Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Friday, December 17, 2010


A long time ago, in a far away place.... Okay, so it was about six or so years ago in Washington, D.C., I attended a writers retreat put on by Algonkian Conferences and a man called Michael Neff. I arrived at Dulles Airport after dark and took a cab to the cabin which was located in a state park not far from D.C. For a moment I thought the cab driver was taking me someone to kill me as I had no idea where I was going. He didn't, but over the next couple of days I wondered if it wouldn't have been less painful.

Ten students, both male and female shared two five bedroom cabins along the edge of the Potomac River. It was lovely and we were all hopeful. We would spend a full week there, writing, critiquing, etc. The first day or two Michael Neff read us the riot act, explaining that most writers never go far because they give up, or worse yet just don't write. To tell you the truth, his attacks or (sharing of information)had the ten of us banding together against him like warriors. It took us the entire week to realize the value of what he had to say. We really didn't know anything!

We were cocky, over confident and just too green to realize we didn't know what we didn't know! But Michael Neff became the second (my husband was the first) of many to give me good, sound advice, advice that moved me step-by-step to where I am today.

Because of Michael Neff, a year later I attended and pitched a book in one of his New York Pitch Conferences. It was a book I hadn't even written but got a nice response from two publishers for a book that didn't exist! What I learned from the conference and from Michael, was how far I had to go. So I started on my degree, a degree that will culminate in May with a terminal degree and wrote a book! For that I will be ever grateful to Michael Neff.

Funny how people come and go in your life influencing you without you even understanding the effect they have had on you. Because this is the Christmas Season I want to blog about several of the people that have influenced me in my life, then ask you to reflect on and then thank those that have made a difference in your life!

For more information on Michael Neff's New York Pitch Conference see

Aloha from Kauai!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Whole Lot of Nothing

For all of you poor people stuck in that ice cold weather, here's a photo of what we are looking at and doing. A whole lot of nothing! And, please feel sorry for us...it's only 78 degrees:)

I've been spending the mornings writing a few short stories that I'm sending out shortly. A couple of fun contests are coming up. Take a look!

100 Words or less...www.100wordsorless.com....due Dec 18. A real challenge to get a tight story in a few words.

Dreamquest...www.dreamquestone.com...Fiction & Non-fiction...Due by Dec 31.

The Warren Adler Contest...www.warrenadler.com...due Jan 15, 2011.

Have a good one!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kauai or Bust

The short version of how we finally managed to get to Kauai on a much needed vacation goes something like this.....

Cancer..prayer..surgery..prayer..blockage..prayer..big leg swelling..prayer..sonogram..prayer..no clot..praise..fluid sac..prayer..no cancer..praise..surgery..prayer..no Kauai.prayer...Kauai!!!! Praise!!!

Today was the first we've been able to really do nothing! No writing today. No work. Just sunshine, beaches and looking out to sea! Thanks to all of you who sent prayer our way! We wouldn't be here without you!

Already met a lovely woman, Judy and her wild man boyfriend, Dar. Judy is a poet, so we had a chat about books and authors we both enjoy! Very nice couple!

Also, my dear friend, Susan Jones of www.charmofthecarolines.com had a very successful weekend with the Tours of Antebellum Homes and authors that were hosted in Columbia, Tennessee last weekend. Lenore Hart and David Poyer were two of the invited authors. Susan opened her home to them as well and from what I understand a good time was had by all! Read about it on her blog!

Also, if you are serious about writing don't forget to sign up for Hope Clark's, Funds for Writer's online magazine. www.fundsforwriters.com You can get her wonderful subscription for 1/2 price or just $7.00 if you order before December 21, 2010. A must have for the latest articles, opportunities and contests! So order now!

And for you novice opera buffs, learn something new about opera from Gail Martin's website, http://operatoonity.wordpress.com! Start the new year learning more about some art form! You'll be richer for it!