Monday, April 30, 2012

No Hassle at the "Castle"

I hope most people are familiar with the smash TV show, "Castle."  If you're not, you should be.  I've watched it since the first episode, and it has the perfect mixture of simpatico characters, humor, and crime mystery.  Since Richard Castle is the next favorite author on the list I posted in a previous blog, I'd like to recommend his books.  The ingenious marketing of tie-in's from the book series to the TV show is nothing short of brilliant!

The show airs on ABC at 10pm on Monday nights.  Hmmm...they should have paid me for that little plug, but no matter.  The main character on the show is Richard Castle, a famous crime fiction novelist.  He writes a series of books about a cop named Nikki Heat.  In the show, his books are based on the cop he gets to 'shadow' throughout the series, whose name is Kate Beckett.

Once this show took off and became popular, they started printing the actual BOOKS, even though there really ISN'T a Richard Castle! lol   I'd love to meet this secret ghostwriter, because he deserves some credit!  It's really a hoot to have books out, written by Richard Castle, who is essentially non-existent, but a television character PLAYING an author!  As I said earlier, it's pure genius! 

Therefore, my next recommendation to you all is to check out 'his' books.  They are especially fun to read if you follow the show, because all of the characters from the show are featured in the books!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Help, My Eyes are Burning!

What a eyes are literally burning as I struggle to edit my book, and it's only the FIRST draft.  I've realized it's going to take much longer to go through this in order to make it tighter and presentable, etc.  I think the actual writing of the book is the easiest part in all's what comes after that is labor intensive and time consuming!  

Several books I've read have given excellent advice and tips on how to make it the best it can be, and while it's been tremendously insightful & helpful, it's also lengthening the process.  I guess in the end, if it helps me get published, it will all be worth it.

C is for Cannell....

Stephen J. Cannell...the next 'fave author' on my list...I can't express how sad I was when he passed away, because it means the end of his TERRIFIC 'Shane Scully' follows a cop and his lieutenant wife.  There are a LOT of them to enjoy, it's just sad when you finally reach the last one, knowing there won't be anymore...

This Quote is Hard for Me...

This one makes sense logically, but emotionally, it's a tough one.....


Saturday, April 28, 2012

To read...and read...and READ...

OK I'm halfway through the editing process of the mystery book...I have a feeling I'll be reading it yet AGAIN.  I've got some friends in a writing group that are reading the first 100 pages, and I've told them to CRITIQUE ME!  I don't want someone who says 'oh the book is great'...well THAT would be nice too, but I needed some people who could be frank and honest.  We shall see what their feedback is...I'm looking forward to it.  The more 'fresh eyes' I can get, the better. 

Ring my 'BELL' .....

The next name on my fave author list is Ted Bell.  This guy is good at telling the story of 'Alex Hawke,' and the international intrigue he experiences in each book.  He's a British naval hero that always seems to get requests from the U.S. to help them on deadly missions.  I suggest starting with the first book, which is "Hawke."  I also apologize - for some reason, my links aren't posting as 'links' so that you can just click on them...I have to work on that :)

Today's Quote....


Friday, April 27, 2012

An Invaluable Resource...

I'm a voracious reader, and I absolutely love this website!  You can plug in any author's name and get a list of ALL their especially helps when it comes to a series, because it lists them all in order, so you can start with the first book and continue from there...I use this site constantly!   Enjoy!

Let's Start with "B" ...

In one of my previous posts, I listed all of my favorite, I'd like to start a new 'series' of posts based on that.  Since I listed them from A-Z by last name, I'm going to start with the first author on that little directory, which is Mary Balogh.  If you're into British fiction, she has an excellent saga of the "Huxtable Quintet."  It's an on-going series of five books thus far.  Very engaging and entertaining.  Each book focuses on one of the family members and their experiences.  I'm not a romance reader, though it does contain a lot of it, but it manages to include other 'stories within the story' that capture your interest.  Below, I've dropped a link that will take you to the page that gives ALL of her books.  Scroll down to find the "Huxtable Quintet," in the order in which they were printed, or check out all of her other books as well.  Enjoy!!

Where's the Trust?

I've joined a ton of writing groups through LinkedIn and nearly got rooked by someone already!  He is the administrator of a large group and managed to get me to CALL him...where he proceeded to tell me that for $134, he could help edit my manuscript. I stupidly sent him the first 100 pages, then googled his name to find all kinds of complaints about him being a con artist!  Thankfully, I was able to recall the email and promptly LEFT his group...this is why I stopped writing 20 years ago, because I got snookered & gave are you supposed to know when someone is legit and when they're NOT??  Ughhh!

To dye or not to dye?

