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New Project Time! Now What Do You Write About?

I write in several genres. Yes, some call that novice behavior. I’ll speak to that on another day. What I want to blog about today is “How do you come up with this stuff?” Every project ends sometime and then what do you do? Most writers have a stock pile of ideas waiting for their time, or at least a list of one liners to build from. But, I’m often asked how I come up with such a diverse set of ideas. Writers typically write the genre they read because that’s what they’re most passionate about. I have only child syndrome (over active imagination from years of entertaining myself) and a touch of adult ADD. My mind wanders, jumps, flees – you get it.

New ideas happen all the time.  I jot down things down that catch my attention while I’m thinking of them, like a music video that tells an ah-MAZing story but never wraps it up OMG I HATE that! How many times have I thought…but what now?? Then, Cee Lo’s on and my story is gone. Or, I see the craziest stuff with my own two eyes and I think “that’s be a good story.” You do that too. I know you do. Or I gawk at an over the top person who’d make a great villian (like the guy I saw yelling at his wife in a closing Borders because he HATES standing there and no one READS anymore. I mean, why you think dis place is closin anyway?) *angry eyes* Sometimes, I see random people in costumes at the grocery store. WHY? Truly, Ideas are everywhere – if you aren’t deaf and blind, you know this. Even still if you’re deaf and blind but not in a coma – actually, I think coma patients dream, so not even them – but they can’t really write the story or tell you so you can write it, so fine coma patients are out, but otherwise there ARE ideas and you CAN find them.

In case you’re afraid to leave your house and don’t have radio or television or neighbors or Internet (Liar. You obvs have Net) then brainstorming is a great tool. My advice: Think wildly. You can always reel it in later. Think BIG. Go outside the box. Write all your ideas down then address the one that gets your attention. Don’t be discouraged by the big fat ZERO on your word count. You can do this. Get started and please! Share with me how you pick out a new story idea when you finally hit send on all those submissions and it’s time to start something new.

What’d you do?

Back to Books Giveaway Hop September 1st-7th

Back to the Book Giveaway Hop

Hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer & Buried in Books

In honor of all the time school just freed up for moms everywhere, I’m turning to romance this time. Yes, I am normally a YA blog and I do love YA, BUT I am also a romance writer who attended the FABULOUS Lori Foster Conference in June. While I was there I scored a LOT of romance. This week shall be sharing time!

Up for grabs this week:

Bewitched by Lori Foster

In Too Deep

P.I. Harry Lonnigan wasn’t fooled by her disguise. The waif dressed as a boy, who was about to blow his cover and maybe get herself killed, was every inch a woman. His first priority should have been reunitingCharlie with her estranged father—but her first priority was to seduce Harry, and before Harry knew it, he was in too deep.

Married to the Boss
Dana Dillinger had been R.J. Maitland‘s right hand for years—loyal, dependable… and hopelessly, secretly in love with him. So when he popped the question to prove he wasn’t the playboy the press labeled him, she accepted his “proposal.” But where R.J. envisioned a marriage in name only, Dana refused to settle for anything less than his heart….

Bonded by Blood by Laurie London

Some cravings are too powerful to resist…

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…


Interview with a Playboy by Kathryn Ross

Dangerous waters… Sailing around the Mediterranean in a luxury yacht sounds like heaven – but for journalist Isobel Keyes it’s a personal hell! She’s trapped with Marco Lombardi – her next big story, and the man who caused her family’s downfall. Marco is gossip-column gold, but he hates journalists. Whisking this one away so she can do less damage seems like a plan – until she sparks Marco’s interest. Now he finds himself wanting to kiss and tell Izzy everything…but at what cost?

To be entered to win the prize package you must follow me on Google Friend Connect by clicking on the button at the top of my right column  —>

If you’d like to have additional entries, you can follow via twitter or like me on my Facebook author page, or with networked blogs or GoodReads. <– Find me there on Goodreads :) All those buttons are over there on the right too. But Following with GFC will get you entered. No worries.

THEN leave me a comment with your email addy or way of reaching you if your GFC profile doesn’t have a current one & let me know how many ways you entered. One entry per follow. Total of 5 possible. Maximum.

Once you’re all signed up for this amazing Romance giveaway of hawtness, click on the linky below to see all the other great blogs giving away books this week too!

Writer Wednesday Welcomes BACK: Mari McCarthy

Today Writer Wednesday welcomes BACK Mari McCarthy. She’s graciously agreed to stop by as a part of her Wow! Women on Writing blog tour and I’m excited to have her! Mari’s written an amazing post on Journaling. Enjoy!

Journaling Your Loves

A stereotypical idea about journal writing involves journaling your loves. A ‘diary’ is often thought of as a secret repository of amorous adventures. Finding someone reading your diary is a horrifying embarrassment because your private lusts and yearnings involving another person have been revealed.

You might still keep such a journal, and I’m sure you have a great relationship with it and there’s nothing in the world wrong with that. But this post isn’t actually just about romance of the flirtatious kind.

Pause a minute and think of a few of the other kinds of romances you’ve enjoyed in life, the ones that did not involve having a human sweetheart.

Have you ever had a romance with spring? If you fall in love with spring, you are carried by your infatuation for days and weeks, drinking in the season’s delicacies with abandon.

Or have you ever fallen in love with a kind of music, or with an idea (givers get! or recycle!), a practice (yoga or saying grace before eating), a hobby (maybe gardening or riding motorcycles)?

Perhaps except for the very meanest amongst us, just about everyone can think of things they love. When you journal about these things, your love easily blossoms into full blown romance.

A love relationship is symbiotic: that is, each party feeds the other. When you devote one of your journals to one of your loves, that relationship can benefit like a baby at the breast.

How does this happen? When you write, you articulate and better understand. You objectify your experiences. You gain access to your most sympathetic ear (your own Inner Coach).  And then you carry that developed understanding back into your love relationship.

Try a sequence something like the following:

  1. Make a list of things you love, especially those things that come up frequently in your life or in the life of your mind. Choose one from this list.
  2. Locate a blank journal that you can dedicate to your love.
  3. Decide how often you will write in this journal and make a note of it. By stating your intention at the outset, you have a better chance of following through.
  4. Though most of your entries may center on your romance with chocolate, say, or your obsession with shopping, it’s fine to wander off wherever your scribbling takes you. Your person-to-person romances bring out the best of you in diverse ways, and so should your love journal.
  5. Be sure to include bits and baubles that can be glued in to your journal, as well as sketches, photos, and whatever other non-traditional journaling supplies that might inspire you. There are no limits to the expression of your love!
  6. Write about why you are in this romance, what you like about the thing you love, what’s your highest dream with regard to your love. Describe your experiences with it, your hopes and your failures.
  7. As with all journaling, be sure you take the time to re-read older entries now and then. Gaining this perspective on the process is essential motivation for coming back to your journal again and again.

I’ve saved the most miraculous part of journaling your loves until last. By now, you may have guessed it. You know, the more you immerse yourself in something the more you become, well, immersed. Meaning, the more you write in your love journals, the more love enlarges in your life.

Not a bad prospect, ya think?



About Mari:

After twenty years as a business consultant, Mari McCarthy switched gears. The catalyst was a health issue for which the remedy became her new life path. Mari now assists others with personal development and health issues through therapeutic journaling.

Mari says that journaling has become her “tool for life.” She keeps a journal in her office for assistance in business, one in the family area for use with introspection, and one by the bed for dream work.

Through journaling Mari has discovered many things about herself, like her desire and talent for singing! Watch Mari’s video for “To Make You Feel My Love on YouTube.

You can learn more about Mari and her work on her website:

Grit City Emotobooks Revolutionize Fictional Storytelling

Well, hold on to your hats because today I not only have a new writer pal to tell you about, I have a whole new concept in story telling to share with you. Ron Gavalik has introduced me to his idea of a great story. These come in a format he calls Emotobooks and Ron has a line he named Grit City. I’m gonna step back now and let the guy who knows Grit City best tell you all about it. Thank you Ron for coming by the blog to tell us all about it!

Grit City Emotobooks Revolutionize Fictional Storytelling

Ron Gavalik

As a writer it’s always been a goal of mine to bridge the gap between the cerebral gratifications of well-plotted writing and the visual stimulation of illustrative art or film. Like a mad scientist with crazy hair and a battered lab coat, I experimented with various styles, structures, and word painting exercises. Nothing seemed to achieve my goal.

Then it came to me. I had a mini-epiphany. Insert abstract, emotionally representative illustrations during peak moments of tension. By delivering a visual of what the character feels and experiences, the reader becomes more intensely immersed in the story.

The term emotobook is simply a portmanteau word I conjured, as a fun and memorable label for this new medium of fiction.

Unlike comic books that use direct illustrations as the primary storytelling device, Grit City emotobooks are written mystery noirs, with an urban fantasy twist. The four of five illustrations in each thirty-page installment merely lend a visual experience to the internal emotional processes of the characters.

It’s lots of fun.

Grit City is continuing story, published each month to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks and other eBook retailers. In each installment the reader is exposed to a dark and calamitous world, where the nefarious rule.

Our main character is Dillon Galway, an idealistic freelance journalist in his mid-twenties, who barely scrapes out a living reporting on corruption for the metro newspaper and his own blog.

Dillon embodies a double meaning of the term grit. He is a gritty individual, who drinks and lives meagerly. But he also possesses grit. Courage and strength of character are his dominant personality traits.

I’ve constructed a world where Dillon shares a symbiotic relationship with the city. Its failures have lowered him, yet he remains hopeful for the restoration of peace and opportunity. Occasionally, he relies on the sexy and sultry Alyssa Stephano (gun for hire) to help when situations require her nickel-plated Colt .45 revolvers.

Grit City was an ideal place to live at one time. We all know of towns that have fallen over the years. The murder of Dillon’s Father and the rise of the Syndicate started Dillon’s downward spiral. All meaningful power in business, politics, and law enforcement were funneled into the hands of this wealthy organization.

But in the shadows of the back alleys, whispers stir in the underground of an unnamed force. Something or someone that’s determined to upset the status quo. When Dillon is tipped about horrifying activities he’s propelled into a perilous investigation that may lead to dire consequences.

As the series progresses he’s faced with unfathomed challenges, but also gains abilities most consider impossible.

The creation of Grit City is a collaborative process. Leah Keilman is our Lead Illustrator and master of visual expressionism in fiction. It’s her talent and passion that breathes life into the emotobook illustrations. Stephanie King and Nikki Hopeman are our editors. Their both possess an eye for detail, which ensures the installments I write are held to the highest possible level of storytelling. Kunta is our web and electronic media guru, who likes to eat…a lot. We just feed him pizza and let him work his magic. Without this team the vision of emotobooks wouldn’t exist.

With that said, we’ve all dedicated our lives to this pursuit. We’re thankful such a broad audience is heralding the story. It seems our tagline on the website is true.

Read one installment and you’ll be hooked until the gritty end.

Author Bio

Ron Gavalik has dedicated his life to the written word. He’s practiced a long and successful career in fiction writing, journalism, and technical documentation. His short fiction has appeared in several magazines and online venues. His news articles have informed thousands of readers throughout the United States.

He conceived the new medium of emotobooks in 2010 while earning his M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Grit City is the maiden serialized story, and is receiving accolades among a large and diverse base of readers throughout the US, UK, and Germany.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Ron spends much of his free time in the outdoors of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He enjoys fishing, hiking, and riding his trail bike.

Ron can be reached through his website at:

Be sure to leave your comments or questions for Ron then hop over to check out the site! Thank you!!


Compound Words are My Nemesis

You know how most writers struggle to some degree with the same things, like where to put the blasted comma, or when to em dash verses ellipse? No? Okay then I have those problems PLUS this one. I can not for the life of me seem to know which words are compound. I just type everything as single words then lose half my word count on edits. This is worthy to be blog fodder for me because it’s the SECOND time this has happened this year. No joke.

I think my brain produces a chemical that denounces the reality of a compound word. Bah! It balks. “You words need to man-up and stand alone! No more of this holding hands crap! Holding hands is for babies and lovers. You’re not lovers are you? Then you must be babies!” *Said in my best drill sergeant voice*

I also suck eggs when it comes to hyphenated words. I never-ever-never do the hyphen. *hangs head*

For your entertainment, here are a few of these complete compound and hyphen fails:

floorboards, homeroom, doorjamb, door-frame, hardbound, well-worn, tie-dye, rose-colored, bell-bottoms, tabletop, self-control, restroom, firefly, well-chewed, wallflower, flip-flops, gearshift, backtrack, floodgates, textbook, peephole, goodbye, riverbank, headband, mailbox, driveway, tiptoes, trashcan, crisscross, treetops, keypad, ashtray, midterms, schoolgirls

I’m going to stop there because as you can see —– I’M RIDICULOUS.

Do you guys do anything completely obnoxious like this when you write? I also type the word and as adn Every. Single. Time then have to go back and correct it. Why do I think being a writer is a good idea for me again LOL :)

Anyone else?

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