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Words on Wednesday- Getting Back into Characte

In Uncategorized, writing on January 29, 2014 at 6:55 am

There are two kinds of writers, as my writer friends already know, plotters and pantsers. Plotters of course plot their story out. They know what’s going to happen before they begin writing. Pantsers….well, they do everything by the seat of their pants. Now there are many variations on these two styles of writing, but those are the root styles and most writers lean toward one category or the other.

beachWhen I write magazine or newspaper articles, I’m an outliner, the nonfiction equivalent of a plotter. I know what my main points will be, and I work within a solid structure. I’ve always said that the structure actually gives me the freedom to be creative with my writing.

When I write fiction……I’m a total pantser. For me the story happens in my head. The characters talk to me, and I grab a 10 cent blue BIC® pen and a spiral notebook and let them tell me the story. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way I work.     waves

After putting my book aside for a year while I worked full time at the sewing store, I’m back to work editing and expanding the story. The editing part is going well, the expanding part …not.

The first draft of my story was done before I took the full time job….or so I thought. I had some excellent input, in fact amazing input, but I was told the romance book that I had written wasn’t a romance, it was women’s fiction with romantic elements. This means nearly doubling the original word count.

Adding words does not come naturally to me. After more than fifteen years writing non-fiction, where the mantra is ‘cut the fluff’, it’s hard to add words, in fact I often find myself cutting more than I add.  It was going okay before my one year foray into the ‘real job’ world, but a year later, I’m having difficulty getting in touch with my characters again.

DSCI0064 - CopyI’m going to try a few tricks that have worked in the past, writing a letter to Randi, my main character, and having her write back, or maybe I’ll start a diary for her.

You know, Randi is young, she’d probably have a facebook page, maybe I should start one for her. Or maybe now is the time to switch into plotting gear, and use what I’ve written as an outline?

What do you think? I could use a little help here!! Oh and if you’re wondering what the beach pictures are about, Randi lives by the beach in the South Bay. (That’s Los Angeles South Bay….we have one too!)

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Friday Funday-Sew What Are Your Creative Outlets?

In Life Essays, sewing, Uncategorized on January 24, 2014 at 8:19 am

The main character in the novel I’m writing is a fashion designer, and yes, just like on Project Runway, she sews. So for the past two years I’ve been writing about someone who sews, while working in a sewing store teaching sewing and selling machines that are pretty amazing, and do things my grandmother probably never dreamed possible. And I have done… no sewing.

DSCI0091Now that my ‘real’ job is only one day a week, and I’m spending most of my time writing, I’ve indulged, admittedly with some guilt in a new toy of my own, and since I bought it, it would be wrong not to use it….right?

My sewing room isn’t set up yet, it will probably be a few weeks before I get the opportunity. Most of my tools and fabric are still in storage, and Hunky Hubby is still busy with more important things like finishing the kitchen! But, I’m planning my projects for the year, and I’m trying to learn the capabilities of my new sewing machine in the meantime. And believe me, there’s a lot to learn.11143_1197385549150_1663838805_486536_6553773_n

I am no seamstress, but I do love to sew, and I enjoy teaching sewing lessons. Some sewers are quilters, some are garment makers, some love craft sewing or home dec. I’m kind of a dabbler, I like to do all of it, but I’m not truly expert at any of it.

So this year I plan on making curtains for my new kitchen, and two of the bedrooms, possibly doing some sewing for my bathroom, and making a bookshelf quilt. My friends and family will probably all have to suffer with homemade presents this year and I have a sweet cousin who was recently married that I want to give a special, if belated wedding gift.

Saving sewing projects on Pinterest has practically become a hobby in itself, and I’m dying to try some of the clever sewing projects that I’ve saved!!

Between writing a book and getting settled in our home I probably won’t get everything done that I want to, but I’m going to try!

16836_1279514282317_1663838805_664134_4339287_nI’m sharing a few pictures of previous projects. Wish I had more, but for some reason I don’t remember to take pictures! I promise to take more pictures to share with all of you.

So my pretty, new sewing machine is just waiting to release it’s potential, and sew am I!! What are your creative outlets? Your passions? What do you squeeze time out for in your busy schedule? Hope you’ll share!!

Words on Wednesday- Before You Hit Send

In Uncategorized, writing on January 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

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I’m writing today’s post at the risk of public editing. It’s okay, go ahead, I can take it.

