Recently I started working on expanding my writing and blogging skills by asking fellow bloggers if they would be interested in hosting a guest post written by yours truly on their websites. Four bloggers have taken me up on this offer, and soon I will be able to say that I have completed them all. I have one left to write.
Today, I have a different blog to share. I am hosting a book tour for one of the authors I worked with earlier this year, Rita Kruger. This is my second time working on a book tour, so I am crossing my fingers in between typing that I get it done right!
Epistles Book 1
SciFi Action, LGBT Romance
Angela Wright might have everything her
father’s money can buy, but that meant nothing to her on the night of her
twenty-eight birthday. She is angry and a little bit drunk as she flees the
scene of a fight with her mother. All her life she has done the right thing. But she
is tired of living under her mother’s shadow. How can she ever compete with
Margaret Wright, the first Human judge on the Intergalactic High Court? Within the space of a few days, Angela drops out in
the last semester at Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation Academy, signs a
bounty hunting contract to find the top ten criminals in the galaxy, and kisses
Brenda, her best friend since childhood. She might be late, but at last she is blooming.
lives in Vereeniging, South Africa. She is wife, granddaughter, daughter,
mother, and grandmother. Most of childhood happened within the pages of books.
Stories conspired to carry her away from the world she knew. The places and
people books introduced her to were much more exciting
than her boring existence.
Currently married to her personal MacGyver, she surrounds herself with what enriches her body, mind and soul. Family. Friends. Nature. Great food. Good wine. Mountains of books. She writes novels challenging major themes of her life in the genres of fantasy and gothic horror, which she loves.
I was reading a Noir style novel written by a friend. It had a
sarcastic tone, great characters that are flawed and fighting the
good fight. I loved it so much that I thought I’d do something like
it. Mine did not turn out to be a noir, but the badass alpha female
inspired Angela’s character.
did you come up with the names in the story?
I write, I usually don’t name my characters. I make a list of male
and female names that would fit in with the type of story I’m
writing. Then I write and every time a character’s name appears,
I’ll insert MC1 (Main Character 1), or MC2, or V1 (Villain 1) and
so forth. It might continue up to chapter three or four.
told me her name in a dream one night. Bren jumped right in with her
name the first time she appeared in the story. So actually she was
named almost two weeks before I knew the main character would be
did you enjoy most about writing this book?
am addicted to learning. I always do a lot of research for my novels.
There are books that I spend two months in research even before I sit
down to outline.
us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
is a bit conflicted in the first two books. She wants to become a
person in her own right, but she has difficulty in walking away from
her mother, Margaret. She also trusts people to easily. She surrounds
herself with people she thinks off as family, but some of them are
not good for her at all.
doesn’t have the ability to stop and think. She is very impulsive.
Sometimes that is good, but more often it isn’t.
Angela’s love interest, is to opposite. She is very laid back. She
is in a job that bores her, but has no aspirations to leave, because
there is no pressure on her at all. I have been pondering to
write her “side-story.”
knows, maybe one day?
you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
yes! I did a lot of research about what life would be like in 2053.
And it was so wonderful to see the concepts that people are working
on for the future. In Canada, for instance, they are working on a
city where all deliveries would be made via tunnels underground.
Buildings would have all the latest tech already installed for us.
And there was this cool bed that I swear could be my future house. It
has aircon, a fridge, internet and stuff controlled by voice command.
The end of the bed will have the largest television screen you’ve
ever seen, with surround sound. You can close the sides of the bed
with screens to make it soundproof.
you written any other books that are not published?
This series has six books that are all completed. # 5 and #6 are at the editors as I type this. I also have a Paranormal Romance Trilogy that will be hitting the markets later the year. For 2020 I’m doing a seven book Epic Fantasy series (Voices of the Apocalypse) of which three books are completed, but still need to be professionally edited.
“To thank you all for reading this post, I want to let you know that there is a contest, also a part of the book tour”.
The picture I have chosen for the title of this Guest Blog Roundup is of a teacup and saucer. It is the old china rose pattern, the same set from which I currently have a small collection of. I treasure the pieces I have now and would someday hope to be able to set a complete table. I am looking for more and also looking forward to the day when I can display them in a china cabinet. They live in a bookcase in my kitchen, currently, where I can see and use them easily.
In Cape Breton, whether you are a host or a guest, the offer is always made for tea or coffee. Your choice would then be accompanied with sandwiches or sweets, depending on the time of day it was. Therefore, it seems fitting to choose a pretty tea cup to represent the guest blogs shared here today.
Why do bloggers write guest blogs?
In early 2019, I sent out a message that I was looking to write guest blogs on other websites. As I am working on my writing continuously, I am strive towards my goals of writing full-time. Since I have now written three this year, I thought it would be nice to highlight them all together. This will allow me to showcase the new style I am learning to write in.
The new style is geared towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I have struggled to learn how to use it properly. It has had frustrating moments, however, I think I am starting to learn how to use it more effectively.
In other words, bloggers write to share what they have to say with their followers. When you reach out to ask about writing a guest blog, you are looking to have more exposure to different readers. Furthermore, the hopes of building your own readership to a larger following is also desirable. The host of the guest blog also wants to find more readers once they visit their website.
Another reason for me to do this is to add to my portfolio, and to write with a different purpose in mind. Here at my own blog, although it is not as personal as my journal, I strive to have that sense of a post for my readers. The minute I decide to write a guest blog for another website, it immediately takes on a different sense of importance. I often write very freely here, but when I write for someone else, it needs to look and feel professional.
Guest Blog Roundup #1
Guest Blog Roundup number one of 2019 can be found on the website of Pattimouse. Her website is a fun place to visit, with several guest blogs there to read along with her own musings. Her tagline, A glimpse into the mind of a half mad poet, sets the tone for all sorts of blogs. She shares poetry, and links for her poetry books, yes that is plural, and her work is exceptional. She has a gift for finding the correct photos to match her prose. My own guest blog, Conquering Your Inner Gremlins, would be my recommended place to start, of course. If you take the time to look around Pattimouse’s website, I am certain you will find something you like as well.
Under the name of Patricia Harris, she has published 3 children’s books and 16 poetry volumes. Her books are available in both paperback and ebook formats. Under the name of Serena Mossgraves, she has written a novel and a novella with dark and adult themes.
Guest Blog Roundup #2
When you enter The World of Shannon McRoberts, you will find an active website right from the home page. Shannon McRoberts has also written several books. Her characters are strong female leads which you can also see with her artistic representations of them. Her books are epic fantasy, with some falling within the realms of urban fantasy. She writes in several formats, including graphic novels, comics and poetry, along with her fantasy/science fiction novels.
For this guest blog, I wrote about Top Notch Writing Tips. I wanted readers to have an inside look into what an author may need to do to keep their writing fresh and to help avoid writer’s block. Sometimes we need to put aside the main work in progress (or WIP as you will see it noted in other places) for a short time. This allows author to be able to go back to work on it with fresh eyes. In my guest blog post, I explain some of the things I have tried when I need a change. I then go into some of the skills an author can learn when tackling a short story as a break from the WIP. If you read until the very end, you will find out about the plot twist!
If you are looking for a website which has vibrant colours paired with digital art and poetry, this is a great one to visit. I do hope you take the time to look around when you read my guest post there. I am positive with the variety of choices available that you will find something to check out while you are there also.
Guest Blog Roundup #3
Finally, the third guest blog roundup visits Rita’s Reading Room, you will see my third guest blog post from 2019. Not only will you find the guest blog, but her website displays books of many colours above a clean, crisp display of her blog posts on the home page. I really love the picture of the books, it is very appealing to the eye. It also suits the website title so well, a reading room would have a bookshelf filled with books.
Rita Kruger writes novels of fantasy, gothic and horror genres, challenging major themes of her own life. Her novels, Angela’s Epistles, books one and two follow the story of Angela Wright as she learns about herself. Consequently, she is making choices and changes in her life.
While I was preparing to write for this particular blog post, I came up with a title late one night while I was struggling with my own blog and the Yoast SEO editing plugin. It is meant to help me to write better blogs, but I was becoming so frustrated while using it, I had a moment. From this moment came the title How to Become a Better Blogger Without Becoming a Bitter Blogger. It also caused me to do a little more research, and you can read about what I learned when you visit Rita’s Reading Room to find my guest blog there. Again, I encourage you to go a little further into the reading room, to see what you can find.
