Friday, January 31, 2014

Writing Prompt Friday (#13)

It's time again for some writing prompts. This week, it's a word list. Use the following eight words in a short story or scene:

  • until
  • we
  • owner
  • seconds
  • they'll
  • him
  • survivors
  • deal

    Your scene or short story can use the words in any way. Be sure to give your piece a title!

    Post your effort below. And check back here at Felicia Mason -- From the Heart
    on the Feburary 8 Short Story Saturday to see what I did with that word list.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Poetry vs. Prose dispute ends badly

As writers, we want readers to be as passionate about our work as we are in creating it. There is, however, a time when that passion goes too far ... like this story from Newser out of Russia.

This story reminds me that there are occasionally outrageous stories about writing, reading and the writing life. So, when I come across them, I'll link under Outrageous Writing. We'll see how many I can come across. You do the same. Post below any links you find.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow falling in Virginia

It's a cold winter night made pleasant because I'm inside, warm with a cup of tea and can enjoy the snow falling in southeastern Virginia.
When I got home from work this evening, I shoveled about three inches and put a bit of ice melt down in the hope of alleviating some of the work tomorrow. But barely two hours later, it's hard to see that I did anything at all.
The lesson learned: let nature do its thing.
Images: tree taken tonight about 11:30 p.m.; shrub photo taken after last week's snow.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snail mail lovers unite!

The price of a U.S. first-class postage stamp goes up tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 26. For those who don't use stamps -- boo hiss on you! -- a stamp currently costs 46¢. The increase is to 49¢ for domestic mail and from $1.10 to $1.15 for all international mail.

Today's your last chance to grab some of the Forever postage stamps. The 'Forever' on the stamp means you pay the prevailing rate now and no matter what first-class postage goes to, you keep the same rate. For example, if the USPS increased domestic postage to 75¢ for a first-class stamp (I shudder to imagine!), the Forever stamps I purchased today for 46¢ each would still be valid.

I love to send cards and notes to friends, family and acquaintances. There's nothing like the joy of seeing REAL mail in the midst of bills, junk mail, magazines and what-not.

So, buy those stamps today before the price jumps. And surprise your partner, child, sibling, neighbor or friend with a note sent via post. You'll make their day.

Short Story Saturday (Jan. 25, 2014)

Using the dozen words from the Jan. 24 Writing Prompt Friday, I wrote the following story, "Career Change," as part of a writing challenge in 2011.

Career Change
By Felicia Mason

Laurel decided fairly early in life that the most viable occupation for a woman with few marketable skills was one in which she played on her looks. She could barely focus enough on her studies to graduate from high school let alone try to stay engaged long enough to go to a college or trade school. Besides, from the time she was fourteen, she’d heard, “You’re gorgeous. You should be a model.”

By the time twenty-four arrived and people were saying the same thing, her standard reply was: “I’ve struggled in that field already. I’m going to give myself a break now and do something I want to do.”

With a precision and determination that surprised Laurel and stunned her friends, she sat herself down and earned a GED.  Before long, she discovered that her poor academic performance in her teens had more to do with a love of fashion magazines and makeup than anything in a dusty textbook. And when she discovered textbooks weren’t all in book form anymore, she combined her passions and gave herself a goal.

And now, at thirty-four, Laurel discovered that a late career change was just what the doctor ordered. Juris doctor that is. When her name was called, she smiled and rose to accept her hard-earned law degree from a university she couldn’t even spell while living her former life.

At a party for the new lawyers, a man sidled up to her, drink in hand and smarmy smile on his face. “Hey, there, pretty lady. Why be a lawyer? With those looks, you should be a model.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

'The Fireman Finds a Wife' cover has arrived

The cover for my May 2014 release from Love Inspired arrived today. I love it! Hope you will too. "The Fireman Finds a Wife" is the first in my new series set in Cedar Springs, North Carolina, a fictional town near Raleigh.

Check back for additional details!

Writing Prompt Friday (#12)

It's Friday! That means it's time for a new set of writing prompts.

This week, we're returning to a set of random words. Each of them, a dozen this time, should be used in a short story.

Come back tomorrow to see what I did with the word list! Post in the comments your effort or thoughts about these Writing Prompt Friday exercises.

Ready for your word list? Here it is:

struggled, skills, sat, give, focus, I’ve, decided, Laurel, fairly, precision, gorgeous, viable

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

USA Today weighs in on HIDDEN RICHES

Michelle Monkou at USA Today's Happy Ever After says "Loved, loved, loved it. ... Rich prose throughout the story, top-notch humor, and loveable characters" make up "Hidden Riches."

Michelle Monkou is a past president of Romance Writer of America.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thanks to Readin N Writin with Patricia

The readers and writers at Readin N Writin with Patricia gave a shout out to HIDDEN RICHES on their Teaser Tuesday.

Of "Hidden Riches," blogger Patricia W says:  "I'm more than happy that's she's back with this tale of a Southern family faced with a possibly huge inheritance and a whole lot of grief."

I'm more than happy that's she's back with this tale of a Southern family faced with a possibly huge inheritance and a whole lot of grief. - See more at:
I'm more than happy that's she's back with this tale of a Southern family faced with a possibly huge inheritance and a whole lot of grief. - See more at:

I'm more than happy that's she's back with this tale of a Southern family faced with a possibly huge inheritance and a whole lot of grief. - See more at:
I'm more than happy that's she's back with this tale of a Southern family faced with a possibly huge inheritance and a whole lot of grief. - See more at:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hidden Riches

The reviews are starting to come in! "HIDDEN RICHES" hits the bookshelves on January 28! Or you can pre-order now.

Library Journal named "Hidden Riches" a Pick of the Month and says: "Mason’s writing flows smooth and easy like a hot North Carolina afternoon spent in a front-porch rocking chair." Click here to read the full review of "Hidden Riches."

I Know that I’m a Writer Because….

The terrific people over at National Novel Writing Month have a forum where writers posted their answers to the prompt: "I know that I'm a writer because..."

Here's my answer.

I Know that I’m a Writer Because….

It’s the only thing that I have ever returned to, the thing that nags at me, that compels me. Even when I’m not actually putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I’m composing scenes and scenarios in my head. When I was in elementary school, I was often “caught” daydreaming, staring out the windows looking at the trees. I wasn’t daydreaming. I was writing stories. On the playground playing hopscotch with friends, I created elaborate love stories for each of us with our favorite TV and movie stars serving as our heroes with the happily ever after. By junior high, I was writing episodes of my favorite television shows. When I got to college, I was going to be a psychology major, but I took one look at all of those science and math courses and asked, “Where is the department where people write?” My heart and soul knew who and what I was, even if my head had not yet figured it out. I’ve spent my life writing. It’s what I am, who I am and why I am.

Now, post below your answer to the prompt, and be sure to take a look at all of the ways other folks in the NaNoWriMo Forum know that they are writers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Writing Prompt Friday (#11)

Today's word prompts are literally that, single words. Each of them offers a different vibe. How will you use them?

Remember, each word prompt can be the inspiration for a scene, short story, poem, artwork, song --  whatever it is that you do.

Ready to be inspired? Here you go:

Word prompt:  Serendipity

Word prompt:  Heartache

Word prompt:  Karma

Word prompt:  Woe

Word prompt:  Fortune

Friday, January 10, 2014

Writing Prompt Friday (#10)

Ready to get your Friday writing on? This week's set of prompts are a mixed bag of delights. They are designed to keep you on your toes, so to speak; a mix of challenges and word prompts.

New to Writing Prompt Friday? Just open a new document or pull out that pen and paper or your journal. Pick one (or more if you feel so inspired) of the prompts and start writing. You can approach these as a timed-writing exercise (for example, write for 15 minutes) or as your daily or weekend writing rev-up.

Got that cup of coffee or tea ready? All right, let's right. Here are your prompts:

Challenge: Write a scene using only three-syllable words.

Challenge:  Beat yesterday’s word count by 1,000 words.

Word prompt:  Intangible

Word prompt:  Kismet

Write a 2-page description of the following:
                Grief or mourning