Thursday, December 17, 2015

One Disadvantage on Being in the Zone When Writing.

The world could fall apart and you wouldn’t notice. 

Come to think of it, if the world falls apart it wouldn’t help if I noticed. 

Yesterday, with the Coon Hound adolescent pup sleeping under my feet, peaceful and sweet as a new born babe, I left my chair and walked into the living room.

Surprise! A hurricane had hit.

Well, it looked like it. Behind my back Lafayette, the pup, had been up to some dirty deeds.. He had taken a plant off the media shelf, ripped it to shreds, bits of green leaves all over the room, and the dirt from the pot spread over the carpeting as though he had just plowed a field.

We wouldn’t give up the zone though would we?

(Or the pup.)

The vacuum cleaner fixed the mess.

Writing messes aren’t that easy to fix. I’ve come to the conclusion that editors have a different eye (interesting image) that writers do, or is it as do writers? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bloggers, Come Hither

Bloggers: The advantage of not having a huge platform is that you can fail with grace.

You can work on becoming a better writer.  Your blog gives you an opportunity to to do that. To become better, you practice, you write about something close to your heart. 

You can research subjects you want to know more about. You can go where YOU have never gone before.

You can have a LIFE BLOG.  

A Life Blog might be interesting only to a select few, like people you know or family, but that reminds me of a story Jeff Goin’s told of a man with ten good friends. He loved them and would die for them, but he wanted more. He built up a following of thousands; he became a rock star, but soon found it had its downside. People wanted something from him, more that he could give. He felt trapped. So he sought out a few good friends, and found them to be his original ten.

One blogger, when asked how it felt to address thousands, said, “I only talk to my tribe.” Those were her few good friends. (For me you are the good guys.)

Bloggers, (and all writers) you ought to be proud of yourselves. You are not stuck to the television or the couch. You are pounding away daily at the keyboard, trying to influence, to make a difference, trying to hone your skills.

If you decide to blog about a “How-to” subject you will reach more people. It is your choice. But here you will need to establish yourself as some sort of expert. (I learned the definition of an expert in college. “X” equals an unknown, and “Spirt” is a drip under pressure.--Must have come from a disgruntled professor.)

Using his definition though, (a drip under pressure), I’m an expert.

We do, however, especially when we are starting out, want to know How- to do something. I know little about blogging. I just began one day, and kept on, what make me do it? I don’t know. Now, however,  I am wondering about how some people go wild with blog numbers, and others perk along in low gear. I want to know about their technique, their key to success.  And so on this blog I am seeking that unknown territory into writing and blogging. And seeking unknown territory, learning, is in my estimation, what life is about.

I have a friend who is interested in Quantum Physics and she researches it almost daily. It is her fascination, her interest, and she is becoming excellent at it.
Her enthusiasm is contagious.

So, let’s go wild. We need others in our camp who are upbeat, enthusiastic, and supportive.

P.S. Chapters from my book ONE YEAR ON THE ISLAND, are posted on
I will post a chapter a week, One through Five are there now.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dustin Hoffman of the Typewriter

Before success comes in any man's life, he's sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That's exactly what the majority of men do.

--Napoleon Hill

When I clicked on "Edit Like a Pro," a small free e-book from Xlibris Publishing, and saw the number of suggestions they listed for proof reading, I didn't feel so bad about the many times I go through a manuscript and find something to change. Seven! They had seven. 

If you want a link to "Edit Like a Pro," click here.

Quite a few years ago I attended a workshop where the writer Gary Provost spoke. To this day I remember his hands. Seeing his pristine hands, I thought, This man must spend a lot of time at the typewriter. I’d say keyboard, but since he is called “The Dustin Hoffman of the typewriter,” I guess my supposition was correct.  

Born in 1944, died in 1995 (darn) I’m mentioning Provost because today I ran smack dab into his words.

“I write often about writing,” wrote Provost, “and that can be terrifying. Sometimes I feel as if I'm standing in front of a firing squad and The Captain will give the order to shoot as soon as I have violated my own advice. Have I used too many words to tell you not to use too any words? Is my voice too passive when I tell you to use the active voice? Is my grammar faulty when I tell you to bone up on your grammar?”

One day, Gary stood on the steps of the Boston Public Library with a suitcase full of mimeographed copies of his little self-published book of offbeat humor, and he began to sell them--cheap. 

For whatever reason, this publication, The Dorchester Gas Tank, won Gary a small cult-level following in Cincinnati, Ohio and that local popularity garnered for Gary the attention of editors over at Writer’s Digest magazine, the world's leading magazine for writers. One thing led to another and: BAM! WD bought and published a story by Gary about Gary and his self-publishing venture. 

If you want a link to “Edit Like a Pro,” click here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bloggers, What Do We Do If Our Art Sucks?

Are You as Rankled As I Am?

It seems like a good idea doesn’t it, #blogging I mean?

It is your expression.

You want to make a difference.

Writing has you by the throat.

You want to become a better writer, and those little sound bites (aka #blogs) seem like a good way to do it. You want to connect, to share, to have a human exchange albeit through your keyboard, and those fabulous airways.

It isn’t that you want to be “I” all the time. That is spew out a stream of self-talk. You would like to hear what others think. You would like to ask the big questions, like what are you doing here? “Here?” I mean on this planet, here stretching paychecks, paying bills, driving car pools, shopping for groceries, dental visits dentists, pets to vets, and trying to keep some semblance of order in your house. You are even willing to get up at 4 A.M. to have some peace and quiet to write. You love that time. It is where you can be in the “Zone.”

Painters must feel this way, carpenters, others who work with their hands and minds, anything that excites them. That is art.

What do we do if our art sucks?

So, you look into the high rollers who have fabulous successful blogs. Wow, to make $100,000 a year, to quit your job, to write full time, you know, be your own boss .

“Work for yourself or make someone else rich by working for them.” We know the mantra.

A few people like you so they honor you by reading your material. Yet know all web searchers have their own issues, their mouse hovers over material waiting to find a kernel of truth, information, entertainment, something to grab their attention. On the other hand people Web surf looking for  a fix, something to solve their current problem.

You can’t blame them for not wanting to spend time with you.

So what are we to do?

Readers want information on how to make their lives work, or how to make their work work.  (Besides fixing that computer, car, oven refrigerator, etc.) Well, there’s entertainment too—think of all the gossip columns, they work. Think of all the sports events, they work. People want love advice, child rearing advice, blogging advice, depression-lifting advice, diet advice.  Advice, hum, maybe we’re onto something.

Should you give advice? What is your expertise?

So, back to your blog.

“Should I pay for advertising?”

“Am I into numbers when I should be into readers?”

“Is it content that moves a blog along or something else?”

It’s a mystery isn’t it?

I like personal experience blogs, like and going there, I find that her grandmother recently passed away at 95 and had been writing a blog of her early life—such as one in 1943 or 44 when her husband went to war and said, “Send Cigarettes,” but there were none to be bought. So her grandmother, Svensto, acquired tickets to a game show trying to win Chesterfield Cigarettes. (Sounds like an #I Love Lucy episode.)

Let’s be honest, this is troubling, frustrating, and downright irritating to know which way to go.

This isn’t about a silver lining. This is getting down to the nitty gritty of what works and what doesn’t. Maybe we don’t live as Shreve Stockton (Daily Coyote) does in the wilds of Wyoming and raise an orphaned coyote pup into a beautiful companion, plus take fabulous photographs to boot, but we have other adventures and skills, and a lifetime behind us. And remember, no academic paper as ever gone viral as a blog.

I am going to investigate this blogging phenomenon further. Want to come along?

Just check in or if you want a notice of a new post, sign up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Content Does No Good If Nobody Reads It

I don’t know how to tell you to write. Lordy, I don’t know how to do it myself. I can encourage you to stick with it though. Keep your butt on the chair.

Or stand.

There are devices to hold your computer so you can write standing up. My chiropractor’s office has a device that can be lowered to desk level or raised up to standing level.  He’s looking out for himself and his help—their backs their bellies, all are hindered by too much sitting. An inventor friend created an inexpensive lap top holding device so you can type while standing up. (Want one? Ask me.)

One author I read about wrote his screenplay while standing in his swimming pool.  In your dreams, right?

They say that content does not attract readers—you can write the best content in the world and it does no good if people don’t read it.

Remember Ethyl Merman? Her voice was not the most melodious, but boy could that woman belt it out. They loved her because she could be heard in the third balcony. She had a presence. She was an individual.

Do it.

Be that.

Go for it.

P.S. To you #bloggers out there. I just read that long posts make people believe that there is more value? Is that true? Do you have time to read long posts?!

