Monthly Archives: May 2014

On Writing: What I Listen to While Writing

I enjoy the music that Kina Grannis creates–whether it is her own work or a cover. I have listened to this song–“Without Me”–for years and I cannot believe that I never watched the music video until now. The song itself is wonderful but I love the way she incorporated the images–newspaper clippings with the words of the song–into the video.

As always, I hope the music inspires you to write.



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A GI Joe Style Tribute to a Young Cancer Survivor

I am not associated with this parent or video, but I do know a family with a child who suffered from neuroblastoma cancer. My friend’s child is now a teenager and suffers from hearing loss and other issues, but she is cancer free. She is also looking forward to getting her learner’s permit to drive in a few months and is starting to look into college programs.

I think it was a nice gesture by Mary McDonald Lewis and Bill Ratner to narrate the video. I hope it brings attention to neuroblastoma and the wonderful organizations that are working toward eliminating it.

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On Writing: What I Listen to When Writing

I first heard Brandi Carlile’s “Dreams” on Samantha Brown’s Girl Meets World series. The lyrics speak of going after your dreams–something which is very much a theme for me this week. (See my prior post for more information: )

As always–I hope the music inspires you to write.


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First Novel to be Published with Musa Publishing

Book with Heart

Musa Publishing has accepted my manuscript. I signed the contract on Friday.

It looks like the novel will be released sometime in October of this year.

I will provide more details as they become available.

I am very happy and I want to thank everyone who has provided me support and encouragement over the years—especially my fellow authors. The people I have met through WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter have been wonderful. I am really glad that I discovered the #amwriting group; reading the posts there about both the tribulations and successes of other authors is inspirational. (And I constantly marvel at the word counts everyone strives for each day!)

In an earlier posting this month ( ) I shared some advice from fellow writer Jim Butcher: “*NO ONE* can take your dream away.” I truly believe this and I hope that the readers of my blog do as well.

Perseverance is the key word of the day. Keep at it, keep writing, and do not give up.




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On Writing: Regency Era Words as Both Compliments and Insults

Mac and Cheese

Note: This is not a cooking post, although after publishing it I will be heading to the kitchen.

I enjoy researching different times, places, and cultures. Part of what attracts me to writing is the fact that I can either try to recreate these for my readers, invent new times, places, and cultures to explore, or use a combination of the two techniques in my writing.

Sometimes, though, I come across a fact when researching that I find difficult to believe. I will research further and, if find out that it is true, I will then wonder if I can ever use it in a novel or short story.

Some facts would stretch a modern reader’s incredulity just a bit too far.

Take, for example, the term “macaroni.” Is it easy to believe that this word is both a compliment and an insult when applied to a young English man in the mid-1700s?

While researching meal plans for the Regency era I came across an article by Laura Boyle (2011) titled “Early Macaroni and Cheese.” It does have a nice recipe for the dish, but it also includes a history of the food item in England and how the term “macaroni” influenced the culture.

This is the web site link:

During the 1700s, macaroni was considered to be foreign cuisine. Young men who revelled in foreign fashions, including tasselled walking sticks and elaborate powdered wigs topped by tiny tricorn hats, used the term in a positive manner. For these young men, if something was “macaroni,” it was the height of fashion. They formed Macaroni Clubs, which were not physical locations but a way to describe those who were in the clique.

Others used the term “macaroni” to deride and ridicule these young men and their fashion sense. From artwork and sketches of the day, it may be easy to understand why these fashion choices did not become mainstream Regency wear.


Of course, as Boyle (2011) explains, this term is familiar to Americans because of the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” written by Richard Shuckburgh, who was a British surgeon at the time of the American Revolution. The line “he stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni” was meant to be an insult to the poor fashion sense of American Colonists, but Americans found the song to be catchy and embraced it.

On an end note–I have read and written the word “macaroni” one too many times.

I have to go cook and then eat something made with cheddar cheese and noodles.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

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May 11, 2014 · 2:37 am

On Writing: Writing Inspiration from Other Authors

Magic and Book

Over the years I have collected quite a bookmark list of web sites by successful authors. I enjoy reading (and re-reading) them, and many times I will put their advice into practice.

Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files, gives this writing advice in “The Most Important Thing an Aspiring Author Needs to Know:”

Writing is a LOT of work. Breaking into the industry is a torment worthy of the fifth or sixth circle of Hell. Face that. Expect it. Deal with it. It’s going to be difficult . . .

In fact, the vast majority of aspiring authors (somewhere over 99 percent) self-terminate their dream. They quit. Think about this for a minute, because it’s important: THEY KILL THEIR OWN DREAM.

But here’s the secret: YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO CAN KILL YOUR DREAM. *NO ONE* can make you quit. *NO ONE* can take your dream away.

No one but you.

Jim Butcher provides a great deal of advice on writing in general, plotting novels, creating characters, and so forth. You can find more of his blog at the following:

(Disclaimer: I do not have any association with Jim Butcher or The Dresden Files).


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