Category Archives: #Mfrwauthors

What do you click on? #MFRWauthor week 43

The prompt for this week’s blog is MY FAVORITE APP.

Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know what an app was. I thought it was an abbreviation all the cool kids were using for appetizer or appointment. No lie!

Now I know what it means ( I think!) so I really am in with the cool kids. I will admit I had to email my daughter before writing this blog just to make sure I was getting the APP definition correct.

Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m tech-NO-savvy.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts – not just the MFRWAuthor ones on Fridays – you know I typically sign off with a cutsie saying and then this:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

I feel like I need a self-help group when I say that.
Me: Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m a Pinner. 
The group: Hi Peggy!
Hee hee.
Truly though, there is nothing more fun for me to do when I want to waste ( not a good word choice, peeps) an hour trolling through all kinds of celebrity pix, holiday themed gifts, DYI stuff, even book recommendations.  Recently, I took my mother to the hospital to have her first cataract surgery and I brought my iPad with me because I knew I had a couple of hours of waiting ahead of me. The entire time she was in pre-op holding, through the surgery, and until her ophthalmologist came and brought me to her room, I was pinning.
Here’s a secret – and I’m totally outing myself here: while I was writing this blog piece, I was scrolling through Pinterest boards looking for cute apron sayings for an upcoming book about a an InnKeeper. This is the board I was saving everything to: Maureen’s Aprons.
Maybe I really do need a support group: P.A. (Pinners Anonymous)
Hee hee
Let’s see what favorite apps the other bloggers in the group like best: MFRWauthor
And at the chance of being redundant: When I’m not pinning you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me
Hee. Hee.
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Where do I Begin? #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge Week 42

So, last week we discussed when to end the book. This week it’s how to begin it. Or more importantly, where to begin it.

I’ve heard from several traditionally published authors that most editors despise a prologue. They find them wordy, too backstory-laden, and don’t do much to push the story forward or get readers engaged.  They think most prologues are too much tell and not enough show. The editors feel  writers should be able to weave all the story details they want to tell before they tell the actual story, into the actual story and not weigh down the beginning with details that could be divulged elsewhere.

There’s something wise about this, I think.

But….

The very first book I had published, SKATER’S WALTZ, had a three page prologue that showed my heroine winning her first Olympic gold medal. I felt it set up her emotional makeup and allowed the readers to know a bit about why she was the way she was when the book opened in chapter one.

 

My editor ( whom I lovelovelove with all my heart) didn’t agree. For all the reasons I gave above she felt we should nix the prologue and start the story in chapter one. Since this was going to be my first time being published I bowed to her wisdom, bit my lip, and agreed to trash the first 3 pages.

Did I regret it? At the time, yeah. Do I now? No, because she was right. The book started where it needed to start. And I was able to incorporate those winning moments into the story without any problem. Where I placed them actually made sense for the scene, too, so yay for that!

Fifteen books later and I still struggle with wanting to put in a prologue for some on my novels. It still feels right to me and I get all angsty about giving too much info away at the beginning and knowing when to pull back. Or thinking the reader simply needs to know these details now so they’ll understand where the story is going. I think I’d be a better writer if I remembered to simply tell my story the way it should be told – with the reader learning everything she needs to know as she is reading the book and not beforehand. Foreshadowing is a good literary tool when used effectively within the story. But too much is, simply, annoying.

Many famous and well-selling authors use prologues all the time and their readers don’t seem to mind. I certainly don’t. I like a good prologue because to me it sets the story up, let’s me know that something good ( or evil) is coming, and gives me a sense that the past events that happened to these characters is going to mold their story.

I’ll be honest and tell you I haven’t published a book with a prologue yet. Have I written them? You betcha. Published? No.

Maybe one day…..

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop think about prologues. MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge.

And, when I’m not struggling over whether to include prologues or not in my stories, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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#MFRWauthorBlogChallenge Week 41 ….How do I end it?

Have you ever gotten to the last page of a book and thought….and? What happens next?

Even though the story has been resolved, the lovers have reunited and declared their love, the detective has gotten his man, the world has been saved from the dreaded bio-virus, sometimes it just feels that there should be…a little bit more, before the book is done. A little sumthin’ sumthin’ else before I put the book back on the shelf ( or in the case nowadays, close the Kindle app.)

These are the times where a really good epilogue comes in and saves the day…and the book.

The definition of an epilogue is a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on, or a conclusion, to what has happened.

The way I define an epilogue is by saying it’s what comes after the end. In a mystery, the detective solves the case and in the epilogue the author tells you what happened after that. In a science fiction/dystopian tome, the epilogue will show you how the protagonists are rebuilding and renormalizing their world again. In a romance, the couple confess their love and their desire to be together always. The epilogue will tell you how they are doing, maybe a year after,or even give you a glimpse at their wedding or the brith of their baby.

An epilogue in a series book can actually set you up for the next book. In a romance the epilogue might show you what the secondary character is now doing, and you just know she’s gonna start out on her own journey for an HEA.

I love a good epilogue. I know they fell from writing grace for a while, especially in romantic fiction, because the ultimate goal, the end game, was the declaration of a promised lifetime together, and assumption the couple was going to have an HEA.

But…

I like a little glimpse into the what comes next. I want to know the plans for the wedding, or did Great Aunt Who-sis bless the happy couple, or did Cousin What-sis agree to be the Maid of Honor. I want deets, peeps. Deets!

Sometimes the promised HEA-end just feels…unsatisfying to me.

So, enter the epilogue. To me, it’s the final wrap-up, the place where every potential question is answered, the real end of the story.


Then, and only then, can I really feel my characters got their final say and their true HEA

So, before this blog needs its own epilogue, I’ll end it here and suggest you check out the other author blogs in the challenge to see how they feel about the inclusion of an epilogue. MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge

And when I’m not writing epilogues, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me

 

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#MFRWauthors Week 40 Clothing optional?

This could potentially be a real TMI blog for some writers. Hee Hee.

It won’t for me because I’ve spoken on this topic a lot in the past; no embarrassing secrets here.

First, the Peggy Jaeger rule of life: Never stand if you can sit, never sit if you can lay down, and never get dressed if you don’t have to.

I live by this code. Trust me, because I do!
Having said that, I like being comfortable.

For 150 years I had to wear a uniform to work. The first ten years of my career I wore nursing whites five days a week, sometimes six with overtime, and I hated it. When you’re a nurse in a medical surgical unit and an ICU you get a lot of ….body fluids… on you. I had to do wash DAILY because the thought that someone’s blood, or sputum, or other disgusting emissions were on my clothes laying in the hamper grossed me out to no end. Never mind that germs and bacteria grow in warm moist environments ( like dirty laundry bins.) Never mind some stains set almost immediately and need just as immediate treatment to get them out. And never mind I lived in an apartment with no access to a washer and drier s0 I had to bring them out to a commercial place. All that was bad enough, but do you know how difficult it is to keep whites white? If you don’t, then compare a 50 times washed white shirt to a brand new one of the same maker. ‘Nuff said. This is my nursing school picture, btw ( hee hee)

 

When I started working for my hubby I was able to wear colored scrubs every day to the clinic. I have a lot of those scrubs left in my closet and now that I don’t need to work outside the home anymore, I tend to use them as gym-wear. Since I don’t like tight clothing, especially when I’m working out, the scrub tops are perfect for easy movement and feeling comfortable.

If I don’t have the gym or 90 other things on my schedule that make me leave my home during the day, I tend to stay in my pajamas until it’s time to cook dinner.

Yup. I write in my pj’s, the most comfortable clothing I own. I truly wish it were acceptable to go out in public in pjs. I certainly would if it was.

And because I feel comfortable in my pjs, I tend to be able to write a lot more too, because I’m so happy in my clothes. And a happy writer is a productive writer. Go figure! Hee hee

I wonder what the other writers in the blog challenge wear when they’re creating…hmmm. Let’s find out, here.

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here. Depending on if I’m home when you look for me, I may be dressed, or not. Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Would you call this…odd? #MFRWauthor Week 37

So it’s no secret I like to read. And cook. I also like to read cookbooks. Hee hee. See what I did there?

I have over 130 cookbooks in my house, some dating back to the early 1900’s – old church-sponsored cookbooks with recipes like Lard Pie and Potato Treacle. Weird, no? Some are from famous celebrities – Trisha Yearwood’s and Rachel Ray’s are my fav – and some from the likes of Betty Crocker, Southern Comfort Magazine, and Weight Watchers.

I’ve read all of them – really. I have my own recipe books with written copies of the recipes I’ve read about impressed into them. I’m always up for a new cookbook gift. (Hint Hint)

I’ve got cookbooks devoted solely to chicken, meat, veggies, pasta, desserts, cookies, pies, hors d’ouveres, appetizers, munchies, smoothies, cupcakes and cakes. I have entertaining cookbooks with complete meal selections in courses from soup to nuts. I’ve got holiday cookbooks galore – of every holiday, not only Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Valentine’s Day, Easter, and even the Fourth of July.

I’ve got cookbooks with the titles “the best of American Cuisine” “The Number one recipes in England” “Fifty way to serve hotdogs”. Hubby loves that one!

I think my cookbook collecting is a little addictive, no?

Hi, my name is Peggy and I collect cookbooks.

Lets see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge collect. MFRWauthorBlogChallenge

When I’m not looking at recipes, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Don’t judge me for my secret snack choice!

Shhhhhhh! 

No one is allowed to know I have a secret stash of  these…..

In my office drawer.

Don’t tell. Please. Pretty please.

heehee….

Let’s check out some of the other authors in this blog to see what they hide to snack on… MFRWauthorblogchallenge

and when I’m not snacking you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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I’m a scaredy cat, for sure….

I’m not quite sure my fear is irrational, because there’s a valid reason I have it.

A little backstory first…

I was a latchkey kid during the school year. My mother didn’t want me left all alone every day for more than 13 hours during the summer though, so from the time I was 5 until I was 14 ( and got my first job!) I was sent away with my grandmother every summer so she could “watch me.” It was more me watching her, but that’s for another blog.

Any hoo.

I was used as free labor from the time I could lift laundry bags and learned how to make beds. One day I was hanging laundry on the clothesline – yes, we still did it back then even though it was the 1970’s and dryers had been around for eons! I was just clipping a blouse on the line when I felt this horrible pinch on the palm of my hand. I screamed, dropped the clothespin and the blouse to the ground, and looked at my hand to find the biggest wasp I’d ever seen sticking out of my flesh, still moving.

I screamed again. This time louder, shriller, and more hysterical and then ran inside seeking help.

My grandmother was at the kitchen table, shelling peas. She threw me an annoyed glance, barked, “Why are you hollering like a banshee?” and never stopped shelling.

Through sobs and hiccoughs, I showed her my hand and explained myself.

She glanced at my hand, tsked, and said, “Go to the sink then and pull the stinger out. Then wash your hand in hot water and soap.”

No “here, let me help you.”

No, “oh you poor thing.”

No “Oh my goodness, let’s get you tended to.”

I was given orders and expected to carry them out by myself.

I was eight years old.

Eight.

Think about yourself at that age. Would you have been able to deal with this alone?
Unfortunately, I had to.

Sobbing, and with the damn wasp still flapping its wings, I ran to the sink and did what I was told to.

I was terrified to pull the wasp and stinger out, esp. since the bug was still alive. I took the dish cloth used to wash the dishes in my right hand and squeezed the bug until it was dead.

A strange feeling that, for sure.

Then I tugged on the stinger. I can assure you it hurt as much coming out as it had going in.

Blood shot everywhere in the sink, more so when I ran it under the flaming hot water.

“Make sure you clean the sink when you’re done,” My grandmother said, still at her shelling station. “And get a bandaid from the first aid kit.”

Never a hug, never a kiss, never a word of “Oh, poor you.”

I’ll repeat: I was 8.

When I was bandaged she made me retrieve the blouse from where it had fallen to the dirt below and hand wash it since it had gotten dirty again when I dropped it.

8.

To this day I run when I see wasps, bees, mosquitos, simple houseflies, anywhere in my vicinity.

Irrational fear or well-deserved one? You choose.

Let’s see what the other authors in this blog challenge are afraid of  – rational or irrational though they be!

MFRWauthorblogchallenge

 

 

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My Theme song….no surprise!

No explanation necessary. Easiest blog to “write” ever.

My theme song: I Will Survive

Because of everything I’ve endured through my 58 years, this Gloria Gaynor classic could have been written for me. Plus, it’s an 80’s hit, a time when I was in my prime. Hee hee.

I can remember driving around at night with my friends ( remember when that was a thing? Gas cost, like $0.65 cents a gallon and we could actually DRIVE around and not worry about wasting money!) and blasting the radio so we could commit all the songs we loved to memory. I WILL SURVIVE was a major hit in 1978, the year I graduated from High school and started College. It was the year I moved out of my parents home forever, asserted my total independence from them, and started supporting myself financially. It was the year of big hair, platform shoes, the first minting of the Susan B. Anthony coin release, and the release of GREASE, the really last great movie musical – in my opinion.

Happy Days and Charlies Angels ruled the tv watching universe, and the first test tube baby was born in England.

Jimmy Carter was our President, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Elizabeth Windsor sat on the throne in England. She still does!

1978 was a really good year for me. And, apparently, the world.

Let’s see what the other authors in this hop have the song that sums them up. MFRWauthorWeek34

And if you’re looking for me, I’m never far. Just a click away:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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I’ll take that advice!

I’ve posted a great deal on this blog about writing advice I’ve managed to learn from all quarters of publishing, writers, and at  romance writing conferences.

 

These are just some of the pearls of wisdom I’ve heard imparted.

But the single best piece of advice I ever heard came to me, not from a romance conference, or even a romance writer, but an editor who presented at a Writer’s Digest conference I attended in 2014.

She said, “Write the book of your heart. Don’t write to trends. Today’s million seller vampire trilogy will morph into tomorrow’s  spy/espionage bestseller and then an historical tome on war. Just write the book you’ve always dreamed of  writing. The one you want to read but have never found on any bookshelf or by any author. Write THAT book and make it your own.”

Lovelovelove that advice!!!!

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge have to say about advice. Week 33

And as always, if you need to find me, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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The voices in my head!

I’ve been away from my computer for a week and forgot to write this post before I left, so it’s gonna be a short one!

As far as writing goes, I basically wait until I “hear” a voice in my head to determine if I’m going to pen the book in first person ( my main character talking) or third ( multiple viewpoints). I’ve done it both ways.

When I write in third person POV my books tend to be longer because there are more heads to get into. The major pitfall, though, I find with 3rd POV is that I sometimes forget whose head I’m in!!! I’ve been known to start a scene in one character’s head and without a page break, creep into someone else’s. This is problematic to be sure! Editing is key here.

In first POV I tend to write my funnier books. I never used to like first POV until I realized how much better the snarkiness, the comedy, and the plain funny sounded coming directly from a character’s mouth.

I have two new books coming out in a few months and both are in first person AND both have humorous elements, so…

Let’s see what some other writers in this hop use for viewpoint and why! MFRWauthorblogchallenge

and please follow me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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