Grab a FREE romance ebook today!

Hi, Write Stuff followers! 🙂 A friend of mine has a breezy, flirty book available for FREE download. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share it with you. Don’t miss your chance to grab Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree. Please help her spread the word. This is definitely on my TBR!

Lizzie Chantree

Jump into a new contemporary romance read, with a FREE copy of Babe Driven

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Driving straight out of trouble and into paradise!

A laugh out loud, contemporary romance read full of humour and sizzling beaches.

Free to download 03/24-03/28/2017

Harriet’s crazily successful business idea is under serious threat, and the danger seems to be coming from inside her own family. She whisks her sister and her friends away to an exotic location to try and work out whose side they are on. It’s time to start damage limitation.

When the girls arrive at the glorious villa owned by Harriet’s maverick business partner Nikki, they find a gorgeous band and their sexy lead singer Max staying next door, out to entice their new neighbours into all kinds of trouble.

This isn’t a holiday for Harriet and she can’t afford to be distracted. She has to sell her business idea to the powerful…

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Freedom From Distractions

Here’s an app that might help those who fritter away way too much time on social media, instead of writing. (You know who you are!) 😀 Check it out.

Story Empire

Good morning SEers, Joan here. Happy first day of Spring! I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the longer days of summer, especially those summer evenings. But I digress.

Are you a disciplined writer? I admit to being easily distracted, and it often interferes with my writing time. Here’s what an ideal writing day might look like for me.

I have the entire day to myself. I’m on vacation from my job. I don’t have any chores to do, errands to run, and I’m not expecting any visitors. My husband is at work, the cats are asleep, and I plan to write.

So, I sit down at my computer, open Scrivener, and get busy. An hour has passed, and I’ve written 2500 words.

Feeling energized, I take a short bathroom break and grab something cold from the refrigerator. The words are flowing, and I feel as if…

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone! Erin go bragh!

On this day, in 1944, at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, guess who was born? Yep. Me. I arrived kicking and screaming, and pretty much kept on in that vein for the next 73 years. Well, I don’t scream as loud as used to, and I hardly ever kick anyone these days, but you get my drift. Today is my birthday, and do you know what I plan to do? Ahem. ANYTHING I DARN WELL PLEASE! All day long! 😀

My daughter gave me a lovely piece of art for Christmas, and the first thing I’m doing tomorrow is taking it in to be framed. Then I’m going to do some fun shopping, hitting the local bookstores (what’s left of ’em, anyway) and some garden centers I love to browse. After that, I’m getting a haircut, so I won’t scare the dogs anymore. In short, I’m going to have fun doing whatever strikes my fancy.

But let me tell you about my real birthday present. My husband and I have both become quite hard of hearing in our old age. (I blame it on too much rock and roll in my misspent youth.) For a very long time, I put off doing anything about it because, frankly, hearing aids are quite pricey, and I didnt’t think I could afford it. Instead, I became pretty darn good at work arounds. I can lip read surprisingly well, and I’ve made sure folks know to face me and speak loud when telling me something. So I was coping. I thought.

Then I started reading some research on what happens to the mind from hearing loss.  I Don’t want to depress you with all the details, but hearing loss is linked to many emotional problems you might expect, and just about as many physical ones, which you probably don’t. I didn’t. For instance, it is definitely linked to memory loss and dementia!  

After some more research, I knew I couldn’t afford to wait any longer, and I consulted an audiologist (referred to me by my family doctor). She was amazed at how well I was functioning, given the severity of my loss, and worked with me to find a solution.

Now hear’s the good news. A few weeks ago, I was fitted for hearing aids, and there are no words to describe how wonderful my life has become because of them. I’m living in the world of sound again, and it’s astounding how much I was missing. The first day I had them on, I walked out onto my back porch, and I heard my beautiful wind chimes for the first time. I cried. My yard is filled with birdsong that had gradually disappeared. Turns out, it didn’t go anywhere. My ears did. 🙂

I’ve learned all sorts of interesting things, too. Like, every door in my house squeaks. Who knew? And light switches actually click when you flip them. Wow. A hundred times a day, I hear something I haven’t been able to hear for years. And a few more things I never knew made sound. (I think it’s been at least ten years since I heard the turn signal in my car!)

