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Archive for September, 2020

Daylight Saving

Daylight Saving

Early this morning, our clocks went forward an hour, ready for our summer down here in New Zealand. With the reminders to switch our clocks, I wondered when daylight saving started.

Color me surprised to discover a New Zealander had the idea first. George Hudson worked shifts and collected insects in his spare time. (A collection of his bugs is in Te Papa, our national museum in Wellington). In 1895 he wrote his first proposal to shift clocks to increase daylight hours, but it wasn’t until 1927 when we first observed daylight saving time in New Zealand.

According to my internet searches, Thunder Bay in Canada had daylight saving first in 1908. These days at least 40% of the world (over 70 countries) change their clocks to take advantage of the sunlight during the summer.

I love daylight saving and tend to do more walking and exercise after dinner. What about you? What are your thoughts on daylight saving?

Tools for Writers: One Stop For Writers

I discovered One Stop for Writers after following the Writers Helping Writers blog and subsequently buying a copy of the Emotions Thesaurus. Both are fantastic resources for writers at all experience levels, but when One Stop for Writers went live, I signed up for the free trial and have continued using the site ever since.

This site has everything!

One Stop For Writers

There are loads of thesauruses to inspire the writer when they’re stuck. They range from emotions to setting and characters. There is also help to plot and outline, build worlds rich in detail, and to offer inspiration when a writer hits a wall.

My favorite part of the site is the many thesauruses, which I use most days. I’ve also used some templates, the idea generator, and the character builder.

If you’re a writer, I think you’ll find this site invaluable. Check out the helpful resources and sign up for the FREE fourteen-day trial. I highly recommend One Stop for Writers.

Dragon Isles: Liza Out Now. Grab Your Copy!

Dragon Isles: Liza by Shelley Munro

Now Out!

Get your copy of Liza, the first book in my new dragon shapeshifter series.

Tools For Writers: 4TheWords

At the start of 2020, I was having trouble getting back into a writing routine after the holidays. Going for days without writing or any procrastination was not on the cards because I had deadlines stacked for the entire year.

One of the Facebook groups I belong to had a “Win for the Week” post each week. One author posted her weekly word count had soared, which she attributed to 4TheWords.

Intrigued, I checked it out and signed up for the 30-day trial.

4TheWords Writing Toolbox

4TheWords is an online writing game. Every day you select monsters worth various word counts and battle by writing words. Once you beat a monster, you earn rewards and collect items to get farther into the game.

According to the website, the writing game includes:

Monsters to battle
You can upgrade your hero
Embark on quests
Explore the world
Join in special events
A sense of community

Once I started, my writing totals for the day went up, and since I was battling monsters every day, my word count grew at a steady rate. 4TheWords worked incredibly well when we went into lockdown for COVID 19 here in New Zealand. It helped me to stay on track and keep working, despite the upheaval around me.

After my one-month trial ended, it was a straightforward decision to continue. Turning the writing process into a game works for me and my writing style. I enjoy the challenge, and apart from when I was on holiday, I’ve written every day. My current streak is 181 days of writing, which makes me proud. Having to write every day to stay alive in the game compels me to continue, even when I don’t want to work. My word counts are higher, and the process seems easier, despite the challenges of 2020, thanks to using 4TheWords.

If you’d like to try 4TheWords, you can use this referral code PKCQA42934 (It’s my affiliate code, and I’ll receive a few crystals to extend my subscription so that I can fight even more monsters.)

I highly recommend this writing game since it does what it promises—it helps to maintain a writing habit.
4TheWords is a valuable part of my writing toolbox.

The Dragons are Coming!

 

The Idea Behind the Dragon Isles series

One of my favorite TV shows is Escape to the Country, where English city-dwellers want to purchase a country property. The presenters are always enthusiastic and, as well as showing prospective buyers around three properties, they do a special interest item based on the area where the show is filmed. When the presenter visited Wales, they filmed a story about Newcastle Emlyn, which is purportedly the site of the last dragon slaying in Wales. This fascinated me, and I stored the idea away to percolate.

Holy Island (or Lindisfarne) off the coast of Northumberland drew my interest too, so I threw that into my percolator. I let my ideas stew for many, many months before the Dragon Isles plot emerged, and the world became real to me.

Ta-da! The first cover…

Liza by Shelley Munro
And introducing the blurb:

A dragon shifter and a human woman meet…
…Two worlds collide.

The encounter shouldn’t have occurred, and the dragon species must battle the consequences.

Elizabeth Carrington: single-mother with a daughter and an obnoxious ex who refuses to leave without a chunk of her inheritance. An aspiring writer, she glimpses the unbelievable during a research trip, and when she awakens after the resulting car crash, she isn’t in England any longer. Not that she understands this calamity, because a knock to the head has stripped her memories. She is a woman with no past and no perception of dragons or their danger to her.

Dragon shifter Leonidas, Champion of the Skies, is the youngest son, and his parents have arranged a betrothal for him with Nan, The Strongminded. He rejects this betrothal his parents insist will bring peace and cement bonds between the Dragon Isles.

Once Liza crashes into Leo’s life, everything changes. While his family, friends, and neighbors are baying for her death, instinct propels Leo to protect this attractive stranger.

Their friendship deepens from respect to love as they attempt to discover how and why they met. What they learn will rip apart the dragon world and propel the inhabitants of the Dragon Isles into an unknown future.

You will love this first book in the Dragon Isles trilogy because it introduces a courageous and sexy dragon, a feisty human battler, and a new world full of mystery, magic, and mayhem. Plus one or two dragon-caused infernos when tempers race out of control.

Release date is 19 September 2020 (In honor of my sister’s birthday)

Pre-order your copy today so you can start reading the instant LIZA is available.