Week 32 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 32nd Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Austin the main character in my upcoming novel The Beast Within!

Today’s writing prompt:

Write about something you can’t forget!

His voice...
Deep.
Commanding.
Angry.
Slurred, from too many glasses of cheap whiskey.

I can hear it, almost as if he were standing right behind me. Yet he's been gone for years. Long since buried 6 feet under.

He used to scream at my mother and I, but his yelling wasn't what scared me. It was when he got quiet... still... that's when I knew he was really angry.

I'd have to strain to hear him. But it was in those moments, trying so hard to hear... to understand... that I knew pain would quickly follow.

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

Write about something you can’t forget!


What books have made your September reading list? Are any of them on the New York Times Best Seller list? Comment below and let me know, then, CLICK HERE to check out the 10 Ten Best Sellers for September and see which ones you’d like to add to your reading list!


Author Interview ~ Matt Nagin

One thing I love to do is interview other authors. Not only does it introduce me to potential books I can add to my ‘to read’ list, but it also helps spread the indie-author love to other readers. Marketing is hard and if I can help a fellow author, I’m happy to do it. With that in mind, I’d like to welcome Matt Nagin, author of Feast of Sapphires, to my blog.

Matt Nagin, author of Feast of Sapphires, AKA Bart Schumacher (Standup Comedian)

What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My name is Matt Nagin. I do not use a pen name, but I do have a comedy alter ego, a standup comedy character, if you will, named Bart Schumacher.

Where do you call home? I live in New York City. 

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am an actor, a comedian, and, when I can find the work, a college professor. Yes. I believe I became a better actor and educator over time. I enjoy very much the areas in which I work since I am passionate about them and they are connected to my overall artistic orientation.

What is your family like? I have a large family; four brothers, a nephew, thirteen cousins, many uncles and aunts etc. In addition to my parents, I’m fortunate enough to have a 99 year old grandma who turns 100 in January.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love watching films, particularly classic films and/or films that in some way tell an innovative story. I also enjoy traveling, since it expands your understanding of your own little area of residence, helps you get a better grasp of your particular social and cultural predilections, and occasionally even inspires creative work.

What is your greatest dream? To make a living as a writer by completing works others find meaningful.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? I would like to be working creatively at a higher level than I am now. By this I mean I would, ideally, like to be more productive. What is stopping me, I suppose, is I get distracted easily and I have a million little obligations that keep me from focusing and completing work. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, which, at times, can be a hindrance.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? Yes. Lasted a year and a half. Unfortunately, she became a lesbian. It broke my heart at the time. Now it seems vaguely humorous.

What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? Getting hit by a speeding car while walking across the street in a construction zone with an obstructed view was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. More than twenty stitches in my wrist. Glass in my arm. Ten herniated discs in my back. A number of ongoing issues with my knees. There have been a few others. A plane nearly crashing–the gas masks coming down. A boat nearly going under during a storm. Three surgeries for Crohn’s disease. The point is it has been a struggle, at times, just to persevere.

And how long have you been writing? I have been writing around 25 years, but the first five years I did not work with any level of seriousness. There have been periods where I didn’t write at all, but, eventually, I always came back to it. Of late I’ve been trying to maintain a regular schedule.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? To be a writer/actor/filmmaker etc. To a certain extent, I achieved my dream. This is because in pretty much all the fields I’ve pursued I’ve had at least a few accomplishments. All that being said, I still feel I have a long way to go.

Who is your role model? Most of my role models are artists with an uncompromising yet powerful vision. Examples include Stanley Kubrick, Charles Bukowski, Phillip K. Dick, Emily Dickinson, William Blake and Salvador Dali.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Paperbacks. The presentation is generally the best. I also think the idea of a book as something really special and unique is lost when you read it on a Kindle.

What is your opinion of novellas? Novellas are a great form. I enjoy the unusual length very much. I also think it is a great way to develop characters, setting, and a compelling plot without dragging a story on endlessly. Finally, in the age of social media, where readers have very little free time, novellas make a whole lot of sense.

What is your favorite film based on a book? Barry Lyndon. It’s based on a Thackeray novel.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Satire/Humor.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Stephen King’s “The Stand.” I have read many King books, but never actually got to “The Stand.” I’m looking forward to reading this classic.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I’m reading the book of a friend, David Voice, “The Can Man: My Five Cents Worth,” that I’m enjoying. Kindle format. I generally don’t read much on my Kindle, but, since this is a relatively short book, it made sense.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? My book is ‘Feast of Sapphires.’ It is a poetry collection that aims to be illuminating in a variety of ways. I take daily experiences, or interesting phrases, or magnetic ideas, and use them as a springboard for poetic exploration.

FEAST OF SAPPHIRES

“Feast of Sapphires,” is a compendium of poems covering topics both timely and universal. There are poems of psychic revolution, poems on social media and gun control, poems about MRI’s, gambling, and mystical storms of all varieties; then, too, on a deeper level, more than a few of these poems are about the desire to surmount the collective facade in search of a kind of truth that cannot be hyperlinked.

