Monthly Archives: July 2014

You Give Me Fifteen Minutes…

A memory from my childhood, reinforced by my years commuting in Los Angeles, is a radio tag line: “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world,” from an all news radio program. Turns out this was the third all news programming, started in 1924, making the radical decision to go all news in 1965. I kind of miss the all news radio programs, but that’s a topic for another time.

Time management people advise us to break down insurmountable tasks into achievable steps. When that doesn’t work, then only take on the impossible job for a short span of time: ten, fifteen, twenty minutes spent on sorting the mountains of old mail and newspapers on the table, or going through the junk drawers. We know this works, even when we don’t always do it.

When Susan Elizabeth Phillips spoke to LERA , she revealed her production secret: a kitchen timer, set to her personal time goal. For that period of time, she writes. Write or Die will help you stick to that time period, not allowing you to step away from the keyboard until your time or word allotment is complete. You do NOT want to upset Write or Die! Several of LERA’s amazing, prolific, award winning authors (we have more than one!!!) use Write or Die.

I bought my kitchen timer, and yep, wrote for those minutes. Until the timer disappeared in a pile of old mail, and my attention wandered off to other things. I tend to do that, all too often.

So yep here I am back again with another session of BICHOK, which is not a new breed of fuzzy dog. It’s Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. And with a bit more understanding of my own foibles.

Since the kitchen timer, once unearthed, did not work, I turned to my cell phone. Sure enough, there is a timer, so I had no more excuses.

Here’s how it works for me when I sit down to write. The family of dust bunnies I see in the corner, which has been in residence for longer than I want to admit, must be evicted NOW. If the refrigerator is not cleaned out immediately I will no doubt starve to death (an unlikely occurrence but still…) And I jump off my writing stool and take care of these issues. Before you know it, I’m out of time, and wondering where the day went.

Fifteen minutes, during which I do not answer the phone, the door, or any call of nature. I think only about my book. I write steadily, sometimes fast sometimes not. Sometimes strong emotional scenes, sometimes puking drivel. Fifteen minutes I give myself up to my story. Then I walk away and do something mindless.

Mindless might mean sweeping up those dust bunnies or washing some dishes. Maybe bagging the bulk box of chicken necks into

daily portions, for the Salukis. Gardening is a different level of consciousness for me. Not mindless, more of a Zen experience. I garden to be aware of what’s growing for me, and to help fulfill my love of color and beauty.

During those mindless times I realize Matt would never have asked Jess anything which might upset her until after she’s eaten breakfast, since she already tends not to take good care of herself. So I know when I go back to their story, I’m going to fix that scene. Which I can, because it’s now on the screen, not just in my head.

Because I gave myself fifteen minutes.



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Kindle Unlimited, Amazon-Hachette, and “Fairness” with thanks to Bob Mayer

Yeah, I know, I’m leaning on others for my blog content. Or as I’ve said before related to the dogs, “I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
This is a time of HUGE upheaval in publishing…thank heavens since we were sinking into a pit of ‘same old, same old.’ We’re in exciting terrifying times.
Every time I see the Oh Woe is Me sort of post, it serves to kick my substantial backside onto the stool so I can do the one thing over which I have control: Write the best possible.
I’ll be back with pictures of my trip to the Saluki National and some cool recipes. But for now
Keep Writing

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Writing, Caregiving & Confessions of a “Recovering” Control Freak

I’m going to let Kristen Lamb do the heavy lifting today. We all need to know when to accept help, and keep going

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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It’s funny how life has this way of pointing out our weaknesses. We have this delusion that we can keep doing things the way we always have and it will work…and that’s when the pressure piles up. I admit it. I am a control freak and a perfectionist.

I grew up in a family of chaos where the rules changed daily and the only thing I could count on was nothing could be counted on. My family was also rather stoic (likely because we are mostly military and medical workers).

I still tease my mom that she had a saying, “Come home with your lunch kit or ON it.”

Growing up, we went through a lot of bad times and crying was highly discouraged. Second place was the first loser. Failure was not an event, it was who you were.

When Life Lands in the Blender

I try to always…

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Shifting Worlds

One of the many delights about being a writer is the ability to immerse myself in a book, and call it research. Any book,  but since Paranormal and Urban Fantasy are particular favorites of mine (well, along with Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance and Mystery and…) An even greater delight is finding a new author who can sweep me away into their world.

I’m going to have extra fun tonight sharing some favorites with you. Three highly talented writers who each have their own unique take on shifters. They don’t know I’m writing about them, so we’re all going to have fun. Get ready to add to your TBR pile!

First is Doranna Durgin. Award winning and prolific, Doranna has created a world of Sentinel Shifters, who take a myriad of animal selves, and who help protect the world from the extremely bad Core. It all started several thousand years ago with a Roman, a Druid, and…you’ll probably enjoy more finding out for  yourself. The first book in the series is Jaguar Night, and the most recent one is Lynx Destiny. My favorite? Mmmm hard to pick, each has a unique flavor with a guarantee of strong intelligent women and powerful, compassionate men. Oh, yeah. And by the way, Doranna helped emphasize a point of grammar in my MFRW Blog

Then we have Jami Gray, whose Kyn Kronicles build a world of magic and intrigue and…shape shifters. Her most recent book, Shadow’s Moon, delves more deeply into the shifter population of the Kyn community. She explains the difference between ‘Born or Bitten’ shifters, and how some supernatural beings are just not nice to be around. Strong women again and intelligent, hot heroes. What more could we want for a rainy evening read? Jami’s visited several times in fact Jami Was Here  not too long ago.

Dropping Down Under, Greta van der Rol has made her mark in Space Opera, such as The Iron Admiral and Morgan’s Choice.    Her concern with the plight of the tiger has led her to create her own shifter world, where it’s all in the family, but family can show up at any time. Starting with Black Tiger and then White Tiger/Black Tiger, Greta not only brings magic and romance into her stories, she also reveals some ugly truths about how tigers live in the US.

Since these writers have all become friends, I don’t feel comfortable reviewing their books, but I wanted to share them with you. Maybe you’ll enjoy their stories enough to write your own reviews?

For tonight, it’s raining in the high desert and I think I’m going to bed. Happy Reading.


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