Unexpected Coolness from…Dolly Parton?

dollyJust because I’m moving to Nashville in three days doesn’t mean I’m going country, but sometimes unexpected cool things just happen. I like Dolly, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan. I like a few of her songs and she seems to be a kick-ass business woman. She’s a fabulous song writer and everyone agrees, she’s a nice person. I don’t think anyone has ever said a bad word about her. That being said, her voice is a little squeaky to me, not very pleasant, until you turn her 45 on 33 rpm.

The result is this…. http://www.wimp.com/unexpectedsound/

It sounds like Fleetwood Mac and I’m completely in love with it. Enjoy!

#Hashtags for #Writers


Here’s a huge list for you authors on Twitter. It was compiled by a bunch of people, and I compiled it further. Print it out and enjoy!






  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #AmRevising
  • #Author
  • #Authors
  • #AuthorLife
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #CopyWriting
  • #EditGoal
  • #Editing
  • #ePubChat
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #NaNoWriMo
  • #PBLitChat (picture books only)
  • #PoetTues
  • #ScriptChat
  • #TenQueries
  • #WordCount
  • #WriteGoodNews
  • #Writer
  • #Writers
  • #WriteChat
  • #WriterWednesday (or #WW or ##WW)
  • #WritersLife
  • #WritersRoad
  • #Writing
  • #WritingBlitz
  • #WritingParty
  • #WroteToday
  • #YALitChat
  • #ZineChat


  • #amreading
  • #Biopic
  • #Book
  • #Comedy
  • #Cookbooks
  • #Cooking
  • #Crime
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #Dystopian
  • #Erotica
  • #KidLitChat
  • #FanFic
  • #Fiction
  • #FlashFic
  • #Food
  • #Historical
  • #History
  • #HistFic
  • #HistNovel
  • #Horror
  • #KidLit
  • #Literature
  • #LitFic
  • #MGLit (Middle Grade Lit)
  • #MemoirChat
  • #Mystery
  • #NonFiction
  • #Novel
  • #Paperbacks
  • #Paranormal
  • #Recipes
  • #Regency
  • #RomanceWriter
  • #Romance
  • #Romantic
  • #RomanticSuspense
  • #RWA (Romance Writers of America)
  • #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
  • #Science #Fiction
  • #ScienceFiction
  • #SciFi
  • #SciFiChat
  • #Short
  • #ShortStories
  • #Short #Stories
  • #ShortReads
  • #ShortStory
  • #SteamPunk
  • #Suspense
  • #TrueStories
  • #UrbanFantasy
  • #WomensFiction
  • #YA


  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor
  • #AskEditor
  • #BookMarketing
  • #EBooks
  • #ePub
  • #ePublishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #HowTo
  • #IAN1 (Independent Author Network)
  • #Indie
  • #IndieAuthor
  • #IndiePub
  • #IndiePublishing
  • #IndiePubChat
  • #PromoTip
  • #Publishing
  • #Pubtip
  • #PubWrite
  • #SelfPub
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #VSS (very short story)
  • #WebFic
  • #WebLit
  • #WritingTip
  • #WriteTip
  • #WLCauthor (World Literary Cafe)



  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #EHFA (English historical fiction authors)
  • #WordCount
  • #WriterWednesday
  • #WritersLife
  • #YALitChat
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #ScriptChat (Screenwriters)
  • #PoetTues
  • #ZineChat
  • #WritingParty
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #WriteChat
  • #NaNoWriMo
  • #PBLitChat (Picture books only)
  • #Tweets4authors



  • #1K1H (one thousand words one hour)
  • #140Poem
  • #Creativity
  • #StoryStarter
  • #WIP (work in progress)
  • #WordAThon
  • #WriteGoal
  • #WriteMotivation
  • #WritersBlock
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #WritingSprint


  • #99c
  • #99cents
  • #Amazon
  • #AmazonKindle
  • #AmazonLikes
  • #AmazonPrime
  • #AmReading
  • #BestRead
  • #BookBuzz
  • #BookBuzzr
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #BookMarketing
  • #BookReview
  • #Books
  • #BookSpotlight
  • #BookWorm
  • #Borrow
  • #eBook
  • #eReaders
  • #ff (Friday Follow)
  • #Free
  • #Freebie
  • #FreeBook
  • #FreeDownload
  • #FictionFriday
  • #FictionFridays
  • #FridayFlash
  • #FridayReads
  • #GoodReads
  • #GreatRead
  • #IndieThursday
  • #IndieTuesday
  • #iPad
  • #KDP
  • #KDPSelect
  • #Kindle
  • #KindleBargain
  • #KindleBooks
  • #KindleeBooks
  • #KindleFire
  • #KindleTouch
  • #KindleTweet
  • #Kobo
  • #LendingLibrary
  • #LitChat
  • #MustRead
  • #MyWANA (We Are Not Alone writer’s group)
  • #New
  • #Nook
  • #Novel
  • #Novelines (to quote your own work)
  • #Novelists
  • #Novels
  • #Paperbacks
  • #Poetry
  • #PoetryMonth
  • #Pubit
  • #Read
  • #Reader
  • #Readers
  • #Reading
  • #Reviews
  • #SampleSunday
  • #SeriesBooks
  • #ShortReads
  • #Smashwords
  • #Sony
  • #Special
  • #StoryFriday
  • #StoryTelling
  • #TeaserTuesday or #TeaserTues
  • #GreatReads
  • #WhatToRead
  • #WriteQuote
  • #WeekendReader
  • #WLC (World Literary Cafe)
  • #WLCbookbuzz
  • #Wordathon


  • #ASMSG (authors social media support group)
  • #AuthorRT (author’s retweet group)
  • #BYNR (book your next read)
  • #CR4U (clean reads for you)
  • #FollowFriday
  • #free or #freebie
  • #FreebieFriday
  • #FreeReads
  • #HSFCA (historical fiction authors retweet group)
  • #IAN1 (Indie author network)
  • #IARTG (indie author retweet group)
  • #RT
  • #Share
  • #WLCauthor (World Lit Cafe)
  • kinds of books – #Kindle #Nook #ebook #paperback #epub #amazon #kdp #audiobook #audible #trailer #excerpt #pdf1

An Inaugural Anniversary

This year is the 225th anniversary of the inauguration of the President of the United States. I’m sure you don’t really care, but the first inauguration was quite interesting. Here are some facts:

washington-1789The inauguration happened two months late, because bad weather delayed members of the very first Congress’s arrival in New York, where they were voting. Travel was a bear in those days, but the inauguration finally happened on April 30, 1789.

George Washington was UNANIMOUSLY voted into office. When was the last time the House and the Senate did anything unanimously?

They had to borrow a Bible from the Masonic Lodge down the street.

This event set the stage for future inaugurations to follow. It was held outdoors. It included a Bible. The inaugural address was given to a joint session of Congress. The event was followed by a church service and festivities. We still do all those things today. There is one thing that is questionable though. Modern day presidents end their oath with the words, “So help me God,” believing they are following the tradition of George Washington, but there is no evidence Washington ever said that.

And just so you know, Washington served as President without pay.

Happy Inaugural Anniversary!

National “I Am In Control” Day – No, really.

I-am-in-Control-Day-744938It’s coming quick. Do something. March 30th is National “I am in Control” Day.

It commemorates the date in 1981 when Secretary of State Alexander Haig said, “I am in control here,” in response to an interview regarding the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Take control. Put your foot down. Show people you mean business.


Well, how in the world can I do that, you ask? Let’s start with the outside stuff.

1. Make sure your clocks are set accurately.

2. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors, flashlights, remotes, clocks.

3. Fix those dumb things in your life that you tend to ignore – the burnt out lightbulb in the closet, the loose doorknob in the garage, the broken tile in the kitchen, the non-working blinker on your car.

4. Make appointments for those things you neglect – the dentist, the financial planner, the mammogram.

5. Organize those little places that never get organized – the medicine cabinet, the glove box, the junk drawer.

6. Call the people who are important to you and schedule time to see them. It doesn’t need to be a 10-day vacation together. Everyone eats dinner. Eat at the same place.

7. Finish this list. Only you know what things in your life need attention.


Now, let’s move on to inside stuff.

1. People can insult, belittle, upset, offend you ONLY if you allow them to. Their actions and words say  a lot more about them than about you. You are an amazing child of the universe and you ROCK! Blow it off, let it go, pay no attention.

2. If there is something bothering you, fix it. Do you need to apologize? Do it. Do you need to set some boundaries? Set them. (Realize you’ll probably need to set them over and over because not everyone will like your new rules, but they’ll get used to it. Stick to your guns. You’re in control, remember?)

3. If you can’t fix it, search your soul to find a way to be at peace with it. People live happy lives despite their circumstances. Be one of those people.

4. Only you know what number 4 is. Do that.

It’s YOUR life! Do what you need to do to be able to say “I am in control.” March 30th is coming up fast!

Frogs, Frogs, Everywhere!

I was reading a blog by NIKIMARIE about what she carries in her purse, and it got me thinking about the quirky things we carry around with us. Do you have some strange thing in your purse or your wallet that you couldn’t part with? My trophy husband carries a torn piece of his friend’s underwear from twenty-five years ago. Don’t ask. Just do what I do, shake your head and quietly back out of the room.

Well, I have one of those quirky things, too! I carry a carved, soap-stone frog!

The frog thing started a while back.

I read somewhere that it’s good Feng Shui to place a frog by your front door. It attracts money. Well, who wouldn’t want that? So, I put a little frog by my front door and sure enough, I instantly got more money.

If you know me, you know how obsessive I can be. So, I figured if one frog was good, more frogs would be better. Don’t laugh. It’s logical, no? My trophy husband didn’t think so either. But let me tell you, we always have the money we need. Nine years of putting children through college, new homes, family emergencies, we always have it, no matter how much.


So, where else would you put a “money frog” except where you keep your money? I placed this little one in my change purse, and my change purse is always full of money. I will keep it there forever and ever!


Here ends our Feng Shui reading for the day. So, give it up, what’s your quirky thing?

My Grandmah – the Doctah

In the early 1900s, my great grandmother, Nancy Didama Spencer Burke (Grandma Damie) was a doctor. She rode around the back hills of Newton County, Mississippi, taking care of the sick. She didn’t ride in a car. She rode side-saddle, and a woman doctor was a rare thing.

Many moons ago, women were the caretakers and caregivers, but at some point the medical power was given over to men. Gaining that power back was a hard door to open.

T909228_08It was opened by Elizabeth Blackwell (pictured left) in the mid-1800s. Miss Blackwell was born in England, but raised in America. A dying female friend told her she would have suffered far less if her physician had been a woman. This statement encouraged Elizabeth to pursue a career in medicine. She was told she would never become a doctor, because there was no schooling available for a woman, but that didn’t stop her from applying to every medical school in the country. Finally, as a joke, she was voted into Geneva Medical College in New York. I can only imagine the ridicule she received at the all-male school. But she showed them. She graduated first in her class in 1849 and later studied surgery, midwifery, and obstetrics. One can imagine she had very few patients and no camaraderie, but she persevered. Keep in mind this was 100 years before women even got the right to vote. She was a strong and intelligent woman.

She paved the path for many women in the field of medicine – even Grandma Damie.

It’s Constitution Daaaaayyyyyy!

Well, how can you not be excited about that? …especially if you say it like the radio announcers waking Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.


What in the world is Constitution Day? I’m glad you asked.

It is the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution (this year being the 226th) and a congressionally-mandated law (passed in 2004), requiring all schools that receive federal funding offer an educational moment on the Constitution. Funny, of all the things the Constitution mandates, public education is not among them.


So, what IS the Constitution?

It’s a document stating how our country should be run, beginning with the Preamble (kind of a mission statement) and followed by seven Articles (the rules, if you will).

The first three Articles separate our government into three branches so that one branch does not have anymore power than the others.

The fourth and sixth Articles lay out the foundation for relationships between the states and to the federal government.

The fifth provides instructions for amending the Constitution. (Since its inception, it has been amended twenty-seven times.) And the seventh provides instructions for ratifying the Constitution.

It was written in 1787, and not everyone was happy with it at the time. A feeling that continues through today.

“I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.”
–Benjamin Franklin, 1787

You can get a FREE pocket-size Constitution (with $3 shipping) if you go HERE.

In my humble opinion, there are not more powerful words in America than the Preamble.

flagWe, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Wednesday Writer’s Corner – August 21, 2013

Swimming in a Turquoise Sea of Jumbled Lyrics    


Why Don’t You Just Hire an Editor?

“The sky was the color of a bruised palette…”










I was reading an intense, frightening chase scene when the above sentence appeared. It stopped me dead in my tracks and has stuck in my mind for a long, long time. I assume the writer meant the sky was filled with blue and gray clouds, but he could have meant someone’s mouth was bruised from getting punched in the face. Obviously, I don’t know the difference in spelling between the roof of your mouth and the board used to mix paints. Either way, it took me out of the story. I began thinking about painter’s palettes and how they can’t get bruised, because they’re made of wood.

I’m not only going to pick on that writer. I’ve done it myself. While running from a murderer through the foggy forest, my character “looked up into the black arms of the haunted trees.”









Fortunately, I have a fabulous editor who crossed it out in bold, bright red. I thought it was pretty clever, but I could almost hear her yelling “WTF?” all the way from her office in California.

An editor will kick your artistic butt, but they will make you look good. They will correct your grammar, your punctuation, your point of view, tighten up your wonky dialog (as above), and if you give them enough latitude, they will do heavy copy editing and replace your poor choice of words, repair your jumbled scenes, and restructure your paragraphs. They will also check your facts and your timeline. In one book, I mentioned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a story that took place two years before he was knighted. My editor caught it and deleted the ‘Sir’ from his name. Deep in my heart, I know she’s worth far more than I pay her.

There’s only one bad thing about a good editor. When you get your manuscript back with more corrections than your ninth-grade English term paper, you will feel like you should never write again. But you have to shake that off. Editors do what they are paid to do, and it has nothing to do with your talent or your feelings.

Stephen King has an editor. You should too.

(The above photos are from thewallpapers.org and flickriver.com.)