Posted in Monday Writing Prompts

Monday Writing Prompts-Comfort Zone


This week’s prompt focuses on a character who decides to take a chance and step outside their comfort zone.

Maybe they always take the same route to work and decide to go on the freeway.

Perhaps they never go to new restaurants and decide to take a chance on the one that’s just opened in town.

Or it could be that your character finally decides to approach the man or woman they’ve seen on the bus or train every morning for the last year.

Lots you can do with this one so have fun and happy writing.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Productive Week

Happy Friday. It’s looking a lot like fall outside.  One of my favorite times of the year…well if you don’t mind having to rake those pretty leaves.

I’ve had a busy but productive week. I got rights back to lots of stories and I’m slowly playing catch up trying to revamp them and get them re-released. So far I have two done and here are the covers…yes, made those myself too.

confession of love


art innature


My other news and drum roll please…I finished the first draft of my TV pilot.  It was a struggle because it was all new to me but I sat in the armchair in my office, watched episodes of Lost on Netflix and wrote and wrote until it was done.

I say done because it’s far from finished. Let’s just say it’s in its very raw stage right now but as I always say to my students, don’t worry about the first draft because the main thing is to get the story written. I’m now letting it ‘sit’ for a few days and before taking another look at it.

In other creative news, I signed up for a year long art class which I’m really looking forward to and hoping my theory about doing other creative things besides writing will make me a better author. What are some of your other creative pursuits?

Have a good week and happy writing to all.


Posted in Monday Writing Prompts

Monday Writing Prompts-Fear of Heights


This prompt zeroes in on fear, specifically a fear of heights. That’s what your character has to deal with. Maybe they need to go into this building for an important job interview. Perhaps they even get a job on the top floor. Maybe they’re meeting a date at the restaurant on the top floor.

How does your character deal with their fear of heights? Do they conquer their fear or will your ending be unresolved?

Have fun and happy writing.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Back to Paper and Pen



Another rainy day and yes, days are getting shorter. I sometimes feel more productive because there are less distractions when darkness falls earlier. How about you? Do you get more done in summer or winter?

Speaking of getting things done, my October post for The Writer’s Room is now live over at Coffeetime Romance and it focuses on ways to get ready for NaNoWriMo so I hope you’ll check it out.

When I first began writing I used a typewriter…yes, back in the days of the dinosaurs.  I was a horrible typist and would sometimes resort to paper and pen because I could write faster than I could type…yep, told you I was an awful typist. When I finally earned enough money to buy myself a computer I thought the days of paper and pen were over for me. Afraid to say they’re back!

I’ve been struggling with my screenplay software. I don’t think it’s the fault of the software but I’m learning to write in a different way and it’s a bit like walking and chewing gum at the same time.  I got so frustrated at not making any progress that I’ve decided to write the pilot by hand and type it up later.

The thing I’m struggling with is coming up with the dialogue. Dialogue is my strength so why is this happening I asked myself. Then I figured it out. When I’m writing novels, I’m in the character’s head, and I know this character so well that I don’t ever have to second guess what words will spill off their tongue. My new approach is to sit and write a few pages of inner thoughts for each character in my TV pilot and I think it’s helping.

Bottom line is it got me thinking how no matter what you write,  it’s important in be in your character’s head a lot and get to know them like your best friend… I guess that’s my tip of the week.

Have a good week and happy writing to all.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Busy Month Draws to a Close


It’s hard to believe it’s October on Sunday. I always think once Halloween is over the end of the year rushes at you at a frightening pace.

I get rights back to three books next month so I’ve been busy making covers for them and slowly working on their revamp.

One other priority has been my TV pilot. I have all the scenes set out on index cards which is making me look at plotting in a whole new way. I’ve had students tell me they plot their novels using cards but I’ve never tried it but now I think I will.

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and October is the time to get those writing muscles in shape. Who’s taking the challenge this year? I’m still undecided. A lot will depend on if my other projects are completed. I might end up finishing one of my mysteries which I didn’t realize I’d already written 46,000 words…why I never finished it I don’t know.

As always during November, I’ll be posting tips and advice for those taking the challenge.  So if you have any questions, anything you’d specifically like me to address leave a comment or contact me directly.

My weekend’s going to consist of raking leaves and cleaning up the vegetable garden…yes, winter’s coming soon!

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.

Posted in classes, Writing Tips

Taking the NaNoWriMo Challenge or Thinking about Self-Publishing…Maybe Even Both!


If you’re thinking about taking this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge you might be interested in registering for the workshop I’m teaching for the Maryland Romance Writers…and no, it’s not just for authors who are planning to write a romance novel. I’ll share tips that will get you ready for when November 1st rolls around-


Maybe you’re thinking about self-publishing and not sure if it’s right for you then check out my workshop, So, You Want to Self-Publish Your Book offered through Outreach International.


Hope to see you in class.

Posted in Monday Writing Prompts

Monday Writing Prompts-Words With More Than One Meaning



This week I thought we’d try something a little different.

Here are two words, fall, leaves.

In your short story you’re not only going to use them but try and use them in as many ways as you can to show all of their meanings…

For example, It’s fall. I hope the tree doesn’t fall down.

The leaves are turning.  I’m wishing he leaves soon.


Hope you enjoy this one so have fun and happy writing.


Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-TV Pilot Underway


Happy fall everyone…strange that where I live there’s a heat advisory and it’s muggy.

I finally got my TV pilot script started. I love launching new projects! Today I sat down and wrote all my ‘beats’ on index cards.  It’s making me think more visually than I usually do when I write novels. It’s a different approach and I’m already loving being outside my comfort zone. I even created the first line of dialogue for my main character whose name is going to be very unique. Now all I have to do is figure out when and why people started calling him that instead of his real one. I know lots of woman writers choose to go with a female lead but for some reason I keep seeing my main character as a man. It may change mid-point, who knows.

Needless to say my novel writing is taking a backseat and probably will until I have the first draft of the pilot finished. I get rights back to three books next month and I haven’t even started on their rewrites or created covers for them yet. Guess I’ll be putting in some overtime.

And then there’s NaNoWriMo…I’m teaching a class about getting ready for it for the Maryland Romance Writers if anyone’s interested. Anyone taking part this year? Not sure if I’ll have time because I’m teaching three workshops in November and have more books to get ready for republishing…couple of Christmas stories in there too.

Before I forget…good luck to all my students who are submitting stories to agents and publishers this week. I know there are at least three of you so here’s sending good vibes your way.

Have a fun first weekend of fall and happy writing to all.

Posted in Monday Writing Prompts

Monday Writing Prompts-Media Interview



Your character is being interviewed. It could be for radio, TV, or even a podcast. Why have they been chosen for the interview? Have they done something courageous  maybe? Broken a world record? Written a book? Done something controversial?

Are they nervous or excited?

Are you going to focus on them preparing for the interview or the actual day of the interview?

Lots you can do with this one so have fun and happy writing.