Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I've Been A Naughty Blogger...


Have you ever noticed bird footprints in the snow? They go this way and that way and this way and that! Well, that kind of describes how I've been going for the last few months.

I've been editing for people, working on my own writing and submitting, traveling, visiting family and old friends and am now about to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary with a remote fishing trip in Canada. I can hardly wait. If you read my last post on character development, you'll know this trip is research. (Don't tell my brilliant hubby though.)

I WILL be back in July to share some special pictures from England. You will never believe who I met over there???

Hope your summer is going well and I will catch up with everyone in July!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

ISWG-Knowing Your Characters





It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.

So I'm super insecure on a few things...like sending query letters and talking to agents and editors at conferences, but I'm pretty confident about knowing my characters are "realistic." So I'd like to share one of my techniques with you I'm using for my current WIP.

The main character, Brittney, has runaway from home and is going to survive on a trail until things get too tough. As an adult, my life has been pretty blessed. So now a days roughing it would be a Motel 6. To immerse myself into Brittney's life I had to become (kind of) her. I spent a lot of time on the trail she would be hiding on, looking for resources, places and ways to build shelter, how to avoid being seen and how to get to small communities if she (I typed I there, LOL) needed to. I also needed to know what tools she would need to build a shelter, to protect herself and to capture or catch food.

Shelter is pretty darn important, so that was my first focus. I thought about the surroundings and how I could use the leaning trees and the cliff faces to make a lean to with some smaller branches. I didn't have a hatchet, but I had a bow saw, so I cut down a smallish tree with it and cut it into pieces.

Then I thought maybe Brittany would chop down a tree with a hatchet. She might want to use bigger trees for shelter.
Let me tell you...know one though I could chop down a tree with a hatchet, but I did and I learned a lot.
The main thing I leaned is Brittany would not chop down a tree with a hatchet. There would be no reason to cut down a tree this big unless she was planning to build a log cabin, and she is not physically well enough to do that...so I learned a big lesson about my character that day. Plus I showed my husband, daughter and in-laws I would chop down a tree with a hatchet.


I knew Brittany would need fire, so I collected some tinder from the scrapping the bark off the first tree I sawed down and let it dry in an Altoids tin. It's a good survival tool to keep a little dry tinder in or other small items, like fishing gear. (I'll be trying that theory out later.) Plus, if you get a fire started you can save a hot coal in it and move it from one location to another. (From what I've read.)
 My good friend Lenny Lee send me a survival bracelet for Christmas and it has a fire-starter on it. So one night I worked and worked trying to get my box of tinder to ignite. Finally, my husband said go get some dryer lint and add it to the tinder. Wham O! I MADE FIRE!!!!!! It was so exciting! 


Sorry for the long post...I have been dying to tell you about how I get into my character's head/life for a long time. I hope it helps some of you get into your character's head a bit more.

Have a wonderful month! Thanks for stopping in!

HAPPY WRITING!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

And The Winners Are...



And the winner of KISSED BY AN ANGEL is
 Martha Ramirez!

You can buy 
KISSED BY AN ANGEL

for little to nothing and help these precious children!
http://www.amazon.com/Kissed-Angel-Robyn-Campbell/dp/151936055X



And the winner of HOW TO SAVE YOUR DYING CHURCH is Connie Arnold!

Pastor Jon White's book 
HOW TO SAVE YOUR DYING CHURCH
 can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/How-Save-Your-Dying-Church/dp/1516863615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455216474&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+save+your+dying+church

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Faith, Charity, and Love (and a two book giveaway)

FAITH AND LOVE

 My title probably doesn't make sense with the photo of my kiddo...but it will. I couldn't find the picture of my pastor holding her on the day she was Christened. Pastor Jon, long gone from our old church, as are we, is still my spiritual guider. I go to him in confidence and trust that he will lead me in the right direction. He is an amazing man who tells the truth and sometimes the truth ruffles comfortable peoples' feathers. I know he's ruffled mine a time or two, but I know what he is says is right and he says it because he wants me to be a better Christian and person. Please don't be offended if you aren't Christian. I expect you aspire to be better in the eyes of your Lord too.


