Sometimes I wish I were a Weeble. That toy that can never completely fall over.

Yesterday, I had some setbacks, nothing I’ll bore you with here, but let’s just say I had some expectations and they were completely obliterated.

I don’t always bounce back easily from deflating events. But I’m doing okay today despite the occasional flicker of poor-poor-pitiful-me.

Tomorrow’s guest blogger will be a breath of fresh air and a reminder to me and hopefully to all of you, why we get out of bed every day. So I’m looking forward to introducing you to him. Many of you may know him already but I couldn’t be more excited that he’s actually taking a few minutes to stop by my little blog.

So that’s something to be happy about.

When the Weeble thought came to mind today, I remembered that about a year ago, I wrote an essay sharing my joy and love for the Weeble, and you’re likely to see that essay as part of a bigger collection in a book someday. That’s the plan anyway. But why the hell don’t I just run that essay right here, right now? Seems appropriate enough. Occasion almost calls for it.

And here’s an even more bizarre offering. You can also hear me read this essay by clicking here and listening to it read aloud on AudioBoo. (If you have any difficulty listening in Internet Explorer, you should find it works well in Mozilla Firefox.)

So pick your format. Either way, I hope you enjoy it, get a chuckle, think a bit and go on merrily with your day. And if you, too, are bouncing back, well, good luck, channeling your inner Weeble, too.

Happy reading!


Remember Weebles? They were these little two-inch high encased pear-shaped figures with no appendages whatsoever covered in a shiny plastic encasement and when you thumped them, they would bob to the side but never completely fall over. As I’ve gotten older, my shape has gotten progressively more and more WEEBLE-like. But best of all, WEEBLES were so tough and indestructible that they had their own little jingle. (Doesn’t everything that really matters?)


“WEEBLES wobble, but they don’t fall down…”


I remember singing along to it as a kid and thinking to myself, how cool would that be. No matter how powerful a gust of wind, how torrential a downpour, how mighty a wallop to the jaw, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have that ability to simply POP back up again with resilience, confidence and buoyancy?


We’re all a bit Weeble, aren’t we? Some of us may carry an extra long strand of the chromosome. Bouncing back: it’s an art form. Remember Nancy Kerrigan? Clearly the American Olympic Silver Medalist ice skater was equipped with her own WEEBLE DNA. She recovered and even prevailed following the wrath of Tonya Harding’s slugfest in Harding’s own bizarre and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to bridge the World Wresting Federation and professional figure skating by taking a hard whack at Kerrigan’s leg (you youngsters can look it up on Wikipedia).


While I have no bone-crunching personal attacks in my own history, I can point to plenty of occasions where it would have been really easy to channel my inner Fisher Price Little Person, succumb to the emptiness running through my core and topple over with one swift swat. But nope, I embraced my WEEBLE and the pain and lessons that tango with bad decisions about men, money, jobs and apartments, and prepared for that sideways dip, knowing that someday, the horizon would be a stationary, solid straight line again, once this annoying, gag-inducing sway back and forth finally came to an end.


I miss WEEBLES. Playing with them, I mean, which occasionally involved positioning them in death-defying, dangerous scenarios to see just how far I could go with testing that wobbling tenacity. Sure, WEEBLES are still around but how often have you seen a 42-year-old woman pull out her water bottle, laptop, Bluetooth and WEEBLES village at the table at Panera? Besides, they don’t really look and feel like the ones I remembered as a kid when Playskool first launched them in the early ‘70s. If you sneak off on your lunch break to the nearest Toys R Us, you’re bound to find them. That’s more than I can say for most of the things I loved and adored as a kid. Like so many things from my childhood, I have watched old playtime friends become extinct as children of later generations find other ways – often much more expensive ways – to entertain themselves. My play didn’t require a web domain, wireless network, password or credit card to initiate; just a little free time (another somewhat extinct commodity for 21st century tikes), some imagination and freedom to roam and play independently.


I remember as a child wondering: when will I finally “feel” like an adult, when would I just know the answer to…everything, whatever question that came up? So many topics seemed too complex to understand, so many processes looked too complicated to carry out. Surely, someday it will all make sense, I thought to myself as I pretend-drove from the backseat while my dad manned the real steering wheel. Everything was so much simpler in my pretend world where I drove everywhere (and quite well, I might add), bought and possessed anything I could possibly want (I just had to plant the picture in my brain and voila – instant ownership!) And best of all, I lived in a world where I could be a songwriter-rock star Monday, a famous actress or TV reporter on Wednesday, and by Friday afternoon, a teacher presenting my elaborately planned lessons on general psychology, English composition, basic math, or whatever other subjects I could expound on from the vast intellectual universe that was my bedroom bookcase – maybe letters F-G-H in Funk & Wagnall’s? And who was fortunate enough to fill my classroom? Why, a lumpy pile of corralled stuffed animals who astutely watched from the bed with fascination, reverence and silence, that’s who.


When could I just stop all of this pretending and embark on the real adventures, I frequently wondered. And you know what happened? I found out, but without any warning whatsoever.


Somewhere along the way, life stumbled into the picture and I went from playing housekeeper to actually becoming housekeeper (on those rare occasions when I actually keep house).


Somewhere along the way, my imaginary boyfriend who always sat beside me while I pretend-drove went from becoming my pretend fiancé and pretend husband to a real husband, and a really bad one at that. (The first one, that is. The second one thankfully turned out to be a keeper.)


Somewhere along the way, I went from a child to a student to an employee to a spouse and ohmigod, to a grown up. Too bad I didn’t reach the grown-up stage before first becoming an employee and spouse. I could have saved myself a tremendous amount of heartache and disappointment during those early years.


But much like information (and some fast food), life doesn’t always arrive in the most convenient order. Some unexpectedly become parents before graduates; others, soldiers before skilled career professionals; and still others, believers before inquirers or learned students. Sometimes the landscape looks an awful lot like one of those big Jumbo Pad Search-A-Word puzzles. There may be a word straight across here, and up and down over there, but to find the other word, you’ve got to look diagonally and this one is so tucked away in the corner, you probably won’t even find it. And that other one? Forget it. It’s going backward instead of forward. Much of the time, you might not even know what you’re looking for until after it’s been here and gone.


So when does that moment arrive when truth shines so brightly it makes your eyes water, and decisions no longer seem like obstacle courses to navigate while your ankles are tied up for a three-legged race?


I’m still waiting, but I won’t sit quietly.


A Bit of Book News and My Incredible Best Friend, Why?

It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged. I’m sure you’ve had those kinds of weeks, too. Where everything took a little longer than planned. And when you needed things to be finished, they kept creeping back into the picture as unresolved. I owe a handful of some tremendous people my heartfelt thanks and the greatest virtual backrubs imaginable for their help in keeping me afloat. Muddled through it, all because of you.

Some have asked me what the latest is with my book, so I thought I’d share here. At least what I’m able to at this time.

My book The Muse Unlocked is still on target for a June release. I should have a date to share in a few weeks but it’s appearing to be closer to mid-June or late-June.  And of course, a little cover reveal might be headed your way in a few weeks, as well. So stay tuned for that. I have been quite the badger to my poor publicist about it. She knows if I had my way I would blanket the skies with one now. But I am quickly learning through this process that patience is indeed a virtue.

About time I got a little of that. Heh.

I’m excited that I’ll be able to share with you so many new places that we will be able to hang out together beyond here and Twitter that are all currently in development. But I promise, I will have links for you very soon. In just a matter of weeks.

Holy cow, it really is just a matter of weeks.


I might need to go lie down for a bit. Felt a little woosy suddenly.

However, before I do,  just a reminder that tomorrow is Guest Blogger Friday and I’m so excited about this week’s guest who will bring a fresh perspective on a subject that I think will especially be of interest to other writers but hard-core readers, as well. So I look forward to sharing that charming person with you then.

I’d like to leave you with a little thought. This past month, I’ve had many wonderful opportunities to interact with other readers and writers, and in particular, I’ve been able to grow closer to some fellow scribes who I could “talk shop” with and in some rare instances, perhaps be helpful in some small way…from extending a hand to help someone pull themselves out of a creative well, encouraging others to step into a new path or simply cheering them on to grab the laptop by the USB cords and take control of their dream to write before it scurries off or runs around haphazardly and pokes someone’s eye out.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer, a published one stumbling a bit or perhaps a reader who appreciates words and has some other dream that you just — can’t — seem — to — catch! Whew — tiring stuff, that aspiration…ironic word since it does leave most of us breathless, huh? Anyway, regardless of your pursuit, the one piece of advice I have for you is





Why you want to write….

I was asking this of one good writer friend last night. And it’s quite possible he was ready to block me for my persistance and inability to hold my tongue. But this “why” is the simplest for us to forget, because we let it. We allow ourselves to make excuses and let things and people become distractions that impede our forward motion. You can get busy. You can get fearful. You can even temporarily find yourself in a creative abyss, finding nothing imaginative even remotely near your grasp. But your reasons for writing, your reasons for pursuing your dream, they never go away. They might get buried, blocked, smothered but they never go away. So we must cherish them, keep them safe — keep them pure. Let them be about your love of language, your drive to speak out, your desire to inspire, amuse, entertain, educate, scintillate… CAPTIVATE. And whatever you do, never feed them after midnight. Oh wait, that’s Gremlins. But you get the point.




