Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Critique Group for Published Writers



Feels more like summer than August did but the leaves are still turning and falling. I’m worried it’s going to be an early winter but still remaining optimistic.

I’m in the middle of giving my office an overhaul, changing things around and getting ready to sit down and start writing the script for my TV pilot. I have my idea, even have the opening scene playing in my head, and I’m excited about this new writing venture.

If any of you are interested in time management or basic public relations, I have two new classes at Skillshare.

And I found this resourceful site through an e-mail newsletter sent from Hank Phillippi Ryan who I had the pleasure of interviewing many years ago. If you haven’t heard of Hank, she’s a mystery/suspense author and you should definitely check out her novels.

She’s now part of a site that has lots of information for authors and here’s the link-

And one of my current students asked if I’d post this. She’s part of a critique group for published female writers and they’re currently looking for new members. If you fit into that category and looking for critique partners then check out this link and contact Joyce-

That’s about it for this Ramblings. I’m going to finish my week with some critiques for my clients and then it’s on to some mystery writing.

Have a good week and happy writing to all.


Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Something of Everything



Don’t know about you but I always feel September is a bit like the New Year because it’s the end of one season and the beginning of another, people head back to work and school etc.

In fact, I prefer to set new goals during this month than in January. There’s less pressure on you, you don’t feel so depressed because Christmas is over, and I think you meet with more success because of it.

I’ve set myself the goal of starting a script for a TV pilot.  Many years ago I bought Final Draft with every intention of shifting my writing in that direction but books took over, tutoring and teaching took over, and I never got around to doing it. The other day I upgraded to the new version of that software and told myself  this time I was going to write a screenplay. I’ve got three ideas swimming around in my head but not sure which one is going to get written.

Anyone else switch between writing plays, novels, screenplays or whatever?

I’m pleased to say that my coaching business seems to be taking off now. I also launched a newsletter on my site so if you want to sign up you can do so over at Fingers crossed it’s working because it took me hours to figure out how to put it in the widget section…yeah my non-techy side emerged again.

I’m hoping to post more writing related articles on both that site and this one…well as time allows.

I’m also working on two new classes for Skillshare and hopefully will get them loaded onto their site next week.

Have a good week and if you’re in hurricane territory, stay safe and my thoughts are with you.

Happy writing to all.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Introducing The Writer’s Room



Welcome to September and that means my new blog debuts over at Coffeetime Romance.

It’s called The Writer’s Room and on the first Friday of every month I’ll be writing an article about something writing related.

Here’s the link if you want to check it out-

And a shout out to Karenne who’s kindly let me have a space on her site to connect with aspiring authors.

It’s been another busy week. I got another book re-released, signed up to teach a class on…no, not writing but something I did before I became a freelance writer and that’s public relations.

I’ve also been busy with my coaching and mentoring business and love the fact that I can help fellow writers.

One workshop started today, another one begins on Monday, and hopefully even another one, Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo will start too…we just need a few more people. If you know anyone who’s thinking about taking this year’s challenge, it’s offered through the Outreach International Chapter of Romance Writers of America and I’d love to see them or even you in class.

It’s a holiday on Monday so there won’t be a writing prompt…taking the day off to recharge for what I know will be a hectic week.

Have a good week, to those in the US, a safe and relaxing Labor Day, and happy writing to all.



Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-August Winds Down



Did everyone catch the solar eclipse the other day? Where I live a storm was on the verge of passing through so I didn’t get to experience it as much as I’d hoped.

August is slowly winding down and so is summer. Today I noticed leaves on some trees beginning to turn.

I’ve added my new workshop line up for 2018 if anyone wants to check it out. I might even add some classes that I’ll teach on my own too.

If anyone writes flash fiction, the Writer’s Bureau in the UK has a contest running and here’s the link-

I’d hoped to get a back title republished this week but I’m waiting on my rights reversal letter before I can do that.  I also worked a little on a half finished mystery and thinking about ideas for television pilots….yes, I’m loving my TV writing class and enjoying all Shonda Rhimes’ wisdom and advice for writers.

Have a fun week (enjoy the holiday weekend for those in the UK), and happy writing to all.


Posted in Writing How Tos, Writing Tips

Writing Through Loss and Writer’s Block

Paint splatter heart


In my last Ramblings I mentioned that I wanted to pen a post about writing through painful events in your life so here it is.

If you didn’t see last Friday’s Ramblings you won’t know that I recently learned that someone who was(and I should say, still is), very special to me, had passed away from cancer. It’s a man I had a long term relationship with and besides my dad, he’s been the most influential person in my life.

The news of his death shocked me and not just because he was still fairly young but it’s brought up lots of memories and feelings I hadn’t thought about or dealt with for a long time.

It’s sort of thrown me off track and my writing has been pushed to the back burner for a bit. I’m hoping it’s not going to be another long stretch of writer’s block so I’m trying all sorts of ways to avoid it.

That’s what made me think about writing this post. These kinds of events in life are unavoidable. We lose loved ones, we go through illness, and we face bumps in the road. So how can you handle it?

I’ve been trying a couple of things. First one is music. Not so long ago, I always wrote with music playing in the background but slowly got out of the habit but now I’m back with it. Headphones on listening to a selection of music I have stored through my Amazon account. The music seems to help me focus my attention away from the loss I’m feeling.

Journal…I have to admit I’ve never been one for keeping a journal but now it’s helping me write down my feelings, memories, and whatever my emotions are when I have the book open.

Turn the memories into stories. This is sort of related to the journal part. I’ve been taking out snippets of thoughts and figuring out how I can use them in future stories. One of the first books I read about writing was that being an author is a bit like opening a vein where you let all your experiences, secrets, whatever’s within you, out on the page. Some future character I create might have a thought about what I’m going through right now. I might even write a book where a character deals with a similar loss.

Bottom line is life isn’t all plain sailing so as authors let’s use our writing to heal and recover from whatever it throws at us.

Posted in Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings From An Author-Summer’s Going too Fast



It’s been raining every day…not that I mind but it’s reminded me that summer is going too fast. It’s the first year I haven’t taken a break from teaching and I’m feeling like I’ll need some sort of break to recharge my writing batteries before fall arrives.

Anyone else ever feel like they just need a change of pace? I’ve been feeling restless lately and last week I heard some sad news about someone that holds a special place in my heart. It’s thrown me off course.  So much so that I’ll be writing a post about it and how life’s events can affect your writing.

Needless to say I’ve been doing lots of thinking about which direction I want to take my writing. I know I want to focus on mysteries and TV writing but that means I probably have to say goodbye to writing romances at least for awhile.  Giving up one thing to do something else is never easy but I think I’m heading in the right direction. One thing sad news can do to a writer is make them go deep within their heart and then the flood gates open up and you have wonderful sparks of dialogue you quickly are jotting down in your notebook, and stories that you think need to be told.

Bottom line is loss isn’t all bad at least not for us writers.

I’d love to hear if a life event has helped or hindered you as a writer.

Have a fun week and happy writing to all.

Posted in Student Showcase

First Student Showcase-Shoutout-Barbara James

Here’s the new feature I told you about in my last Ramblings. A student showcase/shoutout. I’m always so proud of my students whether they be ones in my workshops or ones I tutor. They work hard and I’m lucky to have some dedicated students. I always end a class by telling them if they get something published to let me know so I can act like a proud mother.

So drum roll please… the first student to be featured is Barbara James and her book is called Starting Over-Rick.

Congratulations to you and here’s to many more!



Starting Over: Rick by [James, Barbara]