Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Get Your Write On

Let’s get this writing train rolling with some prompts. Prompts are a great way to loosen up your creativity. They’re stretches for your brain. With these or any prompts, try to break out of your comfort zone. Write in a genre you typically don’t or practice writing dialog, scenes with all five senses, etc.
The ivy vine creeps closer to my bedroom window. Day after day, closer.
Is it so hard to do what I’m asking of you? I mean, really, is it?
I’m not too sure about our new neighbors.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “It’s just burgers and fries man.”
The mist rolled in early across the fields. In the murky gray I could hear a lonely frogs call.
Who do I need to impress? You? That’s laughable.
Would you participate in a naked bike ride? Why or why not?
When nothing but being Fabulous will do.
Where does your Boogie Man hide?
Panic set in when I realized the Tequila was all gone.
I think these ten prompts will do for now. Have a great week and happy writing


New Release – Busting Writing Myths

We have a new release – Busting Writing Myths

Busting Writing Myths

Busting Writing Myths

This was a fun book to research. It’s amazing how many writers and successful authors have fallen into the trap of believing these myths at some point in their career. And I’m not excluding myself from that group. We all fall prey to believing myths because they are convenient for us to do so. But if you’re aware of them before they try to get you you’ll fair better at warding them off.

Also I think you’ll enjoy the ditch the desk bonus section. This section jumps right into telling your desk you can write any where I want. I give you ideas of places you can go to get away from your desk and rediscover your creativity.

Here’s a short description of the book.

There are many myths about writing and if you fall into the trap of believing them you’ll seriously hamper your creativity and ability to write. We’ll cover the most common myths and how you can keep them under control. In not believing in the myths you will be in control of your writing success.

Included with Busting Writing Myths you’ll also enjoy the bonus section Ditch the Desk – Find your creativity and time to write.

To purchase Busting Writing Myths for only .99c CLICK HERE

Have a great day and happy writing.

Short Story Crash Course Now Available

Crash Course Cover

Short Story Crash Course

Short Story Crash Course is an intensive 21 day course that will whip your stories into shape. We’ll take your manuscripts from desk drawer to editor’s desk in three weeks.

All those stories languishing in your drawer will receive new life as a published piece.

You’ll learn how to evaluate, organize and prioritize your stories. You’ll learn the steps to effective self-editing and how to recruit beta readers. You’ll learn how to identify your stories genre and how to research the market. (A list of helpful sites are included) You’ll learn how to write a cover letter, format your manuscript, assemble a submissions packet and create a tracking sheet for all your submissions.

Short Story Crash Course includes a course book, and three weeks off writing assignments. Each week you are given objectives to complete. If you complete the objectives before it’s time to move on to the next set of assignments, there is a bonus or stretch assignment to keep your momentum going.

This is a self-contained course. Everything you need, you’ll find in the course book.

How do you know this method works? Laura has used this method to publish over 60 titles and counting.

What are you waiting for? Take your writing to the next level and move your stories from drawer to editor’s desk in only 21 days.

To purchase Short Story Crash Course for only $9.99 Click HERE.

Coming Soon – Short Story Crash Course Full Throttle.

The Full Throttle Course takes everything from the self-contained course and cranks it up all the way. In the Full Throttle course you receive critiques of two stories, check ins and questions answered as if in “live” class. Registration will open in the coming weeks.


Author Interview with Ron Hanlon

Ron Hanlon

Hearts Can Change in Time

Author Interview with Ron Hanlon

I’d like to thank Ron for sitting down with me for this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I live in Tulsa Ok with my beautiful wife of 31 years. I have a BS. from the University of Tulsa and a. MS.from Nova Southeast University Boca Raton Florida. I’m a decorated Viet Nam War Vet. Attached to 101st Airborne. I taught Jr/Sr High School, worked for the Coca-Cola Co., Florida Power and Light and the Frisco/Burlington Northern Railroad. From 1979 until 2010, I was the Owner /Pres. of HANLON HAULING INC, a lawn and tree service. Selling it in 2010, I retired. I also hold two US PATENTS and like Photography, Sailing, Flying & Ocean Cruising.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I have a good imagination and the desire to write.

What inspired you to write this book?

After selling my business, I retired. I had wanted to write a book since I was in college 1968. I had an outline and the first six chapters typed out. Since I was retired, I decided it was time to finish the book

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The unexpected events in Hearts Can Change in Time show how people can cause their own personal tragedies. It explores the consequences of decisions made in life.

Give us an insight into your main character.

