Friday, May 15, 2015

What Does Your Creative Process Look Like?

Writing is a deeply personal process. It taps into a part of us that we may not even fully understand. The mind of a creative person is a very complicated thing.

The process of getting our ideas onto the page can be a sensitive one. We may learn we get our best ideas in the shower. Or while out for a walk. Or while staring out at the water.

A writer might find the ideas flow more freely while seated at a desk. Or reclining on the sofa. Or while perched on the roof of a doghouse.

Some writers have to have a cup of coffee before sitting down to write. Some have a glass of wine or something even stronger. Some of us boost our serotonin with a hefty dose of this:

Some can only write with pen and paper. Some prefer an old-school typewriter. Most of us, however, write on a laptop or desktop computer.

Personally, I recently found that changing my font while writing fiction was oddly inspiring. It felt more creative. Try it sometime!

Whatever your process, it's probably drastically different from how people picture it.

What is your creative process?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hold On There, Cowboy!

I live in the South. I'm sure you already know that a few things come with living in the South. One is the prevalence of this:

Another is the belief that everyone should have one of these:

Not everyone in the South is pro-gun ownership, but plenty are. Many gun owners feel unsafe, so they buy guns to protect themselves.

Again, there are arguments for and against that. But what I've noticed on our community Facebook pages is that there are a large number of people who take it a step too far. The second there's a robbery, some Jesse James wannabe says, "They'd better not try to break into my house. They won't get out alive."

For that reason, the recent conviction of a Montana man caught my interest. Markus Kaarma was convicted and sentenced to 70 years for shooting an intruder in his garage. The intruder was this guy:

Foreign exchange student Diren Dede entered
Kaarma's open garage in search of beer. It was something teenagers in the area did, since some people store beer there. Only what Diren didn't realize was the home's occupants could see him on a makeshift video surveillance system they'd installed. These are the home's occupants (Kaarma and family):

There are several other factors that led to Kaarma's arrest and conviction, but the gist of it is that they were viewed as having set up a trap to capture intruders. Kaarma fired four shots, one of which demonstrated that Dede was walking away from him, not toward him as Kaarma had claimed.

Are there laws protecting residents who defend their homes? Yes. Montana has what is called a "castle doctrine," allowing residents to defend themselves against break-ins. The problem is, Kaarma told people he'd been waiting up night after night, waiting for an intruder to come along.

Circling back to the start of this blog, doesn't that make it a bad idea to state on a very public forum, "They'd better not try to break into my house. They won't get out alive?"

Do you think someone is justified in shooting an intruder who has broken into his garage?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Introducing Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich

Today I'm helping out a blogging friend all of you know and love. Does this face look familiar?

You probably know Cherie Reich from her blog, where she regularly supports other authors in their own book releases. It's always exciting to help out someone who's a true giver!

Cherie's book, Once Upon a Nightmare: A Collection, published April 30th. You can get your copy on Amazon for $2.99. Here's the cover:

Keep reading to learn more about Cherie's great new book. And be sure to buy a copy!


A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.

Disappearances every ten or so years make little impact on the small town of New Haven, Virginia. Hikers get lost. Hunters lose the trail. Even when a body is discovered, the inhabitants’ memories last about as long as the newspaper articles.

No one connects the cases. No one notices the disappearances go back beyond Civil War times. No one believes a legendary monster roams the forests in Southwestern Virginia.

I don’t either until the truck breaks down on an old mountain trail. Cell phones won’t work in this neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much a person can see by starlight alone. So what if we can’t feel our fingers or toes as we hike toward the main road. How many more miles left to go?


Hear that noise?


Cherie Reich

Cherie Reich has more books than she can ever read and more ideas than she can ever write, but that doesn't stop this bookworm from trying, even if it means trying to curb her TV addiction. She is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club, Valley Writers, and Untethered Realms. For more information about her and her work, please visit her website and blog.

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