Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG: Write. Travel. Garden. Repeat.

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. If you are a writer in need of support and encouragement, or a writer who has wisdom to share, please join us HERE

Many thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's awesome co-hosts : Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!

Wow. Here we are at the last post of the year already! This year flew by. 

Here is this month's optional question:

Q: Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

A: This is a timely question, because I'm two years away from retirement and I think about it all the time. I have hopes and dreams--and a lot of doubt and fears. I know what I want it to be like, but the universe has ways of throwing a plot twist at you when you're least expecting it.  

First, travel: six months in Shrewsbury, England. It's where my fictional town of Sabrina Shores is based in my Indigo Eady series. I've also decided to set my new Brother Bart series there. It's rich with history and a perfect setting for a ghost monk to reside. 

Next we'll be motor-homing it around the States for a year or two. I'm envisioning writing at the beach, or next to a mountain lake. Water is very soothing. 

And finally, putting down roots. Hopefully in a place that we fell in love with on our travels. Ideally, it will be near water. It must have beautiful fall weather, and a little plot of dirt for gardening. And of course a garden to write in!

Above all, whatever I'm doing, it involves writing. Every day. I want readers to love my books and stories. And of course financial success would mean that I could maintain this simple but lovely lifestyle. Write. Travel. Garden. Repeat.  

What does your writing dream look like? 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: Google Gaffes

Thank goodness for the IWSG, otherwise I'd be out of the blogging gig altogether. It allows me to stay in touch with other writers, which soothes my soul. The sense of community is amazing and I'm so thankful for it. Heh, this wasn't meant to be a Thanksgiving post, but there you are. 

Anyhoo, if you're a writer and/or author and would like to join this supportive group of like-minded folks, please go HERE

Thanks a million to our founding host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's awesome co-hosts: Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie! Please stop by their blogs and say hey. 

This month's optional question is: What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

Kind of a funny story. I don't know how many people know this, but I'm an American who writes in "English". In other words, my main character is American/English and lives in England. We speak the same language, but some things just don't translate. I have a British editor, so it helps when she catches stuff and calls me out on it. 

I recently published my short story, Lady Sings the Boos, a cozy paranormal mystery. I love my ghosties and they keep me so entertained by the things they say! Like when one of the ghosts speaks Pig Latin to Indigo at the Blue Note jazz club:

“Eddie don’t talk to the living. e’ says you lot can’t be trusted.” He shoved his bulbous nose close to my face, and ghost spittle sprayed my cheeks. “Now amscray before Eddie gets angry,” he said, blowing smoke in my face.

Stunned for a moment, I stood in a backward-leaning position, like an ancient headstone right before it topples over. I stepped back and waved away the smoke. Ghost-dude could use lessons from Miss Manners. And had he seriously just spoken Pig Latin to me? So last century.

Oopsie! Who knew that the Brits don't do Pig Latin? It seems that they might've heard of it (through American film), but it's not really a thing there. I googled it after the fact, but I hadn't thought about googling it beforehand. Even so, I didn't find much info about origin and whether the British ever used it. 

So I had to remove a couple of scenes, like the one above, that really tickled my funny bone. (FYI, for you Brits out there, amscray means scram in Pig Latin, a made up language.)

What about you? What's the strangest
 or funniest thing you've ever 
googled in the name of research? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG: Work-Life Woes

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this event! This month's awesome co-hosts for the October 2 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

If you'd like to join, go HERE



Wednesday, September 4, 2019

#IWSG: My Favorite #Haunt

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! The first Wednesday of every month is reserved for posting about our writerly concerns and accomplishments, then visit other blogs to offer support and encouragement. If you'd like to join, GO HERE. 

The awesome co-hosts for the September 4 posting of the IWSG are Gwen Gardner, (me!) Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson, Chemist Ken, and Cathrina Constantine! And many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for forming and hosting since the beginning!

September 4 optional question - If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

My Indigo Eady paranormal cozy mystery series takes place in Sabrina Shores, England, but is based on the old English market town of Shrewsbury. I've been there several times, but living there for a year (and writing!) is at the top of my bucket list when I retire, which is only a few years away. 

I find the medieval town atmospheric with its history and timber-framed architecture. I can't wait to roam the narrow passages and alleyways with the resident ghosties. Because I just know the the dearly departed population can't wait to tell me their stories! 

And so, Shrewsbury England would be my favorite haunt!

What is the one place in the world 
you'd choose to write if you could?

The beach, the mountains...perhaps 
a haunted house?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: Taken by Surprise

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. This is a monthly event where we share the ups and downs of our writing journeys, and encourage and support our fellow writers on theirs. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Please go HERE if you'd like to sign up.

The awesome co-hosts for this month's posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner! And thank you so much to our founding ninja father and host, Alex Cavanaugh

If you're struggling with a topic, here is the optional question for this month's consideration: 

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? 
(For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd 
forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?)

What flows from the fingers to the page is often surprising, even for those--like me--who use an outline. Because an outline is only a guideline that I follow until my muse takes me in another direction. Sometimes it's a power struggle though, and I have to compromise. 

In my current WiP, my victim aka "dearly departed dead guy" keeps speaking like a 1940s gangster. He is NOT a gangster. He's a modern day dance instructor whose dance studio specializes in themed dances for special occasions. 

But sometimes, when they insist, you have to compromise. DDDGs most recent wedding gig had a Roaring Twenties theme, and in fact, he sort of died in the line of duty (dancing duty, that is) still wearing his 1920s duds. So I'm allowing him a few 1920s phrases of the Molls and Dolls variety so he'll cooperate. 

What about you? 
Any surprising (aka willful) character struggles? 
Surprise acceptance letters?
Unforeseen twists?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: Sharing Character Traits and Marketing Woes

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! The first Wednesday of every month, we share our fears and accomplishments, then blog hop around to fellow members blogs to offer support and encouragement. If you'd like to join, go HERE. 

Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, our host, and this month's co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

This month's optional question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I'm sure most of us share some traits with our characters. With my MC, Indigo Eady, it would be introversion combined with a snarky and fun personality only those close to her get to see. With Franny Bishop (no, it's not her former profession as a Victorian madam!) it's her spirit of adventure. 

BUT, my real insecurity this month is my lack of marketing skills (which results in lack of sales). There is so much information out there that's it's overwhelming. I'm bombarded with ads, and everyone is an expert. And since there are so many experts, I tend to distrust them all. What's an author to do?  

What traits do you share with your characters?

Does marketing overwhelm you? What advice can you  share?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

#IWSG: Closet Cozy

Wow! We are halfway through the year already! And it's time for June's Insecure Writer's Support Group post. If you struggle with the writing life and you'd like to join us, go HERE.

Thank you to our host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's awesome co-hosts: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi,Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! 

This month's optional question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I read widely, from self-help to spiritual to dystopian and YA and everything in between. But I always come back to mysteries. All kinds of mysteries, of which there's a bazillion sub-genres. I love to read procedurals (Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Deborah Crombie) and historical (Jacquelyn Winspear). 

But I love to write cozy mysteries! Paranormal cozy mysteries (a sub-sub-genre?) if I'm being more specific. If I had to say why, it would probably be that it stretches my imagination into something that's fun and entertaining. Where justice reigns, and good people succeed. It appeals to my sense of humor and playfulness that most people would never guess lay beneath my stoic exterior. Don't tell anyone, but... I'm a closet cozy with all the bells and whistles. And people think they know you, right?!. 

What about you? 

Would people guess what lay beneath your exterior through your writing?

What is your favorite read vs write genre?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#IWSG : The Reading Miracle

It's Wednesday, May 1st already! That means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. If you'd like to join our writing community in sharing the ups and downs at this monthly event, go HERE

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and his co-hosts this month for making this all go so smoothly: Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! 

