My Writing Process: Blog Hop!

The beginning of June marks a countdown for my family and me. High school graduation, summer camp(s) and college orientation, oh my! But thanks to one of my writing buds, Arla Dahl, I get to veer off the beaten path of chaos and participate in a blog hop where I talk about my most neglected baby of late, my writing. She talks a little about her writing process and latest debut (congrats again, Arla!) here.

So without further adieu, here I go:)

What I’m Working On

I’m currently working on my first book, in a series of three, about a teenage girl whose new power will tip the scale after apocalyptic weather threatens not only life as she knows it but the heart she’s kept protected since the first time her world had fell apart in Shift.

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

Unlike mainstream Young-Adult protagonists, my heroin is an African-American teenager who fosters relationships with unlikely characters in her own unique way despite her stubborn and willful nature. I think readers will be able to relate to my characters as they get to see sides of my main character seldom represented in literature and movies today. I look forward to sharing Jessica’s story with the world one day.

love hands

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Definitely helps to be a kid at heart! And although your kids try to make the things you do and say sound “old,” Every. Chance. They. Get. There really is something to the belief that they keep you young. I’ve had the most fun raising them with my husband and more fun writing about that moment in a young person’s life where every choice they make shapes who they’ll become as they hover over the precipice of adulthood. I’ve always loved to read YA and writing YA has been my dream in extending that love.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

And the award for the lead in the “Best Pantser” category goes to… Ahh, whether my writing process is working remains to be seen. Lol! No seriously, I’ve read books on writing, taken workshops, still read articles, participated in critique groups ad nauseum. You name it, I’ve done it. I also have a storyboard on my wall beside my bed, to my husband’s dismay. So forever working on my craft is, well forever. I write and edit when I can. Could certainly stand to commit more time each day to it. Spending an obscene amount of time on a given chapter when my OCD’s on autopilot probably doesn’t help, but overall flying by the seat of my pants would be my final plea.😉

Thank you for coming by and please do check out the writing process and projects of CM Doporto, Terri Muuss and Elizabeth Haysmont, who will take part in this blog hop next Monday, June 9th.


CM Doporto writes Young Adult and New Adult stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way. Visit her heroine blog at

Terri Muuss, whose poetry has appeared in Bolts of Silk, Apercus Quarterly, Long Island Quarterly, Red River Review, JB Stillwater Magazine and three anthologies: Whispers and Shouts: An Anthology of Women’s Voices on Long Island, Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women, and the Bards Annual 2013, is the author of Over Exposed (JB Stillwater, 2013) and the one-woman show, Anatomy of a Doll. Anatomy of a Doll was named “Best Theatre: Critics’ Pick of the Week” by the New York Daily News and has been performed throughout the US and Canada since 1998. Terri co-produced and hosted the monthly Manhattan poetry series Poetry at the Pulse for two years and her poem Rialto Beach won the 2013 Great Neck Poetry Prize.

It seems Elizabeth Haysmont’s entire life has been dedicated to research. At least that’s the spin she’s putting on it when she tries to explain why so many of her real life experiences end up in her books. Motorcyclist, photographer, graphic artist, traveler, caver, history buff, rail buff, hiker, off-roader, musician, actor – Life has dragged her (with her husband of twenty-two years) through 35 states and six foreign countries. She and her husband even chose an adventurous way to wed: in a cave near St. Louis, 50 feet underground.

The Lego Movie


If The Lego Movie didn’t leave you with that catchy “Everything is Awesome” song dancing around in your head or give you the sudden desire to purchase and consequently (which was probably the movie’s overall intent) play legos immediately afterwards, then you cannot be human. Welllll, maybe you can be human, but a stuffy Lord Business has inhabited your body and made it impossible for you to have any fun. And that’s what the movie was: fun, fun, fun!

In celebration of my youngest’s birthday, he got to pick the movie and activities for the day. After hearing The Lego Movie was pretty good (and knowing there were going to be familiar characters from my childhood in it), I proceeded to be thoroughly entertained for an hour and a half while thinking that everyone who took part in making the film was BRILLIANT!

