Friday, August 21, 2015

Moved Away: Nobody Lives Here

I've lived at this blog address since 2007. I'm sad to move away but people keep telling me I need a website, a landing page—something more, so I've taken a step in that direction. You can find me at:

Big plans in the works: I’ll be sending out a quarterly newsletter so if you have any interest in keeping up with me, hop on over to my new abode and sign up for it. I promise not to pepper your in-box—just a little news now and then, tips, markets and words of encouragement.

My friend Heather K. Duff at Oxblaze Media and Marketing did my website. She's also a ghost writer, copywriter, songwriter and so much more. I'll be posting with her periodically at

I'll have to educate myself with WordPress. That doesn't excite me at all but I'll give it my best shot. Hey, don't be surprised if I decide to move back here someday.

It’s been fun, my peeps. I hope you’ll join me at the new digs.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Only 99 Cents

I wrote The Last Daughter while living in Yukon, Oklahoma.
I met a friend at the Mustang Library and we would write for four hours at a time.
Libraries have great writing vibes.
Until Friday of this week, The Last Daughter is only 99 cents.

If you read The Last Daughter,
please leave an honest review on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Today is IWSG Day because it's the first Wednesday in August.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook pageThe purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage, so today I plan to encourage.

I want you to take a look at what you've accomplished since our last IWSG day. Maybe you should jot a few notes to organize your thoughts. Accomplished a lot? Great! But what about all of you who have done nothing because of vacations, kids being home, sickness or surgeries? Don't feel bad. Life gets in the way sometimes, but honestly, we shouldn't let life get in the way ALL the time.

Ask yourself this question:

What do you truly want to achieve with your writing? Be realistic when you answer. Being a best selling writer is a realistic goal for someone who writes daily, wins contests and is actively studying and learning, but being published by one of the top five might not be  realistic for someone who only writes a few times every few months, never enters or wins a contest and doesn't revise according to critiques or feedback. We always need to learn and grow.

I'd like to suggest a writing/learning plan for those of you who aren't accomplishing anything.

Settle on one goal. You might want to finish your novel. When you reach the end, go through it again, do a little tweaking, then find beta readers or someone willing to critique. You can revise according to those comments you get from your readers. Oh, wait... you don't agree with any thing they said? Then Houston, we might have a problem. Put your pages away for a few weeks or even better, a few months while you delve into a really good how-to book. When you go back to your critiques, I'm certain you'll view them differently.

Or, your goal might be to write a few short pieces and get them out there. That's great: Identify your markets--print magazines or online literary journals. Study them by reading several months of back issues, including their guidelines. Then write. Find someone to read and give you a critique. Believe me when I say feedback is helpful. Revise accordingly.

I know I've said this to you a thousand times: making up our mind to do something is half the battle. We can be our own worst enemy or we can be our hero. We just need to decide on what we want to accomplish and let nothing or no one stand in our way as we plod toward our dream.

Here's an interesting quote from Natalie Goldberg. Take it to heart.

This is your life. You are responsible for it.
You will not live forever. Don't wait.

~ Natalie Goldberg

On another note, I'm speaking at the Texas Gulf Coast Mini-Conference on Saturday. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out:

Also, my novella, The Last Daughter, is only 99 cents. If you haven't read it, I'd love for you to grab a copy and then leave an honest review.

Good Writing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG Day: Catch Your Dreams

Don't you just love IWSG Day? It comes around the first Wednesday of each month and we get to visit hundreds of blogs that are filled with encouragement.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  If you're interested follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.  Hey, we even have a tee shirt!

What have you accomplished since our last IWSG posting? You know, don't you, that if you actually write down your goals, you'll come near achieving them. At least that's what I've heard. I'm a list maker so I've always written down goals, right along with my grocery list and things to do. Unfortunately, sometimes I don't look at my list.

I've accomplished a few things during the past few weeks. I've always wanted to write a series of books about friends. A few weeks ago, I started my series. Every morning I crawl out of bed, grab my coffee and go into my office to write. I've finished rough drafts of Book 1, Book 2 and tomorrow I start Book 3. My intention is to write three 15,000 word stories and wrap up the series with a 30,000 word novella. My four friends will show up in each stand-alone story. 

I'm pretty excited about this series, but even more excited that I've been able to keep my momentum and write. I hope I'm not disappointed when I go back through and read these rough drafts. A couple of times I've sat for a moment or two, wondering what was supposed to happen next, but as real writers do... I just opened a vein. Okay, I'm kidding. I opened my heart. I love my characters. Their problems are real. I'm doing the Camp NaNoWriMo thing too--trying  to hang on to that momentum.

Another thing I'm excited about is that I'll be speaking at the Texas Gulf Coast Writers mini-conference in August. More about that later.

What are you working on? What have you accomplished since last month's IWSG day? We need to get busy and catch our dreams. Let me hear how you're catching yours.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

IWSG DAY: Unfinished Business

Today is IWSG Day because it's the first Wednesday in June.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page

The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. So today I'm wondering ... have you ever started something that you never finished? Whether it was a novel, a knitting project or a jigsaw puzzle, I've read that the number one reason we quit a project is because our motivation fizzles. I must be queen of the fizzlers because I have a lot of unfinished projects--from jewelry projects to journaling to braided rag rugs to novels!

When it comes to my writing, I often give up when I hit a rough spot. What I really need to do is focus and plough through the brick wall I've created. I've noticed that usually the reason I can't go forth is because I've taken a wrong turn, put my characters in a predicament that isn't conducive to my plot or the story, creating an impossible action/reaction--or next scene.

When I wrote The Last Daughter I never had such a problem. You know why? Because I brainstormed and outlined; I had a plan. First I identified all my characters and wrote character sketches for each one. I knew my theme, what the word count needed to be and had a deadline. I followed the "breadcrumbs" I created to the end of the story and successfully completed it.

I wish I could train myself to immediately go into outline mode with each new project, but I don't. I tell myself that each book has its on personality and therefore, its on birthing process. That's true in a way but it only takes me so far. If I know beyond a doubt that I write better and to completion by outlining, why don't I just do it?

How about you? How many notes do you make about a project before or during the writing process? How extensive are they? Do you have any unfinished projects? Any plans to finish them? Share.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG DAY: Ever Blog A Book?

Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page

I have a question: Have you ever blogged a book? If so, what kind of book--fiction or nonfiction? And how did you go about doing it?

I have several nonfiction book ideas and I'm wondering if I'll accomplish more if I start blogging about them. Not sure what avenue to take. Or exactly how to do it.

One book I'm writing is about the experiences of a woman who went blind for many years, then God restored her sight.  I have hours and hours of Q&A with her. Her life as a blind woman is amazing but I can't figure a way to blog about her in short posts without writing the entire story. And I'm not even sure I should blog her story.

Any ideas? Would love to hear your thoughts on blogging a book, and any experiences you've had doing it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A to Z Reflections

I love the A to Z Challenge. Believe it or not, I think about it all during the year and wonder what I should blog about. This year was a no-brainer since I'd just been through renovation hell. But, I never jot notes or plan posts ahead of time. I figure I'll learn more if I write off the cuff, like a newspaper reporter who just happened onto a story, and writes it five minutes before they put the paper to bed.

For anyone who has never tried the A to Z Challenge. Do it! Make a plan to participate next year. You can plan your posts or you can write "off the cuff." Either way, it's a blast!