#ReblogAlert – This Week on Story Empire

I’m still on my two week blogging break, but you know by now, I’m going to share Story Empire’s posts, even though I have not had a chance to read them myself. I’ll be catching up with all of them after I return, and am looking forward to doing so. They are ALWAYS well worth the visit!  So without further ado, here goes:

MONDAY: Stacy Troilo’s post is entitled How to Write a Sidekick, and I have no doubt I’m going to enjoy this one when I return. Check it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: John W. Howell has a very interesting sounding post this week, entitled Let’s Talk About the Hierarchy of Needs. Can’t wait to see what it’s all about. You can check it out HERE

FRIDAY:   Joan Hall’s post today is about Summer Reading, something we all enjoy, yet often worry about as writers. For instance, is it a good time to release a book or not? Check out what Joan has to say HERE.

And there you have it folks!
Enjoy!

#CatchingUp and Taking Some Time Off – #AlertTheMedia

Yes, it’s true! I’m taking some time off. For the very first time in nearly 20 years of blogging, I’ve decided I’m never, EVER going to get caught up, or even find time to finish my current WIP, if I don’t take some time off from my blog. I need a few uninterrupted days to sit down and WRITE for a change. Plus, we’ve been working very hard on some deferred maintenance issues with our house and yard, and I need a few days to focus on that before the temps get even higher than the 92 degrees that are already upon us here in Florida. 

With this in mind, I’m not going to be available on The Write Stuff for the next two weeks, so my usual bi-weekly features (#MondayMeme, #GuestDayTuesday, #ThorsDaySmile, and #FirstlineFriday) will be on hiatus, too. And I probably won’t be able to do much in the way of sharing while I’m officially gone, though if I can squeeze a reblog or two in, I will. 

This is NOT an easy thing for me to do, being addicted to blogging as I am. I mean, I don’t even take weekends off!  Ever! I will miss ALL of you while I’m working on other things, but I think I’ll return feeling much better for the break and the chance to dig out from under the heap of things I’m behind on. 

I know you’ll all understand and will forgive me for missing some posts on your blogs, but just know that if I didn’t feel it was necessary, I wouldn’t do it. Thanks, and you guys behave yourselves while I’m away. (No talking about me behind my back! 😀 )

(NOTE: I will still be checking my email daily, so if you need me for anything, you can always reach me that way. )

See you in two weeks! 

 

#ReblogAlert -This Week on Story Empire

As always, another week filled with great stuff on #StoryEmpire. Be sure to check out these terrific posts!

MONDAY:   Joan Hall’s post Capturing Emotions by Using  Personal Experiences is a great example of how to make our storytelling better. I highly recommend checking it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Mae Clair has a super helpful post entitled Using Lists Within Word Press Reader you’re going to want to check out, especially if you are often overwhelmed by the amount of email in your Inbox. You can read Mae’s post HERE.

FRIDAY:  Once again, Gwen Plano’s post, entitled Are You a Sensitive or an Intuitive Writer?, touches on how we view life and how that viewpoint transfers to our writing. It’s a thought-provoking post, and if you haven’t already checked it out, you really should. You owe it to yourself! You can read Gwen’s post  HERE.

And there you have it folks! Another week great stuff on Story Empire! 😀

#ReblogAlert – #SmorgasbordPostsFromYourArchives – What’s in a Name and How Do You Choose One – #writing

Today, Sally Cronin surprised me by featuring one of my Story Empire posts from 2020, What’s In a Name, and How do You Choose One. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look, especially if you missed it the first time. And I also hope you’ll find it both informative and fun! THANKS to Sally for sharing, and to you for visiting, if you have a moment. Hope you’ll find it helpful. 🙂

You can check the post out HERE

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire

As always, another week filled with great stuff on #StoryEmpire. Be sure to check out these terrific posts!

MONDAY:  Gwen Plano’s post, Extroversion and Introversion, gives us a look at the types of personalities writers might have, and how it can impact how we look at life, and approach our work. AND there’s a link where you can find out just where you fit on the introvert/extrovert scale. VERY interesting. Check Gwen’s post out  HERE.

WEDNESDAY:  Don’t Talk Like That: How to Write Good Dialogue–Punctuation is another very helpful post in this informative series from Harmony Kent. Check it out HERE.

FRIDAY:  Today,  D. L. Finn has a post near and dear to my heart, entitled Animals and Writing. I’m a huge fan of pets and other animals being included in stories, and Denise does an excellent job of explaining the why and hows of doing so. Check it out HERE.

And there you have it folks! See? As I said, it’s great stuff! 😀

#ReblogAlert – Quotes and Writing by D. L. Finn on #StoryEmpire

Today’s Story Empire post is from writer and blogger, D. L. Finn, and is sure to be a hit with all writers. Denise talks about the inspiration and creative power of quotes, especially about writing and from famous authors. You do NOT want to miss this one, I promise! LOVED it, and the quiz at the end, too! Thanks, Denise!

Go HERE to enjoy Denise’s post! You’ll be glad you did!

#ReblogAlert – Don’t Talk Like That: How To Write Good Dialogue – Name Dropping by Harmony Kent on #StoryEmpire

Yesterday’s Story Empire post by Harmony Kent featured a great beginning to her new series on writing dialogue. I loved the examples she shared and her tips on this subject. Check it out for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s well worth a read, and I know I’ll be following along with Harmony’s future posts in this series. 

Read Harmony’s post HERE

#WritingRambles #amwriting – Writing “What You Know?”

Good Morning, Folks!

It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday in central Florida, after a drizzly, gray Saturday. Happily, yesterday’s weather didn’t stop anyone from attending my talk on Owls at the gorgeous DeBary Hall Historic Mansion.

In fact, we had four extras show up, but had plenty of open space at the back of the room to accommodate them at a safe distance from everyone else. And as you can see from this week’s header image above, I’m still in an owlish kinda mood. (This is a barred owl, btw, my favorite of all.) And talking about these wonderful birds yesterday, gave me the idea for this post today. 

We’re often encouraged or advised to “write what we know,” and in general, I tend to do that, as all of my books are set in the southern part of the United States (just as *I* am), and feature the kinds of people I’ve known all my life. (Except for the serial killer in Swamp Ghosts. I confess, I’ve known some unpleasant folks over the years, but none that I know of have ever gone so far as to kill people and feed ’em to the local alligators! 😉 )

But, in general, I do write people I understand and who speak in a manner I’m familiar with. I also go a step farther by including habitats and wildlife I’m familiar with, too. I like to set up a scene so that readers will feel like they’re “there” along with the characters. For me, this can include describing a canoe trip on the St. John’s river, or a walk through a Florida wetlands area, or a slippery climb down a rock face beside a North Carolina waterfall. I think many of us do this when setting up a scene, and if done well, I believe (hope!) it makes it all more real to readers. But I want to take it a step farther today.

Here’s my question for you: do you ever include things from your real life that only your friends or family would likely recognize? Maybe as a private joke, or maybe simply because whatever it is happens to fit well with what you’re writing? I do, even though I don’t set out with that in mind. It’s just that as I’m typing along, I think of a familiar item or happening, or even a line of dialogue, that is part of my life in one way or another, and find myself including it.

For example, in Swamp Ghosts, one of my secondary (but pretty important) characters is Lester Purvis who drives an ancient, primer red and gray, 1967 VW bus. I’m very familiar with this bus, as is everyone who knows Mark and I, because it’s parked in our garage. My husband has had it since the early 80s, and, like Lester, has always planned to restore it to its former glory. (He drives it for short errands on the weekends, and can’t stop at a traffic light without someone pulling up beside it and yelling out to ask if it’s for sale.) You would be staggered to know how much he’s been offered for it, even with all the body work it needs. Apparently, being the last year they made VWs with the split windshield gives it some serious collectability. 


(Taken many years ago. Nothing much has changed.)

The VW is one of the more obvious personal tidbits I’ve tucked into my books, just for fun, but I find myself drawing on small events and funny moments from my own life fairly often. I’ve also mentioned a real person now and then, like my friend Bev who owns the DeBary Nursery, where my character Willow Greene likes to buy plants for her herb garden. Heck, even the barred owl that greets Sarah on her arrival at Wake-Robin Ridge is taken from my life. Everything is fair game, I figure, as long as it doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy, and it actually fits into the moment I’m writing about. (Bev was thrilled, btw. She sells my books at her shop and one of her customers who’d bought a copy of Finding Hunter from her returned to get Bev’s autograph after reading the scene! 😀 )

So, your turn now. Have you ever included something of this nature in your own books? Maybe as a little nod to a friend or family member? Or just to make yourself smile as you’re writing? Tell us about it in the comments below, since, as always, inquiring minds wanna know. Especially if you’ve ever included any private jokes or situations that only some would recognize. 

Thanks! And have a beautiful, peaceful, productive day! 🙂

Catching Up – #amwriting #MondayBlogs

 

HELP! Where Did All My Writing Time Go?

Happy Moon’s Day, Folks! I hope this Monday morning finds you in good health and good spirits. Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that my blog posts may be spotty for a bit. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am never going to get caught up again in this lifetime, but I can’t keep floundering in a sea of To Do Items and ignoring my writing. Sad but true, the time comes in life when we no longer have quite the energy or stamina we once did, and we have to slow the pace a bit. 

As a result of the above-mentioned (and truly annoying) energy decrease, I haven’t written a word in months, and it’s making me very unhappy. Therefore, I’ve decided I’m  going to take some time to write each day (at least until I get my 4th Riverbend novel completed) even if it has an impact on my blog posts and my blog visits. I’ll do the very best I can to keep up with both, but if I miss some of my regular features or a stop or two at my favorite blogs, please forgive me. And don’t be alarmed. It just means I’m working on my book.

 I know most of you will understand how frustrating it is to want to write but not have time to do so. (And the pandemic isolation, oddly enough, was not at all conducive to the process for many of us, either.) The good news is, I started said book Friday and managed to get the short prologue and the first two scenes of Chapter 1 written. Words cannot express what a difference even that little bit has made in my overall mood. Stress levels are definitely lower, and I’m actually smiling again. 

I have #GuestDayTuesday posts scheduled for several more weeks, and will definitely be reblogging Bad Moon Rising posts through the month’s end, and Story Empire posts always, so it won’t be completely empty here. I plan to touch base at least weekly, and I’ll try to find time for other goodies here and there, too, though I’m not going to promise when or how often. Once I’ve made substantial progress on this story, I’m sure things will starting heading back to normal, but until then, I hope you’ll all understand if you see less of me online for a few weeks. 

Thanks so much, and now, the Painter Brothers are demanding my attention. They have some interesting things happening in their lives, and some new characters coming into play. Must. Go. Write. 


Yes I know these three guys are really actors, but in MY world,
they are Hunter, Forrest, and Jackson Painter, and I’ve 
truly missed them! 🙂 ❤