Best Laid Plans

add-headin-2100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups! The Prompt: ….why does the world fight back when….

Sun streaked across Nicole’s face, and her eyes popped open like a marionette’s. The new suit and heels, she couldn’t afford, mocked her from across the room. Shit! Her first interview in more than a year and she’d overslept.

Shit, Shit, shit! Why does the world fight back when you’re doing your damnedest? She twisted her long locks into a chignon, swiped mascara across thick lashes, threw on the suit, grabbed her purse, and ran for the door.

Three minutes to spare! Nicole sprang from the cab, let out a yelp, and stared in disbelief as her bare feet sank into the snow. Well, hell’s bells.

Words: 106 

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.



Pace and story structure: a blueprint for keeping the reader gripped

Don’t you love it when you find a book, and you can’t put it down? The story is so captivating you can’t turn the pages fast enough. Likewise, there are those books that drag. It isn’t necessarily boring – just slow; it seems it takes forever for anything to happen or change the directory of the story – it’s called pacing.

Roz Morris at Nail Your Novel gives one of the most concise explanations on pacing I’ve read to date. Check it out and thanks, Roz!

Nail Your Novel

seattle_bway_mambo_01I’ve had an interesting question from Josephine of the blog Muscat Tales:

Can you talk about pace? How to speed up/slow down the action/plot – and when? Is there a general blueprint for this or does the story type dictate the peaks and troughs of emotion, action and change?

There’s much to chew on here. And I think I can provide a few blueprints.

In order to answer, I’ll reorder the questions.

First, a definition. What’s pace? Put simply, it’s the speed at which the story seems to proceed in the reader’s mind. It’s the sense of whether enough is happening.
When to speed up or slow down?

This comes down to emphasis. You don’t want the pace of the story to flag. But equally, you don’t want to rip through the events at speed. Sometimes you want to take a scene slowly so the reader savours the full…

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My Twitter Account Was Hacked, Now What?



Well, aren’t we special?! It seems there’s an epidemic of Hackers running around wrecking havoc on all of us. Or, is it clowns? Guess it’s hard to tell the difference these days. Relax, I’m not going to discuss the obvious “hacking” incidences occupying the headlines.  Instead, I’ll bite my tongue and explain what happens and the steps you need to take if you think your Twitter account has been hacked.

I began to notice a couple of weeks ago strange tweets coming across my timeline from people I didn’t know or follow. Some were blatant spammers, sending pictures of beating hearts, balloons, or invitations to get to know me better (if you get my drift). Other tweets had me questioning why I was receiving so many tweets in foreign languages that could not be translated. Initially, I deleted and blocked, but they seem to multiply like rabbits. It was not only annoying but concerning, and I notified the Twitter help center.

The help center explained it appeared a third party app connected to my account might be the culprit. Below are a few of the tale tail signs.

Signs Your Account has been compromised:

  1. Tweets you didn’t write coming from your account.
  2. Direct messages you didn’t send.
  3. You notice other tweets you didn’t make or approve (following, unfollowing, or blocking).
  4. Twitter notifies you of a compromise.
  5. You receive notice from Twitter about a change you didn’t make.
  6. Your password no longer works, or you’re prompted to reset it.
  7. You can’t log in.

What to do:

  1. Open the settings on your device and update the email associated with your account. You can find the instructions in this support article. Make sure the email you use is secure. Go to your Account settings – you can find help here.
  2. Change your password immediately from the settings menu. Use a strong/secure password. For instructions, click here.
  3. Although you change your password, it doesn’t automatically disconnect any third-party apps you may have connected. You’ll have to go to the Apps section in your settings and revoke access to any third-party apps you don’t recognize. For those you want to keep, update the password in that application – an example is Tweetdeck.
  4. If you use teams on Tweetdeck or another app, it’s advisable to review all members and delete those who are unfamiliar.
  5. Delete any tweets or unwanted posts that appeared during the time in question.
  6. Scan your computer for malware or viruses.
  7. Consider login verification as additional security.
  8. Check out Twitter’s Safe Tweeting help page or contact support if problems persist.

While working to resolve this issue, I came across TrueTwit – a validation service for Twitter which helps manage followers and weed out spam, so you don’t have to. Nice!



Security is a serious matter; consider youdelf warned and for any of my followers who may have received strange tweets – I apologize. Things will be back in order soon.

Have you ever been hacked?  I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

How to Cope With Life Stresses and Get Back to Writing

As an adolescent, whenever I began to feel overwhelmed, I’d take off for my secret hideaway – the Cow Pasture. I’d pour my heart out filling page after page in my journals about life’s injustices. You know all the kind adolescents experience –  mean teachers, homework, bratty younger siblings, a mother who shelled out discipline like an Army Sargent to new recruits, and of course, the heartache of first loves.

God, what I wouldn’t give to trade the stresses of today for those of long ago. The stresses now are more serious and personal and at times difficult to shrug off or get past. Sometimes they stop me in my tracks. My writing takes a dive. My muse packs her bag and gets out-of-town. Call me when you get your s&#% together, she says. A blank screen stares back at me until I give up and put my WIP aside. It’s time for a break, a breather, or plain old escape.

Now, I’m not a Pollyanna, type person. I’m well aware of the ups and downs of life and for the most part, have always worked through the tough times. The truth is for those of us getting older, facing health issues, among other things, it takes a bit longer to regroup. I understand time is not my friend. We can’t avoid all things life throws our way, but as a writer, if I didn’t want to leave projects unfinished,  I needed to develop a methodology for handling the kind of stress that takes me away from writing or worse robs me of the desire to write. I know I’m not alone in this struggle. Over the last month, I’ve given this lots of thought. Here’s a few of my suggestions.

10 Methods for Coping with Life Stresses
  1. Give yourself permission to take a break. It is okay to put your computer away for a time.
  2. Set a time limit on the break. Take a day, weekend, or vacation, but a timeframe will help get you back in the game when you’re ready.
  3. Enjoy the time like a kid at the end of the school year.
  4. During your break do something you enjoy – as in movies, family, friends, or nothing at all – chill out and focus on the moment.
  5. Give yourself permission to say “No,” and say it like you mean it. This time is your break, so do what you need to rejuvenate your mind and spirit.
  6. Don’t try to play catch-up when the break comes to an end; it’s a time waster. So, don’t fall into that trap; the world won’t end if you let a few things go.
  7. Reevaluate your writing goals and write them down.
  8. Work on one project at a time.
  9. Acknowledge you can’t be all things to all people – be what you need for you.
  10. And, last but certainly not least, limit your access to the time-sucking internet.

Meg Dowell in her post, Why Writing is Hard, at Ryan Lanz -The Writer’ Path, said it best:

“You have to be able to recognize when you’ve pushed yourself too far, back down, and then jump back into writing… That’s discipline. That’s resilience.” Meg Dowell Tweet This

How do you cope? I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Want to Know More About Writing Flash Fiction?

flash-fiction2I love writing flash fiction. The stories are a quick read and an excellent tool for improving my skill as a writer.

If you’d like to learn more about writing flash fiction, check out The Writer’s Path and Neil MacDonald’s guest post – FLASH IN THE PAN – TIPS FOR WRITING FLASH FICTION. Also, be sure to click on the link for 12 hints on writing flash fiction by Claire Fuller.

Want to know where to send your work? Check out my Calls for Submissions in the sidebar and look at The Flash Fiction 500 Competition – but hurry, submission deadline is Friday.

Do you write flash fiction? Share your own tips or what you like about the genre. I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.