Twelve Signs Writing is Your Vocation

Writing is a sacred calling that pulls at your soul. Writing is a way of life. Isac Asimov said that writing was simply thinking through his fingers. Writing it pulls at me in the morning. It whispers my name long before the first light. It is in these hours that I know my vocation is to be a writer. Not a suffering writer but a joyful writer thankful that I have found a vocation in my life before I was too old to do anything about it. How do you know if you have the vocation check these out and see how many of them fit you?

  1. Daydreamers, writers are often daydreamers on an epic scale. It’s that exercise of the imagination that is important. So do you daydream?
  2. Was writing a childhood passion. Many times writers began their writing careers as children. I began my writing career by dictating my story to my aunt who wrote the story down for me I then illustrated it and we glued it together with flour and water paste. I was 4.
  3. Reading is a forever hobby. I didn’t learn to read I’m a reader. I read as much as my eyes will let me and then I listen to audiobooks. Reading is a way to learn new words and see how someone else puts them together. It gives you a chance to stretch your imagination.
  4. No writing glory no problem. If this is your vocation you aren’t in it for the money, or the fame, or the accolades. You do it because you have to write.
  5. Do you can’t stop writing once you start, or if you can’t stop writing journals because you have too many to choose from. You finish one journal and you get another one right away, so you don’t skip a day?
  6. Do you have a story you can’t help but tell and you have ten stories to tell writing may be your vocation?
  7. Do you believe Virginia Woolf when she said you need five hundred dollars and a room of your own to write so you’ve been making your own writing space since you were seven and now you’re twenty-five and you have a good job that lets you write after work regularly? You’ve planned your life around your writing.
  8. Do you hear a word and can figure out the meaning from the context, but you want to know the exact meaning, and if you find the exact right word to use while writing you consider that a good day. Then you might have writing as your sacred calling?
  9. Do you enjoy a good game of Monopoly, but go gaga over a game of Scrabble?
  10. Do you make time for writing even with a hectic schedule, and when you write do you lose track of time?

These are the signs that make you a kindred spirit with Jane Austin, Shakespeare, and Stephen King. The answer yes to these questions means that you have a vocation as a writer. God bless you it means that you are willing to make sacrifices to write. To write poems, and short stories, screenplays, and novels you are a writer you write blogs and you write magazine articles. You write in journals and notebooks and on the backs of napkins. Congratulations you are among the rare but don’t write for the adulation write for the joy of it.

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10 Things you didn’t know about The cowboy’s secondhand heart

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The story of Joseph and Lisa is out now and available to purchase on Amazon.com. The

Joseph and Lisa both had lives before they met each other here are ten things you didn’t know about them.

  1. Joseph’s wife Jennifer died in childbirth the doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding after she delivered Chloe and Jennifer bled to death. They had been married for 3 years when they go pregnant with Chloe and were overjoyed.
  2. Joseph takes a long time to make up his mind about things. One of his favorite places to think is the lake on their property. He goes there often to swim or just look at the waves. It helps settle his mind
  3. Lisa lived in Westminster, a Suburb of Denver before she moved to Hygiene. She could have just as easily stayed in Westminster and been a commuter, but she wanted to be part of the community she was working.
  4. Joseph works the ranch like it is his own because one day he will inherit the entire ranch and buy his brothers and sisters out or he can split it with them. based on a majority vote.
  5. The boys love herding the cows moving them from pasture to pasture to make sure they get the best grass. Joseph uses that time to bond with his father. Lisa is determined to send Chloe to herd the cows next year. She wants Chloe to know that girls can do anything boys can do and have that bonding experience with her father.
  6. Joseph is the oldest and is protective of his younger brothers and sisters, especially his sisters. Sometimes it comes across the wrong way. It can look like Joseph is only concerned about the reputation of the ranch and not his sister’s best interest. That can cause a real problem.
  7. Lisa is no push over she can hold her own against the town bully and come out just fine. But is a little timid around Joseph’s sisters. She was able to bond with Julia over shopping at Christmas when the two girls were able to strike a deal with a jeweler to get Sarah a particularly beautiful squash blossom necklace. They had a problem to overcome when Julia met and fell in love with Bret.
  8. Joseph can become a hardass when it comes to the ranch and his family he won’t even let his family come between what’s best for the ranch. He will always choose the ranch and even if it hurts the family the ranch and its survival is what matters most.
  9. Some say that Lisa came into Joseph’s life to explain Joseph and what he meant to say. Others say that Lisa came into Joseph’s life to make him softer and more understanding, more human.
  10. Lisa and Joseph are both head over heels in love with each other. It took Joseph a long time to get there. Lisa knew it from the moment she bumped his head and he explained that he was giving up the football game to come to back to school night.

Lisa and Joseph have had many adventures falling in love, is just one.


Get a Skill Bump Take a Writer’s Workshop

first appeared August 16, 2021, Blog

It all started when I was doing some research for a blog post. I discovered that my local library had free online teacher-led courses that I’d be interested in. The classes that I’m going to take include writing classes that are structured like workshops. The first class that I’m taking and it starts this week is Romance Writing and then Later there is one on Creative Writing. Each class is 8 weeks, and I expect this first class will improve my pacing and imagery. If you’ve never been to a writers’ workshop you may wonder what exactly a writers’ workshop is? A writers’ workshop is a method of teaching writing whose goal is to create a lifelong writer. It’s based on four principles according to the all-knowing Wikipedia. Students will write about their own lives, they will use consistent writing processes, they will work in authentic ways, and they will develop as independent writers. So, that’s what a workshop is now this is what it can do for  you:

  • Learning literary theory
  • Writing can be learned even if the skills are lacking
  • Meeting people with common interests
  • Reading develops your creativity
  • Learning from experienced writers
  • Testing  your limits
  • Having the pleasure of writing
  • Establishing a routine
  • It helps to overcome deadlines

These are a list of the positives of taking a workshop or writing class but there are also cons and you need to be prepared for those negative aspects as well. Developing a little bit of a thick skin helps.

  • Some people will never understand what you’re writing about
  • Some people will want you to change your entire piece
  • You have to read some really bad pieces of work and try to see the potential
  • Sometimes you have to follow writing prompts
  • When the teacher tells you to change something
  • Writing can be subjective
  • Your work can be considered abstract

There is both good and bad in everything and if you are prepared to accept constructive criticism and ignore the subjective criticism by saying, ‘thank you for your advice.’ You may be ready to attend a writing workshop.


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10 tips to boost your creativity

originally posted August 18, 2021

Are you a creative person? Are you able to come up with creative solutions to problems? These are important questions to ask yourself. Because being creative according to psychologists is one marker for a fulfilled life. If the answer is no here are ten tricks to boost your creative stamina.

1. Go for a walk

2. Reward yourself for creative thinking

3. Create some psychological distance

4. Seek out creative experiences

5. Create restrictions

6. Daydream

7. Re-conceptualize the problem

8. Get emotional

9. Surround yourself with blue

10. Meditate

Implementing these things is a great way of working the creativity muscle. Using your creativity muscle when you’re not in need of it can put you where you need it to be when it’s do or die time.

Thinking of your creativity as a muscle to keep toned is helpful.


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MEET THE AUTHOR ASHLEA THOMPSON

  1. Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

“Chief, I have a file I wanted to talk to you about,” Emily said as she stepped into his office. He motioned for her to take a seat. “This file is on Ashlea Thompson. She is an author from Alabama. It says here she has two degrees and she works for a telecommunications company. She has a husband and two dogs. She has written two novels and has a third one coming out soon,” Emily continued scanning the folder, “She collects houseplants.”  The chief looked thoughtful, “You think she is worth looking into?” Emily smiled,” Yes, I do.”

  1. Without giving us spoilers, introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

When a dead body shows up in the small town of Everton, it is way more than the police department can handle. The city reaches out to the FBI and Emily Creighton is put on the case. The sister city to Salem is full of magic and intrigue and there is no telling what is about to happen.  Is she ready to be the lead detective for the first time since she joined the FBI?

  1. What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

She is a lot like me. She keeps lists and plans things, but ultimately wings it in the end, LOL. She strives to do her very best and get the job done no matter what is thrown at her.

  1. Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

In my second novel’ “Make You Love Me,” one of the side character’s name is Sara Raines. She was probably my favorite character in that book. She is sort of the type of person I want to be. She is kind and compassionate as well as dedicated to her job. 

  1. How did you come up with your idea for the above story?  

Every now and then I like to read books from the supernatural genre. I thought to myself, it would be cool to write something about witchcraft and incorporate crime and thriller into it. I bounced the idea off my husband. He thought it was brilliant so off I went.

  1. What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

Honestly, I didn’t have any type of plan. Usually, before I start writing, I write down all the characters, the basic story and then start writing. Oftentimes I start writing before I even develop characters.

  1. How do you handle writer’s block?  

I suffered from writer’s block back in January. It was terrible. I read a few books from my pile and crocheted a blanket. Anything to keep my hands busy. I spent time thinking about how I wanted my novel to play out.

  1. Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

I like to clean. It helps me think. I go over scenes in my head while I am scrubbing the tub.

  1. What is your writing snack?

Grapes. Give me all the grapes.

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work a lot. Also, I usually read when I am not writing. I like to spend time with my husband and two dogs.

  1. What is your favorite season and why?

Fall. 100% Everything is so pretty. I am not built for the heat either. I love when it gets cool and I can open the door and let the crisp fresh air in.

  1. What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

Thrillers. I love trying to solve the murders along with the characters. I love the ones where you have no idea what is happening and by the time you are done with the book you are in shock.

  1. Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

Yes. “Creating worlds for people to live a thousand lives from their own.”

  1. What do you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

When I am writing I am usually in the living room sitting on the couch while my husband watches TV, so it’s whatever he is watching. Mostly it’s sports or podcasts on YouTube.

AUGUST QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What was your biggest failure that you turned into a success?

My first marriage was a failure. A big one. After a while, I found the man I was supposed to be with. I took all the lessons I learned from the first time and it has made me a better person and wife.

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MEET THE AUTHOR MELANIE DAVIES

  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

    That would be Giselle from The Sapphire Oath.
  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My current work in progress is an exciting spin on the Van Helsing vampire stories. Here is the blurb for you to read.

Perfect for fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals. A Modern Van Helsing retelling.

Sometimes family secrets should stay buried…

Hayley Van Helsing, a twenty something vampire hunter, has always known her destiny was to become the leader of the Van Helsing dynasty, a clan made of supernatural hunters but she has always wondered if her life was meant for a different path, wishing for a normal human mundane life.

That is until she meets Darius, a tall dark mysterious man with piercing blue eyes, in a graveyard one night and unbeknown to her, he’s not just your average guy.

And he’s about to take her on an adventure that will make her question everything.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT is the thrilling first instalment in a steamy upper NA paranormal vampire romance series. If you like enemies-to-lovers, reverse harem, touch her and die, a tough female heroine, and a sexy morally grey antihero, this book is for you. 

Get ready for a fresh take on vampires, werewolves, and witches by one-clicking today!

*This book is part of a series and ends in a cliff-hanger. Best suited for ages 16+ due to sexual situations.

My WIP will be going through a rapid release starting in October 2022.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I can answer this in both ways.

Giselle, the main character from The Sapphire Oath has always been a character that has followed me for years, I started writing her story at age 15 and continued later into my adult life. She’s headstrong, witty, loyal, and will die for the ones she loves. She’s everything I would have liked to have read in a story growing up. She tries to fight for what’s right but must deal with trauma from her childhood and battle her own demons while fighting bad guys.

Hayley Helsing, she is the main character of my WIP and is so much fun to write. She’s humorous, protective, and sometimes inviting to newbies. She can make her own choices and tries to learn from her mistakes. She understands her weaknesses, her stubbornness, and her unwillingness to forgive (most of the time). She is driven mostly by her heart and that can sometimes influence her decisions and can ultimately cause her issues later.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP.

I can’t really say much about side characters in The Sapphire Oath series as it will give away too much, but I can for my WIP.