The optional question for May 1: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

As a young reader or student, I never had that epiphany about language and power (as an adult, certainly, many times). However, had I been able to break it down as a child and recognize the power of words intellectually, it would have been when I discovered the school library. We got to visit twice per week and check out books. FOR FREE! And that impacted the rest of my life.

The gift of reading has been a true miracle! 

How has the power of words and language impacted your life? 


Speaking of miracles...
My first self-published release in 5 years will be out this month:

A Scandal in Boohemia
Indigo Eady can’t live on ramen noodles forever…
She jumps on the first job offered. All she has to do is work undercover at Sabrina Shores Theatre, find a ghost thief, and cross him over. Easy peasy, right? Until an actor is murdered and Indigo’s fingerprints are all over the pistol like ink on a Rorschach test.
Forced to dust off her rusty sleuthing skills to clear herself, Indigo enlists the help of her ghost friend Franny and her hunky ex-boyfriend Badger to help solve the crime. Now, how to keep her investigation from the handsome inspector?
Indigo Eady is a reluctant ghost whisperer, but she’s grown quite attached to Franny Bishop, a former Victorian ghost madam of some repute. Franny’s afterlife makes Indigo’s life look like she has one foot in the grave. Much to Indigo’s chagrin, Franny is determined to find her a man. After all, there are plenty of handsome men around ripe for the picking, and Franny’s an expert. In the meantime, Indigo and Franny have murders to solve.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

#IWSG and the Final Chapter Wish

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you'd like to join go HERE. 

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts for making this event happen: J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken. 

Optional question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

Optional answer (LOL): I'd use my wish to write the last chapter of my novel.  I  never know how to end a book! It's like ending an awkward phone conversation after a long pause, right before you say, "Well...bye."

What I want the final chapter to be is fun and clever and full of hope and satisfaction. Heh. Yeah, all of that. LOL. 

What would you use your writing wish for?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IWSG: Perspective and an Editing Bye

Hey Everyone!

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you'd like to join, go HERE!

Thank you to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts this month for making sure this event goes smoothly: Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

I'll be taking a bye this month as I'm neck deep in edits for A Scandal in Boohemia with a looming editorial deadline.  

Please visit the other participants at the link above.

Many Blessings 
Happy Writing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#IWSG and the #Creative Life

The first Wednesday of the month means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you want to sign up, go HERE

The awesome co-hosts for this month's posting is: Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace! 

And of course, thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh! 

This month's optional question is: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Although I don’t have time for other creative  endeavors right now, I do really enjoy pottery throwing (it’s been years) and photography.

And speaking of creativity… 

Did you know that in numerology, 2019 is an auspicious year? It's a Universal 3 year (2019=2+0+1+9=12 and 1+2=3), and according to what I've read, it's all about creativity, abundance, building, organizing, new ideas and transforming. Whatever we set our hearts on and work toward will come to pass! 

I don’t know much about numerology, but the positivity of this message is something I can get behind. So this is the energy I've taken into the new year. I've started writing again. I finished a book I started two years ago, and a short story that has been tucked away. I have a lot of work to do before I can call these works ready, but I feel energized and hopeful. 

What are your other creative endeavors? 

What  are your thoughts on numerology?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#IWSG Pause For Thought

It's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of the year. This is where writers post their thoughts, doubts and fears about the writing life, as well as offer experience, advice and support to fellow writers. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thank you to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome co-hosts: Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

The optional question this month is: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

My least favorite question is: "What do you write?" 

I write lighthearted cozy paranormal mysteries. I'm not writing the next great American novel, or an epic thriller, or anything literary or earth-shattering that touches on the myriad social issues facing the world. I don't have a message to give or a lesson to teach. 

So I my real issue with the question is that I think I should be writing about something more important. 


Does the genre you write ever give you pause for thought?

What is your least and/or most favorite question you're asked as a writer? Why?