Category Archives: writing

Back In the Saddle Again!

It’s been awhile. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what an ordeal selling my house and moving across country would be. I mean, I knew it would a heavy lift, but geez Louise! It might have been somewhat easier had I been able to move in the summertime or even autumn, but moving in the dead of winter sure did change things up. No scenic drive across country with three cats in tow. Hmmm, now that I think of it, that could have been horrific, but I’m not gonna go there. No having the luxury of my own car from start to finish. Nope, none of that.

I suppose I could regale you with the finer points of the absolute horrors I endured, but that would be too depressing. So I’ll just share one of the more amusing aspects. I forgot to pack my underwear and didn’t realize it until I went to get it and it wasn’t there. Nope, Still in my dresser drawer that left the day before and was on its way across country without me. So on the way to the airport, I had to stop off at Kohl’s and get me some new undies. Which really pissed me off, since I had JUST done that! But now I have plenty, so there is that … Oh yeah, on the plane trip to Maryland to go shopping for my new home, I managed to delete ALL of my passwords. I’m still assembling the list. On the up side, I lost ten pounds! Not a diet I would recommend, but stress does wonders for peeling off the pounds.

So now I’m back in Maryland, state of my birth, if not the city of my birth. People always want to know exactly where I live, but I’m not telling. When one writes for a liberal political blog, one must be circumspect.

Never thought I’d be back here in the land of snow and ice, heat and humidity, mosquitos and thunderstorms, but here I am. And I’m liking it! Everything is new again and I’m reconnecting with old friends. I do miss my daughter, though. She and her significant other will be moving back this way in March 2018 – just in time for my next birthday!

My new place came with some unexpected surprises. I needed a new roof. Got into a bit of a pissing match with the inspection company about that, as the inspector just glossed over the condition of the roof. I won and they refunded most of the inspection fee. Did you ever doubt me? Also having to completely remodel the master bathroom. That was my bad. I was so enthralled with the kickass kitchen that I completely zoned out on the bathroom. Vanilla fixtures – not my thing, low countertop (if I were 5 feet tall, it would be perfect, but I’m 5’9″, so not so hot!), NO MEDICINE CABINET! I mean, where’s a girl supposed to put all her girly stuff? And of course, I’m going to tear out all the carpet and put in bamboo flooring. MUCH easier to keep clean, especially with the three furballs. The solar panels will be the finishing touch – right before they haul me off to the poor house.

I really missed writing during my mammoth move and have finally got back into the groove, (hey! that rhymes!) albeit on a truncated basis. Still haven’t been able to get back to the book I’m writing, but that’s okay. What with Trump in the White House, I’ve come up with a new angle that dovetails perfectly with the theme of the story.

I’m looking forward to finishing up the renovations on the house, meeting new people, getting back to work on my book, making some noise over at Liberals Unite and once again enjoying the change of seasons East Coast style. Always missed autumn. Now I’ve got it back.

And last but certainly not least, I’m glad to be back blogging to you! Hope you’ll continue to hang with me!

Oh yeah, don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list and get your free copy of The Chemtrail Conspiracy.

How Does An Author Come Up With An Idea?

One of the frequent questions authors are asked is how they come up with an idea for a book. The answers are as varied as the people who answer that question. And sometimes, the idea just sort of pops up when least expected.

Take, for instance, my novel Dreams and Nightmares. I had begun to write an entirely different story. As I recall, it was about a young mother with a 4 or 5 year-old child. She had just lost her husband to a freeway shooting and she was fleeing Los Angeles in search of a better, safer life for her son. She headed for a small fictional town up the coast where she met a character whom I named Albert Crawford. Albert went through several iterations. First he was kind of slow witted but a good person. Then he was a handsome grifter out for himself. Then he was this really ugly dude with an air of danger about him. The ugly dude was the one I liked best.

