Monday, July 27, 2020

CURRENT PROJECT - #amwriting

Writing is pretty much all I can accomplish these days, though even long periods at the keyboard are a struggle at the moment.

This was supposed to be last week's post but I've been down with my back for over a week. Before that I managed to drop a battery operated chain saw on my right foot plus torqued my back taking out the trash. That was the beginning of this more than a week-long aggravation.

While the swelling has subsided in my foot and most of the lovely purple tones are gone, the back is still being a pain - literally.  So bear with me, please as being at the desk isn't the most comfortable right now.
At the moment, I'm working to get back into my story. I'm making notes as things come to me and I've been taking the free webinars on Scrivener. Every time I watch one of Joseph's webinars I learn something different - like watching a movie over and over and noticing something you may have missed the first five times you saw the same movie. 

This week, as time allows, I want to move all of my research links into the Scrivener file.
If you don't know, the program allows you to save links under research and open them up RIGHT IN THE PROGRAM... not as a separate browser window.  The feature will also help me to better organize the links as opposed to the way I have them now - all in one multi-page word doc.

Moving the links is going to be quite a task but something I can work on little by little between naps, thanks to the pain meds I'm on until this nerve finally decides to lighten up and let me get back to my regular routine.

If you don't have Scrivener, I recommend at least taking Joseph's webinars to get a feel for the program to see if it's something you'd like. L&L often offers the program up at a discount for those who finish NanoWrimo as well as a 30-day Free Trial, so you're able to play with it during Nano before making a committed purchase.

If you'd like to join Joseph's email list so you'll know when new webinars are coming up, shoot him an email -

More to get done today if I'm to spend TWO DEDICATED HOURS each evening to working on my book. I'm anxious to see this one in print, as well as three & four, which I already have outlined.

Have you used Scrivener? Please share your feedback about the program.


Friday, July 17, 2020

THE WRITER'S NEST - Cynthia D' Alba

Today's guest is Cynthia D' Alba.

I first met Cynthia about six years ago at one of the last Romantic Times conventions. I was thrilled to spend eight days in Dallas. I won a drawing from Cynthia... a gorgeous rustic metal windchime. I treasure the item, which fits well with my writing nest decor. I'll show a picture later in this post. 

For now, let's check in with Cynthia:

Thank you so much for joining us today, Cynthia.

First off, we don't have any pictures of Cynthia's Writing Nest... not a lot to share there. However, she does share her Nest in the questions below. What Cynthia does show is that our 'nest' can be anywhere that's comfortable for us... even if it's nothing more than your lap and a comfy place to sit. 

Describe your writing nest? My lap! What I mean by that is I write anywhere I can sit down and put my computer in my lap. I have an “office” but I’ve filled it with embroidery machines and thread (my hobby.) Usually I write in my living room on the couch or in the tv room in my la-ze-boy recliner.

What is it about this space that inspires you? I like the living room better because I have scented candles that I burn when I write. There’s something about the scent of a candle that makes me want to write. I think I’ve trained my brain!

Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so? Since I’ve started writing, I have literally moved all over two houses to find the right spot. I’ve sat at desks (2 different ones.) I’ve tried writing at a table. I written by hand and by computer entry. The only thing that works for me is dead silence and my lap. I have to let the “movie” in my head run while I transcribe the action.

Anything you would change? I wish I had a writing partner. Not someone to write my books with me, but someone writing their book in the same room. I am inspired by other writers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest? What works for me probably won’t work for you. Don’t be afraid to try different places. Some writers love coffee shops. Some love having a tribe to work with. Some work well teaming up with other writers online and doing sprints. Be comfortable where you write. But the bottom line is that you have to find what works for you.

 Cynthia is sharing a blurb from her book:

When a Navy SEAL runs into an obstacle, he climbs over it, under it, around it, or destroys it. So what if it's a woman?

Master Chief Benjamin Blackwell has it all. Adventure, good looks, skills, and women. His life is perfect and he has no intention of changing a thing. Until her.

Holly Maxwell is a sexy woman unlike anyone he’s met before. A widow for ten years, she’s happy with her life even with the trials of raising a pre-teen daughter, and being the only girl in a nosy, boisterous family of Coronado cops.

