Friday, December 26, 2014

Writing Update and Thank You

Hello Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have followed my writing endeavors.  Your encouragement means much more than I can adequately express.

In 2015, I will be continuing work on my novel in addition to more flash fiction pieces.  So I hope to have some new, fresh and exciting stories for you later this year.

Story Shack Magazine will be going through some exciting changes including an improved website, improved author and illustrator bios and writing resources.  Because of this downtime, they will be closed to submissions until spring.  This is not a negative for me.  In fact, it will hopefully help me to refocus on completing my book.  Until that time, you can still read all of the previously published stories on their site, including my author bio page and of course my blog!

Best wishes everyone for a healthy, happy, successful and fantastic 2015!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Story Coming Soon "Defining Shoulders"

Good Morning,

On November 5th my next story will be coming out on Story Shack Magazine, "Defining Shoulders".  For this collaboration, I am being paired with the very talented Cait Maloney from the United States, and can't wait to see the illustration she comes up with.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Update: Just Hit My Original Goal

For those of you who have been following the progress on my book, I am happy to report that this afternoon I have finally hit and surpassed my original goal of 70,000 words.  So am I finished?  Nope, not yet.  Since I still have a little more story in me to make this feel complete and a lot of refining and polishing to do, I am not ready to call this one done yet.  It has taken me a while I know.  After all, I wanted to have this completed last year, and here I am in the middle of September still not there.  But I'm trying not to beat myself up about that.  I mean, that's what happens sometimes.  You know, life.  It gets busy.  You get sidetracked.  But I'm not giving up yet.  Hey, if it takes until I'm old and gray, swaying in my rocking chair listening to the oldies with my teeth soaking next to me in a jar, so be it.  I'm determined to put a "The End" on this story.  Now hopefully I won't have to wait quite that long, since my new goal is the end of this year, but I'm just covering all the bases here, you know?

Until then, if at any time you're interested in checking in on my progress, you can view my word count meter on the right-hand side bar of my blog.

Have a good night and great week everyone!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Pecan Pie" Went Live

Hi All,

"Pecan Pie" went live today on Story Shack Magazine.  Check it out when you get a break in your busy day.

Thanks for your continued support!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Illustration Received for "Pecan Pie"

Hi Everyone,

I'm happy to report that today I received the illustration for my next piece coming out this week (August 27th on Story Shack Magazine.  Alankrita Jain came up with a beautiful drawing that was exactly what I was envisioning, and I can't wait for you to read and see the results.

Enjoy the rest of your day, and have a great week.


Friday, August 22, 2014

New Changes to Story Shack Magazine


I recently noticed that Story Shack Magazine has been experimenting with great some changes to their website.  A few of these changes include a list of "Regular Authors" at the bottom of the home page (you may see a familiar name here), as well as a rating system under each story (one to five stars) making it even easier to show your appreciation for some of the fine writers and artists sharing their work for free with the world.  When you're waiting in line or at the doctors, on the bus or train, or a have a few minutes to spare, do check out some of the great stories and illustrations posted here.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, August 11, 2014

"Pecan Pie" Going Live on August 27th!

Good Morning Everyone,

Life can be heartwarming and strange, ironic and tragic, and somehow friendships develop in odd places and courage emerges from unexpected happenstance.  There are many ingredients that go into life, kind of like my next story, "Pecan Pie" going live on Story Shack Magazine on August 27th.  For this collaboration, I have been paired once again with the wonderful Alankrita Jain.  You may remember that she did the adorable illustration for "Jack" last October.  Can't wait to see what she comes up with this time!

Have a great week,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"The Interview" Just Went Live

Hey Everyone,

"The Interview" just went live on Story Shack Magazine.  Told in first person, and written to keep you guessing, I hope this story's ending takes you by complete surprise.  Check it out when you get a chance.

Thank you to Hannah Nolan for the wonderful illustration.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"The Interview" Coming Soon

Hi Everyone,

There was a little mix-up with the publishing date of "The Interview", so I will post the new date as soon as I have it. I'm very excited to have you read this one!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

“There are books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story... don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words--the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers who won't do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.” 
― Stephen King

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Publishing Date for "The Interview"

Hey Everyone,

As you know "The House With No Windows" will be published on Wednesday this week (June 25th) with Story Shack Magazine.  Coming in July, I have another very different story set for publication with Story Shack Magazine called "The Interview".  Told in first person, this story will be illustrated by the talented Hannah Nolan and is set for publication on July 12th.

Hopefully you'll have a few moments to check both of these stories out.

Have a good night and happy reading!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Illustration for The House With No Windows

I received a preview today of Lakshmy Mathur's illustration for my next story coming up on Story Shack Magazine on June 25th.  What a beautiful job she did.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

93% Done! Maybe.

As I near my original goal of 70,000 words for my book (currently 66,091), and watch the word count meter rise toward completion, I am thrilled at the thought and possibility that because I do not quite feel "done", that I may surpass my original word count goal.  Why on earth would I want all that additional work?  Well, when I think back to the beginning when I started this book, hesitant at the daunting task that I laid before myself, I couldn't help but to doubt that I would actually reach 40,000 words let alone 70,000.  Silly really that I let fear of the unknown and a questionable amount of confidence attempt to paralyze me.  But now that I actually see the finish line up ahead I have a renewed energy and my momentum is gaining.  How many words will I actually end up with?  Who knows.  The important thing for me is that when it feels done to me, then it will be.  Unless of course my beta readers tell me otherwise!

Now there's another scary thought -- releasing what I wrote to beta readers . . . . . but this an essential and important step.  A beta reader will see what's missing on the page that I do not.  A beta reader will point out errors, admissions, and let you know when something doesn't sound quite right.  Some writers only chose a couple of readers, while others get as many as they can.  I'm not sure how many I'll ask, but I do look forward to their important feedback no matter how much it bruises my writer's ego.  How else will I learn?  So sock it to me beta readers!  But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, I still need to finish the book!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Illustrator Link-Up - The House With No Windows

I received word today that the illustrator link-up for my next piece, "The House With No Windows - Bringing Chuckie In", will be with the talented Lakshmy Mathur.  I can't wait to see what see comes up with for this story!

Have a great week!

Monday, May 26, 2014

"The House With No Windows - Bringing Chuckie In" Coming in June!

Good Morning Everyone,

Have you ever seen a house with no windows?  What kind of people would you imagine to live there?  What do the town rumors tell you about people who live in houses without windows?  Well, that is the exact subject of my next flash fiction piece, "The House With No Windows - Bringing Chuckie In", and I just received word that this story will be published on Story Shack Magazine on June 25th.  There were many avenues I could have chosen for this piece.  Hopefully the path I decided on will surprise you.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and please take a moment to remember why we celebrate this holiday.

Take care,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Beginning, A MIDDLE, and An End

Time and time again I read articles about how writers procrastinate because they don't know how their story will end.  The suggested advice?  Just keep on writing and it will work it's way out on the keyboard.

But here's my stumbling block -- the middle.  Oh yes, I absolutely know how my story is going to end.  I had that figured out over a year ago!  My challenge is to tie the beginning to the ending by creating "the middle".  Under the circumstances (that this is my first go-around), I think that I've been doing a fairly good job of this task thus far, albeit it's taking longer than I had hoped.  What works for me is that I sit down, look at the story and say to myself, okay, you need to tie this scene to this scene.  How do you get there?  The easy way, the hard way or the unexpected way?  All three options will work depending on your goals.  Also, what questions still need to be answered or what holes are there in the story that need to be filled?

You know, they say that there are two kinds of writers -- outline writers and non-outline writers.  I'm a little bit of both, but lean further to the non-outline side when it comes to creative writing.  This of course is a complete contrast to the way I work at my job.  On the job, I am highly organized and plan everything out whenever possible (allowing flexibility of course for the unexpected).  However when I write, I just let the creativity go and clean it up later.  And frankly, I kind of like it that way.  I don't want to be so structured with my writing that I let "plans" get in the way of the creative process.  When it comes to the story being told, plans are made to be broken!  After all, some of the best ideas come out of those unexpected diversions.  This is one of the reasons why I think my middle is so challenging.  Which path do I want to lead my characters down to get to the end of the road?  Or better yet, where along the path will they ditch my outline altogether and lead me?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Unexpected Inspiration From an Old Friend

It started like this.  A simple invitation to a former colleague to join Goodreads.  This friend inquired as to whether I had a book on the site.  No, I regretfully stated, not yet (I had stalled and was starting to gather dust), but I had hoped to maybe pick her hubby's brain a bit about his publishing experience (agent, self-published, etc.)  She graciously offered to foster this connection should I like to ask questions about his experience.  Then, the unexpected inspiration occurred.  She said she couldn't wait to read my book (with an exclamation point).  She had no way of knowing that I greatly needed this motivation.

