How to build a strong peer support network

An insightful post from Ari Meghlen. I deeply appreciate the support she has given me. 😃💖

Ari Meghlen - Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

It’s Monday Marketing time again.  This week’s post is about Peer Support Networks.  Definitely something you should consider building.  Writing is already a solitary business, but there is something to be said about supporting and promoting each other.

Title Image - How to build a strong peer support network. Writers supporting writers

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Author Spotlight Ari Meghlen

A great interview with a great writer and friend of authors – even me. 😉

Writer's Treasure Chest

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

Firstly, thank you so much for having me on your blog.

I’ve been writing since I was given unsupervised access to pens. 🙂 I believe it was around the age of 8 years old. I loved making up stories and a teacher gave us an assignment to describe a friendly monster under the bed. I wrote not only a description but a story about him. And I haven’t stopped writing since 🙂

2. What motivates you to write?

I don’t really need motivation to write. It’s just what I was born to do. I am forever caught by scenes, character or plots that just fill my head until I need to get them down. It’s like writing relieves pressure in my mind and gives space to all the new ideas slipping in.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you…

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How to choose a name for your blog

A fun post from Ari Meghlen – and my blog got mentioned too. 😃

Ari Meghlen - Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

It’s time for another article in my new Blogger Series.  In case you missed the memo, I now include a blog post on Thursdays, discussing topics around blogging to help people who are considering starting a blog as well as tips for getting the most from your existing blog.

Banner image: The Blogger Series - How to choose a name for your blog.

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Endings, In-Betweens and New Beginnings

Hi my friends,

This is a long post. If you don’t like to read long posts, it’s okay if you pass on all this – but I wanted to give you a heads-up on where I’m at with my writing career and all it entails.

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You’ve not heard from me in a rather long time. I’ve been re-blogging not “me-blogging.”  There have been no newsletters since . . . ah . . . spring of 2017? I’ve had trouble coming up with anything to tell you, or (more precisely) how to say what I’ve thought of to say – and so I end up saying nothing. My usual problem with letter writing,  blogs and social networking; but I need to share some things with you.

I’ve lately been reading and studying a Christian book called Reflecting God and in the section called Nurtured by the Light in the Rhythms of Life the author talks about four places we will find ourselves in life’s changing cycles:

Endings

In-between Times

New Beginnings

Settled Places

For the last three years or so I’ve been in a repeating cycle of endings and in-betweens. Mind you, much of it is stuff that can seem pretty minor when compared to . . . but it’s best not to compare our paths to those of others around us. What one person will find only moderately hard to go through can knock someone else entirely off their feet. This stuff has been things that have been from hard to very hard for me to go through – and yes, even been knocked off my feet a few times.

In the spring of 2015 an editor I didn’t know, not my regular editor and given my manuscript by my publisher, tried to rewrite my second book to be what she wanted it to be, resulting in me having a sort of nervous breakdown. (She was let go and the book as I wrote it is what ended up being published.)

Problems with various aspects of book launches happened. A nearly totally messed up blog tour for book #3 that ended up with all the writing of posts and interviews having to be done in a very short amount of time while I was also doing a bunch of other things for the launch.

My former publisher side-stepping my queries about when he wanted book #4 turned in, with him telling me “don’t worry about it for now” –  to eventually finding out he kept putting me off because he was going out of business. Only, after some awkward issues and me leaving his company, he didn’t close up after all.

Two of our cats passing away about five months apart. Another cat having chronic eye problems including cancer on his right eye’s third eyelid and surgery to remove the third eyelid last December.

My much loved uncle who was helping with some of my book expenses passing away last December and . . .

and . . .

I just found out on April 5th that my dear friend, instructor, writing coach and editor Mary Rosenblum died when something happened (not yet determined) that caused the single-engine plane that she was piloting (her own plane) to crash back on March 11th.

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Getting a bear hug.

Many endings. And I’ve been spending a long time in what the author of Reflecting God calls the in-between times that follow endings. The in-between times when, with God’s help, you do your grieving and putting yourself back together.

I haven’t gotten anywhere near the next stage, which is new beginnings, before the next ending would hit and I’ve become weary and numb. And some of this weariness and numbness is why I’ve not done well with getting started on writing book #4 of my cozy mystery series.

I’ve lost my virtual assistant, Tammy, who was being a huge help with posting to social sites for me, and other marketing/social tasks (paying Tammy was the book related expense my uncle was helping with).

