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Mental Reset for Writers After Receiving Contest Results

May 12, 2022 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

I always have to pause and reset after receiving contest results. Am I the only one who experiences this?

blog post title graphic with picture of a blank journal with hand ready to write and words underneath that say mental reset for writers after receiving contest results

Contests are wonderful ways to get feedback, get in front of agents or publishers, and stretch yourself as a writer. I have entered many and have grown as a writer because of the them. 

But every time when the contest results are out, I’m so afraid of opening up the email and reading the comments. And this year was no different. 

Last week I received my contest results email from the 2022 ACFW Genesis Contest. I did not semi-final like I did back in 2019. For a brief moment, that right there makes it hard. Did I go backwards? Shouldn’t I have not made the changes that were in the suggestions?

But alas, I can’t do that to myself.

Contest Results Do Not Tell The Entire Story

I’ve had many pairs of eyes look over my entry and the overall feedback has been positive. And as I look at the scores from the three judges, two loved it and had very little comments (one even scored it a 99 out of 100, which is something to celebrate). But the third judge. It was obvious, my style of book is not their cup of tea. And even though two out of the three were positive, it’s still such a hard pill to swallow.

Is this what it feels like to read reviews of your work?

It probably is, and maybe you have to have a mental reset after reading those too.

But keep in mind some things. What’s being judged is such a small snippet (for me it was 15 pages). Not everyone will have the same opinion (which is why there are so many different authors and books available).

So What Do You Do To Move Forward?

I’m still figuring that out. For me, I needed to give myself a few days. Then dive right back into my manuscript. Keep editing, keep writing, and work toward the next opportunity when it presents itself. Pay attention to the things where multiple people gave similar feedback. And remember the positive comments (and the fact I earned a 99 from someone!).

I even wore this shirt to help me get back into a good frame of mind.

T-shirt with the words write on

I think it’s also important to relook at the comments and feedback a few times over a period of time. Each time they sink in more. They are not as personal. And there’s something in there that you can use. After a little while, you are ready to figure out how to adapt the feedback you want to include into your manuscript.

If any of you are struggling, I encourage you. You are not the only one. And as a seasoned contest results receiver, it is never easy. But putting our work out there is never easy. Yet we trail on, because our stories are more than our feelings. They are our work (my word for the year!). And it takes work (lots and lots of work) to get them into the best shape possible before we release them.

Hang in there. Keep writing. Write On!

Denise

Denise M. Colby loves to write words that encourage, enrich, & engage. Every year, she chooses a word to focus on. Her 2021 word was Wisdom and her 2022 word is Work. She talks about how one turned into the other in her blog at denisemcolby.com. If you’d like to see more of Denise’s posts on this blog, you can check out her archives.

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Mothers and daughters… theme of my next Paris WW2 book and why I wrote it by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, women's fiction, Writing tagged as , , , ,

On this Mother’s Day past, I was looking for a pretty graphic of flowers or chocolate or a cute puppy

to post but how to personalize it?

Hmm…

I ate all the chocolate during my marathon writing week finishing my manuscript.

I could buy red roses… or pink… I like yellow…. I couldn’t make up my mind.

And if I went puppy shopping, I’d come home with as many cute puppies as my arms could hold.

Back to square one… how to personalize Mother’s Day?

Especially since my next Boldwood Books novel is about Paris WW 2 is about mothers and daughters. How two daughters (Irish-American and German Jewish) — my heroines — and their relationships with their moms are affected by war.

A topic dear to my heart since I lost my mother many years ago. I had such a wonderful relationship with her. We were so close and, growing up, I adored her. When we lived in Kentucky, she was a model on live TV commercials and I used to race home from grade school to watch her on TV modeling fashion from a local dress shop.

I’ll never forget the day I was watching TV with my sitter and we were waiting to see my mom when we had a major thunderstorm. Powerful winds and a drenching downpour. I was around eleven when lightning struck the tall TV tower and it fell on the TV station… the television went black… pouring rain outside. Telephone lines down. Where was Mom? I panicked when she didn’t come home. My dad came rushing home from work to check on us… what, Mom isn’t here?

He grabbed me and we jammed to the TV station in our old blue Dodge, braving the pouring rain and deep puddles. When we got there, we saw….

Firetrucks… police cars… reporters.

Then someone said a woman had been killed when she was struck by falling debris.

I was a kid, but I never felt such panic cut through me, such anguish that something could happen to my beautiful mom. She was always there for me… we baked cookies together, sewed dresses together… I couldn’t grasp the idea of losing her. It pained me more than anything in my young life.

I turned to see my dad’s face so pale, his jaw clenched… he told me to wait with the police officer while he checked to see–

He left the words hanging…

It was the longest time in my life, waiting….

Then the news.

No, it wasn’t Mom. She came racing back with my father in tow, holding her tight around the waist. I ran into her arms and she hugged me tight… I could feel her trembling. She was wearing a red satin shirtwaist dress she was modeling that day and she was in the makeup room waiting for her cue when the tower fell. She was shaken up, but okay.

A woman who worked there lost her life that day and we cried and said prayers for her and her family. I never forgot it.

The pain and anguish of seeing how quickly you can lose someone so dear to you stayed with me. When I thought about what I wanted to write about for this next book. I decided to explore mothers and daughters during wartime… I begin my story back in 1934 when we meet my two heroines and their mothers and see their relationships grow over the years… the joys, frustrations… growing pains… then war is declared…

I hope you’ll come with me on my journey to publication of this unique World War 2 mothers and daughters story!

And for Mother’s Day?

I decided to post this short video of Mom and me when I was ten. Enjoy!!

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Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger Featured Authors

May 7, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , ,

Janet Elizabeth Lynn was born in Queens and raised in Long Island, New York. She is the author of murder mysteries, cozy mysteries and with her husband Will Zeilinger, 1950s hard-boiled detective mysteries.

Will Zeilinger has lived and traveled the world and has been writing for over ten years. His novels range from mystery to romantic comedy and those 1950s hard-boiled detective mysteries with his wife Janet.

Partners in Crime

Together Janet and Will write the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood in 1955. They have an E-book How it Began: The Skylar Drake Mysteries available from Smashwords.

Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. In their next adventure, they will team up using the penname E.J. Williams for a new mystery series set in the 1960s. Their first novel in the International Crime Files, Stone Pub is in the works.

Chatting With Authors

In addition to writing novels, Janet and Will have a YouTube Channel, Chatting with Authors featuring informal Zoom interviews with authors of various genres. We encourage readers to check out all their videos.

This creative couple lives in Southern California . . . and yes, they are still married, and they even blog together at The Married Authors.

The Skylar Drake Mystery Series

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS
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What a Month! by Linda O Johnston

May 6, 2022 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,

It’s May 2022. And it’s quite a month for me. I’m having two books published!

They’re numbers 56 and 57, so I’ve been pretty fortunate in my writing. And one of them you might not recognize as mine.

Oh, really, you will. I’ve taken my first pseudonym, Lark O. Jensen. But it’s pretty obvious that Lark O. Jensen is me.

Lark is the author of BEAR WITNESS, my first Alaska Untamed Mystery. In it, naturalist Stacie Calder gives tours on a boat in Alaska, accompanied by her wonderful husky, Sasha. And one day Sasha’s amazing sense of smell discovers a dead body on the nearby shoreline—one of the passengers, who’d gone missing the day before. It’s a cozy mystery, so amateur sleuth Stacie has to figure out whodunnit to protect the boat’s captain and others who are considered suspects, including Stacie herself.

The other book is GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL, the second in my Shelter of Secrets series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. That shelter of secrets appears to the world like a special animal shelter that takes in pets in need, and hires homeless people to help out. But it’s even more special, since those supposedly homeless folks are actually there in a special protection program where they’re given new identities and new lives. And yes, people in charge in various ways get involved in love stories. This is romantic suspense, after all. And in GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL, K-9 cop Maisie Murran helps veterinarian Dr. Kyle Kornel, who is wrongly accused of murder. And guess what. They become attracted to one another while trying to determine what really happened.

So… Happy May, everyone! And may you also have as fun a month as I’m having.

~Linda

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

BEAR WITNESS

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BEAR WITNESS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

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COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

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FOR A GOOD PAWS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

Buy now!
GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

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HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

PICK AND CHEWS

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PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

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SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

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TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

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TRAINED TO PROTECT
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

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UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)
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Book Blitz Glitched

May 4, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , , ,

If you found out you were living in a virtual reality video game, what would you do? Dive into the world of Glitched by Tiffany Yao.

Glitched

Tiffany Yao

Science Fiction

Date Published: April 14, 2022

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 

Kashmira lived an ordinary life until an army of invaders sacked her city and left her for dead. When she awakens, she discovers she is a glitch in a virtual reality video game—destined only for deletion by the bots that hunt her. 

Dugan is a bitterly disgruntled engineer who played a pivotal role in the creation of virtual reality games and the NPCs who inhabit them. Fired from the company he helped found, he seeks only revenge.

In a chance encounter, Dugan sees in Kashmira a tool to sabotage the games and avenge himself, and through him, Kashmira finds the help she desperately needs. As they traverse the worlds of virtual reality and their friendship
deepens, it will take everything they have not only for her to win her freedom and survive, but also to answer the fundamental question of what “life” is.

 

 

About the Author

Tiffany writes science fiction to explore the ways technology shapes our view of ourselves. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she bumped shoulders with diverse folks from all walks of life who inspire her characters. She
incorporates her experience working in the aerospace and tech industry into her storytelling. She is now based in Austin, Texas.

 

Contact Links

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Instagram

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

 

 
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