Located from Costa Rica to the LIRR,  this metaphysical cartography of anticipation and despair is perfect for those seeking answers in the bottom of the tea, in the resonance of a thunder storm, or, even, in the ethereal high of a linguistic flight of fancy. From comedic monologues to existential reflections, from angry rants to countercultural analysis, from wily narratives to verbal pyrotechnics, this is a book that strives, in new ways, to be illuminating… CONTINUE READING

Is the above book part of a series? No. That said, it is a follow-up to my first poetry book, “Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight,” which  did fairly well on Amazon.

BUTTERFLIES LOST WITHIN THE CROOKED MOONLIGHT

This highly-accessible, dynamic collection offers existential ponderings, comic situations, poetic meditations on death, musical riffs, political commentary, striking imagery and more. The 45 poems in this collection represent a range of styles and subject matter. 18 of these poems were previously published in such journals as Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, Dash, Spillway, The Charles Carter, Downtown Brooklyn, and many, many more. This debut collection of poetry from Matt Nagin is sure to, as the title suggests, comment on the way even the most delicate and majestic of us tend to be drawn, willy-nilly, towards the crooked moonlight.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?Julia Noel Goodman designed the cover. We reviewed the concept together and went through a number of iterations of it till we settled on one we thought best.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I pick a bunch of different possible titles and go with what sounds best. I also ask friends/associates for input.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? I created a trailer for my first book, ‘Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight.’ Watch it below:

Also, I have videos of readings of individual poems from ‘Feast of Sapphires,’ set to imagery. One of these, ‘Regret,’ is available below:

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantser or a plotter? I am a pantser. I go with what inspires me–allowing it to lead the way. Then I go back and edit. At times this editing is extensive. At others very little is required. It totally depends on the state of the first draft. I sometimes edit immediately after I complete the writing portion. At other times, I like to wait a few weeks till I return to the work, since I often can then see it much more clearly.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? The biggest challenge I’ve encountered with publishing is properly formatting poetry for Kindle on KDP…something that sounds easier than it is. The second biggest challenge is acquiring new readers in an oversaturated marketplace.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Not sure if I was ever specifically given this advice, but it is what I always tell others: keep at it! This is the key to success in any field, but particularly with writing a high level of self-discipline is required. 

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mattnaginwriter/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17008526.Matt_Nagin

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Matt-Nagin/e/B01M6ZZV3J

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/naginplease/

Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to have several other books published by then. Right now I have a humor book coming out in the next few months with an indie publisher, and, after that, I am looking to publish a short story collection. There are a few more books, as well, I’m at work on, so I am really hoping to get a lot of work out into the world soon.

Any last thoughts about your overall journey? It’s been a wild ride–these last few years–and I have really enjoyed expressing myself creatively and reaching out to others with my creative ideas. I’m also grateful to be doing something I’m passionate about, something that fills me with a sense of purpose. What can I say? I’m very lucky!

CALL TO ACTION: If you have questions for Matt that weren’t addressed in this interview, I invite you to comment below and he will respond here!

Week 26 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 26th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Stella, one of the characters in the novel I am currently outlining. I’m not sure if this will be a selection in the novel, or just part of my character development journal.

Today’s writing prompt:

Complete this thought: “I wish an alarm would notify me whenever…”

I wish an alarm would notify me whenever it was time to wake up and go to school. I’m twelve years old and I haven’t been to school in almost two years.

I miss it.

It’s funny, when I was going to school every day, I hated it. Sure, I liked seeing my friends and recess of course, but sitting in a class, listening to the teacher talk all day… I can’t say I enjoyed that.

But now, I miss it.

I guess you always miss the things you can’t have; the things that are taken away to early.

You see, where I’m from, if they find out you have powers that can be useful to the government, like mine, you’re carted away to the Operation Atlas headquarters. I’m one of four watchmen with the power of telepathic perception. Basically, it is the ability to receive information from another mind. It’s more complicated than that, but you get the picture.

I have alarms that wake me up, tell me when to eat, when to leave for work, when to sleep, and just about everything else. My movements are monitored and I can’t do anything out of order or without permission. For once, I’d love to sleep late, skip a meal, play outside, or just go to school.

There are times, first thing in the morning before I even open my eyes, that I forget where I’m at. I forget about the ten-foot by ten-foot whitewash room they keep me in. I forget that I’m not just another normal kid. Those first few seconds of the day are my favorite. But lately, they’ve been happening less and less. I think I’ve started to forget… forget my past, my friends, even my family.

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

Complete this thought: “I wish an alarm would notify me whenever…”


What books have made your August reading list? Check out the New York Times bestsellers for August 2019 by CLICKING HERE!


Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel


Week 19 – #WritingWednsday Challenge (1 day late)

Today is the 19th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in my own voice!

