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Writers, Have You Heard About The Occupation Thesaurus?

Hi everyone! Today I feature a new book for writers…a treasure trove to enrich your character authenticity.

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!


Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE

To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.

(Jennifer Lane here: Check out the job profile I added for SPORTS COACH. The heroine and hero in my work-in-progress both work as coaches for rival universities.)

Happy writing to all!

 

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: DROWNING IN STARS by Debra Anastasia

GiVEAWAY + COVER REVEAL: Drowning in Stars by Debra Anastasia

Congratulations to Debra, my pub sister! LOVE the cover.

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… he walked a tightrope five stories up just to hold my hand. 

Gaze: I moved into the building next to Pixie when I was eleven. She blew bubbles through my window. I shot my Nerf gun through hers. We both had secrets, but one of us was fated to get hurt. I wanted it to be me. 

Pixie: When I was afraid of the dark, he would shine a light in my window. We shared our popsicles and I taught him how to get a good swing on the playground. I never imagined I’d have to decide who got to live and who didn’t. I chose him –and he could never know.

She walked a tightrope five stories up just to save my life…

COMING AUGUST 9th

★☆✶⭑⭐✩Drowning in Stars is a full 100k standalone.✩★⭐✯⭑☆★

Sign up here for first live notification:  https://bit.ly/NewsletterDebra2020

                             Add Drowning in Stars to your TBR list: https://bit.ly/DISGOOD

Follow Debra on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2ZtTlCV

Sign up for the Newsletter here:  https://bit.ly/DIStars

Get in on the giveaways in the Daredevils: http://bit.ly/DebrasDareDevils

picture2Cover by TJ Designs

Debra Anastasia’s writing is imaginary, dark, comedic, and the perfect sexy. Drowning in Stars is the perfect representation of her! — Tijan NYT Bestselling Author

Full of gut wrenching angst and poignant emotion, Drowning in Stars is a hauntingly beautiful must read. –Helena Hunting NYT Bestselling Author

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To celebrate this cover release go here for a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway by Debra: https://www.debraanastasia.com/drowing-in-stars-giveaway

Excerpt: 

And then he came in for the kiss. It was him and I was so used to him, but in a totally different way. A new way. Changing everything and realizing that nothing really had to change. He was already mine. His kiss was just ours. Incredibly different from the accidental kiss when we were kids. 

His lips tasted good. Slow and gentle, but my heart was racing so fast. He stopped and checked my eyes. I nodded slightly. I was good. This was good. He was making my mouth mine, letting me be the one that decided to be kissed. And then I wasn’t thinking anymore. 

I was just a girl kissing a boy and free falling into the beauty of permission.

About the Author

Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and writes new adult angst and romantic comedies. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two amazing children.

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Connect with Debra

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debra.anastasia/

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DebrasDaredevils/

Newsletter: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Debra_Anastasia

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/debra_anastasia/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraanastasia/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vVuo45

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-anastasia

 

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#IWSG Publishing Changes and KITTIES!

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for convening the monthly IWSG, where we share our neuroses to help us feel less alone.

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The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 question: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I rarely follow publishing trends but I did find some predictions in this article. Self-publishing is already flooded, and all the writers pumping out words during quarantine will drown the market. I can’t wait to read the brilliant creations!

The demand for screenplays will likely increase given all of the streaming services. I hope to learn more about writing screenplays.

For those of you with a work in progress during COVID-19, are you altering your story to include the pandemic? I’m not. I believe many readers want an escape from this dreary reality.

Speaking of WIPs, mine is plodding along, up to 62K words out of about 80K. How’s your WIP?

My biggest excitement this month is KITTIES! I adopt two kittens tomorrow, a brother and sister. It’s been five years since my cat, Izzie, crossed over the rainbow bridge, and I’m finally ready.

I fell in love with tuxedo cats when author Jayne Rylon posted photos of her foster kittens on Facebook. Did you know tuxedo cats are smarter than other color patterns? So, I’m adopting a male tuxedo cat and his sister.

 

I’m thinking of the names Tux and Tessa. Got any fun bro/sis cat names to suggest? Whatever their names, I’m sure they’ll be excellent writing companions.

