Writing

Blog Day: I have NOTHING to write about!

Denny's MermaidsOh yeah, you’ve been there. Sitting in front of the blank screen, knowing its your day to post and you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to say or you feel that you have nothing to say, or in my case, everything you can think of you’ve said before. It’s like a fog comes over you and all that you think is – I got nothing.

So since I have nothing and have no choice (I hate skipping a day) I decided to research the meaning of nothing…

So I started with the Wikipedia definition – and Jezus – it’s depressing:

Nothing is a pronoun denoting the absence of anything. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness.[1] In nontechnical uses, nothing denotes things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance, or significance.[1] Nothingness is the state of being nothing,[2] the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing. (But being a writer, I am gleaming something in the back of my mind…
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Getting Into Character: Becoming Hazel

Mermaid CarleneHello Fishy Friends,

Right about now, this mermaid should be calling it a night. But I can’t stop tugging on the ends of my hair to see that the once light blonde ends I usually sport are now a cinnamon color. Since I’m sleepless in the land of auburn tresses, I’ve decided to post pictures of why exactly I’m living life as a red head.

It’s all in the name of writing research, getting into character to be more precise. The heroine in my current Work In Progress, Hazel, is a red head (think Victoria the First, of Twilight). I realized quickly that the best way to get into her head, so to speak, would be to experience life as similarly to her as I could. I went as far as to color my hair in a manner that I felt she would use, and being a very bohemian, earthy kind of woman, that meant something natural.

It came in really handy that I’m a…
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From The Heart

Susan-Mermaid-avatarSeveral weeks ago I sort of volunteered to give a talk at our school’s annual faculty retreat. The day is filled with breakout sessions, much like the typical romance writing conference.  Usually, the experienced teachers are quick to propose their pilgrimages, their prayer retreats, their journey of faith through the study of art… anything that might help fill a day of Teacher Detention.  They’re the wise ones of the faculty:  they know how to fill time.  I’m not a popular teacher:  I sit in the peanut gallery.

So why, this time, did I put myself in the hot seat?  My work BFF, raised in the evangelical Christian tradition, summed it up:  “You have been Called. Do It.”  I thought for a second, told myself stop thinking, and shot off a possible topic to the organizer.

My proposal, on Finding God in the Midst of Suffering, was accepted immediately.  What? No argument?  No questioning?  No “gee, we appreciate your thought, but…”  Nope. …
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My Summer Reading Log

Trying to keep my kids reading throughout the summer is like pulling teeth and performing a root canal. Not so for me. My favorite part of summer at the pool is reading. The only time my body comes into contact with the water is to hang on the ladder for ten seconds when I get too hot. Then it’s right back to the book.

My kids had to fill out their reading logs and keep track of the books they read, so I decided to do the same. So many times someone will ask what books I’ve read recently, and I draw a complete blank. It’s not that I didn’t like the book. It’s that I read too many of them to keep track.

Without further ado, here is my reading log: 1. BOUND by Erica O’Rourke 2. THE FARM by Emily McKay 3. GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers 4. PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry 5. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick 6. DEATH, DOOM, AND DETENTION by…
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Why I Love Dracula: A Writer’s Muse

Denny's MermaidsI woke up this morning and was thinking – what should I blog about today? The view on the lake outside my window as the sun touches the treetops, or the sound of the birds singing in the early morning, their songs never as sparkly as in the first hours of a new day. Then a thought struck me and I knew exactly what I had to write about, what I was bursting to write about…

Why I love Dracula so darn much!

Note – this is not a question. It is a statement of absolute fact and here are the Top 11 Reasons Dracula is the Best Vampire Ever!

The struggle between control and lack of control is epic. Passion on a stick (or fangs). Fangs (creepy, but somehow, sexy). Sex appeal (bad boy, the ultimate bad boy, maybe the first bad boy). Sidekicks (the odd man who carried around his coffin). Burning to ashes in daylight (any vampire story…
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Back to Work

598931_442334515849916_239845262_nAs you read this I’m embarking on an exciting journey… I’m returning to the workforce. Today is my first day at my new day job.

After years of staying at home with my children, volunteering at school or helping out with a field trip at the drop of a dime, and writing, always writing, today I’m returning to the land of the gainfully employed. It was a tough decision but one that’s been in the works for a long time. Now that my oldest is driving, my youngest is in high school and all those fun college bills are a heartbeat away—it seemed like the right time.

I kind of remember what it was like to collect a steady paycheck and receive a W-2 at the end of the year, but it’s been awhile, and I’ll be honest, I’m a little terrified. I’m not sure if that is fear for myself, or…
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Risk Takers: What Romance Authors Do for Love…

Denny's MermaidsThis morning I decided to follow-up a week of amazing posts at the Waterworld Mermaid blog with a post about taking risks. Yep. You  know who you are – you jump off the deep end of the pool blindfolded, you sky dive, you climb mountains, you run marathons, you raise kids, you quit your job to write full time (and haven’t sold a book) – okay that last one is crazy, but she sounds a lot like me:)…

So here’s my list of risks that romance authors take for the love of writing books!

I took a sabbatical from my full-time gig and for the next few months, I am a full-time writer ! And no, I haven’t signed a contract with a publisher (or plan on self-publishing), but hey, I have faith that if I focus good things will come from this decision. I am fortunate. I can afford (kind of) to take the time away from my EDJ…
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Learning to Keep Your Balance

Did you ever have a moment where a challenge you’ve known of for a long time seemed seemed to suddenly, magically resolve?Susan Mermaid

My lovely, talented, rapscallion son, Skitch, graduated from college two years ago.  He needed five years to complete his studies in engineering.  I was happy to give him that extra year – he chose a very affordable state school and I had (at the time) sufficient funds to help out.  We were thrilled when he was ready to fly the coop, get a job and spread his wings.

squidolin6But the graduation gift…  what to give this only son, who spread himself among so many interests and passions?  He suggested, and hubby liked the idea of, an electric violin.  But the best electric violins cost many thousands of dollars.  They need accessories, expensive ones.  We don’t know anything (much) (nothing) about electric…
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Authors Want to Find Readers? Well, Say WATTPAD?

imgres-4Wattpad.com is a website that claims 15,000,00 monthly users and has a tag line that calls itself – The Future of Reading. If you already know about Wattpad, please share your experience, thoughts, opinions. But I didn’t know about them, so I did some reading and am summarizing my findings here.

My headline is a bold statement that sounds as if  I’m endorsing WattPad, but no, not endorsing, but I got curious. And if you already know all about it – and have experience with it, positive or negative, or found it wasn’t quite ready for authors – please comment below – because WATTPAD has potential as a place to find romance readers IMHO.

True to my last-to-know world, I was introduced to Wattpad at RWA National Conference 2013 at a workshop called Marketing Outside the Box with Darynda Jones, Angie Fox and Kieran Kramer and Stephanie Dray. It was an excellent panel, got smart insights…
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Unwind…

Image How can it possibly be August already? Vacations are winding down, and before we know it the kidlets will be back in school. Orientations, school supply shopping, and Back to School nights are right around the corner. As well as soccer/ football/ cheerleading/ field hockey practice/ symphony rehearsals/ robotics and homework. But this year my children aren’t the only ones preparing for a change in schedule and workload… Due to furloughs and the skyrocketing costs of college (I have two teenage daughters) I will be returning to work full time in the very near future. In addition to writing, this summer I have been taking online classes to increase my marketablility in preparation for this eventuality. I don’t mind returning to the workforce. In fact, most writers have a “day job.” But this summer, between the kids, the online classes and certifications, preparing and shopping my resume and trying to…
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