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Sunday, October 18, 2020

I've Seen It All


 I live in the Big Apple so I’ve been quarantined since February. Luckily, I haven’t been infected with Covid-19 however, I’ve been reading a great number of books, redecorated my bedroom, and watched a lot of TV and streaming a great deal. Now, that we’re in October, I feel as if I have seen everything on that is on TV, Hulu, Netflix, and every other streaming service available. 

There have been some movies and shows that I enjoyed but the best show I have seen is Ted Lasso that is available on Apple TV. It is a heartwarming, uplifting show that even in the sad moments still fills you with warmth. So, if you haven’t yet, check it out. 


But that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m talking about boredom. There are so many available channels that now it feels as if there is nothing to watch. There is a theory (though I can’t remember its name) that states that with many more choices, we are overwhelmed and can’t make a choice. Right now, I’m stuck in the middle of that theory, watching repeats or movies I haven’t seen in a while. But my to-be-read list is dwindling and I’m finding new authors. 


How are you handling this scary time? Stay healthy and safe. 



 

Friday, September 18, 2020

I've Got No Idea

 


For creatives, a stressful time isn’t when you’re on deadline or in the middle of a project. That is altogether a different feeling. The most stressful time is when your mind has no ideas. A blank mind raises stress levels to a point that anxiety turns into panic attacks—that writer’s block. 


That’s the point I am at right now. I have ideas but my mind can’t seem to develop the idea into something even resembling a story. So what is a writer to do? 


The answer is easy. Nothing. 


This allows my mind to destress and it takes away my stress so that my mind can then focus to the point that I can write a story. 


Everyone has their own way of dealing with creative blocks and my solution may not work for you so do you have any advice to share?  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Needless Words by Janice Seagraves

I did a video on Needless Words on YouTube and how much better your writing is without them.

Please like, share, and leave a comment.

Thank you.

 

When going through my first edits, I overused 'and'. I hadn't realized that I'd used 'and' so much until my editor sent back my manuscript with 'and' highlighted and it was all over the place. I know now how to eliminate most of those, but not then.

Sometimes shorter punchier sentences work best.

Later, on another edit, I was given a list of overused words.

That
Very
Like
Then
Suddenly
Now
Really
Was
As


And then I learned about filter words and I had more words to avoid using:

Realized
Decided
Felt
Touched
Wondered
Noticed
Sounded
Knew
Seemed

 

Removing these words and letting the sentences stand as is, works remarkably well.

 

Example: I felt her hand gripped mine.

Correct: her hand gripped mine. 

 

And now, about my books.

I'm running a sale during the pandemic. Most of my books are only .99 cents. 

Please check out my books on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barns and Noble.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Back To School and Start Anew.


It's Back To School season and this time of year always has me reminiscing about my school years. When the most important tasks were choosing this year's backpack, notebooks, pens, binders, and all the other stationery delights that awaited. I think of this time almost as if it's the teenage equivalent of New Year's Eve. A time to start over, begin anew, and with all the unknown promise that a new year holds. For me, school was the last century. The 90s to be exact and my school experience wasn't the stereotypical one. I attended a private, all-girl, Catholic high school. We had to wear wool kilt skirts and button-downs with Peter Ran collars. But as teenagers, we still yearned to express ourselves by bending the dress code rules. 

So, we rolled up our skirts that were supposed to reach our knees so we could show off more leg. Of course, the nuns would tell us to unroll them. We did for a moment only to roll them up again once we were out of their sights. Another way to liven up our uniforms was through tights, colorful and stylish, we sought ways to reveal our characters. After all, the white knee-highs were standard uniform. I think back to those times and see how little rebellious details revealed our character—the girl who rebelled (me) and the girl who followed the rules, the classic styled girl and every character that could be found in the world. A time when teenage girls were exploring the world and discovering where we all fit in it. Even with all the teenage angst and uncertainty of the world, we stepped forward to find our place, to carve our path. 

And we did with uniforms that got us detention or at the very least, a reprimand but we learned to be bold, be ourselves. 

So, what was high school like for you? Do you have memories that fill you with nostalgia?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Overused Words by Janice Seagraves

When going through my first edits, I overused 'and'. I hadn't realized that I'd used 'and' so much until my editor sent back my manuscript with 'and' highlighted and it was all over the place. I know now how to eliminate most of those, but not then.

Sometimes shorter punchier sentences work best.

Later, on another edit, I was given a list of overused words.

That
Very
Like
Then
Suddenly
Now
Really
Was
As

And then I learned about filter words and I had more words to avoid using:


Thought
Realized
Decided
Felt
Touched
Wondered
Noticed
Sounded
Knew
Seemed

Actually just removing these words and letting the sentences stand as is, works remarkably well.

Example: I felt her hand gripped mine.
Correct: her hand gripped mine. 

And now, about my books.

I'm running a sale during the pandemic.

Nearly all my ebooks on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barn and Nobles are only #99cents.


 
Windswept Shores two-book series


The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas. Then she finds a nearly-drowned man. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck.

With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive these windswept shores and can they find love?





 Matrix Crystal Series 
Find love among the stars



And my only Paranormal Romance is still free on kindle unlimited.  

Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Windswept Shores Book One and Two by Janice Seagraves

This is my first published book.

I used to imagine what it would be like to live on a deserted island. How would I survive? This is a product of those daydreams.

I originally won a contest for a book cover and a contract to have my book published. I felt wonderful. Like I was finally getting somewhere with my writing. Getting that first contract is the greatest feeling in the world.

