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Monday, August 18, 2014

Living Life to the Fullest

Do you have to climb a mountain in order to "live life to the fullest?"

Or can a fully-lived life be one of the small joys and every-day events?

There's nothing wrong with climbing a mountain, sailing around the world, hang-gliding, or riding the ten highest rollercoasters in the world. But there are other ways to enjoy life.

How about reading a book, sharing a laugh with a friend, sipping tea by the fire? Listening to a cat purr as you stroke her fur while she snuggles on your lap?

Kissing your partner good-night? Putting a clean diaper on a freshly-bathed baby? Watching kids play soccer? Standing on a dock and looking out at the water. Chasing fireflies? Sitting on the front porch? Shelling peas? Eating vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce?

If you'd like to scuba dive by the Great Barrier Reef, go for it. But for a really full life you might stop and smell some lilacs and jasmine along the way too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rejection - It is How You React that Counts

No one likes to be rejected, but we all have to deal with it from time to time.

Writers especially know they can count on rejection. Not every manuscript will make it to publication. Those that do are not necessarily going to become bestsellers. Not all reviews are going to be glowing.

But we can't curl up in a ball and wither away every time rejection knocks at our doors. We have to use that rejection to make our work better. Revise. Rewrite. Get more critiques for our manuscript. After that, sometimes the new manuscript that emerged from rejection will find the right path--the one where our work was meant to be. The right editor, the right publisher, and/or the right reader.

Not everyone will love even our published works--there is rejection even after publication. But when our books and stories find their way to the reviewers and readers who DO love them, we know we have found some direction. At least until we start on the next writing journey.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sizzling Summer Reads Party!

Play and win awesome prizes!

Check out the prize list! (partial thus far)

My book, Hey, Nobody's Perfect, will be a prize feature on June 12!

Just register at The Romance Reviews (free and easy), log in, and you can enter for fabulous prizes!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bird in the Hand... better than one in the attic.

Last night I heard a bird flapping around in the attic space. I went out on the deck and could see it behind one of the vent screens, so I pulled out a corner of the screen so it could get out. Instead, it panicked and flew up higher into the attic space. So I went upstairs, opened the door to the space, left the room light on and went back downstairs.

I waited a couple minutes then went back upstairs. I could see the bird thrashing around behind a window shade, so I reached up and caught it in my hands. I loosely cradled it as it flailed around because I wanted to sure not to hurt it.Went back downstairs where dh opened the back door and I "tossed" the bird into the air. It quickly flew up into the trees. Happy ending!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Endings

Don't cheat when it comes to endings.

Don't write that wild adventure only to have it turn out to all have been a dream. Readers will be disappointed, even angry, and editors will disapprove.

Do make your ending believable. Yes, the ending can certainly be a surprise, but it has to make sense within the context of the story.

Don't make the ending too easy. If problem could have been solved anywhere throughout the story by the main character clearing up a misunderstanding, the ending is weak. (TV sitcoms rely on the easily-cleared-up misunderstanding way too often! But that's television comedy.)

Do have the main character be the one who is most affected and who is the one who solves the problem. He/she can have some help, but no magical outside force or overeager parents saving the day, please.

Stop when the story ends. Yes, readers may wish for more, because they've been involved with characters throughout the book and are reluctant to say goodbye to them. But once there's been a resolution to the problem, that's it. It doesn't really hurt to leave the readers wanting more, as long as the story has reached a conclusion.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Miss Fluffy-Bottom

Otherwise known as Colette (the cat).

We adopted Colette, our gray kitty with white chin and paws, when she was about 9 months old. She was very timid and quiet, and someone had shaved her tail. Her fur was said to be medium-length.

Well, once she made herself at home at our house, Colette was no long shy, retiring and quiet. She became one of the most playful, meowiest cats we've ever had. Oh, and that medium-length fur? Let's just say that is now long. Very long.

Fortunately, Colette loves to manage her fur and can spend what seems like hours grooming it. Occasionally I have to brush her, but that's in the summer when she's been outside gathering all sorts of plant-and-tree debris in her lovely locks.

Colette's fastidiousness extends to her toilet habits. Though she is an indoor-outdoor kitty, she will come into the house to use the litter box. I guess, like many humans, she prefers her own bathroom.

Unlike previous cats who have resided here, Colette is not a fighter. Oh, she will chase another cat out of the yard--if that cat is smaller and easily intimated. With some cats her own size she simply stares at them from afar, occasionally hissing or growing from that safe distance. If another cat seems at all threatening to her, she is up on the shelf outside the kitchen window in almost an instant. We've never had to take her to the vet to treat a wound inflicted by another cat.

From inside the house she will get excited about seeing birds on the deck. But outside she takes that watch-from-afar stance. Maybe the fact that some of the crows out there are as big, if not bigger, than she is has something to do with that. In any case, the birds are safe from her.

Colette takes forever to settle in when she wants to sleep on my lap. She meows and head-butts until I pick her up and place her so that her head is in the crook of my arm. Then there's some more (demanding) meowing until I scratch her head and chin and she finally falls asleep, stretched across me until it seems as if she is at least 3 feet long!

Needless to say, with Colette there is rarely the dull moment. :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Treat Your Writing as a Career

Even if you have a full-time job.

You might not have a lot of time to write, especially if you have a job, be it full time or part time. Or if you're an at-home Mom. Or for any number of reasons, your writing time may be limited.

But even if you can write only an hour a day, or even only an hour a week, treat the time as you would the time you put in at any other job. Don't skip it on a whim. Don't tell yourself you'll put in twice as much time next week to make up for not writing this week.

Sure, there will be sick days and even vacation days. But only when you are *really* sick should you skip your writing time. And schedule vacation days from writing as you would from any other job.

Mark your writing time on the calendar or smartphone or however you keep track of anything important. Because your writing time is important--or at least it should be, if you really want writing to be your career.