NOTICE:

2/2020 - To fight back against spam comments, I am closing comments to all older posts. Current blog posts will still have comments open. I apologize for this inconvenience.

January 18, 2022

Year of Yes / Books for Writers


Please Note: This post is pre-scheduled. I’m caring for a loved one receiving treatments, so my replies to comments and return visits to bloggers will be delayed. I will get to it eventually, though. Promise. Thanks for your understanding!


This year I am bringing back my Books for Writers feature. This will be a once-a-month feature.

I did this once before in 2017.


The books I talked about in 2017:



Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes


While this book isn’t exactly for writers, writers can benefit from it.

You can read Year of Yes for the reading challenge for writers I’m hosting called Read With Fey. You can join it on The StoryGraph here. But you don’t have to be on The StoryGraph to participate! Check out all the details here: Read With Fey: Challenge For Writers



January 11, 2022

A Look Back At My 2021 Reading Challenges


Please Note: This post is pre-scheduled. I’m caring for a loved one receiving treatments, so my replies to comments and return visits to bloggers will be delayed. I will get to it eventually, though. Promise. Thanks for your understanding! And prayers and healing vibes for positive results to the treatments would be much appreciated. ❤️



In my last blog post I celebrated 10 years blogging and announced a reading challenge for writers that I am hosting called Read With Fey. You can join it on The StoryGraph here. But you don’t have to be on The StoryGraph to participate! Check out all the details here: Read With Fey: Challenge For Writers

I love reading challenges!

Last year (2021), I participated in FOUR different reading challenges. The most I've ever decided to participate in, and I joined them at all different times throughout the year. Because I participated in so many, I wanted to highlight them and the books I read in a post. I'll share them here in the order of when I joined them.

I hope you enjoy viewing my 2021 reads/challenges.


GOODREADS CHALLENGE:

I set a Goodreads goal to read 30 books. Thanks to graphic novels, short books (middle grade and YA), and picture books, I exceeded this goal. I read 95 books.

REMINDER: All reading counts as reading. Graphic novels are real books. Picture books are real books. Reading graphic novels, short reads, and picture books certainly do count toward reading challenges. Don't let anyone tell you that only novels of 300+ pages count. All reading is valid.

You can view my Goodreads challenge here.



***


ALPHABET BOOK CHALLENGE:

HOSTED BY @FABLESANDWREN AND

@STARLIGHTBOOKTALES ON INSTAGRAM


THE GOAL: Read a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet (J, V, X, Z had to be somewhere in the title to count). There were also a few extra challenges like: a color in the title, one-word title, starts with the same letter of your first name, and #, which I took to mean a number in the title/subtitle.

Here’s my completed graphic we were given to use to share our progress to our Instagram stories:



THE BOOKS I READ:

January 04, 2022

Read With Fey: Challenge For Writers + 10 Years Blogging!!!


Please Note: This post is pre-scheduled. For the next couple of months, I’ll be caring for a loved one receiving treatments, so my replies to comments and return visits to bloggers will be delayed. I'm even behind on December's and November's comments. So sorry! I will work on those today and ones that come in for this post when I'm able. Thanks for your understanding! And prayers and healing vibes for positive results to the treatments would be much appreciated. ❤️


READ WITH FEY: CHALLENGE FOR  WRITERS


Created by me (Chrys Fey), the Read With Fey challenge is for writers at all levels. The goal is to read *10 non-fiction books for writers during 2022.


Challenge Starts: January 1, 2022

Challenge Ends: December 31, 2022

Goal: Read *10 books for writers by the end of the year.


*Are 10 books too many? Set your own goal!

Just because I’ll be aiming to read 10 books doesn’t mean you have to!

However many books you read is an accomplishment.


Why Should You Join?

Every book you read could inspire you, educate you, and give you SPARKS. And you can read at your own pace.


Why Else Should You Join?

Every book you read for the Read With Fey challenge can count toward your personal reading goals.


Which Books?

Any books for writers! The books can be about marketing, publishing, the craft of writing, basically any non-fiction book that’d be useful to you as a writer. All formats (eBook, print, audio), re-reads, library borrows. It all counts!

For ideas on what to read, check out my Books for Writers list on Bookshop.org by clicking here.


