Tag Archives: writing

Notes From the Editor


By Kay Springsteen

The publishing industry has been through so many changes – with many more still to come – it would be impossible for the old masters, the authors of the typeset era, to recognize some of the requirements for manuscript submission today. When you add in that each publisher has its own specific preferences regarding file format, font type and size, line spacing, and margins, you might see your manuscript go through many variations depending on the number of publishers you submit to.

For submitting, it is best to locate the guidelines for the publisher to whom you are sending your work and follow these to the letter. This is often the author’s first test. If you can’t be bothered to format your document the way their guidelines call for, why should they want to look at your work? Even if you are completely word processor ignorant – that is, you know how to turn on the computer, open the program and begin typing, and you do all that with a sequence of sticky-note instructions – you will still have to learn how to format your document for your chosen publishing target. And, should your story be accepted, you will have to learn to work in the editing phase using track changes and comments. So take a class in Word Processing, my recommendation would be for this class to be in MS Word, since it is the program most called for by publishers.

But there are other things you should be aware of…things that will make your editor particularly pleased (and a happy editor means a happy edit, which makes for a happy author). For instance, be aware of the tools on your word processor. And turn most of them off. I’m editing a manuscript right now which the author wrote with something called smart tags turned on. These are tags that label street names and what Word perceives might be street names and give the writer the option of looking up the street on a map and acquiring directions. There is absolutely no need for this in fiction and it is best left off since it has the potential for creating problems when the manuscript goes for final formatting. Likewise, unless the publisher states otherwise, turn off curly or smart quotes. And since most publishers use first line indent, turn this on, and set it for 0.5 inch from the left. Then ignore your tab key for the rest of the manuscript.

You also want to be careful about using features and fonts that can potentially slow down the reading flow. Emphasize too may words with italics or apologetic (aka “scare”) quotes, and the read will feel choppy and jarring. Put in too many parenthetical statements (with parentheses or with the em/en dash) and your story will appear to have attention deficit disorder. Too many ellipses and you have a slow thoughtful story that hints at long (insert yawn here) pauses. If you want to determine the smoothness of your manuscript, read sections with these formats aloud – even record yourself reading it – and you will get a sense of the pauses and emphases you’ve perhaps unknowingly written in.

These are just a few of the formatting and mechanical issues editors find themselves presented with on a daily basis. But if you work on even one of these things, your editor will require less chocolate to work on your book.

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5 Great Lines from Suzanne Brockmann, Out of Control


5 Great Lines from Suzanne Brockmann, Out of Control

1

“I’ve been talking my ass off for more than an hour now, telling you shit no one’s ever heard anything about, hoping that I’ll say something, Jesus God, anything that will convince you to have sex with me.”

2

“If you want, I can carry you—”
“I’m fine,” she said shortly. “Let’s go.”
He’d said that wrong. He should have said, “I want to carry you.”

3

“You love me,” he said. “That’s all I need to know.”
“You always say the right thing,” Savannah told him, her eyes so filled with love that he almost wept. “Sometimes it takes you awhile to get to it, but you always get there, and what you say is always worth waiting for.”

4

““I’m going to carry you now,” he told her, “so we can move even faster. I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. Any response from you is unnecessary and unwelcome.”

5

“This wasn’t Weirdville, this was fricking Wonderland. Alice here was all grow up, but she was still chowing down on too much of that psychedelic mushroom.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

5 Great Lines from Elizabeth Hoyt, Wicked Intentions


5 Great Lines from Elizabeth Hoyt, Wicked Intentions

1

“Like the legless man, I’m unaccountably fascinated by those who can dance.”

2

“Every word you have ever uttered, is engraved upon my heart.”

3

“If he presses, tell him it’s a female matter. That stop any question.”

4

“You’ve used me to punish yourself, haven’t you?”
He watched dawning realization spread over her face, a confirmation more positive than anything she could ever say, and that arrow twisted deep in his
chest. Yet still he had to ask the last question.
“Am I anything to you but a punishment?”

