Looking Back on 2016… and Looking Ahead to 2017

2016-and-2017-banner

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the December holidays and had a fun, safe end to 2016. 🙂

Looking back on the year, one of the words that comes to mind is “growth.” This site especially was booming. Thanks to all your shares, likes, and comments, 2016’s stats in terms of page views and visitors doubled 2015’s. And that’s despite the fact that I slowed my blogging schedule to once a week. I may be the one who writes and runs this site, but you, the readers, deserve much of the credit.

So, thank you for stopping by and coming back, for sharing your thoughts and offering feedback, for spreading the word and celebrating milestones with me. But most of all, thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Yes. You inspire me to be not only the best writer I can be, but also my best and fullest self. And for that, I’m truly grateful.

So, let’s get to the annual year-end wrap-up, along with some quotes that reflect my feelings about 2016 and my hopes for 2017.
Continue reading

Using Archetypes to Learn More About You and Your Characters

archetypes-banner

One of my favorite blog series is Ariel Hudnall’s Archetypes in Literature, a collection of essays on the archetypes conceived by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and examples of each in literature, film, and television. I can’t remember if what followed next happened in a comment one of her Archetype posts, or in a side conversation on my blog… But she introduced me to Archetypes.com, which features a quiz that helps visitors discover their unique blend of archetypes.

So, I took the quiz. And as soon as I got my answers, the “writerly” wheels started turning in my head. 😉

You see, archetypes can help us understand our own behavior patterns as well as those of our characters. It’s sort of like taking an MBTI test as your protagonist to see where she might fall on that spectrum. So, how can you use archetypes to learn more (or confirm what you already know) about yourself and your characters? Plus, how accurate are the quiz’s results? You might be pleasantly surprised.

Continue reading

The Six-Question Character Challenge

Six-Question banner

I’ve fallen behind on blog tags again, so it’s time to play catch-up (again). This tag is a brand new one from Brianna daSilva at Story Port. (Thank you, Brianna!)

The Six-Question Character Challenge offers six questions that you have to answer for three of your WIP’s characters. You can choose whichever characters you want. The point is to introduce these characters to your readers if you haven’t yet, and to see how they’re similar or different.

Before we get started, let’s start with… Continue reading

The One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog image-2

Leona Henry @ Leona’s Blog of Shadows nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award a while back. (Thank you, Leona – and sorry it took so long!) Leona is a Turkish-born fantasy writer who now lives in Finland and is preparing to publish her debut novel series, The Coin of Liberius, via Reamwalker Publishing Group. If you like dark epic fantasy in the vein of George R.R. Martin and R. Scott Bakker, then keep an eye out for Leona’s upcoming works. 😉

Here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Check!)
  2. List the rules and display the award. (Check!)
  3. List 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 others bloggers and notify them of their nomination.

So, let’s see what facts I can share with you today that I haven’t shared here yet. 😉 Continue reading

Happy New Year – and Here’s to 2016!

Happy 2016 logo

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a enjoyable and safe end to your 2015; and would like to wish you the best in health, love, and creativity for 2016.

Also, I know I keep thanking you, the readers, for helping to make this blog what it has become… But, honestly, YOU deserve so much of the credit. Thank you for commenting on each post, sharing your thoughts and ideas, and sharing the links on your own blogs and on social media. Most importantly, thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement, and thoughtful feedback. You put a smile on my face every day I’m here. 🙂

I used last year’s Happy New Year post to sort of “wrap up” the 2014 highlights for the blog and for me personally, and to look ahead to 2015. Since I was happy with the final product, I’ll do the same again for this year’s:
Continue reading

Happy 2015 – and Thank You!

SONY DSC

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you ended your 2014 with a safe and fun celebration; and I wish you good health, joy, fulfillment, and great success in 2015, whatever your goals may be. 🙂

I also want to extend huge hugs of gratitude to everyone who visited the blog this year and continues to come back on a regular basis. 2014 turned out to be the most successful year statistically at this blog, with more visits, likes, and comments than in years past. *breaks out confetti and pompoms*

One thing has undoubtedly contributed to that increase: outreach. Joining Twitter and making a greater effort to visit blogs by writers, book reviewers, and other bloggers last year helped make a difference. But there’s only so much I can do myself by commenting and putting myself out. So, for all your feedback on book reviews, novel updates, and other musings… for your retweets and Facebook shares… for your support, curiosity, and enthusiasm… I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I’d like to look back on what 2014 meant to me, and what my hopes and plans are for the year ahead. Continue reading

Musings on Turning 30 (a.k.a. You’re Only As Old As You Feel)

NowEntering

Earlier this month I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. Yes, the big 3-0. It’s a milestone that my high school pals, and then my college friends, and I dreaded when we were in our teens and early twenties. Back then, we thought 30-somethings were, well, old. *lol* Later, a former co-worker told me during her twenty-fifth birthday party, “You know, 25 isn’t bad, but 30? God, I hope I NEVER turn 30. That means our lives will be almost half over.” Most recently, when my milestone day arrived, friends and relatives posted all kinds of messages about the next decade. A couple people even said, “It’s all downhill from here!” I laughed at their comments, but all of the sarcasm and humorous forebodings left me wondering: What’s wrong with turning 30? Continue reading