What’s in your St. Valentine’s Day Box?

writers, interviews, valentine day, authors,                  My St. Valentine’s Day box is full of authors willing to take time out and be interviewed!    This month, we digress a little with a charming interview with a book narrator.   Audio-books are all the rage now, what with our busy lives,  and professional actor/voice over artist, Tavia Gilbert will let us into her world.  March’s guest author will be Susie Drougas whose modern day mysteries takes us into the wilds of Washington, atop a horse.

Three years ago I began interviewing best selling authors and to my ever-lasting gratitude, they accepted!   Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Mark Childress have all graced the pages of my blog!

It doesn’t really surprise me that the authors are relating similar experiences that I have had in my writing life. Characters taking the story in a whole different and unexpected direction.

Dean Koontz: “…if I give characters free will, if I don’t plot out the story and instead present them with a problem and watch them deal with it, they begin to take on a life of their own, frequently surprising me with the choices they make. This is mysterious and exciting.” Continue reading “What’s in your St. Valentine’s Day Box?”

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

image of 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer PosterCompliments of Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger

This is so true!  I bang out stuff that never sees the light of day.   I vent on a new post that I never publish.  I keep post-it note pads everywhere in the house so that if I get an idea (some good, some not so much) I can jot it down.  My most valuable post-it note pad is by my bedside because frequently I write in my head in a dream-like state and too lazy to turn on the light, grab paper and pen, I say to myself, ‘oh, I’ll remember this when I wake up’ I never do and IT IS GONE FOREVER!

In the middle of the night I ‘dreamed’ a single line for a poem I was working on…..“an overachiever  dips into the nectar….” and yes, I turned on the light and wrote it down.  When I awoke in the morning the only thing I remembered was that I had a terrific line for my poetry but had no idea what it was.  Fortunately there it was by my bedside.

“Write When You Don’t”….I tend to marinate.  Continue reading “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer”

Happy Holidays!!

Dog.Cat2Wishing all my family, friends and fans the merriest and happiest of holiday seasons!  Hold your family close and your nog closer.  May you have a New Year filled with good health, prosperity and laughter.

Sadie, 2012

Thank you all for your support of my work this past year!


That Magical Space Where You Write…

writers, fiction, create, authors, children's books, art, painting
this author’s studio

I think one of your tools, as a writer, should be a special work space.  Do you have an extra room? Even, if its all you have, a large closet will serve.  Somewhere you can call you own, a space that will, I promise you, become a creative oasis. Where no one enters except  by invitation.

And it can change from day to day. I have interviewed many authors and they write on the beach, a coffee shop, on the train, in a lonely cabin in the mountains.

An author's work space... the train
An author’s work space… the train

I’ve always had the luxury of a spare bedroom to call my studio.  On my walls I am surrounded by my own water color work, framed letters from my publisher, photos of theatre productions. In one corner is my desk and a comfortable chair.  My desktop computer has the place of honor as I do all my writing there.  I simply can’t write long hand as I cannot write fast enough when the spirit is on me!  I type seventy five words a minute and sometimes that’s too slow.  Continue reading “That Magical Space Where You Write…”

‘Writers! Never Give Up!’ said the mouse ….

courage, writing, creating, writers, bravery,      Sometimes the business of writing is like the mouse trap; ready to snap our heads off in an instant!  Like this brave little mouse, never give up on yourself.  Believe in yourself and your writing and  put your helmet on and get back in the game!

(A year and a half later visitors are still reading this post, so I thought it deserved another airing.)

What prompted the idea of the helmet?  (what prompts you to write? and about what?) Did the little mouse see his grandpa die by mouse trap?  (are you writing about something you heard, saw, witnessed?) Where did the mouse get the helmet? And how did he know that trap-bar hitting hard surface of helmet equaled safety?  (are you researching your facts thoroughly?)  Or did the mouse listen to a folk tale at his mother’s knee, passed down from generation to generation, about a brave ancestor who foiled the mouse trap?

Like the piece of cheese, it will all be worth it in the end.  Continue reading “‘Writers! Never Give Up!’ said the mouse ….”

Nostalgia…through the wringer

Laundry (Small) Wash day  I just put a load of laundry in to my 21st century machine that wants to know my every wish for the perfect wash.  What temperature do I want? hot? cold? energy saver? Or perhaps cool?  One rinse or two? How long do I want to wash my semi-dirty clothes?  Do I want to wash them gently or harshly?

As I loaded my machine, one sweater would not sink into the energy-saving, cool, one rinse, water and for a second I looked around my (oh so very pleasant), laundry room for my ‘stick’.  Do you remember the stick your mother used to push down the clothes into the wringer washing machine?  Made of wood and  squeaky clean the stick was used only for that purpose;  pushing down clothes into the water and Tide detergent. I think ours was the old handle from a toilet plunger.  And, in the case of my mother, hell would rain down if you borrowed that stick for any other purpose. Continue reading “Nostalgia…through the wringer”

Let Others Inspire your work as a Writer (part 1)

teenagers, new ideas, family, young Entrepreneur, short plays, one act plays     One day  I stumbled across the true story of a young  entrepreneur who didn’t let his age, or nay-sayers, or haters stand in his way. I was so inspired by this young man and his courage to be different, a play script was born.  Since I was writing my series of short plays/small casts, it was a perfect fit (pun intended) to write a one act play about this subject.
Knitting socks for a school business fair, he sold out and found himself with a fist-full of sock orders.  The media caught hold of the story and the young man was offered a deal with a chain of department stores.  Here is his story.

Synopsis:     Favorite thing to wear? Orange socks. Ever since Henry was old enough to wear socks, rain or shine, he would take them off at the first opportunity…..unless they were orange. So his mother dyed all of his socks orange. Now at age fourteen, Henry has a school project in social studies. Create and market a product for the school’s business Fair. The obvious choice? Orange Socks. So he asks his mother, who is a knitter, to teach him how to knit socks.  Little does Henry and his mother know but this is just the beginning of Henry’s business career.  1f. 1m.

E. Van Johnson will be my January author.

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Don’t forget to go back and……

writing, process, writers, styleI was recently working on my blog, and fiction that I had written over a year ago  I realized as I cut and pasted excerpts from my writings (in preparation to posting on my own site, www.poetrysoup.com and other sites) that with all the flurry of editing, rewriting, deleting, (I have grown to love my delete key)  and proofing I rarely  stop to enjoy the final product. 

And when I do go back, it’s always with an editor’s eye and I am very critical.  I could have done so much better!  Do you ever feel that way?

So as I was organizing and doing the housekeeping that a web site requires, I took a moment.  As  I chose and inserted excerpts, I stopped to just enjoy the poetry of the words, the dry humor in a line of dialogue, or a quip from one of my fictional characters…. Continue reading “Don’t forget to go back and……”

Skip to the Head of the Line

bookstoreMy book store is just a click away!  USE THIS CODE 336699 AND GET 10% OFF of any BOOK purchase UNTIL November 31st.   The Web Site has a new feature: you can now buy an autographed copy of any book directly from the author using your Visa, MasterCard through PayPal. And you don’t need a PayPal account to use it. It’s so easy!

Scripts about bullying and other teen issues.  Great for the

Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III
Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III








Fiction.  The new mystery series, ‘The World of Murder’ with Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia.artofmurder_cover (2)



WOW.BanW._wow (3)Don’t miss “Women Outside the Walls” 





and”Wild Violetsfiction, women, flappers, prohibition, San Francisco, roaring twenties

Continue reading “Skip to the Head of the Line”

Blog Hop! The Writer’s Process

bloggersHi Everyone!  This is a wonderful traveling Blog every Monday where authors answer four questions and thenbunny pass it off to other authors to share their views on the writing process.

I want to thank Katie Beitz, a teacher from Australia and author of ‘The Shadow Miner’ http://katiebeitz.weebly.com/  for inviting me to participate!

Q. What am I working on?

I have several projects going at the time of this writing.  I’m finishing up with the graphic designer on my newest effort: “The Creative Writer’s Journal and Handbook” and it will be released soon.   With all my work, I revise, rewrite, edit and then rewrite more.

I’m also about half finished with Book 5 in The World of Murder series.  “The Taste of Murder” takes place in the Food Network world of television and cooking shows. Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia have a cold case dumped on their desk. Despite their objections that they ‘don’t do cold cases’ their Commander tells them that they do now since the new Mayor has specifically asked for them. Three years earlier a relative of the mayor’s was murdered and the case was never solved.

On the back burner is my historic novel, “Song of the Yukon” which has been side-tracked by the murder mystery series. Continue reading “Blog Hop! The Writer’s Process”