Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hi, Everyone,

Well as you know I usually like to have a HUMP day post every now and then. For today I have two news flashes for you.

FIrst, a dear blogger friends is hosting one of THE MOST SPECTACULAR Blog events. Sheri Larson of Writers Alley fame has signed with an amazing agent as is sharing her good fortune with all of us.

I know there is ONLY ONE MORE DAY to get involved, but there is still time to enter. The Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall giveaway is worth time. ALL the prizes are writer related and MANY of the top blogger writers have donated their expertise for this event SO DON'T MISS OUT!  CLICK HERE! and you will be WHISKED away.

Also while you are there don't forget to check out Sheri's Productions to be featured at her site! She is so amazing giving back to our wonderful community by helping all of us SHINE on her blog.

Now are you guys ready for more blogger excitement? Of course you are! Well, my good friend and newly published author E.J.Wesley is sponsoring another MAJOR contest and blogfest in honor of his newly released book BLOOD FUGUE ...

You know you've been seeing this cover around the blogosphere in the past few weeks. Now is the chance to get your copy and join in on all the fun and win some UNBELIEVABLE prizes, which includes a  NOOK Simple touch with Glow reader. OOOOooo! SO cool of E.j. to be SO generous.

So drop by his blog NOW.... For the Bury the Hatchet giveaway.  THIS will be your time to create a post to VENT on how YOU would like to BURY THE HATCHET ...  GO WILD...  it's better than therapy and tons more fun! LOL. You've got plenty of time for this one ... until October 19th..

SO everyone, I do hope this puts a smile on your face on this Hump Day...  Take care and see you all on Friday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Happy Weekend Everyone!

Autumn came in with a vengeance (rain, dropped temps, and howling winds) today here in Chicago. Today (Friday) I met with my new friend Melissa Bradley, yes, a blogger buddy! We spend six and half hours chatting about EVERYTHING, so I didn't have time to finish my post for the Romantic Friday Writers. 

But I did finish when I got home. For Challenge #45, I took a different approach. I hope you enjoy this poetic piece. I won't tell you the prompt until after you've read it. I don't want to spoil it for you.

At the dawning of a new day ...

Beauty rises ...

Gold flickers within its fiery depths, as waves of molten lava caress the creamiest porcelain.

Ebony butterflies flutter above two translucent aqua pools.

Luminous pearls glow incased in a pair of ruby velvet rose petals.

Imprinted crescent moons mirror one another in perfect harmony.

The shadows shift ...

Long, delicate tapers release mists of liquid passion onto pulsating hills and valleys.

Intricate snowflakes woven of fine jet threads mold twin doves as a sheathe clings effortlessly to each an every curve.  

Could this phenomenon be of a spellbinding nature? Could it truly exist? 

In one word ...

Yes ...


She ...

She, who captivates everyone with the slightest glance.

She, whose inner light transcends into the darkest of nights.

She, who breezes though life on gossamer wings.

She, whose very essence breathes life ...

She who makes my existence a living hell.

Why her?

Why not me?

Why does She have to be my best friend?


Okay,  now I can tell you today's challenge.  "Oh How I Hate My Beautiful Friend." Don't forget to drop by the Romantic Friday Writers site here to read the other entries. 

Have a WONDERFUL weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Happy HUMP day everyone.

Well since it's Wednesday and in the middle of the week, I thought I'd bring in a SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER to get us moving for the rest of the week ...

Today my new blogger buddy, Morgan Shamy is going to entertain us with her AMAZING routine to stay in shape while writing. As we all know, writer's are VERY sedentary, so we need to eat right and KEEP MOVING!

Morgan is kind enough to be my first guest fitness blogger, so let's all dust off our high school pompoms and give a CHEER for MORGAN!  YAY MORGAN! Take it away!


LOL! I promise I’m not mocking the title of your blog, Michael… 

Anyway. Fitness. And writing. Staying fit while writing. 

Oxymoron? Definitely not. 

