Monday, February 12, 2018

Romance is in the Air - 2018

It's February and hopefully, you are enjoying 2018 so far. I'm curious if anyone has plans this week to celebrate Valentine's day. Are you headed out to celebrate a big date or are you the type to curl up and read and good romance novel? If a romance novel is more your speed, do you have a recommendation? Is there a certain romance book you want to buy, but haven't had a chance? Well, nows the time because I'm participating a book blog hop.

The Romance is in the Air 2018 book blog hop is hosted by Mary from Bookhounds. There are over 45 blogs participating in this blog hop so once you enter here, check out some of the other blogs and their giveaways.

I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

$10 Amazon GC

You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Extra entries…

+2 Subscribe to my blog
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Follow me on Google Plus
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Feb 13st - Feb 27th, midnight. The contest is open to International participants.

See who else is participating.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Mina Burrows

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG: Sweet February

Hello IWSG Friends! How's everyone enjoying this year so far? The cold weather and flu season has made its way to South Florida which hasn't been fun. Most of my family's illnesses have started from being run down, exhausted. I'm sure most of you know the feeling. Seriously though, the flu this year is scary so I hope you all are taking care of yourself.

Anyway, lots of exciting things happened last month. I know #IWSG had fantastic success and ended up trending on Twitter--which is AWESOME!  Mark your calendars for the Next #IWSGPit is Thursday, July 19, 2018! More details here.

Today's IWSG topic is perfect for this month. But before I begin, I want to give a shout out to IWSG team. Like many of you, I have a soft spot in my heart for the #IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thank you,, Alex so much for creating this monthly hop and doing everything you do. You rock! The lovely co-hosts for the February - IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! Thanks, you guys!

To learn more about this program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.

IWSG February 2018

Monthly question:  "What do you love about the genre you write in most often?"

I'm a sucker for an fantasy, supernatural etc.. and I like unlikely pairings in romance and friendship. For me, I find the daily grind gets monotonous and the writing takes me away from that. I think we're all suckers for "What if?" Am I right? That's what drives me. Think about how many advances there have been in the last 100 years. In the past, think about how many authors wrote about futuristic things, like space-travel, test-tube babies, etc.. and now we're living it and practically thriving in it. I'm not saying that one day we'll be able to grow body parts that can double as companions like Thing, but...what if? And that type of imagination drives my creativity. I gravitate towards that while writing because it inspires me.  It's not easy writing about what you love. I think you're can be more critical about it. At least that's what I find. Do you agree?

Since it's February I'm wondering if any fellow authors have anything special planned? Are your writing a romance or do you plan to take you're sweetie out on the town? Just curious. I'm participating in a Romance is in the Air Book Blog Hop which starts Feb 13th. Signups are here if you're interested in participating.

That's it! Now I'm off to see other IWSGers. What are your insecurities this month? What do you love about your genre? 

Mina B.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG: Happy New Year - The Year of the Dog

Happy New Year IWSG Friends! May all your writing dreams come true this year! Based on the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is the year of the Dog. I'm not sure if you follow any of that, but if you do, then you'll want to know that this year, "its characteristic word is ACTION!" And as writers we need a ton of that, right? Right!

Anyway, like most folks, the end of the year was a trifle exhausting and frankly, I was happy to see 2017 go. Now onto a new year. Things have slowed only a bit due mainly to my kids being on break, but that will change in the next week.  Not to worry though, I'm ready.

And now on to IWSG! Before I begin, special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating IWSG monthly hop. This month's co-hosts are Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!  Thanks, you guys!

To learn more about this program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.

IWSG January 2018

Monthly question:  "What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?"

The only thing I've done somewhat consistently is writing. I have one novel I made some progress with during NaNo and last month. Truthfully,  I've been working on it for some time and then there are other novels I've nearly completed. My goals for this quarter are to have at least two of the pending novels and the one I'm working on now completed by end of March. After that, it's editing, editing and, more editing -- which is something I'm terribly insecure about. But I'm not worried about it. I'll manage. Anyway, that's it. I'm trying to get back on track with a better blogging schedule so keep your fingers crossed on that one.

Do I have any resolutions? No. Not really. It's really more lifestyle changes to help me better manage my projects, work and of course my family's needs.  For example, I've mentioned several writing objectives above and I've thought long and hard about how to achieve them. I have a few strategies I've put in place that mostly center around me saying no. And that's not easy to do as a parent. Still, I've been making some headway so between this and my schedule, I think I'm heading in the right direction. Wish me luck.

And before I forget...Happy New Year!


Remember #IWSGPit 

The next #IWSGPit will be Thursday, January 18, 2018!
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

What are your insecurities this month? How's your writing going?

Mina B.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop 2017

Happy holidays, everyone! Is everybody ready for Christmas? Is your shopping done yet? I'm nearly there but I have a few last minute things. Does anyone have any travel plans? I have no travel plans thankfully. With the holiday craze running at full speed right now, I'll be glad for a break.

It's been some time since I've participated in this book hop, but I figured it was a great way to close out one year and welcome a new one. 2017 has been just as challenging as 2016 and I pray better things are to come in the new year. The host of the giveaway hop is Mary from Bookhounds. There are over 75 blogs participated in this blog hop and at least ten days until the end of the year to enter and possibly win some great stuff.

Once again, I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Extra entries…

+2 Subscribe to my blog
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Follow me on Google Plus
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Dec. 21st - Dec. 31st, midnight. The contest is open to International participants.

See who else is participating.

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: Artificial Intelligence & Writing

2017 is coming to an end. Yikes! How on earth did time move so quickly? Oh well.'s time for another monthly post for Insecure Writer's Support Group. Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this monthly hop. This month's co-hosts are Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

To learn more about this program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.

ISWG December

Monthly question:  "As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?"

I don' have any success or failures to comment on... I would say I've gotten back on track over the last few months with certain projects and that in itself is a success for me, but that's pretty much it. NaNoMo wasn't as big as a success as I'd hoped for, but then again the holidays can do that to any writer. Am I right about that? Did anyone else have great success with NaNo?

Artificial Intelligence & Writing

By now most of us know how AI (Artificial Intelligence) has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. If you're having doubts then take a look at your cars, your home entertainment systems, phones, computers etc.... The list goes on.  I hadn't thought about what that meant until I started reading how in the future, AI will replace coders and even the oldest profession is being programmed right now. Ugh. These recent news articles really freaked me out. Call me crazy, but I believe humans understand human behavior best and that's despite all the real, ugly stories and controversies including #MeToo, free speech, LGBT rights, and all the other hot topics right now. 

That said, it forces me to look at us as writers. Would you believe that AI could take over that aspect of humanity too? Haven't thought about it? Well, other people are. In fact, recently published an article, "This Supercomputer Was Programmed to Think Like the Zodiac Killer. No Wonder Its Poetry is So Creepy." From the article, "After being fed all the known writings of the infamous Zodiac killer, a supercomputer named CARMEL has developed the ability to think like the elusive serial murderer. It often writes poetry like one, too." Listen to CARMEL's work below:

Can you say creepy? Skynet is upon us!


Using AI for Writers

Artificial Intelligence is supposed to make things easier, although I cringe when I hear my ten-year-old ask Alexa the time, or how to spell a word.  I tell her to grab a dictionary and she looks at me like I'm crazy. God help me. *facepalm* Which this got me thinking about using Alexa for writing. Alexa has skills you can download for writing prompts which I thought was interesting.  And it also has other uses. Here's a brief list of skills in case anyone was interested in using it to help with writing:

* Organization Skills
* Time management Skills
* Researching skills such as History Channel
* Dictionary Skills

Since I'm sure Alexa will be adding more skills in the future, expect there to be more. Siri from iPhone is another AI that many of us use with talk-to-text, hands-free calling etc... Cortana, the AI inside Windows, offers decent dictation which some writers use. I'm not sure how much this would help in my writing process, but it's certainly interesting how quickly things are changing...even for writers.  There's an interesting article about how AI is already affecting the writing industry, "What a world of AI robot writers will look like." Read this if you want to learn more about AI & writing.


That's it for this month.  What are your insecurities this month? What do you think about AI? Do you use it when you're writing?

Have a fantastic rest of the week!

Mina B.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November's Gratitude Giveaway Hop

Who's ready for Thanksgiving? Not yet, huh? Me neither. Well, like it or not, it's about a week and a half away so get your turkey and stuffing ready, because the food fest is coming. Nothing pairs better with Thanksgiving then family, food and reading a good book.

Every year, I participate in this giveaway hop as a way to say thanks to all my blogger friends and readers. The Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop is hosted by Mary at BookHounds and for this GG hop, I'm giving away one (1) $10 Amazon GC to one great winner. The Giveaway hop starts on November 15th and runs until November 30th, eod. International participants welcome!

What's so great about this hop is we keep things simple. 


To enter…

You MUST be a follower of my blog and choose one of the following:

Subscribe to my blog


Like me on Facebook / Facebook/MinaBurrows

See the form to enter:

That's it.  Want to see who else is participating? See below and hop on by!

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IWSG: Nano...It's that time again!

 Today's Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly topic is about what else...National Novel Writing Month.  Before I get started I wanted to give a huge shout out to Alex J. Cavanaugh who created the monthly blog hop and support group for writers.  If you're interested in learning more about this program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.  This month's brilliant co-hosts are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!  Thanks, guys for all that you do!

Before I begin I want to remind everyone that today is the last day you can enter the IWSG Anthology Contest!

ISWG November: "Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?"

NaNo is a tough one for me. My biggest challenge with monthly writing blitz is I have an incredibly hard time managing everything I've got going on.  In the past, I'd start out strong and then get sidetracked. And that's putting things lightly.  This month I'm hoping that things will be different.  I'm not traveling or camping or dealing with flood issues so I think I've got that going for me.  Other than that, being able to carve out some quality time to write is my challenge.  Wish me luck.  Has anyone else signed up for this month's writing challenge? I'd love to know who's signed up for this month's writing frenzy.

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration for NaNo, here's a list of best-sellers who started during NaNoWriMo.

Great Writer Tool for NaNoWriMo

Do you ever get stuck in a rut with your writing and you think, why the heck did I write that? Ugh, we've all been there, especially during NaNoWriMo.  Let's face it, sometimes it's more important to push through the writing process and fix things later.  That said, fellow writer/blogger, Jack Milgram, reached out to me about this cool infographic that I thought would be helpful when you're banging away at your keyboard during NaNo.  For a better view of this list, visit here and if you don't mind share!

28 Boring Words Alternatives - Improve Your Writing

Last Week on Twitter - Library Uproar!

Last week, some twitter-fool, Andre Walker, sparked a massive backlash when he tweeted  "Nobody goes to libraries anymore. Close the public ones and put the books in schools."  *Smacks hand in face.* There are no words. Anyway, you'll have to forgive me for re-posting this because it has more than a few "F" bombs from the Angry Librarian. If you can look past that, it's very funny.  And...terribly scary how narrow-minded some folks are. Yikes!

That's it for this month.  What are your insecurities this month? Are you participating in NaNo? Do you like the infographic?  If so, please share! Lastly, I'm participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop which started Nov 15th! Sign up for this blog hop here.

Have a fantastic rest of the week!