Wednesday, November 2, 2022


 Happy November, All!

Can you believe it's November? Where has this year gone? During this time of year, I like to contemplate giving thanks for all my blessings. We all have so much to be thankful for in our lives. It doesn't have to be monumental, either. Family, friends, a roof over our heads, food on the table...our health. And most of all, no anxiety for now. How wonderful is that?

I am also thankful for this group. The support given by Alex and the IWSG team is truly amazing. I am so grateful for all the years this team has been together and how much great work they have done. Supporting all of us and publishing the yearly Anthology is time-consuming for the team. So here is a SPECIAL THANKS to all of the ISWG Team! Please drop by Alex's site and say HI... or even better yet, join our group! 

I would also like to mention the group's publisher, Dancing Lemur Press. L. Diane Wolfe is a wonderful role model and supporter of many authors. I worked with her during the latest IWSG Anthology. This was my first published work, and having Diane guide me through the process helped my anxiety about my first publishcation immensely. Thank you, Diane! If you haven't read Anthology yet, please do! There are some wonderful FIRST Love stories to enjoy. I was honored to be chosen along with nine other esteemed authors. 

Here are the links if you missed them in my last post...

Barnes & Noble
Scribed -

As a final note, I would like to wish ALL OF YOU a Blessed and Healthy THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


 Hi, All!

It is the first Wed of the month, and it's time for another IWSG post. Since I posted about the anthology yesterday, I don't have any insecurities because I am too THRILLED to be published! After twelve years of writing, it finally happened. So, NEVER give up on your writing dreams!

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the whole IWSG team, we are given many opportunities to learn, grow, and publish. If you want to join the group, please pop over to Alex's site to sign up. 


Welcome, All

Today I am THRILLED to announce my short story, OLIVER'S GIRL, has been published! YAY!


In his youth, Oliver fell in love with his dream girl. Sixty years pass, and he has a lifetime of memories without her. With the help of his great-granddaughter, will Oliver find his lost love and start again? 

FIRST LOVE -The Art of Making Doughnuts is a charming collection of first love stories written by nine AMAZING writers and myself. A collection by authors you may know... Denise Covey ( Marmalade Sunset), Melissa Maygrove (My Heart Approves ), Linda Budzinski (The Art of Making Doughnuts), Katie Klein (How to Save a Princess), Templeton Moss (My First Love(s)), Sammi Spiziri (The Real Thing), Silvia Ney (Paper Faces),  Kim Elliott (Clyde and Coalesce), and SE White (The Castle of Ohno).

I am honored to have been chosen for this fine Anthology. There is nothing like a true "First Love" story to jolt your memory of YOUR first love. This Anthology will put a smile on your face and warm your heart! 

If you would like to visit our blog tour to find out more tidbits about FIRST LOVE, please visit these wonderful bloggers...



9/1 – IWSG Anthologies Blog,

Book blurbs


9/5 - Kelly F Barr,



9/6 - Kelly F Barr,



9/7 – Diane Burton,



9/7 - Cathrina Constantine,

Book feature


9/9 - Sandra Cox,

Book feature


9/12 - Elizabeth s. Craig,

Article - Working on an Anthology


9/14 – C. Lee McKenzie,



9/16 - Louise M. Barbour,



9/19 - Susan Gourley,


Thank you all for supporting me and the IWSG!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022



Hi All!

Well it certainly has been a while since I have written for a WEP challenge. This month's challenge is Moonlight Sonata. Somehow, this image and song spoke to me. 

First, I would like to thank all the lovely ladies at the WEP for allowing writers to create something magical with their amazing prompts! The quality of writing is above and beyond. I seriously do not know how they can pick a winner. Please drop by the WEP site and read these amazing stories!

For my entry today, I am submitting an excerpt from a Noir story that I had started writing many moons ago. "Moonlight Sonata" to me evokes atmosphere, sensuality, and passion. Let met take you back to 1940's Chicago...

Rosemary is meeting her friend, Doris, for a costume party at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Doris is setting her up on a blind date with a friend of her gangster boyfriend.  Rosemary is leery, she doesn't like Marty, but Doris assures Rosemary that her date, Cal, is a detective and a real gent.  It's a typical cold and windy night in Chicago... AS-

A sterling mist swirls like autumn leaves, shading the full moon on this All Hallows Eve. Only a single beam of light weaves through the chilly veils and settles on the swinging fringe of an unsuspecting flapper’s dress: the ever present wind, catches each and every delicate strand.

She stops in front of a brilliant marquee; hundreds of lit spheres floating in golden bronze. A masterpiece of mirrored images reflect Chicago’s finest citizens as they enter into the Palmer House. 

After adjusting the feathered headband, she wraps herself in a bubblegum-pink faux mink, steps behind a masked Cleopatra escorted by a bandy-legged Marc Antony, and slips into the lobby.

“Over here, honey.” Doris’ nasal voice rends through the din like a foghorn on a stormy New England night. She glances down from the top of a polished marble staircase centered with a blood-red Persian runner. The ceiling reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel, and appliquéd with hundreds of inlaid gilt medallions, frames Doris as she waves a lacy, gloved hand to the approaching flapper.

The man standing next to her, suited up in navy pin-stripes and spats, extends his arm. “I’m Marty. Glad you could make it tonight, toots. Doris was right, you’re a livin doll.” He wraps his arm around her waist and ushers her toward a tall, strapping man. “This is Cal Cavanaugh...your escort.” He glares at Cal. “Well say something to the dame, you boob.”

Cal’s throat constricts and he swallows hard. As he bends slightly a cowlick brakes free from his greased, raven hair and covers the right side of his horn-rimmed glasses. “A pleasure,” he says low.

A penciled brow raises and she licks her ruby, bee-stung lips. “How do you do.” Her eyes rake over his broad physique. “I don’t understand your costume. Am I missing something?”

A bead of sweat clings to his brow as a grin etches into his square jaw. 

“ her you big palooka.” Doris giggles and smacks him on the back with a senorita’s fan.

He raises thick fingers and unfastens a tight collar and three buttons. Sapphire blue and a red S encased in a yellow triangle strain across his chiseled, muscular chest.

Doris fans herself frantically. “What I’d tell you, honey. He’s a real pip.”

A slight pink glow peeks through her powdered face. “I see. I have a date with Superman. Is that all you?”

Now it was his turn to blush.

The gangster, the flamenco dancer, the flapper, and Superman climb the alabaster stairs flanked by blank onyx illuminated figures. Open etched glass paneled doors graciously invite the quartet into the Empire room. A heavily encrusted gilt medallion holds center stage on the elaborate ceiling as rainbows of faceted light dance from dozens of draped crystals onto the polished hardwood floor.

Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade touches every romantic as hundreds of masked couples sway like coconut palms on Havana’s sugary white beaches. A silence passes and the orchestra engulfs the room with In the Mood.

Marty drags Doris onto to the dance floor. “Bye, we’ll see...”

Cal extends his hand. “Care to dance?” He flashes a smile.

She folds into his arms and the music sweeps them into a sea of glittery gowns, cloaks, masked strangers, and mysterious creatures of the night. 

The chandeliers dim to barely a wisp and a spotlight hits the orchestra leader on stage. 

“Tonight I have the great pleasure to introduce the debut of the world renowned pianist, Liberace.”

Hundreds of raised hands applaud while lips pucker and whistles howl.

“Ladies and gentlemen, LIBER-RACE!”

Sporting a beaded black tie and tails, he steps on stage holding a lit twelve taper candelabra and places it on the high-glossed Steinway. 

A deafening silence filters through the room like a noxious gas.

With the waving of one diamond-studded hand, Liberace casts his spell. From Mozart’s, The Magic Flute, to Casablanca's, As Time Goes By. Each new melody blends seamlessly into the next. Pin-pricked eyes dart across the keyboard and never miss a single note. 

Liberace begins to play Beethoven’s, Moonlight Sonata. Within its ominous tones, a girl screams, breaking the magic spell. She struggles behind a marble pillar as the final fringe of a flapper’s costume disappears into the shadows. 

Chandeliers ignite. Faces unmask, revealing dropped jaws, glazed eyes, and vacant expressions. Bodies are paralyzed. Silence louder than Hitler’s Blitzkrieg jolts the once euphoric atmosphere.

As the crowds disperse, the original foursome are now two. 

“Where’s Marty?” Doris shrieks. “And what happened to Rosemary?”

“I thought she went to the ladies room with you?”

“Oh, no ... I didn’t wait.” Tears explode from Doris’s black-lined eyes. “What could’ve happened to her?” She stares up at Cal with a tear stained face. “You don’t think?” she whispered.

“Marty do such a thing? I’ve know him my whole life. I know he could be a goon sometimes...but this?” Cal shakes his head and stands on tip toe as his gaze sweeps over the crowd.

Doris latches onto his arm. “We need to find them.”

As dawn breaks through a driftwood-gray mist on All Hallows day, a body floats in the Chicago river.

I hope you all enjoyed my entry!  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022



Hi All, 

Welcome to another IWSG post! Every month we writers get to voice our insecurities and help other writer's with theirs.Thanks to the talents of Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG team.

If you would like to join us, please hop over the Alex's site and sign up.

When I first found out my story was chosen for this year's IWSG Anthology, it was way back in the beginning of the year. So, I had very little time to stress over it...but now, that is another story. With only one month away to my first short story publication, I am stressing. I have so many hopes for, FIRST LOVE- THE ART OF MAKING DOUGHNUTS, which is why I am anxious. I guess because I want the readers to love it.

It is an honor to be part of this publication with nine other extraordinary writers, and the publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, is amazing. The wonderful input from the publisher during the editing process and up until now, has truly helped calm my anxieties. So, why am I anxious. I guess all writer's experience this with upcoming publication. But, this is my first, so I am even more so. Even though I have been writing for well over a decade, I still feel like a novice writer starting out on my journey. This is my first "baby" going out into the world. 

Thankfully, with all of your support, I know I have nothing to worry about. Our community is AMAZING, and I am grateful to be apart of it!

So, until next month, I will try to keep positive and not worry.  I hope you will ALL ENJOY the wonderful stories about first love!

Keep cool everyone and have a great rest of summer!


Wednesday, July 6, 2022



Hi All!

I hope everyone had a festive fourth of July. Living in a historic town tends to take this holiday VERY seriously. Fireworks ablaze, parades, and a riverboat parade, too. Lots of fun for all, but I kind of hibernated because my pup hates the noise, and being such a good pet parent, I stayed with him to keep him calm.  We retreated into our lower level until it got quiet around 11pm. 

I can't believe another month flew by, and we are now ready for this month's IWSG post! Once again thanks to Alex and the AMAZING IWSG team for giving us the opportunity to voice our writing insecurities and offer advice to our colleagues who need it. If you would like to join, hop over to Alex's site and sign up!

This month, I have put writing on the back burner to concentrate on finishing up my gardens. I am almost there! But, it has given me the time to do a lot of thinking about future projects and where I would like to go next on my writing journey. This time taught me that it's OK to take time off from writing to do other things. It brings us a fresh perspective. So DON'T beat yourself up if you decide to take off a month or two to do something else you enjoy. It will only make you happier in the long run AND it may lead to a fantastic new idea! 

Another tip I would like to share with you about taking time off is to work on getting healthier. Many of us over the cold winter has put on extra weight and may have become lethargic. Also, with COVID, I had gained a ton over the past few years. At the beginning of July, I decided to do something about it. GET OFF the couch and get outside and walk again. I also started intermittent fasting. For those of you who are not familiar with this eating plan, it is basically very easy. You pick an eating window of about 8-10 hours depending on how much weight you want to lose. I started with 8, and now I am down to a seven-hour window. In a month I dropped almost twenty pounds! I eat almost everything I want, so it really doesn't feel like dieting and depriving myself of CHOCOLATE. LOL. It truly isn't as difficult as you think. It is AMAZING how clear-headed I have become. I stay more focused, and I feel so much better. Staying focused is a GREAT feature of fasting. Imagine how much writing you can do when you stop focusing on food. The first few days can be a challenge, but after the first week, the food cravings stop and you really can feel so much better. I have thought of several new writing projects this past week. I am also brisk walking an hour a day. The best time to do this is at the end of your fast because the last hour or so can be difficult, especially if you have a family who is eating in front of you while you are fasting. Luckily, I don't have that problem. Try it for a few weeks and see how you feel! You will have only POSITIVE side effects from this program. One of mine... I cut out one of my blood pressure meds. YAY! 

Well, that is it for this month! Enjoy your summer fun, and I will see you next month. Hugs to you all!

Thursday, June 2, 2022


 Hi All,

Welcome to another IWSG post. Once again we are privileged to write about our writing insecurities and ask and give advice to those who are in need, thanks to Alex and his amazing hosts. If you would like to join our group, please pop over to Alex's blog and sign up. 

Spring is upon us and I can't help noticing all the signs of rebirth. The trees and flowers are blossoming everywhere and the birds and bees are chirping and buzzing throughout my property. It has been a busy month for me working on my gardens and enjoying all the benefits of spring and the warmer weather. I haven't had much time to write, but I have thought about many things during my time in the great outdoors. It made me realize that we should all commune with nature from time to time. It clears our heads and brings joy to our hearts. It is the perfect way to sweep away your writing insecurities and take back the parts of your soul that have been craving some peace and solitude. Even if it is only for a few short minutes, stroll around your yard, or take a walk to a nearby park and open your eyes and heart to the wonders of nature. It truly is food for your soul.

I would to share with you some pics of my garden to inspire you to commune with nature. Have a wonderful month everyone, and take good care of yourselves...

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


 Hi All,

Welcome to another IWSG post! As we all know, we meet on the first Wednesday of every month. If you would like to join us, please visit Alex's site to sign up.

Today, I would like to discuss a problem I have been anxious about for a while, when is it time to do a complete rewrite of your novel? For over three years, I worked on my novel and have been querying it for about a year now. This is the FIRST time, I have was not asked for a partial or full from any agent. I sent out at least 50 queries. I know it is more difficult now, but not to get ONE request. it doesn't sound right to me. I know it is not the subject matter, so there must be something wrong in the story. Originally I wrote this as a memoir and had sent it to a top editor in NYC. She made several suggestions and I was almost finished when the person I am writing about decided she wanted changes. MAJOR changes. I did the best I could, cutting the parts she wanted out. I queried again, and nothing. I don't want to CAN the project because I still believe in it. So, now I am deciding if it needs a COMPLETE overhaul. I can do a complete rewrite cutting out the daughter completely and concentrating solely on the subject. It would be a much more fun and LIGHT piece with no internal issues from the narrator. I would have to write it in the third person instead of the first. So, a lot of work would need to be done. 

Should I do it or scrap the project? In all honesty, I would like to cut ties with this person completely. If I go forward, I would still have to work with her and share the profits. I just HATE having to throw away three-plus years of writing. It is a tough call, and I would appreciate any advice.

On the plus side of this month, an article I wrote for the IWSG blog will be featured on May 9th...I hope you will drop by the blog and read it. 

Have a wonderful month, everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2022



Hi All,

I am so sorry for spacing the time...again! Yesterday, I was getting my house ready for my friends visiting from South America! ALL six of them! So, I am sure you can understand my spacing to post.

This group is an important part of all our lives because we get a chance to voice our insecurities once a month, thanks to Alex! The advice and support are truly amazing. If you haven't joined yet, PLEASE visit Alex's site to sign up. 

I would also like to CONGRATULATE Alex on his newest book, Casa Dark. All the best Alex! I know it will be a hit!

For this month, my only real insecurities were getting accomplished my many tasks within my home. Thankfully, I did and my guests are comfortable and happy. We have discussed my writing and I was happy to tell them that my short story was selected for the new IWSG Anthology! I can not wait until September when it will be published. I was also THRILLED to have our first review be so positive. The reader enjoyed the anthology and actually mentioned my story as one of her favorites! A writer can not ask for more than that. So this month I feel truly blessed. I am also in the process of submitting a few more short stories...we shall see. We all know that rejections are a part of our lives, but we also know, that if we DON'T submit, we will never have a chance to have our works read. And, isn't that why we all write in the first place? It is very important for writers to get their work seen. No matter how long it takes. It took me over a decade to finally have one of my works published, so don't ever give up. I don't regret any of that time because I learned to hone my craft. A writer must write in order to improve their writing. Sometimes it takes years. We all write at our pace and with each new story, we learn so much.

SO KEEP WRITING, even if you don't feel you are getting anywhere with it. Your time will come.

Well, everyone, April is certainly coming in with tons of wind and rain. I am looking forward to a lovely spring BURSTING with spring flowers. It seems to be taking a bit longer this year, but I know it is worth the wait.


Thursday, March 3, 2022



Hi All,

Arrived in Florida on Sunday and totally spaced it was Wednesday yesterday; I actually thought it was Tuesday all day. Sigh.

I hope everyone is well and I hope Spring has "sprung" in your neck of the woods!

Nothing much to say except that I am THRILLED to be out of the frozen tundra of the north, and I intend to THOROUGHLY enjoy the beautiful weather in Florida.

Take care everyone and I will see you all next month!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S Day and Early Sring!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022


 Hi, ALL

Welcome to another IWSG post. I almost always forget to post when the first Wednesday of the month is so close to the beginning. I just can't believe it's February already. Winter is certainly surging like mad all over the world. Snow in the Greek Islands? Unheard of, yet it happened!

Sadly, this winter, we also lost one of the most caring and gifted bloggers, Jeremy Hawkins. I didn't know him well, but I knew him for over a decade through his comments on others' blogs and occasionally on mine. I know he will be tremendously missed by our community. Please take a moment and say a  prayer in his memory...

As you know, we get to vent on the first Wednesday of the month, thanks to Alex and the IWSG team. If you would like to join our group, please pop over to Alex's site and sign up. Who knows, you may get some great advice or help another stressed-out writer with a problem.

A few unexpected things happened this past month. I was fortunate enough to have a query and chapter request from a YA agent during the IWSG Twitter pitch. I was thrilled, of course, but now the waiting begins... So, I decided to start pitching to magazines to use my time wisely. A first for me. I spent a whole day preparing the pitch and added the proper links to my work for samples. I felt confident because the article I was pitching was for the home section of a woman's magazine. Who better than an interior designer for over twenty-five years, right? Well, it didn't take long to get a response... ANOTHER rejection. In this case, I was honestly surprised it was rejected.

We are not talking about a novel; we are talking about an article. So, fellow authors, it is a tough sell even in this venue. Honestly, I feel like chucking the whole writing thing at times like this. TWELVE years I have been pounding away at it. THANKFULLY, I did have some fantastic news before the holidays that my short story, OLIVER'S GIRL, was chosen for the IWSG Anthology. This news is keeping me going. I know rejections suck big time, but we still need to keep at it. SO don't give up. I don't plan to any time soon. I promised myself to keep plugging away this year with query after query and pitch after pitch. My goal is to have five of my stories accepted this year. It may be unrealistic, but I am aiming for that. With short stories and magazine articles, it may be attainable.

To aid me in my quest, I bought Shannon Lawrence's THE BUSINESS OF SHORT STORIES... (You can read about it in my previous post). It is a concise and helpful guide on writing and marketing your short stories. I have read through half of the book already, and once I finish, I will put her suggestions to work. Thanks, Shannon!

Well, that is all from me this month. I wish you all a warmer winter and an EARLY spring. Take care and stay safe and healthy...

Friday, January 14, 2022


Hi All,

Today, I am thrilled to announce Shannon Lawrence's  forthcoming book, THE BUSINESS OF SHORT STORIES...

Blurb: Whether you're looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don't have to learn the hard way. You'll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writer

"There's never been a better time to get into short stories!" 

I couldn't agree more, that is why I preordered my copy. For those of you, who like me, is finding it hard to get your novel published, why not start with short stories and build up your writing experience and portfolio. Often, agents and publishers ask for writing credentials and if you have a few short stories published, it may certainly couldn't hurt. I can't wait until the end of the month to start my short story journey. Why not start yours as well? 2022 is forecasted to be an excellent publishing year. Now is the time to get your stories out to the readers who will enjoy them.

Here is more information about Shannon and her collected works.

Author Bio: Shannon Lawrence has made a career of short stories, with over a decade of experience and more than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. In addition, she's released three horror short story collections with a mix of new and previously published stories. Her true crime podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is going into its third season. 

Book: The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing
Author: Shannon Lawrence
ISBN: 978-1-7320314-5-6
Format/Price: Print ($13.99) and e-book ($3.99)
Release Date: February 1, 2022

(**Note: Shannon is waiting on the pre-order for the paperback, and will send that out when she receives it)

The book will also be available after the release date from Ingram, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other sites.

Shannon's website and social media:

Wednesday, January 5, 2022


 Hi All,

First, I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS new year!   is incredible how quickly 2021 passed us. I know it has been a long year for many, but even though it was a trying year, we managed to get through it. 

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the illustrious IWSG team, we were able to vent our anxieties all through this troubling year. Please sign up at Alex's site if you would like to join us.

During the closing months of 2021, I decided to write an essay and a few short stories to submit into various venues...well, I am DELIGHTED to say that my first published work will be featured in the IWSG-FIRST LOVE ANTHOLOGY! My story, Oliver's Girl, was selected! It has been a very long journey for me to publication, and I am honored to have my story chosen. This is my first step, and I hope an pray this is the begining of many more to come. 

I plan to submit a pitch for the IWSG Twitter Pitch on January 26th. Mark that day if you have a polished and completed work to pitch! You never know, your pitch may be picked! I have queried my latest WIP with no luck, so this is my last "pitch." So many of my collegues have selfpublished and have been very successful. Perhaps it is time for me to do the same. The publishing world has changed dramatically since I started to write over ten years ago and the forcast for this year is very positive. With Covid still amongst us, many people have turned to reading. I have certainly read more. There was an amazing article that I read on Anne R. Allen's blog about the 2022 publishing forecast. It was very insightful and a must read. Here is the link

Well, my friends, thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful January. Stay warm and safe.