#IWSG January 2018: Schedules, Blog Fests, eBooks, oh my!

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I’ve written and blogged on a rotating schedule for years. Of course, that means I’ve started schedules I haven’t stuck too. This year I’m keeping things simple. I have an extremely small window of my day not devoted to sleep, my day job, or basic life functions. It’s between 4:30 and 9:00 on weekdays and Saturday. I don’t count Sunday because it’s my day of rest. If I happen to do some writing that day, it’s a blessing and or task from God. Outside of my brief window, I’m not going to stress about writing or blogging. I either get to it or I don’t.

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Now on to the personal updates (you know, year-end stuff).

I read 56 books last year and reviewed 54 of them.  Two of them aren’t currently listed online to be reviewed, but I’ll get to them eventually. I surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I said good-bye to Reading Indie and hello to A Small Gang of Authors, to which I’m currently working on a blog series on music and writing.

I totally dropped the ball on my YouTube channel, but I’ll give it another go this year.

I’m taking my writing in a new direction which caused me to put a halt to all my active WIPs. We’ll see how things go with my new direction before I give any updates on that.

Lastly, I’m currently about to finish The Weekend Novelist for the IWSG Book Club. Looking forward to our discussion.

Well, that’s enough about me. Here’s some cool stuff to check out.

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Flaming Crimes Blogfest

Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

After making sure my husband, dog Margie, and tortoise Betty were safe, I’d probably go back inside to save my favorite vinyl records, comic books, and my Kindle. I’d also try to grab personal editions of books I wrote along with some of the art work my husband has produced.

CLICK this image to see my review!

Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304
Digital Price: 4.99
Print Price: 16.99
Author Rating: Spicy (PG13)

BUY LINKS:
Amazon Barnes & Noble
The Wild Rose Press

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could’ve been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they’re trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:
Website / Blog / Goodreads
Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Before you check out some other stops on this blog fest, be sure to scroll down and read below, for another tasty treat.

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Electric‘ because they are ebooks.
Eclectic‘ for the various styles, genres and authors who write them.
And ‘Novelettes‘ as not to mislead readers they are anything other than short, sample books; introductory books to new authors and new genres.

Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors in the world, each Electric Eclectic Novelette delivers wonderful and entertaining storytelling to a high standard.

People searching for their ‘next favourite read’ can rest assured in the knowledge that Electric Eclectic Novelettes have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring the stories meet or exacting standards.

This means you do not need to read through a bunch of ‘hookey’ or substandard books, or spend out on a random book hoping you will enjoy its content.

With each Electric Eclectic book costing, just 1.00 (dollar/euro/pound), it is a small price to pay to ensure a thoroughly entertaining read and an introduction to your next ‘favorite’ author.

Once you have found the right style of stories, the ones you love, you will have found your next favourite author and can start to work your way through their full-length books and novels knowing you will thoroughly enjoy their writing.

Download a handful of Electric Eclectic Novelettes and give yourself a literary treat?

What is more, Electric Eclectic Novelettes are easy to find.

The first way is to visit the Electric Eclectic website where all the Novelettes are shown, along with author insights and links to their personal books and pages.

The second is to go to Amazon books and type ‘Electric Eclectic books’ into the search bar. (In the USA you will need the Amazon.com Kindle search page.)

Alternatively, if you are on Amazon.co.uk you can follow this link: http://amzn.to/2BnYe7u

Website link: https://goo.gl/q2zwTS (This site is available to view, but not fully functional or edited. Estimated date of completion Mid-January 2018)

Email: EEbookbranding@mail.com

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Are you going to try a schedule for your writing this year?

What are you grabbing on the way out of your burning house?

Interested in Electric Electic Novelettes?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tyrean Martinson,
The Cynical Sailor,
Megan Morgan,
Rachna Chhabria, and
Jennifer Lane!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #57).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG December 2017: A do-over or a fresh start?

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

To say that I tried a lot of new things this year would be a huge understatement. This has been a monotonous year. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t very good either. The two good things to come out of the new things I tried have been the IWSG Book Club and my new blog friends over at A Small Gang of Authors.

