Jennifer Lyon

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
A Warning

Just a warning. It looks like the Goodreads Review Blackmailers are back. They target an author, emailing her that if she does not buy their review service, they will troll her with one-star reviews. They follow through. This has happened before and is happening again. I’m sure it’s  being done on other platforms too, this is just the one I heard about yesterday.

The author targeted is doing all she can, including contacting the FBI cyber crime unit and other law enforcement agencies. Because I heard about this in one of my private author groups, I’m not going to name her, but I just want you all to be aware of this blackmail.

And if you see this happening to your friends, please, lets do whatever we can to help them. We are a strong when we stand together, and we have to fight this blackmail bullshit.

I’m so furious. And so tired of evil trolls making hard-working, honest people miserable. But one thing I will never tire of is supporting my friends and authors.

Monday, May 10th, 2021
GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
Happy Monday!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!
Your Monday is about to get better because I am here to announce the winners from my Blog and Newsletter Giveaways!
Savaged Blog Giveaway
Grand Prize: Savaged Illusions Tote Bag, Mug & Sticker, $10 Amazon Card & a SWAG Pack
Kristina
Runner Up: $10 Amazon Card and SWAG Pack
Kelly D
3 Second Runner’s Up will each receive a SWAG Pack!
Hankiejazz
Kat H
Alexis
Newsletter Giveaway
Grand Prize: Savaged Illusions Tote Bag, Mug & Sticker, $10 Amazon Card & a SWAG Pack
Bn100
Runner Up: $10 Amazon Card and SWAG Pack
Crystal B
3 Second Runner’s Up will each receive a SWAG Pack!
Jackie S
Maritza F
Kerri F
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS! I have already emailed everyone so please check your email if you are listed here.
Monday, May 10th, 2021
Weekend Roundup

It’s a new week! And I have to start out by apologizing for not answering comments on Friday. I read them on my phone but didn’t get to my desktop to answer. My bad, but I loathe trying to answer on my phone :-)

I hope everyone who is a Mom had a great Mother’s Day!

The weekend was good. Friday, Turbo and his mom came over to hang out. That boy melts my heart. He takes me hand and asks me to play with him…and that’s what I do. Of course, Turbo loves going to “Maggie’s house” and spends a lot of the day playing with her. One of his favorite things is her “zooming” up and down the stairs. By the time Turbo went home, both Turbo and Maggie were exhausted, LOL!

Mother’s Day was nice. We went to breakfast, then I came home and made an apple pie to take to my mother-in-law’s house later in the day. After that Youngest and his wife came over for awhile, they are always fun to see. Then we headed out to Wizard’s mom’s and spent a great afternoon with her and some family. She seemed to really enjoy a homemade pie. I just wanted to take her something even though she’s at a place in her life where she doesn’t need or want much.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Character Motivation

Originally Published on MurderSheWrites Blog May 16, 2011 and slightly edited for this posting.

IMPORTANCE OF CHARACTER MOTIVATION

I was judging some contests recently, and it got me to thinking about something. For a book to work, character motivation is crucial.

Character motivation is the “why” factor. As writers, we are promising our readers answers that we often don’t get in real life. Readers needs to know why. Character motivation is the driving force behind every decision and choice the character will make. Plot and conflict are just as vital, but if the motivation is not there, then characters become flat and one-dimensional. And we get things like the Too Stupid to Live heroine. Here’s an example my older novella, GOOD, BAD & SEXY.

A heroine leaves town and goes to a resort, missing a court date for an Assault and Battery charge. One that should have been cleared up pretty easily if she had just gone to court.

Too stupid to live, right? Why would anyone want  to read about her?

But what if the woman has a stalker and no one believes her? Not even her family? In fact, what if her family has a history of not believing her? What if she is being proactive, protecting her life while trying to find out who is stalking her?

Okay, not so stupid now. Once we understand her character motivation, we can understand her decisions. And in fact, we (hopefully) begin to sympathize with her and root for her.

But that’s just the beginning. We must keep going deeper to the internal conflict. For the novella, I showed Lexie always rescuing her family. When her mom had a heart attack, Lexie rescued them by taking over her mom’s wedding planning business even though she hated it. Because this was a novella, I didn’t have a lot of room for long backstory, but I made sure to show a pattern of the family using her while ignoring her dreams and fears (like a stalker).

For Nick, I had to motivate him as a loner. So in his backstory, he was involved with a woman in trouble. Nick had sworn to protect her, and failed. Instead he watched her die. Never again would he fall in love and fail someone. Never. And he fights the growing need to protect Lexie—until he realizes that this woman is smart and protecting herself.

Once I have those, I can figure out their internal conflict which usually stems from a character’s deepest fears. So we know Lexie has an unsupportive family, right? They use her, never caring about her own goals. Guess what her internal conflict is as far as love? She’s looking for love from a man who will support her dreams, or believe her when she says she’s in trouble.

And for Nick…this is too easy. His deepest fear is failing someone else he loves, so he can’t fall in love. Nick is all about one-night-stands, and no long term relationships.

Now their romantic conflict is clear: Lexie wants long term, deeply supportive love—the one thing Nick is afraid of. He’d been there, done that and has the emotional scars. Nick will go to any lengths to avoid that pain, while Lexie will go to any lengths to avoid being used and discarded.

So when Nick, a bounty hunter, goes after Lexie to bring her in for a missed court date, and finds out that she’s not too stupid to love, but too smart to die…he comes face to face with his deepest fear. A woman in trouble, one that he quickly grows to care about.

Back to the contest entries I judged: One was so good, I am still thinking about it weeks later. That is some great character motivation!

Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Weekend Roundup

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: My book wasn’t working, so I went back to the beginning…

I hear all of you who know me screaming, Stop! We’ve heard it a thousand freaking times.

My ideas always start out as one thing and then they come alive, and go through a series of bloody battles we’ll call growing pains as they mature into the story they that is meant to be. That’s when they are no longer mine, but living creatures fighting for what they believe in and need to survive and thrive. The problem is they are like teenagers who keep secrets and make me go through a thousand wrong guesses (easily 100 pages of manuscript) that end badly before I finally pry the truth out of them.

My inefficient process drives me out of my mind. And yet I love it…when I don’t hate it. I’ve long stopped questioning where ideas come from. Instead I try to embrace them with gratitude, load up my determination and buck my metaphoric seat belt for the ride.

One silly Maggie story. We’ve only been down going on a morning walk because it’s hot in the afternoon. Yesterday the weather cooled a bit so  after lunch while Maggie was in the backyard, I went upstairs and grabbed my walking shoes. I dumped them at the bottom of the stairs then went to let her in. She got half way across the room when she saw my shoes. Surprise and excitement hit her so hard, she Tigger Hopped the last three steps to my shoes. Then she did a crazy Chihuahua wiggle dance that made me laugh.

Dogs are so sweet with their unabashed joy for the little things.

How was your weekend?

P.S. 4 more days to enter the Savaged Illusions Giveaway here!

Friday, April 30th, 2021
Friday Five

TGIF. I can’t keep up with the weeks anymore. Hopefully I’m posing this on Friday, but between my confusion and my blog-scheduler problems, who knows :-) Anyway, here are 5 random things about my week:

  1. Maggie’s doing pretty well after her dental cleaning. No extractions, etc. But I really don’t want to put her through any more procedures for a while. Oh an awesome bonus, they cut her nails while she was under anesthesia. I really appreciate that.
  2. Not talking about writing. I just need to get out of my own way.
  3. I’m still doing exercise bands and beginning yoga three times a week. I enjoy it for the most part. Now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I’m pushing a bit more while really trying NOT to hurt myself. I’m pretty sure if I do get hurt, it will be from something stupid like falling out of a simple yoga pose, tripping over the mat or any number of equally embarrassing things.
  4. I bought a second swimsuit. This one is a tankini type (two piece but long top). I still look…um…middle aged (I’m so proud that I didn’t say fat, LOL), but I like it. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t ride up in the water. We’ll see. I don’t know how long we’ll have the pool, and I want to enjoy it without a lot of mental pain over how I look. That’s such a waste of emotional energy in my opinion.
  5. I broke down and made cookies yesterday. They are a healthier than typical version of Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Pecan Cookies. Only I substituted dark chocolate chips for the pecans because I craved chocolate. They are pretty good, a cross between oatmeal cookies and pumpkin pie with a chocolate kick.

That’s my five random things, now I’d love to hear yours! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021
And Again the Blog Didn’t Post As Scheduled

Hi there everyone! Sorry for the late post. I can’t figure out why the blog scheduler is occassionally glitching or if I’m doing something wrong without realizing it. This morning I took a screenshot of my dashboard and sent it off to my website designer to see if she can figure it out. It’s pretty frustrating to see the blog sitting on my dash board under “Publishing soon” when it’s past the time I set to publish it. I double check the whole am/pm but that’s all correct.

It’s a mystery to me :-) It will be hilarious if it’s “User Error” and I was too–let’s say distracted–to figure out what I’m doing wrong on the blog I’ve been using for over a decade now.

And since we’re just chatting–this morning I dropped Maggie off at the vet’s for her teeth cleaning. It’s hilarious how bad Wizard and I felt about not giving her breakfast and her normal walk. I don’t think we ever felt that bad for the kids, LOL. When did we get so weak??? Then I had to sit for 25 minutes with her in the car, and she’s anxious. It took me about 10 minutes to realized I was doing her no favors by letting her fret and finally put her in a firm down with a “you wait” command. That helped her settle. (FYI–Maggie isn’t super well-trained like some dogs, so “command” is more of “firm suggestion” that she usually follows :-) )

Anyway, it occurred to me that pet parents might be even weirder the human parents!

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