My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Diverse Characters - N + O



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol




Here are the diverse characters for N:



Native Americans

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mary_Kim_Titla.jpg

Narcissists 

Nepalese Individuals (Nepal)

Newly Weds

New Zealanders

Nigerians

Ninjas

Non-Binary Individuals 

Norse Gods

Norse Individuals

Norwegians 

Nova Scotians

Nuns

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sisters_(Daughters_of_Mary)_Roman_Catholic_Singing.jpg


Here are the diverse characters for O:

Obese Individuals

Ochlophobics (people with the fear of clowns)

Octophobics (people with the fear of the number 8)

Ogres (fantasy)

Oholone Indians

Opera Singers

Orphans

Image from Pixabay

Orphindiophobics (people with the fear of snakes)


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with N or O, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.


Have you written about a character from my list?




*All images are free to use.



NEW COVER ART + FREE EBOOK

Sliding on the edge by C. Lee. McKenzie

Scarred. Scared. Alone. Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past? 

Shawna has spent the first sixteen years of her life in Las Vegas and learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Damaged inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of stranger to call, this troubled , desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known.

Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baffles Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by Monster, that strange voice inside her head. Kay struggles to keep the ranch going and fears that unless she helps this girl, she could lose her last living family member.

As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their suffering and transcend the past? 


Monday, July 17, 2017

Empowering Women - Viola Davis


Check out my post, Dear Slow Writers, on the IWSG site!


Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:


Viola Davis

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_Davis#/media/File:ViolaDavisNov2010.jpg


Although I don’t watch How to Get Away with Murder anymore, not since Season One ended, I’ll always remember the amazing response Viola got when she took off her wig and all of her makeup on camera. It was empowering for not just African American women but all women everywhere.

Viola is 52 and is a mother and a step mother. With her husband, she adopted her daughter, Genesis.

In 2015, she won an Emmy (she was the first black woman to receive one for Best Actress in a Drama) for her role as Analise Keating (HTGAWM). She gave a powerful speech while suffering from hot flashes! And she gave another awesome speech this year when she won an Oscar for her role in Fences.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” (2015)

She won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award (2001) for her role as Tonya (a 35-year-old mother fighting for her right to abort a pregnancy) in King Hedley II.

Time also listed her as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, she openly talked about bullies from grade school who are all now sending her friend requests on Facebook. Surprise, surprise, right? And when she said she’s inclined to accept them to see if they’ve become failures at life, I couldn’t help but laugh. Don’t we all do that? Or secretly want to? It just goes to show that Emmy winners are susceptible to insecurity, too. And they still want revenge on old bullies. ;)


“What is there but a dream? You can’t trade in your dreams… Dream big, and dream fierce.”

INSPIRING SONG:


When Jennifer Hudson performed this song at the 2013 Oscars, she was stunning and powerful. She received a worthy standing ovation:




QUESTIONS: Have you watched HTGAWM? Do you get teary-eyed when Viola gives speeches? I do.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Books for Writers - Feng Shui for Writers



Amazon

I’ve always been fascinated by Feng Shui, and I’m such a serious writer that I’ll try anything to make me a better writer. M.C. Simon offers ways to master our lives. She thoroughly explains what Feng Shui and Chi is and walks us through the steps to incorporate both, as well as the five elements, into our work space.

Some of her tips:

“Don’t face any empty wall. Decorate it, or else you will always have a feeling that you face obstacles.”

She suggests room dividers for those writers who have to work at home in a bedroom or the living room. A divider will separate our home life from our work life. A rug can also work because it marks the start of our writing zone.

“If you have no way of facing the door, and you must have your desk where you back will be toward the door’s direction, you can cure this situation by placing a mirror in front of your desk, so your eyes can observe the door behind you at any moment.”

Each section of a room had a purpose and M.C. Simon offers tips to utilize each area to bring out their benefits. EX: “Your career as a writer is represented by the north direction. In this area, place elements that symbolize water and metal.”

She also walks us through where to put our desk and how to decorate it.

As a writer and someone who loves to do interior design, I love all of her tips!

Check out this book and balance the harmony of your work space!




QUESTION: Have you ever tried Feng Shui?


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#Sparks VS #Doubt / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Sign up here: Insecure Writer’s Support Group 


Tweet a book pitch on July 27! More Info.


The IWSG is listed on Writer's Digest's
Top 101 Websites for Writers!



Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

My Answer: Don’t let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. 


A spark is the reason why you do what you do. It’s the pulse for your passion. It’s your inspiration and creativity. Sparks can motivate you, encourage you, challenge you, empower you. Sparks can give you insight and wisdom. Sparks are magical!

When we read, the text that invigorates us…what is it? Sparks.

When we find things that inspire us, those are sparks.

When we find motivational tools that work, those are sparks.

When I provide tips on my blog for writing, what am I sharing? Sparks.

#Sparks are powerful.

#Doubt is also powerful.

If we let it, #Doubt can kill our dreams, and that would be a tragedy. Don’t let #Doubt extinguish your dreams. Your dreams deserve to come to life.

Fight #Doubt with #Sparks.

Look for sparks everywhere. In books, nature, people, art, blogs. Everything has the potential to be a spark, which is why #Sparks are more powerful than #Doubt.

We must collect sparks like kindling and use them. That’s the key. Sparks aren’t #Sparks unless they are used. Use that inspiration you discovered. Let yourself be motivated. When you do, you’ll start a fire, because that’s what sparks do.

#Sparks ignite blazes. Within us.

Now go out and find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life!


****


INSECURITY: To beat my insecurity of being Chrys Fey in public, I've been taking baby steps, and one of those steps is to do videos.

Now I have a YouTube Channel!

I need 100 subscribers to create a custom URL.

Would you please subscribe?


Right now, I'm sharing videos about marketing.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my 4th video about Goodreads.


Have a great IWSG Day!



Monday, June 26, 2017

I'm a YouTuber! / Monthly Mishmash




YouTube - I never thought I'd say this but...I'm a YouTuber! 


I even have a YouTube Channel!

I need 100 subscribers to create a custom URL. 

Would you please subscribe?

Right now, I'm sharing videos about marketing.


Thursday I'll be sharing my 3rd video about Amazon.



DEPRESSION - I am happy to report that since April, I feel as though I am back to my old self. I know that depression will always be part of my life and that it can pop up at any moment, but I am strong. Actually, I am stronger. I believe that each time I beat my depression, I get stronger. This last bout lasted 7 months and was the worse case I've ever had, but I learned from that experience and now I have weapons for the future.



WRITING - Yes, but am I writing? That's the big question, isn't it?

And I am! Well, not for what I should be writing...the final book of the Disaster Crimes Series, but I've been revising an old WIP. Half of it needs to be rewritten to reflect the changes I did in the book that comes before it. This is a huge step. I haven't written since November!



READING - I've been reading a lot of books, (this was part of my depression recovery) mainly African American, Wiccan, and feminism literature. I've felt like I've grown as a human being, so I wanted to share my favorite reads so far this year that have 4-5 star reviews from me.


My Favorite Reads (so far) 2017:

- Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life that Matters by Evan Carmichael

- Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery.

- The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch by Deborah Blake

- The Color Purple by Alice Walker

- Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

- Moranifesto by Caitlin Maron

- Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott

- To be a Slave by Julius Lester

- Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers (and also her book Page After Page)



QUESTIONS: Will you subscribe to my YouTube channel? I'm thinking of doing a giveaway when I reach 100. One random subscriber may get something nice. :)

What good books have you read so far this year?


Monday, June 19, 2017

Diverse Characters - K + L + M



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol



Here are the diverse characters for K:


Kings

Knights

South Koreans


Apink, South Korean Girl Group
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Pink_at_2014_K-pop_Awards_red_carpet_01.jpg

North Koreans

Kurdish Individuals

Kymophobics (people with the fear of waves)


Here are the diverse characters for L:

Latinos

Lebanese Individuals

Lesbians

Leprechauns (fantasy)


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbow_Leprechaun.png

Little People (Individuals with Dwarfism)

Lutherans

Lygophopics (people with the fear of darkness)


Here are the diverse characters for M:

Macedonians

Malawians 

Malaysians

Mennonites

Mexicans

Mexican Americans

Mermaids


Source: Mehgan Heaney-Grier
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MehganTheMermaid.jpg

Military Members


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F-15_pilots_Elmendorf.jpg
U.S. Air Force


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Female_Soldiers_Practice_Shooting_(1).jpg
Israel Defense Forces


Middle Easterners (Individuals from the Middle East)

Missionaries

Mormons

Monacan Indians (Monaco)

Mongolians

Moroccans 

Individuals with Multiple Personality Disorder

Mute Individuals 

Musicians





SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with K, L, or M, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.


