Tag Archives: Writers Resources

Put Away the Bucket: A Guest Post by Kat Heckenbach

Everyone knows what it’s like to keep a bucket by the bed when they have the stomach flu. And every pet owner has experienced awakening in the middle of the night to the hwa-hwa-hwa of a cat or dog about to puke. When the latter happens, we spring out of bed, grab the hiccupping animal, and drag them to a room with tile floor.

Why do we do these things? Because we want to control the puke. We all know it’s way easier than cleaning up after the fact. It’s sticky, and gooey, and smelly. And no matter what you use to clean it, if it hits the carpet there will be a stain, however faint.

At this point you have either run off to grab a bucket yourself because you are one of those people who gets sick just hearing someone else get sick. (It can be rather contagious, kinda like yawning for some folks.) Or, you are staring at the screen, wondering why the bleep I’m blogging about barfing.

Well, it’s like writing.

Don’t look at me like that! It is.

I’ve read a lot of stories lately, manuscripts by fellow writers, that don’t have enough raw emotion, or enough evil, or enough something to carry the scene or situation. Oh, and don’t think I’m just pointing fingers—I’ve been called out for this very thing myself.

For example, in an early scene of one of my works in progress, my main character is trying to scare off the father of her child. It’s supposed to be a dark, emotional scene. She has powers, but she’s not using them to the full potential here. She’s, quite frankly, being too nice. I admit, because the book has a significant romance element, I was thinking about an audience who may not take well to scary.

I sent the scene off to a crit partner, and she told me there wasn’t enough “me” in it. She knew I was holding back. The same thing happened in a few scenes in an earlier draft of my recently published novel, Finding Angel, as well. A beta reader told me, in reference to those scenes, “I should have been crying, but I wasn’t.”

I realized the problem. I’d been holding back. In other words, I was trying to get messy, barfy emotions onto the page in a nice, neat bucket. Or keep it on the tile.

But real life doesn’t work that way. Emotions are overwhelming. They are messy and take ages to clean up. And if we want the reader to experience the emotion, we have to be messy when we put it on the page. We have to barf it out—no bucket.

Sometimes, it can be scary. Sometimes, the emotions are a little too close to home. We hold back because it’s not just going to make a mess on the page, but because it’s going to make a mess of us as well. Maybe they are emotions we’ve held down deep for a long time, and we can only bear to let them out a bit at a time.

That’s understandable, but the problem is those emotions don’t translate well to the reader. For the writer, just a hint at a familiar painful situation is enough to feel it full-force again—but the reader doesn’t get that. In order for them to feel what we are feeling, they need more. The only way to give that to them is to let if pour forth unchecked. Barf it out. Then go back to clean up later.

Unlike pet puke, we want our emotional barf to leave a stain. It’s supposed to sink into the reader and make them remember. They should walk by your book on their shelf and feel something. Weeks, months, or even years later.

True, it’s more work. It takes more time to edit away the chaos that can result, but it’s better than having our scenes fall flat emotionally.

So, from now on, put away the bucket when you write. Don’t worry about the mess. If you want your reader to feel the force of your emotion, barf it out.


Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing, with multiple stories published online and in print. Her debut novel, MG fantasy Finding Angel, is available in print and ebook.

Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…but it remembers her. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com.

You can also support Kat and her writing here at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble!

Thank you, Kat…I think. :}

Of course, I jest. This is awesome. I really appreciate you guesting for Aspire No More and I look forward to more of your work!

Everyone, support your indie writers/authors!


First Ever Submission Call!

Ladies and Gents of the Write!

Earlier whilst perusing the Facebook or as I like to call it the PhotoBook, I came across a picture shared by my friend Franki Sinopoli Hunt.

The aforementioned picture was that of a sculpture called Freedom by artist  Zenos Frudakis. Here it is and this is the best shot I could find of it.

The piece, for me, is stunning and thought provoking to say the very least.

It also inspired me to write something, not so much about it, but along the lines of what is happening here. Fighting for freedom and the feeling one may or may not feel if he/she succeeds/fails.

So, that inspired me further.

And that is this:

Write your piece, under 500 words for short story or a suitable length for poetry 

Title? I’ll keep it simple.


What will you get? The writing experience, the joy of creating, a spot on this blog and permission to gloat on Facebook, The Twitter and anywhere else you choose. You may even find a new audience. That’s always good.

How’s that? Cool?


Send submissions to me at tymothylongoria [at] yahoo.com.

If I get more than a few, I’ll go through them with zeal and pick the most captivating.

The call begins today, October 3rd, and will run through Sunday October 16th, deadline for submissions. Get your hearts in check and write on!

See you there.

Be blessed.


Tales Of Writer Fails.

“How do you spell inanimate?”
*taptaptap “Cool, how do you spell moribund?”
“Uh, m-o-r-i-b-u-n-d.”
“Okay.” *taptaptap. “Got it! Uh, dude?”
“How do you spell morose?”
“Dude. M-o-r…wait you’re a writer, right?”
“Thanks dude! I have a new vampire story that takes place in the year 2045 and an Egyptian warrior has to find a signet ring to stop the invading zombie army, but only after he takes unicorn horn shavings and places them under his tongue! This is going to be such a best-seller!”


Now. Hear me. I am not making fun of people who have a hard time with spelling. No way. I’m sure at least ONE writer in the history of writing has been a bad speller. this is my attmept at humor for my fellow escritores. A brilliant idea and a flawless voice are a blessing but remember the technical parts of writing matter a LOT. You do kinda have to have a grasp of decent grammar and spelling to write. I mean…first impressions can lead to a huge book deal, right? But also for Indies, they respect what they do. Do your best!



Underneath The Juniper Tree

Okay folks. Have you seen the Nick cartoon Making Fiends? Well get that, some  Shel Silverstein…then mix in some serious spook…and broil it at a temperature that will melt your face for four hours-you get Underneath the Juniper Tree.

This is one of my summer finds and it’s seriously cool.

Their contests are fun and challenging and lemme tell ya-they make me want to further my writing-all over again. I’m writing a horror short called Obey about kids and scariness…so this is perfect.

Did I mention the art?  Continue reading

I Am Writer and Writing For Me…

We have all seen those posts giving tips on what to do be a stronger writer. No bs–they are invaluable and if you have written one of those, thank you.  I’ll be joining the ranks soon and I also give “tips” on Twitter myself. I also ran across a blog post stating what not to do. Twas brilliant. While all of these things are worth more than gold to a writer–I believe the next exercise is worth trying out.

Simply write one way or a hundred ways that writing has changed you.

Writing for me has–

…awakened the younger me.

…made me a stonger person.

…made me a better man.

…strengthened the bonds with my family.

…made me appreciate Gods gifts, sincerely. Continue reading

I Am Writer

I am one who can create an entire world that never existed. I can imagine in my head epic battles…or the quiet flutter of a butterfly’s wings. In my world, in these dimensions, a lone warrior can travel into the very belly of the beast to claim his queen or he can walk the halls of a high school with no memory of the night before, save for a burn mark in his palm.

I Am…Writer.

For this first post in a new feature for Wednesdays, I posed a question: What does it mean to you be a Writer?

I am ever-blessed to know so, many great, talented, extremely supportive people. Here are some of their answers. Enjoy. Take something, anything away from this. Share it. Do the same. Make it yours.

Me. It means finding out who I’m “supposed” to be. Who God called me to be. He gave me this gift. I’m running with it. For me it means-I have found my destiny. All else is beauty. Continue reading

Stylish Blogger Award

This is the day that will live in the infirmary…or something like that.

I am part of a group on Twitter now on Facebook, called the #BNFF. BestNerdFriendsForever.  My Friend and Head-Nerd, Christin Mowery, picked me as one of five people to be awarded the Stylish Blogger Award.

Christin not only are you my #BNFF, but you’re also a client.

BUT WAIT There’s MORE!!! Today I find, another Nerd awarded me this very prestigious award of awards. Her name: Burke. Allie Burke. Remember this name. REMEMBER. THIS. NAME.

So, here’s how it works:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to five new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Random Acts Of Nerd: One-a.k.a Random Fact 1:

I love music.

Music+Me=me standing on a mountain top with my sword raised to the heavens. I bow down to the Lord of Lords, in tribute for this most beautiful gift He has bestowed to me.

Anyone that “knows” me knows, I love music. From epic incarnate, Dio to times of Grace to Pavarotti. ♫♪ I love music more than writing. Yea, I said it.

Random Fact 2:

I am a singer.

I was a kid before. No, really. Like all kids I loved to sing. Thing is I kept doing it. Then I started going to church and that was where I began to sing, like for real. During services. It was one of the best times of my life-of course, it was God-given-and I cherish those memories. “I sing because I’m happy…I sing because I’m free.”

Random Fact Numero Tres:

I was in a band. Really. I was the-you guessed it, lead singer. We were called Endless. We even recorded a song ONTO A DISC!!! Lol. But really, something I can not brag about but be very proud of.

I Am…Random Fact Four:

I read magazines,  newspaper, back to front. I don’t know what. It’s an o.c.d of mine. I can’t help it. Weird? Yes. Epic? I like to think so. I must admit, it’s very hard reading sometimes because of this.

Random Factoid 5:

I want to help everyone.

I was afraid to say, I will use the money from my book sales, etc for fear of being called boasful or big-headed. But, Christin Mowery inspired me to SAY what I believe to be true. I want  so desperately to help my father quit his job at the maximum security prison. I want so badly to buy a fleet of vehicles and give them away to the I.S.D. or meals on wheels for oldies but goodies. So much that I want to accomplish. I want to enlarge God’s kingdom. Word.

Random Fact 6:

I worked in the same max unit penitentiary for almost seven years. I will say, it was very educational. I learned so much MORE about the human psyche. Really. Just imagine.

Random Fact Lucky Number Seven:

I am Greek on my mother’s side. My great-great grandfather Miltiadis came to America in the late 1800’s..and I am proud of this fact.


I nominate the following 5 people for the Stylish Blogger Award:

Christin Mowery. It’s a given. Her name is in my book. She’s the Number One #BNFF.

Allie Burke: Epic. Her words to me were a pinnacle, a serious boost in my already confident spirit. I owe her so. Her blog has an interview with Perception Of Intent. Go.

Michelle Shaw She was one of the Firsts. The firsts to welcome me. The Firsts to support me and give so many kind words. The M.S. to my Sweet T. Also she has read the intro and Chapter One of The Stories. Word.

Sammie Spencer  She is ever, ever supportive.

Lanie Leigh She says I was the inspo for creating one of the best videos for writers, EVER. Her words compel you. Read them.

I’m cheating but Number Five is Two. My Twisted Sisters, Amy Rose Thomas and Demetra Brodsky.

You know what? I can’t do this. FIVE? Well, writers don’t really follow rules do they?

6: Rachel Harris She, along with many other awesome YA Writers is a great person to know. A great Writer and a great Blogger.

7. Jamie Harrinton As her blog says, she’s totally the bomb. And her drawrings are EPIC.

Seven Random Fats. Seven Picks.

Fact is these are seven. But there is more. The Feature “I Am Writer” begins tomorrow. You’ll see. Tiffany King. You’re next.

Be blessed!

P.S. Random Fact Ocho. I am going to open up a tattoo shop called Grace Full Ink. Word.

YEAH! Your Blog Is On Fii-ir!

New post up at The New Authors Fellowship Music Is My Muse. Go over and have a read. Should be interesting.

Also I have been awarded the very prestigious and epic Blog On Fire Award!

Aspire No more is on FIRE!

Thank you, very very much SycamoreMeadows you are a great support and a great Writer as well. Visit her blog!

Every Monday a new post and Fridays you can read her Flash Fiction!

I pay it forward:

Thomas Amo

Allie Burke

Melissa Dalton

Nicholas Denmon

Enamored Soul

Paul Joseph

Jess Kristie

Tiffany King

Dawn Kirby

Lanie Leigh

Christin Mowery

Shelly Picarella

Keven Newsome

Danielle Raver

Christy Trujillo

L.A. Shaw

Sammy Spencer

Morgan Wylie

This is not even scratching the Epic Writer surface. There is more. In a new feature called I Am Writer. #Word.

Be blessed!

Guest post up at Christin Mowery.com

Go by, read. Be inspired. Show Christin your support. She is a great Friend and a great Writer. #BNFF

Also it was included in the The Butterfly Daily by another great and talented Fellow Writer, Jess Kristie.

I’m talking about Friendship.” Jack Black

Rowling and Meyer: Writing in Secret By D.L. King

Rowling and Meyer: Writing in Secret

By D.L. King http://dlkingwriter.blogspot.com/

Closet writing. It happens more than you think. Just like an undercover FBI agent hiding their veiled career, many writers cloak their work as if they were planning a covert operation instead of writing a novel. It sounds humorous, yet many writers write in secret and this phenomenon is worth some investigation and discussion.

So why keep your writing to yourself? Why not share your excitement from the start and proclaim your envied position as an artist? The answers are fairly straightforward:

1) Creativity is very personal and often artists are shy and delicate creatures.

2) The artist’s life is easily misunderstood by the general population.

3) Many artists wade against an opposing societal current that treats with derision not only the content they’ve chosen but also the very nature of their profession. Writing fiction isn’t your typical 9-5, and by many, isn’t even seen as work.

Furthermore, creativity can be a fragile beast, a beast that needs nurturing. That nurturing can be provided either internally or externally, depending on the individual’s needs, but the beast is demanding and must be fed. And coming to terms with the ramifications of art is something every writer must face if they are to succeed. For some it is a fast process of self-acceptance, but for others it can be a slow and agonizing evolution.

One of the initial hurdles of this progression is overcoming self-doubts. Or the: ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘This business is tough.’ ‘What will so and so think,’ phase. Then comes facing outside obstacles: “Writer? Is that why we sent you to college?” “Good idea, but I think I read that story before,” etc. But with an internal battle already waging in the mind and because there can be many more forces that hamper creativity than foster it, many beginning artists shy away from exposing themselves to outside judgment for fear their sensitive vision may crushed.

Take for example two of the bigs: Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling.

When Meyer was writing Twilight she didn’t tell anyone, not even her husband. She would simply sneak off to the computer and go into deep cover mode.

“I was really protective and shy about it because it’s a vampire romance. It’s still embarrassing to say those words — it sounds so cheesy,” she confessed. “It’s not like I was going to tell him (her husband) that I was writing this story about vampires, because he was just going to be even more perturbed.” (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2007-07-12/news/charmed/2/)

The person who finally broke Meyer’s silence was her older sister, Emily Rasmussen, and Meyer ended up sending her sister the manuscript piece by piece. Rasmussen fell in love with Twilight and encouraged her to find a publisher.

And then there’s J.K. Rowling. For years Rowling was also a closet writer and not many people knew of her literary endeavors. Not even her parents. When one of her pupils discovered she was writing a book, Rowling felt embarrassed and tried to trivialize her writing. “I think I said, ‘No it’s just a hobby.'” http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2000/0700-guardian-hattenstone.htm

She also once told a friend she was writing a novel, and the friend’s eyes glazed over.  “I think she thought I was deluding myself, that I was in a nasty situation, and had sat down one day and thought, ‘I know, I’ll write a novel.’ She probably thought it was a get-rich-quick scheme.” http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2000/0700-guardian-hattenstone.htm

But as the story goes, she told her sister Dianne about the concept of Harry Potter. And Dianne is said to have instantly loved it and became a huge supporter and finally encouraged J.K. to send the manuscript to publishers. “It’s possible if she had not laughed, I would have set the whole thing to one side,” admitted Rowling, “but Di did laugh.” (http://www.famous-women-and-beauty.com/j-k-rowling-biography.html)

So…confession: Personally, in the beginning, I didn’t want to tell people that I was writing either. I was on the cusp of quitting before I even started, thinking that I’d never accomplish anything, and that most everyone I knew would assume I was on some silly venture.

If anyone needed some external nurturing, it was me. So, like Meyer and Rowling, I only told a few people whom I knew would respond with nothing but support. And that was key. Knowing that someone is cheering you on, whether it’s yourself or someone else, kindles that flame of self-confidence. So that eventually you can step out your door and say: “Hello, world! I’m a writer!”

Later, in addition to telling those first few wonderful people, this gave me enough assurance to join a critique group. And having that extra anchor was fantastic, as the group, too, knew the writer’s plight. There were some bumps on the way as some people gave me the evil-critical-eye. But it wasn’t long before I was known as “a writer.”

As Thomas Dreier once said: “The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are.” To see this principle in action, one of the greatest ways to find out what you’re projecting is by examining the gifts you receive. As I started to tell more people about writing, going to classes and conferences, and meeting with editors, etc., I noticed that for Christmases and birthdays I started getting more bookstore gift cards and books on writing/grammar.

But finally the ultimate present I received was a pair of earrings in the shape of matching books. I was shocked and closed the box. The giver wondered if I didn’t like the gift, and I told them: “No, I do, but why did you think to give these to me?” (Silly, I know.) They furrowed their brow and said, “Uh, because you’re a writer, duh.” I scratched my head and smiled. “Oh, I guess I am.”

From that day on I was able to put my secret-agent-writer-FBI-badge away and like Rowling and Meyer, acknowledge those first few supportive people who nurtured my artistic endeavourers and built my confidence sky-high.

As an avid writer by day and werewolf by night, D.L. King is a YA and picture book writer currently querying literary agencies for representation.

Keep an eye out for D.L. Her ideas are fresh and I think we will be seeing much more of her in the near future!

NEW posts coming this week!

A new feature I have dreamed up will showcase the unbridled writing talent of the youth of the world.

No, seriously. I have taken it upon myself to share-with the writer’s permission, duh-with you all exactly what people are writing. They have some great ideas and it shows. These are the future #Writers. Should they choose to continue of course. The feature is called, Unbridled Talent and will begin tomorrow, Thursday. It will be a recurring post every Thursday. These amazing unknown young writers have agreed to let their words hit your heart.

Also coming Friday, great and talented writer and future best-seller D.L. King will stop by with Aspire No Mores newest Guest post, entitled:

Rowling and Meyer: Writing in Secret.

Anticipation, indeed.

Also I am honored and very pleased that my Wife, Jennifer Longoria will be guesting on Sunday with a post she humbly calls Humbled. Thank you so much for doing this Jeni. You’re a Writer as well. ;}

Stay tuned to Aspire No More. Things are looking ever better.

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