Tag Archives: #writer #writinglife

Things only my family would understand

Goodness! Week 10 already. Today’s topic is a little, well, I don’t want to say intrusive, but it kinda is, because I’m wondering if I have to explain WHY only my family would understand. I’m gonna take the easy way out here and just list them without explaining why. It’s not only easier, it’s less embarrassing. You guys have enough imagination, you might be able to answer why I’ve listed these things. If you can’t…oh well!

In no apparent order, only my family would understand:

  • my insane, almost pathological need for privacy
  • why shopping gives me a panic attack
  • my love for old black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s
  • the reason I don’t remember my sophomore year in college
  • why I consider mayonnaise sandwiches comfort food
  • my uber-defined personal space bubble
  • my issues with food.
  • the reason I dislike Tom Brady
  • why I’ve dyed my hair since I was 16

It’s gonna be interesting to see if the other authors on this blog challenge put up their reasons and don’t take the embarrassed coward’s way out that I did! Click on their links and find out.




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I’m not Inventor-y…

This week’s topic is a hard one for me because I’m not an inventor-y-type girl. I don’t even like to go to the beach, much less an island. If I got stuck on a deserted island, I’d probably be the first one the cannibals ate, anyway because, you know…I’m chubby! Lots of protein and fat.


So survival being the name of the game I’d need some kind of device that would be able to turn the water surrounding the island into water suitable to drink. It takes 3 minutes to die without air, 3 weeks without food and three days without water, so the water is a necessity. I know there are currently machines called desalinization thingies, but I’d need to be able to make this on the island from the raw materials around.

Don’t know how I’d do this, don’t have a clue where to being, but….that’s what I’d make. A thingie machine to make clean, drinkable water.

And then once that was off the drawing board and put into practice, I’d find a way to invent a pizza oven. Just saying. Food, you know?


Well, it’s uber obvious I’m not inventor-y, but maybe some of the other authors on this challenge are. Hop on over to their sites to see what they’ve come up with. And if it’s good, I’ll probably make arrangements to be deserted with them so I could survive.


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#MFRW I don’t like your voice….

The prompt of this piece is the worst writing advice I’ve ever gotten. I’m gonna share that, but a little backstory first so you can understand why the advice was the worst!

I’ve been searching for a literary agent since I started my journey in publishing. Haven’t found one yet but it’s not because I haven’t tried. At every conference I attend that allows agent pitches I sign up for a spot. In the past three years I’ve pitched myself and my work to 9 different literary agents. 6 were NYC based, 2 were from California, and one was from the NorthWest. They’ve all been industry  pros with great author pedigrees and clients,  but none of have them have offered to represent me. They’ve all asked for me to send them my work, which I have. Now remember, I’ve pitched to 9 agents. 4 never bothered to contact me back after I’d sent the work and waited the allotted 30 then 60 days for a response. When I did re-email them, no responses. 4 sent me form rejection letters within 15-30 days after I’d mailed my CV and work, not commenting on what I’d sent. The last agent I met with was last year. I’d actually connected with her via email  prior to the conference and she’d asked me to send her my work right away so that she could get a feel for what I wrote before meeting me. I complied.

I met her face to face for an allotted 15 minute meet/pitch and the first thing she said to me was “I don’t like your voice.”


I knew she meant my writing voice, not my actual voice voice. Even so, that was a bit…harsh as an opening line. She went on to say she’d read 5 pages of the 30 she’d requested and couldn’t get past the way I wrote. There was nothing technically wrong with it, she said, just that it was unappealing.


Okaaaaaaaaay. This had taken exactly 15 seconds of a 15  minute space. What was I supposed to do? Sit there and just stare at her until time was up? Stick up for myself? Cry?


I mean really. Talk about how to hurt someone’s feelings. Only, mine weren’t hurt, surprisingly. No, I was feeling something else entirely.

When I get really mad I tend to get very quiet. Deathly so. People around me have remarked that me, quiet, is terrifying.


I was so stunned by what she’d said, I couldn’t think of a response. That silence, I think, prompted her to say her next thing – the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. “You should think about changing your voice. Experiment with something different, because I just don’t think you’re going to sell commercially sounding the way you do.”


It was apparent to me that she hadn’t read the publishing CV I’d sent along. Last year I had already had 8 books traditionally published and had contracted for 3 more. So without an agent I’d already sold 11 book to publishers. If she’d read that she would have known that SOMEBODY liked my writing voice enough to publish me. 11 times. Traditionally.