A little back-story: I grew up in the hardcore ballet world… so image and fitness has been ingrained in me from an early age. You spend hours and hours staring at yourself in the mirror wearing nothing but a leotard and tights all day. It’s all about having long thin lines, looking better than the girl next to you, pushing your body past limits you didn’t think was possible. Being consumed in that world can mess with your head. (I have tons of comparisons between the writing world and the dance world, but that’s another post

But since I started writing, I don’t have that physical push anymore. My love for sweat and bodily anguish turned into a love for complex storylines and formulating the perfect sentence. But because of my past, it’s important for me to stay fit even though I’m not spending hours a day dancing anymore. It’s something that’s embedded in me, a part of who I am. 

But I’m not willing to sacrifice my writing for time at the gym. I have friends and family members who are obsessed with working out. It’s what they do. It’s their hobby—which can be great, but I don’t have time for that—let me rephrase—I don’t want that to be a priority, not with four kids and wanting to spend any free time I have writing. Yes, there are those balanced people who plan each moment of their day down to the last minute and can fit everything in (Do these people really exist?), but I’m not one of them.  

With all things, you have to put forth effort to have results. So how do you stay fit, work, maintain a household, do dishes, laundry, homework, socialize, support your community, taxi kids around, blog, read, and have time to write?

Well, there are certain things I do, but they may be weird, so don’t laugh… 

First, the obvious. It’s all about what you put in your body. Having the control to put away the bag of potato chips, the bag of fruit loops, the popcorn, anything you can blindly eat while writing. What’s funny is I totally write better if I’m chewing something! Sounds strange, but true. The motion must create an alternate distraction or something that allows my mind to open up. See? Weird. So I chew on carrot sticks. Gum. Celery. Raisins. Anything that takes a while to chew, and won’t put in those unnecessary calories. 

Next? I never just sit. And this is where it gets stranger. I have the habit of working my muscles even while resting. I’m never completely relaxed. I’m always working my abs, keeping them tight, holding them strong. I lift my leg and see how long I can hold it in the air just to feel my muscles burn. I’m not sure if it’s just a dancer thing, but I like to feel my muscles tense at all times. And it works! Even when I’m sitting, I can be getting stronger. 

Last? Get up and dance. You don’t need to set aside a chunk of time each day to work out. I do short bursts throughout my day. We do this thing at our house where I’ll randomly blast music and we’ll all get up and dance. I always get the urge to run up and down the stairs—or jump around with the kids. Short bursts of exercise are great—it gets the blood pumping and can clear the writer’s head within seconds. And it’s easier than getting a sitter or hauling everybody out of the house to get in a workout. 

And also, on the flip side, don’t forget to eat. I know sometimes, I get so consumed in a project, the hours will go by and I’ll start wondering why I have a headache. Or why the words aren’t flowing. And it’s because I haven’t eaten. Food fuels the brain, and we need those healthy calories to maintain that brainpower. 

I know for me, when I feel better, I write better. 

Thanks so much, Michael, for letting me come visit today! I think this fitness series is great—and you are the perfect host! 

Thank you, Morgan. I really appreciate you stopping by and giving us you special insight into fitness and writing. You are THE best. I hope to see you back in December with some wonderful tips during the holiday season.

I hope you all will visit bi-monthly for posts on fitness and healthy eating from me and my SPECIAL guests. Next month on October 1st, L. Diane Wolfe will be giving us her tips for staying healthy.

Also, this coming Friday I will be posting another Flash Fiction piece for the Romantic Friday Writers, so I hope to see you all then. 

Have a great day everyone and thanks for visiting. I always makes my day!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Hi, Everyone,

Well, today is Alex J. Cavanaugh's GENRE FAVORITE'S BLOGFEST.... YAY! Gotta love Alex and his blogfests! Enter here:

List your favorite genre of:




And a guilty pleasure genre from any category.

How fun is this? Right? Well, come and join in the fun!

Can you imagine all the AMAZING possibilities?

As for me, I has such VARIED tastes, but I will certainly give you my favs ...

