Margo Hoornstra

Margo Hoornstra

Dec 062017
 

On The Surface, (put in buy link if appropriate. If not leave it out) my latest book to be published by The Wild Rose Press, released world-wide on September 29, 2017. This multi-published journey of mine began in earnest in 2007 and has been going strong ever since.

Buy from Amazon Buy from Amazon Kindle Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Kobo Buy from GoodReads

It’s a thrill for me to have my work available for readers everywhere. More important along this trek are the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made.

First and foremost, that most special group the readers. My reason for doing all this. They are very precious to me. Those who write to say they enjoy my stories and are waiting for more. Who take the time to leave a review. Always welcome, no matter what they have to say.

Then there’s my critique partner, Jannine Gallant, who helps to keep my writing fresh, my characters and plot lines feasible and true. A dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Editor at the Last Rose of Summer line, Kathy Cottrell who saw something in my work she liked long ago and never gave up on my prose until every word is right. My current editor at the Crimson Rose line at The Wild Rose Press, Ally Robertson is following in those footsteps and I so appreciate her assistance and support.

My fellow Romance Writers of America® members are priceless. Particularly those at Mid-Michigan RWA. As are the many authors I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.

My colleagues at The Roses of Prose blog where we share our thoughts, our frustrations and our successes with each other and anyone else who cares to stop by. Collaboration on our short stories each December as an anthology gift to our readers, is the most fun for me. This year, my story started us out. Check the dates December 1, 2 and 3 to read Home For Christmas.

Finally, the one who makes it all happen for me in the virtual world, Florence Price of The Novel Difference who designed and manages my website. Florence also figures out and then fixes my various errors and omissions and such. In short, makes me look good out here.

By the way, some of my shorter works are available on my website for free. My gifts to those who have given me so much.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the December 6th posting of the IWSG will be Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner

Nov 012017
 

Someone asked me an interesting question once. If I could spend time with any author, living or dead, who would I choose? There are so many storytellers I admire and whose work I enjoy, it was tough to decide on only one. Finally, though, I settled on Phyllis Whitney. My heroine, if you will, when I was younger, and I remain a huge fan. She started out writing short stories, selling well over a hundred, and wrote books for both adults as well as children. The author of more than seventy novels—thirty nine of them with a Gothic twist—she was a true pioneer in the romantic suspense genre so popular today.

She was even dubbed by The New York Times, Queen of American Gothics, a title she reportedly hated, saying instead she wrote romantic novels of suspense.

As I understand, her scheduled time to write was from eight to eleven in the morning, sitting at her desk. According to her biography, she was a diligent plotter, creating notebooks full of information about character, plot and setting before she wrote the first actual word of any manuscript.

The major accomplishment of her lifetime, in my humble opinion, was the fact she wrote continually for eighty of her one-hundred and four years. One thing I remember reading about her was she claimed to like writing, but she loved having written. That’s my kind of writer.

I remain in awe of her extraordinary talent and incredible output.

Though I haven’t even come near to achieving the eighty novel mark, my anthology, Saturday In Serendipity is a compilation of three novellas which revolve around a twentieth high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont. Serendipity is a mid-sized town located on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Three Strikes Thursday, leaves Barry Carlson, professional baseball’s former golden boy, with some serious making up to do. A love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude of his youth has finally caught up with him. Older, maybe wiser, he’s eager to catch up on what’s important in life. A home and family, someone to love who loves him back just as deeply. Amanda Marsh is the one he foolishly pushed away. He has his work cut out for him if he hopes to ever win her back.

Two On Tuesday, has Serendipity High School graduate Blane Weston viewing her upcoming class reunion  as a chance to renew a former, but not forgotten, love. As she gets ready to attend the week-end festivities, enter Matt Durand, someone she’s recently considered then rejected as a potential business partner. Turns out he won’t take no for an answer and has other ideas for her activities at the reunion. Things go from bad to worse in light of his current involvement with some of the people from her past.

