Saturday, October 31, 2009

Waiting-Waiting-And More Waiting

Oct. 31, 2009

Very slow day for writing. About the only thing I did that had anything to do with my writing was my trip to the Bullhead City Smart & Final store to pick up some candy and peanuts for my book signings on 11/5 and 11/8. I think having treats may bring some folks over to at least look and then when they take the peanuts, they get a sticker with a promo for me and my books.

I listened to the full hour of my interview with Newoka. She really does a nice job of leading her interviewees along. She used my website and led me along so I could discuss most aspects of my writing like the books and the classes. My voice didn't sound as bad as I thought it would, a little hoarse, but not bad.

Not a word from any of the contacts I made at the SSA conference, except for Ellen at Champagne acknowledging receipt of 'Regardless'. Still no word on how 'Finding More Than Gold' is moving along. I'm getting a little nervous.

Watched 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' tonight. It's still funny and very clever. I love that actress Zooey Deschanel. She has beautiful eyes.

I guess my theme for the day is waiting, waiting to hear about my submissions, waiting and hoping my new supply of books arrive before my book signings. Waiting-not my strong suit. So, I find I have to agree with Harvard Business Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter who said, "To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blog Talk Radio - Newoka LaShelle

Oct. 30, 2009

More research! More WWII! Things have changed so much in just a half century in so many way - phones, planes, news media. 'Stephen's Boys' is moving along as to people and places, but I'm anxious to get back to feelings.

Had dinner last night with Dave and Cindie. Cindie gave Dave feed back on his novel 'Popcorn Skies'. She made some good points. We also talked a little about our publicity strategies. She is going to a library conference in Phoenix in December. She said her husband Doug liked my approach to potential customers when we were at Lois' book signing, so they would like me to go to the conference with them. That's good to hear, but it's always easier talking about someone else's work than your own.

Today was really exciting. I had another blog talk radio interview with Newoka LaShelle on Web Mistress Radio. It was an hour and she is a great host who researches the work of the person she is going to interview and asks great questions that help to keep the chatter pertinent and ongoing. I spoke about my three books, my classes, the importance of grammar, the value of critiquing, electronic reading devices and the possibility of audio books. I didn't get any call ins, but Neoka said she could see folks logged in and listening. Virtual Tales was very kind to me when they heard about the radio interview. They are offering 4 chapters of 'Hannah' for free and 40% off on the price of the whole book. That was super of them.

Talking with Newoka always motivates me and makes me feel good about myself. So, here's my quote for today. "Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent." Sophia Loren

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Research and Assuming

Oct. 28, 2009

Been a busy couple of days. Sunday was a total day of relaxation. Got up late, read the paper and moved 'Stephen's Boys' forward (still soooooo much research about WWII in the Pacific). Around noon I went with a friend to visit a mutual friend who had just gotten out of an assisted living facility after having some surgery. She's doing fine, but she insisted on showing us her scar with its 'buttons'. Not a pretty picture. Then it was off to the movies.

Saw 'Law Abiding Citizen' staring Gerard Butler, my new favorite actor. The premise was good and you wanted to see him get his justice, but the character he played went overboard with violence and actually became what he was fighting. Way too violent for me.

Then went to the casino, not profitable, and finished off the day with some friends at a karaoke bar. All in all, a relaxing day.

Monday was my bi-weekly crit session with Dave. His fiction based on fact short stories about the San Bernardino area were well written this time. He developed some quirky characters that seem to be unique to the area. He needs to gather them together for an anthology of the area. He had some trouble with the male reactions in the segment of 'Stephen's Boys' he reviewed. His biggest problem was with the mother, on her deathbed, trying to make her adopted son come to terms with the fact that his birth father gave him to his adopted parents because he loved the boy and wanted him to have familial love and security, not because he didn't love him. Dave couldn't see a mother doing this. Of course, I disagree, but I'll have others review it, just in case he's right.

On Tuesday, I started the day by moving 'Stephen's Boys' forward (more research than writing). The coordinator for the WNEA book signing I have set for 11/5 called and asked if I would donate a copy of 'After the War, Before the Peace' to their silent auction. I was flattered and of course gave them one and also a copy of 'Hannah'. I told her to make it a package deal. Now, I can only hope they sell!

