Friday, January 26, 2018

Quick Update and Free eBook Download

I’m all kinds of brain dead right now, working on the first draft of book 4 in the California Dreamin’ Series. Not sure of a title or even a final structure yet, but I’ve been handwriting scenes, possible characters, and expanding on my plot ideas since the beginning of the year.

It’s been a lot of fun bringing it together and I’m definitely looking forward to finishing the first draft over the next couple weeks.

Usually I’m a pantser. I just start typing with a loose idea of my main character, setting, and basic plot then let the words fall into what eventually becomes the story. But I’m doing things a little differently this time. Something I also did for Makeup Your Mind. I’m handwriting the entire first draft.

Not gonna lie, it’s awesome. I see better when I write by hand. I mean, I can visualize what I’m writing as if it’s a movie in my mind and when those details are so clear in my imagination, I find it’s easier to get them on the page. Even if that happens in a later draft, once I’ve “seen” the story I can’t un-see it.

Does that even make any sense?

Typing forces the words out a lot faster, with less pain than using a pen and, don’t get me wrong, that’s great. My arm sure doesn’t fatigue as fast. The thing is though, I love using the keyboard when I’m pulling the final story into a cohesive document, but not to start.

There’s something about a blank notebook page that gets me infinitely more jazzed than a blank computer screen. Call me a romantic writer but I like the nostalgia of a pen and paper.

A blob of black ink permanently embedded into the lump of a callus on the first knuckle of the middle finger on my right hand.

I legit might get that as my next tattoo.

But anyway, the book. (And the free stuff!)

As #4 chugs along in development, I decided it might be a nice time to re-visit Carol + Chad 4-eva!. After all, like all the leading ladies in this series, Lara Greene was first introduced in the pages of Carol’s story.

And since I’m having so much fun developing Ms. Greene, I figured why not get C+C out there for free for a couple days. That way, you can prepare in advance for Lara’s grand entrance in April!

Click here to download the Novelette that started it all, Carol + Chad 4-eva!

Available for free until January 28, 2018 so download it now and read anytime over the next few months. Then don’t forget to review it on Amazon!

And, on that brief note, I must fling myself back on my belly on the sofa, pen in hand, and get writing. Because I’m feeling inspired by all this sunshine today and if there’s anything I’ve learned over these past three decades of writing it’s to let the ink flow when I’m inspired.

Don’t forget to download and review, thanks!

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Washing your Mouth out with Soap

For those of us born in a certain era, there were warnings tossed out by our parents or elders that elevated our fear level to that of panic. At least, some of us lived in fear. Some of us handily took matters into our own hands.

The first and most overplayed cautionary tale was, of course, wait until your father gets home.

Now, I didn’t personally grow up with that particular threat because my parents divorced when I was young enough that, even if my mom used it, I don’t remember. The days when my parents were still together are somewhat blurry but I can’t recall those words flying out of my mom’s mouth.

My dad didn’t “get home” after work to (apparently) lay down the law that my mom couldn’t (or didn’t want to) enforce.

I always wondered about that warning. Who were those dads? What kind of people were they when us kids weren’t playing in their back yard? When they were left alone with their family after getting a recap of the day? And what, exactly, would dad do when he got home? Yikes.

I actually heard it used with friends or other kids who still had two parents under the same roof. As far as I was concerned, having dad come home after going off all day to do some job nobody tried to understand, didn’t seem scary at all.

Why was that a believable threat? Like, the guy who is never there is suddenly going to take on the role of enforcer and that frightened kids? Why? Wasn’t dad the “fun” one? The parent who got to relax and take you out back to play catch? He wasn’t the heavy. That was mom.

The one who actually made the rules all day.

At least, that’s what I assumed because television taught me what it was like to have still-married parents. And it always went down the same way. Mom, home raising the kids, dad off to work, mom doing everything else but dad being the one who got a foot rub and a beer at the end of the day. He falls asleep in the recliner in front of the TV while mom finishes her chores.

So, when the warning was doled out, I just couldn’t wrap my head around why it frightened anyone. You mean to tell me that the guy who puts his ass in an overstuffed chair for five hours every night and makes a cursory attempt to teach his kids how to play ball on the weekends is suddenly going to become a growling bear of a man who lives to put you in your place? Because mom told him what you did hours earlier?

As if.

Mom would have kicked your butt long before dad even got home, right?

On the other hand, I’ll wash your mouth out with soap, holds a certain special place in my heart.

Did my mom/family ever wash my mouth out with soap? God no! But was I threatened with the possibility? Yes. Just once. But not by my family.

