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.

September 13, 2021

Traditional Publishing - Pros and Cons / Vlog

 

First...I did a thing...I signed up for TikTok. I didn't think I ever would, and have said as much, but I guess it's true when they say to "never say never," cuz I took the plunge.

Are you on TikTok? Follow me! I'll follow you back!

***

Thank you for coming to a vlog edition of Write with Fey!

I posted this new PowerPoint Presentation with audio (and closed captioning that you can activate) on my YouTube Channel last week. It is a long video, clocking it over 30 minutes, but it is detailed. Anyone interested in trad publishing will get a lot of of this.


Traditional Publishing Pros and Cons


Length: 36:20


Thank you so much for watching/listening to this video, or saving it to watch later! And, as always, thank you for visiting my blog!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here. After you click "Subscribe," click the bell icon and then "All."


September 06, 2021

Good Causes to Support / PART 2


Causes and Donations for Books, Animals and People / Part 1


GOOD CAUSES TO SUPPORT / PART 2

Below are causes you can support through signing petitions, donating money, participating in events, learning more, and, of course, sharing.


ORANGE SHIRT DAY:

Below are causes you can support through signing petitions, donating money, participating in events, learning more, and, of course, sharing.

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters occurs on September 30th. This event "opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind." [1]

2021 has been a heartbreaking year for Indigenous folks as countless graves have been uncovered at the sites of closed Residential Schools around Canada. This is not just a Canadian issue, though. The United States had MANY "boarding schools" for Native children, and we haven't started to look for graves, yet.

Get an "Every Child Matters" orange shirt from an Indigenous artist like Agnes Wooward to remember those who were lost to Residential Schools, as well as to honor survivors. Check out ReeCreeations shop for a shirt.

Learn more at OrangeShirtDay.org.

You can also participate in the Remembrance 5K Run (a virtual event) on September 30th for $25 or support a runner in need if you can't participate for whatever reason. 



IDA RELIEF:

Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Now communities and impacted people and families need help.

DONATE:

Imagine Water Works: Donate to Hurricane Ida Relief & Recovery

UNICEF USA is aiming to help children impacted by Hurricane IDA. 

Greater New Orleans Foundation Disaster Response and Restoration Fund



THE CROWN ACT: 

Dove, National Urban League, Color Of Change, and Western Center on Law & Poverty have co-founded the CROWN Coalition to advance the CROWN Act. 

CROWN stands for: Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

The CROWN Act is a a law that prohibits discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyle.

ACTION ITEMS:

Sign the petition asking for the CROWN Act to be passed in all 50 states.

Email your senator.



STOP LINE 3:

People always show outrage at oil spills in the ocean (and rightly so), but what about inland oil spills? Also, for any animal rights activists, wildlife and other animals won’t have clean drinking water, either, like the dogs on reserves.

40% of America’s water will be contaminated. Are you in that 40%? Do you want to drink clean water? Remember Flint, Michigan? Do you know climate change is a serious problem? What about the safety of women and girls and two spirit people? Human trafficking increases at these pipelines. Four Line 3 workers have already been arrested in trafficking stings.

ACTION ITEMS:

- If you care about any one of those things, text PUCZGE to 50409 (Resist Bot will ask for your name and address because letters to government representatives require them.)

- You can also DM PUCZGE to @ResistBot on Twitter to do the same thing.

- Then sign the four petitions on RiceIsLife.Carrd.co.


August 30, 2021

10 Things All Authors Should Know

 

10 THINGS ALL AUTHORS SHOULD KNOW


1. How to Contact Amazon to Price Change

There may come the day when you want to change the price of your eBook to 0.99 or to free but you're unable to do that on your KDP dashboard. So how do you do it? Do you go to your book's Amazon page? Many used to reply on the "Tell us about a lower price" link under a book's product details, although that was very insufficient and could take a long time to hear back, if you ever did. In fact, that option is no longer there.

So, how do authors change their eBooks' prices to 0.99 or free on Amazon?

You do it through KDP's Contact Us page: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/contact-us

To the left, beneath "How can we help?", click on "Pricing" and then "Price matching." You can contact them through email or phone. Phone may be faster, but I always did email because I hate talking on the phone. When you choose to send an email, make sure you have the ASIN for your eBook in the Kindle store and the competitor's URL links. Always specify what the price is listed as and what you want it to be instead.

