In most blog tours, a single author appears on a variety of blogs, moving around the Internet and allowing the readers of those blogs get to know the author.

In the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, the authors stay on their blogs and it's you, the reader, who takes the tour.

Each month, our participating authors from around the world agree to blog on a single topic throughout the month. By following the links in each month's post, you'll discover a whole bunch of new authors in a variety of genres, levels of experience, and styles of writing.

We hope you enjoy the trip and come back each month for a new spin around the globe.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

Since I (accidentally) missed last month's FM MGR Blog post, I figured I better make this a good one , which is rather tough given the topic.  This is also my last FM MGR blog post as I've decided to do something different for 2014.  Continue reading...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Favorite Things

This month, we're talking about our favorite things.  Go here for a list of a few of mine.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Favorites

The Down The Street Art Gallery, Dec 2013
Photo by Randy Cockrell
Right off the top, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I decorate the outside and the inside of the house. I bake cookies, my favorite is called Mexican Wedding Cakes, and make candy. My favorites there are toffee, peppermint patties, and chocolate truffles. Yummy.
Pasta is a big favorite of mine. Saturday is designated Spaghetti Night at my house. I make the red sauce from scratch and cook it all afternoon. That is unless I make Spaghetti Carbonara. That is a big favorite but all of that egg, cream, cheese, and bacon make it a health hazard. So I keep that dinner offering to about four times a year. To read more click here.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Favorite World Building Sites

World Building

random world, d jordan redhawk, world building, rpg tools

The hallmark of a good author is great world building, whether the story takes place in modern day New York City or the wastelands of Agramar after the Barentcian Empire’s collapse.

My all-time favorite series, The Deeds of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, feels real to me regardless of the occasional dwarf, elf and diety intervention.

Why? Because the writer has done an excellent job of creating her world and imparting that knowledge throughout the novel.

While I’m not here to discuss how to display your world to…well, the world, I can give you some wonderful tools that I’ve used over the years to create your own.

Continued Reading at In Shadows...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What if Characters Had Holiday Wish Lists?

I got to thinking today about what one of my characters would want for Christmas...

And came up with her...Wishlist

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Year's Goals: Stick To Your Guns

As we approach the end of the year, we tend to look back and wonder where the time went, if the year was a prosperous one, and how many socks you could've lost to the Underpants Gnomes in just one year. Or you know, take a look back at your goals and if you reached them.

This year I've kinda' stuck to my guns about the writing goals.

Read more banana-fo-fana-me-my-mo-mana.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MGR Tour: Project Update

Back in January, we talked about our plans for this year.  This month, we're following up to see how things went.  Read more here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour: November 2013 - Looking Back

Looking back. We all start to do that this time of year.
The year isn't quite over for me yet. It's National Novel Writing Month, after all. (see for more information and how to get in on the fun.) I also have a Christmas collection to get out by the end of November too.
Aside from that, 2013 has been a whirlwind for me. Click Here To See The Rest
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Zette's 2013 Projects

With only about 85k to go to reach 1 million new words this year, you can imagine that I've done a lot of projects. Not so many as you might think, though. A novel a month? It's possible for a first draft if you are really dedicated and writing has become your profession. You also have to want to write them, and not spend your time surfing the web, watching shows you don't particularly like, etc. Not many people can devote the amount of time I have to writing. I'm lucky.

Read more here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Year in Retrospection - 2013

"Year in Retrospection." Wow! Has it been that long already?

I'd like to say I completed everything on my list from last year, but I'd be lying. Not to be a downer, but I rarely do finish everything... Life has a tendency of throwing curve balls when you least expect it, and this year hasn't been any different from any other.

Let's get cracking!

Continue Reading at In Shadows...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Looking back five-sixths in

Back in January, I had some grandiose ideas of what I would accomplish this year; I've accomplished almost none. To see what I haven't gotten to and why I'm okay with this, read <a href="">the rest on my blog</a>.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pinning Down Inspiration

One of my favorite writing quotes of all time:  "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." -- Jack London   Continue Reading on My Site

Saturday, October 19, 2013

MGR Blog Tour: Favorite Writing Book

This month we're exploring either our favorite writing book or inspiration.  Here's what I had to say.  Come on over and say hello.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Zette and Inspiration

Yes, I am late this month. Honestly, this has been such a strange month for me that it's a wonder I remembered to do this at all.
I have a very large collection of books on writing. I've stopped buying them in the last five years or so, but they still fill several shelves and I pull out one or two now and then and just skim through them again.

Read more

MGR Tour: Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing. There are a lot of connotations to the word, inspire.
I could be talking to someone and say "You inspire me." That person lives their life in a way that makes me want to do the same. They're generous, or they've overcome extreme hardship in their life but it hasn't made them angry or bitter.
Then there's the way a writer thinks about inspiration. Continue reading on my blog…

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Four Fabulous Writing Books

Writing books... Go into any bookstore and you'll find whole shelves devoted to them (providing you can find bookstores that are open these days. Yikes!) As you know, not all books are created equal. Many of the titles available might not have what you're looking for.

I’ve read a number of books on writing over the years. Not all of them were that good and most didn’t stick with me long enough to make it back to the library or used book store. I do have four, however that I’ve read and reread over the years. They’re too full of gooey writing goodness to sit dusty on a shelf!

Continue Reading at In Shadows

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Research...Too Much or Just Enough?

So the theme for this month is investigation. More specifically: research. Every writer worth their salt does a lot of research. Whether we're creating worlds from scratch or trying to get the correct terms for a particular occupation to get things just right, we do a lot of research.

I once had a teacher (believe this or not) say that there was such a thing as too much research. Initially I thought, "what rubbish," but now I can honestly say that when it comes to certain things, yes, there can be too much research. Research for it's own sake is good I think. Never stop learning and expanding your knowledge base are two things that I feel are important to a writer. Read more on my blog...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thank Gods for the Interwebs

I remember being back in college. Research papers were always a pain. Research meant long hours sitting the library sifting through the card catalog and pulling books from shelves. It meant hours reading and taking notes.  Continue Reading...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wikipedia Hole of Doom

I don't always like admitting to people that I often start out my research on Wiki-freakin'-pedia. I once had a professor throw up his hands into the air all dictator-like and say, "Anyone who cites Wikipedia in their paper will fail my entire class,and also I will hate you until my dying day, cursing your name in the eternal fiery pits of hell." 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MGR Tour: Researching Routines

Do I have researching routines?  I guess the most routine thing I do is pull out the handiest device I possess with internet access and do a search.  For about 80-90% of the questions I have, I obtain a satisfactory answer via this methodology.  For other questions, read more here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour - Research

Research, investigations, searching. It's all part and parcel of being a writer. Even if it's nothing more than going to some baby name sites to pick a character's name.
I like doing research. It's fun to learn how something works, or where a thing comes from, or how something was made. 
Click here to read more. 
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly thirty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Research? Yay!

Oh yes, the wondrous world of research where you think you are looking up something on Victorian England and end up digging through the history of Sargon and his successor, Rimush. You pull yourself back to Victorian England and end up reading Bleak House and studying fishing cycles in the North Sea. Oh yes. Research.

Read More

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm a Research Junkie

Let’s get that out of the way first, shall we?

Back in the late seventies, I read a science fiction short story about Josef Mengele. At the time, the knowledge of him wasn’t well-known (at least not in my small town.) I tore my local library apart before I finally located a piece of information that proved that the menace, Mengele, existed and conducted those horrible experiments in Nazi Germany.

And the book Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson (a.k.a. Somewhere in Time)...

I dug through all the pertinent historical facts in that novel. I located a young actress who performed the appropriate play at the appropriate venue and dates, the same one that the Main Character fell so deeply in love with that he went back in time to find her. (The names had been changed to protect the innocent.)

All that before I graduated high school. (And before the convenience of the internet!)

Continue Reading...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Research Borne of Necessity

This is a copy of the back of a check I should have received, but didn't. This is a copy of the back of a check made out to me, but intercepted and deposited into a stranger's account without being endorsed. This is a copy of the back of a check that this person's bank simply credited, even though the name on the check differed from the name of the account holder.

This has been my research project for much of this week. I wish I could say it has been for a book in progress. Unfortunately, it's just life. (to see the check and read the rest of my tale of financial woe, head to the Once in a Blue Muse Blog. . . )

Monday, September 2, 2013

Research by magpie

Let's start off by admitting that I don't have a routine for learning about things. I am a magpie, chasing the latest shiny thought, a bee that goes flower to flower to flower. I love learning new things, but I'm unpredictable in what sets me off.

If you want to see more about my routine that is not a routine, you can read the full post <a href="">on my blog</a>.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stay Calm and Be Motivated

Staying motivated as a writer can be decidedly difficult. Writer's block, plot bunnies, and real life all tend to make our best laid plans go right down the tubes. With all of the natural pitfalls that come with writing it's really no wonder that it can be hard to stay calm and stay motivated.

Personally, I find that I really have to push myself on some days to write. The writing isn't always award winning (more like rubbish) but at least I am writing. Read more on my blog...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cultivating Motivation

So when I began writing this post I actually felt rather unmotivated to write about motivation. Motivation can be a fickle thing. Because, you see, when it occurred to me that I wasn't motivated to write about motivation, I found it so amusing that it motivated me to write about motivation. That's how motivation sometimes works.  Continue reading on my site...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker

The motivation to write this post leeched out of me until I heard my inner motivational speaker, Matt Foley say, "...or you'll wind up living in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!" Read more, aka La-di-freakin-da! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Topic of the week in my writings as well.

Two weeks ago I thought I had some good advice on how to stay motivated to write, but as that ship has sailed, I feel that it was good to pack it up with all the goodies in the world, but I think I didn’t pack it well enough, because in the sudden storm, that ship has sunk. I am feeling much less motivated than I care to admit and in this past week, I tried out all the fantastic ideas I found from the books and I can’t really advocate that they’ve worked.

You can continue here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I have written 634,310 words this year.

I have written over a million words each year since 2002.

So what is my motivation?

Read more

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Staying Motivated

It’s that time of month again! Here’s my entry for the Forward Motion Merry-Go-Round blog tour! This month’s topic is about staying motivated.

Wow. That’s a toughie. I don’t think I’ve ever quite learned this skill.

motivate |ˈmōtəˌvāt|
verb [ trans. ]

• provide (someone) with a motive for doing something : he was primarily motivated by the desire for profit.
• stimulate (someone's) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something : I'm going to motivate kids to study civics.


Let’s take the first one:

“Provide (someone) with a motive for doing something.”

Alright, I do have a couple of motives for writing.

Continue Reading...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Motivation Station

To be a working writer means finding a way to motivate yourself to keep working. A complete novel can require you to string together 60,000 to 80,000 words, organized into cohesive storylines that are comprised of chapters. The chapters are built from scenes, which in turn rely on paragraphs which are put together one sentence at a time.

It's an incredible amount of work and more than a little daunting to consider. (continue on Once in a Blue Muse. . . )

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Staying Motivated Over the Summer (or not)

It's been a long hot I alone in finding it hard to concentrate on the writing?? There's just so much ELSE to do when the weather warms up... or so much you don't WANT to do when it gets too hot. So what's a writer to do? read more...

Friday, August 2, 2013

What keeps me motivated?

There are two sources of motivation: external and internal. I love me some external rewards . . .

But let’s face it — sometimes, those things are few and far between.

If you want to know more about how I deal with internal motivation, check out the rest on my blog.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Since this is about writing I'm not talking about the television show. This month's theme has been community as it applies to writers. My own "community" consists a lot of online type interactions and less people to people (unless it's November and that crazy NaNoWriMo thing) but it's a supportive community nonetheless. Read more on my blog...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Writers Tool-kit – Writing Communities

There is no doubt that there is power in numbers. That is true for all business.  A company has its employees, partners, investors, lawyers etc. all working to enhance productivity. A freelancer has her smartphone/rolodex of contacts, networks and fans of her work.
What these enterprises have in common? A community of resources. Time invested to build these networks. Read more on the literary hub

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Finding the Right Community

Online writing communities can be vast oceans difficult to navigate if you’re new to the scene. The wrong community can cause aspiring writers to give up, while the right community can help nurture a writer’s creativity, or boost them toward publication. Read More...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Online communities

When it comes to being part of a writing communities, I am enjoying mostly company of fellow Forward Motion for Writers group activities, but I also am active member of National Novel Writing Month. Though, for now, my visits have turned from boiling to simmer while I’m copying with work. I have been part of few others, but time is as it is – you can’t stretch it forever.

I mostly view online communities as a positive way for expression. Despite few negative experiences, which I will lightly touch later, they have proved invaluable in long term. I read a lot of how-to books about creative writing and writing in general. Yet it doesn’t quite replace talking about writing with others, who have gone through similar problems or who see things differently. The moment you understand a problem by seeing it in different light, is liberating, and for this I seriously love my companions of writing.

Read more from here...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: Communities

Communities are all around us. We live in a set of communities, our family, our neighborhood, our job. These communities define our daily, physical lives. They form the framework for how we move about, how we spend our time, and even how we feel about ourselves.

Other communities are less obvious, a little less physical.  Read more here.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly thirty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Online Writing Communities

Now here is an interesting subject for me. As the owner of Forward Motion for Writers, my view of Online Writing Communities is a bit different from that of people who are just members. My personal 'wants' may be the same, but trying to organize and encourage others to help their fellow writers is not always easy.

Read More

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Community Ties

This morning, I completed a whole novel critique for one of the members of a small writing/support group I belong to on Facebook (shoutout to the lovely ladies of the #SFWG!) and it occurred to me what a wonderful opportunity the internet has given me.

I'm currently part of several writing communities, some virtual, some physical, and all important to my development as a writer. (Read more on Once in a Blue Muse)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sneetches and Community

I'm facing a community building issue in my WIP that has echoes of the Star-belly Sneetches.  Question is, do I solve it the way Dr. Seuss did, or some other way?...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Old Friend

A favorite character...hmm. Well I have to admit that this is a broad topic. A favorite character of my own or someone else's? Well in order to cover my bum I'm going to write a little about both.

Every now and again a writer will fall in love with one of their own characters. I believe that it's impossible to fall in love with every character you create. I speak from personal experience. I downright hate some of the characters I've written but hey, that's life right? Visit my blog to read more...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Characters we hate and love

If I were to choose one it would be the Villain, though my hero gives him/her a good close run. My villain's dark side is a strong lure. He/she (he) gets little to no love from the reader. The other characters constantly call his values into question. He/she (I just say he from now on) makes selfish decisions or decisions no other understands.

But wait! He has a twisted back story. He's been hurt, abused, mistreated. Betrayed! He trust no one and with good reason. Read more on The Literary Hub

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Character Sketch

This month we were supposed to either discuss our favorite character or draw up a character sketch, so I chose the latter. Mostly because I wanted to explore what kind of person this character was when he was alive, and how that translates to him as a character now that he’s dead. Leave it to me to choose an antagonist.  Read More

Friday, June 21, 2013

Who's Your Favorite Villain?

Asking a reader (and writers) about their favorite character is probably a can o' crazy you don't want to open. It's like asking a wine connoisseur about their favorite wine, or an astronomer their favorite star, or a lit major their favorite way to nap through the classics. I'll mention that the hardcover of the Complete Works of Billy Shakespeare is not comfortable as a pillow.

Ah, but asking about your favorite villain...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My favorite character

When I started searching for my favorite character from my own works, I realized soon that my mind returned not to my own work, but to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and the movie produced by the book.

After I’d seen it in the movies – and knowing my brother had too – I turned to my brother and said that what I found most intriguing about it, was the set of actors, who played different roles throughout the whole movie. He looked at me with genuine surprise and said he even noticed! How he could have missed it, I tried to understand…

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MGR Tour: Favorite Character

Yes, this month were' discussing favorite characters.  Please come on over to Rantings and Ravings of An Insane Writer to see what I had to say about mine.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: Writing Characters

I think this is one of the hardest things to master as a writer. I want to write a Beowolf, Jack Ryan or Pyanfar Chanur. Instead I get half dimensional talking-heads, mouthing platitudes and engaging in dull conversation. I write characters that make a Mr. Milktoast look like Superman.

I've just started reading the Janet Evanovich series about Stephanie Plum. Read more here.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly thirty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Favorite Characters

Should this be favorite characters I've read? Characters I've written? How about a little of both? 

Read more here

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Favorite Character...Right Now, Anyway

How to Choose One Character Out of a Cast of Thousands

(Dude! I can only choose one? Trauma! Brain freeze!)

When people ask me which of my books is my favorite, I always answer, “The one I’m working on.” Problem is, I’m not working on anything at the moment. Curses! Foiled again!

(Author taps chin with index finger, staring at the laundry room ceiling in thought. Yes, I write my blog in the laundry room of my building every week.)



My next scheduled project is Ulina Mokopuni, a cyberpunk pseudo-sequel to Lichii Ba'Cho set in Hawaii. (Yes, dark and dystopian society taking place in the sunny islands. It’ll be full of treachery and cybernetic upgrades, trust me.)

One of the romance interests is Dallon LaCroix, who holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been running her character in a Star Trek role-playing game for several years and love her dearly. (Hence the reason I’m using her for this book.)

Continue Reading...

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Favorite Characters

For the record, I loathe questions about favorites. They feel like too much pressure. If I commit to a favorite (ice cream flavor, musician, book, vacation spot) will I be stuck with that answer for all time? My answers might change depending on the day the question is asked, or what is happening in my life. Then again, there are certain favorites that have remained since childhood. (Chocolate chip, with Moose Tracks a close second.)

(Continue reading on Once in a Blue Muse. . . )

Monday, June 3, 2013

Let's talk about Favorite Characters

We've all got our favorites, whether it's a TV show, movie, or a book.  But ask an author who her own favorite is, well, that's like asking who's the most kick-butt character in Game  of Thrones. Seems like an impossible task.... Or is it?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Current Projects Going Into Summer

Life doesn't always go the way you plan and for me no where is that more true than in my writing. I had planed to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo but that did not happen in either of the available months. Sudden family parties for important birthdays began to litter my calendar as did many unexpected hours for my day job. My whole writing schedule for my projects has been thrown a serious loop. Visit my blog to read more...

Monday, May 27, 2013


Progress it is. This month is sentimental for me – it's Cystic Fibrosis month, and my focus has been on supporting my fellow CF carriers. For those of you who didn't know, I was born with CF and have struggled with it since.

Not working on anything new at the moment since the release of my new YA novel, Night of Shadows earlier this month. Read a snip here

Saturday, May 25, 2013


We had two choices for this month’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour topic. We could discuss current projects or progress. Since I already posted a current projects post just a week or so ago, progress it is!  READ MORE

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Current Projects 2013

I feel a little like anyone who lists out their current work(s) in progress should be given a medal. Or maybe those crazy writers should get a superhero outfit, with tight 80's neon-yellow spandex, a long blue cape, and some badass leg warmers that spit out acid into the evildoer's face. Evil in this case being laziness. Or procrastination.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Project Progress

Time to show what I’ve got.

At this point I have three projects that take up my time in writing sense. I have plenty of other things as well, but when it comes to writing, I’m trying to focus. Can’t say it is actually working.

To read more, please continue at my blog.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

MGR Tour: Current Projects

I have a couple of ongoing projects.  Stop on over to Rantings and Ravings of An Insane Writer and find out more about what they are.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Current Projects or Progress

Current projects, hmmm. It’s spring so I have seedlings in a south facing window, growing and getting ready to be put out in the garden. I still have to rake up the fallen pine cones, not a chore I’m especially fond of so I keep putting it off.
Fitness is another thing. I’m trying to cut more carbs from our diet and exercise more. Sigh. Cutting the carbs isn’t too hard but the exercise thing, well, it’s not going as well as I would like.
Writing, that’s going great guns.

Continue reading on my blog.... 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly thirty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zette's Current Projects

As many people know, I have strict rules when it comes to starting new projects. First, I make myself finish everything I start (and learn a lot from the stories that give me trouble) This makes me slow to start new things before I feel that they are solid stories. 

Read More

Monday, May 13, 2013

General Project Update (or "What's Redhawk Up to Now?")

It’s that time of month again, my entry for the Forward Motion Merry-Go-Round blog tour. This month’s topic is current projects, and boy do I have a lot of them!

The Liz McMullen Show

Sanguire, D Jordan Redhawk, current project, The Liz McMullen Show, Bella Books

Top of the list is the podcast, The Liz McMullen Show. In fact, I’m recording with Liz today! As soon as I know when it come available, I’ll let you know.

Our primary focus will be on the Sanguire series. As far as Works in Progress go, I just finished writing the fourth in that series - Lady Dragon and sent it to Bella Books. I don’t know when it’ll be published, but be aware that the book is on its way and your questions will be answered!

Continue reading at In Shadows...

Friday, May 10, 2013

What's the Happy Haps?

I don't know why, but I love the expression "happy haps". It's fun to say and it has a nice little rhythm to it. It's something I heard my teenagers say and have stolen, much to their chagrin. If Mom uses it, it can no longer be cool/hip/boss or whatever the current slang is for something interesting.

So what's going on in my writing life right now?

Actually, not a lot.

I finished the revision of DERELICT and sent it off to my agent 2 weeks ago. (Continue reading about the Happy Haps on my blog, Once in a Blue Muse.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dawn's Projects & Progress

Writing projects are like chocolate cookies fresh from the oven: you can't have just one, and you certainly don't just bake one. 
More here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Changing gears for the month

I've got lots of projects in progress, but I'm taking the month off to do something different. Come read my post to see what I'm focusing on this month.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Writing Routine

My writing routine is simply writing. Finding the time is anything but. I end my day with a To Do List for the following day. That list is not rigid and it includes activities from the most important and time pressing to the easy quick task. I work the list from top to bottom. With a young family, balance is important and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment knowing I've not abandoned activities that include family. Read more on The Literary Hub

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Writing Routines

It appears many of the writers who covered this top this month are just as haphazard as me. Discipline is one of those things I still struggle with and work at. I may spend an entire writing day and only get 1K out, but then on a day I’m working the day job, I’ll end up pushing out over 3K between eight and eleven at night.   Read More....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Writing Routines: 1, 2, 3, 4, Paradiddle

I'm a creature of, I mean habit (though I also occasionally like to eat six large meals a day too). I'm the type of person who parks in the same spot, sits in a classroom in the same back row, and busts out with a Jets and Sharks style dance-fight rumble if someone steals my seat in the breakroom at the Day Job.

Obviously, I'm a person who's a big fan of routine. Read more...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lack of routine as routine

Best kept myth in the industry. Actually, I’d say it is necessary, but what exactly is it, that defines a routine? If one wishes to give out book one day, then you need to spend your time on writing the book, and not just planning.

I write at least two nights or days a week. That’s been my latest schedule for about a year now. Seems too little work?

Well, what do you count for a routine?

Come and find out at my blog.

Friday, April 19, 2013

MGR Blog Tour: Writing Routines

We're looking at writing routines this month, and this is not going to be a pretty post.  I guess I do have a writing routine.  It's not very productive, and I've been giving that some thought, because I'm not getting any younger. See more at...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Routines

Routines, writing or otherwise, are something I both crave and loathe.
Don’t get me wrong. I love routine, everything from seasonal changes to the way I brush my teeth. Routine makes my life easier. The day goes by without a lot of stressful decision making. I don’t lose the car keys. I always know where my purse it. Every Saturday is spaghetti night. Easy.
Also a bit boring. So it’s a good thing I don’t have a constant routine. Something is always different. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Zette's Writing Routine

Here is my writing routine:
I sit down at the computer. I pull up the current story. I write.

Read more

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Routine- Awesome Writing Tool or Dirty Word?

Writing Routine - Highway to Hell

yawn, writing routine

Look up the word “routine” in a thesaurus and you get a bunch of lackluster words.

“Unremarkable, workaday, mundane, regular, ordinary.”

Yes, that’s the glamorous life of a writer. “Unremarkable.” (At least until you receive that box of books from your publisher. THAT day is anything but ordinary, believe me!)

Those words pretty well sum up my work day, too.

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Same old, same old. . .

I'm not a person who likes change very much. My mother used to tell a family story about my routines and habits centered around my lunches: She would make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day during my elementary school years. One night at dinner, my father commented that maybe she should make me more varied food and for the next week, she made something different (that I generally enjoyed and would eat) for me to take. (read more about routines, PB&J, and writing at the Once in a Blue Muse Blog)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spin That Routine On Its Head

The most common writing advice is: write every day. The idea is fabulous, but I’d like to put a twist on it that will give it more value...  continue here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Looking for Writing Routine Advice

Hi folks!

I find myself in a bit of a writing slump after completing my latest WIP. Looking for some advice and suggestions here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Same old, same old

When is a routine not a routine? Well, I've tried them all. Come over to my blog to see my thoughts on a writing routine.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dreaded Writer's Block

The one thing that all writers suffers from is the occasional bout of writer's block. Be they blog, novel, or script writers, we all go though the wretched curse of writer's block once and a while. No writer likes it at all. It is not a friend by any means and any devoted writer will curse it's onset.

Every writer has their own way of ridding themselves of such a nuisance. My own methods I suppose vary on the severity of the case. Read more about it here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Writer's Block

The Dark Cave in Your Writing

Writer's block can be a real kill joy. Especially when it drags on for long periods of time. In some cases writer's block can last for months, even years. In more extreme cases writer's block can stop a writer's career permanently. Read more on The Literary Hub

Monday, March 25, 2013

Breaking the Block

One of the most common questions I get is how to break writer’s block. I suppose I get this question a lot because I’m one of those writers who’s rather prolific. My other writer friends watch me produce book after book and wonder how the heck I do it. Truthfully, I wasn’t always this way.  I labored over my first novel for fourteen years before I finally finished it and sold it. I actually re-wrote it three times during those fourteen years. It took me a few years to get to the point where I’m writing several books a year.  Click here to continue...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Writer's Block vs. In The Zone

Writer's block is something that's been lampooned by writers everywhere, even in some Hollywood movies. Our intrepid hero "The Writer" is faced with an insurmountable lack of creativity, this Promethean weight that sits on their shoulders while they curse the heavens for the blank page in front of them. Their brain becomes this blank slate. Thoughts are stagnant and useless. Usually madness descends soon after.

All work and no play makes Jack go, something. See more uh, yeah...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The tree of fantasy is rooted in reality

So, it is spring, perfect time for writing, and you wish to plant your tree. But the tree doesn’t want to grow. You wait two days, a week, two months, but nothing rises from that first sentence on the paper. Only the small black dot of ink. You look at it and realize that you don’t even know what tree it belongs to. Take it up and look at it closer.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MGR Blog Tour: Blocks

We're talking about blocks over at Ranting and Ravings this Month.  Come see what I have to say.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Merry Go Round Blog Tour for March: Writer's Block

Writer’s block. I’ve been puzzling over this month’s prompt for weeks. The generally recognized definition is when a writer (or a painter or any other artist) sits down in front of that blank sheet of paper (or computer screen or canvas, etc.) and just can’t think of a thing.
I attended my town’s First Friday event this month and went to my favorite art gallery. This month they were doing  a color your own kite activity. I love it when they have a make and take in addition to the desserts and wine.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Zette: Writer's Block?

I am going to say something that will annoy a lot of people.

I have never had Writer's Block.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

6 Ways to Avoid Writer's Block

Writer's Block

writer's block

Writer's Block - who has time for that? I’ve been up to my eyebrows in deadlines for the last two weeks, this blog entry being one of them. I certainly don't, and I bet you don't either! It's an insidious cloud of confusion that hovers between your mind and your computer screen/typewriter/legal pad.

But I have been there, staring at the blank white screen, mind sluggishly pondering what to do next. (Or enjoying the more excited version — panicked terror as the world comes tumbling down around my ears.)

Here are some ways I’ve moved through my Writer’s Block.

