Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I’m on vacation. The kids are enjoying the lake. I’ve gone horse-back riding; I’ve played golf (with my limited skills) and I’ve had a great time relaxing with my family. But no matter what I do, I find some way to fit my writing into each activity.

This is not something I’ve done intentionally. I’ve even tried to take a real break from writing but all I do is end up thinking about it obsessively. No matter how I try not to do it, I find myself comparing the action in a movie to the action in one of my WIP’s. Or I find myself thinking about one of my characters and how they would hate or enjoy an activity I might be engaged in.

Do these obsessive thoughts make me crazy? I don’t think so. I think it’s probably normal for writers. It’s difficult to suddenly drop a character that’s been with you for years because you want to “do something else for a while.” It almost seems selfish.  Why can’t they tag along, too? Maybe you’ll learn something new about your character that helps with your story.

I’m not saying that you have to be in writer mode 24/7 but if you can go away on vacation and not think about any of your characters, one of your WIP’s, or some aspect of your writing maybe you’re not passionate enough about it. This is my opinion, of course, but it seems the more I write and read – the more I think about these things when I am engaged in activities that have seemingly nothing to do with them.

This has been a good thing: It forces me to see the world differently. I see a potential story-line in the guy in the cabin beside ours, leaning over the railing staring off into space. I see a potential story in the way my oldest daughter’s eyes water and discolor when she comes back from the lake. I watch people as they react to the world around them. I store these reactions for later use when I try to write as descriptively as I can. These are good things.

However, this obsessiveness can have its draw backs. The one area that I find the drawback is my ability to quiet my thoughts and fall asleep. It takes me forever. My brain suddenly goes into rewind and I’m picking over my day and possibly the next… I never fall to sleep immediately unless I’m sick. I’ve been this way so long, it almost seems wrong to count it as a negative. I’m used to it now.

Does your writer brain kick in when you’re doing other activities? Do you find this distracting?



Have a great day. Read a book and laugh

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Sorry, I missed my post day, yesterday. I had a terrible day. It started when I first opened my eyes. Late for work. My mood was instantly foul. I tried to shake it. To snap myself out of it.  Eventually, I gave in to it and sulked to the office.

Once I got there, I decided to glance at my personal email. I shouldn’t have done that. Sitting there, nice and innocent, was a message from Facebook stating that I’d been tagged in a post. Oh, wow. Some writerly wisdom, perhaps. Or an adorable pic of one of my nieces or nephews to lift my sprits.

Nope. It was a message from a family member regarding another family member… not the good kind of info either. But not this person’s fault for sharing it this way – this was her method of reaching most of the family. I understood. But my attitude caught the brunt of it. Oh, then one of my co-workers called in and guess who was stuck doing some of this person’s work!

I tried to shake loose my tude that was down in the dumps. I couldn’t. I eventually gave in to my bitterness. I had to bite my tongue with a few of my customers. Maybe I had a target on my head that said “annoy her here.”  Then at the end of the day, I thought my mood would lift.

It did. But just in time for me to get home and learn that the wi-fi in the house was on the fritz and was screwing up all our cells, the cable, and the house phone. Grrrr!!!! Yeah, AT&T man, you didn’t fix it. I was thoroughly pissed now. And I hate writing at length on my laptop. I only use the laptop when I’m away from my PC. *Do I sound whiny enough?*

My day had been horrible! Nothing went right. And just as I was crawling in to bed, a thought hit me. I had twitted first thing that morning that I had sat myself a writing quota for the week. I hadn’t even been able to write one sentence – let alone get anywhere near what I was supposed to write.

I know you’re tired of me moaning and complaining…I’m off my soapbox. I just needed to vent. Today, I might add, was no where near as terrible as yesterday. How has your week been so far?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I’ve been so busy today that I barely have time for a post. So…I thought I’d recycle one that I especially thought was helpful from a few years ago – originally posted 9/19/11. I hope you find something here that you can use.


I’m almost finished with my massive, colossal, humongous, edit. These are the rules I live by when editing. Of course, this list isn't all encompassing. There’s a ton of other great tips at your fingertips. So here, I’ve listed only 25 of the ones I can’t forget:

1.  Don’t over do it on the adjectives. But a few sprinkled throughout the MS is fine.

2.  Avoid starting a sentence with – There are/was/is/

3.  Punctuation and grammar are important.

4.  Avoid starting a sentence with – It is/was

5.   You can delete most (not all) instances of the word “that” from your manuscript without changing the meaning of the sentence.

6.  Don’t start all the sentences with the same first word. Can you say boring.  

7.  Structure your sentences so their not all the same length.

8.   Use a comma before “which” in a sentence with a non-restrictive clause (the information could be removed without compromising understanding).

9.  You do not use a comma before “that” in a sentence with a restrictive clause (the information is vital to the meaning).

10.  Keep the dialogue tags to a minimum. Let the character’s personality be the tag.

11.  Show the reader – don’t tell them.

12.  If you can say it properly in 4 words, don’t say it in 10.

13.  Subjects must agree with verbs, pronouns, and objects.

14.  Use the active form of verbs.

15.  Choose your nouns wisely. A carefully selected noun will not need an adjective.

16.   Watch out for overused words: saw/see, can/could, then, just, look, felt …

17.  Don’t make your villain a wuss. Make him as evil and diabolical as you can.

18.  Don’t start your fantasy world off without first establishing the normal world for your protagonist.

19.  If you’re going first person point of view (especially for YA) go deep.

20.  Cut back on the use of the word “was” and “ing” ending words – it slows the pace of the story.

21.  If you’re writing a YA/MG story and your MS is 120,000 words after the revisions and editing- you probably have an issue.

22.  Don’t go it alone – get a Critique Partner and a Beta Reader (more than one if you can).

23.  Pacing is the key to keeping your audience up all night reading.

24.  Do research your setting if you’re writing contemporary realistic fiction.

25.  Not one tip on this page is guaranteed to make your MS a best-seller. But they’ll enhance what you’ve written and make the possibility of a best-seller more a reality than a dream. And if you haven’t already figured it out, some of these rules can be broken and your story still be a best-seller. The key is knowing when to break the rules.

Do you have a writing tip? We’d love to hear it. Please share your tip in the comments.


Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!  


Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I’ve been on the zombie thing for a while.
I’ve read Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland series, watched Zombieland with Woody Harrelson, I am Legend with Will Smith and Warm Bodies. I really enjoyed Amanda Hockings books and Zombieland but I was a little disappointed with I am Legend and Warm Bodies. Not that I didn’t like both movies. The concepts were brilliant but I envisioned something…different. They fell a little flat for me.
So when I saw the preview for World War Z, I wasn’t certain I would see it. Then I kicked myself and said “what the heck you thinking? You love Brad Pitt.”
So guess what I did this past weekend?
Yep! My family and I went to see World War Z. It didn’t disappoint. As always, I’m not giving anything away, but I loved the story and the fast moving zombies (kinda like, I am Legend). It had the right balance of action/suspense and drama. It even had a few comical moments. I highly recommend this movie for anyone wanting to catch a great story on the big screen. The acting, not just by Pitt, was solid also, and there are some scenes that are visual masterpieces. I sat in the theatre in awe.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!