TIP: If you are changing the price permanently or even for a specific amount of time, always check back to make sure Amazon hasn't reverted it back, because they like to do that and it is maddening.

You can also ask them to price match on all Amazon marketplaces (UK, DE, etc.)

August 23, 2021

THE CURE by Patricia Josephine / Zombie Quiz and Excerpt + Giveaway / LIMITED TIME 99 Cents Sale


The Cure is a clever, fun take on the usual zombie stories that are out there. I thoroughly enjoyed it in its early stages. I've told Patricia many times that Zee is my favorite character she's ever created, and many of her characters have stuck with me. No lie, at random times, moments from The Cure pop into my head, which is a rare thing. I recommend The Cure to zombie lovers, paranormal lovers, post-apocalyptical setting lovers, novella lovers...pretty much everyone.

BLURB:

Every human in the world becomes a zombie when they die. But Erin refuses to accept the world as it is now. She’s heard about a cure locked away in a lab in Up-per Michigan, and she plans on retrieving it. To do so, she needs a zombie. Not just any zombie, though.

Zee is Erin’s link to the lab. His connection to the living world is her bargaining chip. But only if she can teach him to control his mindless impulses.

Can a zombie be trained? Or will Erin be Zee’s next meal and become a zombie herself? The fate of humanity rests in her hands.


ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS TILL 9/25

Universal Buy Link - https://books2read.com/u/mBZpkp

Add to Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58343851-the-cure

August 16, 2021

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



In a comment on my Florida & Seminole History blog post, M.J. Fifield brought up a fascinating discovery I hadn’t come across in my research…the Windover Archeological Site. She mentioned that the remains dated back to 6000 B.C. Immediately, I was intrigued.

So, I did research.

My main source of information was Life and Death at Windover: Excavations of a 7,000-year-old Pond Cemetery by Rachel K. Wentz.

I am actually acquainted with someone (through M.J.) who did CT scans on some of the remains. Her name is Rita. In fact, the cover of Life and Death at Windover uses one of Rita’s scans.

The Windover Pond has been called “one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the world.”


Interesting Facts:

  • This pond, located in present-day Titusville (in Central Florida), is a Middle Archaic (6000 to 5000 BC) underwater burial site.
  • The human remains and artifacts are 7,000 years old.
  • That’s 3,200 years older than King Tutankhamen.
  • And 2,000 years older than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
  • Archaeologists found the remains of 168 individuals, from infants to about 60 years of age, as well as 119 artifacts.
  • The bodies were so well-preserved from the peat and neutral pH of the pond that there was brain matter present in 90 skulls.
  • These brains (I cannot write that or read that without thinking about zombies) were the “most ancient DNA yet analyzed at the molecular level.”

At one point, the author of Life and Death at Windover said that the pond the Indigenous peoples buried their dead “just happened to be neutral pH,” while the majority of the ponds around it were highly acidic. But what if it wasn’t a coincidence? Indigenous peoples work closely with the land, they pay attention to the earth, and they know medicinal uses for plants and other natural materials. They might’ve known, through living near that pond and examining/witnessing it, that is was magical, different, and that could by why they chose it to be the sacred site for their dead. In fact, evidence shows that they used that specific pond, none of the others in the area, for one thousand years. One website says they could’ve been drawn to the pond “by the glow of methane ‘swamp gas’ that is sometimes visible at night.” [1]

  • The brain matter allowed for DNA sequencing, and the "DNA indicated Asian origin, similar to that of the four other major haplotypes of Native American peoples." [2
  • However, DNA analysis indicated that the Indigenous peoples buried in the pond were not related to any living Native American population today, indicating that their descendants either all died off or were significantly reduced “prior to the evolution of the genetic markers” found in modern populations.


So, how was this underwater burial site discovered?

In 1982, Windover Pond was one of many ponds being cleared so the Windover Farms housing development could be put in their place.

Makes you really think about all the land and bodies of water that are cleared away for yet even more housing developments and mini malls, etc. and what could be there, or, rather, what developers and construction workers could be disturbing (even hiding from public knowledge), doesn’t it? I know it makes me stop and think about that, especially as I’m seeing more and more land in my area getting bulldozed for communities and complexes.

But that’s another topic.

