My Writing Process – Blog Tour

A friendly place where there is always more than meets the eye. That’s the blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, hostess of the weekly challenge for fiction writers to make every word count. Rochelle specializes in history with a twist. Her exceptional attention to detail is reflected in every story she creates, and I enjoy her writing so much that I once travelled to a cemetery in Queens, NY to further explore the subject of one of her stories.

You can read about it here.

The challenge to create a 100 word story using a photo prompt provided by a different person each week has significantly tightened up my writing. For this, I am grateful to Rochelle and all of the Friday Fictioneers. When Rochelle invited me to share my writing process, my first thought was, I’m supposed to have a process? Readers who follow this blog know that I have a predictably random creative process. For anyone who has read my first book, “Summoning the Strength,” I hope it is apparent that my writing has improved.

My writing process when I first began went something like this:

Awaken in the middle of the night, if I’d gone to sleep at all, and let my grief gush into the keyboard until I had no feeling in my left hand. Seriously, this is exactly what happened, and when my book was finished, I went to see a neurologist to determine the damage. I do not recommend that process. However, passion being a lesser vice than indifference, if you must, you must. An interview which clearly shows my nerve naiveté nerve is here.

I am working on a second book entitled Beyond Belief. Although I have received positive feedback for excerpts I have posted, completing it has become a much longer process than I expected. This is mainly due to my priority being the completion of the degree I am currently pursuing at the University of North Texas. I’m also taking my own sweet time to avoid mistakes I made with my first book, e.g. too many characters, too much telling and not enough showing. That’s writer speak I heard somewhere which simply means I couldn’t shut up fast enough. It’s true; I was driven to tell the story of Katherine Doyle and the women who influenced her.

My work differs from others of its genre in no significant way. My life experience drives every word I write. Authenticity is job one, as they say, and if I cannot express my genuine self, I have learned, I dare not try to fake it. There are plenty of topics of which I know nothing, but I know more than enough than to waste my time and the reader’s with piffle they can get more easily somewhere else. I write because to do otherwise is to prove the prophecies of those who ever doubted I could do it, including myself. Of course, what I have to say about most subjects has been said before, and yet, if I die tomorrow I will not have said enough. So, I write.

My writing process today goes something like this:

A sensation akin to heartburn sears an idea into my brain. So, I guess you could call it brain burn. Once an idea is in there, it is hard to ignore. Kind of like a tabloid cover of Elvis and Tammy Faye Bakker being abducted to repopulate a dying planet. Your imagining that now, aren’t you? People like me are called pantsters, as in “flying by the seat of our pants.” But there is a method to my madness. Sort of. A story begins with a spark. If the spark grows past the tabloid stage to ignite disdain for manipulators or fascination with human nature, then I move forward with purpose to turn analysis into action. However, I usually end up deleting three five ten times as many words as I write.

Some things really are better left unsaid.

If an idea doesn’t spontaneously combust to reveal something amazing or at least amusing, I have to accept that I don’t know enough to develop a story. After all, anyone can Google “great loves of habitual liars” and discover a melodrama I could never tell. But I can spin a fine yarn about the deceptive practices of rat bastards. This I know beyond belief.


Okay, the point of this is to share some useful information. So, here goes…

I think. I write. I think it over and write some more. When I get tired of writing, I take a walk and think it over again. For me, there is more process in editing than in writing.  This may not be anyone else’s cuppa joe. I am an over thinker and it works for me. However, over thinking can make even a good writer go bad. For instance, thinking about characters, what they desire and despise, what they fear and fiercely protect, these are thoughts worth thinking. It is when thoughts turn to distribution, marketing, and the many details that go along with storytelling for the masses that a writer can be driven to distraction.

Speaking of distractions, Author Carrie Rubin crafts a story we only think we’ve heard then turns it completely on its head. I couldn’t put it down. The same thing happened when I started reading “No Time For Kings” by Mark Petruska. Another thrill seeker whose writing I enjoy is S.W. Lothian, author of the Quest Series created for kids and adults alike.

Scarab BeetleS.W. LOTHIAN is a funny and cool guy from Australia. His kids call him ‘Phil Dunphy’, because he reminds them of the dad from Modern Family. He isn’t sure whether this is a compliment or not, but he takes it as a compliment. As an imaginative kid he dreamed of creating exciting worlds and funky characters, and thought he’d be the most famous person to ever do this. He loved to draw and was dux of Art in High School. Top of his dream list was to be an animator. He loved watching all those classic cartoons on TV – Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Road Runner, Wacky Races, The Simpsons, the list goes on and on.

BOOM! Reality hit. The dreams were parked as the corporate world beckoned. Then, 25 years later, the long-held dream to create erupted like a jam donut in a microwave and S.W. started writing fiction for kids of all ages. His books can be summed up as fun-action-packed-time-travel-adventures-for-the-kid-in-everyone. He writes stories to excite, inspire, teach and thrill. Stories with awesome edge-of-your-seat fun. Stories that let kids escape to new places, and adults remember the dreams of their own childhood. He is the author of the very popular Quest Series (The Golden Scarab, The Cursed Nile, The Fallen Pharaoh) and the first book in his new series, TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT will to be let loose on readers in April 2014. His debut novel, The Golden Scarab, was a 2013 READER’S FAVORITE BOOK AWARD FINALIST.

ntfk-coverMARK PETRUSKA is a writer by trade, though he regrets turning down the drumming gig offered by “that Cobain guy in Seattle.” Born in Hawaii, he lived in a variety of exotic locales growing up (Dayton! Rapid City!) before settling in the Pacific Northwest, where his penchant for rainy days and bacon-topped doughnuts was richly rewarded. Mark is married to a woman he met online, but would like to make it clear she was a fellow blogger and not a mail order bride. He is estranged from his two children…wait, that should read “strange to his two children” who, as teenagers, believe anybody over the age of 30 is strange, especially dad. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, indie rock, and all things paranormal. Mark is a published author whose novel, NO TIME FOR KINGS, is available on Amazon. He is hard at work on a follow-up he describes as “a blend of Dickens’ satirical caricatures and gift for allegory, and Twain’s rich narrative and social criticism…or it’ll make a great coaster for your cup of coffee.”

rubin2CARRIE RUBIN is a writer, physician, public health advocate, humor blogger, mother, wife, fitness enthusiast, movie fan, and avid reader. To her, every experience is worthwhile, even if one’s path deviates from where it started. She is the author of “The Seneca Scourge,” a medical thriller, which was awarded Best New E-Book: Fiction in the 2012 USA Best Book Awards. She is currently seeking publication for her second novel and has just started work on a new one. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two teenage sons, all of whom take great pleasure in teasing her.

Check them out, and as always, thanks for reading.

No Time Like The Present

I read somewhere that a good story invites us to slip into the shoes of other people. It’s true; a good story gives us a vantage point from which to observe heroes and villains revealing their human frailties. We experience their lowest lows and highest highs, understand why they stumble, get a feel for where they have been, and walk away knowing what we have in common. A good story also lets us try on fears best left to the imagination.

It was five days before Christmas. I was feeling anything but the holiday spirit. The sky was one gigantic bruise, and as I sat through a second light change waiting for the line of cars in front of me to get moving I wondered why the hell people can’t pay attention and just go when the light turns green. I wanted to get home before it started to rain, to kick off my shoes, curl up on the sofa, and just let the day come to an anti-climactic close.

Christmas present from my co-superhero.
Christmas present from my co-superhero.

I put away the groceries and took a look around at the impeccably tidy kitchen/dining/living room, noting the only advantage to having our house on the market is that I didn’t have to bother decorating for the holidays. It sounds selfish. Maybe it is. I just didn’t have it in me. I’m not feeling jolly. My self-inflicted to-do list for this crazy roller coaster of a year now complete, yes I’m too ambitious for my socks, all I want to do is veg out and wait for spring. Okay, that’s not entirely true. Books for next semester arrived fresh from Amazon on Monday and I want to read them from cover to cover before January 13th peruse them before classes begin. My idea of down-time is twisted, I know.

Available on Amazon

Sure, I could have watched episodes of House Hunters all afternoon, but opted instead to download “No Time For Kings” written by fellow blogger and self-published author, Mark Petruska. I was intrigued right from the start and impressed by his skillfully executed delivery of several stories within a story. I enjoyed slipping into the shoes of the unsuspecting and the not-so-innocent, the purpose-driven and the accidental participants in this novel that offers believable characters and interesting themes laced with plenty of suspense building moments. The story is as entertaining as it is relevant. I finished reading it this morning and decided to share another post about friends I’ve made through this blog.

Similarities between myself and other bloggers, the smart-ass quality being the most obvious, include humor and honesty. Mr. Petruska possesses these. Self-professed foodie, recently married, all around cool guy, Mark is someone who likes a challenge. Through his blog, and now through his book, I have enjoyed getting to know him better. The guy can tell a story, and that’s worth sharing. Visit Mark My Words and see for yourself.

Ads below this post are NOT endorsed by this blogger.

One Sweet Riff


A funny thing happens when a person claims not to care what others think of them. Suddenly, they find themselves needing to constantly back up their claim by making, all too apparent, attempts to show the world how much they don’t care about what others think. Except, they do care. We all do. We very much care, or we’d be running around naked, waving shredded Rage Against The Machine T-shirts on the end of a stick.

Okay, maybe not.

Wednesday night while having dinner with my loyal follower, exchanging our usual how was your day dear, I remarked that it would be easier to write a book about the Indie Author experience than to complete my current work in progress. The title of this clever chronicle sure to collect dust on the .99 cent rack garner overwhelming interest, you ask?

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It!

However, after consulting the oracle checking Amazon, it turns out Spike Lee has already used that title. It’s too bad because I came up with some good chapter titles.

“The Vernacular Is What The Vernacular Is”

“Blurbs & Other B Words”

“Margaritas & Marketing: A Dynamic Duo”

I could crank out that kind of stuff, but the marketplace is loaded with it. So, I am going to stick with my current project which is projected to be available…yeah, still TBD. NBD – it’s not like I have a contract. I have chosen the cover art. I think. What do you think?


