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Author Interview – Gail Gillingham Wylie

October 8, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

gail

First of all, my book is not a novel but a self help book so I will try to answer the questions……

What inspired your latest novel?

In 1993 I left my husband and in leaving him lost everything for a time, my home, my job, my family and so on. I struggled to make sense of how I was feeling without any real help from the therapists I went to, the self help books I read, or any friends, etc. I talked to. I decided to return to University where I discovered the work of William James. It made sense of what I, not only, was experiencing, but also what my family was going through. Had no intention of ever writing a book about it, but after hearing everyone responding to 911, in much the same I felt in 1993, I decided I need to share what I had learned and so put it all down on paper.

How did you come up with the title?                 

William James developed a model of self in the late 1800’s – the title refers to how we, without being aware, are searching for that level of understanding.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

You are okay – no matter what is happening to you. It all makes sense if you take into account your whole journey through life. Only once you clearly understand your “self” you are you free to choose the next steps wisely.

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How much of the book is realistic?

All of it, I hope.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are three main sources for the examples I use in the book, my own life and what I have learned from two groups of people who live on the extreme……those with autism and those who were sexually abused as children.

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

Social media: facebook – interact with people all over the world on messenger through it. No blog as such, but do share thoughts through the notes section on facebook. Also have a website for my work in autism: www.autismconsultingservice.com

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

Have just completed my first novel – one I carried around in my head for 45 years. Currently have a couple more on the go. One is a murder mystery type, the other, the impact in a community in the midst of a world wide disaster. Don’t think I will be writing any more self-help books

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I like the main character in the murder mystery -Oliver Weary……he is a good man, in spite of what happened to him as a child, and spite of what the community at large assumes.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

Definitely a dabbler. Just finished a dinner theatre murder mystery for my family that worked out well, completing two very different projects in the moment: a manual for the work we do, and a short history of my grandfather’s life for my extended family as well as the two novels in progress.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

Am amazed at how, although one has planned out an outline, how stories take on a life of their own as time goes by.

What is your best marketing tip?

Wish I had one!!!

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

For me, it has been a great tool, but it does take time and energy to use it effectively.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?

It is who I am and I delight in the freedom to do it at this point in my life. At a certain point in life, I actually burned everything I had written up till then, something I have regretted ever since. Not good to not live with the freedom to be oneself.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I don’t remember, did a lot of newspaper ideas as a child and carried on with them in high school and college – the childhood ones were all fiction, while the later ones were of actual happenings and shared with the community I was in at the time.

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

I think it has always been diverse.

What genre are you currently reading?

Current book of the moment is Emma by Alexander4 McCall Smith – a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s novel. We have a wee library close to our home and I currently get all of my reading material from it……so becomes very diverse based on what others have contributed.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

At this point, pleasure. Started researching both autism and the long term effects of childhood sexual abuse in the late eighties and basically gave up reading for pleasure for the next 20 years…..so it feels goo to get back to it.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My husband Clay

Where is your favorite writing space?

On the computer!!! So nice to have something that I can use that gets my thoughts down almost as fast as I can think them!! Have my own office in my home so that’s where the writing happens at this point. Have this dream of moving into at hotel for a stint and having everything looked after for me so all I needed to do was write, but fear it might end up too boring.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

No, not really – joined one last fall but nothing came of it…..

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Margret Lawrence – to thank her for a portion of The Diviner’s which explained how I was responding to life and what I needed to do to change it.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Right where I am. Love my home!!! But in the midst of that, also NEED to experience the energy of the mountains, the ocean and the old growth forests so make the effort to visit them at least once a year.

Do you see writing as a career?

Since I am almost at the age of 70, not really looking for a career. May have wanted it when I was younger but know now that the life I experienced has opened me up in ways that sitting at a desk never could have….and it is those experiences that make what I write powerful.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

No – drink a lot of coffee but rarely snack if ever.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

No deadlines at this point in life!!

Bio:

Gail Gillingham Wylie, M.Sc. is an individual, marital and family therapist working in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada specializing in the field of autism. She has a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Science in marital and family therapy from Loma Linda University, California. She has worked as a quantum biofeedback practitioner with SCIO since 2005.