Today’s writing prompt:

What do you need right now?

Time! I need time.

It’s Thursday afternoon and usually I post my weekly Writing Wednesday post on, well… Wednesday. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, I was on vacation this last week and my blog got put on the back burner. I think we all need a little me time, but right about now, I need more work time.

I’m trying to catch up, with everything. I have a stack of books about a mile high that I need to get through, a list of movies about two miles long that I need to watch and review, a number of author interview requests, blog posts to set up, and a self-publishing course to create.

So yeah, I need time. If you have any extra that you’d like to loan me, I’d forever be in your debt.

© 2019 Nina Soden

* * * * * 

Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What do you need right now?

* * * * * 

Would you like more sources for daily writing prompts? Click on the links below for great writing prompt journals I think you’ll really love!

This Self-Discovery Journal provides more than 200 thoroughly unique & enjoyable writing prompts. Skyrocket your self-esteem, develop your creativity and explore all area’s of life: Writing Prompts about your love life, Writing Prompts to better deal with social anxiety’s
Writing Prompts for finding empowering strategies to deal with worries, stress and failures.
And much, much more
Do you want to know yourself better? Self-discovery and self-revelation aren’t easy. With simple but provocative questions about wishes and fears, memories and beliefs, secrets and dreams, All About Me will reveal everything you ever wanted to know about yourself but never thought—or dared—to ask. Whether you fill it in or answer questions out loud, this is the perfect gift for your friends, your family, your loved one… and you.

* * * * * 

Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write.

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

JUST WRITE is the Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal designed as a planner-journal hybrid to help new and experienced writers stay organized while still fostering creativity. Track your project progress, plan your writing and publishing goals, maintain your personal/business to do list, never miss another deadline or appointment again, keep track of writing ideas, schedule and log social sharing and blog post ideas, keep a record of books you’re reading or want to read, maintain a running playlist, etc.

Tips from famous authors…

art business close up decor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you do a google search for the best tips for new authors, you’ll be inundated with a ton of advice. Some suggestions will be good… others, not so much. Below are some of my favorite tips from famous authors out there:

  1. Be open to criticism – Be it from your peers, your beta readers, and most importantly your editor. You have to be open to listening to your editor! (Stephen King)
  2. Write for yourself, not the market – Write what you care about. Don’t try to write for the market or just to sell. If you aren’t writing what your passionate about it will never sell. (Neil Gaiman)
  3. Practice makes perfect – Writing is like a sport. If you don’t practice you’ll never get better. Just a little bit every day – a page a day – will make you better. (Rick Riordan)
  4. Ask practical questions – The moment you make a decision about your story, a character choice, a plot choice, etc. you need to ask yourself practical questions about it. How will that work? How will it affect the characters? When you start asking yourself those types of practical questions and finding answers then the unrealistic becomes realistic. It becomes possible. (Salman Rushdie)
  5. Teach yourself that everything is interesting – A common desire for new writers is to edit everything, and although editing is VERY important, you don’t want to edit yourself as you write. Put everything into your story – everything is interesting – everything is important. You can edit out what really doesn’t matter at the end, when you’ve finished your first draft. (Malcolm Gladwell)

Watch the Reedsy video here:

 

10 New Habits Writers Need to Cultivate in the New Year

OK, so I love going onto the Infinity Publishing blog to find great author tips and advice. Recently I stumbled across an article called ‘To New Habits Writers Need to Cultivate in the New Year’ and it was awesome!

The main focus of the article is to talk about the fact that habits, for authors, can be good. Of course, because we are getting so close to the start of 2016, the introduction focuses on how New Years resolutions typically focus on getting rid of bad habits, but then it explains how HABITS CAN BE PRODUCTIVE!!!

“The key is to develop the right habits and turn them into a normal part of your day.” 

Want to know what the 10 habits that every writer needs to cultivate are?

  1. Writing on schedule
  2. Communicate with other authors
  3. Continuing education
  4. Take scheduled days off
  5. Start people watching
  6. Start outlining
  7. Keep your website updated
  8. Create rituals for celebration
  9. Get up for 5 minutes every hour you work
  10. Get dressed for work

Anyone who knows me or reads my blog can tell you what two of these habits I have the most problem with.

#6 – Outlining 

It isn’t that I don’t like knowing where my story is going, it’s that I love letting my characters guide me. I love sitting at the computer, not sure what will happen, and then just following the story like I’m watching a movie unfold in front of me.

#7 – Keeping my website (blog) updated

No, I don’t blog as often as I should and I definitely don’t do once a week like the article suggests. I go through spurts where I blog a lot and then spurts where I have to step away for a while. When I’m really focused on my books, I find that I blog less. I’d rather put that writing time into the book then into finding something interesting to say. Is that bad? Probably, but I can say I will try to be better (I’ve said it before) and it works for a few weeks maybe a couple of months and then… back to the same old routine.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE!