“365 Days of Quotes for Writers” by Jo Linsdell

So, I have a goal to read twelve non-fiction books this year. I’ve read three (I read two in February), but I’m now working on Jo Linsdell’s newest release.

About the Book

365 DAYS OF QUOTES FOR WRITERS coverAre you looking for daily inspiration for your writing, or to jump-start your creativity? Look no further. This collection of inspirational quotes will help motivate and inspire you. Read one quote every day of the year, or just read the book in one sitting. This quotes collection was compiled with thought, and care, for you to dip into whenever you face a blank page, and need a helping hand.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer, or an experienced author, these inspiring quotes, with practical tips and advice to improve your writing skills, will motivate you to finish writing your book. Just dip into these words of wisdom.

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

Jo Linsdell FEB 2018 Author picJo Linsdell is the author of numerous books, including; the serial fiction KOSMOS, How To Be Twittertastic, Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home, Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy, Out and About at the Zoo, Fairy May and The Box. She is also the illustrator of the A Birthday Clown for Archer series (written by Kathy Mashburn) and the Jasmine Dreams series (written by Maria Rochelle).

She is the founder and CEO of Writers and Authors and Promo Day. Linsdell studied A-levels in Business Studies, History and Art and has won several awards in her career. She was named the Who’s Who in the writing industry in 2009.

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2018 Book Unhaul #1

0000HelloDragonlings!

Today I have my first unhaul of the year. I have a bunch of books I’m going to be getting rid of. Most will be going to my library (even if they don’t take donations, they have a free shelf where people can put books).

There will be several more throughout the year because I am completely out of shelf space and I need to figure out what to do about it. (There is *a lot* of stuff in my house.)

Using a different camera and a different editing software than usual and noticed after both filming and editing this footage 3x that the mouth movements and the sound aren’t matching up with one another. I don’t know why and I don’t know how to fix it… yet. I’ve got to play around with a few settings to see if I can fix that in the future.

0000ThanksDragonlings!

“Truthwitch” by Susan Dennard Review

Disclaimer: I borrowed this audiobook from the library.

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook, which I’d checked out from my local library.

First of all, the story was amazing. I loved the idea of a world where there were regular people and then those with magical abilities. And not only were there magical abilities, but there was the possibility of war surrounding the abilities one has and even wars started because of such abilities.

The story had a Avatar: the Last Airbender feel to it, except in this case, there wasn’t a “and then the Fire Nation attacked” moment. It was a rich world filled with all kinds of “witcheries” as the magical abilities were called, and it was cool to see so many different people with different kinds of witchery abilities working together in this world.

I thought most of the characters were pretty well-rounded. The only character I really had an issue with was Safi, and that was because I thought she was ignorant and a fool. It was mentioned multiple times that she was a Truthwitch and that her witchery needed to stay a secret because she could be used to start or stop wars. That said, she thought herself useless and couldn’t figure out why the Emperor might want to marry her. Really? I’m pretty certain a blind man could have seen that coming. That said, she grew up a lot in the novel and it was interesting watching her progression and seeing her grow as a character. I feel like she matured a lot over the length of the novel.

The narration of this audiobook was splendid. The woman who narrated did different voices and accents for the different characters, and you could get an honest feel about what lands each character hailed from based on their accent when they spoke.

View all my reviews

“This Year You Write Your Novel” by Walter Mosley Review

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the library.

This Year You Write Your NovelThis Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the paperback copy, which I checked out from the library.

While a lot of what is mentioned in this book is all things I’ve read or heard before, Mosley’s matter-of-fact way of wording it, as well as the examples he gives for each idea mentioned made it worth reading. This book is short and to the point, without going into too much detail about the editing and publishing portion of writing.

It focused on the act of writing and storytelling over all, which was a nice change. Most writing books want to cover everything, and while there is mention (less than a page or two) of editing and publishing, I love that the focus was on writing and building a regime that will see you producing a first draft in less than a year.

View all my reviews

Writing Projects in 2018

0000HelloDragonlings!

In my last Shifters & Mages update, I mentioned that I didn’t want to publish the Shifters & Mages series until I was sure it was nearly ready to go, and I don’t, but one of the major hang-ups with that series is the fact that I don’t have covers for it currently.

There are other stories I’ve been working with off and on that do have covers though, and I think it’s high time to start working on them more seriously. So while my main focus will be on re-writes and edits for the Shifters & Mages series, I also want to work on other projects as well in 2018.

Weres Trilogy

Come the end of January, I’ll have the third cover for this series. I currently have two, neither of which I’m revealing… yet. These novels are outlined, and the first draft of the second one (the one I don’t have a cover for; go figure) is written – only because that was the idea that smacked me in the face during NaNoWriMo and demanded it be written.

Packless
Broken Laws
Wereling

Surrender

This is a contemporary romance I purchased covers for a couple years ago, but never finished writing. The first draft of the first book is written, but it needs a complete re-write. Then the rest of the series (outlined) needs to be written.

Hold Me Now
Leave Me Never
Say You’ll Stay
With Me Forever

I haven’t yet decided if I’ll publish them under the name “Skye Hegyes” or “S.D. Hegyes”. The paranormal romances will be under the name S.D. Hegyes, but I don’t know if I want both genres published under the same name or not. What do you think?

Stand Alones and Anthologies

Endless Starry Nights
A contemporary romance I already have a cover for. The first draft is written, but it needs a heavy re-write.

Moon Blessed
An LGBT anthology I have a cover for. This will have four short stories revolving around the moon and includes the short story, “Changeling”, which was originally published in the anthology Myths Untold: Faery.

Fur, Teeth, & Claws
I bought this cover on a whim, but I don’t really have a story idea for it. There’s a couple that could work for it, but I haven’t decided yet. Until I do, this one is on the back burner. At the time of purchase, I had an exact book in mind, but that project has since fallen apart as the research and the idea itself weren’t meshing. I may, in the future, pick a couple of random ideas and create a poll and let my fans decide what story I should write for this cover.

Writing Schedule

This is the hardest thing for me to do because of how busy my life seems to stay. I seem to do really good some months and others I do next-to-no writing. November and December are proof of that. I wrote 90K words in November and I haven’t written even half that in December.

My main focus will be the Shifters & Mages series because I know I want to get those published in 2018, but I’d also like to get a good chunk of work done (if not all of it done) on the Weres Trilogy since I’ll have covers completed for them. After that, I want to go ahead and try to finish the rest of the books I have covers for (except maybe Fur, Teeth, & Claws since I don’t have a set idea for it yet). You know… So I can start buying more covers for other ideas.

I plan on writing at least 1K a day Monday through Friday. I want to start treating it like a real job. If I write more, especially now that I have Dragon Naturally Speaking up and running well again (Yay! I fixed it!), then great, but I’ll be happy if I can get 1K in per day during the workweek. Yes, even holidays. (My five-year anniversary is on a Thursday. Justin can play video games while I write.)

This is not only about making it a habit, but turning my writing into a career, and it’s time for me to get serious about that. Don’t you think?

0000ThanksDragonlings!

A Bookish Christmas Blog Hop: Name 5 Fictional Characters You’d Invite to Your New Year’s Eve Party

A Bookish Christmas Blog Hop

0000HelloDragonlings!

I’m participating in another blog hop, but this time, it’s Christmas themed! I’m the last post for this particular hop, but I hope you’ll head over to some of the other posts and read everyone else’s questions and answers (links at the bottom). Enjoy!

Name 5 fictional characters you’d invite to your New Year’s Eve party

This is a tough one, but the five people I’d invite are:

  1. Vanyel Ashkevron, his Companion, Yfandes, and his lifebonded, the Bard Stefen from Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. Vanyel is the last herald-mage and is pretty dang powerful in his use of magic. He could definitely teach me a thing or two. On top of that, he’s shay’a’chern, which is a term some of the characters use (I can’t remember which language it is in the book) for homosexual characters. And he’s lifebonded on top of that, meaning he’s got his soulmate. He’d liven up my party and it would just be great to meet his Companion (a spirit in the form of a white horse with brilliant blue or purple eyes), even if I couldn’t hear her like he can. Stefen also has his draws because he and Vanyel are nigh inseparable and he can play some music for everyone that would keep everyone in good spirits.
  2. Prompto from Final Fantasy XV, the video game. Prompto is a gun-wielding jokester in the FF universe, and I love him for it. He loves to have fun, but he is also a deeply caring person. Can I haz? Seriously?
  3. Haurhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori. Haruhi is a down-to-earth girl, and she has a way of making sure escalated fights drop before they become a problem, so I imagine it would be a lot of fun to hang out with her and have someone help “keep the peace” so-to-speak.

JoLinsdellJo Linsdell

  1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series as she would probably bring Harry and Ron with her. She’d be great conversation, probably help save the day if anything went wrong, and could do magic tricks. Perfect!
  2. Phoebe Martin from Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira as we could talk about books and share reading suggestions for the new year ahead.
  3. Percy Jackson because he would have awesome adventures to share and be able to do some cool tricks with any water at the party to entertain everyone.
  4. Prince Rafael from Royal Games by Sariah Wilson because having royalty at the party would be cool, and because he is total crush material.
  5. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary because she’s one of all of us.

Leslie ConzattiLeslie Conzatti

Five? Okay, I’ll go with the characters I’ve come to be obsessed with!

First of all, Emma Beaumarchais from The Talented Series by Amy Hopkins. She’s a half-blood witch who runs a small tea shop outside of London and serves up enchanted teas and she is utterly fantastic.

