Saturday, December 15, 2007


For the last couple of months, I haven't been able to write. The words wouldn't come and if they did then they were incoherent and jumbled. I finally figured out what the problem was...

I was stressed! I was focusing completely on work and not giving myself the time for my family or my writing, so I am working on refocusing my attention on my family and my writing. I still do the work I need to do, but it stays in its time slot and then rest is devoted to other pursuits.

The best part is that I can write again. My book is coming along and I have written more in the past week than I have in the past three months. I know that I will be able to finish my book now, which I wasn't too sure of before.

So I hope you will stay around for updates on Keegan and his sisters and find out the latest things that are going on.

Thanks for sticking with me during this writing block.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Poem: The elevator

The car goes up
The car goes down
We ride for sup
We ride in town
Push the numbers
Watch it go
Some riders are hummers
Others just say make it so
A thrilling ride
Or a sedate coast
Elevators are the pride
Of buildings from coast to coast!

Friday, August 3, 2007

More Info than you Ever wanted to know about ME!

Okay, here's the deal: you've been hand picked by someone who likes you to fill out this survey. It's a great boredom buster and at the end you get to pick your own 5 people to fill it out. If you don't fill it out, the person that sent this to you will hunt you down and kill you -- not really, but it's fun so keep it going! Once you post your answers, pick 5 people of your own to do it. Have fun!

1. What is your middle name: Jo

2. Color pants are you wearing? Blue jeans

3. What are you listening to now? The birds

4. What was the last thing you had to drink? milk

5. Do you wish on stars? Yes, and I taught my kids too

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Teal

7. How is the weather right now? clear skies, 75 degrees

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mother

9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yep

10. Favorite drink? Mudslide Shots

11. Favorite sport? Football (Detroit Lions) or Hockey (Detroit Redwings)

12. Hair color? Brown

13. Siblings? 3 sisters, 4 brothers (I am the baby girl)

14. Favorite month: May, everything is blooming

15. Favorite food? Pad Thai from Thai Spice in Vegas

16. What was the last movie you saw? Theatre-Transformers Home-The Mod Squad

17. Favorite day of the year: Christmas

18. What do you do to vent anger? Write

19. What was your favorite toy as a child? Miss Beasley

20. Summer or winter? Winter in Vegas, Summer in Michigan

21. Hugs or kisses? Hugs, nothing like snuggling with your special someone

22. Car or motorcycle? Car (Ford Mustang, old one or any year of the Corvette)

23. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

24. Do you want your friends to do this? Sure

25. Who is most likely to do this self-survey? Jadey

26. Who is least likely to respond? Hera...Don't know

27. When was the last time you cried? Last time I watched a sad movie

28. What is under your bed? Nothing unless my kids stuffed stuff under there

29. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Sue Wulf

30. What did you do last night? Drove home from Missouri and vegged in front of the TV with pizza with the fam

31. What are you afraid of? heights, don't even like roller coasters

32. Plain or buttered or salted popcorn? buttered and salted

33. Favorite car? 1965 Ford Mustang convertable, Candy apple red with white top

34. Favorite flower? baby pink roses

35. How many keys on your key ring? 5

36. How many years at your current job? 11 months

37. What did you do on your last birthday? went out to dinner with the family even though I was sick

38. How many states have you lived in? 5 - Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, Nevada

39. Did you have fun with this? Yeppers

40. Who are you going to send this to? Jadey, CD, Jayne, Morgy and Deidre (sorry all, but you have to pick somone :)

What to do?

What do you do when you have so many works going on that you can't figure out which one to work on first? Let me give you a couple of examples:

Mirror of Remembrance series (Time travel romance series that I am working on with a friend, first book published)

A series of novels about Atlantis

A new dungeon and dragon type of novel

Revised Fairy Tales

and a children's series about dragons

I have all of these books pushing at me to be finished or at least worked on but my question is how to do you decide which one to work on first. It is a tough decision. I have found that for me I have to force myself to finish one work before I move onto another or I have a problem finishing any of them. If I do this then I get pulled back into the story and I want to work on it and find out how the characters are going to react to certain situations or problems.

What do you do in this situation, or does anyone else have this problem? I actually start an outline of the new work and put it away until I can get to it. The hard part is when you finish one work and have to move onto another one, which one do you work on next....

Well, I hope everyone has a plethora of writing ideas saved up and is able to write for years to come. Enjoy

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I've been tagged by KrazyBlonde and Darlin Jo

Okay since I have been tagged by KrazyBlonde and Darlin Jo I guess I had better give you the 8 random facts about me...hmmmm, could be interesting.

First here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits aboutthemselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eightthings and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Facts about me:

1. I am the youngest of 8 children. (Thankfully most of them moved out before I knew who they were)

2. I used to work with special needs kids. (The best and worst job I ever did)

3. I met my husband in the military. We were in Tech school together, surprisingly enough I studied electronics. (and you wonder why I have voices)

4. I separated my elbow when I tried to do a cartwheel (remember for the people in your thirties, leave it for the younger ones)

5. I lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and the most I ever won was $750 (Its important to remember these people build billion, yes I said billion dollar hotels without debt)

6. I love football and hockey. My favorite teams are the Detroit Lions (Yes I know they suck) and the Detroit Red Wings (I at least have one good team)

7. I have been married for almost 19 years (I think I will have the hubby take me on a cruise for our 20th anniversary)

8. I know more about cars than my husband does. (I have two brothers that are mechanics and they made sure I could take care of my own car)

Okay there are the facts about little ole me and the 8 people I am going to tag are: No, One. It seems like everyone has already been tagged :) I know I was late getting out the door.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Voices are getting Louder

I haven't been writing much lately, but I figured it was time to start again. The voices are getting louder and clambering to come out. Does this happen to anyone else? When you are working on a book, how does the book form for you?

When I am starting on a book, I normally start with an idea and then work on an outline With the outline, I am able to flesh out the book and as I do this, it starts to come alive in my head. The characters take on a life of their own and they argue and sulk when the writing isn't going the way they expect it to go. As I picture the different books I am writing, the scenes for the books look like I visited the area as it seems so real. You can picture yourself walking down the boardwalk toward the ocean and feel the sea water mist your face. You can hear the voices blending together at the cafe across the street and feel the wind move through your hair.

I think the writing experience is different for everyone. But for me its like creating a whole new world, that is mine to explore and try and present to the people reading the book. It is my responsibility as an author to help them to see the world you create through your settings and your characters, because the characters are an integral part of any world.

So I think it is time to get back to the writing process. Keegan needs to work through his differences with Gwyn, Bryce and Delwyn need to straighten things out and Delysia and Delyth need to find their mates. I also need to work on my fairy tales as I am getting requests for them plus I have other ideas floating in my head...ah the voices!

Happy Writing

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Keegan - fighting scene

Hi all here is a fighting scene in my new book but it seems to be missing something. Some suggestions would be great. Thanks for your help.

Keegan was watching the tree where one of the snipers was waiting when he felt Bryce tap his boot. It meant he had seen movement from the other sniper. Keegan slowly
lifted his scope to look at the other sniper and watched him change position to look
in another direction; if he had turned another couple of inches he would have seen Micheil on the edge of the woods. Bryce tapped his boot twice to let him know that Micheil was moving in and to be prepared. Keegan nodded and moved his attention back to the first sniper; Bryce would handle the second one. Keegan waited for the signal from Micheil to take down the first sniper when he felt Bryce prepare to shoot the second one. He lined up the shot to take out the branch underneath the first sniper and was squeezing off the shot when he felt Bryce gasp below him. Keegan finished his shot, watching while the first sniper fell to the ground and waited to see Micheil take over the situation before turning to look down at Bryce.

“Are you alright,” he asked.

“Yes, but I took one in the leg. I might need help getting out of the tree.”
Keegan leaned his head against the branch in front of him, Delwyn was going to kill him, he thought before turning to climb down out of the tree. “Did you get your guy to drop out of the tree?”

“No, he caught sight of me as I was getting ready to squeeze off a shot and it was all he needed to move just a fraction of a second before I would have shot the branch. I hit him with a bullet, but not before he managed to fire and hit my leg.”
Keegan dropped to the ground and looked over at Micheil and his team. They were securing the first sniper and the second lay on the ground in a pool of blood, Craig standing guard over him just in case. Keegan grabbed a bandana out of his pocket and used it to tie off the wound on Bryce’s leg before helping him down to the ground. He leaned him against the tree and walked over to Micheil.

Micheil looked over at him, “How bad is he hurt?”

“It’s a through and through. He should be fine as long as we get him back quickly so he doesn’t lose anymore blood. I am going to have Craig help me get him back to the house. Are you alright without us coming with you to the jail?”

“Yes, the brothers and I can handle getting these two back. We will buzz you when we get there so you know we made it without any difficulties. Are you alright with just Craig or did you need one of the brothers?”

“No you have your hands full with these two. Did Bryce kill the first one or just wound him?”

“He is dead. Hopefully we can make this one talk. I will let you know when we get back. Cathaoir, go guard the other prisoner while Craig helps Keegan.”

“Yes, sir.”

After Cathaoir walked over and relieved Craig, he came over to help Keegan get Bryce back to the house. Keegan helped Craig get Bryce over his shoulder before taking point on the walk back to the house. Craig felt Bryce slump down over his back and he signaled to Keegan to stop a moment. Keegan walked around Craig to check for a pulse.
Keegan nodded at Craig, “He still has a pulse, it is thready but there. We need to get him back quickly. Do you think you can step up the pace, I know he isn’t light?”

“Of course. It is just around the bend. Did you let your father know we would need Gwyn?”

“No, she should already be at the house and I didn’t want anyone to listen in to our conversation and know someone was hurt.”

Craig made sure Bryce was settled on his shoulder and the two men started jogging toward the house. They were almost there when someone started shooting at them. Keegan looked at Craig, “Get him to the house. I will cover you.”
Craig didn’t argue, just took off at a run toward the house that was only 50 yards ahead. Keegan took cover behind a boulder and shot toward the direction the bullets were coming from. He didn’t think he would hit anyone but he was going to try. He quickly looked over his shoulder to see Craig’s progress before turning and shooting toward the woods at the edge of the property.

Keegan started backing up while still shooting knowing he would have to sprint across the yard as soon as Craig was able to get Bryce inside. He looked over his shoulder one last time and noticed Craig had made it to the front porch. With all of his energy he sprinted across the lawn, he was out of bullets and hoped he would make it to the relative safety of the porch before they realized what he was doing. He had just cleared the fountain when he felt a burning sensation in his shoulder and left hip.

Keegan felt the world start to go black, but through sheer will he forced it back. He knew if he passed out he was dead. He continued to run toward the steps. His shoulder was burning as he felt the blood run down his arm. He had just hit the steps when Craig came out onto the porch and started firing toward the trees trying to give Keegan the time he needed to get into the house.

While Craig was firing, Iain grabbed Keegan and pulled him into the safety of the house before holding the door open for Craig. As soon as Craig made it through the door, Iain slammed it shut and dead bolted it. He buzzed Micheil. “You have at least one more sniper in the trees by the house. Keegan has been hit, but I don’t know how bad it is yet. I will keep you updated.”

“Yes, sir. I will send the brothers over to take care of the situation.”

Friday, June 15, 2007


Once upon a time there lived a little girl who was five years old. She lived in a village with her papa, mammy and her older brother. Her job was to help her mother keep the fire going in the large stone oven to bake the bread. She carried wood to her mother who would place it in the oven.

One day she had gathered the wood for the day and was watching her mother knead the dough for the bread she was making and Emily asked if she could help and her mother gave her a small piece of dough to work with.

Emily flattened the dough and squished it between her fingers but had forgotten to wash her hands first, so it got small pieces of sticks and dirt in the bread dough. She made it into a loaf of bread and her mother was nice and put it into the oven to bake.

She couldn't wait for her papa and brother to get home, she wanted to share the bread with them. She couldn't sit still while they trooped in and sat down for dinner. She immediately sat the bread down between them and told them she had made it for them.

They complimented her on how nice her bread looked and then each cut a piece to spread with butter. As her father took a bite of the bread, he realized there was something crunchy in the bread and reached into his mouth to remove a piece of wood from his mouth. But he continued to smile and thank his daughter, Emily for making him bread as he carefully slipped the bread to the dog.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Musical Review: Cats

Two years ago, I told my daughter that she had a surprise. She dressed up in a nice outfit and we drove over to one of the Aladdin Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. We walked around the retail area and grabbed something quick to eat. She kept asking, where are we going, what is my surprise, but I stayed quiet. We went into the theater and it wasn't until she sat down and I handed her the program that she knew what she was going to see. She squealed. The people around us smiled at her. She had seen the play on television but had never been to a play before.

She was enthralled from the first moment the music started until it ended. It was amazing to watch her sit on the edge of her seat and sit quietly the whole time, which is very rare. She cried during some parts and enjoyed the entire show.

The costumes were amazing. They were made up to look like different cats, obviously, but the workmanship and style that went into each one was phenomenal. The style of each cat fit each actor's personality perfectly. I never knew that cats had so many different personalities.

The stage was designed to look like an old junk yard with rock and boulders for the cats to climb into different areas. With the lighting and work on the special effects you couldn't tell that the yard wasn't real.

But it was the music that put the play over the top. Anyone who has seen the play can tell you that it is the music of this play that makes it the star it is. From Memory to The Naming of Cats, they are songs that will touch your heart and live in your minds forever.

If you haven't seen Cats, I would recommend this for anyone, young or old, male or female. It is a wonderful play for anyone in the family.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Walking through the Trees

The breeze is blowing through the trees
The sun rays filter through the leaves
Birds sing
A deer holds still and lifts his head
Hold real still and wait to see
The fawn peeks out around her legs
Before moving to the edge of the lake to drink
You wait to move not wanting to be
The force to scare them, making them flee
They bound away
Grace and agility there to see
Continue your walk through the woods
Enjoy the peace you should
It’s over too quickly for you to be
Hurrying through life and missing the trees

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Naming your Work

You have been laboring over your writing for days, months and even years but you have finally finished it. Now you have to decide what to name it. You want it to be something classy that will jump up and take people’s notice. Unfortunately, all the good titles have been used. So how do you come up with a title that will grab your readers’ interest, be memorable and fit your story?

The first thing you need to do is brainstorm. Sit down and try and think of as many words or phrases as you can that come into your mind while you are thinking about your book. Make sure you write them all down, no matter how stupid or lame your think they might be. Once you have finished writing them down, look them over again and see if anything else comes to mind. Then take the list and talk to a friend or family member and ask them for help.

Have the friends or family members read through you list and even if they haven’t read your book, have them pick out the words or phrases that jump out at them. This will help you narrow down the field and work on coming up with the phrase that will finish off your work. You also will want to ask them any words or phrases that come to mind for them when they read over your list. They might come up with the word or phrase that is exactly what you are looking for.

You have created your list and had it either embellished or diminished with the help of family and friends, now you need to decide which phrase or word best describe your masterpiece. Which entry on your list jumps out at you? Once you have decided put it aside for a couple of days and then come back to it. If the word still jumps out at you and you still like it that just might be the title you were looking for. Try it out on different people, see if they like it, but ultimately the title of your work comes to you. You have to decide which phrase or word is the title that finishes off your work to perfection.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How to Write a Press Release

One of the questions you need to ask yourself when you are working on moving your company online is how do I go about creating buzz and continuing the buzz about my company. The answer is press releases; they will help to drive quality traffic to your site and also help to gain exposure. As a communication strategy it is important to distribute press releases on a regular basis to help keep your company in the front view of your consumers.

When you are creating your press release campaign there are a few aspects you need to keep in mind while you are setting down the guidelines your campaign. These include what you are going to include in your press releases, how you are going to create brand awareness and how you are going to get and maintain quality exposure for your company.

Some of the items you need to include in your press releases are the same things you need to include on your website, which include links and keywords. When you are constructing your press release campaign your goal is to create in-bound links to your site. You manage this through creating a press release that is rich in keywords that relate to your site, but you want to be careful to not over saturate your press release. The optimal amount of keywords to incorporate should be two to three words with a primary keyword and two secondary keywords. It is essential to research your keyword selections to make sure your keywords are geared toward your target audience and subject matter.

Brand awareness is important when working on your press release. You can optimize your press releases by utilizing media portals such as and Both websites will help you syndicate your press released to thousands of news outlets. It is imperative to include relevant back links to your landing page as it will provide valuable traffic to your site.

As always when creating anything for your site whether it is press releases, blogs, articles or general content then it is important to maintain consistent content. By having the information flow through the different media channels for your website you will be able to maximize the potential for long-term exposure for your business. It is important to provide a newsworthy and journalistic feel to your press releases as this will provide a professional image to your company. If you provide great content with optimization you should be able to yield good results for your press release campaign.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Soul of Vengeance Excerpt

