Reasons to Enter ~ Part 2

As promised last week, today on the IWSG Anthology blog, fellow author and blog-co-ordinator, Louise MacBeath Barbour has excelled herself with more great content, including links to everything anthology-inspiring.

First, there’s a reminder of the 2020 Contest’s SF theme – Dark Matter.

Then, the second group of my fellow writers selected for Voyagers:  The Third Ghost give reasons why IWSG members should consider entering the contest this year. My reasons stand even ore now.

And there are other links/rabbit holes to pursue. Well, you can burrow further at:

https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-2020-iwsg-anthology-contest-and_20.html

Reasons to Enter an Anthology contest ~ Part 1

Today on the IWSG Anthology blog, fellow author and blog-co-ordinator, Louise MacBeath Barbour has excelled herself with some great content, including links to everything anthology-inspiring.

First, some of my fellow writers selected for Voyagers:  The Third Ghost give reasons why IWSG members should consider entering the contest this year. Then, more on the 2020 Contest, and finally links to–

Well, you can delve further at:

https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-2020-iwsg-anthology-contest-and.html

And at Thoughts in Progress, Mason Canyon has posted Part 2 of the thinking behind the stories of the other five authors included in the anthology, Read more at: 

https://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2020/05/voyagers-third-ghost-part-2.html

Mystery Author Spotlight

Today I’ve been interviewed at Laura Wolfe Books on why I’m a mystery writer. But there’s more revealed such as the issues driving me. Here’s the link if you’re curious:  

https://sustainablewriter.com/2020/05/12/mystery-author-spotlight-roland-clarke/

Voyagers – a review

I’ve been celebrating since May 5th, 2020 when the IWSG Anthology Voyagers: The Third Ghost: The Third Ghostwas released to the world. Yet, back when the 2019 competition was announced, I hesitated about entering a story as I’d never written any Middle Grade fiction.

Eventually, I was gently persuaded to write something. But I was surprised to be among the 10 chosen authors in this anthology. Voyagers was inspirational to be involved with, and it proved a chance to meet and work with nine talented writers – and a great editor.

So, I may be tempted to create a 2020 submission. Anyway, here is my review, now I’ve read and enjoyed every phrase of this wonderful collection.

Voyagers: The Third Ghost

by

Yvonne Ventresca (Goodreads Author),

Sherry Ellis (Goodreads Author)

Bish Denham (Goodreads Author)

Charles Kowalski (Goodreads Author)

Katharina Gerlach (Goodreads Author)

Roland Clarke (Goodreads Author)

Rebecca M. Douglass (Goodreads Author)

Beth Anderson Schuck (Goodreads Author)

Louise MacBeath Barbour

L.T. Ward

Journey into the past…

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany? Will the Firebird help Soviet sisters outwit evil during WWII? And sneaking off to see the first aeroplane – what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!

Review 5 stars

Every one of these stories was different in style, historical period, use of plot elements, and varied appearances of the unexpected from folklore to time travel. Ten marvellous reads and not just for Middle Age readers as this finicky retiree can attest. This anthology kept me reading from cover to cover with minimal breaks.

1. The Third Ghost by Yvonne Ventresca

This poignant story set in 1981 kept me riveted through to the twist at the end, even though I sensed it coming – although, the foreshadowing was subtle and hidden. Yvonne Ventresca makes the costly tragedy of arson elicit our concerns for justice with powerful descriptions. The emotions pulled me through the journey, and her beautiful crafting of words had me in tears by the end of The Third Ghost.

2. The Ghosts of Pompeii by Sherry Ellis

The humour mixed with the historical morsels was entertaining. Bubba and Squirt are fun characters with wonderful banter – I loved the sticking-out tongues. The pizza thread is tasty too. The mix of elements from ghosts to time travel worked well and were neatly blended into this delicious treat.

3. The Blind Ship by Bish Denham

I related to this dark and emotional story as I grew up with abolitionist ancestors – so a conscience. Bish Denham has crafted a powerful and moving tale based on real historical events recorded by the twelve-year-old boy. Her youngster’s ability to see ‘Negros’ as humans and not slaves was rare but motivational. Tragically the terrors of slavery still exist. 

4. Dare, Double Dare by Louise MacBeath Barbour

Kids goading each other into an adventure provides a neat opening hook for this intriguing time travel tale. The story makes skilful use of 1600s Canada with its mix of French and Mi’kmaq culture, including language. These are neatly integrated, and a glimpse of history is included that few know about.

5. Return to Cahokia by L.T. Ward

In Return to Cahokia we are treated to heavenly magic with siblings creating weather – the Warm Weather Gods. L.T. Ward paints an atmospheric journey through her vibrant use of the sky, clouds, rain, wind, and sun. This story brings to life the rich Native American heritage of the Cahokia tribe blending mythology and archaeological fact.

6. Feathered Fire by Roland Clarke

Feathered Fire is my own creation so all I will add is it proved a worthwhile challenge merging history – heroic Soviet airwomen and tragic Ukrainian dilemmas during World War II – with the legends of the Zharptica (Firebird) a rich vein in Slavic folklore.

