Tips for Working at Home #Re-Blog #Essay #Writing

As a writer, I’ve been working from home for over ten years. But I imagine this period of social isolation due to the coronavirus threat can be stressful for those used to going to an office or other place of employment each day. Blogger D.E. Haggerty offers some tips to make this easier.

I’m already following some of these suggestions. How about you? Please feel free to share, either here or on D.E. Haggerty’s blog.

 

Via Tips for Working at Home

 

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. As always, thank you for reading.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Organizing Characters and Plots #Writing

When I write short stories or novels, I’m what’s called a pantser. I don’t do outlines. I make up the story as I go along. I don’t worry too much about character traits until I’ve finished the story and am ready to edit.

I submit chapters of my work to a weekly critique group. When other participants make suggestions about my characters and plot that I like, I make a note of them at the beginning of the chapter. That way, when I go back and edit, I know what needs to be done in that chapter.

When I’m ready to publish a book, I try to find a cover that matches my main character. With The Red Dress, I had to do it a little differently as far as the cover was concerned. Originally, my main character, Eve, had blond hair. But when Leonore Dvorkin, my editor at DLD Books, found a picture of a lovely young woman with black hair, I decided to change Eve’s hair from blond to black.

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I believe my cover got more rave reviews than the book itself. By the way, The Red Dress, along with My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, are available this week absolutely free as part of Smashwords Read an eBook Week sale. Click here to download the books.

How about you writers out there? Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring this, and thanks to you, of course, for reading.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Benefits of Writing Groups #Essay

You may think that writing is a solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. I belong to several writing groups that meet regularly to write, share, and critique our work. Today, I’d like to talk about two of them that have been beneficial to me over the years.

The first is called Third Thursday Poets. This started in 2006 as a nine-week class taught by an instructor who was, herself, a published poet. After the class ended, we agreed to meet once a month, and the instructor offered to continue facilitating our meetings. This went on for about two years until our instructor felt she needed to leave the group. We’ve been meeting monthly ever since and take turns facilitating our meetings.

We usually meet for about two hours. Our facilitator provides a prompt that we write on for about twenty minutes. We then each share what we’ve written. After that, the facilitator gives us another prompt as a homework assignment that we can bring to the next meeting. During the second half of the meeting, we critique each other’s homework assignments. Of course, participants don’t have to follow any of the prompts. We can write poetry about anything we want in any form and share it.

When this group started as a class, my late husband had just been discharged from the nursing home after suffering his first stroke, and I’d started caring for him. Most of the poems I wrote for this group were inspired by my caregiving experiences, and many of them ended up in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. I’ll always be grateful for the feedback I received from participants of this group.

The other group that has been helpful to me over the years is called Explorations in Creative Writing. I discovered it in 2009 when someone mentioned the group in a comment on my blog. This is mostly a fiction critique group, and we’re laid-back and close-knit. We meet once a week via phone conference to critique each other’s work, which we send to our email list before each meeting. Our participants are scattered across the country and are mostly blind or visually impaired.

Although most of this group’s participants write fiction, I felt comfortable submitting an occasional poem for critique. But I got the most help with my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds and my novel, The Red Dress. I’m working on another novel, with which they’ve also been helpful. I’ll always be thankful for the feedback and support this group has given me.

I belong to other writers’ organizations. But because the two groups I’ve discussed are small, we can be more intimate and provide participants with a better experience.

Thanks to blogger Lynda McKinney Lambert for inspiring this post. How about you? Do you belong to any writing groups? How have they helped you? I look forward to reading your responses, either in the comment field below or on your own blog with a link to this post. Thank you for coming today.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

One Thing About Me #Essay #Writing Prompt

One thing I love about myself is that I’m healthy. I don’t smoke. I don’t consume alcoholic beverages of any kind. I drink only one can of Dr. Pepper a day. I exercise regularly, watch my weight, and try not to eat too much ice cream.

To stay healthy, I get myself checked out every year. I have the obligatory annual physical exam. Because I have a heart murmur and a family history of heart attacks plus some mild hearing loss in my left ear, I have an echocardiogram and a hearing test each year. I endure an annual screening mammogram. Except for a couple of scares involving unknown spots on my breasts, all my tests have turned out normal so far, except for the hearing loss, which isn’t getting any worse, and the heart murmur, which appears stable.

I also try to keep my mind sharp. Every day, I play several games with Alexa to stimulate my brain cells. These include “Word of the Day,” “Question of the Day,” “True or False,” “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and “Song Quiz.” I recently started trying a meditation skill called “Head Space.” Maybe it’ll help me be more mindful and stay focused. It’s my hope that if I keep my body and mind in good shape, I can live long and die before experiencing any serious health issues. Life is precious, and I want to live it to the fullest.

***

Thanks to Moondance Pages for inspiring the above. Now, it’s your turn. What’s one thing you love about yourself?

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. I’d love to read your responses, either in the comment field below or on your own blog with a link to this post. Remember. We’re all special in our own way.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Thing #Essay #Writing Prompt

Remember the song about the man who discovers a box on a beach? He opens it and finds a treasure. He tries to sell it to a friend, but the friend threatens to call the police if he doesn’t leave the premises. He takes it home to his wife, but she tells him to go away and never return. He tries to give it to a desperate hoboe. But the hoboe runs away when he sees it.

For years, this man travels far and wide with a treasure nobody wants that’s doing him no good. He finally ends up at The Pearly Gates, where St. Peter tells him to take the thing down below.

One wonders why he didn’t leave this unknown treasure on the beach where he found it if nobody wanted it. But if he did, it wouldn’t be much of a song, would it? One also wonders what was in the box that nobody wanted.

At the end of the song, the singer advises that if you find such a box on the beach, don’t open it because you’ll never get rid of whatever’s inside. Likewise, if a friend came to me with a box and claimed that what was inside would change everything, I’d say to my friend, “Why don’t you open the box?”

 

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Links of Interest

Happy New Year! To start off 2020, I’ve just created a new page here containing links to blogs and sites I follow and use regularly plus a few writers’ organizations. You can find it in the menu at the top or click below. Check it out!

 

via Links of Interest

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

TMI Tuesday December 31st 2019

I’m back to end the year with answers to more interesting questions from the TMI Tuesday Blog.

What’s new?

 

Feel free to elaborate.

In 2019 did you

  1. Get a new job? No.
  2. Get a new haircut? No, I’ve gotten several haircuts in the past year, but they’ve always been the same style. I’ve been going to the same beautician for years, and she always remembers how I like my hair. Heaven help me when she retires.
  3. Get a new car? No.
  4. Move? No. I’ve been in the same house for over ten years, and I like it. As long as I don’t need to move, why bother?
  5. Get a new romantic partner? No. I haven’t been romantically involved since my husband passed in 2012, and I doubt I ever will be. You can read more about this in my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.
  6. Have a kid? No.
  7. Take up a new hobby? No.

In 2020, will you?

  1. Get a new job? No. Why should I? I’ve been content working for myself as a writer for years, and as long as I don’t need the income, why bother?
  2. Get a new car? No. I’m visually impaired, so you don’t want me on the road.
  3. Take a risk? No. I might have when I was younger, but now, I’m set in my ways and prefer my life less complicated.

***

How about you? To join the fun, click here, or you could leave your answers in the comment field below. Happy New Year!

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.