Let Worm-God help with your writer’s block

Note: Don’t tell her you don’t believe. She hates it when creativity is stifled.

She started out as a mere, mealy book worm.


She has read ALL of your work and she waits for more. She lives in her heaven beneath the earth surrounded by tunnels and tunnels of shelves filled with writings from authors, books of all genres from every year. When the others around her noticed this magnitude, they had declared her Worm-God.

At night, she listens. She hears the crumpling of paper, the slam of a laptop, the author’s piercing whine.

She ascends. She is careful. She waits until you nod off, then wiggles imperceptibly between your fingers and leaves a residue of inspiration. When she is finished, she returns below.

The next morning, you rise, pour a cup of coffee or tea, check emails. You pop your knuckles and begin.

Deep below, Worm-God makes room for your new book. As she waits, she smiles.





By the way, she will also nudge you into sending off your manuscript.

animated image credit

A Kindle Ad reminder

As a kid, I hated to read. Nothing stuck. Everything around me had more meaning than written words inside a book. Then came To Kill a Mockingbird. At age 14, this was the first book I read cover to cover. “So, some books are good?” I thought. This one was proof.

I always liked writing but, many, many years passed before I became an avid reader. Maybe it’s because my mind could finally focus on words I didn’t write, words that enticed me to enter new worlds such as:

ancient Egypt in River God by Wilbur Smith

1975 India in A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

the Depression-era Ireland in Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

inside the memories of a man from a very dysfunctional family in The Prince of Tide by Pat Conroy

And many more, of course.

Still, I am very selective of the books I read. Many times, a book is over before I finish it. And no, I don’t feel guilty for closing it prematurely as some do. I just grab another and hope others don’t do the same with my novels!  🙂

Read to your child when they are young!

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Goosebumps! The Real Deal!

In 2013, I attended a writer’s conference in San Francisco. Guess who was the guest speaker! Yep, Mr. Goosebumps himself, R.L. Stine!

During his keynote Q and A, I stood and thanked him for his books. I told him how my son had grown up reading the Goosebumps series and how, because of them,  turned into an avid reader.

Mr. Stine thanked me and went on with his comical keynote. (Yes, he was hysterical and left the audience in stitches. Who would have thunk it?)

(I still have the video but don’t know how to put it here)

Anyway, Mr. Stine said, “Well thank you. That’s nice. Well, my son’s claim to fame was that he never read one. <laughter> No really. He was the right age and everything. And it used to make me nuts. He used to sell parts to his friends. <laughter> He used to come home and say, ‘ Dad you have to put Will in the next book and Jay… I think they paid him 10 bucks to be in Goosebumps.’ <laughter> Of course, I always did.”

What a great writer, speaker and, apparently, a dad.

Here is me and Mr. Stine at the book signing.


Entering the Insane Asylum

The Pungent smell of an insane asylum.


From The Last Bordello (voice of Sadie):

My limbs shook. My knees buckled. The men in white held fast to my elbows and pulled me toward a thick wooden door. When opened, the fragrant air vanished and was replaced with the malodorous smells of urine, vomit, rubbing alcohol, and something else I couldn’t quite place.

I saw only a few women, one being dragged in another direction. “Not surgery, not surgery!” the woman wailed.

The driver unlocked another door and pushed me into a small room that contained a stained mattress on the floor and a bucket for excrement. He told me to sleep well. I heard him laughing down the hall long after they had locked the door.

I thought it was a cruel joke, that my mother had followed behind and would now take me home with an “I told you so.” Before the tears had a chance to come, someone unlocked the door again.

RAW Journal Kernels – 1


Since my laptop took over, I haven’t journaled in many years. But, as you can see, I used to.



Skimming through these old treasures, I had this thought: “What if I shared kernels, bits of my past from numerous journal entries?”

So, here I go, making myself vulnerable. Again.

Please note: In order to be true to myself and to my fellow followers, this and upcoming entries are raw, unedited and scanned into this blog.scan-27



Meeting Dixie Dupree!

I rarely write a review on Amazon, but after reading The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart, I had to. Here it is:


Readers will learn from Dixie Dupree’s education!

Like every great book, the first chapter of The Education of Dixie Dupree grabs the reader by the collar and makes us yearn to know more. Loved this book!

The author, Donna Everhart, blew so much life and guts into her eleven-year-old protagonist that Dixie Dupree leaped off the page and into my heart from the very beginning. I identified with this young girl’s sassiness and grit, wagged my finger at her mischievous tongue, and, later, screamed at her to speak up and let the words flow.

Set in a small town in Alabama in the late 1960’s, the story revolves around Dixie and her relationship with her mother, father, brother and uncle. Written in first person point-of-view, Dixie shows us the good in her life, and how to survive when it’s anything but.

Some readers may find parts of Dixie’s suffering too troublesome to read. But her suffering is also part of our education. What reader can’t identify with the emotions of guilt, anger, and sadness that may lead to (hopefully temporarily) damaging our being?

But these emotions do not depict the whole story. The Education of Dixie Dupree is also about determination, insightfulness, warm hugs, resolution, and wholeness.

Dixie Dupree deserves a degree for her education—and her creator, Donna Everhart, deserves to be wearing a cap and gown and handed a framed diploma for writing this outstanding novel.

Better now, without teeth

Cono visits his grandpa. (No Hill for a Stepper, except- based on a true story)



Pa and I are sharing a piece of Ma’s famous peach cobbler when I ask, “Pa, what happened to yer teeth?”

“Cono, now I’ll tell ye. My teeth started to achin’ and smellin’ so bad that I figured I needed to take ‘em out, harvest ‘em like an overripe crop.”

 “All of ‘em? Ye pulled all of ‘em?”

 “Shor’did. I got myself a pair’a pliers, sat there on the front porch and pulled out the ones that were botherin’ me the most. The good ones left felt funny bein’ in there without company, so I jes’t took them out too.”

 “Damn!” I say. “They don’t stink no more?”

Pa laughs. “Ain’t nothing left te sniff.”

“He’s an old coot’s what he is,” yells Ma from the kitchen, overhearing the story.

 “I’m surprised ye noticed, Ma,” he yells back. “Ye cain’t see two feet without yer glasses.” He turns back to me. “Don’t ye fret none about it,” he gums out. “Ever since them holes healed up? I kin eat a steak jes’t like ever’ body else. I chew a little longer s’all. But my whistlin’s gone to hell in a hand basket.”

Daily prompt: Aromatic