Monday, August 30, 2010


Announcing my short story, titled, HALO and HOLLY! 
Here's the cover. This sweet canine Christmas short story will be available on Amazon Kindle by the end of the week. 

I'll post more as soon as it's available.

Cover art by: Digital Donna

I'm busting with pride and want to thank my family and friends for their support!

Good night. Headed to bed grinnin' like the Cheshire cat.

Sunday night Writers' Night Roar

More fun than a barrel of monkeys! That's what it's like when Nate (D. Nathan Hilliard) and I set up at Denny's with our laptops showing each other websites, interesting blogs, comments, and pics we've discovered during the week. Honestly, when we get together, we're like two kids let loose on the premesis! 

It felt really, really good to laugh from the depths of my gut. Personally, I've had a start to a rough week last week, but it certainly ended well, and am looking forward to next. (that is, other than the stupid facebook hacking job bestowed on me, it ended on a good note :) ) 

Tomorrow is "buckle down" time and get back to a novel I've been working on with protagonist, Becky McAllen...she's going to come up against a teen-ager, and doesn't quite know what to do with the over-sized brat! 

Lots of homework still looms for me on my personal Life's Learning Curves -- this time to challenge my patience at html for the upload to Kindle, which will be happening at the end of this week. 

Still smilin', keeping my head up, and hoping all aspiring writers to complete what they've begun. Because that's the best place to start!

Happy Trails,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Ipad here!

Let me inform everyone on Facebook--I didn't do a "test" with ipad! I don't own an ipad, don't have a desire to own one, and have no use for one. 

That said, my FB account was compromised and HACKED by someone tooting ipads. When I tried to type into my own wall to that effect, it wouldn't even allow me to put it up. Instead, it repeated the same dumb hack post previously. 

I have deleted my FB account. Will I open a new FB account? Maybe, one day...just don't hold your breath, 'cause it won't be happening anytime soon. 

On a far greater happy note-I've found Digital Donna to do my book cover--she's incredible! And if you believe in a Higher Power, then you'll understand why and how we found each other! Yes, our paths were meant to cross.

Happy Trails,

Got a new printer!

My husband surprised me with a new printer! I'm really excited over this one. It scans, copies, and yes--prints! A Lexmark that is so fast, I'm still amazed -- it prints 32 pages in under one minute. That's pretty darn fast, folks!

The old printer wouldn't communicate with my system after we installed Win 7. No matter what we tried, I ended up sending the file to Steve's computer and printing out whatever I needed from his printer. Well, I print a lot. The running back and forth became tedious after a couple of months and my whining machine grew louder. (guess he heard me-heehee) 

Susan's laid claim to the light green/dark sage afghan I'm working on and as soon as it's finished, I'll ship it on to her up in N.C.  This one is a beauty! 

After hours of frustration unsuccessfully pretending to be an artist, I've finally contacted someone for the book cover that became a flaming bush (a Christmas tree) gone wrong with two billy goats (Great Pyrenees) grazing over clumpy coals (a living room setting with presents under the tree). Now, I'll sleep better. 

Last night a new idea came to me for a new novel. This one I actually wrote the basics down, so I won't forget, and have put the notes in a folder for future reference. Too much to complete before rallying with this one. Of course, there will be a dog and a protagonist put through the hoops of hell. I keep saying that one day I'm going to write something "darker" that isn't my norm. And this one might be the one that I let all my inhibitions go. Writing really is standing before the world naked for all the world to see inside our souls, our minds, our lives, our world--and the way we perceive it.  

Time for me to file stacks of paperwork away and clear off my desk (again). The clutter is starting to bug me. After that I'll start tweaking on a couple of short stories, cause I want them to be my best. A sweet little canine Christmas short story I'll be putting up on Kindle in about a week. 

Happy Trails,

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Learning Curve Just Got Twisted

Finally uploaded the pics of the crochet and knitted pieces I'd completed to my website at: marked the FUN STUFF section. They're a bit off kelter, but at least you can get a peek at what I do for a hobby. 

Now for the twist on the "learning curve". I've completed a sweet Christmas short story and am about ready to upload it to Kindle. All I have to do now is let loose my artistic mind and wrap it around how to do a book cover! So far, I've managed to insert a flaming tree (it's supposed to be a Christmas tree), and two dogs that look like goats grazing on a pile of coals. Sheesh! Nate, a friend and fellow writer, tells me to just play with the program and it'll all come together. Now, in my mind, tonight I'm asking myself, "when do we start playing?" Because I'm sure as heck ain't havin' no fun! This is maddening! LOL.

