Beatles, Memories, and The Week in Review


The Beatles arrive in America, February 1964. Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

I can’t remember the exact occasion when I heard the Beatles on the radio. It was probably sometime in early 1964. My older brother was a big music fan and therefore, I was introduced to several singers and groups from that era. I was a big fan of the Four Seasons – until The Beatles came alone.

Decades later, I’m still a fan. A few weesk ago, Sirius announced they were counting down the top seventy-five Beatles songs from 1962-1966. Fans were able to vote and Sirius broadcast the show last weekend. I streamed it on my computer and listened to the entire 3.5 hours. Brought back a lot of good memories.

Needless to say, I didn’t do any writing that evening. However, I made good progress on my WIP. The end is almost in sight.

But now, it’s time for this week’s writing links.

From Story Empire:

From other great writing sites:

Patriot Day and Another Busy Week

It’s hard to believe that sixteen years have passed since that fateful day in 2001. For as long as I live, I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I first heard the news of the planes hitting the Twin Towers. Sitting in my office at work, I turned on the radio seconds later to listen to the report of a plane hitting the Pentagon. And then I watched on television as newscasters announced a fourth plane had crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

The rebuilt section of the Pentagon. If you look closely, you can see the lighter color in the center of the building. This is the area the plane hit.

My eyes were glued to the TV as every flight in the United States was grounded, kept up-to-date as Air Force One carrying our President made its way back to Washington, and saw the mighty towers fall. Several years later, my husband and I visited Washington, DC and the Pentagon Memorial. It was a sobering occasion for us. Now, each year on September 11, my thoughts turn to the families of those who lost their lives that day and for the men and women who are abroad helping fight the war on terrorism.

On the writing front, it’s been another busy week. I finished a project for AIW Press, and have entered the home stretch of finishing my latest novel. And I can say it’s a great feeling when I’ve completed a long term project. Of course, I’ll still need to review and make some changes before sending it to my editor, but having that first draft done is cause for celebration.

This post is going to be short and sweet, but here are this week’s writing links:

That’s it for this week. Enjoy your weekend and remember, we’re only a week away from the official start of Autumn!





You know stuff, use it | Story Empire

One of the first things I learned as a writer is, “Write What You Know.” Okay, I can see the importance of that when writing non-fiction. For instance, I once thought I would write a book based on my experience of being a cancer survivor’s wife. I planned to write about our experiences throughout my husband’s treatment and recovery. But somehow, the book never got off the ground.

Why? Because my deepest desire was always to write fiction. And through my journey, I’ve found that real-life experiences often make the best stories.

Fellow author, C. S. Boyack talks about that over at Story Empire today. Why don’t you pay him a visit and see what he has to say?

Source: You know stuff, use it | Story Empire

2015 in Review

A few photos from 2015. The cover for The Stranger, the stage at the Ringo Starr concert, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and a civil-war cannonball, lodged in the wall of a mansion at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Once again the time has come for us to bid farewell to another year. Wasn’t it only yesterday we welcomed 2015? I have to agree with my friend Staci—the older we get, the faster time goes. (And I’m much older than her!)

It’s been a good year overall. I was able to fulfill a long time dream of seeing one of the Beatles when my husband and I attended a Ringo Starr concert on February 14.

In June, we took a vacation to Virginia, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Being history enthusiasts, we enjoyed visiting the museums in and around DC. Among the highlights for me was seeing the space shuttle Discovery and the Apollo 11 command module. A trip to the National Archives enabled us to see the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.

In Pennsylvania, we visited Gettysburg National Military Park. Later in the year, we took an overnight trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi where we toured another battlefield and spent the night in a pre-civil war mansion that survived the siege. The front parlor has a cannonball that remains lodged in the wall.

On the writing front, I can call 2015 a somewhat successful year. I completed and published (for my email subscribers) a novella. With the exception of one month, I continued my Friday Fiction stories. I finished a full-length novel in April.

I didn’t blog as often as I intended this year, but I had fun with a series of trivia about each month in the calendar year.

So what’s in store for 2016? I’ll continue my First Friday Fiction posts. As far as other blog posts, I plan do character interviews, some book reviews, and feature some interviews with other authors.

I’m in the process of editing the novel that I finished last April with plans to self-publish it in the spring. It is part one of a three-part series, and I’m in the process of brainstorming the second story.

I also plan to write another novel featuring my characters Lauren and Hannah from my Summer Adventure series of First Friday Fiction. I have an idea for another novella/novel that is more in the cozy mystery genre as well as a few other ideas.

Overall 2016 is shaping up to be a busy writing year for me. And that’s where you come in. I’ll need all the encouragement I can get. I will be sending out a call for beta readers and when the time comes, asking for honest reviews for my work.

I want to connect with you all more in 2016, so I plan to resume my quarterly newsletter. I also plan to send out a reader’s survey, asking you what type of content you’d like to see here on my blog. In addition, if you’d like to be a part of my private Facebook group where you can get the latest news about upcoming releases, book cover reveals, and more, just click here to join.

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

What are your plans and goals for the upcoming year? I’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment!


March ~ The Windy Month

Unforeseen circumstances prevented me from writing and blogging last week. Better late than never, this week I continue my series of posts about the months of the year.

In the original Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year. Its name comes from the Roman god of war—Mars. March is the month in which the spring (or vernal) equinox occurs.

December days were brief and chill. The winds of March were wild and drear. And, nearing and receding still, Spring never would, we thought, be here. ~    Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1681)

A few facts about March:

  • Except on leap years, March begins the same day of the week as February. It is one of seven months with 31 days.
  • The March birthstone is the aquamarine or the bloodstone. Both stand for courage.
  • The flower is the daffodil
  • Among the celebrations in March are American Red Cross month, Women’s history month, and Fire prevention month.
  • We also celebrate International Women’s Day, Pi Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and, in my home state, Texas Independence Day.
  • March also seems to be a month when we love to recognize foods—there are days for popcorn, peanut butter, potato chips, waffles, and frozen foods.
  • There is also a “if pets had thumbs” day, but I’m not even going to venture a guess!
  • Coca-cola was first introduced on March 29, 1886.
  • Native Americans referred to the March full moon as the Worm Moon because temperatures begin to warm and earthworm casts appear which heralds the arrival of Robins. Northern tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Crow Moon. Early Anglo settlers called the March full moon the Lenten Moon and was considered to be the last full moon of winter.
  • Famous people born in March include actors Daniel Craig and Bruce Willis, singers Elton John and Jon Bon Jovi, NFL players Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, as well as Albert Einstein and Dr. Seuss.
  • Five states joined the union in the month of March—Vermont in 1791, Ohio in 1803, Maine in 1820, Florida in 1845, and Nebraska in 1867.
Winter sometimes plays a nasty trick on us, such a one year when a light snow dusted my blooming daffodils.
Winter sometimes plays a nasty trick on us, such a one year when a light snow dusted my blooming daffodils.

March is a bittersweet month for me. My two nieces and I celebrate our birthdays this month. It is also a time of sadness, for my Dad passed away on March 30, 1979. Yet March is a time for lengthening days and warmer weather—a time to hear the first spring peepers and see the budding signs of spring.

Have a favorite month? A special memory about March? Please share in the comments.