Pastor Jon's book, HOW TO SAVE YOUR DYING CHURCH, is not just for churches, although that is what he would like...He'd like small struggling churches to read this in Sunday School and see if they can get a message from it and help their church bring more disciples to Christ. For me reading it, it helped me see some of my shortcomings and some of my strengths.

Don't let the plain cover fool you! It's set up like the standard church bulletin. The lessons in it are well worth the read and then discussing with a friend or in fellowship. I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader on February 22nd.  Please spread the word.

Pastor Jon White's book HOW TO SAVE YOUR DYING CHURCH can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/How-Save-Your-Dying-Church/dp/1516863615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455216474&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+save+your+dying+church


LOVE AND CHARITY



I love this woman! Robyn Campbell is the most caring, passionate woman around and if you don't know you...you must have just gotten your first computer last week.  Don't worry she will find you!

Robyn gives so much to the writing community. She is always helping others and reaching out to people. She home schools her children and her son Christopher has Sturge-Weber Syndrome. He has so many battles in his life and she keeps on fighting for him.

One of the amazing things she has done is compile an anthology called KISSED BY AN ANGEL and all the proceeds go to the foundation. The book is LOVELY! It is full of beautiful uplifting stories about children who find a special gift of sorts within themselves. The book is appropriate for children aged 8 to 12, but I believe anyone with a gentle heart would love this book. And if you like short stories that's another plus!
Eleven amazing writers worked together to create this wonderful book for the Sturge-Weber Foundation. You can buy this KISSED BY AN ANGEL for little to nothing and help these precious children!
http://www.amazon.com/Kissed-Angel-Robyn-Campbell/dp/151936055X

I'll be giving away a copy of KISSED BY AN ANGEL  on February 25th.

FAITH, CHARITY, and LOVE...

I love Jon and Robyn. Please help me help them share their books with the world. Just hitting the tweet my post button may bring more people here and give them more exposure...Sharing on Facebook would be great too.  I'm not so good at the fancy helicopter thing.

In your comment tell me which book you would be interested in. I'll put your name in an extra time if you tell me you Tweeted my post and another time for putting it on Facebook. (I'll trust you.) And yes, because I'm old school...I will be putting names in two jars and drawing from them on the 25th.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR SHARING ABOUT MY FAITH, CHARITY & LOVE POST!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

ISWG--Looking For Love? Looking For Fiscal Responsibility? (I've got some answers to help you find a happier you in 2016.)


 Yay! It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.

My IWSG post today will hopefully help you become more happy and loved and financially stable in 2016.


I don't often rant about a particular book, BUT this is the best life changing book I've read EVER! The title makes you think it's only for people in love, but it can help you understand all the people you know better. I've been married for almost 30 years and reading this book showed me how to communicate and express love better to my husband and my adult daughter. If you are in a relationship, any kind of relationship....husbands & wives...husbands & husbands...wives & wives...boyfriend & girlfriend...parent & child...best friends... boss & employee....any relationship can benefit from reading and studying this book. I had so many OMG moments as I read it.

Basically, we all have a language of love. Some people need quality time, others need gifts, others need their loved one to do things for them, and others need to have a physical relationship, and others need words of affirmation to feel loved.

If you were driving a car and the gas tank was empty, the car would not run. Well, relationships are the same...If your love "tank" is empty you won't work and your relationship will go stale and possibly end. So you need to find a way to fill up your "loved one's" love tank. This book will show you how to do it. (I did want to edit it because there are a lot of technical things that made me cringe.) 

I think this book is so amazing I bought two extra copies to give as Christmas presents. It's an easy read, it probably only took me three hours to read it. But I'm going to read it again and work on finding out what love language other people who are important to me have. It will make me a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and more. 

I HIGHLY recommend you read The Five Love Languages this year it will help you improve all your relationships, if you put in the time and attention.


