Friday, December 5, 2014

Wattpad New Chapter Updated

I love upload day! It's so much fun to see how many people will read the next installment of DREAMING DANGEROUSLY.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Stories

It took me seven years, but I finally published my collection of Halloween Tales that I wrote with my students! I have three different books, Volume 1, Volume 2 and a combination of both Volumes 1 and 2.



Friday, May 30, 2014

Sprinting to Write

In the novel writing world, SPRINTING is writing as fast as you can in a set amount of time to see how many words you can write. 

Usually, you are sprinting with another writer. It's a contest, but not really. When we sprint, we always congratulate the other person on their accomplishments. I first learned about sprinting through NaNoWriMo, but I found a group on Facebook that I joined, which I prefer over Twitter. 

Now, of course, you COULD write utter nonsense. 

However, if you think about or brainstorm what you want to write ahead of time, sprinting can be the best way to allow your brain to just take off running with that topic. You'd be surprised what your brain will come up with in such a short amount of time. 

Last Saturday, in 1 1/2 hours or 3 sprints, I wrote 1800 words. If I did this every day, I would write about 10 books a year! 

That's a bit unrealistic, considering I don't write every day.

However, if you sprinted once a week for 1 1/2 hours and averaged 1800 words each time, you'd write a novel a year. That's not bad for an hour and a half of writing every week!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Faster Way of Writing

Boy Writing
Do you want to write fast and furious? Or do you have bits and pieces of dialogue or important plot ideas on different slips of paper?

You don't always have to make your fingers fly across the computer keys. If you have an iPhone or maybe another smart phone with the free Google Docs app, you can use the microphone icon next to the space bar on your phone's touch keyboard to dictate your words into a Google Doc.

Even dialogue can be written into a Google doc this way! All you have to do is say "Begin Quote" and say whatever words you would like your character to say and then say "comma," "period," or "question mark" and "End Quote." (This will save with lots of editing time later.)

Tonight, I wrote 1000 words for my new book this way and didn't even suffer from finger cramps!
Another thing this method helped me with is writer's block. A couple of days ago I brainstormed scene ideas for the next point of view section of my latest book. This section has been alluding me for the last three days. Grrrr...

I decided to dictate my brainstorming ideas into Google Docs this evening, and an amazing thing happened! I added more ideas as they popped into my head, and I came up with the plot twist that would fuel the rest of my book!

Now, I can begin again tomorrow and have a clear direction for this section of When Dreams Will Come, the third book in my series.

I am so excited to share this idea with other writers! Happy writing!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Strategies Do You Use When You Get Stuck As a Writer?

As a teacher of writing, I get this all the time from my students. It's difficult to get unstuck, but sometimes, especially when you're writing a novel, you have to let your ideas bounce around in your brain and run into other ideas and thoughts until your characters work out their struggles for you. Or you could just go with the flow of your writing, and not resist what the characters want to do.

For instance, one scene I just finished tonight, I had actually envisioned when I first tried to write the chapter, but I edited it from my mind and tried to come up with something different. I wasn't listening to what my character had to do, what he was driven to do. Maybe I just didn't want him to fail. But I knew he had to fail to put everyone in more peril than they were previously. 

There are some strategies that I use to get myself unstuck. Here they are:

  1. Read another book. Get completely immersed in another world, the language of the author, the flow of ideas. Now look to see how many other books that author has written. Have they written more than you? Then, start writing again, so people will get immersed in the worlds you create and your language.
  2. Brainstorm in a journal. I think about the place, the senses, and what I envision happening in that place with a certain character or characters. Sometimes the act of writing in ink in a book, another medium, can get your mind working differently, less editorially, more creatively.
  3. Freewrite. I did this a bunch of times with this chapter. It really helped me because I was so stuck, I didn't even have anything envisioned in some places. So, I typed as fast as I could for five or ten minutes. If you're a NaNoWriMo writer, this would be referred to as a "writing sprint."
  4. Go to a movie based on a book you've read. Similar to getting immersed in a book, but seeing someone else's interpretation of the author's words may get your mind thinking more like a director. You see the big picture or you see details brought to life in a different way to convey the same idea, emotion or scene. I recently saw Divergent by Virginia Roth.
  5. Take a shower. My best ideas come to me in the shower. I actually read an article on the Internet about why taking a shower or driving seems to open up creativity. Both are kind of routine activities, which puts your mind into an Alpha state.(I've read a lot about brain activity because of my main character, Cassie, and her mind-reading abilities.)  Alpha brainwaves are more relaxed and open to think about ideas without censorship. Theta brainwaves lead to drowsiness and possible extrasensory perception. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Because the book trailer was outdated, I decided to redo my book trailer for DREAMING DANGEROUSLY. I used my MacBook, so I could use iMovie. I've found the program to be much easier to use than Windows Movie Maker. If you are interested in the book, just click on the book title link above.

1) I made all of my pics 1024x768 using pixlr editor, a free site for creating images. Most of my pics were from either those I bought from or free images from other parts of the internet.

2) I uploaded all of those pics into iPhoto.

3) Next, I put all of the iPhoto pics in iMovie. I arranged those like a story board. 

4) I wrote a script in Word because I knew I wanted to narrate instead of using text only.

5) On Garage Band, I recorded my voice using an echo effect, so it sounds like the voiceover is coming from Cassie's mind. I saved the file, and it appeared in iTunes.

6) Then, I imported my voiceover from iTunes into iMovie. Next, I made all of my clips the correct length for the narration. This took a lot of time because you have to do each one individually.

7) Next I looked for royalty free music, and found it at The cool thing about getting music here is that you can search by type of music as well as by emotional impact. I chose "The Complex" by Kevin MacLeod in the Soundtrack genre.

8) I just adjusted the ducking so that the music didn't drown out my voiceover, and then I saved and uploaded to iTunes at Dreaming Dangerously book trailer 1080p

9) I also uploaded it to my Amazon Author's Page for DREAMING DANGEROUSLY.

 I love how it turned out. It's amazing how much I've learned about video making since the last time I made a book trailer. It took me a total of 8 hours, at the most. 

I taught myself how to use pixlr editor from watching Youtube videos a few months ago. That's how I was able to redo my book covers. I just didn't like the thought of having to pay someone $300 for a pre-made book cover. I didn't like any of the covers I saw, so I started playing around with making my own. I became proficient at iMovie when I helped my daughter with her History Alive project last year about how the Beatles impacted American history.

If this post was helpful, please leave a comment. If you are interested in knowing when my next book will be out, subscribe on the right side of my blog. I only send out newsletters when I have something to release, so I won't spam your email every day, I promise.

Also, I have a Facebook page called Dreaming Dangerously: Children of the Psi Series, go there and show your love by liking the page!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Look at the Difference 3 Years Makes!

Just received the proof for my 3rd edition of DREAMING DANGEROUSLY.  I won't be updating the paper back book anymore,  but as I publish new books, I will link them in my eBook version. I wanted to recreate the cover because the book just wasn't selling well, even though it had wonderful reviews. I think the new cover captures the theme and genre of the book so much better.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I spent most of today redesigning and uploading Darkness Descends on Create Space for Amazon paperback and in eBook on Kindle Direct. 

I forgot that it takes about a week for the updated book to show up on the Amazon website. Even the eBook is not the updated one yet.  WHOOPS! Well, I guess I'll do another update about that. 

 Anyway, still proud of how the print cover turned out.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I just spent this evening redesigning my book cover for Create Space, so that my eBooks and my paperback books have the same "look." It's so much easier to design an eBook cover because all you have to worry about is the front cover, and you don't have to worry about edges nearly as much. I had to rearrange my name, move over my title, etc. I also came up with a more succinct back cover blurb. 

Whoops, I just remembered that my inner book pictures will have to be changed to reflect the new covers! AAAGH! That will be my next project!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Cover Reveal Friday

I am so excited to be revealing the new covers for the Children of the Psi series! 

In order to have covers that reflect more of the theme and genre of the books, I decided to redesign them. I bought images from It took me hours to search for just the right images for Cassie and Will. Then, I learned how to use Pixlr Editor, which is a free program you can use on-line to edit images. I've learned how to layer images, add text, etc. 

Youtube has been my source for learning how to use Pixlr Editor. If you have some graphic art ability and cannot spend money on professional covers, this program is a wonderful resource. I can even control the number of pixels, which I couldn't do on Microsoft Publisher. I did finally end up using Microsoft Publisher for all the text because I know the program better. Then, to add any additional effects, I used Pixlr Express. Because I have many more books I want to upload this year, I wanted to keep my costs low, and the images are really not that expensive. 

By the way, I have to give props to Susan Kaye Quinn, whose book the Indie Author Survival Guide, has been an incredible resource. 

Thanks, Susan! 

 Here's a link to her book on

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Update on Book 3 of Children of the Psi series

So excited! Almost finished with first half of book! 

My advice to anyone who writes. Don't wait for the muse to strike in order to write. Just write, even if it's horrible. Even if it's only 500 words at a time. I've been averaging 500 words a night after being a teacher all day, a mother all afternoon and most of the evening. If I can do it, so can you!