Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline

While enjoying the Black Friday deals and browsing the shops, I came across this saying:
A Goal is dream with a deadline.

That caught my eye because I am a goal setter. A list maker. I like to cross things off my list.
This past week while my boss was on vacation, he gave me a list of things to have done by the time he came.
I finished the last one and enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment.
For those doing the NaNoWriMo or something close to it, the time is getting near. Have you reached your goal? Don't you love the feeling that you have accomplished more this month?

Did you set goals for this year? Did you cross any of them off?
This year I had set a goal of reviewing two books a month and then giving them away.
I have done this every month.
By doing this I  made some new friends and reconnected with old friends. It was a happy day when on Friday I received a rejection notice, because in the mail that same day I received a thank you note from one of the winners. Even though we haven't met I felt a connection that far out weighed the rejection notice.

It is not too early to be thinking about next years goal. And it's not too late to enter to receive one of the two books I'm giving away this month.

What have you marked off your list? What would you like to accomplish next year?

See you next week and I'll announce the winners so check back to see if you won!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin

There are seven more days until the drawing for the books: The Writer's Adventure by Sexton Burke and Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin.

Crossing Jordan was Adrian's first book for young readers. Since then she has written many more. Some of the books use the same characters.

Crossing Jordan won:
  • VOYA top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers
  • ALA (YALSA) Best Books for Young Adults
  • IRA Notable Books for a Global Society (Honor Book)
Crossing Jordan is about the unlikely friendship between a white girl and a black girl.
They become neighbors and share the love of running, but Cass's father has decided he doesn't want to be neighborly.
This book shows how even grownups can grow and change in a story.
The book is set in Tallahassee, Fl, where Adrian lives.
Please leave a comment or enter using the rafflecoptor.

See you next week,

Sunday, November 15, 2015


This week I have a special article to inspire you! My friend Pat Weaver wrote this and it was first published in 2007 at ICL. She has been around horses and dogs all her life.
Hope you enjoy.
Don't forget to enter for the book giveaway: The Writer's Adventure by Sexton Burke and Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin.




One evening a fellow writer commented that her writing was “a thousand miles from nowhere.”  I think all writers have moments that their stories seem to be going nowhere and they are lost in the emotional sea of writers’ block.  Her comment triggered a memory of what my mother would tell me when I was discouraged, “When you’re in the pits of nowhere, start walking.  You’ll come out somewhere.” 

One of my goals has been to write a “Getting Started” article, but I’ve always hit the proverbial brick wall on ideas.  I decided to use my mother’s advice and start walking.  Taking a pen and pad, I started to put my ideas down in clustering form.

As a new writer that is older than dirt, I have become comfortable with my style of writing and try to write every day.  I read the new “How to” books and magazine articles, but I’ve found that other writers help me in a more personal ways.  Here are the six most important points I have used to help develop my writing skills.

  1. There comes a time that you have to stop reading and start writing.  If you don’t write, you won’t get published.  I’m not saying stop reading altogether, but sometimes the fear of rejection keeps us looking for the rejection proof technique of writing.  Let me save you the effort, there’s not one.  Let me share my first polished ready to submit story.  It started about two and half years ago, when I looked in the mirror and saw an old woman who had not achieved her dream of writing for children (or a romance novel but that is another story).  I bought every best seller “How to” book on writing, subscribed to all the top writing magazines, joined writing groups and took basic writing courses, but four months later I still had no story.  I had a wonderful game plan for my writing career, write two hours every day, read one hour every day, submit two stories every month; but no story was in my writing file on my computer.  I was scared.  Would any one like what I wrote?  All that changed the night my husband ask me “When are you going to stop reading about how to write and start writing?  Seems to me you’re just wasting your time if you never write anything.”  Bless his heart; he gave me the gentle shove I needed.  Two years later, my game plan is in place.  I submit at least four manuscripts every month to a publishing house, contest or magazine.
  2. Never change your unique style of writing to fit the mainstream.  Polish it, enhance it but don’t try to change it.  Your unique style is what makes you different in the ocean of unpublished writers and might be what makes your writing saleable.
  3.  Have some way of keeping all the wonderful ideas that pop into your head while you are driving, sitting at a doctor’s office, cooking supper, at a sport event or relaxing in a hot bubble bath.  I keep a small tape recorder in my car and another one at home.  I found that I lose notes written on paper and if I do find them I usually can’t get the “big idea” from my hastily written notes.  My tape recorder picks up the excitement of my emerging story idea and I can explain what gave me the idea.
  4. You can not force a story.  You have to let it simmer and stew before it is finished.  I usually just write, not worrying if it makes sense.  I know I can connect the dots later to make a wonderful story.  When I first started writing, I would put a note on my computer to remind me of deadlines.  That was a bad idea because I would worry about the pending deadline every time I sat at my computer and I never write well when I’m worried.  By the time the deadline came, I hate the story and received no joy from the finished manuscript.  Now I have a program that starts reminding me ten days before the deadline.  The first day it reminds me once, second day three times and on the tenth day every hour.  I get the manuscript ready long before the tenth day (I hate pop-ups).  Problem solved. 
  5. Use every tool available to improve your writing.  I check out every web site that is recommended to me, chat with on-line friends that keep me current on all writing events and enter contests that I feel I might have a chance of winning.  If I don’t win, at least I have a polished story ready to submit.
  6. My final tidbit of wisdom, “believe in yourself.”  Belief in your abilities and writing skills is not an ego trip.  Ego trippers believe everything they write is publishable without changes.  Belief in yourself is knowing you have the ability to make a story sing, maybe not the first time or the tenth time but eventually
    Okay, now I’m at my somewhere, the end of this article.  Remember, if you believe in yourself, achievement will follow.
    Happy Writing.
     Patricia J. Weaver          

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wild Irene Latham's Blogiversary

Today is Irene Latham's 10th blog anniversary. It has been 10 years since she first began her blogging adventure. She has invited me as well as a host of many other talented writers to celebrate with a blog roundup.

The wild ponies of Assateague Island
The theme? Wild! I had a lot of pictures to choose from but there were two that I couldn't do without. The first:
This pony escaped the roundup and seems to be enjoying a peaceful day alone. Who says wild can't be peaceful?

The other photo that won out was this one:

I never thought I would ride a roller coaster again, but after this one I was hooked and wanted to ride again and again.
I hollered and screamed and loved it!
Thanks for a wild ride and theme and Happy Blogiversary, Irene! I hope to read many more!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Writer's Adventure by Sexton Burke

I'm trying something new this month. I'm using Rafflecopter for the contest entries.
Please let me know if you like this better than just leaving a comment on my blog.
This month I will be giving away The Writer's Adventure by Sexton Burke. It is an interactive guide for writing fiction. This book is a book of exercises (184 of them!).
If you liked the Writer's Lab, then you will love this book.
For those doing the NaNoWriMo this month, it will help get you unstuck.
So use the rafflecopter at the beginning of the blog to enter for a chance to win. You must have a USA shipping address.
I will leave you with this one exercise: Make up a new word and use it in a sentence.
Happy writing!

See you next week!

P.S. Tomorrow I will be joining Irene Latham and friends for a blog jump celebrating her blogs 10th anniversary!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Book Giveaway Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners!

The winner of The Summer of the Bonepile Monster by Aileen Kilgore Henderson is Chris Bailey!

The winner of Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury is Arlee Bird!

Please email me the address you would like this mailed to.
My email address is

Please visit next week to see what will be given away for November!