Cover Reveal and IWSG

What an exciting day! As you may remember, last year I collaborated on an anthology benefiting those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Twenty-nine writers, each inspired by a musical composition from the album, Composers for Relief, wove tales which intertwined flawlessly with their chosen song.

Since then, Samantha Redstreake Geary and The Publishers That Be have been compiling the album’s accompanying ebook. The reveal of the cover and release date has finally come, and that day is today.

Behold—Beyond the Binding!

Beyond the Binding Composers for Relief

Embark on an exciting journey “Beyond the Binding” of the imagination with 29 authors from across the globe in a groundbreaking collaboration where music meets fiction. Surrender to soaring compositions as they surge through the veins of every story, capturing the triumphant pulse of the notes in heart pounding sci-fi, enchanting fantasy, and gripping slices of realism.”

All proceeds of the Composers for Relief album and Companion Collection ebook will go to Gawad Kalinga (meaning, “give care”) and GVSP (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme), to support the relief efforts for victims of the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history.

Ebook available on Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, and Smashwords. Additional links coming soon.

Composers for Relief album available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and Spotify.

Please help spread the word on this worthy cause and excellent collaboration of the Arts.


Wait no longer—sign up TODAY! Thanks, Alex.

Today is exciting for another reason: I get to help Alex J. Cavanaugh with IWSG by co-hosting alongside Julie Musil, Sheena-kay Graham, and Jamie Ayers! Please take a moment to visit and say thanks for giving Alex a hand and doing their part to keep the IWSG the vital resource it’s become. I know I would’ve been lost without all of you.

Which brings up my insecurity this month: a sad, but necessary bit of news. It’s time for a change. Although it’s my first time co-hosting IWSG, it’s also my last time posting with the group—at least for the time being. Thanks to your support, I’m ready to take this blog in a different direction.

Remember my mind map? Well, I’ve recently consulted it, revised a little, and to truly understand what I wanted this blog to be, had to define it with a mission statement, of sorts:

Although this is a writer’s blog, it is not a blog exclusively about writing or for writers. It is a blog written by a writer, and is about those things which said writer finds interesting. Of course this includes—but is not limited to—writing.”

Sounds like the guys in Legal wrote that. But…it’s true. This blog is about the life of a writer, and will cover the things I find interesting or am doing in my writerly and extra-writerly life. In case you’re wondering, other than writing, the activities in which I participate and like to discuss are:

  • Books and Reading (so no worries, the PBC will continue!).
  • Do-it-yourself Projects.
  • Old Movies and Television.
  • Music.
  • Humor.
  • Food—Dining in or out, I love to eat great cuisine.
  • Landscaping. That’s a flashy way to say “gardening,” but I like to take it to the next level.
  • Spirituality. It’s the gold thread in the tapestry of my life. It affects how I think and view everything, but I won’t ever cram my views down your throat. When I discuss them, it’ll only be in the context of how they pertain to the topic.
  • And…Life. No matter the subject, I want it to be a story worth reading. I want to practice and use this blog for personal essays, op-eds, and short stories.

That’s how I plan to hone my craft and develop my blog, so you won’t find much talk about writing around here—at least not in the sense of most writing blogs—just anecdotes on yet another boring day in the life of a writer. But hopefully, not too boring.

I know it’s a ballsy move, not having a “real purpose” for the blog, but in a sense, I do. Much like Seinfeld, it’s a blog about nothing—and everything—and the IWSG has given me the strength to follow this path.

Without a doubt, I’ve formed some lifelong friendships and will continue to visit all of you on my blogroll, however, with that said, my blogging will be less, and visitation limited to and around the days I post.

For I will be writing! And along the way, living life.

Thank you, Alex, and all you other fine folks in the IWSG, for allowing me to be part of such a worthy group for the last year and a half. Hopefully, many of you will find my activities interesting enough to stay with me as I boldly blindly go where no man has gone before—or perhaps to a tropical vacation spot.

Peace and fearlessness be with you!

ML Swift

MikeBeachML Swift is a writer of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult fiction, although he dabbles in many genres.

An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.

He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.


