Tuesday, August 3, 2021

IWSG Blog Hop: What is My Favorite Writing Craft Book? Big Announcement #IWSGbloghop


Insecure Writer's Blog Hop
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up and join.


The awesome co-hosts for the August 4 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!


August 4 question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why? At this point in my writing career, I am interested in telling life stories. I have taught life storytelling classes on and off for 20 years, so I am reading a lot of books about writing memoir and life stories. One of the best, easiest to read and follow, is How to Write Your Own Life Story by Lois Daniel. She starts out with 10 tips to make writing your story easy and effective, then throws out topics to write about with examples from her students and her stories. She includes researching for the facts, revising, and publishing. So much inspiration to keep writing and learning in the pages of this book. I recommend it whether you are in the beginning, middle or end phases of writing life stories.

 Click here to visit the participating bloggers in the August blog hop! Have fun!

Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
Non-fiction biographies of 16 contemporary role models for girls 10+ years old

UPDATE: I have been insecure about creating a paperback book through amazon, but today I am doing a happy dance as I write this!! Yes, it is difficult to type and dance at the same time. 

You may be sick of hearing about my book for middle-grade girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. After all, the first edition came out in 2010 as an eBook. Needless to say, it was ahead of its time. The first eBook didn't have active links. Eventually, the hyperlinks came along adding a cool feature to the book for readers. But, not many folks knew about eBooks, and they were not interested in purchasing eBooks. Now kids are online all the time. It's just part of their everyday lives, thanks to Covid, and video games.

Meet these contemporary role models in
Girls Succeed! a book to empower middle-grade girls

TODAY! Girls Succeed! is now available in a new, updated and revised edition, including new content! AND it is now in print! Yes, that eliminates the interactive attraction, but my 12-year-old granddaughter wanted the book in print. So, I gave in.

NOW! The eBook and Paperback to inspire girls to dream big are ready for girls 10+ and older. 

EVEN BETTER! During this launch period, the eBook is only 99 cents!
Click here to download it from your favorite online bookseller.

Click here to order the paperback for the girl in your life.

I am no longer insecure about publishing a paperback with images. Thank you for indulging me through this rant about the books. 

Have you published a paperback via amazon? Who do you use for paperbacks if not amazon? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

So You Want to Write a Memoir? by Judy Sheer Watters #memoir #writing tips #giveaway


Memoirs and More--4th Wednesday of the Month

Hello and Welcome to the Memoirs and More monthly post!

This week, I am so happy to host my friend Judy Sheeer Watters. She is an author, freelance writer, editor, and life storytelling teacher. She offers valuable tips for you who are thinking about, beginning, in the middle of or finishing up a story about your life. She has published three memoirs and teaches the art of memoir, so her tips are tried and true. You can apply many of her tips to writing fiction and non-fiction books, as well.

Judy also has writing prompts and author interviews on her Youtube channel. I was excited to be her guest for an interview about my memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. I'll share that video with you in August.

So what is the difference between writing your life story and writing a memoir? If you think of your entire life from birth to the present as a great big cherry pie, then one slice out of the pie would be a memoir. Please read to the end of the page to find out how to connect to Judy online and discover her books and more!

Judy has generously offered an e-copy of her memoir, The Road Home, to a lucky commenter. Don't forget to leave a comment below to be eligible to win her memoir. Enter to win the drawing before Sunday, August 1, 10:00 pm EDST. Good luck!!

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Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

Welcome, Judy! We want to know more about writing a memoir. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Janet, for inviting me to your blog.

Write a Memoir
Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay

So You Want to Write a Memoir? by Judy Sheer Watters

So you want to write a memoir? Why not? How I wish I had known my paternal grandmother. I would have loved to hear her stories of escaping Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution. Those stories were lost forever when she came through Ellis Island and died after giving birth to my father. Many of Daddy’s experiences in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City are also lost to me and to the generations that follow me.

The first question we need to consider in writing our memoir is what will we write? Usually, a memoir covers only a small segment of a person's life. The focus could be on early school days and how different family members helped to develop your own character. Perhaps it covers the long-term care you gave to a loved one and how you coped with letting go at his/her death. It might reveal the turmoil in a troubled marriage or with problem children and lessons learned by both you and your spouse as your bond strengthened and healed.

