Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hi, all,

Happy Thursday everyone.  First I would like to thank the hosts for the RE-INTRODUCE yourself bloghop.... you know who you are.... It was an amazing experience. I almost managed to get to everyone, but I needed to take a breath to post AND edit... LOL

I generally don't post on Thursday, but I didn't get the chance to post this yesterday. When I was coming back from a client's home on Tuesday I decided to walk through the Lincoln Park Zoo... I live just a few minutes away from there. The temps rose to an astounding 65 degrees! Now anyone who lives in the north will truly appreciate this... CHICAGO? 65 degrees? in JANUARY?! NEVER!

Although rainy and foggy, it was still warm... I happened by the pond area and a bright coral stunned my eyes.... Out, enjoying the weather were .... you will never guess .... FLAMINGOS ... I had NEVER scene them out in winter. WEll, here they are in their full color...

Aren't they stunning? Especially on such a GRAY day...

I hung with them for a while. What a cast of characters. If you ever get the chance to observe these creatures up close, make sure you do. They are so worth watching. Their wing span is amazing and features black under feathers. Nice contrast with the coral. The legs are hysterical. They almost defy gravity, you almost expect one to tip over at any moment.

They bicker and squawk at each other too. So funny.

Yesterday, I had errands to do, mainly picking up fabric for said client, and something had changed .... Frost howled through the winds. No longer were Flamingos stepping about .... I mere 24 hours later, look ....

WINTER had returned ...                          


Monday, January 28, 2013


Hi, All,

With another weekend gone, we start an EXCITING new week. Today is the day for the Please allow me to RE-INTRODUCE MYSELF Blogfest.

Our hosts, Stephen Tremp,  Mark Koopmans, Elise Fallson, and C.M. Brown.

What a FUN way to get back in touch with former blogger friends as well as new ones! For me, this community ROCKS! There is no other social media more rewarding than our blogosphere. The time, care, and dedication it takes to blog is unsurpassed. I know it can be time consuming and crazy, but even though we ALL have our little blogging vacations, we always come back because it feels LIKE HOME.

I began blogging in the fall of 2010. I had completed and illustrated my first m/g novel and managed to make it through the first rounds of the ABNA contest. THERE, in the threads, a very sweet person came to my rescue, after I had posted my horrible reviews from the Vine readers. Erica from erica and christy, offered to help me out. She critiqued my first few chapters and gave me invaluable advice that I still use today. A month or so later, she had mentioned to me that she had started a blog and asked I had considered creating one. Well, of course I was terrified. What could I possibly say that would attract readers and other writers? So, for a month I had just blog hopped. I LOVED what I saw and the true sincerity of the blogger writing community. So I wrote my first post and created my blogger account.

Since I am a Renaissance man, I wanted to create a blog that not only featured writing, but ALL the arts. I decided to concentrate on interior design posts at first. After several months my blog evolved to more "writer's" subject matter. And today I write about whatever comes to mind. Lately it is to help other writers and help keep our community healthy and fit. I also feature on occasion my "Earthly Angels" posts which feature the unsung hero. People that have helped us without asking for anything in return. I am ALWAYS on the look out for these stories, so IF YOU HAVE ONE, PLEASE let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me directly. I would LOVE to feature it.

My new feature which sort of evolved into a real fun writing assignment for me is to create AWESOME cover reveal intros.... If any of you are launching a new book let me know. I would be more than happy to create one for your cover. I feel reveals should be built up and special.

As many of you know I am still on MY journey to publication. After years in the fashion industry as a model, and for the past nine years as an interior designer, I began writing in 2009 during the financial crash, and had lost most of my clients. I have written two novels since, one m/g fantasy, the other an edgy Y/A Contemporary, which I am querying now. My latest project is a film noir novella set in 1940's Chicago. I write eclectically as I do in my interior design and illustration work.

In the past three years I have met SO many AMAZING people. I have even been fortunate enough to meet several of my blogger friends in person, which are treasured memories for me. I hope that someday I will meet many, many more. It is my goal to travel around the world and connect with them in person. What a lovely dream I hope will come true.

I hope you all will find the TIME to hop over to one of our host sites and get to know other bloggers. This is a WONDERFUL fest and I am looking forward to getting to know more about my loyal blogger buddies as well as new blogger friends.

WELCOME BACK to my BLOG.... I've missed you!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Happy Friday All,

As the crystals of snow drift by my office windows, I can't help feel a bit of the "mid-winter" blues. Now that the holidays are gone and the novelty of a crisp breeze whipping through your hair and adding that rosy glow to your cheeks has become a nuisance, the blues set in.

The arctic winds are severe this week in Chicago and the last thing I want to do is leave the comfort of my nice, warm, cozy office. I am sure you all in the north feel the same way ... right? These feelings are what triggered my HUGE weight gain several years ago. All I did was eat chocolate and go from writing in bed to writing on the sofa.... sixteen hours a day. I shiver and cringe at the thought. So many of us get caught up in the "hibernation" stage until the sun comes out in the spring. But by that point you are considerably thicker around the middle and huff and puff as you leave your house. DON'T let this happen to you!

For the past few years, I was fortunate enough to leave the frozen tundra of the north for sunny Florida and ESAPE the 'blues' before they got their icy fingers around my throat to strangle me. However this year, I may be stuck here for the winter. Oh, no! I need to slap those 'blues' out of existence. But how? I am working on the answers to this as I write this post.

I have come to realize that movement is one answer. DON'T settle for too long. And LEAVE your house. BITE the bullet and don't think of the frigid air constricting your lungs .... DON'T feel the raw wind ripping off the top layer of your skin ... AND whatever you do, DON'T allow your fingers and toes to lock into one big ice cube. Learn to COMBAT yourself with creative alternatives. For a city dweller like myself, I don't jump into a warm car that's located in my heated garage. I have to battle the elements on a daily basis. But it can be an interesting challenge to see who will win out... I am betting on me!

Here are few simple tricks to use so you can WEATHER the STORM, and BEAT the odds.

One .... FUEL UP. EAT, and no, chocolate cookies and donuts don't count. Eat a steaming cup/bowl of oatmeal. Drink hot tea or coffee. Whole wheat toast and poached or scrambled eggs cooked in Pam. Seriously guys, eating a good breakfast will definitely keep you warm when you PUSH yourself outdoors.

Two ... LAYER your clothing. I have noticed when I add multiple layers and not only wear a hat, but earmuffs too ... it keeps the cold OUT. Wear two pairs of socks and gloves. Your head, hands, and feet are the first parts of the body to freeze up. You can't IMAGINE how many INSANE people I see on the streets without hats or gloves, open coats, and even wearing SHORTS! The people here are truly nuts. Make sure to wear a long-sleeved tee under your shirt or blouse, throw a sweater on top. Thin layers work best for me as long as they are FITTED. Bulky layers allow the wind to blow right up and into your body. You don't have to look like a football player. Fitted is the way to go. AND you can keep that stream-lined silhouette. LOL. AND DON'T forget that scarf. Wrap it around your neck and half your face if need be to ward off the winds attacking you from EVERY direction.

Three: Now this is THE most important step. PSYCHE yourself out... Think of the BEAUTY of winter... The glittering snow that looks like encrusted diamonds; the icicles creating one-of-a-kind works of sculptured crystal; listen for the laughter of kids sledding down a nearby hill; watch puppies pull their humans into snow to play ball; appreciate the stunning architecture of your city or town; feel the warm fire at your favorite Starbucks or coffee house. What a great place to spend a few hours writing.

Since I work out every day, and my gym is almost a half a mile from my condo, step three is the only one that gets me out of the house. Remember it takes more energy to step out your front door, than to do a two hour workout. Lately, I venture out a few times a day: getting groceries, running to the bank, meeting a friend for lunch or coffee ... So this is my way of attacking those blues. When inside, if I need a break from writing or work, I start crafting. It's a great way to relax, and when you've finished your project you have something cool for your home. Keeping your mind active is almost as important as keeping your body active.

So, tell me, HOW do you combat the mid-winter blues? I am sure WE ALL would like to know...

Have a great weekend everyone!

See you all on Monday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Good day, everyone.

Sit back and relax ... it's time for me to tell you all about ME ....  DON'T touch that delete button! You'll be sorry. You ALL need to read this. I have feelings too, you know.

SO what if I blow arctic winds down every block, through every bare tree, and for miles skirting the lakefront?

It's winter, my time to SHINE. How else can you really appreciate the stunning architecture of my buildings; keep warm by a roaring fire in one of thousands of my cozy restaurants; find a Starbucks on every other one of my corners to sip a delicious latte; or spend the night at one of my FANTABULOUS theaters. Are you starting to get the picture?

So if my temps drop to below zero .... so what ... right? What better time to cuddle up in your robe and read a good book; snuggle up with your honey for a romantic evening; or, if you are free at the moment, pet your treasured kitty or doggy friend.

SO why would anyone ever want to leave me .... right? I mean really people, get a grip. I am too cool for words. But yet, some one did leave me and I am devastated .... Here's his story ...

Written by ...

None other than ...

The woman who RUINED MY LIFE, by showing me in a bad light ....

Julie Flanders.

The Blurb: When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case. 

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems. 

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same. 

I know this story sounds great ... of course it does, Julie is an amazing writer, BUT can you honestly BELIEVE he would leave ME for ALASKA? Would you? And, to add insult to injury, she even has the audacity to have this gorgeous cover plastered ALL OVER the blogoshere! How much more can a city take?

Okay. Now you've seen it. Stop gawking. You KNOW what you have to do next ....

Bio: Julie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is her first novel. It will be published by Ink Smith Publishing on February 7, 2013. Find Julie online at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook

Hi, Everyone.... I finally got  to reclaim my blog. Chicago is really in such a state right now. LOL.

I hope you enjoyed my bit of dramatic fun for this HUMP day. Have a great day! Drop by on Friday for my TAG... Yes, I got tagged by Ciara Knight for a fun meme.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Hi, Everyone. Happy Friday.

Now that the weekend is nearly here, what have you got planned? Writing, editing, reading, family outings? For me, I will be editing my first novel AND reading the Romantic Friday Writers' excerpts. Yes, there is another prompt for the new year! Denise and Donna came up with a fun challenge for us. AND there is still time if you'd like to join us. Drop by the RFW to sign up.

This months prompt is New Year! New Love! Write up to a thousand word excerpt about "Out with the old and in with the new." Write about your guy or girl's new plan for attacking the dating scene. It could be something from a present WIP or something you whip out from your imaginations.

My excerpt today is a new segment from my current WIP, a 1940's film noir novella. Please let me know what you think. Since I am sort a rebel when it comes to romantic writing... especially since I honesty don't think of myself as the typical romantic writer, I put a very different spin on this prompt. I am a descriptive writer, and painting a scene with words is very important to the atmosphere of this genre ... I hope you enjoy it. And don't forget to drop by the RFW to read the other entries.

Sheets of ice frost the city streets on this frigid Chicago morning. Hot steam billows from the subway grates on State St. as scuffed wing-tipped shoes pounds the pavement. Clad in a stained, tan trench coat, he turns onto Maple St. and heads toward Dearborn St. “Two more blocks ... damn him anyway,” he spouts, pulling his coat tighter against his body.

A gust of wind flips the brim of his hat and rips it off the bald man’s head, skipping across the street. He races after it, dodging a Ford model A as “AWOOGA” screams past him. Cursing, he shakes his fist at the driver, picks up his hat and plops it back onto his head. He takes one step toward the sidewalk and slips on a patch of black ice, landing on his considerable backside. “I’ll kill the bastard, if he ain’t already dead.” 
Easing himself back onto his feet, he continues his journey muttering to himself. He turns the corner onto Dearborn St. and stops in front of a rundown Greystone. The gate creaks open and he climbs the stairs of the front stoop. A stiff finger pushes the buzzer several times and is immediately followed by a clenched fist banging on the door.
“Hold your horses. I’m coming,” shouts a raspy female voice. The door opens. “It’s about time you got here. He’s in a real state. What a way to start the new year,” she said, as an ash drops from her dangling cigarette onto the cracked mosaic tile floor. 

“What happened?” He steps into the foyer. “I gotta call from him late last night, but I barely understood one blast dang word he said.”

“Above my pay grade to find out.” She reaches into her robe pocket and pulls out a skeleton key. “Knock first, then let yourself in. I’m not shlepping up them stairs again. His door’s at the top.”

He heads up the stairs, jingling the keys. Heavy breaths huff and wheeze from his throat by the second floor; sweat drips off his bulbous nose by the third; and as he reaches the final floor he collapses, struggling to catch a single breath. 

Crawling to the once glossy, black paneled door, he uses the handle and heaves himself off the threadbare carpet. He knocks. No answer. He knocks again. Something inside crashes.

“You okay in there?”

A loud thud hits hard and vibrates the hardwood under his feet. “Hold on. I’m commin in.” Fumbling with the key, he unlocks the door. From the overwhelming stench of stale cigarettes and scotch, he coughs. His eyes water as the only stream of sunlight fights its way through the haze of lingering smoke. Waving a frostbitten hand, he steps toward the faint light, kicking the remains of a broken dish, and opens the window. An arctic blast sweeps the room in a matter of seconds. 

As the air clears, hunched broad shoulders and bare, muscular arms lay across a rickety wooden table. A mass of raven tousled hair hides most of the man’s unshaven face. An empty scotch bottle sits dangerously at the edge next to an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. 

“Damn, Cal. How may bottles of that giggle water did ya drink?” He nudges him. A glass slips out of Cal’s hand and shatters on the floor. “What the hell’s wrong wit cha, you big lug. I thought ya was hardboiled. Snap out of it.” 

Cal grunts; shifts, lifting his body a few inches, and plunges back onto the table.

“Come on, Cal. Get up. Ya gotta get to the precinct before ya lose your job.” He grabs a handful of Cal’s hair and peels him away from the table. “Did ya hear me?”

Cal flutters his eyes open. A grin etches into his face. “Hi ya, Clancy.” His eye lids drop.

“Sorry Cal, but ya got this commin to ya. ” Smack.

Cal jolts upright and stares at Clancy. “Now what did you do that for?” His body trembles and slumps back into the chair. He shakes his head. “What are you doing here?”

“Good. You’re up. Ya need a pot of joe.” Clancy steps into the kitchen and rummages around. Finds a coffee pot, fills it with water, and sets it aside. “Your landlady called the precinct,” he said, scooping in the coffee. He pulls a book of matches from his pocket and turns on the gas. “She’s a real peach, ain’t she?” He smirks, strikes a match, and lights the stove.

“But why?” Cal rubs his eyes and attempts to stand, but loses his balance and flops into the chair.

“Why? You’re kiddin me, right? Because you’ve been drunk for three days and it stinks to high heaven in here. So she called us.” He faces Cal. “Ya look like the dickens. Why the three day bender anyways?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Cal croaked.

“It’s that dame, ain’t it?”

Cal shakes his head, stumbles over to the sink, and splashes water onto his face.

“Only a dame could do this to a bloke,” Clancy said, folding his arms.

“She wasn’t a dame ... she was —” Cal slicks back his hair, pushes Clancy out of the way, grabs hold of the chair, and sinks into it.

Clancy pours hot coffee into a cup and bangs it on the table in front of Cal. “Drink this. Ya gotta get dressed. The captain’s waitin for ya.”

Cal slurps the coffee and turns his bloodshot eyes up. “Thanks, Clancy. It’s over. She’s gone. I’m through with young girls.” He raises a thick brow. “It’s women for me from now on.” 

A toothy smile plasters across Clancy’s face. “That a boy, now getta a move on.”

938 words.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Hi, all,

Well today is a special post. Something that we ALL think about, but never have the time to ACTUALLY write it down ... A BUCKET LIST.

For the few who don't know what this is, it's basically what you'd like to do in your lifetime if you had the means....

This BLOGFEST is the brainchild of Jamie Ayres whose new book, 18 Things, is scheduled to release on January 24th... So you still have a whole week to join in the fun and post your 18 things. Many fantastic prizes are featured so drop by Jamie's blog for all the details.

Isn't that a stunning cover?

Well, now for my Eighteen things. Let me tell you this wasn't the easiest thing to do. How can one narrow down a bucket list to just eighteen things?

Well, here goes...

1. One of the many things I REALLY wish to do is visit my Cyber sister Siv Marie in Norway. We met almost two years ago in the A-Z challenge and we connected immediately and we have been tight ever since.

2. Next, Off to London to visit two wonderful ladies who I am extremely fond of, Talli Roland, and Talei ... similar names, different people.

3. My next trip scheduled would be a road trip.... Heading south from Chicago, only a five or six hour drive, I MUST stop over and see Leigh Moore in Indianapolis, Indiana. From there,  head south to drop in on the MYSTERIOUS Alex J. Cavanaugh in North Carolina, I'd be the first blogger to catch a glimpse of our Ninja Captain ... that is if he reveals himself to me .... LOL. Next trail down to the Bayou and spend a few days with my wonderful friend, Roland Yeomans. Hopefully I will catch him between blood runs. Afterwards, swing down to Florida and spend some quality time with my sweetheart of a friend, P.K. Hrezo. We have met a few times in Orland and it has always been an awesome time. And I MUST visit Harry Potter at Universal.... How could I not?

4. After a long rest at home.. perhaps a week or two, jump back into the car and head west. I have GOT TO VISIT UTAH!!! There, I have several people I MUST meet. First and foremost. My newest and dearest friend Morgan Shamy.... need I say more. Of course she will host a party for the blogger  elite .... Michael Offutt, David Powers King, Ali Cross, Elana Johnson, Karen Gowen ... and any other bloggers I have forgotten who live in UT ... there are SO MANY.

5. Seeing a pattern here? LOL. Off to Northern California .... I must visit another dear friend Donna Hole and another wonderful friend, who lives close by to her Carol Riggs.

6. Next ... drive down to LA for the SBCWI conference and hook up with even more blogger buddies who just happen to be in town.

7. Relax at the Beverly Hills hotel for a week to rest up for my next big trip. Hop on a plane to Hawaii. I've GOT to drop in Crazy and Wonderful Mark Koopmans and spend a few weeks hopping around the islands...

8. Back on a plane, but this time to Brisbane, Queensland to visit another dear friend Denise Covey. Of course I will have to stay a least a month or two to travel the surrounding areas. Denise LOVES to travel and I am sure I can convince her to show me around the south pacific.... We might just have to head over to Paris for a week or three... LOL.

9. By 2015 I would LOVE to organize THE FIRST BLOGGER CONVENTION!!!! How AWESOME would that be? Pk had mentioned to me on several occasions and  I think that would be the ULTIMATE experience. Can you imagine? Thousands of us running around some fabulous hotel searching for our favorite blogger buddies.... AH.... what a dream!

10. 2020 Another convention... I think we will all need five years to recuperate.

11. Now, time to get a bit more serious. I would truly love to be able to keep my upbeat, positive, caring, and sweet demeanor, no matter HOW TOUGH life gets.

12. I  wish to be healthy, physically and mentally, to do whatever I want until the day I depart this earth.

13. I wish to always have my creativity and always appreciate the beauty around me.

14. I wish to always have the patience to help others in need. To be caring and compassionate and to NEVER LOSE that ability.

15. To be able to live my life comfortably... without sickness and stress.

16. I'd like to own two homes. One in the south by the sea, and one up north in the mountains. Nothing fancy, just to be surrounded by nature to be always inspired to create with words and paint.

17. To be on this earth to see a cure for cancer and other life threatening diseases.

18. And finally .... to see this world at peace.... That I wish most of all.

Well friends that is my bucket list. Funny how award winning author didn't make the cut. So many more important things in life to dream about and focus on. Friends, family, health, peace of mind, and peace in our world.

Have a wonderful day everyone. I hope you will sign up and let me read your BUCKET LIST. AND CONGRATS to Jamie on her new release!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Hi everyone,

I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend. I FINALLY put away Christmas for another year, BUT the goodies still linger on. HAVE you finished eating all the yummy cakes, candies, cookies, and chocolates?

I know I had my fair share of these tasty delights, but now that we are in our second week of January it should be time to think about a new routine for staying fit. As you all know I keep a very WATCHFUL eye on myself and I CARE about ALL of you! Writers in general tend to sit for hours on end, pop anything within our reach into our mouths mindlessly, and drink caffeine of different varieties. NOT the healthiest things to do!

As many of you know, and I have posted this on several occasions, that we need to MOVE. We need to eat fresh, healthy snacks .... fruits, nuts, greek yogurt ... just to name a few. It's amazing how many tasty options there are that ARE healthy. And with a bit of planning you can work all those hours and munch the day away without it turning into unwanted weight. Why eat junk food? Yes, it tastes great, BUT chemicals added into these foods make us CRAVE them all the more and become junk food addicts.

What I want you to do is READ THE LABELS. CUT OUT processed foods! THEY are loaded with chemicals, sodium, sugar, and God only knows what else. These foods are VERY difficult for our bodies to digest. So why eat them?

I know how hard it is... I LOVE sweets and decided I needed to come up with a creative way to eat what I like, yet not have to worry about regaining any of the weight I had lost. So there is one concept I have come up with ....

This past holiday season I have begun baking again, but this time CHANGING recipes. First I am now using organic unbleached flour, butter, and eggs. Organic sugar some from natural cane and another from coconuts. Fresh cranberries, organic pumpkin, organic dried fruits and nuts. Yes, these are a bit more expensive, but isn't our health and the health of our families worth it? Now you can do a bit of substitution if you want to save some money. Eggs, can be natural without the organic label. If they are free range and the birds eat grains fine ... read the labels. The same with other ingredients... as long as they are not OVERLY processed they will work fine. But organic is still the best. You can mix organic with natural.

It's amazing how DELICIOUS these same recipes are with LESS sugar added and natural ingredients. You actually TASTE the pumpkin, nuts, and fruits, not just getting hit over the head with a sugar high. Same with using chocolate. BUY bittersweet or baker's chocolate squares with no sugar. You don't need the added sugar. And surprisingly it doesn't take that long to bake. Last night I had decided to whip up a batch of biscotti cookies. I LOVE them. I made a double recipe in about an hour. These cookies will last me at least two weeks. By adding additional anise and almond extract to the recipe, the taste is so amazing. I cut the sugar by almost half of what the recipe called for. And the result is a crunchy and tasty treat with your morning coffee. You feel satisfied and not deprived.

It is the ultimate "un-guilty" pleasure. So if you are CRAVING sweets. Change your favorite recipe by cutting the sugar, and adding natural ingredients. Vanilla extract and almond extract are amazing to add to almost anything. UP the level to add more flavor. IT really works. And after you try it, PLEASE let me know!

If ANY of you want the recipe for my biscotti, let me know and I will email it to you. I would post it, but it will take up too much of the post. This is just one way to fight your craving and still enjoy eating.

Now for the movement section. Since many of us live in the north and the weather is FREEZING, we tend to hibernate. This is NOT good. During writing binges, every few hours or so get up stretch and run up and down the stairs a dozen or so times. This will get your heart rate up and you will feel great. No stairs .... take a jog around the inside of your house. No, I am not crazy. Just do it. Run lightly into every room and pad around the couch, around the dining room table, around the bed... If you can manage to do this for fifteen to twenty minutes two or three times a day, you will benefit. We MUST keep as active as we can.

Another thing you can do is snap on the stereo and DANCE... It's fun AND it will certainly get your right rate up. GRAB your spouse or partner and have some FUN... or jump around with the kids. They will LOVE IT!!!

SO there you have a new tip for 2013... Time to alter those favorite recipes and make them more healthy and HAVE some fun moving about between writing marathons. It's good to clear the cobwebs an toxins from the body. You writing will certainly improve and so will your disposition ... LOL.

Have a GREAT MONDAY everyone! And don't forget to let me know if you would like me to send you my fantastic biscotti recipe!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Happy Hump DAY all.

This is the perfect day of the week for this post! Wednesday is always a hard day because there are still two more days until the weekend and you still have to be ON at work.

As most of you know, I have been AVOIDING my writing, coming up with excuse after excuse. "Oh, I am too busy with work .... Oh, it's Thanksgiving and there's too much to do .... OH, I have to decorate for Christmas... OOooo instead of  a traditional tree, I'll make one!" Killing two weeks in the process... Then, "Oh, l have to make last minute gifts ... Oh, I have to finish the baking ...." Yada ...Yada... Yada .... You get the picture. What's YOUR list?

Well, it's a new year and the 9th already! So get off you "excuse pot" and get to work! I had started with good intentions, and found it wasn't that easy getting back into my edits. I'd work an hour here and  an hour there, but I seemed to slip .... and then it happened ......

