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The Storm Before The Calm…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr Insecure Writers Support Group

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

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Oh the Insecurities…

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Insecure Writers Support Group

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It is time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group. We meet once a month on the first Wednesday. No matter where you are in your writing journey chances are you occasionally have feelings of insecurity. No worry’s, link up and find all of the support you could possibly ask for. If you are in a good place perhaps you have some inspiration to share let’s face it we all feel the need for a bit of support from our friends.

I’m hosting this month along with these fabulous people. Be sure to visit them!

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How to Start a Memoir…

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Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I like to share information, tips and inspiration with writers and bloggers. The kind of information that I wish someone would have shared with me back then.

For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo can you believe we only have one more week to go? I am a little less than ¾ of the way to the finish line. Whether I make the 50,000 word goal or not isn’t concerning me. For me making writing urgent again leaves me feeling like a winner.

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Library Humor…

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I want to introduce you to humor writer and librarian, Roz Warren. We have been Facebook friends for quite a while and to my delight, over the summer we met in real life at a lovely tea house to celebrate the release of mutual friend, Cathy Sikorski’s  book Showering With Nana (good book)

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It’s Wednesday I must be Insecure…

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially

Insecure Writer’s Support Group day #IWSG

IWSG badge

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or 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.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

To join us, sign up here:

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Visit our Facebook Page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

It is also Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Writing Wednesday is the day I like to share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publishing to marketing my first book and then doing it again. The type of information I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Summer Writing Slow Down

I am officially fighting the summer writing slow down. Of course it would hit me when I have a final draft deadline for my 3rd book on August 1st, my second book being released in September and numerous freelance projects that are due in July. Yikes.

There is no good excuse for me not sitting down to write because I am on medical leave from my day job.

The only thing I have to blame is the summer. I want to sit by the water with my husband, walk through the park, play with my grandchildren and take naps.

Florida Does Beach Feet

I’ve been sleeping in and it feels so good but it must stop. I’m writing it and saying it out loud. I will be in my chair writing from 6am-10am. No social media, no e-mail, no phones, just piling up the word count. I think I can make it work if I give myself some time each day to enjoy being outside or taking a nap.

Writing is hard

I can do this, right?

Do you neglect your blog and your writing once the thermostat heats up? If I didn’t have these deadlines I would allow myself to slow down for a few weeks. How about you?

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Fall Schedule  is filling up. I hope to see you…

 August 1, 2015-Blue Marble Book Store/551 Carpenter Lane/Philadelphia/19119/ Time-TBD/Panel

September 3, 2015– I will be facilitating a workshop at the 2015 Power Conference/ ‘Books Are The New Business Cards’ Registration info coming soon…

The 2015 Power Conference

The Power Conference will take place Thursday, September 3 at the Montgomery County, Maryland Conference Center/North Bethesda Marriott (near White Flint Metro).  The Power Conference is an annual business development conference for women in business in the greater Washington, DC area, that includes over 40 business workshops led by professionals/experts, a tradeshow with 90+ exhibitors, a Booksellers Cafe for women authors, an inspirational keynote lunch, and a  presentation of the annual StartRight! Business Plan Competition winners.  More than 800 people attend this conference.  

September 16, 2015– Boscov’s/1067 Baltimore Pike/Media/19063/ 6-8p.m./Author Panel

September 21,2015-Ridley Township Library/100 E. Mac Dade Blvd./

Folsom/19033 Social Media Workshop/ 6-8pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ghosts, witches and rescued kitties…

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I love introducing you to authors. I met Chrys Fey through The Insecure Writers Support Group. I hope you enjoy getting to know her and her work as much as I did.

About the Author

Author Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

The Interview

You write in several genres, what is your favorite genre to read?

I read just about every genre, but I especially love reading the genres that I write – romance, romantic-suspense, and supernatural/paranormal.

 What was the last book you read?

 ’ve been reading a lot of children’s and YA books lately, so the last book I read was A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time Quartet #3).

Did you grow up in a household that encouraged reading, writing or both?

 Oh yes, I did. My mom would take me and my siblings to the library at least once a week during our summer breaks. I thought of those trips as library sojourns. And she was an aspiring author, too. She wrote many children’s books and read them to us. I would watch her, at the dining room table, writing and illustrating her stories and I knew that was what I wanted to do when I got older.

Do you have a designated writing space? A schedule? Any rituals?

 My desk is in a section of my bedroom. I have a “Wall of Accomplishments” and a “Wall of Inspiration” to motivate me while I write. My one ritual is to listen to music. Music is my muse. As for schedules, I don’t really have one, but in the morning I get all of my blogging and social media done. Then in the afternoon and evening, I try to write. I say “try” because some days just aren’t writing days.

 Share your journey to publication:

In the beginning, I had only published a few flash fiction pieces online and a couple of poems. I was trying to get an agent for the first book in a series, which features Avrianna Heavenborn, the detective in Ghost of Death, when I came to the conclusion that I’d have to break into the publishing world with something else. Enter, Hurricane Crimes. I sent Hurricane Crimes to one small press and got an acceptance. That came after years of no success, though. Since then I’ve published a novella (30 Seconds) and two more short stories (Ghost of Death and Witch of Death). Some things happen for a reason…even rejections and setbacks.