The next question goes hand-in-hand with your first question. What is your purpose for writing your memoir? Several people who I have worked with have the burning desire to finish their written memoir to give as gifts to their family. Their hope is that many generations to come will read their story and know some of the family struggles and joys. On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps you dream of being the next New York Times bestseller with your memoir of how you pulled yourself out of a devastating pit of despair and lived to tell it all. Your end goal will determine your voice. If it's written for your family alone, you might use a more familiar tone than if you are writing for the outside world.


 The Road Home by Judy Sheer Waters
A city boy from a New York City orphanage, well-versed in the school of hard knocks,
meets a country girl who thinks she wants a life of travel and excitement.

What format will you write your story in? In my first memoir, The Road Home: The Legacy that was, is and is to Come, I used life lessons. Each chapter's story ended with a moral—something I learned through that experience. Alma Wakefield wrote her memoir, Amanda Grace, of her Downs Syndrome daughter, using character traits her daughter taught her through the years. One chapter she titled "Patience" and another, “Acceptance.” Sheri Hunt wrote her memoir The Oldest Sin in the Book as a self-help book. Through her own pain of food addiction, she writes about how she found the source of her healing. In my third memoir, Panning for Gold in Our Golden Years, I wrote short stories of how my mom met the aging process head-on every step of the way. Then I offered writing prompts for the reader to tell of their own experience in giving up the car keys or accepting a walker or wheelchair.

Panning for Gold in Our Golden Years

Now that you know what you will write and how you will format your story, you are ready to outline your book. Some writers prefer to just wing it. They start writing and let the pen take them through their story. I actually did this until I got so confused, I had to stop and organize my stories. So here's my old-fashioned suggestion. Get 3 X 5 cards and write a short one to two-sentence synopsis of each chapter or just give that story a title. For instance, one chapter in my own book involved my older sister knocking out my brother’s two front teeth. I wrote “Life is Painful at Times.” Under that, I wrote “Virginia knocks out Rodney's teeth.” After I had finished thirty cards, I organized my cards in a logical storyline and started again. I understand the Scrivener software program does the same thing, but I have not tried this yet. I'm still of the old school.

Now that you know your purpose for writing, what you will write, the format in which you write your story, and you have outlined your book, you are ready to write. It's at this time that your marketing begins, but that's for another post.

Get those stories written down for the generations to come, and be sure to enjoy the process.

 And as I tell my writing students: Get your BIC (butt in chair) and start writing, NOW.

Stop in and subscribe to my YouTube channel where I bring you Author interviews of ordinary people who had a story to share with the world. I also bring short writing prompts to get your creative juices going so you can write your own stories for your generations to come. 

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Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

About Judy:

Author Judy Sheer Watters

All life can be counted as joyful; just some days are more joyful than others. And it’s all those days, the joyful and the not so joyful, that makes life worth living. And when you put all those days together, a pattern of life lessons emerges that ultimately becomes your legacy.
Judy Watters’ love and focus on memoir stems from the realization that her children would never know the richness of their grandparents’ lives or her childhood farm unless she put it into writing. Judy’s expertise comes from many years of studying the craft of memoir writing. She works closely with others to teach the art of memoir and to help new authors leave the gift of legacy for their families. As Judy sees it, “Everyone has a legacy to leave for their generations to come. Leaving your written legacy and the life lessons learned allows your future generations to realize they are not alone in this journey we call life.”

A retired English teacher and secondary principal, Judy is an author of three memoirs and more than 30 low content books (puzzle, activity, journals, logbooks). She is a freelance writer and editor and the founder of Hill Country Christian Writers and Hill Country Legacy Writers. Judy and her husband reside in Spring Branch, Texas. Along with their three grown children, one daughter-in-law, the most gorgeous granddaughter, two grandcats, and a one-eyed rescue dog named Lacey. They continue to create a rich legacy of their own.