If I was to do something differently, I think I would have said no more often and been more selfish. I’m all the time trying to help others, and I realize now that no one wants my help, and that’s okay. There are those who want to work with me and I’m happy to work with those people. I’m not going to stop being a decent person, but I’m not going to continue slaving away silently in the background while other people gang up on me and point the finger when things don’t go the way they want. I can only do what I can do, and pleasing people isn’t something I’ve ever been good at, so it’s time I stopped. If I do what I think is right and people are pleased with it, great; if not, oh well. I did my best.

In 2018, I’ll be more selfish and less involved, but I’ll never turn my back on anyone who’s truly in need.

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No personal updates this time.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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What would you have done differently in 2017?
Is there anything you’re letting go of or embracing in the new year?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Julie Flanders,
Shannon Lawrence,
Fundy Blue, and
Heather Gardner!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #58).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG November 2017: No #NaNoWriMo for me ‘cause I’m stuck in a rut.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I’ve never attempted NaNo simply because I know it’s not a format that suits me, though I’ve heard it’s done wonders for other writers. The idea of trying to force 50k words in 30 days stresses me out. That’s not to say I haven’t done it before, but when it just happens, naturally, over a weekend with little sleep and lots of caffeine, it’s great. Outside of that, I’ll stick with my meager word counts and finish when I finish.

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Now on to the personal updates.

I think I’m stuck in a rut. Not sure how I got here or how to get out. I feel so… blah. I’m behind on writing book reviews and updating my vlog, though I’ve had time to do both. I think a lot of it has to do with the dissatisfaction of my day job and my growing desire to stop sharing my writing. I absolutely do not want to stop writing, I just don’t know if I want to keep sharing what I write. I don’t think anyone would really miss my words if they were no longer there, and I’d be content to just write them for myself. IDK. Perhaps if I had a few close friends who enjoyed reading and or writing it would be different, but since I don’t, all my writing feels like a solitary act. So, why not just keep it to myself?

Then there’s blogging. Not sure about this at the moment either, at least where to do it that is. I still enjoy blogging even if it does take up a lot of my time. Right now, I’m challenged with how often I should blog here, at The ToiBox of Words. Since I’ve started contributing to A Small Gang of Authors, and might start contributing to another blog (assuming I ever submit something they actually like), I been wondering if and how much of my presence is still desired here? Again, IDK. No matter what, I’ll always do this hop here and The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, as long as they are running.

In any case, if you’re up for it, check out this Halloween post that went up yesterday and this part 2 of my Angel Lore series that went up today.

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Are you doing NaNo? Why?
Are you stuck in a rut? Any ideas on how to get out?
Should I continue posting once a week or stick with my two hops only?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tonja Drecker,
Diane Burton,
MJ Fifield, and
Rebecca Douglass!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #58).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Bridges #WEPFF Challenge No. 5 featuring unknown title #amwriting #flashfiction

So, I’m on vacation and totally forgot to schedule this post. Also, I started working on it a few days ago and then forgot about it being too busy celebrating birthday month and working on a new blog project. This piece is unfinished and unpolished. My plan is to turn the segments into journal entries, but as you can see, I have a long way to go.

Well, all in all, I don’t think this is my worst work, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I look forward to seeing the other entries and thank Denise Covey and Yolanda Renée for yet, another, great challenge.

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Unknown Title

Figie’s all the time going on about things as if he knows what he’s saying, but everyone knows he just hears things and repeats’em. I guess this time around, Figie heard something that no one wanted him to go around repeat’n.

So, here we are, running for our lives. Well, he’s running for his life and I’m trying to help’em, but as soon as others realize I’m help’n em, I’ll too be on the run. Been traveling by night and hold’n up during the day. Too many folks round here so dependent on solar power that life pretty much comes to a standstill come night fall. Sure folks use lunar power a bit, but none bother much to go out when everything inside is all lit up like it’s still daytime.

I hoarded a bunch of portable recharging batteries a few years back in case I ever decided to leave town and do some adventure walk’n. Folks just don’t adventure walk like they used to. I member people laughing at me for wasting space on old tech that probably wouldn’t work, but who’s laugh’n now?

