Tag Archive for: Clicking Our Heels

Clicking Our Heels – Physically Moving Outside Our Comfort Zones?


Clicking Our Heels –
Physically Moving Outside Our Comfort Zones?

In last month’s Clicking Our Heels blog post we
discussed our favorite forms of exercise. Our answers were quite varied, but
what if we had an opportunity to physically move outside our comfort zones?
What if we had the option to skydive, bungee jump, mountain climb, or ??? –
would we or would we opt to be couch potatoes?

 

Mary Lee Ashford: Oh, no. No skydiving, bungee jumping, or
mountain climbing for me. Boating could be a yes, but I would undoubtedly take
a book along.

 

Bethany Maines: I’ve been indoor skydiving (total blast), I
would go bungee jumping given the opportunity, I’ve hiked up a few mountains,
and I like being a couch potato but usually someone in my family is hogging it.
Frequently, it’s the dog.

 

Gay Yellen: The beautiful city park across the street makes
for easy, almost daily walking jaunts.

 

Lynn Mcpherson: I’ve been skydiving three times. It was
amazing. I’m not good at sitting around. I like to get outside and have some
fun.

 

Donnell Bell:  I love
taking hills, not necessarily mountains-I tried that and lost two toenails!!

 

Barbara J. Eikmeier: I would be willing to go zip lining.

 

Lynn C. Willis: Oh, mountain climbing! I have books on
training to climb Everest but have recently realized I don’t like the cold.

 

Lois Winston: None of the above. However, I do love to take
long walks.

 

Robin Hillyer-Miles: I like hiking. I am not a dare devil!

 

Dru Ann Love: Definitely a couch potato. Give me a sci-fi
movie and I’m in heaven.

 

Kathryn Lane: Love mountain climbing!

 

Debra Sennefelder: No to everything in that question. LOL I
won’t climb a mountain, but I love a good hike. So there you have my level of
adventure.

 

Anita Carter: If those are my only choice, I guess I’m a
couch potato. LOL The most adventurous active I’ve ever done was ziplining.

 

Linda Rodriguez: I love the idea of bungee jumping with my
walker with specialized support for my wrecked shoulder. I think I’ll go with
that.

 

Shari Randall: No, thank you! Couch for me!

 

Debra H. Goldstein: All of these require exertion – even
getting on and off the couch. I think I’ll take a long hot bath while reading a
good gossipy magazine.

Clicking Our Heels – Simple Joys

 

Clicking Our Heels – It’s a New
Year with lots of resolutions, but considering everything going on in the world,
we thought we’d share something simple that makes each of happy or brings us
joy (think an expanded Marie Kondo concept to life).

Barbara Kyle – Singing! I’ve sung all my life, in shows
when my profession was acting, and now, for the last few years, in choirs.
Music is pure joy.

Lois Winston – Spending time with my grandchildren.

Saralyn Richard – Seeing something I’ve planted bloom.

Kathleen Kaska – The biggest joy in my life is seeing my
husband smile at me. Coming in second is spending time with my great-niece and
great-nephew.

Dru Ann Love – A quiet day all to myself.

Debra H. Goldstein – When words flow.

Kathryn Lane – I have two simple activities that bring me
great joy – watching elk in the mountains of northern New Mexico and Zen
meditation. My husband participates with me in both pursuits.

Debra Sennefelder – It’s simple and it’s small, but I do
find joy in my first cup of coffee in the morning.

T.K. Thorne – What a great question to ponder! It gives me
joy to discover a new character or aspects of a character that I’m writing that
I didn’t know; to dance to music while cleaning house; to offer support or
connections to a young writer; and to sit outside on my front porch and watch
lizards and hummingbirds while I write.

Anita Carter– Laughter has always, and will continue, to bring me
joy and positivity.

Linda Rodriguez – A pot of nice hot tea, a sock to knit
mindlessly (since I’ve made so many), and good conversation with my husband.

