Category Archives: Writers Site

Coolest research for a story-anything to do with the great outdoors

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more” 
~George Gordon Byron, 1788 – 1824~Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Hmmmm! Coolest… thing I researched are the birds, animals, and insects that live around me.  What interests me is the most fun to research.

You looking at me!
This guy is sitting on my rain gutter downspout.

Interested in Praying Mantis…check out this site from National Geographic Kids. 

 

Once I start searching out information, I found how nature is overlooked when it comes to the bottom dollar.  Those that have made a comeback; those still on the endangered species list; and those just living day to day, need our help.

Bee on Chicory in my yard 2016

I have met people who will give incorrect information to get their priorities pushed through.   And I have heard ‘fear talk’ of big businesses; how no one has the money to fight them. For the average person that is true. But once they connect with the correct people the chain strengthens.

Sorry, I am rambling and grumbling.

Once the weather starts to warm up, and the snows are scattered piles along windbreaks and at the base of evergreens, where the sun doesn’t reach. It is then that migratory birds  head back home, getting connected, searching out safe or so-so safe nesting areas.

That is when they start their mating dance. Songbirds dance on the ground weaving and bobbing, puffing out chest feathers and singing a song that echoes from the past.   Hawks; whose dance swims high above us, diving and circling repeating their secrets, screeched out longer family litanies; impressing each other with their pedigree.

Turkey Vulture in my yard spring 2017

Then, there are the bees… I saw an article where the ‘rusty-patched bumblebee, a species on the brink of extinction’ stopped construction of a four-lane, 5-mile toll road and a four-lane Fox River bridge crossing.’ As I read about those bees, a Bumble was busy knocking against my kitchen window; letting me know I have been seen.

Morning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) Hanging out by the garden 2016

Spring’s warm sun brings out insects and new plant growth…I can go on and on. Nature is so cool. Researching Mother Nature is so much fun.

Oh, before I forget, let me add the weirdest- animal scat. Come on, I know you want to click that link for animal scat. 

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~John Muir

Illinois endangered lists:

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/lists/illinois-cty.html

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/endangered/charts/birds-falcons.html

https://www.fws.gov/MIDWEST/Endangered/insects/index.html

 

JAMES PATTERSON VIDEO LESSON 22 Closing MASTERCLASS.COM

Video lesson 22: Closing

 

This is James Patterson’s last video lesson- lesson 22.  I will give you a smidgeon of his closing talk. This video is only a mere three minutes and seventeen seconds. It is well worth the pep talk. I listened to it at least three times, so far.

Lesson 22 -Closing

I love this part:

“People get into –this is the way it’s been, here’s the rules of writing,- here’s the rules of literature, here’s the rules – who said? Really! God does not come down and lay down the twenty-commandments of writing a story- and just because it‘s been done in a certain way forever –does not necessarily mean it’s right.

“And- also means- don’t walk away from what’s been done. But, also you don’t have to follow blindly. Things change we do new shit.” ~ James Patterson Lesson 22

My take on this has to do with my journey.  My search for the correct way to say something, the correct way to express an emotion or the theme or just to get into the head of my characters using a slightly different twist.

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Now, that is all fine and good, to get a point across or teach something in a new way. I may need to see it from different perspectives. Some of those perspectives have had me crossing my eyes and confused me for weeks, even years. Until I read it from a different point of view, eventually I can see their point.

“I am peculiar, obviously. And that peculiarity has had its rewards. So I share things with you and you have to pick what’s going to be relevant to you.”~ James Patterson 

If I take  ‘just one thing’ from James Patterson’s Masterclass (James Patterson Teaches Writing @masterclass.com) it would be this:  ‘just write’- (lesson 7: “get that outline out!”) And yes! Others have used that very phrase.  Except, they weren’t James Patterson.

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James Patterson’s  video lessons were made to inspire you to write. So get inspired and write a best seller, or just something for your family or just for you. You can’t please everyone, so might as well please yourself. Oh, does that last sentence sound like a double entendre?