So...I'm a natural brunette, but in the past, I've had red/auburn hair which was very complementary to me.  I go through these phases, where I think I want to dye it red again; however, that means going to the hair salon, for one.  I hate going to a salon!  I don't have the patience to sit there for hours.  In fact, I cut my own hair just to avoid this...yes, I do...and I receive constant compliments such as "wow, who cuts your hair?"   When I say I do it myself, they're amazed, because it looks so good.  Secondly, it means drying my hair out again.  It took so long for me to get it back to its natural softness and luster.  I have stray gray hairs here and there, but not enough to really make me look old, and I just pluck them out at the I have it dyed again?  I'm so conflicted!  lol

Quote That is Near & Dear to my Heart ...

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Favorite Authors......

I think tomorrow, I'll start posting a blog each day on the humongous list I posted of all the authors I like, and you can comment on whether you've read their works or not...if you liked them or not...or if they sound interesting enough for you to check out!  I HATE MYSELF FOR NEGLECTING TO MENTION ANOTHER AWESOME AUTHOR IN THAT LIST....FRANK McCOURT...HIS BREAKOUT BOOK, WHICH WAS THE FIRST IN THE SERIES, WAS THE FAMED "ANGELA'S ASHES." MAY HE ALSO REST IN PEACE...I READ EVERY BOOK HE WROTE, AND THEY WERE FREAKIN AWESOME!!!!!!

How Did I Get So Lucky?

OK, so I'm on my second marriage.  We've been together for 15 years now...God I can't believe it!!  It seems like such a long time, yet I feel as though I've known him my whole life.  What did I do to deserve it?  I met him on AOL in 1997, when AOL was fairly new.  Of all the people in the world to meet, we somehow wound up in the same chat room...I just know it was fate!  He's 8 years younger than me (yup, I got lucky there too! lol), and yet in some ways, he is wiser than me.  He's more evenly keeled than me and the more rational of us.  I'm the impulsive one, the moody one, and he manages to balance me.  I used to be incredibly insecure and afraid of losing him all the time...even though he never gave me a reason to doubt his loyalty & faithfulness. 

He moved from his own state, at the time, to mine...just to be with ME.  How many people would do that? Over the years, he has brought me out of my shell and allowed me to feel confident and safe in our relationship.  He had a lot of hurdles to jump and so many walls to break down to get to my heart.  He never stopped trying, no matter how much I tried to push him away, out of fear I would one day lose him anyway, so why not sabotage things myself?  That was my motto.

He is my rock, my best friend, and we share everything together.  I would be utterly lost without him.  Though I don't always show it, I love him from the very core of my being.  Again, what did I ever do to deserve him?  To deserve the stability and unconditional love I get from him?  The never-ending support he gives me.  He allows me to follow my dreams & passions in life, and stands by me through good times and bad.  We have grown so much together, and I cherish that. I look forward to sharing the rest of my life with him.  David, my love, mio tesoro, I love you...ti amo...forever & beyond.

Oye vay! The dreaded re-write!

Imagine my surprise when I started editing my manuscript, a few days ago, and today I reached a section that left me annoyed.  Here I thought this was an 'adult novel,' but some of the content left me feeling as though I was reading the kinds of books I wrote 20 years ago.  I'll have to re-write the whole section, and perhaps MORE, as I'm only halfway through editing this first draft.  I'm sure this is normal for authors, but how disappointing!


Please let me know if you're enjoying these quotes.  Since I don't see any 'comments' from anyone, I'm considering just scrapping the idea...thanks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Favorite Authors...Is YOURS among them?

As you can see, I have a wide variety of genres and authors that I follow...check them out and see if YOU might like some...I recommend them all very highly....

Mary Balogh
Ted Bell
Stephen J. Cannell (may he rest in peace)
Richard Castle
Harlan Coben
Michael Connelly
Rose Connors
Kyra Davis
Nelson DeMille
Vince Flynn
Ariana Franklin
Brian Freeman (I've spoken to him online several times - a REALLY nice guy)
Elizabeth George
Tess Gerritsen
Kerry Greenwood
Philippa Gregory
James Grippando
Kristin Hannah
Greg Hurwitz
Kate Jacobs
J.A. Jance
Jan Karon
Jonathan Kellerman
Sophie Kinsella
J.A. Konrath
Dean Koontz
Rochelle Krich
Paul Levine
John Lutz
Cody McFadyen
Kathleen McKenna (an awesome friend!  I should be meeting her in August...can't wait!)
Fern Michaels
Richard Montanari
Diane Mott-Davidson
Carol O'Connell
James Paterson
Jodi Picoult
Cornelia Read (another good author that I email with - she's a pistol! lol)
J.D. Robb
Michael Robotham
David Rosenfelt
Lauren Willig (one of the sweetest authors I've met - she has given me great advice!)
Jacqueline Winspear

Today's Quote...

You see what you believe rather than believe what you see

Monday, April 23, 2012

Let's Hear from YOU...

So, what is YOUR favorite genre of book to read?  Mystery, romance, science fiction?  Let me know...

Let the Editing Games Begin....

I finished the first draft of my mystery novel about two weeks ago.  It was suggested to me, from another writer friend, that I step back from it for a bit, which I did.  Today, I begin the editing process.

Today's Quote...

I like this one, though it can be hard to accept, if I do say so myself...


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Frosty Tree...

Ice covers the trees...each branch & tip is beautiful in its own way. I watch the ice melt ever so slowly off of one tiny branch as the water drops slowly onto the snowy ground. The air is crisp & cool. I can see my breath. It's so quiet & cars passing by, no people around...just me and the tree. The snow is so bright, almost blinding, yet a beacon in my path...what a treasure to behold...Mother Nature at her finest

My Lunchtime Companion...

The little gray lunchtime companion...he floats & abounds across the grass, the parking lot, up in the trees...all by his lonesome, yet always there when it's time for me to find solace & peace from work.  Is he there just for me?  Once, I took it as a sign when I really needed answer, of sorts...and he gave it to me, in his own way.  He made me smile and think.   We are at one...separate, yet together to share our time.

Daily Quotes...

I love quotes - little tidbits of wisdom that can make us think, feel better, and ponder.  I've collected hundreds over the years, so I'd like to share them with you each day.  If you have any favorites, please feel free to post them.  I don't remember all of the quote sources, but where I do remember, I will give the credit...let's start with this one...

"Our own dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time;  What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better."

Thanksgiving Sign....

So, I was up in PA, at my parents' lakehouse for the annual Thanksgiving visit.  It's mid-afternoon, right before dinner, and I took a stroll down to the lake.  I was standing with my eyes closed, looking for some "writing" inspiration to come to me.  I felt the sun on my face, the breeze in my hair...heard the geese in the distance.  The lake was a tad less still than it usually is, so I could hear the water lapping against the rocks beneath me.  It was peaceful...quiet...surrounded by my favorite things...silence, the sound of babbling water...alone with my thoughts & nature.

I opened my eyes and sat down on the deck, with my legs dangling from the dock.  I looked over the water, started thinking of my dearly departed Aunt aunt I was close to and loved very much.  We had many good times together, and I always looked up to her, because I'm so much like her.  I started to talk to her...thanking her for re-awakening my talent for writing...because of her (and other friends pushing me along), I seem to have opened that gate, which had been long closed and locked.  Now that it's open, it wants to stay open & floods me with inspiration, almost everywhere I look.

The water continued to gurgle against the rocks, louder at some times than others, and I could see a small frothing beginning to form from it.  As I spoke to her softly, I closed my eyes again for a bit,  the water started to lap more quietly.  When I opened them, amidst a lake that was devoid of debris, I spied one small, red leaf, floating toward me...not close, but in my direction.  I'm not one who believes in "higher powers" these days, but I do believe in signs sometimes.  When I asked..."is this you, Joyce?"  the babbling water grew a tad louder, only a smidgen, but enough to "speak" to me.  Then it grew quiet...the water got flat...and the leaf gently started to move away.I stood up, with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, and walked back up to the house.  I was apparently just in time for dinner.

We don't usually say grace, but I was ready...I told everyone I had something to say was along the lines.  I told them the story, and not a dry eye was at the table; however, we all knew it meant that Joyce was still with us on this first Thanksgiving without her.  Her daughter (my cousin) was there, and I knew she'd appreciate hearing that.  My mother did as well, since it was her sister, and they had grown closer over the last few years.That, my friends, is a true Thanksgiving blessing...I don't believe I've ever had one or experienced one that I can recall.  So "Joycee"...wherever you are, I know you are on my shoulder sometimes, and I'm very grateful for that honor :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Agony of Defeat, but the Thrill of Victory! last night, I got one email back already regarding a submission of one of my poems to an online literary magazine.  The agony of defeat...they thanked me for the poem but said they were going to the pain of the rejection set in, I had ANOTHER email telling me that I won 2nd place in one of the poetry contests I entered!!  Second place out of 22 entries.  Soooo close, but still a victory, considering it was my first time entering any of my work.  I'll take it :)

Friday, April 20, 2012


So, I entered my first poetry contests today, as well as submitting poems to several online literary magazines...let's hope I haven't jinxed anything by posting about it!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Wondrous site, and I DO mean site....

Everyone who knows me will tell you I love animals...a friend of mine recommended this link to me, several months ago, and I've been touting it ever since.  If you want to feel peaceful and in awe, please visit this site.  It's a bald eagle nest in Iowa.  They just had three babies, almost a month ago.  My husband & I were able to witness the hatchings and continue to watch and marvel at their daily growth.  I can see why they are the nation's proud symbol.  ENJOY!

Could YOU be a writer?

Are you a writer?  If you think you are, there are plently of sites out there that you can join.  Other writers will help you by critiquing your work and making suggestions.  I have a friend (she knows who she is) that would like to write, so I've suggested she start a journal.  It's a great way to get started or simply to get your thoughts on paper.  Write about anything!  How was your day?  Did you see something that caught your eye?  Before you know it, that very thought might turn into a poem...and poems can blossom into short stories...etc.  Let your creativity flow, my never know where it may lead!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The man in my dreams
Now I know it was you
Didn't think he was real
But that just wasn't true

The angels looked down
And brought him to life
In the form of my David
To end all my strife

Any doubts that I had
Are now gone for good
We are truly in love
So it's all understood

Oh what a feeling
To be so in love
It is simply a blessing
From the heavens above

I feel so at ease
When I am with you
I trust you completely
But without you I'm blue

There's an emptiness here
Only you can fill
And I know that someday
Again soon you will

Until that time
You're still in my heart
So no matter the distance
We are never apart


I walk along the beach at night
With the cold, wintry
Gusts of wind
Blowing through my hair
I am all alone on the sand
Thinking about you...
As I peer out into
The ocean’s waves so Strong
They remind me of you
You were always so
Exactly like those winter waves
Clapping against my feet
Determined to win & never be wrong
Always wanting to be the strongest...
Now that you’re gone
I can see the resemblance you have
To the ocean...
I never noticed it before
Because I was too busy being consumed
By love that I overlooked your many flaws
I see them now…
The Impatience…
The Anger…
And sometimes even the insecurity
But I still love you

Mom & My Writing...

Mom...I love her, and we joke now, but when I was younger, my writing was SO good that she'd constantly ask if I copied it.  She later told me it was because SHE didn't have such talent and couldn't believe I could have it or where it came from.  I bet it came from my paternal grandmother...she was an English teacher and used to read a lot.  I became the same way and am also one of those people who will read something you wrote and catch all of the punctuation & spelling mistakes you need to fix!  lol

The Way I Write...My "Method" or Lack Thereof...

My very best friend, who helped read my novel as I was writing it (yes Kelly, that's you), wonders how I write the way I do.  I can't really explain why or how, because it seems unusual, though I wonder if any other writers do the same.  I don't usually have a structure or outline when I sit down to write...I have an idea, and then the characters just talk to me (or through me) as I go along. 

Each time I sit down to continue the story, I simply read back the last few pages written, and take it from there.  I have no clear direction in mind - again, the characters in my head just drive me as I type.  All I can say is that it WORKS...I have a complete novel now, which I have to re-read and edit before considering publication.  I thought it was hard writing the novel (although it wasn't, really)...but it may be even harder to find an agent or publisher, since the market is so flooded.  However, I've always been a's in my DNA...and I will prevail.


Friends unseen
Yet friends so close
We start up our PC's
For that huge daily dose

We crave that connection
The bonds become strong
Walls do come down
That were up for so long

We may not be seen
But the love is still there
More than in person
Some DO really care

Sharing thoughts...our lives...
Silly things and bad...
Even posting pictures,
Even showing we're sad

Behind that screen
Is a friend for life
They will be there always -
Through the good & the strife


I wrote this many years ago, as I began dating my husband & had a huge wall up to protect the end, there was no need :)

Beyond the wall
She’s built so high
Is a woman who feels
And yes, she does cry

She appears so strong
As she holds him at bay
But she’s really thinking
“I hope he will stay”

She can’t let him in
Although he does try
She’d be too exposed –
My God, she would die!

For in her head,
That Voice drones on –
Saying over and over
“One day he’ll be gone”

Then where would she be
With her heart on the floor
Rejected and hurt
And alone once more

“Don’t let down your guard!”
It screams and it shouts
As the other voice struggles
“Stop having these doubts!”

So they fight inside her
Day after day
Each of them sometimes
Getting their way

She wants so badly
To let go and feel
All the magic and joy
Of a love that is real

But she’s only a Pawn –
The one who hides
In the corner away
From these battling sides

She is weak and frail
So the others must stay
In order to keep
All that pain locked away

Beyond the wall
Is a Garden of Fear
Where they all reside
So comfortably here

First there is Anger
The one who Explodes
At the drop of a hat
As her inside erodes

Next there is Need
With a hole in its soul
That can never be filled
Though that is her goal

Then there’s Control
Who must have the power
She’s strong and stubborn
So she guards the tower

For once she was helpless
It can’t happen again
Now she’s in control
And determines just when

Sadist dwells here
Along with the rest
She’s vindictive and cold
When she’s at her best

She must punish others
Like she used to be
Make Them all feel Hurt
Maybe then they will see

Self-Hate is present
To remind her she’s dirt
To perpetuate the pattern
And continue the hurt

So that’s just a taste
Of what does occur
Beyond that great wall -
They’re all part of her