

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, Margo is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her debut novel and will be published by Merit Press in September 2014. Margo welcomes opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Barnes & Noble
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Next up is everyone's favorite anonymous writing competition known as WRiTE CLUB. Yep, DL HAMMONS is at it again (in case you didn't know he has a new website so click on my links to find DL and WRiTE CLUB if you have not yet updated your blog lists), and the panel of participating judges/prizes is awesome. Please click on the WRiTE CLUB link for all the details. Submissions are open now until May 31, with the first round starting June 16. Well, what are you waiting for; get those 500 word excerpts polished and submitted! Only the best 32 will battle it out . . .

* * *
And now for Carrie Butler and PK Hzreo PAY IT FORWARD letter to yourself on May 19. Here's the deets from Carrie's post:

I want to compile a free e-book for writers who are just starting on their road to publication, using advice from the most brilliant, up-and-coming voices in the industry: you guys! Here’s what it would involve:


Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:

   - A lesson you learned the hard way
   - Something you didn't expect about the industry (positive/negative)
   - A writing-related resource you could never do without now
   - One thing you’d change about your journey
   - One thing you’re glad you did
   - Your number one tip for pursuing publication
   - Anything else you feel is worth passing on


   - The name you wish to be credited as
   - The title (if any) you wish to follow your name, i.e. author of the series
   - One major link where people can find you, i.e. website, blog, Twitter, etc.


   - Whether or not you give me permission to use your entry in the e-book compilation. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want in. We’d still love to read what you have to say!

* * * *

And finally, polish up your entries for Write Edit Publish's May theme FAILURE? IS IT? Blog hostess Denise Covey invites: You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or play scripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.

Sign up on the linky now or post your direct link between May 21-24.

* * * *

That's it for my IWSG post this month. Visit the IWSG website for the complete linky list. This months co-hosts are: Lord Baldornot, aka Mark Koopmans; Joylene Nowell Buttler; Elsie Amata; and Lisa Buie-Collard.