I’m torn

Way back, when I first got Lauren Abramo as my agent and she accepted my novel FABRIC OF LIFE, she told me that she wouldn’t have Dystel & Goderich publish it online until I had posted a few blogs, had 50 followers on twitter, and had an author’s page on Facebook.  Lauren, I’ve learned, is ALWAYS right, but I’d never done any of those things, and they looked really intimidating.  Then I read that if an author had a blog AND a webpage, it gave them more coverage, the chance to reach more people.  I didn’t know squat, but that sounded good, so I decided since I had to jump into the unknown, I might as well do both.  Now, I’m not so sure I made the right choice.

If I have a webpage, I have to post something on it.  If I have a blog, I have to write something for it.  And I’ve been trying to keep them each unique, putting snippets and free stories on my webpage and posting writing info on my blog.  And I’m not sure that the two attract the same readers.  I get that.  I only have so much free time, and I can only read so many posts a week.  Every one else is busy, too.  So, I’m wondering if I should combine the blog and the webpage into one thing to make life easier for myself and anyone who might want to read what I post.  I’m torn, so if anyone has any insights or opinions, I’d love to hear them.  In the meantime, for those of you who’ve never looked at my webpage (and I completely understand that), I’m sharing a short Mill Pond story that I wrote just for the page.  And as always, happy writing!


A Mill Pond Romance

Mom was having another bad day.  I turned her every morning and every night, like the doctor told me, but she was still getting a bed sore on her bottom.  I noticed it when I changed her diaper before breakfast.  Her skin was so thin, her body so fragile.

After I fed her, I plumped her pillow and put her favorite musical in the DVD player.  We talked while I started a roast in the Crock Pot and straightened up the house.  Noah came over in the afternoon and lifted her into her wheel chair, so I could push her onto the front porch, and the three of us could sit outside, inhaling the freshness of a mild spring.  A breeze drifted off of Mill Pond’s lake, and two ducks flew overhead.  Mom usually noticed, commented.  Today, she didn’t.

I sat on the porch swing with Mom’s chair pulled close beside me.  Noah sat in the rocker across from us.  He took a sip of the lemonade I’d brought him, sat the glass on the wicker table, then wiped his hands on his worn jeans.

“It was mighty nice of you to invite me over for supper tonight, Loretta,” he said.

“Without your help, I couldn’t get Mom in and out of bed.”  I reached across to pat his knee.  “Supper’s a small thanks for all you do for us.”

“I’d help you anyway.  You know that.”  He would, too.  There was no more thoughtful man than my neighbor.  After he’d lost his wife four years ago, I’d taken to having him come for supper.  When he retired two years ago, he’d taken to helping me with Mom.  Just having him around, in the house, gave me a sense of comfort.  We often sat on the porch on warm afternoons, enjoying a midday break.

I raised my voice so Mom could hear me.  “The daffodils you planted sure look pretty this year.”  They bobbed their heads in the flower bed nestled under the pink crabapple tree.

Mom glanced their way and nodded.  She shivered a little, and I pulled the blanket higher on her lap and buttoned her heavy sweater.  Then she raised her arm and pointed to the end of the sidewalk.  In a shaky voice, she said, “Look, Loretta.  Lou got out of work early.”  Her lips curled in a smile.  “What are you doin’ home so soon, hon?”

I exchanged a glance with Noah.  My dad had passed twenty years ago.  Up ‘til now, Mom’s body had failed her, but her mind was sharp.  I’d considered that a blessing.  I reached over to touch her.  “Are you doin’ okay?”

Mom gave a peaceful sigh.  “I’m tired.  I need to rest.  Your dad and I are taking a trip soon.”

Goosebumps rose on my arms.  When I stood, Noah rolled Mom’s wheel chair back inside the house, and I helped him get her into bed, then fiddled with her blankets and pillows until she was comfortable.  She closed her eyes briefly, then blinked them open.  She reached out and patted Noah.  “Lou gave you his approval.  You and Loretta will make each other happy.”  Then she shooed us out of her room.

Noah looked at me and blinked.  I felt restless, not sure what to think, how to feel.  I went to the kitchen and pulled my apron over my head.  “I’m in the mood for a pie.”

Dad had always loved lemon meringue pie.  I found myself rolling out dough and whipping egg whites.  Noah stirred the lemon filling.  After we took the pie out of the oven and placed it on the wide window ledge to cool, we went to check on Mom.

I knew she was gone the minute I looked at her.  A body isn’t the same once the soul leaves it.  I remembered staring down at Dad in his coffin.  A body, nothing more.

Noah came to stand beside me and reached for my hand.  We stood there, looking down at her, and a ray of sunshine burst through the window, engulfing us in light.  Noah gave my fingers a squeeze.  “I’m glad your dad approves.”

I smiled.  Mom and Dad would be happy now, and so would Noah and I.


My webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

My author’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost




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The Last Chapter

I posted the last chapter of The Familiars on my webpage.  It’s the only YA I’ll probably ever write.  I hope you enjoyed it, and any comments are welcome.


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Gearing up for NaNoWriMo (well, not me)

I’ve never tried NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), an annual event that takes place every November, but a lot of writers participate in it.  In the old fable, NaNo writers would be the hare, pounding out a book in a month.  I’m a tortoise–slow and steady.  But NaNo inspired two great blogs on outlining by K.M. Weiland.  Now, I have friends who write wonderful books by the old seat of your pants method and others who start with four sentences that ground the entire book–the turning points that guide the entire story–but then there are people like me who jot down ideas for each chapter (making sure to hit those 4 turning points).  But I’d still be a slouch compared to K.M. Weiland.

I’ve never outlined as much as K.M. Weiland does, but I can see how her method would create rich characters and conflicts.  I especially like her idea of digging into your antagonists before you spend too much time on your protagonist, so that they’re a solid part of your story, not just an afterthought.  Anyway, if you’re a NaNo participant, and you do a little, some, or all of this homework before you jump into your month of writing, you should end up with something solid, so I thought I’d share the links.  And if you’re putting fingers to the keys in November, good luck!


and https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/nanowrimo-guide-outlining-find-heart-of-your-story/?platform=hootsuite

Happy Writing!

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Chapters 36 & 37

There’s only one more chapter to finish The Familiars–a long one.  This is the build up to the big, final showdown.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the story so far!



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Dating and little sisters

My third romance is available for pre-sale now.  Kensington has started promoting it and will amp up the promotions in November, since it officially comes out November 22.   I’ll keep my fingers crossed that readers find it and like it, but I still pretty much have no name recognition, so it’s sort of a crap shoot.  I figure I still have a while before I have enough books in the series to gain an audience–if I’m lucky.  That’s okay, because I love the stories I’m telling.

In book 3, Paula Hull, a single mom and chef, is the protagonist and Chase Atwood, Mill Pond’s bar owner, is the love interest.  Paula has two kids, and they help drive the romance.  They like Chase and Chase likes them.

Way back in my ancient history, when I was in college and started dating my John, he’d always wanted a little sister.  I happened to have one.  Mary’s twelve years younger than I am, so she was only six or seven at the time.  She took one look at John, and being the smart sister she is, decided he was fair game.  She’d always run to the door to meet him when he came to the house.  She’d stall around, and sometimes, he’d take her to the ice cream stand and bring her back home before we officially started our dates.  John and I weren’t exclusive, and it reached the point that Mary would run to the door when other guys came to pick me up, and when they didn’t offer to take her for ice cream, she’d say, “I don’t like you.  I like John.  Go away.”  We had talks about that, but somehow Mary always let dates know they didn’t measure up to John.  When John and I finally got married, four years later, Mary was a happy girl.

Paula’s kids have the same reaction to Chase.  He takes them boating and fishing.   He helps them with their martial arts lessons.  He has a thing for kids, but he has a thing for Paula, too, and he’s a smart man.  It was fun working Aiden and Bailey into the romance. It reminded me of Mary and John.  After all, a writer’s experiences work their way into her stories.

Hope your writing brings you joy, too!


I put new chapters up on my webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

twitter:  @judypost



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I’ve started playing with plot points for my 6th romance.  I say playing because I’m still in the “Will this work?” phase.  And that’s exactly why I like tinkering with plot points in the first place.  I’m up to thirteen of them, and the whole damn story is sagging.   I mean, there are plenty of things going on, and they feel pretty interesting, but are they bringing the protagonist and her romantic interest together?  Not unless Karli would marry the one and only man who’s ever shown any interest her.  The chemistry, so far, is zippo.  And the main reason?  Keagan is about as exciting, so far, as white bread.  I’ve done a crappy job of bringing him to life.

