Tag Archives: #stories

Writer’s Open Forum–Great Fun!

I had a great time at this event. So many wonderful and accomplished veteran writers, publishers and editors. Newbie writers like myself and a crowd of book enthusiasts and writers who are just beginning their journey into publishing their own stories. 

I got to meet a fellow WriteOn member and One Million Project networker, Michele Potter.  

I look forward to implementing all of the useful info from the panels and reading the books I purchased from other authors. And I look forward to getting back together with Michele for lunch. 

Winter’s Icy Caress is now available

The second book in the Clare Thibodeaux Series is now available on Amazon.com!  The ebook is online and the paperback should be available very soon.

There’s even a sneak peek at the first chapter of book 3 —Never Show Your Hand.  

Clare’s adventure continues in Winter’s Icy Caress when she inadvertently becomes the target of a serial killer.  Anyone could be the culprit, and the clues seem to lead to someone with inside information about Clare.  Lee and Wyatt are back, and a few new characters are on hand to stir things up.

I hope you will enjoy the roller coaster ride!

The Sound of Silence, NOT!

At eighty-five years of age, Miss Lydia decided to get “one of those new-fangled phones” everyone seemed to be peering at with heads bent.  Several of the ladies in her church group had them, and they talked incessantly about “time facing” and “gaggling it.”  Whatever that meant, it sounded like a bunch of nonsense, but her nephew, Clyde, wanted her to have one for safety reasons.  A bunch of bull-pucky!

The nice young man at the phone store tried to explain the features available on the phone, including why the only user manual was “on the line” and not printed out like normal.  Frustrated, Miss Lydia returned home with her new gadget.  She set it on the table beside her and watched it like someone would keep an eye on a rattler.

Clarice Travers stopped by after getting off work at the library.  She oohed and aahed over what she called a cell phone, offering to help Miss Lydia set up some ring tones.

“It would be nice if a phone rang like a real phone.”  The octogenarian didn’t cotton to changing anything what wasn’t broken.

“I can set that up, and I’ll do a couple of other alerts for texts, emails, and Facebook.  You are on Facebook, aren’t you?”  Clarice glanced up with raised eyebrows, smiling when Miss Lydia made a dismissive wave with her hand.  “I’ll help you set it up another day if you’d like?”

Miss Lydia didn’t respond.  Her head had settled back against her recliner, and her eyes were closed.  She’d fallen asleep.  Clarice finished setting up the alerts and laid the cell phone on the end table by Miss Lydia’s chair before letting herself out the door.

“Be-doh, be-doh, be-doh!”  Miss Lydia sat up abruptly.  What in the world was that?  She listened intently for a repeat of the sound which woke her but didn’t hear it any longer, and she decided it must have been some whippersnapper outside making noise again.  Those teenagers were always driving by with their radios blaring day and night.

Getting up out of her chair took a bit of doing due to her stiff joints and rheumatism, she hobbled into the bathroom.  As she washed her hands, she heard that same “Be-doh” noise.  She stormed out of the bathroom as quickly as a woman in advanced years could manage.  Once more the sound had disappeared.

“Those juvenile delinquents made a loop around the block.  Umph!  Don’t they realize some people take a little rest in the afternoon?”  Miss Lydia knew she needed to…What was it Clyde would say?  Oh, yes.  ‘Cool my jets.’

She approached the recliner looking out the window for the troublemakers.  The sound of a bugle and the rattling of her new phone on the side table had her putting her hand over her heart in shock.  She prodded it with her finger, but it remained silent.

She did remember how to do one thing with her new phone.  Her finger pressed downward on a button at the side of her purchase.  Miss Lydia had an inkling on how to turn it off.

Written for the Weekend Write-In Challenge on May 14, 2017.  

Progress Report on Winter’s Icy Caress

The tension continues to build as I near completion of my second novel–Winter’s Icy Caress.  I’ve reached the 60,000 word mark as of today, and I am looking forward to the coming days.  The excitement of bringing my ideas to completion is an emotional “high”, and the excitement spurs me on to my next projects.

In Winter’s Icy Caress, Clare Thibodeaux is hoping to find her “happily ever after” despite a past littered with death and sadness.  But life in the Northwoods of Wisconsin has been anything except normal when two young women from the area turn up missing.  Clare’s determined to find the connection between the missing area women in the hopes of uncovering the person who abducted them.  As her personal life begins to fall apart, Clare finds herself embroiled in the search for a serial killer who has selected her as his next target.

I have some plotting started for the third book in the Clare Thibodeaux Series.  At this time, I don’t have a title for the next book, but the “Clare” junkies out there should be reassured there are more adventures and danger ahead.  Not everyone is who you thought they were, so expect more surprises.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Exodus, I hope you will check it out.  It’s available for  $0.99 on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

Read my latest blog on the One Million Project website

As some of my faithful followers know, I am a part of a grostack-of-books-1001655_1280up of writers, artists, musicians and media professionals from around the world who donate their time and talents to help raise money which we donate to charity–Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS Homeless shelters.

Check out my blog–The Anatomy of a Story 

Heroes or Anti-Heroes

I’ve read a few articles written by other authors on the subjects of ‘Heroes’ and ‘Anti-heroes.’  I’d never really put much thought into what categories my characters might fall under.   I understand the basic concepts of heroes and heroines, love interests, villains and/or antagonists.   But I’ve never plotted out in detail whether or not I’ll have an anti-hero in the story.  I’ve had characters who would be classified as an ‘anti-hero’ — someone who performs heroic actions but doesn’t have the typical qualities attributed to heroes such as morality, courage, and idealism.

I didn’t consciously think about how to create a particular type of character. My approach to storytelling is a fluid process.  I predetermine my main characters before I begin writing.  But, sometimes a minor character develops as the story is written, and ends up with a meatier role.   I like revealing certain aspects of a character’s personality while some traits are left a mystery for the reader.   This practice isn’t exclusive to me or my writing.   I know other writers who, like me, are more reactive as they write their story and others who prefer to plan their stories in great detail.

One way isn’t better than another.  When I read the articles, I wondered if I should do more planning before writing my stories.  I can see where some individuals might enjoy the in-depth plotting and research prior to beginning their projects.  Would changing my methods improve my stories and my characters, or would it inhibit my natural storytelling abilities?   I guess I will never know until I try it.

I hope my readers are surprised and entertained when they read my books.   I believe I would miss my own surprise and wonder as my tale emerges from my gray matter and ends up on the page.  I’m as entertained by the developments as I would be if I were reading it for the first time.

How many other writers feel the same way?   Do you insist on plotting your story out?   Or are you operating with a very fluid story arc?



Spending Time

My mom is 82 years old.  Two years ago, she battled breast cancer and won.  Now, we have a different battle.  She has gotten progressively weaker making it difficult to get up out of a chair and walk with aid of a walker.

She remains independent in her own home but relies more and more on the help of others for meal preparation, personal cares, and day-to-day activities.  It saddens me to see these gradual changes.  My younger sister provides much of this assistance.  When she planned her vacation, I offered to step in.

So, I’m spending my Valentine’s Day with my mom with my husband’s blessing.  Today, Mom asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day.  I told her being with her and spending this time was gift enough.  I know it touched her heart.  I’m very much like my mom in that I don’t like to show vulnerability.  I keep many emotions private showing myself to only those people I trust.

If you have read my book, Exodus, you will recognize this character trait in my protagonist, Clare Thibodeaux.   Just for clarification,   I’m not Clare and she is not based on me.  Aspects of her character tend to mimic some of my more flawed personality traits, but she is a work of fiction.  

While I’m writing this blog, Mom is watching her favorite shows — “Judge” shows, talk shows where people throw chairs and pull hair, and reruns of comedies from the eighties.  I have to admit to loving the Hallmark Channel’s movies.  I’m a sappy romantic under a tough exterior.

I’m blessed to have the time to spend with my aging parent.  So many children don’t have those opportunities because of work obligations, distance, and other constraints.  I find myself becoming more introspective.  I realize I will be the oldest member of the family of my youth.  Will my great-nieces and nephews call me “the old one” as my sons had when meeting my grandmother?  Will I be that wacky aunt who wrote suspense novels, studied Tae Kwon Do, was an Army officer and embraced aspects of the hippie culture of the 60’s and 70’s?

I would love nothing more than to be a real-life character in the stories of future generations, just as my father and mother are destined to be to the current young ones.  My tough South Bronx gang member father with his Irish immigrant parents married a farm girl from the Midwest who played basketball and wanted to be an FBI agent at a time when not many women worked outside the home.

Looking at the white-haired woman sitting by the window in the sunlight, it’s hard to picture the young woman from the past.  Spend a bit of time with her and her steely resolve and iron-will become recognizable if one takes the time to look.

I believe as William Shakespeare wrote so eloquently that life is a story and we are all characters with our parts to play.   I am my mother’s audience during this week of “Spending Time”.

All the World’s A Stage

(from As You Like It, spoken by Jaques)
                                        All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

A Community of Writers

Today, I’m saddened. After being a part of the Write On by Kindle community since 2015, Kindle announced it is closing the forum. Many say it was time, but I wanted to express how important a role it played for me.

I loved to write when I was younger.  As I entered adulthood, I had other responsibilities which took precedence over my writing.  Decades later (four to be exact) I received an email from Amazon Kindle about a new website they were developing.  I went online to check it out and began to read some of the posted stories.  Reading the stories and comments left by other writers and readers inspired me, I knew I needed to take a chance.

I began to write Exodus.  It took ten months to write, proofread, revise and edit.  In August of 2016, I self-published my first novel on Kindle.   During the months I wrote I also messaged back and forth with various authors helping them proofread and suggest possible edits of their works in progress just as they had helped me.  Without their support, I wouldn’t have gone through the steps it took to finish the book.

Encouragement between writers played an important role in the forum.  I learned to take constructive criticism with more grace than I would have before I was a participant in the forum.  While writing and rewriting paragraphs and chapters, I discovered I was my greatest critic.   Through this journey on Write On, I have become a better writer.

It saddens me to know this forum will not be available for others in the future.  Yes, there are other forums, but Write On was special.  The bonds we’ve formed with our fellow indie authors will hopefully last.  The books we have written are proudly published on Amazon so others can enjoy them.

I may never be a best-selling author, but it’s nice knowing my book has entertained those who have read it and hopefully will for years to come.