Category Archives: Author’s Blog

CHRISTMAS, THE NEW YEAR, FOR LOVE OF HANNAH THE REWRITE, TO SUBMIT OR NOT TO SUBMIT TO AN AGENT, TIME TO FINISH TO CATCH A DREAM, AND THE SNATCHER, NEW TITLE RIPPLES

Every December, my niece, my sister, and I help where I can, collect money, and buy gifts for the children and parents at the Domestic Violence Center.  Christmas time seems to be the worse time of year for domestic violence.  Not that any part of the year is better than the other.  Domestic violence should never be allowed.  But back to the subject.  Most of December was spent shopping for the center, wrapping the gifts and making sure each new name added, and there are a lot of folks, are not left out.  Once wrapped, the presents are placed in a bag with each child’s name listed.  Then the day of the center’s Christmas party the bags are delivered for Santa to give to the children that night.  This year, we had to make three trips to deliver everything because there were so many.  My focus was not on anything other than helping, decorating the house, and putting up our tree.  Then making pies for Christmas dinner.  My writing took back seat to all the other activities.  So FOR LOVE OF HANNAH was not worked on at all. 

The New Year came in quietly for sister and I.  We stayed up until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square but didn’t get to see it because they focused on the crowd.  Oh well, maybe next year.  So the first week of January, I returned to rewriting and editing FOR LOVE OF HANNAH.  Everything has gone fairly well, but I still have those last twenty pages to finish.  Tomorrow at the latest it will be completed.

Next comes the rewrite of the synopsis and the decision of whether or not to submit to an agent.  I have self-published four novels, but I am lousy at marketing.  I need a partner who is great at marketing.  Each book has received five-star reviews, CREATING KATHRYN CROWN, A CIRCLE OF MURDERS, THE STONE KILLER, and THE HANGMAN.  I am leaning toward submitting to an agent as it was an agent who told me the rest of the story wasn’t as suspenseful as the first two chapters.  Hopefully, I have rectified that problem with the rewrite.  I will submit to that agent again before returning to self-publishing.  Nothing ventured, nothing gain, I say.

My next project will be to complete TO CATCH A DREAM, then THE SNATCHER, the third book in the Jonas Black series.  A new story jumped into my head the other day and I jotted down a brief outline, RIPPLES.  That book will be cooking in my brain for a time before being put to paper.  Wish me luck, everyone.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

DAMN, HANNAH IS NOT DONE YET, ADVICE FROM LITERARY AGENT, REWRITE IN PROGRESS, THE GARDEN IS FINISHED, CHILLY DAYS AHEAD

I received feedback from a literary agent I submitted FOR LOVE OF HANNAH to hoping to obtain representation.  I kept reading her rejection over and and over.  Then I reviewed HANNAH again.  She was right.  The order in which I had the events in my novel made the storyline drag.  There has always been something about the book I felt was out of whack.  She pointed out the flaws within a few words, “The rest of the book doesn’t grip me like the first two chapters.  So, FOR LOVE OF HANNAH  is undergoing a rewrite.  I am rearranging all the different things which happen to my character to keep the reader guessing.  Anyway, I hope so.  I know I am much happier with how the story is flowing and I believe my readers will like the changes.  So, if you get a rejection letter from an agent and they state why they are turning down the book, pay attention to what they have to say.  Take their advice to heart and do a rewrite. I have been working like mad on the rewrite is why I haven’t posted a blog lately.  Bear with me folks; I’m a workaholic, and my novels are my main priority.

Well, there has been frost the last two mornings.  Today out near the pond, the ground looked as if it was covered with snow, it was so white with frost.  Sister and I both are dreading when winter arrives full blast with zero temperatures and the fluffy white stuff.  Or the heavy wet type which downs power line and breaks tree limbs.  And no, I won’t move to Florida.  Been there, done that, and will not go back.  Too much humidity, bugs, and heat.

I was surprised when my niece came over yesterday and picked all the remaining tomatoes on the vines.  They’re green but will ripen if placed in a window.  Or we can chop them all and make a green tomato relish.  Personally, I love fried green tomatoes. 

I checked the weather forcast for the week ahead.  Some days the high will be in the low fifties and chilly at night.  Time to put the down comforter back on the bed. 

Well a new week lies before us.  Everyone have a great time and stay safe.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

STANLEY, BACK THERAPY, CBD OIL, TOO MUCH LIFTING, TOMATOES, SALSA, AUTUMN, HANNAH IS ALMOST FINISHED FOR THE LAST TIME

Stanley
Pyewacket

Today at four o’clock Stanley received his last shots for his upper respiratory infection.  Dr. Akers says he should be fine.  Jodie Akers is a great vet and cares about the animals she treats.  Pyewacket is also doing well.  I needed to give him his insulin shot, but he was nowhere to be found.  The rascal was hiding under the bed. He finally came out of hiding to eat, and I gave him his shot.  So now I’m happy. He does get tired of getting stuck with a needle, poor baby.  I would too.  All the rest of my fur babies appear to be doing well this evening.  Thank you, Lord.

