I am home, at last, after an entire summer away, having a big adventure. My husband and I drove across the country, from Maine to California, and back again.
We stopped to see sights both iconic (the Petrified Forest) and ironic (The Jolly Green Giant statue). I have pictures to prove it, and I will share them soon.
I even got to travel the Trans-Canada highway for the first time ever (highly recommended; there are many places where you can stop and just take a break by the water).
We managed to help one son transition from East Coast to West Coast into a long-coveted job, and spent quality time with our grandson.
We had a blast living in San Francisco in a furnished sublet, able to walk to the ocean/bay in any direction we wished.
Unfortunately, I did not get nearly enough work done, especially not writing work.
I have so many travel stories to share with you on the blog, in addition to continuing the Secret Shopper Mom Mystery series with License to Shop, the next Molly Harbison mystery shopper novel. Not to mention the new YA fantasy serialization I have been outlining and working on for a couple of years now.… Read the rest
I’m excited to report that I’m a part of a new venture — Storytellers Unlimited. The tagline is my headline — doesn’t it just say it all? Authors and readers getting lost in the story, together.
Three other authors and I started this group as a way to find our readers, and to find out what it is that readers want, need, and can’t live without. After all, when it comes right down to it, we’re all readers and story lovers first.
Over the next few months, we’ll be asking readers to tell us what you want (we’re not psychics, although two of us write about psychic characters). I really hope you will go and participate in the conversation.
To stay informed about what we’re up to (contests, special deals, new releases, polls, questions, giveaways, you name it), I invite you to subscribe to our newsletter.… Read the rest
I often think I have great ideas. Ask anyone who has known me longer than a few hours. They can tell you that I frequently start a sentence with, “I just had a great idea!”
Not that the ideas are always that great, of course. But I do love that burst of excitement that comes with an idea that seems a real winner. Having had a few great ideas that panned out in my life, I can definitely say they are fun…in the same way roller coasters are fun, even when your heart dips into your stomach and you wonder if you’ll survive the trip this time.
Telling a great idea from a good idea isn’t always easy, but the great ones tend to stick with you. If they don’t work at first, they come around and sneak up on you another way, until everything comes together and magic happens.
I can also say that my greatest ideas always come from the heart. Like this newest idea I had to promote audiobooks, which, along with 9 other authors, I’m unveiling today.
Okay. The whole Boston thing has me bummed. I’m turning off the news and turning to something fun: writing Caleb’s book.
I’ve been struggling with the way to start. Going from a novel that allows you 250 words to a page (and lots of pages) to a baby book, where I must rely on pictures and very few words to carry the story is a challenge. But I’m enjoying it.
I took a lot of pictures when I visited his mom pre-Caleb’s arrival, and I’m playing with Photoshop to make them work in the story.
Yesterday, in the car, I came up with the first few lines (probably the first few pages, considering this is a baby book and pictures matter most):
Caleb came home with his mommy and daddy on a windy day in March.
Caleb slept a lot at first, because he was born early. Sleepy Caleb.
One day, Caleb stopped sleeping and started looking around.… Read the rest
I have a confession to make: I have become an audiobook junkie.
Back in the day, when an audiobook cost $80 dollars and came with a tray of cassette tapes 20 strong, I had to be highly motivated to check one out of the library. Even when my family purchased the last Harry Potter on CD for a long car trip, it was not a lightly made purchase.
But then along came .mp3, digital media, and now I love listening to books when I’m in the car, out walking, or running on the track at the Y.
In the car, I listen to Book Radio on Satellite radio when I can (bits and pieces, but I love it anyway). On our summer trip across the country, my husband and I must have listened to ten books in various genres. Some good, some not so good. All better than most of the choices on FM radio.
I hadn’t considered turning my books into audiobooks, though. It seemed like too much work. Until Audible (an Amazon company) performed its magic and created ACX — a platform that allows authors and narrators to team up to produce and sell audiobooks.… Read the rest
The Northeastern winters get tough on me. I’m not fond of trudging through snow. I start to feel housebound. I have tried many things to keep myself in a healthy and creative mindset: going to the Y, curling up with a great book by the wood stove, trying delicious sounding soup and stew recipes.
But sometimes nothing works and I find myself sitting under a blanket wishing I were in Hawaii (I’ve never been, but in my mind, that’s the place where creativity reigns unfettered).
I begin to search online for writer’s retreats, or spas where I might spend two weeks having someone else make my meals, wandering around warm snow-free walking paths, joining a yoga class every morning…and, most of all, having hours of solitary focus on my writing. It always sounds like heaven…expensive heaven.
This year, I knew I needed to find a way to get away. I trolled my usual suspects, but there was no way I could afford them. Then I got an email from Virgin America about a sale. I could nab an inexpensive ticket to San Francisco.… Read the rest