Learning about Blue


As an update for my writing, I can only admit to one thing – inlaw visits and writing just don’t mix. I don’t know how I couldn’t have fathomed this earlier – there’s nothing much wrong with my inlaws, I’ve had them visit me before, have holidayed with them, and I’ve lived with them for six months when freshly moved to the UK. But somehow, everytime I’m living with them again, I find that I’d forgotten just how they are.

Without bringing up a whole heap of repressed annoyances and current irritations, they are — er, demanding. All day.

Continue reading “Learning about Blue”

Sometimes, (I dare to be contrary), using “it” in a sentence helps to keep it shorter, something I really need to do. On the other hand, I do love Cousin IT.

Robin Coyle

Thanks to Jennifer Eaton’s blog, I discovered the most vile word in the English language.  In my comment on her post, I said, “I hate you, in the nicest possible way,” for pointing out the word.

You thought you hated me before, but wait until you get a load of this.

How could a two-letter word destroy a writer in one afternoon? Here’s how. I found 539 of the cheeky buggers in my manuscript. 539!!! I kid you not. So far, I edited out 64 of the offending words and I’m only on page 52. The result? The writing is stronger.

I know you are all dancing on your toes and asking, “What is it? What is it?”

You answered the question yourself. The bloody word it “IT.”

How could “IT” be so bad? Let me explain. When we reference something in our writing, say…

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Hmmm, wondering when I will have another headshot done. Slightly (erhmmm) older now…

Girl Boner

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does your headshot say about you?

If you don’t have one, I recommend it. Here’s why. Most of us know the value of showing more often than telling. A high-quality, professional headshot shows readers, agents, publishers and others that we take our careers seriously. Featured on our business cards or information sheets, they provide visual takeaways at writers conferences, making us and our work more memorable. Headshots also give viewers hints at who we are—if they’re taken appropriately. Consider the following examples. (You’ll see why I’m using myself in a minute.)

You can tell by the first image that I write something dark or mysterious (i.e., thrillers). You may also pick up on hint of mischievousness. 😉 The image on the right suits multiple genres. Goofy shots of us hanging with pals work for Facebook, but even there we should use…

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I would so buy this, if it were available in ebook form, but it’s not. I’m currently reading the first ITW anthology – borrowed from the local library. Now that’s a good lending service. Love libraries, don’t you?

The Crime Fiction Writer's Blog

International Thriller Writers’ next anthology, THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER, edited by Sandra Brown, hits the streets today. It includes my short story “Even Steven” and a host of other great stories. See the list below.


Foreward by Sandra Brown

Diamond Drop by Roxanne St. Claire

Cold Moonlight by Carla Neggers

Poisoned by Beverly Barton

Speechless by Robert Browne

Lockdown by Andrea Kane

Spider’s Tango by William Smith

Night Heat by Laura Griffin

B.A.D. Mission by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Deadly Fixation by Dianna Love

Hot Note by Patricia Rosemoor

Last Shot by Jeff Ayers & Jon Land

Grave Danger by Heather Graham

Without Mercy by Mariah Stewart

Even Steven by D.P. Lyle

Dying to Score by Cindy Gerard

If the Devil is Six by JT Ellison

Hard Drive by Bill Floyd

After Hours by William Bernhardt

Blood In, Blood Out by Brenda Novak

Wed to Death by Vicki Hinze


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Pass it on. RAK a writer in your own life.

The View Outside

Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on FaceBook.


Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

So, I am Blitzing 3 people who have really contributed to my writing life…

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Stuck on your novel? Write yourself a five-star review

5 star reviews, hmmmm.

Nail Your Novel

No, I’m not telling you to go on Amazon or Goodreads and cheat. This is an exercise for the novel you haven’t finished yet. Especially if it’s giving you trouble.

I first suggested it in my purple writing book Nail Your Novel, as part of the section on revision, and it must have struck a chord because time and again it gets picked up by other writers around the blogosphere. Here’s KM Weiland and here it is most recently being passed on by Larry Brooks, at all stations from Jenna Bayley-Burke to Porter Anderson.

Since it’s proving so useful, I thought I’d take a more in-depth look at why we might do this.

But first, here’s what you do (from Nail Your Novel)

Imagine you are writing a blurb or a review and that you have understood everything the writer was trying to do. Be specific…

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Publication in Haiku News

FierceBuddhist published – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer HaikuJedi.


Today I received an email from the editors at Haiku News telling me that they had chosen one of my submissions for publication.

Read the haiku by clicking here.

For those of you unfamiliar with this journal here is what they have published on their website and I can hardly improve upon it.

Haiku News is a weekly poetry journal which publishes socially engaged poetry, pairing each poem with a news article to forge links between the poetic, the personal and the political.

I want to especially thank Dick Whyte for his attention to my haiku and working with me through the editing process.

Here is the link to the article that moved me to write the haiku.

Please take a moment to visit their site and read the other poets work too.

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Stress Less, Write More

Writing more….

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Writers are no strangers to stress. Many of us work full-time day jobs and write, or we balance a family and write, or we balance a family, a day job, and school, and write. There is just so much to keep up with, and few of us are blessed enough to have a secret lab with a death ray that will vaporize intruders….though I’m still saving. Frequently, writers will whine say, “But I just don’t have tiiiime. Writing and work and blogging and social media. There isn’t enough tiiiiiiime.”

Granted, all of us are spread thinly, but the thing is we have the same 24 hours as everyone else. Often we DO have the time, we just lack focus. We don’t have a time management conflict, we have a values conflict. Very often we have plenty of time, we just have values or beliefs or weaknesses that are devouring our…

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