And She Was – Page turner, thriller – Coming March 2012

9 Feb

I just put down And She Was by Alison Gaylin and it is with pure satisfaction that I do so. This book, from the very first pages, has proven to be an addiction. For days I had been passing by it at work, reading the same first few pages over and over again when I decided to pick it up and read it start to finish. My first idea was to save it for my upcoming travels – some very long flights ahead – but “Oh, only one chapter” turned into “Oh, only the first 100 pages” which then turned into me, in the middle of the night, 3 hours with my eyes glued open and only ten pages to go. I promise you…it was THAT good.

Absolutely captivating. A page-turner.

Normally, my recreational reading revolves around humorous memoirs, chick lit,  and some historical fiction. Mystery-thrillers usually aren’t my go-to because I get so engrossed in the novel that I scare myself silly if I’m reading any time after 7 at night and this book was no exception to that rule. Let’s just say that at 1 am two nights ago I could have sworn someone was breaking in to kidnap someone in my home. No, no, not irrational at all :-O My unwarranted fears only prove that Gaylin is very effective at creating nail-biting, page-turning suspense magic with her words. Take  a peek at her website: She has penned several other mystery novels that I will need to check out of the library ASAP since I already devoured As She Was and loved it.

Happy Reading!

NYC area writers…free workshops!

3 Feb

The writing workshop mecca, Gotham, is hosting free writing workshops THIS weekend (and a few others) in NYC!!!

For those interested take a peek at what’s happening in town:

Sunday, Feb 5 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Memoir Writing class
Instructor: Kelly Caldwell
Sunday, Feb 12 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Humor Writing class
Instructor: Sara Barron
Sunday, Mar 4 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Article Writing class
Instructor: Jennifer Armstrong
Sunday, Mar 18 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Creative Writing 101 class
Instructor: John Oliver Hodges
Sunday, Apr 1 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Poetry Writing class
Instructor: Kate Angus
Sunday, Apr 15 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Screenwriting class
Instructor: Rory Haines

For those who haven’t visited, McNally Jackson it is a great indie bookstore right in the heart of NoLita. I met the owner once and she’s a very nice book lover whose family owns a chain of stores in Canada of the same name. If you love bookstores where the staff are knowledgeable and can lead you in the direction of the perfect book for you, then this should be your go-to book joint. The atmosphere is great and if they haven’t updated the decor then you’ll see an entire cafe filled with real books turned into light fixtures, walls, etc….it’s amazing! Such a great  idea. I’ve not yet visited Housing Works Bookstore, but it looks like that’s my next pit stop in the city because if it’s Gotham-worthy…it must be great!

Have a fabulous weekend!



Doctors to the Rescue!

1 Feb

Thanks to my daily NaNoWriMo newsletter I learned today that there are Book Doctors to the rescue for those in need of some assistance in getting their book published. Currently, the Book Doctors are running a WriMo-specific Pitchapalooza Contest where any WriMo participant can submit a 200 word pitch to be in the running to win an introduction to an agent or publisher that suits his/her novel. Another “fan favorite” contestant will win a free 1-hour consultation with the Docs worth $250. Not too shabby!

Here’s the low-down:

You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The 25 random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!  Link

This duo of Book Docs also advertises a “free 20-minute consultation (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published [their book]. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.” Not a bad trade-off! Two types of advise rolled into one.

It’s often said that writers are their worst editors because you are so engrossed in your own work that you can’t see the mistakes (sometimes glaring) that sit on the page in front of you. So, get a second set of eyes to take a look at your pitch, your idea, your novel and call the Book Doctors. They may be just what your novel ordered! 

Happy Writing!

Lack of Motivation

30 Jan

Sometimes, it’s hard to make the time to sit down and write. Period.
I’ve had teachers say that you make time for something you love and that is the pure truth. I commend professional writers who are only at the mercy of their own will power. Apparently, my will power went out the window the moment I decided to give myself some a day or two off from blogging at the holidays. Well, those few days turned into weeks and now I need to get back to it.
So, here’s what I’m going to try to work on this coming year to make sure I’m meeting my dedication to this blog and my writing projects:

1) Find a cool topic twice per week to post here on the blog
2) Take a writing class (got a Gotham 1-day intensive for my b-day, just need to use it!)
3) Use my new digital recorder to record ideas and stories lines I come up with while commuting everyday to work.

If I can keep these 3 things up, then I think I’ll be setting myself up to getting the ball rolling this year on my creative writing. It’s a resolution with a plan so according to all the New Year’s Resolution articles, it has about a 120% chance of working. Ok, I just made that up, but let’s hope it’s at least pushing 90% so I have a chance 🙂

What are your NY Resolutions? Do any of them have anything to do with your writing?


English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia


Ireland: Home to 4 winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature

23 Dec

For such a small island, Ireland is packed with a slew of noteworthy writers & poets. As I’m on my way to the Emerald Isle in only a few days, I wanted to share with you a beautiful Irish poem, the #1 Irish Christmas song video and some New Years blessings for 2012…Enjoy!


by William Pembroke Mulchinock

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I stray’d with my love to the pure crystal fountain
That stands in the beautiful vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary, all smiling, was list’ning to me.
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

Tho’ lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

Irish Toasts for the New Year:

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.


In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. 


The Pogues “Fairytale of New York” is played every year in Ireland at Christmastime and even though I was more distracted by his horrid teeth at first, I’ve learned to really like this song:

The Pogues – Fairy-tale of New York


Info on the 4 Irish Nobel Prize winners in Literature & Other Resources:

William Butler Yeats

George Bernard Shaw

Samuel Beckett

Seamus Heaney

beautiful, disturbing, but always interesting

22 Dec

thanks to some facebook stalking i have to today a very cool “other” art to share – street art.

a list of this year’s best street are photos were posted here:

some of the images are stunning, others disturbing, others mind-bending with their 3D…but all share the common belief that art can be public, not only hidden away in high-brow galleries, but also shared with anyone walking down the street. 

take a look and see what might inspire your creative side…in writing, photography, sketching, painting, music, etc…but most of all, enjoy!

here are 2 of my faves so far along with all the crochet art…so awesome!!


I wish this was the side of my building! Stacks and stacks of books awaiting me OUTSIDE my door each day…couldn’t be better! 🙂Image


this pic just makes me happy…yellow umbrellas make any rainy day a bit sunnier. and a tree full? the perfect rainy day mood booster 🙂


Oh, Friday…You are finally here!!

28 Oct

Have a Wonderfully Ghoulish, Ghostly (pre-) Halloween Weekend!!

Epic Journeys

27 Oct

Epic journeys have become legendary thanks to those who penned the experience. Dante wrote of the epic journey through heaven, hell and purgatory (“Divine Comedy”). Jack Kerouac wrote of his epic journey across the United States (“On The Road”). Even if your epic journey consists of you epic feat of successfully dragging 3 screaming, crying children to the supermarket, then the toy store to quell their tantrums, it’s yours to express in writing.

The reason I’m approaching the subject of epic journeys is because I will be heading on a not so “epic” as it will be “entertaining” journey across the country to my old stomping grounds of San Diego, CA. It’s been a while and I suppose the epic journey will consist more of enjoying my time there, remembering with fondness the time I lived there and forcing myself to get back on the plane to my reality on another coast…but a girl can and will dream of warmer surroundings.

Fall / autumn / aka the seductive neighbor of winter is duly upon us north-easterners. Over the past few days the temps went from open-toe shoe weather to “where’re my wool socks!” weather. Digging for socks in the dark at 7am isn’t my idea of fun and it’s just a chilly reminder colder weather is imminent…

ANYWAY, this seasonally-induced nostalgia for all things warm and snuggly came at the perfect time for in less than one week I will be returning to lovely San Diego, CA where, as of today’s reports, is a perfect 70*F/21*C and sunny…thank the Lord! So, in haste, I make my way on a jet plane to embark on a sunny, perfectly warm journey to my old stomping grounds.

Now, this journey is more of a friendly vacation away with some friends who happen to be relocating there and a fun reuniting with friends still living in San Diego (not exactly the “Divine Comedy” type journey), but still epic in the sense that it’s been over 3 years since I’ve been back and there are a lot of faces and places that have changed and that I can’t wait to reconnect with. Inevitably, there will be stories and misadventures along the way that will inspire some rant or that, so stay tuned & happy writing!!

The cute little devil

23 Oct

A sweet moment with a cute little devil…Happy (almost) Halloween!


Pictures to Paper

21 Oct

Sometimes all you need is some visual inspiration…

I just came back from a brief trip to Paris and southern France and the images of these places incite so many romantic, beautiful images in my mind. Stopping to review my pictures (below), I find my imagination wants to gobble up all the visual stimulation and write endlessly. I hope it has the same effect on you.  Here are some shots from my recent trip that I hope you will enjoy!

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