Posts Tagged ‘writing life’

Hello old friend, hello… knitting it all together

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

So I just handed in another story to my super fab agent. Go me!

But really those in the KMJ know, know there is never any of that “Go me!” spirit when I do these kind of things. It’s more of a weak ‘yay, got that done’ and a shaky hand turnover because I’m never all that confidant in what I just put down on the page. The neurotic writer critic in my always wins out.

I will say I do adore this story and these characters and I hope when it’s time to share them come next holiday season you all will think they are just as delicious as I do. My heroine got to take the dream vacation that I have been longing for so there is that.

And with my hand-off, my super agent gave me the advice to not just dive into the next work, but take a moment for myself, which I also find hard to do. But with that permission to goof off from her I’m pulling out my long forgotten knitting to unwind with and instead of unwinding I’m having a devil of a time trying to remember this lovely stitch.

Oh well, I wonder if I can get this shawl done by the time my story comes out late next year.  Ya think?

knitting d


Tell me do you have an unwinding hobby that you retreat to?


All the best,


Be cool girl…fave plot book recs

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Over the next 6 months I’ve got writing deadlines breathing down my neck

and looking at me like…

work witch

And I’m looking back at my original concepts like…

bad idea

And the pressure of it all has me in a state of panic like…


So a little over a week ago in my panic stricken state I reached out to my peeps on twitter looking for bookish ways to help streamline my plotting process and get my racing, jumbled thoughts in some sort of order.

You see I only play a cool multi-planner having, washi tape decorating, cucumber on social media.

The chaos in my mind in a big old mess.

So I sent out this tweet:

Plot question

And here are the books that were recommended to me in response. Thanks so much my twitter friends!

 I know some of them will be of help to me (hello 1 click) and I wanted to share them here with you.

Please feel free to add any of your faves in the comments. Thanks and happy writing!

Save the cat b

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder

Plot 2 20 Master Plots

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias

Plot 3 GMC

GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon –

This one I already have in my library and is a fave

Plot 4 Trough of Hell

Trough of Hell: How to Wrap Up the Middle of Your Story with Maximum Impact

  by H.R.  D’Costa

Plot 5 Rock Your Plot

Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley-

This is another one that I already have in my library and like.

Plot 6 The Plot Whisperer

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

by Martha Alderson

Plot 7 2K- 10K

2K to 10K:  Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love

by Rachel Aaron –

another book I have and am a fan of.

Plot 8 Outlining

Outlining Your Novel Map Your Way To Success by K.M. Weiland –

this is one I just ordered and am getting into. Lots of good points here.

Plot 9 Story Structure

Story Trumps Structure: How To Write Unforgettable Fiction By Breaking The Rules

by Steven James

Meanwhile wish me luck with my deadlines because I need to be like this and just do it…

be cool


All the best,



Gifs from Reality TV Gifs

Stay Writing… always

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

The other day, while procrastinating on Twitter, as I’m often found doing, I saw a tweet go by from the amazing director of Selma, Ava DuVernay. It said that she was participating in a talk this past Wednesday for the Tribeca Film Festival. Now I was instantly intrigued and knew I wanted to be there. But me being me I had to go to my usual second guessing and I got to thinking if I really wanted to take the trip down to the city, take on driving and parking and oh who am I fooling, it all came down to if I really wanted to get dressed and put on real pants and shoes and go out.

Well, I’m so happy the pants and better sense won out. It was my dear son’s day off from classes so he was more than happy to go as my “date” and he even urged me to bring along a copy of one of my books and some postcards (I guess paying for all those business classes isn’t for nothing).

The two of us headed down to the west side of 23rd street and upon our arrival we were greeted with a long but patient and enthusiastic line of what seemed to be mostly were writers and film students. And to the horror of my poor DS I went to snapping pics as if I didn’t grow up in the city and attend college at FIT right up the street. Who knows? Maybe I’ve been in the burbs a little too long, but whatevs. They don’t put cameras on these phones for nothing.

