Thursday, May 31, 2012


4 inches wide, 16 feet long, and 4 foot high.  Those are the dimensions of a gymnastic balance beam.  An apparatus that decides the all round winner in women’s gymnastics.  At some point in the all around rotation, the competitors must complete a 90 second routine that consists of tumbling passes, leaps, turns, mounting and dismounting.  A fall from the beam could mean the difference of a gold medal, and not placing at all.

The key to winning a gold medal is balance.

Balance is a key to more than gymnastics.  Balance is the key to success in your own life.  All work and no play makes for a very stressful life.  All play and no work makes for a stressful life.  There has to be a balance.

My current employment demands a lot of my time.  I’ve been all work and no play for several weeks running.  A couple of weeks ago my daughter gave me a call on my cell phone. 

“Dad, can we BBQ when you get home from work?”

That sounded great, “Sure, as long as we are not cooking hamburgers.”

I hear her talking to my wife, then she comes back on the phone, “Can we have a fire and do Smors?”

“That sounds like a lot of fun,” I reply.
I was able to wrap up what I was doing and headed home.  It was interesting because the rest of the day went a lot smoother, I was looking forward to BBQing something (other than hamburgers) and making Smors.  So when I got home we set up a picnic in the back yard, got a fire in the fire pit, and the grill going, my wife made a potato salad, and I got the meat on the grill.  Lawn chairs, card table, food, the impromptu cookout was just what I needed.   It got me to thinking about balance in life.  I work hard, and I am hopeful that the hard work will pay off down the road and I’ll have a bit more free time later, and I can get that balance I am looking for in my own life.

Yet having those play plans set in motion did so much for my own attitude at work.  That work life balance.  We are all on a balance beam, only 4” wide.  If we can balance our professional lives, with our personal lives we can find some of that all elusive happiness everyone keeps seeking.

What are some of the things you do to find your balance?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Interview with Sally Franklin Christie

Today's Blog Ring of Power's guest is Sally Franklin Christie, the Author of Milk Carton People.  Today is the wrap up of her five part interview.  The first four parts can be found here:

Part 1 AboutYou @ Terri - Wednesday May 23rd
Part 2 TheWriting Life @ Teresa - Thursday May 24th
Part 3 TheCreative Process @ Emily - Friday, May 25th
Part 4 AboutYour Current Work @ Sandra - Monday, May 28th
Part 5 Words of Wisdom @ Dean - Tuesday, May 29th

So here is a brief Bio for Sally and the conclusion of her interview.

Sally Franklin Christie has spent her life achieving incredibly average goals. Her challenges and choices have led to into the world of organizing for social change,civil rights and helping people navigate in a world filled with physical barriers and discrimination.  She photographs and paints landscapes,when she isn’t at the computer researching,networking and writing. Special interests include Missing Children and Adults,Astronomy,Character Traits and Criminal Thinking. 

Sally's Words of Wisdom

Tell us about your route to success –did you use an agent? How did you land your agent and/or publisher? 

For me, I studied and practiced the craft and skills involved in noveling.  Then it turned out to be a matter of who I knew.  I am a regular and moderator at The Writer’s Chatroom where I met Kim Richards who owns Eternal Press.  She needed a Marketing Manager and I told her that while I might be inexperienced, I was loyal and would do the best job I could do.  She hired me and I have taken wing.  I submitted If I Should Die and it was accepted.  Then in April of last year, I submitted Milk Carton People. 

What are the most important elements of good writing? 

Know how writing works.  Then practice it.  Do not experiment or make up your own rules until you master the basics.  The idea part of writing is a solitary experience but after that you have to be able to re-create as a team.  You’ll be working with a cover artist, an editor and a marketing staff.  If you cannot work as a team with give and take you are not going to provide your product as the best it can be. 

 Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Practice is the Best Teacher.  Never say anything online that you cannot take back.  Say thank you, often.  Be graceful, some people will love you and others will be critical, they all gave you some of their time, so thank them and feel honored.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

The woman who appears at the back of my book is a real woman.  Some of her remains were found in Montana and no one has stepped forward to claim her as one of their own.  This is sad.  She was a baby once, her parents held her in their arms and imagined a bright future for her.  Are they missing her?  What brought her to Montana?  What were her dreams?  Who discarded her beside the road like that?  I hope I can have the smallest part in her identification.  I hope someday she has a name.

Sally on the Web:

Blog:     Life is a Story – Tell it Big
Other:  Buy Links for Milk Carton People and Buy Links for If I Should Die
Is your book in print, ebook or both?
Both are available in e-format and print. 

Thank you, all five of you.  
 - Sally

About the book:
Caught Between the Quick and the Dead.
Milk Carton People is a paranormal thriller about people who suddenly find themselves invisible,able to observe things but unable to participate. Do they go mad? Maybe they find others. It is quite possible that there is no point in being invisible. This is a book that plays on the very thin line of sanity and pure despair. The characters act and react to the new challenges and the reader gets to go along for the ride.
“Some of them are never found,you know.”
“I wonder how many people out there have figured out they can do this?”
“We’ve been waiting for you.”
I’m going to wake up,now,and go about my day with my cup
of coffee. By the time I get to work,the whole thing will disappear
like all dreams. I won’t even remember it.
She turned away from the little tree and took a few steps down
the sidewalk. She intended to turn back toward the book store
again,to somehow retake control of her destiny. As if turning
back would give everyone one more chance to tell her it was all in
fun and she was such a good sport.
Just then,a woman in an electric blue colored coat,walked
right into her.
“Excuse,me,” Ruth began and stopped speechless. For one
long,drawn out,slow motion,nightmare second,her vision was
obscured by a brownish red filter which blurred everything before
her. She felt hot,sticky,and confined. A cloying odor of spoiled
hamburger made her gasp for clean air. She tasted copper pennies
in her mouth. At the same time Ruth heard a gurgling noise and
a squeak and as the whole event suddenly ended she heard a plop
like pudding falling from a spoon back into the bowl.
A sudden cold sweat competed with stomach acid lurching
into her throat. Ruth swallowed it back and turned to watch as
the woman in electric blue continued walking down the sidewalk
without breaking stride. Ruth watched the woman in the electric
blue coat disappear around the corner.
“No,” Ruth said aloud with authority. “No,” she repeated.
She walked to the nearest building and stood close to the cold bricks in the shadows.
I have to go home.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is Like... Bacon!

I was cooking bacon the other morning. It was the really good bacon, not too much fat, great meat, and it cooked up so well I was thrilled.  As I was cooking, I got to thinking about other packets of bacon I’ve tried to cook.  Sometimes the bacon is too thick and takes longer to cook.  Other times there is so much fat, even though the package makes it look like a lot of meat, that it isn’t any good.  Life is like that, and in an extension to writing, that as well.

You are not real sure how the bacon is going to turn out when you look at the package.  It isn’t until the packet is opened and the bacon is pulled out do you really know what you have to work with.  So your day may be planned, but you don’t know what the day is going to really be like until you start working your plan for that day.  Sometimes it is a hit, and sometimes you find yourself, at the end of the day, someplace you never intended to be.

Writing works the same way.  You have a great idea.  It isn’t until you start to put the idea on paper that you understand what you have to work with.  Is it worthy for a blog post?

No wait, I can make a short story out of this.

Is it something to entertain, or instruct?  Is it for the kids, or is it for busy adults?  Is it a novel?  Or *gasp* an epic story that will take several books to tell the tale?

The fun part of this is that you get to decide, and whatever you decide is right.  How cool is that?  You are in charge–it is your idea–and how you work it and how it turns out is completely in your control.  Perhaps that is why we are writers, because there are so many aspects of our lives that we cannot control!

So what are your ideas?  What is in your bacon box that needs to be put on the grill of life and made for others to enjoy?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Inner Dialog– What Are You Telling Yourself?

Dialog can be conversations between people, or what you tell yourself.  You
may watch what you say to others, but do you control what you tell yourself?  What you say to yourself can be more important that what you say to someone else.

One example that came to my mind when I was thinking about this was Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings.  He talked to himself all the time.  ("Yes, my precious.")  There was one scene in the movie where the good and bad Gollum were having an argument, and the good Gollum told the bad Gollum to go away and never come back.  And it worked, for a while anyway.  We had a good helpful Gollum for a while. 

We have an inner dialog everyday with ourselves. Your own voice is talking to yourself all day long.  However, like Gollum, you can control what you are telling yourself, and what you believe in.

Do you spend your day tearing yourself up, calling yourself stupid, or you can't do this or that?  Or are you focusing on the good things going right, looking for those moments that you can treasure?

Remember this....

Remember Apollo Ono?  He is an Olympic Champion from two winter games. He won a lot of medals.  He has a poem he recites to himself.

It’s time.
Heart of a lion.
I will give my ALL.
Heart, mind and spirit
This is what it’s all about.
All the way to the end.
Today I will stand tall.
No regrets."

Several years ago I watched the movie HOOK with my kids.  Peter Pan was all grown up and had kids.  Captain Hook had captured them and taken them back to Neverland.  Peter Pan went back to get his kids, but he had forgotten how to be a child, and he could no longer fly.  The secret to flying was to find your happy thought.  He worked at it, but years of being a business man and dealing with things, all happy thoughts had fled his mind.

