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Tag: IWSG

#IWSG I did something scary!

Yikes! I did something recently that’s both exciting and scary! My next book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Exploring Historic Graveyards is now available for preorder on Amazon.  Both the paperback and the ebook are available now at deep discounts! (I made the paperback $10 cheaper, in fact, for early birds! Whee!)   Why is that scary? Because: DEADLINES! I am not a fan of deadlines, but the preorder process forced me to pick a hard and fast one for this book; August 19th! *gulp* So the scary part is that my book is not 100% done. The…

#IWSG How Do You Handle Stress?

An unpleasant surprise… Is anyone else stressed out? I like to think of myself as a mellow person, but lately I’ve been struggling! It’s not just a subjective feeling: Recently at the doctor’s office, my blood pressure was 166/88, which is not my norm! It’s usually on the low side, like 120/60. And, of course, learning that my blood pressure was through the roof only increased my stress… Plus, I was supposed to get lab work done the next day, but I got the flu that night. Then, the day I was well I flew up to spend time with my parents…

#IWSG Bullet Journal – Evernote combo?

Writing research road trip… I’m posting this month’s IWSG post a day early because my hubby and I are taking off on a month-long road trip tomorrow morning! (So, I may be a bit slow to make the IWSG rounds, but I will do my best, bad motel WIFI willing!) As I’ve mentioned here before, Larry’s dad moved in with us last summer. We love having him here, but it all came about rather suddenly. Long story short, he has dementia and could no longer live on his own. So, we’re sending him up to stay with family on Long…

#IWSG Yes, I’ve got a Crystal Ball. (I just don’t know how to use it!)

December IWSG: It’s that time of the month again. Wait, that doesn’t sound right! What I mean is that it’s time to write an #IWSG post. (What’s that, you ask? Scroll down; I explain it there!)     IWSG Question of the Month As for my writing insecurities this month, they tie right into the #IWSG question of the month, which is: DECEMBER’S QUESTION: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there? With 2016 winding down, I’ve been looking back at the year, assessing where I…

Biting off more than I can chew?

What is IWSG? IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this: “Purpose of IWSG: 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!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh Stepping out of my DIY comfort zone:   So IWSG peeps, here’s what’s up with me this month. My current insecurity is that I may have bitten…

Tell me about your “big but,” Simone!

What is IWSG? IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this: “Purpose of IWSG: 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!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh My big writing fear: My big writing fear is that I won’t be able to keep up with everything. I love all my writing projects, and I do…

8 Years & 34K Tweets Later – I still love Twitter!

You just never know… (well, eventually you do!) February’s IWSG post about dealing with jealousy was rather long-winded, so I’ll try to keep this one short. The main thing I’d like to share with other writers this month is that: You just never know where things will lead! The magic of Twitter Take Twitter. When I posted my first tweet (as seen above) I had no idea where it would lead. (To find *your* first tweet: click here.) Eight years and some 34,000 tweets later…I have had so many opportunities, both directly and indirectly, come my way simply by tweeting. I’ve…

How HARO Helps Writers Out!

What is HARO? For this month’s IWSG post, I wanted to pass along a helpful tip for writers. It’s called HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. I found out about HARO while standing in the lunch buffet line at DFWcon, a wonderful annual writing conference here in Texas. There were two authors standing ahead of me, Nina Amir and Harry Hall, and their conversation was so interesting that I not only joined in, but I wound up taking notes as we shuffled along! Why should writers join HARO? One tip that Nina passed along was that Harry and I…

Overwhelm, Dirty Dishes & How Marie Forleo Does it All!

Trying to do it all… Am I the only creative person out there who routinely bites off more than they can chew, then needs the Heimlich Maneuver to keep from choking on their overly ambitious to-do list? It’s one of those life lessons I seem destined to learn over and over again! (Do you have any life lessons like that?) Overwhelm is like dirty dishes Overwhelm is a bit like dirty dishes. You can start off with a clean, gleaming kitchen, but then someone leaves a dirty spoon in the sink, and that hardly seems worth bothering with. But then…

IWSG: Keep on keeping on!