The nice thing about doing plot points, for me, is that they show me what DOESN’T work, where the holes are, where the story peters out.  I started with an idea that really excited me.  I had characters who caught my attention and didn’t let go.  I still like the premise and both characters, but are they dancing to life on the page?  Not so much.  And they started out great…for about four or five chapters.  And then?  There wasn’t enough tension between them to keep me from yawning.  But the good news is, my plot points made that obvious.  I can fix it in the planning stage instead of the rewrite and weep stage when I’m sick and tired of the whole thing and want it done.

Once I hit chapter twelve, I could see I needed to up the conflict, too.  An easy fix.  I added another character who, hopefully, readers will love to hate.  I’ve just met him, and I’d already like to smack him with a two-by-four, which makes him perfect:)   I could also see that I needed to add more of a feel for Mill Pond into the mix.  Another easy fix.  After all, the residents of the little resort town love interfering in other peoples’ lives.  Oops, I mean they love to help and lend a hand.  Anyway, I’m up to plot point thirteen, and I’m so happy I bothered with them, because they’re going to save me a lot of work once I start putting words on the page.

I know plot points aren’t for everyone, but I blog about what I’m up to at the moment.  And on this particular day, I’m singing the praises of planning my books out. You have to find what works for you, but a few sign posts here and there can come in handy.  Whatever you come up with, have fun and happy writing!

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Chapters 28 & 29 are up.

Zoey meets Cordelia.  Hope you enjoy!


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Just sharing

I don’t know how many of you are writers, but I’m assuming most of you, since that’s what I yak about most of the time.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I’m a plotter and would rather jump off a cliff into deep waters than write a book without an outline.  Pantsing for me feels like hacking my way through a jungle with a machete and no idea if I’m going in the right direction.  So today, when I read Kristen Lamb’s blog post about the dreaded synopsis, it was so well done that I wanted to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:  https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/the-dreaded-synopsis-what-it-really-reveals-about-our-writing/

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On Sale

I just wanted to let you know that OPPOSITES DISTRACT is only 99 cents now.  I’m not sure how long the sale will last–I know, that sounds wonky–but the dates my publisher sent me aren’t the dates the sale started, so I’m clueless.  I had a lot of fun writing Harmony because she’s a writer trying to beat a deadline.  She had plenty of character foibles that I can relate to:)   And Brody?  Well, I love men who grump, but have big, soft hearts.  I married one.


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When writers on panels used to talk about themes, I never really knew if my stories had any.  I don’t start a book and say to myself, This is the theme.  Instead, I get an idea.  For LOVE ON TAP, I needed a woman chef to come to Mill Pond to work at Ian’s inn, because I wanted to write the story from her POV. Why did she come?  Because she fell in love, got married, had two small children, and then her military husband got killed overseas.  Now, she’s a single mom, trying to juggle raising her kids with her job as a chef.  It’s tricky, so she leaves the prestigious restaurant she cooks at in New York to work at Ian’s resort in Mill Pond.  That way, she can spend more time with Aiden and Bailey and keep them close.  Time passes, and she finally starts thinking she might want more in life.  She might be ready to meet someone new.  And therein starts the romance.  It’s a slower start than usual, and to be honest, I’m a little worried about that, but Paula’s been out of the dating scene for a while.  She’s only dipping her toe in the water, and she’s out of practice.  Heck, she doesn’t even get it right the first time.

Luckily for her, she lives in Mill Pond.  And when Ian’s resort gets so busy she’s working as many hours as she did in New York, Ian decides that she needs an assistant chef.  Enter hottie, world-traveler Tyne Newsome, whom she loves like a brother.  Period.  He has no interest in her, either, but oh, does he love to give her free advice.  And he’s sure she’s picked the wrong guy.  Worse, he tries to steer her in what he considers the right direction.

That’s the set-up for the book, and after I figure that out, then the book’s characters start jabbering in my head, ready to dive into their roles.  I get attached to them and a story unravels as the protagonist tries to find what she needs to be happy again.  I’m usually finishing the book before I recognize its theme.  For LOVE ON TAP, I dealt with being a single mom who loves her kids and her career, who searches for a man who’ll make her happy, but will also add to her children’s lives.  The book also touches on how to move forward when a spouse dies, how to move past grief.

Every genre has certain, built-in expectations.  Mysteries deal with crime.  Suspense pits a good guy against a bad guy or situation.  Thrillers have a ticking clock.  Fantasy often deals with a quest, and romance deals with a happy-ever-after.  But those are just the frames the stories are built on.  Themes give them depth.  But don’t worry if you sit down and have no idea what that theme will be.  Usually, your characters will tell you.


I posted a short snippet from Love On Tap on my webpage, if you’re interested: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:   @judypost

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