Let’s get back to what’s considered “one of the most important archeological sites ever excavated,” which, even with my statement above and at the end of this post, is exciting and extremely fascinating (hence why I wanted to share all this with you).


Discovery:

  • The land had belonged to the Tisch family who wanted to sell all sixty-five hundred acres so they could buy a large insurance company. That insurance company fell through. No worries, though, because they used their money to buy CBS instead. 
  • EKS, inc., run by Jim Swann, bought their land for the Windover Farms housing development.
  • Steve Vanderjagt discovered the first skull and following bones, which included a second skull, while making passes with his backhoe through the muck surrounding the pond.
  • Interestingly, right after those few bones were discovered and removed and the crew, as well as Jim Swann, were trying to figure out what to do next, the skies became dark. A storm blew in.

Now, some would say (as the author of Life and Death at Windover did) that it was just shadows from the storm and wind-blown palm fronds, but a young crew member named Lester Canada swore he saw “three Indians running across the road.”

Panic and superstition, or spirits of the remains from that pond? 

Well, I wouldn’t discount what Lester saw. At that time, none of them had any reason to believe they’d just found the bones of Native Americans, let alone prehistoric Indigenous peoples. At that point, without knowing about the restorative powers of the peat, those bones could’ve belonged to anyone, even someone buried there 5+ years prior. (I read that an un-embalmed adult in ordinary soil could take 8-12 years to decompose to skeleton. But, of course, many factors, including temperature, humidity, and insects, could speed this up. And when submerged in water, about five years.) With all that in mind, Lester had no reason to believe they were Indian bones in order to work himself up. If it was me, I would’ve thought they were two murder victims. So I wouldn’t discount what he saw, before the discovery even had a chance to begin, before anthropologists had a chance to examine the bones and artifacts.

  • The storm brought forth more bones.
  • The local coroner took the bones. The next day, the coroner said the bones were not from modern-day Floridians.
  • Jim Swann wanted the bones back. They were returned and held in five-gallon holding cells for a few months.
  • Finally, they contacted the University of Florida, but Dr. Brenda Sigler-Eisenberg, an archaeologist, and Dr. William Maples, a renowned forensic anthropologist in Florida, both passed after seeing Windover Pond. Why? Because in order to excavate, they’d have to drain the pond of water, a time-consuming and expensive process. They also didn’t know how old the bones were or if there were more to be found. The state of the bones was also a factor. Remember, they had no idea about the peat strong enough to preserve bones for thousands of years.
  • Jim Swann then contacted Florida State University and Glen Doran.
  • The first test that was done was radiocarbon dating that reported the age of three tested samples (the other two done to be sure the first result was correct and not contaminated by the ancient peat) as being 7,000 years old.
  • After rejections for funding to excavate from FSU and Governor Graham vetoing a bill, they finally were able to move forward when the revised bill passed in the summer of 1983.


Excavation:

  • The excavation process lasted from 1984-1886. 
  • The center of the pond turned out to be over twenty feet deep, in comparison to the many shallows pounds throughout the construction of Windover Way.
  • The deepest layer of peat in the pond was found to be over 10,000 years old.
  • Seeds and plant remains in the peat, and the wooden stakes used to secure the bundled bodies to the bottom of the pond, indicated that the Indigenous peoples used the pond during late summer and early autumn. They may have lived somewhere else during the other months or the pond might’ve been too murky for interments during the winter. (Where they buried their dead during the winter is unknown, although I found speculation that they may have moved to the Indian River Lagoon. [3]
  • During excavation, the skulls with brains were brought to Wuesthoff Hospital in Rockledge where they were stored in freezers within the Pathology Department. The hospital’s radiologists performed x-rays and scans. (Enter Rita.)
  • Afterward, the skulls were sent to Gainesville for DNA extraction.
  • The remains were also found to have been wrapped in textile cloth.
  • The bodies, in a flexed position, were wrapped in material made from cabbage palm or saw palmetto fibers, and then the bundles were pushed to the bottom of the pound and secured there by wooden stakes. This kept them safe from predators. Only six human bones, out of 10,000+, showed evidence from carnivore damage (gnaw marks).
  • The bones revealed that these people suffered from arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and a young man even had spina bifida. 
  • The Windover people were intelligent. Not only were most of their broken bones healed but they were in proper alignment, meaning they understood the importance of immobilizing limbs with splints.
  • They also had consumed berries (found in their bellies) for their analgesic and anti-rheumatic properties (like Elderberries and nightshade) or for pain relief (like grape seeds). This is, as the author of Life and Death at Windover says, “one of the most ancient examples of medicine in human history.”


