Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG: Lessons for the Bold

Insecure Writers Support Group is already upon us for the month of October.  Can't believe that it's almost time for Halloween!  Wow.  #Timeflies  Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts, Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue!

Today IWSG members are contributing to The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond which an incredible undertaking to help writers learn from other aspiring and published authors. I thought long and hard about what I could contribute, and sadly I didn't come up with much. Still there are some important and elemental lessons all writers need to remember at every stage of their career.

Be Bold and Never Give Up!
On Writing:  Lessons for the Bold

Looking back on my experiences, I can undoubtedly tell aspiring authors what's worked and what hasn't worked for me, but the truth is every writer has difference experiences. What works for some, doesn't necessarily work for others. Luck also plays a big role in a writer's success. Alas, no one can predict that. No one can predict why an agent will respond to one query letter, and another one won't. Or how one book gets published, and another one is rejected. Or why one book sells more than another. Everything varies and in this still somewhat tumultuous publishing time, where publishers are fighting among themselves, the group that it affects the most are the writers.

The two things that I've learned that perhaps are the most valuable lessons are to be bold and to never (EVER) give up. Be bold in your writing. Be true to yourself. Be bold in your submitting and be bold when you publish. Do the work now and when it comes time remember..."Fortune Favors the Bold!"

Those are my words of advice and in fact, not being bold enough has been a debilitating insecurity I've dealt with for the last year. Now that I've expunged this cowardly demon inside me, I can move forward boldly with greatness. Right?  Damn straight!

What about you and your insecurities this month?  Have you been bold enough in your writing?  What about in life?  What type of advice did you give for the IWSG book?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Mina Burrows
Bio:  aspiring author and lover of wicked literature
ISWG has my permission to rebublish this post.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest

It's time for Underrated Treasures Blogfest hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Today we're posting about our favorite unknown MOVIE, BAND/ARTIST, TV SHOW or BOOK.  This one was hard for me, but I took a shot.  Today, I'm only posting on movie and music.  I couldn't think of a good underrated TV show that I liked.  I don't watch that much TV so...  As far as book, frankly, there are so many books that are underrated, I didn't know where to start.  That said, here are my two choices.

Grosse Pointe Blank

I don't how many people saw this movie, but it has to be one of my all time favorite 90's films that I thought was totally underrated.  My husband and I watched this film so many times it was a tad ridiculous.  Anyway, I'm not sure how many of you are a Better of Dead fan, but those movie films are classic to me.  This one is probably the last film I saw John Cusack do what he does best, play the brooding guy (Martin Blank) that is stuck in an untenable situation.  This story line of a hit man heading to his high school reunion had me roaring with iconic actors like Dr. Oatman,  Martin's terrified shrink, played by Alan Arkin. This film also featured other spectacular actors like Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Hank Azaria and Dan Aykroyd.


Grosse Point Blank Soundtrack

The music of the film was another underrated piece to this film.  Here's a sample of the track here, including an alternate version of the Violent Femmes, Blister in the Sun.  Check it out!

What are your thoughts?  Are you a fan of Grosse Point Blank?


I'm over at the A-Z Challenge blog today, being interviewed by the awesome, Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Please stop by!

Have a great week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fabulous Friday, News & Fred

It's Friday. Woot! I have had a hellish sort of a week. What about you? Work has managed to squeeze every ounce of me these last few weeks, but guess what....I've still managed to get some writing done late at night. Hah! Take that world! This is no small feat for me, because between my family and running a business, writing is incredibly difficult to fit in. Which is flipping sad, isn't it? Eh, that's life. Anyway, I've tallied about 10K words in the last week possibly more. Hey, that's a pretty big deal for me. And to celebrate my small accomplishment, and because it's Friday, here's my happy dance:  


Coming up

Underrated Treasures Blogfest:

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Underrated Treasures Blogfest is scheduled this Monday, September 22th.  Post about your favorite unknown MOVIE, BAND/ARTIST, TV SHOW or BOOK.  I'm participating and so can you.  Sign up here!