Tomorrow starts a new week ahead and I'm looking forward to it, now that I've had my Sunday evening with the a/c turned down cold enough to hang meat (according to my husband) and curled up with a wonderful story by Debbie Macomber, A Good Yarn. The cold, the new afghan, and the book put me on a much higher plain! Thank you, Honey for obliging me. 

Enjoy your week, I know I'm going to. Today is "doggie bath" at our house and four fur-kids will be getting dunked!

Happy trails and tails,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Writers' Night Roar

Had another great writers' night out! D. Nathan Hilliard and I set up with laptops on our usual corner table at Denny's. What a grand session we relayed. Nate's latest work will be going up on Kindle soon--he's really quite prolific! And we discussed all the publishing alternatives, the advantages, disadvantages, and everything in between. Got caught up on the latest news in the industry and, in truth we realize how really blessed we both are. Both bright (although Nate's VERY artistic!), and we have both grasped these ongoing changes with strong attitudes moving in forward motion. I had too much caffeine again, so I'll probably be up all night long. I'm a night owl by DNA, so this isn't a problem in my eyes. hee hee. 

On a different note, for those who know me well, know I LOVE WINTER, but dispise hot, humid weather. So to change my fussy attitude this week, I've been knitting and crocheting up a storm! Let me show you what I've done...
                                                                       Stain Glass
                                                                                  Eye-Wiggle Ripples

Ahhh, and there's more a comin'! Now, I'll wear the sweater, curl up on the sofa with the warm afghan, and read a great who-done-it mystery. (after I've turn the a/c down to, uh, say about 60 degrees)  Living in Houston has its perks, but boy, come summer, I can't quit complaining enough about the dang heat! I hate hot weather!!! This weekend though, I intend to lift my spirits! 

When I'm not knitting or crocheting, I write. Once again, I can't say enough about the writing life. It's the best!

Happy Trails, and THINK SNOW!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revising and Knitting

After receiving some input from my readers on the short story I'm working on, I'm now in the revising stage. Helpful doesn't begin to cover it! Now, I know exactly what was missing and am happy to move forward. 

When I'm stuck on a scene or can't quite grasp what is almost in reach, I pace. A friend advised me to take up my hand crafts again to give my hands something to do while I'm in deep thought. So I have. Today, I pulled out box after box after box of unfinished projects and completed two afghans, a sweater, and a small throw. It feels good to wrap yarn around my fingers again. Then touching the cloth that is now soft, warm, and made by my own hands is really the best. It's a quick fix to seeing the finished product compared to writing. Writing takes a bit of time. Methodically slow, but yet fulfilling. 

Ahh, the good life...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday's are great!

This weekend, I chilled out with my husband and the fur-kids. Absolutely glorious! We cooked, barbecued, and ate leftovers. Yummm. 

But tomorrow it'll be time to buckle down and start pumping my brain cells to work overload. Time to refresh and go over a short story I want to put up on Kindle. It's about two dogs who end up in the home of their dreams. And the humans end up with two dogs that wrecks their house! (I love this story!! It sounds VERY familiar-lol) 

So I'm wrapping up this weekend wearing a large grin--even got a little sun. Hoping everyone has a productive week planned ahead.

Happy Trails,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Another cool writer's night out

Had a great writer's night out with D. Nathan Hilliard (Nate), where we resolved the writing industry's problems-- once again! lol. We were both so caffeinated that by the time I dropped him off at his house, we were still laughing and being goofy. I doubt we'll sleep for three days. At least I'm pretty sure I won't. I drank at least 2 pots of coffee all by myself. 

We went over my current short story that is finished, but needs some fine tuning and tweaking. After I battle the "world of art" and learn how to do a decent book cover, it'll be ready to upload directly to Kindle

But the highlight of our meeting came when Nate's short story, titled, SHADES: DEATH IN WHITE SATIN came live on Amazon! I'd brought my Kindle along and was able to load it on right there sitting in the booth. Fireworks like the Forth of July shot out of the corners of Nate's eyes as he watched his "baby" come up! It's pretty exciting seeing your work, your name, and your cover right there for all the world to explore. 

