#IWSG The Healing Power of Writing

Happy October, writers! Time to support each other on this writing journey…join us here.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


IWSG Day Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

This is a timely question for me as I’ve been pondering why I haven’t felt as motivated to write lately. (Though I do plan to finish a short story soon.)

I’ve realized that I don’t feel the burning need to write right now because things in my career are pretty good. I went through some difficult times at work in 2007, and I unknowingly turned to writing to cope with feelings of insecurity and betrayal. The words poured out of me then. I made my ex-boss the villain of my first book, a murder mystery. (He he.)

Thank you, writing! You have helped me heal. I also feel grateful for second chances. After a six-year hiatus working elsewhere, I returned to my same position, and version 2.0 is much better. I’m less naive and more confident, and my career as a psychologist feels like a true calling.

Maybe I’ll immerse myself in a sea of words again, but for now I’m happy to bask in the sunshine onshore, knowing writing is always there to dive into when I need it.


#IWSG Plentiful Publication Pitfalls

Happy August, writers! Join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s courageous co-hosts:

I love this month’s question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I’ve faced publication pitfalls galore so I hope that sharing them will help newbie authors avoid them. Here are beliefs that put the pain in publishing:

1) “I’ve got this writing thing.” I thought my debut novel was well-written. It wasn’t. WRITING IS A CRAFT. It takes years of developing the craft even to knock on the door of good writing. I feel more confident in my day job after over twenty years of experience, so why did I think I was competent at writing after only a few fledgling years of fan fiction? Fortunately I had the opportunity to re-edit my debut novel seven years later, so at least now I can read it without cringing.

2) “My book should hit the shelves soon.” I pride myself in finishing tasks efficiently and often feel impatient when others don’t do the same. The fact is that publishing is full of excruciating waits. Waiting for…responses to queries, publication contracts, multiple rounds of editing (fortunately my editor is super speedy–love her!), proofreading, cover design, book design, marketing materials, marketing assistants…and that’s before the book is even released. Not to mention it’s rare (and often requires years of persistence) to publish with a large publisher who gets your book on shelves.

3) “It’s clear when a book is good or bad.” Reading is so subjective! What one reader loves, another hates. Regarding one of my brash heroes, one reviewer said, “Where can I get a Dane in my life?” whereas another said, “Dane is the WORST hero I have ever read about.” I felt proud of the writing in my latest release–too bad it has been my worst seller. Considering the subjectivity and flooded market, we need to write the stories in our hearts instead of wondering what readers will like or buy.

One common thread through all of my pitfalls is expectations. I wish I could quiet my planner brain and live more in the present. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but one friend described it as “letting go of expectations”. Sounds like a good way to live and write.

#IWSG July #GOALS

Whoops I hope I’m not too late (only one day?) to post for the Insecure Writers Support Group, July version. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the group–join us here!


I’m in Hilton Head with my seven-month old niece, whose cuteness supersedes any blog schedule in my mind.


Hop on over to this month’s awesome co-hosts!

Co-Hosts
Nicki Elson


Now onto this month’s question:


What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time?

Writing started as a need to express myself, and I got lost in the characters and stories I created. Over time, more goals emerged, including the desire to inspire hope for healing and demystifying psychotherapy as one path for that healing. Another big goal has been connecting with authors and readers.

As a psychologist, I often encourage clients to focus on the process instead of the outcome. But since I’m a competitive person, I get drawn into outcome goals: sales and reviews. I wish I didn’t care as much about those, because outcome goals sometimes interfere with my enjoyment of the process. (Though a great review can sure inspire the process!)

I’m still on a writing hiatus so for now my goal is to enjoy friends and family on the weekends.

What are your #goals?

#IWSG Writing Funk and Title Trouble

I love summer! I was so absorbed in summer goodness that I forgot to post for June’s Insecure Writers Support Group yesterday, whoops.


Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for his clever creation. Join us here.

I haven’t written for six months and I’m wondering if my writing mojo will return. But I do still enjoy supporting fellow authors like Ellen Jacobson from The Cynical Sailor! Her cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina, is a cute hoot, and I’ll post my review on 6/22/18.

IWSG June Question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?


I gotta go with titles. I agonized over the title of my last novel though in the end it probably didn’t matter much. For the most part I have a blast drumming up character names. I don’t have children so the characters are my babies I get to name and hold and pet.

Make sure to visit these stellar co-hosts!

Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

#IWSG Inspringration

Welcome to May’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. It’s a great place to vent fears and encourage each other.


Make sure to visit May’s Co-Hosts:

May’s Question: It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Thank goodness spring has sprung. These cold, cloudy days have been major downers. The longer daylight in spring often motivates many aspects of my life, including writing. 

I’m also inspired by different types of artists. Is anyone watching American Idol? I’m amazed by how much I enjoy the new season. Besides writing, creative pursuits like singing, cooking (in Chopped), and fashion design (in Project Runway) enthrall me.

Here’s a post that might interest you: Seven Ways to Build Your Writing Confidence.

Happy writing!

THE REHABILITATION OF ANGEL SINCLAIR by @Nancee_Cain #newrelease #romance #5starreview

Title: The Rehabilitation of Angel Sinclair
Series: A Pine Bluff Novel
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 27, 2018

Angel Sinclair arrives in Pine Bluff, Alabama with one goal: make amends and move on. But his chance meeting with the beautiful owner of Sleep Inn on the Lake lands him a job, a place to stay, and something else he hasn’t had for years in his life: love and trust.
Still reeling from a bitter divorce, Maggie Robertson is determined to start over as proprietress of a new bed and breakfast. Getting involved with anyone in this gossipy small town is not on her to-do list–especially someone closer to her son’s age than her own.
When she opens the door to find the dreadlocked and tattooed Angel on her porch, her quiet life and preconceived notions are turned upside down. Maggie’s self-confidence soars under his undivided attention. Angel is drawn by Maggie’s quiet acceptance…and he can’t stop staring at her ass.
But Angel’s fondness for Maggie’s company is topped only by his penchant for keeping secrets, which leads Maggie to wonder if she has it wrong. Perhaps age differences do matter, opposites should not be allowed to attract, and love does not conquer all–even if it’s written on the wall.

Here’s my 5-star review!

The Rehabilitation of Angel Sinclair (A Pine Bluff Novel, #3)The Rehabilitation of Angel Sinclair by Nancee Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Homeless Addict Woos Insecure Divorcee: Who’s Rehabilitating Who?

Recovering heroin addict, Angel, walks into Pine Bluff, Alabama to meet up with an old friend. But what he finds on his journey is a new romantic partner, Maggie. In this lovely addition to the Pine Bluff series, Angel and Maggie rehabilitate each other.

Nancee Cain’s experience in the addiction field shines through in this story. Angel’s family problems and resulting low self-worth are heartbreaking. His mother’s eating disorder and his father’s cold criticism contributed to his risk for addiction. When Angel first meets Maggie and she questions if he has stolen from her, his hangdog resignation made me cry. But Maggie looks beneath his hopeless, scruffy facade to see his inner strength and talent.

I have trouble understanding the attraction young women have for much older men, but I find the age difference between Angel and Maggie to be refreshing. Fourteen years older than Angel, Maggie dances to Rick James’ “Super Freak” and bakes delicious goodies as she tries to get her bed and breakfast off the ground. Angel helps her mission by becoming her handyman, and boy is he ever handy. Although Angel is wise beyond his years, he enjoys professing himself as her boy toy.

At first, Maggie believes that Angel’s friend, Emma, is his girlfriend, turning her green with envy:

Maybe she’d break one of her long, Barbie legs. Maggie didn’t wish her anything too serious or harmful, just a fracture that would leave her totally immobilized. She’d even make her a cake and wish her a speedy recovery. Then, with luck, this Emma would gain thirty pounds.

Angel is a masterful artist and his guestbook full of sketches of scenes from around the inn is quite the thoughtful gift he gives to Maggie. I’m such a rule follower that Angel’s secret habit of spray-painting graffiti made me uncomfortable, but his “writing” has realistic consequences.

Like most women, Maggie has negative body image, which frustrates Angel.

“Maggie, when will you believe me when I say you’re beautiful?”

“I’m not twenty-five,” she replied. “I need to lose ten pounds–“

“Hush.”

He placed a hand over her mouth. “Don’t talk about the woman I’m crazy about like that. It pisses me off, because she’s perfect as is.”

It’s like Angel is the first man to really see Maggie, as a smart, competent, sexy woman. Maybe Maggie can grow to see herself that way as well?

“Maggie? Who takes care of you?”

“Me?” She pulled away. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“I bet you took care of your dad. I know you catered to Brian and Phillip. Who has ever taken care of you?”

“I’m f-fine. I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can. But what if I want to take care of you? Would you trust me enough to let me?”

Wow, every woman needs an Angel in her life. Maggie is drawn to caring for Angel’s wounded soul, and Angel is drawn to building Maggie’s faltering confidence, but both realize that they have to be whole in their own right to make this romance work.

We get to meet the hero of the next book in the series: Angel’s estranged older brother, Damien. Damien is a ruthless attorney who likes to play violin on the roof (in particular, one of my favorite songs–“Meditation” from Thais). Damien tries to dissuade Maggie from loving his addict brother, but Maggie tells him off. I look forward to learning more about this complex character and his future love interest!

Each unique story in this series gets stronger and deeper. Highly recommended!

View all my reviews

During the day, Nancee works as a counselor/nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)
HOSTED BY:

#IWSG Set Fire to the Rain

Happy spring, writers! Join us as we vent and cheer at the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh.


Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


IWSG Day Question: 


When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

This is a timely question for me because it feels like fog has rolled into my writing life. I haven’t written since December of 2017. I’m not upset about it–I just don’t have ideas for new stories whispering in my ear. So I’m not digging down deep for now, but that’s okay with me.

Instead of writing, I’ve enjoyed hanging with my friends and family on the weekends. I visited one sister (along with my 4-month-old niece) in South Carolina in March, and I’ll visit my other sister (and three nephews) in Chicago in April. 

I also found time to assemble Pinterest recipes for Easter, each with only 3 ingredients:





I look forward to learning how you respond to the rain.