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Where I am this week

GwenStonehengeI’m all over the place this week! Yesterday I wrote a personal post for my group site Kiss and Thrill about how much I love visiting places I’ve read about, and reading about places I’ve visited (complete with pictures). I’d love it if you stopped by to tell me about a book you enjoyed because you were familiar with the setting, or a place you’d read about and finally got to visit.

Today, I’m with the lovely ladies at Eat, Read, Rate divulging my writing secrets. You know, like what I wear when writing, where I write, and the story behind some (really) early manuscripts. Come over and share your own  writing quirks, or ask me a Scrivener question. 🙂

On Friday, I’ll be at the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. My Scrivener workshop starts at 3pm, so if you’re there stop by and say hello in person. I’ll also be participating in the conference book signing on Saturday, which is open to the public.

Wherever this week takes you, I hope you have a good one!

I’m at Writer Unboxed today!

There are many memorable events in my short writing career. The day I realized I wanted to write romance. My first writing chapter meeting, rejection letter, contest win, national conference, and agent pitch. Teaching my first Scrivener class, being contacted by a publisher, signing the Scrivener For Dummies book deal.

And right up there with all of those moments is the day I landed a guest spot on the fabulous Writer Unboxed blog.


Yep. I’m over at Writer Unboxed talking about–what else?–things I love about Scrivener. Pop over and check it out if you get a chance, and leave a comment or question for a chance to win a signed copy of Scrivener For Dummies when it comes out in August.

I hope to see you there!

The pirate and the pack rat

Today's blog is also showing at:

In my non-writing life, I'm not a pack rat, I'm a purger. I have a Goodwill donations bag going at all times, and I relentlessly thin the morass on a regular basis.

I will admit that moving frequently helps. No place for that thingamabob in the new house? Toss it. 😉

However, in my writing, I horde and reuse scenes as if they were precious heirlooms. On my current WIP, I took out 20,000 words, and nearly started over, but I didn't toss those scenes. Instead, I moved them into my unused scenes folder (Scrivener makes this super easy), and raided them (the pirate part) later for usable material.

Heck, I poured hours of effort into those words. Why not repurpose them, if possible?

Even though my plot went in a different direction, there were perfectly good elements buried in those deleted scenes. With a few tweaks, the sex scene in the bedroom could be brought back wholesale. A part where I described the scenery as they drove north fit perfectly into a later scene. (The reason they were traveling changed, but the scenery didn't.)

Sure, most of my hard-earned prose is destined to stay in the dustbin, but there's no reason not to recycle when it works. And for the rest of those words? Writing is never a waste of time. It's part of the learning process. Every word gets us closer to the one million mark.

The Daily Squirrel: follow

Annabelle's father wrapped his large hand around hers, engulfing it in calloused heat. She smiled, knowing that her cheeks would ache from it by the end of the day.

“Follow me,” he said, pulling her toward the workshop.

She stepped inside the dim room, ready to burst with anticipation. The familiar scent of pine and sawdust tugged at a string in her heart. She would always associate the earthy smell with her dad and his woodwork. Her eyes followed him eagerly as he strode to a table where a large object stood covered by a canvas cloth.

“Are you ready?” he asked as a large grin spread across his weathered face.

She nodded and jumped up and down. He removed the cloth with a flourish and her eyes widened in surprise. She clapped and ran to the workbench.

Atop the rough, battered surface sat the most beautiful doll house she'd ever seen.