IWSG Post 13: How to Know When To Submit Your Story #iwsg


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


This month’s post is all about taking that step, finding that courage and sending your polished manuscript off into the publishing world.

I am the last writer to give personal advice on this topic. I do, however, have tips I’ve pieced together from a few articles from the experts on how and when to take the risk.


  • Stop the What-ifs and the “empty bucket” thinking. This is a phrase from my 8- year old son. He constantly talks about filling the bucket, and not letting bad words and phrases into your personal bucket in the first place. Persistence should be your guide, along with the belief that one day, with hard work, you too will do what you really want to do.
  • Read your entire manuscript out-loud to tighten grammar and clunky sentences. I just downloaded a great APP for my I-Phone. It’s a pdf voice reader. I haven’t tried out the app yet, but I’m anxious.
  • Read your manuscript out loud to others who will listen.
  • Send your manuscript to other writers and folks with editing experience to help you tighten up what you might not have noticed at this point.


Based on the steps above, if you feel like your story is great, you’ve caught all the kinks and have had others review it, then I firmly believe it’s time to try. Prepare your submission standards like the premise, the log-line, the query and the synopsis.

I do wish you all the best in your dreaming and writing. If you have a great tip to share for knowing when the time is right to submit, I’d love to hear it. Here’s a link to the one of my favorite articles from Writer’s Digest from the author of Blood and Salt, on how she began her submission process the second time around.

P.S. Thank you to the group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder of the group, and of course all the awesome hosts this month:
Beverly Stowe McClure
Megan Morgan
Viola Fury
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Angela Wooldridge
Susan Gourley

Cover Reveal: Timeless, by Author Crystal Collier

Today, I’m introducing Crystal Collier, a hilarious writer, author, fellow member of the Insecure Writer’s Group, and from what I gather by following her blog, a really great mother. She has a lovely new book coming out very soon and below, you’ll find the back of the book, a really intriguing story.
So with that…
…check out her great new cover.🙂
TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal
Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016
In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.
In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.
Can Alexia escape her own clock?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and a friend (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.
Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.

IWSG POST 12: Dreaming and Achieving Cannot Be Ignored. #iwsg


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


“If you woke before dawn one morning with the formula for a vaccine, which would cure the most ghastly disease currently known to man, releasing millions from an agonising death, would you roll over and resume sleeping until daylight?”

Chris Murray, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club

I think I’ve posted this quote before, but it’s only because nothing else has summarized passion and drive and doing the right thing better than it does. It’s the same sort of passion I feel when I wake up before I necessarily have to. I could hit snooze. I could set my alarm ahead and get an extra 90 minutes of sleep.

But then I see the clock, those glowing red digits. The blood starts pumping. Possibility starts to spin.

On the weekends,the clock never reads later than 7:30 a.m. During the week? Lately it’s been 5:00 a.m. but I’m changing that. I’m upping the alarm an extra half hour because one hour is not enough for me.

This month’s IWSG post asks, “How do you find the time to write in your busy day?”

I just do it. The morning is my only time so I rise and I write.

Every day.

Or I get antsy.

Or I forget why and who I am, like something is missing and I don’t quite feel right.

I am a mom. I do have a full time profession aside from writing, and I have plenty of hobbies like gardening and exercising which also make me smile. My kids keep my hopping. Just last night I worked until 4:30 p.m., picked up the kids, fixed chicken quesadillas and shuffled them out of the door with a backpack of books for the little one, and the baseball bag for the oldest one’s 90 minute baseball practice. Overwhelmed? Yes. Definitely with the start of school, which is why I need to structure to myself, my day and my family, so we all get done what we need to get done.

Here’s what I do in a nutshell.

4:30 a.m. Wake up. COFFEE. Writing and researching in my bed near the soft light of my bedroom lamp on my I-pad.

5:50 a.m. I make lunches for the kids.

6:15 a.m. I wake the kids. My son is a morning bird and my daughter, well, it isn’t all that easy to rouse her. She’s my night owl.

7:15 ish…We scurry out the garage door, pile in the car and pray we have everything we need for the day. Usually I forget what I need, but the kids are always good.

7:30 ish…work!

12:30 Lunch break sometimes. I try to write, or I have lunch with my kids since I don’t work that far away. Sometimes I even water the garden to catch my breath from the morning.

4:00 p.m. I leave work when I’m lucky.

4:15 p.m. The gym. A good hour of cardio helps me think clearer.

5:30 p.m. I pick up the kids and head home.

6:00 p.m. I fix dinner, while my son practices piano and my daughter plays school or colors something pretty.

After dinner? Something is always going on. Baseball practice, dance, homework, even cleaning up our messes. When I don’t have the kids, a telephone call to my writing friend, or a date night with my honey.

8:30. The kids hit their beds and I finish cleaning and posting blogs when necessary. It’s my time to catch up.

10:00 p.m. HGTV is my program of choice while I wind down.

That’s the end. I try to keep my life straight in a planner or the notes in my phone. I just don’t give myself a choice. I can’t.

My questions to you: Are you an early bird or a night owl? What helps you chase your dreams and spare the minutes you need to act?

Oh! Here’s my lovely garden. I started the backside of it in the spring, and finished the front side just this past weekend with my honey. I love flowers🙂


Lastly, Thank you to this month’s hosts:

And to all, have a great rest of your week.🙂

IWSG Post 11: Writing to be read. I never looked back once I said yes. #iwsg


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


As a kid, I was so consumed with fear about doing the right thing.  I never stopped to think, it’s ok to be human and screw up, how we all screw up at some point. I also never thought, hey, maybe someone else might feel the same thing I do.

Because of this fear, I’ve also had a constant war inside of me with wanting to be heard and fearing what others might say once they listened, or read what I have written. I’ve grown since then.

I’ve been writing my whole life. Short stories to cope with change and emotion and boys and friends. Back then, I didn’t think much about sharing my writing with anyone except me.

High School opened me up to the possibility how others might like what I write. Believe me, it wasn’t my own revelation, but the coaxing of a great mentor to join a writing group. Not just a high school group, but her own own circle.

Scared? Heck yes, I was.

Today’s post topic is, “What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?”

It took me awhile to figure out which piece I could actually say was the first one. I decided to go with length and the first time I shared my novel idea with others.

I don’t remember ever having a title for this piece. I was a sophomore in high school with so much life spinning in my head. History was always dear to me though. I could see it. I could think about motive and possibility. So naturally, my first long writing project took a little of my own past growing up as General Conference Mennonite, a pacifist, and combined it with my studies about William Penn, Quakers, and their motive for relocating to America in the early days. I loved reading about the light they believed everyone had inside. I loved thinking about a kid game, the Oregon trail and the wild world of survival.

That was it. Then I made my main character a mute by choice, who only talked to trees. She’d witnessed so much persecution at the hands of the law, of the church, nothing seemed safe.

Trees were safe.

So that was it. I made it 100 pages in and stopped.

I still have a hard print out on old perforated printer paper. I still have a floppy and maybe a jump drive with bits and pieces.

Will I finish it? Possibly. Ok yes. I supposed a story so dear to me at one point in my life still deserves to be told.

How about you? Do you have a story you started and still needs to be finished? When do you know when to start it again?

I want to take a moment to thank the awesome hosts from the IWSG group!

Thank you …

Tamara Narayan
Tonja Drecker
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Lauren @ Pensuasion
Stephen Tremp
Julie Flanders

And I hope you all have a great rest of your week🙂