Showing posts from March, 2010

The Hermit vs. the Social Butterfly

I’m a hermit by nature. Have been since I was little. Being a hermit comes in handy when you’re a writer.

However, I have been anywhere and everywhere OTHER than my cave recently. I’ve been to Avon and direct selling seminars. (For anyone who isn’t aware of my relatively new “day job,” I’m now an Avon Independent Sales Rep. Click here to see my online Avon store.) I’ve been visiting friends and family I hadn’t seen all winter. I’ve been attending Pennwriters meetings and teaching yoga. In other words, I’ve been a social butterfly.

This is not conducive to writing.

However, yesterday, I took a mini road trip. I drove about two and a half hours north and east to meet up with my friend Paula, who drove about two and a half hours west to meet me. We did this all to have lunch at Perkins.

I’m kidding. I wouldn’t drive that far to have lunch at a five-star restaurant. But I would (and did) drive that far to see a good friend. Of course, both of us being writers, we need “an excuse” to come out …

Photo Friday: Lisa Scottoline and Friends

Tuesday evening, I drove to Oakmont Library for a book signing. But not just any book signing.

Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors and speakers. Heck, she's one of my favorite people in general. She's funny, she's smart, and she's extremely supportive of aspiring writers. That's why I selected her to be the keynote at last year's Pennwriters Conference.

This year's release is Think Twice, and I can't wait to sit down and read it. This will probably involve a cover-to-cover marathon and sleep deprivation the following day.

So today's photo is actually TWO photos. The first is a lovely posed shot of (left to right) Mary Alice Gorman, owner of Mystery Lovers Bookshop; me; and Lisa.

But none of us can keep a straight face for more than a second or two before all three of dissolve into hysterics.

Obviously, book people know how to have a good time!

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm wrapping up my part of Writing Advice Month at Working Stiffs with a discussion on first readers.

Katz Family Update

I was going to title this something like “We’re Expecting” but I didn’t want to send anyone into shock.

The Katz family who spent the winter in the barn has dwindled down to two. Three if you count Moochie, who is really the neighbor’s cat. He is also about to become a father. The two remaining members of the Katz family are Miss Fleck and Pip and both are expecting little Moochies.

In Miss Fleck’s case, I’d say the births are imminent. She’s a wide load for a little cat. Pip, who has been a rolly-polly butterball all winter, still has more than a month to go.

I should mention that, while kittens are adorable, I don’t particularly WANT more cats. But the wild little things weren’t about to cooperate with any kind of transportation to a vet, and I’m not fond of the idea of having my arm shredded.

Hormones are odd things, though. Both cats have become much friendlier since Moochie did his thing with them. For the first time since they showed up last fall, Pip allows me to pet her.

But what t…

Photo Friday: Farewell, Winter

Spring arrives tomorrow and I've noticed twinges of green here and there. Daffodils are poking through the dead leaf mulch in my flower beds. But when I went for an after supper walk the other night, I came across this shot of downed and naked trees...evidence of the rough winter we've had.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

This week's writing advice has to do with books on writing. Come over to Working Stiffs and share your favorites.

The 2010 Confluence Writers' Retreat and Flood

For days, the weathermen had been forecasting “THE FLOOD.” With melting snow pack combined with heavy rains, they were suggesting everyone pack up the women and children and move to high ground.

Of course, our writers’ retreat was scheduled to be held at Paddler’s Lane, on the scenic banks of the Youghiogheny River in Confluence. “Confluence.” As in the point where the Yough (pronounced “Yawk”) is joined by the Casselman River and the Laurel Hills Creek. As in the place I spend a large portion of my summer at our camp.

I scoffed at the panic mongers. Flood? Heck, it floods every spring. I ain’t afraid of no stinking flood.

So off I went. Loaded up the car Friday morning under sunny skies and headed east, with joy in my heart. A whole weekend with my Sisters in Crime in a gorgeous house with lots of food. And writing. Oh, yeah. Lots of writing and—better yet—workshops with Ramona Long.

First stop: Panera Bread in Uniontown where I met Sandy Stephen, Susan “West of Mars” Gottfried, and Sher…

No Photo Friday

Sorry. No chance to play with the camera this week. But I’ll more than make up for it next week. The Nikon is going with me to the Confluence Writers’ Retreat where I imagine many photo ops will present themselves.

Hubby and Skye will be staying home while I head out for the retreat. I hope they get along. Skye won’t be happy, I’m sure. I have a feeling she’ll talk my ear off when I return Sunday afternoon. She does tend to be a tattletale.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

We're still discussing great writing advice over at Working Stiffs and my offering today has to do with classes, courses, and workshops.


It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!

That’s me, doing a song and happy dance. I have completed my first big round of revisions on the WIP. My goal was to have it done for this coming weekend’s writers’ retreat. There were many moments of doubt about whether I’d reach that goal. Especially considering how jam-packed the next few days are. So I made up my mind to spend this entire day on writing.


It’s done! I think I’ve plugged the holes that threatened to sink my plot. I think I’ve answered all the questions I posed throughout the book. Tied up all loose ends.

At least, I hope I have.

My first readers will be the ones to let me know if I’ve succeeded or failed in that effort.

But for now, IT’S DONE!

Photo Friday on Saturday: Too Much Fun

Last night I attended my friend Nancy Martin's launch party for the first book of her new series. Our Lady of Immaculate Deception promises to be rocking good time. Obviously Nancy and I are having way too much fun in this shot (taken by another friend, Brenda, who was lusting after my camera all evening).

Working Stiffs Wednesday

It's my day at Working Stiffs and I have the honor of posting our 999th (or maybe 1000th) blog. In honor of our longevity, I'm writing about never giving up.

Retreat to the Retreat

Retreat has a couple of different meanings. According to my Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it can mean: an act of withdrawing esp. from something dangerous, difficult, or disagreeable.

As in the month we’ve just left behind. February. Dangerous. Difficult. VERY disagreeable.

It can also mean: a place of privacy or safety: REFUGE.

In just under two weeks, several members of my local chapter of Sisters in Crime are heading to a writer’s retreat in Confluence.

You probably know my history with Confluence, so it could come as no surprise that I’m responsible for the location: Paddler’s Lane. Beyond that, though, it’s been a group effort to put it together. Ramona Long will be in attendance to provide several workshops throughout the weekend.

I have high hopes that the snow that buried us last month is over. I have NO hopes that it will all be melted by the time we get to the retreat. It doesn’t matter. Getting away to one of my favorite parts of the state, spending time honing my craft, hanging o…