Sly as a Fox

Common phrases can be trite and throw-away. Or they can layer on depth and provide alternative options to explore characterization. Today animal phrases are roaming (pardon the pun) through my brain. Why? On an early hours’ walk, a fox crossed my path. Not unique for loads of people who enjoy country living, but considering that I’m buried in a ‘metropolis’ of suburbia, pretty unusual for me. So the fox crosses my path and now I’m wondering (at a quick pace, I might add) what does it mean? Is it like the crossing of a black cat? (bad luck) Is it like crossing paths with a crow? (change on the way) Is it like a path-crossing […]

Too Much to Swallow – Plotting

However great the storyteller, however well published the author – one truth remains constant. Plotting, beast that it is, can never be side-stepped, shortened or eliminated. Short story to novel, fiction to non-fiction, romance to suspense, each writer must face the daunting task of basic plotting. Breaking the process of plotting down into specific bites can make the entire process more palatable. Who . . . What . . . When . . . Where . . . and Why: basic questions guaranteed to cook up plotting BRILLIANCE Who – be specific, which character is the target of this plotting session. 1) One of the protagonists? 2) The villain? 3) A secondary character who’s crucial […]

The Brilliance of Layering

I am a bit of a DIY nut. Not the most talented rehab expert, but darned persistent when I need to learn a task in order to complete a make-over. When necessity demanded, I’ve tackled walls and ceilings: tape & bedding, trim-out work, baseboards, texturing, priming then painting, tiling (yes, you can tile a bathroom wall), to floors that have been stripped, sanded, leveled, prepped, tiled, grouted and finally sealed. At our home, we’ve changed light fixtures, ceiling fans, plumbing fixtures, even a few main internal water lines. I’ve removed old, leaky doors, sealed framing, stuffed installation, and floated in a couple of walls. Then there were old dated external doors out and new insulated […]

Fun Friday – Dressed to the Nines

Phraseology in our language seems for the most part to be passed down generation to generation. Whether writing historical, present day, or futuristic getting the language ‘writer-right’ is crucial. Make sure to explore the etymology of words and language before inserting into your written works, or twisting for a new/futuristic meaning. ‘Dressed to the Nines’ is an expression designed to speak to clothing expression, certainly, but more to clothing perfection. I love the 60s movies when the culture dictated gloves, hats, pressed pants, silk stockings. From How To Marry A Millionaire. OR Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’sBut whatever these pictures represent to me, is that the original meaning of ‘Dressed to the Nines’? According […]

Lure The Muse

Creativity is simultaneously a writer’s best friend and most dreaded enemy. But why? Are we, as writers, challenged of casual creativity? Are we blind to the bare bones of original brilliance? Do we glue our eyes closed to simple genius? Finding a writer’s muse can often involve gritting teeth, severing of limbs (metaphorically, folks) or jumping off the proverbial cliff and hoping for wings of inspiration. But why must it be so difficult when often hidden wells of creativity lurk inside each of us? What is the secret? Lure the muse. How? I have discovered that most writers have a number of passions. Seldom does our creativity sequester itself in a solitary cell. Instead, creativity […]

Be brave, be bold, be yourself!

An important phone conversation today led me down a particular path of thought. Someone near and dear to me is changing jobs – not careers – but jobs. However, this individual’s professional world is highly stressful, intensely competitive, and filled with too many work hours for any given day. Bottom line: the right job selection is pretty darn important. At times when choices seem so critical, it’s easy to become handicapped, stifled, and fearful. Standing in place seems better than moving any direction. At least, feet are grounded and solid beneath, if you stand still, right? The problem: it’s impossible to get anywhere standing still. So, I sympathized, empathized, and was the total strong shoulder […]

To pseudonym or not . . .

To pseudonym or not . . . that has been my question. Answer??? Yes. I’ll debut my romantic suspense writing under the pseudonym: K.M. Saint James. A great deal of thought, both fore and after, went in to selecting the name. Each part of the name (initials included) has special meaning to me. I’m normally catchier if I’m long-winded — honestly, just ask anyone who knows me — but in this case a matter of 14 characters captured a part of me that’s profound. I’m expecting my writing to live up to the name, quite honestly. Authors tout a number of reasons for pen names:Writing under different genresCamouflaging their prolific abilitiesMoving beyond bad books, bad […]

lars and the real girl

Okay, I’ve got to admit I thought this movie just looked silly. And I don’t mean silly in a good way. Oops, bad of me because this, fellow movie fans, is a great film. In a few weeks, loads of North Texas Romance Writers will gather for the NT Two Step, with guest speaker Michael Hague (screen-writer). Honestly, I don’t know what all great stuff he’s going to teach us, but I can’t wait. I do know that he will be dissecting the film ‘lars and the real girl’ during our Sunday morning workshop. To that end, I finally broke down and watched a movie that from the snippets I’d seen appeared too ‘silly’ for […]