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Mr. Patterson’s Masterclass.com gives you an added benefit of postings, comments, contests, and even a FaceBook page to help you keep up with the goings on with all the Patterson fans.

This Masterclass.com doesn’t end here. I have been going back to the lessons; listening again and again to the videos, grabbing a bit of James Patterson’s advice that I can.

I will use his lessons to smash through writer’s block.

{{HEAVY SIGH}}

I may need to keep Patterson’s Masterclass.com videos playing on a loop.

“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” ~Emile Coué

My cat is trying to use hypnosis to get me to write daily.

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/JamesPatterson/

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/JP_Books

Or here on BookShots

James Patterson video lesson 21 Personal Story Masterclass.com

James Patterson starts this video with this:

“I don’t think I ever had aspirations in terms of, One begin writer or Secondly- what would happen with it. It just seemed to me, to be- overstepping to do that. I came from a background, that was- people just didn’t make it out of my hometown. I was never a stylist as a writer and I am still not. So I don’t I don’t think I ever expected that things would happen, and I still don’t, I mean, I don’t think about it. I don’t think about selling a lot of books or supposedly I am the best-selling author in the world, I love that. But I don’t think about it.”

Picture by: Daniel Case

Where it all started

 

James Patterson grew up in  Newberg, New York, a tough little river town, 60 miles north of New York City. A mix of City kids, farm kids, and kids from the air force base, that have been all around the world. “A nice mix of different kind of ways of looking at stuff.” ~James Patterson

His father was brought up in the Newberg poor house was called the Pogey.   His mother was a charwoman – she cleaned up the bathrooms for the poor people. His father went to Hamilton College, “a very good college.”  His mother was a schoolteacher for 50 years.

He went to catholic schools. In high school, if he didn’t have his homework done he got hit in his face. (And yes, that did happen) College and Advertising were nothing to how difficult high school was. James shrugged  and said,  “big deal, nobody is hitting you”

His grandmother was a very strong woman who would tell him what he couldn’t do and then add, “But there are a lot of things you can do… you could do a lot of things” She built up his confidence.

Why James Chose Writing

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He started scribbling at nineteen- he loved writing stories. He liked fast past stories.

The Thomas Berryman Number first book: he said, that book doesn’t have a good pace.

The Thomas Berryman won: Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, Edgar Award for Best First Mystery.

The height Of Success

One of the exciting things is seeing your books in a bookstore.

Family

James tells us that family comes first. Do the right thing as much as you can. The only time his father hugged him was on his deathbed. He hugs his own son every chance he can.

Balance

James, tells us he finds things he likes and does them. He loves to write. He loves his wife and son he likes to be with very good friends. He loves what he doing.

James Patterson said,  “he try’s not to do boring things.”

This classes contest is open now until March 1, 2017.  If you are interested- click on the link in the top left sidebar the one with James Patterson’s picture on it. 

What can ‘you’ do for the United States of America?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/flag-america-patriotic-veteran-6895/

When my great-great- grandparents came to this wonderful country they weren’t running away from something; they were heading towards something, they were willing to fight for their freedom, fight for ‘a united’, United States Of America, they believed in freedom; real freedom ‘Not’ where someone else stood up for them, but that they had the right to stand up for themselves; freedom to make a living, a family, be a part of America and give back to America not just in paying taxes but in their lives. Here a dream keeps us going; a dream of peace, prosperity, and safety without thought, jobs for citizens, building a place without hatred and hardship. They believed in that right to grab a soapbox and stand on it and speak their mind.