Have you written about a character from my list?



*All images are free to use.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Empowering Women - Candis Cayne


Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:


Candis Cayne

© Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

I was introduced to Candis Cayne when I watched I Am Cait, and Candis shone as a gorgeous, funny, and wise woman. She is a transgender woman.

“I’m not trying to be a spokeswoman for the transgender community. I just want to be looked at as a living, breathing, happy human being.”

She is a dancer and actress. In 2001, she won the Miss Continental Pageant for Female Impersonators. She was also the first transgender woman to play a recurring trans character on a prime-time TV show (Dirty Sexy Money).

In 2015, she was awarded with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award for being a vocal activist for the LGBT community and working with GLAAD and HRC. She teamed up with the global LGBT Social Network MOOVZ as their new Global Creative Director.


Last year, she played on the TV show Heartbeat as a transgender woman with breast cancer. It was a moving episode titled “Permanent Glitter.” The doctors “fight to save her life and her identity.” At the end, the hospital staff and guests do a flash mob dance in her honor. While watching it, I got teary eyed.

“…through the character of Ava, we learn that it’s not a breast, or a scar, or our appearance that defines us, but out inner strength and courage.” -NBC


This is the only video I could find of the flash mob dance. The song is “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten.


INSPIRING SONG:




NOTE: PLEASE refrain from posting negative comments about transgender people. Thank you!


****


Book Club: The IWSG Book Club will be reading for June/July....


This book will demonstrate characterization, which was voted #1 by our members for what they want to learn how to do better.


- Whether you read a book is up to you. Whether you join the book discussion is up to you. Though we do hope for both. ;) And You can join any book discussion, even if you don’t read the book.

Our book club is not a strict one. 

Join us and participate when you can.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Beating Insecurities! / IWSG



The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Optional June Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Yes, I have. SEVERAL times.

Last year, I had said it a lot--when I was getting rejections, when sales weren't happening, reviews weren't coming in, when nothing was working despite my efforts, when my depression reared it's ugly head. I would even go so far as to say to my mom, "Never publish!" 

The very second after I'd yell, "I quit," I'd be back at, trying my hardest. I can't quit writing, because it's my passion. My dream. I may succumb to the pressure and throw a tantrum, but there's not a quitter bone in this body!


****

Insecurity #1: One of my biggest insecurities is recording videos of myself. I get nervous, even if I'm by myself.

Last month, I decided to squash this insecurity. 

I recorded myself doing a reading of Tsunami Crimes. I did it in one take because I didn't want to have to do it again and again. But when I finished, I was excited! I immediately created a YouTube channel, published the video, and added it to Goodreads and LinkedIn (which I had just joined at the time). 

Now, I plan to do a lot more!


Here's my reading. In the beginning, I make a pretty funny mistake. (I also mess up a few words. Oopsy.)


Side Note: To me, I'm a completely different person in this video. I felt like an actor, which is, I guess, what you have to become, even if you're an author. :P


****

Insecurity #2: Being Chrys Fey in Public.

On Saturday, I had my first book signing at: Space Coast Book Lovers

I used this event to conquer more insecurities. I did a recorded interview for Hangin with Web Show. I was so nervous in the beginning, but the host was so nice and funny that it was surprisingly easy. I'll share the video when they put it up. :)

I also signed up for an Author Mingle/Panel. I had to talk about my first published book, Hurricane Crimes, and answer questions. My heart would pound just before it was my turn, but when I had to speak, I did good.

I was really proud of myself afterward.




The Signing: 


Me at my table.


On the right is MJ!


All the authors at the SCBL event. I'm in the back right corner.


Personal Assistants.
My mom is behind the lady in red. She's wearing a black shirt.


*Photos by Christopher John



I went to all of the authors' tables, exchanged business cards with them (including IWSG cards) and asked for their autographs.





What Works:
- Newsletter Giveaway with Newsletter Sign-up Sheets.
- Postcards with book blurb and cover art.
- Hand-painted shells...Florida. People loved it.

Plans for Future:
- MORE COOL FREE STUFF!
- Banners
- Book Stands


Yvonne Mason


Maggie Adams

*Photos by Christopher John


Blogger Scherry Jenkins asked for a picture!

She posted about the event and our meeting here.


My Mom!!

MJ Fifield!!!!!! 



Optional July 5th Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?


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