It seems like everything we do in life is dependent on affirmations of some sort. Well, I’m making a new rule in my life. The only affirmation I need is from my heart and soul. No one else’s opinion matters. My work, my life is just that. Mine.

My faith is growing and I’m learning to lean more on God for the things I need like a parking space on my brother’s street so I won’t get ticketed. It doesn’t matter how trivial a request seems, if it’s important to us then we should ask. We will receive.

As to my writing, I need to remember to write first. Edit when I’m done. We all know how hard that is. Seeing it as the road block to advancing the progress of my book has been slow. I’m determined to let go of the editing and just getting the words down on the document and keep going. It hasn’t happened yet, but we all know practice makes perfect.

Being here in Philadelphia with my brother has been relaxing. Yes, we’re dealing with a life threatening illness for him – the big C. He’s single and too much of a researching for his own good. My being here is to be a calming influence and the voice of reason to stop him from beating himself up for things that can’t be changed. (Not going to the doctor in over 10 years.)

However, it’s too easy to relax and not get any work done. It doesn’t help that my workstation is setup in my bedroom with the coolest TV I’ve ever seen. Love the Samsung with the voice option on the remote. But I’ve only got three more days here. I should have a good word count to show for it.

I’m working hard at building up my determination to be a better full-time writer. I waste too much time worrying about other life things. So, I’m hiring my daughter to be the housekeeper of our apartment. She’ll do all the dishes, laundry and cleaning so I can write and not stress out.

She does some on occasion, but not consistently. Now she’ll have the incentive of a paycheck. Plus, since she can drive, if appointments are on days she’s off from her day job she’ll be the taxi instead of me.

This is my plan. I’m determined to stick to it. I need to stick to it to become the success I want to be.


First Week of New Year

Wow, has it already been a week? Almost. So disappointed I had to cancel the first RWA chapter meeting of the new year, but temps and conditions made it necessary. From all the information I had, I thought the venue would be closed as well, but it wasn’t.

Today is a free day of writing instead. I think my friends are just as happy to have this too. When don’t we want free days to write?

Only a few words have been written so far. I’ve been busy with business and getting all my obligations organized. Now most of is complete, so it’s down to writing time. Dinner is already in the crockpot. Don’t care if the kids won’t eat it. It’s something I need to have.

Some of you know I am in the process of preparing for bariatric surgery (stomach bypass). If I pass the last nutrition appointment on the 23rd, I’ll be cleared for surgery. The next step would be to meet with the surgeon and set the date for the bypass. This could happen as early as the end of February to the beginning of March.

My life will change. I’ll have more energy, better health and better stamina. The downtime will give me uninterrupted writing time. Can’t wait for this.

So far, I can say this year is off to a great start. My word for the year is ‘Drive’ and I’m keeping true to it. The goal for this year? Two or more books published. Time to get ‘er done!

2018 – What’s In Store?

It’s the first day of a new year and I still haven’t even started on my goal for the day. Am I upset about this? No. Why not? Because I still have 2.5 hours to get words in.

Last year was a year of revelations for me. Living with two adult children and divorced from their father, I’ve been acting like mom. No more. They live here because I let them. I make them pay part of the rent. Their phones are on my plan, as well as their Internet access.

Mom is gone, except for moral support and guidance.

This year is the year I achieve my goals. My weight will change in this first quarter with bariatric surgery. I am so ready to feel energized and pain free. Luckily I won’t be out of commission for very long. Two days in hospital and able to go out and about right away.

My Erin Condren journal is open on my desk with word goals, appointments, bill dates and anything I need to keep track of. No more being lost in the ether because of lack of motivation and paying attention. 2018 will see me debt free thanks to ex’s settlement. Can’t wait.

The only resolution I have for 2018 is to write every day. I have a goal for each of 4 books I’ll be working on. Book 1 is almost complete and I hope to submit it by February 1, 2018. Book 2 is started and has about 14k written already. Books 3 and 4 are started, but that’s about it. They are part of the series with Book 2. Can’t wait for this series to see the light of day.

So this is my agenda for this brand, new year. I’m also going to try and write a blog at least once a month, if not more.


A Year of Gratitude

I haven’t posted on this site in a while. There have been many changes in my writing direction. During the twenty plus years I’ve been writing, I always thought my stories were romantic suspense. However, as I work on books two and three of my series I realize there is no sex scenes.

The romantic suspense genre does have these scenes. My first book, Heiress: Lost Found, had one such scene but it was more inferred than shown. These newer stories are more faith-based romance with suspense. This is more comfortable for me to write and I’m getting more written.

Providence works in mysterious ways. I’ll be going to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference in Disney World next week. Today I googled my roommate and discovered she is an inspirational romance writer.  Imagine my delight to find I’ll not only meet a new friend, but will have someone to talk with and guide me along this new direction.

God has shown me more blessings in the past six months, than I’ve ever known possible. He is good.


Why does it seem I’m always started a new path to be comfortable in my own skin? This week is another of those attempts.

At the local farm market, I bought a lot of Roma tomatoes to can sauce. Of course, I couldn’t find a canning kit anywhere and had to order one. But, not wanting to lose the tomatoes, I improvised with what I had on hand. To my surprise, I successfully canned four pints of sauce. It was a simple sauce, using fresh basil, garlic and a splash of maple syrup to cut the acidity.

To add to my success, I cooked up some marinated chicken breasts and plain pork chops. For my lunch, I had a chicken breast, cooked fresh summer squash with shallots and baby onions and a salad with ribboned beet and radishes. I’m full and satisfied.

The change in my mindset is like night and day. I’m feeling positive about every aspect of my life. It feels like I’m taking a turn for the better.

I’m grateful to have a roof over my head.

I’m grateful to have reliable transportation.

I’m grateful to have food to eat.

I’m grateful I’m alive.

Skye Jordan Author Giveaway

What an amazing giveaway!  She’s giving away a Kindle Fire 7 with 72 books loaded on it.


Jumpstarting My Career

As I take this small vacation with my daughter, I’m trying to get a handle on being more proficient with my writing. So far, my writing discipline is lacking. There are too many distractions, interruptions and non-real reasons to not write.

I’ve been sitting in the motel for two days now and am getting more done than I’ve done all year. Planning my day out first thing is a big help. I write down in my planner what I want to accomplish for the day. It’s freeing to check each item off the list.

I try to keep away from Facebook and emails until I’ve gotten most of the other work done. This hasn’t really worked well. At least I have cut down the amount of time I do these things. My goal is to continue this and work harder to stay to task.

Part of my difficulties have been my living situation. I’m researching other avenues that will not only help my writing but my personal life as well.

The Art of Romantic Suspense by Chloe French

This article in the April issue of RWR caught my attention. Since romantic suspense is the genre I write, I was intrigued by this article. I learned many good tips.

French based much of her article on an interview with Kendra Elliot. Ms. Elliot is prolific in romantic suspense. She states romantic suspense is an art form. The blend is different for every author. I agree with this as the many romantic suspense authors I read have such varied story lines.

I loved the guidelines Elliot gave in the article: setting, villain and hero/heroine. Using the setting to increase the suspense is a great tip. In my own writing, I have used the villain’s POV to ratchet up the suspense too.

The best point I learned in this article was this: “I believe you have one paragraph to hook a reader. Don’t waste it with introspection or description.” – Kendra Elliot

To learn more, I strongly urge you to read this article. It is a great resource.

First, Do No Harm by Holly Jacobs

This article in the June issue of RWR (Romance Writers Report) caught my eye as I leafed through the magazine.  What an insightful look at what can happen at conferences. This story was perfectly timed for preparation for the RWA16 conference in San Diego in a few weeks. 

Several points I liked in the article were about pitching. The editors want to know what your story is about, they don’t really care how you pitch as long as you can answer their questions.

The section titled “There Are No Absolutes” was very helpful. I’ve found myself as a attendee having to remember that what I’m hearing may not work for me. I  need to take everything with a grain of salt and decide if and how what I’m learning will help my craft.

Taking Holly’s lead, I’ve learned to get out of my shell and not rely solely on hooking up with people I know. This connected me with a new best friend at the RWA15 in New York City. Mingling is important in growing. The more people you meet with similar interests, the broader your resources.

Holly’s best advice? Smile. Be it on a plane, train, bus, cab, remember to smile and engage. Sometimes it can help the other person too.

Finding My Equilibrium

Enjoyed two wonderful workshops with Joanne Rock, editor and author with Harlequin. Her morning workshop dealt with the emotional and physical health of writing. She gave us many tips on how to break up our work day and keep stress at bay.

One of the tips was to break up your writing time. I typically feel overwhelmed if I feel I need to really crank out the words. This leads to no words. Not how a writer should be.

So my plan for this first day of my career improvement is to breakdown what I want to achieve. Having my planner at my side as my guide is helping. I’ve already read an article in the RWR I put aside to read and spent less than half an hour going through emails and answering the important ones.

I’ve also put down I want to write at least one review on a book on Lilac Falls Book Reviews, and blog. Another point is to write 30 minutes on my current WIP. After I’ve done all these things, I can go on Facebook and try some work on a media kit and self promotion.

Already I feel I’m being productive and the stress is not present. And this after I woke up after noon. Don’t get me wrong, I did get up at 7:30 and have breakfast in the hotel lobby. The nap after was to recover from the long day yesterday, driving my daughter to see a friend who has been undergoing Proton radiation. It took a while to get to sleep after a late dinner.

No more excuses. I’ve written my blog for today and I’m off to review a book.