Say “Cheese.”

I read the newest book by a very prolific author. Each time I read one of her books, I turn it over to the back cover and see the same picture. She hasn’t updated her photo in at least the past 20 years.

I checked her Facebook page. Both her picture and bio haven’t been updated there, either.

I had to laugh though, when I realized I hadn’t changed my picture in the last 7 years.

Whether it is just pure laziness or if it’s because I like seeing a younger version of myself, I had to laugh at myself for doing the same thing.

Clearly, I have updated my information in About Myself on my website,, but the picture remains the same one I’ve always used.

I’m told that when you make changes on your website or Facebook page, the little internet crawlers get more interested in visiting you. Then ever-so-slightly, your ranking is improved. The changes don’t have to be huge. A change as small as a new profile picture is all that’s necessary.

So, take a few selfies, upload, and wait to see if you’ve become more visible.


Having Trouble Sleeping?

I’ve had trouble sleeping lately and I think I have found the reason why.

I used to knock off my work day at about 4 p.m. But due to a recent move that changed the order of things, I have had to sit down at the computer for a couple of hours after dinner most evenings.

When I write something particularly emotional, scary, or suspenseful I end my day with frustrated or angry feelings.

I put my theory to the test this week. 

When I worked on one of my books about dementia (I’m sure I’ve mentioned some of them. For example, 

I Remember Holidays) my anxiety level wasn’t nearly as high as when I worked on my suspense novel.

So, I’ve learned an important lesson: end my day’s writing with something light and happy. 

And I’ll get a good night’s sleep.


All of his life, Kevin never finished anything he started. In school, he often turned in uncompleted assignments. Later, he lost a succession of jobs because his projects were either late or only partially done before he was on to something else.

Unfortunately, this carried over to his budding writing career. His efforts were promising, but his publisher had another author work with Kevin on the last quarter of his book, so that it could be finished on time.

Even though he’d had help, his book was the first thing Kevin could remember completing. It gave him a huge boost and today, under a pen name, he is a successful and multi-published author.

I hope this story about Kevin helps inspire those of you who are struggling to complete your book. Perhaps you might go through your files and find something that you’d enjoy working on again.

There’s nothing like the feeling of typing THE END on that last page.

You Can Do It, Too!

Have you ever had your head filled with so many thoughts that you couldn’t move forward with just one? Did you lay awake at night unable to make your brain stop moving at warp speed?

When that happens to me, I write each one down on a pad of paper on my night table. When I awake, I expand on them the next morning and place them in a “future writings” file.

Some authors have the opposite problem. I just finished reading two consecutive fiction books about authors suffering from writer’s block. The ideas just wouldn’t come. They couldn’t get motivated to sit down in front of the computer and tackle the business of writing. (This would be a good time to open that “future writings” file, wouldn’t it?)

I have been away from writing for almost a month, working with my husband on a complete home remodel. Even though we are not nearly done, I feel the need to carve out some time to begin writing again. So, the last couple of days, I have been spending a couple of hours reading my work in progress. Refreshing my memory as to what happened in chapters 1-15, will serve to energize me to dive in again and finish my book. 

If those ideas don’t work for you, may I suggest just one more?

A couple of writer-friends from my critique group published books this past year. I am so proud of their accomplishments and reading their work serves to motivate me to keep going.

So if you are having a hard time beginning to write, or trouble finishing something you are currently working on, maybe reading some of your own past work or a book written by someone you know will reignite your writing.

If they can do it, you can do it, too!


When reading through some book descriptions on the internet, I came across an author who described her writing as Twisted Romance.


Years ago, twisted was often used to describe someone who had weird ideas or actions. Kooky or even kinky might have been synonyms.

I was curious to know if the term twisted, nowadays, meant something different.

Here’s what I found.

The current term twisted romance tells the full spectrum of love stories. Dark, depraved and addictive. Frantic and often painful. They are gritty and seek to take you out of your comfort zone.

Sometimes referred to as adult fantasy, these books may be more than you bargain for and introduce both the reader–and the writer–to the world of pornography. In my opinion, these books are a dangerous inroad to evil and a dark world that I (for one) want no part of.

Much better to stick with cozy mysteries, mainstream romance, and Christian Fiction (of course).

Give Them What They Want

Do you like the familiar—what’s comfortable and predictable? Or, do you crave the thrill and excitement of change?

I was talking to my neighbor at our yard sale and he told me that his wife reads several books a week—all Christian Fiction Novels. He stopped counting last year when she announced she’d already read over 300 since July.

While Christian Fiction is definitely what she likes to read, there are others that read a variety of books—some recommended by friends or those they see receiving five-star reviews.

So, what does this have to do with writing? Statistics tell us that far more people read exclusively from genres they enjoy than those who “mix it up.”

These readers also tend to read books from authors they like, moving on to another author only after they have exhausted all their preferred author has to offer.

So, if you are a writer, in order to gather a following, choose a genre you like and stick with it. Readers will find you—and be loyal fans—if you continue to give them more of what they want.

Go for the ‘Bigger Story’

We are in the process of moving, so I am not spending much time writing or looking for information online that I would like to pass along to you. 

But, that’s the way life is, isn’t it?

We have our private lives, and then we have our writing lives. And they are often at odds with one another—vying for one’s available time.

We make our choices and have to live with them. Our move to Nevada is for personal reasons, but it will affect my writing life, too.

I have always been the member of a critique group. Their input is invaluable. Because, as author Colleen Coble has said, “…brainstorming with partners takes us to a bigger story… on a deeper level.” 

My group meets one Friday per month as we each are given the opportunity to submit several pages of our current writing. 

However, the state we are moving to does not have any writing/critique groups listed online, so if I cannot find another group to work with in NEVADA, I have enlisted continued support from my Arizona group. We are going to try mailing critiques back and forth, first. But, if that proves too worrisome, we may try using FaceTime. 

My point in telling you this?  1) In case you are a writer in Nevada that knows of an existing critique group with an opening for a “new” member, please write in and let me know.  2) If sometime in 2023 I start a new writing group in Nevada—and YOU live in Nevada and would be interested in participating—please leave me a message on my website and I will put you on my list.

My website address  is

Stick to What Readers Want

In addition to writing, we authors read a lot, don’t we? And it’s no small wonder that when we read, we critique (even though we are reading for enjoyment, we just can’t help that instinct to do so).

So, here is what I am noticing lately: even though writers live by the mantra “show, don’t tell,” many revert back to telling when they write epilogues. It seems that in an effort to wrap things up nice and neat for their readers, they forget that the same rules apply to the epilogue as to the book as a whole.

This is just a reminder not to abandon our good writing habits at the end of our books. We need to give our readers excitement and great visuals that keep them loving our books to the very last word.

The Great Anticipation

Our plans sometimes do not go according to THE PLAN. 

We were sick in a hotel room all week. The only glimpse of Hawaii we saw was the ocean from our hotel room. 

We are now back home, feeling only slightly better. But we have, as always, great anticipation of the coming year.

So, I will simply wish you all a Joyous, Prosperous, and Healthy New Year!

Christmas Plans

Our plans sometimes do not go according to THE PLAN. We are sick in a hotel room and may not even feel well enough to attend services at a local church. So, I will simply wish you all a Merry Christmas and send a regular post next week.

May your Christmas celebration be filled with the love of family and friends. May Jesus be exalted in your lives and mine.