#IWSG June 2017: New Adventures, Counting Blessings, Blog Break, & Can’t Quit

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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: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve never said I’d quit writing once I started and really understood what I was doing and how much it was a part of me. I have thought about saying “I quit” to blogging from time to time, but that’s usually due to me feeling like I never have enough time. Even if I decided at some point not to pursue publication anymore, I don’t think I would ever stop writing.

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Now for some personal and professional updates. 1) I’m taking a one month break from this blog to regroup my focus and put some work into another project. I need to get my head together so my posts will go back to being regular and consistent.

2) I recently shared a few blessings on social media that I’d like to share here now. Over the Memorial Day weekend, here in the US, I did not run any kind of a book promotion, but I still managed to get a spike in my Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel sales. A few days after I realized this nice blessing, I got a fan email from a woman who bought my romcom, It’s Like the Full Moon, at a local Con and loved it. It made my week.

3) New adventures abound for me. I’m working to develop a new blog community, but it’s not what I think other people think it is. I don’t want this blog to be competition for other book blogs and I don’t want to do this all by myself. My hope is to create a collaboration that helps bring indie books mainstream.

As blog admin for the Reading Indie blog, I want to:
-create a list of other book and author blogs to help readers find the kinds of books they are interested in.
-promote books even if they aren’t free or discounted and show readers that authors are people too.
-give authors an outlet to build up their SEO with guest posts, interviews, and creative link backs.
-create a gift box prize that intrigues readers into wanting to know more or experience more that indie has to offer.

4) My adventures don’t stop there. I’m attempting to plan two blog events for the Reading Indie blog:
-one for Indie Pride Day (July 1st I believe). Would you like to be featured in a book promo video?
-one for International Authors Day (July 14th). Would you like to do a blog swap promo?

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So, ever thought about saying, “I quit” to writing?
Thinking about taking a blogging break anytime soon?
Wish me luck for my Reading Indie adventures? :/

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
JH Moncrieff,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
Jen Chandler,
Megan Morgan, 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 #64).

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

Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears #WEPFF Challenge No. 2 featuring Dolls & Eternal Curse Series #amwriting #amreading #movie

Well, I’d like to start off by saying, Happy Birthday to Me! That’s right. I’m the big 3 5 today and not ashamed one bit. Reaching 35 years of age unscathed, non-committed, non-incarcerated, and non-impoverished is something to be happy and proud about. I am blessed to have lived another year, simply put.

Now let’s talk about childhood fears…

When I was a kid (and let’s be honest, even now sometimes) I collected stuffed animals and toys. I wasn’t much into dolls, but where my sister had Barbie I had G.I. Joe. I did, however, love teddy bears. One year for my sister’s birthday, my parents decided she could have a sleepover and pick out three movies to watch, and one could be something none G or PG as long as they approved it first. I still to this day don’t know how she got this movie passed them, but I think it had something to do with the title.

Now at that time, I was nine years old (turning 10 in four months) and my sister was turning 12. She picked this movie thinking it would be corny and not really scary. Ha. I was the only one out of her bunch of friends to actually finish watching it, which I still regret to this day. I wasn’t even supposed to be at the party, not that I wasn’t invited, but I wasn’t interested in all the girly stuff that happened before the movie watching began. In a rare instance of kindness, back then (she’s lovely now), my sister gathered me from my room to watch the movies because she knew how much I enjoyed films; even at that age I knew more trivia than all the adults around me.

So, what all this boils down to is that after watching the movie, I realized that I needed to find a place to sleep. My room was out of the question. Every toy and doll in that freakish scary movie was in my bedroom along with dozens more. I’m pretty sure I remember waking up in the bathroom tub to the sound of my mom yelling, “What did you do to your sister?”

I’ve watched this movie since and it’s not nearly as scary, but still very creepy … Who makes these movies!

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I find dreams to be nerve-wracking sometimes. When it’s a good dream you don’t want to wake up from it and when it’s a bad dream that’s all you want to do. I don’t throw around the word hate a lot, but I hate it when I’m having a bad dream and I can’t wake up from it, even though I know it’s not real. I can’t stand that sense of helplessness, of not being able to do anything about my situation. It’s like being mugged or trapped. That’s my adult fear and I used that idea to write the following passage. Not sure if I quite captured the sense of desperation I wanted.

Looking for general feedback here. Even though this piece has been published, the beauty of self-publishing is that I can update my work anytime I choose. 😉

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     He looked down toward the ground and saw an attractive young woman carrying a large pail into a barn. Her skin was freckled and pale, and she had rosy cheeks. Her hair was long and straight, and it was black like the night. She seemed so familiar to him, but he didn’t know her. Giovanni watched as the young woman filled feeding troughs with water to be cleaned. As she reached for a scrubbing brush, Giovanni could see that someone or something was following her. He sensed that trouble was on the way. He tried to call out to her, but she could not hear him. His voice made no sound. Giovanni left the tree and swooped down to the ground to achieve a closer look.

     There he saw a creeping perpetrator bouncing from beam to beam in the rafters of the barn. Drool slipped from the monster’s mouth while it hovered over the unknowing young woman. Giovanni tried to fly up to see this fiendish stalker, but he couldn’t lift his feet off the ground, and his wings would not flap. Giovanni knew something bad would happen, he could feel it in his heart, but it seemed he could do nothing to stop it. He did not understand. Why was this happening? How could he appear to be so powerful, be so angelic, and not be able to help someone in need?

     Giovanni refused to give up his pursuit. He pushed his body forward and moved from door to door, and window to window, trying to get in to warn and protect the young woman. Looking through a window, Giovanni finally saw the villain’s full horror. He established a clear vision of the attacker as it leaped down from the ceiling toward the woman. It was the most hideous monster he’d ever seen, much worse than his own reflection.

     A twisted and mangled troll with charcoal for skin on a hairless body stalked about. It had empty holes carved out of its skull where eyes once were. There were two large dull spikes protruding from its hunched back, where it looked as though wings had been violently ripped from its body. Its hands were made of jagged bones held together with rotting ligaments, and its feet crackled as it moved along the floor.

     In the troll’s hands were two long golden rods that whipped back and forth almost like lassos. Each rod was attached to the end of a large iron spike that punched through the shoulders of a young man’s dying body. The rods held up the young man’s body as though he were a puppet being pulled by strings. To the young woman, however, the troll simply appeared as a shadowy figure lingering around the painfully disturbed and ailing young man moving toward her.

     The troll maneuvered the young man’s body around the girl for attack, delivering blow after blow.  The monster had taken over this young man’s body; it was using him as a weapon to attack this poor girl for what seemed to be the sheer enjoyment of it. It laughed a loud cackle as it threw the girl down to the ground, tearing her raggedy dress. Giovanni could see the girl’s anguish and could hear her screams. Throbbing empathetic pain consumed him in every place the girl was struck, but Giovanni could do nothing to stop it.

     Giovanni began to cry out, weeping and sobbing. He tried to look away and he tried to get away, but he couldn’t. That’s when it began to happen. He became consumed with anger and hatred. Giovanni’s body grew hot and began to sizzle. Smoke and steam began to rise up from his body as his wondrous glow began to fade and he became shrouded in darkness. Everything around him began to catch fire as he began morphing into anger. The smell of burning wood and flesh assaulted his tortured senses and Giovanni knew he was changing.

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel 4th Ed. Copyright © 2015 Toinette Thomas

Since it’s my birthday and it’s the season of spooky, the EC: Giovanni’s Angel ebook will be on sale for 99₵ the next few days. Check it out if interested and be sure to visit other stops on this challenge hop.

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

Sample Sunday 87: GIOVANNI’S ANGEL

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Here is approximately 100 – 150 words from a randomly selected original piece for your enjoyment. These samples can include excerpts from my all my WIPs and my Eternal Curse Series, but only as works in progress (not the final products). These samples of published and unpublished works are protected under the U.S. Copyright agreement.

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel chapter 8.2 (wip)

Back when I thought we would be married, I allowed him to become a partner in some of my business endeavors. My research foundation exists as two distinct entities. One focuses on the study of the human condition, to which my private practice is managed under, and the other is unlimited in its ambitions.

My ex is trying to shut me out of, at least part of, my own company. He’s trying to conduct tests that go well beyond the guidelines of proper human research set forth by every major intellectual mind in the past century. He wants to use my resources to justify and perform his experiments. The thing that bothers me most, is that I don’t think he’s even that dedicated to his psychotic pursuits. I mostly think he’s angry at the world and he’s angry with me. He’s trying to hurt me for leaving him.

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

Character Files from the ToiBox 100: Michael-Quote(s)

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Favorite Quotes: Subject EC:B 5-Michael

“Oh…oh wow Mr. Kingston. You can’t go out like that sir.”

“…I know I’ll never be able to outshine grandpa Leo’s shadow, but I will do everything I can to be there for you and your family, and not only because of how I feel for you…”

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

Character Files from the ToiBox 99: Lilly-Quote(s)

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Favorite Quotes: Subject EC:B 4-Lilly

“You’re so like your father, with smooth cold skin, and always giving me a tingle down my spine. You look the same as you did all those years ago, but then that’s just how you are.”

“It’s not too late to change your mind dear. No one here would blame you if you did.”

“…I mean, I went from being spoiled, to being depressed, to being hunted by the Unit, to being well adjusted. I can’t complain about any of it. I’ve been too blessed.”

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