Monday, December 29, 2014

How About Movie Tonight? Post Christmas and Happy 2015!

How about a movie tonight? 

So here's one that caught my attention, thanks to Lauren of Shooting Star Magazine

It's a modern take on Teens (right up my alley), and I loved the TRAILER. The cast has some new faces, but some actors that I know and enjoy watching. 

Here's the lineup:  Britt Robertson, Christian Slater, Justin Long, Martin Sheen, Robert Patrick, Max Carver. The director is Allison Burnett.

Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, ASK ME ANYTHING is a contemporary tale of identity, voyeurism, and deception.

Find their FACEBOOK page and give them a like. 

And it's a topic that's so important to explore. Do you post your intimate experiences online? I don't. And I don't connect with my family there either. Oh, they're on all social media, but I'd rather keep them separate from what I do as a writer. I'm out here to connect with writers and readers I wouldn't have the pleasure of knowing otherwise. I'm here to show you my work, share what I know, learn from you and enjoy some fun together. 

What's your take on sharing personal information online? 


After Christmas should be a time to kick back, loosen your belt and sigh with satisfaction--maybe see a movie. So that's exactly what I'm doing. . .just as soon as I de-decorate the house, organize the guest list for New Year's Eve,  finish the blog posts I've promised for January and apologized to the friends and relatives I didn't get those notes to in time for the 25th! 

How are you doing out there this post Christmas day? Ready for 2015? Of course you are. See you next year. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest and Merry Christmas.


I posted this in November of 2009! Imagine. I was discumboobled even then. Maybe it should have been discombobulated? At least this year I'm aware that the word I used originally isn't a word anyone recognizes. It must have been a wild 2009!

So here's my Deja Vu Post.


Is that how you spell it? 

Tonight is another book signing APPEARANCE and I'm still putting together what I want to say. Then there's company arriving, my mom who needs some TLC, the cat with a hairball issue, and a leaky toilet. I haven't blogged in days. I'm wearing my baseball hat all day because I can't use Halloween as an excuse for my hair anymore. My Tweets have turned to Chirps and when I looked at the garden from my window one of my patio chairs is floating in the fish pond.

Anybody have a system that keeps writing, family, pets, house, and personal hygiene needs under control? If so, please send ASAP!

In the meantime, wish me luck with tonight.


So that was my 2009 post. Deja Vu anyone? Hope you'll go to the others in this retrospective week and say hi. Here's the link to D.L. HAMMONS's blog again. Their posts will go up on Friday 19 Dec. 

As most of you know, my new Young Adult book is out. Thanks to all who've offered to spread the word. I'll be in touch, but here's another way you can support me. And it's simple. Thanks for that!

So much for Deja Vu! 

 Back to 2014 and the Christmas Present. May you and those you love be well and share beautiful time together. 
See you all in 2015. 

Crazy Frankenstein

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Miscellany and Sudden Secrets Cover

I'm still in shock. It rained all day Thursday and Friday still had some of that luscious, moist stuff. Doesn't the sky know this is California and it never rains here?  But I have proof. Click below and applaud for us water-deprived folk. You can't see the forest. Even the nearest ridge has disappeared in the foggy misty downpour. Those trees are loving it.

I've announced that I won't be blogging on Fridays anymore, so just wanted to say it again in case you didn't stop by on Friday. I'll stick with Mondays only for a while and a few special blog days that might pop up. I'll still post on IWSG Wednesday. Also if you're participating in the Deja Vu Hop, my post goes up on Monday, but I'll be by to say hi to those posting on Friday.

A special thanks to J.L.Campbell for the prize. I won her splendid Who's Your Hero contest. 

Evernight Teen sent me my cover for Sudden Secrets, so I'm sharing it here because I like it. It has the feeling of my young character who's managing a lot family issues in this story and a terrible secret. The rundown Victorian house is a key story element, so I was really glad to see it lurking in the background and being just a bit spooky.

Again, if you have some space on your blog and would like to give me a shout out, leave that in your comment and I'll get in touch with you. It's the holiday season, so I know how busy everyone is. If you can't help me in December and can in the new year, I'd really appreciate it.

Now here's my Ta Da moment. SUDDEN SECRETS unveiled.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Things I Celebrate Finale.

So this is my last Friday post. I've decided to take more time to work on my writing and enjoy my family before they've all moved to other parts of the world. My nieces have already left California. One to England and one to Spain. Maybe I can bank some of these Friday hours and pay them a visit.

I have loved Celebrating Small Things and I will continue to do so, just not here and just not on Fridays.

Today I'm visiting a wonderful writer, Kirby Larson. She has let me talk about this thing we call writing and publishing. If you have a moment, stop in and say hi. She's a wonderful person to meet.

On this last Friday, I'm celebrating the launch of another Young Adult novel. Sudden Secrets (Evernight Teen) will be born 19 Dec 2014. As always I'm excited to see another book out and terrified at the same time. Guess what I'll post about on the first Wednesday in January?

I hope to have my cover soon, and if anyone has space on their blogs and time to post something, I'd love to share what this book's about with your readers. You can let me know if you're up for helping me spread the word by telling me so in your comment. I'll get in touch and work out the details individually. 

Adios Fridays. It's been fun. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Self-Editing Tips and Hat's Off to Angela Brown

Self-editing Tips

I’ve read a lot of articles on the editing process. They have a lot in common, but each writer has his or her own system. Here’s mine. I usually work from the big picture (things like character consistency) down to the details (punctuation). I have a checklist, and this really helps me to focus on specific parts of my manuscript, one step at a time. 

I’m not an “organized” writer, but I am an organized editor. I try. 

Here’s my checklist:

Plot: engaging, complex enough, hits the ground running, starts in right place, keeps moving forward, logical, no coincidence that should not be there.

Character: MC clearly established at the beginning, MC wants or needs something immediately, markers for characters clear and consistent, not one-dimensional has good and bad qualities, makes reader care, motivations clear and right for the story

Setting: appropriate for the story, described sufficiently, but not too much 

Dialogue: advances the story, appropriate for the characters, increases conflict, always clear who’s talking

Scenes: there are various kinds of scenes, all further the plot or reveal more about characters  or build tension

Point of View: Consistent, the right choice for telling this story 

Pacing: Any scenes that drag and might need to be deleted, places dialogue could be changed to increase pace, heighten tension

Tone: Consistent for story, consistent with each character

Conflict: Sufficient to keep story interesting, does it increase throughout the story until the climax

Balance: Description, dialogue, narration, scenes and chapters. 

I don’t worry about getting everything during each editing session. Sometimes I make a note to go back to something later, then move on with the editing part I’m focused on during that session. 

Sometimes I stop and do that edit, even though I’m focusing on another aspect of the story. In other words, I’m flexible about moving around the story to fix things that come up while I’m in the process.


Stock up on survival supplies. Mine include nuts and water. No wine. I sometimes write with wine, but I never edit with it

Try for an uninterrupted time. I find that the more I can stick with the story during editing, the better I am at catching problems.

Don’t feel that you’re the only writer who has wanted to throw out their book at this point, but don’t do that. Take a break, then come back to the job when you’re a bit calmer.

Be prepared for several sessions with that manuscript. You’re going to have to edit it a few times. Be thankful when you’re down to those details of punctuation, grammar, word choice, and repeated or words or phrases. That means you’re almost finished. Relax.

Hat's Off Corner

For seventeen-year-old Macie Breen, life in The Colony is a daily norm of being the odd girl out, that is, until everyday predictable slams to a screeching halt. Forced to the capital city of Bliss, Macie's life becomes a horrific unraveling as she confronts daunting truths about The Colony as well as who, or what, she really is. 

Buy links: Evernight | Amazon
Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Celebrating the Small Things, Double Negative on Tour and Hat's Off Corner to Darby Karchut



LG KELTNER @writing off the edge
KATIE @TheCyborg Mom
CAFFEEMAGGIEATO @mscoffeehouse

Small things become really big when you visit countries that don't have things you take for granted everyday. Here's what I'm celebrating today.


Double Negative went on tour this week. If you have time, would love it if you'd stop in and wave at some of the Reviewers who hosted me. You might want to note their URLs for future use.

Contagious Reads

Reading to Distraction

Archaeolibrarian-I dig good books!

lushbookreviews: The Young Folks

Hat's Off Corner

Darby Karchut has a new book out and has a tour going that I couldn't take part in. But I wanted to join in somehow and show you her book because her tour is still on and it's not too late to stop by the blogs to say hi and wish her good luck.

Monday, Nov. 17
Tuesday, Nov. 18: 
A Glass of Wine Blogspot
Wednesday, Nov. 19: 
Crossroad Reviews  
Friday, Nov. 21:
 Monday, Nov. 24:
Tuesday, Nov. 25:
Wednesday, Nov. 26:
Thursday, Nov. 27:
A Belle’s Tales
Friday, Nov. 28:
Beverly Stowe McClure
Monday, Dec. 1:
The Literati Press
Tuesday, Dec. 2:
Wednesday, Dec. 3:
 Thursday, Dec. 4:
 Saturday, Dec. 6:
Tuesday, Dec. 9:
 Thursday, Dec. 11:
Monday, Dec. 15:

Hope you'll visit the others in the Celebrate the Small Things Hop and visit one of the blogs on Darby's Tour! Yay for the good old USA. Yay for writers and readers everywhere.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group and The Guide to Publishing and Beyond


Awesome co-hosts for the December 3 posting of the IWSG are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins!

I can't believe it's December. 

I knew my break would end, but so fast? 

Didn't I just say hasta la vista yesterday? 

Didn't I just write my  Insecure Writers Support Group post for November? 

Didn't I just visit the land of ten thousand stupas and a million Buddhas? 

Then there was that holiday that flashed past at warp speed.
 That was it.

Stop the World. I Want to Get Off.

I should write a play by that title. 


Too late. 

Someone already did. 

Maybe it's the speed that's dredging up all of these insecurities. But I don't have time to wallow in my insecure puddle. I'm off to visit others who are sharing their thoughts on this affliction today. Join me and say hi to a lot of writers and read about their INSECURITIES.


Don't forget to get your copy of this collaboration by writers who share their writing experience. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello USA and Xpresso Tour Unleashed

I'm back and I'm late with my first post since taking a break. This is going to be short and somewhat jet-lagged, but at least I found the keyboard and was able to turn on the computer.

News of the Day:

Double Negative is on Tour, starting today. 

December 1st
-Reading To Distraction >> Review >> Guest Post
-Loving the Language of Literacy >> Review
-Suzy Turner, YA Author >> Spotlight

Just turned in my first line edits for Sudden Secrets to Evernight Teen. Book due out this month.

Burma is the colonial name for Myanmar, so I'm officially switching to Myanmar since I now know the people prefer it.

I have my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme and just have to write the posts, so hope I can post 2015's Survivor Badge after April.

Great to be back. Will be around to say hi to everyone ASAP!

Friday, November 7, 2014

What is the Perfect Sentence? Celebrating Those Small Things

Good morning Computer!  Hi Readers! 

Today I'm in search of the perfect sentence. You know that elusive structure that makes hearts flutter or breathing stop when you realize you've finally nailed the idea, the image, the moment just as it should be, and you've done it with your own fine prose.

Here's an example--not mine, unfortunately, but one from a brilliant writer named Nabokov. "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." 

Feel the flutter inside your chest? Wonder how he did that? Me, too.

1) He didn't waste a single word.

2) He didn't use "over-the-top" words. He chose simple ones.
3) He set the tone and captured Humbert Humbert's passion without "telling" us what that passion is. 
4) He didn't use one cliche. How diminished this line would be if he'd written. "I love Lolita more than anyone else in the world."
5) He made the line sing. There's rhythm and rhyme to it. 

Here are some other favorites of mine.

"Her body moved with frankness that comes from solitary habits." Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer

"I'm rich, famous, and if Esther really has left me, I'll soon find someone to replace her." Coelho, The Zahir

The following sample has a lot of sentences that knit together the emotional cloak of Marina's story.

"What is left that is heartbreaking? Not death: death is ordinary. What is heartbreaking is the sight of a single gull lifting effortlessly from a street lamp. Its wings unfurl like silk scarves against the mauve sky, and Marina hears the rustle of its feathers. What is heartbreaking is that there is still beauty in the world." Dean, The Madonnas of Lenningrad


What I'm Celebrating Today


  • I can recognize those perfect sentences.
  • I practice writing those perfect sentences.
  • I can read those perfect sentences.

Quote for the Day

I think this is exactly what those "perfect" sentences do.

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it." Hannah Arendt, Political Philosopher

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group & Burma


I'm not here. 


I'm in Burma (AKA Myranmar). I like Burma better and it's easier to spell. 


However, I've packed my Insecurities, some of them. I'm only allowed something like 40 lbs., so taking all of them would make my bag too heavy. Here's the insecure feelings I took with me. 

While I'm gone, 

  • no one will notice
  • everyone will disappear from my blogging life. "So long. Farewell. Been good to know you."
  • I'll forget how to blog.
  • I'll forget why I blog.
  • I'll miss a writing opportunity of a lifetime, never to be repeated.

I'll be back to Blogging December 1. Hope to see you here then. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero? And Hat's Off Corner to Joy Campbell


I could make a list that would go the length of my blog if I listed my heroes--men and women in my life, in history, and in stories I've treasured. Instead, I'm going with the generic hero, the unsung, the unwitting, the Everyman (in the most general sense of "man") who rises from the humble to the heroic in that moment when man must either rise higher than he's ever risen before, or succumb to the forces against him.


The heroic heart lies
concealed within. 
then in one moment, 

©C. Lee

One image.
A trove of feelings compacted into light and shadow
No authored words.
Only the heart of the hero, beating.

©C. Lee



Hunger harvests. 

So I know what you’re saying: 300 words? Well, I’m going with the idea that if brevity is the soul of wit it’s also the best way to express an idea. Besides, I often find that if I’m brief, I’m also more likely to be read by others online. The problem is it takes me hours more to write short than it does to write long. 

Here are some others who agree with my thoughts on brevity. Am I in good company or what?

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” 

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.” 

To the Hero in all of us.


Ever heard the saying, 'one hand washes the other'? Well, in my world 'one story bleeds into another'. Although there are currently three novels and one novella in the Island Adventure Romance series, the stories all started with Hardware, a romantic suspense novel released through Wild Child Publishing.

You might wonder how that happened. Let's just say one compelling secondary character, Anya, had such an interesting situation that I had to develop her story. Her sister, Celeste, proved to be a pain-in-the-butt that I did nothing about for a while. Then I wondered what would happen if I tied her to a troublesome secondary character from Contraband, my first published work. Long story short, these problem children lit the pages on fire with their personalities that are akin to the effect you get from striking a match close to gasoline.

The plot thread is still unreeling, because there's one half of a twin—presumed dead—from Contraband whose adventure is next in line. For those of you who write stories that end up as a series, d'you notice how unresolved situations, snippets of information and back story help to form the basis for follow-up books?

Sign up on the Rafflecopter if you’d like a chance to read the books in this series or win a gift card. Also, feel free to download Anya’s Wish, which is a complimentary novella from the Island Adventure Romance series.

J.L. Campbell lives in Jamaica and writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She also writes non-fiction and is a certified editor. Visit her on the web at or at her Amazon page. She's enjoys good company, so feel free to follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop. Happy Halloween & Let's Celebrate the Small Things

We are now at my most favorite ever in the world holiday, Halloween!


Candy, of course!

No. Not really. I just like the macabre fun and in-your-face-MR. DEATH attitude of 

All Hallows Eve. 

Since I was a kid I've loved scary stories and reading ghost stories under the sheets with a flashlight, or. . . and this is the very best thing . . .telling ghost stories under the stars with night lurking beyond the bonfire where goblins and werewolves and ghoulish creatures hide in wait.


Gotcha, didn't I?

So to celebrate this ancient, pagan ritual that today is more about fun and treats, I've joined PATRICIA LYNNE'S Trick or Tweet Book Blog Hop. She's so right. EBOOKS ARE CANDY.

I'm giving you a choice of eBooks. For one simple Trick. Ready? Post a comment. (1. leave email 2. book you want 3. format you need) That's it. I'll choose 4 of the best comments and send those people a book. But if you want to give any of my books a LIKE on good old facebook, I'd really appreciate it.





I have one request. Be patient. I'm going to be gone from Nov.1-Nov. 20, so I won't have time to send my Treats until I return, that is unless I can do it from far far away, which I might be able to do, but only if WIFI is available.  


This week I'm celebrating that break I've put off for two years. 

I'm also celebrating getting some time to be with old friends and meeting some new ones.

See you in December.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The World Hop Rules, Some Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns & the Hats Off Corner With Beverly McClure

Thanks to YVONNE VENTRESCA for tagging me. Here's her POST

The World Hop Rules

Start with a quote.
Answer 4 short questions
Tag another writer

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”  Francis Bacon

1. Why do I create what I do?
One answer is it keeps me out of trouble, but I guess the best answer to this is because I love to see if I can get the ideas from my head to the page. It’s a true challenge, and sometimes it takes a lot of word wrestling before I succeed.

2. How does my creative process work? (note my editing of this question. There are days when the creative part just ain't there.)

But when it is there, I start with a single sentence. That sounds sooooo simple, doesn’t it? But it’s the toughest part of my job. Once I get a sentence that has a character I can relate to, a goal I can imagine, and some obstacles I can dream up, I start the story. Sometimes I write the end first. Sometimes I write scattered but important scenes I have in my head. I never know how the book is going to come together.

3. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I guess one difference is my focus in never on romance. It’s always on the circumstances that the teen is stuck with. If love finds its way into the story, it has to have a purpose. In Sliding on the Edge, I needed the Sunday Boy to provoke my MC in a country boy lighthearted way and show her the truth. In The Princess of Las Pulgas I needed a no nonsense kid who could set the Princess on the right track. In Double Negative I needed one person Hutch McQueen could turn to and trust. 

4. What am I presently working on?
I’ve gone back to middle grade adventure fantasy for a bit to clear my head and have some lighthearted fun. I’ve finished a sequel to Alligators Overhead and called it The Great Time Lock Disaster. I’ll be subbing that starting December. I’m also in the middle of editing an ancient manuscript, Dragon Child. I say ancient because this is something I started years ago and never finished. I did a lousy job crafting it, so it has taken some doing to fix my mess. Still I’m fond of the story and hope to whip it into some kind of shape soon.

Next up on the blog hop, I’d like to tag CATHERINE STINE. Catherine is the author of several novels. Among them her Fireseed Series. She'll be joining this HOP in December.

Now. . . about that Jack-O-Lantern

Got your pumpkin ready to carve? Here are some ideas. Simple, and then the Not So Simple.

Love the Bats

My Carving Level
Ahhh. Sweet Bird Nesting


Hats Off Corner

A girl.
A dream.
An accident.
A dream shattered.

Eleven-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.

Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?


About BEV!

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats. 
For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

You can visit her here.