All the Cool Kids are Doing It

I’ve got a new addiction. #1LineWed on Twitter. All the cool kids are doing it. giggle

One Line Wednesday, or #1LineWed as it’s hashtagged, trends every single week for hours and hours on end. Writers and readers alike have fallen in love with this very simple premise:

Each Wednesday, the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America, also known as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter (Twitter handle @RWAKissOfDeath), declares a theme for the day. Writers and authors (of all genres, by the way) post one line of their book / poem / work-in-progress containing the theme word and hashtagged with #1LineWed. It’s great fun and, yes, more than just a tad addictive.

Bonus: If you’re a writer looking to build your tribe on social media, this is one terrific way to share your work with potential readers and fans, one line at a time.

In addition to my own #1LineWed posts, I make it a point to seek out the posts of others to like. (Simply type #1LineWed in the Twitter search bar.) The best of them I also retweet.

Bonus-Bonus: Many of those you like and retweet will follow you and like and retweet your posts, too. I love “meeting” and getting to know other writers this way!

Today’s theme was “Back.” Here are my posts, followed by some of my favorites by others today: (more…)

Life Is Funny

Life is funny. I’m a plug-and-play kind of gal living in a satellite TV vs. Netflix world. In our house, changing between the two is a complex process requiring multiple remotes and knowing which acronym is which (HDMI1? HDMI3?) before you can even begin to look for what you’d like to watch. Needless to say, I am rarely the one discovering interesting or obscure entertainment options.

Life is funnyBut today we (and by “we,” I mean the hubs) found “B.B. King: The Life of Riley” on Netflix. And what a great find it was! One of the first things my husband and I realized we had in common when we met is our mutual love of American blues music. We are both long-time B.B. King fans.

But I digress. I wanted to talk about how life is funny sometimes. In the course of this two-hour gem of a documentary, I found out a couple of really interesting things I have in common with The King of the Blues himself: (more…)

Book Excerpt: Tea and Whiskey

Book Excerpt: Tea and Whiskey

The strangest coincidences turn up in my Facebook news feed sometimes. Yesterday, a friend shared a post by Bushmills Black Bush whiskey accompanied by the image below. I don’t drink BBB, but my protagonist’s grandmother has a special tea she prepares sometimes when Riley seeks out Gram’s advice. I was particularly intrigued by the “lost tiara” in the photo and thought this unexpected Message from the Universe might be telling me it’s time to publish another little snippet from the book. So here you go. (more…)

Selective Belief in Astrology

Selective Belief in Astrology

Belief in AstrologyConfession: I don’t know an earth sign from a peace sign, so taking astrological advice does not come naturally to me. But I will admit to an idle curiosity about the relationship between my zodiac sign (Capricorn) and my “destiny.” See? I can’t even do this without quotation marks. But I digress.

You could say I have a selective belief in astrology. As in, when my horoscope says things I like, I’m all in. Otherwise, I turn the newspaper page to the crossword puzzle, which is where I was headed before being distracted by the foolishness of a one-size-fits-all-Capricorns “message” from the universe.

This week’s issue of our local paper, however, provided the type of glad tidings I prefer to clip and post above my desk:

“Writing, research, and communications projects go well this month, with the sun in Pisces [the sun is where? oh, whatever]. Words come with greater ease. Study and practice.”

Oh, and “today” (how do they know when I’m reading it, since my newspaper is a weekly?) is an 8, where 10 is the easiest day and 0 is the most challenging. Alrighty then. I’ll go with that, until further notice or next week’s issue, whichever comes first.

 

How Long is the Writing Life?

How Long is the Writing Life?

As a fifty-(inaudible due to throat clearing)-year-old who’s recently completed the first draft of my manuscript, I do sometimes think (especially when reading about the latest 20- or 30-something best seller list debut author), “How many stories are in me? Will I be granted the time to write them all?”

Then again, who among even the fresh-faced youngsters getting multi-book deals and sweet advances is guaranteed a long life … or even a long writing life? The landscape is littered with literary one-hit wonders. Some really did die before they could publish another book. Some disliked the publicity and attention that came with their success and stepped away from the typewriter. Perhaps for others, it was the time and distance between published works that made the whole endeavor financially unsustainable. Some may have simply lost their writing mojo or descended into substance abuse, but for whatever reason were never heard from again.

What message can we take away from all this except that there are no guarantees in life anyway, so what the hell? You might as well keep writing.

So, do I have a single novel inside? A trilogy, perhaps? Or am I a late-blooming Sue Grafton champing at the bit?

The only answer, of course, is to keep writing the best that is in me. The Universe has its plan; so do I. Write. And write some more. Write as long as there are stories fighting to get out into the world. For they will be here long after I take my leave.

Besides, there are plenty of role models about whom the adage “It’s never too late!” was surely written. I’ll have what they’re having.

 

Taking Stock in the New Year

Taking Stock in the New Year

I had every intention of finishing my manuscript in 2015. After all, when I made the decision to dedicate myself to writing full-time, ten months still remained in the new year.

And yet here I sit, at the beginning of 2016, with a draft that is five, maybe six, chapters shy of being a completed story. The bones — and then some — are all there. The beginning has been polished to a fare-thee-well. The climactic scene, in one final twist of (what I hope is) shock and irony, is followed by a logical and satisfying denouement. Between the two lie twists and turns, subplots, clues, and red herrings. What’s missing are the last bits of connective tissue that will tie all that bone and flesh together into the recognizable shape that is a COMPLETED MANUSCRIPT.

Somewhere along the way I realized it. I should have (more…)