Monday, November 9, 2015

7th Annual NaNoWriMo Write-in at Tabb

This was our seventh year having a NaNoWriMo write-in at the York County Public Library-Tabb Branch. It's a delight to host this event every year.

For 2015, 21 wrimos joined me for several hours of writing, eating and word sprints. We were joined for the first time by our regional MLs, Robin and Kara!

Here's the room all set up Saturday and waiting for wrimos to fill it.
Welcome goodie bags and a sign-in sheet in front. Back table filled with prizes to be won!

And here's the space filled with writers ready to bang the keyboards and fill their journals with NaNo noveling. These images are courtesy of Cathy Welch from the 1 p.m-5 p.m. event on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

I welcome the group before everyone gets down to the business of writing.

Write, wrimos, write!

Hampton Roads ML Robin, right, gets words on the laptop page.

Barbara's having a great time!

Get great reads for $1.99 Nov. 10-17

Harlequin, the publisher of Love Inspired and Kimani Arabesque books, is having a one-week special blowout sale on e-books. About 10,000 titles are on sale for just $1.99. They include "The Single Dad Finds a Wife" and "The Fireman Finds a Wife."

"Discounted books will be available from November 10th – November 17th at, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Google and Kobo (US only)," according to a release from Harlequin.

Head over to your favorite online bookseller and get a copy ... or two or three or more! ... before time runs out!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's NaNoWriMo time! Why I'm a wrimo

National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful way to knock out a first draft of a manuscript. And that’s exactly what you have at the end of the 30-day personal challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in just a month. Because 50K is on the short end of actual novel length, you’ll have work to do after November. And therein is the joy of NaNo. You write without editing or fixing or fretting for 30 days. And then, when it’s over and you get some much-needed rest, the core of your novel is there and waiting for you. As writing guru Natalie Goldberg says, you're "writing down the bones" of the book.

For those who think perfection is required to draft a novel and that 30 days yields little of it, consider what New York Times best-sellingauthor Nora Roberts has to say: “I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page.”

NaNoWriMo gives you the freedom to just explore whatever comes to you. You can fix it, flesh it out later when you add the nuances that aren’t captured in the rush toward the 50K-word finish line.

Personally, I use NaNo to draft novels in a mystery series I’m writing. Every November I know I will immerse myself in the world of that protagonist. Later, much later, comes the revision, the editing, the fine-tuning that makes a messy first draft into a marketable manuscript.

As for my track record, yes, I’ve had epic fails. My first NaNo in 2008, was a true disaster. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of not editing or fixing each day’s work. But I got the hang of it and tout the benefits of the month-long challenge. I come back each new November to do it again, and again. Entering the 2015 NaNo season, I am 5-4, five wins, four fails. But even the fail of not reaching the 50,000 words in 30 days is actually a win because if you write anything at all during NaNoWriMo, that’s more than you would have written had you not tried at all.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Loblolly Pines

My obsession with loblolly pines continues. The symmetry of three needles appeals to me.

The top photos were taken September 2015 in Newport News on The Noland Trail.

This one, still my favorite, was taken at Newport News Park in Spring 2014.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Girl's Night Out

What a blast we had at the new Wine & Design Oyster Point in Newport News. The place just recently opened and we decided to give it a try. 

Loads of fun!
Four of the seven creations. 

My interpretation.

Back row: Denise, Darlene, Andrea.
Front row: Cheryl, Jessica, Cassandra, Felicia.

Fire in the garage

Newspaper folk are supposed to report the news, not make it. But a DP staffer's car caught fire in the City Center at Oyster Point garage and caused quite the display.

She was fine. Was actually in the office when the blaze started. Her minivan, not so much. It was completely burned, and a truck parked next to it severely damaged.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.

After the smoke and fire was contained by city fire crews.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Inspired by Nature

After a native plant walk with Virginia Master Naturalists and members
of the Native Plant Society, George and I decided to finish hiking the rest
of the trail.

There's nothing like a hike in the woods to inspire you. Here, it's not really the woods,  but the 5-mile Noland Trail on the grounds of The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va.

Encountered along the way. 

Lake Maury from one of the bridges along the trail.

Master Naturalist and native plant expert Susie Yager led 23 people on a native
 plant walk along a portion of the Noland Trail on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. She pointed out not only
 native plants and trees, but plants that have been introduced to the area.