Jackson Gates, he’s the side character and Hayley’s best friend. He’s a witch from an amazing English dynasty bloodline and is so fun to write! He fell in love with a human but sadly that guy was lost during a battle and Jackson has now vowed to never love again, of course, that might change in the series. He’s very protective over Hayley as if she were his own flesh and blood. He’s not just spell smart but also science smart. He acts as the peacekeeper within the clan and tries to keep Hayley grounded as best as he can.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

The Sapphire Oath started off as a girl who witnessed her mother’s death at the hands of her father and it went from there, almost feels like a dream when I talk about where the idea came from.

Graveyard Shift, I have always written vampires. During my teens I was on a few vampire roleplay forums and absolutely loved every second of it and has a teen obsessed with Buffy, Angel, Anne Rice novels, and later Twilight and The Vampire Diaries (the books), I thought it was time I put pen to paper and write about my own vampire hunter heroine. A lot of the story has been influenced by those old roleplay forum days as some names and side stories I wrote back when I was a teen.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

I am rapid releasing this WIP as I am expecting my second child around December, so I’d like to have at least book 1 and 2 out before that time. So, I am currently writing back-to-back. The Sapphire Oath book 2 isn’t due out until March/April 2023.

  • How do you handle writers block?

  • I like to go for walks, listen to playlists either on Spotify or YouTube. I bounce ideas off my partner and or read a favourite book. I try to also push through writer’s block, if it appears I will take a day or two off and then try and get back on that horse, sometimes just writing from word prompts or pushing through the story and then going back later to fix any mistakes, errors or rewrite.
  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?


I always write on a full stomach as it helps me consternate. I will put on a playlist which helps influence the story and have a nice hot cup of tea next to me. All those things help.

  • What is your writing snack?

Biscuits or chocolates or something sweet.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am also a wedding photographer, so if I’m not writing I’m normally shooting or editing a wedding. Spending time with family, friends or planning my wedding.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Autumn(fall), I love the colours, the crisp mornings, the cooler air, the changing of the trees and Halloween. It just feels cozier to me.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

Fantasy, romance and paranormal. They are my go to and I don’t think I’m ever going to change that.

  • Do you have a writer mission statement? What is it?

A writer’s mission statement? I have never really thought of one. I write for me and that one reader, I have never worried about numbers of book sales or money earned, I just enjoy telling stories and even if it is only ever read by a handful of people, I am happy with that.

  • What do you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I listen to a lot of different genres in general, but I find certain songs help for certain scenes and certain characters. I like instrumental music, romance songs, and slow reverb songs.

AUGUST QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What was your biggest failure that you turned into a success?

I haven’t really figured that out. Success is measured differently to me to how it is measured by others. My success is usually to do with my own family life, being able to grow a person is a success to me, finding the man of my dreams and knowing I will become his wife soon is a success. Having my first published novel do well is a success to me. I measure my success in the moments and how it feels, failures aren’t anything as you always find a way to get back up, dust yourself off and try again.


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MEET THE AUTHOR BILLIE DADDARIO

  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers?

My name is Joseph I’m a widower with a five-year-old. Billie Daddario is quite imaginative and has really put me through the wringer as a character in her story. She introduces me to the person I want to grow old with. The person I want to raise my child with, but of course, she can’t let me realize that right off the bat.

Billie writes it so that I do something rash and go drinking with the least stable person in the county. The result is that when I come to my senses and reject her. She doesn’t take it well and she ends up doing horrible things to the woman I love.

Billie is a good person though; she gave me the happiest ending.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My latest novel is The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart. It goes live on September 6th. It’s a beautiful story about redemption and how important it is to be redeemed. Our hero is redeemed and our antagonist has never had redemption.

The book is also a romance so eventually, the Hero and Heroine fall in love after they earn it. Their lives are complicated so they overcome they rise to the occasion.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

The main character in this book is Joseph and seeing the love unfold from the making perspective is wonderful. He has a steadfastness that takes a minute to develop but once it does it’s beautiful.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?
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You need to know about Heather. Heather is our Antagonist. She is a very disturbed individual who may have gotten away with murder in the past and maybe plotting it again.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

My stories more or less just fall onto the page one word after the other. I do a character sketch and decide what I want to happen generally and then I just start to write and it comes to me the words just fall onto the laptop. Usually, the bool I am working on now does not work like that.

