Thursday, February 28, 2013

'The Christmas Violin': Trying new structure

I’m 10,000+ words into my WIP, and I’m wondering if the structure is working. I’m trying something new, constructing “The Christmas Violin” like a concerto with three movements. Movement 1 is fairly short and Movement 2 will be the longest. I can’t wait to write Movement 3, which will culminate the piece, hopefully in a satisfying way.
It’s fun to try new things. If they work, it’s great. If they don’t, then I start over and find a better way. But I think when we try new things, we grow.  
Do you try new things? Or do you stick with what’s been proven? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blast from past: Drake's Fruit Pies commercial

I remember this doo-wop commercial when I was a kid. I sang it all the time. I still remember the words. When I discovered it on YouTube, it made my day. So many memories! Enjoy.


Monday, February 25, 2013

One Frog, Two Frogs, Three frogs, Four

I'm often asked where I get ideas for my books. Sometimes they just pop into my head -- in the shower or while running -- and sometimes they come to me in a dream. And sometimes I'm inspired by real life. Such was the case with this story, "One Frog, Two Frogs, Three Frogs, Four."

My oldest son, Zach, collected these colorful plastic tree frogs. He'd cart them around in his big, yellow dump truck. Using his Fisher-Price Wild West Town and Pirate ship he'd pretend they were cowboys and pirates. Sometimes, he'd stack pillows on the couch and the frogs would scale the pillow mountain to defeat the evil emperor. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Recording: Opening to novel Ella's Rain

Here is a recording of the opening of my young adult/women's fiction crossover novel, "Ella's Rain." I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Salute to our imaginary friends

Patrick had a problem. No matter where he went or what he did, no one could see him and no one could hear him. He was invisible.

Then one day he met Ellie. Ellie could see him. 

“Why do you look so sad?” she asked.

And, Ellie could hear him.

“Why do you stomp your feet when you walk?”

Patrick became Ellie’s best friend. Where Ellie went, Patrick went. 

When Ellie went to school, Patrick went along and helped her learn.  

When Ellie went to the beach, Patrick went, too, and they built sandcastles together.

And when Ellie was sent to her room for being naughty, Patrick kept her company.

Patrick liked that he wasn’t invisible anymore. And he especially liked that Ellie included him in her play and talked to him. He wasn’t lonely anymore.

It didn’t matter to him that no one but Ellie could see him or hear him. He had
Ellie and that was good enough.

But one day, Ellie stopped talking to Patrick. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quote from Malcolm Forbes

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”

--Malcolm Forbes

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

JFK quote on change

John F. Kennedy said: 
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
This is so true.  Instead of fighting change, we should figure out how to make the most of it. I've often found that when I do this, I make improvements, creating something even better than I previously had.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quote of the day from Wyland

I love this quote by Wyland, world-renowned marine artist:

There are two types of people -- anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they're having more fun. The anchors just drag you down. 
So, are you an anchor or a motor?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Remember successes, not failures

Why is it that we remember our failures more than our successes? I'm convinced that we have far more successes in life but they are drowned out by our failures, which we often magnify to the Nth degree.

I'm ashamed to tell this story but it proves my point. Years ago, my son came home with a school progress report. His average was a 94. Looking over the report, I noticed that he had a missing assignment for which he had received a 0.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Latest Smart magazine column

Some of the best moments in life are those you never see coming.

 Friends you didn’t expect to see.

 Quiet time you didn’t expect to have.

 A special something from a special someone who knew how to make you smile.

A hug from a child when you’re drowning in life.

Read the complete Smart magazine column.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Snippets from obituaries