Yes, some would laugh, but all would give them that right to speak it.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/ball-black-bubble-colorful-35016/

Just because we all don’t agree on the same things, that line you see right at your feet, you drew, you drew it when you said that my words are better than yours; that my ideals are wrong and yours are right; that what you see here -is not -what you want…

You won’t be real about moving forward and changing what you don’t like. Instead, you insult instead of talk; you put down the person next to you for having a different opinion; that difference is why we all live here, America is about being different, about listening to those differences and making choices…Choices to make a real change… and violence won’t do that when your standing in my house, our house, our home, our country.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/flag-america-patriotic-veteran-6895/

Remember that those new people who show up on our borders are bringing with them the violence that they said they left behind. (Yes, I know you hate to hear that) It is ingrained in their views of the world. Just like my great-great- grandparents they had to learn a new way to speak out loud. Out loud ‘and’ find the position or a person in the right position, to help them change what they think should be changed, without stepping on the rights and security of the people living here now.

 

I am repeating that last line, just in case you missed it: “without stepping on the rights and security of the people living here now.”

https://pixabay.com/en/constitution-united-states-usa-62943/

Has anyone thought; maybe the people in charge of our safety know something we don’t? Are you the child that runs into the street even when your parents told you cars can run over you; hurt you; even kill you? I hear you, the government isn’t your parents they don’t own you (like some other countries) they can’t make you do anything you don’t want to…but, if something falls through your roof or water sweeps away your home, do you call out for help? And playing in traffic is illegal!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/vintage-car-wrecked-grayscale-photo-78793/

You called for a change; when change really showed up it scared the shit out of you.

Has it been that long that you forgot your great-great- grandparents and that look of pride that they were in America; they were Americans! And no one could take that from them ever again.


It took you a long time to get here. Yeah, you! You with the signs, showing off your sex to the world; you who thinks that freedom is free; you who loves your privacy when you’re feeling ill; you who wants what you want without even thinking how it got here; you who are dissing the people who are keeping you safe and tossing blame when you don’t want to accept your own part in this; this wonderful country of ours….

What are you really pissed off at?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcarvalho/142922427/

I’m talking to you. What do you believe in? What do you stand up for? What is freedom mean to you? What are you proud of? What really is going on…and I mean the ‘Real’ news and have you checked it out or just posted-posted- and posted because so many like-minded people …liked it?

We live with poverty, hunger, disease; a place where people are lonely, suicidal, scared where they pray for change and a person to hear them call out. Where the elderly are ignored, the jobless loose their homes and if they are lucky they live in their cars until something new comes up. Violence against people who are different: violence against children; violence against animals; violence against our planet. Were the news is fabricated to appease the masses and we worry about evil appearing on their doorsteps; and that is just here in the USA.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/benches-church-indoors-man-241332/

The world isn’t shrinking; humans are expanding. And the world is shaking under the weight of all those meat suits.

 

And here you are, because your family came here, instead of going to one of those ‘seven’ countries; those seven countries that would take your freedom, your home, the soil you stand, on your life. I am not saying they won’t be trying; they will try…

No, you didn’t go there or stay there, you came here hoping that your adopted country is looking out for you; keeping you safe and rich.

Hang on a minute my lunch is ready…Mmmm! I love bacon.

Here’s a question for you. Yeah, you! What can the United States of America do for you?  Not those million dollar comments; streets paved in gold, freedom to be an asshat ….yadi-yadi-ya.


A thought out answer to intensely hard questions, no bitching and moaning, I know it is your right, so go on a bitch! First answer one question. Come on I know your head is hurting, but…

<a href="https://clipartfest.com/">clipartfest.com</a>

“What can ‘you’ do for the United States of America?”

“What can you contribute?”  

“What do you want to do with your life?”

Photo are from Pexels.com & clipartfest.com & Flickr.com & The pooping troll, he’s mine.

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group question of the month

Here I go again, I just realized today is the first Wednesday of the month. And I am getting this in by the skin of my teeth….

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

“Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.”

Now, my answer to this month’s question:

February 1 Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

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I find myself picking apart stories; making notes of the characters; even copying down descriptions and idiosyncrasies that make them believable or unique.

I start wondering if I could have done something differently; if my adaptation would have changed that story on its ear or would it have fallen flat.

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I look up places, just to see if they are real. I end up looking up the author to see if he or she lives/lived in that area. Here, I   find that the soul of the writer comes out in their words and their imagined world.

