Sunday, February 24, 2019

Thinking About Words

I just finished reading Julia Quinn's latest endeavor, The Other Miss Bridgerton. Her heroine, Poppy Bridgerton, had a thing for words. Specifically words that sounded like their meaning. One of her examples in the book was the word devoid. 

Which got me to thinking about other words that sound like their meaning. Here's my short list:


I'll add another to the list. The other day, I was wearing my slippers when I slipped on my wet floor and took a tumble. Does that count?

How about you? Do you have any favorite words that sound like their meaning? Or are Julia Quinn and I the only ones who ponder things like this? And is this type of word called onomatopoeia or ideophone?

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Creating Your Tribe

Every writer working today has heard you need a tribe to get a book from concept to reality. A tribe is a support system in this lonely world of fiction writing. You need critique partners to let you know when you've run your book's story line off into a ditch. You need a coach, mentor, agent, whatever your want to call the person or persons you lean on for advice. Throw in editors, web designers, proofreaders, reviewers who write glowing reviews of your books, publishers, all the people who operate blogs where you can introduce your book to a new audience, and, of course, your family.

Never has this concept of tribalism come into play than this past week. My website is one of the most consistent of the elements of my social media, and I keep track of the daily hits. The consistency tapered off around Valentine's Day, and had trickled to one or two visitors a day instead of the usual 100 or so. I watched it for a couple days, but didn't think to check the link. One of my favorite fellow authors with whom I share the History Imagined blog brought it to my attention. What to do? Since I know next to nothing about how to fashion a website, I emailed my tribe member who takes care of that. It only took her a few minutes on the phone with the company who hosts my site to determine they had tried to send an authentication notice to me at my Ohio email address and when I didn't respond, they shut the site down. It has since been fixed and updated. Problem solved, but not without help.

On a more personal note, I now have my grown nephew living with me. Since I've never married, it's been nice to be able to share my home with my siblings and/or their children over the years. He's working at a grocery chain and has to be there by 6 am. Normally, I never hear him, but last night was different. I got sick at about 3 am, and was awake when he left the house. I texted him to please pick up some Pepto for me before he came home. Not only did he bring the medicine, he brought hot soup and yogurt for my delicate stomach. Then, he walked my dog!

So this week has taught me that, while some parts of my tribe need to be shored up and expanded, the core group is to be trusted. Not only with my writing process but also with my health. I'm eternally grateful to each of you.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sailing Away

My River Cruise got cancelled. It was probably the only time I'd ever get to use my passport. I've always wanted to explore other countries, but it never quite materialized for me. I have been to 46 of the 50 states and have lived in 7 of them, but I've never 'crossed the pond.'

I would probably be more disappointed had I not just begun working on a new story line. I sorted out the details last week and put together a beat sheet. My heroine is 'crossing the pond,' in reverse of what I would have done. She's sailing from England to America at the height of the Revolutionary War. Not on a luxury liner, but on a small clipper ship loaded with supplies for the British troops in America.

Once I figured out the hook of the story, I got really excited about writing it. The Revolutionary War is one of my favorite time periods. Even though I spent much of my adult life in Virginia and toured numerous Civil War battlefields, the Civil War never held the same appeal as the Revolutionary period does. I can't wait to have my heroine land in unruly America and try to make her way.

Right now, she's masquerading as a boy, stowed away on the ship bound for Boston. So, in my own way, I'm sailing along even without my River Cruise. I may throw in a storm at sea just to keep things lively during their trip, especially since my heroine has never learned to swim. We'll see. I'm sailing away with my idea.

So, what story line are you working on, either in your WIP or in your life? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, February 3, 2019


I've been thinking a lot about electricity lately. Maybe it's because my furnace has been blasting 24/7 for days now. Or maybe it's because most of the midwest had to experience record cold temps this past week. Fortunately, things are about to heat up for all of us, as the polar vortex recedes. My latest History Imagined blog tells of a big freeze that took place in Europe in 1709. Just think how much harder our polar vortex would have been without electricity and you can understand how so many lost their lives during the freeze, either from hypothermia or starvation. Here's a link to the whole story:

I've been working on the next book in my Regency series, too, while I wait for spring to come. There's electricity there, too, between my hero and heroine. A different kind of electricity, to be sure, but the current is there, even though both of them try to fight it. All it takes is a glance, a touch, and the spark is ignited.

While I wait, somewhat impatiently, for my hands to thaw so I can type better, I can get lost in my story and feel the electricity as my couple falls in love.

Stay warm, everyone!