Sunday, November 22, 2020

If I Was Writing the Next Sequel in the Twilight Series…

I’m a Twilight addict. I’ve watched most of the five movies in the series (Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon, Breaking Dawn part 1, Breaking Dawn part 2), made from the books written by Stephenie Meyer, 10 times, and that’s just in the last two months. That’s not counting the last few years. 

I’ve become so engrossed in the story lately that I feel like I’m a part of it. So it stands to reason that at the end of Breaking Dawn part 2, after Bella becomes a vampire and she, Edward and Renesmee live happily ever after, I didn’t want it to end. 

So I started thinking, what if it didn’t end? What if there was a 5th sequel? And what if I could have a say in what was in that sequel, what would I want in it? And the first thing that came to mind for me was completely obvious. I didn’t even have to think twice about it. 

The first thing that would have to happen to give me total and complete satisfaction is that Jane would have to die. I don’t like the control she has over other vampires with her power to cause pain, and for me, I would like nothing more than to see that little red-eyed bitch get her head ripped off.

So then, what would come next? Well, Jane’s death could be the beginning of the end for the Volturi. I’d like to see the entire Volturi coven spiral downward and get destroyed. But ripping their heads off would be too boring and ordinary. Instead, I’d like their Italian castle to go up in flames and have Arrow and his coven melt in the flames, like they were descending into hell. 

Of course, Edward and Bella would have to continue to be the stars of the show so I’m thinking they could rise to power in some way and take over where the Volturi left off. But they wouldn’t be bad vampires, they would be good. They would fight injustice and kill serial killers like Edward did when he was a newborn. 

The story could pick up 100 years after the last one, so that Bella’s parents and friends are all dead. And it’s just the Cullens now who know their truth. 

And the last idea that I have is for Jacob and Renesmee to marry and have children. It would be the ultimate way of bringing the wolves and the vampires together as a family. For the first time in their history, their bloodlines would actually mix. It would be really interesting to see what kind of children they would create and what magical powers they would have.

Do you have an idea for a Twilight sequel? If so, describe it in the comment section below. I’d love to hear about it. 

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It has 11 5-star reviews!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Why My Female Characters Are Such Strong Independent Women

People say write what you know, and we are what we write, whether we realize it or not. I would be the first to tell you that my characters are not about me or my life, but subliminally, there is a connection. For instance, I was raised by a single mom who worked two jobs her whole life and raised four kids on her own. While cooking and cleaning and teaching us our prayers and helping us with our homework, she also climbed the corporate ladder and became a homeowner. To my siblings and I, she was a superwoman, always larger than life. Even when she died, my siblings and I agreed, we were shocked. It never occurred to us that she was ever going to die. 

But I'm a lot like her, good and bad, and the strengths I picked up from her naturally come out in my characters. Tracey is a businesswoman, climbing the ladder to the top of her field. She's a decision maker, a multitasker and a forward thinker. Kara literally pulled herself out of the gutter to achieve her dreams, starting with nothing but guts and grit, and treating every moment as a learning experience and absorbing knowledge like a sponge. Allison, on the other hand, knows that her dream is "all or nothing," and she has put every ounce of energy and time into being the best because she knows it won't happen if she gives anything less. 

Some of this character development is very intentional because I want the reader to feel motivated when they close the back cover and put the book down. I want them to know that they can be their own person and stand on their own and walk away feeling that if the character they just read about can do it, then they can do it too. 

What kind of characters do you write? Are they mirror images of yourself and the people around you or do you prefer to create characters that are nothing like yourself, perhaps someone you want to be or someone you know you can never be except in your fantasies? 

I challenge you to analyze your characters and find the similarities and differences between you and them. I think you may find more similarities than you think. I did. Are you happy with the direction you took them in? What do you think would have happened to your book or story if you took them down a different path? 

As writers, it's good for us to look at our work from a different point of view once in a while. It gets us out of our comfort zone and stretches our capabilities so that our next work is different, new, and exciting. 

Happy writing!

