Friday, September 23, 2022

Guest Post: Nick Wilford's New Release

 

Please welcome Nick Wilford, who is here to talk about characters and his newest release!


Today I’m going to talk a bit about what happens when good characters go bad and how it might affect the rest of your story. This can be really fun for both the author and reader because it can turn everything you thought you knew about your story, and your protagonist, on its head. That opens the door for all sorts of twists and revelations, adding layers of intrigue.

There are two main ways in which a previously good character can go dark: making that choice to cross over themselves, or being influenced by some kind of outside agency so their thoughts and actions are not entirely their own. In Reckoning, my main character, Wellesbury, falls into the latter category. (He’d been so determined to fight for what’s right the entire series, I didn’t think he’d ever make a conscious decision to go to the dark side.) But even if your character has made the move consciously, there’s room for a lot of nuance. Maybe they feel they don’t have a choice: for example, doing something bad is the only way they can get what they need for their family, such as something that would save a dying relative. Maybe they think what seems bad right now will lead to good in the long run. Use this as an opportunity to add complexity to your protagonist.

At the same time, think about how their actions affect everything and everyone around them. It’s going to have a chaotic ripple effect: those close to them might try to help them, or perhaps get sucked into this different way of thinking themselves. It’ll move the goalposts if there’s a villain your good guys are trying to defeat because the line between good and evil might now be very blurry. Or if you have a “sidekick” character to your protagonist, they might have to shoulder much more responsibility by both taking on the antagonist themselves and trying to bring their associate back on the right side. This is the position Ez, Welles’s partner, finds herself in in Reckoning.

Overall, this is a case of no character being completely black and white, to borrow the name of my series. Everyone has good and bad within them. Just as your villain will be much more rounded and convincing if they’re not purely, completely evil, so will your protagonist be if they’re not purely and completely good. Have fun playing with the boundaries and you’ll end up with a much more satisfying reading experience.

Title: Reckoning

Author: Nick Wilford

Genre: YA dystopian
Series: Black & White
Series #: 3 of 3

Release date: 20th September 2022

Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing 




Blurb:

The time has come for those who perpetrated wrongdoing and suffering on the land of Loretania to face their judgement. Lord Histender and the other members of the deposed Reformers’ Government are in jail awaiting trial for keeping that country in a state of disease-ridden deprivation, alongside other heinous crimes.

Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerelda Dontible, the kind and benevolent new rulers of Harmonia, are looking forward to seeing justice finally being done. But nothing is that simple. Lunkin, the psychotic former Chief Scientist, has one more trick up his sleeve and is wreaking havoc even from behind bars. Soon, Loretanians who have come to make a new life in Harmonia are falling victim to hate crimes and brutal attacks. And things take a turn for the desperate when Wellesbury himself becomes compromised.

Can Welles and Ez turn the tide of public opinion and secure justice for the people of Loretania before it’s too late?


Purchase Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo 

Add it on Goodreads

 

Author bio:



Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or wrangling his six adorable dogs. His first traditionally published novel, a YA sci-fi adventure entitled The Becalmer, will release from Creative James Media in August 2023. His other books include the Black & White trilogy, a YA dystopian series, and A Change of Mind and Other Stories, a collection featuring a novella and five short stories, four of which were previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew.

Linktree

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book signings, Breathing, and IWSG

As I mentioned last month, this is the crazy times. I'm in the middle of a four weekend book signing frenzy before things start to settle down for the rest so the last few months of the year. Relatively, anyway. I'd make this a longer, more informative post, but my brain is jelly. 

Currently up on my schedule:

Charlotte Frontier Days - Sept 9 & 10

Monroe Pop Fest Sept 16 & 17

Kalamazoo Expo Center Craft Show October 1

Geeky Experience Comic Con October 8

Where I've been: 

Newaygo Logging Festival with Laya the chicken

I finally got to use my newly modified tent cover at the Michiana Renaissance Festival
This was a super show and I'll be back next year! 

I also got to wear my newly modified blue dress on a very hot day.
It fits much better now and is more comfortable.
I was super excited about being very very hot. Does it show?

What am I working on? Breathing mostly. It's allergy season. On the bright side, I've figured out my publishing goals for 2023, but that's a blog post for later month.

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
Let's get to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question of the month: What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why? 

