#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare #Poetry – Grackles


Boat-Tailed Grackle

Getting caught up, here and back into the swing of my  normal weekly events. Sunday is a good day for inspiration on The Write Stuff, often about things I have pinned to the  Inspiration Boards that surround my work area. And nothing inspires me more than nature.

This week, I discovered the grackles are back! Fall migration has officially begun, and they are busily congregating everywhere they can, including local parking lots where they might find a few dropped bits of food items. There are several kinds of grackles, but the ones who make the biggest impression on me are the boat-tailed variety, and I recognize them as a harbinger of autumn, the same way folks up north recognize the robin as the first sign of spring.

Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major male - singing on territory Sabine Pass, Jefferson Co., Texas 20 May 2013

Hey! It’s Fall, Y’all!!

Grackles are among my favorite of birds. I even mentioned them in a somewhat poignant scene in Finding Hunter. (See? Inspiration.) They are handsome birds, with a lovely iridescent sheen to their glossy black feathers, except for the female. She’s a plainer, mostly brown bird, but the males seem quite intent in impressing her, anyway.


You’ll Always Be Beautiful, To Me!

They are bold. Even fierce, if need be. 

See? Bold! As this snail kite is learning.

And did I say fierce? Possibly foolishly so.

And best of all, they are full of attitude, strutting around convinced of their own importance, and announcing it to the world with every step they take.

Life is good, when you’re a grackle!

REALLY good!

My favorite autumn poem is one by Amy Lowell, called Purple Grackles. I hope some of you will take the time to read it HERE. ¬†It’s ¬†truly lovely, as all her poetry is.

Let me sing you the songs of autumn! 

In the¬† meantime, enjoy the pics! FALL has arrived in Florida, at last. Temps dropped twenty degrees last night, and the grackles are here! Hope you’ve been inspired by them! I have. But then, grackles always inspire me.

Shoveler Pond



#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

A Narrow, Black Water Stream, Chock Full of Mystery

Those of you who have been following The Write Stuff for very long, know that I believe in inspiration boards. The walls around my computer area are covered in cork, where I pin photos and illustrations to inspire me as I write. Actors or models who look the way I picture my characters, animals that might factor into my books, and lots and lots of scenery. Whether it’s an awe-inspiring shot taken from a mountaintop in North Carolina, where my Wake-Robin Ridge series is set, or a dramatic image of an alligator, basking on the¬†banks ¬†of the¬† St. Johns River, where my Riverbend series is set, you’ll find it within sight of my work space. Whole scenes have been written, based on ideas that come to me from photos.

If you’ve never collected images for inspiration, I highly recommend you give it a try. In the meantime, here are some¬†of the¬†images I surround myself with when I’m working on my Riverbend series, set here in central Florida. Enjoy! And be inspired! ūüôā

03Jul2013_011-149-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Baby Gators on a Log Continue reading

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare #AbandonedHouses

If Walls Could Talk

Time to fire up everyone’s imagination! Don’t know about you, but I can hardly drive by an abandoned house without creating a story in my mind.¬† My first book, #WakeRobinRidge, came about due to driving by a long deserted log cabin between Asheville and Chimney Rock, North Carolina. I saw it every year on my mountain pilgrimage, and it never failed to make me wonder what stories it could tell. With that in mind, here are some fantastic photos of abandoned houses, sure to make you ponder–and maybe even write a book about. Enjoy!







#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare – And Now for Something Completely Different!


Instead of a set of inspirational photos today, what do you say we find our inspiration in each other? I know seeing a bit of what each of you have done, or checking out your latest WIP, is always inspirational to me, so . . . given the power vested in me by, ahem, myself . . . I hereby declare today the start of a new #ExcerptWeek!  Yippee!!

Starting today, you are invited to share an excerpt from one of your books or stories, published, unpublished, or a work in progress, and we, in turn, will send it out into the world to be shared among our various social media groups. Here’s how you do it:

  1. If you are already set up to post on TWS, go right ahead and post your excerpt(s) throughout the week, whenever you like.
  2. If you aren’t set up to do so, email me at: mmeara@cfl. rr.com, and I’ll tell you how to proceed, or will post your excerpt for you.
  3. Be sure to include your Buy Links, Cover Photos, Author Photo, and  Author Bio at the end of your excerpt.
  4. Please, no politics, religion, or blatant erotica. (And yes, I’ll be the judge of what constitutes blatant. Sexy is fine. Very sexy is probably fine, too. Graphic descriptions should be saved for those who decide to read your book.)¬† *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*

And that’s pretty much it. I can help you post, if you need it. Again, just email me with questions. But most of all, SHARE! This is a great way for you to let others see a sample of your work, and learn how and where to buy your books.¬† (Even if you’ve never posted here before. We’d love to meet you, and help you share your work.)

So, come on! Show us what ya got!




#InspirationBoardSunday – #SundayBlogShare – Real Men DO Read Romantic Suspense!


Something a bit different this Sunday. A bit late, too, but who’s counting, right? Any of you who follow this feature regularly know that I find inspiration in a lot of different places, and today is no different. My good friend and cover designer, Nicki Forde, sent me a picture of her fianc√© taken on their recent vacation to Rhode Island. Tired from a wonderful day of exploring New England sights and sounds, she caught Mark reading a book she’d brought along on the trip. MY book, to be precise. My Romantic Suspense book, Finding Hunter, which is Book 2 of my Riverbend series.

I was delighted to see the  photo. I must say, Mark looks pretty involved, and it made me stop and think. I tend to consider my target audience women, and mostly over 30. Maybe even over 40. Which is fine by me, because they are a wonderful audience to write for. However, I have noticed more men showing up at local events, and asking questions about my books. Seeing this photo brought it home that there are men out there who read a broader spectrum of books than I might have expected.

Obviously, there are books that draw more¬†male readers¬†than others will, but I’m now much more aware that my writing should also appeal to those guys who enjoy some romance with their action books. I don’t intend to forget that going forward. Write as if the whole world is reading your words. They just might be!

Color me INSPIRED!