Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Writing Again

I took a break from writing over the past year, but I'm back at it again. I love to write fiction, to watch the story and the characters unfold on the page, grow and change and learn. I still can't give up my day job, but I'm making time to write again. You only live once, so you have to make the time to do what you love - and to be with the people you love. That's priority #1.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ten Things I Do Instead of Writing

1. Make lists of ten
2. Rearrange my blog layout
3. Lurk on KindleBoards
4. Wonder what happened to the authors I met before I went silent for a year
5. Gaze out the window
6. Sign up for the newest social media site
7. Google myself
8. Cancel my registration at the newest social media site
9. Read tweets
10. Make coffee

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Reading

I have a confession to make: I've spent many more hours reading than writing this summer. Not that it's a bad thing - copious readers make better writers after all.

I'm reading more for two reasons.

First, a new independent bookstore opened up in my hometown.

Second, I figured out how to borrow books from my local library on my Kindle. I tried to borrow one a few months ago but the website didn't work correctly so I gave up. I don't have time to troubleshoot computer issues. My life is busy enough without hitting my head against that wall.

The first book I e-borrowed is called Passing Through Paradise by Susan Wiggs. I'm 75% of the way through it and so far I'm really enjoying it. I like the way the main character, Sandra, relates to the kids in the book, especially her love interest's 13-year-old daughter. The author does a great job capturing the angst kids feel when their parents get a divorce. I was twelve when my parents split up and let's just say the next few years did not go so well. Someday I'll write about that. When I'm ready.

The deal with the library books is that I can borrow them for one week and then they "poof." It seems like a good way to sample a new author or grab a book when I'm traveling for work or for fun. The library selection is limited, so chances are I'll end up buying the books of authors I find through the site. Since the borrow feature is linked to Amazon it makes finding and buying a book by the same author easy.

I was familiar with Susan Wiggs because I bought the first book in her Lakeshore Chronicles Series at the new indie bookstore and read it on a road trip to the beach in June. I enjoyed the book, so when I saw her name on the author list on the library site I decided to go for another one. I'm glad I did!

Happy summer reading,


Friday, May 24, 2013

Beautiful Night on the Trail

This trail weaves through town along a hidden creek. I love how it changes from season to season.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Reading Heats Up With Sparkle in June

Here's my latest press release:

Summer Reading Heats Up With Sparkle in June

New e-short is first in Liv James “Sparkle Short” series

Romantic suspense author Liv James kicks off summer reading season with a new e-short, Sparkle in June, now available for Amazon’s Kindle through the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Sparkle-June-Shorts-ebook/dp/B00CLEKJEK.

Soccer Mom Sparkle Zikorsky came back from the beach with more than sand in the minivan. She's stuck with magical powers she doesn't understand and can't quite control. Her new friend Janie says it's a virus, but Sparkle isn't convinced. The one thing she knows for sure is that she has to lose her new-found powers - and fast - before she does any more damage. 

A Sparkle Short is part of an entertaining series of shorter books designed for readers on the go. Each short is the perfect length for an airplane flight, a long bus ride, or an afternoon at the beach. No long term commitment required.

Full-length romantic-suspense novels by Liv James include One for the RoadRetreat and The Trouble With Green.

Sparkle in June is available for $1.00 on Amazon and can be borrowed for free by members of Amazon’s Prime service.   

More information about Liv James is available at www.livjamesbooks.com.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Freshman Speech

It's almost time for the Great Garage Clean-Up of 2013. We'll need to swap out winter sleds for summer bikes, rock salt for weed-and-feed, and sweep out the road cinders and dead bugs that accumulated over the long winter.

This year's job is less complex because last year I helped my husband get the rest of the garage organized. The toughest task was tackling his toolboxes – five of them – and organizing the tools. When we were done, he was amazed to find he had three full sets of the same kind of sockets. I was not so amazed, but I ended the day happy because if I need a screwdriver or hammer I know where to look.

I was thinking about that clean-up on my drive to work this morning. Several (okay, many) years ago I enrolled in a tiny liberal arts college in Nebraska. It was my first semester and I had freshman speech. A classmate told us that she wanted to be a housewife and hadn't planned to go to college. But when her husband returned from the first Gulf War he decided to get a degree. As a married student he had the option of getting a nicer dorm – an apartment, really – if his wife went to college with him. So they both enrolled.

One day, this young woman stood in front of the class, as nervous as the rest of us, and delivered a five-minute instructional speech on how to clean a house. She said she didn't feel like she had much to contribute, but that housecleaning was something she knew how to do well. Her instructions went something like this:

  1. Start small. Start with the smallest room in your house and clean it. The sense of accomplishment will help you move on to the next smallest room.
  2. Start high. Start by dusting off the highest points of the room – the light fixtures, ceiling fan blades, etc. Then move down to the next highest thing, like window sills and counters. Do the floors last so you pick up all the dirt that fell from the higher spots.
  3. Pick a corner and work your way out of it. Instead of being overwhelmed by clutter (say in a basement storage area) start in one corner of the room and work on only those items in that corner. Once it’s clean, move to the next section of the wall. Work your way around the room and at the end everything will have its place.

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I sat in that classroom. I transferred to another school after my first semester and lost touch with the people I’d met. But I think about the young woman from my freshman speech class every so often. I wonder if she graduated, if she stayed married, if she had children, if she started a career or made a career at home. I wonder if she remembers the speech she gave – the simple speech that’s helped me clean my rooms, organize my husband’s tools, and keep things neat around the house for more than twenty years.