Stealing — Good or Bad?

Austin Kleon has an inspirational book for writers and other artists called Steal Like An Artist, a New York Times bestseller. A friend, an acclaimed artist herself, thought I might find enjoy it and perhaps find some inspiration. It’s a winner.

On page 39 he lists why ALL theft is not good:

Good Theft             vs             Bad Theft

Honor                                       Degrade

Study                                         Skim

Steal from Many                    Steal from One

Credit                                         Plagiarize

Transform                                  Imitate

Remix                                          Rip Off

“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original,” says Kleon. He quotes from (Ecclesiastes 1:9): “There is nothing new under the sun.”

More on Kleon in later posts.

Thanks for following,



How I Learned to Speak My Name

And to think …

Ahem-Ahem-attention, please…lol, is anyone listening?

Recently, I was asked to tell my story. My story?

For a writing exercise, I encourage everyone to sit and examine this subject. Questions arise, many, dizzying questions, circling until paralyzed for those of us who not used to talking about themselves. I have never lavished a good yarn about me, never as an individual. I am a unique middle-aged woman described as quite boring, I honor that.

sunshine guest

In this life of mine, the definition of me was always defined by another. I was so and so’s sister, daughter, friend, later to become mother and wife. The single character living inside of me has always been the same but lived by the adage of don’t speak unless spoken to, seen and not heard, humble, not a braggart. I am a helper, a giver, a feeler, growing up—a crier. In this stage of my life, I…

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Write What you Know

Write What you Know.

I hear that specific tidbit of advice from many critics and fellow authors. That’s all well and good if your novel is based on a familiar setting or characters. I am taking a detour from my project about Lippizan horses during World War II to try to jumpstart that project by writing from my own trough of happenings.

Heck! It’s more fun to write about my lost cat from his point of view rather than my own. The guffaws I’ve gotten when I tell others the extreme lengths I went to find him prompted this approach.

Those of you who love cats understand their disdainful view of the world:

Certainly don’t come when called— that’s for dumb dogs. Give dogs a treat and they’ll do anything their humans want.

Figure out what really bugs your owner and do it! Scratch on the furniture even when you have a fancy store bought one with catnip smeared on it. (You can sneak back when no one’s looking for the nip.)

Be clever to make them guess what you want. If you don’t get it, a favorite strategy is to wake them at some ungodly hour. Note, the exact time will vary with your owner.

When in doubt, act like you don’t care what crud you’re being fed by licking your butt. Let it stand uneaten for a few days. Trust me, they’ll get the message. Indifference puts owners in their place.

These approaches remind them who’s really in charge. Hel-lo.

We moved and now face box upon box to unpack and place in a designated new space. I’m still in shock and my “write what you know” is helping me get adjusted.

Try it, you might like it.

Thanks for following.




Ghost Writers

A comment from Thursday’s blog post has promoted several questions about who, why, and how do ghost writers write with an author. Yes, I understand that memoirs are a viable reason to have a ghost writer—but aren’t those people acknowledged by the one whose story is being told?

My major reason for questioning anonymous authorship is why? Money, of course! Beyond that motivation, how does it feel to  have another author take credit for your words? (The money must be substantial.) Is a ghost writer another writer with works of his or hers? And then, how do famous authors choose them to cowrite.

My intrigue jumps in with a vision of a darkened room at the back of a bar and the two meeting to discuss terms. Ha!

Do any of you know a ghost writer that is not acknowledged formally by the author? How does this operation develop between the two?  I can understand the motivation of a best selling author— get that money maker book out and reap the rewards. But my own ego wonders why a competent writer is likewise motivated? That tells you a lot about me, doesn’t it.

Thanks for following,

Sandi (see, I want you to know that this is my commentary. Ego, I guess!)

Inspired and Depressed at the Same Time

Did anyone else have these feelings after watching the CBS Sunday Morning episode featuring prolific writer, James Patterson?

I’m not certain what impressed me the most: his organization, the number of works that are begun but await finishing, his dedication and life style, his new Book Shots, or his mega muse? He writes so many novels each year and juggles thoughts for new ones while finishing a current one. Egad!

Peeking into the life of such a famous author was delightful and inspirational yet reflected poorly on my own writing life. There isn’t a day he’s not writing and, if I remember correctly, he has a regular, predictable work schedule that remains sacrosanct.

Boy, do I have great excuses for not writing, but I am reminded time marches on and so should writing. I believe successful writers love the process and cannot leave it regardless of life events.

A writing teacher told me, “Be consistent and constant and your muse will come.”

Let’s talk #Serious

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Can this day, seriously, be the first Wednesday of the month? The very first day of June just happens to fall on a Wednesday? Well, of course, the answer is yes, and good motivation for me to hut one, hut two, get it into gear and get moving!


 (I couldn’t resist. I’m not a fan of ‘said’ above team, go ahead, hate. I am prepared.)

The real topic, not football, I would like to talk about is our feelings? How do you feel about author New Release posts? Yes, the possibly annoying feed we receive when our WordPress Author friends have recently unveiled a new title in their bookshelf or a recent accomplishment. Are you happy, mad, irritated? Truthfully, do your eyes squint, get misty or grow red? Does a sad little smile quiver on your lips, filled with best wishes but reminding you of your-not quite yets? Does your chest clench or are those your fists under that desk? Now, hear the voice of your favorite evil character …

“Look into my eyes, child, and tell me how you really feel?”


I am doing honest research.

As I sit and watch the hundreds of feeds over the past year and a half, those particular articles don’t seem the most successful? Am I right? Many author pages just hang, blank. I see millions of hours put into these posts, yet, reception seems a bit cold. Or is that the Artic wind blowin’ round here…if you get what I mean?

giphy-cold wind.gif

The task of building an author’s platform is daunting. Understanding and knowing that the largest piece of marketing, your awesome self, is well, up to you. Recognizing there are no other options, eventually, mustering the courage, and, while at first joyful and exhilarating, the mission is gosh-darned difficult! (Since we are being honest in this essay, I will tell you I really wanted to use profanity in that last sentence, but my granddaughter is working at her desk next to me. And of course, I read everything out loud.)


Let’s see you upset this sweet lil’ tattle-tale, she’s daring you.

Okay, back on subject…

Why is that?


Since we all GET IT why are we not ultra supportive? Reading, leaving reviews? Everything we would hope our peeps would, in return, do for us? Just curious, putting it out there to ponder. I see the cliques work together, the friend of a friend’s friend, but even their shout outs are quite lackluster. Is that not our thing? As bloggers? No cliquishness? Just asking…

As a word freak, I will say in blatant unwavering tongues that if I see another article on the proper usage of present and past tenses I will jab this crazy sharp pencil, with a definite attitude, into my eye.


No, I really won’t, but jeez whiz, I’d rather go eat…

 cheez whiz.jpeg

Enough is Enough…I know you feel my point. (It just happens…)

Oh’ goodness, wait! The last tidbit before I bore you any longer is the ‘donation’ thing…would you rather see a tip jar? I really am curious how you feel about these, too? I’d personally rather buy a book, a tangible. No? Are we not all working our hardest to earn a living? What am I tipping you for? Did you serve me up some new regurgitated advice with a side of whizziness?

It’s time to end this…Authors, Writers, Poets, and Dear Friends keep fighting the good fight, your work is valuable, I appreciate everything you have done and how hard you are working at a job that sometimes feels…well, hopeless, but don’t give in! You know the lyrics…”Let it snow, let it snow…” Elsa take it away GIRL!


Write On! ❤ Jessica