But what makes her so inexplicable to this Navy SEAL is her total lack of interest in him...

Thank you for joining us today, Cynthia.

You can purchase CONFIRMED BACHELOR as well as other books from Cynthia through the following links:


You will find Cynthia D' Alba on the following Social Media channels:


As a Texas\ Bluegrass/Traditional Country music promoter, 

this wind chime couldn't have been more perfect for my office.

Thank you, Miss Cynthia!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

THURSDAY TIP - from June Faver

June Faver has lots of advice to offer writers. After having written every day for the pasts 3,946 days, she has to have learned some things, right?

In the past she has told us to 'write every day- no matter what'

Today, she offers this sage advice:

 Avoid backstory in the first few pages. 
Grab the reader with the first paragraph 

The Best Cowboy Christmas Ever (Garrett Family Saga Book 1) by [June Faver]

Need an example, read any of her previous books. You can also pre-order The Best Cowboy Christmas, Ever

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


I know I've had June Faver on here several times but with the release of her newest book up for pre-order, I just had to bring her back to the spotlight. 

June is a prolific author in every sense of the word. She has written every day for 11 years come September. Even when she was hospitalized or had needles poked in her eyes, she has written no less than 100 words per day. In fact, she is so prolific that it wasn't until recently she found out she had 'deadline's with her publisher. She had always turned in her manuscripts and revisions way ahead of expected dates. 

June Faver is my inspiration and my hero... besides being an awesome friend.

Here newest book, The Best Cowboy Christmas Ever, releases in September but you can PRE-ORDER now. This story takes us back to the Garrett ranch. We'll make new friends while visiting with some of our favorite characters from previous books. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

CATCHING UP - Back to Writing!

After three months of not working on my book, I'm finally getting back to writing Marc and Katie's story. I'm not actually putting words to paper this week. Instead, I'm getting back into the story by rewatching the videos, reading the news links and listening to my playlist. 

I need to enter their world before I can take you along. 

I learned last week that the Ozark Creative Writers conference for October has been canceled - thanks to Covid-19.   Just saying that makes me want to rant, but I won't. We each have our opinions. I'll keep mine to myself. 

Friday, I received a call from Inn of the Ozarks asking if I wanted to cancel my reservation or move to next year. I opted to cancel for now. Instead, when we deem it safe, I'll make a new reservation (hopefully for the fall) and hide out for 3 or 4 days to do the final edits of this book. When I'm ready, maybe they will be a bit more open and I can enjoy the peace & tranquility. Time will tell.

In the mean time, I'm going to travel back there through An Ozarks Soldier's Homecoming.

We have Cynthia D' Alba in The Writer's Nest this week. I think the world of this lady and I look forward to showing you inside her space.

The Brigands (The Texicans Book 1) by [Parris Afton Bonds]

I am also currently reading The Brigands by Parris Afton Bonds. If I can get that read before Wednesday I'll have my review posted, otherwise that will run the following week. If you know anyting of Texas history, I'm sure you'll enjoy the book.

I have a new Blog Editorial calendar that I'm rolling out and hoping to keep me on track. I have 19 days til Bob comes home. Let's make this work!

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 19, 2020

THE WRITER'S NEST - Linda Broday

Today's guest in The Writer's Zone is the every-talented Linda Broday

Thank you for joining me today and inviting my readers into your Writing Nest.

1 – Describe your writing nest?

I suppose you’d call it traditional. I have a large desk that my PC sets on with room for my well-used dictionary and snacks. Above my desk is a clock and a small plaque that says Life is a Journey. Enjoy it! To my right is my Texas wall that is very important to me. Directly behind is a good-sized window that provides plenty of light. Lining the top of the walls are some of my book covers. Small shelves hold my research books. Then of course, I have my printer and my Writer of the Year and National Readers’ Choice Awards.

 2 – What is it about this space that inspires you?

It’s light and airy. In fact, I rarely have to use my overhead light. Creativity seems to flow in this room and I just feel very happy and comfortable in here. Thoughts and ideas spring to life when I sit down and I can feel a certain energy moving around me that transports me to the 1800s.

