Smile. Be kind. Hug a tree . . . If you missed a previous post, visit my archive.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Refusal

With each NO that arrives in the mail, comes the human experience of doubt in the writer's soul.
I read the following words from James and Dubus the other day. I found it to be worth sharing.

I am in full possession of accumulated resources. I have only to use them, to insist, to persist, to do something more. To do much more than I have done. The way to do it . . . is to strike as many notes, deep, full, and rapid as one can. Go on, my boy, and strike hard. Try everything, do everything, render everything. Be an artist, be distinguished, to the last. (Henry James)

All these truths and quasi-truths . . . about publishing are finally ephemeral. What is demanding and fulfilling is writing a single word, trying to write le mot juste, as Flaubert said; writing several of them, which become a sentence. When a writer does that, day after day, working alone with little encouragement, and with discouragement flowing in the writer's own blood, and with an occasional rush of excitement . . . the treasure is on the desk. If the manuscript itself, mailed out to the world, where other truths prevail, is never published, the writer will suffer bitterness, sorrow, anger, and more despair. But the writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious, for at the desk a writer must try to be a better human being than the writer normally is, and to do this through concentration on a single word, and then another, and another. This is splendid work, as worthy and demanding as any and the will and resilience to do it are good for the writer's soul.

Have faith in yourself and your writing.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Move Quickly"

When writing for children, remember, this is an audience not known for patience. To keep their interest, your story should move along quickly. When your story lags, you'll lose that young reader to a faster medium like games, movies, or watching T.V.
Make each word count with strong verbs. Less is better


Thursday, December 1, 2011


Food for thought on having others review your work.

The inclination to defend your writing is natural. Some writers, want to tell the person making a negative comment why he or she is wrong about their writing. But defending your work will not help you to become a better writer. Toughen-up. Become a better listener. (G.W.S.)

Happy Writing,

Sunday, November 13, 2011


You send out your novel with a hope and prayer. One month later or three months later, it's rejected.
Get over it. Make peace with it, and send your baby out again.
Whatever kind of "NO" you get, don't waste a lot of time trying to read something into the message.
In essence, it's a general form letter. That's all.
That big "NO" is a blow, no doubt. I don't keep mind. My personal reaction is: Read it. Pitch it. I have enough paper work saved. I move on to the next agent or editor on my list. At some point and time, someone will say "YES'

Happy writing,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Tree Lesson's" The Beech"

Lesson's of the Beech.

Beech wood was once used to make writing tablets. Thin beech tree slices bound together are said to have made the first ever book, previously scrolls had been used. The beech is associated with all gods of wisdom, learning and the human intellect.

Year in and year out, the beech tree reminds us of the importance of learning and of the need to preserve our knowledge in writing for the benefit of generations to come. Just as lovers carve their names into the trunk of the beech so their love will grow with the tree, so must we continue to record our wisdom and understanding for the future.

Beech is recommended for those who need to boost their confidence and hope. It aids in relaxation and helps us to see the good in all things.

Planets: Mercury and Saturn.

This lesson was from the book "The Wisdom of Trees" by J. Gifford.

Go hug a tree,


Sunday, October 30, 2011


A recent study of 35,000 women reveals that walking roughly 17 minutes a day (or two hours total a week) reduces stroke risk 30%--if you walk at a pace that lets you still comfortably talk. Amazingly, women who pushed themselves to work out harder didn't get the same stroke protection.

Good information for those who like to walk, but not over exceed themselves. I would be one of those gals.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Lifelong Learning"

We tend to forget that learning is much more than book learning. To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner. It doesn't have to end at college graduation or at age forty or sixty or eighty, and the best learning of all involves learning how to learn-that is, to change. The lifelong learner is essentially one who has learned to deal with homeostasis, simply because he or she is doing it all the time. Lifelong learning is the special province of those who have a profound practice, those who travel the path that never ends. (G.L. M.M)

I read this early one morning before the sun rose. These few words have found a special place in the folds of my heart. Take time today to read and re-read them. It's a special message to ponder on for the life we are give.

