Lullaby is an Amazon #1 Bestseller! YAY!
Click here to find it on Amazon!
Silent Night is NOW AVAILABLE!
Click here to buy it on Amazon!
I'm a little excited. Can you tell?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life....does it get in OUR way, or do we get in it's way?

Apologies for the light (ok, ok...nonexistent) blogging lately. I've been preoccupied with personal matters and haven't been able to give much attention to this blog -- or, unfortunately, my writing in general.  Sometimes, life runs perfectly...just like you imagine it should (ok, maybe not MY life..but I’ve heard it happens...I think this is how Urban Legends get started), can be chaotic at best... kids need a little extra attention, the dog decides to go off the deep end and drag everything not bolted down in the neighbor’s yard to your porch, you have 200 errands to run and only 2 days to run them.  You get my point.  Then throw in the roller coaster that your emotional life can turn into and you just don’t know how to make the danged thing stop. 
Thing is...I love roller coasters.  I remember a trip with the youth group at church to Bush Gardens one was late in the season, the park was fairly empty (which is the best time to go) and the Loch Nest Monster coaster was a free for all.  You got off the ride, walked around and got right back on.  It was GREAT!  Life isn’t always like that.  Sometimes, the coaster is just not so great.  Though, I can see how life works that way.  You get off the roller coaster....sometimes maybe a little sick to your stomach, maybe a little dizzy from the ride....but you have to walk around and get back on.  You can’t let the side effects of the loops and turns keep you from riding.
I honestly don’t know how people do it when they don’t have God to lean on though.  I know I haven’t mentioned my faith much in my blogging thus far, but I am who I am.  I believe what I believe.  We are all entitled to that.  I don’t judge anyone for their a Christian, that sooo isn’t my place.  But if you don’t have somewhere to lean, someone to lean on...what do you do when life feels like it’s just too much?  When the roller coaster feels like it isn’t ever going to stop long enough for you to catch your breath, get your bearings, and get ready to get back on? 
Anyway...I’m catching my breath, getting my bearings and preparing to get back on the roller coaster...hopefully for a more enjoyable ride.  I’ll be back to posting soon.  Until then....
I pray your roller coaster is going at just the speed you like.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Character Development - Hold on Loosely

Recently I began taking a writing class.  Because you know...I just had sooo much free time on my hands, I felt like I needed to fill it with something.  Actually...I wanted to take it way more than any of the college courses I’m taking.’s a WRITING class.  I LOVE writing.  Biology...not so much.
Anyhow...It’s being taught by author Candace Havens (you should absolutely check out her work!  ) & I am only a week into it, but I can tell it’s going to really give me a push in the right direction with my literary endeavors.  (See...using professionally sounding verbage already)
Our assignment this week partially focuses on character development.  Now, as we all know, I am not yet a published author...heck, I’m not even finished with the first manuscript...but I am an avid reader, and for me...the characters pull me into a story quicker than the plot does.  I’m easily fascinated by a complex character.  Characters can make or break a novel.    
One of our questions this week was “What do you want your characters to say to the reader?”  My first response was that I want my characters to say “I am real.  I exist.”  I want them to get in the reader’s face and say “Do you get it yet?  Don’t you want to know more?”  In other words...I want the reader to feel so engrossed by my characters that they think of them as a REAL PERSON.  Someone they know.  Someone they can relate to.  I want my reader to become emotionally involved.  To me, THAT is what will make my characters come to life, make my readers want more.
The truly great characters aren’t the perfect ones.  They are flawed.  They have limitations to overcome.  They have to grow into who they are meant to be.   If they were perfect...well, they’d just be completely unrealistic and boring.  I don’t like boring.  Not in real life and not in my writing.  Besides, perfection is highly overrated.
So, in order to try to keep my characters as imperfect as you and me...I use the character development tools that I’ve acquired and refined over the past year or so.  I have a few that help me flesh out the deep, dark complexities of my fictional entourage. The one I always start out with is my Character Development Sheet (click the link to download it & use it yourself).
I’d love to be able to give credit where it’s due, but the truth is...I got ideas from so many different places, Frankenstein would be jealous.  Some thoughts are mine...some are from other minds far, far away.  ( nice...I can hear you from across the state line – my mind isn’t THAT far away)  Regardless of the sources...hopefully the final product will be useful.
Planning your characters out is majorly important.  You need to know how their personality factors into the story, how they will move the story along.  Just like in’s hard to know which way to go to get where you’re going, if you don’t have some direction.  Your character needs direction.  However...don’t smother them.  Hen pecking your characters will only turn them into teenager-like mutineers who roll their eyes at you and make faces behind your back when you try to force them in a direction they don’t want to go.  You have to let them be free to express themselves and find their own paths sometimes too...much like teens.  Hold the reins too’ll lose them.