I’m pretty much doing everything on my own to keep me and Figie alive. He’s a complete wreck; shake’n and twitch’n all the time. Spect’n someone to come punch’n out of the dark and kill’em in his tracks. Crazy thing is, after explain’n the situation, Figie hasn’t said another word. I have no idea what he heard that’s got folks com’n after’em.

Soon well be reach’n Pillar Peak. I figure, we could hold up there for a good while. One way up, no way down, and too cold for most to live. With us charging our batteries during the day and keeping a fire going all the time, we should be able to get by.

Food shouldn’t be a problem wit the way the fowls dip and dive all around. Most times you can’t even see the exact point of Pillar Peak ‘cause of all the swarm’n fowl. Wit the collapsible dome we been using for shelter and my skills with a sling, we’ll be just fine for a while.

Well, it’s been a full Lunar since we bunkered at Pillar Peak and not a soul’s come look’n for us. I’m thinking maybe Figie’s done lost it. It was fun for a while. Got to go on that adventure walk I always been talk’n bout, but now what. Just catch’n fowl, keep’n the fire, and sleep’n. Tonight Figie’s gonna tell me what this is all about or I’m break’n camp and head’n back wit or wit out’em.

Holy walk’n spirits are we in a terrible mash. No one’s come look’n yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Stupid Figie, hang’n around gathering other folks knowledge instead of learn’n his own. What a fool. To think he once had me believe’n you didn’t need to bother wit read’n and learn’n if you just pay attention to other folk. “Other folk,” he’d say, “they’ll teach ya e’er thing ya need to know, if ya just listen and be patient.” So, what happens when you learn something you don’t want to know… I’ll tell ya. You run for your life.

Stupid Figie. Hanging around the High Lord Scholars, all the time trying to sound smarter than anybody would believe him to be, found out where the Bridge is. Heck, he found out that it’s actually real. I mean, no one goes looking for the Bridge no matter how much wonder and power might be instore, ‘cause no one actually thinks it’s real. But foo on me, it’s real and Figie knows where it is. And they know he knows.

Now I’m twitch’n day and night just like Figie. He’s at least come back to his senses a bit and his help’n out. We’re alternating sentry duties. I’m still hunting all the grub, but he’s cook’n it and clean’n up after. Don’t really matter. Our nerves are so on edge, every pound we put on, we shake off in nerves. We won’t make it to the frost season; not up here. We gonna have to leave, but that’ll probably get us caught and killed. Seems no matter what we do or don’t do, we’re head’n to the Endless Ferry.

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714 WIP- unkown title 2017 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas
Seeking full critique.



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction

Surprise, surprise, I waited to the last minute, but here it is. Hope you like it.

He Knew It; I Knew It

No one saw what happened, but I did.

He knows I saw, but he doesn’t care. He knows I have no voice and he knows about my spells. He knows no one would believe me even if they did take the time read my handwritten statement with is childlike lettering.

I can’t help being what I am. I was born this way. I can’t help that sleep doesn’t always come so easy for me. And I can’t help that I was out digging for worms to put in my tank the night Larry turned dangerous.

It had just stopped raining and the ground was soft and sponging. The perfect time to pluck out worms, causing them little harm, and the perfect time to drag a body around. One sweep of the garden hose and the evidence would disappear with all the other mud and leaves that the rain washed away.

I tried to hide myself as he passed by, huffing and straining against the heft of the body. He never would have seen me had I remained behind the bush, but something caught my eye and I could ignore it. I ran out and scooped it up. That’s when he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to my feet.

Tears ran down my face and my fists clenched in agony. When looked into my eyes and saw my silent scream, he dared to chuckle, but quickly silenced himself. He dropped me to the ground. “No one can hear your scream, stupid mute girl. No one will come to your rescue if I end you right here.”

I curled in the fetal position and protected my jar of worms from the point of his boot. Vomit spewed from my mouth when the blow hit my stomach. He ran for the hose and sprayed the evidence away, dousing me just for fun.

He walked to put the hose away as I rocked in my cradle of protection, hoping this was the end of my pain. Hoping that he’d simply kill me or leave me there to pass out. When I heard birds chirping and sensed a brightness behind my lids, I knew he’d spared me.

