Saturday, October 26, 2013


§  You will waste a lot of paper. Wasting paper and purchasing printer cartridges are part of the trade. When you print your work and find it's beyond help or you need to start over, throw it away and delete it from your computer. Physically throwing it into the trash signifies a new start mentally. Don’t worry about killing trees. Like crops, trees for paper mills are planted, held in rotation until mature, and harvested.

§  Writing is a lonely, solitary occupation. Writing takes time. You will miss being out in the sunshine or watching your favorite television show. You may miss family gatherings with a deadline near. You will miss sleep. Make friends with other writers. They understand your crazy burning need to create.

§  Find a place to write where you feel comfortable and secure. Arm the location with a good collegiate dictionary, The Chicago Manuel of Style, and an unabridged Roget’s Thesaurus. Roget’s has more than ten times the amount of synonyms than any online site. Then, find something that signals routine and the need to sit down and write—like making your bed, drinking that second cup of coffee or tea, or taking your dog for his morning walk—or evening one if you write at night.

§  Never, never send out your first draft to anyone, anywhere. If possible, let your words sit for a while to cool like a hot custard pie. It’s easier to see missing data, mistakes, and grammar problems when you’ve distanced yourself from your work. Having trouble finding your mistakes? If you’re prone to using Times New Roman on your computer screen, print your work out in a different font like Courier, Arial, or Century Schoolbook. Have a friend help you. Intensive editing is part of the writing process.

§  Don’t believe people who say that writing doesn’t have to be as perfect as possible—because that’s what editors are for. Everyday, editors reject dozens of manuscripts. Do you think they’ll accept one with grammar and punctuation mistakes or basic sentence structure problems? Your writing is a reflection of who you are. It’s your first shot at making an impression and getting a toehold into the publishing world. Just like a job interview, you need to make it a good one.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tempers fly in KEY TO LOVE

        KEY TO LOVE is scheduled to be released in print on Wednesday, October 23rd. Here is one of my favorite interactions between my main characters, architect Elise Springer, and her old friend, Lucas Fisher.
                                                       ~ ~ ~   *** ~ ~ ~
  The first thought crossing Lucas’s mind was that a blue tornado had swooped down without warning.
       Elise Springer barreled through the office door, crossed the distance between them and slammed her fist on the metal desk so hard two pencils did simultaneous jumping jacks before hitting the concrete at her feet.
  “You liar!” she shouted. Vicious claws, still splendidly colored a brilliant red, reached out, clutching the front of his shirt and jerking him by the throat.
       "Having a bad morning?” Lucas asked quietly, thankful he never made it a habit to fasten the top button. “Maybe I should make a pot of coffee?”
         “You set me up, you detestable jerk!” Her hand still held fast even when his came up to cover it. “You never told me about the seventy-five thousand dollars Mike gave you." 
       He pried her fingers loose, and she stepped back, slicing the air with the edge of her palm. “I trusted you, you lowly worm. I went in there on your behalf!” Both hands flew to her temples, massaging her forehead. She stomped to the window and back again twice. “God, what a fool I am.”
     “It’s not what it appears, Liz.” Lucas sat down, leaned back in a chair beside the desk, and hoped Fritz had not lied and this was just one of her twenty-four hour bouts of raving insanity. “Maybe you ought to sit down, and I’ll explain.”
       “You can start spouting an explanation right now, pal, and I don’t need to sit to hear your gibberish!”
       If her eyes could throw darts, he’d be dead man for sure, Lucas decided. He mustered some courage. “If I had told you Mike gave me money from his personal funds to invest for him, you would have gone into the meeting with Pedmo and tried to second guess her, just to defend me. I couldn’t take the chance. You got the kid, right?”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Festival in Clearfield

I'm excited. KEY TO LOVE, my contemporary romance and mystery, is scheduled for print version on October 23. I’m hoping to have a few books for Clearfield’s Fall Festival on October 12th which is organized by the Clearfield Revitalization Corporation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. If you’re in the area, please stop to say hello and see all the wonderful arts, crafts and vendors—plus food booths.
                                              Here is a short blurb:

 When architect Elise Springer leaves San Francisco to check on her injured father in Pennsylvania, she is surprised to find Lucas Fisher, an old friend of the family, has returned to the Scranton area to set up an automobile restoration business. What she never expects is that in her quest to help Lucas get custody of his orphaned, four-year-old nephew, she will unravel evidence to prove the death of his brother wasn’t an accident. Elise will also discover that she is falling in love with both Fisher men, the little animal-cracker-eating one and his handsome, technology-challenged uncle. Will she be able to follow her heart on the east coast, manage a career on the west coast, and find the Key to Love that will open the gates to a lifetime of happiness?