Friday, January 25, 2013

FEATURE FRIDAYS: Autism and...Vampires?

The Creative Forum: FEATURE FRIDAYS
Hi, guys! Welcome to FEATURE FRIDAYS! Here I host other blog articles - Book reviews, Writetips, Giveaways, and Competitions. Then I leave a link to the original blog. So if you have something you would like me to host here, don’t hesitate to let me know. It’s for FREE!

Today’s Featured artist is Robyn Jones, writer, blogger, and a mother of two lovely boys. Robyn is in love with stories, and she loves to write them, read them, and watch them too. She has recently published Soul Walker, her debut, and first book in the Touched Girl Series, and she’s getting tons of good reviews at Amazon. She has a writing and book/movie review blog at robgirlbooks. Please do check out her Twitter: @robgirlbooks and Goodreads also. She supports other creative artists. Thank you!

And now, Robyn's Feature post >>>

Autism and...Vampires?

A while back I wrote a tiny blip of a story about a kid superhero. His power? Through his autism he had the ability to reach inside people, all kinds of people, and change them. See, I'd witnessed this power first hand with my oldest boy. The moment he was diagnosed, I knew all I had to do was get him in front of the right people and they would trip over themselves to help him. I never did anything with the story itself, mostly because it made me cry every time I read it. But it spawned this idea, what is autism really? Through all the challenges, the isolation, the God-seeking prayers, isn't there something magical about the way their minds work?

I went in search of this magical thing. I watched the way strangers reacted to Will, the way teachers lit up talking about him, the way little kids loved playing with a true-forever child, lastly I saw the way moms herded their children away from what they deemed the bogeyman, the big bad developmental disorder that rivaled all other disorders. So right there I had all the ingredients of the unsuspecting hero. Just so you know, the herding moms became the villains, what can I say, I'm a little bitter about their prejudice.

When I had all the pieces knitted together, I jumped into the choppy, terrifying, and exhilarating waters of fiction-paranormal romance to be exact, because how fun is that? The end result? Soul Walker and the three subsequent installments in the Touched Girl Series.

How has your life experience affected the way you see the world or the wondrous things you've created? I shared mine. Tell me your story.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Sound of Distraction

The Creative Forum: On Writing
I’ve heard some writers say they write to music. Some even create their own writing playlists, while some listen to the radio as they write. And I always begin to wonder how they do that.

Aren’t they distracted at all?

Oh, I love music, just as I love reading and writing. But music has always been a distraction whenever I’m writing or editing. Whether it’s a song with vocals or just instrumental, I still get distracted. Writing doesn’t have to be a complete silent activity for me; I only get distracted by songs. Whenever I hear those tunes or vocals while writing, it kills my concentration and most times I catch myself singing along or humming. I sing along if I know the lyrics to the song. I hum if it’s a song I don’t know.

On one occasion, sometime last year, I was working on the first draft of a project, when I heard a song playing outside my room. A hip-hop song with a nice beat, I caught myself nodding and humming, and when I couldn’t take it anymore, I raced out the door and traced the sound, then asked the owner to please transfer the song to my phone. Maybe I wasn’t very disciplined then. I returned to my computer, tried to continue writing, but I couldn’t. I was empty. Inside my head, I kept hearing the beat of the song that had distracted me. I focused on something else for a while, and then came back to the computer. Still I was distracted.

I had an automatic writer’s block that day.

I’ve had other similar experiences. And it’s always worse when I know the song. I don’t know if I get distracted because I’m a musician (self-trained) also, or if writing and music cannot just simultaneously operate in my own head. Maybe something like you can’t serve two masters at the same time.

But I know there are many writers who can do it.

And that’s it. I love music so much, but then it becomes a distraction whenever I’m writing, editing, and sometimes even when I’m reading a book. So what about you? Are you distracted by music while writing, or do you write better while listening to a song? Do you have a writing playlist?

NB: I was playing some songs by Enya while I wrote this post. I had to switch off my music player because I caught myself humming and singing along.

Friday, January 18, 2013

FEATURE FRIDAYS: Inspiration has no Time

Hi, guys! Welcome to FEATURE FRIDAYS! Here I host other blog articles - Book reviews, Writetips, Giveaways, and Competitions. Then I leave a link to the original blog. So If you have anything you would like me to host here, don’t hesitate to let me know. It’s for FREE!

Today’s Feature is Athina, a writer and blogger. The name rings a bell? Yeah, the same Athina who nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Athina has written many short stories and is currently working on DAZED, an adventure/mystery novel, to be published soon. She blogs at Between My Lines. Check out her short story, THE ANGEL OF CHRISTMAS on goodreads. And you could also follow her on Twitter: @Athina_DK

And now, Athina’s Feature post >>>


It’s true. You can never know when or how the next idea for a novel or the inspiration to continue an existing one, will come. It can come from every little thing. I for example have some experiences to share.

The first one is for the novel I just finished (the first draft at least cause I have a lot to do before I can release it.) I had a story in my mind but not specific things. It was summer and I was shopping with my cousin when I heard a little bell ringing from a jewel she was wearing on her ankle. That moment while I was keep walking I saw the image I wanted for my book and the words formed in my mind. And when I did write it after months, when my story demanded it, it just felt right.

The second time was again for the same novel. I was in bed trying to sleep thinking the next chapter. I knew how I wanted to continue it, but I just couldn’t make it happen. A small phrase formed in my mind and I just woke up and wrote the whole chapter. It is still one of my favorites.

A third time that I can remember is when I was writing my first novel, DAZED. I was actually asleep but an idea crossed my mind like a flash and I took my notepad and wrote half a chapter. The same happened again for the prologue for my second novel. I am sure that every writer has moments like these and I’d love to hear them. So, share it with me if you want.

Inspiration can come at any moment and by any random thing and we just have to grab it and expand it, make it a story. There were few times that I ignored my idea and I regretted it, so don’t make the same mistake. Writing has no days, times, hours or holidays. When you write you write full time and every day and night until your work finished and you are ready to read it again and again and again, changing it, making it more beautiful, more precise, making it ready for everybody to read. As writers, our mind never gets peace; at least mine doesn’t…yours? Tell me about it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Wow! Lovely Athina, a writer and blogger, has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. I’m so happy about this. I don’t even know why I deserve this! Athina blogs about writing at Between My Lines You can also find her on Twitter.

Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers that have less than 200 followers and the purpose is to get to know them since we think that they deserve it. The word “Liebster” is German and means favorite. So here I am nominated for the “favorite blog award” meaning the Liebster Blog Award. My thanks to Athina for this opportunity!! :)

In order to accept and participate there are some steps:

1.    Tell 11 things about yourself.
2.    Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3.    Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4.    Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
5.    Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them.

11 Things about me:

1.    I am an ardent reader. I love reading any kind of book, but Detective, Horror, and YA Fantasy are my favorites.
2.    I am a writer. I started by stories and telling them to my friends under the guise that I was narrating a movie I had seen. When I was fourteen, I felt an urge to do more with those stories. And I have been writing since then.
3.    My next love after Books and Writing is Music.
4.    I love drawing, painting, and animation stuffs. In fact, I’m an all round artist, because I act in plays too.
5.    I created a blog where I can share my thoughts on writing and books, and also to connect with other writers and readers.
6.    I have written four novels. My first book is a contemporary work. I am now in the editing process of THE ROAD TAKEN, a YA Urban Fantasy, first book in a trilogy, which I hope to publish soon.
7.    My favorite movie genre is horror.
8.    I love video games. Yes, I can beat my chest and say I’ve played all of the Call of Duty series by Activision. Except for the recent one: Black Ops II.
9.    My favorite movies are Avatar and Stranger than Fiction. I love the creativity and concept of both movies.
10.    My favorite meal is garri (cassava) and onugbu (bitter leaf) soup.
11.    I hope to publish my novels soon and have it read by many people.

My answers to Athina’s questions:

1.    Why do you blog? I blog because it’s an avenue for me to share my thoughts on writing, books and other creative stuffs. And also to let my readers keep up with my writing projects and experiences.
2.    Do you read other blogs and why? Yes, I read other blogs. I read them to connect up with other writers, share ideas with them and to support them in whatever way I could.
3.    Which is your favorite book and why? THE LAST DUTY by Isidore Okpewho. I love the style. It’s a war stories and the characters tell their stories instead of the author telling it for them.
4.    What writing means for you? Writing means everything to me. Writing is a way for me to create new people, create new worlds, create ideas, to be sort of a little god, and to entertain the person reading by book. I love creating.
5.    How do you spend your free time? When I'm not writing, reading, or doing academical work, I watch movies, play video games and if I have more free time, I travel.
6.    What was your greatest moment for the year that passed? Writing ‘The End’ at the bottom of the third book of The Road Taken Trilogy, a series I started writing in 2010.
7.    Which five words describe you best? Creative, Determined, Courageous, Quiet and Romantic. Don't know if I should be saying these :)
8.    What would you encourage other people to do? Live your life while you’re alive. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Follow your dreams today.
9.    What would you change in your life if you could? Become stronger than I am. Been able to see challenges and say, ‘Yeah, I can do this!’
10. What advice you would give to a new writer? First you have to read books, read more good books. Study the craft. And do not try to edit when working on your first draft.
11. If there’s a word that would describe how you want this year to turn out, what is that word? Successful!

Now my questions to other bloggers:

1.    How would you describe your blog?
2.    Has blogging made you a better writer?
3.    What inspired you to start writing?
4.    Have you published any book, if not do you plan to publish soon?
5.    Define what success means to you as a writer?
6.    What do you do in your free time?
7.    Favorite movies?
8.    Which is your favorite book and why?
9.    Favorite authors?
10.  What are your hopes for this year?
11.  Which five words describes you best?

My eleven nominees:

1.    The Mad Hatter at
2.    Lisa DuVAL at
3.    Somi Ekhasomhi at
4.    Stella Christidis at
5.    Sophia Lin at
6.    Nitzan at
7.    Hypervorean at
8.    Scott at
9.    Jane at
10.  Mindy at
11.  Vanessa at

To my nominees, if you participate please leave a comment with your link so I can see you answers. :) Good luck to all!


Friday, January 11, 2013

FEATURE FRIDAYS: Your Creative Superpowers

An Artist's Creative Forum: Feature Fridays
Hi, guys! Welcome to FEATURE FRIDAYS! Here I host other blog articles - Book reviews, Writetips, Giveaways, and Competitions. Then I leave a link to the original page at the end of the article. I also introduce the writer and their blog before each article. So If you have Book reviews, Writetips, Giveaways and Competitions you would like me to host here, don’t hesitate to let me know. It’s for FREE!

Today’s Feature is Randy Ingermanson, publisher of Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. Randy earned a Ph.D. in physics at U.C. Berkeley, which is a wretchedly lame excuse for people to call him " America's Mad Professor of Fiction Writing," but life isn't always fair. He is the award-winning author of six novels and one non-fiction book. His website address is Check it out and join his blog if you like it.

And now, today’s Feature article >>>


If you're a human being, then you're creative.

If you're a novelist, then you're very creative.

There are actually a number of different ways to be
creative. Most novelists excel at some of them. Most
novelists are weak in others. I like to think of the
various modes of creativity as "creative superpowers".

I suspect that your total creative ability isn't just
the sum of your creative superpowers. I suspect
that your total creative ability is more like
the multiplication of your creative superpowers.

The reason is because when you want to create something
new, you typically need to work through a whole chain
of creative tasks, each using a different creative
superpower. The more creative each link in the chain,
the more creative the final result.

The bad news is that creativity is hard to outsource.

The good news is that you can learn to be more

To do that, you need to understand what the various
creative superpowers are and then exercise your
creative muscles to develop those superpowers.

I've been reading a book lately on creativity, YOUR
CREATIVE BRAIN, by Shelley Carson, Ph.D.

Dr. Carson identifies seven different creative
superpowers (she calls them "brainsets" in analogy to
the word "mindset", but my inner geek responds better
to the phrase "creative superpower" so that's what I'll
use here.)

YOUR CREATIVE BRAIN helps you figure out which creative
superpowers you're naturally good at. More important,
it has exercises to help you develop your strength in
each of them.

What are those creative superpowers? Here's a rough
description of each one:

* The "Absorb" superpower is the one you use when you
see the world around you in a creative way. You are
absorbing apparently useless information and finding an
unexpected use for it.

Alexander Fleming was doing experiments on bacteria and
found that they weren't growing well in a lab dish that
had been contaminated with a certain kind of mold. He
realized that this could be useful and invented

George de Mestral was brushing burrs out of his dog's
fur and realized that the annoying little things would
make an amazing fastener. That led him to invent

* The "Envision" superpower is the one you use to
imagine "being there," complete with the sights,
sounds, smells, and feelings of whatever "there" is.
It's also the superpower a mechanic uses to mentally
rearrange the parts on a car. When you read a novel and
"see" the story, you're using your Envision superpower.

I remember helping friends move into their house. When
I carried some boxes upstairs, I found that two guys
had spent about twenty minutes trying to manhandle a
desk through a narrow doorway, but it just wouldn't go.
They were arguing about whether to take the desk apart
to get it through.

I immediately saw in my head a sequence of steps that I
thought might work. It took me five minutes to convince
them to let me try it. Two minutes later, the desk was
in place.

* The "Connect" superpower lets you solve problems that
are ill-posed and don't have a unique answer. To use
this superpower, your brain makes connections between
things that don't have any obvious relationship.

I used to interview potential software engineers for my
company and my final question was always, "Name as many
ways as you can to kill your manager with a doorknob."

I was looking for engineers who could improvise. What I
usually got was a disbelieving stare. Very few job
candidates could come up with a single innovative
murder method. (Most novelists can easily think of a

I never identified any specially creative engineers
using this question. But I did find quite a number of
applicants who were incredibly eager to work on my
team. Strangely, my CEO always seemed a bit nervous
around me.

* The "Reason" superpower is the ability to use logic
to solve problems.

Those pesky software engineers excel at using Reason.
Novelists, not so much. When you read a story with an
inconsistent plot, the author fell down on using his
Reason superpower.

* The "Evaluate" superpower is the one you use when
you're editing your story. You make judgments on what's
good and what's bad. Your job is to keep the good and
replace the bad.

This superpower is easier to use on other people than
on yourself. It's obvious what the other guy is doing
right -- and doing wrong. But many novelists are too
easy on themselves -- or too hard.

* The "Transform" superpower is the one you use when
you turn your horrible life experiences into a great
story. There's an old saying that nothing bad ever
happens to a novelist because, in the end, it's all

This superpower seems to be strongest in artists of all
types -- writers, painters, musicians. It lets us turn
our ashes into diamonds.

* The "Stream" superpower is the one you use when
you're writing a first draft and you move into that
zone where the words fly onto the page and time passes
without you noticing.

Some writers never enter that zone. Others do it every
time. Guess who enjoys the writing more?

Now here's the important point. You're strong in some
of these creative superpowers and weak in others.
That's the way you are.

But it's not the way you always have to be. There are
exercises you can do to increase your creative superpowers.

The book YOUR CREATIVE BRAIN has a number of exercises
to help you boost each of your superpowers. And if
you're creative, you can easily think up new exercises,
once you understand the principles.

My goal in the coming year is to build up all seven of
my creative superpowers.

Want to join me? Check out Dr. Carson's web site here:

You may never look at a doorknob the same way again.

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.

Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the
Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced
Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 32,000 readers.
If you want to learn the craft and marketing of
fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to
editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit

Download your free Special Report on Tiger Marketing
and get a free 5-Day Course in How To Publish a Novel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

That Scene Needs a Complete Rewrite

It’s your best scene. You love the word choice, love the style, and love everything about the scene. No wasted words. No wasted sentences. The scene will get you that award – it’s a scene that would be talked about for ages to come.

One day, on your latest rewrite, you come across the scene again, and now you have something bugging you within. You calm yourself and read like you’re seeing that scene for the first time. You realize that something is wrong with it. You smile at the discovery and you say, ‘I can fix this easily.’ You begin a fixing that takes you some minutes. At the end you realize that you only worsened everything. And now you have no choice but listen to the voice inside, which says, ‘That scene needs a complete rewrite.’ You heave a sigh – more working hours for you.

Have you ever been in this kind of situation?

Yeah. Happened to me few days ago while I was improving my YA Urban Fantasy book, The Road Taken. And I can tell you that I dread rewriting a whole chapter or scene. But a writer gotta do what a writer gotta do – write, rewrite, and keep writing. I braced myself when I realized what the problem was in that scene, deleted every word, and started afresh. I thought it was going to be hard work, but it was easier than I expected because now I know what the problem was and I avoided it. When I was through I kept it aside for a day, then picked it up the next. I read the chapter again. The bugging was gone.

I think the hardest task during a rewrite is agreeing that a scene doesn't work and has to be thrown out or rewritten. As writers, we have to brace ourselves. If it has to be done, then do it. We can’t afford to have readers beginning to wonder why they’re reading our book, or why they’re reading a collection of written words instead of a story, or asking themselves, ‘Is this scene necessary?’

I think a good story should entertain instead of to confuse.

The question comes now:

As a writer, how do you tackle a passage or scene or chapter you’re not comfortable with? Do you try to fix it or do you rewrite the whole stuff? How do you feel about rewriting a whole scene? Please share your thoughts on this.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My New Year Goapes

It's traditional at the beginning of the year to define what you'd like to achieve in the coming twelve months. Last year I didn’t set for myself many goals. Didn’t even make a resolution. But I’m doing that right at the beginning of this year.

I think publishing it here on my blog serves as some kind of reminder to me – it screams, ‘Kaykay, are you keeping to your resolutions?’ And it brings me back on track when I’m drifting away.

These are my goapes for the year. Goapes? Yeah! The word sounds funny to me. I wish it would be included in the English Dictionary. Anyways, it’s just a mesh of the words GOALS and HOPES. You’re free to use the word too.

Why not use goals or target?

Sometimes fate plays with us like it played with me on 23th August last year. Do I sound Iike a pessimist? I hope I don’t. All I can do is to pray such stuff doesn’t happen again, and always wish for a better year.

My goapes for 2013:

- Post regularly on this blog, at least once a week.
- Read at least 50 books (Check out my One-Book-A-Week Challenge)
- Write a review on every book I read.
- Polish my YA Urban Fantasy manuscript (The Road Taken) to the best of my ability by the end of January.
- Have The Road Taken read by at least two or three beta readers by the end of March.
- Have The Road Taken professionally edited by the end of May.
- Send out a minimum of 10 queries to suitable agents in June.
- Write and finish my first Horror book The Devil’s Network before December.  (I usually write within three or four months)
- Polish The Intersection, second book in The Road Taken Trilogy to the best of my ability by the end of November.
- Improve my craft
- Reach over 3500 Twitter Followers
- The last one’s more of a prayer – praying that my leg heals and becomes stronger than before. Also wishing myself and everybody good health this year.

- NB: I’d let you know when I score any one of these goapes.

Happy goaping, friends. I really hope you all have a wonderful year. Get on the goaping mood and let’s make 2013 a better year.