Look at that face. How can you resist it?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I took a speech class once—you wouldn’t know it by the way I talk or don’t talk, but my topic was a smart one—Academic Freedom.

The subject sent the professor into a rant, the class became involved, discussion ensued and soon my dumb speech was lost in the fervor.

This morning I read Steven King On Writing which spurred the memory of that ancient speech class. I wondered about the writing equivalent of my speech topic.

King said: “There are lots or would-be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see…or to at least shut up about what you do see that’s different. They are agents of the status quo. Not necessarily bad guys, but dangerous guys if you happen to believe in intellectual freedom.

The other day a girl friend said she wanted to know how I thought, felt, and how I saw the world. I was stymied by the question—I had my hand on the door handle, about to leave, and so was saved for the day, but I will think on it, and we will meet again, and I am thrilled to have a friend with such an inquiring mind.

Have we been taught to think for ourselves—given data of course, or have we been taught to sit down, shut up and memorize what it says here in the course curriculum?
Some people want to know, others don’t. Most people defend their belief systems as though the spinning of the earth depends on it. 

Steven was encouraging writers to use an authentic voice. He said that not a week goes by that he doesn’t get a pissed-off letter from a reader accusing him of being a bigot, foul-mouthed, homophobic, murderous, frivolous or downright psychopathic. What are they responding to? His dialogue. These are the voices of his fictional characters. He is trying to show who THEY are.

Steven quotes his mother as saying, “Yes,  profanity is the language of the ignorant,” but even the most staid—Christian or heathen alike--says an occasional ”Fuck,” when they hit their thumb with a hammer or the dog barfs on their shag carpet.

I wonder why those critics are reading Steven King.

“Talk, whether ugly or beautiful, is an index of character; it can also be a breath of cool, refreshing air in a room some people would prefer to keep shut up. In the end, the important question has nothing to do with whether the talk of you story is sacred or profane; the only question is how it rings on the page and in the ear.” 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

“Know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

“Did you know that the first drafts of many of your writing heroes are just as clumsy, flabby and downright difficult to read as yours?”

Whoa, that’s a revelation.

It’s the editing.

I don’t know about you, but I get my word count up—then I edit, and nine tenths of my words disappear.

Think of old Strunk and White’s Elements of Style a book the Professor drummed into us in freshman English. “Simplify, simplify, simplify.”

But, you might ask, what about all those paragraphs rich in prose, description, scent and flavor you so love?

Yep. Use those. I think of author Rosamunde Pilcher and her Scottish highlands, and the scent of peat, and grouse and salt from the sea. Wow. I am in awe.

A writer’s dilemma—“Know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Like  life.

Here are a few editing rules I found useful:
  • Take out filler words.

Example: it, here, there, it is, it was, it takes, her is, there is, there will be
There are some bloggers who seem to have…
  •  Don’t use wimpy words.

She is blogging….she blogs.

  • Use visceral verbs:

Find out….discover
Think of a blogging strategy….Devise a blogging strategy.

  • Avoid weak adjectives

Really bad….terrible
Really good….great
Very beautiful….gorgeous

Even straonger:
Editting is absolutely essential. Absolutely is redundant.

  • Commas:

Throw out the comma police.

Gosh, in freshman English I was hit with more “Comma faults” than I could shake a stick at. That made me take out a lot of commas though.

Now I ask the question, “What makes it easier to read?

I’m done .


“Any comments, additions, or suggestions on how to be a better writer?
What would you like to see here?
Want an email reminder for blog posts?
Want to never see me again?

Put your clever email handle in the box below.
It’s just between you and me.

Monday, June 15, 2015

No Money, Not Now, Not Ever

Today's Treat

Today's blog:

Are You Like me?

When we lived in Hawaii a doctor asked me if I knew about the Big Island.

“In what regard?” I asked.

“If your husband needs more care you will have to go to Honolulu,” he said.

Commute from the Big Island to Honolulu?”

I don’t think so.

I couldn’t get off the Island fast enough.

So with the question, “Are you like me?” you might also ask, “In what regard?”

 Well, your attitude toward marketing for one.

There is a certain marketing ploy that works—up to a point.

It has caught me a couple of times.

 I got a free download from a blogger I respect.

