Sunday, March 30, 2014

The End of Sunday Snippets BUT... #frifreebits

Sadly, I must announce the end of Sunday Snippets.  Although I have some great friends who have willingly participated, the use of the Linky List has been more confusing than helpful.  Yesterday, when I went to comment on blogs, I found the wrong lists added to some people's post, no banners or links, and in some cases, people didn't bother to post.Can't say that I blame them!  I chalk all these mistakes up to my own y inability to figure out how the link works.  As a matter of fact, I thought I had it figured out, and today when I went into the blog, the entire list of those who had signed up last week was missing.  I went into the Linky List Tool and manually added this list back, but even then I found discrepancies.

My second reason is competition.  The recent addition of a new western blog who has also chosen to do 'Saddle Up for Sunday Snippets' will be I'm going to figure out something Friday Freebits.  If you would like to continue sharing six paragraphs of your work for free promo, then let me know.  Instead of using the linky list (for which I have to pay), I'll just ask that you notify me via email each week with your name and link. Seems I've doing everything manually, I might as well make it legit.  *lol*  If enough of you want to continue...we can use this pretty graphic.

The rules will remain the same.  Share six paragraphs, use the graphic and just post a link back to my blog for the list...this way, there won't be any errors. me at and let me know if you want to have a permanent fixture for your Fridays.  It sure makes things easier for me to plan ahead.  I can schedule the blog and be ready. PLUS...the blog will remain all through the weekend, giving more people the ability to visit.

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #Sunday Snippets

Welcome to Snippet Sunday
The rules are simple. 

1. Sign up in the Linky List below. The Linky List will go live 12:01AM Monday and will close at 11:59PM Saturday night every week.
2. Post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work. The post must be live by 9:00AM Sunday.
3. Open to both un-published and published authors.
4. Post the link back to Sneak Peek Sunday so that others can hop along. Feel Free to copy and use the Banner on your own blog or to promote your entry.

Six paragraphs from my current WIP - Yellow Moon.  I figure if I got some good feedback, I'll be inspired to work harder on finishing.  Hope you enjoy.

A touch on her shoulder drew her from deep reverie and caused her to gasp.  She turned, and still unable to exhale, came face-to-face with the most attractive brave she’d ever seen.  Sunlight glistened on his freshly greased braids, and muscled arms extended from a broad, smooth chest exposed beneath his fringed vest.  Finding her voice proved impossible.

“Hau, I too come for water.”  He extended a pouch identical to those she carried.

Releasing her pent up breath, she let go of the tension his touch raised.  “I was deep in thought, and startled me.”  Her gaze remained locked with his–eyes capable of casting fear in an enemy, yet softened by his smile.

“I am sorry I frightened you, but our meeting is not by chance.  I followed you here, hoping to learn your name. I know I should not have approached you in this way, but I have watched you from afar and...and did not wish to wait to to meet you.

“Taku eniciyapa he?”  The timbre of his voice when he asked her name left her breathless.

“Mitakuyepi…my name is Yellow Moon.  I am so called for the season when the leaves fall.”


1.  Roseanne Dowell
2. Romancing the West with Jacquie Rogers
3. Tricia McGill, Australian Author
4.  Abbye Kovacevic
5. Kahlenna MacCarthy
6. Taryn Raye
7. Amber Bentley
8. Connie Vines
9. Scrawling Dreams in Ink

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today is My Day for the TRR Contest




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sign Up For Sunday Snippets
Using the Linky Tool has been confusing for my feeble brain, but I believe I have it figured out.  If you didn't have a chance to sign up for this coming Sunday's blog sharing event, then please visit LAST Sunday's blog and add your name on the list.

My problem was using the wrong dates so you weren't able to sign up when you visited the blog, and I mixed up the list links and had people listed to blog when they already had.  My bad.  I could claim senility, but I don't want to admit it.

Anyhow...drop in by using the link above and add your name.  We're having good coverage, so it's free promotion, and you blog on your very own blog, just visit everyone else's and leave a comment.  You can also cut and paste the Sunday Snippets graphic and the linky list when it's complete.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  At least for the less computer challenged.  *smile*

 The more you do, the more visible you become.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Page Straight From Linda LaRoque #apagestraightfrom

Birdie's Nest by Linda LaRoque


Texas Ranger, Birdie Braxton boards the Brazos Belle to attend a costume party, gets tossed into the Brazos and when she's pulled from the river she's told the year is 1890. A fact she can’t accept … until she looks across the river to see Birdie’s Nest, her ancestral home, no longer exists.

Tad Lockhart is a content man—a prosperous rancher with a ladylove in Waco. He's not interested in marriage and family, yet … until he pulls an unconscious woman from the Brazos who insists she's a Texas Ranger from the year 2012.

As romance blooms between Tad and Birdie, she struggles to earn enough money to build Birdie’s Nest, and Tad strives to mold Birdie into a Victorian lady suitable to be his wife. Can Birdie give up dabbling in police work and other unladylike pursuits yet stay true to herself? When faced with an indiscretion from Tad's past, is Birdie's love strong enough to support her man and be the woman he needs?

A Page From...

His mother, Olivia Lockhart, listened intently as Tad talked. She enjoyed a good story and his tale of saving Miss Braxton titillated her interest.
“You say she thinks it’s the year 2012?” She fanned her face with her napkin. His mother wasn’t overly large but her face was often red, and she complained about the heat. “The poor dear. Do you think she’s crazy, son?”
“No, ma’am. Her blue eyes are clear as a bell and she talks rationally. If I didn’t know it was impossible, I’d believe her.” He took another bite of roast beef and swallowed. “She had a gun holster strapped to her leg and a Texas Ranger’s star pinned to it.”
She paled and the fanning increased in intensity. “You looked under her skirts?”
“No, Mother. The nurse who undressed her found it and turned it over to the detective in charge of the case. He showed it to me.”
“Well, thank goodness. All we need is another scandal to tarnish our good name.” She shot him a heated look. “If you’d just settle down, you’d --”
“Mother, don’t start that again or I’ll take my meals in the bunk house.”
She sniffed. “Well, I’m just saying, you’re not getting any younger.”
He laughed. “I’d hardly call thirty-five old.”
Her mouth turned down at the corners and she sputtered. “Well, I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to dandle a grandchild or two on my knee before I die.” She fanned her face again. “At the rate I’m going, it may not be that far off.”
Tad blew out a breath. “Mother, you are not that old. I’ve seen you run up and down these stairs like a woman half your age.”
She pursed her lips and glared.
“When I find a woman who can keep my interest for more than a day, then I’ll marry.”
“What about that woman you’re keeping time with in town. What if she turns up pregnant and expects you to marry her?”
Thank goodness his sister was visiting with friends tonight. He didn’t want her impressionable young ears to be privy to his private affairs, which his mother considered scandalous.
“She’ll be sadly disappointed because I’ll not marry someone I don’t love. Plus, I’m not sure she’d be faithful.” As far as pregnancy, Doc Floyd kept him in a supply of condoms. Odd how the Comstock Law allowed a man to have access to them to prevent disease, but wouldn’t let him use them to prevent his wife from getting pregnant. Didn’t make a lick of sense to him. If he fathered a baby out of wedlock, he’d see the child was well taken care of.
“It’s a sinful relationship. God is going to strike you dead one of these days.”
“Let’s drop the subject, Mother.”
“Mark my words, your clandestine affair will come back to haunt you.”
He didn’t know how secret the relationship was, but if it bit him on the butt, so be it. He was ready to call it quits anyway.

 Available at Amazon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Security or Paranoia?

Please keep in mind this is only my opinion, but I believe the decline in people commenting on blog posts is due to the extra steps they have to take in order to leave one.

 I try to be diligent, visiting all the people participating in shared events, but I'm so turned off by the "captcha" requirements and now the "prove you aren't a robot" numbers and letters that I'd rather just move along. My main reason is my eye sight.

 I don't see nearly as well as I used to...even with glasses, and those extra steps aren't that easy to see. I end up trying at least two or three times before I get one right, and that's even more reason to not go to the extra trouble. 

