So Many Fears, So Little Time ~ by Darlene Kuncytes

     I’ve decided this month to talk a little about fears.
     As we all know, there are many kinds of fear; some easy to overcome, some not so much. And others almost impossible to conquer.
     There are those fears from our childhood that can be overwhelming at times: clowns, spiders, snakes and a plethora of others.
     I could go on and on.
     There are also adult fears: those of taking a chance, of change, of being alone, a new job, of looking like a fool.
     The latter fascinates me. As children, we don’t care a whit how silly we look. We’ll make absolute fools of ourselves to stir up a laugh from our friends and family.


     As kids, we damn well knew how to just let go and have fun.
As adults, that changes. Our fears change. We begin to worry what others will think about us if we let ourselves go and not care. We worry that they’ll think we look foolish.
     And, I can’t help but find that incredibly sad.
     I’m not saying that as adults we should be walking around acting like crazy kids. But, isn’t it nice to occasionally let yourself go, laugh and be crazy without worrying about how others might view you?
     I say, let your freak flag fly every now and again and enjoy life like we did as children… Before responsibilities got the best of us.
Since childhood, I have always had a tremendous fear of needles. The thought of something going INTO my skin or veins gave me the heebie jeebies. Ick! Growing up, my father was diabetic, and I couldn’t even watch him give himself his insulin shot.
     Now, one of my fur babies is diabetic, and believe it or not, I sucked it up and have overcome that fear enough to give her the shots she needs daily. So, I guess it goes to show you we really can overcome them.
     Why not work on the ones that make life so much more enriching, then? Go out there and take a chance! Try something new. Talk to a stranger. Snort when you laugh and not care who hears you.
     
In short, conquer the fear of looking silly and enjoy every single moment you can!
     Don’t let fears stop you from living!
     Thanks for taking the time to read! Until next time…enjoy!

The Accidental Author~ by T.J. Logan

Growing up, I wasn’t one of those little girls who hid away with her books for hours of quiet reading and escaping into fictional worlds with fictional people. Sure, I had a few books that were favorites—Charlotte’s Web, a couple of the Nancy Drew books, but I didn’t have stacks of books in my closet or on a shelf. Heck, I only knew the location of the library because it was next door to my school. I didn’t write poetry or short stories, I never kept a journal or spilled my deepest secrets onto the pages of a pretty floral diary with a lock on the front.

The reason I mention this is because most of my author friends grew up with a love of solitude and were, and still are, happiest when at home writing stories or reading those written by others. Preferably while wearing some version of pajamas or sweats. Many of them have said how they wrote their first story in elementary school or middle school, another told me about winning a poetry contest. One of my favorite authors shared how when she was a little girl, she would close herself in her closet to read all day. Her mom would even bring her macaroni and cheese so she could stay hidden away. 

Solitude? Reading all day? Writing stories? Being allowed to eat in my bedroom? As a kid, these were all foreign concepts to me. 

See, I grew up with five extremely active brothers—quiet time was not a thing in our house. Our childhood consisted of long days spent playing outside until the street lights came on and we had to go home. We climbed trees, road bikes, built cardboard box forts, played jump-rope for hours, ran through the sprinklers, hung out at the city pool, engaged in raucous water-balloon battles, and topped the day off with a scary game of ghost in the graveyard. If we were inside, it was probably because it was raining. On those rare days, my brothers would build models in their rooms and I would play with my dolls or Barbies in mine. Basically, just try not to get on each other’s nerves. Our world—our fun—was whatever our over-active imaginations could dream up. 


Now that you know all this, you can imagine my surprise YEARS later when, while sitting at my ‘real job’, a bunch of strange, insistent voices popped into my head. After a quick glance around, I confirmed I was, in fact, the only one hearing them. I opened a blank document on my laptop and started jotting down notes, frantically trying to exorcise the craziness. That didn’t work—it simply ushered in more, as if I’d opened some sort of fictional character portal. 

I decided I needed to learn how to write so I could create a home for all these characters. How hard can it be? I mean, after all, I read my first romance when I was fifty-years-old, ere go, I can write romance, right? Wrong! I was floundering, throwing words (a lot of words) on the page, clueless about what to do next.

With my husband’s encouragement—mostly because he thought I might be losing my mind—I joined a local writer’s group. At my second meeting, I read the first seven pages of my WIP, that means Work In Progress. I’m only telling you this because, at the time, I had no idea what WIP stood for. See what I mean? Clueless. Anyway, after reading it aloud, members were given the opportunity to provide their critique. I got a ‘Wow, that was great’, ‘You’re a good writer’, ‘I want to know what happens next’, then I got a This is fine, but it’s all backstory. It doesn’t belong in the book.’ Backstory? What the heck is that? 

I was crushed. 

“I have no business being a writer,” I whined to my husband that night over my second glass of wine. I was convinced I should just destroy what I’d already written, learn to ignore the voices and find some other creative outlet. 

Something you should know about me. I’m not a fan of quitters. So, I looked up what backstory meant and forced myself to go to the next meeting. When I arrived, Hanna Rhys Barnes, the woman who offered the backstory critique, approached me. I stiffened my spine and stuck my chin in the air, ready to defend my story—even though I was wrong. She burst a hole in my not-so-righteous indignation when she said, “You’re a really good writer, but you could be better.” Then, to my shock and great joy, she offered to work with me. 

“Hell, yes!” I exclaimed without know what I was getting myself into. 

She spent countless hours with me teaching me everything from learning the difference between the types of POV’s (point of views), story and character development, to story structure and plotting. In between mimosas or glasses of really good wine, of course. Hey, everyone deserves a reward for their hard work!

I also started attending writers’ conferences, taking workshops online, reading books about the craft of writing and asking a bazillion questions. Next thing I knew, those random characters turned into a family, the family grew with the addition of lovers and friends, the family, lovers and friends turned into a fictional community. Voila, the small town of Whidbey Cove, Washington was created and the O’Halleran Security Int’l. romantic suspense series was born. 

Had someone come up to me after I got that first painful critique seven years ago, and said, “TJ, I’ll bet you two thousand dollars you’ll be a published author by the end of 2019.” I would’ve jumped on that bet, laughed in their obviously deluded face, then immediately set about making a list of all the ways I was going to spend my windfall. 

Five years later, I typed “The End” on book 1, Deadly Secret. FIVE. YEARS. Books two and three, Deadly Disciple and Deadly Deception, respectively, quickly followed. I’m extremely proud to say all three of these books will be published by the end of 2019. 

I am no longer an accidental writer—I am a legitimate author.

Guess it’s a good thing that bet never happened since I don’t happen to have an extra two thousand bucks laying around.


You can learn more about our guest author here:

TJ Logan's website


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Let’s host a Writer’s Retreat...Happily Ever, Spring! ~ by Joanne Jaytanie


What image comes to mind when you think of a writer’s retreat? Going someplace exotic and touring the sites? Restaurants and happy-hour with your writing friends? A weekend or week-long wild party? Is it spending your time writing? It can be one or more of these things.

There are all sorts of writer’s retreats. Some are all about the ‘retreat’ and others are about the writing. Today, my friend, Jacquolyn McMurray and I have ‘closed the file’ on our third successful retreat. I should say--successful in our minds.




Writing is a solitary activity and when a group of writers get together – we want to socialize! We want to catch up with our friends and enjoy their company,



but our priority is—Writing! Our primary goal is to come away from our retreat having indulged in hours of putting our fingers on the keys and creating page after page of our next story. Our journey evolves with every retreat, and even so, we've discovered ‘our' definition of a rewarding retreat. It boils down to a few key points. 

Here are what we feel are some of the most important.


Location, location, location!


The first year we rented a cute little beach house on the Olympic Peninsula. The place was picturesque, and the beach was a beautiful place to walk. 

All the houses were situated on the single gravel road, and even in spring, it was a busy place, full of distractions.

The house was small. The furniture wasn't built for comfort, and the kitchen table and chairs were…you guessed it…small.

The kitchen was way too tiny, hardly enough room for two people to prepare meals and poorly equipped.




The second year we changed our idea of location and searched for a place with lots of room, off the beaten path, and affordable. We found exactly what we were looking for on a farm in Enumclaw.  










Wide open space, a country road to take our daily walks, chickens, cows, and a perfect view of Mount Rainier.






There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large living room, and equally large den. Both living areas have furniture so comfortable, you might catch an author snoozing instead of writing.





The kitchen and dining area are in the center of the house and have an open floor plan. The kitchen is well supplied, and the lighting is excellent.







