Inspiration–A Newly Published Friend

      52 Comments on Inspiration–A Newly Published Friend


This week for Thursdays Children, a weekly blog hop, where writers discuss their muses and motivations, I have a guest who I believe will inspire you–my new friend, Barbara or as she’s known professionally B.L. Bates.

She grew up reading speculative fiction. Then she received a BS in electrical engineering and worked for several years in the computer industry. When a head injury left her totally blind, she turned to writing speculative fiction to stay sane. With her youngest child in college, she lives with her husband in Massachusetts and plots ways to spend more time with her grandchildren.

She’s had short stories published online, and some like “GreenWorld” published in print.

I asked Barbara to share some of her hard-won knowledge along with a few writing tips. She agreed, so…without any further ado, here are Barbara’s thoughts.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Barbara and here are three pertinent facts about me. I’m a mother, step-mother, and grandmother. I have a degree in electrical engineering. And, I’m totally blind. And the most important fact (right now) is my first novel, AsterIce, has recently been published by Eternal Press. It’s available on Amazon for Kindle and in print.

Below are thirteen things I learned from writing my novel. Here’s what I learned, in no particular order.

1. You have to find the “I’m finished” point. Or else the novel will never be (finished, that is).

2. You don’t have to change every little thing that’s commented on. You should consider them all, though, and rewrite or delete those you think need to be.

3. You do have to make those changes deemed intrinsic and necessary to the publishing house.

4. Sometimes you just have to walk away and think.

5. When that dish of ice cream, that brownie, or those cookies call, you are required to eat them. Right then. Just to stay sane.

6. Your family will live if they eat pizza once a week. Takeout food works too.

7. The house will NOT fall down if the chores are neglected — for a while anyway. (This one works for me, as I can’t see the mess. What mess?)

8. Most people out there are willing to help, providing you ask nice. The converse — there are some people who need a good kick in the butt before they even notice you. It’s up to you if you want to deal with this second group. Sometimes, though, you don’t have a choice.

9. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and learn new things, including new software programs. It only hurts for a while.

10. Always have some way of taking notes with you. Odds are, that “ah-hah” moment will occur when you’re standing in line at the register counting out change. Or just after you lather up your hair in the shower.

11. You should never sit there without typing something. Consider reading, exercising, or cooking, to get inspiration. When inspiration does hit, have the computer warmed up and waiting.

12. Save those large sections that don’t make it through the first (or second) draft. Maybe they can be used later in a different form, in a different story, or for inspiration for something else.

13. Enjoy writing, or just don’t write!

Yes! Isn’t that inspiring? Please check out Barbara’s book, AsterIce.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s worse than that.” Tanya rubbed her temples. The mother of all headaches waited in the wings, ready to pounce.

“How so?” Colonel Frade said.

“A computer simulation indicates AsterIce has spread to every known water source on the planet through drainage, evaporation and condensation. Using some process we don’t yet understand, the additions to AsterIce multiply when added to normal water, even sea water.”

“All of Earth’s waters are now…polluted by the virus?” Richard stared at Tanya.

She met his eyes, closed hers, and nodded.

“What percentage of the population will be affected by it?”Virginiaasked.

Tina, seeing her mother’s agitation, brought her a glass of water.

“One hundred percent.” Tanya gulped the water Tina handed her.

“All this scientific jargon has me muddled. In English, please. What does this all mean?” Colonel Frade asked.

“In addition to the vitamins and minerals in AsterIce, there is what we originally thought to be inert organic matter. It turns out we were wrong.”

“How so?”Wattsasked.

“The inert matter is actually a shell containing an alien virus.

“Tests show the AsterIce virus is originally passed to its subjects through the digestive system. The virus is then released in the stomach, where the outer shell is removed by our digestive acids. The virus spreads into every cell in the human body. This leads to a build-up in the lungs.”

“So, now the virus can become airborne.” Richard’s visage looked grim.

“Not quite. By the time symptoms begin to occur, the lungs are filled to capacity with the virus. The question is not when will it begin, but how long has it been going on? Also, how many of us are infected?”

AsterIce is available at:
EBook ISBN: 9781615728503
Print ISBN: 9781615728510

Eternal Press:


52 thoughts on “Inspiration–A Newly Published Friend

    1. Mia Post author

      Oh, pi(e). Because it’s pi day? Cool. I’m the opposite of you. I take my notebook and pencil, but forget my camera.

  1. TBFF

    Those are interesting. I find that I don’t know how to write anything when prompted to write my first memo for law school. I still find it tough to write a memo, even if it has turned less intimidating now.

  2. Anthony North

    Great advice. Mindst you, the two books I got published by a proper publisher turned out to be hard work, as I had to write to their specifications. I sometimes think publishers can take the enjoyment out of writing.

    1. Mia Post author

      Thanks. I need to do more walking and I know I will as the weather gets warmer.

    1. Mia Post author

      I’ll have to visit and read your reasons for evacuating a castle. That sounds really intriguing.

  3. Hazel

    She sounds like a fascinating woman. I guess the pizza and neglected chores will work for me (even though all I do is read).

  4. Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

    She IS inspiring. And the ability to take notes pretty much anywhere (though not in the shower) is one of the many reasons I love my iPhone – even though I battled my husband about getting one for two years. Ssshhh don’t tell him I love it.

    1. Mia Post author

      Grin. My husband is the same way. He’s always introducing me to new techno gadgets. 🙂

  5. Elaine Jeremiah

    That’s great advice. I already use some of the tips, but others hadn’t occurred to me before, so it’s all good. The excerpt from the book had me hooked. 🙂

    1. Mia Post author

      I’m with you. It’s good to be reminded. I like writing. Writing is fun. I like writing. Yes, I do.

  6. John Krissilas

    Oooh. Sound very ominous. Good thing I’ve got a BRITA filter!

    And the tips were great too. My favourite is #4 – sometimes you just need to walk away and think. It always helps!

    Thanks for sharing this — and congrats to Barbara!

  7. Louise D. Gornall

    Great post!! ‘Enjoy writing, or just don’t write!’ Excellent advice!! Can’t wait to check out AsterIce 🙂

  8. Shelley Munro

    Great advice. I particularly liked the last one – enjoy writing or don’t write. Simple when it comes down to it. Writing isn’t an easy business and persistence is a necessary character trait!

  9. Mia Post author

    I appreciate you saying that. It’s good to know breaking into writing takes a while. 🙂

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