IWSG and Weekly News

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It is Wednesday once again, boys and girls. The first Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) posting day. Join us, read us, or buy our anthology. You won’t regret it.

This month I am again turning over my IWSG post to info about the newest anthology. Here are the deets if you are interested in submitting a story:

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 – September 2, 2020

Guidelines and rules:
1. Word count: 4500-6000
2. Genre: Science Fiction
3. How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Now, time for some news.

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This first story involves bribing a bear with yummies. I could be tricked with Krispy Kreme doughnuts too.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/black-bear-krispy-kreme_n_5eceed8ac5b614e5f8b6f538

Snot palaces–seriously.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/larvaceans-snot-palaces_n_5ed82401c5b61583150ba2b6

And in science news tonight, mapping circuitry in associative learning. Understanding how the brain links events to form memory can help us understand disorders in memory and memories associated with stress. Power comes from understanding. I heart science!

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200508112903.htm

That’s all for me tonight. I’ll see you in seven.

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Week Off

I’m taking a break. I’ll see you in two weeks.

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Weekly News

Welcome back one and all! It is Wednesday yet again. A weird and wild Wednesday, as is the nature of days in 2020. Weird days deserve music.

This song reminds me of when I was young. It’s also a part of my current WIP playlist. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/TxrwImCJCqk?list=RDTxrwImCJCqk

I heart Billie Eilish’s music. https://youtu.be/TxrwImCJCqk?list=RDTxrwImCJCqk

Who can go wrong with a song with my boys? I love Supernatural (older seasons), and I enjoy the heck out of this song. https://youtu.be/P9vIhGMtAHE

That’s all for tonight. Stay healthy and I’ll see you in seven.

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IWSG and Weekly News

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Welcome back, boys and girls. Another month has come and gone which means it is time once again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). We are the preeminent group of nervous Nellies, shaky Susans, and anxious Alexes. Don’t miss out. 🙂

The co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Chemist Ken, and me. 

The optional question is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

I’m not very ritualistic per se, but I do have habits. One of my most important habits is how and when I write. When I’m drafting, I can’t sit for hours and write brand new words. I need time to think and time to let my mind wander. So, I tend to chunk write when I’m in first draft. I will write for thirty minutes or so, setting a word count goal, and then I will do something else. I might workout, eat a meal, or  watch a show. When I come back after that one, two, or three-hour break, I can add more words. Today, for instance, I did four sprints, adding 300 words each time. It’s a habit that seems to allow greater inspiration to power up my perspiration, and it is, ultimately, how I achieve the greatest number of words.

When revising or editing, on the other hand, I need longer chunks. I can sit for two, three, or even four hours rewriting a scene or tearing it apart. Deep concentration is what I need when I’m editing, not inspiration, so I schedule my writing sessions accordingly. Again, work habits, not rituals, but I do swear by them.

Before I move on to the news today, I want to share the excitement of IWSG’s newest anthology Voyagers: The Third Ghost. It is now available from Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Goodreads. Pick your copy up today.

Voyagers The Third Ghost

 

Now, it’s time for the news.

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This first story is a hint of fun in an otherwise sad experience. Lock downs worldwide are testing even the strongest of us. If you must get caught breaking the rules, though, it’s best to have the enforcers come dressed as Star Wars characters.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/darth-vader-coronavirus-philippines_n_5eb03394c5b64d204964088e

Another story about lock down, but this story has a hero who provides the damsel in distress with a bunch of beer. Good on you, Coors.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/olive-veronesi-i-need-more-coors-light_n_5e94c962c5b6cc788ead7639

And in science news, tipsy elephants. Blame it on the genes. 🙂

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/why-mammals-elephants-armadillos-might-get-drunk-easily

That’s all for me tonight. I’ll see you again in a little over seven.

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Weekly News

Welcome back! It’s yet another lockdown Wednesday in my neck of the woods. I hope you all are staying healthy whether you are home or out fighting the fight. Since we could all use some distraction-worthy news, it’s time I share.