3 – Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so?

No, I knew from the first my nest would be in this room and it just fit. I moved in here in November 2019 and from Day 1 my heart was happy. It simply fits.

4 – Anything you would change?

If I could, I would move my desk facing the window but that’s impossible since a built-in space heater is below. The only other thing I would possible change would be the view out the window. Oh man, I’d love to have some mountains out there! And a tall, rugged cowboy to hand me drinks and fan me all day. But alas, there’s nothing I can do about either of those. Darn it!

5 – What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest?

Find a place that suits you. A lot of authors are comfortable writing outside or on the sofa. If that’s you, then go for it. Wherever you decide, have the essentials around you so you won’t have to constantly get up and down. You never want to interrupt your creative zone if you can help it.

Linda is sharing a blurb from one of her books with us today. This is Book 3 in the Outlaw Mail Order Brida series:


When three young children show up on outlaw Tait Trinity's doorstep, he knows he can't help them—a wanted man has no business raising kids. And yet he can't bring himself to turn them away. At a loss, he sends for the mail order bride he'd been writing to, hoping the demure dressmaker will be the answer to his prayers.

Melanie Dunbar is nothing like the bride Tait was expecting. She's rough and tumble...and hiding an ulterior motive. Dangerous men have taken her sister hostage, and if Melanie wants to see her alive, she'll have to betray her new husband. There's only one problem—the more time she spends with Tait, the more she comes to care for him. Yet as the noose begins to tighten, Melanie will have to make a terrible choice: save her sister...or the man she loves.

Thank you again, Linda, for joining us today. Love your space and look forward to binge-reading this series.

You will find Linda at the following social media locations:


Purchase your copy of all of Linda's books through the following links:



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

COMING SOON - Linda Broday

Today seems like a good day as any to test the new Blogger platform. At least I will have the opportunity to fix anything that doesn't process properly before the June Writer's Nest post on Friday.

Linda Broday is my very special guest on Friday. 
I had the opportunity to meet Linda at the Ozark Creative Writers conference last year. She came as Jodi Thomas' traveling companion. Her appearance was so low-key I didn't even realize she was at the conference until Saturday night when I invited her and Jodi to join my table for the banquet. 

Linda is such a delightful lady. She doesn't talk much but you can tell she is taking everything in. Having dinner with her was such a joy. 

In the mean time, I got a reprieve. Bob worked a week over and will be home tomorrow. The studio is progressing. His delay gave me the opportunity to do some garden work but now I have to really push to finish. Serves me right! LOL

If you'd like to curl up with a good read between now and Friday, I highly recommend this fabulous read from Linda. The Mail Order Bride's Secret is Book 3 in the Outlaw Mail Order Bride series.

I will see you back here on Friday. Please tell your friends to stop by and see where Linda Broday pens her wonderful stories!

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 1, 2020


Yeah, that seems to be the norm for Book 2.

I'm also still dealing with the identity theft, which as apparently the Unemployment Office in four states. If you've worked in Colorado, Illinois, Arkansas or Kentucky, you may want to keep a close eye on your credit and look into freezing your credit for the time being. Why can't people use their talents for good. I swear, all of our problems would be solved and World Peace would truly be possible.

Now, it's not about struggling with the book (okay, maybe a little) but it's more about getting my office to a state where I actually want to work in there.

My living room STILL looks like a Uhaul unloaded in there but I'm taking things little by little.

Sadly, little by little is coming to an end. I have a deadline I HAVE TO MEET! I Promised!

With that in mind, there probably won't be a lot of posts this week - at least not on a routine, but please check back. You never know.

Bob will be home on June 10th. I'd like to be done on June 9th so I can just tidy up and have a meal ready when he walks in the door after that long eight-hour drive from Chicago to here.

The other thing is I've not pressed about this book because with this whole Shelter In Place thing, I can't get with my book editor to help me with the formatting. She is teaching me how to do this so we don't always have to get together - though I'd still take her out for Sushi when I'm in town just cause she's my friend.

JANO 2016
That's me on the far right(second row) On my right is Tiereny James then My book editor, Sharon Holmes with PaperBack press (Just over Tierney's right shoulder)

I could have finished the book, sent it to Skizz to format and paid it for the process but that wouldn't teach me anything.

So.. with all that,  the room will be done and I'm back to writing two weeks from today. I won't write the first weekend Bob is home, nor the last weekend before he goes back. Everything in between is up for grabs for me to schedule things as I need to.

I can't wait to hide on my sofa in the office and get back to my characters. I know once I do, their story will  pour out of me. That's usually how I write.

Are you a writer? If so, feel free to share your process below and inspire others.
If you're a reader, let us know what you are reading during this Shelter In Place time.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Good morning!

This is a quick post written (Monday) as today is all about phone calls to Social Security. I'm not sure what has happened, nor am I going to speculate. I just know something isn't right. The only thing I can do is figure out the issue then move forward.
With that in mind, I'm not sure there will be any other posts this week. I'd planned to be back to work full force, though that  may not happen this week.

What I do want to point out is that I've done everything in my power to guardd my personal information. I don't do business on my phone, I don't bank on-line and I have one credit card to my name for business and hotel confirmations.

Sadly, the same precautions do not appear to have been take with the U. S. Government.

I have blog posts ready to roll... with a few changes in format for the remainder of the year. With the first half of the year winding down, this seemed like a good time to make those changes.

Hang with me - we'll get this straightened out! In the mean time, curl up with a good book. I recommend the newest one by Parris Afton Bonds:

The Brigands (The Texicans Book 1) by [Parris Afton Bonds]

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 25, 2020



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

CONFERENCES NEWS - Thrillerfest 2020 On-Line!

International Thriller Writers, Inc.

Virtual ThrillerFest XV
July 6 - July 14, 2020
Due to the pandemic this year, we've canceled the in-person ThrillerFest Conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The health and safety of our attendees is our top priority.

But we have fantastic news! We are offering a virtual conference so our attendees can remain safe in the comfort of their homes yet still participate in the learning and camaraderie that is the hallmark of the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers. No travel, no hotel stay, but an even more extensive array of bestselling ITW authors who can help you polish your thrillers and top drawer New York agents and editors to whom you can pitch—along with attractive prices! 
Check out the incredible events ThrillerFest is offering
Mega CraftFest & CareerFest - Price: $149
We are pairing up some of the best thriller writers in the world to discuss the CRAFT of writing in BRAND NEW VIDEOS. There will be over 60 conversations featuring over 120 authors! You'll be able to access these dynamic videos in a private YouTube channel for at least six months. You’ll be able to watch these videos in the comfort of your own home, and even on your television (a smart TV and YouTube app are required). Learn from the best to hone your writing!
Master Class & CareerFest - Price: $399
Master Class will be held via Zoom (free download) with one instructor in a private Zoom room with up to 10 attendees. The traditional full-day class will instead be broken into two four-hour sessions. Eight instructors will teach, so there will be eight Zoom rooms running simultaneously. You'll need to submit a ten-page writing sample to participate in this session. More information will be sent once you register.
Pitching Sessions - Price: $50 per session (limit 7 sessions)

We’re offering a unique concept where we will hold virtual Pitching Sessions. These sessions will be held via Zoom (free download) in a private Zoom room with one attendee (you) and one agent/editor. A tech host will be there to make sure everything goes smoothly. We want to create an intimate experience, the best we can do for a face-to-face meeting under the circumstances. The benefits of this style of pitching? No standing in line as with the in-person event!
You can purchase up to seven pitching appointments and specify your top three choices from the list of available agents. We'll do our very best to match your requests, but there are NO GUARANTEES!
Consulting Sessions - Price: $75 per session (limit 5 sessions)
We’re also offering a unique opportunity for Consulting Sessions. These sessions will be held via Zoom (free download) in a private Zoom room with one attendee (you) and one agent/editor. We're trying to recreate an intimate face-to-face meeting the best way we can under the circumstances.
These consulting sessions are ideal for writers who are not yet ready to “pitch” a completed manuscript, but would like to discuss their synopsis, their query letters, and writing samples for 10-15 minutes with agents and editors. Our experts will provide helpful feedback and advice, and answer questions. But no pitching, please.
You can purchase up to five consulting appointments and specify your top three choices from the list of available consultants. We'll do our very best to match you to some of your top choices, but there are NO GUARANTEES!
FREE Debut Author Presentations
Debut authors will provide videos about themselves, with Steve Berry hosting, recorded and available on the International Thriller Writers Facebook page.
FREE ITW Author Videos
Our talented ITW authors are creating 15-20 minute videos with helpful content for aspiring writers and fans of thrillers. Please tune in and learn from our brilliant authors. These videos will be available on the International Thriller Writers Facebook page.
FREE Thriller Awards Presentation
All Thriller Awards will be presented in a recorded session, with special guests and music by Daniel Palmer and Brad Parks, available on the International Thriller Writers Facebook page.