I distinctly remember the entire experience. Truly, it’s one of those days that I can recall just about everything about it – temperature, where I was, who I was with, who threatened me. Because the follow-up moments were insane.

 Well, I was insane.

The youngest daughter of my babysitter at the time, a girl in my sister’s class, and I were headed to the park. My after school sitter lived on the same street we moved to when I was in grammar school. We had a small park with a slide and a few swings right at the bottom of our street. I spent a good amount of time there and enjoyed walking the top of the chain link fence, trying to see if I could make it all the way from one end to the other without falling.

I have no idea if we were off to meet friends, just that we were walking down the street in that direction. Also, I have no idea what we were talking about but I do remember the word that came out of my mouth.


Just a word. One I still use in conversation to this day. Some things never change, I guess, despite the shocked look on her face and the following words out of her mouth:

“That’s a bad word! I’m telling my mom and she will tell your mom and you’ll be in trouble!”

For a split second, I actually felt like maybe I would be in trouble. But I went off to the park to enjoy my afternoon anyway. When I got back to my sitter’s house, I was greeted by the fact her daughter made good on her promise. She did, in fact, tell her mom.

And that’s when I actually felt the grip of fear.

For the first time in my life I heard the words, “I’m going to have to tell your mom and, if I was your mother, I’d wash your mouth out with soap.”

It was hours before my mom would get home from work. I had to live with the knowledge that my mother would take this horrible step the minute we got home. I paced. I panicked.

Soap? Like, real actual soap? In my mouth?

And what the fuck good would that do? It wasn’t like soap could actually wash a word out of my vocabulary.


But I digress…

I went to pee and that’s when I saw it.  A smooth bar of off-white soap sitting innocently in the dusty rose, built-in, porcelain soap dish on the wall. I stood at the sink, an eleven year old girl. Always in trouble for something.

How bad could it be, I wondered?

Before I could stop myself to really consider what I was doing, the soap went from dish, to hand, to mouth. I pulled my teeth in and just used my lips, she didn’t say she’d make me eat the soap so I took a chance.

I let my tongue flick across the slick finish of the bar. I didn’t get another chance. My stomach lurched and I spit the bar into the sink, gagging at the taste.

Thankfully, I must have wiped that part of this memory because I can’t seem to pull up a single adjective to explain how bad it was. But I definitely remember that I stuck my face under the faucet and proceeded to wash my mouth soap away.

Pretty sure I muttered what the fuck under my breath.

And then, the time went by. At least I knew what to expect when I got home. It wouldn’t be pleasant but I knew, once it was removed, I could wash the taste away. And I’d never curse in front of that girl again.

The sitter, me, and my sister met my mom at the front of their foyer at the top of the stairs, as usual. I looked down at the maroon pile carpet. Steeled myself for the inevitable. Ready to face being in trouble for saying a word.

And then, to my incredible shock and awe, we all said goodbye without another word about the word.

For days after I assumed she would call my mother and tell her. That the bar of soap was sure to find a way back into my mouth any day. But it never came.

I don’t know if my mom ever learned of my horrible transgression or if, somehow, my sitter found out I’d punished myself. Or maybe she just wanted to instill the fear into me so I’d never curse again but didn’t ever intend on telling my mom.

Either way, I learned one thing that day. Don’t eat soap, kids.

Soap tastes like shit.

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Makeup Your Mind California Dreamin' Series (book 3) Book Trailer!

Okay ladies and gents, I finally decided to take the plunge. Go where the cool kids hang out. Okay, maybe that isn’t entirely true but I know I can at least safely say, I’m finally hanging out where the fearless folks make their living.

As the title suggests, I had a book trailer created for Makeup Your Mind and it is FINISHED!

So, a couple things you should know before I share the video with all of you.

First, I know that trailers generally come out before the book release to act as a teaser for the release date itself. And, yes, Makeup Your Mind dropped last November.

Unfortunately, Robert and I didn’t start talking about this as a possibility until I was already pretty far into the writing process and it was getting much closer to date of release. And, hello, video production takes time!

Second, this book trailer business is a first for both of us. On my end it’s both exhilarating and terrifying to try something new.

We are both at a critical time in our creative careers where it makes sense to branch out into new forms of media/new offerings to potential clients and it was perfect timing for both of us!

Finally, if you were around/growing up in the last “innocent” decade, the nineties, then welcome to your life flashback.

LITERALLY every detail about this trailer is exactly what I wanted without knowing how to even express it.

