Trick or Treat – It’s Halloween

images_025The Halloween’s from my childhood have disappeared. No more neighborhood travels to homes with empty brown-paper bags. No more tricks for the people, who opened their doors without fear and laughed as we sang, tap-danced, twirled or acted out our homemade costumes. An old shirt from dad made the transition to an old man, or the threadbare pillow case over our heads with holes cut out for eyes and the mouth made us ghosts. Then what about the old rag rolled up and stuck under the door to keep the cold from coming inside. This pinned to a backside for a cat look, and don’t forget the cowboy outfits with a big belt, sometimes wrapped around the waist twice, and the plastic toy water gun, minus the water.

Treats were not just thrown into our open bags, but handed to us wrapped in foil from the kitchen. The small of fresh, baked cookies slipped out some of the foil and our mouths could taste the chocolate chips or spices from oatmeal cookies. Sometimes, we lucked out and got an apple or a pear. We always said ‘thank you’ before scurrying of to the next neighbor. There was no fear in walking with our friends around or neighborhood or the thought of something in our treats to hurt us. The excitement of staying up past bedtime to count our goodies, with parents watching when we got home.

Simple pleasures. Simple treasures.

Fast forward to the present and a different Halloween. Costumes are bought from a store, weeks in advance, and can range from aliens from out space to creatures from the dark side. Brown paper bags no longer exist. Instead, orange pumpkin-like buckets are held up for what is handed out and still wait for more. Sometimes, the ‘thank you’ is forgotten.

No longer is it safe to walk, even in groups, from one place to another. Parents drive a group of kids to places they believe to be safe and fun for their children. Schools hold Halloween parties, churches invite Halloween participants into the recreation areas to have safe fun and no tainted treats. Tricks have turned into more than fun and sometimes dangerous. Treats are from the grocery store, not the oven.

Yer, we all get a little excited about Halloween. It is a fun time, rather is should be a fun time to be remembered later in life. Sharing this special Haunted Day with your children and your friends will add memories to your lives. Make a Special Halloween this year for your family, and do not forget to say, ‘Thank you.’

I would love to hear back from you about your Halloween Haunts from your childhood or your children’s  view of their Halloween. If you agree, I’ll post the different answers. I promise, no name, but you will recognize your own stories. However, you may include a state, as some areas are so different.




What Inspires You?

On FireWhat gets you going every day? A little fire under our feet, or in the pen we are using to write, or the fingers on the keyboard?

Sometimes, we do not think about the actions that propel us to go forward in whatever endeavor we attempt. This is life and we all need to make certain we do things that put some balance in our lives. We all need to be influenced by inspiration. So, where do we get these ideas?

Inspiration is everywhere, except sitting around waiting for these powers to come jump in your lap. We need to be ready and willing to step out and see what is missing in our lives.

As writers, some of our inspiration comes from exploring new surroundings, getting new ideas for our stories. These come from being around other writers, whether critique groups, brainstorming groups, or professional organizations. But, we need the stimulation of others to create new energy.

No matter what you like doing, being alone without other people is not living a balanced life. If you love to cook and always stumble around with the ‘old-hand-me-down’ recipes, you are not reaching toward new inspirations. You need to be with other people who love trying new tastes, new food groups, and be stimulated by the end results.

This could be for gardeners. Yes, if getting outside, digging in the dirt, planting flowers or seeds for a vegetable garden is what you want to do, then make certain you do it. Stimulation is great for the soul and life.

Exercise is another area where we can get inspiration. Once you establish a routine, no make that a daily routine, your body will crave these actions from being outside and meeting other walkers or runners. What about the gym? You will receive motivation from other members, meet different people, and exchange thoughts and ideas.

Inspiration is all around us: the change of seasons, the opportunities to do something different, and increase our creative processes. This about finding your passion or passions and going for whatever it is. Obstacles, of course, lIfe is not perfect, but when we get outside our small little box we try to live in, WOW! Explore these adventures, they are out there for each of us. As writers, we are no different. We need creativity, obstacles, passion and living life to the fullest, and give our readers the best book ever.

Endorse Encouragement. Propel Motivation. Share Stimulation.


Switch On To Positive

Two friends“Wow! I thought she’d forgotten about us ,” Ethel said .

“No  way. She knows not to be gone for long ’cause we’d make a scene, and it would not be scenic.”

“But here she is with something we need to think about:  a negative scene or a positive scene, and let’s hear her out before we make any scenes of our own.”

Yes, before you get out of bed in the mornings, make certain your body switch is on the positive. You need this close by your bedside table or wear the switch around your wrist. Better yet, set it the night before inside your mind. This is crazy. No it is not, and we need to take a look at the possibilities of hitting the day in a positive mode.

Lately, a lot of people (of all ages) have been commenting about the time change on November 2, 2014. “Hey, we get to have another hour of sleep.” Or, “how can I make up an hour of sleep from six months ago.?”  Just forget it. I look at the clock and if it tells me the time, I go with this. Of course, some people still complain that the time is okay, but their bodies do not agree.

It does not matter what time zone you are in or the spring forward and fall back bit, you can get up in a positive mood with the switch of your thoughts.

Have you ever awakened and thought, “This is going to be a crappy day?” and then it turns out to be a crappy day. What if there is a switch you can adjust in your sleep and wake up to a positive attitude and a positive, productive day? Yeah, just say it and it’s almost there.

We are in tune with the world and the events of the day, BUT, we are writers and we can make any day we want to sing with the sunshine. So get used to the mind switch from negative to positive and try it every day in your writing world. Oh, yeah, we still need conflict to keep out story moving forward and drawing our readers inside the covers.

Sure, you do. It is an important part of your writing life. And note, I said writing life. You can create any area for your protagonist or the antagonist, and that is your job. But, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, the negative side, you will taint your story with all the wrong feelings. And then there is the possibility you wake up in the best of moods, and your characters become happy-go-lucky, when they should be cautious and suspicious.

So, what should we do as writers? Wake up, be quiet, and feel the day unfold. Do you have a window in your bedroom? Look out through the blinds. Is the sun starting to rise? Or are you too early? Does the taste of anxiety fill your throat? Or does the feel of anticipation of new chances fill your mind? You can control how you look at the new day. You cannot control how it will turn out.  You need to switch to the positive side.

If you go back to the sun rising, you turn yourself over and forget about a new day, you are turning the positive switch off.  You will never get your work done. I’d suggest you let the sunlight into your early morning life, or at least the light clouds, and continue your day with positive thoughts, positive words, and get those fingers to the keyboard. It is the early morning vibrations that propel you and your thoughts forward. Do not let the negative switch have an opportunity to ruin your day.

Remember, only you can move the switches between positive and negative. Think positive . . .and reap the benefits for yourself, your family, and your readers.

May your positive switch hold all of life for you and your writing.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, taste the experiences to the utmost, reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

Be positive. Be happy. Write with conviction. Write with gratitude to being positive.

“See there, Ethel, she was just on a mind journey to give us something else to think about.”

“Yep, you are right, Edna. She needs to do this more often.”

“Keep positive, Ethel.”



Great ImageThis past weekend, I attended the GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) Moonlight & Magnolias Writers Conference entitled “On the Write Path” and what a fabulous group of writers and speakers. There was not a workshop scheduled each day that could not help any writer improve their craft.
All of the classes had a little something for every romance writer. Sweet romance, paranormal, how to write great sex scenes without going overboard, and so many more it would take a spiral notebook to name them all. Then a workshop caught my eye – Draw Me a Story. Fascinating, innovative, and I will never look at another picture – newspaper, magazine, billboard, television without questioning every aspect of the image.

Now, I look forward to the 2015 conference, where the hard workers are already getting speakers and planning events. This is what writers do: SUPPORT EACH OTHER.
The whole weekend, I thought of nothing but writing. Then I returned to reality and the world around me. That is why I titled this blog, What Is Weighing You Down? STUFF. STUFF. STUFF. It is as simple and complex as this word.

When we begin our week, or even our day, we think about all the stuff and this suffocates our writing. Yes, we do have jobs, a family, responsibilities, but what about our writing. This is important to us, as writers, and we have a tendency to put our writing last.
One thing I came away with, that I am putting into action, is my time to write. We make appointments for the dentist, the doctor, the hairdresser, the car maintenance, the laundry, the grocery store, the manicure, and I could go on and on. These are important. But, damn it, so is my writing. No, I do not mean to be so abrupt, but we need to look at our writing as a continuous job in process.

Some of us are early risers and think clearer early in the morning. If you truly believe in your writing, then it is as important as keeping the dentist appointment. I am an early morning person. My thoughts have not yet coincided with the stuff of today, and I can think of all sorts of positions to put my writers into. So getting up at 5am and writing until 7am fits into my schedule. Yeah, some days the eyes do not open, the pillow feels too comfortable, and then I think about the last scene I wrote and left unfinished. Why? To guide me back to that special place and find the ending or rework the whole scene.
All the other ‘stuffs’ can be worked in during the day, which leaves me some part of the evening to read. A writer does not just write, a writer reads, corresponds with other writers,
And—oh, yes—works on revisions. Sometimes, the revising process is best done in the evenings or at night. We are concentrated on the work before us and not the work we want to do.

I have found dust bunnies love company, so a once a week distraction to them is okay. Football weekends, unless you are one of the addicted ones, can be the time for laundry, and ugh, house cleaning, and grocery shopping. I find during the game, stores are fairly clear of rampage in the aisles

May you find what weighs you down and clear up the downs and add the ups. We all need to make choices, but these are choices that fit you, your lifestyle, your family, and most importantly, YOUR WRITING.

I have pics, thanks to my SilverSneakers® Camera Guy. Now, I need to practice downloading and uploading to you. There is one more to add, but my computer is working against me. Don’t worry, you will get to see the whole group.

SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 001SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 003





Have a wonderful FALL WEEKEND. Enjoy the start of the cool weather and map out your own way to clean up what weighs you down.




What If?

What did you sayHuh? What if what? This is all about imagination, daydreams and fantasy. If you do not use all of these tools, how can you be creative? Let’s take a look at all three categories and see which ones we need to work on a little harder.

IMAGINATION – are you so wrapped up in reality that you must have your information researched and researched before you start writing? Sure, if you write non-fiction, historical romances, yes. You need the details to be correct, but you also need to use your imagination. You don’t, your writing to read like ‘dullsville.’

Remember as a kid, watching the clouds form and float in the sky? You could see dogs, cats, even your mom or dad. Each day the clouds would create a different picture for you. It was exciting to guess what would be next.

Also, imagination is a game of pretend. You pretend to be something you are not and have fun acting out the part. Why can’t you project this type of playground for your writing? Your characters are part of your imagination and you give them the feeling of being so real, the readers can reach out and attach themselves to your characters’ lifestyles. All of a sudden, you notice your writing becomes more creative and energizing to you and your readers.

FANTASY – You need some of this in your writing. Go way back to Cinderella and look for all of the fantasy throughout the whole book. Look at all of the paranormal writings we now encounter. Fantasy is laced into reality, but you do not lead the reader down either path. All these paths are part of the story. The reader is not misled, rather enticed to keep reading more.

DAYDREAMS – these are part of our daily lives. You know the kind where you can sit and dream of a situation you would love to be in,about the job you always wanted, or about the hero you have yet to meet? Don’t stop and recapture these intimate moments and give your characters their own daydreams.

Look at some of your works-in-progress and see where you could add a fantasy or two. Or, let your heroine daydream about her future, and let your hero imagine himself as a completely different person. Throw blocks in to prevent these happenings and see what creative avenues these characters take to climb over the blocks and get what they want.

As a writer, when you can combine reality with any of these items– Imagination, Fantasy, and Daydreams–and still remain true to your story, your characters, and your readers, you are on A ROLL. Do not stop and see where your encounters take you. Just be true to who you are and what you are writing. Let your mind wander and hear what your heart wants to say. Give your creative side the ‘What If’ attitude and let your pen and paper or your fingers and the keyboard bring you happiness and your readers yelling for more.