So, um, while we’ve all been busy, aliens visited. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pentagon-releases-ufo-videos_n_5ea7318cc5b6dd3f90890e71

His wife must be so tired of him by now. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/banksy-bathroom-rat-paintings_n_5e975295c5b65eae709e2f76

Who knew you could gain perspective on molecules by “plucking” their chemical bonds. I heart science! https://www.sciencenews.org/article/scientists-strummed-molecule-chemical-bonds-like-guitar-strings

That’s all for me tonight. Stay healthy! I’ll see you in seven.

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Weekly News

Welcome back one and all! It is the end of the longest April known to man, which means we all–me, you, your brother too–need some light-hearted news.

The owners of the farm in this first story are brilliant. I want to attend any of the Zoom meetings their donkeys, chickens, or ducks attend.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/farm-rent-animals-zoom-meetings_n_5e9dbb87c5b6488571e8a401

Sticking with the theme of Zoom meetings, lawyers trying to appear from bed, the pool, or sporting only a birthday suit. Some people man.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dennis-bailey-lawyers-zoom-meeting_n_5e95d634c5b606109f60b999

Why does the idea of galloping green algae make me so happy? I guess it’s because in addition to opening up our understanding of the unseen, it provides more proof that science freaking rocks!

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/algae-use-flagella-trot-gallop-move-gaits-all-their-own

That’s all for me tonight. Stay healthy, mind and body.

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Book Release

 

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As a special treat today, I interviewed Breanna Teintze, author of the newly released  Lady of Shadows and it’s predecessor Lord of Secrets. We talked about world building, playlists, and characters. Enjoy this extra post for the week and the chance to pick up a new pair of books to see you through being housebound. Double win. 

 

First up, what is Lady of Shadows about?

Death is simple. Dreams are dangerous. Life is . . . unexpected.

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray expected death to be final, but life, and his loved ones, had other plans. A year after being resurrected and flung into a new body, he’s still trying to come to terms with his situation – and his self – when the all-powerful Mages’ Guild demands his help to stop a deadly plague.

He’s inclined to refuse the organisation that still wants him dead, until his partner Brix starts showing symptoms – to save her, Gray will do anything, even if it means working with his greatest enemies.

But it quickly becomes clear that this is no normal plague. The situation is more complicated, and more lethal, than anyone has realised. Ancient dangers are stirring, and thousands of lives are at stake . . .

 

I’d love to hear more about the world of Corcoran Gray. What influences your choices in world building? 

I knew that Lady of Shadows was going to have a much different atmosphere than Lord of Secrets, because I knew we would be going to Genereth. I had figured out that Genereth, the city where Brix’s family is from, existed when I was working on the worldbuilding for the first book. But it’s only mentioned in passing, so in this second book I got to draw a map and really figure out what it would be like to live in the City of Gods. I had several things rattling around in my head when I started to build the city– Trier in Germany, for example, which is full of cathedrals and was an important Roman city before it became important in the church hierarchy in Germany. I thought of all the cities in the world whose tourism and wealth are based on religious pilgrimages. But I didn’t want to design a city that was a copy of Trier or Rome or Jerusalem, and that led me to the trade cities of the American southeast.

That’s a fancy way to say New Orleans. And of course once I knew that Genereth was going to share features with New Orleans, I had to have the music to go along with it.

I had developed a playlist for the finished version of my first book, Lord of Secrets, too, so I knew that music was going to be powerful in establishing the mood and atmosphere of the book. What I didn’t expect was that Lady of Shadows’ atmosphere was going to be quite different from that in the first book. I hope it’s still a lot of fun, but Lady of Shadows is a bit deeper, a bit darker, and I think the playlist reflects that.

Is it the world that then helps you craft such dynamic characters? 

For me the characters usually come first. A character will start rattling around in my head before I even have an idea of which plot or world they belong to–sometimes years before I know where they belong. That was especially the case with Lady of Shadows, since I knew Gray and Brix from the first book and I had been thinking for a long time about how their experiences at the end of Lord of Secrets would impact them and their relationship–it’s always bothered me when popular stories either don’t let a couple stay together, or act like they don’t have to do any work to stay together. It’s one of the things I love about The Mummy films from the late 90s–Rick and Evie are devoted to each other, they have normal couple stuff they have to work through, and that doesn’t get in the way of their having adventures together. I think a lot of the time it’s tempting, once you know a character really well, to act as though the lessons the character has learned don’t apply. This is why you get characters in some television shows, for example, who don’t grow season by season–it’s too hard to come up with new lessons for them to learn. So of course I had to challenge myself to not let my characters lose any of the growth and change they had at the end of the first book.

 

You’ve posted before about building playlists for your books. Can you share yours?

Here’s the links to each, if you’d like:

 

Do you use the playlists while you’re writing?

I’m too easily distracted for that. I actually have a very set, boring playlist that I write to. I think I’ve trained my mind to respond in Pavlovian fashion that the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy means “writing time.” I do use the book-specific playlists to listen to while I’m cleaning or doing other tasks, so I can brainstorm and get a really good feel for the setting.

How can I get a copy, like now? I need reading material for my lockdown.

Amazon is really, really slow at the moment so I’m directing people to Hachette UK’s site here: https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/breanna-teintze/lady-of-shadows/9781787476486/

 

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Weekly News

Welcome back, lockdown brethren! I hope you all are surviving this crazy time with a nice balance of chocolate and humor. I may be leaning a little more toward the chocolate side personally. Um…but let’s not dwell on that. News, I’ll keep the focus on news.

Not the tp. I never thought I would cringe at anything bad happening to a whole truck of toilet paper, but here we are. Times are weird. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/toilet-paper-truck-fire-dallas_n_5e84fa98c5b692780506dc73

Funny, just funny. Read it. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/maryland-police-facebook-nudity_n_5e977a35c5b6ead1400713fb

This is short notice, but if you enjoy astronomy, take note. Tomorrow morning, three planets are lining up for your science-loving heart. https://www.bbc.com/weather/features/52297136?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/science_and_environment&link_location=live-reporting-story

That’s all for me tonight. Stay healthy, friends. See you in seven.

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Weekly News

Hello all! It’s Wednesday once again. I hope you are healthy and safe. I have found a tasty sampling of news stories to tempt your palette this week. Enjoy!

My first gift to you is yummy tp cakes. You know you want one. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-finland-cake/novelty-toilet-roll-cakes-keep-finnish-baker-in-business-idUSKCN21Q2DO

Next up this week, a guy truly making the best of a bad situation. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5e84fe72c5b6f55ebf4760bb

Last up tonight, a yummy science nugget. It’s like West Side Story but in the ocean, with dolphins. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/dolphin-gangs-protect-their-females-vocalizing-sync

That’s all for me tonight. See you again in seven.

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IWSG and Weekly News

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Welcome back to another posting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). Our fantastic co-hosts for April are:  Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard . Please take a moment to check out their blogs. 

Instead of a monthly question to answer, I’m going to introduce the judges for the 2020 IWSG anthology. (If you’re interested in submitting, click the IWSG image at the top of the post and sail away to the main page. Dates and further information can be found there. The genre this year is Science Fiction.)–

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder

Lynda R. Young, author

Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Damien Larkin

Ion Newcombe

Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency

David Powers King, author

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Now, time for some news.

It’s a goat takeover.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/naughty-goats-take-over-town-21785193

I love the postman in this next story. Some people shine no matter what life throws at them.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/postman-deliveries-fancy-dress-lift-21779819

Last up on the menu tonight, some delicious science. It turns out our urine, or, at least, the urea component in it, makes one hell of an ingredient for building. Just add a little moon dust and viola. Science just freaking rocks!

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a32006103/astronauts-urine-moon-bases/

That’s all for me tonight. Stay healthy, and I’ll see you in seven.

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