Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Frozen Crimes Blog Hop with Chrys Fey

Writers helping writers. This is how life should be. We should help each other when we can. It is a privilege to help Chrys Fey with her new book launch and blog hop. 

Frozen Crimes Blog Hop Prompt: Whom would you want to be stuck with during a blizzard, and what would you do? 

Oooo! A blizzard. Yep! It’s true. I love snow. As long as I don’t have to drive in it. 

We must have all the needed amenities of course:

a warm fire

running water

plenty of delicious food prepared by an expert chef

dark chocolate. 

Okay, so maybe chocolate isn’t considered a “needed” amenity for you, but it sure is for me. 

Now we’re not permitted to use family, so whom should I be stuck inside with during a blizzard? 

I’m always looking for peace and quiet and uninterrupted writing time with my family of seven always around. 

Maybe I should be stuck inside with Jennie Nash of Author Accelerator. But in order to have her undivided attention, the internet must be down. She is an extremely successful Book Coach and I want her to focus on me and my college memoir. She’s from Santa Barbara, so she probably wouldn’t like to go out in the snow anyway. We’d have that expert chef and plenty of chocolate to keep our energy up. And someone to keep the fire going. A fresh pot of hot tea and some scones. Hmm … this sounds good to me. What do you think?      

Hop around to the other participants to read their answers: FrozenCrimes Blog Hop   

When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?



BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes



The crunch of the shovel pounding into the snow and ice filled his ears. It was all he could hear. The rest of the street was silent beneath its wintry blanket. Breathing was difficult with the icy air clogging his lungs. His nose burned. His throat was dry and on fire. But he ignored it, focusing on his task.

Crack, crack, crack.

He jabbed the shovel into a hunk of snow. On the third hit, it shattered into several pieces. He scooped them up and flung them to the side. He surveyed what remained. There was one big ball in the middle of the path that needed to be dealt with next. He moved over to it and struck it. That one impact had it severing in two. He was about to hit it again when something crashed into the back of his head.

Explosions of white light danced over his vision. Pain enveloped his skull.

The shovel slipped from his fingers. Blackness cloaked his mind, coaxing him into its depths.

Beth. Her name was a whisper in his head, as if his thoughts were being sucked into a wormhole.

His legs collapsed under his weight.

Cold. It seeped into him, consuming him. And then his consciousness fled down that same void that ate his thoughts.





Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)


Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am EST






To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!




Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Imposter Syndrome in Fiction or Memoir #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Imposter Syndrome. Is it real or not? I’d love to hear your take on this topic. However, for this #AuthorToolboxBlogHop post, I’d like to focus on making it real for your story. An author’s job is to make his or her story world and characters real to the reader, whether fiction or memoir

Let’s begin with a definition. defines Imposter Syndrome as:

anxiety or self-doubt that results from persistently undervaluing one’s competence and active role in achieving success, while falsely attributing one's accomplishments to luck or other external forces. 

I don’t know about you, but in some instances, this defines me. Inferiority grabbed ahold of me and hung on with both hands for most of my college journey—especially at the University of Pennsylvania. I couldn’t get past the fact that I lacked the foundation the other students received to prepare for the Ivy League. I felt I got lucky receiving the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship to attend Penn. This brings on the feeling of being a “fake” IL student; the “oh-my-gosh what if they find out I’m not as smart as the other students” feeling. This is what I’m getting as part of the Imposter Syndrome. 

I’ve talked about Character Arcs and the need for progression of the character in the story before in an Author Toolbox post. You can read it here

To make our characters believable with whatever syndrome we want to give them, we need to look closely at the character as a whole person. We need to know what goes on in his life, on the outside, yes, but also what it means to him on the inside, why he feels so strongly about what is happening. Again, it’s the why of the story. Why does what happens on the outside of the character, the plot, matter to the character personally? Story is about how what happens in the plot affects one specific person—our protagonist. 

We can give our protagonist all sorts of disorders and problems. But we need to thoroughly understand both the disorder and the inner problem and how they manifest in this particular character. Many real people feel inferior to other highly accomplished people. I believe Imposter Syndrome is alive and kicking. I am a highly insecure writer; hence my connection to Insecure Writers Support Group, a great group to find support and security by the way. 

I hope these few suggestions help you to understand the need to know your protagonist intimately to create a character the reader will truly care about, whether it's fiction or memoir.

Please ask any questions about my college memoir and share any insight you may have about the use of Imposter Syndrome in writing your story in the comments section of Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much! 

And thank you for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in the comment so I can be sure to do the same for you. To continue hopping through more amazing blogs or to join our Author Toolbox blog hop, click here

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Insecure Writers Want to Know: If you could choose one author to be your beta partner, who would it be? Why?

            First, I’d like to thank you, my fellow Insecure Writers, for your patience while we moved. In that short space of time, we moved our oldest daughter in with her sister and her family. My husband and I packed up our home of 36 years, sold it, and moved three hours away. And finally, we moved my 96-year-old mother-in-law into a nursing home. Sheesh! I’ll be going through boxes forever looking for what I need at the moment. You can read a short post with photos about our moving adventure at

            Now let me think…the perfect beta partner for me, if I could choose anyone, would have to be the writing teacher and author Beth Kephart.  Kephart has the ability to look at themes and characters from many angles. She sees the story beneath the plot. This is a gift for any writer.        

            Kephart is a memoirist as well as a YA writer and poet, and it never ceases to amaze me how she can uncover such deep emotional truths in life through story, in both fiction and memoir. 

            I write both YA fiction and memoir and would love to hear her feedback on whether I have reached the inner core of the story I’m trying to visualize for the reader. However, being that highly insecure writer that I am, I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to hear it. Of course this is why writers need to be brave in order to improve their writing. We must learn from each other. Share ideas and methods. Choose the ones that will work for us to make our stories the best they can be. And then we need to be brave enough to let the stories go and send them out into the world for others to judge whether we have accomplished our goal of creating a great story. 

I’ll be interested to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. It’s great having a topic to share our thoughts on each month. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors in this writing and publishing journey. 

Thanks so much for visiting! Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.