Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Quotes - Words of Wisdom, Truth and Nostalgia

December 9, 2009

No matter how I try, life takes control and I find I've been lax with my blog! Alas. I think Robert Burns may have had me in mind when he wrote, 'The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.'

Let's see now, what has happened since my last blog. Gosh that statement brings another quote to mind. My old confession lead in, 'Bless me Father for I have sinned, it's been ages since my last confession.' LOL That does, indeed, bring back a myriad of memories of the old days in Chicago and all the friends of my childhood. Life is just going to dang fast!

I've been working on 'The Woman Between' every day and the plot is in an interesting segment right now with Stephen saying 'enough' and moving on with his life. I'm still hoping that I'm managing to keep him a sympathetic, not pathetic, character. Manipulating characters is so much fun and requires so many writing techniques. Dave and I haven't been able to do our one-on-one crits for a few weeks, so I'm not sure how I'm doing. We meet on Friday, so I'll find out if I'm on the right track then.

I attended a women's network meeting last Thursday. What a dynamic bunch of women who have made it almost an art to showcase their 'product'. I met Realtors, on-line retailers, mortgage brokers, website specialists and so on. I was encouraged to talk about my books and I sold three! I can ask to be the speaker at one of their meetings after the first of the year, so that will be a big opportunity when 'Hannah' becomes available in print.

Had our first bi-monthly meeting of my local writer's group on Saturday. It was short for some reason. Lots of absent members and little feedback on our submissions. In fact, my sub of 'She, Not He' didn't receive a single verbal comment. Some folks wrote things when they handed my story back to me, but overall it was disappointing that mine wasn't discussed. I think the problem with the subs of this past week was the topic. It was very complicated and involved using a deck of 'prompt' cards that were picked at random. There were several characters, a genre and a plot to be dealt with in 250 words or less. My story started out at over 600 words, but by the time I cut it back to 250, there were some holes. I do think the 250 word exercise is worthwhile, but it must be a simple topic. President Do has provided a list of all the topics for 2009 and we're back to basics with just a word or two.

I finally gave up trying to make my own business cards. Went to Staples and, within 30 minutes, they had them designed, printed, cut up and delivered to me. The orangy-tan colored cards, kind of like the color on my website, have a brief picture of both books, my website, my blogsite and tele. nbr. I decided that since I'm really getting some good internet coverage, almost daily, the cards will come in handy. I'll be interested to see if all this marketing will bring in more book sales.

I came across a quote the other day that says so much about what we writers face with the criticism of our work. 'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.' - Henry David Thoreau. Our own 'drummer' may or not get us published, but it sure gives us a sense of satisfaction. Now go write something and have a great day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

One Down, Two to Go

Thanksgiving has come and gone. My house was full of kids, grandkids, siblings and friends. The food was great, the turkey juicy, the wine excellent and the pies coated in lush whip cream! And, no dishes to do. You see, my kitchen sink decided to clog up late Wednesday night. Bless my son-in-law Gary's heart, he tried his best, but no luck. I called the plumber early Thursday a.m., but they were off line for the holiday. My daughter Kim and I cleaned the turkey in the shower before we buttered and stuffed it. We kept big bowls in both sinks and my desert plants had a great Thanksgiving enjoying the lots of water poured on them during the day. Then, we stacked the dishes and spent the rest of the evening talking and playing games. The next day, I had an early a.m. appointment and while I was gone, my daughter-in-law Leslie organized a 'wash the dishes' brigade. She had the grandkids, my son Rob and Gary haul the dishes outside, then she 'campground' cleaned them and had the gang tote them back inside. Yahoo! A Thanksgiving with no dishes! The plumber didn't call back until this morning, Monday. So, by early this afternoon, I'll have use of my sink again. Everyone has a Thanksgiving story or two to tell, so now I have another to add to my memory pages.

So Thanksgiving 2008 is in the books, now on to Christmas and New Year's.

Now, back to writing items. I haven't had much chance to work on 'The Woman Between'. Pulled it out last night and added another 700 some words. Felt good. I have a meeting with Dave tomorrow, but I won't have much to give him to crit.

As for my on-line groups, I think they were enjoying the holiday too, as there weren't many entries. Until, yesterday. My DD site took off like crazy with many subs and crits. Many of the DDers were involved with the NaNoWriMo project to write a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November. I've never tried. For me, Novembers are way to busy to make such a commitment.

Went to see 'Bolt'. Cute movie. The hampster Rhino was the star of the picture! Loved his 'can do' attitude.

Let me sign off today with a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald - "There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He (or she) is too many people if he's (she's) any good." AMEN!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This and That

November 22, 2008

Thursday was our local writer's group meeting at Hastings. About ten folks showed and we heard poetry, fiction, a memoir, an essay and a couple of jokes. I, who almost never write poems, updated my Thanksgiving poem and read it. Odd that I'm the only one who brought something that had to do with the holiday. Some our regulars, Anne, Gina and Cindie, weren't there and they were missed.

Had lots of free time on both Thursday and Friday so was able to move 'The Woman Between' forward. I'm walking the fine line between making Stephen look wimpy versus an emotionally wounded man who needs closure. I had my one-on-one with Dave and he says it's working. He still thinks my characters have believable depth and that he still likes Stephen, but he likes John better. That's okay.

Received a nice email from Portia Allen thanking me for being on her Lady Rerun show. She finished 'Hannah' and just raved about it. She said, "I have finished "Hannah" and I was very moved by the ending! The book is in your face, very well written, and have characters that you want to never leave!" She couldn't have said anything to please this character driver writer happier.

I'm receiving some comments on my blog from folks I don't know, but they sound interesting and they all mention writing in some genre or another. I'm going to try and communicate with them. I hear from a fellow on-line writer, Sandra. She's a great writer and frequently brings up topics that get a writer to thinking about why we write, the perils of submitting and other topics that writers need to ponder from time to time. So, I'm so glad she drops by from time to time.

No too much going on with my writer groups, both on-line and local. I reckon we are all busy prepping for the big bird dinner next Thursday. I'm spending a lot of time getting the house ready for my Thanksgiving Day guests. You know, I sure like writing a LOT better than dusting, vacuuming and washing windows!

Time to close. My thought for the day is from Samuel Johnson who said, 'I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.' Amen and Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

Today was a busy day doing things in the community and the nice thing about that is that I get to visit with some really nice folks, but normally it takes away from my writing. Today, that didn't happen. I had all afternoon to myself and my writing. What could be better.

As to that rejection/acceptance I mentioned yesterday, still no word from the editor. Oh well, their loss if they truly did reject the piece, she said with false bravado. Sniff, sniff!

Worked on 'The Woman Between'. Poor Stephen just can't get any sympathy. I mean just because he wants to kill his brother is no reason for the family to go off on him. I'm giving him all the emotional baggage of a middle child and he is just now, at age 24, beginning to find his own self-value. Lord, it's fun making these characters dance to my drumbeat.

I found time to work with my FlashXer writer's group. Did about six critiques, then submitted a story that I had written awhile back and just updated it to fit today's prompt. It's an interesting story that I've never submitted anywhere, so I'm looking forward to the feedback. I've received one and she like it a lot.

I'm getting some feedback on my website and so far, it's all been positive. Oh, and Jim, a local author, answered my question of the month, so I have to come up with a new one. He mentioned 'Hop-Frog, a humorous Poe story that I hadn't heard of, so he gets a book. He already has an 'Oasis', so I'll get one of my 'Skive' anthologies. What fun!

Received an email from Denise who said she listened to the interview with Lady Rerun and was pleased with how it turned out. So was I. I hope Portia and I manage to stay in touch.

I received my weekly email copy of Virtual Tales Serial Scoop and there is an article about 'Hannah and it looks like this -

Hannah — Sharon Poppen
HANNAH (Expected Release — Winter 2008/2009) Genre: Westerns Author: Sharon Poppen Rated: R
Hannah and Caleb are young newlyweds on the plains of Texas in the late nineteenth century. They’ve staked their claim and have built a new home and a new life as cattle ranchers. But a cloud of dust in the...

And, it has a picture of the book. Looks good and I hope it means the print release is coming soon. People are asking when they can buy it, so that's a good sign!

Tomorrow is our monthly writer's group meeting at Hastings Book & Music Store. We gather there in the evening and each writer is given five minutes to read an original piece of their writing. Always a good time and always some great stories, not to mention the great coffee from their coffee bar.

Finally, our local newspaper ran a half-page article on my friend Shirley Wolford who passed away on Nov. 9th. Lots of good info on her life and a really good picture of her. I'm really going to miss her.

Time to sign off for now. Keep on writing, but if you don't write, then read, read, read!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It Was A Blast

November 18, 2008

The interview with Portia Allen, Lady Rerun, was a blast! She asked some great questions, played some of my favorite music and let me talk about my books and Colo. Free Univ. class. The two hours went by a lot faster than I had anticipated. I can only hope that some of the listeners were enticed to check out my books. Either way, I enjoyed the opportunity and send out a big thank you to her and to Denise for setting it up.

One of the nice things that Portia did was to actually read some of my work and she checked out my website. She raved about 'Hannah' and couldn't believe that it had originated as a prompt for one of my on-line writing groups and that it had been written as serial type episodes. She liked Hannah and her strong will. Also, she read my blog where I refer to the URL, University of Life. She was fascinated by how that term really said a lot about how I lived my life and how I got where I am and she is so right.

Had local commitments today that kept me away from my computer for most of the day, but I did get in my novel time and moved 'The Woman Between' ahead another 5oo words. I'll be getting feedback from Dave on Friday so I'll have an idea of whether my characters and plot are working.

On my local writer's forum, Gina left a comment about the value of Stunk and White's 'Elements of Style'. Amen! I don't know what I would do without it. She reminds all of us writers that 'Keep in mind that knowing the rules of grammar doesn't make a person a good writer, but a good writer will not get the recognition/respect that he or she deserves without knowing the basic rules of composition.' Thank you, Gina, for reminding us of this important aspect of writing.

Oh, an update to those two rejections I mentioned yesterday. I received a second email that said while I didn't win, I was chosen for the anthology and they were going to pay me five cents a word. So, I'm sending an email back asking if they are accepting or rejecting my work. I hope it's an acceptance!

