Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG- Another new year

Bye bye 2016, Hello 2017

Over the last month I've heard a lot of complaints about how bad the year 2016 has been, and many predictions for a worse 2017. In the US, I imagine most of that has to do with the disappointments of The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) and the election. And the escalating terrorism. These things disturb me also. But, since I'm not in a position affect any changes to these very large issues, I just accept them, and concentrate on my own life. Pacifist, I know.

I've had so many life changes over the last couple years, my priorities have drastically altered.

2016 wasn't such a bad year for me. Life has become steady, manageable. Even FUN. I'm enjoying my new career, I love the traveling. I'm reconnecting with family. And while I did not have any publications, I did more writing than in 2015. Hopefully, I'll write more in 2017, and perhaps have a publication or three. One can dream, lol.

Congratulations to everyone accepted into this year's IWSG Anthology. Well done.

As with any activity, writing comes with rules, and rule books. When I first started seriously writing about ten years ago I read a lot of books on writing. And a lot of blogs about writing rules. For a while, I tried to follow them all. The more rules I read, the more they became contradictory to each other. Eventually I discovered that there are very few rules that cover everything - every genre, writing style, or publishing media. I learned to research the "guidelines" specific to the genre of whatever story I'm writing, and where I hope to publish it.

This month's IWSG question is: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

Oh my, let me count them, lol. Actually, I've forgotten most. But there is one that pretty much applies to every form of writing and goes something like: Do not re-query an Agent/Agency with a work that they rejected. Unless the rejection came with an invitation to rewrite and resubmit.

My writing has come a long ways since I queried my first novel. I'd like to go back and resubmit the new version of that novel to a couple of the Literary Agencies that rejected it. Perhaps the rewrites would gain some interest. Its been ten years since that first round of queries. The novel (now a trilogy) like me as an author, is unrecognizable from its original version.

Rules were made to be broken; perhaps one day I'll break this one. What's one more rejection against the possibility of acceptance.

Even the Insecure Writers Support Group comes with rules.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And to thank and link to your host Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts: Eva @ Lilicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham,Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! See y'all around the blogs.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


I wasn't gonna post the rest of the year since Nov IWSG, but this incident just needed addressed.

Yesterday I was rescued by a very nice young man in Idaho. I ran out of gas on I-15/86 between Pocatello and Burley/Heyburn. If you've ever been through that stretch of interstate you know how far it is between gas stations. Yes, I was stupid for not filling up in Idaho Falls; 26 degrees, I was running late, and thought I could make it to Burley.

Less than 7 miles from my end destination (Loves Travel Stop, Burley) my car sputtered, and died on the interstate. Those advertisements for 50 miles on empty doesn't go as far at 80 mph as it does at 55. About 30 seconds (yes, less than a minute) into my walk up the I-86 a car pulls over and the driver asks me "do you need help?"

I gave him and his car a long assessment before I answered yes and asked if he would give me a lift to the nearest gas station.

"No problem," he said.

Mr Nice was named Jason and he was 21 years old. He was on his way to Boise to visit family and friends on his University break; he'd been back home in Idaho Falls for three months from a 2 year LDS mission in Mexico City. Friendly, talkative, enthusiastic about his religion and upcoming University semester (majoring in Denistry). He expounded on his personal and spiritual growth during his mission, and I was eager to hear his story. I have rarely met such a well rounded and grounded young person. His open personality intrigued me to listen to him. (I'm a social worker, remember? Curiosity comes natural to me.) I was sorry to see our time end.

He not only drove me to the nearest gas station, but also drove me back to my car with my 2 gallons of gas (to get five miles down the road) and figured out the gas nozzle thingy that environmentalists have installed to make emergency roadside gas fill ups - whatever! We spilled at least a quarter of the gas on ourselves and the ground in the learning process, but he finally figured out how to get it to work. After all that trouble, he refused all forms of payment I could offer.

A true hero who rescued an old lady on the side of the road simply because he could. My life has been enriched by the 40 minutes I spent with this marvelous individual. I would have liked to hear more of his Mission adventures, but we each had separate lives to attend to.

Thank you Jason. God bless you and keep you safe in your future journey. Because of your thoughtful intervention, I was able to complete my own business mission and move along in my journey home.

If you've read this far, maybe you'll read a bit further. . .

You see this post and maybe think, "sheesh, so he gave a ride to a fat old chick on the road. What's the risk in that? What makes this a 'moment' for him to brag about?"

Well, as a road traveler; I can tell you its a big risk to pick up anyone on the road, regardless of the circumstances. In today's world, you never know when your generosity, your faith in humanity, might get you shot. Or robbed or raped; murdered and drug off to be buried and never found again. You think I exaggerate?

