Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Why Some Stories Will Never Make It Out Of Your Notebook #AmWriting #Writer

Lucy Mitchell

It has taken me a long time to accept this. When you start out as a writer, your ego assures you that ALL your stories will, at some point, turn into bestselling novels. You happily fill up an array of notebooks with stories, quietly confident, they will all feature somewhere in your future writing career.

I mean why would you doubt your ego?

It is only after writing seriously for several years, you come to realise that not all your stories have made it out of your notebook (cue strongly worded letter of complaint to your ego) and more importantly, some were not supposed to.

Stories come to us for a number of reasons and it is naive to think every single one will grow literary wings and fly away.

A lot of stories come to teach us things.

In my experience all stories come with little self destruct devices…

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The Medium – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jack and Jen stood in the living room of their new home and heaved a sigh. It had taken a few weeks but they had finally finished unpacking everything. Jen took a look around the room, making sure everything was where it should be – photos on the walls, books on the bookcase, knickknacks on the shelves and in the curio cabinet, Fluffy’s dog bed in the corner, … With a nod of approval, she collapsed on the couch. Jack joined her a moment later.

“Finally,” Jack said. “I though we’d never finish.”

“I know. But we did. And now, this place can finally start to feel like home.”

“Yeah.”

It was getting late, so the couple decided to retire for the night. As they left the living the room and were heading to bed, a small figurine in the curio cabinet turned slightly toward them.

In the middle of the night, Jen woke up, thinking she’d heard footsteps outside the bedroom door. Heart pounding, afraid someone had broken in, she roughly shook Jack’s arm to wake him, then told him what she’d heard. He shook his head, sure she’d just dreamed it, and was about to tell her that when Fluffy jumped down from the bed and ran to the door. Then he heard the footsteps outside the door, too, clear as day. 

Jack hurried to the door and yanked it open. Fluffy ran out into the hall and towards the living room while Jack peered up and down the hall for who was walking around. To his surprise, no one was there. Confused, he checked each room along the hall, but found no one. He then made his way towards the front of the house to check there. When he got to the living room, he found Fluffy sitting in front of the curio cabinet, staring intently at it. Some of the figurines had be turned around inside it. One of the photos was hanging cockeyed on the wall, as well.

Stunned, Jack called out for Jen to come see it. When she arrived, she gasped in shock. “What’s going on, Jack?” she asked fearfully.

“I don’t know, Jen. I know what it looks like, but it can’t be. Can it?”

“Surely not,” she replied, but finding it hard to discount her eyes.

The couple returned to bed but found it hard to sleep. The next few days found more strange happenings. More things moved around. The sound of footsteps continued, along with the occasional whispered voice. Even an odd shadowy figure began to be seen.

When Jen awoke one night to see the indistinct figure of a older woman standing beside her, she screamed. The figure vanished as Jack awoke with a start and Fluffy sat up at the foot of the bed, instantly alert.

Jen tearfully recounted what she’d seen, and Jack decided they had no other choice but to do something about the problem.

The next day, Jack did some online research and made a few phone calls. The following day, a middle-aged woman arrived at the house. Jack let her in and introduced her to Jen as Linda, a local psychic medium he’d asked to come take a look at the house and possibly tell them what was going on. Jen started to tell her what they’d experienced but Linda held up a hand and walked purposefully to the living room. Jack and Jen followed.

“This room is where the majority of the experiences have been, correct?” Linda asked as she placed a hand on the curio cabinet.

Jen nodded but explained that things had happened throughout the house. She and Jack then led her around the house to let her get a feel for the whole place. Then they returned to the living room.

Linda took a seat on the couch, closed her eyes, let her breathing slow and her senses reach out around her. She began softly asking questions of whatever might be there.

After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked at Jack and Jen. She gave them a small smile. “You have nothing to fear,” she told them. “I have sensed no evil here, only the presence of one spirit. She tells me her name is Martha, and she used to live in this house. She didn’t mean to scare you. She was only trying to let you know she was here. She asked me to tell you that she’s happy to have you living here with her, as she’s been lonely and she likes you, and she hopes you will stay.”

Jack and Jen released breaths they didn’t realize they’d been holding. Relieved to know there was nothing bad in the house, they agreed to try living with Martha as long as she kept activity to a minimum, believing they could handle a little minor spiritual activity once in a while.

As the medium took her leave, Jack and Jen thanked her for her help, and Linda told them to call her if they ever needed her help again. Jack didn’t think they would, but he said they would if they did. Linda gave them a smile that seemed genuine but for some reason also made Jack feel a little uneasy, then drove off.

As Jack watched Linda drive off, he shrugged, thinking he’d imagined things, and he and Jen headed back inside the house.

Things in the house were peaceful for Jack and Jen from then on, with only a little ghostly activity from Martha now and again.

At least, for a while…


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “medium”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 10/2020


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Author Website Essentials

Story Empire

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. Several months ago, I wrote a post about making your blog user friendly. If you missed that post, you can click here to read it. Today, I want to talk about essentials for your author website.

Yes, as a professional author you need a website. Now, before you cringe or think you can’t afford one, it can be the same as your blog. Your website is your site. A place to sell you, or rather, your books.

Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. First, you should purchase your own domain name. If possible, your author name with the dot com extension. If that isn’t available, there other alternatives and new extensions being added frequently. I’ve tried for years to purchase Joan Hall (dot) com, but I’m not about to pay thousands of dollars, so I went with (dot) net. I don’t…

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Five Tips to Feel Better About Writing Angst

Story Empire

Pixabay Image

Hi, SEers.  John, with you today. I was reading a few Facebook and Twitter feeds the other day and was quite surprised to find several writers talking about how discouraged they are with their writing. It almost seemed that I was wading through a locust storm of dissatisfied folks. Maybe it was just that since they seem to be everywhere, they came to my attention. It was clear that these folks were somewhat new at writing.

There were some consistencies that jumped out of the postings that I had read. Here they are separated into five general areas. 

The primary complaint was about time. Since most writers also have full-time jobs, this complaint is pretty real.

The second item was about productivity. Many of the people talked about missing word or page targets.

The third area was what I call extrinsic annoyances. Husbands, wives, kids…

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Elder – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

As word of the advancing army spread, the Elder of each of the nearby towns met beneath the large, central elder tree to discuss emergency preparations.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “elder”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/tuesdayuseitinasentence-elder/


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Excerpt from A Goddess Awakens

I haven’t been working on my WIP book for a good long while. I’ve been wanting to get back to it, but one thing or another has kept me from it – life in general, maybe some procrastination, …  

Anyway, I’m hoping to start getting back to working on it soon, and thought I’d share a small snippet from it, both for you all to enjoy and as a way to try to get me more motivated. So here’s the last bit that I’ve written on my WIP, A Goddess Awakens:

*****

Althea met Raven, Tarn, and Wren for breakfast in the dining area of the Golden Crown Inn. She had slept fitfully, her worry over Loren’s visit to the elves keeping her awake until the early hours and then invading her dreams. She was relieved, though, that her dreams had been free of Aerith for a change. 

The priest and two mages had secured a table at the far end of the dining room and had already ordered breakfast by the time she’d arrived. Althea tried to stifle a yawn as she took a seat across from Tarn and reached for a piece of toast and jam.

“Long night?” Tarn commented.

“I didn’t sleep well.”

“It wasn’t Aerith, was it?” he asked with concern, given the goddess’s growing attempts to take control of the swordswoman.

Althea shook her head and took a bite of toast. “No. She actually left me alone.”

“It was Loren, wasn’t it?” Raven said knowingly. “You were worried about him.”

“Yes. I can’t stop thinking about him going to visit the elves alone, after what he said about how they might react to him. I even had a nightmare about it.”

“At least Aerith wasn’t influencing you or anything, though,” said Wren. “That’s good, isn’t it?”


“It was a nice having a normal nightmare for a change and not having her even show up in a dream, let alone try to use a dream to control me.”

Tarn tried to hide a worried look by stuffing a piece of toast in his mouth, but Raven noticed and frowned slightly. Aerith’s influence on Althea had been steadily growing, and she reportedly had been appearing in her dreams, at the very least, almost nightly. Yet now she didn’t show up at all? That didn’t sound all that good to the mage, and apparently not to the priest either. The goddess may be up to something, possibly about to try something new to control Althea, Raven reasoned as she stared into her cup of hot tea with a small frown that went unnoticed by the others.

“I just hope Loren will be okay,” Althea said softly as she lifted her mug of tea to take a sip. “I wish I could have gone with him. We’ve been partners for so long and have been through so much together, it feels strange for me to be left behind while he goes off to do something potentially dangerous.”

“I’m sure Loren will be fine,” Wren said as she grabbed a piece of toast from the central plate on the table. “He’s an elf. He knows what to expect and what to do, and can take care of himself. And Anju is with him. Don’t worry so much. He’ll be back with us in no time.”

“You’re right, Wren,” Althea said with a small smile of gratitude as she took another piece of toast. “I guess I am worrying too much. Thanks.”

The sound of heavy footsteps running into the dining room and an anxious voice calling Althea’s name grabbed the group’s attention, as well as the attention of everyone else in the crowded room.

 


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How to increase book sales on Facebook – by Brian Meert…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Non Fiction Author Association:

Once you’ve published a book, promoting it on Facebook isn’t as easy as simply posting a photo of the cover and a link to where it can be purchased.

Your personal Facebook community may care about your most recent beach trip or your new puppy, but the audience you’ll promote your book to is completely different. Yes, you may get a few sales from good pals – and even truly interested friends and family – but, for the most part, your book audience is going to be elsewhere.

Here’s how to increase your book sales on Facebook.

Continue reading HERE

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Date – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

She paused with her hand on the doorknob, turned and waved to him with a smile. He smiled and waved back, and as she entered her house he drove off, wondering again if the date had all been a dream. He still could hardly believe she’d agreed to go out with him, let alone agree to a second date. What had he done to deserve this happiness, he wondered.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “date”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/09/29/tuesdayuseitinasentence-date/


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The Benefits of Writing a Novel By Hand – by Bryn Donovan…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I love writing on paper. Few things spark joy in me like a brand-new spiral notebook—and that’s been true almost my whole life. Writing a novel longhand, at least for the first draft, is my personal preference. I don’t write the whole thing by hand before typing it: I transfer it to Word document on my computer now and then as I go.

Every writer is different, and I’m not going to claim that writing a novel by hand is right for everyone. I know that writing on paper isn’t even an option for everyone.

Besides, writing a novel longhand does have its disadvantages. It’s slower, since you’re going to wind up typing it on the computer later, anyway. And if you’re unable to decipher your own handwriting, which is true for lots of people, writing on paper for your first draft is pretty much a non-starter.

Here are a…

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