92 thoughts on “Cover Reveal and IWSG

    1. It’s been something I’ve been grappling with for months now, Lyn. I want to make this blog less about writing and include more stories. After all, I’ve never really felt in the position to “teach” anything, just talk about what does and doesn’t work for me and things I’ve learned along the way.

      What this all boils down to is, I’m looking to expand my readership beyond the confines of the writing world—to draw the demographic of potential readers for my books. Since I won’t be writing books ON writing, I don’t want this to be a writer’s blog, per se, but simply a blog that showcases my writing talents.

    2. Whether you know it or not, your blog pretty much already does showcase your talents. It’s a smart move though. I should do the same on my blog but I honestly don’t know how to successfully step away from my comfort zone.

  1. I’ve met so many great writers through the IWSG and I’m sad to see you leave, however I’m excited to see the new direction you will be taking with this blog. I enjoy everything you write, and will stick around to see what’s next for you. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kirsten, and I enjoy your writing and blog as well. Just because my official ties with the group will be no more, I still plan to read blogs on the things that interest me, and one of them is writing. So…I’ll be seeing you around the writing circles!

  2. What a great cover that it.

    Thanks for co-hosting today. I’ve wavered several times about my membership of the group, but as I now have a separate website, with a tiny little blog that one person subscribes to, I try to make that more about me, more like the direction you want to take your blog. I look forward to reading your wide variety of posts.

    1. Thanks, Annalisa, and leave me a link of your new site…I’ll be follower #2. 🙂

      This is the question I asked myself: “What would I want to see on blogs of my favorite authors?” The answer: their interests other than writing. Their daily activities. Where they shop, what they buy, where they travel, what they cook and eat…stuff like that. And of course, talk about their books.

      So…this is a start for me to develop this blog for my “future fans.” It may be all for naught (I may never have future fans), but it’s what I’d look for.

  3. I like that direction! (That’s why I post about movies and music so often – it’s the stuff that interests this writer.)
    Thanks for co-hosting today and supporting the group. You rock.

    1. Actually Alex, I LOVE your blog and what you do with it. After looking at many blogs around, yours is unique and one to pattern myself after. And that’s exactly what I mean. Talk about things I like, and hopefully, other people will like it, too.

      And no, it is YOU who rocks. Thanks for everything! 😀

  4. First, thanks for co-hosting. It’s a labor of love, but still a labor. 😉

    I love the ideas you have for you blog. Variety is the spice of life, and all that. Good for you! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush* Oops.)

    1. That’s the thing with me…so many interests and I want to talk about them all!

      Oooo…the culling. Yeah, this is a move I’ve been considering for months now (since my mind map), but I really did NOT want to give up my spot. I worked down from 331 to 115! But…change happens. I’ll be over shortly. Good to have you off hiatus. 🙂

  5. Hello fellow co-host! A few things…the cover is amazing. And the premise and charitable giving…also amazing. I think it’s wonderful that you’re switching up your blog. It should reflect YOU, wherever that takes you!

    1. And a warm hello back to you! After I get through with my group, I’ll be over to see you…I’ve basically always touched on these topics, but tried to relate them to the writing process. Now, I’m just going to throw them out there and not try to make a connection. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Wow, what a great project. Congratulations – the cover is really lovely, and the book sounds wonderful.

    I’ll miss you in IWSG, but I won’t MISS you, because I’m here for good 🙂 I salute you and support the change in direction; it’s honest, interesting, and true to you, and decisions based on those things really can’t ever be wrong. At least that’s what I think. And you always write so truthfully, so much from the heart, that I’ll glad read whatever you decide to post about. Good luck, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!

    1. Thanks Liz, and I hope I don’t disappoint.

      I’ve pretty much always touched on these topics, but not to the degree I wanted. And I tried to relate them to writing. Sometimes I just want to discuss it separately. The things around town…the places I go…the food I cook or eat…silly photos…life…love…and all of the above.

      You’re one of the lifelong friends I mention. I realize we’ve only known each other a short period, but some things you just get a good feeling about. 🙂

    2. Wow, thanks so much, Mike. I feel the same way. I’ve had a great feeling about you since you fist showed up on my blog and generously helped me actually share it 🙂 Besides the much-needed help, you were so friendly and warm and thoughtful that I thought to myself, “here’s someone worth knowing.” And I was right 🙂

  7. How inspiring to see your project to help others. You inspire others to be better. I’m sure your new direction for your blog will be entertaining and a portal to your generous personality. You rock!