I've been listening to Dave Ramsey for years. If you want to get your finances in order you might want to start listening to his FREE podcasts. We've been living by his philosophies for many years, even before we knew about his programs or podcasts. When you grow up poor you want stuff, right? When you are intelligent you want to further your education, right? So you do things...borrowing money, buying things on credit because you want them, because you deserve them...you are working hard at school...It's hard to see your friends who didn't go to school working and making money...so you buy on credit.  Then you graduate with credit card debt and student loans that have to be paid back. (This is my story.) But even before we heard of Dave we set a goal of paying off all our debts as fast as possible. We started with the small bills, once they were gone we went to the next biggest bill until all of our student debt was gone. (We did all of that without Dave.)

Dave teaches you to become debt free....YOU HEARD ME...Debt free. Living in your own means is hard (unless you are wealthy), but when you do that and become debt free you will start to acquire wealth, if you make good choices.

Once you are debt free, you can be more generous than you ever thought possible and you will sleep  without worries.

I URGE you to download and listen to a few of Dave's podcasts. If you are ready to listen and to become debt free he can guide you.

In 2016, I want you to learn how to have a full tank of love and a big pile of money saved up because you are listening to Dave and getting debt free.

Happy New Year My Friends!

Monday, December 14, 2015

And An Angel Is Born...Kissed By An Angel's book birthday


It's a special day when a book is born, not just for the writer or the reader, or the family and friends of the writer...it's the day when someones words and thoughts are preserved forever.

Kissed By An Angel is more than just an anthology filled with amazing stories about children with special abilities...it's a book put together by an amazing group of women all in the name of love and hope.


Robyn Campbell's son Christopher has Sturge-Weber Syndrome. You can pop over to the Sturge-Weber Foundation site to learn a lot more than I can ever explain to you.  The thing you automatically see when you meet someone with Sturge-Weber Syndrome is what is commonly called a port-wine stain, a dark red coloring over one part of their face, but that's just what is happening on the outside. On the inside lots of terrifying things are going on. Once Christopher had a headache for 18 months! I can't imagine the pain he was in and the pain Robyn was in watching him. There was nothing doctors could do to help. A lot of praying was going on across the world for Christopher during that time. He has seizures constantly.

Imagine if this was your child. So...

This amazing group of writers ( Robyn Campbell, Lynn Kelley, Yvette Carol, Theresa Milstein, Cheryl Secomb, Catherine Johnson, Suzy Levinson, Erik Weibel, Hope Lim, Vivian Kirkfield, Ellen Leventhal) got together and wrote a book with the proceeds going to the Sturge-Weber Foundation. Perhaps, if enough awareness is it there about the suffering children and people who have this syndrome go through it will eventually lead to a cure.

Please take a moment and think about all the charity donations you make. Perhaps a book purchase, a Facebook post, and a tweet to encourage others to buy Kissed By An Angel will bring up awareness of Sturgis-Weber Syndrome and help children and families affected by this disease.

 To purchase Kissed By An Angel
Purchase a copy of Kissed By An Angel

Please consider buying a copy and sharing it with someone for Christmas.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG--LIFTING EACH OTHER UP!

Insecure Writer's Support Group...Lifting Each Other Up!


Yay! It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.


We've even put together an anthology packed full of helpful hints about the publishing industry. It's available on Amazonfor the amazingly low price... of free! All you have to do is download it on your kindle app. (I'm in there, talking about editing.)

When I think about our little writing community I think about how so many people have helped life me up both professionally and personally. Today, I would like you to help me lift up someone who has had a pretty rough year. If you know him well, you know it's been more than a year, but I want to focus on that sunshine and wisdom we have been missing for the past year. 
If you don't know Lenny Lee or have somehow forgotten him, he over the last five years has brought joy and wisdom that no adult could bring to so many of us. (He turned 15 on October 20th.) Many of us have kept up with him via phone calls, emails and dare I say it snail mail while he has been down. He calls me his Blom...Blog Mom. I take this role seriously. My blon needs our encouragement to get back to blogging and finding the fulfillment he has lost over this past year.  He is basically housebound between his Leukemia, his knee replacement, and the loss of his well known Jamaican author Uncle Tony. We need to reach out to him and get him back in cyberspace with us. I don't know about you, but I miss seeing his wise and happy posts on peoples' blogs.