Okay, let me think about this for a moment, how do I get back to the club. I can figure this out, after all I am male. Xander stood quietly for a moment thinking through his different options. I received an amulet from Mother Nature would that help me? No, that wouldn’t work it is just for protection. Hmmm…what else do I have available? Well I have magick, but it doesn’t work in this area, so first I have to get out of this area. So what else do I have at my disposal that I could use? Suddenly Xander’s thoughts were interrupted by a small voice, “What are you doing? Is it normal for humans to talk to themselves?”
Xander turned too quickly almost falling over his feet in surprise when he heard the voice talking to him. “Who are you,” he demanded, staring in surprise at the small fairy sitting on a blade of grass next to him.
“I am the niece of Queen Laurel,” the faerie replied haughtily. “Who are you?”
“I am Xander, I work for Father Time and his daughter Lexie.”
“Ah, you are the one that broke the Ring.”
Xander flushed in embarrassment. “Unfortunately yes, but I repaired it and even added a fence.”
“Yes you did, but still you destroyed the sacred Ring. Even repaired it isn’t the same, it will never be the same.”
“Everything changes, some for the better.”
“Why are you standing in this field? Don’t you have some place to go?”
“I am trying to get someplace but I do not know how to get there.”
“What, are you such a stupid human that you can’t follow directions?”
“What are you talking about? I am not a stupid human and of course I can follow directions.”
The small faerie rolled her eyes, “Let me make it simple for you, W h a t d i d Q u e e n L a u r e l g i v e y o u?”
Xander thought about it for a moment, “Oh the pendant!”
The faerie looked at him and sighed, “It took you long enough to figure it out.”
“I would have figured it out on my own.”
“Yes, maybe next year.”
Xander narrowed his eyes at the little faerie, “How would you like an extra hand in flying away?”
Xander heard a tinkle of laughter as the faerie flitted out of his reach. “I do not need help, but thank you.”
Xander sighed, “Couldn’t you just go away? Now that you have helped me figure out what to use I have to figure out how to use it.
“No this is too much fun. I can use this around the campfire for the next hundred years.”
Xander looked at her in disbelief, “You wouldn’t?! What am I thinking, yes you would. Listen, I do not have much time, I have to get back to the clubhouse to talk to Father Time and get him back here to help Lexie.”
Xander turned away and concentrated on the pendant trying to get off the ground, when nothing happened he sighed in frustration. He looked around the meadow, there has to be something here that could help me he thought. He smiled to himself when he saw the boulder. Of course why didn’t I think of that sooner? He strode over to the boulder and started climbing it, clamoring to reach the top. The small faerie flitted around watching him in silence, but staying a safe distance away. Once Xander got to the top of the boulder, he took a deep breath, shut his eyes and prayed, “Please help me to fly. Amen.” With out another thought, Xander jumped off of the boulder and tried to picture himself flying. It didn’t work. He hit the ground hard. He lay there for a moment, the breath knocked out of his body. Once he was able to breathe again the pain hit which caused his breath to hitch in his throat. As he was trying to make sure that nothing was broken the silence was interrupted by a soft belly laugh. Xander carefully looked around and saw the faerie sitting on top of the boulder holding her sides, laughing so hard the tears were sliding down her cheeks.
Xander glared in frustration at the faerie as he slowly stood up, “It is not funny. I could have been hurt very badly and you are laughing.”
As the faerie wiped the tears of her cheeks she hiccupped before replying, “Yes it is, I can not believe that you actually thought that by jumping off of the boulder you could fly. The only way you can fly is by thinking about flying through the sky. Jumping off of a boulder is just funny and you couldn’t have been hurt, you weren’t that far off of the ground.”
Xander looked at the faerie, “You mean all I have to do is picture myself flying and I will be able to fly.”
“Of course, it is not like it is difficult. You just think about flying and you fly,” the faerie said with a shrug.
“I can do that,” Xander replied. He stood quietly for a moment picturing himself floating in the air. The next thing he knew he was floating at the treetops. He saw something out of the corner of his and turned his head to see the faerie floating next to him a large smile on her little face.
Xander looked at her in puzzlement, “You are happy I have managed this much.”
“Of course, now I can tell everyone that it is possible to teach an old, stupid human new tricks,” the faerie replied, clapping in delight.
Xander growled at the faerie then decided to just ignore her. Okay he thought to himself, I am floating in the air but how do I move forward? Xander sighed in frustration; I need some sort of air flow. Birds have wings and feathers that is how they are able to fly. Everything that can fly has wings of some sort even airplanes. So maybe if I flap my arms I could fly. Xander only briefly thought of the faerie watching him before he started flapping his arms trying to get some air flow. Nothing happened, so he flapped harder. Still nothing happened. He heard a sigh and looked over at the faerie. “What now,” he demanded.
“I guess it isn’t possible to teach humans new tricks,” she said sadly. “I even told you how to fly and you still can’t, you will just be floating here forever.”
“You did not tell me how to fl…Xander trailed off as he realized that the faerie had told him how to fly; he just didn’t listen to her because she annoyed him.
Xander glared at the faerie before once again picturing himself flying, except this time he pictured himself flying like a bird more than just hanging suspended in mid-air. Xander started zipping through the air, swooping around trying to avoid the trees. It was making him dizzy as they flashed by him so fast that it was a blur. All of a sudden there was a tree directly in front of him; Xander knew that he would not be able to swerve in time to miss it. He closed his eyes in panic as he hit the tree and started sliding down it. Thankfully a branch broke his fall before he hit the ground. He sat there straddling the branch trying to catch his breath again when the faerie flitted over and perched on a branch just out of his reach.
“Do all humans have as hard of a time as you learning something new? You do realize don’t you that you are supposed to avoid hitting large objects?”
Xander narrowed his eyes at her. He replied in a high pitched voice, “I would,” he paused to clear his throat before continuing, “I would recommend that you fly away.” He gingerly dropped down out of the tree, wincing when he hit the ground.
The faerie looked down at him, “Why would I do that, this is much too entertaining? Besides, Queen Laurel and Jane Merlyn told me to keep an eye on you.”
Without saying another word, Xander turned and walked out of the trees. He could see the mountains in the distance; he knew that if he could just get beyond them he would be in the clear, the clubhouse was just on the other side of the mountains. Once he was clear of the trees he once again concentrated on flying and quickly lifted off of the ground heading towards the mountains. He didn’t have to look around him to realize the faerie was following close behind. He continued to head toward the mountain aiming a little higher so he would be able to clear the mountain tops.
The faerie flitted around him opened her mouth and said, “Um, stupid human Xander, you had better…”
“I do not want to hear you faerie, you do not exist to me.”
The faerie smiled to herself in amusement as Xander continued on to the mountains. Oh well I guess I do not have to warn him then, she thought to herself.
Xander continued on his way, getting closer to the mountains. It is getting cooler up here the closer I get to the mountains, it must be the thinner air, he thought to himself. As he relaxed, he started to enjoy the freedom of being able to fly. The view was stupendous as he looked out over the mountains and the valleys below. Off in the distance he saw a group of deer grazing in the lush grasses, there were some fawns venturing out on their own. Circling around the tops of the mountains he saw a family of bald eagles and a few falcons. Looking down upon the lush valleys, he saw where Mother Nature had truly been given free rein. There were different varieties of flowers coating the surface of the valley. Even from the height he was at Xander could identify a few of the varieties. He saw some daffodils, daisies and a couple of wild roses. He was paying such close attention to the valley surface that he didn’t realize how close he had come to the mountains until he looked up and right in from of him was the first peak. He quickly rose above the mountain before continuing toward the ocean.
A few clouds were starting to form now that he was closer to the water and it was making visibility a little difficult and dense. Xander wasn’t paying close attention to the mountains below him as he focused on the clouds above. He did not want to get caught in a lightening storm. He was so engrossed in the clouds that he did not see the volcano in front of him until it was too late. The first moment that he realized that he was flying over a volcano was the blast of hot steam hitting him. He quickly moved upwards to avoid being severely burnt. Unfortunately he flew right into a cloud bank.
“Ow, ow, ow , ow , ow, that stings,” Xander exclaimed.
The faerie looked at him and grinned, “Do you realize you look good with singed eyebrows?”
“What is your name?” Xander asked.
“Why,” the faerie replied suspiciously.
“So I do not have to keep calling you faerie.”
“My name human is Seraphina.”
“Great, now I can let Lexie know how unhelpful you have been.”
“She will be happy that I have been a bother to you, as she always is.”
“Yes, she is. But between her and I, it is friendship. We do not have that. You antagonize to be mean and cruel.”
“No it is not, that is just an added benefit.”
Xander threw his hands up in exasperation, “Why do I bother to argue with women, they all say the same things.”
Xander took a deep breath and started moving forward again and was immediately rewarded with a mouthful of cloud. He started pulling it out of his mouth and spitting to get rid of the last of it, just as he came out of the cloud bank.
“Ah,” he screamed, as in front of him appeared a giant jet plane from the late 20th century. He immediately used his abilities to make the plane disappear. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to but occasionally you had to use magic in dire circumstances and this was one of them. He just hoped the plane ended up back in its own time. He would have to make sure and talk to Father Time when he got back to make sure it did.
The faerie looked at him and said, “You are not supposed to make people that are not from the islands disappear. It is frowned upon.”
“I know, but I didn’t have a choice it was either make the plane disappear or myself permanently.”
“Oh that is right, stupid humans are not immortal.”
“Will you quit calling me stupid?! I am not stupid. You are just a small useless faerie. What have you ever done to help out? Hmmm, let me guess…nothing. It is because you are too little to help with anything. Some one might accidentally step on you and that would be just too bad. Now leave me alone.”
Seraphina flitted over until she was at eye level with Xander. “For your information human, I was the key negotiator for the peace treaty between the Troll Kingdom and the Pixie Brigade. If it had not been for me and my group there would no longer be any Pixies or Trolls. As for your other stupid comment, of course I am small, I am a faerie. As you humans say, duh!” With her words echoing into the wind, Seraphina flitted a safe distance away and hovered in the air glaring at him.
Xander looked at her in amazement for a moment for turning and flying away. She continued to follow him at a distance mumbling under her breath about being a small useless faerie. They continued on for a little while longer before she flew up next to him and with a grin on her face said, “Five.”
Xander turned to look at him, “What do you mean five? I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“You will,” she cryptically replied.
Xander frowned at her in puzzlement before continuing on his way toward the clubhouse. Xander started to look around at the beautiful scenery displayed in front of him. He could smell the ocean on the breeze caressing his face. He glorified in the magnificence of being able to experience the utter tranquility of being able to fly like the eagles soaring around him. He crested the last of the mountain ranges and caught his breath in the brilliance of the ocean crashing against the rocks on the shoreline. Xander glimpsed the clubhouse off in the distance, the only building to be seen as it stood majestically against the coastline. The spray from the waves washing the deck in a sparkle of rainbows as the sunlight reflected off of the water droplets.
As Xander approached the clubhouse, he realized that with being able to learn to fly, he had not had an opportunity to learn to land. It shouldn’t be too hard he thought to himself. I can do this. I will aim for the deck, all it takes is positive thinking. He concentrated on landing gently on the deck of the clubhouse. He realized as he came in to land that he had missed his target and was going to hit the water. Water sprayed in all directions as Xander hit the water and continued to bounce across the surface like a smooth rock being skipped by a child. Xander tried to stop himself, but there wasn’t anything he could grab onto. He skipped once and tried to push his hands into the water to stop himself. He skipped twice and reached for the sea turtle that was swimming next to him. He skipped thrice and tried to drop his legs, but only got wet. He skipped four times and tried to grab the dolphin that thought he was playing with him. He skipped five times and ran into the side of a whale and stopped. Xander grabbed onto the whale as best as he could and tried to get his bearings. He thanked the whale and turned and started swimming toward shore. As he got closer he noticed a small figure sitting on the railing of the deck. After a few moments he was able to make out who it was. He sighed in disgust, it would have to be her. Xander pulled himself up onto the deck and shook himself to get some of the water off of him.
Seraphina turned to him with a grin and said, “I told you, you would hit the water five times.”
Xander glared at her, “That is what you meant, why I aught to…”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Writing Tips - Finding Ideas

This is a common question that many people ask successful writers. They read their books and wonder why didn’t I come up with that idea. I love it and it seems so easy. The answer is simple, you have two different people in the same setting and one will come up with a book idea and the other will just enjoy the setting. People are different and they come up with different ideas through different methods and at different times. But the easiest way to come up with writing ideas is basic and I will explain it here.

Carry a notebook with you at all times. It can be small and fit into your purse or jacket pocket. You might have it be in the car or even in your back pocket, but it is an essential piece of equipment to have as a writer. This is because you will receive ideas all day long while you are outside and going about your daily life. You could be in the grocery in line and overhear two people talking and from their conversation you could come up with an idea for a book.

We were driving out to Michigan from Nevada and going through the Rocky Mountains I had an idea hit me. Unfortunately because I was driving I couldn’t write it down, but my daughter knows how I get my ideas and as I was talking to her, she started writing the thought process down so that I had it when we stopped. My husband was amazed. He asked how is the world did I come up with that idea while driving through the mountains, but once I explained it to him he understand how it worked. This is a perfect example of how two people can go through the same area and come up with different ideas. He was thinking about how much farther we had to go and I was thinking of a story line.

Another way to come up with different ideas is through books you read and television shows. I was reading a book with my daughter the other day and she was telling me about something she had seen and it brought a book idea into my head. Because my daughter is starting to write also, she understood what I was doing immediately and talked through the idea with me. But even though she is a writer she didn’t think of the same idea I did. It just shows you that two people can view the same thing or in this case read the same thing and come up with radically different ideas.

Coming up with ideas isn’t the hard part of writing. It is taking through ideas that run rapidly through your head and getting them down on paper in a manner that will entice readers to want to continue reading your stories. You will find ideas throughout your daily life, just remember to write them down before they turn into something bizarre and out of control.

Friday, March 23, 2007

How to be a parent and a writer

When you are a writer you will need to treat it like another job. It shouldn’t be something that completely takes over your life because then it becomes an obsession. If you are a parent and a writer it is even more important to treat it like a job. Depending on the age of your children will help to determine the time that you work on your writing and how long you are able to work.

If you have small children who haven’t started school yet, then you will need to work around their schedule. This means that you will have to work while they take their nap or after they go to bed at night, which means you will have to work with your spouse to be able to have the time you need to write. If you feel you need to write while they are awake, then set up a small desk with crayons and paper for your child to be able to draw while you work. This will help keep them entertained and you will be able to get the idea out of your head.

If you have school-age children then you are able to work while they are at school. It might help to keep you aware of the time if you set up an alarm clock or reminder on your computer for thirty minutes before they come home. This will give you time to finish the train of thought you have and still be finished with your writing for when they get home. If your train of thought continues after they come home, it is all right to finish it, just don’t make a habit of it. They deserve some of your time also.

The best part about being both a parent and a writer is being able to pass the love of writing onto your children. My daughter has started writing books that she would like to publish. It is a way to bring out their creative imaginations. It also helps to talk to them about writing and your story ideas. This will help them to understand what you are doing and will help you to feel out the idea of your book with someone else.

It would also be helpful if you set up a specific place to work and when you leave that place you are leaving work. You will then be able to have things set up the way you like them and not have to worry about moving your papers and notes around and possibly losing them. Children will then be able to learn that your writing area is for your work and they will be more likely to leave it alone, especially the older children.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Book Review: Facing Your Giants

Background on the Author:
Max Lucado is the Senior Minister for the Oak Hill Church in San Antonio, Texas and has written several bestsellers and is considered America’s leading inspirational author.

Facing Your Giants is a book that tells you the story of David and Goliath, which most of us have heard. It explains that all of these men were standing their afraid to fight the giants because they outnumbered them and were stronger. Goliath knew this and every day twice a day came out to the battlefield and would mock the other soldiers. Now David was young, he handled his father’s flock of sheep, he was also small compared to the soldiers but compared to the giants he was miniscule. But when he came to the encampment he was intimidated by the giants because he knew God was on his side and he challenged Goliath and won. But there are a couple of things to note that I hadn’t thought of before. He chose five stones, because besides Goliath there were four other giants that he was prepared to eliminate also, if he needed to. The book continues along this thread and explains how well David did in his life when he trusted and talked to God first, but when he didn’t and dealt with things on his own, he had problems. He was marked for an assassination attempt by the king, he lived in a cave and even dwelt in the land of giants for a while. The camp he created in the desert was ambushed while he went to battle and all of the women and children were taken. But he didn’t give up, he asked for God’s assistance and went after the women and children and were able to save them from slavery and death.

The book takes the trials and tribulations that David dealt with throughout his life and shows you how you can apply it to your life. For each scenario that David goes through, Mr. Lucado illustrates how you can use the information from David and get through your own personal giants. It doesn’t matter if your giants are small in comparison to others; they are still your giants and something you need to overcome. Mr. Lucado takes David’s life and applies it to your life and what you need to do to defeat your personal giants. Until we can overcome our giants it makes it difficult to become productive members of society and good Christians. It explains how you need to turn a deaf ear to discouragement and look at the new choices that are available to you.

I would recommend this book, even if you don’t feel like you are going through a rough time right now. At some point all of us go through difficult times and if you know what to do ahead of time then the rough time won’t be as rough. It is a well-written book that is easy to read and understand. You can follow the logic of the author and it is easy to understand how to apply it to your life. It also includes a study guide at the end of the book to help you continue your studies into the bible.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The sanctity of a writer's work area

My writing process started when I was a child and we lived in a three bedroom house. I tell you this because it will help you to understand the need to stay organized even at a young age comes from necessity. I grew up with my two older brothers, there are 8 of us total but the three of us were the last ones in the house. I learned early on that if I wanted something to stay private or to keep it in tack I needed to know where it was located and how to hide it from my brothers. So I endeavored to keep my room clean so I knew where my writing was, or my art supplies, as I loved to draw at that time. If my room was clean my brothers figured that there wasn’t anything to hide so they wouldn’t have to look for anything in my room. This mind set has continued on into today.

When I started writing my first book, I found that it helped me to stay organized and keep my work area neat. I created charts and a lineage that I hung on the wall so that I could keep the characters straight and not have to worry about confusing the story line. I bought a file chest to keep my story lines in to keep my desk clean, because I have found I work better with a clean desk.

As we recently moved, I now share my desk with my husband. To be able to maintain my workspace, I have created folders for each of my stories that I am working on and keep them in a separate file cabinet so that my husband doesn’t move my papers. I have found that if I am working on a story and he moves all my papers around, I am lost for half the day when I try to work on it again, but if I put it into a folder in the order I was working with then I don’t have a problem.

As writers we need to learn to adapt and I know that isn’t always easy. My husband doesn’t always understand that moving papers around on the desk can ruin a train of thought, but he does always know what it means when I get that faraway look in my eye. He knows I have gone into another world and he might not get to talk to me for the rest of the night. If a story is pushing you there is nothing you can do but let it come out. I figure my work area is actually in my head so I don’t have to worry about have it messed up and the parts I need to worry about I have learned to adapt with.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Writing Tips: Creating a Setting

To create a believable setting takes attention to detail and patience. You might not be able to create the perfect setting for your book right away. You might have to fine tune it over the entire period of writing your book.

It normally helps to write about a place you are familiar with whether it is where you live or an area you have visited. This way you already know some of the things about the area and if you need to research it won't be for the whole area. I have read books by top authors and when the book is situated in the town I live it, you just want to laugh at some of the things they believe about the area. I lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and many people wrote books with the setting in Vegas. Either they didn't visit the city and just wrote about what they thought about the town or if they did visit they never left the strip. One of the books I read talked about leaving the strip and traveling to this one area of the town and their directions that were listed in the book took them to a completely different area of town and had two roads cross that ran parallel. These are the kinds of things you need to look at when you are writing a book. If you don't know the area don't just assume things about it, or use information you received from TV and the movies. Normally it isn't completely accurate.

When you are creating a setting that doesn't exist then be mindful of what information you put into the setting in prior areas of the book. I have found if I write down what was in an area it helped me to remember when I had the characters walk through the area in a later chapter.

As with all writing creating a setting is all about the details. You need to make sure it is consistent throughout the book not just the part you are writing. When you are able to do this then you will be able to add details to the setting to make it come to life. Which will make it real for your readers and this is what you want to do to keep them coming back for your future books.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Creating Worlds

Today we are going to discuss the different worlds you can create when you write fiction books. I think this is what I love most about fiction is because you can create anything you want, there isn't anything to hold you back because it is your world. If you want the sky to be pink, then the sky can be pink. If you want the main characters of the books to have 4 eyes instead of 2 that is your prerogative. You can even stay in modern day earth and make it seem like you are talking about some one's next door neighbor. This is the great part about fiction it is literally your world.

There are things you need to keep in mind when you are creating a new world. One of those things is consistency. You need to make sure that if you create your world to have 2 suns then in the next chapter you can't talk about their only sun exploding. A well written book is in the details. Any body can write, but it is up to us how good we write. If you just write a shallow book that doesn't have any details then it won't hold a reader's interest. Your book needs to be rich in content but the back side of that is that you have to make sure that it is consistent.

The next thing you need to keep in mind is that if you are writing a book about earth and you want to change some things then make sure that it is feasible. What I mean by this is if guns have become obsolete in your new world then don't have someone shooting someone else. Make it believable.

When you create a new world you can do anything you want, but the goal is to bring it to life for the reader. You want them to be able to smell the rain falling and the tulips blooming. You want them to be able to picture themselves sitting on the river bank watching the waterfall. With everything you do in writing you are painting a picture for the reader. A place that they can visit and feel like they are part of the world. If you can create this environment then you will be a successful author. Remember it is all in the details. Don't just write a book, paint a picture to go along with it.

Explore your new world and find something new and exciting

Monday, February 26, 2007

Keegan of Vnoi

I am going to introduce you to someone new today. He is from my new book that I am writing. His name is Keegan and he is a designer of different products. So let me give you a little background on him and then I will tell you a little bit about what he likes to do. He has three sisters, they are triplets. They keep him busy, it seems they are always into something. Their newest scheme is opening a retail store, but I will go into that in a future article. Keegan is over 6 foot tall, his mahogany-colored hair brushes his shoulders because he always forgets to get it cut, he wears a leather jacket most of the time that falls to his knees and his favorite mode of transportation is his custom bike he created that runs off the electromagnetic lines through the island he lives on.

Keegan's favorite thing to design is custom built bikes. He will take one or two orders a year to create his bikes, but will work with the customer to design the bike to his or her needs. When he isn't working on his bikes, he works with Bryce occasionally. Bryce owns the local shipbuilding company and has dated his sister, Delwyn off and on for years. Keegan also helps out his parents and sisters in anything they need. He is big on family, the way he figures it, is that family is what is important the rest is just noise.

Keegan has been looking after another person for years, he blames himself for her blindness. Her name is Gwyn. When they were playing as children by the river, Gwyn slipped on the wet rocks when they were crossing the river. When she fell, she hit her head and blacked out. When Gwyn awoke she was blind, because Keegan was with her at the time and had dared her to try and cross the river on the rocks, he blames himself. Gwyn won't accept his pity and has told him numerable times to grow up. She doesn't want his pity and she thinks that is the only thing he thinks of when he looks at her. But Keegan is persistent and I am sure one day he will get his true feelings across to her, but then again maybe not...we will have to wait to see.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Keegan and when his books comes out I will let everyone know. In the meantime, enjoy your writing because there is nothing like creating a whole other world and bringing it to life.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Writing Tips - Proofreading

You have worked on your article, poem, novel for a long time. You have put your heart and soul into it and now comes the hardest part of any writer's life...Proofreading. Most authors can write, but because the thoughts in there head come quicker than their fingers can type it makes it difficult to not make mistakes. When you go back and read it, it sounds great to you because you know what it is supposed to say and your brain skips over the mistakes.

This is why it is important to get an impartial person to read through your document. If might be a good idea to have the person sign a non-disclosure document before they start proofreading for you, this will be beneficial to both of you and if the personal is ethical then they normally won't have a problem signing such a document. Normally a proofreading will read through the entire document, if they notice mistakes they will flag them for later, but by reading through the document first they understand where you are trying to go and are better able to make sure it flows correctly. On the second go through the proofreader will normally read it through slowly to catch mistakes with flow and spelling. Then on the final pass they will go through the document word for word looking for spelling and punctuation. This time they won't be reading the document so much as scrutinizing it closely. By proofreading going through this process they are better able to check the mistakes that are made and to understand what you have left out or misspelled.

I know with my co-author, I will proofread the things she does and there will be times that we both are stumped on a word or phrase. We normally end up going back through it again to try and understand what has been said. We have found it beneficial to read through it ourselves first before we give it to a proofreader. If you can find even ten of the mistakes in the document then that is ten mistakes your proofreader doesn't have to stumble across. Now remember there will be things your proofreader will miss, they aren't perfect, but they will get the majority of them.

We have actually been very lucky in our proofreaders, several people have offered us their services free of charge. They were official proofreaders but they were editors for magazines and English school teachers. This has been very helpful to us and we greatly appreciate everything they have done for us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Writing Tips: Distractions

It is easy to get distracted when you are trying to write. You know you are supposed to sit down every day and write to expand your story or work on revisions, but there are always things to distract you. It could be the children knocking at the door, the birds flying outside, or even your mind wandering. It could be caused by writer's block, boredom or spring fever.

No matter what the cause you need to work through it. You have to overcome the distractions to be able to continue on with your writing. If the children are knocking at the door then set up a time when they know they are supposed to bother you, time that you set aside just for writing. If something outside is distracting you because you sit in front of a window (I do) then get blinds for the window or move your office. As for your mind wandering that is something that you have to work through on your own. All of us at times deal with day dreaming and it can be productive, but it can also be counter-productive and it is up to you how you handle it.

When you are dealing with writer's block it can be extremely frustrating. It can be caused by you are overtired, your emotions are running high or you could just be pulling a blank, whatever the cause there are different techniques talked about around the Internet that can help you and other authors might be able to give you some ideas that have worked for them. I know when I get writer's block about a specific book, I switch books and try something different. As for the boredom aspect, you can try the same thing, work on something new or try a different genre to see if that peaks your interest. As for spring fever, take a day off, go play in the sun and have some fun, then the next day get back to work.

There are many things that can distract us and it is up to us what we let distract us and what we don't. If you want to be a successful writer then you have to find ways around the distractions in your life and not give in to the impulses that cross your path.

As always, happy writing

Friday, February 16, 2007

Spell checking disasters: Why computer programs cannot replace the human element

In the first book we wrote we added a preface to the beginning of the book. The book was about Father Time and Mother Nature. They were standing on a cliff together overlooking the ocean and reflecting on the job that God had given them to do. They were discussing the different tasks He had assigned them and that to be able to accomplish these tasks God had given them immorality. We had used the wrong word, it was supposed to be immortality but instead it was immorality, we had forgotten the "t".

It wasn't until after the book was published and my husband was starting to read the book that it came to anyone's attention. It had slipped through the computer's spell check program and no one had caught the mistake, not even our proof-reader.

The human element is important because the computer will not catch everything because if the word is spelled correctly, it will skip over the word. Unfortunately, the human element isn't flawless either, but it is something to remember when you do finish your work, have more than one person review it for typos. Hopefully if more than one person reviewed your work then it is probable that the mistakes will be caught before you go to print.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Writing Tips - Research

Research is a vital part of any book unless you have created a completely new world where you can put anything you want into it. Sue and I have created a new world but because our characters go into regular time on Earth then we have to do research. If the information you put into your book is wrong you will hear about it at some point in time and it could hinder getting your book published also. So lets look into where you should get your research information.

There are several different places that you can find research information. But before you start determining where you are going to go for research you need to figure out what you need to research. It is great to go read about the different eras that you need to research, but if you don't know exactly what information you need, while entertaining will be wasted time. Here are a few questions that I use when I research for a book.
  1. What style of clothing did they wear and did it depend on your level in society?
  2. What kinds of food did they eat?
  3. Where there specific mannerisms that they used?
  4. What type of housing did they live in?
  5. What manner of speech did they have?
  6. What type of music did they have?
These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before you ever start your research. Once you have determined the questions you want to ask yourself then you need to decide on where you would like to look. Listed below are a few options:

The library
Online reference sites (make sure they are reputable)
Historical societies
People who lived during that time

This is just a little bit of the information you need to start your research. Next time I will bring you a more in depth looking at the art of researching.
Until then, happy writing

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Xander the Tolerant

Now that I have introduced you to Josie, I figured it was time I introduced you to Xander. He is a handful, born in the 1500's in England, his family has been feuding with Josie's family for centuries. At one time him and Josie had been seeing each other secretly, but after a misunderstanding, Josie wouldn't talk to him. When Lexie gave him the opportunity to try and reconcile their difference, Xander didn't think about leaving his family, he just wanted to be with Josie.

Everyone has seen the practical jokes that Josie has pulled on Xander over the years, but they didn't know what had caused Josie to act the way she did. Xander knew and that was why he didn't retaliate, well at least where people could see him doing it. What the general populace of Amber Isle never saw was that after everyone was in bed Xander would visit Josie with different persona. One time he could leave frogs in her bed and another time she would get a late night visit from a supposed ghost. Josie never knew what was going to happen, just that it was. This was Xander's revenge for Josie picking on him during the day.

So everyone feels sorry for Xander, but I figured you would like to hear the whole story. He gave as good as he got, especially on the nights that he would sneak up behind her and steal a kiss or two.

Next time I will tell you a little bit about Xander's job as a Time Watcher. Until then happy writing and reading. Enjoy life you only live it once.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Josie and her Roses

Josie owns a house that is surrounded with roses. This is her favorite flower and she has worked with Mother Nature to create a few different varieties of roses. She is working on a new rose for her and Xander's anniversary. The rose will be a combination of a black rose and a white rose. She is going to create the rose with the outside petals in black and the inside bud in white. Josie figured it was important to be able to have the rose to stand up under cold weather, she figured it was appropriate under the circumstances.

When Josie and Xander moved into their new home, there was quite a bit of greenery, but none of her roses. Lexie had decided to let Josie decide which roses she would want to move. Instead of moving her precious flowers, Josie decided to create new ones and start afresh. Instead of trying to tame the wilderness around her Josie decided to enhance it and work her roses into it in a way not to detract from the beauty. She was working hard to work her roses into the local scenery and had even created a climbing red rose that would work its way up the cliff to the waterfall, she had also planted another climbing rose that she thought would accentuate the red rose. Within the red roses where placed small white roses, which she was using to enhance the deepness of the rich red rose.

Josie hoped Xander would like her anniversary present. It was something that she could give him that would always remind him of her and it would be something their children could enjoy for centuries to come. She envisioned it to be a very elegant rose and she was already getting requests for the rose from both Nick, Father Times' brother and Jack, Mother Nature's brother. They both wanted it to plant around their houses as they lived in winter climates.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Josie of Amber Island

Today I decided to introduce you to one of my favorite characters in our books. She is the Time Master of Amber Island, which makes her second in command under Lexie or Alexandria, who is the Time Keeper. Josie's full name is Josephina, but she figured it was too big of a mouth full and shortened it to Josie. Josie came to the time islands from 1500's England, where her family was in the middle of a feud with the de Smallwode family. Her brother was killed and her sister is having to marry one of the de Smallwode brothers to be able to have peace between the two families. Josie's nemesis from the de Smallwode's came to the time islands the same time she did, Xander.

Josie covers up her feelings for Xander by being abrupt and mean to him. Some of their fights have become the thing of legends on Amber Island. Her most memorable one is when she sent him to Antarctica to swim with the penguins. Now every year on his birthday she gets him a new penguin, and after 500 years that's a lot of penguins. She tries to be creative and has gotten him penguins that are stuffed, penguins on his clothing and her latest was a penguin watch. She was thinking about for his birthday this year, taking the picture she has of him in a tuxedo and changing his face to that of a penguin and getting it enlarged and framed for him, that way he can have a self-portrait.

As I have said before, Josie is a handful but we wouldn't have her any other way. She is a character that tries to stay aloof, but it is difficult because she is caring and wants to help everyone. She has a bad temper and will retaliate if she feels like someone has done something to her (normally Xander), but then she feels bad when she does retaliate. She loves to have fun and one of her favorite things to do is go out on the sailboat with Lexie, who is her best friend.
Stay tuned for more talk about Josie and the whole gang.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Be Prepared!

I was trying to figure out what to write to you about today and I decided that the topic for today would be being prepared. Sounds like the Boy Scout motto right? Well it is, but it is important in other areas of your life also. I work for a company that I write their blogs, newsletters, website copy and occasionally their press releases. To come up with ideas for their blogs and newsletter on a consistent basis can be difficult. So I decided to tell you how I go about deciding on this information.

To research for my job, I reach industry newsletters, articles, magazines and white papers. My doing this I am able to keep up with the market and know what knew products and ideas are coming down the pipeline. When I read the above mentioned materials, I keep a notebook next to me and write down any ideas that I think are interesting. Then I go back to them and review them. If I think it is something that would be pertinent to the company I write for then I highlight it, if I don't I leave it alone for now. The reason I do that, is because it might not be relevant now but in the future it might be.

There are all kinds of writers in the world, from people who write novels to people who write a daily journal. Writing isn't something that can be assigned to someone to do and have them do it well. It is a skill that has to be refined and practiced. If someone just throws out random ideas, the end product won't work because there isn't any cohesiveness which means it will fall apart. So as with any skill you need to work on it, research information, practice and practice some more until you get a product that you can be proud of, even when you reread it five years later.

Enjoy writing and it will bring you enjoyment.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Characters Consistency

When we started writing our first book, because there weren't a lot of characters we were able to remember them. When we decided to continue the book into others and create a series, we started having to keep track of all of the characters. So we kept notebooks on the different ideas we had, the different characters we were planning on putting in the books, what time era we were going to write about.

I put up in my office a poster board that listed the twelve islands, who was in charge of each island, the island theme and time period and any characters that came from that island. As we wrote the books and new characters would be introduced we put them under the correct island. We did this so that we wouldn't mix up characters and use different names for the same characters and it made it so their history stayed the same.

Consistency is important aspect of writing. If you have a character that is in the car and then all of a sudden they are in the house, you need to explain how they got there. Your writing needs to flow. Which means there shouldn't be parts where people ask themselves, okay how did that happen because it will stop the flow of the book and people will be more likely to put the book down at that point and might not pick it back up.

I used to play online games and in this game we were able to create areas where people could go into and fight monsters. So I had created an area and in the first part of the areas was the entrance to the Crystal Castle, and it described the area as being bright and filled with rainbows and light because the sun was reflecting off of the crystal. It sounded great until I went back and reviewed it before it was released and realized that it sounded great but the room was listed as a dark room without light, so how could the sun reflect off of the crystal if there wasn't a light. This is the kind of thing you need to be mindful of because it could completely through your writing our of focus and make it difficult for someone to relate to.

So remember, it is always important to make sure your characters have consistency in their behavior and history.

As always, have fun with your writing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Writing Tips - Organization

Someone asked me the other day what I do to get myself ready to write a book. So I was thinking about it and I decided that it all comes down to organization. If you aren't organized in what you do then you have the possibility of getting off track. This unfortunately can cause your story to sound off track and disorganized. Now I am sure there are people out there that believe that you don't have to be organized to write. My son saw my desk the other day and commented on how messy it was, when he came in 5 minutes later, after I had finished for the day, he was surprised how clean it was. It all comes down to organization.

If I am starting a new project then I create a folder for it to put in all the notes and comments I come up with. I create an outline for my story or project, place it in the folder and make sure the folder is labeled. Once this is done cleaning up at the end of the day is easy. You just put the information in its appropriate file and put it away.

It is important to also be organized on the computer. I work for a company that I write their blogs, newsletters, website copy, ad copy and on occasion their press releases. They currently have 4 different websites that I handle. To keep them straight in the computer, each website has its own folder and each folder has subfolders for the above mentioned topics. This way when someone needs information I am able to get it for them quickly and easily.

I believe it is important in whatever you to do stay organized. I had a boss that couldn't see his desk unless I cleaned it off. Everyone thought he was organized and knew where everything was on his desk, but what they didn't know was that when they left his office he had me help him find what they were looking for.

Organization is one of the key to success. Without organization, people are apt to flounder and misplace items. If you want to succeed in any business it is imperative that people find a system that works for them. Organization isn't about fitting into strict guidelines that you feel would stifle your creativity, its about finding a place where you can find items with ease.

Enjoy and Happy Writing

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was thinking about writing and that one of the largest setbacks for any writer is procrastination. I have outside my house a pond and trees that are currently covered with snow. My office windows looks out over this, with the deep green from the fir and spruce trees with snow and ice weighing heavily on the stout branches, the sun reflecting off of the pond and sometimes gentle snowflakes floating from the sky. With this heavenly view out my office window, it can make it difficult to concentrate at times. It is much nicer to look toward the trees and see the birds flying or watch a deer cross the meadow. But with anyone who is serious about their writing it is important to set aside specific times every day to write. Even if you make yourself sit in front of your computer for one hour a day. It isn't the time that you invest into your writing that is important at this time, it is making it a habit to sit down and write. By doing this you are able to make it so that you set up a routine and the more you do a routine the easier it becomes. You would do the same thing if you smoked, you would make time every day to smoke but isn't writing more important to you than smoking (it's what will pay for the cigarettes). So my advice, which is free because we all have advice, is to make sure you sit down at your computer on a daily basis and write about something, put something down on paper.
Good luck with your writing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Writing Tips

Good Morning
Here is the new section on writing tips for anyone who would like to use it. Now remember this is just my opinion. I have found when I am writing that I don't worry about proofreading what I am writing until I am finished with the section I am working on. If you interrupt your train of thought to fix typos then the thought that was winging through your head might never ever come back and could be lost in the great abyss of missed writing opportunities. To avoid that from happening to any other writer I suggest that you handle proofreading after you have finished writing for the day. I would also recommend that you do some of the proofreading before you hand it off to your proofreader because they will be eternally grateful especially when you type a word that you know exactly what you mean but the proofreader is looking into that great abyss and wondering why you didn't let that idea fall into it.
I have learned that if I do not force myself to sit down and write at least an hour a day then I will procrastinate and never finish the book. There were times that I wouldn't write for months because I had a "writer's block" but if you force yourself to continue writing you will eventually make it through the block and be able to write again. This doesn't mean that you won't have to go back and edit everything you have already written, but it will help you make it through it and keep your book from never being finished.
One of the hardest things for me is when I have 3 or more book ideas floating through my head and they are all clamoring to get out. How do I choose which one I want to write about? Will they stay in my brain long enough for me to get them out? I have found that if I start writing about one, I need to at least get the others down on paper whether it is with an outline of the book or just a synopsis of what it is going to be about. If you are going to do a synopsis then it is smart to put into any ideas you had about the book to include cool details and some action on the character's part.
I think that is enough information for now. I will definitely continue this later and hopefully get some interest and feedback from other authors. Have a great day and comments are always welcome.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Hi, My name is Patti Winters and I live in Michigan. My co-author, Sue Wulf lives in Virginia. Together we write a series about the Time Islands and specifically Amber Island whose Time Keeper is Lexie. We have been writing together for about 3 1/2 years and enjoy it very much. We have one book published, Mirror of Remembrance, currently have books 2 and 3 with our proofreader and are working on book 4. As we continue in this series we will give our readers excerpts from the books and also provide you with a more indepth look at the favorite characters, so if there is a favorite character let us know. We will also be using this blog to give writing tips and let you know how our books are progressing.

We both also write books separately. Sue will tell you what hers are about and I will give you a little bit more about mine.

The book I am currently working on is a mystery suspense about Atlantis. I will give more information as I go along.

I look forward to talking to everyone. Thanks