Monday, May 18, 2020


Well, sort of.

The office still isn't done. While the cleaning part got done, one project towards moving back in took much longer than I'd planned.  For one, I've had two rolls of beautiful fabric since before the studio was built. I found the fabric at Tuesday Mornings and knew the soft chocolate brown would be perfect for a sofa cover. The rolls stood in the corner all this time. Bob asked one morning what I was going to do with the fabric.

So out came the fabric and the sewing machine. I had a clear workspace of the sofa and a clean carpet to work on. The timing was perfect. I didn't realize I would spend an entire day measuring, sewing the sofa cover AND the valances for the five windows. The curtain rods had stood at the end of the sofa, still in their walmart bag, for at least two years.

I now have a sofa cover and valances. Then Bob came home. The following day his best friend from grade school arrived and my time became about cooking meals, keeping dishes washed up and getting Bob's laundry done in prep for his next trip out - which is tomorrow.

Then on Monday afternoon - when I thought I could get back in the office..

courtesy of Pixabay

Not one but two HUGE storm waves moved through. Hail and wind like I've never seen. The Wall of Wind took out over 150 power poles in our area, including the main one going to our house. We were without power for 52 hours (for those of you not doing math, we didn't get power back until early Wednesday evening) While they did not classify the storm as a tornado, they did refer to the damage as being caused by a wall of wind.

I was raised to 'survive the storm' (to coin a phrase from our local weather channel) I had a supply of both drinking water and water for cooking/ flushing/ washing up. We have a gas stove so eating real food was still an option.

That also meant extra work and no lights to clean by in the studio. By the time we had power back, I just wanted to do nothing whenever possible.

Kevin left on Friday and I've spent all of the past full week doing things with Bob before he goes back out.  We didn't realize until the house was quiet how much we really enjoy our 'just the two of us' time out here in the middle of no where.

FYI, I'm finally able to sit and write blog posts today - Thursday 5/14/20. I am back to work and hope to get regular posts flowing again.

I have conference news coming on Wednesday. 

For those of you waiting, Book 2 will be slightly delayed in release. Between all that's been going on here and not being able to get with the lovely lady who is teaching me book formatting, this one could not be helped. I will say, if this is the only hiccup I have due to this stupid lack of normality in our life then I can live with this.


Friday, May 15, 2020

THE WRITER'S NEST - Velda Brotherton

I am terribly sorry for the mis-information this morning. I set the post yesterday and apparently should not blog when I'm not feeling well. My sincerest apologies to Miss Velda. She deserves better.

I am so excited to visit with today's guest. Velda Brotherton is one of the most prolific authors I know personally. We've been friends for close to 25 years.
The first time I met Miss Velda was at the Ozarks Creative Writers conference. To me, she will always be Miss Velda. I love her dearly and I think you will, too.

A bit about Velda Brotherton:

Velda Brotherton writes of romance in the old west with an authenticity that makes her many historical characters ring true. A knowledge of the rich history of our country comes through in both her fiction and nonfiction books, as well as in her writing workshops and speaking engagements.  She just as easily steps out of the past into contemporary settings to create novels about women with the ability to conquer life’s difficult challenges. Tough heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for, all live in the pages of her novels and books. Her love of history and the west is responsible for the publication of 25 books and novels since 1994.

This busy writer who has co-chaired a large weekly critique group since 1988, also gives two yearly all-day workshops and mentors promising young writers, plus teaches at conferences in a four-state area. She isn’t sure what will come next. With all those voices in her head, she’s bound to let some of them out to play before long.

Thank you for giving us a peek at your nest, Miss Velda. So happy to have you here.

Describe your writing nest?
My nest is a mirror of the way I write. Scattered, dis-organized and comfortable with a window to the world I live in where deer and squirrels and other occasional night time wildlife play. Once a bedroom, I usually visit with my mother who slept here. It has been refit for my wheelchair with wider doors and convenient lowered closet rods. On the wall is a quilt my daughter made from tee shirts I’ve collected that reflect my 30 some-years spent writing and traveling for research as well as some appearances I’ve made.

In a corner is a wardrobe made by my son in law who also built my computer desk. On it is a desktop computer and a printer. The laptop I’m working on today sits on a roll top table along with a scanner. I’ve also got a couple of larger screens to help with the reading of my work. Funny story about this double arrangement. I can’t seem to give up my Windows 7 and my laptop for use only of the Windows 10 which is giving me headaches and occasional fits. I’m too old for this huge change but still fight the battle of learning to use Microsoft 365.

What is it about this space that inspires you? 
The blessed silence touched only by birdsong and occasional music which I choose.  Never lyrics only instrumentals lest I begin to sing along and lose my concentration.

Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so?
I down-sized five years ago when I could no longer manage the stairs in my original home which is across the driveway from where I live now. My mother had lived here until her death when we began to rent the house. I fought leaving my home of over 40 years but it soon became necessary. Considering my mother’s spirit here, the house surrounded by flowers she had planted over the years, I soon snuggled in and am very comfortable.

My daughter and her husband did everything possible to adjust my new place, especially the office where I would work. My new nest, you might say. For the first couple of years it was move this, refit that, get rid of these things. I finally have it the way I want it. Books remain in a smaller bedroom as I don’t use them often, except when the Internet fails to give me information I need. I still find myself once in a while turning to pull a book off the shelf to look up something, only to find no shelf there. Alas it is an evolving world to which I have a problem adapting.

Anything you would change? 
The answer to that question takes me directly from my last statement. No. I find myself too old for much change. Note the problems with Windows 10 as a huge example of that problem. I want to know when I reach for something I may have to paw through a stack or two. I usually find something else I’ve been hunting for on such an occasion. I’m thinking only of one more change and that is one I cannot control that eventually comes to all of us. The final move and I hope to make it gracefully. Let my daughter get to know me all the better by going through my piles of stuff.

What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest? 
Make your own plans. Don’t listen to someone else, but have it your own way. If you like to scatter notes and copies and books make sure you have lots of flat surfaces. If you’re a neat freak then have plenty of filing and storage holes. In other words, design it to suit yourself not a magazine photo or the advice of a builder.

Our group meets on Zoom every week and I’m happy to see writers in their own “nest.” Each one so different yet so like the person who sits there. It is evident each one is comfortable and happy in their surroundings and not ashamed to let everyone see it.

Thank you, Miss Velda. Let's take a look at your follow up to Beyond the Moon

The shot rings out and I come awake choking on my own heartbeat. Golden eyes shimmer in the night like bourbon struck by moonlight.

It’s dark, the bed I lie in huge and empty. Tears hot on burning cheeks. My fingers wipe them away, but they come back. No sound in the lonely house. Shadows wrap around me cold and silent. The bottom of a gaping black well embraces a lost and lonely heart.
No more sleep. Toes grip the furry rug, hands fumble for a robe to wrap around my shivering nakedness, socks to keep my feet warm. The coffee smells good making but turns to ash on my tongue. I pad into the living room and snap on the light over the painting above the cold fireplace. Each brush stroke, each shadow and highlight harsh reminders of the new, the old. The memorialized figures. Youth to warrior. A man I will always love for his amazing courage. His eyes speak words he cannot say. A sketch pad filled with all manner of depictions until they’re just right, until they express his every emotion. His desires, disappointments, hopes and dreams. His love. My Immortal Hero. Only he isn’t. Immortal, that is.
You will find Velda on various social media forums.
You'll find her books on AMAZON

Monday, April 27, 2020


As you can see from the picture, my living room is a disaster. My dining room looks the same way – like someone just unloaded a large U-Haul. This is only one of 5 areas of the living room/ dining room:

I've not even begun to really tackle the writing corner. That will be another time.

When we moved me into the studio four years ago, nothing went as planned. Bob was anxious to turn my old office into his man cave. That meant nothing got put away in the studio the way I wanted… more dumped wherever it would fit.

Since then I’ve also added more things – mostly planner and Mixed Media items – that I’ve had to find room for. Instead, those items just got added to the already disorganized mess.

I’ve been trying since January to get my office/ studio in order – all while trying to carry on with my daily work routine, write a book and keep the house presentable. I finally came to the conclusion that plan of attack wasn’t working.

First off, I have OCD. I can’t work on something unless everything is in order. Just makes my life more complicated.

Last week, after writing all my blog posts for the week, I emptied the studio into those two rooms. I’ve worked all weekend with the cleaning part. Washing windows, shampooing carpet, detailing furniture… you know what a deep clean entails.

This week I HAVE to get stuff back in place so that office work can resume as usual. Bob comes home on Wednesday. He’d really like to be able to sit at the dining room table in the morning with coffee or sit in his recliner in the evening to watch TV. To add insult to injury, his best friend is planning a visit for the coming weekend. Kevin helped us move in thirteen years ago. He hasn’t seen the house with the addition of my studio. So yeah…. This room HAS TO GET DONE.

With that, I’m taking this week off of all of my blogs, no book writing and only the 1 crafting deadline I have for Wednesday.

Blog post should resume next week – Monday May 4th or Tuesday May 5th. If Kevin shows up, I’ll have all weekend to hide in the studio and get ahead of the week. Otherwise, that’s what I’ll be doing on Monday. I always devote Bob’s first weekend home to him. He’s been gone for twenty-one days, after all.

Thank you for your patience and I’ll see you next week!

Friday, April 24, 2020

WEEKLY RECAP - Progress & Arbor Day

I thought I'd share a tree related to An Ozarks Soldier's Homecoming in honor of Arbor Day.

Did you know that the apple blossom is the state flower of Arkansas?  I didn't realize that until I was searching for the type of flower that Whisker Dan (remember him from Book 1) would carve into a wooden urn. I've decided the box (in the story) will be made from the state tree, The loblolly pine will make a beautiful urn box.

There are plenty of places on-line to order trees. Plant one on your property, if you can, in honor of the lives lost to this horrid virus that has changed our lives. You may order from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 23, 2020


 A couple of weeks ago I shared that the #1 Writer's Tip was to Write Every Day.

Joanna Penn

Today's tip comes from novelist and writing coach, Joanna Penn.  Joanna says to Schedule time to write and show up for the meeting. 

That's really good advice. I've always heard we should treat our writing time, if we are serious about the business. Once you have that in your planner, be there. be on time - even a little earlier. Treat your scheduled writing time like any other appointment you can't miss such as a medical appointment, parent/' teacher meeting, date with your hero. You have to show up!

I've recently joined a group on YouTube - a co-workers meeting - led my Marisa Mohi.  I know that at 10 a.m. CST every weekday morning, I need to be in that group.. But here's the thing - a lot of us are in there by 9 a.m. Sometimes we just chat about the ups and downs of the previous week but we also talk about plot points and offer bolstering and support where needed.

You are welcome to join us!

Even on the days (like today) when YouTube has decided I don't need to be in the meeting, I still have it in my planner to write during that hour  or two. Whether I can meet up with them or not, I am still at my keyboard making words happen... whether it's on a blog post or my story. I'm writing every day.

Are you writing every day?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CONFERENCE UPDATE - Between the Pages

Thanks to the Corona Virus, the Between the Pages Writers Conference scheduled for June  18-20 has been canceled.

All of the scheduled speakers have graciously accepted a spot in 2021.

Please see the website for complete details:

I've had several questions regarding the Ozark Creative Writers conference set for October 8-10.

As of right now, that conference is going on as scheduled. Please see the website for their notes regarding any potential changes. I will be doing one, possibly two, workshops on BLOGGING. I hope you'll join us.

Contest list should be posting soon.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Kellie Coates Gilbert

Kellie Coates Gilbert

Today I'm shining the spotlight on an author I've followed on Facebook for some time. Kellie Coates Gilbert writes beautiful contemporary romances. She has published over sixteen books, each are sweet, feel-good stories you remember long after you close the book.

As a thank you for shining the spotlight on her, Kellie is offering a e-Copy of  Remember Us.
To Enter - Please tell me how many books Kellie has published. HINT: The answer is in this blog post!
I will leave comments open until Sunday April 26th and post the winner on the Author Spotlight post April 28th.

Please catch up with Kellie on her website and the following social media locations as well as her Amazon Author Page.


Monday, April 20, 2020


Good morning!

Well, it's been a week!
I spent Saturday with an on-line writing marathon. Completed/ polished an entire scene! That hasn't happened for a very long time.

Yesterday, when I'd planned to accomplish, I woke up with a screaming sinus headache. With an early morning rain, the pollen count had skyrocketed and I felt it. I went back to bed. LOL

Today, the sun is shining and all I want to do is clean.


As hard as I try to keep the blogs updated, the internet just is not cooperating. My connection here in the boonies is slow. Trying to participate in writing groups on YouTube is become more challenging as more and more people are streaming lives. That really sucks YouTube's power.

I have an editorial calendar and I'm going to do my best to keep up the posts.
If I'm not here, know my internet isn't playing nice and instead, I'm finishing the book.

I also noticed my calendar on the side-bar is in serious need of updating. I'll work on that this week.

I have Writer's Nest authors lined up through October. I'll be posting that schedule on the sidebar soon so you'll know who is coming up when.

In the mean time, stay home, stay safe, and read books by your favorite authors.

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 17, 2020

THE WRITER'S NEST - Angela Drake

yep, today you get me! LOL

Primarily, my writing space is a corner of a 480square-foot office Bob had build for me about five years ago. within that space I have a couple of different places.
Sometimes it depends on whether I’m nanoing, needing a comfy spot to sit for a long period of time, if I’m working on non-book stuff or the time of day. See the varous pictures below.

What is it about this space that inspires you?

I love my sofa. It’s a comfy hide-a-bed. I snuggle into a corner of the sofa. My coffee cup sits handy on the end table. I can change the lighting. I must say though this is only good for early  mornings or late in the evening after sun has gone down or I have to shut the shade. 

This is where I write most days. Whether I'm blogging, sprinting or watching craft videos with my sister. For my work table, I can spread notes out and have everything handy. I create my time-line on adding machine tape. I can stretch that out on the edge of the worktable- in my line of vision if I get stuck.

This is supposed to be my writing space. I designated this corner for writing when I laid out the floor plan. Right now that corner is a natural disaster and not condusive to being creative. But a clean-up is in the future... just as soon as I relocate the cat:

Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so?
Yes. When we first moved here almost thirteen years ago, I had a cave in the basement. Bob dubbed it ‘the dungeon. You can see from the picture why I needed an upgrade.

Anything you would change?
The cat off my desk LOL I love my cats though. We are working on an arrangement we can both work in. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest?
You won’t hit on the perfect spot right away. Like your writing, finding the perfect spot is an evolution. Give yourself time to try different areas – even different times of the day. You may even find yourself coming back to one of your earlier spots.
I also do not suggest trying to find ‘the’ spot during a writing marathon period like NanoWrimo,  Camp Nano or facing a deadline. There’s enough pressure as it is to accomplish.  What you may find, though, is that the space you seem to put out the most words may very well be the place you are most comfortable. Revisit that space during a less stressful time.

Since I still don't have a new book, I'll remind you that the first book in the Planned to Perfection series is a great read. What could make you all happy in this crazy time then a cozy Christmas romance set in a small Arkansas community. 

You will find me on the various social media platforms. I also love to hear from my readers and fellow writers. 

Note: the Youtube channel is still new but will be having videos coming soon