Additional Facts:

  • Windover Pond became a spectacle during the excavation. The media wanted constant updates and so many visitors came unannounced that the team ended up designating Friday’s for school group visits and Saturdays for the public. They created a walk with volunteer guides at posts to recite information, almost like a museum or zoo.
  • An adjacent hammock had artifacts like pottery. How pottery was made throughout history has changed, from five thousand to three thousand to one thousand years ago. The pottery that was found had St. Johns check-stamps, indicating that they were one thousand years old, so the people who lived in the hammock came six thousand years after the people who had been buried in the pond. 
  • Only half of the pond was excavated. The other half was left for future examination.
  • In 1987, the Windover Archaeological Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science in Cocoa has the only comprehensive exhibit for Windover.
  • December 2013, Windover Pond was purchased by the Archaeological Conservancy, “the only national, nonprofit organization that identifies, acquires, and preserves the most significant archaeological sites in the United States.” [4]


Final Thoughts:

Now, there are federal laws protecting and prohibiting the excavation of Native American remains and gravesites.

Under Chapter 872.05 of Florida Statutes, “It is the intent of the Legislature that all human burials and human skeletal remains be accorded equal treatment and respect based upon common human dignity[...]”

It is a third-degree felony if someone “willfully and knowingly disturbs, destroys, removes, vandalizes, or damages an unmarked human burial” and a misdemeanor of the second degree if someone has knowledge of this taking place and doesn’t report it.

While this means that archaeological digs like this may no longer take place in the United States/Florida, limiting discoveries, I personally believe these laws are right and abiding by them is the respectful thing to do so that the remains of Indigenous ancestors and prehistoric peoples stay in their final resting places (where they were buried by loved ones in ceremony) and the sites left in peace. 


Resources:

Life and Death at Windover: Excavations of a 7,000-Year-Old Pond Cemetery, Rachel K. Wentz, 2012

Windover: Multidisciplinary Investigations of an Early Archaic Florida Cemetery, Glen H. Doran, 2002

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windover_Archeological_Site

http://www.nbbd.com/godo/history/windover/



August 04, 2021

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

 


MY FAREWELL TO THE BOOK CLUB:


(Sent to book club members on 7/26/2021)

Readers and Writers,

Chrys Fey here. The IWSG administrators contacted me recently to inform me about a new direction they’ve decided to take the book club. They also decided to replace me. Toi will be taking over as the new book club lead. Although, she’s not really new. She’s been with us since 2017 as a book club moderator!

I don’t have many details about the new direction, but from what I understand, the book club will be spotlighting IWSG members’ books from now on. Toi will share more about the new direction soon.

Fortunately, our upcoming discussion day on August 25th for They Called Us Enemy and Writing Magic will still be taking place. Toi will be posting for that discussion day. Please join us!

I’d like to take a moment to reflect and express my gratitude.

I created this book club in 2017 for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. I am sad to have to say goodbye after all these years. Many of you have personally messaged me to say how much the book club has helped you and what it has meant to you. Your words have meant a great deal to me. I also know many of you have read the books over the years but chose not to participate in the discussions (which were always optional), preferring to stay on the sidelines, instead. I saw you, and I thank you for being a member on your terms. 

The book club’s upcoming changes will be different, but I know Toi and the moderators, Ronel and Juneta, will do great. I am incredibly grateful to them for being such a wonderful team. I didn’t make changes without their input and asked for all their ideas. Their enthusiasm for the book club boosted me, and their assistance helped me to maintain my stamina in running this book club.

Thank you for everything, Toi, Ronel, and Juneta!

And thank you, all four hundred and fifty-seven of you, for being a member of this book club!

Happy Reading (and writing),

Chrys

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

The IWSG book club selections for Sept/Oct/Nov would've been The Heroine's Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Carriger and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (as a good example of voice). I was really looking forward to reading and discussing these two books, so I am still going to read them for myself. If either of these books sound good to you, I encourage you to read them for yourself, too. I will talk about them on my blog later this year. 

Happy Reading!

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

NOTE: This next part of my post does not relate to the beginning of my post. I already had this post about books and reading planned for today.