Ava 5

Once we were inside there was a short delay as we waited for Ms. DuVernay to make it in from the airport and her red-eye flight. The delay was no big deal to us as we were inside and comfortable and the room was full of fans of her work.

When Ms. DuVernay arrived along with the immensely talented, Q-Tip who was her interviewer for the hour, there was little doubt that the wait was well worth it. Q-Tip was a well prepared and through interviewer asking many of the questions that we all wanted answers to and Ms. DuVernay was just wonderful. She was friendly, thoughtful and candid with her answers. As well as generous with sharing her opinions and advice.

ava 3

ava 7

Here are just a few of her insightful words that resonated most with me:

Her mission: “To magnify the magnificence of black people.”

Wow! I could just stop with there. Isn’t that just beautiful?  I just about gasped in my seat. With all the negative images we have been bombarded with for so long and the awful injustices that have been brought to life recently thanks to social media this just makes me want to stand up and cheer.

But I’ll keep going. She also spoke about her work and her responsibility to it saying, that it’s no one else’s responsibility to make the things she wants to see. Which also spoke to me and the stories I tell. Yes, I write for my readers and my fans, but ultimately these are the stories that speak to me and the ones I want to tell. If I’m not filling my own well then this is all for nothing.

Getting to Ms. DuVernay’s process: I was only too selfishly happy to hear that a genius such as herself also struggles with writer’s block as I do. Now I know there are those that say there is no such thing as writer’s block and try as I might I’ve tried really hard to embrace that philosophy (mostly by searching out articles over the internet when I should be writing) but I just can’t. She also has accepted procrastination as part of her process and recognizes that she is fueled by the deadline crunch. Something else I can definitely get behind and see in myself.

On working and ‘making it’ in a white male dominated profession: I loved Ms. DuVernay’s strong opinion and slightly ‘what of it’ attitude to it all. It is what it is and how we should just do what we do and go for it. She spoke about women too often asking for permission for things we don’t need permission for. I’ll just leave that right here with an amen.


Lastly, she spoke about her motto which is “Stay Shooting.” Which means to work your creative muscle. Don’t take breaks and don’t get stagnant or stale by being stuck in one box. Very good advice. I think I’ll take up a version of that and tack onto my bulletin board:


bb 2

Thank you, Ms. DuVernay for sharing a wonderful hour with us!

ava 11

Lets not talk about my closed eyes on this pic. Ava is holding BOUNCE here and  that’s all that matters.




All the best,


Time won’t give me time…

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Ain’t that the truth? Thanks for the wisdom Culture Club.

In my ever quest at somehow getting my uncontainable life contained and in some semblance of control, I spent the better part of the weekend reading a fantastic book called Write Every Day by Cathy Yardley. Now you think writing everyday would be easy since I’m a writer and it’s my job… and all.

But hold it there, Sparky, it’s not as easy as one would assume when you’ve got the husband, kids, Facebook, The blog,  laundry, Twitter, dishes, The dog, The grocery store, The bank, Twitter, Cleaning well, everything, dinner, pick-ups, errands, family runs, did I say twitter?, oh and the dog needs to run out again all pulling for your attension just because you’re the one there and the one designed to be in charge of all the domestic stuff. Somehow it’s way too easy for the job of writing, that really is your J-O-B to get pushed to the bottom of the list when it should be at the very top. Especially if you want to make a living… and all.

write everyday

In Write Every Day, Cathy suggests tracking your time for a week to see where what you’re really spending your time on in order to see where you can find more time to write. The challenge is on! It’s time to take a brutal look at how much time I really spend going in circles and clicking on links that have nothing to do with my WIP under the guise of research.

Tell me do you know how you’re really spending your time? Would you want to track your time for a week to see what your biggest time sucks are? As you think it over join me in a little Culture Club. I can’t seem to get this song out of my head now.



All the best,


Feeding the Beast aka Distraction Jackson

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Time to get the grind on, as if the grind ever stops when you’re in the creative arts. But honestly, I’m starting to feel the pressure as the words have not been flowing at a rate that I feel they should be, so grinding right now is what I need to do. Take what I can get and worry about it later. Just get something on the page. Everyday. Don’t overthink. Besides, all that can come later along with the internal editor.  She loves that job any way, so why should I deprive her of it?

The problem is it would seem that at this point I’d rather do just about anything but grind it out as I need to and get the words on the page. And to feed the beast of procrastination my good friend, Laura Curtis, was kind enough to gift me with some amazing needlepoint patterns and one of them just so happened to be a perfect match for my very own Jack. Isn’t it amazing? I’m finding it so hard to think of anything else right now but running to the store and getting thread to start on this project. Tell me what are ways that you procrastinate or ways that you don’t? Hmm… yeah, maybe I should start there. LOL



All the best,


Bounce…coming soon in PRINT!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Happy Monday and Happy New Week Folks!

Can you believe it’s the end of March already? Even though I know I’ve been incredibly busy, still I feel like I’ve spent the first part of the year in a state of hibernated slumber and I’m just now opening my sleepy eyes to 1/4 of the year gone.

And since I’m now waking up to Spring I might as well wake up with a smile. Please join me in celebrating the cover reveal of the  PRINT version of BOUNCE coming soon to an e-tailer near you (that would be Amazon, but doesn’t e-tailer sound cool?).

Thanks so much to Mae from Coverfresh Designs once again for the amazing design work. And a huge thank you to the fabulous Lauren Dane for my fabulous cover quote. Talk about a dream come true!



Bounce with me people!


All the best,


Coffee, My Love

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

So I’ve been up for hours comparing online reviews of coffee makers. Mind you that’s after spending a good portion of my afternoon going from store to store looking for just the right machine in person and coming up short in the decision department. Silly I know, but I’m a writer and I spend the better part of my day at home with my laptop and my cup of coffee as my literal right hand companion and brain stimulator. Looking back now it’s hard to believe I ever used to be a light tea sipper. Those seem like such carefree innocent days now.



Happily, I finally went for a little talked about Hamilton Beach that got not much press, but amazing reviews on each site I went to. We’ll see how I like it when it comes in.

Tell me are you a coffee or a tea drinker or do you take on the day on au natural?


All the best,



image fm Pinterest

With this Thread… Threads of Desire release day!

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Wow. So this has happened. In the past year and a half I’ve gone from zero stories published to as of today, with the release of THREADS OF DESIRE, the final book in my Crimson Romance Creative Hearts series, being a four time multi-published author. That is quick version of my overnight success.

The long version of that overnight success is nowhere near as astonishing or amazing and it sure as heck ain’t quick. The reality is this path to publication has taken me well over ten years (more like twelve, but come on, if I really count and then look in the mirror I may start to see the wrinkles and I’m not going there), three agents (yeah I’m still in that process) and enough rejections (from the who’s in the who) to wallpaper my house both inside and out to get where I am today. And where is where I am today?

Honestly, it is with me just where I am. Being a multi-published author grinding it out each and every day and still feeling just as wide-eyed and vulnerable as she did on the very first day. Both excited and nervous, stomach full of butterflies about presenting something to the world. But as with all new things I set forth,  I’ll take a breath, steel my nerves and see where this one goes. And then come tomorrow, as with all the days before I will open my laptop and stare at the blank page.

Once again the possibilities for an overnight success wide open…

Thanks for joining me on the ride.


 Threads of Desire cover Final

THREADS OF DESIRE is available now!


Sexy, fashionista Gabrielle Russell has been challenging Nick Ross most of his life and now is no exception. A top financial analyst, Nick has been dating his boss’s daughter and he’s on the fast track to turning his five-year marathon into a three-year sprint. But life throws him a curve when he finds his perfect girlfriend curled up in a very un-zen like position with her yoga instructor. Faced with this awkward downward dog, Nick heads to the only place he can think of—his brother Steve’s place—only to be stuck face to hips, thighs, lips, just about everything with his roommate, Gabby. She’s the habit Nick just can’t shake. The one that got away and she won’t let him forget it.

Gabrielle Russell is frustrated. She’s been banging it out for years as a curvy girl trying to make her creative mark the exclusive world of New York fashion and she’s hit a brick wall both personally and professionally. Now stuck in a dead end job designing jersey pantsuits for wannabe mafia wives while dodging the advances of her boss’s son, she doesn’t know how to get out of the hole she’s dug for herself. At least she has a bit of peace in the small apartment she shares with her childhood friend and roommate, Steve.

Or she did until Nick Ross walked in. Mr. Perfection and her own devastation, the one that broke her heart and almost broke her spirit, and now here he’s back and looking for a place to camp out while he gets his life back on track. Well, she’s got news for him: She’s not the same girl she was all those years ago when just a look would send her heart stuttering. Okay, maybe she is, but now maybe it’s time the tables were turned on the unflappable Nick Ross.

THREADS OF DESIRE can be found at these e-tailers:


Barnes & Noble :





All the best,


Plan to Dream

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Happy Friday! Well we made it through another week and for me what a week it was. I made it through the 1st week with my DD away on her semester abroad in France.

Yes, I still hardly slept and yes, I worried like crazy and yes, I cried more than once, but I’m happy to report that my lovely daughter arrived and is settled with her host family and is happy and doing well. I got to Skype with her and meet her host family over Skype too and was thrilled that they are already treating her like a member of the family. Having 3 grown sons the mom said, “thank you for sending me a daughter”. This made me tear up again but also soothed my heart. Please continue to join me in wishing her well, love and safety and to send good thoughts to our new extended family in France!



With the DD settled I got to thinking about my own dreams and goals for the next few months. I have so much going on with THREADS OF DESIRE coming out on Monday. MONDAY!! (cue mild freakout) You can pre-order it here. But after that my writing options are wide open. Luckily the book ideas are overflowing, but sadly for me time is not. That said, I brought a fantastic new Filofax A5 Domino to reign in both my time and my writing. So far I’m thrilled with it (and I blame my twitter/writing bud Dren for the new obsession with flair). Now to get to writing…

planner a

Tell me are you one to plan your dreams?


And a big thanks to all who commented and entered Alyssa Cole’s giveaway. Alyssa pulled a winner and it’s Reese Ryan! Thanks so much Reese. Alyssa will contact you with your prize.


All the best,


image fm Becoming tru Me and Beyond

P.S. See you back here on Monday to talk THREADS!

Threads of Desire cover Final

And the nominees are… (wait, that’s all you’ve got?)

Monday, January 20th, 2014

So a lot has been said these past few days about the USA TODAY Top Books of 2013 list (Big congrats to all that made the list. Good for you. There are some great books there).

Also sidebar to me and giving myself a back pat for BOUNCE having gotten a mention on the USA TODAY HEA blog. Huge thanks to Michelle Monkou for the lovely review. It was called a “great book club pick”. Loving that! You can check out the full review here.

Bounce1400 B

But back to matters at hand. So much has been said about the fact that there are no self-pubs on the USA TODAY list this year, which is huge, but I do think in many ways speaks to the power of having a backer and big marking behind you (and the possibility of a TODAY show appearance doesn’t hurt a thing). But this hybrid woman writer of color is asking another question: where are the fiction writers of color on the list?

In this big global writing world, why are the  top spots in publishing as rare as getting an Academy Award nomination? What are your thoughts? Why are so many writers of color turning to self-publishing? How can there be more visibility for these writers? Also who do you think, writer or publishing house, is getting it right? I’m sure there are some.

This is a day of celebration so things have to start looking up. I’m all about the positive. Have at it.



All the best,