Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG - Wrapping Up 2017...Already?

I can't believe this is the last post of 2017! Where did the year go? Wasn't it just summer? 

Let's get insecure and help Alex J. Cavanaugh help others. Join us at

-What I did the year of our lord, 2017-

Visited the Faulkner House in New Orleans.

Completed 3 manuscripts. Yes. Really.

Online. Shopping. Only.

Actually wrote for writers.

Started a podcast with Keri Schroeder of Coyote Bones Press in Berkeley called, Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun. We're on episode 10.

Things that got pushed aside: 1. Get a real full time job instead juggling mucho contract work. The flexibility is nice, until it isn't. 2. Act like an adult on the weekends. 3. Balance yoga with running so I won't have the knees of an eighty-year-old. 4. Balance 5. Eat less carbs -ha- 6. Eat less sugar -ha ha ha!- 7. Only eat at Super Duper Burger once a week. Yup. Nope. 

This list goes on and on and on...

My plans for 2018 is to move forward on projects with my publishing friend, Andrea at Cotton Wolf Press and actually achieve some New Years fitness goals. 

What didn't you complete this year? What does your 2018 look like? Hope everyone has an awesome holiday!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IWSG - How Do You NanoWriMo?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and because it's the day after Halloween I nearly missed Alex J. Cavanaugh's IWSG post. To join us and share your insecurities CLICK HERE!

How do I NanoWriMo? I still have to try it. Every year it comes around I seem to be slammed with either one project deadline or another. This year has been a major work transition with a new writing position and the launch of a podcast I'm doing with an MFA friend who works in publishing.

CLICK HERE IF YOU ENJOY BEING SCARED, or making fun of others who do.
I did do the 3 Day Novel Contest based out of Ontario, Canada four years in a row. Each year resulted in a first draft. Out of this work morphed three novels. There's some crazy manic alchemy that happens to my process during writing competitions.

For those of you who NanoWriMo, has it helped you? Have you developed full manuscripts, and have they been published? 

Hope all you IWSGers had an awesome Halloween!  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG - Personalizing Characters

Happy Insecure Writer's Wednesday! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop where writer's get together to share their insecurities and advice. Join us by clinking on the the IWSG link HERE.

Today's Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal info into your character, either by accident or on purpose?

I've done both. What's more interesting is my readers seem to project my protagonist's traits on to me. On the flip side, when I wrote a hat tip to H.P. Lovecraft's short, He titled The Tunnels where I intended the protagonist to be female (without introducing specifics) my male readers assumed the protagonist was male. 

On a side note, many of Stephen King's protagonists have been writers. Most writers write from what they know, because people want to read about the intricacies of work. When they're reading about a writer they want to be informed on their process. When they're reading about an exotic dancer, they're expecting to be walked through her dressing room.
How do you inform your characters?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Surprise Product! Sometimes we don't know where we're going until we get there.

It's that time of the month again. No, the other one. It's time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group post. Join us in our collective insecurities as we offer advice and release our inner demons here!

I'm always surprising myself with my writing. I never know what I'm going to get. I used to think it was an issue due to lack of experience, thinking if I just outlined heavily enough and followed the right formula I would get out exactly what I set out to create. 

Stephen King's, On Writing is arguably the best book he's ever written. I realized it's ok not to know where you're going before you get there. I love his analogy of excavating an artifact. The stories already there, you just don't know what it is until you start chipping away at it.

I started my master thesis as a mystery novel and through two years of workshop it morphed into an autobiographical fiction.

What are some of your surprise products? Feel free to list them in the comments below. Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to fall! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Being Championed by Strunk and White - My Pet Peeves

Let's get insecure together, because it's IWSG first Wednesday! Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. This blog hop is a brave space for writers to share what we're insecure about and offer others advice and support. CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

This post may come off as high-handed, so let me preface my point by saying I cringe daily reading old work of mine that has lots of problems with bad editing and obnoxious sentimentalities. 

Living in San Francisco, I currently work as an editor-in-chief for, senior copy writer at, and a writer for I'm considering tacking on advice columnist to the list, because I want to be Cheryl Strayed, E. Jean, and Jenny Lawson. 

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to reading, writing, editing is when readers/writers point out inconsistent grammar and editing flaws, inconsistently. This. Happens. I have one image to give them. 

 If Strunk and White said to keep the Oxford Comma, then I'm gonna use the Oxford Comma. Can't settle an argument on grammar and the Google Oracle is only creating more confusion? Look above for divine intervention.

Thoughts? Feelings? Am I being too prickly?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fielding Rejection Until You're Carved Out of Wood

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a brave space where we share our insecurities and offer up useful advice. Click the link to join!

The most valuable lesson being a writer has taught me is how to take rejection. Whether it's losing contests, being denied grants and residencies, or just flat out denied representation we learn where our deep inner strength lies and how to tap into it. Finding strength is a breakthrough! If you don't have "the breakthrough" it's only a matter of time until you say, "I suck." and give up.

Every time a pitch gets shot down by an editor, I'm told by a publisher, "This is not for us.", or I'm given a scathing review I tap into the strong core center of my being. That hardened core has taken so many beatings it's now carved out of wood. If I wasn't a writer, I wouldn't have learned to be this strong. My breakthrough and the IWSG community are obscenely important to me. 

