Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blog Hop

So.... it's been a while.  A ton of life events have happened, but more on those in a different post.

I'm going to blog more frequently and my first post back is a Blog Hop that Claudia Shelton asked me to participate in. So check out her writing and soon to be released novel at

The next part of this Blog Hop is to answer 4 questions about my writing process. 

1) What am I working on? 

Currently editing the second Cece Cavanaugh cozy mystery. The first novel left Cece.... you'll have to read it to find out.  And the second one picks up... same deal, read the boo and you will find out.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s baby-boomer lit with an attitude. My characters have fun, but learn life lessons along the way. Plus they drink good wine. My main characters always learn a lesson and help others along the way.

3) Why do I write what I do? 

I am a "write what you read" kind of girl. the two main areas where I read are mystery and women's fiction.  I'll throw in a historical now and again. And the kid in me still enjoys a good YA novel. I have yet to write a YA, but who knows. Maybe one of these days. 

4) How does your writing process work? 

Good question. I work best after 7 p.m. Less distractions. When I start a novel, I begin with a pretty specific outline, though I use it as a guideline and don’t let myself become boxed in. If, during my writing, my character changes or something else needs to happen, then I go with the flow. If minor characters want a major role, I listen to my characters. After all, it’s their story.

I write a quick rough draft, then edit, edit, edit. Mostly I have a tendency to not edit deep enough, then spend additional time getting down to the nitty gritty and really tightening the story.

That's it about me, now go and check out these ladies who are amazing writers with great stories. They'll be posting to their blog next Monday,  March 24.

Jan Morrill’s historical fiction, The Red Kimono, (University of Arkansas Press, February 2013), as well as many of her short stories, reflect memories of growing up in a multicultural, multi-religious, multi-political environment. 


Tricia Grissom writes for herself, for the web, and for her cats - who need food. She's been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids.  She wrote an ebook about her liquid dieting experience that is now available on Amazon.

 My book: My Liquid Diet
My blog: 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Open Mic???

photo courtesy of mrgilles

I know this post is probably going to draw some backlash, but that's never stopped me in the past, so.... have at it.

I have a dirty little secret. It keeps me awake at night, and I hate myself for it. I've tried to change, to be more open, but I just can't do it.

I hate open mic events.

You know what they are, right? Usually a coffee house setting, where people sit around and drink java or cappuccino or hoity toity tea and listen as amateur poets, writers or singers stand on stage or sit on a stool and perform. Reminds me a bit of Maynard G. Krebs in Dobie Gillis. Okay, you may be too young to get the reference, but it worked for me.

The thought of sitting in an audience listening to an amateur read his or her work sends shivers up my spine. I'd rather have a root canal. And I've had a root canal, so I know of what I speak.

I believe open mic nights are the literary equivalent of Karaoke, only without the alcohol. I kind of even understand Karaoke. Enough rum and Coke and I might even be persuaded to get out and belt out my version of I've Got You Babe. On second thought, I don't think there is enought rum in the whole world to make me to that.

There are generally a couple of types of people who read at those sorts of functions. The ones whose work is boooooring and they just like to hear themselves talk. So we, the audience, sit and twiddle our thumbs and pray for a power outage.

Then you get the ones whose work is really good, but they can't read worth a damn. Why ruin a good story by reading it aloud. Just pass me the paper and let me read it. That's how I absorb best anyway. If you are an open miker, I'm sorry, but it's just my opinion

Blame it on my childhood if you like, maybe my mother read to me too much or didn't read enough. Or school, blame it on my teachers and professors for subjecting me to hours of lecture. Or just blame it on me. I hate to be read to.

I love words. I love paper and I especially love words on paper.

So what do you think of Karaoke Open Mic events?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Signing

Photo by Carrie Schechter Studios

Laura Bradford will be at Main Street Books in St. Charles, Missouri on Saturday, March 6th signing her books SEW DEADLY (Elizabeth Lynn Casey) and KAYLA'S DADDY (Laura Bradford). The event time is 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Laura spoke at Saturday Writers a few years back and did a great job talking about book promotion. I was impressed with Laura's 'go-get-em' attitude, and it looks like it's really paying off for her.

If you haven't read one of Laura's books, it's your loss, but it's not too late. Please show your support for this fantastic author and stop by Main Street Books for one or both of her books.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Warren Adler Short Story Writing Contest

TRIVIA FOR THE DAY: Did you know the first Groundhog Day was celebrated in 1887? Neither did I.


Did you also know it's time for the Fifth Annual Warren Adler Short Story Writing Contest. First prize is $1000. Entry fee is $15.

Check out this link for details. There are also links to previous winning entries, so you can scope out the competition.

Check out this link for Warren Adler's bio.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Social Networking Class for Writers

photo courtesy of Margo L. Dill
logos courtesy of WOW!

