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An inspiration for novel can come from any minute detail, which won’t leave you alone. Or, as with my novel THE STONE KILLER, it came from a news feed I saw on television quite a few years ago. It was the story of a Middle Eastern country stoning a woman to death because she’d had an affair with another man other than her husband.
Now why that story stuck with me I don’t know, but it did. I was faced with the dilemma of who in this country would actually stone a person to death? Since my villain was going to be a man, I had to decide WHO he was. I created my folder for my villain. In that folder I essentially told his life story in brief paragraphs until I needed to visualize him. To create the image of this man in my head I searched through photographs of celebrities. To me the actor Jeff Daniels, fit the perfect image of my killer. WHAT was wrong with his personality to incite him to be so cruel? I decided to make him a teacher. Not just any teacher, but one who taught creative writing. Of course a WHAT was a result of his choice of a weapon he used to commit his murderer. And that is how I came up with the stones. There were a lot of answers to WHAT questions.

I planned in detail, the murder of his first victim and answered the same questions as to who she was, what did she do, all the pertinent information about her. Those details were spread over the course of the book. But you have to, in a murder story, decide and create your crime first. You have to answer each one of those questions in planning the crime.  I know that this sounds like a lot of work. I’m sure you would like to do like I would, just sit down and write the story. That doesn’t happen without a lot of preplanning. You have to know all the detail. In my file cabinet, I have folders listing the books in the Jonas Black series. In each one of these folders I have detailed the crimes which are going to happen in each novel. I have answers the question of who, what, when, where, why and how. You have to know the motivation behind your crime. My murderer in the STONE KILLER was a severely abused child, which many are, especially serial killer. Ted Bundy was anything but considered normal as a child. He discovered that his grandmother was his mother, and that the person he thought was his mother was actually his 20-year-old sister. And according to details about his childhood, he exhibited abnormal behavior as early as the age of three. So you really have to know your characters down to their favorite color.

One thing I want everyone to understand, writing a novel is one of the toughest jobs you’re ever going to take on. It can be exhausting. But if you take your time, answer all the questions about your characters, storyline, and do a lot of preplanning, you can do it. And like I said before storylines are not set in stone. They can change.

Another thing that is important in writing a novel, is to let the story cook in your brain. That sounds terrible, and the image of a brain in a pot on the stove comes to my mind. But it does have to cook, or gel in your brain. Like in the book I’m working on now, ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH, I had a lot of trouble with my villain. I changed his history and personality numerous times until I got it just the way I wanted it. I did not like the personality of the character in the short story. In a full length book, it wasn’t going to work. So I kept thinking about it for over two weeks. It even kept me awake at night, until I realize, to achieve his goal, this man had to be good-looking, well-dressed and appeared to be a very kind caring soul. Once I settled on that description of him, everything fell into place. And now the storyline is flowing smoothly. So remember, keep writing, and please watch your grammar and the correct use of words.

Go buy that book I recommended in a post, The Wrong Word Dictionary, and edit, edit, and edit some more.


Have a great weekend, and please stay safe.




Good Sunday to everyone:  I hope you all are having a great day so far.

Yesterday was so beautiful and now it is pouring rain.  Well, actually, as long as the ground is wet, we are not likely to have forest fires.  That is the one thing that scares me to death.  We have fire hydrants here on the mountain, but we have been told that they are just for decoration.  Are you laughing or are you yelling OMG like I did.  What we have is what the head of the HOA says are flush valves, and that means that a fire truck has to travel 15 miles, hook up to the flush valve, fill the truck with water, then they can fight the fire.  Now, people, how long do you think a cedar shingled cabin would last.  Yeah, that’s right.  so long home.

I started to do this blog last night, but I started reading other blogs and didn’t get to our blog.  There is one blog that hit me very hard.  Rachel Markowitz wrote a blog about 100 blessings a day.  It is wonderful and if you think about it, we all can come up with at least 100 blessings each and every day.

Well, I took time out to clean my fridge.  The thing was bordering on nasty, and I couldn’t stand  looking at it any longer.  Now it is bright and shiny.  Even the food looks better

I thought the sun was coming out, but the rain is coming down in sheets.  That’s okay though, we are just going to stay in and watch the NCAA Tournament.  I’m hoping for UK and FL to win, but we shall see.

So, you all be good to yourselves and others. Keep working on your craft.  That’s the only way you will improve and get anywhere.  Practice, Practice, Practice.  Take care and we’ll talk later







P1010497I now know that the little birds do not like cornbread.  Hubs swore they would eat it, but no they did not.  God, I love it when I’m right.

I am so happy.  We have sunshine today and the temp is supposed to reach 53deg.  I am so tired of being cold. We’ve only had about 1 1/2 inches of snow this winter and,  since we have to walk the dogs, I am not too upset.  And yet, I love snow.  I swear Mother Nature must be on crack or something.  The other day I’m sitting here with the temp in the 20’s and Sister has 70 ish temps.  It’s supposed to get up to 80 in CO. Spgs today.

Sister is ill so she isn’t up to editing right now.  But she will spring back and we will get started soon.

Hubs has decided he is going to fence in the back yard whether or not the HOA likes it.  That man is going to make me a homeless old woman.  And I don’t even have a grocery cart to put my piddling stuff in.

Oh and there is big news in the area.  The double screen outdoor drive in movie opened this week end.  Exciting yes?  The new Beauty and the Beast is playing.  I think I’ll wait for something with a little more action.  We do plan on going as soon as the weather warms up in the evening.

So folks, that’s about it for now.  Sitting here watching college basketball.  I’m down to two teams I’m rooting for.  KY of course.  And W va.  Miami and FL State both lost out.  Y’all be good to yourselves and others.  Don’t do anything that will reduce your wardrobe to nothing but orange jumpsuits.  Not everyone can wear that color.  We’ll talk later.







Hey there everyone:  I don’t even remember the last time I posted a blog.  I must say, I have missed it.

We moved to the mountain in October.  It didn’t take long to sell our house in Northern KY, but the packing and getting rid of stuff absolutely about did us in.  And we still have too much stuff.  We now have 900sf of living space.  A lot less than before.  But we are so happy. I sit in my living room and watch the birds on the porch railing eat the ground nuts we put out for them.  My favorites are the Titmice(TITMOUSES?) and the Chickadees.  They are the cutest little things.

We don’t have a fence, as a matter of fact, the HOA denied us permission to put up a fence, so we have to take the dogs out on a leash several times a day.  That has gotten old.  Especially in the cold.  This morning the wind chill is 11deg.  Yuck!!  But, we are going to put in one of the invisible fences.  They surely can’t complain about that.  We have never lived where we had a group of idiots telling us what we can and cannot do with our very own property.  I don’t think I like it too well.

Well, THE HANGMAN is written, and I have completed the first edit.  Now Sister and I have to start the dreaded reading aloud and changing things if needed.  Hopefully, we will get  to that this week or this coming Tuesday.  She volunteers at the Colorado Spgs PD Mondays and Fridays, we have three days a week to work on the book.  It won’t take us long to get it up and published.  That is Sister’s job. ha ha.

I tell you this Daylight Savings Time is ruining my daily plans.  I don’t get up like I would like.  Here it is almost 10am and I haven’t been up very long.  And my day is full.  I absolutely have to get started on our taxes or Hubs is going to have a fit.  He has been on my back already to get everything out.  Gonna do that.  Yes I am.  Soon.  Well, by April 14th anyway.

That sweet man has my breakfast ready, so I had better go eat.  Y’all have a super day and it really is good to be back with you.  if you haven’t read THE STONE KILLER, go get it.  You will be glad you did.  Be good to yourself and others, and we’ll talk later.












Hey everyone:  I know, I know.  It has been ages since we have put up a blog.  I swear this has been the summer from Hell.  Sister in Colorado has been very busy helping her best friend.  I can’t fault her for it.  In my opinion, that is why we are put here on earth.  To help others.  I have been busy with the garden and trying to sell this house.  Every time there is a showing, we have to take the dogs and leave the house for an hour or two.  Oh I just want to be on top of my mountain where it is peaceful and quiet.  That’s all I want.

Now we are inundated with tomatoes and cucumbers.  I’ve already made pickles.  Now I think I will make some Gazpacho.  We all love it and it uses up the plethora of tomatoes we have.  But just as soon as I get the kitchen all nasty and tomato juice all over the place, the realtor will want to do a showing.  So it is a never ending battle around here.

I’m not going to be able to go visit Sister in Colorado, what with all that is going on, but I did go up to Mansfield for a few days to visit our sister there.  It was my nieces  birthday party.  While we were there, her air conditioner went out.  Oh my goodness.  How miserable that was.  But she got it fixed the day we came home.

So, that is my sad story for not.  I sure hope things get better around here.  At least slows down a bit.  I am so ready for fall I can’t stand it.  I am done with the heat.  You all taker care of yourselves and we’ll


Oh my stars and garters, I don’t even know where to start.  We have begun THE GREAT CLEAN OUT!!  I had no idea we had so much  junk.  The trash can runneth over and two car loads have gone to Goodwill.  That is just the garage, and there is still stuff to go through.  It breaks my heart but I’m not going to be able to put up our 9 1/2 ft. Christmas Tree. On top of that, we have @#%$ years of Christmas Decorations to go through.  I just hope the kids will want what I can’t keep.

I have sat around here all day and not given a thought to dinner.  So I threw a small eye of round roast in the pressure cooker and there’s dinner.  Throw in some potatoes, onions, carrots and stuff and it will be awesome. ( I don’t know how to spell the D word)

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  I have handled it ok until recently.  Now the pain in my arms is at least a 8 1/2–9 on the 1–10 pain scale.  My dr. sent me to an acupuncturist to see if he could help.  Let me tell you what he did to me is beyond belief.  First he put two needles in each arm.  Then he hooked me up to what looked like battery cables and turned on the juice.  Hubs went with me and God Bless him he got to sit there and turn the machine up every few minutes.  I tell you he had a satisfied grin on his face.  He said he got no pleasure from it, but I don’t believe him.  I would rather have three babies with nothing for pain than go through that again.  If it doesn’t help, I have to go back and do it all over again.

Ok, the pressure cooker is finished, so it is time to add the veggies and get dinner on the table.  You all take care of yourselves and keep up your writing.  We’ll talk again soon.






Well, I have to say that yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.  Our nephew from CO.  did a fish fry and make BBQ from a large piece of brisket.  But most of all was the company.  Friends came down from Rittman, OH.  We haven’t seen them in almost a year.  It was one of those “all day in the kitchen” kind of days.  We had deep fried Walleye.  I don’t know if that’s how it’s spelled, but it was awesome.  There was the BBQ’ed brisket, potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw, various and sundry pickles, etc.  Then we had beer brownies, now I have never heard of these, but they are very good.  Along with German chocolate cheesecake and strawberry/ rhubarb crumble.   I thought I would have to have a tow truck to get me away from the table.  Lordy, I love days like that.

Yesterday was one of those cool spring days you get now and again.  I actually had to put on a sweater to sit out on the porch.  And when I got up this morning, our sister had turned on the heat.

I have to tell you what I discovered.  Macy’s has what they call “The Last Act” department.  I don’t know about you all, but I can’t afford to pay $70.00 to $80.00 for a blouse or sweater.  Well, in this department, things are marked down 80–90%.  I got one top that had been $89.90 but I payed $11.90 for it.  You just can’t beat that.

I still haven’t figured out how to insert a photo into the blog, but I did order a book from Amazon that will help me.  I will get it on Friday and we’ll see if I can still learn something.

We are going home tomorrow and I am ready to get back to my own homestead.  I love visiting, but home is where I want to be after a couple of days.  I hope to get out to CO this fall to see Sister.  It has been two years since I last saw her.  That is way too long.

That is her on the phone now, so I had better talk to her.  You all take care of yourselves and we’ll talk later.


I did it, but the picture is too large.