Until next time,

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Backstory" Opening Scene

Sometimes new writers overdo this. A small amount may be necessary for your reader to understand what's going on, but that's it. Period. Save it for later with action, dialogue and narrative.

When agents and editors open their e-mail, and read page after page of backstory, I'm afraid that could be the kiss of death for you manuscript. Tread lightly when using backstory. Learn to trust and give your reader credit for the intelligence they have.

Happy writing,


"Tree Lesson's" The Yew"

Lesson's of the Yew Tree

As a tree whose possible life outspans all other trees as well as much of the course of human history to date, the yew is symbolic of the sun of all wisdom. Just as the yew contains the lessons of all the other trees, so it is said, do we contain all the experiences, knowledge, and understanding of our ancestors? The yew tree reminds us of this possibility. It emphasizes the relatively brief span of human life and the short term nature of many of our beliefs and practices. As the culmination of the spiritual journey, the ultimate lesson of the yew is the transcendence of death.

To the Irish, the yew was the tree revered above all others. It is said to guard the doorway between this life and the next.

Yews are commonly found by ancient churches. Many are at least as old as the church, others considerably older. An ancient yew in Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland is now estimated to be around 9,000 years old.

The yew is under the rule of the planet Saturn and because of its connection to bows and arrows, it also represents the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius--the archer.

This lesson was from the book "The Wisdom of Tree by J. Gifford)

Go hug a tree,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

"A Character Worth Knowing'

There is no end of things in the heart.

Someone once told me that. She said it came from a poem she believed in. She understood it to mean that if you took something to heart, really brought it inside those red velvet folds, then it would always be there for you. No matter what happened, it would be there waiting. She said this could mean a person, a place, a dream. A mission. Anything sacred. She told me that it is all connected in those secret folds. Always. It is all part of the same and will always be there, carrying the same beat as your heart.
I am fifty-two years old and I believe it. At night when I try to sleep but can't, that is when I know it. It is when all the pathways seem to connect and I see the people I have loved and hated and helped and hurt. I see the hands that reach for me. I hear the beat and see and understand what I must do. I know my mission and I know there is no turning back. And it is in those moments that I know there is no end of things in the heart. (Lost Light-M.Connelly)

God, how profound it this? If only I could write something so beautiful. I can't tell you how many times I've read this. Over and over again, I read each line, immersing myself in the aura of this character's deep reflective soul. What a 'WOW' opening.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Grilled Salmon"

Grilled Salmon

Besides a hot dog or hamburger, why not 'grilled salmon' for a change. It's a fun change and healthy.


1 1/2 pounds of salmon fillet or steak
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TB salt
3 TB olive oil
3 TB lemon juice
2 TB lime juice


Mix water, brown sugar, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Pour into large plastic storage bag. Put fish in plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. Brush oil onto grill to prevent fish from sticking. Grill fish for 5 to 7 minutes each side. Serve with couscous and salad.

Happy Grilling. Hope your having a supper summer.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"The Writer's Road Is Never Smooth"

A smart fable:

High above the forest floor, a millipede strolled along the branch of a tree, her thousand pairs of legs swinging in an easy gait. From the tree top, songbirds looked down, fascinated by the synchronization of the millipede's stride. "That's an amazing talent," chirped the songbirds. "You have more limbs than we can count. How do you do it?" And for the first time in her life the millipede thought about this. "Yes," she wondered, how do I do what I do?" As she turned to look back, her bristling legs suddenly ran into one another and tangled like vines of ivy. The songbirds laughed as the millipede, in a panic of confusion, twisted herself into a knot and fell to the earth below.

On the forest floor, the millipede, realizing that only her pride was hurt, slowly, carefully, limb by limb, unraveled herself. With patience and hard work, she studied and flexed and tested her appendages, until she was able to stand and walk. What was once instinct became knowledge. She could amble, strut, prance, even run and jump. Then, as never before, she listened to the symphony of the songbirds and let music touch her heart. Now in perfect command of thousands of talented legs, she gathered courage and with a style of her own, danced and danced a dazzling dance that astonished all the creatures of her world.

Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Keep your story moving. Use what you learn from it as a guide, until command of its principles becomes as natural as the talent you were born with. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow your quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of our fable, your dance will dazzle the world. (R. McKee)

What a wonderful fable to read and ponder on as a new writer. I shall read it often.


Friday, July 29, 2011

"Four Paws"

Road Rules

Make sure you don't leave home without these travel essentials.

1. Medical and vaccine records.
2. Pet tags with your cell phone number.
3. Favorite toys.
4. Your dogs meds.
5. Food, water bowl, scooper
6. Leash.
7. Harness or travel seat
8. Special treats.

Have a safe and great road trip with your pets this summer. They depend on us for their safety.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word count.
(Strunk & White)

The above from Strunk & White is a constant rule that I revisit. After writing a chapter that I think is the best ever, when I edit, 2/3 is telling not showing, and I've written unnecessary words. I admit it. I'm a chatter box. My brain jumps around like a frog trying out all the lily pads on his pond. I won't tell you how many words this post had before I kicked out the unnecessary.
I'm working hard on pruning-out the deadwood in my YA. Cutting those precious little darlings is painful. But, I must. And find those showing words that fuel my story. Unnecessary words are nothing more than reading clutter. Remember, less is better, always.

Happy Writing,


Monday, July 11, 2011

"At the Beginning"

Remind yourself that everyone must start at the beginning. Some of the most famous authors have received horrible reviews or worked for peanuts the first few years of their literary careers.
It is all part of the game. Every job has its ups and downs; writing is no different. You must tell yourself that for every down. there will come an up. Then eat a box of chocolates.(S. Garland)

P.S. Never, never, never give up on your dream to write.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Exercise With Potatoes"

Exercise Program for People Over Sixty

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-pound potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out f rom your sides and hold them there for as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to a 10-pound bags.

Then try 50- pounds bags, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

After you feel confident at that level, place a potato in each bag.

Ha Ha


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Four Paws"

They comfort me.

A study of a twice-weekly dog visitation program in rest homes showed significant decreases in depression, anxiety, and confusion.

The survival rate for heart surgery patients is higher for those who have dogs in their home than those who don't. Those who own dogs tolerate stress better and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Your heart rate tends to be lower when you sit quietly or read aloud in the presence of a furry friend than when you do so alone.

Your furry friends give you unconditional acceptance. They listen to the same story again and again, just as though it was the first time.

Take care of those furry friends. Remember, their life spam is shorter than ours. So love them back, unconditional.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Why Do I Write?"

Have you ever asked yourself this question, "Why Do I Write?" Why do I spend hours upon hours, writing, researching, reading, editing, attending workshops, critique groups, querying agents and editors, blogging, tweeting, and face booking. Not to mention all the money I've spent on how to write books. The universe, only knows what else I've left out of this list.

I've thought about this a lot over the years. And maybe, just maybe, I have my answer.

Why am I on this roller coaster journey of writing? There's no promise of landing a super hero agent with my little darling being published. There's no promise of landing on the NY best seller list right under Dan Brown. There's no promise of making my book the next Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl Series. Hey, life offers no promise's. There's no perfect rose gardens, either. I write, because I have, too. That's who I am to the core. If I never land an agent, if I never make the NY list, that's okay (all though that would be lovely) I'll still call myself a writer. Why? Because I love the process. I love the art of storytelling. I love character development. I love creating something no one else has thought of before like my YA novel Hybrid.

Writing a damn good story takes a lot of study and hard work. I'm making a promise to myself today. I, Sherry White, promise to do the best I can, to write the right story for me. And write it like hell.

Why do you write? Is it a passion? Second job? Hobby? Or the quest for greatness?

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Four Paws"

Do's & Don'ts

Here are a few helpful hints for this summer with your furry friends.