I won’t give away any spoilers but I will tell you how the human characters resonated with me. Hubby didn’t like that real people were in it, but it all made perfect sense to me. In fact, it got me to thinking about the Star Wars collection I keep away from the children regardless of how many times my youngest has lectured me on the fundamentals of sharing every 6 months or so when he remembers that I have it.


Not that I haven’t lost an Obi Wan Kenobi (I think it’s supercool that spell check recognizes his name and makes no effort to mistake it for a misspelled word), one of my Luke Skywalkers (hmm, spellcheck didn’t recognize this one for some reason😦 ) and my Darth Vader along the way, and the boxes are pretty banged up too. But I’ve always dreamed of setting up a curio somewhere with all of my novelty junk in it. Or maybe I’d envisioned sitting the kids down and making them suffer through the early stages of CGI in the first 3 movies — as a little history lesson — before letting them play with it, so they could have the same appreciation that I have. Who knows?

movie watchers

Either way, I haven’t been willing to “share” my cherished collection until now. So the next time one of my little ones breaches the subject, I’m ready to consider it…I said consider😉

Have you’ve FINALLY let one of your little ones have something from your past? Your 70s bell-bottomed trousers? Baseball cards? Or Star Wars collection, maybe?

How Crafty Are You?

Which one of these things don't belong?

Which one of these things don’t belong?

Oh yeah, one of the other reasons I’ve been away is because I was doing the “mommy” thing too. I love my youngest’s teacher this year because she’s so crafty, ergo, bringing the craftiness out of me with their projects. So we had to make Valentine’s Day mailboxes for the cards the kids’ll be exchanging back and forth and I wanted to help him make something that wasn’t girly.
So we took a balloon...

So we took a balloon…

...some paper Mache

…some paper Mache

And made it happen! Oh, wait. We're half way there.

And made it happen! Oh, wait. But we’re only half way there.

It took three days to complete. Some “don’ts” are: for speedy drying, use the lower level because the higher level will dry too quickly and split the newspaper…ugh.

Now, you're ready to paint! (right is orange & the left is a clear, glittery finish)

Now, you’re ready to paint! (right is orange & the left is a clear, glittery finish)

And voila! You have a cheez-er-ifics version of the sport your little one loves to play. Thank you, thank you. I’m here all day😛


Just pop the balloon, cut out the bottom & create a latch to open & close after cutting a slot on the top for the mail to come pouring in ;)

Just pop the balloon, cut out the bottom & create a latch to open & close after cutting a slot on the top for the mail to come pouring in😉

What’s the BEST craft you ever made?

Girls, Girls, Girls

I promise this isn’t another post about how much we rock. I got it all out of my system a coupla posts ago. Promise. This is more about what I’ve been entertaining myself with of late as the third season of Girls is underway. And I’m loving it, of course. This is 40’s, director, Judd Apatow is involved. How could I not?! Besides, how else would I while away the day waiting on my laptop adapter replacement to arrive in the mail? By the way, that’s why I’ve been MIA this time.

Boy when your computer’s on the fritz, torturous doesn’t quite describe it.girls 2

Anyway, I chose to write about Girls because the eppy where the main character’s unpublished work gets held up in her dead editor’s publishing house for three years was a nice cautionary tale about reading the fine print when you get published and sign a contract. Try saying that in one breath. I can only imagine how devastating it would be to get shut down at the precipice of publication…and “arriving.” Ugh. Thanks goodness she’s a fictional character.

gone girlThe other girl I’ve been preoccupying myself with is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Talk about fish out of water. I NEVER read mystery/thrillers. Well…I have dabbled a little King and Koontz ions ago and they’re very good. It’s just not my usual haunt if I had to choose. Still, great plot, characters & excellent, excellent writing. I think I finally got what Donald Maass was saying at a luncheon I attended about changing genres up every once in a while. All I’ll say is, I can’t wait for the movie this fall!

Any books you read outside of your comfort zone lately?