Yesterday I allowed myself to be distracted by the SXSW Keynote given by Dave Grohl. He doesn’t care what I think, and so, I’ll refrain from critique. Suffice to say, it seems Indie’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Of course, when Doritos calls wanting to be my platinum sponsor, yeah, it’s a full on grab & go. I don’t care what anyone thinks!

Can you imagine? Yeah, me neither.

The Brass Tassel

Brass TasselThe thing was so heavy there was no way I could have accidentally left the hotel with the key in my pocket. The morning we left Florence for Naples I held the key one last time, gripping it, feeling the full weight of the heavy brass in my hand. When we checked in, we’d been asked to drop off the key each time we left the hotel. For safety reasons, we assumed. It hadn’t occurred to me to be concerned with safety. I’d never felt safer or more free for that matter. Days and nights exploring, soaking in the sights, savoring the experience with childlike naiveté was one thing that made it so pleasurable.

That morning, as we made our way to the train station, I couldn’t stop thinking about the opulent rooms of the hotel, once a private residence for the wealthy and important or that I’d held a key to one of those rooms. I will never forget that.

This morning, as I made the rounds to some of my favorite blogs, I knew I should be writing. Commenting on blogs isn’t going to get my work done, but it’s so much more fun than buffing and polishing a manuscript. I was scrolling through photos, daydreaming really, when my son came into the office and snapped me back into the moment, saying something about homework. Suddenly I remembered the topic of this post.

Like the weight of that brass tassel, procrastination holds me, grips me. I think I’m longing for the pleasure I felt that morning. Knowing I’d experienced something special, knowing that if the journey ended there, I would have been completely satisfied.


Not For Bot Consumption

Teaser The WordPress Automaticians created a great annual report for each of us that gives an overview of our 2012 blog performance. The fireworks are quite impressive. I’m not sure the report takes into account the impact of my spambot audience. One of the places from which views were most referred seems to be a scumbot email address.

I really want a super-sonic laser-pingback that fires a shit storm at spammers.
I really want one of those super-sonic laser-pingbacks that fires a shit storm at spammers.

I put together this list to show what I spent the last year writing for actual human readers. It isn’t a comprehensive list. I mean, who’d want to hack through re-hash 217 posts? Nope, this is just a snippet to give you the most bang for your blog viewing buck. So, for those who have nothing better to do on this New Year’s Eve, here are the categories.

In The Weeds

In The Weeds

What A Friend Won’t Tell You

Word Count: 185566 Words Later

Good Grief

Blogging From The Heart

Blogging Makes My World Go Round


Original Poetry

Not Quite Out Of Touch

Perception Is Not Reality

Life Right On Time

Variations On A Blogging Theme

Another One Of Those Days

The Unvarnished Truth About Being Freshly Pressed


The Deep End

Any Port In A Storm

Provoking My Thoughts

The Self Talk

Stray Dogs

Pick A Thought Any Thought: The Magical Anatomy Of The Blog

Bird Brain Ideas Duck And Cover



Color Commentary

(Something for the sports fans.)

Back To Reality

Nothing But Net

Blogging High On The Crimson Tide

How to too

Honie’s How To

(Something for the do-it-yourselfers)

How To Use Simple Math To Become Something We’re Not

How To Write About Something Stupid: I Mean Really Stupid

How To Mind Your Own Business

How To Spot BS Without X-Ray Vision

How To Be Married Like You Mean It

How To

Special Days

Every Day Is Mother’s Day

What I Learned From Frances

The Price Of Fatherhood

What Did You Say

It Was A Really Good Day

Exquisite Indulgence

Days I Should’ve Done Something Besides Blogging

(This was an embarrassingly long list. So, I scrapped it.)

 Shit Nobody Read

(This was another embarrassingly long list I decided to delete because not even I could discover a nugget that needed salvaging.)


What A Rant-O-Rama

(Surprisingly not a longer list. Seriously.)

Message From

Who Do They Think They’re Fooling

Mayday Mayday Mayday Reason Reason Reason

An Open Letter To Doctors

What’s Wrong With This Picture

Yesterday’s News

For The Love Of God What Is Wrong With These People

What The Flim Flam

What Fresh Hell Is This

The Drug Mule

360 Degree View

dot com

Shameless Self-Promotion

(Not embarrassing. That’s why it’s called shameless.)

Honie Is Blogging, Seriously?

Summoning The Strength: The Preface

Self Publishing: One Year And Counting

Smashing Good Times

Self Publishing Insiders Trading

It Was My Lucky Day Interlude

What Self Publishing Means To Me

Because It’s Better Than Having Your Guts Ripped Out By A Wheat Thresher


100% Pure Honie

How I Met Larry McMurtry

Living In The Moment

Take It Any Way You Want

What Happened When The Power Went Out

Jury Duty

Time To Flip The Scrip

A Matter Of Death And Life


Coming Out Of A Summertime Coma

Blog Bling Prevents Erectile Dysfunction

Thanks For Reading.

2013 Is Gonna Be A Blast!

BiG BanG