Today I’m excited to help our friend, writer and the queen of world-building, Jacqui Murray as she launches Against All Odds, book three of her Crossroads series. This trilogy takes the reader on a journey into prehistoric times where survival is never guaranteed.
Before I share a little about the book, here is a question I posed to Jacqui.
You often say these people squat. Don’t they sit?
There is nominal physical evidence showing that early man squatted rather than sat. This includes tell-tale divots and scratches in the femur, tibia, and ankle bone of Neanderthals that would result from squatting a lot. Though Neanderthals are a more recent Homo species than Xhosa’s People, I make the assumption if they didn’t sit much, neither did Homo erectus. Another reason we presume earliest man preferred to squat than sit is because it’s far more natural for the body, even now, and it’s quicker to get into and out of a squat should danger arrive. Try it—you’ll agree.
Here’s a little about the book:
Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.
A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.
The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.
A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!
Title and author: Against All Odds
Series: Book 3 in the Crossroads series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.
Social Media contacts:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/
Website: https://jacquimur ray.net
Why I Don’t Get Writer’s Block
By Jacqui Murray
An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to add drama to your story:
I should get writer’s block. I write twelve hours a day, pretty much every day. Where it used to be a hobby, it’s now What I Do. Well, I teach also but that requires a lot of writing (because I teach online).
Before I explain why I escape that horrendous malady that over half of writer’s anecdotally report they suffer, let’s talk a little bit about writer’s block.
What is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is where you stare at a blank page for long periods of time, trying to write but are unable to find the right words. To put that academically:
“Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. This loss of ability to write and produce new work is not a result of commitment problems or the lack of writing skills.” —Wikipedia
According to Terry Pratchett:
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”
Why (I think) I Don’t Suffer From it
I write a lot of different stuff, fiction and nonfiction, for myself and others, blog hops and my own articles. Each seems like a break from the other. I divide my day into thirds, each devoted to a different writing event. That way, if I get stale on one task, I move to a different one.
“The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting. The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.” ― J.K. Rowling
Here’s how to get rid of it
Jack London has this to say about curing writer’s block:
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
The folks at Master Class offer eight EASY ways to overcome Writer’s Block. I’m always suspicious that something labeled ‘easy’ isn’t but they had some good ideas including take a break, jump ahead in your novel, and freewrite. Still, I wondered if they would work so kept searching…
Darren over at ProBlogger suggests you make a habit of finishing any writing that you start.
Here’s an idea from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature:
“One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily.”
Mark Twain suggested:
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Here’s what I’d try if I got Writer’s Block
- Pet my dog more often. It’s centering.
- Read the entire Twitter feed from Thoughts About Dog. Here’s a favorite: “gooooob morning. if you think i won’t lie down. where the sun shines through the window. with these paws crossed. all day long. you are out of your mind”
- Figure out what the heck “a bridge too far” means. I have no idea. Or find a way to defeat a Mobius Strip.
- Create a false post hoc–like the fallacy that a rooster crowing causes the sun to rise. In my case, it would be that writer’s block means you can’t write.
More on writer’s block
7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block from Writer’s Digest