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  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

My writing plan for this book was to put my butt in the chair and write. I had very few distractions It was my third book and I loved writing so there was no drudgery in it. It took me about a month to get the first draft done. I don’t plot ahead of time. I just write.

  • How do you handle writers’ block?

I didn’t suffer from writer’s block while writing The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart, but I did suffer from writers’ block while writing my next book. I got out of the habit of writing every day and I just struggle with it now. But the answer is to sit down and start writing and what you need will come to you.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

I believe in rituals to get you ready to do things that are special and I believe that writing is incredibly special. So, you think I would have rituals that are mystical or special. But No. I don’t have a particularly special ritual I wake up take the dog out, watch the local news,  drink a cup of coffee, and then I turn on some bosa nova jazz and become a writer.

I take care of writer business and then I write.

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  • What is your writing snack?

I like M&Ms

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I watch TV I watch a broad spectrum of weird stuff. I’m hooked on Time Team and the Murdoch Mysteries and I am a sucker for old movies.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

I love summer and late spring when it’s warm and the flowers in the garden are all in bloom before it gets too hot.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I like romance novels but I’m a snob I like the classic old romance novels I love Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility. But I hated Wuthering Heights I thought Heath Cliff should have been pushed down the stairs. He had no redeemable qualities.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

My mission statement is to take my readers somewhere they haven’t been before and make them care about the characters and give them a happy ending eventually.

  • What do listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I listen to Bosa Nova Jazz with no words. I don’t know that it puts me in the mood for writing a specific book but like Pavlov’s dog, I hear the music and know it’s time to write. I do have Spotify music lists for each couple giving me something to listen to when I edit.

JUNE QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What is your favorite vacation and why?

As a child we took family vacations to California to visit relatives we drove cross country from Colorado to California. I loved those trips to see my cousins and my aunt and uncle. Sometimes we would drive straight through I remember staying up all night talking with my father coming over the hill and seeing Las Vegas at night all the lights and the heat even at night. I remember one year we had three flat tires. Coming from Green River to Bakers Field. Then when we would get to my aunt and uncle’s house it would be loud and there would be so many hugs. I remember the hugs and the conversation going in every direction. My Aunt would hold conversations with four people at the same time and not skip a beat and not ignore anyone she made everyone feel special. I would give anything for one more road trip with my dad to see my aunt.


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MEET THE AUTHOR  Shelley Munro

  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Hi, and thanks for interviewing Shelley. My name is Isabella Mitchell, former assassin, now Leo’s wife and Kian’s mother. I first met Shelley in My Peeping Tom, part of the Middlemarch Shifters series, and she wrote about my meeting Leo in My Assassin. More recently, Shelley decided Leo and I had another story in My Precious Gift. That’s how we ended up with an adopted son. Shelley lives in New Zealand and writes paranormal and contemporary romances full of steam, adventure, and humor. She also likes to include an odd body or two. The bodies were present in our two stories!

  • Without giving us spoilers, introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

This year, I’ve started writing a spin-off series to one of my popular paranormal series—Middlemarch Shifters. The first book in the new Middlemarch Gathering series features Rory, a Scottish werewolf, and Anita, a feline shifter from Middlemarch, New Zealand. My Highland Mate features the rejected mate trope. Here’s a portion of the blurb: Introducing the first romance in a Middlemarch Shifters spin-off series. A stubborn werewolf and an irked leopard shifter dance around their feelings at a special gathering to find fated mates. Forbidden love and second chances bring suspense and danger, and the handsome and oh, so sexy wolf faces up to the truth about his headstrong feline lover.

