Sunday, 29 October 2017

Now is not the time to study writing...

My NaNoWriMo history
If you are a writer, your inbox has probably been inundated with emails about NaNoWriMo. Websites that sell all kinds of writing advice books that want you to buy their offerings before November. Others that offer online courses about writing just in time for November.
All of these are of course marked down by 50% or more to entice you to their websites to buy their products, to make you a better writer.
I have terrible news for you: at this late stage of the game (NaNoWriMo is three days away!) reading any writing advice books, or doing any online courses, are not going to help you. Any course or book requires time to study, time to practice what they teach you, and time for you to learn and get better at the craft of writing.
So should you just ignore these emails? Delete them without a glance? My answer is a bit different from what you might have anticipated. No, don't delete them, but don't do the work either. Huh?
Books about writing can be costly, so if you have been wondering whether or not you want to buy a book or two, I would say go for it. The prices are marked down, so now they are affordable.
If the online course allows you do buy the video course do it now as long as you can watch it later.
So why all the fuss, when I advise you not to do anything so close to the 1st of November? The answer is simple: time.
All skills take time to develop, and while it will be good for you to acquire the means to better your skills, now is not the time to do it. You simply cannot learn all there is to learn about writing in three days. Sure you can try, but what will you remember? How much will you be able to practice in time for November? The answer is not much if anything.
People place so much pressure on themselves in November to write that best-seller, because a few others have done that. The fact is, those books only became best-sellers months (or even years) after they were drafted in a NaNoWriMo challenge. That first draft is so far removed from the end product, that it might very well be unrecognisable to anyone who compares it to the published book.
So go out there and write that awful, misspelled, confused plot structured, wayward genre of fantastical characters in the medieval times, with characters cavorting with warriors dressed in kilts and wielding laser firing longbows and crystalline swords. Worry about the grammar, and the spelling and plot gaps later.
Because the one thing that November 2017 should always be in your memories nine years from now, is that it was fun. Whether the book is a national best-seller or an international movie blockbuster, at some point in your life writing has to be a pleasurable experience too, doesn't it?
Hard work it is, long hours of editing it will be, but if you don't enjoy writing the first draft, when will you have the chance to just love what you do? Write!
My writing buddy 😍
So join me on my seventh journey down the NaNoWriMo rabbit hole. Put away the books, and clear out your desks. Pour the coffee and gather your energising snacks. Dust off your writing buddies and let the words flow with glorious abandon and screaming pleasure. November is here!
You will have lots of time to study those books and watch those videos afterwards.
Let the fun begin!

💜 Linzé
PS: You can find me as Alexandra Beck on the NaNoWriMo website. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Preptober...NaNoWriMo is coming!

Linzé's Story Cubes 
October is preparation month. Preparation for the writing challenge of the year: NaNoWriMo. It doesn't really matter which type of writer you are, planner or pantser, or even a combination of the two, November is an exciting time for writers.
And it is not only about bleeding over the keyboard (to paraphrase Hemingway), but it is also about the togetherness and support from other writers struggling to get to that elusive 50k target.
Infographic Source
My October is already running at the height of busyness in preparation for November. So far I have completed the first two mind maps for my collection of five short stories. I am not a planner, exactly, but have learnt over time that some kind of planning (hence the mind maps) goes a long way towards easing the struggle of the words for NaNoWriMo. I have managed to write myself into corners before, and it is a mess trying to get out when the 1667 daily target is looming like the proverbial guillotine overhead.
The last three of the five short stories are brewing in the back of my mind. Right now they are still vague, foggy plots of characters and storylines. Maybe a phantom hid inside a box in a basement of the old Burlesque club. Or blood spilled by a jealous lover coming to haunt the granddaughter of the present owner. Hmmm...the brain cells are spinning already.
Teaser cover, Waiting for Adrian, Linzé Brandon, Nations of Peace series
October is also publication month for the fourth novel in my fantasy romance series, The Nations of Peace. The book is entitled, Waiting for Adrian, and in this case, poor Adrian had to wait 12 years for me to finish his story. No wonder he is glaring at me with those incredible eyes. Sorry Adrian, but I promise it will be available very soon!
If you have read Galen's Hope (one of the Journey anthology stories), you would have noticed that the story is not finished. Galen and Richard set off for the next part of their quest to the planets in the third solar system in Richard's Choice. The second story of the trilogy is off to the editor this week. It too might see the light of the published day before the end of this year. The last story, Galen's Destiny, is not too far behind. Keep an eye out for the entire trilogy in a collection coming your way in 2018.
On a more personal note: my studies to become a life coach is progressing right on schedule. We are also busy converting a part of our home to a training facility. The flooring is almost done, and the ceiling will be going in at the end of the week. Then the walls have to be painted, and the necessary signage added, as required by law.
The courses and seminars that I will be presenting will be advertised on my business' blog and will also be listed on the business' Facebook page @MusesandBroomsticks. Courses will include a course for self-published writers (or writers planning to self-publish) that I have already developed and presented. It had been on hold to get a better venue more suited for training. There are more courses on the menu that might be of interest to you. Follow on Facebook to get the latest details.
And that is my story for this week. I have to go do some normal person stuff (read ironing) and then I will see you again next week.
Have an awesome week!

💜  Linzé

Monday, 2 October 2017

Book Feature: Circumstances of Childhood by John Howell

Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell

Available from Amazon at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

About the Author

John's BioJohn began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book's central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.
The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017.
All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John's other books.

My Girl front His Revenge Our Justice

Available on Amazon at

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