Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day reminds me of freedom. I am thankful for the men and women who serve or who have served in our military. Without their sacrifices, we would not enjoy the ability to live and worship as we do. I appreciate too, those who've lost their lives in times of war and peace, and offer my sympathy and gratitude to the families and friends that they've left behind.

To all who serve, have served, and plan to serve in the future - 
you have my heartfelt thanks and prayers. 

Happy Memorial Day


P.S.  See you back here Thursday for more on the writer's conference. :)

Photo credit: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last Saturday's conference was a wonderful experience. I was energized by the great speakers and fellowship with other writers. So much great info! I'll be savoring it for some time.

Author and keynote speaker Laura Resnick offered this advice: "Breathe." Okay, so breathing is key to our existence, we know this. But her message was further clarified when she spoke of her writing adventures, which include being burned by agents (not one, but several). Her bottom line? We need to be alert and proactive with our writing careers. Contracts, connections, and bestsellers don't happen while engaging in couch potato activities or playing computer games.

Ever hear of the 10,000 hour rule? That's how many hours it often takes to be proficient at something. Laura stressed the importance of working hard to polish writing skills.

Oh, and about that breathing thing, she also mentioned some of the stress induced ailments she experienced when tangled up in the writing/agent/publication process. All because she should have been breathing the right way, instead of the kind of breathing done in her stress mode. These ailments, by the way, disappeared when she resolved the conflict.

Laura's advice struck a chord with me. It should work for writers of all genres - write, be proactive, and don't be afraid to break a few "traditional" rules along the way. Wise words, don't you think?

I'll share more about the conference next week. Stay tuned. :) (Hint: authors Annie Jones, Ann Gabhart,  Virginia Smith, and poet Sherry Chandler were the other speakers.)

And by the way

Thanks to those who stopped to see Monday's guest post over at Pen and Prosper. I feel like I have my very own cheering section. If you missed it and would like to check it out, click here.

What energizes your writing? Please share!

Have a great weekend!


Photo credit: Sierra Madre, CA dockeretz

Monday, May 23, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog Break...

I'm feeling a bit like a celebrity. Why?
There's a guest post over at Pen and Prosper by yours truly.
The topic?
What writers have in common with The Celebrity Apprentice.
Yes, you read that right.
I invite you to check it out. :)

See you back here around May 26.
Happy writing,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Conferences & Treasures

I'm excited! The Clear Creek Writers, my local writers' group, is sponsoring an event this coming weekend. It's been a while since I've attended a conference, so it will be fun and encouraging to hear great speakers and hobnob with other writers. If you live in Kentucky or the surrounding area and are interested, here are the details.

What: Confessions of Working Writers II 

Where: 934 Main Street, Shelbyville, KY 40065

When: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9 am to 4 pm

Who: Speakers include authors Ann Gabhart, Annie Jones, Laura Resnick, Virginia Smith, and poet Sherry Chandler.

Why: For great writerly wisdom and fellowship of course!

How: To register or obtain more info, email Gail Chandler at Additional details can be found on the Clear Creek Writers' blog. (Note that a few items have changed slightly since that posting.)

Other Details: Cost - non-member preregistration, $40, At the door, $45. Members, $20. Cost includes a box lunch.

Hidden Treasures

Since I'm gearing up for this event, I was pleased to see one of Hope Clark's recent posts entitled Hidden Treasures You Find at Conferences. Talk about perfect timing! I am armed and ready to go.

Do you get excited about conferences? Care to share why or why not?

Taking a break for a bit, see you on or around the 26th. Have a great week!

Happy writing,

Photo credit: jimrhoda

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday's This &That

This is a rerun of Thursday's post, lost in the latest Blogger mishap. My apologies to those of you who stopped to say hello. Apparently the comments are floating in space somewhere...

Here's an eclectic mix of goodies, in no particular order, that I've been wanting to share:

The Best Blogs About Writing can be found at the Quips and Tips for Writers site. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen shares her take on, you got it, the best blogs about writing. :)

Lady Blogger Social Online Conference - July 8-10, 2011. It's billed as the Online Conference for All Blogging and Social Media Women. Special speakers, discussions, and more.

Long Ridge Writers Group invites you to join their "Post a Note" Forum every Monday. Writers are welcome to ask a question and stop by on Monday to check out the answers.

Lindsey Edwards' blog, The Write Words, is packed full of tips and links for writers. "Top Links for Writers", posted on Tuesday, is one of my favorites.

The Giveaway Lady is a fun stop featuring book and product reviews, and of course, giveaways!

Workshops begin again at Coffeehouse for Writers on Monday May 23. Sessions include historical fiction, blogging, Gothics, creating good characters, marketing, journaling, to name a few.

What's the latest tip, link, or tidbit you've run across lately?

Happy Weekend!

Photo credit: Piknik1977

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tag Line Repair

Dialogue in fiction is usually a given. It adds personality and moves action forward. A vibrant exchange between key players can make a boring scene great. 

Tag lines, though not always necessary, help the reader keep things straight. I've seen short ones; I've seen long ones. And I'm curious, what's your opinion about long tag lines? Consider the following example:

“Who's your pick to win the Super Bowl?” inquired big, tall, handsome Ned of Walter, Ned’s skinny, awkward-looking dining partner at Cattle City Steakhouse.

I am not a fan of long tag lines. I think that they can be cumbersome and intrusive. When I read, I don't want to get tangled up in them. There are other ways to add important info other than stuff it into a tag line. What do you think? How would you repair this tag line?

I'm always on the lookout for dialogue pointers. Author Nancy Kress offers her thoughts on using adverbs in her article, Who Said That?  She also addresses pacing and ways to avoid tag lines altogether. Todd Stone offers further insight in How to Edit Dialogue. 

Do you write fiction? Non-fiction? Even if you write non-fiction, writing dialogue can be a good opportunity to stretch the imagination and skills. So, tell me, how would you repair this? 

“Who's your pick to win the Super Bowl?” inquired big, tall, handsome Ned of Walter, Ned’s skinny, awkward-looking dining partner at Cattle City Steakhouse.

Rescue the reader from a lousy rendition of what's happening at the Cattle City Steakhouse. Repair this, please! :)


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Thinking of my Mom, Linda Esher, who passed away in 2010. 
I am ever thankful for her love and support.
She will always remain in our hearts.

I am blessed to share a special Mother's Day tribute today at Pen and Prosper
If you have a moment, I invite you to join me there.

Have a lovely weekend everyone! 

Blessings all,


Image Credit:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Destination Unknown

Anyone who thinks that writing is an adventure, raise your hand!

It's a journey that holds challenges, but joy and satisfaction too. Amen?

"Writing is mind traveling, destination unknown."

One of the things that I enjoy about being a writer is summed up in this quote; I don't always know where it will lead. What an amazing ride!

What writing adventures have you had over the years? Where is your writing taking you now?

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

 Photo credit:

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's Your Soundtrack?

When it comes to writing, what are the main thoughts that run through your head?

Are they positive?

Or negative?

Somewhere in between?

I believe that we all have a soundtrack, one that plays in our head on a regular basis. I also believe that this affects our writing. A positive soundtrack can move our writing ahead and a negative one can hinder our progress.

How do we determine what our soundtrack is? By paying attention to our thoughts. Tuning in is telling; I sometimes find myself jogging down an unproductive road. Joyce Meyer says, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." Nuff said.

What do we do if our soundtrack is primarily negative? How do we refocus and change the tune?  Here are a few things that help me keep an upbeat attitude:

1) Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Sure, I have my ups and downs, but my bottom line is this - I know that I am a writer. No matter how I feel, this is what God has called me to do. When I catch myself tapping my toe to a lousy soundtrack, I work to shift the thoughts and mentally regroup.

2) I surround myself with positive influences, like treasured writer friends (this would be you). You've offered a wealth of love and support. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I think of the encouragement you've given to me.

3) I tap into my faith to stay grounded. For me, this means keeping my ears attentive to God's word and meditating on His principles. My perspective is better when my focus is in the right place.

4) I avail myself to good resources - blogs, books on the craft, workshops, etc. I glean from the thoughts of seasoned writers like Jennifer Brown Banks in her post on Overcoming Setbacks. E-Newsletters like Hope Clark's Funds for Writers is another winner, featuring encouraging articles, markets, and links. Author Tony Eldridge's blog offers insight and reality wrapped in a package that says, "Yes, you can do this!
5) I heed the words of cowboy preacher Gospel Bill, who tells his young audiences, "Garbage in, garbage out," If we sow negative things into our heads, we will reap the same. If we sow the positive and valuable, that's what we will reap. GB's simple phrase helps keep my thoughts in check.

Have you ever considered your writing soundtrack? Or the soundtrack in other areas of your life? What do you do to combat a negative soundtrack?


Photo credit: d-s-n