Ready, Set, Write! Author Mini-Conference

Saturday, October 24th, the City of Mesa Library will host the Ready, Set, Write! Author Mini-Conference at the Red Mountain Branch, 65 North Power Road, Mesa AZ 85205. The event is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come learn how to create an intriguing and marketable story concept, develop story plot, fashion engaging characters and write entertaining dialogue. November is National Novel Writing Month and participants will receive the tools they need to take part in NaNoWriMo and accomplish 50,000 words. The event will wrap up with a panel of published writers, including yours truly, where participants can ask questions about the writing and publishing industry. Please register on the Events Calendar at

Writing Can Be Exhausting

004 Writing can be exhausting, even for my muse, Cassie! Her pillow is Charles Finch’s historical novel “The Laws of Murder,” set in London in the late 1800’s. This is my first time delving into Finch’s work. So far, I’m very impressed.

A Favorite Quote

Leslie Gordon Barnard said: “Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”

What a challenge for me! Sometimes I feel I know my characters so very well, but other times I struggle with making them real. Barnard’s statement helps me remember how important it is to the reader to really feel she/he knows the characters in a story!

Upcoming Book Signing

Todd Wethington, Event Coordinator for Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange, has been kind enough to schedule another book signing for Clipped! next Saturday, October 3rd, from 2 to 4 p.m. The address is 1056 South Country Club, Mesa AZ 85210. You will love this store! Not only does it have a wonderful array of books, but also games, music, videos, etc. I would love to see you there and hear about what you’ve been reading lately!

Upsides to the Writing Life

Supposedly, one of the upsides to the writing life is that when the muse fails, there are always more mundane tasks to do, like:

  1. Deciding whom to include on the Acknowledgements page of my next novel. Who will be miffed if I forget him/her? And if I do forget, will that person ever speak to me again? Would that be a bad thing? 🙂
  2. Contact, or, is often the case for me, re-contact (or, nag, if you will) Event Coordinators to set up book signings.
  3. Create fliers for scheduled book signings…for those with artistic ability, an enjoyable activity. For me, digging graves would be a more successful endeavor.

Hmm. Maybe, it’s easier to just buckle down and write something.

A Fifth Ironman Completed!

My daughter completed her fifth Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin last Sunday. Of course, I’m incredibly proud of her!

For those who are wondering what the Ironman race entails, it is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. She always asks family and friends to write down anything that will inspire her to keep going during this grueling event. Following is my contribution for her this time.

“Personally, I think there should be an Ironman Anonymous (IA) for recovering Ironmen. Some possible items in the 12 Step Program would be:

  1. Realize that you are powerless against the Ironman addiction and call on your Higher Power for deliverance from this awful disease. Ask another recovering Ironman to serve as your sponsor. Call on her/him if the urge to re-offend becomes overwhelming.
  2. Begin recovery slowly by committing to only swimming 1 mile, biking 20 miles and running 3 miles at a time. Taper off from there. And remember to attend your weekly IA meeting.
  3. Discover if you have a spouse, children and/or pets. If so, relearn their names and get reaquainted.
  4. Keep 2 pairs of running shoes and donate the other 18 pairs to charity.
  5. Eat a hot fudge sundae once a week.
  6. Savor the moment when you are able to sit down longer than 5 minutes without falling asleep.
  7. Network with other recovering Ironmen on social media. Those still practicing this demented sport should be Un-friended.
  8. Sleep in on the weekends.
  9. Watch an entire season of your favorite TV series in 1 sitting…butt planted…no treadmill!
  10. Re-learn the uses for Clorox, Mr. Clean and Pledge.
  11. Bask in the absence of foot calluses 1 inch thick.
  12. If the temptation to hoard swim suits, running shoes, or other related sporting gear arises, call your sponsor immediately!”


A Close Call

If you’ve followed my posts you know I have two cats, Cassie and Cajun, who play a big part in my life. Well, Cassie had a very close call recently. Late last week she was unable to keep anything on her stomach. I took her to the vet and initially, he was stumped. She was dehydrated so she was given fluid therapy and an anti-nausea drug and sent home until the blood work tests returned. Unfortunately, it was a holiday weekend and she began vomiting again on Sunday night. Tuesday morning she was dehydrated again so they gave her the same treatment as before. Her lab work came back and had a couple of readings out of whack, but the vet was puzzled so he did x-rays. Lo and behold, he discovered her liver is half the size it should be. He diagnosed her with hepatic lymphodosis, which he said was reversible if we could get her to eat. She hadn’t shown any interest in food since falling ill. She was given steroids, barium, Vitamin B and a special food that is supposedly the cat equivalent of a Krispy Kreme. Thankfully, she has begun eating again, and seems to be on the mend! Whew!

Kickin’ and Screamin’

Normally, a trip to the vet wouldn’t be considered criminal, but in my cat, Cajun’s book, it is. As prescribed, a few days before his appointment, I place the carrier in the living area, complete with treats. Supposedly, this will assure him it’s a cool place to hang out. On D-Day, I place my favorite tee there…familiar scent and all. Of course, he’s not in his usual spot on the sofa. Drat! I begin the search…in the closets and under the beds. No sign of him. How does he know? With a sinking feeling, I know the only other hiding place is up inside the sofa. I rock the massive piece of furniture back and forth until I catch a glimpse of yellow rocketing toward the bedroom. With only a few minutes left to get to the clinic on time, my heart is beating like someone running a marathon. I find him under the bed, exactly in the middle.Even lying completely flat and stretching as far as I can, my arms are still too short to grab him. I consider retrieving the reacher from the kitchen and clamping it onto any body part I can connect with. Dragging his little furry butt unceremoniously into my greedy arms makes me nearly delirious with joy. But then I gaze into his saucer-like eyes and feel his fear. Sorry, buddy. I go to the phone to reschedule.

Another Amazing Arizona YA Author

This author, Amy K. Nichols, was at the Teen Lit Fest that I was a part of in July, so I decided to check her out. The title is:  Now That You’re Here, Part I of the Duplexity series. I was able to follow along with the sci fi aspect of the book, even though I don’t normally read time travel books. That’s the mark of a good writer.

Here’s a brief review of the story:  Eevee Solomon is a serious high school student, bent on getting the grades and recommendations to gain entrance to an Ivy League university. Her end goal is to secure a career at NASA. She is successful until Danny Ogden appears. In this world, Danny is a drugged-out kid on the opposite end of the spectrum from Eevee. But somehow, Danny finds himself alternating between this reality and a parallel universe. His only connection to both dimensions is Eevee, who also exists in both universes, so he enlists her help.

Eevee deludes herself by telling herself she is only trying to aid Danny in the name of quantum physics, but she actually finds this boy fascinating, and she ultimately must face “who she is and who she might be in another place and time.”

I strongly recommend this book for young adults, and adults, alike. An excellent read.

For more information, visit the author’s website at: