Finished Not Perfect

This was posted on my daughter’s cosplay site. I needed to see this, especially this weekend. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of a project. It’s hard to let the world see it when all you can see are the flaws that still remain. It’s important to remember that the average Joe doesn’t see the flaws, they only see the beauty in the work. But they can’t see the work unless you finish it.  And always remember, nothing is ever truly perfect.

So, finish it and let your baby, whether ugly or pristine, bask in the sunshine of the people around you.



A Writing Do Over

Helloooooo Wolff pack!!
Coming at you from Allentown, PA where I am having my own little writer’s retreat.
For those who are anxiously awaiting book two, I apologize. It has been way to long between books. My only excuse is issues medically that have impacted my ability focus and keep up with daily life. With some medicine adjustments and starting an exercise regimen, I am feeling better.
However, during the last couple of years, I have not remained idle. I have had my ups and downs physically. During my up times, I have written. I have a number of scenes just waiting to be organized and lined up within the confines of the story.
That, is in part what this weekend is about. It is the start of my writing life do over.
Today alone I have organized and put together the first 28 pages of writing. By the end of this weekend, who knows where I’ll be in the story. I anticipate also putting new words down, as I connect scenes already written and continue the story line further and further.
I appreciate your patience and understanding. I will conquer this book if it kills me.

Cover Reveal – Silver Shackles


Silver Shackles

Revelations Trilogy: Book Two

by Fiona Skye

silver shackles cover

Cover image by Rachel Bostwick

Available on Amazon and in print June 15, 2015!

When you steal from faerie queens, the consequences are painful and sometimes deadly.

Were-jaguar and TV personality, Riley O’Rourke, has been looking over her shoulder ever since she stole from the Dark Queen of the Unseelie faeries. When Riley is contacted by an informant with knowledge that can blow the lid off the story of the year, she can’t pass up the opportunity to investigate. What she finds instead is something that puts her at the mercy of the Dark Queen, a creature not known for her compassion.

When Riley’s boyfriend, David, realizes she’s missing, he’ll do whatever it takes to get her back, including starting a war with the Unseelie. The balance of power among the Fae courts is shifting, and if David makes one wrong move, Riley could end up crushed in the struggle. But after being the subject of the Queens’s legendary cruelty, will there even be anything left of Riley to save?

Get Taming Shadows, Revelations Trilogy: Book One on Amazon now!

fiona skye - author photoFiona Skye is a fantasy and historical romance author, currently living in the deserts of Southern Arizona. She shares a home with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a Border Collie.

Fiona’s passion for story telling began early in life. She loved playing make-believe and inventing elaborate fantasy worlds for her friends and her to play in. At age twelve, she wrote her first short story, based on a song by a 1980s hair band. After giving it to her English teacher for editing and rewrites, she learned to love the entire writing process, and has dedicated her life since then to writing, only to be occasionally distracted by her insatiable love of yarn and crochet, and the dogged pursuit of the perfect plate of cheese enchiladas.

She counts Diana Gabaldon and Jim Butcher as her favorite authors and biggest influences. Joining these two on the list of people she would wait in queue for a week to have a coffee with are Neil Peart, Kevin Hearne, and Brandon Sanderson.

Find her at the following links:

Facebook: Twitter: Website:

9 Ways to Make Your Self-Published Book Look More Professional

Very good information for those going the self-publishing route.

Michelle Proulx - Author

In my continuing attempts to promote and improve the self-publishing scene, today I present a handful of helpful tips you can use to make your self-published print book look more professional. These tips have been compiled via examining multiple traditionally published books and comparing them to the collection of self-published books I’ve acquired over the years. Read and enjoy!

Note: I’ve used my own book for all the examples below, as copyright law is confusing and I don’t want anyone to sue me.

#1: Formatting your page numbers

Step 1: Page numbers should begin on the first page of your story. This means Chapter 1. If you have a prologue, use Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, etc.). Do not start page numbers on the very first page of the book (i.e. the title page).

page number 1Step 2: Page numbers should end once the story is over. You…

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Silencing Your Inner Critic

This is a blog post I wrote for The Dragon’s Rocketship, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy group for authors, artists, readers, and all around fans located here:

On the web –


On Facebook –


Silencing Your Inner Critic
By S.J. Wolff

How many times have you looked at your work, rolled your eyes, sighed heavily and thought, “Oh boy, I suck at this”?

Too many. Right?

Don’t worry. You are not alone. We all have that little niggling, good-for-nothing voice pushing us down. No matter how skilled you are as an artist, a writer or overall creative soul this voice exists.

Why? We are not born into this world not believing in ourselves or our talents. We are not brought into this world with an awareness that we can fail. If we feared failure, would we stand up for the first time? Take those first hesitant steps forward learning to walk? No, we wouldn’t. We learn to walk because we have no one telling us that it is dangerous and we shouldn’t bother. We aren’t afraid. We know nothing of failure. This fear didn’t come from within. So, just where did this self-denigrating voice come from? It came from without. Someone somewhere in our life implanted this wicked little naysayer into our psyche where it then took root and has grown in the shadows ever since. While we’re looking over what we’ve created self-doubt opens the door for this shadow from our past to slink through. And boy does it wreak havoc when it does. It plays with our minds and tricks us into believing things that are not true. The longer we go with this voice calling to us from the darkness, the more we question our ability to create something of worth.

So, step one in conquering and dispelling the voice in the shadows is to shed some light on it.

We must identify the Voice so we can understand why it holds sway over us and take away its power.
The people around us, our relatives, friends, teachers all form our opinions of self-worth. They give us context for where we belong and what is valuable within us. Often times, without realizing it, they also give us baggage.

Some examples from my own life:

“You’re a slow learner.” (Teacher)

“You can’t accomplish without someone else’s help.” (Teacher)

“You talk just to hear yourself talk.” (Mother)

And perhaps the most damaging for my creative psyche, “Why do you waste so much time doodling with writing when you could be doing something more important? It’s a wonderful hobby but what are you going to do for real?” (Mother)

Now, I know you’ve all probably heard some semblance of that last one. Someone who told you that writing or your art is a great little hobby but not something that is “real”. But, all of these type of negative comments feed our wicked, false, and tricksy internal opportunist who is always looking for an opening to knock us down to size.

Think back. Who in your life could have triggered this voice in you? There may be one person or a few. It might have been while you were a child or while you were an adult. The only constant is that this voice is the voice of someone whose opinion mattered to you in some way.

Write down who they are and what they said to you. Stare at the words on the paper and understand, these are the words you have been wielding against yourself all the years forward from that moment in time when they were uttered by another person. These ARE NOT your words. Disown them. Disassociate with them. Separate them from who you are.

Now on to step two – Replace These Negative Words with New Positive Ones, either by you or by those who have encouraged you.

Where I had a teacher who said negative things that stuck with me, I remembered a teacher who was dearer to me than the first. At the time, her words were ignored in favor of the negative ones. I can’t tell you why. Perhaps it was because at home I was hearing the same negative type comments so this teachers comments rang “true” to me. Now, as an adult I realize there was only one person who’d tried to make a difference in my writing life. The others are the voices that have held me back from where I needed to be.

So, hers is the voice I replaced the others with.

Make a list of positive things people around you have said to you or about you. Replace the negatives with their voices.

Every time your internal critic tricks you into uttering, “I suck at this. Why do I even try,” stop it cold and replace it with, “A writer writes. It is who I am and who I’m meant to be. I learn from my mistakes and get better every day.”

Don’t fear your inner critic. Learn to control it. Self-doubt is natural. Critiquing one’s own work is necessary because without it we do not improve. But, there is a difference between critiquing your work and allowing it to move into self-flagellation. When the thoughts whispering through your mind are no longer constructive, when they tread on your talent with steel spiked boots leaving impressions that will only grow deeper, then it is time for the cycle to come to an end.

Butterflies and Books

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
~ Maya Angelou ~

The Best Writing Advice I Don’t Feel Qualified to Give…

Such a great article. Words every writer should read…

Marni Bates

Hey everyone,

So…it’s really weird being asked to give writing advice. I instantly want to say this…


Fun fact: Nearly every writer I know (myself included) deals with imposter syndrome. Sadly, that does not mean we buy ridiculous outfits from thrift shops and pretend to be the reigning monarch of Khazibekustanzia. It means that we stare at the laptop screen and wait to read an email that says…


Most writers spend most of their time thinking that they mostly suck at writing.

We tend to believe that everyone else has it figured out and that at some point (if we can just crack the NYT bestseller list!) then we’ll also feel like extra special unicorns. Except it doesn’t actually work that way. We just go right on doubting ourselves.

So why am I sharing this? It’s not, y’know…inspirational.

Except…it kind of is.

Hear me out, okay?

See, young aspiring authors…

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Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Black Thursday?

I sit here less than twelve hours away from the start of Thanksgiving Day and can’t help contemplating the upcoming holiday. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, family and friends. The warmth and love surrounding this holiday has always been something I’ve looked forward to. Even when I was in the military Thanksgiving was a time to gather at someone’s house to celebrate and enjoy the company of good friends. We always took time out to remember our Shipmates, brothers and sisters in arms, who were away from loved ones doing their duty to our country. It meant everything then. But, it means so much more now as our kids grow older and our time together as a family wanes.

So, my question is this, where did Thanksgiving go? When did we as a society decide shopping and cheap electronics was more important than family, friends and thankfulness?

I look around at the ridiculous amounts of Christmas decorations adorning stores and neighbor’s yards. I got out of the car to pump gas and was assailed by Christmas carols being piped over the speaker system. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays as much as anyone, but really? Why can’t we hold off until Friday? I watched a commercial for JcPenney’s where they chant Go, go, go, go. go, go, SHOP, SHOP, SHOP.  Why does the shopping season now start on Thanksgiving? Aren’t we kind of missing the point?

Do you know where the term Black Friday came from? Many believe it came from an accounting term. The Friday after Thanksgiving was the start of their most financially solvent period. It would send their finances from the red into the black. Yes, that’s all this season means to retailers. Get the customers in, make them spend money, don’t care how it’s done, just do it.

And we fell for it.

Back in 1924 the Macy’s Day Parade was started because many of the employees of Macy’s were first generation Americans who were proud of and wanted to celebrate their new American heritage? Macy’s had intended it to be an employee celebration of thanks, not the official ushering in of the shopping season. 

WOW! Imagine that. New Americans being thankful for being in this country and for everything they had been blessed with on a holiday made for just that occasion.

So, what happened? When did a celebration of joy, pride, and thankfulness become a way to push consumers into buy, buy, buying? How did Black Friday eat Thanksgiving Day?

We let it become the monster that it is. We let greed for a good deal drive us to camp out in front of retail stores to be the first to get that $300 laptop. We allowed retailers to dictate to us how we were going to spend the holiday weekend. They are laughing all the way to their billion dollar bank accounts while their minimum wage employees have to put the turkey down, step away from the table and go to work.

I’m reminded of the beginning scene of A Christmas Carol ~

SCROOGE: You’ll want all day tomorrow, I suppose.
CRATCHIT: If it is quite convenient, sir.
SCROOGE: It’s not convenient and it’s not fair. If I were to stop half a crown for it, you’d think yourself ill-used. And yet, you don’t think me ill-used when I pay a day’s wages for no work.
CRATCHIT: Christmas only comes once a year, sir.
SCROOGE: A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December! But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier the next morning!
CRATCHIT: I promise, sir. Merry Christmas, sir!

We watch this scene and can recognize it for what it is. Why can we not recognize it in real life? Scrooge demands Cratchit work Thanksgiving…all in the name of squeezing consumers a little bit longer, a little bit harder, a little bit more aggressively each year. All the while shouting, “Give the people what they want!”

Well, I don’t want it. I choose to side with Cratchit, not Scrooge. I refuse to be a party to something that has robbed families of the reason we gather. Be thankful, people…not greedy.

I will not be shopping anywhere on Thursday. Shopping can wait. I’ll be at home, enjoying my family and the blessings I’ve had this year.

I shall keep Thanksgiving in my own way.

Will you join me?

Chunky Chocolate Cookies

Absolutely Scrumptious

Chunky Chocolate Gob Cookies


What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped (16 cookies)
  • 3 (1.75-oz.) Mounds bars, chilled and chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

What to do:

  1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
  4. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients.
  5. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
  6. Stir in cookies, candy bars, and desired amount of chocolate morsels.
  7. Chill dough 30 minutes.
  8. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 2″ apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until barely set.
  10. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes.
  11. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Courtesy – Southern Living, Oxmoor House JUNE 2007