Cherry Cheesecake – Free Valentine Day Short Story

I wrote this short story (1250 words) for a contest going on at http://thewritepractice.com/show-off-contest/. (Contest deadline is Feb.10 for those interested in submitting an entry with a Love them- for Valentine’s Day, of course.

My entry is available for a free read at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131273 , along with 3 other free reads. All the short stories were contest submissions.

I have recently begun to enter writing contests. The reason- because I’ve learned that peer reviews from other contestants and readers who frequent the sight- are priceless. Most are kind in their criticisms (Yes, it is possible to be kind while telling the author that they really need improvement!). I have received some insights that I would not have gotten otherwise. My writing has improved since I’ve added contest entries to my weekly work assignments. Of course I’m still plugging away on a longer novel (Hannah’s Storm) and my novella Molly Watkins Chronicles (steampunk fiction). Molly will be a series and I’m very excited about getting to know her better by writing about her- but that’s beside the point…

I wonder if anyone else has found that writing for contest entries has improved their writing? Please let me know…

P.S.- Yes, I actually won a contest recently over at Miss Snark’s Blog http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-secret-agent-11.html , in case you were wondering:)

The Inspiration For “Molly Watkins”

I’d been writing a lot of “serious” stuff when the inspiration for The Molly Watkins Chronicles hit me from out of the blue. Instantly I knew that I had to write about her.

On August 17, 2011…we lost our beautiful yellow lab, Molly Mae Watkins. She was a ripe eleven years old and full of personality. My children- as well as myself- were devastated. At the time, I pushed my grief to the back of my mind and carried on- through the days, weeks, holidays, etc.

Then one day…I thought about her. I realized that I could make myself feel better if I put pen to paper (okay, words on computer) and expressed my feelings by telling stories about Molly- if she had been a human.

Molly had spunk! She didn’t care if the other three dogs wanted her treat or if they wanted to be in her “spot”. Her disposition was always good; a free spirit. Of course, she was adamant about getting that treat in the first place:) She’d bark to remind you to toss her a bone or to get her a fresh bowl of water. . She didn’t care for car rides. Simple, basic things made her happy, like having her ears scratched or chasing a ball.

We miss Molly a lot. But at least I can revisit some of her “dog days” by creating a character that reminds me of the joy she brought to our lives in those eleven short years:)

Molly Watkins is a series of steampunk novellas and the main character, Molly Watkins, will have some fun adventures- just like my Molly did.

I miss you, Molly Watkins!

Molly Watkins Gets A “Face”

The cover art for Molly’s Soap Parlor (Book #1 of the Molly Watkins Chronicles) has arrived. (Thank you Derek Murphy!) It’s such an awesome feeling to see the character, of whom I’ve been creating and giving depth to for a while now, take on a “real” look. After all, Molly Watkins is a “real” person to me. I know her habits, such as her fetish with beech tree gum. I also know about her weaknesses, her likes and dislikes, and of who she has a major crush on.  But underneath all that other “stuff”, Molly has spunk and I’d really like to “hang out” with her some day.

If you’d like to read about Molly and her first adventure, Molly’s Soap Parlor, A Steampunk Novella, expect her to be available some time in  March, 2012.

Molly Watkins Chronicles Book #1

March, 2012 Debut

Continue reading