December 14, 2012

Time for the Big Push!

The manuscript has reached the point where it is time to push. The end of the book is bearing down on me. I have figured out exactly where this book is going and how it is going to get there. Now all I have to do is write, write, write. I may have a bouncy baby novel for release on January 1, 2013! If the world doesn't come to an end on the 21st of December like the Mayan's predicted.

November 27, 2012

Holiday Slump

I find myself in some sort of holiday slump. Our tradition is that the Christmas tree goes up on Thanksgiving day- usually while the turkey is booking in the oven and warming the morning chill off of the house. Then after dinner while drinking hot chocolate or milk I enjoy some pie and fill out all my Christmas cards, address then and get them ready for the mail.

This year my oldest son is off at college. He had Thanksgiving with his new family in Indiana. While I am proud of him for graduating college this year and having a wonderful home and family of his own now I miss him terribly. We used to joke and finish our conversations with movie lines. He does that with his new family now.

My younger son, eighteen years old, has his own friends and his own life. I am a fleeting thing to him. About the only words I hear from him are "FOOD!" "Mom, can I have twenty dollars?" and "You know I love you" after I have asked him thirty times to take out the trash or clean his room.

The husband is off on the road working hard and hardly home. While we wait for the time when we can go and drive together we are apart and everything we do is about getting ready for the day when we chuck it all and go team drive together.

NaNoWriMo seemed to suck the life out of writing for me. When it became work it became a job instead of a passion. I lost all interest in even editing the book. It didn't help that I had just put in massive sleepless hours to redo House on Butcher Harbor and I am completely burnt out on writing anything- including Christmas cards so it seems.

Add to all this that Christmas goes up in stores well before Halloween. I see the decorations and items for sale before the weather even turns to fall, let alone winter. Why can't the stores let us enjoy EACH holiday as it passes. Thanksgiving is a small section of the store by bakewares. Such a tragedy. It sucks the holiday spirit right out of me.

I think I will have a Christmas Margarita (with a splash of Black Cherry for the cherry color!) and pull out my Christmas decorations. Maybe seeing the boxes half opened will inspire me to decorate tomorrow and get into the spirit of things. Meanwhile- A Happy Holiday Season to everyone!

November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

Yes I have undertaken the NaNoWriMo challenge!(National Novel Writing Month) 50,000 words in 30 days. At day seven I am only sitting at 3226 words with 46,774 more to go. Seems impossible right now, but this is a one day at a time thing.

So I am a participant, but not up for prizes and such as I am breaking a rule and working on a work in progress. I had 52,622 words before NaNoWriMo started. I need another 45,000 or more words to finish my novel Pirates Cove so I am playing along with the rest of the writers and trying to make my word count and still have a book worth reading in the end. I am back at it again this morning. It is a lot of pressure but kind of fun too.

We may have a bouncy baby novel for editing by the end of the month!

October 19, 2012

The Learning Curve

Okay so this whole cover thing has been a learning curve for me. I tried several programs to get the R out of the trim line. Finally I downloaded Photoscape for Windows 7 and fixed the problem in a matter of minutes. It could be just wishful thinking but I believe I've got this now. I used the CLONE bar to clone the area around the R to make it look like the clouds have rolled in and covered it up. Hope that tricks the reviewer into allowing me my cover. I want this so badly. And I think I am going to tackle the cover for Pirates Cove myself. It is a big endeavor. Wish me luck.

October 17, 2012

Cover is killing me...

Ok so I sent an e-mail to createspace saying I wanted to use the cover even though they said my live image is outside the trim line. They got back to me late last night. It seems that the bottom portion of my R on Butcher would be cut off. UGH!!! I thought it was just part of the house. Who cares about that. No it is the title in the trim line.

So I download Gimp2 which I have no idea how to use and after hours- like 12 or more- I finally moved the whole cover over about an 1/8th of an inch and resubmitted. In the preview my entire title is clear of the zone, but I run the risk of the 1/8 inch showing up blank on the end of the cover. Worth a try to see what happens in review. I have prepared myself for tears when the book arrives and I didn't need to make the change and now the cover is a mess.

I may just make my own cover next time. If I just had good artwork for it. But I am a writer, not an artist. I could just cry. It is so exhausting, but I am not giving up. I know what I want and I will get it no matter how long it takes to get it right!

October 16, 2012

Revamped the book and cover!

Since I submitted my book to Harper Voyager I have published the revised version on Amazon. While I was there I made the changes to the book that I wanted originally but was told my artwork wouldn't work. Then I read online that you should submit it anyway and get the proof to see if it does work. Apparently my words do not fall outside of the trim line. I am awaiting approval. The new cover is so sharp. I can't wait to get my own copy! The new book also includes five chapters from Pirates Cove. I will let you know when it goes live!

Chris and Sharon I put your comments on the back of the book and will get you a signed copy as soon as it comes out!

October 10, 2012

Deep Point of View

Holy crap. I learned so much over the past few days about how to write a better story. This is the new version of House on Butcher Harbor using the guidelines on Deep Point of Veiw! What a difference. I love it!
The summer storm battered Templeton House set on the end of Butcher Harbor Peninsula. It was the only house that stood on the peninsula of this tiny North Eastern town. Rain pelted the glass windows and the weather worn roof as gale force winds shook the very foundation of the beach house. Inside, sixty year old Elizabeth Templeton stood in the living room in a crazed state, a carving knife in her trembling hand. Her striped house dress hung loosely on her tiny frame, not unlike the skin on her aging body. Her eyes were as wild as a wolves. She moved the blade of the carving knife from side to side as if to hold off her attackers. There was no one in the room with her, at least no one living that is.
“I asked you to stop this ruckus for just a while- STOP! Is that too much to ask?” Distress wrinkled her face. Tears streamed down her cheeks unchecked.
“Listen to us,” hundreds of ghosts said in their own way.
“We live because you hear us.”
“Don’t desert us,” the needy voices called out to her. All the noise made her head ache and grated on her last nerve.
“Go ahead and do it,” the haggard old woman with the knife hissed at her from the corner of the room.
“Yes, join us,” others said. Each one of the hundreds of souls trapped in the house needed her in one way or another to help dispel the torment and anguish of their lives. Dead or alive they knew she would listen to them.
“Do it,” the old woman cried out again.
“No, wait!” cried the soft pitch of a young boy. “Don’t listen to her," he pleaded. “I need you. I miss my mommy. Please stay with me. I am scared.” The boy looked around the room at the other ghosts, panic on his face.
“Haven’t I been here for you all these years? All of you?” Elizabeth pleaded, her eyes wild with fear and pain. All these years she had delighted in listening to their desperate stories. They had become her friends, her family. They were all she had left in her world since her husband passed on and her daughter Claire had fled the house of ghosts after high school. But tonight, with the storm raging outside she needed quiet. The years had taken a toll on her and she could no longer meet the constant demand on her attention. They required too much from her these days. Was it too much to ask for a break to recharge her frail body and mind?
Each time the house was slammed by the insistent wind she was afraid it would crumble around her. There was no need to worry about the house. It was sturdy as ever. But what if tonight, like her, it too might be weary on this treacherous night.
“Yes, join us,” cried many voices from all around the room, the voices came from the very walls of the house itself.
“Can’t you be still for just one night and give me a little peace?” Elizabeth cried out.
“No,” the room shuddered with the cry of many voices in many languages as yet another gale force wind assaulted the house.
Tears streamed down her face. She was tired. They were not about to give her the rest she needed. They were sucking the life out of her. Exhausted, Elizabeth held the carving knife to her throat in one last attempt to quiet the voices for just this one night.
“I’ll do it. I swear I will,” she threatened.
“Yes,” hissed the haggard old woman’s voice again, “Do it you weak bag of bones.”
“No please,” the little boy pleaded, “I’ll be quiet. I promise.”
“Do it!” the old woman hissed yet again. “Do it you filthy whore.”
Elizabeth took a deep breath. The voices grew louder, fighting to be heard over one another.
“I can’t take this anymore.” She fell to her knees between the sofa and the coffee table. She sobbed into her trembling hands, still clutching the carving knife. She didn’t want to die, but the voices wouldn’t stop. She knew they couldn’t. It was too much for her.
“Join us,” they whispered at once.
“STOP!” she screamed as she lost what little as left of her mind. A sharp thin pain was followed by warm flowing blood as the cold metal blade slit first her left and then her right wrist. A flash of light was followed instantly by a thunderous boom. The house shook from top to bottom. Tears ran unchecked down her cheeks and mixed with the warm blood as it ran down her hands and onto her striped house dress. This was not the outcome she had planned on. She believed that they would care enough about her to let her rest. She had given them all so much. Surely they could have given her this one thing.
“NO!” the little boy screamed as he rushed across the room and hugged her.
“That’s right you stupid bitch. Leave it to you to bleed all over the clean floor. Claire will love cleaning up that mess,” the old woman scolded her.
“Someone please help her!” cried out a German Sailor in uniform.
Outside the endless waves beat upon the shore. The rain pelted the rugged exterior of the house, drowning out the voices inside. Only a quick flickering of the lights betrayed the secret the beach house held within its walls as the life ran out of gaping wounds. They look like tiny mouths she thought as everything went black. 
Tires crunched along the road as Deputy Raymond Dogg drove his police cruiser into the cul-de-sac at the end of the Peninsula Road. This was the only place the deputy could find peace during the busy summer months on Butcher Harbor. Summer season was in full bloom and the natives were restless due to the summer storm. It had trapped them inside their homes, rental cottages, town restaurants, and bars for several days. He anticipated a lot of calls tonight. There would be bar fights, cooped up husbands lashing out at tired wives. Then there was the summertime fights over parking spaces made worse by everyone’s desire to park closer to the door.
The deputy glanced across the peninsula. Lights dotted the beach and surrounding port. It was a sight he never got tired of, even while the rain pelted his windows and the wind buffeted his cruiser. On the opposite side of him was the ocean, black and rolling. Fierce waves spewed sea water up onto the peninsula. The heavy spray hit the cruiser even though he was parked twenty feet from the rocky edge.
He turned his windshield wipers off, allowing the rain and sea water to wash across the windshield freely and placed the cruiser in park. He reached over to the passenger side floorboard for the cooler that contained his lunch. A thermos was on the seat next to him. He poured himself a cap full of his mother’s famous coffee; roasted with just a bit of her secret ingredient- cinnamon. Coffee breaks like this one were the highlight of his night. The taste and the smell of the coffee brought back wonderful childhood memories of his dad sneaking him sips of coffee when his mom wasn’t looking. Enjoying the aroma of the spiced coffee, he scanned the peninsula to his right. The only thing on the peninsula was the Templeton House, a quarter of a mile away. To add to the oddness of the dark, stormy night, the widow Templeton appeared to have left every light on in the house. Perhaps she was using the light to ward off the loneliness the storm seemed to bring with it.
He knew from previous breaks here that Elizabeth Templeton rarely kept more than one light on at night. She was probably on a very tight budget. That could be the only reason anyone would be foolish enough to burn only one light in that house at night. Raymond had heard stories about the ghosts of Templeton House since he was a toddler. Mrs. Templeton was said to be loony from all the ghosts she allegedly kept company with within those walls. He remembered her daughter Claire had left shortly after her husband had passed on. Claire couldn’t get out of that house fast enough.
All the stories started with pirates who landed on the peninsula and built the house upon the craggy shore from parts of boats they shipwrecked during storms just like this one. Boats they themselves had scuttled. The harbor was named for the blood bath they created out at sea and on land. His father told him the story about the mob from town that gathered and finally drove the pirates off, extinguishing the lights of the house, and saving countless seaman a brutal death. Tales of strange sights and sounds followed the house to this day. The list of the missing and the dead grew with each telling, yet for some unexplained reason he could not understand the house always remained occupied.
Templeton House captivated Raymond as he stared at the two story structure. He wondered what it must have been like to grow up in that house. Remembering the teasing Claire had taken in school, he decided maybe he didn’t really want to know. He had put up with his own hazing with the name Dogg. Now that he was a deputy, his friends gave him shit about his name all the time. And when it came to names, the name- Butcher Harbor- was a thorn in the town's back side as well. The town hated the house and anyone crazy enough to inhabit it.
He ate half his sandwich, saving the other half for his next coffee break later in the night. He drank the last sip of his coffee in his cup. He placed the cap back on the thermos and placed the canvas cooler back on the floor next to him. He turned the windshield wipers back on. A huge gush of salt and rain water whooshed across the windshield and was wiped clear only to be filled quickly by new rainfall. When the windshield cleared, he pulled the cruiser back onto the road.
“You have a good evening Mrs. Templeton," he said outloud as he passed the house headed back into town. He gave a little salute to the brightly lit house as he passed by. Before him awaited the chaos of the night. The deputy smiled. He loved his job.
As he drove toward town he took one last look at the Templeton house in his rear view mirror.
“What the hell!”
The wheels of the cruiser locked up nearly sending it off the road. Dogg fought to bring the cruiser back under his control.
“Harbor Two to base,” he called in to the station.
“Base. What’s up Dogg?” the soothing woman's voice of the third-shift dispatcher teased.
“I’m not sure. The lights of the Templeton house are flickering on and off.”
“Maybe the ghosts are having a hurricane party of their own like the rest of the town,” she said. Dogg thought he could hear a giggle in her voice. Chances were more likely that some drunken tourist were playing a prank on the old widow.
“I’m going to check it out,” he said. He threw the cruiser into reverse. Of course there was always the possibility that the house itself, and not the townsfolk, was the cause of the trouble at Templeton house tonight. He thought about this for a moment. He didn’t believe in ghosts, but the rich history of the house, and the endless disappearances and deaths contributed to it made him leery. Just in case, he called back to base.
“If you don’t hear from me in ten minutes, send backup.”

October 1, 2012

Pirates Cove in Two Part?

What do you say folks? The book is already at 52k words and I have so much more yet to write. Should I continue the story as it is going, which will turn it into a massive book, or break it up into two parts and let the story be told the way it is being written right now. I am at a loss. Personally I hate two- part books, but I also hate books that just go on- and -on forever as well. In print the huge book would cost so much to print and to ship it might not be feasible. E-readers would not see a difference in how the book feels in your hand ie. being too weighty.

Right now I am considering a two book deal. The book is moving along nicely and I want to maintain this pace. In order to squeeze the whole thing into one I would end up in a seven to eight hundred page Stephen King -like monster that might be out of some peoples price range. And for me I hate reading an eight hundred word book because it never fits comfortably in your hand and your wrist starts to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Do you think King would reimburse me for the surgery on my wrist from reading his massive books? And how about when the book is almost done and you have seven pounds of book in one hand and a few onces in the other. UGH I hate that! His publisher really should consider these problems when they turn out these bohemoth books.

So I can relax and finish the book the way it should be written if I break it up. Would you buy the book in two parts? The wait on the second part would be much shorter than from book one to book two because I am already headed there and I promise not to fill the book with fluff to meet someones  page quota.

Comments PLEASE!


September 24, 2012


For over a year now I have been unable to open my kdp (Kindle direct publishing) account because it kept telling my my information was not correct. I would give up and worry about it later. Well, I wanted to change my price from the original of 3.99 to just .99. But I couldn't get in. Today I took the time to contact customer support and get the account reset. I have now made all my ebooks just .99. I can't make them free right now because I would have to make them exclusive to kindle and they are out on other channels such as goodreads, barnes and noble, smashwords and more. At least smashwords gives me the flexibility to offer the books free whenever I want.

I feel better now that I have access to my ebooks again. It was worth the trouble to get it straightened out. Kindle support was very helpful.

Books available at kindle are:

House on Butcher Harbor- adult fiction
Michael and the Monster-children's book
Michael, the Monster and the Messy Room-children's book

All three books are ghost stories, of course.

Speaking at Writer’s Workshop at CPAC 9.22.12

I was the first speaker at the Heart of Dixie Writer's Workshop and Book Signing. For days I convinced myself that I would not be nervous. Then when I walked on stage my voice choked up. For years I have done public speaking and love it. There was no reason to be so nervous and I love to talk about my book, but I set the bar too high and panicked that I wouldn't be able to pull it off.  I opened by talking about how I got the idea for the book from the Genesis song Home By The Sea. Then I discussed how I decided to self-publish because my mother had gotten pancreatic cancer and wasn't expected to survive. I wanted her to be able to read my book- in her hands- before she passed away. Luckily my mother survived her cancer - the second time she has had cancer and survived, we are amazed and thrilled.
After that Idiscussed my crappy first cover art. I showed them the cover art with the help of my AV assistant and son Trevor Moon. I asked them if that looked scary to them? No one seemed to think so. I said to besure and fight for what you want because your cover will become your brand. Then I discussed briefly branding your book with that cover art.For example, my book cover is on my business cards, my rack cards that I use to promote the book, my banner and I even purchased t-shirts and a notebook with that cover art. In addition it is on all of my social media- facebook author page and this blog. After that I told them that now I get to do the fun things about being an author like book signings, readings and things like speaking there for them today. Then I closed with the photo of Iron Man and his friends saying YOU SHOULD BE WRITING.
I exited stage right and walked around behind the stage to rejoin the audience. I never heard anyone clap for me so when the next speaker Rhett Barbaree finished and got great applause I was crushed. My friend assured me that they all clapped for me. I must not have been able to hear it back stage.

Other speakers:
Rhett Barbaree             Thank God for Boll Weevils
Anna Kathryn Davis    The Gifted
Anne Dalton                 Massacre Island, Dream Ghost, and more!
Ashley Kitchens           Writer's Workshop Presentation (What great stuff!)

I had a cake made for the occassion since it was also my birthday and we shared cake during the book signing. Now I can actually say that people literally ate my book up that day!

We had a great time and met some new people. I would like to thank Christine Brown from Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center for putting on such a great program. She says she will be doing this again semi-annually! Yippie! Also my son Trevor Moon for helping me to produce and then to show the video work that provided the photos of my mother and my crappy cover and the good one! And my husband Ben for being there and supporting me and on photo duty! And my great and dearest friend Sharon Cornell Keyes for her undying support and encouragement.


September 20, 2012

Stephen King said...

“kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings”
So I did. In the second book of the Butcher Harbor series readers will find one less character by the end of the book.
Who will it be? How will it affect the story?

Guess you will have to read Pirates Cove to find out. And get the bonus ebook of the making of Pirates Cove to see how this and other exciting twist came to be!

Writer's Workshop this weekend

I am so excited about the Writer's Workshop and Book Signing this weekend in Clanton. The first speaker up will be me. House on Butcher Harbor is one of three books and authors being presented. There will be loads of photos available from the event on Sunday. Can't wait. So much to do tomorrow. Wish some of them could have been done today. Oh well. People coming that I thought couldn't make it and some not making it that I had hoped would be there. I can't wait to meet local authors! Learn something new! Network and share.

September 12, 2012

A Writer's Life

The Life of a Writer
Everyone thinks that the life of a writer is so exotic. Maybe they think we actually live the lives of the characters in our stories. Let me tell you how a writer’s life goes…
Up at six a.m. with a need to write. Start the coffee. Cook breakfast while the computer boots up. Eat while I open the word program to my latest book. Sip more coffee and read the last few lines of what I wrote last.
A great idea strikes me! About the story I am writing? Brilliant.
No. My great idea is to go out and sit on my porch on this beautiful morning and write. Ah, good idea. As I go out on the porch I see the leaves have blown in and my hubby bought me the coolest slab of rock that matched the brick of our house and he made me a bench out of it. This looks so cool so I admire it for a while as I straighten up the porch so I can write.
Meanwhile my laptop is waiting patiently for me on the sofa.
As I clean off the porch I notice the recent winds have brought some trash into my yard. Now I am cleaning up the front yard. After that is done I take an extra lawn chair that I no longer need on the front porch because I have this lovely new bench, out to the back yard. Well folks, you guessed it. The wind blew out there too and there is trash to be picked up.
When I am done with the trash I pick up the extra shorts and t-shirts from the hot tub area and a few extra cups that have been left outside. You know what that means: I start a load of laundry and do the dishes.
By the time I get back to the computer the battery is dead. I had unplugged it to take it outside and spent so much time cleaning up that the battery died. So here I sit INSIDE my house finishing the story I had started hours ago.
Exciting isn’t it?

September 11, 2012

Up coming Writers Conference...

I am so excited about the up coming Writer's Conference and  book signing. I can hardly sit still. I will be the first of three authors speaking. Since I am first up they have agreed to let my play HOME BY THE SEA by Genesis while everyone is coming in to be seated for the conference. For those of you who are not aware, this is the song that inspired me to write House on Butcher Harbor. I am so stoked about this.

I hope to have Alyssa Hottinger present even if it takes an act of congress to get her mother to let her come. Her father is behind us on this. I want to recognize her for the fabulous new author that she is and encourage other writers to join our Writers Clubhouse on facebook.

Someone is making me a cake to look like my book. A half sheet so I can share it with everyone while I sign books later in the day. My birthday is on the 18th and the conference is on the 22nd so we will celebrate the two together. Maybe a party after the conference to wind down the day! I am so happy right now and so excited I can barely sit still to write more chapters of book two!

For more information on the Writer's Conference go to:!/events/341270555957967/

Hope to see you there!

September 6, 2012

A conversation with my readers!

I have decided to start a private blog to my readers that will not be published until after the story is published. My goal is for the readers to read this after they have read the book. The blog will show how the book came about, what changed the way it was originally supposed to be written. Why names changed, what occured, things that are vital to the finished product.

It will also show how the writer grows with the writing. We learn through research and brainstorming. People talk about how the story takes over. The reader will be able to see this as it happens to me.

This project has me so excited. It has blown my mind. A journal of how my story evolves that the reader gets to see. What a fabulous idea. I am even more excited about completing my book and sharing this information with my readers!

August 24, 2012

Book One is in and on sale

At the Jemison Exxon at 65 exit 219. Come by and get a signed copy for just fifteen dollars. Save money on shipping and handling and get an autograph as well.

More on Procrastination...

For the past two days I have been off. During that time I wrote a reference letter for a friend. Send out a long over due email for a author spotlight in November. And send an e-mail update to someone I am writing an article on.
     Some how I managed to stay off of facebook. However I did watch a bunch of movies that were truly awful. All the while I looked at my laptop and reminded myself I could be doing something positive- writing. But yet I didn't. I went and took a nap instead.
     Before I went to napping I sat on my couch, surrounded by my writing team- a rotty and a golden retriever- who I scolded for not being busy writing by the way, and asked myself the million dollar question. Why are you not writing?
     The answer was part fear- and part not knowing where to go.
     Fear of what, you may ask? Fear that what I write won't be as good as what I imagine in my head. Once I started to write, on my last night off at midnight, was incredible and I hated myself for not jumping in sooner. I wasted two days, I could have been half the way through. But I got held up by fear of not being good enough, so instead I chose not to write. I think I may not ever get that feeling again after last night.
     As for not knowing where to go- I have an outline for the next five or six chapters, but the story writes itself some times. I didn't feel like I would come up with anything worthy so I refused to believe I had a clear and defined path to start with. It is not where I ended up, but it was enough to get me going. I don't think I will make that mistake again either.
     So, from now on the writer in me will have to come up with some new reasons not to do what I love to do so much. And one more reason to want a damn dragon!