My Highland Mate is currently available for pre-order and is live on 14 July 2022. https://books2read.com/myhighlandmate

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I admire my heroine’s strength and determination to move forward despite setbacks and live her life as she chooses. The hero is equally determined, which is part of the reason they butt heads so often.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

The villain in this romance tries hard to break up the hero and heroine, and they appear blinkered about the situation and what they wish to achieve. The truth is their past has fed a great deal of their rage and pain, leading to decisions that are not the best.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

Last year, I decided to write a Christmas story set within my Middlemarch Shifters series. I enjoyed writing that and wondered how I could extend the series. The obvious solution was a spin-off, which gives readers a new entry point into my Middlemarch world. I decided to go with a fated mates trope and base the entire six-book series at a gathering for shifters who require a mate.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

Over the New Year holiday, I planned my six books and jumped into writing. I’m about to start writing the third book in the series.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I have trouble writing, it is because I’m trying to take my characters in the wrong direction or I haven’t thought enough about a scene. Typically a brisk walk will help, or I do some of my best thinking in the shower! Once I rethink what I’m writing or my character’s motivation, the words usually flow again.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

Not really. I look upon writing as my job, and once I start each day, I’m at work. I use 4TheWords to write my first draft. ( https://4thewords.com/) This site gamifies writing, and I battle monsters as I write. This keeps me honest, and I pound out my words every day.

  • What is your writing snack?

No writing snacks for me, although I do have a coffee or two to keep me alert.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

Because writing involves so much sitting around, I prefer to be active during my non-writing time. We have a dog, so I do lots of walking. Sometimes, I’ll run or cycle when I’m in the mood. I do line dancing once a week and water aerobics, and I recently started playing croquet. I’m also on the social committee of the village where we live and spend a lot of time organizing functions, selling raffle tickets, and working on the bar. Oh, and I love reading, so I fit in a book or an audiobook as time allows.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

It’s autumn here in New Zealand, and at present, we’re having warm and sunny days. It gets cooler at night, so it is perfect for sleeping. I love this time of year.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

My e-reader is full of contemporary, sci-fi, historical, and paranormal romances. I also enjoy urban fantasy, mysteries, and thrillers. I’ve always adored paranormal romance, but I get bored reading the same thing all the time. I’m an equal opportunity reader.

  • Do you have a writer mission statement? What is it?

Not a mission statement, but I have a quote by Maya Angelou, which speaks to me. It is, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

 I go through phases, and at present, I listen to ocean waves or flowing rivers. During the winter, I’ve been listening to crackling fires. White noise seems to work for me at present, and it’s a kind of a ritual, I guess. I put on a Youtube video and start work.

APRIL QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What is your favorite silver lining moment? ie bad situation that turned out great.

I can tell you about a recent silver lining moment. We had a village social last night. Because of Covid and a four-month-long lockdown at the end of last year, many functions had to be canceled. As I canceled each band, I rebooked them for this year. There was a misunderstanding with the band for last night, and thankfully, I’ve started checking in with each act a few days in advance. Luckily, I did because the group thought we’d canceled and couldn’t come. Cue panic on my part! I had 100 plus people attending with no band. I tried a possible replacement, but they were busy. Before I started on my list of alternatives, the original band rang me and told me they’d canceled their commitments and were coming after all. “Great,” I said, but I didn’t relax until the band arrived and started setting up to play. I had visions of the 100 attendees taking their anger out on me! Luckily, that didn’t happen, and it turned out to be a fantastic night. The band was brilliant, and everyone enjoyed the night.

Gret books are perfect for a new spring read but get them while they last because they won’t last long.

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Meet the author Tina Newcomb

Introducing Tina Newcomb some of you may already know her clean romances and small towns. Her latest small town is Eden Falls. Today we are going to meet the writer herself and see what kind of quirky answers she has for us.

  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I have to have the TV on as background noise – usually a movie I’ve seen so I don’t have to watch. My favorites are Jaws, Twister, Poltergeist…
  2. How old were you when you wrote your first book? I was in the fourth grade, so around nine. It was about a girl named Toby who was involved an iron door mystery.
  3. What do you think makes a good story? Compelling characters make a good story to me. If you don’t fall in love with the characters, why care about what is happening in the story?

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser? I would love to be a plotter, but nope! I pants it the whole way. Have you ever tried to write the opposite? Yes. What happened? I’ve tried many times to plot out a story and my mind goes blank.

5. Can you name authors who have had a big influence on you? LaVyrle Spencer because she put you in the scene and Debbie Macomber because she made you fall in love with her characters.

6. Among your friends what are you most known for? I have no idea.

7. What are some obscure things that you are really into? Ha! Horror movies obviously.

8. What would your perfect morning be like? To get a diet coke, a Ghirardelli caramel square (it has to be frozen), and write all morning with NO distractions.

9. What’s your favorite app on your phone and why? Redecor. In my next life, I want to be an interior designer.

10. What household chore is just the worst and why? Cleaning toilets because I have four boys and two grandsons.

11. What’s special about writing small-town romances? I love to describe the closeness of the characters and how a secret doesn’t stay a secret for long. A scandal creates more waves in a small pond than in a large lake.

12. How do you come up with such fun and quirky side characters? My quirkiest character is Rita Reynolds. She’s a tiny woman who squawks and flaps her arms like a bird. When she gets pulled over for speeding, she sniffs the air and accuses the police officer of drinking on the job. And I have no idea where the idea for Rita came from.

13. Your towns are fictional are they based on real towns can you tell us what the real town is? I based Eden Falls on Cashmere, Washington—Google Maps is genius! I wrote six books before I ever visited Cashmere, and I did take liberties with the layout of the town because it is FICTION.

14. Eden Falls is a fairly long series was it hard to keep the series going? No. I still have characters that want their story told. Did you plot all the books at once? No. Book 1 (Finding Eden) started out as the story of four friends. A developmental editor suggested I break it into individual books and from there the series grew. How much plotting did you do at the beginning? None.

15. Which Eden Falls book is your favorite? I think my favorite is The Angel of Eden Falls. I love marriage of convenience stories. But I also love Finding Eden because it was the first book I ever put out into the world.

Special November Question

16.        Do you have yams or sweet potatoes at your house for Thanksgiving dinner? Doesn’t matter as long as it has butter, salt, and pepper!

What To Do While Your Writing Goals Come True

Setting goals makes me feel better than a therapist and three bottles of antidepressants ever could. I mean literally and scientifically. Setting goals makes us feel positive about the future it’s important for our happiness.

Goals are a way we can turn our values and dreams into reality. Happiness doesn’t just happen it comes from thinking, planning, and pursuing things that are important to us. Research shows that setting goals can contribute to happiness in various ways

  • Being a source of interest, engagement, or pleasure
  • Giving us a sense of purpose
  • Bringing a sense of accomplishment

Goals help focus our attention.

Goals are most successful when they’re something we want to achieve and when we set for ourselves.

When I set goals, I allow myself to dream big. I visualize myself accomplishing my biggest dreams, and then I put my idea to work. So as I wait for the Big dream goals to come true here are some things you can do to make the time go by faster and keep yourself engaged in your dream.

  1. Make a plan with a clear sequence of steps. Writing goals do not come true overnight and will remain unfulfilled until you make a plan to fulfill that dream.
  2. Identify helpful resources and systems. One of the easiest ways to begin fulfilling your dream is finding reaching out to support systems and resources like professional organizations that you might consider of which you might consider becoming a member.
  3. Set a timeline to review your goals progress. There is no set-in-stone deadline for checking in with yourself or how you choose to check in. But I do suggest early and often rather than late and rarely that way you can make adjustments as needed. If you are writing a novel you may want to check your word count daily but editorial page count weekly. If your goal is to grow your blog you may want to check that quarterly.
  4. Establish a system of evaluation. You need a system to evaluate your self will you check in with a friend or mentor? Will you just look at your statistics and see where things are? Whichever you choose just remember celebrating with a friend makes the victory twice as sweet.
  5. Be active in the writing community. Being active in the writing community can mean any number of things. It should include belonging to one of any number of professional writing associations. It can also include attending write-ins and critique groups.
  6. Celebrate progress and accomplishments. Big dreams are made of small accomplishments and we need to celebrate those small victories when they happen. Otherwise, it could be a long slog to your dream.
  7. Reevaluate and set new writing goals. You can have more than one writing goal. While you wait to make the New York Times Best Seller List have another goal being published in the New Yorker.

So What’s your BIG Dream share it with us in the comment box below. Research shows that writing down your goals makes them 42% more likely to take hold and sharing them with others gives that an even greater boost. so imagine what would happen if we all just shared our big dreams today. If you like this content please consider joining my newsletter and receive a monthly newsletter with more of me and for a limited time a free novella.

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