…tap tap tap…is this thing still on?

Yes! I am alive.

I barely survived inventory at my “real” job and then got thrown into a massive project in my garden center. We basically had to flip the entire thing. Muscles in parts of my body I wasn’t even aware there were muscles hurt…Plus I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense family stress that is leaving me quite emotionally drained.

How We Fall is coming along nicely. I’ve hit a great stride and my WIP is sitting at 32k words. I have my early stage beta reader going through it and she’s already given it a thumbs up ♥

I will try and get back to actively blogging soon.

bon-appetit

Sitting down with author Krysta MacDonald

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“The memories are lodged in my throat, and a part of me wonders if you can choke on something that isn’t physically there. Can you choke on hurt?” – QUOTE FROM THE GIRL WITH THE EMPTY SUITCASE

 

I met Krysta shortly after releasing my debut novel, The Island. We connected on Goodreads and soon after became friends on Facebook. The best part of all of this for me was watching Krysta prepare for her book launch – the parties, the signings, the readings. On top of that, she has an active and adventure-filled life that I get to experience vicariously through what she shares! Doing this interview was a real pleasure for me!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

When I was five years old, I decided I wanted to live in the mountains, write stories, and teach people about them. I now live in a small town in the Rocky Mountains of Canada with my husband, two dogs and three cats. I’ve been teaching English Language Arts for ten years, and last November I published my first novel, The Girl with the Empty Suitcase.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m working on entering a few contests for shorter works. It’s something that I want to work on improving in my writing, for both fiction and nonfiction. I think it helps expand my horizons, and makes me venture outside my comfort zone a bit. I’m also beginning my second novel, which looks at a woman in the early 1960s. She’s trying to choose between a career and family, and doesn’t realize how she can do both.

What genre are your books and what draws you to that genre?

I write creative nonfiction and realistic fiction. There are so many little moments that make our lives so dramatic and worth living, and I want to explore reality through my words and characters. The struggles and identities and relationships that make existence so worth noting.

Do you work from an outline or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I’m a “plantser”. I start with an outline, and go from there. I don’t have a full plan, or at least not a very detailed one, but I do have an idea of what’s going to happen.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, it’s time. Despite what many think, teaching is not a typical full-time job. I have hours and hours of marking that I do at home every night, not to mention planning and extra-curricular work. I love my job, but it takes up a lot of time. That whole idea of writing a bit every day does not work for me. I write in huge chunks during Christmas break, Easter break, an occasional weekend, and summer.

Do you ever get writer’s Block and how do you combat it?

Not necessarily “writer’s block” in that I don’t know what will happen next, but more how I want to word what will happen next. When that happens I go back and reread the last section or sections. If nothing else, I get some editing done, but typically it also helps me get back into the frame of where I want my characters to go next.

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When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?

Marking. Teaching. Planning. Marking. Reading. Hanging out with my husband. Marking. Reading. Watching movies. Traveling. Marking. Reading. Snuggling with my pets. Marking. Extolling the virtues of Shakespeare. Camping. Reading. And did I mention marking?

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I try to read as much as I can outside of school. I’m pretty eclectic in what I read, but pretty much any fiction is fair game. Science fiction has to be pretty good for me to like it, but I’ll still read it. I love classic literature. I’m a massive Shakespeare nerd. Last year I read all of Jane Austen’s works (well, reread most of them). I’ve also discovered Stephen King, and really am enjoying a lot of his pieces. And Margaret Atwood has always been an absolute favourite.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I actually wrote a blog post about this a few months back. Essentially, I think it depends why you’re trying to be published in the first place. I mostly just wanted to hold a book in my hands with my name on it. I got to do that by self-publishing. I’d stopped and started so many times that I knew if I had any excuse or hesitation, I wasn’t going to do it. Plus, this way I got to maintain creative control. On the negative side, it’s harder to get into bookstores or to be looked at for reviews and awards and such. Still, I was willing to do it all myself – and have the sense of accomplishment of figuring that all out – by self-publishing, and that was what I was after. Plus, I think my book looks pretty darn awesome.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

