Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Selecting Books for Summer Reading

It’s been a week of rain, rain, and more rain, and now it’s back in the 50s again.

Despite the lousy weather I’ve been looking at books to read this summer. I don’t know why but I always find reading in summer more enjoyable than any other time of the year.  I have a prime membership at Amazon which you probably know allows your to read certain books for free. The other day I spent an hour looking through the list to see what was on offer. Some mysteries looked good and some non-fiction titles sounded fun reads too. As soon as I have my list I’ll share it with you.

I got another book released on Monday. Here’s the cover…yes, another one I made myself.

Big Sky Lawmen

Now I’m working on two WIPs and once they’re done I’m itching to get back to writing some mysteries. I can’t remember the last time I wrote one which means it’s been way too long.

I’m debating whether or not I should take a seven week art class that’s taught online. Art’s become my new hobby but as I have a full teaching schedule this summer I’m not sure I’ll have time to devote to it. However, we all need time away from work and writing so I might just give in and go for it.

What are your hobbies? Is writing one of them? Or do you write for a living and pursue other creative outlets for hobbies?

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.


Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Taking the Afternoon Off



I should add to the title of this post…sort of.

It’s another beautiful day, 70 degrees and the sun is out. Where I live near perfect days where it’s not too cold or  humid are a rare find so we writers have to take full advantage of them and hence this week’s early Ramblings.

I decided about ten minutes ago that I’m going to finish off my week working on the deck and getting some much needed vitamin D.

At least it’s been another busy week and sometimes writers need some R and R. I hope to get another book released next week and have a couple of non-fiction projects almost finished. I’m also working on ideas for next year’s workshops.

I’m putting together my summer reading list too. Anyone want to share theirs or have a book to recommend?

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Outside is Calling



71 degrees today and the deck was calling my name. Nicest thing about laptops is you can take them anywhere to work but wasps ruined my plans. They seem to be everywhere so I guess it was the universe telling me to keep working inside.

Two workshops kicked off this week…yes, the bootcamp got cancelled. I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to teach next year and even thinking about some summer writing bootcamps where I can interact with my students via Skype.

I’m half way done with my WIP which will be book two in my Big Sky Lawmen series. I’m also about 25% done with a new non-fiction project. Hopefully next week will see the completion of both of them.

This weekend is supposed to be perfect weather and I have lots of outdoor chores on my list…one of which is to banish the wasps!

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.

Posted in Q and A

Q and A-Should You Enter a Writing Contest?



Today I’m a debuting a new question and answer feature on the site.

The first question is should you enter a writing contest?

I’ll answer that with a maybe.

Writing contests have been pretty good for me so I might be a little biased with my response. The first money I earned as an author was via a writing contest.

The reasons I’d say go for it include-

Learning to meet a deadline. If you’re a beginning writer getting into the habit of writing to a deadline and staying motivated can be tough but if you have a contest to enter then it puts that necessary pressure on you. You learn self discipline which all writers need to succeed.

You feel like you’re actually a writer. Many people say they’re going to write and never do so sometimes entering a contest can give you that much needed kick up the butt.

Will you get feedback from a published writer? Some contests have an added bonus (and sometimes you have to pay for it), but you get a critique of your work. If you’re looking for some valuable feedback then that’s the way to get it. And note here when I say published writer. I entered a few where I later found out the judges were just like me, unpublished, and all they could offer was advice that wasn’t helpful at all.

If you win, it makes you feel good, it makes you feel like you’re a writer and gives you something wonderful to include in your cover letter to an editor or an agent.

If you win, you can get published or even win money.

I’d say no, don’t do it if any of the following apply-

You’re going to be shattered and maybe give up writing if you don’t win.

There’s a contest entry fee and it’s more than you can afford to lose.

So bottom line is pick each contest by its own merits and don’t get disheartened if you don’t win because lots of writers enter contests.

If you have a question you’d like answered just leave a comment or send it to

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Almost Summer Reading Season



It’s the last Friday in April and the month seemed to fly by.

May always has me thinking about summer reading and what books I’m going to put on this year’s list.

I am way behind on my reading. I have six books that have been sitting on my Kindle since Christmas and I just haven’t had any free time to get to them yet…yet being the key word. I’m determined once the weather hits up I’ll be heading outside for hours of non-stop reading.

What will be on your summer reading list this year?

While I’ve been putting together lessons for my new workshops it’s got me thinking about tweaking them and putting them on Skillshare.

And before I forget a couple of you have asked if the link I gave is just for one class and the answer is no, you can take as many classes as you want (mine and every other instructor on the site) so if you missed it last Ramblings, here it is again-

My to do list is filling up again and once I’m done with my WIPs I’m planning on writing a mystery. I haven’t done that in what seems like forever and this time I’ll be trying my hand at writing a cozy.

Next week I’ll be featuring the first question and answer post on the site, so keep them coming because I think it’s going to be fun.

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.


Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Another Short Story Class

It’s a beautiful spring day and I’m tempted to go outside and write but I’ll probably get distracted and nothing will get done.

I set two goals for this past week. One was to get the first story in my new series Cowbear Haven finished and published. I achieved that yesterday. Here’s the cover.


Once again, I decided to go with KDP Select. I know a few of you told me you’ve gone that route too and been happy with the results, so fingers crossed.

Second thing on my to do list was get another class uploaded to Skillshare…got that done today. It’s called Make Extra Income Writing Short Stories. If you’re interested here’s a link-


Speaking of classes, I’m teaching three next month (and I’ll give my usual shameless self promotion here)

The first one is a rewrite bootcamp called My Story’s Been Rejected Now What…if you’ve recently received the dreaded rejection letter this one’s for you-

And I’m debuting two new ones-

Great Beginnings-Hooking Your Reader in the First Two Chapters…ideal one if you’re thinking about entering a contest or even having trouble getting started on your novel-


And finally, So You Want to Self Publish Your Book…if you’ve been thinking about it then this one is definitely for you. I’ll be sharing lots of tips and hints.


I’m thinking of launching a question and answer day on this site so if you have a writing or publishing question, leave a comment or contact me and if I can’t answer it I’ll find someone who can.


Have a good week and happy writing to all.