It was a good experience.
To conclude, I will continue to write guest blogs to expand my own portfolio and improve on my writing skills. I am open to writing for different blogs, with the hope that it will allow me to pursue writing full time.
Did you choose a favourite guest blog in this roundup? What about the websites, are to going to go back to visit any of them? Are you a blogger looking for new content from a guest blogger like myself, or looking to share a guest blog here, on my website? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
When someone comes to visit me, I will offer them a cup of tea or coffee, as a host. I chose this picture in particular because it has vibrant colours.
As a Blogger, you generally love to read and write. A part of the craft is to continually learn and challenge yourself to become a better author. In doing so, one often subscribes and follows numerous blogs within the community.
I have been fortunate enough to start on this path with a lot of help and guidance from my friends, and peers. I have enrolled in free online workshops and found some that I think are worth saving up to participate in. Through one of these challenges, I launched a free Guest Blogging invitation to the world.
While I haven’t been overwhelmed by people looking to share in this opportunity with me, a few people have approached me, and today I have the pleasure of sharing a story that another blogger wrote. I do think as we are reading each other’s words and having online conversations about each other’s work, that we are well on the way to becoming friends.
I am a member of several different writing and blogging groups and communities online. I am loving the support that I get from each one, and how they are all unique in their own ways. I met my next Guest Blog Writer in one of these groups.
Syl DiNada was interested in Guest Blogging when I put out the invitation. We started chatting, and Syl was more interested in sharing than hosting. As it is an open invitation, I decided that I would see what came out of our discussions, and reading my new friend’s blog.
Let me tell you, the artwork that is prominently featured in Syl DiNada’s Blog is phenomenal. I can visit just to look at the pictures. Truly inspirational and magnificent. Well worth checking out. The writing, well, we definitely have different outlooks on life, and that is absolutely wonderful. I love reading different things, and Syl puts a lot of thought behind the artwork, and consequently the writing for the blog. I rather enjoy the visits, you should take a peek, and find something to read there.
Here is the Guest Blog share from Syl DiNada.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 Sharing the Self
Z: “Syl, I like your avatar but seriously, what do you look like? Why are you standing behind a mask and yet trying to convey true words?”
Y: “Z, I would just like to say we live in a world where we sometimes put too much importance on how others look. An Avatar can be a way of allowing a much larger audience to pay attention and really hear what is being said.
Personally, not for myself, as I honestly don’t care how someone looks, but I care what is in their heart and how they convey that.”
Syl: Yes, Y has it pretty much. Although I really do make the majority of my posts with just me in mind.
But really, at the time I signed up for FaceBook I did not own any pictures of myself. I don’t use a phone either and had no digital camera. I just don’t have much interest in personal pics, never have. (Yes, I know it’s hard to believe in this day and age, but some of us have never taken a selfie.) So I used this avatar pic of mine. And ofc…”There is More…”
Pictures of faces have a very particular effect on cognition. They instantly convey an impression of someone. Pictures of faces are limited in what they can convey, particularly when someone is outside of the typical cognition pattern. I feel pretty confident that I am very much Not what a picture of my face looks like. I mean you will see a fairly regular face. But I think I can say without any ego that I am not very regular at all. Not better or worse, just quite different. This is something I know for sure from an objective standpoint.
So any picture I put up of me will actually be *Inaccurate.* It won’t, and can’t, tell the whole story. Lol, I struggle to tell my story when I make an effort to do so.
For instance, a friend whom I chat with regularly, asked and made some specific comments about how it all started for me. And well, they completely miss-assumed how it all began. So I had to explain. Lol, a few hundred thousand words, or half a dozen books later, I am still not done telling that story.
Haha, nothing for me is simple anymore, and that was just a straight-up chronological story, telling about my early days as a philosopher, as a boy. (Yes, I was a philosopher as a boy.) So really, I can’t put up a picture, it would be a falsehood.
And besides, I am not sure why folks assume some other profile pic means hiding, That avatar pic actually says a lot, but that is a whole other post by itself. I would say my posts reveal more about me than most pages I have seen.
I am sharing my very essence. That is about as intimate as one can go. To share what one’s favorite colour and food is, means nothing at all really. In order to truly know someone, we need to know what matters to them, what is important, what resonates with their Inner Being, with their Core.
It is knowing what they *Aspire* to. Not even ambitions really tell us about someone, those are typically relatively superficial, and often artificial. But what someone’s Heart and Soul truly *Aspires* to, that is *them.* Knowing someone, one could say, is getting to know their Soul and Heart, not their temporary and arbitrary likes and dislikes. We have to go past the surface superficialities to really get to know someone.
Besides, I don’t feel what I Share for the most part “belongs” to me. Concepts, thoughts, ideas, Perspectives and all the More I Share, belong to everyone. In this way I feel I am Sharing what is Us. I truly make every effort to live in Attunement to everything around me, to everyone and everything in my life. I try with everything I have to live in Attunement with the World and the Universe. Perhaps I need a picture of a community, a large community, that would be more accurate. <3 <3 ***
And well, there is another reason also… I am way too handsome to post my picture. I would get err….unwanted attention if I did. 😀 😀 😀 However, in amongst all the art in my posts, somewhere, there is a picture that does resemble me. <3
Syl DiNada is a Philosopher-Writer focusing on the Application of a comprehensive Practical-Personal-Philosophy.
Creator of: The Philosophy of Appropriateness and: An A+ Philosophy.
Thanks for letting me share your story from January, Syl DiNada. I look forward to reading more of your writing, and further conversations. If you are reading this and want to get in touch with me for Guest Blogging opportunities, here is the invitation.
Money. Love it or hate it, whether you have tons or none, it is something that dictates a lot about your life. With that being said, I hate it, and it is because I have spent all of my life never having enough money. My husband and I work hard and in our house, he does the budget. It isn’t because I am not capable of running the household budget, but rather because money slips like mercury through my fingers, faster than the speed of light. Once in a while, I ask him where things stand, and these days, it is looking better than it ever has. We are not rolling in the dough, in fact, we are very far from that with our household income. We decided years ago that it was better for him to take control over the money. Many fights happened since then, but when we made the decision to have him handle the budget, we promised to never let any fights we had about money be about anything other than the money. Do you know what? It worked. There have been days where I was so angry I was shouting at him to find me the money I needed for whatever we were fighting about needing money for. We made that little rule at the start, and we have made it work for us, ever since.
I am now going to share my top 6 Budgeting Tips. They will not be things that you have never heard of before, but they have helped me stay the course and not go crazy all the time.
Don’t leave the house. I am really serious about this one. The second I walk out of the house I am 100% guaranteed that I am going to spend money. Except if I am going to work, or to visit a friend. It is a given. When I have time off, I avoid shopping temptation by staying home. I am not an avid online shopper, so this does not affect me like it might for other people. When I do make online purchases, they are planned, not impulse purchases.
Make a grocery list. Use the weekly flyers. Cut the coupons. Go the extra mile to get whatever deals that you can find. If you can sign up for email coupon sites or local couponing groups, you can swap the ones you don’t need for some that you do.
Pack your lunch. Eating out should be a treat, not an everyday event. If you make a meal, the leftovers can be your lunch the next day. I do this a lot. I get bored of sandwiches, so when I prep cook, it is for my lunches. I recently discovered that I need carbs at lunch. I will have to be planning ahead more for this, as I thought the sleepiness after lunch was my blood sugars being too high. I checked. They weren’t. The next day I added the right kind of carbs, and I wasn’t falling asleep at my desk. Who knew?
Find ways to earn money to save up for something extra. I have done a bit of pet sitting for friends, but it can be anything that you can do. I have also done overtime at the day job when I was planning something that I couldn’t afford from the regular budget. The household budget has been so rigid for so long that it is now a habit for me to stop and think before I make plans to figure out where the money for such and such is going to come from.
Make use of points. Whether you collect air miles, scene points for movies points at your local grocery store or pharmacy, spend them wisely. I have one that I let accumulate until I have enough saved to buy makeup with. I have others that I cash in when I am low on funds and need to make a purchase that I can’t wait until payday for. If you are spending money to buy coffee every day (another way to save money is to make it at home) then get the card and claim your free coffee when it is earned. Or, pay a gift forward to a friend in need with points. Save them to purchase Christmas or Birthday gifts. Whatever you use them for, if the points are used, and it is something that you want instead of need, then it is a valuable way to spend them.
When you are paying down your debt load, pay extra when you can. Choose one of two things when you start to target your debt load, either the smallest total balance and continue paying each one off one at a time while paying the regular payments to the other bills. The other factor to weigh into this decision is the interest rate for each separate debt load. When it comes to making ground, it makes sense to start small and remove the smaller totals first. This builds momentum because you are seeing results as each bill is paid off. Then you can change tactics when you only have larger bills left, and tackle the one that is charging you the highest interest rate first. When you are improving your credit rating, then call the companies that you want to keep doing business with, and ask them what they can do to help you save money, and keep doing business with them. They may lower your interest rate that they charge, and if you have problems spending, ask them to lower your balance when you hit the balance that you can manage.
My bonus tip is to live within your means. Think before you shop. Wants are not needs. If you don’t overspend, you won’t have to pay down the debt if there is none there, to begin with. This is practical advice, but not always possible. Emergencies happen and need to be dealt with. If you have your debt under control, having to find a way to cover an emergency is not as stressful when you have wiggle room to manage to pay down a new and unexpected bill.
I am writing this story for 2 different reasons. One is that it is something that might help someone like me figure out how to manage their money better. My husband uses a computer program to keep track of it all, but he also writes out the budget by hand months in advance to help him plan ahead. The other one is to slip in another introduction for a third Guest Blogging adventure. I have teamed up with Carla Gardiner who was the first Blogger to respond to my open invitation to guest blogging. I have written a story for her blog. It is a bit familiar to the information I have shared here on this blog, with my own little spin to make it just different enough that you should go read it, to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my stories. I really had fun with this one, and there is a science fiction reference or two in it. You can read What are you doing with your towel? on Carla’s Blog.
While you are there, check out what she is up to. She is so you can well imagine that she has her own stories to tell, in her own way, from living life through her own journey. I do read her blog, and I am in the #100Coffees group with her, it is where we met. She and I were brainstorming, as I am not quite what her ideal audience member would look like. While chatting, I was inspired to write about reinventing myself and to share budgeting tips. These topics were chosen based on sharing the audiences of both blogs. So here is the first part. Please do take the time to visit her blog also. The Blogging community has always been a delightful way to help other bloggers with Guest Posting such as this one, and I look forward to participating in more writing adventures in my own journey.
If you have been to my About page, you will recognize this picture. It is from one of my favourite places in the world, in Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a bench made from driftwood that overlooks a private beach. You will not find it easily, it is not open to the public. Not even very many locals have been here. It is a gem in the home of my heart, and a place I think of often.
The ocean seems to find its way into my words when I write, whether it is song lyrics or into my fantasy trilogy. That’s right, I am planning to write a fantasy trilogy based in the home of my heart. It won’t be about my life, exactly, it will be straight from my imagination. There may be familiar issues or mannerisms found in some of the characters, but I am not basing any of it on real people. After meeting Kelly Armstrong a few weeks ago, I realized that for my first trilogy, it will be enough to write it without creating a new world for it to happen in. I asked her during the Q&A session at the local library if she would ever write in a world that she created, and she answered that she didn’t plan to create any other worlds for her writing. She said that she felt that there are people that are better suited to world building, and she isn’t one of those people. I am reading some of her books now, and have read some before the event at the Library. I am not sure if I will write more than a trilogy based in Cape Breton, or if I will connect all of my books there somehow. However, I do think it is a logical place for me to start.
I also got some books signed after the Q&A had finished. I told her that I am writing my first trilogy and that I am a little nervous about writing book 2. I am scared that I might get lost and stuck in there. She told me I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. She shared that book two is not where I should get lost, but where I should plan to have fun. I am going to try and remember that.
Matty, Kelley Armstrong, and me at the local library.
I am writing this post to tie it into my upcoming Guest Post on another Blogger’s page. He is a friend I have met online since I started my blogging adventure, and he asked me to write a story for his Around The World category. I wrote to him about my upcoming vacation in Cape Breton Island, and this became the topic I decided to write about.
The Atlantic Ocean, kissing the Cape Breton Coastline
The sun setting beside Margaree Island, seen from the shore of Cape Breton Island
What a Beach day! Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Thanks to my friends and family members for the beautiful pics I blended together in this project, with permission. I came back from my week in Cape Breton feeling relaxed and refreshed. I did go swimming twice, and that is where I got the title for this story. Salt water therapy on the shorelines of Cape Breton Island is the best kind and one money can’t buy.
I was honoured to be invited to share my story on Mohamad Al Karbi’s Blog. I hope you take the time to visit and read the story of my vacation. It is written to share MY Cape Breton with the world. While you are there, if you have some time, there are many other posts in this and other categories. I have enjoyed reading about different places in his blog, and I suspect if you want to read more about other places in the world, this is a way for me to help you discover the world through other people’s eyes, with their own stories.
You can read my Guest Blog # 2, Homesick for the Home of my Heart, here.
I hope you enjoy both stories for this project. As always, I have enjoyed writing them. Always Thinking…
Earlier in the year, Kirsty Allen, of her blog The Ramblings of a Madwoman posted an opportunity for guest blogging. It interested me, as a newbie here, I wanted to give it a whirl and see what happened. We were given a prompt, and I chose to write about a recent conflict.
I thought about it, as I am Always Thinking…
I replied with an idea about learning how to stand up for myself. This is something that is a new skill in my life, and I have been improving it in the last few years. I still have my moments, but I like to think I am more capable of defending myself than I was 10 years ago.
The last Wednesday in February is Pink Shirt Day in Canada. I am all for raising awareness about the anti-bullying movement, and I shared reminders on my personal facebook wall the day before Pink Shirt Day, 2017. It came as a surprise when I had negative replies in response to those reminders. I replied in the most constructive way I could, trying to turn around the negativity. It didn’t go too far, and I did see that one person decided to express their negative thoughts on their own wall. To each their own. A good rule of thumb for social media. If the discussion had continued to escalate on my wall, I would have had to take further action. Thankfully, it didn’t.
In trueTish fashion, I had made a decision about the best way I could handle this. I decided that I would use the anger and disappointment I felt as a result of what happened on my wall, and spin it in my guest blog post.
It was a challenge. I started with the pantser approach I use, and just typed away. The goal for the word count was 200 to 700 words, in short story format. When I finished the rough draft, I had 1800 words, give or take a few. So then I had to get really serious and edit the fluff out of it. I have certainly had a lot of experience with bullies in my life, there was no shortage of examples.
After a furious editing session, I worked on it for 2 days or more, I had it down to just over 800 words. I updated Kirsty with my progress and asked her about the size of the picture she needed for the submission to be complete. With that information, I was able to send it to her. Then I waited. I am proud that I was able to send itin before the deadline. That was important to me, as I am a procrastinator by nature.
It was hard to be patient, but I did that too. I checked for a response several times a day, waiting for her reply. I wondered if I missed the mark with the word count, or if it was not going to be a successful submission.
When I saw Kirsty’s message, I was over the moon happy! She told me that it would indeed be published, and that, “I really enjoyed reading your piece, it was so relatable and well written that I nearly cried. .” I quoted that at work and for a few days after that. It validated my talents as a writer, and also really made me feel good that I accomplished the task at hand.
I am pleased to share this story here, in a link format. There is a reason we Bloggers do this together. We share stories on each other’s websites to challenge our own writing abilities, but also to increase traffic to each other’s websites. It may not make much sense to those of you out there just reading my stories that I link to my wall, but in the blogging world, it does matter. So if you like my story, and you take the time to read it, please take a few minutes to check out The Ramblings of a Madwoman by Kirsty Allen. I recommend “It’s called Project Echo. We’re a top secret, select group of special people and we’ve been monitoring you.”, as I really enjoyed this story. I was inspired when I read Motivation March, to leave a comment for her about this piece. She is a talented writer, and I am liking her stories too.
Here is the link for my first guest submission on Kirsty’s website. I hope you check it out. I am proud of how it came together.