The layout, design, of the interior of the mall, the graphics, the fuzzy lips, the music. EVERYthing about this book trailer so perfectly captures the essence of nineties it makes me feel like I wrote the book and he created this trailer during that decade!

(Could I BE using more accentuated pronunciation?)

Robert is going to get me some business cards, contact info, rates, etc. soon so I can refer his services all over town because I know there are other authors out there ready to make the leap into the fun world of video accompaniment.

So, without further rambling (gushing, over-the-top praise???) here’s the very first Writesy Press, LLC book release book trailer!

Give Robert some love and les us both know what you think.

“This year is gonna rock for all of us!”

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Lighten Up

I am deeming this the year of everything is right. Or, maybe, follow my gut, not my panic.

Either way, this year I’m trying to let go of a little bit of the frantic panic and worry I’ve let myself adopt over the way I spend my days.

When I looked back on my year last year (by essentially taking the entire month of December off from writing), I realized I wrote and released three books last year.

I mean, that’s fucking huge.

At times I still question how I found the motivation, dedication, to do that plus all the other shit that comes from living life and being a self-employed person: running the rest of my company (marketing, dinners, meetings, interviews, accounting, dispensing writing advice…), seeing family, friends, vacations, hockey games, eating, doing laundry, construction projects, testing makeup techniques

The list goes on.

So, when I took stock and realized that, in addition to the books I did some, or a lot, of all that other stuff too, it finally hit me. I hate worrying but I work so much better under pressure. But, the thing is, the pressure doesn’t come from the outside world. It comes from me.

It has to. I’m the chief cook and bottle washer over in the Writesy Press, LLC offices.

But, somewhere along the course of building this brand, I let ‘striving with purpose to achieve my goals’ turn into ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH MUST WRITE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

Somewhere within the last six years since starting this company, I gave up the girl who used to just ride the river of life and end up okie dokie in the end. I went all helicopter parent on my company and gave it zero room to breathe. And it was exhausting.

I don’t have a boss. Other than me. I don’t have work to do. Other than mine. If books don’t hit the market nobody suffers.

Other than me.

Then I realize, despite all the times I felt like a slacker, slug, for sitting on my ass one day or whatever, I still wrote and released three decent stories. Books I’m proud to say I wrote. And between every word, I likely penned somewhere around 250k words last year.

Fuck. Yeah!

And I have my eight month projection calendar filled to capacity with the details of this year’s three book schedule, too.

The difference over doing that last year at this time, I’m not freaking out about getting it all done.

Maybe it’s because I already did it once so I know how to schedule things in more manageable chunks. Maybe it’s because I have a renewed interest in making my dreams come true. Maybe it’s just because I finally decided that I can trust my process.

Regardless why, I’m planning to spend the year doing exactly what I know I need to do on that day to further my goals, and not feel panic because I’m not doing something else/a list a mile long every day.

I’m letting the day guide me and so far, it feels slightly weird but overall pretty good.

A perfect example of this just happened.

I usually pre-write and schedule my blog posts (I’m writing this on Thursday). That way, I can write, proof, and edit before the post goes live.

I didn't even attempt to start working today until a little after 11AM and then took my lunch break at noon. I spent the morning coloring my hair, consuming The Weather Channel blizzard coverage, and scrolling Facebook.

Last year, I would have been mad at myself for not adhering to some strict schedule of work. Like, starting my day at 8AM was vital to my job. It isn’t. Or that ending my day at 5PM is when I’m supposed to stop. It’s not.

But there’s a hockey game tonight at 5PM. And no chance of writing while watching hockey. It’s just too much action and I love that action. It’s how I unwind.

Time. The biggest enemy of a worrier.

Then, with my hair a hot mess of brassy red, as I was booting up my laptop to maybe get started, the Meteorologist on The Weather Channel stationed in downtown Boston said the Bruins game for tonight has been rescheduled due to the weather.

I laughed. Literally, out loud. Because it worked in some weird way. Time wasn’t a factor. And the blog post I wanted to write (so I could do what I said I would this year and be more consistent with posting), is all but finished at this point. Calm and steady. Flowing words without expectations.

All morning I did my thing, not stressing out about time even though I used to tell myself I was wasting a lot. Knowing that the main activity on my calendar consisted of writing this blog post and editing it so I could schedule for posting tomorrow (today when you’re reading this).

Zero panic. And I still have time to do some other stuff that now puts me ahead for starting the first draft of the first book of this year on Monday. If I want to do it. Still trying to decide.

Will I be able to keep up this Zen approach to my work all year long? I don’t know, ask me in August when I have the second book of the year scheduled for release. All I know is I’m going to try.

It feels like success already.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.