A chill blogging #WeekendCoffeeShare in Detroit

If we were having coffee…

Oh my gosh. Isn’t this the most chill coffeehouse you’ve ever been in? It is for me, and that’s saying a lot. I can’t even call it a “coffeeshop” because that commonplace word doesn’t do this place justice.

Can you believe we were in Philly just a few days ago? It feels like an eternity, but it’s easy to slip back into life here in Michigan.


Organic coffee and personal service with for-here mugs and water in old milk bottle pitchers

The Bottom Line Coffee in Detroit. For a hole in the wall with a plain black awning out front and the entrance through the side alley, who knew about the local feel in here. I love it when a place serves drinks in for-here mugs. My Americano is smooth. How’s your drink? Are you steady on your wobbly, black wooden chair? It’s a good thing I do those yoga exercises on my WiiFit. Sure, it’s nothing like a real instructor and I don’t expect it to be, but the postures help my balance, so I’m steady perched on my chair.

I feel awkward talking loud with you. It’s whisper quiet in here, a library with a cool, hip vibe. I just Shazamed the music overhead; it’s Chet Baker and now Gene Ammons. It’s good I have a strong espresso drink at my side. My husband’s sitting next to you, but he’s on his laptop, so we have plenty of space to talk.


Americano, apple empanada and brownie, all necessary for good writing

I just came from the most amazing Motown Writers Network meeting to date! The attendance was the largest I’ve seen since I started going almost two years ago; I lost count after 21 people showed up. Two years. Wow, I hadn’t realized that. I get as much from it as I give. As a published and award-winning author, I have a lot of experience and advice to share. I gain resources from others, like using Fiverr to source out projects or If This Then That (ITTT) as an avenue for social media blasts. I haven’t used either yet, but they come up at every meeting. I will, soon.

Today the meeting was about blogging. A lot of people here were first timers, and many of them didn’t have blogs. At least, not until today. One writer told me he was going home to set up a blog tonight! A good blog has the mobile-friendly setting enabled. A good blog has a subscription list or email form to follow blog. Gosh, I am so behind in doing that. My MailChimp account is set up, but I think I have a few steps to do before I can install it or whatever. I think when we’re done here, I’ll make a list of what I think I need to do first and work from there. I’ll be sure to set up a “Thank you for subscribing” email with a link to something…special, maybe a subscriber-only story or how-to post. Whatever it is, it’ll be cool, so I hope you’ll come back then. I’ll let you know here when I’m ready to go.


Life is good

What makes a blog get views? Collaborate with other bloggers–are you interested? I write nonfiction, currently memoirs, haiku and my Jimmy The Burglar quirky crime fiction series. We don’t have to write the exact same material to benefit from each other. It’s all about exposure and sharing. Sharing content, too, is a way to get people to your blog. Make sure Share buttons are visible on your site.

The most memorable advice I got from MWN founder Sylvia Hubbard was about sharing. Post snippets of your best works or posts on social media sites and link back to your blog. In her words: “Use your social media as bread crumbs leading back to your site.” I knew that, I’m working on that, but the phrase “bread crumbs” just blew me away. Perfect!

Interested in sharing a French Press? My husband and I were talking about that earlier; I don’t know if he’s too caffeinated already, but we can all share. Get it? I can only imagine the organic Sumatra here is exciting. Besides, I haven’t heard about your week. What’s new with you?


The beginning of a writer’s journey through a #tbt

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty damn good.”~Woody Allen, American actor

I’m feeling very throwback today.  And writerly.


My monthly pub date is the 18th

Here’s how it started in my writers group: my first Deadwood Writers Voices blogpost from February 2014 titled “The Writer’s Life.”

Story Cubes = my published story

That first post was more an introduction to my background and how a yellow highlighter began my writing frustrations. My second post is really what I consider my first post, published one year ago yesterday: A Cracker Jack prize: story ideas.  My post involves this picture, which subsequently led to my first published fiction story, Jimmy the Burglar, available now on Amazon for less than price of a cup of coffee. Jimmy is a burglar who must pass his final exam to follow his parents’ soft footsteps into the Burglars Union Guild. Jimmy’s plan, however is an ambitious one, perhaps too ambitious for a guy who can’t pick locks. It was fun to write fiction after doing memoirs for so long.  


The Timehop app reminds me of things…

Here’s what Timehop has to say about my previous March 19th. That Tweet from 2014 is also about writing and books, and it was also a Throwback Thursday.

Relating to the WoW quote at the beginning, if you want a throwback to my first sexual experience… well… you may find a tasteful rendition in my upcoming memoir My Father, My Friend due to be released June 2015.

I published my third book!

“Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight.”~Leah LaBelle, Canadian musician

Ninjas, puppies, budding romance, trashy sitcoms and family values. Just in time for the holidays: my first fiction book!


This is a big deal in many ways, but first the “fiction” part. When is that last time I spun a web of imagination? Other than last year’s NaNoWriMo–which is a bit of cheating because I’ve had that story written in my head since I was a teenager–I can’t recall. that’s sad. I haven’t played with words in months or years, then where’s the fun of writing?

I don’t discount my nonfiction work one letter, but those stories have already been told. It’s my job to make them entertaining to people outside my circle of friends and family. Trust me, that is plenty challenging.

This is my third book. Third! I created this. I will never get tired of that heady, punch-drunk happiness of seeing my name in print. It’s an ego thing, and all writers have that. Deal with it.

This was a challenge I posted on the Deadwood Writers Voices blog: write and publish a book in 10 hours. Yes, much akin to JA Konrath’s 8-hour eBook challenge, but I factored in formatting time.

The point of this challenge is to set a deadline, meet that deadline and then release it into the world to say, “I did this!” Now that it’s out there, would I change anything? You bet! I’d add in this little tale I forgot, or I’d enhance this sentence with three more descriptive words, or if move those two paragraphs around, or I’d add one more line of conversation…. But like a school final exam, when the bell rings, you hand in your assignment and that’s it.

Rather than stress, however, there’s also the aspect of writing for fun, like most authors, I’d presume, did as kids. I know I could fill a spiral-bound notebook with stories about dragons and unicorns and horses and sword-wielding princesses on a rainy afternoon. I wrote for nobody. I wrote because I had to. I wrote because that’s what I did.

I found that fun again with Jimmy the Burglar. He’s smart and skilled, but he’s bumbling and clumsy. Jimmy is honest, yet he steals things. His parents and older brother have set the bar so high that Jimmy could walk under it standing straight and wearing a top hat. From the rough draft to my finished 5300 words, I cut and condensed so much cool stuff that I have a whole series to explore. I’m looking forward to writing again.

That’s how it should be. I succeeded with all aspects of this challenge.

My coolest posts, voted by you!

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