I find myself in the same situation today.  I can really relate to Peter Pan's inability to find a happy thought with all the stress my life is currently dishing out.  Yet, if I take time to tell myself that things are good, life is good, I have a great wife, beautiful children and a fantastic grandson, the day seems to go better.  Yet if I focus on the bad things, I find by the end of the day I am miserable. 

So like Pan, I look for my happy thoughts, with those thoughts the day goes by so much better.  I accomplish more.  And most important, I find I am happier.

Personal productivity is higher if you are happy.  Life seems better if you are happy.  A lot of times happiness comes from within, not from having stuff, or doing things.

Once Peter Pan found his happy thoughts and could fly, he became the powerful person he had once been, and of course went on to defeat Captain Hook.  I mean it is Peter Pan, of course!

One thing to try to give yourself a good inner dialog is to recharge yourself.  Imagine a pitcher of water and a lot of cups.  You are the jug, and you have to give of yourself all day long.  So pour the water into cups.  Each time you need to do something, you give a bit of water to a cup.  At some point there is no more water in you container.  You have nothing left to give, you've given everything away!

You need to take time to refill your pitcher.  That means doing something you enjoy for yourself.  One of my writing friends said this, "I pass up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward myself."

So, what do you tell yourself to keep going?  What are your happy thought?  If you don't have any of this going on in your life right now, what can you do to change it?

I know my life is better when I focus on the positives in my life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Interview with Pauline Baird Jones

Today's interview with the Blog Ring of Power is Pauline Baird Jones.  Today's topic is the creative process.  In case you've missed the other parts of her interview here are the links to the other four sections of Pauline's interview. 

  If you've been reading the other parts you can skip this introduction and jump to the paragraphs next to her picture.  If not read on about this fascinating author.

Pauline Baird Jones began her writing career penning romantic suspense (fictional murder doesn’t get you strip searched!) but she had a secret longing to ramp up the spills, chills and daring do.  By chance she wrote a science fiction romance, realized she’d been mixing fiction into her science since high school (oops, sorry science teachers!), and thought, why not go where she hasn’t gone before? After that, it was easy to stir in some steampunk. The Key was the first in her Project Enterprise series, which will conclude with #6, Kicking Ashe.  

So Pauline, lets sit over here and chat about About Your Current Work
First off, tell us about your new book and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?

My latest release is KICKING ASHE, a science fiction romance in the space opera category. It is the last installment in my Project Enterprise series of connected books and stories. Each book and story can stand alone, but are better enjoyed read together. I always include a few inside jokes. It released the end of February and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Omnilit, releasing soon to Fictionwise. 

Here's the blurb:

With hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for... Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse. Vidor Shan might help-since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too-if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn't have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn't mind if he kissed her on the mouth. Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he's got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one? Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when...

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?

I am told that all my books are unusual. LOL! KICKING ASHE involves time travel, but also alternate realities and a time tracker who is cut off from her support team (except for her faithful sidekick/nanite, Lurch). RT Book reviews called it fun and fast paced. I think whacky has also been bandied about. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

My life. During the time when I should have been working on the book, my husband had hip replacement surgery. It was intense and time-intense. Luckily I have an awesome publisher who was able to push back the release date. In my mind, it was going to be "just a novella" and I thought it would be quick and easy to write after my BABs (big a** books). It turned into a mini-BAB of about 70,000 words. LOL!

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I always love the happy ending. Since this book concluded the series, there is a sort of touching base moment where readers get a glimpse into what happened to the other characters in the series, so that was very fun to write, but also a bit poignant, since I've been writing these characters and books for about six years. 

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

That my head won't actually explode, not matter which diverse paths I take through my story?

So, give us all the places we can find more about you and your work:  

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?

Trade paperback, most digital formats. I have one book available in audio: THE KEY.

With hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for... Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse. Vidor Shan might help-since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too-if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn't have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn't mind if he kissed her on the mouth. Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he's got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one? Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Power of Inner Vision

Dr. Allen Zimmerman talks about a lot of motivational things.  In last week's Tuesday's Tip he writes the following: I take an excerpt from one of his Tuesday's Tips.

"Visualize your goals.

It's very important ... because all goals are mind accomplished before they're actually accomplished. In other words, if you can see them, chances are ... you can get them. But if you can't see your goals in your mind, if you can't visualize your goals, chances are ... you'll never achieve them.

So take time to visit your goals in your imagination. Great athletes do. Indeed, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, for example, attributed much of her success to this technique.

Retton says, "Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit." And the way to keep it lit is to fire up your imagination by visualizing your goals.

When you do, your imagination gives you the motivation and direction you need. As Anonymous wrote:

"The Seed to Success is in Your Imagination"
Visualize all the things that you want in life.
Then make your mental blue print, and begin to build.
Your imagination can show you how to turn your possibilities into reality.
You must make every thought, every fact,
that comes into your mind pay you a profit.
Make those mental images work and produce for you.
Think of things not as they are but as you want them to be.
Don't just dream, be creative.
The will to succeed springs from the knowledge that you can succeed.

About 10% of your power lies in your conscious mind ... about 90% in your subconscious mind. So get your subconscious mind to work for you instead of against you by visualizing the goals you want to achieve or the changes you want to make."
  ©2011 Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a full-time professional speaker who specializes in attitude, motivation, and leadership programs that pay off.

Another example of achieving what you think you can.

A business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment.

He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him.
“I can see that something is troubling you,” he said.

After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.”

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.”

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come. The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! “I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the un-cashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the un-cashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared.

But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. “I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller. ” And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he ever imagined...

I really like what Dr. Zimmerman said about 90% of out power is in our subconscious mind.  Ask any of your writer friends, when they've thought about their stories, then sit to write, the story just writes itself.  That is because they've thought and worked on it and then when they sit to write, the muse, or subconscious kicks in and spits out what it has been working on.

So think about what you want, dream, but dream big.  Believe in yourself, trust yourself, and go for it.

If you can imagine it, your can do it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Random Thoughts

Sometimes a lot can be said with a few words.  Here are some random thoughts I ran across while surfing one night.  I thought I'd share them with all of you. 

The last one is my favorite.  Hope you enjoyed all the mini sermons and thoughts.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Interview with Christine Fonseca

This week's Blog Ring of Power interview is Christine Fonseca.  You can read part one on Sandra Ulbrich Almazan: Speculative Fiction Author  blog. 

Today Christine Fonseca is a guest here on The Write Time.  She is talking about life as a writer.  So Christine, welcome to The Write Time.  Lets get down to the questions shall we?

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc. 

I follow a somewhat regular writing routine that typically consists of doing the business end of writing first thing in the morning before I head out to my day job, and immediately after work in between taxiing kids around. The evenings and weekends are dedicated to whatever project I have going on at the time (and right now there are a TON). I write on my laptop, mostly. Though, with a recent career change and less time for drafting, I have discovered that I can draft in 15 minute increments (one scene, or part of one scene) on my iPad. So I am doing a lot more of that now, trying to squeeze in any available time for drafting (which is my least favorite part of the process, can I just say). As for where I work…anywhere and everywhere I can. At home, in my car, at the library, and yes, in my writing cave at Starbucks. I will say that my writing cave (aka Starbucks—any Starbucks with an available plug) is probably my fav. Not sure why, but it is. Especially on a Friday or Saturday night.

How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life? 

This is a constant challenge/battle for me. I have a very demanding day job, two very active kids, and a fabulously supportive husband. I have learned that I need to get in a 20 minute walk as often as possible, as well as 30-60 minutes of meditation, just to stay balanced and on top of everything. The only way it all fits is to establish routines, and be diligent about following them. I do try to take mini vacations from both writing and the marketing end of things periodically—just for my sanity. Remembering to do this really helps keep me in balance.

When do you write?  

Ha! Anytime I can!!! No seriously, I used to be a 9pm writer. But the day job got more and more hectic and I found that I just didn’t have the energy to write at night like I used to. Then I tried 4:30 am, but yea. Nope. Now I draft whenever I can. 15 minutes in between meetings, 15 – 20 minutes morning and night. 15 minutes waiting for the Teen to get out of a swim meet. Literally any time I can. And, the faster I draft, the sooner I can move on to edits (which is my favorite part of the process). When I am under deadline, I will write immediately after work and early in the morning on the weekends. Fortunately, I have a husband and kids that totally understand the time I need to get things done. They are more than supportive when deadlines are approaching.

How much time per day do you spend on your writing? 

It really varies, based on my deadlines. For the last two months I have been in promotion mode, so all my “writing” time has been spent blogging, writing up interviews, etc. Times like that usually equates to a couple of hours a day, 5 days a week or so. Next week I need to start drafting a short story AND book 2. That will mean increasing the writing time to 2 hours (minimum) daily during the week, and 4-5 hours daily on the weekend until it is done. And over Spring Break I will probably write/draft/edit 4 or 5 hours a day, with one or two days off to play at the beach! 

Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support?  

My writerly BFFs have been a HUGE source of support throughout my writing career. From listening to me whine, to talking me off the ledge, to brainstorming with me, I know that I would be nothing in this business without them!

Media Sheet for Lacrimosa

Short Blurb for LACRIMOSA

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.  
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate.  But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.
Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself. 

Author Endorcement(s):

“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.”
~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION
ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)
Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers.

Additional Titles in the series include DIES IRAE (a Requiem Novella), LIBERA ME (Oct 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013).
The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube -

About Christine Fonseca
School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. Her nonfiction titles include 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – or her blog