It works out. Someone once said, “Everything ends up okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” All those self-doubts, all those hesitations, all that bad stuff, none of it damages you permanently. You’re going to be fine. Moreover, you’re going to be pretty awesome. You can do this. You’re worth more than you think you are. You got this.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

It’s a toss-up! And they’re all writers. Shakespeare, probably. Or Jane Austen. How cool would it be to have tea with her? Or, living, Margaret Atwood. She just seems pretty bad-ass.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just do it already. Even if what you write is abysmal, it’s better than not writing anything at all. Read and write and read and write and read and write some more. Just get started.

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The suitcase sat at the top of Danielle’s closet for years, holding memories, promises, and undeveloped film. From struggling with homework to her final farewells with her parents, this is the story of one woman’s life and loves. Through hopes and laughter, heartaches and tears, Danielle is shaped by the family, friends, and romances around her. This emotional and nuanced story gives us a woman, a window through whom we may see our own realities, our own challenges, our own quiet triumphs.

 FOLLOW KRYSTA HERE:

Social Media Links

Website: https://krystamacdonald.wixsite.com/website

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KrystaMacDonald

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/krystamac.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/krystamacwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krysta.macdonald

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Sitting down with N.D. Jackson

I met Natasha at a FaceBook takeover party. I recognized her from some YouTube videos and basically stalked her. I joined her REALLY fun readers group and basically slobbered all over her like an excited puppy until she slobbered back. Natasha has a wicked, naughty sense of humor, she loves a good cocktail and she can write one hell of a small town romance. Is it any surprise that I absolutely love her?

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I was born in Chicago but grew up in a surrounding suburb, if you’re familiar with Scott Peterson then you’ll know which one. 😉 As a child I had dreams of becoming the next Emily Dickinson or Jane Austen, but my family is from the Midwest and we do more practical things for a living so I never stopped writing but I decided to become a lawyer. By the time I’d finished grad school and had to decide where to go to law school…I changed my mind and went to politics. After that I decided, I needed more happy endings.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? I want to write. Stories, screenplays, episodes of my favorite TV shows, short stories, essays…whatever. I just want to write stories that people enjoy, no matter how they’re presented.

Jack too much

Do you have any interesting writing quirks? I like to put murder documentaries on YouTube and listen to them on low while I write. Surprisingly it is the perfect distraction for me because if it’s too quiet I’ll end up on social media when I should be writing. If I listen to music, it’ll turn into a live concert featuring yours truly. Murder docs, allow me to half-listen or ignore it when I’m finally in the zone.

Which writers inspire you? So many, but at the top of that list is Jane Austen, Christopher Buckley and Jill Shalvis. They are different genres but something about their styles always calls to me and I’m very likely to re-read books by these authors.

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Give us an insight into your favorite main character. What does he/she do that is so special? My favorite is Sadie from Feels Like Love because she’s so strong and sweet. She’s been through hell and back but she still has the same sunny disposition as someone who had a normal, non-traumatic childhood. Maybe a little of it is that I wish I’d been as strong as her, but I just love that she’s so badass. So ready to jump through the fire even when she’s terrified.

What are you working on at the minute? I’m working on the next Mustang Prairie novel and the first book in the Plentiful series. Plentiful is the town next door to Mustang Prairie and besides having more restaurants, it has a unique quirk in that the town has a high number of twins and triplets among its residents.

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What genre are your books and what draws you to that genre? Mostly romance but I do have a political satire out and I’m working on a political thriller that is still without a title. Romance and politics are kind of my great loves, so it made sense that’s what I would write about. It’s what I know and when I can combine the two, I’m twice as happy!

Why do you write? Because otherwise these people just live in my head and make it really hard to do whatever my day job would have been if I’d given up writing.

Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come from literally everywhere. Sometimes an idea will flicker while I’m watching Criminal Minds or while my husband and I are debating what economies of the future will look like. Sometimes I’ll zone out while cooking and then I’ll get a good idea. Feels Like Love came about because the victim on Law & Order SVU was a Julliard student.

Just You

Do you work from an outline or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you? A little bit of both. I try to have a basic outline and bullet points of things I definitely want to take place in the story, but a lot of times the characters have a mind of their own and you just have to let them work it out on the page. Then edit like my life depends on it!

What is the hardest thing about writing? Doing it even when you don’t feel like it or when you’re stuck. Plowing through even when you think it’s crap because you know that crap will give you inspiration later. Oh, and avoiding the trends if it’s not your jam. Just because BDSM or Stepbrother romances are the “in” thing, doesn’t mean you should write it if you’re not feeling it. Writing is already hard, writing what you don’t care about will be even harder.

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When you aren’t writing, what are you doing? Cooking or traveling. I love to cook and try new recipes, or vegan-ize our old favorites. But more than that, I love going to other cities and countries and soaking up the culture. Sometimes we just hop in the car and drive to Switzerland or France for a weekend. If I’m at home and not traveling, cooking and true crime documentaries.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I am a voracious reader and some of my go to authors are Jill Shalvis, Marquita Valentine, Christopher Buckley, Ann Rule and Doris K. Goodwin.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I would love to have a dinner party and invite Bob Dylan because he is just everything to me. His music, his poetry and activism. I’d love to pick his brain and really find out more about him as a man because I know a lot about the artist, but not much about what made the artist. Since he takes up the most room in my music collection, I’d say I deserve it hahaha!

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If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Easy, Jane Eyre. It is my go to novel that I read once every year and it’s just so friggin’ well written! The story gives you all of the emotions from anger to outrage, glee and devastation. Jane gets put through it all and she endures at a great cost to her. It is just a magnificent story and I’d love to have my name on it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go ahead and stalk her, she likes it:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MustangPrairieBooks

Website: https://ndjacksonwritinstuff.com/

Twitter: @ndjaxn_author

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ess8N5

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1iESd8T

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2etUCBB

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cwSq0X

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261671587620194/

Best of my Love_kindle

DRE never returned to Emerald Creek after the man she thought she’d marry broke her heart. But a late night phone call from half way around the world brings her right back to her hometown. And face to face with the man she never thought she’d seen again. Summer in Emerald Creek was everything she remembered—endless festivals, picnics in the park and time with her best friend and her favorite little tykes—and Dre is finding it hard to resist the pull of the chemistry she and Erick still have. 

ERICK made the biggest mistake of his life all those years ago but the result, his adorable little girl, was the best thing that ever happened to him. He’d done the right thing, or at least he’d tried to but his marriage hadn’t worked despite all that it had cost him. But now that Dre was back in Emerald Creek the universe had given him a second chance this summer, to put back together what he’d broken. To reclaim the only woman he’s ever truly loved. 

Can one summer recall a lifetime of memories and rekindle a love that never really went away? 

US: http://amzn.to/2eERVP9

UK: http://amzn.to/2xadNNE

AU: http://amzn.to/2gKNlD6

More books by N.D. Jackson:

Conflict of Interest fb

Conflict Of Interest (Mustang Prairie Book 1)

US: http://amzn.to/1SJDcyR

UK: http://amzn.to/2eSBl1g

CA: http://amzn.to/2eEmsM9

A Little Bit In Love_Mustang Prairie 2

A Little Bit In Love (Mustang Prairie Book 2)

US: http://amzn.to/1L9772p

UK: http://amzn.to/2eElzmQ

CS: http://bit.ly/2ewzQlI

Feels Like Love_FB

 

Feels Like Love (Mustang Prairie Book 3)

US: http://amzn.to/1KIICF5

UK: http://amzn.to/2etV2YN

AU: http://amzn.to/2dJmi7h

CA: http://amzn.to/2ei4CTs

CS: http://bit.ly/2eDVX8h

GR: http://bit.ly/2esrIX1

MP4 single cover

It Must Be Love

US: http://amzn.to/2hFSIzw

UK: http://amzn.to/2k8vAdA

AU: http://amzn.to/2jHwwc3

CA: http://amzn.to/2jfWgJ8

Sweet Tea FB

Sweet Tea & Tattoo Ink (Rebel Girlz 1)

US: http://amzn.to/1YrwC2c

UK: http://amzn.to/2aPRVdJ

AU: http://amzn.to/2aB0o1f

CA: http://amzn.to/2aNRzT9

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2dwhqE8

Mint Juleps & Moonlight Melodies_FB

Mint Juleps & Moonlight Melodies

US: http://amzn.to/2aAZMIS

UK: http://amzn.to/2aIJmiJ

CA: http://amzn.to/2aPRNuw

AU: http://amzn.to/2aYwIR4

Sazerac & Sunset Kisses_FB

Sazerac & Sunset Kisses

US: http://amzn.to/2daqJ9i

UK: http://amzn.to/2cBUj8u

AU: http://amzn.to/2cWa3Tu

CA: http://amzn.to/2ddgRyp

 

 

Second Chance Xmas_

Second Chance eX-mas

US: http://amzn.to/2BxmII3

UK: http://amzn.to/2Bmc0aC

AU: http://amzn.to/2BHWjYt

CA: http://amzn.to/2BEJlKM

Sitting Down With T.A. Moorman

I met T.A. Moorman at a takeover event for a fellow author friend’s release party. I was immediately taken with her books and teaser images – and it’s highly probable that I stalked her until she sent me a Facebook friend request. Not only does she write incredible books, and make insanely awesome jewelry – but she has an equally fantastic sense of humor. This interview was incredibly fun for me. Author Pic

About the Author:

When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child’s PTA meetings in full Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness. So all of that darkness is put into words in her books, and designs in her jewelry sold in her GothicMoms DarkCharms shop.

Mother of five beautiful children, but by far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a violinist, a seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend. And currently broke, so go buy something of hers. Lol.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To become a known and loved top selling author. Mainly to become
lucrative enough to support all five of my spawns, since right now I’m
barely a step away from being homeless. Lol.

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written, it just took my first time doing NaNoWriMo to
actually finish my first novel. I’ve always been better at expressing
my feelings on paper than verbally.

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Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Must have background noise, but can’t listen to music. With music, I
get way too caught up in it, and my own words become lost.

Which writers inspire(d) you?
The late L. A. Banks. She was the first woman of color that I read
that wrote paranormal. It was like, wow, she both writes about black
vampires and angels and looks like me. I want to be that person for
someone else one day.

What have you written and where can we buy or see them?
Witch Wars, Wait You Did What, Santa’s Curse, Resignation Letter, and
A Paranormal Easter coming 3/20; My books are on all of the major and
a few smaller outlets. Prints can be purchased online at B&N or
Amazon.

What are you working on at the minute? The final edits for the second
book in the Underlayes series. 🙂

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Why do you write?
Because I can’t not write. There are tons of stories that I have
thrown away, and I now regret that. But that was back before I ever
even dreamed of being published.

Where do your ideas come from?
Let’s just say my mind is a very scary place.

Do you ever get writer’s Block and how do you combat it?
By reading, or working on another project.

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When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?
Chasing after my spawns, trying to not kill the teenage demons, or
working on jewelry for my Etsy shop.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop throwing away those short stories! Lol. And stay away from men,
you are a baby magnet. Every time you have sex you will produce spawn.

Santa’s Curse (Holiday Magic Anthology)

Holiday Magic

What if Santa was a vampire?

