Will Negative Reinforcement Work?


We sat down together a few days ago for a discussion of our distinct lack of progress over the last twelve months. The topic was nothing new. The same old finger-pointing took place and then we admitted our guilt and set to work concocting a new plan of action for getting our writing kickstarted coming into November. And what did we settle on this time? That’s right, a hefty weekly fine to be paid into the joint account every Sunday if a new chapter is not produced by Friday of every week. It had to be big enough to spur us to action because as our mom, Nancy, stated, “We’ll buy our way out of this if we don’t make it painful enough.”

Will it work? We’ll just have to wait and see.

As for the rest of our writing friends participating in NaNoWriMo this year. We wish you the best of luck. May your fingers fly across the keyboard. (Anne hasn’t ruled out participating yet, as it is still only the 2nd of November. She’ll let you know in an upcoming blog post.)

We hope you had a great Halloween. As always, thank you for your support.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric


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Where Do The Ideas Come From?


Image result for photographic evidence of ghosts

As anyone who has read our books knows, we write about some strange and off the wall subjects.  And where do the ideas for those subjects come from? Well, they come from right out of our heads.

Each of us had had some personal experience with the supernatural. We seem to draw that energy to us, without even trying. We’ve lived in haunted houses, had tiny lights dancing on our shoulders and played with little girls who were not there. Real phenomena or the fevered musings of over-active imaginations? Who knows, although it seemed very real at the time.

So, a combination of real life experience, stories heard from others and irrational fears have helped us create our own dark fantasy world. Ask yourself, have you ever had a brush with the unexplained, unexplainable, or simply terrifying? Our guess is that you have.

The next time you walk through a cold spot in an old house or hear words in a hoot owl’s cries, write it down. You just may have a best seller in the works.

Happy Halloween

Kind Regards,

Nancy Eric, and Anne

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Hobby vs. A Calling

photo of roadway surrounded by trees

These Fall days, with leaves turning gorgeous colors and a nip in the air, one can become reflective. Like the turning of the seasons, coupled with the physical and emotional changes in the world around us, one needs to reassess one’s own internal seasons to see what changes are coming or need to be addressed.

It’s very difficult to not allow the current atmosphere of hate and fear to affect one’s attitude and creativity.  The trees are beautiful but the world is not. Perhaps it’s just another excuse for not getting on the stick and writing, but we are struggling with a bit of creative depression. I’d like to think we will shake it off and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because hope springs eternal, but it’s tough.

I’m not sure what catalyst we need to get going again. I like to think that the Litzo’s writing really is a calling we can’t long ignore, and not just a hobby we walk away from when it’s convenient. Nancy actually pulled up our latest work in progress and did some editing. Maybe all it takes is one of us to light the fire. Here’s hoping.

Don’t give up on us yet. Thanks for sticking with us. Best wishes for the Fall season.

Kind regards,

Nancy, Anne, and Eric

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A Blog About Our Blog

construction destruction power steel

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Musings from Nancy:

As anyone who has followed our blog knows, lately we have been extremely erratic with the frequency of our posts. Why? Well, that’s a good question with a multitude of answers.

First and foremost, I believe, is the erosion of our enthusiasm for the whole business of writing and publishing. We started out all starry-eyed and ready to conquer the world. Even though we have humble aspirations, we do need some sort of feedback and atta-boys, much like the preschooler who needs a constant stream of assurances to let them know they are doing well.  Money would be nice, too.

Yes, we are grown adults and not toddlers, but we started off our self-publishing endeavor with great fanfare, lots of sales, and great reviews. Then Amazon changed the game about a year after we went live with our first books and we became lost in the crowd. We still get the occasional sale from someone who happened to chance on one of our books, but even with KDP sales and giveaways, we are buried in the search lists. (We’ve written seven and have several more in the works.)

Second and nearly as important is the insidious creep of personal commitments. It’s become just too easy to make the decision to put our writing second or third in the line of things that we need to take care of in our daily lives, usually with only a modicum of urgency. In other words, we are lacking in commitment.

But, in spite of all this, we still have not given up. Writing and collaborating with each other is still our goal. The Litzos have grit and are not easily dissuaded so, we will still attempt to regroup and carry on. Hopefully, we will soon be able to report progress with writing and editing. Thank you all for not giving up on us. We shall try to not disappoint.

Kind regards,

Nancy, Anne, and Eric



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Writing as a chore…


Anne’s contribution to the blog this morning –

“Ugh, what is wrong with me?” This question seems to be plaguing me this summer, if not the last few years and is almost solely related to my inability to sit down and finish the Gaia trilogy. Heck, I haven’t even kept up with the blog these last few months. I had one day this summer that I actually sat down and wrote for more than ten minutes and that was while attending a write-in at my local library with some like-minded individuals. It was glorious and gave me hope but had not yet been repeated. This has made me wonder, could the problem be that I have equated writing with chores (and not one very high on my to-do list)? And how do I recapture the joy and sense of accomplishment I used to feel working in my fictional world? What do I do?

I think I’m going to have to get back to the basics. When we first started writing, we promised each other that we would have 500 words down on paper by Friday of every week. I know, I know, it’s barely a blip but when you are starting from nothing, 500 words is an approachable number. And it was! Every week, we sat down with our measly offerings, sharing what we wrote and planning our next installment. Those 500 words grew to a 1,000. By the end of that first year, we’d finished Creek House and Exiles of Gaia. It felt great. I think I need to shrink my writing goals and go a little easier on myself. I will move that mountain, one shovelful at a time, and I will keep you updated on my progress.

Thanks for sticking with us. We appreciate the support of our friends and family.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric


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The Entire Feast

biryanni dish on round stainless steel tray

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Musings from our mom, Nancy…

I was racking my brain for a new subject for our blog when I realized that one could compare the endeavor of writing and becoming a published author with granny in the kitchen preparing a holiday meal for her family. Neither job is for the faint of heart nor one who is not willing to put in the effort to create a tasty offering.

When feeding a crowd, it isn’t enough just to prepare and cook the main meat dish. One must also plan on including the side dishes. If you’re lucky, maybe your guests will bring a casserole or two. However, when trying to entertain a crowd with your writing, you are solely responsible for adding those extra trimmings.

Writing that bestseller is sadly not enough, for you still have to get your book to the readers. The enthusiasm for your creation sometimes dims when you must keep up with your marketing strategies. For the author, those strategies often include a blog, Twitter, Facebook, and any other marketing tool you can devise. Unlike calling your dinner guests and inviting them over to your house, you must get your invite to read your book out to people in other ways.

And those blogs and Twitter posts are ongoing. It’s almost as easy to get writer’s block on something you need to write weekly as it is on your novel or short story or poem. How many times can you do a mea culpa for being a blog procrastinator before your faithful readers leave in droves? All you can really do is take a big breath and carry on.

For those of you still undaunted enough to keep on following us, thank you. We won’t promise to do better but we will try harder.

Thank you.

Nancy, Anne, and Eric


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Book Review: Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Holy Sister Cover

Five out of five stars for Holy Sister (Third Book of the Ancestor) by Mark Lawrence

Reviewed by Anne

Okay, this review really covers the entire trilogy of the Books of The Ancestor by Mark Lawrence, but since I just stayed up way too late finishing the third and final book, Holy Sister, that is the one I’ll cover. I have read several versions of the, “girl assassin as a member of a religious-type order,” stories and there were only a few that I felt worth the read. Mark Lawrence’s books are the best of the bunch, in my opinion. I loved the world-building, the characters, and the storyline as a whole. And as a point in his favor, Mark Lawrence is not afraid to kill his darlings.

The first two books, Red Sister and Grey Sister,  introduce to the main character, Nona Grey, and the world of Abeth, a dying planet ringed in ice. Abeth is a strange place, an odd mix of forgotten technological wonders and magic.

From the book description:

The searing conclusion of the thrilling epic fantasy trilogy that saw a young girl trained by an arcane order of nuns grow into the fiercest of warriors…

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

The final book in the series brought an epic conclusion to a story that was already riveting. It kept me surprised at how events played out and still produced a kickass finale, an epic battle to end all battles and a satisfying resolution for the characters left standing at the end.

I would highly recommend these books to fans of Grimdark and science fantasy. Man, I’m sad to see the series end.

Happy reading!


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