August 16, 2012

The Opposite of Writers Block

I have the opposite problem from Lorne Oliver. What keeps me from writing isn't usually writers block. For me it is Procrastination. The first thing that keeps me from writing is facebook. This social media program is like a drug to me. Before I do anything I want to log on and see what everyone is up to today. Then I jump over to other peoples pages or to my groups and I find four or five hours have passed. So you would think I would be done here. No! Instead I have to rush back to my page to see what everyone is up to since I was there last. Night falls, my day off is over and I have accomplished nothing.
     Twitter has not quite taken over my life yet, but I think that is because I don't send a tweet every time I move or breath. I send a tweet when I have something to share. Yes, defeats the purpose of tweeting, I know. That is what facebook is for. I know. Trust me you don't want me to learn how to tweet and speak tweetspeak because your phone will be blown up with tweets in no time. Lets just leave it at that.
     Then there is netflix. Need I say more? Anyone who knows me knows that I am a movie hound. On my gravestone I want the words "And now for a Feature Presentation. Only old folks will know what that means. It dates back to pre-DVD and Blu-Ray. It was when the movie theater and the video tape showed you previews of movies yet to come out. Then as they lead into the movie you got that message. It makes me happy!
     One has to wonder with such a desire to write and a story in my head why I am not writing? It is not a block. I know exactly what I want to say. Yet I seem to avoid it like the plague. I allow constant distractions to get in my way.
     I even posted that pic of Ironman and his friends on my screen telling me I should be writing. Instead I just stare at them. How cute they all are pointing their fingers at me. Ahh....
     Oh, enough of that. I was writing something. Right.
     See what I mean?

August 2, 2012

Lie vs. Lay and other pesky words

You lay something down, but you lie down. That is easy enough. But then you get into laid down and lain down and I start to get lost. In my search to be a better writer I have encountered a few sites thanks to createspace blogger that I think might help.

First off is the createspace blogger page which probably requires a password, but I am not sure so I will include it.

Then they recommend the following: 
This is a word search for confusing words. Type in the word and there is your answer.
The list of information here is boundless! Check it out. Subscribe. Enjoy!
Oh the grammar girls! What can I say? They make correcting english fun!

And let me throw in this little gem found at Galley Cat:
This is a cliche program and more. It points out cliches in your own writing and over used words. Ever wonder how those reviewers are able to point out how many times you used a specific word? This is one way.

Please, please feel free to add more in comment section that have not been mentioned here.

July 26, 2012

Guest blogger- Lorne Oliver

The Body Fuels the Mind
I have this bad habit of avoiding yard work and household chores by having to write. “No, no, I can’t mow the lawn.  I have to write.”…”I would love to help you weed the garden, but I’m almost done writing chapter ten.”  And then I sit there staring at the same sentence without having any clue where to take the story.  It goes nowhere. The lawn doesn’t get mowed.  The garden doesn’t get weeded.  And I don’t write.
Man, maybe I should go mow the lawn, weed the garden, paint the garage, take the dogs for a walk, do laundry, wash dishes, clean the cat litter, mop, go shopping, place chore here…but I can’t.  I have to be sitting here looking at the last words of the last sentence I wrote last Tuesday because the muse is about to pop up and the book will write itself.
Then day becomes evening, evening becomes night, night day, and still that damn cursor sits there flashing like your whole entire life is paused.  But it’s not.  The grass grows, the weeds overtake the vegetables, the dirty plates pile up, the dog pisses on the couch – you get the point.
Eventually I kick myself in the ass and get to doing something other than staring blankly at nothing.  Five minutes into doing something I remember back when I was a kid wanting to be this well-known writer.  I wrote and forgot more stories than I care to count while circling my parent’s lawn on the riding mower. 
I don’t know if the quote is from somewhere else, but I love books/movies/tv shows about writers so I will give Norman McLean who wrote A River Runs Through It all the credit.  “The body fuels the mind.”  Excellent book.  Excellent movie.  The body fuels the mind.  If you are blocked in your writing…get up.  Go do something.  Your fingers, the keyboard keys, your pen does not write the story.  Your brain writes the story.  Lucky for you it counts as carryon.
Do something.  Doing a job, any job, that doesn’t really take much brain power can sometimes let your creative side focus.  Just the other day I wrote two blogs in my head while weeding the garden.  I had to take a break to go get my notebook and jot down some notes.  My cardinal rule since I was twelve or so was to always carry a notebook and pen because you never know when inspiration will hit you.  The next time I go out I will have it with me.
A lot, A LOT, of Red Island was written while working the evening shift at the Urban Eatery in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  I volunteered to work the evening pizza shift in the hopes that it would be slow and I could stand leaning against the door frame to the back prep room with my notebook resting on my hand and my pan in the other.  I wrote many pages in between making the most excellent thin crust pizzas.  The pizza fueled the body, but the body fueled the mind.

Lorne Oliver's Blog:

July 25, 2012

A numbers game

I have an appointment soon so that will keep me from being preachy on this subject, but it is one that has concerned me for several days. Everywhere you look on twitter, facebook and other sites there seems to be the hard focus on how many likes you have. Doesn't matter if this is a person you would WANT to be associated with. Whatever happened to guilty by association? No one seems to consider this these days in the rush to get more likes.

But there is a bigger concern here than that...what about the one? What about the individual that gets lost in the drive for bigger numbers? Do you really know all those people who LIKE you or are you just on a quest to be most popular? For me, I would rather have twenty LIKES by people I interact with then one million strangers I talk AT instead of TO or WITH.

Just a thought people. We need to get back to what is important in life. Talking to one another, not at people we don't even know.

July 24, 2012

A day in my life...

Today I am going to visit with Sharon Cornell Keyes and swap some ghost stories. She is making my favorite lunch (spoiling me)- chicken salad sandwiches. I hope to hear some wonderful tales and have some scary stuff to tell myself. I should share some of this here. Perhaps I will do that this weekend.

This is big stuff for me because I am a house bound person. I go to work and come home. Hate to talk on the phone because of a previous job that required HUGE amounts of time of the phone. Never go anywhere unless it is in a book I am reading. People tell me I have to get out more, but Sharon could tell you how long it has taken her to coax me out of my haven for an afternoon. Smart of her to think of ghost stories. I am always up for that.

If you have a good ghost story to tell, share it. We would love to hear it!

Thanks and be well.

Oh and anyone in the area - there will be a writers conference in Clanton next month. I will give details as soon as I have them. Hope to see you there!

July 22, 2012


I am taking a free 12 week course called Intentional Blogging by Jeff Goins. (You too can join here:

This weeks course is on focus. My blog has not had a focus since I started it. I originally started the blog to talk about my book. And I have to admit I should do this since this is my books site, but I think people get tired of hearing me, me, me, more about me, oh did I mention me? So I believe the blog needs to have another focus as well.

For me, my passion is helping others who have the desire to be a writer embrace that and become the writer they always thought they could be. So my focus will be on teaching people how to write better, how to get published the indie way and how to FEEL like the writer they always wanted to be. I can do this by mentoring new writers- Like the amazing Alyssa Hottinger; getting others to guest blog about helping writers; and by giving as much information as I can about how to be that writer TODAY!

Yippie. I am so excited about this course and about my new direction. Thanks Jeff!

July 16, 2012

What I waited my whole life for...

happened to me the other day at work. I work 3rd shift at a convenience store by the highway. A woman walked in and up to the counter. I figured she wanted gas or cigarettes. Instead she told me that she had purchased my ebook (from info left on the counter at the store on a rack card) that morning.
"Yeah and she read it all day until it was finished," her husband added, kind of grumpy but laughing about it.
She said that she couldn't put it down! That just made my day- heck my life. I have always wanted to write something that someone could not put down. Being a huge James Patterson fan myself I had hoped to have that affect with my writing. Family and friends have said that they couldn't put it down, but when a complete stranger walks up to you so excited and wanted to read your next book. That was awesome stuff.
The readers name was Misty and I will always remember her and the day she walked into my store and made my day. Thanks Misty. I am so glad you liked it and that you felt compelled to share that with me.

Alyssa Hottinger Interviewed by me

Alyssa Hottinger tells all in an interview with me at her blog site... Very interesting stuff.

July 7, 2012

Meet Lane Diamond, author of Forgive Me, Alex

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Forgive Me, Alex? Well, there are two ways to enter...
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Forgive Me, Alex tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
About the author: I write fiction, long and short. My writings cross over many genres and focus on diverse subjects, ranging from the mysteries of the human mind, with its fragile psychological and emotional states, to the everyday joy and anguish of life on Earth. Ultimately, characters move me – as both a reader and an author. It's all about the people. When not writing, I'm Publisher and Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing. Connect with me on my website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, or via Evolved Publishing.

Get Forgive Me, Alex on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


EMBED CODE can be found at
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July 5, 2012

Book Review By Ada-Lee on Goodreads!

Wow. What an incredible review by Ada-Lee on Goodreads. What a fabulouse surprise in my inbox!A huge Thank you to Ada-Lee! Did not plan to do two posts today, but when I saw this I just got so excited.

The *Gifted* Author of THE GIFTED!

I saw an article in 280 Living regarding this amazing high school graduate who has signed a THREE book deal, her first book being THE GIFTED. Check out her web page for a book trailer. It makes me want to see the movie when it is just a book at this stage. I expect amazing things from her. I predict that she will be a household name soon.

June 27, 2012

The Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers and Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

The rules:

1.Each person must post 10 facts about themselves
2.Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and give 10 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
3.Choose 10 people and link them in your post.
4.Tell them you’ve tagged them.
5.Remember, no tag backs.

Okay. Wow. Ten facts about me:
1. I LOVE to sleep! My dreams are the most amazing and are like watching movies in my head all night. I never know where I am going to go, who I will be or what kind of cool stuff I will get into. Even the nightmares are amazing.
2. I am a movie fanatic! My kinds have this standing order that they are to put Feature Presentation on my grave stone. They are my two favorite words in the world. Of course you never hear that anymore, but when I grew up you watched all kinds of previews and then they said: And now for our Feature Presentation. Awesome.
3. All I ever wanted out of life was a porch you could sit on and watch the rain without getting wet and an island in my kitchen. I still have neither. Someday.
4.I love my family and am a compound kind of person. I want some land and each kid gets a house and the back doors all face in to each other and create a huge shared patio area with a pool and hot tub. Then we see each other every day, but have our seperate lives as well.
5.I am a travelholic, a gypsy or a nomand. Take your pick. I love to go to new places and see new things. I don't like to stay in one place for too long. Don't mind having a home base. But like to go places.
6. I hate to read outloud because to me my voice sounds stupid. I can talk in public all day, just don't ask me to read.
7.I love the water. The ocean, a pool, hot tub, water fall. I love water.
8.I wouldn't mind living in a hut on the beach. Of course I would prefer a nice house with a great porch to watch the ocean, but I would settle for a hut just to live at the beach.
 9. I love Wavy Lays potato chips best. Especially with some pico de gallo! And a glass of milk. Yummy.
10. I am afraid to write some of the things my brain comes up with. Probably would be best sellers, but not my cup of tea. It creeps me out that my mind could go there. That was why I never tried drugs when I was growing up. The monsters in my head are too scary to be unleashed by LSD or some other crap!

Questions asked of me:
1. How long have you been blogging for? Just since my book House On Butcher Harbor came out.
2. Why did you start up a blog?
Because I had just self-published a book and wanted to get the word out. 
3. What has been your weirdest experience with blogging? People not leaving comments. I leave comments on everything I read. I am blown away by the number of people who don't comment on anything, good or bad.
4. What is your favourite book? The Andromeda Strain. I realized this when Ray Bradbury died and it made me wonder what book would I be if I had to or could be a book. I would want to be this book.
5. Who is your favourite author? So many. I always thought it was Steinbeck, but since Andromeda is my favorite book I guess I would have to say that Michael Crichton.
6. What do you want to be when you grow up/what is your profession? My day job is actually a night job. I pull third shift at a convenience store. I have always wanted to be and an now a writer. It just isn't paying the bills right now.
7. How many books do you think you might have? I get new ideas for books in everything I do everyday. For instance we visited a cave you toured in a boat and by the middle of the tour I had outlined to my son an entire novel based on this cave. Or people walk into the store to buy something and I get a certain vibe from them and can build an a novel around that. It drives my family crazy.
8. Do you prefer reading a proper book or a ebook? I prefer a paperback book over an e-reader, but you can carry around a lot more books on an ereader if you are say going on vacation.So both have their merits. Plus ebooks are cheaper to buy so you can buy more books! Except that there are no .25 yard sale ebooks for sale that I am aware of.
9. If you could choose to live one character's life in a book, who would it be?
Oh I would have to be Claire Templeton. Then I would be in line to marry the handsome and amazing Deputy Dogg!10. If you were stranded on a desert island what 10 items would you want to have with you?
My husband, my two boys and their girls.My laptop, camera, cell phone, food, and an unlimited battery or charging supply! Yes, I would need to be dialed in.

Her are my nominees:
Good Luck to everyone!