Tag Archives: friends

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…



I am pleased to announce I completed the two beta-read & editing assignments given to me and both authors were happy with the feedback. One will require me to re-read once certain details are confirmed for legal consistency and correctness.

Another project – ghost writing – is proceeding well and I am waiting on some input from the client.

As for personal projects I made progress on my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop this past week and the word count is over 80K – so that makes me happy. There is still some polishing to do. A surprise road trip with my dear friend Linda this weekend will give me uninterrupted writing time to do this. Love when we can escape on a whim! I had to plead for a rain check with another friend for a proposed meeting this Saturday but she was accommodating. Thank you Kathie.


The new book cover for my fantasy romance, The Rython Kingdom is in the hands of my publisher and should be ‘live’ in the next couple of weeks. All in all I am happy with my progress and writing life.

How are your projects progressing? Care to share?


I am really enjoying this book – it doesn’t give up it’s secrets quickly that’s for sure.

uninvited guests

What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books just click the link on the side of the page.

Writing Advice:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”Saul Bellow

So is this true? How about you?

I know I have ‘dreamed’ scenes or story ideas but always improve on them when awake.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…



My current flu has made concentration rather difficult so my creativity has suffered this past week.I think it is struggling against a ‘fuzzy’ head that has made creation arduous.

What illness / situation has made your creativity stall?

However, I was able to begin beta-reading two manuscripts for author friends, one is a thriller and the other a memoir. Both are intriguing in their own way. I am reading each one at separate times of the day so that I am ‘clear’ of one story line before reading the next one. I have shared a list of tips on beta-reading for those of you interested.


I continue to enjoy Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic. The writing is creative and the interwoven music elements make the story unique.With my other reading projects it is nice to let the story embrace me and lead me forward.


Do you tend to read one book at a time or many?

Do you lean towards fiction or factual?

I still have this novella on my pile too:



Writing Tip:


If you are unsure of how to beta-read try these steps – I found them at http://jamigold.com/2014/08/introducing-the-beta-reading-worksheet/

Opening Scene:

Does the story begin with an interesting hook, creating a desire to read more?
Does the manuscript begin in the right place?

Characterization & Motivation:

Are the characters compelling, sympathetic, or someone you can root for?
Do the characters feel real and three-dimensional, with distinct voices, flaws, and virtues?
Are their goals clear and proactive enough to influence the plot (not passive)?
Do their motivations seem believable, with well-drawn and appropriate emotion?
Are the secondary characters well-rounded and enhance the story rather than overwhelming the story or seeming like they should be cut?
Are the relationships between the characters believable and not contrived?

Plot & Conflict:

Are the internal and external conflicts well defined for each main character?
Are the internal and external conflicts organic and believable, i.e. arising out of characterization and circumstance rather than feeling contrived or forced?
Are there enough stakes and/or tension throughout to make it a “page turner”?
Does the premise avoid cliché and/or bring a fresh perspective to an old idea?
Are the plot twists believable yet unexpected?
Do the characters act or react to events in a plausible, realistic, or believable way?

Do scenes progress in a realistic, compelling manner and flow with effective transitions?
Does every scene add to and seem important to the story?
Does the story move along at an appropriate pace, without rushing or dragging?
Is there a hook at the end of each chapter or scene that makes you want to read more?
Is the story free from information dumps or backstory that slow the pace of the story?

Setting & Worldbuilding:
Are descriptions vivid and give a clear sense of time and place?
Do the details enhance rather than distract from the story?

Is the dialogue natural and appropriate for the story, not stilted or overly narrative?
Does dialogue move the story forward and reveal the characters?
Are characters’ voices consistent and distinct from one another?
Is there an appropriate mix of dialogue and narrative?

Does the writing “show” the scene with the senses, using “telling” only as appropriate?
Does the writing quality allow the story to shine through and draw the reader in, or are flaws jarring or intrusive?
Is the tone appropriate and consistent for the story?
Is the point of view (and any changes) handled appropriately and consistently?

Overall Impression:
Is the voice unique, fresh, or interesting?
Does the story deliver on the promise of its premise and opening scenes?
From a reader’s point of view, did you enjoy reading this story?

Additional Questions for Comment:
Are there any confusing sections that should be made clearer? (Mark in the manuscript)
Do any sections take you out of the story? (Mark in the manuscript)
Is the story a good fit for the stated genre, and if not, why not?
Who are your favorite—and least favorite—characters and why?
What aspects are especially likable or unlikable about the protagonist(s)?
What three things worked best for you?
What three things worked least for you?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


We celebrate Family Day today (Canada), which although is a great day off work and the added bonus of being a Monday, it is also extra time to enjoy our families. As an immigrant my writing friends have become family as well as my nucleus family here in Alberta. Over the weekend I enjoyed extra time with my daughter and son with activities and a large roast dinner. I also met a writing friend for lunch, Kathie Sutherland she is a superb poet and a kind soul.



