Friday, June 28, 2013


Hi, All,

Happy Friday!

The weekend is upon us and I hope all of you will step away from your computers for a little while at least to enjoy the great outdoors. For the past month I've been weaving in and out of storms, dementor attacks, tornado-like blustering winds, and temperature variations of thirty degrees. But as I look out my window the sun is shining... for the moment ... and the gusty lake front winds are forever blowing through the trees.

I'd like to thank all of you for you comments on Wednesday. It was rough, but your kind words and endless support got me through the worst of it. Last night I was up until 1:30 am putting the final touches on my newest query AND in a fit of creativity (Which I haven't had in AGES), I actually re-wrote my first page! Can you believe it? After YEARS of fine tuning my first page, I threw caution to the insane Chicago winds and started fresh.

Years of comments about my first page flooded my memory. SO much conflict. Half the critiques loved the first line, the others hated it. Too much backstory, not enough showing, Start with this, start with that ... you get the picture. So I rolled all that information up into a memory ball and typed away. I have to laugh about it now. I never looked back. I decided to wait until this morning before sending out the query. It just didn't seem right to do it at that hour with such tired eyes.

Will it be as wonderful as I thought it was earlier today? I hope so. I have yet to read it, but will when I finish this post.

Now for the actual post. LOL. Strange things have occurred in my condo over the past few years. But more so recently. Much more. Before I laughed it off to forgetfulness. We all lose a bit of our memory as age creeps up on us.

Lately, I've been blaming all these mishaps on a playful ghost. Misplaced gym locks over the winter. Clothes I KNEW I had left in a certain place mysteriously disappeared, and reappear days later. Certain papers or information I would look for, but couldn't find.

Odd, right?

So, for the past few months when things "disappeared"I'd call out to my ghost with an angry tone, then laugh about it. Exactly two days later, the mysteriously disappeared items would reappear. Key in spooky music now.

SERIOUSLY. I live in a hundred year old building. It was originally built as a luxury residential hotel. Need I say more.

Anyway two mishaps finally convinced me I have a playful spirit toying with me. First. Two weeks ago when I did laundry as usual, I came back to my bedroom to make the bed. One of the pillow cases was missing. I looked EVERYWHERE for it. I went back to the laundry room several times to see if it was there. No it wasn't.

I spouted off to the ghost, and used another case. TWO DAYS LATER, as I was making the bed, a thought popped into my head. Something/one put it there. I always use two pillows in one case for extra support, so I slipped my hand between the pillows. There neatly folded was the other case. I knew then I definitely had a ghost. Why? You ask. You probably think I had slipped it in their by mistake when making the bed.

No, I didn't. When I bring up my sheets from the laundry room I only fold the cases in half. This was was folded into a 8x6 inch rectangle. STRANGE....

Incident number two. Last weekend I had decided to bake banana muffins. I have all my recipes stacked in printouts in my kitchen. I leave them in a certain cupboard. As usual I reached in to pull them out. They were gone. Hmmm. I thought. I tore the kitchen apart. No recipes. I ransacked my office closet, thinking I may have left them in there. No.

For over an hour I looked and cursed the ghost. I knew it was him/her. I baked anyway. I used another recipe I had in a book and tweaked it.

TWO DAYS LATER ... My recipes appeared under a knitting project I had left on top of my file. I had looked under there at least THREE times previously. I laughed and THANKED my playful spirit. This spirit doesn't frighten me. I've always believed that spirits walk the earth. Too many sightings from the masses proves this. Thankfully my "pal" is playful. I talked to a friend about it. He enlightened me that perhaps this may be a child. I thought about it and decided it may very well be.

I have never seen my spirit. I honestly don't know how I'd react. But odd noises in the late hours have certainly occurred.

Has this every happened to you? Do spirits haunt your house or condo? I'd LOVE to know. This subject had always fascinated me. Does it fascinate you too? Food for thought over the weekend. LOL.

