Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sometimes a scene takes an unexpected twist.

Imagine being a tourist in a foreign country, taking a walk through a public park, and taking pictures of everything in sight--birds--a group of school children--the ocean--a campground in an unexpected place. Very benign and peaceful.

The scene became somewhat comical when we (my sister and I) came upon two women just wrapping up from their nude sunbathing session (to the right of this photo). They were not the Victoria's Secret type of model, but rather the Lane Bryant type. Luckily we weren't exposed to too much. My sister and I got a good laugh out of it, and they didn't pay any attention to us at all.

Public nudity isn't outlawed in Denmark--they do have all nude public bathhouses there. We just didn't expect it at the park. My sister and I hapily kept our clothes on, and for the most part visited places where others did too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Denmark and Blogs

What do they have to do with each other? Who knows? Except my new background picture was taken in Denmark. To celebrate Memorial Day weekend,and summer, I've included it. Summer is here. Slow down. Relax. Except of course when it comes to our writing goals.
Our characters can never relax. They need to be doing something interesting to move that plot along. However, sometimes even seemingly laid-back things (like camping) can move the plot along in an interesting way.
Does your character accidentally start a campfire on a no-burn day? (Arizona campers know what I'm talking about.) Does someone from the forest service come along? Does the fire get out of control? Does your camper get shot?
It's interesting that something so ordinary as camping can set the stage for either a romance, or a thriller, or even an action-based story. But each scene needs to count for something. Even though it starts out ordinary, we should decide what this has to do with the life of our main character. If the answer is nothing, maybe it isn't such a great scene after all. What can we do to add a little extra spice to one of our scenes that seem overly bland?

Monday, May 9, 2011


At the Whitney Awards Gala this past Saturday several outstanding authors were given special recognition in their genre. Today however, I wanted to mention the OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT Award that went to RICK WALTON.
I met him years ago at a week-long writing workshop. He is nice, friendly, and unassuming for someone who has published over 80 books. I have only six or seven of his picture books in my bookshelf, but I love each one. They’re classic and fun-filled tales such as: Bertie Was A Watchdog, about a midget dog who saved the day; Bullfrog Pops! Is a crazy western about a hungry bullfrog. The book has a surprise each time you turn the page; Mrs. McMurphy’s Pumpkin is about a haunted pumpkin; and Suddenly Alligator, is an adverbial tale that’s full of fun. The man is a creative genius.
I hadn’t known who was getting this award when I bought tickets for the gala, but I was sure glad I was there to cheer him on.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award went to SUSAN EVANS MCCLOUD, who I don’t know and have never met, but who gave us the wonderful hymn, “Lord, I would Follow Thee” and, “As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days.”

Susan's biography and numerous achievements are listed in Wikipedia.
Susan magnified her calling as a writer and poet while raising her family—something that’s not easy to do. Finding that fine line is hard; the line between total absorption in the creative process and spending enough time with your husband and children to make them feel important and appreciated.
For the first sixteen years of my married life, I was totally absorbed in motherhood, and it wasn’t until years after that when my desire to write was re-born. It’s been a gradual process for me, the emergence from total motherhood to wife-mother-writer-hopeful author. I look up to people like Susan and Rick, people who knew their talent and calling in life from the very beginning and not only made it work, but made it look easy.