My only event this week is on Saturday, when I will read an erotic segment from my current work in progress, The Twesome Loop. Our current Writer in Residence persuaded me to attend so I have been revising and editing like a thing possessed. This will be the first time I have read such a piece to the public and I admit I am rather nervous about it. Without doubt I will go ‘beet red’ as I read, maybe I can find a fan to help?

On the Keemooch (“On the Sneak”) Celebrate Freedom to Read Week 2017 with provocative spoken word performances and poetry. Adults only. Wine will be served. Sat Feb 25 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm Strathcona County library


Have you read something that made you uncomfortable?

How did you cope?

Audrey’s Books, Events, Edmonton

Rick Lauber “Caregiver’s Guide for Canadian’s – Thursday 11.00


Robert Bhatia “Passage across the Mersey” – Thursday 19.00


Life Goes On – Even When We Want It To Pause A While…

Today is a day of mixed blessings and memories for me – some sad – the anniversary of my Mother’s passing. Some joyous – a friend gave birth to a bouncing baby boy… So forgive if I do not post much today.

life beach



Life does go on and it passes quicker with age – so enjoy every minute, every hour. And love – family and friends. Say the words, I love you and embrace each other.

Life 2



Not Forgotten – An Interview A Year Later – Welcome Tracy West…

I received an email from new author, Tracy West, apologizing for her late submission for an interview. As a staunch supporter of new, established and rising authors, I am more than pleased to feature her interview today. Welcome Tracy.

Tracy West

Tracy is a native of South Texas where her father’s gift to her of a puppy allowed her to overcome her paralyzing fear of dogs.  She later learned to ride motorcycles and drag raced Harley’s for eight years.  Her love of animals and motorcycles inspired the creation of the “Pug Mugs.”  She is currently retired from a career in the chemical industry and happily spends her time catering to her three pugs.  Her friends and dogs assist her in her writing her books: her friends by inspiring the plots and the pugs by translating Tracy’s friends’ adventures into pug-ese


I enjoy the escape from reality that writing provides.  When I write I’m in that world and I get irritated if someone or something drags me back to the here and now.  I also love creating something that no one else can copy or reproduce.  Someone else may write a piece similar to mine but it’s not the same as mine and never could be.

Image credit: http://www.mywritingblog.com


I’ve always written.  I loved English class because it gave me the opportunity to do what I loved.  Later I wrote as a way of expressing my feelings to others rather than doing it verbally.  I never had a clue that someone else would be interested in reading something I had written.


My genre has changed drastically.  When I first started writing pieces for others to read and enjoy I was writing a “newsletter” for our motorcycle riding group.  I took an event or situation and put a spin on it and wrote it as yellow journalism.  No one was safe.  I exaggerated, made fun and skewed the situation in my writing for affect.  Through email, my pieces travelled the world.  After 5 years of newsletters I laid the newsletters to rest.  Still feeling the need to write, I started writing the Pug Mug series of children’s picture books.  They were a take-off of the newsletter in that most of the stories are loosely based on mine and my friends’ experiences.  I also write short stories and personal essays.


I’m currently reading thrillers and crime dramas.  I wish I could write a crime drama but I know my limitations.


I’m a bit obsessive.  I used to only read for information; history, biography, how-to, etc.  Then I realized reading could be just for fun.  I read several years for entertainment before I realized people liked what I wrote.  Again I only read for information- how to write well.  I read every how-to-write book I could get my hands on until I realized I was writing by the manual rather than what was in my heart.  I’ve come to learn that no matter how I write it, if it reads right to me, it will read right for my reader.  I now read mostly for pleasure along with some articles or books that I believe can help my craft.


I have a large group of friends and they, and my family, support and encourage me but I wouldn’t have published without the repeated kicks in the pants that my boyfriend gave me at the times that I needed them.  He has pushed me passed the point that I ever thought my writing would take me.  I also have to give credit to a special, long-time friend whose courage in life and a battle with cancer gave me the strength to quit my job and concentrate on promoting my books.  Her influence gave me the courage to chase my dream whole-heartedly.


I have to say I love Sophie from a short story I wrote because she is so tragic and accepts herself with all her faults.  In the Pug Mug books I love all my characters because I gave birth to them and developed them through a series of books.  Dufus and Ditsy are the real life characters that inspired their literary counterparts.  Of the fictionat-Booksl characters, I’d have to say my favorite is Tiny.  He’s a lot like me, tough on the outside and a big softie on the inside.


I did my best and most of my writing at my old job when I worked nights.  I worked 12-hour shifts alone and only had a couple of hours work to fill the night.  I spent many hours writing on the clock.  Since I’ve retired, I have carved out a niche in my home in front of a window looking out over my yard and the water.  I now write with my dogs at my feet.


I usually plan my stories but when I start writing the story takes over and writes itself.  I’m just a tool, and my stories can end up completely different from what I had planned.   I built one of my short stories around a great sentence that I wrote as an exercise.  By the time I was finished with the story, the great sentence didn’t fit anywhere in it.


I depend a lot on personal experience, or the experiences of others, for my pieces.