Again, I stayed silent and smiling, even though I wanted to stick my tongue out at her and say, “so there!!” I know. Real mature. By now I knew even if she offered me a contract ( which she didn’t) I wouldn’t sign with her. If you have an agent you want her/him to be on your side, have your back, and promote you and your work and strengths. When I continued to stay mute she said, “Well, I have a lot of people to see today. I’ll be making decisions on who I want to take on, what work, and such, so  I’ll get back to you within a week or so with my decision.”


Hadn’t she just told me my voice was horrible and that I’d never sell commercially? That certainly didn’t sound like she wanted to represent me, does it? I couldn’t take it another minute. I stood, shook her hand and said, “thanks for meeting with me. Enjoy the rest of the conference,” and I bolted before she could say another word.

Weird, right?

Do I really need to tell you she never, ever, got in touch with me again? Not even a form letter.

Like I said: weird.

So that advice –  to change my writing voice – was simply the worst piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten. Who would say that? WHY would you say that? Each writing voice is unique; distinctive; individual. I could understand that she didn’t like mine. You can’t please everybody. But as an industry professional to actually tell me to change something that’s so inherently part of me is like asking me to change my DNA makeup; my height; my personality. Would you ask Dr. Suess not to rhyme? Would you advise ee cummings to capitolize?  Make Janet Evanovich ditch the humor? Good God, would you ask Jane Austen to stick to writing letters and give up on the whole fiction thing?

Needless to say, I am still on that quest to find an agent. Preferably one who likes my voice.

Since this is a blog hop, click on the other authors in this challenge and see more example of bad writing advice!



Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance

#MFRW Top 5 things on my bucket list

Until the movie THE BUCKET LIST came out, I’d never heard this term before.

Once I knew what it meant I kinda ignored the term for about 10 years or so because I wasn’t ready to make a list of things to do before I die. I mean, come on. It’s not like I’m imminently north ( or south) bound. I don’t have one foot tipping over to the hereafter yet.

Yet is the definitive word in that previous sentence.

So, since I can dream about what I want to do someday, here are my top five thoughts on the bucket list in no real order of when or how I want to do them.

GO skydiving.

My daughter went a few years ago and said it is unlike any feeling or emotion you will ever have.

TUSCANY. I want to visit Tuscany for an extended stay and take cooking lessons from real, old world Italian chefs. My pasta making needs expert instruction!

Testify before the House Committee on Funding. These life-long bureaucrats need to hear from real people about why funding for Mental Health, Cancer research, and Education needs to be fully funded. I’m sick to death of my tax dollars going to pork spending. These guys need to hear from me in person!

Start a public service organization dedicated to PAYING IT FORWARD. I’ve been so blessed in my life; I think if a person can, they should pay that blessing forward in any way possible. We’re all in this together, folks. We need to boost each other up. I know I personally have stood on the shoulders of all the women who came before me who fought for reproductive rights, voting rights, mental health rights, employment rights. I want to be able to do the same for the next generation of women and the generations to come.

Plant a tree in all 50 states. I can see some eyebrows rising with this one, but it goes along with the paying it forward thought. Every day, millions of trees are cut down for various reasons. I understand most of those reasons, but if we cut down one, shouldn’t we replace it with another so the cycle can continue? If we continue to destroy our natural landscape without any kind of replenishment, the future will be a vast wasteland. I don’t know about you, but I want my great grandkids to be able to climb trees, take a walk in a forest, and breath in clean air!

So, those are my top bucket list items. Stop by the other authors in this blog hop to see what they’re planning on doing with the rest of their lives!


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#motivation…it’s closer than you think.

2018 seems to be the year I need to give myself daily motivational prompts, either in the form of quotes by famous, successful people or in just reminding myself every day when I wake up that I have goals I need to work toward this year.

It suddenly dawned on me today that all I have to do each day to be reminded of what my motivation is, is to simply look up and to the left in my office and stare at the wall. If I do that, this is what I see:


The top picture was given to me by one of my favorite people on the planet, photographer/artist/all-around fabulous human, Stephanie Rita. Steph is a successful businesswoman  in addition to being an artist,  and I’ve been privileged to know her since she was 5 years old. I’ve watched her grow into a deeply spiritual, dynamic, and talented young woman and I lovelovelove this watercolor she did for me. Go to her Etsy page and you’ll find a wealth of beautiful creations from her to purchase. The simple play on words, WRITE NOW, is so indicative of Stephanie’s subtle, yet insightful, style and persona. I simply adore this painting!

The second picture was gifted to me by my NHRWA chapter president and USA best-selling author Christyne Butler. In addition to being a multi-published, Harlequin author and the President of my local RWA, Christyne is one of the most supportive, intelligent, and kindest people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. She gave me this plaque when I signed my contract with Kensington/Lyrical for my WIll Cook For Love Series.   And it went a long way in helping me realize that the dream I’d been working towards was coming true! Love that.

To say that these two images motivate me towards my daily writing goals is the truth. Obviously, I don’t have to go far to gather motivation on a daily basis! I simply have to look up from my desk.

Really…how cool is that?

When I’m not being motivated you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for #MomentsfromMenopause

My other person, #MenopauseMama, has a new blog post up today. I need a second job to pay for my menopause skin issues. Check it out. Moments From Menopause

When I’m not complaining, you can find me here, not complaining!

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

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We’re going waaaaaaaay back, here!

Welcome to week #2 of the 2018 MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Today, we’re supposed to tell you about our earliest memory.

Okay, this one’s a toughie because I’m… not young, and my memory isn’t what it was even a month ago!!!

When I really think about it the very first memory I can conjure is from when I’m about 5 and I went to the library with my babysitter for the first time. I remember walking into the building and being surrounded by the stacks and racks of books. There’s a certain smell libraries have – knowledge and fine paper – that I can still recognize today. It’s like comfort food for my senses. I loved books even back then and I distinctly remember getting my library card when I was with my babysitter. So cool. We took out a bunch of kid books and she read them all to me and then encouraged me to try and read them too. Love that! What a great memory that is.

I still love libraries and whenever I’m in a new city I make a point to visit one. I don’t take any books out, I just troll around the stacks and admire the architecture. And, of course, the books!
Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop have for their first memories:



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An oldie but a goodie…

Author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda Whiteside had been reposting some of her favorite blogs from the past. I was lucky enough to be included in that list and here’s what she shared today:

I Can’t Dance.

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A little slice of writing Heaven…

When I decided to write full time after having my first book published, I knew I needed a spot of my very own. A space just for me to escape to and write away. I’m lucky enough to live in a huge house with a finished attic. It has 2 rooms and one was used as a playroom for my daughter when she was a child. The other is basically a storage room chockablock with Christmas decorations, suitcases, furniture no longer is use. You get the idea.

Since my daughter moved out of the house I decided to use her former playroom as my “office.” And that term in a loose one. I had an old desk that I situated near the window in the room which overlooked part of our woodland property. Since I live in the woods, this seemed like the perfect place to write.

Not so much. After a few weeks of writing full time -and sticking to a fairly inflexible writing schedule of 8-10 hours a day, this position proved not so wonderful after all. You see, even though my nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away geographically, our backyards abut. The neighbor has two very large, very NOISY dogs who spend most of their days outside, fenced in, in the backyard. The fenced in portion is a mere 200 feet from my property line so I could hear the dogs barking LOUDLY ALL DAY LONG.

Can I just say: I lovelovelove dogs. But these two? Not so much.

I needed a new space to write in peace and quiet.

“What about the other room?” hubby asked when I told him my dilemma?

I hadn’t considered it before because the room was, as I’ve said, a storage room. A hovel. A hoarder’s paradise. To use it, the room would not only need to be culled, it would need to be redone because the walls were plain sheetrock and the floor, well, there wasn’t much of a floor.

“No prob,” said hubby. Can you see why I adore this man?

First, I cleaned everything EVERYTHING! out of it. Did I say hoarder? What’s worse than a hoarder?

Then, hubby got to work. He plastered the walls then painted them in two colors I’d requested – muted sage and buttercup, and then laid a new floor. The entire project took three weeks because he could only work on it during the evenings when he got home from work.

This office was a real office, not just a desk. Now I had a desk, a few bookcases, and plenty of room to store all my book swag, books and all the accouterment that go with marketing and publishing.

Oh, and there’s a window in this office too that I put my desk in front of. I get to watch the seasons change daily since it overlooks our forest. When I’m daydreaming I get to observe the deer, squirrels, chipmunks and birds frolic and play in front of me.

It’s the perfect place for me to just drift away and ….write.

The best part? Since it’s on the opposite side of the house I never hear those damn dogs barking anymore.

Le sigh. Perfection.

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to read about the writing rooms of the other authors in this blog.



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I hate my voice, but……

Recently, I was interviewed on the national radio program, THE AUTHORS SHOW. The interviewer, Linda Thompson, has a voice made for radio. It’s rich, engaging, accent-less, and just sounds warm and welcoming. My voice? Yeah, not so much. But I’m always up for book promotion, so I did the interview and I hope the crackle and rasp emanating from my voice box doesn’t put too many people off!

The interview is 10 minutes long – not too long, but long enough that I got to answer some really terrific questions. If you have a few minutes to spare, give it a listen and let me know what you think ( about the book, NOT my voice! I already know what people think about that!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOL)

Yeah, NOT!!!!

When I’m not doing radio interviews you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr


Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women