I’m Sorry September…
Insecure Writers Support Group
Our Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
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I’m sorry September it isn’t personal.
No matter how hard I try to keep from getting behind in my writing over the summer, I get behind. Every year on September 1, I feel anxious, overwhelmed and like a failure.
I do feel all of those things today but I’m also giving myself a big fat pass.
It occurred to me yesterday that while I was sitting on the beach a few weeks ago I had the best ideas for a novel I’ve been outlining for a few months. The characters, scenes and location came to me so easily. Of course I didn’t write any of it down. I do remember most of it and if I get stuck I think I’ll head back to the beach with a notebook or at least my phone this time.
What was different about that beach visit on that day was I completely unplugged for the entire day.
My husband and I both left our phones behind. We talked, napped and daydreamed. I realize now that we both desperately needed that break. Moving forward I’m going to consider the summer my charger. It will be time well wasted. I will however make a point of carrying an old fashioned pen and notebook wherever I go.
Once we got in the car to head home both of our voicemails were full.
Our grandson (15), who lives with us and did not want to go to the beach that day broke his bedroom doorknob and got trapped in his room, my husband who works at a car dealership had issues with a vehicle delivery that didn’t go well and a publisher I work with needed an immediate answer about an illustration for one of my clients books.
We wanted to scream.
One by one we called everyone. My husband’s delivery issue was handled satisfactorily by a coworker. Our grandson called a relative that lives close by and was rescued (but shut the door and was trapped again,) and the publisher called the illustrator. What a relief to be able to laugh about all the drama we missed.
Do you take time to recharge your creative batteries? Do you feel guilty when you do?
Be sure to stop by and thank our hardworking co-hosts:
Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!
I’d love to follow you on twitter and Instagram!
The post I’m Sorry September… appeared first on Doreen McGettigan.
Are You Guilty of Road Rage?
Are you guilty of Road Rage? Have you been a victim of Road Rage?
Road rage attacks seem to happen in multiples in my area. I can’t help but wonder why. Is it the weather, the time of year, the time of day, the position of the moon that causes this volatile behavior?
Whenever I hear or read the words road rage my body stiffens and my heart starts to race. My brother, musician David Albert was beaten to death in a road rage attack. His crime was stopping at every stop sign and looking both ways. It happened on a beautiful tree-lined street in the small town of Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania.
That brutal crime forever changed the lives of hundreds of people. For me, my family and David’s friends and fans there will always be life with Dave and life without him. It also changed the lives of the seven men involved in David’s death. They will forever live with the memory of a 13-month-old baby’s Daddy begging for his life and regretting their decision to keep hitting him. Their families have to live with the fact that their loved one took an innocent man’s life.
A few weeks ago I was driving along a usually quiet back road and witnessed an aggressive driver get out of his car and confront another driver, That other driver shot the aggressor. I’ve asked myself a million times since then, why me? Why after what happened to my brother why did I have to witness that horror?
I most likely will never know the answer but I do know I will never stop reminding folks how quickly the silliest thing can escalate to full blown out of control and you need to remember that for many people you are their everything and for them you need to choose to live. They are so much more important than some idiot that cut you off.
Have you ever:
- Hit your brakes to teach a tailgater behind you a lesson?
- Blocked the passing lane on a highway so a car cannot pass you?
- Have you cursed, screamed at or given the finger to another driver? [This gesture has gotten people shot, stabbed or beaten to death in every single state.] [www.nhtsa.com]
- Rudely honked your horn at another driver? [This behavior has resulted in a large number of honkers being shot or beaten.]
- Tailgated a driver you felt was driving to slow?
- Repeatedly flashed your high beams at a driver that has their high beams on?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you are guilty of aggressive driving. That behavior puts you, your passengers and the other driver at risk of harm, even death. That other driver that you provoked could have Intermittent Explosive Disorder and some sort of weapon. That few minutes of anger, that need you had to be right could cost you your life and your family and loved ones a lifetime of pain.
Simply being aware and doing a few simple things can be the difference between your life and death or the life and death of another driver.
To avoid becoming aggressive on the road:
- Never drive while deeply hurt, angry, tired or hungry.
- Leave earlier than you need too. Always give yourself a time cushion in case of traffic, an accident or poor weather conditions.
- Have water and some sort of snack in the car.
- Have your favorite music or an audio book available.
- Accept that you may be late, it happens and it’s not the end of the world.
- Always have something to clean your windows and your hands.
- Place a photo of your family, loved ones and/ or pets on your visor.
- Keep a stress ball in the car.
- Intentionally relax your muscles and breathe deeply. Count out loud or pray.
- Perform simple acts of kindness by giving other drivers a break. You never know what struggles someone else is going through
There are increasing numbers of recorded cases of road rage incidents committed by either men or women that are middle age, normally calm, successful people with no history of crime, violence or drug and alcohol abuse. They become so irritated by another driver’s distraction or rudeness that they are hell bent on ‘teaching the other driver a lesson.’ Teaching that lesson is NOT your job. Your job is to arrive home safely.
How do you protect yourself from someone who is raging?
Compounding and triggering road rage in normally calm, rational people are the increasing numbers of distracted and aggressive drivers. Every single time I drive I see someone texting or talking on their phone. It definitely isn’t just teenagers. More and more mid-lifers and seniors are reading and sending texts while driving!
- In a Nationwide Insurance survey, 37% of middle aged drivers admitted to texting while driving and 35% admitted to some other sort of multi-tasking while driving.
- In 2015, 391,000 injuries were caused in distracted driving accidents. The same year distracted driving was cited as a major factor in 3,477 traffic deaths.
- 9 people in the United States are killed each day as a result of distracted driving according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Keep in mind it takes only 3 seconds of distraction for a crash to occur. While driving on I-95 one day I simply looked at my dash to locate the place to plug in my Ipod and I nearly hit a bridge abutment. It was terrifying!
Don’t allow yourself to become distracted. Know where everything is in your vehicle before you drive.
To avoid becoming a victim of road rage:
- If a driver is trying to pass you, let them. Being right is not worth dying. Once you get out of their way and move on you have taken their power away. It is that simple.
- Never make eye contact with an aggressive driver, it can be perceived as aggression.
- Always use your turn signal.
- Turn off your high beams if another driver is approaching from the other direction.
- Don’t block the road to talk to someone. [This behavior has caused dozens of shootings and beatings] [AAA]
- If an aggressive driver is following you, do not drive to your home. Go to a police station or some other safe, well lit area.
- Never, ever engage with an angry driver. They are irrational and you are not the ass-hat driver whisperer.
- Never give another driver the finger or any other sort of gesture. Too many people have died as a result of this behavior. Your life is more important than being right.
- Never, ever follow someone who is raging. Let them go and live.
I will never understand why we will stand, holding the door for four or five people at a convenience store, smiling and telling them to have a great day and then we get in our cars and will fight to the death to be the first one to merge. We post incessantly on social media about kindness and anti-bullying and then we get into our cars and become dangerous bullies. Many of us complain about other drivers bad behaviors and never admit we ourselves are just as guilty.
Please choose to live by always be forgiving on the road.
Road Rage has affected my family in the worst way possible. My younger brother, musician David Albert was beaten to death by a group of men who became irate because he stopped at every stop- sign. They felt he was driving too slowly. David was driving the speed limit. He was twenty-six-years –old, had a beautiful wife and a thirteen-month-old son.
I felt compelled to tell the story in the book Bristol boyz Stomp which will be rereleased later this year.
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Happy Release Day Baby Carter
Dina is one of the first writers I connected with when I started blogging. That was 8oo+ posts ago. Since then we’ve actually met in real life and she is lovely.
I’m also a fan. I loved Baby Grand and Baby Bailino and have been anxiously awaiting the next book, Baby Carter.
I highly recommend this series.
ABOUT the Author
Voted one of the best Long Island authors for two consecutive years, Dina Santorelli is the author of the Baby Grand Trilogy, a contemporary thriller series. She has been a freelance writer for 20 years and has written frequently about parenting, travel, entertainment, pop culture, and the military. Dina currently serves as the executive editor of Salute and Family magazines for which she has interviewed many celebrities, such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Mara, Michael Strahan, Norman Reedus, Vince Vaughn, James Gandolfini, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Kevin Bacon. Since 2010, she has collaborated on a variety of nonfiction titles, and her book Daft Punk: A Trip Inside the Pyramid has been published in several languages. Dina also lectures for Hofstra University’s Continuing Education Department and is a SELF-e Ambassador for the Library Journal. For more information about Dina, visit her website.
About the Book
When a bomb is discovered in the White House during the first year of Phillip Grand’s tenure as president of the United States, press secretary Jamie Carter takes her daughter, Faith, to the one place she believes to be safe—an address in Wyoming given to her years before by reputed mobster Don Bailino. Bailino—thought to be dead by just about everyone, except recently retired FBI special agent Paul Wilcox—has been laying low out west for more than three years, but is propelled out of hiding to protect the woman he loves and the daughter he’s fathered. Will Bailino be able to keep them safe from this new threat? Or will Wilcox finally get his man? Can Jamie and Faith ever stop running? The explosive finale of the Baby Grand Trilogy.
What can we look forward to with Baby Carter? Is the story a continuation? Which characters are back?
BABY CARTER takes place in fall 2017, about a year and a half after BABY BAILINO’s epilogue, and is a continuation, yes! Phillip Grand is now the president of the United States, and Jamie Carter is his press secretary. Just about everyone is back—everyone who is alive, that is.
Are the locations in the series real places and if so what was your research process like?
The locales in the series are real, for the most part—Albany, Manhattan, and Long Island, New York; Cody, Wyoming; Washington, D.C. I’ve invented some specific locations, such as Taryn’s Diner in BABY GRAND and Bailino’s log cabins, both in New York and in Wyoming. I’ve been a journalist for nearly 30 years and, as you can imagine, have done LOTS of research over the years. For the most part, when it comes to my fiction, I tend to stay away from research and just rely on my imagination. That said, I have taken a few trips to get a feel for places. I visited Albany in May 2010 for BABY GRAND, and also Washington in March of this year for BABY CARTER. I like to mix the real and the imaginary, but beyond that I don’t do massive amounts of research.
Did your characters come to you easily? What was the process like developing them?
They say there are two kinds of writers—plotters and pantsers. I’m the latter. I just sit down with a vague idea of what I want I want to write and the people I want to write about. My characters are formed through the writing itself. I learn about them as I go. Just like the reader.
I love the book covers for the Baby Grand series. Who created them? Did you have input?
I worked with a company called Stonesong (http://www.stonesong.com) for my covers. I had lots of ideas for what I wanted and provided input, but in the end it really was the designer’s vision.
What comes next? Is this the end of this series?
Ah, this is the end of the series. It really is bittersweet. These characters have been with me for decades, and now they will live on in the hearts and minds of readers. I can’t think of anything better.
How do you turn off the editor in you while writing, is that even possible?
I cannot. And that editor is a real pain in the butt, I’ll tell ya! I have to make a conscious effort to allow myself to “just write.” One of my mottos is “Bad writing is better than no writing.” I just keep reminding myself that I’ll edit later. That’s actually very hard for me to do.
The list of talent you’ve interviewed is impressive. Was there a celebrity you interviewed that had you feeling complete fan girl?
I seriously fan-girled when I interviewed Kiefer Sutherland and Norman Reedus—and, especially, James Gandolfini. While I didn’t model my villain, Don Bailino, specifically on Tony Soprano, the complexity of that character inspired him—and me. Also, this year I got the opportunity to interview Maria Shriver, and although I wouldn’t say that I necessarily “fan-girled,” I really was completely in awe of who she is as a person and the message she is putting out into the world—one of honesty, acceptance, benevolence.
What advice do you give that you should take more often yourself when it comes to writing? When it comes to life?
Well, it would definitely have to go back to the editing—reminding myself to just get the words on the page and worry about editing later. That really is difficult for me. When it comes to life? Hmmm… Perhaps I am in front of my computer way more than I should be. I’m always preaching moderation to my kids, but as a writer I find it difficult to pull away. My bloodshot eyes can attest to that.
When it’s time to recharge your creativity where do you go?
I am very much inspired by good writing—whether it’s a book or a film or a TV show—so I would say it’s not necessarily someplace I physically go, but mentally. I also find that I’m recharged when I push myself out of my comfort zone. I recently went kayaking for the first time and felt an incredible rush—not only from my nervousness, but from the beauty of Long Island’s south shore and also from the workout I gave my body. Who knew kayaking was so intense? It was amazing. I returned fully recharged and ready to go—and perhaps even more willing to try something new, writing-wise. A healthy body begets a healthy mind, as they say, and vice versa.
What is your favorite hometown restaurant? What are you ordering?
Ah, this is an easy one. We have a local Cajun place called Big Daddy’s (http://www.bigdaddysny.com) that we’ve been going to for years! Depending on my mood, I’ll order the Vieux Caree (voo ca RAY), which is pork and waffles, or pasta jambalaya, or a seafood dish. You can never go wrong at Big Daddy’s.
Baby Carter will be released as an ebook on August 28, 2018, and as a paperback on Sept. 18, 2018!
CONNECT WITH DINA
Join Dina’s newsletter and get a free short story titled “A Baby Grand Story: Bailino,” a companion piece to the Baby Grand Trilogy! You’ll also receive regular updates on Dina’s various books and author events, as well her popular “3 Things I Love.”
COMING IN 2019!
A NEW THRILLER BY DINA SANTORELLI!
IN THE RED
When Kirk Stryker, a respected certified public accountant, is brutally murdered in his office in the Long Island village of Gardenia, all eyes are on rival Marty Benning, the handsome newcomer whose high-tech firm has been stealing Stryker’s business and attention. Muriel Adams, a middle-aged mom who has given up on love, falls head over heels for the charming yet enigmatic Benning, despite the warnings of friends and family, and when Benning is arrested for Stryker’s murder, she is the only one to believe in his innocence. Is Muriel blinded by love? Or is Benning playing her for a fool? In the Red is an emotionally charged contemporary thriller that follows the police investigation, media coverage, and political and economic fallout surrounding this high-profile crime, and, ultimately, uncovers a dark underbelly that reveals the dangerous places the heart can lead.
The post Baby Carter appeared first on Doreen McGettigan.
I’m wearing white every day…
As of August 1st I’ve wanted to wear white every day, visit local parks, the beach and the hot dog and hamburger cravings are crazy. I’m such a summer person and I won’t give it up easily but I’m also a planner and it’s time to fill my fall book shelf. Normally I’m a scaredy cat but my #FallReading has to be scary or at least mysterious.
The first book in my #FallReading to be read pile is The Brown House. For me the title screams fall and scary and it’s based on a real house!
Meet the Author
Where did you grow up?
I lived in Southern California, but not the beautiful part. Where I lived was called the High Desert. You can imagine how brown and hot this place was.
Did you grow up in a house that encouraged writing, reading or music? When did you first know you wanted to write?
My grandmother instilled all of those things in me. We would frequent her house on weekends. She encouraged my writing, and pushed me to continue. I knew that I wanted to be a real writer when I was twenty-seven.
You’ve written a lot of books! What is your writing schedule? What is your process?
I could’ve written way more, so it’s funny that you think that. When I feel the urge, I write or when my muse is speaking to me. I never push myself to write, or it comes out as junk. Usually I spend two or three days a week on writing at night, and I can get a few thousand words done. Although now that I work part-time, I cannot dedicate that much time to just writing. Not only do I have to write, but I must promote myself daily.
When I write, it’s only at night, and it has to be quiet in the house, or I cannot focus. I listen to music, loudly, and sit by myself. It’s an insane process, but it’s all I know.
Tell us about The Brown House? Why this story?
The Brown House is an actual home that my husband lived in while he was a child into his young adult life. His family would share with me details about the strange happenings, and after I started figuring out that all the stories matched up, I realized the story must be told. Of course it’s a fictional tale, based on reality, so some things are real, and some are not. I recently walked through the house, as it’s abandoned and up for sale. This house is definitely hosting something unhuman. I felt several touches, and heard things.
Did anything creepy happen during the writing of this story?
So while I was writing book two, The Crimson Key, it was late. All the rest of the house was asleep, as usual. I had just taken off my headphones, to give my ears a bit of a break, when a photo slid out of a picture frame behind me, fell onto the couch and then onto the floor. I didn’t even bother shutting off the computer, I just ran to bed.
What is your all time favorite horror book or movie?
My favorite time of year is Halloween, so I have watched many horror movies. The one that gets me every time is The Conjuring. As far as book, I remember Dracula scaring me as a child.
Do you have a favorite bookstore and if so why?
I love old bookstores that sell used books. I think there is something special in giving an abandoned book a new home. There’s a store near me that I frequent.
If you could choose only one of your books, to be made into a movie which one would you choose and why?
Probably either The Librarian or The Brown House. They both would make really amazing movies in my opinion.
What is your favorite non alcoholic drink?
What is your favorite restaurant in your home town? What are you ordering?
Carrollo’s Pizza. I would get their taco salad. Yum.
Buy the Book
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It’s Time for Another #IWSG
Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
Be sure to stop by and thank the awesome co-hosts for today: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post.
Remember, the question is optional!
August 01 Question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
This is a great question for me this month. My number one pitfall I would advise to avoid is publishing too soon. Make the investment in a real literary editor, create a business plan and stick with it. You can’t get back a first impression!
My second pitfall to avoid would be scammy publishers. I’ve had my soul crushed not one but twice. I did thorough research and honestly couldn’t foresee the demise of either company. It’s embarrassing because I teach publishingL Shaking it off and #KeepMovingForward has been tough but there really is no other choice is there?
My third pitfall to avoid is giving up your day job too soon. I tried years ago and failed. Three years ago I was lucky enough to be able to make writing my full time job, a job that actually pays the bills. It only took twelve-years of planningJ
Have you had any negative experiences with publishing? Ever published something and looked back and said, “What have I done?”
I need to start participating, this month’s book looks good!
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
This one is for our memoir writers and anyone who has ever thought of writing a memoir. The discussion will start September 19th and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you’re able. Join Us On Goodreads.
Happy August and happy writing everyone,
Are you on INSTAGRAM? Stop by, follow and say hello so I can follow you there too!
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