Listen While You Work

I am a multitasker. While I may not be good at it most of the time, I enjoy using multiple parts of my brain at once. My new form of multitasking is doing just about anything while listening to an audio book. 

There are so many opportunities throughout the day to incorporate listening to your audio book. Why settle for one when you can have more fun, am I right?

Some of my daily encounters of such multitasking include: getting ready in the morning, going to the gym, cooking dinner and  while I do my nightly scroll through social media. Now I understand, sometimes it is hard to focus your brain on more than one thing at a time, but it is always something you can get used to. You will quickly discover some simple changes that will make the task easier for you

For instance, I found that when listening to my audio book at the gym I had to make sure I had the right headphones. At first I was using some rinky-dink ones where I could hear my surroundings all too much to a point I lost concentration, and they would constantly be falling out. While I do not need complete silence in order to listen I do tend to block out just about everything that I can so I can truly enjoy it, and that tends to work better when they can also stay on my ears. 

For me, I feel like when I listen along with doing other activities It makes me feel more accomplished and self fulfilled. I get to listen to many books and it keeps my ‘must listen to’ list flowing. 

There are other ways to incorporate listening to audiobooks into your daily schedule you just have to find the best times for you!

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Put It On Paper – A Reading Journal Guide

I am more of a put it on paper kind of person. I can visualize what is going on in my head better once it is written down. If you are the same, keeping a reading journal can be helpful on your literary journey. 

Here are a few starting tips and ideas!

First, picking out your journal. There are of course so many options! Choosing between having a bullet journal or a regular lined journal will probably be your hardest choice. Bullet journals are currently very popular because they allow the writer to be more creative and offer more of a DIY layout. Having a lined journal will still keep things organized in a more structured way and will help you maintain your journal in an orderly manner. 

Other things to consider when making your journal

  • Do you want to stick to one writing utensil
  • Use color coding
  • Will you include hand drawn or printed pictures
  • Where will you keep your journal – will you keep it with you to write thoughts and ideas throughout the day 

I recommend starting your journal with a list. Those are my favorites! Lists, lists, lists. What you are currently reading, what you want to read- and the doors open from there. Having a clear list of where you’ve been and where you want to go will help you in the long run. 

From there the opportunities are endless and you can start creating reading goals for yourself. It’s a good idea to start with some basic goals. For example, how many books do you want to read in a month or year? Once you have an idea of where you are going, you can start to plan how you are going to get there with more specific lists or different categories. You might have a list that focuses on specific genres of books that are going to be featured on the big screen. 

Remember this is your journal and it is there to help you in what you deem important. Some other reading journal ideas can be keeping a reading log.

  • Write a short summary about what you read
  • Write what you liked about the book
  • Log your favorite pages or quotes

Once you get the hang of what you like to log and what you don’t it really becomes your own. 

Get inspired. Go on Pinterest and Google and get ideas of your own. My personal favorite spot for inspiration is #bujoforbooklover on Instagram. There is a whole world out there dedicated to journaling. 

This is a space for your own thoughts and ideas, go crazy!

Coffee For Two Book Review on C.N. Crawford – Dark King, Court of the Sea Fae, Book One —

Tuesday, September 24, 2019: C.N. Crawford – Dark King, Court of the Sea Fae, Book One Title: Dark King, Court of the Sea Fae, Book One Authors: C.N. Crawford Retailers: Amazon Date of Publication: July 22, 2019 Length: 296 pages Genre: Paranormal Romance Audience: Young Adult Collective Favorite Quote: “Oh, bloody hell. Did the fuath […]

C.N. Crawford – Dark King, Court of the Sea Fae, Book One — Coffee For Two Book Review

Breaking Down Sci-Fi

Note: Although we are focusing primarily on the genre of science fiction, most, if not all, points mentioned in this post can be applied to other genres in writing!


  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Octavia Butler
  • George Orwell

These are only a few names known in the realm of science fiction (sci-fi from here on out.) Our own worlds have broadened because someone took the time to travel to the futuristic unknown rather than entering a fantasy world. But what are some key components to writing sci-fi? Let’s get talking!

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Like any other creative writing project, planning and mapping out your story is crucial and necessarily before you dive into your tale. Not only for plot purposes but you always need to question: “how will this affect that?” You know, the usual. Depending on your sci-fi story, you’ll get the opportunity to create even further. For example, settings are new, language is different than what we know on our planet, races vary even more so than skin color…there are so many details to account for! We always recommend doing research into other novels within your genre range. Take it a step further and watch shows and movies. It’ll help further stimulate your creativity.

Something to help you indulge in your research is looking into scientific journals, new discoveries by labs or space teams, etc. This can influence your story in any way you want it to. Shaping your universe with new discoveries and current-world situations. Not only that but you’re expanding your own knowledge. what a way to kill two birds with one stone!

Our last point we’d like to highlight pertains to another question you can ask yourself. What if…? Utilizing the knowledge in the journals you find and articles you read, you can mix this with the creative details you’ve mapped out thus far. Apply your ‘what if’ question and add more depth to your story, add a new element, or a new plot line. Whatever the case may be, you’re adding something to the story by asking what if.

So what if…you start writing now?

On Location

It’s not in everyone’s best interest to sit in their home office to write. Works for some, not for the rest. A few may take a ride in their car to a local place they find inspirational. Others take a hit to the wallet and hop on a place to their most relaxing destination. The purpose isn’t to escape the process of writing, but lay the seed of inspiration and nourish it with the surrounding scenery.

Is anyone a location-inspired writer? If so, where do you like to write?

Coffee shops?