    1. Thanks, J.Q., and it’s a shame I’m just now meeting you, but there are so many folks in the group, it’s hard to know you all.

      Come by and see how it develops. And thanks for your visit and comment today. 🙂

  8. You know, I waited a long time to jump in, just for those reasons. After actually figuring out my memes, I decided it was possible to make both fit just fine, and now that I’ve cut back to just Wednesdays (in theory), they do. I understand though, there are a number of hops/blogfest/groups I haven’t joined because of what the commitment would mean for my blog. =)

    1. Crystal, you hit the nail on the head. It is a level of commitment I can’t afford right now. I hesitated to leave, but the only thing I want to be committed to is this blog and my writing.

      I’ve kept the PBC group—it’s a hop of sorts, but with as little commitment as possible. A month by month come and go as you please thing. Read a book? Wanna write about it? Do it with us.

      I’ve pretty much been tapping on these subjects, but now I want to take the “writing vein” out of them. Just talk about things which interest me, and hopefully, others.

      Thanks for visiting. 😀

  9. My blog is like yours – much ado about nothing…or anything – but mine is floundering on the rocks of abandonment lately. Still, I’ll keep doing IWSG because it’s only once a month and fits into the “everything” section. 🙂 You will be missed in it but I’m glad you found a map to follow. 🙂

    1. If I flounder too much, I may just be fishtailing it right back to the group! LOL.

      We’ll see how this goes. I just need to make more time for writing, and when I write (like a blog post), I want it to be a story, either through words or photos. I want to take a lot more pics and use them.

  10. Swifty,

    I look forward to going behind the curtain and finding out what makes the character of Swifty tick. I love your writing advice though and will miss that aspect of your online work.

    Congratulations on the book. That is way cool!

    1. Hey Rob,

      I’m not even positive what makes the character of Swifty tick. Maybe these writings will help me figure that out. It’ll be much like your blog…how you spotlight your interests and military influence…except my interests will be different. But yes, on a more personal level.

      And I’ll still find something to point out in the writing world that I think needs a’fixin’.

      Thanks for coming by. 🙂

  11. I thought, “This sounds like an episode of Seinfeld. And look how it turned out for him.”
    Then down two lines you said the same thing. Scary.
    Congrats. Courage is the one thing that most of us are missing. No one likes change but sometimes it is a blessing in disguise.
    Thanks for hosting! (My first two posts disappeared in the blogosphere. If it appears, apologies on my redundant nature.)

    1. They may have gone into spam…it doesn’t happen often, but has a time or two. I’ll check there.

      Oooo…it is spooky! But the more I wrote about it, I thought the same thing…a lot about nothing. Maybe it’s a recipe that will work for me.

      Change is difficult, but necessary for growth. Just something I gotta do. Maybe a new look for the blog, as well.

      Thanks for stopping over!

  12. Truly love that cover, ML! Congrats on being included. Sounds like an awesome and worthwhile project.

    Congrats as well on putting some changes into place. We have to continue to evolve our craft as well as our identities to stay engaged and relevant in this business. (A sometimes sad truth, but truth nonetheless.) I think making your blog a bit more personalized is NEVER a bad move.

    I know for me, I follow other writer blogs to get to know them–to try to understand and enjoy their creative process. It inspires me to be alongside others who are struggling and working on this “thing”, and the more real they are to me the better I’m able to do that.

    Sounds like the changes you’ve got in store are going to bring us into your world a little more, which I applaud.

    1. Hey E.J.,

      First of all, call me Mike. Second, I’m in agreement…I’m merely working on this “thing” and trying to be real along the way. I don’t feel qualified to tell anybody how to write; I’m only a fellow pilgrim on the journey. Hope you’ll stick around! Thanks for coming over and commenting. 🙂

  13. That’s a great idea, Mike. Adjust things until you find your groove. If you’re interests are many, then that is greater chance to attract more people. Like with Alex, there is always something for everybody. And you are creative and versatile. About the IWSG, don’t see why you have to leave it. If you’re writing a blog, then you’re still a writer, are you not? But then again, you must do what suits you best. Dragon hugs. 🙂

    1. Letting go of the IWSG was a difficult move, Al, and one that I’ve been tossing back and forth for awhile. It just doesn’t seem to fit in the design of things or direction I want to take the blog right now. That’s not to say I won’t return…simply playing it by ear. Dragon hugs back to you. 😀

  14. Doing what you need to for you to grow and spread your wings can’t be a bad thing! Sorry you won’t be here anymore, but I’m glad to have had the chances I have to read your blog… Thanks for co-hosting this month, and GOOD luck with your new blogging experiences!

    1. Lisa, I appreciate your well-wishes and hope that you’ll pop by on occasion to see how things are panning out. You may still find much worth to the place. 🙂 Thanks for coming over.

  15. It’s a beautiful cover. Thank you for helping the Philippines! I’m actually in the Philippines but, thankfully, our place wasn’t badly damaged. My heart goes out to those who weren’t able to survive.

    It’s my first time to publish a post as a member of the IWSG and I just read that you’re leaving. Thanks for co-hosting! I’ll be following your blog through Facebook and Google Plus.

    1. Sittie,

      I’m glad you weathered the storm and my heart goes out to all of you affected. At times like this, the world needs to pull together. After all, we are family. Bless you.

  16. Hi Swift,
    Its really good to be here,
    this is my first time visiting this page, I am here via Alex’s IWSG page
    Thanks for co-hosting this wonderful event along with other terrific team members
    Keep posting
    Have a wonderful time of blogging and hosting
    Good day
    I just joined in and i posted my take today at IWSG

    1. Hey Philip,

      Welcome to IWSG! It has been an excellent resource that I hate to put behind me, but for the time, I need to take some commitments off my plate and head this blog in a different direction. Yesterday was super-busy and got away from me and even now, I’m still playing catch-up.

      I went by your blog a couple of times yesterday morning, but you had a different (non-IWSG) post up about a Hindu calendar or something. I will be sure to come back over and read your post.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And once again, WELCOME. This group is a Godsend.

  17. Oh how very typical of me, entering a group when someone is leaving!!! well that’s life. That’s a lovely cover for a lovely cause 🙂 I hope you find more joy and peace with your new path, and how funny your quoting Star Trek when I’m using Star Wars in my post haha.

    1. Haneen,

      Welcome to my blog and to IWSG! People’s paths cross all over this blogosphere, so I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll see of me. I’ll have to come by and check out your post and Star Wars blurb.

    1. You will, Mary, you will. I’ll continue coming by your site whenever possible and see your smiling face on other social media! You are one of the blessings of blogging.

    1. Hey Tara,

      It took me a minute to figure out “fwiw.” I’m not savvy on all the acronyms, but I got it. 🙂

      Thanks, and I hope to see you every now and then!

  18. Thank you for co-hosting today. Even though I haven’t been around that long, I am sad to see you go. I’m sad because I didn’t have a chance to get to know you as well as it seems so many others have. I wish you all the best in your new blogging direction.

    1. You still have that chance, Toi! Just come by whenever the subject matter interests you…I’ll be here.

      Welcome to IWSG…you’ll love it. You’ll still see me on their website and FB page. I love the group, but can’t commit right now.

  19. Kudos to you for thinking about it all and making the change! I ended up in a different place, but with a similar feeling about not trying to blog much about writing, since I’m still a learner myself.

    1. Precisely, Rebecca…I feel like I do know a thing or two, but it’s been through trial and error or natural ability rather than formal education, so I’ve never felt quite right about instructive posts. I guess when I have a few books and people ask about my process will I be more confident in that area. Until then, I’ll just write. Thanks, always, for your support. 🙂

  20. Love that project and cover! I think the new direction for your blog sounds perfect! I think writers make a mistake when they blog about writing all of the time. Best of luck to you!

    1. Hey co-hostie!

      Thanks and thanks again! I’m in agreement, thus the change. I was tired of trying to connect everything to the writing process. Now, it’s just the days of my writerly life. Hope you’ll check in once in awhile. 🙂

  21. That cover is just lovely! I don’t think there’s any problem with not having a purpose for the blog. You have to do what’s right for you right now and be adaptable – who knows what will happen in the future. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  22. I’m also thinking of making my blog less of a writing blog. Perhaps I’ll get a more diverse audience. Good Luck, and thanks for hosting the IWSG this month.

