Category Archives: Writing

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Yep. It’s November and you know what that means. It’s NaNoWriMo.

I had hoped to get this post out earlier, but illness kind of prevented that, so better late than never, I suppose, right?

It’s the morning of Day #9 and my word count isn’t where I want it to be, but I still have hope.

Having participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since 2005, I like to think I’ve picked up a tip or two along the way.

So, I’ve decided to share.

Tip #1: Pace yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days may seem like a massive undertaking and leave you feeling completely overwhelmed, but the truth is it doesn’t have to. 1,667 words per day is completely doable, and if you break it down into even smaller goals… say 834 words in the morning and 834 words at night it’ll be an even easier goal to smash.

Tip #2: It’s never to early to kill off a character. In NaNoWriMo… anything goes. I once killed of a main character in the first chapter. Surprisingly, it worked and pushed the other characters forward. Death scenes take up a lot of words. So, does sex.

Tip #3: Editing is for December. Turn off your inner editor. Yes, it’s hard, but completely doable.

Tip #4: Turn off distractions. Procrastinating is the worst enemy to any NaNoer. If it helps set a timer, and turn off the WiFi. Research is fun, but time consuming.

Tip #5: Have fun. Because if you’re not having fun while writing, there’s really no point.

 

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Letters from Emily Release Day

Letters from Emily by M.L. Pennock

 

When Emily Long agrees to be in her friend’s wedding, she doesn’t plan on backing out a few weeks before the ceremony and merely going as a guest.

Being charmed into a one-night stand with a flirty groomsman also wasn’t on her list of things to do. But the morning after the wedding, she finds herself hung over and wrapped up in Brian Stratford’s bedsheets.

Several weeks, a positive pregnancy test, and an ultrasound later, Emily finds herself on Brian’s doorstep questioning how her life ended up where it is.

As the new couple processes how to co-parent without loving one another, Emily’s fate takes a turn for the worst.

It isn’t until years later when Brian finds out what happened …

and that Emily left letters behind for the people she loves most.

emily

Links!

Universal Link: books2read.com/LettersFromEmily

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyUS

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyUK

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyAU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyCA

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyBN

iBooks: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyApple

Kobo: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyKobo

Add it on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyGoodreads

 

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About the Author

M.L. Pennock is a former journalist turned author. She attended Alfred University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and communication studies, before going on to earn a Master of Arts in communications from SUNY College at Brockport. She lives in Central New York with her husband and three daughters.

M.L. Pennock is the author of the To Have series.

Visit facebook.com/mlpennock or mlpennock.com for more information about what she’s working on next.

 

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

morrighan cover 2.jpg

It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.

How to Deal with Rejection

1C4CDA24-390A-47D4-A4FC-A2410B9F55B3I hate to say it, but life has gotten busy. Looking for work has taken up the bulk of my time and I’m still no closer to being employed. So, as a result, August has given way to September and Spring is beginning to leave its mark, ever so slowly.

My story Owl Eyes has yet to be picked up, despite sending it out to a few different anthologies it’s been rejected. I’ll likely add it to the pile of stories I’m collecting to put into an anthology, but even so it doesn’t lessen the sting of rejection.

So, on that note I thought I’d share a few ways to deal with rejection as a writer.

1. Try not to take it personally. I know, it’s hard and you’re first instinct will be to take it personally, but do try not to. I promise good things are just around the corner.

2. Allow yourself time to be disappointed. Let’s face it… rejection hurts. Take a moment, but don’t dwell.

3. Have something on the go. Don’t force the words but have something to throw yourself into. Hope springs eternal and you won’t get published if you don’t keep writing.

4. Let it go. Let it go! (Sorry! I couldn’t resist. Hazards of having a daughter who loved (loves?) Frozen. But it’s true. Patience is a virtue and humility even more so. Don’t get angry. It’s no way to have a writing career.

5. Try to get rejected. I know it sounds crazy but you can’t get published without taking a risk and sending your work out into the world. For every two rejection letters you might receive an acceptance letter. How great would that be? A dream come true, I bet.

I hope this list has inspired you to keep going, even if at times it seems hopeless. If it’s has, drop me a line in the comments. If not, I encourage you to also comment, perhaps with your favourite song. You know, the one you just can’t get out of your head? Inspiration comes from everywhere after all.

 

 

 

 

 

I am Morgan le Faye

26FB8BBC-3A1C-4F6E-BF6C-BC51A5E7A05EI’ve been busy working on expanding a short story that I’m hoping to offer up to the public in the coming weeks…

I’m thinking of releasing it as a series of three short stories – 6,000 words each – totalling 18,000 words… for 0.99c each.

The stories are my take on the Arthurian Myths, complete with new twists and all feed into my forthcoming Eldritch novels.

I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all and it’s because of that very reason, I’m gifting you a sneak peak…

Here it is!

Enjoy!

I am Morgan le Faye – revenge was the very last thing bequeathed to me.
My name was such that it would be written on the wind for centuries to come. A litany that would beat madly in the hearts of all those who’d wronged me.
Morgan le Faye… Morgan le Faye… Morgan le Faye.
Death would not come soon enough.
Once, I’d had a father who loved me as much as I loved him.
And they killed him.
The fair folk.
All for the want of a woman. A woman whose name was Igraine. The Queen of Camelot.
My mother was beautiful. Her fair hair shone like spun gold, and when she let it fall loose it fell almost down to the floor. Plaited, the long braid came to her waist.
I envied those long golden locks as a child, even when they turned snow white with age, I envied them. Anything would have been better than to be cursed with dark unruly curls as I was.
Nobody ever told me I was pretty, only common. How I wished I’d get to receive the type of looks of adoration my mother received. First from my father and then from Uther. I’d spent many a sleepless night as a child dreaming of the day I’d have a love as great as my mother had, had. It wasn’t until he showed up in my life, that I knew I was adored, simply for being me. Little did I know that his adoration would come at a price.

 

Popular Hashtags For Writers

21A34B13-D7BF-4314-A2AC-BD1996B9A506.jpegDo you ever find yourself wondering what writerly hashtags to use on Instagram and twitter? If the answer is yes, then look no further. 

I’ve compiled a list that might help you navigate the never ending sea of confusion that surrounds hashtags.

Popular Hashtags For Writers

#AmEditing – a short version of “I am editing”

#AmWriting – a short version of “I am writing”

#AmReading – a short version of “I am reading”

#WritersWrite

#WritersRead

#IndieAuthors – independent authors need to use social media in their marketing strategy.

#NaNoWriMo – national novel writing month

#PubTip – publication tips

#SelfPublishing

#StoryStarter – a prompt for starting a story

#WordCount – used by writers who want to share their writing progress

#WIP – work in progress

#WritersBlock – used by writers who are suffering from writers block

#WritersLife  – used by writers to add insight into life as a writer

#WritingPrompt – the perfect hashtag if you’re looking for inspiration

#WritingTip or #WritingTips or #WriteTip – used by writers who want to share tips about writing

#WriterMum or WriterMom – used by female writers who are also parents

#WritersfollowWriters – used for writers to follow other writers

There’s plenty more… like for example….

Day of the Week Hashtags

#MotivationMonday

#TeaserTuesday

#WIPWednesday

#ThrowbackThursday

#FollowFriday

#Caturday

#SundayFunday

Keep checking back, as when I come across other hashtags, I’ll update this post, but this is a good start for any writers out there lost in the sea of hashtags.

Down the Rabbit Hole… Part 2

883F3C8F-C282-4D91-AD89-61FDC2F975A0Two and a half months ago, news broke about author Faleena Hopkins filing to trademark the word Cocky.

It angered the indie author community at large and many people spoke out, petitions were sent out and court dates were set.

And still Faleena defended her right to protect her stories… well finally it has come to an end. The trademark on the word Cocky is no more. Authors everywhere are rejoicing.

Now, that doesn’t mean we are entirely out of the woods yet, as I’ve seen other authors attempt to trademark other words and phrases.

I guess it’ll pay to be vigilant. But for now, it’s a win.

And if you missed it, here’s the latest video from Faleena surrendering her trademark… Click Here to Watch