Tuesday 25 October 2016

Blogiversary Giveaway Winners

My five-year blogiversary giveaway has been running for the last couple of weeks and it is time to announce the winners. Thanks to everyone who took part and left such heartwarming comments on my post!

And the winners are...

Alex J. CavanaughMark Noce and Sherry Ellis!

Congrats! I'll be in touch to discuss arrangements for your prizes.

In other news, I'm in the final stages of editing and polishing the two short stories I am submitting for competitions this month. I should have those finished up this week and will then get back to my WIP.

What's going on with you?

Tuesday 11 October 2016

5 Year Blogiversary!

Yep, today I'm having a bit of a celebration on the blog because it's now been five years since I started on this initially daunting, but ultimately highly rewarding, journey! Half a decade is a good chunk of time, and I'm proud to have been part of some fantastic opportunities and adventures. The last Writers' Platform-Building Campaign; three A-Z Challenges; Write1Sub1; the publication of my anthology for Andrew's college fund with over a hundred fantastic participants; numerous other fun bloghops; three NaNoWriMos, an event I discovered through blogging; the launch of my own editing service; and last but definitely not least, the group therapy session that is the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I've met fantastic CPs and beta readers and made friends for life. I'm thankful for each and every one of my followers, and you're all welcome to come in and pour yourselves a drink!

It's fair to say that, like all social media, blogging is in a state of flux and I've seen many others come and go since I started. I've branched out to Twitter (and still working on Facebook), but blogging still remains my favourite medium, for the sense of personal space it offers and the freedom to expand on any topic that happens to be on my mind. It's also great to initiate a sensible discussion with intelligent people and keep up with others' happenings, achievements and troubles - the sense of community is palpable. I feel like we've got each others' backs and I'm pleased to say that I haven't seen a whiff of trouble or bad feeling over the time I've spent here. I'm definitely looking forward to the next five years and beyond!

No blogiversary would be complete without a giveaway and to that end it's a pleasure to announce that I'm offering free editing samples, of either an opening chapter or short story, up to 2000 words. There's no time limit, so don't worry if you don't have anything to edit right now! I'm keeping this giveaway simple, all you have to do is leave a comment to enter. Good luck! 

Wednesday 5 October 2016

IWSG October 2016

It's the first Wednesday of October, which means it's time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Helmed by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to allow writers to share their doubts and insecurities without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Lately, we have been assigned questions to help inspire our posts. This month's co-hosts are Beverley Stowe McClureMegan MorganViola FuryMadeline Mora-SummonteAngela Wooldridge and Susan Gourley.

Today's question is: When do you know your story is ready?

Well, this does play into an ongoing insecurity of mine - getting things finished! I don't think there are many writers who could look back on a finished book or story (even one that's been published) and not think there are certain things they would like to change. For me, knowing when something is ready is hard to do independently - that's what great CPs and beta readers are for. They can look at things with an objective eye and point out what might need work when we, as the author, are too close to it. That's what works for me. Of course, that usually leads to more and more rounds of edits! Another approach is, when you don't know what else you can possibly do to your story, leaving it alone for about four weeks and then pulling it out again - for me, I then tend to see all sorts of other possibilities.

So, yeah. This is definitely a hard one to pin down. Sometimes, it's when I read through a draft and everything is flowing and connecting together in a way I hadn't noticed before. It has that magic spark. Intangible, but you know when it's there!

Check out other IWSG posters here.