Hello, dear readers! How have you been? It’s been one week since I announced my upcoming blog relaunch, and I admit it already feels strange to not be blogging three times a week anymore. Still, I will have the occasional weekly notice until my new blog is up and running, and that includes today!
So without further ado, here are a couple of announcements for this week!
Submit Feedback on My Short Stories for a Free Review Copy of My Book!
First, while I’m already editing my dragon short stories for the final draft of my book, I’m still welcoming comments from beta readers to help me make them better. However, I can’t stay in the editing phase forever, which is why I’m now sending out a last call for feedback.
Send me your notes on my stories within the next two weeks and I’ll send you a free review copy of my book before I launch it on Kindle!
To earn your free review copy of my book:
- Sign up for my beta reader list here or through the form below. Remember to confirm your email!
- Read the short stories you’ll receive in the welcome email. A brief synopsis of each story can be found here.
- Send your feedback on at least one story by following the instructions in the email. Feedback on all three stories would be ideal, but if you don’t have the time, just one or two is enough. 😉
After I receive your feedback, I will add you to my pre-launch list—regardless of whether your feedback is positive or negative, promise! When my book is ready to be launched on Kindle, you will receive a free copy in your email!
If you’ve already sent me feedback on at least one of my stories, don’t worry about having to send it again. You’re already on the pre-launch list! Thank you! 🙂
If you haven’t sent me your notes yet, the deadline to submit your feedback and earn your free book is Wednesday, April 25, 11:59 pm PDT. Sign up today and earn yours!
Guest Posts Still Wanted!
Second, this is a brief reminder that my call for guest posts to promote my blog relaunch is still open!
For more information on the update, be sure to check out the original post here.
If you’re interested in submitting a guest post, read the guidelines first, then sign up for my list below!
You should receive a welcome email plus another email in a few days with instructions on how to pitch me your guest post.
Thank you to everyone who’s signed up to help me make my book launch and blog relaunch a success! You’re all awesome!
Talk to you again soon! Until then, happy reading/writing!
Dear beloved readers,
Hi! First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. What I’m about to say is kind of a big deal for me, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a big deal for you, so the fact that you’re setting aside this time means a lot to me. Thanks!
So this week marks a special occasion for me because it’s the fifth anniversary of when I started blogging! Yay! On that positive note, there are two announcements I’d like to make…
Blog Relaunch Coming Soon!
First, this post is an announcement that some major changes are coming to my website and online presence… eventually! Hooray!
Those of you who follow my blog know that I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as I have been for the past five years.
Well, the changes I’m planning to make will involve a lot of work on the backend, which means I’ll have to take a break from blogging for a while. When I return, expect a major blog update, complete with my new author name!
Now don’t get too excited: these big changes won’t be coming for several weeks at least. In fact, the earliest time to reasonably expect an official relaunch is June, but it could just as easily be a whole year away. In the meantime, I still plan to share updates on my current WIP featuring my dragon short stories.
So why am I telling you all this now?
Limited Time: Guest Posts Wanted!
I will be the first to admit that I haven’t exactly been the most selfless blogger on WordPress. My bad. That’s one of the many things I’d like to change following this update.
This brings me to the real point of this post. After all is said and done, I’ll need some help broadcasting my blog relaunch. What’s the fun of moving house if no one shows up to your housewarming party, right?
Simple links and shares on your blogs and social media pages will be much appreciated, of course. But while that would be very generous of you, I understand that most writers prefer a quid-pro-quo setup. That’s why for the first time ever, I’ll be temporarily opening my blog to guest posts!
Awesome! Where do I sign up?
If you think this is something you’d be interested in, be sure to take a look at my guest post guidelines for this relaunch before signing up below.
If you’re interested in hearing about my blog relaunch and/or want to submit a guest post in the future to help me promote the update, go ahead and sign up for my mailing list! (You should receive a welcome email after you sign up.)
It’s important that you subscribe here because aside from still being several weeks away, the relaunch will involve a domain name and hosting change, and if anything goes wrong during the migration (*knock on wood*), email will be the best way for me to keep you in the loop.
Disclaimer: This is a temporary mailing list that will only be used to contact you about promotional help and guest post opportunities related to my blog relaunch. After the update, you’ll be given the option to stay on my main list or unsubscribe. If you choose to stay, you’ll continue to receive emails from me about my published books and other updates on my work. I will never send you spam. You can unsubscribe at any time (no hard feelings, promise).
If you choose to sign up, thank you so much for your help! It seriously means the world to me!
Even if you don’t join my list, you can still help me get the word out about my upcoming relaunch and call for guest posts today! Please feel free to share this post on your blog and social media channels! Many thanks!
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you for your time and attention!
And to all of you who have been reading my blog for years, thank you so much for letting me share my writing with you! I hope to connect with you again soon!
Until then, bless you all!
Source: Oxford Dictionaries
Today’s vocabulary post is a special one because it’s my last Word of the Week! This segment has been really fun to write and I’ll certainly miss it, but with all the major updates I’m planning for my blog, I won’t have room for it anymore. So with that in mind, I picked out one final word from the 100 most beautiful words in English that would be most fitting for my last vocabulary entry. Here’s to the “denouement” of my Word of the Week!
