Finding #Writing #Motivation in Weird Ways

There’s something about watching shows like the Facts of Life, Jane the Virgin, and Younger that get my creative juices flowing.  Could it be because these shows have a character or business involved in writing, and their pursuits towards writing gold illustrates I’m not alone?  Could be, but there’s more.

There’s something about how Natalie puts a fascinating spin on her creative pieces or Jane’s diligence and determination to succeed at writing a romance novel regardless of life’s circumstances.  And what about Liza’s second chance at life, Continue reading “Finding #Writing #Motivation in Weird Ways”

The Genius of Secondary #Characters: What I Learned by Watching the #Movie Black and White

Jillian Estell, Mpho Koaho and Kevin Costner star in Relativity Medias's BLACK OR WHITE. © 2014 BLACKWHITE, LLC Photo Credit: Tracey Bennett

Last month, my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  He just knew I’d ask for a fun-filled 4-day vacay.  Or at the very least, a night out on the town with a fabulous over-priced meal.  But I surprised him with “I just want to stay home, watch movies, and eat hamburgers”.  His eyes grew wide, but my wish was his command, and he followed through beautifully. 🙂

One of the movie selections was Black and White.  I don’t want to spoil the plot for those that haven’t seen it.  If that’s you, you may want to exit now.  But if you’re curious, you can watch the trailer or read the overview.

As writers, we’re aware that secondary characters can help to move along the plot, but they can do a lot more.  In the case of Duvan (Eloise’s tutor), Continue reading “The Genius of Secondary #Characters: What I Learned by Watching the #Movie Black and White”

Interesting People in #Writing: Jackie Carter

roanoketimes_jackiecarterIt’s amazing the jewels you find when you least expect them.  Last week while perusing the newspaper of my former hometown (Roanoke, Virginia), I came across the obituary of Jackie Carter.  Some of you may have known her already, but for me it’s all new.

Mrs. Carter was not only an author and editor of children’s books, she also made an impact in racial diversity in learning materials for kids with companies such as Scholastic, Sesame Street, and Disney.  But, when you read about her legacy, what is most fascinating (at least to me) isn’t want she accomplished in the writing world.  It was three things.  She continued to work and flourish as she battled lymphoma, advocated for the education of boys of color, and was buried in Roanoke. Continue reading “Interesting People in #Writing: Jackie Carter”

#Authors Who Inspired Me: Maya Angelou


The first time I read Maya Angelou‘s works, I was a senior in high school.  One of my “classes” was office duty in the library.  At first, I dreaded it due to the mundane tasks of reshelving books and stacking magazines. But after a while, I paid attention to the book blurbs and titles.  My world opened up.

Reading I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing left me feeling like a fly on the wall.  Mrs. Angelou’s use of vivid descriptions helped me relate to her experience of racism, understand the admiration for a relative too into themselves, and the desire to be accepted and loved.  The story captivated me to the point it annoyed me when Continue reading “#Authors Who Inspired Me: Maya Angelou”

#Authors Who Inspired Me: Beverly Cleary


How many remember reading time in kindergarten or elementary school?  I certainly do.  This was one of my favorite activities (behind the yummy snacks and napping on the foam mats). What I loved was the ability to dream; the opportunity to walk through the shoes of the character(s) from the books. Living in a rural area didn’t lend to a lot of options. Books were the great escape to explore the world.

One book that I remember is Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle. The story details the escapades of a mouse (Ralph), living in an inn, who finds a tiny toy motorcycle lost by a young guest. His whole world opens up. And in subsequent books, Continue reading “#Authors Who Inspired Me: Beverly Cleary”