Archive for March, 2011

Conferences and contests

As a member of RWA I have wonderful access to the monthly magazine printed by the association. It is filled with great articles on writing, interviews with writers, listings of first sales and much, much more.

One section lists contests and conferences for both published and unpublished writers. I greatly advise attending conferences for writers, especially for the novice. Meeting new and established authors and having the opportunity to network with agents and editors is important for one wanting to become part of the writing community. Whether local or national, I guarantee you will be thrilled with the workshops and with the new friends you will make!

I’ve attended conferences and learned so much about myself and my writing style. Now I am looking into a few contests to see how my work is received.

Taking a few steps forward with my writing now,


Read Full Post »

I grew up loving the old Hollywood classics. Not only did I adore the comedic movies of Doris Day, Rock Hudson, The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and so many others, both for the romantic comedy and the slapstick comedy, but I also adored the Hollywood glamour days of old. It fueled and still does fuel my romantic imagination…that imagination that helps create my love stories. I grew up wanting to BE  Doris Day from Pillow Talk, to have the mystic and grace of Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron. To wish I had that va-va-voom of Marilyn Monroe. I was mesmerized by Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes and Vivian Leigh’s Scarlet O’Hara. I wanted to be on a pirate ship with Errol Flynn!

We lost one of the few living legends today. Elizabeth Taylor, known for her violet colored eyes and sweet smile as well as her many marriages and health problems, has died. She was only 79, but had truly suffered many health problems most of her life. She died of congestive heart failure; I lost my own father to congestive heart failure. He had been 77.

In her lifetime she won three Academy Awards in a career that spanned decades. I remember her in National Velvet, I read about her and her marriages to Richard Burton (and a few others) when I was a kid (in the Photoplay magazines in my grandmother’s beauty salon), I marveled at her grace in the White Diamonds commercials and I watched as she suffered through so many illnesses.

Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Mary Pickford, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, John Wayne, Vivian Leigh, James Dean, John Barrymore…just a few of the old Hollywood movie stars I loved to watch. A time and class all their own. For me, they have and will continue to come alive on the screen and mesmerize me. They helped create my vivid imagination…and love of romances.

To Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s children, my prayers are with you,


Read Full Post »

Not sure what to say…

Wow. This week has been one that I will not forget. It started off with me spending time with my daughter as she was home for spring holiday. Lots of laughter and that great feeling of having one of my kids at home.

Then, I awoke to the tragic news of the huge earthquake in Japan. I don’t even pretend to know all the logistics of the Richter scale and the strength of earthquakes. I had earlier kept an eye of the happenings in Christchurch, by far a huge and destructive earthquake. But…according to news reports this one in Japan was literally thousands of times worse than that one. I have been totally awe struck. Not only was the news of the quake horrible, but I watched on television as the tsunami struck the Japanese coastline. One scene showed the water advancing on the land as a truck on a roadway hurried to get away (and it didn’t). I also saw teensy objects on the roadway scurrying away from the water…and about the third time I watched I realized these were people…directly and inescapably caught in the path of the huge wave.

I worried about all the tiny Pacific islands in the path of the tsunami as it crossed the ocean and radiated out in all directions. Some of these islands are not much above sea level…were any of these affected? I pray not.

The enormity of the event was brought home when docks, land and people along the western US coastline and in Hawaii were affected. People on the mainland were swept to sea and one life was lost. And this is so very far from the original place the tsunami began…it traveled in speeds comparable to those of a jet…across an entire ocean!

But this will affect Japan for many, many months and possibly years into the future. Not only are entire villages and prefectures wrought with tragedy, but trains carrying passengers have been lost to the tsunami, not yet found. Ships were lost or driven inland. Homes and farms were overrun and tossed about like toys. Although over 200 miles away, Tokyo has experienced many violent aftershocks along with the rest of the island nation. Power is limited, nuclear plants are sources of extreme concern and lifestyles have been clearly shaken.

My heart goes out to all who have been victims to this major destruction. It makes me realize how tiny and powerless we can sometimes be on this planet of ours…and reminds me how precious each day we have can be,


Read Full Post »

Just curious…

How many writers find parts of their own personalities in the heroes and heroines who populate their books? Can a person really write a story and not use their personal thoughts or experiences or influences. Maybe it isn’t the main characters, perhaps it is the best friend or even the despicable bad guy who is always throwing the main characters off track.

As I review my writing, I have found that bits of myself are included in my manuscript. Then, when I think about it, bits of several people I know or see are in my work. Little bits of personalities, personal habits…subtle influences on my thought processes!

I’m wondering how many writers see part of themselves in their own novels…not that they’d have to tell just what part of their personality shines through…just curious how much their own habits or lifestyles or thoughts are present in their writing.

Like I said, just curious,




Read Full Post »