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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Writerly musings and random thoughts

cj Sez: There many things that inspire me to keep writing. One of them is the wonderful critique group to which I belong. Each of them brings a special writing/reading strength to the process of critiquing, and I've benefited immensely from their contributions to my work-in-progress, mainly because I have to submit at least a few pages every time we meet. 
My Writing Studio . . . (In my dreams and don't I wish)

I'll admit that it's hard to find a compatible group of writers knowledgeable in the genre in which you write, but I highly recommend trying. The input can be invaluable and the camaraderie priceless.

The following piece of writerly info really makes me happy:

James Lee Burke was born in 1936. (I’m not that old, but it tells me I don’t have to be a twenty- or thirty-something to succeed. Granted, I should have started earlier. sigh)  In the back of his novel, WAYFARING STRANGER, on the “About the Author” page, I found this: “His novel, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years and, upon its publication by Louisiana State University Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.”  See, I tell myself. There’s hope.

And this from author Chris Bradford: “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 

You get the idea. Keep on Keeping on.

Need another reason to make your writing the best it can be? (The following quote comes from an old issue of C. Hope Clark’s fantastically informative newsletter, FundsforWriters ): 

“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”
                                          ~Mickey Spillane

I was once asked this question: “If you've published a novel (or, lucky you, more than one novel), could you tell me whether or not the internal dialogue is italicized?”

My answer: I’ve seen it in print both ways. When you self-publish, the choice is pretty much yours. When you have an editor and a publisher, not so much.  At one point, I read that if you use "he/she thought," you didn't italicize the thoughts. But when Crimson Romance published my novel, DEADLY STAR, their editor required italics on all internal thoughts, no matter what. My guess is that “the rule” depends on who’s in charge of the final product.
Finally, a reflection:

It occurs to me that I tend to share what I can with charities during our annual season of giving—the Christmas Holidays. I drop the change in my pockets into the Salvation Army kettles. I donate food to food banks. I give toys to toy drives, usually at every place I visit that has a toy box. I send money to animal rescues like the Mobile SPCA and Good Fortune Farm Rescue ( ). But what do I do during the rest of the year? Of course, I tithe, but there are few instances, other than in November and December, where I run into a need. And that’s my problem: I seem to have to “run into” a need rather than seeking one out.

After I was introduced to McKemie Place, I made a New Year’s resolution to seek out a charity and share what I can. McKemie Place ( is a haven for single, homeless women in the Mobile, Washington, and Baldwin counties of Alabama. I’ve been blessed to never have been homeless, though there was a time when I thought I could be.

If you’re not already adopting a charity to support, I encourage you to search your heart; and if you’re able, seek out an agency or cause that you consider worthy. Local or national, whichever. I think each of us can help in some way to make another person’s life a little better.

Okay, off my soap box, but let me know what you think of the idea. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
Amazon Central Author Page:

More Than Friends” is a bundle of six romance novels, including Choosing Carter, available on Amazon for 99 cents (sometimes less, sometimes free) …a great idea for a Holiday gift for yourself, a BFF or, at that price, even a casual pal. It’ll be a gift that keeps on giving hours and hours of entertainment for less than a buck!  
Check it out at

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