 What are you writing now?

I am working on book three in my Disaster Crimes series. Book one is a short story, Hurricane Crimes, and is available on Amazon. Book two is a novel and is the hands of my editor. I am currently awaiting word on its fate. But that’s not stopping me from writing the next story in the sequence. If nothing can stop my characters, not even disasters, than nothing can stop me from writing about the next disaster they face. 😉

 Coffee, tea, wine or whiskey?

 Tea. I’m a sucker for hot tea even in the summer…in the heat of Florida. I drink green tea every morning. Chai, chamomile, and lemon-ginger are three of my favorites.

 Any pets?

 Yes, I have four kitties that I rescued as babies. They were born outside my old apartment complex a couple of years ago and were in danger, so I took them in. They are named Cole, Clover, Milo and Otis. 

 The Books:

Witch of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey Witch of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Witch Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Ghost of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey cover

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

Ghost Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Connect with Chrys here-

Author Links:

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads

Thank you for reading and thank you Chrys,

Doreen

 

 

 

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Seriously, a proposal…

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WritingWednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Proposals

 A proposal is a business plan for your book. If you write nonfiction and query an agent that agent may ask to see your proposal. More and more agents that represent fiction are asking for one as well. It is a good idea to have one prepared before you start to query.

When I started querying for my first book I had no idea what a proposal was. I was so excited to get a response from the third agent I queried but when she asked for a proposal, I had no clue. Needless to say the one I hurried to put together got me nowhere. This time around I wrote the proposal before I wrote the book.

Quote Never Give Up

  • It contains a cover page with word count, genre, title, short description of the book and your contact information.
  • A table of contents
  • A one page summary (the synopsis) of your book. Think of what might be on the back cover of the book.
  • Target Audience. Who will buy this book and why. Do not ever say everyone will love this book because they won’t. Pick a specific demographic and then two sub demographics.
  • Research the competition. What titles out there are similar to yours? Remember that competition in the book world is a very good thing. If there are numerous titles that means there is consumer interest. Agents and Publishers love competition. List these books and explain why they are similar and why they are different. Why is your book better?
  • Your Platform- how you will be able to reach your target audience (where you are on line, your church, groups or organizations you belong to, connections etc…)
  • Detailed Author Bio- Who you are and why you are the best person to tell this story and the best person to promote the book. Include resume information.
  • Your marketing and promotion plan. Only list what you know you can do not what you hope to do. Example: Do not say I will appear on Oprah’s show and she will love my book unless you know for a fact you can make that happen. Make your plan concrete and include numbers. The secret to creating this plan is not how many ideas you have but how many connections you have and the action steps you are willing to take to improve your presence.
  • Chapter Outline with a brief description of each chapter.
  • Sample chapters- Choose two or three of your absolute best chapters (complete)
  • Have several people including your editor go over your proposal.

 

Quote Start Somewhere

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

 

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Mad Fragments…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

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It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!

During the month of April I participated in and was a helper with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I planned on posting my Friday Fragments during the month too but the best intentions…

A to Z Survivor Badge

There was a terrible Amtrak train crash not far from us, in Philadelphia. The train was coming from Washington D.C. and headed to N.Y.C. Apparently the engineer took a radical curve at 106 mph. The limit is 50 mph for that curve. Eight people lost their lives and more than one-hundred were injured, some critically. I know so many people that take that train, often so it was terrifying. The two people I knew that happened to be riding that night are okay, thank God.

When my favorite weather woman said it was going to be a pollen-tsunami, she wasn’t kidding. My eyes are so itchy and red. I take Allegra but am going to have to try something else because it just isn’t working anymore.

Pollen

I had a health scare, actually it is still happening. Something was ‘falling out of me’ and it was extremely painful. My primary doctor gave me an antibiotic, called it pelvic prolapsed and sent me to a gyn. The nurse-practitioner stopped the exam and was leaving the room. I asked her to say something and she said she needed to get the doctor because she had no idea what it was. I panicked. Of course I did. The doctor came in and introduced himself and proceeded to examine (push on, press and prod whatever was bulging causing me to see stars.) He had no idea. I insisted he tell me something so he said, “I think you are going to be fine. It might be varicose veins.” I needed to see a gyn-urologist as soon as possible. The soonest appointment I could get was June 10. I went to the ER. They admitted me, treated the pain ran a bunch of tests and said it was indeed pelvic congestion, (Varicose veins in the pelvic area.) I won’t see the vein doctor till June 2 so I am home resting as much as possible. I will most likely have an embolization done, soon I hope.

Never a dull moment.

The Stranger in My Recliner is in production. The art department told me I would have cover mock-ups by the end of the month. This book is finally going to be born. I am so excited and cannot wait to share Sophie’s story with everyone. I am hoping it at least starts a few conversations about ending homelessness. The synopsis is up there under books. I need to have a list of reviewers by the end of the month. If you are interested in a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, please e-mail me and give me your address and let me know if you prefer paperback or digital copy. Thank you!

We are a little more than a month away from our crazy, fun annual beach week with all of our kids and grandkids. I am praying my health crisis doesn’t ruin it for us.

Beach Chairs

Is it spring in your neighborhood yet? We are bouncing between the 80’s and the 50’s. It is SO much better than 20J

Are you watching Madmen? What do you think?

Madmen

I am obsessed lately with Arranged, Married at First Sight and Newlyweds, the First Year. I just find these shows fascinating. What are you watching?

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

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It could happen to anyone…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 f

AtoZ F Banner

The homeless people walking among us are invisible to most. We look past them, avoiding eye contact at all cost. I always did.  Not so much purposely it was more subconsciously. I never wanted to intentionally look into the eyes of such vulnerable human beings.  I could easily be seeing my parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. It could be a friend or a family member that struggles with mental illness, addiction or chronic poverty. If I didn’t look, I didn’t have to feel anything or do anything for them.

homeless musicians

I had nothing personal against homeless people. In fact I once was homeless. I was in an abusive relationship and left with the clothes on my back. I was one of the lucky ones, my daughter and son-in-law took me in and took care of me until it was safe for me to take care of myself.

Whether we like to think about it or not we are all vulnerable. A job loss, long illness, the loss of a supporting partner, a few wrongly timed tragedies and we could find ourselves without a place to lay our head. It happens more often than you think.

As a twelve-year-old boy, Dr. Phil McGraw lived in a car with his father. His father was doing his psychology internship. Jennifer Lopez left home at eighteen after an argument with her mother. Her mother didn’t want her to be a dancer. She slept on a couch in a dance studio. Singer Jewel lost a job because she wouldn’t sleep with her boss. He withheld her paychecks so she ended up sleeping in her car. She became very ill when her kidneys failed and nearly died in a hospital parking lot.

Dr Phil

The thought that I could be the one pushing a rickety shopping cart has kept me volunteering and bringing in donations of canned and non-perishable foods to my church’s quarterly ‘stop hunger’ drives. Dropping those cans in that box always made me feel good. I was making a difference. I felt as if I earned a free of guilt card and was then able to move about town looking past all of those unfortunate people that walk among us. I was doing what I could do.

Homeless woman shopping cart

Giving always worked for me, until that night, the night that I first met Sophie. That night I had no choice but to look homelessness right in its’ terrified eyes. I wanted to look past it, to keep walking, to throw money and canned goods at it but it was impossible. It was impossible because it was under my roof, sitting on my sofa and wearing my pajamas.

Thirty-seven-thousand people die homeless on the streets of America nearly every year. The number has been at least this high for years and it is growing. This number breaks my heart. No human being should die alone, on a sidewalk or in a shelter. I don’t even believe animals should die alone on the streets or in a shelter. It seems at times we do more to rescue those animals than we do our own family members. Both need to be rescued.

As part of this rapidly changing demographic baby boomers are turning sixty-five at a rate of ten-thousand a day. With those numbers expected to continue until at least the year two-thousand and twenty we are likely to see a dramatic spike in the already epidemic numbers of elderly homeless people between now and then.

We need a plan.

~~~~~

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

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Churches and the homeless…

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Welcome to my blog and today’s post which is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

A-Z 2015 C Letter

My theme this year is: An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America, which is the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger In My Recliner. 

Churches and the homeless

America’s churches offer a wide variety of services to support the nation’s homeless. Just south of Philadelphia where I live the churches coordinate services. A different church each day provides dinner and a place to warm up. Congregants provide a hot meal, blankets, clothing and other supplies. Once they have been given a hot meal and some supplies, the homeless are sent back out onto the streets.

 

What confuses me is how the homeless keep track of what church is doing what each night and how do they get from one church to another. Living in a neighborhood that has three churches within walking distance I understand the complaints of residents. We have found drugs in our front yard, had our cars keyed and broken into, witnessed fights and more.

Church ours

A few years-ago a church in Portland Oregon offered its’ parking lot for people that were sleeping in their cars. Neighbors worried about increased noise, trash and crime.

Churches in suburbs and cities across the country run soup kitchens.

A church in San Francisco installed a sprinkler system to keep the homeless from sleeping on their grounds. People were outraged that a church could be so cruel. It is a problem plaguing the country’s churches. How do they protect residents and still be compassionate to those in need.

In Virginia a church with acreage offered land to be used as a tent city. The surrounding community supported the idea bringing in a nurse, volunteers, meals and supplies.

Most people want to be loving, giving and caring to those in need, they just want to do it anywhere but in their own neighborhood.

Church family photo

Wouldn’t it make more sense for each church to donate a year’s rent and a social worker to a homeless person or family? If the churches can manage to coordinate a dinner chain, jump through permit hoops to open their parking lots to campers and build a tent city I am positive they would have no trouble working together to support homes for the homeless.

What services do the churches in your area provide for the homeless?

Happy A-Z’ing,

Doreen

For this years A-Z I am a minion for the lovely co-host : Lisa Buie-Collard

Meet the other minions:

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan  –   Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

 

 

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