My Weekly Update – Info Dump in a Good Way

I felt the need for a cleanse.


I received the Reality Blog Award from Mark Means.  Thanks so much.


Post to Ponder
Recipe for a Successful Synopsis by Jami Gold
The Best Creative Writing Software by Girl None – I am a believer. 
How (Not) to Win a Twitter Pitch Fest by Ava Jae – There’s a twitter pitch contest tomorrow. #Pitmad
All About Pitches by Rachna Chhabria
7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing from Writer’s Digest 
7 Types of Narrative Conflict by Mark Nichol – I seem to lean towards Person vs. Self. 
The Last Minute Editing Process Made Easy with Scrivener by Michael J. Holley
Ready to Publish? by Rebecca Hoffman

A to Z Challenge

Get to know our Host and show them some love.

The A to Z Sign Up List – visit it often.

New Followers
Ryan Brooks
Costa Rica Travel Blog
The Pen Men World Project.
Rose Andrea
Mindy Sue
Kate Worthen
Colette Saucier
Russell Deasley of The Very Best Top 10
Gillian Hefer of A Daft Scots Lass
B Debnath of Booted Tales
Jasmine of Flux and Flow
Guerrilla Graffiti Magazine
LuAnn Braley of Kentucky Gal 50
Al Diaz of Father Dragon Writes
World of Beauty Tips
Ida Chiavaro of Reflex Reactions
Constant Writer JL

Good luck to everyone participating in the A to Z Challenge. Have a great April everyone!!!!!

EM, Why Do You Blog?

Back in June of 2012, I found EM’s blog and we met during JuNoWriMo.  I interviewed her back in June and found out she is from England (my favorite country) and lives in a castle (so cool) and a few months later, she asked me to read one of her short stories (talented writer).  She is amazing. 

So, EM, why do you blog? 

Thank you Sydney for inviting me to guest post on your blog!

Sydney and I both started blogging on March 1st, 2012, and I’m thrilled to be part of her first blogiversary celebrations!

Today’s topic is “Why do you blog?”

I’m a writer. I have been writing Fantasy stories for 15 years, and I’ve been thinking about getting one of them published for about 3 years. When I researched how to do this, it was clear from the start Internet was an invaluable information tool. So at first I just used the writing resources I found online to improve my writing and to research the publishing process, without having an online presence myself.

Then I came across – and followed – a couple of writers’ blogs. If you want to check them out, here they are: Elizabeth May, Susan Dennard and Claire Legrand. Month after month, these ladies documented the writing journey that took them from unknown YA writers polishing a manuscript to successful traditionally published authors. About 18 months ago, I wrote them an email, telling them how I found their blogs inspiring.

And they replied. And they wished me good luck with my own writing journey.

That was when I realised I was missing out on something there. I had always thought I wouldn’t need an online presence before getting published (because honestly, who on earth would want to read a blog written by me?!). Then I read Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer by the amazing Kristen Lamb. In her book, Kristen explains how having a blog, when you’re a writer, is as necessary as writing your book itself. Because in this day and age, getting a book published, then read, implies networking with readers, publishers, agents, editors and other writers. And the best way to do this is via Internet.

So I launched my blog. I started a Facebook page. I got on Twitter. At first, I was shy, and obsessed with the quality of my blog content. And in many ways, I still am. But I have also built an amazing network of writerly friends, who have all contributed to making me a better writer, closer to publication than I could ever hope.

I always say my blog is a way of “paying it forward”. I’m still not published, so I have nothing to sell. But I’m hoping all the people who stop by my blog, read my posts and comment on them, follow my blog or my Twitter feed, find something useful there. I relay news from the publishing industry, recommend books I like, share my writing tips and interact with whoever is kind enough to follow me. I cheer other writers on. I promote their books. I discuss trends with book bloggers. I give away books I love.

So why do I blog? Because writing is a solitary business. Sometimes you have to remember there are awesome book lovers out there. And Internet is the best place to find them. (Kristen Lamb’s blog)

Mark, Why Do You Blog?

I meet Mark from The Phantom M-pire during the June session of IWSG, Let’s Open it Up to the Group

His comment, “Hi Sydney, You have a lot of great advice here already, so I won’t pretend that I can add anything that hasn’t already been said. I will say, though, that as far as my ‘in the zone’ experiences go, they’re a lot like yours. I do that quite often and, sometimes, it’s like having a fresh pair of eyes on the story. Best wishes and keep writing!

Humble, encouraging and supportive. What more could you ask for? So, Mark, Why do you blog? 

I’ve spent the past five or six days really thinking about that and the answer came to me, late at night, when I was finishing up a blog post on how I’ve been trying to grow tomatoes in a bucket, of all things.

Way back when……back when I first started discovering and reading blogs, I started to get enchanted with getting a glimpse into a total stranger’s life. Their ups and downs, good times and bad, all that stuff. Why this appealed to me so much, I really can’t say. It was like I was kind of/sort of having a conversation with a total stranger and they were sharing their deepest, most intimate, thoughts with me. Of course, most of the blogs I was reading/following were of the “mundane” (to most people) variety and included such topics as comic books, writing, day to day activities, etc.

The more blogs I began to read, though, the more I thought ‘Hey, I like to write. I could, probably, do something like this. I had these thoughts of people coming across my blog and thinking ‘Wow, this guy is pretty neat!’ or something like that. A bit how I thought when I came across a cool blog. So, I set up a quick and easy blog on Blogger, because it looked to be the most ‘user friendly’, at the time….and went to work.

