#ReblogAlert – #Twofer – #ThisWeekOnStoryEmpire and #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

 

A bit late this morning, but here you go! Another week, another recap of the fantastic posts on #StoryEmpire and Sally Cronin’s #Smorgasbord WeeklyRoundUp. Trust me … lots of stuff you won’t want to miss this week, so happy browsing!

As usual, #StoryEmpire has three most excellent posts on writing-related topics, and here are the direct links:

MONDAY: To start the week, D. Wallace Peach presents a wonderfully helpful post on one of my favorite topics–character development, and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Check out Crafting Rich Characters Part 1 HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Mid-week, we have Jan Sikes sharing a super post entitled #MKTG – Part 10 – More on Amazon Ads. If you struggle with marketing like I do, you’ll definitely want to check out this post, and the entire series! You can find this post HERE.

FRIDAY: And wrapping up the week, we have Craig Boyack’s super-interesting post Expansion Pack: Story Engineering, featuring some wonderful tips from author Sue Coletta. Check it out HERE.


And of course, you know I wouldn’t miss sharing Sally Cronin’s weekly roundup on her fabulous Smorgasbord blog. SO much going on over there, you’ll want to check it out to be sure you didn’t miss anything.

Check out this week’s #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp HERE.

#ThankYou and #Update Redux

I just want to thank everyone who responded to my Tuesday “Checking In” post. Your support and encouragement have done wonders for my mood, and my mood improvement has done wonders for my health. As we all know, attitude is everything, even when dealing with physical issues. And the good news is, yesterday, I felt like I finally turned a corner with this cold I’ve been coping with for almost three weeks now.

Notice I called it a “cold?” I refuse to even entertain the possibility it’s been another case of that other word that starts with “C!” I am not going there, regardless of the extreme fatigue that accompanied my sneezing, coughing, and general discomfort. Nope. Been there, done that, and refuse to ever acknowledge it again, though I will always be cautious about being around others when I’m under the weather with anything that might be contagious.

And all that being said, the important take-away is the phrase “turned the corner.” I actually had a lot of energy yesterday, and an unexpected decrease in other symptoms, too. Got stuff done, and felt good about the day. But not to worry. I’m easing back into things carefully, and it will take some time for me to get back to my writing and my normal blog visits and comments. I am trying to read posts I’ve fallen behind on, though for now, will probably be limiting myself to a Like and a Tweet here and there. I know you’ll all understand, and I appreciate that enormously.

Thanks again, and PLEASE stay safe and well, you guys! (I will, if YOU will.)

(Me, being healthy and energetic!)

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow About Priscilla Bettis

Time for another fun #TenThings list, folks! Today, our guest is author Priscilla Bettis, and I know you’ll enjoy checking out her list, so here you go!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Priscilla Bettis

  1.  My cats’ names are Wednesday Addams, Pugsley Addams, Thing 1, and Thing 2.
  2.  My favorite place to read is in a hot bath.
  3.  I was born in sweltering Texas and grew up in frigid Alaska.
  4.  I write dark stories, but I absolutely believe in angels and miracles.
  5.  The pope blessed my swim goggles.
  6.  I write best in absolute silence.
  7.  I think the darker the chocolate the better. Same with coffee.
  8.  The smell of freshly cut hay makes me euphoric.
  9.  I have ridden a water buffalo. I don’t recommend it.
  10.  Years ago, I married my best friend. He’s still my best friend … and still my husband. 🙂

Contemporary Southern Gothic meets weird horror
in this new novelette from Priscilla Bettis.

BLURB:

Professor Claire Davenport yearns to be a mother. After suffering four miscarriages, the university microbiologist tries and fails to qualify as an adoptive mother. Then Claire’s husband leaves.

Alone and emotionally wounded, Claire takes a summer sabbatical from her microbiology classes and escapes to rural Virginia to heal. There, she meets local farmers with strange agricultural practices.

