Perspective on Plotting

January 21, 2019

When writing fiction, my plotting skills seem to be weaker than my skills at creating enjoyable characters are.  If I attend a writer’s conference, the first workshops I register for are those that reveal the speaker’s view about how to build an engaging, riveting plot. I attended the New England Crime Bake last fall, and (fortunately for me) Gayle Lynds’ plotting workshop was the first event I participated in. I walked away with an entirely different method of plotting because her advice actually enabled me to view plotting from a character-driven perspective. Here were my takeaways from her phenomenal presentation,…

Regrets

January 19, 2019

I’ve never minded the aging process. In fact, I actually welcome each birthday because, as my father used to say, “It beats the alternative!” I’ll be looking 63 in the face in a couple of months and, as I’ve done ever since turning 60, find myself with a bunch of regrets. My regrets focus more on the things I’ve done and now wish I’d done differently rather than on things I haven’t done and wish I had. You know, like the things I said and wish I’d kept your mouth shut about. The decisions I made when I was younger…

I’ve always been told I’m an extrovert because, well, I talk a lot. And I’m loud. And I can walk up to strangers–anywhere–and strike up a conversation without any twinge of nerves. Oh, and I can stand in front of 100 people or more and teach a class or seminar. Why, then, if I’m an extrovert, do I love spending so much time by myself? Why do I need to spend time by myself (much to the annoyance of the few people who really love me and want me to traipse all over the place with them)? Maybe I shouldn’t…

As a freelancer, it’s essential for me to keep track of my billable time, and to be sure I’m billing the proper client for the appropriate time and expenses. In addition, I like to keep track of the time I spend marketing (i.e., Social Media), playing my cello, and–of course–working on my current fiction novel. OfficeTime I’ve been using OfficeTime since 2015 and can’t recommend it highly enough. This is just SOME of what you can do with it: Use it on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch Track time and expenses by client, project, and category Invoice directly…

I stayed at a Marriott hotel near Boston last April, so I was very concerned when I heard about the Starwood breach. As a result, I’ve conducted a bit of research on the subject. Marriott purchased Starwood Hotel & Resorts, in part, because of Starwood’s popular loyalty program. Unfortunately, Marriott also purchased Starwood’s cyber issues. A vulnerability in Starwood’s hotel reservation system had been allowing unauthorized access to it since 2014, a year before the acquisition between the two corporations was even discussed. Although original estimates indicated more than 500 million guests were affected, recent estimates by Starwood top out…

Being Thankful

November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’ve always had Friday off from work and love spending the 4-day weekend at home, hunkering down and relaxing. Maybe it’s because those four days will be last opportunity to breathe and take it easy for a good six weeks. Maybe it’s because, as the seasons change and the year winds down, I find myself trying to figure out how to do and be better. Looking backward, I appreciate all the things that went right during the past year, and all the things that didn’t. I make plans and set goals … and sincerely hope…