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This week’s challenge comes for the wonderful Jenna Da Sie:

Start from the end. You’re the ghost of Christmas future. Write about your life from your funeral to the present. How were you celebrated?

I definitely do not want to even think about the end of my life. I feel like I have just started to live the best of it and I want to keep going for a long time.

I would like to be remembered as kind, and a true friend that could be counted on. I would like to be thought of as a person of honor. I would like to think I traveled to all the places I dreamed of and accomplished everything I set out to do. I hope I have written more than fifty books and each was better than the last.

But mostly I really hope that some of the books I have written have given to others: escape, encouragement or just entertainment. Or anything else to make their lives better.

As for today, I am working on finishing the last in the ‘Dance’ series (which should be out by the end of the summer) and then I will move on to another series and a sequel to “Payback”. After that…well, who knows.

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Let’s hop on over to the incredible A.S. Fenichel and see what her ghost has to say….

AS Fenichel newest

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Weekly

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This week’s challenge comes from the incredible S. C. Mitchell:

Let’s take a trip. Pretend your publisher has offered you a two week vacation anywhere in the world to inspire a new noel. Where do you go and why?

Europe. Four places specifically. First, Italy. I was in Rome years ago and it is the most fantastic city. History, art, great food and wonderful, welcoming people. And romance is around every corner.

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And Venice, where all the same is true, but there are also dark alleys full of mysteries and all kinds of possibilities.

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Then, I would fly over to Dublin and from there, wander into the Irish countryside and drink in the green and the beauty and the ancient stories of love and romance and don’t forget the Celtic tales. And the castles.

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Last, but not least, I would travel around Scotland. I would talk to the people and try to absorb their history of strength and perseverance and bravery. And don’t forget the handsome lads with bright blue eyes and red hair. Being a little partial to red hair myself. Oh, and then there are the castles….

Scotland

Well, I can’t take off two weeks just yet, but one of these days….

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Let’s hop over and see where the incredible A.S. Fenichel would go….

As Fenichel new release

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Weekly

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This week, I posed the questions:

Do you feel like you’re on the outside looking in or just the opposite? Why?

For me, the answer is—both. There are times when I stand back as an observer. I find that people, with their myriad of expressions and body language and conversation, fascinating. Not just as fodder for my books, but as an insight in how alike and how different we all are.

Most of my time, though, is spent ‘in the moment’. I try to live every minute and draw the juice out of every experience. And that is especially true when I write. I ‘go there’.

Once, when I was writing “The Defiant Bride”, my phone rang. I was with my heroine, in 1508 England, and I had no idea what that noise was. It brought me out the story, but luckily it was pretty easy to slip back into the King’s Forest.

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I love to be where the characters are, experiencing the same things they are. Which means, I suppose, I am on the inside and the outside simultaneously. The action is happening all around me and some of it I can actually step in and control. Although, many times the characters take it out my hands.  Well, that is not entirely true, since I definitely have influence. After all, I have to make sure the hero and heroine have a ‘happily ever after’.

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Now let’s hop over and see how the fabulous A.S. Fenichel answered…

AS Fenichel newest

http://asfenichel.com/blog

 

 

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This week’s challenge comes from the incredibly gifted Brenda Margriet:

Are you interested in genealogy? Have you traced your family generations back? If so, how far have you gone? And what fascinating stories have you discovered?

Genealogy is not a straight road and with every twist and turn, I suppose I expected some miraculous discovery. I have gone back several generations, but I ended up a little disappointed when I realized I was probably not descended from kings and queens or even people who changed the world in a big way.  Although I do think we all change the world in one way or another.

The most historical decision that I know of in my family was made by my mother’s father. My grandfather, it seems, was approached by Henry Ford to invest in his new invention. You know, the car. But, my relative didn’t think it was a sound idea and passed. Would I have made a better choice than he did? Who knows?

Tracing one’s relatives is like dipping into a murky pond and pulling out bits and pieces that somehow account for parts of who I am today. Yes, there was a writer in my family tree. But, more, there were just everyday people falling in love, facing hardships of one kind or another, getting married, having babies.