WEll all, that's it for today. Thanks again for your endless support and kindness. It is greatly appreciated!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Good Wednesday, Everyone ...

This morning at 4:30 am the heavens caved in. I mean the thunder nearly knocked me out of bed. Lightning flashed, turning the night into day for several but brief moments. Who could sleep? This June had to be one of the WORST in Chicago history. At least it has for the last NINE years I've lived here. Once one of the most beautiful months, June has now been under Dementor attack for the past four weeks. With every room lit, I wrote this post.

This reminds me of our favorite beginning ... It was a dark and stormy night ... lol. I just need to tweak it a bit.... It was a dark and stormy morning ...

For days I have worked on my newest query for my second novel. After yet another contest, I had received some vital feedback and had changed my query... FINALLY it was ready. This particular agent asked for the first three chapters as well. As I ATTEMPTED to highlight the first 10,000 words of my ms, my frustration levels skyrocketed. My beloved Macbook has issues with this simple task. About three years ago it was a slight problem, but now it's a torture devise. My tack board is going. I need to have it replaced, but since I could never live without my best friend, it remains a problem. What is one to do? I wish I could buy another and use that while this one gets fixed. HA. I wish! Anyway, this is not the question I am posting about.

After an hour or so I had finally highlighted the section. I closed the ms and didn't save it because I had added nothing. To my HORROR, I had closed my query instead! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! And it wasn't saved. TWO weeks I had worked on it. And of course, the last day is when I had done the most changes. I FREAKED! Who wouldn't? This hasn't happened to me in YEARS. I am usually so careful.

Cursing, I had closed out everything and gently slammed my best friend shut. Hours later, I did some blogging, but REFUSED to work on another blasted query. It was an omen. Time to work on something else. Three years I had put into this novel. I had a few requests for fulls, but nothing came of them. I needed a mind-blowing query to attract at least TEN agents. That's what I want... kicking feet in a small tantrum. Its dark and the Dementors are EVERYWHERE. LOL.

SO, yesterday I pulled up my invisible sleeves and tapped away. Would this query be the one? I had decided to create something completely different. I had been told by a few that my queries read more like mini synopsis'. A thought came to mind. My intros! Create a query in the form of an intro. "How many blogger buddies praised your talents with these?" I had asked myself. So I did, concentrating on the one unique feature of this story. The relationship between the two boys... not focusing on the mc's trauma of physical and mental abuse inflicted by his dad.

Will it be successful? Who knows? Today, after posting this, I will once again attempt to highlight the first ten thousand words and send this out to the agent. The funny thing is, I feel good about this new query. As you all know I try very hard to keep positive and turn negative situations around. Losing my previous query, may in fact, have been a blessing in disguise.

Have you ever lost any pages and created something even better? I'd love to know. Food for thought on this very gloomy Wednesday.

It is now 7am and it's still dark outside. Will these damn Dementors ever leave Chicago?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


An icy wind swirls frigid flakes of varied lace patterns along a rocky trail. Haunting fingers branch from slumbering trees toward a lowly horseman. In the distance, on the highest peak, seven turrets pierce a veiled silver sky. The rider lowers his head as shoulder-length ebony hair whips across his face. 

The days of summer and its warmth are long gone ...

*     *     *     *     *

Porcelain and metal crash onto a stone floor. A teen boy’s trembling hands reach out for the pieces, his world forever in darkness. 

“Not again!” a shrill voice calls out.

He gathers up the broken shards into his apron. Heat burns through his cheeks as he feels his way toward the garbage bins.

*     *     *     *     *

A sharp blade swishes through the air seeking its target. It misses. Sweat rolls down the swordsman's face. A moment passes. He sucks air through clenched teeth. Stench from an unwashed body assaults his nostrils. 

He steps further into the darkened corridor. Silence louder than an explosion weighs upon him like a two-ton boulder. Racing heart beats pound his tunic. He turns the corner as a shadow shifts from behind a massive column and inches closer ...

