Welcome Terri Lynn Main, author

Please welcome Terri Linn Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon. As well as a writer, Terri is an educator, and has some very wise words for all of us for the coming New Year: Beyond Resolutions: How to Prepare an Action Plan for 2012It’s the first of the year and that brings with it New Year’s Resolutions. We decide we are going to lose wieght, write a novel, learn a language, stop smoking and do a hundred other things we said we were going to do last year. So, why didn’t we do them last year? Because resolving doesn’t work. Planning Does! It is time you substitute your New Years Resolution with a New Year’s Action Plan. An action plan includes a reasonable goal and a set of steps in achieving that goal. How Does a Goal Differ from a Resolution? Resolutions tend to be vague, ill-defined and usually overly ambitious. For instance, I see resolutions like:  I’m going to write more this year I’m going to lose weight I’m going to be more careful with my money I’m going to improve ____ skill Immediately, questions jump to mind. How much will you need to write to “write more”? What will you need to do to lose weight? What does being “careful” with money mean? How will you know you have improved a given skill? Even more specific resolutions often have problems. Consider these:  I want to write and publish my new novel this year I want to lose 40 pounds I want my writing business to increase it’s profits by 30% These resolutions, though specific, are not entirely under my own control. They state an end result and not a specific behavioral change I need to make. While writing my novel is under my control,…

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Welcoming the New Year in with Roseanne Dowell

We’re starting off Blogging in 2012 with the one, the only Roseanne Dowell, a prolific and terrifc writer. Her new book, Secrets, Lies, & Love releases in only three more days, Jan. 4, 2012, from Books We Love Publishing. Give us a teaser about your new book, Roseanne, please. A dilapidated Queen Anne Victorian, a dead body, and an ex boyfriend complicate life for Meghan Shelby when she returns to her hometown after a ten year absence. Excerpt: Meghan loved this time of year, though a little too hot to start school in her opinion. Why they felt the need to go back in August was beyond her. She remembered her mother complaining about it years ago. “What was wrong with starting after Labor Day like they did in my day?” Her mother used to rant and rave for weeks before school started. Even got on the School Board. Not that it changed anything. School still started the last week in August. Meghan smiled at the memory.Now that she thought about it, it was silly. Like they took the last week of vacation away from the kids. Bet the teachers didn’t like it either. Meghan pulled into the school parking lot. Not much had changed here either. New landscaping, new windows, but that was about it. The old building looked pretty much the same.Her footsteps echoed in the empty hall. She’d never been in the school when it was empty before. The strong odor of wax and other cleaning products prickled her nostrils. The clean smell lingered through the first few days of school. It had been a long time since she’d been to the principal’s office and she stopped outside, took a deep breath and held it. Here goes nothing. Mr. Duncan said look for Mr. Mac. He must…

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Put The Fruitcake Down, Stand Back, And No One Will Get Hurt

It’s Christmas time, fa la la la la. Pass the eggnog, but only if made with fake egg yokes, fat-free half and half, and Stevia raw sugar extract. Keep the brandy coming, tho guys. It’s going to be a tough season.I write this because the lone fruitcake that has been circling around the globe for the past thirty plus years has gone missing. Unless someone ate it. Wait a minute! That can’t be. Fruitcake is the scourge of the holiday, the odd-man out, the little guy everyone likes to make fun of. I have it on personal authority that many a fruitcake has gone to bed sobbing each night at this sort of treatment. Fortunately, those tears are what keep it from drying out. Truly.I say, wake up, America! We are losing one of our natural resources! Fruitcakes are an endangered species! I mean, when was the last time anybody served a fruitcake at a holiday party? And with pride?I used to make fruitcakes all the time. It takes weeks. Then you store them soaked in booze for months. I started mine in early October. They were delicious. Everyone loved them. Truly.Then I don’t know what happened. It’s always the little things at first that set the pattern.“No, thank you, I’m trying to watch my weight.” Said after devouring five chocolate chip cookies. “No thank you, I don’t drink.” Come on now! Something soaked in six or seven cups of brandy just heighten the experience! Truly.“I’ve never really liked fruitcake,” said one friend. She has since been written off my gift list. I knew from the first, tho, this comment was the death knell of the holiday fruitcake.I don’t bake fruitcake any more. A lot of work and it’s an ungrateful world out there. Now I order them online from…

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Frank Scully is Here! Drumroll, Please!

