White Blank Page

The dreaded white blank page. A writer’s enemy.

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I don’t care if you are a NY Times Best Selling Author or a newbie just trying to make a name for yourself. All authors go through writers block at one time or another. There is nothing more intimidating (at least for me) than a white blank page. It’s uninviting, unappealing, and unfriendly. Words are our best friends and when I stare at a page with nothing written, it screams at me telling me I’m not good enough, not creative enough. Oh, how it plays mind games with you. If only you could just get that first word down.

I compare writing a novel to running a marathon. You need to take it one step at a time, and then one mile at a time. And when you are writing a novel, each word is a step, each chapter is a mile. And that white blank page is the course. And how we deal with that course is what defines us as writers. And ultimately, I want to be defined as a great writer and storyteller.

So, I have decided that I am no longer going to let a white blank page own me. I have decided I am going to embrace it and allow it to be my canvas. I am going to allow it to be my motivator and my teammate. Not my nemesis. The next time I find myself in a staring contest with it, I will not blink and I will not turn away. I will start by taking that one step and turning it into a mile. I am going to turn that white blank page into a story that will hopefully take someone’s breath away. Lord knows it has taken mine away. It’s time to catch my breath again.

“Ryan’s Letters” To Be Opened Soon

It’s official. Ryan’s Letters is coming soon. The sequel to my first novel, Larkin’s Letters has been signed by Tate Publishing Enterprises for release upon its completion. I am excited to be able to bring this sequel to all of the Larkin’s Letters fans and bring this love story to a fitting conclusion.
I haven’t been blogging much because in the little time that I do have, I have been writing feverishly to complete the book. I am happy with the way the story is coming along and I think it will be just what my readers will be looking for (**fingers crossed**).
I am shooting for a Summer, 2015 release. Please stay tuned for updates and excerpts. My Facebook page will have most of the updated information, so please feel free to follow.

For My Larkin’s Letters Fans, Here’s just A Tiny Little Excerpt From Ryan’s Letters…

Ryan stood sipping his coffee as he watched the rain pound against the sliding glass door. He was waiting patiently for it to stop so he could sit on the beach and burn the letter he had written to Larkin this past week. He couldn’t understand why he felt so strongly about having to “send” the letters to her. He was sure she could read them. He didn’t know how, but something inside of him told him she could. Well, it was more like he hoped she could. But all he was surviving on right now was hope. So he held onto it as tight as he could.

The shatter of the coffee mug against the hardwood floor startled Ryan out of his sleep. He had fallen asleep on the couch, mug in hand, and television playing. He quickly cleaned up the glass and the spilled coffee before looking outside again to check the weather. The rain had finally stopped but the wind was battering the waves and the sand was dancing on top of the beach. Ryan checked his watch. It was late, 11:17 p.m. to be exact, but he didn’t care. He was going to burn the letter no matter what time it was.

It was too windy to start a bonfire, so Ryan just clutched the letter with a grill tong and lit it with a match. The only thing the wind was good for was whisking the embers into the night sky. He sat on his beach chair and watched as the letter slowly melted into nothing and again he found himself looking for Larkin amongst the waves.

Ryan slowly headed back to the house and on the way he stopped to arrange the scattered patio furniture pillows back into their proper places. Before going inside, he rested his elbows on the deck railing and scanned the horizon with his tired eyes. He always thought the ocean’s most peaceful time was at night. It too was at rest. No speeding boats to disrupt the calm waters, no fishing rods poking at its hungry guests. He gave the horizon one last glance before the corner of his eye was caught by a silhouette sitting on his dune. Frustration and anger set in as he had already warned her not to go on his dunes again. As he hurried toward the dunes, he yelled out.

“Hey, what did I tell you last week? You can’t be on my dunes!”

She didn’t move away this time, she continued to sit there as he got closer.

“Hey? Do you hear me? You need to leave!”

No sooner than when that last word left his lips, he became suddenly speechless. He was close enough to make eye contact with her, and he would recognize those eyes anywhere.

“Larkin?”

“Hi, beautiful-faced boy.” Her smile was finally amongst the clouds, her eyes amongst the stars. “I got your letters.”

7 Useful Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

jax jillian:

Will definitely be following these great suggestions on twitter!

Originally posted on P.S.Hoffman:

I tried it, I dipped my toes into Twitter. And it was like dipping my toes into acid.

Somehow, I just knew it wasn’t my thing. But after all the flesh melted off of my bones, and I lost the ability to feel anything, I found something I liked. And then, something else. And something else and ohnoI’monTwitternow. I tweeted. I’m a twitterer… er?

I swear, it’s good for your writing. Twitter teaches you how to be concise, how to connect with your readers (though I hear it’s better for connecting with agents or editors), and who knows? You might learn something about writing!

Here are some of the people I’ve started following, and a few reasons why YOU should follow them, if you want to improve your writing.

View original 439 more words

GUEST POST BY AUTHOR P.S. BARTLETT; Check out her new historical fiction release!

