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Begin to Write Again #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!


Back in May and really early in June, I had a fantastic new idea for a contemporary fantasy in the works. I was following the 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. My mind was churning and my fingers were flying. I watched videos to build scenes, found the perfect tunes to create moods, and had my outline done and everything. Then I decided to buy a home. Ouch. Chaos erupted and I couldn’t find the concentration to write in my usual routine. I couldn’t even pick up a book and finish it.

So this month, my topic is what I’m doing to jump back in. It’s been slow, like one toe, leg and finally I might be up to my waist in that water, honestly, this is the first time in years, I couldn’t push my brain or turn on the fuse. So what am I doing now? What do you do when your life explodes and you’re finally ready to start the momentum again? I also found a couple of great articles on the web from Writer’s Digest and

  1. Revisit your writing routine. Time of day? Minutes per day? Before my stress exploded, I woke up religiously at 4:00 a.m. I’d have my coffee ready and I’d sit down for almost a good two hours. So this is where I started. I set my alarm again. I had no pressure or goals. I just wanted to condition my brain and body to the early rising once again.
  2. Binge read. If your mind is open and ready for that sort of activity again.  I have finally calmed down quite a bit and I am enjoying a few good reads. They are true to my genre and definitely where I want to be. Reading the competition for where I want seems to get my mind all conditioned again.
  3. Reread all the manuscript notes, scene developments and character outlines/maps.
  4. Listen to music and watch videos that remind you of your story.
  5. When you see the pictures again, push the words around without too much pressure. Right now, I added on a couple of paragraphs to my first page. Don’t be afraid to add on to current scenes. There’s no harm in deleting, and eventually, I believe the voice will come again.

There is a good side to stepping away from your work of course. I fine tuned a few scenes in my outline.

One last thought:

Celebrate the Small Things: Every day is Another New Day

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.


I wake up to my alarm in the morning and most days, I can’t wait to get up. I can’t wait to start my morning coffee. I can’t wait to have some “me” time before my two sleepy-eyed kiddos wake up and write. Mornings are always full of possibility. And this week, here in Kansas City, we’ve been doused with frequent rain and clouds. However, this morning I woke up to something different. The birds. Calling to one another. The sun broke the dark sky in a subtle golden band. I sat down at my desk and I began to look up quotes. This one by Mark Twain made me smile.
I have  a whole list of smiles this week:
  • I helped my kiddos make teacher appreciation thank you cards. I love to see what makes them happy about their teachers. My favorite thought was how my daughter’s teacher made her feel safe.
  • The gym! Finally! I made it made four days this week. Being the high energy person I am, I NEED the gym. LOL
  • Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life is here! I am honored to be one of the 12 authors chosen this year in the anthology.  Here’s a link to our website with how to purchase it.
  • A book signing! I scored a book signing at a local bookstore in town called Inklings Books and Coffee Shoppe. Come and join me. I’ll post the info on my author facebook page later today. I’d love to see you there.
  • Lastly, I bought a new house! I’m so excited! I might be busy right now as the end of the school year wraps up, a new house and a book launch, but sometimes you don’t get to pick the timing. You put on your best most fanciest shoes and you dance on.

How about you? Did you have any pleasant surprises this week?

It’s Friday! Yay! That’s reason to celebrate in my eyes.

Friday Celebrations: New Story Beginnings and Author Stephanie Faris

This week, I chose to do a couple of things to lighten my heart. First of all, I joined a Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

So this week, my accomplishment is starting a new manuscript. My writing partner Becky challenged me to start a series of flash fiction pieces based off of Pinterest images for writing prompts. I turned out three really great pieces, and one of them stemmed from a really crazy nighttime dream. I don’t care too much for alien sort of stories, but my dream wouldn’t let me go. So I transformed my strange dream of outer space beings into Star People. I always have to add that fantasy sort of twist. And no, there will be no spaceships. I will leave it to those creative tech authors to provide those wonderful details. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to brainstorm my whole new world.

My second good thing I’d like to share? Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, a new Children’s book out by Stephanie Faris. I’ve only recently met this sweet lady. I love the cover art, and I think Stephanie’s smile is really great too. So happy Friday all, reflect on the good things. And yay for Friday!


Piper Morgan Makes a Splash

By Stephanie Faris



Piper Morgan tries her hand at acting in the fourth book of the charming Piper Morgan series.

Piper’s mom is helping out at a local pool shop, and the owner wants to shoot a commercial for his store. Piper thinks it’s the PERFECT opportunity to get in front of the camera and experience a little bit of showbiz. But will Piper’s contribution to the TV commercial make a splash—or will it go belly-up?


Where can you buy the book?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound



Stephanie Faris is the author of the middle grade books 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the Piper Morgan chapter book series. An accomplished freelance writer, her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Pacific Standard, Mental Floss, and The Week, among many others.
How to Find Her?
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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IWSG POST 19: Honest Marketing Platform Tips I Need Now


[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 awesome hosts are, Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey.

Thank you so much! And thank you founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!


This month’s IWSG Post is all about time and promoting. As a busy mom of two kiddos most days, and also managing them alone quite often, I fight time on a minute-by-minute basis. Especially lately where I’ve tried to jump back into the marketing world hardcore, only to find myself struggling to dog paddle above water.

So in a spin-off on the IWSG post question this month: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?” I choose to think about social media and time. I am insecure about it all, and how to make marketing easier. Is that possible, by the way? 🙂

Blogging every day is not a doable feat. What is doable is a quick post on tips I’m currently studying on writer platform. I haven’t started these tips yet, but by golly, I intend to.

So here goes ALL, MY QUICK AND HONEST writing tips for marketing from two sources: The Book, Create your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, and a fantastic website I stumbled across The Write Life. WOW.

According to the book, Create your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, every writer should start with a website, a blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. I, however, am currently testing the waters of Instagram and Tumblr. Recently, I stumbled onto Quora for some reason. LOL. I have no idea how I signed up for that one, but I keep getting subscribers. 😉

  1. Sambuchino, says, start by defining who you are, your strengths and market to those strengths. Review your top trafficked blog posts for ideas to see how others connect with you.
  2. Sambuchino suggests writing short posts with pointed headlines of about 5 words. Consider catchy statements, and spinning your posts in a way to entice the reader like a cat and mouse game.
  3. Twitter and Facebook are two of his tops marketing vehicles along with Google+. Posts should gear to 10% promoting, and the rest should be filled with personality.
  4. Use links, hashtags, and always keep an interaction going by answering comments or starting conversations, and also share posts.
  5. One tip I liked from The Write Life mentioned scheduling tweets in addition to general social interaction. They suggest 3 scheduled posts a day via HootSuite, Buffer or MeetEdgar. I have yet to check these links out.
  6. Pick two platforms to focus your efforts. Post once a day and the suggestions were also Facebook and Twitter.
  7. Lastly, another tip from the website came from “Live Periscope broadcasts” of writing and brainstorming topics. I haven’t ventured into podcasts or live streaming, but maybe in the month of May, I’ll tempt something to promote Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, by visiting my dad’s farm country in the middle of Kansas. I haven’t decided if I can make the trip happen yet.

Question: What’s your favorite social media vehicle? How many posts do you make a day or week? Do you find success with scheduling posts?

Thank you.