A-Z Challenge Blog Interview:

I'll be on the A-Z Challenge Blog being interviewed by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh, about my classic monsters theme from this year's A-Z Challenge.  Remember that?  Yeah, good times.  I'll be reminiscing about those thirty days of hell  *clears throat*  writing those titillating posts about creepy, classic monsters.  If you missed them, click on my link of Creepy Classics.  Seriously though, the theme I chose this year was fun, which made the topic easier.  A-Z tip:  It's just like writing.  Pick a theme you love and it won't seem like work. :)  Anyway, I hope you stop on by on September 22nd.  Wahoo!  . :)

Downey Education Fund:  

Tina Downey's tribute was early this month, and wasn't it wonderful to see all the love and support from all the writers and bloggers in the blogosphere?  She was so loved, and she will be missed indeed.  I just wanted to mention again that Downey Education Fund has been created for her children.  If you can spare some money to support, I'm sure her family would greatly appreciate it.  Click here to donate.  And if you can't donate and you're a blogger, please consider adding this icon to your blog with a link to the donation page.  Thank you for your support!

Photo of the Week

This photo comes from Awesome Things in the World and boy is it awesome!  First question I you know what these are?  (And no, you are not allowed to ask Elise Fallson...that's cheating!)  The second question I have is...can you write a caption?  Here's the one I posted.

"It's raining men! Hallelujah it's raining men. Amen!" 

Fridays with Fred:  Fred & Companionship

I think I've mentioned before about Fred getting older, becoming more grouchy and now he's having some health issues too.  He's fifteen years old so with his age comes a myriad of conditions.  *sigh*  That said, we does have good days.  Fred still gets frisky, palling around with his young whippersnapper friend, Spike.  What's it like have two Jack Russells under one roof?  Never a dull moment.

Do you have any plans this weekend?  Have any news you'd like to share?  Are you signed up for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest? Are you happy it's Friday?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunflowers for Tina - #LifeisGood

Today is a special day as we remember fellow author, A-Z Team Host and friend, Tina Downey.  I have a couple of images I'd like to post for this special tribute.  Before I do that, I want to mention how Tina's #LifeisGood message always made me smile.  If there's one thing I can remember about Tina--aside from her constant positive support, was her classic #LifeisGood motto.  We tend to forget that, but it's undeniably true.

Thank you, Tina for all that you did.  May God bless you and your family.

You can visit more of Tina's writer friends and see their tribute posts by visiting here. Do you have any special memories you'd like to share about Tina?

Update:  Special Donations

Below is a special link to donate to Tina's family and her children's education.  If you can contribute, it would be greatly appreciated.

Donate here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Ask the Universe

It's September and already time for another month of Insecure Writers Support Group.  This wonderful support group is courtesy of Alex J. Cavanaugh and other fantastic authors, including Michelle Wallace, L. Diane Wolfe, Lynda R Young, Susan Gourley/Kelley, Joylene Nowell Butler, and J.L. Campbell.  I mention this crew because they are tireless supporters who give freely and should be thanked often.  If you haven't had a chance to review the IWSG website, please do.  Last month, there were some great posts that I found incredibly inspiring including Seeking Validation As A Writer & The Trend in Indie Publishing - It’s Taking Over the Industry.  Check them out if you can!

As for IWSG, my insecurities are the same.  I'm progressing with my WIPs at a snails pace and that alone fosters insecurity.  Since there's little I can do about that, I stay positive as possible and keep moving forward.  Anyway, I remember watching a portion of Jim Carrey's commencement speech last spring.  Like many people, his words moved me.  There are times when doubt overcomes my thought process or exhaustion settles inside my bones, that I recall his inspiring words.

I was wondering how many of my writer friends ask the universe for things like better health, happy family, more love or even a successful writing career? Have you....asked the universe?  What have you asked for?

Can you relate to Jim's message about following your dreams?  Do you have any insecurities you'd like to share with me today?

