Showing posts from June 28, 2015

17th Century Whitehall, Part 2, by Katherine Pym


Taking the Art of Writing Outdoors

Summer is here and the weather is great - for the most part!
Do you use those lazy days to do things you love to do or are you busy running kids from activity to activity to keep them busy the entire summer? Whatever your plans, be sure to bring a book.

Personally, I love summer. I love the lazy mornings (my "real" job doesn't start until afternoons) and try to spend that time either writing or reading. BWL has so many great authors with so many books I'm still working my way through the list! Both my reading and writing habits have changed over the years, and sometimes they change from season to season. Summer screams for lighter, fluffier books. Books that my brain doesn't have to work hard to read. Brain candy.

Writing in the summer has its advantages as well. It's much easier to grab a pen and pad of paper and go to the park, or the beach. Sometimes a change in venue can give you a fresh perspective and some new ideas.

Writing less in isolation and more …


So you want to get published?
You have written a fabulous novel, your mother loved it and your girlfriend said it was the best story she had ever read.
Now, who is the lucky publisher? You know everyone will want it. The dollar sign lights up in your eyes. Six figure advance, well maybe you would take five for starters. You are already debating what you will wear to your first book launch. Who will play the lead role when your masterpiece is made into a movie? Be honest, haven’t we all thought like this?
I have sent manuscripts to the large category romance publishers. The bigger the better I thought and received rejection letters, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I could paper the side wall of my house with them. Along the way I entered and won, or was commended in, unpublished manuscript awards so I was reassured that I had some talent.
In desperation, after a few rejections, I once sent a manuscript off and pretended to be my husband.…


The Fourth of July is the most dangerous holiday of the year.  Every 4th, there are car accidents, drownings, and fireworks accidents.  The majority of deaths are from car accidents.

A lot of drivers hit the road on this holiday, and this increases the likelihood of serious crashes.  Often people attend barbecues and other activities that involve drinking.  And of course, alcohol increases the chances of deadly accidents.  Also, alcohol leads to drowsiness.

Fireworks mishaps raise the chances of accidents and many injuries affecting the head, face, ears, and eyes.  Fireworks displays can go awry and injure spectators, often seriously. A fire at a Seattle marina caused a million dollars in damages and sent clouds of black smoke into the sky before the actual fireworks display.  Someone had set off an illegal fireworks that hit the storage facility. It took 65 firefighters to quell the flames. A fireworks accident in a town north of Los Angeles left 28 people injured after an 'unin…

What If There Was A Monkey In My Swimming Pool?

What If There Was A Monkey In My Swimming Pool?

Skeptic. So as you can see I've started my monthly Blog with a very serious word. Mega serious. Titanium (which is more precious, hence more valuable than platinum, which a few years ago was one leg up on gold), serious. Picture me, mouth pointed down, brows furrowed, teeth nattering, eyes pinpricks of squinty fire, that's how serious that word is.Okay, done, back to my usual mad as a thimble-full-of-olive-oil look. Man, that first paragraph is a killer. You're probably skeptical of me, but I'll stick to serious in my novels from now on. So one of the best books on writing I ever read was titled, 'There's A Monkey In My Swimming Pool'. The opening page simply read, 'What If?' In big letters.My mind was racing on ten different tangents. I wanted to grab a pencil and start jotting down what was ricocheting around in my subconscious.Not to mention that I had just eaten my Frank's 'He puts that hot …


I used to occasionally ask the clerk, when I handed them a ten, if they knew whose picture that was. Mostly, the answer was “some president.” If there was no one waiting, I’d give a short history lesson by saying, “No, this is Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the Treasury. If he hadn’t done his job, by figuring out how to pay off the Revolutionary War debt and balance the budget, there wouldn’t be a United States today.” While this is a gloss of all his myriad accomplishments during the few short years he held the Secretary’s office, I’d hope it would make an impression. Now, because Hamilton is about to be removed from the $10 by a less illustrious successor at Treasury, the people who know their American History—and their Hamilton--are surprised and saddened

Timothy Geithner as well as other veterans and current occupants of high office have come to Hamilton’s defense. Ben Bernanke said of Hamilton "…without doubt, the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S…

The Horse in Your Western Novel – Horses are not Zebras or Misguided Unicorns By Connie Vines

Ten Pet Peeves, or Horse-Related Mistakes to Avoid in your Novel
1)Misusing the specialized and precise vocabulary of horsemanship, especially the size, color, age and sex of the horse.
2) Defying the laws of nature. AKA: Creating the ‘superhorse’.
3)Horses trained or controlled by either ‘mastery’ or ‘magic,’ ignoring the real behavior of horses.
4)Mixing up Western and English terms and styles.
5)The stallion!  (Not the mount of choice).
6)The self-conscious or uncomfortable expert rider.  An expert is an expert—no need to hang on for ‘dear life’.
7)Good riders are relaxed in the saddle.  No kicking, kneeing, or flapping of elbows are needed.
8)Forgetting that horses are animals and need to be fed and watered.  Even in modern times, your transportation requires gas, oil, and water.
9)Talking horses—horses who neigh and, heaven forbid, scream on a regular basis.  Horses are generally rather silent beasts, though they will whinny if parted from their stable mates, or nicker softly in greeting …