I’m thrilled to say Frank Scully has graced us with his cyber presence. This is one fine writer. And he’s also a cat lover! Frank has had a very interesting life, and I hope all of you will enjoy his interview as much as I did. Welcome, Frank! Heather, it is a pleasure to stop by and guest on your blog. Always nice to visit a fellow Muser, and I have enjoyed your Alvarez Murder Mystery series. We are also apparently both cat lovers as well as mystery writers. Cats are a mystery in themselves that no one will ever solve. Anyway, thanks for letting me stop by to mention my latest book, EMPTY TIME. I had fun writing this one. In most of my books the hero is, well, a hero type. A soldier or a cop, even if a part time deputy, or something similar. In EMPTY TIME, my protagonist, Jim Lang, starts out as a fat-bottomed corporate bureaucrat who is set up to be the patsy for international stock fraud, murder and other crimes. Now, although I have a day job as a corporate bureaucrat, it shouldn’t be assumed that I have a generous backside or am anything like the hero. However, I do know the inner workings of the corporate world and business negotiations all too well. Fortunately, I haven’t been set up to take the blame for murder and had to run from cops on several continents or been the target for killers. But who knows what might happen after my bosses read this book. Today’s corporate titans are much like the feudal lords and barons of medieval times. They claw and scheme their way up a ladder of prestige, privilege, wealth and power. However, unlike feudal times there is no code of conduct or…

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Well, Thanksgiving Has Come And Gone But…

…why does Life keep interfering with my writing? Who’s going to eat all this leftover turkey crammed inside my fridge? And why am I the one stuck with thinking about it? And why does my home look like the inside of a frat house? And again I say, when can I get back to my writing? I now understand why many historical writers were hysterical curmudgeons, not to mention recluses. It’s the only way you can get your work done.A short time ago, I finished giving my mother-in-law’s dog a bath. There were a myriad of steps that led to it, but there you are. She and her son, my husband, just went swimming. The house is quiet. Finally. Praise the Lord and pass the pen.LIVING VS. WRITING. WRITING VS. LIVING. And never the twain shall meet. Well, hardly ever.

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No, I didn’t Save the Spider

I’m not sure what’s up with me lately, but I and the animal kingdom are not quite getting along. First, the day before I left for the MuseItUp Retreat, my cat, Ellie used my neck as a perceived ladder in her bid for freedom. She repeatedly tells me this wasn’t her fault, though.Being half-Siamese and half-Egyptian Mau (black one on the left), Ellie can only take so much at the vet’s before she makes a break for it. She says her high-strung-edness has something to do with being related to Queen Cleopatera. That would be the half-Egyptian part, I’m thinking. Ellie says you can’t have a relative who got bit on the asp without inheriting a very sensitive nature, no matter how long ago it was. Anyway, I go back to the doctor on Monday to check the remnants of the Cat Scratch Fever. I still have a little lumpy scar on my…ahem…double chin from that episode. I mean, enough already. I’m only one person.Then and excuse me all to pieces for being annoyed over this, several days ago I got bit by a spider. This renegade spider hid inside the sleeve of my big shirt, inside my closet, inside my bedroom and then had the unmitigated gall to attack me, totally unprovoked. By the time this vile hooligan found a piece of unprotected skin — I wore this big shirt over a blouse — I was at a 1-day retreat at a friend’s house, walking down the street on a break, and minding my own business. Then YOWSER! I mean the inside of my lower arm felt the mighty jaws of this monster. I ripped off the shirt and there it was still clinging to inside the sleeve! At first I thought it was a bumble bee but I…

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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

I may not have seen all the photos from the MuseItUp Meet and Greet in Montreal, but I’ve seen enough. Let me say this about that: my hair tells the story. It drooped, it dripped, it sagged and it flagged. I’m sure this is because I was not at my best and NOT being a type A personality, it showed. I can rally, but only so much. Two days before my departure to Montreal, I came down with a bad cold. The following day I took my beloved sweetie-pie, Ellie, cat extraordinairre, to the vet for her checkup and shots. Once at the vet’s and having had enough, Ellie decided to make a break for freedom and used my neck in her panic to escape needles, prodding, and Q-tips. I bled profusely, the vet scurried, and Ellie ultimately leaped into her carrier to safety. The next morning the puncture wounds on my neck were swollen to goiter size, I was running a fever, and feeling miserable. Catch Scratch Fever, here I come! I thought for sure I would have to bail on the trip but didn’t want to do that. So sniffling with the cold and feverish from the infectious scratches, I went to the doctor for mega-size antibiotics and the okay to go. The doc gave it reluctantly. Ordinarily, I would have gone back to bed, feeling enormously sorry for myself, and sent an email of regret. But I had been looking forward to this trip for nearly 8-months. I hadn’t seen my beloved cousin for nearly 5-years and wanted to meet the publisher, staff and authors who’d turned my life around. I was going to go to Montreal if I had to be carried on board the plane. It almost came to that.The bottom line is after it’s…

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Cousin to Cousin

Just returned from Montreal and it was a Cuz Love Fest! First of all, I met my own cousin there, fellow Muse Author, Grace DeLuca. It’s so great when you admire and love a relative, a rarity, as everybody knows. But Grace happens to be one of my favorite people, even though she tends to order hamburgers and french fries when we’re out, knowing I am weak and will follow suit. Gracie and I haven’t seen each other in person for five years, what with her living in Florida and me in California. Sure, we talk on the phone and email each other regularly but give me a real hug over a virtual one every time! We played catchup, revealed secrets to one another we would tell no one else, and talked about us, us, us. It was heaven.Then I got a chance to visit America’s cousin, Canada, and meet Canadians on their own turf. Friendly, friendly, friendly. And it seems to come from the heart. I can’t wait to go back. I was so busy with the Muse events and visiting with Grace, I never got into the city of Montreal at all! That’s okay, it merely means I need to return. Montreal Jazz Festival in July, here I come!! Lastly, I got to meet those two Muse dynamos, Lea and Litsa, in the flesh. These amazing women are loaded with smarts, integrity and honor. Plus, they are two energizer bunnies dedicated to the Muse authors like no body’s business. I found them to be in the author’s corner and know us pretty well, sort of like the way a first-rate teacher knows her students. But Lea smacks with a wet noodle instead of a yardstick.At the Friday night get-together dinner, we had a chance to learn something about…

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What I Know About Canada…

…you could probably put on the head of a pin and still have room left over for a recipe for Yankee pot roast. I don’t say this with any pride. I say this with the jarring realization I may be ignorant about our neighbors.In two days I leave for the first ever MuseItup Publishing Meet and Greet taking place in Montreal. It also coincides with a mammoth book fair where…gasp….2000 Canadians have been known to show up. So if I don’t want to come across like an idiot, I’d better get cracking on gathering some facts about Canada. Let’s see what I know:First, it’s to the north. Scoff not. I’ll bet you if you asked a roomful of 7th graders, some of them wouldn’t know that. I like to take my points where I can get them.Second, they have mounted policemen who always get their man. I know several female friends like that, but we’ll let that go for the moment. Moving on, these mounted policemen sing songs astride their trusty steeds in a gorgeous baritone voice and look like Nelson Eddy. Soooo not a bad look. Songs like “Give Me Some Men Who Are Stouthearted Men” and “When I’m Calling You” and others are thrown in here and there while rounding up the bad guys. I think it’s a diversionary tactic.If you don’t believe me, hie thee to Netflix and rent “Rose Marie,” one of those oldie goldie movies, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. A bonus is you get a gorgeous Jeanette McDonald singing in E above birdcall and if I remember rightly, she does it while sitting in a canoe. Imagine the balance needed to do that and still hit those high notes. I was mightily impressed with Canadian womanhood.Third and speaking of singing, their national…

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Happy Halloween!!

Here is a little short story I wrote for MuseitUp Pub’s blogsite: SpookedbyHeather Haven Cliff adjusted the eye-patch and scrutinized the perfect but expensive pirate’s reflection in the full length mirror. From black leather boots to golden earring, he looked real enough to sail the seven seas. And just as lusty. Women liked that.“You’re one handsome son of a bitch, Cliffy Boy, if I do say so myself.” He let out a raucous laugh. “Especially now that you’re a widower.”The doorbell rang. He grumbled about early trick-or-treaters as he went to the door. He wanted to leave momentarily for the Halloween party, hoping to score big with that hot Jocelyn, from the life insurance company. It was so nice when employees from the very company paying off for your wife’s demise also put out. Two short months of her being dead and he’d never seen so much action. All those babes just waiting to comfort him.“Ahoy there, matie!’ He flung open the door, posed then looked up and down the hallway. There was no one. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a small creature scurry across the threshold and into his apartment. “Damn it to hell,” he bellowed and turned around to see his dead wife’s black cat run through the living room and out onto the terrace, the terrace from where he’d helped his wife to her untimely but necessary death. After all, she’d been cramping his style.That day he would have tossed the beast over the railing, too, if he could have caught it. But right after the ‘accident,’ it ran out into the hallway meowing at the front door of their nosy neighbor, who’d scooped it up and took it inside. Ever since then, anytime he would step into the hallway to go to…

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