Life gets in the way/speaking on Nov.,1, 2016

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted: I want to apologize. After me and my family having illnesses, I’m now back to almost normal and seriously writing again. I refuse to make any promises, as those keep getting put aside, that I will write faithfully every week on this blog. However, I will try to do better!

Next post I will continue to have my clichés and their explanations.

For now just wanted to say I’m back, and will be speaking at the library in Green Valley, AZ on Nov. 1st.  Any locals, hope to see you there.

Keep Writing,


Nov. 1, 2016 flyer

More Researching

Last time I talked about researching. Will give you some sites and more.

First, last clichés:

Look on with a jaundiced eye—Seeing only the bad side or faults. This phrase is based on the old belief that to a person suffering from jaundice (a condition in the skin and whites of the eyes where they turn yellow), everything looks yellow. See John Webster, The White Devil (1:2) [1612]. This term survived the belief and was a cliché by 1800 or so.

In the doldrums—Inactive, stagnant, “down in the dumps”, depressed. The origin is uncertain, but it started being used in the early 19th century both for the maritime doldrums, a belt of calms and light winds north of the equator in which sailing ships often found themselves becalmed, and for a feeling of depression. Frederick Marryat used it in Jacob Faithful (1835).

Have a lot on my plate—Have more than enough to cope with or worry about. Originated in the 1920s and transferred the image of an overcrowded dinner plate to a very full agenda. R. Simons used it in Houseboat Killing (1959).

Don’t swap horses in midstream—Don’t change leaders or methods in the middle of a crisis. Originated a quarter of a century earlier, the expression became famous through its use by President Lincoln in 1864 when he learned that his re-nomination for a second term was being backed by the National Union League. Several versions of his speech were recorded, some having it change and others swap.

So, how many did you find last time?

My last blog talked about researching, but I didn’t do it up brown.  I forgot to mention the research sites that I use, even though I have them posted on the side of my blog page. So, I will give you some sites to visit.

Want to know what a word means or phrase? See:

Need a forensic expert? Try

Your writing needs to be picture perfect. There will always be someone out there that knows more about what you are trying to say, so you want to make sure you research it. Interview professionals, google your subject, find other sites that will help you.  When I was growing up, we had to go to the library, look up what books they had, and hope it was available when we needed it. However, now, it is so easy to research. The internet has opened up so much more for authors, there is no excuse to not get it correct.

So like I said before: Research is important to you and to your readers. Don’t let them down.

Keep Writing,




Well, it’s happened again where I’ve had a long space between blogs. Why? No excuses, but my mother-in-law turned 100 years old and had to have a party for her!

First, last clichés:

Best laid plans—the most careful plans sometimes do not succeed. Robert Burns used the phrase in “To a Mouse” (1786). It was already a clichè by then.

Unwritten law—Rules accepted by tradition or custom rather than codification in a formal body of law. Plato expressed it and in 1907 Harry Thaw was declared insane and Delphin Michael Delmas coined the phrase: “Dementia Americana; the unwritten law.”

Low man on the totem pole—Lowest-ranking, least important, last in line. H. Allen Smith, a humorist, used this phrase as the title of a book (1941) after the radio comedian Fred Allen used the term to describe him in an introduction to an earlier book. As an aside, the position on an actual totem pole has no such significance. But, the term caught on quickly to become a cliché.

Keep you posted—To supply you with up-to-date information. Originated in the U.S. in early 19th century and comes from accounting, where the latest figures entered into a system are said to be “posted.” Originally-posted up- See The Weekly Oregonian, 1854.

Keep the ball rolling—To sustain or continue an activity without a letup. Some believe this is a metaphor from ball games, but a much earlier use referred to the sun or planets (including Earth) as a rolling ball. Became popular in US during the election campaign of 1840, when the supporters of candidate William Henry Harrison (“Tipecanoe” hero) rolled large “victory balls” in political parades and changed, “Keep the Harrison ball rolling.”

So, how many did you find last time?

I’m not going to look on with a jaundiced eye toward this blog. I will write when I can and try to impart writing knowledge and embed my work with clichés you can find. I refuse to get down in the doldrums over not writing every week on this blog.

Why haven’t I written? I’ve had a lot on my plate with planning my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday party. Can you imagine being 100 years old? It went off great and she even did the Charleston dance which she is known in family reunion talent shows for.

Why do I bring this up? Because I’m writing a book unlike my psychological thrillers I write about a 100 year old woman talking with her great, great granddaughter about her life.

No, I’m not suggesting that you swap horses in midstream and change your writing genres. I started this book a long time ago and since my mother-in-law just turned 100, thought I would let you know how much work it has been writing about a woman who is in her 100s.  Why?

Because the research is on-going. I had my little girl watching TV. Wait! When was the TV invented? Not when my 100 year old woman was young. Had her making toast. Wait! When was the toaster invented? Not at that time when she was making the toast. So how did she make it?

That meant that I had to research just about everything. Thank the Lord that we know have internet and I didn’t have to run to the library to do research. There are so many sites that you can find for find when the phrases were first used. Yes, even the words I have my 100 year old use had to be researched. Did they use that phrase at that time period? Every time I had her do something, had it been invented yet?

Who cares if I get it wrong? Well, first of all, I have too much integrity in myself to get it wrong, and I owe it to my readers, even if they might not be old enough to have a clue. So this book is still a work in progress because there is so much research involved, and I love writing my psychological thrillers a bit more. But I’ve learned so much about the past, and how to do research, that writing the book about a 100 year old woman has been very enlightening.

Research is important to you and to your readers. Don’t let them down.

Keep Writing,



Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. But, first things first.

Last Clichés:

To Take to One’s Heels—To flee. This does not refer to running on your heels. Can’t run fast that way. But, the heels are what you see of a person who turns tail and runs. See Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 (2:4). John Ray used in his 1678 proverb collection, but in the 19th century used with Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others as clean pair of heels not fair pair of heels. This current version dates from the 19th century. Henry Thomas Riley (1816-78) used it in his translation of Terence’s play Eunuchus.

On the Beam—On course or on the right track. Originated about the mid-20th century when aircraft began to be directed by radio beams. Of course the opposite would be off the beam = wring or incorrect meaning. Both expressions used in other enterprises.

Change your Tune—to change one’s mind, switch sides in a controversy, to reverse your views. This is very old. John Gower wrote it in 1394 (paraphrase=now sing another song). Actual phrase used in a ballad about Robin Hood (one of the child ballads) from about 1600. Also Samuel Beckett used in his novel, The Unnameable (1953) “…faults, but changing my tune is not one of them.”

So, how many did you find? For those of you who are unfamiliar with my Blogs, I always use come clichés and the next time, tell you where they originated from.

Of course my best-laid plans are always to write on this blog once a week. But, as you can see, the last blog was in December, 2015.  Sometimes life just gets in the way and I don’t write on this blog. However, I do write! And that is what is important.

There’s no unwritten law that I must write here every week. To keep readers up, I should though. Not only should you write everyday on your novels, short stories, etc, but you should blog at minimum once a month. I don’t want to be low man on the totem pole in my writing. I want to attract readers and to do that I should write often where they can see my writing.

Unfortunately, I think about writing on this blog once a week, and even have my alert on the phone set to remind me to do it.  But sometimes, it just doesn’t get done. Every year a vow to be better. But I am human, and I do make mistakes. I try to keep you posted as to what is happening in writing and with my writing.

I’ve gone to an author showcase where I read from my new book Vanity Killed in front of 97 others. It was an awesome luncheon and experience. I also did a meet and greet the author at our local library.

I will try and keep the ball rolling by writing once a week, but I will make no promises.

For now, Keep Writing and I will try not to procrastinate!



Writing during the holidays

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc., and a very Happy, Healthy New Year!

First, last clichés:

Have one’s hands full—To be very busy, be completely occupied or to have more than enough to do. This dates from the 15th century, maybe earlier. See Thomas Malory’s Morge d’Arthur.

Day in, Day out—Regularly constantly, all day and every day. This expression was so defined in a dialect book by W. Carr in 1828. It was widely used by the end of the century. A cliché by the time C. Day Lewis used it in describing his school days in his autobiography, The Buried Day (1960).