Why you feel this need to do it…

When you stay from words for awhile because you’re too busy fulfilling your “day job” or tending to other personal needs, do you feel that loss? Are you experiencing a little guilt? Let that be less about flogging yourself for what you haven’t written and more about pushing yourself forward to write more. Excite don’t incite.  Pull don’t drag. Tickle don’t taunt. Remind yourself of all of those many reasons you chose this conduit for letting it flow in the first place.




Why you interact with other writers…

Though I’m confident it’s our magical, sparkling personalities, I’m sure, there is more to it than that. We are your soundboard. We are your cheerleaders. We are your lifeline. Never forget to reach out. I’m the biggest culprit of this one myself, old Ms. Self-Sufficient over here. But sometimes, you need that other voice, you need that long, poking finger on the shoulder reminding you that you are not alone. Not really. Even when it may feel that way sometimes. When you hit a snag, don’t look in the mirror and find all of those reasons you failed, look to your informal townfolk who make up the Village of Championing You and call a town hall meeting. We’ll get to the bottom of this thing. We will. Together.

There is no better quote to leave you with than this beauty. And if you’re not a writer, don’t think you can’t apply it to the significance of your own direct pull on the Earth’s axis and all that you must do, that you were meant to do.

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” ~Vladimir Nabakov

Happy reading,

The Versatile Blogger Award — Moi? Cooooool…

So a lovely young woman who has a great blog called Family, Friends and Everything in Between recently surprised me by leaving a thoughtful comment on my About Author page and telling me that she had nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award.


I was speechless.

Me, the long-winded nightmare.

It meant a lot to me but unfortunately, caught me off guard and at the time of an epic cluster-you-know-what deadline, and I wasn’t able to respond politely and graciously as I would have liked. So I apologize to her personally here for not thanking her sooner. Kristy has a smart, fun blog that brings positivity and thoughtful dialogue to the conversation.

If you have been nominated you have won the award.

So I’m following along with the “rules” of the award. (Well, kinda.) And posting below what is expected of me (sorta) as said winner.

Here’s the following rules for those that I nominate (If I always followed the rules, all of the time…) :

-Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy. (okay, did that)
-Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it. (absolutely, did that)
-Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly,  blogs or bloggers that are excellent! (okay…*getting tentative now*How about 9 instead?)
-Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site. http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/  (so now all of these people must do the same thing…hmm. That’s a lot to ask…)
-Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself. (OK, I can do that)

The blogs I am nominating:

The following are in no special order but reflect an eclectic mix that I enjoy following – from family life to photography, from writing to witty observations. A quick note: I would like to have also included Stuff I Tell My Sister (http://stuffitellmysister.me/) but she was already nominated within my group, so she can’t make my list, but please check out her blog. It rocks, too!

I also want to point out that I follow a number of awesome authors’ blogs across romance, erotica, suspense and other genres. I haven’t featured any of them because frankly I wouldn’t know who to include and who to leave out. But anytime you’re looking for a suggestion in a particular genre, I hope you’ll pop by my blog and ask. I can point you in any number of fabulous directions.

Okay, back to the award stuff.

Please note that I am following the protocol of this said awesome award. (Okay, not really. I’m pretty much breaking a lot of the rules but I’m making an effort, so that’s something…).

Do with it as you will. Know that my little nod comes completely as a true fan of your work. If you’d like to pass along, do so. If not, I will not take it personally. I realize this award, while absolutely lovely and appreciated, asks a lot of its recipients, and I want to be respectful of your time. But do let me know that you did get my message of affection for the good stuff you’re putting out there for the rest of us. Deal? OK.

Here they are…

1.  A Nine Pound Hammer…or a woman like you, either of these will do  http://aninepoundhammer.com

2.  Christian Mihai http://cristianmihai.net/

3.  The Kitchen Witch http://thekitchwitch.com

4.  The Story Reading Ape http://thestoryreadingapeblog.wordpress.com/

5.  Peevish Penman http://peevishpenman.blogspot.com/

6.  The Duffel Blog http://www.duffelblog.com/

7.  Exploding Unicorn http://www.explodingunicorn.blogspot.com/

8.   Boxfotos http://boxfotos.com/

9.  The Parenting Beat http://theparentingbeat.wordpress.com

The 7 things about myself

1. My first job, besides a little babysitting, was working as a movie usher and theater concession worker. I loooooved it. Employees were allowed one free movie per day at any of the company’s area theaters. That really came in handy in the summer. This was one of the first movies I ushered, too. Damn. That was a funny movie.


2. First trip to Disney World, I was 4 years old and apparently balling like a baby because I didn’t get to see Mickey Mouse walking around like I had hoped. As it is reported to me (since I was a little young to remember), we were getting ready to leave and a wandering Mickey Mouse came right up to me and got in position to pose for a photo. And I’ve got the shot to prove it.


3. I can’t do anything really interesting. No cool tricks or skills. I have one really good card trick, but that’s it. I can’t juggle, I don’t balance things on any body parts, I can’t do sleight of hand tricks, touch my nose with my tongue or roll my eyes back into my head. Hell, I can’t even whistle. I’m just a boring girl raised by midwestern parents in southwest Florida who used to like sitting in her room and dreaming up made-up characters, songs, TV shows and movies while growing up. No biggie. The only two talents I can point to at all are that I can usually identify a pop song from 1960-2000 by just hearing one or two notes and…I at one time memorized every Oscar winning movie, actor and actress and still have some remnants of this completely useless knowledge lingering behind.

4. During my lifetime, I’ve been a financial aid counselor, on-air radio news announcer, evening switchboard operator, telemarketer, graphic designer, marketing manager, receptionist, metro newspaper promotional writer, magazine editor, and my personal favorite (and, yes, I’m being my signature, smart-ass self), an inbound phone rep selling cigars of all things (READ: lifelong non-smoker…I mean, like NEVER smoked anything…EVER! So how funny is that?)

5. I got my first dog as a pet at the age of THIRTY. His name is Dexter. Happy to say he’s still with us at the ripe old age of 15. I speak of him often online, snap pictures of him to annoy the hell out of him and consider him my “assistant” since I spend more time with him on a daily basis than any other animal or human. He’s a Dachshund-Chihuahua (aka chiwienie) -long legs, long back. Overall, a freak of nature. And I love him for it. Here he is working hard on the job, as always.


6. I’m a bit of a freak of nature myself (in more ways than I could possibly list here). But I love English and math. Usually, you’re only supposed to gravitate to one, but I’ve always loved words and numbers. In fact, when I was in college, I tutored algebra and English at the same time at the campus learning center. So when I release my next steamy romance series Lust and Logarithms, well, you’ll know why…

7. I’m shy. Okay, there’s a few people that will be laughing at this last “fact” about me, but it’s true. I may not seem that way here or on Twitter. If you’ve ever gone toe to toe with the banter or double entendres (or I suppose fingertip to fingertip is  more apropos), you’ll know I can hold my own. But it’s true. I’m the biggest wallflower there is. I freak out at even the concept of attending a party where I know nobody at all. Put me at the center of attention and I might as well curl up in the fetal position right now. I’m trying to work on it, but it isn’t easy. Within smaller groups or among those who really know me well, I can let loose. But out there…in that big scary place…*gasp* Writing is a solitary life that you can so easily choose to maintain every day. We like our quiet, we like our solitude – well, some of us do. I’m sure there are exceptions, but for most of us, we’d much rather hang with the dog.


Wow. What a munchkin he was then. Only a year or so after we got him. Yes, we all look much younger then.

I will say this whole experience virtually meeting others and forcing myself to come out of my little shell to talk to others and begin promoting the book is, I know, going to be a very valuable all-around experience, as I suspect it is for other shy, quiet types. So… *takes a deep inhale* I’m ready for it.

I think.

No, I am. Really.

Let’s do this thing.


And so, there you go… my little foray into award land. Once again, thank you, Kristy, for the nod. And to anyone looking for interesting blogs, I do hope if you take away anything at all from this bizarro blog entry that you check out some of these groovy sites I suggested. I’m confident you’ll find them as interesting as I do.

Happy reading!

Impressionable Words

Writers have their sources of inspiration, their muses. They have their baggage, too – who are we kidding?

Let’s face it, most of us creative types are about three steps away from rubber walls, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know this… (Imagine what it’s like for the people who have to live with us.)

We’re also the product of the many influences that built our early reading experiences and eventually, writing experiences. The authors, playwrights, poets and screenwriters who helped us sculpt our own voice.

I thought about this the other day while having a conversation with a friend…what leads us to where we are. I’m sure an athlete can look back to their first team sports experiences or winning a big game in high school, a performer can reflect on past plays or concerts and remember the first time they read Death of a Salesman or picked up  a musical instrument.

I can pinpoint little things that felt big at the time – essay contests, working for the school newspaper, the first time a paper I wrote was hung on the door of the classroom by the teacher for all to see. The very first time a teacher took the time to tell me that something I had written was well-crafted. Damn. Nothing surpasses that feeling. You’re certain you could soar to the moon. Those are fun moments, proud moments, and they were delicious days that only made me fall in love with words even more than I already did.

But where I truly fell in love with words was not behind the pen but with my head flopped over a set of pages – someone else’s words.

I remember uncovering a true passion for dialogue and falling in love with Tennessee Williams’ fiery characters and heat-drenched words at the age of 13. Letting myself get luxuriously lost amid the perplexing yet intriguing conversations of Edward Albee and Eugene Ionesco. Feeling the emotions well up inside and personalizing the character’s storylines in S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume.


In time, the likes of Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger and John Steinbeck left their mark on my heart. When my mind ached to think outside the box, Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoyevsky allowed me to stretch my brain to new contemplations and more closely examine the drive and intentions behind my thoughts and actions. As I became more adventurous and seeking new sights, sounds and textures, I uncovered the strange worlds envisioned by Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Anthony Burgess, and yes, most affectionately, Douglas Adams.

I was hooked.

And it didn’t take long.

I wasn’t moved by Ernest Hemingway like the critics. Charles Dickens simply bored me. And you could keep your Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness. Not my cup of tea. I’d much prefer to stay locked inside the pages with Joseph Heller’s Yossarian or Vladamir Nabakov’s Humbert. Well, maybe not Humbert. He can be a little creepy. Of course, at the time I read it, I was much older than what he went for — had to be at least 17 or 18 — so I suppose I would have been safe.

As I grew older, I moved into more non-fiction fodder – the satire and observations of George Carlin, Bill Maher and Al Franken – film biographies and music, TV and cinematic almanacs. Then somewhere around the age of 35 or 36, I started to want to feel again when I read. Not sure what happened exactly. Perhaps it was my own mortality reminding me to tap into those experiences that once touched me profoundly and I returned to reading fiction. Out of nowhere. I gravitated toward the moody and emotionally-driven, that brought me back to my tearful laments over Ponyboy, Sodapop and the gang.

Like much of the world, I discovered the Twilight series (haters, stand back – don’t start with me). It helped tap into something again, and to Stephenie Meyer I’ll be forever grateful. I kept on reading… the Hunger Games series, The Time Traveler’s Wife and within a matter of several years, a little series came out – Fifty something or another – and that not only brought me back to a consistent reading habit again, it led me to go forth and explore other writers. (Again, E.L. James haters, stand back — I don’t want to hear your lashing, either.) I owe her a lot, too, because it introduced me to the likes of the work of Sylvain Reynard, Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Donovan, M. Leighton, Tammara Webber, Tiffany Reisz, and so many more terrific writers.

I was again…hooked. But now, as an…ahem…slightly older me, I found myself more drawn to matters of the heart. Perhaps years of happiness and love after some serious heart ache led me to appreciate that side of me more. For years, I think I tried to hide that. Call it self-preservation. It was hard to let others in. Now, I try to stay open to beautiful things that come along. Life’s too short. Don’t want to miss anything. Aah, the wisdom of Ferris Bueller, I suppose, having its lasting effects.

Books are a beautiful place to get lost. They are also a bountiful garden that any aspiring writer tiptoes through carefully and handpicks those elements she appreciates most, that fill her heart or stir her mind. And she then plants her own little garden and hopes something magical or special might sprout.

I have a book coming out in a little over a month. It’s called The Muse Unlocked. I’m fairly certain it won’t be studied in English honors classes for years to come, and I’m fine with that. I’m just trying to tell a simple, little love story for those willing to listen. And hopefully, there will be some ribcages rattled by a series of chuckles, a mind or two stimulated and maybe a few hearts touched.

One can hope.

Latest News about THE MUSE UNLOCKED and Book Teasers Roundup

Is it really Thursday already?

Oh my.

This week has been a blur in every sense of the word.


I won’t keep you long. Your day is almost over. For some of my friends on the other side of a big pool of Atlantic water, the evening’s already winding down.

I get that. I too am ready to call it a day. Except for that big pile of work sitting on my desk. Maybe if I just go in the other room and sit elsewhere I can casually forget about it.

Yeah. I know. That doesn’t really work. Not for long, at any rate.

I have some updates on the book front to share with you, as I continue to gear up for a JUNE 2013 release of my first book, a contemporary romance novel THE MUSE UNLOCKED.

I have a final cover… oooooooh! Now it’s just a matter of time and manner to unveil. I’m whipping up a little plan and hope to have that to share with you soon. Covers take time – finding just the right image, the right feel to convey what this book is all about, and this one didn’t veer off that usual path but now that it is done, I can tell you: I am quite excited about it and can’t wait to show you the final design!!

Ooh, and I’m hearing some lovely exclamations coming from my editor’s office, so this could be encouraging. She’s already indicated that she had a hard time focusing on proofing during one of the scenes because she – ahem – got distracted in the moment. That sounds promising to me! 😉 And all a writer can ever ask for! I should be able to do any clean up for the book over the next week or two, and make it available to you as an e-book by late May or June 1 as planned. Fingers crossed!!

And I’m very excited that I get to meet tomorrow with a wonderful person who is going to help me figure out the best way to share Cate and Oliver with the world, and there will be many cool things to tell you about happening over the next few months so stay tuned for all of that news as it becomes available.

I’ve had a few people ask me about book teasers. Some missed my earlier blogs during which I shared four different snippets from the book over the course of last month and this month.

So to make it more convenient,  I thought I’d share those links here again so you can go right to the blogs easily and scroll down to check out the teasers if you haven’t already. May is nearly here and something tells me that I may wish to share a little something else with my friends…more on that to come!



Teaser #1 – Introducing…Oliver and Cate

Teaser #2 – …Another Book Teaser for You

Teaser #3 – Big Cheers, Small Victories and Book Teasers

Teaser #4 – Overjoyed…Spilling Over (Teeny-Tiny Itsy-Bitsy Excerpt)

Tomorrow, I’m excited to invite another talented guest blogger to take the keys and drive this spaceship for the day as my special guest as part of CHRIS’S CORNER. This week, we’re celebrating…”them.” You know ’em. The wild ones, the rebels, the ones who feel it necessary to go it alone with an independent streak running down their back.

The Indie Author. Mmm-mmm-mmm. My new genus species that I myself have recently adopted!

You won’t want to miss it. Have a good night, folks. Settle in, put your feet up, catch up on some blogs, check out those teasers for some titillating moments and we’ll talk again…tomorrow.

Happy reading!

And That’s the Name of That Tune

Take away a chatty girl’s ability to talk, and it’s fun to watch her climb the walls.

Well…not if you’re that chatty girl.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m contending with this right now. Doctor’s orders. No talking for 72 hours. Sure, I work alone at home during the day, but no phone calls, no calling out to the dog, no yammering to myself and no belting out along with Amy Winehouse blaring out of my speakers at this moment. And if you don’t know how tempted I am to do this, then you don’t know me that well.


Music and writing…we go together. Like peanut butter and chocolate. I can’t remember a time I didn’t compose verse to music. And when I write, the mood must be set just perfectly. Certain artists are better for writing than others. As of late, I find David Gray, Avett Brothers and Crowded House great for some work. Fiona Apple, Iron & Wine and Enigma for others. Black Keys and Amy Winehouse when I need a certain spirit and …MMMPH.

And I find it amusing because back in high school and college, it was the Beatles. All of the time. I could type to Rubber Soul like you wouldn’t believe – U.S. edition. Sorry, I can’t even listen to the original U.K. edition. The difference in song order and inclusion throws me off completely.

So now as I await my editor’s feedback on my book The Muse Unlocked, I’m working on web content for the book/author website to come. And that has to mean playlists for me. I know as a reader I really appreciate hearing the soundtrack that the author imagined as they wrote and threaded the story. And I’m looking forward to also soliciting for readers’ own songs that they imagined as they read certain scenes. I think the first author I remember doing this really well and interacting with readers was Stephanie Meyer with the Twilight series. It’s how I discovered Muse. (So it wasn’t a complete loss, was it now? No, it wasn’t.)

I started putting my playlists together while I was writing the book, so I really did listen to the songs as I moved the story forward.  And there are, in fact, a few scenes that are specifically occurring as a song or whole album is playing in the background, so music is and will always be an integral part in anything I do. For me, including this within the process made the scenes very real. I am curious to hear from other writers about what kind of role music played in the development of their own stories, if any.

Since I was a kid, I see everything like one big movie and everyone knows that a good movie has a stellar soundtrack and score. I can’t see something without imagining music behind it. Not to mention the fact that if Name That Tune were still on the air and didn’t include music after 2000, I would kick everyone’s ass. I can name a song at the drop of a single note or two. It’s a freaky talent I haven’t been able to monetize into any useful skill set or payoff value. (Know of anything???)

I suppose I should return to my mission at hand. I think we’ll leave Amy for a bit and move to my favorite angry young man who I suppose now would be called a little bit less angry old man, Elvis Costello.

Soon, the music will be playing. Patience, grasshoppers. Patience.

Happy reading!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered…Soon, Baby!

 ????????????????????????????????????????I’m excited about tonight.

For one thing, I’m finally getting to meet an author that I’ve communicated with virtually for over five years yet I’ve never met her. When I was the editor for a local women’s magazine, I interviewed her (by phone) for our online edition and wrote a profile about her. Tonight, I’m going to her book signing and I couldn’t be happier for her. I’ll finally get a chance to say hello in person, maybe give her a hug because I feel like I know her and buy a signed copy of her book.

The other reason I’m especially interested in going is for the book signing itself. I think I’ve only gone to two such events before – ever. And yet, in less than three months, I plan to publish my own book, THE MUSE UNLOCKED. As strange as the concept sounds as it reverberates off of the rubber walls of my kooky, confounded mind, I expect that I will be doing a book signing or two of my own.


I won’t lie to you. A sudden bolt of panic just shot through me at the concept of holding a book signing and…<crickets> The room is empty. Like hosting a party, and no one showing up. Besides, who would want me signing anything? I have really shitty penmanship. I guess I’d better practice my signature before then, huh?

Neurotic, I know.

I’ve heard theories that all performers, artists and writers have deep-seated psychoses and neuroses, so perhaps I should find this latest revelation of the breadth of my insecurities encouraging. Maybe I do have the right stuff to make the big time after all!

<More crickets.>

Or maybe not.

Aah, there’s my good friend, Self-Doubt. Back from a sabbatical, I see. May I introduce you to the rest of your table party for the evening, Dr. Doom,  Miss Melodrama and Sir Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

So, yes, I will go to the book signing tonight. And no, I am not seeing a therapist. Yet.

There have been plenty of book signing opportunities I could have attended over the past six months if my only reason for going were for research purposes. I truly am going to this particular signing to support my friend. But I expect I probably will be recording some mental notes, too.

And somewhere deep, deep, deeeeeeep in the dark, cobweb-covered recesses of my brain, there’s a little gawky cheerleader doing cartwheels and leaps into the air getting ready for the summer adventures that await.

It’s Springtime! Adolescent Memories Are in Full Blume…

So I only found out about the Judy Blume Project this morning, and already my heart is stirring and my mind is spinning.

You see, Judy Blume and her many early works written for fragile prepubescent girls helped me get through a really awkward and confusing time of my life.  Hair sprouting in places for no reason, boobs that appeared to show up out of nowhere and thoughts – lots of thoughts, bad thoughts, dirty thoughts, about…well… you know… boys, boy parts and why all of the really good shows on HBO were on much, much later at night.

I’m still waiting for the awkward phase to end.

When does that happen anyway?

The Judy Blume Project is the brainchild of blogger Dana the Kitchen Witch and  blogger/author Kim Jorgensen Gane of West Coast Posse. They are putting together an anthology honoring the prolific author and soliciting Blume’s legion of fans across many generations to contribute entries to capture their own memories, perspectives and thoughts on the author and the impact of her work.

If you know me well, you know that I grew up reading two series – no, not Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Do I look and sound like a prairie girl to you? Come on…)

The Hardy Boys (not Nancy Drew – she was too wimpy even for me) and Judy Blume.


These are EXACTLY what my editions looked like back in the early ’80s, by the way. Someone’s selling her entire collection for $14.95 on eBay. Sigh. Heartbreaking.

I must have read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing a dozen times. Blubber and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, a few dozen times.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret… okay, for this one, I think I read passages daily every day throughout middle school! (Anyone else out there remember sleeping with it tucked under their pillow or that little space between the nightstand and the bed?)

Last year, when my blog was less-focused on my new adventure of writing my first novel, I instead posed questions each week to spark creativity and inspiration in others – I called them Kuhnspirations. Yeah, admittedly, the title’s a bit cornball, and I was teased by good friends about that one, but one week, I asked others who wanted to journal with me what their dream dinner party guest list would look like, and in fact, Ms. Blume was an esteemed member of my list.

I don’t know if later generations who fell in love with J. K. Rowling’s and Stephanie Meyer’s series will truly understand what Judy Blume meant to those of us who grew up with Blume’s messages of self-love, acceptance and forgiveness.  And don’t get me wrong – I adore The Twilight series myself and have enjoyed several of the Harry Potter books so far. But there was something far more personal and intimate about the Blume books that just doesn’t compare.

I do plan to take part in the project – submissions are due to the bloggers by end of April, by the way. The format guidelines are pretty flexible and they’re open to a variety of styles for responding. You can even  follow along with the project at its Facebook page, and I recommend you do.

I can’t say that Judy Blume has inspired me as a writer as much as she influenced me as a thinking, feeling young woman. She made a tremendous impression on my heart as a young girl. When I felt like the misunderstood alien from outer space or gawky, geeky pudge muffin, she reminded me that there was so much more to me than met the eye of those who ridiculed. It didn’t stop the tears or doubts, but it did help me become a little tougher, more introspective and more confident where I knew I excelled, whether those insecure teasers who badgered me realized it or not.

I don’t follow this age category in today’s young adult literature genre.  Is there a similar Judy Blume for this bully-taunted 21st century generation, aside from the Judy Blume herself? I sure hope so.  She was a real life-saver for young girls like me.

Judy Blume, you will hear from thousands of readers everywhere very soon. You will know you made a difference in your own way, if you don’t already. You will feel the gush and the mush, and we will probably embarrass you far beyond you’re comfortable experiencing. But you will feel the love.

Sniffle. Sniffle.

KuhnStories 2013…A Sneak Peek!

2013…it’s tomorrow.




I’ve never been good at keeping quiet about things, so why bother now? I thought I’d leak out a day early that starting tomorrow, my blog will be turning its own page.

For the past few years, I’ve used this blog as a creative canvas, sharing thought-provoking (I hope) questions to encourage you to journal and painting imaginative scenarios and serious poking to both myself and to others to get out and try new things.

It was here on this blog that I dared to show my own stab at oil, watercolor and acrylic painting (and it wasn’t always pretty but certainly well-intentioned).

It was here that I showed my ass (not literally, thankfully) and held my own Cocktail-a-thon to add a few popular drinks to my portfolio as part of a special New Year’s Eve edition of Five to Try and even filmed it…what was I nuts? Probably. Certainly a little toasted by the end of the night, but I’ll do what I must for my craft! Sigh. <Read: merry martyr here with a maroschino cherry, please and thank you!>

It was here that I showcased a whole year in photos with a picture a day (now that was a really fun project)…


And it was here that I tackled my most ambitious and difficult task yet – writing one paragraph a day of a short story and posting it online, building it incrementally. A time travel mystery. The final creation will not win any awards but the journey was a hoot, and I at least had the common sense to end it earlier in the year instead of dragging it out all 365 days. Mercy kill? Perhaps. But I’d like to think of it as maturity and good instincts. Yeah, I like the sound of that better.

So now I move into 2013. What do I do next?


I paint a picture of all that I truly care about these days and that is… words. And sentences. And paragraphs. And pages. And chapters. And oh yeah, that’s right, those longer things…books. Books, books and more books. Lots of them. Books I love to read. Authors I love to read about. Fellow readers I enjoy chatting with on Twitter and Facebook. And now, best of all, the latest characters I’ve now fallen in love with — my characters in my first novel that I’ve been working on for the past 4+ months and hopefully, in about six months or so, when I am so determined to have my book finished and self-published, you will, too.

KuhnStories is going to be about what it was designed to be about all along… words and the wonderful stories they can tell within the right hands. Starting tomorrow, this blog will be about celebrating some of my favorite authors I follow, important info about the books they are writing as well as a journal to record my own journey as I continue tackling the next little-more-than-half of my book to go.

I’ll tell you more about these characters and my story, as well as my lessons learned as I embark on the steps along the way to write it. If you are a book blogger, I welcome your thoughts and wisdom, and absolutely your support. If you are an avid reader of many of the same favorite authors and books that you’ll see me writing about, I hope that you’ll leave a comment or even email me at ckuhntampabay@gmail.com to tell me what you think. If you are a published author and want to impart any wisdom or advice, I certainly welcome that, too. (And if you are one of the authors I often gush about, well, you’ll have to excuse me if I drool a little in response…) 

Cheers to you, all of you who have read even just one blog this year. I thank you for your interest and time. And if you read me once a week, embraced me like a healthy habit or decadent, sinful vice, well, I humbly thank you for your support, too. You have no idea what it means to me. And lo and behold, there are a few of you who have been following my blogs since my days at skirt! magazine several years ago, and to you, I beam up a warm virtual hug your way, my deepest appreciation and extended hand to join me on my next adventures in publishing. I’d love you there beside me to celebrate.

So long, 2012, and hello, 2013… clink!

Chris Kuhn

Blog Double-Take 2012

Chris_FSUCanSince the year is coming to a close, I thought it might be a good time to offer a little flashback to the year here at my blog.

Simply put, I want to give followers a chance to check out some blogs that they may or may not have seen during the year.

If you just began following me, you’ll find some earlier entries you might enjoy and if your life was a whirlwind this year and you missed some along the way, well, here ya go. An opportunity to do a double-take and read what you may have missed the first time around!

So on this lovely 30th day of December 2012, I bring you… Second Chance Blogs… a second look at Kuhn Stories for 2012. Bottoms up!

Cheers for finding that daily spark in your life!

Second Chance Blogs at KUHNSTORIES
Yep, these are some of my favorite blogs from the year – most, in response to Kuhnspiration Challenge questions posed. I can only hope that maybe by sheer stroke of luck or a sudden case of reader madness, my words might amuse, enlighten or maybe even inspire. Happy reading!