Saturday, August 29, 2015


Read an interesting article on the over use of cell phones as an indicator of depression. Well, yeah, I can see that. I really think I was battling depression and didn't even know it. For a year, I've allowed Facebook and Netflix to suck up all my time and energy. I avoided replying to social media, blogging and even, writing. I was just emotionally drained. Part of it can be attributed to over doing things when I first started writing. Back then, I loved doing all the things I needed to do to connect with readers and other writers.

I'm feeling more like my old self and hoping to jump back into things but more slowly this time. In the meantime, let's talk about Lost. Yep, one of my binge shows on Netflix was Lost. Of course, I am going to rationalize this time-sucker as research. Watching Lost has helped me reconnect with the whole characterization process. And I love it!

There is so much that goes into writing; character development, setting, teasing all five senses, active vs passive voice, and more. I remember first starting my journey as a writer and struggling just to make sentences that didn't all start with he or she. The more you conquer one writing foe, you have to move onto another. So, for the book I'm working on now, I'm trying to dive deeper into each of the main character's emotional psyche.

It's not enough to know their basic background; where they went to school, what religion they belonged to or even who their first romantic interest was. The lessons I'm learning from Lost is each character will have had an event or maybe two or three events that shape how they react to other events. It's one thing to say the character lost a loved one in a driving accident when he/she was a teen but how will they react when their own teenager wants to start driving? Will their reservations be a little higher, more exaggerated than the normal parent? All good questions but it does make one think.

This is not really a new revelation for me, but I think as we write more we sometimes tend to write by rote. We're so consumed with getting that next novel written and out that we start taking short cuts. So, no more short cuts, no more getting off the beaten path. Yep, I'm finding the trail back to good writing practices and in the process feeling less lost.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Forget the Puppeteer

For about a year, I've been struggling with writer's block and getting depressed about not writing. I've tried a few things to kick start my muse, but alas she was being rather stubborn. One of the things I thought would help tremendously was a move to the country. And indeed I think it's helping but again, things just don't happen over night. It's taken a month of living her to find "relax mode" where I'm not stressing. So let's talk writer's block.

I attribute a lot of factors to writer's block. Lack of time comes to mind first. I have one of those personalities that has a hard time saying no to folks. I think the only cure for lack of time is learning to say no. Being in the country will help with that as I'm no longer around for people to find me and ask of me those tasks that require time and effort. Yay for the country!!

Stress is a huge factor. Some of the things on my plate require me to be the lead person, the one in charge making decisions. So -- I've actually found a replacement for one of these jobs and that will relieve a lot of stress. Yay for being in the country where doing this particular job was going to be very hard to accomplish.

But - there's another leading contributor to writer's block and this is one I think others will relate to. When your characters flat stop talking to you. I was getting so mad at my characters for their total lace of cooperation. Why would you do that to moi? I'm your mother after all. I created you. Dang it, but they were all being recalcitrant teenagers. I was spending so much time blaming them that I failed to ask a vital question. "Why were they not talking?"

And then I had an epiphany. They weren't talking because I was treating them like puppets. I needed to forget being the puppeteer for a change and go back to basics. I needed to start digging into their character development, they psychological make-up. Who were they and how would they react based on their backgrounds. The minute I did that with one of my more stubborn heroines, she literally broke down. She cried a few tears and then began talking to me. She began reacting correctly to the stimuli around her and those reactions gave way to a whole new direction for the scene. I'd been stuck on this one scene for almost six months. I'm feeling relief, gratitude and a serious creative need to write. Whoo hoo!!!!

The story I'm currently diving into is a sequel to Julia's Golden Eagle. Will Stanton begged for a story of his own and he's finally getting one. Might take me a year to finish but at least it's on track again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My new "she shed" and Barn Kitties

Before renovations
So I promised my cat story which isn't all that exciting or funny but maybe just ironic. We bought our property in September of last year but didn't move out to it until May of this year. Lots of things had to be put into place before we could move. We put in a septic system, we buried the electric line, we had a barn built and we had to finish out a cabin.

The cabin was only 288 sq ft but it was just a shell. No sheetrock on the inside, no floor (just a really poorly built sub floor), but it did have electricity and insulation. Now I have my writing cave or a "she shed" as they're calling these cabins now. More on my writer's cave later. Too fun.

After some of the renovations
After all of that, we moved and it's been an adventure ever since. On one of our working weekends, we noticed a gray cat, and wanting to make sure the cat stuck around, I bought some cat food. The next time we were out, we gave her a bite. A few minutes later, I called to my husband, "Look, babe, she has a kitten." A few minutes later, "Look dear, she has another." "Look honey, there's three." Needless, to say, five kittens later, we were putting out more food. They looked in need as they were scrawny little buggers.

A few weeks later, the dad shows up. I know it's the dad because it's identical to two of the kittens. And soon after, another black cat shows up, her tits full of milk. Ugh, so this one has a litter hiding somewhere. Two weeks ago we found the litter of three. They're about 5 weeks old now and that's my best guess. In the meantime, gray momma starts rounding out - she was very pregnant three weeks ago. Now, she's not. And we have no idea where that litter is or was. Since we haven't seen her in about a week, I think something must have gotten to them. Sad but that's how it is in the country I suppose.

So, my neighbor comes over and he says my biggest mistake was feeding them, that in the country, there is plenty for the cats to catch and eat. That's true. I've watched them in action. Tom Tom (the gray tabby on the right) caught a nice sized mouse the other day and they love snapping up the spring peepers (very small frogs) and crickets. He said they'd stick around whether I feed them or not and that nature has a way of weeding them out. We have hawks, eagles and coyotes around, not to mention bobcats and snakes.

Dad and 5 of the kittens (one is hiding behind the bench)
Plus, we've been having a great discussion on a western forum I'm on regarding what best to feed cats. 'Pears, I've been wrong in feeding them dry food as this tends to lead to health problems for cats. Their natural diet is raw meat. Needless to say, I'm now trying to wean them off me feeding them. I figure I'll just put out food during lean times like the winter. And I will continue to provide fresh water but I will be happy to just let them be barn kitties. By the way, they are feral. We can get about a yard from them before they run so they definitely aren't pets. More's the pity as I'm quite the cat lover.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Liberated - Cover Reveal for author Laura Miller

This book is a biography of a woman I have loved and admired for the whole of my life.
In December 1944 a German family of seven were captured and convicted of war crimes for harbouring Jews.
I have known this story for most of my life. In the twilight of her years, this lady has decided that it is time for her story to be told, so it will be recorded for future generations.
The woman and her sister were interned in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp until Liberation on 13 April 1945. This is a true account of her experience.

Hanover, Lower Saxony


The house looked the same as every other dwelling in the street. Two story, attached, weathered stone. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom with indoor plumbing upstairs. An attic, where family treasures were hidden, could only be accessed through a removable panel in the ceiling of the main bedroom closet. Downstairs was a small but adequate dine in kitchen, a sitting room and a storeroom. Inside the storeroom was a staircase which led down to a basement.

The house sat opposite the banks of the Leine River. It was home to Inga Albine and her family. She had one older sister, two older brothers and one younger brother. They loved summer when they could swim and play in the water.

Inga’s father, Adaulfo, was a well-known and successful Banker. An unusual occupation for an Aryan as most Bankers were Jewish.

Inga’s mother, Alisz, was a talented seamstress but with her husband being more than capable of providing for the family, sewing was a hobby rather than a chore. Although sewing gave her a great deal of joy, her first love was her family. She adored being with her children.

Being only children, both Alisz and Adaulfo had always dreamed of having a large family. Their dream had come true. They had five healthy children, blonde haired, blue eyed. Perfect Aryans in Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Klaus, 18, Manfred 17, Elke 15, Inga 13 and Oskar 8. The girls and Oskar attended private school while the two older boys studied Engineering. They all played the violin and with the exception of Oskar, they played very well. Neighbours often praised Adaulfo and Alisz on how polite and well-mannered all five children were.

The family were prominent in the local community. They never hesitated to help people who were less fortunate than themselves.

That was to be their downfall…..

Non-Fiction, Historical, True Life
Laura is a middle aged lady who was born in England.
She has a compassionate nature, a great sense of humor and is a loyal friend. She also has an insatiable love of history.
Growing up, Laura would spend hours with a member of her family who she loved dearly. Over the years she was told the story of how this amazing lady had suffered at the hands of the Gestapo and German SS.
Laura had always had a strong desire to write. She felt a responsibility to record the story as a part of her family history.
Pre Order Links:
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Cover Design
Cover by Charlene Raddon of Cover-Ops

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New Things Happening in my World

First, I'm now officially a country gal. Yep, we left the city for country life. It's absolutely beautiful here and peaceful. I've had all sorts of wildlife come to visit from frogs, turtles and armadillos to deer, rabbits, possums and barn kitties. I'll tell you my barn kitty story later but at present we have no mice or snakes if that tells you anything. LOL.

Here's a picture of the pond. When I'm standing at my kitchen sink, this is what I see. I'm hopeful that this move will inspire me to write more. And yes, I have been writing but not as fast as I used to.

But - I do have a new release coming out in November!!! And the cover is wonderful. The Rose Hunter is a sequel to The Keeper of Moon Haven and I'm very excited. I started this book almost five years ago. The characters were being difficult regarding the ending.

Here's a blurb:
Lucian Willshire is plagued by thoughts of a fae world and the disappearance of his aunt some nineteen years past, but when his friend drags him back to Hamingjur Castle, he stumbles into Alfheim Haven once more where mystical beings become more than a distant memory.
Lyerra Ahdia is baffled by the sudden emotional changes she’s experiencing until she discovers she’s the only witch to suffer “the change” since her mother stole the Rose, a special talisman with the power to perpetuate life among those in her coven. Tasked with finding and bringing the Rose home, she begs Lucian’s help in navigating the human realm. Against his better judgement, he agrees.
Though neither set out to find anything except the Rose, fate has other plans. Will love be more elusive than hunting the Rose?