Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it hereCelebrateSmallThings_Badge

It’s the Weekend! And I’m happy to be celebrating some exciting and fun things, like —

1.  A fantastic review from the Booklife Prize in Fiction! The reviewer said:

“MacLaughlin’s plot is exciting, fast-paced, and full of surprises. From detailed maps of the fantasy world to the overall magical mystery, MacLaughlin’s work possesses the charm of the work of Holly Black and Neil Gaiman, and the supernatural and whimsical elements evident in such worlds as C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. The Road Once Taken is titillating and terrifying, an enchanting novel that straddles the line between the fantasy and mystery genres.”

I may not win the actual Booklife prize, but the review is enough of a prize for me.

2.  I started writing Book 4! One chapter down, many more to go. This isn’t the book I’m supposed to be working on, but it’s the story that’s loudest in my head right now.

3.  Drive-in movies! Last summer, my family and I rediscovered drive-in movies. I used to go to them when I was a kid. They were a lot of fun. Last night, we went to see Christopher Robin at the Sunset Drive-in. Very cute family friendly movie. From where I was sitting in the driver’s seat, I actually could see all four movie screens — Christopher Robin in front, The Meg and Incredibles 2 out the side window, and occasional glances at The Spy Who Dumped Me in my side mirror. It was great.

4.  A fun trip to a waterpark! Swimming and sliding and just cooling off. It was sooo nice after all the hot weather we’ve had.

What other celebrations are going on out there?





© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2018. All rights reserved.

IWSG — The Fleetingness of Summer

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it hereinsecure-writers-support-group-badge

I had writing plans for this summer. Not big ones, but small ones I thought would be doable. I’d market my new book and get started on my next one. I’d get back into blogging. As I’m turning the page from July to August, I’m realizing the summer is nearly over and I’ve hardly accomplished any of the things I’d wanted to. This will be my second blog post since last year, so there’s a tiny bit of progress. I just need to build on it.

The idea was to continue to get up early over the summer and use that time to write before having to go to work. That doesn’t work well, though, unless I go to bed early enough to still get 7-8 hours’ sleep. A foggy brain does not a good writer make. It was a great plan, in theory. But I can’t believe how hard it is to make myself go to bed early. Between after-dinner family time and doing what needs to be done, it’s 10:30 – 11:00 PM before I know it.

So my insecurity for this month is that I won’t be able to turn my schedule around, salvage the summer, and at least get my next book started. Can I do it? We’ll see. Wish me luck!

The ISWG question for this month is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I think the biggest pitfall for an independent/self-published writer would be to not go the extra mile to put out a quality product. Professional editing, proofreading, and a professionally designed book cover are essential if a writer wants to be taken seriously. It’s the only way self-publishing will lose its stigma of being inferior to traditional publishing. Self-pubbing has come a long way, and we need to keep it moving forward.




© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2018. All rights reserved.