I did belong the Bookends Critique Group in Lake Jackson, Texas but I’ve been busy trying to get my children’s books published and out into the public’s hands so I quit for a while.  I fully believe that every writer needs to be involved in a critique group.  My writing improved as a result, as did almost all the other members.  Not only having your own work critiqued, but critiquing others improves a writer.


I have 2 recently released books, The Pug Mugs Save the Day and The Pug Mugs Go to the Circus.  They are the first two in a series of 10 books about 8 Harley-riding pug dogs who have great adventures and love to help others.  The books are available at www.pugmugsadventures.com and I’m currently trying to get them into stores around Texas and beyond.  They will be available at Amazon in the near future.  I am also trying to get them into Barnes & Noble.

Pugs Save the DayPugs to the Circus


I can’t limit it to one.  John Steinbeck for his characters and settings, Jack London for his descriptions and John Grisham for his plots.


My website is www.pugmugsadventures.com and anyone can reach me through my email on that site.  I do not have a blog as of yet but the Pug Mugs have a Facebook fan page.


My next 8 books are written and waiting for publication.  I’m hoping to have The Pug Mugs Build a Clubhouse out by the end of the year.  I would like to publish 1-2 books per year.  I plan on the Pug Mugs having a long and successful career.  I also plan to pick up writing short stories again soon.

Pug Mugs


Meet the characters here: http://www.pugmugsadventures.com/about.html   


It Pays to be Vigilant when Editing…

Vigilant – definition: watchful to detect danger; awake and alert


Have you noticed that your mind fills in ‘missing’ words or ‘skips’ extra words when you are editing? What is this phenomenon called? Alas, even though I searched quite extensively, I could not find anything that specifically named this ‘brain trick’. It is certainly not dyslexia or aphasia. Maybe it is our brains expectation of what the sentence is saying due to years of reading? An automatic and subconscious ‘correction’ so to speak.

This is a phenomenon I have come to notice since beginning my writing journey. I have become much more conscious of editing errors in my work, when reading novels and editing other peoples work. There is no guarantee we will find every single error even when we strive to. With the help of multiple beta readers and fellow writers reading through our manuscripts, there is the hope these errors will be minimal.

What tricks do you use to find errors?

These two authors have generously shared their experience – take a look at their editing advice.



I found this helpful link as well:


This weekend I will be immersed in editing my current WIP – Ockleberries to the Rescue as  was as plotting my NaNoWriMo romance novel. Three writing friends and I will be enjoying the long weekend in Canmore – a mini writing retreat. It will be my first visit to the town so i’m looking forward to a bit of sightseeing to refresh the muse and inspire.


Blog of 2012…

Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

Hello to you all and firstly I must say a very grateful thank you to Vikki from  http://the-view-outside.com/

She was kind enough to nominate me for this wonderful award and I would recommend you visiting her blog in a nano-second.

The rules are fairly easy – you can find them here


For my pay it forward I nominate the following awesome bloggers. Each one has a different writing journey and that’s what makes them all so fascinating.







Enjoy their words and then nominate your favorites. Enjoy this festive season and I hope you are all happy, healthy and safe in 2013.

Thankful and excited all rolled into one…

This past weekend is amongst the best I have ever had. Why you may ask, well in short two great writing events came to fruition for me. I was beside myself with excitement and smiling like the preverbal Cheshire Cat.

Literally bursting with happiness and wanting to share with everyone not just because I was proud of myself but also to show that determination, hard work and commitment bring their own rewards. If you follow your dream it will become reality, maybe in small steps but that is the joy of our journey.

My first event was submitting my fantasy – The Rython Kingdom – onto Smashwords. It was a nerve racking experience, letting go of a manuscript I had worked on for over a year through revision after revision and numerous edits…but the immediacy of its availability to the global community was the part that took my breath away. We are used to everything being instantly accessible – just not our precious words – there was no time to adjust to them being out in the world for all to see. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214247
Why not take a look? The next event was quite a surprise. I had been asked to write an article for a new online newspaper, so submitted one, not really expecting it to be accepted. Almost as soon as I had sent my email, I got one back asking for my bio & a headshot! I frantically read through my bio’s and then took a few new photos to send off. As many of you know I am passionate about my writing but also my writing group and that is the subject of my article. http://strathconaconnect.ca/strathcona-county-gets-writing-p219-90.htm
I encourage you all to follow your dream and take advantage of any and all opportunities that come your way.

Smiley face – Daniel Y Go

Half Way Through…

November 15th marks the half way point for NaNoWriMo and some of us have managed twenty five thousand words and some haven’t – but it doesn’t matter – as we have time to catch up, to revise, to add and to panic. It is a personal challenge and no-one is going to beat you up about it (unless you do that to yourself).


I have managed to go over the twenty five thousand and feel pretty confident (famous last words – pun intended!) that I will complete the task. My story has changed quite significantly in its format and I have been inspired to add several new chapters that my characters have driven me to write.

This is the fun of NaNo, not really knowing how the story will unfold and letting your imagination have free reign.

Happy writing dear friends – we can make the finish line together.