Category Archives: WriteWed

Bradley Beach Inspiration #AtTheShore #WriteWed

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! I’ve shared some other inspiration for Sea Kiss, the fictional Jersey Shore town in the At the Shore Contemporary Romance series. Today I’m sharing another one of the towns, Bradley Beach, that inspired some elements in the story, like the gazebos behind the Pierce and Sinclair mansions.

I love Bradley Beach and spending time there. It’s a quiet family kind of town with a lovely paved boardwalk, gardens along the ocean block, a lovely fountain and of course, its signature gazebos. Some of the highlights of the summer there for me include their Memorial Day parade with an assortment of bands as well as the fabulous 4th of July fireworks. I just love fireworks and was so happy to see some on the cover of One Summer Night.

So for today’s Write Wednesday, a short video with highlights from Bradley Beach!

If you can’t see the video below, please click here or follow this link: https://youtu.be/JMyikM2vxW8

Wanted: Inspiration #WisdomWednesday #WriteWed

Now that I’ve got your attention . . . LOL!

I sometimes hear that a writer is waiting for inspiration or for the muse to hit to get started on a story. It makes me wonder what will happen if the muse is missing or that inspiration never materializes. It makes me wonder about what I write since I’m not the kind to sit and wait (for anything actually) and I just plopped my butt in the chair one day and decided to write.

Of course that was after a 5th Grade class assignment revealed to me that the stories in my head could become like one of the stories I loved to read. After writing my first book in the 5th grade, working on stories through high school, college and law school, it took a long time for me to say, “I’m finally going to do this.”

I haven’t looked back from that moment. I sat and I wrote. Every day. I didn’t sit and wait for inspiration and a muse because I’m the kind of person who believes that you make your own luck. That you control your destiny and that if you want something, you need to go for it full tilt like Don Quixote at the windmill.

Is it easy? Not always, in fact, most times not. There’s work and family and friends and a thousand other things that can pull you away from that story you want to write. You’ve got to want to write that story really bad and you’ve got to let the people in your life know that you want to write that story really bad. If they love you, they’ll understand and be supportive. They’ll celebrate with you when you say you’ve finished the story of your heart. They’ll hold you when you get that first rejection letter. They’ll be at your side when you get that box of books that says you’ve been published.

But that will only happen if you sit down and write, the muse be damned.

I’ll leave you now with a quote from a woman who was a friend, mentor, and most importantly, my mom: Nothing worthwhile is every easy.

#WriteWed Bryant Park from One Summer Night #AttheShore

It seems odd to be chatting about Bryant Park when I’m talking about a contemporary romance series set on the Jersey Shore, but two of the heroines work in New York City and Maggie Sinclair, the heroine of One Summer Night, has her family’s beach home on the Jersey Shore.

I love Bryant Park! I walk through there every morning on my way to work and I’ll often post photos of the lovely flowers there. I couldn’t have a book where the two heroines work in another fav place, namely the Chrysler Building, and not have a scene set in Bryant Park.

Here’s my little tour of the park for you this #Write Wed. Click here to see the Bryant Park tour if you can’t see the video below!

#WriteWed To Blog or Not to Blog?

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about blogs and whether people still read them or comment on them. In fact, lots of big online sites have eliminated the comments feature not because it incited sometimes unpleasant discussions, but because of a lack of discussion.

I wonder whether people still like reading blogs like mine, where I share some fun things, some serious, and of course, some book info. I love books. I love to write them and I love to read them.

I wonder if you’d like to see some different things, so here’s your chance. Let me know what you’d like to see on the blog!
To blog or not to blog

Filling the Well #WriteWed

If I had to think of my brain as something other than a brain, I would think of it as a well, especially when I am in the midst of writing. It’s a fluid place, ready to accept the stone of an idea and to let the water ripple out to create other ideas. It’s a place where I can draw from it deeply in order to create a story.

Sometimes I feel as if it’s a rush of water that spills from the well when I get so caught up in a story that I can’t stop. That’s a good thing.

