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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Wear a Mask


First of all, I would like to apologize for my comment backlog. Apparently after Google+ became defunct, the comments setting had switched to “moderate all.” I was unaware of that and feel horrible for not engaging with all of you! I will do better now that it’s fixed.

Secondly, Covid cases, especially severe cases, are rising in Kansas City. My day job is that of a pharmacy technician for a hospital and it’s really stressful right now. So, my advice this month doesn’t pertain to writing.

Wear a damn mask. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Get your flu shot. Be kind to yourself. Cry it out. Exercise if possible. Find reasons to smile. You are enough. And for those living in the USA, please vote!!

See you all next year. Good luck to those participating in NaNoWriMo! Check back in December for my favorite books of 2020.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Author Toolbox Blog Hop - Pandemic Fatigue
Image from Pexels.  

Would you want to read a work of fiction about COVID-19? What about a different pandemic?

My answer is no, and from my very “scientific” research, I am not the only one who feels that way.

My very “scientific” research consisted of asking my friends and colleagues, both avid and casual readers, if they would be interested in reading a book about our current pandemic. I was sure one or two people would have loved the idea, but honestly, everyone said no. 


In the beginning of the lockdown, I noticed that a lot of people were watching movies like Contagion and Outbreak. My son reread The Maze Runner because it’s post pandemic and dystopian. But I think people are done with those types of things. It was fun in the beginning because we didn’t know just how much the dictator-in-chief would fuck up the national response. Most didn’t know that the clown we currently call “president” had thrown away the How to Survive a Pandemic guidebook that President Obama had successfully used left him. Most didn’t know that he fired the whole pandemic team at the CDC.

And because of that…

COVID-19 fatigue is real, very real. I work in a hospital as a pharmacy tech, and while I’m not a nurse or doctor treating C-19 + patients, I feel like I’m neck deep in the pandemic every day. While I care so deeply for every life touched by this horrible illness, I am also tired of it, and so are so many of my co-workers. Don’t get me wrong, we are not the crowd who are tired of it and refuse to wear masks or refuse to believe the science behind social distancing and basic hygiene. We are the people who get home from work and don’t want to talk about the positive cases anymore. Home has become the one place I can pretend the world is normal. And books are my escape because nothing is normal.

Pandemic fatigue is why everyone told me they wouldn’t read a work of fiction or even a memoir about COVID-19. I’m sure as time passes more people will be willing to read about these things again, especially if we writers find an interesting way to spin/twist it.

Let me know in the comments if you are wanting to write or read something pandemic related!!

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Choose Your Words Wisely

Have you ever read a short story or a book that felt off? The story itself was good but something just didn’t feel right. There is a good chance poor word choice was throwing you off.

The way I see it, one of the most important things a writer can focus on is word choice. Especially when it comes to dialog. Dialog can make or break a story. As a writer I need to know when to have a character say “hello” versus having a character say “hey.” I need to know the connotation behind words, particularly if I am writing a period piece or a story taking place in a certain country (if the story takes place in the US but a character had just moved there from London, it would be a smart choice to have the character use British slang versus having them use American slang.) 

Along with good word choice, I find that my favorite writers aren’t afraid to use “colorful” language. They use cuss words and content appropriate slang which I feel make the story feel more real and the characters more relatable. It’s kind of sad that I feel the need to mention this, but Americans are extremely weird when it comes to language. The word “fuck” will have some of them up in arms and they will act like you’re an obscene idiot for using the word, but they have no problem watching something extremely violent as long the language isn’t too filthy. I’m looking at you, PG-13 movies.

So, when you’re writing your next story or editing your current story, please look at your choice of words. Does the word make sense in the context of the scene? Did you make productive choices? If a sentence doesn’t sound right, try changing a word or two and see if that helps.

I hope this helps you in your writing. Please let me know if you have any word choice tips or advice!

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Staying Creative While Sick

Hello All!

Welcome back to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop! I missed last month because of the flu, which unfortunately means that I also missed out on quite a bit of writing. Seriously, those days of just laying around would have been fantastic for working on my story. I know there is a saying, “Write drunk, edit sober,’ but I’m not sure it applies to the delirium of the flu. Let’s just say my story would have went from something supernatural based in reality to something no one would recognize. 

The flu is why this post is dedicated to the art of staying creative while dealing with illness.

  1. It is okay to take sick days. I know that typically writers have a routine and sticking to it is important. That being said, sometimes your body breaks down because you need a break from everything other than sleep. So, sleep and let your dreams spark a little inspiration for you.
  2. Keep a journal/notebook near you at all times. You know that sleep thing I was just talking about? Any dream you have might become inspiration for you story. If you happen to wake up and remember any of it, write it down in a bedside notebook. Honestly, I recommend keeping a notebook next to your bed for any dream inspiration that may happen. Some of my best ideas and lines of dialog came from my dreams.
  3. Too sick to write but can’t sleep? Try reading a book or binge watching something on Netflix/Hulu/Disney+. Stick with the genre or theme that aligns with your story. I think it helps to look at things that are similar because it gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t. My story is about witches and watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has helped me see that it works to write witches in a non-traditional way.
  4. Last but not least, just rest. Don’t look for inspiration in dreams while you sleep. Binge watch a guilty pleasure that has absolutely nothing to do with your story. Read a book you’ve been wanting to to read but felt like you couldn’t while you were writing. But seriously, rest. We writers are human after all. You can always write once you are healthy.
Stay healthy fellow bloggers and see you next month!

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.