Saturday, the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America (Occ Rwa) hosted a workshop with Carina Press Editor, Angela James. Before You Hit Send is a seven hour intensive workshop on self-editing. That’s right, not only did I voluntarily spend seven hours listening to a lecture on punctuation, capitalization, adjectives, adverbs and dangling participles….but I paid for it. For the second time. (And yes, I do know this is a sentence fragment.)

The first class I took with Angela, was a three week online workshop on the same subject. It was so fantastic, that I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend her live workshop.

I came home energized and ready to confidently and mercilessly take my red pen to my manuscript.

I love her philosophy on grammar rules, her respect for writer’s and their work, and the fact that she not only gave me permission to do some reading, but she said it was a job requirement. (I love this job.)

This is not the English class we took in high school, or even the class you took to fulfill your ‘generals’ in college. Before You Hit Send isn’t about strictly applying rules to every sentence you write.

This workshop is about learning how to intelligently and confidently, make the words you love come to life. How to use grammar to give your story the magic you always knew could be there.

Needless to say, I’m an Angela James fan, and will sign up for her next workshop.

And thank you Occ Rwa for bringing Angela back to Orange County!!

So, go ahead, let me have it. Tell me about my misplaced commas, overuse of exclamation points, and of course, my favorite…run on sentences.

I’m ready, bring it on…….

Just Me on Monday-Motherhood

In Life Essays, Uncategorized on January 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Here’s the thing, being a mother, changes who you are forever. You don’t even realize it while it’s happening. You know when they’re born that your life has been restricted but you really don’t care because you are so awed by that beautiful little bundle that’s in your arms. You raise them, make them the center of your universe, love them with all of your heart, and then they leave the nest, whether by choice or with a nudge from dad and mom. Part of you (at least part of me) is ready to see them go, to watch what they become and even to find out what I can become in this new phase of my life. Part of you (again me) doesn’t want to let go, wants a little more time to watch out for them, guide them and if at all possible protect them…..and all of me wants them to stay nearby to come home for dinner once or twice a week, to share their lives with me….well, maybe not everything, but to let me be a part of their lives.      157

You realize that for you there is more than just a DNA connection, they are a part of you, but THEY realize, whether consciously or not, that it’s time for them to become separate people, and no matter how close you are your relationship has to change.

And it does. Sometimes you talk to them every day, or even several times in a day. They call you to find out how much they should be spending on chicken breasts, and for the recipe for their favorite cookies. (Do you give them the recipe? Maybe they’ll come home for cookies.) They call you to find out why they put white socks and underwear in the washer and took out red….uh, it was the red sweatshirt you threw in with them. They call you to find out what to do about a parking ticket they forgot to pay. AAAHHHHH, PAY THE TICKET!!

And then you don’t hear from them for days…or even weeks, and you want to call them, but you don’t want to be clingy. Sometimes you feel your eyes well up when you accidentally set the dinner table for five, and there are only four of you, then three, then just the two of you….and you wish all of your previous little boys were at the table again.

So you pick up the phone and call……your own mother…. because maybe you haven’t been calling her enough.

Our oldest son is thirty-one years old. It’s hard for me to even say that because, of course, it isn’t true. (It’s true.) For most of the last five years he’s been in Maryland, the opposite side of the country, and a couple of weeks ago he came back home. I told myself I wouldn’t cry when I saw him. I lied, I broke down and sobbed. Actually, just writing this is making me cry. I can touch his curls again, I can hug him, I can see his beautiful smile. But of course, he isn’t unpacking his things at our house, he’s staying long enough to find a place of his own and get his girlfriend out here to be with him. He’s working full time hanging with his brothers and other friends. He was so sweet this weekend, “Mom,” he said “Would you like to plan a day for just the two of us.”

Yes, yes I would, those days are too few.

So, I’ll get him to myself even if only for a day.

DSCI0252Meanwhile, our youngest son moved out over the holidays. Not an easy transition, but he’s twenty-two, and we are very proud of him. He’s just a few miles away, for now, but I know he wants to travel, live other places and experience life.

Middle son is still at home, but we rarely see him, his career, takes up most of his time and attention, but I know he’ll be moving out soon too. He also plans on traveling, and it looks like with his career he probably will.

They all have so much to do, to see, to become.

And isn’t that what I want for all of them. I want them all to experience life, see what they can, have relationships with more than a few women before they find ‘the one’, so they know what they want, so they never feel like they ‘just settled’ or wonder what else could have been. Of course then in my plan they all plant their roots right here near me…. at least not too far away.

