Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday=Writing Prompts

Tosay's prompt comes from Hal Zina Bennett author of 30 books including Write Starts: Prompts, Quotes, and Exercises to Jumpstart Your Creativity.

The phone rings in the middle of the night, awakening you from disturbing dreams about a friend. You answer the phone it's the friend you've been dreaming about. She describes a crisis she's in; it's exactly what you were dreaming. Starting with the dream, describe your meeting with your friend and what happens next.

Post your responses. I'd like to get some ideas stealing.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Day You've All Been Waiting For

I have a book cover!!!!!!

Just wanted you to know what the new book will look like. No release date yet. Just know it's coming soon.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Is Your Giveaway Legal?

Many bloggers are giving things away on their blogs. If you are considering this, be sure to read this link: Blog Law - Is Your Giveaway Legal?

Not all giveaways are legal. So, if you're going to do it right, know the law. Be safe not sorry.


Switching Things Up

Today's blog is going to be different. You will find that from now on my Friday blog will carry a writing prompt. Whether you choose to use it or not is up to you. Here is the one for today:

In a paragraph or two, describe an event from your character's point of view, perhaps a dinner with a friend, a walk in the park, or a neighborhood watch meeting. Write about the event from a different emotional point of view--anger, delight, hope, detachment or dispair.

This prompt comes from Rochelle Melander author of Write-a-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It).

Feel free to post yours in the comment section. This could be some interesting stuff. Stretch your characters and watch them grow.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Better Get Back to Blogging

I have been so busy that I have neglected my blog. I have finished my third short story. Time to get them ready for the contest. Then we will make covers and have them printed as ebooks. I am looking forward to that. I have finished the second round edits on my novel. I am very pleased with how that is shaping up. Cover art and a book trailer soon.

I am enjoying the peacefulness on the island. I have learned that winter is the down time here. I can hear the ocean all day. I can walk for miles on the beach and not see another soul. They are very nature conscious here and there is a bird sanctuary. I am finding my way at least back to the spot where I turned to come onto the island.

I have had a blast with glass fusing at Turtle's Nest Craft Cove. Ally has been very helpful. I am learning how to use the tools and mix the colors to achieve what I want.

I've made pendants and a candle holder.

I have learned there is a kiln at my parents. I will pick that up on my way home in the spring. I am learning everything I can in the meantime. I love doing the glass fusing.

Not much washes up on the beach which I found surprising. I've found a couple shells and a piece of drift wood. I was hoping to find more shells and a sand dollar or two. I will keep looking.

I am eager to dig into my second book in the series. Even my reviewers are asking for more. That is a good feeling. I am also behind on my book reviews. I have to learn to space myself. I am trying to get those done.

I've had a couple of on-line interviews. The latest can be found at I was interviewed on a book I had reviewed. I am working hard to get my name known. New marketing campaign and website are in the works.

So, now everyone is caught up. I can go be lazy some more.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting on My Soapbox

I try to stay off my soapbox, but this issue is near and dear to my heart. Having grown-up with an educator in the family and later becoming one.

I am tired of teachers being blamed for the failings of the "education system." I'm tired of hearing that we don't do our jobs. We are failing our students. There need to be stricter standards for teachers. Why?

The system broke back in the 1970's when some fool decided that children had to be socially promoted and remain with their age peers so they would not get their feelings hurt. That archaic system is still in place today.

I'm going to date myself, but I need to make a point. When I was an elementary student back in the early 1960's there were things we had to be able to do to go on to the next grade. They were required. Children did NOT fail kindergarten, nor were they held back in kindergarten. Our wise teachers knew that children learned at a different pace. Kindergarten was where we learned to share, work in groups, and basically what the boundaries were. The prime grades for repeating were first and second where the basic were taught. You really had to have the basics. I don't remember too many that didn't get those on the first try.

Fast forward twenty some years to when my daughter was in elementary school. The kids were tested and placed into reading groups. They changed classrooms for reading. They were tested throughout the year and moved up as they progressed. It wasn't rocket science. The kids who needed more help got it.

Now you cannot put a child in reading group. Heaven forbid, the damage to their egos would be forever ingrained. Many would be doomed to failure. NOT. Real life is full of failures. You pick yourself up and start over. Whole group instruction is the thing now. Doesn't matter if you have children reading two grades above grade level, on grade level, or two grades below grade level everyone reads the same story at the same time. Oh wait, they don't read it. They listen to it on a tape/CD the teacher plays for them. REALLY???? Then they break into mini groups with tasks to complete and move every twenty minutes or so. One of two of the groups has a teacher or paraprofessional that monitors what the children are doing. The other two or three groups the children are left to themselves. The teacher then chooses the group work she will take a grade from. Heaven help the child who was in a non-monitored group if they didn't understand what was expected.

Part of the fix for education is to come up with a simple list of requirements that must be mastered (mastered meaning your child can get it 85% of the time without assistance) post them where parents, teachers and the community can see them and then teach them. We as educators spend so much time trying to prepare kids for "The Test" whatever one is required by the state or district that we have lost sight of what teaching really is. We have let the politicians (who themselves are clueless) dictate what goes on in the classroom. It's time to relook at education and what really did work. It's not rocket science. It's more common sense.

If you have a child two months into the school year that doesn't seem to be getting whatever you are teaching, you need to get the parents in and get some kind of help for that child. If the government is going to hold teachers accountable for the education of the child, then maybe parents need to know what it is that the child is expected to learn. Curriculum guides don't tell a parent anything. They are written in educational jargon to appease administrators and government bodies. Get back to the basics.

Okay, now I'm getting off my soapbox. I'm open to all comments. I can take it.


Monday, January 9, 2012

On-line Interview

In case you are not on my Facebook friends list or missed it. I did an on-line interview today. You can check it out at ShahSight: The Interpreter: With Rebecka

I did a book review of Shah Wali Fazli's book The Interpreter a couple of months ago. He has opened a Facebook page to promote other writers. He kindly asked me to answer three questions and posted my answers in interview format on his blog. I am very thankful for the opportunity.

Be sure to check it out.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Almost Human Again

I think I have survived. My mouth feels better and most of my congestion is gone. I spent yesterday sleeping. The sofa is very comfortable. I did rouse myself a couple of times to find food.

After tossing and turning last night I came to life late today. I was amazed at how much better I felt.

I did take an early walk on the beach. Found that a Portuguese Man of War jelly fish had washed ashore. Of course, I hadn't taken my camera. I also learned that beyond where I enter the beach are private homes...okay mansions. Some very plain and others very ornate. I'll be sure to get pictures. There were many more people on the beach today. Still way to cold for swimming.

Spent the evening reading a rough draft of a novella for an author friend. I do so hate cliffhangers. It was a great read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Did some editing as I went, suggestions only.

Now I am about ready to call it a day. I'm sure I will find much to do in the coming weeks. Finishing my short story is the first priority. Getting the second one down so it meets the word count is another and finally finishing my second novel. And also the much talked about release of my new novel. So, I do have much to keep me busy.


Friday, January 6, 2012

What a Day!!!!

Ok, I was up most of the night with stomach issues. I got up for the day at 8am. Which is pretty much normal most days. My mouth was feeling worse so I decided I needed to find a doctor on the premises. Yep, sure enough there was one.

So, my first item of the day after my yogurt for breakfast was to jump in the shower. Are you laughing yet? I had no water in the shower. There is water every place else in the condo. I'd made tea in the kitchen, done a load of laundry, and used the bathroom. So what on earth was I doing wrong? After several minutes with no luck I got dressed and called maintenance. Good thing I did. For once it wasn't me. The guy had to take the whole faucet off to get to the problem and it's a good thing I found it or there could have been serious problems.

He also showed me what I needed to do to get the TV in the living room to work. Not too complicated, but without instructions or someone showing you how, you'd be lost. So I am now set up to use that TV if I choose.

Next on the agenda is to see if I can get into a doctor. One call got me in at 2:30pm this afternoon. So I called and arranged for a shuttle to pick me up. Yeah, the doctor was super and told me I had exactly what I thought I had. I have good stuff now to take care of it. Think I'll just sleep all week end.

Learned that my youngest niece decided to be Evel Knievel on her scooter and broke her arm in two places. I feel bad for her. She will be seeing an orthopedic doctor to get that taken care of.

I have started a short story so my publisher will be proud of me. This is the last one for a bit. I am excited about the idea. It is not my usual mystery. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Soon my short stories will be available to my fans.

I am going to call it a day. I may not come to life again before Monday.


New Adventures

Well, I am in my winter home. This is day two. It is sunny and the temps are at 58* right now. It is supposed to get into the lower 60's today.

I have managed to get groceries in, I am pretty well settled. I am looking up the medical center on the island for a doctor today. I have thrush. I pretty much think the head cold has gone away. However, eating is not fun when your mouth is messed up. Ugh.

I'm staying pretty close to the condo for the next few days. I just want to feel better. I will do my daily walks on the beach as I cannot seem to get enough of that. I hope to get up early a few mornings and do some beach combing. For now that's the news.

Trying to find an idea for a third short story. I'm looking for something a bit different. Just not the usual. We'll see what I can come up with.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Whoo Hoo New Things

First I have landed safely in South Carolina. The trip was interesting. The condo is amazing and quiet. And I of course, cannot figure out the TV....blonde that I am.

But the new and exciting things. I have added to this blog a spot for you to sign up for e-mails. Then you don't have to keep checking to see if I've written anything, it will come to you in an e-mail. You will be able to comment right from the e-mail, too. Way cool!!!! See I am easily amused also.

On that note I'm going to curl up in my pajamas with a good book. I am trying to fight off a chest congestion and I am sorely losing the battle.



My laptop has been at full capacity for the past two weeks. It's nice to be consistently writing again. It's been hit or miss for...