How To Join:

There is no formal sign-up form, so ANYONE, ANYWHERE, and at ANYTIME can join in WHATEVER way they choose.

You can, however, join the Read With Fey challenge on The StoryGraph here to track your progress.

Or you can make a Goodreads shelf for the challenge, a spreadsheet on your computer, a checklist in your journal, a blog post(s), or whatever you want to do. This challenge is flexible for YOU. 

However you decide to do this challenge, please consider announcing your participation on social media as a post or story, tweet, blog post, YouTube video, etc. If you do, a link back to this post would be much appreciated.


Hashtags for social media: #ReadWithFey #ReadWithFey2022


The StoryGraph: Because reading challenges on The StoryGraph only work right now with prompts and not a set number, I created three optional bonus challenge prompts. These bonus prompts DO NOT have to be completed, but to help you add any and all books you read to the challenge on The StoryGraph, I made a bonus prompt called “Use This Bonus Prompt For ANY Book For Writers.” You can use it multiple times, even to add all of your reads if you have to. By reading one book per bonus prompt (three books total), you will technically have the challenge on The StoryGraph completed. lol

To add a book to your challenge, first mark the book as read with a date for 2022. Then on the book’s page on The StoryGraph, scroll down until you see “Add to Reading Challenges” on the left sidebar. If you joined Read With Fey, you’ll see it listed there. Click on it and then select the bonus prompt that qualifies. Only select one.

I’ve never hosted a reading challenge on The StoryGraph before. There was a bit of a learning curve, and I hope they’ll make a set number goal as an option in the future, so I’ll see how I like it. 🙂


Click here to join the Read With Fey challenge on The StoryGraph.


Click here to check out my Books For Writers list on BookShop.org.

December 14, 2021

Best of Write with Fey 2021 (& 2020)


BEST OF WRITE WITH FEY 2021:


For Writers:

10 Things All Authors Should Know

Writing About Minor Characters Who Are People of Color / Vlog

Traditional Publishing - Pros and Cons / Vlog

A Better Alternative to Goodreads - The StoryGraph 

Don't Shame Readers for What They Read (or Writers for What They Write)


Interviews:

Dear Publishers Interview / Jess Lee Talks About Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Antiracism in the Publishing Industry

Ad Astra Interview / Olivia and Fiona Discuss Banned Books and Intersectional Feminism

Interview with Esme Brett, Creator of #RomancestagramBall on Instagram  


Marketing/Promo:

What Happened When I Had a Free (Companion) eBook During My Blog Tour?

New Release Marketing Conclusions


Book Recommendations:

Diverse Children's Books and Adult Books on Anti-Racism

Graphic Novels, Picture Books, MG & YA Books, Adult Romance

Book Chat Fun - The Perks of Being a Wallflower


History:

Indigenous History Month / Florida & Seminole History

Windover, A 7,000-Year-Old Pond Cemetery / Research


Causes to Support:

How to Respect and Support Indigenous Peoples

Causes and Donations - Books, Animals, and People / PART 1

Good Causes to Support / PART 2


Other:

#WritersontheMoon 

Why did I write a story for Thorn in the Disaster Crimes series? 

Dear IWSGers - An Announcement



I realized I never did a "Best of" post for 2020, so here it is!


2020:


For Writers:

COVID-19 and Authors

Every Author's Path Is Their Own

Don't Make Light of Another Writer's Plight

Writers. Should. NOT. Tell. Other. Writers. What. Tense. Or. POV. To. Use. It's. NOT. Your. Choice.

Dear Author with No Reviews

Dear “I’m Still a Nobody” Author

Dialogue Advice / VLOG

Do I Need a Website / Vlog 

What Should You Know About the Writing Life? / Vlog

Bad Things Must Happen / Vlog


Marketing/Promo:

Paid Book Blitz Results


Depression/Burnout:

Write a Letter to Your Fear / Except from Keep Writing with Fey

How Tarot Cards Helped with my Depression


Other:

NOT INADEQUATE / A Post about Self-Defense and Abuse

Real-Life Memories in Flaming Crimes / Vlog

A Man Like Donovan / Vlog

Writing About Pregnancy and Intimacy in FROZEN CRIMES

Whom Would You Want To Be Stuck with During a Blizzard?