On another note, last month Nutschell interviewed me on her Wednesday Writer’s Workspace, stop by if your interested.  And this month, Captain Alex is interviewing me about the A-Z Challenge and my Classic Monster theme.  I'm super excited about that, so I'll be sure an blog when that post releases too.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Mina Burrows

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Character Interview: Caleb Madroc from A Hidden Element by Donna Galanti

Hey, guys! I have another special treat today.  Donna Galanti, author of A Human Element and The Dark Inside has graciously arranged a killer interview with one of her cool characters.  Meet Caleb Madroc from Donna's paranormal suspense, A Hidden Element, This is book 2 in The Element Trilogy and guess releases today! Woot!  We’re thrilled to have Caleb Madroc here today. Everybody say hi to the hottie.
HI CALEB! *waves emphatically*

Hey, babe.

Caleb is 25 and an Elyon Community cult member living in the wilds of Oregon in a secret community his father created.

Thank you so for this interview, Caleb. Now that the book has been written, can you tell us how your friends see you?
What friends? I have none. I've lived a life of solitude ever since my father stole me away to this community he created. Except for the occasional night of passion, I've not connected with another. Even before we moved here, I was an outcast. The other kids thought I was weak because I used my powers to heal, not to hurt. They just didn't understand me. I didn't fit in there, and I don’t fit in here. I fit in nowhere.

What is your most prized possession? Why?
There are two things that I can never have, yet cherish the most–my twin sons. They are five years old now and were born in our community where they are raised by the masses. I cannot be with them but every day I whisper their names out loud as an offering for some higher power to answer my prayer to be with them. Someday I will become my own master and take my sons away from this place. But if I try and fail—they will die. If my father discovers my plan—they will die. I am destined to be alone, but I am fine with that if someday my sons can have a normal life. The scars of not knowing them are seared on my heart.

Name five items in your pockets.
There is only one item in my robe pocket, the final poem I wrote for the one love I had once–and the mother of twin boys I will never know, Rachel. She was assigned to breed with me and we fell in love. Poems for her poured from me, and I’d planned to give her this poem one special night, but she never came to me again. Our bond was severed, per my father’s orders. She was sent to mate with another…and then another and another. I never touched her again.

Do you have any special things you do?
I help others in my community. I save them from severe punishment, and even death, and in doing so put myself in the position to be punished by whipping. I've healed many in our community and released them secretly into the world to find a second chance at life. To live and love with others. To be cared for. All the things I wish for myself, and my sons. I can stand the whippings—if it means sparing the punished some pain. Those scars I can bear. The scars of my lost love, Rachel, and my lost sons are a never ending pain.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?
Finding my mother dead in a well when I was seventeen. She was the biggest light in my life, and my champion. She guarded me from my father and kept me safe. With her gone, my world grew dark. I had to survive, alone. I may never know how she died. An accident? A murder? It haunts me still.

Did you get along with your parents?
I loved my mother dearly. She was a gentle soul in a bad marriage. My father…well, he is all things I cannot be. Evil, remorseless, egotistical, and a murderer. He forces me to do his dirty work and tries to mold me into his likeness. He believes I’m weak and I can never be as strong as he, and I think he may be right. But I should still try to stop him, even while he threatens to kill my sons if I don’t obey him! Even while I despise my father, part of me still loves him and yearns for his fatherly love that I once had as a child. I never will succumb to his life of hate, and I often think if I were like him I would kill him myself. But I try to live my life guided by love, not hate.

Thank you for this interview, Caleb! Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I am hopeful I can become a part of normal society and that one day the world can accept me–that a woman can accept me…that my sons can accept me as their father. Don’t judge me by what I’ve been forced to do, rather judge me for the love in my heart that wants desperately to do what’s right.


Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?


Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.



Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element:
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element:
ON SALE THROUGH 8/31 FOR JUST $.99cents!
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Writers Workspace: Alright, Alright, Alright

Alright, Alright, Alright.  Guess where I'm at today?  I'll give you a hint...

And this is how I feel about it...


Get in and "watch the leather, man." We're heading over to The Writing Nut cuz Nutschell's interviewing me for her author series, Wednesday Writers Workspace.

See ya there.

Mina Burrows