5

“I’d walk through fire for you,” he rasped, his voice hoarse and broken. “I have walked through fire for you.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

5 Great Lines from April Dawn, Crushing Desire


5 Great Lines from April Dawn, Crushing Desire

1

Reena’s hands twisted at her skirt, and she bit her lip, willing
him without a sound to face her. Suddenly, he turned in her
direction and their eyes met. A vibrant shock ran through her
body. She stared at him entranced for a moment. If his hair was
the sandy beach, his blue-grey eyes, the lake on which mysterious
clouds had formed.

2

“What? You know as well as I that the twins are merely courting
me because of their rivalry. I still remember the day in that
alleyway. They fought each other so that each ended with the
other’s head in his arm. It was rather ridiculous.” She grinned at
the memory, in spite of herself. “Anyhow, they are competing for
me. Remember when Uncle Howard had to turn them away when
they started to bring me flowers? It started with a single red rose
from Michael.”
Emily grinned as she grabbed the dress from the bed. “Your
uncle was quite put out with a house full of flowers and poor
Martin on the doorstep with four dozen roses.”

3

“You came to me and said:
‘Excuse me, but could I trick you into sailing to America where
you know no one and then leave you in a gutter with nowhere to
go’?”
She laughed.
“You’ve discovered my plan.” Reena put a hand to her chin
as if in contemplation “Well, I’ll just have to come up with a new
one.” She

4

“Reena closed the book and held it for a moment. She wanted
to get another peek at him. She loved to study Joshua, and when
he didn’t know she was watching, she could really take her time.
Her foot began to tap, and then her leg began to shake. Before Reena
even realized she’d made the decision to move, her book was
on the table, and she stood at the window of her uncle’s study.

5

“No tears now, my love. This is a moment for happiness, love,
and passion.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

5 Great Lines from Kresley Cole, Dreams of a Dark Warrior


5 Great Lines from Kresley Cole, Dreams of a Dark Warrior

1

“For the record,” she continued, “it’s not my fault I came in here looking like Chesty LaRue. You caught me on laundry day, so I have no undergarments on. Though I will cop to a little extra spring in my step for your benefit.”

2

She murmured, “You’re unfinished.”
“Aye, precisely.”
“I need to go.”
When she moved to get up, he shoved her against his side and slapped her arse to keep her there. “You stay with me.”
She snapped, “What do you want from me, Chase?”
He drew his head back in confusion. “I want everything. You’re mine, Regin.”

3

“Your ultimatum didn’t sit well with me, so naturally, I voiced my opinion.”
“Which was?”
“That you should go copulate with a pig. It sounded way cooler in medieval French.”

4

“One day I’m going to make that little piggy cry all the way home.”

5

“I can draw you a diagram. Hint: I’m slot B, and you’re tab A.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

Is Your Story Filled with BS?


by Kay Springsteen

I find it ironic that back story can be abbreviated BS. Because most of the time, when I read a lot of back story information dumped into a book, the other word for BS pops into my mind. To be sure, back story is something we need to know and most of the time show…but as a reader and an editor, I can’t read even a paragraph of expository back story without thinking “wasn’t there SOME better way of conveying this information?

And the answer, of course, is yes. There most definitely is. In developing my characters I do find I need to know who they are and how they got to their age in life. I need to know their back story in order to understand how they will react to the plot elements my story throws at them. My readers, on the other hand, don’t need to know everything about the character to start their story. In fact, the whole point of writing a story is so the reader will meet and get to know your characters over the course of the story – in romance, usually right alongside the other character.

So when my heroine in Elusive Echoes got a letter from her brother, I gave a hint that this was not a welcome occurrence in her reaction to the letter. What I did not do was go into exactly how it could mean trouble, or why, or what exactly their relationship had been growing up and so on. All of this was given to the reader at the appropriate time – through snippets of the letters she read, from her sitting down and telling some of her story to the love of her life, or to the sheriff, or to her love’s father, etc. Some was through thinking, and the final piece fell into place when her brother actually showed up.

