Heads Up!

Just want to let you folks know that tomorrow is the date when WordPress is going to make their new editor our default. I don’t like it. I have continued to use the Classic editor. Now their notification says the Classic editor will still be an option (presumably not our default, but an option). I hope this is true. If not, and I disappear for a day or two, it will be because I’m trying to learn how to use the new one. Under protest, definitely, but if they take my options away, I’ll do my best. 

They have said the Classic editor would continue to be an option for two more years, so I’m counting on that saving my bacon until I am forced to learn how to deal with it. (As if I have time for yet another distraction.) But if that’s how it’s going to be, I’ll figure it out. I just do NOT have time to deal with it over the next few days.

Again, I will do my best to post, especially by Tuesday, so I can continue our Peace Talks Countdown posts. And I’m hoping to do a #FirstLineFriday this week. But all depends on whether I still have my options available. 

Wish me luck! 😀

The Building Blocks of Story: Sequels

Staci Troilo is back on Store Empire today with another of her great Building Blocks of Story posts, this time on the usage of scenes and sequels. I find this concept extremely interesting, and encourage you to stop by to check it out for yourself. I think you’ll be glad you did, and will want to share it all over the place. Thanks, and thanks to Staci for helping us learn to be better at the craft of writing. 🙂 ❤

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Last time, we discussed Dwight Swain’s concepts of scenes. (If you missed that post, you can find it here. You can also find the earlier introductory post on both scenes and sequels here.) Remember, a chapter’s scenes can be one of two things, a scene or a sequel. Today, we’re going to go deeper into the concept of sequels.

What is a sequel?

Sequels are the “reactive” units of a story. They include reactions, dilemmas, and decisions. Sequels must contain all three items before advancing to the following scene. Why? Without each, there isn’t a proper resolution and the sequel doesn’t work. Also, this is the time to give your reader a breather. The scene is all about motion, energy, drive. It’s fast-paced. But readers can’t sustain a prolonged adrenaline rush. The slower downtime of a sequel is critical for…

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Case Study: The Mandalorian

C. S. Boyack has a terrific post on Story Empire today! Check out Case Study: The Mandalorian for a detailed explanation of how much you can learn from film and tv to make your writing stronger. I’m filing this one away for future reference. You might want to do so, as well. And as always, please consider passing this along on social media so others can benefit, too. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for an entertaining, simple to understand writing lesson. 🙂

Story Empire

Hi gang! Craig here with you today. Every once in a while I like to pick something apart for the sake of a writing study. I always use film because more people are likely to have seen what I’m discussing.

I’ve never done this with a television series before, so we’ll see how it goes because there is no end in sight. I was feeling bad during lockdown, because I hadn’t binge watched anything, so I rewatched The Mandalorian. If this post is going to spoil something for you, stop here.

This series is eight episodes long, so far. That means every episode is 12.5% of the total. Keep this in mind as we go along.

There are two immediate lessons that come to mind for authors. First, don’t drown the audience in back story. Second, hold some things back.

We don’t follow Mando from childhood and learn all about…

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Attention Dresdenphiles, Everywhere! Only 7 More Weeks Until #PeaceTalks Arrives!

Happy Tewe’s Day, Everybody! Guess what? We’re another week closer to the release of the long-awaited and greatly anticipated Peace Talks, Book 16 of the Dresden Files series! Yep, only seven more weeks to go, and my doesn’t the time just fly by? Yeah. Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning! Tick …….. tock.   Tick …….. tock. You get the idea. BUT, we are closer, so for that I’m going to be grateful. And I’m going to share some things with you that interested me. Hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

First, I thought maybe it would be appropriate to talk about the man who created Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Wizard Extraordinaire. That would be Jim Butcher, of course. I will admit that over the last six years, I’ve given serious thought to tracking Jim Butcher down and smacking him with a pizza so old and stale, even Toot-Toot the fairy wouldn’t touch it. However, I am too much in awe of his prodigious writing talent to do such a thing. Instead, I gnashed my teeth and bit my nails in silence, waiting, waiting, waiting for the day he would send forth the 16th installment of my favorite series of all time.  And finally, that day is drawing near!

For those of you who haven’t read his work, or followed his blog,
or seen him at a signing, this is what Jim Butcher looks like:

Or  maybe it’s more like this?

Unless, of course, it’s really more along these lines?

Hmmm. A man of many faces.
Well, one thing for sure,
Harry Dresden is obviously his alter-ego.
They could be twins separated at birth! See?
Here, he poses with a wizardly weapon,
and his
genuine Foo Dog, Mouse!


Butcher wrote the first book in The Dresden Files—about a professional wizard, named Harry Dresden, in modern-day Chicagoas an exercise for a writing course in 1996 at the age of 25. Storm Front, the first novel in The Dresden Files, was picked up by Roc/Penguin Books for publishing. It was released as a paperback in April  2000Fool Moon followed nine months later on January 1, 2001, and the third book, Grave Peril, was published in September 2001. Thereafter, the release schedule slowed, with Summer Knight appearing on September 3, 2002. The fifth and sixth books, Death Masks and Blood Rites, appeared in August 2003 and 2004, respectively.  

For several years, you could pretty much count on a new Dresden Files book every year or so, until Skin Game (#15) was released in 2014. Then the drought began. Yes, I know there were graphic novels being written, and short stories (most of which are absolutely fantastic) appearing in various anthologies, and loads of other things going on in his life. (He is also the author of the Codex Alera series, a fantasy I quite enjoyed, and The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Book 1 of a new fantasy series that I hope will be continued.)

And those are all great things. BUT.  Harry disappeared for a very long time. I thought perhaps–unbeknownst to his fans–my favorite wizard had been yanked into the Nevernever and left there to wander lost and lonely as a cloud until the end of days! Happily, as we now know, he’s back! Thus my series of posts wherein the countdown of the weeks continues and I dance around all excited, while generally acting like a looney tunes.


On that note, I’m moving along to share a new meme I made this week. Hope you enjoy it. It’s one of my favorite pictures and quotes, out of many!






Welp, that’s it for today, folks! I’ll be back next Tuesday with a brand new countdown update, more images and characters, and anything else I can think of you might enjoy! Hope to see you then!  



My Featured Post on Story Empire today – #WhyWriteWrong? –

Hope some of you guys will stop by Story Empire today (in between cookouts and other celebrations) and check out my post in my #WhyWriteWrong? series. Would love to see you there, as I explain the correct usage of a couple more words I often see misused. Also, please consider passing the post along in case others might find it helpful, too. THANKS! And HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

#WhyWriteWrong on Story Empire


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 17th – 23rd May 2020 – Rainbow Fairies, Sound of Music, Books, Guests and Funnies

An extra-fantastic Weekly Round Up from Sally Cronin on her Smorgasbord blog today! Stop by and check it out. (Some really fun videos, too.) And then, if you would, please consider passing it along so others can enjoy it, too. Thanks so much, and thanks to Sally! Rock on, my friend! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up with posts you might have missed in the last week.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying some minor lifting of restrictions in the last week, certainly here and in the UK. It does look if travel plans are still on hold for millions who were planning to go away in the next few weeks, and for those without plans, the prospect of 14 day quarantine there and when you return is a daunting.

We have no plans before November but we might have to rethink that depending on virus resurgence and restrictions at each end. For us a minor inconvenience but for so many their livelihoods not just this year but going forward.

