Revisions & Editing Workshop

If you missed my workshop with OCLS at the Downtown location, here is a chance to grab a copy of the PDF and/or PowerPoint Show. It was a heavy 2-hour course and we covered a lot of content and questions to help guide your revision efforts. Be sure to “enable outside links” since this does contain 3 YouTube videos. Just in case, I will add those down below and explain what they reflect. Thank you to all who came out to attend and I hope the advise has helped you in your effor

Indie Bookfest 2017

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.promotionalbooktours.com/2017/08/indie-bookfest-2017/ EXCERPT: Over eighty fabulous authors, panels and workshops for both authors and readers . . . two amazing parties and a huge signing . . . where in the world can you find all of this awesomeness in one event? Indie BookFest, of course! This premier author-reader event, in its fifth year in central Florida, takes place September 28th through October 1 st at the Westin Lake Mary. Indie Boo

PowerPoint from Writing a Novel 101

Once more, I want to thank everyone who came out to attend one, if not all my classes on “Writing a Novel 101” at the Orange County Library in Downtown Orlando. I hope I was able to provide tools, knowledge, and inspiration at some point into each of you. Again, do not hesitate to reach out to me, follow my online sites, and know I stay rather active in the literary community. Below is a link to the PDF and PowerPoint Show files from my presentation for your convenience. Belo

VTMAS No.66: The Big Leap

I remember my Great Grandmother once telling me that the small section of Orange County that my family called home was once labelled Rattlesnake Ridge. Growing up there, I can attest to this being very true. An interesting thing about rattlesnakes is how girthy they become. They don’t grow too long, but rather thicker and fatter depending on what they’ve been eating, which can include rats to even raccoons and cats. On this day, I was just a little girl, maybe ten at most. My

VTMAS No.64: Mysterious Squealing

Every now and again, I am reminded I am a human being that does not always process what I am hearing or seeing. This actually happened on my drive to a friend’s house for some Geeky Board gaming with good company. Literally, two days ago! Please understand, I drive a Golden Mirage and the poor thing is well over 100,000 miles, but hanging in there. As I embarked onto Interstate 4, I realize I hear squeaks, short and abrupt. First thought was, crap something’s wrong with the c

VTMAS No.63: Polly & the Rat

I’m starting to learn that when I suggest something out of humor, I must be cautious to whom I give these snarky bits of humor. As we know it, in “VTMAS No.31: Who Did It?” that my intended joke can go further than I could ever expect. Imagine my surprise, when this very thing unfolded in the presence of my Mother-in-law, Polly. She has a wonderful garden out back, a deck right out her french doors next to a huge camphor tree whose base is wrapped with a purple passion flower

VTMAS No. 61: Swimming With Manatees

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com by PublicDomainImages: https://pixabay.com/en/manatee-mammal-underwater-marine-387195/ Florida is a melting pot of weirdos if you want my honest opinions. It’s a place where natives like myself, who were bizarre on our own, mingles with the retirees and tourists from all flocks of life. Which leads me into this next story, or life event. As you have discovered, a famous local pass time here is fishing. We have the best of all worlds in this hobby

VTMAS No.45: Drive Around Midnight

If you knew me in high school, you knew I did  everything I could to NOT go home. This even meant driving around at random, as pathetic as it may sound. Regardless, it made for some fun adventures in the long run. On this particular night I had my hot Asian friend John along for the ride. I believe it may have been October at the time, we were either in 11th or 12th grade, but he wanted me to take him to some scary places. At first I think he wanted to visit a cemetery but I

VTMAS No.44: The Brown Starfish

We had gone fishing and we both were geeking out that in the bait bucket there was a little brown starfish. At the time we had a saltwater tank at home and were ecstatic to get a freebie to add into the aquarium. We got home and the husband nearly ran to the computer. Uh oh… I thought as I giggled. He’s going to attempt to google “brown starfish” with no filter on the search… It was barely a few minutes when he came out pale and sickly. “What’s wrong, honey?” I tried to hide

VTMAS No.43: Don’t You Dare Cleanup

Mudding. Either you know what I just said or wondering why this word should be significant. Growing up it was the family outing to go to the Mud Hole and later in my life it was our dating, fiancee and married couple thing to do. What is Mudding? It is often a “sport” involving vehicle, mainly trucks, driven through mud holes or muddy swampy bits, in an attempt to not get stuck and get super messy. Strangely enough, it can be very fun and exhilarating and for the cost of a ta