I opened my eyes to let the sun burn away my sleepiness. I could hear the morning nurse, Samone, screaming for help as her heavy feet thudded toward me. “Oh Clara. Oh Clara, what are you doing out here? Are you hurt? You’ll catch your death.”

She tossed a blanket over me and rubbed my head. Soon Terence followed and scooped me up. “What happened Miss Samone?”

“I don’t know. Looks like she was collecting worms again.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t on duty last night.” Terence winked at me and slowed his pace as he turned a corner, so as not to bang my head. “I never would have let this happened if I had been.”

Samone was livid. “Don’t know if you could have stopped her. This one is stubborn. Seems the harder I try to keep her safe, the more harm she causes herself.”

Terence placed me down on a cot and two more nurses rushed in to tend to my cleaning and injuries. One of them called out, “Go get her note pad. See if she can tell us what happened.”

Terence began to step out of the room, but I kicked my feet and shook my head. I stared at him, willing him to look my way. He paused a moment, leaning his head as if baffled by my sudden outburst. Then he looked me in the eyes.

I blinked as fast as I could and extended the jar still wrapped in my arms. Terence smiled at me and stepped forward. “It’s okay Clara. I’ll put them in your room.” He slid the jar out of my hand and I exhaled. “Get better so you can take care of these little guys.”

After Terence left, a note pad was shoved into my hands as my soiled clothes were ripped away and warm soapy water washed across my skin. Samone grasped my hand, “Clara, tell us what happened.” Despite her strict rules and military-like marching about, Samone really did care about each and every one of her patients. I hated to see her so worried over me. I was happy to tell her exactly what had happened, but then he walked past the exam room.

He stood there, outside the window, with a broom in his hand pretending to clean the floors. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. I flinched and kicked my feet again. Samone became agitated with not having the answers she sought. Leaving the other nurses to finish my clean up, she ran out the room and retuned shortly with a needle. It was time for me to calm down whether I want to or not.

After I was calm and fully treated, Samone asked me again what happened. Again he was there, outside the window of my room. Surely his shift was over. Did no one else wonder why the Larry, the night custodian was still hanging around? Under his scrutiny, I couldn’t tell the truth.

I wrote slowly, “I fell on the ground and hit a rock.”

Samone rubbed my head, clearly blinking to hold back tears. “You were collecting worms, weren’t you?”

I shook my head.

“Why, why do that alone in the middle of the night? What if you had an episode and suffocated in the mud?”

I nodded my head, “I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.”

After a while, Samone left me to attend to other patients. Larry walked by my room few more times that day before finally heading home. A week went by and Larry was starting to act smug, no doubt thinking no one would ever find out. None of the other nurses or staff could explain why Gail had stopped coming to work, but she was new and they all agreed that this wasn’t the right job for every nurse.

One Saturday afternoon I convinced Terence to play cards with me in the kitchen. We programmed my communication board to say ‘go fish’ and “you got any…”, then all I had to do is hold up the card I wanted. Terence and I had played the game a lot and figured a single suit of cards for me to use as choice options was the best way to go.

As we played, Ron the handy man came through to fix one of the drawers that had gotten stuck at some point during the week. It held all the specialty utensils for grilling, and with family day coming up, we’d surely need those.

Only partially paying attention to my game, I watched Ron out the corner of the eyes as he banged on the drawer trying to loosen it. Finally, the drawer snapped out and fell to the floor with a crash. Then Ron yelp.

“Oh my God!”

Terence was already on his feet, standing in front of me protectively. “What it is Ron?”

“Look what’s in the back of the drawer.”

Terence patted my shoulder and then stepped toward the drawer. Just then Samone and Larry came rushing in from the hallway, each just starting their evening shift. There it was; even with the sparkly new engagement ring missing, the moon shaped birthmark gave it away.

Terence yelled, “I think it’s Gail’s finger. Gail’s finger is in the back of the drawer.”

Samone covered her mouth and gasped. She blinked a few times and then pulled out her cell phone. “I’m calling the cops. I hope no one here has anything to hide.”

Larry stared daggers into the back of my head, but I didn’t bother turning around to look at him. He knew I’d done it; just like I knew he’d done it.

1306 words – He Knew It; I Knew It © Toinette J. Thomas 2017



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords