Bits and Pieces

  • June 30, 2019
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Last week had highs and lows.

Biggest high? Skyping with my group, The Penheads. They gave me valuable feedback on the first pages of the sequel to Magical Ties. There’s a long road ahead but it’s good to be back inside that universe.

And the low? Spending 6 1/2 hours in the dentist’s chair and not staying numb for the last hour. Not an experience I care to repeat.


For those who celebrate, have a safe and happy 4th of July!


  • June 23, 2019
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Why am I so excited about sunny days? Because for months, we’ve been dealing with too many days like this:

And more rain is coming. But this weekend, there was sun. So I’m sharing those pics because hey, sun.




Father’s Day

  • June 16, 2019
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Repeating this post, with love:

My Dad and Writing

Writing for the Seasons

  • June 10, 2019
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I hate to break it to you, but unless you’ve got a photographic memory, you won’t remember the details of winter if you’re writing about it in the summer. So here’s what you do.

As I said in an earlier post, take lots of pictures. But that’s not enough. Create folders for each season and begin gathering details as you live through them.

What kind of details? Everything and anything. For example:

  • What kind of clothes do your characters wear? Winter coats or shorts and tee shirts?
  • Are the trees blooming with pale green buds or full, darker leaves, or displaying a riot of color? Are they bare?
  • What kind of food is common during those times? In the summer, most people I know try to avoid cooking with their oven because it heats up the house. Street vendors carry ices, but in the fall, roasted chestnuts are sold instead.

I once read a book where a woman walked into a diner and ordered an iced tea in the middle of a snowstorm. In fact, I had to struggle to remember that it was winter in the story because the overall atmosphere made me think of the sultry hot days of the Deep South. Get your head on straight! If that perfect scene gets written but is out of place, either change the season or put the descriptions aside for a different story.

Look out your window. Open the door and breathe in the air. Listen to the sounds on the streets, near schools, and anywhere you think your story will live. Write it down, take photos or video, and keep those impressions to enrich your stories.


Using What You’ve Got

  • June 02, 2019
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writing photo

I have to admit, my brains feel a bit scrambled lately. I’ve been going to the dentist once a week for the past month and I’m not done yet. Each visit lasts anywhere from 2½ to 5-plus hours. Not fun. I’ve never felt less like writing.

But something happened during one of those visits. I’m not telling what it is but it’s a spark of an idea for a short story. (Incidentally, my dentist is great at getting me numb so no, it’s nothing mundane.)

What do you use? What do you see, experience, imagine?


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