#ReblogAlert – #SmorgasbordMagazine Weekly Round-Up

Check out this week’s Weekly Round-Up post from Sally Cronin’s fabulous Smorgasbord blog. SO much going on over there, you really must take a look. There’s sure to be something that entertains you, whether it’s the great selection of music and videos, or the many writers and bloggers featured for the week. (Yeah, okay, I’m one of them, but honestly, it would have still be super week even without my small contribution. Some of my very favorite folks are included in the mix! 😀 )

Visit this week’s Smorgasbord Magazine Weekly Round-Up HERE.

#ReblogAlert – Two Great Posts For Ya!

Running late this week, but believe me, if you haven’t already checked out these two posts from Story Empire, you really should. Both are excellent!

The first is from Staci Troilo’s “Basic Plots” series and deals with Vonnegut’s From Bad to Worse plot line.  This has been a truly informative and helpful series, and you can access Staci’s post HERE.

The second is from John W. Howell and is a tongue-in-cheek look at ten ways to motivate yourself to write. (And I’m pretty sure most of them would actually work, too. Probably. 😀 ) You can access John’s post HERE.

Check ’em out! You’ll be glad you did! 

#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz


Submissions for today’s #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who stopped by to see if this one rang a bell. I’m sorry—but maybe not surprised– to say we have no winners, though. While I was hoping I’d be wrong, I was also thinking this would be a tough one, and it turns out, I was right.  I hope you enjoyed taking a look at what’s considered an excellent first line, and without further ado, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.” is the opening line of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by French author, Jules Verne.

The novel was originally serialized from March 1869 through June 1870 in Pierre-Jules Hetzel’s fortnightly periodical, the Magasin d’éducation et de récréation. A deluxe octavo edition, published by Hetzel in November 1871, included 111 illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville and Édouard Riou. The book was widely acclaimed on its release and remains so; it is regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Its depiction of Captain Nemo’s underwater ship, the Nautilus, is regarded as ahead of its time, since it accurately describes many features of today’s submarines, which in the 1860s were comparatively primitive vessels.


The world’s surface has been explored. Humans have reached the land’s highest peaks and lowest vales. And yet vast regions of the planet remain unexplored. Much of the oceans’ vast depths remain a mystery. Few writers have dared imagine what lies beneath the waves. Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is one of the first novels to envision the vast environs locked beneath tons of swirling water. As ships are damaged and scientists report mysterious sightings of a massive sea monster, a ship is sent out to discover the beast. Only it turns out this monster is actually a ship, the most advanced submarine ever built. Follow the crew of the Nautilus as they explore the world’s oceans. They will confront giant squids, delve into the mysteries of Atlantis, and face new challenges none of them dared imagine.

Buy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea HERE

And that wraps up this week’s quiz, folks! Again, sorry I couldn’t give away any downloads, but I’m still happy to be sharing a book considered to be a pioneer in the genre and a great example of an opening line.

#FirstLineFriday will be back soon, and I’ll try to have something that rings a bell with more of you. Maybe. You never can tell. 😀  See you then!

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Time for another #FirstLineFriday folks, and just to keep you on your toes, I’ve chosen  an opening line from well-known classic. Let’s see how you do. 😀

PLEASE READ these simple rules, just to refresh yourself on how this should be done. Thanks.

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at 4:00 P.M. EST, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a mobi or PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Put on your thinking caps, because here is today’s opening line:

The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.” 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 

#NewRelease – The Emissary Trilogy by … ME!

I’m happy to announce that all three of my Emissary novellas are now available in one eBook, cleverly entitled The Emissary Trilogy. If you’ve been planning to read these novellas, you can now get the three of them in one $3.99 download, essentially getting one novella free. Such a deal, right? 😀 

 Azrael thinks you really should add this one to your collection. (Just sayin’… ) 😀

Download The Emissary Trilogy HERE

#TakingBackMyLife – Or – Pandemic Loses, I Win!

Good Morning, Everyone! Hope you are all happy and WELL! Today begins a new,  probably sporadic, series of posts on how I plan to take back my life and survive this stinkin’ pandemic! Hope you’ll enjoy following along as I document the things I’m doing to get over the isolation, depression, and frustration many of us have been suffering through for well over a year now.

To begin, I want to share with you the (presumably) simple thought that jump-started me on the journey to taking back my life.  It was as easy as recognizing, and accepting, the difference between these two phrases: “Have To” and “Want To.” They are not interchangeable, in spite of what we sometimes tell ourselves. 

I found I was getting more and more depressed every day as I fell farther and farther behind on writing, blogging, housework, and more. Every morning started with a long “HAVE TO DO TODAY” list, and that in itself often stopped me in my tracks, especially as it continued growing daily. It was overwhelming me.

But guess what? If you haven’t already realized this and have been beating  yourself up over similar issues, here’s the truth: HAVE TO and WANT TO are two very distinct things. 

Sure there are things you really have to get done if, say, you want to keep your job, or maintain your health. But once you’ve jotted down those things that ignoring could cause dire consequences for you or someone you care about, almost everything else can be listed on the WANT TO page. (And some of them can even go way down at the bottom, too, as you learn how to prioritize them according to your preferences.)

So, when I finally woke up and realized I was putting an unnecessary burden on myself (and my health) by treating everything in my life as being a HAVE TO DO item, when most of them weren’t, I began taking stock. Turns out, my Have To Do list is much, much shorter than I imagined. Probably 95% of the things I was trying to do are now listed on my Want To Do list, instead.

Well, good golly gosh! That was actually quite easy to set up, and I found I’d just simplified my life hugely.  I can take care of the Have To items first each day, then move on to the Want To tasks, and work on the ones most important to me at that time. And now I can do that without feeling guilty, which was an amazing burden lifted.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’d be happiest of all if I could clear out both lists quickly and easily, but one thing I’m slowly beginning to accept is that I can’t expect to keep up the same pace today that I’ve kept up for years. Like it or not, time slows us down. But not being able to do it ALL doesn’t mean I can’t do ANY of it, and that’s what I’m focusing on now: clearing off the HAVE TO list each day, and doing whatever I can on the WANT TO one.

Yes, I miss my blogging friends on days when I can’t get to their posts when I’d like. But I try to keep up when I can, even if I’m a bit late, or miss a post now and then. And that’s something I can live with, because I think others understand. And yes, I’m also making slower progress than I’d like on my current WIP, but I AM making progress. I’d thought in my darkest days that I should just give up my writing, but I no longer believe that. I just have to accept that I’m writing at a slower pace and be okay with it. And I am.

With all of the above in mind, I made up a New & Improved Weekly Work Schedule so that I’m not approaching each week in a helter-skelter, slipshod manner. However, the schedule includes two open days where I can either catch up on a project that’s running longer than I expected, or do something totally new and spontaneous, like writing a post on Taking Back My Life.  😀 I have flexibility with the schedule, AND I’m not going to to into a blind panic if things get shuffled around now and then. It’s meant to be a guide, not a grueling punishment, and I’m not going to worry a bit if unexpected interruptions cause me to miss the day’s scheduled tasks.

Between realizing that I don’t have to do it ALL every day, and refusing to continue to feel depressed or angry when I fall a bit short of what I planned, I’m already feeling a lot better. And I hope those of you who’ve been hard on yourself in a similar way will find some ideas here that can help. They’ve made a difference to me, but I’m a simple soul, and not always the smartest about what’s good for me. Still, let me know if you’ve had to do something similar to keep your sanity. (Inquiring minds ALWAYS wanna know.)

Oh, and one last thing. On my HAVE TO list were all my long overdue medical  appointments and check ups, and I’ve gotten to all of them as of this past week. Plus, my cardiologist AND my family doctor had only good news for me! I’ve got my diabetes under pretty good control right now, and my cardio guy says I’m going to live to be 100 if I don’t catch you-know-what. So I’m already making my two lists work for me, and hope some of you will find something similar that helps you reorganize so you can go forth with good cheer and good health!


#ReblogAlert #Sharing

If you haven’t already visited Story Empire today, I highly recommend you swing by and take a look at Craig Boyack’s post wrapping up his series on Expansion Pack: Comedy. Some good ideas in this one, and well worth checking out.  Don’t forget to pass it along so others can take a look too, thanks. And thanks, Craig, for another fun and helpful read! To visit the post, click here:

Expansion Pack: Comedy Wrap Up

Reblog Twofer!

Real life has gotten in my way once again, leaving me way behind on this week’s blog visits and posts, but I refuse to give up. So today, I have two, count ’em, TWO, great Story Empire posts to share with you.  The first is an excellent post from Harmony Kent for PC users who want to know how to use Mac-Only software on their computers. Check it out here: How To Use Mac in Cloud

And the second is today’s post by Denise Finn on why writers write. Check it out here: The Writing Spark

I know you’ll enjoy (and learn from) both of these posts, so I do hope you’ll zip on over to visit Story Empire, and will remember to pass these along on all your favorite social media sites. THANKS!