Welcome 2018

Like most people, I have the best of intentions.  I get these great, awesome, fabulous blog posts ideas but I suck at follow through.

I mean I really suck.

Here it is the dawning of 2018 and, I’m embarrassed to admit, my last blog post was June of 2015.


I would love to claim that I will resolve to post at least weekly this year, but let’s be honest.  My track record proves that’s not likely to happen.

But I promise to try.


Crazy for Crochet

More like obsessed

I saw a cute pattern for Amigurumi bunnies online before Christmas and just had to make them for my great-nieces. Now I’m hooked on them (yes, pun intended).

Then I made a giraffe for my daughter. She showed it to a friend who wanted to BUY one for a gift.


For real money.

When my sister saw it, she ordered a giraffe and bear for baby shower gifts. She also suggested I make some to sell at her yoga studio.

And people bought them.

Again, for real money.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest (another obsession) for more patterns. They are sooo many cute ones out there. In addition to the giraffe and bear, I’ve made penguins, cats, mouse toys for cats, more bunnies, and an elephant. Oh and duckies for Easter.

Not everything’s been for sale. One of the penguins was for my MIL’s Mother’s Day gift.

My little hobby won’t replace the day job, or make me rich, but I’m having a blast and making a little pocket change.

I’ve got plans for more elephants and maybe a pig or two. And penguins.

And purses. Did I mention the purses?


Back to the old grind

The Snooze feature on the alarm on my phone goes off every 9 minutes exactly.  And in the span of 45 minutes it goes off 5 times.

I know this because that’s how long it took me to wake up yesterday morning.  Well, okay, it took an hour but the last 15 minutes I was awake, just not functional enough to get my sorry self out of bed.

But it was a Monday, after all.

And not just any Monday.  It was the Monday after a long holiday weekend.  A double whammy.

It didn’t help that I stayed up past midnight the night before.  Staying up late then getting up early the next day seems to be my usual routine.  Studies show a person should get at least 8 hours a sleep a day, but I let’s be realistic.

With day the job, time with the hubby (my offspring are adults and can take care of themselves, theoretically), the house, writing, and dance, I’m having difficultly fitting it all in.

My time management skills suck.

I found a website, http://www.10minutenovelists.com, but I haven’t had a chance to give it a good perusal yet.  I’m sensing a Catch 22 here.

Any suggestions?

Happy 2015

Here we are at the start of a new year. Seems like just yesterday I was listing my goals for 2014.

Goals I didn’t meet.  Maybe I set myself up for failure by aiming too high.  Finishing 4 books in one year?  Yeah, definitely a recipe for disaster. Just like everyone else, I spread myself too thin trying to juggle it all: home, work, writing, dancing.  Something had to give and unfortunately it was my writing.

There will be no goals, resolutions, what have you, for me in 2015.  I intend to do the best I can day by day.

We’ll see how it goes.



#8sunday – part deux

Hello again.

Here’s a snippet from Love at First Second Sight for the Weekend Writing Warriors’ 8 Sentence Sunday.

Instead of using the napkin she held out, Leo leaned in and removed the ice cream with the tip of his tongue.  It’d been a while but she was pretty sure he was making a move.  At least she hoped so, because the good night kisses they’d shared so far had left her wanting more.

He pulled back. “Fran, I-”

“Missed a spot? Definitely.”  She grasped a fist full of his collar in each hand and pulled him down until their lips met again.   It had been a long time since she’d been kissed like this, but she had a vague memory of  how it went.

You can find a more sentences from other authors at www.wewriwa.com


Hey everyone, this week I’m participating in 8 Sentence Sunday over at Weekend Writing Warriors where authors have a chance to promote their work and support each other.  Click on the link at the end of this post to check out all the other authors.  Below is a sampling from My Snowy Valentine

She shoved her things back into her purse then looked up at him with sky blue eyes. “Thanks.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done tonight.  Not many people would have stopped to help a stranger, let alone take them home.”

Wes could feel the blood begin to rush to his ears again.  “Yeah, well, we’ll see how thankful you are in the morning after I make breakfast.  Good night.”

Wes looked back into the room at the same moment Jessie stripped off her sweatpants and crawled under the covers.  He ducked back out, but not before he caught a glimpse of black lace panties and long slender legs.


Gluten Free Bread

I’ve been eating gluten free for a while now, having developed a sensitivity to wheat and gluten.  It didn’t bother me much when I was young, but since I’ve gotten older it;s gotten worse.  As have the food allergies.  I tease my husband that I’m turning into one of those high maintenance wives.

I have to admit that for this Italian girl giving up bread and pasta was no easy task.

Thankfully, finding gluten free products is a lot easier now that it used to be.   I’ve found several pastas that satisfy my cravings. Ronzoni and Kroger both even taste good reheated.

Bread? Now that’s another story.  Most packaged products are either too dry or taste bland. So I decided to give baking my own a shot, which turned out to be tricky.  Not only am I sensitive to gluten and wheat, but also potatoes, and I’m allergic to seeds and nuts.

After some trial and error I have found what I believe is the perfect gluten free sandwich bread.  Moist, light and very tasty.  And super easy.

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this recipe, but it originated on the Gluten Free Cooking School site (http://tinyurl.com/rcyw9d).

I used Mary Frances Pickett’s gluten free flour mix using sorghum flour, and corn meal in place of the masa harina. (Note to self: use finely ground corn meal next time).  She gives instructions for both bread machine and conventional oven.

