Unlock the Muse – May 7, 2019

It’s the first Tuesday of May, and I can’t help but wonder: How is it May already? Last month was Camp NaNoWriMo, and I used it to dig into my science fiction novel series. My goal is to produce a detailed outline for the series. While I do this, I am also working on researching the details I need to make this story even better.

Here’s your writing prompt for this week:

Prepare a list of magazines you’d like to query by the month’s end. Start brainstorming and make a list of possible article ideas.

Here’s another chance to practice your research skills. Maybe you pull out the latest version of a Writer’s Market. Or go shopping, buy a copy of a few of your favorites and check the mastheads. What do you like to write about? What is your area of expertise? Find a market for what you write.

Research is an inevitable part of a writer’s life. Whether you’re looking for period details for a historical romance, the exact amount of thrust required to escape Earth’s atmosphere or you’re making it all up for an epic fantasy, research is necessary to make it all believable. This month I will be taking a closer look at this essential part of writing.

I’ve written before about how I like to start my research on a project in the children’s section of my local library. While my children are growing, now reading on their own and not as interesting in reading with me, I still start here. It’s more accessible in many ways than the adult library, and I can get through a wide variety of material more quickly. It works well for a broad base of knowledge.

What are your best research tips?

Happy writing!

Mystery of Ghost Island, by Paul Moxham: A Review

I’m always looking for fun middle grade books, and I found Mystery of Ghost Island, by Paul Moxham on an ebook deal and decided to check it out. It sat in my ever growing e-library for some time before I found a place for it on the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge for prompt #30, a book featuring an amateur detective.

This is the eighth book in The Mystery Series, by Paul Moxham, featuring four children – Joe, Amy, Sarah and Will. The books are set in 1950s Great Britain. Though in this story, the children visit the coast of France. Here they encounter a rumor of a sea monster plaguing a nearby cove. Thus begins a series of wild adventures – or misadventures – taking the children to a desolate island. They get trapped in a flooded room, escape in a canoe, survive an earthquake, and a lot more.

I didn’t enjoy this book that much. The action seemed too improbable, especially for children the age which these characters are supposed to be. Early readers just venturing into chapter books might find this book fun. But it didn’t hold my interest at all as an adult.