Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Congratulations and Some Questions


Congratulations to all the IWSG members who entered this year's anthology contest.  You're all winners for submitting an entry.  It will be great fun to see what our members have done with the science fiction genre and dark matter theme.  Look for the winners to be announced toward the end of the year.


                    


Now comes the judging!  The IWSG administrators will create a shortlist of the best stories, and the shortlist will be sent to the official judges to pick the winners.  The IWSG has a wonderful slate of authors, agents, editors, and publishers as judges this year:  Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King.   I don't envy them the task of picking the winner.

The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press, an imprint of Dancing Lemur Press, in the next IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. Somewhere out there among our IWSG members is one lucky author who will share the honor earned by Yvonne Ventresca and previous winners Gwen Gardner, Jen Chandler, and L.G. Keltner, that of having his or her story grace the cover of the anthology. 



                                    
I was likely the least experienced writer of all the winners in Voyagers.  During the last eight or nine months I have climbed up a very steep learning curve. Along the way I received a lot of help from my fellow anthology authors, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and L. Diane Wolfe.  One of the best results of being featured in the anthology was my opportunity to work with Diane as my editor and publisher.  I have learned so much from this amazing person, and I am beyond grateful.  I was so green I didn't understand what she needed from me to collect my first royalty check.  But I'm a quick study and rectified that hole in my knowledge right away.

But, as a newly-published author, I still have questions.  I'm hoping this post will generate some answers:

1.  Do you, as an author, have a domain name?  Where is the best place to get one, and are there any pitfalls in choosing a name and in choosing a place to purchase your domain name?  Do you have to pay the fee annually?

2.  What is the best place to set up an author's website?  Is it possible to do this yourself or should you invest in having it done professionally?  What do you think are the most important things to include on your author's website?

I know that I could hunt this information down on the internet, but I'm tired of slogging around in the wilderness; I'd like some in-the-trenches guidance from IWSG members.  I'm sure I'm not the only one with these questions.  Any information would be much appreciated!

Lost in the Wilderness
Western Nova Scotia
August 5, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


And for any of you procrastinators out there who are finishing up your entry for this year's contest,
YOU STILL HAVE A WHOLE WEEK!
Woo Hoo!





Our next post will be on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 IWSG Day. 
Stay healthy and well until then!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue






* * * * * * * * * *


Reviews of Voyagers:  The Third Ghost:

1.  Check out lots of reviews and ratings at Goodreads.

2.  Excerpts from Amazon reviews:

"It's been a long time since I've read a collection of various genre stories that had me so overwhelmed with emotion at the end, and the fact that it's a middle-grade collection still boggles my mind."

"What do slave ships, ghosts, time travel, Pompeii, WWII, aeroplanes, and the Iron Curtain have in common?  They all appear in this absolutely fantastic collection of short stories by the Insecure Writer's Support Group."

"The amazing thing about themed anthologies is that, while there's a single theme, the stories are incredibly varied. In the case of Voyagers: The Third Ghost, not only are the stories varied, but each is well-crafted and engaging... All take the reader on a short, but rewarding journey."





You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic









Wednesday, August 12, 2020

"Voyagers: The Third Ghost" ~ A Great Book for the Middle-Grade Classroom!

If you cannot read fluently and with comprehension, you will have a tough time succeeding in today's world.  This fact drove me as a teacher throughout my twenty-five-year career in the classroom.  My constant goal was to improve the reading skills of each student I taught.  To accomplish this, I knew I had to hook each of them on reading, and my best lure was great books.

If I were not retired, I would choose Voyagers:  The third Ghost for my classroom with enthusiasm!  Please put aside the fact that I wrote one of the stories in this anthology.  I am wearing my teacher's hat and looking at the book objectively. 

I always filled my classroom with the best books I could find, every genre, every reading level, every subject.  I hunted for appealing books that supplemented the content of our curriculum.  I chose books to read aloud to the class, for the class to read together, for small group instruction, for buddy reading, and for silent reading.  I searched for books that matched the interests of my students; and if I found one that piqued the curiosity of a reluctant reader, I was thrilled.