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Writer’s truth or their reality, their secrets, their wishes, and dreams; even their nightmares will show through if you look deep enough.

I just read a short story by Willa Cather. So much in-between her words, so many beautiful phrases and images. From her, I have learned to be myself because no one else can be.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group-January Blog Post

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

 http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

January 4 Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard? ~TheIWSG

There isn’t a writing rule that I wished to have never heard of: whenever someone mentions rules, I tend to fall asleep….

I have found that the more I read and delve into an idea; even those rules become more convoluted. I have a need to bricoler (tinker) inside those flow of words, meld with the colors, feel the whispers and to see how those rules were (are) played with by artists and writers, to see how they used them or didn’t.

https://www.pexels.com

I wonder if I missed the rules on writing this post…

Truth be told, I believe that all rules need to be broken. Every red button labeled ’don’t press’ needs to be pressed just so I can see what would happen: a rainbow car tumbles out a Clown Alley of critics with their trusty red markers, taking it out on my imagination.

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I got past worrying about state of being verbs. Stumbled over commas, I add one every time I exhale; is that worse than using none. Or counting every ‘the’ … twelve,  just saying.

I started wondering about the path that forks out towards a Quotidian world or Balzacian or Bourgeois, let’s not forget Jamesian and Metaleptic telling or told. I started scratching my head over Metaphysics to show existence, then wiggling over to Ontology: straining to hear Social Realism whispering in dark corners. A few shakes of empty soup cans, rattling with dried peas, a sorry imitation of bongo drums. All the while looking confused at the honing steel hanging out in Kitchen Sink scenes, pointing down the hall to the fogged up mirrors of Romanticism.

The best or maybe my grandparent’s favorite was ‘bathtub gin’ it helped them not to worry about rules.

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group – December’s Blog Post

https://www.pexels.com
https://www.pexels.com

I just stumbled onto the IWSG -Insecure Writer’s Support Group- the Blog hop. The point is to write a blog post that will point back at the IWSG and all the other writers who post the first Wednesday of each month for the next year.

I just saw this so I am squeaking in under the wire; for me, it is nearly 10pm.

“December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?” IWSG

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

I participated in NaNoWriMo, joined writers groups, entered contests, wrote for myself and decided to write a novel. That novel was slipped back on the shelf and labeled ‘next year’ after a couple of accidents, family issues and health problems. I even stopped adding to my  blog a few years back.

Now…today, this moment I am back to writing for myself. That novel I want and ‘need’ to finish, that book of poetry (with its muffled screams) needs to be compiled, while I develop organization skills (can you hear the laughter) finish classes and read the books I have piled around me hoping that their words, all those hours their writer’s sweated, bemoaned and worried over, will rub off on me.

In five years I want to have written a novel a year. Posted on my blog every week. Gain so many twitter followers that one of my tweets will go to millions. (Wait I should read the rule on this post again- dreams and desires…nope!   Insight, yes, I can see this under insight-lets keep with that.)

Today, I  will start with this first step;  release self-doubt and write daily.

IWSG

You are loved No one loves you more than your Dad

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a Father’s Day article and posted it on Examiner.com. That website closed down the summer of 2016. That article was about man, a father who I was lucky to have known for a very short time.

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from pexels.com
Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from pexels.com

I am resurrecting that article.

For each person ‘Father’s Day’ can hold a different meaning, a different feeling all dependent on your relationship with your father.  When you were a kid, it was the day you made a card, or played a game of catch while the grill sizzled or maybe you followed your Dad around while others left him alone for the day.

Quite possibly your relationship with your father was less than wonderful and he never paid any attention to you. He may have been violent or withdrawn, an alcoholic or a workaholic.

Or, he may have died before you got to know him.

Maybe you never met him.

If he is no longer alive and you wonder, what would he say to you- if he saw how you are progressing in this life?  Would he approve of you singing on street corners, working in a cubicle or jumping out of planes? Maybe you spend your days painting the tops of water towers.  Remember, your Dad was young once and the music moved his soul, just as it dances within yours.

