Author Archives: CLW

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

I’m baaaaack!
It was a wild few weeks.
I got to finally hangout on the Florida beach. See my cute friend. Eat a lobster. Drink a beverage that’s a “double” skinny dip. And get my bag ripped apart because Mom insisted I bring her some Florida sand.
It was great.
But I am glad to be back.
I love my state. I love my sisters. And my friends.
The fall weather is making me feel weird. But I’m hoping those weird feelings mean I can start writing again. My brain hasn’t been doing its job lately. Hopefully that can change.

I am going to finish Shirley Jackson’s novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Believe it or not, Mom read this book to us as children and I fell in love.  Rereading it I am still in love.

I love good books. I hope I can write one.

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Filed under Family, Life

Dreary Monday

However, I’m excited! Today will be my first day writing in my brand new office chair.

With a ten year warranty.

I can now say Books Written BC and AC.


Yesterday was my birthday.

My girls gave me this new chair, a container of sand from FL and a PERFECT shell found in the ocean, an expensive pillow, a sweet trinket, lamp shades for some rockin’ garage sales lamps I found a few years back (3 bucks a piece), and something that may arrive today.

I didn’t ask for the chair, which I needed most of all.

They could see what the old one had done to me, physically. And they heard about it. Finally I pulled in a kitchen chair, but the damage was already done.

Saturday night they surprised me with this gift.


Here’s what most important about this. Now in control of their gift-giving (and they have been for years), they paid attention and got me something that I needed.


While I am so grateful to be divorced, it’s hard to not have a partner, to always carry the burden. I’m always worried about money, about my children, about my friends, about deadlines.

And I’m lonely, sad, overworked and underpaid, lots of times heartbroken. The feel-sorry-for-myself-list goes on forever. I would have never purchased this for myself.

(It’s so huge and comfortable and soft. AND leather!)


I haven’t been this touched by a gift in, maybe, forever.

People listened to me with their hearts.

My girls did.

After they gave me the chair, I felt a little less lonely.


I could relate this to writing and talk about what’s important to your character and how does she feel now and how is she changed. I could ask about her family and her relationships and ask what does she need. But I’m not going to. I’m going to say I’m changed because my girls listened and because this gift showed me they love me. I’ve kinda needed this.


Thank you Carolina, Elise, Laura, Kyra and Caitlynne.

Thank you for caring.


Filed under Character

I Am Doctor Frankenstein

by Lisa Sledge

At least, that’s how it feels these days.

I’m on my second draft. It’s a complete rewrite of the first.

It’s as if I took my baby and chopped it up into tiny bits. I’ve deleted characters, scenes, and subplots that didn’t go anywhere. Now I’m stitching in new material to fill in the gaps, changing the narrative voice (kind of a big deal), and deciding what remains to be salvaged from the old. It’s not much.

My book is a mess, but at least it’s an improvement over the first. So that’s encouraging.

With any luck, however long it takes to get to a final version, I hope I’ll be successful hiding the stitches and seams of my revisions. I hope I can blend the bits and pieces of my manuscript together in a way that appears natural.

I’m grateful for fresh readers who look at my writing and give me honest opinions. After staring at it so long, I can’t tell what’s working and what I only think is working. I cling to reassuring voices for dear life.

And I ask myself, am I having fun right now?

No. Not especially. What I’m doing is honest to goodness hard work.

But even if every moment isn’t a party, I love ending a writing session and knowing that my story is better because of what I did that day.

Patience. Determination. Perseverance.  It’s bound to add up to something.


