Archive for March, 2012


Short and Sweet

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 2 Comments

A wee bit under the weather today, so it’s a short Bits & Pieces…

1) Fall or spring?

2) Must-have ice cream topping?

3) Favorite month of the year and why?




Driver’s License, Sir

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

Here’s a writing exercise for those of you who dare…

As everyone knows, the information found on a driver’s license is rather superficial. Name, hair color, eye color, height, address. It gives you the shell, but tells you nothing of what’s inside.

So here’s some shell stuff about a character I’ve made up. It’s up to you to tell us what’s inside (be funny, be creative, it’s up to you). But the more you play off each other’s details, the more potential for fun.

Morris Schumacker
1165 Hillside Drive
Sunnytown, USA
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Hazel
Height:  6’0”






Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 4 Comments

I was bored last night, so I decided to cartoon-ize myself.   How’d I do?








Book, Anyone?

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 8 Comments

I’ve got a fun “reading” type blog for all of you today. Only I need your help…with answers.

Here we go:

1) Strangest place you’ve ever read a book?

2) What’s the fastest you can read a) a cozy, b) a romance and/or c) a thriller (answer only the genre (s) you read)?

3) Ever yelled out loud at a character in a book? Why?

4) What’s the craziest thing you’ve turned down in order to keep reading?

5) Tell us other things you can do while simultaneously reading…



Back in the Chair

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 7 Comments

It’s Monday morning and I’m back in the chair ready to write. Of course, I was supposed to write over the weekend and I did manage to get about 600 words in on Saturday morning, but that was still shy of the 2,400 I’d goaled for myself.  :/

Fortunately, I can’t chalk the lack of work off on being a bum. Instead, it was one of those weekends where the goal wasn’t realistic. I had a basketball banquet to attend with Dear Daughter # 2, dinner with my beloved aunt (so, so nice), and three performances of Caberet to enjoy thanks to being the proud mom of two of the performers.

So now it’s back to the grind–one that includes writing, more website revamping work, and exercising. As for your weekend, was it restful, hectic, or mildly productive?

Have a great day!



The Fine Print

Posted under odds and ends No Comments

Did your chosen career come with fine print you didn’t see coming, too?

That’s what I’m talking about over at the Stiletto Gang today. So click on the link below and check it out.

The Stiletto Gang

Have a great weekend!



The Starting Point

Posted under Writing Thursdays 1 Comment

Ready for this week’s writing class? Well, the last time we met, we talked about finding your idea. This week, it’s all about the starting point.

Finding the place to “start” your book isn’t always easy because when you present a character,  he or she has history (as in backstory) that may or may not be relevant to the story you are telling. If it’s relevant, we don’t need it. If it is relevant we still don’t need it thrown at us in a big lump. Writers who do throw it in a lump, kill the pacing of the story and risk losing their readers before the “good stuff” ever comes.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say you’re writing a suspense novel with a woman as your lead. Perhaps she’s a vigilante of sorts regarding abused kids. It’s the reason she’s relentless about tracking down a pedophile. The motivation behind this passion? She was abused, herself, as a child OR perhaps her own child from ten years earlier was and that child was killed.  Either reason makes a powerful motive for her choices in the here and now and they are important (builds empathy for her as a character, making the reader cheer louder when she wins in the end).

But does the book need to open with her as a kid? Does it need to open with her being a sad parent? No. That stuff can be woven in along the way, building your character and the reader’s feelings for your character. By weaving, you layer.  Shove that backstory down your reader’s throat from the beginning and it’s too much.

Think about it. You meet someone new who is sick. The first thing they launch at you is their health issues. Turn off? Maybe. Now take that same person and meet them…talk about your kids…your jobs…regular stuff. And then find out about the person’s health issues. You care more, don’t you? Well, it’s the same with a book.


A ton of butterscotch sauce on the top of an icecream is great, but once that’s all gone and you’re into the middle of your sundae–it’s just regular icecream.  Layer the sauce along the way and the whole thing is good. 🙂

So your starting point is not backstory. Your starting point is now. Maybe the story opens with the woman flipping channels on her tv and hears a report about a little kid who has gone missing. Or maybe, even better, the story opens with her getting bumped in a park by a guy who has a kid with him–a sleeping kid that, upon closer inspection, appears drugged perhaps. It sets off warning bells. You start the book in a place that feels real, where your scene and tone get be set, while grabbing the reader into the story or making them curious or whatever.

Make sense?

Any questions?


*If you didn’t catch yesterday’s post, or even all the comments…scroll down and check it out. Fun!




I’ll Be Judy…

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 19 Comments

Confession time.

When I was little (around 10 or 11), I used to pretend to be Judy from Lost in Space. The reason I picked her had very little to do with her and a whole lot to do with the guy who liked her.  In my eyes, Don was so handsome and strong.  And if he liked her on the show…and I pretended to be her…well, you get the point. *Swoon*…

Okay, now it’s your turn. Was there a television show you watched as a kid that had you wanting to be a particular character? If so, who and why?



ARC Winner

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

A few weeks ago, you might remember me posting a contest where the winner was to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of the first book in my upcoming Amish Mysteries (written as Laura Bradford)–HEARSE AND BUGGY.

The book will release to the public on June 5th, but, as is the case with new series, the publisher prints up a number of uncorrected proofs for the purpose of getting them into the hands of the big reviewers. As the author, I am given a handful of these special copies to give out as I see fit.

I chose to put one of these copies up for grabs via a contest with my only real requests being that the winner 1) doesn’t sell it or share it with anyone prior to the June 5th release and 2) if they like it, they consider posting a review somewhere or talking it up among friends and family.

Well, I got tons of entries into my email account (as per entry rules) and my daughter pulled out the name of one luck winner. This particular winner also happens to be a regular in the comment section of this blog–woo hoo (always nice to see)!

So, Mary H., from Cudahy, Wisconsin…I’ll be sending an ARC of HEARSE AND BUGGY out to you later this week. Congratulations on winning!!!

Bummed you didn’t win? Well, I’ve announced another giveaway in the “lastest news” section of this website, so click that tab and check it out!

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!



Going, Going, Gone?

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 7 Comments

Inspired by an essay Dear Son # 2 has to write (in which he has to choose an item under $500 that he would bury today to be dug up and worth a TON of money in 200 years), I thought maybe I’d make you choose between those things that will soon be obsolete and the current “wave of the future.”  Reasons why, would be fun, too.


1) Snail mail or email?

2) A greeting card or an e-card?

3) Telephone or Skype?

4) Regular film or digital?

5) Records or downloadable music?

6) Report cards or print-yourself-grades?

Have fun!