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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

February 20th – What To Read To Learn About X

I’ve missed a couple weeks of this, but I’m doing these weekly blog challenges kind of casually so it’s not a big deal. I’m back today to answer this week’s question, though!

Since I’m a writer it would be easy to list books that help you learn about writing, but most writers probably already have a list of those, or can easily find them anywhere on the internet. I tried to come up with something more unique. It does, however, pertain to writing–specifically, writing about places you’ve never visited.

To learn more about (most) any place in the world–especially places you’ve never actually seen–read Google Maps!

More precisely, use the ‘Street View’ mode on Google Maps wherever it’s available: and it’s available far more widely than you can imagine. Even some of the most remote, barely-traveled places on earth have been photographed and mapped by it. I’ve used it countless times to get a feel for, or details about, places that I haven’t actually seen in person. It’s one of my best-used tools when creating settings for my books. Even for places where I have been (like Chicago in multiple books I’ve written), it helps in areas that I haven’t visited, or that I don’t remember clearly. I tend to be a writer who likes to keep settings close to what they are in the real world, so it’s something I rely on a lot. It makes it so I don’t have to always write about places I know, or places I make up.

Have you ever used a tool like Google Maps to help you ‘see’ a place you’re writing about?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #6: Five authors (alive or dead) I’d like to meet

This was a fun list to make!

  1. Stephen King – I don’t think anyone who has read my blog for any length of time is surprised by this. Stephen King was the reason I started writing at the tender and impressionable age of 13, wanting to be a horror writer just like him. I really want to meet him, and the fact he’s getting older makes me nervous that I won’t (and he makes far less public appearances now). I would love to just say to him “Mr. King, you’re the reason I started writing as a teenager, and now I have my own books published.” As eloquent as this seems in my head, in real life I’m sure I’d be a quivering, stupid mess and wouldn’t get the words out right.
  2. Anne Rice – She’s also getting older and it makes me nervous. I’d love to tell her what sort of impression her Vampire Chronicles had on me, even though I’m sure she hears it often. Her writing style and her boldness at a time vampire books weren’t a ‘thing’ yet, and her enduring impression and legacy as an author are things I really admire, and I’d love to just be in her presence for a few moments.
  3. Anne Lamott – My favorite author who writes about writing. She has a wicked dark sense of humor very much like my own and I think meeting her in person would be a delight.
  4. Edgar Allen Poe – Of course my black, morbid, horror-loving self would like to meet the old school master. I know in life he wasn’t exactly the greatest guy to be around, and possibly a raging alcoholic, but it’s a fantasy, I think, for anyone who writes or enjoys horror.
  5. Laurell K. Hamilton – The author who introduced me to urban fantasy, which is where my desire to write both paranormal and romance that’s a little more edgy and dark than traditional romance collide.

What writers would you like to meet?

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

February is upon us. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! Apart from the usual flogging myself to write more, edit more, publish more, I’m not feeling particularly insecure this month. At least, not about any one specific thing. Insecurity is the background noise of my writer’s life, so I’m used to that part by now.

I want to make it a great 2019 and I’m trying to focus on that right now. January was an absolute shit show for me professionally (as in my day job) and personally, so I’m going to pretend January was just a trial month, now the real subscription for the year starts. I’m also choosing to believe all the bad stuff got itself over with right away in January, so the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. I’d rather do it that way anyway, get it over with at once instead of stretching it out over the whole year!

How was your January? Are you ready for the rest of 2019?

February 6 question – Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

I’ve definitely talked about the fact before that I’m simply not creatively inclined outside of writing. At least, not in ways most people think when they think of ‘creative’ things. I like to do interior decorating, but for my own tastes, I doubt I could design a space for anyone else. So, I love decorating my own house. Sometimes I enjoy cooking. I’ve been threatening to try out candle making for a few years now, so maybe this will be the year I finally give it a go. I’m not very handy or crafty, either.

What outlets do you have?

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

January 30th – Characters I’d Name a Baby After

Ha! This is a funny question because when I was pregnant with my son (and didn’t yet know he was a boy) if he was a girl, I wanted to name him Mina Gabrielle. Mina, of course, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (though her full name was Wilhelmina and I didn’t want that), and Gabrielle after Lestat’s mother in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I was a tad bit obsessed with vampire novels, can you tell? I think I would still name a girl Gabrielle because it’s such a pretty name.

I ended up naming him Cain Evan, and though Cain is the first vampire in some vampire mythologies, it didn’t come from that. It didn’t really come from the Bible either, though I happened to be reading Beowulf at the time and Grendel was described as being Cain’s descendant. That’s where I got the name from and in that story it WAS referring to the Biblical Cain so…it’s Biblical by the way of fiction? And, you’re going to laugh very hard (and I’m going to show my age), but the name Evan came from a character in Miami Vice. *hides face*

I also toyed with naming him Vaughn Vladimir. Vaughn just because I liked the name and Vladimir of course after Dracula, but that was vetoed. I think if I ever had another son (which is doubtful at this stage of my life) I would name him Gabriel-if I didn’t have a girl and name her Gabrielle–simply because I like that name a lot. I also think at that point people would just think I’m naming all my kids from the Bible so maybe not. I wrote a fourth Siren Song novel (which has never been released) and named June’s daughter Antigone–Tiggy for short–and I think that would be a cool name too.

So yes, I would totally name babies after characters…and have!

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

January 23rd – Favorite things to do in the winter

Stay inside!

I’m not a huge fan of winter. Heck, I’m not even vaguely tolerant of it. I like warm weather and sun! Snow can be pretty, but I’m not fond of walking around in it or in the cold in general. I layer a lot and I find that an annoying process too. Sometimes watching the snow fall can be nice–I’ll give it that. Very recently we had a full-out blizzard here and it was pretty scary and amazing at the same time. I can’t recall a time when I experienced wind and snowfall like that. It was truly a force of nature and I was VERY glad to be inside (though I had to walk in it for a few minutes on the way home from work). Of course, we’re left with the unholy amount of snow in the aftermath and it makes life difficult for everyone.

I don’t ski or do any sort of winter sporty activities, but I appreciate those who do and find it fun. To each their own! I remember as a kid I liked to go out and play in it and build snowmen and whatnot, but then I turned into a grumpy adult who likes being snug and warm. I suppose it would be amazing to see REAL snow, like in the Alps and the arctic and places where there’s truly an amazing amount of it. I’d like to see Antarctica just to see it. For now I’ll content myself with pictures.

So, my favorite things to do in the winter involve being inside–being online, watching Hulu, cooking, cleaning, playing with my cat, scrubbing the grout, anything that doesn’t involve going out in the snow, but maybe getting to enjoy how nice it looks through my balcony doors. That is, until it turns to awful gray slush.