I am glad this week is over, and Saturday is here.  Between running the cat to the vet and me going to therapy for my back, I have been on the go all week.  I hurt my back last year, and it hasn’t been the same since.  Now the doctors tell me my low back is a mess.  I know it gives me a lot of pain to the point I have to take pills at night so that I can sleep.  I’m thinking of trying the CBD oil.  I’ve heard it helps with inflammation and pain.  I’ll let you know what I find out.  My problem is, I am always having to lift objects which do not help my back.  The lifting can’t be avoided if I want the litter box cleaned and the dirty litter taken out, plus other things which have to be done.  I have trouble standing for a long time.  But I do like a clean house.  Oh well, I will persevere.

Last night Sister and I ate a goodly portion of that two-pound tomato.  It was wonderful.  Tomorrow, she is going to make salsa with a lot of the rest we have on the kitchen table.  That should be good.  There are still so many green ones still on the plants and beginning to ripen.  Also, the green beans are still producing will have to be picked soon.  Sister blanches them and puts them in the freezer, so we have fresh green beans all winter. 

The trees have started to change colors a little here.  The mornings are cool, and you can tell fall is rushing our way.  I hope winter will not be too harsh this year.  Ohio is known for its cold winters.  I do love Colorado with its low humidity.

I have about fifty more pages to read over slowly and with care searching for errors in FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, and I am calling it finished.  I have worked hard to find the errors in my manuscript, and since I don’t have Beta readers, all I can do is try my best and pray it is enough.  Say a prayer for me and wish me luck. 

Well, I’m going to bed early and hopefully to sleep.  Everyone have a great weekend and stay safe.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER. 

Dreamah

PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN THE BAHAMAS, FLORIDA AND ANYONE IN THE PATH OF THE HURRICANE, STILL EDITING HANNAH, TO CATCH A DREAM, THE GARDEN, GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES, TODAY THE DOGS GO TO THE VET FOR THEIR SHOTS

The pictures on the news of the Bahamas are devastating.  I pray for those poor people who have lost everything and the helpless animals.  The area is a reminder of Hurrican Andrew and what it did to South Florida.  There but for the grace of God, could have been Florida again.  All any of can do at this stage is to keep praying and do what we can to help. 

My sister finished reading FOR LOVE OF HANNAH and says it is a good story, but she did find ERRORS, blast it all.  So I am going through the book again, line by line, to search for mistakes and to correct the ones she found.  Then I will, again, declare this novel finished.  I am trying to create a perfect manuscript, so pray I succeed.  Since TO CATCH A DREAM is so close to being completed, I’ve decided to work on that story.  The outline is done, so all I have to do is write the last part, and I’ll have two unpublished novels to peddle.

LAST YEAR’S GARDEN

Well, the garden is doing great.  My niece has been picking green beans, and sister has been stringing them, blanching the batch and putting them in the freezer.  The tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes, but they’re still green.  I hope they ripen, but this is September, and the weather is turning cooler.  Hopefully, the fruit will turn red as my niece pulled off a lot of the leaves so the sun can reach the tomatoes. 

My little dog Titan has been digging at his left ear, so both of the pups are going to the vet today to be checked out and possibly get their shots AND the toenails clipped.  Neither of the dogs will let me cup their toenails so the vet will have to do it.  JoJo chews his claws, and now they are as sharp as a cat’s,  He can cut you with a paw if he hits you. 

Well it is a comfortable 76 degrees here today with a nice breeze. The pups have been laying on the back porch in the sun.  Now it appears it is nap time for all my critters.  Good for them, for me, back to work until time to leave for the vet.

Everyone have a great day, week and weekend.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

I DIDN’T MEAN TO LIE, GOING CRAZIER THAN I NORMALLY AM, STILL EDITING FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING. MY OTHER SISTER IS READING HANNAH, COOL WEATHER ARRIVED

Have you ever told yourself something, and wanted to believe that it was true, only to discover you have lied to yourself.  That is what happened when I posted I had finished with the editing on FOR LOVE OF HANNAH.  It was wishful thinking on my part.  When you have gone over a manuscript line by line with a ruler, six times and three times with each editing program, you would believe that all those stupid typing mistakes had been found and corrected.  SILLY ME.  I spent the month of July and a big chunk of August editing HANNAH.

And then, my other sister, who, I have to tell you, has never read a single one of my novels, offer to read FOR LOVE OF HANNAH.  Considering she is not a fan of my type of books, I was surprised.  She does not like suspense or murder stories, nor anything too sexy.  It’s not that she is a prude, just conservative.  So, I printed off a copy of the manuscript.  Wouldn’t you know it, she had read about seven or eight pages and found typing errors.  I wanted to lay down and cry.  Here I had sent the novel out to literary agents with mistakes still in what I had written.  Damn, and double damn!  What has been a surprise to me is sister does like the book, but becomes so drawn in by the storyline and action in the novel, it makes her nervous. As she told me today, as she reads,  what is happening to Hannah is happening to her.  To me, that is a huge compliment.  AND, she says it is well written and should sell, but that I do have a twisted mind to be able to dream up some of the action.  So, here I am again, going over HANNAH looking for ridiculous errors.  Oh well, a writer’s work is never done when you strive for perfection.  All you other writers out there, know that you can never do too much editing on your book. 

The last few days, the weather turned cool.  Today was wonderful.  The wind was a little strong at times and a bit chilly.  It is as if Mother Nature is telling us fall is racing in our direction with winter hard on its heel.  My sister in Kentucky, who will arrive for a visit tomorrow, says the wooly worms are predicting a hard winter.  I hope not.  When it gets cold in Ohio, it is cold, with a capital C.  I can handle cold weather when the humidity is about 15%, but not when it’s 85 or 90%.  But, as sister says, it doesn’t do any good to complain, no one can control the weather, only in the movies.

Well, it has been a long day.  Everyone enjoy the rest of the week and have a great weekend.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, NOW THE SNATCHER, OR TO CATCH A DREAM, I HAVEN’T DECIDED WHICH, THE GARDEN IS IN, TOMATOES ARE GROWING, AND THE GREEN BEANS HAVE LOTS OF FLOWERS, LEAVES ARE FALLING AND SOME HAVE TURNED TO RED AND YELLOW

I have reviewed FOR LOVE OF HANNAH line by line six times and then went over the manuscript with three editing programs and repeated the process.  I feel I have done the best I can do to eliminate any error in this book.  Anyway, I pray I found them all.  I know all the weird little mistakes I make and found most of them, if not all.  I now declare FOR LOVE OF HANNAH finished.  On to the next novel.

I have several stories involving ghosts that I plan on writing, but for now, the next book will probably be TO CATCH A DREAM.  That story has been waiting for numerous years to be completed.  I have 65,000 words written, and a completed outline, so the logical thing to do would be to work on that novel.  It really shouldn’t take me long to write the rest of the story, no more than a month and a half at the most.  The writing is easy, it’s the editing that takes forever. 

In between editing Hannah, I have been working on the outline for THE SNATCHER, the next book in the Jonas Black series. The storyline is coming along great.  I have all my new characters listed and now have to do a background on each.  The old crew I knew well.  I wanted to write three books this year and will still give it my best try.  I’ll let you know which one I work on next.

LAST YEAR’S GARDEN

Well, my niece’s garden is doing well.  The tomato plants are huge and the green beans have a lot of flowers.  I don’t know if any beans are on the vines as yet.  I know last year I helped string green beans until my fingers were sore.  She also planted a bunch of hot pepper plants and had already picked a bunch.  She likes spicy hot food.  Not me.  

We are heading fast for fall.  Here in Ohio where I live, I’ve noticed a lot of leaves on the ground lately.  Some have been red and a lot are yellow.  No rain can’t be to blame because we’ve had plenty this year.  My sister in Kentucky says the wooly worms are fat, which means a hard winter.  I hope not, but only Mother Nature knows for certain.

Well, I need to say good night for now.  Everyone have a great Sunday and a fantastic week.  Stay safe and remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

NEGLECTING MY BLOG, WORK, WORK, AND MORE WORK, PLUS EDITING AGAIN, AND AGAIN, TOO MANY PRONOUNS AND DUPLICATE WORDS, READING DAVID BALDACCI

I deeply apologize for not keeping up with this blog.  My only excuse is my focus has been on completing FOR LOVE OF HANNAH.  With the new ProWritingAid program, which is now on the computer, editing had been made easier only in the sense this writing aid shows how many (and way TOO many) pronouns have been used on a page.  To improve this story, each page has been reviewed and dutifully corrected to the suggested percentage the publishers or this program recommends.  The process has been long and exhausting and still, the book is not finished.  There are approximately seventeen more pages to go before adding the additional research information which should add a great deal to the story.  Then comes the final grammar and spelling check and HANNAH will be complete.  This writing aid has helped me improve how I write a sentence.  This program makes a writer more conscious of how and what is written.  The price is not exorbitant and is well worth the investment. 

Over the past two weeks, in between editing, I have read three of David Baldacci’s novels. These were older books published in 2006 and 2008.  As much as I love thrillers, the fact this author escaped my attention is was surprising.  But, now the time limit to complete HANNAH is drawing closer and closer and that deadline must be met.  THE SNATCHER is next on the agenda and the completion date is the end of the year.  TO CATCH A DREAM is only twenty-five to thirty thousand words short of completion.  What takes the most time on any book is the editing.  Boy, does that take up the hours.  So, this is the reason I have been lax in keeping up with this blog.  Again, I apologize.

Other than working on this book, or driving to the store, I have been staying at home.  The weather has been rather warm and the humidity high, so inside with the air conditioning and at this computer is where I stay.  Coming from Colorado where there is not a lot of humidity, to me this heat feels sweltering. 

Here in Ohio, the time is racing toward one in the morning; and I’d better get to bed.  Tomorrow, back to editing.  Everyone have a great week, and remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah