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The Real Power of Social Media — and a Challenge – From the Writers in the Storm Blog


Author Don Massenzio In my own (lucky) experience, your online pals become your real-life friends. My online friends rock. They are my tribe and I can’t imagine my life without them. That, my friends, is the real power of social media. We spend time with these people, whether it’s chatting on social media, sharing a writing sprint or cat video, asking about a plot problem, trying to figure out what kind of cooties your kid has, or sharing morning coffee. People are seeking authentic connections online and, by joining in, an author is opening themselves up for connecting. For introverts that can be a scary prospect. My advice is to take your time and conserve your energy. The best part of all...
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Your Writing Soundtrack


Author Don Massenzio Maybe it’s because I’m a musician as well as an author, but I tend to hear music when I write my stories. I don’t literally listen to music when I write. That would be too distracting. I would focus too much on the melody, the arrangement, the chord progression, etc. and lose focus on my writing. I prefer watching T.V. shows and movies while I write and don’t find that distracting at all…more on that in a future post. When I set out to write the first book in my Frank Rozzani series, I knew music would be a part of the narrative. As it turns out, I made my main characters, Frank Rozzani and Clifford “Jonesy” Jones musicians. With them living in Jacksonville, Florida, the...
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Paris in Pearls – Chapter Four. A Novel by Jackie


Writers Envy Please read and enjoy, and follow, this story by Jackie of an independent woman finding herself and taking on the world. Beep, beep, beep, BEEP, BEEP the alarm resounded. Ugh. Make it stop. The bed was comfortable and warm and I didn’t want to get up. Ten more minutes; I’ll just lie here ten more minutes. I sat up and swung my legs over the bed, dragged myself to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my […] via Paris in Pearls chapter four (unedited) — Paris In Pearls View original post Original link
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The 2019 Author Interview Series Featuring Tim Cagle


Author Don Massenzio It’s time for another installment of my 2019 Author Interview Series. This week, I’m happy to welcome Tim Cagle. Let’s take a look at the 10 questions that Tim chose to reveal a bit about himself. Please enjoy getting to know him. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?  I am a semi-retired medical malpractice attorney so my schedule is much lighter than it was as I have not been in a courtroom for a while.  I write constantly and continue to evaluate ideas.  I’ve been lucky because I’ve never experienced writers’ block.  Maybe that’s because I suffer from lawyer’s disease and probably like to listen to myself talk so I have no need to become blocked. I’m al...
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What inspires you? What is your motivation for writing?


Author Don Massenzio How many of you can relate to the sentiment in this graphic? Do you wake up every morning excited about writing? Is writing a natural part of your life? If so, what inspires you to embrace this obsession? The purpose of this post is to attempt to determine the things that drive us to write and to not give up. Many of us our independent authors (I prefer this term over self-published). We outsource our publishing to platforms like Amazon, CreateSpace and others. We use cover designers and editors just as a traditional publisher would or perform these services on our own. Why do we do this without a guarantee that anyone will read our work? Here are some of my reasons. Wri...
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The Frog and the Granite Shore – A Poem


Writers Envy I walked through a wood one summer’s day, Afternoon light dappled a forest glade; Lily pad in green-black pond and on it lay A frog whose languid croak appeared to say, As he scratched white belly in sun’s warm ray, I shall not move on this summer’s day. I stopped to ponder my neighbor in green, Who, eyes near closed in dreamlike sheen, Lay ankles crossed and head on arm a’lean; He snorted half asleep in his pastoral scene, Then snapped half-hearted at black fly on wing; I chuckled then and left my neighbor in green. Away the wood, I walked on granite shore, Pounding waves, knuckles rapped upon a door; Lobster boat, weather-worn in wind that tore, And red-faced men, like fisherm...
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The 2019 Author Interview Series Featuring Phyllis Staton Campbell


Author Don Massenzio I’d like to welcome Phyllis Staton Campbell to my blog as today’s featured author. Phyllis was given 20 questions from which to pick 10 of them to respond. I’m enjoying this format as we get a different insight into each author and it’s interesting to see which questions are selected. Please enjoy meeting Phyllis and consider checking out he work. What do you think are the elements of a good story? I feel that the elements of a good story, short, or novel, are: Interest point, a conflict, question not answered, action toward the solution, presented by interesting characters and action, and the solution, that leaves the reader thinking. You’re invited to a dinner party ar...
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Writing a Book – a Legacy for Your Children


Author Don Massenzio It’s no surprise that my love of reading as a child has turned into a love of writing. My one regret is that I waited so long to become an author. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Speaking of catching up, my wife and I had very little luck having children early in our marriage. We adopted after 15 years of marriage and then, in 2008, after 23 years of marriage, we welcomed our first infant into the world. My wife had a very healthy pregnancy for a woman in her mid-forties and we welcomed a 9-pound baby girl into the world. This event is one that has solidified our family and has been one of the best events of my life. Our little girl is ten now and she is m...
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Tattoos – A Poem


Writers Envy I tried to take rubbings of his tattoos-the hula girl, the palm trees, the sailing ship,  the crossed cannons, the anchor. The hula girl danced for me when he flexed his forearm. He never told me where he’d got them. He was in the war when he was eighteen, and he was an old man when he came home at twenty. His ships pulled into ports where Sailors got drunk and happy. War made men do things, then let them try and forget. After the war ended he tried to find his way but never quite found his footing. He raised a family and visited his folks, and he smiled sometimes and told the few jokes he knew that made people laugh. He worked hard. The hula girl stopped dancing one day. I trie...
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Snowfall – Haiku Poetry