Shari Randall – A message from an old friend, clean
windows, sunlight sparkling on water, when a favorite old song comes on the
radio…simple things, but all make me happy.

Mary Lee Ashford – Family brings me joy. I think I always
knew that but have a new appreciation for not just the family get-togethers and
celebrations but also for those mundane family moments where you touch each
other’s lives in so many ways. This past year has been so difficult being away
from family members and one thing I know for sure is I’ll never take that for
granted again.

Bethany Maines – My dog. Kato is my eleven year old puppy
and he’s as goofy now as the day we brought him home. And even though we’ve
both reached an age where people tell us that we “still look good!” he brings a
joyful bouncy spirit into the house.

Gay Yellen – Watching my husband cook.

Donnell Bell – Looking at pictures of my grandchildren, playing
cards with my very competitive husband, or sitting on our back patio watching
the quail and the New Mexico sunsets.

Clicking Our Heels: What We Read

Clicking Our Heels: Writers
are often asked if they write in a particular genre, if that is the one they
read. Here are some of what the Stiletto Gang members read and some of their
favorite authors.

Robin Hillyer-Miles – I read many different genres.
My favorite authors currently are Jess Loury, Susan Addison Allen, Susan Boyer,
and Karen White.

Saralyn Richard – I read everything – mysteries,
historical fiction, women’s fiction, biography, blended genres, literary fiction.

Kathleen Kaska – I read mysteries, but I also read
anything that catches my eye, especially inspirational nonfiction. When I find
an author I really like, I read every book they’ve written.

Dru Ann Love – I prefer reading cozy mysteries. I
will read other genres, but cozies are my go-to-read.

Kathryn Lane
I write mystery thrillers, so I tend to read quite a few
throughout the year from a whole variety of novelists, such as Harlan Coben,
Alice Feeney, Jeffery Deaver, but I also like the books of Donna Tartt,
Frederick Forsyth, and Megan Abbott. I read books written by fellow writers
who, like me, are not New York Times bestsellers (yet!), whose novels are often
as good as or even better than anything else on the market. And Sofía Segovia’s
The Murmur of Bees in Magical Realism is a book I love.

Debra SennefelderI have a long list of favorite authors that I read in my
genre of cozy mysteries. Some of them are a part of The Stiletto Gang. Others
include Jenny Kales, VM Burns, Jenn McKinlay, Katherine Hall Page.

T.K.
Thorne
I read
anything that is well written. Crime fiction is new for me because as a former
police officer, it feels more like work than escape.  My favorite author is Sue Monk Kidd. Her
writing is beautiful and so powerful. 
But I don’t consciously try to mimic it. 
It’s important to find your own voice.

Anita CarterI read mostly mysteries, suspense, and some women’s
fiction. I enjoy Lisa Gardner (just bought her latest release!), Laura Levine,
Karen White, and Susan Boyer, to name a few.

Barbara KyleI write fiction but many of my favorite
reads are narrative non-fiction. Anything by Simon Winchester or Erik Larson.
Both are incapable of writing a dull book.

Linda RodriguezI read everything. I have
long lists of authors I recommend on my website.
https://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com

Meri Allen/Shari Randall – I write and read mysteries,
and I love to go back to the Golden Age authors like Agatha Christie and Ngaio
Marsh when I have some reading time.

Mary Lee AshfordI write cozy mysteries and also read cozy mysteries but I’m
not sure we have space here for all of the favorites. There are currently so
many wonderful cozy authors! Instead, I’ll share a few of the ones I started
reading and that got me interested in the sub-genre of cozies. I avidly read –
M.C Beaton, Jill Churchill, Sharon Kahn, and Anne George and once I’d
started down that cozy path, thanks to them I was hooked. 

Bethany MainesI have been reading a fair
bit of romance lately, but I’ve read across several genres.  My favorite
recent author is Bethany Bennett (because Bethany’s are awesome) who is
working on a fun romp of Regency Romance trilogy.

Gay YellenI’m omnivorous when it comes
to reading. If I weren’t writing mysteries, I’d probably tend toward literary
fiction. But I love good writing in any genre, including non-fiction.

Lynn McPhersonI read and write cozy
mysteries. They are still my favorite. A few of my favorite authors are Vicki
Delany and Jenn McKinlay. I’ve also read some delicious domestic suspense
novels lately by Hannah Mary McKinnon and J.T. Ellison.

Donnell BellIn the fiction realm, I read across the board. From Sci-fi
to historical fiction. Right now, I’m reading a western by D.V. Berkom.  I enjoy cozies, but prefer a substantive
plot, such as Cathy Perkins’s Body in the Beaver Pond and Lois Winston’s
Anastasia Pollack series. For romantic suspense, there are too many authors to
count. My favorite thriller writer is Tess Gerritsen—she’s an autobuy for
me.  Mystery writers, again, too many to
count. If I want to read mystery and learn something about art forgery, I read
Donald Beckwith. I ADORE discovering new authors.

Lois WinstonI write humorous mysteries,
but I’m an extremely eclectic reader. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of
historical mysteries and women’s fiction.

Debra H. Goldstein – Although I most enjoy cozy mysteries
and biographies, I read everything in the crime genre as well as literary
fiction.

Cathy PerkinsI read a lot of mysteries, from thriller to cozy, but I
also read extensively outside my writing genre. 
From a craft perspective, it helps to see, for example, the creative
world building of fantasy or the deep character focus of women’s fiction. I
also think reading books other than mysteries gives me a much needed break,
reminding me readers read for story, for escape, for enjoyment – elements
authors always keep in the back of their minds as they write.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clicking Our Heels – Where Do Our Ideas Come From?

Clicking Our Heels – Where Do Our
Ideas Come From?

Readers often ask where the ideas for our books and
stories come from. Today, the members of the Stiletto Gang are letting you in
on their secrets.

 

Donnell Bell – My books originate from events that have
happened and affect me in life. The first book that compelled me to write
(which I never tried to publish) came after listening to a breaking news story
about a man gunned down on the New Mexico capital steps. I was on my lunch hour
and had to get back to work. Later, when I tried to find what happened, I
couldn’t find any details. Frustrated, I made up in my mind what must have
happened and that was the start of my fiction career.

Lynn McPherson My ideas usually come from my day-to-day
life–while I’m walking the dog or watching TV. Something will strike me as a
good fit for a mystery and I go from there. It could be something as small as
tracks in the snow or a disagreement I read about on social media. My
imagination takes it from there and runs.

Saralyn Richard – Almost always my ideas come from the question,
“What if?”

Robin Hillyer-Miles – I dream of my storylines.

Lois Winston – I’m a news junkie. Most of my ideas are inspired by actual
events I read about or see in the news.

Debra Sennefelder – Everywhere! My second Food Blogger book, The Hidden
Corpse, was inspired by a neighbor’s knock on our door when she needed help
shutting off her smoke alarm. My fourth Resale Boutique book, How to Frame a Fashionista,
was partly inspired by a YouTube fitness guru who was reportedly involved in a
scandal. Ideas are everywhere.

Kathryn Lane – Plot, characters, and settings often come from simple ideas
I experienced during my corporate career when I traveled the world, or an
article I read in a newspaper, a conversation I may overhear, or even a detail
from a dream. A combination of all of these usually appear in each novel.

T.K. Thorne – I was asked to write the two nonfiction books and got
intrigued about the story. One idea for a novel hit me while I was listening to
a poem, another from a snarky remark of a coworker, one started with an image
of a dancer, and one of a young girl hiding, and one arrived as three words
while I was brushing my teeth.

Debra H. Goldstein – Although I steal from my life experiences and
observations, most come out of my subconscious as I write. The characters speak
to me, and their words pull the ideas out of me.

Anita Carter – Ideas are everywhere. TV, news stories, a snippet of a
conversation I’ve overheard. Everything is free game when you’re a writer!

