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Saturday, February 23, 2013


Good morning!

I think one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was "Write how you speak"  and the follow up to that is "Don't use big words just because you think it makes you sound smart.  So what if it takes two little words to say the same as a big pompous word, your not out to impress them with how many big words you can use, your out to entertain them without sending them to the dictionary."  Let me tell you, most of my English/Writing teachers were the bomb!! 

I only bring this up because I am finding that I see more and more of writers pulling out these huge words that send me looking for my dictionary.  Now, I make no bones about it, I am a older, we will say 40ish, woman who may or may not have been slowly forgetting more than what some of these youngsters may ever know, however, I feel no need to try to impress my readers because I can spell discombobulated and know how to use it in a sentence.  I do know if I can say "she was confused" it makes the same point and my readers have a clear understanding of what I mean and I have discombobulated none of them in the process.  

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I also need to point out, it's not that I think my readers don't have the vocabulary to know what I am talking about, it's that I think that its a smoother read when you don't take a shotgun and pepper a piece with the biggest words you can find.

Write how you speak.  That is how I speak, this is how I write.  It's simple.  When writing that is what I find I like to do...the K.I.S.S. method.  "Keep it simple, stupid."  I actually mentally chant that before going in to do a rewrite or an extensive edit.  No joke.  I have to remind myself or I can be as bad as some of these other writers are.  

I just thought I would share what was on my mind when I woke up this morning.  Yes, this is exactly what was on my mind as I took my ankle biters out for their morning walk. 

Have a great day, see you tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Damn Is Busted

Good morning.

I have been doing some thinking about what type of writer I am here lately.  I don't think I can be put in a category as of yet.

I have a western out...that would be Nevada Free.  Then I wrote From One Diabetic To Another, which is basically a how to help yourself book while your waiting for the diabetic class.  Let me tell you that was one scary time for me, that first month, trying to find out information.  Finally, I decided I would try to make it easier on others in the same boat and share what information I had gathered.  By the way, I did so good getting my diabetes under control that I blew my Doc's mind. LOL  So if you want to give it a shot, there is the link.  

Any who, then I wrote Misplaced Legends which is hard to put in a category.  I mean its modern day, set in a fictional town in a real US state with fictional characters that are both human and fantasy creatures (dragons, gnomes, elves, witches, centaurs, etc...).  Is that considered fantasy?  What category would I put that in?  Not a hard core science fiction, I would think.  I know it would fall in the realm of humor, dark sarcastic humor at times, but humor nonetheless.

My next coming out is "The House".  It's spooky, with some sarcastic humor (I am really good at that I think...LOL), superstitions  ghosts, and I kinda spooked myself a time or two while writing it.  I guess that would fall under supernatural horror. 

My point is, I don't write just one type of book, like some of the big name authors like Stephen King.  He just writes horror or Patricia Cornwell who sticks primarily to crime.  They know what they are very good at what they do. By the way, both of them are two of my favorite authors! 

My process is I see something that catches my eye and I take a picture.  Once I have that picture, I put it on my desktop and I take a look when I need inspiration.  It might not be a picture, it may be a comment someone makes. I stick a electronic post it up on my computer and then I can be reminded of what I was going for.  Regardless, one of the two happens to start the ball rolling.

Then I just start spit balling ideas with my editor.  What direction do I want to go?  What do I want to be my end result?  What will I need researched?  All these come out in those brainstorming sessions. I take notes on Google Docs where I share them with her via computer as well as on the phone.  If something hits either one of us, we just throw it up on the notes section (she has her color of ink, I have mine!) to be checked over a few times before I actually get the ball rolling.

Finally I begin to write.  Once I start I just keep going until my eyes are crossed and my fingers are too tired to type.  Then I take a break, do the dishes, whatever I need to do, and then begin again.  During the entire writing process, just before I begin typing again, I edit the last chapter written.  I can refresh where I was, remind myself what direction I am going, correct some of my glaring mistakes and then continue.  

If I get lost, I stop check my notes, think about it and begin again. However....

However, there are times when I get stuck.  I mean major nasty stuck which leaves me drooling, pacing and zombie like for the duration.  That is when I turn to outside sources.  I may make mention of what I am writing and then listen to comments flow like water.  Sometimes a great idea slips out, I catch it, and expand the bugger until I am happy.  Sometimes, I just have to put it to bed and ignore it.  Eventually I will pick back up on my train of thought and run with it.

I have learned not to fight it.  Don't even think about forcing it.  Forcing it is like forcing a teenager to remove the phone from their need surgery, major surgery for it.  By that I mean I would have perform major surgery after I was done with that section...for me it will sound stilted, sophomoric and annoying.  Conversations won't flow, readers won't get the idea I am trying to weave around and immerse them in. I know from experience that is the worst of my worst. So what do I do?

I leave it alone.  I let it be the worm at the back of my mind.  I let it slither around, grow, let it nibble on this, that and the other.  With any luck it won't be a worm at all!  It will be a caterpillar that will transform into a butterfly!!  When that butterfly blossoms, so will the idea and then the words begin to gush like water through a busted dam!  Oh, that is the lucky day.

In the meantime while I am waiting for the dam to break, what do I do?  Oh, I read, clean house and most of all I start a new brainstorming project! It never hurts to help that dam break with a little explosives! LOL  I find just with some writing of another subject  I can help myself.

And now, I am off to work on "The House".  Happy reading. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The New Website

Today I started my own web site.  Actually, I started building my own web site..LOL...there is still A LOT more work to do but I am having fun playing with it. I think it will be up and going in the next month or so.

In it I am aiming to do the following:

  1. Make it easy to download my books.
  2. Make it so my readers can download my books before they even come out on Amazon or B&N.
  3. Make it easy to share my newest work with you so you can give me feedback!
  4. Give you a little background on me.
  5. Share some of the reviews I have gotten before the books even come out.
  6. Make it easy for you, my readers, to contact me if you want.
I think that about covers it. LOL   

I am thinking that I am having a blast with this.  

Anyway, short chat today.  I am back to work.  I want to get The House further along for an April release date.

Happy reading.

P.S.  If you really want to see the website this is the web address:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Marley and Me....:)

With today's blustery weather, we have gusts bad enough to rock the house a bit, some snow flurries, and  dark skies.  I think I am ready for spring.

Marley, she is in the photo above, is my cohort in crime.  She cuddles into my chair with me while I am working on the laptop. Her antics remind me to keep to the lighter side of life, she insists I take breaks and then there are times she will do something to inspire me on certain areas of whatever piece I am working on.

Today and tomorrow Nevada Free is an Amazon Freebie.  I hope many enjoy it.   

I think I am just going to keep it short and sweet today.  I have a ton of words floating around in my head looking to be put in "The House", my newest I am hoping to have released by the end of March beginning of April.  By then I will have all my books on both Amazon and B&N.  Keep an eye out for it!

Have a wonderful day, stay safe and warm since  I hope to see you back tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Good Afternoon:

Seems I am running behind today.  I have a bit of what my Momma called "lead in the arse".  Actually I have been doing research for my new book coming out called "The House".

A brief synopsis is there is a couple that moves into a  new house and the hidden old mountain cabin next door is empty.  One night the man, David, hears noises and see's lights.   The next morning, through a chain of events they begin to research the old place and find out it is the site of many murder/suicides.   

And that is all I will tell you about it except that it takes place in the Mountains of North Carolina.  So I have had to do some research on superstitions of my area because you know those hill folk, they have a ton of them.  

A few of them I have found interesting because they aren't just hill superstitions but ones I have heard all my life such as:

Don't pick up a penny on tails and keep it, give it to the next person you see to give them good luck.

If a bird flies into your house there will be a death in your family.

Death always comes in three, as does bad luck.

Don't cut your hair on Sunday because it will grown back quicker. (I guess if it's a bad hair cut then that could be considered a good thing! LOL)

Nonetheless, I have found several sites with some interesting superstitions.  So my question is: what are some you know?

I look forward to hearing your responses! :)

Have a great day and check back in tomorrow! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Advice to an New Author

Good Morning:

Today there was an interesting question posted by an up and coming writer about words of advice.  I am sure there are others that have the same question so I thought I would answer it here.

1. Don't fall in love with your words.  When you are writing making changes is always a possibility.  Sometimes your great ideas don't work in one area of the story but work in another but you have to change the wording.  Sometimes that great idea won't work at all and you should save it for another story.  Sometimes words have to be cut or a sentence sounds stilted and hinders the flow so it will have to be changed, reworded or expanded upon to make it fit.  Don't be afraid of the red pen!  If it don't fit, toss it out!

2. Find a great editor.  Your editor can be a friend who has background in writing or it can be an actual editor you have to pay.  That person should not only be reading your work for grammar and punctuation errors (trust me, Word or Google Docs don't always catch them all!) but also should be looking at the flow of your work.  Your reader shouldn't be able to tell if you are frustrated and can't find the right words to express your idea and your editor should be able to tell that.  That person should also be able to tell you the truth and ask you to look it over and rewrite it.  I would suggest talking to English Professors or Teachers during the summer months when they may be available to do so.  Many I have found are both happy to do it and flattered that you asked them. 

3.  If you are going Indie and doing your own publishing for Amazon, B&N, etc...then you should do research and find the programs that work for you.  A basic knowledge of html is a good idea.  I do all my own formatting in Crimson Editor,   then I use Mobipocket eBook Creator to put it together and finally I use Calibre to convert for ePub on B&N.  I can also preview the formatting and adjust what needs to be fixed on Calibre.  I know it sounds like a lot, but it's not.  Where did I learn this?  Oh from a wonderful individual named Judith Tramayne.  She has a website called  A Good Read.  She offers courses on how to put together a professional e-book.  You can always pay someone, however, I would rather not put out the extra money.  If it isn't done right the only person to blame is myself.  By the way, there are other programs out there that you can do all of your formatting and conversions on, however, those are just the ones I am comfortable using.  Do your research and find what works for you.

4.  Set a goal.  My goal is 1000 words a day minimum.  I start working after my son goes to school and I can start and stop whenever I need to. This is important to me because some days I am inspired and some days I am not.  I don't force it, I learned that the hard way.  If I am not feeling inspired that day I still write, but it's not on my novel.  I will pull up my file for ideas and just start throwing out possible piece ideas for the future.  Sometimes that puts me in the mood to work, sometimes not.  If not then when I hit the point of frustration I take a break.  I may not write for the rest of the day but I did get my mental workout for the day.

5. If you are doing this to be rich, you won't.  Only a handful make the big bucks.  If your doing this for fame, banish that thought.  Fame is fleeting, fickle, and very difficult to attain.  If your writing for love and enjoyment then continue because that makes it worth doing.  I write to share my story.  I want others to be taken to far off places and see what I see in my minds eye. 

6.  Find some beta readers for before publishing.  You don't want to KNOW them.  People who know you usually won't tell you the truth and you want to know the truth, their opinion.  A wonderful writer +James Ash suggested book clubs.  He includes a questionnaire that he allows to be turned in anonymously.  I have recently decided to implement this tool.  I think it's an awesome idea.  You want to know how John Q. Public is going to view your book, then this is a great way, in my humble opinion, on how to do it.

7.  I use Google Docs, I like it better than Word for a couple of reasons.  Not only can I adjust it to fit me, but I can write, give my editor access and she can edit as I work.  I don't have to send it to her.  Once I have given her permission and sent the link via email she can access it whenever she wants.  Why is that important to me?  Then I don't have to send her a zillion emails with the doc enclosed, and that means I spend less time on my email and more time on my love of writing.  Find the program that works best for you and use it.  Here is a link to another wonderful writer, +Josh Rollins,  that gives great advice on how to adjust  Google Doc to fit you.

Finally I would suggest that you sit down in a comfortable spot and just write until you can write no more.  Have fun with it.  Don't worry about mistakes just move forward with that first draft.  Editing will fix any errors. 

 Put your idea on paper.  Don't talk about it, 
you will talk yourself out of it. Just do it.

I hope this helps.  I have other bits of advice that occur to me from time to time and I will probably add them on, but for now this is what has helped me the most.

Have an awesome day!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



If you can't tell, I am totally new at the whole blogging thing.  I am told that what happens is just kinda like an online diary.  I can do that.  I will probably discuss more than anything the writing process.  You see, I am a writer/author.  

Nevada Free   was my first novel I wrote at the urging of a good friend on Face Book.  It has been recently re-edited and put back out for sale.   It's a western/love story/crime novel.  

The whole process of writing and learning how to get it published just about did me in.  I was rushing to finish as well as juggling any research concerning not just publishing but also fact checking where it was called for.  Since then I have gotten real smart and my BFF +Kathie Johnson  was called in to help me out.  

I couldn't do this without +Kathie Johnson.  She edits, encourages, researches, and on top of all that she is my one woman cheering section.  I want to say a special thank you now to her. :)  Looking forward to many years to come of her having my 6!

I have a family, they encourage me.  Not just my immediate family (my fiancee Steve and my son Dalton) but an extended family that encourages me every step of the way.  I want to thank them too.  They know who they are which is good since there are too many to mention here! LOL

Anyway, I am headed back to the drawing board.  Working on a new novel called The House.  I will tell you more about my North Carolina Horror story later.   

Have a good day and check back in later.