Five Ways To Annoy Your Reader

At times it is difficult being a writer and a reader, since looking at novels with a critical eye can ruin the fun of reading. But reading often what makes our writing stronger. Over the years I’ve discovered similarities between the works that irritate me at best and cause me to lose interest and stop reading at worst.

Below, in no particular order, are five things writers (maybe including myself) do that annoy reader:


Australian Reading Hour

Today is Australian Reading Hour.

The idea is to pick up a paperback book and read for an one hour by yourself or with your children. You can read anytime of 14th of September, that suits you, as long as all devices are turned off for an hour and a physical book is in your hand.


Absence and chaos

I noticed the last few posts have been excusing my absence on my blog.

My schedule is chaotic. I gained extra work, tutoring primary school children literacy and teaching creative writing to high school (middle school) young adults. All in order to save for a car and to, hopefully, go full-time writing at the end of the year with a decent amount of savings.

Amongst the chaos, I have been editing my draft. It is taking me slower than expected but forward at any pace is better than nothing.

In this chapter, I hope I haven't lost any followers or a potential blogging audience.

Be patient with me and inform me of how your current WIP is going.

#DWTSmith #chaos

A Story About Memory Loss

A while ago I wrote a short story for a NITH – Needle in the hay competition and it got published.

The writing prompt was Memory. I took a different approach and decided to write in 2nd person. It was a challenge, hopefully you enjoy reading it as much as I wrote it.

It featured here  Trust or not to Trust

You open your eyes to see two people attending you. In the distance blue and red lights are flashing ‘where am I?’ One of them is a beautiful lady; she is holding your right hand with luscious rosy-brown hair resting on her olive-green shirt.


The way it was 

If you have not noticed but lately I have posted questionnaires I conducted with other bloggers.

I greatly appreciate the people who gave the time to participate. There is many more to be posted, however they will be published among my normal posts.

I have been out of rhythm lately with my posts and I have been focusing more on editing my draft. 

My #fantasyfriday, weekly posts of short stories and poems have been neglected for too long. 

‘Everything will be the way it was, I promise’


Hawk and Young – Questionnaire

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 22.36.14

Elsha Hawk and Eddie-Joe Young have never met in person. This writing duo met online on a microfiction website where they found they worked well together.

Both answered the questionnaire individually.

Q1 – What other authors are you friends with? and how do they help you become a better writer?

We are friends with many writers, most of which are unpublished.

Eddie-Joe – We are ficlet survivors. That was a flash fiction site “The Great Kevin Lawver” developed for AOL. We were the two most featured writers out of the thousands on the site so we have a gaggle of writing friends. Al Rozon, Nadya Bengougam, Drew Klopfer, to name a few.

Elsha– I stalk a couple authors.. I follow K.M. Weiland, who helps writers become better authors, and am very proud of Tricia Heighway, who started writing on a website like me and went on to publish her book. I could list names forever of all the writers we used to write flash fiction with…

Q2 – If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Eddie-Joe – Do even crazier stuff, don’t be scared to jump off that cliff or ask Jo Anna Fullilove to dance in the fourth grade. The worst decision in the world is the one you don’t make.

Elsha – Push yourself past your fear. Try new things.

Q3 – When was that moment when you realised that language had power?

Elsha – I was in the 4th grade when I wrote my first stories. We were allowed to type them up in the ‘computer lab’ at school on very old computers and I remember typing and crying because my main character, who was a dog, died in my story. My teacher asked me what was wrong, and I said, “Nothing, it was just a sad story”.

Eddie-Joe – I wrote a story in the fourth grade and had to read it out loud. People laughed so loud the teacher had to restore order to the class. (It was a comedy, this anecdote would mean something completely different if it was a tragedy.) I knew then that the power of comedy was on loan from the Gods. Laughter could light up the darkness.

Q4 – Who is your favourite author and why?

Elsha – The first author I ever admired was/is Lois Lowry. The Giver was the first book that took me to a new place so different from my world. I also love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. From there, I branched into fantasy. I’m a YA reader by far.

Eddie-Joe – Kurt Vonnegut. Now I have hundreds of books from Terry Pratchett’s Nation to Anne Mcaffrey’s Ship who Sang that I would die for, and let me not overlook the Count Of Monte Cristo that I reread every year because it is so amazing. However, I love Vonnegut because he never has a villain. It’s that internal conflict in his characters that makes us see we are the villains and the heroes in our stories.

Q5 – How do you select names for your characters?

Elsha – I have used baby name websites before, but I found slogging through a list of names I definitely did not like was time consuming. So, I made my own list of names I DID like in a composition notebook, one page for each letter divided into male, female, and last names.

Eddie-Joe – I love making up the names that is why Elsha lets me do it so much. I use a form of reverse engineering. I picture the character, her mannerisms, his appearance, their attitude then I just say the name. If you have ever met someone and said, “That guy doesn’t look like a Charlie, he looks like a Eugene,” well then you used my method of character naming.

Q6 – If you didn’t write, what would you do?

Elsha – I already have a main job. I hold 3 teaching licenses and teach Severe/Moderate Special Education.

Eddie-Joe – Listen, as a true artistic master of swordplay once said, “I just work for Viscini to pay the bills.” Well, I wasn't as fortunate to become the dread pirate Roberts, but I do work on a boat.

Q7 – What accomplishments do you want at the end of the year?

Elsha – My goal is to finish typing up Eddie-Joe’s million page manuscript! That would be a nice Christmas present, wouldn’t it, E-J?

Eddie-Joe – Little does she know I haven’t written the last five chapters so that would be a good goal for me.

Q8 – Why did you contact me to do this questionnaire?

Hawk and Young are a new writing duo already getting rave reviews on their website and from beta readers on Critique Circle. We want to build our audience and grow some fans. If you like Sci-Fi/Fantasy and underdog heroes, you should check us out.

Don Massenzio – Questionnaire

Don Massenzio is the author of seven books. His Frank Rozzani Detective series is now made up of five books. His book, Blood Orange, is available as an audio book


Q1 – What other authors are you friends with? and how do they help you become a better writer?

There are many authors that I have met over the past couple of years that I consider friends. They are very supportive by helping to spread the word about my work. They have also provided very useful advice along the way.

Here is a list of some of them along with their blogs:

Nicholas Rossis –

Annette Rochelle Aben –

C.S. Boyack –

John Howell –

Charles Yallowitz –

Marcia Meara –

Sue Vincent –

Chris Graham –

Yecheilyah Ysrayl –

Dan Alatorre –

Anna Dobritt –

And of course, my co-author on Frank Immersed, Kent Areceneaux

Q2 – When was that moment when you realized that language had power?

I think it was very early on in life. I have been an avid reader since I could first read. I read every book that I could get my hands on. Reading was an escape from a childhood that was short on friends and activities. Reading also got me through some awkward times in my teenage years when I spent a year in a full body cast.

Q3 – Who is your favourite author and why?

It’s tough to narrow it down. I like different authors for different reasons. If I had to select one, it would be Stephen King. His stories are captivating and well-developed and his writing advice is essential.

Q4 – If you didn’t write, what would you do?

I would have a much sadder life. I have other creative outlets as I’m a musician and love to edit video. I have a day job that intrudes on my writing life and I’m actually looking to replace that with a full-time writing career.

Q5 – What accomplishments do you want at the end of the year?

Some of them are well underway. My first audio books are out. I would like to complete a screenplay and submit it. I also have a book that I’m going to submit to the Kindle Scout program. I have one other book I’d like to publish as well as completing some short stories and starting on another, very ambitious book.


Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 21.54.11