Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Story for You…

In a little over a month my novella releases out into this world.
It seems like the ideal time to share my story.

Today I’m dedicating this song to you.

“All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true. . . ”

Thanks for reading!

*Here is the original if you’d like to listen longer or how want to hear a different version

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brave or Unexpected?

Hanging out with this lady…

& working hard on edits for this...

 Because I can’t wait until you read it!!!

What have you been up to lately? Have you done anything brave or unexpected?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

While You Wait

I like to pay attention to the unique kinds of offerings that are made available during waits. Companies are getting more and more creative. You won’t believe it when I share what’s located in my daughter’s orthodontist’s office.

I like this idea. I like the thoughtfulness behind it.

And I’m catching on.

First, let’s view a few of the aforementioned offerings…

The Classic Coffee


Hors d'oeuvres & Desserts

and in my daughter’s orthodontist office…

 A Theater!

While you wait for my novels, in October I’m releasing my novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY. And while you wait for October,  I’m offering you this…

No, not a baby. But a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to the project!


*Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter (upper right sidebar) (Thanks to those who’ve already subscribed!
**Also, I’m in the midst of scheduling blog posts for the next few months. If you’d like to feature me as a guest, please contact me as soon as possible.

***photos by stock.xchng

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8 Explanations for Your Broken Book Club (+ Solutions)

Everything has a tendency to break at one point or another. I’m swooping in as the book club “Wolf” toda
y to clean up any messes. Is your book club threatening to crack in two?

No fear, the Book Club Wolf is here.

Here are eight reasons your book club might be faltering and some solutions to help…

The Books
I have no idea how your book club makes its selections but after partaking in several book clubs for years, I’ve come to understand the value of assessing a book’s conversation quotient. What’s a conversation quotient? The degree to which a book incites quality, enriching, and meaningful dialogue. Some books are fantastic but just don’t lend themselves to this type of discussion.

Solution:  Visit sites like Goodreads and bookmovement to read what people are saying about books. Ask friends what their book clubs have enjoyed. It’s worth these small acts to figure out if your group is reading books with optimal conversation quotient potential.

Books that have stirred engrossing conversations in book clubs that I’ve attended…
Gone Girl, Still Alice, Mudbound, Defending Jacob…to name a few.

Lack of Lead
This role need not be assigned to one person, but book clubs begin to weaken when no one wants to step up and begin asking probing, thought-provoking questions.

Solution:  Many authors have book club discussion questions listed on their websites or often if you Google discussion questions or the book title a dozen options will pop up for your club to explore.

This one is the hardest to pinpoint. But it happens. Eager Emma doesn’t mix well with Shy Cheryl. Hyper-opinionated Halle causes friction every time she sits next to super open-minded Opal. Hundreds of these group dynamics could be misfiring.

Solution: Invite new members. Discern commitment level. Break off into two separate groups within the same meeting (or not).

Lack of Commitment
Only two or three members show up.

Solution:  Change the meeting to daytime hours, or evening if you previously met in the day. Coordinate best times that would work. Write up a mini-questionnaire to get opinions on what would help strengthen the book club. Everyone likes to feel heard.

Hungry and Thirsty Members
Bowl of stale popcorn and water won’t entice many members.

Solution: I’m not suggesting you break the bank, but there are many ways to creatively tie in the theme when you provide a few light snacks (brownies are an inexpensive classic) and maybe a drink or two. I make a blueberry sangria whenever I host (because it’s yummy + cost effective).

Feed the troops. They’ll thank you for it and it will improve the overall experience.

Too Serious
Getting right down to business the second everyone walks in the door is sure to breed irritation. Book clubs are meant for discussing books. But let’s not fool ourselves, they’re also about socializing, and carving out time for our minds to relax + recharge.

Solution: Incorporate ways to lighten up the meetings. Gag gifts (possibly related to the book), icebreakers, discuss ideas of what each of you envision a book club to be, play background music and shut it off to help create a divide between socializing cocktail hour and time devoted to the book.

Not Serious Enough
It can get frustrating if you’re hoping to get into a hearty discussion about a book and the entire time is devoted to jabbing about Laura Lynn’s new dining room set.

Solution: Here’s another example where a print-out of discussion questions can help. And the music (see above). Assign everyone a month when they are to “lead” to help guide conversation. Allot an half hour, hour, or however long you all agree to visit before then transitioning into another room (this always works with my clubs…it’s a given when we move from the kitchen into the living room it’s time to go to the book).

Dominant Party
Mayday, mayday, we’ve got a book club takeover on our hands. She shows up extra early, brings sugar free snacks, then spends the entire evening interrupting everyone  and preaching her opinions to the group. She might as well be saying, “Off with their heads.”

Solution: Group dynamics 101. Do you kick her to the curb? Of course not. But, the Wolf says it’s essential to regroup your group. Begin a meeting addressing the interruption issue (without pointing fingers). Vary who hosts or leads the group and have other members demonstrate clarity over who is in the lead each week. And of course, there’s always direct confrontation which, when done well, I feel is always best.

So there you have it. Your bloody book club is all tidied up. Thanks to the this here Book Club Wolf. ;-)

Have you ever witnessed the fall of a group? Ever put thought into how to make it better? Did it get better? Worse? Why?

*photo by morguefile

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...