Writing groups:

After a few months, I finally went to my Redwood Writers meeting. I sure miss them.

First, last weeks clichés:

A Ballpark Figure- An educated guess or a roughly accurate estimate. This expression comes from baseball and it rests in turn on in the ballpark, which means within certain limits. Both of these terms are usually applied to numerical estimates, neither has anything to do with baseball scores.

Fat City- Prosperous circumstances. This is an American slang which originated about the middle of the 20th Century.

To Be On the Go- To be very busy and active. Used to mean a variety of conditions, among them intoxication and imminent catastrophe. Acquired its present meaning in the first half of the 19th Century. Thomas B. Aldrich used it in Prudence Palfrey 1874).

Time Will Tell- Wait and see. This was used in print in 1539 in R. Taverner’s translation of Erasmus. It was a cliché by the time E. H. Porter used it in Pollyanna (1913).

I’m not letting the cat out of the bag, but writing groups are a must for a writer. They offer so much benefit by having contests, workshops, and speakers; not to mention the camaraderie and networking.

Let me put all the cards on the table and say that I belong to a minimum of three writing groups, besides critique groups. I’ve learned so much from belonging to not only the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club, but Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. I don’t make it to meetings for the latter two, but Redwood Writers has been so inspirational. I get to rub elbows with fellow writers and learn from them. If it had not been for them, I would have never published my first book and about to do so with the second one.

Writing groups can be very helpful and when I attend a meeting, I come home and feel like writing and writing and writing. I’ve made so many good contacts, learned so much, and have improved my craft that, suffice it to say, I highly recommend joining a writing group.

Do some research, find one near you or one on-line that is close to your genre, and join. Even if you can’t attend the meetings, you will probably still get a newsletter and find contacts that will help you in the future with your writing.

Until next time, keep writing,



I have three readings scheduled for my book Night Terror.

First things first-last weeks clichés:

Man of the World – A sophisticated, experienced individual. From 16th Century meaning simply a married man not a “man of the church” like a priest who was celibate. See Shakespeare As You Like It, 5:3. Not clear when term changed to mean sophistication or worldliness, but it did by the time Emerson used it in The Conduct of Life (1860).

To go to hell in a handsbasket – Means to deteriorate rapidly. Originated in America in early 20th Century. Something carried in a handbasket is light and easily conveyed. The phrase can mean going to ruin easily and rapidly. However, more likely it’s simply an alliterative elaboration of gone to hell, meaning ruined or destroyed since the early 19th century. This cliché is usually applied to large generalities.

 By Fits and Starts – In bursts of activity, spasmodically. Fits portion dates from 16th Century and pairing with starts came soon after in early 17th Century. See Robert Sanderson in one of his Sermons  (1620). Also John Ray’s proverb collection of 1670 used it slightly different – “fits and grids”

To Fall Short of – Fail to attain a certain standard or be insufficient. Expression comes from archery, horseshoes, and other activities in which a missle may fall to the ground before reading the desired goal or mark (falling short of the mark). See essayist William Hazlitt, Table Talk, (1821-22).

Did you find them all?

Night Terror has been selling well. I can’t give you a ballpark figure on how many books I’ve sold, because most have been through Amazon for ebooks. Personally I’ve sold or given away about 34 books. Am I in fat city with the sales of my books? No! However, I’m happy with the way things are going. Can I improve my sales? Of course!

One of the ways to do that is to be on the go and get out there with your book and do readings.

With that in mind, I’m scheduled to read at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, CA at the Redwood Writers Author Launch on Sunday, July 8th from 3-5p.m. There will be several authors reading and all guests are free. I’m also scheduled to read in Santa Rosa at Gaia’s Garden, 1899 Mendocino Ave., from 2-4 p.m. on July 26th along with other readers; and reading on July 29th at Copperfields Book Store in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa from 7 – 8 p.m. with another reader.

Time will tell by reading from my book if I will generate more interest and book sales, whether paperback or ebook.

Keep Writing!