My 10 Confessions as an Author

While I can guarantee that there are many more than 10, here are the 10 biggest ones. Believe it or not, more people will be able to admit they do these things as well…

1. When introducing a new character, I become the character in every way. I even dress like them and experience the same emotions they do.

2. After writing a murder scene or any gruesome scene, I sleep with the TV on.

3. Speaking of TV, many of my characters are modeled after a character or actor on TV; like Chandler Bing 😉

4. Sometimes I will be on such a role in my writing, that I forget to eat lunch or dinner.

5. I often turn on the radio and close my eyes to imagine a scene and let my fingers do the talking.

6. My favorite TV show is Castle (my bet is that every author loves this show).

7. Many of my stories are about me or something I wish would happen to me.

8. When I having writer’s block, I write a sex scene. Whether I actually include it in the final draft or not is determined in the editing process.

9. When I see something or think something, I often think in terms of a book. For example, right now there is a crow outside of my window. Instead of just seeing the crow, my brain automatically started saying “His wings were black with a hint of blue as the sun hit his feathers.” See what I mean?

10. When I read other authors’s novels I get jealous at how amazing and realistic their writing is.

 

Ok, how many of these do you do and how many were you unaware of until now?

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Me as an Artist

I am not only an author, photographer, cook, and etc, but I am also an artist. I draw, paint and collage. I usually do it to relax, but there are some times when inspiration just hits and I spend 3-6 hours working on a piece, like the one below.

I ended up giving this to my mom as a gift… I am very proud of it, but a lot of people don’t understand the colored spots. They are suppose to represent fairies flying through the air. It took 6 hours to complete and it was a Mother’s Day gift.

I work in a lot of different mediums, including pastels (like above), pencil, ink, paint, watercolors, charcoal, and etc. There isn’t much I can say about my art, except that I love to create. I draw landscapes, animals, people, building, and even fashion designs. I would never pursue a career in art, because it is only something I do occasionally and only when I am in the mood for it.

Wedding dress design

All in pencil… Took 2 days

Pastel autumn scene

Charcoal

Done in all pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All Rights Reserved

Cooking is Art

Not only do I love writing about food in my stories, but I love to cook too! I made home made macaroni and cheese the other day and it was fantastic, but that isn’t the focus of this post. The focus of this post is the way that food is created and presented. Studies, and restaurant owners, have shown that food that was created with care and precision and presented on a clean plate in an appealing way looks more appetizing to the person consuming it than food just slopped onto a plate. Granted, there are some places when pretty plates aren’t necessary, but in a sit down diner it is a smart move.

Plating food is an art form. It requires layers, complimenting colors, and needs to capture someone’s attention. When I made the Salsa Chicken that you see in the above photograph, I took the time to cook the chicken until it was tender enough to fall apart with the touch of a fork and when it came time to plate it, I placed things methodically. First, I took the Al-Dente spiral pasta and lightly cascaded it in a circle around the plate, letting it slide to the middle. Then, I carefully placed the chicken in the middle, like it was made of glass (which since it fell apart easily, it basically was). The pepperoni came next. Only a few slices were strewn around the chicken to add a kick of heat to every bite of pasta. After that, I poured the homemade salsa over it all in a splash of bright red color and to finalize it I sprinkled some Fresh Parsley on the chicken. It ended up being really delicious and the careful plating definitely made it more appetizing. Even as I type and look at the photograph I want to taste it again.

So, the next time you are making yourself or your family a meal think about how it looks on the plate and maybe consider making it a little prettier. It may not be noticed or appreciated out loud, but it will definitely be evident by the “Mmmmmmm” that everyone hums when they bite in to the “special” dish. Enjoy!

 

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC RIGHTS RESERVED

Eating My Words

After reading part of one of my stories, my friend said that it was like “reading a scratch and sniff”. It was the biggest compliment she could have given me. I’ve always been told that my descriptions of food are amazingly realistic and make my readers hungry, but they don’t understand how I am capable of it. I really can’t explain it, but I love writing about food in my stories. No one ever thinks about ways to describe the foods they eat. They should, because it makes the process of eating even more pleasurable.

Think about how it feels in your mouth when you eat a piece of cake. The first thing your taste buds recognize is the sweet flavor of sugar, but as it melts in your mouth those buds explode like fireworks. Velvet frosting slides across your tongue and down your throat, chased by the pleasure. Your nerves go on high alert, ready for the sensations that come with the next bite. You were hasty when the first bite had entered your mouth, but now, as your take the second bite, the fork slowly descends into the slice of rich chocolate cake and makes its journey up to your mouth.

Want a piece of cake yet?

Passage that my friend read when she made the comment:
Cookies were in the oven and the scent of sugar and butter melded together in the air to create an intoxicating aroma; tinged with a hint of the rich savory smell of chocolate.

 

Excuse me while I go eat a cookie… and dive into a good book.

 

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Why I Write

A lot of people have asked me, in the past, why I write novels and I am here today to explain my process to you all. I write, because it helps me to express my fears, doubts, worries, heart break, and etc. in a healthy way. Instead of running off “half-cocked” and taking out revenge on whomever hurt me or stressing myself sick over a worry, I get on my laptop and start to type. I let the scenes play out the way I hoped they would or feared they would in real life and then help my characters to get past the burdens or bask in the happiness. Essentially, my characters are me and I am my characters.

Readers may not understand just how invested authors are in their characters. We mold them, watch them grow, feel them fall in love, feel their tears and fears, and feel their anger radiating through the keyboard and up our fingers until we just want to punch the imaginary wall. In essence, authors are parents. We dream about our characters, we “give birth” to them in our words, raise them and help them learn right from wrong, and then- in the best cases- we help them decide their future and find the love they so deserve. We even experience tears of joy and sadness as we watch them live their dreams and go out on their own.

I can’t speak for other authors, but I even experience Empty Nest Syndrome when my characters stories are over. Until my next child (or character) is born, I remember the past experiences with the others and hope they are doing well in life and love. Sometimes they even show up in my dreams and I wake up knowing they are as happy as they can be in life.

So, while my writing starts out as a healthy way to express myself, it turns into an art form and a precious gift. I love my characters and their stories as much as I will love my own child one day and that is the greatest gift in the world.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC RIGHTS RESERVED.

Bullying

I was bullied as a teenager. Between the jokes about my weight, the insensitivity about my grades, and the taunting about who I liked I was probably the most bullied person in my class. A lot of people didn’t see it happening, or if they did they ignored it, but I knew what the majority of the class thought about me. Sure, I had a few loyal friends who stuck by me, because they liked me for who I really was; but I couldn’t seem to focus on the good.

The worst time I was ever bullied was when someone I liked told me they liked me back, but then told the entire school that it was just a joke. It nearly broke my heart to pieces when one of my good friends brought this to my attention. I cried for days.

That was six years ago, but the bullying hasn’t changed. Kids are still being subject to these taunts and cruel words and adults aren’t taking it seriously. They figure “kids just pick on other kids, it’s natural”, but it’s not. Our country is based on freedom and equality and that belief should be taught to our children. Bullying is serious and should be taken seriously, no matter the extent of the actual bullying. One little thing, like picking on a friend because she has a crush, could lead to things more emotionally destructive. What would you do if your children came home crying, because one of the people in her school started spreading around an altered photograph of him or her that showed them half naked or involved in a shocking activity?

SPOILER ALERT!

Sherryl Woods (http://sherrylwoods.com/index.html) addresses this issue in her book, Catching Fireflies, and really strikes you in the heart. If you ever want to read a book that makes you cry, laugh, get angry, be happy, be worried, be scared, be hopeful, and be sympathetic at the same time this is the book to buy. The characters are relate able, caring, loving, and a family. The town of Serenity is a town you wish you lived in and town you will visit in your dreams. But, most importantly, it is a book that captures your heart and puts a smile on your face.