Spotlight Thank-You

Just wanted to say a quick “thank you” to Cerian over at The Rookie Romance Blog for doing a spotlight on Coming Home!  If you’re looking for book recommendations, be sure to check out her site here.  She’s “across the pond,” so while my post is dated May 31st, hers is dated June 1st.  Whoa…trippy stuff, isn’t it?


21 Quotes About Writing

Here are a few gems I came across about writing and the writer’s life.  Enjoy!

1)  The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain

2)  I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper. ~ Steve Martin

3)  A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Bach

4)  If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing. ~ Kingsley Amis

5)  Always avoid alliteration. ~ Author Unknown

6)  If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know? ~ Steve Wright

7)  Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~ Author Unknown

8)  I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard

9)  Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

10)  Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs. ~  John Osborne

11)  Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~ E.L. Doctorow

12)  It’s not plagiarism – I’m recycling words, as any good environmentally conscious writer would do. ~ Uniek Swain

13)  A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. ~ Baltasar Gracian

14)  What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window. ~ Burton Rascoe

15)  It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~ Robert Benchley

16)  Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. ~ Jules Renard

17)  It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. ~ Andrew Jackson

18)  With sixty staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation of the sentence structure and definite hardening of the paragraphs. ~ James Thurber

19)  If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers. ~ Irvin S. Cobb

20)  A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print. ~ Marguerite Yourcenar

21)  For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can. ~ Ernest Hemingway


Excerpt From The Bargain

I was in the middle of proofreading my second manuscript, The Bargain, today and I thought, “Oh, hey–I could actually post an excerpt of this on my site now.”

So I did.  Or at least I think I did.  Sometimes I’m not sure if I link things properly with WordPress, so if you click on “The Bargain Excerpt” and instead of taking you to part of my book it takes you to pictures of shirtless male models, I have no idea how that happened.



Busy, Busy, Busy

Holy.  Moly.

It’s pretty obvious my students are ready for summer vacation.  And I’m right there with ’em!  My big plans for Memorial Day weekend include a lot of sitting in a quiet room and just appreciating the silence.  While twitching a bit.

And proofreading.  I’m going over my second manuscript, The Bargain, this weekend for any typos or last minute changes, and I always seem to miss a couple.  Nothing too major; I haven’t accidentally switched anybody’s gender, or reversed a couple of letters and inadvertently insulted someone’s heritage in a foreign language or anything.


Happy Memorial Day!  (early)

Crayola vs. Photoshop

So I would be willing to go to some pretty great lengths to avoid having to learn how to use any kind of new software, since it makes me twitch and all, but I’m currently exploring some software options of my own free will.  Somebody check me for a fever!

You can’t write anything nowadays without hearing a lot about self-publishing options, and it’s something I think I’d like to try in the near future.  Which is not to say that I’ve got a grudge against traditional publishing houses, because I don’t.  I actually have a bit of a crush on them.  I daydream about them all the time, write their names next to mine in little hearts on my notebook, etc.  But as kind as the folks at Crimson Romance have been to me, they still only specialize in romance, and I have a few other genres I’d like to try out, too.  So I’d like to have one foot in each publishing world, self- and traditional.

Of course, if I do self-publish, then I have a lot of other hats to wear besides that of “author.”  Like “editor,” “head of marketing”, “choreographer”, or “body double.”  Okay, so maybe not those last two…

But one of those jobs I’d really have is “cover art designer.”  I’m a kindergarten teacher, so I’m more at home using Crayola materials to create pictures than anything else, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it in the world of ebooks.  So I guess I need to learn a little something about the world of graphic design.

I’m currently reading up on Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, GIMP, and others.  And I’m twitching.  Pixels and jpeg I kind of understand, but when I read terms like “vectors” and “layers” I get bewildered.  I mean, I hear “layers” and I just throw a sweater on over a turtleneck.  So I tried doing that, but it didn’t clear anything up for me.

But I think if I could wade through all the technical stuff without curling into the fetal position, playing around with cover art could be a lot of fun.  Maybe too much fun.  One might forget one has to actually finish writing the book first.  Heh.

We’ll see…

A Busy, Busy Month

May has been pretty busy so far–hard to believe we’re only halfway through it–and today I’m a guest over at Long and Short Reviews doing an interview.  The folks over there were kind enough to squeeze me in, even though May has been a busy month for them, too.  (Thanks, guys!)

If you would like to read the interview, you can find it here.

And now…on toward June!.

It’s Blog Tag, And I’m It!

Last Wednesday fellow Crimson Romance author Amanda L. V. Shalaby tagged me in a post that was part of The Next Big Blog Tour.  Whee!  I’m it!  So that means it’s my turn to answer 10 basic questions about me and my writing.  Here goes:

1)  What is the working title of your next book?

The Bargain.

2)  Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to write a love story about an ugly duckling type whose transformation is more inner than outer because it’s hard for me to identify with romance heroines who have perfect heart-shaped faces and figures that are impossible outside of a plastic surgeon’s office.

3)  What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary romance.

4)  What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm…maybe someone like Felicia Day for Shannon, partly because she’s a redhead and partly because she’s good at playing funny, awkward characters.  And for Michael—for some reason I want to say Taylor Kinney.  Don’t ask me why, but Lady Gaga would understand.

5)  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An awkward wallflower pursues her former high school crush by enlisting an unlikely ally–his estranged ne’er-do-well brother–in a wary bargain that ends up transforming them both.

6)  Who is publishing your book?

Crimson Romance.

7)  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Maybe around three months?  I’m not sure exactly.  Guess I need to keep better records.  Or a diary.

8)  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m drawing a blank.  Could be because I haven’t had time to sit down and read a book purely for pleasure in quite a while!  And, no, that isn’t a shameless play for sympathy.  Unless it’s working…

9)  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I like unconventional heroines.  I had a lot of fun creating this one!

10)  What else about the book might pique the readers’ interests?

I reveal who really shot JFK.  No, not really.  But wouldn’t it be cool if I did?


And now I’m tagging these two wonderful authors:

Kimberly Lewis:

Abigail Sharpe:

Check them out next Wednesday!

Ex Libris Guest Post

Today I’m a guest blogger on the book review site Ex Libris–thanks for having me, Stella!  The topic is things I’ve learned from reading romance novels, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.  You can check it out here, if you’re interested.

I’m also participating in a giveaway by offering a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter.  Just FYI…

Have great day!

Kindergarten “Novelist” & Illustrator

SInce writing is so near and dear to my heart, it’s only natural that writing is also a subject I work particularly hard on with my kindergarteners.  Every once in a while one of my students produces something that just tickles me pink, and today that happened again.

One little boy decided to write a story about a space adventure, which turned out very cute all by itself, but then he added an illustration that I think is absolutely adorable.  You can decide for yourself when you read his story below–and in kindergarten we use creative spelling, so I’ll “translate” at the bottom just in case you’re not sure what the young author was trying to say:


“I went to outer space.  I flew to the moon.”

Is that not the happiest astronaut you’ve ever seen?  He’s clearly a man who loves his work.  And notice, by the way, that the author/illustrator of this piece included details like the line that tethers the astronaut to his ship.

I love it!  Hope it brightened your day as much as it brightened mine!