Thursday, December 29, 2011

Writers Block, December 27 on KFUN

Tune in on Tuesday, 8:45 a.m., MST KFUN for Writers' Block

Veronica Golos, my in-studio guest on Tuesday, Dec. 27, carries about her a spirit of peace. Her calming essence banks a fiery passion that comes through in her book of verse, Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press), which recently won the New Mexico Book Award for Poetry. 

Veronica said the poems aren’t a commentary on war or peace or anything but her own reaction to a world experience viewed from a distance. She began writing in response to media photographs taken of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The images left a mark on her heart and brought out a desire to explore from a personal perspective what was happening a world away.

The book’s title perhaps reflects a thread that runs through all the poems. Brutality is not a silent event. It is noisy and vicious, soulless in a way only mindless violence can be. In that surfeit of screaming carnage the voices of the innocent or the wounded go unheard. The cacophony of war can be measured in decibels of shattered hopes, broken bodies and lives lost. This truth comes across in Veronica’s carefully crafted poems.

The poetry is deep and wide. Veronica expresses painful realities that are soul shaking and tear making. I was deeply moved by the selections she chose to read on the air. The meaning of her words became crystal and reflective, delicate crystal that shatters in the heart, and reflective prose that challenges the intellect.

A Bell Buried Deep, (Story Line Press) an earlier work by Veronica, was the co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize and nominated for a 2004 Pushcart Prize by Edward Hirsch.

From a review of A Bell Buried Deep, by Alicia Ostriker, poet and author of Stealing the Language and Dancing at the Devil’s Party: “A Bell Buried Deep is a confluence of three sacred  streams: the sensuous body which is ours and the world’s, the passion for justice which craves to undo the oppressions and cruelties we inherit from the past, and the spiritual imagination that is able to generate hope.  Veronica Golos knows that history is only myth by another name, and that it repeats itself until we change it.  Her poetry is lucid, alive, with the specifics of intellectual and emotional experience, and resonant as a bell.”

Victoria’s work has also appeared in My Land is Me, 3 Poets 4 Peace, The Master’s Hand, Threaded Lives and Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry.

All of these books may be purchased by request from Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, N.M., at Moby Dickens in Taos, N.M. and from

More about Veronica Golos from her online bio:
“Golos has taught poetry and multi-genre writing for Poets & Writers, Poets House, and the 92nd St Y/Makor and the New York City Public Libraries. Her courses included Breakin’ the Rules!, poetry for teens and pre-teens; Creative Writing & the Use of Years, memoir for seniors;  I Am More Than This, a workshop for Holocaust survivors at the Nassau County Holocaust Museum. She was Poet in Residence at Sacred Heart Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2005, at the Nassau Museum of Art, and Yaxche School in Taos, New Mexico. She has lectured on Teaching Poetry to Children at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and Colorado State College.”

Celia Hayes, my call-in guest from Texas, rescued me on Tuesday when Veronica was delayed. We had a wonderful discussion about her books, writing in general and the challenge and rewards of writing historical novels. Celia is a dedicated researcher and has self-published several books, including a trilogy about German immigrants who settled in the Fredericksburg area.

From Celia’s website: “Adelsverein: The Gathering (book 1), The Sowing (book 2), and The Harvesting (book 3): “This trilogy is a saga of family and community loyalties, and the challenge of building a new life on the hostile frontier... Texas is a place most Americans think they know very well, thanks to more than a century of storytelling and myths. But there is another Texas story, even more dramatic for being all but unknown; the story of pioneers who also came in search of land and opportunity and for freedom from rule by aristocrats and princes.”

It was obvious in our interview that Celia is thoroughly engaged in her work, dedicating up to two years from start up of a concept to publication. That time is spent gathering details and creating family histories that when blended in the mix of story telling come together in interesting and informative ways. Celia's attention to detail has garnered her praise and encouragement, but ultimately it is the work that makes the difference.

“I have a spread sheet,” she said in the interview. “It covers a variety of topics and tracks timelines. Everything has to come together.”

The writing life is more than an idea; it’s dedication to the intricacies of plot, action, character development and tension that creates a worthwhile story. In the historical novel the writer isn’t creating a new world, she or he is recreating an era, an emotion, a sense of time and place. Detail is crucial.

Celia, retired from the Air Force, said in her author bio that she knocked around the corporate world for a while, and then got hooked on blogging, which led to writing historical novels about the Wild (or not-so-wild) West.