Talked with Denise Casino who is working on publicity for me. She gave me some great hints about placement at Amazon and about getting involved in more on-line groups. Hope it works.

I got an email from the publisher I met at the SSA conference in Tucson that had asked for a copy of 'Regardless'. She remembered our conversation at the luncheon and felt that my story was unique. She wanted me to know that she received the book and has forwarded it onto the submission team for review. My concern is that if it goes to print, will my followers who love my westerns be receptive to a gay sci-fi novel. A couple of friends feels that there is a call for that sort of material here in town and that I might be able to snag some new readers. Wouldn't that be nice. Guess one shouldn't assume things, but be receptive and daring enough to push the envelope.

Didn't get to work on 'Stephen's Boys' today and right now my brain isn't in 'creative' mode. Guess Josh will have to tread water for another couple of days.

So, I'll leave you with this quote about assuming things. "Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also." Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Writer Friends

Oct. 24, 2009

Yesterday was a blast. Started out with breakfast with Mike, the moderator of my on-line writer's group FlashXer. He had been doing a photo shoot up in Laughlin and stopped here in Havasu on his way home. His is enjoying being the moderator and being able to inspire and encourage the newbies on the site.

Then it was off to lunch with Jude. She is a friend of a friend and has agreed to 'edit' my first sequel to 'After the War, Before the Peace'. She found ATW,BTP to be a page turner and I liked hearing that. Turns out we are very much alike in our past and in the things we like. I told her that I'm just looking for obvious typos and general impression of the believability of the plot.

Then it was supper with Cindie where we shared our posters. Hers is so professional looking. I also told her about the Nov. 15th book fair in Phoenix. I hope she's interested enough to go. I think it would be a great opportunity for her to get some speaking engagements, which helps to sell books.

Today was my TelecomPioneers bunco day. Had a good turnout and I shamelessly promoted my book and the book signing date of 11/8 at Hastings.

I moved 'Stephen's Boys' forward yesterday, but I'm too mentally exhausted to work on it today. Still talking lots of research time for medical conditions, clothing and ocean conditions. I don't want to get too technical, but I want my reader to feel the scene with accuracy.

Tired tonight, so this is going to be brief. My quote tonight has to do with promoting yourself and your work. "The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication." Cecil B. DeMille

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Parties & Publishing

Oct. 22, 2009

Lots going on today. Moved 'Stephen's boys' ahead. Still had to lots of research on serious leg wounds. Talked with Lois, a nurse, and Dave, a former cop, who talked about the seriousness of an aortal leg wounds. They suggested making it a muscle wound. I haven't mentioned a specific part of the leg as yet, so I'll have to ponder my options.

Had our writer's group Halloween party over at my clubhouse. It was fun. Lots of food, lots of great stories and a funny skit performed by Donna, Vivien, Gaby, Beverly and Vern. Lots of work on all their parts. Margaret made it back to town for the party. She came in disguised and almost no one recognized her.

Talked with Denise tonight about publicizing my work. She gave me lots of advice about how to work She also introduced me to a new network that gives you access to lots of socializing networks. I'm now an official Tweeter! At least I have an account. Now, if I just knew how to use it. Denise updated my website. Looks good, but I need to do more.

So it's the dang marketing again. I guess Demosthenes said it best. "Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Oct. 21, 2009

Slow day for writing. But, I did move 'Stephen's Boys' along. One of the main characters is in the process of losing his leg and it makes me sad. It is necessary to the story line, still I feel bad for Josh.

No word on my submissions or any status on the book due out in Jan. I guess no news is good news. I would really love for them to accept 'A Meandering Tale' as so many of my fans of 'After the War, Before the Peace' ask for a continuation of the Farrell family. Also no word from the folks I met at the SSA conference. Good thing I write for pleasure and not for publication. Well, I do write for publication, but my real love is just getting the words on paper, moving the characters along.

Got word from Mike, the moderator on one of my on-line writer's group. He is in Laughlin and will be coming thru Havasu this Friday, so we''re going to have lunch. He's an interesting man and we always have a good time visiting and talking about writing.

Got my Raymond Chandler book 'The Lady in the Lake'. I'm looking forward to reading this old master of mystery. I wasn't crazy about Parker, Spillane or Gardner, but I'm keeping an open mind and have high hopes.

