Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

Weekly Round-up Posts are a great way to catch up when life has kept you super busy with things other than visiting your favorite blogs. Staci Troilo’s is excellent this week. Check it out for some great links to posts you may have missed. (Great as always, Staci!) And as always, pass it along if you can! Thanks!

Staci Troilo

Ciao,amici! Hope you’re all doing well. It was another busy week for me, and it doesn’t look like my obligations will be changing anytime soon, so rather than boring you with the same lament every Friday, I’m going to move on to what is relevant.

We celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. this Monday. Man, wouldn’t it be nice if we kept his quest for peace in mind all the time? I thought I’d choose one of his quotes in his honor this week. One, I think, that applies to anyone as well as to our writing lives.

Faith is taking the first step
even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Wise words.

I’m not sure if you’re just starting out on your writing journey or if you, like me, have been at it for a while. Wherever you are, beginning each new story can be daunting. It’s exciting, but…

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#Events #DeBaryHall Springtime Tea & Catered Luncheon

Hope those of you in the central Florida area will join us on Saturday, February 9, at 11:00am for our first Tea & Catered Lunch of the year. DeBary Historic Manor is a beautiful site, simply perfect for tea in the parlor. Your reservation will include a yummy catered luncheon with an array of my custom blended teas (including Sarah’s Favorite Earl Grey, Gunnar’s Assam Blend, and my favorite, Willow’s Potpourri Garden, among others.)

Also included, a reading , a Question and Answer Session, and a signed copy of one of my books, your choice. Plus–as if all of that isn’t enough–lots and lots of fun and laughter among friends new and old.

Would love to see your smiling face at one of the parlor tables! (NOTE: Reservations are limited and filling up quickly. Call today and reserve your place.)

DeBary Hall
198 Sunrise Blvd
DeBary, FL 32713

Am I Blogging Now? Wonder Bread

It’s pancakes for breakfast! Get something started.


FullSizeRender.jpg On the left is the gift that keeps on giving.   (On the right is a freeloader)

I started this blog almost two years ago simply as a place to post the flash fiction and occasional poetry written in response to prompts at other sites. ShiftnShake is a place of literary art. I write, but not my thoughts or feelings or what I had for lunch. I don’t post cat pictures. So what’s this?

No, that’s not a cat picture. It’s a picture of my sourdough starter that’s next to a cat. That sourdough starter is the other organism that lives in my household now, one that last weekend competed for my time and attention with the characters in my head who wanted me to write; it won. Or maybe it wasn’t a competition, but complementary parallel play. Maybe, like some of my insistent and chatty characters, that glob of dough…

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What About the Voices that Come from Others?

A very interesting and informative post today from Charles Yallowitz. Check it out! (And as always, don’t forget to pass it along.) Really enjoyed this one, Charles.

Legends of Windemere

Avengers #4

To example the picture, Captain America wasn’t created by Stan Lee.  He was added to the Avengers, which was a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby creation.  I’ve noticed that many people think every Marvel superhero was made by Stan Lee, but that isn’t true.  There are some that he gained from those who came before him or his peers.  What does this have to do with the weekly topic?

With many of my books being based on role-playing games that I did in college, a lot of my characters were created and played by others.  In Legends of Windemere, I was only Luke Callindor while the other champions were in the heads of other players.  For example, Nimby was my friend Dave and Timoran Wrath started as an NPC then was handed to a guy named Mark.  You can see a long list in the back of the final…

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Updated Event Schedule for 2019

For anyone in the central Florida area who might have been planning to come to one of my nature programs or other events, I’ve had to make a couple of schedule changes. I apologize for any inconvenince, but some ongoing issues with my STOOPIT skin cancer problems have left me looking very, erm, shall we say . . . unappealing . . . for a few more weeks. Trust me on this. You’ll enjoy the slide presentations much better if you aren’t distracted by my various facial issues. When all of these places heal, I’ll be back to looking more like a typical granny, and less like an extra from the cast of the Walking Dead.

With that in mind, here are the new dates for my public events through March:

Feb 9 – 11:00 – Tea and Luncheon at DeBary Hall, $25.00 to include catered lunch, custom blended teas, a reading and Q&A session with me, and your choice of one of my books, signed. Reservations required: 386-668-3840  Yummy & fun!