Filed under Revision, writing process

Three Things Thursday

From Brenda:
Writers should read. What might be even more helpful is to begin what Michael Petracca (in The Graceful Lie, a how-to writing book) calls an “Interactive Reading Journal”.
Divide your sheet of paper, a notebook page, or your screen page into two columns. List the left hand column as “QUOTATION,” and specify the item being read by title, whether it’s a fiction book, essay, book on writing, or whatever. You might also want to include a chapter title, page number or other identifying information (or page numbers could be listed at the beginning of each quote).
Read a particular portion: a chapter, a section as identified by the writer, or just until you find a quote you want to remember or respond to. Type the interesting or evocative quote in the left-hand column (with page number, as desired)
In the opposite column, write what you thought about the quote, or how you responded to it, or how you agree, or why you disagree, etc.
The longer you engage in this activity, the more you will begin to see HOW writers write, WHY they write. And you will see how you respond to those writings. All these can be important to you, as a writer, in crafting your own works.
From Cheryl:
In honor of Banned Books Week, I decided to list my top ten favorite banned books…but in the end, I couldn’t cut the list down. So here are my top fourteen, in no particular order, all of which have been listed by as some of the most frequently banned books.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Fade by Robert Cormier
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
What are some of your favorite banned books?
From Carol:
One of the very best parts of writing for me is typing the words THE END.
We all know writing is tough. Sometimes the hardest part is just doing it. Every day. A few words at a time. When you don’t want to. When you think you can’t. When you hate what you’re writing.
If you endure, I promise good things will come of what you do.

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Kyra’s in FLorida

And has been there forever.

Last night I thought how far away she is and I started to feel anxious.

I like my girls close.

She’ll be back the day before my birthday.

Which is Sunday.

Yes, Everyone! I have a birthday on Sunday. September 28.

And yes, I do love presents. But not surprises.

Ann Dee’s birthday is in December.

I will let you all know if the girls treat me great on my birthday.


Filed under Uncategorized

It’s Spam Day Again

So the other day I was shopping online. I had a catalog for flowers and plants and bulbs. I love irises and I clicked on a beautil melon-ish colored iris to see the price. And you’re right. I couldn’t afford it.


When I went to Facebook the next day, there on my page was the very ad I had perused.

I’m not kidding.

They’re watching us. Like always.

You can be tracked by your computer, phone and that chip you were implanted with.

This makes me wonder about all the emails that keep winding up in my spam. (And yes, I have to look through the spam box to make sure something from a friend didn’t wind up in there.)

Here’s a list of what I found after a few hours. And not a complete list, mind you:

Single and Sweet

Asian Hotties

Married Hall Pass

Want a One Night Stand?

Sexy Local Girls

Swing Community


A Secret Relationship

Sexy Latina at Your Service

Sexy Slutzzz

Naked Profiles

Big N Hard

Dog Food Coupon

I’m not sure if they want me to come work for them or not. Except for Big N Hard, of course.

My question is WHY.

Why Me?

I’ve been asking myself this since I was six months old.

Why me?

It’s even on my car tag: Y** ME*. And no, that’s not a joke. It’s the truth. I couldn’t believe when I saw it.

Here’s what I know–every day I fight against the Y ME. And many times I succumb.

I feel sorry for myself.

She has a movie deal for her book.

She has a series on TV.

He sold a billion copies.

His house is bigger.

No, I don’t want a One Night Stand.

I want to teach myself to be happy with what I have.

That’s a great thing to work on the week before my 108 birthday.

And in the month after.

Maybe it’s okay to spend ten dollars on a bulb if you get true joy from it?

Or to spend a year with a character because she makes you laugh?

Or to be thrilled that your daughter has an agent and your amazing blog partner is going to have a Baby Girl Named Carol?

It’s about attitude.

My new goals, Happier Attitude.

More Reading.

More Writing.

Happier Family Moments Because of Me.

Now, let’s see what happens on Facebook. Will Big N Hard be waiting for me?



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Filed under CLW, Depression, Life, Voice

What is Fiction?

by Lisa Sledge

Fiction is beautiful.

When something difficult comes my way I become a mess. I fall apart. I cry and yell and make all sorts of terrible mistakes. Grace under fire is a foreign concept for me.
In fiction we put our characters in a situation, watch them flail around for a while, and then let them work their way out. They make it to the point in which it ends. For better or worse, there is a conclusion.

A resolution. A sigh.

It’s easy to forget, stuck in the middle of our own problems, that nothing is forever. Fiction reminds us of  the bigger picture. And it gives us heroes. My favorites are the ones who make an even worse mess of life than I do.
Because if they can find a way out of the troubles of their story, their moment, I begin to believe there’s a way out of mine.

Most fiction is not actually fiction at all. In fact, sometimes I think it is more honest than nonfiction. Ever read a politician’s autobiography?

Whatever we write, lets weave truth into our stories. Lets fill the world with hope.
Hope is real.

And so is fiction.

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