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

WEELY RECAP - Productive

I am mostly pleased with this week.

I've managed to secure a playlist for AN OZARKS SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING, post to my FB page as well as share other authors' promos.  I've kept up with the blog this week, in spite of getting hit with a stomach bug Tues/ Wed.

One of the things keeping me attached to everything is the daily Community Co-Working YouTube stream with Marisa Mohi. I've met some really great people there. If you are a writer, or even just working from home and needing a little communication, we'd love to have you join us. go to YouTube and search Marisa Mohi. She posts the scheduled events every day. We meet from 10-11 a.m. CST Monday - Friday

Tomorrow, we're getting together for a 10K day.  Sounds crazy, I know but while I have to preconceptions of writing 10,000 words tomorrow I do plan to focus ONLY on my book all day. No other creative endeavors. If I can do that next Saturday as well, I will feel much better about this book's positioning by the time Bob gets home.

I know things are crazy right now. Surviving this is all about FOCUS.
Focus on where you want to be and what you want to be doing when this SIP is finally lifted.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 16, 2020


"If you're using dialogue, say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech." 
~John Steinbeck

Quote courtesy of Freewrite.

I had the pleasure of meeting his son when I was in the seventh grade - in my history class. Our teacher had gone to university with him and invited him to speak to our class. As part of that quarterly course we read Of Mice And Men. Considering this was a history class, I'd have thought Grapes of Wrath more appropriate. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Good morning, everyone!

I just could not get into the swing yesterday. I have OCD really bad - though not as bad as some. I was looking for something I knew I had two days ago and I couldn't find the envelope. Threw my entire day off.  So here we are today, with a bit of a treat.

This lady has 2 distinct personalities. She writes horror/ thriller as Marnie Vinge and romance as Dallas Blake.

ABOUT Marnie:  Marnie Vinge is an indie author of short horror, suspense, and thriller stories and novellas as well as full-length young adult and adult horror and suspense. She's the host of the podcast Eerie Okie, where she explores the darker side of Oklahoma each week with a different guest. She lives in Norman with her family, including their three dogs.

I recently began taking part in a writing Co-working Live with Marisa Mohi. We gather on YouTube every weekday morning from 10-11 a.m. CST and do writing sprints, encourage one another and hang out with like-minded people for an hour. This is a motivating way to kick-start your day. I encourage you to join us.  Click on Marisa's name above to be taken to her channel. Be sure to subscribe so you'll see when her reminders pop up.

Marnie just released her newest thriller - THE WAY IT ENDS - you can purchase your copy HERE.

You can catch up with Marnie through the following social media locations:


Monday, April 13, 2020

CURRENT PROJECT - Timeline & Playlist


There are days when I feel like I'm barely treading water. I have all kinds of stuff in my head but when I sit down to type, nothing makes sense.

Then there's the AhHa moment... that blink when you realize why things aren't working.

I had two of those over the weekend.

1 - I've always written to a playlist that fit the story. I hadn't put one together for this book. There was no emotion behind anything I typed. My characters were flat, lifeless things with stories they weren't sharing.

In acting, (as I understand this) you are taught to connect with something in your past to build the emotion you are trying to portray.

Well, let's see. I've lost people in my life but I don't get emotional that way. I always see it as part of the circle of life. I grieve then I move on.
I love to bake but have never owned a bakery.
I've known two very special military people in my life. Neither of them died in battle. In fact, one still lives and serves 36 years after we first met. 

Where would I pull those emotions from?

I spent yesterday, Easter, putting together my playlist on YouTube. Then I watched several soldier homecoming videos and spent the next hour in tears. If you need a good cry and the tears won't come, watch some of those. The ones where service men/ women surprise their families during special occasions like weddings, graduations, or something as simple as Valentine's Day.

Here's a link to my playlist for An Ozarks Soldiers' Homecoming.


I'll leave you with some Reunion stories via a YouTube compilation:

Friday, April 3, 2020

FRIDAY RECAP - Words Are Flowing

On Wednesday, the beginning of Camp Nano, I set a GOAL to write a minimum of three hours every day. Whether I write by myself or I have sprinters to buddy up with.

So far so good.

Yesterday was the second on-line meet-up of my former writing group from Peoria, IL - Wordsmiths By Night .. aka WSBN There are four of us on this journey. I'm new to using Discord where we meet up but I'm just focusing on our little group and not venturing anywhere else. I'm still leading sprints on Chatzy. We write in 20-minute sprints with 10-minute breaks

If you'd like to participate, email me AngelaDrake (at) webname (dot) com and I'll send you the meet-up times/ details


join my thread on Camp Nano -  Cauldron Cafe

Happy Writing!

Thursday, April 2, 2020


A search for Writing Tips brought me a link to Go Ins Writer

The TOP 5 from their list:

5 - Stop worrying about being a good writer - JUST WRITE
4 - STAY FOCUSED ! - Distraction is the enemy of all great art
3 - DON'T BE LAZY - Do your best to avoid sounding stupid
2 - Make sure your writing is EFFECTIVE!

And the #1 -


I know from experience, when I write every day the words flow better, I have less edits to do in the end and my characters seem more real.

For the rest of the list and more great tips - visit GO INS WRITER (there are pop ups but easy to get past.)

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


With the Corona virus still holding us hostage in our homes, many conference updates have not posted.  I'm keeping an eye on Facebook and Twitter for potential Virtual Conferences.

I'm participating in Camp Nano. I have given myself  two weeks to finish An Ozarks Soldiers' Homecoming. That leaves me the last two weeks to so serious edits and have the manuscript ready for beta readers. I know I'm cuttin gthis close but I'm determined this story will release on time while still retaining a quality book. I know this can be done.

Pack your camp essentials and come join us at CAMP NANO

If you know of any on-line coming up, please post to my facebook page so I can pass on the information!

Happy Writing!