Claire moves into the historic manor house she rented for the summer, and an abandoned child greets her. Is the child real, an answer to her prayers? Or is he a figment of her tormented emotions? Perhaps the tight-knit locals are playing a trick on the science lady from the city.

Whatever the boy’s origin, Claire is determined to find the truth, but the truth may be bloody.

Buy The Hay Bale HERE


Priscilla Bettis read her first horror story, The Exorcist, when she was a little kid. Priscilla snuck the grownup book from her parents’ den, and The Exorcist scared her silly. From that moment on, she was hooked on horror and all things deliciously off kilter. As an adult, Priscilla turned to engineering physics, a wonderful profession, but what she really wants to do is write . . . or die trying, probably at the hands of a vampiric wraith. Priscilla shares a home in the Northern Plains of Texas with her two-legged and four-legged family members.

You can reach Priscilla on social media here:
Blog
Amazon Author Page

Email: pbettis@gmail.com

 

Checking In & Catching Up

Just a quick update for you guys. I know I said I would be getting all my regular blog series back up and running at the start of the new year, and I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten some underway, and have a few more coming up. But the bad news is, I’m moving slower than I’d thought I would. I caught a bit of a bug somewhere around January 3 or 4, and it has hampered some of my plans. (Had to cancel both of my wildlife talks for January, for one thing, since I didn’t want to be around others until I was sure I was well.)

The good news is I’m slowly improving a bit more each day, and almost all my cold-like symptoms are now gone. I’m still not real peppy, but I think that will change for the better very soon.

In the meantime, I do have a Ten Things guest scheduled for tomorrow, and a couple of scheduled guests for February already lined up. So I WILL keep my promise to get it all up and going again, but I hope you’ll be patient with me if it’s at a slower pace than I anticipated.  It’s STILL on the way, honest!

Moving like a turtle, perhaps, but STILL making progress, and that’s what counts! Now you guys stay well and let’s make this a great year!

 

#ReblogAlert! #Twofer #ThisWeekOnStoryEmpire & Sally Cronin’s #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

As I promised, I’m starting all my regular weekly features up again for the new year, and today I’m happy to share the news from my friends at both Story Empire and Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blogs. Enjoy!

MONDAY: To start of the week, Gwen Plano’s post The Writer’s Contract with Readers reminds us how important covers and blurbs are when it comes to attracting readers. Check it out HERE.

TUESDAY: A bonus post from Mae Clair filled with fantastic news: Story Empire has added two new authors to their family! If you missed this announcement, you can find out who’s joining the team by checking out Mae’s post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: New Story Empire member Beem Weeks is off to a great start with a really helpful first post entitled Writing Set-Ups for the Big Reveal. His tips are extremely useful and I can’t wait to see what else he has to share in the weeks ahead. Check out Beem’s post HERE. 

FRIDAY: Mae Clair returns to wrap up the week with a fantastic post, Creating a Promotional Author Video. Not only is this one filled with extremely helpful tips on doing so, it includes a super video of Mae putting those tips to good use. Check it all out HERE.


As always, TONS of good stuff going on at Sally’s Smorgasbord blog.  Lots of things of interest, and some very entertaining stuff too. Be sure you didn’t miss anything this week, and don’t forget to take a look at the videos! Guaranteed smiles!

Check Out Sally’s Weekly RoundUp Post HERE

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Suzanne Cottrell

It’s time for the first Ten Things post of 2022, and I know you’ll help me welcome my guest, author Suzanne Cottrell, who will get things off to a great start for us this year. Suzanne, the floor is yours!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Suzanne Cottrell

