Saturday, January 27, 2018

Writer's $ense: Is My Book Ready?

Yesterday, I used the WORD's handy feature to listen to my book. This great tool helped me finesse the final (hopefully) edit of my first novel. It allowed me to pick 'the lint and sticky stuff' out of my book. Many writers praise the exercise of reading your work aloud. This practice doesn't work for me. I substitute missing words and read words that don't exist. WORD reads the story as written and it is written. This editing drill helps on multiple levels. I find sequencing errors, conversation gaps, missing words, verb incongruities, just to name a few.

After reading articles, collecting checklists, eliciting beta readers, hiring an editor, and listening to my critique group input, my novel reach its final stage. Yes, there is a cover to finalize, acknowledgements to write, a synopsis to polish, a summary to hone, but this book no longer needs my full attention.

My novel may be ready, but there is still much to do. My marketing plan needs tweaking not to mention the calendar for the entire publishing project needs to be written.

Sources to Check:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2017 Writing Goal Met

My proofreader met with me notes in hand  and a two inch thick manuscript with yellow highlighted words and a questions written in the margin. She validated my locations. She felt one of my characters needed  to reveal her fierceness sooner.

Add to this my biggest supporter and critic, my husband, summed up the main character's frustrations in two sentences. His observation stunned me.  His summation needed to be revealed by the character herself and in the right place in my story.

So, it was  back to the key board. Three days of intense editing and some long thoughts about my main character. I finished, two days before Thanksgiving.

It took three and a half weeks of reading, planning, and a very long conversations with the KDP representation before my book met the Kindle Direct Publishing requirements.

 Take a browse through my newly published book Changing Habits.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Writers' $ense: Use Your Experiences

When I'm asked about my occupation. I answer I'm a writer. The question that follows is: "Where do you get your ideas?" The conversation stops and everyone waits for the answer.

It feels like I'm revealing a secret recipe or a patent for a nuclear product. When I say, "My ideas germinate from what I read, see, taste, hear, feel, want, lack, in other words - my experiences." There is a pause.  The conversation changes no one dares to ask me anymore about my ideas. The word experiences conjure various visions in the listeners' mind. For many, it's a hot button topic. Experiences are personal, not always welcomed in polite company.

Writers use experiences as the fodder. They stir their observations, encounters, and interactions to conjure a character, a point of view, a setting, an antagonist, not to mention new worlds. Every human being contains a treasure trove of experiences waiting to burst forth into a story.

Our seven senses are entrances allowing us to immerse ourselves deeper in our experiences. Some experiences are too challenging, researching the experience offers our cerebral tools help the writer more.

 Let's take observing. a couple walking along the beach. How are they walking? Are they holding hands? Are they playful? Are they nuzzling?
Have you encountered an individual on a flight, train or bus ride who started a conversation with you? What was the conversation? What did this person say that encouraged you to converse?

Have changes in your life irritated you? What about the big changes: marriage, breakups, babies,
graduation, job loss, a move across the country, etc.? These experiences introduced you empathy, anger, fear, joy, or tolerance. These feelings you can write into your stories.,
  • What do you care about today? 
  • Who do you love? 
  • How would you describe your fam or your closest friends? 
The answer to these questions assist a writer to describe emotion, action, and empathy for your characters.

Today writers use multiple tools to record impressions, ideas, and experiences.Cocktail napkins, small notebooks with an attached pen, and photos assisted me in the past in developing imagery. My phone, Siri, Ipad record and store my treasury of reflections.

Generate ideas, story lines, characters, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, white papers, thank you notes, etc., is work.  It assists the process if you observe and record the best, ordinary, and worst of your experiences.


Other Resources:

Pictures Credit:

Friday, September 22, 2017

Healthcare is a Constitutional Right

Healthcare is a right of every American citizen as guaranteed in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution:

We, the people of these United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfar
e, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It is not an added on or a luxury. It is an inalienable right for the general welfare of the country to secure the blessings of liberty. Don't waste this opportunity. Be a historical hero. Promote the general welfare. Work to make this bill better. Let it live while a group of legislators, healthcare professions, healthcare users, and insurance representatives hash out a renovated ACA. 

Stop calling our healthcare program Obamacare. Address our healthcare program as it was originally called the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. Affordable is the operative word, not attainable. All citizens need equal coverage.
We cannot leave decisions about "no pre-existing conditions" "No lifetime caps" and the policies for Medicare and Medicaid to local state authorities. We in Utah have wonderful medical providers, hospitals, and preventative health plans. This is not the case through out this country. 

I worked as a Benefits Manager of a Fortune 500 company. Our center served all our employees throughout the United States. Each state has its own laws governing health insurance. Some states actually have one insurance provider, (a monopoly). We, in Utah are blessed, the rest of the National is not. 

Utah consumers have online access to our medical records. Some states have not completed the conversion to online records, yet. We are the model for much of what went into the Affordable Care Act. (covering students till age 26, preventive care, prenatal care, preventive infant and child care). Have you talked to the real experts?

Insurance companies that could not comply with protocols and processes deemed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pulled out of states. Doctors and patients should have weight in the decision making of this law. I believe this is not a political issue. This is a 21st Century healthcare issue that promote the general welfare of its citizens. 

Some states have research centers, but the availability and cost, is prohibited by antiquated state legislation. Each state does not regulate equally or efficiently. 

Healthcare is not an add on or a luxury. It is an inalienable right for the general welfare for the citizens of this country to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. 

Make healthcare legislation the right thing to do for this country and all its constituents. Promote the general welfare.

Please forward this blog to your state senators, you can  find his or her email at:

Writer's $ense: Is My Book Ready?

Yesterday, I used the WORD's handy feature to listen to my book. This great tool helped me finesse the final (hopefully) edit of my fi...