Hopefully, by the time the pieces started coming together, the reader would think, “Ah, so that’s why she feels the need to be independent…” or “So that’s why she knew how to deliver a baby.”

Basically, fiction is ALL back story being told inside of present story. The woman running from an abusive ex, for example, has a story to tell, but the story needs to unfold so the reader receives just the right amount of information at the right time. This attention to pacing helps avoid information dumping and giving the reader more than they need to the point where – well, there is no point in finishing the story.After all, you already know it.

One thing I’ve noticed while editing, is a tendency to rush the relationship. Often, on speaking with the authors, I find out that when they read, they find themselves unable to wait until the hero and heroine overcome the obstacles and end up together. Many times, they translate their angst (which is actually the original author’s goal for the reader to have) into a tendency to rush it during their own stories for the sense of gratification. Only thing is, it frequently falls short because it’s all tied up and there is nothing left for the characters to discover about one another and overcome. Seeing a page of back story, especially in the form of the characters sharing their long sad stories with each other, so there are no more secrets is a warning sign that the relationship is being rushed.

So if you find your stories filled with BS, you have a specific course of action to follow: (1) Determine how much is necessary for the readers to know (and how much is not relevant to the story), (2) Determine when the readers need to be given this information, and (3) Find creative ways to present the back story in little sprinkles instead of one long dump.

Happy writing!

 

5 Great Lines from Jill Shalvis, Simply Irresistible


5 Great Lines from Jill Shalvis, Simply Irresistible

1

“There isn’t any poison oak in the winter. It’s hard to convince a girl you’re sexy when you can’t stop scratching your ass because of the rash.”

2

“Smile…it makes people wonder what you’re up to.”

3

“She’s drunk dialing contractors. Someone should stop her.”

4

“Sorry,” he said. “Let me drop the belt-”
“No.” She held on when he would have pulled away. “Don’t. I like it.”
Again, he lifted her face, and he smiled. “The tool belt turns you on.”
“No.” She closed her eyes and thunked her forehead to his chest. “Little bit.”

5

“I’m already yours. Always have been. All you have to do is step into the ring.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

By Any Other Name


by Kay Springsteen

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

~Juliet/Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)

When do you choose the title for your fiction? Does it come first and then you build the story around the words on the cover? Does it come to you partway through what you’re writing? Do you sometimes find yourself worrying that title to death? According to Juliet, a rose is a rose no matter what it’s called. But when it comes to the title of your book, you have a handful of words to capture someone’s interest. Frankly, if someone had named a rose “crap,” I’m not sure I’d be as inclined to press my nose into those pretty petals and inhale deeply.

The title of the book has to be engaging, informative, and, ah…original? But…there are only so many “pretty” words out there! I’m lucky to have a writing partner who is a title genius. So even on the things we do NOT co-author, I can go to her and hit the button for automatic title generator and soon out pops the perfect title. For my October 2011 release, Heartsent, which is about a surprise miracle, I wanted a title that would fit in with my Heart Stories – which is a series I’m constructing that may or may not have related characters but always there will be love and some sort of miraculous type occurrence. Heartsight is about a blind man who “saw” a young mother and her mentally challenged child a little differently. I wanted a title that would tell in one word what the book was about – something that the readers would “get” once they got into the story. I originally had Heartcries – thinking heart, sadness, baby. And that would have been just as descriptive. But something didn’t feel quite ritht. Bbecause the baby comes to this girl in a particularly special way and at a special time, my writing partner, Kim Bowman, said “It’s like the baby was sent…Heartsight…Heartsent.” As soon as she said this, I knew that was the title.

Other titles have come to us in different ways. Now, finding the perfect title that’s original and not cliche has become a challenge for many since we can’t all write Pride and Prejudice or the next Old Man and the Sea. Once a title is taken, is it fair to write your own story and use the same title? Do you really want to? So how do YOU choose the titles for your books?

