Archive for the ‘Writing Thursdays’ Category


Dear Holiday Maker Upper…

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Writing prompt time!

Think of one of the crazier “holidays” and write a letter to the powers-that-be as to why it’s either ridiculous or brilliant. Or, plead the case of a holiday you think should exist. Make it fun.  🙂

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Noting The Notes

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Today is about some writing questions…for all of you!

  1. Last handwritten thank you note you wrote?
  2. Are you a note/card-giving kind of person?
  3. Serious or funny cards?
  4. A handwritten note you’re forever glad you wrote… what was it/to whom?
  5. A note you wish you’d sent but never did…to whom/for what?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Writing Time

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How about a writing prompt today? Before you start though, pick ONE from each choice below:

Character:    A very curious 5 year old  OR  a cranky 80 year old

Setting:       Grocery store on the day before a major weather event OR  a  Gag-gift style party.

Write 3 or 4 lines with your character in your setting…

~Elizabeth (aka Laura) 


Writing Update: Jan 2018

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portraitforcoverfbIt’s been a while since I’ve given a writing update, so here we go:

*I’m currently working on a novella that will be part of an anthology with three other authors. The book will release in early 2019, with all three stories taking place in the same Amish town in Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for more details on this.

*On deck is my 2nd Amish-based women’s fiction novel.  I’ll be starting that as soon as I turn in the above mentioned novella. This project will take me to June 1st.

*Over the next few months I’ll be working behind-the-scenes on my marketing push for the June release of my very first women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister. There are reviewers to pair with the book, library events to set up, book clubs to alert, bookstores to contact, and travel arrangements to be made.

*Sometime soon, the first round of edits for Amish Mystery # 6, JUST PLAIN MURDER, will be volleyed back to me from my editor, as will the same for the novella I mentioned at the top of this list.

*I’m giving serious thought to totally redoing my website to coincide with this new direction I’m moving towards. I’ll still write mysteries, of course, but with my contracts for women’s fiction books, I think maybe I should consider changing the feel of my site.  Still thinking about it, though.

*In the back corner of my brain are proposals that are beginning to churn for more books that will eventually move to the foreground enough for me to write fleshed out synopses for my agent to pitch.

And I think that’s about it. For now.

Any questions?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Line Two…

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I’ve got a writing prompt for all of you today. Based on a first line we all know, with a request for you to give us the *next* line based on your own imagination.


It was a dark and stormy night.

What next?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Looking Ahead

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I hit “send” on Just Plain Murder just before two in the morning.  Phew.  One more to-do checked off my list…


Of course, there’s another project I’ve got to get into pretty much right away, but that’s okay. Being a contracted writer is a good thing.

Tonight, though, I’m putting everything on hold to have my once-a-year goal setting phone call with my buddy, Lynn.  This is when we talk about the goals we met and missed this past year, and the goals we’re shooting for in the coming year. Normally we do this in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve…but this time there was far too much busyness.

My biggest work goal this year is to secure another contract.

My biggest personal goal (and I have many) is to continue improving on the whole stop-and-smell-the-roses thing.

Do you have any goals for 2018? What’s your biggest?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Dear Santa,

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For today’s “Writing Thursday,” how about writing an intro to a Dear Santa letter. Could be from a kid, an adult, the elderly, a celebrity, whatever. Your choice. I suspect we could see some funny ones…

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Fictional Comeuppance

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A question I get asked a lot when giving a talk, is whether I’ve ever written a real person into any of my stories. The short answer is: once (which I’ll get back to in a moment).

The long answer is more like this:  There are bits of me in every main character I write. She’s always more fearless than I am, prettier than I am, and braver…but little bits of me are in there, too (love of chocolate, dislike of veggies, a preference for being kind).

In terms of my other characters? I may borrow a mannerism or a quirk from someone I know or have met, but if I do, it’s one small aspect. No one character I’ve ever written is based one hundred percent on someone real.

Except one.

There is a one time character in one of the 29 pubbed books to date that was created in the image of a very particular person. Two very special somebodies helped me with the physical attributes of this particular “character” and I crafted the story (one with some well deserved–nope, not murder–comeuppance) this character demanded. I can’t say who the person/character is, or even which book this person is found, but I can say that it helped me burn off a little steam.  🙂

So, is there someone in your life you think would make a great character (good or bad) in a book?  Could be a children’s book, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, romance, etc… If so who and what genre would you write them into?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Turkey Thoughts

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Got to the computer late this morning thanks to my workout being followed by breakfast with a gym buddy. 🙂 Oh, and a post office run to mail off a few things.

But now I’m here and getting ready to write. And, since it’s Writing Thursday here on the blog, I thought I’d dangle a writing prompt out there for any of you who might be up for sharing what you come up with in the comments.

turkeyHere we go:

You’re a turkey at the turkey farm and there are some folks looking in your pen, trying to select their turkey for Thanksgiving.  In a few sentences, put us inside your turkey’s head…


Can’t wait to see if any of you play on this one!

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


My Writing Day

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The other day, while visiting with an online book club who had read one of my books, a reader asked about my daily writing life. While answering her, it occurred to me I may not have talked about that here. Soooooo, I present to you today, my daily writing life.

When:   I do my best writing in the morning, after my workout. I can extend into the afternoon, if I’m behind on words. It is rare, however, for me to start (and be successful) after about 3 p.m. I guess by then the tired factor is starting to nip at my creativity.

Where:  Like my cat, I seem to find a spot that works for me for a while, and then I move on to another. However, that said, the last few books have primarily been written on the same corner of the couch in my living room. When editing, I tend to prefer to sit at the dining room table. And sometimes, on occasion, I like to take the laptop to my local B & N and write there for a few hours–this is my go-to when I’ve stalled.

How often:  The past 12 days, I’ve written all but 2. If I can get in the write-everyday flow, it’s best as it keeps me in the story. However, you know what they say about the best intentions… So it’s more like 4 or 5 days a week when actively on a project (which is all the time).  More than days though, I try to hit a particular word count when I sit down to write. Most days that count is 2 K words (about 8 double spaced pages).

Writer’s Block:   I get asked about this a lot when I give talks. And, for whatever reason, I don’t really have an issue with this. I suspect that’s because of my journalism background and the fact that writer’s block wasn’t an option.  I’ll hit places in the story where I don’t want to write…and I’ll hit places where I plan for it to go one way and my writerly brain knows it’s wrong and thus, makes it difficult for words to come out… But writer’s block because I have no ideas?  No.

Favorite part of the actual writing process:   The last 6-8 K words of a manuscript. Just like a reader plows through the end because they want to know what happens, so, too, do writers.

Last favorite part of the actual writing process:   The middle. It just tends to be more laborious.

How many books so far:     The book that comes out next month (AND DEATH GOES TO…) and the book that comes out on Jan. 2nd (DIAL M FOR MOUSSE) will be my 29th and 30th published books respectively.   Three more are contracted at this time.   I do not count novellas and short stories in that number–that’s just full length novels with real publishing houses.

First book released:    My 1st book came out in May of 2005. The 2nd and 3rd followed in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  They were published by then publisher, Hilliard and Harris, and went on to be picked up my Worldwide Mystery for a mass market distribution.  I have since gotten the rights back and put them out with my agent.

**The other 27 books (as of this January) have all come out since August 2009.

I think that about covers it. If I spawned any further questions with this information, feel free to ask!

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)