To be one’s Own Worst Enemy—To be the major source of one’s own difficulties. The Greek philosopher Anacharsis (c. 550B.C.) stated this idea: “What is man’s chief enemy? Each is his own.” Cicero said it of Julius Caesar (Ad Atticum, 49 B.C.). More recent times, cartoonist Walt Kelly used it through his main character, Pogo.

So, how many did you find?

How do you write during the holidays? What to do with your writing during that time? Most of the agents during this time do not take submissions. But that doesn’t mean you can take to your heels and not write. You may not be able to submit during this time of the year, but you still need to write, even if it’s your holiday newsletter.

At this time of year, you need to stay on the beam and keep writing, editing, and doing what you love. Carry a small notebook and write in it whenever you can. That’s how I started my first novel, Night Terror. You can change your tune, and not write on a computer, but write by hand. That way you don’t have to carry a laptop, i-pad, etc. with you, but use a little notebook that fits in your pocket or your purse.

So during the holiday season, you have no excuse not to write.  Enjoy the music, food, family and friends, but….

Keep Writing,


Traveling and Writing

another Traveling and Writing

SSA author showcase

Hope you have a great holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah,  etc.

First, last clichés:

Three-ring circus—an event of utter confusion. This is an Americanism that started in the late 19th century, alluding to a circus in which three rings or arenas are featuring performances at the same time. Probably invented by P. T. Barnum. The term was transferred to other extravagant events and disorderly situations by about 1900. Rudyard Kipling used it in A Diversity of Creatures (1914).

Have another guess coming—Be mistaken or wrong. This cliché also implies that though one is wrong, one has a chance to reconsider and correct one’s error. Dates from the first half of the 1900s. D. Day Lewis used it in Child of Misfortune (1939).

Hope you enjoy trying to find the clichés.

Now that my second book Vanity Killed is out, what do I do next?

Well, I have my hands full with working on my third book. Also, I will be reading from Vanity Killed at my Society of Southwestern Authors/Santa Cruz Valley Chapter’s 9th Annual Local Authors’ Showcase. It is a luncheon held on Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, Arizona. Eight local authors will read from their works of fiction, memoir, humor, and poetry. Also, there will be a delicious catered lunch and door prizes.

I will hopefully also be working with a musician and putting my reading to music for another event.

Day in, day out, I write on something. I try not to be my own worst enemy and procrastinate on writing, but write, even if it doesn’t make any sense at the time. My third book, Birthmark is coming along.

Please, all of you keep writing!

Until next time,



bookmarks and branding

making it real

Vanity Killed published!

Well, Vanity Killed is finally up and running on Amazon, POD and e-book.

But, first, last clichés:

Pass Muster—Meet a required standard. Began in the military and once meant to undergo review without censure. George Gascoigne used it figuratively in 1575 ( The Making of Verse). By the time Jonathan Swift included it in Police Conversation (1738), it was already a cliché, and it remains current.

Rub It In—Stress something annoying or unpleasant in a teasing way. Add insult to injury. It, probably refers to salt in the term rub salt into a wound, which dates from late medieval times (or earlier) and is still current. Rubbing it in is American; T. A. Burke used it in 1851 (Polly Peaseblossom’s Wedding). Another related term is: Rub someone’s nose in it, which means to remind one of a humiliating error or experience. See P. Hubbard (Flush as May) 1963. Alludes to rubbing a dog’s nose in a mess it has made.

Toed The Line—(or mark the line). Conform strictly to a rule; meet a particular standard. This term comes from track, when the runners in a race line up with their toes placed on the starting line or mark. Used in early 19th century. See Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan (1813) by “H. Bull-Us.”

Best/Worst-case scenario—The best or worst possible outcome for a situation. “scenario” is used in the sense of an imagined situation or sequence of events, a usage that has become common since about 1960. See David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook (1999), which probes improbable mishaps and emergencies, i.e. escape quicksand or how to land a pilotless airplane.

So, how many did you find?

Did all my changes come out correctly in my conversion to e-book? Of course not. When you go on the kdp e-book site to convert, then preview, it gives you different e-book formats to review. When you reviewed your manuscript in the different e-reader formats, it was like a three-ring circus. Fire HDX was perfect.  First paragraphs no indented along with scene change first paragraphs. However, when you viewed in I-pad format, those same paragraphs were indented 5 spaces instead of the 2 I had for the rest of my paragraphs.

I tried changing those paragraphs to no indent to first line “0”. You’d have another guess coming if you thought that worked. So I finally changed the e-book look totally different from my print on demand book.

My font size was 18 for the chapter headings and 14 for the text. The first letter of every first paragraph of each chapter and scene change for my e-book now is in bold and the size of that first letter is 20. I also changed all of the indents to .3, and the first paragraphs of each chapter and scene change are now .1.  The I-pad version now works ok. Not like my print on demand, but it works and readers will be able to see the scene changes.

So today, I published both on CreateSpace for the print on demand and wend to kdp publishing and loaded my e-book.  They are now available on Amazon.

I also changed the price of Night Terror to $8.00 for POD and $2.99 for e-book. Vanity Killed is priced on Amazon as $12.00 and $4.99.

Hope you enjoy Vanity Killed!

Until next time, Keep Writing.


Converting Manuscript To e-book format

I’ve been busy working on Vanity Killed.

 First, last clichés:

Ahead of the Pack— Doing better than the others, in advance of the rest of a group. Pack refers to a group of people since the 1400s, but for about 400 years it was a derogatory connotation as in “pack of thieves.” A related phrase would be “ahead of the game.”

Down to Earth—Realistic, practical, forthright. Term dates from the first half of the 20th century. See the Canadian Forum in 1932.

Draw a Blank—Unable to find something or remember something. Refers to a losing ticket in a lottery, which has no number printed on it, i.e. it’s blank. Appeared in print in early 19th century.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my blog, I always embed clichés into the body of my work. Then, the next post, I will tell you what I used and what they mean. So, how many did you find?

I received my second proof of Vanity Killed and I started converting the manuscript to e-book format. However, when I did that, the conversion caught a few spelling errors, that nothing else had caught. So, I’m redoing the pdf file for my paperback in CreateSpace!

So how do you convert your book to e-book?

1.  I copied and pasted the word document into another file and marked it for e-book.

2. Then I deleted the headers and footers.

3. I deleted any scene markers and made sure all were double spaced, where rest of body was single spaced.

4. In word, I put the document in full screen and edit page mode—I checked the view option on the right top and edit mode. Then I went through and made sure there were no spaces other than the scene changes.  Why? Because when I converted to CreateSpace book format, I made sure that the top line of every page had more than one sentence. So that lead to having some spaces created where there should not have been.

5.  I had to change the ISBN numbers to my e-book numbers not the print on demand book numbers.

6. Then I prepared a table of contents. You can check on Kindle e-book on how to do that.

7. For all of the chapter headings, I made sure they were all the same “style” and correct font and size –make sure they are all the same to pass muster.

I don’t want to rub it in, but I did all of this and now it’s time to upload it. The conversion will tell me whether I toed the line.

Next time, I will let you know the best or worst-case scenario.

Until then, Keep Writing,


Listening to Speakers on Writing

Went to a speaker meeting on Monday and listened to a talk about publishing options.

But first, last clichés:

Stand my Ground—To refuse to give in; to hold your position. This comes from the military (from about 1700) it was used referring to holding one’s position. Figuratively it was used from the early 19th century on. See J. S. Mill, On Liberty (1859).

Not a done deal—Done deal refers to a final decision or compact, or an irreversible agreement. This new synonym for the long-used fait accompli dates only from the late 1970s. “Done thing” surfaced about 1700 and Dickens used it in A Christmas Carol, 1843. And done deal is often used in the negative.

No Sweat—No extra effort will be required (to accomplish what you ask), No trouble. This has been around since about 1930, maybe earlier. Several lexicographers (incl. Eric Partridge) to the contrary, is nearly always used in the sense of the perspiration that might result from overexertion. Closely related to “No Problem”, but does not mean “okay” or “You’re welcome” as “No Problem” does.

So, let me know how many you found?

If you want to stay ahead of the pack, you must keep learning your craft and the business of writing. How does one do that? One way is to go to listen to other writers. The writing group I belong to has a speaker at our local library once a month on the first Monday of the month.

This month was Lynn Wiese Sneyd from LWS Literary Services Her talk this month was about Publishing Options.

She gave a down to earth talk from the traditional publishing to self-publishing options. The main things she covered were: Questions to Ask Yourself, Questions to ask a Publisher, and Types of Publishers. She gave us a handout so we would not draw a blank at the end of her talk.

What should we ask ourselves? Who is going to read my book? How am I going to market it? And How soon do I need a book?

What should we ask a publisher? How long will it take for my book to be published once I submit a completed manuscript? Will it cost me anything to have my book published? What will my royalties be? What editing, bok design, and marketing services are provided? And What distribution channels are available?

Types of Publishers: 1. Traditional Publishing—There are 5 big publishing houses and you need an agent for these. Then there are small houses, and university presses. 2. Self-publishing. 3. Print-on-Demand (POD) – such as Wheatmark, Morgan James (Travis Angry), Balboa Press (inspirational books), SheWrites, Book Baby. 4. Hybrid Publishing – such as CreateSpace, BookTrope, IngramSpark, Author Consortiums (Conquill Press), Publishizer, InkShares, PubLaunch, Unbound (UK). 5. Ebooks – Kindle Direct Program, Smashwords.

Each POD has different criteria and you need to study their websites.

Of course, she also told us we need a platform- who are your readers, and who are your contacts.

One thing she passed on to us was that if we are overwhelmed, you can always ask for help. One of the best forms is to get an intern. Some you pay for, some are for credits. You can call the universities, high school, junior colleges. Use them for setting up your websites, social media, and anything you might need. A great idea!

Go listen to other writers to obtain great ideas, not only for your writing, but for your business.

Until next time,

Keep Writing,


Don’t forget to proof the cover, and headers/footers

First, let’s find last clichés:

Going Over With a Fine-Tooth Comb— To investigate or search for with great care. Combs have been around since ancient Egypt, and some had finer teeth than others, the term “fine tooth comb” dates from the first half of the 19th century. The transfer of combing out nits to other kinds of searches took place only in the late 19th century.

Worship ground one walks on—to hold in reverent regard. This hyperbole for deep romantic feeling or great admiration has an archaic sound. Christopher Hale used it in Murder in Two (1943).

Time of My Life—An occasion of outstanding enjoyment. A colloquial Americanism term from the late 19th century which gained currency throughout the English-speaking world in the 20th century. William Saroyan used it as the title of his 1939 play, The Time of Your Life.

There’s the Rub—That’s the impediment or there’s the drawback. This might come from the ancient game of bowls, in which rub refers to the unevenness in the ground that hindered or diverted the free movement of the bowl. In late 16th century it was transferred to other kinds of hindrance. However this expression gained widespread movement through Shakespeare’s use of it in Hamlet’s soliloquy in 3:1.

So, how many did you find?

I’m going to stand my ground and say that proofing your book before publishing is very important. I thought I was finished proofing and corrected a few words on the cover as well as items in the interior of the book. Then I did one more read through with CreateSpace review launcher.  What did I find?

Well, I took a closer look at the headers and footers. All even page headers have my name; odd page headers have my title.  Oops! Not a done deal. Then I looked at library books and realized that the first page of each chapter has no header. So back to my manuscript to correct. No sweat, I’ll just delete them. Unfortunately, sometimes I would do that, and all of the headers would disappear! Now what?

I looked into my Words for Dummies book and found out about sections in your manuscript – each chapter is a section. I was able to make sure that all first pages of a chapter were also a first page of a section. Then, all went well.  Until I did that, it did not.

I’ve learned so much by formatting my own novel for CreateSpace, but it has been frustrating at times and has taken a long time. But, I believe well worth it in my accumulation of knowledge. Of course you can avoid all of this by having your designer do the interior of your book.

Until next time,

Keep Writing,