Just When You Think The Book is Done…

The euphoria of finishing a novel, which for me is generally a yearlong process, fades quickly when the editing starts. I thought I’d overcome the perils of being a panster (rather than a plotter) by working with a developmental editor.

I appreciate the help of my critique partners, which have resulted in a need for major reworkings of my new Contemporary Western/Women’s Fiction. But even an Urban Fantasy completed and heavily edited multiple times since 2017 needs more before being submitted, which lead me to believe there will always be room for changes.

Market trends certainly play a part, since what readers want, and as a result what editors are looking for are moving targets. But the bottom line always seems to be cutting scenes that are not helping to build tension and conflict, and those that don’t advance the storyline.

For the urban fantasy, what is probably the fifth…

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On The Cusp of A New Year: Part Two-The Way Forward: All Hands On Deck So Roll Up Your Sleeves

As promised, this is the second of two posts. The last was a recap of the events of 2020 through my eyes as as nurse practitioner/midwife and and author of both fiction and non fiction.

Two weeks after my last post, the turmoil has not died down. Let’s leave the politics at that. But like all of you, I am committed to moving forward focusing on what I can influence and on what I can control (some days).

My grown kids are back at college or in their homes in Providence, Rhode Island, Brooklyn, New York City and Woodside, California. Being together during the end of this very um, remarkable year was a moment to savor many family moments while isolating together shoveling snow, and pursuing our own interests.. Every week or so we lined up for COVID tests so we could visit relatives in small groups, chat with friends…

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On The Cusp of A New Year: Part One-Reminiscence and Prognostication

By a trick of the calendar, I will be posting on the Soulmate Author’s Blog for consecutive Mondays. Today is Part 1, and we shall see what happens between now and January 11. Reading the blog posts of my fellow Soulie’s over the past few months has been both a comfort and escape. No one should feel alone during a pandemic.

The bookending of a most (ahem) extraordinary year is quite a challenge since, for most of us, not much is happening since we’re in varying stages of a “pause.” But for sure, we can all say that none amongst us could have predicted that 2020 would unravel the way it did. And the hangover will last well into 2021 as we all retrace, bemoan, and process and try to exorcise the course of events that unfolded–and continue to unfold.

My “day job” is in public health, and despite being…

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Giving Thanks

If there was ever a year to test one’s resilience 2020 is it. Last winter, my seasonal affective disorder was particularly recalcitrant, compounded by a large number of patients during late January and February with what I termed a “really nasty virus” that was not influenza, but had them sidelined for weeks with coughing, difficulty breathing and exhaustion, with a sprinkling of gastro-intestinal upset.

I was sick enough to go to urgent care twice–and the second time I was signed out of work for seven days. My daughter missed two weeks of her senior year in high school as the illness passed amongst she and her classmates. By the time COVID 19 was identified in a critically ill New York State resident who lived along in an area where commuters would ride the subway right past my place of employment, it was too late to stop the surge.

I don’t…

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A Happy Book Birthday To The Widow’s Walk!

The Widow’s Walk is celebrating its sixth birthday!

During the late summer, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a contract renewal from Debbie Gilbert of Soulmate who is both my publisher and editor. Debbie heard my pitch at a Connecticut Romance Writers chapter event in 2013 and accepted the manuscript which was published November 11, 2014. And I’m honored that she still believes enough in it to keep it on the Soulmate Publishing list.

It’s hard to believe so much time has passed, but I still absolutely love the cover which was done by Christine Caughie.

The Widow’s Walk was my first long fiction publication, followed by Breakwater Beach in 2016 and Storm Watch in 2017. And even though The Widow’s Walk was published first, it wound up being the second book in the series.

Many of my beta readers loved the dual timeline stories of Elizabeth and Edward and…

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A Writer’s Garden—Finding #Peace in Mother Nature during #COVID-19 by Carole Ann Moleti

COVID 19 Reflections

Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Carole Ann Moleti, who is talking about how her garden helped get her through her COVID-19 experiences this year.

Welcome, Carole, and thank you for your front-line service during this global pandemic.

This past winter was more like an endless spring of damp, dreary days with flooding rains. The camellia bloomed, blood red, during the final days of March.

Camelia

That was right about the time those of us in health care raced in blindfolded, with one hand tied behind our backs battle to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In those early days, adrenaline pumping, I’d return home from what was supposed to be an 8-hour shift that lasted 10-12 hours. I’d pull into my driveway…

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And Time Stood Still

There is a low level, ever present fear

One month ago, I was struggling to finish my contemporary Western romance. The demands and pressure of my full time job as a midwife, taking care of the house, the pets, troubleshooting issues with my teenage and young adult children, my husband and my elderly mother are a lot to juggle. I’m overwhelmed by just reading the last sentence.

Creative writing has always been my outlet and I love escaping into my characters’ world. In the last week of normalcy, I  had a research paper to edit and finalize, and that was certainly not an escape.

The novel should have been finished by now. I make most of my deadlines, but sometimes they impose themselves on me.

One month ago, the theoretical threat of COVID-19 became real overnight. I woke up hearing that there was a cluster in New Rochelle, which is very close to New York City. The Metro North…

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Courage

Truly something to reflect on. Thank you.

The world has lost its innocence as we rediscover what past humans endured and survived.

But we are more able now than any time in history to study and fight this virus. The human species survived many such disasters in the past. Smallpox. The Black Death. Typhoid. Yellow fever. Cholera. Polio. The Spanish Flu of 1918.

Courage

At no other point in history has science been advanced enough to help with a virus. When the 1918 flu was raging, microscopes were not accurate enough to even see a virus. Compare that to this current pandemic, where the virus was not only identified, but gene sequenced within weeks.

Survive as a human race we shall. Changed without doubt – no longer confident in our invulnerability – but survive we will. But what aspects survive? The courage of medical staff, the endurance of grocery workers, the behind the scenes IT people building info…

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Withdrawal, But Not Retreat

It’s been a long writing journey that I’ve chronicled here over the last year or so. Its been almost fifteen years since I started creative writing in earnest. During that time a lot has changed in the world, in my personal and family life, and in my writing life. It has been a journey indeed.

For all that time, creative writing has been an escape from a demanding job, raising three children, caring for aging relatives. Now I am about to  make a third major job change (the one that pays the bills).

It seemed I would never complete Storm Watch, the third book in the Unfinished Business Series, but I did. And I started the fourth. That is now in limbo while I detoured to non fiction writing–and out of the blue–a contemporary Western romance/women’s fiction heavily based on current events.

In order to survive the increasing distraction of…

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The Beginning of the End

NaNoWriMo is coming to an end as I write my last SMP Author Blog post of 2019. But this year, I didn’t participate. Instead, I continued with my Happy 100s Facebook Group, and to date, I’ve logged 20,653 words on my work in progress since November 1! It’s also my first contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel. I hope to have the first draft done by mid winter 2020!

I find this laid back group, with minimal internal communications and no pressure other than to write 100 words per day, has enabled me do more than any year I did particpate in NaNo. Most often, I’ve been able to write more because once I get going, the creative instinct kicks in. We’re also able to count editing (at a reduced word count) in our totals, which is great since re reading what I wrote last helps me get into the mood to…

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