Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stuck In a Rut

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a writing rut? As if all the stories you write are really similar with only the names are changed to protect the characters?

Sometimes I feel that way. I realized recently that I have a tendency to send my characters to the hospital. One or the other gets injured or someone in the family has a crisis. Whatever the circumstances, off they go to the hospital! It's alarming and annoying and I wonder why I do that. It's not like my family is constantly rushing off to the hospital. We've had a few emergency room or urgent care visits over the years. With four kids, that's inevitable. But it's not like we're constantly there.

So, why do I do it? The only thing I can think of is that stories need crisis and conflict to move
forward. Perhaps that's why I'm always sending them packing. One story I'm working on has both a nursing home AND a hospital involved. To be fair, one character is a doctor, but still! The trend is ridiculous. It has to stop. I need to go back and rewrite some of these stories so they aren't so predictable.

In the meantime, I'll work on other things and see if I can't avoid that writing rut. I'll work on my sci-fi. They're not anywhere near a hospital. They're fighting a battle and killing creepy lizard like aliens. They're freeing a planet from oppression as only the Galactic Marine Corps can. Lots of gunfire, explosions, fire bombs. Mayhem! Chaos!

Crap! That means injuries - which means medical treatment - which means a hospital.....

I can't win.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meet the Authors!

Wednesday, October 26th What's Write For Me will feature Eden Baylee, GR Holton, James Ross and Mandy Maxfield Howe. Below is a little bit about my authors. Hope you'll join us! 

Author Eden Baylee

Eden Baylee writes erotica, provocative stories incorporating all her favorite things: travel, culture and sex. She left a 20-year career in banking to become a full-time writer. Her debut novel, Fall into Winter, is an anthology of erotic novellas. Fall into Winter is a provocative collection of erotic novellas. Two take place in the fall, and two in the winter, thus the title.
The first story is called “Seduced by the Blues.” In it, Ella Jamieson trades self-control for a stolen moment with a man twelve years her junior, and she is surprised when he continues to pursue her. If you love blues and jazz, particularly great guitarists, this story will fulfill your passion for music and much more.
The second story is called “Act Three”, and it’s a tale about a ménage à trois with one woman and two men. The title is also a play on words as the protagonist is a theatre director, and quite used to being in charge of his plays.
The last two stories take place in the snowy regions of Canada and Austria. In “The Norwegian,” Leah Jones isolates herself in a cabin to complete her latest book, but is soon distracted from her goal when she reunites with a man from her past.
Finally, with “The Austrian and the Asian,” Elena Lee returns to Austria, a country where she had a torrid love affair ten years earlier and must come to terms with doubts about why she ever left.
James Ross
James resides in a small coastal bay community in northern California; he is the author of the forthcoming historical-fiction trilogy The Desert Sun Saga. The first novel, The Desert Sun – Life In Motion, is planned for release in 2012, with Brogan Creek Massacre and Dann’s Honor to follow.
His poem Tunnel is included in an anthology of global poetry published earlier this year as pay attention: a river of stones
An accomplished musician and songwriter, a selection of his compositions were performed by an international ensemble in Warsaw Poland at a 2005 Habitat for Humanity fund raising concert.

To view more poetry, lyrics, and photography by James, please visit Craft Your Life in Motion. 

He is available on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, original artwork is available at Zazzle.

GR Holton
On a warm summer morning in 1962, G. R. Holton was born in a small town in Massachusetts and is the second eldest in a family of eight children. He is happily married and living in eastern Tennessee. He has two daughters, a son, a step-daughter and a step-son and is also the proud grandfather of four beautiful girls.

G. R. took an interest in computer games to pass the time, and then one day he made a friend on one of those online games with chat. They became great friends and after a few weeks of talking, he met her husband online and hit it off quickly. He gave him a couple of his screenplays to read and he was hooked. He knew at that point he wanted to try writing.
One night, after days of not being able to come up with a story to write, he had a dream of three teens on another planet and in a cave. This was it; he knew what had to be done. He sat down at the computer and over the course of three months he had written his first book, “Journey to the Edge”. He knew he couldn’t stop there, so he continued writing and “Guardians Alliance” was born. He has also published a children’s picture book called, “Squazles” about not judging others and did the book design for Cameron Titus’s “A to Z book: A Habitat for Humanity Project”. “Journey to the Edge” is being rereleased as “Soleri” this coming December from World Castle 
Publishing. His latest, “Deep Screams”, also from World Castle Publishing, is a science fiction/horror thriller which is now available in eBook and paperback at the major online book retailers. He has also been named to The Authors Show’s 2011 “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” and has been in the local newspaper numerous times for his writing accomplishments. He hopes you enjoy reading his dreams as much as he has in dreaming them. 

Mandy Maxfield Howe
Mandy resides in the Silos and Smokestacks region of the Midwest, where she has served for the past ten years as an educator of young children with special needs. In addition to editing The Desert Sun Saga along with James F. Ross, she has submitted for publication her first children’s book, My Favorite Color. 