In the spring of 2014, I overheard a conversation between a father and his daughter in the common living room of a nursing home. Their voices were loud, words sharp with pained edges, their interaction lasted only a few minutes. The daughter, it seemed, had decided to confront her father with an apology. By the sound of those raised voices he didn’t want any part of. He paced, agitated, in that living room, surrounded by multiple lazy boy chairs, a fish tank as a wide screen TV that whispered in the background.

Voices rose and fell. The daughter stepped forward and reached out, in hushed tones, she asked for forgiveness to a wrong, a wrong only they were privy to.

Her father stopped and stared past her through the picture window and out onto the road beyond. For a few seconds the passing cars caught and held his attention.

Another man was with them acting as a go-between. He touched the older man’s shoulders and asked him to hear her out, then he turned and asked the daughter if she understood that her words might not give her the peace she seemed to want.

The dad turned away from his daughter. He flattened down his hair, rubbed his beard, turned to face her. With a shaky voice he announced loudly, “ I accept your apology, as it means so much to you… that I do.” Then he asked stiffly, “are we done here?”

She reached out to him, his little girl in a grown woman’s body and asked for a hug.

He took a step back and refused with a curt shake of his head. “That I can’t give you!”

The mediator sighed heavily and asked the Dad, “If he would, at least, shake her hand?” The old man looked up; he clasped his hands together and rocked slightly, then with great internal trepidation, agreed.

His daughter clasped his hand with tears in her eyes. He returned her stare with anger flashing from his eyes. His hand shook as he stood in front of her, then abruptly he announced it was time for her to go.

They left quickly. I grabbed at the lull to instantly head to the restroom. When I came out, he was there waiting for me.

He asked how I was feeling. I smiled sadly, and he touched my hand, leaned in close and placed his forehead against mine. Tears welled up in his eyes; “Remember” he said, “That you are loved. You were made with love. Brought into this world with love, and have been loved more than words can say. Do you understand?” He asked.

I nodded, tired and depressed. The last few days had been spent holding my mother’s hand while she slipped away.  At this point, his words had me on the verge of tears.

Softly he said, “Just know that you are loved, and I do forgive you.” He held my shoulders and looked into my eyes. “Now, I will accept that hug from you.”

He pulled me close and gave me a hug only a father can give. It was full of love. It felt like my Dad was there, watching and talking through this man. I saw my father’s eyes in his.

This Dad, whose life was nearing the end, had told me that he never knew his own biological father. His Dad was his step-dad, whom he loved and emulated his entire life.

“Remember,” he whispered in my ear. “I love you.”

He loosened his hug and moved back a step. He looked into my eyes -seeing different eyes- he smiled. His eyes were far away. His hands shook. He felt weak and yet, very strong. “My child.” He whispered. “I loved you before you were born.” Tears rolled down his cheeks.

I looked towards the door where I could see his daughter’s car pulling out of the parking lot.

He hugged me again and whispered in my ear. “Just know that you are loved. I do forgive you and you can always have a hug. You are loved! Remember, that you have always been loved! And you were wanted! You are a good person. You try your best, and I am so proud of you!”

He pulled back, held my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes. “I am so proud! You are loved. You are wonderful. All you do is noticed! I see you! I see you!” He let out a long shaky breath. “I do forgive you,… and you can always have a hug! Remember, no one loves you more than your Dad!”

#why women don’t report the reality of sexual harassment

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Photo from pexels.com

 

This tweeted hashtag has been making the rounds on Twitter.

‪#WhyWomenDontReport‪

It is an angry sound that should be taken seriously. Men and woman are tired of the fear, humiliation, and loss of self, physical and mental trauma that occurs from sexual harassment.

The reality of sexual harassment is that nearly every woman has been subjected to some sort of harassment at work.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

What is sexually harassment? It is:

  • Behaviors like unwelcome sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Direct or indirect threats or bribes for sexual activity
  • Sexual innuendos and comments
  • Sexually suggestive jokes
  • Unwelcome touching or brushing against a person
  • Pervasive displays of materials with sexually illicit or graphic content
  • An attempted or completed sexual assault

A reaction to being sexual harassed will be to laugh it off, pretend it wasn’t happening, ignore it and then laugh it off again and again, hoping it will stop, but it won’t. It is an act of violence, of dominance over another person, it will never go away. The fear level increases. The harassment increases and no one is listening when you ask them to stop. Then, you are too afraid to say anything. Petrified to be at work.  When you finally report the harassment.. you were surprised to find out, they aren’t listening to you,  all because your job is lower  on the ladder than the one doing the harassing….So nothing will change..

Employers hire people to protect their company from its employees. You know… that department its called HR. Your company probably had sexual harassment meetings, telling everyone what not to do. Most people will become nervous and laugh in these meetings. They make jokes about it. It’s not funny, stop laughing.

I in 3 women are sexually harassed at work. ~The Huffington post

Why is it so hard to get someone to believe?

Because people don’t know who to believe, people lie. They lie to say it happened, they lie to say it didn’t, they lie for the attention, they lie to protect the company, and they lie to protect themselves. They lie for money, power, control.

from Twitter
Twitter hashtag

So when the truth is told. It takes a lot of courage to keep talking. To keep pointing out what happened. You need to fight to get someone to believe you. You need to stand up to bullies. Those bullies are your employers your co-workers, even your family who will tell you not to make waves.

“…lifetime risk of having a PTSD diagnosis was significantly higher among sexual harassment victims than among non- victims.”~ The National Center for PTSD

Someone on Twitter asked, why do woman remain silent?
When you stand up and say no, someone will be there to pull the rug out and in the end, you will lose your job. This is why a woman makes a choice to remain silent… to keep their jobs, their careers. And this happens over and over. Lawyers will push the victims so they don’t stand up in court. Fear takes over and the victim will back down or never come forward.

So when someone lies, it harms the real victims. And there are a lot of them.

I had to ask myself the question that had been flittering around the net…. Do I believe in what is being said about Trump?  No.. I need proof.

Do I believe when he says he loves’ beautiful’ woman? Yes, He has said that many times. But anything else, …I need more proof. it seem’s too easy to pull all this out now, just before an election.

How about Hillary Clinton…?  Yes. there is proof of her transgressions. and her husbands…Lots of it.

So are you still wondering….. #WhyWomenDontReport‪

Why don’t you ask Monica Lewinsky.

Book review Hemphill Towers by Leona Pence

 Kevin Hobson created this video promoting ‘Hemphill Towers’. You can find him on his Youtube channel. or you can send him an email  kevnessky@gmail.com

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Hemphill Towers shows us how a glass of wine flows through its pages with romantic love, family, and scammers with self-indulgent intentions.

Leona Pence is an author the author of ‘Hemphill Towers’, an intriguing romance novel. Hemphill Towers is filled with beautiful career oriented women and handsome, entrepreneur men, who will fight to keep those women safe. A sly villain, one who drags along a past of blackmail and lies, with a morally reprehensible control over anyone who comes to too close, and another who uses a business that is not his, which pulls in the Russian mafia and endangers everyone.

This novel starts running, right from the prologue. We follow along, reading how power and money in the hands of a deceitful man can destroy lives. At the same time, we watch reputable men use their power with an opposite strength. That strength turns them into kittens when they meet the heroines of this novel.

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Thirty-five chapters with multiple characters that are rich and intelligent. I noticed they don’t jump in the sack when called. They choose what they want to do and what they don’t.   This novel takes us around the world. We see the Russian mafia, vineyards, museums, painters, pretty clothes, food … Mmmm! Food.

Here’s a slice from chapter 8: Rosetta placed a steaming cup of espresso in front of Birdie along with a plate filled with pastries that she called brioche.” ~Pence, Leona

Leona had me on the edge of my seat. Each chapter moves at a fast pace. I find myself hungry, sad, happy then thrilled. I love the Italian family. I wish I could sit and talk to the artist, and walk around JB’s home and peek into closets. Then relax and read by his pool.