I'm not against gun toting Americans. Sometimes, ya just gotta protect yourself and your loved ones. And maybe armed America is what literally keeps the bad guy countries from invading us. I don't carry a gun cuz I'd likely shoot myself, or get it taken away by a perpetrator and get shot with my own gun. Some people just aren't meant to carry weapons. We're meant to kiss ass to those that know what they're doing. I married a guy like that. I have friends like that. I am not ashamed of my lack of Annie Oakly skills. I'll befriend Carol, Maggie and Rosita on TWD if the world comes to that.

Some people are wimps; some people need to protect wimps. Just call me Eugene!

I worry about nice guys and weirdo's though in today's society. There are idiots out there who think the right to carry a gun gives them the right to shoot it at anybody who pisses them off or doesn't agree with their world views. The beautiful kid that rescued me took a big risk that I wasn't an idiot with a gun. Yes, I thank him, but also worry about him. Next time, he may be rewarded with a gun to his head. A good guy doing the right thing; being taken advantage of by a self absorbed criminal. The world can be insane like that.

I've rescued some people along the road myself. People standing next to their car, waving down help on the freeway/interstate. (I did not ask for help, I just walked and hoped for a police man.) I've traveled enough to know where cell phone and internet service is non-existent. I've made snap decisions to assist, and so far, its all been paying it forward to this day when I needed a trusting person to stop for me.

You may not get how momentous this rescue was for me, or for this young man. We both lived through it. I could have gotten into the car with a serial killer. He could have picked one up. Trust, faith, belief in humanity is most often rewarded with criminal activity or death in today's world. If you've ever considered stopping for someone stranded beside the road, and felt guilty when you did not, perhaps you'll have an insight of how difficult the decision to be a caring human being is these days.

Its a huge risk. There is no shame (in my opinion) in driving by. You just never know. Ask the two cops who got killed sitting in their squad car drinking coffee and shooting the breeze about nothing important to anybody but them.

Life can be dangerous and risky. But sometimes, its beautiful and fulfilling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Hey Everyone **waves** I'm on the road and forgot to schedule a post, so this will be really short and sorry about no links. Internet is crappy.

November already; time for turkey and family get-togethers. Yipeee!!! And NaNoWriMo. Wow, I'd forgotten about that one. I think this will be my last post for the year, just so much going on in life, and I'm hoping lots of people are also taking time off to spend with family and stuff. And writing, of course.

This month the IWSG asked what our favorite part of writing is. For me, its all about the research. I seem to need to research every little thing that comes up. Names, settings, genre's, the price of tea in Boston at the time of the Tea Party - although I've never had a need for this interesting tidbit. Sometimes I think I start a writing project so I have an excuse to sift through meaningless information. *sighs*

You can congratulate me on getting my story wrote and submitted for this year's Anthology. Yay me!! Got it done on the last possible day, mostly because I'm an expert procrastinator; and guess what tops my list of favorite procrastination activities? Yep, research. Had to find just the right Welsh names, some Tuatha De deities, the right location, scary little creatures, when the winter/spring solstice is. All kinds of stuff that, had I just written the story and cleaned it up with those minor details in the editing/revision phase, kept the story from just flowing.

I do enjoy writing, creating characters and situations for them to work through, and I think I'm better at the editing/revision stuff (fill in details and flesh out characters/plots); but really, I love the excuse to look up stuff on the internet.

Good luck to everyone who submitted an entry to the anthology. And also, happy writing to all those participating in NaNo this year.

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and his helpers for hosting this months Insecure Writers Support Group. I'll be visiting around as I can.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What its like when I'm writing

This is how I feel when I'm actually writing something for publication - not for blogger post. Which is why I've been internet/blogger silent the last few weeks.

Do you crawl in a cave when you're writing on a new idea?

Friday, October 21, 2016



Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?


To celebrate, 30 Seconds, the follow up story, is on sale for 99 cents!

Sale Oct. 21st – Nov. 4th



Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Well, if I were a mobster, I'd probably be a pretty poor one. My lack of depth perception would keep me from being an assassin: can't hit a target even standing a few feet away, no matter how large it is. I was in the Air Force, and during basic training they have no clue where all the bullets went I fired. Although that was a lifetime ago, I've shot enough pool (billiards) and darts to know my aim is still lousy. And, I'm not a very good thief or liar. Lets face it, I've spent my career in the helping services for a reason.

However, for the sake of this blogfest, and diving completely into this fictional personae, let me come up with a semi-badass profile.

My Mobster Name:Veda. According to she knows baby names, people named Veda have a desire for stable family and community relationships; love working with others; are adventurous, flexible, rebellious, optimistic, intelligent, friendly, and energetic. And untidy (keep your mitts off my desk and out of my closets). Some of these traits already fit me - but this is mostly who I'd like to be.

My Rank: hmm, not "the boss" but high enough "the boss" relies on me and everyone below caters to my whims to garner favors.
Crime Zone: somewhere north-west - I like moderate to cold weather.