DON'T SHAME READERS FOR WHAT THEY READ

(OR WRITERS FOR WHAT THEY WRITE)


Don't shame readers for what genres and formats they like to read.

Or writers for what genres and formats they like to write.

(This started as a post for readers until I realized it went for writers as well.)


FORMAT:

Print novels aren't the only correct format.

Audiobooks are real books.

Ebooks are real books.

Graphic novels are real books.

Comic books are real books.

Picture books are real books.

Poetry collections are real books.

Essay collections are real books.

Short story collections are real books.

As a matter of fact...

Short stories are real literature.

FUN FACT: Short stories are one of the oldest forms of literature.

Novelettes and novellas are real literature, too.

Short stories, novelettes, and novellas (usually published as eBooks) count toward reading goals/challenges (as do picture books, graphic novels, audiobooks, etc.). They are complete works of fiction. Writing them involves a special skillset, and reading them for pleasure or toward challenges is acceptable.

ALL reading is valid.

In terms of publishing, short stories, novelettes, and novellas are publishable and readers DO read them.

And writers who write short fiction (anything shorter than a novel) ARE REAL WRITERS.


GENRE:

Just because you may not like a genre doesn't make it any less than the genres you prefer.

The romance genre is the most criticized genre ever. And romance authors are heavily criticized and judged, even by fellow writers.

But romance is a $1.4 billion industry and makes up 1/3 of the fiction market. Romance is the best-selling book genre in the entire publishing industry, and the most profitable.

Not everyone can write romance. It involves a special skillset as well as certain qualities, such as a HEA (happily-ever-after) or HFN (happy-for-now) endings. 

EX: Nicholas Sparks does NOT write romance. His books have bittersweet (or just plain sad) endings. His books are love stories.

Check out this article: What's the Difference Between a Romance Novel and a Love Story?

Romance is not all about sex. Romance books are NOT mommy porn. There's many romance sub-genres, age categories, and heat levels. In fact, romance has a vast heat range from zero sexual contact to erotica. Oh, and men read romance, too.

Romance stories are complex, because people and relationships are complex, and that's what romance stories delve into. 


Don't shame readers for what genres they like to read, or writers for what genres they like to write, whether that's:

Romance

Erotica

MlM (men loving men)

WlW (woman loving women)

LGBTQIA+

Christian Fiction (i.e. Amish romance)

Religious Fiction (ALL religions)

Monster Romance

Young Adult

New Adult

Children's

Memoirs

Non-fiction

Self-Help

Historical

Fantasy

Science Fiction

Horror

AND ALL THE OTHER GENRES/SUB-GENRES NOT LISTED HERE.


You read you. I'll read me. Everyone will read them.

No more shaming readers for what they read!


You write you. I’ll write me. Everyone will write them.

No more shaming writers for what they write!


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

REBUILDING MY STREET TEAM:

 


QUESTION: Have you ever been shamed (judged) for what you like to read? Or have you seen this happen? Writers, have you ever been shamed (judged) for what you like to write?

I've seen this happen for romance, audio books, and shorter works (eBooks).



July 26, 2021

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

 

I take learning and UNlearning seriously, so I wanted to share with you books I've read this year and last year. Most of these pictures were taken from my Instagram account.



DIVERSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS:


Graphic Novels:


This graphic novel is packed with history that many don't know, because we're not taught these things in school as we should be. I first learned about Japanese American internment camps when I read Silent Honour by Danielle Steel on my own when I was a teen.

Asian hate is not new. It has sadly been a reality for many for a very long time. This story spans decades and includes several presidents. I highly recommend this graphic novel to everyone who is interested in real American history.

P.S. the sewing machine in the picture is a nod to George’s mom. This sewing machine is, in fact, my mom’s.



Displacement - This is another graphic novel about Japanese American internment camps but with a current twist. The main character is from modern times and is "displaced" to the past. I also highly recommend this graphic novel. George Takei's graphic novel was more written in the eyes of a child who didn't quite understand what was going on, but in this one, the main character is sixteen and understands and sees things that happen. I stand firm that this time in American history needs to be taught in every school and every classroom, for most grade levels.

July 19, 2021

Who Knew You Could Do This With PowerPoint By Jacqui Murray / Guest Post / Laws of Nature Book Launch

 

Please help me to welcome Jacqui Murray back to Write with Fey. She has a fascinating post about what you can do with PowerPoint. She's also celebrating her newest release Laws of Nature.

