Thursday, December 23, 2010

Drawing Inspiration from the Holidays to Write That Perfect Scene

Now that the tree is decorated, its lights shining and reflecting off the garland and various decorations. You may take a moment to listen to the Christmas carols playing on the radio, smell the scent of pine and take in the presents wrapped in festive paper and brightly colored bows.

For me there’s always a sentimental tug when I hear the 1943 song “I’ll be home for Christmas” and think of the soldiers in WWII; it’s easy to transport myself back to that era when family’s gathered around the radio listening to the news and the upheaval of that time or when soldiers received letters from loved ones back home and vice versa.

Emotions are raw this time of year; you hear timeless songs replayed through the decades past. The days are shorter and the season’s winds whip outside your home.

With all the emotions you’re feeling, it’s the perfect time to put pen to paper. Your creative juices are flowing and you may not be aware of it.

You have an outline of your manuscript (or basic idea) and you know at some point you want to have a Christmas scene; what better time to write about it than now. You may have to jump ahead a few chapters but you can draw from all around you the feeling and sense of Christmas. Later you can always tie in the scenes to the rest of your story but for now capture the moment.

So pour yourself a cup of eggnog, wrap yourself in a warm comfy quilt and write the scene your characters are eagerly waiting.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Testing Different Waters

I’ve been writing for years. Admittedly I’m commitment shy when it comes to sending my manuscript away—the fear of contracts looms like dark clouds over my head. (It’s strange, I know. Every writer dreams of a contract). Why am I different? I don’t know; I wish I knew so I could move forward.

Perhaps other writers share my phobia. There is hope though; I’ve come upon ways to help boost your confidence. Contests are a good source to let your manuscript see the light of day and to get that all-important feedback. Blogging is another way to share your voice with the outside world. It’s exciting, fun and lets you create outside of the boundaries of your manuscript.

Recently, I’ve tried another avenue. I started writing for Wikinut where you can write about almost anything and get paid for it. When you’re through writing the article it looks like a page from a magazine—you selected the material, the pictures and the look of it. It’s a great outlet but this is by no means an end to my writing on manuscripts and getting them published… For me it’s baby steps. In fact my manuscript is sitting on my desktop, ready to be sent. And I will be… soon.

Right now, I’m dipping my toe in different waters as I work on my manuscripts on the side and I’m having a wonderful time doing it :-) On Wikinut three of my four articles got stars! I’m so excited about it. Here is the link to my articles if you want to take a look. or take a look to the right side of the screen and you'll see my articles.

Another plus side for writing on an online site, you’re building a portfolio and can mention in your query letter to an agent and editor that you’re a freelance writer.

This is one of the links where you can join and write for Wikinut;

One of the things with writing is that you have to enjoy it. Always keep those creative juices flowing. Happy writing on whatever you may choose :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Dog is Amazing and Should Make Her Way onto Dancing With the Stars

I know she's not a celebrity yet but after receiving this video clip in an e-mail, I doubt it will take long for this canine to dance her away across the silver screen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Training Your Brain to Write

                                                                Image from Photobucket

They say the right side of your brain is the creative side.

So how do we get those neurons sparking?

1. Read; read whatever you get your hands on. Input produces output.

2. Set aside a time of day where you devote to writing. Let’s say it’s eight to eleven, try to stick with a schedule

3. Take note pad and pen and look at things--really look and write what you see on the pad as if you were describing it to a blind person. This is a great exercise.

4. Honing your craft. Have someone read your work out loud, listen to your words and how it flows. You would be surprised at how easy it is to find something that sounds off key.

5. Writer’s block? Try ramble writing; write something … anything and your brain will kick in and pick up the pieces to get you back on track.

6. Whether you go for a walk, take a long leisurely bath or simply stand at the sink doing dishes, let your thoughts wander… Daydream what you plan to write.

Remember everything starts with a dream.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heartwarming Story about an Elephant and a Dog

I adore these stories about unconditional love. I believe like children, animals are untainted by the world; they see past the difference in each other and make this world a better place to live in.

I hope you enjoy this video, I sure did :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Writing Along With Youtube

Nothing stirs the imagination better than a good song. I have my share of CDs but I can’t keep up with the talent that’s out there (I couldn’t afford it) every other week there’s a song I absolutely love. That’s where Youtube comes into play. All I have to do is put them under my favorites and my list is always handy. Whatever scene I’m writing I have the song to match my mood.

Even some of the music videos gives me an extra boost . . . Though I have to admit it’s easy to lose track of time.

As a writer I’m always searching for those mysterious hours that seem to slip away. If only the days were longer… I can just imagine the work I would get done: )

Monday, July 26, 2010

Writers and Their Pets

Lucy before haircut

I don’t have to look far for inspiration to create a pet’s character. Lucy provides me with enough material to last a lifetime! Her haircuts vary from short to shaggy. She’s fond of barking and will even stay in bed lying on her back, barking to let us know she heard something but refuses to get up and check it out herself. She pouts and is always quizzical when she comes upon something new. She’s never short of kisses, snuggles and is sure to get her message across when she wants something.

I’m sure I’m just partial when it comes to Lucy and that most writers have their special pet they can draw inspiration from. It’s their quirks that make them a worthy secondary character in a manuscript… But be careful, they may just take over and demand their own series.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gerard Butler or Clive Owen; Which One Tugs At Your Heart?

Each actor carries a distinct accent, one Scottish the other English. Butler seeming to have a more carefree nature while Owen seeming more serious. There’s a smoldering sensuality about these two that’s igniting females hearts. And how could they not with movies like Gerard Butler’s P.S. I Love You and Clive Owen’s Duplicity.

For me it’s Clive Owen who will carry my heroine off into the sunset.

And you? Who will it be? Which one will play hero in your manuscripts?

Gerard Butler or Clive Owen

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To Be A Writer You Have To Be Like A Sponge

I try to soak up every molecule around me, even the murky unpleasant details. The more I take in, the more believable my characters will be. Movies are a good source to take you to places you most likely haven’t been; such as period pieces like, Braveheart, Pearl Harbor and Titanic to name a few.

For instance in the movie Braveheart, we experience the horror William Wallace endured in the years 1272 through 1305 in Scotland; you felt his injustice, his need for Scotland’s freedom from England’s tyranny. As for Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett you feel the scope of WWII and Kate Beckinsale’s character’s agony of choosing between the two men in her life. And at last Titanic; you not only feel the difference between the way the classes were treated, you feel the panic, the fear and heartache as the ship sinks.

There’s a lot to be said about these period pieces. In truth, I haven’t watched these movies in years but they stayed with me. And that’s exactly what I want to learn from them; I want to capture these feelings and write them down so that when my story is finished it will linger in the hearts of readers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If One Blog Wasn’t Enough...

I decided to start another blog! I tasted so many great recipes over the years that I decided to give them their own space. The trick is to be consistent with posting and as you can see by this blog I have problems with maintaining regular entries so I decided to go easy on myself and enter a recipe once a week.

I love trying different foods and some of the best ones aren’t complicated to create. That’s what my blog will be about, easy recipes.

Here's the site;

I hope you’ll enjoy looking through them and perhaps trying a recipe or two. Happy cooking.

Monday, June 7, 2010

88 Year Old Woman Wins My Heart

I watched the Rick Mercer report where he interviewed Mayor Hazel McCallion. This woman inspired me and cracked me up at the same time. I love this interview!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loss of a Pet

Sadly during our stay in BC my grandparents lost their pet Sally. I met Sally five years ago; she and Lucy became instant friends. Sally a Sheltie mix and Lucy a terrier mix matched each other in size and were perfect playmates. They would have a system going where one would tell us they would have to go outside and of course with each outing we would reward them with a treat, but we couldn’t just give one the treat without giving the other one as well. So it went, Sally would go outside, come in get a treat and a few minutes later Lucy would do the same; the two made it so they would get double amount of treats.

Five years the dogs were separated; the distance of Ontario and BC keeping them apart. This time age had its bearing, Sally’s legs bothered her and Lucy checked her over, sniffing her intently--I believe sensing there was something more serious at hand. It wasn’t until near the end of our visit around April that Sally went suddenly blind. The veterinarian checked her for diabetes but it wasn’t so, her breathing became labored and finally my grandparents had to put her to sleep for there was nothing else they could do. The vet suspected it was lymphoma.

The house is now oddly quiet and there’s a lack of movement—the feeling of loss tangible. It wasn’t more than a week after they put her down when my grandparents got a card of condolence from the veterinarian, in it was a beautiful note called; Rainbow Bridge. We read it with my grandmother unable to keep the tears from our eyes. It’s a wonderful piece of writing that I had to share.

Rest in peace Sally.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion; never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together …

Author unknown

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Orangutan and the Hound

If you need to smile this is sure to please. I got this video clip in an e-mail and absolutely loved it!

When it comes to animals, I have a soft spot. I admire their traits and how they love unconditionally.

I hope you enjoy:)

Watch more National Geographic Channel videos on AOL Video

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Beginning of a New Year

Happy 2010!

There’s something to be said about starting with a fresh canvas;

2009 was painted in broad strokes, excitements, adventure, victories and defeats.

It was a year I entered two manuscripts in RWA’s Lone Star writing contest. My romantic suspense didn’t final, however my historical romance Surrender The Storm placed second in the contest. I purchased a new laptop, learned new programs, one of them being Microsoft Office Word—which I love! Writing, editing--you name it is so much easier with the program. As for adventure; my parents and I packed up and headed for Vancouver Island for the winter. For me the year flew by.

So here we are 2010, the mere number has a space age ring to it.

I have no new year’s resolutions. For me as long as I learn and grow as a writer and put my best foot forward in all I do, I’ll accomplish my goal.

Here’s to 2010!