Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Putting the Fun Back in Writing

Writing is fun!

Yeah, that sounds like a teacher trying to convince her students of exactly that! For some students writing is not fun. However, for us as writers, writing should be fun. We should enjoy it. When we enjoy our writing it will show and readers will enjoy reading it. 

I re- realized this when I was trying to get my son to do a writing assignment for school. Writing is not his favorite subject. He was to use the alphabet to come up with creative adjectives to describe himself. Whoever thought this was a good idea for 8th grade boys obviously never had a boy for a child. He immediately thought of words for A, B, and C and by then was having so much fun entertaining himself he could hardly write for laughing. He finished the assignment because he was having fun.

Next time your writing becomes a chore, take a few steps back. Maybe put one project away and work on something else. It’s okay to work on something that will never be published. It can be therapeutic and do wonders for the mind and soul. 

I understand that you would probably have to know my son to truly appreciate this list, but I am including it for those who do know him or for those who have 8th grade boys of their own. 

Boss (he debated between Boss and Beast)
Eye candy
Freaking awesome
Handsome devil
Pear eater
Swag (I must be getting old. I’m not even sure what this means!)
Ultra beast (He managed to get Beast in)
Very fresh
Xciting (Technically not an X word, but this was a hard one)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Victory Song

It’s here! As some of you may know my mother was also a writer. She and her cousin Kathy could often be found writing together when they were teenagers. Fortunately, my grandfather was an avid photographer and captured those memories on film. I actually have some letters that my mom and her cousin wrote back and forth to each other. They signed them “Little Joe” and “Hos.” Obviously Bonanza was one of their favorite television shows. My mother also had a deep love of history, mainly the Civil War. She and my father belonged to the North-South Skirmish Association, which is similar to reenacting, but the regiments compete at target shooting instead of recreating battles and shooting at each other.

 I remember one day when I was young, Mom asked me to clean out from under the couch – that was where we crammed everything when unexpected company came. I took the broom and slid it across the floor from one end of the couch to the other. For the most part it was the usual toys under there, but there was one thing that was different. There was a folder with a bunch of typed papers.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Just put that back under there.”

It was an historical novel that she had been working on in between sewing Civil War clothing and raising four kids.

Shortly after that, I remember her taking one evening a week and hiding out in the bedroom to write. That was how she finished her novel Victory Song. Unfortunately, she passed away before she was able to see it in print, but I have been able to carry on her legacy for all to read. Victory Song is available in print here, but now it is also available on Kindle here. Take some time to read the book and step back to when our country was at war with itself. Go to the website and you can read the first chapter. Click on the small cover to go directly to Amazon to purchase a digital copy. Enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013


The longer I’m married, the more important anniversaries are to me. It seems that more and more marriages are falling apart around us while my husband and I work hard to hold together what we have. It’s not always easy – I can be extremely stubborn at times!  

While my family loved Randy, I think we did everything we could to scare him away. One of those times was when we took Randy camping with us. It didn’t end up being the trip of a lifetime for him, yet it was one none of us will ever forget. 

On the way to the campsite, we were all fooling around in the car, not thinking that anything was amiss behind us. Only after we arrived at the campsite did we realize the camper door latch was broken and the door had been hanging open for we don’t know how long. Since Randy was the last to pack, all of his belongings were just inside the door. All his stuff fell out of the camper somewhere along the way.  There was nothing we could do, all his things were lost. 

After a trip to the nearest town to at least replace his underwear, he set up his tent. He was so proud of it! He told my dad he had even waterproofed it in case of a little sprinkle. Unfortunately, that night, we got way more than a little sprinkle! It began raining during the night and by morning there was a foot of water on the ground. There was literally enough water to make it possible for not only our neighbor’s bunch of bananas to float out of his tent, but also to allow a resourceful little girl to create her own boat in the form of a Styrofoam cooler; and she was floating quite easily. 

By the time the rest of us got up, poor Randy was standing outside of his tent in the pouring rain. Immediately my mom made him come in our camper. 

“I thought my tent was waterproof,” Randy said as he stood there dripping. (Keep in mind the FOOT of water on the ground. We were basically camping in a river.)

“Why didn’t you go in the car?” my dad asked.

“It was locked.” 

My mom asked, “Why didn’t you come in the camper?”

“I didn’t want to bother anyone.” (One of his greatest fears.) 

Even with the experience Randy had on that camping trip with my family, he still decided that I was the one he wanted to marry. 

Now, after 22 years of marriage (and 27 years of being together) he still likes me.  

And we still go camping. 

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Don’t forget, everyone who purchases a print copy of Come Eat at My Table will receive an ebook copy for free. Keep the ecopy for yourself and give the ebook away if you desire. This is automatic so you don’t have to do anything except order a print copy.

Click on the link below to order.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Springtime Lilacs

I have always enjoyed spring. Perhaps it’s because winter was so long in NY where I grew up that being able to go outdoors without bundling up was a blessing. (Although spring seems to be slow in coming to VA this year. It snowed yesterday!)  One of the things I loved most about spring was the flowers. When the green tips of the daffodils would first peek through the soil my mom would announce that spring would indeed come despite how much it snowed after she made her announcement.

Lilacs are my favorite spring flowers probably because of a combination of their beautiful scent and their purple color. Purple is my favorite. What I wrote about lilacs in my book Come Eat at My Table was one of those things from my real life.

At the house where I grew up we had a huge lilac bush. We actually called it a tree because it was so big. Each spring the bush/tree would be full of blossoms. My mom would take some scissors out and cut a bunch of those blossoms to bring into the house. She always put them in the same white pitcher. We didn’t have any other vase large enough to hold them. That pitcher became known as “the lilac vase.” That vase, along with the lilacs, became a part of my story and my book cover.

I like all my book covers to have a special meaning to me. It doesn’t matter if no one else knows what that meaning is or not. My mom was a big part of the reason I’m a writer. Maybe I was born to be one, but she definitely encouraged me. Whenever I look at the cover of my book and see mom's lilac vase I am reminded of her and the legacy she left me.

In honor of my mom, throughout the rest of April, everyone who purchases a print copy of Come Eat at My Table will receive an ebook copy for free. Keep the ecopy for yourself and give the  print book away if you desire. This is automatic so you don’t have to do anything except order a print copy.

Click on the link below to order. 
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Happy reading!