Friday, November 16, 2012

Harlequin Anthology Book Signing

Please see my new blog: for pictures of the book signing and how to participate in a chain blog to promote your book. I need five writers to answer ten questions about your book and then your blog reaches more writers/readers.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

My Nanowrimo project this year is not a novel. It’s an anthology called A Class of Muses, and my ID on is JMK.  I've written first drafts of four novels during past Novembers. My third novel, Hada's Fog, is in its sixth and final draft.

Monday and Tuesday writing class members have submitted stories, poems, essays, blogs, and a group tag story to A Class of Muses.  Writing tips will be included and some art work too.

The book probably won't be 50,000 words, but I will  use the time it takes me to write around 2000 words a day to organize the many files into a first draft. I'd like to publish it before the San Francisco Writers Conference in February.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pitch for Hada's Fog

After six years of writing and rewriting my pitch for Hada's Fog, I think this is the one that I like the best:

In her seventh decade, Hada Zimmerman questions her traditional family role and is shocked into a life-changing decision when a teenage girl reveals a secret.

WordPress Blog

I have a new blog that will become my primary one in 2013. Until then, I'll continue to post duplicates here at Blogspot, but it would be great if you would sign up as a follower on my new one.  I intend to post more often now that this difficult year is almost over. I'm feeling better and my motivation is back. Hurray!

The new blog is easy to remember. It has the same first four words:

See you there.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harlequin Published My Story

My story "Enough Time for Christmas", about a Christmas story my son wrote when he was in high school, has been published by Harlequin in Jennifer Basye Sanders' anthology called:  

A Miracle Under the Christmas Tree: Real Stories of Hope, Faith and the True Gifts of the Season.

It's available on Amazon. There will be a book launch in Pacific Grove on November 10th at The Works Bookstore, 2 to 4.

Thank you, Jennifer for making this acceptance possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Give Feelings a Chance to Act

 I read somewhere to give life to abstractions by substituting concrete images that suggest the feeling. I've decided to put that advice into practice with every other chapter. The newest one I wrote in revising Chapter One again is about Hada. Instead of saying she felt guilty, I wrote:

Guilt pinched at her heart and then hid somewhere, maybe in her bones.

It takes a while to think of feelings taking action, but it's fun and avoids overused words.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Character inspiration quote

This quote applies to our characters too. If we look at them through Maharaji's words,  maybe we can find a way to deepen them.

 The peace that we are looking for is within.
It is in the heart,
waiting to be felt.

~ Maharaji

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stephen King Quote

"You can't deny laughter when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants."

~ Stephen King

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This summer, I spent two days in Ashland and enjoyed four plays, two lectures (about the plays), and a backstage tour. "Party People" was my favorite. Besides being a beautiful town, Ashland inspires creativity. I'm back in the Bay Area with multiple writing goals set to accomplish by the end of the year.  Vacations are time well spent.

The following quote could be used for a character's response in one of my chapters, maybe in one of yours too. If I was as ambitious as my friend, Anne Koch, I would use this quote for a chapter lead-in but then I'd have to search for more quotes to include in the rest of the thirty-nine chapters. 
The silence often of pure innocence
persuades when speaking fails.

- William Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tiny Lights Flash in the Pan

Susan Bono of "Tiny Lights" welcomes entries to her Flash in the Pan section. Maximum is five hundred words written in first person, blocked paragraphs, and include a bio of no more than fifty words.

Get you work out there.

Jessica Barksdale Writing Workshop

I met Jessica through her on-line short story writing class around 2003. I attribute my successes in winning five short story first place awards to her inspiration and instruction, not only in that first class, but as I continue to take her workshops.

This year I spent from June 28th to July 1st with about seven other writers in her home on a hill surrounded by trees. We read each writer's twenty-five page submission, made comments and suggestions. We listened to Jessica's experienced how-to's and had time to write them into our stories. We had an hour of yoga taught by her neighbor next door and we listened to Ericka Lutz's enthusiastic recounting of how her book, THE EDGE OF MAYBE, came to be published. We ate delicious food prepared by Jessica, and we luxuriated for hours in the writing world. Ah, I'm rejuvenated until next time.

Thank you, Jessica.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tension Quote

"Glimmer Train" listed quotes in their 'Thoughts' page. The one below by Andrew Porter is one of my favorites since it describes my character, Hada, in Hada's Fog.
"I'm always thinking, What doesn't the character know? Often, the tension that drives a story comes from the fact that the character is being kept in the dark about something, or is perhaps in denial. That's a very powerful engine.—Andrew Porter"

Hada is in denial and it is her own perspective that is keeping her in the dark.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Your Character's New Aspect of Personality

Jack Heffron's The Writer's Idea Book, p.229, a prompt involves showing an aspect of a character's personality that readers haven't seen in the novel.  For example, if a character has been kind, considerate, and does everything right, show the opposite in a crucial scene.

Heffron talks about Tobias Wolff's Mary, "In the Garden of the North American Martyrs" where his character is "very nervous about landing a job teaching history at a college". She's been "agreeable, despite feeling a bit bullied by the hiring committee. In her final interview...she attacks, recounting the atrocities committed by Iroquois Indians, describing in detail their methods of torture. The chairman of the committee tries to stop her speech, but she persists, switching to the tone of a righteous prophet."

The character finally stands up for herself and the reader sees more depth in her. She presented "the surprising side to her personality" because she had been pushed to that point by old "hurts and losses that have nothing to do with the committee."

I highly recommend Wolff’s story. I read it years ago. Thanks to Jack Heffron for not only reminding me of that story but giving a prompt for deepening our character with a surprising aspect of personality.