26 February 2014

Weekly Writing Prompt - #AmWriting

It's Wednesday and that means another round of writing prompt action. Spring feels like it's so close lately - the rain is warmer and it's staying lighter. I can't wait - this is my favorite time of year!

Here's the stories from last week -

Sock it to Me by Lynn at the Encourage Scribe blog

West of Campus by Scott Taylor

Survivor by Heather Musk

The End of the Day by Sally

Here is how the blog hop works--everyone is invited to participate, so be sure to jump in anytime and invite a friend!

1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena orLeanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)

4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here's the photos!



25 February 2014

When Your Character Writes Itself to the Edge of a Cliff



 I'm working on a short story lately and I feel as if my character and I are a little bit like Thelma and Louise.

We are looking over the cliff in our car and I look at my character and I wonder how on Earth she brought me here.

 And my character says, "Let's keep going!"

 And I look at her and think she's losing it. "Are you sure?"  I ask, knowing full well what will happen if I press the gas pedal.

 "Yeah," she says. "We did it!"

 This is a beautiful way to end a story and usually it's that teary eyed feeling I think a lot of writers get when you end up saying goodbye to a character. But it's usually not how you want to begin the rising action of a story. You see, when they drive off the cliff, the credits roll. You don't see how the car hits the bottom of the cliff, the clean up that happens, the police activity, and all that other gunk.

 Whenever I have written myself into a corner like this, I end up tracking backwards a little bit to try to find my way back to the main road.

And I can't help but end up feeling like this -

23 February 2014

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb [A Ghost Story Perfect for Snowmagedon]



Bring the covers closer and add another log to the fire. Take another sip of hot coffee or better yet, you better grab the whiskey. The Vanishing by Wendy Webb is a book that will make you glad you are safe and warm in your own home instead of inside the haunted mansion of Havenwood.


Synopsis

Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired . . . and who the world believes is dead.

When she arrives at the Sinclairs' enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her "too-good-to-be-true" position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its wall.

"He stood and picked up his overcoat. "Please Julia, take the night to consider my invitation. I'll be back at ten o'clock tomorrow morning. If you decide to take me up on my ofer, I'll be delighted to take you to Havenwood with me and make all of this" - he gestured to the dining roomtable, which was full of bills, foreclosure notices, and other legal documents I hadn't had the courage to open - "go away." - excerpt from The Vanishing

My Thoughts on The Vanishing

Setting means a lot to me, and the setting for The Vanishing was rich and vivid. It made me feel like I was walking the hallways of the mansion right alongside Julia. Plus, and this mansion named Havenwood consisted of an expansive library and I practically drooled over the eBook reading the description of the space and the character, Julia, seeking out titles.

The visions of ghosts and strange occurances that happened throughout the book were done very well. I could "see" a lot of them happening and the fear that Julia experienced, I experienced too.

Without revealing too much, I thought the reason why Julia was brought to the mansion was intriguing and mysterious. Plus, there is a final scene in the ending that gave me such a thrill, like when you think you are reaching the end of a scary ride and you suddenly are thrown into another loop-de-loop.

"I was compelled to move closer and closer until the image seemed to engulf me and then I saw what it was about the painting that mesmerized me so.
"The woman's face. It looked exactly like mine." - excerpt from The Vanishing


If you love a good ghost story, or want to spend your snowed in days wandering through a haunted mansion, I highly recommend this book. Purchase your copy of The Vanishing today (available now at $8.39 for Kindle users and $15.00 for printed copies).

I am also excited to say that I can giveaway a copy of this book to one of my readers!

Leave a comment below answering this question -

Would you stay in Havenwood if you were invited? 

To earn an extra entry, sign up to receive my blog posts by email (make sure to leave a comment as to which email you signed up with). To earn another entry, follow me on Twitter (@BeingTheWriter). Earn another entry by following author Wendy Webb on Twitter (@wendykwebb). Make sure you leave a comment every time you earn these extra entries!

Contest ends March 15th.

**CONTEST IS OVER! Winner of the contest is commenter named "The Desert Rocks."


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've also included an affiliate link in this post to Amazon.

21 February 2014

Weekly Blog Hop - #AmWriting


Has anyone seen where last week went!? Time flies when you're... busy! I hope you are all having a fantastic week!

Okay, let's get right to the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Reveal...

 Here are the stories inspired from last week's photos.

Be sure to read through them, and leave the author a comment of encouragement!

 Bigger than the Ocean by Carrie Sorensen
  Special Moment by Sally Stackhouse
  No Unicorns in the Middle East by Leanne Sype

 Here's a reminder of how the blog hop works... everyone is invited to participate, so don't be shy!

 1) Write a story using both photos.
 2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
 3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena orLeanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
 4) You have the next week to post.
 5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

 Here are your photos:

  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Coffee and grinder

Good luck!

Photos That Inspire a Story

I've been pin-obsessed lately and I have started a collection of "Imagery Inspiration" photos that inspire me.

Here's a few that I have collected from various places and I wonder if you will be inspired too -


17 February 2014

Book Tour Launch Giveaway - Spartanica by Powers Molinar

I am happy to take part in the blog tour for the book Spartanica by Powers Molinar! You have the chance to enter a copy of the book and make sure you check out each blog in the tour to see what they have to say about this exciting new book! Make sure to come back to my blog on March 4th to read my review!


Spartanicabanner




About the Book:

Ty and Marcus Mitchell are average middle school brothers growing up north of Chicago until one night when they’re hurtled through an inter-dimensional gateway to a parallel world defined by its multiple moons and planet-wide apocalypse. As they struggle to figure out where they are and how to get home, the boys encounter refugees of “the last day” from the distant city of Atlantis and a mysterious girl called Bellana, the sole survivor and resident of the devastated city of Spartanica. Ty and Marcus soon learn they only have seven days to get home. But before they can leave, they must battle through long-extinct predators, track down the elusive Professor Otherblood, and rescue a new friend from certain death. Is all of this insanity just Ty’s overactive imagination or are the brothers truly on the brink of being stranded on the brutal wasteland known as Spartanica?


Buy Your Copy!

Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo | Sony Books | CreateSpace

 

About the Author Bio:

Powers Molinar grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and earned engineering and business degrees at the University of Iowa. While he works as a process engineer and project manager during the day, his passion is writing science fiction. His first novel, Spartanica, is the culmination of several year's of part-time effort mostly late at night and on weekends when he wasn't enjoying time with his wife and kids, all of whom were big helpers getting Spartanica written. Powers believes every kid has the potential to become exceptional. In addition to being a blast to read, he truly hopes his books spark kids' imaginations and inspire them to read more and maybe even become writers. Being a solid reader is a foundational piece of leading an exceptional life. Powers hopes his books can be part of that foundation for as many kids as possible.

Follow Powers: Twitter | Facebook

Now, enter to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 February 2014

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

We're back again! I hope you get inspired!

“The next morning dawned bright and sweet, like ribbon candy.”
~ Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

Isn't that a delicious thought on a new day? I hope that is how Wednesday has started out for you today, bright and sweet. :)

Okay, it is time for the next round of our Writer Wednesday Blog Hop--Photo Reveal!

Here are the stories birthed from last week's photos:

Carefree Inspiration by Carrie Sorensen

Waiting by Sally

Here is how the blog hop works--everyone is invited to participate, so be sure to jump in anytime and invite a friend!

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena orLeanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos (courtesy of me--Leanne Sype):

This beach seems different than the one in Oregon.


IMG_20130704_120754








12 February 2014

Clean Off Those Ink Stains and Help Make the World a Better Place [Detergent Giveaway ends 2/17]



This may only happen to me - but as a handwriting writer I do tend to ink stains on me (and my clothes) while I'm in the fury of writing. (I can't be the only one this happens to). This makes my choice of laundry detergent even more important and I tend to love to choose detergents that make me feel good about choosing them.

So what if we could make the world a better place, while getting clean all at the same time?

That's why I'm so excited to give you all the details on the Purex and Make-A-Wish Foundation partnership. With every bottle you buy of Purex Laundry Detergent, they will donate 5 cents per bottle to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the bottles you buy through February 28th. If us Purex fans go over 4 million bottles purchased, they will donate 10 cents per bottle above that 4 mil mark! Isn't that incredible?

Plus, if you buy fabric softener (you know you want those blankets soft as you write into the wee hours of the morning), they will donate 8 cents per bottle of the Mountain Breeze and Sweet Lavender fabrics sold through February 28th.

And I don't know about you, but the Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of my favorite charities and the stories of all the good things done for children suffering with the most tragic of diseases always brings tears to my eyes.  And you know? A wish is granted every 38 minutes and since Make-A-Wish launched in 1980, they have brought more than 226,000 wishes.

So, if you want to stay clean and feel good (so fresh and oh so clean), I recommend you run out and stock up on that detergent.  And make sure you share this post with your friends (they want to do good too, right?).

Write, get clean, and feel good all over.

Want part of the action?

One winner will receive two coupons for Purex Mountain Breeze Detergent .





a Rafflecopter giveaway

07 February 2014

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You (On Knowing Your Characters)


Lately I have been trying to get to know the characters in my stories a little bit better. It's quite the challenge sometimes. Most of the time, I have the urge to plunge into the story with both feet and go into the "woods" with just a flashlight and no map. Instead, I've been taking a step back and trying to KNOW my characters better.

Sort of like playing dress up, I try to embrace the persona of my character as I'm thinking about them.

Here's an example of a survey of questions I used to ask my character -

35 Questions to Ask Your Character via The Write Practice

I thought this was extremely helpful and although I didn't answer every question it gave me insight into how I want to get to know the character as I write the story.

But then I came to realize there is only so much I can learn. I need to get my character in the scene and see them in action.

So I decided to take the writing prompt from last week and put my character in the middle of a scene and see what I can come up with.

And you know what?

It inspired me to start doing that magical thing we writers know how to do - make stuff up. Sort of like a light bulb went off and I felt guided further into the real story and who my character actually was - she was a feeling, living person all of a sudden and not just a character on paper.

I've begun to learn that my best tactic for getting my characters to feel real is a combination of both the planning process as well as an added mix of jumping in with both feet.

So, it's sort of like I've walked into the woods with just a flashlight...and a map.

This blog post contains a link for which I have received compensation for including in this post. All opinions are my own and not influenced by the payment received.

What are some of the ways you get to know your characters?



How to Successfully Participate in Twitter Chat (or Party)

I am happy to say I am featured on Social Media Frontiers, one of the top sites for social networking.



Check out my article on "How to Successfully Participate in a Twitter Chat (or Party).


05 February 2014

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop - Back Again!


Okay, our winner has been randomly selected at random.org and it happens to be Heather! Congrats Heather!

HJ Musk!


A quick look at last week's stories:

The Victorious Warriors by Scott Taylor
The Bringers by Heather Musk

If we missed you, feel free to link up again, with the linky or in the comments.

For now, on to the prompt.

Rules:

1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess.

4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

As for this week's photos:






01 February 2014

Dear You, You Are Doing a Good Job! Signed, Yourself.




Last night I said something profound about myself -

"You know what? I think I'm doing a pretty good job, all things considered."

It was something I needed to hear myself say. I tend to worry too much about not doing enough. Not doing enough for writing, not submitting enough creative work, not putting in enough time. But it hit me yesterday - I think I'm doing a really good job and that I wasn't giving myself enough credit.

And I don't think I'm alone. I think a lot of us give ourselves a hard time about not doing enough and we don't give ourselves enough credit.

So last night, I told myself one thing: good job. And boy, did I need to hear it.

Tell yourself good job.

Tell yourself you are an excellent writer and you are fantastic.

Be your best motivator and say go you.

Say that with everything else going on in your life, you still have the stamina to create or least think about being creative and that is damn good.

Tell yourself you are doing everything you can and that everything is awesome.

Thank yourself for doing everything you do.

Pat yourself on the back.

Congratulate yourself today.

Because tomorrow you may not quite feel that way. So today, you need to hear it.


All Blog Posts Belong to Nicole Pyles. Powered by Blogger.