Tag Archives: guest blog post

Guest Posts: Forks in the Road: Investigating my own writing process By Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler

I write how I read, in multiples. I typically have several writing projects going on at once, usually a picture book, middle grade, and a YA (and then the occasional non-fiction piece for work). Switching between genres helps keep my brain fresh. If I have been working on one piece for a while, and writer’s block looms, I switch to another project for a while to maintain momentum.

The variance in my approach to writing picture books versus novels isn’t necessarily intentional, but rather the formats of the genres lend themselves to different paths. Of course, every author must discover their own writing groove, and the following is what works for me. 

Picture Books 

Picture books are recommended to be 1000 words or less, with the emphasis on or less. To keep focused, I have to be methodical. The limited word count requires every word to have purpose. After the idea hits me, I list all the page spread numbers first. I favor writing picture books in short bursts, mirroring the brevity of the picture book’s page length.

First, I determine the climax and hook and which page spread the climax will fall. Of course, this spread is moveable, but I like to have a target to build toward. My current books all contain back matter, as they are addressing facts about the natural world and yoga. I calculate in the back matter to my page count, as to not go over the recommended page length. All of the back matter is referenced or connected to the book content, so I ensure to use consistent terminology through the book. 

Also as illustrations are involved, I think about which pages lend themselves to full page spreads and which are single-page illustrations. Having a vision for the overall book concept helps me to balance the text. Of course the editor might suggest moving things around, but my picture book editor likes for me to have some vision for the illustrations before we start.

Picture books consist of many moving parts!

YA Novels

With picture books, I tend to write more than required and then cut back on the unnecessary details; however, with novels I do the opposite. For the first draft, I focus on assembling the skeleton, which for me means dialogue and the major plot points. I add descriptive details and the “color” in subsequent drafts. 

For novels, I have the exposition, climax, and resolution determined first, and then figure out how to get there. After writing the exposition, I formulate a timeline of major plotline events. I never know how many chapters a book will have until it’s finished.

I prefer to write novels in longer strides, so if I don’t have at least time to knock out a chapter I wait and work on something else. When I get stuck, I take a break (notice I said when and not if, blocks happen to every writer). Often my breakthrough ideas come when I’m doing something else, like driving, gardening, and particularly after teaching a yoga class!

Understanding your typical patterns will help you to be a more efficient and productive writer; however, most importantly, know how to take a quality break. 

When Daddy Shows Me the Sky (picture book) from Belle Isle Books, released 11.19.21

Whispering Through Water (YA) from Monarch Educational Services, released 1.4.23

When Mama Grows with Me (picture book) from Belle Isle Books (releases Summer 2023)

Instagram: @rebeccawwheeler_author

Twitter: @RWW_author

www.rebeccawwheeler.com

Publisher: Monarch Educational Services, L.L.C

ISBN-10: 1957656052

ISBN-13: 978-1957656052

ASIN: ‎B0BCCW8T54

Print length: 265 pages

Purchase a copy of Whispering Through Water on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

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About the Author

Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler was raised in West Point, a small town in the Tidewater region of Virginia. From the moment she submitted her first short story to a young author’s contest in second grade, Rebecca knew she wanted to be a writer. Her love of writing led her to earn a BA in English and an MEd in English education. She spent several years as a high school teacher, during which she also developed a passion for mental health advocacy. Rebecca completed an MA in professional counseling and now works in the school-based mental health field and as a college adjunct psychology instructor. Rebecca also teaches yoga for the young and the young at heart, and she likes to infuse yoga and breathwork in her counseling practice wherever she can. 

She believes the most valuable use of her time is teaching youth how to love and care for each other and the world around them. Her stories share her focus on positive relationships and a love of nature. Rebecca now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and two spoiled Siamese cats.

Whispering Through Water is her first YA novel and second book. Her picture book When Daddy Shows Me the Sky was released November 2021. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccawwheeler_author and www.rebeccawwheeler.com.

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Blog Tour Calendar

January 9th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. We interview the author and give away a copy of the book to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

January 10th @ Mindy McGinnis’ blog

Visit Mindy’s blog to read Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler’s guest post about things she’s learned about the author and editor relationship.

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

January 10th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Visit Lu Ann’s blog for her review of Whispering Through Water. You also have the chance to win a copy of the book!

January 11th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog for an interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

January 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he shares his thoughts about Whispering Through Water.

January 13th @ A Storybook World

Deirdre features Whispering Through Water in a book spotlight.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 14th @ Just Katherine

Katherine treats us to an excerpt of Whispering Through Water.

https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.com/

January 15th @ Reading is My Remedy

Join Chelsie for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

January 16th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about how her graduate program in counseling helped her write fiction.

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

January 18th @ Word Magic

Fiona spotlights Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

January 19th @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

Visit Joan’s blog for her insights about Whispering Through Water.

https://bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com/

January 21st @ Life According to Jamie

Visit Jamie’s blog for her thoughts about Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lifeaccordingtojamie.com/

January 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog

Join Anthony as he shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about her different processes when writing young adult versus picture books.

January 26th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews the book Whispering Through Water.

https://worldofmyimagination.com

January 27th @ Storeybook Reviews

Come by Leslie’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

https://storeybookreviews.com/

January 28th @ Reading is My Remedy

Cheslie shares a guest post from Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about gardening.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

February 1st @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley as she reviews Whispering Through Water.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 2nd @ Celticlady’s Reviews

Check out a book spotlight of Whispering Through Water. A must-read book to add to your collection!

https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

February 2nd @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog again for a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about growing up in a small town.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 5th @ The Mommies Reviews

Join Glenda as she reviews Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://themommiesreviews.com/

February 6th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue will be interviewing Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. Learn more about this prolific writer!

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

February 7th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Whispering Through Water. She also shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about simple things to do at home to be more eco-friendly.

https://liberateandlather.com/

February 9th @ Chapter Break

Julie interviews author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about books, writing, life, and more. 

https://chapterbreak.net/

February 10th @ From the TBR Pile

Visit Kari’s blog for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://fromthetbrpile.blogspot.com/

February 11th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Visit Linda’s blog for an in-depth interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler and her book Whispering Through Water.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

Guest Blog Post: The best writing/life advice by K.E. Bonner

Preop is a hive of activity at 6:45am. Metal charts clink, heart monitors beep, and a mingled aroma of betadine, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol wafts through the air. Nurses, aides, mid-levels, and doctors side-step one another as they check orders, see patients, and sign consents. 