Celia may be reached at To purchase her books go to Her print books may be purchased by order through Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, N.M., at online booksellers and from the author.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Memoir and Historical Suspense on Tap for Tuesday

It’s safe to say that programming for Writers’ Block isn’t thematic. This week I’ll be featuring a writer whose memoir touches on subjects that remind us of what it was like being a kid and a fiction writer with a flair for historical suspense.

My in-studio guest will be David Perez, author of WOW!, a memoir about growing up in the South Bronx in the 1960s.

From the book’s website:

It’s the South Bronx of the 1960s, a neighborhood teetering on change. The young Puerto Rican boy is living in the housing projects, about to be transferred to Catholic school, where he’s already attended catechism and asked if God “popped out of nowhere.” So begins Pérez’s delightful and engaging “memoirito,” a novella-like tale that follows David trying his best to be “cool” in a neighborhood where being smart in school isn’t something to brag about.

Perez, who now lives in Taos, N.M., is an experienced public speaker, actor, writer, and editor. According to his web bio, he has done activist journalism and feature writing. “Our aim (at Workers World newspaper) was to promote and defend the rights of the working class and all people of color, to talk about Marxism and capitalism and the need for revolution.”

He supports and writes about the arts, cultural awareness and enlightenment and subjects close to his heart.

My call in guest is Mary Schwaner who writes under the pen name of Bailey Bristol. She published her first book in February and just released her second book, Devil’s Dime, which is the first in the Samaritan Files trilogy. It’s a late 1800s tale of suspense with a romantic twist. 

From Schwaner’s web bio:

Coloratura Soprano/Artistic Director/Programmer/Author: Granddaughter of a concert violinist, Mary began her musical career in elementary school with the family string quartet, but gave up the violin to study opera at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. There she performed many leading roles for the School of Music opera department before completing her Master’s Degree in 1971. The following year she represented Nebraska in the Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Minneapolis.

Tune in on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8:45 a.m. (MST) to hear more from these talented authors. The program streams online at


Monday, December 5, 2011

Tuesday's Guests: Ron Wooten-Green and Anne Hosansky

Snowy Day in Las Vegas, NM
It’s a little late to get this message out, but here it is anyway. Assuming the snow doesn’t prevent me getting up the hill, I’ll be on KFUN tomorrow with Writers’ Block. It may end up that both my guests call in. Ron Wooten-Green, author of When the Dying Speak and A Fine Line of Distinction, In Search of Roots, will be in the studio if he can get there, and Anne Hosansky, author of Turning Toward Tomorrow, Widow’s Walk and Ten Women of Valor, will be calling in from New York state.

A little of this and a little of that
How is Writer’s Block doing? I guess the audience is the judge of that. I’d like to get feed back, good or bad. The only way we improve in life is to listen to constructive criticism. What I enjoy is talking to people who are passionate about what they do. I just picked up Anika Nailah’s book, Free, from Tome on the Range Sunday afternoon. It is full of short stories about what it means to be free. I’ve just started reading and find it intriguing. The stories are like quick punches that stop just short of your nose, a little startling and certainly thought provoking. I like Anika’s style of writing and the way she leaves you wondering what happens next. 

Tome on the Range is sponsoring a writing contest for youth. I haven’t talked to Nancy about this but maybe we can read the winners’ work on the air or get them on the air and let them read their work. 

If you are a writer and are interested in being on Writers’ Block please contact me at I want to talk to authors, poets, and essayists. 

Why a program about writing? Because reading is the most effective way to learn, and you can’t have books, articles and stories without writers. I also want to encourage people to write who never expect nor want anyone else to read what they write. Writing through whatever is affecting you is another way of dealing with life’s ups and downs.

Tune in every Tuesday morning at around 8:45 a.m., MST for Writers’ Block. And don’t forget you can listen online at

Writing Challenge 
Once a month beginning tomorrow I’ll be giving a writing prompt to listeners. The challenge is to write a short story, poem, essay or article using the phrase as the first line. You’ll have two weeks from the day the prompt is given to submit your work. E-mail it to or mail it to Sharon Vander Meer, PO Box 187, Las Vegas, NM 87701. 

Submissions must be type-written and can be no more than 750 words.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: The Kiva and the Mosque

The Kiva and the Mosque by Kayt C. Peck is part fantasy, part spiritual journey, part romance and part political statement. All of the parts come together in an enjoyable reading experience that is fast-paced, entertaining and satisfying. The author celebrates life and hope in an interesting tale that calls for imagination, an open mind and respect for the unknown and unknowable.

