Music to Write By: Writing from a Place of Joy

Writing from a place of pain is incredibly valuable. Writing can be release, personal therapy, a way of overcoming a struggle or trauma. At a few times in my life, I’ve written from a place of sadness or pain, and the writing has helped me.

However, I write best when I’m happy or relaxed. Joy, exuberance, or contented peace are usually more inspiring to me than sadness or pain. Not that I always have to be a good mood to write (it’s about discipline, not just feelings), but being happy certainly helps to boost my creativity.

Music is one of my greatest sources of inspiration; and so here I’m sharing some of my favorite “happy” tracks. These are pieces of music (mostly instrumental) that fill me with joy and help me to get into writing mode. Enjoy! Continue reading

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New Dieselpunk Story!

After several (mostly self-imposed) delays, my first dieselpunk short story is now available! You can find it here!

This story launches a new series of short stories, starring the enigmatic Roaring 20s heroine Cornelia Jones. If you like historical fiction, historical fantasy, pulp adventure, or even steampunk, then I think you’ll like the adventures of Mrs. Jones!

 

Solar Eclipse 2017

Like most of North America, I watched the solar eclipse on Monday, and am now posting about it on social media. And why not? Even though eclipses (partial, total, lunar, solar) are not rare occurrences, a total eclipse happening across a highly populated area is a bigger deal.

I was in an area of about 80% totality, and two things stood out to me about this event: one, how dark it got, and two, how dark it didn’t get.

The daylight changed, and everything faded – but not the way it does at sunset or as clouds roll in. To me, the outdoors simply looked like a computer monitor with the dimmer on – still clear, colors still the same, just not as bright. And at the same time, as I was marveling at the dimness, I also marveled at how well-lit everything still was. The sun was 80% covered by the moon, and yet was still powerful enough to illuminate the world. The birds did not go to sleep, the street lights did not come on. Continue reading

Authors and Social Media: the Great Automation Question

When it comes to authors and their social media, you may have heard two different schools of thought. One side of the argument promotes social media automation tools to save you the time and mental energy of having to post every day. The other side says that automation removes the “social” aspect of social media and turns your online presence into nothing more than an impersonal robot.

Both points have merit. So let’s look at the pros and cons.

Social Media Automation Saves Time

The main benefit of scheduling out social media posts in advance is to save time. With a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Facebook scheduler, you can sit down for an hour once a week and prepare all of your posts. Now you can have an active social media presence without having to be online all the time, every single day. Continue reading

Writing and Blogging Updates

For the past two weeks, I’ve missed my normal Wednesday blog post.

I’ve blogged regularly for about five years now, posting once a week, and missed maybe three or four weeks during that time. After missing two weeks in a row this past month, I resolved anew to be disciplined with my writing and my blogging, regardless of circumstances.

My circumstances haven’t been bad – quite the opposite, actually. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you might have seen the occasional tweet about me being in the process of moving. Back in April, I quit my part-time job, packed up my books, said goodbye to my parents and the city I’d grown up in, and moved across the country. I’m still not fully sure why I did this, but I did. And so far I haven’t regretted it. Continue reading