Linda Rodriguez – All over the place. I may read or hear or see something
that makes me wonder what-if? And then that combines with something else I’ve
read or heard or seen-or even dreamed. Like the sand in the oyster, these
gritty little ideas roll around accreting even more ideas until I have a pearl
to begin a book with.

Meri Allen/Shari Randall – I wish I knew!

Mary Lee Ashford – Everywhere. A snippet of conversation, a song, a real-life
story.  Often, it’s a story that I’ve
heard or read. Recently I read an article about a man who made himself
disappear. That’s disappear not in the physical sense but as in he got rid of
every trace of himself in all the ways we normally find people. Fascinating. I
don’t have a story for that tidbit right now, but I’m still thinking about it.

Bethany Maines – I feel like I’m sort of a mash-up artist. I get these
little bits of things sort of noodling around I my head and then sooner or
later they smash into another noodle and then I’ve got spaghetti. Or half of a
novel. Depends on how hungry I am.

Gay Yellen – My biggest problem is having too many ideas to fit in one
book. They can come from almost anywhere: the news, a lost object on the
street, something I got in the mail. In other words, real life.

Cathy Perkins – As others said, ideas are everywhere! For example, my husband and I were hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats
(which happens to feature in So About the Money) and had to push through tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind can go all kinds of strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to find a body?”

That germ of an idea kept growing. Why would the heroine be out at Big Flats to stumble over the body?
How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?

Clicking Our Heels: Muddle in the Middle or at the Begining or the End?

Clicking Our Heels: Muddle in the Middle or at the
Beginning or the End?

Today, the Stiletto Gang
examines what each finds the hardest part of writing – beginnings, middles or
ends?

Saralyn Richard – Whatever I’m currently writing
(beginnings and endings are harder than middles).

Lois Winston – I spend quite a bit of time deciding on an
opening sentence that will hook the reader.

Kathleen Kaska – The hardest part of writing fiction comes
between the middle and the end. This is where I have to pull everything
together. Being a punster makes it difficult, but outlining doesn’t work for
me.

Linda Rodriguez – Middles! Always middles – when I often
despair that I’ve forgotten how to write.

Debra H. Goldstein – Endings because I have to remember not
to rush to tie things up and in a series give a taste of the future.

Shari Randall – Hands down beginnings are the toughest to
write. I love spinning different endings and middles happen organically, but a
beginning that entices the reader and sets the tone for the book is always a
challenge.

Gay Yellen – I usually don’t begin writing until I know how
the book starts and how it ends. The middle is the bugbear, because the mix of
plot details and suspense is so critical.

Kathryn Lane – Middles are the nemeses I struggle with to
make my writing as exciting as possible so the reader continues side by side
with the protagonist, solving life-threatening situations.

Dru Ann Love – The beginning as I don’t know what to write
without revealing spoilers.

Debra Sennefelder – The hardest part of writing for me
lately hasn’t been the process of writing. It has been dealing with my upended
routine and noise in the house during the day.

T.K. Thorne – I tend to write from beginning to end. If I
have a concept of the ending, then the middle is hard, if I don’t, the end can
be challenging, because everything has to come together in a surprising but
satisfying way. I love beginnings, lol!

Anita Carter – Definitely beginnings. When I first start a new
story, the possibilities of where the story can go are endless. Sometimes I’ll
rewrite the first 50 pages three or four times until I feel like I’m taking the
story in the right direction. It can be exhausting.

Mary Lee Ashford – Oh, I love beginnings and endings. But
middles? They are hard. I think the good news is that in the middle there are
so many choices and then the bad news is that there are so many choices. I do
quite a bit of plotting before I begin writing but I find that once I’ve
written to the middle of the book, there’s often a need to reassess what I
originally had planned. It provides an opportunity to ask if there is a better
choice now that the story has grown. So middles are hard, but also great fun.

Bethany Maines – Ends! I can churn out a great first act at
the drop of a hat, but oh my, those endings. Managing to get all the pieces of
the puzzle to line up and come to a satisfactory conclusion is the toughest
part for me.

Robin Hillyer-Miles – Editing is the most difficult and
most important for me.

 

What Stiletto Gang Members Write ….

 

It’s
time to get to know the Stiletto Gang Members better from a little game:  “I write —“

Lois
Winston
I
currently write cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries. However, in the past I’ve also
written romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, a children’s
chapter book, and a nonfiction book on writing.

Robin
Hillyer-Miles

I write romance, magic realism, and whatever else pops in my head. I once wrote
a scary short story that scared even myself.

Saralyn Richard
– I write police procedurals, amateur sleuth, thriller, and a children’s book.

Debra H. Goldstein
– I write a cozy/amateur sleuth series about Sarah Blair who finds being in the
kitchen more frightening than murder. I also write short stories and
non-fictional essays.

Kathleen Kaska
– I write both fiction (mysteries) and nonfiction. I have two different mystery
series. The Sydney Lockhart series is set in the early 50s and is lighthearted
and humorous. Each book takes place in a different historic hotel. The Kate
Caraway Animals Rights series deals with animal rights issues. I have a mystery
trivia series. The latest, The Sherlock Holmes Quiz Book, was
released in November 2020. I also write blog posts and reviews for the New York
Journey of Book Review. 

Dru Ann Love
– The only thing I write are short musings of books that I read on my blog,
dru’s book musings.

Kathryn Lane
– I write international mystery and crime novels. My protagonist, Nikki Garcia,
is a private investigator from Miami, Florida, that is often sent on assignment
to Spanish speaking countries – Spain, Mexico, and Colombia – where she
encounters fearsome antagonists.

Debra
Sennefelder

I write two cozy
mystery series. The first one is the Food Blogger Mystery series featuring food
blogger Hope Early. The second one is the Resale Boutique Mystery series
featuring out-of-work fashionista Kelly Quinn who inherited her granny’s
consignment shop. Both women have returned to their hometowns and are finding
that starting over in the place where you began is challenging yet they realize
they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Though, finding dead bodies and being
pulled into murder investigations wasn’t what they expected to be happen.

T.K. Thorne
Apparently, I can’t figure out what might pop out of
the writing oven. So far—crime with a bit of magic; historical fiction set in
ancient times; nonfiction civil rights, a science fiction YA (cooking) and
maybe historical fantasy to follow.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee Ashford – I write mystery and specifically cozy mysteries. So nothing
graphic on the page but a challenging puzzle to unravel. The Sugar & Spice
mysteries are culinary-themed, but you probably got that from the titles – Game
of Scones, Risky Biscuits, Quiche of Death, and feature two friends who have
started a community cookbook business. The Sparkle Abbey books are also
considered cozy but feature a pet therapist and a pet boutique
owner. 

Anita CarterAs half of the Sparkle
Abbey writing team, we write cozy mysteries. Right now, I’m personally working
on a suspense story.

Barbara KyleThrillers.
Can’t help it. Even when I write historical novels that prominently feature a
love story, they’re still always thrillers.

Shari RandallI write mysteries with
humor and heart set in beautiful New England.

Cathy Perkins – I’ve written dark suspense, but I’m currently writing lighter, amateur sleuth stories. The Holly Price mysteries revolve (romp) around a CPA living in eastern Washington. A new series featuring an event planner launches in May 2021.  

 

 

 

 

 

 .

Car

Clicking Our Heels – Diverse Women and Their Fairy Tales

Clicking Our
Heels – Diverse Women and Their Fairy Tales

A New Year, but a re-run of an old Clicking Our Heels written shortly after we changed our logo. New members and new Clicking Our Heels next month!

The Stiletto
Gang spent the past two months introducing our new logo and letting you see how
diverse we are over something simple: 
red shoes. Not only are we different in the present, but we were raised
on different fairy tales, folklore and cultural stories. Thinking back, we
decided to share with you an early one we can remember and tell you why it was
so impressive. 

Paula Gail BensonCinderella has a firm
hold on me. I wore a Cinderella Halloween costume for years and, when I began
teaching short story workshops, Cinderella
was my go-to example for story structure. I guess it’s a female Horatio Alger
story. Ultimately, Cindy wins when she is able to reveal herself.

Dru Ann Love – Your dreams can come true if you work hard for it. Because I
knew I wanted more from life than what was dealt my family. That’s why I was
the first to graduate college, the first to get a full-time job, the first to
travel internationally for pleasure, and the first to own real estate (co-op).

TK ThorneSnow White and The Seven
Dwarfs
because I was hung up on
Cinderella
being blonde and the “perfect” girl, and Snow had dark hair like
me. Could I be perfect too, or at least find my prince? Not very feminist
fodder, but that is what we were fed and I swallowed.

Shari Randall – My Italian mom told us the story of Old Befana, the good witch
who flies on her broomstick on January 8, going down chimneys to leave candy
for good children and coal for the naught. Befana was known as the best
housekeeper in the village, so when the Three Wise Men came through (yes, a
side trip to Italy!), following the star in their search for the Christ child,
they stayed at Befana’s house. The next morning, the Magi invited her to join
them on their quest, but Befana wanted to finished her chores first. The Magi
let and soon after Befana ha a change of heart and tried to catch them but she
couldn’t find the three kings.  The story
is that even today she still searches for the Child, always with her broom at
her side. I’ve taken that moral to heart – if adventure calls, don’t wait –
leave the housework behind!

Debra H. Goldstein – The Emperor’s New Clothes made a lasting impression on me for the
way in which it mocked hypocrisy, snobbery and social class. The child’s honest
cry that the Emperor is wearing no clothes versus the individuals who wouldn’t
speak out, including the Emperor, for fear of appearing stupid stuck with me.
It was the first time, even though I couldn’t put it into words, that I
realized the importance of speaking the truth – even when it isn’t popular or
goes against a prevailing rhetoric.

Linda Rodriguez – Some of the earliest tales and teaching stories that I recall
came from my Cherokee grandmother, who was a huge influence in my early life.
One of the most influential was the story of Stoneskin, a giant cannibal who
ravaged the Cherokee, the early people. In the story, the Cherokee fought
against him by arranging one menstruating woman after another in front of him,
until the power of them overwhelmed him. As he lay dying, he told them all
kinds of secrets and medicine lore, which became the foundation of the Cherokee
traditional medicine teaching. So, much that is truly important about
traditional Cherokee culture comes from a dying monster killed by a the power
of women, who are capable of getting pregnant and giving birth. That story told
me as a young child that there was power in the female, even though the world
around me said that women and girls were weak and powerless.

Bethany Maines – I’ve recently been re-reading fairy tales and somehow I didn’t
remember them being as horrible as they are. Rape, murder, incest, lots of
removing of limbs and for some reason turning into rose bushes.  The one I liked as a kid were the Arabian
Nights. I think it was Ali-Baba where the maid poured boiling oil on the forty
thieves hidden in the oil jars. The hero seemed like an idiot and the maid saved
the day. Somehow, the idea of boiling a bunch of guys in oil didn’t seem as
horrific to me then as it does now.

Cathy P. Perkins – I didn’t grow up on fairy tales. Instead, my brother fed me a
stead diet of science fiction. I desperately wanted to be either an astronaut
and explore space or move onto Pern, bond with my very own dragon, and save my
people from Thread.

Juliana Aragon Flatula – I love the story of how the moon and stars were created when
Huitzilopochtli slayed his sister the moon and his 400 brothers the stars and
cut them into pieces and threw them to the heavens. This is why the moon has
phases.

Julie Mulhern – I was an early feminist. I didn’t understand why Disney
princesses’ happy endings were dependent on princes. Snow White? I did not buy
into the idea of cleaning up after seven men. How stupid did she have to be to
eat that apple? And how shallow is a prince who falls in love with her based on
her face?

 

 

 

 

Clicking Our Heels: Creativity

Creativity – what a magical word. The Stiletto Gang examines when
and where we get our creative ideas.

Dru Ann Love – Sometimes while
sitting on the train I’ll come up with a great blurb to put in one of my musings,
and I try to remember it, but I never do.

 

Julie Mulhern – I get my best ideas
walking or in the sower – places where I’m without a pen and paper.

 

Juliana Aragon Fatula – Full moons
wake me in the night. I write until I fall asleep. Other times, I have a memory
that sparks an idea. Or a song lyric, or a painting might inspire me to think,
what if …

 

T.K. Thorne – They seem to flow best
when I am in the car-which is why my husband won’t let me drive when we are
together….

 

Robin Hillyer-Miles – My ideas come
from my dreams, from random events that occur to me and around me and from
talking with people. A seed of an idea will be a gateway to a story. It doesn’t
take much to get my imagination going.

 

Debra Sennefelder – Everywhere.
Anytime. Just the other day I was finishing up the final edits on a Resale
Boutique manuscript before sending it to my publisher and an idea for a scene
in my next Food Blogger book popped into my head.

 

Kathryn Lane – Growing up in Mexico,
at a time when the country had an important story telling tradition, gave me a
head start in creativity. Life was difficult in Mexico, and escaping into a
fantasy world of storytelling gave many people an outlet for their
frustrations. I benefitted from hearing the tales invented by my grandmothers
and other women in the community.

 

Debra H. Goldstein – Out of thin
air. I hear a phrase and the words jump me into a new place to write.

 

Shari Randall – I get a lot of ideas
from those free shopper magazines that you find in a rack by the door at CVS.
Calendar sections with articles about locations, history and culture are rich
sources of inspiration.

 

Lynn McPherson – My creative ideas
come at random moments throughout the day, often when I’m doing something completely
unrelated.

 

Paula Benson – They often seem as if
they come from everywhere, but truly I think they come from the spark that
makes me question “what if?” I can see something that intrigues me, but until
my imagination takes that next step [for instance: Look at that slope of rocks
down to the creek. What if there was a body there? How did it get there and who
found it?] it’s just an interesting fact.

 

Sparkle Abbey

Mary Lee Ashford – Often
a spark from talking with someone, reading a news story, or the
fragment of a thought. More than likely nothing comes of the initial spark
but then another something will come along that when you put them together,
viola! You have a story idea. 

Cathy Perkins – Walking, riding in a car, anything that lets my mind wander and allows my creativity to slip the leash. But a random comment at a party or a snippet of a song may also make me think, Hmm, what if…

Anita Carter – Ideas are
everywhere. The news, books, songs, people’s personal stories, conversations.
The hard part is REMEMBERING all the ideas. That’s why writers always carry
notebooks and pens. If you dumped out my purse right now, you’d find at least
two notebooks and 3 or 4 pens.

 

Clicking Our Heels – Dream Locations For Writing

Clicking Our
Heels – Dream Locations for Writing

Every writer
harbors a dream of the perfect place to write – today, the Stiletto Gang lets
you into our secret desires.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee AshfordFor me, a dream
location for writing would be a spot close to water such as a beach
or a lake, but I also need to be close to books. And coffee. So, maybe
a cottage by the sea within walking distance of a coffee shop
would be perfect! 

Anita Carter – Dream location would be anywhere near a
beach. It would be amazing to live in an oceanside cottage for a few months
while working on a book. I can hear the crashing waves right now!

 

Lynn McPhersonMy dream location is in a small seaside town, somewhere with a
small desk by a big window that opens up, overlooking the ocean and allowing
the salty breeze to flow through.

 

Shari Randall – My dream location is a cabana on the beach of a Greek island,
fully stocked with cold drinks and snacks, a sunset to look forward
to every night, and a catamaran on call. A girl can dream!

 

Juliana Aragon FatulaA beach view in a five-star hotel with nice
sheets and pillows and room service, free wifi, off season with no other
guests, quiet, peaceful, comfy.

Dru Ann LoveJust a nice corner with little distraction, beside the TV on in the
background.

Julie Mulhern
There’s
an enormous picture window with a great view.

Robin
Hillyer-Miles
I
am a spoiled woman. We have an in-ground pool with a birdcage enclosure
surrounding it. I tend to write better while sitting by that pool. 

T.K. ThorneLike a remote tropical island close to the ocean, or the
top floor of an old house on the bay, or a luxurious condo somewhere high
overlooking the ocean.  Give me water!

Kathryn Lane – It’s
a cabin in the mountains of northern New Mexico, near Taos. As long as the
cabin is warm, cozy, and I can periodically peek at the beautiful view, my
writing juices flow.

Paula Benson Oddly enough, I’ve always imagined a dream location for
writing as an office building. Growing up, I imagined working for a movie
studio and having an office to go to for my work. Going to work at an office
where you get paid for your fiction writing. That’s my dream location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rejection – Pain or Gain?

Rejection
– Pain or Gain?

Writers
tend to be over-the-moon when they receive acceptances, but how do they feel
when the response is a rejection? Here’s what members of the Stiletto Gang say:

Debra
H. Goldstein
– In the beginning of my writing career, I’d go into a blue
funk for hours or days and wasn’t the nicest person to be around. Now, I go
into a milder state of depression but immediately start thinking of how I can
improve the piece and what other market it might be right for. In both
instances where my books, which were intended to be the first in a series were
orphaned, I decided they were standalones and started writing something else.

Juliana Aragon FatulaBeing orphaned, literally took me a few years
to adjust to being the grown up and not the kid. I struggled with rejection in
the same way I dealt with auditions when I was acting. I looked at it as an
experience, a learning guide to grow from and never expected to get cast,
published, etc. so I would be thrilled if I was accepted and not destroyed if
rejected. I coped.

Dru Ann LoveI
just move on when an author does not respond to a musing I personally sent
them. Let’s me know not to do a musing for them again.

Debra
Sennefelder
Rejection is so
hard. I’ve learned that it’s okay to feel all the feelings that rejection
brings, so I give myself a short period of time to deal with the rejection.
Then I analyze what happened and see what I can learn from it.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee AshfordI think for me all the years of rejections
before selling helped me toughen up. It’s hard, no doubt. But it happens and
you have to take a deep breath, figure out what’s next and keep moving
forward.   

Anita Carter – I won’t lie or play it down, rejection always hurts. That said,
I try to just take a day or less to work through whatever feelings I’m
experiencing and then push forward.

Paula Gail BensonMuch better in hindsight than when they occur. Rejection always
stings, but usually my stories that have been rejected end up in a better place
than the one where I originally submitted them.

 

Lynn
McPherson –
Rejections are tough but if I like what I’ve written it usually
doesn’t faze me too long.


Shari
Randall –
My reaction to rejection is to keep pitching. I channel the
mantra from Galaxy Quest, Never give up, never surrender! Then
I cry into a gallon of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and a big ol
glass of red wine.

Kathryn Lane – Not good
with rejections, but I’m learning to take them more philosophically.

T.K. ThorneI have a
stuffed legal folder of rejections. My way of handling the negative emotions
that go along with them are to immediately get to work on something. But now
that I am published with several books out, my skin is much thicker, and I quit
feeling that a rejection is a commentary on my talent or ability.  Most of the time….

Robin Hillyer-MilesAs a graphic designer for years, I’ve learned that sometimes
rejections mean you need to take a fresh look at your work. Maybe even put it
away for a bit so you aren’t so attached.

Julie Mulhern – Rejection is
part of the job. And it’s not personal. I don’t like sushi. You could take me
to the best sushi restaurant on the planet, and I wouldn’t like the food. That
preference has nothing to do with the quality of the raw fish (yuck). Not
everyone will like what I write. It has nothing to do with the quality of my
books. If someone likes angst-ridden, steamy romance, they won’t like Ellison
or Poppy.