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Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

 Click the links below to connect with Judy online:

If you have any questions, contact her at: sheermemoirs@gmail.com

Judy's Facebook page at Judy Sheer Watters, Author

Judy's YouTube channel 

Judy's website 

Judy Sheer Watters Author Central page  

Book trailer for The Road Home

Click the book title to purchase your copy of The Road Home by Judy Sheer Waters

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Readers Circle: Sandra Cox's Western Keeper Tyree


Summer Readers Circle--Meet My Guest, Sandra Cox

Hello and Welcome to the Readers Circle.
Read on for a wonderful opportunity to meet new and/or favorite authors and discover new books!

Keeper Tyree
by S. Cox

Pull your chair up in the circle and join in as we have the pleasure to welcome my good buddy and honorary cousin, Sandra Cox. She explains why she writes Westerns and shares an excerpt from the book. 

She is also giving away an eCopy of KEEPER TYREE. To enter, leave a comment below. Deadline for entry is Sunday, July 25, at 10:00 pm EDST. Good luck!!

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Clker Free Vector Images

 Thanks so much, Janet for hosting me and helping me get the word out about Keeper, Cuz. Appreciate it and you.

Why I Write Westerns by Sandra Cox

My writing has been all over the boards. I’ve written nonfiction, paranormal romance, romantic suspense and YA fantasy.  A few years back I settled into Western and Western Romance and that’s the lane I’ve stayed in.  I’m still drawn to the world of paranormal so if I get a yen to write supernatural, I make sure it has a Western backdrop. In SUNDIAL, a time travel, our heroine is taken back to the days of Sam Houston. MONTANA SHOOTISTS starts out in modern day Montana and Abby finds herself flung back to the cattle and sheep wars.  Mateo in MATEO’S LAW is a shapeshifting sheriff.

Why Westerns? That’s a darn good question, pardner. They say to write what you know. Well, I didn’t grow up in the Wild West. Yes, I’m old as dirt, but not quite that old😊 nor did I grow up on a ranch, but I did grow up on TV Westerns and movies.  My dad loved them, so that’s what the family watched while I was growing up. The Lone Ranger. Bonanza. Roy Rogers and Trigger. And the list goes on.  I guess I absorbed the old West through osmosis. Whatever the reason, it’s my niche and even though it took me a while to get here, I’m glad I arrived😊

Cowboy phrase of the day.

Like we do today, the cowboys of the old West used a good bit of slang. Soiled dove was a term used for a prostitute. It was Saturday night and he was looking to visit a soiled dove.


Keeper Tyree is an aging bounty hunter who lives by his own set of rules. He’s a hard man, but he’s just, and his word is his bond. He’s a loner and likes it that way. Then Cathleen O’Donnell catapults into his life looking to hire his gun. Josiah Pardee has killed her boy and she’s out for vengeance. Somehow all his hard and fast rules, including working alone and minding his own business, crumbles in the face of the immovable widow he now works for. He finds himself rescuing soiled doves, a myopic bookworm more suited to city life than the Wild West, and an hombre being dragged to death by angry cardplayers, as he tracks down the murdering sidewinder Josiah Pardee.


Excerpt from Keeper Tyree by S. Cox

Sipping strong, black coffee, he settled in. A twig snapped. He grabbed his gun and stood up.  His horse snorted and the snapping came again as the stallion stepped on another small limb.

“Damn horse,” he muttered under his breath and slunk back into the shadows.

This time he heard the thump of approaching horse’s hooves. They grew louder as they came closer, stopping in the shadow. A few moments later a slender rider with a black duster and hat pulled low on his forehead walked around the campfire. He stopped, his back to Keeper. Keeper leaped, knocking the rider to the ground, face eating dirt.

“Who are you, mister, and why are you following me?” He put his boot on the stranger’s back and pressed down.

“Can’t breathe.”

The voice, low and husky, held a familiar quality.

“Mrs. O’Donnell?” His eyebrows shot up toward his hairline.

He pulled her up, cursed long and fluently, finishing with, “What the hell are you doing here?”

Air whished out of her lungs and she took a couple of deep breaths.  “I told you, I want to end Pardee, the way he did my son.”

He took a couple of deep breaths himself to keep from throwing down his hat and stomping on it, then clutching his hair and howling. After a minute, he got himself under control. “Have you ever killed a man, Mrs. O’Donnell?”

“No. But I won’t have a problem killing Pardee.”

Anguish, carried on the chill night breeze, washed off her in waves, till it hit his pores and filled him. “Ma’am, it stains your soul. You may think you want to do this, but it’s not something you’d wish to live with.”

As if to emphasize his words, a coyote howled in the distance. A lonely sound that emptied a body out and left one hollow and alone.

She shivered, then tossed her chin up. “What’s your soul like?”

“Black as sin, ma’am. But I can live with it.”

“I can too.”

He shoved the gun he’d sheathed deep into the leather holster. He wore two Smith and Wesson five-inchers that gave him an edge when a fast draw was of the essence. A little handier with his right hand, he could use either proficiently and had on more than one occasion.

“I don’t want you on my conscience.”

Surprise flickered across her features. “You have no reason to have me on your conscience.” She put her hands on her hips and studied him. “I’m told you’re ruthless. So far I’ve seen nothing to back it up.”

“Don’t think for a moment I’m not. I’ve done things you would never dream of.” His voice roughened.

“I think the stories about you are exaggerated.”

The humor of the situation hit him. No one had ever accused him of being soft. No one would dare. Molly’d had a point when she told him to watch out for Mrs. O’Donnell. The woman showed all the signs of being trouble.



About Sandra:

Author S. Cox

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener, and also writes as S. Cox. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina. Her stories consist of all things Western and more. She is a category bestselling Amazon author, Eppie finalist and award winner. Her stories consist of all things Western and more. She is a category bestselling Amazon author, Eppie finalist and award winner.   

Click here to download your copy of KEEPER TYREE.

        Click here to visit Sandra at her website 

        Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sandra_Cox

Janet's Review of KEEPER TYREE

S. Cox is an outstanding storyteller. In this Western, the bad guys are really really bad and the good guys are good, but with a shade of badness. She paints the main characters brighter and brighter as we follow them through the story. And, oh those unique, quirky characters they meet as they trail the bad guy. It reminds me of a road trip story. The action is fast and furious, the love scenes tender. The book read easily and the tale kept me turning the pages. If you love Westerns, you'll love Keeper Tyree. (and yes, the author reveals how he got his name, Keeper.)

Yee-haw! Hey, Pardners, 

don't forget to leave a comment below because you may be the lucky winner of an eCopy of KEEPER TYREE!

Please take a minute to sign up for the Rose Courier, delivered once a month to your inbox. Enjoy the articles, discover new books, win freebies and of course, you'll stay up-to-date with JQ Rose!!

Click here to receive the colorful August copy. Thank you!!!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tools and Tidbits for Writers: How to Add Photos to Instagram from Your PC #Writerstips #Socialmediatips

Tools and Tidbits for Writers
by JQ Rose

How to Add Photos to Instagram from Your PC 

by JQ Rose

 Do you use Instagram on your phone? Yes, I do too, but I was disappointed I could not access photos on my PC and post them on Instagram, especially since I wanted to share old photos from the '70s. They make fun posts about my memoir, Arranging a Dream.

So I looked into finding a way to easily place the photos from my computer into my IG feed. And I found this one! You will save the time spent on uploading your photos to your cell phone.

Read on to discover how to post to IG from your computer using the Chrome browser: (instructions for Safari available below)

1. Bring up Instagram.com on your computer.

2. Click the three dots in the Chrome browser located in the top right corner of your screen.

3. Scroll down on the drop-down menu to "More tools" then click "Developer tools" at the bottom of that second menu.
The red arrows point to the More tools area and Developer tools area

4. A page with a lot of gibberish on it will cover the right side of your screen. Look at the top left side of that page. Hover over the second icon to find the "Toggle device tool." Click it. The left side of your screen brings up the mobile view--or I say cell phone view. If it does not come up after the click, refresh your page.

Locate the toggle device tool

5. Now you add a post to your IG page just as you do on your phone by clicking the + sign.

As you know, the Internet and technology are always evolving, so your screens may look different from mine. At this writing on July 12, 2021, this information is correct using my PC. 

If you use the Safari browser, Click here to check out the directions to add photos to IG from your PC at this link. Thank you to Hubspot for this information as well as how to add videos to IG from your PC.

Do you ever wish you could add photos from your PC files to IG? Please leave a comment below. You are welcome to add more information to this post. 

Update on adding computer photo files to IG: Since penning this blog post, I discovered this morning an easier way to add the photos. I must have had an update on my computer screen for IG because now I see the + at the top of the screen near the home icon. . Really? I just opened up instagram.com and this screen appeared. You too? Click the + to add your photo to IG! EZ-PZ. 

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At the Newaygo Library presenting my Life Storytelling Workshop on July 10, 2021

**I had a blast with the ladies at the workshop on Saturday. Such a gorgeous July morning in Michigan, and yet, these committed ladies still showed up to learn about writing their life stories and memoirs. Lots of sharing and laughter. The oddest moment of the day was when I gave away a copy of my journal, My Life Writing Journal. The person with a Fourth of July birthday would be the winner. But no one's birthday was July 4, no one in July, nor in August, nor in September until February!! And that person had already won the prize, Your Words, Your Life Story: a Journal for Sharing Memories. Graciously, she allowed someone else to receive the prize--the person who had come the shortest distance to the library. The winner just lived across the street! 
Thank you to Kelly Tinkham, Newaygo Library Director, and to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs for hosting this workshop!
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Mysteries and Memoir from JQ Rose
Half-Price Sale at Smashwords

** BWL Publishing is celebrating summer with a half-price book sale at Smashwords through July 31! Click here to find my mysteries and memoir as well as the authors at BWL Publishing to add to your summertime enjoyment! Thank you!!
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The Rose Courier

Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, 
newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
The Courier will be delivered to your inbox this Friday, July 16.   

Thank you!!

Tiny tidbits post use instagram on the pc


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

#IWSGbloghop Quit Writing? Author Radio Interview

Insecure Writer's Blog Hop
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up and join.

& & & &

Thank you to the awesome co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG Blog Hop are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

IWSG Question of the Month

July 7 question - What would make you quit writing?
I will quit writing when my brain cannot put words together to make an intelligible sentence. 
& & & &

Insecure? You Bet! by JQ Rose

9: 15 a.m.--Tuesday, July 6
In 30 minutes, I will be interviewed by Shelley Irwin, the host of the Morning Show on PBS radio in West Michigan. The interview will be anywhere from 6-10 minutes which will probably seem like a lifetime.

Talk about Insecure!! I have never had an interview over the phone, nor Have I ever spoken to such a large audience. 

I am secure about my book information, but what else will she throw at me? Writing this concern on paper is supposed to help me work through the nerves. However, I believe it is only ramping them up! Hang on, I'll be back to let you know how it goes.

Update: 11:30 a.m.This morning I was interviewed on the local PBS station about my memoir, Arranging a Dream.

I was so wrong in thinking the time would drag. When the interview ended, I realized we'd been talking for 10 minutes. The time flew by. I was lucky she stuck to the questions I sent her, so no surprises. I had rehearsed the answers pretty well, so I didn't stumble over the answers. Well, maybe a few times. Now I wish I had longer to make more points about life storytelling, but I'm glad I was able to get a lot of information out to the world.

I appreciated the host bringing up my upcoming workshop on Saturday on life storytelling at the local library several times.

This experience was the perfect one to have when not knowing what to expect. Now I'm ready to tackle being a guest on podcasts. Can you suggest a podcast that hosts memoir authors or mystery authors?

Do you think appearing on podcasts and radio/tv shows helps to sell books? I have heard they don't, but at least they get your name out. 

Have you been a guest on podcasts or radio/tv shows? Were you insecure? Do you have tips for being an awesome guest? Aren't I full of questions this month???

Please leave your answers or any thoughts below in the comment section.

Thank you!!!
vintage radio

Update:  1:45 p.m.

Click here to listen to the recorded interview with Shelley Irwin on WGVU PBS Radio July 6, 2021
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IWSG Blog Hop: What is My Favorite Writing Craft Book? Big Announcement #IWSGbloghop

  Insecure Writer's Blog Hop Always on the first Wednesday of the month. #IWSGbloghop Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day ! What is the Insecure Wri...