We are going to Charleston in a couple of weeks for my grandson’s 4th birthday, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being able to hear his sweet little voice clearly. Apparently, I never have.

Happy Birthday to Me. I can hear again, and it is glorious!

P.S. Those of you who recognize yourself in this story, do yourself a favor and have your hearing checked. Not only are you missing out on some of life’s most beautiful things, but you are risking damage to your brain that can cause severe memory loss and possibly lead to much worse than that. Make an appointment today, then one day, you can take a walk around listening to things you haven’t heard in a long time. You won’t believe how wonderful it is!

 

A fresh start

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I remember when I was a very little girl there was a fairy story my mother read to me. It told of how the fairies painted the sticky buds on the trees to protect the baby leaves from the frost. I thought of that tale when the dog and I were out for our pre-dawn wander. The buds are swelling, and reaching up, sure enough the tight little buds are sticky with sap.

There were celandines in the wood this morning, a sheltered little patch that seems to have stolen a march on spring. Their tiny, glossy petals were barely beginning to unfold their fragility to the dawn, but the brilliant yellow that showed against the green offered a promise.

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There is promise in the sunshine today too. Not much warmth yet, but the skies are blue and bright, with a possibility, a mere hint, of warmer days to come. As the frost recedes and the green shows more vividly across the landscape, there is a little vernal vibrancy tingling in the air.

The birds are busy collecting stray fluff and feathers, early lambs and the odd calf gambol in the fields or snuggle close to Mum for warmth. It is a typical moment of the turning of the tides. In spite of iced ponds and bitter winds, you can almost feel the sap rising.

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I love these moments where you can see the turning of the wheel, the cycle of life in motion. Spring may slide into summer with barely a noise, but the change from winter to spring comes with a fanfare, a riot of colour. For now Spring is waiting in the wings. We, the audience, hear the occasional rustle, catch an odd whisper of the glimpse of a golden skirt as she prepares for the raising of the curtain. It is all poised, hushed and eager to begin.

It is a season of births and beginnings and we ourselves feel and respond to the changing seasons. It is a rather nice feeling to be aligned with the forces of Nature in this way, waiting for the sun to come in and light everything, painting it gold and filling it with warmth and life. It feels right that this should be the moment where tomorrow begins.

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Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer with a camera. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Find her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent.

Guest author: Marcia Meara – Attitude really IS everything!

I am thrilled to let you guys know that I’m a guest blogger today on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Please stop by and check it out. Hope you’ll enjoy the post, and share far and wide. Thanks so much!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

No!
Yes.
You can’t!
I can.
Why?
Why not?
It’s all wrong!
It’s all right.
You shouldn’t!
I should.
You won’t!
I will.
It could be bad!
It could be good.
It’s too late!
There’s time.
You’re too old!
I’m still here.
You did it!
I did.

~Marcia Meara

collage

Hi, Everybody! I’m Marcia, and I’d like to thank Sue for having me here today. She’s such a wonderful supporter of artists of all kinds, and I’m very pleased to be part of her guest post feature.

The little poem above is one I wrote three years ago, right after I published my first book, at age 69. As you might imagine, it was inspired by a lot of comments I received from folks who thought I was crazy to be attempting something as daunting as writing and self-publishing a novel at my age. I heard every single reason why I…

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Writing: Business or Hobby?

Mae Clair has some excellent advice concerning *shudder* tax season! New writers will want to take note, to avoid headaches down the road.

Story Empire

Hey, SE gang, Mae here with a reminder that tax time is looming. Ugh!

A battle struggling writers often face is whether or not the IRS considers their efforts a business or hobby. Very few of us make bucketfuls of money as writers. For most, expenses outweigh profits during the first few years. That sad reality aside, you need to report those expenses if you’re trying to establish a business. I’m by no means an expert, but here are a few things you can do to keep Uncle Sam from viewing your enterprise as a hobby:

Detailed Record Keeping
This may seem obvious, but the more detailed records you can produce (in the event of a dreaded audit) the more favorable the outcome is likely to be. Keep receipts and make notations on each. In addition, use a spreadsheet to track and itemize by category. I use headings such as

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10 Unusual Things I Know About Bookworms

Lovely post from Jenny Hansen’s blog. Do you recognize yourself in here? 🙂

Jenny Hansen's Blog

Photo credit: Hunter Emkay ~ WANA Commons

It’s National Reading Month, which is my favorite time of year, since I am a bookworm. We’re a club with specific characteristics and one thing is certain: bookworms find other bookworms. They simply must, so they can find out about more cool books.

Bookworms have been devouring books for as long as they can remember – for story, for new worlds and new ideas. Their To Be Read piles are taller than a small child. Their favorite authors and characters become friends.

If you are a bookworm, there are things that I know about you that I don’t know about the other readers I meet:

1. I know you read odd things in odd places.
If you are stuck somewhere without a book, you will begin reading any words available – shampoo bottles, food labels, billboard signs. Whatever. Books and magazines are preferred, but in a pinch, any words will smooth your soul.

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Earworm…

Wonderful poem by Sue Vincent, whose poetry is always perceptive, fun, and often quirky. Plus, this is a reminder that Sue is looking for guest bloggers. DO contact her, if you are interested. 🙂

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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To the tune of ‘Nobody loves me…’

*

Nobody wants me,

Everyone ignores me,

Can I get the writers to bite?

Putting the requests out

All about a guest shout…

But there’s not a writer in sight

*

Promise I won’t bite ‘em,

Ads ad infinitum,

Offering promotion for free.

Are they all reclusive?

Writers are elusive…

No-one wants to come and write for me…

*

*sniff*

 *

Maybe they’ve been scared off?

Won’t bite their heads off,

Promise I will keep the worms at bay…

If you do a guest post

I will do my utmost

Get in touch and write a post today!

*

Free promotion for writers, artists, poets and photographers.

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Sorry About Being MIA!

I know I haven’t been able to share as many of my favorite bloggers’ posts as I’d like over the last week or two, but I’m just in a drastic time crunch, here. Between finishing the END of my WIP, while simultaneously working with my editor on the beginning of it, and the plethora of doctor’s appointments and other commitments I have scheduled, I need at least 30 hours in a day to keep up. (I know many of you can identify with this.)

Lemon Shark recently shared a post called “Without Apologies,” wherein she addressed the guilt we heap on ourselves when we can’t keep up with our social media. Following her lead (almost, since I actually AM apologizing, here), I’ve been forced to empty my Inbox of the kajillion post alerts, and start fresh. I will try my best to read and share as much as possible, but please understand, I’m not quite on top of it all right now, as I usually strive to be.

The good news is, I’m almost at the finish line, and will be able to regroup then. I’m looking forward to catching  up with you guys, and resuming my goal of sharing your posts as far and wide as I can. It won’t be long now, honest!!

Thanks so much for not writing me off as a real slacker. 🙂 Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Oh, and have a great Freya’s Day.

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By Popular Demand, Flipboard

Are you using Flipboard? If not, maybe you should give it a try. I’m going to. Check out Craig’s informative post.

Story Empire

Hi all, Craig here again. I’ve posted a few times on my own blog, Entertaining Stories, about how I’ve benefitted from a semi-obscure media called Flipboard.

Flipboard is one of those curated content setups, and I came to it by accident. Once upon a time, I had a Zite Magazine account. I set it up to be a source of ideas that I might want to write about. All was well with the world, because I could give a thumbs up or down and improve the stories I got. I set up all kinds of things, like archaeology, paranormal, scientific discoveries, and more. Many of these made it into posts I make called The Idea Mill.

Then Zite got absorbed by Flipboard. I didn’t have any choice but to switch over. Honestly, it doesn’t work quite as well for my original purpose, but it allows me something I…

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