Saturday, July 12, 2014


“So you have such a positive attitude, how do you give yourself a jumpstart to get writing?”  The other day I was asked this question, and I decided would be a great blogging subject.  How do we push ourselves into our offices to write?  Heaven forbid there are enough distractions and other things you could be doing – besides sitting in your quiet office, all alone, with your thoughts and a white screen staring back at you.  Exactly how do we give ourselves the strength to say it’s time to write?

I truly believe us writers are special people.  Yep we truly are!  I think the hardest things for us are our other responsibilities.  We have family, friends, housework, the JOB, yard, cooking, shopping, and of course church (in my case) and the hubby.  The list goes on and on.  In between all those responsibilities and distractions we must ‘make’ the time to write. 

I don’t know if you’re like me – BUT – the other ‘stuff’ must  be done in order for me to concentrate on what I really want to do, write.  It’s not a hobby or what I do for fun.  Let’s face it, we love to write – but it is work.

So I need the house clean, the dishes done, the bills paid, and even my office must be clean before I can sit in front of my computer.  Now that’s a bit easier these days since my kids are out of the nest.  J   But I started writing when my kids were three and five+ so there you have it, I understand it both ways.

I don’t recommend three cups of coffee so you feel awake – that will just give you the jitters and make you feel unsettled.  A nice glass of ice water (or flavored – no calorie water) is what I recommend.  Get it right away so you don’t have an excuse to ‘leave’ your office and get side-tracked.  Yep, I know all the tricks … or mistakes.  You might even fix yourself a plate of celery sticks, carrot sticks, or even pea pods so you don’t get the chocolate cravings.

If you tell yourself you ‘should’ be writing, yet you’re sitting on the couch trying to muster up the energy and drive to go write – ask yourself one thing – “What is my deadline date?”  What?  You don’t have a deadline date?  That is not good!  You MUST have goals and deadline dates or you’ll never accomplish what you want in life.  That doesn’t just apply to writing, but in this case it does.

You need to sit down and look at your work in progress and answer these questions:

·       What genre are you writing?
·       World count for this work?
·       How many chapters will you have?
·       Now- how long does it take you to write a chapter?
·       Add a month in for unexpected distractions/responsibilities.
·       What is your writing schedule?
·       Finally – what is the deadline date to finish your book?

You do this one thing and I guarantee you’ll get more books written than you’ve ever done before.  I always correlate it to this.  If you were planning to go on a trip to Montana, you know you’d get maps and plot it out, you’d look at places to stop along the way to enjoy, there are hotels, costs to estimate, car to get in shape for the trip, etc.  If you just jumped in your car you might end up in Alaska!   Well, planning to write your next book is pretty much the same thing. 

Don’t treat your writing like a ‘hobby.’  I hate it when people say, “that is such a nice hobby.” I stop them and say, “This isn’t a hobby - it’s too much work for that.  Writing is my passion and I do it because it’s something I love and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  Don’t accept negativity – it will start making you feel negative – and you’ll start treating your writing like a hobby.  Once you start doing that, you won’t have the drive and excitement to go to your office and write.

Think about your story while making breakfast, working at the office, going for your daily walks (or like me up Sander’s Hill twice a day during my breaks – it’s a humdinger).  Work out ideas, plots, and twists before you even get to your office.  By the time your ‘scheduled’ writing time approaches – you will be raring to go and you’ll be itching to sit down and start typing.

Get your background music going and you're READY!  One thing I always do, to get myself back into my story, is to read the last two pages.  This helps me get into the characters; where are they, who are they talking to, and what is their current situation?  That way I can continue without missing a beat from where I left off.  

Next thing you know – two hours have passed and you’re shocked how many pages you just finished.   When you push away from the computer you’ll have a feeling of satisfaction and pride.  You are suddenly anxious and excited to write again tomorrow!  You can do this . . . day after day.  Oh – and book after book!  J

You can find Rita Karnopp at:

RITA KARNOPP, Author ~ Writing Montana History - Past ~ Present ~ Future

Watch for Rita Karnopp’s next book ~ Whispering Spirits

   Summer Timber Wolf, Nii’ówa Ómahkapi'si, is disenchanted with life in general.  Ashamed of being Blackfeet, yet broke and alone, she goes to Browning, the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana she swore she’d never return to or call home.    

