Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Writers After Dark — Episode II: Dracula V Twilight a.k.a. The Curse Awakens . . .

It was a cold starless night at the end of November, when bursting with excitement, I sat down to chat with my homeboy, Raymond. It was all good and fun while we prepped for what we knew would be our BEST second episode ever. 

Well, we hit the record button. 
And what the heck did we do that for? 

That night marked the beginning of what I call "the Dracula/vampire curse" . . . and not a cool curse either. I would have been quite happy had I turned into a cool vampiress, but nope. I just got the flu. Over. And over. And over again. I thought, well, they do say the process of turning into a creature of the night is hellish . . . but imagine my surprise when at the end of it all, I returned to my old human self.

However, it didn't stop there. January arrived and we figured we'd get going with it. BUT . . .  I received the gift of pinkeye (my first one ever). So naturally, I thought, YES! I AM going to be immortal and my thirst for blood is beginning, as evidenced by my red eyes. And then? Oh my goodness, I couldn't stand the sun. Or any light for that matter. Man! I was gonna rule the world! (at night). Except, well, it wasn't quite fun being kind of blind. Not fun at all. Being a vampire was not all it was cracked up to be. Both my corneas suffered scratches thanks to extreme dryness (another first) . . . so I begged Raymond to stop the transformation and to please, please, for the love of his puppy, Zeus, finish up the flipping video and help me regain my mortality. 

I just needed my life back.
And my laptop. And my phone. And my laptop again.

And that was just MY personal curse . . . we had so many issues with this topic, that we actually recorded THREE times. And in all of that . . . well, I rather not spoil it. The story we tell in this video is quite EPIC, if I do say so myself. 

But to be honest? 
It's actually better than it would have been if things had gone according to plan. 

As Bruno Mars would say: 
Don't believe me? Just watch!

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Writers After Dark

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Guest Post: Fabulous Five Writing Tips by Anna Simpson

Today we're celebrating the launch of White Light by Anna Simpson. She's written a special guest post to share some writing tips! Be sure to scroll down after the post to read all about her new book! Take it away, Anna!

* * *

Thanks, Katherine for having me here today.
*clears throat* So you want me to share some writing tips, eh. I can do that. I’ll warn you though, I think most of us have a similar approach.
1.     I let my imagination run wild – one of the bonuses of doing NaNoWriMo is that I learned about getting the story down. I don’t mean a detailed outline. That was my first try. I mean, squeezing the last bit of vision upon the page.
2.     Don’t edit until all the words are down – second lesson of NaNoWriMo is not to edit, look back or stop until the story is done. It’s hard to do. I’ve learned to keep a notepad nearby so I can jot down ideas or additions, so I can keep moving forward.
3.     Edit in order: story structure, chapters, then sentences – I look at the overall story and remove what is not necessary, leaving gaps. I organize my chapters, filling in where I need to backfill. Once all that is done, I look at paragraphs and sentences—mostly grammar, punctuation.
4.     Send it off for feedback – I don’t dare send it off without getting second opinions.
5.     Revise until I’m happy – I revise several times, letting it rest between rounds.


Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car.

What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.

Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it's haunted with guilt? 


Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she's lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn't able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.

The woman is easy to find though, if you know the magic word -- emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you'll see what I mean. :-)


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Peace Out! . . . (IWSG — 29)

New year, new goals, new frame of mind . . .

BUT I don't call them resolutions. For in the past, most of my resolutions have failed. I haven't done those in years. However, I've become fond of the word "intentions" and that's what I go with. 

I won't bore you with my list though. Instead, I'll share what I think we could all benefit from in 2016—as writers! Things I'll say, "peace out" or "don't let the door slam you on the way out" to ;)

1 - "If you want to doubt yourself, do it when you're dead." ~ ME. 

I'm making this my new motto, and in its honor, I say: Let's say goodbye to self-doubt—my biggest enemy. Not to insecurity, though, because that is impossible, but even through that, KNOW that you're capable and WILL get to the happy ending you wanted. Just keep pushing and keep writing!

2 - Let go of all the promises you didn’t keep in 2015. Holding on to that guilt won't help! Either make it a 2016 to-do and act toward it OR forgive yourself. 

3- You know that need for validation? . . . And I'm probably talking to myself here—let's kick it to the curb. We all need validation every now and then, but we don’t have to constantly pursue it. Just try and remember how far you've come and know your own opinion is good enough. As long as we keep writing, we're doing GREAT!

4 - Look at yourself in the mirror and say bye to all the flaws you think are there—both physical and internal. Self-confidence and loving yourself is important for a proper frame of mind in writing, so yes, this applies. Like who you are! I mean, I like you . . . so you're obviously great. I rest my case.

5 - Let's eliminate all thoughts that this year will be the same as last. We have thousands of words to write! Ans what does that mean? It means we have an insane amount of amazing possibilities waiting for us! Both in the fiction world and in the real world. Though as a writer, I suppose there's probably no difference in worlds . . . which makes it both scary and exciting! ;)

What are you saying bye to this year?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.