VTMAS No.42: The Scooter Gang

We’ve all been on family vacations, but occasionally one comes along that leaves a lasting impression. Being in Florida, going to the Beach was at least a must once a year. I was still in high school and my mother’s boyfriend, coined “Papa Jon”, had his son Cody down as well. It was instantly decided we would be taking a “family vacation” to Daytona Beach. It was a gorgeous clear day, the sand hot under your feet, the waves rolling in weren’t too wild or choppy, and we were h

VTMAS No.40: Grandpa & The New TV

It’s heartbreaking to know that my Grandfather-in-law just passed away on July 21st. One of my fondest memories was during the time my husband I were temporarily living in the house. We were in the process of closing on a new home, but the date got pushed back well past our End-of-Lease date for the rental we were in. So, we huddled into the small back bedroom with our two large dogs at Grandma and Grandpa’s place. To make things more interesting, they were still in the finis

VTMAS No.39: Car Ride to Miami

My husband and I had been dating for a while at this point. In fact, we had moved in together and things were going good for us both. His parents asked if we wanted to go with them to Miami to see the NASCAR race in Homestead. So we are talking about November 2005 when this happened. We piled into the baby blue Mercury Villager and Justin was shoving me in the very back, third row section swimming in pillows. “I can’t even see out the windows.” I huffed. “I don’t understand w

VTMAS No.38: Gas On A Plane

We had just gotten married back in April 2007 and I was excited that I was going with my husband and his family to a reunion. I had just experienced my real first plane rides on our honeymoon to Cancun and here I was about to fly to Ohio. It was going to be my first trip that far north. “You know what I like best about plane rides?” We were waiting for our turn through security as Justin started to grin wide, the mischievous sparkle in his eye as he spoke, “When you pass gas

VTMAS No.37: Not the Average Door Salesman

As proof that my odd and bizarre luck still comes into my life, today’s story happened this past weekend. I was zoning out on the computer as my husband headed out the door to go do one of his manly runs to home depot when he stopped halfway through the doorway. This caught my attention, so I watched as he visibly stared at the ground, and then shook his head looked again. Leaning back in the door he asked, “Honey, can you come out here a minute?” Furrowing my brow I replied,

VTMAS No.36: The Day The Grass Parted

My uncle Ymmit and I were asked to investigate what happened to the cats at my Great Grandmother’s home. She had been a safehouse for captured ferals who the humane society spayed or neutered and brought to her property to live. We had gotten a call asking where the cats had gone, and well, none of us had really stopped to consider what to do with them after she was submitted into the Nursing Home with dementia. It wasn’t like they weren’t being fed. The no-kill arrangement w

VTMAS No.34: Val Got Wasted!

To be fair, I posted about the husband’s time being wasted so now it’s my turn to share one about me. That’s right, she who rarely drinks has gotten WASTED once. If you’ve been reading these, you can rule out my 21st birthday as the culprit. Instead, it was my 23rd birthday that got me. It was Wednesday, and I was officially 23. I decided to meet up with my friend Alisha for a Chocolate Shot and then call it a day. What I did not know, was my husband found out and well, when

A Short-lived Treasure Hunt

Short Story, Humor The cell phone was ringing again. Florida summer heat brought in a wave of friends and family calling for favors, but this time it was Alvin. With a sigh, Jay answered, “Hey Al!” “Man, I hate to ask…” Alvin’s tone of voice was equal to a grimace on a face. “It’s my Air Conditioner…” Rubbing his forehead, Jay retorted, “Lightning didn’t hit it again, did it?” There was silence on the other end. The heat of Alvin’s frustrations coming through with no words ne

VTMAS No.33: Husband Got Wasted!

Everyone has drunk stories about a time they got wasted and had to piece together what happened via what your friends tell you. Granted, I rarely drink and even then it’s a one mixed drink and I’m good ordeal. It is this fact that makes me the ultimate Designated Driver for my husband, friends and family. One of the best moments with my now husband, was back in the days where we were just dating and had moved in together. “Hello?” It wasn’t a number I recognized as I answered

VTMAS No.32: The Manatees

I love to go fishing, so there will be plenty of fishing stories to share. If you have no clue what a manatee or dugong is, pretty much they are big grey underwater cows that graze freely in the waters around Florida’s coast. We often fish the brackish waters of the intracoastal where estuaries house manatees and dolphins with their newborn babies. Where am I going with this? Well, being the lucky person I am, without fail one thing usually happens while cast out my line…. I