Two-minute Fiction: The Therapy Dog

horowitz02Sometimes when I hit the timer for JD Mader’s two-minute freewrites (or three- or four-minute freewrites, depending on the week), I have a seed of an idea, but mostly I just start typing and run with it. The first was inspired by my neighbor’s labradoodle, Wendell. He’s a therapy dog and one of the most gentle, mellow beings I’ve ever met. Just a look into his eyes makes me feel better some days. Continue reading

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Where You Stumble

file5721279006391“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ~Joseph Campbell 

I have been picking up and putting down the same novel-in-progress for the last year. It’s romantic suspense, could grow into a trilogy, and I’ve plucked a teeny bit from one of my real life adventures to get me started. Each time, though, something else has drawn my interest…another story, something shiny out the window, a sudden urge to alphabetize my penguin collection. And each time, I’ve lost my mojo at the same point—just when the switch gets flipped and my protagonist is confronted with the down side of the bargain she has made. Continue reading

Broken Things: Four-minute Fiction

Writers BlockFour minutes this week for JD Mader’s Friday Freewrite. Here are two of the pieces I posted. Four seems like a luxury after all those two-minute timed freewrites, but when you sink into something, it doesn’t feel that long at all. I’m not sure where the inspiration came from for these. A random comment about crazy cat ladies, a memory of playing with my kneaded eraser when I should have been listening to my art teacher? Nothing in life is wasted.

Anyway, the writers kicked it this week; hop over to JD’s website and check out some really great flash fiction. Maybe one week, you’ll join us. Continue reading

He’ll Be First: Two-minute Fiction

Closed-Door-Gate-Sign-S-0969Something funny is happening on JD Mader’s website, Unemployed Imagination. Writers show up on Fridays. We write short fiction (two minutes’ worth, normally) and post our succulent delights in the comments. But…something is happening over there. Like when our heads are turned, the bar taps up a notch. We inspire each other. And it’s fun. Fun is good. Remember fun? Here are a couple of my recent two-minute entries. We don’t edit (much). We barely proofread. The blood on the floor is still fresh. Watch where you’re walking. Maybe next Friday, you’ll stop by and give the timer a spin. Continue reading

Offensive Stock Photography

Cardinal_2I just spent the last few hours researching images for my next book cover. It’s a contemporary romance with gay male protagonists, a sequel to a novella I published a few months ago. For that cover, I went with an image of midtown Manhattan because it captured what I wanted.

For this one, call me crazy, but instead of a pure scenic, I’d hoped to find a picture of an actual human with a strong resemblance to one of my guys. (No, it’s not my feathered friend over here, but he’s pretty angry, too.) Continue reading

Saturday Night Poetry: Falling

SlidingPastVertical300When I’m jittery and the words pile up in my head, sometimes I need a little focus. A little prompt. A little card from the magic box of possibilities. I have such a box, which I bought a long time ago from a woman at a writers conference. Sometimes I pluck a card and it speaks to me. This one spoke to me today. Probably because I’ve been staring at this book cover for the last week or so. Today’s prompt is: “As quickly as you can, make a list beginning with the line I remember falling…

Step off the ledge with me? I can’t promise it will all be good, because I don’t dare call myself a poet, but you might like the way the wind rushes through your hair. Continue reading

Entangled Thorns by Melinda Clayton: Book Review

Entangled-Thorns-Melinda-Clayton-207x300By accident I started reading Melinda Clayton’s Cedar Hollow series out of order, but it didn’t reduce the experience for me in the slightest. After the well-defined characters, what I like most about this series is how the sense of place becomes a character as well. It feels especially powerful in Entangled Thorns. I can almost smell Rugged Creek and feel the shock of the cold water and hear the whine of the mosquitoes. The vegetation, the land, the very humidity in the air…I can practically taste it. And yet it doesn’t become overwhelming or feel like too much detail. I know when I start highlighting passages on my Kindle about the quality of the sunsets or the texture of the night skies, it’s something I’ll be hard pressed to put down.  Continue reading

The Case Against Author Solutions, Part 1: The Numbers

If you get “courted” by any of these folks, run fast and run far…

David Gaughran

authorsolutionsPRHThe more you study an operation like Author Solutions, the more it resembles a two-bit internet scam, except on a colossal scale.

Internet scammers work on percentages. They know that only a tiny fraction of people will get hoodwinked so they flood the world’s inboxes with spammy junk.

While reputable self-publishing services can rely on author referrals and word-of-mouth, Author Solutions is forced to take a different approach. According to figures released by Author Solutions itself when it was looking for a buyer in 2012, it spent a whopping $11.9m on customer acquisition in 2011 alone.

This money is spent on:

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