5 Great Lines from Sarah Mayberry, Can’t Get Enough


5 Great Lines from Sarah Mayberry, Can’t Get Enough

1

He couldn’t just come right out with it, could he? No, that would scare her off. He had to be subtle, build up to it. Explain himself.
“I love you.”
Of course, straight to the point was also an effective strategy.

2

“Excuse me, your attention please.”
He waited until the whole floor had stopped what it was doing and turned to face him. For a split second his impulse control kicked in, but by then his mouth was fully engaged.
“For the record, Claire Marsden and I are not having sex.”

3

“She didn’t sound overjoyed. She didn’t sound even slightly joyed.”

4

“Just leave me alone, I want to be alone,” she said when Jack tried to open the car door. She hit the lock, and wound the window up. Since the roof was down, it was a fairly pointless exercise.

5

Then Jack turned to her.
Safari? That was the best excuse you could come up with for me not being at a meeting?”
She winced apologetically. “I’m sorry. I’m a terrible liar.”
What was wrong with simple sickness? A nice, normal bout of food poisoning?”
He was in a bad mood. I kind of got carried away,” she admitted.
Boy, are you lucky I watched Tarzan so much as a kid.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

Reading and Writing and Editing Goals


by Kay Springsteen

This is only the second day of the year and already I’ve fallen behind on my most important resolution for the New Year. Goal setting. I promised myself I would actually outline my personal goals for writing and editing and instead I kind of lazed yesterday away.

Well! This is kind of a good news/bad news situation. Since it’s Leap Year, I still have the entire 365 days ahead of me to figure out. So this can be my second New Year’s Day. Of course, that means Leap Day just becomes February 28 and the year rights itself by March 1. What a great solution to falling behind.

Oh, the bad news? Yeah…I still have to set my goals and get them down somewhere so I can periodically check my progress.

I have a day job – medical transcription. And aside from needing the very steady income, the work is at times very personally rewarding. So that’s among my “other career” goals.

But for fiction, I need to divide the goals into three categories.

EDITING: I edit for a couple of different publishing houses and plan to keep doing so. Why more than one? For one thing it spreads the work, but mostly because the editing is different types of fiction and each house has different heat levels. I plan to continue my editing at my current levels.

READING: You would think between editing the work of others and writing my own stories, I wouldn’t need to read for pleasure. But I find reading without the need to polish allows me to sit back and enjoy the ride, to get caught up in the story. Someone else’s story, not my own. I put pleasure reading right up there among the must-do in my fiction goal-setting. And I’d actually like to increase my reading. Problem is, I need to find a cool place to read where I won’t see my computer or I’ll feel the draw to edit or work on something of my own. I truly enjoy the work of others so reading is important. Maybe I’ll look into a place in my garden where I can kick back this summer.

WRITING: I write sweet stories under my real name. But maybe you don’t know that I have a secret alter ego under which I write erotic shorts. I enjoy writing the shorts rather than the full out erotic stories. I also enjoy writing the full length sweets. And I have several of these planned for my up-and-running series books this year. I think I’d like to try writing some middle-ground, a bit sweet, a bit sensual stories. I’m also diving into some historical romance this year. And I plan to write in the paranormal field, the latter of which will have a slightly more sensual feel as well. For the historical and paranormal books I have planned, I am collaborating with my writing and editing partner, Kim Bowman. Lots of exciting things planned, and getting started has been a hoot, since I am a die-hard plotter and Kim claims to be a pantser. So, in the words of another writer friend, we have become a hybrid of the two: plotantsters.

I’ll keep you posted on the joys and pitfalls of collaborative authoring as we go. Now, what about you? Got your goals mapped out yet?

5 Great Lines from Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary


5 Great Lines from Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary


1

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”

2

“I will not fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomanics, chauvists, emotional f@ckwits or freeloaders, perverts.”

3

“Being a woman is worse than being a farmer. There is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature — with a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin, Dennis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails like Struwelpeter, blind as bat and stupid runt of species as no contact lenses, flabby body flobbering around. Ugh ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence”

4

“Can officially confirm that the way to a man’s heart these days is not through beauty, food, sex, or alluringness of character, but merely the ability to seem not very interested in him.”