7. The Orchard by Beth Anderson Schuck

Beth Schuck has crafted an alluring story in The Orchard where nature flourishes in the face of disbelief. For me as a dedicated Green, I was captivated by Nels with her special connection to trees and other creatures. Dryads must be as real as portrayed here, even if most of us are blind to their blessings. A favourite among so many.


8. Simon Grey and the Yamamba by Charles Kowalski 

Although Japan with its extensive and deep culture are unfamiliar, Charles Kowalski brings his 1620s setting to life, balancing wonderful descriptions, living folklore – some scary – testing trials, and historical nuggets. Yet even this legendary monster echoes Western nightmares – the universality of folklore.

9. A World of Trouble by Rebecca Douglass

Back when aeroplanes were a once in a lifetime encounter, sneaking off to see one at a young age makes sense – sometimes. Throw in an impending disaster from floodwater, and you have Rebecca Douglass’s tension ramped A World of Trouble. The dilemma at its heart involves a realistic race against time.

10. Winter Days by Katharina Gerlach

Having seen the Iron Curtain between West and East Germany, I connected to this gripping tale of crossing that border and getting trapped on the wrong side. With her German roots, Katharina Gerlach has captured the family fears emanating from the greyness of the East and the father’s past. The use of ‘gray’ to colour everything is masterly as is the sense of cold becoming deep snow. However, humanity must shine through.

Title: Voyagers: The Third Ghost
Author(s):  Yvonne Ventresca, Sherry Ellis, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Rebecca M. Douglass, Beth Anderson Schuck, Louise MacBeath Barbour, and L.T. Ward
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Pages: 168
Series: No
Goodreads
Website

Story – five stars

Setting/World-building – five stars

Characters – five stars

Authenticity – five stars

Structure – five stars

Readability – five stars

Editing – five stars

#IWSG – Rituals and Rites

As the first Wednesday of May approaches, I’m attempting to write my IWSG monthly blog post. But I’m celebrating the release of the IWSG anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost due out on May 5, 2020, which includes my short ‘Feathered Fire’ – so I can’t be Insecure.

First off though, I’m grateful the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group as they do such amazing things for writers, from the annual Anthology to friendly advice for all us vacillating writers. Many thanks, Captain Alex, for keeping me inspired to keep scribbling and submitting.

There are more details on yesterday’s release here:

https://rolandclarke.com/2020/05/05/celebrate-voyagers-release-day/

Anyway, on to the monthly question which I wanted to evade this time. Too much backlog or too much celebration? Whichever, so as usual apologies in advance for the slow visits on my part – I’m still wading through earlier IWSG-day posts, including last year’s. And now there’s the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge posts which accumulated in April.

May 6 question – Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Zone ritual 1 – Space Clearing

Zone ritual 2 – Mug of Coffee

Zone ritual 3 – Close emails & open Power Thesaurus, Scrabble Word Finder…………….

Or are these evasion rituals? Or desperate measures? Although, not as distracting as going into an online game. Time to dive down a rabbit-hole for a few hours.

The truth is that I tend to turn to the notes scribbled in one of my notebooks. I’m a plotter so over time I scrawl ideas, then plotlines or directions down. So, when the moment to write in Word or Scrivener becomes immediately crucial – like now – I have a roadmap…or a skeleton plan.

Okay, how do I get there: dream or lying in bed musing. My muse works the night shift with me.

However, as a retired journalist, I’ve been forced to create articles instantly – cold with no coffee, dreams or muse, but usually rough interview notes. Deadline looming as the clock ticks. That entails a messy rough draft and a rapid re-write.

A fifth draft and beta readers are a luxury in comparison.

Time to wanderlust for an idea for the next IWSG Anthology competition – when I’ve finished raiding a tomb.

*

The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

(As always, you must agree these guys are the best. Especially as they all have concerns, fear and insecurities. But they fight on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.)

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Celebrate Voyagers Release Day

Today is release day for the IWSG anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost so I’m celebrating along with my talented fellow writers.

If you are tempted – of course you are – these are the purchase links:

Amazon:        

Print https://www.amazon.com/dp/193984472X/ 

Kindle  https://www.amazon.com/Voyagers-Third-Ghost-Yvonne-Ventresca-ebook/dp/B083C4WPR5/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voyagers-yvonne-ventresca/1135912991?ean=2940163430857 

ITunes: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/voyagers-the-third-ghost/id1493413956 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/voyagers-the-third-ghost   

If you are curious to know more, why not visit Thoughts in Progress where Mason Canyon invited us to share our thoughts behind our stories – well, I focused on the Pros and Cons. Anyway, you can learn more about the other authors included in the anthology and their stories at: 

https://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2020/05/voyagers-third-ghost-part-1.html?showComment=1588709051922#c4183004857915954227

The other authors will share their thoughts this Thursday and on Tuesday (May 12th).

Have a great day. Stay safe, sensible, and inspired.