Do you feel the same way? What's the most important lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Saying, "I quit!" Then laughing at myself.

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post! IWSG is a safe place for writer's to share their insecurities and support one another. Click on the link to join: SIGN UP FOR INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP!

My website is down. I can't upload any media. After spending a small fortune to get multiple hacks off my site I can't link to my new published work. Every freelancer knows. This. Is. Bad! You don't get offered more assignments when publishers and editors can't see your latest feats.

So I leave my apartment in disgust to brainstorm a new career path, and it only takes a few blocks of marching for me to laugh and turn around. Being a writer is like being a show person. What else are you going to do?

Above is my article, It's Okay to Be Selfish with Your Writing in Author's Publish Magazine. I should take my own advice.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG - Weirdest Research Project

It's the first Wednesday of month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post. IWSG is a blog hop where we discuss our insecurities and share advice. Join HERE!

 The weirdest writing project I've researched was/is a resent one. I've been teaching a writing workshop called Bare Naked Prose once a week, and I've been rapping out with other San Francisco writers on crowd funding a poetry workshop for homeless in the Tenderloin district. 

It's been years since I lived in the Loin, and to prepare myself for more recent street activity I been re-reading books like William T. Vollmann's, Whores for Gloria and back issues of SF Gate

It's helpful to know prices for hair, sex, and other things. Also, if Vollmann's report is still relevant special rates go for scholarly interviews and portrait photographs. None are topics I've ever been familiar with.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group! IWSG is a brave space where writers get together to commiserate with each other's insecurities and share our support. Click on the link to join.

This week's been rough. While it's great to be waiting on a release date from a small publishing house on one of my novels, I'm crushed.

I just got rejected for the UNLV PhD BMI Fellowship in Fiction. I wanted this bad.

They were nice about it.


At least they didn't start off with Dear Looser, but...

We thank you so much for your application to the UNLV Creative Writing program. At this time, we have filled the fiction PhD spot for the 2017-18 academic year. I'm very sorry to inform you that you will not be offered admission to our program. We accept one candidate in poetry and one in fiction every year, so the program is very competitive. 

One candidate! They only accept one candidate?! It's an awesome program, too. It's so awesome I'm 100% sure I will never get accepted, ever. While it's not the FINISH LINE dream it's been THE dream for the last few months. I've spent so many hours working on this application it's hard to even quantify how much work was put in.

That's my insecurity for the month. My life in academia is probably over. 

I've been writing, writing, writing, but it's hard not to dwell. Any creative ways you keep your spring from clouding over? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG - Re-working an Old Project

Happy Wednesday! It's time for to post to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brainchild, The Insecure Writer's Support group. To learn more click on the link =

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a brave space where writers of all walks of life get together to share and receive advice on what we're insecure about.

Have you taken out an old idea that you were passionate about and reworked it? That's what I've just done, and I've found a publisher! I don't want to talk too much about it yet since the full manuscript is being commented on by the end of this week.

As if pulling out and reworking an old idea wasn't anxiety inducing enough! I will always be the most insecure about letting go and hitting send. 

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening. Is there a routine you go through that you might care to share?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG - Writing changed my Reading like Riding changed my Driving

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for a post to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child, Click the link to join!

I've always been an avid book nerd, but when I became a serious writer I became a serious reader. Our great Southern Gothic novelist, William Faulkner told us to read it all. Read the good. Read the bad. Read everything, and I try. The more I read, the more I stumble across styles innovative and different. Work that leaves me thinking, "What eloquent delivery and amazing execution. This is really good. I should try that!" I'm reading not just as an audience member, but as a wordsmith. 

Octavia Butler's, Kindred made me want to try my hand at Science Fiction. I have an idea for a Cyber Hex novel I'm developing. Loren Eisley's, The Star Thrower made me want to write more philosophical shorts. I've started a Schopenhauerian story about a child's puppet stage.

Expanding the mind!

When I was taught how to ride a motorcycle I learned a lot about traction and the road. After I got my M1 license my driving changed dramatically. I was way more conscious and aware of what was around my car and how to brake under different weather and road conditions. Riding a motorcycle made me a better driver the same way writing seriously made me more conscious a reader.

How has writing changed your reading? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Meet author, Chrys Fey. Today we're checking out her new title: Tsunami Crimes!

My Question for Chrys: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given? What's the worst?

"The best advice I’ve ever received did not come from another writer or a teacher or a family member or a friend. It came from me—Don’t give up. I was seventeen when I first told myself this. At that time, I wasn’t in school. I was suffering from depression and not sure how my life was going to get any better. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I started to rewrite a series from book one, page one. I reminded myself of my mantra several times since then, such as when I received rejection after rejection.

Don’t give up!

I continued to follow this advice even when I got the worst advice. And this awful advice came from my inner critic. Quit. My inner critic would become nasty when rejections poured in and I saw the success of other writers.

Just quit. Quitting is easier.

But the other voice in my head was louder.

Don’t give up!

That voice, that drive has shouted these words to me even recently when my inner critic, empowered by stress and depression, became uglier than ever before. 

Why put up with this anymore?

Quitting seemed smart, but I can’t quit. I can’t give up."

Well put! Thank you, Chrys.

Check out Chry's new release below!

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99!


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!