The Write Time & Place!











I stopped by and took a good look around.  Spied the cobwebs and the dust bunnies and realized it was high past time to get back to my blog.  Have no idea if I’ve got any readers or followers left, but I’m going to give it a go anyway!

I have not been active on this blog in a long time.  I took over the care of an aging aunt and I found I had less time and less energy, and, well, more to do.  So this seemed an easy thing to give up.  Seems I was right, but now I am going to try to revive it.  So, I swept away the cobwebs and the dust bunnies, removed the coverings from the virtual furniture, restocked the fridge, and opened the windows to let the spring sunshine in and a little breeze.

The place looks cozy and warm and bright again.  Please take up a seat and have a read and leave me your thoughts!  If you’re still out there, that is!!

I have also made the decision to get back to my writing.  If you’re still around–or if you’re new and have taken a look around–you’ll see I used to be a busy writer.  Haven’t written a thing since 2011 due to love obligations.  Well, other than my guest appearances on Over the Backyard Fence, a blog I contribute to once a month.

I blew off the dust on a manuscript I wrote in 2011.  Solicited a couple friends to read the first chapter, and then used their honest opinions to go through the entire manuscript several times.  I’m working on it currently, and I’m not all that certain I will ever do anything with it other than using it to regain my writing chops, hone my skills, and begin anew with new work.

You know how people crave chocolate or sugar or caffeine?  I crave book releases and signings and guest appearances and speaking engagements!  Haven’t done a speaking  engagement in a l-o-n-g time!

I hope to regularly add blog articles regarding my progress on a new manuscript, plus any other topic that snags my interest.  Hope to see some comments from anyone still “listening”.

Until next time, may the spring sunshine not just warm your face, but also your heart.



{June 17, 2011}   Guest Blogging…

Hey everyone!  I’m guest blogging over at “Over the Backyard Fence” today.  Join me.  It’s my first post and I hope it’s well received.  Let me know what you think!  The link is to the left.  See ya there!



{January 1, 2010}   Happy 2010!!

Howdy!  Happy 2010 to everyone!  It’s a new year already, and it’s time I get back to thinking about writing.  The holiday season always takes me away from my writing schedule.  This year it had a lot of help with some crises.  First, I nearly lost my sister (there’s a post here all about her battle).  She’s regaining her health, but it is taking a long time, which is what she was told to expect.  Second, I have a very dear aunt–my dad’s sister–and she had her own health emergency.  She went in for a routine biopsy and when they took her into the operating room, her heart went bonkers!  Her heart beat decided to accelerate to 180 beats per minute and wouldn’t slow down.  Immediately, they took her down to the cardiac intensive care unit where they literally flatlined her, waited a few seconds, and restarted her heart.  She spent two more days in the hospital and was sent home.  We’re a) very glad she’s still with us and b) hoping the problem can be stabilized with meds instead of a pacemaker.  Lastly, I had my own bout of illness.  A teenie tiny minor bout–just to put it in perspective with everything else.  I got an infection in my jaw.  Who knew that could happen?  Not me.  The entire left side of my face was in pain and I couldn’t eat–not that that’s necessarily a bad thing!–but the sensitivity was not good at all.  Once they cleared up the infection, I went in for the dreaded root canal!  Oh well, I can eat and talk and drink and touch the left side of my face again so all is definitely well!

So there you have it…the holiday season of 2009 was packed with more than just celebrations.  And all of it lent itself to tossing out my writing schedule completely.

I don’t make new year resolutions.  Why make a promise to yourself you know you can’t/won’t keep?  Isn’t that setting yourself up for additional disappointment–this time doled out by yourself to yourself?  No thank you!

I have a writing friend–Jay–who’s put it all in plain words for me.  In a recent email he said–and I quote–“We both know that after the new year you need to get back to it!”  He’s right, of course.  I do need to get back to it.

I have a lot to be thankful for from 2009:

  1. I had 4 releases…two novels and 2 shorts, all of which were released in e-format as well as paperback.

  2. I still have a sister and an aunt.

  3. I have my health.

  4. I have my husband.

  5. I have my family.

  6. I received rave professional reviews on all of my releases.

  7. I received 1 less than stellar, but still positive review on one of my releases.

  8. I took a couple fabulous trips this year, which aided in building wonderful memories.

See?  I have a lot to be thankful for…and I could have listed many more, but I figured mostly you all would be interested in the writing blessings, with a few personal blessings thrown in.  With regards to bullet no. 2, I have my very own personal miracles for which I will be eternally grateful.

Okay, so I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season.  May your Christmas have been blessed with love and great joy.  May 2010 be the best of the best and loaded with blessings of all kinds.

Until next time…

Valerie



{December 13, 2009}   O.K,. so it’s been a while…

Yeah, it’s been a while since I was last here with anything personal.  Thanksgiving and Christmas have kept me fairly busy, but mostly I was away on family emergencies.

My older sister, Shelley, nearly died from the H1N1.  She spent some time in ICU on a ventilator struggling for her life.  That was 2 weeks ago.  She’s home, but still dealing with health issues, which I pray end very soon so that she is well for Christmas.  She’s got a new grandson, and I want her to be healthy so she can experience this first Christmas with him.

Having her survive is a miracle, and I am eternally thankful for answered prayers and a healing touch from God.

Yesterday, my younger sister and her girls–and their friends–came for a visit.  We spent the day doing the Christmas baking.  Several hundred cookies later, we collapsed exhausted all around the living room to watch a holiday movie.  I love having family at my home.  It’s just such a blessing to be surrounded by people you love, knowing they love you back!

I’ve been scouring the ‘net for items I’ve missed regarding my work…reviews and such…which I’ll be posting throughout the week.

Another year has come and practically gone.  2010 will be here before we know it.  I’m hopeful for fresh beginnings on some works I have in progress.  I’m trying to get book one in a new series revised and completed and submitted to a publisher.  I have a couple short fiction pieces I want to submit to Eternal Press, too.  I keep saying I’m waiting for things to slow down, but I can’t wait on that…need to embrace the new year with gusto!

Happy Sunday!



{November 7, 2009}   My apologies!

Hello!  First, I apologize for being away from my blog for so long.  I think my last post was October 21st!  I actually took a break from just about everything except work and family.  It needed to be done.  2009 has been a stellar year for me as a writer!  I’m very thankful to my Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me…and they have been plentiful!

So, again, I apologize for being away so long, and I hope you–my dear readers–will forgive me and continue reading!

Happy Saturday!

Valerie



{October 1, 2009}   Happy Birthday, Vicki!

I have a very dear friend.  Her name’s Vicki, and today’s her birthday.  We met almost a decade ago when she sent me an email with a writing question.  At first, I just thought I’d give her some writing advice and that would be that.  However, she struck up a conversation and before either of us knew it, we were writing regularly.  It didn’t take long to cross the miles between us and get to know each other.  I learned about her husband and she learned about mine.  I went through the very sudden, unexpected loss of my dad, and she told me about hers walking out on her and her mom and sister when she was little.  We both wanted a family, neither of us has been blessed in that way.  We both wanted to be writers.  We went through the writing firsts together.  She to write her first, and I to publish my first.  We have so many things in common that it just seemed the perfect fit for friendship.  It’s a give and take.  It’s uncanny how we always know when something is bothering the other.  Then we do what we can to help the other one through whatever troubles us.

Vicki’s a lovely person both inside and out.  She has the shade of brown hair that reminds me of burnt umber on a painter’s palette.  She has a smile that makes her eyes crinkle at the edges because it truly reaches her eyes and lights up her face.  She’s got these long legs that go on and on.  And she has these long lines and smooth curves.  She’s a head-turner!  And yet as pretty as she is on the outside, she’s even more beautiful on the inside.  It’s difficult not to like Vicki…or to be drawn to her because she’s the type of person who’s gentle and sweet and encouraging and warm and funny and a little zany.  She’s also the type of person who’s loyal and steadfast and always has my back when I need someone to be there!

Everyone needs someone like Vicki, and everyone needs to be like Vicki to at least one person.  I try to be as good to Vicki as she is to me.  I think I come up short.

Happy Birthday, Vicki!

I hope it’s one you’ll never forget.  One that’s so very special it puts a smile on your face just recalling it!

Love you!



{September 20, 2009}   Ladies and Gents, I give you…

my sister, Janis.

Janis.2Isn’t she a cutie? Now, this photo’s just a couple years old…well, okay, so maybe a couple decades old, but she’s not changed all that much. I mean, she’s taller now. 😛

This post is in response to a comment she made right here on my blog. Plus, Janis is about to have a birthday, which is September 30th. My sister has one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever come across, but more importantly, she has a truly beautiful spirit. Whenever I’m feeling down or just out of sorts, she seems to know and she either calls or e-mails me and everything just seems to fall right back into place.

Recently, she returned to college to get a degree in criminal justice. During the course of her studies, she had to write an essay about a living person. She chose me. Her words touched my heart in a deep, meaningful way. While I’ve not got a professor to assign this essay to me, I felt compelled to write something about her.

In my family, my dad was a humongous supporter of my dreams. I say was because he passed away unexpectedly in November 2001 at the way-too-young age of 63. When I got my first publishing contract after his death, I thought, “I wish Dad was here to share this.” I was certain no one would share it with me on that type of level like my dad would share it with me. I was wrong. Very wrong. Of course, Steve, my husband, shares in my joys on his own very special level, which is different. However, Janis stood out from the pack.

She reads my work and offers me all her feedback. On the college campus, she’s like a walking, talking billboard for my books. She tells everyone about her sister the writer. Just like Dad would have done!