I know that none of these choices are mine, so while my heart still aches to feel their small hands in mine, answer their questions, keep them safe, I know that it’s time to let go of their hands, let them look for their own answers and be strong young men. After all, that was the point of the last thirty years.

I don’t know how to cook for two, it’s been years of cooking for a small army, and at this point, although they’re not always at the dinner table, they grab a bite when they come in, or take food ‘to go’. My still Hunky Hubby and I often find ourselves sitting at the dinner table alone. It’s not so bad, we can talk without food flying, conversations about video games, and arguments over who took too long in the shower leaving his brother with only cold water. Sometimes we even light candles and have a glass of wine.

So being a mother changes who you are forever, I will always be the mother of three handsome, talented, intelligent boys, and whether they know it or not, I will always kiss them good night before I go to bed and wish for all of their dreams to come true, no matter how far away those dreams may take them.

How has being a parent changed your life forever? What are your dreams for your children? Have you called your mother today? I have to go call mine.

Did I mention I got a real job?

In Life Essays, quirks, Uncategorized on April 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

So Friday morning I left an hour early, planning to get to the store at nine a.m. to set up for our ten a.m. training. There are two main roads that leave the harbor side of the peninsula and the city is doing road work on the one I normally take, so I thought I’d be smart, avoid the delays and take the other. Of course, so did most of the other more than 80,000 people who live in the area.

So getting off of the peninsula was slow, and when I hit Sepulveda Boulevard things slowed down again. I arrived at work stressed out and only twenty minutes early….or so I thought. Apparently, the training was supposed to start at nine a.m. not ten a.m.. The trainer, who had driven down from Modesto was already there along with two employees from the Thousand Oaks store….. and I had a new employee starting on Friday, and I’d told her to be there for her first day at nine thirty a.m. to fill out paperwork before the training began. So I arrived at work only forty minutes late…well, an hour and forty minutes because I should have been set up by nine a.m.

As my boys would say major “fail”.

I rushed in the door, apologized to everyone, threw paperwork at my ‘new girl’ Janice, apologized some more, grabbed a cart, and went out to unload the lunch that I had made for everyone attending the training. Janice cheerfully pitched in and helped since I was so late. First I unloaded the cooler filled with drinks from my trunk, put it in the shopping cart, then grabbed a slow cooker of hashbrown casserole, and a second filled with BBQ pork, and put them on top of the cooler, I grabbed a bowl of ramen noodle salad and a lemon cake to hand to Janice, when I realized that in the less than five minutes that it had taken to run into the store, apologize, throw papers at Janice and grab a cart, the glaze on my lemon cake had melted and seeped out the sides of my cake taker, as I’m lamenting the melting frosting, I realize the drain spout on the cooler has popped open, and water from the melting ice is spilling out. I can’t roll the cart into the store this way, so I put the cake and the salad on the trunk, Janice grabs the slow cooker with the potatoes in it and puts it on the ground, I quickly grab the slow cooker with the BBQ pork and of course….I spill BBQ sauce all over the cooler and parking lot, and I think Janice’s shoes.

So luckily Janice is laughing and I’m just getting more nervous by the minute, I have people waiting inside and all of this food in the parking lot, so I grab the roll of paper towels that I always keep in the trunk for emergencies, at least I should get points for knowing that I need to plan for the emergencies that I sometimes might be responsible for….and I clean up the cooler and cart as best I can, put it back in and put the slow cookers on top.

I turn to shut the trunk and the water spout pops open again. This time I am much more careful with the slow cooker, I pull out the cooler, shut the spout and decide to turn it around because I can see that it’s hitting a metal rung on the end of the cart.

Janice is so sweet, she tells me she can see she is going to enjoy working in the store. I laugh, and give her high marks for her attitude.

So, we get back into the store, Karol and Lori have arrived, Karol is going to run the store so that Lori, Janice and I can have serger and software training. Did I mention that Karol already knows everything?? She’s amazing, and I’m so sad that she won’t be working at the store much longer. I have Janice and Lori grab some sergers while I plug in slow cookers and put food away as quickly as possible, and we are finally ready to begin.