 The other thing that annoys me is comment moderation. I think it's insulting.

 What I'd like to know...has everyone had problems with unwanted comments or comments so bad you need to moderate them before they appear? I've been blogging since 2007 and only had disturbing comments once when I found myself in the middle of a job I did for an author I had no idea was a hot topic on the loops. I learned to research clients, and never had another problem.

  I don't have a "captcha" on my blog nor do I moderate, so I was just curious why it seems more and more people do.  It's time consuming enough to trek from blog to blog and when you have to waste time entering letters and numbers in order to comment, I think most people, including me, choose to mosey on by.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rules - Schmules - Recognizing Problems by Ginger Simpson

Every publisher has their own rules, and remembering which applies where is harder than writing a book.  After releasing over a dozen novels, novellas and stories, I've decided there is no way you can adhere to every guideline.  One must pick and choose what makes sense for your writing style.  For example, one house strictly forbid the use of 'ly' words.  I try to avoid using many of them, but sometimes you need to use one to modify your verb and make it stronger when you can't find one that exemplifies your meaning.  Another house disapproved of "ing" words.  Well, I' prefer them over using constant "he/she" beginnings and ending up with a manuscript that reads like Dick and Jane, the book that taught reading.  I hate 'stilted' writing, and when you follow every rule you think you know, that's exactly what you end up with.

So, I'm listing here, the rules I absolutely try to follow because they make the most sense to me.

1  RUE = Resist the Urge to Explain.  If you tell the reader something in the first paragraph, there is no reason to repeat it again.  Reader's are smart and can figure out things if you've written good descriptions.  Example:  He clapped the baseball against his glove several times, then spit on the mound.  Cocking his arm, he zeroed in on the 'strike' zone and prepared to throw.  "Prepared to throw" is not needed.  You've already shown the reader he has cocked his arm and aimed...I doubt anyone will think he's going to knit a sweater.  *lol*  Adhering to the RUE rule also keeps you from being redundant.

2.  Useless beginnings.  What pray tell, you ask, are they?  POV is extremely important in writing.  The reader needs to know who is talking, thinking, seeing, hearing, etc., and if you are expert at POV, then there is no need to say things like "She watched him," "He felt" or words that also apply to the RUE rule.  Start your sentences with what actually is happening and don't narrate for the reader when they don't need it.

3.  SHOW versus TELL.  This is one of the most important rules in writing.  Utilizing your best showing techniques differentiates between telling a story and writing a novel.  Showing moves the reader into the story, puts them in the character's shoes and lets them experience all the sights, smells, sounds, and most importantly emotions.  Which would you think is better?  
1.  Her stomach felt upset. (hint: telling)
2.  Her stomach churned.  She swallowed the taste of bitter bile. (hint: showing)

I'm working very hard to remind myself that when I give the reader a ton of facts to set up the scene, I'm telling.  It's so much better if you  pepper the information into dialogue between your characters.

4.  Use your Thesaurus.  There is no need to repeat the same word over and over in the same paragraph.  One, it shows a lack of word knowledge, and two, your writing becomes predicable.  Here's an exaggerated example:  He looked at his wristwatch.  The bruises on his knuckles had finally turned a  pale yellow, but were healing.  His watch showed it was almost time for his appointment.  Thank goodness he'd remembered to wear his watch.  He'd only just replaced his pocket watch with the watch on his wrist.  Time to get with the times, he'd thought.  

Better:  Bob fished in his pocket then remembered he'd finally given in to modern times and switched to a wristwatch. Checking the time, he noted the bruises on his knuckles had turned a healing yellow.  Not wanting to be late, he grabbed his jacket and....

5.  DON'T start sentences with 'it.'  This is a big bone of contention for me.  I absolutely detest this word and try to use a solid noun rather than this particular pronoun.  To me, "it' is the most confusing word an author can use.  Most instances raise the question, "what is IT?"  Example:  If you're reading along and stumble on a statement such as, "It felt strange," isn't the first question in your mind...what felt strange?  If you absolutely must use "it" make sure you've clued the reader in on what "it" is.  

There are others I try to follow, but these are some of the things I find most annoying as a reader and try to avoid when I write.  I hope you find this post helpful....and feel free to share your "dislikes" in the comments.  It always helps an author to know what pitfalls to avoid.

Sunday Snippets With Ginger #sundaysnippets #promotion

Welcome to Snippet Sunday
The rules are simple. 

1. Sign up in the Linky List below. The Linky List will go live 12:01AM Monday and will close at 11:59PM Saturday night every week.
2. Post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work. The post must be live by 9:00AM Sunday.
3. Open to both un-published and published authors.
4. Post the link back to Sneak Peek Sunday so that others can hop along. Feel Free to copy and use the Banner on your own blog or to promote your entry.

Here is my six paragraphs from Hattie's Hero - A western historical that takes an unexpected twist and lands my heroine in modern day, confused and wondering what her connection is to the people who rescued her:

"You don't think the Indians are still around, do you?" Hattie glanced over her shoulder and cast wide eyes at Billie.

"Nah, they're probably long gone, but you can never be too careful." He draped his rifle strap over his shoulder, allowing the weapon to dangle, and walked closer. "You almost done?"

"Yes." She wrung the water from the last diaper and tossed it into the laundry basket. Standing, she massaged the small of her back. "How do you think the scouts knew Indians killed those buffalo?"

He bent and picked up the wicker container. "Besides seeing arrows amidst the remains, the way the feathers are notched usually tell which tribe left 'em. If a white man had done the killin', they would have simply skinned the animal and left the rest. The Indians take pretty much everything. The meat, they use for food, the skins for blankets.and coverings for their lodges. Bones serve as utensils for cookin' and eatin', and the some of the innards become bowstrings and thread for their sewin'. I hear tell they use the animal's bladders to tote water."

The unpleasant thought of water carried in that manner caused Hattie to make a face. She wanted to hear more, but Billy dropped the laundry basket at his feet and held a silencing finger to his lips. She cast a questioning look his way, but complied, freezing in place. He craned his ear toward the high grass to his left and pulled his rifle from his shoulder. Placing one foot steadily in front of the other, he approached the dense growth.

A cold chill ran down her spine, but her apprehensive gaze followed his movement. She strained to hear something, but Billy walked on silent feet, causing only the slightest crackle of grass as he parted the crispy strands. He disappeared from sight, leaving her quivering with fear.


If you'd like to read more, please feel free to visit my Amazon page where all my books are listed.

Here's this week's list...and don't forget to sign up for next week

1. Abbye Kivacevic 2. Amber Bentley 3. Taryn Raye's Love By Design 4. Two Love Again5. rosemarymorris. blogspot. com 6. Kahleena MacCarthy 7.Kaet Wallace8. Jen Black's Blog


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Round Robin Blog with Ginger - #RndRbn0314 
Welcome to the March Round Robin...the brain child of Rhobin Courtright. This month, we're discussing villians. Do you need them, when do you use them, and what is the most diabolical type?

When I think of bad guys, Snidely Whiplash immediately comes to mind.  I picture someone curling a long, dark moustache around gnarly fingers while emitting at throaty, evil chuckle at another's misfortune. 

 I mentally sifted back through my stories to see whether or not  I've used someone similar, and I believe I haven't. I rely more on circumstances than a person who gets in the way. I don't need a physical presence in my novels to create obstacles and hardships.

  In Time Invested, Megan's Father  interfered with a budding relationship because he didn't trust enlisted men.  In Sarah's Heart and Sarah's Passion, the villain was existing prejudice towards those born of half-blood  Sometimes, I've used self-doubt, other times, I've used the ignorance of others, but I don't believe I've ever inserted someone like Snidely who you'd actually call a diabolical villain. 

I've read books where there are actual villains, but I considered them more secondary characters, and as long as they had a personality and moved the story forward, I was fine with their presence, but I really don't see the need to have a "Snidely" in my stories. I think villains are more suited for cartoons...the mean guys who tie ladies to railroad tracks or foreclose on mortgages when the snow is three feet deep outside.  Of course, if you ask me about someone riding in on a white horse to save the heroine, that's a whole different situation, and one I like to write.  :)

Here's a little example of an obstacle that becomes a villainous circumstance in one of my current WIPS:

A glance at the shack they called home served as a reminder there was no reason to stay in this God-forsaken place, but Pa saw something she didn't and remained determined to make this their permanent home.  Perhaps his resolve grew because they’d been driven from every other place they’d lived…either by crooked tax men or cattlemen who didn't want to share the rangeland.  Pa came from a family that raised sheep and saw that as his calling.

Harlee cranked the bucket up and shielded her eyes against the sun while looking longingly at the sky for any hint of rain, A few wispy white clouds drifted across a sea of blue, and in the distance, vultures circled some poor critter either dead or dying.  Her heart ached for such a gruesome end to life.

She turned her attention back to the chore at hand. The bucket crested the well’s top, only half full this time.  The water used to be so high, she often bent over and stared at her reflection.  Doubtful she could see it now, she crawled up on the stone ledge and peered over, searching for any hint of her likeness. Stretching farther . . . she still saw nothing but emptiness.  The old stone beneath her grip gave way, sending her tumbling head first into the black abyss. Her screams echoed back to her.

BTW..this is called the Well and will be a historical time-travel.

Now...jump on over to my fellow Round Robin Bloggers and see what they have to say:

Anne Graham writing as Anne Stenhouse at
Aimee writing as A.J. Maguire at
Marci Baun
Diane Bator at
Fiona McGier at
Ginger Simpson at
Geeta Kakade at 
Connie Vines at
Beverley Bateman -
Rhobin Courtright -

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Trip Back In Time --or Trying Not to Trip on A Sagging Chest by Ginger Simpson

You know what's fun?  Going back over the years and seeing all the posts you've done in the past and the wonderful guests who have taken time to add their comments and share their books.  I've been truly blessed. I'd share some of the promotions, but I know, that as I've re-released mine when contracts expire, titles change and so do covers.  Probably what I dared share wouldn't be where it used to be and it's out there, but looking entirely different, probably in an improved writing format, and with a cover that better portrays the story.  :)

However, I did come across one blog that still plagues me to this day.  How is it that in the age of technology we have reached, we can't manage to find a missing airplane OR design a bra that fits the bill?

Here's a post I shared in 2007.  It's still a valid complaint today.

Lock & Load???

It's that Bra thing again

Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm frustrated over technology's inability to design a brassiere 
that has staying power. I want a 'lock and load' version. One that doesn't self-adjust during 
the day, dropping my bosom out of the area in my clothing designed for it. You'd think if
 clothiers add a fitted bodice, they'd come up with a bra to keep your boobs put. 

For heaven's sakes, we have safety clasps to keep our earrings on, extra chains to protect our
 necklaces from becoming lost, and spacers to make our rings fit. Why can't we have a bra that
 is comfortable yet dependable? Is that too much to ask?

I'm past caring if tampax can absorb a balloon full of water, or if my pads have wings.
My body doesn't need those things anymore. I don't want underwear that has a modesty panel 
in the front and a string up the butt, and I could care less if my feet stink or my nose runs, 
but I do want something to support my chest and keep it off my keyboard. For the next 
American Inventor out there...please deliver. The big (or in my case...long) chested women of
 the world are counting on you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Page Straight From Michael D. Smith #apagestraightfrom

Nonprofit Chronowar by Michael D. Smith

“Oh my God!” Mandy cried, backing away
“Don’t worry! He doesn’t know we’re here! We’re not in his zone!”
“It’s--it’s--oh my God! Oh my God!
Urside stood up dizzily. “For God’s sake, Mandy, don’t panic! He can’t see us!”
“HELLO HELLO HELLO WARE AMM I?” croaked from--from the--
Oh my God!” Urside screamed. “Jesus God almighty!
Urside fell back on the carpet. “Jesus, Mandy! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! We must’ve opened up--some interdimensional hole--or--or--oh my God!
A creature five feet high! Like a giant fish! Huge unlidded eyes! A pink fin protruding from a golden robe!
Oh my God!” Mandy gasped, backing towards a bookcase.
“Jesus Christ! We have to get out of here!”
“No--wait! We need our clothes!”
“Just--just grab them--he doesn’t know we’re here!”
The being scampered into the room--it was sickening to watch its little legs slap on the wooden floor and then scuff into the loose carpet. Then it was standing right on their pile of clothes. “HELLO, HELLO, HOWW DID I GETT HERE? WHOOO ARE YOOO GUYZZ?”
“He does know we’re here!” Mandy screamed.
“His voice--it’s in my mind!
“No! Jesus God, no!” As Urside met those unlidded eyes his mind burst into hyperventilating insanity.
“I’m crazy! Crazy!
“No, Urside, wait!” Mandy cried. “I don’t know how--but I’m aligning with--with his thoughts! They’re making sense! They come together if you just relax!
“You--God! Mandy, I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”
“YOU ARE--URSIDE?” came the voice in his mind. Then, uncannily, something did relax inside Urside, and the voice in his mind now exuded nothing but--calmness! “You are Urside, and she is Mandy? And we must be on Planet Marble because of the gravity? And yet the air is not polluted nor are we dying of radiation poisoning? So by definition we are in the Alaskan Earth Terraforming Project Zone? And you have never seen a Martian before? Have I got that all correct?”
“Planet--planet--” Urside gasped. “You--”
“Yes, Planet Marble is--Earth!” Mandy said. “Yes, that’s right, we’re on Earth! And you’re--Dar, Emperor of the Martians! How the hell can I know that?”
“I have radiated that, friend Mandy. You have never seen a Martian nor ever received the outradiance? How is that possible? Unless--”
God, are you from the future?” Urside cried.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Now Available: Shortcomings by Ginger Simpson School is hard enough without the cold stares from classmates that remind you every day how different you are.

Our shortcomings don't define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates. When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she's quite sure he's asked her on a dare and refuses. It takes more than just her mother's assurances that Cindy's beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down.

What was the impetus behind this book?  For those who don't know, I have an autistic grandson who is now eleven.  I've become very conscious of the way people gape at behaviors they don't understand, and whether they do so knowingly doesn't matter to the person who is the object of the unwanted attention.  My Spencer is a very loving child who is way too trusting and has been known to go up and hug strangers.  He doesn't realize that it's strange because it comes naturally to him, and I'm thankful that like so many children affected by this disorder, he isn't socially stilted and loves to be loved. Still, I'm trying to teach him that while the world is filled with great folks, there are also those who aren't as nice as we hope they are.

  My thought was if I could deliver a message that might change a person's way of thinking, I might save Spencer from the bullies that dwell among us.  We are either part of the problem or we can be part of the solution, and I chose to be a messenger to raise awareness.  No matter what age you are, Shortcomings is a heartwarming story and one I hope might make a difference.  With hopes that a teacher might want to use the book in the classroom, I also prepared a study guide that I will happily provide.

Hope you'll pick up a copy or get one for a child, grandchild, niece or nephew.  I trust my message will not be wasted.

Amazon Countdown Deals - Rita Karnopp's Special Edition

Looking for deals? Who isn't. Below, you'll find the dates of Rita's scheduled deals:

Sacred Ground:
Kindle Countdown Deal 3/18/2014-3/25/2014
Kindle Countdown Deal 3/18/2014-3/25/2014

Dark Spirit:

Kindle Countdown Deal 3/25/14-3/31/14
Kindle Countdown Deal 3/25/14-3/31/14

This is one you won't be able to beat. Already, Rita's Special Edition offers three books for a ridiculously low price, and now Amazon is reducing it even more. Mark you calendars folks: 

 Kindle Countdown Deal 3/20/14 - 3/26/2014    Kindle Countdown Deal 3/24/2014 - 3/30/2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Snippets by Ginger Simpson #SundaySnips

Welcome to Snippet Sunday
The rules are simple. 

1. Sign up in the Linky List below. The Linky List will go live 12:01AM Monday and will close at 11:59PM Saturday night every week.
2. Post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work. The post must be live by 9:00AM Sunday.
3. Open to both un-published and published authors.
4. Post the link back to Sneak Peek Sunday so that others can hop along. Feel Free to copy and use the Banner on your own blog or to promote your entry.

Today, I'm sharing six paragraphs from Hope's story in Ages of Love:

“Good afternoon. May I help you?” A woman, who appeared to be in her thirties, looked up from a desk behind a glass partition and flashed a welcoming smile.

Hope crossed to the counter, eyeing the myriad of literature displayed there. Her mouth turned to cotton. “I…I’d like some information please.”

“Of course. Feel free to peruse any of our printed material, or if you prefer, I can set an appointment for you to meet with one of our counselors.”

Hope managed to return the woman’s smile. “I think I’d like to look through some of the pamphlets first, if you don’t mind.”

“Whatever you’d like.” The clerk gestured to the colorful brochures. “Help yourself and have a seat. If you have any questions, let me know.” She slid her chair over to her computer and returned to her typing.

Hope gathered several tri-folds and glanced around the empty waiting room. She sat in the chair closest to the wall, put her handbag on the floor, and read. The impersonal wording made the process medically clear–almost as if no human being was involved. Time was of the essence—the emphasis on that warning appeared several times in every piece of literature. “The first trimester.” Hope’s voice sliced the silence and she went back to reading in silence.

If you'd like to read the rest of Hope's Story and those of Chastity and Faith, you can find Ages of Love on Amazon.

Here are this week's participants:
 Be sure and check in for next week!

Friday, March 14, 2014


I blog-jacked the following 2008 entry from Writer's Digest.  There are some great points included in these seventeen things...I especially like number seven!

1. Never save your best for last. Start with your best. Expend yourself immediately, then see what happens. The better you do at the beginning, the better you continue to do.
2. The opening paragraph, sentence, line, phrase, word, title—the beginning is the most important part of the work. It sets the tone and lets the readers know you’re a commanding writer.
3. The first duty of a writer is to entertain. Readers lose interest with exposition and abstract philosophy. They want to be entertained. But they feel cheated if, in the course of entertaining, you haven’t taught them something.
4. Show, don’t tell or editorialize. "Not ideas about the thing, but the thing itself."—Wallace Stevens
5. Voice is more important than image. "Poetry is not a thing, but a way of saying it."—A.E. Housman
6. Story is more important than anything. Readers (and publishers) care a lot less about craft than content. The question they ask isn’t, "How accomplished is the writer?" but, "How good is the story?"
7. These rules, pressed far enough, contradict each other. Such is the nature of rules for art.
8. All writing records conflict. Give the opposition quality attention and good lines. The power of the the antagonists should equal that of the protagonists.
9. Shift focus often. Vary sentence structure and type; jump back and forth in time and place; make a good mix of narration, description, exposition and dialogue.
10. Be careful of your diction. A single word, like a drop of iodine in a gallon of water, can change the color of your entire manuscript.
11. Provide readers with closure. The last sentences of the novel echo something that happened earlier. Life comes full circle. "If I have a pistol in my first chapter, a pistol ends the book."—Ann Rule
12. By the end of the work, the conflict should reach some satisfactory resolution. Not always a "happily ever after" ending, but something should be finalized.
13. Revise, revise. You never get it on the first try. Art shows up in rewriting.
14. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and adverbs; trust the precision of your nouns and verbs. Verb form: the shorter the better. Avoid helping verbs and progressives. Avoid passive voice. Avoid cliche and stock phrases.
15. Be interesting with every sentence. Be brief. Hemingway’s first editor at the Kansas City Star gave him this style sheet: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Hemingway later referred to that list as "the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing."
16. If you can be misread, you will be.
17. There are no rules for good writing. Those who break the "rules" successfully are the true artists. But: learn, practice and master the rules first. "You cannot transcend what you do not know."—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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