It was a great download, good information, I was impressed. A true gift. I felt he was the real deal. He could help me with blogging. Maybe I really haven’t gotten the gist of it. I could use some help. How do I write good headlines? How do I keep people interested? How do I write good content, be entertaining, or informative?

Okay, next he offered a mini course for $49.00. I figured he was worth it. I joined.
But that wasn’t the end of it.

I “need” to keep joining this, buying that. I’m not good enough until I buy something else—he can teach me. That will do it…. until the next great thing comes out.

Maybe that’s the way bloggers earn their $100,000 a year. But I’m not going to do it.  I’m not trying to sell you anything. And I’m never going to ask for money on this site, not now, not ever.

Do the Opposite

When I had horses I was following Pat Parellii’s training techniques, and he said that what most people are doing, do the opposite.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched the Belmont Race—and watched handlers pulling on the horse’s mouth to get them into the starting gate. It worked. They got the horse into the gate. I know though, that a horse works better being driven than pulled. With a tap of a carrot stick on the rump, don’t hit them, just tap them, the horse would probably jump into that gate. And on top of it you would earn the horse’s respect. Don’t know, haven’t tested it. But there is an old Indian trick of getting a horse into a trailer. Pick up a handful of pebbles, and toss them—little prickling taps on a horse’s rump—and he jumps into the trailer.

I hate it when something I have loved turns on me, and that has happened with a number of marketing ploys. As I said, the marketing technique started out good. Give them a freebee, and then you have their email. After that you suggest, or push something else, then something else. I’m even willing to pay for good material, but enough already.

I left feeling exploited.

Did the horse feel that way when yanked into the starting gate?

I won’t yank you. Maybe I’ll toss a few pebbles at your rump.

I’ll ask you to join my blog, or sign up for a freeby, but that’s it.

No money. Not now. Not ever.

So here we are.

I don’t know how to tell you how to find an agent or how to get published.

I don’t know how to tell you how to write good content, or how to write without grammatical mistakes, or typos or any of that falderol writing gurus like to hit us with. (Yes, and I ended a sentence with a preposition.)

I DO know how to motivate you.

I know how to tell you to keep your butt on the chair.

I know how to tell you that what you have to say matters.

I know that you are a gift to humanity, and to express that gift.

I know that we are not given a desire without also being given the way to achieve it.

I know that the Universe doesn’t play games. It is clear, so clear that we get muddled in trying to understand it. We think it is supposed to be hard.

People have told us it’s hard-- the starving artist idea you know. “If it was easy everybody would be doing it”—those sorts of things.

Don’t listen.

You know something? Life’s supposed to be fun.

And what if most everything we have heard is wrong?

I invite you to sign in. I want to know you. I'd love it if you followed me.

Ta Da,


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Editing and Proofreading, Oh My

From #Bubble Cow I learned, and was overwhelmed by, the entire editing/proofreading process. Gosh–o-mighty writers, look at this.

First you write the book, you throw your heart and soul into it. It’s your baby. But, you wonder, will anyone want it?  What if my baby is boring?  It’s like home movies. They were our pictures. We took them. Seeing them rekindles experiences of standing atop the pyramid at Chichen Itza and looking out over the vast expanse of jungle and seeing the horizon, a pencil line North to South as far as the eye can see.  (Well, that was one picture.) Yet in our living room, (old days, projector running) from out of the darkness comes outright snoring.

Well damn!

So, it’s back to the drawing board, or give those people some coffee and chocolate. They didn’t come to your house to be inundated with your ruminating.

While I am out in the kitchen pouring coffee over chocolate ice cream, here are some tidbits on editing and proofreading you can chew on.

First  I know why a professional writer looks so good.


So, let’s look at the editing process:

Editing is the first step in the publication process, and the focus is on structure rather than fixing every little typo.

The editor will look at three things:

  • Structure

The way the book is written. For fiction it will be things like showing not telling, narrative tension and pacing.
For nonfiction, it is more about examining your argument, making it understandable, and making it easy to learn—if that’s what you are going for.

  • Flow

Flow is the way the book reads, the plot, how well your book fits into its genre. Does it have glaring errors?  Here, too, is fact- checking.

  • Line Structure

This is a line by line assessment. The editor will look at your sentence structure and make changes which they think will improve the book. They will look at punctuation of dialogue, and the clearest way to phrase a sentence. You can accept or reject these changes, so you still have some control.
You thought your book was ready to go to press right?