I am honored old friend, that you would want to read something that I am writing.  When it is finished, you may love it or you may hate it, but the fact that you are willing to invest several hours of your time to read it, is an honor.  You have unknowingly given me a little nudge, because I now want to dust myself off and finish this book so that you and my supporters can read my book.  Thank you!

P.S.  My flash fiction is still going strong and I am now a regular monthly contributor on Story Shack Magazine.  Check out the site for some wonderful stories and illustrations.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing a great battle."
-- Philo of Alexandria

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Cassie's Paradox" Went Live!

My new flash fiction piece, "Cassie's Paradox", went live on Story Shack Magazine today.  Please check it out when you have a few moments. Story Shack Magazine has now made it even easier to post comments to the stories you like, so please feel free to post your thoughts directly on their site.  I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read these and thank you for your support.  Also, a huge thank you to Darcy Rozen for her powerful illustration.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Book Review Time - "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger

Hmmm, not sure how to rate this. Probably 2.5 stars (on Goodreads) is more accurate, somewhere between it was okay and I liked it. Unfortunately maybe I just wanted to like it more than I did. I was intrigued by the description on the book's jacket and while there were some things that I liked about the book, there were an equal amount of things that I did not. The English spellings were a distraction to me and drove me a little nuts. I constantly wanted to correct the "s" back to "z" (i.e., realise). Getting past that, there was a promising plot to the story, intriguing characters and an interesting story line with the ghosts and possibilities of life after death, but without giving away spoilers, a few things did not naturally add up and make sense which lessened the believability of the core story. I feel as though perhaps the author should have written two books -- a fabulous historical non-fiction book about the cemetery she works at and loves, and then a good old fashioned sleep with your lights on scary ghost story.  

Oh well, on to something new.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 

― Marcel Proust

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Illustration for "Cassie's Paradox"

Today I took a quick peek at the illustration Darcy Rozen is working on for my story, "Cassie's Paradox", which is scheduled to go live on Story Shack Magazine on April 28th, and I have to say that I'm really excited to see this pairing on screen.  I love the direction she took and the pop of color in the midst of darkness.  Intrigued yet?  I hope so!

Thanks Darcy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Cassie's Paradox" to be Published April 28th

Hello Friends,

I wanted to post a quick note to let you know that my next story, "Cassie's Paradox", will go live on April 28th on Story Shack Magazine/The Story Shack.  For the accompanying illustration, I have been linked up with Darcy Rozen, a student at RISD in the United States, and I am excited to see how Darcy will interpret Cassie's suspenseful and uncertain tale.

A reminder that links to all of my published stories and poems can be found on my blog.  Please feel free to provide feedback at any time on any of these sites (The Story Shack, My Fiddle Faddle Sabbatical, Facebook).

And as always, thanks for reading.  I appreciate your continued support!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Finally Sprung!

I know many of you can relate to this after the very long, cold, snowy, gray winter -- Good Morning 1st Day of Spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Story - "Danger Zone" Went Live

Good Morning Everyone!  My latest story, "Danger Zone" just went live on Story Shack Magazine (formerly The Story Shack).  Many thanks to the talented Delilah Buckle for the illustration.  If you have a few minutes, please check it out and feel free to comment.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.” 

― C. JoyBell C.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” 

― John Burroughs

Monday, February 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

“It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.” 

― A.A. Milne

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review Time - The Book Thief

Markus Zusak writes with such poetry and figurative language that you'll find yourself reading passages several times over just to hear the music the words play in your ears. Also, unlike with The Kite Runner, this book left me with a renewed faith in mankind that even in the midst of war there can be love and kindness.  However, I'm holding back on giving it five stars (on Goodreads) for a couple of minor personal annoyances. I didn't care for the use of foreshadowing by the narrator (death). I didn't want to be told what was going to happen before it appeared in the book. Let the story flow naturally down its path. It felt at times to me as though it interrupted the rhythm of the story. Because of this extra narration, the book probably could have been shortened a bit. But even with that being said, it was a beautiful and touching read and I look forward to seeing that portrayed in the movie.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Don't Forget to Wear Red Today!

Pull out that red sweater, strap on those red shoes, throw a red scarf around your neck, or jump into those red long johns, because Friday, February 7th is National Wear Red Day! 
In 2004 the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women to educate women about heart disease and stroke. There was a great need for this campaign since heart disease was typically viewed as an older man’s disease.  So National Wear Red Day was formed to bring awareness to this number one killer of women.  That’s right; heart disease kills more women than any other disease, including all forms of cancer, a staggering 500,000 lives of American Women are claimed to it each year.
Won’t you join me today to bring awareness to such an important topic?  If you have a mother, sister, wife, female friend or co-worker, or if you yourself are a woman, you should be concerned and informed about this silent killer.
To learn more, check out the American Heart Association website to find out anything and everything about the heart.  This site will give you information about events in your area, recipes, warning signs and ways you can help. 
Please show your red!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

All Right, Alright, or Just Okay?

So when do you use the words "all right" and when do you use "alright", and what's the difference anyway?  Well, this is a very common mistake that I myself have inadvertently fallen into in the past.  Since then, I have come across numerous articles on the popular subject.  The verdict?  Quite simply, although "alright" is commonly accepted and used everywhere, it is not actually a word.  However, "all right" is the technically correct form used by dictionaries, grammar books and writing group critique partners (you know who you are and I thank you).  But if you find yourself in a quandary and in doubt, I supposed you could always fall back on the unmistakable "okay".  There you have it, your grammar lesson for the day.  All right?

"The Danger Zone" Illustrator Link-up

Good Morning,

This morning I received my illustrator link-up for my next story, "The Danger Zone", scheduled to appear on The Story Shack on March 13, 2014.  On this collaboration I will be paired with the very talented Delilah Buckle from the United States.  Click on her name to see her website and a sampling of her work.  I'm excited to see her vision of my story.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"She Continues Onward" live on Leaves of Ink

Good Morning,

Today my poem "She Continues Onward" goes live on Leaves of Ink (  Please check it out when you have a few minutes.  Also, if you didn't read "Vehicle", you can find this poem on Leaves of Ink as well by entering the title or my name in the search box.

Thank you and have a great day!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Quiet Hours

In the quiet hours of the morning when dawn is starting its gradual ascend to nudge forth the day, is when my creative mind gets busy.  This is when story ideas peek through my dream state and present themselves to me.  This former non-morning person has learned to welcome these intrusions like a loyal friend.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I will be fully occupied this year between work, writing projects and life in general and plan to fully embrace it.  I hope I'm not wrong.

Embrace your passions everyone, make time for them, and enjoy them.  Life is short.  Live it the way you want to and make every second count.

Good Sunday to you all!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Exciting News - Regular Contributor Invitation to The Story Shack!


I am bursting with news at this moment.  Today I was offered an invitation by The Story Shack's editor, Martin Hooijmans, to take a spot on the site as one of their regular contributors!

You see, this year, The Story Shack will be changing their format slightly offering only 2-3 stories per week, which will allow longer face time for each story and more opportunities for exposure to different social networks.  So what this means is, starting in April, I will be bringing you a new story every month. This is an exciting endeavor for me.  Even though this is a non-paying assignment, it is rich with opportunity, as it will provide me with more exposure, adherence to writing deadlines, and the potential for future growth.

I am extremely grateful and thankful to Martin and hope that I can continue to provide you with some entertaining quality stories.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. 
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” 

― Pamela Vaull Starr

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” 

― Bernard Meltzer

Monday, January 6, 2014

"The Angel Watches" Going Live Today

Good Morning,

Today my poem, "The Angel Watches" will be going live on The Story Shack.  I will provide a direct link for it as soon as it is up.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!