5

“Come on, let’s get you a drink. How’s your love life, anyway?”

Oh God. Why can’t married people understand that this is no longer a polite question to ask? We wouldn’t rush up to them and roar, “How’s your marriage going? Still have sex?”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

Run-On Sentences or Please Take a Breath


By Kay Springsteen

Are you sick of the 24/7 Christmas songs you’ve heard for the past month or so? Kind of glad your radio station went back to regular air play?  Well, just in case you want a fond memory of a Christmas song, do you recognize this one?

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say,
“Throw cares away.”
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold
Have you ever listened to this song and wanted to yell, “Take a breath already!” Punctuation in our writing is the reader’s way of taking a breath regardless of whether we’re reading out loud or silently. Some pauses for breath are longer than others, more definitive. These pauses are what sets up the rhythm of what we’ve written so the reader can read it in the manner we imagined it being said.

For this reason, in fiction, we often use periods for full-stop emphasis on sentence fragments. Used sparingly, a sentence fragment brings desired attention to a thought or action. Consider this brief excerpt from my novel Heartsight:

Sounds filtered through first: the rhythmic squeak of a cart being wheeled through the hallway, the low trill of a telephone at the desk just beyond the door. The shrill ding of an alarm warned that an IV needed attention. The beep-beep of a telemetry machine signaled his heart still beat steadily. Muffled voices hovered at the edge of his awareness; people speaking in hushed whispers, as if afraid they would wake the sick and the dying.

Or the blind.

In this passage, I not only separated the fragment from the previous sentence, I separated it from the entire paragraph. I used these three words in the sentence fragment to give readers the cue that my hero was blind. I could have as easily stated it in a full sentence:  Perhaps they were afraid of disturbing the blind. But at the time, my writing voice dictated the use of a fragment for this announcement. I wouldn’t want to read an entire book of passages with such construction, but fragments do have their uses.

Run-on sentences, on the other hand, hardly ever have a justifiable use unless it is in dialogue and something that builds characterization. An excited child, for example might run on and on and on to the point where he or she is advised to breathe. But for the purposes of introspection, description, or action narration, a run on sentence will only serve to give your readers one of those “What-the…” moments.

A run-on or fused sentence, more formally known as a comma splice, is an attempt to connect two or more independent clauses with the use of a comma instead of a period, a semi-colon, or a coordinating conjunction. Such sentences usually occur when we think of two ideas that are closely related and string them into one sentence because to us they are one thought. Most people don’t think with correct grammar. Our mind inserts the appropriate pauses as we think. And because we’re the ones doing the thinking, we don’t need the visual cues of punctuation to give us the rhythm and pattern of the sentences making up our thoughts.

However, as writers, it is up to us to ensure a smooth read. You wouldn’t expect to pick up a book with the words all strung together with no punctuation or paragraphs. It wouldn’t make sense:

the yellow dog ran into the room and laid on the mat by the heater he began licking the snow from his paws charlie said mom you have to have your feet wiped before you walk on my nice clean floor the door opened and my brother ben walked in and flopped in the kitchen chair little globs of snow slid from his boots to form puddles around his feet on the floor

You get the idea. While we can probably figure it out, because of punctuation, we don’t have to. As authors, we have to pay attention to the rhythm of our writing so we can insert the appropriate visual cues for the reader. So it’s important to understand what makes up a clause, what makes a clause independent from another, what makes one dependent on another, and the best way to separate the independent clauses from one another.

An independent clause is made up of a group of words containing a subject and a verb, and expresses a complete thought: Jenny read a book in the library.

A dependent clause is made up of a group of words containing a subject and a verb but by itself does not express a complete thought. This is a sentence fragment (see above for their use). A dependent clause is frequently signaled by a dependent marker word. When Jenny read a book in the library…(The thought is incomplete. What happened when she read in the library?)