Tomorrow is going to be a busy one for me--I've gotta get to tweaking on that short story and then try to come up with a color scheme that I can live with for its cover. But before I throw on my gown for the night, there's a scene I've been playing with on the current novel, title unknown as of yet, to get out of my head. Then off to bed. 

Happy Friday everyone,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting her done!

Recently, I was asked, "how do you get published?" 

It took me a full day to think this answer over. And believe it or not, but it's complicated. I remember all too well what it felt like going through the frustration years ago of wanting to find time to write a book, then when it was finished, what next?  The process of finding that time alone can make someone almost give up hope in not wanting to complete their manuscript. But, if you prevail, and write even just a little bit every day, the ideas keep flourishing till one day, you actually write those crucial words, "The End." 

Why am I talking about writing the book instead of publishing a finished product? Ah, the answer is coming. See, if you're savvy enough to do the research to write an entire novel, stay with it and see it through the end, you'll find the hard part much easier to handle. The "getting published" part. 

The hard part is learning HOW to write, then put on the walking shoes (figuratively) and doing lots of homework. Join a critique group (many are free) or hire an editor. Seek out the best to show you how to make your words come alive on the page. Learn the writing business from the ground up. Search the internet for tips on writing--in this case, since I write fiction, that's where I'm directing my advice. Look up agents, publishers, etc. Find out what genre you're book is classified and submit to the proper agents and publishers. Not all agents and publishers will publish but certain genres.  Follow their guidelines to the "T" when submitting. Each publisher has a separate set of rules.

But before you submit anywhere, make absolutely certain that your work is edited, has tight writing, and zings with a good story! 

If you're going the Indie pubbed route, then skip the submission part of my advice, BUT, do not publish anything until it's been critiqued or edited by the best! 

It takes a strong willed person to accomplish a novel. It takes a heart of a writer to continue writing. 

Finish the novel. Do your homework. Study hard. Then the rest is up to you!

Happy Trails,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A much needed break

Tonight, I spent the evening with fellow friend and author, D. Nathan Hilliard at Denny's. He's still officially on vacation so he ate accordingly. (go Nate!) 

We discussed our future works in progress and laughed through the hours. It was quite refreshing to get another's view point on my current work, Title Unknown at this time, but the story is unfolding. We read each other's work and I must say, Nate is one heck of a great writer. His enthuseasm and cheerful disposition really keeps my interest peaked. He's produced a new cover for his The Barrow Wolf. Be sure to check it out!

Met a lady who is an avid reader as well as her son. Hi Terry! For your son, tell him to keep his dreams alive about becoming a writer and that the story he's writing--to stay with it! 

The environment tonight was especially lively which gave us both ideas for future scenes to implement in our stories. LOL! (a commotion is always good for a writer to take note of, except Nate and I were so busy yakking that we didn't know anything had happened till after it was over!) Yep, we're real observant! 

Other news--Hannah, our little Dutch shepherd is still a little pistol that thinks she's the ONLY one who should be living here...nevermind her brother and two sisters. That's our Hannah. As for Brie, Yadar, and Cheyenne--they are wonderful and ignore Hannah's antics. Hopefully Hannah will outgrow some of her insecurities. Afterall, it's ONLY been two years! Every day is whole new world for Hannah. We love her dearly--just wished she felt she belonged to the pack. One day........... 

I'm anxious to write down a scene before retiring tonight, so I bid ado--

Happy Trails,

Friday, August 6, 2010

History has been made in 2010

In 2010, this year has made history in the publishing industry. From NY to small press, to indie writers--ebooks has finally rose to the top! 

Everyday since February, I've watched with a close eye at how this phenomenal publishing world has evolved before our eyes. Wonderful doesn't come close to how I feel right now. Incredible is more like it! 

Won't be long till all NY goes POD/ebooks. Dorchester announced their move today and got on the band wagon with the rest of the small presses. Harlequin did so a long time ago. What does this mean for bookstores? Well, I think the answer is staring them in the face. (they shouldn't have dissed the indie/small press authors--now it's come back to bit them on them on the backside) 

I still say right now is the best time in the world to be a writer! For the first time in history, THE WRITER has full control of their own work. The choices are many and the avenues are wide open. 

Now, that I've skipped and cheered to this morning's news, I have some news of my own to announce-- The edits for IMPACT FOR MURDER are complete and yesterday I was privileged to see from my publisher what it'll look like on the inside. I'm thrilled and have spent more time yesterday and today dancing than I have in a long, long time! 

I love being a writer!
Happy Trails,