Just as I’m about to sit down with my notebook and pen in hand, slightly disheveled, majorly embarrassed, and very apologetic, I realize that I’ve left my laptop at home, which I will need for the afternoon software training….thank goodness software isn’t the morning class. Now I have to slip out of class discreetly (you all have been paying attention and know that I’m the true Queen of the Run On Sentence right? And that you should read my blog very quickly because that’s the way I talk!) or at least making great effort to be discreet and call Hunky Hubby to ask him if he can leave work early today to bring me my laptop because I can’t leave the training that I’m “hosting”. Please honey….pretty, pretty please?

So lunchtime arrives, and with it Hunky Hubby and my laptop computer. Which luckily I have already set up for the training….with the help of another manager (Stephanie) and the very patient lady on the other end of the phone at our company software support line. My new laptop has Windows 8, so this was extra challenging.

Luckily, I learned to thread the sergers, do a five step demo, and lunch seemed to be a success. Janice handled her chaotic first day of work with graciousness and a sense of humor, so I know she’ll fit in, and Karol and Lori? Well, they’ve been working with for a while now, and choose to continue. Karol was supposed to leave months ago, but thankfully has stayed…and stayed to help me out. She has no idea how much I appreciate her and all of the ‘girls’ that I work with at the store!!

So I got a ‘real job’ last October, whether they let me stay after this, remains to be seen. It’s time for me to get ready to leave, so I’m not going to bother editing this story!!

I’ll let you know if Janice comes back for day two!!

Twenty Four Years Is Not Enough

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

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August is a month of special anniversaries for Paul and I. Last week we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the day we met at Shoreline Village. Wednesday will be the 25th Anniversary of our first date, and today is our 24th Wedding Anniversary. Yep, we’ve been married twenty four years, and together twenty five.

I’m not ready to give out advice on how to stay married. My parents split up just short of their twenty fifth anniversary, and his divorced after thirty three years of marriage, so there are some milestones I still want to pass before I feel like “this will last”. Okay, in all likelihood, as madly in love as I am with my Hunky Hubby, I will never feel entirely secure.

There are some wonderful marriages that I look to for inspiration…not perfect marriages, but good marriages. Not marriages where people just stay together and endure a bad relationship, but marriages that seem to be happy and loving. My Aunt Betty and Uncle Roger were married more than fifty years before he died, my Aunt Judy and Uncle Ed have been married nearly fifty years, and they aren’t alone. I know of quite a few long lasting, happy marriages.

We have a number of friends married around the same time as us. Their marriages have made it through rough times, raising kids, sometimes health or financial trials, but they’ve loved each other enough to work through the challenges and keep their relationship a priority.

When Paul and I got married I was only 27 years old. I’d already been married, had a child and divorced by age 23. My parents had just gone through a divorce, his were in the middle of a divorce and I was terrified of what we were doing. Should we get married? Should we take a chance and try to build a life together? Could it really work? I didn’t want to be divorced again.

Over the years I’ve wanted to throw things at him, I’ve been mad enough to think about leaving, and I’ve thought about torture. And there’s a good chance he’s had similar thoughts. The truth is though, that I don’t want to imagine my life without him. No matter how imperfect, no matter how challenging, every day that I get to be Paul’s wife is another day I’m thankful for.

And one of the things that keep us working on our marriage is our parents’ divorces. We know what it can do to families not just the couple, because we’ve experienced it. We don’t want that to happen to the little family we’ve raised. So, when it’s all romance and roses, great, but when it’s tough, we do the hard work to keep it together.

Most days it’s easy. I still count the minutes until he gets home from work. He still calls me several times during the work day. His voice on the phone still makes me melt. We are practically inseparable all these years later. We flirt shamelessly with each other, and on occasion are asked if we’re newlyweds. We usually just smile and nod.

Tonight we’ll have dinner at the restaurant that’s currently on the marina where we met. Paul will make the hostess and wait staff listen to the story of how we met right there and were married right there. If we see any young couples nearby, he’ll tell them the story as well. He’ll find something to juggle just to impress me…and anyone watching. I’ll roll my eyes and pretend he’s embarrassing me, and we’ll watch the sunset thanking God for one more year together. We know how precious they are.

So, now that I’m all melancholy. I want to say thank you to my wonderful, crazy, hardworking, handsome husband who keeps me laughing, pumps my gas for me, changes all of the light bulbs, keeps our old car running against its will, and puts up with me year after year.

Happy Twenty Fourth Anniversary Honey!! Is it greedy to say it isn’t enough?

All my love,

Tari

 

And the Winner is!! (And a New Contest!!)