Then I realized that, while I thought I was a pretty neat person, I wasn’t necessarily all that interesting. I mean, I live a pretty normal life. I don’t cliff dive, jump out of planes, live in a cabin in the mountains, draw pictures for a living…..nothing like that. After a while, I resigned myself to the fact that I really didn’t have much of interest to “blog” about, so I stuck to just being a viewer. My blog went to the mothballs.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided that I really wanted to be a writer. I’ve always loved writing and drawing as well as just creating things…..I figured writing would be where my greatest strengths lie.

I took part in National Novel Writing Month in 2011 and, actually, completed a novel…well, I mean, as far as getting 50K words down. I’m still working on the story so, maybe someday I’ll write an ending to it. Anyway, participating in NaNo brought me in touch with a ton of writers….many of them had…you guessed it….blogs.

Still a fan of reading blogs, I checked many of them out and, again, thought…’Hey, I could do this.’ So, that’s what I started to do….again. The main difference being, I was doing it for the exercise of writing….not because I was trying to be interesting or a neat-o type person.

I’ve had a few people say that they thought I was pretty neat and, honestly, that feels great. I am still a huge fan of reading/following blogs and still love glimpses into total stranger’s lives. I also hope people think the same thing when they visit my little corners of the blogosphere.

If they don’t, though, it’s o.k. My writing and my blogging is for me…for my writing exercise and to help hone my skills as a writer.

So, long story longer…..I blog because it’s a great writing exercise, it’s fun, and best of all, I’ve met a ton of great people along the way.

Thanks again, Sydney and happy one year anniversary in the blogosphere!

Misha, Why Do You Blog?

I have know Mish from My First Book  for quite awhile. She interviewed me on July 24, 2012 and her first comment on my blog was on September 18, 2012 in response to the Genre Favorites Blogfest (A Ninja Captain Alex creation).   

“I used to LOVE James Patterson, but it now feels like he just churns out stories without caring about quality. I mean, he never even writes his books any more. :-/”

So, Misha, why do you blog?

When Sydney asked me to write a post on this topic, I was sort of stumped. Not because I don’t have a reason for blogging, but because I have so many motivations for blogging that it’s difficult to pick one.

Basically, I started blogging because writing book after writing book highlighted the importance of building a platform. Easy, I’d thought. It wasn’t.

Blogging is actually very hard work, if you want to build a big following. And the bigger it becomes, the more work you have. So although having a following might one day be useful when I have a book to sell, it’s not really the reason why I blog. If it was, I’d have given up years ago.

No. Now that I’m actually writing this, I realize that most of the reasons why I blog comes down to one. You. Yes. You. The wonderful person reading this.

By writing something on my blog or someone else’s, I’m gifted with a wonderful opportunity to touch your life. If you comment, you get to touch mine in return.

I find that to be a wonderful experience. You advise me, guide me, sometimes you just listen to me or even commiserate with me. All that you require is that I do the same for you.

If you think about it, blogging is actually a profound experience. One we take for granted sometimes, but amazing all the same.

And I’m honored to be part of such an amazing online community.

Why do you blog? 

Tattoo Tuesday – Colette Saucier


I am very excited to welcome not only an award winning writer, but my new blog friend, Colette, to Tattoo Tuesday.

Cotette, here are your five questions.

1.     How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I get my first tattoo right after my 27th birthday, although I had wanted to get one even longer. This was more years ago than I care to admit, and tattoos were not nearly so ubiquitous – especially on women. I wanted to give it some thought and think of something that would always be true for me.

2.     What made you want to get your first tattoo?
ohm namah shivaya inside of armI have seen so much beautiful body art, and, for those who get ink thoughtfully, it’s an incredible outlet for self-expression. When I got my first ink, there was no laser removal, no going back. For me, that is integrity – a commitment to one’s self.


3.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more?

ohm on inside of ankleI have three: I have the ohm symbol on my inner ankle so I see it when I have my legs crossed as I meditate. On my inner left arm, I have “ohm namah shivaya” in Sankskrit. The meaning translates to “I bow to the divine within myself.” It is a reminder that I can always be a better person. On the back of my neck, I have a symbol based on the triskele that represents how my life and my marriage are moving forward.

I have seen some quite elaborate designs recently that I would love, but my time for that has probably passed. But I might get a cute little mushroom on my ankle some day.

4.     What is your tattoo story?  Tell me the most recent or your favorite.

triskele on neckRemember how I said I wanted to be sure to get a tattoo that would always be true about me? Well, I decided to get the symbol for my astrological sign – Cancer – because I knew that would never change. I had it done on the back of my neck so I could wear my hair down if I wanted to cover it and up if I wanted to show it off. Unfortunately, most people mistook it for “69”! So I was not getting the kind of reaction I would have wanted! Last year, I had it made over into the triskele, and I am extremely pleased with it.

5.  Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike?  Why

I don’t like it when a guy is covered with tattoos or has sleeves, but of course I like them. Ink kind of runs in my family! My father and my brother both have tattoos, and my daughter and my husband got their first tattoos together (kind of a bonding experience for them!). All three of my daughters have multiple tattoos, and my husband and I got the same tattoo – “ohm namah shivaya” in Sankskrit – together as our commitment to being better partners to one another.


Colette Saucier is the bestselling author of Pulse and Prejudice, the paranormal adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view as a vampire.  Colette was selected “Debut Author of 2012” by Austenprose for her novel All My Tomorrows, which was also voted a Top 10 Romance Novel of 2012 (P&E Readers’ Choice). Her  romantic suspense, Alicia’s Possession, is scheduled for release in July.
She lives in South Louisiana with her two dogs and her inked husband.





Thanks so much Colette and congrats on your upcoming release.  If you would like to be featured in Tattoo Tuesday, please leave me your information in the comments.