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Just the Right Words

power-of-wordsNot only should you be careful of what you say, but be careful of what you write.

This could go so many ways. My mother taught me at a very young age to never write down what you don’t want someone to read…anyone to read. Did I heed her advice? The advice that usually only comes from getting burned in order to deal it out to the naive masses, in hopes they don’t make the same mistake? Yes, I listened, but only after someone read what I didn’t want them to. What can I say? We are creatures that cannot simply be told, we must experience for ourselves. Lesson learned.

I had a conversation in the car this week with my 8 and 10 year old boys. One was teasing the other about something. I interrupted and told them that words should be for building someone up, not tearing them down. They have great power, and once unleashed, they can never be swallowed, lassoed back, or drowned. They are out there to be pondered, over-thought, and for many, to be destroyed. So choose words wisely.

So I have the privilege to write words this weekend. Well, I sort of am ignoring other chores and burying myself in a hole with my laptop. I come out occasionally, but for the most part you can hear pecking coming from the first room on the right, at the top of the stairs. Sometimes I’ll be typing along and I stop and wonder how I got down this street. Where are my characters again? Where did I need them to go? How is it that I’m five miles off course? And how do I get back to the pacing it needs to be?

Words are crucial. They either insight a reader to read ‘just more chapter’ at two in the morning, or close the book, fifty pages in. A writer has to always be mindful of where the words are going. What words should be used. It’s so funny how I’ll keep traveling, stop, look around, and wonder how I’m going to transition from this dead end. Patiently I put the car in reverse, back out (delete) the last ten pages and mindfully try again. It’s a job I love the most. Formulating just the right words. 🙂

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contemporary, fiction, romance, Uncategorized

Pressure Over Tom

tom-selleck-69606I’ve never had writer’s block before. Never. Until now. Thanks to my readers loving Tom, I feel a little pressure to bring him to the forefront with Amy. I’m getting a lot of grief from a few of my biggest readers. Little hints here and there, threatening not to finish the series unless Tom is the victor. You know, that sort of thing. But is this what I envisioned when I starting writing it? Will everyone be angry with me if I don’t do as they wish?

“The Best of Me”, by Nicholas Sparks, had two different endings. Thank goodness. The bad one had me extremely cross with the writer. Are you kidding? Kill off the main squeeze? I was so angry, I didn’t turn off the television until I viewed the alternate ending. Why even have the stupid ending as an option? To irritate people, I suppose. Who would raise their hand in a test group and say “kill the guy we’ve all come to love and hope to end up with the heroine?” Who, I ask? And if I remember correctly, it was like one o’clock in the morning when I finished the stupid ending. My eyes were half-shut when I flipped it to the right ending. My mate even rolled over, cursing it before going to sleep. I couldn’t do that. I HAD to see the right ending. Afterwards, I was at ease. All was right in the world then.

So what to do about Tom? I love the guy, too. Who wouldn’t? He loves Amy, he knows her very well, he’s got class, and he’s very handsome. To crush the poor guy for the sake of moving on seems harsh. And that’s all I’m saying. I’ve had heartburn over the whole thing. I get chastised weekly about putting Tom where he needs to be…but what about the story? Amy needs to grow. Can she with Tom?

No, really…can she? My writer’s block needs to know. If I’m going to make my deadline for book 3, someone needs to rest my mind that it’ll be all right either way. 🙂 No alternate ending necessary!

P.S. If you haven’t read “Waking Amy” and “Leaving Amy”, I apologize. You have no clue what I’m rambling about. Please get the books, read them, and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. 🙂

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Walking on Sunshine

walkingReviews! I’ve gotta say, “I love to read them.” I hear about authors who don’t read them, and I have to wonder why. Sure, there is one out there right now that I scratch my head and wonder what the deal was, but all in all, I’m very happy with all the reviews. I love reading how someone feels about the characters. Their thoughts about Wesley, Mark, and Tom. It’s like eavesdropping on something you said and hearing everyone’s reactions!

I’m happy about all the people who read and liked Amy. She and I have become very close over the past year. And yes! the common characterization of her is to rip those rose-colored glasses off her face, but haven’t you known someone who never gives up? Especially if they’re insecure and all they know is what they know. And they fight tooth and nail to keep it? Sure, you have. At least I know a few Amys!

