Starting a story III

Great “starting a story” post from Craig Boyack over at Story Empire, and well worth checking out. Also, check out Craig’s links to parts 1 and 2 on the same topic. Lots to think about, here.

Story Empire

Hi, Gang. Craig here again, and I’m back on the topic of starting a story. I also want to weave in the importance of a good notebook. For reference purposes, here are the links to the previous posts. New Story and Media Res.

I get ideas all the time. Most of them are pretty worthless. Other times, I jot a line or two into my phone or iPad and store it away. These can become stories all by themselves, but more often will appear as a situation in something I’m already writing.

Occasionally, I’ll share a vignette on my own blog, and this is what happened back in November. The value goes beyond just entertaining my followers. I have a category in the sidebar called Short Stories and Vignettes. Surprise! It’s another form of notebook for me.

This little story doesn’t even have a title. It’s very short, so…

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Ani’s Advent Invitation: Wedgwood and Wine by Sarah Brentyn

Another great share today, from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo: Sarah Brentyn stops by with a short story probably more familiar to most of us than we’d like to admit. Enjoy!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Okay, so I’m really looking forward to Christmas…as long as the antlers stay out of sight and as long as my mate Tink’s mum hasn’t given her any other awful ideas…. But not everyone enjoys the festive season, I’m  told. There are lots of folk who are alone… and they don’t all get a happy ending like Sally’s Jack.

And some folks might wish they were alone, or at least not in those unhappy places they find themselves. I don’t like it when she says ‘Ani!’ in that voice…. it makes me feel really sad, even though I know she’ll be cuddling me any minute. It doesn’t work that way for some…there is just that voice… and sometimes worse…

Wedgwood and Wine

Sarah Brentyn

“That’s not how it happened,” Terri barked.

“Maybe…” Tracy began.

“Who cares,” Kim interrupted, “I want to hear more about Tracy’s new ‘boyfriend’.”


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The Rosie’s Book Review Team (#RBRT) awards. VOTE NOW for your 2017 favourite.

Check out Rosie Amber’s #RBRT Awards, and vote for your favorites!

NOTE: Mary Smith is absolutely thrilled to find Donkey Boy & Other Stories is a finalist in Rosie Amber’s book awards for 2017. It’s in the General Contemporary Fiction category along with some awesome titles. Having her book chosen out of the hundreds Rosie review team has read throughout the year is amazing. It’s now up to the reading public to vote and Mary would love it if you could vote for Donkey Boy & Other Stories. You can also vote in the other categories also featuring great titles.

Rosie Amber

The Rosie’s Book Review Team (#RBRT) awards are back! 

Now in their third year, I’m delighted to open the public vote.  The books were chosen from the hundreds submitted to our team for review in 2017.   My team of reviewers were asked to nominate their favourites; here are those that made the final cut.

You may vote for one book in each category.  Please only vote for books that you honestly feel deserve an award, in accordance with the authenticity of my team’s reviews.

Voting closes on December 15th and the results will be announced  on Tuesday December 19th.

Meanwhile, huge congratulations to all the finalists!

Fantasy /Scifi

General Contemporary Fiction


Mystery / Thriller



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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Christmas Trees, Abba, Santa’s wish list and Potatoes…

Check out this recap of a wonderful week on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blog. Links to all the week’s exciting guests and Christmas shares, and yep, I’m in the mix, too. Enjoy looking around, everyone, and thanks for all you do, Sally!!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Just a very quick but heartfelt thank you for all who have contributed to the blog this week with wonderful posts covering a wide range of topics. Also to you for dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing.. you are stars.. Thanks Sally

We have our tree up and normally David assembles and puts on the lights and then I decorate.. with a glass (or two) of sherry.. Things were a little busy yesterday so for the first time in 37 years he volunteered to decorate the tree as well.. Mind you I still go my glass of sherry (or two) and the was invited in to inspect.. as with everything that he does… he did the tree beautifully. And decorated the living room at the same time.

Sorry you cannot be there in person to join us for a drink of your choice.. we have Prosecco, White and Red Wine…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Judith Barrow, Shehanne Moore, Judy Penz Sheluk and Marcia Meara.

Another great way to start the day. Check out Sally’s Café & Bookstore Christmas Book Fair post for today. How lovely to be included with Judith Barrow, Shehanne Moore, and Judy Penz Sheluk! 😀 ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Thank you for dropping in to the last Christmas Bookstore of the week. Another five authors with terrific books that would make wonderful gifts.

The first author is Judith Barrow with more reviews for her latest book A Hundred Tiny Threads, a book that I enjoyed and reviewed a few weeks ago. Definitely a gift for someone who loves family dramas.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned…

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#Christmas Ads – Two New Samples

These were the quickest and easiest to make so far, and I hope some of you might be inspired to do something similar! Again, if I were running a sale, I’d add another line saying “On Sale Today,” or something similar. But I want to use these all season, so I went with Merry Christmas, instead. I can see doing these as Beach Reads in the summer, or as Halloween Reads, if your books are spooky. You can tailor the image and the wording as needed. And, I made these the size of Facebook headers, so I can use them there, too, if I want.

Hope you’ll have fun making your own. 🙂

#Christmas Ad with Santa #wwwblogs

Trying again, with a  photo of mine from a couple of years ago. (Crazy Santa Lady, here. Sort of like Crazy Cat Lady, only with a giant bearded jolly old elf and 300 other Santas, instead of you know . . . cats. 😀 ) And yes,  I know this isn’t the world’s best photoshopping, but it’s not meant to be taken seriously, after all.

Hope some of you are putting together some Christmas ads of your own! Be sure to let us know if you try them out. 😀

BTW, when viewed full size, the book titles are legible . . . sorta! 🙂

Wake-Robin Ridge:
A Boy Named Rabbit:

Swamp Ghosts:
Finding Hunter:
That Darkest Place:

#Christmas Ad Memes? What Do You Think?

Decided to experiment with some “Christmas Ads.” (Hey, all the stores are doing it, or hadn’t you noticed?) This is the first one I came up with, but I have ideas for more. And of course, I’ll add Buy Links to any Tweets or other Social Media.

Whaddya think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Me, I dont’ think it could hurt, and I figured I’d share, in case it gave you any ideas for your own Christmas Ads. 😀

Wake-Robin Ridge:

A Boy Named Rabbit: