Guest Blogger C. S. Boyack and a Special Guest

I’ve got a treat for your today. Actually a double one. Craig Boyack of Entertaining Stories and I are doing a blog swap. Craig and a “special guest” I asked him to bring along are taking over my blog, while I’m hanging out at his. I’m talking about my experience offering a book for free on Amazon. Was it worth it? You’ll have to check my post on Entertaining Stories to find out. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ll leave Craig and his companion to keep you entertained. The special guest he brought along is only one of the many colorful characters from Craig’s imagination that haunt his blog. I just happen to be partial to this particular character. Maybe because I can relate to how it feels when he drops in for a visit. You’ll see what I mean in a minute, so sit back and enjoy Craig’s post. . .


I walked up to the shop and checked the map on my iPhone. A huge raven whooshed over my head and landed in a tree. This looked like the right coffee shop, and I took a seat outside. Mae asked me to come here and write about my editing process and the blessing/curse that follows me around.

The truth is, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to editing. I’ve learned a trick or two and made notes in my living document. I looked around the parking lot, but there was no sign of Mae. I took a table outside so I could watch for her.

I started writing this blog post; any available minutes can be precious. The raven swooped down and landed on my table. See, he’s a gift from my Muse, and tries to keep me looking professional. The bird’s name is Doubt.

I’ve learned to search out my personal sin words, like “that, very, was, and the various forms of its and there.”

These days I’m trying to eliminate what I call stage directions. These are usually things like “said, heard, saw, smelled, felt.” If we’re in a character’s point of view, it’s better to describe someone walking across the parking lot, than to write, “she saw someone walking across the parking lot.” This is a new one for me, but I believe my writing is better for it. I learned that from Doubt.

Doubt pecked at my hand. Krik krik blork.

Ravens make hundreds of noises, more than common crows. I really don’t know what they all mean. This one even manages to mimic a few human words. I’m guessing he doesn’t like me using contractions in a blog post. It’s a blog post, it’s supposed to be a bit more familiar to readers. Now I have doubts. That’s how he works.

Raven sitting on a thin stump of wood, head bent to claws

I have to put him away when I draft my novels. If I listen to him during the draft phase, I never get anything done. My Muse says he helps me, but I have my doubts.

I love my stories, all of them. I even love the trunk novels that no one will ever see. Doubt gets into my head, and keeps me from the most egregious mistakes. The run of the mill mistakes are mine, and sometimes they get in. I’ve learned not to listen to him in every case.

I thought he was going to peck my hands bloody, when I edited Will O’ the Wisp. This is the first thing I ever wrote in first person point of view. He didn’t like the over use of “I and my.” I changed what I thought I could, but some of that has to happen in first person point of view.

The trick is to listen to Doubt, but to also override him when needed. I’m still not sure who’s right in some cases, but I’m learning. Doubt would have all my fiction looking like a lawyer wrote it, and he would take all the character out of it. Fiction needs character, and sometimes it’s the best part of the story.

Too much input from Doubt leads to perfectionism. Perfectionism is the bane of many writers. It prevents us from putting out acceptable work for fear it might have a mistake. I personally believe we learn more from drafting new material. Not everyone feels this way.

Kaw! Doubt pecked at my iPhone.

“We’re at the right address.” I checked again anyway. “I wonder if I wrote it down right in the first place.” See how he works. A little Doubt goes a long ways. “Why don’t you fly around and see if you can spot Mae Clair. Maybe she’s at a different coffee shop.”

Doubt slit off the table and took to the sky. I kind of hoped to give him to Mae for a month or so. I get a lot accomplished when I don’t have Doubt getting in my way.


Craig’s newest book is WILL O’ THE WHISP, a highly entertaining  novel which combines elements of magical realism, mystery, and fantasy, as well as an appealing coming of age theme.

Book cover for Will O' the Wisp by C. S. Boyack depicting a ghostly floating light over a stream with treesBLURB:
There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations.

Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.

Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she’s seen. If she doesn’t figure things out soon, she’s going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.

Patty has to come to grips with her own physical handicap, face the wilderness, and an ancient evil all alone if she’s going to survive.

Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves elements of suspense, and is set in the mid 1970s.

Purchase From:
Northern American Continent 
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Author C. S. BoyackYou Can Follow Craig at the Following Haunts:
Find all of Craig’s novels here  


49 thoughts on “Guest Blogger C. S. Boyack and a Special Guest

  1. Glad to meet both your guests, Mae!
    Though Craig’s companion is familiar to me too.
    Congratulations for the release, Craig! The story sounds captivating with a strong premise. Best of luck with finding mew readers and fans!
    As about your companion,I can compare him with the talking cricket in Pinocchio fairy tale. Doubt keeps nagging us all in the creative process, trust me. It nags me too.


    • Hi, Carmen. Yep, I’ve had many of flighty visits from one of Doubt’s kin. Usually when one of his feathered kind arrive they camp out on my desk for a while and bog down the whole creative flow. Lately I’ve been trying to keep their visits few and far between!

      Thanks for dropping by to check out Craig’s post.


  2. Having in doubt about Doubt sounds rough. Great point about perfectionism being a bane for authors. Seems to be the easiest hole to fall into because it’s never ‘good enough’ when you hit that mindset. Hard to accept that every work of literature has flaws of some kind. Many of those are seen only in the eyes of the beholder and varies from reader to reader. Just get it to where you like it and set it free.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doubt visited me a while back when I wrote Naked Alliances. He’s a good bird, but left a lot for me to considered. I’m not sure I’ll ever publish the novel. It may end up being one of my trunk novels. 🙂


  4. What a great post! I feel like Doubt and I are like twins separated at birth…well, except we were never separated. LOL Doubt has an important role to play, but always seems to miss its cue, showing up too early to do anything but cause mayhem while I’m writing. 🙂 I’m hopeful I can get it to figure out its proper place. #oneofthesedays


    • Hi, Donna. I think that’s why the Muse gave him to me. She wants me to fall somewhere between too cocky and perfectionism. I’m learning to over-ride Doubt, but I’m never exactly certain if I’m right.


    • Hey, Donna, great to have you drop by. Amazing how Doubt brings us altogether, isn’t it? :D. I can just see Craig’s raven and your muse, Endora sitting down for a pow-wow, LOL. AS always, great to have you visit!


  5. Great post, Craig. The raven is cool. I have a whole flock of his brethren resident in the churchyard trees opposite my house. They’re a noisy bunch, but they tend to stay away, although in the winter, they had a habit of partying in my garden for some reason.
    I shall hop across to your blog now and check out Maes post.


    • Hi, Ali,. Thanks for visiting here on my blog and also for checking out my post in Craig’s corner of the world. Delighted to see you in both places!

      Boy, those ravens really get around, don’t they? And the mention of them hanging out in a churchyard gave me shivers while simultaneously intriguing me.

      Sounds like they had fun in your garden, too. 🙂


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