Thursday, February 23, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The best thing I ever learned when I first started writing was discovering what prompted my creativity. I noticed that while writing a story, I would wake up in the middle of the night with visions of the next chapter, up to and including lines of dialogue. When this first started happening, I was sure I’d remember all those precious jewels the next morning. Didn’t happen. Usually I even forgot that I woke up during the night. I told my husband, Larry, about this problem and he came up with a fix. Since he knew I was too lazy to get out of bed, go to my desk, and write my thoughts down, he bought me a tape recorder and put it on the headboard.
I thought this was a swell idea as I already knew that hearing my story out loud, even if I was doing the reading, was a good way to get a feel for what worked and what didn’t. Larry, thoughtful as always, picked a recorder with a voice-activated feature. This meant that I didn’t even have to reach up and turn the thing on. All I had to do was spout my pearls of wisdom into the night and they would magically be there for revising the following morning. I went to sleep that night eager for sunrise so I could hear my clever musings.
|Sharon & her dog, Stella|
That story is legend in our family, and I told it partly for fun, but also to point out a creativity tip. All writers and those who would like to write are different. What stimulates my creativity may not work out for Nora Roberts. For me, it’s a warm bath with rock music pounding away in my ears, followed quickly by a session with a tape recorder---with the voice activation feature turned off. I have to admit here that I spent a LOT of time in the bathtub while writing The Bride Wore Spurs. I almost became a permanent prune, but thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent with Lacey and Hawke. I hope you will, too
About The Bride Wore Spurs:
Kathleen Lacey O’Carroll knew she faced an uncertain future when she arrived in Wyoming as a mail-order bride—especially when she learned that the man she was to marry hadn’t actually ordered her. How could John Winterhawke, a fiercely independent and unsettling handsome half-Indian possibly make room in his heart and in his life for her?
As far as Hawke was concerned, the last thing he needed was a high-spirited, overeager Irish wife who knew nothing about surviving on the harsh prairie. But once the determined Lacey sensed the rough kindness and simmering hunger under Hawke’s forbidding demeanor, she set out to match his dark passion with her own—and claim his wild heart on her terms.
Sharon Ihle is the best-selling author of more than a dozen award-winning historical romances set in the American West. A lifelong Californian, Sharon recently moved from the sunny beaches of San Diego to the frozen plains of North Dakota. Hard to believe, but it’s true.
Links to All Sharon's Books: http://www.backlistebooks.com/?author=52&submit=view
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Like so many little girls, I flirted with the idea of growing up to become a famous actress, but in my teens and young adulthood, I chalked that up to childhood fantasy. I had too many strikes against me. I wasn't particularly attractive. I didn't have boobs to speak of. And I didn't know the first thing about acting.
Plus, when I tried out for a high school production I was put in the chorus, which is where all the kids who couldn't act were put. That clinched it for me. I was not destined to be an actor.
Fast forward many years later. I worked with a partner in the film business for a while, and we would hold acting workshops for theatre students in the
area. I got to watch and learn and that childhood idea started to pester me again. I'd watch some of the actors play out a scene and think, "I want to do that." Dallas
Yet, I never could get brave and tell anyone.
Fast forward a few more years when I became the Theatre Director at the art center in our small community here in
East Texas. All those tricks I learned about acting I put to use in helping others bring roles to life, but I still couldn't work up the courage to step on the stage.
|Maryann in Mildred in Squabbles|
|Maryann Miller as|
To my surprise, I got the role as Mildred in "Squabbles" and I had a jillion lines to learn. I was afraid on opening night that I would freeze, or do something else equally embarrassing, but I stepped out on the stage and became Mildred. What fun. And the audience seemed to think I did a first-rate job.
Like me, the heroine in my woman's novel, Play it Again, Sam, put her dreams on hold to raise a family. I'm glad we both got to pursue those dreams.
Life as she knows it ceases to exist for Samantha Rutgers when her husband of twenty-plus years decides he no longer loves her. The challenges are myriad. Can she build a life without him? Will her daughter always blame her? Can she ever trust a man again? And what is she going to do about sex?
Maryann Miller is an award-winning author of numerous books, screenplays and stage plays. In addition to Play It Again, Sam, she has written several other books. The latest, Open Season, is the first book in a new mystery series that features two women homicide detectives in
. The second book in the series, Stalking Season, is under contract and will publish in November 2012. Miller has a suspense novel, One Small Victory, a young adult novel, Friends Forever, and a short story collection, The Wisdom of Ages, is also available as an e-book and paperback. Dallas
Thursday, February 2, 2012
|Kathryn Elizabeth Jones|
Getting Older But Feeling 29
Every year I turn 29 again, and people that know me have stopped asking me my age. They already know.
“So, you’re 29 again,” they say, or “you’re sure looking good for…29.”
The other day someone I didn’t know thought I was my daughter’s sister—my daughter’s almost 30. I told them that I’d just celebrated my 50th birthday. I thought they were going to fall over.
I’m not sure how young I really look, but the idea of being 30 or even 35 thrills me to no end. And I share my feelings with anyone who will listen. And I mean anyone.
|Breakfast on a cruise ship|
“Wow,” I said, “you’re young!”
She looked at me as if I was crazy.
I said, “Well, I’m 50 and so I’d enjoy being 32.”
Her eyes grew wide. “You’re 50? I don’t believe it.”
“Believe it. I have four grand-children. They’re my bonus round.”
She smiled. “You don’t look 50.”
Was she telling me the truth? I will never be completely sure, but I love people like that; they’re my instant friends on facebook and I can hardly wait to invite them over to dinner.
|Kathryn with her sisters last year on Girls Night Out|
Sometimes I don’t like it that I’m 50. You get treated differently at job interviews if they’ve figured that part out. Young kids think your 80 and sometimes, quite frankly, I feel older than I used to. When I turned 50, my doctor said, “Well, I guess it’s time for that colonoscopy!”
I could have strangled her.
Sure, I like the idea of being younger, but I wouldn’t want to rehash all of my learning experiences. They hurt quite enough the first time around. I’m happy to be 50, most of the time. And I like the thought that it’s never too late to start a new business (I began a new business last year) or even write a second book.
And I’m fine at 29.
Bio: I am an avid reader and enjoy long walks in the mountains (as long as I don’t have to camp overnight). I LOVE chocolate in any form: candy bar, cookie, ice-cream, brownie… I started writing when I was pregnant with my first daughter (I have 3) and published my first nonfiction article 8 years later. My new book, “Conquering your Goliaths—A Parable of the Five Stones” has just been released at Amazon.
Blurb: David gathered 5 smooth stones to meet and defeat Goliath. What did these stones represent and how can you use them to conquer Goliaths in your own personal quests? Ms. Virginia Bean will show you how.
Travel with her on her own personal journey. See what she does. Learn how she grows. Discover what she becomes.
“Conquering your Goliaths—A Parable of the Five Stones” is for anyone desiring to travel beyond mediocrity, pain and fear. Learn of the great power within you, a power given to you from God, a power that must ultimately be unleashed to conquer the Goliaths in your own life. Come to an even deeper understanding of God and what he wants for you. Come…
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Your-Goliaths-Parable-Stones/dp/146990294X/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1327598164&sr=1-1-catcorr
Or my website: http://www.ariverofstones.com/conquering.html.