JM Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Sunshine Blogger Award



Thanks to Douglas William Thurstan Smith¬† (that’s a mouthful!), aka DWTSmith, for compelling me to respond by nominating me for an award. ūüėÄ

I’m not a big fan of award chains on WordPress. They feel just like the post chains on Facebook that I avoid like the bitter cold outside my window. Seriously, why is it so damn cold out there? I also think the meaning is a bit lost when each round has 11 nominations. If Douglas had to pick only the best 5, or even 3, would I have made the cut?

But I do feel honored that Douglas gave me this little shout out. We’ve had many good debates on writing here and there, mostly on his blog where he does a Tuesday Discussion.

The rules for this Award chain are as follows:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

And here are Douglas’s questions for me:

Do You Keep a Diary or Journal?

No. I’m more of a brooder. Everything is in my head, until I really start going on a project.

Why Do You Write?

I’m a storyteller at heart. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had countless stories in my head, begging to come out. I think I would be equally satisfied as a TV producer/creator, but until that happens, I will write.

What Challenges Have You Set for Yourself?

I probably say this too much, but my current goal is to sell a short story to a professional science fiction magazine. Also, I want to win the Writer’s of the Future Contest. Easy peasy, right?

What would be your ideal working environment?

A quiet, clean study with a comfortable chair and a powerful desktop. I don’t need much beyond the computer, but currently mine is a bit slow. Also, my “computer room” currently doubles as the cat bathroom, so I’m not working in there.

What Places in Your Past Do You Appreciate More Now, From a Distance?

I miss the places where I grew up, especially the elementary school I attended from 4th-6th grade, when I started writing. I was never part of the popular crowd in school, so I didn’t have much appreciation for the experience at the time, but I now see how much it shaped who I am today.

What Will You Remember Most From 2017?

Writing The Nightingale. It was my first novella, and now I have a deeper appreciation for the format. I definitely intend to write more. Also, I had a muse driving my the whole time and got the first draft done in only a few weeks. It was a thrilling experience.

What’s On Your Reading List?

I don’t really keep a reading list. I have many books in my Kindle at the moment, and many audiobooks waiting to be heard. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the science fiction side of the yard, so I think it’s time to move back over to fantasy. To that end, I will probably start with¬†The Lies of Locke Lamora,¬†and maybe reread¬†The Mists of Avalon.¬†Well, relisten. Those are both audiobooks.

Do You Have a Job, if so what is it?

I used to be an English language teacher, and still do that from time to time. I am also a paralegal in the army reserves, and have spent a good amount of time in the past year on active duty.

Does it relate to where you want to be in the future?

After 20 years the Army will owe me a pension, so yes, it does relate in a way.

What creative projects are you working on?

I am prepping The Nightingale for an April release. I also have one or two projects with Fiction Vortex that should be released in the coming months. The first is my serial Call of the Guardian, of which I am currently drafting episode 8 of 10. The second project is my first book In the Valley of Magic, the one that started this whole thing, which FV has shown great interest in publishing. I am just waiting on a contract.

What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?

The time investment. And so far I have not seen much return for the time which has already been invested. But it is a requirement for an author these days, which is another frustration.

Well, that’s my response to Douglas’s nomination, and now here are my nominations. As I mentioned, I feel like 11 is too many. It lessens the significance of nomination. Also, with Douglas tagging so of the main blogs I read, I might not be able to come up with 11! So I’m going to pick 5.

My nominations are:

A Writing Life, a great place for discussions of writing and life.

A-Scribe to Describe, a reader and writer of spec-fic that has many interesting things to say on the genre.

Shawn Writes Stuff, a good place for funny, satirical stories.

Where Landsquid Fear to Tred, a great blog on the process of writing, with nice discussions.

Planetary Defense Command, a blogger who has much more experience with the Science Fiction genre than I do.

And here are my questions:

  1. When did you start writing?
  2. Which genre do you prefer to write? To read?
  3. Which genre do you actually write most often?
  4. What is your favorite piece of work and why?
  5. Where is the most interesting place you came up with a story idea?
  6. If you could win any writing award, which would it be?
  7. Do you associate with other writers? Are they at the same level as you?
  8. What’s one of your writing goals for 2018?
  9. Are you a plodder or a plotter?
  10. Where do you currently live, where are you originally from, and have you ever lived in a foreign country?
  11. If you could travel anywhere in the Universe, where would it be and why?

Well, that’s it. I’m looking forward to seeing what my nominees have to say.

Thank you for reading. Please check out the blogs I have nominated.



Update on David K.


About a week ago I posted links to some of my favorite blogs. One of those was for blogger-mate David K. He has since moved operations to a new website, one that looks quite nice, in my opinion.

He still writes short fiction and poetry, and articles on writing. His new website can be found HERE.

SHARE: Dealing With Rejection: 5 Bulletproof Strategies for Writers


This is a pretty good list of strategies for overcoming rejection. This post deals more with freelance and non-fiction type writing, but the same strategies can be applied to fiction publishing as well.

This author suggests the publishing cycle can at times be like a “cosmic tennis match.” I couldn’t agree more. I still think the best strategy for dealing with rejection, as I have said several times before, is to stay in the game. If you miss the return, pick up the ball and serve again. One of my Adventures of Iric stories–which I titled “Memories of the South” for the sake of external publication–was rejected five times before finding the right editor! And often times that is all it is, finding the right person to read your story. This particular story proved too introspective and not action-packed enough for standard fantasy publishers, but it was just the thing Eternal Remedy was looking for.

For me, the worst part of rejection is getting form letters. It sucks to not know why the story was kicked back–Was the writing bad? Did the reader not like the style? Or was it just seen as not a good fit for the publication?–all of these reasons leave you with different implications moving forward and are important for future interactions with that publisher. Most editors send form letters now. It has made the whole process that much more difficult, but what are you going to do?

If you need some help dealing with rejection (or preparing for rejection if you are just starting to try to publish), the article linked below is a good place to start.

a writing rejection from an editor or client? No problem. Follow these five strategies for dealing with rejection to be more successful.

Source: Dealing With Rejection: 5 Bulletproof Strategies for Writers