Thursday, July 20, 2017


I've got a couple links for you. 

First on the list: 10 writing rules you can (and should) break. Okay, so some of the things he's listed as a 'rule' I'd never heard of before. While I can see the wisdom in them I'm all in favor of breaking them judiciously. Are there any you've never heard of?

Next: Ways to declutter your writing. I thought this had some great suggestions of things to watch out for.

Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, July 10, 2017


I often see writers asking each other how to stay focused. It's easy to get distracted by internet, laundry, life. Sitting down and writing a tough scene isn't always the favorite thing to do.

There are as many solutions as there are writers. For me, it's all about wanting it. If I keep my goal in mind, how much I want to be published, have a book in stores and libraries, have something that others will read and love, then it's easy to prioritize. Because I won't get that without putting in the work.

Writing is hard, you have to want it, and, if you want it enough, focus is easy.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Sorry about the silence, we took some family time. I'm getting back into a regular routine and should have a post next week. See you all then!

Monday, June 19, 2017


Having trouble with a scene? Try mixing it up.

Write it in a different POV.
Or a different setting.
Add characters.
Subtract characters.
Throw in an antagonist.
Drop a bombshell revelation.
Provoke a fight.
Have them make up.

Or maybe you can skip that scene all together. What is it really doing for your novel? Can reasonably get any important info to the readers in scenes you already have?

No matter what, keep writing. Don't give  up. If you need skip it and come back to it later.

Just. Keep. Writing.

Monday, June 5, 2017


I'm a huge fan of libraries. Some of my best memories from childhood were family trips to the library. I still remember getting my first library card. 

I've been getting most of my books through the library e-book lending system. It's worked pretty well. They had a half way decent selection and it fit my schedule. They've had notices up for months that this summer they will be changing systems so when I checked in the other night and saw the new system was up, I couldn't wait to check it out.

I was disappointed.

Turns out it is the same system I had had in a previous state. I hated it. I never used it. It had no selection and it wasn't user friendly. It looks as if the selection has expanded since then but of the 25 books I had had on my wish list in the old system, I could find only three of them in the new system. I was really upset and angry. It seems as if they library had traded systems for one that was worse than the previous one.

I know this is a first world problem. There is a lot that goes into these decisions. I know they have to try what works for the majority of people, not just me. And I would never want to be the person who had to make that decision. Still, I'm sad. I can't afford to supply my book habit solely with purchasing books. I rely on my library to stay sane, and in a busy world, it's just easier to use digital checkouts, rather than ILL, waiting for a book to ship, then having to drive to the library to pick it up. The closest library is very small and has weird hours (It is actually inside the high school so can't open during school hours.) the next closest library is 1/2 hour away.

Guess I'll have to go old school again, suck it up and ILL everything (My librarians in my previous state didn't like me much) Or, I'll have to sell a book for enough to supply my book habit.

I like that option. 

Do you use the library digital check out system? What do you think of it?

Friday, June 2, 2017

June second

Happy National Doughnut Day! 

Hope you found a special one to spend the day with.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Secret Gardens

Growing up I loved the book THE SECRET GARDEN. I loved the idea of finding a secret world. Somewhere to go to be by myself, to do things my way. Something I didn't have to share. It was one of those books I read over and over. Living the magic each time.

I find writing is a bit like looking for a secret garden. I'm circling a story, looking for a way in. When I finally find it, the story is neglected, pathetic, it takes a lot of time and work to shape it into something beautiful. Something others might want to share.

Sometimes I never find the way in, sometimes I can't make it into what I want, but sometimes, the magic happens and I find a beautiful story.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


We are settling down after the move and starting to regain some sanity.

I'm writing again, reading through my manuscripts. I love what I'm writing. I'm so excited to get at it. I'm so excited to be excited about writing again.

What are you working on?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Author Interview!

Rose Phillips, a good friend and great writer, recently published her first novel, CUTTING TO THE CHASE.   

How do you fix something you didn't break? Lizzy certainly doesn't have the answer. All she knows is that she needs to survive senior year, then get as far away from her dysfunctional family as possible. In the meantime, when she can't take the pressure, she eases it with the sharp edge of a razor blade. But, she's been cutting deeper and her thoughts are growing darker. Until she meets Michael. With him she finds relief. Now, maybe—just maybe—she can make it.

It was a great read and I found it really got into the mind of a teenager struggling with some grown up issues.Well, on to the interview.

When I first met you, you wrote historical fiction. How did you get from there to writing contemporary YA?

When I was focused on historical fiction, I was working in education. It was a wonderful distraction, so different from my job. I wore many hats as an educator including literacy consultant for at-risk adolescents and principal.  While I’ve left that career behind, I guess it didn’t leave me. The kids I worked with, their stories, their raw honesty are part of the fabric of who I am. One day, Lizzy started talking to me. Just in snippets at first.
It was the fall of 2015, and I decided to take a break from historical fiction and fully participate in NaNoWriMo without worrying about research. So it made perfect sense to explore Lizzy’s story. She was hurting, and I wanted to find out why. Cutting to the Chase poured out in less than a month, surpassing the required word count for NaNo. While it underwent many revisions, including a full rewrite of POV, the story has essentially remained the same.

Once you signed with your publisher, was there any part of the publishing process that surprised you?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my opinion has been considered. I have read so many horror stories—from incompatible editors to disastrous covers—that I was fully prepared for frustration. But I was assigned a terrific editor and my input was considered for the cover and included a preview of it for approval. Working with the EvernightTeen team has been all positive.

Do you have a favorite character that you’ve written? That someone else has written?

I’m still a little in love with my main character, Brandan “Raven” Murray, in my historical fiction Raven’s Path. Since I feel I have again grown as a writer, I want to comb back through that manuscript and, no doubt, tighten it up. I’m looking forward to spending time with him again.

Do you have a book you love but are embarrassed to admit you enjoy?
I can’t think of any.

I know you have two dogs you love very much; can you tell us about them?

Ginger and Spice are little Lhasa Apso sisters. They’re now ten years old. Lhasas, historically, were raised to be Tibetan guard dogs inside the palace (Chows were outside). So, instinctively, they are calm quiet dogs, always nearby, listening. They will bark up a storm when someone arrives but stop as soon as they recognize the person. They do everything together. So much so that we call them the two-head beast because we’re convinced they don’t know they are two separate animals. They bring plenty of laughter and pure joy into our lives.

Favorite color?

It’s a tie between blue and purple.

Favorite food?

Anything without meat but with lots of cheese. I mean LOTS of cheese.

What are your hobbies, past and present?  I know you used to sing and act….

Performing has always been a part of my life. My husband and I met doing musical theatre. A group of us founded our own theatre company, which ran for over 20 years. We wrote our shows, a mix of song and dance and comedy. Lots of comedy. All profit for these cabaret style shows went to charity. It was a wonderful way to contribute to our community and scratch our collective creative itch at the same time.  For a few years, I also sang in a trio with my husband. That was good fun.
Two years ago (this July), we gave our lives a good shake and moved to Vancouver Island. While my husband is enjoying participating in a choir, I haven’t found a performance niche yet. I must admit, I haven’t looked too hard. So far, the writing seems to be feeding that side of my brain. And gardening. I’m loving the novelty of gardening.

Where can we find you online?

Oh, in far too many places these days! This two-persona approach to an online presence is keeping me hopping! 

YA Me:
I’ve just started a series of interviews with YA authors. Do drop by and check out the fun I’m having playing with formatting. It makes for a great distraction from writing. ;0)
Twitter: (@rosephillipsya )

Adult Me:
Twitter: @roserambles1

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Rose a bit, I know you'll enjoy her book! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Here's an interesting article by Donald Maass about provoking emotion in readers.  Should be a good read!

Monday, February 27, 2017


I just accidentally posted two posts on here meant for my other blog. You are more than welcome to come on over and read them on my high altitude living blog. It's a new blog and I'm still getting it up and going.

We're entering the final frenzy for house building so I won't be posting here for a little bit, but hopefully when I'm back in a month I'll be living in my new house!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

life load

Sometimes the weight of life, yours and others is heavy. 

Sometimes knowing what others are going through or doing pulls you down. 

That’s one of the reasons I write. To put down the load, give it to someone else, someone fictional who won’t mind it and who will find a way to deal with it. As they find a way, so do I. 

It’s easier to share the burden. Even if it’s with someone imaginary.

Do you ever write to ease a burden or work through a problem?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Never Say Never

I've never been a big fan of books written in present tense. Sometimes I would stop reading them for no reason other than they were written in present tense. Now, I find myself using it on a short story. I didn't even realize until the first draft was done. I'm not sure how I feel about it. But I do know that whatever happens will be an adventure.

Have you ever found yourself doing something in your writing you never thought you would do?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Idea store

I'm not technically part of the Insecure Writers Group but I did have something I wanted to get out. By making it public I'm owning it. And then I can do something about it. 

I used to have so many ideas. Not all of them were good. Not all of them turned into something, but ideas. I looked at the world and SAW things. 

Now I am empty, blank. 

It’s so hard to think of something, to string words together. Where did my ideas go? Where did my seeing go? I have to wonder what is wrong with me, will I ever get them back. What if I don’t? What if I’m a fraud and I’m reworking the same ideas over and over again? What if there is nothing more to me? 

I hope this is probably stress talking, and the preoccupation I have with finishing this house. This move that has been happening for two years has really hit me in the writing department. I can only hope that if I keep plugging along, and once all the stress has gone back to normal, I’ll get my ideas back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The End

I’ve read several books by an author who I’ve enjoyed. Up until the ending of each book. Each ending is a disappointment. She has her characters behave very stupidly, just to fit a formula the author thinks she needs to follow. I know she’s following a formula because it’s the exact same in each of the books. Same situation, same reactions, no matter who the characters are. 


Do what is true to the character.

And don’t keep re-writing the same book with different people. Your readers will notice. And they will be upset. I know I am.  So much so that I’ve stopped buying her books. Why bother when I know it will just be a disappointment.

The author has so much potential. It’s frustrating to see her cop out at the end.

Have you ever experienced something like this?