One Fateful Friday, a holiday story of forever friends Jake and Bethany, takes place between Halloween and Christmas Eve, after the reunion. Soul mates through high school, Jake and Bethany went their separate ways after graduation. Brought together twenty years later while both are involved with careers in healthcare, they assume they’ll re-establish their relationship with flawless compatibility. Except, they now hold different philosophies that might jeopardize their chance at a happy future.

These three different couples with common pasts take very different passages to find their own happily ever after futures.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the November 1st posting of the IWSG will be Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass

Oct 042017
 

Not only have some of us heard a form of the above from a frustrated adolescent we are equally frustrated at trying raise, I, for one, have thrown those same words at whatever WIP I’m struggling to finish and submit.

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t.

As with all things new, an undeveloped story idea is, in many ways, a gift. Something that comes to you from who knows where. Pristine and fresh. Ready and anxious to grow. So you grab hold and run with it.

Things go along fine for quite some time. You and your characters are getting along beautifully. Everyone is happy and content to do exactly what is expected of them. Life is good. Life is grand.

Then without warning or provocation It! happens. Anarchy of the worst kind invades this perfect world you and your characters have created. And you are at a definite loss what to do about It!.

You have decided to take the action one way, your characters disagree. They have arbitrarily chosen to go in a totally different direction. You’d prefer they slide down the hill and have completed extensive research on how that is done. They insist on climbing up the hill, and you have no idea about the necessary logistics. You want your hero and heroine to enjoy a romantic evening somewhere. They’d rather fight about issues that have been bothering them for some time.

So now what? Which of you is going to triumph in this literary tug of war? Fortunately, you both can.

Take my advice. Don’t fight the providences when they arrive. Tuck and roll with it. Do what you have to do to get the story down.

After all, there’s no telling when another such gift will come your way. You know what they always say about a rough draft. You at least have something to work with. There’s really nothing you can do with a blank, empty page. Except maybe fill it up with the aforementioned rough draft.

How about you? When your characters mutiny, do you always, never or sometimes let them win?

A couple of my characters I, shall we say, compromised with, are out and about in the world.

For Money Or Love, out and available now for just $0.99 cents.

Buy from Amazon Kindle

 
InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the October 4th posting of the IWSG will be Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan

Sep 062017
 

This is the third and final installment of Anatomy of a First Book, the saga detailing the journey to publication for my first book – Honorable Intentions, a single father romance with a mistaken identity twist.

As previously noted, protagonists Chase and Samantha met under odd circumstances when she tried to seduce him one morning at their local coffee shop. She soon comes to find out the man she thought to be a stranger is best friends with her new boss and she has been assigned to chaperone his teenaged daughter on an upcoming cruise.

Having brought Chase and Samantha together, completed the story arcs my editor requested and rewriting the BBM scene from hers to his point of view, I constructed the requisite believable, wrap it all up ending. Satisfied the suspected femme fatale is, indeed, a more than competent companion for said daughters–since he’s along for the ride—Chase eventually also decides she’s the perfect candidate to be his wife. But I needed one final conflict.

I won’t burden you with the gory details of what I came up with. Suffice it to say I went for an ending manufactured from a simple misunderstanding regarding upcoming wedding plans that could have been resolved with a five—no make that three—minute conversation.

Being a good editor, Kathy called me on it. Even noted I had taken the easy way out, which I realized was painfully true. As I recall that original ending, the only response that comes to mind is – What was I thinking?

After I got over the initial shame at my laziness and performed a mental—well, duh!—slap to my forehead, I sorted through some previous incidents in the book.

Chase’s focus throughout is the welfare of his daughter first, and preserving his relationship with her second. In fact, in one ‘getting to know you better and begin to care about you as I person I could learn to love’ scene between Chase and Samantha, he confides in her about an upcoming custody hearing his daughter’s mother has initiated and vows to move heaven and earth in order to not lose contact with the most important person in his life.

Thank goodness I could still redeem myself which took the form of rewriting darn near the final third of the book ending with a courtroom scene where I brought to life all the struggles, conflicts and antagonists my characters had only talked about before. And, you know what, my editor LOVED it.

All in all, writing and rewriting that first book to publication was awesome and rewarding. An experience I wouldn’t trade for anything! From first draft to rewrites to rewrites and more rewrites, I enjoyed every second. Which is why I love doing it over and over again.

But then, don’t we all?

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the September 6th posting of the IWSG will be  Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure

Aug 022017
 

Welcome to the second installment of Anatomy of a First Book. The initial post titled The Value of a Second Opinion began the chronicle of my, rather my editor Kathy and my journey to the publication of, as the title suggests, my first book.

Ever notice how we writers always seem to speak in the possessive? But, I digress.

Honorable Intentions is a contemporary romance which can best be described as Anna and The King sail to Alaska with his out of wedlock, teenaged daughter complicated by Father Knows Best meets The Nanny.

Having brought Chase and Samantha, two decidedly diverse souls together despite their erroneous preconceptions about each other, the time had come in their story for me to cruelly rip them apart. And, oh how I worked on the details of that Big Black Moment.

Circumstances neither could control had Samantha teetering on the brink of emotional collapse and I was there to shove her over the edge. She went from fighting tears to dying inside as she shredded her own heart and tossed it aside. In the name of love, I took her through a virtual sawmill of emotion not once but twice before letting her out the other side.

All the while, she presented a brave front for Chase’s benefit. And he had no idea her decision to walk away was to allow him to preserve and grow the tenuous relationship he’d come to have with his daughter.

Their break-up scene, in my mind at least, was just short of a masterpiece. (Tongue firmly in cheek here.) The scene, again in my mind if no one else’s, had it all. Love, desire, sexual tension, longing, regret, sacrifice, honor and heightened feelings turned raw.

As noted in my last Anatomy of a First Book post, the initial edit requests were mild. I’d neglected to complete some story arcs I was able to rework with relative ease and a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that attitude. Enter revision suggestion number two regarding that all important break-up passage. Roughly quoted, she said: “I think this scene would be much stronger from the hero’s point of view.”

Say WHAT? My mind screamed then went on in a quieter tone. But, it’s done. The scene is done. Finished. Completed. Hadn’t she seen I put Final in the subject line of the e-mail my manuscript was attached to?

Not only that, the BBM was written and re-written until it was one hundred percent right. Correct. Spit and polished to editorial perfection.

And she wanted it changed.

Unable to wrap my head around the enormity of that request right away, I did the only thing I could think to do; I did nothing from a writing standpoint, though I did take some form of action. Entering my office, I paced, I sputtered, with the door closed of course. After which I faced due east—oh yeah, I know where she lives—and let loose a stream of mild obscenities. Nothing major, mind you. More like a two year old stomping her foot and yelling unintelligibles because the world isn’t revolving quite the way she wants it to, i.e. around her.

I then performed the next activity to come naturally, I procrastinated.

It’s amazing what one can find to do when we don’t want to do what we’re supposed to. To provide insight into the depths of my desperation, some of the actions I took actually had to do with cleaning house and cooking. That’s how bad it was. All of which came to an abrupt end when I found myself standing alone in our bathroom, looking into the mirror above the sink, as I removed the lint from my hairdryer with a dental pick. Uh-huh, that was a definite low point, or I should say a turning point for me.

Because you know what? It got me moving. I ripped into that BBM chapter with the same passion that would make any self-respecting protagonist sit up and take notice.

If my editor wanted a perfectly good and completed scene rewritten so be it. I could do this. I’d show her. . .I’d. . .I’d. . .discovered the scene was so much stronger written in the hero’s voice.

Oh, why didn’t I see this before? Of course, the scene SHOULD be told from Chase’s point of view. His emotions were totally under control from the get go. Or so he and I thought.

While in the original manuscript my heroine gave up the hero for his own good and to preserve the future he was sure to have with his daughter, in the rewrite, the hero gave up the heroine because he determined he had nothing to offer her AND began to doubt he had much more to give his daughter. Talk about pain and desolation. This guy who had been stoic, strong and in charge throughout, was all of a sudden reduced to a heap of regret and misery he, or I, hardly recognized much less expected.

As I look at the book now, Samantha came into the story with more baggage she and I knew she would have to overcome. Chase, on the other hand, entered believing his life was okay although could have been better. In short, the scene in his voice worked because he had more to lose; rather there was more he needed to come to realize.

What’s neat is the entire process only served to confirm a little come to realize knowledge for me. One, a second pair of eyes never hurts. And two, while writing is a solitary journey, editing is not.

Thank goodness for that.

[Up Next: She still hated the ending.]

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the August 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner

Jul 052017
 

Working on the edits of my first full-length book Honorable Intentions with editor extraordinaire Kathy Cottrell was for me an eye opening and, most times, enjoyable experience.

The hero, Chase, meets the heroine, Samantha, in a coffee shop one morning. Acting on a dare from a spurned co-worker who’s told her she needs to loosen up and learn to flirt, Samantha comes on to the first man she comes across, Chase, like a steamy seductress. Her efforts are rewarded, if that’s the right word, in a heart stopping kiss from the handsome stranger she now can’t seem to forget.

Fast forward to later that day. Come to find out, said stranger is a single father embroiled in a custody battle for his only child. And, a good friend of her new boss who has just assigned Samantha to chaperone the impressionable, teenaged young lady on an upcoming Alaska cruise. Not exactly the no-nonsense matron in proper attire and sensible shoes Chase had hoped for. Not wanting to offend his buddy, Chase has no choice but to find a way to go with them.

Taking these characters through a series of experiences which bring them closer together and circumstances which cause them problems large enough to drive them apart, I completed the requisite Big Black Moment and moved them blissfully on to their Happily Ever After.

At which point, I sent the manuscript in.

Which brings me to the edits mentioned at the beginning of this piece. The initial revision letter came back taking note of a couple of story arcs I’d neglected to complete. One, my heroine’s rocky relationship with an overbearing father, described in detail toward the book’s beginning, was touched on in a later scene but that was it. In the rewrite, their relationship was acceptably resolved. Second, my hero’s daughter, who is the victim of the unwelcome attentions from an older man, is sent off shortly after the incident to watch a movie with someone more her own age. No, Kathy said, show how this young woman is affected by the inappropriate actions of someone else, and how she is assured by the adults in her life that she is not at fault for what happened.

Oh yeah. Given the number of woman’s lib genes I inherited, I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even think of that. In the rewrite, both issues are presented in a way that would, I hope, make my mother and grandmother proud.

My point is, the book I wrote – the one I wrapped my life around and put my heart into – had some merits, but wasn’t good enough to justify its publication. Yet. And thank goodness the experienced eyes of someone else helped me make it so eventually.

These early changes I was asked to make in the book were Of course, why didn’t I think of that? moments for me and, therefore, easy for me to fix.

Our next round of edits weren’t quite as simple.

[Coming up: She was iffy on the Big Black Moment and absolutely detested the ending.]

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the July 5th posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt,  Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan

Jun 072017
 

Ever wonder what the world would be like if you were never born? In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey got to see the impact he had on the lives of others. For the rest of us, we’ll just have to calculate our own worth.

As authors, never been ties right in with those what if questions that drive our stories.

Where would the romance genre be without the secret baby trope?

In my first book, Honorable Intentions, I got a lot of mileage out of the teenaged daughter of a single dad hero. She was the product of a one night stand, and I built an entire book—heroine and all—around his desire to take care of her. Keep her safe and in his life.

In another, One Fateful Friday part of the Saturday in Serendipity anthology, the hero is sterile yet he and the heroine come together to adopt two orphaned children. In that same book, a secondary character and her husband who can’t conceive live their lives as foster parents.

It might be I come by these storyline ideas naturally. My own mother was an unplanned pregnancy BEFORE my grandparents were married. *Gasp* Back then, in the early 1900s, such a thing was frowned upon and then some. Though she and my grandfather eventually married and had another child, my grandmother was actually disowned by her family for having and raising the child conceived out of wedlock.

Scads of historical romances have been, well, born, with that particular circumstance as the inciting moment that drives the protagonist into action and on to what we term the heroine’s journey.

But think about it in a real sense. If my mother hadn’t been born, I wouldn’t be here, nor would my children or their children or…well, you get the idea.

My how times have changed though.

Married with two soon to be teenaged children, moving steadily upward in my career, with money in the bank and an empty nest on the horizon, I had my own unplanned pregnancy. For me, inconvenience wasn’t a sufficient reason to not have and raise the resulting twins. Long story short, my life has been better for the choice I made.

Here’s another true life occurrence that has me thinking fiction. My husband’s maternal grandmother left two children in the old country, never to see them again, while she sailed to the new world and a new life. And where she subsequently bore and raised three more children. That’s a book I’d love to write someday.

To each his or her own, but you can see what I mean about how some events in life shape the events in our stories.

What would the world be like if you had never been born? Certainly something to ponder now and then, isn’t it?

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the June 7th posting of the IWSG will be JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner

May 032017
 

Ask that question of any writer and you’ll get a variation of; Because I can’t not write. My reason for writing is much the same and I also write romance because of the happily ever after.

Everyone has a list of life’s challenges, experiences and adversities they’ve faced and, hopefully, overcome. In addition to being slightly older, the characters in my stories are much the same. Not only do they tend to have been around the block a time or two, they are definitely mature and, in some cases, entering the second phase of successful careers and moderately happy lives. They’re everyday people slowing down, pausing to smell the roses, if you will. Who understand, at long last, what’s important in life. Many have been dealt challenges and granted second chances.

In many of my short stories, the heroines especially face and manage to triumph over their own adversities. In Forgotten Alliance, Sarah Novak was forced to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. All On Her Own dealt with a well-intentioned, yet meddling – read matchmaking – older sister of heroine Nancy Carter.

In my first full length book, Honorable Intentions, hero Chase Canfield was rebuilding a life for himself and his teenaged daughter.

On The Surface, the first of four in my Brothers in Blue series to be released this summer, has hero Brad Collins, a bounty hunter about to embark on a quest that will affect his life like none other. And he has no idea what’s in store for him.

As is a sign of today’s times, many of my characters end up forming non-traditional families. And, it almost goes without saying the heroines are strong, intelligent and self-sufficient. The heroes are individuals who can acknowledge they may not be perfect or have all the answers.

While, in my opinion, there’s a special beauty in the happily ever after guarantee of romance fiction, also in my opinion, there’s another bonus, the payoff, if you will as we all experience the ups and downs in real life.

In a romance, the hero and heroine find love and acceptance on their own terms and to fit their own lifestyles. Something readers can identify with, maybe even find inspiration in.

They can do it. I can do it. We’re all going to be okay.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the May 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone

Apr 052017
 

A good book isn’t written, it’s re-written ~ Phyllis A. Whitney

As an insecure writer extraordinaire, here’s one of many stories about my own writing journey.

Saturday In Serendipity is a compilation of three novellas which revolve around a twentieth high school reunion at Serendipity High School. Serendipity is a mid-sized town located on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont.

Three Strikes Thursday, leaves Barry Carlson, professional baseball’s former golden boy, with some serious making up to do. A love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude of his youth has finally caught up with him and his future. Amanda Marsh is the one he foolishly pushed away. He has his work cut out for him if he hopes to ever win her back.

Two On Tuesday, has Serendipity High School graduate Blane Weston viewing her upcoming class reunion  as a chance to renew a former, but not forgotten, love. Enter Matt Durand, someone she’s recently considered, and quickly rejected as a potential business partner. Turns out he won’t take no for an answer and has other ideas for her time and activities at the reunion.

One Fateful Friday, is the story of forever friends Jake and Bethany, two soul mates through high school who went their separate ways after graduation. Brought together twenty years later, both involved with careers in healthcare, they assume they’ll re-establish their relationship with flawless compatibility. Except, they now hold different philosophies that might jeopardize their chance at a happy future.

Now for the truth.

The three stories in Saturday In Serendipity were originally published and released separately a few years ago. As many authors are doing these days, I reclaimed my rights to the works and published them myself in a single volume.

An interviewer once asked me an interesting question. “What advice do you have for aspiring writers who are full time workers?”

This is my heartfelt answer. Been there, done that. I admit to totally giving up on my fiction writing for a few years because of work pressures, lack of time, and it’s one of my greatest regrets. It’s hard, very hard to carve out time for yourself, let alone your writing, especially when the monetary rewards might not be enough to warrant any expenditure of time. All that being said, my advice would be to always take yourself and your writing seriously, even if no one else does. Make time for yourself and your writing. No. Matter. What. Believe in what you are doing. From a practical standpoint, nothing’s perfect. As the song lyrics go – life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Don’t expect the sun to rise and unlimited writing time to arrive just because you want it to.  That’s not how it works. Carry some type of writing device with you at all times, whether you prefer paper and pen, iPhone slash Pad, internet applications, a tape recorder. Whatever works best for you. Capture your ideas, descriptions and dialogue as soon as they come to mind because, believe me, those things won’t stick around for long. Certainly not until you have the chance to sit down quietly and actually write, uninterrupted, the way you want to. A fellow writer talks of how she ‘sneak writes’ at work. My rebellious side can identify with that.

I guess you could say my advice really is non-advice. Whenever you can and in any way you can – write.

Phyllis A. Whitney is a favorite author of mine, not only for her writing (over one hundred short stories, more than eighty novels for both adults and pre-adults) but for her attitude about the writing itself. The preparation, the dedication, the hard grueling work that goes into creating fiction. Most of what she’s written, and a lot of what she’s said about writing, inspire me to keep working at my writing, no matter what.

I’d like to share a couple of other quotes from the great Phyllis A. Whitney.

You must want to bad enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement…

There’s only one good reason to be a writer—we can’t help it! We’d all like to be rich, famous and successful, but if those are our goals, we’re off on a wrong foot…

In other words, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’d like to think I’m living proof of that.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the April 5th posting of the IWSG will be Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey

Mar 022016
 

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

This blog post first appeared on February 11, 2016 at The Rose of Prose. For me, it’s message remains relevant today.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon

It was summertime and I was going great guns on my latest WIP. Bound By Duty, book two in my Brothers In Blue series. For about 30,000 words, I cruised along according to plan. My heroine’s problems were set and she was working through them.

Then she hit a snag.

Enter the hero to the rescue—sort of. You see, he has a mission of his own that is in direct conflict with her agenda. The hero wants to help, but has to compromise his principles to do so. What’s more important? His reputation or the woman he’s falling in love with?

One third done, only 60,000 words to go. I got this. Yeah, right. Then life began to intervene. Other writing projects, those on deadlines, took precedence. Family issues too numerous to mention cropped up. Then there was the part-time paycheck job offer I couldn’t say no to. None of the ‘life events’ were particularly earth shattering, but my writing time began to shrink. My word production waned.

Time to set a completion date goal and calculate the necessary words per day count needed to accomplish it.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

So far I’ve set, and missed, two self-imposed completion dates. I won’t bore you with the gory details. Let’s just say a third completion date failure looms ahead and life has yet to cut me and my writing plans a break.

Granted, I may be down, but I’m certainly not out. Through it all, I’ve been slogging along. All the way to a good solid 62,000 words and counting. Less than 30,000 more to go now. Definitely doable. On the up side (my new favorite term) I did manage to complete a solid 3,000 word, chapter by chapter outline. I know who does what to whom. Even where, when, why and how they do so. I even slipped in a few red herring characters along with their particular who, what, where, when, why and hows, and it’s off I go again.

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

Okay, this is too – you can’t make this stuff upish – not to share. My beloved sister-in-law, literally flying in to the rescue with some of the family pressures I’ve been under. She gets off the plane, my son meets her at the airport, they collect her luggage and are about to head our way.

Through no fault of her own, she takes a header off the escalator. A trip to the hospital, seven hours and fifty stitches around her ear later, she’s here, a little sore, but doing fine. I’m more than happy to take care of her.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Don’t worry though. I WILL arrive at the necessary 90,000 words in Bound by Duty and complete three and four in the series as well.

It’s just, I’ve learned my lesson. No more planning for me, writing wise. No more deadlines, for now.

Experience has taught me, life just simply doesn’t work that way.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the March 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard! 

%d bloggers like this: