Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Writing Prompt for Fall

Now that Halloween has come and gone, that means the busy holiday season is approaching us quickly. I don't know about you, but it's very hard for me to stay focused or find the time to do much writing with all the hustle and bustle of things to do during this time. And coming up with ideas to write about is difficult this time of year too as our minds are on the gazillion things we have to get done.

So instead of spending countless hours trying to come up with something new and exciting to write on my blog or wasting time staring at my blank screen,  I decided to treat myself and look up fall pictures on the internet. Since I live down south, we don't get to see the leaves change so seeing all the beautiful fall colors online is especially breath taking for me. But, I wanted to find something interesting but "eerie" looking that would get all of our creative juices flowing.

Take a look at this photo and have some fun with it. Can you come up with a storyline? If so, tell us about it!

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Want To Be A Dog

While I was walking with my dogs around the dog park this morning, I realized something. I want to be a dog!!! Boy do they have it good.

They get to run and play without a care or worry in the world. They don't have to worry about the fact that their big book signing coming up this weekend  is probably going to get rained out. They don't have to worry about what their fixing for dinner tonight. Or that they are getting older and have to go through watching their parents age. They don't have to worry about having enough candy for trick-or-treaters or that their husbands job is restructuring for the millionth time and he may end up unemployed. The biggest worry my dog, Punch has is getting too far away from her idol, Beemer (our other dog). And the only worry, Beemer has is how to get on the other side of the trail so the dog coming up to her won't sniff her rear!!

That's right, she's a dog but she's not a normal dog. She doesn't like to go outdoors without a human with her, she can't take a nap without peeing in her sleep, and she doesn't like other dogs. Here she is this little tiny thing showing her teeth whenever another dog comes up to her. Like they are afraid of her!!

Then there's, Punch. He loves everyone and everything. He never met a stranger.

Going to the dog park is extremely good for my mood and gives me tons of inspiration for writing kids books. To me there is nothing more joyous than watching all the doggies running and having a great time. Just like you parents out there enjoy watching your kids at the kiddy park, well that's how I feel watching my four legged kids.

We should all take a tip from our pets and stop stressing about everything. Why don't we just take a walk and chill out like they do? Or find a friend to play with and smile. And maybe if we're real good, someone will give us a treat! Yep...I want to be a dog.

Before the park

After the park

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Surround Youself with Writing Buddies

Writing is no different than anything else that we enjoy, it's always better with a partner. Someone to share the ups and downs with because anyone who has tried to get a book published knows there are tons of obstacles to cross.

And some of those obstacles are really difficult to deal with by yourself. Especially rejections, which are a plenty for most writers.

When I was early into my writing career, a very wise person told me to make sure I join a critique group. I was very skeptical about that because I just wasn't sure I could even write, let alone ready to let anyone else see what I'd written. But being in a critique group has really been beneficial. It definitely opened my eyes and proved to me that I wasn't so bad at this afterall! Plus, I've learned so much from them.

I thank God for my critique group, my writer's group, all my writing friends especially Courtney Rene who helps me everyday in some way, my book signing partner in crime, Deborah Lynne but most of all my mom/sis who are also writers. Having them to discuss my stories, their stories and the struggles we are facing in this industry, has helped me tremendously. I don't think I'd have four books published today if it weren't for all those people.

Let's face it, authors like to talk about our writing and nothing helps or inspires us more than when we talk to someone who is as interested in the written word as we are. So if you're an author or an aspiring author, next time you attend a book signing, a writer's group, a conference or some other kind of event, don't be shy - make the extra effort to talk to another author. You never know what kind of relationship will form from it. That's exactly how Deborah Lynne and I met and we have both thanked our lucky stars that we did.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall Is Off To A Bang!

I'm finally back to blogging after a long visit with my family and other busy things going on in this writer's life.

I must say, this fall is starting out with a bang! While visiting my family in Virginia, my mom, sis and I had two very successful book signings. To be honest, I wasn't expecting either function to be much, however the event that I was sure I'd be lucky to sell one book at, ended up being one of my most successful. It sure is fun talking to people about our books but when someone comes up to you and wants to buy one of each, well I must admit, it's a terrific feeling and big boost to the ego!

This happened not once but two or three times during these book signings. Amazing! At least to me it was.

I also just attended another successful book signing here in Louisiana at the Denham Springs Fall Festival. It was chilly, windy and I was suffering from a rotten cold, but who cares when people are buying your creations! I paid for it the next day but it was still well worth it.

Last night I had another book signing at La Divina Italian Cafe. Why there, you ask? Because the owner of that very unique and lovely cafe is doing her part in supporting the community and our local authors. Each Wednesday night she has kids night and features a different author. We read our stories to the kids, sometimes play games and have all kinds of fun. It really is a great thing this cafe is doing and we just wish more local businesses would follow suit!

The picture below is of two little cutie pies and friends, Elliot & Julia at La Divina last night. We sure had fun!

Up next on October 24 & 25 is the Poche Plantation Arts and Crafts festival which I'm really excited about.

How about you other authors out there. What's your fall looking like?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Just wanted to let everyone know that I won't be able to update my blog next week. I'll be at my mom's in Virginia and won't have access.

I'm looking forward to my visit with my mom except it's going to be really difficult for me. It will be my first visit since my dad's passing. Not having him there is going to be sad and hard. My mom has moved into a new apartment so there won't even be any signs of him anywhere. Very heartbreaking for me but I'll get through it. He'll be on my mind every single second though cause I know how much he'd want to be there.

But he'd also want me to show mom a good time. Get her out of the house and take her to places she never gets to go anymore. She can't drive so she has to rely on everyone else to take her anywhere, which is hard because everyone works.

Anyway, good things are going to happen while I'm up there though. We have two book signings scheduled together so that will be a bonding and fun time for us all.

Has anyone been watching America's Got Talent this year? I want the regurgitator to win so bad this year! What he does seems gross, but there is no one else out there that can do what he's doing. It truly is amazing and I would pay money to see his show in Vegas. There's other good talent on this year but NOTHING like him. I've never seen anyone do what he does. Anyway, the finales is tonight and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him! Here's a link if you'd like to see what he does!

See ya in a few weeks!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Writing Workshops

How important are writing workshops or conferences to writers? In my opinion, they are critical. However, we have to face facts that we can't all afford to attend them. I've found that some are very reasonable in price where others can be quite expensive. But the real question is are they worth it?

Almost every one I've attended has been worth it. Some more than others. I have to admit I've attended a few where I didn't learn much that I didn't already know, but I came out of there meeting a few new contacts or a few leads on book signing events. And both of those are critical to making it in this industry. And then there have been the workshops where I learned a ton of new stuff. So you just never know.

But to me, attending as many writing workshops or conferences that my budget and time will allow, has only benefitted me. They are a chance to "recharge" my juices and get me excited about the  writing process all over again. Each time I attend one, I come directly home and start a new story or edit an old one. My batteries are once again revved up and my imagination is raring to go!  There is nothing better than spending a whole day talking and listening to people who feel the same way I do about writing a book. 

It's also a new adventure for me. Never in school did I ever raise my hand to answer a question the teacher asked. I never wanted to speak up for fear that I would look stupid because I didn't know what I was talking about. But when I attend anything writing wise, my hand doesn't hesitate to raise even when I try to stop it. So it's a weird and new experience for me, but one that I love and am proud of myself for giving it my all. Heck, I've even been the speaker at a few of these myself! And for me, that's a big "gold star" for the day.

So to those of you who are thinking of attending a workshop or conference, think no more. Just do it! I guarantee it will pay off in some way and you'll be glad you did it.

So, when's your next writing workshop or conference scheduled?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Downton Abbey

I'm not exactly sure why but I'm addicted to the TV Series Downton Abbey. I'd been hearing over and over from people how good this show is but I always seemed to miss it when it was on. When I did catch an episode, it just didn't grab my attention. I thought it looked "cheesy."  I never really watched a full episode.

However, while I was browsing through Target one day, the Season 1 DVD would for some reason not let me continue with my shopping without purchasing it. So I did. Then I went back and bought the rest of the seasons.

I am totally hooked on this show now. In fact, so
much so that I am watching the seasons for a 2nd time around, which I have never done in my life! Sure, I watch reruns of some shows but it's really only because nothing else is on. There are only a handful of shows that I would intentionally watch over again. But would probably never buy the DVD's.

Downton Abbey is brilliantly written, in my eyes. The characters all have something very unique and special about them. They really draw you in. This show also makes me realize the power of make-up, clothes and hair. This picture is what the lady looks like playing her part of a "devious, manipulative" ladies maid on the left and on the right is how she really looks. What a tranformation!

But what I really love about the show is learning how they did things back then and the difference between how the rich live and think, versus the serving staff. I also enjoy that the show brings out problems that you and I face even today. But totally shocking to me is when the "high and mighty" rich family show that they have real feelings of love towards their staff.

The show also makes me completely thankful that I wasn't born back in those days. They didn't even have TV's or computers! For shame!! Actually, it's not for those reasons that I'm glad I wasn't alive back then. There is no way I could dress up for every meal like they do. The women have to wear long gloves for dinner and the men white tie tux's.

There is one episode where one of the men's white shirts and ties disappeared so he had to wear a black tie! Everyone at dinner noticed this and made some kind of comment. Anyway, not my thing!

And the ladies all have to wear their hair up for some reason. You only see it semi-down at night when they go to bed.

Although I would have a very hard time with most of their "rich" traditions, there is one I could definitely get used to. When a woman gets married, she no longer is required to come down for breakfast. She is served breakfast in bed! I would be all in for that tradition.

Now, all my husband needs to do is ask for at least a 20 million dollar raise or I need to become the next J.K. Rowling and maybe I'll get that breakfast in bed!!

So how about you? Do I have any other Downton Abbey addicts out there?