A “denouement” is the final part of a story in which the plot is tied together and the conflict is resolved. The word arose in the mid 18th century and is originally a French noun meaning “outcome”. This noun derives from the verb dénouer, meaning “to unravel”.
“Denouement” is a word that every fiction writer should know, as it’s an important part of any plot. After all the action has risen and fallen and the climax has reached its end, the “denouement” is the final part of the story when everything comes together: every remaining strand of the conflict is resolved and the story reaches its conclusion. Note that aside from its literary definition, “denouement” can also work in real-world contexts meaning “the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear”. Whether you use it to define the conclusions in your stories or simply keep it in mind when outlining your plots, “denouement” is a key word to have in your vocabulary!
Thanks for reading my Word of the Week segment! I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Are you sure about this?
She stares at me with those sad brown eyes. I take a deep breath, determined to stay strong.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
But why now? Why at all?
“Because I can’t stay stuck here forever. I need to start making things happen for myself.”
Can’t I come with you?
I shake my head. “Not this time. You’ve been wonderful and I couldn’t have gotten this far without you, but now it’s time to move on.”
Aren’t you scared?
“Are you kidding?” I smile in an awkward attempt to keep from crying. “I’ve never been more terrified of anything in my life.”
It’s not too late to turn back, you know.
“Hey, I never said I was too scared.”
Something about her laughter reassures me. Maybe I can do this after all.
So what will you do now?
I shrug. “Keep writing the same way I always have. You’re just the mask. Everything else is already mine.”
And you’ll be okay not having me to hide behind anymore?
I pause and breathe a heavy sigh. “Honestly, I can’t be sure yet. All I know is that I’m tired of hiding.”
You realize there’s no going back from this. Once you let me go, you’ll be on your own. Are you ready to be yourself, your real self?
I smile again. “Who else am I going to be?”
Although she doesn’t respond, I already know what she’s thinking. Five years. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
“I am going to miss you.” This time, I can’t stop the tears. “You know that, right?”
Somehow she manages a smile through her own tears.
You’ll be fine. They’re going to love you.
“How do you know that?”
Like you said, I’m just the mask. You’re right, you don’t need me anymore. Maybe you never did. Everything you need is already yours. So don’t be afraid. Just get out there and be you.
I brush the tears off my face. “I will. Promise.”
We both reach a hand toward each other. Our fingers almost touch across the void, perfectly symmetrical through the glass. Though her face never changes, I can feel her fading away, until at last I’m left looking at nothing but a nameless reflection.
What’s in a name? The face in the mirror has always been mine. Soon everyone else will see it too. No longer a persona, just me.
Goodbye, Ms. Wolfe.
It’s been another month since my last update on my dragon stories! Last time, I shared some of the feedback I’d received from beta readers on my first two stories while the last one had yet to be edited and sent out. After sending out all three stories and receiving more feedback from readers, here’s another quick update on my project and where I plan to go from here!
Beta Reader Feedback
So far, all three of my stories have been very well received! Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect, and my beta readers certainly had some great notes to share over the past several weeks!
Based on their feedback, it seems a couple of my biggest weaknesses in writing are passive voice and awkward sentences. This isn’t really a surprise; I’ve caught myself favoring passive voice over active voice more times than I’d care to admit, and even I find some of my own sentences awkward after a few rounds of editing. Despite everything I’ve learned about writing, I still have a handful of bad habits to break!
One thing that did surprise me was someone’s comment that the action in “Defender” was written very well. Action scenes have long been one of the areas I’ve felt least confident in, so hearing that my extra effort paid off definitely put a spring in my step that day! I was also surprised to hear that “Beastly Pains” is very reminiscent of the fable of “The Lion and the Mouse” (not that this is a bad thing, I just hadn’t realized it), and that “The Silver Queen” made one of my readers cry!
Overall, although there have been a couple of comments here and there that were hard to hear, I’m extremely grateful to the readers who have taken the time to read my stories and give feedback. Every comment, both positive and negative, helps me become a better writer!
Final Edits + Publication
Although my stories are technically still open for feedback from beta readers, I’m already getting started on the final drafts. Once those are done, I plan to assemble them into a single ebook and publish it on Kindle!
Now before you say anything, I know this sounds a little crazy. What am I thinking publishing these stories without giving them to an editor first?
Well, as I’ve hinted at before, this isn’t so much a true self-publishing venture as it is an experiment. I’m planning to use these stories to test certain aspects of self-publishing and see how readers respond to my writing so I can learn from the experience. I promise I have no intention of publishing my future “real” books without handing them over to a professional editor first! That would be insane!
The main reason I’m okay with putting this book out there in such a raw state is that I’m going to be rebranding myself as an author soon. This will be the only book I publish under my current name; after my upcoming blog relaunch, I’ll be focusing on a fresh series of stories to properly self-publish under my new author name, hopefully with a little more wisdom about the process!
What blog relaunch and new author name, you ask? You’ll have to wait until next week to learn more. 😉
Thanks again to all my beta readers for your feedback! If you’re not one of my beta readers yet but would like to be, you still have time to sign up for my mailing list! Once my final drafts are nearly ready, I’ll be closing my list, so be sure to sign up soon!