The table is oversized and easily accommodates 3 to 4 writers. There are additional places including a small office for people to spread out.





The managers are on-site and attentive without being overbearing. 
They even leave farm-fresh eggs at our door each morning!




We have the location nailed down, and the cost to each writer is very reasonable.





Organization and expectation


Having a plan and schedules saves confusion.

We find out ahead of time if someone has special dietary needs. We purchase the groceries for lunches and dinners, and everyone splits the cost at the end of the retreat. Breakfast, snacks, and drinks are the responsibility of each attendee.



This year we made a Kitchen Duty list, that was posted on the kitchen wall where everyone signed up for lunch and dinner, doing cooking or clean-up duty.




On the first night of the retreat, we post our Goals and Goals Met sheet on the wall. 
Each author picks their sticky note pad and writes out each of the goals that they want to accomplish.










QUIET TIME/WRITING TIME~We have set quiet times in the morning and the afternoon. It’s up to each individual as to what they do during those times – but it must be quiet.



AFTER DINNER READING~This is one of our favorite times of the day. 




We all gather together and take turns reading our work and getting input from the group. It’s a great time to brainstorm.










Our best advice for finding or hosting your perfect writer’s retreat is: 
Know what you want to accomplish.

This year was very productive for everyone. World-building and series creation was done. Polishing manuscripts, rewriting chapters (never fun, but usually needed) and completing first drafts!

Each year, Jacquolyn and I look forward to getting together with friends and writers for our retreat. We have already started planning next year!
 

And the key to a successful writer’s retreat.
Always have lots of dark chocolate, coffee, and wine on hand!






HAPPILY EVER,
SPRING!
Jacquolyn & Joanne

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up? by Grace Augustine

     
How many times has this question been asked of you? How many times did you answer with what you thought was the dream job, the place and plan for your life? How many times, even today, do you answer with what you want to be?

When I was a graduating high school senior, my passion was science. I was certain I would go to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and study pathology. I wanted to be the person who discovered the cures for diseases, who wanted to be on the cutting edge of medicine.
     It didn’t happen. Gone were the aspirations of becoming a famous researcher. Gone were my dreams of leaving little ol’ Cut Bank, Montana…population 6000. Instead, I began work as a secretary for a title and abstracting office. I soon was pulling chains of title, updating abstracts, and underwriting title insurance. It was interesting, but it wasn’t my dream.
     
Like every little girl, we all dream of marriage and family, too. In 1981, marriage happened and in 1982 my first son was born. But, it wasn’t my dream. I worked part-time church secretary jobs and was a full-time mom. My passions changed from test tubes to Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow, cuddling my child as he recited the colors and numbers.
     Time flew, and another baby entered my life four years later. My passions changed again as I taught a very inquisitive 4 yr. old and cared for a colicky baby.
     School happened, thankfully, and that allowed me to be in the workforce, again doing secretarial work part-time and doing daycare the other hours. I moved to full-time positions when the boys were in high school and then left for college.
     
     Changes happen as months and years leave us, and I found myself yet again at another crossroads. No longer test tubes, no longer motherhood, no longer secretarial. Now it was floral design. (It’s amazing how much math is used in floral design.) I stayed with this field of work until 2015 when my body could no longer handle the stress and the adrenaline rushes from holidays and long hours.
     We circle to the present. I think of medical research. Lord knows in the past 16 years I’ve done more than I ever thought possible because of living with Multiple Sclerosis. Maybe those earlier dreams were preparing me for my current time. Would I like to dabble in chromosomes and blood spin-downs? Of course, but that isn’t the road I am to walk.
     I am where I am supposed to be…writing words for my own stories, editing the words of other authors to make their stories better, and living a lifestyle that is semi-stress free. Dreams, I still have them but rarely act on them, because after all I am a realist. My dreams involve things my body can no longer accomplish. 
     
Am I where I want to be? Hands down, resounding yes. I can’t think of a better place than where I am at this moment in my life. Am I what I want to be? Possibly. I think the better question is: Am I WHO I want to be? I can’t answer that because I evolve every moment of every day into a better person than I was yesterday. My prayer is that by doing so those around me are affected in such a way that they, too, want to be a positive difference to someone in their circle.

This article originally appeared in the April edition of the Scribbling Divas Newsletter. Photos are courtesy of pexels.com or from personal images.

Writing a Hallmark Christmas Movie~by Kim Hornsby

 I’m not going to tell you that I have a Christmas movie slated to start filming in June, a time of year when fake snow must be purchased by production companies and strewn about the Atlanta countryside. Or that we might just be watching this fictitious movie in the Hallmark lineup at the end of the year. 

However, I am a screenwriter and when it was suggested by my agent to write a Hallmark Christmas movie because the demand for 100 fresh scripts for 2019 was just announced, I jumped on the bandwagon and started typing words like “mistletoe” and “gingerbread.” 





I had one screenplay adapted from my novella, Christmas in Whistler, but it didn’t fit the template for Hallmark, with too much drinking of wine, nooky, and an antagonist that was just plain nasty. The second screenplay I pounded out last fall, is a wonderful story of patience and benevolence and hopefully will be sold to a cracker jack production company who does these Hallmark movies, but the female lead must sing like a Country star and not all Hallmark actresses can achieve that. Christmas in Crystal Creek, is a script for Carrie Underwood or an up and coming country singer looking for exposure.

As soon as I finished that one, I moved on to the next one, Christmas at Snowflake Lodge, the story of a double-booked snowy lodge where two groups must co-exist over Christmas, with opposing agendas. That one was firstly offered to a producer who was ripe for this story and interest was sparked.

Writing a Hallmark Christmas movie is not as easy as it looks when the writer is used to a lifestyle that isn’t the Hallmark way and can’t be shown on their channel because families are watching together. I had to take out all cuss words, throw the alcohol out, enroll everyone in church (or at least follow church values) and hide all piercings, tattoos and cleavage. No longer could my protagonists be badasses with dreams of revenge or one-night stands. They now had to want something purer and family oriented. My movies had to have a teachable moment for the kids watching with their parents. This was not easy for me because I don’t write for kids. 

The other thing that was hard was all the Christmas. I love Christmas like most people, but these movies are centered around ice skating on the lake, wrapping presents, gingerbread house contests, sledding in the snow, community activities that are totally decked out in Christmas garlands and jingle bells. The protagonist must work towards her dream among all this Christmas all the while falling in love with the guy who seems to be opposing her dream. There are only so many Christmas activities and things to do in the snow!

So, friends, I can’t tell you that I have this movie being filmed in June but I can tell you that I’m waiting for an email this week from my agent, and that there just might be a movie showing in December that features a lodge double booked by a caterer and her Christmas-loving family and an architect and his team hoping to avoid Christmas and work during the holidays. 




MY CARVING CORNER~By Ralph Duncan




There is something I love about shaping wood. I am not sure if it is the organic nature of a once living thing or just the texture and the tactile feedback through the touch of my fingertips.  
But, I love it and I love carving wood. 

Woodcarving was one of my first endeavors in making art-somewhere around the year 2000. It took a while to get the hang of handling the tools, especially the sharpening part. Oh yeah, I did go through lots of band-aids as well.

But, eventually, through copying pieces and watching others and lots of practice, I began to make some pieces I was fairly happy with. Sometimes they turned into a Santa or perhaps a shelf mouse that still looks over my shoulder when I am in the shop.  



Sometimes, it will be a hand carved and painted cedar sign. 



After a lot of copying and drawing practice, I started designing my own characters, like Spencer the rabbit here. Spencer is an anthropomorphized rabbit that made his way as an idea into my head and onto a sketch. After some refinement, he was transferred to two sides of a block of wood, and of course eventually a final carving “in the round.”


Eventually, carving details started appearing on a few small pieces of furniture I designed and built. This small mirror sold at a local art gallery.  


Another piece was this hall hull model of a classic tall ship. This hand-carved piece started out life as the detailed drawing of the ship’s hull shape, called “lines.”


Since around 1790, shipwrights and naval architects have been sculpting half hull models for the purpose of designing and visualizing new boat hull designs.  Somewhat sadly, these days hulls can be generated and modified in the blink of an eye through the magic of computer modeling. Today, the practice of “building” half hulls has been relegated more to creating a souvenir of a favorite boat, much like a painting. But, for some, like me, it is an opportunity to bring back to life (without building the whole boat) some of the old classics. With access to the ship’s lines, the famous schooner AMERICA can be proudly displayed for all to enjoy. 

When an artist, artisan, or craftsman creates a painting or object with his own hands, there is at that moment a direct and immediate connection between the touch of the object to his hands and this mind and heart. At the moment of creation, all that is that artist, all that is his environment, his passions and even the music he is listening to, is reflected in that piece. For this reason, each piece, though it may be similar to another, is unique unto its own.


It is my hope that when you pick up a piece of original art of any medium, you begin to feel some sense of the artist at the time the piece was created.  If you take home one of my carvings, I hope you will pick it up often, feel it in your hands – the facets, the texture, the weight – and each time you discover something new about your feelings for that piece.  




How setting makes the difference ~ by Author, Kristin Wolfgang

For my blog post this month, I thought it would be fun to share a short snippet of Star of My Heart, a romance novella I published in 2015. 



It’s set in a school in Hawai’i and in this scene, KT, the strong, independent female principal is interviewing a new teacher, Buck.




I enjoyed writing this story in a familiar setting. I like to write stories that take me back to places I love— it’s a different way to visit.



Enjoy!
************
Buck looked up, closed his portfolio, stood, and smiled. “Buck Pali. Pleased to meet you.” He extended his hand.

His rough calloused fingers surrounded her hand, enclosing it in a gentle warmth. A tremble ran up and down her body. She took a moment to regain her composure. 

“Let’s go into my office.” She turned and led him to her small office within the main office. As she walked, she tried to pull herself together.

She looked down at the resume and sucked in her breath.

Breathe, she said to herself, thankful that the rest of the interview team would show up soon. She felt warm and wondered if she was coming down with the flu.

“I’m so happy to have an interview with you, Ms. Tucker,” Buck said.

“I’m glad you applied, Buck. Please call me KT, everyone does. The interview team will join us in a few minutes. I like to meet with applicants alone first to get to know them better…on my own.” KT stumbled for the correct words, her stomach in knots.

Buck leaned back against his chair and KT noticed how good he looked in his dark pants, light blue shirt and striped tie. She could almost see his abs rippling under his shirt. She noticed with an amused smile that Miriam wrote BUCK in all caps with a purple sharpie on his visitor’s sticker. 

Oh, she caught herself again. What was wrong with her today? She just had to make it through a few more minutes until the team showed up.

“So, Buck, tell me about yourself.”

“OK,” Buck said, and looked down at his hands. “I went to Hilo High and UH Hilo. I wanted to be a dentist until I volunteered at Hilo Union Elementary School in tenth grade. I taught a group of boys about fractions. My teacher helped me with the lesson plan and I really dreaded it until I got there and met the kids.” He looked up at KT. 

She felt herself melt a little when his dark eyes widened and he smiled at her.

He continued. “To some people, it sounds strange, but teachers usually understand. At first, it was awkward, but when most of those boys understood how equivalent fractions work, and they were able to show me what they’d learned, I felt so accomplished. One of the boys still didn’t understand, so I spent some more time with him and showed him a different way. When he could finally do the class work, I felt as though we'd won a football game together. I couldn’t imagine how dentistry would be that fulfilling. I went home and told my parents I was going to be a teacher.”

She wondered how tall Buck was.

“Uh...Great.” She was strangely tongue-tied again. “Why do you want to work here?”

“I’ve been at Hilo Charter for a year and a half now and I love it, but the kids there are super bright and privileged. They do their homework, they listen, and they have their own computers and iPads. If they break rules, their parents get a phone call and they straighten up. If they don’t, they can get expelled and sent back to their home school.”

KT nodded, smiling.

“I don’t want to get comfortable and stay in that kind of environment for my whole career. I know a lot about your school, about how hard the teachers work to help the kids learn. I student taught at Manana Elementary and then they hired me and I worked there for my first six years. The kids there are a little like the kids here. I spent a lot of time with Dr. Meyer. I’m not idealistic; I know how hard it can be. I want to work here. So, when I saw the opening, I jumped at it.”

Someone knocked at her office door and a very relieved KT called, “Come in.” 

The interview team filed in and she introduced the special education teacher, Darlene, the literacy coach, Lora, and the fifth-grade teacher, Jackie as they took their seats. They used the standard interview protocol and asked him the same questions they asked at every interview. 

They all seemed to act normally, but KT felt as though a storm brewed inside her. Through most of the interview, she forced herself to stay in the room and not rush to the restroom. Her stomach rolled and her hands shook. What is wrong with me?




If you enjoyed this excerpt from Star of My Heart, visit Kristin Noelle Wolfgang's Amazon Author Page


You can also find Kristin here:

Lakeside Living 2: Nothing’s sacred to a beaver~by Ruth Ross Saucier

    When my house was first built it faced the lake and was surrounded by three vacant lots that were mostly forest. The privacy was perfect.

    Mostly.  There was a one sightline in the forest that needed plugging. So I decided to buy a couple of those cylindrical hedge trees [Arborvitae for those of you in the know]—they’d make a perfect screen and complete the privacy of my deck. 

 It was August. That’s never stopped me before; I plant when I’m in the mood, not when it’s good for the plant.  It was pushing 90 degrees and the humidity made breathing a soggy experience.  I found a couple five-footers and lugged them to the car. Once home, I lugged and tugged them along the side of the house and finally got them positioned. Just that much had me miserably hot and sweaty, but this was going to be the project of the day, dammit, so I persevered.

Stupid.  I grabbed a shovel and started to dig. Hardpan. The entire lot had a layer of hardpan a few inches under the topsoil, but normally you could break through it to soil that wasn’t a layer of cement without a lot of turmoil. This hardpan, though, went down about five inches and required getting out the pick. I had to make a bigger hole, too, since the roots needed someplace to go that wasn’t the texture of concrete. A couple of hours later this soft, namby-pamby librarian was soaked in sweat and huffing and puffing like Thomas the Train.  Sweat is running freely down every crevice and my clothes are sopped.


Three hours total and the trees were planted, staked, watered, fertilized, and ready for their new life guarding my privacy. I staggered inside and stumbled into the shower.  Cleaner but no less exhausted, I wobbled downstairs to get something to drink. Glugging down a second drink, I paused when I saw motion in the yard.  The next thing I remember, I was out the door, across the deck, flying across the lawn, and screaming incoherent threats.


      Waddling faster now that he had a demented banshee after him, a BIG beaver was lugging a five-foot-long Arborvitae branch to the water. I galloped right up to him and he, after calculating his odds of survival, decided to drop the branch and make a break for the water. I skidded up to the edge of the lake as he rose from his dive and slapped the water with his tail. 

       Sweating all over again, I whirled and scooped up my prize: a major branch off my newly planted tree. At least I had saved that!


       From the deck my husband Dan inquired, “Just what were you gonna do with him if you caught him? And hey, now that you got the branch back, whacha gonna do with it, Elmer’s?”


Writer, Not an Author? by Lexa Fisher


Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash


When is a writer an author? Most people will have their own answer. Dictionary.com
says of a writer, “a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially
as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist, and a person who commits
his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing.”


An author, on the other hand, is defined as a person who “writes a novel, poem,
essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler,
translator, editor, or copyist, and the maker of anything; creator; originator.


Even with dictionary definitions it’s not easy to distinguish between the two.


The definition of published presents its own complexity when considering “self- or
indie-published” vs “traditional publishing”. Does the former lose prestige because a
publishing house hasn’t deemed the written work worthy of its time? Further, is
published a paperback? Hardback? Does e-book count?


Whether you prefer writer or author, a published writer/author then enters the world
of selling her stories. For this next episode in the author’s progression, I recommend
Marj Ivancic’s topic on April 3rd in this same space about an author selling her
books.


Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Published or not, the pursuit of writing has given me many opportunities to practice
the skill by providing articles for professional organizations I belong to, writing
technical documentation at work, and being able to participate in this community.
Writing expands my world through the conferences I attend and help
coordinate, and with friends who generously share their knowledge and
encouragement. Finally, after decades, thanks to these experiences I’ve gained
self-confidence.


Until that glorious day when my first book appears for sale, I take romance writing
classes, enter contests, get critique partner feedback, enjoy writers’ retreats, and
send my works out for professional editing.


My answer for myself is “a writer writes, an author is published”. I feel the need to
differentiate partly because to publish is putting your writing out there for others to
read. That is a sense of accomplishment in writing that I strive for.



Thanksgiving Hangover and a New Holiday Season ~ by Darlene Kuncytes

  Well, we did it. Thanksgiving is over. Black Friday is done, and we are now in full on holiday mode! This year is going to be different th...