Nope, it’s not working. How do I do this writing thing?

Writing fiction fell upon me through my own devices of dreams and things. After some research online where I found the affair of my 19th century, barely out of her teen years debutante, I thought, I must write this story of love, disappointment and murder.

I know, I said to myself, I’ll write a book. After all, I had written a chapter for a history book and been wooed by a publisher. I wrote up school catalogs, wrote course curriculum, wrote up interior design and architectural history lectures, proposals for jobs, poetry and love letters. Surely writing a book would be a piece of cake. Sure, right.

I sat down, pen in hand, put pen down—booted up my trusty Mac, surely that would inspire me, nope, that didn’t help, read “Writing for Dummies,” nothing helped. This is not going to work. What do I write first, the end? What words do I use? How do I find my characters? Where does all this come from? It shouldn’t be any different than giving a lecture. OK, I though smugly, I’ll approach it like a lecture. I could talk for hours about interior design, lighting, space planning, history, architectural anything. Still nothing. I remember the emptiness, the confusion, the lack of words. I didn’t think I had this gift to tell a story, no less write one. If it is pretend, then leave it to the imagination of the gifted.

Tommy the train to NYC

Then I met Brenda. I met this young woman on a train ride into New York traveling to a Michael Hauge workshop.

Michael Hauge is a story and script consultant, author, and lecturer who works with writers and filmmakers on their screenplays, novels, movies, and television projects.

Hauge is a screenwriter who works with storytellers like me, well—me trying to discover my inner sanctum. I didn’t grasp the lesson that day, but on our break, I heard what Brenda had written and asked her if any of what I heard was true. She said no, that she had made it up, Ahha, a storyteller. I asked Brenda to explain how she did that. We talked several times, and she helped me start my story of this young girl, married to a drug addict, and her hero that came along and saved her life.

Inventor, creator

Creator, inventor

I discovered the art of writing, a creative endeavor. Creativity is a right brain activity. Have you explored your creativity? I always remember creating. When I was maybe seven years old, comic books were the rage. I would sit at my desk and draw what I saw in the comic books. Wonder Woman was my hero. As I got older, I drew all kinds of things. I played the piano, I took dance lessons, voice lessons, sang in school shows, sang in school choir, took my mother’s dresses apart and remade them. Took my radio apart and my clock apart and put them back together, well, with Daddy’s happy help, it was my curiosity that pushed me to explore. The list goes on, and I wrote little poems and notes to friends and family. I was just not a storyteller.


I wanted to tell this story, and by golly, I was going to. I investigated availability of curriculum to learn the skills of fiction writing. Workshops, online courses and seminars, mentors, crit groups, conferences—later, newly armed with the craft of writing for which I should be awarded a PhD in the subject, I had the first draft done, however, not without help and encouragement from Brenda and my editor. This is not an activity that is easily done alone. I am a member of the Connecticut Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, where so many other writers gather and help each other. The first draft led to the second and the third drafts. By the time I worked on the fourth, I had my publisher’s editor who was amazing. With her edits, I practically rewrote the whole manuscript. In October 2015, Indigo Sky was published by Soul Mate Publishing. I finally felt like a writer, and could call myself ‘Author.’

My book can be found in three formats, paperback, eBook and Audiobook. If you like to watch trailer previews of Disney, you will enjoy the trailer preview of Indigo Sky.

The link to my trailer is right here above on my Author page.

The most wonderful gift that came out of all of this is my growth as a writer. I can teach, edit, develop, critique, mentor and encourage new writers and even participate with seasoned writers doing related activities.

So . . . what is your creative bent?






Kristan Higgins "the Best Man" all over the Marriott's elevator door. That's Gail with the red bag

Kristan Higgins “The Best Man” all over the Marriott’s elevator door. That’s Gail with the red bag

Haven for writers. No, I think it was heaven for writers. This year, mid July, in the state of Georgia, in Gone With the Wind’s precious Atlanta. It’s not burning anymore, but it was HOT. It sizzled with humidity and hospitality. The national convention of Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) held their yearly in this magical place. Most of us holed up, for almost a week, at the Marriott Marquis, running hither and yon, friends, food, colleagues, and most of all, workshops, workshops, workshops. We mingled with the best of the best, writer’s who love romance and write it well. You have never seen 2500 of smiling faces all in one place at one time. I am sure you never have. It was a joy to behold. If you did not know how to write when you arrived, to be sure, you knew how to write when you left. Something happens in this conference where your synapses grow and mushroom, in fact, your new found confidence sparkles in your eyes, and you find new friends to share your joy of writing. How, when, where, why, all your questions get answered, you get notes to study and free fantastic books to either shlep or ship to your writing den at home.

CTRWA gang

CTRWA left to right standing Katy Lee, Thea Devine, Gail Ingis, Kristan Higgins, Jamie Schmidt, Marian Louette

My favorite was to be witness to my fantastic friend, who found me and showed me the way, author Kristan Higgins, who gave the most riveting speech to these 2500 writers. We all laughed, we all cried. The standing ovation, hugs, and praises continued all weekend. We are all still mesmerized.

Marriott's glass elevator to the 42nd floor. weeee!

Marriott’s glass elevator to the 42nd floor. Weeee!Fast too!

Did you hear about my lost cell phone? Red bags, each registrant got one. All 2500 of us. Sitting in a workshop at 8:30 a.m. with my cell phone a bother on my belt, I pulled it off and plopped into a red bag. Not mine of course, but I did not realize until after the workshop and we had all split. Found, but not for six agonizing hours. It was on vibrate, so Sandi never heard it. Oh, I didn’t know her name until she finally found it in her bag, found Tom’s number and called him. Tom, my hubby was in our room. How did she know it was the right number? I have his cell phone number marked as ICE. Known as an emergency number.

CokeCola from our room on the 42nd floor

CokeCola from our room on the 42nd floor

I had a miracle, well, sort of a miracle happen to me first day, right after registration. I did not know Maria Connor, but now I do. After going nuts, and asking what that was, over the smallest thing attached to earbuds, in her ears, and a tiny rectangular thing clipped on her blouse, she said, “I have two, here, you can have this one I don’t use, it was lost for two years, so I got a new one, and this one is extra. You can have this IPod shuffle.” She said, “I will send you the charger.” It arrived Monday. Can you imagine? This gift was like winning the lottery.

left to right: Kristan Higgins, Gail Ingis, Katy Lee, Paula Sharon, Susan Andrews. This picture is about shoes/no shoes. One of us brought ten (10) pair of shoes. Want to guess who? All these wonderful people in my life, just because I write. Great folk! Don’t you think? RWA Kristan, gail,katy,paula,susanP1070054



Colorcore fish lamp by Frank Gehry

Colorcore fish lamp by Frank Gehry

Take a bite out of this fish. No one before or since Frank Gehry has tried this one, as far as I know. As we all know, Frank Gehry likes fish. In 1986 he made a glass fish for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; and between 1989 and 1992 he produced stainless steel fish for Barcelona’s waterfront to celebrate the city’s hosting of the Olympics. Then there are his buildings themselves that so often resemble the scales and fins of marine life.

The show has passed, but it should come as no surprise that The Gagosian galleries in Beverly Hills (January 11 – February 14, 2013) and Paris (January 24 – March 9, 2013) showed a collection of his fish lamps. Gehry first produced these back in 1984, when he accidentally smashed a piece of the then pioneering new Formica material Colorcore. The plastic shards reminded the architect of fish scales, and so he set about creating a series of lights from the mess.

Detail from one of Gehry's new fish lamps

Detail from one of Gehry’s new fish lamps

So, why the new show? Well, as a statement issued by the gallery explains, “In 2012 Gehry decided to revisit his earlier ideas, and began working on an entirely new group of Fish Lamps. The resulting works, which will be divided between Gagosians Los Angeles and Paris, range in scale from lifesize to outsize, and the use of ColorCore is bolder, incorporating larger and more jagged elements.”

While this new school of Gehry fish may differ a little from its predecessors, they are still built around a metal core and set on a wooden frame, and still look as naturalistic, considered and charming as any of his buildings.

You can see other work of Gehry on my blog last week. It included Gehry’s cardboard collection like Easy Edges (1969 – 73) and Experimental Edges (1979 – 82) of chairs and tables carved from blocks of industrial corrugated cardboard.

Every year in July,  Romance Writer’s of America call author’s of romance to attend their conference. Workshops all day, wine and dine all night, ice cream socials… and lots and lots and lots of old and new fabulous friends. This is where you’ll find me for the week, so be patient for answers to your questions and queries. Come back next week for Frank’s think-out-of-the-box buildings.



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