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Showing posts from March, 2018

Peaky Blinders and My Outlining Style

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I haven't really been writing very much in the past couple of weeks--not much time to--but I have a new approach in mind for a short story I've been tinkering around with. I think it's because my dad and I started watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix the other day (we haven't finished season 1 yet, so if you've watched it, no spoilers!)

It's kind of a dark, violent drama about a gang becoming a crime family in post-WWI Birmingham, England, with lots of men with bad haircuts. But it's really compelling and the lead character, Thomas Shelby, is an anti-hero.

Peaky Blinders literally has zero to do with the short story I've been working on, but it is a darker creepy short (more "Haunted Lake" then "When Mary Left," though that wasn't rainbows and puppies either) and I'd been thinking that for a short story, it wasn't getting to the crux fast enough.

But I'll try out my new idea for the story in the next few days and hopeful…

2018 Reading Challenge: 10 books read!

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I have finished my first ten books of the year! Here they are:



1. Hate To Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai. Fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Erotic. 5 stars.

2. Wrong To Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2) by Alisha Rai. Fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Erotic. 4 stars.

3. Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3) by Kristan Higgins. Fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Small Town. 3 stars.

4. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Fiction/Historical Fiction/Cultural/Korea/Japan/1930s/WWII. 3 stars.

5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Fiction/Classics/Historical Fiction/American South/African-American lit. 4 stars.

6. Sex With Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman. Nonfiction/History/European History/Royals/Biography. 3 stars. 

7. A Wrinkle In Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L'Engle. Fiction/Classics/Children's Fiction/Sci-Fi and Fantasy. 4 stars. 

8. His Perfect Partner (Matched To Perfection #1) by Priscilla Oliveras. Fiction/Romance/Contemporary. 3 stars. 



9. Tessa…

A new Research page

Last Monday, I received a really sweet email from a blog reader who said that some of the sources I had listed on my Blog Roll page helped her writing group students with this month's genre assignment of "historical fiction" !!

What I'm writing at the moment isn't historical fiction and I'm not 100% sure when I'll get back to historical fiction, but I'm sure I will.

But that email made me go take a look at my Blog Roll page. Some of the links are totally helpful for research of various kinds, but it's all Internet-based and they're not necessarily all geared toward researching for historical fiction.

So then I decided to go through nine years of blog posts (nine. years. I feel old) and organize them onto one page--the new Research page. Any research-y post I've written about the Regency or the Victorians is linked on that page, along with a list of books I've read, whether it was for research or for fun. Everything is divided by centur…

Lobby Hero on Broadway

This with @NaliMeta1 & @JeLLyGuu923pic.twitter.com/UZ9bRt3Exa — Michelle A (@SunflowerRei) March 9, 2018


Hey y'all! I must tell you briefly about an outing I had with my two besties, my usual Broadway partners-in-crime. I think this is my first Broadway show of the year, in fact--and it's kind of a different one, since Lobby Hero is a play and not a musical. Written by Oscar winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Lobby Hero also marks the Broadway debut of Chris Evans aka Captain America aka one of the Men I Google-Stalk the most often. 
Gah! He was on stage and everything, guys. 
The play also stars Michael Cera, Brian Tyree Henry, and Bel Powley. Basically, it takes place in a Manhattan apartment building's lobby, where Michael Cera's character is a graveyard shift security guard/doorman and subordinate to Brian Tyree Henry's character. Bel Powley is a rookie New York City cop and her partner is the older and somewhat shifty Bill, pla…

IWSG March

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Hey, hey. It's time for IWSG in March! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a network of writers and we post about our insecurities and writing on the first Wednesday of every month. Come check out the group right here
This month's question:
How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

Umm...I'm not sure if I do? I've given up on two projects in the last year alone, so I'm climbing the mountain on an outline and trying to sort of write a creepy short story that I keep putitng on hold because I have a limited amount of time to write. 
But at the end of a story or finally finishing that chapter or finally figuring out the key to a character's journey--how do I celebrate? 
I breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next thing.

My Fave Romance Tropes

How is it that in all my yapping about the romance genre, I've never talked about romance tropes?

This might be because I really only read historical romances until fairly recently and there are some very specific historical romance tropes.

Tropes are plot devices that bring romance characters together or character archetypes that the romance characters fulfill. Tropes are the familiar scenario--sometimes, tropes are the hook that draws a reader in. If there's a combination of tropes or a twist on tropes, then the story can be really intriguing and even original.

So, my fave tropes to read?

In historicals, I love a good marriage of convenience story. It's not a plot device that really works well in contemporary stories, but in Regency stories, it's entirely possible to have a hero and heroine who have to get married to inherit something/keep something/stop a scandal from erupting/give a child a father/stop the heroine's evil uncle from marrying her off to someone el…