Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Time is Nigh

“The time has come,”the Walrus said, “to talk of many things...

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)

I. Happy New Year to you all! As you are aware I have been conspicuously absent from our blog for a time. It seems Santa had a special surprise for me and gave me a new hip. Surgery went well and I am sneaking back onto my computer a little more every day. I hope all of you had wonderful holidays and are off to productive and exciting new beginnings in 2013. Least you think I missed the New Year’s Eve festivities; I shared a can of squirt cheese, some crackers, and a glass of punch with the wonderful staff at CrowneHealth Care. I was the lucky one because I got to have a pain pill with mine.

II. Crowne Health Care on Navco took excellent care of me and got me back on my feet. A big shout out to all of you!

III. Congratulations to cj on her new book! The cover is perfect and the story is excellent. I had the privilege of being in her critique group and watched the development of Deadly Star. I saw how hard she worked to carve out the perfect sentences with the perfect words. Be sure and get your copy when they are hot off the presses and enjoy this contemporary thriller. It is truly a page turner.
IV. Barefoot Writing Academy was born last year and is the name of my creative writing school for adults and children over eight. I’m accepting registrations for spring classes. Here is a brief description of each.

Creative Writing in Fiction (Adults age 18 & up) Excellent class for beginners and those who want to learn more about the craft of writing. This creative writing class explores the genres of fiction and the conventions that define them. Students read a mix of classic and contemporary work. Key concepts addressed include characterization, point of view, setting, dialogue, and narrative to build a story arc. Saturday 2:00 – 4:00. Six weeks. March 9, 2013 – April 13, 2013. $150.00 includes registration fee, class fees, class materials, and textbook. Class size is not limited but requires at least five for the class to make. Shoes are optional.

Connect the Thoughts (5 – 8 grades) Can a lion share a cupcake with an astronaut? As an author, you have the power to decide. Students explore writing as it relates to entertainment. Storyboards are introduced to create stories for animated movies and television, situation comedies, and books. Through writing, students create characters, go on great adventures, and envision surprise story lines along the way. Classes work together to explore the functions of writing and build their writing skills. Wednesday. 3:30 –4:30. Begins March 6 2013 – April 24.

The Happy Dance (8 – 12 grades) This class strengthens writing skills to improve overall academic performance. Through word games, a review of the basic elements of the English language is completed. Students immediately put their knowledge to work building written reports and stories from nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs of their choosing. Key concepts to create successful written projects help students express themselves clearly through strengthened writing skills and critical thinking. In a no-pressure environment, they work both independently and in collaborative projects to have fun and learn the functions of words leading to success in school. Wednesday 4:45 –5:45. Begins March 6, 2013 – April 24.

Explore the Possibilities (8– 12 grades). Flash fiction and other writing exercises stimulate writing maturity and appropriate word usage while developing team-building skills. Questions to stimulate critical thinking and creativity lead discussions: What superpowers would you like to have? Then what? What do you want to do after you graduate from high school? How? What qualities make a good friend? Why? Key concepts in creative writing are addressed: action, characterization, dialogue, and narrative. Wednesday 6:15 –7:15. Begins March 6 2013 – April 24.

Class size is limited to ten students and requires at least five for the class to make. Shoes are optional. Discounts for multiple classes and siblings. Contact me at to register.

V. Stuff and Nonsense Contest The MAC Contest was such a success in 2012 that I’ve decided to continue with a 2013 contest but with some changes. You can read the guidelines at the left of the screen, but the major changes are the new name – Stuff and Nonsense ( I love all things Anglophile), submissions up to 500 words every month, and prose only. I’m really not comfortable judging poetry. For you poets, this gives you the opportunity to test your prowess at prose. I will continue to give you required words or phrases to incorporate into your work. As you can see from my spring classes, I’m celebrating Dr. Seuss this year, so to that end, every month will celebrate some of his work.

VI. Thanks to cj for holding down the fort while I was busy learning to count leg lifts and popping wheelies on my walker!


Thursday, January 10, 2013


Okay, the storm passed, and everything is still working. (sigh)  Here's the DEADLY STAR excerpt I promised . . .

“Hey,” Dan said. “You over there with that Mona Lisa smile. What’re you thinking?”
   “Just wondering if I should alert the local constabulary that you and Sully will be together and on the loose Saturday. Do me a favor. Don’t call me for bail money.”
   “Used to be you were right in the thick of things.” He sent a concerned look her way.
   She shook her head and looked away. I guess I do I miss people. Not that Mendocito even has a social scene, but after I left that Irish whirligig, I did let my social life spin down to zip, nada.
   “You can’t hide away all of your life, you know. One day, you’ll take a look around, and whoosh! Everybody will be gone...passed you by.”
   “If you’re referring to Sully, he didn’t pass me by. I divorced him.”
   “Yes, and then you buried yourself in your work.”
   “Don’t you start—”
  An explosion and a burst of dark smoke shocked Mirabel into open-mouthed silence. She watched the propeller spin to a halt. “What happened? What just happened?” she yelled.
   “Sounded like the engine blew,” Dan answered calmly. He knocked his fingertip against the circles of glass on the instrument panel. The needles clung to zero on the dead gauges. He pushed and pulled on the knobs as he worked to restart the engine.
  Mirabel pointed a trembling finger toward the immobile prop blades. “You…you said you rehabbed the engine,” she stammered. “You said it was in mint condition.”
   “It is...was. Why don’t you push your seat back and tighten that belt.” He sounded calm, as if he had just told her to get ready for a bit of air turbulence, and then called, “Mayday! Mayday!” into the mic. “This is November Six Niner Seven Alpha, heading—” He stopped and tapped his earpiece at the same time Mirabel fixated on smoke seeping from the instrument panel. “Radio’s dead,” he said and peeled off his headphones.
   The plane was losing altitude. As Dan worked to deadstick the Cherokee down, he talked to Mirabel, explained what he was doing when he twisted the trim control knob. “I’m turning the plane into a glider. Keep us from going in nose down.” The plane wobbled, wanted to roll. Dan wrestled with the stick to keep the wings horizontal. His legs pumped the left and right rudders.
   “We’re not going to make it, are we?” she said in a breathy voice. Oh, God, please. I’m not ready.
   “Not much wind. Our best chance is to come in straight, not crab in sideways,” he said, scanning the array of gauges with unmoving needles in their faces.
   She nodded as though she understood what he meant. “Good thing I have on clean underwear.” Her laugh caught in her throat like a sob.
   He turned off the fuel and electrical systems then jammed his door open. He squeezed her hand for a brief second. “Wish us luck.”
   “Luck,” she rasped and breathed a silent prayer as the desert floor rose in horrific slow motion to meet them.

You can catch your breath now. %>)  

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same. 

Cover art arrived

The final cover art for DEADLY STAR arrived from Crimson Romance today! That's a great feeling. Not sure when advance ordering will be available but please check on and B& The scheduled launch date for the e-book is Feb. 18. If you buy it, please also review it. Good/bad/indifferent, I'd like to know what you think. There is also a read and review site on

There's a big storm coming in right now, so I'll have to do an excerpt at another time.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.


Saturday, January 5, 2013


It's getting closer. Crimson Romance sent me a mock-up (can't share yet) of a proposed cover yesterday. It is sooooo exciting to see my name at the bottom of that book cover, and I can hardly wait to share it with you.

I did a line edit of the "uncorrected pdf" they sent, and boy, did I find errata and broken threads. Now I'm really anxious about getting into the galley. Gosh, I hope it's not too late to make all the corrections that need to be done.

Thursday, I decided to sloooowwwwly print out the whole pdf and then go through it with a red pen. What I discovered is that I didn't see all the glitches when I did my line edit from the computer screen. Kind of looks like it's bleeding now.

Next time (hopefully, there'll be one), I'll print off the "edits" document I get from the publisher before I send it back. I read that thing several times on the computer screen and didn't catch everything. Word's Tracking Changes function makes for visual confusion. Sigh.

Let that be a lesson to me!

I'll show you an excerpt next week. Right now, there's a feral yellow cat with his nose pressed against the back door waiting for me to put out some food. He has started to let me pet him a bit, but I have the scratches to prove he accepts touching for only a moment or two.

You'all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

E-mail Virus warning/Fed Ex

Got to share a warning. I just got an email from "Fed Ex" that I had a package delivered to the "post office"  and I had to print out a claim receipt.

Warning to my friends.      It's bogus, and a virus.      Don't open the claim receipt.

Fed Ex posted a warning on their website--see below.  But if you're not sure, don't click on the clink...write down the tracking/order numbers and check directly with Fed Ex, by phone or on-line.

You-all guys keep on keeping on (safely), and I'll try to do the same.


Holiday Email Scam Alert

December 6, 2012

We have received reports of fraudulent emails claiming to come from FedEx regarding “undeliverable” shipments and fake FedEx delivery notifications. The emails are asking you to click on a link and print a receipt to take to your nearest FedEx location. FedEx does not send unsolicited emails to customers requesting information regarding packages, invoices, account numbers, passwords or personal information.

If you receive a message similar to the following descriptions do not open the email or click on the link.