All the feedback on my submission, 'The Collection', at my DD writing website as has come back as positive. It was the conclusion of a two part prompt where in part one we had to set up a cliffhanger, then stop. In part two, we gave our readers the conclusion. Glad it worked.

On my Flasher's Dozen workshop, I submitted 'Enough'. The feedback indicated the piece needs work. They had lots of questions, good questions about why the main character did what she did and what she picked that particular time to do it. Good crits that will help with my editing.

I went to bingo tonight and had a very lucrative time as well as a lot of fun. Won three games! The jackpots are small, still I more than tripled my entry fee, so Yahoo!

Time for Law & Order - Special Victims Unit. And, this addict must get my daily Law & Order Fix. Have a great day tomorrow!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lady Rerun Show Interview

November 17, 2008

I'm a nervous wreck tonight. At 9:30, I am going to be interviewed on Blog Talk internet radio on the Lady Rerun Show by Portia Allen. She has read my ebook 'Hannah' and is very enthused about it. It's a two hour show. I know I'm a talker, but I hope I can make sense for two hours. More to come tomorrow on this opportunity.

I'm getting lots of good feedback on my website and what's even better is that I'm hearing from friends and family I haven't heard from in ages.

Got two rejections in the last couple of days. Oh, well, you win some, you lose some. What's annoying about it as there was no remarks as to why my work didn't fit their need. It's nice that they get back to me, but in essence I learn nothing from the experience.

I had a great productive day. Moved 'The Woman Between' forward. Then I met my requirements for two of my on-line writer's groups. Already received feedback on one of my submissions. It was a challenge because it was only the resolution of a story I had posted awhile back. The feedback said that the genre, horror, wasn't her cup of tea, but she said, 'Boy, had this been on TV, two more commercials would have been shown before the end. And what an ending!' So, it was an interesting experiment from the moderator of the list to have us write our story, but end it with a cliffhanger. Now, with feedback on whether we did, indeed, accomplish a cliffhanger, we get feedback on the resolution. A great learning experience.

Well, it's almost time for the interview, so I'll sign off now. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blog Alerts and Writing Thoughts

What an exciting couple of weeks. My website is up and running and the feedback has been good. What at great job Denise Cassino did. Check her out at http://wizardlywebdesigns.com/ .

I found out about setting up Google and Yahoo alerts the other day and have already gotten one. So informative!

Sharon Poppen and Other Authors on Tour This Week!
By Working Writers Coach
All this week the National Writing for Children Center is hosting author Sharon Poppen on a virtual tour for her new book After the War, Before the Peace. Find out more about Sharon and her book at the National Writing for Children ...
Working Writer's Coach - Writing... - http://workingwriterscoach.com/

The Lady Rerun Show ( Interview with Author Sharon Poppen) - Nov ...
Lady Rerun will be interviewing Author Sharon Poppen who has a down to earth writing style that shows you the world as it is. Lady Rerun will be asking about her books, "Hannah" and After the War, Before the Peace", her lifestyle, ...
Lady Rerun BlogTalkRadio Feed - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/reruns-daughter

Meet the Author - Sharon Poppen
By Writing for Children
The National Writing for Children Center is proud to host author Sharon Poppen on this virtual tour for her new book, After the War, Before the Peace. For the next several days we’ll be presenting short posts to help you get to Poppen ...
The National Writing for Children Center - http://writingforchildrencenter.com/

Here’s What’s Going on This Weekend!
By Suzanne
First, all this week, the site is hosting author Sharon Poppen on a virtual tour for her new book, After the War, Before the Peace. Check back every day during the next week for a review of Sharon’s book, an interview with Sharon, ...
Suzanne Lieurance - http://suzannelieurance.com/

The elections are over, thank goodness. My gal didn't win, but as Americans we all need to pull together and try to make the next four years a period of economic and global peace. While I did not agree with President Bush on some of his economic and illegal immigrations policies, I did appreciate the peace of mind he gave me in keeping terrorism at bay, especially in this country. Enough said about that!

Shirley Wolford has died. What a great lady she was. So many books written and even a movie. She is one of my role models for her drive and love of the written word. You always knew where you stood with Shirley. I had gone to visit her a couple of times the week before she died and although I'm a strong believer in LIFE, she was suffering so much that it was almost a blessing when she passed. I will miss her!

Had another meeting with Dave for our one-on-one crit sessions. He's experiencing a writing block, but the good side is that he is focusing on his poetry, which is quite powerful. He gave me a very nice compliment. He said my characters are so real that he can 'see' me walking along with them, experiencing exactly what they feel and it makes them so very real. Thanks, Dave!

Had my book club meeting on the books of Tami Hoag. While I didn't care for her stories or characters, I had to admit that she is excellent in setting up scenes that draw the reader into the moment. Overall most of the club members would read her again.

Had our 4 Goddesses meeting at Denny's last Thursday, with only three godesses attending - Cindie had to work late. JOan had her cataracts removed and now no longer has to wear glasses. It is always an evening of friendship and good critiquing.

Saturday was the LHCWG meeting. Had a big crowd. The feedback on my story 'What Waits in the Willows' was a surprise. Many commented on the nasty old lady character and how well developed she was. As I wrote it, she was just a means to further my plot. Funny how a reader sees things a writer doesn't even consider when jotting down the story.

On a personal side, my Thanksgiving Day celebration is coming along nicely. My daughter and her family, my sister and her husband, my niece and her boyfriend, a writer friend and her husband will be there and just this morning, my son called to say he and his wife are coming. I am already sooooooooooo Thankful that all these folks are in my life and heart and that they are coming to share the day with me.

I'm going to work on 'The Woman Between' now, so will sign off. Have a great Sunday!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Prepositions, The End & Noah's Ark

I get a 'word-a-day' email every day. The other day I got this one and it made me chuckle. I hope you enjoy it too. "A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg - Prepositions don't get much respect. Nouns, verbs, adjectives... those are the words we usually pay attention to. Who has ever looked up in a thesaurus to find a better preposition? Who has complimented an author on his choice of prepositions? They might as well be invisible.Yet prepositions are some of the most important parts of the sentence. They work to connect various parts. And if you have any doubt about the role or importance of these hard-working nuts and bolts of a language, ask anyone who has tried to learn a new language. Prepositions are among the hardest to master. Literally speaking, a preposition is something that is positioned before a noun. These are little words, such as in, to, of, up, for, etc., though they are not always a single syllable. There are some pretty long ones: amongst, concerning, notwithstanding. And there are some fancy prepositions (contra, cum, a la, and so on).'

The author goes on to say, 'One can find sentences ending with preps in the lines of some of the finest writers in history: Chaucer, Swift, Kipling, Shakespeare and so on. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" -- Try rephrasing that line from The Tempest. See what inelegant glob results. This canard about no-prepositions-at-the-end belongs in the same dustbin as "Thou shalt not split an infinitive." So the next time people fault you for ending a sentence with a preposition, ask them: "What are you talking about?"'

Also, I was reading the August 2008 issue of The Writer and I came across the article 'Make Your Readers Stick Around' by John Edward Ames. He made some good points, but two really attracted my attention. One is a paragraph that states, 'Once the climax peaks, remember that all conflict is resolved. Thus, reader interest immediately plummets, so end the story fast. There's a special room in hell for writers who resist those all-important two words, The End.'

The second covers adjectives. 'Speaking of adjectives, avoid annoying your readers with the Noah's Ark syndrome - i.e. adjectives that march in two by two. "She was an apple-cheeked, cheery woman dressed in expensive, tasteful clothing." And be especially sparing with verb-adverb constructions, deleting all adverbs that weaken the verb by repeating it: bloomed loudly, bolted his food ravenously.'

I know I'm often guilty of both so I'd thought I'd share the info.

Today was a quiet day of writing and adding more to my novel, 'The Women Between'. I've been getting some nice reviews on my website at www.sharonpoppen.com . I can thank Denise for that.

I visited my friend Shirley Wolford in the hospital today. She's my writer friend who is ninety-four and blind. She has authored many books, both by herself and with her husband. One, 'The Southern Blade' was made into a movie with Glen Ford called 'A Time for Killing'. It was one of Harrison Ford's first movies. In fact he is shown as 'uncredited'. Well, Shirley broke her leg awhile back, then had to have a hip replacement. None of it went well. Her husband passed away years ago and she had no children. She's very lonesome, even though she has some great friends who show her much love and compassion. I promised to go to see her on Wednesday and read to her. She loves history, so I'll find something on that order. I'm not a praying person, but I'm thinking good thoughts for her and hope you will, too.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've updated the 'links' on my blog. Added some and changed some, so they will be more enticing to any readers. Also, included some blogs of good friends. I'm trying to work on remembering to go to sites that will link back to mine. I listened to a radio interview that Denise gave to Lillian Cauldwell regarding branding oneself. It was very good and if you go to Denise's website http://www.wizardlywebdesigns.com/ , you can listen to it. It's well worth the listen. After listening, I made some changes to my Amazon.com site. I added 'tags' so that if someone uses a search word such as Civil War, Western, Strong women, brothers and such my book will come up. Never thought to do that before. Thank you, Denise.

Today was a lazy day, perfect for working on my novel, 'The Woman Between'. Always fun to spend some time with the Farrell's.

Had lunch with my fellow Pioneers. Gloria was there and she is still urging her daughter to get James Wood to comment on my novel. Gloria had her daughter give Woods a copy of my book last year. With the popularity of the new movie 'Appaloosa', we're hoping the movie westerns will make a comeback and Mr. Woods will think my book would make a good move. Oh, I can dream can't I!!!

Lots of discussions going on in my local writer's group about socializing after the meeting. A large group of us has always gone to Denny's. The waiters/waitresses let us sit and talk for hours, give us separate checks and occasionally sit down to listen in, or join in, on our discussions. Now some folks want to stay at the library and chat socially. While I do enjoy the company of many of the folks who don't go to Denny's now, I like leaving the 'work' area and going for a cup of java or a bite to eat while we discuss everything from men, to politics, to religion, to movies, to you name it. So, I think I'll continue with Denny's.

It's late and I've got a big day tomorrow with exercise and setting up for the elections on Tuesday. Gosh I hope McCain/Palin win. The whole idea of wealth distribution, making changes to our precious Constitution and having admitted anti-American folks have easy access to the White House seems absurd. I sure wish Condoleza Rice had run for president. I believe she's one smart lady and the time has certainly come for a female, a black, or both, U.S. Presidency. Oh well, it will be what it will be and Americans will make the best of it, as always.

So, let me sign off by reminding you to vote on Tuesday. And while I hope you vote for the right man, I just want you to get out there and vote! :-) Oh, and you might want to stop by my website, www.sharonpoppen.com.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lake Havasu City Writers Group Meeting Day

I did a Yahoo search today for Sharon Poppen and found so many links to my stories, as well as my novel 'After the War, Before the Peace.' And speaking of the book, Denise Cassino, who is doing a great job of promotion for my book, has put together a very informative package that includes a nice, actually very nice, review of the book. Check it out on my website http://www.sharonpoppen.com/ .

Always a good day when the LHCWG gets together. Had almost twenty people there today! I had submitted my story 'A Helping Hand'. It got good reviews for the most part. It was our assignment week where the story can only have 250 words and the prompt was to use 'There was something about her/his eyes ...' as the first line. Most folks felt my story could have been fleshed out a little, which I agree, but overall it was the dialog that that got the best reviews. Crits are so very important. You don't have to use them all, but sometimes a big flaw will be identified and that's when the learning kicks in.

I found an article in the August 2008 issue of The Writer - 'In Writing, Persistence is Key' by Andre Dubus. I shared it verbally with my writers group today, because is is so on target with my philosophy on writing. I strongly suggest that if you're having problems staying focused, find the article. It's a great motivator and a good kick in the muse.

I didn't get to work on 'The Woman Between' today, too busy. It is the latest novel in my Farrell Family saga. They are such an interesting clan! What I'm focusing on is a romantic triangle between two brothers and the wife of one of them. I want the reader to like all three of them, despite their human flaws of weakness, pride and self-satisfaction. Another writer is acting as an editor. I've yet to get his feedback. He likes men who trade blow for blow, while I prefer to develop my characters with more subtlety. Let's see how that works out.

Our writer's group had its monthly reading at a member's home instead of Hastings Book Store. She decorated in the Halloween spirit and the stories were all great and very much on the macabre side in keeping with Halloween. A good time was had by all. Still, I prefer the public readings at Hastings. Can't say why, just the atmosphere and watching strangers sit with their coffee and listen to our offerings. It's all part of wanting to share what I write.

Towards the end of the week, I managed to get involved with my three on-line writers groups. Even penned a new story 'What Waits in the Willows'. Feedback has been good overall. Folks liked the two main characters who are cops. They are partners, but have totally different outlooks. I tried to show their characters (you know how I love working with characters) with dialog and a show vs tell. So far, the feedback is good.

Well, before I find myself rambling, I'll sign off. Gosh feels good to be blogging again.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Back on Line

I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Wait! That almost sounds like my old 'confession' days, 'Father, it's been 2 weeks since my last ...' I guess those imprints of our youth hang on forever.

Anyway, lots has happened these past couple of months. For instance. I now have a website. Yep, http://www.sharonpoppen.com/ . It was created by Denise Cassino of http://www.wizardlywebdesigns.wordpress.com/ . I think it's pretty neat! Also, I've been on the internet radio. You can hear the broadcast if you go to my website. I'm scheduled to be on another on on 11/17. I'll write more of this later.

Also, I received good news from Virtual Tales. They hope to have my 'Hannah' available in print by the end of the year. Yahoo!!!!

Been busy getting readjusted from being gone all summer, working with the Telephone Pioneers and trying to get John McCain (well actually, Sarah Palin!) elected. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

For now, I'll keep this short, but will try to be more regular with my postings. Happy weekend, ya'll!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still in California

Writing is at a standstill, although I am formulating a story based on one of the Farrell offspring. It's very much in the 'thought' stage at the moment. I did release a story to Flasher's Dozen for crit. It didn't score high. Creativity is at a low. Did manage to sent out some crits to FD and to the Havasu Writer's, but overall not much writing getting done.

As to personal life, Hailey didn't win any medals in Mich., but she ran with the big dogs and I do mean big. Those girls may have been her age, but they had her by six inches or more in height. She and Kim had a fun time and appreciated the specialness of even being there. Nick and I did fine on our own. Went to the movies, he had playdates and he even had a session at the driving range with grandson Alex.

Went to see 'Swing Vote' with Ellen. One of the best Costner movies I've seen. Good 'get out and vote' movie. Had dinner at 'The Bear' with Jim and Ellen.

Alex got his learner's permit, so I let him drive me to the movies to see 'Hancock'. Funny movie. Alex did quite well with his driving. We went to the Red Tractor for dinner before the movies. It was nice just the two of us.

Kim's best friend from high school, Stacy, arrived last Friday. Her son Max is nine. He and Nick are great buddies. They left Wednesday night for So. Calif. Lots of stuff on their agenda - Dodger game, planetarium, cowboy museum, Disneyland and Hailey has quite a few soccer games. They'll be home tomorrow night.

We to the movies with Ellen yesterday to see the latest 'Mummy' movie. Bad, really bad. Even Brendan Frasier couldn't save it. Then out to dinner at the 'Olive Garden'. Two words - yum, yum. Two more words - eggplant Parmesan.

Today it's laundry, updating this blog and catching up on email. Maybe even a few lines of the novel in my head!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

California Living

Well, as usual, I've let my blogging get a little behind. In all fairness, I have been taking care of my grand kids, ages 10 & 8, for over a month! Now, that is FUN, but it sure saps my energy level.

As for my writing, it is almost non-existent. A short story now and then, but otherwise not much. No new novel started, although I'm thinking about one now involving my characters Mike and Lita's sons. Maybe I'll get a few lines down in the next few days.

Got a few acceptances in the past month. Bewildering Stories will publish 'A Weirdo in the Dungeon' in October, A Long Story Short will publish 'Always the Good Kid' in September and I entered 'Blond Hair' in the 'Clarity of the Night Contest'. Didn't win anything, but the story turned out pretty well and I received some great feedback. The prompt was a picture with a view from a motorcycle roaring thru the night on a two lane, tree lined highway.

Then for DeskDrawer, I wrote 'Flubadingding', 'Connections' and 'Internet Influences' to meet the weekly prompts. Got some interesting feedback. They are a great group and I can always count on good catches/pointers for improving the stories.

Then, for FlashXer, I wrote 'My New Best Friend' and 'Hearing Voices'. Again, the writers on FlashXer are always helpful in giving me tips for editing that make the stories better.

I didn't pen any new stories for Flashers-Dozen. Some of my archived stories met the intent of the prompt and, again, these writer's gave me some great upgrades.

But, I do miss 'creating'. I get ideas all day, but then when night comes, I'm too tired to sit down and create. I'm alone for most of today, so thought I'd take the time to update my blog.

I'm been doing a lot of reading and movie watching. Read Tami Hoag's 'The Alibi Man'. Awful! Now reading her 'Dust to Dust'. Better, but still very, very, wordy.

I also read Randy Pausch's 'The Last Lecture'. It was a wonderful read! He really must have been a wonderful man. I only hope I can go out with the grace and dignity that he managed clear up thru his passing. My favorite story of his was about the reason for brick walls. He is so right. How bad do you want it!? Also, loved the challenge as to whether one is a Tigger or an Eeyore. It's not fair that a man of his energy and goodwill should be taken so young. My heart goes out to his wife and children.

Saw 'Pericles, the Prince of Tyre' at the Shakespeare in the Park performance here in Pleasanton. I think it was one of their best productions. It was a little naughty for a 'family' performance, but it was wonderful. I was surprised that this year, my 8 year old grandson stayed for the entire performance and enjoyed it. He usually just plays in the park, then his dad takes him home when the performance begins. The production moved the story from Tyre to the U.S. old west, but they kept to the old English verbiage. It was a wonderful family experience.

As to movies. Saw 'Bella' - Wonderful! Saw 'Into the Wild - Bittersweet, very sad ending. 'Fool's Gold' - Stupid waste of time. 'Panic Room' - Another gem from Jodie. 'Kung-Fu Panda'- just dreadful! 'Batman' - Severely overrated and way too dark. 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' - cute, saved by Brendan Frasier. 'Everybody's Hero' - Delightful.

Saw some stage shows. Terri Clark - Beautiful girl, wonderful show. Steve Holy - Lots of fun, good show. My daughter took me to see Toby Keith. His show consisted of a group called The Trailer Choir who will probably make it big someday, a trio of girls that were awful, Montgomery Gentry who were wild and put on a great show and finally Toby who was high energy, a little foul mouthed, but a great show.

Had a great birthday/4th of July party for my brother. We're very different and our kids are very different as to politics, careers, education and leisure activities, but we are family and it always feels good when we get together.

Got my hair cut. It is waaaayyyyy too short, but the good thing is it will grow out!

My daughter and granddaughter Hailey arrive home from Michigan tonight. They have been attending the Jr. Olympics. Hailey didn't do as well as she wanted in her 800 meter race, but due to the time difference, she was running the race before she normally even gets out of bed. Also, the weather was heavy with humidity. But, the important thing is that she ran with the 'Big Dogs'. She's our intrepid little adventurer and we are so proud of her.

I've been getting a lot of emails and phone calls from back home. That's nice, but it sure makes me homesick. My street is still all torn up for the sewer work and they tell me that the construction crews used my front yard to set up their headquarters. Oh well, I'm not there so I could care less. I just hope it's all done by the time I get home!

Time to go watch Nick at his soccer practice. We've had a nice four days to ourselves. He has come into my room every night. Guess he misses his folks. But, it has been interesting trying to sleep on a single bed with a grandson sprawled out next to me and the dog laying on my feet. I have about a foot of space on the edge of the bed left to me. Thank goodness for Alleve! Still, it brings back some wonderful memories of when I used to snuggle up to my grandma. I hope in years to come that this time we've spent together will bring some warmth and love to Nick.

With that I'll close.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back in California

Welcome to sunny, yep it's actually sunny, Pleasanton, Calif. I'm here tending the grandkids, ages 8 and 11, for the summer.

Let's see, since I last posted on June 2nd, I've been busy. Met with Cindi to discuss submission opportunities and techniques. She has some contemporary books that speak to real issues facing many woman today.