  1. At age 65, I completed a tree top obstacle course consisting of 41 obstacles and 5 zip lines.    The biggest challenge was stepping off the platforms for the zip lines; but once in the air, the  experiences were exhilarating.
  2. Although I did not acquire my private pilot’s license, I did fly solo in a Cessna 150 and later wrote a story, “Calm Down,” about the experience.
  3. I spent several summers as a camp counselor and swimming instructor in western New York, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
  4. In October, 2021, I celebrated 25 years of being cancer-free. I’m a breast cancer survivor and now thriver.
  5. One afternoon I discovered a groundhog sleeping in the fork of an oak tree. I didn’t know groundhogs could climb trees. That’s another story, “Up a Tree,” yet to be published.
  6. Two treats I love to enjoy, especially on my birthday, are Boston cream pie and homemade chocolate ice cream.
  7. I love baseball. Growing up, I enjoyed attending Cincinnati Reds’ games with my maternal grandfather, who had played semi-professional baseball. Now I’m a big fan of the MinorLeague Durham Bulls, Triple-A affiliate for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  8. My sneezes come in triplets, occasionally quadruplets.
  9. As a child, I grew up in Oxford, Ohio. Since 1987, I’ve lived in rural Granville County, and my mailing address is Oxford, North Carolina. I have to be careful when addressing envelopes to friends.
  10. Some of my favorite authors are Mary Oliver (poetry), Mary Stewart and Kristin Hannah (fiction), and Sy Montgomery (nonfiction).

Author Suzanne Cottrell

Suzanne Cottrell, a buckeye by birth, lives with her husband in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired history and special ed. teacher, her interests include reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates. She enjoys researching history and culture and loves nature and its sensory stimuli. She particularly likes to write and experiment with poetry and flash fiction, as well as working on collaborative projects, especially with her daughter.

Her work has appeared in numerous online and print journals and anthologies, such as the Best Emerging Poets Series, The Avocet, Poetry Quarterly, Plum Tree Tavern, Parks and Points, The Pangolin Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Three Line Poetry, Inwood Indiana Press anthologiesPersonal Story Publishing Project anthologies, Proverse Hong Kong Poetry Prize Mingled Voices anthologies, Nailpolish Stories, Quail Bell Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Gifts of the Seasons, Autumn and Winter; Gifts of the Seasons, Spring and Summer; and Scarred Resilience, published by Kelsay Books. She was the recipient of the 2017 Rebecca Lard Award for Poetry Quarterly (Prolific Press).


You can buy Suzanne’s Books by Clicking on the Covers Below


You can find Suzanne on social media here:
Website
LinkedIn
Email: cottrell_suzanne@yahoo.com

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New! (or, How I Felt Friday Night)

It’s good to remember that we aren’t the first folks trying to speak to the hearts, minds, and souls of others. Some of the truest words ever consigned to paper came long before our arrival on the scene. I think Alfred Lord Tennyson’s words above prove that quite eloquently, especially for the demise of 2021. As he says in his classic poem, “let him go.”  (Full poem below.)

Now it’s time to look forward to what we can accomplish in 2022. Who can we touch with our writing? And how can we make this brand new year better for our families, our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves? Small things can make huge differences in the lives of others, as well as in our own lives, and we have the power to accomplish them. 

Personally, I want to strive to be the best I can be at whatever I’m tackling at any given time. From writing the next Great American Novel to cleaning the bathtub, I’m going to aim to do my very best. And the moment I  wake up each morning, I’m going to remind myself how lucky I am to have another chance to do everything better.

Good plan, huh? But just thinking about it won’t “get ‘er done,” as we say around here. I know I’ll have days now and then when I don’t meet my goals, but ONE day is just that: a day, out of a week, out of a month, out of the year. A bad day doesn’t mean I’ve failed and should just give up on my goals.

So that’s basically where I am today, my friends. I’m back now, and I’ll gradually be getting all my regular blogging features back up and running. And I hope some of you are thinking about being guests on The Write Stuff this year. I’m eager to help you promote your books, and I know many of you will reciprocate when you can. This writing/blogging community of ours is filled with generous souls who support each other, and I’m so blessed to be a small part of it. Whaddya say we make this year a wonderful one for writing, publishing, and sharing with each other? 

I believe in US!!

Happy New Year, and Gloriously Happy Writing!


In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]

Alfred Lord Tennyson – 1809-1892

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.