Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Capitalizing "mom" and "dad"

Capitalization rules can be confusing, but I’m going to concentrate on one thing here today: the capitalization of the words “mom” and “dad.”

Proper nouns are capitalized and common nouns are not. When "mom" and "dad" are used in place of a person's name, they are capitalized. When they're used to describe a generic parental relationship, they must be lowercase. 



My mom took us to the park.

Dad was mad at me for making a mess, but my mom cleaned it up.

My brother told me that Mom and Dad said we were going on vacation.


My Mom took us to the park.

My Dad was mad at me for making a mess, but my Mom cleaned it up.

My brother told me that mom and dad said we were going on vacation.

If you’re ever unsure, you can google the rules. I spoke to an author once who told me she asked about this in a group of writers and was told it was ok to capitalize “mom” and “dad” any time. Not true. Writers are not always editors. You’re better off using Google.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


What inspires you?

When you’re in a car, do you take in the things around you as you pass, such as hills, houses, people walking, the sunrise or sunset?

When you’re walking, do you notice the pretty flowers someone took great care to plant in their front yard or flower boxes? Do you notice the tiny twinkling red, white and blue lights around a window or door frame?

How about smells? Do you smell pine trees or smoke from a fire pit or barbecue? The saying isn’t “Stop and smell the roses” for nothing!

Too often, we miss the “little things” around us – the beauty, the fun, the adorable – because our minds are elsewhere. Maybe your mind is on work or the argument you had with a partner or child that morning; perhaps your mind is on the writing you didn’t get done the day before; or maybe you’re thinking about the bills you have to pay.

Well STOP! Take a deep breath and BE STILL. LOOK around you. SMELL the flowers and the fresh air and pine trees. FEEL the breeze on your face or the rain on your skin. LIVE!

Don’t walk through life missing out on everything around you. You may miss a great opportunity for a story! My best ideas come while I’m walking my dogs (and not because I’m clumsy and silly things often occur when I’m out and about with them). I notice the train tracks on a hill to my left while I walk, the overgrown trees with dark green leaves surrounding them; I notice the little kids playing hopscotch (yes, that’s still a thing) or jumping rope in front of their home; I notice birds and squirrels and I smell all types of smells.

I live. Why? Because we have one chance to live on this earth. Why should we take it for granted? Life is to be lived, not wasted. Live your life and write your story!


Sunday, August 16, 2020

My Upcoming Release

Meet Anabelle. Anabelle is a little girl who is looking for a friend to play with. She asks several different animals, but they all seem too busy. One even suggests she take a nap!

Follow along in this fun rhyming story and find out who Anabelle makes friends with. Your kids will love the animals that Anabelle meets and those who become her friends.

My friend, whom I used to work with, often told me stories about her granddaughters, and one day she was talking about her granddaughter, Anabelle, and animals that Anabelle loved. The story idea popped into my head and I couldn’t wait to start writing!

This upcoming release will be published by Two Girls and a Reading Corner. Find another children’s book of mine, Chrissy’s Candy Shop, also published by Two Girls and a Reading corner, available on Amazon!

My self-published children’s books and novel can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, and Target online!

Follow me on Facebook for updates on the release of A Friend for Anabelle.



Monday, August 10, 2020

Are You Stuck?

I began writing my second novel while my first was in the hands of my editor. (No, I don’t edit my own work when it’s that big!). I loved the way the book was going…the characters, the story line, everything! I’ve been working on this novel for several months, but in the last few weeks, I’ve been second-guessing the plot. Is the twist good enough? Do I keep the reader’s attention and wanting more?

Stumped, I talked to my aunt by way of Marco Polo (this brilliant video chat app!). We tossed a few ideas back and forth and I sat back down to write but…nothing. Then a few days ago, my aunt sent me a video talking about the novel and a few other ideas for a twist. Suddenly, I had an idea based on something she said and BAM…I had my twist!

I hurried to my laptop to type up the outline so I wouldn’t forget. Normally I don’t do outlines, I just WRITE (fly by the seat of my pants, if you will), but I had to type this one up quick because I loved the idea and didn't want to forget it.

Now I am writing freely again and making progress…again.

It’s ok to ask for help. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and toss some ideas around if you find yourself stuck or bored with your work. Sometimes just walking away can help, but getting ideas from others can work wonders as well.

Keep writing, friends! Don’t give up if you feel “stuck” – just keep writing!



Thursday, August 6, 2020

What Are You Working On?

When you write, do you work on one project or multiple? Do you write in one specific genre or several?

I like to work on more than one writing project at a time. Currently, I am working on two fiction novels and a few pre-teen and children’s books. As I’ve mentioned before, I write when the idea(s) strike or when I’m in the writing zone. I never force myself. So, for example, I may wake up tomorrow morning with ideas roaming around my head for my novel. I’ll sit down and do some writing on that one. I may stop after a bit and pull another file up - maybe the children’s book or maybe the other novel - and I’ll write a little bit on that.

Sometimes I will be writing one story, save that after a bit, and do something else non-writing related.

Don’t forget to give yourself a break; whether you’re writing a book, a blog or anything else, take a break when you feel overwhelmed or tired. Go for a walk, stretch, call a friend or read a book!

Working on several projects is fine, but make sure you take time for you as well.