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It has 11 5-star reviews!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How I Secured a Writing Assignment About My Caribbean Vacation

Pitcher Bobby Ojeda and
center fielder Lenny Dykstra
playing volleyball on the cruise.
Seven days and seven Caribbean Islands by themselves would have given me a lifetime of memories for this cruise, but what made it even more special was the fact that it was a publicity tour for the New York Mets and I got to meet a few players as well as other members of the team.

The year was 1986 and the Mets had just won the World Series. It was their first World Series win since 1969. I was 28 and a dedicated Mets fan at the time. (I actually switched teams years later and became a Yankee fan.)

At the time, I worked for the Stamford Advocate, my local newspaper, but in sales, not editorial. I had written a couple of freelance pieces for the paper and I secretly wished I could get them to approve an article about my cruise for the sports desk.

On Friday, the day before we were to leave on the Cunard Countess out of Puerto Rico, an editor came over to the sales department and said there was going to be birthday cake for a reporter named Eileen at 3:00 and invited everyone in the sales department to come down. I ended up standing right next to Bob, the sports editor, as I ate my piece of cake so I made my move. Only half-joking, I said, “You should have me write an article about my cruise with the World Series winning Mets.”

I went back to my desk thinking nothing was going to come of it, but 10 minutes later, Bob came over to me and said “yes, we want you to write the story.” I was walking on cloud 9! In the end, the newspaper gave me almost a full page. And to this day it is still my favorite article, even though I’ve written as many as 2,000 pieces of content.

Are you interested in writing about a travel destination?
Don’t be afraid to solicit publications—there are plenty of opportunities out there for firsthand travel experiences, but you should do it at least two months before you leave to ensure they can fit you into the schedule. If you get approved, be sure to ask the editor what key points he or she would like you to focus on and who the audience is so you know who you’re writing for. Finally, once you hand the article in, be sure to have another idea ready to pitch. In other words, “strike while the iron is hot.” It doesn’t have to be a travel piece unless the publication is travel niched. Check the website to see what other opportunities exist and say, “I see that you cover a lot of… I have seven years’ experience in that area…”

Good luck and happy writing!

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It has 11 5-star reviews!

Friday, August 16, 2019

"Becoming" by Michelle Obama Is Very Moving

This book kept me on the edge of my seat starting at page 1. And my first thought as I was reading Becoming is that even if I didn't know who wrote it, it still would have had me on the edge of my seat from page 1. A word that kept coming to my mind as I was reading it was gripping.

It starts out talking about Michelle's childhood on the south side of Chicago. She very eloquently describes the neighborhood, her family, her school, her friends, her talents and hobbies, and her likes and dislikes. After just a few chapters it's very easy to get a sense that you actually know Michelle Obama because the detail is so easy to visualize. You feel like an insider in both her life and in the neighborhood in which she lived.

About a third of the way into the book, she tells us how she met Barack, which I was very excited to read and was looking forward to. Interestingly, though, it's not all roses from the first meeting. In fact, she pulls no punches about noting that her first impression was not all that impressive.

From there until the end, it's a whirlwind. She let's us in on their relationship and how it developed, and how the former president of the United States' career began and developed. If you are one of those people who have always wondered how in the heck did he get from state senator to presidential candidate, Michelle's perspective makes sense of it and if you're like me, you will realize early on that he had a special gift.

She goes on to describe from her point of view the family's eight years in the White House, not only the initiatives she put together, but also how the family was affected, how being trailed by Secret Service everywhere and never being able to step out into the front yard without clearing the street first changed their lives.

You can clearly see through Michelle's words that with all that influence and power comes a lack of freedom.

This is a book that is both moving and educating. It will fill in gaps where you might have had questions throughout POTUS' tenure, but from a personal point of view, not a business or presidential point of view, which makes it more endearing.

I highly recommend this book to all.

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It has 11 5-star reviews!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Good Segues Are Key for Successful Stand-Up Comedy Writing

My husband and I are new members of Netflix, and the very first thing I viewed was a new stand-up comedy special by Ellen Degeneres, called Relatable.

As a professional writer, I tend to watch shows and read books from a writer's point-of-view, in addition to a consumer's point-of-view. So when I watched Relatable, there were things I noticed  from a writer's perspective that the typical person who is just sitting down to watch comedy might not notice, and these are the things that I think someone who wants to write comedy might want to pay attention to.

First of all, Ellen was very good at segues. One thing that drives me crazy about stand-up comedy iswhen a comedian just switches the conversation without easing into it with a good segue. A segue is a connection that takes you from one thought to the next. It's like a bridge that connects the two thoughts. A lot of comedians are not good at this. It's their weakest feature.

But Ellen did an excellent job of segueing from one piece of the conversation to the next, and I think that anyone who wants to be a stand-up comedian or wants to write comedy should watch Relatable to learn from her segue process. It is the best I've ever seen.

The other thing that Ellen is really good at that I also think most comedians lack is coming full circle. She started out explaining what she meant by Relatable. Then we meandered down her comedy routine, but in the end, she brought the conversation directly back to the subject of being Relatable. This was priceless and I was very impressed.

I think that these two traits -- strong segues and coming full circle -- really bring quality to the writing and to the entertainment. And I would encourage anyone who wants to or is writing comedy to check out Ellen's show Relatable on Netflix. There is much that can be learned from watching her.

Happy writing!

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It has 10 5-star reviews!

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Hero Behind the Book “Hero Dogs”

Wilma Melville stood and stared at the wreckage of the Oklahoma City bombing and could not believe her eyes. The devastation was horrific. She let go of Murphy’s leash and instructed him to begin sniffing through the rubble in search of signs of life. The eventual conclusion would be that there were none.

She realized with significant regret that she had been summoned too late. If only we had been brought in sooner, she thought. She also acknowledged something else that was painfully obvious: There are far too few search-and-rescue dogs available today for situations like this. She realized that, going forward, there would be more and more need for search-and-rescue dogs.  

Wilma left that scene with an ache in her heart and a promise in her mind: “I will find a way to train 168 dogs to be search and rescue dogs,” she said, “one for every man, woman and child who died in the Oklahoma City bombing.”

One of the many lessons from the book Hero Dogs is never underestimate a woman, but especially, never underestimate this woman. Wilma Melville, a retired physical education teacher, went home to southern California and started a nonprofit: Search Dog Foundation.

The fete she proceeded to accomplish from that day forward would forever change the way dogs would be trained in search and rescue and how much they would achieve. Eventually, Wilma’s dogs would be sent by Homeland Security to Ground Zero, Hurricane Katrina sites, areas in Haiti struck by the earthquake, and dozens more places large and small where rescuers would use dogs to try to find people buried alive before it was too late.

Paul Lobo, who co-wrote the book with Wilma, captures her experiences skillfully, as if they were happening in real time. You will visualize all too clearly the colors, the smells and scenes that Wilma’s dogs and handlers experienced.  

If you like dogs, read this book. Even if you are a person like me who has no interest in dogs whatsoever, you still will be mesmerized by this book. When I closed the back cover of this book, I was so drawn in by the value of Wilma’s work that I couldn’t even get up from desk until I made a donation to That’s how much this book – and the value of Wilma’s work – moved me. And it will move you too.

Find the book here at Amazon.

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It's got 10 5-star reviews!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Review: The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

 The President Is Missing

This book had me on the edge of my seat from page one until the very end. Each chapter makes you want to find answers to questions in your mind such as who was responsible for various things and eventually, who the bad person is, because there always is one in a mystery or drama.

Whether you are a reader, a writer or both, I highly recommend this book as both one that held my interest as well as one that taught me about holding back the details to make people keep turning the pages. It has over 500 pages but it's a fast read, which is what you want if people are reading your book.

It's the story of a U.S. president who deals with a tremendous situation in which the lives of all Americans hang in the balance. I don't want to say anything more without spoiling the book.

Get it. Read it. Enjoy it!

If you like a good book that keeps you on your toes and surprises you at every turn, please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon. It's got 10 5-star reviews!