RWA Local Chapter Panel

This post should have been posted the day after this took place. Alas, that day my husband and I decided to attack our non-draining kitchen sink issue. It involved renting a 1oo ft roto-rooter. The primary operator being me. Only when you have fed a hundred feet of one inch wide cable into a pipe and then put the same cable from the pipe to push it into the wrap cage. It is an exhausting process. I had a work out. Regardless of whether I don’t do that sort of upper body workout. I was so pooped.

So here we are.

Our romance writer’s chapter hosts a public forum once a year. This year we chose to talk about what needs to happen next to that manuscript you wrote during NaNoWriMo. We broke the topics up among all of us, or most of us.


We spoke to a captive crowd of colleagues.


Myself and Mia Kay presented the riveting details of editing. I have a free site that analyzes portions of a draft for numerous writing infractions. It is called ProWritingAid I’m taking pics, leaving my spot for the lovely and talented Margaret Etheridge, also know as Maggie Wells.

8Our fearless leader, Mags is next to Mia.

Brinda Berry and Voirey Linger held our attention while giving us pointers in critiquing.


Dara Dylan and Lindsay Cross gave us a memorable example of revision, using the beloved story of The Princess Bride.

Mags informed us about being a traditionally published author.



Megan Mitcham gave us an indie author’s perspective of self-publishing.


Mandy Harbin is a multi-published hybrid author with views on the advantages of spreading your work over many venues.

We had great time teaching what we’ve all learned over the past few years. You may think I’m leaving out the details of the presentation. It is easy to google each of the topics. We gave them to our audience from our own perspectives.

Happy writing!


Anyone Need to Learn about Guns?

The RWA chapter to which I belong strives to hold meaningful lessons on craft every month. We all write about guns to some extent. Some of our members don’t have a great deal of experience with how a firearm feels at discharge or in your hand. Our October session was a conceal carry class. This was great opportunity for me to bond with one of my kids. I took my son. He just turned twenty-one and needed to get his CCL, being that he enjoys shooting guns and would like to carry legally.

It’s this one.

DSC_0165That is shyness. He isn’t too thrilled about being on camera, but tough beans. His mama likes to make a visual record of everything.

Since he goes to school a few hours away I love seeing him. And making pictures of him.                DSC_0174The class was taught by two police officers. While the one gave proper hand placement on a pistol.


The other one fingerprinted all the participants.

DSC_0184 Ben looks so enthused (not). But he found somebody he could relate with. Dara’s hubby is a great guy!     DSC_0160

DSC_0181 One of our lovely DSRA members hosted us in her beautiful home. Her husband welcomed us  .





And few bright faces from our group. We all came with family.

We finally got to go outside and dry shoot our weapons and practice the proper techniques for holding and standing.

DSC_0213           DSC_0206

After this practice we took our skills to the shooting range.


DSC_0227 There was a lot of standing around and chewing the fat.


I’ve had my CCL for several years, but I’m not very comfortable with using my weapon. This class was an awesome refresher and gave me some confidence I was missing.



A very nice group of people. Thanks for the comradery!


Writer’s Retreat

Our writer’s chapter holds a retreat every year where we lease a lakeside resort house and hide away from our families for two days and immerse ourselves in our stories. This year we spent a weekend on Lake Hamilton in late September. It was glorious and massively productive.

It really looks painful to be here doesn’t it?



The house has 3 porches. I’m an outside writer. So that means I populate any porch space I can find. This is a very comfortable and delightful space to work.


At a break we all congregate on the middle porch and spread out on the swing and the chairs to relax and unwind… put our brains into some down time.

DSC_0133This is Brinda Berry

DSC_0135and this is Parker.

This our Carol.    DSC_0136


CSC_0140 We have Cindy and

Mandy   DSC_0137

DSC_0139  and Jen.DSC_0141and Dara!

I spend some more time looking at this fabulous view. The inspiration to write hits me later, but it does come. Trust me.


Then we have the inside writers at work.

DSC_0144Our excellent and devoted president Margaret (Mags)

Harper and Mandy love this spot – and they are totally into it. DSC_0143 DSC_0142Megan rocks this spot with Brinda and Jen.

And  I couldn’t resist the bird’s eye view. IMG_0364

This is an awesome place. Comfortable and productive and worth every penny.