Thoughts to ponder...
If a cow laughed would milk come out of its nose?

If a turtle doesn't have a shell is he homeless or naked?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Disclaimers and Victoria Secret Models

I’ve been giving some thought since I started writing the blog as to what I should write about next  (I realize for those who know me well it’s a stretch to comprehend me thinking about something aside from my book for more than 24 hours) and it occurred to me…I should probably be thinking about what I’m going to write about from here on out. 

After all…I realize everyone could eventually get bored with my constant rambling regarding the unfair state of vegetable classification (I still say chocolate is a IS derived from beans)  and how if we were all TRULY created equal either I’d consistently be a size 5 or all Victoria Secret models would look like me.  That’s right...think about it.

So  what have I come up with?  This should be a blog about more.  Not just my struggles and victories, but yours too.  Not just topics that will help me, but topics that will also help all those who venture to read…at your own risk of course.  My skilled team of lawyers say I should probably print some kind of disclaimer spouting off about how I can’t be held liable for any actions, comments or likely heated discussions this blog may, at some point, initiate between the reader and any significant others.

In other words…

Ladies - it’s not my fault if your man begins a downward spiral in relevant conversation when you bring up the blatant  inequality between real women and Victoria Secret models.

Men (I highly recommend you heed the following advice closely) – if you have even an ounce of decency and sense the words “Victoria Secret models” will never fall from your lips in the presence of female company.  Never.  (when it does...don’t say you weren’t forewarned)

With all that said…I’m off to think about the next topic of discussion.  If anyone has anything they have questions about, would like more information on or just wants to comment…please feel free to…well…comment. J

Until next time, phrases to ponder....
   Gag a maggot
   Try to relax and enjoy the crisis.
   Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
   Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back to the Grindstone

Don't you just LOVE old sayings?
Ok...I can respect that. 

Half the time I don't know what they mean or where they came from anyway.  And, like my food, I like to know where things came from.  I mean, you wouldn't eat a slice of pizza if you were a little bit leery of its origins....would you?  I'm banking on anyone reading this NOT being that creepy kid who would eat anything at the lunch table (or anywhere else for that matter) for a dollar.  Actually a disturbing mental movie just began playing in my mind from junior high....but I won't go into detail.  One - because I'd really like for you to keep reading and two - if I started naming names and some of those "characters" from the mental movie were to read this...there would be some explaining to do. (Not by their current spouses most likely.  I don't want that hangin' over my head.  Especially since I think I'm friends with most of their spouses...hmmm)  Anyway...I digress.  Old sayings.  That's where I was.  The grindstone.

I chose that saying because I took some time off.  Yes, I realize it was over a month, almost two.  But hey, you dealt with the holidays too.  You know how it is.  So it's time to get back to "work."  And obviously...I didn't make that whole ridiculously short deadline.  Guess God just didn't mean for me to enter that one this year.  Anyway...

I had a few adventures since we last met.  Ok...really only Florida.  Key West to be precise.  It involved a scooter...but that deserves a blog post ALLLLLLLL it's own.  Trust me.

I've been rewriting the book too.  I'm a few chapters into the "rewrite."  I'm thinking I will post the first few chapters at some point.(for all 5 of you that have been reading.)  ..just not right now.  I want to make sure I won't be changing them....again.
Meantime...I do hope and pray that everyone's 2011 has gotten off to a blessed beginning.

Before I go...a bit of fairly useless knowledge.

Merriam-Webster offers the following info on Grindstones.

Definition: a flat circular stone of natural sandstone that revolves on an axle and is used for grinding, shaping, or smoothing  (don't know about you, but I seriously can't say I've ever used one of these...much less gotten "back to it".  I think I need a new phrase.)

First Known Use of GRINDSTONE :  13th century

Rhymes with GRINDSTONE  (I had no idea there were so many types of stones.  Frankly I'm a bit shocked they didn't name every bone in the body.  You're humming it now aren't you?  "The hip bone's connected to the thigh bone"...yep.  You're humming it)