*     *     *     *     *

Dainty finger plucks mint leaves off a stem and drop them into a boiling cauldron. Swirls of vapor caress her fine features as she inhales the brew.

“This shall do nicely,” she says to her furry companion. Emerald eyes flash in the flickering flames. The cat’s hackles raise from a knock on the door.

“What is it?”

“His majesty anxiously awaits your arrival.”

“I shall be there shortly.” 

*     *     *     *     *

As shrieks throughout the kingdom break the silence, a monster licks its talons from another human feast. 

Weak sunlight attempts to burn off the mist at dawn, as a fair-haired man straps a sword to his back. Heavy boots leave imprints in the snow with each step he journeys toward his final destiny.

*     *     *     *     *

The Kingdom of Wintermill is not unlike any other. Many mysteries are locked behind closed doors ...

The Men of Foxwick by Cherie Reich

Hi, all,

I hope you enjoyed my intro of Cherie Reich's newest collection. These shorts sound so intriguing, don't they?

I can't wait to delve into this enchanting world. What else will we discover? 

Below is Cherie's blurb and information. Please drop by her blog to congratulate her.


Men of Foxwick by Cherie Reich is now available! This fantasy short story collection features five men from the Kingdom of Foxwick.

A blind teen seeks a place in the kingdom. A dragon seer journeys to Wintermill to spy on the queen. A sword master’s worst fear comes true when he fails to protect the royal family. A king falls in love with an herb witch, but will she feel the same way? A hunter will rise to the challenge to hunt down a man-eating monster.

Short stories in this collection: Blind Scribe, Dragon Spy, Sword Master, Courting Magic, and Monster Hunter

To purchase: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo / Nook

Click here to add on Goodreads.

About the Author: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

For more information, please visit Cherie’s website and blog.

Also, Cherie has a special announcement for her email newsletter subscribers. Click here to sign up for her updates and receive a coupon for a free copy of Women of Foxwick.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Happy Friday all.

Well it looks like all your positive comments and sending happy thoughts our way to Chicago has worked. The DEMENTORS are GONE! At least for the time being. It's still windy and cool, but at least the sun is shining in a forget-me-not blue sky.

With Father's Day this Sunday, I can't help but think of my dad and all the other fathers out there. Fathers, now more than ever, are really a part of their children's lives. Gone are the days where mom stayed home with the kids and the only time you saw your dad was at the dinner table.

Today, dad's are running the lakefront pushing carriages, toting their little ones on bikes, playing fort in the sand, and running after their precocious children in the park. It is not uncommon anymore to see the stay-at-home dad. I know several and they are truly amazing men.

We need to give them an extra HOORAH! today.... HERE'S TO YOU GUYS!!!!!

I just realized I touched upon this subject a bit in my first novel. Although my MC's uncle is a freelance artist, he is, in all actuality, a stay-at-home-dad/uncle. Cool. At least I am current with the times. LOL.

Do any of you have a novel that features one of these incredible men? I would love to hear about it.

It is so tough to be a parent today. With SO many obstacles in the way ... work, carting the kids around to school, activities, and grocery shopping. The world is quite a different place then when I was a kid. Both my parents worked, so I had to get to school and back home on my own. Even in Kindergarten (Yes, you are reading correctly... I was five and went to and from school alone. FIVE blocks.) I managed. Grade school three quarters of a mile away. And HS a mile and a half. In New York with all its weather patterns. That's just how it was.

Today, it blows my mind to walk passed a HS, where the kids/ teenagers are waiting for their moms or dads to pick them up.... THEY ARE BIGGER THAN ME!!!!! What's the deal. Chicago has amazing public transportation and walking is good exercise. Yes, times have definitely changed. I sound just like my dad did... LOL... only he claimed to have walked TEN miles in three foot of snow. LOL. Hardly, my dad grew up in NYC and schools are within ten blocks of every residential building. I was raised in the burbs... so schools were a bit more spread out. We had sidewalks though. LOL.

How about you? Were you lucky enough to have your parent taxi you around? All my blogger buddies are from every age, so I am curious about how you all managed to get to school ....

I know... an usual post today. But it does have to do with dads....

I hope you all show your dad lots of love and appreciation this Father's Day. It's been over a decade since my dad departed this world, so I do miss him. Even though he was a very difficult man, but he had a smile that lit up a room and an infectious laugh. No one could resist it, even me.

As we grow older we appreciate our parents. Understand why they had to do what they thought was right at the time, even though we may not have thought so. IT isn't easy. I respect all you moms and dads out there. You have the hardest job of all. Caring for a family and SUPPORTING them in these very difficult economic times. CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done!

SO what are you plans for this Father's Day weekend?

I am having a picnic at the zoo with my blogger buddy Melissa Bradley and a few other friends. Nothing like good food, lovely surroundings, and laughter to keep away those nasty Dementors!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone....

Here's a pic of Chicago at it's best. I took it yesterday... now that's what Chicago SHOULD look like this time of year....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Hi, All,

Well we have made it to the middle of the week. It seems to get more difficult as time disappears at an alarming speed.

Summer weather seems to be eluding us here in Chicago. The cool overcast skies and chilly, damp breezes are certainly affecting the city dwellers' moods. My friend, and sensational author Melissa Bradley, seems to be in this weather pattern's clutches.

I wrote her today with a reason for her change in demeanor. On MONDAY we had a DEMENTOR ATTACK... They are BREEDING.... There is no other logical answer for it. The fog was SO thick, half the city disappeared. And the icy fingers gripped every exposed part of my body.

The after shocks of this attack are still rolling through the streets. Have you noticed a different TONE in your city or town?

These attacks on the creative muse are lethal and debilitating. Ask, Melissa. Ask me. I seem to fight them off a bit better than she does, but that's mainly because I had a few months of sun in Florida, and as you know Sunlight is very therapeutic.

I'd like to share with you a personal experience I had a few years ago with a similar attack. Perhaps then you will understand the seriousness of the a muse under attack.

I had posted this ALMOST TWO YEARS ago on this date.. HOW ODD. June 13, 2011 .... Eerie...

An icy mist and wind chilled Chicago this weekend. But as you know I am determined to keep up with my daily workouts both physically and mentally. For all you Harry Potter fans out there you will appreciate this story ...

As I hugged the lakefront in the late morning hours little light reflected in the iron-gray lake. Frosty winds chilled me to the bone. I yanked up the hood of my sweatshirt over my head to shield myself from the the icy droplets trickling from the sky.

A silver mist inched it's way to shore and the world famous Chicago skyline disappeared from view, swallowed up in a veil of a mysterious shadow. Have Dementors traveled across the Atlantic and settled in the midwest? Has Lord Voldemorte resurfaced in the United States?

It sure looked that way to me. The winds kicked up another notch and I felt the happiness drain from my soul. Where was Harry? I needed a patronus big time. As I met the faces of others, goofy grins plastered their faces. How could that be? Have them been possessed?

At North Avenue volley ball beach I u-turned and picked up my step. The fringe on my forehead dripped icicles. Is this really June? My eyes darted east and to my surprise the shoreline faded away. Have I been transported to an alternate universe?

I shook my head and focused my eyes on he trail leading north. Visibility of only five feet or so revealed itself to me with each step I took. "Don't loose sight," I kept mumbling to myself.

What seemed to be an eternity ended in the faint outline of a bridge. The Brocklehurst bridge from HP6 flashed through my mind. I scoped the murky sky for streaks of black.... Will death eaters blow up the bridge as I'm crossing it?

I jumped at the sound of the crashing water as a ghostlike boat coasted past me. Whipping my neck in every direction I looked for any sign of the mist clearing ...

Bright emerald popped into sight as I managed to enter into the park. I escaped the Dementor's kiss. I would be happy again.

I hope you all enjoyed my insane thoughts during my power walk on a misty day in Chicago.

What runs through your mind when you are exercising and you mind is free to explore? I'd love to know.

As you are aware I managed to survive. LOL. But this strange phenomenon and bone-chilling temps can easily affect a writer. Lack of light for so many months frightens our muse and she runs into hiding. Can you blame her? Not even a supernatural power can ward off this kind of attack.

BUT LOVE CAN....If you can take a moment and drop by Melissa's blog to leave a kind work I'd really appreciate it. Blogger love is the best medicine for her right now. She still may have her IWSG post up, and if you have left her a message, drop by again and leave a smile or hug. I know it will help and go a LONG way.

You guys are awesome and i know I can count on you to spread a bit of cheer. Have a terrific HUMP DAY ALL!

Below is a pic I took of the DEMENTOR attack.. Isn't this INSANE?!

This image is an original, so please be respectful. Contact me for permission for further use.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Happy Monday all.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! As always it does go by so quickly. As promised, I will be giving away a lovely copy of THE CAGED GRAVES by Dianne Salerni. BUT... before I announce the winner, I would like to give my review.

As not to spoil the complete story for all who wish to read this fascinating novel, I'd like to review it a bit differently.

For me The Caged Graves sends the reader back in time. The author, Dianne Salerni, transports us back to rural nineteenth century Pennsylvania. A simpler, gentler, yet, naive and superstitious era of young America. A time where woman are submissive, and were raised to marry young, bear children, and listen to their husbands. But Verity Boone is different. She is opinionated, stubborn, and passionate. Very much like Jo March in Little Woman.

The author's prose flows beautifully, mirroring Alcott's own days. The struggles, the desires, and innocence of Verity. The dialogue is effortless, as if the author herself conversed with Alcott over afternoon tea.

It seriously blew my mind. If I didn't know better, I would have believed this novel was written in the nineteenth century.

But our author does something more intriguing than just penning a story of a young woman on the verge of marrying. She ever so subtly introduces a mystery. And it was this mystery that our heroin pursues, even jeopardizing her future, to find the answers. WHY? What was this obsession that drove her to find out the truth. Who were the unfortunate souls buried in these graves, and WHY were they entombed in cages outside the cemetery?

One must read the full novel until the end to find out. It's a slow and steady build up with lots of interesting subplots, mysterious and chilling characters, as well as more that one love interest to keep the reader turning the page.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Caged Graves. Not your typical historical novel by any means. What really fascinates me the most is that Ms. Salerni wrote this novel after discovering the original Caged Graves on a trip to Pennsylvania. Now imagine going to a cemetery, picking a few names off headstones, and creating a whole scenario with the spirits from the past. It takes a great deal of imagination to do this successfully and I am happy to say that Ms. Salerni pulls it off amazingly well.

Thank you Dianne, for creating such a memorable story for us to step back in time.

Dianne K. Salerni
We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks)
The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH 2013)
The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)


AND, now for the winner of a hard copy, plus signed book plate. I was so happy to see who came up as the winning number ....

CONGRATULATIONS ..... MELISSA BRADLEY! What a fun surprise for me that one of my fellow Chicago blogger buddies won.

SO Melissa, let me know how you'd like me to give you your prize... Shall it be in the mail or in PERSON.... I see another six hour chat-a-thon coming up at Cafe Baci in the very near future. LOL.

I hope you all enjoyed my review and I hope you all get your copy. Every reader needs to escape from time to time and why not go BACK IN TIME.... You will be glad you did.

Have a great DAY EVERYONE!!!!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Funny how at certain times in our lives a mysterious stranger is destined to influence us and our writing.
It happened to me not too long ago. I had been traveling by train from the city for a much needed getaway.
As I wove between other passengers down the aisle, I had glimpsed a lovely young woman reading. What most intrigued me about her was her choice of reading material. It wasn’t the latest paranormal romance, scifi, or epic fantasy; it was a book of poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. How odd, I thought.

I stopped in my tracks. The seat next to her was vacant, so I slid into it and accidentally grazed my shoulder against hers.

“I’m terribly sorry,” I said, smiling. 

She glanced at me and nodded. 

“Interesting choice. Barrett’s poetry is quite beautiful.” 

She smiled ever so slightly, and her gaze returned to the pages of her book.


Despite her elusive response, I found myself turning my head from time-to-time. Her focus never waned as unpolished fingers turned the next page with subtle grace. I wondered who she was. Typical teens didn’t act this way.

I reached into my pocket to retrieve a pack of gum. Turning toward her I asked, “Would you care for a piece.”

She lowered her book and stared at the piece of gum I held in my hands. Her eyes met mine. “No, thank you, sir.”

Sir? “Please, call me Michael.”

“With all do respect, Sir, I never speak with gentleman to whom I have never been formally introduced.”

WHAT?! Is she kidding me?  I shook my head. “I was just trying to be friendly. I never meant to offend you. You needn’t act so ... overly formal.” 

Her cheeks flushed, but she didn’t respond. Yet she had kept eye contact with me.

I could certainly play along. “Well, then, if I may introduce myself. I am Michael Di Gesu, and interior designer and hopeful author.” I extended my hand.

She studied me for a moment, and then cocked her head. As her lips curled into a smile, she took my hand. “My name is Verity Boone.”

“Quite an unusual name, but I believe it suits you. Does it have any meaning.”

“Yes. It means truth.”

“I do like names with meaning. Mine, for instance, means ‘of Jesus’ in Italian.”

She propped herself up as her eyes brightened. “I have never met anyone from another country. Your manner of speech is almost perfect.”

I laughed. “Thanks. I was born in NYC, and so were my parents. What about you? Where are you from?”

“I was born in Pennsylvania. I am returning there now to meet my betrothed.”

My jaw dropped. “You’re getting married? At your age?”

“I am certainly of age, sir. We have been corresponding for months and Nate finally proposed to me.”

I stared, amazed at so much maturity for such a young woman. “Ah, well, I guess congratulations are in order. How does your family feel about this.”

“My father arranged our meeting. My mother passed away when I was only two-years-old."

“But such things aren’t done anymore. Arranged marriages are so nineteenth century.” I looked at the book in her hand. “This happened in Barrett’s time.”

She looked at me quizzically. “But, sir, I am from the nineteenth century”

I raised a brow. What does one say to that? I could hardly catch my breath. She sounded and acted as if she had stepped out of the pages of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

“Are you feeling all right? Can I get you something? Perhaps a doctor?”

Her expression hadn’t changed. A moment later, she returned to her book, but on occasion she glanced toward me.

A short time later, I composed myself, then cleared my throat. She faced me.

“Verity, you honestly think you are from the nineteenth century? This is the twenty-first century.”

Her face tensed. “But how could it be? I am on my way to Cattawissi, Pennsylvania. My father has sent for me. I do not understand.” She inhaled and composed herself. “I apologize for my outburst, sir, but you must be mistaken.”

As the train passed through a darkened tunnel, all was silent. A flicker of sunlight appeared and the windows blazed with afternoon brightness. I blinked my eyes and looked toward Verity. She was gone. “But how?” I gasped. 

It was as if she had faded into air. Had I imagined her. I mean, I am a writer. I shook my head. Impossible!  Not even I have that good an imagination.

Something glossy shined next to me. A book. But, it wasn’t the one Verity had in her possession. It was another. I viewed the lovely cover and recognized it immediately. The Caged Graves swirled on the book jacket. Underneath the author’s name. Dianne K. Salerni. 

I picked up the book and flipped through it. Then the name, VERITY BOONE jumped off the page.

My jaw dropped again ...

Dianne K. Salerni
We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks)

The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH 2013)
The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)


I hope you all enjoyed another one of my flash fiction pieces based on THE CAGED GRAVES. Dianne Salerni’s newest novel is currently doing an informal blog tour. 

It was my pleasure to feature her today! As a special gift, I am giving a hard copy away WITH a signed bookplate by DIANNE! This is so rare these days when most writers are only giving away ebooks. I know I LOVE to read a REAL book, so now here's your chance. There is NOTHING more satisfying.(US and Canada. Sorry my international friends. International shipping costs are too expensive for me.)

All you have to do is leave a comment for an entry with your email address if it's not linked from your blog. IF you’d like additional entries, post this giveaway on FACEBOOK and Twitter.  Just let me know in the comments.

ON MONDAY I will post the winner and MY REVIEW of this wonderful book. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Good day ALL,

Welcome to another Insecure Writer's Support Group ...

As we know the road to publication is full of pot holes, ditches, and even canyons. So this is true for me.

This week I had experienced a bumpy ride. After climbing to the top of a mountain, the air was fresh, the sky a perfect forget-me-not blue, spring birds chirped merrily beside me. The sunshine warmed my heart and soul as both my novels' queries and first pages made the first cut in an exciting blog contest.

The judges involved were respected in the community and AGENTS were involved in the final judging. A very exciting prospect to me.

As I followed along in the contest, comments revealed my queries were far from perfect. I TUMBLED down the mountain with great speed and crashed into a bloody heap into a ditch. One would think with TWO entries, ONE would have made it through. Well, not this time. So, I found myself, scraped, embarrassed, out of breath, and depressed, staring up into an overcast darkening sky with thunder rolling in the distance.

Have you experienced this? I know you have .... We all have. This ISN'T the first time for me. FOUR years I have journeyed this turbulent road. Four years of climbing mountains and toppling down. Why continue? It seems to be endless and leads nowhere. For some, it has led you to a meadow bursting with spring flowers in the high afternoon sun. YAY for you. I am so happy, knowing your hard work has paid off! But what of the rest of us? Still stumbling along. When do we wave the white flag? How many more boxes of band aids and tubes of antibacterial cream do we need before we heal and call it a day?

I wish I knew the answer. It is up to the individual. But for those of you looking skyward from a ditch, remember to listen to your heart ... your soul ... it will speak to you. AND with every tumble there are lessons to be learned to give you the strength to PULL yourself out.

THANKFULLY. I did receive some EXCELLENT comments on my problems. Do I want to do ANOTHER REVISE? HELL NO! I AM SICK to DEATH of this. BUT as you know, I NEVER give up so, I will continue on .... bruised and angry, but I will continue.

Something else positive happened from this experience. One of the other contestants left a message for me. She, not only is an amazing writer, but she won in her combat. She wants to read my ms. She loved the premise and first page.

SO you see, even if you lose, you can win.

I'd like to take this time to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh and ALL the members of this group for taking the time to post and help support our community when our journeys get tough. We all need a friend/friends to commiserate with as well as to celebrate with when it's our turn to shine.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone and remember we are ALL here to lend a helping hand whenever you are feeling low or distressed.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013



I can't speak to loudly ... I just wanted you to all keep an eye out for me today ... I am presently having tea with Mistress Snark in her parlor .... 

Who knows what will happen to me here. OR if I will even survive this dreadful tea. 

So I need you to check up on me ... okay? Several of her guests have disappeared over the years. And if that should happen to me ... PLEASE send out a blogger alert and search party! 

                                                     AT ONCE!

I really hope to see you all tomorrow as it is the IWSG and I need to keep the positivity flowing for all of you who are anxiety ridden.

I must admit I am a bit anxiety ridden myself. Suddenly this tea is making me very woozy....

C R A S H !     !    !    !    !    !