Category Archives: Meme

Meeting like minds is so refreshing. I so this just for fun.

Toolbox 27: Creating a Writer’s Nest

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


I was reading a book.

Okay, okay. Stop rolling your eyes.

I know we all do that

This book cut to the crux of an issue that I’ve read about, but never incorporated into my writing life.

Inspired from

Soul Between the Lines by Dorothy Randall Gray touched on how to create an inspirational work space.  She has a spiritual approach which isn’t for everyone, but some of her suggestions hit home.


I‘ve heard this before some people take the time to make a playlist to set the mood and mindset for their story. She suggested the music is simple and without lyrics.

I don’t use music often, but I’ve listened to crickets, rain, birdsong, thunderstorms, and crashing waves through YouTube.

It does help me focus.

Aroma therapy

Dorothy loved scented candles and I get that. I prefer a diffuser with essential oils. You may prefer incense, smudging or just an open window.

Hey, whatever works.

Objects that inspire.

I thought long and hard about this. When I worked in an office, almost everyone had pictures of their favorite people, places or things. I loved dragons and had some postcards sitting center stage.

Others had bobble heads or a little collection of McDonald’s toys which made me think of Yondu played by Michael Rooker. His little row of characters on his captain station.

Crazy! Right?

Not one workspace has the same thing. Something to consider. Add whatever touches your heart or awakes your muse.

Meditation or Yoga

We all start cold with a cursor waiting to move along the screen or a page waiting for some ink. Before you attempt to write a word…

Here comes some spiritual stuff.

…take a moment to let your thoughts slide through you. Don’t let any of them take root. Breathe. Stretch. Relax. Feel the energy in the room. Let it fill you up with pure white energy.

Release it through your skin.

Free Writing

First thought. Write it down. Same with the second. Third. The page isn’t so empty…

Now, on to your project.

I’ve read posts like this, so I get it if not all of it is for you.

I related to what Dorothy said. The more comfortable my working environment; the better I did.

The words came and the pages filled up.

How about you. Any other suggestions on building the perfect writing nest?

IWSG 69: Pics Used For Inspiration


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?


Lee Lowery | Ronel Janse van Vuuren | Jennifer Hawes | Cathrina Constantine | Tyrean Martinson

First try

Was Seasons Change for the Make Believe Anthology. The pic before it became a cover was used for inspiration. I didn’t succeed but one of my friends got in and arranged this for me.

I still treasure it.

Next Time

Was and is one of my best loved stories is, Mexmur, the Huntress. The picture was this:

When Mexmur was published, I learned so much from the group at Roane Publishing. Unfortunately for all of us there, it closed its doors.

the lessons i learned

I learned what success felt like. What working with a supportive and inspired publisher felt like. What losing all that I gained felt like.

It was a wild ride.

Would I do it again? Hell! Yeah!

Well, that’s what I think until I have to push SEND. Then the reason I need all of you so much raises its head and pushes my hand away.

Good news is I’m still writing. And where there is writing; there’s hope.

Toolbox 26: Some Advice on Writing for the Middle Grade Audience

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


The Basics

  • Overall Readership : 8 – 13 years old
  • Approximate Word Count 30,000 – 55,000 words
  • Main Character suggested ages : 9 – 14 years

The audience is broken into two.

Lower Middle Grade

Are aimed the younger readers ranging from 8 to 10 years old.

Upper Middle Grade

The older MG readers aged from 10 to 13 years old.

General Tips

Point of view: first person is the most popular right now.

Like books for all ages, there must be an outstanding first sentence and a hook. Humour is encouraged throughout the work to relieve the inevitable tension. Keep the story moving. Not all of it has to action, action, action. But if there is a quiet scene, best to be in the hero/heroine’s head working out emotions or planning their next move. Stakes are also important and must be made clear and age appropriate.

For example, if the hero sneaks out they will be grounded not shot.


All genres are welcome.


They are the same as young adult, however, when writing a mystery there are specific guidelines to consider:

  • No romance—puppy love and crushes on teacher—are fine
  • Crimes are kid’s size. For example: finding something that’s lost: doll, bike, pet, homework, treasure, parents, catching someone that is tagging and leaving graffiti, damaging property, following someone—a kid—that is sneaking around. Detective snoops around out of pure curiosity, etc.
  • With most children’s books the less the tech the better—it makes the story timeless and it can be discovered by children over and over again.

Things to avoid:

  • Not using a middle grade voice. Wondering what it is? Hang with some 10-13 year old kids.
  • Preaching, teaching or being uppity. Meaning the reader is young and reading for entertainment. Not to be talked down to or taught something.
  • No adults allowed. Meaning they can parent and make dinner, but mostly the kids are living the adventure without parental help.

Gleaned from:

IWSG 68: I Found Answers As I Wrote


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.




Powell Coltrin | Victoria Marie Lees | Stephen Tremp | Renee Scattergood |

JH Moncrieff


What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

What started me on my writing journey was none of the above,

or to become famous.

Or the deep need to create.

Or tap into my imagination.

It came down to how much venom a person can carry before they explode all over their world. Leaving emotional scars on people they say they love. Leaving words that should have never been said hanging between me and the rest of the world.

It’s a fact that teenagers are full of emotion. It’s part of what makes Young Adult books so inviting.

Some kids put their energy in sports, drama, fashions shows. Others think about love, independence, or dream about what or who they want to be.

That wasn’t me.

I lived in a darkness that kept me angry and I was pretty vocal about it. It got so bad, I often heard the people around me ask me to just shut, let it go or—the worst of the bunch–to get over it.

I went to counselling to find answers to questions like:

Why are we here?

Why do two-year brothers die?

Why do I constantly hear the last words I said to him?

Counselling helped, but it took years.

Meanwhile, I discovered how cathartic it was to write out what no one wanted to hear. I could go on and on until I was exhausted. No one interrupted me. No one told me to let it go or get over it. No one judged.

The biggest bonus was I didn’t have to carry my venom around with me anymore.

I accidentally discovered that if I went on and on long enough, I could sort out my feelings. Zero in on the crux of what triggered me. Recognize answers that worked for me. And eventually could make decisions that were not only good for me but also logical and safe.

When I say writing saved my life, it is not an exaggeration.

Without it I would have been a suicide statistic.

How about you? Do you write to sort out a problem or rid yourself of emotions you’d rather not let loose on anyone or am I the only one?


Facts—Nothing But The Facts (Non-Toolbox Post #3)

There is no Author Toolbox Blog Hop this month or the next. Life is too hectic with Nano and Xmas (or other festivities). But I like posting twice a month so here I go anyway.


The Internet

The world wide web changed the world yet not all the available information is to be believed. False News is only the tip of the iceberg.

Writing Research Online

That said I’m sure you follow the same rules I do. The source has to be reliable: a university for example is a great place to start.

But let’s not forget anyone can post anything.

Sorry Blogs. But until the information is confirmed, I’m out. Even Wikipedia concerns me and I tend to check out their source  material rather than take what they post as the gospel.

Who to Trust

As I mentioned, universities are one of my favourite places to go. For example, when looking for grammatical advice I go to  uToronto.

Note: I also trust Grammar Girl and The Editor’s Blog. But that took time and testing.

Newspapers can be a great source as well. Wikipedia Current Events Page is where I check-in. I tend to avoid the drama queens and kings on the typical news sites.


Homework Help + Kid’s Pages

As writers, we need the facts, but we don’t always want a degree in whatever we are researching. Homework help and student pages can be a very effective way to cut to the facts of the matter.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite go to sites:

Online Library | Smithsonian | Fact Monster | How Stuff Works | PBS VIDEOS | OLogy | Windows to the Universe

Adult sites – Forensic & LEO

D P Lyle | Forensic Outreach Library | RCMP News Room | FBI Writer’s Page | Nelson BC Police Department

I’m sure you  have your own sites and/or lists and I’d love to learn more about them. Feel free to put a link in the comments.

Thanks for dropping by. 🙂