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    Monday, January 18, 2010

    A Photographic Essay of Teresa's Early Career Years

    The road that leads a writer to pursue her dreams is often filled with potholes, curves and dead possums. Please take heart from my own saga and...never give up!!! Never surrender!!! (And whatever you do, never let your mother cut your bangs.)

    Having always had a tendency toward big hair, Teresa spent most of her childhood waiting for the 80's to arrive
    Having given up on her dream of becoming a princess, Teresa hired her daddy to be her agent and waited for Hollywood to come calling

    When Hollywood didn't come calling, little Teresa's dreams of being the next Shirley Temple were crushed...

    ...leaving her with no option but to take a job washing dishes at a sleazy diner in Wyoming, her only comfort the fifth of Jack Daniels she downed each night after closing time.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Teresa's Top 20 WRITE RIGHT Tips Just For You

    Dear Friends,
    I've been sharing some of my favorite writing tips over on Twitter ( for months now and thought I'd finally gather them all together in one place. Happy writing!

    1) Don't give characters unpronounceable names. Unless you're German, umlauts are not your friend.
    2) Almost any sentence except "I am born" can be improved with revision.
    3) Don't fear adverbs but actions verbs are always better. Not "He walked slowly" but "He trudged..."
    4) It's the 1st sentence of your book that sells that book to the editor or reader. It's the last sentence of your book that sells the next book.
    5) A creative silence may be your subconscious saying, "Hush, child. I'm working on a better plan."
    6) Characters don't have to be perfect from the first page. Character growth is the hallmark of good fiction.
    7) Writing is part talent and part craft. The craft part can be improved with practice.
    8) You don't learn how to play the piano by reading books about playing the piano. You learn by practicing.
    9) If you can stop writing, you probably should.
    10) If you're stuck, go for a walk. Moving forward moves the brain forward. (Thanks to the Dog Whisperer for this tip :)).
    11) If you're stuck, go back and do a read-thru from Chapter 1 to pick up the thread of the story.
    12) The key to a truly successful romance novel is foreplay--not just physical but emotional.
    13) There will come a time in every book when you will hate the story, hate the characters, wish they were dead, wish you were dead...just keep writing and you'll love them and yourself again.
    14) Expect some resistance when finishing a book. Your subconscious knows it's the end of a great love affair.
    15) Don't foreshadow your characters' every action by revealing their every thought through introspection.
    16) If you're stuck for a phrase or word, insert [TK] or something else easily searchable and move on. Return later to fill in.
    17) To preserve the sanctity of your imaginary world, consider writing on a computer completely cut off from the internet.
    18) Dialogue is the hardest thing to write but the easiest thing to fix.
    19) Protect your creativity as if it's a small defenseless child entrusted to your care.
    20) When the story is over, shut up and write THE END.

    I'd love to know your own favorite writing tip! Head on over to to share!

    Saturday, January 02, 2010


    Ring in the New Year with this delicious (and simple to fix) traditional dish!

    1 lb breakfast sausage (you can use mild or hot or low fat if you simply must)
    1 medium onion
    4-16 oz cans of black-eyed peas (we use two regular and two with bacon & jalapeno to give it a little kick)
    1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or to taste (we omit this if we use the jalapeno beans)
    1 bag of boil-n-bag rice

    1) Cook the sausage in the bottom of a large pot, break apart with fork
    2) As it cooks, peel and chop onion and fix 1 bag boil-n-bag rice per directions on box (which takes 10 minutes)
    3) Drain sausage if needed, retaining 2-3 TBS of fat, and return to pot
    4) Add onion to sausage and cook until onions are soft-5 minutes or so
    5) Add black-eyed peas and red pepper flakes and warm well
    6) Add 1 bag of cooked boil-n-bag rice
    7) Warm well so flavors will combine - 20 minutes or so

    We serve this with Jiffy corn bread mix and it also makes an excellent leftover