Posted in blogging

Blogs to Check Out

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Summer break is here! Finally. I didn’t think it would ever get here. Winter was way too long this year. This summer I plan on finishing the two projects I’ve got going. I can’t wait. I’m very exciting about both of these stories. My revisions are going well, but slower than I’d like so cross your fingers for me that I’ll accomplish my goals this summer.

Now that I’ve gushed about summer break and my writing plans, I’d like to introduce to you some of the blogs I follow. I enjoy reading these and I thought some of my followers might enjoy them, too. So here they are.

 

The Bloggess:  http://thebloggess.com/

This is Jenny Lawson’s blog and she is hilarious. She’s so open and honest about dealing with her depression that she gives hope to others.

 

Kristen Lamb: https://authorkristenlamb.com/

She gives awesome advice to writers.

 

Writers helping writers: https://writershelpingwriters.net/2016/04/character-arc-common-reactions-change/

This is Angela Ackerman’s blog and she also gives awesome writerly advice.

 

I’m sick and so are you: https://imsickandsoareyou.com/

This is one of my blogger friends, Christine, and she writes with humor and heart.

 

Making peace with the wrong side of 40: https://makingpeacewiththewrongsideof40.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/the-purge-shoes/

This is another blogger friend, Cynthia, and she also writes with humor and heart.

 

But I smile anyway: https://butismileanyway.com/

This is another one of my blogger friends, Ritu, and she also writes with humor and heart.

 

Suzie Speaks: https://suzie81speaks.com/

Suzie’s blog is a great place to get blogging advice and life advice as well.

 

Just another Blog from a Woman:  https://justanotherblogfromawoman.blog/

This is my blogger friend, Haley, and she writes with humor and grace. She blogs about my kind of music a lot. J

 

So there you have it. Just a few blogs I follow. I follow many more, but I’m saving those for another post. I thought you might want to take a look at them and maybe make a new connection.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any favorite blogs you follow? Leave a link in the comments or their name. I just might check them out!

 

 

 

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Posted in Writing

Have you Outgrown your Critique Group?

 

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’d like to talk about writing. I haven’t done a post on the craft in quite a while and I know it’s time.  In this post, I’m discussing critique groups. Are they beneficial to writers?

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

 

A good group is invaluable to a fledgling writer as long as they’re offering constructive criticism. Unfortunately, not everyone offers that. There’s always one person in the group whose main purpose is to just criticize. If they tell you your writing stinks but can offer no advice on how to improve it, then ignore them. Remember there’s always one 😉

What happens when you’ve gone to the group for a while and the only feedback they can give you is your story is good. This is awesome to hear, but it’s not constructive to improving your writing. Now, maybe your story is that good.

Or maybe, you’ve outgrown the group. They can’t move you beyond your current skill level. This happens and it’s not a bad thing, but if you want to continue improving you need to move on. It’s hard because you’ve developed relationships with these people and some have even become friends, but in order to grow, you must join a new group or find an expert who can tell you where your story is weak.

The question is, how do you tell when you’re ready to move on?

Here are some guidelines. The first one we’ve already discussed, but it bears repeating.

  1. When you get positive feedback, but you feel there’s still something missing in your story.

 

  1. When you leave the group meeting, frustrated because you didn’t receive any valuable feedback and this has been going on for quite some time.

 

  1. Your skill level has grown so much that you’ve become the expert in the group. Remember the old saying, “If you’re the smartest person in the room. You’re in the wrong room.” That applies to writing groups as well.

 

The second one is the biggest indicator. When you’re feeling frustrated, it’s time to move on. Now I know your next question is move on but where to? That’s when I’d make my way to social media and search for some experts. One that I’ve found to be invaluable is Kristen Lamb. The link to her blog is below.

http://authorkristenlamb.com/

Kristen Lamb — Photo

 

Check her out, I’ve found her classes to be helpful as well as her advice.

In a few words, Kristen Lamb delivers.

 

There are other experts who can help you as well. Follow the hashtags #amwriting or #ontheporch on twitter and you’ll meet all kinds of experts who you’ll be able to establish a relationship with and go on from there.

Another expert who comes to mind is Angela Ackerman. Check out her website.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/

 

 

She offers all kinds of advice on the craft of writing and she’s frequently on Twitter chatting with writers. These people will help you hone your craft and if they can’t, they’ll be able to direct you to a person who can.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any advice for writers trying to improve their craft? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Reading, reviews

Book Review: “The Devil’s Dance”

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today reveling in the fact that I have the whole summer off. I plan on doing a lot of writing this summer. I’m hoping to get three books finished. I know. Huge goal. Let’s see if I can do it. 🙂 One of them is almost done and I must say this story has evolved so much from the one I originally started with. I’m ecstatic to finish it and start the editing process.

I’m also planning on doing a lot of reading. I just finished an awesome debut novel and I thought I’d share it with you. If you like crime thrillers then you’ll love Kristen Lamb’s novel “The Devil’s Dance.” The cover and blurb are below.

 

The Devil's Dance by [Lamb, Kristen]

 

When Romi Lachlan’s fiancé disappears with half-a-billion dollars stolen from his company, she finds herself broke, blackballed, and the FBI’s prime suspect.

Forced to take refuge with her crazy-as-a-bag-of-cats family at the Cactus Flower trailer park in Bisby, Texas, Romi’s sure her life can’t get any worse until Special Agent Benjamin Sawyer shows up, determined to recover the money and put her away.

It turns out that persuading the hard-nosed G-man she’s innocent is the least of her worries. The body count in Bisby is rising, and Romi must uncover the secret to the town’s newfound prosperity before the secret buries her.

Grab your copy of this intense mystery-thriller today!

Praise for The Devil’s Dance:
“Kristen Lamb is a word demon. Sardonic, humorous and afoul of propriety, her fiction takes no prisoners. This is fun stuff, written by a born novelist with a maverick sensibility.” Joel Eisenberg, Hollywood producer & award-winning novelist

My Thoughts:

This story opens with Romi Lachlan in the unemployment office frustrated because she can’t seem to find a job. She’s an independent woman with a soft heart and I immediately liked her. In the beginning she’s unaware of the person pulling the strings behind the scenes. She believes the reason she can’t find a job is related to the fact her fiancé embezzled millions from his company and ran off with the cash, leaving her and everyone else holding the bag.

She decides to return home to her family and finds things have changed in the small town where she grew up. That’s when FBI agent Ben Sawyer reappears, following her from Dallas. He believes she’s just laying low until things cool down and then she’s going to meet up with her fiancé. They’ll disappear together with all the money and live happily ever after.  This is the furthest thing from the truth as far as Romi’s concerned, but she can’t seem to get that through Ben’s thick skull.

However, his inability to see the truth is the last thing on Romi’s mind when people start dying in Bisby.  Ben and Romi become an unlikely team as the body count starts to rise. There are plot twists that keep you guessing and you won’t want to put this book down. I won’t give any more of the story away, but check it out. It’s the perfect summer read!

How about you? Have you read any good books lately? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you and I’m putting my TBR pile together for this summer so I’m looking to make additions to it!  🙂