Her main characters are ordinary people with an extraordinary capacity to act when called upon. They feel like old friends, people you want to root for and whom you want to win. The ideals expressed in the narrative are familiar themes much talked about but little lived by: world peace, respect for all, care and protection for those least able to take care of themselves.

Kidwell Brown’s visions inspire her to valor, Aisha’s to depicting a world of possibilities. The story recognizes the existence of evil and the power of good to overcome all obstacles.  

Kayt’s story encourages enlightenment, compassion and understanding, age-old precepts that belong to no one religion but to all. The Kiva and the Mosque is unashamedly idealistic in tone and message. It encourages a belief that even in this flawed world peace, understanding and respect are possible.

Kayt Peck is a poet and writer whose career has included being a journalist, a U.S. Naval Reserve public affairs officer, and grant writer. She lives on a ranch near Las Vegas, N.M.

The Kiva and the Mosque is available in Las Vegas at Tome on the Range Bookstore, and at online retailers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Footlights in the Foothills


It has been my experience that writing can be both liberating and limiting. When you add research as an element of the process it can almost become drudgery… unless you enjoy research and can convert that enviable talent into intelligent, entertaining and engaging prose. Edwina Portelle Romero has done just that in Footlight in the Foothills, Amateur Theatre of Las Vegas and Fort Union New Mexico, 1871-1899.

Do not, under any circumstances, be deceived by the academic sound of the title. Yes, it is educational but it is also down right fun to read. Edwina, Pat to those who know her, has taken an historic era and painted wonderful pictures of the culture and creativity of the times. Brevity, as Shakespeare so eloquently said, is the soul of wit. This little book of fact-based anecdotes is packed with priceless prose, engaging wit and interesting lore.

The clarification of what constituted a theatrical venue — from the music halls to the opera houses to the boards of the Fort Union stages — is illuminating and fun. Was it the Duncan Opera House or the Ward-Tamme Opera House? Where was it? How did these establishments survive and thrive? Perhaps it had to do with filling time with creative pursuits. Perhaps it had to do with talented folks who wanted to make the most of their talents. Perhaps it was a consequence of wanting to entertain and be entertained. Whatever the reasons, Edwina has pulled 28 years of amateur theater into a concise rendering that is informative and charmingly delivered using direct quotes from printed reviews and critiques.

Footlights in the Foothills identifies Spanish and English language companies and performances, all well and enthusiastically attended, sometimes too enthusiastically. At one performance it was reported that a director ejected several “young men” of ‘the best families’” from the theater because of their rowdy behavior.

“One of the significant features of amateur theatre,” the author writes, “is its involvement in and reflection of community. When rail service arrived in Las Vegas, it brought many new people of diverse ethnicities and races and thus strengthened ‘ethnic consciousness’ among the Neuvo Mexicanos. As a result, Spanish-language newspapers, featuring sections on literature, poetry, and popular fiction, flourished…”

Las Vegas performances were only a part of the big picture when it came to live amateur performances. The antics on stage at Fort Union and the competitiveness among the theatrical companies at the fort reflect a somewhat farcical real life tension that played itself out in the pages of the Las Vegas Optic in the form of reviews, which sometimes took on a rather acerbic and personal tone.

A good writer of historical fact takes many elements and puts them together in entertaining ways. In Footlights in the Foothills, Edwina has done that and more. Her attention to detail and informed understanding of the period leads to a book worth having on your bookshelf so you can go back to it time and again.

Footlights in the Foothills, Amateur Theatre of Las Vegas and Fort Union New Mexico, 1871-1899, ($16.95), by Edwina Portelle Romero is published by Sunstone Press and is available at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, N.M. and at other fine bookstores.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the Air With Writers' Block

Writer's Bloc will become Writers' Block on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at around 9:05 a.m., when KFUN and I launch a program about writing, writers, books and writing challenges. The content will be pretty far flung but the idea is to acquaint the listening audience with the many talented authors, poets and word smiths in Las Vegas and the area. It is my hope we will go further afield and interview well-known writers from elsewhere as well. We'll also be talking a bit about publishing, both traditional publishing and self-publishing.

The first is becoming more and more difficult to get into, primarily because the industry must look at what will sell and sell big. Creating and printing books is a costly endeavor. Agents which are almost as difficult to snag as publishers must look at the bottom line and if the bottom line has the potential of being red, they take a pass.