In book signings, books, contest, Uncategorized, writing on May 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

I’m so excited. This is the first contest that I’ve held at Tari’s Thread….. well, at least for my readers. The 2011 Easter Egg Decorating Contest was for my friends and family, and so many of you were wonderful about participating in the voting!! I’d really like to do that again.

But the Good Food, Good Health Contest was for my readers. Many of whom also happen to be family and friends in my actual life, and those of you who are becoming friends here on the internet! Thank you to all who left comments here. I appreciate all of the e-mail comments, facebook comments and twitter comments as well, but to win, you had to leave a comment here at Tari’s Thread.

So, I wrote all of the names on a piece of paper and put them into a paper lunch bag (I know, but it was an OFFICIAL paper lunch bag). I grabbed one of my guys…the one who happened to be home when I was ready to do the drawing. I won’t give his name….one of you will want to hug him, but the others may not feel so generous….and I had him draw a name.

THE WINNER IS: Gloria Stefani

Please contact me at  ohwrite@yahoo.com with your mailing address by May 31st, write Tari’s Thread Movie Ticket Winner in the subject line (this way I don’t think it’s spam!) and I’ll send you two gold AMC movie tickets. If I don’t hear from you by May 31st, I’ll be drawing another winner from my very official paper bag!!

In the meantime, this was a great way to get people involved in conversation, so I’m going to have another contest. I am a voracious reader….well, before kids and homeschooling and writing my own novel, I was a voracious reader, now I keep a book on me to sneak in a few pages whenever I can, but the point is that I love books and reading, and I’m hoping that all of you feel the same way.

So for the next contest I’ll be giving away two autographed books by a couple of my favorite authors. To win, you must leave a comment here at Tari’s Thread on any post written from today May 21st through Saturday June 30th. Two winners will be drawn and the names will be announced on June 2nd. The winner must submit their mailing address to me by email by July 16th  (instructions will be posted with the winners name), or a new winner will be drawn for their prize. Winners must live in the United States. All decisions are final.

Jill Sorenson, Tessa Dare, DeAnna Cameron, Dee J Adams…some of my favorite authors at 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Thank you all for reading and participating. If the autographed book contest is popular, I will be doing it again. I am attending the Romance Writers of America 2012 Conference at the end of July, and will have the opportunity to collect autographed books from a huge number of authors from various genres, so I hope this is a prize that you will all enjoy!! So keep those comments coming and feel free to suggest new topics of conversation in your comments!!

Dancing at The Chance

In book signings, books, Uncategorized, writing on May 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I’ve always imagined Stephen King tapping out his manuscripts on an IBM Selectric (with automatic correction…not that he needs it) in a dark room of a rambling mansion fingers flying, typewriter carriage dinging when he gets to the end of each line…pages flying about at warp speed…some of you may be too young to know what I’m saying here, but watch an old movie, you know from the early 80’s. Anne Rice I picture in black swirling robes, writing by candle light in a castle tower…… Phillipa Gregory, well I see her in courtly attire, with a quill and ink well, elegantly dipping then smoothly stroking line after line across beautifully hand crafted paper… I know this is ridiculous, but this is the way I imagine other writers writing…although on any given day, you will find me in a pair of jeans and a cotton blouse, barefoot (or in sandals because they make me wear shoes at the library) filling page after page of a wide ruled notebook with a blue ten cent pen, unless I’m editing and typing my work into the computer…..not nearly as glamorous as the way I imagine other writers working

But then I met author DeAnna Cameron at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and I picked up an autographed copy of her latest book, Dancing at The Chance. DeAnna is warm and full of life, as are the characters she writes about in this beautiful turn of the century tale. I can see DeAnna dressed in Victorian skirts and corseted, her lush red hair adorned with feathers and fluff as she hand pens her latest story.

And let me tell you, this is a book you will want to read. The characters come to life, dancing across the pages of her book, letting the reader experience vaudeville from backstage, to center stage, back of the theater to front row center, the dark and unrefined side, to the family like camaraderie of  an art that was on the brink of extinction…and of course there are secrets and romance.

Now the truth is, that I have no idea what DeAnna wears when she writes, but I have seen her dressed in period costume at the Steampunk Shimmy Showcase at  Viento y Agua Coffeehouse in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago. DeAnna and her dashing husband could have stepped right off the cover of one of her books, and among the pictures my own hunky hubby took, was one that might have been a cast picture from Dancing at The Chance.

Whatever DeAnna wears when writing, I would love to see a sequel to Dancing at The Chance…perhaps Second Chance at The Chance??? In the meantime, I’ll be reading her first book, The Belly Dancer and hoping she’s writing faster than I’m reading.

How do you imagine writers at work? Or do you even think about the writer? Are they a shadowy background figure? Or are you entirely lost in the pages? (Which I am when I read a good book.)

It’s time for me to get back to work on my manuscript….and I’ll be wearing a 1920’s flapper dress with bouncy fringe, seamed stockings and a feather fascinator while I write…really I will!

Last Day for the Good Health Good Food Contest!

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2012 at 6:26 am

 

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Today is the last day to comment on my Good Health, Good Food….and a Contest post to be entered into the drawing for the AMC movie tickets. So many of you have commented and left great tips. I’ll update you as I try them out!

Just a little update on how I’m doing. I still haven’t had a diet cola….woo hoo!! It’s been over two months, and I still want it, but I haven’t had one. I did indulge in a regular cola on mother’s day, but it was just too sweet!! As for food…I’m having days when I eat really healthy, and days when I screw up, but I just start over the next day, and the screw ups are getting farther and farther apart.

One thing that is helping is that I’ve started exercising…and who wants to put junk in their body when they’ve just finished working out. Yesterday I went on a two mile walk (for some of you this is nothing, but I’m going to have to build up slowly). I went down to Redondo…of course…and walked along the strand. It was amazing how many people were working out on the beach on a Monday morning!! There were walkers, runners, cyclists (of various kinds) roller skaters, surfers, people stair climbing, and people planking on the beach. It was inspiring, and I felt so good about doing something healthy for myself!

Anyway, don’t forget to leave a healthy recipe or good health tip today…you can leave it here or over at the original post, and I’ll make sure that you get into the drawing.planking

Check back here next Monday, the 20th, for the winner…you must respond with your address to my e-mail address by May 31st, 2012 or I will have to select a new winner.

Thank you for all of the great tips I’ve gotten already….maybe some of you are trying them, let me know!!stairclimbinb

New Bookstore, Great Authors…and Tres Leches Cake on a Tuesday!

In book signings, books, bookstores, Uncategorized, writing on May 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

So my hunky hubby, Paul took me to a book signing/book launch at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach last night. I know, I know, I just attended the Los Angeles times Festival of Books, I really didn’t need another book to read….but are there ever really enough books? Besides, I love listening to what other writers have to say about their writing process, how their minds work, and how it all ends up on paper…or computer, not everyone writes their full manuscript on spiral notebooks with 10 cent pens like I do. Really I do.

Anyway, I think it’s important for writers to support each other and learn from each other, and when my friend, author Louisa Bacio sent out an invitation for the book signing, I thought it would be fun to go. Plus, it was at a new bookstore, a local bookstore …a really fabulous bookstore that I needed to check out. Did I mention there was wine, beer and tres leches cake?? Let me say right here that I didn’t touch any of it, I was good and ate ahead of time and stuck to my healthy plan. Ask Hunky Hubby, it’s true.

But, what a great conversation! Lisa Brackman, author of Getaway and Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Town, happen to be sisters.  Yes, sisters who write, sisters who are published, and sisters with much the same childhood background….but sisters who tell very different stories, at least in print.

Lisa writes fast paced contemporary thrillers, while Dana’s latest book is a zombie story with a touch of romance.

But, as sisters often do, they have a lot in common. They both give their mother as a major influence on their writing, or rather “a huge interactive part of their writing”.  When asked if they outlined their books both answered ‘no’. This makes me happy, because I can’t write the outline for my fiction until the story is written…. I don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens either…. Non-fiction, I always outline first, but fiction, nope, I write by hand as it happens in wide ruled spiral notebooks with 10 cent pens, really that’s how I write.

So anyway, both sisters are smart and witty, and they obviously have a strong bond. Both are talented, successful writers and an inspiration to those of us still working on that first novel.

I didn’t drink wine, and I didn’t eat cake, but I did indulge my book habit and picked up a copy of Lisa’s book Getaway, and Dana’s book Plague Town. So I guess I was a little naughty, but not really…I mean, after all, reading is good for you!!

What’s sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read? Which authors do you love to hear speak? How many of you have a novel you’ve written hidden in your bottom drawer? Or just an idea for a book you’d like to write?

Tell me in the comment section below…I’d love to know…