Welcome back, Jacqui!



A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

Title: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available (print or digital) at

Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India


July 12, 2021

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

 

I am so happy to welcome Olivia and Fiona of ad astra to Write with Fey. Ad Astara is an Instagram account I discovered this year, but they also have a website and a newsletter. I love their posts about social justice and the topics and current events that they bring awareness to. For that reason, I wanted to spotlight them here to help share these important subjects with more readers and writers.

Welcome, Olivia and Fiona!

Ad Astara Interview. Olivia and Fiona Discuss Banned Books and Intersectional Feminism. www.WriteWithFey.com

1. Hi, Olivia and Fiona! I am thrilled to be able to chat with the both of you and to share what you do on Instagram and your website with the readers of my blog. First, can you tell us about your journey as bookstagrammers?

We’ve known each other for a long time now—the two of us met through a singing program we participated in from elementary school through high school (picture: various iterations of black, sparkling dresses that never really fit either of us). Somewhere along the way, we realized we shared a passion for books.

July 06, 2021

Writing About Minor Characters Who Are People of Color / Vlog


Thank you for coming to a vlog edition of Write with Fey!

First, a few updates. If you don't use Blogger, you can skip this part.

BLOGGER USERS:  **I updated this update. TWICE. lol** If you clicked on this post’s title in your Reading List, you either (depending on what device you use, apparently) came to this post right away or had a redirect page that brought you to this post, which is normal, although the redirect URL looks odd now (just ignore that). 

But if you clicked on my blog's name instead (WritewithFey), you were taken on a bit of a journey to a Follow.it page for my blog. On that page, I added a special message just for Blogger users to prevent any confusion about what was happening. That was different, huh? But not so bad, right? Just one more click.

This is just something to keep in mind. Either way, you will still get here. :)

WHOOPS (also for Blogger users): Last week, you might’ve seen something odd happen with your Reading List on Blogger. All of my posts from this year suddenly popped back up to the front of Reading Lists. If you saw this, my apologies. I had no idea this was going to happen and couldn’t control it.

So why the changes to my blog? Well, like many bloggers, I had to change my email subscription service for blog posts to a different service provider. I followed all of their instructions, which involved importing my RSS users. Not every blogger takes this step. I wasn't sure if I should, but I decided to do what they suggested, which involved technical difficulties and confusion (i.e. everything I mentioned above).


********


Now to the real purpose of this post, to share my latest YouTube video for writers.

This is a PowerPoint presentation with audio that focuses on writing about minor (or passing) characters who are people of color, especially if you're not of the same race as that character. This is not an exhaustive list but rather a starting point of do’s and don’ts to help you along the way and to encourage you to go further in your research. I hope these tips will lead to you wanting to write more inclusive and safe stories. 

June 28, 2021

Indigenous History Month / Florida & Seminole History



This is my book stack of non-fiction books for Indigenous History Month, which is recognized in Canada, but regardless of where you live you can learn about the history of the land and the Indigenous peoples who call that land home and were there first, before European colonization. 

I read about Florida’s history and the Seminoles. I'll share what I learned below, but first, to find out which Indigenous nations/tribes first lived on the land you call home, use Native-Land.ca. You can also search the location of where your paternal and maternal families called home for generations, which is equally important.

June 21, 2021

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

 

Hey Everyone,

I want to share with you some very good causes that you can support.


LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES:

Do you have books lying around at home or on bookshelves that you've had for years but really aren't going to read? Why not add them to local Little Free Libraries? While you're at it, you can donate your own published books to Little Free Libraries, too, as my mom and I had done recently.

Check out this map to find Little Free Libraries near you:


June 14, 2021

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



Today I am welcoming Jess Lee, the founder of Dear Publishers, to Write with Fey.

I am thrilled to have Jess as a guest. I asked her if she would be interested in doing an interview here because I believe what she (and everyone at Dear Publishers) is doing is important, and I wanted to help Dear Publishers' mission to reach more people, like the lovely people who follow my blog. <3

Her answers about Dear Publishers, diversity, equity, inclusivity, and antiracism are amazing. When I read them, I became even more excited, and I hope they impact you as much as they've impacted me.