The beach in a comfy chair with your toes in the sand?

In a hotel with a magical view of snow-capped mountains?

Local park?

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Jumping Through Time

A story can include one of two things: flashbacks or skipping to the future. We don’t think recommending the two is a great idea but if executed cohesively…sure! Why not! Let’s discuss.

Sometimes, writing flashbacks can help a story flesh itself out. Readers understand the plot better, the character better, ANYTHING! But what happens when a flashback becomes more than a flash back? Meaning, what happens when a brief moment takes up a whole chapter? Is that acceptable? There isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be acceptable – other than not being written properly. Make sure flashbacks are quick and easy. They’re meant to be memories triggered by people or items or occurrences surrounding the character or plot. Here’s an idea: it doesn’t necessarily have to be written in the perspective where the character is brought back to a moment in time…but rather, induces a feeling, an image flashed in the character’s thoughts. Something like that.

Skipping ahead in time is also a way to get the story moving along. Readers don’t need all filler details and a story doesn’t deserve that either! A few months can pass in the story in a matter of words, as long as the reader is caught up with the characters and ongoings in their world, what else is needed? Questions should never be left unanswered, too. If they are, there better be good reason for it. Did something happen prior to the time hop that wasn’t resolved during the time not mentioned? Well, it better come full circle because then the reader will not be happy (they’ll scream, “PLOT HOLE, PLOT HOLE!” and write a whole review about how the plot hole ruined the story for them.)

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So, now that we’ve lectured about time and the relationship it has with your story – let’s build a time machine and have some fun!

Simplicity & Books

Keeping up with book trends and sales? Don’t worry. We are too. There will always be highs and lows, one extreme to another. This isn’t really a trend but just a little something we noticed in the office. Everything is so simple.

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Sure, writing the book isn’t simple…getting the book to be noticed by an editor/publisher isn’t simple…the process of production isn’t simple…but when the final product of the book is in the author’s hands or a trusty reader’s yearning finger tips…do they just look at the cover and think, it’s so simple? We’re referring to the cover art itself. And because we came across a list of books in which the title said, “Most Beautiful…”, we thought it was about time we sit down and chat about cover art. Again.

Calling something beautiful is subjective to the writer of the article. Some of the titles on this list have been hyped up and plastered all over the internet, they were bound to become bestsellers. But there was one common thing among the covers we needed to stress. They’re so simple. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity but the simplicity of these books has helped bump up sales revenue. Many fiction titles are beginning to look…uniform. Once again…there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s getting money in someone’s pocket, regardless.

We’re not here to dictate what you should do with your book. But if you find yourself in need of change and you could envision a bit of abstract art or an object as the cover of your book, then maybe it’s time you send out a few emails to the cover designers out in the world. You may appeal to a new crowd looking for the simple covers that get them wondering what the heck the cover is trying to tell them.

Thank goodness we live in a digital age where all we have to do is delete and upload a new image.

Head Count

We’ve talked about killing off characters more than once on this blog…but today we’re discussing how many characters you should keep ALIVE to complete your tale.

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First of all, you need your protagonist. Usually there is only one of these but sometimes there are more. It takes a certain type of writer to have more than one protagonist.

Character count: 1

Next up, we have the deuterangonist. Or more commonly known as the sidekick. Let the confusion start here. Limit your sidekick to a single being, or two. To this we say: have fun. They’re very important characters who need to be just as well-crafted as the protagonist. If you’re still getting the hang of writing, stick to one.

Character count: 2

The antagonist becomes our next character to focus on. Don’t be fooled though; the antagonist doesn’t always have to be another person. Your protagonist could have very real inner demons they can’t shake like struggling with mental health, addiction…and so on. This should almost always be a single thing. Think of it as your target that you’ve zeroed in on and need to destroy. Your protagonist would think the same thing.

Character count: 3

Love. If your character finds their love along the way, there’s another character to include on your list. The love interest character could cross over in being a deuterangonist. There’s one less character you have to flesh out!

Character count: 3-4

If your main character is on an epic journey for the books, a mentor is always a plus. Most characters aren’t all-knowing and if they are in your book…well, this is about to get awkward. Keep a mentor down to one…they usually get killed off at some point.

Character count: 4-5

Secondary characters matter, as well. Two of these slightly developed beings in your story would be enough. Your subplots usually revolve around these characters and they contribute to the main plot line with the protagonist.

Character count: 6-7

Last but not least, we have the tertiary characters. These are the characters that aren’t really talked about in great detail but they’re still contributing to the protagonist’s journey the number to this is subject to the kind of story you’re writing.

Then you’ll have flat characters that aren’t too important at all. These are the characters your protagonist comes across in passing.

How many characters do you limit yourself to in your writing? How many do you think is appropriate?

Will It Do Any Good?

Have you ever come across bookmarks, notebooks, or any other forms of physical memorabilia for a book? Have you ever wanted your own books to have this form of promotional material?

We usually like to encourage anyone to follow what they think is best for their books to gain exposure, but here we suggest you consider this option.

Handing our bookmarks at readings or signings will always get your fans excited for free merchandise. But if you’re an indie author with a large online audience and market for yourself (meaning you’re more an eBook-established author)…you have to consider what your audience would utilize.

For example, people love key chains. Especially decorative ones…or is that just me? Maybe getting a load of key chains printed with your book cover or favorite creatures from your book on the face…that’ll get people talking.

Unfortunately, not a lot of genres can venture down the road of promotional material because it just doesn’t fit. So, we’ll keep brainstorming how other genres can be promoted with physical gifts!thinking.gif