If you haven't noticed, it's not long to Christmas, Hanukkah and many other festivities relating to the middle of winter or the solstice. It's even closer to Thanksgiving. If you like being bombarded with things you can buy and throw away again when you're bored with them you are probably enjoying life to the full. Since I dislike waste, and don't like shopping, and would rather sit in a corner by a log fire with a book (or my eReader) than party outrageously, this is the time of year that I go into hibernation.
What really frightens me is the number of books that are available now. Self-publication has a lot to do with this. The flood has turned into a tsunami, and good books are being tossed in the flotsam of life, hoping to surface long enough for the right reader to find and enjoy them. It always was this way around now, every commerical organisation hoping to make its big buck in the run up to the present-fest. I don't compete - I try not to bring my books out when there is fierce competition, fuelled by deep pockets.
I'll draw your attention to Read Tuesday, styled as a "Black Friday type of event for readers and authors" which takes place on December 9th. Hundreds of special offers will be featured, on all types of books, with particular emphasis on family friendly ones. And in the lead up to the event there are things to interest authors and readers and bloggers, so that probably includes you!
The A to Z Blog Challenge is another promotion for authors and bloggers, but of a less 'in your face' kind (on the whole). I'm constantly amazed by the number of writers taking part. Not all of them blog stories during the Challenge: some choose different topics entirely, others mix and match. It's only five months till we reach G in the Challenge, so anyone writing short stories may already be past that! I have seen blogs that do a serial through the month, but I confess that turns me off. It's difficult to get into those serials if you're blog-hopping, and very disappointing if you arrive on day 23 and find the story makes no sense to you. I also learned the hard way the first year I took part, that doing a detailed background to your stories only works if you already have a core of readers who would be interested! It may help your own writing, though. Blogs that do flash fiction during the month work best for my style of doing the challenge - but you may disagree. That's what makes this whole thing so much fun.
I've met some wonderful people and wonderful writers during the Challenge, so many that I'm hard pressed to keep up with them all. Damyanti Biswas writes amazing short stories as well as talking about writing, and she does two blogs (at least) plus Team Leading through the Challenge! I've thoroughly enjoyed Sue Ann Bowling's Homecoming blog for the last three years thanks to her Challenge participation. She writes great stories as well as blogging about her Alaska home. Sadly, Sue is seriously ill, but I hope this mention cheers you up, Sue.
More writing blogs I've enjoyed through the Challenge you could look out for:
Hilary Melton Butcher at Positive Letters, Inspirational Stories
Sara C Snider, a lovely author
Patricia Stoltey, Writing, Colorado and things
Madeline Mora-Summonte's Flash Fiction Collection
Noelle Granger Sayling Away
Tyrean's Writing Spot
and so many more, and not forgetting Samantha Redstreake Geary and Csenge Zalka who were among my co-minions #Team Damyanti on last year's Challenge.
Jemima Pett writes scifi/fantasy The Princelings of the East for older children and is working on a new scifi series, with asteroid miners and sentient trees, for publication in 2015. Twitter + Pinterest
Where's the sign-up List?
For the 2017 Challenge we're trying something new--no Linky List! So if you're looking for a list--stop now. It's really not so bad. Now you'll have many options for discovering participant blogs--blogs that are actually participating in the Challenge. For more info click on the link at the top of the sidebar on the right hand side of your page.