Gail is known internationally through her books on autism: Autism Handle with Care (1995), Autism A New Understanding (2000) and Sharing our Wisdom (2003) and has spoken at many conferences on autism in United States, Canada, England, Malaysia and South Africa throughout the last quarter century. These include presentations at the World Conferences on Autism in Toronto in 1993, and Cape Town, SA in 2006. Her latest book In Search of Self takes her out of the autism world as it applies to each and every one of us.

Gail first began using the model of self as tool with her clients while working as a family therapist. She has successfully incorporated it into her sessions on the scio as it provides a visual map for those who are working towards self awareness. She fully believes that we are living at a time during which developing and unconditional acceptance of one self and of others is of prime importance. The model of self can help us do that.

Author Interview – Halli Lilburn

October 1, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

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What inspired your latest WIP?

A dream. Most of my ideas start with dreams. I am a vivid dreamer.  I tweak them to make sense. My current work involves steampunk pirates and I’m collaborating with my 16-year-old daughter. She invented one of the characters so she decides what they say and do. It makes for an adventure we can share together and twists in the plot that even I didn’t see coming.

How did you come up with the title?

First it was called Evelyn of the Sea because I wanted to write about a woman disguised as a man on a sailing vessel.  I want a female hero who isn’t judged because of her gender.  However, I soon realized that I couldn’t write a historical novel so I made it steampunk, put Evelyn in an airship, and called it Evelyn of the Air instead. I also set the story on a different planet so I could mess around with technology, laws of physics and mythos. Airships don’t work very well on earth and I didn’t want to be limited.  The best way to break rules is either off planet or magic.  I do both.

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Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to find validation, sympathy and inclusion. I want to shine a light to people underrepresented, marginalized or odd in any way. We are all a family and we should fight for our place in the world.  But I don’t want to preach.

How much of the book is realistic?

My goals are to escape and entertain. I don’t want them burdened with the same problems they face in real life. I want my readers to work with their imagination. Get those brain cogs turning. Of course, the mystery of the human condition is very real. Just because the obstacles are fantastic, our reactions, emotions and instincts are still the same. So, I sneak in some sympathetic elements while battling monsters and hope the parallels and symbols are subtle but noticeable.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Authors can’t help but draw on their own experience but I try to keep my own words out of my characters minds. I ask myself what I would do in the situation and is it the same thing my character would do? If it is, I run the risk of having all my characters sound the same. I do want my characters to get into worlds I could never visit or adventures I wish I could have. So, would I want to be a pirate on an airship? Of course!

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Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

hallililburn.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/groups/147239652049490/, @hallililburn

 Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I really enjoy writing short stories for anthologies.  I like themes on monsters.  Maybe soon I’ll have enough monster stories to make my own collection.  I am also an artist so I want to do an art book but I need a grant for that project. I also want to write a play. I want to see my characters interpreted by others.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I am a feminist so I really push the female hero who is smart, invaluable and saves the day. I also have male characters who are sensitive and respectful.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? 

I can’t sit still so I am always starting new projects.  I want to try everything. Monsters and ghosts are my favourite in horror, fantasy or sci-fi. Sometimes those monsters are the good guys or even the love interest.

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Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I totally understand the advantage to planning and plotting but I cannot force it out. And I’m too impatient.  If a scene is rattling around in my brain, I have to put it on paper. And it morphs as I go, so I deviate from any plan I had.  If I get stuck, I leave it for a few days and let my subconscious mull it over until the idea snaps into focus.

What is your best marketing tip?

Be friendly. Go to your readers for book signings, school visits and conferences.  The people you associate with will be your best promoters and collaborators.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

Social media is a two-edged sword.  It can kind of work, but usually it slows me down. It’s best for keeping in contact with associates and hearing about submission calls. I don’t spam people, I invite them to book signings then talk to them in person.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Reading anything is always research. It can’t not be. Even if I’m just researching an author to see if I like their style to determine if I want to read more. If it’s not a good fit, I’ll stop reading.  It’s simple. Everything I read gets stored away for future reference.

Do you see writing as a career?

No.  It is a lifestyle. If I wanted it to be a career, I would have got my bachelors of English or journalism and applied myself to these professional labels, deadlines and salaries. A writing career involves writing for other people. I haven’t done that since school assignments. I want to let my creative side out when it suites me without worrying about paying the rent with my words. Depending on a writer’s income is hazardous. I won’t quit my day job but I will write during my lunchbreak.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

No. I realized early on that I binge and it’s not healthy so I stopped. I will only drink water or tea. Some of my binge worthy treats are praline trail mix, and popcorn. I try and save those things for parties.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

Netflix! It’s time to purge the brain. Maybe cheesecake.

Bio:

Halli Lilburn was born in Edmonton, Alberta.  Her first story at age nine was about unicorns and fairies.  Over the years she has explored other genres including poetry, science fiction, paranormal and horror. She has works published with Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods, Spirited by Leap Books, Carte Blanche, Vine Leaves, Renaissance Press and many others.  She teaches workshops on creative writing and art journaling. She is a certified structural editor with essentialedits.ca and is an editor for The Dame Was Trouble, with Coffin Hop Press. Her education includes Library Operations, Art History, Creative Writing, Music and Fashion Design. She is a librarian, artist and mother of three.

Author Excitement – Opening a Box of Books & Literary Events

September 26, 2019
mandyevebarnett


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This will be a busy week! I attended Word on the Street on 21st September in Lethbridge. It is my fourth visit to that particular location for this event and as always have so much fun meeting readers and new authors. My publisher, Dream Write Publishing attended and I assisted with their table.

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There were several authors, I wanted to catch up with from last year: Krysta MacDonald, Jenna Greene, and Bianca Rowena. I was pleasantly surprised to find another author, Natasha Deen, whom I had not seen in quite a while.

We were fortunate that the weather was a balmy +21 (unlike last year when we froze!) as it is a outside canopy event. There was lots to see and many presentations and speakers too.

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With that event over I could not sit on my laurels, as I have another event this Saturday 28th September – Words in the Park. So it was home late Monday night, unpack and reorganize. You can imagine my excitement when I found a box of books waiting for me. These are the long awaited sequel to The Rython Kingdom. So many readers wanted a sequel and I spent quite a long time (to my readers frustration) pondering what that story would entail. Now it is here: Rython Legacy – the sequel.

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I hope to see you this Saturday – Agora, Community Center, 401, Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, Alberta. 10 am – 4 pm Free admission with local authors galore, music, story telling, treats, games & interactive sessions and prizes too. A family friendly event with something for everyone.

Author Interview – Dwayne Clayden

September 24, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

Dwayne

What inspired your latest novel?

My next novel, Wolfman is Back (released Nov 7, 2019) is the third novel in the Brad Coulter Series. It is based loosely on a very nasty criminal who escaped prison in the early 1980s. He was a stalker who raped and killed several women.

My second novel. OutlawMC is about biker gangs. In OutlawMC there was a very, very nasty biker that readers asked why I hadn’t killed him at the end. The readers hated him.

So, I did the only thing a writer could do, and I not only had him live, but he’s the main antagonist in Wolfman is back. I combined the two ideas for the story with lots of added nastiness.

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How did you come up with the title?           

This was the easiest title so far. Jeter Wolf, the biker/antagonist, has a nickname, Wolfman. Since readers wanted him gone, I brought him back, thus Wolfman is Back!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’m not sure I have a specific message, other than the situations police and EMS respond to are at times beyond comprehension. That someone can be so evil and remorseless is chilling and what one human will do to another is incomprehensible, yet it happens. Fortunately, not much of it is reported by the press. But police and EMS have a very changing job, and it takes its toll.

How much of the book is realistic?

The banter between police officers is something I try hard to make real. The closeness of partners, the teasing, the outright pushing all the right (wrong?) buttons is everyday. But when stuff hits the fan, they come together like no other profession I know. It’s almost like siblings fighting, but someone outside challenges on sibling, the whole family takes it as a challenge and becomes very protective. Thus, an injury to a police officer or paramedic, is felt by the entire department.

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Are your characters based on someone you know or events in your own life?

The characters in my first novel, Crisis Point were almost all based on people I knew or combinations of traits. My Protagonist, Brad Coulter, was a bit of me. I was a police officer for 3 years then a paramedic for 37 years. The premise of the Brad Coulter series is, what could my police career have been if I’d stayed in policing? Before the middle of Crisis Point, the character, Brad Coulter, had taken over the role and he became his own person (if that makes sense and isn’t weird!). I like to think of Brad a better version of me. My police friends have fun trying to guess who the other characters are based on. They manage to nail a few of them!

The German shepherd in the novels is Lobo. And he is the first dog I had (I rescued him from the pound 6 months into being a police officer).

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

There a parts of social media that baffle me (Twitter). I am on Facebook at Dwayneclaydenauthor and Dwayneclayden. Facebook is where I spend most of my social media time. I’m also on LinkedIn: dwayneclayden and yes, Twitter: @DwayneClayden

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Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I have plans for novels from now to December 2022. Whether I can keep that schedule and pace— we shall see.

The next novel which I hope release in March or April 2020, is the first in a new series called Speargrass. The first novel deals with the opioid crisis in Montana and on a Montana First Nation.If you have seen the TV show Longmire, you’ll get a taste of what I’m doing. If you like Longmire, you’ll love Speargrass. It has its own backstory and characters with lots of flaws. I should be finished Speargrass by the end of September and then I will send it to my marvelous editor, Taija Morgan. While Taija does her thing, I’ll start Coulter #4. The working title is Sniper and if all goes to plan, that release will be November 2020.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I can be sarcastic and cutting, so I add that to some of my characters. Brad is sarcastic, cutting and very quick with comment or insult.

In Wolfman, there is new character, a detective that I really like. He’s an older, more seasoned version of Brad.

What is a little scary, is that I was able to get inside Jeter Wolfe (Wolman’s) head and I think he comes across realistic in all his evilness! I’ve been told a few times I write the bad guys better than the good guys! That was the critique from my first submission in my first writing class in 2010!

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Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I’m definitely a crime guy. I love the style of Michael Connelly, Robert B Parker, John Sandford, and Lee Child.

However, I wrote a short Story, Hell Hath No Fury, which was a hard-boiled, down on his luck private detective story. It was published in2015 in AB Negative, An Anthology of Alberta Crime. It was fun to write and I have a sequel to that half-written.

This fall I’ve been asked to write a short story with a gothic them based in Alberta. So, I’m testing the water, but only with one toe!

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I plan out every story. I start by putting ideas on index cards and then when I have 50 or so, I lay them out on my pool table and create an order. It gives me a starting point and direction. None of my four novels resemble in any way the original outline. Having direction helps me with the first draft.

Then when I do my first edit, I tend to re-write the story as I go, adding chapters as needed. I believe outlines are simply roadmaps and you can still take various routes to your destination – that’s up to your creativity. But no novel will likely resemble the first outline.

What is your best marketing tip?

I wish I had one! It has been a slow process to get a few enthusiastic fans/readers. The biggest thing right now is that I now have three novels. When readers finish the fist one, they reach for the second, and third. The challenge is keeping ahead of them and not having too much time between novels or they will find someone else.

If someone has ideas on how to sell e-books, I’d be very interested!

I have had local success at Farmer’s Markets and Christmas Fairs.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

For me, social media is hindrance and distracting. For my novels, I have had minimal success with advertising my novels on Facebook. For now, my time is better spent writing that next, great novel the readers want. However, my Facebook goal is to find the funniest jokes, memes and stories to give anyone following me a laugh or two for the day.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I get lost in the story and the characters and sometimes write well into the night/morning because it is flowing so well.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started writing short stories in high school, slapstick and parody like Saturday Night Live. Then a career in policing and then paramedics got in my way. I co-authored four textbooks for paramedics, but that is not the same as fiction writing. My fiction writing career began in October 2010.

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
Stayed the same.

What genre are you currently reading?

I read Michael Connelly, Robert B Parker, John Sandford and Lee Child. I also read John Grisham, Ken Follett, and Jeffrey Archer to name a few.

I am reading novels by Nelson DeMille. He writes crime/thriller novel. I’ve just started reading his novels on a recommendation from a friend. I quite like his style.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

I read for pleasure, but it is hard to turn off the writer/editor brain and just enjoy a novel. In some respects, writing has spoiled reading for me.

For OutlawMC I read 12-15 books on Outlaw Motorcycle clubs

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My best supporter is my mom, Sheila Clayden.

Valerie West, my partner, is my encourager and has always believed in my writing.

Jonas Saul, the Sarah Roberts best selling series author, has been an incredible mentor.

Where is your favorite writing space?

I have a writing room/man cave in the basement where most of my writing is done. I have tried writing at nice places, like our cabin, but it’s not the same.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I do not belong to a writing group now. For about 3 years we had a writing group in Calgary called the Inklings and we met every Monday evening. The members read Crisis Point and OutlawMC through many, many edits.

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Tough one.

Joseph Wambaugh because he changed the genre of crime novels to portray the realism of thed streets for cops. That is what I’m trying to do, so I’d to have beer and discuss his early writing. His early novels also changed TV crime from happy ending Adam 12 and Dragnet to Hill Street Blues, the first of the realistic police dramas.

Michael Connelly because I love his Bosch series which is also a TV series. I want to know how he did that! I’d love to have a hit novel series and I think my novels would do well on TV. Of course, that’s just my wishful thinking!

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

The Big Island, Hawaii. We went there for the first time in May 2018 and I loved everything about it. Especially the calm pace. You can’t help but relax there.

Do you see writing as a career?

Writing is my career. I’m putting everything I have into it. I mentioned a writing schedule and I plan to stick to that. Next year I hope to launch 2 novels and 1 non-fiction book.

I love writing and creating. My challenge is getting the exposure beyond my family, friends, colleagues, and into the American ebook market.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

To my family doctor’s dismay, I drink Pepsi when I write and often eat chocolate covered almonds. That doesn’t mean I don’t like coffee (with Bailey’s) on occasion!

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

I have been told to reward myself, but I don’t. Maybe a weekend. 

I’m pushing hard to keep the novels coming that by the time one novel is launched, another is in editing and a third is on the first draft. 

I am now receiving emails from readers wanting to know when the next novel will be out. Some readers chastise me when they see I’m on Facebook and say, “You should be writing!”

Bio:

Dwayne Clayden writes crime thrillers.

Crisis Point, Dwayne’s first novel, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Awards.

OutlawMC is the second in the Brad Coulter Series.

Wolfman is Back, the third in the Brad Coulter Series, with be released in Fall 2019.

In his 40 year career, Dwayne has served as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair.

Dwayne is a popular speaker at conferences and to writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical and paramedic procedures.

The co-author of four paramedic textbooks, he has spoken internationally at EMS conferences for the past three decades.

DwayneClayden.com

dwayneclayden@gmail.com

 

 

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Six Tips to Tame the Story Idea Flood

September 18, 2019
mandyevebarnett


Idea Source

Many of us experience, from time to time, the dreaded writers block, that awful feeling while staring at a blank page or screen when words do not flow but what happens when there are too many story ideas bombarding our brains? It can be just as debilitating as staring at that blankness. Bizarrely the symptoms are quite similar – crippling  indecision, procrastination, and even insomnia and anxiety.

As writers we usually have numerous story ideas bouncing around inside our heads usually gleaned from something we see or hear. This may seem like a good problem to have, however, the dilemma is how do we ensure these golden nuggets are not lost or are even worth investigating?  We can make frantic notes, some which, unfortunately make no sense whatsoever later on! That middle of the night scribble is so common. But timing is everything – musing over where a new idea could possibly lead, can lead to a devastating interruption to a current project. So how do we identify if this ‘new’ idea is worth pursuing without jeopardizing our current writing?

There are strategies we can employ to enable us to identify the ideas that are worth keeping – here are a few.

a) Leave the chaos of your writing space with pen and paper or recording device and go for a walk. Once you are in a new environment the most exciting and prominent idea(s) will stay with you. Write or record them and let your imagination flourish with them for a while.

b) Restrict your time on musing about new ideas by setting yourself a time limit. Even a ten minute burst of inspirational writing will ensure you get the idea down but not ‘waste’ too much time on it. Once it is written put it to one side and continue with your current project, safe in the knowledge the idea has been dealt with.

c) Take some time to really dissect the new idea. Can you envisage the plot arc, the ending, the characters? If the majority of the narrative reveals itself to you, then mark it down as your next project. However, if the idea is vague, do not pursue it – just jot down the outline and file it for another time.

d) Utilize your passion when defining whether an idea is worth reflection. If it excites you or is on a subject you feel passionate about then it should be considered in depth.

e) Get yourself an idea board. Organize each idea into genre or categories and when a new plot, character or scene comes to you place it with the other components of that particular story or idea thread.

f) Bounce your ideas off a few trusted friends or members of your writing group.

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Not all ideas will make it and that’s okay. Use your internal writer instinct to guide you on which idea excites your specific Muse, the one that takes hold of your imagination and let the words flow. Story is our power and knowing which ones we are best at telling is key.

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

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