When friends of mine planned my first ever book signing combined with a reception, Janis and her eldest daughter, Rebekah, traveled 130 miles to attend. They arrived early, helped me prepare, and then spent the whole day at the reception cheering me on, standing behind me or beside me, laughing, chatting, hugging, and smiling. She spoke of my father that day and how he would have rejoiced in my accomplishment. Her words meant more to me than she’ll ever know. Her support, her encouragement, her belief in me, and her constant flow of love toward me remind me so very much of my dad. In his absence, I surely have been blessed with her–my sister, Janis! I love you! Janis.3



Well, my husband surprised me with a lovely trip to Delaware.  We were all over that state!  I loved every minute of it.  The beaches are simply wonderful.  We spent the most time at Rehoboth Beach, which is huge.  We also went to Lewes Beach and Slaughter Beach (yes, that’s the real–and scary–name of the beach).  We found out AFTER we were there that a swimmer at Slaughter Beach was bitten by a shark on July 3, 2009.  And, so, that explained why we were the only people on the beach the day we visited!  I really enjoyed my time in Delaware.  So much to see and do!  Such warm and friendly people, too.  We took a coastal highway route home and crossed the massive Bay Bridge.  Lovely scenery across that bridge.  As awesome as the Bay Bridge is, my absolute favorite bridge is the Mighty Mack, which goes to Saint Ignace.

So, I brought home a bottle of sand from the beaches as is my custom when visiting the beach.  I also accumulated a variety of sea shells to put in/on the sand when I display it on the buffet in my home.  I have sand from all over:  Nova Scotia, Saint Ignace, Mackinac Island, and Africa just to name a few.

Aside from the beaches, we visited Wilmington, Dover, Harrington, Lewes, Rehoboth, Milford, and a few more cities/towns.  Spent lots of time at the Dover Air Force Base’s museum, too.  Wow!  Those planes are humongous!

It was a lovely trip and we built some great memories and have some fantastic photos to fondly look back on.

In other news, I finished my edit for Honor Thy Neighbor, which is a huge load off my plate and my shoulders.  I went through the edit several times to make sure it was as I wanted it, and that I’d made all the necessary changes/revisions/deletions.  I’m so excited about the release.  I love these characters  and I can’t wait to gain some reader feedback on them!

Her Last continues to hold it’s own in sales, which I pray just continues deep into September so that when Honor Thy Neighbor is released in September, it can gain some momentum from readers of Her Last.  Every little boost helps!

My sister called today to tell me she’s been reading my other new release from 2009–GeeWhiz Meets SHAFT.  Nothing but rave reviews!  She said she was sitting on a bench on campus today laughing out loud, which just had me beaming and grinning ear-to-ear.

I got the first round of edits for my November release–That Taste of Orange–my holiday short fiction.  I’m so excited about that release, too.  This will be the final release of 2009 for me, which closes out the year with 4–two full-length novels and two short fiction pieces.  While the joy never seems to end, neither does the work involved in 4 releases in 1 year.  I told Steve last night, I didn’t think I wanted to do that again!  But who knows, eh?  If the opportunity presents itself…

Okay, there’s a storm loudly making its presence known outside, so I better end this and get it posted.  Thank you for reading my blog, and especially for visiting the days when I showcase a new author on Cover Corner.  😛



{August 7, 2009}   Anniversary

August 9th is my wedding anniversary, and every year my husband plans a trip.  A majority of the time I don’t know where we’re going until we go, which is very special to me.  He’s planned some excellent trips, too.  I’m a huge fan of professional bull riding, so one year we went to one of the oldest running rodeos in the country.  I loved it!  I was glued to my seat in the stands and riveted to the action.  Then there’re trips to St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, Washington DC, Dublin for the Irish Festival–an excellent festival–Finger Lakes, Mayberry, Toronto, etc.  We’ve had exceptional trips.

Today, we embark on another trip.  I didn’t sleep well last night, and was up at the crack of dawn.  I have no idea where we’re going, either.  He’s mentioned Chicago, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, and the Great Smoky Mountains.  Now, these are all vastly different places, and too far apart to visit all in one trip!  So, I guess I’ll find out once the car’s all packed, and we’re pulling out of the driveway!

Today is release day at Eternal Press, so I hope you’ll pop over to their website and take a look at the 8 books released today, and give a couple a read!

Her Last has been at the top of the charts for Eternal Press on fictionwise since it debuted, but I have a feeling one or two of the talented writers being released today will knock it down a number or two…or three.  It’s all good, because every writer deserves that spot, and I don’t mind sharing one bit!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  I’m off to make certain I’ve not forgotten to pack anything, and then we’ll be out the door!

Ciao!



{July 9, 2009}   The Reviews are in!

Her Last was reviewed by SeriouslyReviewed! and it scored excellently!  9 of 10 for presentation and 8 of 10 for story.  Check out the review and leave a comment!

Her Last Review

In other news, I’m a new aunt today!  Brendan Charles was born at 11:12 PM 7/8/09.  He was 7 lbs 12.8 ounces, and 21 1/2 inches long.  All reports are that he’s absolutely gorgeous!  Since I live 130 miles away, I have not had the joy and pleasure of seeing his beautiful little face yet!  Mommy and baby are great and sure to come home soon!

In still other news, a fellow author disclosed her newly diagnosed cancer.  She has such a strong, positive attitude.  I admire that.  My thoughts and prayers are with her as she mounts a battle against the cancer in her body.

Lives are short.  Our time here is never guaranteed.  I hope you all live it accordingly!



et cetera