Next, I’ll go with Baran and Raina from the Therian Way series by Kimberly Rogers. Definitely winners of Most Adorable Ship in my opinion! As Therianthropes, they belong to a special breed of mythical fantasy creature that I particularly enjoy, and the way their characters are written comes across so delightfully I would have so much fun if they were at my Christmas party!

Church, from the Grave Reports Series by R. R. Virdi! Strange and enigmatic, his would be a weird addition… but ye gods, the fun we would have! Mostly consisting of me probing for more information about him and his job–but also there might be a lot of jokes at Vince Graves’ expense!

Finally (dang, has it been 5 already??) I would invite Sean King and Michelle Maxwell from David Baldacci’s King and Maxwell series. (So it’s another couple; so what??) Especially if they were represented by Eric McCormack and Rebecca Romijin, like the short-lived TV series based on the books! 100-percent would NOT mind having those two over for dinner!

Casia SchreyerCasia Schreyer

Okay, if I don’t have to stick to books it would be the boys from Supernatural: Sam, Dean, Cas, and Bobby – plus John because I can invite anyone.

If I have to stick to books: Jack from Geralyn Wicher’s Cursed Seed; Hagrid (Harry Potter of course); Jacob Kowalski (Fantastic Beasts – does that count as a book if it was a movie first?); and Charles and Anna (Alpha & Omega series).

BelindaBekkers
Belinda Bekkers

This is difficult for me because I’ve been reading a lot of essays this year rather than fiction. I would have to invite the wife from Dept. of Speculation because she’s a writer with interesting stories to tell. Mark Watney from The Martian because, you know, he’s been in space and he’s funny. His nerdy knowledge would also lead to interesting conversations. Ania from With Blood and Scars. My amazing friend wrote the book and I imagine that if I sat down with Ania it would be like getting to have a chat with the author. I think Rob Fleming from High Fidelity would be great to help with the music. Also for the stories he would be able to tell, it would have to be Pi from Life of Pi.

Laurie Lucking Author HeadshotLaurie Lucking

Ooh, this is fun but hard! I’ll start with Audrey from Julie Hall’s Life After series because she has a great sense of humor and she’s so easy to relate to! Plus she could tell me cool things about heaven 🙂 Next I’d pick Brenna from J.M. Hackman’s Spark – the girl is hilarious and I’d love to see her Firebrand powers in action! Next would be Kamryn and Reese from Illusionary by Desiree Williams, because they’re both amazing and I can’t pick between them! And last I should have another guy, so I’ll go with Ky from Unblemished by Sara Ella since he would definitely keep things interesting 🙂

A Bookish Christmas Blog Hop

10th December Belinda Bekkers – Name a book you love so much you want everyone to find it under their Christmas tree this year, so they can read it too
11th December Jo Linsdell – Name a book cover that has a wonderfully Christmas feel to it
12th December Upstream Writer – Name a book you’d like to find in your Christmas stocking this year
13th December Casia Schreyer – Name a fictional character you’d like to spend Christmas with
14th December Lands Uncharted – Name a fictional character you’d like to kiss under the mistletoe
15th December Angela Guidolin – Name a fictional creature to replace Rudolph and meet on the roof
16th December Skye Hegyes – Name 5 fictional characters you’d invite to your New Year’s Eve party

0000ThanksDragonlings!

Long Books Or Short Books?

0000HelloDragonlings!

Do you like short books or long books? Do you want something like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, or do you want Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin?

Me? I actually prefer shorter books. And stand alone novels. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s what I like – a mouthful of story I can read in a short period of time. I think that’s why I like short stories so much.

I’m also discovering that’s what I like to write as well. I am looking over the plots of several “novels” I have planned out, and if my word counts for those outlines come out anything like the books I’ve finished in the past, they will not be novels, but novellas.

And while most people wouldn’t like that, I’m finding I’m OK with it. I don’t want to write really long novels. I want to write shorter novels (novellas). Like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton or Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut or any of the Harliquin romance novels. I want to be writing the stories that someone who doesn’t usually read can read in a couple of days and those who read all the time can read in a couple of hours.

These are the kinds of stories that make me happy usually. It’s actually been one of my biggest complaints about some of the romance novels I’ve read and even some of the fantasy ones too. Some of them have a lot of material I feel could have been cut and it would still be a compelling story, albeit a lot shorter.

I find that a lot of my first drafts are between 30-40K, and then I work through them to add more, but I don’t really want to do that. This is what I was trying to do with Hunters’ Betrayal and it fought be every step of the way until I gave in and made it a novella. Then, and only then, did everything finally click into place and then I did the same with Warren’s Rage and Scott’s Investigation.

Instead of trying to increase my word count, I want to try just strengthening and tightening the writing I have and publish shorter works.

What do you think? Do you like longer novels or shorter novels? Why (or why not)? Let me know below.

0000ThanksDragonlings!