A Writing Confession

We haven’t written anything in 3 days! That’s saying something for us. We always write something, even if it’s only a paragraph or just a sentence. But, it’s been 3 days since either of us have wanted to write. Sometimes, although we love to write, we need to take a break from it. While we’ve taken this break, it feels as if we’re a little more refreshed and focused now.

Life is supposed to be enjoyable, and so is writing. But when writing starts to feel like something else, one needs to take a break from it and reflect on why it’s feeling different. Writing, for us, isn’t supposed to feel like a chore, not when we’ve always loved writing and creating new worlds and people. However, writing had started to feel like it was something we HAD to do, and it’s because we lost focus. We were focusing more on the end result than on the enjoyable process of creating and writing. We were starting to write for other people. That’s something neither of us have ever wanted to do. We want to write the stories we want to write, not what we think others want us to. The reason we write for ourselves is because we know not everyone is going to like our stories or the way we write. That’s okay as long as we like it.

On a side note, it’s also nice to know there are people out there who enjoy our stories. We are fortunate enough to have a few fans who absolutely love our stories and we always look forward to hearing from them. We also enjoy hearing from others who have stumbled across one of our novels.

Now that we refocused our priorities again, the pages and stories are coming easier again. Thank goodness! Hopefully, we won’t slip again.  I’m not saying that we won’t. We’re only human. The important thing is we try not to lose our focus and that we continue to enjoy doing what we do.

A note to other writers out there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Writing is hard enough without the extra harsh criticism coming from ourselves. It’s okay to be critical of your own work, but don’t become so critical of it, you start to hate doing what you do. Chances are, even if you go over your manuscript a thousand times, there’s going to be some mistake in there that someone will point out. It’s okay. I’ve read a few traditionally published books that had several mistakes in them. I’ve read indie books with only one or two. It all depends on the editor. Mistakes happen and are easily overlooked sometimes. Just remember to enjoy yourself. Life is too short for anything less.

 

Book Review: To Catch a Bad Guy

To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1) by [Astor, Marie]

2 out of 5 stars

Oh my gosh, where to begin? There was so much about this book that I didn’t care for. Too much character background that bogged down the story, not enough of a plot line to even be considered a story, and a whole bunch of boring.

Janet Maple, the main character in this books, seems like all she can do is whine. It was so irritating to keep reading. I’m not even certain why I continued to do so. Dennis Walker, a guy trying to uncover fraud, isn’t any better. He knows he’s good looking and can get girls and blah, blah, blah… Tom Wyman, the lawyer, Bostoff’s securities hires to cover their tracks, also knows this. To me Tom and Dennis are basically the same guy, only one is trying to catch bad buys and the other is a bad guy. That was the only difference in character.  Lisa Foley, supposedly Janet’s friend, is a self-centered, money grubbing lady. Jon Bostoff, is also greedy and decided to go into questionable business just so he can up his social standing. Oh and everyone seems to be on a diet and trim or fit. I felt as if the characters were really one dimensional.

 

 

Book Review: Loss of Reason

Loss Of Reason: A Thriller (State Of Reason Mystery, Book 1) by [Maxwell, Miles A.]

3 out of 5 stars

I wasn’t all the impressed with this book. I kept reading hoping it would get better. It’s supposed to be in the thriller/mystery genre and it just didn’t do it for me. The only mystery there was in this book was who launched the nuclear attack. Everything else was just kind of meh.

The writing wasn’t horrible. That was a big highlight. If the writing hadn’t been as good as it was, I probably wouldn’t have finished this book.

Anyway, the story line follows two brothers, Everon and Franklin, who are only step brothers and are connected through their sister, Cynthia. The two brothers go into New York City, where the attack happened, to look for their sister. As they do this, they end up saving some people from the subway and some people on the road trying to flee. As you continue to read, you see the situation through some random peoples’ eyes as well. For me, this part took me out of the story more than anything else.

The ending wasn’t really an ending. I know it was meant to be a cliffhanger to get you to buy the second book, but there just wasn’t any kind of ending to the book. It just ended and left me dismayed. However, since I did finish it and there was nothing wrong with the writing, I gave it 3 stars. Maybe someone who reads this genre will like it? I can’t honestly say as the book left me disappointed.

The False Gods Release Date

I was to have book 4 of the Hartland, The False Gods, series published already but one of my beta readers was delayed. I still haven’t heard back from them…. So, what I’m going to do since I’ve gotten the green light on the other beta readers is press forward. I shouldn’t have waited this long for them, especially if they don’t have the common courtesy to email me or shoot me a Facebook message telling me something like “life got in the way, sorry I didn’t finish your book”, or “I didn’t like the book and I have no good things to say about it”. That’s two things I cannot stand: lack of courtesy and lack of communication. I know they’re not dead as they’ve been on Facebook posting things. Otherwise, I’d be concerned.

Anyway, we’re aiming for a release date of July 12th! Just 6 days away. I wanted to read through the manuscript one more time, looking for any mistakes I may have missed. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book so I’m coming to it with a fresh set of eyes. I’m so excited to reveal the 4th book in the 5 book series. Book 5 is already halfway through its first draft as well. For those of you who may have forgotten what the cover looks like, here it is. Enjoy your day. I have a busy few days ahead of me!

The False Gods Cover 2

Writing in Solitude

As I read other authors blogs and posts on Facebook, it seems all of them just want peace and quiet while they write. They want solitude and to be left alone. I have found that I write much better when my husband is in the room with me. When he goes off to the job that pays the bills and I’m left alone all day, my writing suffers. Sometimes I don’t write at all or only manage to get a page out. When he gets home and we’ve gotten to talk to each other and have dinner that’s when I hammer out my word counts and meet page numbers. It’s comforting in having him home with me, even if there are distractions because of it. Even if while I’m writing, he’s telling me about something that happened during the day.

He’s the same way. Back when I used to work, he wasn’t productive at all if he had a day off and I was at work. It wasn’t until I came home and we were together again did he think about writing. Writing is one of the many, many things that have drawn us closer to one another over the 12 years of our marriage, even when we disagree how a scene should play out. Somehow, we always manage to compromise and the scene turns out really great. Only a few times have we had to scrap the entire thing and start over. Thank goodness.

I think what it is, is we end up missing each other too much during the day. Maybe we’re odd. Maybe we’re not. All I know is we write at our best together instead of in solitude. We do everything better together.

Book Review: The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known as Buffalo Bill the Famous Hunter, Scout, and Guide

The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known as Buffalo Bill the Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide by [Bill, Buffalo]

Reading this book was more of a refresher about Buffalo Bill’s history than anything else. Growing up in Wyoming and going through the public school system there, you learn about this man. There’s even a town, Cody, Wyoming that’s named after him. There’s a museum in that town as well named Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I’ve been there a few times. It’s a neat museum in a neat town. If you ever go to Yellowstone, I would recommend visiting this town and the museum. It’s only an hour away from Yellowstone, so you might even pass it by on your way there. If you’re interested in learning more about this town, this link will help.

I must say, however, there are things in this book I didn’t know about him. The only thing I wish is that the kindle version I read could have included the illustrations. As an author, I know it’s difficult to put illustrations in the kindle formats without the picture being weird.

I read this book to take a small break from fiction books. Sometimes it’s nice to do something different. I encourage everyone to branch out and read different genres than they are use to, and yes, even nonfiction books. It helps us grow as individuals and discover things we didn’t know we liked. It helps us learn things we never knew. For me, part of life is the continual learning.

Road Trips = Great Ideas

Every time my husband and I take a road trip, story ideas start pouring from us. I think it’s because we’re forced to take a break from social media and video games. We’re forced to sit in the car as we drive toward our destination looking at scenery. This is where a lot of our ideas come from. This is where we fine tune some of our future projects. Most of the time, we don’t write them down either until we stop. If it’s something super important we’ll text the other person little reminders so we can write them down when we stop.

The magic doesn’t really start happening until about an hour into the trip though. It’s about the time we get tired of listening to music and turn it off for a bit. I love road trips for this reason and many more. Road trips help take the mind off of everything. You’re going somewhere new or different and it’s exciting. It’s almost the same feeling as when we create a new world with new characters. Excitement. Thrill. Eagerness.

So after the first hour that’s when we start talking about our stories or we’ll see something that reminds us of something we’re working on. Most of our road trips are spent talking to one another, coming up with ideas, talking about our current projects and why we might be stuck on them. It’s sad we cannot take more road trips, but the job that pays the bills gets in the way. Silly job don’t you know we have important things to write? Why must you take up so much time?

For us, whenever we talk about a road trip we know we’re going to come away with some kind of fantastic idea or new story creation. So, I say, bring on the road trips.