Writers Envy Winter’s flamboyance Snowfall’s crystal miracle Diamonds on my tongue Image via Google Images View original post Original link
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Choosing a Book Title – Be Smart


Author Don Massenzio When I wrote my first novel, I wanted the main character to be, like me, and Italian American. There are many Italian-sounding first names I could have gone with, Tony, Johnny, Carmine, etc. I decided to go with Frank. Frank is a name that is common among Italians, but it also gave me the opportunity to be clever with the title. I went with  Frankly Speaking . There were other books with this title, but none in the genre in which I was writing. It was a good title in that it seemed to work and not adversely affect sales. Then came the sequel. For the sequel, I decided to use ‘Frank’ in the title. To try something different, I actually ran a contest and the person with th...
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10 Handy Writing Tips – Part 1


Author Don Massenzio Write every chance you get. Write every day if you can. You should be thinking about writing or actually writing whenever you can. Reading is so important. You should read every chance you get as well. Read good writing and read about writing. Balance fiction and non-fiction to help you improve your own writing. Use your everyday observations to help you with coming up with surroundings, characters and situations for your stories. You can do this by keeping notebook with you, or if you’re not afraid of being stared at, use your phone and a recording app and pretend your on a call while you make note of what you see. Check your writing for repetitive words and phrasing. I...
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Canvas Song – Haiku


Writers Envy from night fall raindrops bursting notes on canvas sing lullaby, good night View original post Original link
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Haiku: On the Wing


Writers Envy My first attempt at Haiku. Many thanks to Hannah  for the inspiration Flying on the wing Cross current changes direction Wife calls to dinner View original post Original link
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DECEMBER — Read To Please.


Writers Envy Each line took a piece of my heart and caressed it. The last line put it together again, healed and happy. Please read and share this beautiful poem. For one more time I am lying down With my skin exposed To the chills Of December Shivering Under the warmth Of the blanket Like YOU Wrapped around me Wondering And pondering And stressing And depressing The veins Of my brain out To search answers To the questions My body Struggles to find Through darkness […] via DECEMBER — Read To Please. View original post Original link
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Curled Up In You


Writers Envy Curled up in ringlets Electric parts of you, Shoulder length distractions Thoughts are all askew, Hope for sleep abandoned Your pillow’s made for two, Nose to nose connection Our favored point of view. Random touches, random whispers, Fingers playing finders keepers, Hidden fragrance in your smile, Let me breathe you for a while. Chastened by your virtue Encouraged by your sighs Midnight flame rekindled My heat for you reprise Lip to lip conversing Your whispered lows and highs Murmurs of affection Tell our little white lies Random touches, random whispers, Fingers playing finders keepers, Hidden fragrance in your smile, Let me breathe you for a while. Twisted round your fingers...
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TwitBook


Writers Envy Well, TwitBook came and electrified Put-down words and the antikind Pushed around the peaceful sign New hope for the feeble mind Polished speech from political swine Faceless screeching twittering tool Stubborn resistance like a mule Spreading by-waste as a rule Clueless, useless as a fool Stuffing blinded eyes with wool Rolled downhill like a stowaway Stepped on you like a runaway Took the dark one’s breath away Tossed truth around like a throwaway Couldn’t care less anyway Passive faceless surrogates Offending raging egoists Venting weaponed languages Bending society’s ethicists Rending the social compactness Who invented the internet Mercenary techies uninvent Gaming heads no...
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Pack Up, Get Out, Go Back To Him


Writers Envy It was all a mistake, I see it clear What looked like love was really fear Of going out on my own, alone, I let you put me on a throne You stuck to me like dried up sweat Begging for what scraps you’d get I need space and room to grow You sucked the life from my soul Pack up, get out, go back to him Do it now it’s sink or swim I am not the one you want You’re just tired of the hunt Don’t ask me to pay your way Get up, get out, just don’t stay Go back where you belong Don’t be weak, don’t be wronged He’s the one who has to pay For telling you it’s his way Get him down on his knees Don’t give in by saying please You beg for what he won’t give My life is mine not yours… View origin...
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My Catalan Love


Writers Envy Susanna Avila, my Catalan beauty, woman of Spain. Coy smile held mystery, Unknowable history, Too briefly our souls entwined; This beauteous love, my destiny. Soulful gaze, emerald eyes piercing, Black hair dancing with night, Skin purest translucent white, Slender and graceful, slim elfin form, Delicate, raven-haired sprite. Ivory shoulders, smooth marble breast, Face fairer than Venus’ race, Spirit virgin, chaste, Ethereal, supernal essence; Tender, enchanting embrace. Siren’s call, whisp’ry-throated angel, Voice soft as down, Evoked heaven’s sound; Breath of attar a wisp-like dream, Innocent, her laughter resound. Rapturous touch, clasp of hands, Gentle sweet embrace, Loving ...
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Writer’s Block – Is it a Thing?


Author Don Massenzio During one holiday season, I took two weeks off from my day job. It was a great period of time to stay home and become reacquainted with my family. I normally travel four days per week for about 46 weeks out of the year, so it’s nice to become part of the household for a while. Usually, I think my wife is secretly ready to send me back out on the road after an extended time at home. One of the things that I was going to do during that period was set aside time every day to write. I looked forward to this break for months so that I could make great strides on my next book and other writing ventures that I have in the works. Do you know how much writing I did during this t...
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