Historical Fiction. As much as I enjoy reading it. Writing it requires research. Research of that magnitude requires focus and detailed notes and keeping everything accurate to the period. My head hurt just thinking about it.

Yes, I keep detailed notes on facts and characters in my books, but there's a lot more freedom when you create your own world rather than having to maintain the accuracy of history and knowing all the things. Yes, that's my detailed description of, you know, the things: the stuff that makes historical pieces entertaining but also educational. 

I'll stick to enjoying the hard work and diligence of other authors in that genre.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Goodbye July, Hello August

 I spent July traveling across Michigan meeting readers. From Lansing, to Lake Orion, and then back to Grand Haven in West Michigan. Whew! It was a fun filled month of books, dragons, presenting writing panels, and even superhero wedding! 

Kogan Con - Grand Haven, MI

Michigan Medieval Faire - Lake Orion, MI
Capital City Comic Con - Lansing, MI

July was also Camp Nano, in which I plugged away at a book I'm writing for me at this point, wherein *spoiler alert* I'm killing people, crying about it, and processing the fact that they are dead. In theory, this may free me up to delve into other non-Narvan stand-alone books...like the pile of them on my hard drive glaring at me to be finished. As of the end of the month, I added 40,000 new words to the novel. Since my original goal was to add 20K, I'm calling that a definite win. Yes, Seeker is still the last book of the core series. If this tragic tale eventually gets to your eyes, it will be a companion novel like Minor Years.  

Oh, and dammit, I already have ideas where I could go after this. But no! No! Must, concentrate on stand-alone books for a while! 


I'm also still percolating on the last 2/3 of Frayed, which is slowly making its way through my local writing group chapter by chapter and finishing it is currently slated to be my project for NaNo 2022 unless I can make this Narvan book shut up and work on it before then. 

After such a busy July, I'll be spending August resting. Right? Ha. You're funny.

You can find me:

August 6 - Holland Art in the Park

August 13&14 - South Haven Blueberry Festival

August 27 & 28 Michiana Renaissance Faire 


If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
That brings us to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question:  When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

The first draft of everything I write is for me. Sorry, readers. But hey, I'm a reader too and I have to wait for the words to leech out of my fingers onto the page to enjoy them. Trust me, you're getting the far better end of the deal here. Once the story gets to you, it's a smooth ride (hopefully) and far more coherent (definitely). 

Readers get much more consideration once a draft enters editing. I often move things around or cut bits entirely to make the story flow better, faster, or be more engaging for everyone who is not in my twisted head.

As far as being original, I would think that's something we all strive for. Originality comes with adding your own voice to any story. All the plots may have been done before, but its what you do with them that makes them unique.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

How is it July already?

Yes, I'll be asking a similar question all year. When you stay busy, time flies by. 

June was full of fun with Laya the chicken. Laya is a naked neck silkie and the most laid back of all my chickens. Books and a chicken? Yep. She often comes with me to outdoor events to draw people over to my booth, and because hey, chickens are fun! Have you ever pet a chicken? Visit my booth and you can check that off your bucket list.

Taking a walk at the Lakeshore Art Festival

Sitting pretty at the White Lake Arts and Crafts Festival
Getting all the love at Magical Realms

I've been doing a little work in my garden as time allows. So many weeds to pull. The chickens love to eat them though so that give me some extra incentive to get weeds pulled beyond making the flower hill look nice. 

Have I been writing? The answer was supposed to be no, because I'm taking a break. However, Camp Nano got brought up in my local writing group and I did have an already started project I was mulling scenes over for...so yes, I am now writing. Sitting at 11K words so far for the month. I expect the fantastic pace will slow down now that my long holiday weekend is over.  

On the subject of taking a break, I have been reading and watching Netflix. Refilling the well, as it were.

Recently watched and finished: 

The Last Kingdom

Legacies

Bridgerton

The Ted Bundy Tapes

The Letter for the King

Cracow Monsters

Vikings Valhalla

The John Wayne Gacy Tapes


Recently Read:

Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

The Kingmakers Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Sometimes We Fall by Yong Takahashi

Year One by Nora Roberts

Patrick by Stephen Lawhead

29 by Vera West

Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams


Now that I've enticed you with Laya the chicken, I'm sorry to say that she won't be back with me until August when I'm at closer to home outdoor events. However, this month, you can find chickenless me at:

July 8-10  Capital City Comic Con - Lansing, MI

July 16 &17 Michigan Medieval Stroll - Lake Orion, MI

July 23 Kogan Con - Grand Haven, MI

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

And now to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

I'd have to go with my own Narvan world because I know the rules and the people there, and most importantly, who to avoid in order to stay alive. Alive is good. 

That whole world (universe?) has been with me for so long I can't imagine living any where else outside of the real world. Plus, my characters have aged with me. They're not moving as quickly as they used to. They suffer from aches and the occasional bad back day. I could fit in there in some quiet little background character roll without having to get into the plot chaos with main characters, but maybe still be close enough to see some of the action from a safe distance. 

Where would you go?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG: June Monthly update

Rolling into summer already. It wasn't the best of spring weather, that's for sure. Hopefully the heat holds off until my body can acclimate to something other than 38-65 in wild shifts and then throw a random 88 degree day in there. ugh.

In non-writing life, my youngest has moved out but the oldest still lives at home. I haven't weeded a thing. My pond still isn't up and running. The chickens and ducks are doing great. 

So what's up on the writing project list? I'm slowly toying with another companion novel for The Narvan and slowly editing Frayed. Mostly, I'm fried after releasing two books a week apart and everything that led up to that. So I'm taking it easy for awhile. No deadlines. Actually reading books and diving into the occasional Netflix binge. 

Up next on the book event list:

June 4 & 5 : Magical Realms Fantasy Faire

June 18 & 19 : White Lake Arts & Crafts 

June 25 & 26 : Lakeshore Art Festival


If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group Question is:

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? 

This happens a lot for me when I'm about one third of the way into the book. I've introduced the characters, the world, the conflict and now I've got to start figuring out how to get from all the drama I've just created to a resolution. So yes, the other 2/3 of the book. Once I bridge that gap, I'm usually good to go. However, if I can't figure it out, the story stalls and it sits on my hard drive until a solution hits me or it gathers virtual dust forever. 

How do I keep that from happening?

#1: Stop writing and start making a rough outline to figure how what needs to happen.

#2: Write a short note of what needs to happen in the troublesome scene(s) and skip ahead to the next part.

#3: Try something different to get the words flowing again - such as switching POV or dive into some dialogue if its a narrative section.

#4: Give some thought as to why the story is being tough. Have I made the plot too convoluted? Are the characters not properly motivated? Do I need to set something on fire to spice things up?

#5: Am I having a burnt out moment and need to take a few days off to recharge?

Usually there's a reason and it's just a matter of having the patience to figure out what it is to keep myself writing. 

What's your solution?



Wednesday, May 25, 2022

New Release: Seeker - The Narvan Book 4

Guess what Narvan fans? Seeker is finally available! If you subscribe to my newsletter, you got an early start before the release date. *hint*

Book 4 closes out Vayen's story and I'm excited to share it with all of you. Without a doubt, he's been my favorite character to write. I'd say I'll miss him, except I'm toying with another companion novel that takes place after Seeker. It's not in his POV though, so I can say that his leading time in the series is over. Will any of you ever see that book? That's up for debate. I'm a third of the way in. See my next blog post as to what that means for a story.

Enough about that dangled tidbit, let's get to Seeker:

Political upheaval threatens to erupt into a war that will tear the Narvan apart. The alteration undergone by Vayen and his hunters may have saved everyone from the Arpex but it also created the possibility of bullet-proof soldiers. Vayen’s fellow advisors will do anything to get that prize for themselves.

Not only is Vayen’s daughter not speaking to him, he’s been stuck at home for weeks recovering from surgery and being smothered by Anastassia’s efforts to keep him safe and healthy. Attempting to advise three worlds from his home office has him on his last nerve.

Vayen slips out to search for a new bodyguard.  A few strong drinks later, he ends up on a distant colony,  busting up a slave operation. The adrenaline rush and possibility of having done something good to get back into his daughter’s favor offers a momentary release. He even has a host of well-trained bodyguard slaves to pick from. He’s also gained a new enemy, discovered his bond to Anastassia isn’t what it used to be, and reawakened his old drug addiction.

In spite of doing everything he can to be good, the public has labeled Vayen a mutant and a tyrant. To bring peace to the Narvan and beyond, he’ll need to become exactly what they say he is. 

Where can you get a copy? 

Find me at any of the events I do throughout Michigan and Indiana.

Click on the "Buy signed copies" tab above to get your own copy shipped from me to you (within the US)

Click the link to the left to go to Amazon.

Find it on any of your favorite online bookstores.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Book Release: Spindelkin

It's finally release day for Spindelkin! πŸŒ³πŸŒΈπŸ‚πŸ€

Get this YA fairytale from your favorite online bookstore in paperback or e-book.

In the heart of the beautiful city of Katra, princess Amira has spent all her eleven years confined to her room. Cursed with a spell, poison runs through her veins and must be drained away every day or she will die. Kept company by only a stream of temporary maids and the king and queen when they have time, she dreams of what lies outside the castle walls, a sibling to play with, and a future she will likely never live to see. As Amira’s strength wanes, the king thinks that her salvation may lay in the distant forest, but the Spindelskov is inhabited by the nightmarish Spindelkin. The king and queen are unwilling to face them, fearing the creatures will plunge all of Katra into ruin. When the queen gives birth to a prince, Amira begs her maid to help her sneak out to meet her brother. Born with a tail and golden scales, the queen declares the baby a monster and he is left to die. Not bothered by his appearance, Amira promises the tiny prince that she will help him. Gathering her remaining strength, Amira sets out on a journey through the Spindelskov, searching for answers that may save them both.

You can get signed copies of all my books shipped from me to you (within the US)
Or get a copy from your favorite online retailer:
And many more!

Tune in next Saturday for another book release!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May The Fourth Be With You

It's been a busy month....and May just started! 

I kicked off the month with my first time at the 3-day the Whitestown Viking Festival in Indiana. Though it was super windy and we got rained out on Saturday, vendors and event goers had a great time. Lots of music, reenactments, horn-blowing, and beer and mead. 


Then it's back to work, and planning book releases before heading off on Friday to the Royal Stagg Renaissance Faire for the weekend for more book signing fun. 

Book releases? Yes! Spindelkin is available now, but officially launches on May 14 and Seeker: Book 4 of The Narvan launches on May 21. Links are in the side bar to the left. You can also by signed copies directly from me (shipped within the US) by using the tab above. More on both of those books closer to release days.

May 14, I'll be doing a release day signing for Spindelkin in Holland, MI at the Bluestocking Bookshop.

May 27 - 29, you can find plain old author me at the Newaygo Memorial Day Craft Show with fellow author Vera West and I should have both new books with me. 

Then can I take a break to catch my breath? Ummm sorta. I'm working on Frayed to get it ready for Kindle Vella, and I'm playing around with another Narvan companion novel. And modifying my tent cover for ren faire events...and adding beading a skirt for one of my ren faire dresses. And I have three weekend events next month.

Will I spontaneously combust one of these days? Probably.

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
And now on to the Insecure Writer's Support Group question of the month:
It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

Writer Highs: 

When readers tag me in posts or send messages/emails saying they liked one of my books. For those of you not behind the pen, you have no idea how uplifting these little notes are. They can offset a bad review, the weariness of round twelve of edits, or the days when words just refuse to form sentences on the page. 

Meeting new-to-me readers and returning ones at events. Sitting in my writing cave is calm and peaceful but also very disconnected. It's energizing to chat with the people who I write for (other than me).

Getting to be the face of who authors are for kids (or anyone, really), who is excited to meet an author in person for the first time. We love to talk to you about books, what you're reading, what you like, what we like, and what we write and answer your questions.

Writer Lows: 

Not having days off because you have a day job and spend your weekends out promoting books. It's fun, but it's also tiring. 

Starting a new project, knowing all the work that lays ahead.

Selling so many copies of your books but hardly anyone leaves Amazon reviews no matter how nicely you ask.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

It was all calm until April hit

While the weather is warming up outside, my task list is heating up as well. And just in time for my event schedule to kick in full swing! Yay?

With the snow melting away, that means lots of yardwork to do. Thousands of sticks to pick up, leaves to rake, the garden the plant, flowerbeds to clean out, and a new chicken run to put up. Just a few things.

And then there are writing projects:

Seeker: Book 4 of The Narvan is off to proofreaders.

Spindelkin is in final line edits.

Frayed is hanging out, waiting for an editing pass before getting started on Kindle Vella. It may be venturing out to my local critique group for a while while I juggle everything else.

A possible second Narvan Novel announced itself in my brain today - taking place four years after Seeker. OMG, stop the muse train. I need a moment to breathe.

I also need to write blurbs for both Seeker and Spindelkin and get the cover art finalized.

And I'd love a little quiet. The chicks I posted photos of last month are all growing fast and as soon as the nights are reliably above freezing, will be moving out to the coop. They are currently peeping away at each other signaling that its time to get on the roost for the night. They do this for about forty-five minute straight. It sounds cute. And it is for the first couple nights...

While I do all that, I've been busy finalizing my 2022 event schedule. With the possible addition of two more single day events, I'm done. Stick a fork in me. Maybe that will hold me down. 

Can I effectively juggle my book inventory during all this? Tune in to find out.

Coming up soon:

April 8 - 10 Grand Rapids Spring Fling Comic Con

April 22 - 23 Penguicon (virtual attendance)

April 24 Tulip City Comic Con

April 29 - May 1 Viking Festival

May 7 & 8 Royal Stagg Ren Faire

May 27 - 29 Newaygo Memorial Day Art Fair

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
Which brings us to the Monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group portion of the post. This month's question deals with audio books. I haven't yet ventured into those. I've had plenty of readers ask for them, but that just hasn't been on my priority list yet. 

So I'm going to jump to another topic instead. Too many projects. How do you manage them? 

I try to prioritize what needs to happen when so that I have a new book in the spring, and one in the fall. That's my goal. However, this year, things seem to have gone hilly nilly right out of the gate. Seeker was supposed to be my spring launch, but there were a lot more edits than anticipated, which added significantly to the word count (not complaining, I love how it turned out), which made line edits take much longer than planned. Then we add me picking up twice as many ren faires as I've done in the past, which lit a fire under my behind to get my YA fantasy Spindelkin ready for print so I could launch that early summer instead of fall. That derailed my plan to spend a month getting Frayed up on Kindle Vella. And then this new Narvan novel shows up, pounding on my door with a vengeance. Deep cleansing breath.

Writing is a juggling act. I'm going to attempt to stick with softly inflated beach balls rather than chain saws. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Marching into Spring

There may still be snow on the ground but at least the sun is shining now and then. Soon enough yard work will be back on the weekend agenda. Until then, I'm busy working on Seeker : Book 4 of The Narvan. The fine tuning edits are going slowly but I'm nearing halfway done. The final book in the main series is shaping up to be a long one, but hopefully also fulfilling for all the characters and wrapping up the series plot. 

Spindelkin is leaving Kindle Vella as I type this. The YA Fantasy novel is next up for going to print once I get Seeker out to proofreaders. 

Frayed, a YA urban fantasy (work in progress) will be hitting Kindle Vella as soon as I have time to get the first chapters edited and uploaded. Here's the cover so far. I'll be playing with it for months, I'm sure. I'm still playing with the cover for Spindelkin, for goodness sake. Nothing is set in stone until it goes to print. 


Upcoming book signing events:

Hall of Heroes Con in Elkhart IN - March 5-6

Grand Rapids Women's Expo in Grand Rapids, MI - March 18-20

Grand Rapids Spring fling Comic Con in Grand Rapids, MI - April 8-10

Tulip City Comic con in Holland, MI - April 24

Whitestown Viking Festival in Whitestown, IN - April 29 - May 1


And speaking of the Viking Festival, I finally finished sewing my new garb.  I had to relearn how to weave. It's been a long time since the fiber arts weeks of art class in high school. All the trim is tablet woven, which, in theory was going to give me some time to kick back and watch Netflix while I worked on it, but it turns out you have to have to actually pay attention to what you're doing. (My first strip has a about five different patterns in it because I kept losing count.)Well, crap. I ended up switching to an easier pattern for the rest of it and still had to keep flipping a paper to remind myself whether I was going forward or backward. Short term memory and I are not great friends. 

Lots of layers for all weather. 

Squeezing out the last wavering inches of tablet weaving.
Its is professional? No. Will it suffice? Yep.


If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
Which brings us to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question: 

Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to your story?

The short answer: Yes, but I almost always write them anyway. It's just whether I let anyone else ever see them. 

But seriously, I'm just gonna go ahead and overthink that question. Long answer: Sure. But for multiple reasons. 

A. The story or scene is too close to home. I'm pretty sure I touched on this one in a previous IWSG post. Writing is a good place to work though difficult emotions or situations, like therapy, able to distance ourselves a little and see it through a character instead of ourselves. But sometimes those things are too private or sensitive to share or might offend family members if they see through the thin veil of fiction.

B. I'm just not ready to tell that story. I don't have enough experience or knowledge of a topic or lifestyle to accurately covey what I want to show. Or it's not a genre I'm comfortable writing yet. There are a few stories lurking on my hard drive that are waiting for me to do research/gain life experience.

C. The scene might not fit in the book as a whole, but I'm jonesing to write it anyway. I almost always give into to this urge and see where it goes. It's about 70/30 in favor of ending up in the book, often with major edits to make it mesh, but these are usually great emotional moments or add depth of character.


And if you've made it this far though this month's blog post. You deserve chicks. Meet the newest additions to my flock. 

Olive Egger

Midnight Mystic Maran

Blue-laced Golden Wyandotte

Congratulations, you made it to the end. :) What are you up to this month?


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Spring Book Events and IWSG

It's winter here in West Michigan. Lots of snow, temps in the teens during the day, and snow plows galore. This is grey and white, our official winter color pallet.

Winter means we're not spending much time outside. I'm not a snow loving person other than to sit inside and look out at it. Ah yes, pretty. Now, back under my blanket with a warm computer on my lap. During nature's break from yard work, I'm busy booking events, sewing, and working on edits for Seeker. 

You can find me in Michigan and Indiana this Spring:

Feb 5 Byron Rec Comic con

Feb 11-13 Lansing Women's Expo

March 5-6 Hall of Heroes Con 

March 18-20 Grand Rapids Women's Expo

April 8-10 Grand Rapids Comic Con Spring Fling

April 24 Tulip City Comic Con

April 29 - May 1 Whitestown Viking Festival


What have I been sewing? Well, I'm doing five Ren Faire events this year and all are multi-day, so I decided to make a new set of clothes with options. Also, the first event is a Viking Festival, which I simply don't have anything to wear for (dramatic sigh) so a new outfit was in order. Being in April means it could be cold. Could be warm. One never knows. An outfit with options was needed. Layers!

This is layer one. It's super soft and comfy. I do have one ren faire dress that's form fitting and let me tell you, it takes two people to get into and laced up. I'm often without a maid at these things so I'm favoring comfort and ease these days. I'll leave the sexy wench and corset garb to the younger people. Ideally, I need to get a long leather belt for the waist but that's later add-on right now.

This is layer two. Or layer one if its a nice day. Its lighter weight. There are two more layers that I've yet to sew. Or cut the patterns for, actually. Lots of projects going on here. Then I'm going to attempt some weaving for more traditional trim, which I haven't done since high school. As you may gather, that was a while ago.

You may remember from last month that I was attempting to finish a cross stich project from fifteen years ago. Well, I did it! I don't recommend letting your project sit around for fifteen years as the colors fade, you discover that you weren't paying very close attention to the pattern fifteen years ago, and the cloth isn't actually as cream-colored (it was dirty and a bit stained on the edges) as you thought it was. But it's done and I'm happy with how it turned out (mostly that its done). 

And this brings us to February's Insecure Writer's Support Group part of my month's post. Do I intend to write more than a monthly post? Sure. Do I actually do it?  Uhhh,.. Is it next month already? 

This month's question is: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? 

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

This is kind of a sore spot for me. Support wasn't something I had much of early on. I had a few teachers in elementary school that encouraged me to write. One high school creative writing teacher did her fair share of encouraging too. She passed away years ago. However, when it came to friends and family, there were a lot of crickets. 

When my first short stories were published twelve years ago, I had a family member buy a copy. I thought I was onto something, but even when my first couple books were published, its was crickets in the support gang. I wasn't until I'd been published for ten years (no, seriously) that family and friends really started catching on and actively supporting, encouraging, and buying. 

So for those of you who feel lonely out there in the book-filled world, your time will also come. As with all aspects of writing, patience is key. And hey, support is what this group is all about, right?