Have Answers? I Have Questions

I ride the metro to work each morning.  Despite the jostling, packed cars, sick riders (mentally and otherwise), it’s a great adventure.  It’s the only time in my day when neither the phone nor BlackBerry work which means I get 45 minutes of uninterrupted bliss.  Usually, I have my nose pressed against the Kindle, happilly ignorant of everything around me.  But once a while, I look up and enjoy the circus.  Today’s ride brought with it the following questions:

1.  (Apologies in advance if this offends anyone, but I TRULY want to know the answer to this question.)  Why do teenage girls that go to Catholic school wear skirts short enough to function as napkins?  Again, I honestly don’t meant to offend, but I would think a religious institution would insist upon something that covers the cervix.  The gals on the metro this morning looked great.  Cute ribbons in their hair, no garish make-up, clean white polos and then short.. and I mean SHORT little plaid skirts.  So short that every girl was either wearing leggings or…
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“This Is the Happiest Day of My Life!”

This has been a good week for books in my household.

First, this lot of Daisy Meadows’ Rainbow Fairies books arrived in the mail.

photo (17)

A little background. My kiddo’s been OBSESSED with these fairy books for the last couple months. We read a new one every single night. Her imaginative play has been filled with all sorts of fairy magic. And three guess as to what she’s going to be for Halloween.

I’ve been borrowing these books from the library, but kiddo’s been begging me to buy them. I had the brilliant idea of getting the books used from eBay, and after a week of stalking the mail, they arrived.

Kiddo’s reaction? “This is the happiest day of my life!”

Oh my goodness, I remember that feeling well. When I was a kid, books were my dearest, most precious possessions. I systematically worked my way through the children’s section of our public library, and every birthday, I asked for…
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How Far is Too Far?

I have opinions!

I have strong opinions. That must come as a complete shock to those who know me, but I do.

I also feel torn sometimes between what I believe and what I used to believe. We’re human and our opinions can change based on life experience. As we grow older, sometimes those thoughts mellow and soften or they harden us to other people’s views.

As writers, do you have characters with strong beliefs and opinions or do you end up deleting them so as not to offend half of your readership? And if you do that, are you being true to your characters? Shouldn’t they have views on religion and politics? Shouldn’t they have enough depth of character to feel things strongly?

I’m torn here. I write YA (Young Adult), and I hesitate sometimes to put in a comment about race, religion or politics. I hesitate because I don’t want to put my own views out there to be criticized. I don’t want people to think that I’m…
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Your Cave is My Castle

For those non-writers reading this, allow me to introduce a common expression among writers: “Off to the writing cave.” This is how we tell people that we are going to work.

Are writers really going into a cave? I sure hope not. But hey, no judging from this corner. If dark, dank caves are your thing, or they help get the writing juju flowing, good for you.

But for me? I am not going into a cave – real or fictional. Yuck – caves are gross! Why would I even want to pretend to go in one?  The Diva Kerr-ina

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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Natalie Richards Swims With the Mermaids

I am so excited to welcome debut author Natalie Richards to the warm waters of our lagoon. Her YA thriller, SIX MONTHS LATER, released earlier this week, and it’s one of those books that stays with you for a long time.

Here’s the blurb:

She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory…

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the SML Cover Smallerlast six months of her life.

Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows…

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? You know what else is amazing?…
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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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Last-Minute Wonder

My parents had a lot of rules when we were growing up.

And when I say a lot of rules, I mean at least 186–my little sister and I made a list at one point, that my mother swears still exists to this day. Soteria and I even wrote a song about it that we performed at Christmas a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the rules in my family are a tad infamous.

Now, not all of these were silly, needless rules. In fact, most of them were rather clever. One of my favorites is still “If you ask me if your friend can spend the night and your friend is standing right there, the answer is automatically NO.” But tops on my list will always be, “Your father and I will help you with every homework assignment and every project you have to do for school…until 24 hours before it is due. After that,…
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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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Wednesday is Family Smiles Day (Its Official!)

DSC_0363Since Labor Day I made two trips to visit family in Ohio. The second one was for a funeral, following the death of my 85 year-old Dad. What you’ll notice about these photos is that besides being a damn good looking bunch of people (IMHO:), there are a lot of smiling faces. A good smile can never be underrated. My Dad had a great smile and a huge laugh. The past few years he didn’t laugh as much, diabetes was taking its toll, and then there was the fact that he was in his 80s (although my water aerobics instructor is 80 and looks damn good. My Dad would have been all over that…).

Anyway, I wanted to share a few smiling faces that include my brother and his wife, my son and his wife, my nieces and nephews, and its all because I felt like declaring Wednesday – Family Smiles Day!

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