As a nature photographer and writer, she encourages others to explore their senses and become attuned to the world around them.

To view poetry, prose, and photography by Mandy, please visit Reflections of a Mid-Life Awakening. In addition, her original artwork is available at Zazzle.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's Chat with Dawn Colclasure!

I met Dawn a few years ago on My Space. She was the first person to contact and friend me there. When we made the move to Facebook, we kept in touch. She amazes me with her skill and faith. I'm delighted to have her visit my blog.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was a young child. I was in a car accident at a very young age and had to have a lot of reconstructive surgeries done. A nurse at one hospital gave me a blank journal and encouraged me to write poems inside it. That’s when the writer in me was born and I haven’t stopped writing since.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

I was lucky: My dreams inspired the idea for my first book. I had these dreams of a man which lasted for several years and, at one point, I dreamed that everything was turned into a novel that was called “November’s Child.” I actually wrote that book and got it published.

What genre do you write?

I don’t like to write in just one genre. I like variety. I like the challenge of writing something different. I’ve done children’s, dark fantasy and paranormal mystery, but I’ve also written horror, sci-fi and romance.

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

By far, having a weekly list of writing tasks is what helps me to stay on course. Every Sunday or early Monday morning, I create my “schedule” of what I’ll be working on during the week. I started doing this out of necessity because I was juggling so much and it was the only way for me to get so much done on everything every day. But now it’s a habit and I feel guilty if I don’t stick to my weekly schedule. I try to cross off as many items on the list each day.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

I can never, ever work on just one project at a time. I have tried but I grow restless and crave something different for my muse to focus her energies on. It’s possible this is a Gemini trait. I’m the kind of person who will multi-task and jump from one project to the next. For example, in the morning I may work on a current poetry book, then in the afternoon I’ll work on a novel-in-progress then in the evening, I can be found working on a nonfiction book.

What is your writing process?
I make it a point to write first thing in the morning. It is when my mind is clear and I’m ready for action. I also grab every free minute possible to write, especially if I’m on a deadline. Perhaps this is why I am rarely in front of a TV set; I’m busy writing! I try to work on a chapter each day or, if it’s something like poetry, so many poems each day. I also try to finish what I am working on in one sitting, but if that is not possible (and it very rarely is!), I save it for later and go back to it time permitting. But I definitely write first thing in the morning and right before I go to sleep at night.

What is the theme of your novel?

The theme is “things are not always what they seem.” In the story, my character, Malissa, is having these dreams that are a part of a family curse. While everyone around her keeps saying “they are just dreams” and try to convince her that she is too obsessed over nothing, she knows that the dreams are something more. This is the truth she must ultimately accept in order to fight the man haunting her dreams, or else risk losing everything she holds dear, including her life.

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?

I try not to, but it tends to creep in. I have used symbolism in my novel Shadow of Samhain but only because I realize how important symbolism is to Druidism, and since I have Druid characters in this story, it seemed appropriate to include symbolism. But at any other time, when it’s any other book, I usually don’t rely on symbolism.

What is your latest release?

My novel, Shadow of Samhain, will be out very soon. This novel is the revised version of what had once been November’s Child. The reason it got a new life is because the publisher of November’s Child went bankrupt and the book went out of print. I spent years revising the novel, as well as catching up on extra information about Druidism in order to bring realism to the story, and I am thrilled it finally found a home with Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

What other books do you have published?

My nonfiction titles include BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat the Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; and TOTALLY SCARED: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses, which I co-authored with Martha Jette. My poetry books are Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion and Songs of the Dead. My one and only children’s book thus far is The Yellow Rose. I also have a poetry chapbook called Take My Hand. It is currently out of print, though I have remainder copies in a box in my garage. I am currently revising and expanding this poetry collection and will send it off to my publisher in late 2012.

Where are your books available?

My books can be purchased from my publisher, special ordered at bookstores and purchased at online retailers such as, B&N, etc.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Meet Monday's Guests Carol Saller & Daniel Ferry!

To listen in to the show tomorrow, follow this link:

Carol Fisher Saller, an editor of the "Chicago Manual of Style" and the author of "The Subversive Copyeditor", blogs about academic writing and editing at "Lingua Franca" for the "Chronicle of Higher Education". She has also worked as an editor of children’s books and has published several books for children. Her new book "Eddie's War", a middle-grade novel about an Illinois farmboy during World War II, is published by namelos, a cutting-edge digital and print-on-demand publishing house founded by Stephen Roxburgh.

Daniel Ferry: Born in Panama, the author spent the first part of his life living and traveling as an Air Force “brat.” Ferry has a degree in Journalism from the California State University at Northridge and presently lives in San Diego, California.

For excerpts of Daniel's novel, visit:

To view some of his other work:

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