So today I leave you with some thoughts on waiting, "There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting." J.G. Holland

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free Editing & Critique Values

Oct. 20, 2009

I have a fan who has loaned my book to several friends. One of her friends offered to read my sequels to 'After the War, Before the Peace' to check for character treatment and believable plot twists. She contacted me yesterday via my webpage. We are meeting on Friday. I told her I can't pay her anything for editorial suggestions right now, but she is still more than willing. Am I lucky or what!

I visited with Alex my computer repair tech yesterday. He now has a photography business. My four Goddesses crit group is thinking of doing some publicity by using pictures of the persona of characters in our books. Cindie will be a spy, JOan a biker, Lois a cop/Indian and me a cowgirl. I got prices and next time we get together we'll make a decision.

Moved 'Stephen's Boys' along again today. Still doing a lot of research as to terms and technology that would be used in 1945. Also how salt water affects a severe open wound.

I've been getting feedback on the messages I left with my writing groups about leaving them. Of course I'm flattered at their nice comments, but what surprises me is their remarks about the value of my crits. I don't consider myself good at critiquing. I just know what I like and what sounds good. Also, I need a hook, conflict and a believable resolution. If that's valuable, I'm glad. I'll sure miss those writers, too. Their crits certainly helped me to to fine tune my writing.

Had dinner with Cindie tonight. She has some good news as to how well her books are being accepted. One school librarian is putting several of her books in her library. That is certainly good news.

Today, I leave you with some words on criticism. "Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs." Christopher Hampton

Monday, October 19, 2009

Research, Support and website updating.

Oct. 19, 2009

So sad. I resigned from two of my writing groups today, FlashXer and DeskDrawer. The moderators said that I would always be welcomed back, so I haven't burnt bridges. I know I'll miss both the prompts and the often clever and intriguing subs from the talented array of writers on both sites.

Moved 'Stephen's Boys' forward. Lots of research about the bombing in the Pacific in 1945. Thank goodness for the Internet.

Talked with Lois today and she said she sold quite a few copies of her book at her Sunday booksigning. Several folks from the local writer's group showed up after I left for lunch with Cindie and Doug.

Still no change on my website. Guess I'll drop Denise a line tomorrow. Also no word from the agents/publishers who requested segments of my unpublished novels when we met at the SSA conference in Tucson. And, so I wait.

I leave you now, with some words that seems to say it all, from the heart of all us Pulizer Prize winners. "Calendars are for careful people, not passionate ones." Chuck Sigars

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Crits, Motivation & Blog Radio

Oct. 17, 2009

Today was one of my favorite days of the month, my local writer's club met today. Always a pleasure to sit among such a talented group of people. And today, I got a good crit on my last submission. Comments were made about how good I am at getting into the mind of young people and making the situations and dialog believable. One of our new members commented that even tho she didn't see my name as the author, by the end of the first page she knew it was my work because of my unique style and easy flowing dialogue. Nice to hear. I also received some good nits as to ways the piece could be improved. Things like using too many 'she' vs using a proper name. A little too much show and not enough tell in some places. All valid points.

Then it was off to Denny's for the 'real' meeting. Nine of us showed up and as always the conversations were varied and interesting. Anne commented that she is glad to be back in town because the group motivates her to write. I agree. We seem to feed off each other. And, the young waiter Jeffreez and waitress Shawna treat us so very good. When I hit the NY Times best seller list, I'm going to do something special for them.

Oh, heard from Newoka LaShelle who moderates a blog radio show. I did her show last spring and she has asked me to do another one. Of course, I said yes. So, I'm scheduled for Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. EST. She asked great questions last time that allowed me to promote my book quite well, So, I'm really looking forward to round two. I think blog radio is getting more popular. When I had my interview with the gal in England, we actually had folks call in to ask questions. I hope this happen on Oct. 30th.

Tomorrow I'm going to help my friend Lois at her book signing for 'Finding Angela' at Hastings Books & Music Store. I'm so excited for her. I hope she sells a bunch. It's a dang good story. And, it's PG rated!