Feb 16 – 1:00pm – Enterprise Museum: Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife #8, Backyard Birds Part 1: The Usual Suspects. Slideshow on identifying & attracting wild birds. Free, no reservations required.

March 9 – 1:00 – Enterprise Museum: Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife #9,  title to be announced. Free, no Reservations Required.

March 23 – 1:00 – Enterprise Museum: Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife #10,  title to be announced. Free, no reservations required.

Hope to see some of you there! Thanks. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. 😀



Fantasy Sub-Genres

For you folks who write any kind of fantasy at all, Nicholas Rossis has posted a great list to help you determine which fantasy genre is applicable to your work. Check it out! You may be able to use several of these sub-categories to get more eyes on your books. Thanks, Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Fantasy magic book | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: Pixabay

When I finished my first book in the Pearseus universe, I was faced with an unexpected problem: everyone kept saying that identifying your genre was important. But my book crossed many genres. It was, essentially, a fantasy tale taking place in the future, with technology and a tiny bit of crystal magic. So, how the heck do you find a genre to shoehorn this kind of book into?

After several unsuccessful attempts to do so, I now describe it as science fiction fantasy (aka science fantasy) but wish I had come across this handy guide from Thoughts on Fantasy before I spent so many hours researching fantasy subgenres!

From Tolkienesque High Fantasy to Paranormal Romance, this is the ultimate guide for all things fantasy. Just click on a link below for a brief description of that subgenre, examples of books written in it, and typical elements that characterize…

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It’s Release Day! End of Day by Mae Clair #SupernaturalSuspense #Mystery #Thriller

The lovely and talented Mae Clair’s latest book is now available! I pre-ordered this one, so my copy is already on my Kindle, ready when I am. Let’s help Mae get this one off to a great start by sharing far and wide. And don’t forget to grab a copy for yourself (along with Book 1 of the series, if you haven’t already read it.) Congratulations, Mae!

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Today is the book birthday for End of Day, book 2 of my Hode’s Hill trilogy.  If you enjoyed book 1, Cusp of Night, you’ll find this one in the same vein. Once again, I’m visiting the small Pennsylvania town of Hode’s Hill, but with a plot whose tentacles reach back to the town’s founding. As in Cusp of Night, I’ve spun two mysteries—one in the the past (taking place in the year 1799) and one in the present. You get two separate mysteries that tie together at the end.

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weedsThe past is never truly buried…  

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is…

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Raw Lit: From Mite to Might

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

By D. Avery

Their colors are those of Tibetan prayer flags, but these squares are not yet whispering in the wind. An unassuming plastic wrapped cube; they appear to be ordinary post-it notes. These are not ordinary post-it notes to be used for mundane purposes. This five-colored cube is composed of post-it notes destined for a special purpose. They will remain in their pristine packaging, neat and orderly until I’m ready to apply them to their designated task. For now I am inspired by their contained order while the story they will eventually help shape and organize swirls free-form in my head.

Ha! I happened to notice the word count (opening paragraph) — exactly 99 words. That’s seriously funny. And if there had been a prompt with “prayer” or “flag” or “post-it” those 99 words would suffice, no more, no less. 99 words come more easily since my early days…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Who is referring others to your blog? Guests, music and laughter

And here’s Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Weekly RoundUp, too! SO many good things, here. (Happy to see a review of The Emissary 2: To Love Sombody included, too.) 🙂 Take a look. You’re sure to find something you’ll be glad you didn’t miss out on! And as always, don’t forget to share! 🙂 Thanks!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

This week I got back into the swing of things and began the 2019 book promotions and the first of the Sunday Interviews. It was a terrific break but very happy being back to normal.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors and guests as well as the support on social media. Whilst managing the various platforms is time consuming and sometimes distracting, it was interesting to see, when I looked at the year’s analytic data, where the most referrals were generated from.

At the top end of the list and accounting for approximately 50% of the referrals out of 221,000 views:

  1. WordPress Reader.
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  5. Other search engines.

The other 50% were referrals from individual bloggers.

This confirms a few things to me:

  1. That WordPress Reader is a very powerful promotional tool for…

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