Movies are tough. I LOVE so many different types of movies and from all different eras. How could you not love the amazing dramas from the 1940's: the toe-tapping musicals of the 1950's; the screwball comedies of the 1960's; the never-ending mini-series in the 1970's; the "brat-pack" films of the 1980's; etc.

So how is one to choose? But, if I must, I would have to say that I really do adore Fantasy movies. My first love .... THE WIZARD OF OZ ... and then of course the first Harry Potter film: HARRY POTTER and the SORCERER'S STONE.

Books, again are impossible to choose. But I always have loved Nineteenth Century English literature. Dickens, the Bronte' sisters, Austen. Intense Dramas of daily life at that time: the social structure and the powerful, yet downtrodden women.

And then FANTASY! LOVE IT! All kinds, but just two authors. ROWLINGS and BROOKS. My total FAVS!

Ah, now for music. I am so in love with music. I LOVE IT ALL, except for the heavy metal stuff. Sorry Alex. Classical, instrumental, and strings are my all time favs. But I do enjoy beautiful voices and pop music. Again varied tastes.

If I must pic a guilty pleasure .... I really do hate to admit this, but there is one particular genre that I always enjoy watching in movies, yet it's not my favorite to read. I am such a sucker for Romantic comedies and CHRISTMAS FILMS! Give me a Christmas Romantic Comedy and I am in HEAVEN. So much from my macho image. LOL.

Perhaps that is why my posts for Romantic Friday Writers are so well received. I generally don't write Romance, but my blogger friends are raving about them. LOL.

Now that I have revealed my darkest secrets, do tell me YOURS! What are your favs and guilty pleasures. And no I don't mean anything CHOCOLATE, but I can so relate.

Have a great Monday everyone! And for my blogger buddies who enjoy the health and fitness posts, I had postponed Morgan Shamy's helpful tips until Wednesday. I hope you will drop by then and read how she stays in tip top shape ...

Saturday, September 8, 2012


HI, All,

Welcome to another installment from the Romantic Friday Writers. Yes, I know I am a bit late posting, but I did start to write this last night. LOL.

For today's challenge ... I Should Have Kissed You! Word count - 500

I hope you enjoy my entry. Don't forget to drop by the other RFW writers for their interpretations. You can find them here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

A darkened room lit by only one generic fixture illuminates a single smoke ring mingling with the hot, steamy, air.

Sweat trickles from his forehead, down his cheek, and lingers at the base of his neck, glistening next to an open crisp, white collar. His adam’s apple bobs as he attempts to swallow what little saliva coats his throat.

Ruby-red lips part and another smoke ring joins the former, disappearing into the haziness of the room. A milky-white hand with matching manicured nails flicks the ash from the end of a jeweled cigarette holder. A large brimmed hat shadows most of her face as she silently takes another drag.

Papers shuffle. A callused hand picks up a day-old cup of coffee. He drains the cup, licks his stubbled lips, and clears his throat. Under heavy brows his eyes dart from her long crossed legs toward her curved hips, full breast, and finally lock on her full, glossy mouth.

Standing, he steps over to the door to catch a non existent breeze. The once starched shirt clings to every muscle defining a broad chest, and powerful arms and shoulders. A weathered black leather belt cinches the soaked fabric around a narrow waist. His hand runs through thick dark hair as he clears his throat again and faces her.

“I’m waiting, Miss Donavan,” he says in a husky voice. “Where were you tonight between the hours of eight and midnight?”

She tilts her head. Moist lips shine from the harsh light, but remain silent. The wall clocks ticks and with each passing increases in volume. Yet, the silence of the room is deafening. 

“We found Charles Sinclair dead in his office. Murdered.” He took two steps toward her. “A letter-opener through his heart.” He leans against the desk and crosses his arms. “You are, or should I say, were his secretary and the only person in contact with him today.” He looks down at her.

In an effortless movement, she opens her purse and takes out a silver case, not once making eye contact with him. She taps a thin butt into the holder, draws the cigarette to her, and ignites the lighter. A puff of smoke escapes, veiling her from his intense stare. 

A heavy hand slices through the cloudy air. “Miss Donavan. Your silence only adds to your guilt.” Beads of sweat shimmer on his brow as he takes another step toward her. The lines in his face soften. “I’d like to hear your side of the story ... please.” 

The shadows shift. A soft scent of lavender, tobacco, and sweat permeate the musty air.

Crouching down before her, drawing ever so close, he focuses on her perfect rose-petal lips. 

Her chest rises, straining the mother-of-pearl buttons of the skin-tight linen suit. A pink tongue glides across the soft curves of her plump lips. 

His eyes widen. 

Emerald eyes lock on his.

He moves in closer and her lips part.

“I murdered Charles Sinclair.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Hi, all,

Well, as you can see it is time for another segment for the IWSG. For those of you who are not familiar, this is a support group to help writers once a month vent, give advice, piss and moan ... you get the idea.

As each month blends into the next, it is hard sometimes to keep positive in our lives AND with our writing. Even creating this post once a month sometimes lends to anxiety ... What will I say? How can "I" possibly help someone else, when I can barely get through the day myself?

You can AND you will. WE are all on the same journey, some of us further along than others. BUT, that's okay. I chose "In Time ..." for my blog title because I TRULY believe that IN TIME we will achieve our goals. Naturally we have to endure life's obstacles, and some of them can be horrific. Just last week a very close blogger friend of ours Roland Yeomans was hit by a uninsured driver! He was hospitalized and now has to pay for it himself. As you know times are tough for many. Most of us are just barely squeaking by, Roland is no exception.

Such a kind a wonderful soul he has; helps everyone in the blogosphere with his incredible writing advice, links to help become a successful self publisher, mind-blowing prose, and yet so humble. If you can please drop in at Roland's blog and lend some support I would so appreciate it. And whatever you do DON'T tell him I sent you. He'll get upset with me because he is a proud southern gentleman.

Check out his array of amazing books with THE most gorgeous covers: he has like TWENTY! Let's cheer him up as he's recouping from his injuries. After all we are family. Our community is strong and keeps getting stronger each day.

We have all had tragedies in our lives. I read how one blogger friend almost died giving birth, another overcoming a crippling disease. You've read them too I'm sure. BUT with so much hardship there is joy. Family, friends, lovers, children, doggies, kitties, the beauty of nature surrounding us.

So the next time insecurity hits you, in whatever form, use it in your WIP or create  short story around it! Turn the negative into a positive. We are writers after all. What's a little more drama, right? You'll get so into it, the anxiety you WERE stressing about will melt away into the keyboard, re-ignighting your positive flow. And who knows, this might turn out to be a NaNo project!

Well, everyone that's all for today. I'd like to thank you for your great comments yesterday about fitness. I hope you all will join me in the fight to stay healthy. Believe me, there is NOTHING more important than your health.

Stay well everyone and don't forget to visit the other IWSG writers ... they may have the answers you need.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope your weekend was full of fun and surprises.

Now that we are down to our last holiday BBQ, it's not too soon to think about autumn and winter and the pesky pounds that go along with it. As the temps drop, so does our energy. All we want to is to stay in, nice and cozy, with a hot chocolate, a crunchy biscotti, or a nice Starbucks coffee with a slice of their pumpkin bread. YUMM! And what about those DELICIOUS pumpkin frappaccino's, chai tea latte's, etc ... you get the picture along with hundreds of grams of sugar.

Don't you think it's time to take charge before IT happens? Time to get a head start on creating a program that works for you? Time to incorporate healthy eating and easy fitness routines into your limited time slots? I say YES! You deserve thirty minutes a day to take care of YOU. That's the best place to start ...

So, today, I am pleased to announce the launch of my new health and fitness bi-monthly post ... so many of you have enjoyed my health and fitness posts in the past, so I have decided to make it a permanent part of my blog.