We all need a chance to regroup and recharge. Happy writing everyone.




Weekly Remedy – Margueritas!

This week is Spring Break! Out college kid is home for a long overdue and much looked forward to visit. Amazing how quickly their attitudes change in a few months away from home. Chores were so onerous and despicable. But four months studying like a maniac to pass really hard classes and working to keep yourself alive and off the streets is so much harder than sitting on the front porch and walking your little buns out to the horse coral and feeding them twice a day. Ahhhh, being home.

Here, in the country, the frogs croak all night and the birds sing and the air has a quiet peace to it. It’s just home.



And we celebrate my day off and time with Ben with margueritas! My mom contributes the Patron and Grand Marnier. They are the best drinks ever. Thanks Mom.

Happy Spring Break all!


Weekly Remedy – Sleep!

Let’s spring forward!!

How many of us detest those words. Why do we have to change the time every year? Don’t they know older people struggle with changing our body clock? Of what practical use is moving the clock an hour out of wack? Have they no compassion for the poor souls of the working class required to be at work at 4 o’clock in the morning? Have mercy, powers that be.

This conundrum inspired me to delve into why, what and how we have DST.

Get up (1)

The fault lies with a New Zealand entomologist in 1898. He liked collecting insects after his regular shift work and thought if daylight were extended in the summer it would benefit others as well. He never saw it come about, though.

Germany was the first to use DST in an effort to conserve coal during the war at winter. Britain and most of its allies followed suit. Then, in 1918, the US adopted it. It was abandoned shortly after the war in this country and then reinstituted during the 1970’s during the energy crisis.

I am shocked! This only just started back in the ’70’s! And here I thought this inconvenience had roots deep in early US history. And… that it can be repealed, because it has happened before. DST doesn’t have to be forever!

The remedy for this unavoidable dilemma of life is SLEEP. Go to bed early. Find more snoozes at every opportunity this first week.




Weekly Remedy – Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin

I am not so very different from the rest of the population in my age range.  I have fifty-something year old joints and I use them every day. My knees ache from all the use they’ve been through. Shoulders and elbows creek too. Growing old blows, but it is a fact of life. I like to do more than use those knees for walking. Exercise is good for the soul and can be hard on the body. Climbing stairs is a little rough on the knees, but makes a great workout.

I found something to take the pain away, or at least ease it. It is called shark cartilage, because that is one of its sources. Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin is its real name. You can buy each of these things seperatetly, but the magic of their combination make them the supplement of choice.

I first heard of this in the thoroughbred horse industry. Race horses put their joints through a lot of hard work and trainers give them this supplement to reinforce the tissues and ligaments. If it’s good enough for million dollar equines, by golly it should be good enough for people. It works superbly on humans.

Chondroitin helps the body maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance that helps develop and renew cartilage and keep it lubricated for better joint movement and flexibility. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring form of sulfur that helps support muscles and tendons in the body. All three work together to ease pain and lubricate joints.

Without this wonderful supplement I’d be in pain, my left knee would hurt horribly and my hips would be stiff and rickety. I like moving around like the thirty-five year old I am in my head. It reinforces the illusion of youth.

The easiest brand to find for this miracle combination is Osteo-Biflex.

It is a well manufactured supplement and you will get your money’s worth. There other reliable brands out there, you have to investigate them, but whatever it is, use it! It takes about a week or two before you see results. Hang in there and don’t give up. It will make you feel better.

And this is this week’s weekly remedy!




Update… on Things

I meant to make a monthly update, but somehow I missed it last month. I must have been engrossed in editing or life or something, because I totally let that slip.

January saw the completion of eight chapters of Forever Heart edited. In the midst of it all my dear friend Voirey Linger answered my desperate plea for a writing coach. There comes a point in many of our lives we face our shortcomings and we realize we have no way of fixing them without an intervention. I began the quest to nail down my hero’s motivation. Without VL he’d still be a mystery to me.

I also read Debra Dixon’s GMC book. Very entertaining and enlightening. I’m starting to sound like a regular writing nerd.

February, though not over yet, I read yet another craft book… 2K to 10K Writing What You Know.

Another excellent read that inspires me to write better, smarter. I am also digging into my heroine’s motivation in Forever Heart. This means the edit is on hold until I get her … and him, nailed down.

Onward ho! Toward March!