Do: Watch for warning signs of fatigue. Be alert to extreme panting, and check if your dog's ears are back from his or her face. Also, check their pupils for dilation.

Do: Let your dog walk and run on packed wet sand. It's easier on the joints and may cause fewer injuries than dry sand.

Don't: Don't be a weekend warrior. Exercising heavily on a Saturday after a whole week off can aggravate arthritis and cause joint injuries and sore muscles.

Don't" Don't use a retractable leash. If it doesn't retract quickly enough, your dog can accidentally become entangled with bikes, strollers, and other dogs.

Don't: Don't tie your pet to your bike. Even if the leash doesn't get snagged in the spokes, your pup will tire before you do.

P.S. And don't forget, with the summer heat, lots and lots of fresh water.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Savings by the Aisle"

Good info to save your pennies.

Look closely--prices on groceries can vary by the aisle.

1. Cheese sliced at the deli or gourmet section of your supermarket can cost twice as much as block cheese in the dairy case and may be no better.

2. Nuts in the baking section may be cheaper than those in the produce area.

3. Expect better prices on salsa in the condiments aisle than on the selection near the chips.
AARP (S. Kirchheimer)

Good info in this economy


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Hopefully. Do you use this word? I never really thought about it much. But, after I read the following, I've given the word Hopefully more thought.

This once-useful adverb meaning 'with hope' has been distorted and is now widely used to mean "I hope" or "it is to be hoped." Such use is not merely wrong, it is silly. To say, Hopefully, I'll leave on the noon plane is to talk nonsense. Do you mean you'll leave on the noon plane in a hopeful frame of mind? Or do you mean you hope you'll leave on the noon plane? Which ever you mean, you haven't said it clearly. Although the word in its new, free-floating capacity may be pleasurable and even useful to many, it offends the ear of many others, who do not like to see words dulled or eroded, particularly when the erosion leads to nonsense. (Strunk & White)

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


For those who love "Dylan"

For 50 years he has inspired musicians and songwriters, politicians and protesters, presidents and popes. Dylan celebrated his 70th B-Day on May 24. A gallery of famous friends and admirers shared what he has meant to them--- and the world.

Jimmy Buffett-From the man who never grew up. I would simply like to say that Bob Dylan's music has kept me forever young.

Smokey Robinson-Bob is unique unto himself, a one-of-a-kind artist. He's controversial and commercial and underground and all those things at the same time.

Tom Brokaw-Bob is the sound track of one of the most profound generational and cultural transitions in American life.

Maya Angelou-The truth is, Bob Dylan is a great American artist.

Martin Scorsese-Bob is ageless because he keeps turning new corners, beating down new paths, redefining himself and his art as he goes.

Judy Collins-I met Bob when he was still Robert Zimmerman, playing in Colorado in 1959. We met up later in the Village when he was playing Gerde's Folk City, singing old Woody Guthrie songs-not very well, quite frankly. But he was charming, very nice, and we got drunk a few times together.

Bono-When I was 13 Bob Dylan started whispering in my ear. It was a hoarse whisper, jagged around the edges, not too plain truths . . . ideas blowing in the wind about how the world could be a better place if we could just get it out of the hands of the hypocrites.
(L. Sloman)

I enjoyed reading these comments. I hope you did, too.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Epic Writing"

I'm not one to get bogged down with page after page of backstory in my writing. Epic's call for a lot of research and backstory to bring the reader up to date. If my writing needs a backstory, I usually do it through dialogue or a couple of short narrative sentences. Just giving my reader bits and pieces as they read. Writing an epic story would be the death of me. Epic's usually have to many characters for me to keep up with. Three or four characters is about my limit to connect with. With epic's, I found myself skipping over the pages to get back to the current story. I write with the attitude, keep the stakes high, tension pulled tight, and then boom, main character has changed somehow. Conflict solved. End of story. Give me a new story to read.

However, I will confess, I did read Ken Follett's epic story: Pillars of the Earth and his follow-up World Without End. Loved the story. Connected with the characters. But thought it would never . . . never end. I was exhausted by the last page. Almost gave up on the story once or twice.

Now, with the Harry Potter books, I read all seven. I never once felt bogged down with too much backstory. I couldn't wait for the next one. Why? Because J.K. Rowling is a master of keeping her story moving forward. Backstory was kept to a bare minimum. That's the kind of writing that keeps me reading.

Epic's or quicker reads. Either way, I'm glad we readers have both. Having a choice is a good thing. What do you like to write? Would you like to write an epic? If so, share your thoughts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Desk, Starbucks or Easy Chair"

Where do you write? At your desk? At Starbucks? Or your easy chair? Every writer seems to have a special place that helps them create. Where words flow on the page with the least amount of effort. I've tried several different types of desk. Some were to high. Some ended up to short. Some to long or narrow. And the chair that goes with the desk, hell . . . way to hard. After all this, I gave up on the desk. Never tried Starbucks. The constant roar of people and coffee grinders would probably distract my thoughts. Not to mention the sweets that would lure me away from my writing. I write in my easy chair. I like the softness and the kick-back leg support. I have a small stool I lay paper and pen on. My lap top sits very nicely in my lap. Been writing this way for a year. I love it. I'm comfortable, content and free to let the words flow. It works for me. What works for you?


Friday, May 6, 2011

"Fertilize Your Brain"

Like libraries, museums represent humankind's attempt to store knowledge and information and make them available to the public in an organized way. Some communities are fortunate enough to have museums designed primarily for children, and they often involve pleasurable experiences for little ones from infancy to ten years old. It has been learned that the most crucial period for learning occurs between birth and six years of age. Countless studies clearly establish that educational dollars spent to encourage learning by children at this early age are both productive and cost-effective. An excellent example is the Children's Museum of Portland, Oregon, which serves over ninety thousand vistors yearly. Not only do visits to this find facility produce obvious benefits immediately but they can establish in children the habit of visiting such cultural repositories. The earlier you introduce your children, son, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandchildren to the thrilling and informative exhibits that all museums feature, the better. And of course, you learn a few things yourself if you accompany them. (S. Allen)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Opposes War"

On Sundays, Walt Whitman dined with William O'Connor and his wife, Nelly. Nelly O'Connor often cooked roast beef, one of Walt's favorite meals. The conversation usually turned to the war after dinner, and it tended to grow heated. William O'Connor was still a confirmed abolitionist. He wanted an end to slavery regardless of the cost in human life.
Walt Whitman's experiences in the hospitals had led him to a different point of view. "My opinion is to stop the war now," he said. As he explained, wars were about nine hundred and ninety-nine parts diarrhea to one part glory: the people who like the wars should be compelled to fight the wars." More than once, the arguments grew so loud that the O'Connors' neighbors called the police. (C. Reef)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Arbor Day"

Arbor Day is on 4/29/11. If you're a lover of trees like me you may want to pay attention to this special day. Trees play a very important role in our environment. Trees recycle carbon dioxide we breathe out and convert it to oxygen. Trees cleaned the air and make it breathable, as well as provide shelter for animals. Trees give us fruit, seeds, nuts and maple syrup. Trees provide us with shade in the summer. I hug a tree every chance I get.

For in the tree nature of things, if we rightly consider every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver -Martin Luther

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it -Minnie Aumonier

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, brooks in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything -William Shakespeare

Arbor Day is a day to show your appreciation of trees. Go out and plant a tree or just hug one for me.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Four Paws"

"Dogs Burglary Gone Right'

Just before a recent prestigious dog show, four highly regarded show dogs were stolen from their handlers' van outside a motel. The local police got involved quickly but clues were hard to come by. The dogs' owners enlisted the help of the local press and media, who instantly obliged by posting photographs of the dogs and their owners' information on their websites. Even after this effort, still nothing. But, as with most dog stories that warm our souls, this one ended with a miracle. The thieves must have had a sudden change of heart, because all four dogs were suddenly returned. The dognappers are still at large, and their reasons for returning the dogs remain unknown. But one detail does strike a solid chord: Trace, a champion Akita in the group of thieved dogs, is valued at more than $250,00. (HealthyPet)

Monday, April 4, 2011

"You Have to Love It"

I received this note the other day:
We increased the benefit amount on your record because you had additional earning. However, the benefit we pay you on the other record decreased when we increased the benefit on your record. The new benefit on you record will ????? and your new benefit on the other record we be ????? Since there is no change in the total of the two records you will continue to receive the same amount from your records. If you disagree you have the right to appeal. You must have a good reason if you wait more than 60 days to ask for an appeal.

Talk about a brain puzzle. At first, I couldn't get my mind around what I was reading. By the time I read it for the third time, I was laughing so hard, I almost didn't make it to the bathroom. Have you ever read anything so wacky?

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Four Paws"


Some dogs follow you everywhere you go. You walk into another room, in time, there's your dog checking everything out. You're in the bathtub and suddenly a wet black nose comes through the curtain sniffing, and then the head appears with an expression of "Well, would ya look at that!"

Can you stop him? Not really. He's just being a dog. Our pets accept us so readily for being the way we are. Perhaps we should do the same from them. (H.N. Wright)

Animals are such agreeable friends; they ask no questions, pass no criticisms (G. Eliot)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Concrete Language"

Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the vague, the concrete to the abstract.

A period of unfavorable weather set in (Or) It rained every day for a week.
He showed satisfaction as he took possession of his well-earned reward.
(Or) He grinned as he pocketed the coin.

If those who have studied the art of writing are in accord on any one point, it is this: the surest way to arouse and hold the readers attention is by being specific, definite, and concrete. The greatest writers-Homer, Dante, Shakespeare-are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report the details that matter. Their words call up pictures. (Strunk & White)

Happy Writing,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Walt Whitman"

Within the crowd of passengers on that December day in 1855 stood a man dressed in laborer's clothes. In his checkered shirt, baggy pants, and broad-brimmed hat, Walt Whitman resembled the crew that piloted the ferry. He had the large build and ruddy face of someone who spent his time outdoors. Whitman admired the simple, hardworking ferryboat pilots. He often rode beside them on his many trips across the river. "I am a common working man,too," his clothes told the world. But Whitman, a former journalist, teacher, and builder, had chosen to be a poet. The poems in Whitman's small book, Leaves of Grass, expressed how it felt to be one man, yet one with all humanity. "Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you," he told his readers.Whitman's poetry proclaimed his love for his fellow human beings. Through his words, Whitman believed, he could reach across time and great distances to connect with other people. The poetry in Leaves of Grass spoke directly to its readers, asking them to "thrust me beneath your clothing, where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip." (C. Reef)

"I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence . . ."

A great poet to study.

Until next time


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Four Paws"

Confessions of a dog owner: Are you guilty of the following? Market research found the percentage of dog owners did the following:

1. Do you kiss your dog? 51%
2. Would we find in your wallet a picture of your furry friend? 40%
3. Talked to your dog over the phone? 33%
4. Have you ever called your child or spouse by your dogs name? 38%
5. Have you dressed up your furry friend with a ribbon or scarf? 86%
6. Is your dog named as a beneficiary? 28%

I'm guilty of all but #6. I admit it. I'm a little foolish when it comes to my dogs. Can't help it. I love them. Somehow, they've ceased to be animals and have become instead my treasured friends.

Annie Oakley once said, "Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life."

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." (R. Caras)

Til next time,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Book Lovers"

"Book lovers. It will make your hours pleasant as long as you live." (A. Trollope)

I agree with Trollope. I am passionate about books. I'm obsessive with my books. So obsessive that my bookshelves resemble a library with categories: fiction top shelf, non-fiction lower shelf, picture books middle shelf, etc., etc., etc. (What can I say, I like organization.) Sometimes, I am reading three or four different books at the same time. I love the way a book feels in my hand. I love the anticipation of each new chapter. I love the feel a my finger turning the page. The times and places my books have taken me are many. A journey I appreciate.

Surrounding myself with books is magical and joyful. On a rainy day, a good book can become your best friend.

Abraham Lincoln once wrote, "My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read."

It's not buying or borrowing books that make a book lover, it is reading books.

Happy Reading!


Friday, February 25, 2011

"Reader Questions"

How does a reader unravel characters, action, plot, and theme in a good book? Or do you have to understand why you read a book? Maybe, but not necessarily true. I think a good book is for reading. I don't favor dissecting a book to death. I favor the joy of the read. Some stories are less satisfying than others. That's the nature of the beast. But, something happens inside when you read a really good book. It's characters, action, plot and theme haunts you long after you have placed the book back on the bookshelf.

If a book leaves you the same after you finish the last page, then you are no different for having read it. I would hope by reading a memorable book, I would reread it some day or share the book with a friend.

How do you feel after reading a book? Or should books change its reader?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Jane Austen"

Jane Austen (1775-1817) started writing when she was twenty-one years old and died when she was forty-one. She lived her whole life in the circle of her family in the parish where her father ministered and had no contact with the London literary world. Yet, she is considered by many to be the greatest woman novelist of the English-speaking world. Her novels are largely novels of manners; no earth-shaking events take place, but this allows her characters' lives to stand out in bold relief so that they translate well into today's world and seem as vital as ever. Her insights into the human heart regarding love-romantic, family and God's role in our daily lives still span the centuries. Her satirical wit creates some very funny characters. She finds comedy in everyday occurrences of life and relationship. Some are tragically funny like Mrs. Bennet with her hysterics and constant whining. While she sometimes uses biting irony, Austin descriptions of eighteenth-century culture remind us that we also have rules, pitfalls and comedy in our own ways of relating.
(M. Hunt)

A great writer to read and study. At such a young age, Jane knew creating characters' that grabbed the readers heart-string, would capture her books forever more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Master of the Universe"

The Master of the Universe, has assigned different peoples to different times and different places, so that all of us may behold the beauty of our world with our various stations and view points. The Universe, has implanted in each of us a 'special love' for our own country and our own beliefs. Our diverse habitations and interpretations, enable us to piece together our fragmentary ideas into our own truths. This truth is the lesson each one of us has to learn in his or her own life's journey. And whatever truth you find along your way will guide you towards your eternal truth.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Kristen Lamb's Bog

Hey, fellow writers. If your not a follower of Kristen's Lamb's Blog, you're missing out on valuable info for your writing life. It's like taking an on-line class 'free' What a bargain. Not much left free these days. If you're timid about Facebook or blogging, check out her book "We Are Not Alone" It's a book about social media and how we writers can build our platform. I have it. I love it. A great addition to any writers library. Also, check out Who Dares Wins Publishing. They're running workshops for a bargain price of $20.00. They started in January and I think they're running through May or June. Kristen will have her workshop in March. Again, visit Kristen. You'll be glad you did.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Four Paws"

Dogs teach us to . . .

Take plenty of walks and naps
Drink lots of water
Don't think too much
Never bite the hand that feeds you
Make friends with everyone in the neighborhood
Don't go for a run without your I.D.
Make people you love feel welcome when they come home

Animals are such agreeable friends; they ask no questions and pass no criticisms.(G.Eliot)

It would be wonderful if I could become the person that Smudge and Sophie think I am.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Wordsworth once wrote: "We murder to dissect." Have you ever read something that touched you to your soul? That you had to go back and re-read the writing again . . . again. You just couldn't get enough of the writing. This happened to me not long ago. The story took residence in my soul and wouldn't let go. I thought about it all the time. As a writer, I started asking myself, why am I so drawn to this writing? This setting? These characters? Slowly, I began to 'dissect' the story. Not as a reader, but as a doctor tying to find out what made this writing tick. How did this writer grab me into his world and didn't let me go till the last page? That's what I wanted to know. That's how I want to write my story. I sorted through the story by sentence, paragraph, page and chapter. I devoted any extra time I had to this project. I was determined to find some answers. And I did. I'm learning how great writers work their magic and how they make their story a wonderful experience for me, as a reader.

Happy Writing,


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Four Paws"

In London, England a woman couldn't understand the strange behavior of her dog. He kept sniffing at a mole on her thigh. His persistent interest caused her husband to take her to the hospital. And it's a good thing he did. The mole was malignant. The early removal of it saved her life, thanks to her dog.

Heroes come in many sizes. Their heroics are expressed in many ways. The response to help and save could come because of training, ingenuity or even intuition. Sometimes, we don't have an answer as to why dogs are heroic, but we have the results. -H.N.Wright

"Be comforted, little dog, thou too in the Resurrection shall have a golden tail."- M. Luther


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Had five days off. Wow. How lucky I'm I. Mapped out chapter 7-10 on my YA. Also, had to read two issues of Sky & Telescope for more research. Found a short poem in the Dec. issue. Would like to share it with you. Enjoy.

"The Music of the Night"

Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour.
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender.
Turn your face away from the garish light of day.
Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light.
And listen to the music of the night.

- Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Principles of Design"

"The Elements of Style" tells us that a good plan to your writing must be a deliberate prelude to writing. I agree.

This is good advice, especially for new writers trying to figure all this stuff out. First, I recommend read all you can in your genre. Second, find a writer who you most admire and copy them for practice. Look at how the author crafted his design of each sentence, paragraph and chapter. This will give you a platform to practice and a clearer defined structure to follow while you learn. After your practice sessions, you'll begin to design your own procedure of shape or (flesh and blood) to your frame of composition. Call it whatever you like, maps, outlines, or 5x7 cards. These are your 'little helpers' to build and shape your story. It will keep you focused and on track, as you design each sentence, each paragraph and each chapter. The clearer you (the writer) sees the shape and design of your writing, the better change of success.

Happy Writing,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Technology of the Gods"

For the last year, I've been busy with research for a story I'm working on. What an eye opener for me. How . . . could I've lived so long and not been aware. Should I blame my science teachers? Or just blame myself for being so unenlightened of the universe.  I've come to the conclusion that my brain has been in a deep sleep. Or maybe it just boils down to the old adage of our believe systems of what we have been taught? But, with all the painstaking archaeological research and evidence by writers as Plato and Aristotle, one needs to asked, "Did they come? Did they bring advance technology?" Now, with current quantum physics could these 'myths' be proven true? Could have the Greek Gods been extraterrestrial beings who arrived on Earth many thousands of years ago? Maybe, if so, was it for religious significance, or rather a more practical approach for mankind to live their lives. Time will tell.

I will carefully consider the implications of the possibility of a visit from the heavens.

Happy writing to all,


Thursday, January 6, 2011


Back from the holidays, now. Refreshed and ready to blog. Did a lot of reading and writing. Ran across the following read about 'anger' found it quite profound with great insight. Enjoy the read.

A German philosopher cites the case of a man who was noticed carrying a chain, which from time to time he unrolled and manipulated in silence. One day, some one asked him the reason of this. "This chain," he replied smiling, "is my bridle. I am of irritable temperament, anger has often made me do foolish things, which I have deeply regretted. So, I have made it a rule never to obey any emotional impulse without first letting a few moments pass. As soon as any irritating incident rouses in me, I deliberately count the one hundred links of my chain, thus imposing on my mind a tension wholly bent in making no mistakes in my count. This to me is an invaluable diversion. During the operation my nerves calm down, the inward disturbance is appeased, and in the mirror of my mind, now clear, wise resolutions are peacefully reflected."

The philosopher has not told us any more; but we like to think that after a while the bridle was discarded and that he who conquered strength of character by such original means did not need to have recourse to it very long. (D. Starke)

Until next time,