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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Editing Hacks: How To Read Your Work With Fresh Eyes

Some easy ways to look at your manuscript with fresh eyes. I know for a fact that when I upload my chapters to my beta blog and read through them there, I see things I didn’t see in the doc file. Maybe some of these ideas will help you revise before sending your work off to your editor.

K.M. Allan

While being able to pick up typos and Google the answer to any grammatical question is a modern godsend for writers, the one technological advance I’d like to have is the ability to see my work with fresh eyes.

Short of a future app that makes it possible, or a clichéd amnesic related accident, I’ll never be able to unread something that I’ve read (what feels like) a million times. This greatly limits my ability to edit without mercy. But where there is a will, there is a way, and here are some hacks that at least try to fake fresh eyes.

Change The Font

Simple yet effective, changing the font for your manuscript mixes it up in your brain. Different colors can’t hurt either, just don’t spend all day switching between Helvetica and Comic Sans and forget to actually do some editing. A totally different font to the one…

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Last Chance to Register! #TeaWithTheAuthor at #DeBaryHall

Hope those of you who live in area will consider joining me for this always-fun event! If you want to come, you must reserve your seat as soon as possible, no later than Monday morning, 12/4.

Here’s the scoop!

Recap: The $25 charge includes catered lunch, my custom-blended teas (named for characters in my books), a reading and Q&A session, and a signed copy (your choice) of one of my books.

Reservations should be made as soon as possible (no later than Monday morning), so we know how many lunches to order. Call Tracy at 386-668-3840 or email at and reserve your place today!

Can’t wait to see you then!

I’ll Be MIA for a Day or Two

My dental appointment resulted in some unexpected issues, including an extraction and bone graft, and I’m definitely not feeling well today. Between pain meds and . . . well, PAIN . . . I’m probably going to have to do some serious thinning of my latest emails later, as I won’t be able to keep up until I’m feeling better. Will get back to those I can handle as soon as I’m able. Thanks for understanding.

The Emissary (A Riverbend Spinoff Novella) by @MarciaMeara #Fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

Oh, how I love waking up to a great review, and Cathy’s review of The Emissary on Between the Lines is definitely starting my day off with a big smile! Hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out, and share it with the Immediate World! THANKS to you guys, and to Cathy! 😀

Between the Lines ~ Books’n’Stuff

Author: Marcia Meara

Kindle Edition

Category: Fantasy, Book Review, Books

Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

We were introduced briefly to Gabe Angelino, otherwise known as Jake, when he appeared in Hunter Painter’s life at just the right moment. Willow Green wasn’t far off the mark, thinking he was an angel. But Azrael, Jake’s boss, isn’t too pleased with…

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Cyber Monday ~ Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

Some great gift ideas for the writers in your life in today’s Story Empire blog post from Joan Hall. Check it out! 🙂

Story Empire

Hi, SE readers. Joan here today on this Monday after Thanksgiving, AKA Cyber Monday. Hope all of you in the US had a wonderful holiday and for those of you brave enough to fight the Black Friday crowds, I hope you survived relatively unscathed.

I’m not a shopper. I don’t like crowds and I’m not one to window shop. I go only if I need something, get what I want, and leave the stores as soon as possible. (My husband loves that.) However, online shopping is another matter.

Speaking of which, Christmas is just around the corner and I thought it would be fun to quiz my fellow SE authors on what they thought are the best gifts for authors. Needless to say, we came up with a few ideas. (Of note, whenever I post a link, I don’t have any affiliation with the site and receive no monetary compensation…

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