Friday, January 27, 2017

"She Smirked As the Very handsome man approached and Just missed getting his feet wet...." #MFRWauthor

Dear Kenzie,
Enclosed are your 1st round edits.  Please be advised you've overused the following words again, and I strongly urge you to use a thesaurus....

Okay.  Maybe I exaggerate a bit, but when I submitted my first few books, I learned I frequently 'fall in love' with certain words.

The first thing I learned was to eliminate 'just' and 'very' from my vocabulary.  Then I had to find a substitute for 'as', 'when', and 'then'.

The last MS had the word 'so' too often.

Another thing I had to change was every time my heroine spoke, she always responded 'Great!',  I had to expand her vocabulary too, lol!

'Smirk' is a word I use sparingly, since the advent of a Certain Book, where it was on nearly every damn line.  I swore if I ever saw it in another book, I would hurl whatever I was reading across the room.

Guess what book it showed up in next? next round edits!

No way was I hurling my computer across the room, but the dictionary made a good substitute!

Want to read about other authors editing mishaps?  Check them out here:)

Monday, January 23, 2017


Apologies; I thought I'd preposted this. Apparently it was languishing in 'draft' format all weekend!

I can trace my binge-watching habits back to 2007, when I discovered reruns of the show ER on TNT.  They played two episodes back-to-back, and since we didn’t have a DVR back then, I had two blank VHS cassettes that I switched out every other day, since the show ran from 10am-noon, right in the middle of my busy schedule.  To make matters worse, since I was recording that show, whomever was in the living room was stuck watching it, since you couldn’t change the channel.  This infuriated my spouse when he was laid off for the winter!

Once ER was over (and we got a 2nd TV!), I moved onto Beverly Hills 90210, then Happy Days, The Waltons, Charmed, and Law and Order.  

My kids made the mistake of introducing me to NetFlix in 2013, and I discovered Star Trek DS9, so I would hole up in the bedroom for 2-3 hours at a time.  I then found Frazier, Coach (NF took it off before I could finish the hiss!), and Once Upon A Time.  But then what?

My kids were die hard Game of Thrones watchers, and my son owned seasons 1-5.  My daughter and I decided to begin watching one boring Saturday, and I was hooked.  Thankfully, Season 6 was available at Christmas, so while I was still on Season 3, my son watched SE6.  He passed it onto his sister, and after I finished SE5, it was my turn.  I finally finished it this past week, and am now looking forward to next summer, when we can all resume the series.

Over Christmas break, PBS ran Downtown Abbey from start to finish, and I caught most of season 2.  So once I’m able to get my hands on the DVDs, I’ll be found in front of my computer, happily buried in the lives of 1920s England!

Or, I might unwrap those DVDs of Laverne and Shirley….What’s Happening….Bob Newhart....did I mention I miss my 70s sitcoms?  I also still need seasons 3-5 of Mary Tyler Moore.  Then move on to Hill Street Blues….

Wait….Kenzie, you DO plan to WRITE this year????

Never fear; I know how to budget my time, and limit my DVD viewing, no matter how tempting it is to pop in the next disc!

Especially when the dogs need out...the cat needs fed….or the family interrupts!

Friday, January 13, 2017


I've discovered something in my relatively short computer has magic powers.

Bear with me; I'm serious here.  For those of us who grew up with landlines, or had children while those landlines existed, it's the same concept.  The kids would be happily playing or watching TV (or better yet, be outside for hours!) and then the phone would ring, or I'd decide to make a call.  Within seconds, both (or now, all 3) kids would be demanding my full attention.

Remember those days?

I took up needlepoint this summer and discovered I could work on a project, alone in my room, in solitude.  Peace and Quiet.  Wow.....but beware the comforting, deceiving lull of the thought I could so work this into the next scene....I went into the deserted kitchen and opened the laptop....I kid you not, the moment I opened my document, I heard Those Words:

Mo-om!  Can you come here for a moment?

Kenze, I'm heading out to the store.  If you want anything special, make me a list or get your shoes on.

Grandma, can you get me some kool-aid?

Or my favorite one....

I need something from the back porch....(my chair blocks the entrance).

Sigh.  See how it's magical?  I open it up and somewhere a beacon goes off that says Mom Is NOT Paying Attention To You.....Disturb Her Now or Suffer The Consequences!

Yes, once upon a time, I would get so wrapped up in my writing, I
-Didn't pick the kids up from school (they rode the bus....horrible, I know!)
-Didn't check their homework (the fact they did it at all shows I'd done something right in my parenting skills!)
-Didn't fix dinner (I've managed to raise kids who knew how to cook; this was when they were 10 and 8, before their baby brother appeared)
-Didn't acknowledge the spouse arriving home from work (he saw I was writing and decided to let genius man!)
-Didn't EAT my dinner (kids fixed me a plate and put it in the microwave....good kids!)
-Didn't even tuck my kids in for bed (they DID come kiss me goodnight; I told them '5 more minutes').

So yeah, I get why now everyone panics; but that also happened 14 YEARS ago!  Since getting the majority of the stories out of my head, I've managed to only have a marathon writing stint like the one described above only a handful of times, and twice those took place during NaNoWriMo.

I've mellowed out, especially since my publishers folded and I'm no longer under a deadline for the last book or two in my Chosen series.  In fact, the last time I wrote pretty much non-stop?  June 2015, when I had 30 short days to finish SaLie's story and send it to my editor.  I was convinced it was full of crap.....but she told me I'd sucked her into the story and her editor's hat had fallen off!

Since then, LIFE has intervened, plus we've moved to a new house, and I've been too busy to write.  Instead of setting a 1500/day word count for myself, I'm down to 500, since my granddaughter only goes to school in the afternoon, which is my 'prime' writing time.  Maybe next year when she heads off to all-day kindergarten, I'll crank out more?

Especially once I stop binge-watching Game of Thrones and Downtown Abbey.

Want to find out how other authors families survive?  Check it out here:

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Raindrops On Roses...."

If you're not familiar with the song, today's topic is 'A Few Of My Favorite Things'.

First and foremost is my computer.  I don't have a handy picture of my laptop, so this one will have to suffice!  I also love my Kindle Fire, since I can tuck it in my purse and access Facebook, play Solitaire, or read:)  LOVE having access to over 100 books with the press of a button, and they can go with me everywhere!  If an EM pulse ever hit, and wiped out my electronics, I'll be the one sobbing in a corner....

What's this?  No, it's not my favorite book; it's the fact I love a story which practically writes itself, which is what Class Reunion did, once I got started.  The words flowed, day and night; I often dreamed about my characters, and would wake up every morning, eager to fire up the computer.  I think the last one that did that was Kira, #4 in The Chosen series, which should be published this year.  I just sent it off to the editor, btw....;)

Meeting fellow authors and networking:  This is me with Desiree Holt, at RT Chicago, 2012.  Nothing like a fangirl moment when your idol exclaims, "Kenzie!  I'm so happy to finally meet you!"  I love being around creative people and 'talking shop'.  Ideas being exchanged, the comradarie of being around people who understand what you mean when the voices in your head won't shut up....and no, that's not meant in a padded-cell kind of way!

Hanging with friends:  This was taken at a mini-HS reunion (where my hair actually looked GOOD, lol!)  This includes karaoke, though I can't seem to scratch up a picture of me singing.

Being around a BFF:  There's a saying that true friends can pick up where they left off, even if they've not seen each other in years.  That's BC and I; we now only see each other every 5 years, but from the way we talk to each other, you'd swear we just had lunch the day before!

Colorado (or vacations in general!):  The fact I was last there with my entire family (with the exception of my BIL) was just an added bonus.  We were there for a week and explored, ate dinner together every night, and shared happy memories.

Music:  Ever since I got my 1st record player at age 4, I've loved music.  Dad built my 'big' record player (so I could play both LPs and 45s!) when I was nine or ten....I got my 1st portable radio at age walkman at 1st compact stereo with radio, 8-track, record player, and cassette player at 1st CD player at 28.  Now I'm a fan of YouTube and Pandora.  I listen to just about everything except rap or Gregorian Chant.  For instance, I had my Pandora set to Classic Rock in Nov, then switched to Trans-Siberian Orchestra for Christmas.....the other day, I had it set on Luke Bryan.  Since I live in a house where country is the genre of choice, I've gotten used to it.  But when I'm alone in the truck, I'll switch it to either Classic Rock, Classic Rewind, or even the 70's, 80s, or 90's station.  Love having satellite radio!

So tell me.....what are a few of YOUR favorite things?

Find more here:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Joining in the Fun!

I'm joining in the MFRW Blog Challenge, so start looking for weekly posts:)

I'll begin this week, so start looking for the link on my FB page:)

Happy New Year!