An URGENT cry out from my wonderful new friend, Morgan Shamy. For those of you who don't know Morg, you need too! She is a whirlwind of energy and positivity! She just signed with an agent and had just finished her first re-write for said agent when I checked in on her. She was so stressed.  Understandably so.... "I just read through it and I hate everything...."

I offered to critique it for her. (the old Lazy Me Voice whispered in my ear... another great excuse!)
"But you are SO busy.... you need to finish Amber."
"Yes," I said. "BUT your situation is much more urgent and I really want to help you." And I sincerely did... although I heard the cheering from Lazy Me Voice. (LMV)

This was Friday and after a bit of bantering, and the help she gave me on my query for my second novel (How sweet is that ..... ), she finally sent out the ms to me.

Bright and early Saturday morning I opened the word doc. I had read a few chapters before the final edit, so I was familiar with the beginning. I found a few things to tweak and read on ...

By the fifth chapter, a light within me filled the void and LMV cooed. INSPIRATION finally HIT ME in the FACE! MY mind ignited and the sleeping volcano erupted, oozing zillions of thoughts. I hadn't lost my muse .... it wasn't gone! I COULD write and edit again!

That evening I had about two thirds of the story read. What I LOVED about this story .... Morg has a way with the SHOCK factor. My jaw dropped at least THREE times that evening. By 2 am and bleary- eyed, I couldn't read another word... although I wanted to....

The first thing Sunday morning, even BEFORE my coffee, I revved up the computer and dived right into the rest of the story. By the final page, I was NOOOOOOOO.... I didn't want it to end. OF course, the final scene was perfect, but still ...

I finished up my final notes and sent them out to Morg. I wasn't sure if I had stepped over any boundaries, but she had assured me to be honest. "Do whatever it takes..." I waited.

She had a full day on Sunday with family obligations, so I knew I wouldn't hear from here right way. Later that afternoon I got the email.... Holding my breath I read the first sentence....

"Your notes are FANTASTIC. I'm applying all of them ...."  LMV jumped off the sofa and screamed in my ear "Get to work .... NOW! No more EXUSES from ME...."

I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Not only did I help a wonderful friend, but this act catapulted me out of my slump and I found inspiration! So if your LMV is nagging at you non stop, offer to critique a fellow writer's work. It just may be the jolt to have your LMV cheering you on!

Do you have an LMV? Did you ever have an LMV? If so, what did you do to silence him/her?

Well, everyone, I hope this brought a ray of sunshine your way today. Have a great day and I'll see you on Friday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013



I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday. But now it's time go get serious.

It's time for another post for the INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP.

For those of you who don't know about the IWSG, it is the brainchild of our own Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh... IT was created to help writers help each other with our insecurities about our craft. Whether we need advice or want to help others, this is the time to do it. The first WEDNESDAY of every month.

Now that a new year is upon us, it is time to reflect on our previous endeavors and move forward. What worked and didn't work for you in 2012? Did you have failures or successes? Were you happy with the results?

For many of us, we are still unpublished. But take heart, it doesn't mean that you hard work was in vain. EVERY word you wrote, every chapter you finished, and every novel you completed helped you become a better writer. REMEMBER THAT!

I named my blog In Time ... for a reason. BECAUSE IN TIME we will make our goal. WE will get published. It may not be traditionally... and that's FINE. There are SO MANY AMAZING self published books. And in today's market you can be extremely successful, as LONG as you produce a QUALITY story. Remember competition is overwhelming. YOU need to put in your BEST effort; YOUR finest prose; AND YOUR most POLISHED manuscript. Then you will be ready. There are way too many novels self published that shouldn't have been. Don't let yours be one of them!

This year I plan to continue my journey. I plan to continue to polish my two novels to perfection and find a home from them whether traditionally or self published. I also plan to continue to write my Film Noir novella and get that out into the world.

BUT before YOU decide to release your works, LET your CP'S read it. Our work should be read by other writers because we know what works and doesn't work. DON'T be afraid to share your work. We are all here for each other. I have LEARNED so much from my wonderful blogger friends and CP'S.... And remember to be there for them too. We learn from each other.

I wish ONLY the best for all of you for 2013.... MAY you find your niche, MAY you create something wonderful, and MAY you have health and happiness, for without our health and happiness we could never create.


Warmest affection...


Don't forget to drop by our other members for advice, inspiration, and more ways to fight your anxieties.