Looking at local businesses there are some who have adapted, gone online or offer takeaway if they are a food provider. I wonder though if my family run hairdresser…

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Fantasy #Paranormal – Viral Blues by C.S. Boyack

Looking for a fun and unusual read? Check out Sally Cronin’s review of C. S. Boyack’s Viral Blues on her Smorgasbord blog today. If the review and blurb don’t rouse your curiosity, I can’t imagine what would! And please consider passing this along on your social media so others can learn about it, too. Thanks, and thanks to Sally as well, because, you know … she ROCKS, and all. 😀 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share my review for author Viral Blues (The Hat Book 2)by C.S. Boyack

About the book

Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

My review for Viral Blues

Having read and enjoyed The Hat, I was looking forward…

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How to Publish with KDP: Part Nine

In her 9th post on How To Publish with KDP, Harmony Kent takes a close look at the sometimes intimidating KDP Dashboard. This is one of the most thorough and helpful posts I’ve seen explaining just what’s what on that page, I highly recommend stopping by Story Empire today to check it out, especially if you are new to self-publishing. And then, please consider passing it along so others can learn, too, thanks! And thanks to Harmony for a terrific and helpful series! 🙂 ❤

Story Empire

Hello SErs. Harmony here.  As promised, here is  part nine in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from your computer and on sale on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

If you’d like to take a look back at the previous posts in this series, please click on the links at the end of this post.

So, here’s Part Nine: An overview of your KDP Dashboard.

So, after my last post ( HERE), you now have a KDP account set up. Today, we’re taking a look at what your KDP dashboard looks like, and what the different options offer. Below is an image of your dashboard area >











At the very top of the page, you will see four options … Your Account, which we looked at in part eight…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates -#Reviews – #Thriller Paulette Mahurin, #Fantasy Marcia Meara, #Mystery J. A. Newman

So excited to find my 4th Wake-Robin Ridge book, The Light, included in Sally Cronin’s Author Updates #Reviews post today, along with authors Paulette Mahurin and J. A. Newman. Hope you’ll stop by and check out the reviews and blurbs for all three of us, and help us spread the word by sharing the post with the Immediate World. I’m thrilled with what Deborah had to say about Rabbit’s latest adventures, and I now have two new-to-me writers to check out, as well. Thanks everyone, and thanks to Sally for all she does to promote her fellow writers. (You do know she ROCKS, right?) 😀 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Paulette Mahurin for her thriller Irma’s Endgame

As with all Paulette’s books, profits from will go to rescue dogs from kill shelters.

About Irma’s Endgame.

When newspaper headlines screamed in large bold print that one of the world’s leading heart-transplant surgeons, Peter Dayton, was arrested for the death of one of his transplant patients, shock waves were felt around the world. Particularly impacted was an attorney, Irma Mullins, who found it inconceivable that the man she once loved could have committed the heinous act for which he had been arrested. Determined to find out what happened, she embarks on a course of action to uncover the truth. But when all paths lead to one dead-end after another, and Dayton continues to maintain his innocence, she detours.


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EIGHT, Count ‘Em, EIGHT More Weeks Until #PeaceTalks is Released!!

It’s getting closer, folks, and I’m getting more and more eager! Of course, you do realize if this book turns out to be lousy, I’ll be the most disappointed person on the planet! 😯 But Jim Butcher’s writing hasn’t let me down yet, even if I have been driven half mad by this long wait. (Can we say it all together, Boys and Girls? SIX YEARS!! Ahem. Thanks.)

My choice for Dresden Files character of the day is Michael Carpenter, a close and trusted friend of Harry Dresden. He is a devout Catholic, and a Knight of the Cross, who wields a mighty sword called Amoracchius. 

This is my favorite fan art representation of Michael, and it looks
pretty much exactly as I imagine him.

Michael’s own words give you a pretty good picture of who he is.

As you can see from the next two paintings,
Michael is a handy person to have on your team,
as Harry well knows and appreciates.

As the series progresses, Michael’s role in Harry’s life
grows in importance and scope, but rest assured,  he never
flinches from doing what he believes to be right.

(With a teeny bit of mild “language.”)

The Gang’s All Here!

That’s it for this week, folks, but not to worry. I’ll be back next Tuesday with another glimpse into the world of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden–if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise, that is.