Tough Summer This summer started off with a bang. My husband’s health scare turned our road trip into not just a staycation, but a full-on housecation for a few months. I’m so grateful for that backyard wading pool and all those great tools I discovered for writing in the water. Those items totally saved my summer! Wonderful surprise But then, some really great things began happening with my writing. First off, I was chosen to be the 2016 Writer-in-Residence for the Langdon Review. As part of my stay, I will also be having a month-long showing of my photography, and I may even release a music CD at…

Water is a Writer’s Best Friend

Even Home is a Travel Destination I have nothing against staycations. I don’t even despise the word, as many others do. As a mindful travel writer whose motto is “Even Home is a Travel Destination,” I am always on the lookout for fun things to see and do nearby. (Heck, I even write best selling books on the topic!) However, if you caught my IWSG check-in for July, you’ll know that due to a health scare with my husband, Larry, “nearby” literally became “our house and backyard.” Couldn’t see past the chores For me, the biggest challenge with being housebound…

IWSG – Mandatory Staycation

The Best Laid Plans for a 6 Week Summer Road Trip If things had gone as planned, I’d be writing this post while sitting in a motel room on the Big Summer Road Trip of 2015 that my hubby, Larry, and I have been looking forward to all year. We intended to leisurely snake our way along back roads from our little burg in Texas all the way up to Washington State in time to attend a big family party. If things had gone as planned, my biggest complaints right now would be feeling bloated from eating road food and…

IWSG – Have you ever taken bad writing advice?

Writing Advice: Take it or toss it! “Never take advice, including this.” I love that quote from the author Katherine Anne Porter because it is so dang true! We all need advice, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s good from what’s bad. Have you ever taken the wrong advice regarding your writing? I know I have! Most of the bad writing advice I get falls into 1 of 3 categories: 1. “You know what you should write?” I bet I’m not the only one out there who is constantly being told (usually by non-writers) what they “really should be writing.” This…

Why do *you* blog?

Blog problems My blog has been giving me technical problems lately – and by “lately” I mean since last June. At the moment, it won’t let people leave comments, which is a bummer because blogs are all about two-way communication! Rethinking my blog Maybe it’s just frustration over all the time spent trying to fix my blog when I could have been writing, but I find myself wondering why I blog. Is it worth the time and energy? Does anyone out there enjoy my posts? Should I even bother? I owe a lot to my blog That said, I owe…

IWSG: How I Became a Fan of my Fan!

Making friends through writing I’ve been writing for decades, and getting paid for travel articles since 2006, but it wasn’t until I published Unexpected Texas that my writing began directly connecting me with readers. Sure, I knew people read my articles, but it ended there. I never made friends with any of my readers. Meeting people because of things I’d written? And not just online, but meeting them in person?!? As I said, this never happened when I was simply writing magazine articles! Sure, articles paid well, but even with a byline, it felt rather anonymous… like a message in a…

Spam Folder Mishaps

Is Gmail going senile? I’ve been happily using Gmail for years, but lately it’s been wonky. I wasn’t thrilled when they introduced the tabs feature a while back, but I got used to it. What’s got me troubled now is that all of a sudden, Gmail is tossing perfectly good emails into my spam folder! I know, I know… It’s a good idea to check your spam folder every now and then. Thing is, Gmail did such a great job for soooooo long that I fell out of that habit. Missed opportunities! It wouldn’t be such a big deal except…

IWSG: Playing “Ketchup” & a CreateSpace Caveat

Playing “Ketchup” this Week I know, I know… I didn’t get my IWSG up last Wednesday, and I can see from my blog stats that I’m not the only one who noticed! Sorry! I was just too dang busy prepping to sell my newest book, Paranormal Texas, at Dash Beardsley’s Wake the Dead Show down in Galveston. It was a frantic week, and I’m behind on a slew of things, so this week is all about playing “ketchup.” Better late than never, eh? (I’ll make the rounds of other IWSG blogs soon!) Everything’s easier the second time around! Y’know how the…

IWSG: Belated is the New Black

IWSG Check-in IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this: “Purpose of IWSG: 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!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh Belated is the New Black! Phew! Howdy, all. No, I didn’t forget about IWSG. I’m just pulling in a couple days late. And I hate being late…

My Crack Hamster & To Do List Epiphany

ROW80 & IWSG Check-ins Like windshield wipers that suddenly sync up, today is both a ROW80 and an IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) check-in date. Whee! I’ll start with IWSG: IWSG – Much To Do Lists About Nothing I love to do lists. They help me relax. Dumping all my ideas onto a piece of paper gets me out of my head. It helps me let go mentally, and focus in the moment. When I don’t write to do lists, I feel like a hamster on crack, unable to hop off its exercise wheel long enough to eat a tiny…

IWSG & DFWcon: Because Writing Conferences & Insecurity Go Hand in Hand!

  IWSG & DFWcon ReCap I’m combining my DFWcon Recap along with an IWSG check-in because, in my case at least, writing conferences and writing insecurities go hand-in-hand! IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in, and this is my very first time joining the group. Hi, everyone! Last weekend was the DFW Writer’s Conference a.k.a. DFWcon (DFW stands for “Dallas – Fort Worth” for those who may not know.) It’s my 3rd year attending, but it’s the first time I was both an attendee *and* a vendor. Yup – I manned (womanned? personed?) a table to…