Are you weary of the depressing News?

 Well, I sure as hell am.

The news is depressing as hell. Hurricanes destroying our country,  leaving people begging for food, shelter, and water. My heart breaks every time I see how many people are without water.

WATER, for the love of God! 

And now another devastating shooting in Las Vegas! Unbelievable! Horrible!

Like so many of you, I spent Monday glued to the TV, vacillating between great sadness, anger, and helplessness. What could I do? I’m too far away to donate blood. I don’t have millions to give. Even the people WE elected to enact laws are doing nothing to help this problem. So what could one little ole writer do?

Then I read a post by Sarah Brentyn and realized something is better than nothing and the collective little can become large.

“The pen is mightier than the sword” were first written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839.

So, I’m joining in Sarah’s challenge to help the ravaged people of Puerto Rico and taking it a step further by issuing a second challenge for the victims of Las Vegas. KEEP READING.

 Sarah’s challenge: Flash Fiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms by Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn aka Lemon Shark has issued a flash fiction challenge in support of hurricane relief. She will donate $1 to hurricane relief for every flash that is posted (up to $50). She even gives a link to ligit charities.

 Here is my flash fiction contribution to Sarah’s Challenge:

A Mother’s Nightmare

I rise, stumble and fall among the debris. A soft cry penetrates the ringing in my ears. On all fours, I dig and claw through what is left of our home. Tears streak my face with mud. I pray God send help, I am but one.

Sarah’s challenge inspired me, I will match her donation $1.00 (up to $50.00) to One America Appeal ( for hurricane relief to the first 50 writers who link or tag me in the comments section with their 50 word Flash Fiction story.

However, I want to issue a second challenge in honor of the Las Vegas victims.

My challenge is: for the first 50 people who TWEET your Congressman demanding Congress do something to stem this terrible wave of violence, I will donate $1.00 (up to $50.00) to the Go Fund Me Page for Las Vegas Victims set up by Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, Congress does have one bill ready to pass but it will not stop the violence. The SHAREACT. And may God help us all if it passes. I shudder to think what the body count in Las Vegas would’ve been without the sound of gunfire for the first-responders to run toward. This does not make any sense!

Silencers, Armor-Piercing Bullets: Congress Looks to Roll Back Gun Laws 

Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I’m a big believer in the constitution and in the 2nd Amendment but I also believe we must enact smarter laws that protect life. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. I’m tired of hearing, mowed down like sitting ducks, fish in a barrel, or other stupid metaphors. Children in a school room, people praying in their church, Congressmen practicing on the ball field and now a crowd enjoying a fall evening concert. Still, our government does nothing.

It is time for we the people, not the lobbyists, to rise up and be heard. Let the pen be mightier than the sword or gun as in this case. There must be a way we can stop our country from being turned into a war game.  

Join my challenge:

  • Find your Congressman here: Members of Congress
  • Tweet requesting that Congress pass common-sense gun laws, use the hashtags #CommonSenseGunLaws, #jeanswriting 
  • Paste a copy of your Tweet in the comments section on my blog

Now, how many are willing to join Sarah and me?

Write a flash fiction and tag us or take it a step further.

Can many strands make a strong rope? I believe so. Join us today. You can help from your computer. Your voice can count.

Can you donate $10, $20, or $50 for hurricane relief? For Las Vegas injured?

If you accept this challenge, which charity did you choose?

Click and join in, and let’s get this ball rolling.

You can always stop by my other locations and say “hey!” I’ll leave a light on. 

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To Do List For Writers

What is the best way to publish your book?

This past week I discovered more information than I know what to do with.

overwhelmedSo hold on to your hat, all my writer friends. There is a lot to learn about sending your baby to market.

Let’s start with Aggregators and Distributors.

Carla King, over at Bowker, did a great job in explaining the difference between aggregators and distributors but most important she explains why we need to know that difference.

Book aggregators and distributors: A short primer by Carla King

Ms. King gives her recommendation based on what your goals as a writer might be.

I’m making a short cut on my desk top for her post. She covers every thing from formatting, publishing and distributing. This is a gold mine for writers.

Click on her link to read what is the best way to publish your book. Yes there is also a lot of advertising too but don’t let that dissuade you from picking up the nuggets to help you reach your writing goals.

Also, do you want additional info on getting an ISBN? 

EAN-13 bar code of ISBN-13 in compliance with ...Then Rachael Ritchey can answer just about every question you can think of regarding an ISBN for your book.

Do you need an ISBN for ebook, paperback, hardback or audio?

Find the answers, get the skinny on buying an ISBN at:

 Questions People Ask: ISBNs 

Now I need to go lay down, I’m exhausted.
Dog Sleeping in her Notebook after Studying
Dog Sleeping in her Notebook after Studying

I love comments, tell me what’s happening with you and if you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!


A Writing Prompt Jump Start

Time for a writing prompt to shake out the cobwebs.

Sometimes all it takes to jump-start writing again is a good prompt.

Thanks to Lillie McFerrin Writes for today’s prompt : DIVERSIONS

No Time 

Charlie stared, shocked at what she saw through the rain streaked window.

Trees uprooted, tossed as if toys were strewn across once majestic lawns, and trash cans floated past her driveway down a river that was once Oak Drive.

She jumped, and grabbed the screaming, flashing cell phone, another weather alert.

Distracted by the sight outside, for a second, she’d forgotten the danger.

She uttered a silent prayer, God, stop this infernal rain, as she headed for the attic.

Hope you enjoyed my 5 sentences inspiration.

And for those who remember this era, sit back and smile.

And I wonder, yes I wonder, who’ll stop the rain…

If you’d like to play along do check out Five Sentence Fiction and take the challenge.

I love comments, tell me what’s happening with you and if you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!

Deeply Disturbing 5 Star Read

It’s Friday Book Review Time.

For once I was at a loss for words when I sat down to write this review. Yeah, right me a loss for words. 

This story is dark, tragic, strange, mysterious and beautiful.

I gave, The Grave Tender, 5 Stars for the beautiful and haunting words that pulled me into a deeply disturbing story.5gold-star3

A story about a family’s tragic past that refused to stay buried and how someone had to pay for their sins.

This is a mystery, with a southern Gothic feel where no one is what they seem. And where everyone is broken in some why or other.

Spoiler: This is not a feel good book but is a very good read.

The Grave Tender by Eliza Maxwell

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
Kindle Unlimited: Free