InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

 

My new book, The Secret Life of Daydreams, officially came out yesterday. It’s a bit surreal to know it’s for sale on Amazon and that anyone can buy and read it. I used to worry about not being able to write a good story, and now I worry about what readers will think of it. Will they like my characters and my writing? Will they download a sample and get so engrossed in the story that they need to go buy it to read the rest? Will they post a review?

Each step of the writing and publishing journey brings a new set of worries and insecurities. Writers are artists so it goes without saying that we’re pretty much always insecure about our art.

Of course, now that my début book is out, I worry about writing and publishing the next one. It’s finished, but needs lots of rewriting.

 

Insecure Writer #99

 

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  • Stephanie FarisJanuary 6, 2016 - 2:06 PM

    Ah yes…there’s something about knowing that book is out there. So scary! But sometimes it’s easy to pretend nobody’s reading it! The disconnect is fairly strong. If I ever walked into a place and saw a kid reading one of my books, I’d totally flip out. But I’d have to keep it quiet because I learned early on that telling a kid, “I wrote that book” makes them look at you like you’re a crazy lady!ReplyCancel

  • Charity BradfordJanuary 6, 2016 - 3:29 PM

    Congrats on having a book out there! At least your second book is already for revisions and edits. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Sheri LarsenJanuary 6, 2016 - 5:46 PM

    It’s a never-ending battle of writing worry, isn’t it? Strangely, the more we fight it the stronger the strains become. I’m all will be well. Congratulations on your debut!!! Wishing you a wonderful and productive year!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth HeinJanuary 8, 2016 - 7:28 PM

    Congratulations on the book’s release. I hope you can take a deep breath and just enjoy this moment. The worries can wait until tomorrow.ReplyCancel

  • NicolaJanuary 15, 2016 - 3:53 AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! What an accomplishment. Enjoy every step of the journey and continue to love the writing. Wishing you lots of success and happiness throughout the year.

    ps: I love the look of your website. Very fresh and welcoming.ReplyCancel

  • Donna K. WeaverFebruary 1, 2016 - 7:57 PM

    And yet we have to move on. As much as we love that first book, others are calling to us. And then there’s the crush of how well any of our little babies are received. People who’ve never written a book don’t realize how important those reviews are.ReplyCancel

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Can you believe it? It’s Publication Day! The Secret Life of Daydreams is finally out in the world. And to celebrate, I’m giving out gifts! More specifically, one lucky winner will get all this:

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  • One paperback book of The Secret Life of Daydreams
  • Five bookmarks, to keep and to share
  • 12 Portuguese Fruit candies (these are the genuine deal, peeps! Taffies and fruit filled, by Penha)
  • One 5×7 mounted print quote (The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee, Numbers 6:24, from Wild Berry Road on Etsy)
  • One 5×7 mounted print of Josh and Sofia on their wedding day (custom painted by Castle On The Hill)
  • One Portuguese mini soap from Confiança, a soap factory in Braga, Portugal
  • One custom ribbon and tile-replica bookmark from Átrio on Etsy
  • One cedar pencil by Viarco pencil manufacturer (orange blossom scented)
  • One Lindt chocolate bar (Dark with a touch of sea salt, my favorite)

Isn’t this a fabulous prize? I wish I could be there when the winner opens the box with all this.:)

This giveaway is open to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

For international readers, I’m giving away an ebook to two readers, choice of Mobi or Epub.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can enter the tweet option once every day until the end of the giveaway to increase your chances. It starts today and it ends on my birthday. Thanks for helping me celebrate my new book and good luck!

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  • Sarah GJanuary 5, 2016 - 6:35 AM

    I don’t really have a preference as I read them both! One thing I do like better about paperbacks, other than the feel of an actual book, is that it is easier for me to go back and reread parts of the book.ReplyCancel

  • danielle hammelefJanuary 5, 2016 - 9:01 AM

    I still prefer to read a paper copy of a book, though my Kidle works well for the pool and vacation.ReplyCancel

  • GinaJanuary 5, 2016 - 12:27 PM

    I read books primarily on my Kindle… so much easier as my reading time is in the evening.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel BJanuary 5, 2016 - 6:34 PM

    I prefer print books, but tend to read ebooks because of lack of space. I live in a small-ish apartment, so space for my books is limited.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanna MassmanJanuary 5, 2016 - 7:07 PM

    I may be old-fashioned but I still love print books. Print books give you a sense of where you are when it comes to plot development that is more visual than ebooks. If you are holding a print copy and the story seems to be headed toward resolution but you are only halfway through the book, you know the author has more in store for the characters.ReplyCancel

  • Judi TorresJanuary 5, 2016 - 7:33 PM

    I never thought I would like ebooks because I’m very old school when it comes to books.But when I first got my kindle I quickly changed my mind and began to love the convenience of buying books online and getting them instantaneously.I still like to read a paperback once in a while when I’m at the beach or park.ReplyCancel

  • bn100January 5, 2016 - 11:08 PM

    print- easier to readReplyCancel

  • Karen M.January 14, 2016 - 8:09 PM

    I read both but my Kindle is great for on the go, like waiting at the dentist’s office or supermarket line.ReplyCancel

 

One more week until publication day for The Secret Life of Daydreams! In the mean time, I’m sharing the first chapter. Hope you will like it.

 

The Secret Life of Daydreams

by Lucinda Whitney

copyright © 2016

all rights reserved

CHAPTER ONE

Why had he come?
Josh Conrad palmed the steering wheel as the road curved right. He had left Portugal on a sunny October morning and was now back on a wet May evening. Eleven years was a long time. The twists and turns life had taken since then had somehow guided his path back to the nearby streets and squares, to the places he remembered and to the people he hadn’t forgotten. He had worked hard then.
This time, the work was different, and even though he had choices in the kind of jobs he took, he hadn’t planned to return to this part of the world. He preferred new places that didn’t provoke painful introspection. Maybe this trip wasn’t a good idea.
He rolled down the window a few inches. What was that Portuguese saying about thousands of water? Something fitting for this kind of weather. The rain lashed against the glass and sprayed his hair and forehead. He inhaled. The trees in early bloom, the asphalt, the richness of dirt not too far from the road. The scents were both familiar and foreign, rousing memories he had long put to sleep, memories he didn’t want to awaken.
At first glance, the city of Braga had grown. How they found the space for that growth was baffling. In the approaching evening, the blanket of city lights hugged the hillsides in places where only fields and trees had previously been. The sounds filtered in through the chink on the window—the traffic muffled by the rain, the nearby peal of a church bell, bits of conversation in a language he hadn’t heard in a while.
He longed to stop and take a closer look. The first reconnaissance walk would have to wait till morning, when the sun was up and the weather drier. Hopefully much drier. He wasn’t in the mood to carry an umbrella, one he’d have to buy first. At least the weatherproof sleeve for his equipment was packed in the camera bag. A few years back, when he’d started out in photography, he’d spent a month in Venezuela in the rainy season, four and a half weeks of holding a fraying umbrella over his camera and telelens as if he knew what he was doing. That mistake had cost him some crucial images, and it was a lesson he had learned dearly.
Josh had a full schedule for this trip, trying to fit everything he needed to do into the six-week work visa. Interviews and research could take place at any time and under any kind of weather, but the photos for this project required the trademark background of sunny skies and cotton clouds that Portugal boasted. That’s what his clients wanted, and that’s what he’d deliver. Good weather willing. He didn’t want to entertain the alternative if the wet days persisted.
The rain intensified and when his cell phone rang, Josh pulled to an empty parking space on a side street. He grabbed the phone from the center console and checked the caller ID. “You didn’t tell me it was raining.”
The man on the other side laughed. “I guess I didn’t. Are you in town yet?”
Josh rolled up the window. “I just arrived. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“You need directions?”
Josh tapped the screen on his smartphone, where a map highlighted the remaining distance between his position and his destination. “You still have no confidence in my navigation skills, do you, Paulo?” He couldn’t hold back the teasing in his voice.
They hung up and Josh replaced the phone. He waited for the passing traffic before turning onto the main road. The usual excitement that came with the beginning of a new job didn’t reach the proportions he was used to. That’s what happened when the city was too familiar, from a past life he didn’t wish to see resurrected. As the wipers slid on the windshield, he only hoped this trip wasn’t a mistake.

* * *

Sofia Monteiro had left the school ten minutes ago, and already she was soaked. Her red umbrella wasn’t much of a refuge from the heavy rains on that Monday afternoon. As the saying went, “Em Abril, águas mil.” Only April had come and gone and still the rain continued. It was the wettest May in her recent memory. Hopefully Mother hadn’t tried to pick the laundry from the line. Sofia would rather deal with a load of rain-soaked sheets than worry about Mother leaning out the balcony too far.
The way to the parking garage cut through Avenida Central and its gardens. The blooms on the linden trees weighed the air with their sweet fragrance, adding to the kind of spring day she so loved in Braga. At times, Sofia sat on a park bench to read in the shade of one of the centennial trees. The nearby bells in the twin church towers across the garden chimed every fifteen minutes with their familiar clang, and it didn’t take much to distract her as the pedestrians walked by. Today people hurried along hunched behind umbrellas, and she longed for her corner on the sofa, her woolen socks, and a cup of lemon balm tea.
When she rounded the corner, a man stood in the center of the square, facing away from her. He wore a backpack under a navy rain slick with a hood, and the water dripped from him onto the granite pavement as if he were a permanent fixture instead of a mobile one. As Sofia approached from the side, he turned, holding a covered object to his bearded face. It had to be a camera, though she hadn’t seen one protected from the rain in that fashion. The Nikon brand stamped in white letters confirmed her guess.
He was tall. For some reason, Sofia had always had a predilection for tall guys, and this one caught her attention. His height and build suggested he was not Portuguese, and she wished she could see his features to guess his nationality. It was a game she had played with her fellow workers on a job as a tourist guide in her late teens. After a few weeks of practice meeting people from other countries, she could guess any new tourist’s nationality. She still tried to predict their country of origin whenever she saw foreigners.
The man kept the camera in front of his eyes and Sofia slowed down, tipping her umbrella back slightly so she could have a better look. Nosiness—that was, curiosity—was a trait Portuguese people cultivated with blunt finesse, and one from which she couldn’t escape at times.
Dark hair stuck to his forehead, and his strong profile reminded her of an actor who starred in the British dramas she watched. He was lost to everything around him. Sofia knew that kind of concentration, the kind that sneaked up and obliterated all distractions. As a little girl, she had been easily distracted. She had tried to hide how she could daydream and disconnect from her surroundings in the most normal situations. All grown up, she still did it, both the dreaming and the hiding. She inhaled quickly as the sense of awareness increased, the kinship felt with a stranger who shared something with her. Not the photography, but the pursuit of a dream without interference. He didn’t even know she watched him.
He wore boots but Sofia didn’t and soon her shoes leaked and her feet were wet and cold. It pulled her out of her daydreaming and into reality. She didn’t have the time to look at men, even if they appeared to be interesting. It was beyond the list of possibilities in her life at the moment, and any related diversions meant nothing more than that. The thought didn’t surprise her, however maudlin it rang.
As she resumed the walk back to the car, Sofia planned to watch an episode of her favorite British show after Mother’s bedtime. In the comfort of the living room, she could gawk at foreign men out of the torrential rain and daydream of sunny days and long strolls with attentive companions.
If only reality could be as fulfilling as fantasy.

 

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The Secret Life of Daydreams is coming out in three weeks from tomorrow, and I’m getting really excited! The advanced review copies have been sent out and I’m getting the gifts ready for the publication day giveaway on January 5th and for the book signing on January 23rd. Learn more about it here. And don’t forget about the Goodreads giveaway!

In the meantime, Book Blast Tours by I Am A Reader is hosting a $50 Amazon/Paypal giveaway: click on this link. And share with your reader friends!

(Click on the above picture for the pre-order link on Amazon at the special price of 99 cents)

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