My Look/Disguise: mini skirts, stilletto's and a loooooong jacket. Red hair, tall, alluring

Weapon of Choice: Information. I'm chief of the spy ring and know everything about everyone. If that doesn't get the job done - poison. I may be environmentally untidy, but intellectually I hate loose ends.

Mobster Vehicle:1962 Shelby Cobra: sporty, sexy, spirited, fast . . .

What I’m Known For: Queen of knowledge, effective use of information. I can make or break your mobster/political/military career with a word in the right ear. I can smell a fraud from a third-world country away. I'm a collector of beautiful things - and beautiful people. I can't be bought, but I can be rented; except for a very few loyalties. "Family" is forever.

My Catch Phrase: Copy that!

The Name of my Mob Leader: "The Boss." Few know who this person actually is, and fewer have actually met - - Her.

I've always been drawn to the spy rings (guilds) in all my favorite fantasy adventures. Really, how does anything get done without effective use of information (gossip)? My mobster self is intelligent, resourceful, outgoing, connected, and oh so indispensable. With the right information leaks, you don't need a gun of any size to kill people.

So, who's your mobster self?

Now please hop around to the other participants:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


This month's question is: When do you know your story is ready?

For me, that answer differ's with each story. I have a minimal criteria: my crit partners need to be down to story tweaking only (no formatting or technical errors mentioned); I have to review my story premise (sometimes entails writing a blurb) and be sure the beginning, middle, and end hit all the hastily written plot points; the submission deadline is not more than a week away; I'm spending more time on a potential sequel or the next new project than this familiar love.

Or, more likely than not, I've found a publisher I want to submit to and I'm curious if I'll get a rejection or acceptance.

I have written several novels, and even queried the one complete book; but I've only really focused on getting short stories published. I guess its because I've had several published. I'm all about the instant gratification - even without a major pay out. I know, the writing motto is essentially: I do it because I have to, not for the money. Well, I guess that's why I call myself a hobby writer: I write because its fulfilling not cuz it pays. Something to keep the boredom away. I play Lotto on the off chance my numbers will come up someday too.

Well, that was the long answer. The short answer would be: its a leap of faith. I either submit to a potential publication (after much tweaking and rewriting) to achieve its fate; or save it to a file and forget about it. I don't believe there is a true "done" to a story. Its like asking the question: when do you stop raising your children?"

I've raised five children to adult-hood. One told me to butt out of his life at 17 and I had to bite my tongue so hard on his decisions I'm amazed I still have a tongue. Another made it to 25 before I finally told him he had to deal with his own life. Is there a right answer to the questions "when is your story ready" and "when are your children grown-ups?"

I say "Nope!" But if you want that thing to be published, you gotta just let go. And believe in your nurturing/creative instincts.

Please be sure to visit our host Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts: Beverly Stowe, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora, Angela Wooledridge, and Susan Gourley.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Hello All!

Normally I like to have an author interview/guest post with a book review. But, Jay has not been feeling well lately (judging by his recent posts) and I'm pressed for time. However, I was hoping a favorable review of his book would cheer Jay up somewhat.

About the author:

Jay Noel was born in New York, but currently lives in Missouri with his family. He received a degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University many moons ago. Jay is a prolific blogger, and one-time podcaster, and he enjoys connecting with writers, readers, and fellow bloggers from all over the world. Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night, he is the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, was published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press. Jay loves science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies. .

About the book:

The Mechanica Wars: Savage Machines Are Afoot...

At the age of twenty, Kanze Zenjiro's bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him.

Zen embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

My review: An interesting world and concept. This reminds me of the fantasy/syfy novels I read as a young adult. It has a mix of western, samurai, action/adventure, steam punk. A multi genre delight. I was initially drawn to the western/samurai theme (like THE LAST SAMURAI), and loved when it transitioned into the steampunk genre. Zenjihito is a nicely developed young character, on a quest for a talisman that will unite and save the nations of the newly formed empire of Nihon. His travels have him meeting, and collecting, many interesting and complet characters. There are many story plots that eventually all come together for the climax of this story plot.

The world building is well integrated into the story and character plots. It is active, progressive, and utilizes many of the story tropes of multiple genre's. I was just a little overwhelmed by the steampunk technology;I lost a bit of interest in the story when the western/samurai story line gave way to modern artillery, and much of the timelines for the alternate plots did not align, but the characters were complex- hero's and villains alike - and intriguing.

I give this a 4 star rating. While the characters and world building were excellently drawn, and there was enough action and violence to intrigue me, the overuse of modern warfare detracted from the steampunk subgenre. I recommend this book/series to readers who enjoy the Star Wars, Rift War, Indiana Jones, Shannara Chronicles sagas.

Purchasing links:    Amazon US 

I think Jay could use some serious blogger love right now, but he is not a member of the BLOG BLITZ. So I'm appealing to the community here. Please drop by his site and say hello, and wish him a speedy recovery back into the writing and blogging world.