On the 7th was our writer's group. Received very nice feedback on my verbiage on the five senses. One person said that each description boded of a story and I believe she's right.

Had lunch with Shirley Wolford. She now has a collaborator for her next novel. She's 94 and blind! Now if that isn't enough inspiration to keep me going, I don't know what is. I'll miss seeing her, with her frank way of looking at life, this summer.

Had my monthly crit group meeting with Lois and Cindi on Thursday. Always fun, but I'm afraid we don't get much critting done. It's mostly personal items and info on writing overall. JOan wasn't there and we sure missed her. Lois and Cindi are going to meet all summer. I feigned tears of being left out, but they saw through me and agreed to meet anyway. :-) We are a special foursome and I do enjoy their company and feedback so much!!

I am managing to re-edit 'Deborah's Story' and work on it for at least a half-hour every day, but no new stories. Gotta get back to that soon!

Now, on to personal things. Had the car worked on to the tune of almost $400. Yuck, but Charles seems to know what he's doing and I feel confident that he fixed the leak.

Did a couple of nights of bingo, but no wins. Still, had fun visiting with folks that I won't see again until September.

Had lots of dinners out to say 'bye for the summer' and went to a Republican Women's luncheon. They got into a squabble about 'publicly supporting a non-Republican candidate. They wanted to add that provision to their by-laws, but it was voted down. I'm not a member of the group, so I couldn't vote. But, I agree with the premise. Why be a card carrying Republican Woman if you're going to put a sign in your car or yard supporting an Independent or Democrat. If that's your feeling, you don't have to be a member of the Republican woman. I have an issues with two of the candidates running for office this fall. I'll talk to other Republicans about it, but to the public I don't discuss these issues. And, when I actually go in to vote, I can vote for anyone I want.

On June 13, I drove to my sister Janice's place in Palmdale for our annual Sister's Weekend. Janice, her daughter Samantha, Donna, her daughter Kristie, me, my daughter Kim and my granddaughter Hailey were in attendance. We talked, went to a movie, had a barbecue (prepared by Janice's husband John) and played some poker. Then, Sunday a.m. we all went out for a buffet breakfast. A very nice time was had by all!

Oh, gotta brag a bit! My granddaughter Hailey ran an 800 meter race in Tulare, Ca. on Saturday and took a second place, with a silver medal. With the win, she was granted a place in a pre-Olympic trials meet in Detroit, Mi. this July. We are so proud of her!

So, now I'm tending the grand kids who right now are yelling themselves through some video game. I think it's time for a walk and maybe a trip to McDonald's. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 02, 2008

An Almost!

Yep, almost a win for one of my short stories in a contest. But, my story did place in the top 13 of over 60 authors and 100 stories that were submitted, so I'm a happy camper. If you care to read it, go to http://www.skivemagazine.com/issues/2008/06_June_2008/Sk_Jun_08_Scrd.pdf and check out 'Chasing Dreams'.

Gosh it's been so long since I've blogged. I need to get a job so I'll have more free time. Let's see what I've done since my last entry.

Had my last meeting with Dave for his crits of 'Lita' and my final crit of 'Drift' on the 22nd. We're putting our meetings on hold until this fall. Oddly enough, he gave a good review of the final pages of 'Lita'. Killing her off still worries me, but he said it worked well.

Then, that night, it was off to Hastings for our monthly 'readings'. Small crowd as many of our writer's have gone for the winter. But, those of us who stayed, listened to some great stories and then yacked on about 'things' until nearly ten p.m. They are such an intelligent group and I'm so lucky to have made their acquaintance.

On the 24th, I had lunch with writer, Shirley Wolford. Always a high energy experience! She is 93 and blind, but sharp as a tack and always interesting to talk with.

Because I'm leaving for Calif. on the June 11th, we moved our book club up to 5/31. We discussed the books of Clive Cussler. Everyone felt he was definitely plot driven, but most felt the plots were unbelievable and that he took liberties in believability to find solutions. Also, his characters lacked depth. About the only character that everyone seemed to like was his sidekick Giordino. Bottom line, when it came to would you read another Cussler book, the vote was 11 no and 1 yes. I arranged for Shirley Wolford to come meet the club members. When we reviewed her books last month, they gave her a 7 yes and 2 no as to another read. She had a good time and I think the club members enjoyed meeting her.

I recently had some great feedback on my 'After the War, Before the Peace' novel. Had the daughter of a friend call and tell me that she had 20 pages to go and didn't want to finish, because she didn't want it to end. Also, she said she was at her job and reading about the abduction of Danny and Patrick, when she started crying. People asked her why and she said it was because of the great book she was reading. Says she is going to buy several of my books to give out as Christmas gifts. Then, a friend had let her friend read her copy of the book (grrrr, I need them to buy the book :-). Anyway, her friend loved it and wanted to meet the author. She just gushed over the characters and has offered to edit the sequel for me. So, nice week for my novel.

I've been sending off short stores, lots of waiting to hear, but I did get a couple of rejects. Although, one editor said it was just the topic that he didn't want. He liked my writing and would like to something else of mine. That was nice to hear.

As to my personal life, lots of same old-same old. Been to bingo and the casinos a couple of times and my luck is definitely out to lunch! Did see a couple of movies. The latest Indiana Jones is well done. I saw a lot of Han Solo in the character this time. Then saw 'What stays in Vegas'. It was okay. I just don't care for Cameron Diaz. Ashton Kutcher was great, though. At home here, I watched an old Gregory Peck movie 'Gentleman's Agreement'. Good movie with some great acting, except for Dorothy McGuire. Lots of overacting on her part. But Ann Revere was excellent as Peck's mother.

On June 1st, Shirley, Lori and I went to Laughlin. Had a great time. Lori and I went to see the Gary Allen concert. It was high energy and well done. But, he didn't talk much, just sang his songs and he didn't even intro his band members. One guitarist was wearing a kilt and I'd have liked to know more about that. Had a gal in the audience sitting near us that got real pushing and started dancing in the stands and just being obnoxious. We ignored her. I think that drove her crazy because I think she wanted to start a fight. Well, she did on the way out. Lori and I were at the merchandise table when we heard girls screaming like in a cat fight. Next think you know, security had a guy on the ground and they told the girl and her friends that the guy was going to jail. It must have been one of their boyfriends, because the girls kept screaming and wanted people to come say they say what happened and it wasn't their fault. Excitement I could have done without! Don't think I'll go to another Allen concert. I can hear him on his CDs and music videos and they are a lot cheaper than going to a concert just to hear him sing.

Got to close and get busy with my writing. Two days away from the computer has me going through withdrawals!!! Night, night!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two Books on Amazon.com - Yahoo!

Met with Dave on the 8th for crits on his 'Drift' and my 'Lita'. He has a new ending for me. I gave him my 'The End' on 'Lita'. I'm still not sure killing her will fly with my readers, but I'll see what his reaction is. I guess we'll continue with the crits by email over the summer. Had dinner with them, then off to Denny's for my small crit group.

JOan, Lois and Cindi were all there and along with the crits, it was a great visit. Got feedback on 'Just An Old Radio'. So-so. It obviously needs work.

On the 10th, our book club met and discussed the books of Shirley Wolford. It was a lively discussion and when all was said and done, 8 out of 12 said they'd read another one of her books. I'm going to try to get her to our meeting on 5/31 when we'll be discussing the books of Clive Cussler.

My next writing event was the LHCWG on 5/17. They gave me feedback on 'Always the Good Kid'. Overall, it was good feedback. Good upgrades as to positioning and grammar. It sure was a sparse meeting. We all missed our snowbirds. Then it was off to Denny's - Margaret, Cindi, Vivien and Vern. Good conversation and sharing. Then Vern very nicely picked up the tab. I'm getting spoiled.

As for 'Hannah', getting good feedback as to the story and how easy it is to read as an eBook. I did a web search and found at least a half dozen sites with my novel. But, it was really exciting to see the covers of both 'After the War, Before the Peace' and 'Hannah' available on Amazon.com. Yahoo! Then, I got a message from the Virtual Tales folks saying that they'd contacted the Today Herald and that they were going to run a piece. Let's see how that works out!

Oh, and while I was searching the net, I came across a blog by one of the professors at MCC. I was surprise and pleased to see she named me as a speaker at the recent Writer's Forum. She commented on what I'd said about people talking in my head and she agreed. It's nice to know there are kindred spirits out there. Oh, and Vern mentioned that my bugging him about writing is making him want to get back to it. I hope so. He tells a good story in whatever genre he chooses to write.

Oh, I had lunch with a fellow writer from my FlashXer group. Mike is an interesting person and a good writer. We met at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant, good food, and talked for almost two hours.

Now, onto non-writing happenings. For Mother's Day, I heard from both kids and got nice cards from Hailey and Nick. I had a quiet day, but did go to Denny's for lunch/supper. Had my favorite - chicken fried stead.

On the 10th, Dave, Nancy and I trekked on over to Laughlin. We stopped at the Route 66 Winery. Had a great time and I guess the vintner truly is a demolitions expert. What a combo - wine and bombs! We stopped at my dad's grave to leave him his beer and quarter for his birthday. Beautiful day, beautiful view. Then off to some Mexican food at Casa Serrano. Finally, we made it to the Aquarius Hotel & Casino to see Trace Adkins. He was WONDERFUL! We had bad seats, but he moved around a bit so it was tolerable. We stopped at the AVI Casino for a late night snack on the way home. Dave and I got into it about 'cops', but it was all in fun. He called the other day to apologize. I told him I wasn't upset. Then, to tease him, I said I didn't hold it against him because his opinion was wrong. We laughed, so I guess all is okay. He surprised me by telling me that he was flying to Texas and that if anything happened to him, he wanted me to take possession of his writing. I was truly flattered.

Went to Phoenix on the 15th to see my niece Melissa get a $1000 scholarship from the Telephone Pioneers. My sister and her husband went to the luncheon, too. We are so proud of her!

My step-son Rick called today and we talked for almost an hour. He had a birthday yesterday. His son Tyson is a teenager, need I say more. But to add to his problems, Rick has a looser ex-wife who has reappeared in Tyson's life and feeding him untruths. I told Rick that I believe Tyson knows the truth deep inside and time will turn him around. Tyson and Rick have always had a wonderful father/son relationship and it's deep embedded. Their love will win out.

It's after eleven and I need my beauty sleep. So, until next time, have a lot of fun and for you writers, get to writing!

Monday, May 05, 2008

This, That and Stuff!

Where does the time go!!! So much has happen since my last drivel (thanks, Michelle, for this great word) posting. A lot of my time was spent on 'writing' things. Went to lunch with Shirley Wolford. She now has an associate who is willing to help her keep at her writing. This person will clean up her typing and do some editing. I really hopes it works for her. I can't imagine not being able to write. I gave her some tapes of 'Atlas Shrugged'. She had mentioned that since she can't read, tapes would be great. When I bought hers, I bought the book on CDs for me. I listened to it on my way to and from Pleasanton. All I can say is WOW! Good writing and it is so scary to see Rand's plot actually happening in the U.S. these days.

Then, had another meeting with Dave. He wrote the end to his 'Drift' and it wasn't bad, but I had some suggestions as to how to bring it full circle to his start. He gave me some good thoughts to consider on 'Lita'. I have written 'The End' on 'Lita'. It is very sad and I'm not really happy with it, but it's a first draft, so I'll reread it after I get Dave's feedback. After our meeting, he, Nancy and I went to Mario's to dinner! One word! Yummmmmmmmy!

Oh, and my Republican Women's club made me the 'Person of the Month' and did an article on me. As usual, the picture was horrible, but the article was good (teehee-I know the writer of the article intimately). Anyway, it was nice of them to chose me.

While I was in Calif., the kids were in school during the day, so I had some time to write. I managed to sub to all three of my on-line groups. To Desk Drawer, I sent 3 subs. For the prompt about disobeying rules/laws, I subbed 'Always the Good Kid' Good feedback and I especially appreciated that my use of the male POV worked. To the prompt about 'leaping and stomping', I subbed 'Opinion'. Again, good feedback and I was surprised not to get any anti-Bush/War/Military feedback. It was all feedback on the writing, not the opinion. Guess that's why I like DD so much. For the prompt on haiku/limerick, I submitted three haikus. Again, good feedback.

For the Flashers-Dozen prompt 'fathers/daughters', I sent 'And Yet Again'. It was a story of a girl killing her sister, then being banished by her father. I used mixed up spellings of the names in the story of Cain and Abel. Got some good feedback, along with some suggestions for improvement. No one saw the Cain and Abel attempt. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

For the FlashXer prompt 'Officer', I sent the 'And Yet Again'. Again, more good feedback, and again, no one picked up on the Cain and Abel story. Then for the prompt 'Good Time Charlie', I sent off 'Gender Mix' which was a story of a brother's revenge on the murder of his sister. Nice feedback. I'm very lucky to be in those groups.

Then, I had my LHCWG meeting on Saturday. I turned in 'Always the Good Kid'. My 'Posed for Eternity' was critted. Overall, it was good feedback. Not too much was said during the verbal discussion, but the written feedback was very good.

I'm having a hard time deciding on the subject for my next book. I've got some short story writing to keep me busy, but I always feel a little at odds when I don't have a book to move forward every day.

'Hannah' is now available as an eBook. I'm trying to get the copies to send to the five folks who said they'd read it, then comment on it. I think Virtual Tales could make the site more user friendly, but they have been so good to me, so I hesitate to complain.

Oh, my friend JOan, had a book signing at Hastings for her story in 'Letters to My Mother'. It was on 4/30 and I had to miss it. Damn! Damn! Damn! She was so good to me during my signings and now I had to let her down. Damn!

As to my non-writing life, I drove to Pleasanton, CA on 4/23 and came home 4/30. My grandson, Nick, made his First Holy Communion. He wore a suit and looked so handsome. We had a big family dinner at a restaurant called 'Papa Eddie's' with about 15 folks attending. Most of them came back to the house after dinner and visited. It was family and it was nice.

Sunday, we drove to the top of Mt. Diablo. It was beautiful, but I could have done without the horde of pincer bugs and the rattlesnake by the stairs.

Kim and I went to see '21'. Good movie. Kevin Spacey is so underrated. He has a wonderful range from good to bad and can even sing!

Sunday was Pioneer Social Sunday. A group of us went to the restaurant in Topock Gorge for lunch, then over to the Route 66 Winery in Needles, Ca. The vintner is a young man with a great personality. I think he put us on a little with his story telling, but who knows. My friends said I should make him the star of my next novel. Hummmm, how could I put a demolition expert/vintner in the desert during the late 19th century. I'll have to think on that.

And with that, I'm outta here for today. More to come, soon, or so I intend. But, you know the old adage for intentions and how they pave the way to ....

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Busy week, as usual. Tuesday was Pioneer day so it was a nice luncheon with good friends and this meeting took on a 'writing' theme. Quest Pioneers gave our club $1800 to spend among our six local elementary school. Publishers like Random House and Scholastic were our contacts. Al & Ellie, two Pioneers, took care of the project and even made it look easy. Two school principals came for the presentation of the large variety of books. They were excited. Of course, our Today's News Herald, our local newspaper, didn't deem it important to send a reporter. Grrrr.

Worked at the Republican Headquarters on Thursday. It was slow. No calls or walk-ins, so I was able to get some editing done on a novel I haven't worked on in awhile, 'Finding Amy'. It was nice to visit with Danny again and walk with him through his perilous marriage.

Friday, was reading day to get ready for my local writer's group meeting on Saturday. Lots of good writing. Two of the folks who came to one of my Spring Frenzy workshops, Jim & Rusty, have joined the group. They are dynamite writers and a real asset to the group. Also had a new young writer show up. Hope we didn't scare him off. It will be interesting to have a young man in the group. Got some good feedback on my submission 'Moving on Up'. Vern was particularly nice. Said I should put my short stories together and publish a short story anthology. Probably a good idea, but a lot of work that would eat into my novel writing time. But, it was so nice of him to say it.

On my way home from the writer's meeting, I stopped an bought a new laptop. It's an HP. I was amazed at how easy it was to hook up, get on-line and get mail. Even moved some of my documents over. They really are making these things Dummy-Proof. I also found a nice copy/fax machine for a reasonable price that I may go back and buy tomorrow.

I have been moving Lita along every day. Almost done. I do so hate to kill her off, but it needs to be done. I'll probably end up crying as I write her demise.

Off the subject of writing, I went to Laughlin on Tuesday and met up with Ellen. We went to see the movie 'Nim's Island'. Wonderful movie. Jody Foster steals the movie with her portrayal of an agoraphobic writer who's alter ego is an Indiana Jones type adventurer. She talks to herself as she writes. Hummmm, that sounds familiar.

After the movie we went to a Collin Raye concert. He's a country western singer. We had front row seats, our elbows were on the stage. He put on a great show!

Didn't leave the house today!! Yahoo!!! Worked on setting up my new computer and easing out of my old one. Like I said. It was the easiest conversion I've ever made! Also finished the first draft of my Pioneer newsletter. Hope to get it mailed before I leave for the Bay Area on Wednesday. But, now I must close. Got a lunch date with Shirley tomorrow. She's going to be so surprised when I give her the 'Atlas Shrugged' audio book. Then tomorrow night there is a MVPOA board meeting and I'M NOT THE PRESIDENT!!! Just an interested home owner!! Another Yahoo. So, good night for now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

MCC Book Fair and Stuff

Well, the writer's fair has come and gone. It was a big success due to the hard work of Pat Agnew and Cindie Miller. The college wouldn't let us sell any books, but did meet some interesting folks and I hope I gave them the info they were looking for in their attempt to step into this weird world of writing. They had some drawings and who should win my book but a minister. When he came over for the autograph I strongly encouraged him to trade it in for another book. I told him it was probably too naughty for a minister, but he said that his job was to bring sinners around to God so perhaps he should read about them. I hope it works for him.

I had to give a brief speech about myself and about my writing at the fair. After I was done, I realized I hadn't even mentioned my books. I just told them why I write and how I write. I felt quite foolish afterward, but one good thing did come out of it. A woman named Anne came up to me and said she used to write, but was having trouble finding the muse or the time. We talked for awhile and I encouraged her to join my Flasher's Dozen writer's group and she did! I'm glad my discoordinated talk did some good afterall.

Went to Denny's afterward with a half-dozen fellow writers. Always a good time with that bunch!

Oh, the London Bridge Republican Women have decided to make me the featured member of the month. They took my picture and I had to send them a bio. I was so honored. I can think of a dozen or more women who deserve it much more.

We had our book club meeting regarding the books of Isabel Allende on Saturday. I think she puts brilliant sentences together, but she is definitely a character driven writer. She should stick to writing short story collections because most of the good feedback came from those who read her collections. Her novels get off the track with too much detail on irrelevant characters. As to reading her again, the vote was even - 5 yes and 5 no.

Had our writer's meeting on the 5th. Not too much feedback, but the after meeting at Denny's was full of writer's talk and fun.

Had my meeting with Dave. He has written 'the end' for his novel 'Drift'. I've still a few items to cover before I can to that to 'Lita'. He liked the latest episode, well sort of. It's still a struggle for him. I'm managing to work on it every day. I'm close to the end. I just hate for the Farrells to go out of my life again and I really hate killing Lita off.

Went to the throat doctor, still have to take the acid reflux meds for another 8 weeks. He isn't worried about cancer, so that's a good thing.

Went to Joe Ziegler's funeral. Very sad. Don't know if I could bury a son. My heart goes out to her. I had to give a prayer, yeah me of all people! And, give a personal anecdote which was a lot easier. I hope he's at peace.

Sunday was Rob's birthday. I called his home, condo and cell, but it turns out he was out having FUN! Motorcycling thru the wine country! He called me today and we talked for a long time. I wish his marriage was happier, but he seems to have come to grips with it and is handling it. I reminded him that he has always had a circle of supportive family and friends. He said he knows it.

Sunday Sharon, Shirley and I boated over to the casino for a goodbye dinner and some gambling fun. Shirley leaves for home on Wednesday and won't be back until next fall. She's a kick. I'll miss her.

Hummm, I think I hear Lita calling so maybe I'll write a couple of paragraphs yet tonight. Then tomorrow it's the Pioneer meeting, then off to Laughlin for a movie, dinner and the Collin Raye show with Ellen. Yahoo.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Writer's Fair at MCC

Today is the Writer's Fair. Not sure how much/little of my writing/workshop material to bring, so just took some highlights. Should be fun. Pat and Cindie have worked hard and there has even been some publicity in the local paper on it. Yahoo! Should be fun.

Had my Denny's meeting last night with Cindie, JOan and Lois. Always fun. Always informative. Cindie asked if we had a name for the group. Nope, just Denny's, so she came up with the Meeting of the Four Goddesses. Yep, like that!

Haven't been doing any submissions lately. Gotta do that!

Lost my Isabel Allende book. I think it was subconscious that I wanted to lose it. A good writer as to description, but terrible plot movement. I was bored to death.

Moving 'Lita' along nicely. Had to do some research on hysterectomies and surgical thread in the 1880s and found out that catgut is actually made form sheep intestines. My, my what you do learn by writing about it, even fiction!

Off to the Fair now!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Rejection & A Win!!

My two free days of Monday and Tuesday got busy. Monday am it was errands and a trip to the post office to mail the TelecomPioneers newsletter. But, for the rest of the day, it was writing and criting to my hearts content.

Moved 'Lita' along and now have them in Wyoming. Still now sure how I'm going to kill Lita off, yet make it palatable to my readers. Hope the muse steps in with ideas. Then I found some time to do some criting for my on-line friends/writers. Lots of good stories. Man, there's a lot of competition out there!

Today, I had lunch with Shirley, my elderly, blind writer friend. She has been invited to the April 11 writer's forum. But, she doesn't see any advantage in doing it so she'll probably skip it. She asked me for my thoughts. I told her my take is that being an unknown author with a self-published first book out there, all I want to do is get folks to read my book. So, if the organizers of the forum want me to give away a book for a drawing, I'll do it. If they want me to talk for a few minutes on writing, I do it. You never know who will attend and who just might be in a position to open some publishing doors. In all likelyhood, it won't happen, but it sure won't happen if I'm not there presenting my efforts. I wish Hannah would be moved from and e-serial to an e-book. It would be easier to sell. I think I'll contact the editor at Virtual Tales next week.

Got a rejection today from Everyday Fiction for my 'The Case of the Pink Gloves'. Said they thought it was good writing, but too predictable. Oh well, they're probably right. Back to the drawing board.

Then tonight it was off to bingo with winter visitor Shirley and I won $175! Yahoo!!

Had an odd thing happen the other day. A neighbor, a strange little man called Cowboy, stopped me as I was pulling out of my driveway. He said he was sorry to hear that my boyfriend had committed suicide. Said he heard it from his neighbor. I was shocked, but assured him that first of all I didn't have a boyfriend and second of all, I knew no one who had committed suicide. After he described said boyfriend, I realized he was talking about Roger, a neighborhood handy-man. Roger is happily involved with Shirley, a woman he lives with. Then, the next day a neighbor on the next block, whose name is also Shirley, let me know her ex-husband had committed suicide. From his picture he resembles Roger. I guess the nosey neighbor got things confused. Geez, I stay on a share-a-wave-only basis with my neighbors and still I get in trouble. Oh well, as a doctor once told me when my first child was ready to be born a few days before I'd been married nine months, 'Let 'em talk. If they're talking about you, they're leaving someone else alone.' Anyway, it was too bizarre.

I'm off to Calif. again tomorrow. My best-friend Yvonne's son Joe died and his memorial is going to held Thursday am. I don't know how you bury a son. It's against nature. I'll be back on Friday afternoon. I'm not looking forward to the long ride across the desert, but I want to be there if she needs me.

So, adios for now. Good writing and reading to all!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Wonderful Week in Havasu!

Been quite a week. Sunday was a laid back day, then a very hectic week started. Had breakfast at Denny's with a half dozen writers as we said farewell to Do. She headed back to Spain on Tuesday. I enjoy her visits very much. Her writing has depth and occasionally she can be quite funny.

On Thursday, I met with Dave again. I feel bad. He is really struggling with my chick lit. I hope it's just him and that 'Lita' isn't really as boring as it seems to him. I struggle with the direction of his 'Drift', but then again maybe it is good for both of us. I'm already starting to worry about how I'm going to handle Lita's death. Hopefully, she'll help me.

Then it was off to Hastings. A small, but good crowd. I think some of the best writing among the writers group was shared aloud. Each story held our rapt attention. Attending were Vivien (it was her birthday), Gina, Jilma, Rob, Ann, Margaret, Cindi, Lois, Dave and me. After the readings, we sat around and gabbed until ten p.m. Of course, since I was in a books/music store, I had to buys some CDs. Got some good buys of 'Best of ...' songs of CCR, Terry Clark, Sammy Kershaw and the Oak Ridge Boys. All have been listened to and all were good!

And through it all, I moved 'Lita' forward. The wagon train is again on its way to Jackson Hole after a winter stay in Grand Junction and the addition of a new baby. I do enjoy the Farrells.

On the non-writing aspect of my week, got my taxes done. Have to pay! Had my A/C and coolers opened up for the summer and my furnace checked out after its busy, cold winter.

Tues., Nancy and I headed over to Laughlin to see country singer Mark Chestnut. Made a day of it and stopped at Target, Kohl's, the Panda Express and several factory stores. Then we say the movie 'No Country for Old Men.' Wow! I don't normally like allegories, but this is one that gives the reader the chills and I'll be thinking about its ending for a long time. We had dinner with Ellen at Serrano's Mexican Restaurant. I have never seen the restaurant or the casino so busy. People everywhere. Folks say is the snowbirds last hurrah before they head home. for the summer. The show was great. Nancy was front row (I mean elbow on the stage) center. It was their first night, so they did a lot of impromptu stuff which made for a lot of fun.

Had my hair cut on Wednesday. Always great to talk with Liz. Her son is home from the army. It's a relief to her. He wasn't in Iraq, but did do prison guard duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Had our Pioneer Bunco yesterday. Turned out a lot better than I'd thought what with the streets all tore up for the sewers. Al and I switched playing so we could be roll a set. Betty did all the calling. She was great. Then it was out to dinner at El Mariachis with the the H's, the Z's and the B's. Lots of fun and laughter. I needed some stressless, fun time, so I took the boat across to the casino. Came home four hundred dollars richer! Yahoo. I do love keno.

Planning on another 'free' day tomorrow! We'll see how that goes! Until then, Slán go fóill! (Did you know that's Gaelic for 'goodbye for now'?)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Saxman

Where does time go??? I can't believe it's Saturday already. I remember when Saturday was a big deal, now it's just another day. But, I must say, a glorious, sunny, Arizona day!

Last Saturday's writer's meeting was good, as always. Most folks enjoyed my excerpt from 'Lita' that I submitted last time. Several commented on the authenticity of the dialog between the two men. One lady, who is new to the group couldn't believe that a woman had written it. That was music to my ears. One fellow questioned the use of the word 'maudlin' as used by men in the 1880s, but another writer who has studied old diaries said it is exactly the type of work that would have been used in that era. Also, my friend from England questions the use of the word 'wad' as a brother said, 'I'd bet my wad that ...' I meant it as money, but she said it had a sexual suggestion. I'll have to think on that. Then it was off to Denny's. We didn't break up until 5:oo. That has to be a new record. Lots of good conversation!

Then it was off to Laughlin to see Wayne Newton with my sister. What fun. I thought the sax player was good looking, so after the show, we went up to the stage. My sister said she wanted to call out to the sax player. I told her we were just looking, but the man in front of us heard the conversation. He yelled, "Hey, Saxman!" The saxman grinned and waved. I hit the man who had called out. He laughed and said, "You hit me!" I told him it was not out of meanness, just passion. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, "Well, in that case, let's ditch my wife." She was evidently a character, too. She just laughed and said, "I know what you mean. I was playing the slots and this change man was so darn cute that I told him if I was 40 years younger, his night wouldn't be his own." We all laughed. My sister said she is going to call my daughter and tell her that I'm a crazy person at concerts! All in all, despite the fact that Newton can't sing anymore, it was a good show and a lot of exiting-the-theatre fun!

As for the rest of the week, I worked on 'Lita' a lot. An episode concerning brother Joe developed. It seemed almost as if Joe was whispering in my ear to tell his tale. It was fun. I hope it works.

I sent a flash story, 'Taping In', out to Flasher's-Dozen. Got interesting crits from too much info, to lack of character development, to got it-liked it and a dislike of the title. Good feedback all. I'm lucky to be involved with such a good group. The character remark really surprised me. That's usually my forte. Ah, the learning process marches forward!

The local junior college, MCC, is going to have a writer's forum in April. I've been invited to participate. Sounds interesting. We'll have tables to display our work, but we can't sell any. We are invited to give a 20 minute lecture to the attendees and we are asked to donate a book or two for drawings. Sounds interesting. I'll give it a shot.

Finally finished repainting my desk that I bought at the garage sale. Again, I proved that I'm not any good with my hands! But, I kind of like it, so will keep it and use it.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Just dropped by to update my story of the month. Hope someone drops by and enjoys it. Can't stay tonight, have too much to do. Saturday was the local writer's meeting and, as usual, it was good and the meeting at Denny's lasted until almost five. Then off to Laughlin. Came home yesterday and believe it or not, I got a lot done on 'Lita'. I really like where it's going. Then today (Happy Saint Patrick's Day!) Nancy, Dave and I went to an Irish program at the college, then tonight it was out for corned beef and cabbage dinner with the Hollies. Tonight it was prep time for the Pioneers meeting tomorrow. Phew, I'm out of breath. Will drop by tomorrow and give details on Saturday's meeting and some info on Wayne Newton.

Friday, March 14, 2008


As expected, yesterday was a perfect day. Started off with the morning exercise class being cancelled, so more time to work on writing/reading. Yahoo!

Moved Lita along and now have them in Santa Fe. Not sure what kind of trouble they'll get into there, but the Farrells will let me know.

Went over to Dave's. We discussed the problem he's having bringing 'Drift' to a close. He has a scenario he wants to try, but I think it would make the book too long and take away from the dual troubled nature of his main character. He enjoyed my last episode of 'Lita' with the hint of an abduction. I wonder what he'll think when it turns out to be Danny they kidnap, not Sarah. I hope it works for him.

Then it was off to Denny's for my meeting with Lois, JOan and Cindi. Lots of interesting talk and some really good feedback. With mine we got to talking about POV again. Knowing what everyone is doing/saying/thinking works for me. I'm not writing mysteries. We all pretty much agreed that POV shifts don't bother us.

Then today was a total don't-have-to-go-anywhere day. So, spent it cleaning up a short story I'm going to submit to the LHCWG on Saturday and reading all the sub from the group, then critting them. Big batch this time, 15 of them! Some had poetry. Beautiful, but not my thing.

The sad thing is that I didn't get anything submitted to an editor/publisher. Boohoo! And, it don't look good for tomorrow either what with the LHCWG meeting, then Laughlin for Wayne Newton, then Sunday with my brother and his wife go to a buffet lunch to celebrate her birthday.

My daughter called this a.m. We talked for almost an hour. It was wonderful. She is such a strong, capable, smart woman. I hope I live to see the day, she has her epiphany that brings her to realize how dynamic she is. It's hard when you're struggling day in and day out taking care of a family. It is so sad that most of us women don't get our epiphany about our worth until we're in our fifties. How the hell, did I manage to make such a great kid???

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dogs - Cats - Expectations

Went to the Writer's Forum at our junior college Monday night with several other authors. The speaker was going to talk about how to write about animals. Well, the woman will certainly be sainted when she reaches the pearly gates. Her presentation turned into an 'I' session of all the wonderful things she does with animals - rescues them from the dog pound, takes them to schools, hospitals and senior centers. But, there wasn't much said or offered about writing, except how lucky she'd been to get the job writing a weekly column for our local newspaper. Like I said, she was nice, but it was the general consensus that it was a waste of the writer's time.

Well, I watched 'Old Yeller'. What a good movie. Sad, but good. How refreshing it was with no added animation. Just good characters, good acting (even by the dogs) and beautiful scenery. Not to mention, a good story.

Moved 'Lita' along today. Got a problem solved, so now need to create a new one as I move the Farrells along to Wyoming.

Wrote a short story to one of FlashXer prompts today on wire taping. I thought it came together pretty good, but I may be wrong. Have only had one crit so far and this person thought I was going for a possessed telephone rather than a szcho college student off his meds, that results in a killing. Hummmm, not too much fiction in that premise these days. The critter said it was full of superfluous info and needed shortening and he felt the ending was flat. I think I'll wait until I get a few more crits.

Tomorrow will be a full writing day. First I must work with Lita and get the new pages ready to give to Dave. Then, I have to finish my crits on Dave's 'Drift' and let him know how I think it's going. Then, finish my crits for my Thurs. night Denny's meeting, plus get a new sub ready for them. Oh, 'twill be a LOVELY day.

Some unwriting news - got a call from my sister Donna. She has tickets to see Wayne Newton this Saturday and she has a room for me at the casino. All free of charge. Yahoo!!! I've seen Newton before and he puts on a good show.

It's after eleven and my taped episodes of Law & Order await, so adios!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dragged/Drug - Pleaded/Pled - Hey, its the story that counts!

Another fun day of reading and writing. Managed to move 'Lita' along on Fri., Sat. and today. Still not sure where it's going, but I'm getting it down. Also, got a good prompt on FlashXer on the word 'nudge', so wrote a story about a schzo girl, a gun and an old boyfriend. Fun write. No feedback yet.

Had some feedback on my use of the word 'drug'. I wrote, 'Ritzy was drug down the stairs.' Feedback says it should be dragged. So, I did some checking. According to a couple of dictionary sources, drug is acceptable in some dialects. Another word I have trouble with is plead. I use pled for past tense. And, like drug, it is an acceptable usage in the U.S., Scottish and some dialects. As for me, I'll have to think about it. I prefer drug and pled. It's kind of like awhile vs a while and alright vs all right. Geez, the story is what's important, isn't it???

Also, read four articles in some San Jose, Calif. newspapers that my 'niece' Tiffany wrote. She is quite good with words. Her reporter skills are complete as to all the 'w' questions. I have a feeling she's going to make it big with news reporting. It doesn't hurt that in addition to being very nice and professional, she a beautiful girl, inside and out!

Went last night to the Riverside Casio to see 'The Riders in the Sky' singers. They put on a great act with old western songs and lots of comedy. It was a fun night with Betty, Jerry and Patti.

Oh, had the book review meeting yesterday on Howard Fast. The old boy has found some new readers. Everyone loved him! Some of us didn't like his plots or insinuations, but his character building is so good that you can't help but want to move through the pages with him.

Went to help some friends with a garage sale on Friday, but they didn't need my help. They had big crowds at 7 a.m., but I could get there until 8:45 and they were nearly sold out by then. I stopped on the way home at another garage sale and found a VCR tape of 'Old Yeller'. Haven't seen it in years. My best friend Sharon and I were in a drug store/soda shop in Pacoima, Calif. during our teen years. We were having a soda and Tommy Kirk was sitting at the counter. We were whispering and trying to convine ourselves that it was indeed Tommy Kirk, when he got up and stopped by our table. He confirmed that he was indeed, Tommy Kirk. He smiled and went on his way. He seemed very nice. Turns out he's gay. Anyway, I'm dying to see the movie, so will sign off now

Consider that I have pled off and an being drug, by my desire to see the movie, into the living room. :-) See ya!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Write-Edit-Submit - A Really Good Day

Great feedback on my two stories. In fact, I received suggestions on where to submit them and have already done so. Now, I just sit back and hope. One is even a paying market. Yahoo!

Moved 'Lita' along today. Still have no idea where the story is going, but I guess as long as I put one word after another, I can weave a story somewhere in the jumble.

I finally sent my books back to Xlibris today. They are a disgrace. I hope they refund me or send me some new books. these were printed so badly that I feel bad about charging folks for them.

Had a great day. No commitments. Stayed home all day and wrote, edited and submitted. A perfect day. Oh, and even got to watch an old Law & Order show. Always good!

Also, watched 'Celebrity Apprentice'. Trace Adkins is still on. They got rid of that horrible lady Amarosa, now if they would just get rid of that Piers fellow. Tonight he came in and kissed Trace on the cheek. I thought Trace was going to smack him. I'm shocked that the country boy is still on the show. I think he's handsome, smart and very talented, but I figured they'd do the 'country boy' in very quickly. They are down to five celebs now and Trace is one of them. Go. Go. Go, Trace.

Need some beauty sleep. More tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Faceless Friends

An old friend had disappeared from my writing groups. He always had interesting submissions that made you think and his crits were thought provoking and definitely helped me to learn more and more about this writing thing. I sent him an email a month or so ago and yesterday, I heard from him. He had some family issues, but thinks he'll get back into the group. I'm so glad. I missed him.

Now how do you miss someone you've never met? It is an interesting comment on life these days of computerese. My friend lives in Canada. I have another dear friend who lives in India. They could be sitting in the next booth down at my local Denny's Restaurant and I wouldn't even recognize them, yet I consider them good friends. There isn't a day goes by that I don't thank the universe that I was born in this day and age, in this country and live where I live. I am indeed one lucky person.

As to my writing, moved Lita along. I'm having some trouble about accomplishing a reader friendly ending. My purpose in writing the story is to show how Lita died before my sequel, Deborah's Story, (it is already written)begins. Folks who've read the sequel are disturbed to have lost Lita and want to know what happened to her. But will readers want to read a book that ends with someone dying? I'll have to think about it. The Farrells have always been good to me, so perhaps they'll give me a good way to make it work.

Went to a Republican Women's meeting last night. The speaker was an investigator who worked at bringing down Warren Jeffs, a prophet in the Fundamentalist Later Day Saints religious sect in Colorado City, AZ. It is horrible that men take on thirteen year old girls as second, third and fourth wives. But, I was struck that it was a bit like religious persecution to stop the polygamy. Anyone who reads the bible knows that it has been acceptable for eons. I think that the state should require that the women must be at least eighteen and that they go through a counseling program, alone, so they can speak their minds without the future husband knowing. Then, if they still want to do it. Let it be legal so their children don't qualify for welfare. It's not for me and I think it's wrong, but I don't think I have the right to tell those folks how to worship their God and abide by His laws as stated in their beliefs.

It's late, so will close. Lots to think about tonight. Slan leat!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lots of Writing - Yahoo!

I'm going to ignore the fact that it has been two weeks since I last blogged and just get to writing!

Busy couple of weeks. Finished sprucing up 'Abby' and have it ready to send out. It is damn good and I only hope some editor agrees with me.

Moving 'Lita' along nicely. Poor Dave is having a time of it trying to crit it. He does alright with murder and mayhem, but let a woman have a baby and mention blood and he's queasy. We are so good for each other's writing. I'm getting a taste of realism and he's having to deal with feelings. I think it makes both of our stories better.

Some really good news. My friend Gloria sent a copy of my book 'After the War, Before the Peace' to her daughter in LA who is the hairdresser for a famous actor. I don't want to mention his name here, but he has a TV series on the air these days. Anyway, she gave him the book for his birthday when they quit filming last spring. Her daughter told her the other day, that the actor is reading my book now and doesn't want to discuss it until he finishes it. I am so jazzed. I try to keep it in perspective though by remembering what a published author who taught at our college once told me. A famous editor asked to read his book. The writer just knew it was his big break and told everyone. When he got the call to come get his feedback, the editor's wife answered the door. She gave the writer a sad smile and said, 'Oh, and we did so want to like it.'

Managed to get some crits done for all four writer's groups and even wrote a couple new short stories to submit. I do love the wonderful world of imagination.

I took my blind writer friend over to our local book store last week. She has a new book out and wanted to have a couple available for sale. She is amazing. I feel so bad for her bad luck in going blind. She is upset and angry about it and I can't say as I blame her. Her book is titled 'Vestal Vixen'. I'm only into it about 30 pages, but it is interesting. Not a page turner, but interesting.

Had our local writer's group meet on Saturday. They all felt my 'A Lucky Guy' was a powerful, timely story. But, the feedback was skimpy. One fellow didn't like my choppy sentences. I have mixed emotions about them, too, so will have to think about what he had to say. Then it was our gathering at Denny's. Lots of good talk! Oh, two of the folks who attended my Spring Frenzy workshops showed up at the meeting. And, they both joined the group. Already read a story by one of them and she's definitely going to be an asset to the group.

I finished my Howard Fast book 'The Confession of Joe Cullen'. I hated the premise of the story, but I loved the characters and the way Fast put the story together. We will be discussing him at our meeting on Mar. 8th and so far all I've heard is good things!

On a sad note, last week-end, I went over to Simi Valley to visit my friend Yvonne and to spend some time with her son Joe who is dying of cancer. Only 48 years old. Very sad. She cries a lot, but seems to be holding up. Now, that's three of my old friends that have lost children. Jesus, I don't think I could handle it if anything happened to Rob or Kim. I MUST go first.

Lita is calling, well it's actually Dan, so I must go jot down some lines for him. I will be back! Nite, nite

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday - A New Beginning

Ah, Sunday. A new beginning!! And it was a great day. Good weather, good writing and a no win/no loss trip to the casino!

Started the day by moving 'Lita' along. I like it!

Then worked on cleaning up 'Abby'. Really cutting the words out. Toooo many 'ly' words. I guess those 250 word exercises at the Lake Havasu City Writer's Group really did help me to sharpen up my writing. Makes the story more punchy. And, I'm really liking the characters more and more! Sometimes, I sit back, after a good run of words and ask myself, 'Did I write that?'

Then I reread Dave's 'Drift'. Very graphic segment. Filled with people I don't particulary like or care about. But, that doesn't take away from the authenticity of the dialog or his writing. We meet tomorrow to exchange feedback. He called today to apologize for not coming to Denny's on Saturday. I told him we all missed him. His excuse, he forgot. He was so busy sprucing up 'Tude' to get it ready to send to agents/publishers that he just forgot. I can understand. I have been consumed with 'Abby' lately.

Then, I managed to do a crit for DeskDrawer, Flasher's Dozen and FlashXer. Felt good. Now if I could only find the time to write a story for those groups. Oh well, maybe tomorrow!

Went to the casino across the way for a couple hours. Fun! Met some nice ladies and was able to talk a little about Spring Frenzy which provided me with the opportunity to talk about my books. Marketing, marketing, marketing. But, in this case it was fun.

Busy day tomorrow. I'm off to Sleepyville.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Metaphor vs Simile

Lovely writing day! Started out by putting the final touches on my assignment for my LHCWG meeting today. The assignment was to write a 250 word story around the opening line, 'Nick had considered himself a lucky guy, until now'. I think it came out great at 249 words. I'll know whether it worked or not at the next meeting when I get the crits.

Then, more work on getting 'Abby' ready to send to publishers/agents. I'm having such a good time with it. I forgot how much I like the characters. It's almost like going to a family reunion and hearing about everyone's escapades.

Then it was off to the LHCWG meeting. The business part got bogged down a couple of times, but all in all it went quickly and we got to the crits. The feedback on 'Brothers' was positive, except for some dialog questions. Got into a real discussion over a piece turned in by Grace. She was working on metaphors. I thought it was an interesting exercise on her part. She mixed metaphors and similes, so we discussed the difference. I guess the difference is the use of the word 'like'. For instance, 'She's as mad as a wet hen' is a metaphor. 'She fumed like a wet hen' is a simile. More simply - a simile states that A is like B - a metaphor states that A is B or substitutes B for A.

Then it was off to Denny's. Lois, Vivien, Anne, Margaret and Jo. Small crowd today, but it was interesting. We got to talking about our past love lives. Got a little racy at times, but all in good fun. Then we got to talking about family dynamics and how different families interact. I felt good about me and my five siblings. We're very different, but our core value system is pretty constant - family first. We can argue and disagree, but it never lasts.

Then home to work on 'Lita'. I'm going to have quite a few pages for Dave when we meet on Monday. Still don't know if the current episode is pertinent to the story, but I really like it. I'd hate to cut it.

Then I watched 'Unfaithful' with Gere and Lane. Edgy picture. I've heard that 'Love makes the world go 'round.', but sometimes love 'stops the world'!

Last night we went to a new restaurant in town, 'Mario's'. Their eggplant parmigian is soooo gooood. Also, made reservations to go to the Riverside Casino on 3/8 to see 'Riders in the Sky'. They offer locals in the area two tickets for the price of one, so Betty & Jerry got two and I got two for Patti and me. Looking forward to it!

Well, it's back to 'Abby', so 'So Long Pardner! See ya tomorrow!'

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Updating Abby

GREAT writing day. Moved 'Lita' along and had a hard time stopping after a half hour or so, but there were other things I wanted to get done.

I wanted to get something submitted. I found an agent that requires the entire manuscript as a single file. My 'Abby' is broken down into 11 separate files. So, I decided to bite the bullet and bring all of 'Abby' into one document and reformat it to all single space, left justification. It took all afternoon and evening to get that done and do a line by line edit using some of the crits I've gotten on it over the years. I'm having a ball with it. Love Abby and the gang so it's fun to play with them.

Other than that, I workded three hours at Republican Headquarters. It's still early so I'm going back to 'Abby'. Slan leat!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Forward Story Movement & Submission!!

Started the writing part of my day late, early afternoon as a matter of fact. But, I did move 'Lita' along and I've thought of a way to make this scene featuring Patrick as part of the core story. Hope it works out.

Laughter Loaf Ezine has a new design up at their website with a statement that they will be publishing again, soon. They are going to use my 'National Save the Quill Day' in their next issue. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Got a short story 'The Robbery' sent off to a place called River Walk Journal. They have on-line submissions, but I don't understand how it words to put the story in a tiny square. I did the browse, found my story and did an insert. When you read it, it just shows the title. I'll just have to see what happens. I do like that story and it would be a hoot to see it published!

Also, took a folder over to MCC to their Leisure Studies Director with a cover letter and sample of handouts for workshops that I would be willing to do for them. It would be nice to get some speaking gigs to help market my books.

The reason why I was so late with the writing today was I was enjoying (?) my bi-yearly, fun-filled, time having a mammogram! Yikes, it never gets easier. Then went to the County Assessors office to apply for widow's reduction (I got it) of my property taxes. Should make a big financial difference. Tomorrow I man the Republican Headqtrs Office for a few hours, then have on-line Pioneer Membership Training. Now, that I could do without! Wind is blowing ike mad, so think I'll go curl up in bed. 'til tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hannah, An Ebook!

Just a little in the way of writing today. Moved 'Lita' along with an episode about Jim's son. Is it pertinent to the overall novel? Not sure, but it stayed in line with character development of the Farrell clan and made for an interesting scene. Will I pull it when the novel is finished because it adds nothing to the story? Maybe. At least it was writing and it was fun.

Then, I received a request from an on-line friend to crit an essay she has written that she wants to submit to an Irma Bombeck competition. It was a great use of all the senses. I was honored that Joan thinks my crit would be of help, so I gave it my best shot. I'm not good at critting grammar or POV, I just know what sounds good. I hope I helped her.

Got an email from Virtual Tales today with my royalty statement. They only write checks when your royalty amounts to a certain amount and I missed it by three dollars! So, maybe I'll make the magic check writing mark next quarter. One can only hope. Oh, the editor said he is giving 'Hannah' a final once over, then within a short time, it will be available as an ebook! Yahoo! I'll try again to send info out to potential readers. I'm just glad they are keeping the story up on their site. I have a feeling that it will be 'discovered'; Hannah' is a good story.

Saw a Blues Brother's movie today. In all honesty, I thought I'd dislike it, but found it was pretty good. Don't care for Belushi or Ackroyd, but they did a good job and were not as vulgar as I normally find them to be.

Then it was off to another night of losing bingo. What gives?? Busy day tomorrow so will keep this short. Slan leat, for now!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Writing, Reading, Listening Report

Good writing day!! Moved 'Lita' along with a plausable set-up/hook for the 'on-the-road' section of the novel. I worry about too many characters, but that's what I have to work with amid the Farrell family.

I've been forgetting to mention the book club on Saturday when we discussed the books of Agatha Christie. It was one of our more lively discussions. There were some who adored her work, then there were those of us who didn't much care for her. I felt cheated in the book I read. The killer was a fat, old judge. During the story, this old, doddering, fat man 'managed' to physically kill men and women half his age and size. Among the far-fetching scenarios was how he managed to drop a large marble slab from a second story window onto a former policeman. He also faked his death by putting paint on his forehead, like a gun shot wound, then folks carried his huge body upstairs and put him in bed. I guess the folks weren't too bright because they failed to notice it was paint, not blood, and I guess he managed to hold his breath for the laborious trip being carried from the parlor up a flight of stairs and deposited in his bed. Puuullllleeeesssseeeee. The Christie afficianados said I should have seen the movie because it worked quite well. I guess it's like how a terrible ending Grisham book can be made into a good movie due to good script writers who know how to keep a character true to the character the writer developed, before dropping all the beautiful set-up and just 'ending' the book. I know a writer can change the character of a writer, but the writer must bring the reader along with hints of the change and not just have it happen on the last page. It would be like describing Santa, both in appearance and action, to be a kind, giving spirit, then on Christmas Eve, he decides the long ride in the sleigh gives him allergies, so he hops a plane to the Caribbean and no presents are delivered to the waiting children. Wouldn't work, just like finding out on the last page that the killer is the fat, old judge running around killing folks. My, my I did go on about this! Oh, JOan's treats of pastries and fruit sweetened up the reviews.

Then, tonight I went over to the Writer's Forum at the college. Sue gave a program on writing for children and getting it published. The biggest turn out was the writer's group, but there were some strangers there. She provided some well laid out informations sheets and the program rolled along in an easy to follow logical order. In fact, I found out that profanity and questionable behavior is now acceptable in young adult literature, say for high school level teens. I was surprised. I'll have to tell Dave that his 'Tude' will have a bigger audience by adding that group to any marketing plans.

The middle of the day was spent banking, going to the Republican Women's luncheon meeting, signing off at the DMV on my 5th wheel (I'll miss it) and getting some shopping done at Walgreens and Family $ store. Busy day, that left no time for submitting anything to publishers/agents. Tomorrow for sure!