Almost exactly one year ago, I took part in the author’s tent at the Baltimore Book Festival where I got to meet a couple of talented and intriguing authors.  One of them I have remained in close contact with and we have always been willing to help out each other with book promotions as well as just general advice and picking each other’s brains.  That author is P.S. Bartlett and she is getting ready to release her brand new historical fiction novel, The Blue Diamond — The Razor’s Edge.  I didn’t even think twice about hosting her during her blog tour and am excited to do it.  Bartlett has also written two other novels: Fireflies and the prequel Hope From The Ocean.   Fireflies has just recently won the “Readers’ Favorite” Silver Medal in the paranormal fiction category.  Check out P.S. Bartlett’s guest post below and join her on her fantastic voyage!

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Ivory and Me by P.S. Bartlett

Ivory Shepard is the protagonist in my newest book, The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge. I don’t know how she found me but oh I’m so glad she did. Ivory is what I suppose I’ll call, the walking wounded. She’s had a life of tragedy and struggle and has gone through an evolution in only a few short years, that most people could hardly imagine in a lifetime and yet she’s come out the other side…still wounded but bandaged up by a mission to keep moving forward.

You see, Ivory and her cousins came to America when they were children, with their elder great aunt and uncle and settled in a lovely manor in what was Charles Towne, South Carolina. The town was just beginning to boom and develop but they were repeatedly under attack by the Spanish as well as privateers and pirates. Unfortunately, most of the town’s development took place on the peninsula, which was fortified and protected but Ivory’s aunt and uncle chose to stay in their lovely manor near the Ashley River and one night, they paid dearly for that choice.

Imagine if you will, four young girls under the age of fourteen, orphaned and alone. No home, no family and only each other to lean on in order to survive. Ivory being the eldest, took on the role of provider and protector. It was a role she was born to play. Being a resourceful group, they found work as housemaids and kitchen workers in the wealthier homes in Charles Towne but that wasn’t the life Ivory wanted for them. By the time they were in their late teens, they’d managed to save enough money to purchase a small farm, back over in the danger zone, away from the fortified peninsula but since the girls were already passing the age of when they’d be expected to marry and have children, they wanted to be as far from not so polite society as possible.

The last thing any of them wanted was the traditional life of a southern lady.

Ivory knew the risks. She’d been leading somewhat of a double life and prepared her cousins for what may come by arming them, teaching them to fight and constantly reminding them of what they stood to lose if they didn’t defend themselves. Although they were getting along well on the farm and pulling in a decent living, somehow she knew their days in Charles Towne were numbered and she was right.

You see, Ivory may have been born a pirate or the devastation she saw and went through the night of the Spanish raid flipped a switch in her, as tragedy often does, that pushed her protective instincts into overdrive. Maybe she was always destined to become a pirate? Maybe leaving Charles Towne and striking out on an adventure into a new life was their destiny? However, you can’t just wake up one morning, pick up a razor and slit someone’s throat who wants to slit yours. That kind of grit takes time and internal damage that no matter how well you hide it, it eventually finds its way out.

Ivory was my muse throughout this book. Finding all of the pain and strength from the pain inside of her and then looking deeper to find even more was like opening a gift every time I worked on this book. Unraveling her and finding those tender spots and that big, fat, pounding heart of hers was so satisfying that I didn’t think I would ever stop. Putting a man in her path who could finally be worthy of her love was no easy task either but he had to be just the right one. Attractive enough to catch her eye but he too had to have his own demons and hidden pain. She needed to be able to understand him and not just fall over at the sight of him. He had to prove himself worthy of her attention and above all, her love.

Ivory and I became very good friends and I absolutely adore her cousins as well. They might as well be sisters because they were raised as such but each one gives her something she is missing in return for her protection, loyalty and love. Sisterhood is a beautiful thing and unless you have those symbiotic relationships with other women, it may be hard to understand. I hope every woman who reads this book sees their friends or sisters in Miranda, Cass and Keara. They are all four so different but fit together perfectly. The real truth is, I know these three women in real life. They are the virtual embodiment of my three closest female “sisters.” Shhhh…don’t tell them! I often describe this story as Charlie’s Angels meets Pirates of the Caribbean but after catching an episode of Sex and the City recently, I’m inclined to think they more closely resemble these four ladies.

So, I suppose for a while, I was the virtual embodiment of Ivory. I wanted to be her. I climbed inside of her world and felt her pain, her passion, her vulnerability and above all her attachment to her cousins. I even felt her disappointment in the man she was falling in love with against her better judgment.  The ties that bound her were more about the shackles in her own spirit than actual binds. Her nightmares were real and when taken away from her duties, she lost that part of herself for a while where she always had to maintain control but now I must stop because if I don’t, I’ll give too much of her away and leave you with no mystery at all.

I can’t wait to meet up with Ivory again soon. I’m anxious to find out what’s next for us—I mean her in the next book!

You can order The Blue Diamond — The Razor’s Edge here: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Diamond-Razors-Edge-Book-ebook/dp/B00MR1SQ60/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_3

 You can also find P.S Bartlett at these other sites:

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PUBSLUSH CAMPAIGN: https://pubslush.com/books/id/3424
Blog: http://psbartlett.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PSBartlett
Amazon: http://mybook.to/FirefliesPSBartlett
Amazon: http://myBook.to/HopeFromtheOcean
Trailer: http://youtu.be/TlsIZ2vSpDw