Alex Cord, the main male character, is a driven and ambitious college student well on his way to becoming the youngest and most successful oil mogul in the South. Coming from a well-known family and with a striking appearance and “Southern gentleman” charm to boot, Alex is a walking woman-magnet who sweeps women off their feet.

It is his interaction with five female characters that shapes the story. Jessica, Dianna, Dorothy, Constance and Becky.

What do they do that is special?

Alex’s commitment to his business.

Jessica, the sheltered yet adventurous sorority girl.

Dianna was Alex’s best friend, who witnessed her share of his conquests.

Dorothy, whose spirit and beauty captured Alex’s heart despite their differences

Constance, whose on-again off-again relationship with another man finally ends

under the most dire of circumstances.

Becky, the beautiful, career-minded woman who is not afraid to take charge of her own destiny.

What are your current projects?

Started sequel to “Hearts” titled “Promises.” Planning and outlining a trilogy yet untitled.

Why do you write?

To see my imagination come to life in print.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Over the years I was working, my business was not having the time to write. Once I started, I found that the writing was the easy part. The research took even more time. That’s when I realized why I could never do much writing in my working years.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Having time. Once I stated I would write something every day usually in the evening. Then the next morning when rested I would make changes and do research for the next pages.

Do you ever experience writers block?

I didn’t writing “Hearts.” Yet, two chapters into “Promises,” the sequel to “Hearts,” I was blocked temporarily however; I’m over it now and continuing. The thirty years I had my lawn and tree service I had a logo. “Opportunity Comes Disguised As Hard Work.” I believed and lived it all those years. I used it on my signage and all my printed material. I believe that hard work, getting out and promoting will work for this book.

What is your favorite go to recipe?

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup. Click HERE to view recipe.

I want to thank Ron again for taking the time to sit down with us and do our interview. To learn more about Ron and his book click HERE

Ron Hanlon

Hearts Can Change in Time


First Friday Prompts

Welcome to the first Friday in June. Start your month off right with some prompts to get your writing mojo flowing.

11.)Dear Diary, We have been lost at sea for nearly three months now. I fear for the crew’s sanity.

2.)    Today started out like any other day but what happened was nothing like any other day.

3.)    You are at the mini mart. The cashier gives you your change. On one of the bills are instructions to do something. What are the instructions and do you carry them out?

4.)    Mom, I’ve decided to be a professional Dodge Baller.

5.)    Mabel, the cat lady, is in your oak tree in the front yard trying to get one of her cats down, again.

Have fun with these prompts. Challenge yourself to write a short story for each.

Have a great day and keep on writing.

Author Interview with Norman Oro

Norman Oro

Author The Legend of Team 9

Author Interview Norman Oro

I’d like to thank Norman for sitting down with me for this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m Filipino-American and came to the United States when I was three years old. I loved science fiction growing up and still do. I’m 42 years old now (where does the time go?) and worked for over 10 years in Corporate America doing accounting, finance, economics and business development. I went to UCLA as an undergraduate and studied business at MIT Sloan.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I’d been doing consulting work in finance when the bottom fell out of the job market. I’ve always wanted to write a book, so rather than waiting by the phone, I decided to spend that time pursuing a dream.

What inspired you to write The Legend of Team 9?

Difficult to say. It just kind of happened. As with my first two books, Away: Beginnings and Away: Keepers of the Alliance, The Legend of Team 9 felt almost like it wrote itself. It was as though the story came to me demanding that I write it. Of course, I couldn’t turn it down.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not a message per se. The book does deal with loss. Specifically, it deals with losing something that underpins how a society functions. I wouldn’t say, though, that the reader needs to grasp that. Mostly I just hope people enjoy The Legend of Team 9 as a science fiction adventure story. However, if they can find deeper meanings within the story that make the book more enjoyable for them, I’m all for it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What do they do that is special?

The central characters are, of course, Team 9: Richard Redding, Ingrid Grace, Bobby Gentry and Jimmy Foyer. They’re a group of explorers. Among them, Richard is the main character. What they manage to do in the book is confront a threat to their society at considerable risk to themselves. In the process, they display an admirable degree of altruism and courage. Dr. Marshall is also important as a main character to provide continuity with my other two books. He’s a man of science, who’s troubled by his involvement in developing an incredibly destructive weapon. It’s not explicit, but during the course of the story, he exorcises some of those demons.

What are your current projects?

I’m taking a break from writing for now. I avoid watching sci-fi movies and often movies in general when I’m writing, so I’m going to the local cineplex quite a bit these days. I also plan on catching a ballgame at Citifield this season and am toying with writing an app (a hobby of mine). As before, I’m seeking consulting work in finance, which I still enjoy. In the meantime, if a book idea seizes me, I’ll probably write another story.

