Tag Archives: random thoughts

New Story Submission

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I submitted my novel called Overkill to one of my publishers on October 2. I hope they like it!  Here’s the blurb:

No one liked Drusilla Isaacs. She spent a lifetime alienating people as if making the most enemies was a personal goal. Now she’s dead. Shot, stabbed and her neck broken and that’s what the coroner can tell from a first look.

It’s up to Maggie Blaine—former friend and one-time victim of the odious Drusilla—and Maggie’s partner, Jacob Brown, to figure out who, out of a seemingly endless list of suspects, would carry out such heinous acts.

Their choices are varied. From Drusilla’s husbands—the former and the current—to the women in her life—her secretary, the mother of her husband’s son, or the new wife of her ex-husband. There’s also another option. A serial killer who randomly appears to insert himself into the mix.

A tale of murder, gems, drugs, illicit sex and a cast of villains who all have one thing in common. Their hatred of Drusilla Isaacs.

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Happy October- A Favorite Song From the Past.- Haunted House

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I remember my mamma singing this when I was a kid. It’s called Haunted House and is the story of a man who moves in and finds his house has some other residents. I love the story in this song. Check it out on Youtube. AND watch out for haints!

This guy was a one hit wonder – I sure wish he’d done some more songs. He was buds with Elvis and Johnny Cash but never hit it big like they did. HIs name is Gene Simmons but he’s not the one from KISS.

Happy October!

Annoyed

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I’ve been in an annoyed state for a while about a person who seems intent on sending me into orbit at least two to three times a week. For a time, I tolerated this person but things started to get worse and now I actively dislike her. I’m not normally someone who dislikes people but this particular human has insulted me over and over and I can no longer overlook it.

This person says unkind things to me and when I react, I get this response: “Oh, sorry, I thought you had a sense of humor.” Well, I’m here to tell you, I do have a sense of humor. I laugh all the time and I don’t understand people who don’t find humor in life but I don’t like cruel or mean humor. It’s so not cool.

I made a decision not to engage with this person but the person will not back off and leave me alone. When I told my son how this person makes me feel, he said, “Ignore it.”

I told him I was trying but then the person would ask why I was ignoring them. I told my son that part too and he said, “Ignore that, too.” He’s only 19 but he’s wise.

I am doing my best to make sure I don’t interact with this person- I just wish they’d take the hint and disappear. Anyone out there had an experience like this? Any advice to offer?

I’m Tired- How About You?

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I love, love to write stories and the process itself helps me keep my mind off the other things that I let bug me – such as trying to work my day job all day and night. It’s hard for me to shut down my brain when I get home and I constantly think about work. The writing is supposed to be my escape from that- something to keep me otherwise occupied but I made a big mistake, I think.

I wrote for years and years and selfishly kept all my stories to myself for my own amusement. When I was convinced by someone to let them out of my head and my computer, I became interested in being published. I have had a bit of success in that arena but when I say that, I mean I have had success in getting publishing contracts. I do not mean it in any way that I’m a successful writer. I wanted to share my stories but you see, that’s not what has been happening.

Sales are dismal. I know there are a lot of books and stories out there and there’s no real way for someone to stand out. It’s like a cacophony of noise and shouting. Everyone yelling, “Buy my book, buy my book.”

I think it’s time for me to get off that treadmill of promo and all that jazz. I’ll keep writing because it does make me happy but I think I’m done with the rest of it. I have a few more stories set to come out but I think the other ones will be left on that hard drive again. It’ll bring me some peace.

Another Post about Editors and Things They Miss

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Last week, I blogged about a book I read where the editor didn’t catch that the author used a phrase 25 times in 200 pages. This week, I read another book that annoyed me. It had the potential to be a great story but was ruined (in my opinion) by the way the editor let certain facets of the writer’s research overwhelm the tale.

I’m all for doing research about the era I write in. I’m a real stickler for good research so I’m always glad to see that an author has done his/her due diligence in that regard. What I don’t like is for the story to be bogged down by unnecessary details. I have been guilty of this myself but thank God I had a great editor who pointed out to me that the discussion I had in my book between the hero and heroine about the Elgin Marbles sounded more like a lesson from school than real dialogue. I cut that whole section out on her advice.

Sadly, the editor in the book I read this week didn’t rein in his author when she wanted to go into major details on everything she researched. The long expositions on certain things really threw me out of the story and annoyed me. Throwing in one tidbit would’ve been great but going on for pages about something peripherally related was really tedious. It’s important to throw that stuff in for authenticity but when the story begins to read like a history lesson, someone needs to put a stop to it.

The other thing is that the writer has to trust the reader to know things. In this story I read, the writer referenced a pop culture television show and then went on to explain what the show was. Really? That was totally unnecessary. It got under my skin and again, threw me right out of the tale.

We need good editors to keep us from showing off our research skills! LOL!

Dilemma

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It’s a dilemma when you read a book by someone you like and want to do a review for but there was actually more you didn’t like in the story than you did. I’ve recently had this experience again and I did leave the review but it’s very short and incomplete since i didn’t want to hurt this person’s feelings. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that not all books will appeal to every person and I also know that there are probably some of my stories that people don’t like but I still don’t want to say things that would cause someone angst about their work.

This book I read had a great story premise but I didn’t like the heroine. She was one of those that did some really dumb things and seemed weak. I have a real hang-up about heroines like that. I actually think it’s because I’m strong myself and have zero patience for reading about someone who isn’t.

One of the other issues with the story, I blame on the editor. One of the big reasons for editors is for them to find repetitive words and/or phrases that the writer uses. I always, always have what I call a crutch word in each of my stories (and they are usually different for each one). I try to catch them myself but sometimes I don’t. This book I just read had a crutch phrase and it was used 25 times in a story that was less than 200 pages long. It started to feel like I was being bopped in the head with it. I even at one time said out loud, “Okay, I get it.”

So, what do you do if asked to do a review and there’s not much to say?

A Sad Week

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In the last week, I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. It’s weird how it comes in spurts like that. It started with the death of the man who rented office space from me. He’s been ill for a while so even though we all knew he was not doing well, it was a bit of a shock to hear that he passed away in his sleep during the day on last Friday. His family has decided to have his services in the town where he grew up instead of here where he lived for over thirty years. This saddens me as he was a big part of the community here and they are robbing us of the chance to say goodbye.

In the last day, I learned that a friend’s son was killed when a car backed over him. He was only seven. I’m utterly shattered for my friend and her family. I know how much they adored that little boy and I can’t wrap my head around such a devastating loss. I don’t know how they’re going to make it from day to day with this hole in their lives. There’s nothing I can say or do to make it better. I wish there was.

Death really puts things in perspective. I know I let things bother me and I get hurt easily but as I think about these people -both too young to go- being gone and no longer able to enjoy time with family and friends, I find myself hoping that the life I lead in the time I have left is one such that my family and friends will be as bereft as I am at the loss of these two. I endeavor to be as good a person as they both were.

Doors

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I’ve long been a fan of doors. Wherever I go, I find doors that intrigue me. Red doors on churches signified sanctuary in medieval times and I have lots of photos of red doors. Old doors with peeling paint are inspiring and beautiful to me. I love to see a door with character. Here are a few from my recent travels. Enjoy!

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Checking In

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Have been ignoring this little blog again. Sorry. So much going on. I’m about to fall off the planet I’m so busy. I don’t like feeling like I’m in the ocean and each time I get out from the undertow and almost catch my breath, along comes another wave to knock me down and try to drown me. Hopefully, the drama will stop soon. The really crazy thing is, all the drama is from outside sources, not me.

My frustration level is super high and it’s all I can do not to lash out at the people driving me over the edge. It’s all from a voluntary organization, too. When that crap happened in the last one I was in, I left. When it’s not fun anymore, I pack my bags. As of today, the bags are out of the attic and standing by to be loaded for my goodbye trip.

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