Jacquelyn, an enchantress with an overprotective streak, thinks it’s up to her to protect her older sister, Jadine, an enchantress who’s also a paranoid hypochondriac. So, whenever a male comes along trying to use Jadine, Jackie gets rid of them, in a non-conventional way. When the last person Jacquelyn expects, a certain vampire she’s had a not so little crush on, seems to be creeping around on her sister, she has no choice but to get rid of him, too. In front of witnesses. Only to find out one second too late that she had it all wrong.

Victor, like many males, has issues expressing how he truly feels. When he finally decides it’s time to stop running from fate and claim his mate, he goes to her sister for advice. But, creeping in and out of Jadine’s place like a thief in the night leads the very person he wants to win over to draw all the wrong conclusions. Which leads to him trading in his pale good looks for a white beard and a red velvet suit.

Now that the town knows Jacquelyn is the one behind all of the disappearances, and thinking she’s killed all of those that are missing, they’re out for her blood. And the only one who can save her is, well, Santa. But will he be able to make it back to her before it’s too late?

Enjoy a brand-new tale of how Santa Clause came to be.

https://books2read.com/u/mdN6G5

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2zWzwpE

Wait, You Did What? (Married. Wait! What? Anthology)

Wait, You Did What

Justine had the job of her dreams, the best parents in the world, and a brother she more than just tolerated. The one thing she gave up on was finding love. She didn’t need that to be happy, right? In helping her brother pull off his own last-minute wedding, Justine may be in for a surprise of her own, and find love had been right there in her face the entire time.

Join in on Justine’s adventure of #love#laughter, and #limousines.

https://books2read.com/u/bapR7L

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37668158-wait-you-did-what

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078L85HLY

Witch Wars 

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Tialanna is fated to become the queen of all Underlayes witches. She thinks the worst part of her life is the fact that she’s betrothed to a complete stranger while in love with someone else. She’s in for a rude awakening when she discovers who, and what, she truly is.

Tialanna is about to learn the truth behind several lies, because not only does her life depend on it, but so does the fate of the family she never even knew she had. But hey, life would probably just be boring if she didn’t have to deal with elemental witches, vampires, demons, sorcerers, bindings, spells, lust and betrayal. Right?

***This book is intended for mature audiences only as it includes both graphic violence and graphic sex***

https://books2read.com/u/bzajVq

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36217797-witch-wars

A Paranormal Easter 

14 Paranormal & Fantasy Romance Novellas

by Tiffany Carby, Kathia Iblis, Lorah Jaiyn, Brandy McIntosh, T. Elizabeth Guthrie, J.C. Madison, Alison M. Diem, Natalie-Nicole Bates, Skyler McKinzie, Amanda Ruehle, Rena Marin, C. Brady, Judy Swinson, T. A. Moorman

Synopsis

Eggs aren’t the only things being hunted…

FOURTEEN stand-alone paranormal and fantasy romances set around Easter from 14 bestselling and debut authors. This action-packed, steamy collection is filled with vampires, fae, fairies, rabbit shifters (hey, it’s Easter, right?), gargoyles, witches, dragons, and so much more.

It’s a must have for all paranormal readers.

https://books2read.com/u/bPJdgz

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38110968-a-paranormal-easter?ac=1&from_search=true

The Succubus, The Demon, and The Witch

In Underlayes, a dimension separate from our own, where all mystical creatures reside, lies an orphanage for seemingly cast-off children, known as the Abbey. Children who are born from two or more factions. There they learn both who and what they truly are, and what powers they have lying within. What these children do not know is they were put there for their own good, for their protection, not because they were unwanted or unloved. In fact, the very opposite is true. Many would kill to get their hands on these children. 

As Jelissa comes of age, she is about to learn the hard way to what lengths one such being is willing to go.

Jelissa has been a resident of the Abbey for as long as she has been alive. She has also never known what she is, besides being part witch. At the age of twenty-five, she will learn just what types of blood run through her veins. She will also find out much more—that she is also the long-lost princess almost no one even knew existed.

