Writing to Cope or Whatever Works

IU Exec Director KS Brooks eats too much whipped cream
Whipped cream is delicious.

I hope each and every one of you is home safe, and that you and your families are healthy.

This is a troubling time, with the future uncertain. Many have lost their jobs, and most of those who haven’t are now working from home. Many of them have their children home as well. None of these scenarios are exactly the greatest ambiance for writing.

Yet writing (and eating lots of chocolate or whipped cream) is a great coping mechanism. Even simply jotting down what you saw and felt in an attempt to document the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 can provide some relief, and it won’t make you fat.

As the notes come out, it’s not a far reach to imagine using them in a post-apocalyptic novel or a science fiction book. Of course, you could just use them in an actual memoir. Or, you could not use them at all, or file them in a drawer. Then, there are some of us who use humor to cope – and will end up writing a spoof or comedy. Maybe you just want to have something documented to share with your grandchildren. None of these ways is wrong. Whatever helps you cope is the right thing to do.

Those of you who have been working on projects may feel a little lost and unable to focus. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. These are times the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Feeling a little funky is to be expected. I’ve had a huge list of things to get done forever and now I’m at a loss for what those are. If looking at memes on Facebook was on the list, I’d be an overachiever. In any case, give yourself time to deal with things.

I think a lot of people feel helpless right now, but the reality of it is – staying home is doing something. It’s pulling dominoes out of the line and hopefully preventing something even more catastrophic.

An activity that might help could be playing a writing game with your kids. Ask them to write down how they feel about being home right now. Maybe you want to ask them to write what they would be doing if they could do anything. They could also write about what worries them. This will give you insight into what they’re going through and be an easy way to open up discussion and help them overcome their fears. Just don’t forget to write your own assignment at the same time. If they’re too young to write, have them draw.

Many authors are making their books free so people (and kids!) can have something to read to pass the time. Reading is such a great escape. Smashwords is having a big sale right now and many of those books are free.

If it moves you, take advantage of those free books. Take advantage of the new time you may have. Read, write – do what helps you find your balance. If it’s neither, that’s fine, too. Find something that works for you, and don’t feel guilty about it!

Keep safe and healthy. Whatever the “new normal” ends up being, we’ll get there together.

All the best from me and the IU staff,

Kat

eBook Deals March 26 – April 1

ebook deals and bargains e-book-1209040_960_720There’s nothing like good eBooks priced affordably, and we’ve got a bunch right here for you! They’re all either free or 99 cents, so tell all your friends! Yeah, I know, we’re really good to you!

Readers: look in the comment section below. If you see one you like, click over and buy it. How easy is that? (If you don’t see the book covers, adjust your browser’s adblock settings.)

Authors: if you have a book priced at 99¢ or less (that’s right, post your free eBooks here, too!), follow the instructions below Continue reading “eBook Deals March 26 – April 1”

Which “Battle Ready” Flash Fiction Story Gets Your Vote?

Vote5It’s that time again…time to choose your favorite flash fiction story of the week! It’s all up to you now – only one can win Flash Fiction Readers’ Choice Champion honors. It’s super easy – choose your favorite and cast your vote below.

Check out this week’s entries here. Make your decision, then come back to THIS page and click the gray circle next to the person’s name. Scroll down to the vote button which will turn blue, and then click it. Please then use those share buttons at the bottom of the post to spread the word. Attention Authors: It is okay if you ask people to vote for you!

Voting polls close Thursday at 5 PM Pacific time. If the poll doesn’t close on time, any votes received after 5 pm will be removed.

REMINDER – entries over the 250 limit are disqualified.

Which "Battle Ready" Flash Fiction Story Gets Your Vote?

  • Sanhita Mukherjee (38%, 16 Votes)
  • Diana Battista (19%, 8 Votes)
  • Lou Silvestri (12%, 5 Votes)
  • A L Kaplan (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Leigh Kimmel (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Rutger Galtiarii (5%, 2 Votes)
  • Dick Waters (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Bill Engleson (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Ed Cooke (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Mark A. Morris (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kevin P Michaels (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ken Talley (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 42

Loading ... Loading ...

NOTE: Entrants whose submissions exceed the 250 word limit will be disqualified even if they win. ONE VOTE PER PERSON, please. Duplicate votes will be deleted. The results displayed above are unofficial until verified by administration.

Getting it Right: Time and Distance on Foot and Horse

monks-1077839_640 courtesy of pixabay.comCharacters in many genres, especially Fantasy and Historical Fiction, often travel by foot. Especially when time is part of the conflict, the author must have a clear idea of exactly how far apart everything is and how long it takes to get from one place to the next.

Note that many authors ignore this kind of detail completely. In many Fantasies, actual distances are never mentioned. However, it is useful for purposes of veracity and suspense to be able to use the time factor. Personally, I spend hours with maps and a calculator on all my books. Which is why I am passing this information on to you. Continue reading “Getting it Right: Time and Distance on Foot and Horse”