The ending of this book was inspired by my comments to a friend that modern pirates aren't romantic or sexy and are probably mean, dirty, and nasty.

Windswept Shores (Book One)


Blurb: The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas. Then she finds a nearly-drowned man. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck.
With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive these windswept shores and can they find love?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AS9NDNO

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637092


Two years later I published the second and last book in this series. We find out if my couple ever makes it off the island, and met some of Megan's and then Seth's family.

I had a problem writing the second book. I didn't have writer block then...It kept disappearing off my harddrive.

Just ~poof~ vanished.

My sweet husband bought me an external hard drive to keep this from happening again. I wish I could say that worked ... but I ended up rewriting this same book at least one more time with a total of three times from scratch.

Thankfully I have a good memory.

It's published now so that shouldn't happen again. *fingers crossed*



Windswept Shores Two


WindsweptShores2_432
Blurb: Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic. Seth is arrested for murder, and Megan is ordered to return home to her philandering husband who is somehow still alive. Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637092

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BPLNHTI

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Unsocial Media


Since the world has been turned upside down, I have found myself even less interested in social media than I was before. When I joined Facebook years ago to keep in contact with my long distant friends and family then I joined the rest for the author side of my life. I really don't wish to be a part of social media. Partly because I'm an introvert and secondly, because I live a very boring life and no one wants to hear how I'm watching another repeat of Family Guy for the hundredth time.

But with all that is happening in the world, I am even less interested. I check to keep update with family that I miss especially my niece and nephew who because of the New York City lockdown I don't get to see as often as I wish.

I find that social media just add stress in my life and I don't want or need any right now. No doubt, you all must feel the same. I don't know how to find the balance between social media for my work and my personality. It's funny because most everyone I know just loves posting pictures, talking about their lives. I'm an introvert surrounded by extroverts. And that makes me feel odd and as if I am doing something that is wrong.

The pressures of the outside world can batter us down and have us questioning everything we do. I tell myself that I should be this or that. But I need to stop listening to that chatter and follow my drum beat and if I wish all of you do the same. You know what you need and don't need in your life so follow it because it makes us better. And right now in this world, we need better. We need to do better and be better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I'm writing again by Janice Seagraves

Good news, I'm writing again.

I talked to several of my writer friends about it, but the ones who are also suffering from writer's block are more stymied then ever with the isolate at home situation we have now.  Or they gave me that same advice I gave them...do something different, take a walk, hike, get out, take a class, try a new hobby...

Getting out is nearly impossible right now and as for starting a new hobby....well that's kind of hard to do, too.

I spoke to my husband and explained to him the last words I had written was when the phone rang with the news of my stepdad's death.

My husband said, "But, honey, that was two years ago."

"Two years?"

"Yes."

For some reason, that seemed to snap me out of my writer's block funk. I picked up where I left off with a story about a dragon inhabiting a woman.

It's a complicated story.

I sent it into my critique group and one of my critiquers absolutely loved it, unfortunately, the other said it needed some work, but the one who loved my story as incomplete as it was did the trick. I started to write more about that story.

I can't share it with you because I still have a long way to go until I finish it, but I can share one of my favorite published stories.


Year of the Cat


20504257_10203143660469208_231507552_n(1)
Blurb:
Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.


Excerpt:
Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”
“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.
“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.
“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered. “And she knows that.”
“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.
“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”
“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.
“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.
A few people around the hollow snickered.
Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”
Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.
“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.
“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.
“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”
Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”
“Eh?”
“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.
“Aye.”
“Good to know.”
Auntie looked at both males. “Jared, as the challenged, you may decide on weapons and forms.”
“Human and no weapons,” Jared said.
“Very well,” Auntie said. “You may use your feet, hands, elbows and knees. Even your head if you feel the need.”
“What aboot sticks and stones?” Munch asked, his voice youthful.
“Will break my bones,” Jared said under his breath.
Killer snickered.
“No weapons,” Auntie shook a finger at Munch. “That includes sticks and stones.”
“Well,” Munch crossed his arms, “since I canna change into cat form, I think I should be able to use whatever I find in the hollow.”
“This isn’t a free-for-all, Munch. There is discipline to a challenge. You must remain in your human form and fight like a human. With this match, we’ll have a square go.”
“Not very cat-like.” Munch sniffed.
Auntie fisted her hands and leaned toward Munch. “You’re not a cat. You are a shifter. You shift between three forms. Now stay with one for the duration of the fight.”
“Doesn’t he understand?” Killer asked.
“A bit daft that one,” Jared muttered back. Munch doesn’t seem have a lot of self-control. Unlike Tiger who would have done exactly what Auntie said to the letter.
“Seconds, to the side.” Auntie pointed. “You may view the fight only. Do not interfere unless your partner is hurt or someone breaks the rules.”
Both Boyd and Killer trotted to edge of the clearing.
Jared stood facing Munch. Several feet separated them. Jared shook out his arms, moved his head from side to side, and loosened his muscles.
Auntie raised her hand and did a karate chop between them. “Now fight.”
“I swear on me da’s grave, I will end you!” Munch roared and the skin on his face boiled. His hands burst out of his gloves and feet from his boots. The shift made Munch bigger, tearing his clothes. He stopped in the in-between state, like movie werewolves of old, but in this case half-cat and half-human. The only thing that remained of his clothes was his black overall snow pants and even that stretched taunt across him. Extending his claws, he snarled and reached for Jared. “I want to see you bleedin’.”

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0748CP9JH

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