Monday, November 19, 2018

WOW...LOOK WHAT I FOUND

So, I recently just saw that none of my 'scheduled' posts had posted. So here is one that I wrote right before Halloween.

In the days leading up to Halloween, what kind of inspiration do you get for your writing.

I don't like scary movies but I love reality police shows. I watch The First 48 every day.

Sometimes all day. Lifetime and A&E channels run marathons on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursday with the NEW episode on Thursday night.

I love this show and find myself thinking about the detectives on that show.

My favorite is Carolyn Mason. She is a weave wearing, high heel wearing, gun toting black woman who will make a grown man cry and a teenager ask for his momma.

She is the kind of heroine I need in my stories and well; she is my inspiration for The Stiletto Stalker.

I've been working on this book for two years and finally its done. 

Since its my first murder mystery, I am very hesitant to submit it because; well I'm an author and I don't want it to be bad. (please don't let it be bad)

So for now; it sits in my drawer and on my computer...waiting for the day that I am ready to 'give birth' .

So, what inspiration do you take from Halloween?

Monday, September 24, 2018

I WAS ON A ROLL AND THEN IT HAPPENED

I was back. I was blogging and I was writing and then it happened.

My last blog was on Aug. 27; almost a month ago. Before then, I had been chugging out a blog every week for a couple of months. I was actually writing two or three blogs at a time and scheduling them.

Suddenly, I was in a funk.  You know the kind. Where you don't want to write, where you don't want to read, where you don't want to do anything but stay in bed; with the covers over your head and wait it out.

With that wave of funkiness over me; I began seeing more and more posts about 'feeling blue'. Coincidence? I don't think so.

As a writer, my writing is my outlet. When I begin to feel blue; I write. When I feel like crying, I write; when I feel like being in bed all day, I write. But this time it was harder to shake.

It was harder to overcome the urge to stay in bed. It was harder to feel like writing, or reading or doing anything but lay in bed.

I had another surgery on Sept. 7th for a new condition that I developed as a result of my ankle break in Feb. (are you sick of hearing about it; well imagine living with it every day for the past eight months)

Only this time, the surgery was harder on my body. I woke up in more pain than I was before going in. 

My new condition is called CRPS or chronic regional pain syndrome. It is a painful disease that causes swelling, pain, and burning in the area of an injury. In this case, my ankle. It causes radiating pain, throbbing pain and the pain is NEVER ENDING. There is NO cure once this syndrome has developed. The only thing they can do is 'manage' it with nerve blocks, or an electrical device placed in the epidural space of your spine. 

Did I mention that the device stays in FOREVER? (YEP, forever)

Every day I wake up with pain. On a scale of one to ten; its starts with a 15 and by the end of the day, its about a seven. 

I"m constantly icing, medicating and elevating my ankle. (good thing I'm retired now because having my leg up on my desk was a little weird when I needed to meet with parents)

So on the days I'm feeling blue; its because the pain has won. The pain has gotten the better of me and all I want to do is stay in bed, heavily medicated, with the covers over my head. All I want to do is take the pain away. 

If someone could massage my ankle; all day, I'd be in heaven. See massaging it; although painful at times, makes it better. But I can't have a massage all day so I have to medicate; all day. Which I hate.

So, although I am now out of my 'blue' feeling; my pain is still there and I am still dealing with pain. As I write this; My leg is elevated; which makes writing this blog a little uncomfortable but I'm managing. Even having a sock on makes the ankle swell so bad that I can barely remove the sock. Today I am winning because today's pain is only a 8. Score! 

So the next time you don't feel like writing because you are feeling blue, think about this. You're probably not in pain and there is nothing stopping you, except for you. Be glad you aren't sitting with a bag of ice wrapped around your ankle, with pain meds sitting on the desk in front of you. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

ALMOST TIME...

It's almost time for the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference.

Have you registered yet? 

You need to make sure that if you are in the Maryland area that you check out this great, local, small conference.

They feature local as well as best selling authors.

This event showcases products from suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. 

It's happening on Oct. 5-7, 2018 in Columbia, Maryland at the Sheraton Hotel.

This is where you can meet your favorite author, have lunch with them, have dinner and a few drinks. 

You can purchase novels and also make sure to get those selfies.

Are there other conferences that you attend that I should know about? Let me know and make sure to include the link. 

So will you be there? It's not to late to register.

Click this link and register today. Creatures, Crimes and Creativity 2018


Monday, August 13, 2018

BLOGGING IS NOT HARD....

Some people say that blogging is hard. 

I find it pretty easy. That's because I ALWAYS have something to say.

See, I find it very easy to blog; especially if I am upset about something. However, I find it pretty easy to blog about things I observe and things that I learn while being an author.

You don't have to 'give tips" every time you blog. You can simply write about what happened during your day; while writing or not writing. 

Write about what has upset you. It's the cheapest therapy I know. 

Better yet, write about the struggles of your writing life because a lot of us want to know how you overcame that particular problem.

Last week, I met up with fellow book diva Dee Lawrence and we had an amazing breakfast at Eggspectations. I had the breakfast burrito and after seeing mine, so did she. 

We were able to chat and catch up on all that has been happening with us in our private lives and our writing lives.

After a couple of mimosas' we just sat and people watched for a bit before calling it a morning. 

We met early and before we knew it; four hours had blown by and we really didn't want to leave but life called and told us we needed to stop relaxing and get back at it.

So we said our goodbyes and inked ourselves in for another breakfast meeting to just catch up.

See, I didn't think I would tell you all that but it's part of the reason I like blogging. 

I can say just about anything I want and it relieves me of some stress. 

+LadySunshine95 says she doesn't know what to blog about but I tell her; just sit at the computer and you will be AMAZED at what pours out of your mind.

Many people think you have to blog once a day or once a week. But that is not the case. You can blog as often as you need to. I find that blogging once a week helps my mental status. Just don't go to long without a blog or people will forget all about you. 

Do you find it hard to blog and if so; what are you doing to make it better? 

Let me know or better yet; write a blog about it and send me the link; I'd be glad to read all about it. 

Until next time, keep reading and I'll keep on writing. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

NEW OPPORTUNITES; LEAP OF FAITH AND SCARED

So I've officially done it.

Well not that I wanted to but I had to.

I met with doctors, nurses, specialists, my therapist and my partners and I finally made a decision.

One that will either help me or teach me a lesson; either way the decision is made and I"m not turning back.

I will officially no longer work in the school system. I am leaving my job after 21 years.

Now, that decision didn't come easy. 

As you all know, I fell on Feb. 18, 2018 and had a severe break of my ankle, leg and foot. Surgery was on Feb. 26, 2018 and as of today, Aug. 6, 2018 I'm still on crutches, still wearing a hard brace and still suffering from pain and from severe swelling. 

So after months of therapy, deliberation and tears; I've decided to call it quits and focus on my health, my tiny house and my new business.

I am scared out of my wits but I am taking a leap of faith in this new opportunity. 

I don't know what the future holds for my ankle but I know that my tiny house, my author life and my future will be better because I made this decision.

Have you made a decision that you were scared to make but knew it would be OK in the end. 

Comment below and tell me what you did and how it worked out or didn't work out for you.

Remember, keep reading, keeping writing and keep believing in yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2018

CYBER BULLYING

I have always heard about it but had never experienced it.

Until last week.

I was on FB and commented on a post. Suddenly, Christina began commenting about what I had said. She even went as far as to go to my other FB page, copy and paste a picture I had taken and post it in the group we were having a discussion in. She was rude, name calling and mean. She was, what you would call a Cyber Bully. 

When I asked why she went to my other FB page and copied/pasted a picture from my page, her words, "I posted it in another one of my groups to show people that you are a SPAMMER."

Wait, what?

How did I spam my own page. I didn't post it anywhere else and I was in my own home. I posted it to MY followers; which I said to her. So unlike so many people on that post that privately messaged me and told me to ignore her. I was NOT going to let this bully get away with 1. accusing me of something I didn't do and 2. take my photo and post to other groups, that I am not in, without my permission or consent.

I responded to one young lady who told me that Christina "does this in a lot of groups and people just block her or ignore her." Uh, no..that is why she thinks its OK. Not today and not me!

She kept on with her barrage of comments and name calling and I responded by telling her that it was "raining in DC all week and I was sorry she was having a bad day but to take a breath and it would be OK." That got a barrage of more aggressive and mean spirited replies including, "OMG, ARE YOU SERIOUS. YOU TAKE A BREATH. YOU ARE SO AGGRESSIVE."
My response came much later and I said, "I'm sorry that you think that is aggressive but sharing my photo is not something that you should be doing." To which she said, "I WILL SHARE WHAT I WANT AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME." (and yes, it was in all capital letters)and then she wrote this, "I see you commenting back but I'm not going to say anything else." I looked and she had deleted all but her last comment. So, I went back and deleted every comment I made. (although I had been pleasant and didn't call names) I wanted her to see that I was in this 'game' to win it. 

Then it happened, someone spoke up and said, "Wow, Christina is there a problem? Why are you attacking Sandra?" 

Boo-yah!

She was caught! and just like that...dead air!

She then had the nerve to private message me and say, "you don't deserve to be on FB." My response, "Yes, I do..it's bullies like YOU who don't deserve it."

She posted one last time and I quote. "You can block me if you don't like me but I am not the aggressive one. You all are." To which a lot of people took exception to it and called her out. 

Many of them are in different groups with her, asked my permission to screen shot her comments and share them. 

Bullies can't handle when you stand up for yourself and for this woman; cyber bullying seems to be the way she makes herself feel good. But she met her match when she said one to many rude comments to me. 

So if you are on FB and know Christina W. (who is a travel agent as well) just know, she is aggressive, a cyber bully and will post your pictures without your knowledge or consent. 

I am breaking her reign on FB of cyber bullying people 

Monday, July 23, 2018

EMOTIONALLY YOURS

I am such a sucker for real love. Not the kind that these reality shows depict but the ones that you feel when you are reading a great novel. I am also a sucker for a great emotional read.

One of my good friends, Jen Buckley, is a great reader and great critic. She recently described a book that she read; Give Me Your Hand by +MeganAbbott "as an amazing read with twists and turns." She said she had "to stop multiple times because of the twists and turns but by the end of the book it had her screaming, what the F***."

See, Megan Abbott got it right. She gave her readers, or at least Jen, an emotional reaction to her story line.

I learned at a conference, Thrillerfest to be exact, that each of your readers should be emotionally invested in your book by the middle of it. If they are not; you aren't doing a good job of telling a story.

I have a thing that I do on my Facebook page called, "Stepping onto my soapbox" and some times my followers/friends read it and are so emotionally attached to those three paragraphs that they are angry, happy, sad or just laughing so hard that they forgot that what I was saying may or may not have been true.

So when I read a book, I have to be emotionally yours, so to speak. I have to feel what you were feeling when you wrote it. I have to feel almost every emotional range that a human has and then be just like Jen at the end of the book. 

What the F***...yeah, if you have me cursing at the end of the book, I'm emotionally yours.

So, make sure to read through your manuscript. Are you having an emotional reaction to your characters. If not; START OVER. Ir's that simple.

Happy writing!