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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Writing Sisters


I have been a member of the New Jersey chapter of the Romance Writers of America since 1988 and I have been to every one of their conferences. There are plenty of workshops offered along with editor and agent appointments, but the best part of the conference is the camaraderie with other authors as well as future authors. They are my writing sisters--they understand what it takes to write a book.

What we all need are more people who will read our books. There's a lot of good stuff between the covers. :^)

Reading will improve your vocabulary, make you smarter AND more interesting.

When was the last time YOU picked up a book and read it? Turn off the television and the internet, sit down, open a book, and savor the words.

You don't have to read the whole thing tonight. Just a chapter. It won't take long. Tomorrow night you can read another chapter.

See what we writers do. We work with words. Using them we can make pictures in your head. It's magic. (Well--sort of.)

So please buy a book today, or borrow one from the library. Your brain will be glad you did.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Heroines Are Not Me


I have an imagination and I am capable of making up stories. The books I write are fiction--that means they are not true. There are disclaimers at the beginning of each book that attest to the fact that any resemblance of the characters in my books to actual people is coincidence.

My heroines do not lead boring lives. They are caught up in life-threatening dramas. They are young, beautiful, and can eat lots of salty food because they do not have high-blood pressure--yet.

My heroines are not me.

Yes, I write the stories. My attitudes and opinions are there on the pages if anyone is seriously looking for them.

The truth is that I was a wallflower when I was young. Eventually, I left some of my shy nature behind when I grew up, but I was not and have never been a professional chef, scientist, policewoman, park ranger, journalist, farmer, or secretary.

I simply have a vivid imagination. Maybe it's because I've read too many books. Maybe it's because my parents were creative. Maybe it's because I grew up in an era where we didn't have any electronic games and we had to amuse ourselves. Maybe it's because I don't watch television.

Anyhow, it's great fun. It would be wonderful to be young and blond with curly hair, but I can do without the life-threatening drama. I give my heroines such a tough time!

Friday, October 08, 2010

An Old Idea of Recycling Recycled


Back in the old days, when I was young, nothing went to waste. Thread used to come wrapped on wooden spools, but when the thread was used up we would put nails in the wooden spool, wrap yarn around the nails and use an old crochet hook to lift the loops over the nails so we could make horse reins. Never mind that no kid in Cliffwood Beach owned a horse. The activity kept us amused for hours. From that exercise, I developed a fondness for crocheting, but never for knitting. You can find more information on knitting spools here.

Years later, when my own children were young, I found a wooden spool, tapped some nails into it and showed my daughters how to make long knitted reins. Daughter #1 actually saved the knitting spool I made for her which is the one you see above.

Recently, I was cruising around Jo-Ann Fabric with hubby who was looking for a particular glitter paint to match his latest green accordion. On a rack I saw what appeared to be a giant knitting spool made of plastic. According to the instructions on the package, this giant knitting spool could be used to make a hat.

Awesome.

Since it was almost Daughter #1's birthday, I bought the gadget. Daughter #1 opened it on her birthday and began making a hat immediately. Within days, it was finished. Perhaps Daughter #1 can make everyone a hat for Christmas. :^)



It never ceases to amaze me how some old ideas can be transformed into something new and improved. Of course, I want to make a hat, too.