But then, inevitably, I feel as if the well has run dry after that rush and that I need to take a step back and let the well fill up again so that I can continue.

I’m sure many writers feel the same way, as if they’ve emptied their brains out on the pages and there’s nothing left inside. That’s when it’s time to take a break.

For me, that means lots of reading and maybe watching a movie. Taking a long shower or walk. Going to the gym and working up a sweat. Cleaning and organizing. There’s something about putting things in place that somehow feels like what I do in a story, putting the pieces away or shifting them until it feels right.

Whether you’re a writer or reader, I’d love to hear what you do in order to fill your well.
Filling the Well

5 Tips for Getting Past Writer’s Block #WriteWed

Another two hour commute into work today thanks to the derailment in Penn Station on Monday. Two derailments in just over two weeks. Gotta wonder what’s going on.

If there’s one silver lining in that ominous transit cloud, it’s that it’s given me a chance to work through a block I was having in Book #2 in the At the Shore series.

It’s actually funny considering that I’m giving a workshop this weekend at the Liberty States Fiction Writers monthly meeting on plotting using the Hero’s Journey. I should heed my own advice on what’s essential in the story when the heroes reach that first black moment.

In my story, it actually starts with a black moment, but I won’t spill on what that is and spoil it for you. What I will do is offer up some tips on what to do when you’ve hit a block in your writing and how to work past it.

1. Watch a fav movie or read a fav book. There’s a reason why they’re a favorite. Maybe it’s the characters. Maybe it’s a surprise you didn’t expect or that warm feeling you had that stayed with you long after the story was over. Tap into that magic to find out what’s missing in your story.

2. Read a new book not in your genre. Sometimes you’re too caught up in what you think is expected in your genre and you need something different to blast you past the expected.

3. Read a book in your genre. Whether the book turns out to be bad or good, what was it you liked or disliked? As a reader of that genre, did it meet your expectations and if not, why? If it did, how does what you’re writing work in comparison? For me, I always turn to a master in contemporary romance: Nora Roberts. No matter what I get a good read and her stories make me take a step back and wonder about how I can touch readers with the same kind of magic she brings to the stories.

4. Take a long walk or a shower. I don’t know why, but both of these somehow make me focus on the problem at hand and how to work through it. Maybe it’s the ions in the water or those at the beach, my favorite place to stroll.

5. Visualize the scene before you try to write it. People often ask how I can write so fast and part of it is that I often visualize the scene in my head before I even sit down to write. It prevents just staring at a blank screen for way too long. When I do have a block about that scene, I will often see it in my head multiple times and from different perspectives. Oftentimes I will have to rewind it and play it again, altering the direction of what’s happening. Erasing what doesn’t work and starting again until there are enough good bones that I can finally sit down and flesh out the scene when I’m writing.

I hope these tips help you work past any writer’s block. If you’d like to know more about the Hero’s Journey, visit my Resources for Writers Page with lots of good tips or if you’re in the area, come by the Liberty States monthly meeting. If you’re not in the area, think about joining and listening to one of the many recorded workshops we have for members. My workshop this weekend is being recorded!

Writer's Block

#WriteWed A Paranormal with the Terracotta Army?

Right now I’m in Contemporary Romance mode with the At the Shore series. In fact, I am finishing #2 and just got back the copyedits on #1 – One Summer Night (Oct 2017).

But I like to dabble in the paranormal from time to time and have often thought about what interesting things could be used as a basis for a new story. The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail? Sure. Even researched that one when I was lucky enough to go to London. It’s still a work-to-be-developed.

Another concept that I thought would be fun is a story revolving around the amazing Terracotta Army. Imagine over 8000 soldiers, chariots, and horses made of terra cotta that could somehow come back to life to serve their emperor.

That’s exactly what one farmer found as he was digging a well. Archaeologists evenutally did additional investigations and discovered the immense city of the dead which is estimated to cover over 38 square miles. I would love to visit the museum there one day and see the terra cotta army and structures for myself!

What do you think? Inspiration for a story?

Terracotta Army Pit 1 - 2