I’m back!

It’s such a thrill when people you don’t even know start commenting on your work. I published an excerpt from my book “Blame It On Whiskey” to my author page on Facebook and the comments have been so wonderful. To hear from people who have connected with my characters and enjoyed the fictional world I created is amazing.

As my last blog post indicated I have been sort of out of communication while my daughter was here with my soon to be grandson. I consider him my grandson already and introduced him as such. Boy did he keep us going, but it was great fun. I had my DVD’s rearranged (evidently I didn’t set them up right) and all the glass lids and pans were moved so he could play with the metal pans. You had to watch where you walked because some of those toys are painful on bare feet! Most of the house was toddler-proofed prior to his arrival, but you never know what he can get into or is interested in until the little human occupies the space.

He and Millie became buddies, lots of puppy kisses between them, and Millie was extremely happy to clean up the post meal droppings around the high chair! After I dropped them at the airport Monday and came home the house was quiet. No Disney Junior or Sprout blaring from the TV, no big humans tracking the movements of the little human, no little voice calling out and babbling at the top of his lungs.

It was different. I miss him.

The monsoon season is upon us in Southern Arizona thank goodness. Our location in Catalina AZ just north of Tucson, higher in elevation, and next to the Santa Catalina mountains means we are cooler and get great storms. Woke up this morning to a wet yard and signs of some wind during the night. The storm didn’t wake me since that stuff works like Ambien on me, as long as the wind isn’t too strong.

Now back to my next book, current book marketing, some plot development for future work, more blogging, wine, chocolate and music.




Blame it on Whiskey KDP file

He’s keeping us busy

Well faithful blog followers-an update. Myself and two other adults in my house have been kept amazingly busy tracking and chasing a 16 month old. My daughter came to visit with our soon to be grandson. Melissa is in the process of foster to adopt of this gorgeous, brilliant and busy little man.

He is fun, charming, flirty, and I’m pretty sure has elastic arms. He has his meltdown moments but then so do I.

Can’t express how proud I am of my daughter for voluntarily electing to be a single parent. This process is so different than a pregnancy. The state has so many requirements for education, preparing the home, parent background checks, regular wellness and safety checks. A baby birthed by her wouldn’t require any of this.

We have had visits to the indoctrination facility (University of Arizona campus,) he’s met a bunch of Catalina family (and survived,) will be going to the Santa Catalina mountains today (tradition,) and this Saturday will meet the Phoenix branch of the family. He still has to meet the little old ladies at my mom’s place and the new puppies at my nephew’s house.

To say it has been an adjustment is understating everything. We have plenty of room for him in our house and he has explored most of it. I have gone to bed tired and slept like a bear in winter. My daughter asked me last night if I had blogged at all and I told her I have been keeping up with the bloggers I follow but I haven’t stopped to blog.

So here is an update about why I have been out of contact. We are here, we are just busy!



holding hands

Hate the Editing Stage of Writing? Check Out These Helpful Tools

Amazing amount of helpful information in this post. If you are an established writer or just starting out, this is a good place to delve into to improve your craft.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Hey guys, Today Nancy Lin is here to help us with what might just be THE suckiest part of writing. But part of being a great writer, is also learning to be at least a good editor. We all need professional outside eyes on our work, and Nancy is here to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Take it away, Nancy!


Editing is a necessary part of writing, but not all writers are great editors. As a writer, I find it helpful to get a second opinion, because I’m not able to see every single error. And this isn’t just me.

You might think you’re the next Shakespeare (which are pretty big shoes to fill). Once you stop basking in your own ego, you can be more realistic about your writing ability. And chances are you’re not.

Professional editors are useful, and, in some cases, they’re…

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This moving poem says eloquently what is in most of our hearts – fear.



Hatred, sickness plots against our homeland, they’re coming,

They’re here in this land, they don’t hide as their faces are seen.

Work with you they do, maybe a smile as they pass you by,

As good people they come in from all sides, they don’t have to sneak.

They step from planes with passports and go about their day,

Cruise do these monsters with no morals on ships, welcome to our home.

We have darkness from sea to shining sea, borders are without safety,

They come from there just as they are over there from here, grow with fear.

A flag they plan to replace with a flag that waves for over two hundred years,

Their message is clear, they say it with the murders of our people, we don’t care.

As they become stronger with power and weapons we sit and wonder but it’s real,


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Feeling insecure

I’ve been having second thoughts about Facebook and the security of my online connection. My phone is requiring I install Messenger even if I am logged in through the internet. When I looked at the permissions it requires to run it made me extremely nervous. I don’t have to have it yet on my laptop to use it.

I have a FB friend who had been off and then came back claiming she had been hacked. Earlier I had received a friend request from her that surprised me yet I accepted it, and now I have received instant messages from this person very late in the evening. It isn’t clear to me if it is her hijacked account. The messages are vague and one or two words. I was suspicious. Is this the hacker or my friend?

I hate when it feels as though technology runs my life.

Chuck and I rescued a hummingbird! It had somehow fallen into our fish pond and Chuck found it floating on the surface. Not knowing how long it had been there he picked it up thinking it was drowned, but its body twitched. We brought it inside and using a 1ml syringe we started trying to get it to drink some sugar water. It took a while but I noticed it open its beak, then its tongue flicked out several times and it started drinking. It opened one eye, then the next and started trying to move its wings. Suddenly it flew up and away, while we chased it to keep it from the ceiling fans. That was pretty funny seeing Chuck moving, hands in the air, chasing a wee hummingbird. It did get a little bonk by the fan, so we took it outside and set it in a planter. After a few more drinks it flew away to a nearby tree. Needless to say there was a lot of human high fives.

We were blessed with rain off and on yesterday that helped to cool things a bit from the 100’s to mid 90’s. The 100’s will be back with a vengeance along with the increase in my electric bill.






The next book

After a steady pounding out of words on the old laptop I finished the official first draft of my next book. I say official because I had this one plotted and mostly written a few years ago, saved it on a floppy disc (remember those?) printed it out and put it away. Once I published my first book it was time to revisit that first story.

This is when I discovered the floppy disc was missing! Yikes and oh crap. I had been worried about finding someone with a floppy drive I could use to save it to a thumb drive. Now I had no disc and, as I was unhappy to discover, an incomplete printed manuscript. I could tell I had lots of pages missing but I hadn’t included page numbers on the document so i had no clue how many pages were missing. I’ll tell you, my days of doing transcription paid off when I was forced to sit down and transcribe what was on paper onto the previously referenced laptop.

This took a while.

I discovered during this process I am now a better writer. The guts of the story is good, the characters are interesting and the plot makes sense, but the mechanics of my writing style has improved. Credit goes to my ongoing research into putting ideas to paper, my online writing coach and the great tips from bloggers. I don’t think I will ever stop learning how to be a better writer.

So, I sat down with the print out of this draft and a red pencil and got busy slashing unnecessary text, editing chapters, rewriting scenes, correcting grammar and spelling and finding places I needed to flesh out. I discovered a couple of background character who cried out to be given a more prominent place in the story and this led me to think they might need their own story.

That made me happy. They are coming to life.

Got a wonderful compliment, through my daughter, from a reader who said she loved the first book and can’t wait for the next one! Wow did that feel good.





Beautiful use of words to express a true deep thought.

The Blog of Jake Hyland

We all make mistakes, we do things we regret,

Most of us spend our lives trying to forget.

Every so often you get given a chance to start anew,

Then that decision lies solely with you.

Will you do the right thing and buckle down,

Or will you run yourself in to the ground.

Life throws distractions from every direction,

Ignore them and let your will be your protection.

Don’t give up on your journey or your dreams,

No matter how colossally difficult it seems.

There’s a glistening light in the distance that’s yours to reach,

With discipline and resolve the wall of anxiety you’ll breach.

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