My friend Margo L. Dill is teaching a 4-week course on social networking for authors. Learn how Twitter, Facebook and other techno stuff can help you expand your social network. Margo will show you how to spend a few minutes a day using these tools and others to get great results.

Margo is an excellent teacher, writer, conference planner and all around great person. She is also the social media manager for WOW! Women on Writing.


START DATE: Monday, February 22, 2010

DURATION: 4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach writers how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites such as Shelfari or Jacket Flap (students’ choice) to network; to build a following of fans; to start working on a brand/image; and to promote books, articles, magazines, and blogs. Instead of using Facebook and Twitter to write about your fabulous dinner or disastrous day at the grocery store, you will learn to sell yourself and your writing!


Week One: Facebook: We will discuss how to use Facebook to promote yourself and your writing. We will talk about posting links to your work, using status updates to promote writing, joining Facebook groups for writers, and even starting a Fan page for yourself or your work.

Assignment: Create a Facebook profile if you haven’t yet, complete your Facebook profile, make it scream writer!, join at least one writing group and become active!, and start promoting your writing with your Facebook page.

Week Two: Twitter: My favorite marketing tool ever is Twitter. Twitter can be used in so many ways as a writer—to promote your work, to follow writers and editors who provide useful information, to find other writers for support, and to discuss writing. You will learn how to do all of this and more on Twitter. You will be introduced to two Twitter tools—Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, and you will register yourself with Twellow.

Assignment: Create a Twitter profile if you haven’t yet. Make your Twitter profile scream writer! Start tweeting. Participate in a writers’ chat. Register with Twellow. Try out Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

Week Three: LinkedIn: This week, we will talk about how to use LinkedIn as a writer. LinkedIn seems harder for people to figure out and use to market yourself, but there are ways through your status updates, by checking out your contacts’ contacts, by recommending others and having them recommend you, and by participating in LinkedIn groups.

Assignments: Create a LinkedIn profile and/or complete yours. Make it scream writer! Join a few LinkedIn groups. Find more contacts. Check out your contacts’ contacts and link to them.

Week Four: More Social Networking and Evaluation: The content in this week’s class will depend on the participants in the class. The instructor will do a survey to find out what people are most interested in learning about and trying out with guidance: Shelfari? JacketFlap? Digg? Students will also fill out a class evaluation.

Assignments: Try out one or two of the social networks that classmates are most interested in. Fill out the class evaluation.

COST: $100, which will include four weeks of instruction on how to use social networking as an author and one critique for each student of a social networking profile page—student’s choice.

To sign up: (scroll to the bottom of the class listing)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Time to Think About Goals...

photo courtesy of Tim Zim

Goal is a dirty word, I know. When I worked, my stomach would tighten, my eyes narrow and my heart palpitate when my boss said that four-letter word. Goal. Hrrrmmmp. Goal. Then he/or she would proceed to give me a laundry list of items I was to accomplish in the coming year. AND almost all the items I had absolutely no control over. NONE.

So you can see why goals make me cringe. I'm the kind of person who takes full responsibility for things over which I have control. Not a problem. If it's in my sphere of influence, I'll take charge and do it to the best of my ability. But don't expect me to solve the national debt, end the war in Afghanistan or balance my checkbook. Okay, the checkbook I do have control over, but I'm lousy at math.

But my dear writer friends, we do have control over our writing. I'm much better at achieving my personal goals if I write them down and keep them close. So here's the list I have taped next to my computer. I encourage you to do the same (make your own list, that is.)

1. Finish the damn synopsis (Yes, I have started referring to it as The Damn Synopsis)
2. Final edit the book
3. Attend 1 workshop to work on skills
4. Attend 2 conferences when I can pitch the novel
5. Begin second draft of second novel
6. Participate in NaNoWriMo for 4th year
7. Assemble the list of potential agents and begin the query process
8. Submit one - two essays per month.
9. Organize my office
10. Remain positive even in the face of rejection.

Okay, so there you have my goals.

What are your writing goals for 2010?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Time to Start Thinking About Conferences

image courtesy of paul

I know, I know. Christmas isn't even here yet, but it's not that far away. And with the new year right around the corner it got me to thinking about writing conferences. I attended two last year OWFI and MWG. Both are in the planning stages for 2010. Each was good and had lots to offer in the way of speakers, motivation and opportunities.

OWFI is a class act and hard to beat. The quality just keeps getting better. MWG was smaller than normal last year, but I still got my money's worth.

Last year was my 2nd year for OWFI and my 4th or 5th year for MWG. For me, attending conferences is all about two things, networking and pitching my novel. So this year I've decided to branch out and try another conference or two.

Any suggestions? I'm curious about Jackson Hole Writer's Conference, Mad Anthony, Northern Colorado Writers Workshop, Society of Southwestern Writers, South Carolina Writers Workshop Conference.

But I'm open to suggestions. Any of you have any tried and true conferences or workshops that you attend?

Tell me...