Leona Pence answered a few of my  questions.

  1. Why did you choose the locale: Italy- Chicago- California-Spain?

I needed my Italian character near wineries, both in Italy and the US. A little research helped choose Italy, California, and Spain.

  1. How did you come up with the names in your book?

The three main women were based on me, and two online friends. We chose and described our own love interest. The rest of my characters were twisted names of family and friends.

For example, my brother, Lawrence Harmston, became Judge Lawrence Harmstrong. My bro-in-law, James Otts, became Dr. James Ottsman. I had people vying for me to use their names. It was fun, and they all had a laugh at finding their twisted names.

Thank you for this  Leona.  I bet a number of our readers will use your ideas when naming their characters.

  1. How did you keep your characters straight?

I did not set out to write a novel, just a short spoof for my friends. So, I wrote installments and sent them to a few people. They became hooked on the story, and for me, the words just kept coming. I ended up with fifteen installments going out to about fifty people.

I wrote character descriptions in an email format. I had fifteen emails at my fingertip, so when I needed to check out anything about my characters I would pull up those emails. Keeping them straight wasn’t a problem, but getting everybody’s names in the story wasn’t easy.

  1. What keeps you writing?

I’ve always been a voracious reader but being able to write actually came as a shock. But once I finished Hemphill Towers, I had the itch to write more. Discovering F2K and WVU made such a change in my life. All my friends there along with my large extended family inspire me to keep writing.

  1. Who edited your novel?

I joined the Novel group in WVU where we critiqued each others work one chapter at a time. After that, Mar and I exchanged chapters. Linda helped us also. Then, my publisher at MuseItUp, Lea Schizas, did the final edit.

  1. I noticed that some chapters have more than one scene. Each scene is separated by and asterisk *.   How did you decide to separate the chapters? There are more scenes in the later chapters. What was your idea to making that length, and detail instead of separating them?

Hummm! Good question.

In the novel group, we were limited to 3000 words per chapter for critique. So I combined some short chapters by using * and created scenes. After the group finished, I couldn’t remember how I had divided the chapters, so it took a while to figure it out. I know I started out with a lot more chapters than I ended up with.

  1. Where did you get your ideas for the JBs home? It is beautiful, wooded area fishing pond, an alcove off the kitchen three sides of glass “panoramic view of the grounds”.

I shut my eyes and used my imagination as to what I thought the home of a rich bachelor with a teen daughter might look like.

  1. How do you write; do you use an outline?

I’ve never ben able to use an outline.  Whatever flows through my mind is what I type.

Leona’s  favorite genre to write is Romance or Romantic Suspense; she had written some flash stories and plans to expand them into a novella.

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The author, Leona Pence is a mother of four, a grandmother to twelve and great-grandmother to seven. She started writing later in life, after the death of her husband of forty-four years. Hemphill Towers was written when she was sixty-five.

Leona is a woman that I look up to; she is the spirit that never stops looking forward. Never gives up her dreams and never ever stops living, creating and learning. She is a romantic at heart. After dating her husband for three months, she married him on her nineteen birthday.

Leona has a crippling disease: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, a neurological disorder. There is no cure for CMT. It has weakened Leona’s lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet. The disease took her hearing, when she was in her mid-20s. Leona types out her stories on her computer using at first the eraser end of a pencil and now a stylus pen.

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Leona is the author of Hemphill Towers.  you can buy this novel at itunes: http://tinyurl.com/mclslgs

Leona’s stories are also featured  in,  Bump off Your Enemies Anthologyhttp://goo.gl/T97WNW

And in The Darwin Murders Anthology:  http://amzn.to/2cL5fmu

And in Tasteful Murdershttp://amzn.to/2dIJyEk

Leona is a  Blogger and an active member in Writers Village University.

You can connect with Leona Pence on Twitter and Facebook and at her Blog. I listed all her links below:

Leona Pence is also found here: