High Five! The First Round Results Are In

High five joyful businessmanWhat do you get when an immigration officer attends a séance?

A big boost of confidence, apparently!

Remember my short story, Point of Entry, that I mentioned entering into the short story challenge back in January? Well, the results from Round One are out and my story made it to the top five for my group!!!

Oh my goodness!

I didn’t actually think it would, but you have no idea how excited I am right now. Out of over 2,000 original participants, I am one of 300 advancing to Round Two.

Oh boy!

I’m terrified about advancing, but it doesn’t even matter what happens in Round Two because all I really wanted was to make it this far – and I did it! I consider this a huge success and it came at a time when I really needed it. I was letting myself get buried in too much self doubt and even though writing is what I love to do, I had convinced myself I wasn’t good at it.

Well… okay, one round of one contest. It doesn’t make me Shakespeare or anything. But it does make me feel like I have something in me worth hanging onto.

So, yay for the small victories in life!

Sometimes they  mean the difference between quitting and hanging on a little longer.

I’ll post my short story soon! Point of Entry – An immigration officer mourning the death of his wife gets a taste of his own medicine when he confronts an illegal alien during a séance.

And stay tuned for details about my Round Two assignment….


Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday – Beginner’s Luck

weekendwritingHello and Happy Sunday! It’s been a few weeks since I have participated in the Weekend Writing Warriors so I figured it was about time I get back to it. I’ve missed it! If you’ve never heard of Weekend Writing Warriors before, this is the day a group of authors come together to share 8 to 10 sentences from a current work-in-progress or recently published story. Check out the main page for the official list at http://www.wewriwa.com and enjoy a variety of genres.

I really struggled to settle on a snippet to share this week. My current work-in-progress is giving me some headaches and I’m not convinced it’s a story worth sticking with … but I couldn’t settle on anything from my other stories either so here goes.

Riley is one of the best in her field but she only works alone. Being forced to work with Madison to secure a case that will land her the promotion she desperately needs is proving difficult. They have already screwed up once and the boss isn’t happy. Because my sentences are so short, there isn’t much to my snippet but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy.


With a sigh, Riley turned and shoved the door open and stomped out of the office. She didn’t look back even when she heard Madison following close at her heels. She wasn’t in the mood for conversation and she didn’t need to sit down and try to come up with a plan with someone who probably couldn’t tie her own shoes.
“Riley, wait up!”
Reluctantly, Riley stopped just as the fresh air hit her outside the high rise that contained Frank’s office.
“What are we going to do?” Madison asked.
“You are going to go back to wherever you came from and lay low for a while and I’m going to go figure this mess out.”
“I was the one who made a shot.” The statement hit Riley hard like a smack to the face.
“Beginner’s luck.”


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts. I always enjoy reading them. 🙂

Let’s Go Fly a Kite … It’s March!

marchupdatesFebruary was a hectic month. I questioned my abilities to write a good story and I wondered whether my time would be better spent pursuing a new job outside the home. The only real conclusion I have reached is … I love to write. I wish it benefited me financially to do so, but hey, we can’t have our cake and eat it too, right? We’ll get through summer and see where we end up in the fall.

Here it is March already and it’s about time I post my monthly update!

Edits… I am still rewriting ‘Rise of the Angerroots’. Slow, slow, slow going… but I have also been distracted by other things. The problem I have with this story is that I spent too long to write it with too much time in between. That sounds a little odd, I know. I’ve changed my mind about too many elements of the story, including character names, and that just makes for an editing nightmare.

Writing… I am halfway through the prequel novella and writing it has helped me fine tune rewrites on Rise of the Angerroots. I understand where the characters are coming from a little better. The downside – this adds to my editing nightmare. (Ha!) Anyway, because I’m crazy and can’t seem to focus on one idea at a time, I have also started writing a comedy romance. My friend, Joe, will be making his debut as a fictional character as the owner of a high class Italian restaurant. He’s thrilled. Or scared. I’m not sure.

The Challenge… I committed to writing 365,000 words this year. I hit 103, 000 at the end of February. Yes! That is like two NaNoWrimo’s.

Short Story Contest… Remember ‘Point of Entry’? Results of the round one entries should be available on March 15th. Round 2 begins shortly after. My fingers are still crossed and I hope to share good news soon. And if I make it, you can bet ‘Point of Entry’ will make an appearance on the blog. 😉 I just received an email this morning about Writer’s Digest annual contest so hey, maybe I will join that one, too. The deadline is May 6th.

I’ve taken a break from participating in the Weekend Writing Warriors while I try to get my stories organized but I do plan to get back to that soon.

That’s about it for now. Let’s think spring! I can’t wait to see some green in the trees and flowers in the garden again. Enjoy March. 🙂



Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday – Dark Journey to the Witch


Here by the skin of my teeth this week thanks to wireless issues! Eeks! Happy Sunday! Welcome to my post on the Weekend Writing Warriors – a place for authors to come together to share 8 to 10 sentences of their current WIP. Check out http://www.wewriwa.com for a list of all the participants and the details on how you can get on next week’s list!

The past handful of weeks I shared snippets from my newly finished first draft of Rise of the Angerroots. I would love to say that rewrites are coming along wonderfully but that would be a lie. I’ve managed to add it to scrivener and that’s about as far as I got. It’s going to be slow going. In the meantime, I’ve hit the rewind button to start work on the prequel which will help to introduce my story world. It seems only fair that I begin share the snippets from this new project.

Meet Serena…


Woman harvesting magical flower in the forestThe shadows cut deep into the forest. Serena kept her cloak over her head to conceal her identity as she moved swiftly along the dark forest path, never daring to look around lest she meet the eye of one who might recognize her. Eventually she stopped outside a worn down old cabin with a broken window and hesitated before taking the crooked steps leading to the front door. Serena considered her mother’s warnings but these were desperate times, she decided, and her fate was already chosen. An old woman peered out the window before letting the curtains fall back into place and Serena felt chills travel down her spine. She could turn and go but she had already come so far. She might as well hear the old woman out.

Before she could knock, the door swung slowly open and Serena found herself face to face with a short, not entirely unattractive woman with jet black hair and crystal blue eyes.
“Raven?” Serena asked, even though there was no mistaking the woman’s identity.


That’s it… I look forward to your thoughts on my snippet. Next week I will share another peek into this novella and hopefully better news regarding my rewrite progress. As always, thanks for reading! See you next time. 🙂



Old vintage typewriterTo Reimagine, according to Merriam-Webster, is to imagine again or anew; especially: to form a new conception of. To recreate.

In college, I didn’t major in Writing or English Lit, but because I’d always had an interest in creating stories, I took an Intro to Creative Writing class for fun.

Or at least, I expected it to be fun.

How could I go wrong? Easy A, I figured, after years of English teachers telling me how much they loved my writing.

That was the year I got a glimpse into harsh reality, which as it turns out means a lot more than coming up with fun stories and putting words on paper. Sat in a small, stuffy classroom in The Cathedral of Learning with about fifteen other students, we were led by a grad student. I am pretty sure she hated me. At the very least, she liked giving her red pen a workout on my papers and I blamed it on grad school angst.

Then that crazy teacher started talking about something called “revision”. After returning the short stories we put so much sweat and tears into producing, she expected us to revise them. Fair enough, I thought, and went off to the computer lab to fix my typos, move a couple of awkward sentences around, and print off a fresh copy of my story.

Turns out that wasn’t what my teacher wanted. She explained that revisions are a reimagining of the story.

“What?” I cried in horror. “You want me to write a whole new story?”

Well, yes, kind of. Begin with the story you’ve created but then try to see that story in a different way. Could it be better told from a different character’s point-of-view perhaps? Maybe the action unfolds in a completely different way?

I thought that was pretty much the craziest thing I’d ever heard. After all, I’d already turned in something that was “good enough” and I was eager to move on to the next assignment. Trying to come up with a whole new version of the same old story I’d already told felt like way too much work for an already over-taxed college student.

Darn those grad students and their angst.

For the sake of passing this class, I did that crazy reimagining thing anyway.

Guess what? I liked this new version of my story better than the original.

I suppose there is some merit to going through this exercise, as painful as it may feel at the time. It’s a little more daunting as I sit here staring at a full length novel as opposed to a short story I wrote for class but nonetheless, I’m trying to imagine my whole book in different ways.

A lot of work, for sure, but as long as I end up with a story I love and you love, it’s well worth the time.

Now… back to my revisions and rewrites!

See you Sunday for a snippet of my latest and greatest. Until then…