Tialanna secreted her only child away for her own protection. Before she can tell Jelissa the truth, Jelissa is kidnapped. All Tialanna’s greatest fears unfold before her very eyes, and her past comes back to haunt her in more ways than one.

As most do when they come of age, Jelissa will learn the hard way that adult life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And Tialanna learns the hard way that if you don’t learn from your past, it will come back and bite you on the ass.

Tialanna and her band of unmerry misfits are in a race against the clock to rescue Jelissa. Will they find her in time? And if they do, will they be able to save her from a danger they hadn’t anticipated: herself?

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Author Links:

https://www.facebook.com/MoormanTA/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/GothicMomsGraphics/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/GothicMoms/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/GothicMomsDarkCharms/

https://www.facebook.com/GothicMomsAvon/

https://www.pinterest.com/gothicmoms/

http://gothicmoms.blogspot.com/ 

https://twitter.com/GothicMoms

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14851642.T_A_Moorman

https://amazon.com/author/tamoorman

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DementedDivas/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/t-a-moorman

 

Writers Monday: The Art of Junk Writing

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I’m often pressed for time writing-wise. I work full time outside of the home, and I’m a single parent of two. People ask me how I do it – the answer is, I have a schedule and I stick to it.

Writing time for me is between the hours of 7 pm and 9 pm on work nights and as much as I can on days off – sometimes if my mind is really spinning, I’ll write instead of brushing my hair for work (hello messy bun).

But so many of those work weeknights my mind is tired. I have the ideas, but I’m too exhausted for coming up with clever similes and metaphors. The words that come out onto my paper aren’t crisp, and they read juvenile. And I know I’m not alone here.

I hold myself accountable for writing a minimum of 1600 words a day. Which means, I’ve learned to embrace the junk writing. I have the base idea for a scene, or a conversation – I know it’s a good idea, but it all comes out like jumbled crap. WRITE THE JUMBLED CRAP.  Get the idea out of your head( see the picture above) It’s a first draft, a rough copy – whatever you want to call it. First drafts are never perfect. They are meant to be amended and edited.

The above picture is “junk writing”. I had just finished my final round of edits on The Space Between Us – but I had these scenes swirling around in my head. My brain was TIRED from the previous book – but this meet cute and intro scene were just too good. I would never publish that in a book, I would never send that to a beta reader – but the base idea for the scene was there, the core of it is something to go back and work with.

Here is the same text, after round one:

A woman can drive a sane man to do crazy things in the same way hunger, greed and lust can. A woman like this could cause me to go insane.

I could fire her. I should fire her. What I really should do is call Sean, the staff manager, and let him deal with her.

But one look inside those big green doe-shaped eyes, and I crumbled into specks of dust. And just one word falling from her bow-shaped lips, smooth and sweet like honey, tempted my ears in the hopes for more. I wondered what she sounded like when she was having sex. Did she moan? Whimper? Scream?

Christ, I needed to get laid. I blanked my face to hide any devious thought or emotion from showing.

Outside my office, the kitchen was picking up in speed. The closer it gets to dinner time, the wilder it gets back here. It’s a carefully calculated orchestra of skill and chaos. A faint perfume of butter and sautéed garlic wafted through the door, and my mouth watered much like it did when I saw her wandering around the market.

It’s my driving force in life. Food that is.

Again, still not perfect, but better. Round two, round three – you get the idea. It gets cleaner, tightens up and flows.

Next time you’re stuck, I challenge you to try it. Don’t worry about the words and flow. Don’t worry about dialogue tags and actions. Get your ideas out of your head and move on. Yes, you’ll be embarrassed if someone were to read over your shoulder. Yes, you’ll read it and think “this is a flaming pile of shit” – and it is – but you can fix it later. I’ve written entire chapters this way, thinking to myself – this is such crap, I’m going to have to delete this and start over – some of them wound up being my favorite chapters/scenes in my book.

Next week I’ll talk about my other trick I use for when I get stuck. I call it, the what if game.

So go on now. Write some junk and turn it into something glorious.

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