No, now comes the proofreading …

This removes spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. The proofreader will also ensure a level of consistency within your book.

Some proofreading services such as Bubble Cow, will read your book twice. On the first read, the proof reader will correct errors and add consistency. On the second read, the proofreader will make sure nothing was missed and that the words convey the intended meaning. Proofreading should be the final task before publication.

Now, if you have paid for these services go out and sell enough books to cover the expense.

Oh, I don’t mean to be discouraging. You won’t be. You will take advice or not, for I know about writers. You write because it is your passion. All the rules, restrictions and rejections that come your way will not keep you you’re your appointed task, and that is to put words on the page.

Go for it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Never Give Up

I saw the movie #Iris last night, about a “Geriatric starlet.”  Iris is a ninety-three year old designer who is giving more exhibitions of her outlandish combinations of apparel and jewelry that than there are pigeons on the Statue of Liberty. What fun. And what an inspiration. See, there is hope for all of us. Are you over ninety three?

She said that the young ones don’t have history behind them, and apparently in her classes she is providing that, showing designers good authentic fabric, encouraging them to collect from flea markets, to travel, and to express their individuality.

That I can remember the fifties, sixties, seventies-- oh dear,--eighties, nineties, and now into the new millennium, gives me something. I don’t know what.  I guess it gives me a sense of continuance, and tells me that the decades have their own color, flavor, music, and style.

We exulted  the fifties with Happy Days, and the “Fonz, and Richie.” Didn’t we love cruising and circle skirts with poodle dogs, and bobby socks, and cherry cokes? And then came the sixties, excitement, the space race, young people thronging into the Peace Corps, but then came the shooting of JFK and RFK and Martin Luther King Jr., and the Viet Nam war, and Lee Harvey Oswald shot in front of the entire country. Not good. So see, the past is not to be glorified, but remembered and learned from. The Hippies came along and said, “Throw flowers not bombs,” they sang, "We shall overcome," and the peace symbol became an icon.  It is almost like the Avatars say, “In times of trouble I will send a comforter, a peacemaker.”

What does this have to do with writing? I don’t know. It seems pertinent somehow, as though I am suppose to say it. I am supposed to encourage people to keep on keeping on. Art happens at ninety three. Grandma Moses didn’t begin painting until she was in her seventies.

What if someone, a publisher or an agent had told Iris when she was seventy-three that they didn’t want to bother with her? How many young people can promise to be productive for the next twenty years? At Ninety-three she is going a little slower, but strong.

Never, never, never listen to the nay sayers. Scores of successful people were told they would never make it, that they had no talent, and to get the heck out of my office. Fred Astair: “He has big ears, can’t act, and dances a little.” John Travolta, “You can’t act.” (His response: “They’re nuts.") Ester Williams, “You can’t act.” Sylvester Stallions, “Okay Okay, we’ll produce your movie, but we don’t want you to act in it.”

Many years ago there was a boy of ten who was working in a factory in Naples. He longed to sing, but his teacher discouraged him, saying, “You haven’t any voice at all. It sounds like the wind in the shutters.”

But his mother, a poor peasant women, put her arms around him and praised him, and told him he could sing. She went barefoot in order to save money to pay for his music lessons. His mother's praise and encouragement changed the boy’s life. He name was Enrico Caruso and he became the greatest and most famous opera singer of his age.

Perhaps I am writing this to encourage myself, and to tell myself to never give up.
And I am saying that to you, never give up the thing you love.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I'm Mad as Hell...

I woke up this morning really pissed. And it was about books.

I was mad that books are diminishing in numbers faster than a cobra after a hen.

I was mad that Publishers and agents advertise for submissions and then say, “Because of the high number of submissions it is impossible to comment on your work.” I don’t need for them to comment on my work. But stop bellyaching on the amount of work you have to do.  You asked for it.

I’m mad that people don’t read.

I’m mad that our culture is relying on the Internet to publish, to convey information, and to handle about everything in our lives from banking to paying taxes. Do you see some danger in that?

I’m not against the Internet-whoa, what a fount of information. What I am opposed to is our dependence on it.

The other night I tried to read a book to my grandson on my digital device and it was a royal pain. It didn’t accept my finger swipe—I had to ask him to turn the pages, and then it kept giggling back to the previous page. Hey, I’ve had a book fall on my chest because I fell asleep, but I found the page again, and it didn’t argue with me.

Do people remember that books were burned in the past?

What if they decided to censor the Internet?

I know I am preaching to the choir—this being a writers blog. I’m just mad and don’t know what to do with it.

I’ve heard it said that few people read beyond the first 100 pages of a novel. Either the novel was lousy, or the person was lazy.

We are about quick fixes and small sound bites (read-bites) and How-to’s and gossip, when there is so much color, depth and message in a novel that it imbues our brain with a kaleidoscope of wonder.

Science has this to say about people who read fiction:
  • Fiction sparks self-reflection.
  • Readers of fiction tend to be more aware of other’s emotions
  • Reading fiction enhances empathy.
  • Readers of fiction tend to be more tolerant.

You have heard it said that words don’t teach experience does.

What do you have to say about that?

First I say, “Preposterous!”

Then I say, “Well sure, if those words do not evoke some spark of experience in us, we probably won’t remember them.” That is probably the reason fiction imbues the brain.

RED is just three letters put together. But I challenge you to read the word red without conjuring up an image of red.

That’s the reason words work so well, our beautiful brain fills in the pictures. Maybe whoever said, “One  picture is worth a thousand words,” had it backwards.  Maybe a thousand words create some 500 pictures.

“Jesus wept.”

Emotional picture. Two words.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Fifty to One Long Shot

I don't just wish on white horses, sometimes I bet on the bay.

Or How to Maintain Enthusiasm in the Face of Rejection.

Last night I was so inspired I almost fell off the couch.

How I missed it the first time around is beyond me.

I have been a Kentucky Derby fan for years—chose the winner three years running,--on paper, didn’t bet, but I stopped watching for a time after they kept breaking horse’s legs. I was mad that they race three-year olds whose legs are not fully formed. They race them because as youngsters horses are fast.  So, race them as older horses that have strong legs. It’s idiocy. You still have an even racing field. People, though, are concerned with numbers and speed, and sometimes they miss the big picture. And if you want to race in the Derby you must obey the rules.

So, in my discouragement with the Derby race, I missed the 2009 Kentucky Derby where Mind that Bird, was a 50 to 1 long shot. Mind that Bird won the race for two cowboys who didn’t even know the horse qualified, and it was the biggest shock in Kentucky Derby History. Mine that Bird came from dead last, way last, way behind the pack, but in a burst of speed passed every horse on the track, and won by 5 lengths. The announcer wasn’t even watching the horse, so discounting him he was.

I watched the movie last light 50 to 1, loved it, and decided not to be discounted, and to encourage those around me to do the same.

I know you as writers face loneliness, criticism and rejection on a regular basin. Liz  Gilbert, (Eat, Play, Love) said that people even ask her, “Now that you have a best seller, aren’t you afraid you will never meet it, or have another?”

“Yeah. You got that right.”

So how do we motivate people? By crititiques? “By criticism?

Charles Schwab, United States Steel Company, 1927, said, “I have yet to find a person, however great or exalted his station, who did not  do better work and  put forth greater effort under the spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.”

Schwab was not paid a million dollars a year (in1927 yet) because he knew a great amount about the production of steel. He was hired because he knew how to motivate people.
They say that the second most need in people, behind health, is to be appreciated.

Yes, as writers we want to improve our craft. We want to learn those things like when to use words such as their, they’re and there, where to put our commas, how to plot, have a protagonists arc, how to write dialogue, and when to use the hero’s journey as a platform for our story. That information is out there, I don’t have those answers.
One thing I know for sure is that artists need encouragement. Why do I say artists? Because artists hear more than say chemists, doctors, or business men, that their field is a tough one, and they will never make it.

So why are you writing?

Because something in you says you must.

God (the Universe, the Great Spirit, whatever) doesn’t give you a desire without also giving you a way to accomplish it.

Do it.

Stick those rejection slips on a spike (Steven King said his nail became too short), and keep writing.

If you choose to share what you are up to, or say what you would like to see here, you are invited to copy and paste my personal address. That way it will not go to a robot, and you will not need a password. Don’t you have more of those than you can shake a stick at?

I am expecting greatness from you.

Carry on,

P.S. 50 to 1 is available on DVD. It is a labor of love for the director who directed Dances With Wolves and Bodyguard., and the jockey is played by the real jockey who won the Derby on Mine that Bird—a horse with a personality.