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A ‘Wrich” Experience

June 15, 2022 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , ,

STATION WAGONS & STORYTELLING:

The first time my parents piled all of my siblings and me into an old station wagon without air conditioning and drove us to the desert for and August ‘vacation’, I was hooked on travel. It didn’t matter that it was 120 degrees in the shade, that the hotel was cheap, and that only one coffee shop remained open in the days before universal air conditioning. At nine years old, that humble vacation embedded itself in my brain and made me a traveler and a storyteller. I remember the heat from my burned skin (before sunscreen). I remember having ‘peeling’ contests with my brothers. My yellow swimsuit had white flowers on it. The sun went through the white leaving my torso stamped with brown patches. I was sure I was dying. It took my mother an hour to convince me I was simply tanned.

On the way home, we saw three giant, realistic dinosaur structures looming in the middle of the desert, each many stories high. Intrigued, we convinced my father to stop.  There was a small door in the leg of the Tyrannosaurs Rex that opened onto a dark, narrow stairway leading to the belly of the beast. An old man lived inside the dinosaur. He waited patiently for people to stop. When they did he sold them shark’s teeth and turquoise. I loved the idea of a man living in a dinosaur.

I came home from that trip with the sights and sounds, the tastes and smells, the memories of the people I met embedded in my bones. Every travel experience is like that for me, and all these things eventually show up in a book.

MEETING OF THE MINDS

That brings me to the here and now. A month ago, I went to Sedona, Arizona, a place of stunning views, breathtaking nature hikes, and magical Vortices. It is also where a frustrated psychic healer once told me that he couldn’t tell my future because I had a bad aura. He gave me my money back. I was bummed.

However, my future turned out okay. I returned home with some lovely memories and a new friend. Her name is Renae Wrich. I was walking around the pool —heaven forbid I actually swim and exercise—wearing my favorite baseball cap. I forget that it is emblazoned with the word ‘WRITER’. Renae waded through the water to ask if I wrote. Once we determined we were both writers, the conversation marathon began. We talked about writing and publishing, managing a family and juggling work while we pursue our passion.

PASSING THE BATON

When I knew that I would be stepping down from my monthly Slice of Orange post (yes, I’ll be on an extended trip), I asked if I could replace myself. Renae was my first choice. She had just published Mac and Cheese Please, Please,Please, a children’s book and is setting her sights on romance. I envy her the journey in this brave new world of words and technology. I can’t wait to read her thoughts on writing as she builds her career works and raises her children. 

So, I have had the honor of enjoying my Renae Wrich experience standing in a pool in Sedona, Arizona. I know you’ll love getting to know her too. Welcome Renae! Thank you for accepting the baton. Until our paths cross again, I’ll be following along with all your new Slice of Orange fans.

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Sorting it out…

June 10, 2022 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , ,

All I want to do is write, but at the moment, it feels like real life is moving much faster than the plot of a good book. In between editing my holiday romcom, we’ve been moving, getting our primary residence ready to go up for sale (it went live yesterday), spending as much time as possible with our new grandson, doing physical therapy for both of my knees, and planning a celebration of life for my stepfather, who we lost in April. Hmmm, I’m going to have to switch that around. I think I’m editing in between all of my other responsibilities. I find myself creating piles of items to keep, donate, or discard all day. And not just with belongings, with aspects of my life.

What moves with me? What will I keep? Books, old writing, sewing, favorite cooking items, old photos, and special keepsakes. Ideas that are swirling in my head for the next story, the next article, the next adventure on the page. My new healthy lifestyle. And then of course there are family and friends I’ll miss, but keep close through social media, phone, and hopefully in person.

The donate pile- a few books that I think I can live without (this pile was much smaller than it probably should have been). Sewing items that I know I’ll never use (again this pile should be bigger) and lots of items from the kitchen and throughout the house that I never use, are outdated or don’t fit with our new home or life. And tons, AND TONS of clothes that no longer fit me. Seriously, tons of clothes, woo hoo!!

Trash is a kind of interesting thing. Some things are easy to throw away, broken storage containers, old bills, devices that no longer work, and the ratty old shoes that have slowly shuffled to the back of the closet…well, except that one comfy pair that should go in the trash but I just can’t get rid of…and there you go, some things are much harder to throw away. The book I’ve read so many times the cover is falling out and pages are loose. I could get a new copy, but this is the original copy of Christy, by Catherine Marshal that I read back in 6th grade, and 7th, and when I had nothing to read in my first apartment, and years later when I missed the story, and I’m probably due to read it again now. And anything that my children created. I know can’t keep all of it…I can’t, right? Can I? Maybe I can. And sometimes even ideas for stories that never happened. Time to give them up. I think.

What about you? Is life moving quickly? Do you feel the pressure to do things you have to do over things you want to do? And what stays in your keep pile? What are you willing to pass along? What finally makes it to the discard pile? I’m hoping to slow down and take a breath soon, but for now…back to work!

 

 

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New Beginnings, Left Turns

April 18, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

New Beginnings, Left Turns

Presented by: Kathryn Jane

Date: May 1 – 31, 2022 (one month)

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop: 

Staring at a blank screen is unproductive. Let me teach you how to get past the roadblocks, get your hands back on the keys and fill that screen with words. Learn useful tactics for digging yourself out of a metaphorical hole, for taking your story a whole new direction, or for making a tiny change that will open up something you hadn’t yet thought of. This workshop will provide you with tools and exercises to help you—or your reluctant muse—climb out of the ditch and back up onto the road.

About the Presenter:

Kathryn Jane, author, artist, and coach, loves to share her knowledge and experience in a wide variety of workshops designed to assist others on their journey from idea to publication and successful marketing. Her own publishing career has included everything from novels to short stories and a variety of genres including Women’s Fiction and Romantic Suspense. 

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Strange Inspirations

March 6, 2022 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

I’m writing. I’m always writing, and I’m committed to write several more books that I’m working on, both mystery and romantic suspense, which is a good thing.

Even so, my mind is always churning around new ideas. Yours too? If you’re an author, that’s undoubtedly the case.

So what are some of my oddest inspirations these days? Well, for one thing, someone was attacked on my very nice residential street recently. I learned a little of what it was about, thanks to neighbors and others, and looked it up on the internet. The information wasn’t complete, but it did get my mind considering what I could do to fix that in a fictional story. But not yet.

Then there’s a neighbor who has an affiliation with the Ukraine. No, though I feel highly sympathetic and concerned about the Ukranian people, I don’t think I want to write about that. But still—I’m a writer, so my mind churns about that too.

I’ve already mentioned how I’ve wondered about writing something including the pandemic—or not. Yes, in a way that could also be an inspiration.

Inspirations that are fun instead? Well, we’re awaiting a new puppy to be a companion to our dog Cari. We lost her former companion Mystie last year. Not sure how Cari will feel about not being an only dog again when the time comes—and my mind churns about writing something in anticipation.

Then there was the fact that we were babysitting our grandsons recently in Indiana, in the snow—leaving warm California behind. Delightful to be with them, and even dealing with the snow. Is there a story in that?

How about you? What in your life or neighborhood inspires you to write?  Anything? Everything?

Linda O. Johnston

A Few of Linda’s Books

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published 52 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels.  More than twenty-five of them are romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne.  Her latest release is Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire, for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

She has also written several mystery series including  the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.  Nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs!

Linda enjoys hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.LindaOJohnston.com and friend her on Facebook.

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

BEAR WITNESS

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BEAR WITNESS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

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COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

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FOR A GOOD PAWS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

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GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

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HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

PICK AND CHEWS

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PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

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SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

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TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

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TRAINED TO PROTECT
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

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UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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Character Goals

February 23, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , ,

Character Goals

Presented by: Jen Bokal

Date: March 12, 2022 9AM PT

Pricing: A2P Member fee: No Charge

Non-A2P Member fee: $10

About the Workshop:

To many writers, a novel plan is akin to a soul-killing outline learned in grammar school, complete with Roman Numerals and indentations. Yet, to sit down at a computer and begin working without any intention—other than to write a novel—often ends up with an unfinished manuscript and a frustrated author. This workshop with help to develop characters and their goals, along with exploring how they can reach those goals in a dramatic and engaging fashion.

About the Presenter:

Jennifer D. Bokal penned her first book at age eight. An early lover of the written word, she decided to follow her passion and become a full-time writer. From then on, she didn’t look back. She earned a master of arts in creative writing from Wilkes University and became a member of the Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She has authored several short stories, novellas and poems. Winner of the Sexy Scribbler in 2015, Jennifer is the author of 16 novels/novellas. Included in her titles are the Ancient World Historical series the Champions of Rome and the Harlequin Romantic Suspense series, Rocky Mountain Justice and the connected series, Rocky Mountain Justice: Wyoming Nights. She is also the author of Coltons Secret History, Book 3 in the Coltons of Kansas series and Coltons Internal Affair, Book 9 in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series—also from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Happily married to her own Alpha Male for more than 25 years, she enjoys writing stories that explore the wonders of love. Jen and her manly husband live in upstate New York with their three beautiful daughters, two very spoiled dogs, and a kitten that aspires to one day become a Chihuahua.

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