“Hi, I’m Karen, and I’ll be your anesthetist this morning,” I say as I enter the preop bay. An elderly man is lying on a stretcher. He answers my questions and I turn back to the chart to double check his paperwork. 

“Young lady,” he rasps, and reaches out his liver-spotted hand out.  I take it. Wrinkles crisscross his face like a cracked desert landscape. “I need to tell you something.” 

After a long career in healthcare, I’ve learned to listen to my patients. Our eyes lock and he squeezes my hand.  

“You will never be able to accomplish everything that you want to accomplish without a life of sobriety.” An impulse flickered between us, an undeniable shared action potential. 

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“Okay,” I nod, taken aback. Why would he say this to me? Did I look like a heavy drinker? 

His matter-of-fact way of speaking stayed with me. There was no possible way that this man knew that I was struggling to accomplish my goals.  At that point I’d been writing, editing, and re-writing my first novel, not to mention that I was working long shifts at the hospital, raising two young children, and struggling to keep my marriage and our finances together. I wasn’t a heavy drinker, a few glasses of wine over dinner to unwind after a long day. What did he see in me that compelled him to speak his truth? I chewed on his words but wasn’t ready to quit drinking, yet.

One Sunday morning I lay in bed with a large bottle of Gator-aide praying for the nausea and pounding headache to recede. It was my day to write, and I could barely lift my head from the pillow. This hangover is a waste of my time, I fumed. I thought about my adoptive mother, and how she steadily drank herself into dementia. I spent most of that day on the couch lamenting the loss of the most precious thing that I possessed: time. I couldn’t write while I was drinking, and my hangover rendered me completely useless. This was the beginning of me developing a distaste for alcohol. 

Clarity followed sobriety. My energy skyrocketed, I was writing more consistently, and better. I reasoned that I’d unknowingly been in a constant state of dehydration. My scale started a downward trend as I began to exercise, which increased oxygenation to my brain, and increased my energy even more. I began to see how much time I had wasted by drinking, and to understand that I had been self-medicating with wine. 

Most people are not ready to hear my patient’s words, and in truth, it took me ten years to process and act on them. These days I drink half a glass of wine on special occasions, but I write every day. Time is precious and limited, make every effort to use your to the fullest.

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About the Author

K. E. Bonner, author of Witching Moon,was always the first kid to sit down during a spelling bee. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained why she always had to study three times harder than her peers. Being dyslexic taught her perseverance and kindness, her two favorite attributes. She lives in Georgia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. When not writing, she loves to read, swim, explore new places, and meet fascinating people. If you have a dog, she would love to scratch behind its ears and tell it what a good pup it is.

Learn more about K.E. Bonner on her website or follow her on Instagram @kebonnerwrites. 

You can purchase a copy of Witching Moon on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add Witching Moon to your Goodreads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

December 19th @ The Muffin
Join WOW as we celebrate the launch of K.E. Bonner’s blog tour of Witching Moon. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book!
https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com


December 20th @ Mindy McGinnis’s blog
Stop by Mindy’s blog to read “Release the Idea of Getting Rich or Published and Focus on Your Craft.” by K.E. Bonner
https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

December 20th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Join us as Lu Ann reviews Witching Moon.

http://www.rockinbookreviews.com

December 21st @ All the Ups and Downs

Join Heather as she spotlights Witching Moon. Enter to win a copy of the book!

https://alltheupsandowns.blogspot.com/


December 23rd @ Michelle Cornish’s blog
Visit Michelle’s blog to read her review of Witching Moon.
https://www.michellecornishauthor.com/blog

December 24th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra as she features a spotlight of Witching Moon.
https://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 27th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog
Join Lisa for an interview with K.E. Bonner.
https://lisahaselton.com/blog/


December 28th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Join us today for author Anthony Avina’s review of Witching Moon.
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Revisit author Anthony Avina’s blog to read “The Best Writing Advice I Received” by K.E. Bonner. 
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com


January 4th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Join us on Bev’s blog as she reviews Witching Moon.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

January 5th @ The Knotty Needle
Stop by for Judy’s review of Witching Moon.
http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com

January 6th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Meet us back at Bev’s blog for “Ideas are Everywhere” a guest post by K.E. Bonner.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com


January 6th @ Look to the Western Sky
Join Margo as she reviews Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://margoldill.com/

January 7th @ Chapter Break

Visit Julie’s blog where she interviews author K.E. Bonner about her book Witching Moon.

https://chapterbreak.net/

January 9th @ Sue Edwards’s blog
Visit Sue’s blog to read “Magical Realism Surrounds Us” by K.E. Bonner.
https://suebe.wordpress.com/


January 10th @ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Visit Kathleen’s blog and read her review of Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

January 10th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole’s blog where K.E. Bonner is a guest for “Three Things on a Saturday Night.”
https://worldofmyimagination.com


January 12th @ Life According to Jamie
Join us as Jamie reviews Witching Moon
http://www.lifeaccordingtojamie.com


January 14th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Join Linda as she interviews author K.E. Bonner.
https://bootsshoesandfashion.com

January 15th @ Fiona Ingram’s author blog 

Stop by Fiona’s blog to see her spotlight feature of Witching Moon

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

January 16th @ the Freeing the Butterfly blog
Visit Freeing the Butterfly to read “Life is Short, Do What You Love” by K.E. Bonner.
https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/blog

January 18th @ Jill Sheets’s blog 

Stop by Jill’s blog to read her interview with K.E. Bonner. 

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Guest Blog Post: WHY A JOURNALIST WROTE A MEMOIR – ACROSS CONTINENTS by Ira Mathur

In writing this memoir, I combined my two loves, journalism and creative writing.

The journalist’s task is to find the dark corners of the world of injustice and sadness and illuminate them. The bigger job is to be the watchdog of democracies, to ensure there are checks and balances in governance on behalf of the people.

If there is one thing it taught me is that humans are essentially the same. Everyone is looking for a way to survive the dark days of our mortality and the trials of being human, whether they are gangsters who end up getting shot at 20 and buried with gold chains down to their stomachs; or priests who have lived ascetic lives; or indeed, families around the commonwealth navigating the damage of Empire.

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It was with this understanding that I began to write a memoir.

As an immigrant to Tobago, where my parents moved when I was a child, and later to Trinidad, I felt the past was being cut away from me.

My son was born, and I had begun forgetting words in Urdu and Hindi. As an immigrant to Trinidad, I started feeling the past was being cut away from me. I wrote it to remember the past and understand the present of the glittering islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where my parents moved when I was a child. 

As I wrote about my experience as a journalist, somebody who chronicles the events that shape a country, I realised that my past was not unique. My grandmother told me how my ancestor was brought from Uzbekistan to put down the mutiny in India in 1856. As a recruited member of the British Army, he was forced to shoot his fellow Muslims, something he regretted till he died. I began making connections. It was also the story of colonial islands in the new world, where people were stripped of language. The narrative continued with my parents travelling to Trinidad and Tobago, which also has a complicated history of colonisation by the French Spanish and English. That interested me – how the personal can be so political, how the unravelling of one family living under decades of colonialism can echo a crumbling empire.

The overall theme of the crumbling Empire is relevant, especially now; after the death of Queen Elizabeth 11, we can see how similar post-colonial worlds are. The history of brutality was identical. In India, we grew up with stories of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar Puja when General Dyer ordered the British 

Indian Army to open fire on over a thousand unarmed, nonviolent protestors, Churchill’s active role in perpetuating the Bengal famine, or the signs my mother remembers in exclusive clubs that read “No Dogs or Indians” and the sly inroads of the East India Company. In Trinidad, as in much of South America, there is the brutal history of slavery, indentureship and genocide of millions of native Indians. In India from 1765 to 1938. the British got an estimated 45 trillion U.S. dollars’ worth of goods like textiles, rice, iron, and timbre, not to mention jewels from the Raj, which are housed in 

British museums today. Similarly, Caribbean islands like ours were looted for sugar and cocoa. It’s a shared history of exploitation.

 When my grandmother left India to join our family in Trinidad, she told me stories about a vanished India of the British Raj. She told me of generations of women born into Muslim Indian princely families of Bhopal and Savanur. I had to infer the calamity upon her life when my mother broke hundreds of years of tradition and understand why my grandmother disinherited my mother for marrying a Hindu army officer.

There were unanswered questions. I wondered why my grandmother ended up alone and penniless despite all her privileges- born a princess into Indian royalty, beauty, and musical talent. 

As I wrote the story, the puzzle came together. I began to understand how patterns are created in how we treat our daughters and how that damages the people we love. At my grandmother’s funeral, I was aware of how incongruous this was, a woman born in colonial India dying in the new world so far from everything she grew up with and knew. It was a way of bringing tother the old and new worlds and introducing the question of how and why this happened. How did a princess of the Raj die in Trinidad? 

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The colonial idea that subjugation, cruelty and even corporal punishment can be justified for the greater good filtered down to how people in colonies viewed their children.– how neglect, abandonment or abuse is passed on to their daughters and that pattern is continued. 

Migration is also a very personal issue. At the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth, dozens of security guards were of South Asian origin. According to an Indian Ministry of External Affairs report, 32 million Non-Resident Indians live outside India, overseas Indians comprise the world’s largest overseas diaspora, and over 2.4 million Indians migrate overseas yearly. Our family was just one in this ocean of movement. So the themes aren’t heavy, but 

illustrates how politics always becomes personal and affects families.  

When I wrote it, I did not expect it to resonate with so many people across continents. Michael Portillo for Times Radio was moved by the story of Poppet, the child in the book. Anita Rani of Times Radio was moved by the story of migration. The Observer found it was reminiscent of the times of the Raj in India, which has connected India and Britain for generations.

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About the Author

Ira Mathur is the author of Love The Dark Days – a Peepal Tree published a memoir on the emotional ruins of Empire on three generations of women set in Trinidad, St Lucia, India and the U.K., bookended with a weekend with Derek Walcott. Love The Dark Days was selected as a UK Guardian Best Book of the Year 2022 ( Memoir and Biography)

Mathur is an Indian-born Trinidadian multimedia journalist and columnist with a body of writing that includes over 800 columns over 20 years. (www.irasroom.org) She was longlisted for the 2021 Bath Novel Award for Touching Dr Simone. (Out in 2023)

Mathur studied creative writing in London with The University of East Anglia/Guardian & the Faber Academy with Gillian Slovo, Maggie Gee, and James Scudamore. In 2019 Mathur was longlisted for the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. She holds degrees in literature, law and journalism. 

Purchase on Amazon U.K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Dark-Days-Ira-Mathur/dp/1845235355#detailBullets_feature_div

Purchase on Amazon U.S.: https://amzn.to/3YaoVmH

Second Chances: A Midlife Romance Series Book Two by Lisa Battalia Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

As their heated encounters grow more frequent and tensions rise while struggling to balance exes, kids, and work, a more independent Lori seeks to find her second chance with Brandon in author Lisa Battalia’s “Second Chances”, the second book in A Midlife Romance series.

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The Synopsis

Second Chances continues the story of Lori and Brandon’s bicoastal romance. Their sexy, fun weekends, crisscrossing the country to see each other, are bookended by the challenges back home. For Lori, that’s a new home, job search, divorce proceedings, and conflicts with her teenage kids. With newfound confidence, helped by Brandon’s skills in the bedroom and as handyman, cop, and father, Lori revels in a budding independence. Still, there’s no avoiding that their time together is scheduled around the competition (exes, kids, and bosses). Brandon’s aversion to risk, his loyalty to his daughter, and Lori’s increasingly complicated life in Maryland all loom as potential, insurmountable obstacles, and Lori fears that shuttling between disparate worlds will break her. After a particularly empowering sexual encounter, Lori finds the courage to ask for what she wants-a second chance to build a brave new life with Brandon-but taking that risk could mean losing everything.

The Review

The author did not let up on the passion for this second outing in the series. The heat and romance that the characters brought to life were still very palatable on the page, and the atmosphere was thick with both tension and eroticism to seek the erotic romance fans out there. The coast-to-coast setting was felt even more strongly in this outing, as it came with more emotional weight as the stakes rose to all new heights in this novel.

To me, the heart of this story was not in the character’s passions, but in their growth overall. The author found a way to strike a healthy balance between the eroticism and the emotional romance aspect of their relationship quite evenly and allowed the reader to dive head-first into the hills and valleys of their relationship overall. The way the author honed in on what so many middle-aged people deal with in romances, from ex-spouses and wary children to work details and living arrangements, the story felt more realistic and relatable to a great number of readers out there, and still held onto the passion that made the first book so memorable.

The Verdict

Heated, thoughtful, and entertaining, author Lisa Battalia’s “Second Chances” is a great second entry into the erotic romance duology that the author has crafted and a passionate romance to get lost in. The relatability of the characters grows exponentially here, as does the emotional weight of their journey together. The twists and turns in their love story will have readers hanging onto the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lisa Battalia is an attorney in the field of gender equity and a writer. She is the mother of two newly launched young adults; a lifelong east-coaster who recently launched her own new life on Whidbey Island, WA. 

Her other novels and short stories can be found at www.lisabattalia.com.

Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/lisabattalia/

https://amzn.to/3OMfLZu

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Now, here is an Exclusive Guest Post from author Lisa Battalia

A Letter to My 50 Year-Old Self,

Take a breath; you’re going to survive; it’s all going to be okay. 

I know you can’t even imagine it but your teenage son, at 24, will call you every week, just to chat, and to tell you how much he appreciates you; and your daughter, just like him, will follow her own path. It won’t look anything like the carefully, curated, unyielding path of so many of the suburban kids around them. They will flounder, deeply despair of what they have lost when your divorce rocked their world and left them feeling utterly without control. With your help, though, with their strength your consistent love has nurtured through all the years leading to the brink, they will be fine.

Yes, you will be on your own again. But you have been on your own before. You are competent; more than that you are smart. Someone will hire you even though you’ve been out of the workforce for so many years; meanwhile Obamacare will pass and you will have health insurance. You will re-learn how to pay the bills and buy a car and apply for a mortgage. You will not — that grotesque, irrational, yet encapsulating fear — eat cat food in your old age. You will shepherd what you have — diminished, cut by half, the practical result of a marriage… a family… a life ended formally, properly, the papers and signature lines all lined up correctly, except the one question they left out: Did you want any of this to happen? 

The surprise will come: Your resources will grow as you lean into abundance. The ironic abundance that arises because you are forced to recalibrate: After the earthquake, teetering on that ragged edge left in its wake, absorbing an emotional wreckage that feels so much more diminished than the tidy division by half the lawyers conjured. Can I be more? Truer to my subjugated dreams, values, and deepest desires? What are those anyway after so many years of “being” for others, giving to others?

The shock will follow. You will be happy again. Not right away, and not without loneliness and despair, but happier than you ever imagined. You will have reimagined a new life — literally transporting yourself to a new location, a place of peaceful beauty. A life of Independence, creativity, joyful in its re-connectedness to family, friends, and… love.

None of this is to say you can skip the hard work that lies ahead, but, my most precious advice, strap in and enjoy the ride.

Guest Post: What You Love Will Get You Through by Kate Brenton

I have always been a doer and banked on working my way through anything, but how effective that is change throughout life. My first hint was at 41 years old and a few weeks away from delivering my first and only child, when my midwife was packing up her bag from our visit, she looked over her shoulder to say, “You know it’s good for moms to have things to do that are just theirs.”

I nodded.

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“You, know,” she mindfully continued, “some Moms have to work, and some moms choose to work and it’s not so much the money at times, but what you get back for doing something that you really love to do, or just like to do, but it is something for you.”

“Uh-huh,” I smile. I am so naive in this moment I can only esoterically nod at what she was saying; I cannot really understand the lifeline she has thrown me before she walks out the door that day, but I bet she did. 

My son came into this world fully loaded with fire and change; his arrival opened a new era, and all change brings some dissolution. We can be surprised in the form, but as we journey forward in years we can start to sense those waves of change coming.

“You should start a podcast,” my sweet and reliable friend Joe told me one day out of the blue.

“What? I have a baby. I have no time,” I retorted.

“It’s not that hard and I think you would really enjoy it. Our podcast together has the highest ratings,” he continued. “And I could share my equipment with you..”

“What do you mean highest ratings?” I listened as Joe talked about the numbers on our one off show, and the details of microphones, and the help he was going to give me to get going. Our decades-old friendship had this swinging cadence of uplifting each other, so I was able to entertain this perplexing thought of me starting a podcast with only internal scrutiny because I knew his intentions were pure.

I hemmed and hawed over it. Crafted an intention and an arc, reached out to inspirational people I knew and the Rebirth podcast was born. You know what? I loved it. I loved talking. I loved the microphone. I loved sharing people’s stories. It brought me so much joy. Even when I had to record episodes in my car because the baby was sleeping, and there was no reception in the basement to record. Even when someone asked me how many listeners I had, and I didn’t know 50 downloads an episode was low, because 50 people was a great number for a local talk, which was how I looked at it. The podcast became a respite of creativity in a sea of self-less motherhood.

Life wasn’t in the easiest flow otherwise, and someone said to me, “You spend a lot of time on that podcast and it doesn’t make any money.” 

I was sitting at a table eating, legs crossed, fork in hand; I blinked. I felt a small dip in my stomach, when a voice inside—who I hadn’t heard for awhile—quietly cautioned me that this was not the thing to let go of. Her quietness gave me pause, even as my mind agreed that the podcast was not producing monetarily. I kept a solid face. I gave a non-verbal acknowledgment of the statement and decided to stay the course, with or without support.

About six months later, and I tell this story in the book, an acquaintance calls and tells me she is starting a publishing company and she wants to sign me as an author. I say yes, and again tell no one. If I had no time for a podcast, I certainly didn’t have the resources to write a book, but a someday-author doesn’t say no when the call comes. 

A good six months after the call from my now publisher, I have moved out of the house where I held my fork and my tongue, and I am sitting at a new coffee-table, a single parent with a book contract, immense writer’s block and deafening pressure. I keep going though, unseen and well loved hands, helping along the way. I invite my publisher on to my podcast to share her story of leaps and faith.

She calls me the next day, “Kate, the podcast is the book.”

“What?” I echo.

“You are so good at asking the questions and distilling the essence. I was thinking about it last night and I woke up this morning and realized, the podcast is the book.”

I felt a full body rush of agreement. 

The podcast began on a borrowed microphone in 2018, and the book hit #1 in New Thought on its release day (purposely set on Fall Equinox, a day of balance and harvest) in 2022. The book started as a postpartum project in agreement that sometimes it is good for a person to have and create what they love, to not get lost in the waves of sacrifice. The fire of change and dissolution that came through in my son’s birth, also created fertile soil for the lifelong-someday dream of being a published writer. If I had planned it, I would not have lived the process of growth to become it. 

Do not let go of that which brings you joy, for in the moment when you think there is no way possible, the innate roadmap of your rebirth has already begun making its way to you.

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About the Author

Kate Brenton, author, teacher and mother, helps women connect the dots between their purpose and their passion. Her first book Rebirth: Real-life stories about what happens when you let go and let life lead hit #1 on Amazon for New Thought, and can also be found at your favorite bookseller. Once a high school English teacher, Kate spent seven years in Hawaii learning holistic healing and now braids the power of story — whether in the bones or on the page — to inspire and uplift. She teaches online classes and retreats for spiritual development and inspiration. She also hosts a cohort, Sit & Write for mission-led authors.

Buy the book:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rebirth-kate-brenton/1142118168?ean=9781953445261

https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Rebirth+Kate+Brenton

Website: www.katebrenton.com

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rebirth-real-life-stories-of-letting-go-and-letting/id1451833998?i=1000581844581

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katembrenton/?hl=en

Substack: https://katebrenton.substack.com

Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-brenton

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22872643.Kate_Brenton

Guest Post: Paw Prints by Tom Pearson

The creative process is mysterious. For me, it often consists of accumulation/distillation/accumulation, sifting ideas through different iterations and genres (art, poetry, performance). Micro-expressions of a central idea frequently become distinct projects and parts of a larger constellation of work. Along the way, much is gained, but also, sometimes, lost.

There are two stanzas from an early draft of Still, the Sky that aren’t found in the published work; although, traces of them remain. They were composed of an image that volunteered itself, left its mark, and vanished:

   After the first of seven was plucked for the

Feast, the others would set up camp

Around the twists and turns of the pathways,

            Chastity-in-residence,

   And they would plot to meet and spoil themselves,

To love the murder away, but they were kept

Apart, running from the gaze of the creature

            Whose shadow you cast.

   They would meet us from time to time,

Casual encounters, sometimes taking the time

To say what they thought, or how they felt,

            What their days had been.

   One even found a pet, an orange kitten

Who would disappear for days and then follow

As we made rounds, both intimate and mundane;

            She would outlive him.

The first two stanzas remain. The second two are gone, all that mentioned the unnamed victim and the kitten that survived. 

IG story post by @talktheatretome

Still, the Sky is the result of a long process of iterative works over the past few years, different expressions of the characters, themes, and ideas which had their genesis during a theater residency/fellowship in the spring of 2019 with the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy.

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Courtesy of The Bogliasco Foundation; Photo by Laura Bianchi

Before I arrived to the residency, I received a commission from La Jolla Playhouse in California to create a site-specific work for their biennial Without Walls Festival, and so I already knew I would be working with themes of sky and sea, flight and nautical culture. My site in San Diego was a desert labyrinth just beyond the tarmac of the San Diego airport (beneath the flight path, divided by a narrow waterway) and on the grounds of Liberty Station, a formal naval training base. 

Pictured, Andrew Broaddus in Ikaros by Tom Pearson; Photo by Jim Carmody

I also brought to the residency outtakes from The Sandpiper’s Spell (my first published volume) as another set of ideas. Most of the writings were coming-of-age themed or more recent explorations that didn’t have anywhere to go yet. In the first few weeks, I wrote something to bind them structurally and then put them aside for later—but as I began to storyboard ideas for the commission, filling up the walls with my Post-It Notes and columns of associations, I started to see a mythology unfolding through archetypes that would benefit from the specificity of personal experience.

The next series of developments happened over summer, in New York, where I worked with performers. We experimented with choreography, film, and art to find the characters and describe the textures and themes, all in an exhibition at the Ace Hotel New York gallery. Then in October, we premiered the site-specific Ikaros in San Diego. After that, I continued to experiment with performance and material culture, mixing these with virtual reality. These explorations took me into early 2020 as I worked with students and faculty at the Olin College of Engineering where I was in-residence.

But then the pandemic hit, and we were sent into lock down. At that time, I circled back to revise the manuscript further, adding the artwork to the pages. At this stage, the three-dimensionality of the world revealed itself. The many previous micro-expressions of the project had rendered complex characters and rich environments—and reflecting upon the spaces in which I had worked, other elements emerged—for instance, the seagulls in Italy, nesting in the cliffs below my studio. Their mating rituals and fierce protection of their nests, their daily patterns, and the endlessness of sky and sea became dominant images of the main plot. And, in San Diego, an orange kitten also left her mark, shaping the timbre of a subplot.

Throughout the grounds of Liberty Station in San Diego, there was a population who made residence, whether temporarily passing through or on a more semi-permanent basis, in tents or lean-tos. As we were making Ikaros, we were careful not to displace, to be mindful, respectful, and in communication with the denizens of the space. Early on, one of the park residents came through rehearsals to chat with us about the work, the mythology, his observations of us in the site. He carried an orange kitten with him. Later, the kitten would come to rehearsals on her own and sometimes participate. 

There was a particular section with a long spindle of fabric which was unfurled to make the footprint of a labyrinth, and the kitten would stand threateningly at the edge of the rosemary bushes watching this giant ball of string, little shivers rippling along her spine—adding another layer of drama. 

We began to expect her. She started to show up consistently to rehearsals, but by the time we got to performance, she had gone elsewhere, only later to appear in another scene she’d never rehearsed, under full lights and in front of a paying audience. 

We rolled with it, but she stole the scene. She even got some social media coverage.

When the performances were finished, I went back to the poetry, and I took her image with me, writing her into the manuscript. In fact, I took the whole of the experience, the denizens of the space, the rosemary, the sounds, the smells, textures, animals, insects, birds, weather, and flight patterns all into consideration. The specificities of the lived experience were folded into the creative mix to further shape the world of the book.

By the time I arrived at a final draft, the overt mention of the kitten was gone, but her paw prints were all over it in subtle and invisible ways within the text and artwork (“a predator moving in right cycles, leaving us unharmed… treachery in the tall grass…”).

Reflecting later on The Sandpiper’s Spell, I realized the image of a pet outliving a companion was already a seed planted in the poem “Day Dreams.” The idea had carried forward, woven itself into the new work, then out again. Perhaps it will return and make more of itself in whatever I create next. 

I have begun to meditate on what these little threads mean over time, how a body of work forms from the scraps of previous work, how material moves forward and themes reiterate, or ideas sift and fold back together again to create specificity. It becomes a pattern for world building, one iteration at a time. It makes the work larger through the micro-expressions along the way—allowing for volunteer images that might invisibly imprint upon the eventual narrative. 

Little paw prints. 

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Author Tom Pearson Reads Paw Prints

About the Author

Tom Pearson is an artist and poet who works in dance, theater, film, visual art, and multi-media. He is known for his original works for theater, including the long-running, off-Broadway immersive hits THEN SHE FELL and THE GRAND PARADISE and as a founder and co-artistic director of the New York City-based Third Rail Projects and Global Performance Studio.

He is the author of two books, THE SANDPIPER’S SPELL and STILL, THE SKY. More information available at his website and on social media at: tompearsonnyc.com and @tompearsonnyc.

https://tompearsonnyc.com/

Guest Blog Post: My Journey to Finding a Publisher by Amy S Cutler

 When I think of being a new author in search of a publisher, I have an image of myself throwing a pebble into a pond and trying to choose where it lands on the bottom. Only in reality, the pond is really the ocean, and my pebble a grain of sand.

The process is daunting. I can only speak for my experience, and I was fortunate enough to have my pebble reach a publisher who accepted my novel. The process of finding them took about a year, which seemed like a horribly long time but after talking with other authors, I now know that a year is perfectly reasonable.

Once I finished writing “A Shadow of Love,” I decided to have it professionally edited, and I found someone through Reedsy, a service where authors can find editors, designers, and marketers. I interviewed and got a bunch of quotes from different editors until I find someone that I connected with. The reason I went this route is because I knew that if I were lucky enough to have an agent or publisher ask to see the manuscript, I wanted my words to be as clean as possible.

After the story was polished, I sent out a slew of queries to both agents and publishers. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there, from send out a hundred queries at once to only send to a few and wait. I had heard that most do not answer, so I decided to take the middle ground and sent about ten at a time, waited a few months, and then sent out more. What I heard was right, out of a few dozen agent queries, I only heard back from maybe two or three of them. Knowing that getting an agent for my first book was not entirely realistic, I also sent it directly to a few publishers, and that is when I finally got the yes that I was hoping for.

Black Rose Writing, an independent publishing house in Texas, responded first with the request to read the manuscript, and two long months later accepted it. After that it was a whirlwind of edits, more edits, cover design, final proofs, and the long wait to publication day. It has been a pretty intense ride, and I am so grateful to be working with them. 

My advice to new authors looking for a home for their story is to keep throwing the pebble. Don’t get discouraged by either silence or rejection, because if your story was meant to be heard – or read – it will be.

Amy S. Cutler’s WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR OF A Shadow of Love Tour Begins October 3rd

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Book Summary

When Annabelle flees her abusive husband and moves into an 1860’s farmhouse, she soon learns that she is not alone; she shares her home with Christian, the ghost of a poet who killed himself in 1917. Christian, wanting nothing but solitude, tries to scare Annabelle away, but once they come together while she is dreaming, they fall in love. The clock is ticking for Christian, for moments after his hanging his fiance magically cursed his spirit to be stuck on earth for one hundred years, and his time is almost up.

With Annabelle’s ex threatening her and the spirit she has fallen in love with on the verge of disappearing, Annabelle becomes obsessed with staying with Christian, and will do anything to be with him.

Being in love with a ghost is bad enough, but for Annabelle, discovering that her true love will be crossing over at any moment pushes her over the edge of reckless behavior.

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

ISBN-10: 1684339402

ISBN-13: 978-1684339402

ASIN: ‎B09NXMRHV2

Print length: 163 pages

Purchase a copy of Shadow of Love on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.  

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About the Author

Amy S Cutler, author of A Shadow of Love earned her master’s degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Most recently she was published in Slut Vomit: An Anthology of Sex Work and featured in the Tales to Terrify Podcast, among others. Her writing focus is suspense, horror, science fiction, and ghost stories. She can be contacted through AmysHippieHut.com. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Blog Tour Calendar

October 3rd @ WOW! Women on Writing

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

October 5th @ Sadie’s Spotlight

Sadie spotlights A Shadow of Love and features an excerpt from the book.

http://sadiesspotlight.com/

October 6th @ Create Write Now

Mari L. McCarthy shares a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the importance of learning how to self-market. A must-read post for authors!

https://createwritenow.com

October 8th @ Life According to Jamie

Jamie reviews Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love. Don’t miss this exciting book!

https://www.lifeaccordingtojamie.com

October 10th @ Amy’s Booket List

Join Amy as she reviews Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

October 12th @ Word Magic

Join Fiona as she shares a guest post by Amy S. Butler about the importance of finding a writing community.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

October 15th @ What is That Book About?

Find out more about A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler in this book spotlight.

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com

October 16th @ Celtic Lady’s Book Reviews

Read a review of Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

October 17th @ Jill Sheets’ Blog

Join Jill as she interviews author Amy S. Cutler about her book A Shadow of Love.

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

October 18th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra features Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

October 19th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Bev reviews Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

October 20th @ Knotty Needle

Join Judy Hudgins for her review of Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com

October 21st @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Bev as she shares a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the story behind the haunted house in the novel.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

October 22nd @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews author Amy S. Culter about her book A Shadow of Love.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

October 24th @ Girl Zombie Authors

Read a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about why ghost stories are so popular.

https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/

October 25th @ Four Moon Reviews

Join Samantha as she reviews Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love. You can also win a copy of the book too!

https://fourmoonreviews.blogspot.com/

October 27th @ Girl Zombie Authors

Come by Chris’ blog again and read a review of Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too!

https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/

October 29th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Visit Linda’s blog for an in-depth interview with author Amy S. Cutler about her book A Shadow of Love.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com

October 31st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog for Amy S. Cutler’s guest post about finding a publisher.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

November 1st @ Choices

Join Madeline as she features a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the first draft process.

http://www.madelinesharples.com/

November 2nd @ Jessica Belmont’s Blog

Jessica reviews Amy S. Cutler’s book A Shadow of Love.

https://jessicabelmont.com

November 3rd @ Write Advice

Read Amy’s guest post about how she found the idea for Shadow of Love and turned it into a story.

https://writeradvice.com/

November 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Read Anthony’s review of A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler. A paranormal book you don’t want to miss!

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

Guest Post: The Story Behind The Poem “Unacknowledged” by Author Chelsea DeVries

On March 10, 2020, I sat down and wrote “Unacknowledged,” but before I ever sat down and wrote that poem, I already had so many poems I wrote while working in the toxic workplace.

I began working there as an administrative assistant after Thanksgiving 2018. I recognized that the place was dark and dimly lit and seemed to be full of problems. After the interview, I realized how much I truly did not want to take that job but felt like maybe the difference I made at my last job by being a force for good by choosing kindness and mercy would be something I could extend to this place.

Everyone I know was happy for me as I finally would be working full time following college, but not everything that glitters is actually gold. 

To cope with the harassment and abuse, I would write poems, but a lot of my poems started hinting at something I never saw coming. I was definitely falling in love fast and hard with the young man I had befriended there. 

It was therapeutic to work eight hours a day there and try to do whatever good I could while also have this secret love that no one knew about.

Which was how “Unacknowledged” came to be. I had all these feelings that were basically suppressed instead of expressed, which I understood was the key to my healing. 

Once I sat down and wrote that poem on March 10, 2020, I knew it was time to let this poetry collection pour out of me. 

“Unacknowledged” was 35 stanzas and 738 words. And what came out when I sat down to write this poem is the same poem you read in the collection. I present to you “Unacknowledged.”

Unacknowledged

I shouldn’t be writing this

A psychic told me that

“Nothing would come from this situation.”

A counselor told me not to feed you

With my thoughts or mental energy

I keep thinking about when I put a novel out

Should I acknowledge you and your seasonal

Part in my story?

It’s this persistent picture that

keeps playing in my head.

I see your nickname on the page

Where you dedicate a book to someone.

How do you dedicate a book to someone who blocked you on Facebook?

Ignores your texts?

Never offered an explanation

About why he no longer wanted to be friends with you?

Were you scared that I would beg you to love me?

I am sorry that I left without telling you

Why 

That I would never blame you for the

Bad and evil things I witnessed and experienced

at the hands of someone

with envy in their heart

and greed stuck

between their tongue

and their teeth.

I didn’t know what to say to you

I didn’t know if you would 

Tell me to stay or

be angry With me

Because

I saw them

For who they are

Instead of just pretending

I was dumb, deaf, and blind.

Gone is your musical laugh and the sparkle in your eyes

As you would smirk at me  

With this synchronicity

You thought it was

All a ringless circus too.

The guy in the top hat

The Greatest Showman

No Hugh Jackman

He couldn’t juggle,

Tell jokes,

Or tame a caged lion.

Spitting fire was his one and only talent

As the master of Ceremonies,

The elephant he rode

Would spray water from her trunk

Killing dreams, Hopes, and new ideas

Left and right

Unlike Dumbo,

She was angry because her ringmaster clipped

Her wings and convinced her she couldn’t fly.

Fly she could but he kept her chained.

Chained and dependent on him

for bread, water, and a place to rest her head. 

Yet, he would demean her

Keep her feeling small

So she always had to

Validate herself 

In his eyes only…

It was a dark and dreary

Tim Burton movie

We were a part of

But like Zac Efron and Zendaya

In the Greatest Showman,

The characters we played

Were not convinced

Their love was enough

To make it.

Were you mad that I cared about you

Or were you mad because

there was nothing we could do about it?

Were you mad that I had the courage

And open door to grasp my freedom

Before they hung me

Like the witch they believed me to be?

I did care about you.

I was so thankful for you.

I think you are a beautiful person.

So ordinary but extraordinary all in one person.

So complex

Such an enigma.

To me, you will always be a mystery.

Our timing was neither wrong nor right.

You were good to me.

I encouraged you.

You made me feel heard.

You didn’t look at me

For my body or physique.

Yet, whenever I looked at you

I felt ok to be me.

And for that,

I can’t regret

How I fell for you

With no real

Motive or reason.

I just loved you.

I still love you.

But you won’t talk to me.

So I guess I will write you the dedication

After all.

Because it feels better to acknowledge you

Than pretend you didn’t matter to me.

That you still matter to me.

That I don’t think of you when I listen to Billie Eillish

And remember how I made you laugh because I said she may be a Satanist.

She’s not.

Yet, just the notion of that didn’t make you

Flinch or judge me, and you never forget

Someone like that.

Someone who runs towards you and your outlandishness

Instead of away from it.

Someone who makes you repeat what you said

Even if you mumbled it because it deserved to be

Heard.

Someone who always helped me, talked to me,

And believed in me until you didn’t.

Someone who I miss

Someone who I pray for every single day

Someone like YOU

You have to acknowledge someone like that.

Even if it was only a series of moments

they made an ordinary boring job and 

made it

memorable.

Just the thought of you makes me look back

At those months of my life and smile.

Even with tears in my eyes.

I’ve let you go

 but I just had to let you know  

that I acknowledge

all you were to me and

all I hope you become.

Mr. Suncoast,

This is for you

About the Author

Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.

Guest Post: The Art of Brevity: Writing the Novella by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo

In early 2017 I read an enthusiastic review about a newly translated novel by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin. The review gave very little away but described the book as surreal and horrifying and something to be read in one sitting. That sounded pretty intriguing, so I headed to the bookstore and bought a copy. The novel was called Fever Dream. 

I did indeed read Fever Dream in one sitting. Not only was it everything the reviewer had promised—strange and foreboding and beautifully written—it was also incredibly brief. At fewer than 30,000 words, this masterful slice of horror is technically a novella—a story that falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words. 

Many renowned classics are novella length: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is around 30,000 words; Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is 27,000, and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle is fewer than 45,000.   

There’s just something about a story carved down to its bare essentials that feels especially potent.  

Horror stories in particular can benefit from brevity. Sustaining an atmosphere of claustrophobic dread is easier to achieve in 150 pages vs. 600. A narrower word count naturally leads to more clarity and focus, something that can get lost with a wide cast of characters and multiple subplots. 

When writing the novella, get to know your protagonist well and keep the story focused on her. Make sure your plot doesn’t stray from the main conflict; limit or eliminate subplots. Carefully consider backstory; for every detail you give about your main character’s past, ask yourself if it really matters. Finally, use a narrow time frame for your story, and only a few settings.  

It takes discipline to simplify your story and choose your details wisely, but learning the art of brevity pays off with a tightly plotted narrative that your reader won’t want to put down.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is the award-winning author of The Fourth Wall (WiDo Publishing, 2014). Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Brevity Magazine, Superstition Review, Fractured Lit, The Portland Review, Hunger Mountain, Hospital Drive, Reservoir Road, Literary Mama, Motherwell, and a few other places. Her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essay, and Best of the Net. All links to Elizabeth’s work can be found on her website at elizabethmarianaranjo.com.

Social Media Links:

#thehouseonlindenwaynaranjo

Tweets by emarianaranjo

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8124819.Elizabeth_Maria_Naranjo

– Blog Tour Calendar

September 19th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Crystal interviews the author about her book and also gives away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

September 22nd @ Deborah Adams 

Today, The House on Linden Way is in the spotlight at Deborah Adams blog with a guest post written by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo titled: Exploring our Deepest Fears Through Speculative Fiction.

http://www.deborah-adams.com/blog

September 23rd @ The Faerie Review 

In today’s spotlight at The Faerie Review is Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way – readers will be thrilled to learn more about this fabulous read! 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

September 26 @ What is That Book About 

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is in the spotlight at What is That Book About as readers learn more about Naranjo’s thriller: The House on Linden Way! Don’t miss this blog stop on Naranjo’s WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour!

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

September 27th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire with Mindy McGinnis 

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at Mindy’s blog. Learn more about Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way as well as today’s topic: Traditional vs Self Publishing and My Experience with Both as Naranjo offers some insight into her stories!

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

September 30th @ The Faerie Review

Hear some of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s favorite October stories as she pens today’s guest post at The Faerie Review. This is also your chance to learn more about her latest thriller: The House on Linden Way. Don’t miss this opportunity!

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

October 1st @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Linda at Boots, Shoes and Fashion shares her thoughts after reading Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book called The House on Linden Way. This is a thrilling read and we can’t wait to hear what Linda thinks!

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

October 2nd @ Word Magic with Fiona Ingram

Fiona from Word Magic is hosting Elizabeth Maria Naranjo today. This is a great opportunity for readers to learn about Naranjo’s latest book: The House on Linden Way as well as read her guest post titled: The Lingering Ghosts of Our Childhood Homes. Readers will be thrilled to hear from Naranjo!

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

October 3rd @ One Writer’s Journey 

Sue Bradford Edwards offers her review of The House on Linden Way by fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out what Sue thinks and learn more about this thriller!

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

October 3rd @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles of WOW! Women on Writing offers a thoughtful review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – readers won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about this thrilling book and it’s talented author!

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

October 8th  @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion 

Linda interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way! This book blog tour is one readers won’t want to miss – it’s THRILLING!

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

October 10th  @Girl Zombie Authors 

Chris at Girl Zombie Authors shares her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way – will it be too thrilling for this fellow author? Find out TODAY and be thrilled!

https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/

October 10th  @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Today’s post is titled: Tips For Getting Unstuck While Writing Your Novel and it’s penned by none other than Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she just released her latest thriller The House on Linden Way. Find out more today!

http://madelinesharples.com/

October 11th  @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina puts fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo in the spotlight today as readers learn more about The House on Linden Way – this is a book blog tour stop that will thrill and delight!

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October 13th  @ Knotty Needle Creative

Judy reviews The House on Linden Way for readers at Knotty Needle Creative – find out more about this thriller and it’s talented author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo!

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

October 16th @ Literary Quicksand

Jessica from Literary Quicksand reviews The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – what will she think? Will fellow author Elizabeth be able to thrill Jessica? Stop by today to find out!

https://literaryquicksand.com/

October 18th  @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina reviews the work of fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and offers his thoughts about The House on Linden Way!

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October 20th @ Reading is My Remedy

Chelsea from Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way for readers of her blog. This is a thriller and we can’t wait to find out Chelsea’s take on it!

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

October 23rd @ Literary Quicksand

Jessica from Literary Quicksand interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – learn more about this talented author and her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way!

https://literaryquicksand.com/

October 25th @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at fellow author Anthony Avina’s blog with the title: The Art of Brevity; Writing a Novella. Hear from Elizabeth and find out more about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way.

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October 27th  @ The Frugalista Mom

The Frugalista Mom offers her review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out more and stop by today!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

October 30th  @ Wildwood Reads

Megan from Wildwood Reads offers her review of the thriller The House on Linden Way, by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo! Stop by and get in the mood for tomorrow!

https://wildwoodreads.com/