Tag Archives: books

If the creek don’t rise…


Today I’m up before daylight working on a round of edits for my forthcoming collection of short stories, If the Creek Don’t Rise. The book has eighteen short stories and five postcard pieces plus original sketches by Susan Raymond.

Many authors find the editing process to be tiresome, but I relish it. First and foremost, I find it to be a reflective endeavor when I look back over my themes and characters. This helps as I compile a summary blurb, set acknowledgements in order, and place a dedication. I like working with my editor who catches those nuances in a story of which I am unaware. I find the ‘catch’ usually improves the total work.

By the way, the title is taken from a supplication among rural folks that they will complete a task ‘good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.’ A perfect sentiment for my people as they move forward with their one remaining currency–grit.

Look for the collection in November from Pen-L Press. Copies are available from Pen-L, local bookstores through Ingram, and Amazon.


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A Second Chance . . .

The Chinese New Year dawns February 19. It’s the Year of the Sheep. Since I failed to make any 2015 New Year’s resolutions, I’m jumping at the opportunity for a second chance.


Here goes:

Resolution 1:  Read more. Listen for dialogue. Examine plot. Find well developed, dimensional characters. Get lost in books.

Resolution 2: Try different formats for ‘reading.’  Explore e-device or tablet readers, audio books and print editions. Find a time of day that works best with each format.

Resolution 3:  Write.  Wrestle the active verb into all things written. Spend time at the keyboard. Love new words. Use them with abandon. Keep paper and pencil on every available surface for scribbling thoughts.

Resolution 4: Discuss. Talk about books with fellow readers. Treasure and use critique group feedback. After all, it’s a gift from fellow wordsmiths.

Resolution 5: Actively work on the above resolutions. Dr. Seuss said it best: The more you read, the more things you know, the more you learn, and the more places you’ll go.



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Bragging or Self Marketing?

Returning from a writer’s conference, I found myself super stressed with how much marketing an individual must do in cyberspace. Dozens of websites, help tools, and self promotion techniques were discussed, leaving me in a muddle.

I have found one common thread between conference discussions of internet marketing: Pick out one or two sites or social media and do those well. Don’t try to do everything. Thankfully, ArkansasWriters.com published this post which is low key and may prove helpful.

“In this day of social networking as an important plank in the writer’s platform, you may want to check out these two sites if you don’t already know about them.

Good Reads is a networking site for readers. You don’t have to be a writer to join and enjoy it, but as the creator of books, you couldn’t find a better place to hang. And if you are a writer, you can present your own books to people for whom reading is important.

The site AuthorsAdvance is geared especially to writers. It offers a “full-featured social network for writers, packed with tools to keep you organized and advice to keep you writing at your best.”

Check them out and let us know what you think:




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