I don’t have a bread machine and my oven is on the fritz, so after letting it rise, I bake in it my slow cooker for two hours.  It didn’t’ brown on top, but other than that it came out great.  Especially slathered with margarine while still warm.


I’ve made it twice now.

As a side note: This GF flour did not work as well in my chocolate chip cookies.  The corn meal was not fine enough.  But they tasted okay

2014 Goals- How’s It Going for Ya?

Me?  How am I doing on my 2014 goals?

Let’s see.  My short term goal was to write everyday in January.  I don’t have an exact count, but so far I’ve missed one day because of head a cold and several others from sheer laziness.  The smart thing would be to keep a writing journal so I can hold myself accountable.  This is where the laziness issue comes into play again.

And then there’s the damn cable.  Yes, I could (read, should) get up and walk away from the boob tube.  But I’ve just discovered Dr. Who.  And have you seen Tom Mison Sleepy Hollow?  Ugh, I have no will power.  And my kids are no help.  “Mom, come on.  You’re gonna miss Major Crimes!”

Still, I’ve gotten in more writing this month than I did in December, and January isn’t even over yet.  So I’m not feeling too bad.

So now let’s talk about my 2 long range goals:  Finishing 4 books in 2014 and blogging regularly.

Notice I didn’t say “get 4 books published in 2014”.  That would be, like, insane.  Come on.  But I feel taking 4 wips in various stages of completed-ness and getting them ready to send out, or even send, out is doable.  That is if I can find a method of story structure/writing process that works for me (see my previous post).  Once I get it down pat with the current wip, I’ll be able to apply it to the others and zip right through them.

At least that’s the plan.

And as for blogging, I’m going to have dig out the agenda I bought from the dollar store and start using it.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  If I’m gonna commit myself, I mean, be committed to producing certain things on certain days, then I damn well better get myself organized.  Right?

I can always take lessons from the 19-year-old.  Her organizational skills amaze me.

So, how are your 2014 goals coming along?

Many thanks to D’Ann Lindun who’s blog post reminded me what day it was and put a fire under my behind.


Story Structure

For some ungodly reason I decided to make as my writing goal for 2014 completing 4 wips. I Tweeted it for heavens sake. I’ve really set myself up this year.

In a previous post I highlight several author sites where I’ve found a lot of helpful information. (I’d put a link to it here, but I haven’t learned how yet).  But, as great as all this information has been, I’m still struggling to get my next book finished.

What’s the problem you ask?  Well, for one thing, I’m a procrastinator my nature.  It takes me frigging forever to write a book. Why? Because I lack organizational skills. So it seems flying by the seat of my pants isn’t going to cut it if I want to meet my goal.

While perusing my favorite sites for additional inspiration I came across Larry Brooks’ Storyfix.  His four-part story structure really seemed to resonate with me. I like the idea of breaking things down, learning what needs to be in your story and where to put it to make it flow. A place for everything and everything in its place.

But I realized this method was only a piece of the puzzle.  What I really needed to do was take a little bit of everything and put it together.

So I sat down on the floor with all my printouts spread out around me, a big roll of paper, and a handful of colorful markers and proceeded to build my story.  I drew a big circle (ala the hero’s journey & Dan Harmon’s circular story structure with eight steps http://tinyurl.com/yhcgdku), divided into 4 parts (Larry Brooks’ Storyfix http://tinyurl.com/mqcqt2), added scenes, plot points and pinch points.

I probably should have used pencil, because I kept moving to different parts to find just the right spot they needed to be. Still, it was pretty satisfying seeing everything coming together, meshing, flowing.

It’s not quite finished, but it’s getting there.  I just need to add chapter placement and rearrange a few scenes.

If I keep focused and stick to the plan I should be able to reach my goal.

But cross your fingers for me, just in case.


Title Envy

Title envy

I’m not ashamed to admit I have title envy.

You know how it is when one of your favorite authors comes out with a new book and the title is so awesome, so dead on you think “Oh, yeah”?

Or when you ask your author friend what inspired the title of her newest book and she says, “Oh, the it came to me in a dream and the book practically wrote itself.”

Okay, I realize it’s not really that easy.  I’m sure most of us agonize weeks if not months over what we’re going to name our “babies.” Right?

So how does one choose the right title?

You need to make sure it fits the genre you’re writing in.  A modern-sounding title wouldn’t be appropriate for an historical.

Keeping with the tone of your book is important, too.  A comical title wouldn’t do at all for a dark paranormal.

Is there a phrase in your book that captures the essence of your story?  Maybe a quote from one of the characters?

Or maybe try using a play on words. Take for instance Damsel in This Dress, by Marianne Stillings. There’s our heroine (the damsel), and she’s in distress (this dress).  Get it?

Some of my other favorites:

Charmed and Dangerous, by Toni McGee-Causey,

Nearly Departed in Deadwood, by Ann Charles

Keep Me Ghosted, by Karen Cantwell

Still having trouble?  Check out these articles for more help:

writersrelief.com  (http://tinyurl.com/lh4adxj)

lightmessages.com (http://tinyurl.com/lj6ngvw)

Now it’s time for me to play a round of  “name that book” with my next book, which has a Valentine’s theme. I’m going the self-publishing route, but I’m stumped for a title. There’s a female sports writer, a hot accountant, his three nephews, and they’re stuck together in a snowstorm.

Suggestions are always welcome








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