And so you don't just get my take on this subject, I will also feature guest bloggers with their helpful hints for staying in shape during their LONG hours of writing. We are all writers, we all fall into bad eating habits, and we ALL neglect ourselves for our craft.

I am LIVING proof of that. My story is a common one. For all my new friends who don't know, let me explain. (please forgive me for those who do)

When I started my journey to publication almost four years ago, I was in shape and feeling great, but then IT happened. I became so obsessed with writing my first novel that I gave up going to the gym and didn't even think about what I shoved into my mouth as long as it was fast.  I packed on twenty-five pounds that winter without even realizing it.

I continued for another obsessed year of editing ... and yes, another 25 pounds! Not only did my waistline increase so did my blood pressure. I was the typical overweight middle-aged man with hypertension and if I had continued down that path, the road would have led to diabetes too.

My obsession for writing was literally killing me, so in the spring of 2011, a few months before a monumental birthday, I decided to take my life back, one small step at a time. I began to move, starting with just a thirty minute walk on the beach.

This first small step, put me on the road to a healthier body and mind. In life balance is the key. 

Tip # one ... BALANCING. 

Writing and movement time should be balanced like our novel and short stories. It's the key for success. It's a delicate choreography to create just the right rhythm, BUT it can be done with good planning. Yes, pantsters, you too can benefit from a LITTLE planning.

Tip # two ... MOVEMENT.

This could be done in any form AND at any time. First thing in the morning, after your first cup of coffee, early afternoon, or even after diner(which is good for burning up those heavy calories.) And no, you certainly don't need a gym membership ... you don't even have to leave your house.

My advice is to do something you like. Walk, swim, treadmill, elliptical, or even the dated work out tape/CD. Whatever it is, just move. 

For me, I wake up, grab a coffee, check my emails and a few blog posts ... THEN I drop to my living room floor for a little stretching and ab work. For my arms I use two water bottles and do a few sets of fifty.(they are only nine pounds). But you should have a set of two, five, or ten pound weights available depending on your fitness level. Start with three reps of twelve with a comfortable weight... You don't want to pull anything. 

This is a great way to wake up and stimulate your body to burn fat. For those who have to rush to work, it takes only fifteen minutes to jump start your body. Or if you feel you want something a bit more stimulating .... for those of you who have stairs available, why not, do twenty to fifty flights. I know it sound like SO much, but when I was stranded without a gym in Florida, that's what I did to stay in shape and it WORKED. In twenty minutes I did fifty flights. Yes, it could get boring, but crank up your stereo or iPod and get moving. I suggest starting with just ten flights and work up from there. 

Remember twenty-to-thirty minutes of activity is excellent for your lungs, heart, and overall circulation. Writers can get very stiff from sitting for hours on end. 

Another tip is to seriously walk away from your computer every two hours. Stretch, run in place, do a few flights of stairs, run around the house a few times (inside) or, if the weather is nice walk around the block a few times. It doesn't take long and it will help clear your mind as well.

I've had some of my best ideas come to me during exercise, especially during my power walks on the lakefront. Which brings me more advanced workouts. If you have more time, get out of your home to do your routine. The fresh air will stimulate your senses on all levels. Again, thirty to forty-five minutes does wonders for relieving the stress and tension created by life or plots points that are just no jelling. Walk, jog, run, stroll, hike, or just do plain calisthenics, but make sure to breathe deeply. It's amazing how great you'll feel.

Now, don't you think you can find that thirty minutes of YOU time? Sure you can. 

As a final tip, remain positive. With so much negativity around us, it's an easy trap to fall into ... avoid it at all costs. It will do more damage to you than that Crispy Creme donut.

So, tell me ... do you have any great tips to give? I'd love to feature them in future posts. And if you like this feature, please let me know...

Keep well and enjoy your Labor Day everyone! Stay tuned for my wonderful new friend, Morgan Shamy, ex-ballerina turned Y/A writer, and her health and fitness tips on the 17th.