Skip to main content

Posts

I CAUSED THE TEXAS FREEZE

 I hear knocking and open my door to see Raggedy Ann or should I say Raggedy Kathy, my neighbor.  Her hands are on her hips. “The apartment on the first floor that is directly underneath yours is leaking through the ceiling.” “That’s terrible.” What else am I supposed to say? And the first floor is not directly beneath the third. The second floor is in between first and third. Two-year-old kids can count to three after all. Everyone can, except my neighbor, Kathy, apparently. “The pipes probably broke due to the freeze. Did they call maintenance?” Her face looks wider and shorter, with jaw jutting, nostrils flaring, eyes squinting, and brows pulled together. “You need to stop whatever you’re doing,” she says in a rumbling bulldozer tone. “You flooded his apartment. Stop it.” I’m speechless as my ears catch up with my brain. I swallow hard and open my mouth. “That’s impossible. The pipes are frozen. No one in the building has water. The toilets aren’t flushing --” Her bulldozer voice ru
Recent posts

THE GREAT TOILET PAPER FIRE

We need toilet paper. None of the stores have any. When you find some, you hoard it. Looks like I’m going to run out of it soon. On my last three orders the stores I use didn’t have any. A major grocery chain in Texas is offering free deliveries to the elderly during the pandemic. Seniors only have to pay a $10 tip to the driver. Except a charity is covering the tip, so it’s actually a totally free delivery for us. But, since my email is entered wrong in their system, I have to order by phone instead of online. I tell the volunteer order-taker, “I know they probably won’t have it but put down toilet paper. Any size—any kind is fine.” “Toilet paper is hard right now.” She stretches out some of her vowels with the soft back of the mouth sounds of a Texas drawl. “Did  ya  hear what happened to that eighteen-wheeler on its way to Houston?” “No, I don’t watch the news much right now.” “A diesel truck hauling toilet paper to Houston caught fire on the highway.” Her voice lifted in excitement

Don’t Cheat Children With Unskilled Writing

It’s wonderful that so many people today want to write books. But I keep running into the peculiar situation of books written by people who don’t think writing matters. They write all types of books but mostly picture books because the word count is short, and the words are simple. They think that means they are fast and easy to write. Professional children’s book authors have learned to craft a story that a young child can fully understand and be entertained by. Between the writing and the pictures, every element of the craft of writing is in the book. As in all writing, strong, simple, verbs are the key but never more so than with children’s books. Because children’s book authors are limited in what words they can use every word has to be the perfect one. You can’t have anything unnecessary in the book. There is no one in the world who understands the craft of writing who doesn’t realize writing children’s books isn’t easy. However certain people don’t understand that. They wi

37 CRAZY THINGS PEOPLE TELL WRITERS

My take on writing professionally is yes, it’s a craft and anyone can learn it. However, in order for anyone to write at the level of a professional writer, they have to do the same things professional writers do. Most people who want to write books refuse to do those things. Two of the most important ones are learning the craft of writing and actually writing. To me, it stands to reason if you want to write a book, you’ll learn the craft of writing and then sit down and write or hire a ghostwriter. Apparently, that doesn’t seem reasonable to a lot of people. And that’s why nonwriters are always ready to teach writers about writing. After all, they know so much more about it than writers do. In fact, here are some weird and wacky things nonwriters have told me over the years: 1. I know advances can be low on the first three books, but once I write the fourth one, I’ll be set for life. How many writers do you personally know who seem set for life? And, unless you actually kno

I Was An eBook Author Before eBooks Were Cool

I submitted my first book to Awe-Struck eBooks in the year 2000. I decided to go to the Predators and Editors list of publishers and submit to recommended sites only. That means the authors that wrote for them thought—the contracts were good, they paid on time, were easy to work with, knew what they were doing, etc.   
 I started at the front of the directory at A. Awe-Struck was the first on the list that was recommended and open to submissions for Historical Romances. Plus, they were interested in unusual time periods and mine was set in the dark ages, at the onset of the Saxon Wars. Awe-struck, the first publisher I submitted to, accepted my book and I signed a contract with them. The Fox Prince, later retitled The Celtic Fox, was released in January 2001. It came out in eBook format at that time and in print later that year.  
 The eBook could be downloaded anytime, anyplace to be read on a Rocketbook reader, a palm pilot, a laptop, or desktop. Later