Book Review: The Tiger Rising By Kate DiCamillo

I could gush about Kate DiCamillo like a young fan girl. There I said it. She has a knack of hooking me on page one and I slip into her world forgetting mine, the bills, the dog, and am transported back to my youth. A place and time devoid of Kate DiCamillo. For if her books were around when I was a child, I’d of found my best friends in the pages of her works. The Tiger Rising is no different. Well maybe a little. What person is not fascinated by a wild creature, a tiger no less? From the first words we are off and running on an adventure. The characters are real, and while I might have found Sistine or Rob my heroes Continue Reading →

Friday Writing Prompt # 1

In a recent trip to Five Below I unearthed this little book gem – 400 Writing Prompts by #piccadillyinc and figured I’d share the prompts on Facebook and then put my brainstorming attempts here. 500 Words is the writing goal, but attempt # 1 weighs in at a lean 300. That’s life. Enjoy the rambles. While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it? Sitting in the sand, my hand digging against broken shells I feel the smoothness of sea glass not quite ripe. Pulling it up I find it is not a broken shard but a bottle sealed shut. Canned air from god knows where hits sky. I stick my Continue Reading →

Benefits of a Writing Conferences

Writers are in some ways a strange breed. We are for the most part solitary creatures, the introverted wall holders at parties with rich inner worlds to inhabit. We may babble in highly caffeinated mumble speak instead of English and not be able to string together two coherent sentences in our real world conversations. Yet take us to a writing conference and whoa, who is this person? Okay, I’m describing myself but I’m sure there is at least one writer who gets this, feels my words and is secretly nodding their head. If you are that person, and you have not already done so, run, not walk, to your nearest writing conference. It just might change your writing life. Why? Reason # 1 Writers are your Tribe. Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Few books manage to cast a magic spell from beginning to end. Gaiman managed a feat that as a reader left me spellbound and as a writer, left me in awe. Yeah, I’m late to his fan club party but what an introduction The Ocean at the End of the Lane makes! The protagonist starts at a funeral, wanders aimlessly towards the home of his childhood friend then recounts his youth while sitting and staring into her backyard pond. The friendship fostered with one amazing little girl takes the reader on a journey that delights the heart even in its sadness. It is a modern day fairy tale. Between the pages, one will find fantasy, the power of friendship, life with its inherent darkness and Continue Reading →

Book Review: Demon A Memoir

I will first say that I am a little biased. I did a writing workshop with Tosca and found her to be one of the highlights of the 2016 Florida Writers Conference. She is an amazing teacher and gave many invaluable tips on writing. Demon: A Memoir By Tosca Lee Wonderful debut novel. It is a slow burn, a story that digs its fingers into you as you read. It does have a Christian slant but it really didn’t bother me as a reader. I actually enjoyed the POV of creation from the demon. For me the greater themes of choice, unconditional love and hate overshadowed religion and carried the book, as did the relationship between Clay and the demon. This is the first book Continue Reading →

Thoughts on Writing

Writing is intimate. It is art on a good day and maybe a glimpse into my soul, my persona, what moves and motivates me, or the belly button lint I am unraveling for the day. I’ve seen that in the works of others who I read consistently, the person who occasionally slips in. They are the shadow lurking in the back of the room, only noticed because you happened to glance up at just the right angle and see them. It isn’t much, just a hint, because art, whatever the medium, isn’t about the person creating. It is about the reflection of the something greater that the artist has received and their expression of that. I used to think only great writers had that ability. Continue Reading →

Reading While Writing

I tend to read less when writing. (Something about too many words running around my head and eye glaze.) Then something fantastic happened. The book I was reading to avoid my own writing turned to shit 500 pages in. Kinda sad considering I would have bought the rest of the series. Not only did said book go to the great give away in the sky, the author’s chances of ever getting me back are slim. Yeah, as a reader I’m harsh. Reading time is valuable and there are a gazillion great books just waiting to crowd my already crowded bookshelves. Yet I am forever thankful I read that book. More thankful even, that I read it when I did, which was while struggling with my Continue Reading →

Writers Conferences

This weekend I attended the Florida Heritage Book Festival in St. Augustine. Being the first conference – for writers – I’ve ever been to, I have to say that connecting with like minded individuals, learning a few tips and tricks and finding a few new authors to read was well worth the trip. 🙂  

Why Stephen is King

I’ve been behind on my Stephen King reading, he is prolific, and just finished Blaze – a good fun romp of a read. Even knowing how the book was going to end, (it is his homage to Of Mice and Men) I had hope I was wrong. As a reader/ writer, I love the way words can be strung, creating a sensory delight, their sound and picture tinkling in my mind’s eye as their meaning evokes feeling. They are the great lines that pull you momentarily from a story just so you can pause, reread and reflect before plunging back into the plot. Stephen King has strung lots of those through the years and something else. He offers hope (for his characters & the Constant Reader) in the rarest of times and reminds me Something Greater exists. Continue Reading →

NaNoWriMo

When I first saw NaNoWriMo I said huh? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. I may have seen it before, must have, considering I’ve been dipping my toes in the writing waters for years. And yet, I never checked it out before this year despite it being over 10 yrs old. Call me chicken. This year I decided to take the plunge and sign up. Tonight marks the first meet and greet and I’m excited to see if I can pull off writing 50,000 words in a month. Anyone interested in writing should check it out!