Christmas Day Greetings

Dear Folks,

MERRY CHRISTMAS (New year best wishes are for next week)!!! I hope you all are having/had a most marvelous holiday!

More writings are soon forthcoming. Cheers!

Warm regards,



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More on My Creative Process

Dear Reader,

I have said I would go into more detail on several topics, extravagant promiser that I am. Let’s talk a little more about the creative process.

Let me tell you what creativity is not, for me. Being creative is NOT about waiting for an angel muse to arrive at the perfect time and gently shower the mind with eloquent phrases, imaginative plots, and genius literature. As a matter of fact, my Muse is a 6’5″ Viking who drinks, smokes, swears (sometimes in foreign languages), and insists that I take dictation from him. For me, it works a treat; he tells me wonderful stories. For other folks, my Muse may be a most horrific image that would stifle any word flow whatsoever.

My Muse says, “Shh! Sit.Take this down. Do not interrupt, just write.” I don’t argue, I just do it and stories get born.

The point is, the creative process is unique to each creator, be it writer, artist, musician, dancer, actor, WHATEVER. WHOEVER. But! To be creative, it is critical to be in a mental and emotional space where you can even recognize your creativity.

Everyone is creative. How creative is a matter of degree. Does this creativity need to be expressed at this moment? Yes. How? For me, by being available for my Muse to work through me.

Once I get quiet enough for my Muse to come through, I sit down with laptop, or pen and paper, and let ‘er go. Doesn’t mean every word will go into a story, but my creative juices are flowing, and something new is being birthed (my Muse just got pale; childbirth is NOT his thing!).

We all have a Muse. Perhaps not a Viking who weaves tenth century tales with magic, adventure, and happily-ever-after, but SOMEONE is there, waiting patiently for you to settle down enough to pay attention.

So, settle down and see what happens!



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November 30, 2012 · 4:55 am

Research in the Creative Process

Dear Folks,

One of the fundamental rules of the Navy SEALS is “Assume Nothing.” According to Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, the Third Agreement, is “Assume Nothing.” So, some of the things I learned not to assume as I was writing my first published novel, Blood Bonds: The Caravan, were:

Did any of the following exist anywhere on earth in the tenth century?: stirrups (yes), shaking hands in greeting (yes), gunpowder (yes), coffee (well, sort of, but I finagled it for the first campfire scene), paper (parchment and vellum), pens and ink (yes), books (just getting there), any kind of portable timepiece (not really).

When did Italian, French, Spanish, German, English, and so forth, become separate languages? They were around, but weren’t written down. In fact, the vernacular was only used by uneducated locals. Scholars used Latin (Can’t you just hear the snobbery in their voices?).

When did swordfighting rules get set up? Well after the tenth century.

When did castles first come about? Um…

When I went to research the tenth century, specifically, I got some real eye-openers. More about them, next time.

Warmest regards,


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The Foundation Tool for Writing (In My Opinion!)

Dear Folks,

Yes. Language in writing is critical. It’s the tool for getting your meaning across.

I’m going to go out on a limb, here. There is no reason under the shining sun for bad grammar, bad spelling, or bad punctuation. When I say bad, I mean boo-boos that take your reader out of the story or change the intended meaning of your writing. An inadvertent error is one thing, not bothering to proofread, run spell check, or re-read for correct vs valid words is quite another thing.

If you have dyslexia, ADHD, or any of a host of reading/learning disabilities, kudos that you’re writing! Being one of  the special ones (I have ADD), I have at least four other folks read my stuff, proof it, and bring howlers and boo-boos to my attention – usually with lots of laughter. These saints help me put my writing into some kind of conventional format.

I was incredibly surprised and gratified at the enthusiastic help I was able to tap into when I asked. The absolute worst that can happen is that those you ask will say ‘no.’ Bet they don’t, though!

‘Nuff said! Back to creative writing! You, too! Write!

Warmest regards,



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Dear Folks,Talk…

Dear Folks,

Talk about time flying! Three weeks since the last time I posted here. Sorry! Won’t happen again.

I said last time I would write about my creative process. It’s a very personal thing, but if you can glean a thing or two from it, my process is well worth sharing.  Most times, following William Faulkner’s advice, I apply seat of pants to seat of chair in front of my laptop. Then I listen and take dictation from my characters.

During the writing of The Caravan (Book I),  several characters tried to tell the story from their points of view. I ended up with the same scene a number of times as seen through different eyes. I had to get firm and let them know I wanted to follow Stephen King’s advice, to tell the story as though looking over one character’s shoulder. I picked Raj’s point of view. The other characters, especially Hirgar, got huffy, but said, “Oh, all right.” They settled down and got out of Raj’s way. The story got told and the book got written in a way that made sense to a reader.

The Castle (Book II) was frankly hijacked by Wulfgar. He gave me a host of reasonable arguments why he should have a major role in the storyI got huffy and tried to force telling the story from King Adlar’s point of view. Then Ariana (original name Alana) came on the scene and threw her support to Wulfgar. She kept nodding and saying after Wulfgar, “Yes, what he said.” I gave up and that part of the story got told from Wulfgar’s point of view.

The Cavern (Book III) is being told from King Adlar’s point of view. The man is finally getting his voice. In the beginning of the project, I made the mistake of holding myself to a deadline. The right words promptly disappeared. My other characters, probably because they felt sorry for me, told scenes from their points of view, both to get the story told and to help me meet my self-imposed word count (about 1,000 words a day). I ended up with a mishmash of points of view I couldn’t use. Once I backed off on the deadline, I saw the story was there, I just had to rework it to be told mostly through Adlar’s eyes. So, that’s where I am at the moment.

All the above boils down to this: Show up at your writing place every day, no matter how much or little time you have,  and write. Even if you only have the vaguest idea of what you have in mind, write it down. Have a little faith that the right stuff will eventually show up on the screen – or paper. Woody Allen said most of success – he had a percentage I don’t recall off the top of my head – was just showing up. SHOW UP! And WRITE! ANYTHING, as long as words end up where you can read them.

Next time, my thoughts on the language we write with.

Warmest regards,



August 20, 2012 · 3:31 pm

Dear Folks,Hi! …

Dear Folks,

Hi! I have been agonizing about how to organize what to say, because I have so much running through my head, but I figure we’ll start with an exceedingly bare-bones autobiography:

I am born (Sorry. My apologies to Charles Dickens; I couldn’t resist!).

Realized I wanted to write at eight years old.

Realized I needed to write at fifty-five years old. I’m slow on the uptake that way.

I am a native of Buffalo, New York. I have lived (in chronological order) in Rochester, NY, Summit, NJ, Oklahoma City, OK, and am now in Albuquerque, NM. Next stop? Who knows?

I have worked at a bunch of things: Cook’s Helper, Immigration Officer, Methods Analyst, Systems Analyst, Micrographics Sale Rep, Micrographics Systems Designer, Human Relations consultant, Personal Trainer, Gym Manager, Psychotherapist. Everything led up to what I do now: Novelist.

I have one child – grown, genius, gorgeous inside and out, great person. I know, I’m biased, but I’m MOM!

Enough about me. Next time I’ll start in on describing my creative process. If I can write a novel, so can you, if you want to. Getting started is the trick. We’ll talk soon!

Warmest regards,




July 30, 2012 · 6:26 pm