Friday, July 29, 2005

Are We Obligated?

Book signings are an important part of a writer’s career. I’ve attended many book signings. It always amazes me how many people show up and don’t buy a book. One book signing a person in the audience harassed the writer so and had the nerve to ask for an autograph on a newspaper she brought in. I thought how rude.

It has me thinking. Are we obligated to buy books at a book signing? I think its common courtesy to buy a book. No you’re not obligated, but you have to think what is a book signing? An event to sell books.

Should you hold up the line if you don’t plan on buying books?

I’ve seen people stand in line with no intentions of buying a book, they just want to pick the writer’s brain. Ok you’ve received all this free advice, buy a book. No they say, I would love to buy a copy, but I don’t have any funds to day.

The only time I don’t buy a book is if I come across a book signing while in the mall. I’ll pick up a bookmark, if I don’t have any extra funds. Or I’ll sign my name to their guestbook, to get more information.

When I attend a book signing, I budget to buy at least two copies of a book. I like the idea of being a part of the book signings success.

It does make you think though, are we obligated?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What type of writer are you?

Plotter / Pantzer / Scene-er?

I think I’m a little of all. I like to plot sometimes. I enjoy sitting down with a pad of paper and seeing were my thoughts go. Sometimes my stories come to me in scenes.

I use to think I had to be one type. It drove me crazy. Now I know that there is no right or wrong to write as long as you write.

I received this quote today and it was perfect.

The Written Word -- Quote a Day

7/26/05: Secret Formulas

"Books don't get written by talking about them, by looking for a 'secret formula' or by agonizing over them. Books get written by gluing one's behind to the chair and writing them." --Mercedes Lackey

The Written Word ( is a daily source of inspiration for writers, editors and publishers. If you would like to submit a publishing-related quote, please e-mail the quotation with the accurate source to Use the subject heading "The Written Word." We do not accept anonymous quotes.

If you’re like me thinking of a millions things to do instead of writing. DON’T, just WRITE.

What type of writer are you?

Friday, July 22, 2005

LaVena L. Johnson

I joined the Navy fresh out of high school. I expected to see the world and make a little money. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d go to war. While in boot camp, we had some problems overseas and a few of our shipmates where shipped over there. It scared me a little, but not enough to want to get out.

Tuesday our community lost a young lady who just like me joined the military right out of high school. Her name is Army Pvt. LaVena L. Johnson. She was 19. In this time an age you wonder why would someone join the military with everything going on in the world. You have to admire the young lady for having the courage to defend our country.

While I was in the Navy I didn’t think about defending the country. I was doing my job. After I was out, I realized how serious the job was. Joining the military means signing up to defend your country. If you’re lucky you never have to take up arms. Sometimes you do.

It always surprises me to hear people dog out our country. Yes we have our issues. What country doesn’t? However all you have to do is live in another country and you can see how privilege we are here.

My prayers go out to LeVena's family. Losing a love one is hard. However losing one because of their job is even worse. You know what their job means, but you respect their wishes for wanting to do it.

I’m one of those who believes everyone should do two years in the military. It will make you appreciate your country.

I salute Army Pvt. LaVena L. Johnson and I thank you for risking your life, so I could stay home safely with my family. May the Lord wrap his arms around your family as they grieve. May many other young ladies and men, take up the torch you left and continue to defend our country. As one who did, its an honor.

Today they announced LaVena was promoted to the rank of Private First Class.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Favorite Invention

On the Today Show they were discussing their favorite inventions.

For me, my favorite inventions is the internet. This invention has changed my life.

I’ve learned a lot by visiting other websites and taking online classes. I can do research for my stories. I can visit other countries without leaving my home. I can communicate with old friends and make new friends. I can share my wisdom with other people. I can even be an entrepreneur.

What invention is your favorite?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hell's Kitchen

Yes I’m still addicted to t.v. I’ve been watching the reality show, Hell’s Kitchen. As a child I wanted to grow up to be a chef. I joined the military and that dreamed died when I found out the hours they worked.

This show let me live through the contestants. One contestant caught my heart. Elise. She was a mother of 6 who always wanted her own restaurant. She didn’t have any cooking experience accept for what she done at home. I admired her, because she had the guts to try at her dream and she almost made it.

Last night she was kicked off. She crumbled under the pressure. I felt for her because she had so much spunk but as the night went on you saw it slowly dimming.

Elise – Thanks for striving for your dream. You inspired me to never give up. If you don’t try it can never happen. I pray the Lord sends someone to offer you a position, so you can learn the business of being a chef and owning a restaurant. I know one day you will have your own restaurant and I pray I have the honor of eating there.

Harry Potter Fan

I’m a Harry Potter fan. OK I said it. I was hooked with the movies. We have them all and are waiting for the next one. I read the first book and was just blown away with the writing. What imagination I kept saying.

I’m currently looking for the audio versions because I enjoy listening to it on tape. I think it’s a great series to introduce to your children because the book grows with your kids. They are such huge books, you can read for months as bed time stories.

My kids love the movies, but they couldn’t get into the books. I think they’re too young. Harry is for the older kid 10 and up.

No I didn’t run out and pick up the latest copy. I was tempted, they had a big party here. My kids went away for the weekend, so I had to miss it.

The Potter books are on my wish list. Hopefully before the year is out, I’ll have them all.

To Tape Or Not to Tape

Yesterday I tried a new writing technique. Talking into a tape recorder. I bought the recorder a few years ago, because I had heard some writers use it to take down their thoughts. However whenever I tried it, nothing would come out. It was like I was staring at a blank page. What the heck would I talk about?

For the past two years, my husband has driven me to work. I used this time to read my bible and catch up on some reading or if I was lucky do a little writing. My husband bought a mini-van so I’m back to driving. Guess what happens, all kinds of thoughts come to me as I’m driving. I don’t have time to write, which means the thoughts are driving me crazy.

I decided to try the tape recorder again. It actually worked. I started talking and couldn’t shut up. The words were flowing like water. Could this system really work for me? It might if I can get over the transcribing. I hate transcribing. I’m hoping listen to my own voice won’t be so bad.

Have you ever recorded your thoughts?

Friday, July 15, 2005

I’m writing again

Yesterday an idea hit me. Everyone has told me to write what you know. I use to be in the Navy so they say write about the Navy. I couldn’t see it since I wrote romance. However since there is this new genre Chick Lit, I thought now is my chance to write about my Navy adventures.

Its so refreshing to meet new characters and listen to them tell their story. Yes you know they tell the story. They just make you write it.

I’m one of those writers who writes before I type. I have always did my books like this. For some reason I can’t start at the computer.

I wrote five pages yesterday. I was hyped. Did a little research. I’m setting it in San Diego, my second duty station. While in the Navy I had three duty stations, Guam, San Diego and Pensacola FL so hopefully I’ll have a story for each place.

Don’t you just love starting a story?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Are You Ashamed?

I’ve interviewed many writers who are ashamed of what they write. Many write in a genre because they felt it was easy to break into. They don’t enjoy writing the genre but if they want their name in the public, this is what they feel they have to do.

Do you agree?

As a reader I can tell when a writer doesn’t like the genre they write. It comes through in their stories.

As a writer who hasn’t published, I feel like saying MOVE, give me the slot. I love what I write, I want the SLOT.

Are you ashamed of what you write?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

This weekend the Lord told me it was time to say goodbye to a friend. He’s been preparing me for a while, I just didn’t want to hear him. This friend has brought me so much joy, but its also brought me stress.

When I started Shades Of Romance Magazine I never dreamed it would grow to the size it has. My little site won awards and is listed in some of the hottest multi-cultural books. Saying goodbye is hard. For five years I’ve been the publisher/editor and it has been a wonderful ride.

The Lord has shown me its time, I’ve done what I set out to do. Its time for new adventures. I’m ready. I put off my own writing for the magazine because I thought this was what I was meant to do. However the characters kept calling, so I continued to write. Now I will have the extra time I need to concentrate on my writing. I pray the experience and knowledge I’ve gain from publishing SORMAG will help me see my publishing dream come true.

I’m grateful for starting SORMAG and I’m grateful to be able to end it on a positive note. I loved introducing others to the world of reading and writing.

Goodbye my friend its been fun.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Magnify The Lord

Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you: and let such as love your salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
Ps. 70:4
Praise God for he is worthy to be praised.

Yesterday my brother-in-law had brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a plum. For the past week we all have been in shock over the news of the tumor. I went to God immediately because I knew he and only he could handle this for us.

The surgery was a success. Jamal, my brother-in-law was talking and asking for homemade pizza before we left the hospital.

I’m thankful the Lord is watching out for us. If we had to do it alone, we’d be some messed up individuals.

Thank you Jesus for all you do.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Good Old Days

This weekend I experienced the good old days. My husband has 13 brothers and two sisters. They came in this weekend to support one of the brothers who will be having surgery this week. Since we’re the only one of the family to have a house, everyone came over, Saturday and the fourth. Thank God for a big house and yard.

It was like the old days of barbequing and enjoying each others company. Something I dreamed of when I first saw our house. I envisioned the big picnics in the yard and kids running around like they’d lost their heads. This weekend proved dreams do come true. We had twenty-five children running around and the grill cooking chicken, hotdogs and hamburger. The house was full of laughing people and I was in host heaven.

This weekend also marked my baby, CJ becoming a five year old. He’s a fourth of July baby. For a week he asked if it was his birthday. The day before, he said, “One more day and its here.” I laughed because he so reminded me of myself at that age.

He enjoyed his birthday, with his best friend, his cousin Cameron. They played on the scooter/skate board he received for his birthday. He dipped in the pool and he ran around the yard with his many cousins. He said this was the best birthday. What a perfect way to end the holidays.

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I’ll miss you Luther

Looking back over my 38 years, Luther Vandross music has played an important part in my life. My pre-teen years, I learned to slow dance to Luther. My teenage years I cried over heartaches to Luther. My navy years I partied to Luther. My adult years, I romanced to Luther and even shared a few more tears with Luther.

I felt as if I’d lost a old friend when I heard the news of his passing. Nobody can sang like Luther. You know when you buy one of his CDs you’re getting your monies worth. He can do ballads and fast songs.

My only regret is I never saw him live. I heard about his concerts, but I always thought I get a chance to hear him.

When I heard the news about his stroke, I sent up my prayers. They showed him on t.v. and I knew it was worst than they’d led on. I sent up more prayers. The last time I saw him on t.v. he looked like he was on his way to recovery.

My daughter asked me who he was when she saw the tears in my eyes. The radio played one of his songs, Dance With My Father. I told her this is Luther. She said, I know this song. I’m sorry he died.

I know his music has touched many in my generations. The best part for me is that he’ll live on in the next generations because of our love for him.

Luther was a wonderful singer whose music will live on forever. Thank you Luther for touching my life with your music.

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