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Sep 02

Susan Shiney

IG Live for Writers

IG Live or Instagram Live has actually been around since 2016. However, with the pandemic and the amount of people online and not able to go to events, its importance has increased. Instagram also added a new feature where IG Livestreams can now be saved to an IGTV video instead of disappearing from your stories after 24 hours. This just happened in May 2020, which allows the live videos to have more multi-purposed uses.

Aug 25

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: A Tale of Two Magical Masks

Amy Remy made two masks, one for each of her grandchildren. She used strands of her strong salt and peppered hair for thread. The fabric came from a scarf her own grandmother used to wear when she was a child. Amy's grandmother would take off her scarf and guard Amy's young ears from any harmful ideas the adults would carelessly toss around when forgetting her presence. She would wrap it around her head and kiss her cheek, Amy would watch her grandmother's wrinkles amplify as she scorned the others for using profanity.

Aug 19

Susan Shiney

Magical Techniques: Magic Realism and the Author by Amanda Read

If you are confused by the term ‘magic realism’, you’re not alone. The wide variety of novels and short stories all claiming to be magic realism can be bewildering, ranging as they do across romance, family saga, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, surrealist, fabulist, slipstream, absurdist and weird fiction.

How can this be?

Aug 12

Susan Shiney

Instagram Reels for Writers

Instagram Reels launched on August 5, 2020 in fifty countries around the world. I immediately started looking for posting ideas for Instagram Reels for writers and didn't find much. I have not dipped my toe into the similar app of TikTok at all, so I figured I would do my research and write a blog about Instagram Reels to figure it out. I wrote a blog post several months ago about Instagram posting ideas for writers and that pushed me to come up with ideas for the photo-only side of things. A huge perk of having a writing blog!

Aug 05

Susan Shiney

15 Tips for Organizing and Implementing Feedback for Revisions

Critique partner and beta reader feedback is a very important part of the writing process. However, it can be overwhelming.

The first step is getting over the fact that deep down you expect them to say it was a masterpiece and even though they tried so hard, they could not find a single thing they would change. You have to look at it with a deep seated desire to improve your writing piece and not get pats on the back.

For advice on how to start a critique circle you can read N.M. Browne's article. I also have a blog post about studying craft books with your critique partners.

Jul 29

Susan Shiney

10 Tips for Binding Your Manuscript

There is so much support about how to outline and write out the first draft of a novel, but what about the several drafts it takes after that to get to the finish line? I have been struggling with getting through the line edits of my novel and am always trying to find ways to bring a sense of play to my process. I remembered seeing a friend with a binded manuscript that she had printed out and I had a sense of joy instead of the usual dread, so I knew I needed to explore it more.

Jul 22

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: So, I'm a Gothic Cathedral that Moved to California

I had been wanting to move to California for half a century. The tourists roaming my aisles would always talk about the weather there. They had either just been or were planning to go there next. The cold of Northern France's winters would make my flying buttresses smart like nothing else. A mystical land of warmth all year round for my aging foundations. The Californians that visited me would oogle my age, saying where they came from nothing looked like me, I would be unique.

Jul 15

Susan Shiney

So You Want to Create a Writer’s Circle? - How to Save Yourself Grief

Guest Post by N. M. Browne

Writer – psychological suspense

When life goes to shit – Write a book?

I hadn’t been thinking of it for years… it was more like a random ‘knowing’ that some day I would write a book and I gave it precisely no more thought.

Jul 08

Susan Shiney

7 Reasons to have a Book Club with your Critique Partners

Most writers know it is helpful to have a writing group with critique partners to get feedback. They also might know book clubs are a great way to talk about books with fellow bibliophiles. But, what about a book club with your critique partners? If you are just starting out with a new writing group and are thinking about how to set it up, you may find this helpful as well.

First of all, you might be wondering:

Jul 01

Susan Shiney

50 Ways to Make Writing More Playful

I love writing, but it is very easy for me to turn it into something stressful. I think I do that because I care about it and want to improve. However, it is a very slippery slope turning something that can have a sense of joy into a job. I already have a job, I don't need to turn my life into having two full-time jobs. Writing is a joy that will hopefully turn into something I make a living off of, but never a job.

As I stress over some element of writing or writing around the writing like analysing a book for a writing group or book club, finishing a blog post or newsletter, my husband will say to me, "What are you doing, this is suppose to be fun, remember?" Oh yeah!