My red hair comes from my father’s side and my height from my mother’s. But other than that, all I know for certain is the rest is just me. And I am okay with that.

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Let’s hop over to the fabulous Brenda Margriet and see what she has discovered…

http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

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This week’s challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

Do you keep a journal? Why? Why not? What kind of things to you write: personal, writerly, vague or stream of consciousness? If you want to share a journal entry, we’d love to know your innermost thoughts. If you don’t keep one and you want to make one up, that’s cool too. 😉

I do keep a journal of sorts, but it is in my head. Sometimes it entails all of the above: personal, writerly, vague or stream of consciousness. Sometimes memories.

Mostly, though, if I’m not thinking about my work-in-progress, I am watching the people around me and creating characters and scenarios. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I will analyze what the person in front of me has in their cart. And from that decide what their life is like. Single? Married? Love cooking, hate it? Clean freaks? Pets? Cats or dogs? Are they dieting? Or indulging? So much information from the items stacked in their basket. Now, does it matter if my assessment is right? No, of course not. Because the fun of the game is the guessing.

Now, that is not exactly the same as a journal, except that writing things down in a diary is still based on subjective interpretations, right? Impressions, thoughts.

I think that’s why I never kept a journal. If I’m going to write it down, I would rather it be in story form. Because I have always loved stories best.

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Now, let’s hop over to the fabulous Jenna Da Sie and found out about her journal…

http://jennadasie.com/

Romance Weekly

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Welcome to the weekly hop. This week, I asked the questions:

 Is there any particular food that sparks your creativity? Why do you think? Is it associated with something like a memory?

Popcorn. Popcorn is just one of those foods associated with pure pleasure for me. It reminds me of the movies, of sitting in a theatre and being taken away to another place and time. Which I still love. And so, sometimes, when I’m sitting at my computer, a little (or a lot) of popcorn helps me go ‘there’. Wherever ‘there’ is at the moment.

I have loved the movies (and popcorn) for as long as I can remember. And when I started to write, it was the most natural thing in the world to have that wonderful food with me as I went to other places. Just the smell of it popping makes me smile.

And it is healthy. Well, without all the butter. But, I think that the occasional indulgence is justifiable, especially if it helps you get where you’re going.

 

 

Let’s see what food the incredible Brenda Margriet chooses.

Brenda Margriet newest

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This week’s challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

Flash Fiction – My favorite color is Yellow. Here’s the first line, you write the rest… Extra points if you use more words for yellow in the story. “Nothing more than a yellow house on the edge of town, but her emotions jumbled whenever she drove by.” The word count is up to you.

So, here’s mine:

Nothing more than a yellow house on the edge of town, but her emotions jumbled whenever she drove by. So many lessons learned. Like: ‘pretty can cover a multitude of sins’ and ‘you never really know what goes on behind closed doors unless you’re the one behind them’.

A pretty little house the color of sunshine, as innocent as a child playing on a warm summer day. A neat yard, well-kept, except the flower boxes boasted withered stalks instead of honey-colored flowers to match the house. The first clue.

It was a cold winter day when the neighbors called the police. An odd smell permeated the frigid air and they had not seen any movement in — well, a while. But then, people liked to think they minded their own business, even though everyone knew that was just another in a layer of pretend. They knew what went on in that cozy little residence. They heard the crying and the screams. But, it was not theirs to interfere. So, they whispered among themselves and went about their days. Until they could no longer ignore it.

The times that she had to pass the place, she couldn’t stifle the shivers. Her friend, Mary, had lived there, but never even hinted at the horror. And then, one day, Mary didn’t come to school. She never came back. And before anyone thought to intervene, it was just a nasty butter-colored shell, soon after surrounded by bright yellow police tape. Yellow, to match the house.

Lessons learned, too painful to contemplate. But, they rose up like a viper ready to strike each and every time she went by that simple little place, painted such a pretty color, like lemons. Yes, exactly like lemons.

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Now, let’s hop back to the beginning and see what the fabulous Jenna Da Sie has written.

http://jennadasie.com/