 

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#IWSG Writer Secrets

Happy June to all writers! Join us at host Alex Cavanaught’s blog to share our neurotic fears.

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Thank you to June’s cohosts: Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month’s question: Writers have secrets! What is one of yours–something readers would never know about you?

Well it won’t be a secret for long if I share it with you, will it?

Okay, okay, I’ll answer the question. The secret I’ll share relates to this line:

My life is like a romantic comedy, only there’s no romance and it’s just me laughing at my own jokes.

My secret: I suck at romance! (Interesting that I write romance novels, eh?) I’m perpetually single. I have rich, fulfilling friendships, but when it comes to romance, I seem to be commitment phobic. Strange dating encounters have included my puzzling attraction to gay men, as well as the time eharmony set me up with a pig farmer (not that there’s anything wrong with that–I mean, non-stop access to BACON, baby.)

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Maybe I turn to fiction to find what’s lacking in my real life? Maybe my annoying habit of laughing at my own jokes drives away potential suitors?

Can’t wait to hear YOUR secrets!

Also, I finally got around to reading On Writing by Stephen King (recommended by several of you), and here’s my 4-star review.

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Life’s a Beach #Giveaway

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting…

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I hope beaches across the world open for the summer!

To help you with your beach reading, I’m giving away a $10 gift card and a Jennifer Lane ebook of your choice. I write sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Enter on the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swim on over to these beachy blogs to enter their giveaways:

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#IWSG Walk into the Writing Zone

I hear birds chirping in my backyard…it must be time for the May edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

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Thank you to the co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG: Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

This month’s question: Which rituals help you get into the ZONE?

One of my duties as a psychologist is to help high performers enter the zone. I practice two quick skills to work toward achieving a state of flow:

  1. Diaphragmatic breaths (belly breaths). When we’re anxious or overwhelmed, our breathing becomes fast and shallow. What do you notice about your breath right now? Inhale through your nose and out your mouth, and allow your breath gently to become slower and deeper. Inhale into your belly, and pull your belly button to your spine as you exhale.
  2. Cue words. Repeat a phrase with each breath to focus on one thing at a time. The phrase is about the process, not outcome; something simple and under your control. What are helpful phrases for your writing? Maybe, “One word at a time”, “I’m the only one who can write this story”, or “I got this.”

In my short story for the IWSG anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited, I had a baseball catcher help an anxious softball pitcher take deep breaths and repeat the cue word, “Open hips.”

Beyond these two skills, I find that taking a walk is the best way to inspire writing ideas. Cerebral blood flow from exercise sparks my writing synapses.

Speaking of walking, the fragrant perfume and brilliant colors of Ohio spring flowers have captivated me on my neighborhood jaunts:

 

What helps YOU get into the zone?

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#IWSG Writing Virus-Free and BLOCKED Sale

Wow! The world is a wild place right now. We definitely need a support group this April—thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting.

I appreciate the hard-working co-hosts for the April IWSG: Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe,and Lisa Buie-Collard!

How’re you holding up through the COVID-19 crazies? I strive for a balance between caution and optimism; between flipping out and resilience. I’m lucky to be healthy and to keep working as a psychologist. I spend my workdays video counseling.

Since I’m not traveling or socializing on the weekends, I’m writing more. Happily, I passed the halfway point (~41K words) on my WIP, sports romance Rivals.

Here’s a good article about our grief during this time. But most of all, memes keep me going! Here are a few favorites:

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Hehehe.

My BLOCKED trilogy is on sale from April 1-8. If you have the time to share, here’s a social media post to paste:

Sports #romance BLOCKED on sale–get the entire series for $2.99!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CF2CVC

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MYB9H42

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BlockedThreeCovers sale

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#IWSG Sharing Family Traditions in Writing

Time for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group. Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

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Thank you to our co-hosts: Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

This month finds me still tinkering with my new site/blog. I’m grateful to Kassiah Faul for helping me choose a WordPress theme called Dara, which allows a larger cover image but still maintains the two columns that I like.

This month’s question: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your writing?

