I Finally Tried Audible

audio books

Everywhere I go I see ads for Storytel, a Swedish app that provides books in audio format, similar to the app Audible. I see these ads on the backs of buses, in subway stations, plastered above the seats on the train, and anywhere else they can get away with advertising.

When I speak to other authors, it feels like ‘audio’ is the new buzzword. The word that takes on a life of its own. It shows up in conversations like an unexpected lurker. One minute you’re talking about a female treasure hunter and the next you’re talking about audio books. Later you look back and wonder how the subject wormed its way into the conversation. Read more

What I’m Reading, What I’m Writing

20171230_164152Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.

As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.

Also unacceptable.  Read more

Support Your Local Bookshop – Join a Book Club

20160714_130434-001Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Twitter to me is like an endless autobahn. I use Facebook the most, but I really enjoy Instagram and I’ll tell you why. Facebook, loaded with political memes, angry judgements, and a sense of divisiveness, makes me feel angry or frustrated or judged or a number of other negative feelings. Mostly, I’m reminded of that old Monty Python skit where the guy wants to have an argument and he keeps running into rooms like Abuse and Hitting You Over the Head (love that skit). Read more

What do you like in a story?

What do you like in a story? Have you ever thought about it? And by that, I mean more than for a few seconds. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things you enjoy about the stories you read?

I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot, No Problem last week. For those of you who didn’t know, Chris is the guy who started NaNoWriMo and I was curious to see what he said about writing a novel in 30 days. If you’ve never written a novel before, you would benefit most from the book, which gives you tips to keep track of word count, how to tell your family you’re writing a book, along with advice on how to stay sane during the month-long challenge. Read more

Bug Out on Amazon

You may not have heard from me over the past few months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard. We’ve gone through an evaluation process with our daughter, and I took a part-time job, both of which left little time for social activities, especially when you add my writing time to the equation. Nevertheless, within the last couple of months I’ve written two more short stories, come five chapters closer to a finished sequel, and sold a few poems. Told you I’ve been busy ;). Read more

I Write Like Who?

It all began with a question. Or, a request. During my latest round of submissions, I ran across this:

Include a short bio and describe your style. 

My style? I don’t know my style. Themes, no problem. Genres, easy. But style?

So I did what any respectable writer does when met with a question like ‘What is my style?’ I asked my friends. Who all came back with different answers.

Then I went to my friend Google–the overly-popular, overly-opinionated friend who always gives me way too much information, but occasionally comes through with a gem. After typing in ‘How to describe my style’ a few academic websites popped up, mostly dealing with college essays, along with a handful of websites offering vague advice like ‘write consistently’, and the website I Write Like . . . which doesn’t define a style, but does claim to analyze your writing and compare it to the list of authors in its database. I’m not sure how the algorithm works, but I was willing to give a try. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Mud and Fingerprint Mazes

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts, objects or ideas I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Last week Stockholm was a winter wonderland. This week? Well, let’s just say I ran across Frosty the Snowman earlier. He’s nothing but a puddle now. In fact, most of the fields around our home are giant lakes. The kids are in love with it. But you’d think one puddle is good enough, right? Nope. They must brave Every. Single. Puddle. to see how high the water reaches. Thankfully, the deepest puddle they could find, the one on the soccer field, only comes to their knees.

Which brings me to this week’s Thursday Thoughts. What am I thinking about today? Read more

Imagine What An Alligator Would Do and Other Ways I Motivate Myself

In our home, silly gets a good place. Somewhere between the hot water boiler and the computer. We’ve come to rely on it, fall back on it, pull it out when we’re stressed and a number of other clichés I could fit in here. We’re silly people, what can I say? So a typical dinner conversation might be:

Son: What is ice made of?

Husband: Pants. Really cold pants.

And we’re all okay with that. I guess at some point a member of our family who knows science pipes in and provides the correct answer, which is handy for kids learning the basics and succeeding in school. I’m aware of what ice is made of, but I usually stay away from the science questions because I do want them to succeed in the school area. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Graffiti and Bicycle Wheel Conspiracies

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On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Stockholm is still freezing, though today it’s a mild -10 degrees. I’ve perfected the art of wearing two pairs of pants at the same time and I can now do at least thirty different tasks while wearing my gloves. If I can’t do the task, it isn’t worth doing. The good news is I haven’t lost any body parts to frostbite yet. We also celebrated a birthday party this weekend, and at the beginning of the week we had our first administration/planning meeting for my writing group. Busy, but fun week so far. And now I get to write about ideas or objects that inspire me to write a story.

So what am I thinking about today?  Read more

Writing Projects Update

Today’s post is a short one. I really just wanted to take the time to recap where I am on my writing projects.

Flameborne — The sequel to Ashborne. I gotta tell you, I’m loving this book. New plot twists. New challenges. Poor Joelle. The revision process is about halfway completed. It’s taken longer than expected because last year we had a little family chaos. But I have a new writing schedule, and I hope to have the revisions completed before spring. After that, it’ll go off to beta readers, an editor, and I’ll contact an artist for the cover design. Yay!!! It’s hard to believe sometimes this will be my second published book. If you haven’t read the first one yet, click here to get it.  Read more