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February 22, 2019

Tell Us What You Think - Defining 2019

Review – noun

a critical article or report, as in a periodical, on a book, play, recital, or the like; critique; evaluation.

Reviews don’t have to be wordy. Here’s a review I spotted on Goodreads recently for Holly Black’s new book The Wicked King:

Holly Black creates a deliciously wicked world, twisty and dangerous and absolutely fascinating. I loved this.

See! In only 16 words, you know how the reader feels about the book.

Even if no one ever reads those 16 words, the review helps. The 5 stars the reader gave the book factor in with the 25k+ ratings the book already had to average 4.56 stars (wow, that amazing – perhaps I should add this series on my tbr!) giving a potential reader a strong and fast sense of how readers feel about the book overall.

Even critical reviews can help. For example, I mined the reviews of A Cuckoo’s Calling, which I gave 5 stars because I loved the nuanced writing and character development and how it continued to build, build, build all the way through. But another reader gave it two stars saying:

Dull & tedious. I was frustrated with the style of writing. There’s no action. It’s all conversation. I wanted it to be over.

Basically we are saying the same thing, but valuing it differently. As long as you stay respectful in your critical review, there’s no reason you shouldn’t leave it. Someone else may think – finally a book without blood and guts fighting, and pick it up for themselves. Whether readers know it or not, they value the fact that you took the time to read the book and share your opinion, when they are considering if they should read a book themselves.

Do you leave reviews? Are you more likely to leave them when you really loved a product/book/service or when you are really disappointed in a product/book/service?

In my newsletter on Monday I’ll delve into another definition of “review.”


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February 15, 2019

Distraction - Defining 2019

Distraction – Noun

the act of distracting.
the state of being distracted.
mental distress or derangement:
That child will drive me to distraction.
that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration:
The distractions of the city interfere with my studies.

I had an unfortunate week. My step mom died. I got a head cold. I gave a presentation. And I had a new audiobook release. Needless to say I’ve had difficulty concentrating. I was so distracted, I completely forgot about this post. I’m sure readers would be clamoring for my wise words if I didn’t post anything (cough, cough) so I’m throwing this up on the blog as a place setter and to illustrate that even when you work to keep yourself focused on your goals, life – and death – happens.

We’ll miss you GrandMad. But we’ve missed you for awhile. I’m so happy to know you are whole again.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum (because, seriously, isn’t that typical of life?) here is my newest audiobook. Please listen to the adorable sample and get yourself a copy.

In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish. But instead of weaving a better story, she's weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales.


February 8, 2019

Celebration – Defining 2019

Celebrate -verb
to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities:

There are plenty of things to celebrate this week, so I’m just going to take the time to do that!

1.     I Am Me is a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. The organizer of this award sends the books out to an age appropriate audience to read and provide feedback. So that means teens somewhere in the UK read I Am Me and scored it high enough for it to place as a finalist. This makes me VERY happy and is most definitely something to celebrate. The award winners are announced on April 1st (no joke). I can’t imagine I Am Me winning, because, you know - I wrote it. I’m honestly quite happy with the finalist designation. Woo hoo.
2.     A local professor contacted me about doing a presentation at the college. Plus, I’m presenting next week at the local Writers Guild meeting. Believe it or not, I love public speaking. Especially about books, writing, girl power, empathy. 
3.     Remember, when I set my Street Level Plan for my 2019 writing goals I determined I needed to write 1062 ½ words per week? Well, Sunday night rolled around and I hadn’t written a thing. So, I opened my Weaver Tales WIP and added about 1100 words to the doc before going to bed. They aren’t the greatest words, but they are there for me to fix later. The main thing is that I got the words down and so I’m celebrating! Goals really do help to inspire and having a plan keeps you moving forward.

There will be more to celebrate as the year progresses, I’m sure, and I completely believe it’s important to take the time to celebrate successes small and large.  What have you done in the last week worth celebrating (other than wake up every morning?) Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

What can you expect from my newsletter on Monday? I’ve finally come to a decision on what road I want to follow with my Trickstering series. I’ll tell you all about it in my newsletter. I could use your support and encouragement, and maybe some resources. So, please join me!