All posts by katemcginn09

I am a writer who lives in Wisconsin near the Mississippi River. I write stories filled with mystery, suspense, and romance with a sprinkling of humor added to the mix. My stories are about strong women who deal with danger, heartache, and life with dignity and grit.

Love and Loss

Each story, while unique, has a central theme that the reader can identify themselves with personally.  One of the most poignant themes concerns “Love and Loss”.  Stories, poetry, and songs have paid homage to these tender emotions for as long as humankind has walked the Earth.

I’ve laughed and cried while my favorite characters have struggled as they dealt with love found and love lost.  I rooted for Rhett Butler to win Scarlett’s love and found myself devastated when fortune didn’t cooperate.  Right or wrong, as a teen, I searched for my own hero so that I could live happily forever in a white house with a picket fence.  I ignored the “nice guy” in favor of the “bad boy” FB_IMG_1445913233417_kindlephoto-1998123 (2)experiencing my cycle of stories of love and loss.

The flirty banter between our characters is balanced by the angry and tearful rhetoric in another chapter.  So goes real life.

Over the past few months, I’ve said good-bye to good friends and family as they left this world.  I watched the anguish of love found and love lost knowing I couldn’t change the outcome like I can on the written page.  But comfort can be found in knowing as long as our own stories continue — love will be found, will be lost and will be discovered anew.

 

Looking for Inspiration

2015-06-19_194509000_AADCD_iOSIf you talk about writing with anyone, at some point you will hear the quote — “Write what you know.” — Mark Twain’s famous words.  So does this mean if you are a truck driver you should only write about driving trucks.

No, I don’t believe Twain meant it literally.  I will be sitting at home with my laptop waiting for an idea to pop into my consciousness.  A scene from a day, a week or months ago will come to mind.  A funny story about a friend can suddenly have an influence on how my character will act in a certain situation.

Our pasts and our futures can be the impetus for a story.  I mentioned my canine muse in the blog, The Best of Intentions.  My furry companion and his antics will more than likely show up in several of my future writings.  In Exodus, the protagonist’s yellow lab is an amalgamation of my buddy and some of the dogs I’ve met over the years.

During my walks, I will suddenly have the solution for a plot line which wasn’t working.  I can hear dialog between characters.  When I get home I will grab my notebook and scribble the thoughts on the page hoping I didn’t forget anything.  I have even been known to get up out of bed during the night to jot down a scene.

Obsessive?  Probably, but it’s so much fun when the stories unfold.  The real work happens after the ideas are written.  Then it is up to the writer to mold those snippets of life’s inspirations into an entertaining story.

The Best of Intentions

I admit it.  I’m not good at always following through.  I’ve had diaries, journals and another blog before I started this one.  It had been over a year between posts.

Yikes!  A lot happened…I’ve had my reasons.  Seriously, I have.  Four things occurred in my life which interfered with my blog time.

Oh?  Just four.  Yes, I can hear voices in my head.  I feel I need to disclose to my readers — I do talk back (thought you should know).   Also, I have the privilege of having only sarcastic voices.  I blame my early years in NYC and an Irish Catholic dad from the South Bronx for this issue.  Back to the matter at hand (as you can see I might have ADD too).

The first event was on Thanksgiving eve 2014, my eldest son decided he would like to be the proud owner of a yellow lab puppy.  I felt the spirit of the holiday and agreed it would be great to have a dog around the house again.  We drove over 5 hours round trip that same night to get him.  I know…

Number Two — I developed a severe case of puppy caretaker syndrome.  Every photo I took had a puppy in it.   Every conversation revolved around the puppy.  My daily schedule was now dictated by a small dog.  He didn’t stay small for long.  But that is another story for another time.

Number three is not humorous.  My mom got sick.  Very sick.  At 80 years of age, she needed more help than my other non-medical siblings could provide.  I spent 6 months with her.  Occasionally returning home to assure my husband I still lived there.  My mom is better, is able to live in her own home, and I’m able to live in mine.

I returned home to a half-grown lab and time on my hands.  Here comes number four — I read a lot.  My Kindle has now become two Kindles so I can always have one charged. Can anyone say “Addiction!”?   I joined a writing forum, and  I started to write.  I love it, and spend my time reading other writer’s work, writing on my own projects and occasionally posting on my site.

A yellow lab can be found in some of my books.  I guess you know where I get my inspiration.

How Not to Blog

I think the axiom that “it always looks easier than it is” holds true for blogging.  I didn’t think it would be so difficult to decide on what sort of format I would choose?  Do I add gadgets?  And if so, how many?  I think I changed the template and layout about 30 times!

That calls into question whether or not I am too indecisive or too much of a perfectionist.  I can tell you right now that perfectionism is not something I’m too worried about.  So that leaves indecision… And the main impetus of doing this blog is “What Will I Do Now??”  So it works.

A photograph was necessary for the website, blog, Facebook, twitter, etc.  I am a novice at taking “selfies”.  I don’t particularly like having my photo taken.  So, I am trying to use my smart phone which I hate to admit is smarter than I am at times. There are so many steps to remember!  I have to get the right lighting, try not to get my fingers in the photo or the clutter on the table and try not to look so startled.  Having seen the “selfies” my nieces seem to create daily, I knew I would have to make some choices about whether I should do a “fish face”, open my mouth in surprise as if I didn’t realize I was going to take a photo of myself, or put my hand on my hip like I’m on the red carpet.  I didn’t make any of these choices so I think my photo is unique in its own way.

I haven’t seen this kind of selfie yet 🙂

I’m not sure that my nieces would approve, but I believe that good dental care is important.


My journey of self-fulfillment and actualization was at a standstill today.  I had to run errands.  I worked on my blog.  Oh, and I took a few “selfies”.

FYI

Did you know?

  • You can read Bite Size Stories for FREE if you have Amazon Prime
  • Kindle books can be read on any device just download the appropriate app — I have Kindle available on my iPhone and on my laptop, so I can read wherever and whenever I want
  • If you want to help get quality books published online, consider becoming a Kindle Scout.  You read excerpts from unpublished books and can nominate the ones you enjoy!

Sunshine Blogger Award

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers through their blogspace and…

Source: Sunshine Blogger Award.

Jason Greenfield’s blog about The One Million Project has been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  The One Million Project is one I’m proud to be involved in.  Over 80 writers, artists and media persons are helping to raise money for Cancer research by donating their work.  Their short stories and artwork are compiled into The One Million Project book available for sale on Amazon.com

A Little Something about Me

I find the hardest thing for me to write about is myself .  Quirky characters with real-life flaws and problems are fun to write about.  The protagonist in my romantic suspense series — Clara Thibodeaux — is a RN working in the ER of a hospital in Panama City, Florida.  She is young and has a tragic past making it hard for her to trust others.

I was an RN, and I worked in Panama City.  That is where the similarities end.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago.  I helped care for her during her treatment and recovery.  During this time, I reassessed what was important in my life.

I decided to quit working and focus on family and myself.  I started writing Clare’s story.  I had the idea for this story for a couple years before I began writing it down.   I’m doing revisions and proofreading with the help of some author friends — thank you C.L., Sheena, Gail, Marian, and Doug for your help.

In short, I’m married to a great guy, have two grown sons and live in a very old house near the Mississippi.  And I love to write!