Anyway, I wanted to share a giveaway that ends very soon. I actually have a few. Goodreads has one that’s running all month, and Fresh Fiction will have another one beginning April 1. This one though is with Amazon. It’s a giveaway for a free copy of “Waking Amy.” So if you haven’t met this girl, enter the contest for a chance to. Her story will continue in two additional books to follow. Don’t miss out on the first one!

I hope you try it out!

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/acb114c641d497ca

 

 

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Meet Amy Whitfield

depositphotos_82452768-Portrait-of-beautiful-woman-with-red-hairAmy Whitfield is the wife of Wesley Whitfield. It’s how she introduces herself….how since she was in high school, she dreamed of being introduced. That’s how long she’s had a crush on that guy. But she wasn’t the first one to date him. No, her twin sister Ashley was his high school sweetheart. Unlike Amy, Ashley had no desire to stay around and get married. And after tragedy struck and both Wesley and Amy’s parents lost their lives, it was just the two of them left behind. Nature took over and after a brief courtship, they married.

Lately though, something’s been missing in her marriage. That’s why Amy is in a lingerie shop buying things she doesn’t even know how they work. It’s no surprise, Amy’s always been a good girl to a fault. That’s how her high society mother raised her. Amy knows nothing about what her friends are talking about at work when they talk trash about their men. She chokes on pudding when they ask how many times a week she has sex. A week? She’s only interested in when the next Hallmark feature presentation comes on. And she smiles, knowing that Wesley will be downstairs viewing boxing while she watches it. Their marriage has been working like this since pretty much the beginning. Until lately…

Wesley has been coming home late in the evenings. And when he finally gets there, he’s already eaten dinner. He’s got another out-to-town seminar to attend in two weeks. And he’s been less attentive to her stories about work.

Amy takes all of that in account as she straps on the nighty that she hopes will begin to capture Wesley’s attention again. But she’s too late…  As she stumbles downstairs, wearing fishnet stockings and three-inch heels, she sees the note on the fridge. He’s left her. Now what?

Read what happens to Amy, as she tries to change herself to be the woman Wesley can’t possibly leave. It’s a change that will forever alter her life, unlike she ever thought.

Enter to win a copy of “Waking Amy” on Amazon. Follow this link:

Share this link to let the world know.
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/acb114c641d497ca

 

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Casting Characters

thRGOL8ML2The first order of business after I’ve decided what my next book will be about, is to cast the characters in it. I need to see them in my mind. Imaginary ones don’t do the trick for me. It’s quite the opposite, of course, when I read a book. It’s like I’m a sketch artist, taking notes of the author’s descriptions, until I’ve got a clear picture who I’m reading about. But, while writing, I need a concrete image. It’s typically very easy to pick the main ones. The girl, the guy, and the other guy. I usually have my mind made up very early who they’ll be. It’s when I delve deeper into friends, the sister, the in-laws, and the pesky receptionist at work that I sometimes need help. But, let’s first understand where I get the key players.

I watch a lot of movies. A lot. I love being taken away for one hour and fifty eight or so minutes, to another place and time. Driving around with people I’ve come to know very well. Watching them figure out the problem they have and solve it. And, it is while I watch these characters that my mind begins to wander to “what if”. “What if” the girl grew up in Maine instead of California and “what if” she didn’t have a rich mother/father, and “what if” she met so and so in a bottling factory while visiting an uncle, taking him his lunch, and not on a movie set. And, then so and so followed her home one day and found out she really was a….

And, so begins the seed of an 80,000 word manuscript. All from watching a character and making up an alternative story about them with the same characteristics they have in the  movie I watched, but with a new guy. One that I watched from another movie. But, they have to connect on all levels. I take them out of what I saw them in and create a new storyline with each other. It’s like a love connection between two actors, playing in the role of the movie I watched them in, separately.

The problem comes when I can’t find supporting actors, I mean characters! Trust me, it takes major brainstorming to get this right. I, sometimes, have to ask advice from my friends. One friend in particular, Amanda, gives me some pretty spot-on suggestions. I relay what role the character is going to play, the color of hair they have, how tall they should stand, and a general age requirement. She does this staring off thing, sometimes hits a few keys on her computer keyboard, and then out spits the perfect character.

After I get all them figured out, I print out their pictures and tack them to my trusty character board that hangs over my writing desk. At times, I might need to Google movies they were in just to get another perspective of a character they might’ve played. I, of course, take liberties to change things about them that fit better in my storyline, but for the most part, I think of them in the roles I’ve seen them in and I write their dialogue for the movie that plays in my own mind.