I couldn’t make the story come together. I must have written five or six different scenarios and all of them sucked. But I really liked that Albert character:

Albert Crawford had a face that looked as if it had been pressed upon glass. His nose, larger than most, had been broken in a bar fight some years back and it spread across his face like silly putty left too long in the sun. Thick, protruding lips opened in a perpetual pout exposing teeth that looked more like they belonged to some feral animal than to a human being.

I mean, come on, how could you not be enamored of such a juicy character?

I liked him so much that I chucked the entire story, got rid of the mother and the kid and the dead husband, and started fresh. I based the feminine character on me – a struggling writer. Only I made her a struggling writer who wound up making it big – like Stephen King big. Albert showed up in the second chapter and the book took off from there. He was easy to write. So was his girlfriend, Ruby Wheeler, a biker chick with an attitude. Decker Jones, the character modeled after me, wasn’t nearly as much fun to write. Maybe because she just didn’t have all those awful tendencies, and I’ve got to admit, I love writing a villain. It’s cathartic.

There are some people who didn’t quite know what to make of the book. I didn’t have the two protagonists meet until three quarters of the way through the story, but the reader knows it will happen – just not how and what form it will take.

I’ve had some very good reviews for Dreams and Nightmares from readers – except for one, who was absolutely aghast at the terrible language in the book. But hey, when you’re a criminal, you don’t exactly speak the King’s English. That review, which is only posted on Goodreads, was actually my favorite because it made me laugh.

So if you like bad guys, bad biker chicks and a strong but vulnerable woman protagonist, and don’t mind some salty language, give it a shot if you haven’t already read it. And if you do, a review on Amazon would be super! It’s available at just about all the online booksellers in paperback and a variety of eBook formats.

Check out the first two chapters and buying information HERE.  And don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list!

On to the holidays!

 

Halloween is over, and we’ve got a few weeks before the holidays get underway.  I took down my scary witch hanging on my front door and replaced her with an autumn wreath, which will soon be replaced by my sparkly Christmas wreath.

I’ve got to say, autumn has always been my very favorite time of the year. I love the sights (all those leaves turning to gorgeous fall colors!), the smell of woodsmoke, the crispness in the air and the first frost. It gets my juices flowing!

At long last, I have finally begun my new novel. What with everything else I’m doing, it’s going to take awhile. Oh that I had the luxury of only writing fiction all day long! But I am going to give it my best shot at taking less than a year to complete it. It’s my usual scary scenario stuff, only this time, it’s based in the reality of climate change. Hey – maybe a movie!

So stay tuned and enjoy this beautiful season.

Spring Is In The Air!

Well, it’s in the air here in Northern California. Looking at the weather around the country, it seems that Old Man Winter has loosened his grip elsewhere too. Having spent the first 30 years of my life in Maryland – except for a short sojourn in Monterey (where I fell in love with California) and a half year in Pensacola, Florida – I know about cold winters. Although I have to admit, I never had to go through what so many had to endure this past winter. To all of you who are weary of shoveling snow and now have to deal with all of it melting, I send you my sincere wishes for a beautiful spring and summer and hope that the melt is slow enough to avoid any further disruptions in your lives.

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal and I am about to embark on yet another journey. As you may or may not know, I have been a wine consultant for 6 1/2 years. It’s been quite an adventure learning about the great wines of the world, not to mention tasting them! But my first love is writing. It is something I have never tired of doing and that’s saying something because if I’ve learned anything about myself, it’s that I get bored very easily. It’s the reason I’ve engaged in so many different lines of work, from working in advertising, to radio sales, to professional acting to a whole string of other occupations that are so numerous I have forgotten some of them! But I have never tired of the written word. So now, not without some trepidation, I am planning to leave my consulting days behind and devote myself to putting my books, as well as my daughter’s books, on the front burner. It’s a big decision and one I don’t make lightly – I, like everyone else, have bills to pay! So by the end of April, at the latest, I will be saying adios to my wine job and diving head first into getting our books out into the public eye in a way I’ve never done before. It’s a little scary and a lot exciting and I hope you’ll stay with me along the way.