Continue Reading at my website, In Shadows.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Over the years I think I've run into just about every kind of block there is, from the "no time even to breathe" block to the "kids come first" block to the "fear of success" block to the "dammit I'd rather play video games" block. I've also had my share of real ones: the ones where your inner muse is trying to tell you there's something seriously wrong with the story, or something in your life that needs to be addressed first; the mysterious kind that seem to come out of nowhere and settle down over one's brain and fingers like a shroud; and (toughest of all) the self-inflicted kind...

Read the rest of my experiences with blocks at Cowgirl in New England.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Writer's Block: You Shall Not Pass

Every couple of months, I see a blog post or a conversation on FB or G+ on writer's block and what to do about it.

To be honest, I'm not sure I believe in it as an individual entity. To believe in writer's block is to believe that we are akin to factories, with a scheduled amount of creativity and that if we don't produce to that standard, we must be blocked. (Continue reading. . . )

Monday, March 4, 2013

Writer's Block

Now that I’m taking Karate classes, this term has a new angle of thought for me. When we block, we’re defending ourselves from incoming force. In writing, when we cite a block, we claim we are blocked, kept away from something we want. Sometimes it can be procrastination, or a lack of knowledge of a particular topic, but it could also be that we’ve come up against an obstacle we’re unable to overcome on our own at this point in time. Continue reading here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Roadblocks and pitfalls

As authors, we sure do know how to torture our characters!  We put them through the meat grinder, whether it's vampires and demons, or something closer to home. One of the tools in a writer's tool box is knowing where and how to apply pressure and set up roadblocks for our characters.
...continued on my .Blog...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Remembering My Firsts

I've been writing for I don't know how long. Short little stories that I made up in my sketchbooks on long drives really had no real plot but I loved to draw the pictures to go with it. I've never really been a fan of writing about real life in retrospect. Funny that I've come to realize that just now. It's entirely possible that my preferences were made already as early as third grade. Continue reading on my blog...-->

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Words Lost to Time?

Two ways to help you remember

I've spoken to lots of writers and they seem to remember their first stories. I guess a person could say it's a memorable event or time. The Literary Hub

Monday, February 25, 2013


I remember when I made my first semi-pro short story sale. It was A Sorcerer By Any Other Name and I sold it to a small zine called Sorcerous Magazine. I later sold the same story to Alexandria Digital Literature. That seems to be how it goes with my short fiction. It always ends up a reprint someplace else.

Continue Reading Here...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Plethora of Firsts

First things first...I'm just going to get it out of the way and say that every writer has a den, or cave, or mountain stronghold of old first-time-for-that type work that's probably best left unearthed. But here I am, taking the alarm coded locks off of that dusty bin o' old first-times. Seriously, my old grade school/junior high/high school writing folder-of-doom literally has dust and a dead spider on it. Read more...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Merry-Go-Round-Tour for February 18th, 2013

Firsts; what image does that bring up for you? Your first kiss, first car, first love, first paycheck, first child or if you’re a writer, first story, first book, first royalty check?
A life is so full of firsts. It’s hard to pick just one out of so many. I married at 18 and I’m still on that first marriage. In a culture of throw away things, I guess that’s pretty remarkable. Next month it will be thirty-eight years. Nothing throw away about that.
My first paycheck, not counting working as a babysitter for my mom and other families, was from the Johnstown Knitting Mill when I was sixteen.

Continue reading on my blog: 

My first story

I have fat folder filled with one-page scenes. There was a time I looked at all of them and thought they were stories, even though they were hardly scenes. Except one.

It must have been second year of writing, when I reached for one of those old blank application forms I kept around for writing. They were in the size of a letter, so I had these old church sheet music covers and a clamp to keep them all in place. I wrote with pencil, for someone showed me a notebook written in 1910s and all the ink had been smeared, but the pencil work was still intact. I wanted them to last.

The story was 13 handwritten pages long with very small illustrations scribbled on the sides – two portraits, a hand, a birch tree and somewhere was a fountain.

Continue reading "My First Story" here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MGR Tour: The First

This month’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour focuses on our first work.  I know I must have written a story in the second grade.  I think we all do, and... Continue reading on my blog.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Love

When I heard about this month's topic, I knew exactly what I'd talk about. I was convinced that I'd tell you about some of my first attempts at crafting a story, but in the end I decided not to rehash the past. Those stories are lost to time for a reason...

Instead, I offer you a different kind of first – my first drabble, a one hundred word story complete with a beginning, middle and end.

And in honor of St Valentine’s Day, yesterday, I give you a love story.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The First

I wrote a story when I was about five or six about a young witch and her cat. . . .

Read more

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My First Story

In my junior year, I was given a series of pictures in English class. We were told to pick one and write a story. The photo I chose was a black and white shot of a cat in an open doorway, a little white mouse just inside facing him.

I got an A!

My creative writing instructor then required her students to submit stories and poems to the school’s annual literary magazine, The Flowing Pen. Since the last thing I wanted to do was submit anything for rejection, I handed over my English paper.

Next thing I know, I’m in the annual rag. How the heck did THAT happen?

Continue Reading if you want to see the tortured twisting of my sixteen-year-old self...

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Stories

. . .

But when I think of first stories, what I think about is not what I have written, but the stories we tell ourselves even before we think of putting pen to paper.

The stories we convince ourselves are true about us--the deepest part of us. The stories we choose to believe, that shape the face we show the outside world. The stories that limit the full expression of who we can be.

Continue reading "First Stories" at the Once in a Blue Muse Blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who's on first?

Late post this month -- sorry.

I’ve had a lot of firsts in my writing career: the first poem I wrote (on daffodils), the first book I started to write (it was supposed to be a Regency romance), the first serial I wrote (portal fantasy), the first short story I submitted (cliché-ridden SF), the first short story I sold (sword and sorcery with an assassin as the protagonist), the first novella I completed (Farwalker), the first book in a series (Christmas Tree Farm Murders), and so on.

To read more about my firsts, read the rest of my blog post.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's In the Works for 2013

Every year it comes down to least favorite question: "So what are your writing goals/projects for the year?" I hate that question with an undying passion. Mostly I hate it so because it reminds me that another year has gone by with what I feel is little to no progress on any of my projects.

In reality I do get quite a bit done and as my DH is so anxious to point out I do have a whole house, family and two jobs to maintain as well. Read more at my blog...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Anticipation Of...

So while I am never short of book, novel and story projects, sometimes I lack for blogging topics. I don’t want to be trite and lament on the same things over and over again. That’s why I signed up for another year with the Merry Go Round Blog Tour! This month I would like to talk about anticipation.
Not anticipation with regard to getting a book published or holding the final product in my hands. No. While I look forward to those things, they no longer excite me like they once did. Once I’m finished with a book, I must dutifully move on to the next because there’s no rest for the wicked. Readers want more and I have so much more to write. Continue Reading...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour for January 2013 - Goals

I had some technical difficulties so my post for the 18th is being posted today, the 21st. Sorry for any confusion. Connie.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What I’m up to in 2013?

I don't expect to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but I can't get past my own personal goals in writing.

You can read more about them in my blog.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Exactly where I want to be

In 2007, I created a simple business plan. By 2027, I will be supporting myself solely with my writing. After five years of honing my craft and learning about the business, I am now ready to launch my career. In other words, I am right on track.

So, this year, it’ll be 12 short stories plus a collection. Next year the same plus one or two novels. Repeat every year and in fifteen more years I’ll have at least 20 novels plus 15 short story collections and 180 short stories.

And in that way I'll achieve my goal.

Read more on my blog AlexWorld

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's in the Works at Chez Redhawk

(Or “Nothing up my sleeve… Let’s see what books I can pull out of my hat!”)


And so begins a new year. Wow! We’re almost halfway through January already. How’d that happen?

As any successful person knows, setting goals is one way to remain motivated. Well, that and threatening yourself with having to clean the bathroom when you falter. Just sayin’. In my house, I can’t think of anything worse. Cleaning the refrigerator might be a close second — depends on what’s growing inside.

I digress.

For the last five years I’ve written my annual goals on a Post-It note which is prominently attached to my computer. It gives me a framework as well as a constant reminder to get off my duff and scrub out the toilet…erm…write!

My 2013 list has been posted since the middle of December. (Why wait until the socially acknowledged first of the year for such things? New Year’s Eve is exhausting enough without having to contemplate the next year’s projects through a hangover.)

Continue reading at Redhawk's blog, In Shadows.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A simple goal

I’ve spent at least a couple of hours a day most days since Christmas trying to work out a plan and a strategy for 2013.

It hasn’t gone much of anywhere. Read about the reasons at Cowgirl in New England

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Finding Balance: the 2013 Edition

I spent a bit of time thinking about goals for the year in this post at the end of December, but it was more in comparison with what I had and hadn't accomplished for 2012.

As the year starts, I've been giving more an more thought to what I want to accomplish and what is realistic to work toward. One of my personal goals--and it impacts my writing goals--is to sit less and be more physically active. What this means in real terms is I need to spend less time noodling around the net. There is an endless stream of content flowing past all our social media sites: twitter, FB, G+, Tumblr. There is an abundance of interesting people saying interesting things.

(Read more at Once in a Blue Muse Blog)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Project Fun

I love starting a new year, don’t you? All last year’s mistakes have been erased and we’ve got a clean slate that won’t bog us down with guilt just yet. It’s the perfect time to start new projects with all the positive energy they deserve.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What I'm up to in 2013

It’s a brand new year! And that means time to roll out the writing and publishing projects for the new year. My main works this year are science fiction, continuing in the world introduced in my first book...

Continue reading on my blog

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking ahead

Everyone's got plans for the new year, right? Pop over to my blog to see what I'm looking forward to.