fiction you say?

boy i have been a terrible blogger. i apologize to the 2.5 people who were reading my blog on a regular basis. sorry mom and dawn. 
i just haven't had much to say. i was not sure why but then i talked to someone about my job. he asked me what i did and i said i am a fiction writer in my heart and my career is a communications director, writing marketing material etc. he laughed and said, so you are a fiction writer as a career as well. 
then it dawned on me. i am out of words. i am using words and sitting on the computer all day. so by the time it gets to my time to write for me, i am out. my butt hurts, my brain is bent, and my fingers are tired. 
but i miss it.
i miss the pride, i miss the story and i miss the dream. i do not however miss the beating of my head against a wall :)
hopefully i can visit here more often and start telling you about the fiction i am writing for me.


friday's quote

"always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." abraham lincoln


the indian story

last year my grand daughter told her mother this story about indians, evidently she was learning about them in pre-school. as her mother said this is the perfect reason you and your children don't really need television, they can be so entertaining on their own:
eat cooked crabs
wear no clothes
speak spanish and the word "oputueeso" means "hand over the food"
they have no trampolines
live in tents with buttons with no doors you just punch the tent to get out and all the kids sleep in one room with bunk beds
they don't brush teeth so they don't have any
they take showers in a water fountain and use fish soap
and then go to bed at 7
they do breathing exercises to keep them from getting fat
and can only eat junk food in the fall
boys and girls wear any kind of make up they like
they go to indian school and learn about eating healthy fish
they draw with feathers cause they have no pens
all the kid indians smoke all day long except when they're sleeping and they don't die
for their birthday's kids get fish presents
and they have cheetah pets to take them places
for fun they play with ice but not the grown ups just the kids

when her mom asked her how she knew all of this she said "I saw them do it before. Sorry but I gotta get goin mommy." Then she wrote down on a piece of paper her "indian" address where I could write her a letter and send it to her tent.

think we might have another writer in the family?


friday's quote

"i would rather be ashes than dust; i would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot; i would tarther be in a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow than in a sleepy and permanent planet; the proper function of man is to live, not to exist; i shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them; i shall USE my time."
-jack london


asking questions

if you were being interviewed by someone how would you answer? would you be truthful, really truthful or would you say what you thought you were supposed to in order to sell your book/art/music/product? i would answer honestly, it is all i know how to do, for better or worse.

when you write/paint/sculpt or whatever are you being truthful, really truthful or are you creating what you think will sell? are you hiding behind something to protect yourself?  i am not sure why but i think i hide. we all know that the only way to be successful ( and i am not talking about financially, rather, successful where you beam at what you create because you gave it everything you had) is to give all of you, honestly, without pride, or fear, or preconception. 
there are so many sayings out there now to make us feel good, to inspire us but if you really break them down they say simply, believe, believe, believe, and then "just do it" whatever is in your heart, do it. let everything else go and you will be where you always wanted to be, in the precise spot you were meant to be.


look at the competition

the quest to get published, and then read, and then really noticed as an author is no different than the quest of a musician, an artist, a salesman or a marketing person. we are all in the same boat, we face intense competition, usually lack of influential contacts and certainly a lack of experience (since this is only gained by doing something for an extended period of time, facing new and different hurdles). i have made the mistake in my career of saying that writing is even more difficult than most of these things because there are so many people writing, trying to get published and because writing requires a commitment that painting, music, a sales pitch etc. do not. while this may be it doesn't matter. the desired end result is the same for each person and therefore the obstacles which face each individual is not the important thing, the important thing is how one gets around them. it is vital to understand your obstacles, and when you do, figure out how to beat them, what do you have that everyone else doesn't that will allow you to succeed? once you know this-- keep your eyes on the end result, glance around you regularly to mark your progress, and definitely learn from your mistakes and your successes along the way. 


friday's quote

"It is a crime to leave a man's hand empty."   derek walcott-Omeros

i love this excerpt from walcott's book/poem. i think it is very true, but what i love so much is the simple beauty of the words he uses to explain something so true. when i first heard it i thought he was referring to leaving people without food to eat. then, i heard the author explain that in fact it refers to leaving a man without work to do. anyone can say that right, but can you say it like he did in the quote? that is the beauty of writing well, of using words efficiently, and powerfully. that is what moves people and gets them talking about a book and a writer. 


where are you going?

i think it is hard sometimes to see where we are going. where are our decisions really taking us? if we are lucky we make the right decisions most of the time, however, i think if we are the luckiest, we don't and then, we learn. to me a bad decision is more valuable than a good one:as long as we keep our minds and our hearts open.
it is not hard to hear a bad decision, it is the one screaming at you so loudly, from the bottom of your soul and won't stop. listen to it. take the time to decide what you are supposed to learn, redirect and move on. don't get lost in the decision, use it to grow, use it to learn and then, move on...


it is a good time to be refining our writing

i just read this and am very glad i am still in the writing stages of book two. each piece of news i read about our economy makes my head shake even harder. i think we have no idea how far this goes and i wonder if we are ready for what could be coming. as much as i hate to support it we need to be spending, seriously, we really can't afford to sit home and be cautious any longer.


friday's quote

Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.
Frank Sinatra


life in a cube

so i have to admit, i have no time for the researching, reading blogs etc.  now. i miss it and feel very out of touch. i think the career i was beginning to build is slipping away, until i pull my macbookpro out of its bag every lunch hour and begin to work on my novel. touching each key and watching every word form is like an escape. it is me holding on to the dream i have fostered, and the work i have done for the past three years. 
i am making progress, with only 68,000 words left (approximately) until i am finished. that is a great feeling. 
each day i find myself for one hour escaping to the dream i refuse to let die. i know i will get there eventually, and for now i am thankful i have a job, a home, a family and that we are not facing what so many in this world are right now. 


bear with me

i have gone to work full time so i am trying to get used to my schedule and work my writing back into it. i hope to be back in full swing by the end of the week. 


friday's quote

"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."-Martha Washington

something to think about in these days of turmoil...


take back the night

i gave my reading last week at the domestic violence protest. the unimportant part, i did pretty good. i didn't get nervous or blow it in anyway. the important part, the courage of the women who stood up and talked about their experiences and what they had been through. i was really moved by their stories of perseverance. i was stunned to learn that in virginia alone 147 people a year die from domestic violence, of those 20 are children. it was shocking and upsetting. 

the most infuriating part, the law, or lack thereof that protected the abusers in almost every case! each woman told stories of contacting the police about harassment, stalking or threats and each time the story was the same, the police told them they needed more proof. in several instances that resulted in the death of the woman and twice the children as well. one law they are trying to pass is to make it illegal to threaten to kill someone. i think this is a fantastic idea! in my opinion this is where is starts, and this is where the women should be allowed to seek protection. i know it would be hard to prove but there has to be a way to start the law that could help a lot of the women. i am definitely motivated to get involved in lobbying congress to change these laws to start protecting our women and children from abuse. 

i believe in my heart though that the ultimate problem is our society is not doing enough to curb anger, rage, and violence. we need to be educating!!!!


friday's quote

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

(i am not sure who said this, but it wasn't me...)


writers conference

this past weekend i attended the james river writers conference. i was so happy there, among people who are as interested in writing as i am. it was great to hear the lectures, and the caliber of people who spoke and participated in workshops was incredible.  i also met with an agent which was incredibly nerve wracking but, she did tell me i can contact her and she will look over my new book, the one still in progress. she said the idea was marketable so yay for me! i have to tell you the few things that really stuck out for me:
1. one of the moderators kept saying the reason they are on the stage and not us (the audience) is because they refuse to quit when people told them no.
2. although the agents and editors hold my life in their hands they are at the end of the day, just as human, or only as human as me. (however you choose to look at it.)
3. Adriana Trigiani is the most hilarious person/author I have ever heard speak! check her out here


here i am again


this is my newest round of articles. i am really happy with the way they turned out and with the great experience of talking to and interviewing each person. my articles are 

congrats to all of them. they have definitely earned the honor!


newest article

                                                   Home Style

here is my latest article for Home Style magazine. it was a lot of fun writing about all of the "green" innovations people are implementing in richmond. i am really enjoying the article writing, it is nice to talk to real people sometimes, instead of just the characters of my novel dancing around in my head.


paper clips

                                            Image Preview

i was on this blog this morning and i remembered one of my favorite places in lucca. an office supply store, tucked away on a small side street that had the most gorgeous office supplies. they had notebooks in great colors, like lime green and fuschia with matching elastic closures on each corner. they had paperclips shaped like hands in primary colors of red, blue and yellow. their pen selection was great, filled with all kinds of comfort grips, and sleek designs. the little old lady standing behind the front counter was always so sweet, indulging my hour long gawking sessions, and whenever you needed something out of the ordinary she would send her son, who was in his forties, to the space next door to look through the mounds of stuff, and climb old rickety ladders to find exactly what you needed.  heaven...

photo is from here


october 16

on october 16th i will be reading an excerpt from my book at Take Back the Night, a peaceful domestic violence protest. i am so honored and excited about this! okay, i am extremely nervous too since i don't do well speaking in public but aside from the fear of making a complete a#@ of myself i am overjoyed. anyone have any tips for conquering public speaking fears?


friday's quote

“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people”
-Nido Qubein

i find myself doing the loser thing from time to time and it is so dangerous! and, it is always when i feel the worst about myself, my life and my accomplishments. when i look at what i have accomplished on my own scale comparing myself to my own goals, i am doing pretty well actually. that feels a lot better than comparing myself to nora ephron or tess gerritson or toni morrison, hmmm, think i have a problem with setting my sites a little high from the get go????!!!



i have been out of town, visiting friends in concord, mass. and working on several articles. i can't wait for them to come out and will post links to them here. they are near and dear to my heart on design, and on innovative things people are doing to lower their carbon footprint here in richmond (remember Home Style magazine?). very cool stuff! in the mix, i found these people, and feel so lucky they are in my community; now i just need them in my neighborhood...


friday's quote

 to someone i think might need it:

A leader, once convinced that a particular course of action is the right one, must....be undaunted when the going gets tough.
Ronald Reagan

Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend upon the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the ever lasting and sanctified buldoggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.
Dr. A. B. Meldrum

“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
George Lorimer

it’s a very funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
William Somerset Maugham


i am currently working on

i just started three short articles for this magazine. they should be cool since they are covering great interior spaces in richmond. i will post a link when it is done. 


friday's quote

"a word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
-bill cosby


avett brothers

so this is not what i normally would post but since i have been spending so much time on my computer, my new lovely apple macbook, i have been searching out music while i write. i found this band yesterday on this blog. i really like their laid back music, it is great to write to!


first book

i just found this website via this blog. what a great organization. they are having a contest from now until september 15th to vote on the book that began your love of books, give them the details and then vote on the state you would like to see recieve 50,000 books. how cool is that! there is also a way to let all your friends and family know so they can vote too, that is here. so, go vote!


james river writers conference

                                            Getting It Write

i have signed up to attend the james river writers conference october 10th & 11th. The conference looks great with well known authors attending.  i signed up to meet an agent so i am working feverishly on my second novel to have it ready in time to meet and greet with an agent! i also became a member of james river writers so i am excited about becoming more involved with them. 
if you are able to get to richmond you should think about attending...


friday's quote

“I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.”
-woody allen


writing question

i am working on my second novel, trying to make a tremendous amount of progress before the writers conference i am attending in october, i will post more about that later. i am having fun with this book as it is completely different than what i normally write. i struggled at first with "selling out" but actually i think it is so much fun to write what i normally wouldn't have. 
i have a question about the story though, so chime in with your opinion...
when building suspense in a book, or perpetuating a mystery how long do you let it go before you let the reader in on what is happening and take them through the mystery with you? is it better to let the suspense build a long time or to include the reader in the action? 
let me know what you think.