Why do you write?

Because there are science fiction stories out there that I’ve always wanted to read, but for whatever reason they haven’t been written yet.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Proofing. To be honest, it can be arduous and tedious, but it’s very important to me that my work shows polish. Being a self-published author makes this especially important.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Ironically, the story itself comes pretty easily, at least for my first three books. In very general terms, they’re almost fully formed by the time I start. I don’t know if that’ll always be the case, but that’s been my experience so far.

Do you ever experience writers block?

Sometimes. Sometimes it seems there are too many ways a story can go and I don’t know which one will yield the best arc.

What is your favorite go to recipe?

I don’t really cook these days, so if I had to bring something to a party, I’d probably go out to the supermarket and get a pie, either apple or pumpkin. Those are some of my favorites. Not particularly exotic, but appealing to most everyone. If the people at the party liked Filipino food, I’d call a catering place and order some adobo. It’s a Filipino dish usually made with pork or chicken in a broth of garlic, soy sauce and vinegar. I haven’t eaten adobo in ages, but it’s another favorite of mine.

I want to thank Norman again for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for us. To learn more about Norman and his books, Click HERE.

Author Interview with Steven Schindler

Author Steven Schindler

Author Steven Schindler The Last Sewer Ball

Author Interview-  Steven Schindler

I’d like to thank Steven for sitting down with me for this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Born and raised in the Bronx, Steven Schindler is an award-winning novelist and television writer/producer. After graduating from Hunter College with a degree in Film and Theatre, Schindler soon found himself acting in some of New York’s off-off Broadway productions. Bartering a deal at a prominent acting school to videotape classes in exchange for acting lessons, he discovered he enjoyed life more from behind the camera than in front of it. Enrolling in a video documentary class was the first step in a career that has spanned more than twenty years in television as a writer, producer and director in news, sports, reality, documentary, entertainment and magazine programming. Awards include four Chicago Emmy Awards and Best Fiction at the DIY/Indie Book Awards for From the Block. His first two novels, Sewer Balls and From the Block, were artfully gritty portrayals of the neighborhood characters who hung out on the stoops, playgrounds, rooftops and barstools during the crazy days of the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. From Here To Reality (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books) received praise from the NY Post, Jay Leno, and Roger L. Simon (The Big Fix, Down and Out in Beverly Hills)

            On the Bluffs is a thrilling love story wrapped in a dysfunctional family mystery that begins in Washington, D.C. and winds up in a rundown mansion on the bluffs of Cape Cod.        The Last Sewer Ball is Schindler’s fifth novel.

            He is married and currently lives in Los Angeles.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Having lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles as a television professional, whenever I started telling people stories about growing up in the Bronx, they would say “You should write a book.” So I did.

What inspired you to write The Last Sewer Ball?

Most authors, whether great or not so great, usually begin with a semi-autobiographical novel. After writing my first novel, “Sewer Balls” in 1998 I tried to become more expansive in my work. With each subsequent novel (From the Block, From Here to Reality, and On the Bluffs) I got farther away from the neighborhood and began to develop new characters, plots, situations, and themes. With my return to the neighborhood in The Last Sewer Ball, I hope to revisit some of those early memories with a different perspective and utilizing all the skills I have developed over the course of writing four more novels. And hopefully enrich my work with more life experience.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’d like readers to think back to a time when friends and family were shaping us in ways that we didn’t even realize were happening, so we can perhaps appreciate and forgive others and ourselves for what transpired in our lives. And know that even in the worst of times, there were valuable lessons that were learned.

Give us an insight into your main character. What do they do that is special?

Being in middle-age, I often wonder what happened to special people in my life. Some are dead, living or maybe half dead, but what if we had the courage to confront our worst fears and actually venture out to find the missing clues to how others traveled on their journeys and how we got to where we are. In a time when superficial connections are the norm with facebook etc. person to person contact is becoming more rare. These characters have the courage to confront those demons from long ago.

What are your current projects?

I work full time in television marketing for a major network. I’m also trying to market “The Last Sewer Ball” and develop several new ideas for a non-fiction work.

Why do you write?

To quote Bob Dylan in a song, “I’ve got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ me insane.”

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I keep a post-it above my computer screen which reads “The first rule of writing is to put the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.”

What is the easiest thing about writing?


Do you ever experience writers block?

Yes. It’s not fun.

What is your favorite go to recipe?

Stevie’s Seafood Pasta with Marina Sauce. Click HERE to view recipe.


I want to thank Steven again for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for us. Look for the review of The Last Sewer Ball in the coming weeks. To learn more about Steven and his books Click HERE.