June 02, 2021

Dear IWSGers - An Announcement



Dear IWSGers,

Last month, I had announced that I was a judge for the 2021 IWSG anthology contest. (See that post here.)

This month, I am announcing that I’m no longer a judge.

I had been so excited when I was asked that I neglected to inquire if any of the judges already on board were BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) authors or agents. Later, when I requested the anthology and judges info to add to my blog post, I wasn’t given images, only text, and I didn’t look up the judges’ names. It was after I saw the May 5th announcement (which has since been updated) on the IWSG website on May 10th (I was late to participate in the hop last month) when I realized all the judges were white. After I looked into it, I noticed that appeared to reflect most panels since 2016.

For that reason, on May 14th, I respectfully requested that I be replaced as a judge by an equally qualified author of color. Or even two since a couple of past panels had eight judges.

These days, a judging panel should not be composed of all white judges. It’s crucial that judging panels (as well as groups, companies, book events, etc.) be diverse and inclusive. This is something I greatly believe in.

All voices need to be heard. All faces need to be seen. 

Diversity - the inclusion and representation of people of different identities (race, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, religious belief, etc.).

Race (defined by a person's physical appearance) is not the same thing as ethnicity (cultural heritage) or nationality (where someone claims citizenship), which is how, even with people from multiple countries, a panel can still be lacking racial diversity if all the people a part of it are white.

Racial diversity isn’t the only form of diversity, though, as the definition above states. Before I submitted my request, I was aware that the panel would lose the diversity that I brought (which isn’t common knowledge), as a disabled author who is LGBTQIA+ (i.e. Asexual).

However, I felt it was more important for the panel to not represent a single race of people than for me to stay.

I am thrilled Meka James has joined the panel. She is an awesome romance author I had recommended, and I know she will be a great judge.

I've also noticed that Loni Townsend is a judge now, too, and I’m happy my suggestion for two new judges to be added was taken. Loni is very talented and is a fabulous addition to the panel.

It is my hope that the selection process will be evaluated and that the panel next year (and all years after that) will be even more diverse and inclusive.

Diversity and inclusivity go hand in hand.

Inclusive - a set of behaviors that make everyone feel welcome and ensures that everyone has equal opportunity to contribute, speak, and be heard.

For anyone who is disappointed that I am no longer judging the anthology, my sincerest apologies to you. I hope that you can understand my request for diversity and inclusivity, and my decision.

I wish all entrants (as well as the judges) the best of luck!


Yours,

Chrys


P.S. I’ve closed comments on this post. I appreciate you all and thank you for being my blogging family.



May 17, 2021

A Quick Spell RELEASE DAY! / The Challenge of Writing Short Fiction / Guest post / Patricia Josephine




Patricia did it again! She has another fabulous collection of stories told in exactly 200 words! I read A Quick Bite and loved every single story. They were all unique and fun. I have A Quick Spell on my Kindle right now and can't wait to begin. I think I'll set aside my current read so I can get to it right now. :)

May 10, 2021

Bad Fairy Strikes Again by Elaine Kaye / Release Day / 99 Cents

***NEW RELEASE***

***99 CENTS***

 

 Series: A Bad Fairy Adventure (Book 2)

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Pages: 60

Ages: 7-12

 

BLURB:

Will Thistle ever escape the nickname Bad Fairy?

Thistle Greenbud thought the nickname Bad Fairy was behind her, but she can't escape it. Someone is spreading a rumor about her that just isn't true and can ruin all of her hard work in getting into Advanced School. What fairy would do such a thing?

As if that's not bad enough, Thistle's dad goes missing. Not a single fairy in Tinselville has seen him. He's vanished like pixie dust. Her mom is distraught, and Thistle is worried. Where could he be?

Thistle and the Flutters, along with Dusty and Moss, are on both cases. Can they find out what happened to her dad and solve the Bad Fairy rumor? Thistle hopes so!

April 07, 2021

#WritersontheMoon / Bad Fairy Strikes Again



First, I want to announce my mom's next middle grade book, BAD FAIRY STRIKES AGAIN, is coming out May 5th! Would you like to sign up for her blog tour (May 10-May 31)? I am doing it through Silver Dagger Tours, so you will get emails from Maia, the organizer, instead of me. 


Thank you in advance! And always remember me for your blog tours. 💗

March 03, 2021

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


This is a follow-up post to my February post in which I talked about my new release marketing efforts, specifically blog tours. In this post, I am discussing what happened with my free (for a limited time) eBook.


FREE EBOOK DILEMMAS: Along with the release of A FIGHTING CHANCE, I also released THE DISASTER CURSE, a short story that follows A Fighting Chance.

Planning out how to release that eBook was tricky, because I wanted it go be free during the blog tour. Except, you can't mark a pre-order as free and I had set up my blog tour to start on the exact release day for AFC. I also didn't want to publish TDC on release day because it would take time for it to show up on all the retailers' sites. I needed to be sure that it would be available online AND that it'd be free in time, so I set it up as a pre-order and had it published 6 days before AFC.

February 19, 2021

Scene Spotlight for Cupid's Beau by Alicia Dean / Guest Post


Please help me to welcome Alicia Dean to Write with Fey. She's sharing a scene spotlight for Cupid's Beau, perfect for the month of February and to follow Valentine's Day.



February 12, 2021

How Did I Get the Idea for The Window? / The Window by Dave Cole / Guest Post


I had the pleasure of editing The Window by Dave Cole (a Dancing Lemur Press title). When I chose a guest post and needed to come up with a topic, there was one thing I was curious about...how did Dave come up with the idea for "the window" in the story?

Keep reading for Dave's answer...

February 03, 2021

New Release Marketing Conclusions


New Release Marketing Conclusions:

Last month, I had a new release: A FIGHTING CHANCE. I did a lot for this release. And I mean A LOT. Rather than hash out my marketing plan here, you can visit my guest post at Victoria Marie Lee's blog.

What I want to share here are the results of my marketing. This post is long. If you want, you can skip to the conclusion.

January 25, 2021

10 Reasons Why Readers Quit a Book / Guest Post by Jacqui Murray



Today I have Jacqui Murray on my blog talking about why readers quit books, an important topic for us all. Please help me to welcome her!

10 Reasons Why Readers Quit a Book

by Jacqui Murray

It used to be I almost always finished any book I started. I'd think about all the work the author put into writing it, figure it was my personal lens not their skill, and continue in the hope I'd learn a different way of thinking. Over the years, I've changed. With Kindle Unlimited, I can borrow a book, read a few chapters, and then return it with no muss or fuss. Now, I quit about 10% of the books I start even after spending the time to preview, read the blurbs, and explore reader comments.

January 18, 2021

Girls' Time "Date" with Elizabeth Seckman and Her Character Maureen Privet / Flip My Heart


I would like to welcome author Elizabeth Seckman and her character Maureen Privet for a girls' time author/character date.

On to you Elizabeth and Maureen...


1. Which character are you going out on a "date" with? Maureen Privet from Flip My Heart 

2. Where are you going? (What will you be doing?) No, this isn’t a date-date. I mean it’s a real date as in you can write the place and time down on your calendar, but it’s not that kind of date. No romance, just the scheduling of always-valuable girl time. 

January 11, 2021

Why did I write a story for Thorn in the Disaster Crimes series? / NEW RELEASE / GIVEAWAY / FREE EBOOK / NEW WEBSITE



Today is release day for A FIGHTING CHANCE!!! WOO-HOO!

I am also launching a new website AND have a new short eBook for free!


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


When I was writing Flaming Crimes (Book 4), which featured Beth and Donovan, I was thinking ahead to Frozen Crimes (Book 5) and considering what would come after that. I had a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, wildfire, and would soon have a blizzard.

However, there was always one disaster I thought about and wondered how I’d handle it…a tornado.

January 06, 2021

A NEW YEAR



IWSG BOOK CLUB ON GOODREADS:

Our book club is changing things up!

We will have quarterly book selections now, giving us more time to read. We will also have one fiction book selection and one writing craft book selection. Members can read both or choose between them. Finally, we won’t be offering 5 optional discussion questions anymore. Instead, we will be utilizing the polls that our members enjoy, so there will be one poll question for the fiction book and one for the non-fiction book on Discussion Day.

Our December/January/February reads are…

Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor, a book written in second person. Since many readers haven’t read a book in second person, and many writers haven’t written in second person, we figured this is a great chance to explore something new.

Preparing to Write Settings that Feel Like Characters by J Lenni Dorner. 
This will be our writing craft book, with a focus on settings.


Discussion Day for both books will be February 24, 2021!