Friday, August 14, 2015


What happens when Daily Press employees have a "Project Runway"-style challenge to make garments using just newspaper and tape?


Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Perfect Writer's Retreat

Twilight view from the dock at Tall Pines by the Bay.
I and 14 others spent an idyllic four days at Tall Pines by the Bay, a lovely waterfront house with porches, a firepit (where, of course, s'mores we're made one evening).
This view speaks of the tranquil setting, perfect to inspire the muse.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New phone today

I got a new phone today. It's a good thing, but it's also traumatic. Trying to figure out how to use things, new functions and ones comparable to the old phone will take some time. 《sigh》

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Magnolia Supper Club giveaway

Today, I was given the opportunity to be a guest blog poster on the site by fabulous author Lyn Cote. Thanks, Lyn, for letting me share on your site!

The Magnolia Supper Club is featured in THE SINGLE DAD FINDS A WIFE.

In addition to the post at Lyn's blog, there's a free drawing going on. You'll have go to to see what I'm giving away and what it has to do with the supper club!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The irises are blooming!

Spring has officially arrived at my house where the irises are blooming!
I've been watching the buds grow wondering which day the flowers would bloom. Would they wait until Friday - my birthday! - or a few days earlier? I walked out the front door Tuesday and gasped as I do each and every year at the beauty of nature's gift.
The whites are in a small bed near the front door. The purples are in a bed that rings the crape myrtle tree.
Irises are a beautiful birthday week gift each year!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

On the bookshelves!

"The Single Dad Finds a Wife," my new Love Inspired novel, is now on store shelves. Here's a photo from the Tabb Walmart in Yorktown, Va.
Where have you spotted it? Take a pic of you reading the novel and post here.
At the end of May, I'll pull a name and send the winner a goodie bag.
Post your picture and a note below.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wedding bells ringing?

A friend in Iowa emailed me saying "You didn't tell me!" Imagine my surprise to see a bridal shower invitation in my name. :)

No, I'm not getting married. It's a demo for Walmart stationery that happens to sort of have my name on it. (Note the Felica spelling.) But how funny is that?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day 2015!

Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Do something, even if a little something, to help sustain this planet we call home.

Need some ideas?

Plant native flowers or plants.

Pick up trash on your street.

Join or volunteer with your local clean city board or commission.

Take a class or workshop on sustainability.

Plant a tree.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle

Use reusable bags and totes instead of plastic.

If we all do something, we can make good thing happen today and for the future.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Driving with the top down

I spent a wonderful weekend at the Southern Women's Show in Richmond, Va. There were lots of really cool vendors, giveaways and activities, including test driving a Chevrolet. When the guy said 'around the track' I was totally jazzed and ready to roll because the show was at the Richmond International Raceway. But my visions of lapping the NASCAR track where Jimmie Johnson races were dashed when he said not on the track, but around it meaning the city streets that surround the complex.
Ah, well. My NASCAR dreams will have to wait for another day. But let me tell you this, the test drive of a red 2015 Camaro was sweet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can't wait for May!

May brings pretty flowers, warm temperatures ... and my birthday! This year, there's also something else I'm looking forward to. I'm on countdown now until the May release of my new Love Inspired novel in the Cedar Springs series.

Doctor Spring Darling has everything she needs. A wonderful family and a busy job helping the children of Cedar Springs, North Carolina. She's given up on adding love to that mix. Until the moment David Camden and his adorable son appear in her exam room. Spring assumes David is another down-on-his-luck single parent at the free clinic—but looks can be deceiving. Because David has a job—he's the architect proposing a new development in the middle of Spring's land! When the truth is revealed, can Spring find a way to keep both her home and the blessing of new love?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Romance Slam Jam 2015

I couldn't attend the 2015 Romance Slam Jam in Dallas, but I am there in spirit. Read, write and party on, writers and readers!

Thanks to author Denise Jeffries for posting this pic from the conference!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More snow?! Really?!

Here's what it looked like last week. It's been snowing steadily today -- what the meteorologist's said would be "a dusting" -- and four-six inches is still on the way Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Where's spring?

Tracks in the snow. It was fun to see the animal tracks as well, rabbit and raccoon tracks.

Frozen creek in the back -- but not frozen enough to walk on.