    1. Everything is trial by fire. That’s how I look at it. But I do know I need to make more time for work on my novel. Heck, I figure if I just ramble enough, someone will at least come by and tell me to shut up. That’s something. Thanks for coming by, Ken.

  23. I’m glad you are taking the blog in the direction you mean it to go. It is easy to get bogged down in the process of writing. I find I have been doing that more than I meant.

    It of course isn’t really goodbye because you know, we’ll still be watching.

    Thanks for co-hosting the month. It is much appreciated.

    Leanne Ross ( & @LeanneRossRF )

  24. Thanks for cohosting! I find random life stuff interesting. I suppose I never considered IWSG limited to just “writing” blogs. If so, then I probably don’t belong. 🙂 I just write. And I get insecure. Sometimes I post about writing stuff. Sometimes not.

    Best of luck with your new direction. I look forward to reading your posts.

    1. Actually, it’s not that I consider IWSG limited to writing blogs, I just don’t have time for the heavy commitment to one group anymore. I mean, here it is Monday and I’m still working on visiting people and commenting. That’s been five days. And it’s not because I’m cohosting. I’ve always spent about a week of visiting for IWSG, and I really can’t do that anymore. I simply need to put other things priority #1 and take group postings off my plate for awhile.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting! I’ll see you around, I’m sure.

      1. It’s because of people like you, Loni, that makes the visiting worthwhile. You’re all so great…I wish I could visit every one on the list. 😉

  25. Follow your heart, Michael. You’ve got this. And don’t stress about the blogging. I know that I have a schedule where I blog whenever it strikes me–and then I just try to focus on my writing when I’m not. It’s ALL SUCH A BALANCE, isn’t it??? And one that’s hard to obtain! You’ve got this though. You do. Can’t wait for your successes.

    And verrrrry cool with the cover and anthology. So fun! 🙂

    1. Yes, and I’ve always been a little UNbalanced. 😉

      I’ve tried to keep a schedule, and pretty much have worked it to weekly (I even waned to bi-weekly), but I’m like you…I blog when I feel it. Whenever a topic interests me.

      Thing is…a lot more topics other than writing interest me. Time to talk about those. I hope you find them interesting as well.

      Thanks for coming by, Red.

      Brown. Head. Out.

  26. Hey dude,
    Finally, I have arrived. Such is the life of us busy celebrities! Pardon my delusional moment 🙂

    Beyond the Binding. A great cover, a thoughtful cause and a terrific collaboration by such amazing writers.

    I Was Seeking Gary is quite the inspiring get together. However, you will now display your ongoing writing skills on your blog. I think that’s a good situation all round.

    Gary 🙂

    1. Hey Gary,

      Good to see you again! And we all have our delusional moments…I live in a world of delusion. Or is that “illusion?” Regardless, it’s another world altogether.

      Yes…Beyond the Binding…get your copy today! And I’ll still be seeking you… 🙂

  27. Hey Fellow Beyond The Binding Collaborator! *waving*
    I’m popping in to say thank you for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Every time I see that anthology cover, my heart skips a beat… it’s absolutely gorgeous! And yes, I most probably AM biased… LOL
    I can understand why you’ve decided to cut back… there’s just NO time to fit everything into this hectic life that we live… *sigh*… not enough hours in the day…
    But I’m sure that we’ll bump into each other in cyberspace… at some point or the other…
    Good luck with your writing Mike. 🙂

  28. I’ve suspected your departure from ISWG was a long time coming, per previous conversations we’ve had. I wish you well in your new direction. Change is good. Especially for those who know how to embrace it, and from the little I know about you, you seem to embrace it well. Particularly from the new look of your website (and how you’re constantly changing it), you have no problem with the “out with the old, in with the new” concept. Be you, my friend, and keep embracing and flowing with the wind.

    1. Yes, you indeed know me…whithersoever the winds blow, and at this point and time, this is where they are a’blowin’. Change is the only constant, and I’ve learned in life to go with it and still manage to keep my belief system. As long as the direction is onward and upward (although steps back are sometimes a part of “onward”).

      Thanks, Dee.


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