An independent marker word is a connecting word used at the beginning of an independent clause, such as also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, and therefore. These words can always begin a sentence that can stand alone. If one of these words begins the clause (subject + verb = complete thought), you have a stand-alone, or independent clause, and a period or a semi-colon must precede the clause.

Now that you have an understanding of dependent versus independent, consider the following sentence.

Last summer was dry, therefore many of my garden flowers died.

Note the independent marker in the sentence? This is a signal that these are two separate clauses, and thus this is a run-on sentence. There are several easy fixes for this:

  1. Separate it into two sentences with the independent marker in place: Last summer was dry. Therefore, many of my garden flowers died.
  2. Separate it into two sentences without the independent marker in place: Last summer was dry. Many of my garden flowers died.
  3. Use a semi-colon to separate the two clauses: Last summer was dry; therefore, many of my garden flowers died.
  4. Rephrase using a coordinating conjunction*: Last summer was dry, so many of my garden flowers died.
  5. Make the first half of the sentence a subordinate clause: Because last summer was dry, many of my garden flowers died.

For the sake of altering the rhythm and helping the story flow in a logical manner, it’s best to try to change these methods up when repairing comma-splice sentences.

* The seven coordinating conjunctions used as connecting words at the beginning of an independent clause are and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet. A comma is needed before the coordinating conjunction when sentences are constructed in this fashion.

It is best to use method #5 above with great care. Many authors who have attempted this method of sentence construction run into trouble with misplaced modifiers. Watch for a future article on that particular bane of the writer’s and editor’s existence.

Now, speaking as your potential editor, does anybody here wish you’d paid more attention to Schoolhouse Rock? “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function…?”

5 Great Lines from Nicholas Sparks, Dear John


5 Great Lines from Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

1

And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.

2

“Passion is passion. It’s the excitement between the tedious spaces, and it doesn’t matter where it’s directed…It can be coins or sports or politics or horses or music or faith…the saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all.”

3

“It’s possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems.”

4

“”It’ll be hard, but life moves fast-we’ll see each other again. I know that. I can feel that. Just like I can feel how much you care for me and how much I love you”

5

“They inspire you, they entertain you, and you end up learning a ton even when you don’t know it”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

5 Great Lines – Jennifer Crusie, Faking It


5 Great Lines from Jennifer Crusie, Faking It.

1

“You’ve lived in America for twenty years. Eat badly, damn it.”

2

“Very few people mate for life with the people they fall for at twelve. Doesn’t mean is isn’t real, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, but basically, we’re talking a practice swing in the big game of love.”

3

Mason was leaving her for a fifty-four-year-old woman who didn’t moisturize

4

“Everybody’s crooked. The trick is to find out how they’re bent.”

5

“Dempseys are never in trouble. We just have stretches of life that are more interesting than others.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

A Window on the Holiday Rush


by Kay Springsteen

I used to wonder how writers did it…how they balanced their day jobs with their writing and with their families. Now I’ve come to realize they sometimes do not. Sometimes choices are presented, difficult ones, and decisions must be made. Do I finish this chapter or finish my Christmas shopping? Do I sign in to my job a few minutes late because I stopped at Wally World on the way in? Do I work on my editing or bake those cookies?

Some do balance it all, I know. At least according to their social media posts, they read a great book, decorated the tree, baked four dozen cookies, planned Christmas Eve supper and the Christmas Day meal, bought the last of their presents in September and the stocking stuffers on Black Friday. The stockings are hung by the chimney with the blazing fire warming the room as they put the last tinsel on their tree. No packages remain in need of wrapping, and they’re hidden in the perfect places, where the kiddies won’t find them but the writer won’t forget them until next July. The exact right measure of cedar garland graces the tastefully lit outside of the house, and a lovely wreath hangs on the door, welcoming visitors who knock. And now they’re sitting curled up on their sofa enjoying the fruits of their labor while they put the final edits on their latest book about to be released.

For those fortunate authors who have their lives perfectly balanced, I have one question: Are you some sort of Stepford creation?

~Happy everything!

Kay