Time for Law & Order, so I'll sign off with this bit of advice for all writers who love to write, but balk at the administrative part of the process, like submitting our work to publishers and then marketing our books when they make it to print. "Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly." Thomas H. Huxley

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recognizing 'The End' Of Your Story

October 16, 2009

Worked on 'Stephen's Boys' this am and I'm enjoying both the research necessary for the 1945 time frame and the new plot twist. It's so nice to enjoy getting together with the Farrell family.

Had my critique session with Dave today. I had three of his short stories to crit. The first one was about an old cowboy who falls in love with a married woman. It was nicely done with effective character sketches, scene setting and believable dialog. He just didn't realize when he 'ended' the piece and went on to tell the reader all about what happened to folks who were only very peripheral to the story. I hope he changes it, because its a great story and he could probably get it published. The second one was a thinly disguised story of my infatuation with a younger man. I told him that if he gets it published, he owes me royalties. The last one was about a pedophile priest. Well done and probably marketable, but I got a different take on the main character. Dave thought he wrote about an arrogant character, but I found him sad and conflicted. I always think it's interesting to see how my readers interpret my stories. Frequently, they see something that I never intended.

Dave's crit of the 20 pages of 'Stephen's Boys' provided some great opportunities for improvement, but overall he doesn't like the story. The men are too soft and the women too strong and my death scenes seem unreal to him. He did say that he thinks women will like it.

I think it's so beneficial to both of us in reading something that ordinarily we'd never read. We come at the critiquing from different angles. What we decided today that men, for the most part, relate to woman through physical stimulation whereas women use their brain to relate to men. It's an over simplification, but probably true.

Still no word on my submissions, so more wait, wait, wait.

I leave you with this quote from Billy Crystal who succinctly summed up what Dave and I were discussing today. "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Waiting, Marketing and Belief in Self

Oct. 15, 2009

I'm really enjoying the new plot line of 'Stephen's Boys'. Worked on it again today. Doing some research on telegrams sent during the second world war, I came upon an actual copy of a telegram that was sent to notify a family that their son had been killed in action. It was quite moving, very sad. At the end of the telegram the family was asked to not mention the ship their son was assigned to or what base he was posted to as that info could be beneficial to the enemy. I can't even imagine the pain a telegram like that could bring.

I sent a query to one of the publishers that is evaluating one of my novels. They said I should hear from them within 90 days. Oct. 8 was 90 days. They sent me a reply saying it could be up to 120 days. So more waiting.

Had a meeting tonight with three of my Four Goddesses critique group. We are trying to come up with some marketing plans for our books. So far, we've decided we are going to create a poster with outlines of the four of us, a booth at the swap and a web site. It's exciting! On the poster we'll have pictures of the four of us dressed like characters in our novels. Cindie as a spy, JOan as a biker, Lois as a cop/Indian and me as a cowgirl. We'll make the NY Times best seller list yet!!!

So, my quote for today has to do with believing in yourself. "The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waiting, Marketing & Attitude

October 14, 2009

Another slow day for writing. But, I did move 'Stephen's Boys' forward, so I can sleep tonight.

Haven't heard a word from the agents and publishers I met at the SSA conference. Don't know if that's good or bad news. Also, Haven't heard from Awe-Struck about 'Finding More than Gold". I have no appointments tomorrow until evening so I think I'll be sending out some query letters.

Cindie posted info on her book 'Ask Me No Questions' to the Lake Havasu City Writer's group. She's sold a dozen already. Yahoo! I went to Amazon to check it out and see about writing a review, but it still isn't there. But, I did find Lois' "Finding Angela", so I'll write some reviews tomorrow. It's so exciting to have all this publishing going on with my friends. Tomorrow night the Four Goddesses are meeting to discuss some joint marketing strategies. I think it's a good thing because we each try to motivate each other.

So, my quote for tonight has to do with attitude. An can do attitude can make all the difference between success and failure. Patricia Neal said it best when she was recovering from her stroke. "A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Oct. 13, 2009

Not much in the way of writing info today. I did bring my 'Stephen's Boys' forward. The new plot is working well.

I need to start reading my Raymond Chandler book for the next book club. I do not like crime/mystery stories so I'm not looking forward to it. But, the book club steered me onto Evanovich or Braun and I do enjoy them.

I received a call from Xlibris today. They gave me another offer to market my book. Of course, it would only cost me about $500. I told the rep that they need to rethink what they offer their authors. My other publishers do some marketing, but don't charge me for it. Like I told the rep, the marketing is primarily the author's responsibility, but help from the publisher would really help. I made my standard offer of "Give me the opportunity of presentation at a conference and I would give them 75% of any sales I make." He agreed it sounded good, but of course he could not make such an offer.

Marketing - The bane of this writing profession and so I leave you with this. "If you don't risk anything you risk even more." Erica Jong

Monday, October 12, 2009

Plots, Research and a Success Story

Oct. 12, 2009

Worked on my latest novel this morning. Unfortunately, it was very little writing and a lot of research about WWII, especially what the army and the army air corp was doing in early 1945. Also, had a brilliant, well I think it was brilliant, plot shift as to the survival of one of the main characters. I believe it's going to make a better ending. I'm excited about the book again. I knew my old plot movement wasn't really working when I was having trouble making things happen. That's what makes writing so much fun!

I finally finished 'Dream Country' by Luanne Rice. If she had one more unimportant character in her story, I believe I would have screamed. I did finish it, but I certainly don't recommend it. She is a good technical writer and the book had possibilities, but there was too much cliche and preaching for my taste.

Went to a Republican Women's meeting today and ended up with an offer to speak before a local civic group. They want me to talk about the entrance into the world of writing and how it takes more than the memory of a high school English teacher that said you had some writing talent. They want to know about what a writer owes a reader and how much grammar expertise is enough. Should be fun and it's another opportunity to sell my books.

Got a call from a friend who went to the SSA conference in Tucson with me. He said his brother-in-law Don sent his sci-fi manuscript to a publisher, at their request. He got word today that they will publish his book. Yahoo!!! I sent my sci-fi novel 'Regardless' to them, too. Because of the gay issue, I not sure it's there cup of tea. They are primarily a CD book producer, but they do provide print books, too. I'm happy for Don. Getting that first book published is a great thrill.

So, night I want to share these words from George Orwell regarding getting started in this crazy world of fiction writing.

"A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shakespeare and Publicity

Oct. 11, 2009

Shakespeare day! The AZ Shakespeare troupe of four actors put on 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The actors played multiple roles through various changes in headgear and facial props. It was delightful. The actors had a lot of enthusiasm and because the performance was right on the grass over at Rotary Park here in Lake Havasu City. The audience was frequently in the scenes as the actors wandered amidst us. The facial expressions on the actors said as much as their words, so even if you didn't quite understand the verbiage, you knew exactly what was going on. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Didn't get much writing done today. But I did do some research and found out that U.S. planes attacked Japan in Feb. 1945 and that there were many soldiers involved in the invasion of Luzon. So, I now know how Josh and Andy will meet their fates. I like the writing better than the research, but I know it needs to be done.

Talked with Cindie today and she and Doug have come up with some great ideas about publicity by using the '4 Goddesses' theme. I think they're on to something. I still need to get down to see Peter at Hastings about a book signing.

So, I'll leave you tonight with this thought from William Shakespeare. "Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Characters/Plots Are Only Part of the Process

Oct. 10, 2009

Book club day. Small turnout. Only six folks showed up to discuss Luanne Rice. Overall it was agreed she is a plot and character driven author. Edna loved her book Beach Girls so much so that she ordered 3 more from her audio store and enjoyed them too. I read Dream County. It's about 500 pages and I'm only on page 260, but she hasn't really engaged me yet. I don't like any of the characters. I find them stilted and stereotyped. It seems that she opens many of her books with a killed/dying/lost child. Still, when the vote was taken, half said they'd read her again and half said no. Now, it's on to Raymond Chandler for next month.

Cindie Miller brought me a signed copy of her hot off the press new book Ask Me No Questions. It's available from Amazon. Check it out. It's a fiction based on fact story or spousal abuse. It's a page turner.

Cindie and I went to lunch and discussed the marketing of our books. She feels strongly about doing something with The Four Goddesses title that we've given our Denny's Thursday night critique group. We all had a book released this year and are looking for ways to market them. She's coming up with some great ideas and I for one am all in favor of it.