What I'm hoping is that even though he doesn't have a new post up on his blog, you could instead of leaving a post on my blog you could hop over to his blog and tell him you miss him and hope he starts blogging soon. He needs us and we need him. He makes our writing community a better place.

So PLEASE, hop over to Lenny's World and say something to encourage him to come back to blogworld.
If you do I will give you a cyberhug!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! <3 span="">

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG... Feeling insecure!


Insecure Writer's Support Group...What is holding you back?


Yay! It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.


We've even put together an anthology packed full of helpful hints about the publishing industry. It's available on Amazonfor the amazingly low price... of free! All you have to do is download it on your kindle app. (I'm in there, talking about editing.}

Usually I'm pretty confident about my writing, my knowledge about the industry and my abilities to edit for others, but a couple weeks ago I went to the SCBWI MO conference and I wanted to shrivel up and hide in a corner. The night before the conference I went to a critique group and felt great about my suggestions for the other writers and about the feedback they gave me on my picture book manuscript. You would think that would boost my confidence. The break out sessions were great. I interacted with the agents that were there several times during the course of the day. You would think that would make me feel good, but instead as the day went on I got more and more shriveled up feeling. I hadn't been to a conference for the last several years. Perhaps that was eating at me. I did the hands on activities with the editors and agents at the last presentation. My middle grade novel seemed to meet most of the guidelines they were showing us. My entry in the first five lines read a loud got mixed reviews, but one of the agents said she would read on and she was open to historical fiction. You'd think I would be high fiving myself, but instead I felt awkward and uncomfortable. Towards the end of the conference I ran into an old friend and she invited me to join her critique group. She introduced me to several members of the group. I finally stopped shivering inside, but on the drive home that feeling emerged again. I needed a hug. I got a couple when I got home. Then I was sick for a week. UGH!

Yesterday, I turned on my computer and finished critiquing/editing a Young Adult manuscript. I had no doubts about my skills. 

Tonight, I go to my first critique group meeting with my old friend. Frankly, I'm nervous. 

Do you ever feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? 
(Please forgive my overuse of the word "that" in this post.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dying To Be Heard

DYING TO BE HEARD....


I don't know about you, but I've lost a family member to Mesothelioma. I was very young and had no idea what it was or how he got it. I recently came across Heather Von St. James who which linked me to the Mesothelioma Cancer site. It's really informative. Heather is an amazing woman who has beaten the odds and is sharing her story with the word. Please take the time to read her story and support her cause on September 26th.

MESOTHELIOMA AWARENESS DAY

SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2015

Be a Voice for the Victims



  • Every year around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • On average, they are given 10 months to live.
  • That’s 300 days.
  • 7,200 hours.
  • Now…


Imagine What 7,200
  • voices could do.
  • people spreading awareness.
  • people sharing a simple message that could save lives.
September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Please join me in spreading hope and be a voice for the victims.



So on September 26th, please Tweet, FB post or bring awareness to Mesothelioma on any social media you can. Thanks.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What Is Holding You Back---IWSG

Insecure Writer's Support Group...What is holding you back?


Yay! It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.


We've even put together an anthology packed full of helpful hints about the publishing industry. It's available on Amazonfor the amazingly low price... of free! All you have to do is download it on your kindle app. (I'm in there, talking about editing.)

So..... on with my post!

I love writing! I love researching! I love editing and critiquing (check out my website), but something is holding me back...I'm terrified of the querying process. What if I blow my chances by saying something goofy in my letter. (I often say goofy things.) What if I spend so much time researching agents and editors that by the time I send the letters they have changed jobs? What if I trust the wrong person? (I've done that before.) Yes, I'm feeling a bit insecure today.  :( 

Any advice??? 


Are you looking for some inner peace too?