Monday, September 29, 2008

Writing is Magic

The last thing Stephen King needs is another review of his book ON WRITING. There are over 800 already on Amazon. But because it’s my favorite book ON WRITING and I’m putting it on my bookshelf list, I feel I have to add my two cents.

If you write – you want this book and if you’re a fan of King’s writing - you want this book. ON WRITING is actually two books in one. The first half is an autobiography that covers his life from childhood to the accident that nearly killed him.

The second part is all about the craft of writing. It’s good common sense advice, some of which you’ve probably heard before. King talks about the tools a writer needs such as vocabulary and grammar. He tells you about his own writing routine, how long it takes him to write the first draft and how he edits the second draft. He even talks about other writers.

But more importantly he offers inspiration and encouragement. After reading his book I wanted to sit down and immediately start writing.

King says, "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."

He also says “Writing is magic.”

On Writing

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Drill and Kill - The War Against Wolves and Polar Bears

Sarah Palin pro-life? – not according to wolves and bears in Alaska. She promotes aerial hunting. The animals are chased by airplanes until they’re exhausted, the plane lands and a gunner shoots the animals.

Palin sued the Bush administration over the listing of polar bears as threatened so she can protect oil and gas development. She based her opposition on a scientific review which she declined to release. When a copy was obtained it was revealed that Alaska’s marine mammal scientists agree that polar bears are in trouble because of global warning and will be gone from Alaska by 2050.

In 2007 she offered a $150 bounty for wolves; hunters presented a wolf’s leg to collect.

This year fourteen newborn wolf pups and their parents were dragged from their den and shot.

According to a statement by Tom Banks, Alaska Representative, Defenders of Wildlife:
"The recent news that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game illegally killed 14 wolf pups as part of their efforts to boost caribou numbers and that they intentionally excluded this information from a June 30 press release only further diminishes the public’s faith and trust in the department’s ability to properly manage wolves and bears and follow the law.
This is the first time in more than 20 years that department biologists shot and killed wolves from the air and the first time that it has killed pups in their den. Alaska law prohibits the killing of pups in their dens as part of a predator reduction effort (Regulation 5AAC 92.110(i)) What’s more, the state itself advised the Board of Game in January of 2008 that it should reject a proposal that sought to allow killing in the den. So, clearly the state is aware the practice is illegal even as part of a predator control effort. Had this predator control program been scientifically and legally based it would not have been conducted at a time of year when wolves are tending to newly born offspring, making the illegal killing of pups in the den inevitable.”

Defenders of Wildlife was started in 1947; at that time it was called Defenders of Furbearers.

From one full-time employee and 1,500 members it has grown to over 150 employees and more than 500,000 members nationwide.

I’ve just renewed my membership and I urge everyone to check out their website to learn more about their programs and policies that are dedicated to the task of preserving our nation’s native wildlife species and habitats.

Check my new widget for updated info and for more information visit

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer's - Contest!

Head over to my website for a chance to win your own copy!


Over two million copies of the beloved Cup of Comfort® brand in print!
Edited by Colleen Sell

There are more than 4 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to increase to 7.7 million by 2025 (Alzheimer’s Disease International). A devasting disease, Alzheimer’s can change a loved one into a stranger as it steals memories, motor skills and more.
A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s: Inspiring Stories of Unconditional Love and Support (October 14, 2008; Adams Media) edited by Colleen Sell is a collection of more than forty personal accounts from husbands, wives, daughters and sons who put their needs to asideto help their loved ones wrestle Alzheimer’s with unwavering support.

A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s—just in time for National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month—helps readers know they are not alone. Though Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life, it cannot destroy love. Anne’s mom was never at a loss for words until Alzheimer’s made it difficult for her to form sentences and Renea was the apple of her father’s eyes until the disease put their dog Lucy at the forefront of his memory. Despite the recognition fading from their loved ones eyes, each writer rejoices in those moments of clarity where their mothers, fathers, husbands and wives became the people they once were. Heart wrenching and inspiring, A Cup of Comfort for families Touched by Alzheimer’s shows that nothing can alter the strength and love that make up a family—not even Alzheimer’s.
Colleen Sell is the editor of more than sixty published books, including twenty volumes in the Cup of Comfort® series. She has also been an author, ghostwriter, magazine editor, journalist, columnist, essayist and copywriter.

Please contact Jacquinn Williams at 508-427-6737 or

Edited by Colleen Sell
October 14, 2008
ISBN: 1-59869-651-3

Thursday, September 18, 2008

brusha ... brusha ... brusha

I may be dating myself with that one. It's the from the 1950's Ipana toothpaste commercials starring Bucky Beaver. Still it seems fitting. We just picked up the cat from the dentist.

Last week Buffy & Spike had their check-ups. It was all good, except for Buffy's teeth. Yes, cats develop plaque and tartar just like we do. Unfortunately they can't brush. We give them dry food and crunchy tartar & plaque control snacks but Buffy had the dreaded tartar anyway.

So last week she had her pre-anesthesia blood work and this morning we dropped her off at the vet. Buffy is a tiny, quiet little thing compared to her brother. She rarely talks and you can hardly hear her purr. So when we went back for her this evening I knew it couldn't be her screaming in the back room of the vet's office.

The vet tech came out holding her collar.
"This came off," she told me.
Briefly I wondered why she hadn't put it back on. Then they handed me the bill and I forgot all about the collar.

After JP picked me up off the floor I pulled out a credit card and berated myself for not going to veterinary school. Then another girl came out carrying a crate that looked like ours but CatZilla was caged inside. They assured me it was Buffy but when I stuck my face in front of her she bared her teeth and hissed at me.

She'd pooped and peed in the crate and the tech offered to get me a paper towel. It was pretty obvious they were afraid to get near her. So was I. We opted to get her home first.

We put the crate on the kitchen floor and JP opened the top with a ten foot pole. After a few minutes she hopped out and Spike came over to inspect her. She hissed at him and waddled about for a bit, still groggy from the anesthesia. Then she disappeared upstairs.

I hope I can get her to come out from under the bed so I can give her the Clindamycin.

Friday, September 12, 2008

1 year, 0 month, 19 days, 11 hours, 18 minutes, 3 seconds

Today I’m writing from the beach. It doesn’t seem like I was here three months ago – it seems like a year. The days pass slowly at Camp Swampy. Everyone tells me the time will pass quickly. Why doesn’t it feel that way to me?

The weather is perfect. It’s an overcast 77 degrees. By 8:30 AM I was sitting on my favorite bench in North Side Park and starting a new story. Two hours later I was back trying to get hubby out of bed so he could enjoy the day. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee from Dunkin Donuts beans finally did the trick. I took my mug out on the balcony and enjoyed the view of sand and surf. Ah, this is the life.

Back at the computer I only had 150 emails to check so I surfed on over to I was surprised to see “A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s” is in stock.

A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s: Inspirational stories of unconditional love and support (Cup of Comfort)

Writing a story about my own life experience is always an emotional trip. Writing about my mother was a heartrending journey.

It’s excruciating to watch your own mother deteriate in front of your eyes. There’s no preparation for it. You fly by the seat of your pants. I read everything I could get my hands on – newspaper articles, medical books and most especially stories about real people. My inspiration came from the caretakers; people who were kind enough to share the insight that only comes from personal experience. It inspired me to write my own story. I hope it will help others to know they’re not alone in this journey.

Check my website for a chance to win a copy.

Go here to enter:

There’s a new book review up on Ezine - The Elements of Style - Is it Relevant Today?

Check it out when you have time.

And while you’re surfing check out this new blog – I know the blogger and he has some interesting things to say.

The Distraction Culture

And have a great day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sex Sells

I’m writing a paranormal romance, so this month I’m taking a workshop on writing love scenes. Now some people may ask why. Surely the love scene is the easiest part of the process. After all it’s just a matter of putting part “A” into part “B” and adding some sound effects. Not so. Actually there’s much, much more involved.

A romance novel focuses on the relationship between the hero and heroine. Everything else is secondary. The plot has to revolve around the couple and their romance. Each love scene has to have a purpose and move the story along. There must be sexual tension, conflict and a climax where the characters are rewarded with a happy ending.

In addition some readers want to see more steamy sex scenes; which is not to say the teasers of yesterday are gone. Romance runs the gamut and there’s something for everyone.

However erotic romance has come into its own and is very popular today. The stories include graphic sex scenes and frank language. All of which makes things trickier because the sex can’t be gratuitous. We’re not talking hardcore porn, which concentrates only on the sex act. An erotic romance still has to have a well-developed plot and three dimensional characters. When it comes down to it it’s still the angst that makes a reader turn the page.

We’re seeing more and more electronic publishers such as the very popular The market for these stories is growing so rapidly that mainstream publishers are starting new imprints for them. It’s probably an outgrowth of more stark and realistic movies and TV shows.

So what’s a girl to do? Become proficient of course.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Problogger contest is over

The PROBLOGGER contest “Killer Titles Group Writing Project” is over.

The prize goes to Mjuboy for the title
Sacrificing Goats and Eating Brains

Check out all the great submissions here: