Thank God for Grace in Editing!


This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post for #MFRW. 

This is officially the Week 2 assignment – Sorry Editor! My Common Writing Mistakes.

For my first book – Red Wine & Roses,  my editor had just graduated from Oxford and was between jobs. Since then she has landed a prestigious position with Elsevier and has been dealing with some major health issues between herself and her boyfriend.

Enter GRACE! My editor is Grace Augustine, author of the Acorn Hills Series.  Do any of you believe in divine connections? The day I met Grace seemed to be one of those connections. We were attending Romance Rendezvous in Cedar Falls Iowa. I gambled on being able to arrive in plenty of time by driving there and not staying over. It was close,  but we arrived in time. It was very close! Since then, we’ve become good friends.

Friends aside, Grace is a tough editor. I would expect nothing less! I wonder how much it would cost to have some muffins delivered to her each morning . . . . it might soften the task. If you find yourself in need of an editor, aside from myself because I do have slots available to edit next month and through the summer, I can strongly recommend Grace over at edits with a touch of grace.

Anyway, moving on to my mistakes. There are times when I really hate these prompts and this is one of them. Why is it necessary to air my dirty laundry???  Seriously, this is why we have editors because we all have common mistakes. *SIGH*

Misspelled words: Please let me clarify,  I know how to spell, but my fingers have a different plan when I’m typing.

  • Becasue =because
  • friend=freind
  • teh=the
  • nad=and

The use of semicolons –   it’s like someone spilled a bucket full of them all over my computer files.

Switching tense – one of my pet peeves as an author and as an editor. Yet, I do it myself.

Sentence fragments. We don’t think in complete sentences,  but when writing, we have to at least know the rules before breaking them. If the author is adding a bit for emphasis, sometimes it’s acceptable to use a sentence fragment but not when you are in the middle of a descriptive narrative. Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence.

Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence. I do this a lot, which is one of many reasons why I need an editor! Don’t laugh, you’ll need one too.

I remember getting so upset when my then social media coach read my completed manuscript for Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price and gave it back to me with a few comments. “Well, it doesn’t suck.  Where is the rest of the story? The reader doesn’t know the world you have inside your head. You need to write it down, showing them   everything else that is going on.”

I have loads of details inside my head of my characters, their worlds, the settings, their backstory, their pet peeves, quirks – but I sometimes am so anxious to get them down that I forget to write parts.

Sorry Grace, you’ve really got your work cut out for you! What issues do you have when writing your drafts?

You can catch the previous posts from this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor

Write on my friends, write on!





Binge Watching #MFRWauthor


This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. 

Week 3 – TV Shows I Binge

Netflix is an amazing tool. It is also easy to misuse.

My last binge was Mach 21, as I sat on the sofa wrapped in a quilt, sipping on Seven up, getting up only when I had to race down the hall to the bathroom. I can’t guarantee I even remember every episode that I watched because I think my brain made up a few.

To begin with, let’s cover the movies that I have binge watched repeatedly that are a series.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean:  – and I’m looking forward to Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Fast and Furious series – I’ve seen all but the last two.
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
  • Narnia
  • Ip Man
  • John Wayne Movies
  • Bruce Willis Movies

Technically that’s not what the post is supposed to be about, it specifically stated TV shows. How can you exclude the movie marathons though?  Here is my list of TV shows:

  • Supernatural
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Criminal Minds
  • Hawaii 5-O
  • Burn Notice
  • Walking Dead
  • IZombie
  • Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Stranger Things
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • NON-Netflix binge – HGTV – whether it’s Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna Gaines if my husband is working and I get the tv remote –  it stays on HGTV all day long while I work on other things!

Yeah, that takes up enough of my time. The funny thing is,  the only regular TV things I watch are the news and well, the news.  I’d like to watch Master chef Jr but we have a class on Thursday nights. I’d like to watch the amazing race but we have a thing then.  I’d like to – this is why NetFlix is so awesome. I can watch when I can watch and our lives don’t stop just for a TV show. I don’t want to get too deep into that statement because if you think about it, it does but it does on MY timetable.

What shows do you binge watch? Was there such a thing as binge watching before NetFlix?

You can find my other posts for this challenge here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess

Write on my friends, write on!




They’ll Survive – I Guess #MFRWauthor


This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post for #MFRW. 

This is officially the Week 2 assignment – How My Family Survives My Writing

IN 2014 I attended Penned Con. They had panels where some of the authors shared ‘how they write’.  A single mother shared how her mother keeps her kids sometimes overnight so she can crank out her books. She had more than three kids, I don’t remember if it was four or five, but there was no spouse in the picture. I can’t do what she does for a couple of reasons. 1. My parents are dead. When they were alive I would not have asked them to watch my children so that I can write, because neither of them believed that writing was a worthwhile endeavor.

Another author stated that she locks herself in her office and her husband takes care of their kids, he fixes the meals and did all of the housework. That would never fly here either. My husband works a full-time job. I don’t have an office in which I could shut them out if I wanted to. I do all the cooking here. My husband could easily heat up a frozen pizza, or cook some eggs,  or fry a burger but for other meals, it would never work. I watched him make macaroni and cheese one time. He actually read the directions on the box! I cook our meals from scratch. We don’t use prepackaged, convenient foods. Well, hardly ever anyway. I do occasionally opt for cans of soup, the frozen pizza, pizza rolls, and chicken tenders. Since my husband works full-time and I work part-time,  I don’t expect him to handle everything.

Another author shared that she writes during her lunch hour at work, and when her kids are tucked in bed at night. That is about the closest to my schedule that I could compare. I write in the mornings after my husband leaves for work and before my kids are up for school and or work. (Keep in mind my children are now college-aged adults.) I write in the afternoons when my day job is completed and before my husband returns home from work. He’s gone ten to twelve hours a day, so I keep my writing restricted to when he’s not here.

When I was on a deadline to get my edits back to my former publisher, it was extremely stressful. I was trying to complete edits while both of my daughters were trying to talk to me, while the husband is asking what’s for dinner, where is this or that, and I about lost it on all of them. My blood pressure was elevated, my stress level was through the roof, and my stomach was in knots. Never again. My family comes first!

They will survive my writing because I try my best to keep it from interfering with family life. It does present problems though, when he’s home for the weekend and I am suddenly struck with an idea for the next scene, or story, or whatever it is that takes over my brain. I tend to keep a spiral notebook handy to write down those inspirations, and then on Monday morning, I can translate them into a file with my Dragon Recognition Software. I love using Dragon in this fashion. I’ve discovered that If I hand write my scene, then dictate it into Dragon, it’s like a second draft because as I read it aloud, I catch things that sounded good on paper but not when read. Another benefit is when Dragon doesn’t translate the words I speak and I am able to go back into my notes and see what it was supposed to say.

I decided after the last round of fighting with my Dragon, that I was going to keep a log of misinterpreted words and compile them into a post. Some of these. . . . wow, they will leave you rolling on the floor holding your side from laughing so hard.

My Family will survive because we work together. We value family time.

In other words, I have a life outside of my laptop!

This is week 2 of this series. You can catch the first post here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses

Write on my friends, write on!




Raindrops on Roses


This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. Gee, guess which one?

Going back to the first week which I missed –  1. A few of my favorite things!

*hums song from Sound of Music*  Admit it,  you sang the title of my blog, didn’t you?

Favorites hmmm. Let’s do this in a simple but unorthodox format.

Favorite foods: 

  • fried chicken
  • Bordeaux cherry chocolate ice cream
  • crab legs
  • watermelon
  • vegetable lo mein

Favorite movies:

  • The Fifth Element
  • Excalibur
  • Fool’s Gold
  • RobRoy
  • Lord of the Rings movies

Favorite books:

  • Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon)
  • Highlander series (Karen Marie Moning)
  • Inca Gold – OK, I cheat here. I love nearly all of Clive Cussler’s books but decided that I would name the one that first ignited my interest in his books.
  • Timeline – Michael Crichton

Favorite possessions:

  • my bullet journal
  • my laptop
  • the pearl necklace and earring set that my husband bought me for our 30th anniversary. Absolutely gorgeous!

Favorite places to go:

  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Rich’s Frozen Custard
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Any place new!

Favorite fast food items: 

  • Hardee’s mushroom swiss burger
  • Subway sweet onion teriyaki chicken
  • Panera’s bear claws *drools*
  • Lee’s fried chicken tenders ( don’t get these very often as we don’t have  a Lee’s around us)
  • Panda Express Orange chicken with broccoli and rice

Favorite articles of clothing:

  • a pair of Lee Rider jeans that fit perfectly!
  • my black leather jacket
  • red camp style shirt
  • Bohemian style ecru crochet sweater ( not much of a sweater as it’s more of an overshirt type of thing, but I love it!)
  • New Balance tennis shoes. If only all shoes could fit like these, I may actually wear shoes throughout the day.

Favorite flavors:

  • cherry
  • chocolate

Not that anyone asked,  but there you have it. Now I can mark that one off of my list and you now know more about me than you ever cared to.

Honestly, I’ve been so far in the headspace of Detective Devon Miller that I am suspecting my own family of covert operations. This calls for further investigation and a large supply of chocolate.

Write on my friends, write on!




What would you do if. . . ?

I’ve been tagged !  I don’t even remember who tagged me in this –  better late than never.

Your 11 Question’s to the theme, what would you do if… ?

Your house were on fire what would you grab 1st to rescue?    

After shoving my kids out the door or window, I would save my laptop as it contains my life.  All my pictures, my writing, basically –  my life.

You could vacation anywhere, money no object, where would you go?

Well it’s a good thing I was tagged twice so I can split this up between the two.  I would spend at least a year in the UK – including Ireland.  (Disregard political boundaries, because it’s all included on my big tour.)  Touring every castle and ruin that dots the countryside,  touring every standing monolithic site, every historical site, visiting my friends that live there. This would be a working vacation as I would be photographing and documenting everything for ideas for future writing.  There are several touristy places I’ll skip thank you as I think they are just that – tourist traps.    I have a list of about 20 must sees.  I think a year might just be enough time to fit them all in. My second destination would be somewhere tropical in the Caribbean.

Your book became #1 New York Times best seller, who would you tell 1st?

Probably my girls so we could squeal together properly!

If you could go back in time, would you change anything in your life?

Oh so many things I’d change!  I’d change my name,  I’d change the activities I was involved with.  I’d have majored in creative writing not geography /cartography.  I would have studied more and skipped class less.  I would have invested more funds, and been less frivolous.  I would have never stopped being active, or gain all the weight I did.  I would have seized more opportunities, taken more chances, taken more dares, dreamed more and never shelved any of them.   And I would deposit a huge amount of money into my bank account from an anonymous donor.

But then again, if I were to go back and change any of those things I may not be who I am today, I might not have my girls, and wouldn’t have learned the life lessons that I inherently have to learn the hard way.  I would in fact by going back in time disrupt the space/time continuum and alter my current plane of existence in ways that I can not imagine.  One little pebble causes ripples that travel a great distance, and what if one of those ripples changed the existence of my children?  Children change you.  They make you think beyond yourself, cause you to  mature in ways you  couldn’t imagine until you have them.

You won a large lottery what would be the 1st thing you would do? Book my dream vacation and consider taking someone with me.  Not a guarantee, but I am willing to consider.

You could travel in space. Would you? I don’t think I would.  There are too many places on earth I haven’t seen yet.

You could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

My body.

And for fun

  1. What’s your favorite flavor ice cream?      Bordeaux cherry chocolate – yummm.
  2. Who is your favorite musician?     Just one?  You expect me to choose just one?? Are you crazy? Ummm, currently I’d have to say  Gavin Degraw.
  3. Who is your favorite movie star?   Sean Connery
    What’s your favorite all time movie?  Excalibur
  4. What is your favorite candy? SKOR!

Now I get to tag a couple people for this fun post.

Hmmm, who shall I select?

Macie Snow

Eleasha Chidley

Dex Fernandez

Meme Time: the Power of Four

I had a lot planned, really I did.  However, with my impending deadline hours away I decided to go with this.  Enjoy!

Slight deviation from original plans, but sometimes change is necessary and good. Here’s a lot of useless information about me that you didnt’ need to know.  that picture up there?  Yeah that’s my goal.  To blast through my obstacles achieving both my writing and my fitness goals.  (One day my legs will look that awesome!)

Meme Time: The Power of Four was created to start something fun in updating our blogs. It also gives our readers a chance to get to know us better. Here’s just a bit about me. I copy and pasted the list, put it my own answers, and now I shall tag four other people.

Four Places I have worked/Jobs I have had
U.S. Department of Defense; (Defense Mapping Agency: Aerospace Center); cartographer
Jefferson County Assessor’s Office; cartographer
Hillsboro R-3 School District; substitute teacher
Dino’s Pizza; waitress, cashier, delivery person ( I sucked as a waitress!)
Four Places I Have Lived:
Festus, MO
Cedar Hill, MO
Pevely, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO
Four Movies I Could Watch Again and Again:
The Quiet Man
Rob Roy
James Bond movies – Sean Connery or Daniel Craig especially
Four Television Shows I Watch
Burn Notice
Game of Thrones
Four Authors I Enjoy:
Karen Marie Moning
Katie McAlister
Clive Cussler
Louise Rennison
Four Places I Have Travelled To:
Myrtle Beach, SC
Orlando, FL
San Francisco, CA
Ft. Worth, TX
Four Websites I Visit Daily:
    Don’t really visit any others daily; weekly maybe
Four of My Favorite Foods:
barbecued anything
chocolate ice cream
cherry anything
Four Places I’d Rather Be:
Punta Cana
Nova Scotia
Four People I Want to Tag:
Cathy Brockman
Penelope Price
Tasha Turner
Sian Young
If you’ve been tagged, make your own list and link back to this post.  Have fun with it and have a great day!
Regular blogging will return tomorrow.  I’m on a deadline here people!!!
Write on my friends, write on!