Self-publishing has its own pitfalls, and while I'm familiar with some of them, I'm still learning and the curve just gets steeper and steeper, mostly because I'm too cheap to purchase professional services like editing and marketing, two key elements in putting out a quality book.

We will also be looking for writers to submit work for writing challenges. Winning authors will be interviewed and their essays, poems or commentaries read on the air. Details will be forthcoming as the program develops.

I want to thank Joseph Baca, author of Blessings in Disguise, and owner of KFUN and its sister station KLVF, for this opportunity.

My first guests on Nov.1 will be JoRita Jordan and Martha McCaffery, members of the Las Vegas Camera Club. They will be talking about Sacred Places of San Miguel  County, a collection of photos from the club's 2010 exhibit. It is a beautiful publication and I look forward to talking to them about the book and the publishing process.

Please tune in and tell your friends about Writers Block on KFUN. There is also online access at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

Joseph Baca’s memoir, “Blessings in Disguise,” is equal parts history, family dynamics under stressful and sometimes violent circumstances, humor, spiritual awakening and inspiration. It is the story of one man’s life and how it was shaped by circumstances, but not defined by circumstances.

Baca is brutally honest about himself, his father’s brutality, his own mistakes, triumphs and joys. Despite times of darkness in his life Baca could always see the light ahead. In the book he credits his wife Loretta, with helping him see himself in a new way.

His dreams were more than dreams they were affirmations: “Good morning KFUN and KLVF hill, I love you and one day I am going to own you and you will be mine.” He started repeating that affirmation more than 20 years ago and eventually made it happen.

He also told his wife his Wednesday and Saturday lottery ticket purchases would someday bring in a million dollars. Apparently Joseph was the only one who wasn’t surprised when it happened.

“Blessings in Disguise,” begins with vignettes of Joseph Baca as a child. It details the verbal and physical abuse he received at the hands of a troubled father who turned his own demons on those closest to him. Joseph felt the brunt of that alcohol driven anger many times. It created an angry youngster who ended up finding trouble even when he wasn’t looking for it.

The memoir is touching, funny, heartbreaking and triumphant. It tells of Baca’s own struggle against the power of his past, which threatened to invade and take over his present and his future. He writes about the spirit that seemed to guide him past these dark times when anger and a feeling that his father was right when he said, “You’ll never be worth a damn and you’ll never accomplish anything in life.”

With grit and determination Baca has proven El Wille (his father) wrong, although that wasn’t his intent. His success is a blessing he counts with thanksgiving in his heart, not with revenge in his mind.

Baca said writing the book has been cathartic, allowing him to perhaps shine a light on his past and blow away the shadows that have haunted him for years.

“Blessings in Disguise,” is available at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, N.M., and from the author. Baca will be the guest author at a reading and book-signing event at Tome on Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 3 p.m.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Footlights in the Foothills

Amateur Theatre of Las Vegas and Fort Union,
New Mexico, 1871–1899
By Edwina Portelle Romero;
Cloggers and sopranos, contortionists, Indian Club Swingers, ticket-of-leave men and ladies of the night, shepherds, saints, and devils—these are a few of the characters portrayed in the early amateur theatrical productions of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and nearby Fort Union. Between 1871 and 1899, this area hosted no fewer than eleven amateur acting troupes, an opera company, and an oratorio society. These home grown thespians performed both secular and non-secular plays in Spanish and English as well as musicals, variety acts, passion plays, and light operas. They played in courthouses, private salas, grand opera houses, and performance halls that were occasionally stocked with hay and grain. The amateur troupers strutted their stuff before farmers, outlaws, hooligans, soldiers, and the local aristocracy.
Between 1883 and 1886, the enlisted men of Fort Union formed several amateur companies and performed at the garrison. One group took its show on the road and played to Las Vegas audiences. During this brief period, fierce loyalties arose and a vicious rivalry played out in the pages of the Las Vegas newspapers. Entertainment of all sorts was an integral part of the booming western frontier. Although professional traveling troupes came by wagon and train, the homegrown companies—made up of butchers, seamstresses, homemakers, business leaders, and politicians—always drew large audiences. Footlights in the Foothills provides an overview of these amateur theatrical companies—the players, the plays, and the venues—in addition to stories of the social ties formed by the people who offered their talents and bared their egos to the audiences of "one of the hottest towns in the country."
Edwina Portelle Romero first researched the amateur acting companies of Las Vegas in 1982 when writing publicity for The Las Vegas Players, a community theatre group. Since then, she earned a Master's Degree from New Mexico Highlands University and a Doctorate from The University of New Mexico. She has published personal and scholarly essays, short fiction, and historical articles. Once an amateur performer, Romero experienced, first hand, the camaraderie and support such groups offer their members.
Available: Sunstone Press (800) 243-5644,; Tome on the Range Bookstore (505) 454-9944,;; City of Las Vegas Museum Gift Shop, 727 Grand Avenue, (505) 426-3205.

Press release provided by author. Don't miss the books sigining at Tome, 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So you want to write...

In my experience everyone has at least one good story in them. Maybe you want to write your personal history for your family or you want to create a memoir to share with others. Eat, Pray, Love was one woman's odyssey that turned into a multimillion dollar book and movie deal. Your memoir may never make it that far, but if you are planning to write something it's good to get the basics down first. Good grammar, correct spelling and the right period or comma in the right place will make all the difference in your finished work, no matter who ends up reading it. I received the following via e-mail recently. It reinforces the importance of something as simple but critical as capitalization.

"Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse."

Crude but it makes the point. Getting your written work as close to right as possible makes all the difference in the world. I say as close to right as possible because I know, having spent years writing for various publications and as a community developer writing reports, proposals and other communications, you cannot put hundreds and thousands of words out there and not have an error two; that's what proof readers and editors are for.

If you would like to see more examples of anguished English check out the books of Richard Lederer. Here are a few examples from his past Anguished English tomes:

On the subject of astronomy:
"Comets...are thought to be ruminants from the beginning of the universe."
Headline: Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

On the subject of birds...
"In 1957, Eugene O'Neill won a Pullet Surprise. Each Thanksgiving it is a tradition in our family to shoot peasants."
News dispatch: "The crime bill would reinstate the death penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the President; hijacking an airliner; and murdering a government poultry inspector."
"Can anybody explain why Kiwi International Airlines is named after a bird that cannot fly?"

On the subject of botany...
"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."
"I don't want to cast asparagus at my opponent!"
"Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce."

So you get the idea of why it is important to get intimately acquainted with the basics of writing.

There are some good websites where you can get free writing instruction. One of them is Daily Writing Tips. It even has tests you can take to evaluate your proficiency. Yes, the site is selling something, but in the process you learn quite a lot about words and how to use them.

For those who argue that creativity must be paramount I would suggest that if people can't make heads or tails of your brilliant prose it may not be all that brilliant.

I love to write. An editor I am not. I did the editing of my first three books—The Ballad of Bawdy McClure, Not Just Another Day and Future Imperfect. Errors got past me and into print. The content is great, but errors make people stumble and sometimes stop reading. As  I read recently on the Daily Writing Tips site, the end result is about prose, not about product.

Having said all that, do not let anything keep you from writing if that's what you want to do. All those technical skills can be learned. The fire of literary creation burns hot and fast. You sometimes have to just get it down and then go back later and fix it. Natalie Goldberg talks about that in her book, Writing Down to the Bones. It is one of the finest little books on writing I have in my library. You can get it from any online retailer and I'm sure Tome on the Range has it in stock. If not they can order it for you.

If you have writing tips you would like to share, please leave your comments or e-mail me at

For more information about my work or to order my books, go to

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Poetic Justice

Old Things
by Sharon Vander Meer

Old things
Once new, of no value
Past their use,
Purposeless in the now.

Touch them
Memory springs forth.
Another place,
Another time.

What now?
Where will these objects go?
From the clutter
of a dusty basement.

Long ignored
Each piece a record
Enjoyed in decades past,
Scabbed with neglect.

Beloved books
Swollen with water damage,
Spotted with mold,
The stench makes me sneeze.

So much
Gone to seed,
Growing old,
Like me.

Poetic Justice
Anyone know what that means? says it is the rewarding of virtue and the punishment of vice, often in an especially appropriate or ironic manner. I guess my latest poem could come under that heading. The virtue of cleaning out the basement lead to coming to grips with the aging of everything, including me.

Poetry continues to intrigue me. I don't like everything I encounter, but I like a lot of what I read. My internet friend Steven Fivecats has written three books of poetry, each different in one way but quite similar in others. I'm not a student of poetry. Tell me iambic pentameter and I'm apt to roll my eyes so far back in my head its like I'm looking backward. Haiku? Well, I know what it means and I like Haiku, but so far I haven't figured out how to do it.

Where was I? Oh, right, Steven. Deep Dark Winter So Cold, A Collection of Thoughts, is exactly what you might imagine, a revisiting of the past. His style is somewhat loose and easy but the thoughts written in poetic form are evocative. He doesn't use caps, and punctuation is sadly missing, but the point is never lost. Here are a couple of his poems from this collection of writings.

The Trenches of the Saints
by Steven Fivecats

to the bitter edge of darkness
where down looks like up
and the sorrow of all your tryings
has brought its bitter cup

hopeless seems so endless
and the joy is just a dream
where tomorrow ends in dying
and your cries become a scream

just remember Jesus' been there
through the trials and the pain
He's the one who's bore your sorrows
and the one whose triumph reigns

so don't get down my child
lose heart and drop and faint
cause you're only passing through
the trenches ofthe saints

so if you're tired and weary
cast your eyes to the cross
and Jesus will lift you higher
than all your burdens will cost

just remember Jesus' been there
through the trials and the pain
He's the one who's bore your sorrows
and the one who's triumph reigns

so don’t get down my child
lose heart and drop and faint
cause you’re only passing through
the trenches of the saints

by Steven Fivecats

the flame,
it comes from a small spark,
igniting into a raging
torrent so consuming
it will burn to cinders
all who would come near.
it is always there,
small, flickering,
dancing in the breeze.
it is a flame
that can destroy lives
in a quick flash.
we must guard the flame,
because it may destroy us
as well.

Steven's other books include Tea Room Musician and Buffaloes, Beads and Indians, A collection of Poems. All the books are available at major online retailers.

One more, just for good measure.

by Steven Fivecats
(from Tea Room Musician)

i told you once before
that i was always around,
whenever you need me.
but tomorrow i shall
go away and then you will have
no one, what then my dearest
i have gone and there is no one
left for you to call on, for
you have spent yourself.

To order Steven's books go online to any retailer and type in his name. It will pull up the books he has available. The cost ranges from $10 to $12.50.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Don't tell me people can't make a difference. The hue and cry over fireworks closed down tents and got dangerous explosives off store shelves in Las Vegas and across New Mexico. My thanks to all who showed good sense by refusing to sell fireworks this year.

We don't need loud noises to celebrate Independence Day or the danger of setting something on fire. What we want is for everyone to be safe and for our military personnel to come home. In this global society it only makes sense to be... well, sensible.

It's difficult to believe that in this enlightened age we can't all agree to live and let live. You don't have to be like me to be okay, nor do I have to be like you. All I have to be is the best person I know how to be and to treat others with dignity and respect. I can't speak for the rest of the world or make decisions for anyone else, but what I do and how I do it can make a difference, just as all those who spoke out against fireworks this year made a difference.

Still want to set off some fireworks? Make your 4th of July sparkler be a kind word, your bottle rocket a hug and your firecracker a smile. You'll set off a cascade of happiness.

Free e-book of Tiger Lilly
I'm looking for honest reviews of Tiger Lilly written by independent reviewers. If you're willing to read Tiger Lilly and write a review, send an e-mail to I'll send you a free PDF of the book. All I ask in return is a review of the material which will be posted on my website and on other appropriate sites. This offer is limited to the first seven people who respond.

More to come
Writers Bloc, I hope, will indeed become a platform for writers to comment and share their thoughts about writing, publishing and getting their work read. It's an uphill battle in a small market. With the internet that market is broadened considerably, yet still presents major challenges. I read recently on a credible website that more than 500,000 e-books have been published in the last twelve months. Wow. Bound book publishing numbers are less, probably because the cost is greater and odds of success of any book in this age of digital publishing is equivalent to the odds of winning the lottery... times ten.

I'm not discouraged. I believe there is a place for my books in the library of anyone who likes a good story and great characters.

Follow me
Please follow Writers Bloc. Whether you are a writer or a reader you will find interesting content on this blog and on my website Look for upcoming events that will include how to write press releases, develop an ad campaign, create a work plan for stay-at-home moms and other subjects.

On-site workshops will be held in Las Vegas, NM at $25 per participant. Details will be posted on my website three weeks prior to workshop dates. A minimum of five participants will be necessary to hold a class. If you are interested in any of these subjects, e-mail me at