October 8, 2012

Why or Why Not...that is the question.

I have post-it notes all over my work space. Some have been there for years, others for a day or two, but all of them have a quote scrawled on them.  Here are a just a few of my favorites and why I decided someone else's words were important to post where I could see them everyday.

September 27, 2012

Much Ado About Something

Sometimes I write to escape—that’s called hanging out with my characters. It’s fun and healthy. Every single person needs to escape,for just a little while.

September 24, 2012

You Can Fly!

Today, someone asked me what I was up to. It might be because I had my feet in a bowl of green grapes, but ...well I’m not even going to try to explain that.

August 12, 2012

Time For Today


One day...
I'm going to climb Mt.Everest.
I'm going to join a gym.
I'm going to write a novel.

One day...
Cheryl Hart, a fellow author, who also happens to be my sister, sent me an article from an advice columnist. 

June 17, 2012

Things My Dad Would Say

It’s Father’s day, and for some reason my mind started chewing on stuff he used to say when he was mad.

"What were you thinking?"  (Seriously I never thought of the outcome—I just did stupid stuff.)

"Do you enjoy being grounded?"  (What answer did he expect?)

"Do you think I’m stupid?"  (Um...I was doomed no matter what I answered in this case, so I just blinked rapidly and looked like the stupid one.)

June 7, 2012

From Conception to Release

 Books are like my babies. I guide, mold and offer my input through the publication process, then release them into the world. And then I miss them. Their day to day development, the late nights, and even frustrations are...gone. So, I start again. (No, I am not having any more kids. Five is plenty. I'm talking about books.)

 Funny thing is, unlike my children, I don't have complete control over the characters in my books. The main characters seem to take over while I write and I end up watching a seed of an idea grow from conception to full maturity. With some books, conception is a contest, others a request from a publisher to make a single title a series, but one is very different. Jewel of Ramstone, a medieval romance,  was inspired by a nightmare...then developed into a wonderful dream.

Sometime ideas get tucked into a "work in progress" folder, just waiting for me to infuse life giving words to the snippets of conversation I wrote down, or incomplete thoughts. They end up unfinished because I either had to tend to edits on a contracted manuscript, or because life simply got in the way. Just the same, those seeds of a story haunt me. They bounce around my mind like a sugar infused child.

June 6, 2012

I Don't Get Mad...I Write About It

I live on an island, and love the community I live in. Everyone knows everyone--except in the spring and summer. Everything changes. "Off-Islanders" swarm to the amusement park, the nearby beach, and state park. The stores fill up, the gas station lines are longer and the traffic increases. I love this time of year, but the increase of people just feels like an invasion on my island. Today, I got a taste of another kind of invasion. Rudeness.

There's a neighborhood store right next door to the bank I work at.  Today, I forgot to bring my lunch, so I stopped in the store to purchase a yogurt.

Yogurt in hand, I approached the cashier. Not only did a wench cut me off with a cartload, she smirked and nearly ran over my toes. I wanted to use the B word, and I'm not talking about beautiful. My fifteen minute  lunch break ticked away as I watched her to empty her cart... charcoal, lighter fluid, paper plates, cups, water, cat food, paper towels, cleaning supplies, 15 tubes of toothpaste, (who needs that much toothpaste?) and then she WALKED AWAY, saying she forgot something.  

Just when the cashier motioned me over to ring up my one item, the woman came running up, cutting me off again and slapped a pair of flip-flops and sunscreen on the counter. I guess she was going to the nearby beach with her fifteen tubes of toothpaste. 

Therefore, being a decent person, the cashier kindly told the customer she was going to go ahead and ring me up real quick. 

The woman put her hand on her hip, jerked her neck, reminiscent of the seagulls that hunt for garbage in the parking lot, and glared at the cashier. Then she squawked, "No. I was here first."


I mentally started writing the rude woman into my next story:  A bank teller pours yogurt over a mean, seagull bobbing, squawking rude woman's head—then slaps a dollar on the counter and storms away. Heck with lunch. My character gets revenge.

I should wear a t-shirt: Be forewarned. I am an author. If you are rude, cruel, or just plain nasty I will write you into my next book—as a villain. Just saying....

Have you ever had such an experience? What did you do? Chime in; I'd love to know.

June 4, 2012

Blissfully Weird

Previously posted on my guest appearance at Laptops and Lingerie 
Have you ever been out somewhere and witnessed someone acting a little weird? More often than not, you are watching a writer's mind displaying itself in public.
How do I know this? Because I've received the following reactions: 

The old smile, head shake and giggle.  I was supposed to be listening at an employee meeting but I was thinking about a customer who visited my teller window earlier that day. He had clear blue eyes that I spotted even though he was waiting at the end of the line. Now, those eyes sparked an idea for a new story in my Magic Stone Series.  When my boss asked a question, I snapped back to reality and received the said smile and head shake. The giggle came later...when I told her about cutie-blue-eyes and how he would make a great character. Then she gave me yet another head shake.

The dreaded side-eye. I've gotten this a lot, but an incident at a coffee house was the most memorable. I was hanging out with my best friend, doing normal stuff like flushing out story plots while consuming vast amounts of caffeine. (Okay, you just shook your head didn't you?) Anyway... A guy spilled his coffee at the next table. The look on his face was so comical I giggled; hence the dreaded side-eye.  I apologized through my fit off giggles and proceeded to write on a napkin instead of offering one to wipe the mess. Okay, don’t judge me. I couldn’t help myself. 

People openly laugh and point at me. I deserve it. I've done stuff like write snippets of a conversation on my arm with eyeliner so I wouldn't forget it. Where is pen and paper when I need them?

Why do I tell you this? To give you a little insight into the writer’s mind. Well, mine anyway.  Don’t commit me.  I’m just creating new scenes, characters and worlds for you to enjoy. If it takes head shakes, side-eyes and pointing, I’m willing to be the recipient in order to follow my bliss.

 By the way, I married the guy in the coffee shop years later.

If you're a writer, please share weird stuff you've done in the name of creativity. If you're someone that's witnessed odd antics (usually in a coffee shop--a usual writer's haunt) please share. We all need a smile...or head shake. 

April 2, 2012

Edits Suck

Authors suffer for their work. Yes, I said suffer.

Edits suck. If you are a new writer, you must go into edits expecting your story--yeah, the one you think is damn near perfect?--Well, it's going to be chewed up, torn apart and then put back together again. And just when you think it's over, there is round two...and three...and who knows how many more. All I know from experience is just when you think it's over, it's not. Sound negative? Nope. There is a reason I'm telling you this. If you haven't gone through it, then I'm preparing you. If you have...I see you nodding. Grin.

Guess what? Your book isn't going to be perfect until you go through editing. (Not to mention everything else  involved in the publishing process.)

Be ready for it.

 Be receptive, yet keep your writer's voice. If there is something you don't understand, ask. Don't take edits personally. If there is something you really believe shouldn't be changed, explain where you are coming from. Don't just dig in your heels and say no. There's no guarantee they will agree with you, so be ready for that too.

Most of all, (and I know this is hard) try to remember that you all want the same thing. A fantastic book.

Yes, edits suck, but they're well worth the hair pulling, discouraging feelings and re-writing. Why? Because after you go through the intense process, your book is better for it. To top it off,  you leave a stronger and more experienced writer. 

You also leave with the hope that maybe, just maybe, edits won't suck so much next time. 

Anyone have anything to add?

March 4, 2012

I'm a Writer Dammit!

Oh yeah, it took way too long, but I now realize that not everyone understands me--or why I find it necessary to write a list of how my mind works.

Just the same...take a look and tell me if you understand/relate to any of the things below. I'd love to see if anyone out there is as crazy as this author. Grin.
  1. My fingers are at home on the keyboard of my laptop. Some of the letters are worn off of the keys. I write for hours on end. 
  2. I don't even know that hours have passed. I've intended to do "a few edits" or "reread a chapter" and find out that the night turned to day and I forgot to go to bed. I'm not kidding. 
  3. I write so long, I end up with a numb butt. When I stand,  knees crack, and I have to stretch a moment in order to stand like a woman my age instead of a stooped old lady. At that moment, I realize I have to pee--desperately. 
  4. It may have been the medication, but after surgery I scribbled down notes about how I felt so I could write believably about pain.
  5.  I've stood in snow so long I was just shy of freezing. Why? I had to write about it in a scene and I wanted my reader to feel it too. I know, weird right?
  6. My characters become real. No, I mean it. Don't commit me. 
  7. Every single aspect of day to day life is a seed for a new story, be it a snippet of conversation, a look or even a smell. 
  8. Without my daily outlet of creating, there's no telling what could happen, so I don't try to find out. I have to write...then again, if I didn't, I'd have a clean house, laundry would be caught up, the butt-indent on my couch would disappear, and I'd probably eat more. 
  9. When I sleep, I sometimes dream about my characters. Many great ideas come from those dreams.
  10. Sometimes my  "author world" is a bit lonely. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm surrounded by people who love and support me. They congratulate me with a "Oh that's so nice!" with each contract. But they do not really understand the pure bliss of completing a book, or the joy of knowing I made a reader laugh, cry, or simply release a happy sigh. They do not understand the pain of edits, or the reason why just any picture will not do for cover art,or even why I write. All in all, I am a misunderstood creature. 
  11. I am perfectly happy being different.

I'm a writer, dammit. And I certainly don't expect anyone to understand me. (Unless, of course, you're a writer too.)

(You are welcome to add to the list of crazies in the comment section! )

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

February 11, 2012

This interviewer is insane--in a good way

C.E. Hart.
You may have heard of her. She does book reviews, blogs, and interviews people in the writing world. Not your run-of-the-mill interviews either. They are witty and entertaining. C.E. assures guests on her blog feel welcome--and, as she did me--surprises us with her wit.

Now, most writer's are a bit loony, (oh stop looking so shocked. You know it's true!) Ms. Hart hones in to that kooky quality in all of us, and then tickles it until we spill our deepest secrets about our writing, and in the process, makes everyone want to know more. Thus, the readers buy more, and everyone is happy. Looks like this woman is gonna be rising quick.

She writes sweet romances too. Be on the lookout for her work. (Piper's Passion Cookies buy link is here on my blog.)

All in all, C.E. Hart rocks. Someday I might even interview her! Oh to be so lucky. Sigh.

Take a look at her blog. You'll love her too.

P.S. (Talking about lucky--I was interviewed by this woman. Grin.)