But much bigger for me is losing Mary; my friend, coach, editor and major encourager who has been with me ever since I started this journey of being a published author. It’s hard thinking about working on another book without Mary.

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Mary Rosenblum and me with my Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Mystery and Suspense – April 2017. Her editing skills were a huge part of my winning this award.

I have a lot of decisions to make, but I need time to make them.

I will be bringing out an anthology of four short stories entitled Twombly Tales set in my cozy mystery world of Twombly, IL.

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It is being formatted right now. This was intended to be the free giveaway for people who signed up for my newsletter. Well – there really isn’t a newsletter, as many of you know by now, and I’m not sure there will be one. The newsletter is one of the decisions I’m needing to make. I will be able to do download links for people to get the Kindle and epub versions of Twombly Tales fairly easily (I hope). I want to also have it available in print on demand, but I’m not sure how to do that. I’ll be looking into it. I want you, and any new readers who will be discovering me and my books, to be able to get Twombly Tales in whatever format you like to read in.

I will be completing the rebranding of my series by getting my three existing books in their new persona of “The Can Be Mysteries” put through all the publishing processes and available on Amazon – I hope by sometime in May. They have all been through a new proof edit and will soon be heading into the formatting stage. You’ve already seen their lovely new covers. 🙂

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I want to write and publish book #4.  At this time I’ve not even started writing it. Much of the ideas for it are in place but not written yet. I want to do this for you, my friends and readers. Your enjoyment of my books is what I write for and so many of you have been asking about book #4 – I don’t want to let you down. I also want to do it for my older brother, who made suggestions for the plot, and now I also want to do it for Mary. She very much wanted me to keep writing because she believed in the quality of my writing and my books.

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What I don’t know about yet and need to make decisions about is all the social networking, marketing and promotional aspects of the writing business.  It is the biggest burden of all, the most exhausting and anxiety producing, and the stuff I’m least suited for. Basically, if I keep up with all of that in a manner the book writing industry says is what has to be done, I’m never going to be able to have the mental space I need to write book #4. I have got to figure out what I can and can’t do without totally leaving you all in the lurch.

So . . .

As I figure it out I’ll do blog posts and/or Facebook posts about my decisions as I make them. And I’ll try to do more “me-blogging” and less reblogging. Don’t know how often or how consistent, but more than I have been doing. 😉

Thank you so very much for your support of me and my books. You all mean so much to me. 💖😊

Hugs from Pearl.

 

 

Reality of being a writer

There’s a lot of truth here.

Lorraine Ambers

I’m a huge fan of positivity posts. Who doesn’t need a daily dose of inspiration? Pushing us to work towards our goals and chase our dreams. But sometimes it’s good to take a breath and check in with reality. To realise that our struggles don’t define us, but they do make us human.

Being a writer or any artist is tough. Don’t get me wrong, there are many perks. Take today for instance; I’m sitting in bed with my dog, listening to music, whilst drinking tea and blogging. But it’s not all glamorous: In fact, I’m not sure any of it is???

Today I thought I’d share the harsh reality of what being a writer is like for me. To let you know; you’re not alone in your fight. And that acknowledging our struggles doesn’t make us weak, it makes us honest. Maybe even a little enlightened.

Author self-doubt tumblr_nxeot3aztf1rj0hrio1_500 Credit: tumblr_nxeot3aztf1rj0hrio1_500

First…

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World Building Checklist

This is a good, thorough list. Thanks for doing this, Rachel

Rachel Poli

A lot comes with world building. There’s so much to think about. Will it all be needed? Maybe, maybe not. However, it’s best for you to know absolutely everything just in case something comes up.

World Building Checklist | Fantasy | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

World Building: Things To Think About

  • Type of world
  • Geography
  • Climate
  • History
  • Rules (of the world and magic, if magic exists)
  • Magic
  • Technology
  • People/Races
  • Religion
  • Food, habits, gestures
  • Language
  • Government
  • Laws
  • Education
  • Calendar
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Creatures
  • Currency
  • Time
  • Housing
  • Leisure/Activities

What are some other things you would add to your world building? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Mystery Blogger Award

First, a heartfelt thank you to my dear friend, fellow author and really good blogger, Ari Meghlen. She’s honest, fun and has a lot to offer.

                                               award

 

Second, I took “Mystery Blogger” the wrong way. I immediately thought “blogs by mystery writers” because I am a mystery writer. DUH!

The creator of this award: Okoto Enigma has this to say: “I created the award because there are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered, yet.”

Yeah, well. I’m not sure how amazing my blog is, but it’s certainly barely discovered.

There are, like with any award, rules for The Mystery Blogger Award. They are:

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/ image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best posts

 

Three things about me:

1)      I’m still amazed by some of the things I’ve discovered, over the years, that I can do. I’ve been an artist, a good wife and mother, I’ve been a fencer (foil and sabre – right and left handed), I’m a passably good bluegrass fiddler – and I’m a published, award winning author. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be any of those things.

2)      This year I will be turning the same age as the title of one of The Beatles songs. Can you guess how old I’ll be this coming birthday?

3)      I’m a Christian – but then again, so was J.R.R.Tolkien, so it doesn’t mean I can’t write good books that everyone can enjoy. 😉

 

I thought I could come up with more bloggers to nominate, but I discovered many of the people who I thought I was reading their blog, it was actually their newsletter and they don’t have a blog.

The bloggers I’m nominating are:

I hope you’ll give them all a visit.

And to my nominees – I hope you all found your nomination comment from me on your blog and that you’ll join in on this award. 😊

 

Ari’s 5 Questions to me.

  1. Which book, if any, can you read over and over again?

The Lord of the Rings. I have read it over and over again since I first read it in 1966.

Also, A Christmas Carol. I love the movie version with George C. Scott, but the story is marvelous to read!

  1. If you got teleported into a novel, which novel would you want to end up in?

Hard to say as I wouldn’t want to live when there’s no electricity and indoor toilets 😉 . I guess one of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, or maybe into my own books – I like the characters who live in Twombly, Illinois.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I really don’t know. I love the ocean, but don’t really want to live too near it. I’ve been to England twice and Scotland once, lovely places but I’m not sure I’d want to live there. I guess it would be where I am. I wish our town was doing better economically, it would help the feeling of the place be cheerier, but other than that, where we live has a lot of good things about it.

  1. Do you like octopi?

Yes. I think they are fascinating creatures.

  1. If you were stuck on a rollercoaster for an hour, would you want to be stuck on one that goes up and down or round and round?

Oh my! A whole hour and it’s moving the whole time? Ach!!!!

I love the traditional roller coasters that do circle around (you end up where you started) but are mostly hills with a few tight turns. If it just went round and round, I don’t last long on those at all.

It was different when I was in my teens. I could ride anything then and was fine. Alas, I can’t do that any more.

 

My 5 questions for my nominees:

     1)      Does your blog have a theme? If yes, why did you choose that theme?

     2)     Where is your favorite place to go for a vacation – or where you would like to go if you could go there.

     3)     Has your favorite subject in school stayed a part of your life? (As in, if it was art do you still do art things? Music – are still playing or singing?)

     4)     When was the last time you played a board game or a card game using real cards? (FUN QUESTION)

     5)      Do you read to relax? If you do, do you have a genre that is your go-to relaxation genre?

 

Share a link to my best posts:

Ah . . . in doing this I’ve found that I haven’t done a post of my own since a year ago on Feb. 14th 2017! And that was a guest post at Ari’s site: Love, twue love

And before that the last one I wrote that’s on my own blog is: Death in my Dryer  also from February of last year. I really need to get better at this . . .

🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝  🐝

Thank you for stopping by. This is a lot of fun and I hope you’ll join in by picking a question or two and answering them in a comment below. Let’s get to know each other better. 😃

Hugs,

Pearl

Respecting the Writing, Respecting Yourself

Wow! This is powerful stuff. A must read for all of us who are struggling with anything we’re endeavoring to do – not just the writers amongst us.

Linda Maye Adams

Man screams as UFO beams up another person

It’s hard to believe that about 2010, I was thinking I was never going to be able to write a novel.  My process of writing because a source of great frustration.

The more I revised something, the more broken it got.  It went from a two car accident to a spaceship crashes and destroys an entire city.

I remember one writer offering to look at what I’d written to see if she could see what was wrong and I was embarrassed to let her see it.  I knew I was a better writer than what I was producing.

So I attended a lot of classes, searching for answers.  One was with Bob Meyer, one of the earlier indie successes.  I was so frustrated that I described my writing as a “screwy way of writing.”

He said “Never put down your writing.  There will be someone else who will be happy to…

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