A New Year

Well folks, 2011 is almost here!! Why is it that the older you get the faster time flys by? It should be the other way around. I mean, think about it. When you're younger, you have no idea what life is all about. You have nothing, you do nothing, you go nowhere. I'm talking about before the age of 18. But those days seem to go on forever! You just can't wait to turn 18, get out of school and brag to everyone that you are now 18 and can do what you want!!

My point is, every year just comes and goes before I realize it anymore. However, that's no excuse to not accomplish as much as you can in that year. I started 2010 out with the dream of getting at least one story published. I'm amazed that it actually happened. My story The Witches Next Door was published in the October issue of the Irish StoryTeller Tymes, Next, my story Oogles of Imagination was published by Sams Dot Publishing in their December issue of Spacesports and Spidersilk,

Plus, I have 3 other stories scheduled to be published in 2011. A publication date of July is scheduled, at the moment, for my very first picture book The Pea in Peanut Butter by FutureWord Publishing. That was my ultimate goal for 2010, so I am thrilled beyond belief and am very proud of myself!

Also scheduled for a July publication date is my story The Homecoming Parade, in the Looking Back magazine.

Bumples Magazine is publishing my story Cookies for Punch but a publishing date for that is still pending.

I couldn't be happier with my success in 2010.

Therefore, I have set my goals much higher for 2011. I know I will have to work even harder in 2011, but I'm ready and will enjoy every second of it.

What goals did YOU accomplish in 2010? And are you proud of yourself?


If I just had 5 minutes to write!

Do you ever feel like there just isn't enough time in the day to sit down and write? And then you feel guilty because you didn't try hard enough to find those 5 minutes? Me, I definitely do this. But even if I do find 5 minutes, I still feel like I didnt give my writing enough attention for that day.

I recently came across a good article by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ where she makes some really good points about how to find that extra 5-minutes in your day to write that I had never thought about. Maybe by reading this all of us will get some useful ideas from it and never miss that 5 minutes a day to write again!

Leave me a comment (if you can find 5 minutes that is) and let me know what you think!

Below is the article:


In The Beginning
a regular column by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Start as a 5-Minute Writer

5 minutes. That's all you need to begin writing. You don't have to set aside a morning, a day, or even a weekend to write.

If you do, it will only put pressure on you; writing then becomes a chore, an appointment in your already busy schedule.

And like your other appointments, you'll be tempted to move your writing schedule to some other time.

So rather than put yourself in a position where you "have" to write because "it's in my schedule," start by finding 5 minutes in your day and then use those minutes to write.

How long does it take for your e-mails to finish downloading? There's your 5-minute writing time.

Your casserole takes how many minutes to simmer? There's your 5-minute writing time.

How long do you have to wait for the bus (or train) at the terminal? There's your 5-minute writing time.

Stuck in a long check-out line at the supermarket? There's your 5-minute writing time.

How long before it's your turn to do your morning ritual in the bathroom/toilet? There's your 5-minute writing time.

I'm certain you can think of other situations in your life where you can snatch those 5 minutes.

In 5 minutes, write how you're feeling at that moment; describe where you are; do a one-paragraph character sketch of the tired-looking cashier; make a list of things you want to do or don't want to do at the present time.

Snatch those 5 minutes of writing time every day. That's not a lot to ask for when there are 1,440 minutes in a day.

Start as a 5-minute writer. Give yourself time to be comfortable and used to this new habit. Allow those 5 minutes of writing time to blend in with your every day life. Soon you'll be writing beyond your 5-minute writing time, and you won't even notice your 5 minutes are up!

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ


A mother to be proud of!!

Today I'd like to share some news with you about my mother because I am so proud of her. She just turned 83 yrs. old this past November. All of her life she has wanted to write a novel; however she never got past just thinking about it. Until recently. Once she saw that I was taking the bull by the horns by writing and actually submitting things, she has decided that she could do it too. Even though she has macular degeneration! Now that takes spunk, determination and drive.

She can still see, but not very well. Editing her work is nearly impossible. When she tries to read, she can only see partial letters of a word. They all begin to run together. But... this is not stopping her! She has just finished her 2nd novel of a series and is ready to begin the 3rd.

I was able to read some of her 2nd novel while I was visiting recently, and she really has talent. Her characters are really clever and her writing is very interesting. I have a sister who is a freelance editor/writer so she is editing my mother's work.

While I was visiting my mother recently, she made the statement that maybe she just wouldn't write anymore. She felt like no one was really impressed with her work. Of course I encouraged her and told her my favorite quotation that I once read about writing which is, "you can't get published if you give up!"

Do you have a favorite writing quotation that you would like to share? One that might give my mom some much needed encouragement?


My latest publication

My story Oogles of Imagination is in the December issue of Spacesports & Spidersilk. You can check it out at:

I'd love to know what you think!


The best motivator I've seen in a long time

I attended an online workshop given by WriteOn not too long ago and this article was posted. Some of you may have already seen it, but just in case you haven't, I wanted to share with you. You don't have to be a writer to feel guilty from time to time about things, in my case it's more often then from time to time, but this article tells you to give yourself permission to feel guilty. Give yourself permission if you are tired and don't feel like writing today. Anyway,  I hope you enjoy reading it and... GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION!!

Give yourself permission. give yourself that permission. Today. Now. Before you write another word, give yourself permission:E. specially if the thought terrifies you.but to try to write through it anyway.Molly O’Neill is an Associate Editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsChildren’s Books. – Give Yourself Permission by editor
Molly O’Neill

Being a writer is a solitary act of will—it can only happen in the first place if you actively choose to do it. Your writing depends entirely on you for existence. And your life as a writer depends on you, too. If you grow as a writer, it is your doing. If you remain static as a writer, it is your doing. You are boss and worker and teacher and student and coach and cheerleader all rolled up in one writerly self, in a sense. And you know yourself as a writer better than any outsider could. So ask yourself—what sort of permission do you need as a writer, in order to make yourself a better writer today than you were yesterday, and in order to help your stories become all you hope they will be? And then—
Permission to call yourself a writer.
Permission to collect sparks of inspiration from even the unlikeliest of encounters.
Permission to wander your way into telling stories completely unlike those you perhaps once thought you would write.
Permission to start writing something new—totally, gloriously new—even if the thought terrifies you


It feels good to write again

Well, Thanksgiving is over and I finally have time again to sit down and write. In the last few weeks, I've been running myself ragged trying to get everything I needed to do, done. You see I'm going out of town next week to visit my family so I wanted to get all my xmas shopping, wrapping, decorating done Thanksgiving weekend because I have to mail all my gifts. Once I get back from my family visit, I didnt want to be stressed and rushed to get it all done. So anyway, I have 98% of it done, whew. I've been working on all this for the last couple of weeks.

Plus, I needed to get my website up and running and my contract looked over and signed for my new book!
Now thats all done and I can finally sit down and write again.

And here I am spending precious writing time, writing on this blog! Sometimes keeping up with everything you ave to do to become a writer is stress in itself. I had no idea there was so much administrative work involved. I probably spend 75% of my time doing administrative work and 25% actually writing. But it is finally starting to pay off.

I dont have hardly any submissions out there right now so I need to stop yacking on this blog and get to writing. I cant get published unless I write and submit!

Anyway, I hope all my friends had a wonder Thanksgiving.


Art by Tammy

A friend of mine is trying her hand at illustrations! This is one of her first that she has done for me.

I think this little girl is just darling.

What do you all think?


Is anyone else anxious for Christmas? For some reason, this year I'm really excited about it. Not about the presents or even the shopping, but about the decorations. I just love looking at all the lights. I enjoy putting up the decorations, AFTER IT'S ALL DONE, but it's alot of work!

As a young girl, putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it was a big event around our house. Back then, everyone decorated with sparkly garland and silver tinsel. My mother tortured us kids though with the tinsel. She would only allow us to put from 1-5 strands on at a time! Mother how could you!!??

Anyway, one of my favorite memories of Christmas was laying underneath the tree once it was decorated and just looking up at all the lights. I would dream for hours in that position.

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?