She invited me to dinner tonight for some abalone. Never having tasted it before, I jumped at the chance. It was delicious. Had a nice visit with her and her husband, Doug. He is so very supportive of her. You can see how much they adore each other just by looking in their eyes. Oh, I embarrassed myself by thinking abalone was tuna. Later, I remembered I was thinking about albacore. Duhhhh! Anyway, it was fun experiencing another first!

Need to check with Awe-Struck publishing about the schedule for Finding More Than Gold. It's supposed to come out in Jan. and I haven't seen the final galley yet. Also, it's been three months since I submitted A Meandering Road to them for consideration. I haven't received a rejection so that in itself is a good thing, I guess.

Tomorrow, Cindie and I are going to see Shakespeare in the Park. An Arizona theatrical group are going to perform Much Ado About Nothing. I've seen it several times at various places, so I'm anxious to see how they are going to cover it.

So, guess I'll leave you with a Shakespearean quote today. It is something that all of us who are serious about our writing, should remind ourselves of from time to time.

"We know what we are, but not what we may be." William Shakespeare

Friday, October 09, 2009

Some Possibilities and a Loss

Oct. 9, 2009

Just sent off an inquiry to a publisher I met at the SSA conference in Tucson last month. Earlier in the week, I sent inquiries to two agents I also met at the conference. Now it's sit and wait. I still haven't heard from another publisher regarding a proposal I sent to them in July. One of their editors who has a very vocal Facebook presence has been talking about the many rejections her company has been sending out and I haven't heard back. So, is no news good news? One can only hope!

Still working on 'Stephen's Boys'. Had the plot take a wild turn and I'm not sure how to connect it with the ending. A friend suggested I write the end, then blend it backwards to match the wild turn. She made me remember that I did that with one of my first novels and it worked beautifully, so I'll give it a try.

Went to the SSA Wrangling With Writing Conference in Tucson last month. Two fellow writers, Dave and Penny, attended it with me. There were a couple of good workshops and I did get to sell some books. The SSA members worked hard at bringing off an effective, worthwhile conference, but having attended some great ones in the past, this one was mild. I didn't come away with the wild enthusiasm or renewed motivation that I've experienced in the past. One of the main workshop moderators at past conferences was missing and his presence was sorely felt. I did have three requests for samples of my work from agents/publisher and have already sent them off. Now it's a matter of waiting.

I ran into some friends at the post office yesterday. One of them, Jim, was on the committee that organized the first book that found my writing worthy of publication. I told him about my published novels and the one due in Jan. He smiled and said he knew I'd make good. He said of all the submissions for that first anthology, he told the other members of the selection committee that no matter who else they chose, my was definitely going to be in the book. Made my day. Made me smile. One gets so many rejections that those little moments/comments can really warm the heart.

I'm on the schedule for the 2010 Lake Havasu Spring Frenzy week. They have me slated for classes in Short Story Writing and Journaling. It's always fun. And this year, they are giving me an hour and a half for each class. Yahoo!

Heard some sad news this week. I belong to an on-line writer's group called FlashXer. It has been moderated for many years by an author named Irv Pliskin. He has been in ill health for some time and he passed away Oct. 6. He had served on a bomber plane in WWII and was a POW in Germany for awhile. He wrote many stories about his time in the war and in the prison camp. Years ago, when I needed to know about the flash fiction genre, for a class I'd been asked to conduct at the local community college, Irv welcomed me to the FlashXer group and under his tutelage of prompts and critiques, he helped me refine my writing techniques. I owe 'Hannah' and its opening 'with a cloud of dust in the distance' to one of his prompts. I will surely miss him.

Tomorrow is my book club and the author of the month is Luanne Rice. I'm reading her 'Dream Country'. I'm on page 130 and she has yet to engage me in the story nor do I like/relate to any of her characters. I'm looking forward to hearing what the folks in the club have to say about this author.

I was given the opportunity to list my books in a Christmas catalog that is to be mailed out to a million plus readers. I included 'After the War, Before the Peace' and 'Hannah'. I also included 'Finding More Than Gold' that is due out in January. Cost was $69. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Got to sign off now and go back to reading the book. I'll leave you with this author quote. I think it is excellent advice for all of us writers who are prone to edit, then edit, then edit and yet edit our work again and again.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could." -
Ralph Waldo Emerson