   Angry with her decision to quit college, her parents give her the task of caring for her eighty-year-old grandmother, Kimi’Aki, Secret Woman.  It sounds like an easy alternative to getting a job. 

   By the time Summer realizes this means she’ll be living in the mountains in the ways of the old ones, in a tipi, with no more modern support greater than a boiling pot, it’s too late to go back.

   In this primitive setting she realizes there’s more to being Blackfeet than just being called Indian.  Although she fights anything to do with her ancestry, she is quickly caught up in a world of whispering spirits and a journey that teaches we must understand and find pride in where we’ve come from . . . in order to know where we’re going. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Words Perfect ie: the perfect words by Karla Stover

I’ve been thinking about words, lately. Many’s the time someone in my writers' critique group has said, “I don’t think the character would say that.”

For years the only thing I collected was words. I told people it was because I didn’t have to dust them. Of course, poverty played a part.Without using a thesaurus, my husband and I came up with nearly a dozen different names for freeways, and then we turned to other words and forgot freeways, autobahns, interstates, etc. No matter; it was the hunt that that was fun.

I listen to NPR every time I’m in the car as a way to study words and dialogue for my writing and am surprised how many educated people still use “like” and “you know.” (When I was in Toastmasters, we counted “ums” as a way to make the speaker aware of them). David Sedaris was talking last week and he peppered his conversation with “you know.” Very off-putting, I must say. I don’t buy his books and don’t know if I will, now, not that his sales will reflect my lack of purchases. When I got home, I tried researching these two conversation fillers but the best I came up with was the movies, Valleygirl and Clueless are the probable culprits. However, I wonder if they should be used in writing contemporary dialogue.

I write articles for a monthly magazine and was asked to do a profile on a local antiques store. They call themselves an antique store—no S. My editor said I was nit picking but honestly, the store isn’t that old.

I love words that create atmosphere: Whose woods these are, I think I know, his house is in the village, though, he will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow. Though and snow and know, such long drawn out words and so effective in creating a somnolent scene. Or, Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary . . . Don’t you just love dreary and weary? My writing isn’t particular dependent on mood-creating words; what I need is snappy dialogue. That’s a tricky one. As T.S. Eliot said, “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language,” and as a writer, I don’t want my books dated by the expressions my characters use.

On the rare occasion I’m not listening to NPR, I listen to music and try correcting the grammar. I don’t get no satisfaction . . .” “If I was a rich man . . .” And yet, in their contexts, the words work. “Any satisfaction” sounds weird. Also, Mick Jagger can pull it off; I don’t think Michael Buble ′ could. Now, when I’m writing, I work hard to make my dialogue—grammar faux pas and all—fit the character.

And one last thought: I have been reading Acton Bell—Anne Bronte, that is—and nowhere does she use the expression: Ever so. I am guilty of using it in my own historical fiction and will not again. Or, to quote Poe again, I will use it Never more.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

For Us Oldies.... by Cheryl Wright

As they say, it's a bitch getting old.

But what can you do? For me it's learning to live with my limitations, while at the same time, trying to keep feeling young. (Yeah, right. With three teenagers living in the same house!)

It has recently dawned on me that I'm slowly nudging toward the big six oh. Not something I'm looking forward to, but at least its a couple of years off yet.

Still, I find more and more when I'm making cards that some of the images remind me of my lost youth.  So I was quite pleased to learn there's a stamp company whose images depict those of, shall we say, ahem, later years.

I was quite shocked to discover they've been around for almost 27 years, but I only learned of them just a few weeks ago. Yikes!

Immediately I ordered two of their fun sets, and below is my first attempt at the set I've received so far.

(For those inquisitive minds, the company is Art Impressions, and this particular set is called Party Girls - from the 'girlfriends' range.)

It's probably wishful thinking, but I like to think this will be me and some of my friends in a few years time.  Still having fun, still enjoying life to the full.

(I'll be the one with the blower, annoying the heck out of everyone else!)

I had a lot of fun coloring this image using Copic markers (which are a craft/artist product), despite it taking around forty minutes. I find the coloring process very relaxing, so it's totally worthwhile.

Hopefully, by the time I blog next month, my second set will have arrived. It has a lot more coloring to be done, but I'm certain the result will be worth the time spent.

Til next time,

p.s.  I have a giveaway running at the moment. Go here to check out the gorgeous custom-made keychain you could win. There's also a custom-made necklace up for grabs!


My website: 

Make sure you join my Facebook page as I run regular giveaways for followers!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sharing the Dream – by Tia Dani

As part of the "Inside Books We Love" blog, we hope to create interesting information that isn't full of self-promo, but will give our readers a chance to know who we really are. They'll discover how we work and play, learn how we struggle with balancing our everyday lives, how we draw our stories out of our heads, then finish them into a well-loved published book. And we do it all without losing our precious friendship.

Who are we?

First and foremost we are a dedicated writing team who loves playing with words, creating "What Ifs", and are following a shared dream.

We are wives, moms, and grandmas.

We didn't start out to be a writing team, but the process evolved over time during our friendship. We met in 2002 at a local RWA chapter and after several years passed we wrote and submitted a short story together just to have some fun. To our delight the story sold. From then on we kicked our writing into high gear and found a way to stick to a writing schedule, plus stay motivated to complete and submit a full manuscript. Also we decided working together might be a fun way to learn all the technology of submitting and editing online. We don't know about you, but we find it more fun when you work with a buddy.

While having all this fun we discovered something else about ourselves. We have this unique quality of being more than friends sharing common interests. We understand each other. We think alike, and often finish each other's sentences without missing a beat. Yet, we still maintain our individuality. It's these differences which makes our writing strong. Beverly (who writes as Dani) has the uncanny ability to bring out the perfect "What If?" scenarios that can make a great story tick. Christine (Tia of our team) excels in arranging all those "What Ifs" into a semblance of order. Tia calls it stacking the dominoes, (Future workshop).

Writing stories together is more than just being co-authors for us. Team writing, as with any type of business partnership, takes a lot of trust in each other and a strong commitment to the partnership. It's hard work, but for us, we couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

Time's Enduring Love Our latest book, Time's Enduring Love, is a time travel published with BWL.

 Time's Enduring Love
By Tia Dani

Libby Strammon believed her life was on track. A young woman of the tumultuous 1960's, she worked hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor so she could open a practice in the small Kansas farming community where she was raised. But when a perilous storm sweeps her back a hundred years into the past she is forced to rely on her instincts while navigating the changed world that a hundred years difference has wrought.

Kansas Volunteer, Lieutenant Matthew Dome's magnetic attraction to the slightly odd woman who appeared out of nowhere wars with past promises made—promises he'd failed to keep. He yearns to have the fascinating spitfire by his side, but can't let go of the past and his guilt long enough to convince himself she belongs in his life.

When circumstances send Libby and Matthew into danger, and a buried secret is revealed, Libby races against time to choose between returning to the 20th century she is familiar with or remain with Matthew who loves her but failed her once before?

"I was excited to read a novel from two authors I consider friends/mentor, both exceptional women in their own right have together created a novel worth the read! Quick paced, delightful banter, enjoyable characters, and an entertaining plot. Absolutely loved it. I couldn't stop reading it until I was done completely. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys romance with historical background settings. Can't wait to read their next novel." ~A.S. Johnson, author~ Amazon, 5 Stars

If you're interested in learning more about Tia Dani, please visit our website and friend us on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tia Dani

Great Time Had by All at When Words Collide by Nancy M Bell

His Brother's Bride is Book 2 in the Canadian Historical Brides series. You can find out more by clicking here . I had the pleasure o...