Why Did I Write a Prequel to 30 Seconds? / Vlog

5 Secrets about 30 Seconds / Vlog




December 06, 2021

5 Tropes about Mental Illness You Need to Stop Writing / Guest Post By Natalie Dale, MD / A Writer's Guide to Medicine

 

5 Tropes about Mental Illness You Need to Stop Writing

 

By Natalie Dale, MD

 


Tropes exist for a reason. They are familiar, comfortable, and can provide a shared vocabulary with readers. In a skilled writers’ hands, tropes can be deployed or subverted in unique and original ways. But when it comes to mental illness, there are a few tropes that, even in skilled hands, have the potential to be quite damaging. This list is by no means exhaustive–I didn’t even begin to touch on tropes regarding specific conditions, such as ADHD, Autism, OCD, Schizophrenia, and Tourette’s–but it contains some of the most damaging and prevalent tropes regarding mental illness. In this post, we’ll discuss five prevalent tropes regarding mental illness and how to avoid them in your writing.


5)   Evil ECT

“Just lie here, bite down on this strap while I stick these electrodes to your head.”

 

“But I don’t want–”

 

“I promise it won’t hurt a bit.”

 

*Flips switch* *muffled screams*

 

In this trope, a character is strapped onto a table, electrodes placed on their head. Without warning or consent, electricity floods through them. Their limbs jerk and they grimace or cry out in pain. It’s horrifying to watch or read about. And it’s not how ECT works, at least not anymore.

 

Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a procedure that uses electricity to treat serious mental illnesses, ranging from treatment-resistant depression to catatonia. It is an incredibly effective treatment that can alleviate symptoms in as little as six sessions, or about three weeks. By comparison, most medications for depression take at least six weeks to take effect.

 

The stigma surrounding ECT comes from the early days of the procedure, when higher doses of electricity were used, and without anesthesia. Back then, side effects could include everything from permanent memory loss to fractured bones due to the incredible strength of the convulsions caused by the high voltage. Invented in the 1930s, the procedure as it was performed back then was barbaric at best. Then again, during that same time, doctors were touting cigarettes as a “healthy choice.” Medicine has come a long way since then.       

 

Nowadays, people receiving ECT do so under general anesthesia, as they would for a surgical procedure. They’ll be given a muscle relaxant to minimize convulsions, a mouth guard to prevent them from biting their tongue, and supplemental oxygen through a face mask. Throughout the procedure, their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen levels are closely monitored. The electrical activity of the brain is also measured using an electroencephalogram, or EEG.  

November 30, 2021

Book Chat Fun - The Perks of Being a Wallflower


NOTE: I am going through something right now, so I won’t be replying to comments or returning visits so quickly. Thanks for your understanding!


THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER


“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2013 after the film adaption came out (September 2012).

The Perks is a great example of voice. While reading, Charlie's voice (which is the alias of the narrator in the novel who gives all the other characters aliases, too) comes across as young, innocent, and quite naive. He doesn't understand a lot, but he understands certain things in his own way. The voice is written simply, which is perfect for his character and his age (he's a freshman in high school). He's a character who is deeply shy and full of guilt and suffers from depression and PTSD. He's also very caring and thoughtful, which leads him to do things to make others happy even if it's reckless for himself. You get all of this while reading.

The book is composed as letters to an anonymous person he only refers to as "Dear Friend," so it also is a great example of structure.

I loved all the books and songs that were mentioned throughout the story.

November 15, 2021

One Woman’s Road to Independence / Guest Post by C. Lee McKenzie / SHATTERED Release


C. Lee McKenzie has a new release out called SHATTERED, and she's sharing an inspiring story with us.

Welcome, C. Lee!


One Woman’s Road to Independence:

A Brief Account of a Paraplegic who Returned to an Active Life in Sports

by C. Lee McKenzie


In her daily exercise program, she included pull-ups, push-ups, catching and throwing a ball, bicep curls, extended arm raises with weights, shoulder shrugging. All of these contributed to keeping her body healthy and in shape, but her legs still couldn't bear her weight, even if she used a standing frame. However, standing on her feet was one of her goals, and she never lost sight of it.

She learned to crawl face-first into her chair, and to recover if she slipped and fell. In her biography, she expressed gratitude for all those upper arm exercises that gave her the quadricep strength she needed.