                     The Anthology Containing My Short Story
                     "Dare Double Dare"
                         The IWSG on Instagram 
                         Background Photo by Louise MacBeath Barbour
                                     

Voyagers checks off each item on my list of criteria.  This collection of ten middle-grade stories is so varied!  Written for kids between the ages of eight and twelve (Grades 3-6), each story in the collection centers on a voyage that leads to a historical adventure.  Some stories will fill your heart, others will make you laugh, some will give you a chill, and some may introduce you to an unfamiliar place or time.
  
The stories crisscross the globe, cultures, and time.  There is something for everyone, and the possibilities for connecting to middle-grade subjects are numerous.  More importantly, the stories tackle some difficult topics with sensitivity and have an emotional impact.

As a teacher I could use this book so many ways.  I would chose a story to read aloud to the class, select other stories for small reading groups, pick another one or two to tie into curriculum subjects, and choose another for classroom discussion.  I could team my class up with a class at a different grade level, share a story, and do some fun activities together.  There is rich material in this book for lively discussion and debate, and the stories can be a jumping off point for all kinds of writing.  

Zharptica, the Mythical Firebird
in "Feathered Fire" by Roland Clarke
(The Second Sun by llifi-kei  Deviant Art)


To give you an idea of the variety and the richness of the stories in Voyagers: The Third Ghost, here is a list of the stories, with a brief description of their characters and historical settings.

"The Third Ghost" by Yvonne Ventresca:
Among the darkened, arson-damaged streets of Hoboken, New Jersey in 1981, Lewis stops to help two ghosts until he realizes his own family is in grave danger.

"The Ghosts of Pompeii" by Sherry Ellis:
Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt in 1944, and it's up to Bubba and Squirt to warn everyone, so they don't end up like the Ghosts of Pompeii.

"The Blind Ship" by Bish Denham:
Twelve-year-old Jacques experiences the impact of a highly contagious eye disease on a slave ship's cargo and crew as they sail from France to the Caribbean in 1819.

A Source of Inspiration for "The Blind Ship" by Bish Denham

"Dare Double Dare" by Louise MacBeath Barbour:
Sara and her brother Kelsey find themselves in dire circumstances at the Habitation in Port-Royal, Nova Scotia in 1605 after a rash "Dare" and "Double Dare."
  
"Return to Cahokia" by L.T. Ward:
Tonalli, a young Warm Weather God, embarks on a spring journey with her mother and siblings back to Cahokia in Pre-Columbian America.

"Feathered Fire" by Roland Clarke:
Two brave sisters Vasy and Kalyna, with the help of the mythical firebird, fight the Germans invading their Soviet motherland during WWII.

"The Orchard" by Beth Anderson Schuck:
Can Nels, with her magical connections to nature, and Della help each other survive in a remote area of Utah over a century ago?

Fruita Schoolhouse
 Capitol Reef National Park, Wayne County, Utah, United States.
Photo by Beth Schuck


"Simon Grey and the Yamamba" by Charles Kowalski:
Simon and his friend Oyuki try to escape a famous yokai monster on a mountain during their journey to Hirado in seventeenth century feudal Japan. 

"A World of Trouble" by Rebecca M. Douglass
Mattie and her friend Gordon get into serious trouble when they sneak off to the fair in Conconully, Washington to see an aeroplane fly in the early twentieth century. 

"Winter Days" by Katharina Gerlach:
On a Christmas visit in 1979, twelve-year-old Katie, whose father fled the German Democratic Republic 20 years earlier, fears her family’s arrest when a blizzard hits.

Border controls at the East German checkpoint Marienborn on December 1989
 Wikimedia Photo by G√ľnter Mach ~ License


If you are looking for a great book for your middle-grade classroom or for a middle-grade reader in your life, check out Voyagers:  The Third Ghost.  You won't be disappointed!


Our next post will be on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. 
Stay healthy and well until then!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."
                                                 Albert Einstein






* * * * * * * * * *


Reviews of Voyagers: The Third Ghost:

1. Check out lots of reviews and ratings at Goodreads.

2. Excerpts from Amazon reviews:

"It's been a long time since I've read a collection of various genre stories that had me so overwhelmed with emotion at the end, and the fact that it's a middle-grade collection still boggles my mind."

"What do slave ships, ghosts, time travel, Pompeii, WWII, aeroplanes, and the Iron Curtain have in common? They all appear in this absolutely fantastic collection of short stories by the Insecure Writer's Support Group."

"The amazing thing about themed anthologies is that, while there's a single theme, the stories are incredibly varied. In the case of Voyagers: The Third Ghost, not only are the stories varied, but each is well-crafted and engaging... All take the reader on a short, but rewarding journey."



You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic








Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Catch Some Writer's Sparks and Fuel Your Creative Fire!

Recently our Voyagers authors, our publisher L. Diane Wolfe, and IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh shared their favorite writing craft books on this blog.  Today, building on those recommendations, I am delighted to feature a wonderful writing craft book just released by IWSG member Chrys Fey:  Keep Writing with Fey:  Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout.  
   



Chrys deals with the serious issues of writer's block, depression, and burnout. She shares her personal struggles with each of them, but she does so in a way that fills the reader with hope that these are surmountable challenges.  She sought professional help for her depression, but her personal journey to health followed a self-help path with many holistic practices.  She states that "seeking help is important" and that "there is absolutely no shame in getting medical treatment or talking to a professional."  

However, Chrys's book is not heavy or dark.  It is filled with lightness and light. Chrys writes with a clear, compassionate, sometimes funny voice and provides the reader with positive tools to increase his or her health and to improve and grow as a writer.  I love the structure of the book, with its eighty-seven sparks to inspire, motivate, and help the reader.  Each spark can be read in a few minutes, but the reader will linger on its content much longer.  

In one section of her book, Chrys offers some thirty doses of Bactine to mitigate the pain of writer's block and writer's burnout.  For example, the first dose,  Bactine #1, soothes with its application:  "If you are afraid that you're facing writer's burnout or if you have writer's block, or even if you're not sure...share your struggle with others."  I'm grateful for Chrys doing exactly that. To me, her book is like a book of daily devotions.  I can open it to any spark at any time and read something informative, healing, or encouraging.

When I began reading Sparks, I immediately knew that it would have a prominent spot on my writing references shelf.  But I've changed my mind.  I'm keeping it on my nightstand.
  
I hope you read Chrys's book.  Better yet, I'm betting you'll want to keep it on your nightstand instead of your writing references bookshelf!

Writer's Sparks and Creative Fire



Today Chrys is hosting a Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop.
She invites you to share your story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal. Here's a link to her blog:
https://www.writewithfey.com/2020/08/dont-make-light-of-another-writers.html




About the Book:
Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

•        Writer's block
•        Depression
•        Writer's burnout
•        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
•        Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.

Book Links

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Goodreads





About the Author:  
Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey:  10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication.  She is also the author or the Disaster Crimes series.  Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writers burnout.  https://www.chrysfey.com  


Coming on Wednesday, August 12, 2020: 
A Surprise!  For me too ~ LOL.  I'm sure it will be worth a visit. 




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 





* * * * * * * * * *

Here Are Some Reviews of Chrys's Book:

“Gracious, there are so many tips and lessons in this book that I dare anyone to pick it up and not be writing furiously by the last chapter.” - C. Hope Clark, author and founder of FundsforWriters.com

“Her no-nonsense approach feels like advice from a good friend, doled out in easily digestible bite-sized pieces.” – Janice Hardy, author and founder of Fiction University

“This is one book every writer should have in their arsenal.” - Best-selling cozy mystery writer Elizabeth Spann Craig


Where to Order Chrys Fey's Book:  
Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout.  
Writing / Self-Help: Depression – Stress