The Writer’s Journey—Staying the Course From Newbie to Master

The mark of a pro is they make whatever we want to do look easy. From running a business to playing guitar to wicked cool Kung Fu moves, masters rarely seem to even break a sweat. Same with authors. With the pros? The story flows, pulls us in, and appears seamless and effortless.

December 24, 1944 and 2015

War of two different kinds — World War II and Terrorism have made normal life challenging in different ways. Musa and Ferenc were forced to leave their home, employment and family. Fear for their lives as Russians approached the city of Budapest in the final Siege of Budapest and forced escapes. They went different ways on Christmas Eve. Was this a futile attempt?


In 2015 our lives are filled with fear about attacks potentially from Al Qaeda or Isis, road rage, packages stolen from doorsteps,  the neighbors who irritate, climate change and its repercussions, and numerous personal issues. What is the difference between these two periods in time?  Fear is fear, you say? Our fears today are random ones spurred on by media, and we may never have to face them personally.  All issues have importance, but we have choices whether to live in fear or not. Musa and Ferenc did not.

Musa and Ferenc in Torn Apart, have no choice except to leave or die. Hopefully, the book will be available in 2016. Awww, promises, promises…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for following us.


8 Uses of Selfies For Writers #writers #amwriting

Selfies are great if you feel like getting distracted for an hour or so. After a round of selfies and a length of time (determined by age, looks, general mood etc) spent in a Photo Editor app, tinkering with light filters, crease erasers and teeth whitening tools, you will find yourself happily heading back to […]


There were abundant regrets for many during and after WWII on what could have been done to prevent outcomes for family and friends. Life in “peace” times isn’t much better regarding similar issues.

I had a conversation with two sisters yesterday. They love their younger sister but deplore her husband. He has hurt their family by his actions and words since he married their sister. The holidays are difficult for many people who are alone or have suffered losses of unbearable pain.

These sisters are in a personal quandary about him: to see him, to gift him, to confront his bad form. Will he be bothered? Probably not, but they know their sister would be and that’s what matters most.

The regrets my characters had were about life and death decisions. Should each of them have made different plans or taken better care of their families? Should they have been proactive and more strongly encouraged them to leave Hungary? All but one of their 16 siblings died at the hands of Russian troops.

So much is at stake and often we are burdened by our perceived failures. People have the right to make their own life choices, and we can be powerless to change their minds.  The challenge is to let those burdens and feelings of guilt go— difficult as that might be.

May your holidays be filled with joy and love.

Thanks for following. You are our writing family!


Have Writers forgotten how to Respectfully Read?

Put down that red pen.

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Pull off that critiquer’s hat.


Can we as wannabe professional authors remember what it is to enjoy a good story without comparing it to our own or ripping it apart? It doesn’t matter how cute you may be (see above photo) a smart ass is still an ass.

When do these Rules we try to adhere to begin to interfere? And who can agree on what these ‘rules’ are, anyway.

We have all heard of Ancient Aliens and binary code.


Basic grammar is a given.

But let us dive into the magical, mystical realm of the elusive POV. Here is where you may want to slip into your armor, rubber suit or invisible cloak. Pull on those hip-waders and get wet.

Seriously, we need to learn to relax and remember how to enjoy the ride.

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And I am speaking of the joy in being whisked away through the art of storytelling not proving to ourselves we are the master of all writing evils.

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Over the past year and half of writing, I have encountered the term head-hopper, POV switching, etc. A term that was never acquainted with me in my writing group until after I entered a contest and received my review. All’s good I am willing to adapt. Sooo…Just when I believed I had the real 411 on the situation, the controversy still slaps me along side the head.

“I QUIT,” my 4-year-old granddaughter says when the time calls to toughen up. You are allowed to switch character heads within the same scene as long as it is defined. This is the hang-up.

In my short career, as a very non-professional, debut author, I believed I wrote in omniscient third person. I never enjoyed reading stories written in the first person nor did I personally like a his chapter and then a hers chapter. For myself as the reader, because this is all that I was, it pulled me out of the given story, and I was oblivious to the debate.

Now I begin to understand.


To do so ends a needless migraine of putting your writing in question.

I have opened myself up to reading multiple genres, different POV’s, and broaden my limited exposure on all literature. I have learned to appreciate the dedication and honor a writer’s accomplishment, no matter my personal preferences because I long to grow, to get better at my chosen craft. When I am called to be a reader, I read.

So after the multitude of  stressors, ending in needless sleepless nights and crunchy Cheeto eating binges,


I am going to settle with agreeing to disagree. How simple, right?

And, I will use this great article as my bible of reference.

I opt to write clear and concise. When my publisher calls for a specific change, I will then gladly accept the assignment.

Write on…<3 Jessica

PS…Yes, I still write 3rd person omniscient.