My family enjoys competition in many forms. My older sisters started competitive swimming and recruited me to join the team at age eight. When they were in 9th grade, they both left the sport to pursue theater and other interests, but I was the sucker who stayed with swimming through college (and added in volleyball for good measure.) My writing has featured many different athletic pursuits that began in my family.

But sports aren’t the only games my family and friends play. We love euchre, a popular Midwest card game. My best friend, Gwynn, and I took on two older football players in college, and when we emerged victorious, one guy told Gwynn that she was “the worst winner ever.” She tends to gloat. 😉

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Here’s an excerpt from my sports romance, Blocked, featuring a euchre game between Dane/Lucia and two female Secret Service agents, China and Allison:

Lucia and I were up six-five when it was my turn to deal. I hid my grimace as I looked at the hand I’d dealt myself. Total crap. To my left, China passed, and I waited to see if Lucia would pass or instruct me to pick up the top card of the blind.

She frowned at her cards for a long moment from across the table. “Pass?”

“You don’t want to order me up?”

“Table talk’s beneath you, Dane,” China said.

She thought I’d hinted that I wanted the card in my crapola hand? No way. “I’m just making sure Lucia knows what she’s doing.”

Lucia nodded, and this time her voice was stronger. “I do want to pass.”

Allison passed too, meaning it was my decision if I wanted to call trump. I slapped the card face down on the blind. Now China had the option of naming trump, but she passed again. I looked at Lucia, who smiled deviously. “I want to go alone. Trump is hearts.”

My mouth dropped open. “Are you sure?”

China hissed.

“I’m not trying to table talk.” I held out my hands. “But Luz, you know that means I don’t play this hand, right? You’re on your own.”

“That is implied with the term ‘alone’, yes.” Her eyes glimmered.

Whoa. Her sudden confidence stoked a fire in my belly. I set my cards face down on the table and crossed my arms over my chest, grinning like an idiota.

China led with an ace of clubs, which Lucia promptly trumped with a ten of hearts. That put her in the lead, and she won the next three tricks. My heart pulsed with excitement as she held her last card in her hand, her eyes darting back and forth from China to Allison. If Lucia won the last trick, we earned four points and won the game. If she lost, we only earned one point.

Lucia closed her eyes, and I heard a muttered prayer in Spanish. Then she set down her king of spades. Allison frowned as she played her king of diamonds—Lucia’s card beat hers. China’s eyes narrowed. Her queen of spades wasn’t good enough to beat Lucia’s king.

Lucia gasped as she looked up at me, her mouth open wide with joy.

“Hell, yeah!” I bolted out of my chair and initiated a victory dance. “We got a loner! We win ten-five, baby!” I sloped and shimmied my right shoulder, then my left, and snapped my fingers, mixing in some hip-hop moves Josh had taught me.

Lucia’s giggle drew my attention back to the table. I ignored China’s murderous scowl and grabbed Lucia’s hand, yanking her up to dance with me.

“You got a loner your first time playing?” I marveled. “You’re even better than Josh!” I jabbed my finger at the agents. “Eat that, Secret Service!”

Lucia’s cheeks flushed as she laughed at my moves. “You’re the worst winner, ever.”

“Isn’t it awesome?”

Her smile was so bright, so pretty. “I guess.”

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#IWSG WordPress Woes

Hey, writers! Join us as we share our fears and hopes in this monthly blog group. Sign up at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

The courageous co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson! Thank you, co-hosts.

I recently switched my site from blogger to wordpress, and it’s more stressful than I anticipated. Wasn’t it much easier to write wordpress posts in the past? A web designer is going to help me, and she told me that wordpress recently changed their posting format.

Why you so difficult, computer?

I’m also struggling with a theme for my site. I chose Arcana because I like having two columns, but I don’t even know how to edit the font color in the cover image.

For those of you who use wordpress, any tips for me? I’m already starting to become more familiar with the block editor, so hopefully I’ll bitch less in the future! At least commenting on my blog will be easier now if you’re on an Apple computer. (I’ve had trouble commenting on Blogger from my MacBook.)

Happy Valentine’s Day and Single’s Awareness Day, writers!