Thursday, November 19, 2015

Books I'm Thankful For

It’s safe to say, I’m addicted to books. I may even have a book problem, so as Thanksgiving draws ever closer, I’m thinking about things I’m grateful for and books come to mind.

Thirteen Books I’m grateful for
The Bible
I like the stories about people, like me, who make mistakes, but count on God’s mercy, grace and help.
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
My friend gave me these books in college and I fell in love with Ged and the magic of Earthsea.
100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
The language, the story and the characters pulled me in and I liked all the baseball games mentioned.
Redshirts by John Scatzi
I grew up as a trekkie and this book just might show what really happened behind the scenes of Star Trek. Also, Wil Wheaton narrated the version I listened to, which made the story even funnier.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
I’m not a huge Western fan, but this read taught me that any genre can be humorous and fun.
Warm Bodies by Issac Marion
I liked the unlikely blend of horror, humor and romance.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Aibileen’s wisdom and kindness spoke to me.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum
I read this book with my grandmother.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
This book gave me a lot to think about.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
I loved the friendship between the girls/ women.
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
This epic fantasy is so complex, rich and noble.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
This book helped me to see things from an entirely new point of view.
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht
Ever wonder what a person should do in a given situation? This book series has brief easy-to -read answers.

Since I read continually and my favorite read will almost always be the book I’m in the middle of currently, this list will change. In fact, I’m hoping that you will throw me some suggestions for additions.
What book or books are you grateful for? Why?
Please share.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Writing and Looking for Ideas? Check out National Novel Writing Month and Seventh Sanctum

November started this week and with its start 2015’s National Novel Writing Month kicked off. Many aspiring authors, including me, will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel before the month ends. That means we have to pen 1, 667 or so words every day. And sometimes it’s hard to keep the story going and to simply come up with ideas.

To help another Nano participants and myself I’ve gone to Seventh Sanctum. It’s a page of random generators. I used one that made interesting characters because I’ve found if you start with some interesting people the scenes seem to come together quickly.  So here are thirteen classic, overused and archetypical types scrambled together to hopefully create some eccentric and intriguing oddballs to fuel a budding storyteller's inner muse.

See if any of these trigger your imagination or your funny bone.

1. The upper-class fop who has an unusual scar from an equally unusual incident.
2. The stealthy assassin who keeps repeating themselves over and over.
3. The mysterious elderly wizard whose scientific endeavors have given them a god complex.
4. The friendly sentient computer who wants everything for their children and who is bound by an unpleasant duty.
5. The rough-and-tumble dwarven fighter who is accused of a crime they did not commit and who is friend to a giant city-smashing monster.
6. The new kid in town who has nothing left to lose.
7. The emotionally detached genius who knows the solution to everyone's problems.
8. The family man who is a softy at heart despite strong biases.
9. The strong-willed yet elegant Southern Belle who is stronger and more skilled than most anyone.
10. The aristocratic vampire who is just this side of crazy and who wants to destroy the world due to emotional issues.
11. The loudmouthed opportunist with a heart of gold who has to prove their worth.
12. The scoundrel with a heart of gold who came back from the grave and who stands alone against the Main Villain.
13. The brilliant young adult who is persecuted by a government conspiracy and who surprises people with their ability to survive.

If you’re working on a manuscript or taking the National Novel Writing Challenge this November and you’re looking for ideas, consider checking out The Seventh Sanctum. It’ll inspire your creativity.


Conferences: Worth Leaving the House for?

By Elizabeth MS Flynn w/a Eilis Flynn
This week I’m recovering from a writers’ conference I attended over the weekend. I gave two workshops and talked to a lot of people and in general did all those things that one does at a conference. And now I’m doing what people do the week after a conference: recover.

Then again, I’m lucky. It’s been a full week and I haven’t come down with anything. “Con-crud,” that indescribable and annoying ailment that hits con-goers almost immediately after the con (a cold, judging by all the symptoms), hits conferees and conventioneers alike. The last time I got hit with it was a while ago, after we hit San Diego Comic-con, but that was truly inevitable with all the hugging of people I hadn’t seen in (some cases) decades. Whether it’s something that gets introduced by someone just catching something, going through something, or getting over something, unless you make a point of not touching anyone or anything and possibly wearing a mask and using latex gloves, unless you are at SDCC or something similar, you’re going to stand out. (That is the advantage of going to a comic convention or cosplay convention or pop culture convention or some such. Wearing a mask and gloves will not make you stand out, not even a cape or a rubber chicken tucked into your belt. At a professional convention or conference, well, you didn’t really like that job, did you?)

Anyway, I haven’t gotten sick after a con since then, and seldom in general. (These are famous last words.) In the past few years, I figure I haven’t gotten sick because I now work at home and rarely come in contact with the outside world, except for the necessary trips to the grocery store or library or post office. Which I have little problem with, except my already poor talents at networking and socializing positively disintegrate. And since conferences and conventions are often places to go in order to network and troll for work, it helps if one can be sociable in order to glad hand for said work. See the problem?

But I’ve got to wonder. Back in the old days, all a shut-in had was the postal service and subscriptions. These days, with the Internet, someone who spends most of her time indoors rarely has to use the postal service and subscriptions for print periodicals aren’t what they used to be (and hence why I now work at home, since I worked for a print periodical). But a FaceTime/Skype session takes the place of a lot of face-to-face interaction. So do we really need to go to conventions anymore?

Wouldn’t get sick as often. Wouldn’t have to spend money, time, and aggravation to get there, spend time and money there, and get home. Wouldn’t be completely and utterly tuckered out and spend the next week or so recovering. But would a face-to-face work better than a FaceTime session or a persuasively written email when you’re trying to find work?

And I’m cheap. And poor. Then there is the problem that if you spend all your time drumming up work, you don’t have time to do the work you already contracted for. I know someone who’s hitting three conferences in the space of two months, and she’s contracted bronchitis and had horrible allergy attacks (grains allergies) pretty persistently. But she’s drumming up interest in her series, and she knows how to network.

It’s a real plus-minus thing. In the meanwhile, though, I finish off these blog posts and take unintended little naps.

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and short stories, a young adult novel, and a graphic novella (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for more than 35 years, working with academia, technology, and finance nonfiction, and romance fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be found editing at and reached at If you’re curious about her books, check out In any case, she can be reached at

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Announcing Our Readers' Choice--Love Spell

A few weeks ago, I shared the loglines from stories in Bewitching Desires. The readers voted and... The winner of our reader's choice award is Love Spell by Jennifer Ray. If you'd like a peek at this chosen story, please visit:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Juggling Projects

By Elizabeth MS Flynn w/a Eilis Flynn
Since I was laid off a couple of years ago, my former freelance business, now full-time business, keeps me surprisingly busy. To the point that I have to keep track of what projects are going on at any given time with an activity tracker, like busy moms do with busy families and kids.

Well, close, not quite. Not having room for a complex piece of hardware (ie, a whiteboard) in my office, I keep track with a running sheet of projects on (who would have thought?) a sheet of paper. Old school, using a pen and paper, even. (I’m old school like that.) Once I finish, I cross it off. Simple, you say. Simple? SIMPLE? Well, yeah, it is, but if you’re like me, the constant reminder of the list just sitting there, ever growing, alarms you, just a tad. (Okay, in all fairness, that list is also ever shrinking. Because I do get things done. It’s just alarming, you know?)

The point of knowing what you have to do is so you can arrange and rearrange your management of projects so you give enough time to all those active projects and keep in the back of your mind how to deal with the upcoming ones, and also how to deal with anything that comes along unexpectedly. When I started doing this small-business thing full time, I predicted I would have periods of calm and periods of frenzy, like any business. What I should have realized was the constant surveillance of both periods is its own task. In itself, it is a running sheet. But that’s what a small business is—doing the work, looking for work, cleaning up the work. Determining what should be done and when. And that goes for any kind of business.

Coming up? Editorial projects to work on and two presentations at the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in a couple of weeks. They’re all there in the running sheet, but the conference had to be circled, just in case I forgot for some reason, and moved up on the running sheet! The revamping of my own websites, both emsflynn and eilisflynn, go lower, much lower, on the running sheet. The wrangling of authors for their work, already done but requiring handling of one kind or another, go higher. My own writing? A few pages here and there, but that’s got to go lower on the list. That’s the nature of the small business and managing it.

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and short stories, a young adult novel, and a graphic novella (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for more than 35 years, working with academia, technology, and finance nonfiction, and romance fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be found editing at and reached at If you’re curious about her books, check out In any case, she can be reached at

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Just in Time for October—Almost Thirteen Spell-Binding New Tales

A group of talented friends have a book coming out to celebrate Halloween and love among the things that go bump in the night. I’m betting you’ll be intrigued by their stories. Check out their elevator pitches and see.

1. Magical Shift by Kay Blake ~Sparks fly when a young telekinetic witch is put under the protection of a rugged, but handsome stranger who is more than what meets the eye. 
2. Running with Magic by Sonja Fröjdendal ~ Sunshine is a witch who can bottle emotions, but with the ruler of demons and his son crazy for her, loving the right demon is hell.
3. Heart of a Hunter by Andra Shine ~Ashley, a spoilt young witch must break a love spell, defeat her enemy and learn some manners, to win the heart of her true lover 
4. A Stolen Spell by A.E. Snow ~Can Isadora save Savannah from an evil spell and her own family?
5. Where the Heart Belongs by Maria Arell ~ Kilyn goes from being an orphan to having a large family in a matter of days, but is she ready to embrace her heritage?
6. Drifter’s Moon by Michele Mohr ~ A witch’s magic is put to the test when she becomes the target of a vengeful ghost at a haunted motel on Halloween.
7. Promised Magic by Sheri Williams ~Will the girl he was promised to as a child, be the one to unlock his magic?
8. The Banshee and the Barista by Danielle Donaldson ~ A young banshee can't escape the death that constantly surrounds her, but she can't seem to keep the handsome barista at arm's length despite the shadow hanging over them.
9. Love Spell by Jennifer Ray ~ When an inexperienced witch messes up her spell and the man of her dreams falls in love with her, she must figure out how to undo the mess, even if that means she’ll lose him forever.
10. Micah’s Mess by Niki Daninger ~ When an envious warlock bent on taking coven rule from his sister, saves an angel, he learns there is more to life than his bruised self-worth.
11. All’s Fair: Love & Warlocks by Tami Lund ~Sometimes what you think you don’t want is exactly what you need.
12. Kissed by the Reaper by Rebekah R. Ganiere ~ Some loves are worth a battle with both heaven and hell to keep.

Which story particularly catches your fancy? Let me know and I’ll feature it on my next post. 

If many of these stories trigger your interest you can follow find this anthology at the following link. 
As always I’m grateful for your visit and your comment. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Want to Know a Secret? Check out

Today, many people say the hand-written word is dying and that paper and pencil script has lost its power and soon be another technology relegated to antique shops and museums like rotary telephones or typewriters.

I disagree. I think hand-scribed texts are involving and merging with current social media to become something even greater impactl.  Don’t believe me? Check out, a blog site run by Frank Warren.

In November 2004, Frank Warren handed out 3000 stamped, self-addressed postcards and asked people to “anonymously share an artful secret they’d never told anyone before.” The idea caught on! Currently, “ is the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world,” and Frank Warren possesses over a half-million secrets and hordes of readers like myself.

Here are thirteen of my favorite posts.
1. I thought he had no idea who I was and I dreamed about him for so long.
Now he tells me he loves me, he always listens to everything, he completely understands me, and he wants to grow old with me.
2. This is the moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I wish I had the heart to tell you.
3. I shouldn’t have left you…Because I most likely won’t ever get you back…. I can’t get you out of my head.
4. I was in love with my best friend. We’re both girls. I never told her. We have lost touch. But I think she knew.
5. I will marry you here someday. You just don’t know it yet.
6. I’m still very much in love with the same girl since I was 11 years old.
7. The only reason I am with him is to see if you care enough.
8. I think your husband is a jerk. And you would be so much better off with me. But I am afraid if you dumped him for me…You would later think you made a mistake.
9. For years, I’ve wanted to find someone to connect with like I do with you.
10. I'm thrilled with the person I'm becoming.
11. It’s possible to fall in love when you’re young I fell in love when I was thirteen with him, and music. I had to choose I miss him but I don’t regret it.
12. I still check my missed call list to see if you ever called and I just didn’t get it.
13. I still remember your birthday… This secret is available as a postcard. Send it to someone.

Just reading these gives me shivers. Each one of the posted secrets is a poignant and likely hand-penned story. One I’d like to know more about.

 I’m guessing you might agree and so I’ve made sure to include the sources I used to put this post together, so you can visit them. 


Monday, August 31, 2015

So how's your year thus far?

How's your year so far? Some years are better than others, and boy, sometimes you use more floss than is necessary. And some years you find yourself quoting U2! How about you?